Enjoining the Final Battle

What began rather innocently as a Pleistocene journey, a nomadic wandering-about, has become a Holocene nightmare, a spectacle; while we, like frozen spectators, gawk the images of a passing menagerie.

Rousseau exclaimed in his Traité sur l’origine de l’inégalité parmi les hommes:

The first man who put a fence around a piece of land and said: ‘this is mine’ and then found simpletons who believed him; he was the true founder of bourgeois society. How many vices, how many wars, how much murder, misery and grief the person might have prevented who would have torn down the fence-posts, filled in the ditches, and cried out to his fellow men: ‘Do not believe this trickster! You are lost if you forget that the fruits belong to you all, the soil to no one’.

More than two hundred and fifty years later, with wholesale State and corporate-sponsored looting of the global environment well underway, international resource wars, and the concomitant destruction wrought upon the Earth’s ecosystems by the inexorable acquisitiveness of industrial civilization, some have considered it more appropriate to rename this latest phase in the current epoch – the Anthropocene.  Perhaps they have a point.

Well my friends, it is now official – accomplished stealthily and with no fanfare, but official nevertheless. While this international “war of all against all” for the appropriation of vital resources has heated up of late, perhaps more quickly than anticipated, the battle to secure “home field advantage” now begins in earnest by the rulers of empire.

By now, we are all familiar with the land grabs occurring daily, with various global players poking their way through the wreckage of assorted nation-states, and across diverse indigenous populations (whether the Huichol in Mexico, native Equadorans in Amazon, or the Dongria Kondhs in India), making out with whatever resources can be secured or unearthed by whatever means necessary.  However, a new front has just opened-up in the pursuit of resource acquisition, imperial dominion, and “national security” — circling the wagons right here in the homeland.

The “inverted totalitarianism” that has been hiding carelessly beneath our domestic charade of democracy – a tyrannical posture that Chris Hedges has described in detail over the past few months – is making a visible turn toward more familiarly oppressive policies, with strong-armed tactics likely to follow suit.  And, maniacal control of critical resources is at its core.

We have witnessed several domestic administrative and legislative moves of late that seek to broaden control of life here in the homeland.  On the heels of the National Defense Authorization Act, we had the push for passage of SOPA and PIPA (the twin Internet censorship bills), not to mention the current regime’s war on whistle-blowers through frequent application of the Espionage Act of 1917.   Now we find our Chief Terror Control Officer, Obama-bin-Lying, moving quickly and quietly to take complete and uncontested federal control of all resources here in the homeland – natural, manmade, and human.

POTUS has accomplished this feat without so much as a discussion. With a wink and a nod, he simply issued an Executive Order on National Defense Resources Preparedness, signed just earlier this week. Briefly, the EO states that the President and his designated Secretaries have authority to commandeer all domestic resources including energy, food, water, production, and transportation “regardless of ownership.”  So much for your cherished concept (illusion) of private property, huh?

Additionally, this Executive Order references an obligation on the part of all Americans to fulfill labor requirements for the purpose of national defense; evidently, citizens as well are considered resources to be secured by the State.  Further, the Order is enforceable not only in times of war or national emergency, but in peacetime as well, as the President or his appropriate Secretaries shall determine.  The order opens:

The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. (Sec. 102: Policy) 

Of course, if we are engaged in a never-ending War on Terror (a de facto and not-so-clandestine war for resources), then conditions are always present and ripe for demanding, indeed, forcing implementation of such policies upon a naive and unsuspecting populace. We can see, furthermore, how the role of Homeland Security will expand substantially under the terms of this new Order.  Homeland Security (viz., domestic federal policing and internal defense) is now a cornerstone of American executive policy and decision-making.

