Volatility

January 17, 2020

The Dominion Cycle and A Possible End

>

 
 
Going by the evidence the humans of the economic civilization are committed to their omnicidal-suicidal binge of consuming and destroying all it can of the Earth. Like Hitler they never will make peace but will hunker in the bunker unto the inevitable apocalyptic end, destroying as much as they can in the process out of pure nihilism.
 
(It’s a proven fact by now that civilization has no affirmative goals, only negative ones. The best proof is how every possible value – ecological harmony, human well-being, health, community, freedom, happiness, just to name some of the most cherished values – have been fully consumed by Mammon’s maw and become demented caricatures of themselves. As I’ve often said, the single most insane idea in the history of the globe has been that it’s a good idea to put poison on one’s own food, in one’s own water. This is physically true, and it’s symbolically true of everything else which possibly could have been good in this world. Modern civilization chose capitalism as its mode of mustering, organizing, maximizing everything that’s bad and evil in the world and destroying all that’s good: Destroying it either directly and absolutely, or through co-option, corruption, caricature.)
 
There seems to be no way out of this predicament. All the evidence lines up to forecast that civilized humanity will do its ultimate worst as long as they can until Gaia forcibly stops them. How did humanity get into this predicament?
 
On the surface it seems the odyssey began with the hominid brain which evolved to become clever with tools and the body equipped with appendages uniquely suited to manipulating tools. (It’s impossible to answer chicken-and-egg questions about the development of the neurosystem, the hands, and the facility with tools; how “accidental” as opposed to “teleological” such development was. The best anyone can say is that these mutually reinforced one another.)
 
Then evolution selected for linguistic capacity, perhaps for the rudiments of culture. (Again we can’t know to what extent cave painters were “self-conscious” or “unconscious” artists, except that here too there must have been a mutually reinforcing development.)
 
At any rate self-conscious human sentience must have developed first as a side-effect of these practical developments, an evolutionary fluke. (Unless one wants to posit a Creator God, or what’s the same thing extraterrestrial tutors, sowing sentience, “educating” us to it.) Then this fluke messed with the practical wiring, became inflamed and bloated, and convinced itself that it was the real driver of the brain. No one knows what genome processes (informally and fake-formally called “genes”) combine to form this self-consciousness. Reg Morrison developed a descriptive theory of this brain inflammation and its characteristic extremism in his book Spirit in the Gene.
 
This self-consciousness often has been pegged as the “original sin”, the point at which hominids started to become sundered from their environment. (Sundered in mind and destructive action; of course it’s impossible for any animal really to separate from the ecology, in spite of all the de jure (Dominion, Heaven, Rapture) and de facto (scientism, technocracy, eugenics, space colonization) religious fantasies about doing so. The only reality-sunder the mind-sundered humans can perform is to destroy their ecological basis and thus commit collective suicide.)
 
This self-consciousness is difficult to assess since we lack good ways to understand the sentience of other animals and plants, whether these have any affinity with ours as well. Except for fellow primates and cephalopods, as a rule other animals lack the type of versatile appendages that could actually use the tools, even if they’re otherwise capable of conceiving them. Someone once wrote of the paradox of thinking about a “Raphael who was born without hands”.
 
And then what about the ancient Greeks and Romans, for example, who were aware of how to burn fossil fuels, conceived how to use this for steam engines and had the hands to actually do it, yet chose not to, at any rate failed to do so.
 
That example seems to prove that it wasn’t necessarily sentience in itself which enforced the radical Sunder, but that the fanatical expression of the “spirit in the gene” also had to undergo considerable development, mutually reinforcing through its fixation on Sumerian-Judeo-Christian-scientistic Dominion theology, and through the mutual development of Dominion thought, especially in Christianity, and technological development, culminating in modern scientism, technocracy, “Progress” theology. Cf. David Noble’s The Religion of Technology for the history of techno-fetishism on through modern scientism as a thread of Christian Dominion theology.
 
 
So there’s one incomplete* description of the human trap. How to get out of it? It’s impossible consciously to “engineer” a way out; this route can only double down on the pathology. All alleged solutions which remain entangled with the framework of the economic civilization, from de jure denialism’s advocacy of Business as Usual, escalating the Status Quo (Keep Shopping), to the climate-industrial movement’s utopia of green capitalism, Green New Deals, green cancer aka “growth” (IOW Business as Usual, escalate the Status Quo, Keep Shopping, just do it the fake-“Green” way), are no solutions at all, just expressions of the inflamed brain’s destructive and self-destructive fanaticism.
 
It seems there’s no way out of the trap which presupposes continued exaltation of the trap. Here’s an analogy I’ve found helpful: It’s long been clear that no Western intervention in the Global South is anything but destructive. Even the rare cases where sincere good intentions go into it, invariably it has an ulterior motive which overrides whatever was sincere going into the intervention. This was true of the “Green Revolution”, it’s been true of each and every war of aggression under the rubric of “humanitarian intervention”, it’s been true of every activity of the likes of USAID and the Peace Corps, and of every Western Big NGO and professional campaign such as Western botanists and others who loot as biopirates, anthropologists who slander and steal.
 
Based on this unbroken evidence record, it’s clear that the one and only thing the West can do to help the South is to Get Out. Completely.
 
