The Soul of the Subject: A View of Russia’s Rush to Modernity

Dostoevsky

“The Russian Soul is a dark place.” Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

“To be modern is to have two qualities: reason and will.” So says Aleksandr Dugin, contemporary Russian philosopher and sociologist at Moscow State University, speaking about Post-modernity in Western Society. In the same presentation, entitled “Pure Satanism,” he continues:

These two things are missing in principle from modern Russian society. We [Russians] are only approaching the first stages of modernity. Our transition to modernity occurred in a special way—a Russian way. It effectively demolished the tenants of tradition without building in their stead structures of modernity. And so the most important part of the change from the archaic to the modern did not take place. Much more of our society is archaic than is modern. We were never able to form the ‘subject’ – that which is filled with reason and will, and, more importantly, which acts upon that reason and will. Of course, there were elements of this in the Bolsheviks; in Peter [the Great]; in the Old Believers, who, indeed, in the midst of a Christian conformist society, exercised their reason and will by proclaiming, ‘We believe such and such…’ Of course, they were oppressed for this, burned, punished, but they nevertheless stood their ground. And it is this ability to base your judgment upon your own will reason and will, that in Russian culture is practically non-existent.*

Professor Dugin spoke these words just over five years ago, in March of 2009. But, if I hear him correctly, he is suggesting that the modern turn toward the subject, the articulation of a pure subjectivity – an exclusive sense of ‘I’ with its own volition and its own reason, as distinct from the ‘Other’ – that this ‘subject’ has not yet articulated itself clearly or fully within Russian culture or the Russian psyche. And so, what we find at the foundations of the Western Enlightenment, what we find, for example, in Descartes’ maxim “I think therefore I am…” and thereafter in Kant’s Transcendental Subject or Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea, and in the further articulation of the sciences, this concept of a rational and willing subject – if not the very experience of an individuated self – this key component of our Western sense of personhood seems to be missing, absent in Russia’s turn toward modernity.

This is a very serious confession, not in any negative sense as a value judgment on Dugin’s culture or his comrades, but rather as an acknowledgment of something far more profound – an inarticulate inherence, within the collective psyche of this culture, of a rather archaic, if not primitive sentiment – the sense of not being an isolated ego locked-up within a bag of skin, but rather, as Heidegger might say, the experience of living ek-statically, literally standing-out from oneself, or being-beside oneself, always, already participating the world, and intertwined with other people in community.

So we might suggest that the Western project not only came late to Russia, but has been poorly received as well. But why? What is it about this culture that strives to remain more archaic, even primitive? And what is it about the ‘subject’ in Western metaphysics, the self of Cartesian doubt that seems so foreign to this people? I often recall Dostoyevsky’s claim that the soul of the Russian people is intimately bound up with the Russian soil, with the peasantry, the earth, and with nature. So, perhaps there is some irreducibly feral element inhabiting the Russian soul. Perhaps there is a subtle but complex intertwining between these people and their land, and concurrently, a primal engagement with one another – something that does not easily lend itself to the process of individuation (and objectification) that we find running rampant in the West. Perhaps, then, it is this modern (Western) sense of ‘self’ – the person as pure subject driven by a unique will and reason – that rubs directly against the grain of a more foundational experience of being-there (Dasein), a broader sense of ‘who I am’ that finds its home within the more obscure Russian soul.

Some observations from ethnography and anthropology might be valuable here as well. In pre-civilized (as well as among extant primitive) kinship-based societies, the very notion of “self” – as the center of individual volition, thought, and action – does not yet exist as we in the West understand it today. That concept, in all probability, was not really articulated or internalized until the birth of cities, the beginnings of literacy, and the accompanying written codes intended to control the individual citizens in a civil society. In fact, for most kinship-based cultures, the self (or person) is only meaningfully constituted in relation to, and as intertwined with other persons within the natural surround.

Marshall Sahlins notes in The Western Illusion of Human Nature:

Ethnographic reports speak of ‘the transpersonal self’ (Native Americans), of the self as a ‘locus of shared social relations or shared biographies’(Caroline Islands), of persons as ‘the plural and composite site of the relationships that produced them’ (New Guinea Highlands). Referring broadly to the African concept of ‘the individual,’ Roger Bastide writes: ‘He does not exist except to the extent he is outside and different from himself.’ Clearly, the self in these societies is not synonymous with the bounded, unitary and autonomous individual as we know him… Rather the individual person is the locus of multiple other selves with whom he or she is joined in mutual relations of being…

The ‘subject’ in such a view is not a solitary, internalized entity confronting and struggling against some foreign world of objects, or competing with other egos there. Rather, such a self exists only as an instantiation of, and integral part of the Other.

Again from Sahlins:

In kin relationships, others become predicates of one’s own existence, and vice versa… It is the integration of certain relationships, hence the participation of certain others in one’s own being. As members of one another, kinsmen live each other’s lives and die each other’s deaths… [I]n kinship, as in relations to the cosmos in general, alterity [the Other] is a condition of the possibility of being.

There is a sense here of what Lucien Levy-Bruhl has called a participation mystique, an ontological connection or participation of the self in the Other and in the territory at large, where human and non-human natures pre-reflectively collide, co-mingle, and inter-animate one another in the constitution of meaning, both socially and practically. Here it is difficult to talk about nature vs. culture, for the two are simply manifestations of the same power of being – what the indigenous Melanesians might call mana, or the Sioux, wakanda.

And as Heidegger has summarized in his Introduction to Metaphysics:

The fundamental error that underlies [modern sciences, natural and human] is the opinion that the inception…is primitive and backward, clumsy and weak. The opposite is true. The inception is what is most uncanny and mightiest. What follows is not a development but flattening down as mere widening out… a perversion of what is great, into greatness and extension purely in the sense of number and mass. The uncanniest is what it is because it harbors such an inception in which, from over-abundance, everything breaks out at once into what is overwhelming….

If we carefully reread Dugin’s remarks in light of the above references, it is possible to understand his own claim regarding the delayed development of a Russian sense of self as “subject” more clearly and positively, especially in light of his country’s wild rush to modernity. This, in turn, may enable us to grasp the root of Russia’s inability (or perhaps lack of desire) to conform exactly to the more abstract psychological and philosophical underpinnings of the Western social-cultural-economic hegemony. But, in fact, we may also appreciate this uniquely Russian rapprochement with modernity as more grounded, disclosive of a more primal humanity.

In conclusion, there seems to be a somewhat cooler, indeterminate earthiness infusing the Russian experience – a personal and cultural reality drenched in the primacy of the flesh and the natural world upon which it is nourished. Perhaps this autochthonous connection – a more elemental apprehension of life – may itself be capable of influencing the trajectory of both Russia and the West. Perhaps Russia’s long-suffering mission still stands firm in the caliginous forests of the Siberian taiga: quietly recalling humankind from the apparent abyss of an alienated ‘subjectivity’ that haunts our modern self-understanding – its scientific rationalism, its consumerism, and its otherworldly transcendence – a self-awareness that seems to be marching us mindlessly to global collapse. Perhaps this more primal Russian apperception can call us back to that feral memory trace lingering viscerally within, helping us recall our essential rootedness – ‘our flesh, the flesh of the world.’

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115 Responses to The Soul of the Subject: A View of Russia’s Rush to Modernity

  1. Disaffected says:

    Wow! A veritable renaissance lately kC! I hope Russia at least comes out of the current mess with its kit still in one bag. The west, I’m not so confident about. If you put any stock in Morris Berman at least, we Americans pretty much sold our souls right from the start.

  2. Disaffected says:

    The fundamental error that underlies [modern sciences, natural and human] is the opinion that the inception…is primitive and backward, clumsy and weak. The opposite is true. The inception is what is most uncanny and mightiest. What follows is not a development but flattening down as mere widening out… a perversion of what is great, into greatness and extension purely in the sense of number and mass. The uncanniest is what it is because it harbors such an inception in which, from over-abundance, everything breaks out at once into what is overwhelming….

    That one paragraph says it all. In contrast, we in the corporate capitalist west crassly view the inception as something to be exploited and capitalized on. Capitalism really is an obscene philosophy, and we as a people who embrace it must by extension necessarily be obscene as well. It’s a really shitty basis for a “culture,” especially one that so eagerly and adamantly insists that everyone else adopt it too. A fully metastasized malignancy at this point.

