Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Ha Ha Ha!

I'm back, after a week in Europe!

How about that, folks? The biggest weapon of the government is fear: if they can convince you that if you go to the airport they won't let you fly if you're a leftist, then you won't pick up on what a goddamn needle in a haystack operation it would actually be to stop all political activists from flying, or any of the other factors involved which make it somewhat unlikely that you'd be caught.

So I successfully flew out of the country, had a nice relaxing week in Austria, (I even attended a political demonstration in Vienna against racist cops!), sipped cappucino in the Vienna cafe run by the Austrian Communist Party, and flew back without any hassle or worries.

Outside of the videodrome things are quite different. I know some German, and I didn't do anything to identify myself as American, plus, I love the country and so was enthusiastic about conforming to their traditions, and so I didn't get much trouble.

Ironicly, the biggest trouble I got was from a group of tourists from Bavaria, in the Federal Republic, who followed me and heckled me in German on my way back to my hotel.

I also found out that if you can convince people that you're an Italian from the Tyrol, by issuing commands in German inflected Italian, that you get results really quickly.

But anyways; coming back to the U.S. is in a sense a little like going back to Kindergarten; none of the local redneck locals around here would last for a second in that country, they'd have a nervous breakdown and collapse.

So, after Austria, the U.S. is Klein Problem, no problem, no problem at all.

Monday, July 14, 2003

My GOD....

I've just started doing some babelfish translations of Tropicalia, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil songs......it's unbelievable, totally, it's hard to describe how good they are.....check out "Panis et circensis"

Also, like the good guitarist I am, I've also started to PLAY some of them, while knowing the lyrics.....

Let me say this......I have Gil's Quanta ao Vivo (Quanta Live), and I think that when describing the energy it moves, you have to talk about it in terms of volume of space moved, like how many square feet of energy the recording moves, because it's powerful and smoking beyond any American recordings.......

just my personal opinion..

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Social democracy-Anarchy coalition....

I believe that it's possible and desirable for American Social Democrats who are heavily involved in objective studies of the economy and society to team up with Anarchists and autonomists, who are most actively involved in the true exploration of socialist philosophy and in the exploration of alternative lifestyles, cutting the Marxists out all together, and proceed from there to form a channel whereby liberatory philosophy can be put into operationalizable terms and pursued.

It happened in Austria during the Red Vienna period, and it can happen here too, to everyone's benefit and enrichment. So....I don't think that the wonks and the blac bloc are implacable enemies...and I don't think that, for all of the press, that the wonks are truly opposed to libertarian principles either....


Let's work to put some foundations under our castles in the sky.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

An attempt at summarizing the various issues and ideas brought up on this blog, analyzing the structure, source, aim, and conditions in which they exist.

Fundamentally, although some of the ideas raised on this blog, like applying Tropicalia ideas to American culture, are somewhat unique, nevertheless this blog is painfully locked into an analysis which is valid only for the USA. It's not new to Europe, and it's not new to a lot of South America either; neither is it truly new to Canada.

Socialism, Anarchism, in whatever form you like it, has been a staple of European politics for over a hundred years now. The surrealists, of course, originated in Europe, with their ideas of regnerating an empty culture........and a great many of the people who wrote about such a thing , as well as taking broader concerns, were from there.

And you can actually say that with the victory of Social Democratic politics in the wake of World War II, and with the sponsorship of the arts coming into play along with a guaranteed system of social insurance in most countries, that the project that I'm proposing for America was actually realized, and still is a reality, somewhat, fifty years later.

In fact, it makes up the backbone of European resistance to globalization and American rule, something which unites Europeans as a whole----wishing to preserve the gains they've made in the past half century rather than wishing to impose an ideology on the rest of the world.

So, despite the fact that the ideas I'm raising on this website are virtually unknown in the U.S., and when they are in fact known they're not seriously worked on or effort made to make them a reality, they're not, in the bigger picture, actually all that new or revolutionary.

It's just the intensely conservative atmosphere of U.S. culture which makes them appear so.

Now why is that?