The authority of the President under section 710(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(e), to determine periods of national defense emergency is delegated to the Secretary of Homeland Security. (Sec. 501.  National Defense Executive Reserve)

Mind you, Obama signed this Order as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, in full view of the new NDAA allowing, among other things, for the use of those armed forces on homeland soil as well as the indefinite detention of suspicious US citizens in military prisons without due process. In many respects, the NDAA itself was eerily reminiscent of the powers granted to the old Soviet Cheka (Extraordinary Commission), established by Lenin in 1917 to suppress internal threats to the new Bolshevik regime. So, the question now is: what are they preparing us for here in the homeland, folks? Are ‘labor camps’ perhaps in the offing, like the trudarmee or ‘slave labor camps’ associated with Stalin’s gulags?  It is a fair question in view of recent legislative actions and executive decisions of the US administration.

Of course, we cannot blame the State, or Premier Obama for that matter.  And besides, it is not much different than a similar order signed by Billy Clinton back in the mid-90’s. After all, it is in the nature of the State to secure its own interests first (the institutions of government and its power brokers), not those of its citizens. This new Executive Order makes that perfectly clear.  All resources in the country, including human, are fair game in light of the needs of the State and its national defense or security interests.  As our mentor, Nietzsche, reminds us in Zarathustra, On the New Idol:

…State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it tells lies too; and this lie crawls out of its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.” That is a lie!

Aside from the frightfulness of presumed tyranny in the land of lady liberty, we must not lose sight of what is presupposed here, the real import of this decree.  The American ruling elite are now implicitly acknowledging (and acting upon) their belief that we may be nearing a penultimate phase in the breakdown or dissolution of civil society, whereby, the dwindling availability of global resources will lead to greater hardship domestically, increasing international as well as internal (domestic) competition and strife, and perhaps anarchy in the streets of our cities.  Our Big Man now wants to insure that he (or at least his office) controls all the assets, resources, and tools of empire.  Given additional concerns arising from home foreclosures, an exorbitant national debt, dizzying jobless rates, and movements like OWS, he no doubt wants the ability to enforce marshal law when required in a land that looks increasingly to be heading towards potential chaos – rationally allocating resources to protect the essential institutions of State and those elements of the population deemed most desirable or critical to its continued functioning.  A mass die-off might also be expected.

But what could possibly have provoked such a decision, such a power-grab in the land of liberty, property, and equal opportunity? A decision like this arises naturally out of a worldview that sees everything as an object for consumption, manipulation, domination, or control. It proceeds from a worldview that worships at the altar of individualism, relishing competition and acquisitiveness; after all, “he who dies with the most toys wins.” It emerges from a worldview that operates by cobbling together social obligations, responsibilities, and rights as a matter of abstract legal construction – a.k.a. with the forced anonymity of “blind justice.”  It comes from a worldview that sees a map of the globe as a homing device for targeting its next conquest.  And just as the State grants rights through the institution of legal constructs, so the State may choose to do otherwise.  Should we be surprised by this?

Perhaps Obama’s decree serves to remind us of the muted import of Rousseau’s words centuries ago; about the perversity and precariousness of private property, based as it is upon a gross misunderstanding and consequently, a rather modern arrangement (legal contract) among persons who long ago forgot how to gift, how to share, or how to trust one another.  Certainly among pre-conquest hunter-gatherer-gardeners there would be no more thought of owning land or hoarding excess than there would be of confiscating the personal tools required by a fellow clansman for his (or her) own survival.

Welcome to civilized society; an anonymous, bureaucratic, hierarchical world of law and “executive” orders.

…State I call it where all drink poison, the good and the wicked; state, where all lose themselves, the good and the wicked; state, where the slow suicide of all is called “life.” (Nietzsche, Zarathustra)

Welcome to the State, my friends!

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54 Responses to Enjoining the Final Battle

  1. john patrick says:

    Eh… why have it begin with a fence? It starts with laying claim to a single atom. Placing oneself above even the smallest seemingly insignificant piece of universe, leads to the rise of exceptionalism. Perhaps, why Buddha said, “You are nothing.” Not to remove any sense of value, but to make it clear, all belongs to all. There are no rulers/owners of what is freely received and meant to be shared.

