AuthorTopic: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis  (Read 45685 times)

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #405 on: May 16, 2018, 07:10:57 AM »
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But when you say money is the root of all evil and money shouldn't exist, I think you've left the real world and entered the fantasy world.

I don't say that, and I don't think RE does either (but he has been a bit odd lately).  The article should have used the expression Fractional Reserve Banking, since that was what it was talking about. FRB is evil as it can add to the money supply and is not under government/central bank control.  Central Banks are evil when they are not under government control.  Governments are evil when they don't do what the people want.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Online Eddie

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #406 on: May 16, 2018, 07:31:37 AM »
And all of that happens because people let it happen.

And they're letting it happen now because they're lazy, fat, complacent, and increasingly, just plain dumb.

Too many people, life is too easy, and there is no reward for being engaged.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Online Eddie

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #407 on: May 16, 2018, 08:41:05 AM »
FRB is evil as it can add to the money supply and is not under government/central bank control.  Central Banks are evil when they are not under government control.

Once again, I think this is oversimplifying.

Since the time of Napoleon, its impossible to tell who controls whom. Governments are not capable of controlling central banks. It's pretty much traditionally always been the other way around (Until lately, that is.....)

Traditionally, it went like this:

The King wants to make a war (because he wasted all the money and needs to exact some tribute from his neighbors).

In order to make the war he borrows money from the Bond Kings. He wins the war or he loses the war, but either way he's likely to end up even more broke, while the financiers make out like bandits. (And since they finance both sides, it's a twofer, at least.) The war lasts until it's won or the last gold coin is spent. Then it has to stop, because the King's credit rating plummets to zero.

The peasants starve. Austerity ensues for a while. Maybe peace breaks out then lasts a while, and things get better.

Then it happens again. Over and over. But running out of money stops the process. A negative feedback loop, if you will.

And then......

And then..... (drum roll).

Enter the dystopian future world of today.

All money is now fiat.

The King has been replaced by a committee of grasping, greedy, idiots.

The Bond Kings loan the idiots money, which they are supposed to use wisely, but they mostly waste it on a variety of swindles designed to put money in their own pockets. Including more wars, which have gotten damned expensive.

The idiots print fiat money to pay the Bond Kings.

The idiots buy off the credit reporting agency when their credit rating plummets (and the Bond Kings turn a blind eye and keep lending.)

It's now a POSITIVE feedback loop, aka vicious cycle.

Neither the lender nor the borrower controls anything. "Out of control" is  a great description of the reality of this mess.

Government is half the problem. How could government be a solution, under these circumstances?

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

Offline RE

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #408 on: May 16, 2018, 10:39:48 AM »
Capitalism started sometime in the Bronze Age, the way I see it. The origins are hazy, but I think the general time frame would be roughly when gold started to be a proxy for goods.

Now I see the problem.  You don't live on Planet Earth.  You live on Eddie World, an Alternate Dimension of Earth. In your dimension, criminal racketeers who make $500K/year aren't rich, they are "middle class".  hahahahahahaha.

There were no "Capitalists" back in the Bronze age, because there was no "Capital", aka means of production aka factories.  There were just Nobles & Peasants (and Military & Priests).   The society existed mainly through Barter trade of one commodity for another and Gold was a commodity highly sought after by the Noble Class, so this commodity tended to flow in their direction, because they controlled the military and the land the food for the population was being grown on.  So Kings, Emperors and Pharoahs all had nice Gold accessories to wear as symbols of their wealth, or really their power within the society.  That's not Capitalism, it's Feudalism of a type.

To have Capitalism, you have to have the abstract thing called "means of production", something which is not Land but which takes a large amount of money to acquire like a clothing factory.  This money most of the time needs to be borrowed, often from people who don't actually have this money, at least in the form of Gold coins.  We call these people "Banksters", and they create money on a daily basis, whether they have Gold or not.  Their worth is measured in what other stuff they own is deemed to be worth on any given day on the trading bourses.  So one day Jeff Bozos can be deemed to be worth more than the Big Gorilla, and one day the Twinkletoes Twins are Bitcoin Billinaires and the next they have been reduced to mere Millionaire status.  All this relative worth has been borrowed into existence though which is as mentioned by Palloy a feature of fractional reserve lending, not really Capitalism specifically although it is an important part of the whole chain.

You have a very warped and simplistic view of what Capitalism is.  To you it just appears to be about symbolic money and trade, which has occured since the Bronze age at least, of course.  That is not Capitalism.  Capitalism requires the formation of Capital through the process of loans to amass the means of production the society uses, which are then themselves considered new assets to be traded around on bourses for whatever value they are perceived to have.  So one day "Toys-R-Us" can have a value of $1B, the next it is worthless.  The guy who owned TRS was once rich, now he is broke (and probably well in debt too since he likely borrowed the money to buy the TRS stock in the first place).

