Volatility

February 2, 2019

Venezuela, Russia, Britain, Greece…..America

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There is complete consensus on transforming the Amazon to this.

 
 
1. The US government openly is trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela* for no reason other than because it’s nominally “socialist” (really a hybrid more capitalist than socialist) and simply for the sake of chaos and destruction, which are the primary values and goals of the late-stage Extreme Energy Civilization. The US government simply issued a diktat that Maduro is not the real president of Venezuela, while some geek who was never even a candidate, who has no broad political support at all, who a large proportion of Venezuelans had never heard of before, but who was brought to the US and put through one of its Chicago Boy-type stooge-training programs, is in fact the real president.
 
[*At any rate Maduro has more democratic legitimacy, in terms of the transparency of ballots and the percentage of votes received from the electorate, than US president Trump, prior US presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton and most others, UK prime minister May, French premier Macron, German premier Merkel, and most other Western executive officers. Electoralism is not a value at this site, but all these governments and political habitats starting with the US profess electoral “democracy” as the highest political value, so as always we hold them to their own standard. By the United States’ own standard, Venezuelan democracy is far more legitimate than that of the US, and Maduro is one of the most legitimate heads of state on earth.]
 
The US is heading up a coalition of anti-democracy regime changers. Like synchronized swimmers the EU and almost all Western governments issued statements recognizing Guano or whatever his name is as the legitimate president. In the US both halves of the Imperial One-Party and the entire political-cultural-academic-media class all rushed as one to condemn Venezuelan democracy and support the incipient US coup with the inevitable destruction of the country and its people guaranteed to follow. To be as symbolically explicit as possible, Trump dug up Elliot Abrams, overseer of the Nicaraguan “Contra” death squad campaign, to be architect of the terror campaign the US plans for Venezuela.
 
Although Democrats have a deranged personal hatred for Trump and oppose almost anything he does (almost all of which is substantively the same as Obama policy), including Trump’s announcement that he plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and Venezuela (I’ll believe it when they’re actually out; but in the meantime Trump gave the occasion for the liberals as a whole to demonstrate their rabid lust for maximal war), the one point of friendship where they’ll joyously join hands and sing with him is an incipient new imperial adventure, new war, new bloodbath.
 
The US already has been waging murderous war on Venezuela’s people for twenty years through economic sanctions. Democrats have all the same blood on their hands as Republicans already, but as we saw with their sanctions war on the Iraqi people which murdered over half a million children, there’s no amount of dead which can satisfy Democrat blood-lust. As one of their most respected and revered moral leaders has said of this genocide against children, “We think it was worth it.”
 
Now they want to escalate the war to total physical destruction. The Democrat Party speaks as one on this. The fake “insurgents” did their best to dodge any comment at all. Only when pressed did the likes of Bernie Sanders speak out, and when they did it was to regurgitate Trump’s lies. Only lamely at the end did some of them say “nevertheless the US shouldn’t interfere”. Of course the sanctions they’ve all supported have constituted massively interference all along. They’re the direct cause of most of Venezuela’s economic chaos and suffering. Of course, in standard disaster capitalist practice, US propaganda blames the victim for the disaster that the US itself directly caused. The entire US political class – both parties, their partisans, the entire media – mouths this lie as one.
 
The evidence record is that the US corporate state, both flavors of the Destruction One-Party, the entire US political-cultural-media class have no goal other than complete destruction in every way. I can’t think of a single way in which US policy, and the overall US culture, isn’t committed to destroying as much of humanity and the Earth as possible, for nothing but destruction for its own sake. It’s certainly not for any alleged benefits of power or wealth; it’s clear that none of these psychopaths could ever be satisfied in any way with anything less than the infinite.
 
The only thing they’re stopping short of, so far, is a nuclear first strike. But it a guarantee they’ll come to this as well if things keep going like this.
 
 
2. Part of the general situation today for globalization and empire:
 
“Of all areas of global power politics today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint. International monetary reserves were supposed to be the most sacrosanct, and international debt enforcement closely associated.
 
Central banks have long held their gold and other monetary reserves in the United States and London. Back in 1945 this seemed reasonable, because the New York Federal Reserve Bank (in whose basement foreign central bank gold was kept) was militarily safe, and because the London Gold Pool was the vehicle by which the U.S. Treasury kept the dollar “as good as gold” at $35 an ounce. Foreign reserves over and above gold were kept in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, to be bought and sold on the New York and London foreign-exchange markets to stabilize exchange rates. Most foreign loans to governments were denominated in U.S. dollars, so Wall Street banks were normally named as paying agents.
 
That was the case with Iran under the Shah, whom the United States had installed after sponsoring the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mosaddegh when he sought to nationalize Anglo-Iranian Oil (now British Petroleum) or at least tax it. After the Shah was overthrown, the Khomeini regime asked its paying agent, the Chase Manhattan bank, to use its deposits to pay its bondholders. At the direction of the U.S. Government, Chase refused to do so. U.S. courts then declared Iran to be in default, and froze all its assets in the United States and anywhere else they could.
 
This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon.”
 
