So Stupid It Berns

Had I not already offended everybody I know, and many people I don’t, I’d hesitate to post this essay. I’m an equal-opportunity offender, as I’ve written often in this space. My latest example, though likely not my last, is offered in this brief missive.

It seems Americans are falling for it again. Afflicted with hope and humanism, willfully turning a blind eye to the horrors of imperialism, they are trading reason for wishful thinking and genocide for a few dollars in the bank. Repeat after me, fellow Americans: We’re number one!

If our collective enthusiasm has waned, who could be surprised? We’ve traveled this pothole-littered path before, only to be bamboozled by the same shuck-and-jive nonsense as previous generations.

We generally admit that politicians are reasonably intelligent and knowledgeable about a broad array of topics. And yet we express surprise when the latest elected official changes course post-election. The masses, naively believing politicians will serve them instead of the moneyed interests that greased the election, constantly ignore the age-old patterns of broken promises, redistribution of wealth and power, and accelerating oligarchy as civilization decays.

Afraid to acknowledge imperialism, horrified to accept the truth about this set of living arrangements, we muddle along, pretending not to notice reality even as it intrudes into our personal lives. We can’t even accept our own individual death, much less the demise of empire or extinction of Homo sapiens.

So we vote, with plenty of evidence to suggest our vote doesn’t matter. We each hold our nose in checking the box beside the politician we believe is the lesser of evils. The lesser of evils is still evil, and the support of a fascist enterprise we incorrectly label “democracy” has led to the expected, fascist outcome. “Remember this the next time you find yourselves mesmerized by the antics of the 2016 presidential candidates or drawn into a politicized debate over the machinations of Congress, the president or the judiciary: it’s all intended to distract you from the fact that you have no authority and no rights in the face of the shadow governments.”

Vladimir Lenin, who ought to know, said, “fascism is capitalism in decay.” Or, as I pointed out with far more words than Lenin in a book published more than a decade ago: “The administration of George W. Bush is characterized by powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism, identification of enemies as a unifying cause, obsession with militaristic national security and military supremacy, interlinking of religion and the ruling elite, obsession with crime and punishment, disdain for the importance of human rights and intellectuals who support them, cronyism, corruption, sexism, protection of corporate power, suppression of labor, control over mass media, and fraudulent elections. These are the defining elements of fascism.”

The situation in the United States has worsened considerably as one spineless, empty suit in the Oval Office has been replaced by another. I’ve no doubt we’ll rinse and repeat at every future opportunity. Serving corporate masters comes at a cost to the laborers, though the latter are adept at denying their slavery. And, although the United States is almost certainly the worst of the bunch, other industrialized countries are happy to follow the dirty road of lies, propaganda, and concentration of power within the hands of the few at the expense of the many.

Franz Kafka’s short stories and novels don’t even come close to the reality of our time. We’re firmly ensconced in Aldous Huxley’s brave (sic) new (sic) world. Most of the proles refuse to acknowledge the disaster of human affairs, much less the abject horrors beyond the human realm.

Consider a minor example, from among thousands: the complete isolation of the political system from the economic system. The latter is never debated in Congress, much less in town halls or universities. Economic issues, as emphasized by politicians, are limited to conversations about taxation and re-distribution. The taboo on discussions of, for example, ownership and control, is as severe as the taboo placed by the dominant culture on discussions of grief, death, sex, and urinating. Discussions about economics are limited to the economics of capitalism, the unquestioned only path worthy of conversation. Rather than deal with the foundation of capitalism — much less the deeper issue of civilization — we allow ourselves to address the color of the trim on the structure (e.g., wages and management).

Ask the typical American about any of the following topics, and you’ll likely receive the same response: atomic bombs, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, land mines, indefinite detention without due process, torture of untried detainees, and murder of children. The response to each of these crimes: We’re upholding security in the world. If not us, who?

I’m offended when the self-proclaimed patriots marinating in imperialism refer to the operation housed in the Pentagon as the Department of Defense. The language was a bit more honest before 1949, when the entity bore the War label. Even then, Department of Conquest would have been more accurate.

I doubt a Department of Peace emerges any time soon. Peace is boring. Conquest means bling. Not for you and me, but we don’t matter beyond our contributions as cannon fodder and cheap labor. And of course as consumers of cheap products we don’t need.

Your favorite candidate for political office isn’t going to repair the system. For starters, the system isn’t broken: It’s fixed, albeit not for you or me. Another politician isn’t going to douse the conflagration. He’s more likely to throw gasoline on the fire. Only then will it be clear what is meant by the expression, “Feel the Bern.”


McPherson was interviewed last night, 26 January 2016, for Press TV. The piece is described and embedded here.

Comments 182

  • Twit- 1m1 minute ago

    @NaomiAKlein @DavidSuzukiFDN Paris changed rat boogers Paris was horrible terrible unfunny joke. It’s burnt. He’s ded Jim.

    Will they eventually make it around to reading Luigi Galleani, Erico Malatesta or Victoria Woodhull? Who knows?

  • I just emailed James Hansen with the subject line,
    Bernie’s carbon dividends.

    Said “I was sorry and here’s a distraction”, cheers all

    No Soil & Water Before 100% Renewable Energy

  • I agree with a lot of what you say, but you are writing against the guy that is calling out the oligarchy and not taking campaign donations. Prove to me that he is evil and I will join your apathy and ignore politics, but I would rather save our country through organizing than by throwing lives away in a bloody revolution.

  • If you’re a white man, you’ll probably love Bernie. He’s an imperialist. He’ll take orders from his commanders in efforts to sustain the system of imperialism. What’s not to love?

  • @hank

    investigate Bernie’s military funding…jets etc etc
    he also said he will support Shill—ANY DEM
    he did not vote to go into Iraq, but Afghanistan? Many others….
    been a senator for how long? What has he DONE, not TRIED to do?
    Let’s discuss Israel….
    Should I continue?

  • Yer money or yer life!

    Must be a Shkreli ® ™ derivative.

  • Guy, this is solid, good cynical(realist style) prose.

    We sometimes think it cant get much worse, ….but then there is the sight of the likes of Donald Trump on the near presidential horizon…?

    And state debt recovery is all that there is to look forward to.

    About 4 years ago when I researched tiny houses on the web, there were a few kooky people and designs of small trailer home-scratch-builds, that cost a few hundred bucks(USD).

    Now it is an industry taken over by the housing mob, and there are display lots with those that cost $10,000 USD or more. It seems the American dream no longer delivers, and the majority are effectively trailer trash.

    That is a culture in decline, and that is a dangerous scenario, likely to ‘vote in’ an obvious loony like DT.

    Not that I go for a separate God, but as the saying goes…God help America.

    Nice writing man.

    How old will you be this birthday? 14?

    Cheers. ;)

  • You’re correct, OzMan. My 14th birthday draws near. Woo hoo, party time.

  • “Mark Twain — ‘If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

    If Bernie Sanders could really make any difference they wouldn’t let him do it.

  • Guy- once again, you are yelling “fire” to those who can’t handle the truth. It’s sad and frustrating. I feel your pain. Bern baby Bern. My so-called smartphone even feels it, and makes the senseless auto correction. Sigh.

  • Thanks Guy, I totally agree !
    Here a piece of writing by The Great Che Guevara

    Invisible Laws Of Capitalism

    “In capitalist society individuals are controlled by a pitiless law usually beyond their comprehension. The alienated human specimen is tied to society as a whole by an invisible umbilical cord:the law of value. This law acts upon all aspects of ones’s life, shaping it’s course and destiny.
    The laws of capitalism, which are blind and invisible to ordinary people, act upon the individual without he or she being aware of it. One sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon ahead. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller – whether or not it is true – about the possibilities of individual success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for a Rockefeller to emerge, and the amount of depravity entailed in accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible for the popular forces to expose this clarity.

  • Coyote Coffin Song (Jan 25, 2016)

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    Cherry wood portrait of Christ with golden crucifix on lid and 4 handles on sides: our Renaissance Collection© offers you a final resting place adorned with cherished symbols of your faith: we offer doves, crucifixes, hand carved portraits of Jesus, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, – any arhat or prophet you can name. All carving is done to the highest standards of exacting precision. Finish off with the finest of silk dressings within and a pillow tastefully embroidered with a favourite quotation from the scripture of your choice. (Weight 75-94 kg).

