Volatility

May 8, 2020

Let There Be Light

Filed under: Agroecology, Civil Liberties, Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Freedom — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 4:12 am

<

 
 
“The sun declares the glory of God; and the stars show his handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat of the sun.”
 
– Psalm 19
 
There’s two principles I hold dear which are confirmed by my personal experience and that of many people I’ve known. Both are confirmed by science. I’ve also known and seen online and in the media large numbers of people including credentialed experts who speak to the good of these. They are:
 
1. Outdoor recreation is critically important for physical and psychological health, including strengthening our immune systems which are so important now. By contrast, indoor incarceration is physically and psychologically detrimental and depresses immune function. In particular, being amid nature, out in the woods, boosts immunity along with myriad other health benefits.
 
Meanwhile the science is clear that the outdoor transmission of Corona or any other virus is negligible or nonexistent.
 
2. Everything I know, from my ten years experience of growing crops and studying agroecology, from years of ecological study, from a lifetime of experiencing nature; everything I know tells me that any potential pathogen is best balanced through biodiversity, while forcible violent attempts at segregation and sterilization are doomed to fail.
 
The entire trend of recent biological and epidemiological science finds that well-balanced biodiversity, from the human microbiome to the ecology at large, is the only way potential pathogens are kept in check, while rigid attempts at sterilization never work and only generate many ancillary harms.
 
Today the vast majority of those who have long gone around proclaiming these principles have utterly betrayed them and flipped 180 degrees. Now they say and do the exact opposite of what they always claimed was their core belief. Now those who touted the health benefits of nature suddenly shriek “It’s safest indoors!” “The outdoors isn’t safe!!” “The air is poisoned, don’t breathe it!!!” This is when the air is the cleanest and most wholesome it’s been in our lives. We see how adversely their kind reacts to purification. Wholesome air makes them retch.
 
And suddenly our former believers in organic farming and biodiversity insist, “The right way to deal with pests is through rigid, violent interventions. We need iron-clad inflexible segregation and sterilization measures.”
 
We see what frauds they always were. They never really believed in their self-alleged principles, which means they never believed in themselves. Therefore it’s no wonder that the moment the chips are down they’ve all regressed to an infantile state where they beg Big Brother to tell them what to do and then obey every stricture, no matter how self-evidently idiotic and anti-scientific, no matter how obviously self-destructive, in the most literal, abject, servile way.
 
The two examples I give here are just the tip of the iceberg. I selected them because they go to the core of personal and public health, physical and psychological, as well as their pivotal ecological importance. Yet they’re just two among the hundreds of principles which many claimed to cherish but which it turns out almost no one ever really believed. These include the many moral, spiritual, social, political principles I hold dear which I thought I shared with some others, albeit all too few. But today I see that even among these few, almost all were really frauds and liars ready to throw everything away the moment one of the system’s terror campaigns finally got to them. Or else they had an inner fascist all along just waiting for the perfect opportunity to come out.
 
 
One of these principles, which brings together all the others, is that we see the real worth of individuals and their principles when things get toughest. By this measure, we see how utterly worthless almost everyone who ever claimed to believe in anything really is.
 
 
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, my redeemer…
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat of the sun.”
 
The terrorists of government and media are trying to hide the Earth itself from the sun, and all too many among the mass still yearn to be hidden. But they will fail. All will be exposed. As anyone who is even minimally scientifically literate knows, the sun kills viruses.
 
And in the end, however black, benighted and evil things look now, the sun will expose all the wickedness, stupidity, and insanity of this most horrible torment humanity ever has inflicted upon itself.
 
 
 
 
 

May 6, 2020

Parable

Filed under: Civil Liberties, Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Freedom — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 3:06 pm

<

 
 
A man invited a woman friend to go for a walk together in the woods. Since she knew he was a friend she agreed, and they had a nice walk.
 
Another man invited her, but she knew he was a professional killer and suspected that he wanted to get her alone out in the woods in order to kill her where no one could hear her screams. At the very least she knew he was a terrible guide who was guaranteed to get them lost. She refused to go.
 
 
She felt she should choose differently based on the different kinds of invitation. She thinks she chose rightly. But for many decades and today especially, strident masses insist that these invitations aren’t different at all, and that one always must accept every invitation. They continue to insist even as their every acceptance proves an ever greater disaster.
 
Today they (figuratively, morally) gather and rush in the greatest mass ever, at the greatest speed ever, with the greatest enthusiasm and compulsion ever, to accept the most doubtful invitation ever, toward what looks to be the worst disaster ever.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 26, 2020

The Ultimate Divide and Conquer

>

 
 
It has frequently been observed that terror can rule absolutely only over people who are isolated against each another and that therefore one of the primary concerns of tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from people acting together, acting in concert; isolated people are powerless by definition.
 
– Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
 
 
Western civilization, led by the US government and media as always, has embarked upon a campaign of mass psychological terrorism designed to cover for the collapsing economy, set up a new pretext for Wall Street’s ongoing plunder expedition, radically escalate the police state, deeply traumatize people into submission to total social conformity, and radically aggravate the anti-social, anti-human atomization of the people.
 
The pretext for this abomination is a flu epidemic which objectively is a version of the same kind of flu caused by the same kind of Coronavirus we’ve endured so long without totalitarian rampages and mass insanity. The global evidence is converging on the facts: This flu is somewhat more contagious than the norm and is especially dangerous for those who are aged and already in poor health from pre-existing maladies. It is not especially dangerous for the rest of the population. The overall death rate looks to be somewhere in the range of 0.2-.02% of those infected, with the numbers from a myriad of places converging toward 0.1%.
 
