Militarism

How to Cure Terrorism

Democracy comes to you - bombergc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 29, 2015

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Quote:In order to destroy Daesh, boots on the ground are needed. If morons such as Donald Trump and Tony Abbott insist that American or Australian troops should be sent into Syria, then I suggest that Donald and Tony should themselves be kitted out and be dropped into that war zone. Donald's frightening hairpiece alone may fatally scare many Daesh to death and Tony can scare the rest to death with his budgie smugglers. Mission accomplished.”

I cannot repeat often enough that the only genuine cure for a problem is to eliminate the underlying cause. This holds true for treating disease as it does for solving just about any problem. Any other strategy is merely a band-aid cosmetic cover-up of a festering carbuncle. Denial of the underlying cause inevitably means that no solution will eventuate.

Notwithstanding this apparently simple principle, practical implementation of genuine solutions in the real world is more complex and difficult. The hurdles to implementation can be immense if not insurmountable, not least because real solutions usually require that we overcome the natural default reptilian mindset of homo stupidus. We cannot depend on the people who caused the problems to solve them. They are the problem.

Here is another principle: a problem may have more than one underlying cause, along with several predisposing factors and various proximate triggers. All such issues need to be addressed for a complete cure. A broad overview is required, we need to see the big picture.

So-called “Islamic” terrorism is the “problem” most prominently featured in the mainstream media of today, particularly since the Paris massacres of Friday 13 November 2015. What so-called “solutions” have the impenetrably stupid mainstream establishment proposed? Greater surveillance of the entire civil population, elimination of habeas corpus, proliferation of heavily armed police everywhere, more bombing forays into Syria, closing the borders of Europe to MENA refugees, ankle GPS bracelets to those refugees who have already arrived in Europe, even the expulsion of all Muslims from Europe, including those who were born there. All those are band-aid cosmetic cover-ups of a festering carbuncle which will solve nothing. Many of those so-called “solutions” are simply insane, amount to obscene human rights abuses and will in fact create worse Blowback terrorism. Let's commit more atrocities in response to an atrocity. That will solve all our problems.

How do you stop an engine without an off switch? By starving it of fuel. If we ask ourselves what truly fuels the engine of so-called “Islamic” terrorism, honest people will realise that the real answer is not Islam per se. The perverse interpretation of religious texts is merely the bogus avenue by which certain terrorists claim “divine” legitimacy for the slaughter they perpetrate, just as the Nazis painted crosses on their tanks and planes and just as George fucking Bush called his invasion of Iraq a Crusade and claimed to have God on his side. All sanctimonious mass murderers invoke their own imaginary god to claim legitimacy and to recruit gullible simple minded cannon fodder (or suicide bombers) to their cause.

Democracy comes to you - bomberDoes the Koran contain passages inciting violence against the foes of Islam? Of course it does, just as the Old Testament contains numerous passages in which its followers are encouraged to “smite” their enemies without mercy. Sensible people do not take those dated allegorical books literally and do not follow many of their mutually contradictory instructions to the letter. Moderate Jews and Christians with good sense do not go rampaging around with a rifle in one hand and Talmud or Bible in the other, killing innocents indiscriminately because of religion. And neither do moderate Muslims. Fanatical extremists do however, whether they be Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It is not religion itself, whatever its hue, which the problem. It is fanatical extremism.

One of the biggest problems we face in Western mainstream society is our cowardly and hypocritical failure to identify the fanatical extremists in our midst who are hiding in plain sight. They are the Christian and Jewish religious fundamentalists, the global warming denialists who serve as prostitute mouthpieces for the corporations, the warmongering armchair chickenshit politicians. They dress up in business suits and are conferred a veneer of respectability by the propaganda machine known as the mainstream media. But make no mistake, they are fanatical extremists far worse and far more dangerous than the rabid Jihadis and are in fact the creators of those Jihadis.

As ordinary moderate people, we need to clearly identify who our friends and foes are:

Friends = Moderates of any persuasion who share our common humanitarian values

Foes = Fanatical extremists who kill (or advocate the killing or oppression of) innocents in the name of their god, whether it be Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah or Mammon (the god of the neoclassical economists)

We need to rip away the superficial cloak of phoney religiosity the fanatical extremists wear to identify the real fuel(s) for terrorism.

The Western mainstream media have claimed that the motivations of the Jihadi terrorists are mindless hatred of Western freedom and mindless hatred of the Western modern way of life. Bullshit. Such idiotic blather is designed to cover up, hide and ignore the ugly truth about Western Imperialistic and Corporate culpability. The main motivation of the Jihadis, as stated by the Jihadis themselves, taken right from the horse's mouth, is a hatred of how the West has interfered with and corrupted and destroyed Middle Eastern societies, in order to steal the resources from their countries. If we are honest, we must admit that fact is indeed true and it is a legitimate grievance, even though we disapprove of the way they express that grievance. Abused children often grow up to become abusive adults.

Having suffered the destabilisation and destruction of their homelands as a result of the rapacious Western corporate agenda (Iraq and Libya being prime examples), many traumatised Middle Eastern youths have become radicalised and vengeful. They want the West to experience just a tiny sample of the death, misery, hopelessness and insecurity they have unremittingly suffered throughout their lives. Having only known violence, it then becomes the only means by which they can express their frustration and rage. Furthermore, a few alienated, disaffected and marginalised individuals, even though they may have been born in Europe, may sympathise with and agonise over the plight of their Middle Eastern cousins and be recruited through social networks to become “home grown” terrorists.

The mayhem caused by a few Blowback terrorist attacks in Western cities has been absolutely trivial and tiny compared with the utter devastation, daily sectarian bombings, IED detonations and mass shootings in the failed Middle Eastern states destabilised by the greedy corporate agenda of the West, an agenda which is merely the sequel to the historic greedy Western imperialistic/colonial policies of exploitation.

The MENA refugees have been reluctantly forced out of their ancestral homelands against their will. Many have fled to Europe precisely because they seek lives with greater freedom and the comforts of Western modernity. The MENA refugees do NOT hate Western freedom or modernity, they WANT it. They know there is no place for them in the fundamentalist (but hypocritical) Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia with its brutal oppression of the common folk (but unbridled licentiousness of the ruling class). They know the selfish and corrupt Saudis (kept in power by the selfish and corrupt Americans) will never share their wealth with their poorer Arab cousins.

WE MUST DISCARD THE TERMS “ISLAMIC” OR “MUSLIM” TERRORISM. WE MUST INSTEAD USE THE TERM “BLOWBACK” TERRORISM because that is in fact what it is, pure and simple. Blowback terrorists who purport to be Muslim or Islamic are no more Muslim or Islamic than the Ku Klux Klan are Christians. Blowback terrorists are fake Muslims, phoney Muslims, bullshit Muslims. Blowback terrorists are vicious criminals, pure and simple, and should be viewed as akin to a rabid Mafia. Many Mafia hoodlums portray themselves as pious Catholics, when any fool can see they are just two-faced criminals. Similarly it is obvious the Blowback terrorists are just two-faced criminals and are NOTHING LIKE the true ordinary law abiding peace loving Muslims we live and work alongside every day, who we may even have gone to school with and grown up with.

Waronterror2_Frank151It is absolutely vital we adopt a proportionate perspective as to what the worst form of terrorism today is. Blowback terrorism is NOT the primary problem, it is a secondary problem, it is NOT the real disease but is merely a symptom of the disease. In magnitude, Blowback terrorism is trivial, tiny and insignificant compared to the real disease: namely the horrifically monstrous state and corporate sponsored institutional terrorism inflicted by the West, primarily the USA, on the Middle East. There is absolutely no contest when comparing the two. In magnitude the Halliburtons of this world are by far the most monstrous and murderous terrorists of all. Well over a million people in Iraq have died as a result of the Neoconartist/Halliburton agenda, whose name I therefore apply generically to this form of state/corporate terrorism. BLOWBACK TERRORISM IS MERELY A RESPONSE TO HALLIBURTON TERRORISM and the latter is in fact the underlying cause for the horrors we face today. There is a huge mountain of evidence, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Al Qaeda and ISIS (who I now understand are better described as Daesh) were created, whether intentionally or not, as a consequence of morally bankrupt American foreign policy1.

Therefore the only way to cure Blowback terrorism is to eliminate the underlying cause, which is Halliburton terrorism. We must cut off the fuel from the engine.

 

Looking at the big picture we can identify the underlying causes, predisposing factors and proximate triggers for Blowback terrorism:

  • The powderkeg pseudoStates of Iraq and Syria were cobbled together by the disgraceful British and French betrayal of their Arab allies after WW1, by the infamous Sykes-Picot treaty, which was the mechanism by which the Western Imperialists brutally imposed “divide and rule”. The inevitable disintegration of those powderkeg States and their collapse into civil war were bound to happen eventually, whenever the iron grip of the local dictators weakened in the future.

  • The underlying cause for the contemporary collapse of Iraq was Halliburton terrorism and the removal of the Iraqi dictator. This led to power vacuums and the formation of offshoots of Al Qaeda. Daesh, the offshoot which moved to a collapsing neighbouring Syria then flourished in the disintegrating milieu. Daesh were subsequently able to run rampant across MENA by initial acquisition of weapons from the collapsed state of Libya (which was bombed by NATO in an attempt to secure their oil) then the acquisition of ordnance,vehicles and oilfields from the collapsed state of Iraq. Daesh have been successful in recruiting many foreign fighters through social and web based networks.

  • The proximate triggers for the collapse of the powderkeg state of Syria were the limits to growth (overpopulation, drought, food and water shortages, oil depletion and consequent economic collapse)

  • The limits to growth are affecting all MENA countries and will eventually spread to involve the entire world

 

What do the fanatical extremists (of both sides) want?

By very definition, terrorists want to spread fear in our societies. The power of the terrorists stem from the fear they are able to instil in us. If we live in fear we will merely play into their hands. We must therefore respond with courage – more courage than we ever thought was possible in these difficult times. We must utterly resist the temptation to lash out at innocent people just because of their “Middle Eastern” appearance, which is exactly what the terrorists, whether Blowback terrorists or Halliburton terrorists, want us to do.

The Blowback terrorists want us to fear, vilify and victimise all the Muslims in our societies. They have no regard for their so-called “fellow” Muslims because Blowback terrorists are not real Muslims, they are simply criminals.

This basic fact needs to be repeated over and over again: the Blowback terrorists are not real Muslims, they are bullshit Muslims. They are criminals who hide under a false cloak.

If we fall into the trap of racist generalisation and victimise innocent Muslims in our societies, we will inevitably cause the radicalisation of moderates and create more recruits for the Blowback terrorists. This will reinforce the vicious cycle and ultimately lead to the complete breakdown of civil society and to the rise of the Police surveillance state with the loss of our civil liberties that have been so hard won over the past two centuries. The terrorists will then have won.

The Halliburton terrorists want us to fear, vilify and victimise all the Muslims in our society as well. They want us to live in constant fear so that we will voluntarily relinquish our freedoms, the rule of law and habeas corpus and embrace the illusory security promised by the Military Industrial Complex Police State. The USA is already half way there. They want to entrench the power and control of their fascist/corporate forces which are on the rise in many Western countries.

It is clear that the Blowback terrorists and Halliburton terrorists, although nominal foes, have common goals and feed off each other.

 

How to cure terrorism:

Rather than fall into the trap of polarising society into Non-Muslim and Muslim divides, which is exactly what the Blowback and Halliburton terrorists want, we must define the lines of friend and foe according to a more accurate and more truthful narrative: Moderates of all hues arrayed against Fanatical Extremists of all hues. This is difficult to do because it goes against our instinctive tribal sentiments. It requires we look beyond stereotyped assumptions based on skin colour, mode of speech and mode of dress, to look deeper and try to understand the heart of the individual. However this must be done if there is to be any hope of prevailing against our true enemies, who are the fanatical extremists of all hues, the worst and most dangerous extremists being the Halliburton terrorists, who adopt a well manicured executive appearance, with shiny shoes but black hearts.

The key event which amplified Blowback terrorism to the levels we see today was the invasion of Iraq and its destruction as a stable State, resulting in civil war and power vacuums which were filled by fanatical and violent groups. The original perpetrators have not been brought to justice. Hence the following are absolutely necessary:

 

1. Root out and punish the Halliburton terrorists

We must arrest the worst international terrorists of all time: Dick the Prick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, George fucking Bush, Tony Blair, the propagandist Rupert Murdoch, and the execrable lickspittle John Howard (along with his henchmen such as Tony Abbott) to name just a few. They must be tried at the International Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity and must be punished to the full extent of the law. They should receive the same justice they meted out to Saddam Hussein, who was undoubtedly a monstrous despot and a puppet of the West for most of his career, who committed mass murder in the service of the West (vis a vis the proxy war against Iran of the 1980s in which more than a million people died). The Neoconartist Cabal also need to be held accountable for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers who perished needlessly during the occupation of Iraq.

The Cabal members will disingenuously claim in their defence, as they have in the past, that they acted on “faulty intelligence” or on “the best information they had at the time” and try to shift blame on to the CIA, MI6 or ASIO. Such foul deceit, consistent with the psychopathic duplicity by which they perpetrated their war crimes, can be exposed for the outrageous lies they are, by the testimony of former intelligence officers such as Joe Wilson against the Neoconartists or Andrew Wilkie against John Howard. Weapons inspector Dr David Kelly would have been able to testify against Tony Blair, had Kelly not been hounded to death (indeed, possibly murdered) by Blair's goons, however there is ample evidence regardless (despite the phoney whitewash conducted by Blair's mate in the Hutton enquiry), that Blair ignored valid intelligence and selectively spouted blatant lies to mislead the British public.

