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6.24.2010

Our Apotheosis

...or, Why Our Species Deserves to Die, 'cause it's only downhill from here.

Crude Poetic Justice

Forum discussion over here from coberst:

Crude Poetic Justice?

Wikipedia informs me that “poetic justice” is a notion that fictional literature takes on as a cultural demand whereby literary outcomes must support moral standards by justifying in the end the virtuous behavior of the good guy and punishing the bad behavior of the bad guy. Furthermore logic is also maintained.

How can our (American) present troubles be considered as poetic justice?

Let us just examine the great human manufactured catastrophes visited upon us in the last few years; the Great Crude Oil Smear, the deadliest mine disaster in three decades, the greatest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression, and the looming global climate change induced by human activity.

The common element in all of these catastrophes is our three decade guiding premise that Government is the problem while Free Market forces are the solution.

Poetic Justice results because the American people are punished, with a great crude oil smear, by the logic of their commitment to the free market and their dark suspicion of government regulation.

Perhaps God is a practical joker!

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In a democracy such as we have in the United States the people are sovereign and thus responsible for the situation that exists. The lack of intellectual sophistication of the citizens is the fault of those citizens.

The basic problem began when the people allowed them self to be convinced that government was the problem and that the free market was the solution. These problems developed because the American citizen left Corporate America free and unregulated.

The American people are too naive to comprehend the problem and too frightened of reality to accept their responsibility.

An oligarchy controls public policy in America. The oligarchy consists of those who manage the great wealth of American institutions. This oligarchy designs our educational system to graduate good producers and consumers and does not desire independent thinkers.

CA (Corporate America) has developed a well-honed expertise in motivating the population to behave in a desired manner. Citizens as consumers are ample manifestation of that expertise. CA has accomplished this ability by careful study and implementation of the knowledge of the ways of human behavior. I suspect this same structure applies to most Western democracies.

A democratic form of government is one wherein the citizens have some voice in some policy decisions. The greater the voice of the citizens the better the democracy. The greater the intellectual sophistication of those citizens the better the democracy.

In America we have policy makers, decision makers, and citizens. The decision makers are our elected representatives and are, thus, under some control by the voting citizen. The policy makers are the leaders of CA; less than ten thousand individuals, according to those who study such matters. Policy makers exercise significant control of decision makers by controlling the financing of elections.

Policy makers customize and maintain the dominant ideology in order to control the political behavior of the citizens. This dominant ideology exercises the political control of the citizens in the same fashion as the consuming citizen is controlled by the same dominant ideology.

An enlightened citizen is the only means to gain more voice in more policy decisions. An enlightened citizen is much more than an informed citizen. Critical thinking is the only practical means to develop a more enlightened citizen. If, however, we wait until our CT trained grade-schoolers become adults I suspect all will be lost. This is why I think a massive effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they must train themselves in CT.

Good luck with that!

1.29.2010

A Political Syllogism

A person can run for congress.

A corporation is a person.

A corporation can run for congress.

1.21.2010

A Train Wreck in Slow Motion

Harvey Wasserman: Weimar Democrats
Because the modern global corporation has human rights (as defined by the 14th Amendment) but no human responsibilities, it is history's most powerful institution. It is above the law, shielded from debt, not accountable for damage to the public, to the people who work for them, or to the planet.

The Democratic Party is itself a corporation. Its principle business is to retain political office and to DEFER public attacks on the corporations that provide much of its cash flow.
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Some liberals point confidently to disarray among the Republicans as a saving grace. This desperate delusion requires we forget Germany’s Weimar regime, which made the same fatal mistake in the lead-up to World War II. Never underestimate the "outsiders" in a nation where millions are desperate.

Having scales removed from one's eyes must be a painful operation. I feel sorry for all those poor deluded fools who so desperately needed to believe in the candidate of Hope and Change that they ignored his actual words, and adjusted their blinders to marvel in self-congratulations at the immense cultural symbology of a skin's pigment attaining such stature, while studiously ignoring the tungsten umbilical cord connecting him to Wall Street's teat. Magicians call this misdirection.

There's a reason people open their hearts & wallets (but not their minds, no, never their minds) to the Elmer Gantry's of the world: their want is so deep, their need so intense, that they willingly cloud their own minds and shout their hosannahs to the salesman with the best pitch to deliver them to the promised land. The public made it too easy for them the last presidential election: the perception managers played the public like a virtuoso practicing his scales. As E O Wilson so perfectly says, "in the midst of absurdity the trumpet is certain". Or, You can't go broke selling the customer what he wants.

I appreciate Mr. Wasserman's articulateness in describing the structural problem faced by humanity — when you get right down to it, it's nothing more than an insane socially constructed reality (a religion, really, if we want to be technical about it) that has created these amoral corporate Gods without knowing how to rein them in. We have, as a species, created these imaginary institutions that we permit to rule the world to our peril. That's quite an achievement, when you think about it, and speaks very ill of our species.

I also appreciate Mr. Wasserman's astute (if easy) comparison of modern democrats with Weimar Germany. It's almost as if empires can't help but follow the same historical algorithm. A couple more chapters further into this depressing and tragic farce will be most unpleasant as the electorate, in their fury, confusion and stupidity, elect back into office the very troglodytes that brought them to this brink in the first place, giving them the opportunity to finally give the country just that tiny nudge to send it hurtling into the abyss once and for all. America's suicidal decline cannot be stopped at this point; but America won't go down alone — it'll bring lots of other countries down with it.

I'm so glad I left a few years ago. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion: though undoubtedly horrific for everyone, I'd rather watch it than be on it.

7.24.2009

Contemporary Economics in a Nutshell: Felonious Instincts Rewarded by Reverse Robin-Hoodism

Jeffrey St. Clair, AIG and the System: The Masters of Perfidy :
In a sense, it’s only fitting that the government ended up as the ultimate guarantor for those furious seasons of Wall Street greed. After all, by consciously dismantling the regulatory framework that tended to constrain the felonious instincts that come naturally to the Wall Street player (such as the Glass-Steagall Act), the government played a decisive role in fostering the rampant financial criminality and looting that reached its apogee in 2008, crashing the global economy, draining retirement funds and pension accounts and casting millions from their homes and millions more into the perdition of long-term unemployment. All of this coming down in an era of extreme government austerity, typified by over-burdened and underfunded social welfare programs. As with the defunct regulations to restrain corporate crimes, so too had the economic safety net been sheared away--its tethers sliced by Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton—long before the economy cratered. Now there is nothing to cushion the blow on the long fall to the bottom.

The architects of this economic deregulation achieved a truly fearful bi-partisan symmetry that persists to this day. Even now, amid the rubble of Wall Street’s collapse, the neo-liberals and neo-conservatives remain as uniform as conjoined twins in their devotion to a broadly deregulated market. Any talk of bringing back forceful correctives such as a new and improved Glass-Steagall Act was immediately squelched by Obama, flanked by John McCain and Mitch McConnell, as well. If the crash of AIG—the largest in history—was in the sclerotic parlance of the times a “teachable moment” it is apparent that while much was ventured, nothing was learned.

