Volatility

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.
 
 
 
 
 

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)
 
 
 
 
 
 

March 18, 2018

Russia Derangement Syndrome

Filed under: Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Globalization, Mainstream Media — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 4:20 am

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The US corporate globalizers hallucinate their own image as a new “Red Menace”

 
 
The “bipartisan” insanity over Russia (just a typical example of how Democrats and Republicans are identical in all their evils and mental illnesses), and its counterpart insanity in Europe, is easy to explain.
 
Russia was supposed to remain permanently subdued after being raped by Western globalization in the 1990s. The fact that Russia has undergone a resurgence and is now reasserting itself against US-driven corporate tyranny is therefore deeply disturbing to the Western elite class. There’s also the psychology of the bully who feels entitled to hit his victim and is genuinely outraged when his victim gets up and hits back.
 
This explains the entirety of Russia Derangement Syndrome. It’s the reaction of pro-corporate elites and elitists to a challenge to their criminal regime. This also explains their absurd and malign obsession with North Korea. From any rational point of view North Korea is nothing but a minor nuisance to Western power.
 
But in both cases, if there remain any sane, rational people out there, always keep in mind and never forget: These psychopaths in the US government and media, and the psychopathic Rep/Dem political class which follows them, all are trying to drive the world into nuclear war. It’s as I’ve always written: The corporate globalization regime absolutely will prefer the complete destruction of humanity to losing its power, and will do its best to bring this about. You can see examples of it every day in every government statement and on every show on every news network. These are the most vile criminals who have ever existed.
 
 
 
 
 

March 6, 2018

“Experts” and “Intellectuals”: Throw Out the Bums

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What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence and hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them…Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism — in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science…

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago…

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited…

He doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game.

 
– Nassim Taleb on Intellectuals-Yet-Idiots
 
 
Today’s public life gives quite a spectacle. For example, when we see the hyper-educated “experts” and “intellectuals”, all pompously proclaiming their participation in this or that millennial intellectual paradigm, whether it be scientism, technocracy, neoliberalism, establishment versions of environmentalism, feminism, and other causes, while their social and political vision invariably boils down to the same flat-earth worship of the system based on capitalism, money, “jobs”, temporal power, including regurgitating the same lies any half-assed mainstream media columnist is paid to spew. It’s axiomatic that 99.9% of Mensa members have utterly mainstream, mediocre political opinions. (Opinions, not even thoughts, let alone values.) Almost without exception these geniuses submit to the exact same bounds of political partisanship dictated by the mainstream media as the unwashed masses do. All their learning, all their alleged intellectual principles, do nothing to give them even a single new idea.
 
This applies to the great majority of self-alleged “radicals” as well. They too constantly renew their devotion to all the main ideas and institutions of productionism and consumerism, however much it pleases them to sneer at “bourgeois” ideology and arbitrarily to separate productionism into the two flavors of “capitalism” and “socialism”.* And then most of them, come time for the kangaroo election (they also have no ideas beyond electoralism), tell the people to vote Democrat. But it never required intensive study of Marx to reach the position of “Hope and Change…I’m With Her”. I personally know plenty of uneducated people who reached the same position, or its “Make America Great Again” flip side, with zero effort.
 
Of course, most of these pseudo-educated elites are actually mediocrities who had the grinder aspiration and the money to go to school. When I refer to elitism I’m thinking more of the intellectuals’ grandiose ideological pronouncements than of their mediocre selves. The point is that such grand intellectual projects, if these really possessed any of the integrity, profundity, and altruistic impulse their adherents claim for them, ought to better the minds and spirits of those who participate. But we see every day how there’s almost an inverse relationship between the grandiosity of the ideal and the gutter quality, intellectual and moral, of its practitioners and fanboys.
 
