Our Intersubjective Pyschosis


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.

115 Responses to Our Intersubjective Pyschosis

  1. kulturcritic says:

    So, after I posted this, I noticed that someone logged in from Centreville, Virginia. I did a quick online check regarding Federal contractors in that town and this is what popped up. Perhaps part of the Prism data dragnet.

    • Malthus says:

      I wonder who is behind the curtain at fulcrum it? Who in the hell are these mutant non caring humans? That will justify any action taken for the good of the state. Maybe after all they are from another universe. One where the cyberborg rule. This is all getting so surreal Sandy. Middle earth is fucked.

      • kulturcritic says:

        And here is the bio of the head “dick” of Fulcrum IT… looks like he’s been a boy-toy for the Feds for quite a while!

        • I noticed how weaselly, slippery, and insubstantial the descriptions are, buzz words and phrases meaning nothing, except to those caught in the self deluded web of the Curriculum of the West

        • Malthus says:

          Well isn’t that just Handy. What a dick head is right. His resume if at all real reads like someone who just loves putting his nose up everybody’s butt. This guy is one mutant short of absolutely insane. Really pathetic of the people that do business with what has become the most depraved government ever. How sad. Take that nsa you rotten jerks.

          • kulturcritic says:

            Now we stalk the stalkers!!

          • Kevin Frost says:

            tsk, tsk, tsk. We’re talking behind their backs. In the spirit of inclusiveness:

            Dr. Mr. Brownose, thank you for your recent inquiry. My friends tell me you like to eat shit. We’re organic greenies around here and compost the stuff. But there’s plenty to go around so If you’d like to drop in sometimes you can eat some of our shit to. We don’t use pesticides or artificial flavorings or anything like this. Just the raw stinking crap; the kind you like! We’re here to help, always happy to oblige. Let’s stay in touch, and give my squishy best to your mates at the NSA. Sincerely, KJF.

        • Great and timely post, Sandy.
          Just did a quick read of Fulcrum & on Handy-not good. With phrases such as, “data mining” and “data fusion”, I already see that these cats will have their noses so deep into our business it’ll take the proverbial “act of God” to get rid of them.


  2. the Heretick says:

    to get the answers you must look to the malcontents. the whackos, the ordinary people who aren’t influenced by the prevailing myth, and when you do so it ain’t pretty.
    to address one of your points, and i can only speak from the vantage point of the semi-ghetto.
    “What is everybody so damned mad about? What is happening to this society, and to its world?”
    they are mad because they are powerless, people are scared, because they don’t know how they are going to survive. to go a little ot, but it’s necessary, take the coming ACA for an example. the word has gone out to employees at Little Caesars, Mickey D’s, Subway, all the places where young people work for next to nothing, hours will be cut, 25 hours a week, no more. do the math 25X7.25=181.25 before taxes, and these kids are supposed to go to college to join the “smart society” when courses cost $600 plus books? and then you have to own a laptop?
    the vision of this country that, Barry O is selling is pure bullshit, not even to talk about the reactionary right.
    “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?”
    you can always count on me to take the contrarian view, to put a little spin on your perception. there are random acts of violence all over this country, and most of them are not committed by white men, it’s all there in the official crime statistics, even Mark Potok couldn’t dispute the facts when he tried, but that’s neither here nor there, we know why the underclass commits crime, it’s their only option (at least as they see it). the fact is that if it bleeds it leads, and the bigger the bang the bigger it goes. the more tied into someones political point, the more coverage it will get.
    no one cares much about he guy knifed to death on the other side of town, he’s Hispanic, not young and cute enough, he only counts as part of a statistic to be thrown around, but at one time he was a cute little kid also, with no criminal record and/or prison tats.

    but that’s not your point is it? why are these white men rebelling? the standard view is that they see “their” country going down the tubes, i don’t buy it, nor do i think it’s merely a matter of conscience, i think it’s because they know they will never see the big time, they will just be minor functionaries, never hit the big time.
    i think that some of these guys are motivated by conscience, which is so 20th century, so out of touch. these days everybody is just a cipher, a human resource, an organism like any other, ripe to be broken down to it’s constituent parts and rearranged to suit whatever needs the machine has at this juncture somewhere beyond the end of history.
    perhaps these well educated articulate types are just beginning to grasp the dehumanization that we here at the bottom have lived with our entire lives, somehow or the other i figure that Chris Hedges had a college deferment during the Vietnam era, the letter in the mail that started with the phrase “Greetings, you are hereby ordered to report” never got to his inbox. nevertheless, Hedges and Greenwald are at least readable.
    i will go ahead and say it, just as Barry O doesn’t really care to rein in the war machine because that is what is required to keep his job and his putative position as one of the power brokers, some of these contemporary thinkers are just affronted, horrified, by the prospect that they may be treated like a commoner, they may have their lives rifled thru like some black guys car that got stopped by the cops. or maybe they really do care.
    see? that’s the way the underclass gets, that’s the way our thinking becomes, trust no one, it’s all bullshit, just someone else trying to get over on you. i hesitate to write what i write, that it will be perceived as angry, so be it. if anyone is shocked or put off by what i say, man, you should meet some actual hard cases.
    our govt. was bought a long time ago, the ruling class is putting on the big propaganda push to consolidate their hold on power. the sad part is that many of the so-called enlightened people, the ones going to the gym and working out to the rhythm’s pumped into their heads by their i-pods, they are just as deluded as everybody else, no different than the redneck in his pick-em-up truck listening to Clint Black.

    according to the objective reality these morons live by they are doing the best for everybody, doing what’s necessary to keep the peace; i wish them good luck with that, too bad the price is turning the population into a bunch of drones, drones whose every movement is watched by a different type of drone.

    yes, long, and bitter, excuse me, i think somebody is on my lawn. what’s that? smells like pork sausage! what the hell, everybody’s got to go sometime.

