[this post is in process…. needs work] – might need work for a long time. but there are now some edits and additions as of: 5/11/16
the condition of the day:
‘culture’ today, has been destroyed by accountants, businessmen, CEO’s, CFO’s, ‘economists’ in general, and others who are culturally brain dead. the caste of so called ‘professional politicians.’ culture has been almost universally commodified, branded, labeled, and ‘valued’ with nothing more than a price tag decided by CEO’s and CFO’s of institutions that are culturally bankrupt. they even determine the ‘value’ of what was once thought of as ‘counter-culture’ – once a form of resistance to selling everything only to be sold. even the critics, even the parodists, even those who legitimately seek the only thing anyone with a rational mind should seek – pleasure in and of a better world.
those of us in any of those categories have been so entirely co-opted that we are naive if we think otherwise. while ‘history’, relative to the concept of enlightenment ‘progress’, may indeed be dead, that does not mean that ‘history by other means’ is impossible. it may mean that techniques of resistance, to be resistant, today, must go beyond former strategies/tactics of criticism, parody, satire, irony, and even, ‘revolution.’ perhaps the left’s concept of ‘revolution’ is simply another brand without content. and i should point out, i consider myself firmly on the ‘left’.
[new comments – all new comments in bold below/ and above – all follow below, ‘new comments’]
first, a comment on ‘history by other means’: history is a mnemonic residue that takes many forms. an infinite number of forms, actually. some of ‘us’, when we think of ‘history’, think of it as texts given to us in primary and secondary school, IF, we were lucky enough to go to school. or the texts we read at university, if ‘we’ were lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to go to university. some of ‘us’ imagine it as what has transpired in our families since we were born, and what happened to us after we in one way or another began to make decisions of our own, independently of being a child dependent on the family. some of ‘us’ think history is what transpires in ‘other’ places than the one we live in; and so history is something completely other, foreign, even entirely alien. for some, history is not at all linear; it could be circular, or spiral, or discontinuous. for some, history can’t be conceived by any pattern, geometric or otherwise. my son once described to me a columbian indigenous, agricultural culture based on a crop rotation system that spanned 50 years – in a culture when the life span was less than 50 years. an artist friend of mine, john roloff, whom i’ve posted a bit about below, bases his entire work on geological time. then there are many types of oral cultures, who pass history through generations of shaman or other cultural forms of ‘speakers’ or ‘singers’ to relay 1000s of years of history. like the native hawaiians who embed their history in chants and dance, in enough detail for hawaiians to sail thousands of miles/kilometers from hawaii to new zealand and back. and not least, there is a deep history of the everyday – what happens between the moment of rising and the moment of sleeping? then, there is the history of how those everyday memories are influenced, mediated, liberated, controlled, etc. and the histories of influence, mediation, liberation, control, etc…. there is scientific history of astronomy that claims to tell a partial history of our last 13.5 billion years, particle by particle according to unassailable physical laws. or, darwinian inspired evolution of life on earth that spans a mere 3.5 billion years and lays claims to the causal effects of what human and all life forms are, genetically. then there is the history that religions purport that don’t square with any of the above. then, there is today, a history of DNA that can trace our biology over continents and eras since the beginning of ‘human’ history, while allying it with the DNA histories of non-human biology, with even, non-life histories.
[see my comments way below, relative to the matrix etc. more above to come about this.]
thus, whose ‘history’ is at stake in our struggles today? more on this above soon…
‘revolution’, it seems to me, is clearly a dead hope. for ‘whose revolution is at stake?’ ‘revolution’ is just another enlightenment concept that doesn’t stand a chance in our current global ‘political’ climate. because, ‘revolution’ requires violence. and many ‘left’ movements in the west, or protests, are committed to satyagraha, as Gandhi named it – non-violence. at the same moment when the corporate ‘state’ increases violence at every opportunity. Violence, in fact, organized violence condoned by the state, cannot be countered, effectively, by any non-violent force. and the corporate state knows this. satyagraha has been entirely eviscerated, as an effective form of political protest. thus, the only conclusion, in terms of political resistance on a global scale, must obey the most basic of the laws of physics – the law of equal and opposite force. ‘peace’ can never be an equal and opposite force to ‘violence.’
because, to take one over simplified example: the simple strategy of police abuse of power. the militarization of the police is of late only a recent, and far more brutal form of the state, than has existed in the post WWII world. couple that with the surveillance state, the paranoia of the ‘security’ state, with the rise of a right wing that is anti-government, etc., and, any ‘protest’ movement against that network of social control, has failed before it even begins.
