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March 19, 2013

What To Do – First Principles

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Here’s another try at clarifying first principles, something I think still has not been done except on a purely individual basis, and rarely even there.
 
I take it as empirically proven, and as common sense in the first place, that a fundamentally criminal system cannot be reformed. If it’s a car, you can’t make it act like a boat or a plane. We’ve seen the results of driving this car into a lake, or off a cliff, over and over and over. To insist we keep on trying, the way liberals insist, with things like the Food Control Act or GMO “co-existence” (any version) or Obama’s health insurance poll tax, can no longer be called ignorance or naivete. It’s intentional misdirection on behalf of evil.
 
So by now I take it for granted that “reformism” is impractical, inexpedient, and wicked. Again, it was common sense from the start (how can you get anything but psychopathic behavior from a thing, a “corporation”, which has been formally enshrined as a mercenary psychopath in principle, from the start? it’s not a plane, it’s a car), and has been proven by the evidence record beyond any shadow of a doubt, let alone a reasonable doubt.
 
Then why do liberals still exist in the West in such large numbers? Because they lie when they claim to oppose the evils of empire and corporate domination. Just as much as their conservative twin, they support organized crime because they’re still getting some of the crumbs, and because they enjoy the pathetic vicarious sadism of feeling like they have a piece of the power and violence, although they really have no power at all. The only difference between liberals and conservatives is one of temperament – a conservative is more conscious, more “honest”, about supporting organized crime, a liberal is more of a hypocrite, has more of a lingering fake “conscience” he needs to assuage by mouthing anti-criminal platitudes. But he supports the exact same array of criminal policies the conservative does.
 
This has always been true, although the seamless continuity from the criminal Bush regime to the identically criminal Obama regime has been the most extreme manifestation yet. It looks like Obama’s real significance has been to encourage more and more liberals to dump even the fake vestige of conscience, the “compliment vice pays to virtue”, as La Rouchefoucauld called hypocrisy, and openly avow their support for aggressive war, the police state, and a corporatist command economy. This wipes out the last meager shred of difference between liberals and conservatives. I think we can call the case closed, and from here on use those terms merely to denote the tribal supporters of the identical Democrat and Republican parties.
 
In that case, what can a decent human being, advocate of democracy, enemy of the toxification of our food and environment, do? One thing she cannot do is still be a “liberal”, still be a “reformist”. These are evil in their essence, and will continue to try to suck nascent idealism into the corporate maw. I hope there won’t be many who decide in that case to give up and seek some private garden to tend. That’s a kind of desertion, and it won’t work – no matter how much you try to keep your head down and mind your own business, the enemy will still be coming for you eventually. That’s what totalitarianism does, and why it’s called by that name.
 
I think the only course open is to recognize the need for the abolition of empire, of corporatism, of globalization, of all top-down, supply-based organization; to abolish these, and replace them with purely bottom-up, demand-based organization. (Perhaps this distinction shall be more acceptable to those who still consider “hierarchy” as such to be too vague a term. Although I’d say that by definition hierarchy usurps power upward, concentrates it, and then imposes it in a top-down, supply-based way.)
 
To need this, to want it, to will it, and to fight for it, first by propagating the ideas of this fight, getting them into the public consciousness by whatever means possible; and by organizing a movement which intends to accomplish these goals, and which can sustain itself during the times of trial while the system is still strong.
 
In that case, here’s a few hypothetical questions people can ask themselves, to help clarify this first principle.
 
1. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you could press a button and abolish all supply-based modes of organization, the corporate form, centralized government, and all things which are leeches upon these. Let’s say pressing the button would somehow accomplish this painlessly, except for whatever “pain” would then be involved in communities having to live within their natural means and not by stealing from others. Would you press that button? It seems that most Western “liberals” would not, because that would mean they could no longer live off the fruits of imperial crime. Many of their kinds of “jobs” would cease to exist, since all the phony “work” of maintaining corporatism would no longer exist. Only the real economy would still exist.
 
