Archive for the ‘Neofeudalism’ Category

The good news, such as it is

March 7, 2014
The good news, such as it is, is that the increasing political and social chaos caused by climate degradation isn’t likely to be contained, no matter how many surveillance/murder drones are used, no matter how high the walls dividing nations and gated communities, no matter how many security guards and cameras. When people have nothing left they have nothing left to lose, and as more people have their lives decimated the political results will be far reaching and nothing any of us can currently predict.
The media, such as Hollywood, favors tales of zombies, infections, and contagions, the solution of which is some combination of genocide and quarantine. This is the precise solution being implemented against the Palestinians by the Israeli state, who between themselves often refer to Palestinians as sub-human, pointedly mirroring the treatment of Jews by the Nazis. “Repopulating the human race” following an apocalypse is a cleansing of the unwanted, unnecessary, excess humans – the redundant humans. The goal of the elite is to convince themselves and whoever else can be propagandized into listening that THEY are the humans who need to repopulate the human race and the rest of us are unnecessary at best, zombies in human skin at worst.
To make it easier to commit genocide, the unwanted humans could be labeled “zombies” if they huddle around and are miserable or “terrorists” if they fight back, much like Iraqis are scornfully labeled “towel-wearing hajis” prior to their torture and/or death and/or displacement.
One of the strategic roadmaps for the elite is to lock people out of the economic system, create chronic unemployment, foster desperation, then point to the “bad behavior” of decimated humans to justify arms sales, military intervention, imprisonment, torture, and murder. This is how the continent of Africa works, but there’s no reason that model can’t be exported to the rest of the world.
The American people are largely complicit with and are receptive to the messages of the elite. The further they are decimated, the less capacity they’ll have to be useful against the elite, but also the less they’ll have in common with them (so the more willing they will be to be useful).
Mars One is a project to create a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023, and this is something serious although the precise results are not yet known. Also, biogenetics is making great strides to allow the elite to modify the DNA of their offspring, allowing them to become “more human” or “greater than human”, while the rest of us get to continue to have human frailties. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what biogenetics could result in. Also, nanotechnology and biomechanics are developing to allow humans to modify their bodies in cyborg fashion to become “greater than human”, available largely to the wealthy. The rest of us, while being human in fact, can be shut out of the economy and redefined by propaganda systems as “dangerous bums”, “terrorists”, or “zombies”, and regardless of the label we will be harshly oppressed.
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The Weather Channel

January 24, 2014

Giant Asteroid Headed Our Way

Mystery Uncovered In Italian Alps

No Relief from Snow in Sight

Mom Gives Birth on Sled

Disabled Kitten Gets Helping Hand

WATCH: Lamb Gets Too Excited

Baby Offers Greet the World

A Critique of the Elite

April 21, 2008

This is an excerpt from a recent email:

One problem I have with your critiques is that they seem to project a society where the elite carefully construct the news and entertainment delivered by the mass media in order to keep the masses ignorant and distracted. I believe only a very small part of that. Certainly there are some elements of the media (e.g., Fox News) that are essentially right-wing propaganda machines, but I think most of the media delivers exactly what the public wants. Why do people watch Judy Judy, Maury Povich, American Idol, etc.? I have no idea, but many people apparently find them entertaining. I don’t think they’re brainwashed into watching this stuff, nor do I think the elite has a great deal of control over the choices the public makes.

I’m not at all surprised that you believe that – it’s the same belief the “journalists” themselves have.

Here’s the basic way it works:

Abuse the populace. This occurs primarily through economic policy and structures (neoliberal capitalism) and political structures whereby the vast majority of the American people have virtually no political power and also through key secondary measures such as the corporate media. One example of media abuse is the inane political debates that don’t deal with substantive issues, or when they do ask a reasonable question never follow it up.

After this abuse has been established and the populace is beaten down they become more receptive to additional abuse. The abuse becomes internalized. So, for example, one secondary measure of abuse by the elite is the extremely unhealthy food served in America. You might think – “that’s just the choices of Americans”. Not exactly. Even if Americans were being abused in any number of other ways the elite could encourage Americans to eat healthy. So let’s take two micro-factors – the vending machines where I work at Meijer’s and the counters where Meijer’s workers directly serve food (as opposed to food off the shelf). The vending machines serve horrible food – overwhelmingly high in saturated fat and high in sodium at ripoff prices. Just the prices alone prove that the corporation sees their own employees as nothing more than wage slaves. Workers like to buy food directly from Meijer’s workers (such as at the deli counter) since it serves a social purpose as well as a health one. These foods likewise are high in saturated fat and sodium and cost-poor, although not as bad typically as the vending machine food.

Meijer’s recently had an ice cream social, where they served cake, ice cream (where they offered a sugar-free option which was of course high in saturated fat), and pop.

Besides the social effect previously noted, there is also a social effect in food selection. So once some despairing wage slaves eat unhealthily because “their own” company encourages them to, this causes subtle peer pressure on their peer group to imitate that, in the sense that eating similar food produces solidarity.

