At this point in our inglorious, star-mangled history, I am not quite sure which is the more psychotic behavior of empire: 1) its willful ignorance, even public denial, of human induced climate change, 2) its belligerent efforts to control all remaining global resources, 3) its relentless destruction of the natural world and its delicate ecosystems, 4) its determination to mitigate global over-shoot through a violent RIF of the ‘unwashed masses’, or 5) its perserve attempts to protect the sanctity and secrecy of its own conspiratorial mischief in these and other matters.
There seem to be more regular folk now coming out to challenge imperial designs. They are not just academics or random anarchists, they are among the regular rank-and-file of the first world, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz, John Kiriakou. And wouldn’t you know it, they are all white males, with Anglo-European names, the very bread and butter of imperial majesty. But, why would these sorts push so hard against against the court of the crimson king; surely they jest. Indeed, they are among its chosen ones; those who could otherwise contribute mightily to empire building, and succeed in this world that kings did convene. Why would they suddenly cut and run? These were not vagrants, beggars, bums, or lazy no-good-nicks.
Why, as well, would the likes of Guy McPhearson, a respected tenured professor at Arizona State University walk away from the ‘goodlife?’ Why does Snowden or Manning jeopardize ‘promising’ careers serving the hegemon? And why are random acts of violence becoming more frequent in the streets of the land of good-and-plenty, with the rampant murder of innocents, and why are these acts apparently carried out largely by white men, again, the bedrock of empire?
Why, furthermore, does empire continue to whittle away at the presumed freedoms upon which this nation-State was based? What is everybody so damned mad about? What is happening to this society, and to its world? Or was it always in a potential state of chaos, founded upon the mistaken illusion that use of the word ‘democracy’ could of itself take us over the hump of hierarchy with its rational objectification of everything that is ‘other.’
Why is the likes a Chris Hedges, an award winning and respected war journalist, well-educated and articulate, on an unrelenting tear to stop this monster in its tracks? Why are the blogs of Kunstler, Orlov, Greer, Ruppert, and LeaverGirl so popular? I am afraid the first-world as it has been built and rolled out to the globe is beginning to look rather unseemly, untenable, perhaps because it is grounded on questionable assumptions.
Whether its the biggest fire in Colorado’s history, the greatest flood Germany has seen in the last 500 years, the largest most destructive series of tornados in Oklahoma ever witnessed, the costliest terror attack on American soil, the longest war against an unidentified enemy with mostly ignored collateral damage; we see none of this in any way related to how we live our lives here in empire, how we belligerently assert our rights around the globe and into the body and soul of (mother) nature. We do not want to understand that our need to consume, our need for novelty, for progress and expansion, for technological and territorial ascendency, that these are root causes of our current crises, natural or otherwise. We refuse to admit the obvious because once you have gone down this road it is nearly impossible to turn back… just ask those who were late to the party — the Russians, the Chinese and the Indians, for example.
The disarming of Iran, the arming of Syria… of course, we only desire world peace, as long as we maintain control of all the pieces. And, of course, now we have cyber-terrorists, computer-hackers, data-jackers and digital-thiefs… but what do we call the assholes who simply tap the providers on the shoulder and say, send us a backdoor link, we need CONTROL? Who then is the real terrorist on the block? Do we need to be worried about Bradley, or perhaps it is smarter to worry about Barry? Who is the more dangerous threat to human life and the health of the planet? Of course, they are telling us the correct answer to these questions as they have defined the realities, and so we agree because we share the self-same delusions.
Yet, to assume the objective reality of the world as presented in our particular cultural costume might merely be an instance of grand intersubjective psychosis, where we are all insanely following some ‘big men’ as we are led down a primrose path to perdition, a path we simply cannot recognize for what it is, or rather, that if it is pointed out to us, it is the messenger that is seen as delusional, for we have already agreed on what’s really real.
How to break through to the other side of this hypnosis is the fundamental problem of our age, perhaps of any age. It is not an easy task, because the landscape we seek to describe and the words we have to describe it are inadequate to the task. The very logic of control, the assignment of guilt, the appeal to natural rights or human nature… all the words are fraught with significance within the system itself, and their use militates against breaking down the collective (intersubjective) psychosis that entraps us all. So, the answer they give us is simple… ‘these are all sick and deluded criminals who must be stopped in the name of objective reality.’ Remember Daniel Elsberg, ‘the most dangerous man in America,’ the man who unleashed The Pentagon Papers; now a people’s hero for disclosing the horors of the day. But, then he was a madman, a criminal, who must be stopped.
Any alternate reality or heterodox description of reality, must be wrong, because only our reality provides really concrete results and is therefore self-justifying. Anyone contradicting the standard narrative is delusional or criminal or both. But, of course, it is the standard narrative, revised according to need, that serves as cover for their own delusional, criminal activity.