    20GA gauge steel, hermetically sealed, air and water tight: our Sterling Collection© offers caskets in various grades of bronze, copper and steel. Our rigorous testing process ensures these caskets are waterproof, leak proof and have gone through rigorous internal pressure tests. They are particularly suited to air travel. Our newest addition to the line is the Precious Blue model: a brushed blue steel finish, lead lined, a pale blue (duck egg blue) ruched velvet interior, a watered silk pillow and a diamond pleated silk adorned lid panel. (Weight: 84-104 kg).

    Some began to realize how stupid it was to be buried, at least in ground that was not growing crops. Some wandered off into the bush and did their best to find predators – wolves, cougars, tigers, lions, hyenas, polar bears – and essentially offered themselves to the hungry mammals.
    The uncontrollable spread of “polar bear baiting” – that is, punching, beating up or killing white men, especially those with white hair – began to have serious repercussions in the inner cities. They essentially became no go areas for white men (who were not police officers) after dark. Centuries of repression, financial and otherwise, the continued military escalations in the Middle East, broken treaties, Wall Street, Congress, essentially all recognized vectors of oppression were realized to be perpetrated by white men and hence the disenfranchised began to eradicate their sworn enemy.
    Many, many others began to turn back to the ocean as their final destination. Suicide by drowning – euphemistically known as “chumming” was epidemic. The cliffs on Maui became one favoured destination since the fall killed you and the surf churned you to chum against the jagged coral shoreline. Beaches all over the world were littered every morning with corpses – and the shark population began to rebound.

    Photorealistic reproduction of the Khumbu icefall on the exterior with prayer flags at each corner, a watered pearl grey silk interior and buckwheat hypo-allergenic pillow with jute corner tassles: our Personality Collection© offers caskets bespoke to the person for whom they are made. Whether your loved one was a mountain climber or the proprietor of a flower shop, our artists, photographers and designers can produce a final resting place that reflects truly who they are. A great way to personalize the departure. (Weight 20-35 kg).

    Brushed gunmetal with gold plated cartridge border (calibre of your choice) in the shape of a Magnum .45: our Gangsta Collection© reflects the true bravado of the dear departed. It is a memorial, a final statement from the person departing to the respectful mourners left behind. This final resting place shaped like the departed’s favourite weapon – be it Uzi, Walther, Glock – or their favourite private jet or sports car – presents no obstacle to our resourceful fabricators. Let’s sit down and discuss what you want – we can do it.

    Crafted of woven water hyacinth with balsa or sandalwood handles, pinecone ornamentation, canvas hinges and bamboo fittings: our Gaia Collection© offers the obvious choice for a respectful final destination. A sensitivity to partnerships with local farms and farmers allows us to source wool, cardboard, calico, rattan, silk, seagrass and willow all of which are offered to the discerning customer. Our Sweet Dreams model of sun-bleached wool over a reinforced cardboard frame offers the comfort of a warm blanket on a cold night and is completely biodegradable. Finished off with repurposed industrial waste handles (designs vary according to availability), cotton interior and buckwheat pillow, this is a completely biodegradable coffin. (Weight 12-25 kg).

    We are, perhaps, all ghost dancers now.

    “The wave improves its contact with the ocean when it subsides.”

    Robin Datta (Jan 25 2016)

  • I have courageous friends who have passed away in the last few years. What I learned from them is this: We can continue to focus on LIFE, even though our death is imminent. None of us are going to get out of this alive; that is true. Our world is in dire shape, that is true. I, personally, choose to focus on life, hope, and goodness as a way to live, despite the inevitable. Bernie has so much to offer for our world. Goons like Trump and the other Republican candidates will make what time we have left a miserable existence. I choose love and integrity and kindness. Those qualities will help us “survive” in the face of our demise.

  • Thinking about when I first started to get turned off by the US political system, it must have been in 1974, with the demise of “I’m not a crook” Nixon.

    Recognising that the American election process is a circus and that the political system is incapable of delivering anything other than warmongers, liars and clowns to the White House was more or less complete for me with the election of ‘The president’s brain is missing’ Reagan in 1981.

    I read ‘Brave New World’ as a teenager but didn’t come across George Carlin till much, much later.

    ‘And, although the United States is almost certainly the worst of the bunch, other industrialized countries are happy to follow the dirty road of lies, propaganda, and concentration of power within the hands of the few at the expense of the many.’

    Yes. And we are suffering the consequences. But ‘Teflon John’ is apparently as still popular as ever. Paraphrasing Einstein, the universe may be infinite or it may not be infinite, but human stupidity has no limits.

    Unfortunately, the soma doesn’t work for me.

  • Agree with the article, but it’s increasingly apparent that a non-vote has about as much effect as a vote; voting or not voting in this context is somewhat irrelevant – it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government will get in, even if you don’t vote.

    If this assertion holds water, then surely it’s worth – even if only to some small, temporary degree – voting for someone who at least is calling out some of the bullshit of the system?

  • Thank you Guy. Screw “Nationalism”, bills!

    Every past or future President of the United States has been or will be an imperialist mafia thug war criminal.

    So, you people want to vote????

    Ignorance abounds!! Simple, simple words will not wake you!

  • “We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world—a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. . . . No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you.

    Well, shit on that dumbness. George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn’t vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today—and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever.

    Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush?

    They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us—they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis.

    And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.”

    – HST, “Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century”(2004)

    Thompson shot himself in the head not long after this book was written. The ultimate Fuck It. (and fuck them and fuck you)

    If Trump can be counted on to bring this system down more quickly, ain’t he our man? Can’t we agree to Make America Great Again! Can you imagine the fun HST would have had with this set of circumstances? Fear & Loathing with Trump!

  • @ Mr. Fraser. I think that voting for the lesser of two evils links one morally, ethically (and spiritually) with the policies of the candidate of choice. For example, Bernie Sanders, for all his good sounding socialist talk, has voted for every war appropriations bill he ever saw. Thus, he has helped to violently DESTABILIZE many societies. If you want to be linked to such a leader, it’s your choice. But. to me, voting for any of the main stream candidates will cripple you morally and break you spiritually, until such time as you would wise up and repent.

    To me any elected official that votes for war is an evil deed doer and should be shunned.

    My motto is, ” Don’t bend over for Satan, stay home on election day!

  • “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.”
    ― Lao Tzu

  • One point that I think reinforces Dr. McPherson’s essay above: If you look at the HST quote I posted above, and you inserted ‘Barack Obama’ for every ‘George W Bush’ reference, the piece is still just as accurate. Maybe more so in the sense that those of us gullible enough to fall for the hope & change rhetoric of 2008, but were awakened by the frenzy of global murder & planet raping of the last 7+ years, are now so far beyond hope as to no longer be surprised by the antics of any of our overlords. It does not matter. Nothing matters anymore. Which makes everything matter that much more (badly paraphrasing a previous NBL commenter).

    To paraphrase Batman & his buddy Lao Tzu:

    Don’t just do something… sit there.


  • @Kevin

    The Watergate Conspiracy was a Khazar plot to get rid of Nixon. J. Edgar Hoover found out about the plot, but he had an accident before he could tell Nixon. (Hoover accident covered in last paragraph below)

  • I see we are all happy and full of conceit for not participating in these pathetic attempts at democracy that our sick and twisted white male minds aspire to. If you have any dignity left the only thing left for you to do is change the cultural dynamics by FORCE!!! But of course that would require some sense of responsibility to all non-whites and non-humans we have all so wantonly destroyed.

  • Sanders as President might accomplish less than Hopey Changey (maybe that’s less than zero, you decide), but he does talk a mean game, and that has some value. People in general might really be after his head if he gets in and fails miserably. If he progresses, someone needs to confront him about the Zionist genocide on Palestine.

    The imperialists are not legit, so there will be nothing worthwhile for real people in those presidential debates. Look for debates with legitimate candidates such as Jill Stein and Gloria LaRiva, among others.

  • Hey Guy,
    Thanks for the new missive. I almost had a tiny shred of hope for Bernie for a moment there. Kind of reminds me of when your nearly drowning and you get a gulp of air. It doesn’t mean your not drowning. Just the same I appreciate the reminder that there is no hope.

  • There IS another way to use the vote that does not include voting for any party or person whatsoever. Very very easy too and anonymous.

    Check it out.

