On being a radical

You probably recognize this symbol, though you might have forgotten its name:

When I write the symbol on the whiteboard in a class, and ask what it is, the response is invariable: “The square root.”

I respond, “Yes, its function is to take the root, including the square root or any other root. But what is it called?”

Extended silence ensues, followed by, “The square-root symbol.”

I lead the abundant laughter.

“Really? Nobody took math in junior high?”

Nervous laughter.

“I’ve insulted everybody here within the first minute of our meeting,” I say. “Now that that’s out of the way, we can proceed.”

Long pause before I give away the answer: “It’s called a radical.” Another long pause before I reveal the point of this exercise. “It’s called a radical because it gets at the root. That, by the way, is the definition of radical: of or going to the root or origin.”

I use this anecdote to introduce myself to the class. I’m a radical, I point out. And, whereas this culture has convinced most people that a radical is a bad thing, similarly to anarchy, it’s actually not a bad thing, and it’s different than most people believe.

On this topic, the words of H. L. Mencken resonate with me: “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

A good citizen driven to despair. That sounds about right. A few excerpts demonstrate the point:

The perfect parrot was the perfect pupil …. As students in grammar school or in high school we seldom question the truth of any statement. Instead, our concern was to get each phrase exactly as the teacher or textbook stated it …. Imagine the effect of years of such training on the developing mind. The habit of mental conformity becomes almost ineradicable. I was merely one of generations of victims. How many teachers suggested to us that the established order was not all that it might be? Even the possibility of change was hinted at only vaguely. We were not rebels. We were not pioneers. We were not even enthusiastic or devout copyists. We were mere discs on which the language of our generation was cut. At certain intervals, called examination periods, we were expected to reproduce this language, word by word and paragraph by paragraph.

The American Way was not based on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but upon the determination of business men to hold down wages and push up profits. The American Way was designed to make the rich richer while it kept the poor in their places.

Meanwhile the war makers, whose profession is wholesale destruction and mass murder, had taken over control of the United States and its policies, were writing the words, calling the tune …. The United States of my youth was slipping from under my feet and vanishing from my sight. The Mayflower Covenant, William Penn’s charter of love and good human relations, Thomas Jefferson’s Bill of Rights, the Constitution of 1789 which as a schoolboy I had learned word for word, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural had become obsolete scraps paper …. We had begun beating our plowshares into swords and our pruning hooks into spears, transforming tools into weapons and techniques of destruction and murder.

Where did I belong? How could I classify myself? Was I a Don Quixote, tilting ineffectually at windmills? Was I crazy and were my stand-pat conservative fellow citizens sane? Was I alone sane and they all off the track?

This world I saw was not at all to my liking. It was a world in which the destructive forces clearly had the upper hand. I had been taught to believe in the possibilities of well-being for every individual and the probability of social improvement. I found myself in a world hell-bent on its own destruction.

I live in the United States only because my post of duty is there …. I am ashamed of any connection with the oligarchy which presently misgoverns, exploits, plunders, and corrupts the United States and the world.

As an individual, I continue to do what I can. I go about, talk, and write in the face of ignorance, inertia, escapism. I believe there is a growing awareness of the crisis and the gravity of the menace hanging over humanity. There is also a growing awareness that the crucial decision has been made and that the process of vaporizing western civilization is well under way …. My personal contribution is increasingly a form of foreign aid — a contribution to fellow citizens whom I seem not to know. They are a people without history, misled, deluded, inexperienced, baffled. They are people who are turning more and more away from reason and foresight to instinct, emotion, and pathetically desperate efforts to escape a fate that is closing in around them as a fog envelops a ship at sea.

With increasing awareness of the real situation there has grown up in me a conviction that I should do something about it. I have tried talking, writing, speaking, lecturing, and have been bypassed and ignored by my fellow Americans. I continue to do what I can, at every opportunity. I have spoken my lines as I have thought them out and learned them. I continue to offer my help to my fellow Americans as one would offer help to a drowning man who every moment is being carried farther away by an irresistible current. I offer this aid gladly, hopefully, anxiously.

Like the Ancient Mariner, I am saying to preoccupied passersby: you have chosen and are following a path that leads to your destruction and probably to the destruction of hundreds of millions of your fellows. I have advised, opposed, warned, decried, denounced. You continue on your way to perdition. You rush on, unheeding. I continue to warn. You do not look and do not listen. You do not see the infinitely rich possibilities of life, lying unused at your feet. You go your own way — the way that millions of humans have gone before you, lured and corrupted by the glass beads and printed calicos which civilized societies offers to its devotees.

I have turned my back on the American Oligarchy, the American Way of Life, and American Century, the American Empire, western civilization. The entire chain of civilizations have brought a little light, learning, joy, and hope to a very few human beings while multitudes lived and died in darkness, ignorance, misery, despair. I have turned my back on this short-sighted, opportunistic acceptance of that which is, because I am convinced that we could reach out, create, touch, and grasp a better life and make it ours, if only we would put forth the effort.

I have burned the last bridge which connected me with the American Way of Life because I am convinced that the ideas, devices, techniques, and institutions of civilization have been tried time after time and found wanting. They are superfluous and obsolete because better ways are already in being, available to any who will turn their backs on the past and face the future hopefully, confidently, creatively, and conscious of the need for concerted, radical action.

I say farewell to western civilization. With no shadow of regret I try to dismiss it from my life as I try to dismiss any other unsavory, painful memory.

My separation from western civilization and its ways is almost as complete as my separation from the civilizations of Rome and Egypt. I continue to live in the United States, the power center of western civilization because this is part of my assignment, but I have no more sympathy with it or concern for it than an emissary of the United States has in a precapitalist areas of equatorial Africa or South America. The emissary lives in the midst of backwardness, but is not of it. This is exactly my feeling about my relations with the United States, in which perforce I must live.

Who could have imagined in the early part of the century that after a brief foreign sojourn I would return to these shores and find large sections of Los Angeles, Detroit, and Washington smoking ruins, sacked, and looted? Who could have foreseen the mounting drug addiction among the population, the vicious crime waves, the riots, the police ferocity? Each time I asked myself, incredulously, can this be home?

The affluent, drugged, debauched, corrupted, polluted, deluded nation is a country I never envisioned in my youth. It is an alien and hostile land. When I return to it I cannot say happily, “I am going home.” Instead, I must gird myself and prepare to return to a foreign and none too pleasant habitat.

No thoughtful person can face the facts of present-day life without realizing the terrible urgency of the situation. It is the dawning of this realization that is largely responsible for the tidal wave of protest, disruption, and destruction that is presently sweeping over the planet. The reaction is more evident among young people. They have their lives ahead of them. The parents, members of the previous generation, are more inured to the situation. Most of them never had it so good.

