The Heat Is On!

Students from Arapahoe High School evacuate their building in Centennial“…cram a bunch of rats in a cage, they’re gonna fight.” Heretick

Dateline: Arapahoe High School, Colorado, December 2013

The forces of command and control that underpin and reinforce the corporate state are more evident daily across the globe and across the nation.  Eric Snowden’s  retreat to the protective umbrella of Moscow, Julian Assange’s forced confinement in Ecuador’s London Embassy, trumped-up charges of bio-terror in Oklahoma, and now these pathetic-looking students from Arapahoe High School evacuating their building after a non-fatal shooting on campus with only the suspect shooter dead by his own hand.  Hands raised high like suspected perps guarded closely by up-armored and well-armed militarized riot police. Well, certainly we understand the need for control, because the citizenry has gone beserk, buckling under the mounting constraints of a system designed to make them stand and deliver or die trying.  What happens in a pressure cooker?

As the earth heats up through Anthropogenically-induced climate change, as habitats become less habitable and hospitable, as the oceans continue to acidify and ecological crises mount, as the air becomes thinner and harder to breathe for lack of oxygen, and clean drinking water more expensive to purchase, so too the human inhabitants will begin to chafe, buckle and resist the systems and controls designed to enforce a legalistic-syllogistic ordering so precariously placed onto a deconstructed organic world long ago re-ordered according to the needs of hierarchy.

We are living the apocalyptic moment, my friends.  But it has crept up on us slowly and stealthily, covertly and without much fanfare.  It has surrounded us, engulfed us, and is swallowing us within itself.  It is Leviathan. And the ‘war of all against all’ is now in full battle mode and charging forward.

Armed law enforcement officers gather outside Arapahoe High School, after a student opened fire in the school in Centennial, Colorado

Armed law enforcement gathers outside Arapahoe High in CO, 2013

The guys with the most advanced weaponry and the coolest armor will do whatever it takes, whatever is necessary, to win, to keep the chattel under control as the pressure cooker heats up.  That is the way of progress, advancement, of competition, of domination, the capitalist way; the way of this world we have willingly or not created with one another.

Is it possible that this garment of civilization fits just a ‘scoch’ too tight?  Perhaps the pilgrim’s progress has just led him down the wrong road; a road to perdition.  And it seems as though there is no turning back now.  Perhaps we can incentivize a slowdown, but a downright about face is inconceivable at this juncture…. the show must go on! and on, and on!

It is strange, nay! sick, how we have been told that children should not watch violent movies because it just makes them violent… teaching them to accept it as a condition of ‘life.’  Yet we spread violence systematically around the world, recruiting our very youth to dish it out; and further, we provide them with video games of destruction and death-dealing in preparation for the same video-stick controlled death-dealing they deliver on our behalf from their hidden military and CIA consoles via drone and missile deployment.

The more we compete for scarce resources within a finite environment in a zero-sum game of winner take all, the more brutal we become individually and collectively as a people.  Just look around you folks, the signs are written even on the subway walls and tenement halls.  Progress, expansion, acquisitiveness, accumulation, the society of the Spectacle, these are the conditions underlying and aggravating our entrance into this brave new world of perpetual violence.  We have not only left the garden; we’ve torched the whole damn thing and adamantly believe it was our god-given right, our destiny, to do so.  And so we limp along with an absurd Darwinian faith that the strongest among us will somehow survive while the Others, the weak ones will perish.  But, so much for such evolutionary thinking. The survival of the fittest, my ass!  It is not the fittest that survive, but the sickest, those who cunningly hijacked the planet, claimed divine right and manifest destiny over the beasts of field and sea.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!
There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
be careful as you pass.
Move along! Move along!
 
Come inside, the show’s about to start
guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth
The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth.
You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo.
You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll ….
 
Right before your eyes we pull laughter from the skies
And he laughs until he cries then he dies then he dies
 

It’s only the beginning, my friends!  Only the beginning!

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97 Responses to The Heat Is On!

  1. DrCiber says:

    “…cram a bunch of rats in a cage, they’re gonna fight.” Heretick

    Yeah, just like they already are in Syria among others, leaving large parts of the country looking like Berlin in April ’45 and they are nowhere near done yet. “Coming soon to a theatre (of operations) near you.” Can anybody think the sort of cleansing by fire that is going on over there won’t finally be repeated in every corner of the globe, because clearly, cooler heads will not prevail. And as you say, indeed it is only the beginning and things are gonna get a LOT worse before they get worse.

    • Disaffected says:

      Good points all. The lessons of globalization are that the third world is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rest of the world. Global corporate capitalization rapes, loots, and plunders it’s victims from the bottom up. Take the third world first for its natural resources and cheap labor, so they can be converted to capital goods to sell to the developed world, where financialization can be used to enslave those populations as well. Then, after the resources run out and the debt bubbles all pop, shrink the parasitic governments and with them their money supplies, driving the affected populations into abject poverty and desperation, reducing their numbers drastically along the way. Then ramp up the war machines to continue the process and further enslave the remaining populations, killing whole populations liberally along the way now. Rinse and repeat until the populations reach some kind of long-term sustainability – my guess would be .5-1B or so – about 1/15th to 1/7th of what it is now, such that they can be easily subjugated for the benefit of the few remaining plutocrats. That’s the plan. Will it all play out accordingly? Gonna be an interesting century to come.

  2. I do believe Darwin said the fittest survive, not the strongest. In fact strength can be counter evolutionary, since the strongest will resist change until it is too late. I feel we are seeing that now, as the “strongest”, as measured by the Curriculum of the West, resist the changes flooding the planet, and everything on it.