 
At least as early as 1979 (when the Pentagon seized and re-sold weaponry Iran already had paid for) the world has known that the US government and international banks will engage at will in outright robbery of assets legally deposited within the US-dominated system. In spite of this knowledge Venezuela’s Bolivarian government has been unflaggingly in its desire to be part of this system and therefore has been victimized by it repeatedly. In December 2018 the Bank of England simply stole $11 billion worth of Venezuelan gold deposits. It refused to follow the Venezuelan central bank’s instructions to begin to transfer the gold and told them it would no longer respond to any communications from Venezuela. This is straight robbery, straight organized crime, straight gangsterism. But it’s neither new, nor surprising, nor unexpected. Obviously Venezuela was willing to run this risk for the privilege of participation in the global economy of total destruction.
 
As we’ve seen so many times, participation in globalization is a badly misguided commitment for any nation vulnerable to economic and physical aggression, or any nation who is merely one of the passengers along for the commodity globalization ride (often an extremely tempestuous ride) rather than one of the drivers.
 
I’ve written many times how it’s especially insane to relinquish one’s food security and self-sufficiency in food by subjecting food production to any commodity system. The national governments which have done this and all propagandists everywhere who have supported it are Nuremburg-level criminals.
 
It’s similarly insane for a nation to subject itself to colonial dependency by basing its economy on “resource extraction” (including the physical destruction of one’s own land), with these extracted materials then placed on the global commodity market. Thus a people willingly enslaves itself to the global finance system and the whims of Washington. Why not just offer to become de jure slaves on the estates of the banksters? (Libertarian ideology offers baroque justifications for voluntarily selling oneself into slavery.)
 
It would be bad enough to physically destroy your own country to extract oil for your own use. To do so in order to put the oil on the global commodity market is insanity. But then all modern governments, and all cultural-political elites among all peoples who have such elites, are insane.
 
Venezuela including its so-called “socialist” government is a willing, eager participant in the capitalist globalization system.** As are Russia and China, so often touted as alleged opponents of this system. In reality all the actions of Russia, China, Venezuela, and other officially designated “enemies” prove that these governments never wanted to challenge US-led globalization and don’t want to challenge it even now. All they want is to take what they see as their rightful place within the system and be treated accordingly. Only the flat-out totalitarian lunacy of US bullying and aggression is forcing these countries into the de facto position of challengers and therefore rivals if not enemies. In the same way that only US aggression has created Muslim terrorists, so only US aggression has created any opposition at all to US domination of the globalization system. And there’s still no systematic opposition anywhere on earth to globalization as such, other than the rising opposition and counterattack of the Earth itself.
 
Like anyone else, the people of Venezuela would be vastly better off if they had neither oil nor gold. That’s why it’s called the resource curse. Humanity as a whole would be infinitely better off if fossil fuels never had existed, and if nothing existed which could have been made to play the role gold has played.
 
People don’t eat oil or gold, they eat food, which they’re perfectly capable of growing for themselves if they choose. The problem of the Venezuelans, Greeks, and so on up to the Americans themselves, is that they want all the worthless Earth-destroying material junk instead of health, happiness, and freedom. I recall well how the people of Greece were targeted for economic destruction in order to bail out German banks, how they wailed and cried about this, how they voted to oppose the Troika’s austerity program, and yet how after all that they still opposed leaving the EU. They just couldn’t conceive of a world without merely the idea of “free trade” in allegedly-less-expensive worthless Earth-destroying junk. Never mind that they were dooming themselves to impoverishment and wouldn’t able to buy the junk anyway.
 
This is the self-enslavement of the production-consumption religious insanity which is the core psychic force driving globalization and modern civilization itself. That’s why all civilized masses (“nations”) are made up of slaves who wallow amid cancer-giving poison. That’s why the Greeks immolated themselves. That’s why the Russians still temporize. That’s why Bolivarian Venezuela practically poised itself for the war crisis it now faces. And that’s why all civilized peoples have shackled themselves to an unsustainable mode of agriculture where they are in fact eating oil, figuratively and physically (the diet is loaded with fossil-derived plastics and pesticides and other toxins) but which will soon collapse leaving them to starve in earnest. Because they chose slavery over freedom.
 
As for the American Mordor itself, the gaslight-pulsing glowing-plutonium core of the global psychosis, the American people are doing the same thing. They’re surrendering their lands as sacrifice zones to fracking and pipelines, to poison plantations and state-wide fire traps, all to produce globalized commodities usually earmarked to send to Asia or Europe. Mr. MAGA, of course, wants to destroy even more American land to send liquid natural gas to Europe at taxpayer-funded below-cost prices. Just as all US logging, mining, and fossil fuel extraction is done at a massive loss which the taxpayers make up. The voters vote for it unanimously every time. Nor does there exist any alternative within US electoralism. America has terminal cancer of the body and soul. This places the domestic political depravity I discussed above in its biological, existential context.
 
 
If you’re colonized, don’t have your own currency, and want to buy all the worthless expensive junk the colonial power is peddling, you’re going to be enslaved by debt and subject to imperial terror and aggression. The Venezuelans and Americans are colonized. The Venezuelan currency depends on its ability to sell dollar-denominated oil which is as good as having no currency. Of course the American 99% have no control over the dollar and therefore no native currency. The Greeks, Italian, Iberians, Irish, and the rest of the EU have no currency of their own. (Except Germany itself, which has transformed the euro into a de facto German-controlled currency. Thus by a longer and more convoluted route the German elites have attained the economic goals of WWII.) The one and only way for a people to free itself is to end their self-enslavement, end all their dependencies and addictions, and renounce the lust for junk, including the self-jubilation of all debts.
 
