Archive for the ‘Capitalism’ Category
He Was Trapped. ATE His Way Out.
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10-Year-Old Dies From Rat Bite
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2-Legged Dog’s Unlikely Best Friend
What They Found Under Alcatraz
The Ways a Black Hole Could Kill You
Giant Asteroid Headed Our Way
Mystery Uncovered In Italian Alps
No Relief from Snow in Sight
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Disabled Kitten Gets Helping Hand
WATCH: Lamb Gets Too Excited
Baby Offers Greet the World
It doesn’t matter how big the American government’s debt gets, since the world can’t afford it to default. An American default would decimate the global economy, and wouldn’t be tolerated by pretty much anyone – right-wing American politicians raise the issue as part of a long-term project of corporate domination of the economy.
The “current financial state of the US” has been gradually worsening since the 1970s, due to poor economic policy and terrible economic priorities, such as yearly $1 Trillion military expenditures while schools are being closed, roads are in disrepair, and the health care system (regardless of Obama’s law) is far worse than that of most other industrialized countries.
Remember the Greek government debt crisis a few years ago? Even though the Greek economy is a fraction of the American one, there was no way Europe was going to let Greece default, since it would harm Europe as a whole. The Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund used the threat of Greek default to take control of the Greek economy, so $67.5 Billion of Greek Government assets were corporatized, among other elements of domination. Go ahead and ask the Greek people how their lives have been since these “helpful changes” were implemented there. Then ask the multinational corporations how helpful these changes have truly been.
That’s the model that’s desired for the United States, among other debtor nations – sell off public assets to corporations, take what little control regular people have over their economy away from them and put it into the hands of international banks and multinational corporations. Disempowering people further means their wages and benefits are (further) reduced and powerful institutions further enriched and empowered.
The world is dying, ecologically, at least according to the understanding of those in power (which will come to pass if they have their way). There are no long-term consumers of capitalist products and services. This understanding has transformed the capitalist human into the capitalist dragon, from an investor into a hoarder, from a man into a beast.
In a dying world the entire earth eventually becomes a ghetto, and the ruling idea of the rich is to escape the ghetto. The first step is a siege mentality, where gated communities are built, walls to keep out the unworthy, while wealth and power are amassed and capabilities improved. By the time the ghetto expands to include even them, they’ll be gone, through a combination of nano-tech, computer-tech, and outer-space tech. In a dead world filled with zombies, these last bastions of humanity will take to outer space to “repopulate the human race”, neglecting to understand that unlike the “zombies”, these “human beings” were the precise creatures to have murdered an entire planet in the first place.
But they’ll be super-beautiful, 6-packed, breast-augmented, buffed with their own sense of self-worth, super-knowledgeable, super-intelligent, super-capable, all teched up and ready to go. They’ll be Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, so photogenic and Hollywood and super-awesome. So fuck history, fuck reality, they’ve transcended all of that. They are going to colonize the final frontier and no earth or zombies or human beings are going to stop them. They are the real human beings and there’s no one they’ve left alive to tell them they’re wrong.
The world is horrific, with millions dying of starvation and easily preventable disease yearly, millions more dying or being raped in armed conflict, massacre, and/or genocide, along with more minor problems like billions living in poverty, nearly universal lack of adequate health care, severe birth defects due to weapon fallout, etc.
It’s going to get much worse, due to not just the ecological effects of global warming but the political effects. Poor people around the world aren’t just going to die quietly as their homes and bodies are ravaged by an overheated dying world, they are going to riot since they have nothing left to lose.
It’s ridiculous to think that the United States is going to reduce it’s military budget, since all of their military bases around the world, all the investment in dominating the internet, etc. only becomes more important once the terrified hordes come crashing through the gated communities. In a dying world even the rich and powerful become insecure, and their lack of security results in their need to control all of human life.
Noone with any sense wants to fight a dragon, but once the choice is between fighting and death, suddenly everyone wants to fight the dragon. So we team up, the final battle between humans and dragons, and IF humans win those of us who are still alive after the war get to build a better world. At least one lesson will be learned – dragons will no longer be allowed to exist. We were foolish and arrogant to let them live and it’s going to cost us dearly.