  3. the Heretick says:

    i don’t know if it’s due to early conditioning, what i was taught, or due to some innate instinctual tendency, but seeing this stuff going on just fills me with sadness.
    hard to go thru the stages of grief when it just keeps coming every day.

    i understand why some people just disconnect.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Heretick, after 6000 years of multi-generational conditioning… it truly does wear like human nature, especially when all of the propaganda is organized to convince you of that and therefore of the additional NEED for State (Leviathan-like) control.

  4. Jack W says:

    Our “madness” as humans goes back (I contend) to about 30,000 to 40,000 years ago when we humans became ‘neurotic’ This is a very serious disease defined as “The Pathology of Feelings”. We can ignore this definition OR (if we are smart enough … which I doubt) accept it and then ponder the implications.

    I have said many times on this site that the most stupid invention that we humans EVER created was MONEY … and all the off-shoots of that which are ‘Laws and Government. MONEY is a means of control by the have’s over the have-not’s.

    However, few if any, wish to take my words seriously but WTF. The eventuality is that we’ll blow the planet up, I contend, before the end of this century.

    The abolition of money would resolve 95% of all our human problems (if we neurotic humans were able to climb out of the box … we find ourselves in, but which for the most part we are not able to. Go figure … if we/you can, without dismissing my notion, OR, giving it ANY thought … so-be-it All else is just fiddling with the system BUT fixing nothing … in the long term.

    I am not as crazy as I am cabbage looking … but that is me, designating me.

    Jack Waddington

    • Disaffected says:

      I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one jack, as money and power are pretty much synonymous in the modern world. As for blowing up the planet or similar, I think you might be on to something there. Even money on by the end of century I’d say.

      • kulturcritic says:

        I don’t think you are off base Jack… but I think money is only a symptom and not the root cause. It was a BIG TOOL of the hierarchy.

      • Colin says:

        Issue is what kind of money more than anything. Debt based plus interest? Well, that’s where things went woefully wrong…..

        • Disaffected says:

          Unfortunately, debt based money is what we have, and it ain’t going away anytime soon. The masses have all been brainwashed into thinking it’s the only possibility out there.

          • Disaffected says:

            Further, if debt based money were to be abolished instantly, credit creation would shrink dramatically as well, meaning population growth levels would necessarily have to fall into line immediately as well. Fair to say, it would likely be a rocky transition period, although likely much less rocky than what we’re facing soon anyway when the current system self destructs from its own internal contradictions. Either way, the underlying population and resource depletion bomb the whole thing enabled/necessitated is going to bite us all HARD in the end! What’s that old advertising slogan? It’s not nice to fool with mother nature! Or, Silly humans! Tricks are for kids!

          • Colin says:

            All we have or all we know or have been taught by our masters? DA – let’s not forget the fact that millions of people inhabited this planet long before either of us without any interest bearing debt based money. All they needed was something that was rare, not easily counterfeited and fungible/transportable which usually meant gold or silver but could just as easily have been tally sticks or rare shells.

            • Disaffected says:

              No, but all we have become since the beginning of the industrial revolution has been enabled/demanded by exponential growth economics, all on the back of cheap fossil fuel based energy. Money could be fixed – but it won’t be. The fossil fuels unfortunately will “fix” themselves.

    • Colin says:

      At the risk of pointing out the obvious I would suggest that you define what “MONEY” is before we have a big debate about it. If you are referring to US $ then I agree with you 100%. If you are referring to fiat currencies I agree with you 99%. If you are referring to anything used as a medium of exchange for goods I agree with you significantly less….

      • Disaffected says:

        A couple great posts on NakCap by Randy Wray, a prominent MMT academic, on Jan 10-11. Lots of very smart commenters adding their two bits afterward too, but the one thing that quickly becomes apparent is that even among academics, money professionals, and just plain well read people posting to what is a very sophisticated financial blog is that virtually no one agrees on the simple subject of what money is and what we need to do about our current situation. Fascinating stuff!

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/01/randy-wray-greatest-myth-propagated-fed-central-bank-independence-part-1.html

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/01/randy-wray-greatest-myth-propagated-fed-central-bank-independence-part-2.html

        • the Heretick says:

          ―”the code is itself but a genetic cell, a generator where myriads of
          intersections produce all the questions and possible solutions, so that choices (by whom?) can be made”

          “Everything began with the object, yet there is no longer a system of
          objects. The critique of the object was based on signs saturated with
          meaning, along with their phantasies and unconsc
          ious logic as well as
          their prestigious differential logic. Behind this dual logic lies the
          anthropological dream: the dream of the object as existing beyond and
          above exchange and use, above and beyond equivalence; the dream of the
          sacrificial logic of gi
          ft, expenditure, potlatch, ̳devil‘s share consumption,
          symbolic exchange . . . All this still exists, and simultaneously it is
          disappearing”

          “So initially, the real object becomes sign: this is the stage of simulation.
          But in a subsequent stage the sign becomes an object again, but not a real
          object: an object much further removed from the real than the sign itself
          and object . . . outside representation: a fetish”

          ―”commodities are no longer defined by their use, but rather by what they signify. And
          what they signify is defined not by what they do, but by their relationship to the entire
          system of commodities and signs”

          ―”We are at the point where consumption is laying hold of the whole of life”

          ―”The system of reference for production, signification, the affect,
          substance and history, all this equivalence to
          ̳real‘ content, loading the sign with the
          burden of ̳utility,‘ with gravity . . . all this is over with”

