Hope is a Weapon

Recently, whilst scanning a sea of angry comments on Facebook raging, quite rightly, at the injustice of the Covid scandal, I came across one particular remark which triggered unexpected deep emotion: ‘can anyone offer me some words of hope?’ it read. 

I was arrested by this simple plea which seemed to carry more force precisely due to its plaintive directness. I sat back in my chair and pondered that, like many, I have fought hard not to lose hope this past year. Yet, god knows, countenancing the devastation that has been visited on so many through the mendacity and greed of a relatively few psychopaths and their acolytes has almost, in weaker moments, pushed me into despair. 

But thankfully,  my ever-simmering anger has soon scorched away the despondency, and like a steam train furnace relentlessly fueled by my fury I have burned with a white-hot determination to challenge the barbaric measures that have brought so much suffering to millions. You see, anger I can work with. Anger is active, not passive.

Righteous anger is a pilot-jet to ignite resistance and is not destructive as some would have you believe. When Frederick Douglass declared, ‘it is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.’ he knew that anger is a formidable transformative force. When the poet Shelley, three weeks after the Peterloo massacre wrote to a friend, ‘the torrent of my indignation has not yet done boiling in my veins!‘, he was the very embodiment of his own philosophy of the sympathetic imagination without which empathy is impossible and the epitome of the radical political activist he actually was and which official history has tried to expunge. Shelley’s still smouldering anger after the massacre inspired his poem, The Mask of Anarchy, a blistering response to the outrage at Peterloo Field. 

So anger calls us to action, while despair is paralysing. And it is despair we must guard against in these worst of times. Despair will whisper to you that action is pointless, that the forces you’re up against are just too strong. Despair can lead to a life-denying apathy that will slowly destroy you from the inside out. It is the most insidious of emotions because it eats away at the soul. And if you are awakened to the false Covid narrative then you will know that it is our souls the elites are determined to annihilate; that part of us which loves is what they are trying to shatter. Indeed, love is dangerous ammunition in a world where the loving bonds between us are being severed by edict.

In just a year our fundamental freedoms have been disposed of and a majority of the population transformed into masked automatons indoctrinated to despise anyone not complying with slavish obedience to the perfidious new programme. Yet it must be said that even before anyone had heard the words ‘Covid 19’ we’d already been primed for the propaganda onslaught by spending decades swimming in the sewage of US-led hegemony, a river putrid with the doctrine of perpetual war. 

We might observe that the exact same machinery used to brainwash the public into supporting every illegal and immoral military exploit has been rolled out once again in order to beguile a gullible and willfully ignorant cohort ever ready to swallow without question whatever poisonous concoction the authorities serve up for them.

It’s the reliable old apparatus that worked so effectively in priming the public for the destruction of Libya and Syria even after the great crime of Iraq had supposedly awakened us all to the mendacity of our governments and the collusion of their myrmidons in the corporate media. 

But with depressing predictability, a collective amnesia descends after each atrocity so that ‘like little sightless birds’ the masses open their mouths wide and stretch their necks upwards once again, desperate for their next toxic mouthful. Time after time, all the elites have to do is terrify them with what is obviously, for the rest of us, an insultingly simplistic fairytale and they are soon screaming for ‘humanitarian action’ in the Middle East or for stricter mask mandates, a faster vaccine roll-out and PCR tests before every human interaction. In fact, I can confidently state that the more likely someone is to call me an ‘Assadist’, the more likely they are to be snitching on their neighbours for ‘unlawful’ garden gatherings and harassing mask exempt people in the supermarket.

I often wonder in what kind of world this section of the population exists where they remain deaf and blind to the sufferings of millions at the hands of the smirking psychopaths to whom they supinely hand over their sovereignty? What perpetual Twilight Zone are they occupying in which some of history’s worst criminals are worthy of their trust and the nightly news is their moral instructor? 