  3. kulturcritic says:

    What does it mean when a message pops up on your screen, saying: “Another computer is using your IP adress, try later”?

  4. Ron McCafferty says:

    “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.”
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” This quote from Upton Sinclair comes to mind.
    Maybe I am wrong for thinking this and I would really like some feedback on this thought.
    When the Constitution was signed, it basically protected anyone who held large amounts of property. Since this property held vast amounts of resources, these people were basically set for life if they managed it properly. Setting up a ruling elite in the United States.
    The rest of the common folk would be needed to work and protect this land. Working class men were ineligible to vote, as were women and Native Americans. So, in order to CONTROL these people, they were separated by class, color, religion, etc. Since slavery was not ended when the constitution was signed this was a damning statement in my eyes. Not everyone was CREATED EQUAL. Ever since capitalism has become a Frankenstein monster protected by the very wage slaves that live within the territory.
    Democracy is just the carrot on the stick. I see all these people wanting to protect a document that has basically protected the vampire capitalism that is bleeding them dry and I don’t understand myself. Great post, Sandy. Thanks

    • kulturcritic says:

      “Democracy” is a fungible term, used to the benefit of the hegemony for the purposes of control.

      • Kevin Frost says:

        The Political Association: a property owners club. That’s what it is, that’s all it is and ever was. Two types: oligarchic and democratic. Oligarchic means rule of the few. Democratic means the few as always plus a few more. Ancient Athens had a citizen to slave ratio of about 1-10. At it’s heart the political association is really a legislative order at home and a military formation abroad. The purpose of the latter is to attack neighbours, take their land and enslave the people. The purpose of Law is to consolidate property and maintain an ever present force to keep the slaves slaving away for the sake of ‘the good life’ as Aristotle put it. This is ‘the cradle of freedom’. We Westerners especially have a lot to unlearn. There’s much more to say and I haven’t really gone far to address your concerns but your ‘Democracy is just the carrot on the stick’ is three giant steps in the right direction methinks.

  5. the Heretick says:

    from down under
    “The 19th-century Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin understood why “for reasons of state” became a reflexive, almost religious vocation for so many in the intellectual class. His words explain much about the fury of Edward Snowden’s critics:

    …whatever conduces to the preservation, the grandeur and the power of the state, no matter how sacrilegious or morally revolting it may seem, that is the good. And conversely, whatever opposes the state’s interests, no matter how holy or just otherwise, that is evil. … [Machiavelli was right when he concluded that for this class] that the state was the supreme goal of all human existence, that it must be served at any cost and that, since the interest of the state prevailed over everything else, a good patriot should not recoil from any crime in order to serve it.”


  6. Kevin Frost says:

    Good stuff Sandy.

    It’s got an edge. Sandy’s got a mad on. He sound’s like Guy McPherson. Guy just posted an edgy piece himself and as a trailer posted an old favourite of his, Bruce Cockburn’s ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’ (I’d make somebody pay …)

    Good to what you had to say about Manning, Snowdon, Assange, Swartz, Kirakou. And McPherson. Not people you’d call ‘intellectuals’ in the ideological sense. Nonetheless they know things and they know things usually because of their technical or professional expertise, their job requirements require them to know things that get underneath their skin and bother them, and maybe to the point of doing something about it.

    Add to the list. I’m thinking about Dr. Caldicott who’s knowledge of nuclear medicine got her hot and bothered about the irresponsibility of WHO professionals, just for starters. And then there’s Dr. Lauren Monet who was in charge of DU investigations at Lawrence Livermore Labs and found out what DU munitions do to peoples, countries, and soldiers on both sides. Or Major Doug Rokke who was in charge of clean up after Gulf War I who got onto the same ugly subject and later gets vocal about how of the 585,000 US personal who were stationed in the Gulf area back in 90-91, fully half are now on permanent disability if they haven’t died yet. And we might note in this line of things how many friends Doug has these days who contribute to Veterans Today, and that includes not just banged up vets, but also serving forces, including officers, officers who have important jobs within the Beltway, staff colleges and you’d be surprised maybe. The authorities really do worry about these people and rightly so. Manning is just a private, but they’re not taking any chances with him. Dissention in the ranks? Serving officers who have qualms about treason? Yes. Not just screaming satanic evil, but treason. There’s a difference. Evil isn’t actionable, but treason is. And they know this. Put yourself in their shoes. Go ahead and be evil for a minute or two. And tell us what you see.

    People, I wouldn’t get too worried about programmed ‘machines of loving grace’ fishing though your emails. They’ve got more dangerous fish to worry about. More. Do they actually have the manpower, facilities, and operational funds to round up all the sceptics, nay sayers, critics, and assorted folks who are fed up with cognitive dissonance and say so? I just wrote something to called ‘They Know Everything’ that’s posted on Club Orlov under ‘Satire’ which tries to address this paranoia we all feel about this ‘all watched over by machines of loving grace’.

    ‘Who’s the real terrorist on the block?’ The curriculum works to keep all the monads separate, in their place, and quiet. But people talk anyway. They talk on the streets of Chicago, DC, Caracas, Rio, Milan, Petersburg, Delhi, Damascus, Cairo, lots and lots of places. All over the place. I don’t think people are that stupid. (Neither did Jean Baudrillard.) I often think we overestimate them and underestimate ourselves, that’s all.

