On Entertaining the Possibility of the End of the Enlightenment
At root, I am a Perennialist...I adhere to the Perennial Philosophy.
While this Philosophy was the main Engine of what we call the Enlightenment, it preceded it by thousands of years.
During that long Twighlight period, the Perennialists were, largely Underground...keeping to the Fringes of the Mundane Culture.
They realised that the Great Mass of Humanity were simply Not Ready for Thought, Freedom and Wisdom....this realisation was no cause for celebration,rather for sorrow...and patience.
The Rivals, the Authoritarians, were Ascendant...having enjoyed a substantial Head Start of some thousands of years.The fact of Mankind's Not-Ready-ness was, for them, a cause to celebrate.
In Authoritarian Culture, Thought is to be Feared and Discouraged...Wisdom is thought of as the purview of a select few, an Elite, who alone are capable of Thought.
The World is so Complex, you see.
There have been a few periods when the Perennialist Tradition has gained traction in the larger Society...these periods are known, to students of History, as "Golden Ages"....referred to by adjectives such as "Flowering" and "Elnlightened".
Of these Flowerings, we will consider three that have had Influence on Contemporary Western Culture.
Ancient Greece(750-550BCE), the European Enlightenment(1600-1850), and The Sixties(1962-1972)...all of.which were wholly subverted by the Machine, the Authoritarians.
Perhaps we should more clearly define what I'm referring to with words like "Perennialist" and, especially, "Liberal".
My favorite quote:
" Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth - more than ruin - more even than death... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."
" Fortunately for us, there have been traitors and there have been heretics, blasphemers, thinkers, investigators, lovers of liberty, men of genius who have given their lives to better the condition of their fellow-men. It may be well enough here to ask the question: What is greatness? A great man adds to the sum of knowledge, extends the horizon of thought, releases souls from the Bastille of fear, crosses unknown and mysterious seas, gives new islands and new continents to the domain of thought, new constellations to the firmament of mind. A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains he gives to others. A great man throws pearls before swine, and the swine are sometimes changed to men. If the great had always kept their pearls, vast multitudes would be barbarians now. A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon: in superstition's night, an inspiration and a prophecy. Greatness is not the gift of majorities; it cannot be thrust upon any man; men cannot give it to another; they can give place and power, but not greatness. The place does not make the man, nor the scepter the king. Greatness is from within."
and:"Vincit Omnia Veritas"..."Truth Conquers All"...(I don't know who said this.)
There's "Liberal", in a nutshell.
The Idea that Man is Perfectable, is capable of Improving Himself, through the Application of Reason.
The Idea that Mankind is not a Slave...to Biology, Tradition,Original Sin,Superstition, or any of the other Tropes we hear about from the Right.
The Perennialist Philosophy has been promoting this Idea, or keeping it's Flame alive, for Milennia.
It is what is behind the words and philosophy of myriad Giants...from Socrates, to Aristotle to Jesus, to Lao Tsu, Marx, Neitzche, Jefferson.....
There is, through all of History, a Continuum of Liberal Thought....
This Continuum is, like everything else, Obfuscated, Muddied, by the Right...the Authoritarians, the Machine.
The Right have endeavored to keep the Pearls for themselves.
""The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites.
"The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.
Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."
George Orwell - 1984
This is AntiEnlightenment...AntiLiberal...the AntiPhilosophy of the Machine.
The Authoritarians Fear the Masses.
Fromm has said that this Fear has at it's root, a Fear of Inadequacy....a sense of Powerlessness and Isolation ...of being set loose in the world with no support, nor any set idea of one's Place in that world.
Leibzweski(spelling?) says that these folks are, actually, a whole different subspecies...the Psychopath.
That they are incapable of emotion or sympathy or remorse.Indeed, the Systems that these folks have engineered, spread now over the face of the earth, Select for Psychopathy.
I reckon the Truth to be some hybrid of these....making them all the more Dangerous.
Turn on the News, and their presence in the world is readily apparent.
Willingly or no, consciously or no, these Creatures have been busy remaking the world in their own image for all of recorded History.
Homo Sapiens Avaricious.
Their activities have been cloaked in the vestments of Liberty, of Truth, of Divine Right and the Will of God, Himself.
Anything to convince a critical mass of folks to go along, to allow their rapacious gluttony.
In Myth, Hades, Loki, Zeus, and the Old Testament Jehovah all are modelled on this type.
Avarice, Caprice and Subterfuge...the Con Men and Grifters of History....yet so many were Kings, Priests and even Emporers...
In fact, the very Idea of a Heirarchical System, flowed out of this Ideology.
Our own, 20th Century Mythos characterises them as Sith, Palpatine and Vader, as the various and sundry Forces of Darkness, Morgoth, Sauron,Ungoliant, Harkonnens and Omnius....The Matrix.
Lovecraft's Crawling Chaos,
Always Dark, and Dishonest.
"Tricksy and False".
...for they are Anti Reason....of necessity.
A Truly Reasonable,Truly Well Informed Person could not go along with the Predations and Dishonesty inherent in such a System.