That is Capitalism.  It requires in addition to Gold coins international trading bourses and banks with the ability to create debt money as necessary to finance the constructioin of various types of means of production.  This did not exist in the Bronze Age.

RE
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 10:45:58 AM by RE »
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Online Eddie

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #409 on: May 16, 2018, 02:12:21 PM »
Don't make me have to drive up there and slap the shit out of your crippled ass. Not even you can talk to me like that and get away with it. Criminal racketeering is a gateway drug to ass-kicking.

You, of all people, should GET the difference between somebody like me, who gets up at 5:45 am every workday and works all day with my two hands and goes home beat to shit, wth some real elite like an investment banker or some corporate CEO with stock options, bonuses, and a golden parachute. You're trippin'. There is a broad gulf between people where I am, and real elites. You know that perfectly well. You're just deliberately being an asshole.

It's ad hom, mister admin.

One more time.

Capital Is Money. Wealth.

Capital-ism is "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state." That is the definition of capitalism.

I defend simple capitalism because anybody with one eye and half a brain can understand that if you let somebody else decide what your work is worth, you'll always get fucked on the deal.

All this shit about "means of production"  and dark satanic mills and who controls what is just Marx and Engels bullshit as quoted from some freshman history textbook. No wonder you're a gym teacher. Christ almighty. 

  Capitalism requires the formation of Capital through the process of loans to amass the means of production the society uses, which are then themselves considered new assets to be traded around on bourses for whatever value they are perceived to have. 

Uh, no. Not necessarily.

Your toilet training comes from Wall Street and investment banking, which is why you think that, but raising money in capital markets to launch businesses is just a PART of capitalism. It's where capitalism has ended up, basically. It's perverted capitalism.

What was the "means of production" for launching Facebook? It had/has nothing to do with factories. It didn't require loans. It was founded with nothing but intellectual property, which was only monetized quite some time afterward through sale of stock. If Suckerberg hadn't been so greedy, he could have kept it private.

Capitalism is just a system that allows the accumulation of private wealth. Like the stock YOU own and the cash YOU own.

You personally. RE. You capitalist pig.

What you are so hot to abolish is really Corporatism. Which I'm not fond of either.

I'd be happy to get rid of investment banks, public and private corporations and intergenerational wealth in all its forms.

I'm not so fond of the idea of replacing capitalism entirely. That's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I'm okay with sharing the fruits of my labor with my family and my tribe. But the idea of busting my ass and having some bureaucratic drone decide to pay me minimum wage for the work I do so somebody else's idea of "the greatest good" can be done for "the greatest number" is horse shit, and I don't care to live under a top-down system that pays doctors like garbage men.

Criminal racketeering?

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, buddy.


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

Offline Surly1

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #410 on: May 16, 2018, 02:56:36 PM »
Don't make me have to drive up there and slap the shit out of your crippled ass. Not even you can talk to me like that and get away with it. Criminal racketeering is a gateway drug to ass-kicking.

It's ad hom, mister admin.

//

Criminal racketeering?

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, buddy.

Like I said before, the boy can clear a room. Save your breath Eddie, no one can tell him anything about anything.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #411 on: May 16, 2018, 03:25:23 PM »
Quote
Eddie: And all of that happens because people let it happen.

And they're letting it happen now because they're lazy, fat, complacent, and increasingly, just plain dumb.

Too many people, life is too easy, and there is no reward for being engaged.


YOU are part of the people.  When you do work, you get paid with FRB-produced money (nobody saves up in case they need to pay the dentist), you pay tax on it to the government and save the rest in the FRB-financed market, and borrow against your assets the FRB's money.  Your complaints are not heard, because they are not angry/violent enough, because your life is too easy.  I just want you to get properly angry about it.  Whatever you then decide to do about it, leave the US for somewhere more civilised or set fire to something, you would have my approval.  Just DO SOMETHING.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Online Eddie

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #412 on: May 16, 2018, 03:41:51 PM »
I'm plenty angry, my friend, and I'm fully aware of who I am and what my role in all this is. I don't need you to tell me.

But the God's honest truth is that  I can't do a whole hell of a lot about it. I'm not about to abandon my family, or the life I have here in order to make some kind of meaningless sacrifice that won't change a damn thing.

Yes, I participate in the corrupt system I was born into. The alternatives all suck. Sorry. And even if I decided to participate in some kind of futile act of violence, which you seem to want to incite, it wouldn't save this world. We're going down, Commandante.