There are mass protests all around the world to a degree never before in human history, the Arab Spring merely the most famous example. And this is only the beginning. As the world gets worse the people will get far angrier. Many dragons are going to die.
The future is going to be horrific. We’ll either die or perhaps, like in Dante’s works, we’ll find heaven through the deepest most terrible depths of hell.
The dragons call us zombies and say they are justified in their treatment of us as they take human form and blow our heads off with shotguns, but don’t believe it. We are humans, and they are the monsters.
Good luck to us all.
JC is a metaphorical acronym for Jesus Christ – JC Denton in the game is a transcendental figure whose character progression inevitably results in creating the “new man” – he’s defining the transhuman reality. Thus the box art where Denton, bathed in light, looks up at the sky (heaven).
Page wanted to dominate Helios – Helios viewed himself as indispensable to the future and thus couldn’t merge with Page. The most heart to heart conversation in the game was between Morpheus (who later rose like the sun to become Helios) and Denton, and it was clear that Morpheus admired Denton.
JC is not himself after the merging – this merging parallels that at the end of Ghost in the Shell – it’s understood that the only moral merging is both entities losing themselves to create something new. Both Helios and Denton are lost and something new is created.
All of the main characters in the game are attempting to be this messiah – Tracer Tong, the Illuminati, Bob Page, Helios. Helios recognizes his limitations as a computer program and is expanding the capabilities of his program by merging with Denton, thus enabling the best possible transhuman reality in his view.
All of the messiah figures, including Denton himself, are dark and sinister (the game takes place entirely at night), and the oppressed enemy in the game is not so much the various messiahs opposed to each other, but regular people, who are killed off and/or weakened by the plague.
Deus Ex depicts a world where regular decent people suffer terribly and die while the power elite fight among each other for global domination.
Helios is the technocratic option, corresponding to the computerized security/surveillance state illustrated clearly by the recent Snowden revelations. The Echelon system in Deus Ex has similarities to the NSA system.
Page and the Illuminati are two types of dictatorships – the iron fist versus the velvet glove.
Tracer Tong is the ironic luddite – using technology to destroy it.
JC Denton, despite being well meaning and declared by the game itself to be a savior, cannot produce a good outcome. He can only choose the lesser evil.
The good possible future, that is to say democracy, is made impossible by a combination of the plague and the global police state. Instead of fighting the powers that be, the people reach out to the same powers that caused the plague to grant them the cure, cynically named Ambrosia, “food of the gods” but actually merely a life-extender for ravaged and dominated humans barely continuing to breathe.
The “aliens” in the game correspond to the “evolved man”, ala Olaf Stapledon’s “second men”, yet keeping with the dark irony of the game are actually just genetic cross-breeds.
Inspirations for Deus Ex include Ghost in the Shell, Metal Gear Solid, System Shock 1 and 2, the Matrix, Neuromancer, and the works of G.K. Chesterton.
Although Deus Ex is the best computer game ever made, it’s fundamentally flawed in it’s optimism – the powers that be in the real world aren’t interested in creating the “second men”, but rather simply maximizing their wealth and well-being in a dying world. Deus Ex believes in a radical shift in the nature of life (from human to transhuman) whereas what’s at stake in the real world is the existence of life itself.
Here’s an email I sent recently to Michael Parenti:
We may well find, as we reflect on the world in which we live, that the key ideological difference is not between capitalism and socialism, which are merely two symptoms of the issue, but rather between those who want the world to die and those who want the world to live.
The logic of the industrial revolution, which takes from the earth without giving back, entails self-annihilation unless the world is seen as merely a stepping stone, a crib which can be set aside when the infant grows out of it. Therefore a prerequisite for the industrial revolution was the work of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, who moved the earth from the center of the universe (therefore rendering it special and sacrosanct) and replaced it with the sun. Subsequent scientific development rendered the earth less special still, reducing its value and the propensity for humans to maintain its well-being or even existence.
The purpose of capitalism is to kill the world and force humanity to move on. According to current capitalist hopes, Mars is the first step.
