Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I say no new HRE, although that seems like an off the wall proposition in the first place because one of the Conservative Revolutionaries, a guy by the name of Arthur Moeller Van Den Bruck advocated such an idea in an influential book called "The Third Empire", which can also be translated as "The Third Reich" (Das Dritte Reich). I don't want to be associated with such things; rather, I'd like to see the U.S. get in touch with Old Europe, specifically, the oldest parts of Old Europe, which revolve around the crown and the papacy, as cultural and political and social ideas, which, I think, would help out American culture an awful lot.

Brasil is a culture where, although liberalized, the memory of Crown and Papacy still lives on.

Old Testament.

I think the Old Testament civilized the Europeans.

And once again it's the culture of Central Europe, living with the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire, and not the concept of some illusory new empire....which is a laughable and insane idea....which is valuable and which America should assimilate.
I don't want a rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire, I'm not that crazy, just an appreciation of the cultural and social, and political, values which stem from the countries which were integrated into it for a thousand years.
I should say really the former Holy Roman Empire, as it of course no longer exists but it's former institutions still shape life in Europe to an extreme degree, especially Continental and Central Europe.
European and American identity.

I've been meditating about Central Europe.

I've expressed this before but I'll say it again: America is a nation born of the fringe. England was the fringe of Europe, America was colonized as the fringe of the fringe, and then it declared its independence and became an autonomous state from Europe. Then it played host to being the refuge of people who were under the thumb of the fringe state of England itself: the Irish and the Scots (with a little bit of Welshmen coming over as well), who now number more than the original English themselves.

The character of the Irish points to where America should go. America has been constantly running from Europe, but the quest to get away is coming to an end, there is no more place to run. The solution, or part of a solution anyways, is to reintegrate ourselves with European culture by opening ourselves up to the dual values of Crown and Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church, which define Europe's identity. The Irish are a good example because, as an independent state, they've become very Catholic while pursuing a foreign policy which is more pro-France and pro-Continental Europe than pro-England, of course.

To be reborn, to use dramatic language, we need to understand the values of the Crown and of the Papacy and the social and political philosophy which flow from them. By grounding ourselves in the center of Europe we will find a refuge from our homelessness and a beginning from which to establish ourselves as a rich and meaningful culture.

We can probably then add the values of the Patriarchate to the list, although that's only comprehensable once the Holy Roman Empire and the Church are understood.

And we should establish real links with Native American culture as true culture and not as kitschy ways for Euro-Americans to feel good about themselves.

Proceeding with that we will become a true country in the fullest sense of the word.
Who am I?

I ask that question of myself periodically; a friend of mine did something where he asked the same sets of questions for himself out in the wilderness over a period of weeks and recorded it, and then analyzed what came out, and it turned out well.

So who am I?

I'm an American of Central European descent. That's the best I can give at the moment.
Bitch fest.

OK, for all you aspiring industrial musicians out there I have a piece of advice: when you buy your equipment go for quality, don't go for deals.

I'm now in the process of effectively buying my whole setup twice because the first time I bought a legacy interface bundled with a legacy program and a USB external hard drive which is very,very, slow.

I upgraded to a new program because the legacy one was really bad and what do you know? It won't work with my interface and the manufacturer of the drivers for audio interfaces says that it won't support my interface, actually says "Maybe in the future", which translates out into "Never" because my interface isn't getting any younger.

So now I have to buy a new interface. I've already had to buy a Fire Wire hard drive because the USB one was too slow for audio recording, mixing, and editing. So now I'm effectively going with a totally new setup.

And all of this stuff isn't cheap! That's the point! All of this stuff is fucking expensive and now I've had to invest maybe....not quite two times as much as I needed to but somewhere close to it just to make all my equipment work together. It is not cheap. They're purchases which hurt when you make them because of the amount of money you're spending.

So save up your bucks and go for quality instead of the cheap, fast, route to digital recording.

Drinking night in Dicksville

An amazing article! On Smirking Chimp no less. Read this and be enlightened.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I sohuld stress something as well, which the below articles might not make clear, which is that one of the reasons that I think the conservative revolutionaries are important is because they, at least, attempted a reckoning with the modern world.

Although we may move to a post-modernity world I don't think that the legacy of the modern world can, or should, be thrown off totally. The dialectic moves forward. What I hope for is a world which has pulled back from the worst excesses but which has learned how to use the reamining parts in a healthy and good way.
Against the Conservative Revolutionaries, The Conservative Revolutionaries and modern society.

Unlike most I think that the Conservative Revolutionary literary and political movement in Germany was paradigmatic for the modern age.
When people have lost their moorings due to modern, industrial, and capitalist, society, when they've been proletarianized and connections to a real community start to be lacking there exists the possibility that myth and mythic interpretations of society will come to replace the real society and real social understanding which existed before.

There's the possibility that within a technologized society without referants that people will look to more primal understandings of things to give them guidance, and that leaders will be more than happy to avail them of this.

It happened in Germany and, in an attenuated form, is happening now in the U.S. The war machine is simultaneously being praised for its efficiancy and for the liberation of previously suppressed desires to manliness and to domination which belong to the mythic mode of thought more than to the 'modern', or what we think of as modern, mode of thought.

And the handmaiden of this is the proletarianization that Marx so wanted. The proletarianization of society, the reduction of more and more people to wage laborers employed as 'variable capital' by big business and the takeover of society, and the administration of it, by corporate concerns, veritably creating a synthetic society to replace that of nature, reduces people to impotence in the face of confronting reality. Enter myth as a way for people to get their bearings.

As opposed to Marx I don't think that proletarianization is a good thing, nor that it has totally taken over society. In fact, I would argue along with the Italian Autonomists that the biggest locust of working class resistance has been against the proletarianization of people and against the reduction of them into 'workers'. This is a good thing, and it's probably the hope of our society.

The biggest argument against the proletariat that I can think of is the fact that whenever workers have actually revolted and gotten power the forms which they've chosen haven't been in line with Marx's 'reserved army of labor' but have instead been composed of councils and neighborhood institutions....in otherwords institutions that are decentralized, anti-discipline oriented, community based. In other words, anarchist.

The iron discipline of capital is a tradgedy, not something to be desired or emulated, especially not for the third world (which has different traditions altogether). If the capitalist revolution was a good thing it was good in the time when it meant freedom to have whatever job you wanted and freedom to rise socially, the sort of freedom which existed, in whatever form, before the trusts and industrial concerns which make up Capitalism proper came into being.

Fascism provides a simluacra for society, something which claims to address all of the needs unmet by industrial life in an ideology which incorporates all. This is not simply the 'covering up of the facts' by capitalists but serves a genuine purpose in the maintenance of an industrial society with no rootedness in community or traditional economy to back it up.

The solution is to get beyond this by reestablishing those links, by keeping free of the system or trying to dismantle it and create more human (and natural world) oriented institutions, and then to create the sort of meaningful cultural space where reform and the pursuit of meaningful personal freedom, if people choose that, can happen.

If we reintegrate ourselves with history we can make meaningful historical changes to our society if we want, the liberalism of the early capitalist revolution can be pursued....or people can choose to stay more conservative and chart another course. But the point is that without this rootedness neither option can be pursued with any meaning behind it. I believe that people should be free to pursue what they want...and if they choose to be conservative so be it. That's democracy.