The problem is that the government bailout, which some accounts now estimate will eventually top $24-cap T-for Trillion—flowed almost entirely in the wrong direction. Instead of helping to mend the lives of Wall Street’s victims—the unemployed, the uninsured, the destitute and homeless—Bush and Obama rewarded the perpetrators. They even gave them bonuses.

...consciously dismantling the regulatory framework that tended to constrain the felonious instincts that come naturally to the Wall Street player...
that is so well said!

7.23.2009

An Anthem for our Zeitgeist



Mary Margaret O'Hara
"Don't Be Afraid"
(from Happy End, a 1929 musical by Kurt Weill)
MM's contribution to the 1995 tribute to Kurt Weill "September Songs"

7.02.2009

Orwellian Parsing Fun

I was inspired when I read the following passage , a brilliant example of how to parse obfuscatory official language:
In a recent interview with the BBC on June 19, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the foreign policy icon and ultimate insider, exposed Washington’s deep involvement in the Iranian affair.

Dr. Kissinger said, “If it turns out that it is not possible for a government to emerge in Iran that can deal with itself as a nation rather than as a cause, then we have a different situation.” Translation: if our preferred candidate did not emerge a winner after using all our soft power… He continued, “Then we may conclude that we must work for regime change in Iran from the outside,” Translation: then the U.S. (or perhaps Israel) may have to resort to hard power, meaning military strikes.

He then added, “But if I understand the president correctly, he does not want to do this as a visible intervention in the current crisis.” Translation: Whatever President Barack Obama is doing in Iran, he wants to make sure that Washington’s hand is invisible.

I just now came across an article entitled U.S. begins major Afghan offensive.

(First, a parenthetical note. If anybody is surprised that Obama is ramping up the war in Afghanistan then they deliberately ignored Obama's repeated proclamations that this was his intention. Agent of change and hope... Perception Managers earned their pay on that one — but then again it's easy to package a product when people are desperate to buy it. Speaking of Perception Managers, they're working overtime on perhaps the greatest coordinated psyop offensive since WMD in Iraq, getting the public to buy the whole Iran election fraud thing. It's unfortunate (no — it's a fatal flaw) for our species that these Compliance & Perception Professionals succeed in their job so easily.)

If it wasn't so deeply troubling, the following caption, below a picture of a youngster in Murkan army drag, would have been amusing:
Marines surge into Afghanistan
Thousands of U.S. Marines and hundreds of Afghan troops moved into Taliban-infested villages of southern Afghanistan Thursday in the first major operation under President Barack Obama's strategy to stabilize the country. (July 1, 2009)

There's one thing in this caption that stands out like a sucking-chest wound. Can you spot it? Hint: it's the very same metaphor used by the Nazis when describing Jews. Yes, it's the word infested. And what do you do if vermin infest an area? You fumigate it, you eradicate it, you sterilize it. Obviously there's a need to clean out these villages of vermin — they're infested. So they're sending in professional exterminators to wipe them out. And, of course, since they're professionals, they'll make sure no innocents are harmed — after all, the troops are there for their sake, they're on an altruistic mission to stabilize the country. Sending thousands of troops into villages on a killing spree to wipe out locals who have been transmogrified into non-human vermin is not causing chaos, destruction, de-stabilization, no, what it is doing is stabilizing the country. I mean, sometimes you have to destroy a village to save it, right?

This is textbook Orwellian doublespeak psyop propaganda to de-humanize the enemy and make your team of killers look like the good guys, a clever and subtle use of language to mask and justify people killing other people.

(Speaking of Perception Management, did you know that after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban eliminated drug production? Can't have that -- eats into Wall Street's addiction to profits from the drug trade. When USA/NATO replaced the Taliban with their own puppets drug production flourished to even higher levels. So when you read about the good guys going in to clamp down on the drug trade I suggest you plug in your Orwellian doublespeak filters and turn the volume up, 'cause what's going on is not just about war profits or protecting the oil pipelines, it's also about protecting the drug pipelines.)

Addenda:
  1. From Wikipedia on dehumanization:
    The empirically-supported propaganda model of Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky shows how corporate media are able to carry out large-scale, successful dehumanization campaigns when that promotes the goals (profit-making) that the corporations are legally obliged to maximise. State media, in either democracies or dictatorships, are also capable of carrying out dehumanization campaigns, to the extent with which the population is unable to counteract the dehumanizing memes.
  2. An insight from G. I. Gurdjieff:
    Nobody ever does anything deliberately in the interests of evil for the sake of evil. Everybody acts in the interests of good, as he understands it. But everybody understands it in a different way. Consequently men drown, slay, and kill one another in the interests of good.

4.27.2009

Has It Begun?!

Flu fears prompt EU travel warning

India issues travel advisory for Canada


Media reports from Malaysia say that country’s Health Ministry is advising Malaysians against travelling to Canada, Mexico and selected U.S. states where there are swine flu cases.
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Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said they would quarantine visitors showing symptoms of the virus amid a surging global concern about a possible pandemic.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said today that the threat of spreading swine flu infections is a cause for concern but “not a cause for alarm” as the United States undertook close border monitoring to contain it.

World stock markets fell as investors worried that the deadly outbreak could go global and derail any global economic recovery [sic]. Airlines took the brunt of the selling.

The virus was suspected in up to 103 deaths in Mexico, the epicentre of the outbreak with more than 1,600 cases suspected, while 20 cases were confirmed in the United States and six in Canada.

In Luxembourg, EU Health Commissioner Andorra Vassiliou urged Europeans to postpone non-essential travel to the United States and Mexico “unless it is very urgent for them.”
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“These are early days. It’s quite clear that there is a potential for this virus to become a pandemic and threaten globally,” World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley told AP Television News.
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Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said visitors returning from flu-affected areas with fevers would be quarantined.

China said anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms within two weeks of arrival had to report to authorities.

Some officials cautioned that the checks might not be enough.

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At Madrid’s Barajas International Airport, passengers arriving from Mexico today were asked to fill out forms saying where they had been in Mexico and whether they had felt any cold symptoms, and were told to leave a contact address and phone number.

Are we being buttered up? Just wondering...


Whatever else will be the result of it, one thing is obvious — they've latched onto the notion of some impending "pandemic" as an excuse to prepare for civil coordination on a major scale.
Their overzealous dedication to gearing up for some fantastical apocalyptic virus is beyond fishy — it's the smoke from a gun that hasn't been fired yet.
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"grants the HHS secretary extraordinary powers to declare a health emergency simply based on a POTENTIAL threat. This means that a hypothetical threat analysis from intelligence agencies that failed to warn of Sept 11th could be used as a reason to suspend civil liberties and start mandatory smallpox vaccinations"
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No matter how cowed the media and how gullible the citizenry it was only a matter of time before the tide would turn against them; but that doesn't matter to them one iota: it just necessitates implementing new strategies from gameplans, which, like BioShield and the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, they have been developing in great detail for a long time.

