Volatility

May 8, 2017

You Can’t Get There With Existing Electoralism

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People who say they want radical change are complaining about the French election. But why would you expect any such change via electoralism? Electoralism is an entrenched institution and establishment religion which inherently encourages a conservative mindset and attracts conservative people.
 
(Here I’m using the word “conservative” not to denote a particular political ideology, but rather the overall mindset which is timid, fears change, and above all doesn’t want to rock the boat. Of course today’s liberals and “progressives” are by definition conservative in this way, as well as sharing the same ideology and policy array as the nominal conservatives. And the actions of self-described “leftists” and “radicals” proves that most of them as well are such conservatives.)
 
This is part of why superficial alternatives such as Melenchon or Corbyn or Sanders have the system stacked against them. There’s a mismatch between the self-claimed will to disruption and the inherent conservatism of today’s electoralism as such. It’s why such alleged alternatives are likely to be frauds, as Sanders telegraphed from day one of his campaign with his unconditional pledge to support Clinton and to work to deliver his supporters to her. And it’s why even where the alternative wins an election, such as Syriza in Greece, they turn out to be a combination of con artist and coward: They can “come to power” in the first place only through such a compromised and compromising process, and almost no one has the single mind, the will, and the guts to use a compromised tool to get part of the way toward where they need to go and then discard it as soon as they reach that intermediate goal.
 
As always, we see again that it’s impossible to build a truly revolutionary political party other than by growing it from the soil of an ongoing, coherent, active cultural and spiritual movement.
 
This is why there will never be an authentic candidate of change arising from the existing system. I’ve always said this, for both “left” and “right” alternatives, and I remain perfect in my record of predictions.
 
 
 
 
 

May 6, 2017

There Was Never a Housing Bubble, and Beware the Fake News of Those Who Say There Was

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1. “In the 17 years I’ve spent covering Silicon Valley, I’ve never seen anything shake the place like his victory. In the span of a few months, the Valley has been transformed from a politically disengaged company town into a center of anti-Trump resistance and fear.”
 
They can’t really fear Trump, a regular status quo neoliberal politician continuous with the Clinton-Bush-Obama lineage, this way. There’s no objective correlative, as a literary critic would say. Made-up fears like this are always a proxy for something else.
 
What does Silicon Valley fear, and why is Facebook’s proximate response to pay lip service to the old corporate media establishment? On the surface it sounds like agoraphobia. As the authority of the conventional mainstream media collapses, the techno-totalitarians may be feeling some fear over the prospect of really leaving the old establishment behind and having to take the lead in their own right. Where it comes to political Leadership, the technocratic instinct is to hide behind a conventional political and media facade. That’s part of why neoliberalism has been their preferred organizational and propaganda model.
 
 
2.

During the U.S. election, propagandists — some working for money, others for potentially state-sponsored lulz — used the service to turn fake stories into viral sensations, like the one about Pope Francis’ endorsing Trump (he hadn’t). And fake news was only part of a larger conundrum. With its huge reach, Facebook has begun to act as the great disseminator of the larger cloud of misinformation and half-truths swirling about the rest of media. It sucks up lies from cable news and Twitter, then precisely targets each lie to the partisan bubble most receptive to it.

After studying how people shared 1.25 million stories during the campaign, a team of researchers at M.I.T. and Harvard implicated Facebook and Twitter in the larger failure of media in 2016. The researchers found that social media created a right-wing echo chamber: a “media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyperpartisan perspective to the world.” The findings partially echoed a long-held worry about social news: that people would use sites like Facebook to cocoon themselves into self-reinforcing bubbles of confirmatory ideas, to the detriment of civility and a shared factual basis from which to make collective, democratic decisions.

 
In other words, Facebook and social media are a more potent version of what the corporate media does. Crack to the NYT’s cocaine. Social media mostly transmits the same hyperpartisan perspective as the US government, the NYT, CNN: Pro-capitalist ideology, pro-corporate ideology, mainstreamed Randroid “wealth creator” ideology, Hobbesian lies about human nature and Malthusian lies about food and natural resources, the ideology that the problems of society and the environment are technical engineering problems rather than cultural and spiritual crises, and most of all the fundamentalist religion of civilization based on high-maintenance technology and extreme energy consumption.
 
But the conventional corporate media believes it was already performing its Goebbels Ministry role adequately, and its fear is that because Facebook and social media are so potent, they may give new and opposing ideas a way to wedge into the public consciousness. The mass hysteria among status quo cultists over “fake news” really means that the mainstream media’s fake news flock fears competition, in exactly the same way a big mainstream church will disparage a newer or more obscure, at any rate smaller, religion as a “cult”.
 
Therefore the Leaders among mainstream corporate media are attempting to impose their gatekeeper role upon Facebook, and according to Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony Facebook wants to become part of a propaganda continuity with the NYT model rather than any kind of break with it.
 