The whole concept of “lockdowns” is exactly upside down, exactly the wrong way any sane society would respond to this circumstance. It’s the vulnerable who should be shielded while nature takes its course among the general population, who should go about life as usual. Dominionist-technocratic rigidity can’t prevent an epidemic from cycling through the population in spite of the delusions of that religion, especially since Western societies began their measures far too late anyway. So it’s best to let herd immunity develop as fast as it naturally will, at which time the virus recedes from lack of hosts (and is likely to mutate in a milder direction along the way). This is the only way to bring a safer environment for all including the most vulnerable. The fact that most societies have rejected the sane, scientific route in favor of doomed-to-fail attempts at a forcible violent segregation and sterilization is proof that governments aren’t concerned with the public health (as if we didn’t know that already from a thousand policies of poisoning the environment while gutting the health care system) but are very ardent to use this crisis they artificially generated in order radically to escalate their police state power toward totalitarian goals.
 
 
The whole concept of self-isolation and anti-social “distancing” is radically anti-human. We evolved over millions of years to be social creatures living in tight-knit groups. Although modern societies ideologically and socioeconomically work to massify and atomize people, nevertheless almost all of us still seek close human companionship in our lives.
 
(I suspect most of the internet police-state-mongers are not only fascists at heart but are confirmed misanthropic loners who couldn’t care less about human closeness.)
 
This terror campaign seeks to blast to pieces any remaining human closeness, which means any remaining humanity as such, the better to isolate individual atoms for subjection to total domination. Arendt wrote profoundly on this goal of totalitarian governments, though even she didn’t envision a state-driven cult of the literal physical repulsion of every atom from every other atom.
 
So far the people are submitting completely to a terror campaign dedicated to the total eradication of whatever community was left in the world, and especially whatever community was starting to be rebuilt.
 
Some dream of this terror campaign somehow bringing about a magical collective transformation. They don’t explain how that is supposed to happen when everyone’s so insanely terrorized they’re desperate to detach physically from their own shadows, let alone physically come together with other people. But any kind of political or social action, any kind of movement-building, requires close person-to-person contact.
 
It seems that for most erstwhile self-alleged dissidents, the fact that social media is no substitute for face-to-face organizing and group action, a fact hitherto universally acknowledged by these dissidents, is another truth suddenly jettisoned a few weeks ago and replaced by its complete antithesis.
 
Thus the terror campaign is a virus causing those it infects to abdicate all activism and all prospect for all future activism, for as long as they remain insane with the fever of this propaganda terror.
 
Far more profoundly and evoking despair, the terror campaign is a virus causing those it infects to fear and loathe all human contact, all companionship, all closeness, all things which ever made us human in the first place. Prior totalitarian regimes sought this lack of contact and trust through networks of informers. These networks are part of today’s terror campaign as well, encouraged from above and spontaneously arising from below as a result of the feeling of terror as well as the exercise of prior petty-evil intentions on the part of petty-evil individuals.
 
But today’s totalitarian potential is far worse than this. Now the regimes aspiring to total domination have terrorized and brainwashed the vast majority of people into an automatic physical distrust of all other people. One no longer fears that someone is an informer, but fears the very existence of another human being. Any kind of human relations, from personal friendship and romance to friendly social gatherings and clubs to social and cultural movements become impossible under such circumstances. This threatens to be the end of the very concept of shared humanity, to be replaced by an anthill of slave atoms with no consciousness beyond fear and the most animal concern for food and shelter, which already is allowed or denied in the same way experimenters do with lab rats.
 
And the more people fear and loathe the literal physical existence of all other people, the more the situation becomes ripe for every epidemic of murder, from the already spiking rate of domestic violence and killings to incipient lynch mobs to pogroms to Nazi-style extermination campaigns.
 
This is the system’s end goal. It’s the logical end where every trend of today leads. All of it is trumped up over an epidemic which objectively is a flu season somewhat rougher than average.
 
Why do the people want to surrender and throw away all reality and future prospect of shared humanity, happiness, freedom, well-being, over so little? Is this really a terminal totalitarian death cult, the globe as one massive Jonestown?
 
So far it seems this is what the majority wants. If they don’t really want this consummation of universal death in spirit, emotion and body, they’d better snap out of their terror-induced mental delirium fast, before it’s too late.
 
 
 
 
 

April 22, 2020

Earth Day

Filed under: Agroecology, Freedom, Relocalization — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 2:33 am

>

 
 
Today on Earth Day, today more than ever, today as almost all among the “civilized” have gone clinically insane in response to a government- and media-driven campaign of mass psychological terrorism, today as almost all people have reacted with extreme fear and loathing toward themselves, toward their fellow human beings, toward the Earth itself, today more than ever it is needful to recall the Earth, remember what we are and where we came from, and commune again outdoors where we belong, with others the way we belong.
 
Spring is blooming, and so far the mass is rejecting it. They’re abdicating such beauty and warmth. They’re abdicating life itself.
 
