Volatility

March 4, 2020

Super-Elections

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Your electric cars will fare no better in the desert they help bring

 
 
I no longer think there will be alternatives within the system. In principle it remains true that the people could change their consciousness and rise up with a great movement against the commerce-based society, not to “repair” it or save it from itself but for the sake of a truly human vision and value system, as well as for the sake of saving themselves in the most biological sense since this system promises nothing to human beings but mass death.
 
In principle that remains true, but in practice there’s zero evidence it will happen, or that such a movement visibly ever will exist at all. For example most Americans, as proven by their vote and other actions, are hostile toward Medicare for All, something which can be enacted within this system at will, which faces zero physical or economic obstacles but exclusively political and psychological ones, which would significantly improve the lives of almost all Americans, and which is an absolute necessity if the coming big pandemics are to have their impact blunted at all.
 
(Such things are meant to save the economic society from its own self-destructive extremes. Measures like Medicare for All probably could extend the lifespan of the ecocidal economy and empire for a few years. They can’t overcome its overall radical impetus toward complete self-destruction. That can’t be done within the inherently self-destructive framework.)
 
The reason for this hostility is denial about the viability of the economic system itself. The 2020 election is an existential referendum, a referendum on to be or not to be.
 
Sanders is part of the capitalist faction which publicly implies that not-to-be is possible and advocates limited measures to reform and shore up the system, such as Medicare for All and a “Green New Deal”, in order to postpone the self-destruction of the system.
 
When voters vote against these measures by voting Republican or for the corporate Democrats, they really express denial that not-to-be is possible. Therefore they vote to make the destruction and self-destruction as total as possible. Thus they vote effectively Not to Be.
 
In a purely Darwinian sense, in terms of the most straight physical self-preservation within this system, one’s position on Medicare for All is a litmus test. If the great majority of Americans remain hostile toward even this modest measure, what prospect is there of the much greater sea change required to take the much broader perspective against the murderous and collectively suicidal economic society as such.
 
 
Previously I thought only Sanders could beat Trump barring some wild card. Then it seemed the Corona pandemic might be this wild card. Trump has looked utterly incapable of dealing with it, even on a demagogic level. Now it looked like a regular corporate Democrat able to talk a good game about the pandemic could beat Trump.
 
This is part of the explanation for the resurgence of the clearly senile Biden. While nobody would reject Biden on moral grounds of his evil, since the voters themselves are evil or don’t care about evil, it seemed like they might reject him on the grounds that he’s clearly in a state of dementia. Throughout history people have been willing to tolerate great tyranny and evil in their rulers as long as they perceived these leaders to be reasonably intelligent and competent, while inescapable perception of tyrannical stupidity and incompetence can bring on a revolutionary situation.
 
If Sanders looked more reasonable than his Democratic comrades or Trump, that was an attraction, just as the Democrats other than Sanders have looked more stupid than Trump. But if the pandemic perspective says Trump is now even more stupid than the corporate Democrats, while Sanders stands for Medicare for All and other “reforms” which challenge voter denial and are reviled by the corporate Democrats, this makes even Biden look relatively attractive to a larger number than before.
 
But there’s more here. Prior to one’s sense of the Sword of Damocles dangling over the economic civilization as a whole, there’s the immediate terror of the pandemic. Here if nowhere else, Medicare for All is resounding an alarm. Here the voters’ best chance for literal survival is at stake. There can be no more potent institutional barrier to the march of a virus than people being free to go to a doctor and to stay home when they’re sick, while the destruction of this freedom lays bare the whole invasion plain. Nothing else the US government could do, short of full-scale quarantines and shootings, can make a difference.
 
If even under conditions of this imminent extremity the people still vote against the reform faction (this includes tolerating the Democrat Party stealing the nomination from Sanders, the way his “movement” bowed and knelt in 2016), the denial must run much deeper and more viscerally. It can mean only the psychological will to deny the pandemic itself. This denial is the real force regardless of whether a person has conscious “right thinking” or not. It’s the same as where someone consciously “believes in” the climate crisis and calls for fake solutions like Green New Deals but really wants, does, supports, votes for nothing but Business as Usual. The only difference is that the pandemic-denying mental patient recovers from cognitive dissonance at the expense of running a much greater, more immediate risk of personal death, since for most people and especially Americans the pandemic is a more immediate threat than climate chaos and global heating.
 