Halliburton, the Carlyle group and other corporations or financial institutions known to have directly promulgated the invasion of Iraq must be dismantled, sold off and all proceeds must go to refugee relief (resettlement, housing, food, job placement) and to rebuilding whatever corners of destroyed Middle Eastern states which may still be viable to support life.

Western foreign policy must be changed. Exploitative neocolonial skullduggery must be abandoned and foreign countries must be engaged according to the principles of mutual respect, quid pro quo and fair renumeration for their resources.
The actions above will result in the dramatic reduction of Blowback terrorism, as we will have eliminated the principal reasons for their resentment. Those actions should not be done because we want to “appease” the Blowback terrorists, but because it is what we as decent human beings must do to restore any semblance of honour to our ruined reputations. The only way we can rebuild our shattered credibility and work towards a more just and peaceful world is to expunge the state/corporate war criminals living in our midst instead of harbouring them or worse still, celebrating them. There can be no peace without justice and justice must be for all sides, not just one side. The Halliburton terrorists must therefore be brought to justice and there can be no statute of limitations on this.

 

2. Root out and punish the Blowback terrorists

Residual Blowback terrorists lurking within our Muslim communities must be hunted down and expunged WITHOUT causing any collateral damage to the innocent people they are hiding behind and living amongst. Collateral damage inflicted on innocents breeds resentment and radicalises formerly moderate individuals. This endeavour will not be easy. Outsiders such as ourselves cannot effectively identify friend from foe within our Middle Eastern communities to the highest levels of confidence, no matter how much resources we throw into electronic surveillance. Accurate identification can only be achieved through the cooperation of allies from within their community, who know the language, culture and personalities involved. We need to be cautious that the people we select as intelligence sources within those communities have impeccable integrity and do not use their privileged roles to settle personal scores with innocent people they may have had previous disputes with. Hence we need robust reliable information from multiple sources, not just from single informants, before targeting suspects.

Naive impressionable youths who have been recruited as potential Jihadis but are yet to commit crimes need to undergo de-radicalisation programmes. These are best conducted by Muslims from their own community who themselves had previously been recruited, then travelled to the Daesh territories, only to discover the true brutality and lies of the Daesh propaganda, saw the error of their ways and managed to escape and return to their normal lives, grateful for having survived the experience. There are none so repentant as reformed sinners.

How can we build trust and extend the hand of friendship to the moderate Muslims who comprise more than 99% of their community? How can we encourage our moderate allies in our Muslim communities to help us expunge the fanatical extremists in their midst? The role of the media here is of paramount importance. We must do the opposite of what the reprehensible fear mongering Murdoch trash media does. We must portray ordinary Muslims in our media according to the REALITY of their lives. What is the reality? That their concerns in life are no different from anybody else: keeping a steady job in these difficult economic times, ensuring a good education for their children, housing, healthcare, family issues. Viewed in that light they will no longer be feared as “the other” but seen as ordinary hard working folks just trying to make their way peacefully in this world. This is not propaganda because it is in fact the bland truth, unfortunately bland truth does not sell in the gutter press and tabloid media, which tend to go for scary sensationalism. Nevertheless it is a message which must be repeated over and over again to the public: ordinary Muslims are not to be feared, no matter how they dress, and must be treated respectfully in a friendly manner just like anybody else. This will help de-escalate our fear of them and their fear of us.

The contribution of leaders from the Muslim community is vitally important. They must play their part by publicly and repeatedly condemning the fanatical extremism of the bullshit Muslims. Even better if they also ridicule, belittle and show contempt for the Blowback terrorists (just as I have endeavoured to ridicule, belittle and show contempt for the Halliburton terrorists in my writing). Ridicule can be a powerful tool to expose hypocrisy. Anyone who subscribes to the ideas of the Blowback terrorists (or, on our part, the Halliburton terrorists) should be portrayed as braindead fools, lackeys and stupid sheeple, which is in fact what they are. Buying into the views of the bullshit Muslims will be regarded as weak minded, uncool and pathetic by the majority true peaceloving Muslims. No one likes to be regarded as uncool in their peer group.

So as not to be seen as singling out the Muslim community, we need spokespeople from the non-Muslim community to stand alongside Muslim leaders and also condemn Christian, Jewish and Corporate fanatical extremists and the crimes committed by them. No particular religious, ethnic or corporate group can be seen as above the rule of civil law.

One perfectly understandable reason why moderate Muslim leaders may be reluctant to speak out prominently is the death threats they will receive from the fanatical bullshit Muslims. They do not want to become targets. Those will not be empty threats and we can be certain the Blowback terrorists will try their utmost to murder any moderate Muslim spokespeople as part of the terror agenda. As such, it is absolutely vital we provide round the clock tax payer funded police protection for the moderate Muslims (and their families) brave enough to speak up. This will be an essential national security investment. If police monitoring then uncovers any assassination plot, we can then identify, capture and sequester these potential Blowback terrorist assassins.

 

Why have the Blowback terrorists targeted the French recently?

Unlike the US, UK and Australia; France was essentially blameless with respect to Halliburton terrorism. France is also arguably a less racist society. Why then have the French recently been targeted? To understand this, it is useful to use an analogy:

Before 2013, Iraq was blameless with regard to Blowback terrorism. Nevertheless the Halliburton terrorists used 9/11 to motivate their braindead American followers to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. The prize for the Halliburton terrorists was of course, oil wealth (the original name for their campaign was Operation Iraqi Liberation, which was quickly changed as it made their motives too obvious).2

Similarly the Blowback terrorists used the history of French colonial crimes and exploitation in MENA (particularly in Syria, Algeria and Tunisia) and more recently the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, to motivate their braindead Daesh followers to target Paris, even though France had nothing to do with Halliburton terrorism. The prize for the Blowback terrorists will be retaliation of non-Muslim French against innocent Muslim French, the expectation being that some of latter may then radicalise to join the Daesh cause. France is fertile ground for this prospect due to the higher proportion of Muslims in their society3 compared with the US, UK and Oz.

Nevertheless the US, UK and Oz remain prime targets for revenge Blowback terrorism. The pinnacle goal of the Blowback terrorists will be to set off a nuclear device in a city such as New York, London or Sydney, whichever is the softest target. With the oil revenue available to Daesh and the numerous suitcase nuclear bombs missing from the inventories of impoverished States of the former Soviet Union, this eventuality will be just a matter of time, unless we can destroy Daesh and starve the terrorists of recruits by implementing the reforms above.

 

How to destroy Daesh

In order to destroy Daesh, boots on the ground are needed. If morons such as Donald Trump and Tony Abbott insist that American or Australian troops should be sent into Syria, then I suggest that Donald and Tony should themselves be kitted out and be dropped into that war zone. Donald's frightening hairpiece alone may fatally scare many Daesh to death and Tony can scare the rest to death with his budgie smugglers. Mission accomplished.

If the world had a single united goal of just destroying Daesh as soon as possible, then the answer would be simple. The only motivated and committed stakeholders who are willing to risk their lives in ground battle against Daesh are the Kurds4, the Shi'ites (including Alawites, Iraqi Shi'ites, Iranians and Hezbollah) and perhaps a few hardened Russian soldiers. If, armed and logistically supported by the Russian military machine, such an alliance is given free reign to directly combat Daesh, then the rapid rout of Daesh will be a forgone conclusion. This will however never happen because the outcome of such a victory will be the creation of an independent Kurdistan, which Turkey will never allow, and the dominance of the Shi'ites (and their allies Iran and Russia) over huge oil rich areas of the Middle East, which America will never allow.

In that light, it is easy to understand why the Turks in an act of despicable bastardry shot down a Russian jet (no doubt at the behest or tacit approval of the US) which purportedly strayed into Turkish airspace on 24 November5. The effectiveness of the Russian led interventions to date has been a major embarrassment to the utterly incompetent Americans. Hence we see this act of sabotage committed by a US proxy: yet more reckless brinkmanship in the dangerous Great Game between the Powers.

America's laughable attempts, as described by General Lloyd Austin6, to recruit “moderate” Sunni fighters, despite a program costing half a billion dollars and originally expected to recruit five thousand Sunnis, resulted in only four or five individuals actually taking up arms against Daesh. The problem in the chaotic Middle Eastern failed States, where information is sparse, incomplete and unreliable, is that it is impossible to identify who a “moderate” Sunni Arab may be. By training such people, the US could be training existing or potential Daesh members who will then immediately defect to the enemy. This has happened to the Americans time and time again in Afghanistan when training locals to fight the Taliban.

America has no useful, worthwhile or competent role to play in the turmoil that they have created. They are the architects of the problem and hence it is absurd to expect they will be any source of solutions. The Americans are determined to continue their role as spoilers and to maintain the chaos rather than allow Russia and her allies to stabilise the situation effectively.

How different the world would have been if the Kurds, Shi'ites and Sunnis had been allowed to establish their own stable sovereign States, run by leaders of their own choosing, in the Middle East after WW1. Those hopes were scuttled by the West and the Turks nearly a hundred years ago and they continue to oppose it.

 

In summary we can cure terrorism if we:

  • accept responsibility for the harm we have caused to others by our rapacious imperialistic and corporate meddling, institute corporate and foreign policy reform and provide material reparations to refugees

  • identify and root out the criminal Halliburton terrorists hiding in our midst and

  • work together with our Muslim brothers and sisters to identify and root out the criminal Blowback terrorists who are hiding in their midst. During that process we must aim for zero collateral damage

None of the above will, in fact, happen. Neither will there be any justice for those Palestinians who have been oppressed, abused and killed by Israel. Western hypocrisy will continue to reign supreme. Hence there will be no cure for terrorism, the underlying cause for which is Western hypocrisy. There will be no cure for the chaos in the Middle East.

 

Conclusion:

The underlying cause of so-called Islamic terrorism is not Islam and therefore it cannot be “cured” by eliminating Islam or all Muslims, even if that were possible. Trying to win the “war against terror” by expelling Muslims from Western societies is like to trying to win the “war against poverty” by exterminating poor people. Mindbogglingly imbecilic, downright evil and utterly unworkable.

So-called Islamic terrorism should be called Blowback terrorism because that is truly what it is: blowback against previous Halliburton terrorism (and going back even further, blowback against previous Colonial/Imperialistic terrorism – for example by the French in Syria). Unless we admit to and address the underlying causes, we will never achieve any solutions.

The real solutions require that we be more conciliatory, courageous and cooperative across tribal lines than we have ever been in history, to join forces with moderate humane and humanitarian people of all persuasions to combat the agenda of the fanatical extremists, whether those fanatics be from the Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Corporate world. We cannot expect our Muslim communities to expunge the criminal extremists in their midst, unless we first expunge the state/corporate war criminals in our midst.

Unfortunately due to the default reptilian and tribal mindset of the masses who are easily brainwashed, polarised and terrified by the sensationalistic manipulative corporate media, and because of the existing power structures in the world, none of the above will ever happen and we will therefore never defeat the terrorists.

 

There really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unless someone rises up to tell you the truth.” – Louis Farrakhan

Justice cannot be for one side alone but must be for both” – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Geoffrey Chia is an Australian Physician who has written many provocative articles including
“The Brisbane Institute is a Brisbane Prostitute”

 

Footnotes:

 

  1. http://www.wanttoknow.info/war/isis-islamic-state-origins

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoSBqs6y8uM

  3. Proportion of Muslims in 2010: France 7.5%, UK 4.6%, US 0.8%, Australia 1.9% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country#

  4. Peshmerga is Kurdish for “one who faces death”

  5. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34912581

  6. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/16/us-military-syrian-isis-fighters

Predatory Militarism on the Rise

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 19, 2015

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Throughout history, different societies have opted for different “solutions” to energy scarcity and collapse. Some might try to adapt to this new socioeconomic reality (Cuba 1990s), others may protect the elite at the expense of the general population (North Korea 1990s), while some may turn to external aggression and predatory militarism (Japan 1918-45) (Friedrichs, 2012). Predatory militarism is, according to Friedrichs, the result of desperation and temptation to gain resources through military means. In the Japanese case, the element of desperation prevailed. In the 1930s Japan started its aggressive military campaigns against China in attempts to prevent fuel starvation and external dependence on strategic resources. However, ironically this predatory militarism instead lead Japan to become increasingly dependent on importing critical commodities (oil) from the US (about 70-80% of gasoline). So when the US put in place a trade embargo (1941) Japan started looting oil from Borneo, Sumatra and the East Indies. And we all know what happened after that. In short, Japan tried gain critical resources from other countries, prompted by the potential of fuel starvation, which lead them to scrap free trade policy and to radicalize a strategy of predatory militarism to secure access to energy.

 

Worrying Trends 2015

Countries prone to military solutions like the US and Russia seems to have followed a Japanese-style strategy of predatory militarism. The US (and Nato) involvement in the Middle East to secure access to oil by military force is a clear example of this. We also see a worrying trend of potential US involvement in the South China Sea, as well as China’s use of its military power to secure oil and gas in Central Asia. However, it seems unlikely that China will stray further than that in terms of military force, instead they have been making trade deals with Iran and Russia for oil. China will probably hesitate to anger the US which has a much stronger military than China, but the country may become increasingly desperate for more energy as it's population continues increasing while demanding reductions to coal pollution. I am more concerned about what the US might do next. Since 2001 the US have been in constant warfare, and for no benefit of the people of those countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan) or the countries receiving all the migrants from these war torn regions. Then we have Russia's invasion of Ukraine (or support of separatist movements as some like to call it), to secure the flow of natural gas, and now its involvement in Syria. This shows signs of major geopolitical instability in the oil rich Middle East and in Europe due to global scarcity of energy, and an escalating power play between NATO and Russia over "what's left".

