the american ‘left’ and the illusion of democracy-2

edit: i’m a naif is suppose. thought not really. which is why i’m now realizing that my photos of mostly forgotten but well attended monuments that no one cares about anymore are  actually relevant in terms of culture, process, care, civic duty, maintanence, interface with other communities… you comprehend the problem here. right?

bronze monuments in practical terms are far more important than all the art in any musem of modern art.

only after 60 decades… in an ‘historic’ report ‘allowed’… i seem to remember that jimmy carter wrote about this some years ago… among many, many others…

it wasn’t some U.N. agency…. it was richard falk and colleague. it was, in other words, the report of expert scholars and witnesses.

and then there were the israeli new historians:

including even benny morris, now a rabid right wing israeli historian:

The perception of a new historiographical current emerged with the publications of 4 scholars in the 1980s: Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim and Simha Flapan. Subsequently many other historians and historical sociologists, among them Tom Segev, Hillel Cohen, Baruch Kimmerling, Joel Migdal, Idit Zertal, Shlomo Sand, have been identified with the movement.

and then…







[the last three links thanks to gerrie van noord] [all other photos and commentary, are mine]

the american ‘left’ and the illusion of democracy-2

angela davis and michael bennett: bannon and zappa, and, gertrude stein, et al… [including the residents, stan douglas, and christian marclay]

Gertrude Stein: Sentences and Paragraphs, in, How to Write

A sentence is from this time I will make up my mind.

Then they have hurried.

A sentence can be three things they can use. A sentence

can be three things made with hurry.

Come and see me.

Come Thursday and you will see them.

Wait for what you are waiting for.

By the time that it is here they have had it and it is what

they selected.

I like what they give me. Now all these sentences have

been made with their assistance.

Now make a sentence all alone.

They remember a walk. They remember a part of it. Which

they took with them.

Now who eases a pleasure.

I ought to be a very happy woman.

Premeditated meditation concerns analysis. Now this is a

sentence but it might not be.

Premeditated. That is meditated before medeitation.

Mediation. Means reserved the right to meditate.

Concerns. This cannot be a word in a sentence. Because

it is not of use in itself.

Analysis is a womanly word. It means that they discover

there are laws.

It means that she cannot work as long as this.

It is hard not to while away the time.

It is hard not to remember what it is.

With them they accord in the circumstances.

Sentences make one sigh.

There were three kinds of sentences are there. Do sen-

tences follow the three. There are three kinds of sentences.

And there three kinds of sentences that follow the three.

If his ear is back is it drying. One says there are three kinds

of sentences and every other one is just alike. Butter spreads


pp 28-29

[how many know that angela is a marxist lesbian?]

zappa lyrics:

Freak Out! Version

Well I’m about to get sick
From watchin’ my TV
Been checkin’ out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it’s gonna change, my friend
Is anybody’s guess

So I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin’ for the best





playing both sides of the broken record…


angela davis and michael bennett: bannon and zappa, and, gertrude stein, et al… [including the residents, stan douglas, and christian marclay]

nietzsche: morality and physiology

from: understanding america…

Nietzsche: Writings from the Late Notebooks, Rudiger Bittner, ed. Kate Sturge, trans. Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 29-31.

Notebook 37, June – July 1885, 37[4]

