Archive for the ‘Empire’ Category

Virtual Reality in Declining Empires

May 11, 2014

The British Empire, in it’s day the greatest empire in world history, in it’s dying moment as the dominant world power gave rise to JRR Tolkien. Tolkien wrote about the militant (and non-militant) forces of good militarily (and non-militarily) defeating the forces of evil, at the precise moment when the British were no longer (in their eyes) going to be able to continue to do that.

In the United States Tolkien wasn’t popular until the Vietnam War, which began the decline of the American Empire, which followed the British as the dominant global power and eclipsed them, holding half of global wealth at it’s peak. The Society for Creative Anachronism, formed during the horrors of extensively applied chemical destruction in Vietnam, honored pre-industrial society (pointedly, the age before such chemicals could be mass produced) and Tolkien, with Dungeons and Dragons following shortly thereafter.

When Tolkien moved to the virtual, “fantasy” sphere he continued the British military tradition of cleansing the world of evil for the sake of the empire (again, how they saw it).

One can’t for the most part read a book over and over again. Dungeons and Dragons was a step up in technology from books, allowing players to experience the joys of cleansing evil many times over, initiated at the time when such cleansings were thought to no longer be possible in reality.

In neither society did people stop to question whether the cleansings are right to do in the first place. So of course when the cleansings stop being viable in reality they were merely moved to the virtual sphere, and this has continued to the present day with 80% of mainstream games featuring killing as the primary mode of gameplay, usually of either monsters or “the enemy” and often in effectively genocidal manner.

Andy Kaufman’s understanding

March 25, 2010

You only find me entertaining when I am not real. All you care about is entertainment – therefore all I shall be is unreal.

The Century of the Self

September 19, 2009

The result is that nothing changes

August 29, 2009

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.

Self-deluded journalists and Nixon’s/GWB’s real crime

August 26, 2009

(Taken from an email to a friend):

Most journalists are not aware of their corruption – my argument does not require them to not be concerned about their reputation nor to attempt to hide or subvert the truth. Gary Webb, the journalist I mentioned to you in Ann Arbor, saw “the truth” about journalism and it drove him to commit suicide. He’s a typical example of the self-delusion of journalists regarding the honor of their profession. Most journalists have defense mechanisms in place which prevent them from traveling down the road Webb did which would result in their disillusionment.

Who creates the reputation of journalists? Surely not people like me – people like their bosses do – people like their co-workers. People like their willing readers.

Journalists are self-deluded. They are self-deluded in order to continue to maintain (and perhaps “improve”) their imperial lifestyles, which they could not do if they accepted facts about the world into their conscience. So tens of thousands of corpses per day created by the economic system the West invented and rules – irrelevant or “reinterpreted”. So mountains of corpses in Iraq and Afghanistan caused by imperial invasion and occupation – the same. So corporate totalitarian rule – laughed at.

Examine racism for a moment. Racism isn’t inherent in humanity – noone is born a racist. The primary point of racism is to lubricate the passage of colonization and imperialism. So for example the indigenous Americans the white settlers planned to exterminate were “Savages, horrifically uncivilized”, and therefore justified in being exterminated. Blacks from Africa imported for chattel slave labor, likewise. This is the exact reason why during imperial wars the enemy is given derogatory names (like kike, limey, gook, hajji) but then those names are forgotten and they return to their previous names when they are no longer being violently stolen from (just tacitly so).

Take a look at the Bush Administration for a moment. This is only the 2nd administration in history (Nixon’s being the first) to recognize on a level approaching consciousness it’s own deep corruption. Both administrations were punished for this terrible social blasphemy with extremely low poll numbers and Nixon’s impeachment. Though curiously, an examination of the actual effects of each administration places Reagan as arguably the worst president in modern history, and Clinton fares little better. Yet because Reagan was oblivious, optimistic, and smiled a whole lot, he’s applauded. Applauded by many of the same people who believe they are journalists crusading for the truth. If a president appears to be corrupt he sends the wrong message to the people.

This is why there is endless video mocking George W. Bush for his various verbal games and silly antics. It’s quite ok to destroy the world in imperial fashion, as Reagan and Clinton also did – the real crime is to know you’re doing it.

Culture is dead.

August 22, 2009

Art is dead. Philosophy is dead. All that is left is politics.

Kafka and Nietzsche share the same personality – the creation of meaning through (their own) sacrifice – as plunging the knife into the virgin’s heart was meant to renew civilization for those we call “uncivilized”. But we’ve become disillusioned – the myth of culture is no more.

This disillusionment (on a popular level) occurred during the 1960s – the difference between music pre- and post- that period is that afterwards music understands it’s undead state. When people say the music of the 1960s was “alive” they mean that music understood it’s approaching death and decided to throw one last party – the party to end all parties.

Culture has been a horrific myth – it’s primary purpose and result is imperialism insofar as cultural production is “traded” for material goods – nevermind that this trade is only desired by the cultural producers. It’s death will either pave the way for global democracy or global totalitarianism.