Yep, just wondering...
The danger signs are spread all around us yet scarcely register in the standard economic models. Nature is the greatest obstacle of all to the future of the free-market system and cannot be treated as an adversary. The message must be protect or perish.

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The question for us is not whether but how to achieve the goal of drastic population reduction.

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The twenty-first century must choose between discipline and control or tumult and chaos. The only way to ensure the greatest welfare while still preserving capitalism is to make that number smaller.

3.12.2009

History 101: Cause and Effect

The federal government’s ability to bail out the nation’s most corrupt capitalists appears inexhaustible, yet only crumbs have been made available for those who have produced all their profits. Wall Street insiders are still feeding at a bottomless trough funded by the millions of workers now facing mass layoffs, losing health insurance and confronting home values that are lower than their mortgages. But it is only a matter of time before the dam begins to break.
      —Sharon Smith, Bottom Feeders at the Trough: Bailing Out America's Most Corrupt Capitalists



All of the above indicates that the much-feared financial meltdown is no longer a distant and remote possibility because in fact it is already taking place. However, this chaos might trigger some very serious and preoccupying consequences. In order to have a clear understanding of these implications, it is vital to take into account some reports that were not given the proper amount of attention they deserved when they were first published.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky observed that the US Army 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team returned from Iraq some months ago. That information is extremely disturbing because such military unit "may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control", according to official sources. Now, what scenario could possibly require the operational deployment of said units on American soil? Professor Chossudovsky puts forward an intriguing hypothesis that must be borne in mind. He argues that "Civil unrest resulting from from the financial meltdown is a distinct possibility, given the broad impacts of financial collapse on lifelong savings, pension funds, homeownership, etc".

Shortly afterwards, the Centre for Research on Globalization website posted an article written by Wayne Madsen. Mr. Madsen claims that a highly confidential official report has been circulating among senior members of the US Congress and their top advisors. The report has been allegedly nicknamed as the "C & R document". The author stipulates that those letters stand for none other than "conflict" and "revolution" because those scenarios are supposedly regarded by America's policymakers as plausible consequences triggered by a financial meltdown. According to Mr. Madsen, the content of the document reveals that severe financial chaos could spark a major war if Washington refuses to honor its foreign debt and/or massive riots in US cities if the American population does not accept a considerable tax increase.

For decades, overall political stability in the US was taken for granted. However, as it has been pointed out, even senior American statesmen are taking into consideration that financial volatility could fuel a wave of discontent which could easily reach troubling proportions. It seems that America itself is not immune from "regime-threatening instability" as the Pentagon and the American intelligence community terms it. It is likely that American government officials have not dismissed the worst-case scenario. Indeed it looks like they have been preparing accordingly.
     —José Miguel Alonso Trabanco, Civil Unrest in America?

1.23.2009

Apparently it's Part of America's Cultural Identity

DENDERMONDE, Belgium – A man went on a rampage at a Belgian daycare centre today, stabbing two young children and a female worker to death and slashing and severely injuring 12 other people, 10 of them children.

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"(It's) something you hear about from America, not here," said bake shop owner Bie Hoornaert.


3 dead, 10 hurt in daycare knife attack

1.17.2009

A Reminder of the The Sublime Heights Humanity Can Reach

Even though the world is being engineered towards the abyss to further enrich, empower and entrench the elite, every so often it's good to remind ourselves of the beauty and joy our species can attain. Humanity is not incorrigibly malign, and no matter how awful things are, we can still hold within our breast an awareness of decency and beauty.

I just had to share a glimpse of the heights we are capable of reaching.



Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
     —Wendell Berry

1.04.2009

Vorocracy: Final: History's Most Lethal Parasites

Introduction


To commemorate the new epoch that officially began October 3, 2008 with the 700 billion dollar (700 billion!) theft gift of the public's hard-earned money to the handful of banksters who have precipitated the coming worldwide depression — one that will make the Weimar years look like a gravy train, and will inevitably lead to social collapse and world war — I thought I would revisit my theory of vorocracy. Rather than fill in the chapters I outlined more than two years ago — chapters dealing with anti-communism, the use of fascism's technocratic toolset, capitalism as theology, neoliberalism and deregulation, our current historical crux between two competing worldviews, etc. — I'll just jump straight to my notes for the final chapter and put together a quick, fairly unpolished summary of the nature of vorocrats and their rule.



How Big is 700 Billion?
$1 = 1 meter
dollars magnitude distance
$1 1.0 * 100 height of 4 year old boy
$100 1.0 * 102 height of Statue of Liberty
$88,000 8.8 * 104 height of Mt. Everest
$12,000,000 1.2 * 107 diameter of the earth
$1,400,000,000 1.4 * 109 diameter of the sun
$10,000,000,000 1.0 * 1010 one light minute (distance light travels in one minute)
$700,000,000,000 7.0 * 1011 the diameter of the asteroid belt
$1,000,000,000,000 1.0 * 1012 one light hour (distance light travels in one hour)



Definition of Vorocracy


The definition of vorocracy first introduced in chapter 3:
vorocracy [voro < devoro, latin: to devour < voro, latin: to eat greedily, swallow up, consume, gorge oneself; -cracy < suffix: type of government; rule by]
  1. The political philosophy of insatiable appetite
  2. Society structured around the need to pathologically consume until it self-destructs
  3. A society at the service of those with such a drive
  4. Government of the greedy, by the greedy, and for the greedy
A vorocracy exists for no reason other than for the ruling class to amass wealth by whatever means it can. A vorocracy develops belief systems to justify the means and ends of satisfying an insatiable greed. In a vorocracy, greed determines the ideology that justifies it's pathological goal of eternal and infinite acquisition. For a vorocrat there is no worldview other than "more".

Vorocracy is the governance of an open mouth that intends to consume until it self-destructs. Vorocracy is the political pathology of insatiable appetite

How Vorocracy is Distinct from Plutocracy and Kleptocracy


A distinction must be drawn between plutocracy, kleptocracy and vorocracy.

Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, and implies nothing more than that. It could be argued that most societies with any form of institutionalized government have a propensity towards plutocracy in addition to whatever other institutionalized structure it has, since power and wealth are generally coincident for obvious reasons (ie: wealth can purchase power; power can amass wealth: they tend to work hand in glove). But the connotation of plutocracy is neutral: it can be malign, or it can be benificent if the plutocrats use their wealth for the common good. A malign plutocracy is most likely a kleptocracy, or rule by a criminal class that seeks to increase their prestige and wealth at the expense of the governed.

