Me: ‘What a time to be alive!’… ‘what a useless waste of time to fight these idiots’. Who doesn’t want a holiday from this bipolar circus that we call ‘modern democracy’? I guess not me. As a Dutch columnist living in Berlin, Germany, I amplify whatever feelings are crawling around from ‘our side’ about our current political climate: loathing and disappointment towards elitists politicians, mob ‘justice’ and intolerant, left wing ideologies (I just heard the highest court in Germany is now mostly ignoring the rule of law to favour minorities over the majority). Also the the frustration about one-sidedness and propaganda in de mainstream media and the lack of confidence things will change under this political roof any time soon.
These ‘feelings’ of doom are not the fruits of our wild imagination (anymore). As you may have noticed, the ruling classes have been using virtually every propaganda organ at their disposal to whip up mass hysteria over a host of extremely dubious threats to “the future of democracy” and “democratic values,” such as ‘populists’, ‘racists’, ‘Russia’, ‘Hungary’, ‘Trump’ and the temperature on our planet. In Germany it is almost impossible to attend any public gathering involving art, music, sports, children, or having a hamburger in a ‘foodcourt’, without noticing the official stamps of moral approval on everything. My children will be handed out bright coloured balloons with left wing party logo’s on it everywhere – newspaper stands remind me constantly of ‘our fight against those AfD/Hitler/neonazi racists’. Where it used to say “sunny” or “cloudy” on my phone, my weather-app now constantly reminds me “the air is unhealthy.” Mind controlling my sunny day means the hysteria will stop at nothing, I guess.
So the “official narrative” is much the same here in Europe as in the United States, Canada or anywhere in the West. That’s because the narrative has moved beyond the national level, beyond the time when — in the early stages of war — nation states needed to temporarily unite populations and demonise enemies. The’ War on Terror’ (after 2001) was more of less the first time narratives went global, but now it has evolved into an expanded version. We live in a world where global capitalism is driving the course of political events. The economies of virtually every nation on the planet are hopelessly interdependent. This has sucked the truth out of our reality like water from a desert.
Some seem to think that writing or making movies about the depression mass indoctrination invokes on a global level won’t solve the underlying issues (let alone real life problems) and ‘is in fact part of the problem’ – some even say that my ‘strong opinions against’ the ruling classes are ‘counterproductive to issue solving’. The indoctrination goes as far as actively rejecting any genuine help of escaping the mental prison they are in. “No we won’t publish your piece, no you can’t show your film, your helping the extremists!”
As a result, many – mostly young people – are willing to throw out freedom of speech to continue on this demented journey – one on which they would sell their last pair of shoes for a ‘fix’ of fake-news. For many people ‘issue solving’ now literally means making them go away with their mind. The corporate establishment couldn’t be more pleased!
This is why free speech matters (and not many people understand this): Voicing (not hiding) my opinion helps me to actually think about that opinion and stay connected to a world that would otherwise lose all logic and familiarity. I write to remember and to predict more than anything else. Truth however has been tucked away behind official indicators — claimed by ‘experts’, ‘fake-news’-checkers and ‘consensus’. This means you have to grab a flashlight sometimes to navigate what is real, but the world is still there – and what’s great: it doesn’t comply to the official narrative at all. It’s beautiful and compassionate and brutal and ugly just as it is. And it doesn’t care about our feelings.
Like I said, opposing the official narrative has been framed as ‘divisive’ or kinder: ‘not helpful’. Even on the (conservative) right — the official opponent of the (media) establishment — talking about ‘our side’ is not regarded as helpful, to … our side. In this ‘democracy’ ‘others’ are not allowed to have an agenda. With the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in the US this reality was tangible. Many Republicans and intellectuals in support of Kavanaugh felt an uncanny obligation to remove a good and professional man — for ‘the sake of the whole country‘. In Germany it is fine to ridicule right wing politicians and authors in the media and send Antifa after them, but when they defend themselves, or (God forbid) protest against these practices ‘they are dividing the country’.
The globalist, mostly left wing narrative — in which all dissenting opinions are the work of ‘deplorables, populists, racists en demagogues’ — is so strong on all sides that many on the right will happily pay their imposed moral debt by wrongfully accepting a kind of ‘superpower’ responsibility for keeping everyone in their lane and if that fails – for example when ‘provocateurs’ show up where they are disinvited by the left, or when dissidents visit Donald Trump in the oval office, like Kanye did, or speak out against left wing-extremism, like a historian in Germany did, they will have to take all the blame for what happens next. ‘The right’ has internalised their ‘divisiveness’ — even when they just want what is good for everyone, even when they act in good faith. Even when it’s simply ‘their turn to speak’.
The rule of thumb seems to be: you may not rescue others from their mind controlled state.
On a personal level: I receive e-mails and messages daily that are supportive of my work but also reveal an unwillingness, inability or lack of self-worth to trust ‘our side’ (just a label I use in this article to identify everyone that is still with us in mind and spirit). They are comfortable enough knowing I can voice their opinion for them on political correctness (‘sickening’), identity politics (‘destructive’) or globalism (‘we need to take care of our countries’), but also strongly believe that they are contributing to The Divide the elites are now using as their only source of oxygen. Many people are blind to the fact that it’s the elites that want this divide for their own sake and that us fighting is nothing more than a construct.
