AuthorTopic: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism  (Read 821 times)

Offline RE

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Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:20:08 AM »
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/human-anxiety-in-late-stage-capitalism/

Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
19/10/2017


Superficial explanations for today’s social anxiety and political discontent miss the underlying reality: the crisis of late-stage capitalism in its frantic death throes, explains poet Phil Rockstroh.

By Phil Rockstroh

A number of recent press articles, including an over 8,000-word feature piece in The New York Times have asked, to quote the Times’ headline, “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?”

Although the question was proffered, the reporters and editors responsible for the articles remain resolutely obtuse to the obvious: The bughouse crazy environment of late-stage capitalist culture evokes classic fight-or-flight responses attendant to episodes of severe anxiety and panic attacks.

The word panic has its derivation in reference to Pan, the Greek god of wilderness and wildness, of the animal body encoded within human beings and its attendant animalistic imperatives. To wit, deracinate an animal from its natural habitat and it will evince, on an instinctual basis, a fight-or-flight response.

If caged, the unfortunate creature will pace the confines of its imprisonment, chew and tear at its fur and flesh, become irritable, enervated, languish and even die from the deprivation of the environment it was born to inhabit. A caged animal, even if the unfortunate creature endures captivity, is not the entity nature conceived; the living being has been reduced to A Thing That Waits For Lunch.

Human beings, animals that we are, respond in a similar fashion. Experiencing anxiety is among the ways our innate animal spirits react to the capitalist cage. Inundate a teenager with the soul-defying criteria of the corporate/consumer state, with its overbearing, pre-careerist pressures, its paucity of communal eros, its demands, overt and implicit, to conform to a shallow, manic, nebulously defined yet oppressive societal order, and insist that those who cannot adapt, much less excel, are “losers” who are fated to become “basement dwellers” in their parents’ homes or, for those who lack the privilege, be cast into homelessness, then the minds of the young or old alike are apt to be inundated with feelings of angst and dread.

Worse, if teenagers are culturally conditioned to believe said feelings and responses are exclusively experienced by weaklings, parasites, and losers then their suffering might fester to the point of emotional paralysis and suicidal inclinations.

No Real Remedies

What does the capitalist state offer as remedy? Obscenely profitable, corporately manufactured and widely prescribed psychoactive medications. Treatment, which, at best, merely masks symptoms and bestows the illusion of recovery.

As R. D. Laing observed: “What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being.”
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In short, it is insanity to be expected to adapt to socially acceptable insanity. Yet we are pressured to adapt to, thus internalize odious, groupthink concepts and tenets. To cite one such groupthink example: homelessness is natural to the human condition and is a communally acceptable situation.

Closer to fact: The problem of homelessness is the result of a societal-wide perception problem — the phenomenon is the very emblem of the scrambling, twisting, dissociating, and displacing of perception that capitalist propagandists specialize in. Homelessness would be considered a relic of a barbaric past if this very simple principle was applied: Having access to permanent shelter is a human right and not a privilege.

What kind of a vile, vicious people would deny that simple proposition? Those conditioned by a lingering Puritan/Calvinist mindset to believe: Punishment for resisting the usurpation of the fleeting hours of one’s finite life must be severe. If the over-class can no longer get away with, as was once common practice in the Puritan/Calvinist tradition, public floggings to whip the labor force into line, then those who will not or cannot comply will be cast onto the cold, unforgiving concrete of a soulless cityscape.

It comes down to this, societies that are ridden with vast wealth inequity, due to the machinations of a rapacious over-class, create the obscenity known as homelessness. Moreover, the situation is only one of the numerous obscenities inherent to state capitalism. Obscenities that include, events that are dominating the present news cycle, e.g., the predations of a lecherous movie mogul, to the sub-cretinous doings and pronouncements of a Chief of State who is a bloated, bloviating, two-legged toxic waste dump.

Trump, No Aberration

How is it then, liberals fail to grasp the fact that the Trump presidency is not an aberration; rather, his ascension to power should be regarded as being among the high probability variables of late-stage capitalism and empire building? The psychopathic, tangerine-tinged clown Trump is the embodiment of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a development that is concomitant to over-expanded empires. Thus he will continue to flounce deeper into the quagmire of crash-engendering, economic legerdemain and perpetual war.