2. What if pressing the button would guarantee humanity’s victory, but it would also guarantee that the criminals would force lots of unpleasantness along the way. Would you still press it? This question is meant to distinguish between those who really want to abolish organized crime, which of course will use any means to try to preserve itself, and those who are really just radical-chic liberals who talk the radical talk but would run home to momma the moment things actually got rough.
 
3. What if there was no guarantee at all, other than that humanity will try to free itself from empire and create real democracy. Would you join that fight? This question is meant to get people to think about their endurance, their morale, their discipline and belly for a long fight.
 
I think time is running out for mere ad hoc contemplation. If the people are going to organize real anti-corporate movements in the West, now is the time to start doing it. That would mean agreeing on the basic principles, the basic will to renounce Western empire, deciding on a list of operational goals and necessary tasks toward those goals, and then getting to work on those tasks in a systematic, disciplined way.
 

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7 Comments

  1. Russ You and I have the same intent. your explanations are correct. Our mindfulness and awareness are eastern philosophies and We both see the follies of the west. The question of good and evil is propagated by judgement of others and the systems they embrace. what is good for me is good for all is the question at hand. You are correct a car is a car, however we must make a choice on how it must get us to our destination and what kind if fuel (energy)we use to get it to its destination. then we have drivers of the car who are the leaders. to try and reform a car is very difficult but we also redefine them each year to address our dilemmas we face.. That being said the issue of reform can only be directed in a few areas .. by the way the car is not evil but if the fuel that it used to get us places is bad then we need to think about replacing it the same as we would the leaders who drive the car .. we can reform ourselves and we do mot have to be defined by the car we are riding in..

    Dave Outlaw

    Comment by W David Outlaw — March 19, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  2. Excellent post, Russ. Especially pungent is your point about why the people continue to support this system. It’s very difficult to look honestly at ourselves. Even if we are courageous enough to do so, then changing the behavior is daunting.

    It’s very similar to changing eating habits (okay, I know that’s far easier, but hear me out 🙂 ).
    How many times have I told myself I need to eat less, so I can take off those extra pounds? (And that’s relatively easy, compared to ceasing to support a criminal system we’ve been pretty much born into!). I know I’m not alone on the weight issue; most overweight people sense that the solution is simply to eat less, but we look for “easy” ways to take off that fat quickly, and become frustrated when it’s difficult, or doesn’t show instant results.
    Some overweight people haven’t come to the conclusion that they are, and will wait until a health crisis hits them before realizing it.

    Rulers are rulers, and not leaders. In this country, most people refuse to admit to themselves that they are ruled. It’s too similar to what we like to think we left behind in the “old days”. We want to think we are much smarter, more advanced than those grubby peasants of the past.
    To borrow from Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, “In your neighborhood wives may discuss, but in mine they still nag.”

    The bigger the ruiling machine, and more distant the rulers are from the peasants, the more ridiculous it is to talk ourselves into believing we can have any impact on their actions. Locally, we have a better chance of some egalatarianism and effective activity.

    I used to make all kinds of excuses for the system and its supporters, but not anymore. My husband is currently a part of it (like most people), and short of divorcing him, I cannot alter that; but I can try to starve the beast wherever possible in my daily life, and every day I attempt to increase my actions towards that end. If we could all do that in concert, imagine the difference we could make!

    Comment by DualPersonality — March 19, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    • We need to renounce and reject it as much as possible in our individual lives and communities, and organize to provide an affirmative replacement, and to resist the system’s attempts to force us to be its wards and victims.

      It sounds like you’re off to a good start, with the right mindset. Now it’s a matter of cumulative doing.

      Comment by Russ — March 19, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  3. Though a revolution would be a method of removing the criminal political class…..we might lose the republic.

    The problem not the people it is the cost of admission to the political class; this is well explained in a documentary called http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HM2CE2/ref=cm_cd_asin_lnk, or if you have netflex you can watch it free.

    Comment by beene — March 19, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

    • If by “the republic” you refer to a centralized government, then it is indeed part of the pathological structure we need to overcome.

