Volatility

April 8, 2018

Forest or Desert

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A forest is a fountain of life. It comprises many wheels of dynamism from tree to air to soil bacteria to jaguar to orchid to frog to humus to butterfly to vine to water to parrot to mushroom to fish to tree. The forest is home and nest for the incalculable harmony of all the plants and melody of all the animals. It embodies the uncanny, endless multitudes of trees. The rain forest generates its own great cycle of water, raising an immensity of water from the soils to embody itself and transpire this immensity, so ponderous it must form immediate clouds and hurl itself back down as monumental rains which fill the soils for the trees to raise once again.
 
One of the wheels is the food cycle, from bacteria to nematode and worm to insect to frog and bird to ocelot; from humus and fungus to grass and fruiting vine to deer and monkey and macaw. One of the key transformations (though they’re all key) is animals eating plants.
 
One of the many symbioses animals depend upon is the survival in the digestive tract of plant nucleic acids and the passage of these genetic materials through the bloodstream and cell wall and into the animal’s genome, where they assist the animal’s innate genetic dynamism. The animals of an ecosystem have evolved over millions of years to assimilate the beneficial symbiotic plant material and reject whatever wouldn’t help. This is inherent to evolution’s finely tuned cuisine, part of the choreography of the greater ecosystem.
 
All GMOs have unstable genomes riddled with mutations, and almost all are driven by the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter which has a recombination hot-spot. For both of these reasons GMOs are more likely to be vectors of horizontal gene transfer than natural plants, and are more aggressive in this transfer, forcing their alien genetics into any available place including the genomes of animals that eat them. Therefore every GMO is inherently a gene drive agent and seeks to force its brutish promoter-amplified alien nucleic acids into every possible organism: Related plants and plant-eating animals. Every GMO is a cancer agent in a precise sense, just as each is a cancer cell from the perspective of the ecosystem as a whole. GMOs are cancer amid the ecosystem, and they seek to sow cancer within individual animals. In this way they work to weaken animal populations from below.
 
Infinitely more violent, industrial agriculture and logging directly destroy the forest. (GMOs are designed to escalate every drive of industrial agriculture and therefore are designed to drive deforestation.) The goal is to eradicate the forest completely. This can be as little as decimating it past the breaking point where it no longer can convey enough water to generate its own clouds and rain. Beyond this breaking point, which in many cases is as low as 50% or less of the original forested range, the forest withers completely. The already cancer-undermined animal populations succumb, even prior to the complete replacement of forest by desert.
 
Even more than the extinction of species, this extinction population by population is the main vector and measure of the Sixth Great Extinction in Earth’s history. This sixth extinction event is the special project of modern civilization, its core religious goal to accompany its great imperative to release all the stored sunlight of billions of years in just a few years, driving climatic heating and chaos as radically as possible. These are the great works of our time, the work to which all of civilization has dedicated itself.
 
Total desert is the goal. The big industries directly generate it through the direct violent destruction of trees and animals. Biotech escalates industrial agriculture from above and works insidiously on plant and animal genetics from below. The eco-genocide campaign is simultaneously mass shooting and sowing cancer among the people.
 
This is the death project of civilization, with scientism its guiding religion, technocracy its cultural/political mode of organization, productionism and the useless destruction of what’s produced its fundamental action. Biotech and other high-maintenance technology suites are the modes of weaponry.
 
 
 
 
 
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April 3, 2018

The Fire Inside Externalizes Itself

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The fire and hate inside
Now drive the fire outside.
The city’s galvanism, spasm, convulsion set trees aflame,
Send floods coursing, mountains tumbling,
Infinite surges from the sea scour the coasts clean.
All plagues thought buried return,
And the new plagues join them.
 
The fire outside rushes across vast spaces
To expand the ecstasy and hate of the fire inside.
All now in livid boils
Burns all you hate, all you fear, all you can’t live within, all you must die without.
 
Kinetic fire now will break all the bottlenecks,
The log-jam too tight to break free of itself
Can only be burned.
 
 
 
 
 

March 6, 2018

“Experts” and “Intellectuals”: Throw Out the Bums

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What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence and hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them…Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism — in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science…

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago…

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited…

He doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game.

 
– Nassim Taleb on Intellectuals-Yet-Idiots
 
 
Today’s public life gives quite a spectacle. For example, when we see the hyper-educated “experts” and “intellectuals”, all pompously proclaiming their participation in this or that millennial intellectual paradigm, whether it be scientism, technocracy, neoliberalism, establishment versions of environmentalism, feminism, and other causes, while their social and political vision invariably boils down to the same flat-earth worship of the system based on capitalism, money, “jobs”, temporal power, including regurgitating the same lies any half-assed mainstream media columnist is paid to spew. It’s axiomatic that 99.9% of Mensa members have utterly mainstream, mediocre political opinions. (Opinions, not even thoughts, let alone values.) Almost without exception these geniuses submit to the exact same bounds of political partisanship dictated by the mainstream media as the unwashed masses do. All their learning, all their alleged intellectual principles, do nothing to give them even a single new idea.
 