Yes, let’s talk about the corporate media, because I really cannot emphasise strongly enough the nefarious role it has played in this obscene extended drama. Why else would a 2013 ComRes poll have found that 44% of those questioned thought fewer than 5,000 Iraqi people had died since 2003? You read that right…5,000. In the same poll 59% thought less than 10,000 had died, and only 2% put the death toll at the true figure, in excess of one million.

And how can we be sure that the corporate media is to blame for these outrageously low estimates? As I explained in a previous article on the crimes of the corporate media, if it’s ‘journalists’ hadn’t consistently suppressed the real human cost of that iniquitous enterprise then we would have seen wild overestimates of deaths also. But we didn’t. It’s no surprise, then, that John Pilger, in his compelling documentary, The War You Don’t See, told the head of ITV News, John Mannion, his journalists had ‘blood on their hands’. 

Yet these are the very same people now spouting, daily, lie after lie about Covid, PCR tests and vaccines; the same ‘selected for obedience state stenographers’ incessantly parroting their official sources rather than challenging them and so failing authentic journalism’s very first test. When this is the state of play, we find that the most ‘ferocious’ newscasters are actually the most subservient to the system which rewards them.

Need proof? I give you Newsnight’s own ‘Rottweiler’, Jeremy Paxman, who admitted he’d believed Colin Powell’s (later totally discredited) WMD presentation at the UN because he considered Powell to be ‘an intelligent, thoughtful man’. Yes folks, in a 2009 interview Paxman said he’d been ‘hoodwinked’ by US propaganda, telling himself as he watched Powell’s presentation that day: ‘if he believes all this to be the case then, you know, he’s seen the evidence, I haven’t’.

This, as Media Lens pointed out at the time, was the ingrained attitude of the UK’s most ‘ferocious’ interviewer on the very threshold of war. At no time did it cross Paxman’s mind to question all those graphs, those ‘facts’ and figures. Powell’s presentation was instead hailed as stunning proof of Iraqi transgression and so war became the only righteous course of action. 

Be in no doubt, if Paxman and his colleagues had done their jobs, that war would never have been prosecuted. Only by manufacturing the consent of the public through the corporate media could the elites ever have committed that sickening crime. Media Lens posed the most pertinent question on this which should be a fundamental law of journalism: ‘does not government submission of evidence mark the point where serious journalism begins rather than ends?’  

How many more innocent dead are these ‘journalists’ responsible for in the last year because they failed, once again, to challenge government ‘evidence’? The human cost is mounting by the day. And what now? Where do we go when the nightmare becomes our waking reality? It seems to me the population has divided itself into three distinct categories.

Firstly, there are those who embrace the propaganda with a fervour only the truly conformist can display, policing themselves and others as a sacred moral duty whilst condemning furiously anyone daring to question the authority to which they long ago pledged their absolute allegiance. Thoreau wrote in his seminal essay, Civil Disobedience, that members of his community who were confronted with his defiance against a corrupt state must decide whether to treat him as a ‘neighbour and well-disposed man’ or as ‘a maniac and disturber of the peace’.

We know full well which category those of us opposing the official Covid narrative are placed in by the elites’ most obedient servants. We are a threat to the cabal’s power and profit, but to their acolytes we are a threat to the calm order of society and that must be maintained whether the government calls itself a democracy or a dictatorship. For them, obedience to authority is a religion and this moment in history their Inquisition. 

The second category which has emerged in the last year consists of those who are disturbed by developments but who have already given up. These people have not even reached the stage of despair because by default and in general they consider the citizen to be a powerless pawn. You can see this group in shops and on the streets trudging along in defeat, having concluded there is no point in even putting up a fight because the opposition is, and always was, invincible.

Dystopia for them is almost a relief, a vindication of what they believed all along was inevitable. I read 1984 when I was fourteen years old, and here we are. But like the hundreds of thousands who marched through London last Saturday declaring their freedom, I’m not giving up. And that brings us to the third category: the defiant. 