Regular Folks must be Fooled, Tricked, Bribed and Threatened...for the Principals of Authoritarianism go so against the Principals that Reason dictates. Perennialists, Liberals, figure that Man,though certainly Flawed, is capable of Improvement...and that he can guide this Improvement through Reason....That Reason points the way, if one would only Open one's Eyes, Mind and Heart.
Another quote:"...You have much to learn about Jesus and about the most Vital Struggle which has plagued Mankind since the Dawn of History; Mankind's contiuous Struggle between Freedom and Slavery, between Value Producers, and the Violent, Parasitical Elite, between Peace and War, between Truth and Deception." -James Redford.
The Violent, Parasitical Elite...They have taken over the Whole Frakking World, through the vehicle of their Artificial Persons...given even more Power from a captive Supreme Court, in the recent Citizens United Case.
In anticipation of a Popular Uprising, as a result of the Rapine and Plunder, they have had the Audacity, the Hubris! to form their own Faux Grassroots Organisations...siphoning off Public Rage, and channelling it towards somebody, anybody who is not Them.
Especially "liberals"...who have been so characitured as to serve as a Boogy Man, an Existential Threat to All that is Good and Holy.
And We, as a People, Swallowed it Whole!
A Quote:"What Luck for the Rulers that Men do not Think"-A. Hitler.
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, C.Wright Mills'"the Power Elite",Gross'"Friendly Fascism"....are all pointing to the same thing I've been holllering about.
The creation of the Machine.
During WW2, the "Intelligence Agencies" found that they could work with the Industrialists, and Government, to ensure "Stability", and an unprecedented Control of Humanity by the Elite.
The ideas of Bernays(http://www.theburningplatform.com/?tag=edward-bernays), a student of Freud, were applied, as well.
We are, all of us, members of the Herd....and we don't even realise it.
Fast foreward to the 60's....the Youth began to realise that "Civilisation" was a murderous slavery machine, and decided to try a different ways of life.
This presented a problem for the Machine....a shortage of cannon-fodder....and not just in the conventional sense.
The Machine requires Consent from the slaves.
The Youth of the 60's were witholding their Consent...and their Belief in the System.
This is the Machine's Achilles Heel.
Machine learned to coopt, rather than directly oppose, this Counterculture...this opposition.
The 60's Youth Movement was absorbed....and the Machine grew Omnipresent, if not Omnipotent(that would come later).
Personal Computing, the Web, and the 24/7, everywhere-you-look "Consumer Culture", served to further enslave us.
We have, all of us, been decieved.
It is my personal belief that the only effective counter to the Dominance of the Machine is Disbelief...which leads one to Disengage...to Drop Out.....untill such time as the Machine "runs it's course".
The latter is ,in my opinion, inevitable....we inhabit a Finite World, and there are signs everywhere that we are reaching the Limits to Growth...Machine requires Growth.
The last 30 years of encirclement by the Machine is proof of this, in an indirect way.
Machine sees the end of Growth, and is preparing the way for it's continued Dominance in a No Growth Environment.(probably a Pseudo-Feudalism)
"They" will, at some point, need to reduce the population.There are, simply, too many to feed and maintain without abundant oil, and other resources.
We are , merely,Superfluous Livestock.
I suspect that War, especially the Civil Variety, will be the preferred mechanism.
Thus, it is no accident that We the People are divided in every way, except the way that matters, and reflects Reality...by Class.
We are tacitly forbidden from thinking in terms of Class.
Marx is verboten.
Otherwise, We might unite against our real enemy;the Parasitical Elite.
It is instructive, I think, that the Neocons appeared to break away from the Program that had been operative, and effective, for so long.
Suddenly, the long trajectory of the machine was accelerated, the rhetoric became extreme, the Fear was everywhere.
What did they see, the Neocons, that scared them into such reckless action?
In a word...the End....end of the Paradigm.
The 3 Enders:Peak Resources, Peak Economics...and Climate Instability that is a result of the Paradigm.
These are coalescing...building into a tsunami that threatens the viability of the Machine and it;s Operative Paradigm of Infinite Growth...on a Finite Planet.
The Radical Hard Right Turn of 2001,cynically known as "Compassionate Conservatism",and overlaid by the "Global War on Terror", can't really be explained, with satisfaction, in any other way.
What the 60's couldn't acheive, the 3 Enders can.
So the Neocons....the Reactionary "Wing" of the machine....Freaked Out...LIHOP-ed 9-11, and rapidly constructed the rest of the surveillance state. (it had been constructed, up to this point, incrementally...)
This Radical departure from Systematic Incrementalism presents an opportunity...and a Warning....
The Machine percieves it's own Demise...and it will Rage against the "Dying of the Light", as it were....
We, as Individuals...have an opportunity to Organise,Locally, for the eventual End of the machine.
But, to do so, we must, on the one hand, keep such activity (and even awareness) out of the Machine's sight....and we must, also, Disengage.
The Systems in place, from food production, to energy, to transportation....just about everything....are unsustainable.They are,frankly, Impossible...without Cheap, Transportable Energy.
We are Psychologically Manipulated, at every turn, into being Required to Believe....in the Perfection, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Immortality of the Machine.