    But anyway let’s just keep talking and let Dickboy suck away on his Dicktoys.

  7. Fido says:

    When TPTB get worried they divert the population to harmless drivel. This prism discovery is just what the powers actually wanted to divert the population from other more draconian and big brother. As for myself, efforts to fight the system have been futile and clearly Kafka like. It has been absurd and part of the grand theater that TPTB so much enjoys. The very people who on many sites are held up to ridicule and pun are the very people who should be celebrated for the hopeless battle that they engage. My criticism of many of the sites is that they tend to slam efforts to cope with TPTB. We often do not know if the so called intellectual elite is any better than TPTB or even worse.

  8. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Many years ago, my brother said something that I just realized contains the germ of a kernel of understanding. He said, “the pilgrims didn’t come here to escape religious persecution, they came to be free to practice it.” Witch trials anyone?

    From the very beginning, it appears to this humble observer, it was all about freedom for institutions, not individuals. Free to inflict whatever miseries struck the fancy of the oligarchs. I don’t believe it was a new concept. If I understand correctly, it was the essence of Athenian democracy as well. They delight in telling us we are free individuals and it really annoys them if we put them in the position of having to make us understand that we are not. It really pisses them off if we refuse to accept that. People tend to die when that happens.

    Institutions depend on the willingness of members to embrace their inner droneness and just go along with the program. Unhappily for them, there are always a few who in the words of those master imperialists the British, “go native.” Those individuals cannot blind themselves to the virtues of the institutions opponents and learn to operate their own controls. When the establishment encounters too little opposition, scenarios like this video tend to happen.

    It’ll be a Bad Day at Black Rock when those helicopters stop flying.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Absolutely, Phlog! This country was founded by the landed gentry, for them and their religious psychophantic followers. It was the ultimate experiment in the Lockean-Machiavellian project.

    • kulturcritic says:

      A nation founded by the wealthy, for the wealthy, and their psychophantic following

      • Malthus says:

        And here we had Kennedy saying in his acceptance speech “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Those words take on a whole new meaning.

        • Disaffected says:

          Actually, I still think Kennedy actually believed those words (or at least thought he did) in their original context when he delivered them. A few years later, dirt nap courtesy of the CIA/DOD/MIC for even beginning to think differently. Same to his brother, same to King, and same to anyone who came after who even began to feel their oats.

          • the heretick says:

            you are the only one i have ever heard state the truth on any blog anywhere, even if it was, how you would say, off the cuff. that’s the truth though, the USA suffered a coup in the 60’s, nobody dares to speak it.
            our country has suffered from this for 50 years, the anniversary is coming up is it not?

            • Disaffected says:

              Well, at least I’ve done something in this life anyway. But that’s the sad fact of it (I heard intimations of that from countless other sources as well – Oliver Stone’s JFK pretty much asserts it straight out in dramatic form), regardless.

              Nonetheless, JFK’s assassination remains the one true “brain trauma” on the American political psyche that we will very possibly never get over as a country ever! The fact that we can barely speak its name in proper company without speaking in low tones 50 years after the fact does indeed say it all, doesn’t it? The truths it reveals, if true, are still, simply unspeakable. As well they should be.

      • Disaffected says:

        Well but let’s all be real. Who in the fuck did we think was gonna win a war for a new continent and what in the fuck did we think their rules would be? Fair to say, we’re probably all just damn lucky it turned out as good as it did. That said…

    • Kevin Frost says:

      ‘freedom for institutions ..’ Yes. So the catch phrase ‘freedom under the rule of law’ is well worn. ‘Under the rule’ is the only way freedom can be considered at all. ‘Going native’. Yeah, I think so to. ‘It’ll be a Bad Day at Black Rock when …’ Good one. That kid they interviewed packing the two handguns: ‘I feel ok because before my mother cries I cry first’. Wow. That one sentence carried more weight than all the humanitarian noises we heard from the politicos and Co.

      • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

        Yes, the interview of the Brazilian Billy the Kid was quite riveting. To me the really interesting thing about the two handguns was his obvious preference for and quick reliance on the semi-auto that he admitted sometimes jammed. Were it me, I’d be packin two revolvers. To me it represents another high-five’n propaganda success on the part of the arms sector. There seems to be near universal acceptance that you are oh so much more dangerous with an auto-loader.

        This video uploaded this morning by RT seems to show that there are perhaps some non-favelans that are also not so happy with the prevailing sociopathy.

        • Disaffected says:

          LOL! Give deer the wherewithal to shoot guns at each other and they’d do it too. Too many humans = some humans must die. Plus some others as well for good measure.

          • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

            My view of deer is that they are natural born kamikazes with a selfless determination to destroy all cars and trucks. The right to arm bears would however open up some interesting new possibilities for encountering an unexpected variety of domestic terrarists. LOL

            • Disaffected says:

              Fuckin’ A! Bear with guns! Now they have a chance, and humans run scared! I’m claiming film rights!

    • Disaffected says:

      Another take: it’s a sorting out based on intelligence and organization (which presumably go together). Yes, of course, it’s unfair. But then again, just WTF is?

    • the heretick says:

      at least the Brazilians let the poor build their tar paper shacks, if we tried that here, a homeless encampment, the authorities would tear it down.

  9. Modernity is sort of like the leaning tower of Pisa, only with the stone substituted for the bones of the innocent, and the mortar their blood and guts, and built upon a bedrock of freshly slain dolphins, white tigers, and other majestic species…oh, and the tower isn’t leaning but its cracked in half and in freefall but you can’t tell ‘cuz you’re too glued to the latest entertainment shyte/hardcore porn (same category).

