it didn’t have to be this way…except that we were this way

Caution, Hard Hat Area: hippie philosophizing ahead; this is probably totally half-baked, but I hadn’t had the time to bake it…fully.

The title is paraphrasing John Trudell in his scary-brilliant 1986 ‘Rich Man’s War’.  Mr. wd and I had a conversation about that phrase recently, as well as discussing my long-held beliefs and writings that humanity had been on the path of a great psycho-spiritual awakening led predominantly by the Indigenous of the earth.

That sense was of course underpinned by the global Occupy movement coming to Amerika, and those pesky students high-tailing into Zucotti Park in Sept. 2011 and set up camp.  Oh, they were heady (if brutal for so many) days, weren’t they?  Even during Occupy, some general assemblies had voted to be called ‘Decolonize __’ as the many Indigenous and black felt their communities had long been ‘Occupied’.

This is the far preferable live version of Karine Polwart’s hymn to the Occupy Movement playing her harmonium, but as it’s not embeddable, this meh-mixed one will have to.  (the lyrics are here)

And then in late 2012 Idle No More First Nations in Canada burst on the scene.  “A reaction to alleged legislative abuses of Indigenous treaty rights by the Stephen Harper and the Conservative federal government, the movement takes particular issue with the omnibus bill Bill C-45.”  “A grassroots movement for indigenous sovereignty, indigenous rights and respect for the treaties. Goals include stopping environmental degradation and economic and social inequality.” (wikipedia)

They stopped rail lines created round dances and flash mobs all over Canada and the US of A, frequently in malls.

And in 2012 also came the new Mayan Calendar, which elders explained would herald ‘turning swords to plowshares’ and the next step in human evolution and brotherhood.  I know, I know, but it seemed another Indigenous prophecy ringing and winging around the planet, giving my spirits some buoyancy in the ‘a better world is coming’ intuitive sense, and that the Indigenous would lead us out of this deadly morass.

Stir in that at the 2012 Rio sustainability conferences the Indigenous of the world weren’t invited, so many had caravanned to Rio and held side conferences, Peoples Summits, and presented their own accords and manifestos to the world.

Oh, they knew exactly how off-kilter and unsustainable the earth is and was, and to a tribe indicted: capitalism, the Gates-driven ‘Green Revolution’ of genetically modified, herbicide and pesticide ‘resistant’ factory farming, poisoning aquifers, rivers and the seas, the dangerous and false ‘solutions’ of ‘carbon trading’, the burgeoning commodification of nature herself, biofuels, and damming rivers.  Most offered their own truly sustainable solutions.

I’d even checked into theories about the planetary collective consciousness as ‘the noosphere’ and Princeton’s Global Consciousness Project and had downloaded some of ‘brainpaint’ images “created from GCP/EGG data using adapted neurofeedback algorithms developed to show the complex beauty of brain activity. Dynamic images of a person’s brain at work are of great value for neurofeedback training, which has been used to improve ADD, ADHD, depression, insomnia, head injury, meditation, etc.” from their site to meditate on.  Again: I know, I know…but still: I.am.a.hippie.  The theory has been called bullshit by any number of scientists (smile).

And yet today, this week…this month…it feels to me as though we’re further away from a massive spiritual awakening than even six short years ago, without which ‘a people’s revolution’ so many of us hope for/yearn for…might just mean that the new bosses might just be too similar to the old bosses.

I’ll forgo listing the deprivations and oppressions and immiserations afoot today, as you’re only too aware of all of them.  Then ask yourself what events might possibly lead to a global epiphany of higher consciousness in which all humans share power, are our siblings’ keepers in solidarity, with understandings that the gifts of nature are sacred indeed, and that we need to stop plundering them, live simply, and end the consumer throw-away society, and end at once: the human genome splicing experiments as well as war.