  3. Disaffected says:

    Looks like some more of that legendary Russian stoicism will be required as the heat (quite predictably) gets turned up in Ukraine once again.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/28/world/europe/ukraine-crisis/

    How much of this is mere “he said, she said” is probably completely unknowable at this point except to those on the ground (and probably most of them too for that matter), but a Russian intervention was pretty much a given from the start, given the circumstances of a hostile US/EU sponsored coup right on their border. You have to shake your head in wonder, shame, and pity that it has come to this, given the high hopes for peace in the region just 25 years ago. Maybe nuclear Armageddon is the best outcome for us after all. It would certainly solve the over population issue in a hurry.

    • Disaffected says:

      I’m watching this explode across the Google News feed now, so it appears that this will be the major source for hyperventilation for at least some days now. The sanctions will of course be ratcheted up yet again, but if I’m Russian, I’m thinking that legitimate national security concerns trump lame-assed western economic sanctions every time. Just as in Syria, Iraq, and everywhere else, the west will not be satisfied until this is a full blown conflagration. I’m thinking the oil and gas producers have asked for a price hike to spur new exploration and profitability and the MIC is only too happy to oblige them.

      • kulturcritic says:

        The news in Russia (in Russian) is that there are indeed Russian servicemen, retired and on vacation who have gone to fight in Ukraine. This to me seems highly likely. First, Americans cannot understand this natural Russian response… but it is in the nature of the Russian character to fight for what they believe, and for their fellow man. Russians cannot stand idly by while their countrymen and women, their kin, are slaughtered by criminals and dictators. As Sahlins said it above…

        “In kin relationships, others become predicates of one’s own existence, and vice versa… It is the integration of certain relationships, hence the participation of certain others in one’s own being. As members of one another, kinsmen live each other’s lives and die each others’ deaths…”

        • Disaffected says:

          Understood. Americans might have understood these impulses back 150 years ago or so before the civil war, but those days are of course long gone. Of course Morris Berman contends that that’s what the American civil war was primarily about in the first place (the question of black slavery primarily being who was going to own the workforce, wealthy northern industrialists through exploitative but legal labor laws and practices, or wealthy southern agrarian plantation owners by social custom); a more provincial, communal, and convivial antebellum south’s resistance against a big city, mercantile, federalist north that aspirations even then of being a global leader in trade following the model of imperial England. Don’t have to guess who won that fight. Less than 50 years after that the US was firmly established on the route to where we are today, with the slaves mostly working overseas for global corporations, and the underclasses here in the US lucky to be working at all.

        • Disaffected says:

          “In kin relationships, others become predicates of one’s own existence, and vice versa… It is the integration of certain relationships, hence the participation of certain others in one’s own being. As members of one another, kinsmen live each other’s lives and die each others’ deaths…”

          Essentially the marriage of tribal members based on long term mutual survival and prosperity. Good stuff, if you can still find it. Here in the US we have increasingly shorter term personal economic “interests,” which may or may not coincide at any given point in time with anyone we actually know and interact with, never mind any actual reality beyond what we apprehend via the internet. Hence our constantly shifting allegiances based on Rumsfeld’s proverbial unknowable unknowns, aka “demons in our head.” You have to laugh, but you wanna cry at the insanity of it all.

  4. the Heretick says:

    The Russians have a national identity, the exact thing which cannot be allowed in today’s viral all-encompassing cyber reality. The US is a band of gypsies, half the population is rootless, surviving at the whim of the NYC/DC duopoly. Yes, the spinmeisters on Madison Avenue claim an American identity, but based on what? The color of your hair? The latest digital assistant? The community fostered by the glowing screen, where the person clicks, swipes, and posts, it’s a deception, a false Zen composed of consuming units.

    The last thing the pushers of the Almighty UPC want is people who can live without being tied into the mainframe, this is Russia’s cardinal sin, they want a little independence. The PNAC Project plans were laid out for all to see, it’s no secret, and the propaganda organs of the corporate state are churning out disinformation just as fast as they can; you have to think why they even bother, the govt. does what it wants regardless.

    Once again, the proponents of the NWO, they are on a holy mission just as cold-blooded as the Roman who faced off against the Zealots. Don’t be fooled, this is the trans-human moment, where the function of the machine encompasses the entire planet, the true believers can’t understand why in the world anyone would oppose what is supposedly “all to the good”, so to speak. The modern way is a twisted false version of the connectedness of which Sandy speaks.

    “A love of nature keeps no factories busy.”
    ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

  5. Disaffected says:

    Ok, let’s lighten things up a bit. Tom Petty’s (who’s that?) latest, via the ever-present electronic genie. Haven’t listened to it all yet, but Shadow People @ 38:04 sounds pretty interesting so far. Tom, of course, hails from Gainesville FL, WAY down south, and has been busy recapturing his forsaken roots ever since venturing west to “capture the American dream” in sunny SoCal back in the way begone years of the 1970’s. Let’s all hope he captures them someday soon, but in the meantime:

    • Disaffected says:

      And for those lyrically inclined:

      shadow people
      What’s in their head
      in the car next to you when the light turns red
      Could be thinking of love
      might be thinking of hate.
      I guess it pretty much could go either way
      shadow people in shadow land
      That one’s thinking of great art
      and eloquent words
      That one strapped on a gun and joined up with the herd.
      That one’s saving up water,
      got some food stored away
      For the war that is coming on the judgement day
      Shadow people in shadow land
      and this one carries a gun
      for the U.S.A.
      He’s a 21st century man.
      and he’s scary as hell,
      cuz when he’s afraid,
      he’ll destroy anything he don’t understand.
      well I ain’t on the left
      and I ain’t on the right
      I ain’t even sure, I got a dog in this fight.
      In my time of need, in my time of grief,
      I feel like a shadows falling over me
      like shadow people in shadow land
      Shadow people in shadow land
      Shadow people and shadow land.
      waiting for the sun
      to be straight over head,
      til we ain’t got no shadow at all.

      http://www.metrolyrics.com/shadow-people-lyrics-tom-petty.html

      • Disaffected says:

        and this one carries a gun
        for the U.S.A.
        He’s a 21st century man.
        and he’s scary as hell,
        cuz when he’s afraid,
        he’ll destroy anything he don’t understand

        Ouch! Yep, TP’s still got it!

      • the Heretick says:

        Really good, I’ve thought for awhile Petty was the new Dylan, just more accessible, maybe not as deep, and not as folksy. He sure does keep pumping it out though, doesn’t he? Great production values, talent combined with decades of practice. Not to shortchange the intellectual content, I think he could be dense like Dylan, but deliberately tones it down, very clever. A solid effort, but were used to that from the Heartbreakers.

        • Disaffected says:

          Agreed. He’s always been a favorite of mine. Just now coming into his own really.

        • Disaffected says:

          Go too deep on content and you’ll lose your audience these days. Not that TP really gives a shit who listens anymore anyway. He made his break with the mainstream in 2002 with The Last DJ and has been a disaffected anti-corporatist ever since. Fair amount of that going around these days as people wake up to what’s happening to them.

  6. the Heretick says:

    Well, Ill go ahead and post this, as I said over at COIU, I’m probably already on some sort of list, probably have been for a long time.
    http://openrevolt.info/2014/03/08/alexander-dugin-letter-to-the-american-people-on-ukraine/
    Dugin is the new boogey-man.

    “I am sure that the separation line between Americans and the American political elite is very deep. Any honest American calmly studying the case will arrive to the conclusion: “let them decide for themselves. We are not similar to these strange and wild Russians, but let them go their own way. And we are going to go our own way.” But the American political elite has another agenda: to provoke wars, to mix in regional conflicts, to incite the hatred of different ethnic groups. The American political elites sacrifice American people to causes that are far from you, vague, uncertain and finally very very bad.”

    Once again, i despair, the wealthy who own these multi-nationals, who use the Armed Forces as their enforcers, they are driving the world to ruin. The USA has high and persistent unemployment, but our Emperor is talking about more H1B visas, more free trade deals, while Americans with college debt and a degree can’t find work. It may seem these subjects are unrelated, but they’re not.

    “Let us fight them for our identities – you for the American, us for the Russian, but the enemy is in both cases the same – the global oligarchy who rules the word using you and smashing us.”

    Here’s what makes me sad, we live on a finite planet with limited resources, I don’t believe science will solve the energy problem and if they do it will be something so exotic it will make the danger of nuclear look like medieval alchemy, fusion, or “controlled” antimatter, or a created black hole; something really, really, dangerous that should never be done.