This is why I am a "Conspiracy Theorist".LOL.
We must Unplug, whithout appearing to Unplug...and encourage others to do the same, again, without appearing to do so....or even appearing to be aware of the necessity.
Instead of; Work:Paper:Buy....we must endeavor to; Study:Do:Harvest.(Ure)
"Dropping Out is a Revolutionary Act."(W. Zendik)
The self-imposed Rules of the Machine prevent it from Powering Down in a sane, humane manner.
The Rules were designed to further enrich the Elite...to consolidate their Power.....but they, too, rely on Abundant, Cheap Energy.
It is up to us, as Individuals and as Community, to do the necessary work.
Sadly, Critical Thinking is lower than at any point since 1300AD.
Few have the desire, let alone the ability, to Think for themselves.
Even Ideas come prepackaged, with shiny, attractive wrappings...
The long term program of Diseducation has bourne fruit.
"Public" Education has kind of a sordid history...at least in it's current form.
Hypercapitalists in the early 20th Century saw a need for docile workers, to populate and operate their Factories.
At the time, and for most of America's history, the majority of the People were on the Farm...and Great Value was placed on Education, however derived.
Thinking Farmers (Jefferson's Ideal) were found to make poor Cogs in the machinery of the Factory.(Zinn)
Mass Production, the Assembly Line...these were inimical to Free Operators, with Minds, who were used to Open Air and being (of necessity) Generalists...Jacks of all trades.
So, the Hypercapitalists concieved the Public Education System that we have ,today.
This was designed, according to the very words of it's designers, to make "Good Workers"...
To train Sheep to be on time, to be happy at their particular wheel of the Machinery, to take orders, and to not stir up shit.
Those who saw the banality and essential Evil of this Organised.
They read Marx, and found him to be Right.
The Labor Movement.
What was a Hypercapitalist to do?!
The Living Gears of his Machinery were so uppity!
The answer, at first, was direct oppression.
They called the cops.
Then they employed their own cops.
These were deployed to the Strikes and other Uprisings,where heads were smashed, noses broken, "Rioters" killed.
And it was learned that these tactics served to make things worse.
The Cogs Rebelled even more!
Another tactic, or tactics, was needed.
...and Propaganda....and Marketing.
The new Media, Radio, was employed..."Credit" was re-invented from the carcass of "Debt".
"Products" were marketed to "Consumers"...
But it wasn't enough.
Folks were still too damned Educated.
Enter "Public Education."
...and Indoctrination....and Conformism.
This whole story, done quite in the open, at the time...has been all but forgotten.
Those who know about it are relegated to "Conspiracy Theorist"-status....part of the Programming.This was done during the Great Depression, when a considerable portion of Americans were Desparate.
then came the War (the Second World War)...the Populace was rallied to the defense of the Free World, against (for the last time, for real) an Existential Threat, an Enemy that all Free Men could oppose.
The most massive Military Mobilisation of all time was begun.
Idle factories were retooled to produce materiel for the War Machine.
At the same time, Boot Camp was retooled to Mass Produce Soldiers.
Farm Boys and Store Owners willingly submitted to systematic depersonalisation...willingly became Cogs in a different, at the time more acceptable and necessary, Machine.
The Lesson was well learned.
When the War was over (in Truth, it never really ended.), the Habits of Conformity were well ensconced.
Just as important, during the War...the Industrialists, Hypercapitalists, found that they could work with Government to achieve a common goal.
The newly Organised Intelligence Apparatus, beginning with the OSI, was quick to get in on the new game, as well.
This Triune, the "Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex", was just what was needed by the Would Be Controllers to whip an unruly mob into shape.
They could subvert Democracy, while appearing to Defend Democracy.
They could Enslave the People, while appearing to Free them.(Kangas)
At War's End, a new Enemy was found....a former Ally.
Russia, which was (Nominally) Communist, would serve nicely.
Socialism/Communism, in Theory, was an effective remedy to the predations of Hypercapitalism...a Check...Marx's Capital was like Volume Two of Smith's Wealth of Nations...
In Practice, it was just another means of Control.
Those who would Rule Over There,in the East, used the Idea to implement Control...in the same way that "Capitalism" was used in the West.
The MIIC, the Machine, used this Threat to subvert Unionising and Labor Solidarity.
Those who would demand better wages and working conditions were branded as Commies....as Enemies.
This Red Baiting had been tried before...but the "Specter of Communism" always arose again to threaten the Hypercapitalists' preferred Utopia of Power, supported by Docile Servitude.
Now, however, the tools for finally "winning" this battle were in place.
The FBI...with Crossdressing Fag J. Edgar Hoover at the helm, launched a Crusade against Communism.Senator McCarthy smeared everyone who disagreed with the Conventional Wisdom.
They were helped by the Machinations of the CIA in the Media and Education...
At the same time, the newly minted Breton Woods Agreement...concieved, ostensibly to prevent another Depression... was in fact implimented to ensure Control of the World's Resources.
The Troops coming home found an "Education" provided for them.
And a "Job", which provided the "Belonging" they had come to love in the Military.
