Age of Reason

Can the smokescreen created by these diversions in the homeland get any thicker; can the spectacles be any more entrancing and distracting?  We are living through the most obscurant of times, my fellow travelers.  As the charade-parade of the stiffly British Olympics wound down in a strangely eerie twilight, and the time clocks ceased clicking off the milliseconds, with heroic athletes leaving the tracks and fields of battle to make their way home with shiny medallions swinging from the necks, we the people were left searching for the next wave, the next fix, the next event, the next rush of adrenalin.

The midnight theatre shooter in Aurora, Colorado is now old news, while a new shooter in Texas… a man about to be made homeless, just killed the local constable before being evicted from his home.  Of course, we cannot actively mourn the quake victims in Iran, that would be downright Un-American!  It might even be construed as supportive of terrorism, which, as we know, is now severely punishable under the new NDAA legislation.

But wait, America’s political Olympics are just starting to heat-up. The less-than-quietly cloistered Mormon has chosen his running mate, a randy-dandy-Ayn-Randian.  Yes, Mr. Rayn (misspelling intended) is a first class philosophical, objectivistic me-first-capitalist.  Her (Ayn’s) The Virtue of Selfishness was, according to his own testimony, the mother’s milk upon which he nursed before emerging onto the political scene. In 2005, speaking to a gathering of Ayn Rand followers at the Atlas Society, Paul Ryan confirmed:

The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand… And [he continues] the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.

Better watch out, those collectivist commies are still coming to get us!  But, Paul Ryan promises to keep us safe by being ever vigilant against the enemy, seen or unseen, heard or unheard, preemptively, foreign and domestic.  J. Edgar Hoover, move over!

It does not matter that capitalism has now engulfed the entire planet, even the People’s Republic is capitalistic.  Yet, we still need to ensure that the only way to survive in today’s dog-eat-dog world we have crafted is to win, to get to the top, no matter how many dead bodies we must mount to get there. And, the Olympics is as good a preparatory school as any in this regard.  The medal is what matters most!  ‘What is our medal count?’  ‘How many do we have?’  ‘Are those damn red Chinese commies ahead of us, or perhaps those cheap imitation mafia-capitalists in Russia?’  ‘How many gold, silver and bronze did we capture?’ ‘We are the best; fuck all the rest.’  This is the constant refrain, and the unsung drumbeat of the nationalists here and, perhaps, elsewhere around the globe.

But, I diverge. Mr. Ryan objects to the “me-first,” Objectivist label the Left is now  trying to hang on him.  He explains that it is not Ayn Rand who is his philosophical mentor, and best reflects his “epistemology,” but rather, it is the good doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.  That should quiet down both the Christian evangelicals, who object to the Mormon at the top of the ticket, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses who may be a bit squeamish about announcing their indentured servitude to the greed-engorged, capitalist hege-money.

In fact, to the good and ignorant masses across America, such posturing for a photo-op with St. Thomas sounds downright laudable.  After all, Thomas Aquinas was a renowned Catholic theologian, who certainly must have had the soundest of moral perspectives. Certainly, his ethics, if not his epistemology, must be above reproach, nay, sacrosanct.  But, do not be fooled by Mr. Ryan’s apparent betrayal of Ayn Rand.  For it is not really a betrayal after all.  Years ago, Ayn Rand stated without reservation that there were only three philosophers worth reading in the Western tradition: Aristotle, Aquinas, and of course, Ayn Rand.  Such humility; such selflessness! Well, wouldn’t you know it.  But why this love affair with Aquinas?  Is it due to some metaphysical confusion on the part of Ayn Rand, and now her hapless follower, Mr. Ryan?  Not whatsoever.  It is a solid endorsement of the principal trajectory of the Western Curriculum: rationalism and the objectivistic metaphysics to which it ultimately gave rise.