    • Disaffected says:

      LOL! Modernity is like a lot of things in a thoroughly derivative sort of way. But most of all it’s simply toast. An idea that has come and gone almost instantly, and thus prophesied it’s own demise even as it proclaimed it. Modernity is, in short, US!

  10. Frank Kling says:

    A comment you made in a previous post really resonated with me. I too have taken note that almost never do I see where farmers have left unharvested crops for the wildlife. This was a common practice in my youth, but today people are so focused on squeezing every last cent of profit from the land that this once noble and selfless tradition has gone the way of the horse and buggy. America’s farmers have become the noveau riche and with this new found wealth comes an insatiable desire for McMansions, toys, second homes, and all the other trappings of materialism. Yet the federal government continues to provide direct payments of billions of dollars every year to this landed gentry. What a nut house modern society has become.

    • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

      Frank, I completely agree with your closing sentence. The rest of it was pure propaganda BS. I’ve been around quite a long time and post-harvest all I ever saw was empty fields. Now it’s true that wildlife gotta eat too, but possibly you are not aware that them critters have been in those fields taking their share before the crop has reached the point of having market value. There are riche farmers, noveau and otherwise, but rarely have they gotten that way strictly from farming. That would be nearly impossible. A growing part of the riche farmer crowd are people who got riche first and can claim to be farmers on the basis of having bought some farmland. In at least some cases, they’ve never actually seen it. Others, who have always farmed, managed to get kinda riche via some good non-farm investments. The riche farmers may FAIK control a majority of the productive acreage, but as of yet the majority of actual farmers, an awful lot of whom are actually part-time farmers and full-time industrial employees, are debt slaves just like everybody else.

      The federal meddling in ag has many purposes. A lot of those purposes just happen to be congruent with the purposes of agri-corps. Big surprise there, huh?

  11. the Heretick says:

    i have no idea what this means, if anything, but Google Chrome is blocking the columnists (such as Chris Hedges) at Truthdig.
    if you use Firefox you can still bring them up.

    • Disaffected says:

      Don’t go dissing Google Chrome there HT! No problems here.

      • the heretick says:

        it was blocking me earlier today, not making it up. i could bring up the articles, but none of the columnists. don’t tell me you run chrome, it is a processor hog, i’m running one of the older versions, works better on my crappy computer.

  12. Disaffected says:

    Well, I had to Google intersubjective to understand it’s meaning (although I shouldn’t have needed too when I stopped to think about it), and in the process ended up Googling ‘intersubjectivity psychosis’ as well. Lo and behold, apparently Sandy owns first first use ‘Googlable’ rights to that particular text string, so congrats on that at least.

    Good post, as usual, regardless, and I like the particular text string use as well. Not sure that it has a snowball’s chance in hell of making a difference in anything currently going in the world of Our Lord Jesus Christ in his year 2013, but then again I’m not sure anything that anyone says or does these days matters either.

    On that upbeat note, I’ll simply add that I like JHK’s new website design and his somewhat more subdued and mainstream commentary of late (that’s always been his main calling – he’s always been, first and foremost, a mainstream East Coast Jew of literary aspiration), as well as JMG’s recent and yet to be completed series of posts regarding the larger arc of western industrial civilization, with a particular focus on the role faith and religion have to play on our prospective downfall, although of course, both seem to have their shortcomings as well.

    Both, of course, are inherently hamstrung by their need to be, first and foremost – mainstream – and thus, at least marginally well-received. Of the two, I find myself sympathizing most with JHK. He was first to the punch (that I know of at least) and he’s not hamstrung by having to drag around the title of “Archdruid.” I, myself, am OK with the idea, although almost all of the people I’ve referred his links to rejected him on that count alone. I know, I know, fucking HUMANS!

    That said, waking up in the morning everyday to the idea that you’re a serious scholar and internet pontificator, while also seriously claiming the mantle of “Archdruid” has to be a conceptual leap of an altogether greater order. That ALSO said, the guy delivers on a weekly basis some pretty serious academic shit, so who in the fuck am I to say?

    Bottom line? JHK seems a bit conservative in the romantic sense to me (if only we could slide back to a better time like we had before on the way up), while JMG seems a bit conservative in the academic sense (THIS is how societies actually devolve, and it ‘ALWAYS’ devolves pretty much just like this).

    How will it all ACTUALLY turn out? Safe to say, that’s what we’re living for, and I think we’re all about to find out soon enough.

    • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

      According to The Cryosphere Today, the Arctic Sea just lost almost 500k square kilometers of ice in three days. The Russian icebreaker sent to rescue a science team from ice that was breaking up, made it there in half the expected time. If that pace continues, Paul Beckwith stands a good chance of being right that the mean ice coverage for the month of September will be zero NADA NIL.

      That would be two years ahead of the ‘scientific’ guesstimate of last year, which was only for at least one day of zero ice. Should it happen, I am inclined to believe next year’s weather will be even more amazing. We may not be able to see exactly how it turns out, but I’m prepared to go out on a limb and say it will turn out badly.

      Regarding the fuckingness of humans, I watched a vid this morning where one of those pesky documentary reporters interviewed the Mayor of Williston, ND and then some suited douche in Europe regarding the earthshaking implications of shale gas and oil. As is the way of Mayors everywhere, he could see no possible downside to the boomtown development of Williston. He was naturally pleased to say how much he hoped that NoDak could help bring prosperity to the whole country.