Morality and physiology

– We find it ill-considered that precisely human consciousness has for so long been regarded as the highest stage of organic development and as the most astonishing of all earthly things, indeed as their blossoming and goal. In fact, what is more astonishing is the body: there is no end to one’s admiration for how the human body has become possible; how such a prodigious alliance of living beings, each dependent and subservient and yet in a certain sense also commanding and acting out of its own will, can live, grow, and for a while prevail, as a whole – and we can see this does not occur due to consciousness! For this ‘miracle of miracles’, consciousness is just a ‘tool’ and nothing more – a tool in the same sense that the stomach is a tool. The magnificent binding together of the most diverse life, the ordering and arrangement of the higher an lower activities, the thousand-fold obedience which is not blind, even less mechanical, but a selecting, shrewd, considerate, even resistant obedience – measured by intellectual standards, this whole phenomenon ‘body’ is as superior to our consciousness, our ‘mind’, our conscious thinking, feeling, willing, as algebra is superior to the times tables. The ‘apparatus of nerves and brain’ is not constructed this subtly and ‘divinely’ so as to bring forth thinking, feeling, willing at all. It seems to me, instead, that precisely this thinking, feeling, willing does not itself require an ‘apparatus’ but that the so-called apparatus, and it alone, is the thing that counts. Rather, such a prodigious synthesis of living beings and intellects as is called ‘man’ will only be able to live once that subtle system of connections and mediations, and thus lightning-fast communication between all these higher and lower beings, has been created – and created by nothing but living intermediaries: this, however, is a problem of morality, not of mechanics! Nowadays we’ve forbidden ourselves to spin yarns about ‘unity’, the ‘soul’, the ‘person’: hypotheses like these make one’s problem more difficult, that much is clear. All for us, even those smallest living beings which constitute our body (more correctly: for whose interaction the thing we call ‘body’ is the best simile – ) are no soul-atoms, but rather something growing, struggling, reproducing and dying off again: so that their number alters unsteadily, and our living, like all living, is at once an incessant dying. There are thus in man as many ‘consciousnesses’ as – at every moment of his existence – there are beings which constitute his body. The distinguishing feature of that ‘consciousness’ usually held to be the only one, the intellect, is precisely that it remains protected and closed off from the immeasurable multiplicity in the experiences of these many consciousnesses and that, as a consciousness of a higher rank, as a governing multitude and aristocracy, it is presented only with a selection of experiences – experiences, furthermore, that have all been simplified, made easy to survey and grasp, thus falsified – so that it in turn may carry on this simplification and making graspable, in other words this falsification, and prepare what is commonly called ‘a will’ – every such act of will requires, so to speak, the appointment of a dictator. However, what presents this selection to our intellect, what has simplified, assimilated, interpreted experiences beforehand, is at any rate not that intellect itself; any more than it is the intellect which carries out the will, which takes up a pale, watery and extremely imprecise idea of value and force and translates it into living force, precise measures of value. And just the same kind of operation as is enacted here must keep being enacted on all the deeper levels, in the behavior of all these higher and lower beings towards one other: this same selection and presentation of experiences, this abstraction and thinking-together, this willing, this translation of always very unspecific willing back into specific activity. Along the guiding thread of the body, as I have said, we learn that our life is possible through an interplay of many intelligences that are very unequal in value, and thus only through a constant, thousand-fold obeying and commanding – speaking in moral terms: through the incessant exercise of many virtues. And how could one not speak in moral terms! — Prattling in this way, I gave myself up dissolutely to my pedagogic drive, for I was overjoyed to have someone who could bear to listen to me. However, it was just then that Ariadne – for this all took place during my first stay on Naxos – could actually bear it no more: ‘But sir,’ she said, ‘You’re talking pigswill German!’ – ‘German,’ I answered untroubled, ‘Simply German! Leave aside the pigswill, my goddess! You underestimate the difficulty of saying subtle things in German!’ – ‘Subtle things!’ cried Ariadne, horrified, ‘But that was just positivism! Philosophy of the snout! Conceptual muck and mish-mash from a hundred philosophies! Whatever next!’ – all the while toying impatiently with the famous thread that once guided her Theseus through the labyrinth. – Thus it came to light that Ariadne was two thousand years behindhand in her philosophical training.


In case you’re not aware, Bittner’s selection of texts is from the critical edition of Nietzsche’s Nachlass edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Freidrich Nietzsche, Samtliche Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967-77). All N’s papers reside in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar.

Bittner’s selection is based on several criteria, but I’ll note here only that he’s following his own interpretation of fragments that have ‘philosophical import.’ The texts are chronological but discontinuous, which I find very frustrating, and am critical of Bittner’s choices of what to leave out. All the texts are among those compiled by N’s sister and translated by Kaufman in Will to Power. Again, in case you’re not aware, there is much dispute among N scholars about whether intended a book of that title. Bittner thinks not. I don’t think so either. More, the view I ascribe to is that he in the end downgraded if not entirely abandoning the concept of will to power. Sorry for foregoing lack of diacritical punctuation…

the long version of the documentary is here:


nietzsche: morality and physiology

the day: going to oroville dam

dear jas,

thinking that the first seemingly unrelated photos, after the illustrations, suggest something about what would be at stake if the dam actually collapsed… not literally, but symbolically. others for context and setting. the shear size of the lake is mind-blowing when you consider that it’s manmade. my camera sometimes works well, other times not… it’s not simply the photographer! well, i should have changed the ISO sometimes…


screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-12-31-32-amscreen-shot-2017-02-15-at-12-38-52-amwoke this morning to jeffrey calling to ask if i wanted to go to the orville dam to help him film the near-catastrophe unfolding there. this dam is the highest in the US. higher than the golden gate bride, higher than the washington monument, and made solely of earth… it created one of the largest reservoirs on the planet. orville lake became the poster child image of california’s more than 5 years drought, internationally. but with the recent rains, it filled up again, and has now become the poster child of a near catastrophe. the dam almost broke. it is now a major moment in US history. trump has said absolutely nothing about it.even though almost 200,ooo people were evacuated because of the possibility the dam would break… jeffrey and i went there today, and drove through ghost towns. it’s definitely time to admit that former ‘1st world’ nations are now on par with so called ‘3rd world’ ones. the US is becoming Russia. and Russian is becoming the US…. that too has been inevitable since the cold war.

we were totally soaked. but on the way back stopped in davis for a dinner of dumplings. will have to explain what/where davis is. brief version: a UC college town near sacramento.

california is truly one of the most beautiful places on the planet….