    Obama is only stating what many believe. That we own the world. In time we shall see how the smallest pieces, slips through fingers easily. Our “rights” of ownership do not apply beyond our own thoughts. And even then, much of that is suspect… what is an original thought, produced today, that has not been shared before? They do exist.

    Is not copy/paste a usurious form of create?

  2. Malthus says:

    Wonderful. Of course many of us have known for sometime this was behind the curtains and a certain as one can be would jump out at the perfect moment to catch most that have gone to sleep still believing in a country that actually loves its citizens, but no, 1984 is going to seem like a birthday party compared to this. Meanwhile the mutant business school fools on wall street still shout the mantra of free markets and individualism. Ha. This is a time in history when it is a good time to be very aware of the antics of those professing leadership and world mastery in all things great and small. And remember there are many that are only to willing to help their masters. What a bummer long time coming. It is good to know that people like you Sandy are watching very closely.

  3. katazcrack says:

    To read such wonderful articles as these is encouraging, I am grateful to have stumbled upon this post. I am learning so much about economy and politics thanks to posts like these. I am very young and I think it is important for my generation to investigate and read this, to learn how to debate with many tools. Delicious Rousseau and Nietzche quotes. Thank you 😉

  4. Martin says:

    Looks as though ‘they’ are really absolutely terrified of ‘us’ – otherwise why the progressively (!) more draconian steps toward implementation of totalitarianism here in the ‘Homeland’? Perhaps this terrification could be put to good use by ‘us’ – if we were to be so bold – and quick.

    Anyhow, it appears to me that things could turn real nasty real fast. I’m just happy that I’m 75 and not 17.

    • katazcrack says:

      Hey! I am 17! OH NO! (:p)
      What awaits this youth? How could I know. The borderline between utopy and totalitarism is so fine…

      • Cliff says:

        Get together with some good friends and develop a supportive tribe. Where all of you look out for eachother

      • Martin says:

        Katazcrack –
        First: my personal apologies for leaving your generation an effed-up world and a potentially totalitarian political situation. Because I have been alive in America for quite some time, I was directly involved in creating it, even though I did resist it from time to time, but I didn’t do enough to stave it off, obviously.

        Second: knowing what I know, what would I do if I were now 17? I don’t really know. Cliff’s advice is good, but not enough – not nearly. Or one could directly resist, but in all likelihood in the most likely future situation, resistance will be futile, to paraphrase the Borg in Star Trek.

        So, what is the option? Well, one can always run, run as far as one can. However, one is also likely to only run to something just as bad, or worse, so globally pervasive is the evil.

        So perhaps resistance is the only way to go after all. There are many ways to resist, the most common being direct confrontation as in the OWS movement (which I admire, by the way). However, I’m more viscerally drawn to resistance in a more subversive form a la the original ‘Minutemen’ at the founding of the U.S. Figure out what the enemy’s goal and/or purpose is and sabotage that – while keeping one’s head well down and acting subservient.

        And all Utopias are totalitarian, by the way.

        Good luck to you.

    • kulturcritic says:

      I Know what you mean Martin; at least I am 60! LOL

  5. Excellent post. Implicit in that first ‘mistake’ identified by Rousseau is all the madness of industrial capitalism. La propriété, c’est le vol! And indeed the recent bills passed by the Obama administration are simply continuations of a trend which we could trace back to Reagan, or to the founding of the American state, or indeed to Rousseau’s first fence builder….

    I forget which anthropologist it was who said that among ‘primitive peoples’ there is no poverty (unequal distribution of resources), although there may be shared scarcity. If we are lucky, the American people may rediscover shared scarcity rather than poverty. I think the most valuable contribution of OWS is that it has people talking to each other again, face to face, forming connections and relationships that may enable them to weather the coming storms.