One thing the elite is “good” at is “do as we say, not as we do”. So while they are encouraging terrible health with their actions, like financing yet another McDonald’s restaurant, they “urge” people to eat healthy. So right next to the long lines of vending machines in the break room there is a poster promoting healthy eating. This eases their own conscience and offers them a kind of public relations point, to argue against any detractors or critics. “See, we care! Hear the words that come out of our mouths!”

But let’s get back to the point in which you are technically correct – the choices Americans make. That is to say, despite the despair they feel at their condition, despite their onerous mindless tasks which lead them to looking forward to a delicious if unhealthy meal, they could, in theory, still eat healthy. That’s like saying that they could, in theory, climb Mt. Everest. And people such as yourself, in a privileged position with a relatively good life (whatever complaints you might have about that life), say that they “choose” to not climb Mt. Everest. That’s absolutely correct. It’s also irrelevant. If I take away water from a shark and place that water 100 meters away, does the shark have the “choice” to wiggle it’s way to the water? Absolutely. But how many sharks will succeed at doing that? And who should we be critiquing – the shark for “failing” to make it’s way to the water or me, for taking the water away?

The reason you don’t see what the elite are doing and that when you do see it you make excuses for it are twofold – you benefit from the elite in terms of your privileges (as you said, love of the “good life”) and through propaganda your eyes and mind have been turned away from the actual actions and effects of the elite. Serious critiques of the elite are very difficult to find – and the critiques that can be found without great difficulty are very limited in scope. I’m probably one of the better critics of the elite (although it’s difficult to say) not because I’m impressive but because the competition is so anemic.

It’s one of the more ridiculous propaganda points to say that the elite does what they do based on what the public wants. The public wants socialism – the elite gives them neoliberal capitalism. The public wants universal health care – the elite gives them neoliberal health care. The public wants democracy – the elite gives them plutocracy and corporatocracy. The public wants an end to the war in Iraq, the elite gives them perpetual war. But when it serves the interests of the elite, they machinate their way into “doing what the public wants”, like leading them to despair and unhealthy food, then “serving the interests of the public by giving them unhealthy food”. So after I take water away from the shark I “serve the interests of the shark” by putting sand under his belly.

Here’s a good analogy – let’s take an abused child. Through abuse a child’s consciousness can be changed to accept the abuse. He internalizes the abuse as “normal” and might even look forward to it, as the one time the parent is giving him any attention, despite the painfulness of the attention. So then once the abuse is internalized the abuser can correctly say “I am just giving the child what he wants”. Just putting sand under the belly of that shark.

Judge Judy and the like are the exact same thing. Abuse of the consciousness. Television offered a kind of hope for Americans – as you may recall since you grew up during the early days of it. A hope of national communication – of a greater consciousness. It was of course inevitable that this hope would be exploited by the elite, and sure enough it was. Advertising soon permeated the medium, with it’s irrationalistic propaganda which seeks to drive consumers to products regardless of need or even want. The rise of neoconservatism in the 1970s saw a rise in abusive television, which perhaps started with The Gong Show and culminated in shows like Judge Judy. So, yes, you’re right that Americans might “choose” Judge Judy as opposed to “choosing” an insipid soap opera, “choosing” to fill their minds with irrelevant facts like on “Who Wants to Be an Millionaire?”, “choosing” a show where one is put to a lie detector test to determine infidelity with the spouse sitting right there, or “choosing” to shut off this television.

Let’s look at other elements of television – besides residual effects of the hope that Americans felt with that new medium those several decades ago:

Television is very noisy and hyperactive. In a non-careful critique it might be called “energetic”. It’s easy to see television as larger than life, especially for those people leading abused lives. It’s like any other human institution – once something is seen as larger than life (such as the institution of the presidency of the United States) abuse is sure to follow.

Americans are atomized to an extreme extent, far more than in any other country. Many Americans interact more with technology than they do with people. This lack of human contact, especially intimate human contact, draws them into technology further, as a relationship they can control through the market. Television is a kind of very active person, chatting away constantly, doing tricks and entertainment.

It surely isn’t a good thing, but I believe there are few societies in which more than a small percentage of the people have the inclination to be involved in politics in a meaningful way. I think far more people don’t vote simply because they’re disinterested than because they’re discouraged about the possibility their actions could make a difference.

Again – your belief is no surprise at all, for the previously mentioned reasons. It’s easy to see that you’re wrong, if you care to.

Look at Venezuela. Contrast the political activity of the Venezuelan people ten years ago to today. 10 years ago were they “disinterested” or “discouraged”, in the ways in which you mean those terms?

Since that would probably require you to do a research project, let’s not take water away from you and instead keep you in water with this example:

The political activity of Americans in the 1960s versus that of them in the 1990s. Hmm… quite a difference there. Hmm… let’s see… in the 1960s Americans had hope that some leftist variant (some variant of socialism) could be instituted. In the 1990s they did not. Or that is to say, in the 1960s the shark had water and in the 1990s that water had been taken away from him through neoliberal pursuits, as well as global events.