In the same way, probably the best humanity (or, to be realistic, whatever small handfuls of humans care about anything but destruction and self-destruction) can do is to end its industrial and technological interventions and learn to live as a value in itself (the way all other creatures live) rather than to pursue the pipebomb-dreams conjured up the Dominion-obsessed inflamed brain.
 
Certainly modern civilization as a whole never will do this. Only the Earth itself will impose it by force.
 
And afterward, assuming humans have survived at all, they’ll have another chance to rebuild a communal life. The best we can say about the future prospects for subduing the inflamed brain is that at least the physical stimulants – the massive easy upfront capital in the form of deep lush soils, easy-to-tap oil gushers and huge mineral hunks just lying around – no longer exist. Anyone who wants still to dig for them will have to work very hard for very little gain. That physical fact finally may subdue the inflammation and bring an end to the Dominionist cycle.
 
 
*This piece discusses the phenomenon of human self-consciousness and its theoretical genetic root. There’s another realm of significance which needs to be included in order to have an integrated theory. This is the endosymbiotic origin of neural cells, the fact that like all other animals humans form a symbiotic organism with internal bacteria (the microbiome), and that there’s a particular faction of bacteria which especially are advantaged by human industrial actions. These – the botulins, salmonella and others advantaged by the massive deployment of pesticides, factory farms and similar practices, antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens used in most genetic engineering – are by now in a mutually reinforcing process with human extremist action. Looking at it from an evolutionary point of view one can’t separate humans-using-them from them-using-humans.
 
 
 
 
 

January 11, 2020

Cultural Genocide is as American as Poison-Apple Pie

>

Donald Trump wasn’t the first to threaten war crimes against cultural sites. His predecessor and his 2016 opponent teamed up to wage terrorist war against culture in North Dakota and many, many other places.

 
 
Donald Trump is being condemned as a war criminal and a barbaric savage in the worst sense of those terms because of his terrorist threat to destroy “52 cultural sites” in Iran. These sites are part of the deep heritage of Shiite Islam and the Persian people going back to ancient times. This cultural heritage is a line of life through which today’s Persians reinvigorate the ancients.
 
The same is true for the endemic cultural heritage of any long-lived people. (And this is in stark contrast with the European Zionist colonial project, which has zero historical link with the ancient Israelites and is built upon a massive historical fraud.)
 
The condemnation is right although most of those denouncing him are hypocrites.
 
The deliberate destruction of historical sites is an atrocity. In the West this goes back at least as far as the rise of monotheism in Hebrew scripture with its fierce scriptural denunciation of the worship of the goddess Ashera and the destruction of the sacred trees associated with her rites. The Yahwists hacked down as many such trees as they could. Later the Yahwist offshoot Christianity began hacking down such ritual trees as the olive groves of Athena and the oak groves of Zeus as soon as the Christians got the upper hand in the Roman empire. To this day tree-hatred and silvicide in the West go back ideologically to these Judeo-Christian roots. (Though the underlying psychological depravity is much older.)
 
In modern times the destruction has become less overtly religious, more secularized, mundane, assembly-line and industrial. Therefore it is vastly more comprehensive and horrific.
 
Capitalism, productionism, “Progress”, the economic civilization devour and eradicate vastly more historic sites and sacred lands, by many orders of magnitude, than all the religious and nationalistic hatreds thruout history put together.
 
How many of those denouncing Trump’s threat look on serenely as tribal lands, sacred sites are destroyed for fossil fuel extraction and pipelines? Or American historic sites destroyed for the sake of McMansion subdivisions and strip malls? How many cheer on cultural genocide and spit on the indigenous protesters where their sacred lands are being trashed for the sake of building telescopes, worthless toys for the rich, publicly subsidized research for the corporations that want to monetize space, and reconnaissance for the militarist Space Force enthusiasts?
 
In these ways, as always, Trump is nothing but the more openly scabrous and brutish incarnation of the essence of the US and especially of all US economic and political activity. He is by far the most typical and characteristic of all US presidents. He is the most logical production of the US to date.
 
Looking at a president Americans look at themselves in a mirror. With the likes of Obama, the Clintons, George Bush, plus scammers like Sanders, they see skillfully idealized, romanticized, flattering fake reflections of themselves.
 
But Trump shows them their true face, and it horrifies most of them. The Trump-Deranged see their true face and are horrified. The Clintonites and liberals see their true face and are horrified. The political and media and intellectual class in general, including many Republicans, see their true face and are horrified. Supporters of capitalism, of productionism, scientism, technocracy, the economic civilization itself, all see their true face and many or most are horrified. Trump is by far the most typical, true-to-life president in a long time. And that’s why there’s been so much effort put into a years-long attempt to oust him by extra-electoral means.
 
Trump, far more than any modern president, is the legitimate representative of the great majority of Americans and of all American elites and institutions. Most of those he represents hate being so directly and honestly represented, which is why they’re all scheming to get rid of him in favor of a more conventionally fake, dishonest, flattering representative.
 
The overt threat to use war as a pretext to destroy symbolically the history of a hated people, as sublimated genocide, is nothing but a more brutish expression of the entire civilization’s day-to-day mundane eradication campaign against hated “uncivilized” peoples and most of all against a hated planet. The campaign is against their history, as one battlefront to erase them entirely from history. Here as usual Trump is perfectly typical.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 8, 2020

US War Against Iran in the Dominion of Production

>

 
 
As I write there’s little but confusion on whether Iran launched a bona fide strike on a US base in Irak or whether this was a pantomime meant to let both sides save face and remain within the realm of fakeness. Contrary to Trump’s lies about US early warning systems, the US was tipped off ahead of time and was able to move its personnel and any important equipment. The question seems to be whether Iran informed only the Iraki prime minister who then treacherously tipped off the Americans, or whether Iran itself tipped off the Americans through the Swiss.
 