  6. marlena13 says:

    I have been saying for quite some time that “prisons for profit” are just slave labor camps, so that part of the Gulag is already here, Sandy. Homeland Security, Státní , KGB, Gestapo…all the same. Ultimately, what will happen to them, after they have totally pillaged the planet is this..they will be the last ones to starve to death, choking on toxic wastes, while the climate runs amok. They think their wealth,gated communities, armed guards will protect them. Remember too that “independent thought” is now officially a mental illness.
    I do think that W.B Yeats “Second Coming” is apt for these times…

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  7. John Bollig says:

    Sandy,

    The battle was lost before it ever began.

  8. xraymike79 says:

    Industrial Civilization will not die without a fight. Nevermind that it is well on track to bringing down the planet upon which it depends for the support of it’s machinery, cities, and global commerce. The Earth is viewed as just a minor cog in the great wheel of mankind, to be conquered, used, reused, tinkered with, manipulated, and discarded. This mindset renders everything, even your fellow man, in the same light. Hence, it’s not so pleasant to be on the wrong end of Empire’s bludgeoning stick. To add insult to injury, you will be labeled a pariah, i.e. terrorist, if you protest too much to the resource vacuum of America’s non-negotiable way of life.
    In the end, we’re all fair game for industrial civilization’s appetite.

    First they came for the Muslims,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Muslim.

    Then they came for the independent journalists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t an independent journalist.

    Then they came for the dissidents and protesters,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a dissident or protester.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  9. kulturcritic says:

    An interesting clip regarding Enjoining the Final Battle

    • xraymike79 says:

      “Police power works like the release of gas in a closed space: expand the space and the gas fills it. It is rare in history to see ground lost in civil liberties be regained through concessions of power by the government. Our terrorism laws have transcended bin Laden and even 9/11. They have become the status quo. That is the greatest tragedy of bin Laden’s legacy — not what he did to us, but what we have done to ourselves.”
      Bin Laden: A Time To Reflect

      And this from a couple days ago (3-22-2011):

      Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and serve as a terrorism threat clearinghouse.

      The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data mining them” using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat.

      “We’re all in the dark, and for all we know it could be a rerun of Total Information Awareness, which would have allowed the government to make a computerized database of everything on everybody,” said Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, who criticized the administration for not making the draft guidelines public for scrutiny ahead of time.

  10. relentless says:

    Permission To Exist (, circa 2005, one of many anti-authoritarian songs from r)

    i dropped out of civilization

    Felt the sacred need
    Lived among trees, lived life free
    Grew my own food, foraged wild things
    So happy, so healthy, nothing could compare
    Touched the glory of air so rare
    But i had to return as kin had passed away
    Entered into something i thought “No way!”
    (Little men were in control, little men in power mode, demanding):

    Permission to Exist, papers that permit
    Existence or submission all need
    Permission to Exist
    Permission to Exist
    It’s futile to resist
    The new game’s to insist
    All need Permission to Exist

    i’d seen it coming the looming madness
    But it happened overnight, the masses left the light
    They simply went along, told the terror’s from afar
    So they asked, demanded, and duly received
    The protection they desired, from little men inspired
    A million laws were passed, who thought they’d really last?
    Waiting in the wings, emboldened by these fears
    Hoping none would notice, the little men took over
    (With hired loser goons, the little men demanded):

    Permission to Exist
    Papers that permit
    Existence or submission
    All need Permission to Exist
    Permission to Exist
    It’s futile to resist
    The new game’s to insist
    All need Permission to Exist

    It’s coming soon to a country near you
    It’ll just arrive ‘out of the blue’ [sic]
    As little by little you give them all away
    A couple more freedoms, day after day
    Control is endemic, fear now epidemic,
    The disease is instilled, especially in the weak
    Especially in those who won’t speak
    Especially in those who won’t think

    Speak out! Speak out! Speak out! Speak out!