          “The form that dominates the American West, and doubtless all of
          American culture, is a seismic form: a fractal, interstitial culture, born of a
          rift with the Old World, a tactile, fragile, mobile, superficial culture you
          have to follow its own rules to grasp how it works”

          http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/Koch_Andrew_2006_Simulation_and_symbolic.pdf

        • the Heretick says:

          “The consumption of symbolic value has several features that assist it in
          maintaining the capitalist order. First, the goods consumed can be inexpensive and made
          widely available to the public. Second, the commodity need not have a particularly strong
          use value. This means that the object operates on the level of desire or seduction. One
          desires or is seduced by the object as possession, not the object as utility. As a result,
          symbolic commodities do not interfere with the circulation of use value. In fact, they
          circumvent the utility of use value as a force in maintaining political and ec
          onomic
          control over the population (A fact well recognized by both Marx and Baudrillard).
          There is another aspect of sign value that distinguishes it from use value. As a
          fetish is a commodity whose primary value is symbolic, it requires the construction
          of desire. The fetish must be ―sold‖ to the consumer in a way that bread and clothing need not. It requires a cultural industry that is both linked to the material desires of the
          working class, and to the capitalist system of production, distribution, and
          consumption”

          from Andrew Kochs essay

          we have substituted our belief in nature with a belief in the system, the state, modern mass consumption, these have indeed become our gods.

          • Disaffected says:

            we have substituted our belief in nature with a belief in the system, the state, modern mass consumption, these have indeed become our gods.

            Or what many refer to as the hologram. Good stuff! And this kind of thinking came out of OK, USA! Who’d a thunk it? HT rides again!

            • Disaffected says:

              Speaking of the hologram, it’s divisional round weekend for the NFL. Millions of die hard knuckle heads (OK, mea culpa!) no doubt glued to their screens today and tomorrow. Funny to watch the get ups even at the local grocery store. Now I hardly live in what I would term a “football lovers haven” or anything like that, but the team jerseys are pretty much standard fare now among employees and shoppers alike, and I’ve noticed a definite uptick in color coordinated team outfits (tops and bottoms) this year as well. The Broncos are popular around here, so they’re definitely colorful at that.

              Meanwhile outside (in the southern reaches of the Rockies here in north central NM at 7200′), we have sunny daytime highs in the high 40s-low 50s as far as the forecast can see. Had one significant early Dec (late Nov?) snow and then nothing after that. One suspects that this is probably not a good indicator for the upcoming spring-early summer fire season. Meanwhile, the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for a Super Bowl snowstorm for NJ seems to be shaping up pretty accurately so far. Could be interesting…

            • the Heretick says:

              you’re too kind, recycled Baudrillard, i do urge you to follow the link and read the essay, the guy deciphers the Professors deliberately opaque prose rather well. me, i’m better talking and discussing, i don’t write worth a flip.

              “America functions, in Baudrillard‘s system, as the archetype expression of simulation and the fetishism of the object. It is a country without history, culture or identity. America is, for Baudrillard, already lost in the ―schizophrenia‖ of the network and the object as fetish. It is a place where representation and value have become impossible. In Baudrillard‘s America there is no longer a referent of value; there is only the fetish. Hence Baudrillard concludes, ―[America] is without hope‖ (Baudrillard 1986, 121). Whether or not one agrees with Baudrillard, it is difficult to see America as anything other than a preview of the world‘s destiny in the age of late capitalism.’

              the reason i like this simulacra stuff is because i had already come to it in my study of art.
              art imitates life, when Van Gogh brought everything to the surface in his paintings it was, oddly enough, i believe, a reaction to the discoveries made in science concerning Brownian motion, germ theory and the like. Van Gogh prefigured Warhol, Andy being the first person to really illustrate (he was basically an illustrator) everyday objects being drained of their reality.

              now we have a surfeit of reality, as a species we have yet to come to terms with the dynamic set in motion by our ability to crack things up into their constituent parts, mainly the burning of fuel, whether in a car or a hydrogen bomb. Malevich’s “Black Circle” is one of the first attempts to deal with the new atomic reality, very prescient, unfortunately he retreated into Suprematism.

              now for the subversive part, the challenge to the prevailing thought. if everything is just matter, drained of meaning, we achieve a false zen. everything is a commodity, what will be will be, to object to the status-quo is the worst thing one can do, a rejection of one’s cellular identity as it were.

              “Today, a political economy based on the production and reproduction of an endless chain of identical products has come to an end. Just as the system of production produced a mass of ―signs,‖ it also produced a human mass and the idea of universal humanity composed of identical creatures. Such a notion reinforced the ideas of equality and democracy, which were presented as preexisting sub-currents of society. Thus a notion of ―human rights‖ emerges as the Enlightenment mantra, (Baudrillard 2000, 21) as personal liberty emerges as the mirror image of wage-slavery. However, amid the celebration of universal humanity a fatal strategy unfolds.
              The rise of the capitalist order brought about a culture in which production for exchange replaced production for self-sufficiency. Mass production was capable of generating abundance far beyond the needs of human beings. Consumer culture arises as the response, a culture in which the symbolic value of good can circulate at a rate that far exceeds the circulation of use value. In that way, capitalism continues to expand.”

              my thinking on all of this is continually evolving, never at rest, as such i am the perfect little drone, networked and viral.

              page 23 of Kochs is very incisive.