  • I remember George Mcgovern, ….. nuff said.
    It just seems to me that it’s all a big pageant, competition for what? a so called Leader, in reality an employee of the corporate dictatorship. It’s so ridiculous how long these competitions go on for and the resources spent on them. Competition is war.
    Bernie is trying to change things from within the capitalist system. He believes like so many that the system is fine we just need to change a few things in it. This isn’t Finland .The neocons have spent a lot of time and effort making sure that most young adults are lacking in any Critical thinking abilities or historical reference. I feel like Groundhog day, oh vinyl records are back in vogue.

  • Scientists sometimes get into a trance too (e.g. Eugenics).

    There seems to be another one going around (Questionable Scientific Papers – 4).

  • @Robert Callaghan,

    if you tried replacing all energy inputs with say PV you would find yourself fighting against aging and probably also resource depletion.
    Solar cells die after 20 years but to cover all the area of i.e. France it takes hundreds of years. No wonder that people search for printable solar cells on thin films at low efficiencies even. But as you found out we don’t have enough time due to other reasons.

  • To vote is to sanction/legitimise the initiation of coercive violence of the state against non-violent non-compliers. Anarchy is the rejection of violence. A vote in any organisation that has not abjured the initiation of coercive violence – that has not holstered its gun – constitutes vicarious participation in the initiation of such violence.

    “Ahimsa paramo dharma”: non-harming is the supreme/fundamental moral principle.

  • Lots of criticism … but not too many proposals of viable solutions on any on these shelves. If one criticizes the status quo, what are the alternatives. Bernie Sanders does not promise miracles, but offers wealth redistribution, provide medical care for all, free higher education and a promise to avoid lobby brigades, even adding a few tidbits of hope regarding the severity of looming negative encounters with rapidly deteriorating climates. While he may not be the Messiah everyone is looking for, he did add if I remember some of his oration that he will indeed need our help.

    The suggestions on how to make things better seem to be few and far between. Perhaps the status quo will indeed win out in the next presidency mandate, and maybe a revolution is in the offing, but let no one forget that there have been thousands of revolutions in the past, but to what avail? Except for its beheaded monarch, is individual freedom from oppression any different in France today than what prevailed before Marie-Antoinette?

    Revolutions are fine and dandy, at least for awhile , but what comes after is what counts. Marx had good ideas, and so does Bernie Sanders, as well as thousands of others. The question is whether or not good ideas are good enough to change humanity, and so far the survival conditions which thrived when we walked out of the woods haven’t changed much. It’s still a survival of the fittest agenda for all. If we want to change the odds of our collective survival, we must change the way we think, and that’s no walk in the park.

  • Vote harder, that will fix everything.

    If you haven’t watched this you should:

  • Think of yourself as an inmate in a grand CAFO. The food is running low, the lights are about to go out, the herd is getting restless. If you owned said CAFO and were going to be targeted by the herd as responsible for their crushed hopes and starving children. . . what would you do?

  • Jean Turcot, you seem to be ignoring my frequent calls for anarchism. It’s the “beyond the system” approach I’ve been promoting from my youth, and throughout the history of this website.

  • Concepcion Picciotto, who occupied a peace vigil across from the White House for decades, has died, according to reports. She was believed to be 80 years old.

    Picciotto became famous for her 24-hour anti-nuclear peace vigil encampment, which she set up in 1981 on the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue in Lafayette Park, across from the White House.

    She often displayed signage that read, “Live by the bomb die by the bomb” and “Ban all nuclear weapons or have a nice doomsday.”

    The Peace House confirmed Picciotto’s death on Jan. 25.

    “Connie may not have been the easiest person to live or work with but the peace vigil was never about Connie and even throughout the biggest struggles we all knew that. That was the reason why we suffered through sub-zero temperatures, hurricanes and dealing with impolite people,”

  • It was nice hearing Angie Cordaro on the NBL podcast.

    She is not the Angela (Angie) Cordaro I knew, but it a pleasant coincidence to hear sanity similar to the sanity Angela Cordaro of Des Moines had.

    Long ago, several of us and Angie Cordaro (Frank’s mom) were in court, federal magistrate, and at one point Angie just went on a roll, and digressed from the anti-nuclear actions (crossing a line at SNIC) to talking about the theft of land and destruction of the first nations culture. It was a bit of a tangent. The effect wasn’t 100% like she stabbed the judge, but the sharp abrupt pain on his face and the physical jerk and wince of his body reflected on some geometric or spiritual plane a blow to “his honour.”

    That can bode ill for sentencing, but not in that instance for us.

    Afterwards the JAG came over and talked to us and related to us how an hour prior prior the judge in conference had been dealing with a very bloody murder of a woman by her daughter with a knife while under the effects of glue and alcohol. It was not the first time the jag-off has come over at the finale and talked about “blahblahblah -I’m a nice guy trying to relate to you pacifists, I gave you a break this time in punishment requested because blahblahblah”

    I just nodded my head and smiled while the jag droned on about the poor judge and his difficult decisions in the federal homicide case – because the judge would remember Angie a lot longer than our trio’s 6 months probation.

    After all, we did not go into your den to give you peace, but hopefully to duct tape conundrums that itch all too much in your thought processes.

    Politics – U.S. I really liked Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. But like many of the better politicians in Latin America, his plane fell out of the air. He was polling quite well against bush when starting his run against shrub.

    Bernie – Any candidate that supports the F-35 will not receive any support from me. Hypothetically, come next November I could have Iowa mail me a ballot and either deface it or vote for Sanders to delay and ameliorate. I voted in Alabama in 2006, nothing since. I had to go anyway, I was taking a mentally challenged friend to vote.

    Rain, Winterpeg (Winnipeg), Manisnowba, Canada – January 27, 2016. What else can I say about the present insanity. Shit, will have to start listening for geese on the Seine River 120 meters from where I bus to and pick up the wheelchair van at 8am.

  • Note of optimism: Noam Chomsky is halfway to Guy’s point of view, sort of.

  • “Shuck and jive”?


    I agree with your general bent though.

  • whether you’re feeling bamboozled or bazoombled, or just slubing bowble b, please mind the two post rule, EmileZ.

    thank you.

    ~ mo

    EDIT: hey EmileZ. that above is totally just a friendly reminder. if you want to react like you just did, I’m very happy to delete everything from today, and maybe for the next year or two if you want to try anything remotely like that again.

  • Guy, Being it’s the first time you have addressed any of my comments, I will presume it’s a positive step in the world you promote on your website. And so I will allow myself to reply in kind.

    As such, in short, you state:”You seem to be ignoring my frequent calls for anarchism. It’s the “beyond the system” approach I’ve been promoting from my youth, and throughout the history of this website.”

    In part, I can agree that anarchy can be an effective tool against oppression. But in reality, how is anarchy different from revolution, which is the condition I addressed? Aren’t anarchy and revolution kindred thoughts – merely different sides of the same coin?

    What follows anarchy or revolution is what counts. “Beyond the system” resonates well, but which system are you writing about, and when that is identified then I believe you are on the right track. Bernie Sanders seems to lean towards that condition but without a sound understanding of the status quo, as many have voiced their concern over his ‘socialist’ positions, it will be just another step in the direction which does not bring about real change.

    If there are no guidelines as to the next step in the evolution of our social structures, what is the point of anarchy other than just more of the same conditions that prevailed when we walked of the woods?

    The question remains, change for the sake of change is just more of the same. And revolutions or anarchy are meaningless if no goals are in place to change the status quo…. The Occupy movement had hint of change but much like the flower generation of the sixties wilted from a lack of food and water, so did Occupy.

    Which brings the following thought” ‘What changes are needed in the way we think which would bring an end for the need to involve a revolution or to prevent anarchy? If thousands of revolutions in the past haven’t made a dent in our longevity potential, in fact destroying the natural conditions which have been responsible for our very existence, if more of the same-old, same-old is the only tidbit on the menu, what will the next thousand revolutions do that the others couldn’t?

  • Jean Turcot

    “so far the survival conditions which thrived when we walked out of the woods haven’t changed much. It’s still a survival of the fittest agenda for all.”

    If only this were true I would head straight back to those “woods”.

  • Hi Jean,

    I believe anarchy means ‘without rulers.’ I don’t see how being without rulers precludes a constructive plan for change. I think people can work cooperatively without rulers.