Even where it comes to the few writers today capable of the true eagle’s eye perspective, those who speak profoundly about this civilization’s unsolvable crises of economics, energy, and ecology, most of them still insist on self-indulging in “topical” political commentary where they then immediately regress to the level of cranky right-wing bloggers, including all the standard incoherency, self-contradiction, and refusal to engage with rational argument which is characteristic of such types.** Here again, more overtly conformist minds reach those same positions with much less effort. (For real criticism of the left as offering no alternative to productionism and technocracy, one has to come to a site like mine.)
 
Perhaps the greatest irony of this culture is how the “Progress” ideologues are the most hidebound, intellectually stagnant, politically retarded epigones who are congenitally incapable of ever actually progressing to a new idea, a new vision. For them the laws of the world are never anything but the status quo forever. In many ways “progressives” are, objectively speaking, reactionaries in how they desperately cling to revanchist fantasies for things which long ago were disproved and/or destroyed forever, not to mention how meager their fantasies usually are. To fixate on “bring back Glass-Steagal” manages the feat of being simultaneously nostalgic and lame.
 
This puts in perspective the value of today’s university education. All that investment of money, time, effort, all that “thinking”, and look at what the modern intellectual/political class comes up with: Straight parroting of all the most gutter “values”, lies, and ideological precepts of Mammon and the corporations, every last one of these a thousand times refuted. (And still so many still think they ought to voluntarily submit to debt slavery for the sake of this “education”!) The modern intellectual is hidebound, stagnant, and stupid. The modern expert is a prostituted liar. I say we the people can do better.
 
 
In denouncing the morbid state of today’s intellectuals I’m not being anti-intellectual. On the contrary, it’s our establishment intellectuals who refuse to do any thinking at all, other than in a purely instrumental way in their unquestioning service of productionism, technocracy, the extreme energy civilization, and most of all corporate imperatives. Today’s pseudo-intellectuals “think” only this way, and they advocate only the fake politics which go along with this corporate status quo ideology. They’re propagandists, which means one is the worst kind of criminal. In the same way, this site is one of the few on the internet which respects true science. Contrary to the lies of the STEM establishment, it’s the establishment types themselves, with their slavish instrumental adherence to the corporate science paradigm, who are anti-science.
 
In case anyone thinks I’m exalting novelty or radicalism for their own sakes, I’m not. My total opposition to thoughtless reckless promiscuous technological deployment sufficiently refutes that. Nor is that the case with ideas. I call for propagating and enacting the new and necessary ideas. What’s wrong with productionism isn’t that it’s an old idea and institution, but that it’s proven destructive to humanity and the Earth. What’s wrong with “progress” isn’t that it’s antiquated, but that it’s long been disproven as at best a religious fantasy, more often an ideological lie. What’s wrong with liberalism and “vote Democrat” isn’t that it’s the same old thing, but that it’s long been proven ineffective and a malign scam. Those who still adhere to these disproven notions, claiming to be finding something new and possible in them, are idiots or liars.
 
The necessary new ideas, most of all the great need to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and globally transform to agroecology, are those needed to overcome and transcend these failed and destructive old notions and actions. That’s the one and only real kind of progress.
 
 
*Consider the standard left perspective on the culture wars of “science”. It usually means one denounces Trump and is indistinguishable from a partisan liberal. For them as well as for the liberals, what’s wrong with de jure climate denial is that it’s an affront to the authority of “Science”, a kind of lese majestie. In reality, what’s wrong with any kind of climate denial isn’t that it’s intellectually “wrong”, let alone that it insults the alleged majesty of science. (The very belief in such majesty and authority indicates one knows and cares nothing for real science, but on the contrary is a scientism cultist.) What’s wrong is that climate chaos already is profoundly destructive of humanity and the Earth and will become far worse. Denial of this and obstruction of real mitigation and adaptation measures comprise a crime against humanity and the Earth. That’s what’s wrong with it, not the liberal vs. conservative culture war part of it.
 