Empires are death cults, and death cults, on a subliminal basis, long for their own demise. Paradoxically, the collective mindset of imperium, even as it thrusts across the expanse of the world, renders itself insular, cut off from culturally enhancing novelty, as all the while, the homeland descends into a psychical swamp of churning madness.

A draining of the swamp of the collective mind cannot come to pass, for the swamp and citizenry are one. Withal, the likes of leaders such as Trump rise from and are made manifest by the morass of the culture itself. In a swamp, the gospel of rebirth and redemption is heard in the song of humus. New life rises from its compost.
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In the presence of Trump’s debased mind and tombified carcass, one is privy to arias of rot. While Hillary Clinton’s monotonous tempo was the dirge of a taxidermist — cold, desiccated of heart, and devoid of life’s numinous spark — Trump’s voice carries the depraved cacophony of a Célinean fool’s parade … its trajectory trudging towards the end of empire.

As liberals new BFFL (Best Friend for Life) George W. Bush might ask, “Is our liberals learning.”

In a word, no. For example, the collective psyche of U.S. culture as been enflamed by the revelations that actresses were coerced into sexual encounters with a movie mogul whose power in the industry was only matched, even enhanced, by his sadistic nature. The staff of his company assisted, was complicit in, or remained silent about his lechery, as did the whole of the movie industry and the entertainment press. All as NFL athletes are being threatened with expulsion from the League if they kneel during the national anthem.

The Great Unspoken

Yet the great unspoken remains: The enabling of and submission to the degradation, exploitation and tyranny, and the lack of resistance thereof share a common and singular factor: The careerism of all concerned. The cultural milieu concomitant to capitalism is at the rotten root and noxious blossoming of the situation.

Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 cinematic barnburner “Two or Three Things I Know About Her” should be required viewing for those unaware or in denial of the acuity of the film’s theme i.e., becoming enmeshed within the psychical landscape of dominance, degradation, and submission inherent to and inseparable from capitalist/consumer culture will cause one to become party to societal sanctioned prostitution. When life is negotiated within a collective value system that devalues and deadens the individual’s inner life thus warps every human transaction, anomie descends, the worst among a people ascend to positions of power.

“Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.” — William S. Burroughs, from Ghost of Chance

When friends visited me in New York, where I lived for decades, I would take them on walking tours through the city. We would cross the Westside Highway and stroll the pedestrian walk along the Hudson River, or cross the East River by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The effect of these excursions on people was often profound … the combined elements of the elemental beauty of the rivers and vastness of the city’s architecture and scope, clamor, and the dense interweaving of traditional ethnic customs and ad hoc social codes of New Yorkers often would heighten the visitors’ senses and open them to larger, more intricate awareness of themselves and extant reality … the freeways of the contemporary mind (conditioned to be constantly engaged in manic motion, with one’s mind either frenzied by an obsession with performing (ultimately futile) maneuvers directed to saving time — or stalled at a frustration inducing standstill) were replaced by the exigencies of life at street level, i.e., novel situations that had to be apprehended and negotiated.
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The possibilities of life seemed greater. The crimped eros of insular suburban thought became loosened before the city’s intricacies and expansiveness. Although: Not all, or even a scant few, New Yorkers can maintain the state of being. Few of us can live by Rilke’s resolve to “make every moment holy.” Life, in the city, becomes grotesquely distorted … High rents, inflicted by hyper-gentrification, in combination with the deification of success and its cult of careerism overwhelm one’s psyche … There is so far to fall.

Angst (the word originally can be traced to the ancient Greek deity Ananke, the immovable by prayer and offering bitch Goddess of Necessity and the root word of anxiety) clamps down one’s sense of awareness. Ananke dominates the lives of the non-privileged citizenry while Narcissus, Trump’s, the Clintons’, et.al. and their financial and cultural elitists’ patron God rules the day. The pantheon of possibility has been decimated, a cultural cleansing has been perpetrated, by the egoist caprice of the beneficiaries of the late capitalist dictatorship of money.

Hence, we arrive at the primal wisdom tacitly conveyed by anxiety-borne states of fight or flight. Due to the reality that capitalism, on both an individual and collective basis, drives individuals into madness, all as the system destroys forest and field, ocean and sea and the soul-scape of all who live under its rapacious dominion, our plight comes down to this: We either struggle and strive, by and any and all means, to end the system — or it will end us.

* Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living, now, in Munich, Germany. He may be contacted: philrockstroh.scribe@gmail.com and at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh
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Offline RE

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Capitalism’s War against Life Itself
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 01:05:17 AM »
https://www.globalresearch.ca/capitalisms-war-against-life-itself/5622245

Capitalism’s War against Life Itself
A Partisanship of the Heart: Interior Measures Towards a Re-Visioning of Capitalism’s Imperium of Death
By Phil Rockstroh
Global Research, December 10, 2017
Theme: History, Poverty & Social Inequality


According to a nationwide study conducted by the Center For Disease And Prevention (CDC) a greater number of US Americans died (approximately 65,000) from drug overdoses, last year, than were killed during the course of the Vietnam War.

All part and parcel of capitalism’s war against life itself. The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate.

The root of addiction is trauma. The soul of the nation is a casualty of war. There is not an Arlington Cemetery for these fallen, no hagiographic ceremonies will be performed over their graves nor statues erected in memoriam. Their ghosts will howl through the long, dark night of national denial. Listen to their wailing. It is an imprecatory prayer. A curse and augury…that admonishes, our fate and the fate of the nation will converge…as the nation will stagger, keening in lament, to the abyss.

The solution: Within each of us swells a deathless song. Powerful. Resonate. Piercing. A song, miraculous of influence, plangent with the force to seize back your soul from the death-besotted spirit of the age. Let it rise from within you. Notice: how flocks of empire’s death birds scatter like ashes in the wind.

Yet it will not be possible to navigate around the cultural deathscape; we must walk through it and chronicle its serial affronts to our humanity:

    “You have to see that the buildings are anorexic, you have to see that the language is schizogenic, that ‘normalcy’ is manic, and medicine and business are paranoid.” — James Hillman   

Try this: Simply stand in the isle of a corporate, Big Box chain store or in the parking lot of a strip mall that squats, hideous, on some soul-defying, U.S. Interstate highway and allow yourself to feel the emptiness and desperation extant. The tormented landscape, besieged by an ad hoc assemblage of late capitalist structures, emporiums of usurped longing, reflects the desperate, rapacious nature of late capitalist imperium.

Compounding the pathos, the forces in play impose a colonising effect upon the mind; therefore, a large percent of the afflicted have lost the ability to detect the hyper-entropic system’s ravaging effects. Stranded among the commercial come-ons and hyper-authoritarianism inherent to late stage capitalism’s imperium of death, the human psyche, like the biosphere of our planet, subjected, at present, to humankind-wrought ecocide, has begun to display the terrible beauty of a nightmare. Internal weather has grown increasingly chaotic: the earth’s oceans and seas are rising; wildfires rage; drought scorches the earth. And conditions will grow increasingly inhospitable in regard to the flourishing of inner life, personal and collective thus will continue, and at accelerating rates, to be reflected in the web of phenomena we know as human culture.

Growing up in a working class social milieu, as I did, I am confronted, more and more, by the news of the large number of men I grew up with who are dying in their 50s. As of late, when I contemplate the fact, I am forced to pause and seek solitude because my eyes become scalded with tears. I’ve known, over the years, hundreds of human beings, born into and ensnared by the crime against humanity known as poverty, broken by the culture of greed and social degradation, and blamed by the clueless and the callous for the tragic trajectory in which impersonal fate and the wounding culture, by no fault of their own, has placed them.

Thus arrive: Tears of rage; tears of outrage. Tears unloosed by passion and tempered by compassion…fall. If poverty was not so profitable for the greed head elite, both punitive-minded conservatives and affluence-ensconced liberals alike, the situation would be addressed and rectified. The cause of the reprehensible situation, it should go without saying, is not the fault of the poor but the poverty of spirit at the core of capitalism.

Truth is, the system, a hierarchy of ghouls, is maintained by harvesting the corpses of the powerless, by means of imperial slaughter and domestic, economic exploitation. Deep down, we know it. The system’s psychopathic beneficiaries, in particular, are aware of the reality. In fact, their desiccated hearts require being irrigated by blood. From the evidence of their actions, it appears, they revel in the knowledge of the damage they incur. They appear to believe they will enter the golden dominion of heaven by climbing a mountain of corpses. It is time we dragged them back down to earth and subjected them to our earth-borne fury.