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

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #413 on: May 16, 2018, 05:48:29 PM »
Quote
I can't do a whole hell of a lot about it.

That and you don't think collapse is going to happen for 20 years.  It's your complacency I'm trying to stir.  I don't care what you decide to do about it, I have only provided possible methods to demonstrate that there are lots of methods.  You have to choose which one suits your talents and get on with it.

When Kim sends one of his presents over and EMPs the entire US, then you will wish you had done something to about it, not just say you can't do a whole hell of a lot about it., and then whinge about other people being dumb, fat and lazy.

Its my guess that you and RE (who also can't think of what to do) would be best at writing a political pamphlet, copying off a few hundred or thousands and super-glueing them to shop windows in your local city one night. Since it would be better to do it multiple times, it would be more efficient to not get caught, so some strategy is needed.  If you get caught anyway, explain you political ideas in detail in the court, which will certainly get you interviewed by the thought police, who will be very alarmed about the growing unrest in the country.  Then do your 200 years for sedition with self-respect.
Or whatever, but DO SOMETHING.  You haven't got long, certainly not 20 years.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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"Capitalism is the Legitimate Racket of the Ruling Class" - Al Capone
« Reply #414 on: May 16, 2018, 06:31:07 PM »
Don't make me have to drive up there and slap the shit out of your crippled ass. Not even you can talk to me like that and get away with it. Criminal racketeering is a gateway drug to ass-kicking.

It's ad hom, mister admin.

//

Criminal racketeering?

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, buddy.

Like I said before, the boy can clear a room. Save your breath Eddie, no one can tell him anything about anything.

 Mr. Pot calling Mr. Kettle Black again.  ::)



Nobody can tell you about anything either.  Nobody can tell Eddie about anything too.  It's a trait common to all Diners.  Why do you insist on pointing out this Sin when you are as guilty of it as I am?  ???  :icon_scratch:

Insofar as the Medical Industry being a Criminal Racket, I have expressed my opinion on this and made my position clear numerous times.  Beyond that, I never named Eddie as the sole Racketeer in that post, in fact I didn't name him at all just the traits fit his profile so he ASSUMED  I was talking about him.



The Medical Industry of all variations in the FSoA as it is run IS a Criminal Racket, and by extension everyone who takes home money from that Racket is also a Criminal.  Just like the Street Corner Dealer is a Criminal working in the Drug Distribution Industry.  Street Dealers don't make as much as Kingpins, but they are still Criminals.  Doctors don't make as much money as Insurance Executives, but they are still Criminals.  Nurses don't take home as big a paycheck as Doctors, but they are still Criminals.  They all are benefitting from what Al Capone called "The Legitimate Racket of the Ruling Class".  There is only one thing wrong with that analysis.  In reality, it's NOT "legitimate".


RE
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #415 on: May 16, 2018, 08:40:41 PM »
After military communism Lenin advocated a return to market capitalism.

from page 19 of 'The Revolution Betrayed' by Leon Trotsky
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #416 on: May 16, 2018, 09:01:13 PM »
After military communism Lenin advocated a return to market capitalism.

from page 19 of 'The Revolution Betrayed' by Leon Trotsky

What was Trotsky in favor of?

RE
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #417 on: May 16, 2018, 11:42:29 PM »
After military communism Lenin advocated a return to market capitalism.

from page 19 of 'The Revolution Betrayed' by Leon Trotsky

What was Trotsky in favor of?

RE

Same thing.  The problem was not one of belief or desire but of trying to get a devastated essentially third world country's economy going with no capital.  Approaches to trying to get an economy going went through several forms.  Still learning.  Learned enough so far to know the standard self serving American narrative is total bull.  That's for sure!
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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🌍 The Anti-Imperialism of Fools
« Reply #418 on: May 17, 2018, 06:03:24 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/05/16/opinion-the-anti-imperialism-of-fools/

OPINION: The Anti-Imperialism of Fools
May 16, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt


HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.


    “God never spoke to an Arab.”

    — ——Benjamin Disraeli, 1847

    “Remembrance is, so to speak, interwoven with forgetfulness. That is why the Jewish historian Yosef Yerushalmi has pointed out that the opposite of “forgetfulness” is not really “remembrance” but “justice”.

    — Carlo Ginzburg

    “We don’t care who will win the election, Palestinian or Israeli. We don’t care; at the end of the day they are all Semitic, they are Semitic and they are cousins.”