 
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Scholars and critics have been warning of the solipsistic irresistibility of algorithmic news at least since 2001, when the constitutional-law professor Cass R. Sunstein warned, in his book “Republic.com,” of the urgent risks posed to democracy “by any situation in which thousands or perhaps millions or even tens of millions of people are mainly listening to louder echoes of their own voices.”

 
I’m sure Sunstein makes a point of reading the latest criticism of capitalism each day in order to ensure that his position remains correct.
 
But the rest of those in the media who propagated their consensus that there was no housing bubble and that housing prices literally would rise forever are now arguing among themselves about what constitutes “fake news”. These same commentators said Wall Street had to be bailed out, and today say there’s no stock bubble and no fracking bubble and that there never really was a housing bubble. In 1929 they all said there was no stock bubble. They all say climate change can be solved by emitting more greenhouse gases and destroying more carbon sinks. They say all currently deployed industrial poisons are safe for people and the environment. They say that the US government’s military presence in the Middle East is a normative law of nature and that Arab and Muslim resistance to this presence has some arcane, perverse basis. They say that the hundreds of times the US has interfered in foreign elections and overthrown elected governments is all normative and above discussion, while the thinnest rumor about Russia influencing a US election is a world-historical crime. They all said Iraq had WMDs and therefore had to be invaded. They still call the general US war around the world a “war on terror” and advertise this as necessary and indeed as a permanent law of nature. Most of them agree there is no US empire, and they all agree this empire is self-evidently good and at any rate a law of nature. They say globalization works for humanity and at any rate is a law of nature. They all agree that health care should be controlled by the profit motive and they all deny that the rest of the industrialized world does things differently and better. They all continue to insist with the strongest emphasis that young people should go into debt to get higher education and they continue to promise good, secure jobs to those who go into debt to obtain these degrees. They all deny that these are all political choices, they say that all these things are laws of nature, and most of all that there is no alternative to any of them.
 
There’s just a small sampling of Truth according to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Snopes, just to name some of the leading establishment media outlets who comment about Facebook and the news in this NYT piece. They call all this “good information”. Bad information is anything which questions or contradicts this corporate and militarist party line.
 
Therefore, much of this is the mainstream media’s angst over its imploding authority and its looking for racketeering-style ways to get it back. Here we have the sclerotic Mafia trying to intimidate the rising Colombian and Russian gangsters into some sort of deal.
 
 
4. And Zuckerberg says he agrees, in a new “manifesto”:
 

[Facebook’s] next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community – for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for the inclusion of all….

There are questions about whether we can make a global community that works for everyone…Giving everyone a voice has historically been a very positive force for public discourse because it increases the diversity of ideas shared. But the past year has also shown it may fragment our shared sense of reality.

 
This is nothing more or less than the standard authoritarian Volksgemeinschaft boilerplate which goes back thousands of years. Feel free to read it as par for the mainstream course and/or as portending incipient fascism. Either is correct. It all means reinforcing the corporate mainstream monoculture and suppressing diversity, alternatives, dissent.
 
The piece goes on to describe Facebook’s commitment to “news literacy” according to the corporate party line and Zuckerberg’s avowal that “a common understanding needs to exist.” To paraphrase Chicago’s mayor Chuck Daley, what Zuckerberg really means is that a common misunderstanding needs to exist. That’s the business of the mainstream media, including social media like Facebook.
 
 
5. All this is in the service of the same status quo insanity and evil.
 

“We’re getting to a point where the biggest opportunities I think in the world … problems like preventing pandemics from spreading or ending terrorism, all these things, they require a level of coordination and connection that I don’t think can only be solved by the current systems that we have,” Zuckerberg told me. What’s needed, he argues, is some global superstructure to advance humanity.

 
All this, it generally goes without saying in the mainstream media, must be done under corporate control and toward corporate profit goals, from which every other good allegedly will trickle down.
 
In truth, trickle-down, together with the infinity of fossil fuels and the infinite capacity of the environment to assimilate our assaults upon it, comprise the three core lies of modern civilization. Modern media is dedicated to propagating these three lies and suppressing all news of the reality which contradicts them.
 
 
More importantly, everyone knows that systemic risk is maximized by such “global coordination and connection”, and that the inevitable conclusion of globalized corporate civilization is general famine and chaos as industrial agriculture, and everything else which is 100% dependent upon finite fossil fuels, enters its predestined collapse. We also know that neither regional ecosystems nor the global ecology shall stably sustain much more of the destruction this mode of civilization inflicts upon them as its systematic policy. We know that the inevitable kinesis of all this destructive potential shall return the chaos and destruction a hundred-fold upon the head of the civilization which launched the campaign of waste and destruction.
 
There’s no doubt about the deliberate character of the campaign of destruction or the fact that waste and destruction as such are the intentional goals. For we also know that the only way to lower risks and vulnerability and to preserve stability is to decentralize power and control, build resiliency, build redundancy, build diversity, all in harmony with the natural decentralization, resiliency, redundancy, and diversity of ecology and evolution.
 
