Recollection, Releasement, and Reconstitution

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We live now in a world of unnatural wonders: virtual communities, corporate personhood, iPads, ‘bluetooth’ ears, selfies, 24/7 i-spy eavesdropping, instant global communication; all the accoutrements to give bureaucrats, emperors, and dime-a-dance dictators a complete set of controls over their subjects, as paid for by monied-oligarchs and enforced by their military police. How did we ever get here? Well, perhaps the more relevant question is how the heck do we get outta’ this place?

Last week I suggested that primal kinship relations and egalitarian sharing militated against the emergence of formal hierarchy in both Paleolithic clans and perhaps even in the earliest Neolithic villages. This condition ended rather abruptly however with the emergence of large-scale agriculture, and the concomitant need for the forced organization of labor and the protection of excess food stuffs. Here was the birth of the city and the State. Concomitantly, citizenship was born — torn, as it was, from the breakup of the pre-civilized clans. As Bram writes:

[In a ‘post-kinship’ era] the nuclear family by itself cannot resist the impingements of modern political and economic institutions: the father, mother, and their children must be surrounded by some intermediate, protective body of persons in order to be safe from unacceptable levels of control. In fact, those modern political and economic institutions could not have been created in the first place unless the original protective body of persons, the clan, was broken into its constituent and susceptible parts, its nuclear families. The first emergence of civilization in the Middle East, and all subsequent civilized nations, were constructed on the break-up of their pre-urban clans. (Recovery of the West, 2002)

It could be that the only way out of our current predicament would be through de-citification, deconstruction of the clan-destroying hierarchy, and reconstitution of the egalitarian tribe. That, at minimum, seems to be a foundational step. But the ground needs to be prepared for such a momentous undertaking. And, perhaps remnants of some well-worn Siberian (Russian) lifeways can point us in the right direction.

There is an almost sacred tradition among older generations of Russians in Siberia to keep a small dacha in forested, semi-cloistered ‘communities’ where (at least in summer) people remain close to the land, practicing horticulture (not agriculture), fishing in nearby rivers or streams, hunting mushrooms and berries in the forest, and easily sharing the bounty of their small efforts with neighbors.These communities no doubt demonstrate elements of more modern management practice — an elected leader of the community, and perhaps a bookkeeper to keep track of charges against electrical usage, etc. But group decision-making seems to be the norm annually, with active discussion of issues even on a daily basis if issues arise. Community members live in relatively the same conditions, although some dachas are better than others according to their owners means. Yet, the more debilitating signs or attitudes of status are generally lacking. The bonds in such communities are generally from developing affine relations, with consanguine (blood) relations also present.

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that our modern Western citizens could stand to function autonomously in such manner, without some prior decoupling from the hierarchic bureaucracies that bind us, and releasement from the capital-accumulation mentality that controls us. It would be my guess that such transition will require a precipitating event of minor apocalyptic proportions, an event that, of itself, will demand a new (or rather old) way of thinking and being. It will require being-with one another in ways we have more recently forgotten as we continue to weave this web of virtual relationships and selfie-driven discourses. Sharing on Facebook is NOT sharing. One should not be confused about this. However, at least the language of FB reminds us, if only in vitro, that sharing remains a basic mode of building bridges and creating affine relations among equals.

Will it be war or a nuclear catastrophe, lack of water, oil, food or fresh air? What will be the catalyst, the trigger that sends us back to meditate upon our predicament, reconsider our cultural trajectory and our options? When Jean Jacques Rousseau complained about the dangers of capital accumulation and the Origins of Private Property centuries ago, our forebears should have listened more intently to his plea.

The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

And so, my friends, we are left to contemplate our current state and our future direction. No decision in this regard will be an easy one, but circumstances now spinning beyond our control may force the issue upon us more or less quickly. We are faced with a huge dilemma with at least three prongs: 1) we are fully accustom to life in this world made-by-machine; 2) resources to keep up this show are quickly evaporating; 3) those in charge of the show will do whatever is necessary to keep it going. They will even kill those who try to get in their way. And they are killing more and more of us everyday. They will use false flags, domestic espionage, propaganda, obfuscation, character assassination — absolutely nothing is ‘off the table.’ Good day, and good luck!