When the planes hit the twin towers and the Pentagon we were already in a situation where the patina of liberal-bourgeois democracy was fading....Clinton had created a climate where progressive liberals could not push their aims and instead made the only way possible a pro-capitalist neo-liberal choice...against this were the conservatives, who had the proto-beliefs of mythic industrialism already in place. With no other option presenting itself the terrorist attack put the final sword in the stale liberal state which Clinton oversaw. Nothing to balance it out we embarked on a mythic and proto-fascist, possibly proto-totalitarian, course of action.

The way this thing is being opposed is by the very grass roots oriented people to people type of movement which industrial democracy tends to oppose. This is not a mass movement of people showing their strength in raw numbers but a movement of neighborhoods, workplaces, towns, and communities. This is our way out. If only the decentralization and human inititiative by regular people could be adopted by the left as a whole as the way to push socialism and social reform we would be in a pretty good situation. Only, though, and this is the big thing, if the doyens of the left truely pursue this and don't see a grass roots movement as something to pursue in order to get themselves into power and turn it into a corporatist model where the soviets (councils) become the transmission belts of power, as they did in the Leninist era of the Soviet Union. Lenin coined the idea of democratic institutions as transmission belts for decisions made above.

The Culture of Narcissism gives way to the Culture of Fascism. Let's fight against both and towards a more balanced, simpler, more equal, world, where social justice reigns and worker self control and self administration, combined with real community and radical democracy, is the new state of things.

The Conservative Revolutionaries, to get back to the title of this post, are important in that they chose fascism as a model based on their reaction to the modern condition; in so doing they led the way for the actual assumption of power by those people. The fact that they were wrong in praising what I see as the tragic aspects of the modern age does not reduce their importance as tools for understanding our current situation.

By understanding what people have thought in the past we can hope to chart a different course.

Funny the realignment of the Democratic party towards activism.

There is a new tone being sounded in the Demcratic party, one that favors activism. It's a shame that it took a president who has almost totally destroyed constitutional order in the United States and who's involved us in two wars to do it.

Now Kerry and company are activists.

While I applaud the new spunk that people seem to be having I can't help but remember that five years ago or so, when Clinton was imposing sanctions on Iraq that led to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children through denial of basic medical supplies how one reporter, who finally got some nerve after the scandal of this thing became too great to ignore, asked Madelaine Albright, then Secretary of State, if she thought it was basically ok to do this. Her reply was that she thought that containing Saddam was worth it. Worth the deaths of hundreds of thousand Iraqi children. And when she said this there was no big outcry from Democratic representatives and senators that this was unacceptable. And that was during peace time when, conceivably, we could have stopped the sanctions without too much trouble...we weren't militarily occupying Iraq after waging physical war on it.

But most people did nothing. I'm not an exemplar in this as compared to the magnitude of what was happening I did comparatively little, went to a protest or two which included the issue of sanctions on its laundry list of things to oppose, held a sign up talking about sanctions at a small protest, peanuts really.

Now, however, things appear to have changed. Looking at the Iraqi woman in Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 screaming about having to attend five funerals I can't help but think that there's nothing that would have prevented a movie being made in the '90s featuring mothers of children who died because of malnutrition or lack of health care which couldn't have had a comparable impact. But it wasn't done.
The issue, of course, isn't Michael Moore; he made a great movie and I'm explicitly not picking on him. The culprit is all of us. We could have done something back then which would have had just as large an impact but most of us were complacent to let it go on and attend to other matters.

So it's funny how all of the sudden large groups of democratic and liberal voters have gotten a conscience about all this stuff.

Hip-Hop Cops -- In These Times

Good article by Saliim Muwakil. The thrust of it is that big cities are now keeping files on hip hop artists.

Why? I have a suggestion. It's because hip-hop is the black counterculture and hip-hop artists try to live as they are without giving a damn about established society or its laws to the same degree that psychedelic rock bands used to in the sixties and seventies. So of course they're a threat to everything and must be monitored, or so the thinking goes.

Yes, every expression of autonomy from the greater culture must be shot down in the eyes of these fascsists.

There's a paralell between the autonomy of hip hop artists and the cultural support that the Italian Mafia got from Italian communities in its heyday. Although a criminal institution that's involved in great amounts of bad things the Mafia nevertheless got tacit support because, in defiance of American norms---especially American norms in the fifties and early sixties, they endeavored to lead lives in a totally Italian way. The fact that outlaws did this at a time when people were probably beaten up in less enlightened parts of the country for trying to be Italian in Anglo-America made them folk heroes. Having the institution somewhat linked to a paralell cultural structure where justice could be meeted out according to real needs while the anglo power structure was wont to just look on didn't hurt their image either.

Neither the mob nor hip hop is particularly left wing, and, don't get me wrong, when I was a student at New York University on Manhattan one of the anonymous mafia people who own Grenwich Village threw an empty water bottle at me as he passed by in his car because I, an Italian, had long hair and a beard, and drugs and prostitution aren't good things, so I'm not exactly endorsing that....however, even though they aren't particularly left wing they're still points of resistance none the less which makes them prime targets for the U.S. government. The fact that NY mob leaders assasinated scores of Communist union organizers, and beat others, in their succesful bid to gain control of the NY City docks doesn't seem to matter to them.

Monday, June 28, 2004

actually, that should be "our loyalty is our honor"
Suggested motto for the Abu Gharib guards: "Our honor is our loyalty".
First person who can e-mail me with the origin of that motto gets a mention on this blog.
Reaction to Herf's book.

Herf wrote a good book called "Reactionary Modernism", which traces the strange synthesis of ideas of modern and conservative which layed the basis for the totalitarianism of the Third Reich. However, he's not a historian of ideas but a sociologist and, on top of the constant moralizing, doesn't do justice to the fact that people who were reactionary modernists, the sort of Conservative Revolutionaries described in my posts on totalitarianism, might have had at least some justification in thinking that modern technology was emancipated from reason as conventionally understood.

The fact was that back at the turn of the century it looked like reason as an all embracing form was collapsing as an explanatory measure of how the universe worked; to understand this it's really important to distinguish between Reason, with a big R, which these people were criticizing, and reason, small r, which means general logical thinking.

The analytic philosophers, proceeded by Comte and others, were looking at a world in which the explanations given by science were only complete in and of themselves and didn't suggest anything grander laying behind them. The world, and the technology flowing from an understanding of that world, then, appeared to operate on occult causes which, while they could be understood in a sense could not be added up to give any cohesive meaning relevant to how humans usually tend to think of the world. No world view was forthcoming although more understanding of the world itself was available than ever before. So in this vacuum why not think that the modern world had emancipated itself from Reason and that other forces, pushed down by Reason, might not be more appropriate for understanding things?

I mean, if technology is seen as coming down to no more than the self contained outcomes of independent and disconnected experimentation then saying that will or blood or nation are concepts that have meaning doesn't threaten the capability of scientists and technicians to do the same sorts of things in the lab that they're already doing. No great intellectual sacrifice is required since these realms deal with the non-scientistic aspects of life which, of course, have no bearing on a self contained and non-explanatory science.

A Nazi pagan can do the same sorts of physics research as an atheist technocrat provided that he doesn't seek to verify his beliefs in the lab.