Thus Zuckerberg regurgitates the foundation lie of the extreme destruction model of “civilization”.
 
 
The NYT concludes with an approving nod: “This is not an especially controversial idea; Zuckerberg is arguing for a kind of digital-era version of the global institution-building that the Western world engaged in after World War II.”
 
All we need to change there to make it true is: What the Western world engaged in as its continuation of World War II.
 
And this globalization war has worked so well for humanity, as the “news” of the likes of the New York Times repeats every single day.
 
 
As for abolitionists and any other kind of true dissident, anyone who cares about the future of humanity and the Earth and hears the mission call to propagate the necessary ideas, we see how Big Propaganda, old and new, is trying to come together to suppress us. Part of our mission is to see to it that we exploit every tool social media affords us and seize every opportunity it opens up, but without being co-opted by it or succumbing to the many pathologies inherent to it.
 
We must do this in a disciplined, coordinated, cumulative, relentless way, according to a coherent strategic and tactical doctrine and always keeping the clear concrete abolition goal directly before our eyes.
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary ideas.
 
 
 

April 21, 2017

Corporate Scientists “Mostly Say, Hooray for Our Side”

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It’s a space-age church, all right.

 
 
Yet another gang of corporate conformists will be out shrieking about nothing, this time holding a so-called “March for Science”. Their premise is that this administration is “anti-science” in a way previous administrations* were not.
 
This of course is a lie. There is perfect consensus among the US political class and both divisions of the Corporate One-Party that science is supposed to serve corporate imperatives. There is no significant dissent from this dogma within the system. Therefore according to the measure of the Popperian scientific method, all US political and economic institutions are anti-science. But more accurately, today’s Kuhnian “normal science” is the corporate science paradigm, which can be summed up as, “Science is whatever the corporate marketing department says it is, nothing more and nothing less.” As always, the only difference among the pro-corporate factions is cosmetic: Trump’s “science” has some superficial differences in tone from Obama’s “science”, no significant differences. The main cosmetic difference is in their respective modes of climate denial. Trump is reviving old-style de jure denial which had fallen into relative disuse, while Obama represented the full development of the de facto denialism of crying crocodile tears but insisting that nothing has to change. While liberals, leftists, and mainstream environmental groups shrilly invoke the specter of climate change, by their actions, from their continued personal jet-setting to their fraudulent corporate-aggrandizing policy prescriptions, they prove every day that they don’t really believe there’s a climate crisis. At any rate it’s a proven fact that they don’t want to do anything about it.
 
The climate crisis is very real, but those among the system political class who claim to believe in it and care about it are liars and con artists. Indeed, this mass political abdication and embrace of such cynicism is part of the political and cultural manifestation of the greater crisis, of which physical climate chaos (a deliberate corporate campaign), is itself a part.
 
Meanwhile from Obama to Trump there’s not even a cosmetic change in the “science” propaganda and deployment of agricultural poisons. How could there be: Where it comes to poisonism the Obama administration was the most aggressively anti-science, pro-corporate administration yet.
 
We see that the March for Science is a typically stupid misdirection ploy. As with every other version of this lie, the goal is to keep the people imprisoned with the chains of the corporate system’s ideas and the limits of its “politics”. In particular, the lie’s two main parts are:
 
1. Never question the overall status quo, which is permanent and never will change or can be changed.
 
2. Refer all questions to the conflict of Republican vs. Democrat, which encompasses all conflict.
 
These are both extremely stupid lies designed to keep the people stupid and comatose. But in reality the status quo is impossible and will collapse of its own physical limitations and self-destruction. And in reality there’s no difference between Republican and Democrat and they do not conflict in any significant way. On the contrary, as I said above they have perfect consensus: On corporate rule, and on the fundamentalist religion of the goodness and permanency of the extreme energy consumption model of civilization.
 
Where it comes to this latter faith, they are true believers. And when they preach their Republican/Democrat lie they are preaching to fellow believers among the people, who are the real constituency for this propaganda. They’re also trying to smother in the cradle any nascent awakening to the truth.
 
All system propaganda institutions, from political parties to regulatory agencies to NGOs to academia and the media to the scientific establishment, are working on this same role of reinforcing cult faith in extreme energy consumption and suppressing any new idea. The March for Science is the latest such gambit of the corporate science establishment.
 
 
Meanwhile why doesn’t someone organize a march to liberate science from corporate control? For starters, only about two people would show up. (Indeed, even the critics of corporate control of science are still system grinders who prefer to party with the cool kids.)
 
 
*If you’re wondering whether our political science class thought George Bush was anti-science, I refer you to their valedictorian and head cheerleader Neil DeGrasse Tyson:
 

Q: President George W. Bush named you to a pair of aerospace commissions, but how do you feel about Bush’s relationship with science?