This reality enlightens many of the interactions between capitalists and socialists. Capitalists consider socialists to be cowards, not so much due to the valuation of rugged individualism but the greater cowardice of not being willing or able to wish to leave the earth. Capitalists view socialists as babies unwilling or unable to grow up.
Socialists view capitalists as somewhere between stern authority figures and psychopaths.
My view is that it defeats the value of exploring the universe if the explorers are only there because they intentionally killed their own planet. A capitalist point here is that exploration of the universe might give the means for saving the earth, an argument that began its life meager and died a little each day after.
Think about this the other way around. What would we think of an alien species who only came to earth because they intentionally destroyed their own planet. Would we want them on ours?
What would the expected outcome be on another planet when colonized by a species whose ideology is based on destruction and “progress”?
The question perhaps is not whether or not we want outer space but whether or not outer space wants us.
It’s taboo to speak poorly about capitalism in the West, and until recently was likewise taboo to speak poorly about the rich. As such, critiques of capitalism and the wealthy have to be concealed, plausibly deniable.
Prior to the 1980s, American alien culture was centered around UFOs, which were often high altitude spy planes being tested by the US government. Interest in UFOs meant interest in greater transparency of the US government toward Americans.
During the 1980s, popularized a decade later, there was a shift in alien culture from UFOs to alien creatures. This matched up with the recognition that the world’s rulers were pursuing an apocalyptic ideology and were no longer caretakers of the earth and living creatures. Aliens became a metaphor for the rulers, who act to destroy the world and it’s people.
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From Erica James in her book “Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti”:
“The opaque and sometimes secret crafts of activists, bureaucrats, and other humanitarian and development experts aiding Haiti made suffering productive. Their labor converted the suffering that embodies individuals after malevolent, inhumane interventions into what I call ‘trauma portfolios’, the aggregate of paraphernalia compiled to document and authenticate the experience of individual, family, or collective sufferers. The work of conversion created the identity of ‘victims’ or ‘survivors’ for individuals who were once [militants or activists]. It was a professional transformation of suffering that fed a growing humanitarian market.”
The greatest, deepest form of exploitation exploits exploitation itself. Sell someone a disease then sell them a cure. Punch them in the face and sell them a bandage.
A great form of exploitation is to cause someone suffering then teach them that suffering is noble. You like it this way. You want it this way. It’s ok – it builds character.
In the 1980s and 1990s when American capitalists wanted American servants to consume vast quantities of East Asian manufactured goods in order to enrich themselves, Americans dutifully served. They hung out at malls, cared about brands, made fun of outsiders who didn’t, and acted as the good servants they were and still are. The intellectual servants who serve the very same rulers had an explanation for such behavior: consumerism. A mysterious force driving people to become consumer zombies. It’s no mystery that we were spared the truth for the sake of the well being of the master.
After World War 2 American capitalists were ever expanding their operations overseas, selling to largely non-white people, and they realized that the rampant racism at home was no longer useful to them. The servants got the picture, and a “civil rights” movement grew in power until it achieved certain limited ends which were beneficial to the globalizing capitalist class.
The downtrodden servants, desperate for self respect, give themselves credit for “no longer hanging out at malls” and lots of credit for “no longer being racist”. Funny, that. Real funny. All they are doing is taking orders from the masters, and they still are. When the masters told them to be racist, they were, and when they tell them to stop, they do.
When the masters tell them to hate Arabs, they cheer and sometimes engage in anti-Arab abuse including American soldiers demonizing Arabs as “haijis” prior to bombing them – when the masters tell them to hate hispanics, they do the same. Where is their anti-racism now?
When the masters don’t need the entire population to be racist, that’s fine. A section of the population can congratulate themselves on being “progressive” and not being like those other people. Hence the population becomes divided between the “racists” and the “non-racists” and the age old tactic of divide and conquer succeeds. The capitalist smiles ear to ear.
When will we stop being good little servants and wipe that fucking smile off his face?
As the West finished exploring the world in the 18th and 19th centuries it realized there was little left to exploit. It could fight within itself – a depressing option. Under these terms of an end of world expansionism it’s main goal became how to best maintain it’s system of world domination.