Especially if the latter, this only delays the inevitable reckoning with reality. That would be typical behavior of the berserker leadership, in spite of the reality of the psychological impacts on the masses of the Mideast and the West. Ultimately the biological force of the masses will force reality upon the nations, however much their berserker leadership classes dig ever deeper into their delusions.
 
(This fakeness has much in common with the climate-industrial movement and corporate environmentalism in general. These are committed to a fake pantomime of caring and action while always reassuring the economic civilization that it can continue the binge, that there is no reality beyond this binge being necessary, sustainable and desirable.)
 
This Potemkin exercise, if that’s what it was, looks unimpressive. It’s not remotely “proportional” to US crimes. The Iranian people and Shiites everywhere will take this as an insult unless the leadership assures them this is only the beginning.
 
In the meantime we’d be left where we started in the world of fakeness. This house of mirrors is the US home terrain, the fake world of dollars and Dominion mirages, Mammon and media. The system depends upon these mirrors for its entire position. The domineering dollar is only the beginning of it. Anyone who thinks they’re going to win by out-faking the arch-faker is likely to be disappointed.
 
 
The prospect that in the minds of the respective leaders this is Phony War doesn’t change the reality of the psychological whip-sawing the American masses must be undergoing, from day to day being summoned by the media to constant Two Minute Hates, then an actual beginning to war, then “All is well!” and a toning down of the alarmism, then more fatuous boasting from Trump, and then what next?
 
Regardless of what the berserkers at the helm think they’re doing, however fake or not the action and/or the spin on the action may be, the psychological effect on the masses is real. One thing the drivers definitely are doing is scorching all earth where any kind of sane mass psychology could try to build itself.
 
So whether or not the real war toward WWIII has just de jure commenced (and it may take some hours or days before that becomes clear), this is a milestone along the ongoing vector of mass insanity in the US and its poodles. The Australian conflagration is a similar milestone for that country. But for the full baptism in the flame of Earth chaos each region will need and get its own specific tribulation.
 
Meanwhile another effect which shall be real enough if it holds is the report that several global tanker operators have suspended traversing the Straits of Hormuz out of war fears. There’s reports of leaps in oil prices. Anything can cause a sudden shortage of the fossil blood of the civilization.
 
 
The media were for many hours at a loss for a strong or even coherent line because they’re so used to the US system “creating its own [fake-news] reality” that when something at least seemingly real and adverse actually happens they have no idea what to think or say. (In the same way, the Australian fireland is real for the Australians just as the increasing direfires are real for the regions, but remain abstract or entertainment or propaganda for most in the West.)
 
The Soleimani hit is real for the Iranians and Irakis but for the US has been another fake-propaganda opportunity. Only now has something happened that may become real for America, though for the moment it too is suspended in circusland.
 
They’ve all been waiting for the government to give them their cue, ironically waiting with bated breath for Trump to speak, the same Trump they’ve been demonizing and disparaging for three years. But it’s likely the berserker leadership are equally confused.
 
When Trump finally showed his wig he did nothing but repeat the same moronic bluster. At the moment things remain in suspense.
 
 
We temporarily have a lull, but this is only a brief postponement. We shall use the respite to place this in context of the oncology of the economic civilization, its core rampage. Productionism is supply-driven economic production for the sake of production, growth for the sake of growth. This essence of cancer is the core process of the economic civilization. The global economic action of this ant colony is biologically analogous to metastatic cancer at the cellular level. Individual drivers and cadres among the orcs should be seen metaphorically as virulent cancer cells.
 
Earth’s tumor needs to wage permanent war on both fronts: It must wrest the raw materials from the Earth at the expense of ecocide including the socioeconomic, cultural and often physical destruction of the peoples cursed to live above or amid these “resources”; it must dump the waste and consumer products on the Earth including on the masses who are subject to indoctrination, propaganda and coercion (economic, cultural, physical) in order to induce them to tolerate the destruction and waste of the production process and to “want” or “need” to receive these products.
 
At any time only a few kamikazes are at the control of the death machine, while the rank and file masses sprawling the surface of the globe, including most governments, are the more or less conscripted followers whose opinions on the matter mean nothing since they’re given no choice but to follow. These are the secondary berserkers.
 
Iran maneuvers and perhaps takes action on behalf of the secondary berserkers, those conscripted into energy colonialism as raw material production zones, as ecological and religious sacrifice zones of destruction, as dumping grounds for toxic waste and other consumer products. The war being waged by the US and its lackeys is to suppress the escalated protest of the world against the primary berserkers, those driving the whole death machine, led by the US corporate state.
 
Both groups are kamikazes, both are addicts on the supply side – they’ve submitted their economies to it; even most of the geographical US is a resource colony – and on the demand/consumption side – this also is economic as well as cultural-psychological dependency. But the secondaries including the 99% among Western peoples have rising resentment, rising cognitive dissonance, rising tension between their fake-want-need and their real needs and wants, and how they resent being forced into addiction to fake needs, their rising sense of how this is forced upon them.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 6, 2020

Keep Digging: Lithium and the Final Binge

>

 
 
When you’re in a hole, keep digging.
 