Man disturbs and upsets the balance of nature. Nature retorts by restoring the balance. From childhood to man’s estate we construct dams and dykes. Before we turn our backs nature is undermining and breaching. Water is again running downhill. Nature is tireless, persistent, implacable.

Teaching is my job. Teaching, in its largest sense means searching out the truth, telling it to all who are willing to learn, and building it into the life of the community. Truth is often unpleasant, annoying, and unpalatable to those who hold a disproportionate amount of worldly goods, who are power hungry, and who are pushing a cause to the detriment of the many. So they try to avoid truth, to cover it up, to forget it. It is the job of the teaching profession, of which I have been a lifetime member, to keep on uncovering the truth, reminding the rich and powerful of its character and its significance, bringing it to public attention, and arguing that it be made the cornerstone of local, regional, national and planet-wide public life.

I have had the rare privilege of being present, and of assisting slightly, at the death process of one social system and through the early stages of the development of an alternative pattern of human society. If this were all that life had granted me it would be a lifetime well spent. I am grateful for the opportunity and hopeful that my fellowmen will carry on to victory in the perilous fight, taking fuller and fuller advantage of the infinite possibilities for creative experiment and persistent improvement.

The preceding words, like those of Mencken, resonant with me. They were written by Scott Nearing and published in 1972 in his autobiography, The Making of a Radical. He was 89 years old at the time. References to his youth and to the early part of the century offer his perspective from the early 1900s.

A full century later, I am afflicted with a form of radicalism similar to that which plagued Nearing. I am ignored or disparaged when I point out the actions taken to prop up an empire in decline, including unprecedented military actions in the Middle East and northern Africa.

Too, I am ignored or disparaged when I point out the obvious signs of human-population overshoot and the likely near-term results, as well as the root causes of overshoot. The calls increase in number and tenacity when I point out the seemingly obvious need to destroy industrial civilization, the system that is driving to extinction several hundred species each day while making us sick, driving us to insanity, and killing us while we further human-population overshoot and the despoiling of our only home.

Imagine this scenario: You walk past a house every day. In the house, an old man kills 200 human babies as you stroll by. What shall you do? The response to which I’ve become accustomed: You walk past the house, plugging your ears to the screams and closing your eyes to the sights.

It’s not a hypothetical scenario, and it’s far worse than I’ve indicated. It’s not merely 200 human babies this old civilization is killing every day. It’s 200 species. In other words, it’s genocide. The majority responds by wishing this omnicidal system will continue forever. A slim minority wish it will end, thereby leaving habitat for humans for another few years. Vanishingly few people are motivated to the type of action that might preserve life, including habitat for humans.

How radical are you? Do you love life? Are you willing to fight for it?

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This essay is permalinked at The Refreshment Center, Ukiah Blog, and Counter Currents.

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Gabrielle Price seeks your support as she makes her way to the mud hut to learn skills. Learn more here.

Comments 136

  • Margarets –

    “facing the loneliness of being the weirdo in your family/social circle/office”

    There are two options here – either you are “correct,” or, those around you who think differently are correct. If you are incorrect – maybe you really are just crazy – you suffer, like a crazy person. If you are correct, you still suffer, like Casandra – you see the damage/danger, but no one else around you sees it, so you gradually go insane.

    Either way, if you are chained to your current life, you might end up like Casandra – going insane.

    This is always on my mind, something I re-visit every day (usually involuntarily – usually when I am doing something I do not agree with, but which is necessary to get through another day).

    There are dozens of tangents for this discussion…

    There was a man who was mauled by a grizzly bear and lay in a coma. When he became conscious again – about 6 days later – he crawled along side of a stream, with maggots feeding in the wounds on his back, for weeks, and for dozens of miles. He had with him no medicines and no tools to make fire, or hunt or defend himself. He gradually regained his health, and eventually walked another 2000 miles or so, over a period of 15-30 years or so (this is from memory).

  • Oz,

    I teach at a native american college. I have lived with native american friends (and enemies) since I could talk and walk. There are about 8 local tribes (depends how you define local) and I know and am friends with people from each tribe.

    They are fully industrial people. They have been assimilated. Are their any real, competent Native Americans left anywhere ? And no, I do not count those “elders” who tell pretty stories to suck up to and confuse their naive children (including the ass in some You-Tube videos).

    You might like “The Heirloom. Beautiful fiction – very little (not a single atom of ?) reality.

    http://theheirloom.blogspot.com/

    But hey, it’s better to have a happy delusion, than a sad delusion.

  • Robin Datta,

    Here’s one way to use the acronym BTW.

    “Oh BTW (by the way), your characterization of anarchists as non-violent is completely wrong!”

    an·ar·chist   [an-er-kist]
    noun
    Dictionary.com
    2.
    a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.

    Merriam-Webster
    2.
    a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy; especially : one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order

    Michael Irving

  • BTW Michael, TPTB (the powers that be) often take words that have one meaning and enforce another meaning on them. Since a conspiracy is
    1.the act of conspiring.
    2.an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
    3.a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
    4.Law . an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
    5.any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

    Thus a conspiracy theory is that theory that anyone has about evil deeds committed by more than one person.

    But the meaning is morphing as TPTB try to characterize it as irrational theories about events even though in the case of 9/11 they themselves put forward a conspiracy by a man in a cave with 19 suicide bombers.

    You can quote dictionary definitions about how anarchism is now defined thanks to the efforts of TPTB to discredit anarchists, but history records many non-violent anarchists. Wiki under their listing for anarchism in this case does a better job than dictionaries
    Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful,[1][2] or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Proponents of anarchism, known as “anarchists”, advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical[3][9][10] voluntary associations.[11][12]

    Under wiki’s listing for Christian anarchism is
    Henry David Thoreau
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American author, pacifist, nature lover, tax resister and individualist anarchist. He was an advocate of civil disobedience and a lifelong abolitionist. Though not commonly regarded as a Christian anarchist, his essay Civil Disobedience does include many of the Christian anarchist ideals.

    Your characterizing of anarchists as always violent is falling right into the plot of TPTB to discredit the principles of anarchism. Oh My Dog I think I just created a (gasp gasp) conspiracy theory.

  • A doom forum’s good for your brain:
    When you’re freaking, it helps you maintain;
    Regular attendance
    Can lead to dependence,
    But at least you won’t go insane.

  • Awww, thanks you guys….*blushing* :D

  • getting cocky now, aren’t u, btd? that’s ok. u were correct in assuming your most recent limerick would please your fans, at least this one. it slightly warms my old cold shriveled heart to make u blush and smile. we’re winners all around in matters small, not profound! (lol)

    ‘But at least you won’t go insane.’

    assuming u’re sane to begin with. lol

    i weigh in on the side of anarchy, as defined by the examples kathy gave, not michael. that’s because i’m personally inclined to pacifist disengagement from ‘authority’ to the greatest extent possible. but different words mean different things to different sheople, unfortunately.