Therefore it seems the voters are doubling down on denial by combining their existing hostility to Medicare for All and everything it stands for, with denial that a massively lethal pandemic is at hand. (If COVID-19 turns out not to be the Big One, it’s still only a matter of time.)
 
In that case, Trump’s denial strategy will become the right one. If the pandemic is gradual enough over the 2020 span that the election can be held at all, and the election is denial vs. denial, Trump again will win. The Dembots already have signaled.
 
 
The US and Western societies in general will hunker in the bunker exactly like Hitler in 1945, seeking only to drag out that mode of existence and destroy as much of the Earth as possible in the time remaining while destroying as much as they can any potential for any human future. They’ll do that until they collapse out of their own physical impossibilities (finite resources, Earth’s capacity to sustain total environmental insult, an economic and mass-psychological system 100% dependent on both of these) or destroy themselves in an acute spasm, most likely a pandemic or nuclear war.
 
By now the fake elections have found their terminal register, denial. The voters vote in order to deny. This is the purpose of this ritual of civic religion. They vote to make the destruction and self-destruction as total as possible. They vote Not to Be. This is where modern electoral democracy always was heading.
 
This vote for collective suicide is part of the economic civilization’s onslaught of total ecocide. It was always a kamikaze suicide ride. Electoral politics can and will do nothing but go along for this ride, accelerating it wherever possible.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 23, 2020

Forget the Apocalypse, the Elect Can Be Raptured Today

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You already proclaim you’re evil. Why be cheap and gutless about it?

 
 
Yes indeed, anyone who so chooses can be enraptured today by the electoral circus, now entering its loudest, shrillest, fakest, most deranged manifestation of all. Still to have faith in liberal electoralism at this extreme late date, still to believe when all evidence proves how absurd it all is, verily demonstrates that one is of the electoral Elect and is capable of immeasurable Raptures in the throes of one’s hallucinations.
 
Yes indeed the main purpose of such infantile distractions is that the masses want to forget the looming, inevitable ecological-spiritual Apocalypse. And if anyone actually were quixotic enough, not only to face this mounting transformation squarely but call upon others to do so as well, the impresarios of the system are there to enforce the campaign of distraction, co-optation, suppression, repression.
 
*This piece is not meant to reflect any personal investment in the fake election. On the contrary, it’s meant to highlight how fake the spectacle is and how there’s no way forward within this system, nothing to be accomplished within system electoralism as such. No presidential or other federal election has been more than a plebiscite on the fake-political, fake-democratic charade of neoliberal electoralism itself.
 
*Proposition: The evidence record going back decades, strongly reinforced in 2016, demonstrates that Bernie Sanders is sheep-dogging for the Democratic Party; for “progressivism” and social democracy as such; for electoralism in itself; most of all for the economic civilization and the proposition that the predicaments of this civilization can be solved, and the ecological and spiritual crises it drives can be resolved, within the framework of this civilization, especially within the electoral framework.
 
*The same is true of most Sanders fans. Early in 2017 I pointed out the paradox:
 
Most absurd were the Sanders and Stein fantasies. Ironically this mode of voting Yes [in the plebiscite on fake electoralism] 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 want a few changes.” These voters are more likely to pay lip service to reality, but still are unwilling or unable truly to face reality, reject the status quo, and commit to what’s necessary. They too ultimately refuse to confront the crises, they flee to fantasy, and they vote for the status quo volatility which created Trump.
 
It’s especially amusing to see our aspiring “revolutionaries” whining or lecturing about how Sanders and Warren are “forced” to attend the proceedings of the impeachment geekshow.
 
Impeachment of course is worthless to any human beings let alone to the Earth; on the contrary it’s designed to misdirect and astroturf the mental energies and waste the time of those who pay any attention to it. Since the system includes both the Sanders con-job sheep-dogging faction as well as factions which despise Sanders in spite of the fact that he’s on their side, it’s not surprising that part of the purpose of the impeachment circus is to keep Sanders and Warren off the campaign trail for awhile by tying them down in the Senate. The system factions all have a shared interest in this.
 
But that can’t work unless they willingly play along.
 