I have been uplifted, in my own moments of anger and temporary despair, by the worldwide ‘NO!” that has resounded across the globe in defiance of this tyranny. The flame is alive! The fire is in the belly of millions who will not surrender and who will fight for freedom no matter what the odds. But let’s ask, are we just deluded? Are we simply unable to face reality? I say not. 

What such a defeatist perspective fails to grasp is that ‘reality’ is a dynamic process of unfoldment in which every emerging moment is shaped by our present thoughts and actions. This being the case, the very act of giving up becomes a strong negative force acting upon the field of potential outcomes, and that is why so much effort is made by the propagandists to convince you the battle is already lost.

Yet when the very real danger of apathy is understood, not giving into it becomes the imperative that will bend the arc of history to our will. Truly, there are no bystanders in this spectacle; if you live and breathe then you’re centre stage whether you like it or not. Your very existence electrifies the collective sphere – there is no switching it off – and, therefore, using your innate power to effect the change you want to see must become your highest priority. 

This battle will be fought and won in our minds. The elites know this; they know that hope is far more potent than apathy. Your hope is what they are afraid of and, believe me, they are afraid right now; afraid of all those people stubbornly refusing to succumb to the tidal wave of their propaganda. In this war, your mutinous spirit is your ammunition and your armour and if anyone should try to shake your confidence remember these words written by Rebecca Solnit in her inspiring book, Hope in the Dark: 

‘hope is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency’

Well, it’s an emergency folks, and it’s time to wield the axe. Because the future is not some unknown land awaiting discovery, the topography of which is already formed; the future is an amorphous realm awaiting the direction of your consciousness. The future is dark, yes, from our vantage point, but as Solnit observes, it is ‘a darkness as much of the womb as the grave.’

Rebirth is possible, and never more possible now that the elites have played what is quite possibly their final hand. Twenty years ago I read The Awakening Earth in which author Peter Russell warned that when the planet was preparing for a great shift there would be the preceding chaos and collapse. But as he explained, birth is always accompanied by pain and convulsion. What is built on corruption cannot stand. It can’t be reformed, it must be demolished and the ground cleared for rebuilding.

We now observe that the criminal cartels are throwing everything they have into one final push for absolute dominance, their psychotic avarice blinding them to the fact that they are, and always have been, outnumbered in orders of magnitude by the masses they so despise. Yet they are terrified now because they’re aware it will take only a fraction of those people to wake up and critical mass will be reached. And at that moment, it’ll be game over. 

Too optimistic? A  2018 article published in Scientific American titled ‘The 25% Revolution’ reported that one quarter of the population is all that’s needed to ‘reverse a majority viewpoint’. In ‘How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions‘, Damon Centola, commenting on a decade of research, states, ‘if you are those people trying to create change, it can be really disheartening’. This, he observes, is the dangerous moment when ‘a convention to give up’ can spread through the resisting cohort like…well, like a virus.

Crucially, ‘members have no way to know when their group is just short of critical mass. They can be very close and simply not realize it.’ How close are we now to the tipping point, I find myself asking? It could happen at any time. But one thing is for sure, you won’t hasten its arrival by calling it quits.

Resistance‘ writes Rebecca Solnit, ‘is first of all a matter of principle and a way to live, to make yourself one small republic of unconquered spirit’, the marvelous truth being that your own unvanquished territory, when ajoined with others’ can shape the landscape of the future.  In connection with one another will we triumph, and it will be all the sweeter in its defiant contradiction of the insidious attempt underway to destroy all meaningful human relationship. 

Shelley vented his fury after the massacre at Peterloo Field, and then he sat down to compose The Mask Of Anarchy, one verse with which you will no doubt be familiar. But I would ask you to ponder how vitally these words echo now, two hundred years after they were written by a tormented twenty-six year old in a surge of righteous anger directed at a psychopathic elite. To the oppressed masses Shelley calls:

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you 
Ye are many – they are few.


Alison Banville is co-editor of BSNews, an independent journalist, singer/songwriter, performance poet and activist.

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