The Podemos inspired Occupied movement [and the failure of Podemos in Spain despite its substantial successes] sparked a good conversation, but was ineffective and has died. Black Lives Matter has currency at the moment, the best of protests movements to arise of late. but they are powerless in the long run and may in fact continue to reinforce the backlash against their obviously well founded principles. just as the civil rights movement of the 30s-60s did, just as Pensee’ 68 did; just as the feminist movement of the 70s-90s did. most of my friends on the left will despise what i’m trying to say here – that ‘social movements’ have proven their failure. that, every social movement that has ever existed, in ‘western democracies’, was born of ‘radical’ violence. that, every form of democratic ‘protest’, does nothing but collude with the state violence that it challenges and simultaneously lets off the hook by being a false manifestation [in both the french and english meanings of that term], of a challenge to the state. They do succeed sometimes, in the short term, on an issue by issue basis. and the state needs such issue-based protests to succeed now again, because they are false adverts that democracy actually works, when it doesn’t.
What do these failed political efforts have in common? They are all based on ‘identity politics.’ they are all narrow in scope, aligned with a small and insular group of the aggrieved. and their grievances are undoubtedly entirely justified. no one would doubt that, not even their most powerful opposition, the state itself. the great irony here is that identity politics is the fuel of violence – it pits ‘white trash’ against ‘black trash’ against ‘gender trash’ against ‘other-gendered trash’. and race then can then be used to divide those divisions even further.
but to ask the same question again: what do each of these failed political efforts have in common?
the non-intuitive answer is: economics. the political economy of class. as long as the focus of any political agenda is identity, then the political economy of class will be ignored. rich whites do, and will continue to, ally with rich muslims according to their economic self-interests. and they do, and will continue to, ally with their economic partners against their own class divided ‘identities’, simply because the ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy is so economically successful, because it gives ‘them’, the political elite, political power.
the bush family was and is incredibly close to the bin laden family. there is, or was, it’s unclear today because google has cooperated to wipe the location, even a bin laden airport in texas.
United States President Ronald Reagan gesturing to Saudi Arabian Crown Prince and Prime Minister Faud bin Abdul Aziz before the International Meeting on Cooperation and Development in Cancun on October 23, 1981.
President Obama, right, meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House today. The meeting comes as Saudi Arabia seeks assurances from the U.S. that the Iran nuclear deal comes with the necessary resources to help check Iran’s regional ambitions.
The two nations [ the US and Saudi Arabia] cooperate and share information about al-Qaeda (Alsheikh 2006) and leaders from both countries continue to meet to discuss their mutual interests and bilateral relations.
In January 2015, after the death of King Abdullah, the White House and President Obama praised him as a leader and mentioned “the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”
In March 2015, President Barack Obama declared that he had authorized U.S. forces to provide logistical and intelligence support to the Saudis in their military intervention in Yemen, establishing a “Joint Planning Cell” with Saudi Arabia.
Julian Assange: Isis and Clinton Foundation are both funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar
My point is that, at the level of state power, there is no racism. Yet, the state foments racism at the popular level, through ‘institutional, systemic, racism’. It even thrives on it. This is more obvious in Europe than in the far more parochial, naive, and ‘class denying’ US. Such fomentation is the direct cause of the rise of Le Pen in France, Wilders in the Netherlands with his media wing, Geen Stijl, or of Kristian Thulesen Dahl’s far right, People’s Party, in Denmark. But there are many other examples in the EU alone, including the UK, Germany, Greece, etc.