    So, here we are replaying the 60’s, proxy wars between East and West, with nuclear billy-clubs.
    The arrogance and hubris of DC and NYC is unbelievable, it’s not enough that the US is sinking into chaos, they have to spread it to the entire world. The common people suffer, always the little guys.

    • Disaffected says:

      5. This is my idea and suggestion: let us hate the American political elite together. Let us fight them for our identities – you for the American, us for the Russian, but the enemy is in both cases the same – the global oligarchy who rules the word using you and smashing us. Let us revolt. Let us resist. Together. Russians and Americans. We are the people. We are not their puppets.

      This should be the global rallying cry.

  7. Disaffected says:

    Nice link. If the dumb fuckers in the US would just wake up they’d realize they have FAR more in common the the common Russian people than they do with the corporate elites in their own country. I think for everyone over 60 now it’s simply too late and too much to ask. They’ve effectively been propagandized for good and there’s no hope for them. They’ll all be eliminated soon enough anyway. I think the 40-60 year olds are the “swing vote.” They have the means and capability to figure it out, even though they’ll all be eliminated soon enough as well. The under 40s seem to be sitting on the sidelines in far greater numbers, so I think they’re mostly either bewildered at what’s happening and are just tuning it all out (which is good), or they’re biding their time for when real change is possible. They’re smart enough to know that that time is not now. The 20th century bipolar superpower world legacy is playing itself out now in one great final heaving fit and won’t be over until the United States is displaced as the global hegemon, which could well mean that overt totalitarianism, civil war, collapse, and all the good stuff we’ve been projecting on the rest of the world for over a century now finally comes home to roost. Fun times ahead here in the US of A! Oh well, it’ll be a circus like always, and GOD KNOWS we love ourselves some circus!

    • Disaffected says:

      A song for labor day here in the USA:

    • Disaffected says:

      Wow! Just rediscovered this guy after a long time away. He’s quite the bard these days and not hard to figure out why. This might be your heir apparent to Dylan HT. The We Can’t Make it Here Anymore video in particular might be the best summation I’ve ever heard of our current predicament. Even the facial expressions come across in this one. Just amazing!

      • Disaffected says:

        “We Can’t Make it Here”
        http://www.jamesmcmurtry.com/we_cant_make_it_herelyrics.htm

        Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
        Sitting there by the left turn line
        Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
        One leg missing, both hands free
        No one’s paying much mind to him
        The V.A. budget’s stretched so thin
        And there’s more comin’ home from the Mideast war
        We can’t make it here anymore

        That big ol’ building was the textile mill
        It fed our kids and it paid our bills
        But they turned us out and they closed the doors
        We can’t make it here anymore

        See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
        They’re just gonna set there till they rot
        ‘Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
        Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
        Empty storefronts around the square
        There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
        You don’t come down here ‘less you’re looking to score
        We can’t make it here anymore

        The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
        The tip jar’s light and the register’s low
        The bartender don’t have much to say
        The regular crowd gets thinner each day

        Some have maxed out all their credit cards
        Some are working two jobs and living in cars
        Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink
        If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
        See how far 5.15 an hour will go
        Take a part time job at one of your stores
        Bet you can’t make it here anymore

        High school girl with a bourgeois dream
        Just like the pictures in the magazine
        She found on the floor of the laundromat
        A woman with kids can forget all that
        If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do
        Forget the career, forget about school
        Can she live on faith? live on hope?
        High on Jesus or hooked on dope
        When it’s way too late to just say no
        You can’t make it here anymore

        Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
        Just like the ones we made before
        ‘Cept this one came from Singapore
        I guess we can’t make it here anymore

        Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
        Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
        Should I hate ’em for having our jobs today
        No I hate the men sent the jobs away
        I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
        All lily white and squeaky clean
        They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
        Their sh@# don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
        Their kids won’t bleed in the da$% little war
        And we can’t make it here anymore

        Will work for food
        Will die for oil
        Will kill for power and to us the spoils
        The billionaires get to pay less tax
        The working poor get to fall through the cracks
        Let ’em eat jellybeans let ’em eat cake
        Let ’em eat sh$%, whatever it takes
        They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
        If they can’t make it here anymore

        And that’s how it is
        That’s what we got
        If the president wants to admit it or not
        You can read it in the paper
        Read it on the wall
        Hear it on the wind
        If you’re listening at all
        Get out of that limo
        Look us in the eye
        Call us on the cell phone
        Tell us all why

        In Dayton, Ohio
        Or Portland, Maine
        Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
        That’s done closed down along with the school
        And the hospital and the swimming pool
        Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
        There’s rats in the alley
        And trash in the street
        Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
        We can’t make it here anymore

        • the Heretick says:

          He is Larry McMurtry’s son, so he doesn’t have to sing about this stuff, he’s probably pretty well fixed. I don’t hold that against him, his Dad wrote some good stuff, but Larry did not grow up dirt poor, his father being a rancher. All that being said, none of them were Rothschilds.

          We do have a tradition of a thin sliver of the educated speaking up for the working class, but it’s not enough. The minimum wage is about right for 1997, seeing as it’s a whopping $7.25 right now. it’s criminal, absolutely criminal, it makes you want the wealthy to get exactly what’s coming to them.

          “Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today
          No I hate the men sent the jobs away
          I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
          All lily white and squeaky clean”

          Tell you what, i don’t hate anybody for the color of their skin, my old school is smack in the middle of the barrio here, my first ever job was with people named Hernandez, diversity has always been a fact of life. However, i am 7 weeks away from the checks running out, I’ve had interviews, but no job, probably some age discrimination going on here, and there is not a damn thing anybody’s going to do about it. So yeah, I’m getting angry, enough is enough, we simply cannot absorb more people. This is the hard reality, with the rich getting richer, the working class will eventually turn on somebody. This is the state of affairs, there are so many poor in the world, we can’t take them all; even if the necessary political and economic reforms happened we are running up against a hard cap.

          Anyhow, that’s all just venting, McMurtry has it all there in the song, jobs shipped overseas, less disposable income, and he wrote the song 9 years ago. What sends me up the wall is the current dialectic from the lamestream media is D and R bullshit, it’s really convenient for the Donkey to bring up the big bad GOP whilst proposing absolutely nothing to change the basic equation. Just string people along, human rights, special interest groups, and it’s all pure fucking bullshit; if they proposed curbing the power of multi-nationals the entire working class would be behind them, but it wouldn’t please their corporate masters so they don’t, what a bunch of gutless bastards.

          Try finding one item in your house made in the USA, appliances, clothing, anything. This is what Dugin is talking about, where is our American equivalent? Sorry for the cussing and the length.

          • Disaffected says:

            NakCap takes up the Prez and his non-affinity for labor this morning, complete with video links:

            http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/09/obama-phones-labor-day.html

            By now, it should be obvious for all to see that Barry O’s an empty suit. A paid shill for whomever’s actually running things. Presidential, senatorial, and congressional politics are all compromised now, so any realistic efforts at change should be focused elsewhere. Personal and local, while shunning the federal corporate system to the greatest extent possible, is the only way to go now.

          • Disaffected says:

            And we do have American equivalents; McMurtry, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Kunstler, Greer, and Wendell Berry to name a few but a few. Trouble is, big money drowns them out, marginalizes them, and then if all else fails, actively pursues them. But let’s face it, no one’s listening anyway. Because the spectacle is just too damn fascinating for most until it stops and it doesn’t stop for everyone at the same time. That’s the key right there. You can fuck over as many people as you like as long as you do it incrementally. The Nazi’s knew this in the 1930s and 40s, and the American elite know it now. People will naturally cling to what’s their’s in times of trouble, and in so doing, the entire populace can be impoverished (and indeed, the losers can even be vilified by the remaining lucky ones in the process!) little by little without anyone raising a peep. It’s a pretty damn effective strategy so far.

          • Disaffected says:

            The minimum wage argument is pretty much besides the point as well. For it to have any teeth it would have to be applied globally (and since we have the global reserve currency, why in the fuck NOT?), and corporations DAMN SURE ain’t gonna do that! As long as capital can move electronically globally then labor and everything else will be exploited accordingly. That’s the very nature of capitalism, so talking about this or that band aid fix ain’t gonna do one damn bit of good. And creating jobs ain’t an answer for that matter either, since that just ramps up consumption again. No, we’ve hit a dead end on this road we’re on, and the choices ahead are clear and stark in their contrast. Either continue on full speed ahead and drive right over the cliff just ahead or stop the whole engine of progress and calmly asses where it is we head from here. And the choices are not likely to be attractive.

