Volatility

August 6, 2018

US Electoralism is No Difference

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

>

 
 
How can we explain electoral idiocy? To 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

>

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

>

 
 
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

>

 
 
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

>

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 6, 2018

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

>

 
 

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

>

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 14, 2018

The Gathering Dance of Nuclear Death

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

>

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.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 3, 2018

The US Voter Says to Earth, Happy New Year

>

 
 
Donald Trump says to North Korea, “my button is bigger than yours”. This is just the latest and most extreme example of how Trump is nothing more or less than the logical consummation of the last fifty years of US government policy and US electoralism. I’d call him the most typical US president of all. Starting where you wish, let’s say Jimmy Carter, name a single president for whom a US-provoked nuclear standoff, and likely nuclear war, wasn’t portended by the entire thrust of his foreign and especially economic policy (corporate globalization, i.e. flat-out aggressive war by economic means). The Clintons and Obama never once said anything other than my button, my bombs, my guns, my dollars, are bigger than yours.
 
As I wrote before, all US voters voted for Trump. And today there’s consensus among all Republicans and Democrats that they want nuclear war. The only difference is whether they want it with North Korea or Russia or both. But they all want nuclear war. They lust for it. They lust for the total death of all that’s human and earthly. That, to say again, is the logic implicit in the entire thrust of all they’ve sought for decades now with their votes and with every other political action. Today the entire thrust of the US electoral system, which votes unanimously every election for total global war, is reaching its logical consummation.
 
Humanity, if it survives this crisis, must never forget this and never forgive it.
 
If there are any fellow mammals out there, better find cover, preferably in groups, while the dinosaurs cheer on the asteroid they’ve long prayed for.
 
 
 
 
 

August 20, 2017

Odd and the End

>

The Corporate One-Party

 
 
*Example of a “historic climate victory”, according to Big Oil, the mainstream media, and US mainstream politics. Of course this is just one facet of the general corporate climate scam. The Paris Accord and its forerunners are broader scams.
 
For the handful who truly care about the climate crisis, there’s one and only one solution, both for mitigation and adaptation: Tremendously reduce GHG emissions, stop destroying carbon sinks, and rebuild sinks on a massive scale. Anything short of this is a lie.
 
*As for those liars, this is correct about Trudeau, and Australia’s Turnbull. Now let’s hear McKibben be honest about the exact same genre in the US, epitomized by Obama and Clinton. Such crocodile-tear climate criminals are vastly more pernicious and spiritually odious than the de jure Trump type.
 
*Amid its general shilling for corporate globalization, the corporate media especially loves CAFOs.
 
(To be fair, almost all Westerners love this Auschwitz-type system, including and especially the hypocrites who cry crocodile tears about animal welfare, climate change, and the environment.)
 
*Here’s some good books on what’s necessary. Regarding the fact that humans naturally are far more cooperative than competitive, I’ll add that one need only look at at how, even though in this society children are so intensively indoctrinated into the competition ideology, the system still requires such a massive, unrelenting campaign of propaganda, inducements, threats, and violence in order to get significant numbers of people to act in even a semi-competitive way. That right there proves what our truly natural cooperative tendencies are, and how readily we revert to them as soon as the artificial pressure lets up even a little. This Sodom and Gomorrah can’t keep it up much longer.
 
*This is true, and exactly parallel in every detail to GMO/pesticides and corporate industrial agriculture as such.
 
*According to the ideology of the car, Suburbs = Cities.
 
The ideology of the car is a malignancy which crosses all fake partisan lines and reveals the system’s “politics” to be an Earth-destroying, climate change-denying monolith. So there’s one litmus test which defines the real line: Is one for or against the model of “civilization” based on the barbarism of the personal car. Squabbles within the car paradigm, on the other hand, are nothing but fake politics.
 
*Here’s an important report from 2016 on how courtroom junk science stacks the deck in favor of bogus prosecutions. Just one of the many ways scientism is poisoning civilization.
 
*As always in the corporate media, corporate elite interests are represented as the only legitimate interests that exist. Therefore the only legitimate controversies, besides partisan political squabbling within the Corporate One-Party, are where oligopolists are at odds. As Chomsky wrote, when the New York Times says “the people” it means big corporations and the rich, and when it says “special interests” it means the people and the environment.
 
*Like this:
 
MacNeil: Thank you, Mr. Ginn and Jim. The secretary of the Committee for Regulatory Reform in Slavery is Eric Halfmeasure. Mr. Halfmeasure, give us the other side of the story.
 