    Permission to Exist, i don’t think so!
    Papers that permit–i don’t think so!
    Existence or submission–i will say no!
    “You need our permission”–i’ll say “Hell No!”

    [As that crazy ofttimes psycho, sometimes right on, Ayn Rand said:
    “If you need more criminals, just pass more laws,” though she may
    have lifted that one from Seneca? Then there’s ol’ Grace Jones:
    “If there weren’t any laws, there wouldn’t be any crimes…” or
    something like that.]

  11. Angie says:

    Could this also be about nutjobs like the Deep Green Resistance using facebook sites like http://www.facebook.com/GenerationAlpha to groom youth for terrorism in the US?

    Here is Lierre Keith justifying murder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXvDj-FNPiU&feature=related.

    And guess who turned up with her megaphone at Occupy rallies? Our brave compassionate feminist messiah, on a recruitment drive where the kids come pre-primed.

    This is the downside of leftist activism organising online. (Love the ostensible motivation, hate the project so much I’ve raised it a few times around the joint.)

    I’d love to hear what you think Sandy. I so wish someone very clever would take her on…

    • kulturcritic says:

      Very briefly, Angie – Lierre seems to be cut out of the same mold as the people she is suggesting we destroy. And she ignores her own warning about asymmetric warfare. Basically, no matter what she could propose doing, the system would overcome quickly. I will think more on this. sandy

      • relentless says:

        Yes, Sandy–i’d appreciate more thinking on this. Have you read, for ex. her “The Vegetarian Myth?” i don’t know about the “seems [‘seems’ seems so fraught with ‘could be’s, might be’s, etc.] to be cut out of the same mold.” More specifics please? Thanks. And, have you read Jensen’s ‘Endgame,’ Vols 1 & 2? We’re entering a stage where individual decisions will have to be made when Empire comes for each and every one of us, think Stalin and Hitler, for easy starters. The names have changed as have the methodologies but they all require, resort to, Chairman Mao’s “The final arbiter is the barrel of a gun” as their modus operandi. Even Gandhi hesitated re: Hitler. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  12. Martin says:

    One of the really interesting things about, and around, the Pres’s Ex. Order is that there has apparently been nothing – no mention; not even a whisper – said about it on either the mainstream or not-so-mainstream media (at least the stuff I look at, which I grant isn’t much) since it was signed. Is this ignorance or suppression? Don’t know. However, the document I downloaded and read is the full text and was released online and presumably elsewhere by the white house press office.

    WTF?

  13. Brutus says:

    It’s hard to know which is worse: the Executive Order itself of the blasé response of the public to yet another transparent power/resource grab. Sure, it’s just writing as of now, but its potential for mischief is pretty far breathtaking. The whole thing stinks of “we’ll consolidate and justify these powers under the aegis of national security, with which no one can argue, but trust us: we won’t overreach.”

    I corresponded with members of a discussion group, and most of them seemed unworried so long as we don’t see thugs on the street wreaking mayhem with impunity. The direct comparison was Kristallnacht. Of course, the U.S. has its own precedent for gov’t-sponsored property crime in Executive Order 6102 signed on April 5, 1933, by FDR, which includes language “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates within the continental United States.” Criminalizing possession of gold by individuals, partnerships, association, and corporations? Really? A harmless metal? The focus of Obama’s Executive Order includes food resource facilities and farm equipment, which lie well beyond state control until now that national security is redefined as resource security or emergency preparedness where the emergency is ever present despite there being no declarations of war or martial law. So much for private property rights, one of the central issues of the U.S. Constitution, notably Amendments 3 and 4.