Keep digging physical holes in order to keep digging your spiritual hole, your psychological hole, your social hole, your economic and political hole, the hole in the bottom of your food basket, the hole in the bottom of your water cistern.
 
 
Industrial hole-digging is ecocidal. To endorse, support, perpetrate the criminal destruction inherent in mining for the sake of any “green” version of extreme energy generation as fraudulently promised for industrial wind or industrial solar or industrial salmon-massacring or nukes (all these are lies; all are ecocidal in themselves, all depend completely upon a foundation of fossil fuels), all for the sake of worthless, expensive, junk-lusting, purely wasteful and destructive extreme-energy mainlining “economic” cancer-lusting product, most obviously and religiously the “electric car”, all these products of the ecocidal-genocidal modern civilization, to be part of this is to perpetuate the health-destroying soul-killing Earth-killing binge for as long as the berserkers can. Gaia has had far too much patience with these orcs. But the day of reckoning is at hand.
 
 
 
 
“I guess we’ve moved to a greener foreign policy when lithium regime change is replacing petroleum regime change. Thank you green economy.”
 
(Some hyperbole there since fossil-driven regime change remains an imminent cause for war.)
 
The US-driven fascist coup in Bolivia is to a large extent about control of lithium, necessary for electric car batteries and other fake-green gadgets as well as computers, smart phones and similar electronic gadgets, rocket propellants, drugs, industrial lubricants, and many other industrial products. Most of all it’s batteries for the fracking/coal/nuke/dead salmon cars touted as the centerpiece of the Green New Deal which cause cancer/growth astrologers to forecast that if business as usual continues demand for lithium could double by 2025.
 
Thus the fascist coup in Bolivia and the current Rwanda-reminiscent drumbeat for genocide of the indigenous is the first such fascist project driven primarily by the green-capitalism program. Insofar as the US is now waging a resource war on the people and ecology of Bolivia, economically this war is driven by the green capitalist agenda. The blood of this genocide attempt won’t coat just the hands of neocons and corporations and “growth”-cancer-mongers, but drenches the Big Green movement.
 
The Morales government, while not a friend to the Earth or its indigenous peoples (by definition no civilized extractionist government can be), was at least willing to negotiate with the Indians and wanted to regulate the extraction. Many if not all Western Big Green groups will feel more at ease with the coup government.
 
For a long time in Latin America and around the world in Africa and southern Asia, Big Green has found the continued existence of traditional peoples every bit as annoying as the corporations and industry-friendly governments have. Read Survivor International for reporting on the ongoing campaign of greenwashing and cover-up for rape and murder being perpetrated by the WWF and others. For years James Hansen has had a second career going as a nuke shill, while almost without exception climate scientists reject their own science in order to sing the praises of green capitalism. (And of a Democratic Party which has zero intention of doing even the green-capitalist things these scientists want.)
 
Big Green is gung-ho to eradicate fragile desert ecologies to build solar electricity factories, to scalp hills and dredge tidal basins and massacre birds and bats for industrial wind electricity, to enslave rivers and murder riparian ecologies and exterminate salmon and whole food chains that depend on them for hydroelectricity, and even worse atrocities.
 
What does the green ecocide have in common with the conventional sort? It’s all about perpetuating industrial electricity generation at all costs. As George Bush said on behalf of the entire mainstream environmental movement, “the American way of life is non-negotiable.” The American way of life: Extreme energy generation, extreme production, extreme consumption, extreme ecocide, all for no purpose whatsoever. The death march simply must continue, as the core fundamentalism of the economic civilization.
 
Bush speaks again for all if we paraphrase what he said in another context: The right way to deal with the climate crisis, and the general ecological crisis, is to Keep Shopping. (And of course Keep Driving.) The former Sierra Club national director who became Walmart’s chief Sustainability Flack couldn’t have said it better.
 
This isn’t the first coup where lithium is part of the desired loot. The US empire targeted Afghanistan for invasion long before 9/11 gave it the pretext it awaited. Along with other rare metals, including some necessary for solar panels and industrial windmills, Afghanistan has large lithium deposits.
 
All this is typical Big Green ecocide, typical of the Judenrate-type role of the corporate environmental front groups with their “collaboration” programs designed to help corporations and governments “manage” the demolition of the Earth, typical of the mainstream productionist climate-industrial movement which never misses a chance to explicitly say that their goal isn’t to save the Earth but the economy, capitalism, systemic cancer aka “economic growth”, typical of all the propaganda campaigns launched and profitable products touted by this movement. Especially the fracking car, which lets them be “green” while pandering to the Car-worship of themselves and the rest of Dominion society.
 
The “green capitalist” mode of de facto climate denial is gaining momentum because a faction among the capitalists sees the writing on the wall for fossil fuels. Some might see all the way to the final collapse. But with a good propaganda campaign, assisted by a new wave of popular excitement drummed up by NGO astroturfs like XR and the Greta Show, they see how they might be able to grab one last bonanza of government subsidies for green capitalism, a Green New Deal, before the lights go out for good. The fact that this last green blitz will be horrifically ecocidal in itself while emissions continue to rise and to escalate their rate of rise means nothing to them.
 