      The interviewer did ask him about what was being done with the gas (it gets flared) but carefully avoided asking how long a well produced or what it cost. That could have been embarrassing.

      It got really weird when he went to Europe. It seems to be a concern of some folks there that US will actually become energy independent and dump all those middle eastern wars on Europe. What a loon!

      • kulturcritic says:

        Such grand intelligence; such grand design… only a god could have made us. LOL

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          Hmmm, it is rather odd that no other creature is anywhere near as screwed up as our kind. I wonder how Mr. Darwin would explain that. Remember Vin Diesel’s best line in Pitch Black? The Imam asks him why he doesn’t believe in God. Vin replies, “I absolutely do believe in God, and I absolutely hate his guts.”

          • Disaffected says:

            And hate is as good as love, as it’s simply the flip side of the same coin.

          • Disaffected says:

            I think Darwin did explain it by way of Jared Diamond. Insane cultures, faced with stark suicidal long-term choices due to their many previously chosen suicidal short-term choices, almost always double down on those choices to their own detriment. We’re no different. Simple as that.

            • Frank Kling says:

              Brilliantly stated as usual, DA. I copied your statement and added it to my list of notable quotes for future reference.

  13. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    JMG enjoyed an apoplectic moment over McPherson’s incidental raining on what I would call his dream of a druidic caliphate. I wonder how he might react to Paul Craig Roberts’ prophesy that we will probably be extinct before 2020. His estimate predicated on a 100% anthropogenic forcing via global pollution of the atmosphere with clouds of mushrooms.

    They say that Euripedes said “those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” Though I imagine he probably said it in Greek, which probably made it sound different. That prereq has clearly occurred, so probably Dr. Roberts’ prophesy should not be discarded out of hand. The question that comes to my mind is, why are they so pissed at us? What did we ever do to them?

    Sandy laughingly alleges that anything as dysfunctional as us must have been created by the gods. So, there ya go. If I had ever created something that embarrassing I would want to burn all the evidence too. Maybe they should take up a new hobby. Genetic engineering doesn’t seem to be their forte. lnsl (laughing not so loud)

    • the Heretick says:

      JMG’s philosophy reeks of past centuries, this century has no philosophy other than the struggle for survival. this is my message, and i know it’s not very welcome. attempting to apply order in the coming chaos, hell, in the current chaos is simply the rankest nostalgia.

      music from the 21st century (barely)
      Brian Eno & Jan Peter Schwalm – 05 Night Traffic

      • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

        Here’s some 21st century music with graphic accompaniment.

        • the Heretick says:

          really like the intro, spanish/mexican type fanfare, always liked that. little hard to dance too, i give it a six. now the warplanes? killer. gotta love the Russian designs, seems like we in the west like a softer aesthetic, whereas the russians seem to focus more on function; as if to say, it’s a killing machine we aren’t going to try and hide the fact of the matter.
          i give the overall presentation a 9.5, but maybe it’s because i love the smell of burning kerosene.

    • Kevin Frost says:

      Re: JMG vis a vis Paul Craig Roberts, always a breath of fresh air. Greer does talk about the prospect of war on occasion, as a political thinker must, but is slippery on the subject. I don’t hold his Druidry against him. Since the early decades of the 18th century the search has been on for some sort of ‘natural religion’. His Druidry is just the latest in a series of attempts on the part of Enlightenment thinkers to abandon the transcendental theism of times past and locate some kind of natural ethics within earthly natural existence. In the 18th century everybody was a deist. Later in the 19th century the discovery of an Indo-European family of languages led to this intensive study of longstanding folk traditions to get a bearing on the ways of the ancestors and this went on till about 1945. Subsequently everything went back to progressive and ‘developmental’ ideologies till a new age recycling of early 20th century stuff revived this idea of natural ethics, Gaia and all. The search goes on but this is so for substantial reasons. It could hardly be otherwise. What bothers me about Greer is the way he’s always bagging prophecy, Christian prophecy, of course, which is fine, but he blandly ignores the one tradition that matters, the traditions of the native Americans, and of these there are plenty, but in particular those of the Iroquoise. These people sent a formal delegation to the assembled governors of the New England colonies around 1750 to recommend that they form a confederation like theirs (Benjamin Franklin took the notes to this meeting). That doesn’t get mentioned in the histories, no surprise, but what is surprising is how Greer ignores it to. This matters. The Articles of Confederation is central to Greers thinking overall, very important. But there’s also a prophecy that comes with the package, this being that of Handsome Lake (circa 1700). The trees will die from the tops down and the roots of the plants will wither. But more – a great struggle of the snakes, white vs red. This is war and China is the obvious referent. This prophecy is congruent with the Hopi tradition to the effect that there will be a third shaking of the earth, and it really does sound like a nuclear attack on cities plus an invasion. Very heavy. So Greer’s talking about the long descent when he should be warning people about war. A slippery fish. The people who are most worth listening to are the native elders.

      • Disaffected says:

        I’ve never held JMG’s Druidry against him either. More a theosophy than a religion in the first place. Nonetheless, he sometimes comes across as a little bit predictably dogmatic in his views, even when their well-informed. “This is just like like the past except for possibly…” kind of shit. That said, the dude is smart and well-informed as hell. Can’t argue with that at all!

      • Frank Kling says:

        Interesting information. There is another possibility, but it requires thinking outside of the box. I will not bore you here, but if interested investigate the work of Dr. John Mack from Harvard and Dr. David Jacobs of Temple University.