Such misdirection highlights how the de jure deniers are just one minority faction among the deniers. Far greater in number are the de facto deniers, who may “believe in” anthropogenic climate change and often claim to care about it, but whose actions prove they want no change in the status quo paradigms which drive climate change. They only tell various lies and propagate various scams in order to pretend they care and are doing something. These are the climate crocodiles, crying crocodile tears over climate change. They include the liberal hand-wringers as well as the scientific establishment and its fanboys. All these persons and institutions systematically do their worst to drive climate chaos even as they deplore it with empty words. This kind of denialism is far more pernicious than the de jure kind, since it reflects a much more profound Earth-destroying inertia.
 
For the climate crocodiles this hypocrisy driven by destructive inertia causes them to fixate on “Trump” even though ecologically destructive policy and ideology is the realm where, more than anywhere else, Trump is nothing but the continuation of the Clinton-Bush-Obama paradigm. And here is the best example of the pathology I mentioned above, where “leftists” decompose to become indistinguishable from liberals, often to the point of touting the Democrat Party, thus demonstrating their own indelible bourgeois character, to use one of their own favorite curse words.
 
All that education and ideological pomposity, and one still decries Trump’s affront to the fake Paris accord or the “corruption” of the previously public-spirited EPA. So-called lesser minds usually reach those positions with much less effort. It’s taken a bit more effort to work out the new and necessary ideas for a human future. We’ll see how much effort it takes to propagate and then realize them.
 
**These days there’s a whole genre of writers who are at heart run-of-the-mill timid conservatives, but who for whatever reason are unable to find solace in the regular corporate propaganda. So they acknowledge this or that existential crisis, such as Peak Oil, climate chaos, looming ecological and agricultural collapse, or the totalitarianism of globalization, often including various esoteric tie-ins. But all this is just window dressing for what’s always in the end the same snowflake “conservative” presentation. Jordan Peterson might be the most faddish example of this today, but there’s lots of such writers. Here again the pro-capitalists are out ahead of the anti-capitalists, who mostly remain mired in regressive “political” ideology.
 
 
 
 
 

February 8, 2018

One Thing the Scientism Cultists and Dembots Have in Common

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 6:10 am

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The future of obsolete, malign structures. Their cultists feel it coming and react accordingly.

 
 
One of the most bizarre phenomena of the US electoral system is the way the Democrat Party and its more cultish adherents choose to revile anyone who is skeptical about voting for the Party instead of trying to persuade them. Of course, part of this is that they know they could never persuade anyone who isn’t already part of their cult, since they have nothing to offer anyone but the big corporations and the rich. Their 2016 campaign was even explicit about this.
 
But it goes deeper than this. The Dembots believe that the votes of certain groups – blacks, other minorities, anyone who identifies as “progressive” – are the private property of the Party, to be redeemed on demand of the Party. So their hysterical anger at anyone from these groups who rejects the Party is the anger of someone who thinks his rightful property is being stolen from him.*
 
In the same way, the scientism/technocracy cult is becoming increasingly unhinged as they sense how more and more people are becoming skeptical of them and rejecting their authority. Seeing themselves as great religious saviors, they regard the unquestioning submission and genuflection of the people, and the people’s unquestioning purchase of the products of the corporate-technocratic system, as their private property, or at least the property of the corporations who dominate the technocratic system and control the products of technology.**
 
Therefore they respond to even the most modest questions or criticism, not with rational argument, but with hysterical denunciations and insults. What’s at stake has nothing to do with “science” and everything to do with the religious authority of the cult and the power of the corporations who control it. (Of course just as with the Dembots, here too the cultists sense that they would lose any rational argument. That’s why they invariably resort to canned lies anytime they do deign to “argue” on behalf of the corporate technologies they fetishize.)
 
In both cases, we have a malign structure whose foundation is crumbling, which feels the ground shaking under its feet, and which has no rational or moral basis to justify its existence. In both cases humanity and the Earth will benefit tremendously when this structure ceases to exist. Therefore these two structures are reacting with all the desperation and rage of cosseted authoritarians whose authority is now being rejected on a mass scale, where all the signs point toward the eventual complete collapse of this authority. (We can add the mainstream media as another such dying structure lashing out at its rivals and at the people who are rejecting its legitimacy.)
 
That’s why they’re so deranged.
 