A vorocracy, on the other hand, is not criminal in the sense of a kleptocracy, but is a political pathology. The distinction is homologously comparable to a murder committed by the sane versus the insane: a murder committed by the sane assumes that the criminal understands and shares the same moral universe of the society at large, and thus the criminal is cognizant that his act, when committed, goes against the accepted moral outlook of his society yet can be justified within his own code of ethics. A crime committed by the insane (however a society wishes to define the insane) assumes that the criminal was driven to the act by factors not in his control, regardless of his cognizance of any moral codes — there is no ethical justification for the act since such a consideration is irrelevant to its commission. Thus, for instance, a murder committed between rival gangmembers, or during the commission of a burglary, is qualitatively different from a murder committed by, say, a serial child killer: the former murder could have been prevented by an intercession of the actor's conscience; the latter murder is precluded from having any such intercession. The result, a murder, is the same, though for one it is a question of intent, for the other a question of pathology.

To apply this to the political theory under discussion, a kleptocrat is aware that his power is used for personal gain (Boss Tweed, or organized crime, comes readily to mind as examples) and operates within a society's moral universe by being aware where the conscious commission of his action might occur on the moral spectrum. A vorocrat is driven by a pathological need that cannot be controlled, nor is even necessarily understood for what it is: it is a drive that operates outside a society's moral universe. The contextual worldview in which each governance operates is different. The result may be the same — theft from the subjects and other victims into the coffers of the rulers — but the difference lies between the intent of the kleptocrat versus the pathology of the vorocrat. Kleptocrats may be greedy, but they still operate within the moral universe shared by society. Vorocrats do not. (Eg: rule by, say, a mafia don is a kleptocracy; rule by pathologically greedy CEOs and banksters is a vorocracy.) Thus all vorocracies function as kleptocracies, but kleptocracies are not necessarily vorocracies.

And, just as serial killers are a more serious threat to a society than other killers, so a vorocracy will be that much more dangerous and severe to a society than a kleptocracy: one cannot reason with a pathology, one cannot make appeals to a pathology's conscience. A pathology is an illness, not a stance, not an ideology. Vorocracy is a pathological illness of governance.


Capitalism's Prime Mover Unfurls a Big Red Flag and Hoists it Aloft


Adam Smith, that Prime Mover of Capitalism, knew what he was talking about. After all, if you're going to create a religion based on greed (for, ultimately, economics is nothing more than a religion), you probably have a keen and subtle awareness of the psychology of greed. Here, in the conclusion of Book One Chapter 11 of Adam Smith's sacred text The Wealth of Nations he reveals the extent to which he understood that an economic system based upon greed must seek ways to prevent the greedy (ie: business) from assuming the reins of political power [em. mine]:
The plans and projects of the employers of stock regulate and direct all the most important operations of labour, and profit is the end proposed by all those plans and projects. But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin. The interest of this third order [ie, "those who live by profit"], therefore, has not the same connection with the general interest of the society as that of the other two [ie, landowners, and "those who live by wages"]. Merchants and master manufacturers are, in this order, the two classes of people who commonly employ the largest capitals, and who by their wealth draw to themselves the greatest share of the public consideration. As during their whole lives they are engaged in plans and projects, they have frequently more acuteness of understanding than the greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, however, are commonly exercised rather about the interest of their own particular branch of business, than about that of the society, their judgment, even when given with the greatest candour (which it has not been upon every occasion) is much more to be depended upon with regard to the former of those two objects than with regard to the latter. Their superiority over the country gentleman is not so much in their knowledge of the public interest, as in their having a better knowledge of their own interest than he has of his. It is by this superior knowledge of their own interest that they have frequently imposed upon his generosity, and persuaded him to give up both his own interest and that of the public, from a very simple but honest conviction that their interest, and not his, was the interest of the public. The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

Thus the Prime Mover of Capitalism Himself said in his Bible that political power should never be exercised by businessmen because all they care about is their own gain, and will gladly "deceive" and "oppress" the public for it. Since he had such profound insight into the nature of such men, even to the point of understanding that the greatest profits are reaped when a country is going to ruin!, did he have a strategy to prevent such men from assuming the organs of government? No, none that I've found. Because there aren't any. Such men would inevitably find ways to assume the reins of political power. Adam Smith's economic religious theories basically gave such men the keys to Pandora's Box without providing any way to close it again. That's because greed is an unstoppable force, and there is nothing to stop an unstoppable force from eventually assuming the absolute power they need to "deceive" and "oppress" to further their gain.

Obviously Smith clearly understood what those devoted to wealth would do with political power. That's why he so clearly and strongly cautioned against putting "those who live by profit" — ie, modern-day neoliberal corporatists (aka businessmen) — in such positions. That's because Smith, like Ralph Nader, like Paul Hawkens with his philosophy of Natural Capitalism, all understand that the motor behind capitalism is the drive for profit, and they all understand that for capitalism to work for society rather than against it it must remain small (capitalism with a "c") and be held in check.

But capitalism cannot remain small. It must always expand. That's the inherent contradiction that must inevitably explode in greed's favor. You cannot foment an addiction and expect that it will never develop into a pathology. And we are seeing the result of that right now. Capitalism without any regulatory oversight — the neoliberal vision that has been American policy since Reagan — is a catastrophe waiting to happen: it is letting drug addicts into the pharmacy while the druggist goes out for lunch, expecting that the addicts won't help themselves to all those Category I & II drugs. And now the catastrophe is happening, but it's only just the beginning, a mere trickle before the tsunami that is quickly coming.


Vorocracy as the Transhistorical Engine of Deteriorating Rule


Friedrich Engels, co-author with Marx of The Communist Manifesto, in his anthropological study of the origins of the family, private property, and the state, discusses the ways in which greed ultimately leads to vorocratic dynasties.
Their neighbors' wealth excites the greed of peoples who already see in the acquisition of wealth one of the main aims of life. They are barbarians: they think it more easy and in fact more honorable to get riches by pillage than by work. War, formerly waged only in revenge for injuries or to extend territory that had grown too small, is now waged simply for plunder and becomes a regular industry... The wars of plunder increase the power of the supreme military leader and the subordinate commanders; the customary election of their successors from the same families is gradually transformed, especially after the introduction of father-right, into a right of hereditary succession, first tolerated, then claimed, finally usurped; the foundation of the hereditary monarchy and the hereditary nobility is laid. Thus the organs of the gentile constitution gradually tear themselves loose from their roots in the people, in gens, phratry, tribe, and the whole gentile constitution changes into its opposite: from an organization of tribes for the free ordering of their own affairs it becomes an organization for the plundering and oppression of their neighbors; and correspondingly its organs change from instruments of the will of the people into independent organs for the domination and oppression of the people. That, however, would never have been possible if the greed for riches had not split the members of the gens into rich and poor, if "the property differences within one and the same gens had not transformed its unity of interest into antagonism between its members" (Marx)...