    OTOH, I imagine that leadership within the anarchist group is fluid, depending on who has the skill or passion for the particular thing at the particular moment.

    Anarchy, as I understand it, is how people behave when they are not bamboozled by psychopaths to follow (and be subjected to) leaders and nationalist forces. Unless one freely chooses to.

  • For those who are newbies to NBL and therefore ignorant about anarchy, it might bear reposting this link which includes amongst other free books two books about anarchy in several formats including *.pdf, audiobook & others, with the option to buy the dead tree version for fiat money:

    Everyday Anarchy & Practical Anarchy.

  • Delete away Cosby the enforcer!!!

  • It’s Just Like Taking Candy from a Baby – Fred Astaire w/ Benny Goodman

  • Your favorite blog isn’t going to stop the system. Expressing ourselves on the web is not going to do anything, or they would shut that down too. So why are we doing that? We do it because that means of expression still exists.

    Most of the candidates running won’t even acknowledge that climate change is happening. Somehow they let one candidate out of nineteen who hasn’t taken money from Goldman Sachs run for president so we vote for him because that means of expression still exists. I guess it would look too messy if the plutocracy just killed him, which is what I’m sure most of them would love to do.

    So we are just taking every opportunity that still exists to express ourselves. We expect nothing. Most of us know that they will never let Bernie win. We expect Hitlery to win. Just as all those on NBL expect nothing and they expect extinction to win, but they are obviously still expressing themselves. I suppose expression of views is still allowed by the plutocracy because they have confidence that it will lead to nothing.

  • Mark- Thanks for the info on Concepcion Picciotto. I remember that vigil quite well (assuming it’s the same person that was sitting there the last time I was near the White House about 15 years ago…)

    re: Bernie Sanders. I honestly can’t believe that people still try to make the argument that “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” The claim that a McCain/Palin presidency wouldn’t have been a demonstrably worse horror show than Obama/Biden is so ludicrous that I can’t even finish this sentence.

    Yes, we’re all hurtling toward complete disaster no matter what we do, but just to put forth a personal example: if it were not for Obamacare, I would either be deep in debt from medical bills or I would have an extremely painful shoulder condition that I would never have been able to take care of.

    If you think there would be no difference between a Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders presidency, I sure would like a piece of the privileged pie you are enjoying. It takes somebody who’s immune from the effects of the political system (such as Supreme Court decisions that will be made by justices the next president appoints) to make such a glib statement.

  • Mostly, the people who turn away from radical thought are people who don’t like to be uncomfortable. And radical thought at its best is supposed to make people feel uncomfortable. We talk about the uprisings in communities like in St. Louis and Baltimore, and it is what protests are supposed to do. The fact that some niceties are inconvenienced and people can’t get to work on time because there are protests in the streets, well, hello, that is what we do. That is what we are supposed to do. That is what Dr. King did.

    I pointed out in a strategy session we had in Baltimore, when the state teargassed, machines of oppression showed up, and then applied a curfew. Everyone kind of bemoaned that fact. I said, “Those of you who are caught up in protest, this is a golden opportunity. If the state says you go to bed by 10 o’clock, then you should make sure that by 11, the streets of our cities are filled with human protest and bodies!” The fact that some might have a restless night with the noise downstairs or find it inconvenient because people blocked traffic, well that’s the point — to snap you out of your indifference! So those who are turned off by radical thinking, or radical behavior, well, as a matter of fact, in many ways, you are our target.

    Harry Belafonte

  • Here’s another perspective. The Ruler of the world, Jesus, whom has been credited with all the “west” development in “progress” forgot to study the planet prior to giving revelation; totally obsessed by fulfillment of future according to his own interpretation and inspired Kings and “spiritual” leaders to just do as they have done like forced “Calvinists” while it was not intended so: because he didn’t give a hoot about the incomprehensible diversity and interconnectivity of our “habitat” and that what surrounds our species and giving it as foundation, nay conquest was the deed while I can just speak to the ground and fulfill the so called preaching redemption to the ends of the earth. Like Abraham would give everything to the lowest of his servants and say, you are chosen to ruin my works and responsibility; like David was ordered to get the foreskins of his enemies by Word they became His and David didn’t understand. God’s probably very happy with a little …. like Jesus, who actually thinks he alone is worthy to unleash horror upon innocence, bypass all God attempted to establish was the very first thing he did; it’s Jesus doing that caused this, not ours, even we’ve done it and will likely all be blamed on Evil in the end…. even Jesus took all on himself as he communicated; Thanks but doesn’t make me happy as it doesn’t solve our current problems. All we can do is to do good and what is just, responsible and hope for the best. What’s Jesus gonna teach us: that by magic we need to stop storms? By Faith? How did that effect among the realms of this world and beyond? I’m all for religious freedom that is good and respectful to other faiths that bridge by love and not dogmatic convictions that bring self fulfillment based on blindness and fear. Couple of weeks ago saw an image of a walking fish that had come up from the depths of the ocean, invisible to the past. Talk about spiritualism, interconnectivity among species has been proven as birds of prey hijack the mind of their prey perhaps suggests that we are far less supreme as we think and do their bidding explaining their future of doom with our very eyes as the trees attempted to brush off all the indoctrination of supremacy were burned by self in the past. Will the fear of man as put by God remain in Atlantis when facing the future according to science or does the Age of Aquarius become One following Fish and Ram, time will tell as we created so much fantasy under the heavens to merit our ability for discernment and must exist for reality is one of my comforts. In that way priests usually mature and see the world as it is rather than by academic credentials and look at the fruit of men and can detect nobility towards their fellow man with a respect for nature. Going to Church to see is stupid? Ideology is merely a tool for justification of a indescribable unmeasurable power. To think solo will just make things worse in the end and to believe that one knows one by an hour session is just naive and if the educated need to instruct it must fall in good ground.

  • Look here. There is a vast body of Anarchist literature you need to engulf before you start carrying with definitions of this and that. Like Uncle Bud’s “Niave”, etc. Just read the books. They’re not hard to find. Many are extremely interesting and engaging.

    Start with Emma Goldman if you haven’t read anything. She’s fantastic.
    Noam Chomsky’s political work is stunning. Howard Zinn’s books were groundbreaking.

    Then you get to old school classics like Bakunin, and Prouhon, and Kropotkin. See Steven J Gould’s article : Kropotkin was No Crackpot.
    As mentioned earlier, Luigi Galleani, who i was unlucky enough not to find until well into my 5th decade. And Errico Malatesta. And Leon Czoglas,

    And then there’s Edward Abbey. Writer of Desert Solitaire and Monkey Wrench Gang, which I was lucky enough to read when working for Fred Harvery at the Grand Canyon.

    Then there’s Voltairine de Cleyre who I only had a chance to skim and need to go back to.

    And Orwell. Homage to Catalonia is a fantastic book. Arguably better than Animal Farm or 1984. But ritually untouchable by reviewers abd critics drawing a status quo paycheck.

    And as well, the Situationists were strongly influenced by the Anarcho. Revolution of Everyday Life was what I was reading when I stumbled on McPherson three years ago.

    Then very modern people like Vancouver activist Harsha Walia. Philosophe John Zerzan. Barret Brown, Jeremy Hammond, and Jeff Luers who are in prison. Daniel McGowan who just got out of prison.

    Then look at the Black Block – actions in Seattle, and Cincinnati, and at Occupy which made Chris Hedges so freeging mad.

    And you can see writings from the Greeks in Conspiracy of Cells of Fire at which IMO are some of the best and most impressive recent anarcho writings out there.

    And there’s
    with the impressive Days of War, Nights of Love

    And The Final Straw Radio out of North Carolina

    And Automonous Action Radio out of Ausstralia

    So don’t hand me a Webster’s dictionary definition of Anarcho

    There’s more to it than that.

    Good Day.

  • @babajingo. If you are willing to vote for the lesser of two evils then you will end up with an evil government.

    Willingness to vote for the lesser of two evils is the root cause for the condition we live under today.

    Voting for your perception of the lesser of two evils is simply business as usual. Everyone’s looking for a payoff. The congressperson serves the oil company that benefits them. The citizen gives his vote hoping for benefits. What’s the difference between the two?

    Sanders has proven his willingness to support immoral and illegal wars thus making himself unfit to keep company with decent people.