A: People can say and think what they want, but what matters is whether or not it becomes policy or legislation, and I don’t remember any legislation that restricted science. In fact, the budget for the National Science Foundation went up. What matters is money in Congress. What does Congress do? Allocate money. That’s really what they do. So the science budget of the country went up during the Bush administration, and the budget for NASA went up 3 percent—and it had actually dropped 25 percent in real spending dollars under the eight years of President Clinton. I don’t care what you say or think. I care about legislation, and policy.

Also, he appointed me! There may have been some science that he hadn’t learned yet or didn’t know fully, but he’s not creating legislation based on it. Speeches are politics, so you can’t fault a politician for saying something political.

 
So Bush was OK. I also appreciate Tyson’s refreshing honesty in openly acknowledging that he and other scientists are for sale and will espouse whatever “science” they’re paid to espouse, especially if presidents also heap honors upon them. And that the March for Science is nothing but speeches and politics, about nothing but speeches and politics and money. Yes, all this is what Popper was talking about.
 
 
Help propagate the necessary ideas.
 
 
 
 

March 18, 2017

The Vote Was Unanimous for Trump

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The status quo is impossible.
 
1. Fossil fuels are finite, and this one-off ahistorical extreme level of energy consumption is now reaching its end, never to be repeated. Humanity soon shall resume historical levels of energy consumption. Therefore the extremely expensive, luxurious, high-maintenance civilization dependent upon this extreme energy consumption will collapse. In particular, industrial agriculture will collapse, thereby dooming to famine any civilization which has not transformed to agroecology.
 
2. Ecosystems at every scale are at their breaking point. Climate change, poisonism, and the general destruction of biodiversity are reaching their kinetic climaxes for civilization. This fragile hothouse flower shall not withstand general ecosystem collapse. Again, the most directly catastrophic effect will be the collapse of industrial agriculture, dependent upon the environment as it remains in spite of all its attempts to lift itself outside of the Earth.
 
3. The corporate technocracy system is committed to totalitarian tyranny. Even if capitalist civilization were physically possible to sustain, the people are being liquidated politically, economically, and eventually physically. We see the global campaign to drive all people legally and physically off the land. This portends their literal disappearance from the planet. This campaign has been most aggressive across the global South but increasingly is liquidating the Western middle class as well. Their liquidation may be more gradual so far (but it’s accelerating), but their final destination is the same as that of the South’s people of the land: Famine and pandemics amid the shantytowns.
 
Therefore the rational, sane course of action is to commit to building movements toward the necessary new cultural, agronomic, socioeconomic, and political forms. The rational, sane course is to build Food Sovereignty and agroecology.
 
Conversely, any mode of action or support for the status quo is irrational and insane. Any such action or support, however superficially “moderate”, implicitly seeks the most extreme insanity since in its death throes the corporate system will resort to literally any measure it can, no matter how extreme in its violence, to maintain its power and existence. Prior to these death throes the system’s attempts to prop itself up will manifest in ever greater political and economic volatility, which comprise a direct cultural mirror of the ever greater physical volatility generated by climate chaos and poisonism.
 
 
In all these ways the masses feel the ground shake beneath their feet.
 
And they feel how the corporate system is destroying their economic existence.
 
And they sense how the system itself is tottering.
 
All this musters tremendous free-floating fear. Left to itself this fear-itself makes most people inherently timid, conservative, desperate to believe in the very status quo which afflicts them. Most are desperate to believe the very thing which is most insane and self-destructive for them to believe, that they don’t feel the ground shake beneath their feet. This desperate will to self-delusion drives the masses to their own volatility and implicit extremism corresponding with that of the elites and the physical environment.
 
This was the situation for the 2016 US plebiscite on the corporate globalization system. One’s choices were to vote Yes to the status quo in all its chaotic extremism, or No.
 
 
Let’s look at the major subdivisions among the Yes vote.
 
*The Clinton vote was the most conservative vote. Superficially this was the most acquiescent status quo Yes vote. This was the most obvious way to say “I like the status quo and want nothing to change.” This most pure status quo vote seemed the safest, most conservative way to vote Yes and refuse to acknowledge the ground shaking. Thus the voters refuse to face reality, they flee into fantasy, and they vote for the system’s volatility, which led to Trump.
 
*Most absurd were the Sanders and Stein fantasies. Ironically this mode of voting Yes indicates the most active, conscious affirmation of the status quo, since it takes the form of constructive criticism. One votes this way to say, “I like the status quo but have thought about it and want some changes.” These voters are more likely to pay lip service to reality, but are still unwilling or unable truly to face reality, reject the status quo, and commit to what’s necessary. Thus they too ultimately refuse to confront the crises, they flee to fantasy, and they vote for the status quo volatility which created Trump.
 