          • Disaffected says:

            Sorry to dismiss the primary thrust of your post earlier HT. But when it comes to primary commodities (food, shelter, and energy), it’s “funny” how those have all, with the exception of shelter, been purposely kept cheap as the noose begins to tighten. In the case of shelter, I believe we’re seeing (have seen) the first squeeze of our dying way of life. The rich speculate and live large, the poor pay through the nose and/or go without. Likewise, food prices have also recently fallen prey to speculative predators with the continued implementation of QE number fill in the blank. Buy design of course, and so gradually that hardly anyone noticed. Energy, of course, will certainly be last, as it’s integral to the whole shooting match for both rich and poor alike (as indicated by its direct US military subsidy), but of course its day is coming too. One thing to always keep in mind: its a bottoms up process. Just as in any triage process, the 7B+ will be sacrificed in reverse order of their ability to pay (in one way or another) to not be. Same as it ever was.

            • the Heretick says:

              today, 01/13/14, the news is of a chemical spill, so potent hat 7500 gallons shut down several counties in WV, or the exact quantity is being kept secret?
              an airliner landed at the wrong airport up in KS.
              these happenings raise serious concern, considered to be anomalies, rather than being considered as the inevitable consequences of our lifestyle.
              so out of touch.

  5. Disaffected says:

    Funny, the kid was once again described as more or less “normal” by most who knew him. Also managed to only wound two others, one seriously, before killing himself. Makes me think this might have been just a grandiose murder/suicide gesture that got out of hand or something of that nature. Didn’t really seem to have his heart/head in it if mass carnage was his goal. But I guess kids will think twice before messing with the nerdy debate clubbers after this anyway.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Give me more details DA… I am out of the loop on this stuff here in the netherlands.

      • Disaffected says:

        The kid showed up at school with a shotgun looking for the debate coach, with whom he’d had a serious beef (suspended or off the team?). Even told other kids who he was looking for on the way in. So this was obviously a personal vendetta at its heart. My guess is that it quickly got out of hand from there (surprise, surprise!), a trigger got pulled, people got hurt who maybe weren’t intended to be hurt, the kid is shocked into the horrible realization of what he’s done, and bada-bing, bada-bang, bada-bing, he decides (probably wisely) it’s checkout time. Sounds like a plausible theory from everything I’ve heard so far.

        • Colin says:

          Could be but we will never know. Plausible and likely are not the same thing. Likely is based on what we can know and confirm, plausible is just based on a constructed narrative. I am just pointing out the fact that everything about the story could be misinformation. For the record, I don’t have an alternate theory nor am I promoting one, I just know the kinds of people involved in reporting or speaking to the media routinely lie like there is no tomorrow.

          • Colin says:

            In this kind of situation that is…

          • Disaffected says:

            Agreed. The only point being that this didn’t appear to be some massmurder orgy thing going in. It does seem odd that so many of these incidents seem to pop up in the Denver CO vicinity (“first mover” status with the Columbine?).

  6. Jack W says:

    Disaffected: It was an unutterable stupid invention and caused so many of our problems. Giving excuses to money is why we are NEVER able to ‘get outside the box’ … it entrapped us and stupidly we even … for the most part, believe in it … therein is the stupidity also known as “neurosis”.

    It bothers me that even you give it some accolade … it has none … and until such times as a major critical mas see it that way, we will have people like you giving it some accolade. It’s a major stupidity … period end.

    Jack

    • Disaffected says:

      Jack, I agree with you. I’m just saying that the Powers that Be ain’t NEVER gonna give it up – hell, they’re not even going to allow a token redistribution – so it’s almost pointless to consider it. Pretty much the same argument for guns. Even if we could magically “control” them somehow, ain’t no one that’s already got one going to willingly give them up, so it’s a fool’s errand to even consider the possibility anymore. In the end, I’m first and foremost a realist, and the reality of power is that it ain’t going anywhere it doesn’t want to go, absent a bigger, badder, and more powerful force forcibly demanding it too. That’s also why catastrophic AGW and a massive human die off is baked into the cake now too. Power, conferred and represented by money, simply won’t have it any other way.

    • Disaffected says:

      Jack,

      Here’s the rub with getting rid of money and hierarchical industrial civilization (of which money is just the adopted means of keeping score, get rid of it and it would soon be replaced by something else, which we’re already seeing with digital “money”): money and capitalist industrialism have allowed – actually demanded – the unsustainable population increases we see today to allow them to function fully, and having now expanded those populations to unsustainable levels, we must now face the fact that they are vitally dependent on the very eco-suicidal processes that enabled them in the first place. In other words: damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Not that the collapse won’t be coming either way, but for most of us it’s a little like the last moments on the Titanic after all the lifeboats have been spoken for at this point. Ride the ship down to the last possible moment knowing your fate is sealed either way or go ahead and take the final plunge and get it over with now? That’s the dilemma most of us will have to face in the coming years, and it’s one assured to promote cognitive dissonance in just about all of us. The rich in the lifeboats may or may not survive long enough to perpetuate the species another generation or two, but no matter what, they ain’t giving up their seats on those lifeboats without taking the lifeboat down with them first! On that you can depend!

    • Colin says:

      Jack you are also making the mistake of lumping all money together. If you think giving the Federal Reserve the ability to print 2-3 billion per day at zero percent interest to banks who mark it up as high as 15-20% before lending to us means the problem is with “money” then I have to strongly disagree with you. What modern man does with money compared to what his ancestors did is like comparing martial arts (i.e. self defense) to pre-emptive warfare. When countries are run with sound money and do not get into debasing and manipulating their currency things move along nicely. There are relatively simple laws that can be put in place to ensure that doesn’t happen. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater?