  • “To vote is to sanction/legitimise the initiation of coercive violence of the state against non-violent non-compliers. Anarchy is the rejection of violence. A vote in any organisation that has not abjured the initiation of coercive violence – that has not holstered its gun – constitutes vicarious participation in the initiation of such violence.”

    As the caissons go rolling along…

    I see some more White Terrorist Trash were arrested today.

  • The “Bern” knows, perhaps only with a politician’s instinct, what many a gung-ho lieutenant learned, too late, in Vietnam, while leading his unwilling troops further into that quagmire. Don’t get too far ahead of your platoon, or they’ll lose you, if not get you fragged. “Friendly fire” was more commonly practiced, and excused, than admitted.

    Or, as a Pete Seeger song informed us, “We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on.”

    The IndCiv model has its many such lieutenants.

    It’s that old pwogwessive argument between gradualism in reform, and radical re-establishment of a society’s “set of living arrangements”, and it’s way too late for gradualism. And no one offers a new model acceptable at present to the billions whose lives now depend upon “burn, burn, burn.”

    The unacceptable fact is that the population, living under such beliefs, requires a decimation — in the modern, incorrect sense of that Roman term — and no one wants to step forward to be among that majority to be sent off to Hades.

    I’m in my favorite “3rd world” city now, surrounded by well-dressed, well-coiffed residents consulting their “devices” as they walk vigorously to their important city occupations. WiFi is everywhere, even among many of the poorest.

    I can guarantee you that the country folk who feed these city dwellers do not walk, or sit in cafes, much of the day looking at illuminated screens.

    And yet these people are newly-middle class, and struggling to shed the pastoral images of their parents’ generations. It is 1950s all over again, and to tell them to pull back from status-seeking via IndCiv “conveniences” would just elicit a big “HUH?”

    10 years ago, no 5 years ago, I would have blindly applauded their energy, enthusiasm, and civic pride in a sense of progress.

    The whole thing is so bizarrely untenable as I watch this “gathering of the lemmings”, and yet, I estimate their survival prospects to be better than those in North America.

  • Artleads,

    I can’t find much reason to fault your suggestion about your take on anarchy. Your suggestion of anarchy as a leaderless group capable of cooperative exercise strikes gold. OTOH, this condition is what has most people who do not promote socialism shake in their boots with the horrible premonition that someone will rise from the ashes of anarchy to assume a leadership role, hence leading the flock to probable oppression, much as it did when Stalin rose to that self-appointed pinnacle of power.

    If the committee conditions can indeed prevail, and that dictatorships can be avoided, then I suppose there is a possibility that cooperation can exist without leadership. I think Marx’ Communist manifesto more or less suggested that such would prevail but then Stalins and Putins will rise like phoenixes with the pretense that they should be embraced by the flock, a situation that becomes as dysfunctional as the person who would pretend that it isn’t.

    But in all of the social structures of humanity, there have been few which have been able to function within the parameters encountered by living within the limits imposed by the environments in which we lived – native living for example. If we as a species can somehow manage to exist within frameworks that involve both our technologies and the limits imposed by nature, we can probably continue to exist as a species. But if we can’t find a way to exist without nuclear or biological weapons for instance, our fate is already sealed, notwithstanding of course the possible conditions which may be brought about by an unstoppable runaway global sizzling future – the condition which most people on this blog readily expect.

  • “If we as a species can somehow manage to exist within frameworks that involve both our technologies and the limits imposed by nature, we can probably continue to exist as a species.”

    That’s funny Jean considering you perceive that human overpopulation to be a non-issue. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get to be a colonist on Mars with Elon Musk.

  • “If you are willing to vote for the lesser of two evils then you will end up with an evil government.”

    WE ARE GOING TO ANYWAY. At least I’ll have health insurance. There is no question that a democratic president is better for poor people than a republican one. So as long as we’re headed for the crisper, might as well be able to go to the doctor in the meantime.

    Back when I studied anarchism (a long time ago, admittedly) the only thing I remember thinking was that it was another pie in the sky ideal that didn’t gel with reality, just like every other political philosophy that assumes human beings are intelligent, rational, cooperative, generous and nice.

  • “Pie in the sky” anarchism worked for the first 2.8 million years of the genus Homo on Earth. That’s not a bad record compared to the current, unsustainable evil version of living arrangements promoted by Democrats and Republicans.

  • Guy,

    I’d love to know your view of Jill Stein. Here is her website:


  • Thanks, Tyler. I suspect Jill Stein promotes the myth of human supremacy. That’s all I need to know.

  • Guy,
    Where do you think the “current, unsustainable evil version of Homo promoted by Democrats and Republicans” came from ? From my perspective it came from the nature of things, as in the blog moniker ‘Nature Bats Last’. In nature’s realm exists a condition commonly known as a ‘Survival of the Fittest’ condition. As far as I am aware, this is the process by which evolution occurred, hence our own evolution.

    Take a look at the TV series ‘Planet Earth’, the ‘JUNGLE’ episode in its latter parts and observe the stealth which our ancestors possessed way before Democrats or Republicans even mastered the modern ‘evil’ characteristics you have assigned to them. As you can observe, providing you look at the episode, cunning and war-like mentalities derived from the Survival syndrome in nature is nothing new.

    It was anarchy then, and it is anarchy now. But since the weapons of this era could be a death sentence for Homo Sapiens, today’s “unsustainable evil” is only more lethal because of its power, and not because of its “evil” quality. If it’s evil today to be the top predator of the world, it was also evil then, and living at ground level instead of treetops has changed nothing in the way we conduct affairs. That’s what Einstein suggested when he wrote: “The discovery of the power of the atom has changed everything, SAVE our mode of thinking, and we thus drift towards unparalleled catastrophe”. It’s still a dog-eat-dog world, no different in essence from that which existed before Democrats and Republicans ever came onto the ‘American’ scene.

  • As I’ve written and said a few thousand times, Jean Turcot, the roots of our demise are embedded within civilization. You’re obviously unfamiliar with the messages I’ve been promulgating since the early days of this website. Maybe it’s time for a little homework?

  • kevin moore: the tribes are leading in NZ (by example)

    Trans-Pacific Partnership: Ngati Whatua won’t take part in powhiri

    Ngati Whatua says it will refuse to take part in any powhiri for international trade ministers when they visit New Zealand to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership on February 4 because it opposes the agreement.

    Piripi Davis, chairman of the tribe’s Orakei trust board, said its “strong opposition” to the TPP meant it would not participate in welcoming ceremonies when ministers from the 12 TPP countries gather in Auckland for the signing.

    “We cannot support or agree with this particular issue because, in our view, the TPPA will harm not only our people but also New Zealand and its people overall.” [more]

  • Guy… My reply would constitute a third post today… hence my non-reply…. although it seems we may be on the same page anyway… more a question of semantics possibly??? I suspect this post may be blocked anyway… No problemo!

  • I loved your critique of this self-styled democratic socialist who Occupies the Senate as an Independent and then climbs into bed with the Republicratic Party in order to run for POTUS, then bites the hand that feeds him but kisses the ass of his opposition for the nomination. No, I don’t trust him! Not. At. All!

    Personally, I don’t think we’ll be intact long enough as a nation-state to have an election – or at least, it is my sincere hope that we manage to devolve into civil war and a permanent retirement from the world geopolitical arena and/or get invaded by someone with a clearer sense of direction that will provoke us into the unity it will take to address our inevitable demise, already in progress, with compassion instead of blame.

    Anyway, I’m writing because I can’t believe the synchronicity of the defense of/apology for Bernie Sanders that Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote for the Huffington Post, published today.

    Did you know he was writing this? Is it in reaction to what you said in this blog? Is there more you would say in rebuttal to Lerner? And what kind of magical thinking do you imagine is making these recovering Obamaniacs think that if they could just get “change” then all would be well?

    I was greatly turned on by what Lerner had to say when I first heard him six or eight years ago. I immediately joined his organization and read his action plan which I judge to be at once insipid and hopelessly far to the left of practical and therefore a catalyst to usher us into Stage 7.