            • kulturcritic says:

              “First they came of the natives, but…”

            • the Heretick says:

              Then you don’t let capital move, you pull corporate charters, you require domestic content. This is the big lie of the trans-nationalists, that work cannot be done where people live. there are plenty of people in China for which Chinese can make goods.
              “creating jobs ain’t an answer for that matter either, since that just ramps up consumption again” , my point about hard caps, topsoil, energy, water, eventually we hit the wall, it’s a hard truth, Malthus was probably right, we have avoided his predictions due to rampant energy use.
              Does anybody else see the contradiction of on the one hand signing the TPP, and on the other having conferences about global warming? It takes fuel to ship goods across thousands of miles of ocean. I think the entire thing is a giant scam which plays the worldwide working class off against each other, there is lots of lip service to human rights, but the elite are laughing up their sleeves. Once again, this goes back 100 years, to when they ran the Socialists out of here and the US jumped into WWI.

              Malthus was right, the Luddites were right, and so were the Wobblies.

              (I find it interesting that “Wobblies” is not in the Microsoft database)

      • Disaffected says:

        Levelland
        http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/mcmurtry-james/levelland-20614.html

        Flatter than a tabletop
        Makes you wonder why they stopped here
        Wagon must have lost a wheel or they lacked ambition one
        On the great migration west
        Separated from the rest
        Though they might have tried their best
        They never caught the sun
        So they sunk some roots down in the dirt
        To keep from blowin’ off the earth
        Built a town around here
        And when the dust had all but cleared
        They called it Levelland, the pride of man
        In Levelland

        Granddad grew the dryland wheat
        Stood on his own two feet
        His mind got incomplete and they put in the home
        Daddy’s cotton grows so high
        Sucks the water table dry
        Rolling sprinklers circle round
        Bleedin’ it to the bone
        And I won’t be here when it comes a day
        It all dries up and blows away
        I’d hang around just to see
        But they never had much use for me in Levelland
        They don’t understand me out in Levelland

        And I watch those jet trails carving up that big blue sky
        Coast to coasters watch ’em go
        And I never would blame ’em one damn bit
        If they never looked down on this
        Not much here they’d wanna know
        Just Levelland
        Far as you can point your hand
        Nothin’ but Levelland

        Mama used to roll her hair
        Back before the central air
        We’d sit outside and watch the stars at night
        She’d tell me to make a wish
        I’d wish we both could fly
        Don’t think she’s seen the sky
        Since we got the satellite dish and
        I can hear the marching band
        Doin’ the best they can
        They’re playing “Smoke on the Water”, “Joy to the World”
        I’ve paid off all my debts
        Got some change left over yet and I’m
        Gettin’ on a whisper jet
        I’m gonna fly as far as I can get from
        Levelland, doin’ the best I can
        Out in Levelland – imagine that

        • the Heretick says:

          I’d like to fly away. Montana, that’s the ticket, they say when you freeze to death you just kind of go to sleep.

          The man did have a schnoz.

          • Disaffected says:

            Montana’s nice but it has been invaded by a lot of Hollywood glitterati. Lot’s of big oil / gas corporate and private big ranching representation there too. It’s getting harder and harder to find a place to get away from it all these days.

    • Disaffected says:

      And a bonus just because this guy’s GOOD!

    • Disaffected says:

      Frank’s comments are interesting. A lot of people think Ebola currently falls into the same category. Bio war is a little more hazardous for all involved, but the attractiveness of something that’s invisible, undetectable, and selectively lethal has to have the big boys salivating. His comments on the impracticability of nuclear war are also very prescient. He missed the point on hatred in the US however. We’ve got more than our share over here and it’s our one remaining exponential growth industry.

  8. Disaffected says:

    In the truth is funnier than any fiction you could possibly write department, today’s headline on the Google News feed:

    Biden’s warning to ISIS militants: ‘We will follow them to the gates of hell’

    Uncle Joe should know that there’s a place for him in stand up comedy after he’s done with his current gig impersonating a VP of the US. Me thinks the US is pretty much knocking on the door right now as it is. Word is, Satan’s worried we’d ruin the atmosphere.

      • the Heretick says:

        Drone strikes are so modern, not medieval at all.

        • Disaffected says:

          Beheadings, actual or not (there’s a lot of speculation that at least one of these was staged and may not have happened at all), are all about theatrical effect. Too bad we can’t see at least one or two of the drone strikes being done in our name up close and personal so we could witness the carnage we’re inflicting on them. Betya Uncle Joe wouldn’t be nearly so smug about condemning the shit they’re doing to us. Although with modern video technology and mass media disinformation, who knows if any of what we see and hear is true or even real anymore? ISIS is in all likelihood a US funded counterinsurgency to provide us a justification for further escalation in the region. Total disinformation from the git go.

  9. Terry David says:

    Greetings, DA,

    “He missed the point on hatred in the US however.”

    I don’t think he really missed it, considering the time of this interview. This just shows how much the USA has been changed. And I say “been changed” because with the lifting of the Fairness Doctrine in broadcast media, the NeoCons have carefully cultivated the divisions and fomented hatreds that keep the country divided. I see it as a related tactic to spreading chaos throughout the world. Sort of like bombing water purification plants and bridges over there, and starving the maintenance budgets for them over here.

    You nailed it with
    “We’ve got more than our share over here and it’s our one remaining exponential growth industry.”

    The ’80’s saw the long ascending line on the “hatred and division” graph and now we’re living in the “knee” of it. The boiling point is approaching and coincides with the disinformation campaign against those who would stand firm against the empire. I feel very uncomfortable about the whole trajectory to say the least.

  10. Terry David says:

    This essay is quite something to behold, Sandy (if I may call you Sandy).
    I don’t feel worthy to add or detract anything from it.
    I only want to thank you for it.

    While I’m at it, thanks for the portrait of Dostoyevsky by Vasily Perovas as well (yes, I had to look it up. I’m not that knowledgeable). The fine arts of this blog have long made it the most aesthetically stunning blog or website around, in my opinion.

    If only your advocacy of nurturing mutual understanding was more prevalent in the world. But I guess were still stuck with “belligerent imposition of will” instead, at least for the time being.

  11. Disaffected says:

    Yet another comedic interlude in the ongoing ME tragedy tacitly approved by you and me if you’re a US citizen. And amazingly, well nigh 50% of the population will likely stand up and salute this kind of shit!
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/4/trotter-the-isis-speech-obama-should-have-given/
    But hey! We’ve got NFL opening night hysterics to distract us all as to it’s true purpose; the continued uninterrupted operation of the global wealth pump.

  12. Disaffected says:

    Hey all, this one’s a little off point, but it’s so over the top and illustrates our current social dysfunction so well in this country that I figure I just have to put it out there. I received this from one of my blue state cousins this morning and I think it speaks for itself. By the way, none of my extended red state family is even remotely rich, although the cousin I received this from did come into a small inheritance that’s made him a little more comfortable than the rest.

    Lou Holtz nails it! … Told As Only A Coach, An Old Coach Can

    The Democrats are right, there are two Americas. The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t. It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law, support themselves, contribute to society, and others don’t. That’s the divide in America .
    It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country. That’s not invective, that’s truth, and it’s about time someone said it.

    The politics of envy was on proud display a couple weeks ago when President Obama pledged the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He noted that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just. That is the rationale of thievery.

    The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you. Vote Democrat. That is the philosophy that produced Detroit . It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America. It conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense because it ends up not benefiting the people who support it, but a betrayal.

    The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victim-hood and anger instead of ability and hope. The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices. Because, by and large, income variations in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibly have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.

    Success and failure usually manifest themselves in personal and family income. You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college – and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education. You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course; you have them within a marriage and life is apt to take another course. Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.

    My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome, but, our lives also have had an in equality of effort. While my doctor went to college and then devoted his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant. He made a choice, I made a choice, and our choices led us to different outcomes. His outcome pays a lot better than mine. Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth? No, it means we are both free men in a free society where free choices lead to different outcomes.

    It is not inequality Barack Obama intends to take away, it is freedom. The freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. There is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure. The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy. Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing. Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and short sighted decisions.

    Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort. The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get.” Obama would turn that upside down. Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society. Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in American society if Barack Obama gets his way. He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive to foster equality through mediocrity. He and his party speak of two Americas, and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other. America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts.

    It is a false philosophy to say one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization. What Obama offered was not a solution, but a separatism. He fomented division and strife, pitted one set of Americans against another for his own political benefit. That’s what socialists offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow. Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln ’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

    “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

    Lou Holtz

    Leo “Lou” Holtz (born January 6, 1937) is a retired American football coach, and active sportscaster, author, and motivational speaker.