 

October – Outlook from a Swedish perspective

On the military side of so called strategic deterrence we have seen an increase in military drills in our neighborhood. During the summer both NATO and Russia conducted naval exercises in the the Baltic Sea. Now, during the fall, drills have intensified both in Russia, Belarus, and on NATO territory. Both naval and air forces have been deployed to show “might” on both sides. However, it is on the nuclear side of the deterrence strategy where most activity have been going over the last couple of months. It is likely that Iskander with nuclear capability is located in Kaliningrad and that the US has started to upgrade their capability with the new B61 nuclear bombs for fighters at German, Italian and Turkish air bases. At least according to credible Swedish commentators. Furthermore, the UK has voiced a wish to join NATO:s exercises on nuclear escalation (i.e. in the case of transitioning from conventional weapons to high alert for nuclear weapons deployment).

 File:Nuclear weapons.png

WikiCommons

 

The Russian intervention in Syria has increased the likelihood of confrontation. Perhaps not intentional but the risk of unintended consequences, with potentially catastrophic results, getting out of hand has risen. Russian rocket launches from the Caspian Sea was, according to most experts, mostly a demonstration of power for mainstream media and the domestic audience back home. But because the robotics system, similar to Iskander, can launch both conventional ammunitions as well as nuclear this illustrates a serious upper hand that Russia has gained in terms of tactical and potentially mid range weaponry. It is, however, yet unclear if the images shown were real or potentially tampered with. The propaganda war between Russia and the West has reached such high levels that it's becoming increasingly difficult to know what is actually going on down on the ground.

 

For Sweden this escalation of tension between NATO and Russia is very troublesome, especially since exercises have been occurring on and around our borders. We don’t really have any defense to speak of and so popular support for joining NATO is increasing within Sweden, a similar trend is visible in Finland. Experts over here are mostly concerned with the unpredictability of Russia, which is very good at hiding its true intentions and preparations. The larger issue, however, is the political confusion over Russian statements and lack of insight into Kremlin's actual behavior. The West’s analysis of Russia have been wrong all along and there has been little focus on the actual geopolitical consequences on the ground. This is of course a consequence of the whole propaganda war going on and the increasing inability of the government to solve complex problems.

 

Furthermore, there is very low public support for NATO and military interventions in Europe, which probably annoys the hell out of US "diplomats". Few soldiers have been mustered in Europe and the few who are in service are not ready for combat. Most Europeans don't want to get involved with either Russia or the US, but if they have to chose, well, Russia supply's almost all of Europe's natural gas and oil so… yeah… I think you know the answer. As for other European countries turning to the predatory strategy we have seen some of that in terms of the nuclear powers (France, the UK, Italy) engagement in the Middle East. It is unclear what these countries may do under pressure, any large-scale military response inside Europe seems unlikely, but then again, history has shown that any liberal democracy can turn into a authoritarian military machine when conditions turn really ugly. The current economic crisis and hardship for people in southern Europe could perhaps lead to extremists rising to power again if there is another major economic blow (which looks like its on its way now with the global economic slowdown). Even here in Sweden I see a trend towards people voting for the Sweden Democrats (far right wing) in pure frustration over the current governments incompetence. Of course, the problem is not so much political as it is a resource problem but most people don't see the connection. And so on and on the debate goes, and more irrational political behavior, which in turn angers the public even more.

 

Despite all these worrying signs in our close proximity our dear politicians, here in Sweden, have not been able to come to any agreement about funding emergency preparedness and response. So we are basically helpless if there is a conflict in our neighborhood and will have to rely on Finland and other countries to help us out. I think many Swedes secretly hope that Finland will work as a human shield against Russia, which the Finns of course is not to happy about. No one would ever admit to this opinion of course. Or perhaps we would simply hope that there is nothing of value to Russia and NATO here, we have no oil, coal or natural gas. Perhaps we will be as lucky as during WWII, and be spared, or perhaps we won’t.

 

It is 3 Minutes to Midnight

IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

 

US-Saudi Blitz in Yemen

Off the keyboard of Anthony Cartalucci

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Published on Land Destroyer on March 26, 2015

Democracy comes to you - bomber

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

US-Saudi Blitz in Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation

March 27, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The “proxy war” model the US has been employing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even in parts of Asia appears to have failed yet again, this time in the Persian Gulf state of Yemen.

Overcoming the US-Saudi backed regime in Yemen, and a coalition of sectarian extremists including Al Qaeda and its rebrand, the “Islamic State,” pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi militias have turned the tide against American “soft power” and has necessitated a more direct military intervention. While US military forces themselves are not involved allegedly, Saudi warplanes and a possible ground force are.

Though Saudi Arabia claims “10 countries” have joined its coalition to intervene in Yemen, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq hid behind a “coalition,” it is overwhelmingly a Saudi operation with “coalition partners” added in a vain attempt to generate diplomatic legitimacy.

The New York Times, even in the title of its report, “Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen,” seems not to notice these “10” other countries. It reports:

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country. 

The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.

Proxy War Against Iran 

Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in.

Iran’s interest in Yemen serves as a direct result of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” and attempts to overturn the political order of North Africa and the Middle East to create a unified sectarian front against Iran for the purpose of a direct conflict with Tehran. The war raging in Syria is one part of this greater geopolitical conspiracy, aimed at overturning one of Iran’s most important regional allies, cutting the bridge between it and another important ally, Hezbollah in Lebanon.

And while Iran’s interest in Yemen is currently portrayed as yet another example of Iranian aggression, indicative of its inability to live in peace with its neighbors, US policymakers themselves have long ago already noted that Iran’s influence throughout the region, including backing armed groups, serves a solely defensive purpose, acknowledging the West and its regional allies’ attempts to encircle, subvert, and overturn Iran’s current political order.

The US-based RAND Corporation, which describes itself as “a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis,” produced a report in 2009 for the US Air Force titled, “Dangerous But Not Omnipotent : Exploring the Reach and Limitations of Iranian Power in the Middle East,” examining the structure and posture of Iran’s military, including its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and weapons both present, and possible future, it seeks to secure its borders and interests with against external aggression.

The report admits that:

Iran’s strategy is largely defensive, but with some offensive elements. Iran’s strategy of protecting the regime against internal threats, deterring aggression, safeguarding the homeland if aggression occurs, and extending influence is in large part a defensive one that also serves some aggressive tendencies when coupled with expressions of Iranian regional aspirations. It is in part a response to U.S. policy pronouncements and posture in the region, especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Iranian leadership takes very seriously the threat of invasion given the open discussion in the United States of regime change, speeches defining Iran as part of the “axis of evil,” and efforts by U.S. forces to secure base access in states surrounding Iran.

Whatever imperative Saudi Arabia is attempting to cite in justifying its military aggression against Yemen, and whatever support the US is trying to give the Saudi regime rhetorically, diplomatically, or militarily, the legitimacy of this military operation crumbles before the words of the West’s own policymakers who admit Iran and its allies are simply reacting to a concerted campaign of encirclement, economic sanctions, covert military aggression, political subversion, and even terrorism aimed at establishing Western hegemony across the region at the expense of Iranian sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia’s Imperative Lacks Legitimacy 

The unelected hereditary regime ruling over Saudi Arabia, a nation notorious for egregious human rights abuses, and a land utterly devoid of even a semblance of what is referred to as “human rights,” is now posing as arbiter of which government in neighboring Yemen is “legitimate” and which is not, to the extent of which it is prepared to use military force to restore the former over the latter.

The United States providing support for the Saudi regime is designed to lend legitimacy to what would otherwise be a difficult narrative to sell. However, the United States itself has suffered from an increasing deficit in its own legitimacy and moral authority.

Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed.

In reality, Saudi Arabia’s and the United States’ rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess.

Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Gamble 

The aerial assault on Yemen is meant to impress upon onlookers Saudi military might. A ground contingent might also attempt to quickly sweep in and panic Houthi fighters into folding. Barring a quick victory built on psychologically overwhelming Houthi fighters, Saudi Arabia risks enveloping itself in a conflict that could easily escape out from under the military machine the US has built for it.

It is too early to tell how the military operation will play out and how far the Saudis and their US sponsors will go to reassert themselves over Yemen. However, that the Houthis have outmatched combined US-Saudi proxy forces right on Riyadh’s doorstep indicates an operational capacity that may not only survive the current Saudi assault, but be strengthened by it.

Reports that Houthi fighters have employed captured Yemeni warplanes further bolsters this notion – revealing tactical, operational, and strategic sophistication that may well know how to weather whatever the Saudis have to throw at it, and come back stronger.

What may result is a conflict that spills over Yemen’s borders and into Saudi Arabia proper. Whatever dark secrets the Western media’s decades of self-censorship regarding the true sociopolitical nature of Saudi Arabia will become apparent when the people of the Arabian peninsula must choose to risk their lives fighting for a Western client regime, or take a piece of the peninsula for themselves.

Additionally, a transfer of resources and fighters arrayed under the flag of the so-called “Islamic State” and Al Qaeda from Syria to the Arabian Peninsula will further indicate that the US and its regional allies have been behind the chaos and atrocities carried out in the Levant for the past 4 years. Such revelations will only further undermine the moral imperative of the West and its regional allies, which in turn will further sabotage their efforts to rally support for an increasingly desperate battle they themselves conspired to start.

America’s Shrinking Legitimacy 

It was just earlier this month when the United States reminded the world of Russia’s “invasion” of Crimea. Despite having destabilized Ukraine with a violent, armed insurrection in Kiev, for the purpose of expanding NATO deeper into Eastern Europe and further encircling Russia, the West insisted that Russia had and  still has no mandate to intervene in any way in neighboring Ukraine. Ukraine’s affairs, the United States insists, are the Ukrainians’ to determine. Clearly, the US meant this only in as far as Ukrainians determined things in ways that suited US interests.

This is ever more evident now in Yemen, where the Yemeni people are not being allowed to determine their own affairs. Everything up to and including military invasion has been reserved specifically to ensure that the people of Yemen do not determine things for themselves, clearly, because it does not suit US interests.

Such naked hypocrisy will be duly noted by the global public and across diplomatic circles. The West’s inability to maintain a cohesive narrative is a growing sign of weakness. Shareholders in the global enterprise the West is engaged in may see such weakness as a cause to divest – or at the very least – a cause to diversify toward other enterprises. Such enterprises may include Russia and China’s mulipolar world. The vanishing of Western global hegemony will be done in destructive conflict waged in desperation and spite.

Today, that desperation and spite befalls Yemen.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

America at the Crossroads

Off the keyboard of  Jaded Prole
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empathy

First Published on The Jaded Prole, January 12, 2015.

 

Let this be the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms
this is the year
that dark-skinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendents
of their executioners

Martín Espada

 

I found the 2014 holiday season a strange combination of seasonal cheer and rising racial tensions as a result of continuing police violence, protests, and the ugly reaction to them. This strange confluence of good will and ugly polarization has caused me to further consider our moment in the dynamic evolution of culture. By culture, I mean the social self-image and mindset that defines how we how see ourselves within the social context and how we interpret the world around us. As I have written before, culture defines our language, our thinking and our actions just as our collective attitudes and actions shape the larger culture. In my observation, we are at a tipping point.

The Senate report on torture was a disturbing indication of this as so many Americans are willing to accept, support, and attempt to defend such monstrous behavior. This cannot be separated from the rise in racist reaction we are witnessing around the country regarding protests of police abuse. In Virginia Beach a “rally to defend police” is one example. As Kareem Abdul Jabbar wisely pointed out, “Police aren’t under attack, institutionalized racism is.” These rallies are not so much support for police as they are thinly veiled expressions of racism.

What we are witnessing is the playing out of the vicious, competitive corporatized culture and attitudes the public has been fed for decades. Cop culture, military, or “warrior” culture, rape culture, and Wall Street culture are inseparable. All are racist, misogynist, inherently violent, alienated, antisocial, and ego-centric. Vengeance, greed, and prejudicial judgment are key to this mindset. It seems the three headed monster of racism, militarism and poverty Martin Luther King warned us about is coming home to roost.

This is the cultural perspective that justifies victim-blaming, criminalization of poverty, racism, sexism, police abuse, torture, exploitation, corporate theft, destruction of the ecology, imperialism, and war. It is the fascist ideology of raw power or, Power of the Will, where the brutal rule of those with power is justified and under which illness and poverty are seen as character flaws and deserved conditions of the weak.

Years ago, I wrote an article called “The Cannibalist System or What’s Eating You” about how the alienated culture of materialism, individualism and greed pushed by the market system causes us to devolve from higher, cooperative animals to the lower variety. Higher animals are those showing cooperation and empathy like apes, elephants and porpoises. Lower animals like crocodiles are anti-social loners who will eat their young. The right-wing/libertarian ethic is an example of this devolution. We as a species are hardwired for empathy. We identify with the experience and even feel the pain of others. Without empathy, there cannot be sympathy or compassion much less ethics or a concept of the common good. We are social animals whose ability to cooperate for the common good not only allowed us to survive the rigors of the Pleistocene but also to create civilizations. Empathy defines our humanity and is the basis of all religions. Economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin writes, “Biologists and cognitive neuroscientists are discovering mirror-neurons–the so-called empathy neurons–that allow human beings and other species to feel and experience another’s situation as if it were one’s own. We are, it appears, the most social of animals and seek intimate participation and companionship with our fellows.

This is not true for all of us. Some people lack the physical capability of empathy. They are called sociopaths or psychopaths. MRIs of the brain show that the area responsible for empathy in these individuals is underdeveloped. Psychopaths tend to do very well in competitive areas like politics and business where having a conscience can be an obstacle to personal gain at the expense of others.

Fortunately, not all are taken in by this pathology, though “conservatives” and the G.O.P seem to have made this their credo, reflected in both campaign rhetoric and policy. The influence of this anti-social mindset has resulted in a more extreme polarization that threatens to build on itself increasing violent repression, class and race antagonism and tearing our country apart.