Film critics make a critical error when they berate a film for it’s “emptiness”, such as J.K. Rowling being criticized for Harry Potter being a derivative work. All the undead can do is reference the living. That’s what modern films are – either that or they attempt to revive a corpse better off left dead.

The death of culture of course goes hand-in-hand with the “death of Western Civilization” – in the same sense that a community with nothing left to trade goes extinct. Or raises their military budget to $1 Trillion a year and tries to rule the world by force and domination, in which case the soul goes extinct and the mechanics of empire carry on.

The roots of existentialism and psychoanalysis

July 24, 2009

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.

The primary purpose of television and video games

January 14, 2009

Television is largely about protecting oneself from reality. It’s the intentional interaction with unreal events – artificial creations, people pretending to be other people (acting), people and events which have no relationship to one except through the poverty of the television screen.

Two cultural creations were invented at about the same time – television remote controls and video games. The similarities are striking – both increase a “user’s” control over this technological environment. Video games take the next step in domination – enabling the “player” to possess a digital agent, controlling his every move. It is this power and control over the digital environment that is the primary source of pleasure found in playing video games.

A substantial aspect of culture over the past few thousand years has been the struggle to free oneself from slavery of various forms – the current form of slavery is capitalist slavery, otherwise known as wage slavery. One of the most insidious methods the elite currently use to ward off attempts at freedom is to corrupt the slaves by making them masters of their own little worlds. So people click away with their remote controls, enjoying their power and control over what appears on the television screen, or progress through a game – they are masters of those domains.

In this way the elite are training the slaves – teaching them to become masters, teaching them the thrill of mastery, of control, of domination, but always in an environment controlled by the elite themselves.

Merchants of Death: Exposing Corporate-financed Holocaust in Africa

December 10, 2008


The Great Land Giveaway: Neo-Colonialism by Invitation

December 1, 2008


Restructuring Inner-City Schools for the Global Marketplace: Locke High School and the Green Dot "Solution"

September 28, 2008


Gareth Porter on US state warfare in Pakistan

September 13, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

RFID: "Smart Cards" in a Surveillance Society

September 9, 2008


US tries to create an ‘iron curtain’ around Russia

September 5, 2008


More on imperial benefits and the imperial left

August 31, 2008

This is a reply to Tennessee-Socialist on Dissident Voice. His words are in italics.

“Brian Koontz: Americans recieve benefits if you are a conformist american. But most american workers can only eat and drive a car in America. But american workers cannot go to a university for example to study law, political science or philosophy, or cannot go to an endocrinologist doctor if they want to lose weight, because doctors are so expensive in America. So it is evident that the majority of americans are not well and *don’t* receive benefits at all.”

Education and healing should be universal rights, but there’s a massive difference between the welfare of “poor” Americans and the welfare of the global poor.

Take one huge difference – the minimum wage. Regardless of gender or race at least, most Americans can get a low-paying job. It’s not too difficult once American citizenship is attained for anyone to be a “poor” American. The federal minimum wage is currently $6.55 per hour and will be going up to $7.25 per hour next summer. The concept of a “living” wage in America* is sheer nonsense and political opportunism – it’s easy to live on the minimum wage in America.

According to even the World Bank (not exactly an unbiased organization), in 2001 1.1 billion people “lived” on less than $1 a day, and 2.7 billion “lived” on less than $2 a day. In other words, nearly half the global population makes less than a third in an entire day what a “poor” American makes in an hour. This was *before* the Bush Administration took it’s toll on the world.

The minimum wage in America is an *imperial* benefit. It resulted not (just) from “democratic movement”, as Chomsky claims, but from imperial theft and redistribution of that theft. The redistribution from Mob Boss to Mob Underling is what Chomsky calls “democracy”. Third-worlders perhaps have another name for it.

Life for a poor American is not peaches and cream. But at least a poor American knows what peaches and cream *are*.

“The only folks who are benefiting from Imperialist USA is Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, the yuppie middle libertarian right wing bourgoeise elitist classes, but the majority of american employees and workers are not doing well at all. That’s why there is a need of socialism in USA so that wealth could trickle down to the masses”

The American poor are *not* the masses! The masses are the GLOBAL poor, the truly poor, those 1.1 billion “living” in sheer desperation and the 2.7 billion “living” in dire straits and the other billion+ mildly less exploited. The American poor are the Mob Underlings, exploited for sure but with a highly privileged and highly exploitive place in the global system.

A problem with Americans is that they always compare themselves to other (richer) Americans. Your examples of Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lopez are tragically typical. The American poor consume American media that shows opulence and the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and cry out “exploitation!” For the Mob Underling to compare himself to the Mob Boss and ignore the victims of the mob, the *true* victims, is to be blind and to not live in reality.

The American left is hardly less racist and monstrous than the right, but they have 1000 times the self-righteousness. They are the ones who “know about” Imperialism without actually knowing about it.

Don’t you think that one point of American media showing the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” is so that poor Americans will focus on that instead of on attaining solidarity with the global poor? Don’t you think that you yourself have fallen into a capitalist trap, Mr. Socialist?