    • Disaffected says:

      No more wondering why Red State America time and time again votes against its own interest I guess. And just to add insult to injury, every time my mom calls I get subjected to a 20 minute barrage about the evils of Obama Care (which I hate too, albeit for diametrically opposed reasons), while in the next breath I hear about all the stupid shit that Medicare is funding for her in her retirement (my mom is largely house bound now due to deteriorated joints from years of carrying around grossly excessive weight). All of which reinforces my opinion that the US rank and file have been so effectively propagandized that there’s simply no hope left for them, making the ruling elites’ jobs just all that much easier.

      • the Heretick says:

        What are you worrying about this for? Don’tcha know Ray Rice punched his girlfriend? And our Emperor is going after ISIS? Get with the program there, cowboy. Didn’t you mean this came from a red-state friend? Nevertheless, some of the points are correct. The welfare state has failed, that’s obvious, however…………….
        The crap about “if you choose” is right wing blather. Little choice for those in the ghetto, not to mention that capitalism is predicated on winners and losers. For 1 to succeed 100 must be kept down. Helps to understand the difference between macro and micro.
        The lie of the right is that capitalism works, a rising tide lifts all boats.
        The lie of the left is that the rich pay for anything, the working class pays. All value comes from labor of some type, raise taxes on the rich? They will just raise prices on goods, make more money from commodity trading, whatever.
        Who knows? Could be beets, could be peaches.
        Personal choices do make some difference, but only within the milieu you are able to operate within. I think one reason young black men are so rebellious is they see wage-slavery correctly as the continuation of pure slavery.
        The powerful do not simply define their own duties, but the duties of the poor.
        From a purely self-interested standpoint this e-mail blast makes sense, the welfare state does just play a shell game, offering no real reforms that change the balance of the equation. The right wing free marketeers just offer more of the same and/or a ratcheting up of the situation. Since nothing ever really changes, may as well throw in with the most cutthroat of the lot, this is the reasoning.

        Both parties offer essentially the same deal, just dressed up in different costumes.
        Don’t see the Democrats standing down our over 1,000 overseas bases do we?

        • Disaffected says:

          Yeah, red state. Couldn’t keep the two straight this morning in my Saturday morning fugue.

        • Disaffected says:

          Don’t get me started on the Ray Rice thing or the current Adrian Peterson thing either. Without knowing the specific details, apparently you can get indicted and prosecuted simply for spanking your kid now. Makes me glad I didn’t have any, for sure!

          But I saw the Lou Holtz rant as more of a Ayn Randian celebration of winner take all crapitalism than an indictment of the welfare state per se, although conservatives certainly do hate them some welfare state. But the good news for conservatives, even the poor working class ones, is that they are slowly getting their way. Within a few more presidential election cycles (especially if the dems keep winning) the welfare state as we know it will be little more than a memory and the warfare state (everywhere all of the time) will be a permanent feature of our Brave New World. And then my reply to my dirt poor red state relatives will be, “Shut the fuck up and crawl back in your box! You asked for this shit!”

          • the Heretick says:

            I have a different view, I see the flip side of the same coin. Remember my essay, red/blue, same crapola, different day; it’s the proles who are left beaten black and blue. Domestic violence, same shock and awe, just in the home.
            I don’t hold red-staters in any more disdain than blue, maybe less, at least their message is closer to the reality of what is going on, plus there is a more and more of a libertarian minority, which of course the old guard is trying to squash.
            The Democrats with their pseudo-Marxist message, what a bunch of cowards, wining and dining investment bankers, pushing free trade deals, and they know we’re dealing with global monopolies.
            Nah, they are both just as culpable, cut from the same cloth.

            Just turn on the Sunday shows, watch the Libs brag about how their interventionism is so much more sane than crusty old Senator McGrumpy’s, and then see who is sponsoring the shows. Boeing, Boeing, GE! GE!! GE!!! Soft soap, “making the world a better place”, one coup and intervention at a time.

            Dugin is closer to the mark than many, but once again, maybe just a coin of another currency. When you dig down beneath the propaganda, peel off the layers of propaganda from The Simulacrum Republic, it’s the same old power play.

            http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2005/12/the_simulacran_.html

            • Disaffected says:

              The Democrats with their pseudo-Marxist message, what a bunch of cowards, wining and dining investment bankers, pushing free trade deals, and they know we’re dealing with global monopolies. Nah, they are both just as culpable, cut from the same cloth.

              Points taken. No, this ain’t a Dem/Repub thing. Hell, even if it were, Obama and HillBillary are both more conservative than all but the most rabid wing nuts. This is about the working class actually applauding their own destruction. Stockholm Syndrome indeed! My Red State relatives certainly aren’t that stupid, so it’s just hard to explain why they simply don’t get it. And at the end of the day, I’m still one of them and not part of the liberal fruits and nuts bunch up here where I live.

              • the Heretick says:

                It’s as if the Right is telling one lie, which is that “capitalism is good for everybody”; while the left is saying, “capitalism is bad and were going to fix it” while actually supporting it behind the scenes. It is really is hard to figure who is the worst.
                It’s really good to go back to square one, where does the wealth come from? The first answer is obviously from the Earth, from the Cosmos, from the accretion disc which formed this Solar System, and from Mr. Sun that rules the roost. Nature’s bounty.
                Despite the false meme about who gets the most tax dollars from Washington, and how poor red state people are, how backward and illiterate, I think a lot of blue state hate comes from the fact that they know they are dependent upon the poor dumb rednecks who grow their food, work in the oil patch, and fight in the military that ensures our oil supply.

                This planet is all we have, I don’t think we will ever get off of it, the power demands and the distances are just too vast. The Solar System is essentially a closed system, sure we are part of a larger galaxy etc. but we pretty much know what we have to work with.

                • Disaffected says:

                  That Bageant link is great by the way. Lots of stuff I haven’t read before. I think his bewilderment about the paradoxical state of the working class and mine are the same. Even with all the disinformation and false pride out there, there’s simply no good explanation for the working class’s willful ignorance about what’s happening to them.

  13. Disaffected says:

    One of Joe’s explanations for what ails US society (written all the way back in 2010 no less!): AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

    If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

    One explanation might be the effect of 40 years of deep fried industrial chicken pulp, and 44 ounce Big Gulp soft drinks. Another might be pop culture, which is not culture at all of course, but marketing. Or we could blame it on digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

    But a more reasonable explanation is that, (A) we don’t even know we are doing it, and (B) we cling to institutions dedicated to making sure we never find out.

    As William Edwards Deming famously demonstrated, no system can understand itself, and why it does what it does, including the American social system. Not knowing shit about why your society does what it makes for a pretty nasty case of existential unease. So we create institutions whose function is to pretend to know, which makes everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it also makes the savviest among us — those elites who run the institutions — very rich, or safe from the vicissitudes that buffet the rest of us.

    Directly or indirectly, they understand that the real function of American social institutions is to justify, rationalize and hide the true purpose of cultural behavior from the lumpenproletariat, and to shape that behavior to the benefit of the institution’s members. “Hey, they’re a lump. Whaddya expect us to do?”

  14. Disaffected says:

    Since we’re apparently in re-runs, one for the HT (and the rest of us as well if we’re lucky!):

    And likewise…

  15. Disaffected says:

    Apparently we’ve now graduated to post-farcical. Straight out of Wag the Dog:

    http://www.newsweek.com/police-alert-isis-video-threatens-white-house-us-troops-271265

  16. Disaffected says:

    More good stuff from the Disinformation Machine: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/senate-final-approval-arm-syrian-rebels-isis-fight/story?id=25607472

    United? Really? No one I talk to in my day to day even mentions the term, never mind their actual opposition to whatever the hell “ISIS” might be. Yep! Fuck post-modern! Fuck post-farcical as well. We’re going straight for plaid, by way of ludicrous:

  17. Disaffected says:

    Things seem to come in bunches in the News Media – aka the national hologram – these days. Been wondering what to make of all the NFL domestic violence nonsense the past few weeks, which all seems a little bit too coincidental to be mere coincidence to me. But that’s just me.