But the very categories that the conservative revolutionists sought to view the non-scientific parts of society through were formed by the same un-rootedness of modern life that was reflected in the occult/totally disconnected analytical positivism. Will, race, blood, nation (in their use of the latter) are all concepts which apply to a Nietzschean world Beyond Good and Evil, where direct moral statements are proven to be absurd by their unprovability and the demonstration of their historical origins and utilitarian and, in their eyes, really dishonest aspects.

Race feeling and science feeling then are connected by the same lack...the lack of something over and above them which can really be proven to be grounded in reality. Any attempt at getting to a reality of this sort from deracinated concepts and categories such as these will lead to something very elaborate which has nothing to do with the real world but which, through its own logic, can't be proven not to have something to do with the real world: totalitarianism, in other words.

What, then, are antidotes for these ailments, seeing as, at least in the case of analytic philosophy, the issues raised aren't mere child's play to be dismissed?

For analytical science I think the solution is to sidestep the problem and instead focus on the natural sciences as opposed to the strictly physical sciences, and on the worldview which comes from a natural or ecological understanding of the world as opposed to one based solely on the paradigms of modern physics and chemistry.

Not an original idea; Fritjof Capra expressed something similar in his probably really flawed when it comes to hard science book "The Tao of Physics".

But what about the human aspect? Ecological thinking won't work there or we're back at sociobiology and social darwinism.

Unless there are aspects of life which can be said to form the human landscape or web of ecological type connection.

I think that what this is was what people for centuries looked at through the liberal arts and through humanistic education.

Morals, values, right and wrong, good and evil, virtue, friendship, relationships, all of these are areas of questions that have been with us since the beginning of human history. Could it be that they occupy the place they do because, behind them, lie the rudiments of a 'human ecology'? In the same way that creatures and the earth are all connected by complex webs, not chains, of interaction could it be that the reason these areas have persisted as being thought of as valuable is that there's something in the nature of the situations, issues, feelings, etc... that they deal with which make up irreducable parts of the human experience.....which then interact with each other and through society and through individuals in webs of influence and interaction not unlike the action of the natural ecology?

But with a catch: and the catch is this---that to view these things properly one must be thoroughly immersed in them, so that making any grand statement about their utility or disutility or about what purpose they eventually serve...in anything other than in a real and limited sociological context.....is impossible and will always be wrong.

So if they form the makeup of the human ecology then to deal with them we have to make the same leap that comes in going from the physical sciences to the natural sciences: giving up on thinking that the explanation of them can come from some sort of ultimate grounding and instead trying to deal with them on their own terms.


What is the "Lost Highway".

The title of this blog comes from an old Hank Williams Sr. song which describes a young man going down the wrong road of women, gambling, and alchohol. The Lost Highway was that road. It reflects a very real subculture of drop outs which exists in rural America, in places which are really very conservative otherwise. I know, I've been there.

But the Lost Highway I'm referring to in the title of the blog is something else. It's the society of those who've dropped out of American society in frustration and protest over what capitalism and the political and cultural climate has done to this country and who have made their own way in a shadow world while formulating critiques and insights about society, politics, government, with the hope of someday being able to influence said institutions and return them to a state of normalcy, or, beyond that, to transform them into something better, whether this be ideologically motivated, as in the case of hardcore anarchism, communism, and radical socialism, or not.

This blog is a sort of one person Times from one of the members of our own Lost Highway. I've been out of circulation for over four years now and have no intention of going back to established American society as long as it is formulated in the way it currently is.

Hopefully this blog will contribute to those of the Lost coming out of their caves and starting to define American culture instead of being its victims.



Sunday, June 27, 2004

Some good poetry.

I'd like to share with you some poetry from the Vaisiva sect of bhaktis which arose in 12th century India.

Shiva Bhakti, which this is, is vastly different from Krsna Bhakti, the type associated with the hara krsnas and others.

Shiva is many things, but his most visible manifestation is as the god of creation and destruction, therefore the bhakti, or devotional, sect devoted to him is pretty different from that devoted to the being who is thought to be the preserver of the universe.

Shiva Bhakti arose as a protest against organized religion. The poet who I'm going to be quoting from, Basavanna, established a sort of counter-cultural utopian community in the state in which, after being a renunciate for a long time, he was called to and served as a minister for the king. It broke traditions, was egalitarian, and did an awful lot of other good things; it classified people according to their works instead of according to caste, no small thing in medieval India.

So, without further adieu, here's Basavanna.

686.

He'll grind you till you're fine and small.
He'll file till your color shows.

If your grain grows fine
in the grinding
if you show color
in the filing

then our lord of the meeting rivers
will love you
and look after you.

831

I'm no worshipper;
I'm no giver;
I'm not even a beggar;

O lord
Without your grace.

Do it all yourself, oh lord of the meeting rivers,
as a mistress would
when maids are sick.

494

I don't know anything like time-beats and metre
nor the arithmetic of strings and drums;
I don't even know the count of iamb or dactyl.

My lord of the meeting rivers
as nothing will hurt you
I'll sing as I love.

21

Father, in my ingorance you brought me
through mothers' wombs
through unlikely worlds.

Was it wrong just to be born,
oh lord?

Have mercy on me for being born
once before.
I give you my word,
lord of the meeting rivers,
never to be born again.

64

Siva, you have no mercy.
Siva, you have no heart.

Why why did you bring me to birth,
wretch in this world,
exile from the other?

Tell me lord,
don't you have one more
little tree or plant
just for me?

All of this is taken from a great book of these poets called "Speaking of Shiva", a collection put together by Penguin books and still in print.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

God, after the 9/11 post following it up with this...the order of these two posts should be reversed.

Strangely enough "Latino" isn't a term that people in Mexico, Central America, and South America use to identify themselves. To be Latino in Mexico, and I think that it's the same way in Central America and South America, is to be of Spanish or Italian descent, as opposed to being mezstizo or indigeno.

Which leads me to think, on a somewhat unrelated note: although I love the Tropicalia movement in Brasil, was it just another manifestation of majority white Brasilian values? I say this with the knowledge that after Tropicalia Gilberto Gil (Gil) got involved with starting the black consciousness movement in Brasil. Gil is a musician who's now the minister of culture in the Lula government. He became involved with municipal politics as well, so this isn't some sort of purely honorary post.

I say this because Brasil, lauded as a racial democracy, actually pursued a policy of "bleaching" for quite a long time. Bleaching referred to the acceptance by Brasilian officialdom of the interracial character of large numbers of Brasilians as well as the huge number of blacks in Brasil.......this was accepted as being ok, there wasn't this sort of official, paranoid, segregation there, but there was also a catch: in accepting this the Brasillian government wanted to move those blacks and interracial people into being culturally Portugese or white Brasillian. Bleaching meant that over time these people would become part of the mainstream European/Brasillian culture and give up their African roots, or at least temper their African-ness into a modified form more acceptable to Brasillian officialdom.

Did Tropicalia unwittingly participate in this bleaching process by importing European ideas to Brasil, giving them a Brasillian flavor and interpretation, but overlooking the fact that there may have been factors in Brasillian society which made such an interpretation not really authentic? I mean, did the Brasil which Tropicalia integrate all these great ideas into really just mean the bleached Brasillian culture, with a few regional twists given to it? Did it ignore the fact that African-Brasillian culture might not have been able to participate in the cultural renaissance because of internal pressures on it to keep itself down and out of the mainstream?