"Housing" was made available..."Subdivisions" were sprawled out across the former Farmland encircling the cities...now You, Too, can Own a "Home"! Every Man, a King!
"Credit" was extended to the Masses...Invisible Chains that they willingly accepted...American Dream.
Not everyone partook of this Capitalist version of a Worker's Paradise.
There were Malcontents....some called themselves "Beats"...which the Machine labeled as "Beatniks", adding the subtle, Soviet-sounding appendage....thus lumping them in with the Commies under every bed.
These were writers and Feral Philosophers...Free Thinkers, who abjured the Conformity and Docility of the Mainstream American way of doing business.
The Beats made common cause with black Jazz Musicians, with Professors, and, yes, with "Commies" and other assorted Rabble Rousers.
They wrote tracts and treatises and books...all in fresh, new ways.
They, inadvertantly, helped to birth the Counterculture.
This was a Movement of Disaffected Youth....suspicious of Power...unwilling to close down their Minds, or to be Happy Little Cogs...Company Men and Housewives.
They percieved Great Injustice...for Minorities such as Black People, Women, Queers, and even "Youth", itself.
They Rebelled, Mightily.
For a decade, they hollered and marched and "Sat In" and did drugs, experimented with sex and music and Ideas....
Refused to help the Establishment in it's Project of Thralldom, as they saw it.
They refused to fight in the War.
En Masse, they ceased to Believe and Participate in the Machine World.
This, the machine could not abide.
The effects of Breton Woods were being felt, despite all the Book Cooking...the Debt owed to the World was getting too big for the Paradigm to convincingly defend.
Ironically, the Machine had almost broken it's own System.
The Nixon Administration had an answer...rather several...
An arbitrary end to bretton Woods, effectively renegging on the Machine's Debts..."Floating Currencies", backed, not with Gold, but with Faith...with Nothing At All.
in it's place, a Coercive sytem of Petrodollar Recycling was instituted.
The Oil Kingdoms in the Middle East were "Encouraged" to sell Oil only in Dollars, which could be had by "Purchasing Debt", in the form of US Treasury Bills.
The Domestic side of Nixon's Remedy was Austerity, cloaked as "Inflation", as some uncontrollable function of the Independant Entity known as the "Market".Applied Mythology.
In addition, the War on Drugs was spun up, and a popular, "Conservative" backlash was fomented among the fearful people who were scared of the Hippies.
The Demonisation of the Left began,again, in earnest.
Hippies were Dangerous Rebels, in league with "Our Enemies", eating out our substance, causing the readily perceptible decline in everyone's fortunes.
And they were all Potheads, Sexual Deviants and Communists!
The Music which had helped rally Young People to the Cause of Liberation was easily Absorbed.
Machine Allied Corporations wrested control of Mass Media and the Production, Distribution of Music and Words.
The "Market" was invoked to Censor unwelcome Ideas.
Several high profile (and suspicious) deaths of Youth-Cultural Icons, as well as the strange phenomenon of Manson, were all the food the Propaganda Arm of the Machine needed to undo such giant leaps as Woodstock and Acid Tests.
Systematic Demonisation of all things Left...Liberal.
The destruction of the Economy helped, too, to stoke the Fear.
By the late 70's, the Middle East Oil Kingdoms had begun having second thoughts about their "Agreement" with the machine.
their own Machine...OPEC....found it's spine.
The "Oil Crisis" ensued...and further damaged the economy.(how much of this was engineered by the Machine, itself,I don't know)
Around this time, in the Churches and Living Rooms of Subdivision America, a Counter-Counter Movement was forming.
Large sums of cash were made available...Fear of Everything was stoked.
And it worked!
St. Ronald Reagan was swept into Power, and along with him, a new Ideology...a repackaged Right Wing, Antienlightenment Ideology.
The lessons of the past 70 years were consulted, and a New Improved, Friendly Fascism (Gross) was brought to bear.
Wrapped in the flag, and Carrying a Cross.(Lewis)
St. Ronald came in on rhetoric regarding an End to the Collective Nightmare of the 60's.
"Morning in America" spoke to the folks for whom the spectacle of their children naked, stoned and Free was just too much to bear.
Suspiciously, in my opinion at least, there had been a sudden shift in popular drug use...from Mind Expanders...Pot, LSD,Shrooms, Peyote...to Mind closers....Heroin, Coke,Speed...
Many of the Wounded Warriors, returning from Viet Nam, were already hooked on such stuff...and harboured a certain Nihilism, as well.(How utterly convenient)
This Nihilism was infectious...as was the incidence of Violence...
A few, isolated, incidents were spun up to represent the whole.
Similarly, fictitious happenings were spun up to paint the entire Counterculture as "Bad". The spitting on returning soldiers....which I can find no actual evidence of...
A few Heroin Addicts ruining the operation of some Commune, somewhere...
Isolated, or even Made Up, events were spotlighted...the Machine pointed, and said, "See!?".
The last half of the 70's were like a bad hangover...
Disco came out of nowhere...the Machine's first effective foray into using Music as a Mind Weapon...
Coke was the drug of choice....as well as Booze....Lizard Brain Drugs.
Carter was ineffective.(I wonder how much of the problems of Carter were manufactured by the Machine.)