We have choices. We can be blindly guided by culture and those who manipulate it to their advantage or we can think for ourselves and with each other in mind, actively influencing the culture in better directions. I know this, because as little as I have in material advantage or power of any kind, I’ve been doing what I can for decades. I do it in conversation. I do it by writing articles like this. I do it by publishing books and the “Blue Collar Review” literary journal which I’ve done for 18 years. The focus of what I publish is progressive working class literature. What does that mean? Most of us are not independently wealthy. We must work for others or for ourselves. Like it or not, we are all dependent on each other even for the opportunity to support ourselves. This creates shared interests that include and transcend differences of gender, race, religion and national origin. Working class literature speaks to our common humanity and helps us realize that our collective interests are best served through solidarity. It is a rejection of the alienated hyper-individual pathology of corporate culture that polarizes us. Samples of poetry in the journal can be seen on the website: http://Partisanpress.org. As the ugly reality of corporate right-wing culture is bared, the best remedy is the recognition and rejection of this destructive paradigm, reclaiming and recreating our older, healthier, more community-focused working class culture.

It boils down to this: we can have a self-destructive society based on egotistical hoarding, tribalism and raw competition in which we all suffer for the benefit of a few or we can have a society based on the cooperation that got us this far — a society based on psychopathy or one based on empathy. Many issues are connected to this, from living wages and how we organize work to whether we have healthcare for all or only for those who can afford high-priced insurance. It is connected to affordable housing, as well as energy, environmental and foreign policies. Will we continue to allow corporate psychopaths to run our government in their own interests or will we demand a restoration of our representative Republic, separating wealth from power?

In considering this choice of cultural emphasis, our recent warming of relations with Cuba comes to mind. Cuba is a small, poor, developing country which was a colony of Spain and then run by the US under various dictators until the early 1960s. It remains relatively poor due in large part to the enforced economic isolation of the embargo by the US and has literally been under various kinds of attack every day since its revolution. Though they have problems with corruption, they are far less than what we see in our own country but Cuba has a culture of empathy. Cubans have basic social guarantees and good public health care. They have higher literacy rates and lower infant mortality than in our country. While the US trains torturers and killers at the former “School of the Americas” in Ft. Benning Georgia, Cuba trains physicians. They educate them for free with the requirement that they put in five years serving the poorest people in the poorest countries. We export soldiers and ultimatums. They export doctors. When Katrina devastated our Gulf Coast, Cubans lined up to give blood – which the US refused. While big US corporations drool at the prospects of invading and exploiting Cuba, we would do better to welcome their influence.

As I wrote earlier in this article, I believe we are at a tipping point, both socially and ecologically. I hope that we can recognize this and make the right choices. The quality of our lives and our future existence are dependent on our ability to come together. As Jeremy Rifkin writes, “What is required now is nothing less than a leap to global empathic consciousness and in less than a generation if we are to resurrect the global economy and revitalize the biosphere.” Achieving a critical mass of “empathic consciousness” sounds like an impossibly difficult goal but we can all begin by interpreting our world through what the philosopher Martin Buber called the I in Thou. This means listening to the experience of others and seeking to understand rather than judge. It means recognizing each other, even strangers, as spiritual beings like ourselves and realizing that our individuality, much less our survival, exists only in the context of others – not just other people but all life in the fragile biosphere of which we are a part.

Let this be the year we overcome the manipulated polarization and partisanship, finding our much larger common ground. Let this be the year we turn away from the rancid, barbarian psychopathy that idealizes violence, militarism and greed, recognizing the real cost to all of us of Dr. King’s three headed monster. Let us resolve to make this the year when “us” and “we” replaces “them” and “me.” Let this be the year we begin building a culture of empathy.

 

Jaded Prole is the nom-de-plume of a freelance writer and poet as well as a publisher, and philosopher living in Virginia. His blog is hereHe also publishes The Blue Collar Review, a quarterly whose purpose is to expand and promote a progressive working class vision of culture.

http://partisanpress.org/

Fashion vs Will to Power III

Off the keyboards of Steve from Virginia and RE

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Published originally in the Commentariat on Economic Undertow

Rockyfight

Discuss this Debate at the Economics Table inside the Diner

Steve from Virginia who publishes the Blog Economic Undertow and myself are old Internet Compadres who have been debating the root causes of Collapse for quite a long time now with each other.    It first began before we set up the Diner on his blog, I think my first posts on EU go back to around 2009, maybe 2010.

For the most part, Steve and I agree on most concepts Economic in nature WRT Industrial Civilization Collapse.  From Debt to Fukushima and beyond we are entirely on the same page.  However, Steve and I also have a FUNDAMENTAL DISAGREEMENT on the etiology or root causes of the disease human society is faced with in the waning years of the Waste Based Economy, which crops up anytime he advances his theory that the Progress Meme followed over the years here is based on what he refers to as “Fashion”, whereas I contend that this results from what I refer to as the “Will to Power”.

The most recent installment of this long running debate came in the Commentariat on EU, in Steve’s latest addition to his Debtonomics Theory, which has numerous installments itself over on EU.  We got into a similar debate which I published here on the Diner a while back as Underpinnings of  Industrialization II: Fashion or the Will to Power?

So, without further introduction, here is the latest keyboard Boxing Match between myself and Steve as to what REALLY drove the development of Homo Erectus to Homo Industrialis over the millenia the genus has been walking the earth.

Further thoughts on this topic welcome from all.

RE

Reverse Engineer

  1. I think what is missed here is that it is not really “Economics” per se that we are talking about, but a Monetary System designed to control Economics.In a monetary system, he who controls the issuance of Money controls the downhill flow of energy and all the resources that the money buys. In the words of Mayer Rothschild:“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws”It is a lot of nonsense that the creation of the Industrial Economy is simply a matter of “Fashion”, as Steve often argues. There is a control paradigm in place that manifests itself through the monetary system. This is the Will to Power , manifest through control of a monetary system, Mayer Rothschild made this clear, and so have many others including Henry Ford.“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”The evolution of the Industrial Economy is an engineered thing, from the top down, it is not a result of “fashion”. It has been imposed on the population against its will in most cases, see the Luddites for this, not to mention about every 3rd World Nation that has had either Death From Above or Tanks rolling over their territory to coopt them into the paradigm and fork over their resources.Steve has a lot of marvelous insights into the nature of debt and the way the economic system works, but his concepts of “Fashion” as being a driving force in this are completely wrong, or misplaced, however you want to phrase it.The industrial economy evolved because it enabled more power to be accessed, and it has been controlled by a relatively small number of people since its inception going back to around the beginning of the Enlightenment in Europe, but really taking off with the invention of the Steam Engine.Bigger and better weapons enabled more of the world resources to be accessed by a small number of people who controlled these weapons of war, beginning with the Cannon, evolving today to Phantom Jets and Apache Helicopter Gunships.This is not “Fashion”. It is the WILL TO POWER.

    RE

    1. steve from virginia Post author
      RE sez: “All your base are belong to us!” Steve sez, “Turn that game off and go to sleep!”In a world where everything is ‘made up’ the will to power — even the power itself — is a fashion: an organized set of appearances. ‘Will to power’ is an indeterminate (macht) fancy that was expressed in mid-19th century philosophy (Schopenhauer). Other thinkers offered will to pleasure (Freud) or will toward greater understanding or meaning. All of this orbits around shared assumptions that reflect (fashionable) determinism and rapid industrialization (leverage).Within determinism, puny man becomes a God without any idea of what a God is or how to go about it. God and man are synthesized versions of each other, that is, looks like a God (image and likeness) while God cannot be anything but ‘like’ a man. Presume for a minute that God can only prove its own godliness by exercising power: God can only prove itself by destroying all humans because the last survivor might in the end defeat God … thereby disproving God’s reality. God here really has no power, it is are either an impostor or a monster with no sense of anything. Without God there is no such thing as power: ironically, when Nietzsche killed off God he killed off his own philosophy at the same time.Instead of power we have ‘real’ video games.The issue is whether determinism is a component of nature/biological evolution (Darwin). It is only for teenagers: there would be no life on Earth: the dominant form would end up destroying everything else (outcome of power). Since life has been on Earth for +400 million years, some other dynamic has determined life-outcomes besides power or will associated with it. If it is sexual selection (Darwin, Freud) then appearances matter (ability to choose partners). Most likely there is a ‘Will to belong’ or will to collaborate intimately.Put another way, even predatory animals operate within (power) constraints by necessity. A lion is always more powerful than a gazelle, the lion will eat a gazelle, never the other way around. A lion won’t invent a machine that gobbles up all the gazelles. After finishing off gazelles the lion won’t turn his machine on the zebras, nor will the lion burn the zebras up for fun. The lion has a built-in (genetic/behavioral) regimes that spares the bulk of gazelles and zebras so that there are lion-lunches into the foreseeable future. The same inhibitions prevent one group of lions from killing all the other lions. There are subtle and varying levels of interchange between prey and prey, predators and other predators so that each sustains the others … within ‘brutish’ nature there is a high level of collaboration and interchange. None of them have to have meetings …Don’t misunderstand, because determinism doesn’t function well with others does not mean the idea is without currency. Our Wile E. Coyote world, quivering in the air over a chasm, is a monument to determinism, ours is a big world with a lot in it to slay:There was a little girl,
      Who had a little curl,
      Right in the middle of her forehead.
      When she was good,
      She was very good indeed,
      But when she was bad she was horrid.There are few- if any balances in the human-American version. Winner-take-all or ‘will to power’; whatever term you please exists in the mind as an unhappy and unworkable abstraction … as a fashion. Nietzsche is right up to the point of how individuals respond to power’s appearances. We invented ‘will to power’ to explore the possibilities of machines, there is no other purpose but entertainment and perhaps seduction. What makes us ‘powerful’ are the forms that ‘power’ takes rather than the exercise of it: ‘helicopters, tanks and aircraft carriers’ appear more powerful than they really are (they are unaffordable liabilities).To exercise power is invariably self-destructive and counterproductive because power requires resources that are eroded by way of power’s exercise (US in Iraq and Afghanistan) or because no contestant has a monopoly on it.

  2. Tagio
    RE:It doesn’t have to be one or the other. If you read Pereleman’s “The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation,” you see a lot of support for your thesis that, at the beginning of the industrial era, people had to be forcibly divested of their historical rights in common property, forced out of the countryside and driven to the cities to become wage slaves. Though life was not easy, they preferred their subsistence + level of farming, hunting, gathering, and home economy (income from weaving and other skills), with its more natural rhythms, more leisure time and “togetherness,” to the “opportunity” to go to the industrial hubs and enjoy “the finer things” of life. Contrary to classical economists’ rosy picture that people voluntarily chose, as a reaction to the invisible hands of Mr. Market, to become workers for capitalists, Pereleman shows that people had to be forced into it. The “capitlists” of the time, who were busy divesting people of their historical rights in a common property (“primitive accumulation” aka theft) railed against the common people’s “laziness” and uncouthness, and their lack of desire for luxury and the finer things of life. However, the people at that time living through it clearly preferred remaining in the home-bound economy to becoming a machine themselves.Fast forward 200 years, however, and people are today basically completely mind-fu***d, can’t even see their slavery, and pursue, as fashion, the next great thing and the next after that. Yes, they are manipulated by the ad agencies, television, and the rest, but they are very easily manipulated. Whose fault is that? Whether you say it is the fault of those with the will to power who pull their strings for their own climb up the ladder in the system, and so are also completely captive by it, or the fault of the nudnicks too stupid to see that they simply are fashion-driven automatons with no will of their own, I’m not sure in the end it matters all that much. Steve is right that what is needed is a major, widespread cultural shift in perception.
  3. Reverse Engineer
    ” the dominant form would end up destroying everything else (outcome of power)”Take a look around, that is precisely what is in process.It took quite a bit of evolution to finally develop an organism which could so efficiently dissipate energy, to the point it threatens its own survival.Anyhow, the bottom line is that at no point could this “fashion trend” be resisted, because if you did resist you get bombed back to the stone age. Or mowed down by Muskets if you were an Aztec. etc.RE
      1. steve from virginia Post author
        RE, the honey always comes first, the rat poison, later. Very rarely is the order reversed and it invariably fails longer-term. See, ‘Vietnam’.
      2. Reverse Engineer
        Nonsense.The Rat Poison came first when the Conquistadores wiped out the Aztecs, and it came first when the FSoA Cavalry knocked down the Plains Indians.It also came first when the Brits took over India, and it came first when Gen. Smedley Butler made Venezuela safe for Standard Oil.In all those cases the paradigm was extraordinarily successful in taking what once were neighborhoods inhabited by either H-Gs or subsistence farmers and coopting them into the Industrial Economy.The folks with the superior weapons of War won the day. That’s not fashion, that’s Will to Power.The paradigm started breaking down around WWI, when just about everybody was similarly equipped with rifles and artillery. Then they ran into the problem that mechanized tanks and APCs don’t function well in the Jungle.In MENA though where mechanized war machines function fabulously well, NATO set up an armed camp and Puppet Regimes in the various nations around there, and for 50 years since WWII this served well to keep the populations under control and the Oil flowing outward for Happy Motoring here. Of course the whole neighborhood has been in a constant state of conflict through the whole time period, but there was enough Oil flowing outward to generally pacify the populations with enough food to eat, and yes Televisions too. However, even there, the Rat Poison came before the Honey, and Rommel, Patton and Montgomery were all quite successful rolling over the local populations, they only ran into trouble when they ran into each other.Large Military machines are the defining feature of all Empires, from the British Empire right back to the Roman Empire. If you want to screw around with the definition of “Fashion” and say they did this because it was “fashionable”, feel free to do so, but the fact of the matter is that this has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion, it has to do with the guy with the best weapons and biggest army runs the show, for so long as there are resources for that army to keep growing.When the resources run thin, the army collapses, and so does the State that runs it. See the Roman Empire, see the FSoA Empire.RE