  7. Disaffected says:

    From a link at Nakcap today:

    Moral Aspects of Basic Income

    Opening excerpt:

    MORAL ASPECTS OF BASIC INCOME
    Posted by Tom Streithorst on Dec 18th 2013, 4 Comments
    In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread.
    Genesis 3:19

    The fall of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for the demise of our hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Eden is the recollection of an oppressed peasantry of the more humane world of their happier ancestors. Before we bit the apple, we lived off the fat of the land. Hunter-gatherers lived longer, ate better, and worked less than their agriculturalist descendants. Average adult height, an excellent proxy for childhood nutrition did not return to levels seen in the Palaeolithic until a mere 150 years ago.

    Archaeologists tell us the invention of farming may well have been the greatest calamity to befall our species. Kings and slaves, property and war all were by-products of agriculture. Even today, even when forced onto marginal lands, hunter-gather tribes often prefer to retain their old ways rather than till the soil. “Why work hard when god made so many mongongo nuts?” ask the !Kung of southern Africa.

    The lifestyle of hunter gathers is much more easygoing than that of serfs and peasants. Subsistence agriculturalists worked from sunup to sundown. Hunter-gatherers “worked” a few hours a day. That was enough to feed and clothe and house their families. The rest of the time they could socialize, play games, tell stories. And “work” back then was hunting antelope with your mates or strolling through the savannah looking for nuts and berries. Farmers overwhelmed hunter-gatherers, not because their lives were more pleasant but because farming makes land so much more productive.

    Of course, we cannot go back to those happier days. Farming can feed up to 100 times as many people from the same plot of land and soon farmers outnumbered hunter-gatherers. An expanding population locked humanity into a constant and arduous grind. Until now.

    • Colin says:

      Let’s not overlook the shorter life expectancy issue though. Romantacizing the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is easy to do but let’s face, plenty of those folks simply starved to death. That said I think I would still prefer it in many ways to our modern culture. We are one sorry, spiritually disconnected lot of a species us humans…..

      • Disaffected says:

        And we can’t go back to it now in any case. Other than a few isolated fringe groups at least. It won’t support 7B peeps.

  8. 99 cent nation says:

    “It’s a major stupidity … period end.” I don’t know if there are degrees of stupidity other than there would be degrees of smartness or intelligence. When I look around 99.9999 per cent is stupidity. As you see I have changed my nom de plume from Malthus always meant to remind everyone about the problems caused by huge population numbers. I now bring up the marketing ploy of 99 cents as a point of such amazing stupidity and used as a marketing tool for supposedly fooling people into purchasing something by being fooled by the penny difference. Business, marketing led by the urge for more profit above everything else is a very clear sign of major stupidity.

    • Disaffected says:

      In that vein, an excerpt from a comment by ‘from Mexico’ at NakCap today:

      The Holy Grail of capitalism is putatively the maximization of aggregate utility, of aggregate production. And supposedly the best way to achieve this is by letting man’s greed run wild. According to this creed, a rational distribution of goods and service was also achieved with this greed-is-good doctrine. This was done through the mysterious workings of a magical, mythical speculation of the human mind called “the invisible hand.”

      As John Maynard Keynes said, capitalism is “the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.”

      What experience and history have demonstrated repeated, however, is that the Holy Grail of capitalism is not maximizing aggregate utility. It is, in reality, maximizing greed, profit. That is the holy grail of capitalism.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Disaffected:    But what caused the kid to be so angry (incensed) as to think a bullet would resolve the feeling?

        He wasn’t born feeling all this … it accrued over time.

        If you were to really really think about it … and I know it’s a long shot and requires getting beyond cliched thinking we’d see it is our capitalist system and it’s support mechanism MONEY that holds all this together and results in the madness to think a gun that shoots bullets could resolve some of our feelings … but that is not so … but we humans are unable to unwind 40,000 years of stupidity … or said another way “think outside the box”.

        Dunno if any of my comments are able to get across but WTF … I will forever try.

        Jack

        • Disaffected says:

          Once again Jack, I get what you’re saying. I’m just saying that it will never happen. The guns, the violence, and the madness? We’re just experiencing the natural consequences of the choices we’ve made when we embraced hierarchical structures, of which global industrial capitalism is the highest form yet, and money in all its forms, is the means by which we keep score. Once we made the transition to agriculture and taking all the earth was prepared to give, winning and losing was baked into the equation. And you now what? The winners LOVE to win, losers BE DAMNED! That said, I think we’re fully capable of conceptualizing something better, matter of fact we already have. But the actual implementation, especially considering we’re already far into overshoot? Now thar’s the rub. Just not gonna happen when so many would have to die immediately to make it happen.