*Then we have the de jure Trump vote. Some of the wealthy and some die-hard cultists may fail to feel the ground shake and voted only for a change of parties. Some feel the ground shake and may vaguely want some kind of change but are uncommitted enough that the corporate system still could manipulate them into voting Yes to it. Most are like the others and refuse to face reality, and these voted most directly for the most volatile manifestation of the system-driven chaos. Regardless, the de jure Trump vote was the same vote as the others, the refusal to deal with reality and the will to prop up the fantasy, and the binge, to the bitter end.
 
All three of these Yes modes are modes of the refusal to liberate oneself, refusal to acknowledge and confront reality, refusal to commit to the necessary ideas and actions, and the desperate clinging to the electoral religious fantasy. Thus they all voted for whatever result the plebiscite coughed up. They voted unanimously for it.
 
It wasn’t inevitable that the wheel would land on Trump and not Clinton. The vote was close enough, a few breaks this way or that and it could’ve landed on her. But all the voters voted Yes. This was the only vote possible.
 
 
And then there’s the No vote. There may be some non-voters who are so vegetative that they don’t feel the ground shake and don’t care. Most of the No voters recognize that there’s no point to the rituals of the system and have given up on these. But they haven’t committed to the necessary movement action.
 
Then there’s the small group of affirmatively conscious anti-voters like myself. Most of these also haven’t committed.
 
Objectively the people are aware that it all matters, it all counts, abstention is not an option. The Yes voters are those who react by doubling down, digging the hole faster, “committing” by denying reality. The No voters are those who have stopped digging, even if most don’t yet exert themselves to climb out of the pit. But in principle it’s they who may be able to climb, whereas those who can only look downward and dig faster are unable even to think of climbing.
 
They’re the ones who dug up Trump. All of them. And what will they dig up next, if we don’t climb up out of the pit and fill it in behind us?
 
 
 
 
 

February 12, 2017

Ambivalence

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We see how Trump has made hay out of xenophobia. His appeal is only a more overt form of the standard bipartisan xenophobia. Obama/Clinton and the Democrats similarly comprise a xenophobic party. Trump has done nothing and proposes nothing qualitatively different from the status quo embraced by the Democrat Party and its voters.
 
Mass migration, of course, is driven by the corporate globalization forced upon the world by the US government. No other power would have been strong enough to force the World Bank, IMF, WTO upon the world. No other power could have forced NAFTA upon itself and its continent, none could have forced CAFTA upon its hemisphere, none could force the same pattern across both oceans in the form of the TPP and TTIP. Again, this is the policy of what’s objectively a one-party system, the Corporate One-Party. “Republicans” and “Democrats” are nothing but two identical gangs within this monolithic system, and they share consensus on always escalating corporate and technocratic domination, always destroying all they can of humanity and the Earth.
 
Forcing people off their lands, out of their home economies, rendering them homeless and stateless, forcing them into regional and global mass migrations, has always been a primary intent and goal of globalization. The corporations force this migration to drive down wages in some places and to clear others completely of human beings. This was a core purpose of NAFTA, to drive Mexican farmers off their land to clear it for industrial plantations, and to drive them into the US to drive down wages there.
 
The xenophobia of US conservatives and liberals reflects their ambivalence toward globalization and corporate rule. They want to believe the corporate system will continue to maintain them as a parasite class and for this reason they support the crimes of globalization. But at the same time they sense how they too are being liquidated, how the same bell tolls for them. If more gradually, nevertheless just as surely the shantytown and hunger are their ultimate destination as well. They struggle to relieve these fears through such expedients as xenophobia.
 
Similarly, they believe “Islamists” are aliens who are obstructing the full boons of globalization. The Middle East is the geopolitical center of global war, so Islamophobia and “war on terror” fantasies become proxies of ambivalence. The US middle class wants to continue to enjoy the parasitism afforded them by cheap oil, but they sense the fact that the cheap oil is just about spent, only the far more expensive (in every way) remains, the massive subsidies aren’t sustainable, and most fearful of all, the hype touting substitutes for cheap fossil fuels is nothing but a mirage, nothing but a scam.
 
This in turn is an example of the broadest ambivalence, the fantasies of technophilia and scientism bound up with the rising subconscious realism of skepticism about all this. The political parallel is the fantasy of total control over people and earth through technocracy, vs. the sure knowledge that this system is trying to destroy humanity and the earth once and for all.
 
We come full circle. The “civilized” hate the earth, hate the human body, hate that we’re physically forced to eat food which comes from the soil, hate every part of physical reality. The most perfect, most distilled example of this is the American combination of promiscuity and puritanism about sex. This extreme ambivalence is the perfect symbol of Americanism, and of the civilized mindset as such.
 
So it goes for all of reality. That’s the psychological basis of the scientism religion, the technocracy cult. They worship the idea of what they call “high-tech”. They worship only this idea, no matter how much high-tech really means nothing but high-maintenance, no matter how shoddy, inefficient, malfunctioning, wasteful, and destructive this technology really is in practice.
 