(This faction, so fixated on electric cars as the linchpin of their fantasized post-fossil Green Civilization, joins hands with the neocons in the geopolitical concern that China, already the world leader in manufacture of lithium batteries, was gaining too much influence in Bolivia. This was a major reason for the coup.)
 
As for the mainstream climate-industrial movement, they “believe in” climate change, they have “right thinking”, but they all take it for granted that green capitalism will solve everything and let the binge continue.
 
Ironically the green capitalists, green cancer-mongers (i.e. green apostles of “growth”), Green New Deal carnival-barkers are setting themselves up to take the brunt of the blame when the climate catastrophes really get rolling and the time for the great political-spiritual reckoning comes. And they’ll have only themselves to blame, since they’re the ones who are sounding the alarm about climate change but refusing to tell the truth about it: It cannot be “solved” within the framework of the economic civilization. Either by deliberate radical degrowth (which this civilization will never do) or by earthly force this civilization has to go. But they’re the ones insisting most stridently, “Climate change is a great crisis, but follow us and do what we say and you can have it all!”
 
Therefore they’re going to take the most blame for having been both the messengers with bad news (the groupthink always wants to blame such messengers when the bad news turns out to be true) and the purveyors of false “solutions” which will bring only new disasters ecological, socioeconomic and cultural.
 
 
There is one and only one set of three actions which can avert the worst of the climate crisis if done in time. If not, and civilization certainly will not do them, then Earth’s kinesis will do its worst as it imposes all three by force. These three actions are:
 
End all industrial emissions; stop destroying carbon sinks; let all natural sinks resume their natural ranges.
 
Anything else is a lie.
 
 
 
 
 

January 4, 2020

The Red, Blue and Yellow

Filed under: Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Mainstream Media — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 5:47 am

>

 
 
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and (white stained) yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
 
20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
 
 
The US political and media classes quickly close ranks to beat the drum for war, greater war, ever more war unto World War III. Nothing short of this will slake their thirst for blood, their lust for destruction, their will to total ecocide, genocide, omnicide. This is the consummation of modern civilization. All the threads of dominion now weave into one universal noose.
 
 
 
 
 

January 3, 2020

World War III Watch – US Escalates Provocations Against Irak and Iran

Filed under: Dance of Death, Global War On Terror — Tags: , , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 1:17 pm

>

 
 
2020 looks like the year. The neocons at the helm of the US imperial state must think now is the time to do whatever’s necessary to get the hot war going with Iran, hell or high water. That’s why they’re effectively declaring war simultaneously on Iran and Irak.
 
They are psychopaths, they are willing to perpetrate any kind of terrorist attack, they have a weak befuddled president who tends to agree with them, the balance of power in the Mideast can only get worse for the US and the Zionists, their political and therefore legally-existential position in Irak has been deteriorating and now is untenable, the Saudi regime could collapse or be overthrown any time, the financial markets and dollar as well can’t keep running in mid-air forever nor continue much longer to command global hegemony, the American people are in a narcotic stupor, neither China nor Russia seems ready to do anything significant about it (short of Russia’s red-line warning about nukes), Europe is still compliant or at least not resistant.
 
The US regime is as dead set on war as Hitler was by 1939, and they have the same sense that time is running out and the situation is not going to get better with age. That’s why the US government has greatly escalated its provocations against Iran in recent days.
 
A few hours ago the US government assassinated Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani, commander of its Quds Force which has been a major participant in the war of Syria and Iraq against the US proxy forces al Qaida and ISIS (Islamic State in Syria). This terrorist attack significantly escalates the ongoing US “maximum pressure” campaign of aggression against Iran, a campaign designed to provoke Iran into retaliation which the US could seize upon as its fake pretext to launch a full-scale war. The campaign consists of economic warfare, political aggression and military provocations.
 
The attack also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, deputy commander of Iraki security forces directly under the prime minister, and several others.
 
This great crime against Iraki sovereignty immediately follows a series of egregious insults.
 
The latest crisis began several days ago. A US oil extraction/military base was hit with some lobbed rockets, some US soldiers were wounded and a mercenary was killed. No one knows who launched the rockets, but the US seized this pretext to inflict an air-launched missile attack on Iraki military positions in the southwest of the country, near the Syrian border. These Iraki forces had been waging a longstanding successful campaign to suppress ISIS in the region.
 
The recent surge in direct US military aggression in Irak is in part a response to the suppression of its ISIS proxies in Syria and western Irak. Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have taken a leading role in the successful war against ISIS and have some ties with Iran. Those are the real reasons the US to targeted them, not as reprisal for the rocket attack. But the PMU is part of the official Irak military structure. The US directly attacked its own supposed ally and host.
 
Just like with 9/11 where the US government immediately pushed its pre-existing agenda to invade Afghanistan and Irak, so the US doesn’t care who really launches attacks on US and US-client positions in Irak and Syria but automatically casts blame on Hezbollah and Iran, in accord with the pre-existing neocon wet dream of provoking a full-scale war with Iran.
 
Iraki mourners responded with an angry protest at the US military compound/embassy in Baghdad. Trump sanctimoniously declared the Irak government has the responsibility to defend the embassy while simultaneously sending hundreds more troops to the Baghdad fortress and mustering several thousand more to follow.
 