The predictable happened.
By the 80's, and Reagan, it was all over.
Collective Shame, on the part of the Youth...now adults...
Instead of Tune in, Turn on, Drop Out...it was Finish school, Cut Yer Hair and get a Job.
One of the effects of St Ron's Ideology was the eviscerating of 50 years of Democratic Common Cause/Common Man regulation of Corporate America.
Immortal Fictions were People, too!...and "deserved" Civil Rights as much as Black Folks and Women.
S&L, Miliken, Iran Contra, panama, Grenada...Just Say No!...
8 years of BS,+4 years of a smidgen more palatable BS...
All the while "Conservatives" demonised the Left...who were, apparently, still Hung Over...and wallowing in a sort of Post Orgy Shamefest- Zietgeist.The Actual Left,"Real Liberals", disappeared during this time...the entire political spectrum moved far to the Right, so that Democrats were, in reality, merely less Rightward than Republicans...leading to much confusion(which could be exploited).
Reagan's many Failures were Ignored, or blamed on Carter...
These were my Formative Years...and i remember the Oppressive Quality of that Time, very well.
The Right succeeded in making the Left ashamed of the "excesses" of the 60's...regardless of what really happened.
meanwhile the Right exhibited Monstrous Shamelessness...they didn't seem to care when they were caught out doing dastardly things.
Lies, Obfuscations, Red Herrings...thrown around everywhere.
St Ron crashed the economy, and was ballyhood for saving it.
His policies ramped up the largest debts in history, yet he...to this day...is remembered as the Icon of Fiscal Responsibility.
The Left went into hiding....they didn't know how to counter such deliberate Surreality.
Right Wing Mythology, Ideology, Trumped Reality...
and for the next 30 years, the Right dragged the country, the Mind of America, so far to the Right,that we can likely never get back.
Russia collapsed under it's own weight...St Ron claimed Responsibility.
Add another plank to the Surreality, the Mythology.
New Democrat....which means that the "Left" had accepted their place on the Right of the spectrum...whithout anyone really noticing.
Clinton made noises that sounded like classic Liberal Rhetoric, but governed from the Center Right.
He continued the Deregulation Frenzy...launched ill concieved "Wars" on 3rd World Countries that Multinational Corporations figgered they "needed" access to....dismantled "Welfare"...
His failure to Inhale...and his questionable judgment, as far as Mistresses...he was Perfect!
He handed the Right just about everything they wanted...and set the stage for the arrival of lil George and the Neoconservatives....and the End Game.
This Narrative flies right into the face of "Conventional Wisdom"...the system of Mythological Constructs that we are expected to use to view the world.
CW says that this is all "Conspiracy Theory", and, thus, Crazy Talk.
Consider the Corporation.
An artificial Entity, Created on Paper...it has no body, no mind...yet it exerts Influence in the Real, Objective World.
It is made up of, on the one hand, potentially Millions of Individual Human Beings...from Janitors to CEO...
On the other, it consists of nothing more than a collection of Ideas.
Being Bodiless,Incorporeal...it cannot die (at least as long as there are Humans left to Believe in it).
Let us assume that this Corporation is a Chemical Company, created for the business of producing Poisons.
The Bottom Line, the Logic of this Corporation, doesn't consider any Environmental or Human Costs...
It makes Sense, whithin this System of Logic, to Pollute...to Socialise Risk, Pollution and Public Infrastructure.
Say, for the sake of Argument, the CEO, and the board of Directors, have an Epiphany....they accidentally become aware of the Damage their Corp. is doing....and Repent. Resolve to clean it all up, and Sin No More.
The Entity that is the Corporation, while having no Mind, will replace them.
The Shareholders, or whatever...the most Psychopathic of It's Human Constituents..will get rid of the "Problem."
The Epiphany is Inimical to the Logic of the Corporation.The System of Ideas, itself, will prevail.
The Artificial Creation, the Corp., has become Sentient...Independant of it's Creators.
(This scenario has actually happened, btw..with a carpet company, among other instances.)
Take this concept, and apply it to the Government, to the Institutions that Run the World, to the Global Civilisation, itself.
That, is the Machine.
It is made up of Millions, Billions of Individual Humans...and Goups of Humans...all making Individual Decisions.
But those Decisions are made within the Logic System of the Machine, itself.
A Trillion Individual Decisions, made by Millions of Individual Humans, have, over 100 years or more, led us to a point where "We" are no longer in control of the World.
Our Creations are in Control.
The Individuals, and disparate Groups of Individuals, didn't see this coming...their myriad Decisions were made because they fit the Logic System.
It was Logical to do these things!
It made sense, at the time.
Now, in the Hypersurreality that is Post-9-11 America, we have difficulty even conceiving a different Paradigm, or even perceiving the Nature of the Current Paradigm.
As a Fish cannot see the Water, we swim in a Dream Reality..our narrow Worldview reenforced by Mundane Worries and Cares...the Complexity is beyond our Understanding, and serves to bolster our perceived Helplessness to DO anything about the myriad problems.
These Problems are seen as Discreet Phenomena...disconnected, alone, unrelated to anything else or to each other....much like Us.
