Sunday, 5 April 2015
The Natural Law Party
All the policies of the Natural Law Party centred around the practice of Transcendental Meditation (that’s a special kind of meditation devised by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, best known as the Beatles’ guru in the 1960s). When they first appeared on the British political scene in 1992, I happened to be particularly interested in wacky New Age beliefs, reading lots of books on the subject and attending lectures at the Theosophical Society and Buddhist Society and places like that. So I was fascinated by the Natural Law Party, and I’ve kept their campaign leaflet (pictured above) ever since. According to Wikipedia, William Stevens of the Natural Law Party got 92 votes in the 1992 General Election. I think one of those was mine, although at this distance in time I can’t be certain!
As you can see from the back cover of the manifesto, Transcendental Meditation would be good for the economy (by making people more creative), good for education (by increasing intelligence), good for defence (by creating an “invincible national consciousness”) and good for law & order (by eliminating the cause of crime, i.e. “the inability of the population to think and act spontaneously in accord with natural law”). You may say that’s all a load of unworkable idealistic nonsense, which of course it is – but no more unworkable than the idealistic nonsense purveyed by the mainstream political parties! There’s a difference, too – the mainstream parties have an annoying habit of talking down to the electorate, as if we’re all a bunch of ignorant yokels. That certainly wasn’t the case with the Natural Law party, as you can see from this interior page from the leaflet:
The thing that is depicted, as it says at the bottom, is “the Lagrangian of the superstring”. Now, how many people know what to do with a Lagrangian? I used to know, but I’ve forgotten – and I expect that most people who studied physics at degree level will say the same thing. To everyone else, it’s just so much mumbo-jumbo... which I guess is why only 92 Battersea residents voted for them!
It’s not mumbo-jumbo, though – it’s real science (the equation, I mean – not the bits about omnipotence and freedom). The image below shows, on the left, a zoomed-in view of the bottom line from the Natural Law manifesto. On the right is a closely similar equation from the book Why Does E = mc2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. They describe it as “one of the most wonderful equations in physics”, and go on to say: “It really is possible to get a flavour of what is going on just by talking about the symbols without knowing any mathematics at all.” Sadly, however, they don’t say anything about “IMMORTALITY” or “INVINCIBILITY”.