Here’s an easy way to see it – humans do what is good for them to do. Humans don’t do things that make no difference in their lives. People don’t vote not because they’re “disinterested”, but because voting makes no difference. Contrast the difference in political power between a “voter”, a CEO of Exxon Mobil, and a senator, in America. Now contrast this with a truly democratic system, in which each human has equal political power. Whatever other things you might call the current system, it’s not democratic.

Of course senators are not representatives of the American people, but even if they were they would be illegitimate. The American people don’t need political representatives – they need direct political power. They need to have their will directly implemented.

When I was teaching high school in Ann Arbor, I was surprised how difficult it was to get most kids to think seriously about political issues. At the same time, there was a broad undercurrent of environmental concern that wasn’t around in my generation and that I found quite encouraging. People may be cynical about politics and believe their personal actions won’t make a difference, but they are conscious of major policy dislocations and ultimately exert influence to change them. (I think the course of opposition to the Vietnam War went much the same way and now it’s beginning to happen with Iraq as well.

There was plenty of opposition to the war in Vietnam prior to 1968, but it was irrelevant because the elite weren’t opposing it (with rare exception). However, in 1968, the liberal elite began to oppose the war in Vietnam out of fear of the draft as well as “high cost”, which means money that is going to the conservative elite rather than to them. Opposing the war was an economic decision since too many people in power weren’t profiting from it, so the war had to go.

Vietnam taught the elite two things – they need a private military force to eliminate the draft and they need to unify the interests of the liberal and conservative elite, so as to not cause them to be in opposition on issues of vast profit-transfer, with war being by far the best mechanism thereof. According to subsequent history they learned these lessons quite well.

It really doesn’t matter what high school kids think, as your own experience could teach you:

The American Elite stands against global warming, as long as there is profit in it. Most “solutions” being talked about in America are market-solutions – carbon credit trading, new technologies, and the like. Very little progress has been made against the largest perpetrators – the coal industry, nuclear industry, energy-eaters like the livestock industry. Even this, which despite the profit involves risk, was only accepted long after your high school students were interested in the environment. People have been interested in the environment for a very long time. Throughout that time vast pollution has happened.

I, ignorant as I am, have any number of solutions. One is to shut down all coal-producing plants after buying them out (at fair prices, not those recommended by the industry) using taxpayer dollars, making any new plant illegal, and giving training to the workers to ease their transition into a new industry. If taxpayer dollars are lacking for such a move, end the war in Iraq which will free up countless billions.

Expand public transportation. Invest in renewable energy. I don’t need to go on – in America you can find plenty of sources more knowledgeable than I to talk about market solutions to possibly avoid human catastrophe.

None of this has anything to do with cynicism. Is the shark, wiggling desperately toward water or weeping with despair or wallowing in the sand being fed to him, cynical? Is he cynical if he complains? Does it really make any sense to call him cynical? While you call the shark cynical do you have any idea what look the man who took the water away from the shark is giving you? Do you care? As Amy Goodman might say, “Facts matter”. What matters is the truth. What matters is reality. What matters is the human condition. What matters is improving that condition.

I’d like to hear your thoughts sometime on what it would take to arouse the general public from its stupor and take an active (and educated) approach to dealing with society’s problems. Trying to solve this problem from the top — for example, by banning all intellectual garbage from the public airways — would be a lot like prohibition, and the results would be equally disastrous.

I’ll start with a minor point on the “intellectual garbage”:

Judge Judy and the like are not intellectual garbage – they are intellectually void. They are garbage in terms of morality – they actively abuse the viewers.

Americans need to have power to take power. In order for them to have power they need to unite, organize, and exert power. Every democracy in history had a organized populace – countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are democratic to the extent that they have powerful grassroots populist movements, which allow leaders to emerge, just like Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged from the democratic movement in the 1960s.

There’s no easy way for this to happen. It takes constant struggle among the people. It probably never would have happened in Bolivia or Venezuela without geopolitical assistance – the American elite so thoroughly abused and in some cases destroyed these countries that it caused massive resentment and opposition to neoliberal doctrine. Obviously such assistance isn’t available to Americans since we are in the belly of the beast. In Empires democracies only emerge with the fall of the Empire, which typically decays from within rather than is overcome from within. Since the American Empire is in the process of falling, that should give a big boost to any populist organizing.

Another minor point – prohibition wasn’t about solving problems – it was about creating a problem in order for those who sought to solve it to gain power. Let’s take an even clearer example – marijuana. Marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol. But unlike alcohol, it isn’t dominated by large corporations and probably can’t be, due to the ease of individualized raising. So marijuana is illegal while alcohol is legal, which has nothing to do with health and alcohol kills thousands of people every year and injures the health of countless more but that’s irrelevant, because it makes the right people (the elite) money, and that’s worth pretty much any quantity of blood, as 1.25 Million recent Iraqi corpses discovered. If blood is thicker than water, money is thicker than blood, at least in this monstrous world that the elite have created.