In Thirteenth Century Europe, after those murky Dark Ages, Aquinas recovered  Aristotelian logic from the monasteries, reasserting the primacy of the Curriculum of the West, laying the foundations for the Enlightenment, the birth of rationalism, the emergence of the scientific method, as well as the pursuit of objectivity and certitude (even in matters of faith). A few centuries later, enter Rene Descartes. Indeed as we see in Thomas’s own proofs (metaphysical, cosmological, ontological, teleological) for the existence of God there is a systematic nod to Aristotle and the power of reasoning in achieving true, objective knowledge.  Herein lay the roots of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism: in both Aristotle and Aquinas.  And now, it finds a perfect home in Paul Ryan; a metaphysical grounding of the individual’s free will, the rational pursuit of enlightened self-interest, and the me-first objectivism of the Republican party, together with America’s self-aggrandizing sense of manifest destiny.

Perhaps Mr. Ryan is still waging that old and tired war against American radicalism leftover from the sixties, including the subjectivism and presumed anarchy-of-vales of the Left that it represented.  So, he finds comfort in the tyranny of Aristotle’s reasoning, the absolutism of Aquinas’ certitude, and in Rand’s objectivism.  Perhaps he sees the dichotomy and the battlefield as articulated a decade ago by Leonard Peikoff.

Values, the (former) Left retorted, are subjective; no lifestyle (and no country) is better or worse than any other; there is no absolute wrong or right anymore–unless, the liberals added, you believe in some outmoded ideology like religion. Precisely, the New Rightists reply; that is our whole point. There are absolute truths and absolute values, they say, which are the key to salvation of our great country; but there is only one source of such values: not man or this earth or the human brain, but the Deity as revealed in scripture. The choice we face, they conclude, is the skepticism, decadence, and statism of the Democrats, or morality, absolutes, Americanism, and their only possible base: religion–old-time, Judeo-Christian religion.

So, we are left with the same ole’ pageant, playing the same ole’ game, my friends: the Right v the Wrong, the Left v God-fearing folk who believe in salvation through conquest, who believe that might makes right; in absolutism and their new American Century. But, really, there is no difference which side of the coin you choose.  It all amounts to the same outcome here, with very minor variations in the hymnal.  You either accept their beliefs, their institutions, their economics, and their diversionary politics of tyranny or else they kill you.  It is Rassenhygiene raised to a new power, the power of infinity, the level of the supreme commander of all heaven and all earth, and his chosen earthly administers of justice.  Queen is their unlikely pitchman: “We are the champions of the world, my friends.”  The rest be damned, just as they damned the blacks, the yellows, the reds, the Indians, the women, and the thousands of other cultures of the world.  Howard Zinn, rest in peace; the Empire of the Curriculum be damned!

ATTENTION FOLKS!  This is your captain speaking, we have more turbulence ahead, so fasten your seat-belts and pray for your souls. It is Thursday afternoon here in Altai, and I am posting early.  I am going to the dacha for a couple of days; take a walk in the forest, chop some firewood, and have a long steaming  banya to relax!

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76 Responses to Age of Reason

  1. Disaffected says:

    Very relevant post this week Sandy! You hit it right on the head about a dichotomy that is truly left vs right in just about all ways. As in, left brain v right brain (metaphorical v literal, relativist v absolutist, policy driven v rule of law driven), left politics v right, and left (=wrong) v right morality. Right wing politics and religion strongly seeks comfort in moral absolutes and are utterly terror stricken by relativist politics or doctrines of any sort, the effects of which should not be underestimated in the least. It’s as if we have a bunch of morally developed 5 year olds inhabiting adult bodies and in charge of things. They’re not sure what’s going on in the world or what to make of it, but they damn sure don’t like it one bit and they’ll continue throwing tantrums until they get their way and things return to their version of normal. It’s going to take a radical shift in consciousness if we are to keep these petulant little children from destroying human existence, something I personally don’t think we’re prepared to make just yet. But we’ll see. I am after all, always the self-acknowledged pessimist. Perhaps it will take a military defeat, as the Archdruid is currently discussing, to begin the transition. Or perhaps something like that wouldn’t even be enough. The west (Who are we kidding? The US!) has had it’s own way since defeating the original “axis of evil” in WW II (The “Big One.” Wow! How quaint does that sound now?), and has unleashed some powerful forces of consciousness that may well take a century or more to dissipate under the best of circumstances – time that we simply don’t have with climate change and peak resources bearing down on us like an out of control freight train. I guess an optimist would conclude that this is a historic opportunity to remake the world into a more livable place and reject the forces of aggression and takerism once and for all. And it is. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re even close to being there developmentally yet. Far too much work still to do.