A Comprehensive Look at the World, as Interconnected...Big Picture...is labelled "Conspiracy Theory"...one is lumped together with the John Birch Society and various Alien Grey Enthusiasts...
In addition, all Opinions, all "Points of View" carry Equal Value.
Both "Sides" of a given dispute are considered Equally Valid, and given (presumedly) Equal Time.For all the bemoaning of "Moral Reletavism", the Machine's own Champions can't see their own.
With the aforementioned disembowlment of Critical Thinking, and of Generalist Thinking,let alone the Focus on Short Term, we are trapped in an Ideological/Mythological Cage of Unecessary Complexity.
Everywhere, there is Complexity...often for Complexity's Sake...even if this Complexity is Counterproductive...even if it actually does Violence to whatever it was instituted to accomplish.
The Machine has taken all the disparate Dystopian Warnings...from 1984 to A Handmaid's Tale,... and used them, seemingly, as a Manual, to Fashion our World.
2:30 am looked like 4:30 am to my half conscious mind.
So I made coffee, and am on my 3rd cup....at the real 4;30 am.
I am, of course, thinking about politics.
Today is Beck's Big Show..."Restoring Honor"...and "Reclaiming the Civil Rights Movement"....reclaiming it from "Liberals", he says.
Liberals who have hijacked it, presumably.
MLK as Right Wing Hero...what a world.
Like Voltaire didn't say, "I'll defend, to the death, their right to say it"...but this is bordering on the proverbial yelling of "Fire!"
This is but the latest iteration of the program of Mind Fuck from the Right.
It is a melding of Anti Gov, Libertarian sentiments...with "Conservative Christians"...so called "Values Voters"...
DoubleThink, Cognitive Dissonance, Astroturf.
With ample funding from the richest folks in America, and the World,this "Movement" has gathered a real head of steam.
It is Psy-Op at it's finest....I am amazed, sometimes, at the sheer audacity of it all.
The Fascists have taken the playbook of 1960's Lefty Radicals, and used it to form a Counter-Movement...convincing fearful people to wholeheartedly support an agenda of Corporate Rapine and Plunder, and a Worldview that is so Surreal as to be rediculous.
Indeed, real Liberals, like me, have a hard time taking it all seriously.
But I believe we must.
The Unhinged, the Reality-Challenged, among us are Uniting...growing in Power and Influence...ready to Rise up.
These are Dangerous Times.
Their Mythological Reality has become just as Real as the Objective Kind...no small feat.
What a Masterful Stroke!
There are Powerful Magicians on the right...deep in their Thinktanks...They have managed, in a mere 30 years, to so distort Reality, and the Language and Ideas we use to apprehend it, that a goodly portion of the country actually believes this nonsense.
Indeed, even Liberals have fallen prey to their Crazy...we use their Definitions without even thinking...the Defaults in our Meme-Space are theirs...
Take 'Values Voter": it is Implied that Liberals have no Values, or Value. Hell, "Liberal" has been a perjorative for my whole life!
They own "Christian"...and "Conservative"...neither of which have any relation to their former meanings.
"Patriot", "Liberty" , even "Democracy" have this kind of Dog Whistle Quality to them, wherein they mean something to the Right...that is much different than what we, on the left, think they mean.
Our own Liberal Predilictions are used against us....we are hardwired for Fairness...for Honesty...
We give them Equal Time, and assume that they are being forthright...assume that they have a desire, like us, to come to an aggreement...a middle ground....that the apprehension of Truth, of Understanding, is a Common Goal.
but this is not the case.
The right is interested in Victory, not Compromise.
Compromise = Weakness.
Thought leads to the possibilty of Compromise (might learn something to change your opinion)...ergo, Thought is Bad.
Action is better.
Belief is what matters...Certainty.
This is something Liberals have difficulty understanding....I know I did.
We habitually weigh positions, test hypotheses, study and fret and Think...it is easy to assume that everyone would do the same.
This is Not the case.
There are 3 types of Right Wing folks.
1. The ones who actually benefir from the Undoing of Enlightenment; the Elite, atop the Economic Pie.
2. Their Enablers, who must hope to get something out of being so False, and working for the undoing of the Enlightenment.
and 3. The Great Fearful and Ignorant Masses...those who have been convinced that "Liberals" are the Evil Ones, that "Liberals", and their assorted Proxies (Brown folks, Terrists, Commies, Queers and Atheists) are the ones out to End America, Take our Freedom and Kill Us All!(see Fromm,"Escape from Freedom")
They have been so Traumatised by the Policies of the Right that they would be pathetic, if they weren't o dangerous.
The Defunding and Demonisation and Purposeful Counterproductivity of Public Education has left these folks, and everyone else, too Ignorant and Befuddled to see their Folly.
The Deregulation of, and Socialism for, Corporate America has left them Vulnerable and Destitute.
The Human Gains made up into the late 60's were sold to them as "Too Radical", as Dangerous...as something to be Feared and Dispised.( a good portion of Americans, according to polls, think Free Speech should be regulated, in an obscene irony)
More recently, Great Tragidies were allowed to get out of hand, to become Existential Threats,so as to make the World even more Fearsome.