        • the Heretick says:

          “what caused the kid to be so angry (incensed) as to think a bullet would resolve the feeling?”
          well, first off it wasn’t a bullet, it was a shotgun, so it was shot, or pellets; but it doesn’t do to be flip about such a serious subject.
          i have given my take on this, it’s cultural conditioning, quite simple really.
          objectification of the “other”, begins with a separation from nature, the thinking animal setting himself apart, it may have been inevitable.
          think about the Gom Jabbar, the test for humanity in the novel Dune on the desert planet Arrakis. it’s scientific fact, humans have the brain power to force themselves to endure pain, a manifestation of will. animals do not have this will, they will recoil from pain, whereas some humans like it. weird, no?
          quantification, the dividing of time, a further separation.
          commodification, seeing the intertwined cosmos as something to be used and abused.
          exploitation, using the world and it’s creatures as consumables.
          death.

          my same old song and dance, i never get specific, destroys the effect, plus, your conclusions may be different than mine, and if they’re the same? better to let you make up your own mind.

          in any case, it’s just a case of inside/out, outside/in, what goes around. we live in a society which considers everything to be plastic, mutable, fungible, every step we take down this path does something to all of us. the zeitgeist, collective unconscious, the spirit of the times. for every action sort of thing.

          treat people as disposable commodities, well, they will see themselves and others as disposable, monkey see/monkey do.

          fascinating really, it all follows the stages of simulation, symbolic exchange and death, all around us. nature is the teacher, we just have to be the humble students.

          really, capitalism is the worst manifestation of this syndrome, but it goes back a long way.
          maybe what i type here is the most sophomoric kind of tripe, or maybe it’s just what the doctor ordered. the thing is, i don’t see many people explaining it this way, especially on teevee or the left/right blogs.

          • Disaffected says:

            Goes back to what Sandy says, the quote I linked to above, what Archdruid’s been harping on lately, and what you said above. Agriculturalism and it’s “dominion over nature” mentality started us down the path we’re on today. That was essentially “the fall” myth related in the Bible and the whole knowledge of good and evil, good being living in harmony with nature (which includes each other) and evil being living in competition with nature and each other and constantly trying to get the upper hand. Both of those modes are essentially, before anything else, the most basic states of mind/consciousness, hence various religions’ admonitions to be “born again” or similar. Now don’t get me wrong, most religions go on to distort those truth’s such that they’re virtually unrecognizable after the fact, so you won’t see me running out to get baptized or anything like that anytime soon, but that was the kernel of truth they all started out with.

    • Colin says:

      I hear “Monster Porn” is a very profitable business right now. “Moan for Bigfoot” was a top seller affording the author her own private pension plan among other things.

      http://www.businessinsider.in/MONSTER-PORN-Amazon-Cracks-Down-On-Americas-Latest-Sex-Fantasy/articleshow/27743211.cms

      I apologize pre-emptively for my crude sense of humor but my country never ceases to amaze me in its ability to underacheive and find the lowest common denominator to achieve financial success….

  9. FIDO says:

    This is an interesting discussion of the debate between the hunter gatherers and farming. I suppose that the native americans had right when they used both to survive. I personally couldnot survive hunter gathering, so the farming model is only option for me.

    • Disaffected says:

      Earth won’t support 7B+ hunter/gatherers anyway, so it’s a moot point for nearly all of us. That’s the suicidal aspect of industrial agriculture. Once you embrace it you can never go back again. Not without sacrificing your population increases anyway.

      • 99 cent nation says:

        even a little sacrifice at this point would go a long way in shaking humans out of their farm fed stupor.

        • Disaffected says:

          On the other hand, we’re headed back in that direction anyway, like it or not, as industrial agriculture is near the end of the line. Then all that species extinction we’ve been imposing for the last century is REALLY going to bite us in the ass.

  10. the Heretick says:

    just a point of elucidation. as the psychological damage is done to humans on the inside, it will manifest on the outside (me being somewhat of an expert on psychological damage).
    the storm trooper tactics of empire will be turned inward as globalism proceeds, as western countries are forced down to the same level as third world countries (using the colloquialism) citizens will be subjected to the same indignities visited upon others. now we will see how it feels to be the others.
    this entire process mirrors the damage done to the individual, but on a massive scale.
    yup, and the more we fall, the more we will resent the others, the immigrant, the blacks, browns, yellows.

    don’t get me wrong, not like i’m going soft or nothin’.

    • Disaffected says:

      Good points all. The poetic justice of it is not lost on me either, although I find myself having more empathy for the immigrants and poor now than I ever did before, especially living in a small enclave of the relatively well to do as I do now. I can personally attest to the fact that the rich are not “better people” in any shape manner or form, and are actually quite pathetic in their preternatural sense of entitlement. I think that’s why I’ve been so depressed lately and am now considering quitting my well-paying job and relocating to someplace more normal.

      • the Heretick says:

        i’m pretty much stuck where i am, just went into debt for a used truck, still got to get the kids thru college.
        now, if you can get out? i’d do it, but that’s just me. but then i’m just a generation away from the plow, i kind of like dirt.
        i wouldn’t think a place in the country with a few chickens and a big garden would be breaking any rules, it’s a far cry from combines and harvesters.

        as for immigration? while the entire other side of the street where i live is Mexicans, and we like them just fine, the adults are nice (albeit a bit insular), the kids are like the neighborhood watch (i get reports when i come home from work everyday), i still oppose any further immigration.

        but then isn’t that how the lower classes have always been? stuck between the demands of survival and the demands of the overlords?
        in the old slave days there was the Toms, in occupied France the collaborators, the informers in the purges, etc. etc.

        i think we all make concessions to tptb.

        • Disaffected says:

          Sounds like a great neighborhood ya got there HT. The fact that my aging mother rails constantly about “those lazy Mexicans” lets me know I’m on to something by surrounding myself with so many of them. Although I live in a bastion of mostly white “knowledge worker” wealth here in northern NM, it is of course surrounded and serviced by mostly decidedly lower middle working class native born and recently immigrated Hispanics (mostly Mexicans of course), who, in my view, are mostly just the salt of the earth. Industrious, hard working, family oriented, and VERY accepting of the white culture which daily imposes itself on and denigrates theirs. My two best friends up here are the maintenance/custodian guys who contract to take care of the upscale white condo-plex I live in – both Mexicans – and both girlfriends I’ve had up here have been Hispanic – one native born and the other a recent Honduran emigre. All of the white women I meet up here these days seem to be caught up in the pursuit of the proverbial next “bigger and better deal,” which would seem to only stand to reason, given that most have been brought up their whole lives to expect nothing less.