This applies to the great majority of self-alleged “radicals” as well. They too constantly renew their devotion to all the main ideas and institutions of productionism and consumerism, however much it pleases them to sneer at “bourgeois” ideology and arbitrarily to separate productionism into the two flavors of “capitalism” and “socialism”.* And then most of them, come time for the kangaroo election (they also have no ideas beyond electoralism), tell the people to vote Democrat. But it never required intensive study of Marx to reach the position of “Hope and Change…I’m With Her”. I personally know plenty of uneducated people who reached the same position, or its “Make America Great Again” flip side, with zero effort.
 
Of course, most of these pseudo-educated elites are actually mediocrities who had the grinder aspiration and the money to go to school. When I refer to elitism I’m thinking more of the intellectuals’ grandiose ideological pronouncements than of their mediocre selves. The point is that such grand intellectual projects, if these really possessed any of the integrity, profundity, and altruistic impulse their adherents claim for them, ought to better the minds and spirits of those who participate. But we see every day how there’s almost an inverse relationship between the grandiosity of the ideal and the gutter quality, intellectual and moral, of its practitioners and fanboys.
 
Even where it comes to the few writers today capable of the true eagle’s eye perspective, those who speak profoundly about this civilization’s unsolvable crises of economics, energy, and ecology, most of them still insist on self-indulging in “topical” political commentary where they then immediately regress to the level of cranky right-wing bloggers, including all the standard incoherency, self-contradiction, and refusal to engage with rational argument which is characteristic of such types.** Here again, more overtly conformist minds reach those same positions with much less effort. (For real criticism of the left as offering no alternative to productionism and technocracy, one has to come to a site like mine.)
 
Perhaps the greatest irony of this culture is how the “Progress” ideologues are the most hidebound, intellectually stagnant, politically retarded epigones who are congenitally incapable of ever actually progressing to a new idea, a new vision. For them the laws of the world are never anything but the status quo forever. In many ways “progressives” are, objectively speaking, reactionaries in how they desperately cling to revanchist fantasies for things which long ago were disproved and/or destroyed forever, not to mention how meager their fantasies usually are. To fixate on “bring back Glass-Steagal” manages the feat of being simultaneously nostalgic and lame.
 
This puts in perspective the value of today’s university education. All that investment of money, time, effort, all that “thinking”, and look at what the modern intellectual/political class comes up with: Straight parroting of all the most gutter “values”, lies, and ideological precepts of Mammon and the corporations, every last one of these a thousand times refuted. (And still so many still think they ought to voluntarily submit to debt slavery for the sake of this “education”!) The modern intellectual is hidebound, stagnant, and stupid. The modern expert is a prostituted liar. I say we the people can do better.
 
 
In denouncing the morbid state of today’s intellectuals I’m not being anti-intellectual. On the contrary, it’s our establishment intellectuals who refuse to do any thinking at all, other than in a purely instrumental way in their unquestioning service of productionism, technocracy, the extreme energy civilization, and most of all corporate imperatives. Today’s pseudo-intellectuals “think” only this way, and they advocate only the fake politics which go along with this corporate status quo ideology. They’re propagandists, which means one is the worst kind of criminal. In the same way, this site is one of the few on the internet which respects true science. Contrary to the lies of the STEM establishment, it’s the establishment types themselves, with their slavish instrumental adherence to the corporate science paradigm, who are anti-science.
 
In case anyone thinks I’m exalting novelty or radicalism for their own sakes, I’m not. My total opposition to thoughtless reckless promiscuous technological deployment sufficiently refutes that. Nor is that the case with ideas. I call for propagating and enacting the new and necessary ideas. What’s wrong with productionism isn’t that it’s an old idea and institution, but that it’s proven destructive to humanity and the Earth. What’s wrong with “progress” isn’t that it’s antiquated, but that it’s long been disproven as at best a religious fantasy, more often an ideological lie. What’s wrong with liberalism and “vote Democrat” isn’t that it’s the same old thing, but that it’s long been proven ineffective and a malign scam. Those who still adhere to these disproven notions, claiming to be finding something new and possible in them, are idiots or liars.
 
The necessary new ideas, most of all the great need to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and globally transform to agroecology, are those needed to overcome and transcend these failed and destructive old notions and actions. That’s the one and only real kind of progress.
 