The Earth is home. For all our human purposes the Earth is the universe. The Earth is our entire home, and our only home. All social ideas are grounded in this truth. All traditional religions agree upon this as well. Attempts to find the heavens in the “up there” are misreadings. The Bible is unequivocal: The New Jerusalem is supposed to descend to this physical Earth, and heaven is nowhere but upon this Earth. The same is true from every secular point of view. The Earth is where Homo sapiens evolved; humanity evolved in tandem with and as an inextricable part of the Earth; in terms of energy, physiology, and psychology it would be impossible to forsake the Earth even if humanity wanted to (but humanity does not want this; only a handful of subhuman psychopaths claim to want this) ; the Earth is our one and only home.
 
Among all religions only scientism consistently despises its home and provider the Earth. Thus, in addition to its many other evils and idiocies, scientism constitutes the most extreme and despicable ingratitude. All human beings agree this is the worst of sins and the most ominous of traits.
 
For the great majority of us home is a particular foodshed. Only a handful of people are born travelers. The vast majority of migrants are those cast adrift by corporate-driven economic coercion, or by the spiritual and cultural homelessness generated by the technocratic civilization. Part of the great and necessary ecological transformation is our return home to the Earth in the most spiritual and practical sense of learning again to be part of our foodsheds. In the end communing with the Earth through our mode of food is the most direct form of our spiritual communion with the Earth and with ourselves as a whole. Only through the Earth can we become human again.
 
It’s a measure of the decadence of the alienated civilization that Earth Day is cordoned off as a discrete holiday. As if we all don’t live at the complete sufferance of the Earth every moment of our lives. As if all the grand towers and fortresses and mausoleums of our civilization, and all our technological self-deification, don’t exist at every moment in an ICU, hooked up and dependent upon every machine while we simultaneously do all we can to pull all the plugs.
 
This self-driven campaign, too, is part of the Earth’s kinesis.
 
The Earth is a fount of great abundance.
 
Human ingenuity can render this fount even more abundant. Agroecology is the supreme example, the greatest human accomplishment. Nature’s bounty augmented by human thought and labor provide all that humanity needs and all it can sanely want.
 
The only problem, ever, is human insanity, human depravity which convinces itself it wants more than the abundant Earth ecologically offers. This has always been the source of almost all human evil and destructiveness. This insanity is pure nihilism, pure loathing of the womb and of oneself.
 
Temporarily aided by the one-off fossil fuel binge, this anti-human loathing of humanity and the Earth has been able to ramify itself in the form of the corporate-technocratic extreme energy civilization. As if their insanity and evil weren’t enough, they even whine that not everyone shows sufficient “gratitude”.
 
On the contrary, it’s these traitors against Gaia and humanity who incarnate the blackest ingratitude, the most capital treason, against all that this wonderful, beautiful, magical Earth has offered us. If only all people had been willing to live in peace, we all could know peace and happiness.
 
Ecological history will prevail, and Gaia shall impose the correction she always does in the end. Humanity can participate by building the living ecological movement dedicated to all possible action against the economic civilization, to help Gaia take it down.
 
We can best live our thanks to Earth by propagating the necessary new ideas and building this movement. This is the great focus of human life for the next two centuries.
 
On this day of thanksgiving we can thank abundant Earth and consecrate our lives to our gratitude. Earth is the basis of life itself. Only those who choose to march with death deny this.
 
There’s nothing left but to reclaim the land, build the soil, and fight for life. This is the only positive action left in the terminus of the extreme energy civilization where Politics is Dead.
 
This action is the expression of thanks, today and every day. This is the way to make every day a thanksgiving, and to prepare a world where humanity finally shall live its great gratitude in faith, every day, in all the peace, prosperity and happiness Earth’s abundance can provide. That’s why I write, in prospective thankfulness for this coming movement and this coming ecological peace.
 
Western myth begins with the image of a woman with child in the heavens, the Greek wisdom Sophia, fertility and wisdom. We find the great wisdom at the roots of creation. Her child and the Earth come into being simultaneously along with various notions of an evil dragon. This monster often has been mistaken as Sophia’s misguided creation. This depicts the primordial vision of dialectical conflict unto creation.
 
Human history is the story of the preparation of the Earth for humanity and humanity for the Earth. Before this preparation is complete the Earth must undergo its time of tribulation, first the ravages of the kamikaze campaign of extreme energy consumption, then the unfathomable volatility and turbulence of this era’s collapse and self-immolation, as all the pent up potential, all the physical and spiritual heat and poison this kamikaze civilization has emitted, reaches Kinesis.
 
The time has reached such an extremity of alienation and confusion that few on Earth can read the signs in history and nature, and so humans have conjured religions to interpret the signs. Few have the vision to recover the lost wisdom of the woman who had to flee into the wilderness. But this wilderness is nothing but the fertile Earth, tending itself and waiting for humanity to end our destructive self-exile and come home to our creative work.
 
The visions of Sophia spangle the heavens with the sun and moon and stars. We project these from Earth. As the final star descends, the morning star, its light shall gather all other cosmic lights in itself and glorify them as they continue to shine upon Earth.
 
Light and sight finally shall be liberated here, as we finally understand the mysteries. The new Gaian communion shall prove with light that the only night was in the benighted minds of men. In the new garden there no longer shall be the day vs. night of the mind. The sun and moon and stars shall shine on Earth as before. This shall be the final end of all artificial hate, greed, lusting for power and control, spiritual homelessness. All that’s ecological shall continue the cycle, now fully in harmony, transcending all distinction of natural and artificial, purging all that is anti-ecological and living as one amid the Earth’s now exalted ecology.
 