    — Muammar Qadafi, interview with BBC, 2007 (discussing his proposal for one state solution)

    “Some preliminary psychological studies reveal that the character structures of anti-Semites are much more alike than the character structures of Jews·”

    — Max Horkheimer (1948)

There seems to be a deeply engrained identification in the U.S. with capital. I see this most recently with the growth of antisemitic narratives regards Iran. The trope runs that the U.S. is the dupe of Israel, or is sleepwalking (sic) into war, or that somehow the ruling class and defense complex are just unwittingly being led into conflict with Iran. As they were, apparently, with Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I call this antisemitic because what this rhetoric is doing is to absolve the U.S. The fault lies with Israel — and by extension (and this is articulated openly) with the Jews. Not even the Zionists anymore. Western capital is innocent, in a sense. It is the wily and nefarious Jews. Now, on one level it is understandable that the justified anger at Israel is being expressed more aggressively. And I understand this, because no sane person cannot but be horrified at the cruelty and arrogance of the Israeli state. I mean they shoot children, they shoot the wounded as they lie on the ground. They laugh at the death of Palestinians. They imprison children and abuse the elderly. The settler culture now permeates the IDF and the settlers are barking mad fanatics. Israel has government officials suggesting, openly, a genocide of remaining Palestinians in the West Bank. It is an increasingly sickening spectacle. Not to mention Israel’s openly racist treatment of black Africans. Few countries in modern history so openly flaunt their viciousness and intolerance. This is, too, a level of hubris that I think unprecedented. Israel has stopped even trying to spin elaborate narratives justifying their aggression and violence. And the shift came after the Jenin massacre, I think. The reactionaries in power decided to just go ahead and brag about their treatment of Palestinians. It became a source of pride, almost. ‘We are so badass.’

But, nobody benefits more from this eruption of anti-semitism than Israel itself. And even putting that aside, the racializing of anger puts the anger in the same ugly basket as Islamophobia — an Islamaphobia that is driving the neo Fascist right wing parties that have so grown in power across Europe in the last ten years. And as soon as racial explanations surface one is going to be sharing the podium with Klansmen and other far right nativist zealots. But most of all, these new (old, actually, but more on that below) tropes suggesting that Israel is secretly controlling the U.S. government distract from the crimes of the U.S. government. And it distracts, as well, from other U.S. policy such as the funding and support of fascist opposition parties in Venezuela for example. It also clouds the critique of exposing U.S. propaganda against Russia. And it distracts in a sense from the domestic racism of the U.S. police state.
These new (old, actually, but more on that below) tropes suggesting that Israel is secretly controlling the U.S. government distract from the crimes of the U.S. government. And it distracts, as well, from other U.S. policy such as the funding and support of fascist opposition parties in Venezuela for example. It also clouds the critique of exposing U.S. propaganda against Russia. And it distracts in a sense from the domestic racism of the U.S. police state. So to be clear…Nobody needs to lead the United States into war. They do that all by themselves and in fact it is almost the primary thing they do these days.

So to be clear…Nobody needs to lead the United States into war. They do that all by themselves and in fact it is almost the primary thing they do these days. And Iran has been a target of the U.S. for probably fifty years. And yes, the neo con cabal in the Bush administration were profoundly pro Zionist (many shared dual citizenship), the fact remains the U.S. overthrew Mossadegh all the way back in 1952. The CIA created the narrative that put the Shah in power, along with helping to do it. The U.S. trained his secret police SAVAK. There are ironies to be found in this fact because many of the people behind the coup that installed the Shah (Churchill, Atlee, Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles, were all arch antisemites).  [It is also worth noting that Norm Schwarzkopf, Sr. was the originator and first organizer of SAVAK and that Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson Kermit was at the center of carrying out “Operation Ajax.” The U.S. is nothing if not a nation of ruling families.] Remember too that those neo cons assembled for Bush Jr were recruited by Cheney and Rumsfeld, this was their operation. And if Israel is so all powerful why is Jonathan Pollard still in prison?

Then why is this notion of seeing the Israeli tail wagging the U.S. dog so popular? Why do people seem to want to get to express antisemitic sentiments? That is the question, I think. The history of defining *semite* goes back to German philogists ( Ludwig Schlözer apparently the first, in Johann Gottfried Eichhorn’s Repertorium, in 1781) creating the term as a label for languages they grouped together, the best known being Arabic and Hebrew.

    “Semitism” was a term that was invented to refer to a language type and a type of human being: a race and what we would now call a culture. It referred above all to the Jews and their biblical Hebrew speaking ancestors, and to the Arabs. It was a development of an old tradition in the Christian West of regarding Jews and Muslims as distinguishable but yet closely related species of the same religious genre, a tradition going back to the very beginnings of Islam itself.”