  • It was all in the correct order before I screwed up posting it. :D

  • navid

    I’m missing the bit where I don’t seem to have a realistic appraisal of H/G Native peoples resort to shamanistic and intuitive communications with still active ancestors in the psychic realm.
    I take your experience and general point as being authentic and indicative of the state of play there in (parts of) North America. I can’t quibble with that.
    I think my point is that if the remaining group(s) of an indigenous peoples no longer have a way to regenerate their previous culture, ties to the land they called their own, and the range of unique spiritual and cultural rituals,(albeit with modifications to the present perhaps… I’m not a shaman?…) then they perhaps are ‘industrialised’ as you describe. However, if these peoples do retain such a connection, primarily through individuals who can receive that knowledge, in many forms, then they still live in continuity with their pre-colonial culture, in a living sense.
    My lay assessment of the broader Australian Aboriginal culture(s) is that there is still that nexus in their clan, country and kinship groups, even though many identify as ‘urban’ and work and live in industrial areas.
    Specifically there is still a real dilemma for these peoples.
    On one hand there is very little industrial economy in remote areas where traditional lands are situated. If these peoples move from their own ‘country’, a term used to describe not Australia but the clan areas of ones ancestors, then they lose a primary connection with their long culture history. Burt they keep the way alive. The reality is there are many places of pretty poor living conditions, and some systemic abuse of young children and women, some alcohol problems, and a lot of health problems. These I would say can inevitably be traced back to the ravages of attempted genocide and colonialism.
    On the other hand there are many Aboriginal groups and people such as Noel person, who want to get Aboriginal people into mortgages and housing long term to build up ‘stable’ communities that have an economy. This is in conflict with some of the principal ways of live for H/G peoples.
    I will venture a theory. a bit homespun I admit, but I think it is useful.
    Briefly, human consciousness can only know things via any of the four functions that were known to the early Greeks as the four humours, in the body. Jung and others developed the ideas of the four functions of consciousness, i.e. Sensation, Thinking, Feeling and Intuition.
    For those interested here are a few wiki links to fill out the details:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_type

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_Types

    Just as individuals develop preferences with regard to these functions so do cultures and nations. This is a tricky area as I would not want to be proscriptive in any way.
    However, to be fair I think any long lasting successful H/G group has got to have a good handle on all of these functions. Some individuals in groups will have one or more of these functions highly developed, but the key point is that there needs to be a cultural acceptance of all of these functions, and they are included in various ways in daily and ritual life in service for the group.
    I will go so far as to say that Western European Culture, WEC, and its now global extensions have for various cultic religious reasons, rejected Feeling and Intuition certainly since the Scientific revolution, but it goes way bag to an obscure religious cult in the middle East called the cult of Yahweh. That will no doubt bring a barrage of abuse from some, but so be it,
    Jung and Joseph Campbell and Arthur Schopenhauer before them referred to the fork in the developmental road, so to speak, such that because of religious dogma WEC, demonised the culturally ‘Feminine’ functions,(gonna get some abuse for that too),of Feeling and Intuition, and chose to Deify the Mind, the thinking function, and after the scientific revolution make an uneasy peace with ‘Mammon’, and idealise the role of material progress, the Sensation Function.
    The strength and military might of what we call here Empire is founded on the exclusive development of these two functions at the expense of the other two.
    Sensation and Thinking are enough to become a nuclear scientist, a NASA space instrument technician, or an electrical engineer. Medicine is an area that has slowly weeded out the Feeling and Intuition functions, at least from the training and accreditation processes.
    If some one working on the Manhattan project had a highly developed Feeling function they would find it hard to commit, don’t you think? But I digress.
    So with regard to H/G societies, who have well developed Intuition and Feeling functions, usually if there is a funeral or a ceremonial need to convene about a situation, then the whole group would respond to that need, pick up and go and spend up to a week to do that. Sure they still eat and carry out basic functions but the attention of the whole group goes to this. There is a similar thing in WEC where there are days of the year known as National holidays, like in Australia Queen’s Birthday, New year’s Day, ANZAC day etc. There are many in other countries too. These days are set aside for group activities and public commemoration, and are usually paid for to wage earners, as a day off work.
    The main difference is that in H?G societies it is done when there is a spontaneous need, not on the same day of the year, as in WEC.
    The spontaneity is the sign that it is governed by Intuition, and comes from cultural leaders, or elders, recognising the need to perform ceremonies etc.
    WEC is not spontaneous In this way, as it is regulated largely by commerce, and Sensation and Thinking have determined that a calender cycle is sufficient, as well as a 7 day week.
    In the Australian education system there is only now the beginning of some kind of recognition of the need for school age children to be absent of WEC schools for several weeks, allowing them to go to country with relatives. This is one reason there are very poor attendances at WEC schools to date by Aboriginal students.
    So my basic point is that to become ‘industrialised’, Native peoples, and my example are here of Australian Aboriginals, will be faced with the relinquishing of a cultural context that supports the development, and consolidation, of all of these human functions of consciousness. Or more succinctly, they will lose a connection to those Feeling and Intuitive functions that WEC chooses to demonise(t), decry as unreal(#), and financially punish($).