          But I digress. At the risk of sounding like an embittered loser of an old man, I really don’t resent the so-called “success” of the upper, mostly white, American middle class these days. I’ve had my chance to be one of them, nominally at least, and have rejected that horror show with no qualms whatsoever. Their day is coming (for many, it has already arrived) soon enough, and in any case, their “move up” to relative material luxury is guaranteed to be every bit the disappointment that recent American cinematic efforts such as this have portrayed it to be:

  11. javacat says:

    Indulge me this favorite on society…Berger in ‘Ways of Seeing.’ “Publicity becomes a kind of philosophy.” Art, consumerism, society, and more.
    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/28/ways-of-seeing-john-berger/

    • the Heretick says:

      the objectification of women described in that link describes an unequal power arrangement, it is very insightful. what i would add is that this subject/object relationship may be most readily apparent between sexes, but also exists in myriad other forms, employer/employee, black/white, first world/third world, wherever such power relationships exist. not to take anything away from the point, but rather to reinforce it.

      • Disaffected says:

        Well, I would only add that power relationships are a two way street that develop over long periods of time, so that upsetting something as basic as the sexual relationship of the species in a single generation or two so that mostly western women can feel more “empowered” like men and men can feel more “soft and nurturing” like women is literally playing with fire. My personal opinion is that it’s done little more than left both sides feeling confused at best, alienated and pissed-off at worst, especially when it’s applied to corporate culture, which is inherently dysfunctional anyway. If “inappropriate” sexual working relationships are any measure of things at the place I work (and among some of the highest placed corporate officers at that!), the old status quo is alive and well regardless of how much lip service they give it officially. But for a guy especially, it’s literally a minefield out there now. Mind your Ps & Qs and keep to yourself and get labeled gay. Step out and try to socialize and cross one old school woman who resents your advances in any way (age, religion, ethnicity, social circles, there’s a million of ’em now) and watch your career go into a death spiral in a New York minute. On the up side, it makes getting old and erased from the equation just that much better. So there’s that at least.

        • Disaffected says:

          Just to add a few more points and they’ll I’ll get off the subject. Open sexual relationships in a corporate setting (ones that aren’t purposely carried out secretly) are almost always public power relationships at heart and signal a dialing up of the usual power games for the participants involved. When played often and well, they are even an overt signal by the participants to demonstrate their capability to navigate complex social power relationships, the exact kind that corporate people navigate everyday, sexual or otherwise. Those who succeed in such relationships are inherently risk takers and often rise to the very top very quickly, albeit often to be undone in a moment of indiscretion at the peak of their power later. Those who don’t are relegated to the rubbish heap early on in their careers are often exceedingly bitter and jaded thereafter. Not surprisingly, in my opinion at least, the youngsters these days who have been brought up in this environment from day one play the game quite a bit better than their elder counterparts, and are really a fascinating study in action. Their additional extensive use of social media makes them all but incomprehensible to those of us on the far side of the generational divide. Most days I feel like I inhabit an alternate universe in my dealings with them. Complete alienation!

  12. Jack W says:

    Disaffected: Agreed

    Jack

    • Disaffected says:

      Hey Jack. I was thinking about your comments on money earlier, and I think the word you might be looking for is financialization, or lending money at interest, thereby to make one’s living simply from having money. Most of the major religions have weighed in against that as well, and I would agree that it is indeed the root of all evil. Take away financialization and the US is at best a third rate former empire. Based on our physical resources and capabilities alone the sun has long since set on the silly notion that we’re the greatest empire the world has ever seen. And of course the financialization schemes themselves are all just so much more Bernie Madoff inspired ponzi-schemes waiting to fold like a house of cards. All those casinos, state lotteries, and riverboat gambling schemes we see popping up all over the US these days are nothing more than the middle-class confirmation that we now live in an economy based on nothing more substantial than organized gambling – numbers rackets! All of which is guaranteed to end very badly indeed!

  13. Jack W says:

    Disaffected: No! I am NOT looking for another word. I have had these notions that I still posses from my early 20’s when i went to a few lectures in a house on Regents Crescent in London’s West End in the late 50’s. The first of these was ‘The Fallacy of the notion of Democracy” and finally led my thinking towards so many of those notions that so called civilized man has entrapped himself into for millennium.

    It takes a conceptual leap of thought to grasp most of this and I have attempted for many years, to communicate my ideas/notions for several decades. The problem to breaking through to another’s concepts is very difficult as most of us from our early childhood ‘bought’ into the system … and had little choice. The alternative was to become an outsider … estranged … whereby you would never get anywhere, firstly in the family unit and secondly in the education system and therein on being able to live a relatively comfortable life thereafter in our capitalist system.

    Why I was gullible to these ideas was that I had known form my very early youth (puberty) that I was different (though I had to keep it a secret). I was a gay man and unlike my brother, I wasn’t trying to get into the knickers of the opposite sex. Knowing this difference I was compelled, by my circumstances, to re-think many things that I had been taught by my parents and teachers. Since I was a reasonably adept thinker, I pondered many notions that went contrary to the ‘norm’ and by shear luck met some very brilliant gay men in my later youth … some of whom became my mentors. I was lucky … my preconceived notions got blown right ‘out of the water’ … I needed all the brain power I could muster to survive in this alien world that had already made my sexual orientation a crime. However I did meet a gay lawyer who literally taught me how to deal with the police, for which I encountered on several occasions.