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34 Responses to Recollection, Releasement, and Reconstitution

  1. Pingback: Recollection, Releasement, and Reconstitution | kulturCritic

  2. This great post would be just as great if you wrote “release” instead of “releasement”, which doesn’t exist! As one multi-lingual person to another, it’s almost impossible to avoid such mistakes. It shows you have really internalized the Russian language, so bravo!

  3. Malthus says:

    This I will ponder and have for a long time. Is there an answer? Perhaps and perhaps not. There seem to be a lot of folks that are just willing to go with the status of the currant situation no matter how bad and ridiculous. Somewhere in this mix is evolution that has split humanity into to many different factions and no matter how much logic one uses they hear not and look forward to the next big electronic technological do da and happily ride their way to the cliff. Yes we have evolved and not many in the same direction with the same purpose. That of being human and as many humans there are there are as many purposes. Very weird and strange and I have not seen anyone pick up that ball and run with it.

  4. the Heretick says:

    The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, … their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan Tanka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.

    This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.

    The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

    Black Elk, Oglala

    • Disaffected says:

      I think the great Indian spirits are having their last laugh about now. And I think they realized it would turn out this way from the very start, even as we were slaughtering them and enslaving the rest so that we could bring our white man’s “progress” to their land, which had no need for it ever.

      • kulturcritic says:

        DA, I always enjoys your comments.  There is no one more cynical than me.  It’s interesting to watch the show in the center ring as they all fight for a place in the fading pages of history.  I can tell you this, when the next clown gets elected here, they will try to bomb or attach Russia, and that will be the kickoff of armagedon.

        • Disaffected says:

          I believe that too. The Ukraine misadventure was just an exploratory probe to see where Putin was vulnerable, but I think it allowed the US to gear up for a full blown election year “shock doctrine” event which will help shape the next Presidential election and its aftermath. My money’s on Hillary at this point. She seems to have been anointed already as a trusted hierarchy circle member who has already been extensively vetted.

          It’s hilarious that so many Americans are taking the Republican clown circus seriously. Those people are just a comedic side show at this point. The PTB prize predictability and even temperament over all else at this point, as they know that the one making the speeches ain’t the one making the decisions anyway, and all the strategic decisions that really matter (and why they’re made) have been locked in for decades.

          • Disaffected says:

            And to the Armageddon comment, yes indeed, it does indeed appear once again that recent events portend and “end of days” of sorts, at least for the oil economy, and with it, very likely American hegemony in the world. It’s sad that we’ve let it (demanded that!) come to this, for at some level I think we’re still basically good people who’ve been sold a bill of goods by the global illuminati; but that said, you still “get what you pay for,” so to speak, so we don’t don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves in the final analysis.

            Yes, democracy’s messy and fraught with dangers from every quarter under the best of circumstances, never mind once you invite the capitalist vipers in the door, but it’s still our responsibility to restrain our hedonistic impulses and think of the larger good, which we Americans have steadfastly refused to do at every turn. At some point you have to sit back and recognize that the old adage is true in the long run: “we get the government, the world, and the reality we deserve,” which is a simply a moralistic way to say to say that “our decisions have consequences.”

            All of which is funny in the extreme, as we’re SO quick to take credit for the many “wonders” modern human technology has wrought; and yet, when faced with its equally many obvious limitations, we’re SO quick to look elsewhere for blame.

  5. the Heretick says:

    They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.

    Sitting Bull

  6. Disaffected says:

    1) we are fully accustomed to life in this world made-by-machine; 2) resources to keep up this show are quickly evaporating; 3) those in charge of the show will do whatever is necessary to keep it going.

    Beautiful post which fully encapsulates our current dilemma. I would only add, it’s not just those in charge who are willing to do whatever’s necessary to continue “living the dream,” but most of their followers as well, who know their days are numbered once their privileges are revoked. The western fall from decadence will be unimaginably hard, since rather than turning to one another for support on the way down, the capitalist ethos will thrash about more violently than ever among its adherents and assorted hangers on. Even the poor here in the US have been mentally conditioned to accept their fates and to turn on one another, so I’m not anticipating any sort of compassionate “socialist revolution” here anytime soon. All of which will be completely fitting for what is clearly the most debased, militaristic, and self-glorifyingly psychotic culture mankind has ever spawned. In the end, if anyone ever bothers to elegize us, we’ll be remembered as little more than the society who squandered the greatest gift mankind ever had – several millions of years of stored sunlight – frivolously and destructively over the course of only two centuries and foolishly imagined themselves as Gods – Lords over all creation – in the process. To which Mother Earth simply yawned and replied, “You dumbasses won’t be missed.”