Prohibition was a power play by the progressives to try to gain control over changes in society, especially the rise of power of urban immigrants. This kind of moralizing didn’t start with that and it’s been on-going ever since – one example is the “ratings” given to movies. I’ve taken a semi-close look at that and here’s what I see:

For one thing, children are not harmed by the things the moralists say they are harmed by. Nudity has no effect on children. Nudity has zero effect on anyone prior to puberty, and subsequently for children nudity is a titillation with little meaning, and the meaning then develops in them as they mature.

Violence is more complicated. It’s all about context. In most current contexts violence is bad, although it has little effect on children (there’s more effect on adults) since children have little ability to think. But I do think shows that glorify violence have some negative effect on children, although again, the larger negative effect is on adults, especially young adults.

The reviewers also have a ridiculous concept called “graphic”. So for example there is nudity and then there is graphic nudity, which is supposedly worse. I suppose this is some insane puritan notion that I am happy to commit violence against. It’s of course utterly ridiculous especially with respect to children. It leads to the logical conclusion that killing someone is better than killing some in ugly fashion. Since I don’t want to injure myself trying to figure out just what fucked up mind can come to that conclusion I’ll move on:

Pretty much all the reviewers care about is sex, violence, and swear words. Frankly, BAD movies have a much worse effect on children than anything else. Just as with sex and violence, profanity has no real effect on children. It doesn’t matter that the children might say the word after hearing it since they don’t know what it means – they are just trying it out as an experiment – probably trying to irk the puritan fools who are raising them.

Both as a child and as an adult, I’m most benefited by quality and most harmed by a lack of quality. That should be the primary measure of any rating system. It’s tragic that rating systems exist which ban children from seeing great movies that include sex or violence but allow them (often encourage them) to watch crap that happens to not include it. This is not to say that a great movie to a child is the same as one to an adult, although there are considerable overlaps.

In terms of why there is a movie rating system, it’s obviously not to protect children. The same people who made the rating system created global warming and the perpetual threat of nuclear holocaust, not exactly new-human or future-human friendly affairs. The rating system exists to, again, allow the raters to have power over the industry. Children are used, as they so often are, as a pretext, summed up in the classic phrase “Won’t you think of the children?”

The Lords of Capital Decree Mass Death by Starvation

April 17, 2008

Link

Critique of the Elite and India: Disappearing the Poor

April 15, 2008

Link

Although this article is largely about India, it’s equally true in the United States. India is becoming an imitation of the US in terms of it’s elite culture.
I don’t own a television (haven’t since June 2000) but I watch some at work.
The Judge shows are proliferating on daytime TV. These shows run parallel to garbage “freak shows” like Maury Povich. The singular features of both Jerry Springer and Judge Judy and their imitators is that they serve to demean and dehumanize the poor and the working class. It’s tragedy as spectacle. These shows should be illegal and would be in any moral society. They are far more damaging than a stabbing that can get someone put in jail for many years and they are several orders of magnitude more damaging than smoking pot which can likewise earn a hefty prison sentence. But in a nation run by a ruling class that has killed millions, impoverished somewhere between tens of millions and billions and abused billions, I suppose drawing some logical relationship between degree of damage and punishment is irrelevant.
In terms of daytime TV the best thing on is soap operas. It’s a sad day when that is the case. Soap operas are insipid, worn out, lifeless, and often poorly acted, but at least they aren’t aggressively abusive. Are you aware that there is now a TV show where spouses are given a lie detector test to determine whether or not they are telling the truth when they say they are not cheating on their spouse, with their spouse present (for the reaction shot when the “lie detector reveals the truth!”)
After the sun goes down “reality TV” comes out – nevermind that there is no reality and can never be when the cameras are out and the “real people” become actors. Reality is what happens when there are no cameras. Instead comes more abuse – classically related by Simon Cowl on American Idol but present in one form or another on all of reality TV.
There is always only one reason for abuse – the ruler loses his just authority. This vast increase in abuse by the elite, seen in any number of ways (economic policy, reaction to disasters, causing disasters, manner of “entertainment”, etc.) means they no longer are trying to be a just authority, which means they have lost control of themselves as rulers. When rulers lose control over their ability to create just actions but retain their power very very bad things happen. I see no end to this problem because I see no end to the present configuration of the ruling class. Americans just aren’t responding to this condition. They aren’t turning off the TV, they aren’t doing critiques, they aren’t debating, they aren’t caring. Britney Spears’s “Hit Me One More Time” was quite accurate.
Another sad but I suppose potentially good thing – Americans are more outraged about gas prices than anything else. Truckers have now implemented a major strike. Countless dead in Iraq – no problem. Hundreds of billions funneled from American taxpayers to a few American multinational corporations by way of death and destruction, billions impoverished by American policy – no problem. Gas prices go up a couple dollars a gallon and it’s time to be outraged! I keep hearing that “Americans are a compassionate people”. Obviously this is true – they are outraged at the death of cheap gas. The extinction of a species!
In any case – tomorrow’s another day on the neofeudal corporation plantation of wage slavery in order to avoid further impoverishment. Another day of seeing hopelessness and despair on the people and abuse on the television that “entertains” these people, free of charge of course through irrationalist advertising designed to program their consumption and colonize their imagination. It’s another day of seeing overpriced food that causes malnutrition and early death – the row of vending machines issuing sweets and salts. On the wall next to the machines is a poster that urges a healthy lifestyle, and next to that is one that tells employees earning $7 to $9 that they are “remarkable”. It’s funny how those signs are never present when workers earn $12 to $14 an hour. Or rather, it’s “funny”, since what it truly does is presents a quite effective moral argument that the most just action one can take is to destroy the American ruling class.
I remember reading dystopian short stories. Why were they always set in the future? The dystopia is now. Stories of life in hell should be set in the present. Stories of life on earth should be set in the future. Earth is to me what heaven is to people who fantasize.
There is a followup to Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase that “There can be no great disappointment where there is no great love” – Love is only fulfilled on a two-way street. On earth that two-way street exists and King’s love comes back to him. In hell King’s love is trampled.
Where are we living?