Or so goes my own (powerless) revelry. Of course, we the powerless, at this point, have been left with scant little but a dreaming heart. When we allow heartless power to subdue and usurp our longings, we languish. Thus many die of a broken spirit. The world itself can appear to be depleted of mercy. In turn, all too many begin to mirror the malevolence of the upper castes thereby losing their own measure of mercy.

Hostility directed at the poor is the shopworn, demagogic sleight of hand trick used to distract from realities such as: Every mcmansion and high end luxury high-rise constructed creates multitudes of the homeless. Every low pay, no benefits, no future mcjob serves to decimate an individual, heart and spirit. Moreover the beneficiaries of the system promote the lie, that shame should be the exclusive dominion of those broken by their system, a system, which is, in essence, a form of government-sanctioned gangsterism, by which they, the ruthless few, and they alone, benefit.

As a result, in an age of denial and duplicity, change tends to arrive violently. Reactionary, racist soreheads, brandishing Tiki torches, construct an ambulatory klavern in the hateful night. Maledictory tweets rise and roil the imperial air like a nimbus of locust. Unmoored from their sense of humanity by lashing angst and alienation, gunmen, in acts of warped libido, raise assault rifles and kill with no more connection to the strangers they slaughter than do stateside deployed pilots of the empire’s predator drones.

We human beings, as as species, have arrived at a profound point of demarcation: paradigm shift are perish. Yet, and the fact is mortifying in its implications, there is not a sign of the emergence, even an incipient one, of a viable resistance to the present order. Weekend marches and boutique protests might promote (ephemeral) feelings of affinity and jack the adrenal systems of participants. But the events have proven woefully inefficacious in regard to the rising and raging tides of adversity we face.

(In addition, monopolist, internet corporations, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, at the behest of US governmental forces, are further marginalising the already almost vaporous left by means of presence abridging algorithms of leftist websites and outright censorship of social media content. Dissenting voices are being ghosted into oblivion.)

An aura of bleakness prevails. Hope seems a fool’s palliative. The victims of drug overdoses and, in general, the large and rising, without precedent, untimely deaths of middle aged, labouring class people should be regarded as canaries in the coal mines of the late stage capitalist order, an augury of  calamities that loom due to the exponentially increasing harm being inflicted upon both humanity and environmental forces crucial to sustaining the continued viability of the human race.

    “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”― C.G. Jung 

Although it does not have to be the case. If reality is met head-on, if empire, external and its inner analog, is renounced and challenged, then a liberation staged by the heart’s partisans can begin, thereby freeing up a great amount of acreage — a fructifying landscape — wherein both the earth’s ecosystem and the architecture of human desire can begin to co-exist and cross-pollinate thus a crucial re-visioning of oneself and the culture can begin.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living, now, in Munich, Germany. He may be contacted: philrockstroh.scribe@gmail.com and at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 06:34:49 PM »


This image is probably frighteningly correct about what's in most people's heads - messy, unstructured, useless.

My head is MUCH more organised - a strict hierarchy, with neat rows and columns, like a filing index.  It doesn't stop you having anxiety about the imminent collapse, because that's sensible under the circumstances.  It's a bit frustrating though when people think it's 5 years away.

That's probably why I don't like poetry.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 06:46:22 PM »


This image is probably frighteningly correct about what's in most people's heads - messy, unstructured, useless.

My head is MUCH more organised - a strict hierarchy, with neat rows and columns, like a filing index.  It doesn't stop you having anxiety about the imminent collapse, because that's sensible under the circumstances.  It's a bit frustrating though when people think it's 5 years away.

That's probably why I don't like poetry.

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 08:16:53 PM »
Yes, exactly. However I don't like the ugly links below Bookkeeping, they should go vertically downwards and then horizontally across, like the way the links of Business Name go.

I once wrote a database handling package which included those downward links, and the same thing based on upward links.
These corresponded to "what is used in" ( aka Bill Of Materials) and "what is this used on".  This is called a Lattice File.  In the end nobody could appreciate how to use it and it never sold - a waste of a year.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 08:28:24 PM »
Yes, exactly. However I don't like the ugly links below Bookkeeping, they should go vertically downwards and then horizontally across, like the way the links of Business Name go.