    — Ìvan David Kalmar

Kalmar points out something crucial, though. The substitution of Arab for Muslim. And the resulting early racial attribute to the construction of the modern idea of Islam for the West. He adds that this was accompanied by: “a similar identification of the Jews, both biblical and contemporary, as carriers of a distinctive oriental, Hebrew culture and members of an equally distinctive, oriental Jewish race.” This era of romantic Orientalism functioned in highly ambivalent ways. Jews and Arabs were both fascinating and seductive (in an archly romantic way) and, more to the point, exotic and NOT Western or Christian. And it is crucial to track this ambivalence; for Jews were viewed as both the recipients of Divine revelation, but also as the killers of Christ.

    “After World War II, however, liberal Jews, especially in America, distance themselves from the Semitic connection,in order to better stress how similar they are to Christians. The term “Judeo-Christian tradition” comes to refer to that alleged commonality and is interpreted as the foundation of American democracy and human rights. Directly related to the growing alliance between the United States and Israel, and more recently the “war on terror” in the Middle East, this de-demonization of the Judaic, however, leaves a residue.The demonic aspects of the Semitic image are projected onto the other Semite: the Arab and by extension the Muslim.”

    — Ivan David Kalmar

Now it is important to also remember that all the current antisemitism (and in some ways all the Islamaphobia) are just repurposed themes that go back centuries, actually. Otto Fenichel wrote, in an essay from 1940:

    “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were forged’ by the Czarist police, who knew for what purpose they forged them. As a result of the general misery extant, there was a rebellious tendency directed against the ruling powers. The police surmised that, if the propaganda succeeded, the Jews would be thought to be the cause of conditions, and not the authorities, and the revolutionary tendency would be redirected against them. The terrible pogroms showed that this intention succeeded. The advantage that anti-Semitism gave to the average person then, was different from that of the prospect of a job. The people were in a conflict between a rebellious tendency and the respect for authority to which they had been trained. Anti-Semitism gave them the means of satisfying these two contradictory tendencies at the same time; the rebellious tendency through destructive actions against defenseless people, and the respectful tendency through obedient action in response to the command of the·ruling powers. The police plot achieved its goal: the people believed that their enemies were likewise the enemies of the ruling powers.”

In an interview with Carlo Ginzburg there is a story, from Ginzburg’s book Ecstasies, that goes like this…

    “the poisoning of wells was ascribed to Jews working together with the lepers. In some places blame was laid at the door of Muslim rulers in Granada or Tunis, or of the Sultan of Babylon, who were said to have paid Jews and lepers to kill Christians. The rumours resulted in persecutions and massacres all over France, and before long they were being substantiated by confessions and other evidence. Long and detailed explanations appeared to show how the poison had been introduced into the wells. The conspirators’ accomplices were denounced, and contemporary letters and documents tell of the Jews’ association with the Saracens and of plans for setting up a government composed of Jews, lepers, and Muslims to take over Europe in the aftermath of the calamity.”

    — Trygve Riiser Gundersen

Ginzburg’s story touches on something Fenichel noted about Jews. Historically they have made minimal assimilation wherever they found themselves, but at some point took on the clothing and look of their host culture. In the case of Germany (but there are other examples) their appearance seems strange, and archaic because Germans themselves had moved on and looked and dressed very differently now. The Jews took on an aura of strangeness, of exoticism — much as Roma people do even now. They hint at something from the past, something the contemporary citizens of the West feel they have evolved out of, moved past, grown out of. But this peculiar strangeness gives the Jew a quality of the uncanny. And so an almost mystical capacity for deception and obfuscation — much as Asian despots carry the aura of cruel inscrutability (Ming the Merciless etc).

    “Unconsciously for the anti-Semite, the Jew is simultaneously the one against whom he would like to rebel, and the rebellious tendencies within himself. And a racial minority such as the Jew is especially suited to act as the carrier of this kind of projection because of its archaic and emphatic foreignness.”

    — Otto Fenichel

I noted at the top that the current and rather dramatic increase in antisemitism reveals a deep identification with Capital. I want to try to explain this further. At the heart of it is the acute ambivalence that, overall, most Americans feel about their lives. Eve Maria Ziege, in an essay on the Frankfurt School in America, noted (about an unpublished paper by the Institute)…

    “Based on qualitative analyses of these interviews, the hypothesis of the Labor Study was that the persecution and annihilation of the Jews of Europe did not decrease but on the contrary significantly increased antisemitic attitudes.”

One senses ambivalence toward Jews (and others) in the founding work of modern sociology (maybe thats what it is)…Weber’s Protestant Ethic There is a pronounced fear, even terror, in the modern West, of returning to something uncivilized, something primitive and also unclean and hence a natural affinity for a discipline that favors organization over deep analysis. This terror of regression is coupled to a demand for success, for progress both individually and collectively. And today the average worker is facing ever more obstacles, ones that feel more and more irrational (note here Graeber’s essay on Bullshit Jobs).