Thus the trial of perdition, the final judgement of the fossil-fueled technocratic derangement (veritably a malign ghost, a resurrected fossil of evil, a summoned demon), shall be complete, the mystery shall be solved, and from there all which is, was, and is to become, shall become, and shall be, and shall become forever more. The tree of life cycles forever through the twelve seasons, bearing its twelve fruits, and all human stewardship of Earth shall fruit in harmony. The water of life is a river which flows forever. As Greek wisdom has it no one may step twice into the same stream and yet it remains always the same stream.
 
The great vision comes of the air at break of new day, and all creation sings its new song for the new garden. There still must come tribulation from the air. The air of the day must gather and pressurize the power of the heated winds, heated by the oily bonfires of Babylon. When they shall be loosed, as the fossilized technocratic empire loses control, the Kinesis will rage while the vision of the temples and arks range the sky forecasting the flesh and blood of the new garden which shall sprout. This is the word from air to earth and sea. But there is a tiding of the thunders which shall remain untranslated until the final germination of the garden, whence this too shall resolve to a rainbow.
 
Fire is the great inspiration, fire is the great symbol of tribulation raging as wildfire across the visions, fire is the destructive force Babylon’s bonfires unleash to scourge the world as the empire loses control. Fire shall consume Babylon itself. Fire is the symbol of the ultimate sundering of those who refuse the last call to come home. But as the new garden will flower upon this Earth, so all of hell has been on this Earth and shall continue in the voids within the self-damned. Thus the ultimate fire has been in the minds of men, their raging violence, and so the future lake of fire shall be the soggy ashes in the dead souls of those who refused.
 
The creative fire is the newly transformed light of the new garden. Earth has been cradle and romping ground and home for mind, and now shall resume as home for the soul.
 
The river of life leads the song now sung by all the creatures of creation. The river shall flow forever through the new garden, and throughout the new heaven and Earth. The ocean, primal residue on Earth of the primordial waters before life itself, shall be resumed into these waters. The river still flows on Earth, still flows to the seas that girdle the Earth. All soon shall be cleansed and purified to become as holy water, suffusing Earth as rain and river and sea. These shall bless our crops forever bounteous, shall redeem and restore the ecology of Earth, Garden of Eden, Gaia.
 
But first the age must undergo a great tribulation of water. Babylon sprawls upon many waters and its crimes and poisons surge forth. It shall be destroyed by literal and spiritual tsunami. Humanity must rise up to abolish the poisons and poisoners. The great ecological preparation requires this affirmative act of agency, and Earth shall not forgive the passive.
 
And so humanity and Earth meld, as artist and material, material and artist, to establish the new heaven and new Earth on this very soil. This is the consummation of creation, its transformation. This is the revolution and restoration and renaissance. Humanity and Earth plant the tree of life in this very soil, and secure the trellis of the new garden upon this very rock, the rock of Earth beloved unto all time by all human gods, and our home of humanity unto all time.
 
The only gods are the gods of the Earth. And let it be blasphemy and the mark of evil to say this sacred rock is not home, and that “we”, meaning a handful of mean and stupid boot-lickers and slave-drivers, still seek a new home somewhere beyond this earth.
 
Humanity has a mission throughout this trial. We must work to prepare the Earth and to start planting our new garden. This is our part in the transformation of creation. We must liberate the Earth, for this is preparation and transformation. We who are called to this mission must work and endure in harmony Earth’s power and the human will transmuted to Gaia’s will which shall bring us through to victory.
 
Paradise is of this Earth. It now shall be established in the flesh and stone and spirit of the true community, the Ecotrinity of Gaia and Humanity and Earth. We will finally know how to use mind and soul in harmony to work amid Gaia’s ecology in harmony. The greatest sin was to embrace the primal sundering, the alienation, the exile. This is what Jesus called the sin against the Holy Spirit. This is the sin that cannot be forgiven because only a willfully sundered soul, in all its deluded depravity, can forbid itself to repent, forgive itself and come home. These who willingly bear the mark of the beast refuse to do so, and so cannot return, and must try to prevent all return by force. This is their main political, economic, ideological, and anti-ecological campaign today.
 
Paradise is of this earth. The Ecotrinity, and the ecological state of mind and soul which accompanies it, is the great and rising idea and spirit at this climax and tribulation of the modern fossil-fueled, corporate demon-ridden, propaganda-exhorted derangement. The false idea of “man vs. nature” is dead and dying, and the false “dominionist” religion, in both its traditional and secular forms, dies with it.
 
The tree of life shall extend its redemptive roots throughout the soil of the newly conceived Earth. Its twelve seasons of fruit shall symbolize the great prosperity of humanity and Earth in the new day. The waters of the river of life shall suffuse all the springs and rains and flows and deep blue seas of the new Earth. Our children and crops and all the plants and animals shall drink of these holy waters.
 
According to Christian scripture the new garden shall not contain a temple, for all Earth shall be a temple. And finally we shall understand what it means to say our bodies are temples. Finally we shall resume living as temples, no longer as coffins. And what we build shall be the bowers and wreaths of these temples, no longer tombs.
 
We shall resume our true heritage as our spirit spreads from the new garden’s model point of light to embrace and combine with the light of the entire Earth. That’s the great promise and goal we aspire to on Earth Day. It commands us to make every day Earth Day, and then for this great aspiration simply to be the living work of each and every day.
 