This religious ambivalence is how corporations have gained so much power. On a subconscious level the civilized literally worship this corporate person they created, as a kind of demon-worship. This is the objective character of the actions of the Western masses. (In the mass media this corporate worship often becomes nearly overt and self-aware.)
 
But at the same time they hate these fantasies. They know it’s all impossible, they know it’s all lies. They know there’s no way out – the Earth’s patience is at an end. They know the corporations mean to crush them once and for all. They know the STEM establishment is a collective Mengele viewing them literally as a mass of captive test subjects to be manipulated, tormented, controlled, and killed. They know technocracy exalts nothing but the most extreme anti-human, anti-ecological evil.
 
But like the monkey who stuck his arm into the jar to try to pull out the banana, they can’t bring themselves to let go, even though the ground around them is covered with fruit for the taking. That’s how deep the indoctrinated horror of physical life has gone. Today’s “civilized” Babylonian captives would rather starve to death than pack up and return to their Jerusalem, return to the Earth.
 
 
 
 

November 13, 2016

Whose Pipeline

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Letter to all the people exercised about the Dakota Access Pipeline and cheering on the fighters, but who also support the Democrat Party and are even asking questions like, “Where is Obama on this?” (And of course those who voted for Clinton.*) :
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Those are Obama’s cops, in case you were too clueless to notice.
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Of course energy projects of this scale require all kinds of federal regulatory approval. And it is, of course, impossible for a significant energy project to exist without massive federal subsidies. So in both ways, it’s impossible for such a project to exist against the will of the president. On the contrary, it requires lots of action from the executive branch to make anything happen at all. All that corporate welfare doesn’t hand itself out, and all those federal thugs and federally subsidized and equipped thugs don’t outfit and deploy themselves. You do know, right, that there’s barely a cop in America who isn’t dependent upon the federal gravy train. Certainly not the kind of cop the corporations deploy against the faithfully active people at a place like this.
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But then, we know that almost everyone engaged in social media meta-“activism” on the occasion of the pipeline fight, which basically means circulating memes and clicking on the “Angry” button, really supports Big Oil and voted for it this last circus as they’ve voted for it every previous circus. After all, progressive opinions are fine to have, but those personal cars won’t fuel themselves.
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Of course I’m not talking about those who understand and fight on the basis that the fossil fuel system is unsustainable, destructive, and evil, and are struggling to bring to light the need to break free of it while we can. But I imagine they’re not doing much better than I am with poison-based agriculture, including having to face the impenetrable bubble of idiocy within which the president idolators vegetate. In the case of pesticides it’s the FDA-worshippers who comprise the plague, with fossil fuel extraction they fetishize the Department of Energy.
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(For those who care about “property rights”, the entire project is also a perfect example of how there’s no such thing as property rights in America, but only the right of the stronger as this private corporate project had its physical way cleared through eminent domain. Governments of course provided administration and thug services.)
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I wrote this post, like some other recent ones, thinking about the fact that a president has almost unlimited latitude to do whatever it wants. I want to drive off the earth with a whip any of the liars who claim the president doesn’t have complete control of the executive branch (which includes every kind of triage where it comes to enforcing/respecting laws and court decisions) where it comes to anything the president really cares about. Just one of the many reasons I have infinite loathing for corporate liberals, that they base their existence on this lie.
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*Bernie Sanders also supports the pipeline. I just went to his website to see if he’d changed his position at all, and found that although “the revolution continues” and will accept money, the site no longer has any content. Kind of self-contradictory, wouldn’t you say? Of course anyone who knows the slightest bit about politics could peg Sanders as a fraud from day one, precisely because he wasn’t building any kind of outside-the-system movement. If I was wrong about that, wouldn’t today be the day for Bernie to be proving me wrong? Wouldn’t the aftermath of this election be the time for a true movement to go into hyperdrive, capitalizing on the evident failure of status quo liberalism? Any Bernistas out there who can explain?
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And forget the Green Party. Their vapid “issues” page gives zero details on what it means for Jill Stein to “Oppose” something, obviously by design. Would she halt all illegal pipelines and cease all the necessary subsidies for “legal” ones? (And for that matter halt the “legal” ones too?) Or to put that in a more vague, politician-friendly way, does she at least promise that one way or another these projects will cease to exist? Obviously not.
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Nor do I see any movement call there.
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The fact is that my despised and rejected blog, with almost no hits and zero commenters, nevertheless represents more of a movement and revolution than all these frauds put together.
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November 9, 2016