    For now, chop that wood and carry that water!

    • kulturcritic says:

      Chopped lots of wood today; and soaked in the wood-fired banya. Back to work, here in the city!

    • Frank Kling says:

      Excellent summary with one addition: I would add the current mass extinction of animal and plant life as having the ability to utterly transform life on Earth. For the first time in the history of this planet, one species is responsible for the destruction of all other biodiversity. Science has named this current period during which the world’s Sixth Mass Extinction event is underway as the Anthropocene. From the perspective of Gaia, mankind has morphed into a pernicious and virulent metastasizing tumor that must be exorcised if the earth is to survive. Who or what will be responsible for upcoming exorcism? According to the renowned Harvard researcher, Dr. John Mack, and some scientists at NASA, ETs will handle the culling. I agree.

      • Brutus says:

        John Mack? Oh, my, that guy. I can’t really evaluate his research and conclusions since I’ve never read his work, but neither can I agree that ETs will cull our numbers. That’s straight outta The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is science fiction. It’s just too far-fetched, and the guy won an Ig Noble Prize for his work (and on balance, a Pulizer Prize). But since one can’t prove a negative, maybe I’m wrong, too, about the nonexistence of god.

        • Frank Kling says:

          That’s your opinion, Brutus, and obviously you have not researched the topic. I suppose NASA is equally far-fetched since the agency recently issued a report that this scenario is quite plausible. Time will tell…….

          • Frank Kling says:

            Dr. Mack is no slouch. He was awarded a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer Prize among many awards throughout his lifetime so the comment, “oh, that guy”, is not appropriate.

            • Brutus says:

              Why not? It’s not exactly a stinging rebuke. His area of research and the conclusions drawn from it are, so say the least, controversial. For me to be skeptical is pretty mainstream.

              BTW, you appear to have a reading comprehension problem. I already said I hadn’t ready his work, I acknowledged his Pulitzer Prize (though his biography found at the John Mack Institute doesn’t mention a Nobel Prize; he instead won the Ig Nobel Prize (misspelled in my previous comment)), and as it happens, I read the notorious part of that NASA report when it was widely reported last year. It’s about possible scenarios for an alien encounter, the most colorful of which may well be the one about aliens exterminating or culling humanity to save rest of the biosphere, which was given movie treatments in 1951 and 2008 based on a 1940 short story by Harry Bates. The idea has been around for a while. Why NASA felt it necessary or worthwhile to entertain the idea is beyond me.

              What else would my comment be if not my own opinion? I could follow up with further argument, but I don’t wish to be any more unpleasant.

  2. Age of Reason! Yeah, right! LOL. Reason has no place in any arrangement dedicated to a paradigm of infinite growth, except as a tool of social control, or rather, self-control as one is pathologically controlling the world and other people.

    Totally awesome, IMHO, that the first Gen X’r to be on a major American ticket turns out to be a warmongering, trough feeding/condemning, objectivist me-first, mid-western monotheist government sucks unless I get to use it to pad my nest and force you to act according to my values, but hey I go bow hunting, I’m a good-guy, beer drinking and salt of the earth, piggish prick ASSHOLE. LOL. I especially love his big eyes, which give him the innocent look of youth, all the better to prey upon you with. Or that his family is in the business of earth moving for development. Or that he votes for subsidies for oil, while he invests in oil fields. You can’t get any more perfectly corrupt than Paul Ryan, aka Payl Ruan.

    It is said of Aquinas, that he had a conversation with Jesus and thereafter, never wrote another word, and called all the words he had written, straw. He died giving a talk on the Song of Songs, that one erotic book in that rigid bible. I like to think he was preparing to renounce, and they killed him. (I wrote a piece about that; I’d link it but wordpress would probably toss my comment in the dustbin of your spam bots.)