I once wrote a database handling package which included those downward links, and the same thing based on upward links.
These corresponded to "what is used in" ( aka Bill Of Materials) and "what is this used on".  This is called a Lattice File.  In the end nobody could appreciate how to use it and it never sold - a waste of a year.

Generally speaking, I use such linear organizations myself, after all the Diner is structured like this.  It's a bunch of folders with different categories.  Not all Diners use the folders the way they are supposed to be used though, so there is confusion and overlap.

In THEORY, I prefer a relational database where you can find files through different searches in different categories.  However, SMF is not really capable of that unless the users drop in multiple links to different folders.  Nobody will do that, not even me.  It has to be automated.  Never found a forum or blog yet that could do this.

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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 09:42:06 AM »
In THEORY, I prefer a relational database where you can find files through different searches in different categories.  However, SMF is not really capable of that unless the users drop in multiple links to different folders.  Nobody will do that, not even me.  It has to be automated.  Never found a forum or blog yet that could do this.
Blog authors can add keywords to their articles to do much the same thing, and both blog authors and forum users can put tags on posts.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline RE

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 09:46:34 AM »
In THEORY, I prefer a relational database where you can find files through different searches in different categories.  However, SMF is not really capable of that unless the users drop in multiple links to different folders.  Nobody will do that, not even me.  It has to be automated.  Never found a forum or blog yet that could do this.
Blog authors can add keywords to their articles to do much the same thing, and both blog authors and forum users can put tags on posts.

You can't tag Forum posts, nor can you tag comments in a Blog.

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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2018, 10:14:21 AM »
In THEORY, I prefer a relational database where you can find files through different searches in different categories.  However, SMF is not really capable of that unless the users drop in multiple links to different folders.  Nobody will do that, not even me.  It has to be automated.  Never found a forum or blog yet that could do this.
Blog authors can add keywords to their articles to do much the same thing, and both blog authors and forum users can put tags on posts.
You can't tag Forum posts, nor can you tag comments in a Blog.
SMF may not let you, but I know I have used some kind of forum software that does let users add tags to posts... not so sure about the blog comments.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Online Eddie

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 10:19:50 AM »


This image is probably frighteningly correct about what's in most people's heads - messy, unstructured, useless.

My head is MUCH more organised - a strict hierarchy, with neat rows and columns, like a filing index.  It doesn't stop you having anxiety about the imminent collapse, because that's sensible under the circumstances.  It's a bit frustrating though when people think it's 5 years away.

That's probably why I don't like poetry.

I think most people's heads are much more like a flow chart, with gates.

Maybe I can figure out how to draw what I'm visualizing.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 10:22:19 AM »
In THEORY, I prefer a relational database where you can find files through different searches in different categories.  However, SMF is not really capable of that unless the users drop in multiple links to different folders.  Nobody will do that, not even me.  It has to be automated.  Never found a forum or blog yet that could do this.
Blog authors can add keywords to their articles to do much the same thing, and both blog authors and forum users can put tags on posts.
You can't tag Forum posts, nor can you tag comments in a Blog.
SMF may not let you, but I know I have used some kind of forum software that does let users add tags to posts... not so sure about the blog comments.

You can tag the articles in WP, but not the comments.  No blog or forum software I know of allows that.

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Online Eddie

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 11:01:50 AM »
I'm incompetent at drawing on a computer, but fortunately the world is full of people who are not, and many of then appear to have a lot of time on their hands.

People think in a series of binary decisions. Feedback loops may or may not play a part.

Here's a typical example:



What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Online Eddie

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2018, 11:05:00 AM »
I think it might be fruitful to make a flow chart of how the typical doomer thinks...but I'll have to do it on paper and take a photo, because online flow chart makers are beyond my ability to navigate. Maybe after work.....
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2018, 11:05:44 AM »
I'm incompetent at drawing on a computer

The Paint program on WinOS is very EZ to use.  You would have to be a low grade moron not to be able to draw a flowchart like that with Paint, and you're not a low grade moron.  You just don't even make the attempt.

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Offline RE

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Re: Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2018, 11:07:44 AM »
I think it might be fruitful to make a flow chart of how the typical doomer thinks...but I'll have to do it on paper and take a photo, because online flow chart makers are beyond my ability to navigate. Maybe after work.....

I'll work on a Doomer Flowchart.  LOL.  ;D

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