  14. Kevin Frost says:

    Found an exceptional website: Unwelcome Guests by way of tracking a Morris Berman mpg. UG has Berman talking about his recent Why America Failed for an hour. There’s a second hour where Berman finishes off in the first few minutes and there followed by a guy named David Graeber who reads a paper entitled ‘Debt, the First 5000 Years.’ They’re both brilliant. Bermans’s always good. Graeber, somebody I’d never heard of offers the most insightful discussion of debt I’ve yet encountered. It starts off with a trenchant reading of Nietzsche’s treatment of unpayable debts that he goes into in the Geneology of Morals followed by a wide ranging discussion of the moral issues of debt and slavery canvassed in ancient religious literature. Two hours are need here but hours well spent, so to say.

  15. Carol Newquist says:

    The problem with Berman is, he seeks to create a refuge for what he considers to be that which is noble and enlightened about civilization amidst the ensuing collapse and ruin in a pseuo-monastery of sorts with all those who can see the coming collapse as monks in this process. I can’t hang with that. Ruin must be complete as possible. To start anew, truly anew, most if not all vestiges of the former world (read society) as we know it, including me and mine, must be annihilated in one way or another. That’s harsh, I know, but if the seeds of the former world are given sanctuary, they will most assuredly find a way to germinate and sprout into suicidal rainforests once again. Berman embraces that merry-go-round process. He seeks to enable the Phoenix. I say, death to the Phoenix once and for all.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Tough love, eh, Carol. But, I am afraid you may be right.

      • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

        No Sandy, Berman is the apostle of tough love. I would say Carol watches more channels than most people (something an old hippie once said of me) and has seen the dark heart of the matter. The misnamed sapiens has chosen the live fast, die young and leave behind a medically enhanced corpse option. It seems to be in the DNA. As we no longer have any hominid relatives with whom we could interbreed to perhaps change it some, any survivors will carry the let’s-not-ever-give-wisdom-a-chance gene, forever.

        Gaia gave us more than adequate supplies of carbon and uranium to power the built-in self destruct mechanism. All we had to do was refuse to turn the key. There’s always some numbnuts that wants to know what will happen when I turn this switch. The good news? As Carlin said, “the earth will be fine.” Gaia will try again and whatever the result should be of no concern to us at all. We had our chance. As the old joke went, “opporknockity only tunes once.”

    • Kevin Frost says:

      Berman’s a survivor, methinks. I find it hard to hold this against him, but that’s not your point maybe. Not knowing you I did a google on Carol Newquist which got me onto Knustlers threads and read down , and down, and down. Carol! Consorting with such low lifes. You shouldn’t. You’re such a scrapper. I’ll keep reminding myself not to cross you. But still, it’s good that somebody’s out there nightstickin the Malthusians, cons of various stripes, neo, and less than that. You’re always welcomed to bag William F. Buckley Jr. In any case, I read down till I got a keyword: Phoenix which is linked with ‘sophist’. It’s clear that you’re not on good terms with the sophists. And if I read correctly you sounded almost maybe a bit friendly to Plato? Some call him a sophist to but at least he distinguished between making do with enough vs wanting and grabbing too much. He had a problem with this ‘more, more, more’, Berman’s subject. And Greaber.

      You’re against the Phoenix of sophistry arising from the roundly anticipated ashes. And disconcertingly you’re counting yourself in, you and yours. I take it you have your reasons. I try to be more confident. I like to think that people are basically good because we’re basically related. Relations are what’s basic about ‘nature’. As we cultivate our relations we cultivate our goodness. And That’s ‘natures way’. I got that from my mother. I take on all comers.

      Berman says if you live in America get out. If you can’t, burrow in. His ‘new monastic’ thing is an urging to make community connections and look after each other. If I were Jewish, lived in the UK, where these fascists are gaining political strength, I’d be concerned to discern a suitable geographic location and do the same. Connect with the local women and encourage the men to be men. They need to be encouraged; it has to come from the women. It’s the way it works, begins at home. Like you say, this is day one. And it’s ok to use our imaginations? I like crafting utopias for special needs situations.

      annihilated? Hmmmmm. LIkely lots of annihilation. And harsh. One can ‘at the end of the day’ hope it works. Here we could try to be more specific about what exactly needs to be unavailable for further recycling. Sandy talks about ‘the Western curriculum’. Berman has strong lines of insight on hustling America and has taken Weber’s Protestant Ethic all the way. I really do think there’s something to that. This weeks post, to do with intersubjective psychosis is something that calls for an explanation. I think the Protestant ethic explains a lot if we need to explain psychosis, because it’s that kind of thing. In any case it’s possible to discuss these things we’re trying to understand.

      • Disaffected says:

        I think the undercurrent is that at this point the choices are starker: even attempt to remain on good terms with the current system and hope for something better, or simply let bygones be bygones and hunker down for the apocalypse, possibly even hastening its coming through personal actions where possible (no, not “terrorism”). I must admit, I’m torn myself, although my lifestyle choices surely give me away. In the end, most of us on this board simply talk a good game and then go on living our lives regardless. Which admittedly, is a justly deserved knock on (and existential conundrum) for MOST “radical liberals.” Living the change you purportedly believe in is, alas, NEVER as easy as it sounds.

        • Kevin Frost says:

          It’s not so easy. All I ever really wanted to do in this world was to drop out of society. But like you say, not so easy. The various communities I’ve been involved with since the late 60s have pretty much all gone belly up. I started wondering why back in the early nineties and am still wondering. That led me to this website where Sandy talks about this Western curriculum, a subject which I’m trying to get clear about. Maybe it doesn’t do much good. And we live with our hypocrisy each and every day. Here we are. Still, one could do worse.