    • Disaffected says:

      I semi-affectionately refer to Ryan as Eddie Munster. Something tells me lil’ Eddie’s star is on the rise, for better or worse. Could be Romney’s just the Trojan horse front man for the real forces of terror. He’ always struck me as too naively stupid to be truly dangerous. Lil’ Eddie on the other hand…

      • Martin says:

        I caught a portion of a clip of Rayn on the ‘News’ a day or so ago (yeah, I have a teevee and yeah, I look at it from time to time – how else are ya gonna know what ‘they’ think is important?). Anyway, there was this clip of him full-face, yammering about something or another, and I swear to the dude-in-the-clouds, for a minute there he looked like a young version of Bela Lugosi in his infamous role as the bloodthirsty count D.

        Fitting, I suppose…

        • Dis,

          Eddie Munster. I like that! ro-Money, maybe is the Trojan horse, as he did slip and introduce Payl as the next Prez. But then, ro-Money went to Israel and told Net-land-yahoo to go ahead and drop a nuclear bomb or two on Iran, if you think it’s necessary. The work of a true potential Hegemon. But then Bela Ruan would say the same.

          Martin,

          Bela Ruan. Sucking the blood from his elders, and his own generation. And from the gov, his family’s biz earning much of it’s income from gov contracts, aside from the oil payments he votes for, part of which ends up in his personal accounts.

          As to the teeveee, I have a monster too, one of those big fuckers that takes three guys to carry. No channels though, just for the videos when I need to let go of the problems of the world for awhile. By the way, I recommend Once Upon A Time In Knoxville.

      • Disaffected says:

        Harper’s has a pretty good piece on der Mittster this month too. Fifty Shades of Grey by Don Halpern pretty much paints him as the same cardboard cutout character that he’s widely portrayed elsewhere. Conflicted by the fact that he can never be a true representative of the conservative base and the fact that he’s a virtual knock-off of the Clinton-Obama political model: a cheap plastic sellout who will say anything to get elected and then revert to a marionette for the plutocratic interests who put him there for the next 4 years. To Mitt’s great credit, he’s so honest he can’t even begin to hide that fact, which unfortunately for him, means that master pathological liars Obama will always outshine him.

        I really can’t even imagine him governing effectively should he fuck up in reverse and actually get elected. The knives for his back would come out almost immediately should he fail to follow the conservative script “religiously.” Mitt’s made a pact with ol’ Scratch by embracing young master Eddie, It’s a decision every bit as risky as Palin in ’08 and nearly as desperate. Romney’s embraced a conservative star who already outshines him and in whose shadow he will walk for the rest of the campaign/presidency.

        All of which sort of misses the real point. Obama’s the best thing that ever happened to the Republican Party. A faux lefty/democrat of questionable origins and heritage who unfailingly does the GOP’s bidding on demand, the disastrous results of which can then be hung on him instead of their rightful owners. One might even (very reasonably) conjecture that O.Co has been a mere “potted plant” all along, if one were so inclined (Who? Me?).

        • derekthered says:

          i sometimes do deliveries where i work, since the same old tired AOR is on the radio. i tune into the right wing hate machine, opposition research i like to think of it as………..
          the irony of me posting this link does not escape me.
          http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/who_really_unchained_wall_street.html
          nor does the false narrative the reactionaries present for that matter, pure propaganda. nevertheless the lack of wall street prosecutions does go to your point. not to worry though, trust me, i am impervious to their bullshit, they don’t fool me for a second.
          sorry to link to such a site, but if you want the dirt on someone (or at least some version of the truth) go to who hates them, go to who wants to take them down. like they say, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”? is the exalted one playing some ten dimensional chess here?

        • Disaffected says:

          More fuel for the fire.

          Obama: Ryan plan would reduce Romney’s tax rate to 1 percent

          More than a few reasonably coherent people have postulated that Romney, and now Munster/Romney are merely an hors d’oeuvre for the real meal: another round of O.Co’s “Republican Lite.” Me thinks that young Eddie, clever, convenient, and photogenic as he is, is merely a subterfuge for something at this point. Not sure just what that is just yet, but I definitely don’t trust all that meets the eye.