We often see this kind of lament: “Sanders and Warren being unable to properly campaign due to Senatorial considerations…”
 
In what way are they unable? When fans of these politicians say these are “unable” to campaign, they mean unwilling.
 
Now one might expect the corporate technocrat-posing-as-a-progressive Warren to play along with the impeachment farce. After all, Ms. “Capitalist to the core” is supposed to be a Responsible Adult, not an unwashed insurgent. But if Sanders were really on the level the way his fans claim, and not a con artist the way many of us long have assessed, wouldn’t he be flouting such fake “considerations”? None of his fans ever answers questions like these.
 
I was told, “Sanders was forced to cancel a campaign event he scheduled for tomorrow evening in Iowa because of the crazy impeachment schedule that will run on past 1 a.m. in the morning.”
 
Who forced him other than himself? If Sanders were on the level and a real insurgent rather than a sheep-dogging fraud, why would he do that? I sure wouldn’t if I was in his place. Not if I was for real. If Sanders is for real why would he be having anything to do with this geekshow?
 
I’m told, “he’s got a job, being a senator…All Senators must be present for the trial–or should Bernie add dereliction of duty to his campaign platform?”
 
Yes he most definitely should. As one of the original American revolutionaries proclaimed, “When tyranny is on the march, obedience is a crime.”
 
By Bernie’s own lights and those of his followers, if he’s sincere then his job is not to “be” a senator (whatever that’s supposed to mean) but to fight for the people. Therefore, to paraphrase Lincoln, if he could fight best by punctiliously carrying out his “senatorial duties” he would do so, and if he could fight best by flouting all such duties he would do so, and if he could fight best by fulfilling some duties and flouting others he would do that too.
 
Impeachment always was worthless from the point of view of anyone who wants to change anything. If one believes in Sanders, and if he himself is not a con man, then the election is all. Any insurgent would be hitting the streets deliberately playing up the proud assertion:
 
“Here with you is my post, not with the fraudulent establishment political game.”
 
That would appeal not just to sincere “progressives” (if there are any, which I doubt; their run-home-to-establishment-mama position on Sanders and impeachment is evidence of that) but to all sorts of independents and maybe some previous non-voters. That would really be doing something different, not just mouthing empty words while doing nothing even when there’s a real opportunity like this moment (the Sanders specialty).
 
Especially when Hillary Clinton is handing Sanders such a gift by attacking him, such a target-rich opportunity to really counterattack Biden, Buttigieg and the whole Democrat establishment. Anyone who says Sanders should throw away this time in order to time-serve a preordained geek role at the impeachment farce is simply admitting that they recognize the scam character of the Sanders phenomenon and like it that way.
 
Anyone who thinks Sanders should be at the “trial” is at least objectively pro-Hillary, pro-Biden. (Sanders bots have whined about Hillary’s ingratitude, that she attacks Sanders after his abject sheep-dogging for her in 2016. But his Shillary-ing came after the Clinton faction stole the nomination from Sanders. So this is clearly a one-way relationship, with Sanders’ full consent. In 2015 he unilaterally declared at the outset that he would ultimately support Clinton and do his best to deliver his followers to her. This time around he made the exact same unilateral declaration of support for whatever nominee the Democratic party retches up, thus voluntarily throwing away the one big bargaining chip he had, the threat to run an independent campaign. This too is proof that he’s a con artist to any rational person capable of assessing evidence. No, “gratitude” has no place here. Sanders never asked for it, never demanded it, never wanted it, and has gone out of his way to reward the party’s ingratitude.)
 
Sanders followers with their technicality-fetishes seem very confused about what exactly they think Sanders’s job in life is. Which is evidence they’re false themselves.
 
I was told, “Bernie would be the most hated man on the planet next to Trump if he ran as an Independent flouting Congressional responsibility”
 
A real insurgent would welcome this hatred and make a virtue of it, while only a fraud would attempt the kind of fence-sitting and bet-hedging called for by cowards.
 
More and more people hate the system. In their eyes to earn the hatred of that system would be a great credential.
 
The kind of Berniebots who through some bizarre convolution want their Sanders to be an insurgent and yet simultaneously want him to act in the most domesticated, housebroken, tame, lame, Corbynesque way merely are demonstrating how they themselves are tame and lame and utterly incapable even of wanting change, let alone fighting for it.
 