    To be a little more optimistic, I think if elders and policy makers,( nice cultural discriminator, ha), know the issues well enough then there may be, can be, a middle path. I hope so.
    (t)- witness aprox, 1000 or more years of gender assignation in WEC of women as lesser beings than men.
    (#)- 1.-witness the reporting of some experiences with psychic and spirit based phenomena will now result in a psychiatric diagnosis and medication for life.
    2.Scientism as a dominant paradigmatic cultural practice does not recognise Feeling nor Intuition as having any reality. It cannot be measured, via extended sensory apparatus(Sensation), nor can it be therefore, discriminated upon and analysed to determine feature and functional definitions,(Thinking). The closest the Medical Scientific community comes is to introduce a 9 point rubric for affects of emotion, or anxiety; 1 is ,say calm, and 9 is catatonic with anxiety. That way a measurement of a persons subjective state is possible.
    Many WEC historians have pointed out that with the supplanting of Christianity, from Galileo and Copernicus and Newton’s time, with Science as a dominant paradigm, the universe has no place for Human consciousness.
    What a mystery!! We cut out two ‘Subjective’ functions from the cultural platform and then mysteriously we lose consciousness as a REALITY. 1+1= ???
    ($)-witness all the occupations and ‘callings’ in WEC that were done by women are paid well below that of other occupations. For example, nursing, primary school teaching, cleaning, laundering(not the money stuff the linen), and prostitution.(more abuse coming..)
    I will only add two comments.
    Since the 1960s WEC has attempted to change some of the effects of the things I have outlined. without truly understanding this functional interplay within individuals and within social and cultural groups WEC reformers and movements have largely come from two fields,(maybe others).
    The first is the Women’s Liberation Movements – WLM, from the early suffragettes on through several ‘waves’ of sophisticated feminists. There has been a gargantuan struggle to validate a woman’s right to freely do anything; from occupation, procreation(or not), having independent thought! even. The reason for this is that the gender assignation of these four functions has been even linguistically embedded in WEC norms. Thinking and Sensation are the domain of Males, and lead to expertise and occupations, and relative authority over occupations like Engineer Court Judge, Scientist, Military General and Mathematician etc.
    Feeling and Intuition, if acknowledged as credible attributes,are the domain of Females, and lead to expertise and occupations, and relative authority over occupations, (some unpaid) like Nursing, Psychic, Child Rarer and Carer, and Traditional Medical Therapist, Personal Assistant.
    There is some muddying as there is an argument that ‘class’ has a big impact on this issue, but that is a bit too much to cover here.
    Suffice to say there are numerous linguistic references within WEC to Womens Intuition etc that locate these functions in the Female gender.
    The second is the Environmental and Ecology Movement – EEM. This has come from those in the WEC whole value the Earth above profit and monetary wealth. The whole difference in seeing Ecosystems and the environment as a collection of resources and assets to be ‘realised’ by mining and deforestation, etc. as opposed to a place to be, to live and be interdependent with is a ‘classic’ using different functions to evaluate the world. Sensation and Thinking, as functions are disposed to simply record and analytically differentiate the environment as complex entities in a zone of inter-location. Feeling and Intuition will evaluate the environment as very necessary for our survival, and our future needs. Feeling is an evaluative function, on a personal level, it tells you what you like, or don’t like. “I love you”, “I hate Republicans”, are subjective assignations that when socially amplified result in value systems that preference some things, and not others like.
    Someone like Derrick Jensen, whatever one feels about all he says, is a good example of someone who does a lot of work to get people to see the way the world environment and habitat is seen has alternative ways of evaluation. He often juxtaposes these two world views.
    A personal example is instructive here.
    I went to a lecture by Matthew Fox the American Theologian in London in 1990, and he spoke in very ecological terms about Christianity as having a deep rooted ecological respect. Well, he was doing his damnest to assert that, and perhaps revive that aspect of the Christian way. After the lecture there was a short Q&A and a young man who said he was a share trader spoke, He was making the point that when he read a news story in the paper that morning about a group of traditional Aboriginal land owners being moved from land by a Mining Company in Western Australia he immediately thought that the shares for the Mining Co. might be a good thing to look at for investment. As he sat there and took in Mr Fox’s lecture he shamefully remembered the newspaper article. He confessed he now could only now feel sympathetically for those poor Aboriginal people, losing contact with their land.
    He re-evaluated the significance of the event.
    I have gone to the trouble here of expanding this topic, that navid’s reply initiated in me. Because since we are here concerned with the big big downside of ‘Empire’, I am keen we 1. don’t misunderstand the root problems of Empire in the terms of ‘functions I went into, and that speaks to the Education Systems of the WEC generally, as well as cultural codes and norms etc., and 2. whatever arises in the next Century or so, if anything survives, I damn well don’t want us to make the same mistakes again!!!
    Yes I played with LEGO and MECHANO as a boy. But I also had precognitive dreams and visions that led me to value all the available functions we possess. If that makes me a ‘Radical’, I accept the descriptor.

  • The way Guy uses the term Anarchist, to me describes a mature individual who has developed the four functions of Sensation, Thinking, Feeling and Intuition, and therefore none of which hides in the shodow realm for them. That means they act freely, and responsibly according to the situation, and not as a one dominated and ruled by the terrifying disruptive projections of the inferior functions of a dominant culture.
    The crazed political/religious zealot, capable of violent means when pushed, is a constructed stereotype of the undeveloped inferior functions of the WEC – Western European Culture.

  • Sometimes as I reflect on things in those rare moments of clarity and self-honesty, I find it extraordinary just how much we know about ‘TPTB’ – their thoughts, their intents, their motivations – most of us just ordinary folk wishing we knew just what the hell was going on in the world.

  • For those with an authoritarian mind-set, a constricted world-view prevents them from conceiving a world without rulers – “archons”. The ideal in such a circumstance is a long rule by powerful rulers.  The spectrum of rule in such a world-view ranges from one lasting centuries, as by an empire with vast armies, to the shortest durations, as by a so-called “anarchist” with a Molotov cocktail or a street mugger with a handgun. The latter rules by such less powerful rulers are oligarchies, not anarchies.
    An anarchy as voluntarism is quite beyond the conceptual powers of an authoritarian, as breathing air is beyond the conception of a deep-sea fish.

    OZ man, I get from your post-length commentary an analysis of manipulation of the manifestations of consciousness as the means to control the individual and the society. It could have been submitted to Dr. McPherson by itself for a guest blog post.

    Sensation and thinking are generally lumped together as cognitive functions, attributed to the neocortex (“higher” brain) while feeling and intuition have been lumped together and attributed to the limbic system (“reptilian” brain). The effort and research devoted to the subject spans many disciplines, including religion, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, sociology, etc., and would fill libraries. I was thinking of submitting a blog post to Dr. McPherson along these lines, but on attempting to write it. promptly realised my inadequacy in addressing the subject and have (for now) abandoned the attempt. 

  • Victor, we may not know specifics about the actions of all the various TPTB but we know that when you have more money to buy stuff than stuff to buy that you can actually use, there is but one thing left to want – POWER. That’s why we call them powers that be, for power is their game. How that plays out differs of course, and like the Mafia they fight among themselves. Sometimes if you dig a bit you can get a handle on their methods, such as using propaganda to influence the plebes. Sometimes they tell you what they are doing. http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html
    “[The] American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.
    So what do you do? It’s going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefeller’s image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War. The leading figures were people in the Creel Commission. In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission. He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term “propaganda,” incidentally, did not have negative connotations in those days. It was during the second World War that the term became taboo because it was connected with Germany, and all those bad things. But in this period, the term propaganda just meant information or something like that. So he wrote a book called Propaganda around 1925, and it starts off by saying he is applying the lessons of the first World War. The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to “regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies.” These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques.
    This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala.
    His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn’t smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual.”