Self-enslavement scales well, from individual to the people of a country to the “New World Order” of corporate globalization fantasy: One can wish to live like a human being, which makes it possible to live within one’s means while enjoying health, happiness, freedom, and peace; or one can surrender to the productionist/consumerist derangement, renounce all human measure and hopes, set one’s desires at infinity and set out on the death march of rat-racing and debt, never attaining anything but increasing clutter, waste dumps, dependency, insecurity, ill-health, unhappiness, and fear.
 
All the peoples of all colonized lands, including the peoples of America and the West itself, will have to make the choice truly to free themselves if freedom and security is truly what they wish. All versions of the “we can have it all” fraud comprise the same lie, a symptom of the general pathology of Babylon. On the contrary, those who try to have it all, gamble for the infinite, guarantee themselves one terminal end. The global productionist system has one fated end for everyone on Earth from the colonized South to the gradually fading Western middle class: Debt slavery and the total destruction of food security, amid total ecological devastation.
 
We’re undergoing the great spiritual, economic, ecological, existential crisis of the terminal Oil Age. We cannot solve the crisis of mortality by suicide or murder. We can solve it only by changing our lives, choosing what lets us live, renouncing what is killing us.
 
 
 
**The fact that it’s still possible to use the term “socialist” for ecologically destructive, oil-extraction-dependent (therefore by definition colonial) systems is a perfect example of why I renounced “the left”. Just as it’s a fact that anything truly feminist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist has to be socialist, so it’s also true that ecological socialism is a redundant term. It’s not possible to separate ecological domination from social domination. The two invariably go hand in hand. Of course a capitalist hybrid system like that of Venezuela, or like what the Bernbots claim to want in the US, isn’t socialist even from a purely human-centric point of view. Meanwhile “the left” as a whole has renounced even anti-globalism, as we’ve seen with its complete dereliction on Brexit. Here was an opportunity to seize the controversy, to place the referendum in the context of anti-globalization and democracy vs. the technocracy represented by the European Commission, to put a socialist Brexit on the agenda, and the leftists all ran home to globalist mama. They did it for the same reason as the gilded youth of London, the same reason as always: In their indelible corruption they feared their worthless “stuff” might cost a bit more, or their swank weekends in Spain wouldn’t go as seamlessly, or that it wouldn’t be as easy to go job-hunting around the continent for parasitic global-corporate-system jobs. (Needless to say no real kind of human work, work which by its nature is bound up with a geographical region, was enhanced by EU-style globalization, quite the contrary.) In addition to allegedly opposing globalism and corporate rule, I also thought leftism was supposed to oppose the employer-“job” model as such.
 
No, the left offers no alternative, and no way out of the all-encompassing existential crisis of humanity and Earth.
 
 
 
 
 

January 28, 2019

Gaia and Consumer

Filed under: Freedom, Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 9:15 am

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At this stage of our existential crisis we have only the either/or: Ecological vs. consumerist. One’s primary thoughts and actions go one way or the other. (As for myself and anyone else brought up with the indoctrination to be a consumer, we who consciously have renounced this, I don’t know how likely it is we can be born again truly as of the Earth. But at least we can think and live as ecologists and help bring about a new way of living, and eventually a new way of learning to be human.)
 
Corporate production-consumption imperatives dominate all rhythms of power in modern societies. Corporate-Randroid “competition” ideology, corporate austerity, and corporate marketing dominate all modern culture, intellectual life, science, and the pseudo-politics of fake democracy. Consumerist politics is inherently non- and anti-political. This includes almost all aspects of modern political speech and campaigning, and all of electoralism. Fake-political ideas, attitudes, campaigns, are marketed exactly the same way as any other aspect of commodity culture. Those who consume these experience them and act them out in exactly the same way.
 
That’s why it’s usually impossible to have anything recognizably like a political discussion, let alone an argument (in the proper sense of that term). It’s almost always like an angry and childish dispute over which sports team or movie is better, because that’s exactly how most of the “politically aware” conceive and experience politics these days. That’s part of why Politics is Dead in just the sense Nietzsche meant when he wrote God is Dead: People still superficially “believe” in it, but it really means nothing to them except as a superficial identification. They don’t live it. The kind of movement or political party one joins, with membership as a core part of day-to-day life, no longer exists. Thus the term “identity politics” is, in the broad sense, redundant. At least in the West almost all politics is identity politics, no matter what its superficial ideology.
 
(In all this I’m talking about the West, and any strata anywhere which apes the political and cultural framework of the globalist cancer economy and society.)
 
This is the complete, though temporary, victory of the production-consumption ideology. Even those who identify as “radicals” see this as a hobby, while they see their “real life” as consumed by their private imperatives: Job; materialism of car, lawn, and “stuff”; maybe sometimes family. They don’t view ecological-political participation and the responsibilities of citizenship, even in a polity let alone an ecology, as being even a co-equal value, let alone the paramount one.
 
