One meme in ‘merry old England’ which requires swift disembowelment is the curious idea there’s a quasi-religious duty to pay Her Majesty’s Government with as much tax as possible. Starbucks came under fire recently for legally avoiding the UK’s excessive taxation system. In the face of massive pressure from Her Majesty’s obedient subjects, who duly protested once Her broadcaster the BBC made an issue of it, the company was forced to relent.
There’s a theory Roman Emperors who declared themselves Gods, or God-appointed, did not do so simply because they were arrogant but instead as a power grab aimed at the religious establishment. In practical terms it appears to have been a way of getting access to the huge booty sacrificed to ‘Gods’ after each harvest. Her Majesty’s Government has much in common with them. Those subjected to Her rule must sacrifice their time and money to a Monarch who also claims authority directly from a God. Curiously though, in the so-called Modern world, loyal subjects will defend to their death her right to be Queen.
“England expects that every man will do his duty” – Admiral Horatio Nelson
No sense of duty makes me happy about money I’ve earned by adding value to other people’s lives being stolen off me and fed directly into the pockets of a “Royal Family”, one of the richest in the world. It feels to me the precise opposite of a morally virtuous act to help fund Her Government as it purchases bullets and bombs to murder people in countries I’ve never even heard of. Furthermore, I’m at a loss as to how it benefits our nation to bail out a banking system which takes money off those who need to give to people who don’t.
The list of reasons I despise taxation goes on and on, I can’t be the only Brit’ who is absolutely sick of it, yet oddly you rarely hear this point of view on our state funded broadcast media. It’s all, ‘pay your taxes and love your Queen’. This is why I run in the opposite direction and specifically drink in Starbucks whenever possible. It’s a little taste of the dream of a free country which I hope will one day exist in the real world. I’m aware this is laughable as a ‘revolutionary act’ but take solace in the fact it’s co-incidentally aligned with the European iconography of the coffee shop. Recalling the spirit of revolution which energised people in 17th and 18th Century seems like a dangerous but worthwhile idea right now. It was this zeitgeist that formed the ideas I love which were then written into the American constitution. Those ideas are still radical and will one day be adhered to.
This is why I’m a proud ‘Coffee Shop Revolutionary’:
An individual […] who speculates on the utopia that “could be” following radical societal, governmental, and cultural change without actually taking action to do initiate it. These coffee shop revolutionaries are comparable to “Armchair Generals” and “Armchair Politician’s”.
It’s why I make a point of writing specific pieces, such as this one, in coffee shops. I fuel myself with the absurd belief there’s power in synchronicity and, as the internet’s realities unfold, I now genuinely feel the revolutionary era is coming round again. Currently the battle takes place between ideas, the new Gods of our time.
Citizens of Ancient Rome who believed in the Gods probably liked making sacrifices to their divine Emperor, nowadays they identify as “patriotic” or “left wing” so are of a similar mind set. That’s unlikely to be a controversial statement on this site as regards patriotic fervour but the “left wing” boil usually needs a little lancing. Currently, those who subscribe to it usually see taxation as a way of redistributing wealth and making the world a fairer place. The theory goes something like this: rich people earn too much money so the more you earn the more you should pay in tax. The reality is: truly rich people do not need to earn money and their status increases if others earn less. Income tax, concerned only with incoming wealth, is therefore helpful if you and your family are rich and wish only to preserve your position. Stopping people from making and saving money is good, from the establishment’s perspective, because it increases reliance on the charity of Her Majesty’s Government and reduces the number of new rich and powerful people they may be required to do deals with.
Previously I didn’t understand this and allowed myself to be led by the “left wing” ideas of other people. I would likely have been one of the many loyal subjects who, practically on command, furiously protested outside Starbucks. The break for much of my generation came thanks to Tony Blair’s warmongering in Iraq, which I did protest against. On that day its estimated more than a million of us were reduced to begging in the streets of London. Our collective plea was encouraged by the belief a “left wing” Government would never allow Her Majesty’s army to be unleashed into foreign lands for anything less than a good solid reason. The contrast between Blair’s response and that of private company Starbuck’s is telling; one lot cared about what people thought of them and the other did not.