    Bye-bye, Bernie! Not that I was ever going to vote for him; I haven’t voted for a Republicrat in this century. But it suggests a cool parody song if I can get one of our talented musician friends to write and perform it:

    Bye, Bye, Birdie
    I’m gonna miss you so;
    Bye Bye Birdie,
    Why’d ya have to go?
    No more sunshine,
    It’s followed you away;
    I’ll cry Birdie,
    Till you’re home to stay.
    I’ll miss the way you smile,
    As tho’ it’s just for me;
    And each and ev’ry night,
    I’ll write you faithfully!
    Bye, Bye, Birdie,
    It’s awful hard to bear;
    Bye Bye Birdie
    Guess I’ll always care,
    Guess I’ll always care,
    Guess I’ll always care!

  • I will concede that anarchism might have worked when there were only 3 to 15 million people living on the planet. Then again, it obviously didn’t work because it didn’t last. When most of us die off, maybe we’ll be given a second chance.

    Sorry for the 3rd post. Delete as necessary.

  • Susan: your song has a Barbershop Quartet image going through my head, 4 part harmony, a capella . . .

    i agree that we probably won’t see a 2020 election, but this coming one will be a “doozy.” No matter who “wins” we, the great unwashed, lose.

  • Apologies for jumping in here Guy, but I’ve had enough of the bullshit.

    ‘Where do you think the “current, unsustainable evil version of Homo promoted by Democrats and Republicans” came from’

    Jean, we have gone over this dozens of times before. Maybe you weren’t reading. I think you are a fairly late comer. And I have observed that many people who participate in blog discussion seem to read only the titled article and their own comments. Some commenters don’t even bother to read the articles and simply use the space provided to promulgate their opinions.

    I will keep this as brief as I can.

    1. The establishment of an abstract body called a corporation. The modern version of this is dates back to the 12th century, as far as I know. The purpose of a corporation was to allow continuous provision of services in the event of the deaths of individuals participating in the provision of those services. Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries generally hated corporations and saw to it that they were dissolved once particular projects had been complete. In the late 19th century, through deceit and bribery etc. US lawyers of dubious character lobbied for legislation that applied to freed slaves to be applied to corporations. And politicians of even more dubious character agreed. This allowed greater accumulation of wealth by a few individuals and a legal basis for further looting and polluting of the biosphere. By the end of World War Two corporations more-or-less completely controlled American politics and decision-making. By the early years of the 21st century corporations had been provided with more rights than humans.

    2. The invention of a movable-type printing press in Korea in the late 14th century and its introduction to Europe in 1440 by Guttenberg, which facilitated mass reproduction and distribution of lies.

    3. The notion of Fractional Reserve Banking (whereby reserves do not actually exist) combined with the charging of interest on money created out of thin air. There may have been experiments with such systems before the establishment of the Bank of England but this particular scam is generally recognised as commencing in 1694.

    4. The construction of a steam pump by Thomas Savery in 1698. This particular piece of ingenuity led to the Industrial Revolution, in which natural, sustainable systems were ‘progressively’ replaced by unsustainable, unnatural (in the sense of not occurring in nature) systems that were (are) entirely dependent on destroying the long-term habitability of the Earth for humans and many (most?) other species. It was the establishment of unsustainable industrial food systems that led to the human population explosion which is now the major cause of planetary meltdown.

    5. The establishment of psychology as a science and its subsequence corruption for the manipulation of populations, which is generally credited to Bernays, nephew of Fraud, from the 1920s on.

    6. Witting promotion of systems known to cause irreversible (within time frames that matter) catastrophic changes to the composition of the Earth by politicians and corporate leaders, commencing around 1965.

    There are other aspect of the corrupt, unsustainable system which practically all mainstream political parties in practically all countries represent and promote, but to list every one wold be tiresome.

    If you think that mass manipulation of populations by tiny groups of liars in order to promote systems which are unsustainable and which will cause immense suffering to billions of people in the near future (and to promote even greater suffering by promoting population growth) is not evil, I would like you define what you think is evil.

    If you think that to deliberately stamp out all alternative systems and ensure there is no discussion about the true nature of the dominant system in order to promote even greater suffering than is already occurring is not evil, then I would like you to define evil.

    Sure, it can be argued that some of the steps along the path to catastrophe were unwitting, and that some were the result of misguided but sincere efforts to improve the human condition. However, such arguments no longer apply. The scientific evidence is irrefutable: the present system is totally unsustainable and is causing catastrophic changes which will lead to mayhem and immense suffering. And then extinction.

    The liars, thieves and exploiters who form the core of the political establishment (almost everywhere) are well aware of the dire consequences of their actions, yet they persist with exactly the same actions, thereby ensuring everything gets worse faster.

    With every government and every major political party and every mainstream candidate pushing hard to make everything that matters rapidly worse -as required by the system- everything that matters does get made rapidly worse.

    The following are arguably the most important factors that are being made rapidly worse.


    Surely the distinction between modern apes using mass media to lie to the masses in order to make thing worse and a bunch of less-modern apes ‘living at ground level instead of treetops’ is the matter of consciousness and intent. John Key knows he is lying when he says TPPA will bring huge benefits to ordinary New Zealanders. Barack Obama knows he is lying when he says the US is the strongest nation on Earth and that the economy is recovering. The candidates for the coming election farce know they are lying when they promise a better, brighter future. I am yet to see nay evidence that all candidates of all mainstream political parties are not professional liars. Hi-Liar Clinton must surely be one of the most notable egregious liars in recent history.

  • @ Kevin Moore
    BRAVO,mate. Well said.

  • Sorry, a couple of typing errors there.

    Looking at the linked Jill Stein website, I see it’s there!

    ‘and set our own course toward a brighter future.’

    It’s one of the few phrases that can be recycled ad infinitum till the collapse of everything.

  • The way I see it, shit’s gonna get deep real soon on the climate change front. The next POTUS’ main duty will be travelling around the nation to various ‘natural’ disasters in a futile attempt to keep the proles from freaking out. “Nothing to see here folks.. move right along. We’ve got the situation under control.”

    Extinction 2030 here we come!

  • babajingo Says: re: Bernie Sanders. I honestly can’t believe that people still try to make the argument that “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” The claim that a McCain/Palin presidency wouldn’t have been a demonstrably worse horror show than Obama/Biden is so ludicrous that I can’t even finish this sentence.

    Right , it’s hard to figure out. Apparently Guy didn’t understand that Republicans chanting “Drill Baby Drill” at the top of their lungs at the McCain/Palin GOP convention would have approved Keystone XL on day one, and we would now be enjoying a seven years long full-blast Canadian Tar Sands CO2 atmospheric holocaust.

    “So we vote, with plenty of evidence to suggest our vote doesn’t matter. We each hold our nose in checking the box beside the politician we believe is the lesser of evils. The lesser of evils is still evil.”

    If those plans had gone through, that would certainly had been evil. But I guess, according to Guy, stopping the Koch-heads and their plans to obliterate the atmosphere was somehow still evil too? Does this means he wishes it hadn’t happened?

  • Warren Buffett is the Democrat’s biggest source of cash. His company makes a lot of money shipping oil via rail. The pipeline would cost him loads of money. The pipeline was nixed by Obama. It’s probably a coincidence.

  • You’re probably right. Though I thought I read somewhere on your blog that any reduction in CO2 could help some specie’s future chances for survival. So if there is even a small difference between what the candidates do, it could make a survive for some species. But I could have misread, and what you really meant was that it doesn’t matter if we oppose or support those who advocate the most ecologically destructive policies.

    So if as you say voting on the issue of the environment doesn’t at all matter, then we should just vote for the one who might get us the best deal economically. For most of us poor slobs that would be Bernie. For plutocrats and their supporters, Hillary or any Republican will do. As I said before I expect Bernie to lose, I just want to see a headcount on this for the fun of having a metric of American stupidity.

  • @Henry(the original): what’s the place you’re describing?
    I am in the northeastern US and cannot rely on a signal of any kind (not even cell phone) at our new property, only 3-4 miles from 2 fully-served downtown areas. We’re not even living there and it is already cramping my style. ;-) Planning to do without, and (painful in the short run) in the long run it will not a bad thing.

    @babajingo, I get what you’re saying! I had coincidental personal dealings some years ago with an anarchist group… and god-damn it took TWO FUCKING HOURS to figure out whether we were going to order pizza or fried chicken or Chinese for supper, because no one would impose a decision or a time limit. They earnestly engaged the multiple (hungry, crying, whiny) children, even toddlers, in the discussion. Fuck me if someone outside the process didn’t finally pull a TRUMP and finally said “WE’RE GOING HERE AND GETTING THIS”, to the secret relief of all. Anarchy can work, but only with training and discipline not naturally possessed by the status quo, imo.