The only two events I can imagine might be if there were benevolent ‘alien’ visitors from other worlds who might stop by showing us that we are not alone and advising us  that ‘whoa, Nellie, you’re doin’ it all wrong!’ The other more realistic prod might be the coming economic crash that’s already baked in and that the Ruling Class fears we’ll rebel against as the banks and Feds get bailed out once again while The Rabble ‘eat cake’ or nothing at all.  Oh, yes, the Ruling Class at Davos had so many workshops on the existential dangers of ‘inequality’ last year, and my boyfriend Jamie Dimon is honking about it himself.

It’s often said that massive uprisings and revolutions occur when people feel there’s nothing left to lose, as with the Breadwives in France 1789, or the slave rebellions in Haiti in 1791.

In 1986 John Trudell had asked:  ‘What goes on hell, anyway?  Thing is, it has to do with heart.  We have to understand what hearts are for before we can get back to heaven…or paradise, or the power in our minds…’

Could the next major step in Wall Street Crash privation coupled with more jackboots on the necks of the Rabble cause Crazy Horse’s prophecy to come true?

‘Upon suffering beyond suffering, the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world.   A world of broken promises, selfishness and separations, a world longing for light again.
I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colours of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become one circle again….
I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that centre within you, and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.”

~  Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux, 1877

I spent a lot of this morning listening to Xavier Rudd’s ‘Spirit Bird’. (lyrics here)

‘Spirit bird he creaks and groans, she knows she has seen this all before
She has seen this all before, she has
Spirit bird he creaks and groans, she knows she has seen this all before
She has seen this all before…

Soldier on, soldier on my good countrymen
Keep fighting for your culture now, keep fighting for your land
I know it’s been thousands of years and I feel your hurt and
And I know it’s wrong and you feel you’ve been chained and broken and burned
And those beautiful old people, those wise old souls
Have been ground down for far too long
By that spineless man, that greedy man, that heartless man
Deceiving man, that government hand taking blood and land
Taking blood and land and still they can
But your dreaming and your warrior spirit lives on and it is so so so strong…’

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

23 responses to “it didn’t have to be this way…except that we were this way

  1. had i allowed this hippie diary to bake more fully, i would have posited a few more possible/probable epiphanies of spiritual awakenings,(and i don’t mean just ‘woke’ as in ‘aware of the cons of the capitalist elites, the mainstream news, divide and conquer, all of that).

    but: shared power would mean shared wealth, of course, and equal influence/power for men and women and mixed genders. shared power accorded to children would mean that they would never be spanked or raised by the stick or belt, which creates bullies only too available in the dominant military, wall street, and police state cultures to spree killers and beyond.

    all botanicals would be legalized, bigPharma would be relegated to history.

    democracy would come from the people upward, as it does in the (chiapas) zapatista villages and elsewhere, and as with most indigenous cultures rules and laws would theoretically pass the Seventh Generation principle.
    the value of cooperation would be extolled, not competition. humans would realize that we/they are part of the biosphere, not at the apex of it save for being ‘apex predators’ of all mother earth’s gifts and former bounty. jettisoned would be: “God said: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    power concentrated in individuals or institutions would be eschewed, as would academics and intellectuals unless they showed wisdom, which is a horse of a different color….well, feel free to add your own, of course.

  2. is the spirit of prophecy dead?
    “The Religions of all Nations are derived from each Nations different reception of the Poetic Genius which is every where call’d the Spirit of Prophecy”- W. Blake, All Religions Are One.

    Isaiah 30
    8. And now, go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness for ever.
    9 For they are a rebellious people, lying sons, sons who will not hear
    the instruction of the Lord;
    10 who say to the seers, “See not”; and to the prophets, “Prophesy not to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions…

    probably don’t need to review here the stifling, crippling blindness imposed on us all thru “art made tongue-tied by authority, and folly, doctor-like, controlling skill” (Sonnet 66). hey, Delaware copper , if you catch T. Monk for some “crime,” make sure you break every one of his fingers (as J St Clair pointed out fairly recently at CP.) Seers & visionaries in the capitalist core, as throughout time, have been trying to do in sundry ways as YHWH commanded Ezekiel, “son of man, stand on your own two feet, and prophesy.” Uncle Sam no likey.