The ‘state’, as is clear in these EU examples, is opposed to it’s citizens, to the very ‘values’ it superficially defends every day. the ‘state’ is entirely bankrupt, corrupt, violent, sold out, vicious, anti-human. it clears refugee camps without a thought to their inhabitants. those who support it are deluded. those who support it, through their support, harm those they philosophically, politically support, most, in theory, such as the poor and the vulnerable. in the US, the equivalent classes are the the poor in general of any race, disproportionately blacks, native americans, latin americans, and prisoners; in general those who refuse to vote, or can’t, because they are the most politically sophisticated, are the most ‘revolutionary’, because they fully understand that their votes are meaningless, relative to their everyday life conditions.
they are anti-liberal. they see and understand perfectly, that the state is their enemy. they understand that the liberals who vote, continue to support a system that oppresses them, that suppresses them, that is violent to them. so they are completely in the right to withhold their vote. their non-vote is the only meaningful vote.
so, if the left and liberals who pretend to support those disenfranchised by the ‘system’, were truly to support them, then, they would not vote.
the only way to change anything, then, by this unassailable logic, would be if the middle class bourgeoisie, were to join the largest majority of the alienated, the poor, by NOT VOTING. the only possible solution is a unionist one – to withhold support, to withhold labor, to withhold collusion in a completely corrupt and bankrupt system.
yes, i’m suggesting a wholesale boycott of voting, period. by all those whatever their political persuasions, who are against the ‘revolutionary’ dominance of the corrupt neoconservative elite, since reagan and thatcher, continued by clinton, bush, blair, cameron, and obama. the only way to change anything today, is by a vote boycott.
what is, or once was, the strongest political strategy of unions? to withhold labor/participation. through the power of boycott on work, through the strike. therefore, the only politically viable, and ethical, solution, in support of the poor and the disenfranchised, would be to boycott the election, wholesale. to not vote. the only possible ethical stance is: to not vote, in solidarity with the majority who do not vote, because they can’t legally, or because they feel/know that their votes are meaningless.
everyone who votes capitulates to and condones the violence of the state, against those they philosophically/politically claim to support.
but such a boycott will work only on the condition of a coalition of voters large enough to ensure the defeat, in the US for example, though the principle is the same anywhere, of a majority for either of the duopolist candidates, whoever they might be. such a boycott strategy would be same as any boycott strategy – to shut down the oppression of workers and in this context, ‘citizens’, [whose only role in ‘politics’ is to consume], in order to force the state against it’s power elite to capitulate to the demands of the state’s ‘citizens’ – it’s working class, no matter what their ethnic identities are, or, whatever their income is, less than millions and billions. because, every form of ‘identity’ politics is based on economic oppression. and because, ‘identity politics’ is the very basis of the state’s divide and conquer strategy.
dustin hoffman, warren buffet, barbara striesand, magic johnson, elton john
you ‘americans’, you ‘europeans,’ do you really think the ‘supreme court’ really matters very much? you americans, do you question the new 38 billion military allotment of your taxes to Israel to suppress the Palestinians? that aids israel’s global military machine? it’s state/US controlled and funded organization, Sibat, a state sponsored ‘private’ arms development corporation folded into the state of Israel’s government? no different really than the deals the US state’s Pentagon has with private military contractors.
who questions the violence of the state? who questions that the state is nothing but the mechanistic vessel that funnels trillions of dollars of tax dollars to corporations? into corporate violence that aims only to increase their profits?
katie perry, scarlett johansson, samuel l. jackson, robert de niro, adele, julianne moore, steven spielberg, j.j. abrams, sigourney weaver, meryl streep, lady gaga, george and amal clooney, beyonce, will pharrell
are you really willing to continue to collude in that through the false ideology of presidential elections? are ‘you’ really so subsumed by such false ‘nationalism’?
and, why can’t this sort of discussion REALLY be had?
are ‘you’ really willing to let the planet be slaughtered so you and your children and grandchildren and the fauna and flora of the planet be sacrificed?
the collusion of corporate media in downplaying the seriousness of the future: could be underway, early days, entering, saving….
who are ‘you’?