      3. steve from virginia Post author
        RE, you are enamored of the forms that force takes rather than outcomes.The world is filled with humans because we like sex and the great theater that surrounds it, more than we like killing each other or its particular theater. There has to be a theater, because we are animals, our nature is not to kill but to simply live. Our theater contains the meanings that our activities do not possess on their own.We’ve turned our attention from killing humans to killing the greater world because we learned the hard way that there are few advantages to be gained from killing each other, that the attempt is counterproductive. If there is one consequence that unites every expression of force since the beginning of history it is futility.Humans appreciate the theater that force offers, but force itself produces mostly temporary gains that often immediately reversed. With force, function rarely follows form; it has its own self-contained dynamic. Obviously, there are exceptions; Spanish buccaneers did capture parts of the New World … but they did so on their own, without any direction from the Spanish government. A better outcome would have been gained had the Spanish set up trade with natives rather than stealing from them. As it turned out, Spain’s initial successes in the New World were more-than cancelled out by its failures in the Old: in fewer than a hundred years, Spain was reduced to impoverishment and irrelevance, it ceded much of its European territory and prestige, its government was bankrupted many times over. Across Europe, a quarter of human population was wiped out in pointless and useless wars funded with New World gold and Dutch paper. European wealth flowed east to China in exchange for junk, there was a hundred years of (hyper)inflation … the application of force was a European calamity on the scale of the great plagues of the fourteenth century No single political entity was powerful enough to have its way and bring order. The enterprise as a whole ended up a complete failure.It always does: as military empires grow their power is stretched thin, it becomes decadent. Empires collapse under the costs of their own power. Geographic empires are often just lines on a map, they are little but empty space. When this space is ‘conquered’ power is diluted. The North American plains Indians’ empire was feeble. It could not fill the empty spaces of its own domain with Indians as could the Americans with European immigrants. America could draw upon all of Europe; the natives had nothing but their own rate of reproduction. American West was won with railroads, plows and barbed wire, by farmers not by soldiers as there were too few natives to put up any sort of a large-scale fight.Empire cans rarely be gained by conquest, then only be held for the briefest time, and only then by answering wants rather than by fear of the conqueror. Answering wants is costly, it appears weak, but everything else is much more so. Conquest succeeds only if the conquered are afraid; if they refuse to fear, then what?You can say otherwise, but exercise of force is always a net loss. What matters is whether the various protagonists are able to bear them; generally they cannot. If the ‘function side of military purpose is non-functional or mal-functional (or delusional), what remains? The theater. There is nothing else.America has a massive military advantage over the rest of the world together … on paper. Its advantage takes forms that are pleasing to mechanical engineers and marketing managers, politicians and the media sphere. The theater of American military supremacy plays out on television sets and movie screens, during elections and patriotic holidays, in sports stadiums across the country … every single day. In reality, the US military is hollow and incompetent, like the Nazi- and Red Communist versions … and all the others since Alexander of Macedon. For all of its toys the Pentagon cannot beat dope-peddlers and Quran-thumping street criminals with sandals and pickup trucks. It cannot do its job because the job cannot be done.Absent function there is nothing but the form. There is no ‘third thing’. Form = appearances or fashion.http://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/how-social-movements-can-win-more-victories-like-same-sex-marriage

    1. ellenanderson
      @Tagio “you see a lot of support for your thesis that, at the beginning of the industrial era, people had to be forcibly divested of their historical rights in common property, forced out of the countryside and driven to the cities to become wage slaves.”
      I think most people don’t understand that or accept it because of the anti-peasant narratives whose ultimate expression is found in commercials written by Madmen.
      Steve is quite correct that it could be otherwise without violating the so called “laws of human nature” so cherished by crackpots and evolutionary biologists. My grandparents were horrified by their grand children’s failure to turn off lights and all sorts of other wasteful habits. In the early days of department stores I have heard that the owners had to pay gawkers to look into display windows because it was considered unfashionable to stare – or to wish for things that you could not afford, for that matter.
      Plenty of people are revolted by what is going on in the world. Right now it is inchoate. Their revulsion has to get focused on what is responsible for this mess – not human nature but human choices that could have been made differently. There is a reason why usury was traditionally considered a sin, you know.
    2. Reverse Engineer
      Steve, you’re rewriting history to match up with your philosophical outlook.Whether the Spaniards would have done better to trade with the Aztec than mow them down is a moot point, they chose to mow them down. Regardless of what became of all the Gold they raided and their control over their colonial empire, in the end the South Americans came to live like Spaniards, Spaniards did not come to live like Indios.The next bit is complete fabrication:“The North American plains Indians’ empire was feeble. It could not fill the empty spaces of its own domain with Indians as could the Americans could the Americans fill the space with immigrants. America had all of Europe to draw upon, the natives had nothing but their own rate of reproduction.”-SteveIn fact, in pre-Columbian Amerika estimates are that there were 200M people living here. What killed them off was not a low reproduction rate, it was disease brought over by the first Europeans, smallpox, typhus etc. The Calvary did cleanup on the last few survivors of the epidemics.Once again, in the end Europeans did not come to live like Plains Indians, rather the few left came to live like Europeans, or else trapped in poverty on reservations by the Europeans. Did farmers forsce those folks onto reservations? No, the cavalry did that. That’s how come the farmers had land to farm on, the cavalry marched all the remaining prior residents off the land!Your claims completely contradict history, and merely reflect a philosophical outlook you have that military action is never productive, just destructive. Which in aggregate is true, but for the winners in a war its productive if they capture more resources at the expense of the losers.The FSoA military looks powerful because it sports a lot of big hardware, the problem is the ability to bomb a country back to the stone age is not the same as being able to hold and control it. This requires a lot of surplus energy, and complicity of local elites. The military itself will collapse because if its dependence on so much energy to run it. However, on the way up the hill, it was a very successful paradigm for the winners. That’s why the whole world is industrialized, not because it was a fashion choice.RE
      1. steve from virginia Post author
        Your thesis is unsupportable: “but for the winners in a war its productive if they capture more resources at the expense of the losers.” How can they do that? The costs don’t vanish, they are shifted toward those who can bear them, which in this case would mean the winners. USA bore the costs of destroying Japan and Europe, USA bore the costs of reconstructing Japan and Europe afterward. The US could bear these costs because it was industrialized and could turn American oil into money, it possessed (the balance of the world’s) organic credit. It could also (falsely) depreciate the rest of the world’s losses. If any of the countries had bothered to calculate the costs in advance there would not have been the war in the first place.Wars = consequence of egotism of mad men who cloak their psychopathy with ‘policy’.The problem w/ European colonies was (and is) that they cost more than they returned even without any fighting. Add fighting the the costs/losses were greater. England had a great empire because it was industrialized and could turn domestic coal into money; it could do so because had organic credit and could afford to subsidize the costs of both coal- and colonies. UK did not have industry because of its dominions, neither did the Soviet Union. Gains were fleeting, empires unraveled as credit ran out (USSR) or fell short of meeting costs (British Empire). Ditto the Spanish enterprise in the West, as it became a backwater after Western gold and silver ran low.As for the rest, I simply don’t agree.:)
      2. Reverse Engineer
        Au contraire mon ami, it is your thesis which makes no CFS.After the French & Indian Wars, Did Britain have more or less resources? They pushed the French out, and got rid of most of the Indians. Formerly stuck on a few rocky islands off the coast of the Eurasian land mass, the Brits now had all the juicy land east of the Mississippi and the French got stuck with the Frozen North in Quebec.After WWI & WWII, did NATO have more or less Oil at it’s disposal? They won the wars, they got to milk Elsie the Cow there in Saudi Arbia for 70 years since.Now, the losers of course were worse off here, the Indians were dispossessed of their land, the French had all their war debts and a few pieces of marginal land for their trouble. Over in MENA after the big mechanized wars, with the exception of a few Sheiks and Puppet Dictators, the rest of the population was worse off.In both cases, the land and resources were worse off, as once under control of the Industrial Machine began to be overutilized and gradually sucked dry to depletion.However, the winners did good for themselves, the Brits got to leave the little islands they were stuck on and expand across the Frontier, and NATO got hold of MENA to keep another 70 years worth of Happy Motoring going here in the FSoA.Wars have become non-productive in the years since because there aren’t any good resources left to win/steal here. Theft however is very good Bizness as long as the person you steal from has lots of good stuff, and was very good to the people running the War Biz all the way up the hill here. Just read Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket.”” Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people — didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump — or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!Or, let’s take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.

        There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

        Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.

        Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

        Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.

        A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.

        Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren’t the only ones. There are still others. Let’s take leather. …”

        Now, on balance here, this cost the Taxpayers a lot more than this, but the Taxpayers aren’t the ones running the show. War used to be a very profitable Bizness for the people running the show. Less so now as resources are depleted, but you still do have taxpayers footing the bill while the Industrialists take home the profits.

        As should be obvious, this is a Top Down run enterprise, and has been so for a long time, likely to the dawn of Agiculture. It’s not Fashion. It’s Will to Power.

        RE

      3. steve from virginia Post author
        Will to Power is a slogan, it is clearly fashionable even as it fails.Resources simply are, they are generally depleted, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Whoever manages a resources tends to deplete it. The wise do not deplete their resources but husband them instead. The wise understand that someone coming along later might ‘discover’ some important use for a resource other than to eat- burn- or simply shoot the resource and let it rot.North America had less resources after the English arrived not more (not considering what was wasted prior to of their arrival). After a century or more of pointless wars both the French and English were bankrupted. Your supposition is that one group possesses a monopoly on waste, which is incorrect. What determines outcomes within modernity is access to credit; at the same time, whatever credit is diverted toward war-making is lost. Marching up and down the road or blowing something up is not remunerative. It is simply waste. Winners in war cannot create resources they can only change custody from one waster to another. The gains of a ‘winner’ are always counterbalanced by the losses of the ‘loser’. In addition there are the direct costs of the war itself.It’s one thing for a blogger to carry on about how wonderful determinism is as well as its inherence, but sadly, too many actual policy makers fall into the power trap and embrace the same illogic … Bush and now Putin. Pursuit of power is why the world is bankrupt, why it’s poised at the edge of ecological ruin. Will to Power is a myth; it has to be otherwise ‘power’ would succeed; after 500+ years of modernity there would be some evidence of success somewhere, instead the record is accelerating failures and exhaustion.I am doing a terrible job of explaining my own fundamental premise.
      4. Reverse Engineer
        Note: Actually the French government lost Quebec to the English Crown also, but mostly French speakers populated Quebec, and still do. The English Crown also held onto Canada substantially longer than they held onto the colonies in the now Lower 48. As we all know, the American Revolution occurred shortly after the French & Indian Wars, and put the USA squarely in the pocket of the International Banking Cartel, courtesy of Alexander Hamilton.RE
      5. steve from virginia Post author
        RE, you are arguing against yourself. If the UK/USA ‘won’ than how does that square with an ‘international banking cartel’?You aren’t going Alex Jones on me are you?
      6. Reverse Engineer
        Fashion is a Slogan too Steve.I already stipulated that the NA continent was worse off after the Brits arrived, so also worse off were the French and the Mohicans. The Brits however were better off, they got more space to expand into.SOMEBODY makes a profit off War, otherwise it wouldn’t be engaged in. Smedley Butler made crystal clear who made a profit off his career as a Racketeer for Wall Street.These are the folks who run the show, not puppet politicians like Obama-sama and certainly not you the Voter. These are the people who are most grossly infected with the Will to Power, and it profits them immensely to pursue the Bizness of War. They determine what is fashionable, and then they sell it to you. You have no choice in the matter. If you won’t buy it, they’ll bomb you back to the stone age or blow you off the face of the earth.RE
      7. steve from virginia Post author
        Britain did not ‘expand’ into anything. Britain is an island, it did not get any larger by way of any war.North America’s population increased due to immigration … from France, Italy, eastern Europe, Ireland, Africa, China, Japan, India; there are also natives and descendants from natives. What made it happen was three-masted sailing ships, not war. Regular steamship service accelerated the flow. Today there is more immigration from Latin America. Mexico has not invaded the US nor are they conquering it.As it is, there are more Mexicans in the US than ever; with no fighting, no battles, no idiotic ‘will to power’; only a willingness of millions to labor as near-slaves at the fringes of the US society. The prize is the slim chance … at better lives.Many if not most of the 17 – 20th century immigrants were escapees from the wars; exiles not victors. Immigrants did not win anything but their lives. What happened afterward had nothing to do with Britain’s or any other country’s ‘conquest’, certainly the British did not fight its wars in the West to gain better lives for those whom it considered as ‘trash’. Irish did not conquer Boston any more than Italians conquered Brooklyn or Polish Jews conquered Chicago. African-Americans certainly did not conquer anything and nobody conquered America in their name.British citizens have never been better off after any war, the costs of managing Britain’s silly empire were extracted from the citizens themselves … not immediately but as the debts became due-and-payable, from children and grand-children. Empire was an attempt to find 3d parties upon whom the costs of British borrowing could be shifted. How can a British citizen shoulder costs in a faraway place better than his- or her home? The citizen is the same regardless of place … or else they aren’t citizens at all! The non-British have slender means to carry any burdens, much less the debt burdens of industrial countries. How can a peasant farmer or porter retire or even service the debts incurred by a country such as England? The idea is absurd.I’ve been writing about this sort of thing for five years! Don’t you read any of it?Britain would have done better to trade (at lower cost) with natives rather than engage in wars with its European neighbors overseas. Britain’s massive navy was not cost-free. Nor was its (much smaller) army. Costs don’t disappear regardless of who edits them. They can be put off (by way of borrowing) but the act of putting them off adds to them: credit has its own very large costs.A warring nation cannot gain a free lunch. The ‘counterparty’ loses the lunch and that loss is registered against the winner’s gains. As such, there cannot possibly be a winner. It is physically impossible. There is only one planet, this is it, there are no other places against which the losses can be tallied.Fashion = appearance. You can call it a slogan but this is simply not true. We act on appearances as a component of natural selection, our desires and prejudices are geared toward them.Yes, there is war, yes there is determinism but as a fashion that has certainly outlived its usefulness.