This is the living movement humanity must build. The Earth is calling us home.
 
 
 
 
 

April 19, 2020

No Herd Immunity to Mental Lockdown

>

 
 
Everything I know, from my ten years experience of growing crops and studying agroecology, from years of ecological study, from a lifetime of experiencing nature; everything I know tells me that any potential pathogen is best balanced through biodiversity, while forcible violent attempts at segregation and sterilization are doomed to fail.
 
So it will be with this economically-driven virus.
 
It’s clear that “lockdown” always was a completely insane notion which never could attain any goal but deliberately to collapse the economy, on a vastly more profound scale than 2008, so the 1% could plunder all real assets. Unemployment and inability to pay rent, mortgages, outstanding bills, are now becoming truly pandemic for individuals and small to medium size businesses. Homes, buildings, land, all will flood the market by prior intent of the system, and the elites will escalate their program to buy control of everything real in the economy.
 
Meanwhile the terror-deranged wingnuts who have been shrieking for ever more totalitarian assaults on all human agency are the same who assure us the disease will keep coming in waves, and so their lockdown religion aims to become a boot repeatedly stomping on a face forever. We see the world they truly want.
 
All the evidence is that this virus isn’t very dangerous to the great majority of people. Its danger is overwhelmingly to those advanced in age and already ill. For everyone else it’s basically a somewhat more contagious version of the regular flu. The threat it objectively poses is not even in the same galaxy with the totalitarian remedy which governments, media and various system lapdogs have stampeded the masses into embracing.
 
That’s why the system undercounts the infection rate while overcounting the death rate. It’s likely that majorities in most affected countries already have been exposed, with the vast majority of those infected experiencing mild or no symptoms. These are undercounted by being discouraged from going to the hospital, and non-tested through the artificial scarcity of reliable test kits.
 
At the same time any death of anyone who tests positive is logged as a Corona death, no matter what the real proximate or underlying cause, while in the case where no test is performed doctors are encouraged to log as a Corona death any death where the patient experienced any kind of flu-like symptoms.
 
This program of systematic undercounting of infections and overcounting of deaths hass the goal of attaining a fraudulently bloated mortality rate numbers, which then are used as propaganda to justify the lockdown with all its evils.
 
 
The expectation of waves of infection and large numbers of asymptomatic carriers proves how insane it is to try to build fortresses and forcibly lock down 7 billion people and build totalitarian police states trying rigidly and violently to drive back an inexorable tsunami, when all wisdom of the ages would say all you can do is go as limp and flexible as possible and let it wash over you.
 
If waves of Corona infection, along with much lesser waves of illness, comprise some “new normal” then the only sane thing you can do is let the new normal get on with it. That’s the quickest way any illness will become milder than any actual severity the epidemic possesses right now. This alleged severity for the population at large is something constantly shrieked by governments, media, and the obedient authoritarian followers of these institutions, but never proven.
 
The most important statistic for gauging the real existential danger of any epidemic is the mortality rate among the healthy, not any stat which artificially inflates deaths which really are part of the category “dying of old age.” So far as I can see the government and media simply are commanding that one element of this latter category arbitrarily be extracted and exalted as of galactic importance to the point that all of humanity must sacrifice every aspect of our well-being, freedom and happiness for what’s clearly intended to be a permanent duration.
 
No matter what, this bug is going to do whatever it’s going to do. The world can either roll with the punches while continuing to live life, at the same time refraining from letting a totalitarian police state make a massive quantum leap; or you can rigidly resist with all your might, dragging everything out and maximizing every kind of collateral social harm while submitting to permanent tyranny.
 
 
 
 
 

April 17, 2020

The Pathogen of the “Cure”

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Freedom — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 3:04 am

>

 
 
Why do the ignorant rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together
against the Lord, saying
Let us break the bonds asunder,
and cast away their cords from us.
 
– Psalm 2
 
 
(This refers specifically to New Jersey, but similar examples will be found everywhere, and the general points are universal.)
 
The closure of state and county parks by the NJ regime is based clearly on fraudulent pretenses. Everything the governor and his flunkies claim about it is a lie, as is proven by the fact that outdoor business like construction and landscaping is booming. If the governor is on the level, why isn’t he shutting those down as well? This proves that the closure has an evil motive, not anything to do with the public health.
 
So what is this evil motive? The entire process of blowing up the corona flu into a mortal threat to all humanity has been primarily a governmental power grab and has been used deliberately to crater the economy and accelerate the liquidation of individuals and small businesses, who will end up economically destroyed, their assets then hoovered up at pennies on the dollar by the same banks which continue being directly bailed out to the tune of scores of trillions by now.
 
Many of those now reveling in their obedience to self-quarantine at home soon will be rendered homeless.
 
But it seems like closing the parks doesn’t directly further this goal. Certainly it’s an exercise in demanding obedience simply for the sake of obedience.
 
It’s also designed to render us more vulnerable to sickness by making us psychologically and physically weaker. Medical science has abundant evidence that outdoor recreation is critical for health, especially for strengthening the immune system. You know, the feature whose health is most critical during an epidemic. In particular, being amid nature, out in the woods, boosts immunity along with myriad other health benefits.
 
(Many who now support universal incarceration used to go around preaching everything I just said in the previous two sentences. Just one particularly poignant example of the currently near-universal phenomenon of everyone throwing away everything they previously claimed to believe, revealing themselves as always having been frauds.)
 