  7. Disaffected says:

    Sandy,
    That’s a great picture up top by the way. Sorry for being so negative all the time, but life here in the belly of the beast really weighs on me most days. It’s hard to stay positive with the prognosis for everything expected to be “worse with increasing worseness” from here on out. I think even the semi-rich are starting to realize that now, as they may still have more than everyone else, but they’re fighting like hell to hold onto it just like everyone else.
    DA

  8. Disaffected says:

    Key Kritics, thought I’d share a link and some wisdom from another blog I found, thanks to a link over at Gail Tverberg’s Our Finite World blog.

    From Megacancer ~ Exploring the pathology of industrial civilization, blogger james writes in his Sep 3 post, Catch a Cancer by the Toe [CAS (Complex Adaptive System) I is the natural biologic system of which we are a part, CAS II is the man-made 2nd order technological system we have created]:

    Not a Cooperative Organization Man

    One of the unfortunate side-effects of the existence of two simultaneous information systems is that complex adaptive system II (technological) is always trying by law and coercion to change the natural human behavior produced in complex adaptive system I – DNA. It tries to change behavior in humans to produce maximum growth and complexity, neither which could exist if the behaviors specified by CAS I were allowed free play. Sigmund Freud explored this confrontation between man and society in “Civilization and Its Discontents.”, So men are told by CAS II what to do and how to do it to accomplish order and growth. If uncooperative, you are marginalized or punished and sent to jail or “rehabilitated”. Unfortunately the new civilizational structure and morality/ legal system that creates a framework for order in densely packed human populations is in essence an organizational prison built around the previously relatively free-wheeling human that was specified by CAS I.And now that malignant civilization has nearly consumed, appropriated and destroyed much of the natural environment, there is no easy return to a state of existence dominated by the evolutionary forces of the ecosystem. To go forward, technologically, seems to beckon even more control of human behavior and surveillance which will not alter the course of eventual catastrophic economic and ecosystem collapse. We’re running as fast as we can into an evolutionary dead-end and we’re burning our bridges as we go.

    If anyone tells you that humans are the most intelligent species on the planet, please ask them what they mean. I’m sure they’ll boastfully remind you of our technology and landing on the moon, and you remind them that the only really intelligent agent on the planet is molecular RNA by using information and building tools successfully for billions of years without destroying their environment. Humans seem repulsed by their biological natures and the fact of death, wanting to distance themselves from life and striving to become technologically immortal. But technology is mortal too, and hasn’t found a way to interact benignly with the environment, recycle materials or reproduce itself. Civilization in its current form is a cancer run amok with a terminal prognosis.

    • the Heretick says:

      “Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,
      Like drops within the Social River,
      Oh, make us now together run
      As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.”

      “Come, Greater Being, Social Friend,
      Annihilating Twelve-in-One!
      We long to die, for when we end,
      Our larger life has but begun.”

      “Feel how the Greater Being comes!
      Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die!
      Melt in the music of the drums!
      For I am you and you are I.”

  9. leavergirl says:

    Say. Started following the Great Unraveling of Europe. Not only are the stories in the news fishy, but this is (mostly) not about Syria at all… the hordes of young, well off men invading Europe. Oh, sure, the Syrians are fleeing, but those mostly in need can’t afford the many thousands of dollars to pay to people smugglers and Gypsies ferrying people from place to place. The Syrian component in the news seems to be about beating the drums of war against Assad. The young men are from all over… Africa, near east, middle east. Have their families sent them forth because life in failed or nearly failed states has become suddenly unbearable? Or is this all darkly orchestrated? I am reminded of a test run, several years ago, when mysteriously, thousands of children from central America were coming over the U.S. border by the bus load. Then imposed on various communities across the U.S. to care for them.

    In any case, I am turning to you, my sharp comrades, to tell me. Cui bono? Who profits by the destruction of Europe? Putin, in revenge for the economic war and the war of lies waged against Russia? China? I don’t see a motive — they want to sell their shit to them. The U.S.? But wouldn’t the U.S. be destroying its closest allies? Or is the orchestrator a group behind the scenes altogether, taking down western civlization in ways Derrick Jensen can only dream about and never approximate? In which case, it can’t be the financiers, they want to keep the show going. Who, then?