    It doesn’t take much creative interpretation to arrive at Obama’s Executive Order really being, as you say, the final battle. The battle will actually have to occur in the streets or at farms and factories with armored vehicles seizing strategic resources. Maybe a few checks will be cut to compensate, but that hardly matters. On the short term at least, it’s more like banal administrative violence, avoiding terms like seize, confiscate, appropriate, requisition, and secure but relying instead on less objectionable language such as control and ensure availability, which may account for the lack of outcry. See Part I, Sec. 103(c): “be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements ….” So in effect, the federal gov’t is saying your stuff is our stuff if we decide we need it. Similarly, your labor is ours if we decide we need it: Part VI, Sec. 601(4): “formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting the labor requirements of actions to be taken for national defense purposes ….” This isn’t just reinstituting the draft to ensure necessary cannon fodder, it’s more like forced labor.

    • relentless says:

      Righteo Brutus! i well recall the day i graduated from HS and received, the same day, my draft notice, then doing a stint in the employ of said government, where i developed a profound distrust of any authority (and my words here are quite restrained). Derailed my life for many years. My basic ‘philosophy’ has been since then, if ‘they’ say do this, do the opposite, and it works far better than abiding by anyone who attempts to control my one and only life. My attitude is “Who died and left you boss?!”

      i’m also reminded of the 19th century anarchist-lawyer, Lysander Spooner, who, if i recall, attempted to start his own private mail delivery service in the Boston area. Big Brother said that he couldn’t do it, unconsitutional (sic, how well ‘they’ follow their own rules, eh?). Well good ol’ Lysander said, paraphrased: “The Constitution? Right, a contract between We the People and government, right? Well, I never signed it.”

      Aren’t we missing something here, something no one ‘dares’ mention? By what right does anyone else own your life? For me, that’s the defining path i follow: no one, absolutely no one does. i would never initiate aggression upon another human being, but i would defend myself and those i love, including the environment, which i require to live healthfully, if ‘they’ aggressed upon me. So, what does that say of any lifeform, be it you, me or a president or environmental terrorist…and i’m not referring to Lierre Keith or Derrick Jensen here, if they claim my life as their’s?

      • Malthus says:

        When I see how big brother government has now taken control of everything along with corporate control and all else is subservient to the good of the people in the guise of government I am reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy “ask not what the government can do for you, but what you can do for the government.” or something close to that. That was a warning of what was coming and what the national thinking was becoming. Now we wonder what happened.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Precisely!! As I said, Brutus!!

  14. I sometimes feel like I’m going crazy like Nietzsche, or indeed Rousseau himself did toward their end days. Seeing more and more in-your-face tyranny and power grabs by the criminalized federal mafia along with the increasingly zombified non-response from my fellow Americans who can’t but talk of the latest celebrity or football news bit…Its truly a phantasmagorical time we’re living in.

    I have doubts about whether the federal government ever will, or can, implement martial law and resource grabs in the event of, say, an economic collapse. It would be hell on earth methinks. I’m more inclined to think the government would simply fade away into obscurity and irrelevance – as maybe the public’s current nonchalance is a preceding indicator. It’s been said that the state dies not with a bang, but with a whimper. This was certainly true of parts of the Roman empire at least.

    We can only pray for a peaceful transition into the next dark age…morbid as that may sound. But then again I use that term loosely because in many ways men were liberated from the constraints of peak empire as it overreached for taxes and labor.

    I’ve recent come across the book ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ by Guy Debord, but haven’t got around to reading it. An excerpt reminded me of this blog, save some of the marxist rhetoric. Then again, Rousseau’s original Discourses were eventually overshadowed by his political writings which became the bedrock of the Reign of Terror, whose exploits inspired Marxism and all of our favorite socialist paradises of the 20th century.

    So it seems there is a long tradition of taking liberating texts and revolutionary ideas to be the bedrock of insane bloodlust …almost like we are incapable of reacting to the reality of our enslavement in a rational manner.

    Let us hope that this time its different.

    • kulturcritic says:

      VL – we are all made mad and crazy by the treadmill of the curriculum. Don’t feel bd, you are in good company. But, of course there is a secondary madness that is sweet in its own right. Debord was the real exposer of the Spectacle.