I think the last point about communion amid nature touches on a deeper motivation. The ecocidal civilization works not only directly to murder the Earth but forcibly to break all remaining bonds between humanity and nature. This isn’t incompatible with the existence of the parks in the first place, which currently represents a stand-off between the ecocidal aggression and the residual wish among humans to retain some residual bond. But of course this is always a bleeding boundary: Governments and corporations always are pushing the further exploitation and degradation of all parks, all natural preserves, all public spaces. Here in NJ we’ve seen the push to log parts of the state parks, just to give one example. This logging, as with everything else, has zero economic rationale, is done at a loss to the public, and is done only for corporate profit and for the sake of ecocidal destruction itself.
 
So even as it nominally sustains the parks as a public good, the system is fundamentally hostile toward their existence. And this hostility must increase as more and more people go to the woods for far more than recreation. More and more of us see how the economic civilization itself was a hideous wrong turn and how ecocide is nothing but collective suicide, infinitely more profound than any relatively trivial virus. For us the human bond with the Earth is not only sacred but is the one and only basis of our very existence, which must be fully rebuilt, reinvigorated, restored.
 
For us, the woods are our place of health, of life, indeed of worship, while closing the parks is nothing less than religious persecution, in addition to all its more mundane personal and social evils.
 
As more and more people experience Gaia this way, as more of us are living to restore the primal bonds, the more aggressively the ecocidal system, its kings of the earth and rulers must take counsel together against the Earth, against all of us, violently to break these bonds anew and cast away those cords.
 
From that perspective, to close the parks when they’re most needed, and amid the very renewal of spring, is to strike a fierce blow against the renewal of the human spirit amid the Earth.
 
 
 
 
 

April 2, 2020

Corona of a Sun Eclipsed by the Artificial Object

>

 
 
No one knows much. Those who know nothing (the vast majority) have no idea where they could get real information.
 
For starters, where did this virus come from? The media and government have done nothing but lie about this. Most likely the direct origin was the US, as a deliberate bioweapon attack during the military games at Wuhan last October, or from an “accident” at Fort Detrick a few months earlier which led to a CDC order to shut down certain operations there, but not before officers became infected and then attended the Wuhan convention. These are possibilities we don’t know now and may never know.
 
Meanwhile, if it did turn out the origin was from China and was by “natural” transmission, that still would be an artificial origin driven by industrial agriculture which destroys all local food economies, drives deforestation, and therefore drives food producers to extremes like hunting for exotic animals in very remote regions in order to market these as a delicacy. The whole process is a machine designed to collect and disseminate every kind of pathogen residing in those remote areas.
 
So no matter what, bioweapon, exotic food market, or anything in between, it’s an artificial US-driven origin.

 
Where does that leave us right now? Certainly we cannot look to any existing “authorities” other than while wearing the same hazmat suit we do when we assess the corporate media in any other case. First, at best they know very little. Second and more importantly, their system, their ideology, their educational background, their mindset is dedicated completely to goals – power and profit – which render it impossible for any of their structures to function effectively toward any other goal. These scientific and medical structures couldn’t act effectively toward the public good, the public health, even if they suddenly wanted to.
 
This society chose to enshrine capitalism its most virulent neoliberal form, to entrench it so deeply that even in a crisis where most people, perhaps even most authorities want to pivot to a goal different from sheer profiteering, they find it impossible. Now America is stuck with this worthless, counter-productive system. When you take a pseudo-medical structure dedicated to maximizing corporate profit and try to use it for such a completely different purpose as to practice medicine, that won’t work. Same when you try to use a profit-seeking “health insurance” system to provide actual health care. It won’t work.
 
Of course almost all “authorities” from top to bottom have the ulterior motives systematically inculcated in them by this psychopathic system. The US government already has seized the opportunity afforded by the mass hysteria to perpetrate yet another monumental crime, a corporate bailout so astronomical as to comprise a corporate coup. By now the Wall Street bailout, permanently ongoing for the duration of the US system, which began with the first $750 billion in 2008 has reached incalculable tens of trillions and the Fed has escalated yet again.
 
America had the chance to eradicate Wall Street and the purely destructive finance sector once and for all in 2008-09 but chose to stand by while the government expended trillions to bail out this purely wasteful and destructive sector. Wall Street executives, major shareholders, propagandists should have been hanged or shot for their Nuremburg-level crimes, all four counts. Instead they were allowed personally to keep the billions they stole while their banks have been bailed out to the tune of tens of trillions by now, and the flood of fake money spewing from the Fed’s collapsing dam only continues to intensify.
 
So no wonder there’s mass hysteria, although even the vacuum of real authority doesn’t explain the mass-hysterical self-abjection and subjection. Never in history has such a vast mass of people sat so passively, in such a state of infantile regression, simply waiting to be told the next thing by what now really is Big Brother.
 
(I don’t expect ever again to hear a word about how the term “sheeple” is in any way unfair. On the contrary, it falls far short of what almost all people, literal domestic livestock with a purely inert mindset, including almost all of our “alternative” internet nabobs and strutters*, now have proven themselves to be.)
 
The science is fairly clear about a few things, and agrees with common sense in each case:
 
1. Prolonged exposure is more dangerous than fleeting exposure.
 
2. Indoor co-presence or casual contact carries some danger of transmission, though it’s not clear how much. Same for extended closeness outdoors.
 