 
*In a similar way, cultists of the electoral religion in itself believe everyone’s vote is the property of the government, to be redeemed on the government’s demand, i.e. whenever it holds an election. Their outrage at non-voters is outrage on behalf of a government that, they believe, is the victim of theft. This also explains their frequent advocacy of mandatory voting, which from any conventional democracy point of view would seem to be an authoritarian contradiction of democracy. But then electoralism is only formally connected with just one form of democracy, the “representative” form, and doesn’t necessarily have any substantive connection even with this form. On the contrary, we know that today’s elections are nothing but a sham, the pseudo-democratic facade of neoliberalism.
 
**Another way of conceiving the cultist mindset is that voters owe a debt to the Democrat Party or the government itself, and that those who abstain are some kind of deadbeat. The scientism cultists are most explicit about this: One of their most hysterical talking points is that the rising number of people who are skeptical of technocracy and many of its products are “ungrateful”.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 15, 2018

The Action Spirit of King

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In April 1963 Martin Luther King and his fellow Birmingham direct actionists sat in jail. They had expected such a response from the segregationist power structure. It was also predictable that they’d be hearing criticism and condemnation from most of the people who in theory should have been on their side. King anticipated this, and responded immediately with an eloquent refutation and exposure of this collaborator position. This was the Letter From Birmingham Jail.
 
In the letter King refutes those who object to demonstrations, boycotts, sit-ins, civil disobedience in general, those who reject anything but the most lukewarm, “civil” criticism which is guaranteed to remain impotent. He opens up with their standard objection to any real resistance, that it’s “unwise and untimely”. Today this could be the signature of all who are lukewarm.
 
Protest is always timely and wise in the broadest sense. As for the specific timing, we who want humanity and the Earth to have a future must recognize when the time has come, and when today is the day. Our task today isn’t the same as that of the civil rights movement. They sought a specific set of reforms. They were up against an obsolete set of attitudes and practices which for the most part were an embarrassment to corporate power, and the reforms the movement sought wouldn’t interfere with corporate imperatives. Indeed, the end of segregation was put to good political use by corporate power. It has helped render racially astro-turfed divide-and-conquer even more insidious and harder to counteract. It also generated the terrain for anti-political “identity politics”. This isn’t the fault of the civil rights movement, but rather these are crimes of the corporations and the rich and the fault of malingering racists and corporate liberals themselves. But we should be aware of this history of corporate domination.
 
Today we need to abolish poison-based agriculture and transform food production and distribution on the rational, scientific basis of agroecology and the social basis of food sovereignty. We must build this alternative to the corporate agriculture and food system, counter to it where possible, in resistance to it where necessary. This is a permanent necessity whose goal is the eventual complete replacement of this world of waste, bottlenecks, and destruction by a world of socioecological health, well-being, and freedom.
 
We’ll constantly be propagating the need for total abolition. Along the way we’ll encounter many opportunities for the kind of direct action and civil disobedience campaigns King led. We’ll likely have to engage in civil disobedience on behalf of the Community Food movement which the corporate system is trying to repress as an economic and political threat to its domination. Up against these assaults, we’ll often encounter the same sort of opposition, including the opposition King specifically addresses in his Letter.
 

I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.

 
When we speak of the global ecological and human network and the global corporate assault upon it, in particular the global onslaught of poison-based agriculture, we know that anyone who lives as part of Earth can never be considered an outsider anywhere upon it. Conversely, corporations and the hominid functionaries of corporations are purely alien to the Earth, nothing but parasite squatters on the planet’s surface. They never can be considered part of Earth or humanity. They themselves proclaim this with their ugly foreigners’ disdain for what they call “the rock” with its “messy nature”.
 

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham.

 
1. The injustice is clear.
 
There’s many reasons to abolish poison-based agriculture. It’s agronomically and environmentally totalitarian. It poisons the soil, all crops and the environment. It accelerates soil, water, air, and habitat destruction. Industrial agriculture is by far the worst driver of the climate crisis. The longer humanity remains in thrall to industrial agriculture, the more abject its dependency shall become, the worse the environmental destruction shall be, and the more profoundly the global ecology shall be chaotically wrought.
 
