Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

The simple fact is - everyone, Including yourself. You are constantly bombarded with information. Masses of stuff simply pouring into your head. Just why some of it should stick is a mystery. Perhaps it is repetition; it may strike a chord with something that you heard before, or it could match a half idea you already have. Some thought process must sort out the jumble, discarding some, pigeon holing some for future consideration.

If you accept the idea of concepts, beliefs and attitudes being planted by parents and people of influence, it is inevitable that you will have hard entrenched ideas. When all this new information floods in each and every day, perhaps we grasp the things that prop up our beliefs and simply ignore the stuff that doesn't.

Jordan Peterson who you can find on Youtube suggests that many university lecturers are from the extreme left wing. I wouldn't know, never having been to university but there are other clues which might support his view. Here is something I wrote four or five years ago:

"It was 1956 when Nikita Kruschev, the Russian leader, stood at the podium, hammered the side of the desk with his shoe and shouted at the assembled United Nations “We will bury you!”. He directed his words at British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and most people thought Khrushchev was threatening to bury the Western World in a hail of nuclear bombs. This was the Cold War, enough nuclear bombs to destroy the World twice over were assembled on both sides but numbers rather than effectiveness was the aim, it was necessary to have more bombs than the other side to prove who was the most powerful. Fear of a nuclear war was at its height but a much more subtle attack on the West was taking place.

Every Western country had its crop of Communist party members and ‘Fellow Travellers’. It was a time of propaganda and counter propaganda. We heard such phrases as “Rather dead than red” and fears were expressed by talking of ‘Communists under the bed”. In fact they were more likely to be in the bed than under it. There were ‘Witch hunts’ in America led by Senator McCarthy where hundreds of prominent Americans were hounded and banned from working due to some real or supposed connection with Communism.

Just suppose your lecturer, teacher, foreman or shop steward has been schooled in the art spreading the Communist philosophy and in subtly denigrating Western ideas and ideals? What a wonderful way of persuading another country that your way is best. Not by risking all out nuclear war; not by bombing them into submission; not by trying to buy their agreement but by schooling groups of native sympathisers to spread the message.

Imagine you were young, that impressionable age between say 14 and 20. You were at college or university or perhaps taking your first steps into the working world. You would have a lecturer or professor; the Union Convener or Shop Steward who had a way with words and who stirred ideas in you of equality and fair shares for all. He would talk of doing away with elitism, how the strength ordinary people could find ways of fighting materialism and attacking the rich who grew fat on the backs of the working man. His aim was not to produce the Philbys, Burgesses and McLeans, although he probably did produce a few, he wanted clones who would move on and produce more journalists, politicians - even comedians - who would influence the next generations without even knowing they were working to Khrushchev’s pattern.

The USSR, one of the most powerful states the world has ever known collapsed like a pack of cards, in only a few short years. The threat of a ‘Red’ invasion melted away and the nuclear arsenals were largely dismantled. But whilst you can dismantle weapons and dismiss armies it would be impossible to withdraw the seeds of propaganda. The original recruits who taught the next generation of Teachers, lecturers, journalists, media pundits, comedians, shop stewards and the like have long since gone. Subsequent generations of wordsmiths are in place. He or she will probably be as certain as you are that their ideas came from carefully considered views and not ideas planted externally by a group whose aim is to bring down Western democracy. So the next time you hear someone passionately attacking British tradition or bitterly criticising the country they live in, just listen in case there is a hint of Khrushchev’s legacy.

One final thought. What was it that broke down the all powerful USSR into a collection of squabbling, fragmented smaller states? What was the overwhelming ideology which apparently pushed World Communism to a loony left fringe? Could it have been Western ideals of free speech, democracy and a respect for human rights or was it simply the lure of materialism?"

How can you possibly sort the wheat from the chaff? How can you get to the root of where your ideas come from? For me the only solution is doubt and questioning. Question everything. Often the honest answers you find within yourself will simply confirm what you believe, other answers could create doubts or even start a completely new train of thought.

A comment from Geoff
Well old codgers, there I was thinking about Turkey and Tinsel and you throw this at me!
I remember well as a 10 year old the missile crisis and the stand off over Cuba. I remember being scared that there would be another war, and the consequences.

Also, are the memories of school lesson material showing us what to do in the event of a nuclear strike. Hide under the table I recall using internal doors as a shelter. Not a lot of use as your eyeballs melt I suspect!! Scary times.

There was also an animated film called ‘’Where the Wind blows’ which was much later, about a couple after a nuclear strike, which added to the realisation that we are  all pawns in a larger game.

Why doesn’t mankind learn from all these experiences?
Anyway keep up the good work.
And have a nice Christmas and New Year.


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