 
*Consider the standard left perspective on the culture wars of “science”. It usually means one denounces Trump and is indistinguishable from a partisan liberal. For them as well as for the liberals, what’s wrong with de jure climate denial is that it’s an affront to the authority of “Science”, a kind of lese majestie. In reality, what’s wrong with any kind of climate denial isn’t that it’s intellectually “wrong”, let alone that it insults the alleged majesty of science. (The very belief in such majesty and authority indicates one knows and cares nothing for real science, but on the contrary is a scientism cultist.) What’s wrong is that climate chaos already is profoundly destructive of humanity and the Earth and will become far worse. Denial of this and obstruction of real mitigation and adaptation measures comprise a crime against humanity and the Earth. That’s what’s wrong with it, not the liberal vs. conservative culture war part of it.
 
Such misdirection highlights how the de jure deniers are just one minority faction among the deniers. Far greater in number are the de facto deniers, who may “believe in” anthropogenic climate change and often claim to care about it, but whose actions prove they want no change in the status quo paradigms which drive climate change. They only tell various lies and propagate various scams in order to pretend they care and are doing something. These are the climate crocodiles, crying crocodile tears over climate change. They include the liberal hand-wringers as well as the scientific establishment and its fanboys. All these persons and institutions systematically do their worst to drive climate chaos even as they deplore it with empty words. This kind of denialism is far more pernicious than the de jure kind, since it reflects a much more profound Earth-destroying inertia.
 
For the climate crocodiles this hypocrisy driven by destructive inertia causes them to fixate on “Trump” even though ecologically destructive policy and ideology is the realm where, more than anywhere else, Trump is nothing but the continuation of the Clinton-Bush-Obama paradigm. And here is the best example of the pathology I mentioned above, where “leftists” decompose to become indistinguishable from liberals, often to the point of touting the Democrat Party, thus demonstrating their own indelible bourgeois character, to use one of their own favorite curse words.
 
All that education and ideological pomposity, and one still decries Trump’s affront to the fake Paris accord or the “corruption” of the previously public-spirited EPA. So-called lesser minds usually reach those positions with much less effort. It’s taken a bit more effort to work out the new and necessary ideas for a human future. We’ll see how much effort it takes to propagate and then realize them.
 
**These days there’s a whole genre of writers who are at heart run-of-the-mill timid conservatives, but who for whatever reason are unable to find solace in the regular corporate propaganda. So they acknowledge this or that existential crisis, such as Peak Oil, climate chaos, looming ecological and agricultural collapse, or the totalitarianism of globalization, often including various esoteric tie-ins. But all this is just window dressing for what’s always in the end the same snowflake “conservative” presentation. Jordan Peterson might be the most faddish example of this today, but there’s lots of such writers. Here again the pro-capitalists are out ahead of the anti-capitalists, who mostly remain mired in regressive “political” ideology.
 
 
 
 
 

January 14, 2018

The Gathering Dance of Nuclear Death

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death — Tags: , , , — Russ @ 6:58 am

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The ultimate goal of the US political class.

 
 
The corporate-technocratic system happily brings missiles, and the idea of missiles, to its fake news every day, and now to an acute panic. There’s no doubt at all it contemplates someday happily to bring the real thing.
 
For a little while Hawaii thought it was under nuclear attack. There’s a conspiracy theory that someone in the Deep State wanted to panic Trump into launching nukes against North Korea.
 
I don’t know about that, but one thing certain is that Republicans and Democrats, working together as usual, are doing all they can to whip America into a war hysteria such that even an accident (such as the government is claiming this Hawaii incident to be) becomes more likely to trigger nuclear war.
 
(The nuclear war fever is mirrored by the technocracy’s ongoing cult of nuclear power, which has never been anything but an economic boondoggle, dependent on unsustainable fossil fuels and uranium, driving war, generating an unsolvable and mounting nuclear waste disposal crisis, horrifically destructive of the environment. The climate crocodiles love nukes. The US lies about Iran, but there’s no doubt about the essential affinity of the US civilian nuclear deployment and its weaponized war deployment. Just like with pesticides.)
 
Anyone left who’s rational needs to be aware of the total malevolent stupidity of both halves of the Corporate One-Party and their bots.
 
If there’s any fellow mammals out there, better find cover, preferably in groups, while the dinosaurs cheer on the asteroid for which they’ve long prayed.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 9, 2018

Japan is Buying at the Peak of the Bubble

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In spite of the US having temporarily pulled out of the TPP negotiations, Canada, Japan, Australia, and several Asian countries are going ahead (obviously expecting the US to adhere later on).
 
For the sake of tilting at this windmill Japan is scrapping what’s left of its classical public agricultural infrastructure, the same way the US and other Western countries did over the course of the 20th century. In the 1980s globalization’s debt terrorism was used to force most third world countries to scrap their public agriculture systems, as part of the IMF’s “structural adjustments”. India dismantled its system in the 1990s, immediately triggering a suicide epidemic among small commodity farmers which rages to this day. (The US stanched the beginnings of a similar epidemic among American farmers at the same time by greatly increasing Big Ag subsidies, many of which are laundered through the farmers in the form of crop insurance and direct payments. Without this massive planned-economy program of corporate welfare, commodity farming in the US would be economically impossible for the farmers.) Today the corporate “New Alliance” project, spearheaded by the Gates Foundation and USAID for the benefit of Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, Yara, Unilever and others, is targeting African countries trying to force them to scrap what’s left of their public agricultural systems.
 