    It’s hard to remember these things in the muddy streams of time, but I think I 1st read that Blake thing while listening to a story about an American ship captain who takes a Japanese bride only to come back later to take away their son in order to marry a respectable American. These Americans, Cho-Cho San, they gonna kill your sons. it might not have been the greatest leap of poetic genius for Puccini to discern in 1905 that Japan’s recent open door policy to the West might not work out so well for them, presuming one took even a slight glance around at what the Dutch, the Brits, the Spanish, the Americans, the Portuguese, the French, the Italians, the etc. were & had been doing around the globe for now 400 years. Why, within 12 years, the Western powers would be soliciting Japan to invade Russia in order to thwart the Russian Revolution. and the rest is, as they say, history. Japanese & world history. (try telling that to your AP World History students: the West encouraged Japanese imperialism.)

    In my 1st exposure to one of our greatest modern prophets, no not Marx, but Kafka, I did not glean or understand his dependence on the 19th Russian novelists & their treatment of bureaucrats for his horror-comedy fantasies. the soulless lifeless desk bound public official administers the affairs of the world with his pen, in Olympian or even aetherial distance from the consequences of anything he does. I know we are supposed to hate these Rooskies, but they were observing Russia’s transition from the “medieval” to the “modern,” with a vast state apparatus replacing the monarchy supported by the aristocracy as the means of running Russia. Now by the time Russia got around to modernizing, vast improvements in people management had been devised, including means to induce tens of thousands of them to invade Russia. How else to defeat the Napoleons of the world but by imitating their organizational energy, efficiency and ruthlessness? How can Russia hope to compete with the British Empire in, say, Crimea, otherwise? We need Oblonsky’s & Ivan Ilych’s! by the thousands! and Eichmann’s.

    does the spirit of prophecy, or poetic genius, yet live? “do you think he really meant all that?” asked a friend when we were talking about the bard’s treatment of wild then reborn Prince Hal in the Henry IV and V plays. that the death of Falstaff is the death of the “medieval” and from now on we are going to get the lofty, stratospherically sublime nationalistic speeches of brutal warmongers baptizing their imperialism in all kinds of divine, religious, legal, military and romantic gobbledygook. (even agricultural, with the priests’ speaking horticulturally, drawing their metaphor from bees as the model of social order.)

    Farewell, thou latter spring! farewell, All-hallown summer! Falstaff, that white-bearded Satan, is dead, and we must yearn. The prostitutes will be driven off to prison, as is the fate of Tearsheet & Quickly, but for all that there will still be “great trade in maidenhead.” Camp Bondsteel & its brothels. still there will be more business for the hangman than the pimp (“I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind. I will turn lawful hangman. there’s more forgiveness in it.” Pompey, Measure for Measure. the neo-puritans in the #Metoo crowd might also consider the repressive, repressed prince Angelo in that play.) Social energy & all the fertility of the earth serve one end: “shall not thou and I,
    between Saint Denis and Saint George, compound a
    boy, half French, half English, that shall go to
    Constantinople and take the Turk by the beard?” even Henry’s wooing serves the purpose of war making.

    We’ll skip Karl, like Franz, one in a line of Jewish prophets, for the moment. and Foucault & the like, cuz he’s not a prophet, not in the “predicting the future” sense. “Have you considered Leviathan?” asks of Job the voice from the whirlwind? do you know if your fate is conjoined with the whale’s? Some of us have only considered Leviathan long enough to figure out the most effective means to stick a fatal projectile weapon into one. the spirit of prophecy is not always accurate. 150 years ago, Melville had naive faith in the “immortality” of the whale. Little did he know that when these whale ships were powered by new technologies using crude oil, they & their kindred warships might just kill everything in the ocean after all. He asserted that the fertility of nature would outlast the viciousness of the Ahabs of the world. meh. small point, a quibble. can’t be right all the time.

    “your old men shall see visions and your young women dream dreams.” someone forgot to tell the prophet Joel that mostly these visions would be nightmares. the schizophrenics running around speaking the madness that we refuse to see.