911, the willfully stupid "response" to Katrina, the Criminal Evisceration of the economy...the last Republican President and his "Administration", had the opportunity to stop, or at least mitigate, all of these, and more.
Instead, they not only Let Them Happen, they made things worse....then successfully turned the blame onto the nonexistant Left, and the New Guy...the Black Guy.
An Honest, Objective look at recent History reveals this to be the Unvarnished Truth.
But the Captive Corporate Media, and the Mind Poison administered these past 30-40 years, have had their predictable effect.
This is the way the world ends...
I just watched, on Live TV, the last American Combat Troops cross the Kuwaiti Border...out of Iraq.
The Seven Year Folly is " over."
There are still 50,000 "Support and Training" Troops remaining...and there's that Monolithic Imperial Embassy....and all manner of Airfields and Bases...and a Ruined Country...and (my personal peeve) an unknown number of missing, stolen or destroyed Priceless Artifacts, dating from the very Beginning of Civilisation, that we left unguarded.
There is also,presumably, the Largest Light Sweet Crude Deposit left on the Planet.
The Last Mega-Field.
Ergo, we ain't gone...
We'll be back.
In any case, we're still in the Neighborhood...Kuwait,Bahrain,Qatar, Turkey,Kyrgestan,Khazakstan,Turkmenestan,Diego Garcia,and...of course,...Afghanistan...where we are building another Imperial Stronghold (Embassy).(in Pakistan, as well)
We have a Presence in Somalia, too....the better to keep an Imperial Eye on the Gulf of Aden, and the approaches to the Red Sea, and Suez.(Tanker trail to Europe)There are indications that we will "have to" enter Yemen, as well.
This is NOT the equivalent of the Legions leaving Britannia.
And it doesn't have anything to do with Decline of Empire...it is not the case that we don't have the Money.
It has everything to do with the Decline of Easy Oil.
The American Empire will see it's Millions of Po' Folks die in Camps, before it will abandon Iraqi Oilfields.
5,10,15,20 years from now..whenever the effects of Peak Oil are being felt the hardest, we will return.
By then the Depleted Uranium Dust we have strewn will have done it's work...the Iraqi People will be a shadow of what they were...in no shape to fight.
We'll come in, with Medicine, with Food...it will be sold as a Humanitarian Mission...
But the Oil Companies will tag along, much like the Missionaries went with the Conquistadores.
The Empire will have it's virtual hand on the Spigot.
Iraq, while appearing to be a vast Wasteland, is some of the most valuable real estate on the Planet.
This whole Media Frenzy has more to do with the upcoming Elections.
It's for the consumption of potential Swing Voters, and the Dissilusioned Democratic Base.
5am August 2,2010....
It was 103 degrees, yesterday.
Yet it feels cool, this morning.
We might have an actual Autumn, this year.
I smell woodsmoke...and I can tell ,by the smell, that it is from an "old" fire....the last log was added around Midnight, and it was allowed to burn down to coals.
Long experience with campfires and early mornings...
The stars, and a half-moon, are bright...the crickets, mighty gears of Night, are loud, but at the same time, subdued....like they're tired.
I am Tired.
I have accomplished much, this Summer...but there is much more yet to do.
I do not look forward to this last trip to Magnolia...then to Kingwood, for my Neice's Birthday...
I hate going back there.
Too many people, too many Memories, many of which I have only begun to remember in the last six months...
Facebook, and hooking up with Mel, has opened doors in my Mind...
I cannot tell if the Hole in my Memory is due to the wreck (20 years, this December), or to repression.
I had a hard time, back then.
As I've said, I was always the Outsider...the smart kid, the strange kid.
I never felt like I "Fit"...anywhere.
I have long suspected that there is something about me...some "Vibe" I give off...that others can,unconsciously, percieve...
At first, I chalked it up to my appearance...but I have cut my hair, many times...(usually ,in a failed attempt to get a job).
I think it's something else.
I realise that I am somewhat Hyperaware....and "Sensitive", in that I notice small things...like looks, and facial expressions.
This is how , without any actual Training, that I can Track...I'm uncanny, in the Woods.
I have Dog Ears...an unnerving ability to hear things that others can't. This contributes to my Innate Musicality, I reckon.
Despite years of smoking, I also retain an almost scary sense of smell and taste. Hence my almost accidental skill at Cooking/Chef-Hood.
I "Know Things"...I don't know how I do it, but I retain Knowledge...I can't consciously call up this Knowledge, but when I need it, it is there...Bubbling up from a deep Well in my Mind.
I pick up, say, a National Geographic...I figger I haven't read this particular issue since right after it came out...30 years ago (I have them, going back to 1964)...but when I read it, it's not new. It's like I read it 10 minutes ago.
Where is this material stored?
How much "Room" is there?
I retain Copious Knowledge....accidentally.
Yet, until recently, I have been unable to remember a large-ish portion of my Life...and what I have remembered has been chronologically jumbled...chaotic.
I have no "sense" of Chronology...I am Timeless.
What preceded what, and when did such-and-such happen?
I cannot say.