What Do you Call a Permanent Surge?

April 12, 2008

Link

Part 5 of The Global Movement for Justice and the end of Oppression

April 8, 2008

In Reply to Max Shields:

“I think we’re fine tuning our differences but we have some general agreements.”

Our biggest disagreement seems to be that you believe groups like the KKK derive from fear and hate and I believe them to be derived from desire for material gain, with the fear and hate relating to and serving that goal.

Before I get into direct replies, I want to talk a bit about fear.

The people who are most afraid are those who are attacking other people. American soldiers in Iraq for example are terrified (which they attempt to hide under macho bluster). Fear is never understood for what it is because everyone looks at fear from the standpoint of the victim. The interesting truth of the matter is that perpetrators are far more afraid than victims. Here’s an example:

An Iraqi family is sitting at home having a meal. The next minute their home is bombed and destroyed, and they are all dead. No fear (beyond what is caused by the occupation and any specific issues they have) except sheer terror at the last moment.

On the other side of the equation, amid blaring sounds of Guns ‘N Roses and thoughts of the warm arms of a girlfriend left behind, an ignorant low-educated kid pushes a button, drops a bomb, and misses his target. But despite the ignorance, this kid knows the devastation he is taking part in and the anger that is creating.

Who is more afraid? Well for one thing – the person who is still alive. But another – perpetrators are always more afraid because they are the one committing the crime, and they are the one who take on the moral burden of such. To commit a crime and know that you or your loved ones may pay for that crime years, decades, or even centuries later – that’s pure dread. That’s fear. That’s living in terror.

Post traumatic stress disorder has fear as it’s main component.

Take a close look at the Neoconservatives. The primary element of their composition is fear. They are deeply afraid of the end of the West, the end of capitalism, the end of white rule. They aren’t just afraid of the loss of rulership and the profit that entails – they are afraid of retribution. Their fear is far deeper and more motivating for them than it is for any of their victims.

The KKK works on the same principles. They want to exploit and profit from blacks, so they attack blacks, so they fear and hate blacks. Just as for the American soldier and the Neoconservative, fear does not create their attack, it’s the logical consequence of it.

The school bully who steals lunch money doesn’t do so out of fear – he does so out of desire for profit. But *then* he fears retribution after committing the crime, and if the crime is ongoing the fear is ongoing, and grows, and grows, and grows.

“You’ll have to share your sources on the KKK. Obviously it has served various purposes, but I’m not sure how it provides support for an economics. The core mentality behind KKK is fear, propagation of myths, and self-organization. I don’t see the ruling power elite having a hand in it. But I’m open to new information.”

You’re not sure how it supports an economic program? How about this:

Capitalism requires not only workers, but compliant workers. Capitalists seek to create and maintain divisions within the workforce so as to allow them easy control. So, for example, several layers of management are set up and pitted against one another – the lower layer coveting the job of the higher – the higher having to keep the lower “in his place” to prevent his own job loss. This layering is done right on through to the workers. There are often distinctions between work-classes that appear minor from the outside but are critical for worker relations. Janitors are often on the low end of the totem pole.

So for the KKK to keep blacks “in their place”, which is to say for black workers to be below white workers, is not so much to perpetuate racism but to perpetuate capitalism. To set up a capitalist work-layer based on race institutionalizes racism and gives capitalists a major lever of power, since white workers can then be pitted against black workers – the blacks covet the extra income of white workers and white workers want to protect their (relatively) privileged status.

Take a look at the recent events in Jena, LA, which were imitated around the country, where white students (assumedly) hung nooses from a tree (deemed a “white tree”) after black students stood under it. What’s the point of a “white tree” in the first place? It’s to mark off territory – territory the white students like. For the black students to not stand under the tree shows their deference to white power, and for them to stand under it is in defiance of white power. So white power thus threatened, it retaliates in the form of nooses. Power is about theft and subjugation. Theft and subjugation (by any means) is another phrase for war. The KKK is not a hate group – it’s a war group. It’s part of the ongoing war against blacks to maintain them as an internal colony. It’s about maintaining power and profit.