Electoralism always was driving politics inexorably into this pit, and at the latest under neoliberalism’s corporate rule has been deliberately designed that way. The focus on large-scale electoralism was an historical mistake for those who fought for freedom and equality. If these are attainable at all, it’s not by that path. God knows today’s alleged “alternatives” within electoralism do all they can to prove that electoralism doesn’t work. And by now only cultists of an electoral religion still believe in it. Thus today’s “radicals” and “progressives” are, ironically, a type of reactionary.
 
Some people eat to live, others live to eat. So it is with politics. A tiny few experience politics as essential to human life, if only because where subjugated health and happiness depend upon this, while most prove by their actions that they experience it as just another consumer product.
 
 
 
 
 

January 9, 2019

The Housebroken Environmental Movement

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You can’t “vote” against this. Indeed those who vote all vote for it.

 
 
As a rule, people’s principles and goals boil down to what they personally want to do. Every religion started with the invention of the kind of gods the inventors wanted, and everything followed from there. One starts with desire and ramifies a philosophy and program from this all-too-human wellspring. There are few exceptions, the main one being understanding of the physical and biological crisis of the global ecology.
 
Ironically, the mainstream environmental movement is one of the worst examples of self-indulgence. It is congenitally hobbled by the fact that its participants and supporters mostly are middle class types who have faith in the Extreme Energy Civilization, who desire its high-energy, high-maintenance, high-input, high-impact junk, and therefore whose “environmentalism” can only be an afterthought to these and can exist only within that consumerist framework. They then generate the political ideology which goes with this consumerism – statism, regulatory bureaucracy, politics conducted through government-controlled elections. All quite prim and proper and well-monocultured. This is why all mainstream environmentalism is performed within the framework of productionism-consumptionism, capitalism, technocracy. That’s why all its prescriptions boil down to “Keep Shopping!”
 
 
In many pieces over the years I’ve offered my corporate regulator template. Its explanatory and predictive power surpasses any other model I’ve seen. It goes:
 
1. Corporate productionism must always go forward. Its core imperatives of profit, power, control, and techno-religiosity must never be hindered.
 
2. Given (1), the regulator may sometimes work to mitigate the worst extremes, illegalities, “abuses” of corporate action. More often it only pretends to be taking action but never does. Often it doesn’t even pretend.
 
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project, assures the public that things are orderly, sound, safe. Most of all it conveys the message that knowledge and action can be left to the regulator, and that the people should be content to accept the dispensation, relinquish all public responsibility and concern, get on with their private affairs.
 
Thus the regulatory bureaucratic model is anti-political, anti-participation, anti-democracy, but rather works to enshrine and reinforce authoritarian technocracy (but with a pseudo-democratic facade – that’s what the fake elections, and the ideology of electoralism, are for).
 
The regulatory ideology is an outgrowth of liberal ideology, which rose out of capitalism as a mode of indoctrination against the cooperative social primate nature we evolved over millions of years and into a competitive, privately-oriented, self-indulgent individualism. In this case the public faith in regulators, and the corporate state as such including its fake electoralism, dovetails perfectly with the brain-washed urge to fixate on one’s individual predicament, ignore our collective plight, and automatically reject all thought of real organization and organic community.
 
I first developed the template to apply to pro-corporate regulators like the EPA, FDA, USDA in their context of assisting poison-based agriculture. I quickly found the template applies just as well to all regulators, the media, academia, the legal system, the scientific establishment, establishment funders and NGOs, individual opinion leaders. In every case (1) is the same: Corporate productionism, or the productionist civilization no matter how it’s formally organized, must continue. Nothing the entity does must try significantly to hinder productionism or call it into question in any way.
 
This applies especially well to mainstream environmentalism, and most of all to the climate-industrial complex. Climate scientists, all mainstream activism, all mainstream media coverage (for that matter almost all “alternative” coverage), all academic study, all prescriptions (here too mainstream and “alternative” meld as one), all adhere to this template:
 
1. The productionist Extreme Energy Civilization, usually in its capitalist form (some alternatives call for “socialism”, but only as a cosmetic formal change – it’s still the same extreme energy productionism), must continue no matter what.
 
2. Given (1) they may try to reduce some emissions in some cherry-picked way, preserve some wilderness here, an endangered species there, all on an ad hoc basis. More often they only pretend to do these. Their touted climate solutions are usually based on inherent false accounting, including the monumental “offset” fraud, and are ecologically highly destructive in themselves such as the mining required for industrial “renewables”. Of course electric cars, biomass, and biofuels are both horrifically destructive and examples of fraudulent carbon accounting.
 
For Big Green NGOs (1) is always primary and getting big funding always second. Or we could conflate these – they combine to give the NGO a mandate to collaborate with the destroyers of the Earth rather than oppose them. And indeed many NGOs are nothing but corporate front groups, while others pick and choose where to explicitly collaborate and where to pretend to oppose. Even those who sometimes do oppose do so firmly within the civilization’s framework and assume the productionist imperative as God-given.
 