          Somehow this all seems too easy and convenient to pass the smell test.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Please post your piece on Aquinas, WHD; I want to read it! sandy

  3. javacat says:

    Why is there no compassion among the rationalists? Has everything below the neck been disconnected, except in calculated displays for self-advancement? The detached hyper-rationalism is truly chilling.

    A couple of relevant links: Krugman (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/whats-in-the-ryan-plan/?smid=fb-share) on the “Ryan Plan” (It took me 3 times not to type ‘Rayn’!), and a primer on Rand,”The Cult of Ayn Rand” reposted from The New Yorker: (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/11/09/091109fa_fact_mallon).

    What do you think is the root of this great dread of ‘collectivism’? The ultimate fear of ‘the other’?

  4. Ivy MIke says:

    The Republican ticket now comes down to a single objectivist objective: the WHITE RIGHT to TAKE.

    “[The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land … any WHITE person who brought the element of civilization had THE RIGHT TO TAKE over this continent.” ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

    Four years has been plenty long to assuage any surplus white guilt, and the compliant Wall Street capitalist toady Obama must be driven from the White House if for no other reason than mirrored in the following sentiment:

    “Do you really believe I would have a *nigger* run our family business, Randolph?” ~Mortimer Duke (Trading Places, 1983)

  5. Nichole says:

    Nicely tied together, Sandy. The insistent pounding of the dichotomous culture. The insistence on sin and good, consistently divisive. There’s no wonder that we face our future imagining how many of us we should wipe out in order for some of us to survive. The objectivist war against empathy and altruism and against society, the ability of humans to form bonds based on anything other than material aggrandizement.

    Hmmm, wonder how the circle around Rand that included Greenspan was tied together?

    “… But, really, there is no difference which side of the coin you choose.  It all amounts to the same outcome here, with very minor variations in the hymnal.  You either accept their beliefs, their institutions, their economics, and their diversionary politics of tyranny or else they kill you.”

    I like to think the key is merging the dichotomy into a unity. However, that’s just me.

  6. derekthered says:

    “When I hold you in my arms
    And I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm
    Because happiness is a warm gun mama”
    The Beatles

    yes, the supposed left will be coming out of the woodwork braying for gun control, all the while ignoring the fact that the status-quo is maintained by force, this is the function of govt. – suppression of whatever behavior the society finds unacceptable.

    no doubt there is a more sophisticated term, but i just call it displacement activity, avoidance, anything to keep from facing the truth square on. now socialists are out of style, no one will cop to being one, except for the iconoclasts, the heretic, the outcast, which of course would be yours truly. about half the problems we experience are caused by monopoly capitalism, but you aren’t going to hear these words out of any pols mouth, just vague generalities, the 1%, the “owners”, “wall street”. and if we did restrict profits of corps.? well, all the little mini-me capitalists with their 401K’s? hell. they would scream the loudest, they were under the impression they mattered.

    so, what we have here is failure to communicate, mainly because when the actual problems are ignored about all that is left is issues that while completely valid, only serve to play upon the prejudices of the “governed”, and tend to destroy any sort of class consciousness or solidarity.

    as for right and wrong? please give me a physical break, that is so 20th century
    “There is no right or wrong
    Only tin cans and cordite and white cliffs
    And blue skies and flight flight flight
    The beauty of military life
    No questions only orders and flight only flight”
    Roger Waters- Late Home tonight

    we extend our certitude to moral matters across the map, so and so is right, wrong, hrup, hroop, hreep, hrorp, onward whatever kind of soldier you happen to be, but don’t forget, the world is a great big place and full of people who don’t give a damn what you think, and have a completely different notion of what’s right, or not. if we are to establish our neo-puritan domination completely around the planet we are going to have to co-opt a lot of governments, and as the arch-druid points out, burn a hell of a lot of fuel.