    —Noam Chomsky

    (From Chomsky’s “What Makes Mainstream Media
    Mainstream”: a talk at Z Media Institute, June 1997)

  • Robin Datta

    Thanks for some kind of endorsement. I encouraage you to submit something. Ideas and personal evaluations of them are what people may like to review about the central subject matters herein on a site like NBL, not only of up to date info of world environmental data, but of how ‘we’ FUBARed the planet and the culrural life of its peoples, (including all other life forms), and thence views on any things to be done.
    I would be intereested to read what you write.

    Victor

    Who are TPTB? They are the individuals and groups who manipulate the Laws of states to their ends. An outsider can at best infer the motivations of TPTB by the eventual effects of the range of results.
    There is never any concensus on the roost. Vying for positions of influence and power are endemic to large groups, and small. Have you ever joined a local co-op of some kind. Even a small one. Very soon division of objectives becomes an issue.
    I accept that I made some big inferences about TPTB in many of my posts, and they stand as opinions on the effects of that hegemonic struggle with regard to WEC. If you are satisfied with simple answers to hard questions like ‘How did we fundamentally FUBAR the planet?” then I can’t help., except to say old trite sayiongs like “Greed” and ‘Money is the root of all evil” etc. That is patently true for some vested interests amongst TPTB, but with many ordinary folk, it amounts to how and why we live the ways we do. And that’s not Evil or in itself corrupt, just big inherited cultural norms. I choose to look at and analyse these factors to gain and offer some reasoned understanding.Other readers will make their own assessment.
    On a more personal note, the earliest moment I knew there was something very ‘wrong’,(child view), with this WEC was as a small boy walking through a small regional grocery supermarket beside my mother. I was not unfamiliar with them, however, on this occasion I was deeply troubled by the way one acquired necessities.
    All I can offer is that in some way since then I have attempted in various ways to put some of the pieces together about FUBAR the planet. So I have been looking at it for a long time.

    To be fair to your weak jibe about ‘ordinary folk’, as an attempt to locate your comments in a class that is adversarial to an educated voice, that’s your stuff, not mine. Simple folk can blog with legitimacy too, if thats how you wish to be known. I only identify as human, untill I learn otherwise, from experience.
    I read your views with dispassion and respect, and why not. A view is a view, and it can change. Simple folk, educated folk, complex folk, I don’t judge the person, just asses the views, for myself.
    This site is a great learning space, and if I sense a cynical tone in you last entry, my view is that it will hold you back.

  • We know that certain PTB published the PNAC (Project for The New American Century – Rebuilding America’s Defenses) in which they outlined just what they wanted to do and stated that to do these things they would need a catalyzing event
    “Further, the process of transformation,
    even if it brings revolutionary change, is
    likely to be a long one, absent some
    catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a
    new Pearl Harbor”
    http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

    When things happen that they say need to happen one can guess that they made them happen. If one looks it is not hard to find some at least of their plans in plain view.

    But under that is the deeper conspiracy. I think the real plan is to capture the most physical gold and find the Ark of the Covenant under the Temple Dome in order to greet the returning aliens (our makers) when the planet Niburu returns to our neighborhood. The Ark is to be the first to communicate with them and the gold is to buy passage off planet :) Fits – remember the missing gold under the World Trade Center – note the looting of museums of ancient artifacts in the middle eastern countries we invade, note the push by Israel to take over all of Jerusalem, and the religious fanatics there in their desire to rebuild the temple on its original site. OK now that qualifies as a real nutcake conspiracy theory (or does it?).

    We don’t know everything any set of “they” are up to but some of it they blatantly publish for anyone to see.

  • Kathy C

    My ‘theory’ about the confluence of Peak Oil, massive human population overshoot, and world wide obesity, in develpoed countries, is that at precicely December 21st 2012, when the Mayan calander,(who did they get it from?), runs out, the Aliens will return to harvest.
    These Aliens feed off animal fat, either as a necessity to procreate, or as a delacacy like caviar, or truffles.

    ‘We’ were the only animal smart enough, or dumb enough, to manage to get such a large population by that date. Of course at critical intervals the Aliens helped us to ‘discover’ fire, flint tools, agriculture, caol and gas and then oil, at the right times to help us overshoot on population. But we have delivered on time. Oh and they like their food served warm so Climate Change is on schedule too.

    Did the Nazis really have conversations with the Aliens, and then move to the the USA to continue their real work?

    Maybe we are all fishfood.

    Alternatively, these Aliens may have a market in their FUBARed world,
    (or perhaps they managed to get off theirs before they FUBARed it?) for small fat little pets that walk on 2 legs, and if you feed them they get fatter, and leave little droppings and squeal if squeezed. Their larval stage infants love to play with them, even swap them.

    Now that’s a FUBAR nutty conspiracy theory for you.
    But, you know its not a bad theory when you think about it, all the bits match. The only really weak point is the Aliens. But to tell everyone the truth, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they did arrive and harvest. Then at least it would all become clear, and I bet they wouldn’t fall for the microbes like in War of the Worlds.
    Love how your mind works Cathy C.
    I’m going to have a go at this limmerik thing sometime soon, maybe with an Aussie theme.

  • Kathy C,
    sorry, its a K for Kathy.

  • Just been reading the first of Kathy C’s last link, which was written in 1997!
    Have to quote some to add to the ‘evidence’ of how TPTB wish to prevent anyone becoming a radical.
    Read and weep.

    ” It has been found possible so to mold the mind of the masses that they will throw their newly gained strength in the desired direction. In the present structure of society, this practice is inevitable. Whatever of social importance is done to-day, whether in politics, finance, manufacture, agriculture, charity, education, or other fields, must be done with the help of propaganda. Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.
    Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man’s rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all receive identical imprints. It may seem an exaggeration to say that the American public gets most of its ideas in this wholesale fashion. The mechanism by which ideas are disseminated on a large scale is propaganda, in the broad sense of an organized effort to spread a particular belief or doctrine.”

    What chance do simple folk have?

    (There are similarities between this and the cautious warning that Socraties gave about believing Literacy would lead to being intellegent, as opposrd to the earlier living relations of the oral tradition. He said it will appear that men will be learned with writing and reading, but the will know much that is not true. The quote is somwhere lost in a box I threw out moving a decade ago.
    Anyone know it?)

  • Oz man – maybe this? “If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder. And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance, for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing, and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows…And once a thing is put in writing, the composition, whatever it may be, drifts all over the place, getting into the hands not only of those who understand it, but equally of those who have no business with it; It doesn’t know how to address the right people, and not address the wrong. And when it is ill-treated and unfairly abused it always needs its parent to come to its help, being unable to defend or help itself.”

    http://pratonarrative.wikispaces.com/phaedrus

    Searched google with the words socrates men will be learned with writing and reading, but the will know much that is not true.