There is another element connected, in a way, with ambivalence. And that is the erosion of attention and the capacity to listen or really look at things. A degraded culture of smart phones and aps, a culture driven by algorithms, has rendered most people today, I believe, incapable of hearing the historic echoes of prejudice in their language. The grammar of antisemitism (and the grammar of fascism for that matter) is something most Americans today cannot distinguish. I have had dialogues with people …in social media and in person in which it is obvious that my interlocutor is deaf to even the basic nuances of what is being said. This breakdown in literacy and imagination allows for the most crude cliches of racial prejudice to pass unremarked upon. The pressures and demands on the average worker today, and certainly on the growing number of unemployed, accounts for the profound stress and sense of unease people report — to their ambivalence– about most everything. But one thing I have noted is that the very most desperate, those living in shelters on under bridges are the least antisemitic. In fact often the least intolerant. But the current antisemitism is an antisemitism of the educated and at least nominally employed and relatively privileged. And anecdotally I would guess it is most pronounced in men.

It is important to recognize the latent Orientalism that is active in contemporary mainstream culture. An Orientalism that Edward Said saw linked with the after affects of the Enlightenment, and with the regressive factors embedded in pseudo science and what Max Horkheimer and Adorno called instrumental thinking. And this included the fictive developments about race, the rise of Eugenics, and the grand trope of the West’s climb out of primitivism and barbarism into the white light of civilization.

    “Theses of Oriental backwardness, degeneracy, and inequality with the West most easily associated themselves early in the nineteenth century with ideas about the biological bases of racial inequality. Thus the racial classifications found in Cuvier’s Le Regne animal, Gobineau’s Essai sur l’inegalite des races humaines, and Robert Knox’s The Dark Races of Man found a willing partner in latent Orientalism. To these ideas was added second-order Darwinism, which seemed to accentuate the “scientific” validity of the division of races into advanced and backward, or European-Aryan and Oriental African. Thus the whole question of imperialism, as it was debated in the late nineteenth century by pro-imperialists and anti-imperialists alike, carried forward the binary typology of advanced and backward (or subject) races, cultures, and societies.”

    — Edward Said (Orientalism)

Kalmar also notes, the Arab became the political other and the Jew the theological other. The prototypes of evil or menacing Arab are found in the Ottoman Sultan, one used by Montesquieu and one that colored all perception of the *Orient* in 19th century Europe. But again, the various categorizations of semites led the petit bourgeois in the late 1800s to identify Jews (as Asiatic outsiders) as the enemy to order and rationality. The Hegelian antisemites of the era promoted notions of race war and developed the durable concept of Hegelian/Darwinian racial classifications, and by extension the idea of Europe as the bastion of progress and civilization. And this Europe, white Europe, as defender of progress against the threat posed by the Oriental outsiders (including specifically semites). One can sense the residue of romanticism in this, the ambivalence and almost guilty attraction. Richard Burton (and Said is brilliant writing about the Victorian adventurer) is the exemplar of this ambivalence. He became so fluent in language and custom and culture that he could make the pilgrimage to Mecca as an Arab doctor undetected. He loved the *Orient* for how un-Victorian it was, while at the same time identifying strongly as an upholder of European (English) progress and civilization. And Burton became the prototype for European white savior, the white man helping civilize the eastern hordes. It also established a particularly intractable notion of masculinity.

And here I feel there is another crucial aspect that sheds light on contemporary antisemitism; and that is the quality of projection that European scholars of the late 19th century applied to their study of Islam. Said described these scholars….“as if each man saw Islam as a reflection of his own chosen weakness.” This is the Romantic pull again, the sense of guilty pleasure and attraction, the distorted picture of Islamic society that was created because it became the Islam THEY needed. Not the Islam that existed. And more recently one can find the same thing with writers such as Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington. There is then, the entire discussion of colonialism, in particular French and English, as it continued to shape consciousness of the *Orient*. The point here though is how all these mental figurations can be traced back to the early middle ages, and many, of course, long before that. But it is the ancient world as invented by European scholarship.

    “Historically, Protestant Messianism has combined in the United States with the powerful trope of Americans as the latter day Children of Israel conquering a promised land. Benjamin Franklin had even proposed Moses and the Israelites crossing the sea as the seal of the Union. Approval by Jews, the original chosen people, has always had a certain legitimizing value for gentiles receiving divine inspiration: both Luther and Muhammad sought Jewish converts to buttress their supersessionist claims, and when most Jews refused to join them they spoke angrily of Jewish intransigence. But lately American gentiles stopped requiring the Jews to convert to Christianity, and have instead suggested that they and the Jews are already of the same religion: the American civic religion called “the Judeo-Christian tradition.”