Halfmeasure: Robin, I would like to make one thing perfectly clear. We are wholeheartedly in favor of slavery. We just see abuses that diminish productivity and reduce incentives for free men and women to compete in the marketplace. Lynching, tarring and feathering, rape, lack of holidays, and that sort of thing. One recent study suggests that regulation could raise productivity by 15 percent.
 
If only that really were a joke, but that’s a sober depiction of exactly how almost all mainstream media “debate” is done.
 
*Google’s part in the corporate media’s assault on reality-based journalism. Trump and the liberals, on behalf of their identical corporate masters, are in full collaboration against the people and the Earth.
 
*The New York Times continues to set the standard for fake news.
 
Speaking of that, and for those who have been shrieking idiotically about the fiction of Russian meddling in their phony election*: You mean like what your government, led by your Hillary Clinton, did in Honduras? You mean like what you did in Ukraine? (And where US liberals and the mainstream media are allied with a truly powerful neo-Nazi movement, no less.) You mean like what you’re doing right now to Venezuela, and your long, long record of manipulating elections and overthrowing governments all over the world? Fact is, no government on earth has remotely the record of such crimes as your US government, and the way your ilk now howls like a stuck pig over this (completely fabricated) allegation of foreign manipulation of one of YOUR phony elections is really rich. But then no one howls worse at getting a taste of their own medicine than fat, privileged, hypocritical, cowardly thugs like you.
 
[*Even if furriners did interfere in your kangaroo election, what difference would that make? It couldn’t make it any less fraudulent, since you’re already running a one-party system heavily rigged to keep any potential alternative off the ballot. Even your own con man Bernie Sanders was too much for you, precisely because he would’ve beaten Trump, who you all really wanted, as proven by your actions. That’s why the Democrat primary had to be specially rigged to steal the candidacy for Clinton.]
 
*Continuing with MSM abetting of fascism, here’s a good survey of the corporate media’s anti-democracy agenda which it deploys in the service of corporate technocracy and kleptocracy. One thing this leaves out is that the real affinity is between “mainstream” capitalism and the neo-Nazis. The historical record proves that the capitalist establishment, including liberals (i.e., pro-capitalist technocrats), publicize and empower fascism in proportion to how threatened by the exploited people this establishment feels.
 
Their entire system is based most fundamentally on war. War purely for its own sake, prior even to any power goal. This is proven by the fact that there is no politics left in mainstream US ideology. There’s nothing but partisan celebrity worship. Substantively, there is zero difference between the Democrat and Republican shades of the Corporate One-Party. Substantively, there is no difference between Trump and Clinton/Bush/Obama. On the contrary, Trump seamlessly continues along that exact vector.
 
*Good piece on the WWIII-mongers and fracking shills (the proximate profiteering purpose of the sanctions bill is to try to coerce Europe into dependency upon US fracked LNG). We see the most vile dregs among Democrats and Republicans coming together in their determination to utterly destroy humanity and the Earth.
 
*The liberal/neocon WWIII-mongers want nothing less than the complete destruction of human life itself. The most vile part is how it’s in the service of nothing but pure hypocrisy.
 
*How does one “bypass the Democrat party”? Exalt a con artist whose entire record has been to serve as a sheepdog for the Democrat Party! And of course these organizers also are such sheepdogs.
 
But seriously, any such notion to organize an honest-and-for-true-this-time progressive party is putting the party horse before the movement cart. History proves that once an electoral system is in the stranglehold of a de facto one-party system (this usually takes the form of a “two-party” scam), any attempt to cobble together a “third party” without first having built a solid, coherent cultural movement foundation, and then extruding the political party from this movement, is doomed to collapse or co-optation. Just look at what happened to the People’s Party, prematurely built on the culturally unripe foundation of the Populist movement in the 1890s. The movement felt forced into premature electoralism because only attainment of power could enable them to enact the subtreasury plan, which was necessary to rescue the Farmers’ Alliance co-op system which was being strangled economically by a total credit embargo on the part of the system banks. (We who are building the Community Food sector and Food Sovereignty have an advantage over the cotton farmers of Populism, in that as commodity farmers they remained dependent on the commodity system in a way we, who grow food for human beings, are not.) The new party was co-opted by the Democrats (the Democrat Party has been dedicated to destroying democracy for much longer than a hundred years now) and then pathetically died. The same is guaranteed to happen to any half-assed attempt to build a new party today, without first putting in the necessary hard work of building a true anti-system movement.
 
 
 
 
 
Older Posts »