          • kulturcritic says:

            Yeah, Kevin, I think all communities are bound to fail because we are all too embedded in the logic of the curriculum of the West. We are seeking too many answers to questions we feel obligated to pose. We fear naturalness and spontaneity, the unplanned and the wild. We think we need commissions and direction; we cannot overcome the need for control. It is now part of our cultural baggage, our linguistic structures, our mental habits, and need for solutions, progress, completion.

    • Disaffected says:

      That’s the trouble I was alluding to above with all “mainstreamers,” for lack of a better word. Let’s face it, to be a published author or academic at all involves some pretty serious compromises. Guy McPherson is probably the best example out there. He’s published (just barely) and a now virtual former academic of sorts, having burned most of his bridges behind him. He’s got a decidedly small “far-left” following such as on these boards and little else these days. He may or may not be right on the fine details, but whatever else you say about him, he’s a man of principled belief and he’s actually acting on those beliefs; to a greater extent than almost everyone else anyway.

      But the trouble with such a viewpoint – honestly expressed and truly believed though it may be – is, as I’ve expressed before (and I’ll spare you all from expressing it in full here again), where in the world do you go and what do you do with the implications of such a belief? It’s truly a dilemma.

      As to Berman, he’s possibly one of the greatest/truest idealists I’ve read in quite some time (I can easily imagine him and Chris Hedges carrying on quite a lively discussion about the fall of western civilization, especially vis-a-vis their very own USA). Gets right to the point and doesn’t pull any punches whatsoever when discussing political/philosophical questions.

      But in the end, what do you say about a failed state/civilization other than it’s failed and to possibly lament its possibilities lost? And that, sad to say, is all there’s really left to say at this point.

      • Kevin Frost says:

        There’s a recent podcast interview with Chris Hedges, Morris Berman and Dmitry Orlov. There’s a link over on Dmitry’s site. Berman described Hedges as a guy who wanted to die with his boots on whereas he (Berman) was more concerned to leave a paper trail. He figures that someday the (Chinese) historians would go fishing through the (charred) archives, pull up Why America Failed and say: See, it’s all in this book! Berman was right!! Did they listen? ……

  16. kulturcritic says:

    Mike Sosebee – I received your video in the mail this week, in Siberia… It really arrived!! Great video… great job!! Thank you (I cannot find your email address!)

  17. Carol Newquist says:

    Some days, I think it’s as simple and crass as this:

    The love of large penises is to blame
    Tube Steak to yer knees will get you a name
    That bulge in your pants
    Will have females chant
    Look at you go boy, you got game

  18. the Heretick says:

    “Intersubjectivity is “The sharing of subjective states by two or more individuals.” (Scheff 2006). It refers to shared emotion (attunement), shared attention, and share intention.”
    i think the term you coined is apropos.
    the ruling class has no clue as to the state of mind of the proles, and if they do they don’t care, same difference.
    the masses have no clue what the ruling class is up to, though a few intellectuals pretend that they do.
    the intelligentsia who flatter themselves that they have some idea of what is going on, and who presume to have some control, they are way beyond their depth.
    most of the world excepting a few marginal hunter/gatherer communities do not have any idea how to survive, and have become completely estranged from nature.

    i’m reminded of jackson pollocks’s famous quote, “we are nature”, are we now estranged from ourselves? much of what we call the opposing narrative is itself operating under false assumptions, it is itself merely a reaction to the prevailing dialectic.

    • Kevin Frost says:

      ‘Intersubjectivity is ‘The sharing of subjective states by two or more individuals. It refers to a shared emotion (attunment), shared attention, and shared intention.’

      Yeah, that gets us into the ballpark all right.

      ‘The ruling class has no clue …’ Affirmed! It’s true. And they don’t care either, quite. They think the rest of us are just like them, assholes. This, btw, is the burden of the Napoleon Chagnon anthropological rants I go on now and then. Napoleon is a master of the Ivy League line they like so much in Washington: we’re all evil. It’s not just us. We’re all in this together. You’re just as much to blame as we are. You say you believe in goodness but we know better. It’s nature; we’re hard wired for greed and gain. It’s not our fault. You’d do it to if ya had the chance. It’s nature. Now my line is different. Nature, huh? You talking about my mother? Yeah you are. Fucker. Now I’m talking to YOU …. …. (fill in the blanks).

      For real. If ‘nature’ were telling me to grab it all and fuck the rest I would have heard this from mom. But she didn’t: she told me to share. I remember, must have been about three. I was sitting on the floor with another kid and we were playing, with toys ya know? Two of us, and two toys. I had one. Then I grabbed the other one to. Man you should have seen the look on my moms face. SHARE!!! Loud and clear. I got the idea. So that’s where it all started.

      ‘The intelligentsia who flatter themselves …’ That’s what Chomsky says. He says that the higher up on the socioeducational scale you go the worse it gets. Again, Dr. Chagnon was recently elected to the presidency of the National Academy of the Sciences. In response Marshal Sahlins resigned in protest. Old Noam’s got a point.

      ‘Most of the world … except a few hunter/gatherer types … ‘ Yes. For a long time they’ve been saying if we go you go to. Who’s going to show you how to get by in this world? It’s a worry.