    “have you considered Leviathan? no? will you consider this toxic pile of pig shit the size of Lake Champlain?” the voice from the whirlwind is saying that too.

    now i’m going to quote some more old Jews prophesying, which I heard on “the simpsons”. “does it not say, Rabbi, in the Talmud, and I quote: who is it that shall bring in Messiah? the jesters.”

  3. lo-bloody-l: “which I heard on “the simpsons” my stars, j of 9, you are the the master of literary and historical stream-of-consciousness polemics. i don’t even know where to start, but i don’t know the delaware copper/t monk allusion. nor did i know the west’s part in encouraging japan to invade russia.

    “i will go and be a lawful hangman”, whoosh. but has the #meToo movement helped any in the rabble working class? you bet your bippy it ain’t. and it won’t.

    now when i’d seen Isaiah, i’d thought you be going to 2:4: “He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

    i sure am glad you brought more melville; oh the irony: “He asserted that the fertility of nature would outlast the viciousness of the Ahabs of the world. meh. small point, a quibble. can’t be right all the time.” and now it just took the capitalist class what, 75 years to ruin the planet?

    gotta take a break; mr. wd’s home from the salt mines. back in a bit.

  4. two Qs for now, j of 9: do you have either a photographic or holographic memory, and is this the diary you mean this comment to be on? i ask because of your many references to russia.

    • nope. hallucinatory, maybe? and no on the Russia too.

      sometimes a crystal ball takes the form of this square type thing that some call a “book.” I was looking at one the other day, “the rise & decline of the 3rd empire” by gibbon schirer or something like that, I forget. makes you think. locking up children by the tens of thousands doesn’t look so good. where oh where does it lead? and why do we need history books to tell us not to do that crap?

      those commies at wsws were predicting back in 1989 that the collapse of the Soviet Union would result in a massive eruption of US-driven & -directed imperialism that would threaten to destroy the planet. now in hindsight, this might not seem like such a huge leap of understanding, but at the time who else was saying that? see the predictive potential of Marxist scientific theory???

      more of an Apollonian type of insight from a “priestly” class, from the custodians of libraries & reason & scholarship. But Gaia is also the giver of mantic knowledge, prophecy coming from the earth, not the sun, more ecstatic, visionary, leap of intuition & insight, with a disregard for authority derived from books & expertise. These are not necessarily contradictory (cf the Delphic Oracle) & I point this out b/c mostly the “priests,” the custodians of knowledge, tradition, etc are conservative, (defining “conservative” as believing in “unregulated free markets”, itself a hilarious notion), but from the fire of Promethean knowledge a few brainiacs get a radical bug up their ass & try to grab some kind of a bullhorn to use what they see to warn people of the future being created. Rachel Carson etc. etc., too many to name, but mostly unnamed & unknown, and even then mostly unheeded.

      and there are plenty of prophets for hire out there. RAND corporation? Kissinger etc.? not only are they & most university eggheads there to tell the people paying the bills what they want to hear, Pentagon/DARPA types, the goal of predictive knowledge is always & only “to converse with Mars”, (4 quartets.) Knowledge as mastery, domination of the future. the goal is not vision but power. these “seers” are all from the “priestly” class; empire has no need of “wild, mad” hippy prophets telling people to consider the bees & other fruitless activities.

      “For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver.” Ezekiel 21: 21
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belomancy
      he’s using these different methods of divination to figure out who to make war on next.

      oh yeah, Dostoevsky’s “underground man”? bureaucrat. retired. perhaps in younger days ready to help Grand Inquisitors make of the world one anthill.

      • lord luv a duck. i just sent a long comment into the ether by mistake. i’ll take care of some home chores and hope to recreate it, if not tonght, then when? tomorrow? mr. wd’s gonna load me into jeep to deliver me to cortez for an appt. that’s not necessarily to check to see if i need another jolt of ECT. j/jinda kidding. maybe more tonight as i feel so crap about being gone so long: raised in guilt and shame is my middle name. long un, eh?