It won’t do to say that if Sanders were to stay away from Washington and continue to campaign he would get slammed by the media as irresponsible or derelict. He’s already being slammed for that. On the contrary, if Sanders were a real insurgent against the status quo (or if he wanted to change into that right now), if he were a real alternative campaigner who wasn’t an incompetent spineless coward like Corbyn, he would be fighting to make a virtue of flouting the fake conventions of the partisan geekshow. He’d be doing it as a feature of his campaign.
 
You would speak only to the people, telling them:
 
“I’m not here to be a prop in their political con jobs which are meant to distract you from the real problems we have to face. I’m here for you, to be your representative and to speak to you about what’s real, since the establishment politicians and media have nothing to say to you except what’s fake.”
 
The establishment would whine and attack him for it, which would only be one added detail of their attack and therefore wouldn’t change anything since they’re already attacking him across the board.
 
*One advantage of having an enemy who simply is out to get you by any means possible is that it frees you from having to worry about any legitimate criticism, which if it existed would simply be confounded with the attack campaign. If you choose to use that advantage (i.e. if you’re not morbidly cowardly and inept like Corbyn; no circumstance ever could wrench him out of his congenital appeasement mentality), you can use it to accelerate your assertiveness and counterattacks as well as dispensing with the “for show” obstacles the enemy tries to put in your way. The demand to Sit Still and Be Quiet in one’s Senate seat while a geekshow is performed is one such fake obstacle.
 
(The fanbots also refuse to answer about things like Sanders’ willing participation in the NAFTA-vote geekshow. After CNN and the pathological liar Warren did their best to make Sanders look good at the last debate, he went right back to sheep-dogging form, willingly playing a geek role in this typical Washington geek-show:
 
“As one of the only candidates opposing Trump’s trade deal, I want to thank Sen. @ChuckSchumer for joining this fight. USMCA will make climate change worse. We will do better when I’m president.”
 
By “Trump’s trade deal” Sanders of course means the Trump-Democrat trade deal which passed the Senate 89-10, with several or all of the Democrat No votes being purely for show. Maybe Sanders means that as president he’ll tell better lies.
 
Of course one expects no better from an NGO technocrat/scammer like Bill McKibben (also quoted fulsomely gushing about Schumer’s heroism), but how do the Sanders fans explain such abject role-playing on the part of their would-be hero? Shouldn’t their version of Sanders be denouncing the nihilism and cynicism of Schumer and those cheering on his purely theatrical fake gesture and naming them complicit in this awful legislation?
 
Unless, of course, Sanders’ own No vote on NAFTA was equally for show. Just like Trump’s war budget, the Patriot Act and other legislative crimes, the revised NAFTA was passed with great bipartisan enthusiasm at the exact moment the impeachment farce was underway. How retarded would someone have to be still to believe there is any substantive difference whatsoever between the Democrats and Republicans, or not to recognize impeachment as pure misdirectional farce?)
 
 
*The fact that Sanders fans all seem to have such a morbidly conformist mindset about things like what a senator “has” to do when some stupid political circus is going on, is good evidence that they too, like their sheep-dogging Leader, don’t really want to change anything, just run a circus spectacle of their own.
 
When Sanders followers claim he’s constrained by system niceties, they’re really talking about their own preference for a fake alternative who really doesn’t want to change anything, only to put on a show. I bet if Sanders really were to start acting like an insurgent, his “progressive” support would lose enthusiasm. Otherwise why do they keep making excuses for his lukewarmness?
 
It’s also strong evidence of the falseness of Sanders fans who have been fanatical impeachment devotees. But any Sanders fan who really believes Sanders is an insurgent would never have wanted him to have anything to do with the geekshow, nor would they be so indelibly mired in the mentality that he “has to”. On the contrary they would denounce the misdirectional stupidity of it in principle while also pointing out how, as many of them already admit, part of the purpose of impeachment in the first place was to derail the Sanders campaign momentum. If you recognize that, why would you say “nevertheless we must comply”, unless you yourself were fraudulent to the core and are admitting that your Leader is as well?
 