The details of time, culture and political system of a given period may differ, but structurally this is a very sound analysis. Reading this, while keeping in mind the ascension of a few American "dynastic" families (Bush, Kennedy, Roosevelt,...), puts things in a structural perspective. (Note: rather than a supreme military leader, since we live in a putative democracy, we have an executive branch entrusted with the function of supreme military leader; rather than a hereditary passing of the executive office we have the charade of a democratic election to provide cover for the chosen ones. But should something go wrong with the script the Supreme Court will gladly intercede on behalf of the chosen successor.)

Engels asserts greed was the driving force of civilization, splitting society between an oppressor and an oppressed as the former gains wealth at the expense of the latter. It doesn't matter, then, what political incarnation is assumed — monarchism, feudalism, fascism, democracy — they can all serve as the ideological and political carrier waves for vorocrats who ultimately assume political power.

The Benighted States of Mammon


Democracy, combined with the theology of Capitalism, are the modern-day carrier waves of vorocracy. In earlier times emperors and potentates enjoined their henchmen to simply extort and steal from their subjects. Now, however, given that people actually take their rights of democracy seriously, the people must be hoodwinked with ever more transparent lies — ..., "Remember the Maine!"; the Gulf of Tonkin; the Military Humanism of Kosovo; Saddam's WMDs; the War on Terror.. — to guarantee the public's support in military efforts to amass wealth.

In fact now, with the advent of neoliberal globalization, vorocrats don't need to piggy-back on the politically powerful to amass their shekels, they don't need to be the stagehands working behind the scenes. It can be argued that there is no state now; that the state is run as a corporation, the executive branch now a boardroom executive fulfilling his role for his Board of Directors. They have come front and center onto the stage and assumed their place in the spotlight to reveal America as the Mammon-state it is, run as a multi-national corporation by a cabal of conflict-of-interest, insider-trading boardroom executives who openly embezzle from the public with complete impunity. It is the Benighted States of Mammon, history's first true out-of-the-closet vorocracy.

Once the Power Elite and their servants in political office are seen as vorocrats then things that seem ludicrous or insane to us in the "reality based community" start to make sense.

They are monomaniacally motivated by an insatiable greed for wealth and power, using tools of social control like stern and greedy employers to keep the workers cowed and obedient. They incite enmity and cause destruction as ways to create wealth for themselves.

They are proof that conflicts of interest can be cosmically profitable: for instance, in waging a war, they own the companies that serve as the means of both destruction and construction; they own the companies that provide security services; they own the companies that perform resource extraction; they own the investment firms that invest in all these various companies. What does it matter if they run the army into the ground? So what if they are caught in scandal after scandal, lie after lie? So what if they squander the reputation of their country? Their coffers get fatter, that's all that matters.

They commit insider trading on levels difficult to comprehend because the crime is so brazenly criminal. They use the cover of "national security" to preclude investigation. Currently they are rewarding their cronies responsible for the coming economic apocalypse with unimaginable sums of public monies, knowing that nothing will happen to them. They commit their monumental crimes right out in the open because no one dare believe the evidence before their own eyes. Thus their absolute contempt for the public is appropriate, since they know the public will idly watch without any hint of either comprehension or intercession.

A vorocratic government is nothing more than a funnel to transfer wealth from any source — their constituents, other countries, nature itself — to themselves. They command its intelligence agencies, security forces and military services to do their bidding. This is what they mean when they say they create their own reality, for indeed they are modern-day alchemists who have mastered the dark arts of politics to turn misery and despoiliation into money. War, genocide and natural catastrophes are enormously profitable.

BushCo has deliberately squandered America's military might; destroyed what little good reputation America had outside its own borders; made the world a far more dangerous place; killed countless tens and hundreds of thousands of people; ravaged natural and pristine lands; ransacked the economy; strengthened the police-state at home... All because doing so is cosmically profitable. Period.

But this is more than outright class warfare. These are the activities of people without conscience or humanity, driven by a pathological hunger for more and ever more, people for whom too much is never enough.

Vorocrats.

Four Vorocrats from Pasolini's Salo


Conclusion: Humanity's Most Lethal Parasites


A vorocrat's entire worldview is dedicated to acquisition. Their entire perception channels everything through filters that interpret, evaluate, and analyze all it considers as means toward the end of acquiring ever more riches, ever more power. All of life, all of reality is like a grand boardgame to them, reducible to strategizing the moves of chits, the manipulation of numbers, determining lines-of-sight and watching dice rolls. They are playing Monopoly for real, pushing people out of the game when they can no longer pay, and stealing from the bank when no one's looking. Their minds are consumed with strategizing ways to win the bounty at all costs. And winning means getting more, and more, and more — sacrificing more blood, more tissue to amass more money and power.

A Vorocrat's hungry mouth
A vorocrat's vision of a better world is nothing grander than watching their portfolios grow fatter, their wrist watches get thinner, and their homes grow more ostentatious. Vorocrats are only too happy to use True Believers and Useful Idiots to serve their own ends. They are history's ultimate parasites, attaching themselves to any host that can help them extract the symbolic lifeforce they hunger for. They are also history's most lethal parasites, since they have found the alchemical formula that converts flesh and blood into gold and lucre. Their drive is monomaniacal: they do not even care if they die with their host, so long as their funnel-like sucking mouth continues to extract the wealth they crave from the blood and tissue they'll consume to their dying breath. (This, ultimately, is what Virilio means when he discusses fascism as a suicidal State, because such a hunger can only end in great death and destruction.) They are pathologically insatiable: even were they able to obtain everything, as some aver is their aim (Michael Parenti: "There's only one thing this class has ever wanted in the whole of history and that's everything"), their thirst would still not be slaked. Greed knows no end. Greed can never be satisfied. Greed only gets hungrier the more it consumes.

Ultimately the vorocrats are playing an existential game wherein they think they can cheat death, their winnings attaining a kind of immortal transcendence because they are somehow infused with the numinous essence of their largesse. And when they die they will die with limpid consciences, incapable of reflecting with their "beautiful minds" on all the immeasurable misery their existence has brought to the world. And why should they? What matter that history will condemn them? They will die as winners, estimating the area on the gameboard they've conquered, and rounding the magical numbers of their monopoly money to the nearest power of ten to assess the value of their life on earth.

Does the enormous cost to humanity resulting from their miserable existence matter one fart to them?

Max Ernst depicts a Vorocrat and his effect on the world

12.31.2008

The Web of Power Hidden Behind the Invisible Matrix of Consensus Reality


Synergy: The Web of Power


The processes of corporate power do not work in isolation. The economic and legal mechanisms that allow the privatization of the commonwealth, externalization of costs, predatory economic practices, political influence-buying, manipulation of regulation and deregulation, control of the media, propaganda and advertising in schools, and the use of police and military forces to protect the property of the wealthy — all of these work syngergistically to weave a complex web of power.

