Volatility

April 26, 2020

The Ultimate Divide and Conquer

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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.
 
 
 
 
 

March 20, 2009

Bail Out!

Here’s a few notes toward collecting my thoughts on the bailout policy.

Basically, we have (1) a corporatist, neo-feudalist elite, and (2) a veritable bubble society, where the whole basis of the economy and social psychology, indeed the whole culture, is exponential debt and gold rushes.

The elite manages to achieve ever more concentrated wealth and power through a general political agenda and through disaster capitalism, which affords an ever more frequent litany of opportunities.

The two-party winner-take-all pseudo-democracy enables them every step of the way. Politicians are both corrupt and either corporatist ideologues or brainwashed into “capitalist” mythology. (Paul Krugman on his blog gave his assessment that Obama doesn’t want to nationalize these bank-derived structures simply because he’s “culturally” averse to it. Brainwashing.)

I think it does look like Obama’s presidency has already failed. It certainly will if he continues down this path. Obama may not be corrupt like Bush, but he does seem ideologically just as committed to the Bush economic agenda. (We can call it the Clinton-Bush-Obama corporatist agenda.)

What’s worse, his entire temperamental thrust seems to be toward appeasement. His apparent obsession with “bipartisanship” and appeasement is inexplicable from any point of view other than being a basic character flaw. After all, how is it possible to have been paying attention to the way things have gone the past few decades and still believe it’s possible to appease the republicans, unless you have some desperate personal dream of doing so?

Seeing these giant bank structures using money extorted from the public to gobble up smaller, real banks, I’ve long been asking (it seems obvious to me), if we need this massive public bailout, because failure at the top, and on Wall St, will reverberate to Main St, then why don’t we go to the real links in the chain and shore up the real, local, real deposit/real lending banks (as opposed to these castle-in-the-clouds bank-derived structures who just lend one another funny money in a round-robin ponzi scheme)? Why don’t we shield these (there have to be ways at least as effective, and probably alot simpler) from those alleged reverbs, as we let the cancerous growth die off (or better yet burn it off)?

(Basing everything at the smaller bank level would also provide a better base from which to launch the “stimulus”.)

One last point, regarding the poor being inexplicably willing to crucify themselves on debt disaster which wasn’t even their own fault, in a way the rich would never do: This is the same question Thomas Frank wrestled with in What’s the Matter With Kansas? , why do so many among the lower classes support Republican policies which are so obviously radically against their economic interests? Presumably the answer isn’t just stupidity and clever manipulation of “culture war” issues.

I had occasion to think about this the other day when I was rereading part of Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism. She referred to how the unclassed, atomized masses of post-WWI Europe, especially in Germany and other places wracked by hyperinflation, insurrection,  and other economic and social upheaval, developed a strangely selfless way of looking at day-to-day life (“selfless” in the sense of not looking to their socioeconomic interests), while at the same time they became keenly interested in ideology, conspiracy theories, culture war issues, etc., as a kind of mass political escapism, and that this helped prepare the ground for the rise of totalitarianism.

We’re still very early in the world-historical crisis. To paraphrase Churchill, we’re still in the “beginning of the beginning”. But I wonder if people, especially in America where class consciousness has always been artificially repressed, and rational self-interest may therefore be an atrophied faculty (and not only among the poor), are already beginning to check out on “reality” (i.e. give up on really trying to roll up their sleeves and tackle a problem) and fly off into escapes.

Eight years of George Bush is difficult to explain otherwise. And that Obama can clearly signal that he intends to largely continue with the Bush agenda, and not immediately bring down mass protest (where are all the people who supposedly wanted “change”?), is also difficult to explain otherwise.