One of the problems people have when they think of war is that they think of killing. But really, the Bush Administration would have been just as happy if no Iraqis (except Saddam) had been killed. War isn’t about killing – it’s about power (theft and subjugation). Killing is just a means to that end. The KKK isn’t about hanging blacks from trees, it isn’t about fear, and it isn’t about hate – it’s about maintaining and extending power, profit, and privilege for the ruling class and maintaining relatively privileged status for non-ruling whites. The KKK fears and hates blacks as a reaction to what their own capitalist project is doing to them.

Take a look at the similarity between what war is (theft and subjugation by any means up to and including killing) and what capitalism is (theft and subjugation by any means up to and including wage slavery). Capitalism is the economic version of perpetual war. That’s what “competition” means – perpetual war with certain restraints (usually killing is frowned upon).

Capitalists don’t want corpses – they want slaves. The only value of a corpse to a capitalist is that it makes it easier to turn humans who are still alive into slaves. That’s what Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and other sites are all about – showing anyone who would oppose the American Empire what can and will happen to them. The message is – be a slave or be tortured. The choice is up to you.

“I’m not sure how substantial the power of the KKK is these days. So, I’m not sure they are central to what we both agree on: American colonialization policies and practices in and outside the borders of the US. For instance, Northern US cities have been colonized and yet the presence of a KKK is nil.”

The KKK began in 1866, shortly after the end of chattel slavery. The end of chattel slavery was a threat to whites of all classes, and the KKK was a response to that threat. The KKK stepped in to ensure that blacks would continue to be terrorized and controlled. Jim Crow laws and massive discrimination completed the task.

Nowadays everything is so messed up (from the ruling class’s perspective) that noone in power cares anymore. I guess that’s potentially good news for blacks and other oppressed peoples, but it’s bad news for the human species. What I mean is that white colonial rule is dying. It’s easy to see this in a way – if white rule was healthy they would take care of the environment – if white rule was healthy they wouldn’t jeopardize that rule with the perpetual possibility of nuclear annihilation. Rulers never want the end of the world unless they see their own rule crumbling.

But if they see their own rule crumbling, then watch out. Think of a shrew backed into a corner, but instead of little teeth the shrew has massive armies and nuclear weapons at his disposal. The outcome is sure to be extremely unpleasant. The outcome is found in the hearts and souls of the Neoconservatives and their elite Liberal allies.

“This colonialization is irrational. From the beginning of time, wealth is created in settlements which became cities. Colonizing cities does not make good economic sense. On a local level it does, however. Not all cities are equal and many are finding ways to turn this around and free themselves…but that’s for another time/place.”

It makes extremely good economic sense. It’s utterly rational from the standpoint of a small elite maintaining it’s power, wealth, and privilege. It’s bad from everyone else’s perspective of course. But since the elite control the means of propaganda and most others are just scrabbling along trying to not die or suffer from day to day, they in many cases either can’t know or at least can’t act upon their knowledge.

The point of colonization is the same as the point of slavery – the perpetuation of weakness in the exploited group (a form of genocide). Here’s a rough breakdown of what the ruling class wants:

Obedience to their will. Only in rare cases is disobedience acceptable.

Many, many, variations in the exploited classes. Many layers of managers, many layers of workers, fine distinctions. Separate latinos into certain job classes, blacks into others, whites into others.

Create a buffer class – the “middle class”. Give them substantial privileges. Make them the caretakers (doctors, lawyers, etc.) of the exploited classes so that they can “be on their side”.

Create an educational system whose main method of passage is money. Ensure through job requirements that all good paying jobs require passage through the state educational system which required substantial money to get through in the first place.

The more exploited the class, the more dangerous they are. Don’t worry about the middle class – they will never revolt. Make sure the heavily exploited classes are impoverished and thus have neither the time, nor the strength, nor the hope, in order to revolt. Wage controls ensure that the heavily exploited classes need to work long hours just to get by, and the already controlled classes (middle classes) can have their vacations and short work weeks.

All of this is based on divide and conquer, colonization, maximizing profit for the elites, maintaining control, and all of it comes back to capitalism. Different flavors of capitalism (Neofeudal, Keynesian, Neoliberal) don’t differ all that much – they mostly differ in terms of how they treat the middle class. The middle class will sure tell you how different they are!

“So, why would a city, whose economy has been depleted, be colonized? Who does it serve? From what I can see it primarily serves land owners and speculators.”

You’re talking about physical colonization. That’s not what colonization is. Black colonization is well described in the phrase “escaping the ghetto”. The ghetto is not a place so much as a conflux of social, political, and economic conditions. Colonization may or may not have a physical component.

“American colonialization is a direct descendent of the European system. American expansionism and the use of slaves and the slaughter of the indigenous peoples on this land was an extension of the European imperial empire. As the American Empire took center stage, Europe’s imperialism receded; the birth was accomplished and has gone on full force for over a hundred years.”

Yep – but I hope people understand that it’s not based on racism. The American Empire will die soon, and I fear that people will then celebrate an “end to imperialism”, since they think that only white people are colonists. Meanwhile, whoever then emerges as a global power will meet zero resistance as they go about their own imperial project, and only many years later will people wake up and say “Oh, oh, I never knew!”