*To repeat: Still to repose religious faith in this electoral system at all, let alone to be so congenitally enslaved in mind to it that one even believes in the impeachment geekshow, is to be objectively pro-Hillary, pro-Trump, pro- all the worst. No wonder Sanders is having such an easy time performing his pro-Hillary/pro-Trump sheepdog routine – look at the intellectual and moral quality of his fanbots.
 
Sanders would be in “dereliction of duty”, Oh heavens! Oh my pearls!
 
These people never would’ve been able to agree in the first place on the constitution’s getting rid of titles of nobility, they’re so beholden to worthless formality. There’s our “revolutionaries”!
 
 
 
 

January 11, 2020

Cultural Genocide is as American as Poison-Apple Pie

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

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

January 3, 2020

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

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

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

January 8, 2019

Indelibly Authoritarian

Filed under: Freedom — Tags: , , , — Russell Bangs @ 7:31 am

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The intensity on the left when a Supreme Court appointment – that utmost seat of authority – falls to a Republican president, while the actual ongoing multi-front evils of creeping neoliberalism continue almost unnoticed, may suggest an unconscious obsession with authority.
 
From.
 
Obsession with the “supreme court” is one of the litmus tests by which you can tell whether someone’s a true anti-authoritarian or just another kind of authoritarian. Anyone against “authority” as defined by capitalism would be at least skeptical of the court as such, and would understand that it makes little difference which party fronts the president, since any judge who could be a candidate for such a court automatically would have to be an authoritarian. Otherwise they could never have any respectability within this system.
 
The same goes for anyone who would be capable of saying something like, “Trump makes me ashamed to be an American.” That means the person identifies with the presidency as such, and with the US government as such. Only an authoritarian could hold such identifications.
 
By contrast, Trump doesn’t make me ashamed of anything. How could he? I despise the presidency as such, the government as such, and regard it all as a regime of occupation. Therefore I have zero identification with any of it.
 
This is just one of the many reasons it’s impossible to accomplish anything but self-destruction with the Democrat Party or with anyone who makes a cult of voting and elections: They are indelibly authoritarian and will never think or act against the corporate state in any but the most trivial ways. Their authoritarian bent is demonstrated by many things, but most obviously by their very fixation on such elements of the system as courts, presidents, elections.
 
 
 
 
 
 

September 20, 2018

Impeach the Economic Civilization

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Given the tightly limited resources available to dissidents, why should anyone invest these in seeking the impeachment of a fungible geek like a US president? Indeed, those fixated on impeachment seem never to have any rationale beyond Trump Derangement Syndrome. To replace Trump with Pence would be no improvement and likely would make things worse. Trump and Pence have shared corporate ideology and goals, but Trump’s more chaotic execution is more likely to lead to chaotic, perhaps system-destructive effects more quickly than a more disciplined execution. The same is true of any Democrat we could envision replacing Trump in 2020. That’s why it was a great thing that Trump won in 2016: He’s more likely to bring about a faster collapse of the US empire and of the globalization system in general. Not because these are his goals, but because his indiscipline adds a much-needed wild card to the deck. Needless to say, humanity and the Earth have nothing to lose, as we’re slowly but surely being exterminated once and for all regardless.
 
Of course, even among dissidents most are incapable of understanding this. Among their lamentations we hear the constantly reiterated chorus, action is necessary to “save civilization.”
 
How bizarre to see this anointed the great goal amid such hand-wringing about climate destruction and genocide. From the Fertile Crescent to the Amazon today civilization always has made a desert everywhere it can. Civilization always has been completely dependent upon slavery, genocide, ecocide, and every kind of massive extreme violence. These are inherent to civilization. This is true of modern civilization most of all. The climate crisis and all other modern ecological and socioeconomic crises are the logical results of the economic civilization. The one and only solution for humanity and the Earth is to abolish this civilization and restore the truly ecological and human way of living. The way we lived in happiness, health, and freedom for tens of thousands of years.
 