    Among my many questions regarding all of it:

    I realize the PR aspects and the fact that the NFL, as a multi-billion dollar industry first and foremost, is literally “a bitch” (oops!) to their sponsor’s whims is the primary justification for all the suspensions and deactivations, etc. But even so. What happened to the rule of law, innocent until proven guilty, and the idea of all this kind of shit playing out first and foremost in the so-called “legal system” first before it then entered the court of public opinion. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? And I ask this not giving three shits about NFL stars and their sundry bullshit, but more about how these precedents will affect me and mine going forward, given that you and I could be equally charged with specious crimes and dismissed from our jobs pending trial and possible exoneration under these precedents. Realizing full well of course that the media glare will more than likely never shine its glare on lowly people such as ourselves. But then again…

    Further, I realize the unseemly aspects of the recent revelations, but I simply have to ask: why so many all of a sudden, why do they focus on such highly recognizable stars when the NFL is chock full of journeymen players that come and go constantly with little or no notice, and why are they all conveniently black? Yep, there I said it. Spinning another possible conspiracy theory again. But then again, once we crossed the 9-11 Rubicon, why not? Hardly seems any less plausible to me. Especially with Ferguson MO and the unapologetic public execution/lynching of Michael Brown and the police and media’s subsequent cavalier dismissal of the event so recently in mind.

    Am I out of my mind and punching at ghosts? Maybe. But then again…

    • Disaffected says:

      And just to head off a certain critique, I realize that the NFL is probably overwhelmingly black. Don’t know the percentages right off hand, but I’d readily concede that it’s likely mostly black. Which also, by the way, has to piss off the white ownership class to no end, satisfaction with running an admittedly better compensated new age slave empire notwithstanding.

      Nonetheless, forcing a naturally athletic black underclass into the mold of a white, corporate, economic elite mold simply was bound to be fraught with problems (and opportunities!) like this.

    • the Heretick says:

      Yes, lots of black players in the NFL, doesn’t matter. Hard to say why the DV happens with them. Lack of father figures? A childhood experiencing more poverty and violence? The fly in the ointment is that those who talk about cultural diversity get upset when it is discovered that cultures are, wait for it, diverse.
      The hate will of course soon be unleashed towards the South and the violent Southern culture, but it will not be noted that it is those violent Southerners who fight in the “overseas contingency operations” which keep the oil flowing so that the commodity traders in places such as New York and Chicago can make their profits.
      What will also not be noted is that a society which treats human beings as commodities to sacrifice on the altar of mammon in the cathedral of capitalism is guaranteed to produce this exact result.
      More of the same denial and obfuscation of reality, stylishly called cognitive dissonance.

      What bugs me about the whole thing is the way Janay Rice is considered to be without volition; yes, victims of DV do behave in some recognizable patterns, but she is a grown woman. The talking heads are so eager to put people in a box, the better to gossip about them, that they seem unwilling or incapable of cutting these people some slack and grant the possibility that they actually love each other and are going thru a rough patch.

      I must disagree with you about Big Mike, while the conditions which create the scenario are out of the actors control, their actions are not; I am surprised to see you taking the “official line”.

      I do agree with you about taking away these players livelihood when they haven’t been convicted of anything, if they are serving a sentence, fine, if not, they should be able to play. This entire episode is PC BS, it’s about selling a product, and making a big noise about deploring violence in a country built on the same.

      • Disaffected says:

        Surprised to see your disagreement on Michael Brown. I’ve seen nothing so far to indicate that he was anything other than murdered in the street in THE most heinous manner. The cop/murderer was safely whisked away into hiding shortly thereafter and has since been revealed to be pretty much what he was expected to be. Nothing I’ve seen since has exonerated either the Ferguson/St Louis area police or the scumbag Darren Wilson who did the deed. This is nothing but big brother cover up from start to finish.

        The whole Ray Rice thing astounded me from start to finish. Every time the media would parrott “former fiance” I’d mentally follow with “and CURRENT wife,” and I’d keep waiting for people to finally wake up. But of course they didn’t, and like all big lies, this one took on a life of its own. Is Ray Rice a numb nut for doing something like that? Of course. But the video clearly showed Janay Rice diving into/attacking him right before the punch as well, so, given the relationship and circumstances, I’m sure they both know what they were getting into. In the end, “polite white people,” the kind that make and enforce the laws, simply don’t know what kind of reality the rest of us live in (or perhaps they do and want to take advantage of it!).

        Either way, I think both of these cases continue to be both travesties of “justice” – which is in itself getting to be a bit of an arcane term – and an indicator of things to come.

        • the Heretick says:

          http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/fire-destroys-michael-brown-memorial-missouri-25699069

          Well, well, could this be “The Fire Next Time”? I’ve made my mind up on the Brown situation, and it’s not the accepted narrative. What clinched it for me was a You Tube video where a witness said Brown doubled back on the cop, then advanced, and said he thought the cop missed him because he kept coming. I think Michael was feeling his oats after facing down the store clerk. As for why the cop was questioning him, doesn’t matter, he attacked the cop.
          I remember Watts, the dogs and fire hoses, 68, all of it, and my opinion is that MLK would be horrified at people trashing what he died for, and by that I mean the thugs.

          The working class is stuck in these neighborhoods, the thin blue line is all that keeps the country from devolving into insanity. To me the real problem is not beat cops but the Feds pumping up the stakes with the economic policy, or lack thereof. Outsourcing has killed these cities, the poor of all colors have migrated to the apartment blocks built decades ago in suburbs to house baby boomers who have grown up. The most dangerous gang ridden areas in the Midwest/Central US are apartment blocks. There are several square miles over east here locally where the cops do not go except in force, rolling heavy, it’s not a cop term, it’s a ghetto term. But that’s what capitalism has turned this country into, the ruling class sets the conditions, the cops are just the class monitors. Cops don’t just treat black people this way, it’s everybody, they suspect everybody, Fred had a column on it recently.

          I’ve gotta go, my unemployment has run out and I have to practice my typing drills to try and pass some tests.

          • Disaffected says:

            Ohio grand jury decides not to charge officers in Walmart shooting

            I guess this kid had to coming too. And I guess MLK would be pissed that not a damn thing has changed in the interim either. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Simon: I’ve gotta ask you for a favor. Let me go my way here. This truck’s my responsibility, and now that the car’s hooked up to it, it’s my responsibility too.
            Rocstar: Do you think I’m stupid? Just answer that question first.
            Simon: Look, I don’t know nothing about you; you don’t know nothing about me. I don’t know if you’re stupid, or some kind of genius. All I know is that I need to get out of here, and you got the gun. So I’m asking you, for the second time, let me go my way here.
            Rocstar: I’m gonna grant you that favor, and I’m gonna expect you to remember it if we ever meet again. But tell me this, are you asking me as a sign of respect, or are you asking because I’ve got the gun?
            Simon: Man, the world ain’t supposed to work like this. I mean, maybe you don’t know that yet. I’m supposed to be able to do my job without having to ask you if I can. That dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you ripping him off. Everything is supposed to be different than it is.
            Rocstar: So what’s your answer?
            Simon: You ain’t got the gun, we ain’t having this conversation.
            Rocstar: That’s what I thought: no gun, no respect. That’s why I always got the gun.

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101969/quotes

          • Disaffected says:

            And evidently, this nice old white man didn’t:

            White man jaywalks with gun…guess what happens?

            Parallel, separate and definitely unequal, systems of justice can only work for so long. Yeah, the poor whites will eventually get what’s coming to them too, inspite of their insipid fawning worship for their white corporate masters (of which the cops are merely bought off hired guns who would themselves be one of the downtrodden if they hadn’t sold themselves into indentured servitude), which I guess you could say they deserve for not sticking up for their own when they had the chance. Thin blue line my ass! And no matter what poor whites have been culturally conditioned to think, they’ve got far more in common with their poor minority compadres than they ever will with their wealthy racial “brothers.” But once again, we’ll all find that out soon enough.

            “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
            ― Frederick Douglass

            “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
            ― Warren Buffett

            http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/class-warfare

            Fuck the corporations, stay feral!

          • Disaffected says:

            So HT, I take it you were talking about this Fred’s column? Notes from the Drains, What Cops Really Do

            I too read a lot of Fred and also embrace much of the contrariness that he is prone too (who’d a thunk?). I like his nuanced (if also sometimes extreme) viewpoints on things, and especially his ability to elucidate and even embrace diametrically opposed viewpoints, often in the same post. He’s a smart guy who’s got a lifetime of experience in areas that most people don’t even want to contemplate anymore, so I give him a broad berth when he wades into controversial areas where even I don’t always agree with his point of view. And besides, I think he’s often writing for effect and doesn’t necessarily 100% subscribe to every viewpoint he’s supporting on this or that subject on any particular day. And that’s to be admired. Life isn’t black and white after all, and it’s all the many shades of gray that keep things interesting and continue to make blogs like this worth visiting.