I have determined, due to employment records needed for my failed attempt at Disability, that I was only in Austin for 2, perhaps 3, years...it seems like so much longer.
How did I fit so much Experience into my Life?
My Wild Years? How long did they last?
I seem to have, again inadvertantly, crammed several Lifetimes into one.
Perhaps it was because I started, really, at 16.
When I left Mom's, and moved in with Dad, I thought of myself as an Adult.
Dad was aloof, distracted by his own sense of Helplessness and Failure.The Divorce really hit him hard.
So I was pretty much on my own.
The downside was a lack of instruction.
(which I didn't realise,or mind, at the time.)
I got (I thought) assimilated, acculturated, by watching my peers, reading books and applying my considerable intellect.
In retrospect, this was a gigantic failure!
One, the friends that I liked the most were, all of them, in "Trouble" all the time.
Some of them were, when ya get right down to it, not the sharpest tools in the shed.
Two, the books I lived in were, most of them, written by Mad Geniuses....continually bucking Authority, and sometimes paying the Ultimate Price for it.
They had Integrity, but not what one could reasonably call an easy life.(turns out that our Civilisation places little value on Integrity, or Intellect...despite the Rhetoric and Sloganeering to the contrary.)
This leads to Three..my Intellect.
As I said, our Civilisation gives much Lip-Flapping Time to the Value of Intellect.
One learns, even in our poor excuses for schools, about the Great Writers, Scientists, Statesmen, etc.
But in the Real World, Heaven Forbid that a Young Genius shows a Glimmer of Thought!
That is much too risky!
And when that Young Person starts to notice the Lies and Contradictions that our Civilisation is built on,...well.
Can't allow that...
The unspoken Assumption is that our current Paradigm, our current Modus Opperandi...the Way We Do Things Now...is it! The Pinnacle, The End of History.(Fukyama)
Everything that has gone before has led up to this Ultimate Point.
There can be no more Innovation, save that which furthers and maintains the Current Paradigm...the Machine.
There can be no Alternative to the Way We Do Things...not even small enclaves of Experimentation....
Word of the success of these Alternatives might get out, and threaten the Machine.(see: Cuba)
Thinking "Outside the Box", while praised, is to be Discouraged, if not Outlawed, entirely.
The Machine can Brook No Competitors...much the same way that Fundamentalists insist that their God is some kind of Tough Guy, yet need to stamp out the adherants of anything else....lest their Version lose the Battle.
These are the things that have occupied my Mind, from an early age.
I resisted the Borg-Like Assimilation into Corporate America...and became Feral.
The most Dngerous Enemies of the Machine are those who do not Believe in it...those who Resist, and can present well-reasoned arguments Why they Resist...
I am Outside the Box, Personified.
A Dangerous Anomaly.
This is, admittedly, a very hard row to hoe, but what am I to do?
Integrity of Thought led me here.
All of my Crusading is against mere facets of One Thing....the Machine, and the Lies and Inconsistancies and Obfuscations by which it is Maintained.
Whether it is the DrugWar, Corporate America or the High School Hair Police...it is all of a piece.
Unwarranted Control over the Mind of Man...based on Logical Fallacy and "Say So".
I must fight it...because it is Wrong!
And now that I am old and cripple, now that it seems that my race is almost run, I must hand my Baton to my Sons...
That they may continue the Fight.
For there is something in Mankind that wants to be Ruled, wants "someone" to "do something"...
and as long as that is the case, there will be a Machine to exploit it...for Fun and Profit.
Because there are also Men whose Avarice, whose Lust, drives them...they are Exploited by the Machine, as well....
This is Ironic, since they(or folks like them) Created the damned thing to begin with.
When the first Priest convinced the first Farmers to give him a parcel of Grain, in return for intercession with the Divine....the Machine began.
The fight has been a low flame for 10,000 years, and grew to a great blaze with the advent of Technology and the Science of Mind...the early 20th Century.
The Machine lost ground for nearly 500 years...what we call the Enlightenment...but it has adapted since around 1914...and become enormously Powerful since 1945.
Since1980 when St Ronnie Raygun ascended, the Machine has all but undone the Enlightenment...
The 60's were a scary time for Machine, it was about to lose the fight, once and for all.
The Kids didn't believe, any more.
The Conservative Revolution was the reaction to this.
Fear and Loathing!
The Mythology of "Capitalism" and Christian America...
The Nazis that the CIA imported must have been enormously helpful....
Cloaked in the Mythology, wearing the Garment of Freedom and Democracy, the Machine fooled us.
We went willingly.
We asked for our Chains.
We handed over our Minds...and those of our Children.
Except for Oddballs like me....
It is in Oddballs that we must place our Hope.
Strange Birds, who are Immune from the Machinations...from the Mythology.
It is difficult to realise that the Race will never be won...that there is no Happy Ending.
This Fight is Eternal.
And, rather than be depressed and discouraged by this fact, we must stand firm, and continue.
Even when it is Darkest....and I suspect that these are much Darker Times than even Nazi Germany(for the simple reason that they appear so very Bright on the surface)...we must continue.
This is the Great Purpose of Anomaly.
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