Volatility

November 7, 2012

Can There Be A January 1905?

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A core trait of liberals and reformists is to genuflect before power, always looking and begging upward for Better Policy to trickle down from Better Elites. Liberals are basically elitists with some vague hopes for more “progressive” practices on the part of the power structure. They basically dream of benevolent despotism, and fantasize that this benevolence exists in intent, somewhere up there. This benevolence is somehow, mysteriously, prevented from realizing itself. The already classical example is the fundamentalist cult of Obama’s Good Intentions which he mysteriously cannot act upon.
 
Since a cult can’t get by on mystery alone and needs a more tangible explanation, the mystery is sometimes explained in terms of how those nasty Republicans thwart Obama. Of course this doesn’t explain why Obama couldn’t do what he wanted for two years of a veritable one-party dictatorship, when the Dems held both houses of Congress. Nor does it explain how the benevolence has been unable to trickle down through the executive branch bureaucracies, over which the president has vast unilateral power. But then, in the end, it’s all still a mystery.
 
I used the “progressive” cult of Obama as a prime example, but we see the same phenomenon everywhere hierarchies and middle classes exist. Middle class liberals and reformists look upward and dream of Better Elites, like cargo cultists worshipping an airplane high overhead.
 
This is an example of how the petty bourgeois mindset is simply an adaptation of the original peasant mindset, just as the modern professionalized and suburbanized petty bourgeoisie is a temporary offshoot of the peasantry. The basic mindset remains the same, and today’s technocratic worship, “if only Obama knew…”, is the same notion as the that of the Russian peasant who sighed, “if only the tsar knew…if only those nasty ministers and officials wouldn’t keep thwarting his benevolent will.”
 
On Bloody Sunday, January 1905, the tsar’s troops fired on a peaceful procession coming to the Winter Palace to present a reverent petition, killing and wounding as many as a thousand people. This instantly broke the spell. It was a mortal blow to the cult of the tsar’s benevolence. Never again would it be taken for granted among any significant portion of the Russian people that the tsar was an essentially well-meaning would-be benefactor who was being misinformed and disobeyed by subordinates. While this change of basic mindset didn’t permanently turn the Russian people into revolutionaries, and the 1905 revolution ended up fizzling out, it was still a permanent change, and a significant milestone on the road to 1917.
 
I wonder now, when we strive for a change in the basic mindset toward corporatism, let alone for a real movement to abolish it, is there any possible event which could strike off the blinders once and for all? We saw the way open police brutality temporarily boosted support for Occupy, but also the way this increased support was more of a mood than a basic shift in the state of mind. Conversely, we see how a historically unprecedented wave of Monsanto-driven farmer suicides in India, upwards of 300,000 by now, for all intents and purposes a mass murder campaign, means very little to Western liberals. So we cannot rely on moral sense to demonstrate to any significant number of middle class Westerners the difference between good and evil. If anything’s to do it, it will be something visceral and horrific, right before their eyes.
 
But by now, can any action, any crime, rise to the level of clarity for such willfully blind masses? Is a sea change in mindset still possible for masses still living within the intact corporate civilization? Or has corporate Gleichschaltung, “coordination” and indoctrination, reached such a terminal point that nothing large-scale will happen until the system starts collapsing of its own diseased weight?

 
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11 Comments

  1. Excellent observations, Russ. I would only point out that after the Czars, according to autobiograhical historian Alex DeJonge, the ruled over classes continued to express the same sentiment, “If only Stalin knew,” What can we take away from that? Unfortunately, most of mankind, much of the time, would rather place their fates in the hands of someone else than in themselves. For many, no matter how $^@ed up things become, they hew to the condition that matters be left up to others. The human condition is, indeed, a strange one.

    Comment by eldorado62 — November 7, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    • Yes, once the discredited old system was swept away it didn’t take long for the same pathologies to infest the new one. But then the systems had more in common than they had differences, and they both played to human weakness as much as possible. Part of the goal of abolishing hierarchy and centralized Leadership as such is to remove both the top-down incentive to foster such passive attitudes among the people, and perhaps the bottom-up temptation to abdicate responsibility by looking up to a Leader.

      Comment by Russ — November 8, 2012 @ 2:16 am

  2. Thanks, Russ.

    This is the best “post-election analysis” I’m likely to read, and in fact, it might be the *only* one I read, as I’m thinking of avoiding the “news” for a while, at least until the self-congratulatory jubilation of the Obots dies down.

    SR

    Comment by SR6719 — November 7, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    • Just adding: now there’s nothing to stop Obama from eliminating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and every other social welfare program, cheered along by Wall Street, the MSM, and probably the Obots themselves, as they applaud their own destruction. That is, unless we do have a replay of something like Bloody Sunday, January 1905….