        • oh Melville…even when making fun of himself as a scholar & seeker after obscure knowledge, his genius & vision & learning all blaze bright.
          Very like a whale, to quote Hamlet.

          https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/2701-h/2701-h.htm#link2H_4_0003
          EXTRACTS. (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian).
          It will be seen that this mere painstaking burrower and grub-worm of a poor devil of a Sub-Sub appears to have gone through the long Vaticans and street-stalls of the earth, etc.

          How well he’s read, to reason against reading!

          buenas nachos

      • well, ya do some fine hallucinatory weaving, then. might be total recall of images, then. never have witnessed the like of ya, though.

        awesome prescience by the wsws authors, then. and you were online that long ago? i can’t even remember when we were able to get wifi instead of dial-up that kept the phone line busy. but really it took me time to twig to capital as the monster killing us, the climate, gaia herself, and sincerely, it was the indigenous in south america and mexico who taught me.

        what you write about the prophetic voices coming from the earth herself is visionarily stated. i think that’s the reason i love indigenous drumming so very well: the drums echo the heartbeat of the planet and bring them to the people’s heartbeats. we spent a few nights in our tipi on ute mountain during one sundance. we went to our blankets while the drumming was still live at the sundance arbor. the pulse and vibrations of the drums thru the ground was like no other experience: causing our bodies, souls, and minds to hum with quasi-visions and maybe…ancient knowledge, i dunno.

        was carson a brainiac? i dunno, her prophecies were an innate part of the sixties movements, of course, as were the original stewart brand, ed abbey, herman hesse, even ram dass (bab ruma raisin), et.al. i tire of the Towering Intellectuals like chomsky and hedges, old sourpusses being so lauded as ‘experts’. and now it’s klein and mckibben, the demi-gods of climate change, who continually pulled their punches in naming the culprits. but then, both are funded by the rockefellers, so…there’s that.

        “the goal is not vision but power.” ooof, yes. belomancy, deck of cards…glowing saudi orbs…

  5. I rather love your title of this piece, wendye, in my own perspective of course, not knowing much of the hippie culture, and was just listening to Deb Haarland, who is running for NM Representative of the 1st District in Congress, would be the first Native American woman to be seated there if she wins. Her responses to the standard questions on the show were so ‘down to earth’ that she impressed me greatly, never mind her running as a Democrat – she is who she is. There was a question about water issues which she answered with her own tribal memory of how important water was when as a young kid she had to tote that big jar from the river. And her other answers had that same basic flow to them.
    This is the advantage of what I will call ‘earth closeness.’ She made the other two candidates, a Republican and a Libertarian, sound unenfranchised by comparison.

    This year for the first time, there was no ‘entrada’ to celebrate Fiesta in Santa Fe. It was decided that ceremony celebrating the re-entry of the Spanish into the city had become too controversial in the unbalanced way it has traditionally taken place, with many injustices papered over and ‘disneyfied’. So, an adjustment is in the works to make it more truthful and honoring the tribes who are very much part of the fabric of the town. What develops from this should be interesting and creative.

    Thinking of these two aspects of this country’s ‘being-ness’ I find myself hopeful that things will get better. It’s how I see the wider reception being accorded to articles by Michael Hudson, for instance, as his analysis is now supported by the evidence that the economy went off the rails entirely( and purposefully!) during the Obama years. His facts can no longer be ignored, as also climate catastrophe is upon us. Universal recognition of these things is close, I do feel. When things can’t get much worse, it’s hard to avoid what that is telling us, no matter what our core beliefs.

    This has been a terrible, wasteful period of years, and yes, it didn’t have to be this way. I wouldn’t, though, say that it is this way because we were this way – most of us weren’t. You weren’t; I wasn’t; j wasn’t. Most who post here weren’t. The powerful and greedy were.

    It may well be that our redemption in this country lies with Native American people, just as I believe the world’s redemption lies with China and Russia. They, after all, were the way of vision, the way of experience – harsh as well as fruitful.

    They, after all, were this way.