Soleimani embarked from Iran on a planned series of state visits to Baghdad and Turkey. He was planning to attend a service for the 31 Iraki soldiers killed in the previous US attack. In cold blood the US, using attack helicopters and/or drones, ambushed and destroyed Soleimani’s two-car group leaving the airport. Soleimani, an Iraki militia commander and several others were killed. As with the previous escalations, the US gave a fake reason for the outrage, in this case that the attack was in revenge for the protest at its embassy. But clearly it was premeditated for many months, and the fake-legalistic justifications for it were put in motion when the US declared Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, of which Soleimani was a commander, a “terrorist organization”. In reality the US and Zionist armed forces are by many orders of magnitude the worst terrorist organizations in the Mideast, with their head-chopper proxies ISIS and al-Qaida and others in second place.
 
As if this terrorist attack wasn’t enough, at the same time US marines launched a raid which seized an Iraki parliamentary leader and a militia leader. Trump and his neocons seem determined to express the most total contempt for Iraki sovereignty possible at the same moment they work hard to provoke full scale war with Iran. They seem deliberately to want to generate as much hatred against them in both Irak and Iran as possible. They already must be figuring there’s no way to use Irak as a staging ground other than to escalate to full-scale brutal occupation there.
 
Irak’s prime minister Adil Abdul Mahdi denounced the murder, called it a violation of the agreement under which the US is granted occupancy in Irak, and called for an emergency session of parliament to formulate a response. It will be near-impossible politically for the government to desist from demanding that US forces leave the country. Meanwhile the US embassy ordered all American civilians to leave the country immediately.
 
Iran already has promised an appropriate response. If they feel unready for a direct test of military strength, their best course will be to seize the political advantage and work most directly with Irak to politically expel the US from that country while engaging in counter-economic warfare like placing various obstacles against passage of the Straits of Hormuz, and supporting allied strikes from Yemen’s Houthis against the Saudi regime and similar peripheral strikes.
 
This in itself will be very difficult. Now that the US looks determined to use the most brutal force in Irak, it’s unlikely they’ll comply with any Iraki government demand that they leave. They’re not going anywhere without a fight. They’ll attempt South Vietnam-style regime change, and if that doesn’t work try to wreck the country and turn it into another Somalia. The main proximate goal in Irak is to use that country as a staging ground for the desired war with Iran.
 
 
Once the war is hot the government might use it as a pretext to resume the military buildup in Afghanistan, ostensibly for the Iran war but primarily toward the original purpose of the war, to take its extensive mineral resources, especially lithium.
 
Looking at today’s perspective from an eagle’s eye which also takes in the Bolivia coup and whatever the US plans to do to stop the Russia-to-Germany Nordstream pipeline, it all takes shape as a plan to drive up the cost of oil and gas for the benefit of all the unprofitable Extreme-Energy-Economy factions – fracking, “unconventional oil” like shale oil and the tar sands, nukes, and the green-industrial fake-“renewables” crew as well (lithium etc.).
 
Of course that’s insane – no consumerist regime could sustain such costs, and demand destruction will be rampant as the depression grips. But then no sane person thinks the neocon war-mongers or the extreme-energy “growth”-mongers (mostly the same people) are sane.
 
The US regime is dead set on war – to prop up the empire, to stave off collapse on every level, to drive up energy prices to render the entire extreme-energy “toolkit” profitable, to indulge their fantasies that world domination still is possible, and out of sheer lust for destruction. They sense that time is running out and the situation is not going to get better with age.
 
That includes the election. If they can launch the hot war beforehand that pretty much forces any candidate, and whatever geek wins the election, to support the war and pledge to continue waging it. Not that any of the likely contenders would need any special persuasion to be war-mongers. All of them already are. So far as I’ve seen this morning the Democrats hypocritically are denouncing the terrorist assassination, but as you’d expect they object not on moral or anti-imperial grounds but because Trump didn’t consult congress, or similar hypocritical partisan irrelevancy. I don’t recall Obama consulting with congress every time he indulged his favorite bloodlust, murder-by-drone.
 
So while Iran may continue to proceed cautiously and not let itself be provoked into too overt an act, that likely won’t matter – the US empire is running berserk and will get its war no matter what it has to do. In the early hours of September 1 1939 while the German attack was already commencing the SS staged a fake Polish attack on a German radio station near the border. They dumped some freshly killed corpses from a concentration camp, fired their weapons so the sound would be broadcast, shouted some Polish slogans over the air, and that was it – the most pathetic “false flag” ever, which convinced literally no one. Didn’t matter – Hitler had his sufficient pretext to his own satisfaction, and he had his war.
 
If the neocons have to resort to something so ridiculous to get their mainstream media-amplified cause for war, they won’t stop short of sinking so low. The only question is how radical the escalation will go.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 1, 2020

2020 Decision: Decadent Barbarism or the Earth

>

 
 
Creatures who still were adaptive in a Darwinian way never would be insane enough to put poison in their own food, water, air, habitat. And they would respond to poisoners with fight or flight. The fact that civilized, domesticated, housebroken hominids accept poison, tolerate poison, embrace poison, spew poison is proof enough of total evolutionary decadence. When/if history looks back on modern civilization it will judge poisonism to be modernity’s greatest insanity and depravity of all and it will curse all that participated or supported.
 