But then it’s not really bizarre in context, the context of the modern political class. This class, from corporate CEOs to self-alleged anarchists, has near-complete consensus on the need and desire to totally mine and murder the Earth. Their fanaticism is production for the sake of production, their fetish to build the biggest, deadest necropolis possible. This they call their “great works”. I’ve seen “anarchists” who still fantasize about space travel, which of course requires the most rigidly ramified and militaristic hierarchy of all. (NASA and the Pentagon have been inextricably entwined from day one.) But they fantasize you could go to Mars on the basis of direct democracy and a generalized rotating-task economy. This, I suppose, is the extreme infantile political manifestation which goes well with the general techno-infantilism of thinking you can go to Mars at all, let alone the stars. No wonder they all join hands in touting geoengineering, the most extreme assault on the Earth imaginable short of nuclear war, as their ultimate fake “solution” to the climate crisis.
 
This obscenity goes to the core of how all the prescriptions touted within the productionist framework are fraudulent, and how not just liberalism but the left as such offers no alternative to the productionist nightmare. Every bit as much as Trump, “leftists” like this will never stop until Gaia and humanity are completely exterminated.
 
Given this state of insanity and depravity, typical symptoms of the terminal decadent stage of the economic civilization, how absurd is it to engage with the kind of “politics” which is discussed on cable news and in the mainstream newspapers? That’s automatically a fantasy world and much worse. We are, quite literally, a handful of sane people in a continent-sized madhouse, a handful of atheists in a globe-sized fundamentalist church of Mammon and productionism. It follows that the only sane, rational, faithful thing to do is to acknowledge this, renounce engagement with the mass of insane atoms, and accept the path dictated by reality.
 
 
 
 
 

June 15, 2018

More Electoral Foolishness

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I voted No because I’m not yet in my grave. You voted Yes because because you’re buried in yours.

 
 
Ralph Nader, like Jill Stein before him, is sucking up to the Democrat Party establishment and parroting their Russia Derangement. No surprise there.
 
Nor is it surprising that he, like Stein and the rest of the so-called “alternatives”, understand nothing about the increasingly extreme political situation. They want nothing but a Dem do-over, with fake promises that they will be honest-and-for-true unlike those corrupted Democrats.
 
But the problem is with the liberal ideology itself, not with bad apples who were personally “corruptible”. The superficial de jure corruption follows from the systemic ideological corruption. The system evil is the necessary foundation for any personal venal evil.
 
“Trump believes, as president, he can fire anybody and pardon anyone, including himself.”
 
Trump, like any other president these days, can do this and much more as long as the people allow him to do it. Wonkish babbling about courts and constitutions is meaningless on the street.
 
“Remember the vestigial Electoral College that selected Trump against the popular voter’s verdict.”
 
Well, let’s consider the popular voters’ verdict.
 
1. The fake election was a plebiscite on the status quo corporate-technocratic productionist imperial system and its Corporate One-Party. 53% of the electorate trudged out to vote Yes. 47% voted No by shunning the fake election.
 
2. Of the Yes voters, 48% voted for the overt status quo candidate Clinton, 46% voted for the fake populist Trump, and 5% voted for various “alternative” scammers like Stein and Gary Johnson.
 
3. Therefore no candidate attained a majority even among the 53% of Yes voters. And when we consider the entire electorate, we find that Clinton got 25% of the vote, Trump 24%.
 
Hardly the kind of resounding voter acclaim and stark margin that would lead any sane person to waste energy whining about the Electoral College.
 
Speaking of remembering institutions that selected against the popular voters’ verdict, I also remember the vestigial Democrat primary system and convention which selected (rigged, cheated, stole) the establishment candidate Clinton over the popular vote for Sanders. Funny how those whining about the anti-democratic Electoral College have nothing to say about equally anti-democratic Party “super-delegates”.
 
Not that the con artist Sanders was worth supporting. He said explicitly from day one that he was a loyal Dembot soldier and would do all he could to deliver his supporters to Clinton, and he lived up to that promise with gusto.
 
Nevertheless, Sanders probably would have beaten Trump. Meanwhile while all sentient observers, including myself, anyone who didn’t listen to the fake media, predicted a Trump victory over Clinton. That’s for anyone who regarded the defeat of Trump as the Alpha and Omega. The Dembots claim this has been their all-encompassing focus, yet their actions in 2016 and since have indicated otherwise.
 