    “But, really, there is no difference which side of the coin you choose. It all amounts to the same outcome here, with very minor variations in the hymnal.”

    right arm! brother! right arm!! farm out!!!

    mother superior jump the gun………………………….wait a minute, who is that coming over yonder hill? could it be old flat-top? nah, it’s howard dean and the US Marines.

      • derekthered says:

        perpetual war has become so de rigueur, that the public hardly notices, absent a draft; well, it doesn’t go unnoticed by yours truly. as my dear departed used to say, we could probably walk down the block and find somebody in a fight, doesn’t mean we have to jump into the middle of it.
        it’s really amazing how things we wouldn’t do personally become just fine when covered by govt. authority, this blind belief in the wisdom of the collective. seems as an old marxist i become more conflicted everyday.
        the US military is the largest single purchaser of fuel in the world, that’s fact. people talk about we have 500 years of fuel, suuuuuuuuure we do! but what about the next 500? let alone the next 5,000?

  7. Mushin aka Patric says:

    A log for your fire in the forest! U are cut from the same cloth, soul brother!

    “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! Had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”
    Frederick Douglass

    • Disaffected says:

      Nice quote. Imagine that. A gifted black orator with actual fire in his belly, rather than cash in his bank account and a grand historic legacy on his mind.

  8. Disaffected says:

    As Capitalism is no locked firmly in the denial phase (actually there’s a fair amount of repressed anger already too), we can expect cognitive dissonance to rule the day for awhile yet. Like any good novel, I can’t wait for the next phase It’s gonna be really interesting watched capitalism go into the negotiation phase, once the realities of climate change and peak resources become undeniable. A whole lot of rationalization and scapegoating I suspect, which, quite predictably, will be aimed at the left yet once again. “But you guys should have warned us harder!” the cry will wring out. “What choice did we have, what with welfare moms out there overpopulating the world?” will say another. [Sigh…] Same song, different verse I guess. Petulant 2 year olds (My above post incorrect. Calling them petulant 5 year olds is way to forgiving.) are nothing if not persistent.

  9. Malthus says:

    The Obama nightmare or the Romney nightmare. Either way a nightmare.

  10. Brutus says:

    Sandy,

    You and I seem to be circling the same ideas yet again, though we find substantially different ways of expressing them. I’m glad you connect the dots between Ryan, Rand, Aquinas, and Aristotle. Our intellectual and cultural heritage does indeed trace all the way back to antiquity, though we’ve had numerous switchbacks and resets over the past 3,000 years. Even armed with a sophisticated understanding of the development of objectivity (not the same as Randian Objectivism but related) and its ruinous effects on the mind, I’m not sure what there is to do against the juggernaut of the Curriculum. Rand herself turned out to be a ruined mind, though it’s often hard to recognize when others embrace her philosophy so uncritically. Ryan? Well, he’s a dupe, not that such dopes don’t have their electoral appeal.

    I’m reading about grounded cognition and embodied cognition as examples of how all thought is underlain by emotion. And despite the mistaken notion that we can achieve full objectivity through abstraction and discovery of universal and/or generalized truth, it leads nowhere because happiness, as psychologists report, is found in empathy and communion with others, not in material wellbeing. Yet harnessing the pose of objectivity has enabled technological advances that deliver exactly the wrong thing: material wellbeing (for ever fewer of us) without real concern for spiritual wellbeing, or if one prefers, salvation. The puzzling thing is how the former got to be equated with the latter.

    Disaffected,

    Your autobiographical unburdening in the previous post was very interesting, almost inspiring me to tell my own story. But I demure. If you have a blog, though, I’d read it (need a URL). You rant with the best of them.