 
This a particularly stupid and short-sighted move for Japan at this late date. As the extreme energy civilization enters the era of Peak Oil and energy descent, as climate chaos drives sea-level rise and hyper-destructive Pacific cyclones, and as ecological collapse avalanches, it becomes all the more imperative for every society to wean itself from globalization, especially from commodity industrial agriculture, and to restore its food security on an agroecological basis. This is sanity, while any other course of action is insane.
 
This is especially true for Japan, a country whose classical problem has been to make the most of a small amount of land. The US always has had tremendous leeway to be stupid and wasteful because it was blessed with such a vast abundance of land and resources. Japan has no such cushion. It needs to be smart or perish. So it doesn’t bode well for Japan’s future well-being that it’s choosing now of all times to dismantle its public seed programs and other agricultural programs for the sake of propping up its exports of consumer junk. On the contrary, of all industrialized countries Japan ought to be one of the first to detach its food production from the globalized system and restore it to its natural, rational condition. Food production and distribution naturally and logically is regionally-based, as a rule concurrent with a watershed. Historically only a few luxury imperishables were traded extensively over long distances.
 
The modern era of extreme energy consumption which made it physically possible to globalize food systems has been an ahistorical blip based on the one-time draw-down of the unique, non-renewable fossil fuel hoard. At the same time this era’s obscene insult to the ecology is reaching its breaking point, and wholesale ecological collapse will make all human activities increasingly difficult or impossible.
 
For both these reasons, resource limits and ecological limits, Babylon’s ahistorical binge is coming to an end and soon humanity shall be forced to return to historical patterns whether it wants to or not. That means the relocalization of food production and distribution. At this site I’ve long called for the necessary abolition of industrial agriculture and the transformation to agroecology. This transformation is physically and scientifically possible, right up to the global scale, and lacks only the cultural and political will to do it. Humanity still can choose the agroecological transformation.
 
But there’s no choice as to the ultimate destination. If humanity refuses the route of chosen abolition and transformation, which would be the least hard way, then nature will impose both by force. And this will be the very, very hard way. It looks like Japan is choosing the hardest of all ways, and given its weaker position to begin with, nature’s correction is likely to be hard indeed.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

December 20, 2017

Confusion and Irony: Corporate “Politics” Makes Stupid

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There’s much ado on the internet about the Trump administration banning the CDC from using several terms and phrases. The list is peculiar, and perhaps gives evidence of the unusual stupidity of Trump’s people, in that it includes well-established corporate propaganda terms which Trump evidently misunderstands.
 
In particular, “science-based”, coming from any elite/mainstream source, is a dog whistle to every technocracy supporter, scientism cultist, and the pseudo-educated in general to close ranks in support of whatever corporate propaganda point or project is the subject of a controversy. When an outfit like the CDC says “science-based” this means science according to the corporate science paradigm. In other words it seeks the same goals Trump seeks.
 
It makes sense for the liberals suffering from Trump Derangement to deplore this misguided censorship, since they support the corporate line and want corporate rule every bit as much as Trump does. They’re just more flexible about it and recognize that sham virtue signaling about climate change is at least as helpful to the corporate imperative as Trump-style de jure denial.
 
On the other hand, the Dembots have been engaging in their own misguided paroxysm. Out of hatred for all things Republican they’ve been deploring the destruction of net neutrality. This is ironic because these are the same aspiring censors who for a year now have been denouncing everything not officially sanctioned by the mainstream media and big corporations as “fake news”. They also exalt corporate rule in general. They applauded Google’s censorship of leftist and progressive websites and Facebook’s promise to impose its own censorship campaign. Therefore in principle they ought to despise net neutrality and applaud its destruction.
 
Once again we see how liberal Democrats have zero principle and zero brains. Their thought structure literally is nothing more than, “Republicans = Bad”. Just as for the dumber Republicans it’s nothing but “Liberals = Bad”, even though in substance they and the liberals agree on everything.
 
 
 
 

November 19, 2017

Trickles and Blasts

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Life is complete right here

 
 
Picture a steady trickle of water from a faucet. Now picture this trickle, over hundreds of millions of years, filling a cistern whose walls gradually close in. Eventually the water would be so compressed that if you could insert a pipe the water would blast out with great force.
 
So far the analogy with an oil well is fairly direct. And for the sake of argument let’s go further and say the compressed water could be extracted and its force used in all kinds of ways. So we have an analogy with fossil fuels.
 