            So anyway, all that said, I take the above post as nothing more than a Fred reality adjustment piece for readers inclined to blame cops first for everything. And granted, cops lives are tough, no two ways about it. And cops are recruited, like the military, mostly from the working class “dregs” of society, hardly the most informed or enlightened group, and then paid like shit and worked to death thereafter. Granted, granted, granted across the board. And then, like Fred points out so well in the above post, they’re isolated and abused like occupying forces in a foreign land (which they literally are in many cases), which results in many if not most of them turning within to form an isolated groupthink culture of us against them against their perceived enemies, especially when you throw in the explosive mix of race, which has never been even minimally addressed in America, the current black president notwithstanding.

            So yeah, I get your point that an underpaid, more than likely racist white cop with a (possibly) justified chip on his shoulder could justifiably (in his mind at least) gun down an uppity ghetto nigger who refused to submit to his authority in broad daylight and then join with his police force accomplices to let the body lay uncovered in the late summer heat for several hours in the middle of the street in full view of the minority community the victim was a part of, and then take part in an active cover up of all that in the aftermath, and yet, somehow come away as feeling justified in the process. Yeah, I get all that. But even so, I don’t for a minute buy any of that shit. And neither should you.

            Cause in the end, after all the mental and philosophical gymnastics and contortions, after all the role playing and fucked up half-assed illegitimate “justifications,” a young black kid who may or may not be guilty of anything other than the color of his skin and his unwillingness to kiss the ass of his culturally anointed master, while his murderer goes not only free to do it again, but exalted as sign of things to come. And that’s just bullshit, no matter how you slice it. Allow this same little morality play to play out in any white superb in America and just watch the outrage! But then again, it would never happen in the first place, now would it?

            In the end, Michael Brown is dead and gone and will little be missed, even to those who loved him. That’s just the way life and death goes here on terra firma. But the truly ironic thing about this whole incident is that it’s played out countless times everyday in all the third world shitholes that the US MIC holds sway without a drop of ink being spilt here in the US, where unbeknownst to the fucking sheep who continue to vote for it, the US national security state continues to sharpen it’s knives for them. Ask not for whom the bell tolls and all that shit, your turn is coming!

            • Disaffected says:

              … “and his unwillingness to kiss the ass of his culturally anointed master lies dead” above.

            • Disaffected says:

              And by the way, Fred’s not right on everything. If we truly buy into the belief that the races are best separate and apart (and maybe they are), then the US is by definition an apartheid state. If that’s the case, that’s a game changer, for sure. Not that it will ever happen. But in that case, who’s to blame for the mixing in the first place? Oh fuck, that’s right! The goddamned European white induced African black slave trade! Fuck!

              Well then, let’s just send them uppity niggers back to Africa and be done with it! But wait! Oh shit! There goes NFL football and NBA basketball, not to mention all them “new age” musical niggers who’ve got all our youth stirred up! Well fuck! Let’s stop and think about this for awhile then!

              In the end it’s all entirely laughable. White rich people and their assorted acolytes ain’t nearly as smart as they think they are. And it’s all starting to come unraveled around them.

              Imperialism, white or otherwise, is as imperialism does. It fucks every last orifice it can while it can until it can’t any longer. And then it tells its victims that it was all in its best interests and begs to be allowed to continue. Until its victims finally cry no more!

              That time is almost here.

              • the Heretick says:

                Dude, the n-word, that’s just not cool, not if you are the wrong color. Besides, you are supposed to end it with an “az” if you use it at all. Just read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in about 3 days, what’s illuminating at this point is how condescendingly Stowe herself wrote about Africans, especially from a religious viewpoint.

                She also approached proto-socialist ideas in some passages, which maybe were native to her tonight, or perhaps she was aware of happenings in Europe. Our country has not dealt with the causes of the war, which was of course capitalism, slavery being just an excuse to get free labor.

                • the Heretick says:

                  “tonight” should be thought, learning to touch type, and i get lost in the middle of words.

                • Disaffected says:

                  The “n-word” (God! Third grader speak!) loses its charge altogether when you just say it right out loud. It’s a word that needs to see the fresh light of day for awhile. When racist whites think about or talk among each other about “African Americans” you can bet damn sure that’s the term they’re using. It’s just so chicken shit to banish words like that, thinking that that actually solves anything. But of course that’s another thing that’s wrong in America these days. We can’t even contemplate our horrible past, never mind seriously consider solutions. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Just a bunch of trained monkeys!

            • the Heretick says:

              I don’t think Wilson just gunned down Brown because he disrespected his authority, i think Brown attacked him after Wilson recognized him from a radio reports. Brown probably figured to stun him enough to make it to the apartments where he figured to be gone. Didn’t work out that way.

              Truth be known, your average thug of whatever color sees the popo as the face of a system they have little say in, and that is pretty much correct. Don’t you and I feel pretty much the same way? The rub comes when the population needs protection from the very problems the class system creates.

              Funny you bring up our overseas adventures, it’s the samey-samey, meddle in other countries for 100 years, create problems, then send in Team America and the World Police to put down the natives. Shake and Bake.

              • Disaffected says:

                Our third world misadventures are little more than the practice fields for the real deal here at home. Coming to a neighborhood near us all soon!

    • the Heretick says:

      “He shook his head. You’re asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do. I have only one way to live. It doesn’t allow for special cases. A coin toss perhaps. In this case to small purpose. Most people don’t believe that there can be such a person. You see what a problem that must be for them. How to prevail over that which you refuse to acknowledge the existence of. Do you understand? When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That there could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way. You’re asking that I second say the world. Do you see?

      Yes, she said sobbing. I do. I truly do.

      Good, he said. That’s good. Then he shot her.”
      ― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

  18. Disaffected says:

    More good stuff on the St Louis MO area and their racial problem.

    Ferguson is our “libertarian moment,” but not in the way some libertarians want you to believe

    “Many decades ago, libertarian author Robert Poole, one of the leading brain bugs of libertarianism and one of the Koch brothers’ longest-serving lieutenants, proposed exactly this sort of system in his pioneering handbook on government privatization, “Cutting Back City Hall” published in 1980: “Make the users (i.e., the criminals) pay the costs, wherever possible.”

    …But one thing that Poole and Reason are very proud of is how they brought ideas from the fringes to the mainstream — and Ferguson is a prime example of how Poole’s neoliberal blueprints on privatizing criminal justice were eventually adopted in cities across the country.

    In Ferguson’s offender-fee system, city revenues from traffic fines make up 21% of the city budget and continue soaring. Those revenues are squeezed mostly from black drivers — 86% of motorists stopped in Ferguson are African-American, well above their 63% portion of the town’s population.

    …In 1981, a year after Poole’s privatization primer was published, Reason magazine — under Poole’s direction — promoted what it called “The St. Louis Solution” as the answer to America’s urban problems. “The St. Louis Solution” described how wealthy city neighborhoods took advantage of segregation-era laws allowing residents to privatize their streets, and so keep undesirables off of their “private property.”

    St. Louis is unusual for its private streets, a local law that dates back to city’s robber baron rulers in the 1800s. St. Louis’ private street laws were revived in the 1950s during the backlash against the Civil Rights movement. According to St. Louis Law School professor Roger Goldman, St. Louis’ unique “form of discrimination that surprises visitors from other cities is the large number of private streets that they see as keeping undesirables out, i.e., blacks.”

    Ladue, Missouri — the richest suburb in St. Louis — features all-private streets. It is the “St. Louis Solution” personified. Ladue also has a 1.0% black population. A few years ago, Ladue’s police chief was fired for refusing to target black drivers who passed through the city limits. Following the Robert Poole blueprint, Ladue sought to cover its $300,000 city budget shortfall through “offender fees” — traffic tickets — rather than by raising taxes on its millionaire homeowners. In 2006, African-Americans made up 22.5% of traffic stops by Ladue police in a town where they were only 1% of the population.”

    Private streets now, eh? Looks like the final solution is proceeding even faster than imagined.

  19. Disaffected says:

    And this is simply priceless:

  20. Disaffected says:

    Looks like the natives might still be restless in Ferguson:

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ferguson-shooting-20140928-story.html

    This after this:

    http://newsone.com/3056143/doj-prohibits-ferguson-st-louis-pd-from-wearing-i-am-darren-wilson-wristbands/

    Talk about tone deaf. Misguided support for one of their own aside, every commanding officer in the chain should be fired for allowing this stupid shit! On the flip side, it’s refreshing for overt racists to be so… overt about it. One thing you have to give credit for, St Louis’/Ferguson’s finest wear their racism on their sleeves, err… bracelets and/or nametags, loud and proud! Gotta give credit where credit is due! Sign of more things to come?