When the millions or more people who protested in London were so comprehensively ignored by those in the business of Government it cracked my belief in the notion of left wing or right wing politics forever. The Gods were dead and we had killed them. The man who stood before us in television interviews, with blood on his hands, who I’d voted for because I thought he was “left wing” and must therefore be “good”, was exposed for what he was: not a leader but a follower, a middle manager type who does as he has been told. He was, to use the Nuremburg defence, “just following orders” as have many politicians and managers had before him. He ignored the voters who went to protest in London because his real bosses had spoken so that was that.
Don’t misunderstand me here, I am not advocating some mad controversial conspiracy theory, I am arguing only that the establishment in the UK controls the bureaucracies which farm our taxes. The undisputed head of the state in this country is Her Majesty The Queen and Her Government can co-operate with either left wing or right wing orthodoxy very easily. One of the things that initially attracted me to “the left wing” was that, from a distance, it appeared to be anti-establishment so I wrongly assumed it would be opposed to inherited Monarchy. Realising you’re wrong is important in life and my surprise at the fact the (“left wing”) Labour party were so keen to kneel before our “God-appointed” Queen is a good example of how a Leary/Wilson reality tunnel works. By necessity your conscious mind ignores more information than it absorbs and, throughout your life, your brain learns what information is useful and what is ‘irrelevant’. This process builds a unique “reality tunnel” through which you filter ‘important’ information.
Once someone’s beliefs are firmly re-enforced it’s incredible what they can then either notice or ignore. The longer your reality tunnel has been in place the more rigid it becomes so, for example, if you think there’s a God and you’ve managed to shift your subconscious to fit that belief it’ll start to seem like the evidence is all around you because anything that flatly speaks to the contrary will be ignored. This is what happens with tax slaves, monarchists and anyone who believes any one thing for too long. That’s why it’s important to be wrong, it stops your mind from calcifying.
My left wing reality tunnel was as solid as a rock in my early teens so when my younger self first heard Labour supported the UK’s hereditary Monarchy, I was forced to ignore something because it didn’t fit my worldview. Being wrong and realising I’d been lied to and misled by these “left wing” puppets was hugely liberating because it suddenly allowed loads of new information in.
By the 90’s politics was an industry concerned only with compromise and “being realistic”. In academic circles this attitude was referred to as “realpolitik”, an ideology popular on both sides of the Atlantic which concerns itself only with the practicalities of power and the deals you have to make to get it. The end consequence of this was that the academic industry helped the business of Government recruit people who wanted only power as an end in itself. These characters now bleed through onto the main political stage, schooled in how to be the perfect middle manager and looking like the smooth salesmen they’ve inevitably become. The US’s Barack Obama is so obviously in this mould that to compare him to the UK’s Tony Blair is almost a cliche.
Another cliche in the UK is that politicians “have no real power”. Yet at the same time we have a “symbolic” Queen who rarely gets criticised in the state funded broadcast media (the BBC), has a standing army all swearing loyalty directly to her and has her already eyewateringly huge financial assets bolstered by our taxation system. She gets final say on all the laws passed by her parliament, has every politician swear an oath of loyalty to her and has a police force who appear to have problems arresting friends of hers whom she has knighted, such as Britain’s most active serial pedophile Sir Jimmy Savile, who during his lifetime never felt the force of the law for his crimes.
When I’m in a particularly bad mood I put two and two together with the above and it seems obvious that we’re lied to when we’re told The Queen and Her Family have a role which is only symbolic. I’m sure it’s not as simplistic as this but it can feel like democracy in the UK has evolved into a system whereby the establishment turns to the nation, who they seem to view as farmers do their cattle, and say “who among the herd is most popular?”
“This one, he’s called Tony Blair”
“Great, send him our way…”
From that point onwards the most popular member of the herd is then told what the farmer plans to do with the cattle, how they will be branded, which ones are getting slaughtered at the market and so on. Loaded with this terrible news it is then their duty to pass on these orders, put a good spin on it with their “spin doctors” and convince the sheep to do as they’re told when the sheepdogs come to see them.