Poison-based agriculture also is destroying our health. All pesticides cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, organ damage, and autoimmune disease such as allergies, asthma, autism, disease of the gut, and gastrointestinal inflammation which leads to every other kind of disease. These are just the best documented effects. It’s likely GMOs themselves also cause these health harms. Glyphpsate-tolerant crops are nutritionally denuded, and eating the processed foods made from them merely adds to the nutritional deficiency already inherent in diets centered on such “foods” and the many diseases this can cause or exacerbate.
 
The most amazing thing is how all this is over such a pathetic, worthless product. Pesticides and GMOs are shoddy, antiquated, failure-prone products based upon the backward, luddite mental framework of dealing with crop pests and disease with poison. Agricultural poisons and GMOs don’t work for any purpose which could actually help people. GMO yield is poor, no improvement over non-GM conventional agriculture. They require far more pesticides than non-GM conventional agriculture. By helping weeds and insect pests build resistance to pesticides, they generate pest resistance against themselves, uncontrollable by the same poisons which were supposed to be the reasons for having these GMOs in the first place. The ”special” GMOs – those for drought resistance, vitamin fortification, nitrogen-fixing, etc. – are all media hoaxes.
 
These factors build the despair, anger, and the sense of social, political, and economic bottlenecks which are driving the rising global will to rebuild the community food system and abolish the industrial food system.
 
 
2. We the people owe don’t it to those who in principle are our public servants to negotiate with them, but nevertheless we have done so ad nauseum. Citizens have fought for and passed anti-corporate legislation at the local level. Citizens and farmers have filed lawsuits like OSGATA vs. Monsanto. Almost everyone involved with the rising Community Food movement has wanted to do so with the blessing of the power structure and has been appeasement-minded about it.
 
No, we’ve done all we can to negotiate. The fact is, representative democracy itself with its elections were supposed to constitute such negotiations. But this always was a sham. System politicians have done nothing but lie to the people and have never felt the slightest obligation to live up to their promises after the election. Indeed, ideologues of fake electoral “democracy” have explicitly argued that the “representative” has no obligation to his constituents at all after the election is over, but is free to “vote his conscience”. In this case conscience is a euphemism for corrupt personal interest.
 
The “negotiation” failed. We can never have a responsible, responsive, legitimate government in its current form. In his reform context Martin Luther King came to a similar conclusion.
 

As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community.

 
All that’s left to us is self-purification, and then to go out there and do it.
 

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

 
This is a direct rejoinder to those who want to keep we the people kettled inside a polity-wide “free speech zone”.
 
King goes on to discuss the change of governmental administrations which never constitutes a structural change. He agrees with the anarchists: Only direct action ever accomplished anything, and it did so with nonviolent force.
 

My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

 
We have not only the right, but the obligation, to disobey unjust laws:
 

One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I it” relationship for an “I thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

 
Today things are even worse than Buber’s “I-it”. Mammon and the corporate technocracy seek to reduce all relationships to purely technical and money relationships. This system does not recognize the existence of human beings, only technology and money. It views all relationships as “it-it.” Corporate personhood and patents on life, two kinds of demon worship, represent the most clear distillations of this.
 
On the contrary, the only relationships are ecological relationships, most importantly to us the relations of human being to human being. Therefore the only just laws would be laws in harmony with ecosystems and interrelating constructively with them, since the only thing which biologically exists are these ecological relationships. Agricultural and ecological pioneers long knew this intuitively and empirically, and over the course of the 20th century science has confirmed it. By contrast, poison-based agriculture, genetic engineering, “intellectual property”, property in land, the corporate-held agricultural system, segregates we the people from our work, from our land, from our food, from our own bodies. The whole ideology of productionism, consumerism, scientism, technocracy, instrumental reason, arises out of a fundamental self-loathing and hatred for the physical earth and the physical human body.
 