I don't know; I think that there should be a parallel Tropicalia movement in North America, and I'll put the permalinks back to the posts where I went over this in great detail back up one of these days, I think you'll find them in the archives for February 2003 or possibly January 2003, but should the cultural reinterpretation be even deeper?

There isn't reason why the true minority cultures of this country or any other country can't participate equally in such a renaissance; in fact, by recognizing that the base of such a renewal would be composed of groups acting in confederation as opposed to being subordinated to one group such a renewal would in fact be very real and meaningful.

Did Brasil reach that point in the sixties, or did it fall short, or, if it did, can it be redone in such a way that it no longer falls short now?

I it did not and I hope so.
Incidentally, go see "Fahrenheit 9/11".

I did today and it not only moved me to tears but went so far as to make me physically sick, in the sense of "that's where you go where you get beyond tears".

A Kantian view on racism.

Lately a disturbing thing has been happening to me. While in the Pacific Northwest I can pass as some sort of a minority back in Florida, where being dark skinned and Latin looking isn't any big deal, I find myself involuntarily getting back into the rythyms of white supremacy.

It's not a good thing but it's this sort of inertial force.

The thing that surprises me most is what function it seems to serve: making life easier for white people by turning black people from being people that you have to interact with and care about into means for achieving your end, whether that end be ringing you up as cashiers, working for you, or cleaning your house. I don't have primary experience with the latter two.

It seems, and it feels, almost like racism exists so that white people can spend more time focussing on the things they want to do....having more free time and resources.

By having a class of people that can do your dirty work for you you can devote more time to things that by the very nature of the system they are getting farther and farther away from being able to do as the depth of the divide intensifies.

This, incidentally, is how slavery was justified by the more progressive pro-slavery southerners. There's a famous speech by Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, in which he outlines the benefits of slavery by saying that a common mechanic (manual laborer) who is white and who lives in the same town as he can come over for dinner and be treated as an equal because the labor of African
slaves eliminates the competition between whites for economic resources by making whites into a collective master class, in which all whites share in the benefits of slavery to some degree.

Not much has changed.

So, leaving the idea of the "Front Experience" to the side for the moment, it could be said that Stalinism was the consequence of an uprootedness of society produced by the modernization programs of the Bolsheviks and of the Tsarist adminsistration before them.

America, incidentally, did the right thing in a similar situation by instituting the New Deal, after a largely corporatist modernization process in the Guilded Age. The New Deal was broadly socialistic and sought to situate recovery in Democratic traditions instead of trying to create a new society in the void left by modernization.

More on Soviet Totalitarianism.

Maybe it's wrong to lay both the claim of wanting to make a break with the past through forced modernization and the formulation of a totalitarian state on the feet of Stalin.

Perhaps it would be better to say that the Bolshevik state was the one which encouraged a break with the past and that the Stalinist "Revolution from above" which, following Isaac Deutscher's perceptive analysis, couldn't have been done just by Stalin's will alone, was a totalitarian attempt at creating an ideal society from the wreckage that the supporters of Stalin fealt the Bolshevik state had become.

When Stalin took over it looked as though Russia faced two choices: either continue to moderate its radical socialism and come closer to being a sort of quasi-social democratic state or impose a socialism which was more like the ultra-militant War Socialism upon society by force in order to complete the revolution.

Stalin, of course, chose the latter, although it needs to be pointed out that Trotsky was for it as well. Maybe some of Trotsky's support transfered to Stalin when Stalin unveiled his ideal.

So in its own way Stalinist totalitarianism can be seen as the looking backward to reinstate an idealized past which was thought to contain the seeds of a potential, fully realized, future, (to use an argument put forward in the insightful book "Reactionary Modernism" in the context of the Nazis and Conservative Revolutionists in relation to the front experience in World War I. It's published by Cambridge Press, f.y.i.).

Stalin's "Revolution from above", then, was less about trying to fulfill the imperatives of a dialectic of history than it was about trying to create a totally new, ideal, society where everything was sublimated to the realization of a total socialist and communist civilization....with communist civilization taking the place of the all embracing State which provides all the solutions in creating a renewed and purified society in the Nazi and Fascist model.


Friday, June 25, 2004

The promise of America as a truly multicultural and multiethnic society.

Where does it come from?

Well, although the current administration would like people to believe that it doesn't have its roots anywhere in our history it in fact does: in the Jeffersonian belief that the revolution was fought for the freedom of mankind in general----not just Englishmen or the descendants of them but mankind in the abstract. When Jefferson wrote that "We hold these truths to be self evident" in the Declaration the truths that he was referring to were universal, as real truths should be, and so applicable to jews, italians, african americans and africans, native americans, latin americans, asian americans, etc..., leading lives somewhat unassimilated yet united as Americans for a life of freedom, even if TJ himself was reluctant to extend the applicability of it to blacks and native Americans in his personal philosophy and life.

That should be what the flag should stand for: a union of those seeking freedom under universal principles of democracy and liberty, and tolerance; it should not stand for a Christian land where adherence to the Anglo-descendant's ideas of "Liberty" is the only option. Then it becomes just another symbol of ethnic nationalism.

It has better roots than that and it stood for nobler things. Let's reclaim that heritage of the flag and not let it be monopolized by the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

When I said I was against totalitarianism I meant it.

Totalitarianism encompassed both the Soviet Union and the Fascist and Nazi regimes....I believe that the ideologies of both were kindred spirits even though the Nazis and Fascists tried to portray themselves as being totally opposed to everything the Soviet Union was for. Maybe they were in the sense of being the opposite side of the same coin but, no matter, they were made from the same material.

I've been trying to locate primary sources for the rightwing ideologues who were responsable for fascism and Nazi germany. It's harder than it looks because, contrary to popular belief, the vulgar propaganda from "Mein Kampf" wasn't the actual intellectual force behind these things. Rather, the sources for right wing totaliarianism stem from a group of people who advocated something called "Conservative Revolution", people like Ernst Junger and Carl Schmitt, the latter of which I've dealt with in this blog before, as well as Oswald Spengler and others. Unfortunately these people, although known individually, do not have a lot of their work translated into english and widely available. Spengler is probably the most widely available but even he is somewhat out of print...especially his latter works after "Decline of the West" which are more specifically tied to the Nazi regime.

But, one person who enthusiastically supported both fascism and nazism, and who lived on after the war as a staunch supporter, does have quite a few works out in the U.S.: his name is Julius Evola.

Evola made quite a name for himself, posthumously, in the nineties when a book of his called "The Hermetic Tradition" was published by...Weiser? I'm not sure. It was a great book; all about Hermeticism and Alchemy. I enthusiastically read it, not knowing about Evola's past, and, for the record, didn't see anything particularly racist about it.

Neither did many other people, who were shocked when it came out in the now defunct magazine "Gnosis" that Evola was in fact an ardent supporter of fascism who knew Mussolini and who gave a presentation of his philosophy to an official SS meeting in hopes of having the Nazis give it their seal of approval. He wasn't pro-German enough, which, coming from where the opinion came from, probably meant that he was somewhat shy of Heinrich Himmler in his fanatic racism---not that he wasn't racist at all.

"Revolt Against the Modern World", which I bought and then subsequently returned and got my money back on, could be entitled "Revolt Against One's Stomach Acid", in that from page one Evola goes on about the superiority of the Nordic soul in contrast with the Slavic soul.....which hits a little close to home as some of my ancestors, Hungarian though they were, were culturally Polish and came from Galicia.