The Anatomy of Corporate Power


Activists seek to locate the “mechanisms” of power, but power is not a machine. Power, the ability to make decisions and control resources, is found in the dynamics of the relationship between people. Depending on how power flows and who wields it, political and economic decisions are made and resources flow between individuals, groups, and corporations. When society’s economic, political, and social structures become institutionalised, power tends to flow from people into institutions, but not back again. Power becomes centralised.

The flow of power to corporations is promoted by legal mechanisms such as corporate personhood, limits to liability, pollution permitting, and political campaign financing, and by institutional structures such as regulatory agencies, export credit agencies, and police forces and armies.

Together, these mechanisms and structures maintain networks of tightly-held power. Network analysis has shown that ninety percent of the 800 largest U.S. corporations are interlocked in a continuous network, with any one corporation within four steps of any other corporation in the network.

Analysis of think tanks and policy groups in the early 1990s showed that the Business Roundtable was interlocked most extensively, followed by the Business Council, the Conference Board, the Committee for Economic Development, Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Hoover Institution, Chamber of Commerce, and Heritage Foundation. Some of these institutions are being displaced by new ones. Interlocks are not the only source of power, and in any case, the precise measurement of power is impossible. But the enormous influence of these and other global alliances of corporate power is undeniable.

Corporations and corporate foundations fund think tanks which formulate policies which will be favorable to business. Corporate attorneys draft legislation which will make those policies the law of the land. Corporate political action committees pay for the election campaigns of the politicians who ensure that such legislation becomes law, and lobbyists make sure the politicians stay bought. Corporate executives are appointed to lead the regulatory agencies which enforce (or dismantle) the laws that aren’t favorable to business. National and multilateral trade and development agencies design and subsidize an international trading system dominated by the largest corporations. Governments and banks use public monies to subsidize and insure corporate investment.

The elite consensus rises above the competitive advantage of particular corporations, and is larger than any industry. What unites corporations and industry associations and the wealthy and powerful is a consensus to build and maintain power itself. Corporate power is dependent on legal, economic, and political mechanisms, structures, and processes which follow a few basic rules:

  • Privatize profits. Get as many subsidies as possible from labor, the public, and the environment. Get below-cost raw materials from the public domain. Let communities and governments pay for infrastructure. Lobby for tax breaks and tax credits. Privatize public resources and governmental services. The less visible the subsidies are, the better, but also support them with a constant repetition of the virtues of private enterprise, the rights of private property, and the equation of profits with happiness.

  • Externalize costs. Underpay your employees, even if it means hiring children overseas to work twelve hours a day. Don’t recycle your waste; don’t clean it up if it’s toxic; if you are caught, sue your insurance companies to make them pay. Minimize legal liability in general by claiming constitutional rights intended for natural persons.

  • Control information. Acquire every outlet of the broadcast media, and merge their programs. Acquire independent publishers and bookstores, and standardize what they publish and sell. Write text books from a corporate point of view, and distribute them throughout the public school system. Pay the salaries of teachers and professors and social activists until they are no longer aware that they are censoring themselves for a living. Restrain free speech as much as possible. Forbid it on private property such as shopping malls. Forbid your employees to organize or to use the workplace as a venue for civic life. Make information about corporate operations and government decision making difficult to obtain. Worship expertise and confuse data with knowledge.

  • Centralize political authority. Pay off injured employees and citizens to stay out of court, and make them agree to remain silent about the injury. If legal liability cannot be escaped, have it adjudicated in as high a court as possible. Do not appear in local or state courts if the case can be heard in federal court. Do not go to jury trial. If possible, preempt troublesome laws through the World Trade Organization, so that even national courts have less jurisdiction. Replace government and civic institutions with private corporations.

  • Centralize economic authority. Acquire or destroy small businesses, cooperatives, and other alternatives. Make the surviving corporations as large as possible, not for economies of scale (which were optimized many decades ago), but for the sake of centralizing authority and eliminating competition. Have a handful of corporations dominate every industry, and have them control the allocation of resources and the means and the ends of production. Control prices. Remove profits from the community, and deposit them in offshore banks to escape taxes and potential liability.

  • Remove all barriers to trade, regardless of whether they protect desirable industries, health and safety, human rights, or the environment. Expand management prerogative beyond the workplace, into the community, into the policymaking institutions, and across all jurisdictions. Make private property and the pursuit of profit the basis of all law and all social and economic policy. Create an economy where people have to pay currency for food, clothing, shelter, and culture. Commercialize the schools. Patent species. Make life pay.


Corporate power depends upon the successful maintenance of these principles. The cultural, legal, economic, and political mechanisms used to weave the web of power are complex, interdependent, and for most of us, largely hidden behind an invisible matrix of consensus reality. But the truth of the matter is that without subsidies, limited liability, and an inordinate influence over social and political agendas and information, corporations would soon become in reality what their apologists claim they are: merely groups of people. The sooner the better.

pages 44 & 5-7 of George Draffan's The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution, the most succinct bird's eye view of the complex lattice of corporate power I've yet read. The second half of the book is an excellent resource that provides a clear-eyed summary of various powerful organizations serving elite interests (eg: Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, Heritage Foundation, the United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, etc.). Highly recommended.

I appreciate Mr. Draffan's reminder that behind corporate power is "the dynamics of the relationship between people". It is a vitally important reminder. It is, ultimately, all about people. The institutions that we accept as a given reality are nothing more than a society's (unconsciously) agreed upon fabrications that serve the vested interests of those who know how to wield them for their own ends. Here is an excellent insight from Mr. Draffan: "When society’s economic, political, and social structures become institutionalised, power tends to flow from people into institutions, but not back again. Power becomes centralised."

A thought: We serve institutions that exist only as consensual realities. The very real lives we lead are based upon shared illusions. It's all too easy to forget that the institutions we reify are ultimately nothing more than phantasms we agree are real. It's our consensus reality that, literally, personifies these institutions and vests them as entities with seeming palpable facticity, entities (rather than people) that appear to affect our environment, entities that can be experienced as distinct and powerful personalities in our midst treating us as their pawns, entities that seem to control the course of events like gods, gods with names like General Electric and Chase Manhattan and Raytheon instead of Zeus and Hera and Athena. The Law (another reification, BTW) magically conjures corporations as persons with all the constitutional protections of actual, corporeal, flesh-and-blood mortals. But there's one crucial difference, one that transmutes these legally invoked fictitious entities from personhood to deity: once articles of incorporation are granted these fictitious persons are born as immortals, thus, by definition, making them gods. But not just any kind of gods, gods of greed summoned to increase the wealth of those who invoked them, insatiable gods that happen to seek to rule the world by economically enslaving us mortals. These gods demand sacrifices: of our time, our resources, our lives lived under their yoke. Our consensual reality has created economic deities that materially oppress us.