3. Outdoor activity while maintaining a reasonable distance carries zero or almost zero danger.
 
Indeed the economic action around here in northern NJ seems to reflect this: Most indoor businesses are closed, and the ones open have staff wearing masks and have set up various cough barriers and such. But there seems to be no slackening in outdoor work such as construction. If anything that seems stepped-up.
 
That puts in perspective the notion, for which there’s zero evidence, that non-contact outdoor recreation could be a significant transmission vector. On the contrary, medical science does have abundant evidence that outdoor activity is critical for physical and psychological health, especially for boosting the immune system so important to all of us now, while submitting to indoor incarceration is physically and psychologically detrimental and depresses immune function.
 
That tells us what we need to know about those shrieking how all-important and “safest” it is to hunker in a bomb shelter rather than enjoy the outdoors. These people have zero science or reason behind them, and all the evidence is against them. They’re spreading harmful misinformation. The least bad thing we could say about them is that they were stampeded along with the rest of the hysterical sheep herd. Although it’s becoming more and more difficult to give them even this benefit of the doubt.
 
 
 
*It’s been especially enlightening to see how almost all those I’ve seen online as staking claims to be anti-authoritarians, anti-empire, skeptics of power, self-styled “rebels”, always preaching “trust no one” and to research things for yourself since it’s the only way to come close to truth, how almost all of them have regressed to infancy and run home to totalitarian mama the moment there seems to be anything at stake. Turns out most of them were liars and frauds. (Dmitry Orlov has maintained some skepticism about how grotesque the response and mindset are becoming.) The list of those I used to respect on some level but for whom I now have nothing but contempt keeps growing.
 
Can you imagine any of these cowards being able to sustain even a single principle in a time of real crisis?
 
 
 
 

March 17, 2020

A Fake “Cure” Much Worse Than the Disease

>

 
 
There seems to be a gathering consensus around a false either-or: A society must impose extreme lock-down or go hog-wild with business as usual including leaving the non-wealthy ill and dependent to fend for themselves. (Of course any US version of martial/police-state law will do that as well.)
 
As usual, the rational, healthiest alternative gets less support: Take reasonable care and precaution for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, act with reasonable prudence (no mass gatherings, avoid indoor gatherings as much as possible), but otherwise continue to live life. This is the most psychologically healthy perspective, whose goodness for mental health in turn contributes to how it’s best for the individual and collective physical health.
 
But more and more people seem to be embracing the notion of the police state imposing draconian restrictions in order to “save” them from a danger the system itself generated, and which we already know the system will use only as a pretext radically to increase its power and control and to escalate its plunder of all the people.
 
This embrace of police state power includes many of our self-alleged “alternative”, “dissident” types. As with so many other things, they talk tough when nothing seems immediately at stake, but the moment things start to look serious they run home to Authority mama. It reminds me of the advent of ISIS, where many erstwhile “leftists” suddenly turned into NATO-mongering neocons.
 
Almost no one has authentic principles any more. Everything’s fake. And that’s why it’s always so easy for governments to continue their totalitarian progress.
 
Thus we’re being set up for a much more radical clamping of “emergency” power, like after 9/11 but much more severe; and like after 9/11 the “war on terror” turned out to be a permanent emergency requiring the permanent maintenance of what were called the “temporary” restrictions, so the same is being set up to stem from the pandemic emergency, at a much more total level.
 
It’s typical of the psychological crisis that the ubiquitous term “social distancing” has no stable meaning but can mean literally anything, so when someone uses it by itself there’s no way to tell what they really want to see happen, assuming they themselves have any firm ideas at all as opposed to floating unanchored on the froth wave of panic.
 
I’ve seen it mean everything from “Continue to live life, get outside, do the things you enjoy, get together with people in small groups, just keep a few feet away” (which is what those who feel healthy should be doing) to “Weld yourself shut inside your bomb shelter and never emerge again.”
 
As for the system authoritarians calling for people to bury themselves alive or issuing orders that people do so, no doubt they have nice big properties themselves where they can stroll about to their hearts’ content. They probably live in swank gated developments where everyone will continue strolling the streets. Their own private parks will remain open while I’ve heard examples of how they’re insanely closing public parks in some places. Literally the exact opposite of what any sane society not run by psychopaths would do. We know that just as fresh air and sunshine are important for the recovery of those who fall ill, so these along with physical exercise outdoors are critical to sustaining the health and well-being, physical and mental, of those not sick. (The NJ state park system so far is maintaining sanity: They’ve closed visitor centers, restrooms and other indoor facilities but are keeping the parks themselves open for recreation and are encouraging people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, precisely because it’s good for the individual and public health.)
 
But as we’ve known for a long time from every other health policy the elites impose, so the currently touted anti-medical, anti-health isolation indoors is for the non-wealthy who, as far as the system cares, ought to die anyway. And today we have a near-consensus among both the mainstream and fake-“alternative” media classes that all people ought to surrender to this systemic imprisonment and destruction.
 
If there were a way to test it, I’d bet any amount of money that deep down it’s not really any physical fears for themselves, let alone for others, that has everyone losing their minds and shrieking for the government to imprison them all in order to save them, but rather they’ve come unhinged from seeing the tottering of their worthless economy of worthless ecocidal junk.
 
Thank god I still know some people in real life who still retain their humanity and vow to continue living as human beings, even as so many are, in real time, openly screaming that they want to rush to permanent totalitarianism right this moment.
 