************

Why is that? Well, for one reason, we're dominated by pre-capitalist corporatist institutions, which are immensely conservative, and which prevent American culture from entering the civilized world, preferring to cut it's own arm off rather than let it write something or paint something which it does not approve of. Or willing to let itself starve rather than give the stomach the food that it needs..

*******

It's not traditional corporatism, like you find in Europe; true, it's modified to be semi-capitalist, and so not so blatantly anti-libertarian, but nevertheless, in the absence of established political and social institutions the rich and the powerful took over American society and dominated it through corporatist means, and continue to dominate it collectively to this day.

Only this beast isn't linked to any one family, or collections of families; people come and go, people rise and fall within the status system of the corporate bourgeois class, and the system goes on without falling to the ground.

But, it's activity can best be summarized by giving a reposte to the title of Richard Weaver's book "Ideas have consequences"----So don't let you children have any. Or anyone else for that matter, although it's easier to censor Childrens' minds than it is to crack an adult's head.

Even though we live in a society which is largely liberated----largely in ways which don't matter at all to the people in power----the reigns of society are firmly in the hands of the corporate class, which doesn't want American society to go to far, because they know that if it does their reign is doomed.

So the default mode of America is intense coneservatism at all costs, no matter if it means denying health care to millions of people, or living with millions of people in poverty and unable to locate a next meal consistantly, or if it means generating a class of mandarins which are indefatiguable yes men but who don't have any real talent as the doyens of culture and politics.

The problem isn't with the people, because the people have always done their thing regardless of what people in power feel, it's with the cross state, federal, corporate class who was the beneficiary of the union which brought about the USA from the system of Confederation which preceded it, and is still the beneficiary from the impoverishment of all local control of politics and of economic life which that system created.

It's the news organizations that are conservative, it's the movies, it's the companies, you get the picture.......

The solution? If people keep on challenging the corporate system through their protests then the solution will come of it's own accord; if the pressure is kept up the system will break, just like a stream of water will eventually cut a cleft in a stone it flows over, over the course of centuries.

We're doing some good by keeping the cause alive, but we've got to do more, call more people, write more letters, have more demonstrations..

If we win this thing, it'll be because the combined power of people dead set against the corporate system eventually prove to be more powerful than the force that corporate america can wage against us, leaving them with no other options but to capitulate. Accepting reform.

If popular protest continues, and popular agitation for change continues, eventually they're going to find that they have few avenues left from which to do any resistance, and will be forced to give up.

See. Not a bang, not a hurtful act, but a mass movement against them will bring them down.
But people have to be resolute enough to want to get rid of the mama state which protects them, and then after accepting the new found liberty to recognize that real liberty neccesitates attention to social problems, therefore making a combination of libertarianism and socialist programs neccesary, enacted in tandem, as replacements for the corporate system.

Then we can start talking about some of the interesting ideas that I've aired on this site.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Reflections at Ground Zero:

I lived in Manhattan for about six months, from August of '98 to the beginning of March of '99, going to school......I hadn't been back since then, until I took a trip a few weeks ago back to NYC.

I pledged to myself, and carried out the pledge, that the morning after I arrived I would go down there and pay my respects to the victims.

So, on a drizzly morning, I woke up, had a pastry and a coffee for breakfast, suited up, and took the subway down there.

I can't really describe the feeling that eventually came over me; I say eventually, because it took a long time for it to fully register that this empty lot, which, by the time I went had been worked on for over a year and a half----and so didn't have a lot of evidence about what had been there before, was.

But, as I went around it, stopping at the shrine that had been erected for the firefighters who died there, and went to the start of the West Side Highway, walking down across where the front entrance used to be, in front of Battery Park City, where I would come down to catch a special bus to the Newark airport, whose tickets were sold inside the World Trade Center, it hit me, it all hit me.

It's a hard feeling to explain, it's like you've lost a loved one.....it's personal in that way, very personal, like a compadre has fallen.

It comes from the nature of Manhattan; we live in this world of skyscrapers. For people who actually inhabit the island instead of commuting or doing occasional business there, these buildings, and our fellow citizens, neighbors, commuters, are like family in a way.

Even if we're afraid that they might be out to mug us, the experience of living in New York City creates a bond between people, places, and buildings, which is much more intense and personal than that which you'd find in a small town, or a medium town, or in the suburbs.