  • I think your alien theory must be true – TPTB foretold it with the book and Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_(The_Twilight_Zone)
    They always give us hints on what is coming.
    Meshes with mine, they get the gold and get off planet, we get eaten. However TPTB shouldn’t trust the aliens any more than they trust themselves.

  • Oz,

    “I’m missing the bit where I don’t seem to have a realistic appraisal of H/G Native peoples resort to shamanistic and intuitive communications with still active ancestors in the psychic realm.”

    That is because I deliberately avoided the psychic/shamanistic/intuitive “communications” and ancestors in psychic realms.

    I think you would enjoy the following book (I did):

    https://www.amazon.com/The-Heirloom-ebook/dp/B004JKMV8G

    Guy read and reviewed this book and said:

    “I find it far superior to James Howard Kunstler’s post-peak superstition-laced novels, World Made by Hand and Witches of Hebron.”

    Upon reading the book, I did not understand Guy’s review. The book I read is filled with “superstition” – caricatures of native “beliefs” as interpreted by a modern, industrial person and incorporated into his personal fantasy.

    Still, it was a fun and fanciful story.

    ——-
    I like this part of one of your sentences above:

    “…the remaining group(s) of an indigenous peoples no longer have a way to regenerate their previous culture,… ”

    It reminds me of Lame Deer’s “prophecy”:

    ” People are being too smart, too clever; the machine stops and they are helpless, because they have forgotten how to make do without the machine.”

    By “people,” I think he meant natives who got sucked into the industrial pigsty, as well as the invasive, domesticated piglets, who built the pigsty.

    I use that Lame Deer’s quote as my signature line for my college email for all of my correspondence. It has been met with silence for 5 years now – the “elders,” I think, are mostly posers who desperately need the Fed’s “commodts” (food delivered to the captives on their reservation) and the Fed’s DOLLARS (each elder competes to stick his/her head up the ass of the senator or congresswhatever that happens to be their current master.

    I few years ago I was assigned to chaperone some of our students for a trip to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (http://www.aises.org/). I went with the students to the opening ceremonies… where the DOD, Homeland Security, GE, Archer Daniels, General Dynamics etc, etc were busy trying to fill their quotas of native americans (“I bagged a dozen of the little bastards!!” I thought I heard them say).

    The students were all very excited… and every “station” bribed them with cute trickets and promises of wealth…

    holey fucking shamanchrist-on-a-donkey… it was a re-run of the past few hundred years, but modernized to make it more efficient, with less loss of blood.

    i spent the next three days around the hotel – got to know a pair of city hawks pretty well – and when I got home I told my dean not do do that to me ever again or I will just quit.

    Now I no longer have to participate in the rituals of the sickfucks.

    it is now time to go to the river and float… heat stroke, back stroke, whatever ;)

  • oh good, my comment is waiting moderation.

  • Josh and I just returned from a short trip to St. Louis. I hadn’t been there for almost 40 years and didn’t remember much of it. We were visiting some of Josh’s family. We tend to be so isolated here in the country that I forget just how crazy the rest of the world is. As we traveled around the city touring the various sites (at the Arch I refused to tour the “Westward Expansion” museum on principle), frequently I would be reminded that in all likelihood, in a few short years most of the people I was seeing would be starving or dead. The feeling wasn’t so strong in the urban areas with the short walkable distances between various points, but was quite pronounced in the suburbs where car is king. The best thing I can say about the trip is that it’s good to be home. :-)

  • Twenty-four years ago I had a stare-down contest with a cougar. The cougar won, my eyes teared up too much and I had to blink. “FUCK!” I screamed in my head when I blinked. I was very glad there was a glass wall between us. I am really sure that cougar did not want to play.

    The dozens of people around me noticed the change in the cougar – he had stopped compulsively licking his paw, started scanning the crowd, and his stare stopped when his eyes met mine. The people around me got quiet, and started looking back and forth between me and the cougar. After an eternity of 5 or 10 seconds, I blinked and the cougar went back to licking his paw and ignoring us gawking naked apes. (I am certain I could have lasted a lot longer if i had not be self-consciously distracted by the people around me)

    My wife was several feet away (it was a crowded zoo). When she got back over by me she asked, “what the fuck was that???? what just happened?” (direct quote).

    If not for my wife’s response, and that of the people around me, I would be certain the whole experience was just in my head.

    I do not know why that memory just popped up in my head, and i do not know why i feel compelled to describe it just now. Likely a tangent my brain picked up on due to references to aliens, spirits etc.

    back to floating.

  • So, for a little more gallows humor, you won’t want to miss the following video:

    http://onion.com/MoWqLC

    Goes along with our ultimate population solution theme. Enjoy! :-)

  • OZ

    I must apologise if you took personal offence to my remarks. It was a serious enquiry about something that I have both noticed by others as well as myself. It seems ‘TPTB’ has taken on an all-inclusive aura of being the bin-box of every nasty thing that happens anywhere, something akin to ‘the devil made us do it’ in Christian circles, with the non-sectarians using ‘TPTB’ bogey man.

    Simply put, we really don’t know who TPTB are, where they are, how you could recognise one if you saw her, why they do what they do, exactly how they do it – in other words, damn near naught. Yet we are so sure that if anything happen – THEY did it. And we are so confident of that that we spread it everywhere, so others start picking up on the idea as well. Soon, it is common knowledge who did it, and therefore TRUTH, and most everyone accepts it as truth. And once acknowledged as truth, anything you say about TPTB is, therefore a perfectly reasonable suggestion.

    As for ‘ordinary folk’ it was not a jibe but I thought rather a reasonable description of who we are as opposed to ‘them’, who are not ordinary in any sense of the term and live in a world of their own quite segregated from the rest of us. I’m sure we all have some degree of talent that others don’t – I’m sure by what you say that you are one of them. But please catch my gist.

    BTW, as I understand it, the word ‘simple’ is not to be confused with the word ‘ordinary’ by any means.

  • Victor, your thoughts regarding “the powers that be” make sense to me. For my part, when I use that term I’m using it as shorthand to refer to a diverse set of people/institutions which varies with the topic. The shorthand is easier but doesn’t differentiate between the various groups I’m describing as such. Probably not the best way to use the term. :-)

  • Victor,
    PTB –
    The Pope – while in power he let little altar boys get buggered, unless you think the little boys were responsible.
    John Yoo – a minor power that gave the bigger PTB a rational for torture
    Dick Cheney and crew – 911
    A group of conspirators -identities disputed – JFK, RFK, MLK
    Greenspan and clan – deregulation and 2008 collapse
    Hoover – need I list the things he did
    McCarthy – the incarceration or blacklisting of many decent human beings
    Cam Lanier and Debby Woods- the forfeiting of our town charter (but we got it back!)
    Truman and the military – Hiroshima
    Goebbels – the big lie
    Ed Bernays – the subsequent big lies
    Koch Brothers – the Tea Party and attack on Wisconsin unions
    New York Times – justifying going to war in Iraq

    Just because some people throw around TPTB as an explanation for everything doesn’t mean everyone does. I don’t think any PTB are conspiring to create a belief in global warming in order to form one world government. (They might however be conspiring to create a false flag alien attack to create one world government :) ) I know certain PTB are conspiring to create a doubt or denial about global warming, particularly oil company PTB https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon

    Do we have to quit using a useful shorthand because some people use it wrongly.