The “I and Thou” invoked by Buber and King also signifies the human affinity with the Earth, its natural ecosystems, its soil, its crops, its food, and especially the earthly human labor which indelibly interacts with these. The “I and it” indicates our sundering from all that makes us human, our forced exile driven by corporate agriculture. Alien, anti-human corporations and all that comes from them render human society a destructive and self-destructive parasite squatter on the surface of the earth, no longer a constructive part of it. With every action corporate industrial agriculture expresses its contempt for the earth. It insults the soil as the cradle of all complex life, treating it as nothing but an inert medium. It insults the seed as the universal embryo, treating it as a commodity to be painted, pimped, and most of all controlled. It adds the obscene injury of its wholesale poisoning of the soil, air, water, crops, and environment.
 
Legally and ideologically also this is a surface squatter regime and an obscene alienation of humanity. The land, the soil, the very seed are “owned”, which word we must render in all corporate contexts as controlled and dominated by an alien, anti-human entity. Indeed, a patent on a seed is alienation squared, since the patent is an abominable segregation and sundering of we the people from our common heritage, and it’s “owned” by an alien, anti-human entity whose very existence is also an abomination.
 
Economically as well this is a surface squatter regime and an obscene alienation from humanity. Growing our food is the essential human labor, the core human economic activity, the primary economy, a deep cultural and spiritual endeavor. It’s the main form of our communion with the Earth and our thread of its harmony. We’re now to be alienated from this, driven off the land. For the Western middle class, into spiritual ghettos. For the global South, into physical concentration camps called shantytowns. And soon this bell tolls also for us in the West, as our economic liquidation proceeds and the capitalist era deteriorates to a more brutally direct mode of tyranny.
 
We’re all too familiar with this type today:
 

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

 
Today the “moderate” isn’t an outsider with a shallow understanding, but either a predatory collaborator or a willing part of the prey herd himself. His moderation and lukewarm stance are homicidal and suicidal. He sides with the oppressor against those who would fight.
 
King describes how the inertial mass deplores those who fight as “extremists”, as instigators of violence, and as being too impatient. But these charges are false. It’s the enemy who’s extreme, it’s the enemy who’s violent, and we’ve been far too patient for far too long.
 
But in all the things we do, we aren’t the ones generating the “tension” so unpleasant to conformists. Where it comes to that, we’re merely symptomatic:
 

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

 
This is the only path forward.
 
King describes how the early Christians were sustained by their faith and their relentless will against long odds.
 

Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

 
The hardest thing is to overcome this feeling of astronomical intimidation. The mission is daunting, and existing institutions can play no constructive role.
 
 

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world.

 
 
This will ring true for us today wherever we transpose it to any institution of the corporate-dominated system.
 
Today in the West the conflict isn’t over de jure slavery (but there’s still much of that worldwide) nor de jure segregation (but land policy is very effective at “segregating” out of existence small farmers who produce food for the community and do so without poisons; and in general we’re all being driven off the land and segregated into ghettos, shantytowns, tent cities, cemetaries), we are being economically destroyed and physically malnourished and poisoned. We are being given cancer. Ecosystems, carbon sinks, arable soil all over the world are physically poisoned and destroyed. New crop deployments based on massive upsurges in dicamba and 2,4-D will turn vast swathes of US cropland into the equivalent of Times Beach, while the “New Alliance” plan to recolonize Africa coupled with corporate-driven climate chaos threatens to turn all of sub-Saharan Africa into a literal desert. Does the Earth have the luxury of the “patience” King discusses here?
 

I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

 
 
Time itself is neutral, and the flow of time itself has no characteristic independent of what we choose to do with it. Abolitionism is a way of life. It’s not just labor toward a goal, let alone the ideas contained in the goal itself. Most of all it’s a way of life. The goal is most realized in the here and now, every day. This way of life means not only exercising ecology and freedom in any way we can but also fighting for it everywhere we must. This adds to the challenge and striving, but this challenge is the challenge of being human at all. In the context of King’s struggle he was writing of direct action in the most literal sense. Abolitionists of agricultural poisons will certainly have all too many opportunities and needs for such direct action as well. But primarily we rise to the direct action of rebuilding our agricultural and food systems, building agroecology and food sovereignty, propagating far and wide the ideas of these while rejecting the poison systems on a personal and group level and propagating the demolition and condemnation of the ideas of these.
 