And then good liberal individualists can mouth the words, sign a petition, contribute to the World Wildlife Fund or the Nature Conservancy, vote Democrat. In other words do nothing, and in fact support the ongoing massacre, but attain cheap grace.
 
3. Then the “movement” puts its imprimatur on the state of things. Corporate collaboration deals mean progress, they assure us. If the NGO says a deal has done real preservation work it must be true. At any rate the official NGO-coordinated Movement is on it, and all the people need to do is support the movement, accept its prescriptions as sufficient and practicable, sign and vote where told, of course donate, and otherwise get on with their non-political, apolitical, anti-political private lives.
 
Today, indeed, Politics is Dead. To a big extent this is because the natural political space has been constricted and filled by the kind of fake politics described here. One might shrug and think that’s all the more reason to go with the private individualist flow.
 
But the vaster reason there are no longer meaningful politics is that all struggles internal to civilization pale and shrink in the face of the mounting, already catastrophic ecological crisis being driven by the war this civilization has launched against the Earth. By now everything fades in the spotlight of the only real Either/Or left: Are you willingly part of the onslaught or do you oppose it.
 
To be clear, one can’t burn down one’s house and live in it too. In the millennial war of Man vs. Nature, “man” always was doomed to lose. Homo domesticus certainly will become the showcase victim of this Sixth Mass Extinction event it has launched. Just as prior mass extinctions are named after the formal time periods they cap and bring to a close, so the most appropriate use of the otherwise suspect term “Anthropocene” will be to denominate the (very short) period which closed with the extinction of “civilized” hominids. Whether the hominid species will go physically extinct depends to a large extent on how many people choose a new ecological road home now, and how well we work to endure the imminent great storms of history, climate, biology.
 
It’s an irony that the movement which first had inklings of all this seems to have domesticated itself out of any potential to help with this necessary transformation. But anyone fixated on a “green new deal” amid their ongoing dealing gaming life isn’t going to be able to help escape the casino, or indeed even to understand the concept. And in fact they love the casino, love the gamble, love the rush. And to switch to a closely related metaphor, they’re addicted to the drug. They only squabble with fellow addicts over who’s using too much etc. Where it comes to the productionist civilization that’s barely a metaphor; it pretty much directly describes the psychosis of stuff.
 
And this, along with the theological urge to destruction all the civilized have in common, is what the civilized truly desire. Their “politics” never will transcend this. We who want the great transformation, and we who recognize the ecological necessity, must burn our bridges once and for all. As we see, Gaia shall insist regardless.
 
 
 
 
 

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.
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 7, 2018

Same As the Old Boss

Filed under: Reformism Can't Work — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 7:48 am

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“Now let me lead”

 
 
Well what do you know, the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It’s one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems “centrist”. By any objective or historical standard they’re a right-wing party.)
 
It’s no big surprise. Last two years it’s been the normally self-assured Republicans who, because of their ambivalence about Trump, have uncharacteristically taken on the usual Democrat role of existential confusion and doubt. Meanwhile the Democrats, in a berserk batshit-insane way, have been more motivated and focused.
 
So what are these Democrats going to do with this control now that they have it?
 
I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I’ve long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they’ll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense.
 
If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here’s the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. And as for things which are technically only in the power of the Senate such as confirming appointments, here’s the chance for the House to put public moral pressure on Democrats in the Senate. And there’s plenty of back-door ways an activist House can influence Senate business. Only morbid pedantry, so typical of liberal Dembots, goes on babbling about what the technical powers of this or that body are. The real world doesn’t work that way. To the extent I pay attention at all to Senate affairs it’ll be to see what the House is doing about it.
 
So they claim there’s a difference between the two parties? And they claim Trump is an incipient fascist dictator? In that case there’s a lot at stake, and extreme action is called for. Let’s see what kind of action we get from their “different” party in control of the House.
 
But I predict this House won’t lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it’ll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it’ll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general.
 
Nor will any of these new-fangled fake “socialist” types take any action to change things one iota. Within the House Democrat faction they could take action, form any and every kind of coalition, to obstruct the corporate-Pelosi leadership faction. They will not do so. There’s another prediction. This “new” progressive bloc will be just as fake as the old one.
 
Nothing I’ve talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake.
 
 
 
 

November 5, 2018

Anti-Electoral

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You can vote for the One or the One

 
 
I was going to write yet another new anti-electoral piece but really I’ve said it all already: That American elections are fake; that Republicans and Democrats are merely two factions of the Corporate One-Party; that they only pretend to disagree but in practice fully agree on literally every significant point; that even where they believe they’re disagreeing it’s only the narcissism of infinitesimal difference within their cult, meaningless to anyone outside the cult (i.e. almost all of humanity); that in particular both are fully dedicated to the total destruction of the Earth and humanity; that both agree the Earth and humanity should be nothing but a resource mine and waste dump for big corporations and the rich; that there’s nothing within the system which offers any alternative whatsoever to this total destruction; that partisan voters aren’t political at all but rather are types of celebrity fan club or fans of a sports team; that partisan voters are criminals, every bit as much as their Leaders; that they willfully and deliberately vote for every crime of their Leaders; that for anything to be done there’s no alternative to building a radical cultural movement completely outside and against the entire existing system.
 