In 2016 the Democrat Party and the Dembot horde preferred to lose, even to Trump, with their hard-right corporate status quo candidate rather than win with their pseudo-socialist. This tallies with their consistent record: They hate progressives like sin and would rather lose elections with corporate candidates than win even with fake progressives. Hillary Clinton was unequivocal: She wasn’t willing even to pretend to care about the voters, but openly, unequivocally said: “If you’re not rich, drop dead.” Her party cheered her on precisely because of this psychopathy, not in spite of it. Hatred of the people clearly is a matter of ideological principle to the Party.
 
And since then they’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They are hunkered in the bunker and are dead set on repeating every stupidity. The Democrats clearly are anti-human, anti-Earth on principle, every bit as much as the Republicans. The Democrat destruction principle merely is more politically incompetent and stupid than the Republican version.
 
 
Just a casual survey of how absurd US electoralism has become. There’s no there there, and no way forward there.
 
Don’t vote – it only encourages them. (H/T Terry Pratchett)
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 14, 2018

Yemen Genocide and US Desires for World War

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What “Feed the World” really means for Western system types, including of course all pro-GMO/pesticide activists.

 
 
The US proxy war in Yemen, launched by Obama and continued by Trump, is entering the forced famine stage. US clients, the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will attempt to starve the Yemeni people into submission. The UN has warned that as many as 18 million people may die.
 
The US government, both halves of the Corporate One-Party (Republicans and Democrats) and their partisans, and the mainstream media led by the New York Times which speaks to and for the US political class as a whole, are all willing, gleeful perpetrators of this unfathomable crime. If this forced famine escalates, it will be the worst war crime in history. And the entire US political class will swim in this infinite blood. Which in turn is an added new surge amid the torrents of blood they already cause to flow.
 
 
US liberals are reveling in this imminent genocide. They can take it as consolation after their profuse laments about the (temporarily) diminishing prospect for WWIII breaking out in Korea. No one ever has been so eager for nuclear war as today’s Dembots. Their actions since they blew the 2016 election have proven this. Evidently they’re in such existential despair they’d rather see everyone on Earth dead.
 
(I hope they do give Trump the Nobel Prize. It would be no more perverse than arch war criminal Obama getting it, and watching the apoplexy of the Dembot scum will be very amusing.)
 
 
Meanwhile there might still be a few people out there who are sincerely confused about any of this, who might naively believe that North Korea or Iran or Russia or “terrorists” or (fill in the blank) represent some kind of threat to the American people. For them I’ll say, the solution is simple: Get Out. Go Home. Get your imperial presence out of Korea and Asia, out of the Mideast, out of Afghanistan, out of eastern Europe, out of Africa, out.
 
The US is the pure aggressor everywhere on Earth and has zero legitimate basis for a presence anywhere outside North America. Only imperial globalization ideology claims otherwise.
 
Get Out. Go Home. Dismantle the empire as fast as possible, even chaotically. Get out.
 
That’ll require also ridding ourselves domestically of neocons like anyone who sees North Korea as a “threat” simply because the North’s policy is based on self-defense. Same for Russia, Iran, Islamists, etc.
 
Most of all it means the Democrat Party and its partisans must cease to exist, as soon as possible. This is true for every crisis afflicting America and humanity, but Democrat/liberal war-mongering is one of the main reasons humanity and the Earth cannot co-exist with them.
 
At this moment this is proving true most of all for the starving people of Yemen, victims of US imperialism’s drive for world domination, their agony fully endorsed by the same who are condemning a Korean declaration which offers to lessen the odds of WWIII. Because US system types, and liberal Democrats most of all, want nuclear war. Their actions prove it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 11, 2018

Life or Death

Filed under: Disaster Capitalism, Globalization — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 4:40 am

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A center being destroyed cannot hold.

 
 
Today the great destroyer comes not from within, as with the Hadean volcanic era, nor from without, as with the Cretaceous asteroid, but from parasites squatting on the surface, and they way they’ve organized their infestation into a “civilization”.
 
 
Trump blew up the G7 conclave and threatens civil “trade war”? (That is, trade war among the globalizers, as opposed to the aggressive economic war they as a group wage against all of humanity.)
 
This, like Korea, like Iran, like Jerusalem, is what we hoped for from Trump. This kind of destruction verily is creative destruction, since it’s toward the destruction of the US empire and the basis of industrial civilization.
 
Here’s the facts:
 
1. Fossil fuels are finite and production has peaked. They cannot be replaced. The fossil fueled basis of modern civilization cannot be sustained. All must come crashing down.
 