    Do we have to find a new word for peaceful anarchists because the PTB found it useful to characterize all anarchists as violent in the press and public forum.

    Frankly the more I study history, particularly hidden history, the more I see events as staged and managed by powerful people, some known, some unknown.
    Pearl Harbor – just those Japanese striking us out of meanness or a plan by Roosevelt to get them to attack by stopping their access to oil? Robert Stinnett published his book“Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor”in 1999.Stinnett, a decorated WWII veteran and author, requested files about the attack, and the events preceding it, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). He discovered that FDR not only knew about the attack in advance, but that his administration did everything it could to cause a Japanese attack on America. One of the most important pieces of information that Stinnett came across was the McCollum memo, which outlined eight points that the FDR administration could do to instigate a dramatic response by the Japanese without the Congress, or the American people getting too suspicious, like cutting off economic ties with Japan, refusing it oil, establishing relations with Japan’s main enemy, China, and other provocations.
    The war in Yugoslavia – just ethnic tension or something instigated by the US? Read To Kill a Nation by Parenti for a different take on the war.
    The sinking of the Liberty? Just a mistake by Israeli pilots – the crew say NO. Did they do it on their own or did Johnson agree to it or ask for it? The problem is that they are so damn good at covering their tracks and deceiving the public that we often never know for sure who did what and why, and so we are left with only being able to say we know it was a plan of some PTB.

    Come on Victor – we know who some of the PTB are and we know what they have done and they have taken us to the edge of the abyss. Of course since we are as Dilworth says “Too Smart for our own Good” it couldn’t have ended up otherwise. But when a person picks your pocket you still blame that person. When a president with the help of a prestigious newspaper leads a country to war costing the lives of perhaps a million or more Iraqi’s do we blame our soldiers or the brain dead public, or do we blame Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the entire congress, and the NY Times who knew exactly what they were doing and why?

  • What some FPTB (financial powers that be) have been up to

    Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone contributing editor, and Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, analyze the Libor interest rate–rigging scandal engulfing the banking industry.

    Barclays CEO Bob Diamond recently resigned after the bank was fined $453 million for its part in the scandal, which involved manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key global benchmark for interest rates, by essentially “faking their credit scores,” according to Taibbi. And as Taibbi explains, Barclays couldn’t have acted alone.

    “It can’t just be Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In fact, it can’t even be four banks or even five banks,” he says. “Really, in the end it’s probably going to come out that it’s going to be all of them … involved in this. And that’s what’s critical for people to understand: that this is a cartel-style corruption.”

    Kelleher argues that the Libor scandal is proof that the financial industry “is corrupt and rotten to its core.” “The same executives [using] the same business model that crashed the entire financial system in ’08 are still running these banks,” he says.

    http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/the-mob-learned-from-wall-street-eliot-spitzer-on-the-cartel-style-corruption-behind-libor-scam/

  • ‘WEC is not spontaneous In this way’

    is it spontaneous in any way, oz man?

    ‘Many WEC historians have pointed out that with the supplanting of Christianity, from Galileo and Copernicus and Newton’s time, with Science as a dominant paradigm, the universe has no place for Human consciousness.’

    i would argue that dogmatic religions like christianity retard and limit consciousness. i would further argue that christianity plays a huge role in the domestication of WEC sheople, making us pliable to manipulative ‘authorities’. i think it was designed to make us gullible, obedient, faithful to ‘authority’, and psychologically addicted to it and it’s dogmas/laws. dogmatic religion, human hierarchy, and empire go hand in hand.

  • 4th of july musing: i imagine everyone here knows this date is an american holiday. in 1776 on this date the ‘declaration of independence’ was formally adopted by the rebellious 13 colonies along the eastern seaboard of north america from the state of maine in the north to georgia in the south. so much for the history lesson. most if not all of u are also aware that this holiday is celebrated in a rather unique fashion, with a ‘fireworks’ display in communities across the land as night falls. this entails an impressively gaudy and colorful display of explosives lighting up the sky in rapid succession for 20 minutes or so. it’s an innocuous re-enactment of the ‘bombs bursting in air’ that is ‘immortalized’ as a lyric of the american national anthem titled ‘the star spangled banner’.

    i’m curious to what degree ‘fireworks’ are an international phenomenon? is this symbol of warfare popular throughout the world, or almost unique to the usa?

  • Jen Hartley has submitted the second in her series about homeschooling. It’s here, with my thanks.

  • the virgin terry

    Interesting the fireworks thing.
    Here in Australia we had a night known as ‘Cracker Night’ which was loosely related to British Guy Fawkes Night, commemorating the failure of the Gunpowder plot of 1605 against the House of Lords.

    That all stopped here in about the mid 1990’s. You can only legally buy fireworks in the ACT, Australian Capital Territory, of which Canberra is the capital. (Strangely you can also only legally buy xxx rated videos and such over the counter there too.)

    I believe that the professional fire services here got greater control of the regulatory process in controlling the open lighting of bonfires, esp for this event.

    As a boy this was a great time where everyone in the neighbourhood, poor and well heeled, came out and contributed, and acted like a community. The only real other times, curiously enough, were bushfires and also natural disasters. At those times people tend to drop their class distinctions and get in and be a community, giving time and resources like they were communally owned.. It was also the insurance /finance people who virtually outlawed community happenings, with local councils no longer covering general insurance for public liability at town fetes and such.

    A few years ago I tried to arrange a Cracker Night in the local district, and it was a regulatory nightmare. It could be done, but took so much coordination with 5 different agencies I gave up on it. There is something about a communal fire that probably takes us way back to them ancient times.
    Now I could blame that all on TPTB, for effectively destroying community activities. But I also view the arrival of the home TV as the harbinger of the deminishment of true community here. That little flat rectangle does not really amount to the town square, and having powerful commercial interests in our homes every day and night has a way of tricking us into believing it is a community space. The harder reality is that it is a very controlled attention zone, working, largely, for TPTB.
    There is some return to community, but I stress that that only happens now by commercial enablement. There has to be a commercial association with almost every community event. It as though WEC have forgotten how to do anything without money.
    ‘The Future of Money: Beyond Greed and Scarcity’, written by Bernard Lietaer, in 2001, is an interesting and somewhat large book about money and its role in making and breaking human relations. It is reviewed in wiki at this link but it goes far beyond the limited descriptions in that post;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Future_of_Money:_Beyond_Greed_and_Scarcity

    Also I think large fireworks displays at civic occasions have traduced the people from the awe and wonder of local fireworks displays, but note we are no longer able to make our own communal event, it is now brokered by officials in distant places.