    Rest assured, somewhere, even in the St Louis area, in a rich wood paneled luxurious sitting room a bunch of well heeled oligarchs are ensconced in their leather chairs, smoking cigars and sipping brandy, while they laugh at the ease of turning the almost poor against the actually poor on such specious grounds.

  21. Disaffected says:

    Nice Crows extended HD video. I guess you could say Adam Duritz officially declared to go “old and fat” with this one, which, in the end is a good thing. That’s where we all end up, and I think the thing I love most about this band is that they embrace it.

  22. Disaffected says:

    And predictably and right on time:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/obama-60-minutes_n_5895870.html

    In other words, forget all that shit I campaigned on. We’ve got untold number of “enemies” who must be stamped out through the beneficent use of the US MIC. Imagine that, he says through his knowing Cheshire cat grin!

    Liars, damn liars, and the damn lying liars who support them indeed! If ever there was a “nigger” worth the label, it’s Obama. A true sellout on every front!

    • the Heretick says:

      “Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,”

      What bullshit, the Shrub and his Pa started all that crap, search April Glaspie, if you don’t already know about her.

    • the Heretick says:

      Had to do a restart, virus protection update, which I do asap when they pop up.
      Consider comment below a warm-up. Party people pushing the hologram love to blame the Shrub, or Ronnie, forgetting that every POTUS ever pushed the primacy of the USA.
      The Monroe Doctrine, The Bush Doctrine, Manifest Destiny.

      The truth is that these people do not want to buy what we are selling, they don’t want any part of our post-modern gibberish.
      “The inception is what is most uncanny and mightiest. What follows is not a development but flattening down as mere widening out… a perversion of what is great, into greatness and extension purely in the sense of number and mass.”
      Yes, they do some horrible things, we do some horrible things, especially in the light of traditional morality and religious views. This religious component cannot be underestimated, I don’t want to discuss it except to point out that the Messianic mindset infects even secular thought in the sense that it tends to linearity and an insistence on some sort of revealed truth. The alternatives put forth are method or madness, w/o considering the method may be madness.

      Our society swims in a sea of simulation, a lake of lies. these people don’t want us there.
      We started the Syrian thing by meddling, just like Iraq, perhaps ISIS is surviving because the people over there want them too.

      • kulturcritic says:

        Feed the virus and it grows!

      • Disaffected says:

        Speaking of viruses, looks like the proverbial shit has just hit the fan! But the venerable head of the CDC “assures” us that all is good. Right over there in your neighborhood too, HT!

        http://abcnews.go.com/Health/cdc-make-ebola-spread-us/story?id=25876311

        • the Heretick says:

          The ignorance is astounding, I have done posts in various places to the effect that we should have quarantined sooner rather than later, much hostility.
          Seems we must cast caution to the winds to prove what good world neighbors we are, all while taking a royal screwing from the masters of this planet. You can be damn sure said masters have their bug out bastion stocked, ready, and waiting; their loved ones won’t be catching any nasty bug.
          Using social mores against the proles is an old game, as old as settled societies.
          It hardly bears pointing out that open borders do not benefit the masses, but being isolationist too readily feeds into jingoism and nationalism, a couple things which do not enjoy much of a high regard. The “global village” benefits the few, the wealthy elite, that’s the truth of it.

          Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

          Not instituting a quarantine was negligence bordering on criminal.

          • Disaffected says:

            It does seem strange that with all the hysteria surrounding the GWOT myth, that TPTB aren’t breaking a sweat at all regarding a potential killer disease pandemic right here in “the homeland” where the “unknowable unknowns” are truly legitimate and frightening. Very peculiar indeed!

            I’m reading The Hot Zone now. The descriptions of the disease symptoms are truly horrifying.

      • Disaffected says:

        Lots of evidence out there that ISIS is a backchannel US/Saudi funded faux enemy as well; a strawman conveniently set up so that the US can conveniently make war on it and in the process expand the war in the area at will based on all threats real or manufactured. It think it’s fair to say that, combined with Ebola conveniently showing up in the US, we have entered a new phase in the Global War on Everything. Among other things, the PTB know that the Fed’s QE and ZIRP ammunition is but expended to little effect other than further enriching the 1% at everyone else’s expense and that the shale oil “boom” is about to go bust, revealing the US’s conventional fuels policies to be bankrupt as well. Dark times on the horizon now boys and girls. Might be time to cull the herd with an “unavoidable” viral outbreak.

      • Disaffected says:

        Our society swims in a sea of simulation, a lake of lies. these people don’t want us there. We started the Syrian thing by meddling, just like Iraq, perhaps ISIS is surviving because the people over there want them too.

        Just to add, I’m as thoroughly confused as anybody about goes on in our name militarily these days. My only guiding principle is that probably 90% of what we read in the MSM is at least 50% government propaganda, with just enough truth thrown in to keep everyone off balance. The recent blatantly obvious false flag incidents in Ukraine in particular are sobering however, in that they directly indicate the depths of depravity the US and western governments have now unapologetically sunk too, even on the broad strokes. We’re no longer talking about small, “gentlemen’s lies” to sway an argument this way or that. We’re talking about globally strategic big picture lies meant to send nuclear powers to war. That’s some pretty serious stuff right there, so I think it’s safe to conclude that something’s seriously amiss at the global strategic economic level.

        My guess, and it’s hardly a guess, is it’s some combination of peak energy and peak finance has the oligarchs losing sleep at night again. We’ve been running on fumes since 20087 anyway, so we’re long overdue.

  23. Disaffected says:

    More good stuff on Ferguson MO, Michael Brown, and the growing privatization (for profit) of the public sphere:

    http://newsone.com/3057464/ferguson-demands-high-fees-to-turn-over-city-files-video

    • the Heretick says:

      It really is a plantation system, there is nowhere to run.B back in the day you could go to the frontier to get away from control, now every thing is owned. This all pervasive system has everyone trapped, not just blacks.

      • Disaffected says:

        It’s actually worse than a plantation system. Back in the day the default position was for the working poor (blacks only at the time) to be owned by wealthy landowners, where they were at least entitled to a roof over their heads and steady work, however minimal and harsh those might be. The default position now is that you’re entitled to nothing, absent possibly a prison cell after society’s through with you. All by design of course.

        The rich today (as always!) are deluded in thinking that they actually do anything to deserve all that wealth. A fact that as the collapse proceeds and the waterline of poverty and destitution steadily rises they will only grudgingly come to accept. Nonetheless, their time’s a coming massa!

  24. Disaffected says:

    Ahh.. and then there’s this. No potential lethal viral outbreak should go unpoliticized. You’ve gotta laugh! I wonder how the Repubes will cleverly link Ebola being a “black, african” disease and Obama’s ethnicity. Whatever it is, I’m sure they’ll find a way!

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/03/politics/ebola-midterms/

    • Disaffected says:

      Nonetheless, if this blows up like it might, someone’s (i.e.; whomever’s in charge) gonna get the blame. Although if that happens political problems might be the last of anybody’s worries. The problem with proclamations like this, well-meaning though they may be, is that they instill a false sense of security among the populace for something that national governments have little control over, past a certain point of contagion at least. Even the mighty US MIC, mighty bloviator and pretender of power, is pretty much helpless before a microorganism that it doesn’t understand.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/us/containing-ebola-cdc-troops-west-africa.html?_r=0

  25. Disaffected says:

    Needs to be said more, futile though it might be:

  26. Disaffected says:

    More fun stuff regarding the latest pseudo IS “beheading”:

    Who’s this fat fuck?

    I could care less about this guy, but don’t I look nice?

    I’m the most powerful man in the world! Who in the fuck are you?

    I look pretty cool, don’t I? What else do you need to know?

    I’m looking off into the distance. Why aren’t you?

    Better yet! I’m covering my lips! Why aren’t you?

    I’m REALLY FUCKING serious!

    But my eyes are REALLY FUCKING RED! How about YOU!?!

  27. Disaffected says:

    ISIS = US/Saudi/Israeli back channel funded phantoms in the night to justify further US MIC misadventures in the ME in support of high oil prices to justify further oil investment in the face of a dying oil economy. Write it down. All the supposed beheadings are merely a means toward that end.

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