The essence of humanity is to take responsibility for oneself within the community and ecology, to achieve power over oneself, to exercise one’s responsibility, combining one’s personal strength in free cooperation with others to build a free and prosperous human community. Only in such a community can we then create the space for the essence of humanity, positive freedom. This is spiritual freedom, creative freedom, political freedom, participatory freedom, ecological freedom. These can exist only on the basis of the cooperative prosperity which affords the time and opportunity for this freedom. Only this deserves the name democracy, and only this can be called in the most profound sense civilization.
 
Today corporate-technocratic barbarians seek to destroy democracy, civilization, agriculture, the world ecology, humanity itself. These barbarians are the opposite of the original tribes raging out of Central Asia. Those were the vigorous barbarians of ascent toward a richer civilization. Today’s barbarians of decadence are rotted and malevolent, ugly and stupid, meanly wicked. Their technology and wealth renders them the most powerful ruling class in history, at the same time that their utter lack of any redeeming quality whatsoever renders them history’s nadir, history’s most degraded, nihilistic, parasitic, worthless ruling class. They represent not a stage of Western Civilization but its final self-cannibalization. This is the end of this pseudo-civilization, for better or worse. The corporate barbarians certainly intend the worst: The full reinstatement of a slave economy, through economic liquidation, debt indenture, and corporate domination of agriculture and food.
 
We can defeat this satanic plan if we redeem from the wreckage of the corporate industrial agriculture system the greatest treasure we’ve won: The consciousness that we the people can feed ourselves and rule ourselves. We can realize and fulfill our freedom, well-being, and strength through full ecological democracy.
 
All we need is to accept this fact, believe in it, take responsibility for it, take action upon it. The true Human Renaissance beckons. This is the same human evolution and salvation for which Martin Luther King fought, for which he sat in jail, for which he wrote a letter from that jail.
 
We shall live up to the standard he and so many other great fighters for humanity have set for us. It’s a very high standard, and the forces ranged against us are powerful and evil. But we can do it. Freedom is ours wherever and whenever we want it. The time is ours whenever we choose it. Our freedom will assert itself as soon as we freely choose to fight for it.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

January 14, 2018

The Gathering Dance of Nuclear Death

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death — Tags: , , , — Russell Bangs @ 6:58 am

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The ultimate goal of the US political class.

 
 
The corporate-technocratic system happily brings missiles, and the idea of missiles, to its fake news every day, and now to an acute panic. There’s no doubt at all it contemplates someday happily to bring the real thing.
 
For a little while Hawaii thought it was under nuclear attack. There’s a conspiracy theory that someone in the Deep State wanted to panic Trump into launching nukes against North Korea.
 
I don’t know about that, but one thing certain is that Republicans and Democrats, working together as usual, are doing all they can to whip America into a war hysteria such that even an accident (such as the government is claiming this Hawaii incident to be) becomes more likely to trigger nuclear war.
 
(The nuclear war fever is mirrored by the technocracy’s ongoing cult of nuclear power, which has never been anything but an economic boondoggle, dependent on unsustainable fossil fuels and uranium, driving war, generating an unsolvable and mounting nuclear waste disposal crisis, horrifically destructive of the environment. The climate crocodiles love nukes. The US lies about Iran, but there’s no doubt about the essential affinity of the US civilian nuclear deployment and its weaponized war deployment. Just like with pesticides.)
 
Anyone left who’s rational needs to be aware of the total malevolent stupidity of both halves of the Corporate One-Party and their bots.
 
If there’s any fellow mammals out there, better find cover, preferably in groups, while the dinosaurs cheer on the asteroid for which they’ve long prayed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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