But gods only exist if people believe in them. Gods die when people stop believing in them. And, perhaps, somehow, therein lies the key to freedom...?


Pull the wool over your own eyes.
     —J. R. "Bob" Dobbs


I especially appreciate the quote Mr. Draffan sneaks in in the final blank pages of the book:
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
     —Wendell Berry

11.14.2008

Compliance Professionals and Modern Strategies of Rule

Living in a society in which nearly every moment of human attention is exposed to the game plans of spin doctors, image managers, pitchmen, communications consultants, public information officers, and public relations specialists, the boundaries of my inquiry appeared seamless, and the shape that my analysis should take, illusive. Surveying the American cultural habitat, I observed that nearly every arena of public communication — the windows through which we come to know our world — was touched by the deliberate activities of “compliance professionals.”

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

Bernays’s [Edward Bernays, the father of PR] take on public relations was remarkable in that it tended to ignore the particular processes or details of the periods that had given rise to it. Throughout the interview, he described public relations as a response to a transhistoric concern: the requirement, for those people in power, to shape the attitudes of the general population.

For Bernays, public relations reflected the refinement of techniques developed to serve ancient purposes. He appeared to have thought little about his life or his field as bearing the imprint of a specific historical era. As I prepared to depart from him, I felt a bit disappointed in this regard.

Then, as we began discussing the means by which I would get from his house back to the airport, a curious conversation unfolded. Amid a general complaint about the cost of taxicabs, and after counseling me to save my money and hop a trolley, Bernays indicated that he had never learned how to drive an automobile. I expressed surprise. He explained that he had simply never had to learn to drive; among his family’s train of up to thirteen servants, there was always a chauffeur. Bernays then proceeded to tell me a story of one chauffeur in particular, a man he called “Dumb Jack.”

Each day, he related to me, Dumb Jack would awaken at five o’clock in the morning and prepare to drive Bernays and his wife (and partner in public relations), Doris Fleishman, to the office. The trusty chauffeur would then return to the family home to carry their two daughters to school. From there, he would return to the office to chauffeur Bernays and his wife to business meetings throughout the day, taking time out to retrieve the daughters from their school. At the end of the day, according to Bernays, a subdued Dumb Jack would step into the kitchen and, as the cook prepared the evening meal, would sit at the kitchen table, lay his head in his hands, and take a nap. He would go to bed a nine, only to begin his routine again the next morning at five. Comparing this situation favorably to the cost of one cab ride to the airport today, Bernays ended his story by saying that for all this work, Dumb Jack received a salary of twenty-five dollars per week and got half a Thursday off every two weeks.

“Not a bad deal,” Bernays confided, characterizing the benefits that his family had derived from Dumb Jack’s years of compliant service. Then, with a lilt of nostalgia in his voice, he concluded his story: “But that’s before people got a social conscience.”

At that moment, in that nostalgic reverie over a bygone era, my quest for historical explanation — or at least a piece of it — was satisfied. In an incidental reference to “social conscience,” Bernays had illuminated a historic shift in the social history of property, shedding inadvertent light on the conditions that gave birth to the practice of public relations. As the twentieth century progressed, people were no longer willing to accommodate themselves to outmoded standards of deference that history, for millennia, had demanded of them.

Bernays was the child of a bourgeois world that was, in many ways, still captivated by aristocratic styles of wealth, in which relations among the classes were marked, to a large extent, by deep-seated patterns of allegiance — of obedience and obligation — between masters and servants. Like Mr. Stevens (the Anthony Hopkins character) in Remains of the Day, Dumb Jack was also a child of these circumstances.

The “social conscience” to which Bernays had referred arrived at that moment when aristocratic paradigms of deference could no longer hold up in the face of modern, democratic, public ideals that were boiling up among the “lower strata” of society. At that juncture, strategies of social rule began to change, and the life and career of Bernays, I should add, serves as a testament to that change.

The explosive ideals of democracy challenged ancient customs that had long upheld social inequality. A public claiming the birthright of democratic citizenship and social justice increasingly called upon institutions and people of power to justify themselves and their privileges. In the crucible of these changes, aristocracy began to give way to technocracy as a strategy of rule. Bernays came to maturity in a society in which the exigencies of power were — by necessity — increasingly exercised from behind the pretext of the “common good.” Bernays, the child of aristocratic pretense who fashioned himself into a technician of mass persuasion, was the product of a “social conscience” that had grasped the fact that a once submissive Dumb Jack, in the contemporary world, would no longer be willing to place his tired head quietly in his folded hands at the end of the day, only to awaken and serve again the next morning. Born into privilege, developing into a technocrat, Bernays illustrates the onus that the twentieth century has placed on social and economic elites; they have had to justify themselves continually to a public whose hearts and minds now bear the ideals of democracy.

As I pursued my research following my encounter with Bernays and repeatedly ran into the fear of an empowered public that ignited the thinking of early practitioners of public relations, the story of Dumb Jack — the man who was no more — came to mind again and again, reminding me of the human flesh that encircles the bones of broad institutional developments.


Stuart Ewen. PR! - A Social History of Spin, pp 19-20; 11-13

10.11.2008

Der Stürmer in Murka

I frequently get emails forwarded to me from my fascist patriotic Murkan in-laws (this one from my father-in-law, but it could just as well have been brother- or mother-in-law), who all seem to be on the hotlist for the latest thought-seed releases from the SID (Scared Ignorant Dumbfuck) Department of the Ministry of Propaganda. But I just had to share this one so that those who aren't aware of it can have some sense of what the other side of the so-called cultural divide really thinks — or at least is meant to think.

It would be too easy to comment on this, but I don't see the point — either you get it, or you really get it. I'll just suggest that you keep in mind that it's Muffy who's the intolerant hate-filled puppet, not mom and dad.

While all of us have been mired in this financial mess, we've forgotten it's back to school time — with many offspring leaving home for college.

Now, I don't have kids. But that shouldn't stop me from giving advice. If anything, being childless allows me the time to contemplate how to raise them.

And so, I've crafted this "Letter to the College Freshman, From Mom and Dad:"

Dear Muffy,

We wish you luck. We're so proud of you, and know you'll do great.

But if you come home claiming meat is murder, while sporting a nose ring and some Asian tattoo stamped on the crack of your ass — you can't come in. If you want to make a statement by mutilating the body God gave you — then go the whole nine: Cut off your face and join a carnival. At least that's a career move with strong profit potential.

If, while away, you've decided that America is at fault for everything, then you will sleep in the backyard and crap in a hole you dug yourself. After all, your professors admire Third World countries, so why not live like you're in one?