Losing all those people, and the building itself, is like losing a brother that you haven't talked to in a while. For a second there I felt like I was at his funeral.

It comes from being away from the city for four years.

I remember that after it happened I woke up in a sweat thinking that buildings were coming down on me, and during the days it finally hit home about how many people are in a given skyscraper working, and what it means for an entire skyscraper, with all those people inside, falling to the ground and being destroyed.

I can't even think of it while writing these words, it's too horrible, I can't..

So I said my peace to my brother, and impressed the incredulous guys working there by showing proper respect to the dead at all the stations of the ground zero perimeter, then walked down to the seaport and took the subway back up to where I was staying.

End of story.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Whoops! My bad, that comment below dates me pretty well......It wasn't Nixon who the phrase "What did the president know and when did he know it" was applied to but Reagan during Iran-Contra....

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

The Yelllowcakegate and cognitive dissonance.

It's happening like it happened in Watergate; confronted with a reality too harsh for people to accept, people are seeking, and the Whitehouse and the Media are providing, a cover story for the absent weapons of mass destruction which allows them to retain a thin film of respectability, in their minds, for their president.

Bush lied all the way on WMDs. He did it to take over Iraq to control the oil and to dominate the middle east. Pure and simple.

But people don't want to accept that sharp break between the image of what's been going on and what's really been going on; and the administration doesn't want to face the kind of rage which they will be up against if people get the whole thing and come after them for it.

So a dummy story has been set up and elevated to the status of main player in this commedy of errors.

The same thing happened in Watergate; faced with the possibility, the reality, that Nixon was in fact conducting a covert war on the democrats, sabotaging their re-election campaign in order to maintain power, conducting illegal surveillance of it's citizens and in general trying to silence dissent with extra-legal means from all angles, especially in relation to the Vietnam War, the media, instead, seized on the phrase "What did the President know and when did he know it?".
As if Watergate was simply the work of overzealous Nixonian operatives who wanted to take the law into their own hands.

Yellowcake uranium, and whatever kin in the supposed failure of chain of command which generated 'false' or overstated claims about WMDs, are going to be the "What did the President know and when did he know it?" of the Bush administration.

Anything to save it from facing the truth and acting decent.

Hopefully this will not happen, hopefully people will be on the phones to their representatives, writing in their newspapers, talking to their neighbors, etc.... about what's really going on so that people refuse to accept a lameduck excuse for our invasion of Iraq and really press to the heart of the matter, and to the heart of what the Bush administration has been doing the past few years.

The worst thing which could possibly happen is for the WMD and Iraq issue to be sublimated through a lameduck excuse like the Yellowcake uranium, and for Bush to be unseated from the throne of presidency by a Democrat, like John Kerrey, who's willing to keep up the farce about Bush's shred of credibility in order to get elected.

If a John Kerrey or any of the people to his right get into office, the most liberal scenario would be a return to Clintonism-----a return to a stifling, anti-human, centrism, which tolerates neo-liberalism to a degree, incorporates some of the anti-Bush rhetoric, but basicly says that there are no real issues to debate and won't you, please, thank you, get those ideas about influencing national politics in a progressive way out of your head because they ain't gonna fly.

It would be a nightmare, in my opinion, if Kerry, the Clinton Clone, was put into office.

Clinton, in my opinion, and new people to the site may not be familiar with my previous writings on him, was a fraud in that he accepted the un-democratic heritage of the Reagan and Bush Sr. years, accepted the basic principles of them, didn't change the country back to a Democratic state, but instead just grafted his lack of commitment to the Democratic Party platform onto the schema that Reagan and Bush established.

If Kerrey or someone to his right get's into office, like Dick Gephardt who, I believe, is a mover and shaker in the Democratic Leadership Council, we'll likely have a repeat: the crimes of Bush II, the ultra-patriotism, all of the corrupt policy that he's established in this country since 9/11, will likely be retained without comment, with only the details of it reworked according to Democratic party principles, which will be meaningless.

Anyone for Dean, Edwards, or Kucinich?

Sunday, July 06, 2003

My condenation and renunciation of Marxism, from now on only Anarchism, semi-marxist libertarianism, and undefined political ideologies which no marxist would have anything to do with are my political staples, my political beliefs.