But, cutting that commentary short, Evola's book "Men Amongst the Ruins", is available now and I've procured it.

So...let's have a look at right wing totalitarianism in all its glory.

"The Foundation of every true State is the transcendence of its own principle, namel the principle of sovereignty, authority, and legititmacy"(Pg.122 {half the book is an explanation by the editors of Evola's political philosophy, this is just in the second chapter}).

"It is possible to deny the principle of sovereignty; but if we acknowledge it, it is also neccesary to recognize its attribute of absoluteness" (pg 123)

talking about "stability" as being the center of things and whatever justifies "stability" as being good in its own right Evola goes on to say
"Conversely, the above mentioned power refers to a transcendent order that alone can ground and legitimize it in terms of a sovereign, autonomous, and underived principle that is the basis of every right without being subject to another right."...."in doing so [they] express the pure political principle of the imperium and also the figure of the one who, as true Leader, must embody and represent it". (pg. 123)

Oh, yes, and after praising the concept of Mannerbunde, which was a concept of an all male society of a type which directly inspired the SS, Evola makes the statement that "The State is under the masculine aegis, while "society" [which Evola earlier explicitly says is not the source of the State, the State being based on transcendent principles and drawing society upward to it rather than being authorized from the bottom] and, by extension, the people, or demos, are under the feminine aegis"(pg. 126)

And should therefore be dominated, preferably by the Mannerbunde, which Evola sees as a chivalric concept of aristocratic male knighthood.

Just coincidentally, in the last years of the Nazi regime it's reported that Evola made overtures and contacts with the section of the SS that wasn't strictly bound to German volk racism but which believed in a more pan-European racism.....believing in something kind of like the ideal state that Evola is proposing as being the goal to work for.

Kevin Coogan in "Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International", published by Autonomedia Press, is the source of that one.

My point in bringing up these quotes from Evola, which I could plumb all day long for Naziistic, Fascist, and totalitarian pronouncements, is to make it clear that the Nazis weren't just conservatives in the normal sense of the term nor were they "romantics", in any conventional use of that term which rules out the extremist politics of some of the later Decadent movement authors.

They weren't simply people who looked to a romantic, idealized, past, and refused to accept modernity....to the detriment of Europe. Rather, there's something qualitatively different here; the insistant note that in looking backwards any thing of value has to be contextualized within the form of the absolutist, totalitarian, State.

That's not something that conservatives, even European conservatives, ever envisioned, not even Prussian conservatives who supported the aristocratic and anti-democratic German Empire during World War I.

Someone, I forget who but I want to make it clear that I didn't come up with this, once said that the proof that the fascists and nazis were products of the very modernity that they professed to (somewhat) oppose was that they wanted to impose a totally new society on the people without there being any referents to anything except a mythological past as the paltry legitimacy which it claimed.

Pre-capitalist traditions can be very good in fighting against capitalism, I would even go so far to say that socialism is really based on a memory of pre-capitalist relations, but pre-capitalist traditions don't talk about a monolithic state which everything has to be subordinated to. That would be the talk associated with the royals, which pre-capitalist rebels generally opposed, to say the least.

State worship of this scale is irreducible. Once that becomes apparant it's not hard to compare Evola's thoughts with those of Stalin and see the similarities.

Both were the products of the modern technological and economic break with the past...only Stalin came from a pre-industrial society and purposely incited a break with any pre-capitalist traditions through forced modernization while Evola and fascists came from developed capitalist countries where the break with the past had been effected by parties which didn't intend to usher in such a thing and which stood by as the inevitable consequence, in the rise of the fascist parties themselves, happened.

In passing I should note that the Socialist parties of Europe presented a viable alternative to the fascists and the Nazis, and even in some places, like Vienna and Spain, really did some deep, good, and innovative work which could possibly have presented an alternative with a fighting chance, but, in my opinion, the socialists were too enamoured with bread and butter politics to realize that a lot of the dislocation that people were feeling because of capitalism couldn't be expressed in direct economic terms...even though through historical analysis you can pinpoint the economic causes...and so, by refusing to engage people in the more abstract and psychological hurts comitted by capitalism left a vacancy open for the fascists and the nazis. They were all to happy to take it and exploit it, to the point where they then denied the importance of economics altogether in deference to crap about feeling socially integrated, as we would say today.

Only by looking at the whole person and not just the person as a producer in the capitalist economy, which is so much easier to do nowadays, can such a gap be filled. Hence popular education in the sense of extending things like philosophy and, well, education, to the populace, worker education, liberatory education, and cultural activities in working class communities (which don't have some sort of ham handed propaganda beind them), would be good today to integrate into any proposed socialist movement aimed at seriously changing this country.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

An original, somewhat thought out, statement about society.

This blog gives lots of off the hip commentaries but there's more to life than that.....some cohesion has to be reached. So what follows is a meditation of sorts on life.

Society. I see the two paths open to society right now as being either totalitarianism, which is the bane of modern industrial capitalism, or agrarianis, which goes back a little ways before modern industrial capitalism really set in.

Totalitarianism is a state which naturally follows the total disconnect of man from nature and whatever sort of balance and limitation that nature puts on society through the reliance on technology, the rise of industrial capitalism, and the cultural counterfeit products which are the results of it....the media, tv, movies, newspapers, entertainment, music, mediated sports....institutions follow, so religion takes on totalitarian casts, schools take on totalitarian casts....culture gets reinvented as the patriotic Reich which this country has been experiencing for the past three years.

In the absence of any balance society goes totally in on itself and forms a new, total, culture, which dominates all aspects of life and admits no dissent.

It's a product of technology and capitalism. Don't think about your neighbors, instead, worship the flag, follow the president, drink hormone enriched milk, eat genetically modified food, while you talk on your cell phone non-stop, drive in a gas guzzling car, and have your entire cultural sphere created for you by advertising and the hollywood/music industry marketing scene.

That's totalitarianism. And if it's not offset soon it'll proceed further and further....into realms which history has furnished examples of in the not too distant past.

Agrarianism is the counterpoint....pre-capitalist or at least pre-industrial capitalist.....living close enough to the basics of life so that you have a sense of real "economy", in it's classical sense, having real human interactions, real friendships, living in a real community...having a profession that really contributes to said economy in an obvious and visible way.....staying clear of too much centralization, including too much urbanization...thinking for yourself...not being parochial, although this is called agrarianism, but instead educating yourself with a liberal arts style curriculum so that you become a well rounded person who can understand life, art, poetry, politics, society, history....getting rid of the TV....

I don't see any other alternative...post-modernism? Give me a break. Post-Modernism was formulated while the Soviet Union still existed and South America was ruled by Fascist dictatorships, so I don't think that their conclusion that we'd entered a "post-modern" era has all that much weight. The Soviet Union and Fascism were nothing if not indicative of totalitarianism and hence of modernity at it's worst.

Agrarianism it is....Read Wendell Berry....read Desert Solitaire...

Then go to the Southerners.....

If this country and this society manages to pull out of the current nightmare and into something stable it'll probably be through a mix of agrarianism, small-scale capitalism, and socialism. That's my hope.