      8. Reverse Engineer
        I read it Steve, I just don’t buy your reasoning on this stuff.We speak English in the US, Steve, not German, not French and certainly not Lakota, Navajo or Tlingit. As a result of WAR, not “Fashion”, the Industrial Culture was disseminated across the Earth.Similarly, Agriculture overran hunter-gatherer by virtue of War, not because hunter-gatherer thought agricultural living was more Fashionable.That this is overall destructive is quite obvious, however as mentioned by Smedley Butler who you completely ignore here, a few people who run this show profit enormously from it. Accessing the stored thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels enabled this bunch of folks to gain hegemony over the entire earth, and transform it into a waste producing industrial machine, via the War process.Such are the outcomes of the Will to Power.RE
      9. steve from virginia Post author
        RE:“I just don’t buy your reasoning on this stuff.”You don’t have to buy anything. I can’t make you understand, I can’t teach you anything. You can learn or not learn, that’s all there is to it.It is clear that if people don’t abandon the deterministic ‘will to power’ myth there will be unendurable consequences.
      10. Reverse Engineer
        You don’t have to buy anything. I can’t make you understand, I can’t teach you anything. You can learn or not learn, it is all the same to me.“Buy” is idiomatic in this usage, the idea is your ideas don’t make CFS to me so they don’t sell. Some folks have CFS, others do not. No argument I make, no speech from Smedley Butler will change your opinion, so we remain on opposite sides of the fence on this.It is clear that if people don’t abandon the deterministic ‘will to power’ myth there will be unendurable consequences.On that we most certainly agree.RE
      11. steve from virginia Post author
        RE, ‘buy’ is your idiom, not mine. Look at your preceding comment.If you adhere to a bankrupt ideology then anything outside of it will not make any sense, it will be incongruent. That is a failure indicator right there.As far as Butler goes, he earned the right to his own opinion but it is only one among many.I have seen the world’s most powerful military lose war after war at stupendous cost … lost to farmers, taxi drivers and plumbers’ helpers. And yet I have not lived long enough to see the United States win a war, that last, almost forgotten ‘victory’ ultimately being Pyrrhic. I’ve seen the other great military powers endure the same outcomes (USSR, Israel, China), the great empires collapsed (UK, USSR); the wannabe- or false empires ruined (France, South Africa, UAR, Russia now); the impulse to empire is exposed as nonsense as is the impulse to industrialize (Argentina).War is an activity like golf. Like golf, some people enjoy it but humans are not genetically predisposed to play golf. There is nothing innate in nature that compels one form or life to wantonly kill or wipe out other forms; to eat some of them, yes. Nature has learned over millions of years that eating all of one’s food supply ends badly for the killer. This is also true of humans. We are not genetically predisposed to be exterminators, or even predators; we aren’t strong enough, fast enough, we lack the ‘basic equipment’; not just teeth and claws but also the fundamental absence of fear that is possessed by other ‘real’ predators. Long ago we trained ourselves to be lions, but we did so imperfectly. We invented myths to keep us from running away when the large animals we wanted to eat turned to defend themselves.Humans don’t hunt and kill animals to survive any more, we grow animals on farms, they are killed by Mexicans working in factories owned by Chinese. Neither the Mexicans nor the Chinese have conquered anyone, they’ve made business deals. The closest most people come to our food-animals is safely within plastic wrap @ the supermarket. Nature takes the form of immaculate green lawns and our pets, ‘wild’ gathers at the bird-feeder or as cockroaches on the kitchen counter. Meanwhile, we recycle the obsolete myths that have long-since outgrown their usefulness, the myths that instruct us that we have an innate, biological urge to dominate everything else. We don’t. There is no economic necessity to it either. If you have been reading over here for more than fifteen minutes the major thesis is that the primary activity of our economy is to thoughtlessly consume resources and borrow to do so, this is another learned process, not innate. It is safe to say that no animal other than human acts to dominate everything; it is limits — not ambition — that is a genetic predisposition. Within this context, we aren’t heroes, we’re failures.Observable reality would bear this out. The fact that there is life on this planet at all is evidence that there is no such thing as ‘will to power’. It is a crazy idea by a minor German philosopher then plastic wrapped by another insane German philosopher. There is no evidence it exists anywhere but in the minds of these two as well as impressionable teenagers.Your argument tends to suggest a one-way dynamic: conquerors and victims. This false. There are would-be conquerors and those who successfully resist them. There is so little difference between the groups that the outcomes are a matter of random chance. Most attempts at conquest fail outright at stupendous cost, the small remainder succeed only until the conqueror is buried under accumulated costs associated with his victories … this leading to either defeat- or ruin over time. What leads to ‘success’ are non-military endeavors: improved agriculture and water management, less-costly distribution of information; emigration and the moderating impulse of religion.The efforts of the the great military powers of the past have experienced the same frustrations as current powers: partial, costly victories at best … more costly defeats that are rationalized away with slogans, ‘We’ll get ‘em next time’.The ‘next time’ always starts with a lie. Whatever you are trying to build on the lie RE, you are building on sand.

        Reverse Engineer
        OK, I can’t leave it alone. LOL.“Observable reality would bear this out. The fact that there is life on this planet at all is evidence that there is no such thing as ‘will to power’. It is a crazy idea by a minor German philosopher then plastic wrapped by another insane German philosopher. There is no evidence it exists anywhere but in the minds of these two as well as impressionable teenagers. ”“Observable Reality” is that there are ongoing Wars all over the world, and SOMEBODY is supplying them with Weaponry. For the people who do that supplying, this Bizness turns a terrific profit for them. Do any Nation-States profit from this? No, they all get to foot the bills for these Wars, while a small number of people collect immense profits from them.To the Robber Barons of the 19th Century, it made economic sense for THEM to have the land cleared of Natives and string Railroad tracks and Telegraph Wires all over the country, not to mention electrify it. You yourself have noted how well John D. Rockefeller did by finding ways to waste the oil he got control of through Standard Oil.For the rest of us, we got stuck with the bills come due on Rockefeller’s Will to Power. Not to mention Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and numerous others so infected.Japan was forcibly openned to trade by Matthew Perry’s Gunboats. The resources of MENA were accessed by virtue of force applied since WWII just about non-stop. Populations generally have not willingly accepted the destruction and rape of their environment, but by application of military force and coopting the Elite of all these neighborhoods into the game, Industrialization managed to overrun the entire world.

        If you want to, you can look at the expansion of Militarism over the Millenia as a growing Cancer, but it is very effective in doing what it is designed to do, which is dispense death and consume resources. It has also made a few people richer than God, and these folks run the political show through control of the monetary system. They issue the War Bonds. They buy the Politicians. You pay the bills.

        RE

 

So which is it Diners?  What has been the driving force sending Homo Sapiens down the Road to Ruin?  Is it FASHION, or a WILL TO POWER?

RE

Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue

Off the keyboard, camera and microphone of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 10, 2014

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Discuss this article at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESA few weeks ago right after I got the new Electric Wheelz, I took them on their first major Test Drive in the Colony Days Parade held every year in Palmer.  Along with the July 4th Parade in Wasilla and the Alaska State Fair Parade when it opens in August, these are the 3 main Parades held in the Mat-Su Valley during the Summer.

Parades are a traditional Celebration of Victory of one sort or another, beginning of course with Military Victories, but extending to Sports Victories too of course, every time the Mets or Yankees win a World Series, they of course get a Ticker Tape parade down Wall Street, despite the fact nobody uses stock tickers anymore with paper tape output, the Piglets view all the latest HFT Data on their Bloomberg Terminals these days.

What Parades here in the FSoA have evolved into is mostly a Celebration of the Consumer Culture, and every local bizness gets a Float to advertize their biz as they march down the parade route, passing out Candy to all the kiddies long the route.  Along with the Biz Floats  though, there always are Political Floats for various Candidates for local political office, Boy Scout Troops, and invariably also a group from the local VFW with a Support Our Troops float.

In this parade, our Biz happened to be marching directly behind such a VFW SOT group, who while they didn’t have a float, did sport a dude in a Polar Bear costume, a Disabled Vet of probably the Vietnam War era, and an Amplified Music System playing non-stop “Patriotic” Music.  Cruising behind them, I got a couple of Vids with the “Scooter Cam”. 🙂

The tune on the Loop which got to me the most was a Toby Keith “country music” type song I had never heard before, “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue”.  The lyrics are an unabashed glorification of militarism, a complete propaganda piece selling the idea that we send out our soldiers only after being attacked for our “Freedoms” (cough, spit, PUKE), but man if you do attack us, we will light you up like Vietnam on a Summer’s Day in 1969.

Now this nation that I love
Has fallen under attack
A sucker punch came flyin’
From somewhere in the back
As soon as we could see clearly
Through our big black eye
Man we lit up your world
Like the fourth of July.

And Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist
And the Eagle will fly, and it’s gonna to be hell
When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell
And it’ll feel like the whole wide world’s raining down on you.
Brought to you courtesy of the red, white, and blue.

Here’s the Full Official Music Video of this tune, for those of you who like me may have never heard it before:

Gotta love the Cheering Soldiers and Patriots attending Toby’s concerts here, shaking their fists at all the appropriate moments.

This sort of War Propaganda Patriotic Music has a long history, you could go at least as far back as the Battle Hymn of the Republic to get a stomach full of this shit.

My particular favorite in this genre is Johnny Horton, who died pretty young back in 1960 but had huge popularity with his Amerikana Songs, Sink the Bismark being one of my favorites of this type.

What you will find if you go over and view this on You Tube is that the Ads that come at the beginning are all basically RECRUITMENT ads for joining the Military.  These songs get those Patriotic Juices Flowing, be  a HERO, defend our FREEDOMS!  A complete crock of shit of course, none of these wars were ever about fighting for Freedom, all were about fighting for control over global resources.

What the Face of War really looks like is none so glorious as any of this propaganda makes it out to be.  These days though, besides the stuff you can pull down from Social Media sites and the Iphones of various locals being Bombed Back to the Stone Age by our Glorious War Machine, you don’t see any of the gruesome outcomes of war, unless it is our Propaganda machine trying to demonize the other side by showing the outcome of the latest “Terrorist” bombing.  Who’s the bigger terrorist here, the guy with a few sticks of Dynamite strapped to his chest, or the Drone Pilot delivering Death From Above with Cruise Missiles with explosive power in the kiloton range, and that is just the non-nuke stuff!

When we saw the horror during the Vietnam War era, it helped mobilize an anti-war movement, so nowadays you don’t get to see such things anymore.  That was the Past.  Now we do “Surgical” strikes with little collateral damage.  More total bullshit of course.  It STILL looks like this!

You don’t think so?  Here’s a pic from a few days ago of an Israeli Air Strike on the Gaza Strip:

War is not about Freedom for anybody, EVER.  War is always about CONTROL, not Freedom.  If you are on the “winning” side in a War, whatever freedom YOU got out of it came at the expense of Freedom LOST by some dead guy on the other side.

The whole pathetic nonsense of this kind of War Glorification inspired a Rant I recorded right after the Colony Days Parade, but it has been in the cooler for a while here as a whole lot of other stuff has been going on, and I haven’t had time to put together all the vids and so forth to work up an article until now.

 Snippet:

…Our Biz was marching right behind a Support Our Soldier Group playing non-stop Johnny Horton type Freedom and Democracy songs, and not only that sporting a WWII era Veteran in a Wheelchair as well. Still not sure how parading the maimed victims of War works to help perpetuate it, but in just about every parade of any type, even a parade celebrating a Mets Victory in the World Series you get your Veterans marching, or being wheeled in display along the parade route.

How long will these Parades continue onward here, celebrating Victories that are in truth DEFEATS? Over in Iraq, the great Victory of Desert Storm 1 & 2 has devolved into further Civil War there, nothing was won other than to keep Oil flowing out of Iraq a few years longer, so Happy Motoring could continue on here. How long will it take the parade marchers and parade spectators to actually see the TRUTH, that Industrial Civilization is collapsing right before their very eyes?…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!

WAKE UP AMERIKA!  DON’T BUY THIS PROPAGANDA ANYMORE!  DO NOT ENLIST, DO NOT ACCEPT CONSCRIPTION.

This message coming to you

COURTESY OF THE DOOMSTEAD DINER

So do your duty, boys, and join with pride
Serve your country in her suicide
Find the flags, so you can wave goodbye
But just before the end even treason might be worth a try
This country is too young to die

HEROES OF THE REVOLUTION EDWARD SNOWDEN. AARON SWARTZ, JULIAN ASSANGE

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RE

China-Vietnam Kabuki Theater

Of the microphone of RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on May 16, 2014

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Discuss this Rant at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

Snippet:

…There are any number of things going on here at any given time these days, you have China and Japan in disputes over the South China Sea and Senkaku Islands, Thai Color Wars ongoing all the time, the North-South Korea endless conflict, but the HOT one of the day here is China vs Vietnam.

Similar to the Russia Ukraine conflict, this is NFL Linebacker vs Jockey territory in terms of outright warfare, but of course as the Boys in Black Pajamas proved during the LAST conflict over in Vietnam, assymetric warfare is not waged well by the Industrial War Machine, so by no means can you say the Chinese will walk all over the New Vietcong. If the Chinese decide to go in on that one, they’ll be in the same sewer the FsoA was in the 60’s, and the French before them when they tried to hold onto the territory as a Colony…

For the rest…LISTEN TO THE RANT!