To say it honestly feels like all we do in the UK is vote in middle managers who then relate the establishment’s agenda back to us is only a clue you’re paying attention to the various policies they suggest and have noticed the agenda changes not. They toyed with a politics style version of The X Factor in this country at one point, there was of course no need because that’s what we already have. The Prime Minister’s song has been written and all the notes of it ever do is continue Her Majesty’s Government in the same direction. Few people can tell the difference between the two parties here now, the situation used to look very bleak.
After a long period of intense despair about the above worldview I heard of an old concept buried deep within the 60’s subculture that has filled me with hope. The revolution in the head, the only kind of revolution that is effective. This is more likely now than ever before if you combine our right to free speech with the fact each of us has access to a global communications system. The world’s Governments are no longer in the same position, we are now more powerful collectively than ever before and ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Thus the truly revolutionary path becomes: sort yourself out, communicate with others and change for the better becomes inevitable.
I’m serious when I claim my status as a proud “coffee shop” revolutionary, I can’t stress how crucial the idea is becoming to my belief system, a revolution of any kind is useless unless it involves people changing the way in which they think. That’s why American foreign policy fails (in terms of its stated aim) to spread democracy and instead we end up with Presidents blabbering on about winning “hearts and minds” as their soldiers drown in the ensuing bloodbath. In a similar vein this is also why violent revolutions tend to leave behind dictators who have the unenviable task of trying to indoctrinate everyone into accepting their particular reality tunnel as the only possible point of view.
This brings us to the crucial difference between education and indoctrination. The former teaches you how to think where the latter tells you what to think. For example, indoctrination is practiced most obviously in mathematics when it comes to learning your times tables, you memorise them by saying them over and over again. You only stop once they are part of your reality tunnel and 6×6 appears to so obviously be 36 that you can stop thinking about it. It’s apt that many people do not appreciate the difference between this and an education which also teaches you how to think and why we believe 6×6 is 36. You can often spot beliefs enforced by indoctrination rather than education if, when you ask someone why they think something, they get annoyed or irritated rather than give you a reasoned answer. Rote learning clearly supports a number of our society’s establishment-serving points of view but the ability to think clearly supports us and will inevitably improve society. The establishment do not want an educated public capable of self actualisation. They want idiots as slaves, not adults. The net allows for everyone to try different ideas out and learn which suits their needs and nation best. The most important tool you require to use it efficiently with is the ability to think for yourself.
In that sense perhaps ours will be the first generation to take part in the long predicted apocalypse of old. The word itself means revealing and the establishment fears it as an ‘end of the world’ style event and from their point of view that’s a fair analysis. Once information is entirely liberated, ‘the revealing’ is complete and the hierarchies of the old world face us there’s a number of uncomfortable questions they will be required to answer. Spiritual systems act as metaphors for the human experience, the apocalypse is no different. Most religions speak of this “new age” I’m on about here as one of harmony and love but few see it as a time of universal forgiveness. Most religions put a period of retribution ahead of the apocalypse. It is this the establishment are afraid of. They believe this stuff. My advice to them is drop the act now, while you still can.
With that I finish my rant, wonder if it will ever make for a good piece of fiction, nail the last of my coffee, pull myself out of the matrix, switch off my “free” wifi and return to the “real” world.
Nick Margerrison, coffee shop revolutionary.
 Full story here:
Good example of the “ethical” angle Her Majesty’s Broadcaster is required to give the issue: Is tax avoidance moral?
 The so-called divine right of kings is in fact the legal underpinning of our Monarch.
If you are British and have never looked into this it might be hard for you to swallow this reality because your reaction is likely to be, “it’s only a symbol, it doesn’t mean anything, etc”.
If you are American you have every right to piss yourself laughing. Honestly, it will be good for your British cousins. If you are respectful, like you might be as regards the eccentric customs of some ancient tribe, British people will think it proves you’re jealous of our monarchy and use your politeness as justification for this nonsense.
In a sense it is a bit like an ancient custom but think FGM rather than worshipping the trees or whatever.
 I love the idea of America. “There’s something great about America“.
 Pisser eh? They’re lying to you. The left wing has a function, it increases funding and power. The right wing has a function, it reinforces gains made by the left. Your function is to question both.
 I use the word “rich” in its original sense. Think modern versions of nobility and people who hold court in the King’s presence. Not wealthy peasants arguing over scraps that have fallen from the table.