With the “3rd world” largely controlled and confidently held in control, the ruling class turned to “it’s own” citizens – the Western populace. This populace was no longer required to do anything – the end of world expansionism by the West marks the end of the desire for an active and able populace – the age of the rational individual was over.
The New Age which began in the 19th century and in which we are still living requires the individual to be useless. This uselessness is achieved in many ways – one is through bureaucracy and totalitarianism, as detailed in Brave New World, 1984, The Trial, and elsewhere. Another is through the use of trivia and distractions to socially render human useless – discussing sports scores for example, or watching TV, playing video games, etc. propagandistically termed “entertaining” the purpose of which is to remove the Western populace from having political effect.
Yet another method is psychological/physiological torture and control – the purpose of advertising is to control human wants. The purpose of pharmaceuticals is not to cure illness but to allow people to get sick safely – one can indulge in depression and then simply take an anti-depressant – indulge in fatty foods and take a diet pill.
The Western populace doesn’t mind any of this – it is literally bought off – the supposedly “poor people” of the West are actually part of the global middle class, while the “middle class” of the West are very wealthy on a global scale. The Western populace sees their utter uselessness as human beings, their degradation, their becoming a simple vessel for capitalist consumption, as merely the price paid for a life of ease and luxury. They look at the 3rd world and see the alternative for themself should they become “uppity”.
Corporations are the primary tool of this New Age, their power growing vastly during the 20th and 21st centuries. They are the rulers of the world, not governments.
One of the social outcomes of this new age is a complete loss of self-discipline. Any problem capitalism can fix and the individual is useless anyway – the logical conclusion as manufactured by the ruling class is that one must give in to despair and let consumer goods be the hope.
In Dante Alighieri’s work The Inferno, he says that the path to heaven is through hell. The social outcome of this belief is the embrace of corruption, the practice of evil for good ends.
Led Zeppelin references Dante in it’s most popular work, Stairway to Heaven, which features a woman corrupting her body (drug use) in order to climb the stairway to heaven.
What this spiritual methodology results in is the destruction of the earth for the sake of holiness, and I find no greater blasphemy, no more hideous conception, no more unfortunate embrace, than the West holding Dante in such high regard.
Dante coincided with the rise of capitalism in 14th century Europe. Capitalism and feudalism are similar systems, differing largely in that feudalism was linked closely to heredity, whereas capitalism is linked more socially (the concept of “networking” for example is strictly capitalist).
Under Dante Western culture shifted toward worldly destruction for the sake of spiritual ambition.
Under Dante, nuclear war and global warming are considered “holy”. They are necessary parts of the path through hell. According to The Rapture, the true believers will simply “ascend to heaven” and leave a smoldering earth behind (hence the “Left Behind” series).
Existentialism and psychoanalysis were invented by the West in order to turn Western society’s attention inward, toward “it’s problems” rather than the problems it was causing in the world through world capitalism of which it was (and is) the imperial center. Existentialism is the leading cultural cause of Western global destruction. The neurotic is not waging a battle for his soul between wealthy dominator and compassionate decency, but endlessly self-absorbed, with ongoing “issues”, which serve as a perpetual bubble keeping the world at bay. The neurotic wants one of two things – either endless attempts at reconciliation, whereby he visits psychoanalysts, takes pills which don’t work, talks about his “feelings” over and over, or he’s “cured”, where he feels “peace of mind” with no substantial change in his identity.
Far from radicals, Nietzsche, Kafka and others are servants of imperial power, turning the West’s attention inward at the very time it was exerting increasing control through global capital networks. Existentialism fully succeeded in it’s tasks, and global capital reigned throughout the 20th century and so far into the 21st. Only the covert socialist Neoconservatives have thus far threatened global capital, and they’ve been shut down.
This is a reply to Timber on Dissident Voice. Timber’s words are in italics.
“You could also ask why so many poor people choose to participate in the exploitation of other poor people around the world by wearing Nike sweatshop apparel or by shopping at WalMart. I’m sorry to say it, but I think a lot of them just don’t care.”