    • kulturcritic says:

      Vera… my dear friend, you must get out of that commune you are living in sometimes.  USA and its Western Oligarchs are the beneficiaries, or so they would hope.  It was their plan all along to destroy the Middle East and then go after Russia so as to fulfill Zbig’s dream of global hegemony, the sick Polish psychopath who wants to dance on the Kremlin’s grave.  This is all USA orchestrated apocalyptic mayhem to consolidate resources for the remaining century.  But let me think some more on your query… maybe I will add later.  Best, Sandy

      • leavergirl says:

        I am out, thank goodness! 🙂 And I appreciate your thoughts. What does not add up is burying Europe. Apart from Oz, they have no other allies…. and south America’s had enough too. Will similar mayhem come up the Mexican border? The steady trickle could turn into a mighty river.

        • Disaffected says:

          2016 already looks to be a referendum year on immigration – legal or otherwise – into the great US. I’m just wondering how long it will take for the trickle to turn into a torrent – going the other direction. Once government services get turned off, the US is going to turn into “the greatest show on earth” in earnest.

          And yes, I agree with Sandy. As the resources run out and the world economy collapses, friends will turn on friends and the war of all on all will commence in earnest as well. Now that Europe’s role as USGov.Inc’s eastern subsidiary has largely served its purpose, they too will be offered up on the great funeral pyre that is late-stage capitalism at it’s most malignant best. Not that they’ll be mourned for long however, cause this party’s just getting started, and probably won’t be over until it consumes every last man standing.

          • leavergirl says:

            Why the heck would they cut services here before the cut them in Mexico or Guatemala? Or, for that matter, in Brazil that is in some areas running out of water entirely? Maybe it was Greer who said that the last places going down will be the rich nations. Of course, being overrun by hordes of displaced people would speed up the process.

            Any bets on Europe? Last I heard, nearly a million of displaced people invading in, and some 2 and a half million waiting in the wings in North Africa. Boggles the mind. I think Merkel is toast.

            • Disaffected says:

              I’m not following. Most third world countries have long since cut services of every kind, which the US will do soon enough as well. When the petro-dollar goes down in flames, so will the US, as the illusion of infinite dollar capacity and sovereignty is revealed for the hoax it always was. But it looks like China’s collapse – and all the cheap consumer goods they provide to us, which not only keep us immersed in affordable shit to buy, but the investor classes in easy profits as well – might be the domino that sets the whole thing off.

              But as I wrote over on Tverberg’s blog and Kunstler posted this morning, mass population migrations are the wave of the future until the very end now, as starving homeless and hopeless people will do what they have to do to survive, no matter how dim their prospects. All of which is what makes the US’s and EU’s current “predicaments” so deliciously ironic. Having sown the seeds for an unprecedented human catastrophe with their neo-liberal economic, industrial, and political policies throughout the 20th century, they/we will reap the bitter harvest of those same policies not only for the rest of the 21st, but in all likelihood for the rest of human history.

              But regardless, as bad as this may or may not be for the US and the EU, pity the hard working third-world poor, who were little more than pawns caught up in this deranged global chess match.

              • leavergirl says:

                Where have they cut all services? And what are your sources? Anywhere in south or central America? You’d think we’d all know about it.

                The invasion of Europe is not by the starving hopeless, but rather by well off young men from all over… Africa, near and middle east… children of the middle classes, with nice clothes, plenty of gadgets, and lots of cash to pay people smugglers. (There are some Syrian refugees mixed in too. But not the starving ones either, those are starving in the camps near Syria.) No starving peasants, them. Could you afford to pay 20K to get into Europe, and keep going?

                • Disaffected says:

                  Start with Brazil and Venezuela and go from there. Most of the countries in Central America including Mexico have pretty much been failed states for the last half of the 20th century, so it’s hard to say they’ve “cut” anything, since they never really had it in the first place. Don’t know anything more about the refugees flooding into the EU other than what I hear on the news, but it’s hard to imagine a bunch of “idle rich” moving anywhere, as being idle and rich is pretty much solely a first world phenomenon. But I can easily imagine immigrants being classified as such to counter any nascent sympathy the home populations might have toward they’re plight. That’s not usually a problem here in the US, as we’re preconditioned to hate just about everyone who isn’t us. Such is the effectiveness of US propaganda over the masses. Here’s an excerpt of an email my cousin just forwarded me to give you a flavor:

                  A Real Eye Opener: WHY is the USA going BANKRUPT?