2. Modern civilization is driven by a congenital death wish and total hatred for humanity and the Earth. Its ultimate goal is to kill everything that lives and destroy everything that naturally exists, replacing all with purely artificial technology. Modern civilization is irredeemably evil. Spiritually, culturally, morally, it cannot be redeemed. All must come crashing down.
 
3. There will be no mass movement to lessen the impact of the crash. There will be no movement to mitigate abrupt and total catastrophe. Some of us have tried to propagate the ideas for such a movement and heard only crickets.
 
Therefore it follows that we want the collapse as soon as possible, as fast as possible, as total as possible without doing extra ecological harm beyond the damage the civilization’s already doing. (This last part is unlikely though, and we have to be prepared for the worst there as well.) Whatever happens, the only prospect of a recognizable ecological future, a future which could possibly include a chastened humanity, depends upon the speedy and total destruction of modern civilization.
 
Civilization is the death of all life, and its death is the only prospect for life. You must choose: Life or death.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 10, 2018

Self-Destruction: The Faster the Better

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Their nice little china shop is getting wrecked. The horror!

 
 
Any revolutionary, anyone who shares Earth’s need, has always understood that the system must destroy itself completely, with whatever help we can add along the way. Therefore we have always wanted the system’s leadership to be as brutal and stupid as possible, since this hastens a system’s self-destruction. Today we’re talking about the US empire and the overall regime of productionism and globalization driven most of all by the US corporate state. Donald Trump just gave a superbly destructive performance at the imperialist G7 conclave, even promising to throw a trade war monkey-wrench into the globalization mechanism.
 
So far Trump is living up to my hopes for him. While Obama and the Clintons are at least as brutal as Trump, they are perhaps less aggressively stupid in how fast they drive everyone on Earth to the conclusion that US power must be destroyed one way or another. Korea, Iran, Palestine, Europe, everyone knows the US corporate state is the planet’s great evil which has to be overcome at all costs.
 
Well, the poodles of Europe aren’t yet willing to pay all costs as we see from their so far abject obedience to the Iran sanctions. But their pathetic G7 experience can only help wake them up to reality.
 
Part of the reason Europe is unable to quit the US is that, whatever style differences there may be, there’s no difference between the goals of US elites and the goals of Eurotrash elites. Trump left early prior to the G7’s sessions on the climate crisis and the destruction of the oceans because, like everyone else in the Western political class, he regards the total destruction of the Earth as non-negotiable.
 
That’s why the G7 sessions themselves, just like the Paris accord, will be a fraud: Because no one in the West actually wants to do what’s necessary: Stop emitting greenhouse gases, stop destroying carbon and methane sinks, start rebuilding sinks.
 
Trump is simply more openly aggressive (more de jure “stupid”) about his climate denial. But in substance his kind of denial is identical to those who cry crocodile tears over the environment and tout fake “solutions” like Paris but don’t actually want to do anything real. Because that would crimp their junk-based, destruction-based lifestyle.
 
You don’t like Trump, because he’s a lout? Where it comes to the substance, look to the beam in your own eye.
 
The climate-whining link includes this sub-heading:
 
“Trump is the only world leader at the G7 who fails to grasp the basic science, and the urgent threat, of the climate crisis.”
 
Actually Trump is at one with all world leaders (and all previous US presidents) in refusing to do anything about the threat. Instead they do all they can to ratchet up the destruction regardless of what they “believe” about the science or the threat, which they see as purely abstract.
 
 
I can see why liberal imperialists hate Trump and his “reckless tariffs”. They see how he is, in spite of his own pro-empire self, sawing off the branch they’re all sitting on.
 
As an anti-imperialist who hates the corporate-technocratic empire and wants its total destruction, I’m enjoying everything Trump’s doing.
 
 
To say again: De facto climate denial, any version of “we can avert the worst of the climate crisis (and all the other ecological crises) within the framework of capitalism, within the framework of productionist civilization”, is a vastly worse and more destructive lie than de jure denial.
 
To say again: There is one and only one way to avert the worst: Stop emitting greenhouse gases, stop destroying carbon and methane sinks, start rebuilding sinks.
 
You’re either for climate destruction or against it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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