I hate to do this, I really do; but, I have to say, I'm completely and totally fed up with mainstream and semi-mainstream marxists to the point where I'm throwing up my hands and saying "Good bye to all that".

Why? Why...let's see, it has to do with reading C.L.R. James' book "Modern Politics".

James is credited as being a libertarian, or at least supporting workers' self organization much more honestly and thoroughly than most other Marxists, which makes the let down, the betrayal, of Modern Politics all the more worse.

There are two types of Marxism, in my opinion: there's the Marxism of people who read Marx, think his ideas are interesting, and from there incorporate some of them into their thought, analyzing the concepts themselves for their content, and not paying attention to how Marx is recieved in the world outside.

Then you have people who trade on the prominence that Marx and Marxism have, artificially, been given by the sheer power of the Marxist workers and political movements, and by the existence of Bolshevik Russia and later the Soviet Union.

This Marxism trades on the fact that since a great many people in the world subscribe to Marxism as a personal faith, and they have political and social power, an unthinkingly praising portrait of Marxism and the Marxist socialist movement will probably be respected because these movements have forced it to be respected.

The second kind of Marxism is the most dishonest whoremongering of ones' personal political ideology that one can do; it's analogous to sending a personal letter to the Nazi headquarters in Berlin extolling the virtues of National Socialism and pledging ones' allegiance to the regime a week before the Nazis are scheduled to invade your country.

Or , well, there are quite a few examples of people who adopted the belief system generated by the intellectual pygmies of Stalinist Russia simply because associating themselves with it would give them status and fame, fame which they otherwise would not have been able to earn.

I had expected more of James. He's cited widely by people who, in other respects, are pretty libertarian. But even James subscribed to the whoremongering of the second type of Marxism, even James.

Even James put his philosophy in a bastardized form of Trotskyism where he put forward his own petty, superficial prejudices and misunderstandings of history, and called it a fact established by history....presumably by the action of the dialectic, although in "Modern Politics" he's careful to conceal that a lot of his insights were generated a la Trotskyist dialecticism.

I hesitate, but nevertheless I say, finding James, the most libertarian of people who can be called in any sense mainstream Marxists.....for beyond James lay theorists who depart heavily from any of the common Marxist lines of thought in their writings......bought into the image and prestige of Marxism instead of interrogating the concepts involved, is a little like the scene in Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde", where Tristan, after returning back to his Lord's manor, is denounced by his Lord, falsely, for committing a crime, in a speech where the Lord declares "If even Tristan, the best of men, tristan...etc... has betrayed me, what hope is there for man as a whole? What hope is there for life?".

If even James, James, of all people, has bought into the false priveleges of establishment Marxism, what hope is there for any formulation of ideas drawing heavily on Marxism coming out on the side of workers and on the side of liberty?

I don't think there is, although Marxism in it's partial form certainly has extensive relevance and will continue to be read, researched, thought about, and talked about.

I must be the dumbest son of a bitch in the world not to have seen clearly how Marxist writers all up and down the line used the priveleges that identifying as a Marxist gave them to advance their own treacle like ideas.

This is what the Anarchists have been complaining about all this time. Aha! Finally! I get it!

Marxism of this type is an extended philosophical dialogue with ones' self which conveniantly leaves out the rest of the world and conveniantly leaves the people it's supposed to be helping out of conceptual number crunching and formulation.

No need to look out your window, hey, I can do it all by myself by parroting Marxist dogma.

Marxism, as this is, must have been the Althusserism of the fin de siecle, and beyond.

I'm just speculating on that one.

But, I'd rather not just engage in a philosophical dialogue with myself, I'd rather go out there, do, meet, and at least pay attention to what reality is saying instead of locking myself up, strange as that sentiment might seem coming from a largely intellectual website.

After james, nothing.

Give me my autonomists, libertarian marxists, left communists, ultra-lefts, anarchists of all stripes, primitivists, post-modernists...of course...any day of the week and leave all the Marxist posturing for someone else, some other time.

This is my declaration of independence.