                  Read this

                  We have been hammered with the propaganda that it was the Iraq war and
                  the war on terror that is bankrupting us.

                  I hope the following 11 reasons are forwarded over and over again until they are read so many times that the readers gets sick of reading them. I also have included the URL’s for verification of all the following facts.

                  1 . $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal immigrants each year by state governments.
                  Verify at:
                  http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters7fd8

        • kulturcritic says:

          Up from Mehiko… we can only hope.

    • Disaffected says:

      Not surprising that the “relatively” well off would be the first to flee either. Chances are, we’re getting the same up from Mexico, given that the truly desperate are likely unable to afford the cost of a coyote to get them across, many of whom have probably turned to crime where they’re at to stay alive. In the third world, just as in the first, it doesn’t pay to play by the rules these days, when the true gangsters are the ones making the laws (in their favor, of course) in the first place.

      • leavergirl says:

        Yeah, many third world cities have had massive service problems for years. But the countryside, where people still rely on subsistence, they’ll be ok. Maybe they’ll lose govt schools and will have to make their own. Clinics, too.

        So the interesting story is how fast the rest of the world begins to fall apart. Especially since, unlike third world, our numbers of subsistence farmers are small. The Amish will do well. Anyone else? A handful off grid places, maybe…

        Still, though… who profits by the islamization of Germany? Until now, Germany has been doing well even amidst the slump. It has also been heavily implicated in banksterism that has ripped apart Greece and Spain. I guess there are various interests who would like to bring them down a peg….

        • kulturcritic says:

          Uncle Sam calls all the shots, for Germany as for the other vassals. And the USA is stupid, but belligerent. And they will act foolishly for the hope of short term gain, or strategic advantage if they think it can be had. Although they also want to keep everyone in Europe down, as they do elsewhere. So US may have much to gain by the Islamicization of Europe.

        • Disaffected says:

          The big boys and girls running the US also jealously guard what they view as their own, even though they need not be strictly nationalistic, as the capitalist oligarchy at it’s highest form exists far above the petty concerns of nation states. But there’s still considerable legacy ties to their home countries, and the US has been far and away the greatest abettor of global capitalism; so at the first hint of the US going down, expect US interests to poison the ground everywhere else so that no one else gets a leg up on them. But regardless, chaos anywhere in the world today benefits US MIC interests, and thus is by definition “good for business.” Our old friend FEAR is the one thing in the world today in abundant supply.

          • leavergirl says:

            So I think I got it figured out. It’s closer to home, regardless of the mischief other powers may be making (and I don’t doubt they are making). An obscure tweet from an obscure German bureaucrat started the stampede. He let everyone watching know that the borders of Germany are open to all and sundry. It is likely that the decision came from the highest levels. Why? Because EU was on the brink of unraveling — several nations were contemplating closing their borders in direct defiance of Brussels. This could not be allowed, particularly since the defiance against Brussels is growing all over Europe, and most in the countries directly hit by the waves of migrants and refugees, which also happen to be countries hard hit by EU’s economic colonialism.

            So, another flavor of divide and conquer. If you have an recalcitrant group threatening to break away from your power, flood it with newcomers and give them largesse that will skew their loyalties your way. So look forward to fast-track citizenships for all these newcomers which will be spread over all the EU countries, creating havoc as they go. Let the plebs fight among themselves, and Brussels is safe.

            What do you think?

          • leavergirl says:

            American has been doing the same for a long time as well. “encouraging illegal immigration to the United States in order to drive down wages for the working classes and maintain a facade of prosperity for the privileged”

            Except in Europe, EU could blow… very little is needed at this point.

            • Disaffected says:

              Anything that furthers the US’ and or the dollar’s continued hegemony is a good thing for global interests. At this point, even EU heads of state likely owe far more allegiance to DC and London than they do their home countries. Their can be only one true master.

              • leavergirl says:

                Just heard that many of the refugees are really people who were in refugee camps in Turkey, apparently for years. And suddenly they were launched against Europe. Yeah… the weirdness thickens.

                Merkel’s droopy face suddenly seems to remind me of old Maggie Thatcher… ugh.

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