    Look, the virgin terry
    regarding your comments about Christianity, I heartily agree. I confess it is very difficult to account for all the separate and intertwined cultural factors when putting discussions of this kind up. It is an art to be succinct and pertinent, and not overreach. I am not dexterous at all that yet.

    In that passage you quoted I was attempting to speak to the mostly animistic aspects of Christianity, as an example of the loss of a connection to the two functions of Feeling and Intuition broadly. The accumulation of power in the various branches of the Christian denominations, and the lack of an authentic recent spiritual master, has led, in my view, to a long period of corruption and dogma. I agree with you. However, alongside the orthodoxy of public church power has always been lesser movements like the cult of the Virgin Mary and others, that were motivated by a devotion to a feminine aspect of the divine. I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on these movements, but am aware of them generally. It is these kinds of day to day cultic devotional responses over many previous centuries by uneducated, but nevertheless, vital and devout people that I characterise as a primary example of people publicly engaging in the exercising of the Feeling function in particular.
    The fact that the greater structures of the orthodoxy were overtaken by the very thing they were convened to prevent, the worship of Mammon over God,(damn, I used the word…), did not prevent the exercising of feeling as devotion. The powerful example of the Virgin Mary’s cult, I am told was very difficult for the cardinals to deliberately sideline or diminish, because they tried to do so, particularly in certain parts of Europe, but they eventually realised that this aspect of church rituals was what many women, in particular, were relating to.
    So I was not essentially trying to pass over the corruption of WEC Christianity by pointing to the transition to Science as an organising cosmological framework. I was drawing the point that, notwithstanding the corruption there, that religious framework had an animistic element central to the conception of reality. When that was supplanted, and I think for some very clear and sound reasons it was thus supplanted, the whole conception of a being, a deity, that could be related to by Feeling and Intuition, was removed from public validity.
    In private, many people still did their thing, however, the extent to which the subsequent institutes of learning, the Universities and Academies and such, begun to teach the Scientific and Rational content it had a significant impact on the public consensus on what was real, and a new dogma arose.
    I concede I was not clear enough on this. I wish to add another detail.
    I was also trying to draw out the idea that the WEC did not by degrees assimilate the Scientific view, such that the new ideas of Science and Rationality, and by extension the functions of Thinking and Sensation, complimented and added to the range of psychological functions freely at large in society.(clumsy expression..)
    There was a period of contestation, and one ‘side’ prevailed, and the other lost. This is usually how it works with large structures like societies and empires. With individuals the opportunity to integrate those less well developed functions is present. In large cultural movements the tendency is for ‘flipping’, so that what was once dominant, now goes back into the ‘Shadow’ not fully integrated, and becomes the seed of the later projections. Witness the WEC having problems with aspects of Alternative Medicine, and societies that still adhere to fundamentalist religious principles, like Iran and Islam in general. It goes beyond xenophobia, fanned by conservatism, it is a greater shadow issue, because we did not as a culture resolve the problem of the competing world views. We merely jumped ship. That is probably all that was possible without strong, dispassionate leadership.

    Personally I relate to this issue by seeing the universe as a Psycho-Physical one, where there are areas of existence where it is wiser to deal with the Psycho, and other areas and times it is wiser to deal with the Physical, but a correct sum of the two is to me an illusion. The Yin and Yang symbol of the Eastern Tao does its best to represent this paradox and that is about it for that.

    Kathy C

    I think that is close to the quote I was looking for. You know your classics, or you are pretty fast at the wiki detail. Either way, I am moved by your depth of knowledge and clarity on many subjects.

    Victor

    No need to apologise. These limited cyphers we use to convey meaning are poorly suited to replace facial expressions that otherwise would inform us of the intent of the other.
    I take your point that the concept of TPTB can take on a kind of all embracing notion of an over-class that is responsible for all the human disempowerment. It can be turned into a catch-all, and it is well for us to be reminded of that problem.
    I myself still have no confidence in being able to identify anyone as a player or one we call TPTB. It is still possible to witness their effects though, and as Kathy C has put up a long list of pretty obvious charade/scams/scapegoat scenarios that should be clear, I think it holds. TPTB get away with so much by being able to broker deals with other sub groups and come up with some thin bulldust of a public explanation to get the job done.
    Why do we not have investigative journalism in WEC anymore of the type that produced Watergate? It is not only because the business model for journalism in print is now non-viable economically. It is because TPTB can’t afford to let the truth sidetrack their bigger agendas.

    Kathy C regularly mentions organised crime as a significant factor. Where do all the taxes go? Something in the order of 42% of US taxes go to the military, maybe it’s more. One tale I was told some years ago was that after WWII when the organised crime syndicates were hounded by the Feds in America they began the drive to place legitimate lesser known businessmen into the leading roles of the DOD contracting companies and let the money role in. They also began bribing and lobbying for the legal framework for transnational corporations to circumvent federal detection and environmental laws etc. Is it just a story? I’m not sure, but that’s a lot of weapons and systems to support weapons that we don’t need anymore.
    Through that little flat rectangle I mentioned earlier TPTB also try to convince conscionable people everywhere that it is mostly consumer choices that lead to FUBARing the planet with climate change. Ha! I’m gonna have a cuppa tea and let the steam out.

    This rhetorical question explains why Wikileaks and Jullian Assange, and Bredley Manning, are such a threat to TPTB, because they simply expose, with unmediated reports, of how TPTB machinate amongst themselves, to the detriment of us and a large number of the countries in the developing world. The descriptor TPTB has an authentic reason to be used here, and notwithstanding your comments already acknowledged, I will keep using it as necessary.

  • Kathy C Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 8:18 am
    “I figured out 30 years ago that as simply as I was willing to live I wasn’t willing to live at a level that would be necessary to save the planet or that all the humans on the planet could live equally at. Recently I figured = would mean about $8 a day per person as a back of the envelope figure – others have confirmed that is about right.”

    Actually, $25/day would be more like it. Global GDP is about $60 trillion. Divide by 7 billion (or say 6.5 billion people of age). Hence, if distributed equally, each person would get a tad under $10,000.

  • Radicalism is not as good as people think. Need an example? Germany and ZSRR…be aware…