      The pseudo-democratic, soft-fascist character of “representative government” isn’t just a new gambit of neoliberalism (thought neoliberalism has greatly refined the scam), but was always part of its intended design. Read The Federalist, especially #s 10 and 51, to find Madison openly talking of a centralized republic as being intended primarily to suppress democracy.

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/madisons-federalist-51-corporate-power-vs-the-naked-citizen/

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/federalism-and-the-corporate-gangs-madisons-federalist-10/

      If I were to rewrite those posts today I’d be more decisive in my tone, but the basic analysis would be the same.

      Not only are the structures fundamentally anti-democratic, but by now they select for psychopathic persons to staff them. Chomsky put it very well (though I could do without the implicit endorsement of “IQ” as a measure of merit; but he’s right that it’s at any rate less important for “success” in this system than being a psychopath) :

      One might speculate, rather plausibly, that wealth and power tend to accrue to those who are ruthless, cunning, avaricious, self-seeking, lacking in sympathy and compassion, subservient to authority and willing to abandon principle for material gain, and so on. Furthermore, these traits might very well be as heritable as IQ, and might outweigh IQ as factors in gaining material reward. Such qualities just might be the valuable ones for a war of all against all.

      In the meantime, we perhaps can’t “remove” the evil structures ourselves, but we can organize to live among them and to prepare for their self-deterioration.

      Comment by Russ — March 20, 2013 @ 7:17 am

  4. Classical liberalism and its successor neoliberalism are political systems– exploitive hierarchies– that by their very nature define a spectrum of political views– from right to left, from conservative to liberal– that are acceptable to that system. Those on the left side of the spectrum delude themselves regarding the true nature of their political system and the fact that they support and promote that system. That is, they do so until they recognize the system is being threatened, whereupon they embrace the reality of the system like an old friend.

    On a related note, I recently ran across a book by Robert Hollinger called “The Dark Side of Liberalism: Elitism vs. Democracy,” which seems to make many of the basic points you make without reaching the same conclusion (I’ve just scratched the surface of the book, but I think he would prefer to reform the system over dismantling it). While Hollinger is referring to liberalism as a whole (including both “liberals” and “conservatives”), he does seem to focus his attention on those who self-identify as liberals.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Liberalism-Elitism-Democracy/dp/0275953343/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363910616&sr=1-2&keywords=The+Dark+Side+of+Democracy

    NOTE: I have access to the book via my annual Questia subscription, which costs less than the book at Amazon. Questia is a great source for more academic books, journals and articles, which are often priced beyond the means of most people, purposefully, I think. Academic journals and books seem to be where the elite have their most frank and open discussions about reality as they see it.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — March 21, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

    • Sounds like an interesting discussion, Tao. It’s typical of liberals and radical-chicists to criticize the system up to a certain point and within certain bounds (the bounds will vary depending on the type of “critic”), but to be even more critical of anyone to exceeds those bounds, and indeed to backpedal furiously if it ever looked like the system really might be in any danger. That’s because liberals are part of the system, identify with it, support it, including all its worst crimes.

      (Though it doesn’t sound like the discussion has much to do with what would be properly called “the Left” at all. That liberal = “left” has never been objectively true, and seldom even relatively true. A minor quibble among us, but it’s a major MSM terminological fraud. That’s part of why “left vs. right” is no longer useful as a significant description. Much better is democracy vs. elitism, which has long been my preferred spectrum.)

      I’d be surprised if the Questians are really so altruistic and anti-capitalist about their goods, if these really would be so salable to the hoi polloi. But if I had to bet, there’s not much popular demand for discussions among academic useful idiots. It’s probably so expensive because the target audience, funded with public money, can afford to pay such a premium. Just like with supercolliders or GMOs, there’s probably no natural economic demand for it at all. But if elitist ideologues really are having their most frank discussions there, it could provide useful “know-your-enemy” insight.

      I don’t know why your comment got caught in moderation, since it has only one link.

      Comment by Russ — March 22, 2013 @ 6:37 am


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