No – it’s that downtrodden people enjoy lording over those even lower than themselves – the vast majority of people in the world are both below someone else and above someone else. By wearing the work of terrible slave labor they can constantly remind themselves that there are people in the world of a lower social caste than themselves – sweatshop apparel is a status symbol.
The poor of the world are by and large not more moral than the rich. They simply have less power and thus less ability to fuck things up.
This is how capitalism works – divide and conquer. It creates innumerable striations of social classes – one populous class of which is mini-lords who either directly control bottom-feeding slaves or who have some access to the output of low slaves (poor Americans wearing sweatshop gear).
The vast majority of Americans support worldwide slavery because ALL Americans, even indigenous Americans living in concentration camps (reservations) are mini-lords, who reap imperial benefits derived from slaves lower on the power rung than themselves.
This is the truth about abuse that few on the left have come to terms with – the abused become abusers themselves (think Zionists as a result of the Holocaust in their treatment of Palestinians) in order to paper-over their own feelings of impotence. Jews were impotent during the Holocaust so they are “potent” now, and Walmart shoppers are impotent in the social construct of America so they are “potent” with respect to sweatshop workers.
Marxists are deluded in that they treat the world as a dual construct of capitalists/workers. This utter travesty of extreme over-simplification has mind-fucked the left into abandoning the world’s poor – since they treat all workers equally, as “slaves of capitalism”.
Many of the supposedly downtrodden workers are mini-lords, with slaves below them who toil endlessly to provide benefits to themselves. Low slaves in Africa and Asia serve the needs of their “poor” masters in America, Western Europe and Japan, personified by a member of the “working class” wearing Nike apparel.
The global power structure is not capitalist/worker – it’s a ladder with many rungs. Unless you’re on the very top or the very bottom, you’re BOTH a slave and a master.
Marxism and it’s many “errors” have prevented the overthrow of capitalism. Marxism is a belief held by masters who pretend to be slaves. Anyone serious about destroying capitalism has had just about enough of that.
Marxism supports capitalism since it’s constituency (First world workers) benefits from it – the output of low slaves feeds their material well-being.
Here’s a general example taken from all capitalist societies, the prototypical one from which all hierarchies are derived – fatherhood. There are different levels of socially accepted ways to “feed the family”. One way that is socially accepted is to take a position in a corporation that exploits the third world. Due to the constraints of “fatherhood” (as the father views the constraints) he must take part in exploiting the third world because the alternative (not exploiting the third world and therefore making less money) makes him a bad father.
But even that might not be enough, and he may need to undertake actions that offend his own country’s ruling elite to make even more money. Again, all due to the institutional constraints (as he views them) of fatherhood.
In capitalist societies men want to become fathers precisely so that they can become dominative. That is to say, men recognize their own desire for power and the positive impact that fatherhood has on their quest for power (social status, sexual value, etc.) insofar as it places conditional constraints on them that individually, they desire. So men (and women, to the extent that they too “feed the family” and that they desire to couple with men who do) want to become dominative, they want to extort, coerce, and exploit. These might even be called “family values” within a capitalist society.
I’ll pass over the example of Brad Will for the sake of brevity, but look into it for some insight. Or Eugene Debs.
I want to cover one more issue in my time in this post – wife beating. The left is a joke on this issue, precisely because the left is imperialist as well (most of the left including Naomi Klein is capitalist) and not committed to socialism.
The American people, like all other people, strain for socialism. There is constant tension against capitalism, even in the corrupt American society (corruption itself implies a tension, a two-fold identity). Capitalism requires a husband to be dominative and a wife at the very least to be complicit. To the extent that that husband desires to not be dominative, often for socialist reasons, animosity is generated by the situation he finds himself in. That is to say, dislike for capitalism directly leads to bad marriages, and abuse of wives. Yet I’ve never heard the left even mention this primary aspect of wife beating, preferring to treat it as a personal problem (a kind of moral failing of men). The left apparently fails to note that in non-capitalist societies, such as that of indigenous Americans for example, there is very little if any wife beating. Women in America know very well that capitalism and imperialism produce wife beating as an inevitable side effect, which is one reason why the issue receives so little serious examination. American women have decided that imperialism is more important than their own bruises.