    Slowly as time progressed and several arrests I was able to be more and more open about my sexual orientation and now I can live relatively comfortable with it and have had a lover now for 33 years. All this meant I had to re-think EVERYTHING. I just knew I had to maneuver through life, thinking about many things as best I could, to understanding why others hated me … and many did

    I read many books by what I considered ‘original’ thinkers and over time adapted most of it to my own life. All this culminated in me knowing that we humans were not the smartest creatures on the planet and that we had “boxed ourselves in” to other peoples preconceived notion and cliches. I now know (for and of myself), that we do not need ANY means of exchange … barter or the more convenient invention of money … a system of “this for that”. We are born totally taking (except for messy diapers) and we die totally giving … we can take none of it with us. Meantime we could … if were were not so afraid … many times give …and sometime take.

    All other creature know this instinctively … except we humans that will contrive ANY notion that will give us a chance to be in denial … and think DIFFERENTLY.

    So! Disaffected this is not something that is flying our of my scull from recent thinking. I spent 25 years writing a book to try and communicate my ideas/notions and since have written another shorter one feeling that I have to be relatively brief … otherwise I’ll lose my readers. Perhaps I have far from succeeded … but I will go on trying to my dying day … a compulsion I do confess.

    Hope this lets you see into my mind a little better.

    Jack

    • Disaffected says:

      Well, that certainly clears things up. I’m still not sure I understand everything you’re getting at, but there’s no doubt whatsoever what it is> you’re getting at. Always been sort of a black sheep myself, albeit not a very courageous one, always trying to round off my rough edges to fit in with society rather than just go with the flow, so I can relate to that. But you’re right of course. We come into this world not understanding or needing money in any way, and if we live long enough, likely as not someone else will end up handling it for us on our behalf before we go out. It’s only once we’ve become “socialized to the system” that we think it’s necessary (and of course it actually is, if only because we all withhold the necessities of life from one another for lack of it). Anyway, good luck with that Jack and hope to continue to hear more of your thoughts on the subject in the future.

  14. Disaffected says:

    For no reason whatsoever:

    • Disaffected says:

      Likewise, I somehow found this one affecting. I MUST be getting old.

      • kulturcritic says:

        Of course they want us to love revolutionary road… so that we feel empowered while we continue to be sucked voluntarily into the whirlwind.

        • Disaffected says:

          Love that movie. And ‘Revolutionary Road’ is such an apt title. Granted, I always vowed not to live that life (married, living in the burbs, raising the 2.5 kids to grow up and likewise pursue the “American Dream”), but low and behold, I got old little by little and without paying attention at all fell into my own single, self-absorbed version of the same. That’s the beauty of the modern capitalist hypermedia hologram: it gets you either way. And then you wake up at 60 and wished you’d just shot yourself in the head at 40 and spared yourself and the world all the needless suspense and expense.

  15. Jack W says:

    Disaffected: Not me!! … I love life, but then I made my choice real early knowing I didn’t want to go the route my parents did … nor my siblings. Dunno if I made it any better, but at 81 I still feel good … for the most part … though there are some things dropping off … which I hate … but otherwise doing ok … have a partner … and that makes a difference.

    Meantime I do see humanity in a blind alley and wonder if it (humanity) can pull itself up with it’s boots straps … whatever that may signify. Meantime WTF.

    Jack

  16. Disaffected says:

    KC Bitches:

    DEAL with it!

    DA

    • Disaffected says:

      A perhaps better version:

      • Disaffected says:

        Oops… Let’s try this…

      • jackwaddington says:

        Disaffected: It may sound arrogant and even conceited on my part … BUT I do not suffer from either anxiety or depression ………. I cry instead … at least once a week.

        That may sound like a simplistic answer, and really needs somewhat of a longer explanation. If you are genuinely curious I have written two books … both related somewhat. It stems from what I consider to be the greatest discovery MANKIND ever made (not by me, incidentally).

        However to get the full gist of where I am at, and what I consider my “thing” you will need to read my books which I will offer to anyone on this blog (for free) willing to give me their email, and asking for my books as e-copies. My email address is:- jackwaddington@yahoo.com

        My take is there are far far too many studies being carried out by professors at major education institutions, dealing with a subject that has already DONE the work and proffered a THEORY behind it and demonstrated how to demystify both depression and anxiety. Alas the professionals in the psychiatric and psychological fields have dismissed these findings because (as I see it) it deprives them of being the innovators and real scientist. There!!!! I have said it … sadly, I fear my words will be dismissed ranging from “crank” to the “uneducated”. I have no desire to demonstrate (let alone prove) that I am different. I will and can accept those classification of me.

        Those … genuinely interested may contact me by email and request copies of my books. The first 128 pages 6″ x 9″ and the second 68 pages the same size. I am deliberately not mentioning the titles, as I am in no way attempting to promote either book.

        Jack

        • Disaffected says:

          Jack,

          Thanks. I mostly no longer read books, nor barely blogs. As you might have noticed, I mostly just comment on them (blogs) these days, and mostly badly at that.

          DA

  17. Disaffected says:

    Rod Stewart before he was Rod Stewart:

    TELL ME them weren’t some HOT dudes in their prime!

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