    Hey! By the way, one of the 2 core Black-Rose Anarchists involved in the above-mentioned toddler-dinner-crisis is also the MIT/Tufts bio-lab guy I may have referenced who wants to have his head frozen and re-animated à la Ted Williams. The other one, also a scientist with a lab of some sort, attaches electrodes to the brains of live cats for a living. So much for that ideology being any sort of antidote to the sorry Human Condition.

    @Guy, I’m with you on Buffett and much of what you say, but you are snidely dismissive of one of the most cogent things Jean Turcot ever said. You want humans to be different from how they are, hence you deny the very evolutionary processes upon which your whole career and range of study is based.

    @kevin moore, bravo indeed!
    BUT note that the points you charge negatively are my famous “Technologies” that have worked to increase human biomass. For a site originated by a Conservation Biologist, the sheer disinterest in the nature of evolutionary processes in favor of inflammatory politicization is confounding.

    Politics is, and can ever only be, a subset of evolutionary forces.

  • I value anarchy and consider myself an anarchist, but that doesn’t mean it’s a winning evolutionary strategy. (Longer comment lost?)

  • Perhaps Guy is in denial about agrarian anarchy triumphing over Empire

  • Alternatives?
    Should I kiss my left cheek, or my right cheek goodbye?
    Fucking decisions till the end!

  • Thank you Distinguished Professor Moore & Professor McPherson for sharing your intelligence, it was a great honor to me. All the best to you and your families. Cheers!

  • Btw: I notized that some here on NBL like that Carlin guy and posted some of his rants here. But did you know that this guy thinks, that vulcanos are more dangerous than human impacts on the planet? Yes, he thinks that any attempt to change human behaviour is just funny and stupid. He says that plastic waste all around the planet is just another part of Nature. Oh well and he is being backed up by one of the worst climate denial groups in Europe, EIKE, yeah, they like Carlin very much at EIKE:

    And another ugly denier on the web does like Carlin very much as well (Quote: “So, no matter what we do, George Carlin was right…”):

  • Did the Onion just sell out? Top Killary supporter and Zionist now controls satire outlet


    Onion staffers may think twice before they produce more stories like Hillary Clinton Tries To Woo Voters By Rescinding Candidacy, Hillary Clinton To Nation: ‘Do Not Fuck This Up For Me,’ Hillary Clinton: The Merciless, Unrelenting March To The Presidency, or the signed Hillary Clinton editorial titled I’m Weighing Whether Or Not I Want To Go Through The Hell Of Appealing To You Idiotic, Uninformed Oafs.

    Many news outlets covered Univision Communications’ purchase last week of a stake in The Onion, the world’s leading news publication. According to NPR, Univision bought a 40 percent controlling interest in the company, and also acquired the option to buy the remainder of The Onion in the future.

    But what’s gotten no attention at all is that Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan and financial supporter, is Univision’s co-owner, chairman, and CEO. Saban and his wife, Cheryl, are Hillary Clinton’s top financial backers, having given $2,046,600 to support her political campaigns and at least $10 million more to the Clinton Foundation, on whose board Cheryl Saban sits. The Sabans are also generous supporters of the overall Democratic Party infrastructure, donating, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a total of $16.1 million since 1989 to Democratic and liberal candidates, party committees, leadership PACs, and federally focused 527s. [lots more]

  • The Porter Ranch gas leak

    Breaking: They may have “entirely lost control of entire field” involved in LA gas disaster, and it’s coming up everywhere… We learned there’s many other leaks Attorney

    Officials: Loud sound of gas escaping heard half mile away… It’s a “mini-Chernobyl”

    AP: Leak “out of control”

    TV: Amount released “seriously underestimated”

    [it’s more like a mini-Fukushima, since they CAN’T shut it down]

  • Saw this one did you?

    Sorry 1. i wish I had a spell check and 2. I forgot one of the most important living anarchos, Lorenzo Komboa Ervin. Author of Black Anarchism and Co-Founder of Black Autonomy Federation.
    And host of
    which was a two year long wall to wall unmatched tour-de-force of political analysis and social philosophy still unrivaled anywhere in the history of the internet.

    Saint Chris Hedges said Sheldon Wollen was our greatest recent political philosopher. Bzzztt. Wrong Answer. That would be Lorenzo Komboa Ervin.

    and 3. Anarcho Capitalists are not Anarchos. Sorry to disappoint.

    Cheers and Good Day.

  • A girl who introduced herself as a a “17-year-old biracial female,” said that “from looking at the evidence I’ve seen the last few years… I haven’t seen any actual scientific evidence that global warming is actually happening.”

    “Thank you for your question. You’re wrong,” Sanders said with a chortle as the teen crowd at Theodore Roosevelt High School broke into applause.
    Sanders then walked through his long record of support for climate change legislation in Congress and the consensus of the scientific community, which he described as “the most knowledgable people in the world,” that global warming is real.

    “What they say almost unanimously, overwhelmingly, is that A, climate change is real, and B, it is caused by human activity,” he said before warming about its “catastrophic” effects.

    “I appreciate your point of view but I absolutely believe that climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and we need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel,” he said.

    “I hear what you’re saying. I disagree with you and I think the scientific community is pretty clear on this issue,” Sanders concluded to another round of applause from the teenaged audience.

    (Bernie Sanders shuts down teen climate change denier: ‘Thank you for your question. You’re wrong.’).

  • spelt my name wrong. My bad.

  • 2 posts eh ??? MMMmmmm… I think I’d better make this one count…..

    Now where to start………..
    In your last post directed to my attention, you wrote:” As I’ve written and said a few thousand times, the roots of our demise are embedded within civilization. You’re obviously unfamiliar with the messages I’ve been promulgating since the early days of this website. Maybe it’s time for a little homework?”

    Scuse me, but I didn’t know I had enlisted in your class. Thank you for suggesting that I read about a thousand pages from a PHD in Anthropology I assume? …. in order to confirm the axiom that you promote: “The roots of our demise are embedded with civilization.” That’s a heady assignment.

    Now in how many ways is that statement relevant? I suppose that the roots of the demise of any species, including our own, are embedded somewhere in the Nature of things, but to propose that the demise of the human species is “embedded in civilization” presupposes that humans were civilized at some point in history. The last time I looked at “civilization”, I didn’t find in abundance anywhere. And, if you had even considered looking at the the part of the ‘JUNGLE’ episode from the TV series “Planet Earth” which I suggested, (available on Utube past the 20 minute mark) you would have been made aware of why this particular student (me) would have thought that civilization in nature does not exist.

    Civilization implies being civil I presume, and the nature of things is anything but civil. I do acknowledge your point however, as I think that you meant that there is no civilization in our history, a point on which we could agree. It’s just semantics….

    The power of privilege lies in the batter’s box. And since you can come to the plate as many times as you wish, because with you there isn’t really a game of debate as dictating where the ball will go is your privilege, even if it represents a few thousand foul balls.

    Your suggestion that: “Maybe it’s time for a little homework?” confirms that the batter’s box belongs to you, as you are the Professor, and I am the Student. But then my attendance in Academics of higher learning also clearly confirmed to me that PHDs are often mistakenly under a spell of self-delusion, even though their thesis has most often been dictated by false premises given by other Progressively Handicapped Dictators whose homework assignments confirm higher privilege, but not necessarily higher knowledge.

    In truth (a highly controversial and volatile condition) I have read many of your ideas. To suggest that I read one of them a few thousand times seems a little overwhelming however. While your PHD credentials far exceed my own, one should remember that Honorable degrees are occasionally those which measure one’s real genius. Jane Goodall for instance could probably add to your theory on primate ‘civility’ in the wilds even though she had not even attended college, and Charles Darwin was a keen observant of nature’s realms long before he was confirmed as such by any institution.

    Anarchy and chaos seem to be prevalent in nature. Life however seems to morph chaos into some sort of order so that life forms become species, thereby assuring its members some sort of longevity. How chaos becomes embedded with order seems to be determined by natural selection. A prime example of such order is the march by dozens of apes as depicted in the Planet Earth ‘Jungle’ episode I mentioned whereas the orderly stealth advances by one group of apes determines just who will rule their roost, and civility is a no-show, just as it is absent in today’s ‘civilizations’. I only mentioned this because I though we were having a debate over some points but then that was before I realized that such is not the case. It’s your ball game, you dictate who comes to bat, even who will play. What’s the song…. It’s my party……. ”

    Anyway Guy, there’s no sense in my trying to overcome privilege, and so you can dictate whatever kind of game you prefer…. If and when I finish my ‘homework’ assignment, maybe I’ll understand more about things and we can then exchange ideas as equals.