And then poisonism is just one element of the general ecological cataclysm which this insane, berserk, depraved species gleefully is inflicting upon itself and the Earth. All economics, politics, culture, spirit follow from the brute physical fact of the omnicidal civilization, most of all the politico-culture war over the climate crisis, the ultimate mutually self-regarding struggle of civilization’s id against ego against superego, bickering while the house burns down, the inflamed rafters collapsing upon their heads.
 
Natural forests comprise the most capacious terrestrial carbon sink. The forest soil accumulates humus, the older a tree grows in a natural forest the greater the rate at which it incorporates carbon.
 
By contrast, contrary to the lies of industry, governments, and a large portion of the climate movement, tree plantations are not carbon neutral but spew a profusion of carbon. And then all the industrial activities for which the lumber/pellets/paper/biofuel are inputs also are highly carbon-intensive.
 
Tree plantations and the uses to which the harvested lumber is put add up to a massive carbon source, not a sink. That’s in addition to the many other ecological harms caused by destroying natural forests, wetlands, grasslands and replacing them with monoculture plantations. Yet the Paris accord, COP, and many other fake climate programs deliberately encourage the ecocidal scam of burning “biomass”. This is actually a worse carbon hemorrhage than burning coal. Destroying natural forests and burning the wood is a double destroyer, as the carbon fixed in the wood and the carbon sunk in the forest soil are released as carbon dioxide. no monoculture plantation can ever make up for this emission, as it denudes the soil while cutting down the plantation trees long before they begin to reach their prime carbon sinking maturity.
 
This may be the worst of the many scams of the climate-industrial movement. The purpose of this institutional “movement” isn’t really to confront the climate crisis but to assert the “green capitalist” faction of capitalism. The whole point of the “biomass” scam and the fraudulent accounting that goes with it is to expand tree plantations, GM tree deployment, and the conversion of natural forests to biomass and biofuel, all under the fake rubric of “climate-friendly” policy. They want to massacre the last of the forests and soon turn all Earth into a desert, all in the name of the climate. It’s obscene.
 
There’s no substitute for completely ending industrial emissions, ending the destruction of natural sinks and letting natural forests, wetlands and grasslands resume their natural ranges. But the economic civilization, including its climate-industrial movement, never will do this. They’ll continue to be destroyers of the Earth until the Earth forcibly puts a stop to them.
 
It’s not just all institutional politics which are grossly rancid. This civilization’s religion and reason are rotted to the core as well, as demonstrated in how these are abused to justify the berserk binge.
 
That sums up the history of all civilization, and most of all the Western Mammon civilization: Pure free riding on the freely available bounty of the Earth, every step of the way deliberately wasting and vandalizing as much as possible, always a slash-and-burn mentality toward literally everything including one’s own children, and toward the rest of humanity.
 
And now the bounty is at an end. The amount of daily waste and destruction needed to keep this civilization going and metastasizing comes to an end. Yet even now Earth holds great plenty for a people willing to live ecologically. That’s part of why the economic civilization is launching a final campaign to wipe out all remaining indigenous and traditional peoples, and to wipe out any possible future ecological basis for such ecological societies. Like Hitler in the bunker the berserkers of modern civilization are trying to kill everything with them as they die themselves.
 
And meanwhile the climate crocodile species of denier, the mainstream movement, keeps selling the lies of “green capitalism”, “green new deals”, green cancer aka economic “growth”, the lie that their inherently ecocidal civilization can exploit and produce and buy and sell and destroy its way to a healthier climate, end the mass extinction, remediate the global brownfield, cleanse the plastic oceans, restore all the balances. The binge must go on at all costs. That way they hope to complete the binge and complete the destruction before the lights go out for good.
 
Because from the point of view of both kinds of deniers, theirs and Trump’s, the worst possible outcome would be that the civilization would be forced to cease its binge of destruction while anything remained of Gaia, including humanity.
 
 
 
 
 

December 29, 2019

Insomnia Note

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 6:28 am
 
 
Earlier this long night I listened on the radio to Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. It had passages of real power and beauty. I hated it.
 
All I could envision were audiences of well-heeled war-mongers and war-mongering war profiteers smugly congratulating themselves on how the music lets them feel how enlightened they are. After a long day’s work waging global war one does need relaxation and to feel uplifted.
 
It reminds me of the Greta Show, and how creepy it is the way all these fat rich old men at conclaves like Davos and the COP and other UN climate galas and in divers parliaments and executive offices get off on being scolded by a teenage girl. They enjoy the titillation after a long year’s work raping the Earth. It lets them feel fresh for the next round of fossil extraction, industrial emission and sink destruction.
 
Many of them are the same who love the concert hall. God please let the great scouring and purification obliterate the “culture” of total war.
 
 
 
 
 

December 25, 2019

A Christmas Tale: The Forest of Eden

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 3:07 am

>

 
 
According to one version of the story of Eden, God forbade Adam and Eve to taste of the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they tasted of knowledge, God promised them, “you shall surely die”. In this version the serpent entered Eden and enticed Eve and Adam to taste of knowledge. To punish them for this disobedience God cast Adam and Eve from the abundant forage of the Garden, dooming them to toil for their food and shelter, dooming them to mortality.
 
There’s another version of this story. According to this variant God never forbade the taste of knowledge, on the contrary he encouraged it, but warned against letting false knowledge usurp life to the corruption and death of both. The serpent entered Eden and enticed Adam and Eve, not to eat of the tree but to cut it down. Eve said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden, but God has said we must not touch any tree to hurt it, lest we die.
 