Greed and lust for power are universal human conditions (just as are fairness and egalitarian principles), but they can be minimized in effect through social, cultural, and economic policies. What we need is not so much an end to imperialism as an end to the structures that ensure imperialism – capitalism. We need to understand capitalism and break it down – end class divisions – end a heavily privatized world – end hierarchies unless they are mutually supported. This can be done – and with the right local movements linked together in a global justice movement it will be done.

“Brian said: “Racism has nothing to do with a lack of empathy and everything to do with greed, profit, and power. It’s not an ideology – it’s a tool.”

“I didn’t say racism was a lack of empathy. There is a central, system economically based (I think we agree) which is bolstered by racism. The psychology around group think/dynamics that creates the KKK or lynching of Germans pre-WWI, or Hitler’s cadre that had emerged out of WWI, are NOT the racist system, but they are a PRODUCT of it.”

We agree on that, but we don’t agree on what creates the KKK. It’s not true that groupthink created or maintained the KKK. That’s like saying that groupthink created a corporation. Shared interests create corporations, and shared interests created the KKK. The shared interest that involves the maintenance of white and elite white privilege, profit, and power by means of keeping blacks in a perpetual state of terror.

Lets see if you agree on what I think our arguments are: your argument is that racism is emotional and irrational and mine is that racism is logical and rational. Your argument is that hatred is the cause of racism, and that racism just happens to then serve rational interests (amazingly!). My argument is that greed (rational greed from the standpoint of individualism) is the cause of theft and subjugation, racism furthers the ends of theft and subjugation, and all emotions involved (fear, hatred, and otherwise) are either reactions to this rational project or complementary to it. Is that a fair assessment of our differences?

“I’m saying that the lack of empathy for Iraqi children and the death and mutilation caused by US invasion and occupation is a direct result/product of the economic system that fosters racism. In in its full bloom it is the demonization of the other.”

Right – but I disagree insofar as the other can be pretty much anything. If there were no browns the other could be blue. If there were no blacks the other could be pink polka dot. The other is whatever happens to be most convenient to put on the assembly line of profitability. Whites kill whites for profit, blacks kill blacks for profit, the color money-green is the only true form of racism in the world. When blacks are weak and exploitable they are the other. When Jews are weak and exploitable they are the other. When whites are weak and exploitable they are the other and are then called by a different name (such as workers vs. managers).

Can you ever imagine a white capitalist thinking “Wow, I have this great opportunity for profit but the person I would be exploiting is white! Oh well, I guess I’ll have to move on to the next opportunity.”

That will be the day! Corporations *maximize profits*. The only logical outcome of this is that the victims of corporations are whoever most efficiently feeds that profit maximization.

“Ideology – “isms” tend to be belief systems acted on; a prism by which one sees the world, worldview. That said I’m fine with calling it a tool.”

I don’t think when Americans call Iraqis “hajjis” only when they are killing them can it be said that there is an ideological basis for the killing. Ideology can’t be turned on and off based on a military project. If, however, calling them “hajjis” is a tool to further their killing, torturing, and terrorizing efficiency, then it can and certainly is turned on or off depending on whether the Americans are killing, torturing, and terrorizing them or not at any given time.

“One clarfication of that clarification at the end of the post: I’m not saying that people of color who have been discriminated based on color have not been racially targeted. What I am saying is that racism is not unique to some ethnic or racial group. Slavery created a particular legacy; but it is not the only legacy associated with racism.”

Capitalists of any race will exploit whatever humans of whatever race they can get their hands on. Groups like the KKK make sure that certain races are easier for capitalists to grasp than others – it’s like someone on a life raft pushing a shipmate into an ocean with a shark in it. The shark consumes what’s closest to it first and the white guy on the life raft gets to drink his tea and enjoy his big screen TV. But then the shark gets hungry again, and who’s left to eat now?

Either we kill the shark, or we all die.

State Dept. Renews Blackwater Contract in Iraq

April 8, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 2 of The Global Movement for Justice and the end of Oppression

April 6, 2008

Here is the my followup reply to Max Shields from Dissident Voice, per here. Max Shields’s words are in italics:

“Here’s where I think you move the argument too far. Yes, there is a complicity across the board with exceptions (from people of all color), but it does us no good to simply say that the machine that imposes empire is rooted in the colonies of America. New Orleans is such a colony, one of many. I cannot in all good conscience say that New Orleaners are the recipients of empire, anymore than the 700 miliary based colonies throughout the world that receive US remittances are in fact part of the oppressive machine. There is an important difference”

If there were no serfs there would be no king. We live in a neofeudal age, the age of corporatism. If there is no slave there is no master, because the slave acts as enabler for the master. The internal colonies of America are given special treatment due to actual democratic advances within a nation-state system. But with the rise of a single superpower, that superpower determined that it no longer needed to act democratically in order to woo international opinion it’s way. So the weak democratic elements that led to favoring internal American colonies over external colonies began to erode.