    I would conclude by writing Stay Cool, but that may not be easy according to all those feedback loops you identified…. Who knows! You could even be wrong…..

  • Kevin Moore – well put and succinct…or as succinct as it gets I guess.

  • Lidia,
    Glad you chimed in! Brilliant post and thanks for the laugh.
    Had a similar experience re: anarchists. You’re in Vermont yes? You’re not “feeling the bern”?

    I agree with what you said about Jean T. I’ll go further by saying I appreciate his comments above.
    Very much so.

    And you too babajingo. You were brave to put that out there with the potential (if I may uses one of the word used here) “shitstorm” that would follow.

    I don’t get offended by the opinions voiced here what does offend me is name calling which has the opposite affect of elevating a discourse. Too bad that happens.
    Judgement doesn’t help either. Don’t quite get how that helps anyone. I still do it (judge) while trying to “pursue a life of excellence” and when I regress to crankily judging others it feels anything but a life of excellence.

  • Freudian slip there with “affect” should be opposite EFFECT.

    There—- straightened that out and can now carry on and take in more news about the rapid destruction of the biosphere courtesy homo sapiens (now Zika virus on the move).

    Cuntagious I do believe you are correct with what you concisely state above.

    and on another note;
    can’t imagine staying in this country with one of those psychopaths (Trump, Cruz, Rubio etc.) at the “helm”.
    These narcissists and sociopaths are taking things here to a higher level of pathology. Which I suppose is predictable given the history of empire’s in collapse.

    But seriously . . . may have to join Morris Berman in Mexico and embody the “wafer” life.

  • Please Stop posting George Carlin
    Save the Planet
    American Dream
    I gave up on my species
    They are just to Old at this point to the level of BORING

  • Yet again, for the willfully slow learners: Civilization is represented by cities. There were no cities until a few thousand years ago. Hence, there was no civilization until a few thousand years ago.

    Human animals lived as part of nature until civilization arose. For those of you keeping score, that’s a few thousand years ago. Most humans now live apart from nature, a process that started a few thousand years ago.

  • @EtyerePetyere

    Yes, BORING and cynic, boring CYNIC. This Carlin guy in a perfect way represents the cynicism that is quite often present here on NBL (therefore some posted links to his vids from time to time). That kind of cynicism comes exactly from where the main causes of the mess the planet is in come from, exactly the same cynicism- and therefore deniers really like that Carlin guy. This kind of cynicism represents the final stadium of sated, western society, it’s end-stadium.

  • “I value anarchy and consider myself an anarchist, but that doesn’t mean it’s a winning evolutionary strategy.”

    I liked this very much at first. Might still do, depending on what I can decide about “evolutionary strategy.”


    An Email To a Friend:

    Sinatra would have been 100 in ’15. As to racism…hard to say. Who isn’t racist–black or white– in a racist society? He was notorious for taking up for black entertainers who were subjected to overt racist attacks, and he refused to perform in apartheid South Africa, and perhaps parts of the US South as well.

    To sing the way he did as he evolved, he had to be profoundly “black” in his very soul. How white entertainers continually make that leap mystifies me (although it probably shouldn’t).

    But I’ve recently gotten an insight about “whiteness.” For one thing, it’s white people, not blacks, that need all the “problematic” attention. For another–and I think more important–it isn’t white people that are fucking up the planet; it’s white MEN. And the greatest tactical error revolutionaries make is to conflate the two.

    White women are the only class of humans who are strong, well placed, educated, privileged enough to make a dent in white male hegemony. The inner city blacks are already broken (to quote old Saint Hedges–and he and I could be wrong). That is the last place to look to for change. I rather doubt that the Black Lives Matter movement is strategically wise. And it is necessary for the white woman to organize as women and not as “white people.” Of course, given millennia of brain washing–and with female subjugation baked into the very language that shapes the mind, the culture–getting white women to stand apart seems like wishing on unicorns to come to our aid…

  • @ Robert Callaghan thanks for the link to that excellent piece on soil and water. I live in a huge greenwashing area where local white men (why is it always white men?) are pushing for solar and wind to “save us”, despite the dirty truth behind these so-called renewables.

    A few white men will make out like bandits, while entire communities and ecosystems will have been destroyed so some wealthy white folks can say No Nukes or Fossil fuels in MY backyard.

    But Naomi Klein is fine with that.

  • Lidia — a country with 5 million internally displaced, clinging to dirt and stone-stepped alleyways up city mountainsides, scrambling for money and food, forgetting the ways of farming, even if they could get their grandparents’ land back.

    With the complicity of USG and military, and who knows how deep the narco connections lie, the rich landowners have had thousands of labor organizers and hundreds of the remaining Liberation Theology-type priests murdered.

    I even wonder if some of the people I know, who send their wives and daughters to shop in Miami, are among these oligarchs and the wannabe powerful. I don’t dare breathe a word.

    Thanks to a string of Popes clinging to patriarchal biases, a pregnant adolescent finds having a “ghetto baby” the best and only option at the time, creating a neighborhood of 35-year-old grandmothers, absent fathers, and light-fingered teenage boys.

    I can easily supplement a few, and aim at some of the signal events that every life should enjoy, while I learn about the many who have not. It is both exalting and humbling, frustrating, really.

    For now, they have the energy and optimism of the young; their life is moving forward to new experiences each year, thus appearing better than remembered hardships of childhood. But, overall, that is illusory. Just like the children of Vietnamese immigrants to the USA, knowing nothing of the war that brought them there, have a sense of personal progress, while their nationality suffered an almost unbelievable destruction.

    I can applaud their strength and resilience, and their appreciations of the joys of life — part of the dignity their remaining culture — but physically and economically they are treading water, and when the overheating climate kills off many more of their crops and cattle, as it did last year, these will be the first to fall into the life of the streets as in Mumbai or Lagos.

    We who write here have a safety net — or has anyone tested that recently? — these people have not, but I suspect we are soon to join them in lacking a Plan B.

    Our silence about the brutal conditions lurking around some corner is better-described in Brutus’ statement in “Julius Caesar”:

    “And every man hence to his idle bed. So let high-sighted tyranny range on, Till each man drop by lottery.”

  • Guy, this essay says it all.

    Many of us were duped by Obama. I was duped twice. First inauguration I took my daughters to, feeling much like the Munchkins in Munchkin land, we even sang Ding Dong the Witch is dead, though we had to clarify “the EVIL witch is dead” because most witches are good, very very good.
    Obama was finally going to fix the mess Bush had made! And that election was even after I swore I’d never vote again when I worked as a poll worker when Kerry was running.
    I should have known I’d elected another Reagan Democrat, read- Neocon Republican, when Obama re-hired Larry Summers to fix the mess he’d made of the finance system. Whooo boy! Was I taken! Letting the foxes back into the henhouse? Sheer conservatism and corporatist fascism. Bravo Obama! Well played! And I thought we couldn’t get fooled again.

    I mean we all knew the system was rigged when Al Gore won and then decided he would let the Supreme court initiate a bloodless coup and install the Bush family crime syndicate’s village idiot son as president (no insult meant to village idiots as a whole).
    Al Gore is part of the system too. Do not be fooled.

    Bernie has voted to bomb the hell out of Palestinian kids. If that’s not evil or part of the Military Industrial Complex, then I don’t know evil anymore. Bernie is part of the system.

    Hillary is against peace, against $15 minimum wage (which women could really use to claw our way out of poverty), against single payer health care system (women and children at risk of poverty could really benefit), and anti free speech (see her blathering about Egyptian free speech while Ray McGovern, a 70 year old gets beat up by her brown shirts for standing quietly with his back to her). Killary is part of the system.

    There are only shit sandwiches to choose from. A person is going to need a serious chaser to swallow this crap all over again if one decides to play along with their corrupt games and vote in their rigged elections again.

    I’m done playing their games.

    Please keep sharing George Carlin. He was a sage and Muricans have the memory of goldfish.