Now instead let’s say we want to go directly to the trickle and extract force from it. Immediately we see the problem. Yet the cultists of industrial renewables – industrial wind farms, concentrated solar panels, the whole notion of using solar power for consumerist electricity generation – think that the concentrated solar energy of hundreds of millions of years, compressed into fossil fuels (and of course it took vastly greater energy to concentrate fossil fuels in the first place than is contained in the fossil fuels themselves), can be replaced by tapping the present trickle. This is an example of the religious insanity of the modern ideological complex of productionism-consumerism-technocracy-scientism-progress-corporate rule.
 
It’s no wonder the apostles of a renewables-based “future” always support the fossil fuel status quo in the present. Just as almost all who verbally deplore climate change support this climate-wracking status quo. And as a Green Queen might say, it’s “fossil fuels today, renewables tomorrow, never renewables today!” Because deep down they know that the great renewables Millennium, like all utopian techno-hype, is a pipe dream. The idea of powering the extreme energy civilization on renewables is only that: An empty idea, a propaganda campaign. Like all other such propaganda, its purpose is to prop up faltering faith in the model of civilization based on fossil fuels, extreme energy consumption, productionism, and high-maintenance technology. Its purpose is to keep the gate against any thought of an ecological future. Keep “civilized” (i.e. technocratic) thought and action in, keep ecological thought and action out.
 
But the faith continues to falter, because deep down everyone knows fossil fuels are finite, these cannot be replaced, the Earth is not an infinitely disposable waste dump, Gaia shall impose its correction, there will be no technological savior and there are no “stars” to go to (i.e., no god will descend to save us, which is what both of these really mean). The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
 
Anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
 
There’s only one liberation, for all of us, for humanity, for the hope of an ecological civilization. This is to liberate ourselves from the decadent barbarism of the corporate-technocratic extreme energy Babylon. We must liberate ourselves first in thought, and propagate the necessary new ideas. Then we must organize, taking all actions possible within the existing framework, while preparing for the coming physical, political, and spiritual tribulations as the extremist civilization begins its collapse in earnest.
 
Renewable energy offers great benefits for the coming transformation. We must think in terms of passive solar heating, rebuilding and improving wind energy for pumping water and other on-site and local uses, small-scale electrical generation, and similar uses. In the same way many of us are working on agroecology, many are working on a truly rational theory and practice for renewable energy, starting with off-grid development today. These are thoughts and actions toward a human ecological future.
 
But typically extreme, gigantist, megalomaniacal notions of renewables powering vast cities floating on the sand are nothing but typical desert mirages, as often occur in the minds of those crazy from the heat. We must renounce such dinosaur notions ourselves and counteract them by propagating the necessary new ideas, the ideas of an ecological way of life, which is the only possible human way of life.
 
The trickle is indeed more than enough for all we need and all we could sanely want. For four billon years now it’s been more than enough for all life on Earth. All we need is to give up the insanity of thinking we need the blast.
 
 
 
 
 

November 17, 2017

Corporate Liberals Want to “Put You in the Ground”

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California’s Jerry Brown, liberal hero, speaks for climate-denying, car-worshipping corporate liberals everywhere:
 

The banner-carrying protesters yelled, “Keep it in the ground” and other chants, referring to the governor’s strong support of fracking, both offshore and on land in California, and cap-and-trade policies that could prove catastrophic to the Huni Kui People of Acre, Brazil and other indigenous communities around the globe.

“I wish we have could have no pollution, but we have to have our automobiles,” said Brown as the activists began disrupting his talk.

“In the ground, I agree with you,” Brown said. “In the ground. Let’s put you in the ground so we can get on with the show here.”

 
This is the way all the liberal climate frauds think. The quotes could be multiplied, e.g. this typical corporate-environmentalist shill. They’re liars to the core. They’re corporate flunkeys and racists. They hate democracy (cf. Brown in the same piece describing critics of his Big Oil-written legislative collaborations as engaging in “forms of political terrorism that are conspiring to undermine the American system of governance”), they hate the people, and they especially hate indigenous peoples and food-producing communities who really ought to just surrender their lands and cultures and assimilate already: “Let’s put you in the ground.”
 
 
Here is one of the core truths of our time:
 
There is one and only one way to avert the worst of the climate crisis and adapt to the level of crisis already locked in: 1. Greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 2. Stop destroying carbon and nitrogen sinks. 3. Rebuild sinks on a mass scale.
 
Anyone who says anything different is a liar and denier. They want to poison and salt the ground, and put humanity in it.
 
 
The climate crisis cannot be confronted, the worst of climate chaos cannot be averted, through the actions or the politics that have driven this very crisis. Liberalism, like all modern political ideologies, is an ideology of climate crime and ecological destruction. (The same goes for “leftism”.) Nothing short of a new consciousness and a new human movement, different from and opposed to the pathologies of productionism, shall suffice.
 
 
 
 

October 24, 2017

Puerto Rico Amid Climate Chaos and Disaster Capitalism

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A great physical and geopolitical storm.