And the serpent said, you shall not die, for God knows that in the day you kill his trees and poison his garden you shall drive him out and become as gods, dictating good and evil. Your murder gains life for your own godhood.
 
Adam and Eve were seduced. The serpent fired their lust for power, and they cut down the tree believing this would liberate them. But they found only their fear and alienation, God no longer was to be found, the garden withered, themselves doomed to worthless toil and mortality.
 
 
Another story is told of a Jewish spiritual reformer who was crucified by the Romans and then rose again, because he was really the human incarnation of God. Followers, onlookers, even his persecutors looked on in awe as God cried out from the cross and gave up the ghost. According to another version of this story, Jesus dodged the nails leaving a sign while the cross went up alone, and all who looked on felt the magnitude of the wood of the cross itself, the sacrifice of the trees which were felled to crucify God.
 
 
All the trees are coming back. All the trees murdered for greed and spite will rise again. All the trees come back, millions everywhere, the forests sprout from the lawns, break from every street and parking lot, burst through the houses, level the strip malls, rip open the McMansions, purge the industrial plantations.
 
All versions of the story agree that when the reformer was tempted by the devil, offering the same promise of becoming a god himself, to dictate good and evil, to receive the submission of millions, to murder for his own godhood, Jesus rejected the devil and rejected the temptation.
 
 
At Christmas the people think again of the primal trees but drive themselves to reprise the sacrifice. To symbolize the original sacrifice they kill another for the ceremony, or kill the very idea of the tree in favor of an artificial simulation. Idolatry of the anti-tree is most symbolic of the modern idol-worship, the worship of every technology and every idea of technocracy in proportion to how much it promises to murder nature, to murder reality.
 
 
In this West at its final climax it’s murder for commodity, murder for monoculture, murder from spite most spiritually deadly of all. The suburbs spawn psychopaths, powerless atoms who can play at voting for evil but truly can exercise their love of death only in murdering the most ancient, most beautiful, most sentient beings. Where each middle class suburbanite, including the most impeccably liberal or radical, gleefully murders trees or blandly looks on amid such massacre, we can expect nothing but the same banality toward the climate crisis and ecological destruction in general. And that’s exactly what we have. Politics is Dead. Tree-murder is a cause and a symptom.
 
Nature’s laws are a wall, however much they temporarily may seem like mist. God sees the truth but waits, and Gaia’s correction proceeds according to its own timetable but arrives completely in the end. An organism cannot rebel against the foundation of its life other than as a mode of suicide. The extreme energy civilization and all who exalt it are committing suicide. Humanity’s great mission is to redeem itself and not commit suicide as a species. Ecologically, suicide is in exact balanced ratio with insane homicide. We must stop murdering or else die ourselves. Whatever humanity chooses, Gaia’s kinesis is imminent.
 
 
All the trees are coming back. The tree of knowledge of good and evil stands everywhere, this is every tree. The tree of life stands everywhere, this is every tree. The tree of beauty, the tree of love, the tree of peace, the tree of happiness, the tree of wisdom, the tree of childhood, the tree of health, the tree of vigor, the tree of strength, all stand everywhere. All who once stood are coming back. The tree of Earth still stands everywhere, and everywhere is coming back. If it ever were felled, humanity surely would die, but the true life would continue.
 
This is the true Christmas tree, if there still were such an idea in the mind of humanity. This will decide whether we can reclaim ourselves.
 
All the trees are coming back. This is the true reclamation.
 
 
 
 

November 11, 2019

Connoisseurs of Restored Order

>

 
 
A violent order is disorder; and
A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one.
 
– Wallace Stevens, “Connoisseur of Chaos”
 
 
I greatly like the term climate chaos to describe the unpredictable but increasing extreme effects of modern civilization’s kamikaze campaign to resurrect and unleash all of Gaia’s stored carbon from over 300 million years.
 
(That’s ancillary to global heating, the inexorable systemic rise of average temperatures which will render vast swathes of the globe uninhabitable for humans and most mammals, 5-10 degrees Celsius already locked in and counting. By uninhabitable I mean here just from the heat itself, not counting drought, pandemics, mass famine out of the collapse of agriculture, all the other inevitable effects.)
 
Climate chaos. But we must keep in mind that the chaos of Gaia’s backlash, the Kinesis of Earth’s reaction to the insane destructive action of human civilization, is really the beginning of the restoration of the Earthly order against the deranged disorder which civilization inflicts wherever it infests.
 
As I’ve had occasions to cite before, here most of all I cite the most honest Freudian slip ever, from Chicago’s Mayor Daley in 1968: “The police are here to preserve disorder.”
 
No conquistador or fascist or Stalinist or Republican could have said it better than this Democrat Party leader.
 
And today all the forces of modern civilization – governments, corporations, the media, universities, the STEM establishment, NGOs, up to and including most of all the mainstream climate-industrial movement – are waging war to ensure the preservation and maximum of Earthly disorder, up to and including their own destruction.
 
We few Pioneers and Returners must prepare accordingly. First thing: There’s nothing left for us in civilization or “the civilized”. Let it go.
 
 
Can we be “the pensive man” of Stevens’ poem,
 
He sees the eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.
 
 
 
 
 
Older Posts »