The only other alternative I see is the monolith of total culture, which is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Edwards for PrezCool edwards for president map showing how big states would be if their size was proportional with population....so, ok, we can all agree on this right...California should seize New Mexico and Arizona and Washington and Oregon should seize Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, on the basis of Lebensraum and incoroporate their electoral votes into their states, respectively.
The Coulter Challaenge: by Mark Ames

Some on the Smirking Chimp site think that the article linked to above is offensive. I think it's damned funny and that you should read it, so go, do it.

The joy of the Bush Administration going down.

What Bushies don't seem to realize is that the growing anti-Bush and anti-administration feeling in America isn't just a capricious fluke of the voting public in an election year. To use a metaphor from Marxism what we're going through now on the left is a type of primitive accumulation, the stage that proceeded capitalism where the infrastructure for the great economic change was steadily built up over a long period of time.
The Bush administration going down now in trust and acceptance is part of a change in opinion which is irreversable. Once a certain amount of the population has come to anti-Bush views there won't be any force, no suprise terror strike just coincidentally happening before the election, no manufactured crisis, which will be able to reverse it. The rejection of Bush signals a very deep change in the character of the electorate, one that will be present for a very long time after Bush gets booted from office and replaced.
Rastafarians.

I like rastas. People don't realize that in reality the Rastas are a third world agrarian anti-capitalist counterculture movement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

What makes minorities minorities...and the future for America.

In the U.S., I've noticed, people who are minorities aren't simply that because of numerical difference...there's something more to it.

People are hispanic, black, indian, and asian american because, at the bottom of it, there's something different about their culture which makes it impossable for them to assimilate totally into Euro american culture without....assimilating.

That thing is the fact that they come from non-western backgrounds. It puts a continual wall up....or so it seems.

The promise of America is that we can do something different.

The way to eliminate "minority" status for all of these Americans is to make the American social and governmental system partially non-western as well.

Once this occurs these minorities who were shut out of American culture will be able to participate fully.

Fuck Them.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in all its wisdom, has just made it an arrestable crime for someone stopped by police to refuse to give them their name.

Let's recap here.....what is one of the biggest tactics in jail solidarity for protesters associated with the anit-globalization movement? Not giving your name. Not carrying ID.

But this cuts deeper than that. If this were another country the idea of people not having much to worry about from giving cops their name would apply but, unfortunately, in the U.S. of today, no one dares say that.

We know the truth, which is that the cops around this country are one step away from being an uncontrolled police state force already, which we can do nothing to reign in or reckon with ourselves. Putting this power in their hands shifts the balance of control to them a lot.

No one wants to get pulled over by the cops here, no matter where you live, because they know that the cops might look in the car, look at the person, decide that this person is up to no good or is suspicious, or is interested in the wrong things, and start them on an exodous through the back end of the criminal justice system, possibly destroying career, family, etc...

It's happened so many times, in particular to African Americans, that I can't look at it as anything but the truth. It would be nice not to think of the police like that but I know better.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Christian Fundamentalism and American ideology.

The New World tends to produce strange trends. Both here and in other countries New Age philosophy, new religions, and divergent religious traditions abound.

I think it's because, lacking any sort of real solid social foundations, people in the new world have needed to invent their own ways of understanding the world to compensate.

It's a good thing, something that ensures a stable society, and, hey, I'm a participant in it too.

Christian Fundamentalism should be viewed in this light.

Looking at it, the people who believe in this stuff are largely rural folks coming from areas that either are or until recently were largely agricultural.

The life of a farmer is isolated because of the need to constantly be on the property managing things, especially, no doubt, if livestock is involved. The lifestyle doesn't admit to much free time to go to town and, by it's very nature, locates the farm family far from large towns as well.

We all know about the supposed tectonic plate speed of change in the country, but in the New World this is given another twist: instead of having farmed an area for hundreds of years and having built up a strong rural culture the people of the New World have largely gone into agriculture in places where before they got there nothing existed.

This leaves a vaccuum in one's understanding of the world which has to be filled in some way.

One can only look out into the wilderness so long before the lack becomes heavy.

So people turned to the Bible.

I say the bible instead of fundamentalism because, at it's root, the defining factor of these groups isn't their adherence to fundamentals or to being born again but their insistance on using, and thoroughly reading, the bible to interpret everything they come across in their lives and to supply their understanding of the greater issues of life.

The bible, in this application, has stepped into the void left by a lack of cultural history, and, as it goes, there isn't anything wrong with that.

Anymore than there is with any new age group.

But the problems come when what functions as an interpretive aid is taken literally as a guide to conducting foreign and domestic politics.

There's nothing preventing a guy from the country who believes fervently in the bible from rising to the top of the military, or even into politics, and still being a good military official or politician provided that they understand that the actual carrying out of these roles requires them to stand aside from their innermost beliefs out of deference to the office or to the rank.

Which doesn't mean that one can't use this stuff to think about the world in that role, just that putting it directly into the role is inappropriate, just as someone who put Judaism or put New Age beliefs into their everyday performance of the role would be crossing the line.

But when that line is crossed it turns from something that helps people understand the world into something which the rest of the world shouldn't have to deal with.

No one should be dying in Iraq because of fundamentalism.

When people start talking as if the Iraq war and Afghan war are manifestations of god's will, then we've crossed the line into hurtfulness.

Just as the role of a person might require them to publicly stand down from certain beliefs the conduct of a nation in the international sphere requires a similar standing down of beliefs. And currently we're not doing it, to the detriment of all.

But that's where it comes from.
Doesn't make the suffering of the people who are afflicted because of this any better but at least it sheds a little light on the situation.
Collectivism and liberalism.

The triumph of socialism doesn't mean just liberalism with a few window dressings of social programs attached to it. This may not come as a surprise to people who regularly view this site but, well, the triumph of socialism means also the triumph of collectivism, which, in destroying the liberal mode of politics (although not liberty), opens up society for new experiences and forms of social organization and activity not even conceivable in liberal times.

Abolition of the liberal mode of politics and production doesn't mean giving up liberty but sacrificing the illusory culture of politics which prevails in capitalist america for a politics based on collective thought which responds to the reality of life.

Collectivism doesn't mean the abolition of individualism but instead the transference of individualism into a new form.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Thesis: globalization, the new slavery, only we go to them and enslave them on their own turf instead of transporting them to us.

Recession: connection between Enron looting Californians and Californians not having any money? Could paying for Haliburton in Iraq be taking money away from people who need it to buy essentials, thereby creating a recession or deepening the impact of that already under way?

People suffer, yet all the time we hear about corporate scandals where it's been discovered that fatcats are lining their pockets with dough. What haven't we heard about? Do you think that just possibly there's a connection between executives lining their pockets with money and the people on the bottom not having any money, or having less, or being fired, or having their wages cut?

READ TOM HAYDEN'S BOOK "AMERICAN FUTURES".

Please do it, it's one of the best books on American society and economy that I've read in a really long time. And it's absolutely relevant to today. it's time has come.

Much as I hate to do it I'm giving up my title. Yes, from now on Lord Summerisle will simply be Summerisle in the blog world.

Summerisle, from the movie "The Wicker Man", was a sort of pagan paradise in the islands in the north of Scotland where people practiced the old faith and enjoyed wonderful harvests leading to plenty for all.

I like the movie and I like the idea, so Summerisle it is as my nome de plume!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

There's a great book out which, I think, has just been reissued.