 
 
Puerto Rico is a typical victim of colonization. It exhibits all the usual symptoms, from political swaddling to cultural derogation to massive debt predation to total food insecurity and dependency.
 
Globalization is the fully consummated form of colonialism. It starts with the historically colonized “third world” but works systematically to reduce all people everywhere to total economic helplessness and servitude. Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way. Puerto Rico already has already been subject to the West’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).
 
Hurricane Maria was the most recent major colonial assault on Puerto Rico. Maria is only the latest of the accelerating procession of extreme storms being driven by climate change, and the latest opportunity for corporate disaster capitalism to further ravage an already devastated target. The climate crisis is the direct result of extreme energy consumption and the industrial campaign to destroy all carbon and nitrogen sinks. Modern technocratic politics has attained consensus on the systematic ravaging of ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western-style productionism and consumerism. The climate crisis is caused by these actions. Since the elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples such as the people of Puerto Rico. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. The corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this. Corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all.
 
Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. The US government systematically uses its “food weapon” to wage economic, political, chemical, biological, and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, globalized food and agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground.
 
Puerto Rico needs to produce its own food on an agroecological basis. Only food self-sufficiency can help build political and cultural independence, while dependency upon commodity globalization can only reinforce every kind of dependency. Food sovereignty is the core and foundation, but the implications go much further.
 
If you’re colonized, don’t have your own currency, and want to buy all the worthless expensive junk the colonial power is peddling, you’re going to be enslaved by debt. (Same as the position of the average middle class American.) Until the neoliberal austerity system collapses, it will never wipe out any odious debt, only further “structurally adjust” it as the Obama administration just recently did. The one and only way for a people to free itself is to self-jubilate the debt*.
 
Of course, even if a people roused itself to do this and could make it stick against the escalated US aggression that would follow, it would be in vain if they went right back to the globalized Babylon. (You’re also then voluntarily contributing to the climate chaos and other environmental crises which will keep hitting you ever harder.) Consider how Argentina renounced its debt in 2001, but then turned right around and wiped out its previously self-sustaining food system in order to turn the country into one big industrial soy plantation, all in order to rejoin the globalized debt system. They just couldn’t help themselves. They still craved all the worthless expensive imported junk, exactly like an individual who could grow food to feed himself but just HAS to have a widescreen TV…
 
The self-enslavement scales well, from individual to the people of a country to the “New World Order” of corporate globalization fantasy: One can wish to live like a human being, which makes it possible to live within one’s means while enjoying freedom, self-sufficiency, economic sovereignty and security, well-being, and peace; or one can surrender to the productionist/consumerist derangement, renounce all human measure and hopes, set one’s desires at infinity and set out on the death march of rat-racing and debt, never attaining anything but increasing clutter, waste dumps, dependency, insecurity, ill-health, unhappiness, and fear.
 
The people of Puerto Rico, just like the people of all historically colonized lands, and just like the people of America and the West itself, will have to make the choice truly to free themselves if freedom and security is truly what they wish. All versions of the “we can have it all” fraud comprise the same lie, a symptom of the general pathology of Babylon. On the contrary, those who try to have it all, gamble for the infinite, guarantee themselves one terminal end. The corporate productionist system has one fated end for everyone on Earth from the colonized South to the gradually fading Western middle class: Debt slavery and the total destruction of food security, amid total ecological devastation.
 
To recap the truth about the climate crisis: There is one and only one way to avert the worst consequences of climate change: Greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stop destroying carbon and nitrogen sinks, rebuild sinks on a massive scale.
 
All else is a lie. The same goes for all other ecological crises. And the same goes for the great spiritual and economic crisis of the terminal Oil Age. You cannot solve the crisis of mortality by suicide or murder. You can solve it only by changing your life, choosing what lets us live, renouncing what is killing us.
 
 
 
 
*There’s been lots of rhetoric about how the Jones Act, a typical example of how the strongest powers like the US still enshrine “protectionist” trade barriers even as they ruthlessly try to wipe out all protective measures on the part of weaker powers, has allegedly been standing in the way of food relief to Puerto Rico. (So-called “free trade”, just like “law”, “property”, “science”, and every other alleged value of modern corporate societies, really is no value at all but only a propaganda notion to be used and abused according to the contexts of corporate advantage.) The form of this rhetoric has often gone “repeal the Jones Act and wipe out the debt.”
 
But this is a self-contradiction, just as it’s a self-contradiction to say “we need to become self-sufficient in food, and the Jones Act must be repealed.” In fact the two items don’t have the slightest logical or practical affinity. Anti-imperialists want to wipe out the debt but recognize the scapegoating of the Jones Act as standard misdirection. (And of course the US government could waive the Act anytime it chose, as it did a week later. In fact the existence of the Jones Act had zero to do with preventing food deliveries, but rather was only a pretext for extortion.) Meanwhile pro-globalizers, especially among congressional Republicans, want to use the crisis as an opportunity to get rid of the Jones Act, destroy the maritime union, further fling open the frontier of corporate rapacity, and drive the people of Puerto Rico and everywhere else deeper into debt slavery. Any force to repeal the Jones Act certainly will not wipe out any Puerto Rican debt, but will only strive to compound it.
 