And over NOTHING even remotely comparable as an evil to the “cure” for which they shriek.
 
If you’re thinking any lock-down and regime of restrictions on movement really are likely to be temporary, remember that even if warmer weather does suppress the worst of this round of the Corona pest, it may repeat the 1918 pest’s performance and come back more powerfully in autumn. And this cycle could be repeated for years.
 
None of that may happen, but the idea of it all is at the core of the government’s malign perspective, every bit as virulent as the idea that “terrorism” is a permanent feature of our lives, and therefore so must be the police state measures allegedly against it.
 
In every case it’s never the drugs/terrorists/viruses which need to be controlled and dominated, but the people.
 
 
 
 
 

March 16, 2020

Crossroads

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Civil Liberties, Freedom, Global War On Terror, Globalization — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 4:45 pm

>

 
 
It’s ironic, given how the Chinese have been grossly slandered so far by the US government and media, that here all of humanity can contemplate a monumental example of the saying always attributed to the Chinese, “a crisis is also an opportunity.”
 
If only all the people now resorting to a simplified state under the pest’s duress would take that to heart and realize this is not only a much better way of life as such, but a far healthier and resilient way in the face of the many escalating crises shortly to break upon us. Measures against this so-far mild pandemic already prove in principle that neoliberal globalization and the continuing metastasis of the economy are not necessary and can be dismantled permanently without the sky falling.
 
The other option, and so far it looks more likely, is that in the same way that enough Americans for a quorum have accepted a permanent state of partial lockdown and police state encroachment since 9/11, if the federal government were now to order a much more comprehensive lockdown along with restrictions on movement and gatherings, allegedly “temporary” for the duration of the pandemic, but then this pandemic turned out to be as open-ended from the point of view of government policy as the “global war on terror” has been, and the lockdown became effectively permanent, odds are no one would object or resist.
 
Humanity is at a world-historical pivot point and can go the right way or the wrong way, perhaps a very wrong way. The threat of tyranny must be added to medical common sense as we realize the right way to live for now is to take special care and precaution with the vulnerable elderly, but not otherwise radically amputate the limbs of our lives, limbs which will remain sufficiently functional if we choose to use them instead of crawling into an isolation chamber to be locked behind us.
 
 
 
 
 

March 15, 2020

Tests of Strength

>

 
 
Many years ago I began noting on these pages how bourgeois ideology had won complete victory in the minds of Westerners and their apes around the world, no matter what superficial politics various groups still profess as a hobby. I’ve noted that We’re All Lumpenproles Now.
 
We’ve seen how “the Left” offers no alternative to maximum exploitation within the death machine, let alone to the death machine itself.
 
We saw how the British left, faced with the prospect of striking a blow against globalization through Brexit, where their rightful anti-globalist task was to fight for a socialist or at least progressive Brexit, instead ran home to globalist mama and joined the elites shilling for the EU.
 
Here in America we’ve long been nauseated by the disgusting spectacle of “progressives” and many “leftists”, even those who have solemnly sworn “Never Again”, running home to the Democratic sheep pen every chance they get, every time the Party retches up another fraudulent fake-leftish celebrity.
 
We’ve seen how the concern trolls for the environment, every kind of mainstream “eco-friendly” type shedding crocodile tears for the Earth and its climate, runs home to every kind of corporate collaboration and “Green New Deal” mama. That means ecocidal Business as Usual, just the “green” capitalist, fake-“renewable” version.
 
These in common express the indelible devotion and commitment of all existing political groupings to the economic society: Its perpetuation and continued aggravation unto maximum ecocide, maximum genocide of natural peoples, collective suicide.
 
And the first returns indicate that this will be true of the Corona pandemic as well.
 
There are already many comparisons of the Corona pest with the climate crisis, how civilization is equally unprepared for both, for the same self-destructive reasons, and how the pest will highlight in a much faster and more visible way this lack of will or ability to prepare, adapt, mitigate.
 
That’s true, and we must go further. The knee-jerk response, not just from the system, its media, and the usual mainstream conformists but of self-styled “dissidents” as well, is to reinforce all the patterns which brought us to this crisis: Conformity to state and corporate decrees, self-sacrifice in terms of doubling down on psychological and now physical isolation, all consciously and explicitly for the sake of getting the economy back on track as soon as possible.
 
This universal panic on behalf of the economic society includes the rejection of the lessons of hundreds of years of medical experience, reinforced by the experience of the 1918 influenza pandemic, that the best preventive as well as treatment includes sunlight and fresh air, while hunkering down in one’s bomb shelter is the wrong way to go. This is especially true for the sake of psychological health. As the economic system has long known, isolation is demoralizing and physically weakening. That’s why the system has worked so hard to structurally reinforce mass atomization and isolation and indoctrinate the atoms into the belief that this is natural, desirable, at any rate inevitable. But physical and mental health depend on activity and community. Today more than ever we have a test of strength for those who normally profess these principles.
 
To say again, we should take rational precautions, avoiding mass gatherings or any unnecessary crowded indoor context. But this must not extend to our necessary coming together with loved ones and friends, those with whom we share the seeds of humanity and community. We mustn’t let fear and indoctrination (and in the end almost all the fear is really fear of the system itself, its physical and economic threats) blast away this truth. We must continue to live as humanly as possible, for the sake of both our human future as well as our short-run physical and mental health.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Older Posts »