    • what i assume john trudell meant by his ‘…but we were this way’ was the collective WE, not necessarily individuals. which is why i’d also quote his : ‘‘What goes on hell, anyway? [as in: ‘is it worse than this hell we’re living in?] ”Thing is, it has to do with heart. We have to understand what hearts are for before we can get back to heaven…or paradise, or the power in our minds…’

      and that was in 1986, john trudell american indian movement leader, whose family was burned alive in a ‘suspicious’ house fire just after he’d burned an american flag on the steps of some federal building or other. his talking poetry is the single best example i can think of for ‘turning poison into medicine’; i dunno where he found the spirit to do so.

      any card-carrying hippie would epouse a different sort of hippie credo, but for me it meant knowing early on that i/we wanted a natural, as opposed to plastic, ‘pave parking lots’ world, the knowledge that one didn’t want to part of the mad dash for money rat race, but instead creating self-sufficient and simple lives “gotta get back to the garden” joni mitchell again.

      early on most of us divined that sharing what we had was crucial, and that gifted karma sweat-labor (among friends or our communities) was blessed labor. we were gob-smacked by the imperium’s ‘domino theory’ wars of choice, of course, and by the war machine’s police state in our communities. national guard murders at kent state and jackson state, for instance, and the suppression of free speech protests.
      one way or another over time we learned how intricately inter-related all life forms on Mother Earth are, and about sacred spaces and sacred places, as well. the insanity of clear-cutting forests to make more McMansions, nuclear power plants as ‘clean energy’, and so on. we explored the body/mind connection, and the value of whole foods and herbs for healing and well-being.

      but methinks you’ve got a lotta hippie about thee, juliania. ‘earth closeness’: yes; good on her.
      and i’m so glad to hear that the entrada was canceled; what monstrous disrespect that was for indigenous! yes, what comes in the future should be fascinating.

      as to your hopes and beliefs that things will get better…i can’t speak to that, but any number of authors are describing post-2008 economics and the obscene 3 of trillions of upward wealth transfer, but far too many use Boss Tweet or the R team as their negative examples, sadly.

      which is partially the reason i wondered if the next looming crash might actually bring a revolution in higher consciousness. mr. wd posits it might be climate chaos, as did a fellah over yonder. i’d asked him how bad it had to get, given the current state of the global poor impacted by starvation from drought-failed crops, rising sea levels, ever-stronger hurricanes, etc. one fella over there finds encouragement in Green Capitalism: electric cars, solar panels, etc. yep: the market forces. i was as polite as i could be.

      • Thanks, wendye. Late at night I get that way. Going to bed earlier tonight! I’ve often reflected it was very kind of Ultimate Power not to make me a bona fide visionary. Better just to hope…

        Very small cog; very big wheel.

  6. So sorry, j, not following your literary prophetic pathways, though most of the hints are familiar ones. I also was curious about the ‘Japan invading Russia’ bit, and I am not sure I understand how Kafka having taken Russian examples of bureaucratic modernity (European)somehow births Napoleon who is then defeated by bureaucracy in Russia. Do I have that right or is it Hitler who comes against Stalin that Kafka is leading to? In either case, not sure it is bureaucracy that wins those contests. Think it was the Russian winter. But then, foolish to ask a prophet to interpret his prophesy, isn’t it?

    And Melville – he ties into wendye’s not liking God’s Genesis words? To me, those words certainly call to mankind to mend its ways – they are not a call to wreck the place, which had been divinely created and seen to be so good. (But that’s just me.)

    I do agree with wendye, though; your train of thought is remarkable. Bravo.