It's by George L. Mosse and is entitled "Nazi Culture: A documentary history". It is what it says it is, and anyone who really wants to see the parallels between the Right in this country and the Nazis has to look no further than the everyday documents relating to all sphere's of life that Mosse reproduced in this book.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: there's almost a pathological avoidance of really looking at the Third Reich in this country. What we focus on mostly is the late Nazi state, after they'd been in power for over ten years, when the really weird and abherrant cultural things, like the whole SS cult, fully developed. What's not examined is the early years, when the Nazi propaganda was still aimed at winning over people. This period has a hell of a lot in common with the Right today, and hence is ignored in favor of the freak show, which doesn't represent what the Third Reich wanted to portray itself as to the common person.

If we want to learn from history we have to face these things head on and not be afraid because of the crimes which were comitted. After all, unless you believe that Germans are somehow fundamentally different from all the rest of humanity, what happened in Germany in the thirties could conceivably happen elsewhere, even here of course, and if you want to stop that you have to understand how it came about in the first place.

Hence the need for truth and understanding.

Revisiting this book, which I read a while ago, has made me really aware that, quite frankly, books like this don't come out because people don't want to think that Fascism could come out of a culture similar to theirs----and like it or not German culture is more similar to English culture than is Italian or Spanish culture. Fascism, with Mussolini and the whole gang, doesn't have the cultural resonance that Nazism does. But in many respects there were direct paralells. However, we don't want any of it. People who think like us couldn't be fascists, they just couldn't, they had to be crazy or demented.

I think that opinion says more about us than it does about Nazi Germany.

Credibility.

If this blog has any sort of readership, and I purposely do not have a counter on here and so have no direct way of knowing how many people access this site, I'd like to think that it's because, despite the heavily left wing slant, this site has a sort of credibility about it.

Let me explain what I mean by that and what I'm aiming for. Credibility is different from Respect. Respect is fleeting, credibility is not.

Credibility is the property which allows a post or an idea to be viewed by people without ones own ideological point of view and, despite liking or hating the tone and presentation of the information, still think that valuable conclusions and points of analysis have been drawn.

To get credibility one must neccesarily assimilate the whole spectrum of thought which said non-partisan reader could conceivably operate from, and then draw your conclusions.

A heavy left wing idea which comes after considering conservative, liberal, socialist, and heavy left wing points of view as well as straight history, cultural history, some economics, and some political science or philosophy, is more valuable to people in general than a heavy left wing article that only draws on the thought of the left.

I reject the idea that having a broad view of things neccesarily waters down ones own beliefs; if anything, reading various points of view has made me even more radical than before because now I can approach questions from a surgical standpoint instead of using a blunt instrument against them.

What waters down opinions isn't having a broad view point but having a viewpoint which is consonant with the reading lists of those who are either seeking respect or those who already have respect and so are the arbitars of who deserves respect and 'consideration' and who doesn't.

That's a game of assimilation and power whoring. Credibility does not and should not depend on such things.

Whether I read last week's New York Times Book Review and can give an intelligent opinion on the ideas presented has little to do with whether my ideas have something to do with a greater truth about something, some issue, some problem, which is out there.

So I don't give a damn and don't pursue respect, preferring the quiet satisfaction of credibility, which will outlast today's intellectual fashions, instead.

And I hope that anyone reading this site who wants to get an insight on to how to make their writing better will take this post and the advice that can be gleaned from it to heart. Hopefully you'll come up with something that will last for all the ages, as I hope eventually my writing, as it develops, get's better, and get's more informed, will.

It's a modest goal, but what other goal is really worth pursuing? Why write if you know that no one will think what you've put together is worth anything in ten or twenty years?

Just a thought.
A better translation of KMFDM.

People know that KMFDM means something roughly equivalent to "No pity for the majority", but that's not actually what the phrase translates out to.

In german KMFDM is Keine Mehrheit Fur de Mitleid. What that means is,
a) Keine means nobody or none, as in k-eine, where eine means one,
Mehrheit means majority, fur de means for the, and Mitleid means pity.

Now, all well and good, but do you see how Mehrheit and Mitleid are in the opposite places you'd expect them to be if it was just "No pity for the majority"?

What KMFDM would approximately mean is more along the lines of "No pity for even one of the majority".

Keine Mehrheit translates out into "not one (of the) majority".

So it's "not one (of the) majority for pity"

Just wanted to let you know.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Milosevic and Abu Gharib.

It hit me, after writing that post saying that we were really no better than the Serbs who destroyed Bosnia, that we just hadn't got the chance to do the same, that we HAVE gotten the chance to do the same, and we've done it. It's called Iraq.

And, more particularly, if you want evidence of it look no further than the Abu Gharib photos and prisoner abuse scandal.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
About Slobodan Milosevic.

I argued in the preceding post that we were no better than him, only that the Yugoslavians had a chance to put into action the thoughts which other people usually suppress.

Look at it this way: what if there was a spectacular crime committed against a white person by blacks, what if it was the rape of a white woman right in plain view by blacks and blacks were seen by the white world as being not too forthcoming about saying that it was wrong.

What if, in this climate, George Bush got on TV and said that the crimes committed by these people cannot go unavenged, that safety for the majority has to be ensured, that we've given these minorities every chance for equality but still they insult us, and that the federal government was moving troops into the area where the perpetrators live and into the white area bordering it to ensure order and safety. What if he made it clear that self-defense by whites was something that would be tacitly endorsed by the government and turned a blind eye to.

Do you think that people wouldn't go for it? On the contrary, I think that quite a few people would eagerly participate in the preliminaries which would quickly lead into ethnic cleansing of blacks by whites in areas where whites and blacks both live, or in border areas.

People would enthusiastically go for it; they would think that finally someone has expressed what they've been feeling in their hearts for a long time.

And so we would have genocide in America, state sponsored and carried out by a combination of federal troops and citizen's groups.

This is what happened in Yugoslavia, almost down to the letter.

Which is why we're no better than the Serbs who destroyed Bosnia.

Milosevic.

Studying Yugoslav history the question of what Milosevic means and what the resurgence of nationalism means has weighed heavily on me.

I've come to a conclusion.

What the Serbs did to the Bosnians, the Albanians, and the Croats is nothing that a hundred other ethnic groups across Europe and across the United States wouldn't do to each other if the situation was right. The only difference was that in Serbia and Bosnia what people felt was brought to the surface and aired in the open instead of staying repressed and controlled.

In a way the impetus behind the Ethnic Cleansing of the Yugoslav civil war is similar to the rabid displays of patriotism and xenophibia in the United States following 9/11.

In both cases suddenly the forbidden could be expressed and acted upon, although fortunately in the U.S. the action taken on these impulses was not enough to commit large scale atrocities or to destabilize the whole nation. But we came close.

There's a town near where I live in Florida called Ocala which is where all the hardcore racists moved to when Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, became liberal.

I was there when 9/11 happened. The week after 9/11 a store keeper, I think he sold something where his store was big enough to have a series of large windows out front facing the street, put up in his windows in masking tape the phrase "No Muslims Allowed". No Muslims allowed in his store.

He was acting on no less of a rational basis than Serb nationalists who want to cleanse their area of Bosnia of Muslims acted when they carried out the deed that this person only hinted at.

In a way this stuff is extraordinarily rational; that's the danger that people who constantly harp at it's irrationality court for themselves. It's highly rational , if you have a certain mindset, but the mindset itself is wrong.