So instead of writing a new piece I’ll just list a few of the pieces where I’ve already elaborated these facts.
 
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/the-vote-was-unanimous-for-trump/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/us-electoralism-is-no-difference/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/more-electoral-foolishness/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/note-on-movement-and-party/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/why-would-one-have-anything-to-do-with-the-kangaroo-election/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/on-bastille-day-the-idea-vs-the-leader/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/no-place-to-go-with-your-vote/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/the-vileness-of-progressives-on-the-climate-crisis/
 
https://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/the-cult-of-voting/
 
 
 
 

August 6, 2018

US Electoralism is No Difference

Filed under: Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , , — Russell Bangs @ 1:02 am

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How can we explain electoral idiocy? To a significant extent it’s ignorance and stupidity. Years ago when I was masochistic enough to “debate” politics with Democrat partisans of my acquaintance, I was always amazed at how ignorant they were of almost everything their Party and their Leaders actually do. Thus for example they’d always be astounded to learn that Obama and Hillary Clinton are hard core supporters of Monsanto, GMOs and the whole regime of poison-based commodity agriculture, indeed that if anything Obama was even more aggressively pro-GMO than Bush was. And in truth they’d never learn any of this but forget it immediately.
 
But most of all it’s non-political egoistic perspective. If A and B agree on 99% and differ only on 1% of details, they may argue all the more fiercely over the 1% in dispute. But from the point of view of C, who completely disagrees (agrees on 0%), A and B are practically identical.
 
Thus both Democrats and Republicans are imperial war-mongers who support US wars of aggression. They disagree only on some details, which to them take on huge proportions.
 
But to those of us who are anti-imperialist, anti-war, they are identical.
 
In the same way, both Democrats and Republicans agree that America should be ruled by the rich and big corporations, that these should pay little to no taxes, and in fact that the purpose of society and the Earth is to serve the rich as a resource mine and waste dump. They disagree only on details, and that the Republicans “go too far”.
 
But to those of us who recognize that the rich are purely parasitic and destructive, who want to abolish the rich completely, who want to abolish concentrated wealth as such, Dembots and Repbots are identical.
 
They both agree on ecocide. They both agree that the living Earth should be nothing but a resource mine and waste dump for their worthless civilization. They only differ on details of how absolute the destruction should be, and how fast total destruction should be carried out. They argue about details like whether national parks should be privatized. They agree on the total destruction of everything not specifically “protected” in this formal way. (There we find the mission of the mainstream “environmental” groups: To help the destroyers of the Earth “manage” the destruction, which in practice means to carry it out somewhat more slowly. The role of NGOs is much the same as that of the WWII Judenrate (Jewish Councils) who helped the Nazis organize the deportations to the death camps.)
 
But to those of us who love, revere, cherish the Earth in all its beauty and mystery, we who recognize the absolute dependency of humanity on the only home we’ll ever know, the Democrat and Republican parties are identical in their insane and evil drive to murder the Earth and force the total murder-suicide of humanity.
 
 
 
 
 

July 23, 2018

This Civilization is Collective Murder-Suicide

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The end point for everything the extreme energy civilization is doing: The Earth nothing but a desert with ruins.

 
 
1. Civilization is destruction. For humanity and the Earth it is death. We’re bogged down in it. It’s driving us to the brink of nuclear war at the same time it’s giving us all cancer. Most civilized people want the missiles to fly, and most want cancer for themselves and their children. Their actions prove it.
 
“Growth”, the idol of fundamentalist worship by all the civilized, including “environmentalists” and the climate crocodiles, is physically unsustainable and must collapse with unfathomable consequences. It is cancer as well. Symbolically growth is directly analogous to cancer metastasis, and growth’s reality depends upon physically killing us with cancer, starvation, bullets.
 
Look everywhere Western globalization has spread, look at any government, any Leader, any journalist, any academic, any NGO, see what they unanimously say: If you’re not rich, then die.
 
It is self-evident that anyone who thinks this way also will think murderously, though few are as honest as the Canadian bankster who openly says, “There are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline.”
 
What this means is, “We should kill anyone who is in the way of our tyranny, whether as activists or simply as obstacles.” This means the entire 99%. All system cadres think this way and intend to act on this. This is the intended consummation of modern civilization, the total murder of the Earth and murder-suicide of humanity.
 
Smash the bottlenecks.
 
2. Politics is dead. Electoral democracy is a proven failure and by now a fraud. We’re bogged down in it. Its partisans – “voters” – aren’t political at all but rather are rival mobs cheering on entertainers and wrestlers, like the Blues and Greens of ancient Constantinople. Most of all they’re chanting for the missiles to fly. Only the most cloddish and inertial still dream of “alternative parties”, which invariably turn out to be new glosses on the same scam. Humanity and the Earth need something vastly greater than paltry reforms. The need is a movement and spiritual way dedicated to joining Gaia in destroying the stale and toxic anti-culture and building a whole new vision, a whole new culture.
 
Smash the bottlenecks.
 
3. Ecological catastrophe is rampant, still gathering tremendous force, and accelerating. The consequences are unfathomable but will include mass starvation and mass cancer. The campaign of destroying the Earth and provoking Earth’s kinesis in response has been deliberate on the part of all governments, corporations, the entire political and media class, the scientific establishment, all of academia, all system NGOs. It’s the intended action and goal of globalization, capitalism, technocracy, scientism, productionism, the economic/commercial civilization as such.
 