Kangaroos

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As always, I voted No in yesterday’s plebiscite, as I vote against corporate rule every day of my life. That’s part of my whole way of life, my life of faith-in-action.
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But, if I’d been forced at gunpoint to vote Yes in the plebiscite, this is the outcome I would’ve picked. It’s the “lesser evil”, to use the favored formula of the wingnuts.
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Here’s the speculative reasons why the idiot Trump is a better outcome than the idiot Clinton:
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1. With any luck we’ll get the most extreme strife and mutual reviling among the Clinton wingnuts, the Sanders wingnuts, and the Stein wingnuts that at least some of them will wake up to the fact that the entire electoral concept is rotten to the core and that the whole thing needs to be blown up completely.
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I stress, maybe some of them will wake up, though I have very low expectations of any of those three sects.
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2. If the previous pattern holds, a Republican administration will bring out more active resistance and protest against the imperial war and other corporate aggressions. As we saw during the Bush years, there were many who opposed the war and corporate assaults on the environment, not because they really oppose those as such – when it became Obama’s war and Obama’s assaults, these persons then supported those crimes – but because they oppose them when it’s Republicans doing them.
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So now that it’ll be Trump’s war, Trump’s pipeline, Trump’s Monsanto rather than Obama/Clinton’s war, Obama/Clinton’s pipeline, Obama/Clinton’s Monsanto, maybe more bodies will get out there to oppose in some way.
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I say this not because I think it’ll directly have a great effect to get such an influx of such worthless hypocrites, but because just the fact of there being far more people out there doing something, with greater volume than before, may help encourage more conversions to the real anti-corporate philosophy and action.
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But as I said, this is speculative, and any such action dividend will depend on the ability of real abolitionists, real revolutionaries, real prophets, to force the true word home among this resistance.
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Of course the corporate media and the Clinton wingnuts will do all they can to propagate the exact opposite of this, that the reason Clinton lost is that she wasn’t right wing enough. I don’t see how it’s possible to be further to the right than Clinton – the only difference between her and Trump is communication style, not ideology or policy – but that’s what Democrat establishment criminals and cultists always do.
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Most of all, the absolutely necessary prerequisite for anything to change in this world, is that the Democrat Party, the single most malign and vile obstacle to change, must be completely blown up and destroyed. So anything which escalates and intensifies the hostility and conflict among those who support the Party, especially those who fantasize moronically about “redeeming” it in some way, is a pure good. That’s why if I had to choose an outcome, this is the one I would have chosen.
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July 14, 2016

On Bastille Day: The Idea Vs. “The Leader”