Therefore there’s zero reason for anyone who actually wants the good of the island’s people to fixate on the Jones Act. (Indeed, from this perspective anything like the Jones Act which possibly could hinder the full fury of globalization is a good thing. It would be similar to how the US embargo has been a great help to Cuban self-sufficiency in food.) But the globalizers are getting their usual help from confused “progressives”, many of the same who couldn’t understand why the Haitian food sovereignty movement destroyed a predatory Monsanto seed shipment in 2010. Monsanto was seeking to take advantage of another “natural disaster”, the 2010 earthquake and UN-caused cholera epidemic. They sought to render the man-made disaster far worse than any “natural” component. So it is with the infantile fixation on “food aid”. Yes, in a crisis immediate food aid often is necessary. But the US-controlled food aid infrastructure has no altruistic component. On the contrary it’s designed to serve as a disaster capitalist campaign of its own, using the opportunity of the crisis to crush any local food production and distribution that still exists and forestall any aspirations to build such food sovereignty systems.
 
There’s great immediate need in Puerto Rico. But there’s a much greater long run need for the people to break their many colonial dependencies and reclaim their ecological sovereignty, most of all their food sovereignty. Hurricane Maria is just the latest and most extreme demonstration that Puerto Rico’s colonial dependency, including its globalization dependency, is not sustainable. Any aid ideology or measure which would hinder realization of this truth and the work toward this necessary goal is counterproductive and ultimately harmful.
 
And to say again, this truth is truth for us all, everywhere.
 
 
 
 
 

October 17, 2017

Two Favorite Quotes

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AKA, “No, you follow me.”

 
 
I measure “favorite” here by how often the quote comes to mind and I smile ruefully and say “that’s true.”

 
 
1.The all-time champion remains a line I read in some political column or essay many years ago. I can’t recall the writer, outlet, or what he was writing about, but this line has stayed with me, constantly coming to mind:
 
“America is not permissive, it’s just promiscuous.”
 
That sums up perfectly the average American and all US institutions: Grossly self-indulgent where it comes to their own whims and crimes (often including violence), indulgent toward the whims and crimes of others they approve of, puritanical and censorious toward anything they don’t like, and in principle dismissive of such values as tolerance, minding your own business, live and let live, living in peace, even as they scream like stuck pigs the moment anyone impinges upon their sense of entitlement to all these things.
 
2. The challenger is a line from Freud’s essay “Dostoevsky and Parricide”. In contradistinction to the often profound political and religious philosophizing of his fiction, when Dostoevsky moonlighted as a regular political columnist he regressed to run-of-the-mill right wing fulmination. In dismissing Dostoevsky’s political position Freud calls it “a position which lesser minds have reached with smaller effort” (p. 177 in this scan).
 
How often I recall this, when I see all the hyper-educated “experts” and “intellectuals”, all pompously proclaiming their participation in this or that millennial intellectual paradigm, whether it be scientism, technocracy, neoliberalism, establishment versions of environmentalism and other causes, and yet their social and political vision invariably boils down to the same flat-earth worship of the system of money, “jobs”, temporal power, including regurgitating the same lies any half-assed mainstream media columnist is paid to spew. I assume as an axiom that 99.9% of Mensa members have utterly mainstream, mediocre political opinions. (Opinions, not even thoughts, let alone values.) Almost without exception these persons submit to the exact same bounds of political partisanship which are dictated to them by the mainstream media. All their learning, all their alleged intellectual principles, do nothing to give them even a single new idea.
 
This applies to the great majority of self-alleged “radicals” as well. They too constantly renew their devotion to all the main ideas and institutions of productionism and consumerism, however much it pleases them to sneer at “bourgeois” ideology (but their own ideology is bourgeois to the core) and arbitrarily to separate productionism into the two flavors of “capitalism” and “socialism”.* Of course many of them, come time for the kangaroo election (they also have no ideas beyond electoralism), tell the people to vote Democrat. I think Freud would agree that it never required intensive study of Marx to reach the position of “Hope and Change…I’m With Her”. I personally know plenty of utterly uneducated people who reached the same position, or its “Make America Great Again” flip side, with zero effort.
 
Of course most of these pseudo-educated elites are “lesser minds” themselves, mediocrities who had the grinder aspiration and the money to go to school. I’m applying Freud’s quote more to their grandiose ideological pronouncements more than to themselves. The point is that such grand intellectual projects, if they really possessed any of the integrity, profundity, and altruistic impulse their adherents claim for them, ought to better the minds and spirits of those who participate. But we see every day how there’s almost an inverse relationship between the grandiosity of the ideal and the gutter quality, intellectual and moral, of its practitioners and fanboys.
 