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA‘down stream’, or ‘down dam’….  hills with old oaks.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAfarmland with vast groves of nut trees – these are probably almonds.

the lake behind the dam at a very high level , that yesterday was breached. so this pic shows just how close the lake water is to the top of the dam.

– just imagine the weight of all that water pressing against the dam…

the landscape above the man-made lake, safe from flooding


madrone trees in the brilliant light

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAold oaks and a rock

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAthe ant-like helicopter working to pick up huge bags of stone to drop into the lake to plug the hole in the dam, with a surprising animist spot…

ant-copter carrying stones

early rising

early rising 1
early rising detail

the spillway in the dam that has been significantly damaged



SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAon the highway home after a long day


the day: going to oroville dam

the american ‘left’ and the illusion of democracy

the american left is a lost cause. it’s lost to some fantasy of ‘protest.’ while, the UK left is lost to it’s equivalent – that ‘socialism’ a la corbyn can rise up again.

meanwhile, syriza which for a while held such promise, ignominiously capitulated to the the diktats of the EU’s unelected  cabal of economists and bureaucrats under the control of goldman sachs, the world bank, an the international monetary fund, to the dark GATT court, and in general, to the control of friedman’s theorized, neoliberal, ann rand type, corporate power, the head of which is  big oil, now literally embodied as the secretary of state in the US, the result of a simple social darwinist fiat.

‘democracy’ has long been dead in the water, in fact, it was only ever still born. it has never been anything other than a fantasy kept in play only in order to control the empty machinery that has always only ever given cover to the lack of it, in practice. ‘democracy’, as a game,  has taken it’s most modernly blatant form in israel – ‘democracy’ is a cover for peace under the guise of a highly exploitative and lucrative war machine directed against a small and powerless people. so all capitalist elite in control of their client states are reflected in its image, and thus cannot condemn it for it’s blatant genocidal/apartheid practices. ‘we’ has never been democratic. the illusion of ‘democracy’ has always only ever been a means by which to control taxes that are then siphoned off to fill the pockets of the rich, made global policy by friedman’s theorizing of a pure market-state, free of political control, which has been dubbed, ‘deregulation’, and which has now given rise to the ‘thug state’ on a global scale. ironically, there is no doubt that the election in the US of donald trump is far better than the election of hilary clinton. she would have done nothing but maintain the illusion that democracy was still extant. while the election of trump has been inevitable, as inevitable as  the false concepts that has kept liberalism alive. just as marx predicted, that the rise of the bougeosie was a positive overcoming of feudalism. so trump’s crass authoritarianism and blanket thuggery makes clear what the capitalist system really is – pure exploitation of the great cash of trillions of taxpayers money. capitalism is now pure, rapacious anti-socialism, unmasked. that is, capitalism is now pure socialism masquerading as the ultimate exploitative system C-M-C, at the extreme of an eviscerated M-C-M. capital today, has achieved its most historically pure form, to date, AS, socialism in it’s most alienated form. capitalism today, IS, socialism for the extremely wealthy. capitalism is a machine that produces the wealth not of nations, but merely for the maintenance of less than a few thousand. the rest are literally slaves. the entire left professoriate are slaves, indebted to banks and enslaved to institutions in which they don’t believe. but they will rarely acknowledge this since they live in million dollar houses and make half million dollar combined salaries.

this entry is a draft, but i’m going to post it anyway, because while not argued as well as it should be, i need to sleep. and i’m posting it anyway, at the cost of friendships, i suspect. but ‘truth’ must be told. i learned this from nietzsche.

england was once a state that believed in giving all its citizens, housing, health care, and education, for free or low cost. it attempted to do that until 2008, and accomplished that to a great degree. until 2008, the general citizenry assumed those conditions as rights. after 2008, the UK americanized and lost that sense of just equality on those three fronts. and, lost far more, including its humanity, by imitating the friedman-esque, ann rand vision of life dominant in the US. i witnessed this happen, up close, over a decade. well, this isn’t quite accurate. thatcher began to undermine these three ‘rights’ in 1980, and made great inroads on doing that. and blair continued her agenda. and they both were very successful in that. but the resistance to that was still strong when i arrived in 2007. education was still basically free then. as was health care. and the aspiration for housing was then still alive, even though the real possibility was low in urban centers, and thatcher has initiated the selling off of council flats. so i’m only trying to distinguish between the states hostility to its citizens, and the expectations of those same citizens – and say a bit about the difference between the political consciousness of UK citizens, and the lack there of of those in the US who have never been much more than consumers. US subjects have never really been ‘citizens.’ while UK subjects once were.

therefore, the ‘left’ in the US has little political consciousness based on expectations other than a consciousness of consumerism; while in the UK, there is at least a residual consciousness based on citizenship. again, my analysis is overly simplistic. but it isn’t entirely wrong.



the american ‘left’ and the illusion of democracy