Ukrainian Crisis Was Always About Containing Russia

Off the keyboard of Anthony Cartalucci

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Published on Land Destroyer on May 1, 2014

NATO_expansion

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A secret no more, NATO’s continued existence is hegemonic in nature – its meddling in Ukraine an act of war against Russia.

Image: NATO expands. Who is the aggressor? 

May 1, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – To careful and honest observers of the events unfolding in Ukraine, it was clear from the beginning that the US and EU through NATO were creating unrest in an attempt to foster regime change in Kiev. They had done so already, admittedly according to the Guardian which would admit in its 2004 article, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” that:

…while the gains of the orange-bedecked “chestnut revolution” are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes. 
Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.

The Western media has attempted to sidestep this inconvenient chapter in history and paper over what is an overt repeat of the so-called “Orange Revolution” but with the addition of snipers and mystery gunmen sowing violence alongside battalions of literal Neo-Nazi militants, armed and clamoring to back Ukraine’s integration into the EU and eventually NATO.

The constitution of the opposition that has since seized power and is occupying the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev, is a mixture of bigots, racists, Neo-Nazis, and anti-Semites – all bent in eager capitulation to Western interests including the IMF’s desire to impose crippling austerity upon the population. It was no surprise then that the majority of Ukraine’s diverse population, which includes Russian-speakers, Jews, and other minorities, quickly rose up against the unelected regime. Despite the West’s best attempts to bolster the legitimacy of the regime, including visits from both the US Vice President himself and the CIA director, the uprisings have spread and intensified.

Image: Armored vehicles deployed by the regime occupying Kiev are part of an ongoing campaign to put down multiplying uprising across the south and east of Ukraine. Almost immediately much of Ukraine’s Russian speaking communities turned on the unelected regime in Kiev, with more likely to join them as mismanagement, incompetence, and foreign influence further mire the country in socioeconomic turmoil. 

Attempts by the Western media to parade out in front of the global public, token “Jews,” claiming they wholly support the Neo-Nazi regime illegally occupying their nation’s capital is undermined by reports from Ukraine’s last round of actual elections in 2010. The Jewish Week reported then in an article titled, “Change For Ukraine, But Likely Not For Jews,” that:

In a country where anxieties about anti-Semitism are never far from the surface, Viktor Yanukovich’s victory in Ukraine’s presidential election is being welcomed with caution by Ukrainian Jews. 

Yanukovich, who has close ties to the Kremlin, replaces Viktor Yushchenko, his West-leaning rival who won five years ago in a second runoff election between the candidates. Widespread protests claiming fraud in favor of Yanukovich in the original runoff spurred the rematch. The pro-democracy protests became known as the Orange Revolution.

As mentioned, the “Orange Revolution” was admittedly US-orchestrated, and yielded what Ukrainian Jews called “a rise in nationalism” which they claim is always “accompanied with the rise of anti-Semitism.”

Of course, President Yanukovich has been run out of power by literal Neo-Nazis. One must wonder what has changed across Ukraine’s Jewish communities that now make such a violent and abrupt transition suddenly “ok.” The answer of course is that Ukraine’s Jews are terrified, their voice simply drowned out by Western propaganda like the Guardian’s “Russia’s propaganda war is a danger for Ukraine’s Jews.” In it, Timothy Snyder claims:

The current Ukrainian government, we were told, was composed of antisemites, fascists, and Nazis. Russian intervention was required, went the argument, to rescue the Jews of Ukraine. 

This version was peddled to the west, where it had some effect, but interestingly it failed entirely in Ukraine itself. Putin seems to have believed that Jewish people in Ukraine would identify with Russia, especially in times of threat. This was one of his many mistakes. 

Ukrainian Jews, especially those from the major communities of Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk, made clear to me that they had no desire to be protected by Russia. Jews in Ukraine understand Russia far better than anyone in the west Jewish or otherwise.

“Made it clear to me…” Of course Snyder cites no organizations or leaders who told him anything, made no direct quotes nor linked to any official statement from any representative body among Ukraine’s Jews. We are to believe Snyder’s claims, apparently, because he says so.

This pattern is repeated across the Western media, except curiously enough, in the BBC which actually interviewed the Nazis Snyder claims are the creations of Russian propaganda. Not only did the BBC prove the existence of Neo-Nazis running rampant across Kiev, but proved that they were very much armed and had run their political opposition out of the capital quite literally. One interview takes place in Ukraine’s Communist Party headquarters now defaced with Nazi slogans and symbolism and occupied by the armed Neo-Nazi militants themselves.

Thus, despite the best efforts of the West’s media and politicians to claim the Nazi militants they used to overrun Kiev are creations of Russian propaganda, the truth exists in plain sight. The inability of the West to check Russia’s counterstrokes in Crimea and eastern Ukraine is precisely due to the fact that neither the people of the East nor the West believe what Washington, London, or Brussels are saying.

NATO, Nazis, and the “Expansion of Europe” 

Image: Atlantic Council’s corporate members. 

So what is NATO doing with Nazi militants in Ukraine? The same thing Adolf Hitler was doing – establishing “breathing room.” While the West attempts publicly to portray the crisis in Ukraine as Europe reacting to Russian aggression, behind semi-closed doors they are very open about their agenda in Ukraine and elsewhere along Russia’s peripheries – it is and always was about the expansion of Europe and the containment of Russia.

Recently the corporate-funded NATO think tank, the Atlantic Council, celebrated what it called, “anniversaries of crucial importance to the transatlantic community, including the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 15th anniversary of NATO’s first post-Cold War enlargement, and the 10th anniversary of the “big bang” enlargements of both the European Union and NATO.” These “enlargements” all took place after the fall of the Cold War – in other words, after NATO’s mandate for existing expired. Yet the alliance continued to grow, and not only did it grow, in tandem with the European Union, it did so directly toward Moscow’s doorstep with every intention of eventually absorbing Russia as well.

In fact, many of the same organizations standing behind the unelected regime in Kiev, have been directing unrest within Russia as well. And in turn, Russian opposition leaders backed by Western-cash and diplomatic support have vocally supported the regime in Kiev.

In reality, what we have witnessed over the past several months is not “Russian aggression,” but the premeditated destabilization and overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, and a resulting, and continuously escalating confrontation with Russia as Moscow reacts to the reappearance of Nazis along its borders, backed by NATO and the EU.

Hustlers to Thugs

Off the keyboard of Morris Berman

Published on Dark Ages America on February 27, 2013

Discuss this article at the  Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

Purely by coincidence, I recently happened to read the New York Times Book Review review of Harvard historian Bernard Bailyn’s latest work, and Jill Lepore’s New Yorker essay on the American military, within the same hour. Whether there is, historically speaking, a causal connection between the events described by Bailyn, and the situation depicted by Lepore, would be hard to prove in any strict sense. All I can say is, it seems right to me. 

 

Let’s begin with Professor Bailyn. The book is called The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America, and deals with the settlement of this continent during 1600-1675. The review, by Charles Mann, appeared in the 6 January 2013 issue of the NYTBR, and describes a very different Bernard Bailyn than the one I’ve been used to. The Bailyn of The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967) argued, contra Charles Beard, that the colonial rhetoric of liberty and freedom was real, not a cover for economic motives. The American Revolution was, in his view, an idealistic revolution, one of “transforming radicalism.” A similar “triumphalist” portrait of the Revolution is central to the work of his student Gordon Wood, who has had a huge impact on the popular (including textbook) conception of the foundation of the Republic. Yet this rosy interpretation can be seriously questioned with the aid of historians such as Joyce Appleby or Richard Hofstadter (who once referred to the American Republic as “a democracy of cupidity.”) As I quote Appleby in Chapter 1 of Why America Failed

 

“If the Revolution was fought in a frenzy over corruption, out of fear of tyranny, and with hopes for redemption through civic virtue, where and when are scholars to find the sources for the aggressive individualism, the optimistic materialism, and the pragmatic interest-group politics that became so salient so early in the life of the new nation?” 

 

As I argue in that book, all of these things were salient on the American continent from the late sixteenth century on. The core of the American experience from that early point, according to historian Walter McDougall (Freedom Just Around the Corner), was hustling: competing, getting ahead, expanding your individual economic position in an opportunistic environment. One doesn’t have to wait until the Jefferson presidency for this to become obvious. 

 

Much to my surprise, Bailyn’s latest work seems to be an indirect confirmation of my, and McDougall’s, thesis—something I would never have imagined possible. As Charles Mann says, The Barbarous Years is not yet another mainstream tome celebrating the greatness of the Founding Fathers; far from it. Rather, Bailyn’s book gives us “a group portrait in tones of greed, desperation and brutality.” In the case of Jamestown (founded 1607), for example, the “colony was a commercial enterprise, started by the Virginia Company with the sort of careful financial evaluation that in the more recent past was the hallmark of the dot-com boom.” (I’m assuming heavy irony here, on Mann’s part.) Mann continues: 

 

“Ship after ship of ill-equipped migrants…went out, each vessel intended to fulfill some new harebrained scheme: wine-making, silk-making, glassmaking.” As for tobacco growing, “Thousands of migrants were willing to risk death for the chance to cash in on England’s squadrons of new nicotine junkies.” And then came the Dutch settlements, such as New Amsterdam (later New York), created by the Dutch West India Company: “Unaware of and unconcerned about prior treaties or contracts, individuals spilled willy-nilly into the land, constantly setting up new ventures in ever more remote areas.” 

 

Hustling, in a word. Surely, this is a very different America from the one Bailyn started out with, nearly half a century ago. Could it be that at age ninety, Professor Bailyn had something of a conversion experience, took off his rose-colored glasses, and chose to give us a much darker—and more accurate—picture of colonial America? At the very least, it suggests a greater continuity with later developments. 

 

Which brings me to the essay by Jill Lepore. Let us fast foward four centuries to the American military establishment, as described by Lepore in “The Force” (New Yorker, 28 January 2013). Here’s what she tells us: 

 

•“The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined. Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year.” 

 

•“Around the world, ‘power projection’ is, in fact, a central mission of American forces.” 

 

•“In the nineteen-fifties…military spending made up close to three-quarters of the federal budget.” 

 

•“On September 8, 2011, when Buck McKeon convened the first of his House Armed Services Committee hearings on the future of the military, no one much disputed the idea that the manifest destiny of the United States is to patrol the world.” (Howard McKeon is chair of the HASC, the largest committee in Congress.) Nevertheless (she goes on), John Garamendi (a Democrat from California), read aloud from “Chance for Peace,” Eisenhower’s first major address as president, which he delivered to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1953: 

 

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This is a world in arms. This world in arms is not spending money alone; it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children….This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”(Italics mine) 

 

•Lockheed Martin, whose contracts with the Pentagon amount to $30 billion annually, was the single largest contributor to Buck McKeon’s last election campaign. In all, LM contribute d to the campaigns of 386 of the 435 members of the 112th Congress, including51 of the 62 members of the HASC. 

 

•The U.S. sells more guns than any other country. “At home and abroad, in uniform and out, in war and in peace, Americans are armed to the teeth….Much of the money that the federal government spends on ‘defense’ involves neither securing the nation’s borders nor protecting its citizens. Instead, the U.S. military enforces American foreign policy.” 

 

•On 13 October 2011, at the fifth of Buck McKeon’s hearings on the future of the military, the HASC heard testimony from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. “But the moment Panetta began to speak a protester interrupted. He identified himself as an Iraq War veteran.‘You are murdering people!’ he shouted. ‘I saw what we did to people. I saw.’ He was escorted out of the room.” 

 

I’m not sure there is a lot more to say, beyond res ipsa loquitur—the thing speaks for itself. I mean, could such a development have been an accident? It is hard to avoid the conclusion that in the fullness of time, the hustlers of the 17th century evolved into the thugs and murderers of the 20th and 21st. And when you think about it, how could it have been otherwise? If you start out with a “group portrait in tones of greed,” where else could you wind up? 

 

©Morris Berman, 2013

 

Underpinnings of Industrialization II: Fashion or Will to Power?

Off the Keyboard of RE

 

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink of the Diner

The original Underpinnings of the Drive to Industrialization: An Anthropological Perspective has led to a fascinating debate with Steve from Virginia of Economic Undertow and the Commentariat of his Blog in the Glory Days thread.

I am updating here on the progress of this debate, which is occurring mostly on Economic Undertow.  Readers can Join this debate on either EU or inside the Diner.