The catastrophe deniers are merely witting or unwitting tools of these destroyers of the Earth. Worst are the de facto deniers with their crocodile tears and fake “solutions”. All deniers are peas in a pod.
 
The climate chaos driven by civilization’s greenhouse emissions and destruction of sinks is gathering momentum to destroy us all unless we take action against the monstrous machine itself.
 
Here most of all we see the affinity of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans (that is, identical Party-mongers). Both want humanity to sit still while the death machine devours us all.
 
Keep Shopping! That’s the prescription for the climate crisis propagated by liberals and scientists. This also is their prescription for all the other ecological crises. Keep Shopping. And of course Keep Driving.
 
Just shut up, sit still, stay the course. Keep voting when told. Believe your Party Leaders, and your media and academic betters. Yes, the two types of denier are peas in a pod. Just as the Dembots and Repbots are peas in a pod in every other way.
 
4. Democrat Party partisans are the most vile of all. Anti-ecology, anti-human, pro-destruction, pro-Mammon, pro-famine, pro-war, pro-police, pro-corporate, pro-technocracy – there’s not a single evil on earth the liberal Democrats aren’t doing all they can to drive to its worst.
 
That applies to America. A similar anti-political process has transpired in most or all other Western countries.
 
 
By now we have to give up on the Party people, the terminally inert, stupid, and malign. Those who even at this late date still receive their marching orders and their very ideas and words from Party Leaders, from corporations, from academic/scientific nabobs. These are nothing but purely inertial conformist non-entities.
 
 
The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
 
Do you feel ill, or your children or pets? Do you fear sickness? Do you feel financially secure? Secure in your job? Are you optimistic things will change for the better? Do you know who has destroyed all security? Do you know what’s making us sick? Do you feel safe when you look at the news from America and around the world? Do you know why the world is going insane?
 
You’re feeling the great bottleneck. Our health, our security, our peace of mind, our work, our culture, our spirit, our freedom, all are bottled up. You feel the fear, you sense our psychological, spiritual, cultural, economic bottleneck.
 
To anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, you must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
 
All of this civilization’s bottlenecks boil down to the simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation must be accompanied by an equal level of physical, economic, spiritual, cultural, and ecological destruction. Modern civilization’s accumulation of wealth and power, which has not and will not trickle down to us even if we wanted it to at the price of murdering humanity and the Earth, equals our destruction.
 
Smash the bottlenecks.
 
 
 
 

June 28, 2018

Appendix and Prediction

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Of course for most participants Congress is a luxury beach resort. But anyone who really does view it as a swamp, who enters alone and on foot, is going to get sucked down.
 
(This is an addition to yesterday’s post about movements and parties.)
 
Lots of people are excited over the Democrat primary wins of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others who calls themselves social democrats and such.* Well, here’s a chance to make a prediction:
 
If they reach office, none of these people will buck the system in any significant way. (I’m not predicting that they’ll try and fail; I predict they won’t try in the first place.)
 
For example, if a number of them get to Congress, they won’t form a bloc which truly will fight status quo measures using whatever means available. (As opposed to the existing “progressive bloc” which is nothing but a rubber-stamp sham.)
 
Why won’t they? No doubt some are con artists or will sell out. But let’s be optimistic and say some are sincere. Nevertheless, they ran as Democrats. So how can they accomplish anything lacking any institutional support? Nor will they get together to build their own institutions, their own street organization. But these are the things necessary to fight an entrenched system from within that system.
 
One classic indicator is: Do you have your own grassroots organization? And assuming you had one in the first place, then upon reaching office: What do you do with that organization? Do you keep it independent and continue to build it up against the system, or do you destroy it in some way.
 
For anyone who was in any doubt about Obama in 2008, a key indicator was: Now that he’s been elected, what’s he going to do with his grassroots organization? Sure enough, within days of the election he announced that he was going to assimilate it to the regular Democrat Party structure. In other words, destroy it.
 
For those who had any doubt at all, this was clear proof that Obama intended nothing but to continue with business as usual.
 
In the same way, one proof that Bernie Sanders was offering nothing new, and all other pseudo-alternative candidates as well, was that he did nothing to build a lasting movement structure when the dynamism of his campaign gave him a chance to do so. Nor did he try to use the November debacle to galvanize anyone. In November 2016 I checked the Sanders website to see what kind of great renewal he was promising. What did I find? A banner across the top of the page with a slogan announcing some kind of millennium, with a notice below: “Page Under Construction”. That was all.
 
Such nothingness is typical of all these so-called alternatives. None of them even have a permanent organization to call their own, let alone draw upon the living force of a real social movement.
 
Today’s alleged reformers-really-honest-and-for-true-this-time among the Democrats have no grounding and aren’t seeking any. Like Sanders said of himself from day one of his campaign, they’re Democrats through-and-though and intend to remain dependent upon the Democrat Party organization. That guarantees they’ll either remain part of the Democrat Party status quo ideology, or else fail miserably for lack of any basis for their being.
 