      ‘ …. merely a reaction to the prevailing dialectic.’ Yeah. Here’s a dense and convoluted situation, long story. Crudely, Marx and socialism have driven us into a cul de sac. Still, I’m reluctant to throw the baby out with the bathwater so I’ve moved close to Kropotkin who is Dmitry Orlov these days. Mutual aid, mutuality, relationality, relatedness. That’s our culture, says me. And it’s natures way to. Nature means relatedness, can’t pull em apart. Nature, that’s what the fight’s about these days more than ever. Fighting about nature. They want what’s in the ground, all of it. They have to be fought. Somehow.

  19. Carol Newquist says:

    This is interesting. The Intelligence Services will go out of their way to cover up what is perhaps a real terrorist attack, but go out of their way to play up a synthetic terror attack, i.e. the Beantown Bombings.


    The rule of thumb for me from here on out, and actually has been the rule for me for a while now, is if the media and the Intelligence Services literally push an event down our collective throats, you can be quite certain it was a false flag of some sort. The fact that they went out of their way to cover Flight 800 up as a potential terrorist missile attack, using the rule of thumb, means that the event was not synthetic and took them by surprise, so they covered it up as a fuel tank explosion.

    Not that it matters. At this point, I think they could shoot someone in cold blood in front of millions of witnesses and then spin it as a suicide and those witnesses and the majority of the rest would believe them, so complete is their psychological manipulation of the masses. They’ve got humanity by the balls until it’s lights out, at which point it will be Mission Accomplished. The seeds are being planted for the Phoenix to rise again as a hedge against failure. Civilization doesn’t die easily. Genies are bitches to put back in the bottle…even suicidal ones.

    • Disaffected says:

      The rule of thumb for me from here on out, and actually has been the rule for me for a while now, is if the media and the Intelligence Services literally push an event down our collective throats, you can be quite certain it was a false flag of some sort

      Yep, what Carol said. They’re not even discreet about it anymore either. “They” know what my informal watercooler polls all confirm: Americans are quite fond of their national security state all in all, and if put to a straight up and down vote, they would wholeheartedly affirm the tradeoff of “security and safety” in return for even dramatically less freedom and privacy, especially when it;s so well concealed in the form of electronic gee-whiz shit that nobody even notices. Not exactly groundbreaking news that – Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, et al were working out the basic details a century ago. It just took our first two truly false flag presidents – Bush/Cheney and Obama – and a little technological advancement to perfect the technique.

      • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

        In the event of such a vote, would the result not come down to which side claimed choosing the other would risk the cancellation of The Voice and Sunday/Monday Night Football?

        I think that arguably the first two might have been named Polk and LB Johnson. Though it’s not inconceivable that the battleship Maine explosion might have been flagged as false, if the referee hadn’t been taking his siesta. There was after all an empire at stake.

        • Disaffected says:

          Good points Phlogger. The Maine was definitely false flag as well, so I guess that’s as good an indication as any that the Euros didn’t have any property rights over disinformation at the time. I think the equation has always gone something like this: Big money = big power = big lies. Same as it ever was.

        • Disaffected says:


          I think I might be reading an extra point in your post (I know, I’m slow on the uptake at times). Are you saying that Polk and LBJ might have been been false flaggers as well? Polk, I don’t know about right off hand. LBJ is certainly an interesting prospect, although I’d leave that for you to expound on. In either case, I doubt they would qualify in the same league as Bush/Cheney (the first twin-headed president, Bush being merely a Trojan Horse) and Obama. Although, LBJ in the wake of JFK’s assassination/coup is pretty damn compelling right from the start…


          • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

            I mentioned LBJ in connection with the Tonkin Gulf attack that never happened. Polk got the Mexican-American War started over an incident where a probably lost Mexican military patrol was ambushed, ostensibly on Texas soil, which Polk managed to convince Congress was an unprovoked invasion. At least that’s the way I heard it.

            • Disaffected says:

              Gulf of Tonkin was no doubt pure horseshit right from the start. That’s almost pure accepted mainstream history (albeit unapologetic as well) at this point already. The only question remaining to serious minds at this point was LBJ in on the original plot as well from the start, and if so, what was the agreement in return? SURELY escalation in Vietnam was prima facie, but what else was on the table as well?

              Once again, LBJ at least had the good sense to die with great humility a few (y)tears later after refusing the Dem nomination in ’68, so who’s to say there’s no redemption in the end? What did he know and when did he know it? I doubt we’ll ever know. Some things are better that way I suspect.

              • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

                DA, I believe you forgot to lay out the rule saying the prez had to be in on the false flag. I was under the impression he just had to be prez at the time. Taking advantage of incidents you played no part in is also traditional.

  20. Carol Newquist says:

    If this journalist was killed in Russia, American journalists would automatically consider it a hit, but since it happened in America, it was just a tragic “accident.”


    Here’s how it most likely happened. The movie Michael Clayton touched on this, as well. It’s a great movie if you get the chance.

    They took him out and sent a strong message to the few remaining true journalists.

  21. Disaffected says:

    No good reason to post this video, other than it makes me feel good. Maybe it will make you feel that way too (it has a 30 second ad up front that renders as silence on my browser (Google Chrome) with no time advancement on the counter, so be trust me and be patient):

    • Disaffected says:

      But you DO have to admit, when you play this video through a big old American monitor (manufactured who knows where) and listen to it through speakers manufactured likewise, you have to get a good old fashioned American hard on at the sheer chutzpah of it all. HEY! That’s WHY we’re fucking Americans posting on sites like this after all in the FIRST PLACE, ISN’T IT?

    • kulturcritic says:

      Great music, great emotion; but too many stereotypes reinforcing traditional male-female relations in empire. Never really listened to Hootie before. A contemporary black man who really sings!WOW

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