OnlineRE

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Although ACTION here on Diner has calmed down some in this Thread since Elvis Left the Building, it continues apace over on the Parallel Thread on Economic Undertow.
Here is a paste of contributions from Sandor and Phlogiston over there, along with a reply from Yours truly.  :icon_mrgreen:
Quote

Sandor says:
July 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm
Power, like most concepts, is a relative term. The reach of the power you talk about, RE, doesn’t extend very far. Its scope is the surface of this planet, and even within that scope, it is limited. The ‘will to power’ that you refer to is indeed a form of fashion. The particular form of self-aggrandizement and forced acquiescence is an extension of the old god myths which are anchored in dominion, territory, fear, and death. Most of this is rooted in the debate that humans are only physical bodies. The religious hedge their bets with various cosmologies rooted in pre- and post-life narratives. It turns out that most people like to exist, even as they suffer! Religions, cosmologies, myths, are ordering narratives. They are fashions, belief systems, psychological constructs. Pounding the table about the ‘actual reality’ of the will to power merely lends credence (credit-money in the realm of fashion, or the collective cultural narrative) to the prevailing gestalt. The drones and bombers do make the narrative any more or less ‘real’. We are not arguing about the fact that warlords are killing people. The argument is about the narrative.
The ‘power’ narrative as presently framed is destructive and results in systemic failure. Using a gun is an admission of weakness. The art of war is to not fight. It is unclear whether humanity will shed the fear/death/survival/conquest/reproduction/consumption/pleasure/guilt/punishment narrative complex and construct a new ‘dream’ language. Each of us can stay aboard the death cult of modernity or get off the ride and…

Reverse Engineer says:
August 1, 2012 at 2:02 am
“Each of us can stay aboard the death cult of modernity or get off the ride”-Sandor I’m all for getting off the “death cult of modernity”, but at least according to Steve, heading out into the bush to scrounge out a living with the remaining Inuit is “Obsolete”. Apparently the only meme that works for Steve is some kind of pastoral idealization of the 18-19th Century in a Monet Painting, when people wore really well made clothes. I do grasp your idea of “Fashion” as a “Narrative”, but to me Fashion is very shallow and changes capriciously all the time. The Pursuit of Power goes very deep into mammalian behaviors, even more generalized than just primate behavior. The toys we use these days are simply a manifestation of our inventiveness over the millenia, all the behaviors are the same though. I don’t call that “Fashion”. The Big Ass Military doesn’t build those toys because it is “Fashionable” to do so. It builds them because with those toys a few people can control vast swaths of the earth’s resources and vast populations of slaves as well. That is not “Fashion. That is the Will to Power in ACTION. RE

Phlogiston Água de Beber says:
July 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm
I’ve gone over the arguments and I cannot find any of them very convincing. The gun may have been a non-fashion source of power in Mao’s early days. Today they are accessories. Were that not so, most every firefight would not have be terminated by an airstrike. As it happens the world’s militaries are very fashion conscious and so the competition to field the most ridicules looking rifles. And about the Apache helicopter. It was hardly a random choice to name it Apache instead of say Marmalade. The pilots would doubtless be a lot less likely to think of themselves as the second coming of Cochise. The Massive fuel-air bomb called MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) is delivered to the target on an unarmed cargo plane named Hercules, not Hortense. In spite of all the pandering to fashion, or maybe because of it, what is noteworthy is how ineffective are these modern military organizations. Maybe it takes more than thinking you are Cochise? Sandor says open-endedly that ” Each of us can stay aboard the death cult of modernity or get off the ride and…”, which reads like truth. While each of us can get off, not anywhere near all of us can and it does appear that most would not get off if they could. Even death cults have their attractions. James Joyce Steve has wonderful thoughts about a revised philosophy for the death cult. But, as it seems apparent that he still has his soul, he might as well be scratching it into desert sand. While searching for a way to square all these egg-shaped arguments, I discovered that Morris Berman has been channeling the mind of that Great Red, White and Blue Blooded American er Treacherous Commie Czechoslovakian, Madeleine Albright. To wit, there is too much restraint with regard to the death cult’s activities. MB’s obviously implanted thought is that having all this ordinance is a massive waste of money if we don’t use them. He suggests issuing an AK-47 with plenty of ammo to every man, woman, child and infant. Furthermore he says we should nuke any place where they may be up to no good. He suggests starting with Toronto and Paris. Not a bad start, but since all nukes will eventually go bad if not used, Doesn’t it just make sense that no city be left standing anywhere on planet earth? That enormous investment will not have gone to waste. Most of the world’s problems will have been solved. Should there happen to be any survivors, they can party like it’s 1999. All day and all night. The lack of lighting will be no problem if they disrobe. I think that The James Joyce of Economics should not let Morris get too far out of ahead of him on this important matter. There are reputations at stake here.

RE


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More ACTION over Economic Undertow with Round 3 between Yours Truly and Elvis now complete.
First the Uppercut and Right Cross from Elvis:

Quote from: Steve from Virginia

steve from virginia says:
August 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm
RE, don’t take my word for it, head out into that bush and scrounge out a living and report back as to how it goes! A quick look around the Internet shows Inuits and others living in houses, driving pickup trucks, shopping in grocery stores, watching televisions. They hire themselves out to energy contractors as laborers or porters or as tour guides for visitors.
Clearly you haven’t seen enough animal shows on television. Animals are interested in sex and adapt themselves to be more attractive. The tail-feathers on a Peacock (Peak Cock?) are ‘useless’ except to the Peacock who makes no mind of them. He (it’s always a ‘he’) simply makes use of them when the need arises. Likewise, we make no mind of our own useless tail feathers … this is our problem. Ours are ruthlessly capital destructive. It is our goods that are bad for us, not our ‘bads’.
Leaving out nuclear weapons, of course … but these are also ‘useless’ more tail feathers that exist for frivolous (fashionable) purposes. All of our problems are human problems, please don’t blame other life forms for them. Our ‘big assed military’ is a hopeless, repeated failure on its own terms: Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Vietnam! If this is an example of ‘power principle’ at work it is a poor one. All the other big assed militaries have also failed, they succeed only on fashion’s terms, acting as fetishes within non-military contexts where their ‘productivity’ is never measured. Where have ‘small assed militaries failed? Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen … military failed in Indonesia, failing in Mexico, failing in the Philippines.

Followed by the Left Jab, Body Shots and Roundhouse of RE:

Quote from: RE
Quote from: Steve from Virginia

“RE, don’t take my word for it, head out into that bush and scrounge out a living and report back as to how it goes! A quick look around the Internet shows Inuits and others living in houses, driving pickup trucks, shopping in grocery stores, watching televisions. They hire themselves out to energy contractors as laborers or porters or as tour guides for visitors.”-Steve

Steve, I LIVE in Alaska. YOU live in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Trust me, I don’t take your word for anything related to how people live up here. When was the last time you visited Kotzebue or Bethel? You could at least try reading from Wiki:

Quote from: Wikipedia

“The Bush is a term Alaskans use to describe portions of their state that are not connected to the North America road network.[1] A majority of Alaska’s native populations live in the Bush, where they make their living in similar fashion to their ancestors.[2][3] Places in the Bush include Bethel,[2] Dillingham,[2] King Salmon,[2] Nome,[1][2] Barrow,[1][2] Katmai National Park,[1] Kodiak Island,[1] Kotzebue,[2] and Unalaska-Dutch Harbor.[2] Most parts of Alaska that are off the road system can only be reached by small airplane.[4] Travel from place to place is typically accomplished by snowmobile, snow machine, boat, or dog sled.[2]”

Very little goes into or out of these places Stuff like Milk flown in is outrageously expensive. Most of the food is acquired in fishing and hunting for subsistence. They have”modern” housing as a result of the leases the tribes sold to the Oil Companies. This gave Native Corporations MONEY to fly in manufatured Housing, which is generally some cheap ass shit. They are not wired to any Grid, the electricity comes from Diesel generators. Their lives are right now a fairly rotten mix of the old ways and modernity. The money they have comes mainly in the form of Dole, they don’t have any “industries” to export stuff to earn Cash. They have terriic Alcoholism problems. On a Food and Shelter level though, they are pretty darn safe. Once the planes stop flying in, they still got plenty-o-fish. They are not that far removed from people who livedby the REAL old ways, in fact numerous are stil breathing.Guys who fished from seal-skin Kayaks instead of the aluminum fishing boats they use now. Once they lose their electricity and access to alcohol and car antifreeze to drink and no longer are bombarded by television images of the Industrial Lifestyle, they’ll probably suffer some die off, but generally speaking they can revertto the old ways pretty quickly. No Zombies will arrive in those places, you just can’t GET there from here without planes, there are no roads in or out of them. Its a tough trip to get there even with Snow Machines. Mushers only go there for races like the Iditarod. NATO will not be dropping Death From Above on them either. Insofar as the Big Ass Military being a “failure”, I suppose you never read any of Smedley Butler’s stuff? The BAM is in the Process of Failing,but it hasn’t FAILED completely yet. The main job these days is to so disrupt the local Goobermints of places like Libya so that Big Oil can STEAL what is left of their Oil. They haven’t FAILED yet in Saudi Arabia, where the main job is to keep the House of Saud in Power so they can keep pumping Ghanwar until it is dry also. The BAM and its Local Affiliate here in the FSofA of the GESTAPO hasn’t FAILED yet either. They did a mighty nice Cleanup Job in Zucchini Square in NY Shity and in Oakland sweeping OWS Riff Raff off the streets. These folks STILL got plenty of POWER left in them, and it ain’t FASHION that drives its use. It’s Greed and the Will to Power driving it. The collective “We” cannot do jack shit about this while the BAM is just Failing,until it has FAILED completely we simply do not run the show. The people who do run the show have a vested interest in keeping it running for as long as they possibly can, and you can be damn sure they will stop at NOTHING to maintain their power. If that means poisoning the world with Nukes, they will do that. If it means rounding up vast numbers of poor folks and herding them into Boxcarson on the Amtrak Rail Network with a One Way Ticket to the Human Waste Reprocessing Facility in San Antonio, they will do that also. They will even do it to JamesJoyce style Economists living in the Virginia Suburbs of Washington DC. One group of people they will NOT be herding into Boxcars still lives way out there in the Bush,with a few paltry baubles from the Age of Oil, but still mostly by the Old Ways. They will not be going into Boxcars on the Railroad, because there still ARE no Railroads that make it to where they live. When TSHTF, those people will either make it through the Zero Point or not, but either way even if they ALL walk into the Great Beyond, they will walk there FREE. I’ll take that exit before I take the Boxcar ride any day. Anyhow, I give them a better than 50-50 shot here, whereas I give anyone living in the suburbs of Washington DC less than 1 in 10 ofmaking it through this maelstrom. Obsolete my ASS. What is obsolete is the Industrial lifestyle, and also over the longer term the Ag lifestyle also. Fashion my ASS also. Its the Will to Power that led to this, not FASHION. RE

Still no Hits Below the Belt! Marquis de Queensbury Rules!  :icon_mrgreen:

RE

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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Inside the Diner

Quote from: RE on Today at 09:48:50 AMhttps://www.globalresearch.ca/short-road-democracy-fascism/5695865The Short Road: Democra...

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.While I won't argue that plenty of medical mistakes happen, you have to consider that many of the people who die from them are quite sick in the first place, and that 100% of medical patients eventually die of...

Quote from: knarf on Today at 07:49:11 AMSAYS BRAZIL'S NEW HEAD OF NATIONAL ARTS FOUNDATION.Dante Mantovani, the head of Brazil's National Arts Foundation, released a video on his YouTube page in which he connected rock...

Jump to the 11:00 min. mark of the vid for the session notes reading. WOWzeeeerrrrrr 

Scientists have discovered an ingenious way to restore life to the dead patches of the Great Barrier Reef.ELIAS MARATTMU) — Dead coral reefs have become one of the major horrors resulting from human impact, with thousands of miles of coral ecosystem...

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Knarf’s Knewz

Quote from: knarf on Today at 07:49:11 AMSAYS BRAZ [...]

SAYS BRAZIL'S NEW HEAD OF NATIONAL ARTS FOUND [...]

The Belt and Road Initiative has come to Turkey an [...]

Pontiff calls on COP 25 leaders to show political [...]

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Doomstead Diner Daily December 6The Diner Daily is [...]

Quote from: Eddie on December 05, 2019, 01:17:28 P [...]

I always thought Hell's Angels was an underra [...]

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CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

Quote from: knarf on Today at 07:49:11 AMSAYS BRAZ [...]

SAYS BRAZIL'S NEW HEAD OF NATIONAL ARTS FOUND [...]

The Belt and Road Initiative has come to Turkey an [...]

Pontiff calls on COP 25 leaders to show political [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Barrier to Using Gold, [...]

Under extreme conditions, gold rearranges its atom [...]

The cost of gold futures on the Comex exchange inc [...]

The remission is OVAH!  The Cancer is BACK!  I got [...]

1 week, even 2 here in Alaska is total BULLSHIT! Y [...]

Now UP on GEI!  REposted on 01 December 2019A Worl [...]

My computer has had something of a Remission and h [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Missing In Action By Cognitive Dissonance     As a very young pup, whenever I was overdue and not ho [...]

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Shaking the August Stick By Cognitive Dissonance     Sometime towards the end of the third or fourth [...]

Empire in Decline - Propaganda and the American Myth By Cognitive Dissonance     “Oh, what a tangled [...]

Meanderings By Cognitive Dissonance     Tis the Season Silly season is upon us. And I, for one, welc [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-04http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-03http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-02http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-01http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

2019 - NOV - Spotlight StoriesCategory: Fires And Explosions2019-11-01 - California wildfires signal the arrival of a planetary fi [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

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Sustainability

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"The drift towards near-term human extinction must be averted at all costs."I confess. I a [...]

"Since 2005, winters in Mexico have been my Hemingway Machine."  As winter descends upon m [...]

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

Of Warnings and their Ripple Effects"We need wooden ships, char-crete buildings, bamboo bicycles, moringa furniture, and hemp cloth [...]

"Restoring normal whale activity to the oceans would capture the CO2 equivalent of 2 billion tr [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
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I wonder whether this has been fully thought through. If something goes wrong, clearly the whole thi [...]

One of the big questions is, "Do you count all of these things with virtually no value as part [...]

There was no Iranian missile attack. That claim is pure Israeli propaganda, designed to further thei [...]

How DARE THEY! World’s Biggest Oil-Refining Tower Completes 11,000-Mile Voyage Anthony Osae-Brown, T [...]

Gail, I once again display my ignorance of modern economic theory. So, we pay people to create [...]

Steve wrote a couple of articles last year, Marx & Debtonomics: https://www.economic-undertow.co [...]

Wait - when did Steve say that about Marx? I must have missed an interesting discussion along the wa [...]

@Ellen, I concur with Steve that Marx understood the problems with capitalism but failed to place th [...]

Well said. I would only argue that we, in effect, have MMT already. It hasn't failed yet. [...]

PS I really like herring and potatoes - and turnips. We will be lucky to have even those IMHO. [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Deterministic–stochastic empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is used to obtain low-frequency (n [...]

At the sub-national level, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) proposes [...]

The recent droughts in the American Southwest have led to increasing risks of wildfires, which pose [...]

The effect of urbanization on microclimatic conditions is known as “urban heat islands”. [...]