    • lol, no apologies. I will try to clarify. The wsws on their “this week in history” section is reporting on Japan & its intrigues against Russia at the behest of Western powers.

      part of the purpose of Napoleon’s conquests was to “modernize” Central & Eastern Europe & Russia. I’m not an expert on Russian history & don’t think its “modernization” began then but let’s just say that it provided a big boost. Like Japan, China, etc., a little later, one has to adapt or be conquered.

      modernization means the growth of the state, which means the growth of state bureaucracies. the Napoleonic wars provided an impetus to *all states* to “upgrade”. Pushkin (The Nose) & Gogol (Dead Souls) were making fun of or horrified by bureaucrats early on. It is the distance of the gov’t official from the consequences of his (and now her) actions that is the problem; this is at the personal/ethical level: karma-free living. Gov’t agencies (and corporations, speaking of karma-free living) take on a life of their own, as we know. This was in a very incipient stage even throughout all of the 19th century, much less Russia in 1812, compared with what was to come with Hitler, Stalin and…FDR. and voila, the gigantic state bureaus of all the “advanced” nations of today. all of them. (Wendy & I chatted on email a while back about someone I knew who spent decades working in regulatory affairs for HUD in D.C. “working the regs” as she said. We see Joseph K on the receiving end of “the law” in “the trial”; I caught a glimpse of someone happily toiling life away on the production end of “the law,” sculpting, honing, refining, chiseling daily for 35 years to perfect housing law, blissfully unaware that she was there at HUD precisely to ensure that HUD did as little as possible in fulfilling its mandate to provide “affordable” housing.) These gov’t agencies are means of controlling the internal economy & life of the nation-state. The nation state exists to fight other nation-states. Mass bureaucratization is part & parcel of imperialism & capitalist rivalry.

      I didn’t adduce Orwell cuz he’s too obvious. But he missed some things, perhaps wildly so. The on-going role of religion, US-led consumerism, the usefulness of Big Brother having a Big Sister (a la pachyderms & asses here in God’s Amurka), etc. important to note these things, but really petty to fault him. we have more of a mix of “brave new world” and “1984”, don’t we?

      apologies for the muddled history. Kafka was very influenced by Dostoevsky especially. But he was on the other side of a yet on-going process that the Russian was seeing, well, not quite the beginning of, but major advances in.
      —————————————-
      as for Melville, sticking to Moby Dick for the moment, every word is suffused with God’s own King James English, isn’t it? A profound reader & lover of the Bible. and unconvinced to the day he died. it’s my understanding that toward the end of his life, he visited the Holy Land to see what was what w/these mono religions. and came back as dubious as ever. I honestly can’t say I blame him.

      for your consideration, this quote:
      “A vibrant economy … depends on at least one of the following: the profit motive, war on the ground, or war in space … Must war and profit be what drive both civilization on Earth and the investigation of other worlds? History … makes it hard to answer no … Star charts, calendars, chronometers, telescopes, maps, compasses, rockets, satellites, drones–these war not inspirational civilian endeavors. Dominance was their goal; increase of knowledge was incidental.
      … The first few years after 9/11 were a fine time to be mercenary, a military engineering firm, or a giant aerospace company.” found at the link below.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/14/neil-degrasse-tyson-a-celebrity-salesman-for-the-military-industrial-complex/

      how is that a person can look at a whale & just see oil? why here’s a man who sees capitalist intrigue & conquest in the very stars!

      “no sign will be given this generation except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” some dude.

      btw, Orson Welles’ comments on Falstaff are great; you can find them on youtube. T. Mann has a Falstaffian character toward the end of Magic Mountain, Myndheer Peeperkorn. (“I am a peppercorn”-Falstaff). Falstaff dies in his sleep; Peeperkorn commits suicide. Such are the changes in the world on the cusp of the falsely named world war 1. no country for old joys.

      • skipped reading toward the middle, but i wonder if neil deGrifter approves of the bolton-and boss tweets’ new cyber command?

        The National Cyber Strategy will stand up to destabilizing behavior in cyberspace by:

        Promoting responsible behavior among nation states
        Working to ensure there are consequences for irresponsible cyber behavior
        Launching an international Cyber Deterrence Initiative
        Exposing and countering online malign influence and information campaigns

        • pretty anti-romantic of Mr. Thomas Hobbes Tyson, ain’t it? he justifies his own cowardly role by asserting that shepherds & nomads gazing at the stars as our ancestors did for thousands upon thousands years only did so for the purpose of war making. how the Egyptians making star charts helps them defeat the Hittites in any practical way is a mystery.