To come closer to Freud’s example of the steep drop-off in quality from Dostoevsky’s fiction to his everyday political opinionation, even where it comes to the few writers today capable of the true eagle’s eye perspective, those who speak profoundly about the soon-to-go-fully-kinetic crises of economics, energy, and ecology, they’re still prone to insist on self-indulging in “topical” political commentary where most of them immediately regress to the level of cranky right-wing bloggers. A decades-long spiritual training and intensive reading about the profundities of the relationship of ecology to the economy leads one to Archie Bunker-level political spewing about “the left”? Yes indeed, much lesser minds often reach that position with much less effort. (For real criticism of the left as offering no alternative to productionism and technocracy, one has to come to a site like mine.)
 
Perhaps the greatest irony of this culture is how the “Progress” ideologues are the most hidebound, intellectually stagnant, politically retarded epigones who are congenitally incapable of ever actually progressing to a new idea, a new vision. For them the laws of the world are never anything but the status quo forever. In many ways “progressives” are, objectively speaking, reactionaries in how they desperately cling to revanchist fantasies for things which long ago were disproved and/or destroyed forever, not to mention how meager their fantasies usually are. (To fixate on “bring back Glass-Steagal” manages the feat of being simultaneously nostalgic and lame.)
 
I think their parents who paid for all those university degrees should ask for their money back. All that investment of money, time, effort, all that “thinking”, and look at what the modern intellectual/political class comes up with: Straight parroting of all the most gutter “values”, lies, and ideological precepts of Mammon and the corporations, every last one of these a thousand times refuted. The modern intellectual is hidebound, stagnant, and stupid. The modern expert is a prostituted liar. I say we the people can do better.
 
 
In case anyone thinks I’m exalting novelty or radicalism for their own sakes, no. My total opposition to thoughtless reckless promiscuous technological deployment sufficiently refutes both. Nor is that the case with ideas. I call for propagating and enacting the new and necessary ideas. What’s wrong with productionism isn’t that it’s an old idea and institution, but that it’s proven destructive to humanity and the Earth. What’s wrong with “progress” isn’t that it’s antiquated, but that it’s long been disproven as at best a religious fantasy, more often an ideological lie. What’s wrong with liberalism and “vote Democrat” isn’t that it’s the same old thing, but that it’s long been proven ineffective and a malign scam. Those who still adhere to these disproven notions, claiming to be finding something new and possible in them, are liars and/or idiots.
 
The necessary new ideas, most of all the great need to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and globally transform to agroecology, are those needed to overcome and transcend these failed and destructive old notions and actions. That’s the one and only real kind of progress.
 
 
*This morning I read another piece exalting “science” from a “left” perspective. That means one denounces “Trump” and is indistinguishable from a partisan liberal. For this kind of scribbler, what’s wrong with de jure climate denial is that it’s an affront to the authority of “Science”, a kind of lese majestie. In reality, what’s wrong with any kind of climate denial isn’t that it’s intellectually “wrong”, let alone that it insults the majesty of Science. What’s wrong is that climate chaos already is profoundly destructive of humanity and the Earth and will become far worse. Denial of this and obstruction of real mitigation and adaptation measures comprise a crime against humanity and the Earth. That’s what’s wrong with it, not the liberal vs. conservative culture war part of it.
 
Such misdirection highlights how the de jure deniers are just one minority faction among the deniers. Far greater in number are the de facto deniers, who may “believe in” anthropogenic climate change and often claim to care about it, but whose actions prove they want no change in the status quo paradigms which drive climate change. They only tell various lies and propagate various scams in order to pretend they care and are doing something. These are the climate crocodiles, crying crocodile tears over climate change. They include the liberal hand-wringers, as well as the scientific establishment and its fanboys such as the author of the typical piece I linked above. All these persons and institutions systematically do their worst to drive climate change, even as they deplore it with empty words. This kind of denialism is far more pernicious than the de jure kind, since it reflects a much deeper Earth-destroying inertia.
 
For the climate crocodiles this hypocrisy driven by destructive inertia causes them to fixate on “Trump” even though ecologically destructive policy and ideology is the realm where, more than anywhere else, Trump is nothing but the continuation of the Clinton-Bush-Obama paradigm. And here is the best example of the pathology I mentioned above, where “leftists” decompose to become indistinguishable from liberals, often to the point of touting the Democrat Party, thus demonstrating their own indelible bourgeois character, to use one of their own favorite curse words.
 
All that education and ideological pomposity, and one still decries Trump’s affront to the Paris accord or the “corruption” of the previously public-spirited EPA. So-called lesser minds usually reach those positions with much less effort. It’s taken a bit more effort to work out the new and necessary ideas for a human future. We’ll see how much effort it takes to propagate and then realize them.
 
 
 
 
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