If I my fulminate a little more, James is so narrow that he denounces, in Modern Politics, virtually all of the artists, poets, and writers, from the beginning of the 20th century who pointed out the negative aspects of life, or who lived unconventional lifestyles.

James' alternative to this?

Take the speech that Charlie Chaplin gave at the end of "The Great Dictator", mix it with D.W. Griffith's nationalism (with the racism removed), and add a touch of late Picasso when he was making political paintings denouncing the Nazis on the eve of WWII and there you go!

A superficial and unrepresentative, and illogical, aesthetic, which covers up all of capitalisms' ills and puts in place the happy worker, a nationalist, and a concerned citizen, gradually marching towards socialism and not pissed off at all about his lot in life.

This coming from a radical socialist.

James, the bastard, goes so far to denounce T.S. Eliot for naming his masterpiece "The wasteland" and for presenting a picture of western culture in decay in it. Hello?! Aren't you the radical socialist here James, don't you think that Capitalism has done some bad things to this world? Or are you so much of a goddamn bourgeois, a fucking colonial nationalist with socialist pretentions, that you'd rather censor the condemnations of peoplwe objectingb to the same things which you profess to hqate in order to keep workers from throwing your carreerist ass out the window with the rest of the elite Marxist scum who are always conveniantly delaying the coming of militant action by workers to make things better?

Are you just a trade union hack who doesn't want workers' emotions stirred up because you're afraid they'll take issue with the existence of the union itself and throw you out?

I think so.

If you're not critical enough to be able to incorporate critical views of society into your philosophy, but just go about ignorantly expounding on what a superficial examination of pop philosophy brings you, then you can kiss my ass goodbye.

Fuck you all,
may my eyes never grace your sordid pages ever again, or listen to your insipid speeches.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Still as one brood, and another rose
These nat'ral love maintain'd, habitual those:
The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
Saw helpless him from whom their life began;
Mem'ry and fore-cast just returns engage,
That pointed back to youth, this on to age;
While pleasure, gratitude, and hope combin'd
Still spread the int'rest, and preserv'd the kind.
----Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Man", Epistle III, 139-146

Well, after a long time of traveling, long for me anyways, I sit back at computer and try to compose something comparing true human, and conservative, values, with what the Bush administration is peddling.

It seems a let down from the beautiful ideas and phrases that Pope puts forward in the section of his essay quoted above, but that's the state of the U.S. right now.

I quote Pope because I want to contrast the traditional emphasis on things beyond the impermanent world around us which conservatism has, in the past emphasized, and the superficial, written down on a napkin in a bar, no priorities, version of 'conservatism' that the Bush administration is peddling.

Pope wrote his essay in the years after the combination of the English Civil war and the Glorious Revolution had permanently changed the social and political structure of England, from a somewhat absolutist oriented semi-feudal state to one which was half-way to becoming modern.

Therefore, Pope isn't defending the old regime singlemindedly; to make an extreme understatement, there's nuance in his view of conservatism.

So how does he stack up to what's coming out of the Bush regime which, if we are to believe what they tell us, rescued us from the terrible, horrible times of Bill Clinton, when the economy was stable and it was just the sex life of a president we had to worry about?

When was the last time you heard someone connected to the Bush regime actually talk about values and permanent things which went beyond a recounting of the typical patriotic pap which has been flooding the airwaves since the Iraq war?

When was the last time you actually heard them weigh in on issues which might effect the long term growth and stability, social and otherwise, of this country, as opposed to sounding off on whatever issue the Christian Coalition thinks is going to sink America any day now?

Think of Pope's quote, about the continuity of the generations, and the common assent to an order which binds both of them with it's unalterable ebb and flow, but which nonetheless inspires happiness and warm feelings instead of alienation and depression......do you think that any such statement of communion would come out of Washington today?

They're too busy pursuing the making of money and the tearing down of any traditional institutions thereby which would ensure that the sort of society which....well someone down the line has to have actually read a thing or two.....someone is insinuating that Bush policy is designed to lead us would actually come into place, or would continue if, by chance, it still exists.

The best places I've been in, in the U.S., by the way are all places that were colonized by hippies in the sixties and seventies. They seem to have known what was important to preserve in life.

An ironic fact, don't you think?