    — Ivan David Kalmar

In 1978 the mini series Holocaust marked a significant entrenchment of the alliance between the U.S. and Israel. In 1981 came the signing of Memorandum of Agreement on Strategic Cooperation by Cap Weinberger and Arial Sharon. And then came 9/11. This was the full on return of evil semitic outsider menace — in the form of Islam. Islam was in full opposition to Judeo-Christian culture. America was fighting for freedom and democracy, and Islamaphobia was the new antisemitism. “The transference, of a popular anti-Semitic animus from a Jewish to an Arab target was made smoothly, since the figure was essentially the same.” This was Edward Said in the 1970s during the oil crises. The antisemitism of the Arab world today is essentially anti-Americanism (which includes Israel). And here it is interesting to note that who is pulling the strings (sic) seems unclear or at least, often, unimportant. For the connection and association of Zionism and U.S. foreign policy is seen as so total. But for the non Arab today, this uptick in antisemitism is more complex. And one of the most surprising things to me has been the tacit acceptance of the most virulent anti Jewish rhetoric, whatever its source, by the white bourgeois American. When I have raised this issue I have found little support, actually. Only committed leftists, genuine socialist or communist friends seem to object as I do. For liberal America there is a surfacing, even if incrementally, of a latent but clear identification with antisemitic thinking. An identification that is also with Capital — the submerged themes here are protecting Capital, which is associated with the status quo — a status quo many only aspire to but do not share in — and a sense that Zionists and Jews (increasingly interchangeable) are the greatest threat to the survival of the Capitalist (American) way of life. The wily Jew outsider, speculator, communist, and financier is still very strong. The external enemy now within. And again, there is this projection happening. The individual antisemites own failures become the failures of the system he insists to himself that he loves and respects, is under assault. The confusion here is because so much of this is unconscious. Many who identify so with Capital also self identify as anticapitalists. As anti Imperialists. So this “Jewish Power” is a threat to anti Capitalism. It is a threat to those who want to fight Imperialism. It is the Jewish lobby, or the Jews in media, or the disproportionate number of Jews accepted to Harvard (one person actually sent me an article on that). The threat to the system that I hate is under assault. The threat to an ideology that I hate is under assault. It is the irrationality of the over rational. It is the irrationality of computational thinking, of *instrumental* thought, of this denuded experience of the denuded world — one in which the threats are always substitute threats. So Israel takes on the historic overdetermination of the despised Jew. For this criminal state, a colonizer, the conflations are innumerable. Both collaborator and defender of European civilization, and menace to western white Capital. Israel, protected and subsidized by the U.S., is there to act out the stuff that the U.S. government doesn’t want to get its hands dirty with. Saudi Arabia is another subsidized state of absolute intolerance.

Hitler identified himself as an “antisemite of reason” — to distinguish himself for propaganda purposes, from medieval and early Christian witch trials and fables. And today the quasi-educated bourgeois antisemite is also an antisemite of reason. But this is the reason of sociological rationality, the reason of Capital.

    “The Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had been ambivalent toward the Jews, and sociology, a child of the long nineteenth century, inherited this ambivalence. Jewish traditionalists, not unlike later Zionists, felt threatened by bourgeois society’s tendency toward enlightenment and secularization.”

    — Detlev Claussen

The most important element in this revanchist antisemitism today is a form of what Adorno called ‘secondary antisemitism’. One might call it structural antisemitism. Moishe Postone wrote of this…

    “It’s true that the Israeli government uses the charge of antisemitism to shield it from criticisms. But that doesn’t mean that antisemitism itself isn’t a serious problem. The way in which antisemitism is distinguished, and should be distinguished, from racism, has to do with the sort of imaginary of power, attributed to the Jews, Zionism, and Israel, which is at the heart of antisemitism. The Jews are seen as constituting an immensely powerful, abstract, intangible global form of power that dominates the world. There is nothing similar to this idea at the heart of other forms of racism. Racism rarely, to the best of my knowledge, constitutes a whole system that seeks to explain the world; whereas antisemitism is a primitive critique of the world of capitalist modernity. The reason I regard it as being particularly dangerous for the Left is precisely because antisemitism has a pseudo-emancipatory dimension that other forms of racism rarely have.”

Identification with capital masquerading as anticapitalism. It is (per Postone) a “fetishized anticapitalism”.

Claussen again…

    “Comte positioned himself against the ideologists of the French Revolution, whereas in the cases of Durkheim and especially Weber the intellectual enemy was given the name Marx. Bourgeois society was threatened not by antisemitism but by social revolution, as whose prophet they saw Marx.”