  15. Greg In Colorado says:

    The blatant legal codification of the United States of Police certainly is distressing. The discussion today, especially concerning the fledgling resistance movement/asymmetric warfare/cascading systems failure brings to mind my favorite passage from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago. In the chapter describing the arrest process (during the reign of Stalin’s “machine”) Solzhenitsyn offers an observation that may become pertinent to us here soon. He describes how they submitted to the process because they knew they were innocent; justice would prevail, there were no grounds for incarceration, things would get sorted out and they would be released. Instead, most never returned at all. He mused:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur – what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If… If… We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.”

    I love this: “we had no awareness of the real situation.” And like them, most among us would believe that justice will ultimately prevail, that this kind of tyranny could never come to OUR country. Explain that to the countless victims of failed and failing empires throughout history. Are we really so exceptional that we’re immune?

    The naked reality of this possibility leaves me shaken to the core.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Greg – Your point is critical. The codification of law is the fountainhead from which all servitude springs. Laws are enacted at the behest of those in power and those with property. Submission to law is almost always fatal. At least it seems that way to me. Remember, legal proscriptions emerge out of the basic architecture of the Western curriculum, the syllogism. And, it is to that process of reasoning that we have become enslaved in so many ways.

  16. troutsky says:

    I guess I don’t understand if the thesis here supports inverted or simply classic, straight up totalitarianism? Debord’s point was that the control came through the commodity form and the police state was unnecessary (except perhaps as a symbol of partiarchical-racial excellence) If the Spectacle is no longer holding the masses enthralled, things are actually looking up!

    • kulturcritic says:

      I see, Troutsky, so it will be better looking down the barrel of a gun, yes? Maybe so, if you believe revolution accomplishes anything. You still believe in political solutions… god bless you. I don’t!

  17. derekthered says:

    sure, blame it on the reds, the original totalitarians, not. aa while the gulag was operating we had our own in the american south………….beside the point.

    more to the point is the greek model of thought

    “All the molecules
    every single one
    the atoms
    their spin
    their charge
    their charme
    in circles

    All the molecules
    every single one
    the atoms
    their spin
    their charge
    their charme
    in circles
    in beauty”

    einstürzende neubauten – silence is sexy

    especially since the discovery of brownian motion, most certainly since einstein’s footnote, we have sliced and diced the cosmos to our own satisfaction. now all is discrete units, separate, distinct, individual, soulless, automatons, but it’s all good, our new false zen.

    of course the greeks kept slaves, as did the founders of america, as does the beast of global capitalism, denial, it’s not just a river in egypt. the fed is simply preparing for the worst, just in case the natives get restless, same as it ever was. the human species is faced with competing imperatives, the foremost of which is the propagation of ones own offspring, running straight up against a finite planet, with limited supplies of fuel.

    with modern technology the owners of this planet need only a fraction of the people that all the wonders of modern technology relentlessly produces, there is but one option, genocide.

    • Greg In Colorado says:

      derekthered says:
      “sure, blame it on the reds”
      Who’s “blaming the reds”? Did you read the post through?
      Simply pointing out the obvious parallel between current fascist trends of government and that which occurred barely a generation ago in a similar society — the populace was ignorant of what was transpiring around them so they complied with their own destruction. Just as many of us will. Also how their lack of foresight haunted them after it was too late. As Sandy replied: “Submission to law is almost always fatal.”

      I agree with you in that I cannot doubt the owners of the planet have genocide in their contingency plans for us, as they have done and are doing to others even as we speak. Perhaps are working on “doing us” right now through the destructive effects of toxic agriculture, industrial food, medical malfeasance, incompent “educators”, mass/social media mind control… Take your pick.