    • Disaffected says:

      Brute,
      Thanks for the props, but never got around to it (a blog). Much to fun guesting on others I think. Lots more inspiration that way, piggy backing on so many good ideas of others. Thankfully, the blogosphere is indeed alive with the sweet sound of disaffection of all kinds these days. Hey, cynicism is what you get before you can even cope with realism, never mind optimism for something better. I think we’re a long way from optimism right now, but I remain optimistic that we might get there one day, provided we put away all of this childish denialism first. As one of those writer guys once said, we’ve still got miles to go before we sleep, miles to go before we sleep…

    • It’s very easy to become a pseudo-Randian out of the gate as an anarcho-capitalist convert, I think particularly in our highly conditioned society hell-bent on squashing the youth in public schools. So the kids coming out of find a kind of self-actualizing radicalism through anarcho-capitalism and believe Rand et al. encompasses the very definition of freedom. This type of thinking lacks wisdom and depth, however and is more likely an initial reaction to our broken, nihilistic form of capitalism. Capitalism for YOUR sake versus for ‘THEIR’ sake, catch my drift?

      Personally I’ve been through all those stages and am a recovering capitalist myself.

  11. Jack Sai says:

    Hi there, I’m a reader in Singapore, a small (small is an under-understatement) city state in Southeast Asia where the theatrics of Empire are being played out ad-nauseam. I have been reading blogs that deal with the causes and implications of collapse of industrial civilization, and I just feel quite helpless about the whole thing. You guys in America and Russia at least have hinterlands where you can still carve out some sort of living arrangements that are durable, but over here, there is nowhere to go. I expect a mass die-off to occur sometime in the near future, and there seems to be absolutely nothing we can do on this over-populated, hyper industrialized and fossil fuel addicted place.

  12. I really enjoyed this one. You encompassed the whole charade out there pretty well. Politics is is just yet another form of religion, truth-be-damned…

  13. derekthered says:

    the “left” you say? you so funny, you make dtr laugh. to borrow a line from neo, “there is no left”, unless you count the clowns masquerading as caring compassionate socialists while using the british bulldog to threaten the one man who dared expose the tawdry details of our neo-colonial imperium, otherwise known as bar code dictatorship.

    oh but we are so enlightened!

    the truth is the consuming west doesn’t really care whose backs our prosperity is built upon, chinese, thai, filipino, indonesian, we couldn’t care less, as long as it comes with a toy inside.
    another truth is there is little difference between trickle down govt. programs and trickle down economics, the masses will still not have a place at the table.

    so yes, plato will have his revenge when our cartesian logic leads us to our inevitable demise as functioning societies, and the trad religions will go down the memory hole of history; but what will replace them? a quick look at crime statistics could give a clue.

    sound and fury, signs and wonders………………….

    nah, ayn rand, john maynard keynes, thorstein veblen, samey same, apologists for empire, some a bit rougher around the edges, but in the end the same old song and dance, or dog and pony show if you prefer.

    • Disaffected says:

      Excellent post and totally agreed. “Left” and “right” are just two meaningless variations on the 1001 shades of white/flavors of vanilla available in the land of 24/7 shopping and meaningless distraction. Who needs old-fashioned dictators, when mere cheap imperial capitalist diversions will prompt the impoverished to willingly enslave themselves? Capitalism – like STDs – the “gift” that keeps on giving!

      Re: crime statistics. I’d stay away from those. Crime statistics are mostly in the eye of the beholder these days, and the only “TRUE” crimes worth reporting, evidently aren’t.

      Obomney v Robama? Flip a coin. Hopefully it stands on edge and they call the whole thing off. Or better yet, let’s commission Monsanto to produce a hybrid, totally election and public scorn resistant. A pol so unapologetically false that elections become totally (as apposed to merely utterly) superfluous.

      • kulturcritic says:

        Love the hybrid deal. LOL

      • derekthered says:

        “Re: crime statistics. I’d stay away from those. Crime statistics are mostly in the eye of the beholder these days, and the only “TRUE” crimes worth reporting, evidently aren’t.”
        yup, you’ve got a point there.
        gangstas, bankstas, all depends on the size of your steeple, and the cut of your clothes; a certain General Smedley Butler comes to mind, something about four continents…………

  14. Disaffected says:

    Hey all,

    I posted this one a few months back, and for no particular reason other than it’s timeless and beautiful – and I need to refresh my embedded link posting skills (hopefully I’ll get it right this time) – I’ll post it again. I think it speaks for itself:

    See now? I’m not ALWAYS Disaffected!

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