          “necessity is the mother of invention.” I asked one of my students why we travel into space & he immediately replied “resources.” look at the fertile imagination at work! the only spirit of adventure to be had is besting one’s competitors, on earth, air, land, sea, and now space. man does not live by bread alone, he also lives by hoarding bread.

          I am going to make a prediction: space aliens are on their way right now to stop us from infecting the rest of the universe w/this capitalist bullshit.

          • “….he also lives by hoarding bread.” love it, and student’s the gist of the grift: mining asteroids for precious minerals, etc. space command! let us go forth and profit, defeat our enemies along the way! race to the …x, y, or zed!

            nice tune; i really like REM, but we don’t have that cd. from your keyboard to the aliens’ noggins. help us! save ‘us’ from ourselves.

            speaking of hobbes, i liked phil butler’s ‘A View of the Deadly World Order’
            featuring along the way: tax evaders for philanthropy and profit gates foundation and clinton foundation

            “The outlook for humanity is not good. Crises that should by now, not even exist in the 21st Century, they now affect every man, woman, and child on the planet. Still, reality never really sinks in for the people of the world. Hollywood and the PR gamers obscure the same evils humankind has endured for countless centuries. Meanwhile, the real villains escape the justice they so richly deserve. We are caught in a vise behind mostly invisible prison bars, caught in individual cells fashioned by our own inaction. Here’s a window inside this cell you’ve locked yourself into, a view of inestimable treachery and evil.
            https://journal-neo.org/2018/09/16/a-view-of-the-deadly-world-order/

      • Thank you, j. I see I was far off, but I don’t mind – it was a fun ride!

  7. I think I see (but pardon – I won’t get the words right:

    And did those feet in ancient times
    Walk upon England’s mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
    And did the Countenance divine
    Shine forth upon those crowded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here,
    Among those dark satanic mills.

    Bring me my sword of burning gold
    Bring me my arrows of desire
    Bring me my shield – o clouds unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire.
    I shall not keep from mortal fight
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
    Till we have built Jerusalem
    In England’s green and pleasant land.
    *****
    That’s how it feels to me, j. Sang that in my kiwi highschool, we girls did. Still gets me right here. My Blake.

  8. re my comment: “power concentrated in individuals or institutions would be eschewed, as would academics and intellectuals unless they showed wisdom, which is a horse of a different color…”

    September 18, 2018 , “The Assad Regime is a Moral Disgrace”: Noam Chomsky on Ongoing Syrian War’, by counterpunch editorial board

    i didn’t even try to find the entire interview for more on ruia, perhaps, but the opening shot and one later is…the White Helmets psyop.

    • jeez louise; i got curious about what else saint chomsky had been signalling in this interview and went back to ‘democracy for some now’. it turns out this was from 2017; recently noamie’s been singin’ the praises of ocasio-cortez and tra la la… let them go back to their white towers, please.

      nice way to make your point, counterpunch. pfffffft.

      • pretty awful. thanks for pointing that assad is a moral disgrace and blah blah blah. the concept of *self-defense* doesn’t mean shit. that Syria will be a staging ground for intrigues against both Russia & Iran (as Ukraine is against Russia now) and that the goal of the West is turn Syria into another Afghanistan (cf Iraq, Somalia, Libya, etc., etc.) also doesn’t mean shit.

        Russians don’t need to read the newly released docs, as discussed at wsws, to know just what the hell Yeltsin & Clinton were up to. they know how many millions & millions of Russians died from the reintroduction of capitalism to Russia. They know what NATO is doing on their borders.

        Goodman & Chomsky & Co really want some foe to be villainous enough to justify Western operations against him, don’t they? it’s Putin’s motives that may be in doubt regarding the 2012 proposals that might have ended or eased the conflict. why if Assad crosses a chemical weapons red line, he may just have to go after all! This from people who watched Colin Powell in action at the UN before the Iraq war. and a whole lot of other rancid activity. if this is not the case, why focus the interview on the awful things Assad has done & Putin’s “dubious” motives for making a peace proposal? FFS.

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