It’s the serfs as well as the king who keep the system going. If the serfs decide that the king will no longer receive the serfs’ bounty, he won’t. Many serfs will die of course in the aftermath of such a choice, but the king will also die and sooner than all the serfs will, since the emergence of a new king with more moderate policies will then occur in order to spare the lives of the remaining serfs (in order for the land as a whole to have more power than if the killing of serfs continue).

It’s completely true that black slaves played a large role in building the United States of America. But hardly anyone acknowledges the actual implications of that – which is that black slaves played a large role in building an empire of tyranny, terror, and mass murder. And now they want to reap the gains of such a criminal construct, instead of meting out justice.

As serfs they certainly didn’t choose for their masters to be imperialists, but they sure did keep giving the imperialist master bounties, didn’t they? And their “leaders” kept up the mantra of integration, of the desire to work their way up the criminal ladder, of the desire for wealth and to stand side-by-side with the mass murdering king himself. That’s what “equality” means within the American monster. The equal right to extort, coerce, and dominate the rest of the world.

It takes a brave serf to defy a king, and the history of black slaves in America is not a history of bravery (by and large). If it was the world would be a very different place today. Blacks mourn the death of Martin Luther King not so much because of his great leadership but because of the utter dearth of black leadership today. The serfs have lost their spine.

Serfs define kings, and black slaves (through chattel, wage, and neofeudal) have shared in the defining of the American monster.

“I do not think that New Orleaners perpetuate empire. As an American colony they are kept in receipt of remittances that reach but a few and are siphoned off by corporate elites. It is simply not fair to call a colonists racist or part of the heart of empire. They are peripherial at best.”

That’s like saying workers are “peripheral at best” within capitalist systems. It’s nonsense. Serfs are the heart and soul of every kingdom, and American serfs are no different. Even for those black Americans who have problems gaining a place as a wage slave, they serve a crucial role insofar as they hold a lower rung on the social ladder, and show those on a higher rung the suffering that waits for them if they get out of line. American progressives think they are sophisticated when they talk about poverty, never knowing or caring that it’s the different shades of poverty, “minor” differences in the social structure, that make all the difference. “Divide and conquer” is, sadly, understood far better by the masters than by those who claim to be helping the serfs.

What do you think the “American Dream” is, this thing that so many serfs care about and who are lamenting the death of? It’s about the gaining of wealth, of milk and honey. America is the “Land of Opportunity” – that is to say the opportunity for wealth. So it’s not surprising that those at or near the bottom of the American ladder would put their energies into climbing up that ladder instead of dismantling the system itself. In order to climb up a ladder there not only needs to be a ladder (the “American Dream” of upward mobility) but there also needs to be someplace to climb to, so that after all that climbing the person isn’t stranded at the destination. That “someplace to climb to” is filled with blood money extracted from American colonies.

“My point is that racism is essential to imperial empirism and it is true whether that colony resides within our outside the major empire – USA.”

No, it’s not true. Do you think the serfs of Europe were a difference race from the king? Do you really think if there was only one race on the planet there would be no imperialism? Imperialism and empire is about greed, about desire for power, not about racism. Racism is just a convenience, an easy way for divide and conquer to be maintained. End racism and all that happens is that American blacks move up that ladder.

Emotions are outcomes of social relationships, not causes of them. That is to say, if one plans to steal from and subjugate a bunch of people, it’s convenient for those people to be able to be identified by race. It’s extremely convenient – it’s a kind of skin-based uniform, so that soldiers immediately know who to shoot, for example. So that people know who to hate just by looking at them.

“All that said, racism in terms of the sanctity of life and the quality of life is what is very worrisome. When Americans, regardless of color, cannot empathize with the pain of Iraqi families who are suffering do to empire we have to acknowledge the universiality of this wretched condition.”

If the Iraqis were white there would be no increase in compassion among American whites. When a school bully extorts money he only cares about race if race plays a larger role in the school society – he really just wants the money and he seeks to get it in the easiest and cheapest way possible.

It may sound trite to say that the global division of race is based on convenience, but it’s true. White imperialists aren’t the way they are because they hate non-whites, they hate non-whites because they want a perpetual stream of wealth from them, and if this convenience wasn’t available they would extort even more from members of their own race.

Look at this another way – do you really think a capitalist machine stops and starts based on the race of the victim that sits on the assembly line in front of it? The machine just wants victims, and convenient victims makes for more efficient extraction, that’s all.

“To your issue of where change comes from, Brian, local change is the only meaningful change. It roots the change on a human scale that absolutely cannot be achieved from the top down (globally or nationally). To see such change across the globe or even just within the US landscape is a major challenge, but I think that the notion that we can have some kind of national or global transformationis nearly outside the realm of the possible. I can imagine a cataclysmic situation where human species is subverted across the planet. Within that context all bets are off.”

I don’t think we disagree here. The global democratic movement will link together many local movements. It will have to link them together otherwise it will fail. In order for people to support each other across the globe they have to be in communication, regardless of whether that communication is mediated or otherwise controlled in a “top down” or “bottom up” fashion.