      Or maybe if we found out Obama, Geithner, Blankfein et al, had been capturing stray children, keeping them in cages to fatten them up, then cooking them in an Oven and feasting on them in the White House, that might be enough to break the spell, at least for a few Western liberals… 🙂

      SR

      Comment by SR6719 — November 7, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    • Thanks SR. Although I would’ve written the same post if Romney had won. My thoughts were suggested more by some stupid “food safety” pieces I was reading, rather than the kangaroo election, which I didn’t follow at all.

      As for what he’ll do now, didn’t you hear? NOW he’s going to do all the good stuff he somehow couldn’t do in 2009 with both houses of Congress and vastly better political conditions.

      No, I don’t understand it either. But that’s what the cult says. (See today’s post for a lock-of-the-week special from Michael Pollan.)

      Comment by Russ — November 8, 2012 @ 2:15 am

    • Thanks for the article on Pollan. He sounds pretty typical, and a perfect illustration of your Jan. 1905 post….these people disgust me.

      Russ, I agree with you that Romney would’ve been no different, and the election was an utter farce. That’s why it never even occurred to me to vote. By showing up at the ballot box, what the brainwashed voter-consumer is really doing is expressing their belief in the legitimacy of the system.

      The ruling elites have convinced the public that this system is legitimate, therefore they have a duty to vote and “choose” whether they want Criminal A or Criminal B to “represent” them. By constant repetition the public has been programmed into accepting this, and so, like obedient children (or obedient retarded children who believe whatever absurdities they are told), the public dutifully shows up at the ballot box every four years.

      And so now you have the farce of self-described “liberals” worshipping a President who despises them and to prove it, as a reward for their support, he offers them a Kill List, the indefinite detention provision of NDAA, drone murders, bailouts for the 1 percent but austerity for the masses, the planned elimination of SS and medicare, etc… Yet the Obama Fans keep cheering for their own destruction and attack anyone who dares to point these things out….

      Just as the public has accepted the total destruction of food and has been programmed to swallow genetically modified chemical food. Never mind that this food is still expensive, that it has no taste and that it’s making them sick, the important thing is the food “never looked so good” (at least on the bright shiny package) and if people get sick, well, they have Obamacare to fix that.

      Sorry, I could go on, but that’s enough for now.

      My rant for today…. 🙂

      SR

      Comment by SR6719 — November 8, 2012 @ 9:54 am

      • I guess the pre-2008 Pollan is the useful one, since then not so much.

        Your rant is the same as the one I’d do, except that Obamacare is unlikely to do much to fix anyone’s actual health. 🙂 If they’d wanted to do that within this system they would’ve set up Single Payer.

        Comment by Russ — November 8, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

      • Yeah, I figured the Pollan of the Bush years was the useful one, and not the one after.

        And don’t get me started on Obamacare (although though I’m the one who mentioned it). Instead of single payer or extending medicare to everyone, we get a huge corporate giveaway and another swindle.

        Tax the middle class and put money right into the fat pockets of insurance company execs.

        But I’ve been wondering what they’re planning to do with all those people who either can’t afford or refuse to purchase the government-approved “insurance”. And who refuse to pay the penalty tax as well.

        Do you think they’ll put them all in jail? Or maybe prison camps, which would be more like feedlots (under constant drone surveillance and fed a diet of NK603 (or Monsanto Roundup Ready corn,) where we’d all become official, nonhuman livestock.

        SR

        Comment by SR6719 — November 8, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

      • I imagine that failure to pay the poll tax will be intermittently prosecuted as part of the criminalization of poverty, and will also be something specifically checked in the case of any recognizable anti-system activist.

        Comment by Russ — November 9, 2012 @ 5:02 am

  3. Russ

    Do you see my responses?

    I am what I would call a moderate…one who ses compromise as the way to change as it mitigates the risk of the change in case the change creates collateral damage that can be averted. Not all change has good or lasting results as you pointed out…

    Dave

    Comment by Dave Outlaw — November 8, 2012 @ 1:20 am

    • I don’t see what could be worse than the combination of the evil of the status quo, its malevolent intent for us, and where it will inevitably lead on a physical level – the collapse of fossil-fueled industrial ag and subsequent starvation of billions. A transformation based on Food Sovereignty principles, pastoralism, and agroecology is the only alternative to this physical collapse, and the only thing which can also redeem us politically and economically, and bring true freedom, happiness, and secure prosperity.

      I envision no “collateral damage” of such a transformation. Everything which ought to be preserved can be preserved, and all things which necessarily must perish are things that morally ought to perish.

      As for the beneficial elements of fossil fuel modernity, those must return to the normal level of energy consumption regardless of whether we take control of our lives or let ourselves be terminally enslaved.

      So I don’t see what there is to fear. Fighting to reject, abolish, and transcend corporatism has only upside, no downside.

      Isn’t this the exact same exchange we had with your very first comment?

      Comment by Russ — November 8, 2012 @ 2:17 am


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