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The core problem of our politics today is the chasm between those for whom an idea and goal are primary vs. those who, above all else, seek a Leader.
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Although the German term Fuhrer, literally “Leader”, has long had a more narrow association for most people, the term generically means any leader in whose leadership one invests a mystical significance prior to any substantive content which could be found in the actions of this Leader. Fuhrerprinzip, “Leadership Principle”, means that the most important thing is to find such a Leader. This is primary over ideas, values, principles, goals. All these, however loudly advocated by the Leader-seeker, are really secondary to simply finding a Leader who provides a simulation of cherishing these ideas and seeking these goals. Actual belief and actual fighting are secondary at best, and never necessary.
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When people who do hold ideas and fight for goals misunderstand this, we make an error. To give a typical example from today’s headlines, when someone who truly wants to abolish corporate globalization and austerity points out to a Bernie Sanders supporter that Sanders is a fraud and has always been, this is usually irrelevant since the average “Feel the Bern” type doesn’t really care about these ideas or goals but only wants to exalt the Leader who mystically embodies the simulation of these.
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This explains what one finds when one goes to the official Sanders campaign website, as I did a few months ago, to find out exactly what he was promising to do if he became president as far as nullifying the TPP. I wasn’t surprised to find that he was promising nothing whatsoever, but instead was expressing only what amounted to a personal opinion that he didn’t like such globalization pacts. This is inexplicable if we were theorizing that Sanders and his supporters were real anti-globalizers, but easily explained if we go with the theory that Sanders was never any such thing but only a Leader-figure embodying a vague anti-TPP notion, and his followers only Leader-seekers whose secondary ideas included such vague notions. Otherwise why wouldn’t his supporters have demanded a clear commitment to action? But in fact 99% of Sanders supporters neither know nor care exactly what he was promising about this or anything else. This is typical of Leader-seekers in general – they’re usually amazingly ignorant of what their Leader has actually done or promises to do. The 2008 Obama cultists provided perhaps the ultimate example of the syndrome. This is proof that any action is of minimal importance to Leader-seekers, compared to a foggy but strongly felt emotional bond with the Leader.
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Then we may be confused when we see how Sanders followers always seemed oblivious to the fact that right from the start Sanders gave an unconditional pledge of loyalty to support the standard right-wing, pro-corporate, war-mongering, police statist Democrat Party program. Of course this was always objectively obvious since Sanders said so and since that’s what the Democrat Party indelibly is. It seems bizarre that many of them now act as if Sanders’s warm, unconditional embrace of Hillary Clinton is some kind of betrayal, when he always promised to do exactly that. Most bizarre of all, some of them still act as if they haven’t heard any of this, and still insist on seeing him as some kind of constructive figure.
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All this is confusing if we make the mistake of thinking these people really care about the ideas and goals Sanders claimed to care about. But it all becomes clear when we understand that they never really cared about those things, but cared only about finding a Leader to take them through at least part of the presidential campaign and give them the mystical feeling that something good was happening, regardless of the reality. That’s the Leader’s job.
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(Meanwhile a different group of Leader-seekers is doing the exact same thing with Donald Trump, and a significant portion of Clinton’s support also comes from such seekers, no doubt soon to be joined by most of the former Sanders seekers. But Clinton is also supported by the liberals who consciously embrace the status quo, while Sanders could not have had any such supporters. The Green Party may have some supporters who truly embrace reform goals and would fight for these, although the desire of at least some among the Greens to make Sanders their candidate indicates that Leader-seeking is rampant among them as well. Of course all Leader-seekers of any stripe implicitly ratify the status quo.)
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This also explains the common pathology of people’s inability to break free of the instant-gratification mode. To embrace a new idea and make it real requires long, hard work. But seeking a Leader can and does give instant gratification as soon as the seeker achieves this cathexis. In this case there’s no point criticizing the desire for instant gratification since, while such a desire is toxic for movement-building, it fits perfectly well with Leader-seeking. Whichever comes first, the infantile impatience or the Leader-need, the two reinforce one another.
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It also explains the persistence of the religious cult of electoralism and voting. Again, while the cult of voting (as opposed to viewing elections in a purely tactical way) is toxic for any new idea, it fits Leader-seeking like a glove since the potential for finding new Leaders to vote for is infinite. As long as votism gratifies you, even if followed each time by disillusionment, you’ll always be able to get high again. (“Feel the Bern” does indeed sound like drug lingo.)
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Leader-seeking props up superficial belief in everything from the Democrat Party to electoralism and capitalism as such, since ideas involving these will always be secondary to exalting the Leader of the Month upon whom the Leader-seekers can project such ideas. The likes of Obama, Clinton, Warren, Sanders don’t really deceive anyone, indeed they deliver fully, at least for a time, exactly what the seekers crave. Paradoxically, as long as the Leader can deliver the instant gratification of Leadership as such, the seekers will have literally infinite patience as far as waiting for the reforms and revolutions allegedly promised by these Leaders and the parties they represent.
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It’s true that for some of the Leader-seekers the secondary ideas and goals are important enough that the Leader figure eventually disappoints them to the point that they renounce him. But they seldom generalize from this disillusionment to a rejection of the Leadership Principle as such. Instead they drop the particular disappointing Leader and seek a new one.
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All this is why it’s fruitless to make the call to build a movement based on a new idea and goal, if the audience is an atomized collection of Leader-seekers. Probably the easiest litmus test for distinguishing an establishment-figure Leader who has grouped a Leader-seeking rabble under him, as opposed to what could be the rudiment of an anti-system movement, is whether the people involved are building an extralegal organization completely outside any existing institution, or whether their “campaign” is completely ensconced within existing establishment channels such as the Democrat or Republican Party. Applying that test from day one, I could always easily peg Sanders and Trump as frauds, and their respective followings as superficial Leader-seekers.
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What follows from this.
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1. Our ability to build a movement based on a new idea and necessary goals is a function of how many people are ardent to work and fight based on the primacy of the idea without reference to our immediate ability to incarnate these in the form of a Leader figure, let alone one who’s running for president.
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Those who superficially share some ideas and goals but who really seek a Leader simulating these comprise a different group, and it’s a deadly error to confound the two based on such superficial similarities. The true fighters for the idea first must clearly identify one another and begin by organizing themselves on that basis.
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2. Then, the core movement will be in a position to make the appropriate strategic/proselytizing appeals to the broader mass of sympathizers, including the Leader-seekers, and to form any appropriate tactical alliances.
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But the current preliminary confusion between these two radically different commitments, one to an idea and the other to Leaders who fraudulently simulate such ideas, has to end.
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Of course, a truly organic movement based on a new idea will give rise to its own indigenous leadership. But these will be a very different kind of leader supported by a different kind of constituency. They will be appendages of the true idea, the idea’s servants, rather than con artists fraudulently simulating a pseudo-idea. They will append from the organic body of the movement constituency rather than artificially collect under them and cheaply be exalted by a mass of Leader-seeking atoms.
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I write this out of the conviction that existing institutions and ideology are irredeemably rotten, evil, and unworkable. We’re far beyond the point where reform was possible, and long into the time where the desire for reform is nothing but procrastination at best, in a time where we no longer have time to waste. Leader-seeking in any form, but most of all in its “progressive” form, is therefore reactionary in the most profoundly practical sense. In order for the necessary new ideas and goals, affirmative and negative, to have any chance to start building and tearing down in time before much vaster historical forces, the forces of global economic and environmental collapse and the total global wars which a thrashing, dying corporate system will force upon humanity, take complete control of events, we who assert the primacy of these ideas must separate from those who only pay lip service even as they serially latch onto scammers from the system. We must clearly identify, separate, and organize on this completely new basis while letting the dead bury the dead.
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