There’s no way forward voting and party-mongering within the system. The only group action possible is the blood, toil, tears and sweat of building a movement against the productionist system itself.
 
 
*I also said yesterday that these alternatives aren’t really offering anything alternative even in principle. So I saw that the media is calling Ocasio-Cortez a “climate hardliner” who will stand for no more nonsense. I clicked the link to her site, and of course she touts the same old industrial renewables build-out. Same old nonsense indeed: Implicitly dependent upon fossil fuels in order to be physically possible – thus a scam in principle; ideologically geared to champion the standard “we’ll deal with climate change and still keep capitalism growing!”; highly destructive ecologically in itself; designed to continue the general civilizational project of destroying the Earth. To sum up: The best way to deal with the climate crisis is to Keep Shopping!
 
(Note how the media’s quiver includes the lie that a real New Deal-type commitment to renewables is radical and would mean the climate action gloves are really coming off. They’ll keep that one ready to deploy as the climate kinesis really starts to bite. At that point, in order to forestall any serious consideration of real action, they’ll put the Big Renewable idea into mainstream play.)
 
So there you have it, the kind of “alternative” that all the people who say they want alternatives really want.
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 27, 2018

Note on Movement and Party

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There’s a big difference between building a political, cultural, spiritual movement, and forming a political party, as proven by the historically proven relation between these. The point can’t be made often enough, especially these days when it really seems like every kind of dissenter has completely forgotten movement-building as the necessary strategy and the necessary basis of all future tactics. Mine is the only site I’m aware of which consistently has touted it year in year out. Most people never even heard of it and can think of no possible strategy other than electoralism and the whole tedious litany of proven-failure “reforms”, or else immediate spontaneous violent insurrection.
 
This latter is self-evidently absurd (at least in the US) and therefore people mention it only in order to underline how allegedly there is no alternative to electoralism. No doubt this is often a deliberate elision of the movement-building possibility, though I think more often the main objection to movement-building is that it’s long hard work. More horrific, in this society where almost everyone, including those who hold radical opinions, is fully indoctrinated and assimilated to the bourgeois system of individualism and the priority of private life (most importantly “the job”, if you have one; otherwise agonizing over the absence of one), is the proposition that one should dedicate one’s life to building a movement on behalf of an idea and a vision. Historically this is the way great revolutions happened, from Christianity and Islam to the Russian Revolution and beyond. These revolutions weren’t the work of part timers, and they weren’t the work of those who were hobbyists in their own minds. They were the work of those who were dedicated heart and soul. Those for whom “job” was at most a way to get the minimal sustenance necessary to carry on the real work. Those for whom even family was primarily a support structure for the great work.
 
That, I think, gets to the core of why no one wants to build a movement against the corporate technocratic system and to exalt the necessary ideas for the coming age of civilizational collapse and ecological cataclysm, and the great ecological way forward. As radical as these ideas are in themselves, and as unappealing to anyone who hasn’t burnt his luxury-materialistic ships, perhaps even more radical is the proposition that you should exalt this or any other self-chosen idea as the guiding star of your life and orchestrator of your actions. (Needless to say dedicating your life to carrying out the liberal-Randroid-capitalist Mammon idea is considered normal, since everyone was indoctrinated into it and no one had to choose it. It’s only choosing one’s guiding star which is unthinkable.)
 
All that goes to why every attempt to found an “alternative” political party runs aground or spins its wheels. We’ve had decades of fairly widespread and correct diagnosis of the situation, and many people have proclaimed their will radically to change it. So why has so little been accomplished against the worst of neoliberal corporate rule and imperialism? A major reason is this: Everyone always wants to put the party cart before the movement horse.
 
Trying to cobble together an “alternative” party (let alone a one-off presidential campaign) on the fly without having first put in the long, hard work of building a coherent cultural and ideological movement which then can serve as the solid foundation for a party, is doomed to failure. The failure may come through lack of a coherent political rationale, or lack of self-controlled publicity and organizational vehicles, or lack of institutional fortitude in the face of the inevitable set-backs and enemy attacks, or co-optation. Most commonly it’s all of these together.
 
This is reinforced when “alternative” candidates bring along as psychological baggage the assumption that they need to engage with every element of the system which the system itself insists is necessary – every agency, every “information” source, seeking to appease the corporate media – and to engage with these on the system’s own terms. This mistake is inherent in a party’s lack of a coherent movement-based world-view and the lack of an organizational foundation which itself is equipped to displace many of these system-demanded and -provided alleged needs.
 
Of course the “alternatives” on offer today aren’t offering much of an alternative at all. In America the likes of the Green Party offer little more than a proposed Democrat do-over, but honest and for true this time. If the likes of Jill Stein ever did attain high office they’d think only in terms of “getting things done” (“progressive” things, of course) according to the pre-existing rules of the system. And that’s where they’d get swamped and redirected and forced to cave in from day one.
 
The classical path of radical change is first to build a real movement, then to field a political party which seeks office in order to function as grid-locker and monkey-wrencher from within, in the service of the extra-legal action of the movement, which is where the real action is. But this remains unthinkable to today’s dissidents (at least in the West), which proves they’re not true radicals nor think radically at all.
 
 
 
 
 
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