Even Talcott Parsons, in the 50s, wrote of Jews and antisemitism …

    “Their appropriateness as a scapegoat is to an important degree a function of their association with those areas of modern society most rapidly rationalized and “emancipated” from traditional values. “

Sociology was hugely popular in the U.S. It fit the mindset of the Puritan legacy. It had the patina of rationality, of calculation and evidence. It depersonalized things. And it served as force against radical Marxist theories. In that sense, antisemitism in the mid 20th century was inextricably bound up with the foundational fabric of the U.S. itself. With western Capital. And all the predictable but always denied crises of capital had a ready scapegoat in the form of Jewish financiers. The age old images of Jewish money lenders were transferred to Wall Street and investment houses like Goldman Sachs. The new computational antisemitism is one that serves to make Capital innocent. Racialize power, and inject that quality of mysticism that existed all the way back to the Inquisition, and the new version of the global Jewish conspiracy finds traction. The crimes of the ruling class, of the defense contractors and Pentagon and CIA are all explained by the secret near spiritual power of Zionist puppeteers in Tel Aviv. The dog whistle code word is *Rothschild*. The old protocols seem to return structurally here. But there is confusion and ambivalence, too. For Israel is also portrayed in Hollywood as the most skilled and capable enforcers of white supremacism. Of European and North American supremacism. And a form of this contradiction exists in Islamaphobia too. Evil Muslim masterminds, who also live in caves. Both primitive and mystically powerful and demonic. Medieval but unimaginably powerful and dangerous.

The current rational antisemitism of the white bourgeoisie is one that allows this antisemite to feel part of the propertied class of which the Jews are taking advantage. This echoes Sartre’s insights about antisemitic identification and resentment: “Now they put themselves in the enviable position of people who could be robbed”.

When anticapitalists and self-identified leftists blame Israel for wars and aggression that are carried out by the U.S. itself, it betrays a deeper identification with the system they purport to criticize. And it also lets the author of these accusations feel like the possessor of unique insights, it is the subject position of hard nosed no-nonsense practicality so approved of and validated in American culture. Just as Zionists now brag about their cruelty, so the bourgeois antisemite openly takes on the role of ‘having to make the tough call’. Somebody’s got to do it. There is a kinship, too, with those that pretend to care about women when attacking Islam, or who advocate coercive birth control measures to combat overpopulation. It is displaced aggression itself. It is bigotry channelled through the prisms of sociological systems of thinking. Instrumental antisemitism.

About the Author

 John Steppling is an original founding member of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, a two-time NEA recipient, Rockefeller Fellow in theatre, and PEN-West winner for playwriting. Plays produced in LA, NYC, SF, Louisville, and at universities across the US, as well in Warsaw, Lodz, Paris, London and Krakow. Taught screenwriting and curated the cinematheque for five years at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland. A collection of plays, Sea of Cortez & Other Plays was published in 1999, and his book on aesthetics, Aesthetic Resistance and Dis-Interest was published this year by Mimesis International.
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Online Eddie

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #419 on: May 17, 2018, 07:24:12 AM »
Quote
I can't do a whole hell of a lot about it.

That and you don't think collapse is going to happen for 20 years.  It's your complacency I'm trying to stir.  I don't care what you decide to do about it, I have only provided possible methods to demonstrate that there are lots of methods.  You have to choose which one suits your talents and get on with it.

When Kim sends one of his presents over and EMPs the entire US, then you will wish you had done something to about it, not just say you can't do a whole hell of a lot about it., and then whinge about other people being dumb, fat and lazy.

Its my guess that you and RE (who also can't think of what to do) would be best at writing a political pamphlet, copying off a few hundred or thousands and super-glueing them to shop windows in your local city one night. Since it would be better to do it multiple times, it would be more efficient to not get caught, so some strategy is needed.  If you get caught anyway, explain you political ideas in detail in the court, which will certainly get you interviewed by the thought police, who will be very alarmed about the growing unrest in the country.  Then do your 200 years for sedition with self-respect.

Or whatever, but DO SOMETHING.  You haven't got long, certainly not 20 years.

I have no idea if we have 20 years or 20 days, but I've been getting ready for an EMP or something else of a cataclysmic nature now for over seven years. If you think I'm doing nothing, you're full of shit. I'm prepped as good as I can be and still keep one foot in BAU, which is the way I'm dealing with it.

Posting pamphlets is completely futile bullshit. Not to mention that I don't give a flying shit about 99% of the people in the world in the first place. My motto is not "Save As Many As You Can".

My motto is "One Hand for the Ship and One Hand for Yourself." If I can't save myself, I can't do a damn thing for anybody else.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 07:33:18 AM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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