We do hope college "opens" your mind, but if you announce that terrorism is just the powerless speaking to the powerful, then we will beat the crap out of you. But we won't behead you. We'll leave that to the powerless.

If you also tell us that capitalism is corrupt and socialism is supreme, then hand over your cell phone and your credit cards. Practice what you preach and reject these trappings of an evil market system. We also want your bong. What can we say? We've earned it.

Also, if you must lecture your father on evil corporations, remember that he toiled at one for years so he could afford your tuition, while paying thousands into useless government programs that your teachers embrace. If, after that, you're still moaning, you will do it naked. Because we will take the clothes off your back and kick you out on your ass. See how life works when everything we worked so hard for disappears?

Finally, if you really think you're an individual — that is, a person who leads instead of follows — then you should easily resist the indoctrination of your delusional professors, misguided dormies and anyone with purple hair.

But if you come home and suddenly you're "edgy" and "angry" — claiming that the BS you picked up on campus is better than the common sense we taught you — then you'll need to find new parents.

Don't worry, we'll still love you. We just can't stand you.

Joe

10.10.2008

"Nothing is more anarchic than power"

Nothing is more anarchic than power. Power can essentially do what it wants, and what it wants is completely arbitrary or dictated by its economic needs that elude common logic.
     —Pier Paolo Pasolini

We Fascists are the only true anarchists, naturally, once we're masters of the state. In fact, the one true anarchy is that of power.
     —The Duke (in Pasolini's masterpiece Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)


We seem to be moving from one crisis to another, like the war and the terrorism crisis, to the food and energy crisis, and last is the financial crisis. What crisis is brewing next that will keep the population engulfed in fear and confusion? We have to ask ourselves, why was this financial crisis created? Who caused it? And who will benefit from it?
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
The Bush administration has single-handedly increased our national debt by over five trillion dollars, more than all past administrations combined together. Bush has apparently achieved his objective by accruing more debt than any other president in the history of this nation.

Was it done on purpose? Creating pseudo-military and low intensity conflicts lead to tremendous borrowing and justified printing of money in the name of national security, which would hyperinflate the currency and eventually destroy it.

Was the extensive borrowing with the lavish and uncontrolled spending designed specifically to weaken the dollar and the US to the point of collapse, which will lead to the justification of change in currency?

Fear mongering and morbid forecasts are circulating everywhere predicting doom, knowing well that the stock market operate on sentiment, rumors, and manipulation not on objective measurable means.

In reality Armageddon has always been contrived by the elite and seems to affect only the middle class.
⋅ ⋅ ⋅
Meanwhile, the Luciferian network embodied in the NeoCons, the international bankers, and the global corporate CEOs/politicians will solidify further their power and their wealth, and will create more means to control the populace.

10.09.2008

It's Really Really Coming

FEMA sources confirm coming martial law


WMR has learned from knowledgeable Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sources that the Bush administration is putting the final touches on a plan that would see martial law declared in the United States with various scenarios anticipated as triggers. The triggers include a continuing economic collapse with massive social unrest, bank closures resulting in violence against financial institutions, and another fraudulent presidential election that would result in rioting in major cities and campuses around the country.

Thousands of Troops Are Deployed on U.S. Streets Ready to Carry Out "Crowd Control"


Members of Congress were told they could face martial law if they didn't pass the bailout bill. This will not be the last time.

Background: the First Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, three to four thousand soldiers, has been deployed in the United States as of October 1. Their stated mission is the form of crowd control they practiced in Iraq, subduing "unruly individuals," and the management of a national emergency. I am in Seattle and heard from the brother of one of the soldiers that they are engaged in exercises now. Amy Goodman reported that an Army spokesperson confirmed that they will have access to lethal and non lethal crowd control technologies and tanks.

Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland. US Combat Troops in Iraq repatriated to "help with civil unrest"


The Army Times reports that the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is returning from Iraq to defend the Homeland, as "an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks." The BCT unit has been attached to US Army North, the Army's component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). (See Gina Cavallaro, Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1, Army Times, September 8, 2008).
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The BCT is an army combat unit designed to confront an enemy within a war theater.

With US forces overstretched in Iraq, why would the Pentagon decide to undertake this redeployment within the USA, barely one month before the presidential elections?

The new mission of the 1st Brigade on US soil is to participate in "defense" efforts as well as provide "support to civilian authorities".

What is significant in this redeployment of a US infantry unit is the presumption that North America could, in the case of a national emergency, constitute a "war theater" thereby justifying the deployment of combat units.

The new skills to be imparted consist in training 1st BCT in repressing civil unrest, a task normally assumed by civilian law enforcement.

What we are dealing with is a militarization of civilian police activities in derogation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The prevailing FEMA emergency procedures envisage the enactment of martial law in the case of a terrorist attack.


Here's what I think is going to happen...


Update 10/10/08: Interesting slip there, John McCain. Wonder if he knows something the rest of the population doesn't... I especially like the McCain-Jugend rally at the end.

Update 10/10/08: Congressman Brad Sherman on the floor of the US House of Representatives

10.03.2008

Crime Pays: History's Biggest White Collar Crime Rewarded with History's Biggest Payout

Congress passes bailout, Bush signs into law




(Excerpt from Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)




9.23.2008

A Foretoken?

CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers


Corporate India is in shock after a mob of sacked workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who had dismissed them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi.

Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian-headquartered manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds on Monday afternoon after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said.

The incident, in Greater Noida, just outside the Indian capital, followed a long-running dispute between the factory's management and workers who had demanded better pay and permanent contracts.

A Foretoken? One can hope...

But I don't...
buzzadler

the truth is, the elites don't have to hide anything. they know full well the impotence of the average american. spoonfed on TV, Fast Food, Prescription Drugs, Toxic Tap Water, Government Schools, etc, the average American has absolutely no clue whats going on. The tools to fight this are at our fingertips, and almost nobody is doing anything about it.... Obama's popularity is no better testament to rampant ignorance of the general population.

9.11.2008

The Contemporary Inquisitiion

I had begun an article in which I equate modern American policy — both domestic and foreign — with the Spanish Inquisition. I was drawing parallels between Scalia and Torquemada; the importance of fear as a tool of social control; the lawful cover used to justify the horrific, gratuitous, sadean torture of innocents; the spectacular and shameless display of hypocrisy as power's gauge of its own (illegitimate) authority; the necessary creation of the enemy as the Other to justify wholesale slaughter — which serves as nothing more than a strategic facade to mask a naked grab for resources; the modern economic re-definition of heresy, and of the heretic as one who doesn't believe in neo-liberal gangster capitalism (a topic for much further discussion, since economics is truly a modern religion); etc.

Michel Chossudovsky has done it for me, and with more clarity, encyclopedic knowledge and insight than I'm sure I would have brought to it.

Please read it — you will not find a better summation of our contemporary historical epoch.

[Here, for those who need it, is an exemplary refresher of American hypocrisy.]