Yes, I too build a case for ‘a side’ by believing in ‘that side’ – being the one that isn’t ‘resisting’ reality full time but actually believes in upholding democracy, freedom and liberties and rejecting the almighty State. But if ‘our side’ means opposing racisme (against black ánd white), white guilt and islamic doctrine, strictly speaking we aren’t a side at all. We are doing CPR on liberalism’s best ideas, but cheering on the death of it’s worst: Like turning women into men, countries into monolithic ‘diversity playgrounds’ and free thought into dogma.
I don’t know of any conservatives, right wingers or escaped leftists personally that do not want what is best for everyone, yet the mind controlled left acts as if I am part of a big hostile force that is out to disrupt their personal lives. And it’s really just sad that they demand I uphold their crazy in order for me to be safe: To not be attacked as a ‘fascist, racist, conspiracy theorist.’
‘Our side’, which is everyones side if you want, has simply realised that what is best for most people is not making everyone equally miserable. Generally speaking, ‘our side’ is the one you get on when you don’t choose ‘thé only ALLOWED side’. Many people are absolutely unwilling to acknowledge this fact, or the facts behind any collective state of mind, that have lead to millions of deaths in the past.
So I don’t consider being ‘on the right’ as a conscious choice. Not being on the loony left wás. I talked to the Dutch, prizewinning and left-wing filmmaker Marijn Poels a lot about this issue. He was personally targeted and harassed as a ‘climate change denier‘ after making a movie about the climate change debate in 2016. “My life has completely turned around”, he told me the first time we met for an interview. “I have to figure out what happened,” he told me later. ‘What had happened’ turned into the second part of trilogy, called ‘PARADOGMA‘.
I was lucky to help out. We both recognised that our political views were ‘problematic’. So how could we share and test our ideas? How could we prevent falling into the trap of mental prisons of our own? How to approach difficult topics without pissing off even the ones you’d expect where on ‘our side’. The answer was: you can’t prevent the pushback at all. It has to happen.
And so we visited the controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson in January 2018. Peterson at the time had just become well-known for his fight against ideological indoctrination at universities, his YouTube lectures on the Bible, Nietzsche and Carl Jung and his opposition against a Canadian transgender rights bill that was in fact targeted at free speech (in his opinion). Peterson, now a cult-like mega-star in fancy suits, was in Amsterdam for a few days and I was invited to interview him about his book ‘12 Rules for Life ‘.
The whole encounter became a starting point for PARADOGMA. Peterson was a canary in the coal mine, an pivotal figure in a much larger story, a story that Poels had been working on since the release of that climate-critical documentary ‘The Uncertainty Has Settled‘ (February 2017). PARADOGMA is about what happens when you wake up the political correct beast, about the consequences heretics face today.
Instead of being invited to tons of festivals (like Poels was used to) with ‘The Uncertainty Has Settled‘, he received threats — emails and phone calls, from Greenpeace and scientists — and many rejections from venues. Poels devoted himself completely to figuring out why accidentally tripping into a deeper layer of reality is so problematic, why people are being mocked and harassed in our ‘democracy’ for their ideas and labeled as a ‘Nazi’ and ‘conspiracy theorist‘. What makes these ideas ‘dangerous’? In PARADOGMA he talks to the ‘most dangerous philosopher on earth’: the Russian Alexandr Dugin. “It is dangerous to be human,” Dugin says with a smile.
In PARADOGMA Poels delves deeper into the phenomenon of denunciation: why are jokes more and more problematic, what is the mechanism behind the tyranny of the ‘majority view’. And ofcourse the key to understanding the underlying behaviour: the leading role of the corporate establishment that sends us constant messages. “You’re either with us or against us.” The message is, “we will tolerate no dissent, except for officially sanctioned dissent.” The message is: “try to fuck with us, and we will marginalize you, and demonize you, and make you go away.”
Much to my surprise, the pre-screening of PARADOGMA for journalists and supporters of the film in Stendall and Potsdam led me to the idea that we are less alone than we think. Entrepreneurs from the Netherlands flew over for the film, people from the cast were there, including the German stock exchange ‘guru’ and writer Dirk Müller.
Poels and his cameraman Volker M. Schmidt have succeeded in making complex themes – polarization, groupthink in journalism, intolerance for people with different views – more visible by taking the themes away from the darkish atmosphere of the alternative media, that have relished too long on their moral debt, their position as ‘responsible players’ in a debate that was never set on their terms. PARADOGMA opens up the idea that people can actually change their mind about things — because it is safer than we think, safer than we have been taught to believe. PARADOGMA has that potential to expand the discussion on how we got here and how we can move forward.
Poels made over fifty films, mostly about Third World issues and human rights violations. I believe it was this experience, his mastering the ‘closeness distance dance’ that made PARADOGMA suitable for a wider audience. After the screenings the public was visibly processing what they had seen. “Very impressed,” I heard. And: “I have to watch this with my friends. Maybe they will finally understand where I’m coming from. “
There is a craving, a need for returning to our senses — now. Because at the end of the day, all this talk about ‘sides’, narratives and propaganda is diverting us from the real issue: that we belong to the world, not to corporations and governments. This is the real ‘globalist’ view, not some fake narrative. And all the creativity, energy and hope that comes from acknowledging this, is a sign we can find our way back. Through cinema, through sharing our ideas and finding relief in the idea we are not alone, not crazy and not ‘a side’.
More info: www.paradogma-film.com
Author. Academic. Mother of boys. Thought junkie, creating free speech, connecting. To keep the fire going please donate to this platform! (see: page ‘contact/donate’ above or: https://www.patreon.com/sietskebergsma)