      We can only hope that resource depletion and the resulting economic collapse coupled with extreme weather disruptions limit their power to carry out their agenda. Throw in some good old resistance and revolution to slow it down as well.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Derek – All the official US policy and news media does is “blame it on the reds”. That is their psychotic modus operandi, and now in conjunction with the ever present threat of terrorism, use it to control the masses here. Just look at this bullshit piece from the RealNews Network.
      http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8086
      Of course Russia is a caricature of Western capitalism… but so IS Western capitalism a caricature of itself. They are ape-ing our bullshit with their own. I live in Siberia… it is a model of the US. And the same type of assholes who own the USA, own Russia. It is a model!

      • relentless says:

        Said it before: Contaminate Evil as you opt out of the charade. It can be done. Those of us who give a damn about this beautiful World require solutions, not merely infinite impotent words of analyses, while endlessly debating and bantering back and forth; that’s playing the game by ‘their’ rules and The Kings Languages which they think they own. They don’t! Create a counter-inspired language as you simultaneously derail their’s. After all, as i’ve mentioned previously, who owns your one and only life? ‘Them?’ Cut me a break. Caveat: be very careful as you opt out; giving away the deepest, functionable/working solutions that will simultaneously give ‘them’ response ammunition isn’t wise or functional…present intensely-impassioned clues and very large picture ideas, yet beware of extremely specific ‘solutions.’ Think as the unique Earth beings you believe yourselves to be. How can evil defend itself against that, especially with thousands (millions?) of unique solutions?

  18. Malthus says:

    Give me a cave. This is rat race totalitarian fascist fear mongering world is just simply ridicules. Who are these mutants and where and how did they evolve? We all here know what the problems are and I just do not see anything getting any better. Neuroscience still has much to research if there is an answer at all, or time.

  19. relentless says:

    Malthus-understand, and if we know what the problems are, then solutions–answers–exist. As one of my infamous quotes goes that i give to those on the brink of surrendering themselves to your mutants or becoming amazing life forces: “You have a beautiful mind, make sure it remains yours.” Unfortunately almost all…well, cave. Look around for confirmation, nearly anywhere will do.

    • Malthus says:

      Here is where you and I disagree. Simply knowing the problems does not automatically help in making solutions that will work. This concept has been shoved on to our thinking by generations of humans that always feel like they have solved a problem with the correct solution, or answers. That is what we are taught. And If this is so why are we facing more and more problems everyday unless many of the solutions were not the correct ones to begin with. Its like we keep repeating the same problems over and over again. Is it because if we actually solve them we are afraid there won’t be any other problems? For Christ sake all there are are problems and yet so many just love hanging onto the same old problems for fear there won’t be anymore left if the current ones are actually solved. No it is much more than just thinking if one knows what the problems are there will be a solution. Well, probably a solution but the human is great for thinking that if they just blunder their way into the future all will be ok.

      • relentless says:

        Interesting, though i don’t find that we actually disagree. My definition of solutions to the culture’s plastered onto our domesticated membranes isn’t in any way the common thinking ‘solutions.’ Hardly. Like the tired ‘thinking outside the box’ mantra of the common mindsforeverset, for me the box doesn’t exist, and implies that normal everyday thinking doesn’t either. Even to recognize the box via concentrated contemplation leaves me sickeningly distressed. i continue to struggle with other modes of unlocking, unearthing ‘solutions.’ These may be via engaging synaesthetic methods (more intune with the Whole Earth) or, for lack of better words, transreciprocal considerations, refusing to abide by whatever the sinister forces tempt to engage us with. Yeah, there are problems and solving more and more problems piecemeal ain’t gonna cut it. For me, it’s become a far different view than the imposed mediated varieties. i’ve come to distrust words, and am more inclined to actionable processes, AND processing in ways considered either nonexistent or barely legal, but then, legal doesn’t quite play in my World, just another word to control. The Problem here of course is that words will never cut it, which is why i’m more and more 1) contaminating the language of the conquerers and 2) beginning the slow process of not employing it whatsoever. This is why you and i probably would be extremely useful allies against the destroyers of life and limb but we too often nitpick with our best allies instead of just going out there and kicking sand in their faces together. Best, r

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