“Socialism in the USA” is nothing more than the Mob Underling trying to get more imperial benefits from the Mob Boss.

* I support a “living wage” in America as well as all other transfers from the Mob Boss to the Mob Underling only insofar as they do not distract the American left away from solutions to the world’s problems. It seems for most of the Imperial left that being distracted by those transfers is the point of their existence.

Police trap peaceful protesters in Denver

August 28, 2008


Defense Intelligence Agency Seeking "Mind Control" Weapons

August 26, 2008


The white middle-class intelligentsia “discovers” imperialism

August 24, 2008

This is a reply to Paul Street on Dissident Voice.

“Our current corporate-totalitarian political order doesn’t “work” for any but the Few. It is a grave threat to human survival and peace, justice, and democracy at home and abroad.”

That’s false. Poor Americans are far richer than the world’s poor, a testament to the results of successful imperialism and the corporate-totalitarian political order. The Mob Underlings reap the benefits of Mob successes, however disproportionately in relation to the Mob Boss.

Whether it’s a “grave threat to human survival” is dependent upon the degree of success of the American-led multinational-corporate empire in perpetuating worldwide slavery. If it’s successful the world will become enslaved rather than killed – if things get out of control a worldwide or small-scale holocaust may occur.

As for “peace, justice, and democracy” – there have never been any of those things in the United States. The state was founded on a war to secure power for the domestic elite, it proceeded by capitalist logic, including the internal colonization of the genocided native population, perpetual war against both them and the imported Africans, repression of women, perpetual exploitation of non-Americans, and theft and exploitation of the domestic poor by the rich. “Peace”, “justice”, and “democracy” are words in a dictionary, as well as words that sometimes are reflected in other places or in small-scale incidents.

By “grave threat” you can only mean that it threatens a demographic previously unthreatened – privileged (middle-class) whites. When the Neocons and their neoliberal doctrine came to power middle class whites panicked – they were no longer safe and would have to join (in a far muted form of exploitation) the ranks of so many other victims of the American state. It’s only been with the rise of neoliberalism that the white bourgeois intelligentsia has “discovered the horrors of imperialism” – where were these horrors during the supposed “Golden Age of American Democracy” – the Bretton-Woods post-WWII period?

An alien, observing this, cannot be blamed for having little sympathy for the suddenly fearful bourgeois whites, who write treatises on the horrors of neoliberalism.

“Peace, justice, and democracy”? Those concepts cannot have true meaning until such time as the “good” people of the world operate by something other than selfishness, greed, and fear.

The mantra of the modern Western left is “neoliberalism is going too far” – summed up in Naomi Klein’s ideology. This left, which complains so much about the “narrow political spectrum in America” might want to explore the narrow ideological spectrum they themselves exist in.

The Imperial Left exists within an imperial society. For all their knowledge of imperialism, they don’t know themselves.

David Harvey: Exit the neocon global project, enter competing capitalist blocks

August 20, 2008


The geopolitics of Georgia

August 16, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Fatherhood and men and women in capitalist societies

August 14, 2008

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.

Colonization or Globalization

August 14, 2008


CIFA Closes, Pentagon Opens New Spy Shop

August 12, 2008


A Dirty Adventure – an imperial war over South Ossetia

August 11, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

There is no left in America

July 26, 2008

The United States, like all other imperialist societies, is a criminal society. Virtually the entire population is criminal. Normality in such a society is criminal. “Normality” is acquiescence, complicity with that society. We don’t need to turn on the TV or visit the local corporate multinational headquarters to see criminals – just look in the mirror.

Hitler was sexy – the blood flowed in great quantity. But Hitler killed far less and enslaved a fraction of what America has managed. How many books are written about the German people and how few are written about the American people. Mirrors are never in fashion.

I am a criminal. That is to say, I happily accept the benefits of imperialism – benefits that lead me to gain in an hour what 2 billion workers in the world gain in a week. Benefits that lead me, a “poor” person in America, to comforts and a diet rich in protein while many starve and many more barely subsist on cheap carbohydrates.

I am a criminal precisely because I want a happy life and I’m not willing to give up that rich life so that others may live. So I eat my protein, I watch my movies, I am “frugal”, and I congratulate myself as do so many others on my “moral superiority” to the mob bosses of America, the capitalists. That’s little consolation to a typical global citizen whose son just died from war or starvation due to American domination and exploitation of his economy.

It’s this gazing at the elite, this comparison of the “moral American” to monsters like George Bush, that is the undoing of the left. The left simply will not come to grips with the fact that the United States is an imperial society, TOP TO BOTTOM.

The left pontificates on the “failure of the left in America”, thinking of every reason but the true one – there is no left in America. There’s no left because the “far left” is made up of people like me, who refuse to give up their imperial benefits and thus maintain complicity with the imperial regime. So we endlessly talk and talk and talk about what we’d like the world to be like while actually not wanting the world to be like that at all.

As Henry Louis-Gates said, (paraphrased) – “I’m not giving up MY money”.