But with that mindset the vicious logic of xenophobia and nationalism can be pursued ruthlessly to any end and any extent which is possible to conceive.

I've written that the reaction following 9/11 was the revenge of people who fealt that their views and opinions were repressed during the Clinton years and who before that fealt that their views and ideas were repressed during the Carter, Ford, Nixon, and Johnson administrations.

So it is with the Serbs.

The lesson to be learned is that the framework of international relations and Europe's vaunted commitment to peace and tranquility don't mean much if the reality underneath the surface doesn't correspond to the superstructure.

All issues have to be dealt with sometime, somehow. I don't know how this viciousness will reach a resolution, but I suspect that it'll involve a revamping of how the international scene works, and here I'm talking more about the U.S. than about the former Yugoslavia.

You know, if Social Democracy can't contain this thing than we're all fucked, because the current international order is founded more or less on its principles.

But all for the good.

Like I said, I doubt that the conflict which broke out in Yugoslavia couldn't have broken out in many other places around Europe and in the U.S. if the circumstances for it had been there.

I also cheer the demise of Social Democracy.

I'm an anarchist after all, and Social Democracy is to the right of Communism in its smashing down of society into one mold without a care about the real circumstances of life.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Wonderful book that you should look up:

"The American Future: New Visions beyond Old Frontiers" by Tom Hayden.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Solving the problems of Iraq. Below are some attempts I made to find a way for Bush to actually succeed with his aims in Iraq. I didn't come to any solutions, but I think I made some entertaining headway.
Oh, okay, I'll give this a shot.

The Iraqi people have been betrayed by the intelligenstia from the very beginning. They have sold out Iraq to foreign powers. Iraq must be self sufficient and self contained, with the help of our American brethren. The intelligenstia do not represent the nation. The nation is the village. Let us go back to the villages from the cities and engage in virtuous work for the benefit of the central command, which is watching over you and which is ensuring the creation of a new Iraq.

Wait a second....how did that get in there? That's Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge....won't work. Scratch that.
Dog gone it, let's give this a try.

The triumph of Western democracy in Iraq is all but ensured. We have already conducted a glorious overthrow of the Saddam government and transformed the corrupt Saddam way of doing things. What we need now is to consolidate our change. This consolidation is hindered by the enemies of the people, people who, for whatever reason, have decided to try to stop the inevitable triumph of Western democracy in Iraq. Therefore no pity should be shown to the Saddamist-Baathist militants who at every step try to sabotage our project through inciting factory strikes, destroying production, and collaborating with other Middle Eastern powers, who would be eager to see our frail state fail, in destabilizing the state.

We must be vigilant but we must also be prepared to tighten our belts a little bit as the building of democracy in Iraq can't be completed overnight and as it will take sacrifices on the part of everyone in order to suceed....

The Saddamist/Uday faction will not triumph and will be brought to justice, as will those, known and unknown, who betray the interests of the state with their reactionary actions.

Oh, wait, that's Stalin at the height of his power. Scratch that too.
Hmm... maybe this will work.

The Iraqi people need a new line of correct thought to guide their living. This thought, born of a combination of Western ideas and Iraqi traditions, or, Westernism with Iraqi characteristics, must be rooted in the very core of Iraqi society. We must introduce ideas such as freedom, democracy, and capitalism from the bottom up, going from village to village in order to spread the word. The young people of Iraq are especially important as it is they who will inherit the mantle of leadership in tomorrow's Iraq. Let us then work together with a new youth corps of Iraq to root out the corruption and lies of the old society under Saddam and to struggle together against the inherent tendencies of the beaurocracy of the Provisional Coalition Authority in order to purify Iraqi society, in the spirit of criticism and self criticism, and thereby create a truly Western society with Iraqi characteristics.

No, wait, that's Maoism from the Cultural Revolution period. Strike that as well.
I think I've got it this time.

To restore Iraq to it's former glory pre-Saddam we have to create a new man, a new ideal of man based on the best that Arab and Western culture can produce.

This man will be born from the discipline and experience of the American run military, working with the new Iraqi society.

The strong and aware members of Iraqi society shall lead the day to a glorious, national, future.

Oh wait, that's Fascism. Scratch that idea too.
No wait, I know how Bush can get control of Iraq.

The problem are the Ba'athists. The Baathists refuse to give up arms. They have infested every level of Iraqi society with their ideas. Like a virus Baathism multiplies and corrupts Iraq's culture with every passing day.

Baathists, therefore, should be removed from public life in Iraq. They should be prohibited from holding any important office, should be denied work in important professions and should instead be forced to perform heavy labor as the price of rehabilitation.

If the Baathists persist after all of that, if they continue to destroy Iraqi society and make war on us, then we will be forced to wipe them from the face of Iraq.

Oh, wait, that's the Final Solution. Scratch that idea.
You know what Bush should do to control Iraq....

Simple.

Take the Sunni areas and make them totally Sunni, deport all the Shiites to the Shiite majority areas, then kick out all the non-Kurds from the Kurdish territories and move all the Kurds from the non-Kurdish territories into Kurdistan.


Oh, wait, that's ethnic cleansing.

Nixon, Bush, and the Reagan hangover.

First off, I was born when Carter was still president. And my family wasn't eager to accept the Reagan Revolution, so I still have memories of the good old days....which we have suddenly been thrust back into with Reagan's demise.

One of the things that's really impressed me with this whole scandal breaking is that there appear to be some people in the State department and in the Armed forces that still believe that there are ground rules that every administration and every government operating under those administrations should still follow, and they're willing to leak things to the press and in general to fight for a reimplementation of those ground rules.

Good.

There's always been differing thoughts on how society should operate and how government should operate, but before Reagan became president it was assumed that the conflict inherent in political society would be worked out within certain ground rules, at least on the part of the State's response to political conflict.

Yes, there's always been extra-protocol actions by the State, but in general they're in a separate category from what Reagan implemented and what Bush II is implementing at double speed.

That's an issue for another post.

The downfall of Nixon, the importance of it, lies in the fact that Nixon, coming out of a normal operating environment for government, overstepped the lines and was punished for it, thereby reasserting the same principles which ruled government before him.

Maybe, just maybe, back then, it was seen as a sign of a more enlightened system of government emerging, not a revolution but rather a moment of truth.

Reagan overturned that.

Bush is capitalizing on the gains in illegality that the Reagan administration pioneered and now, with no conservative revolution in sight to rally support for the project, is facing the facts of a hangover of government power with a crash into reality soon in the future.

Hopefully we'll get back to the same sorts of normal political strife which Nixon was slapped down for opposing with authoritarian means, and society will survive and be better for it.

Praise for monarchism.

Now I'm a democrat and so I'm not suggesting that this has contemporary relevance but instead saying that this has importance if we want to understand history.

The way I see it there were aspects to monarchism which were healthier than theocratic government.

With monarchs and a royal family you had a king and a queen who had children who then married other head families and maybe became king and queen themselves.

Now, in terms of what's healthier for a society, is it better to have as the thing you look up to be a couple who have a family and so stand in as father and mother of the country or to have the country ruled by celibate priests who preach monasticism and renunciation?

This is an aspect of monarchism that most people miss. I think that the monarchies in the past were sort of resistance cultures, at least in part, to the theocratic tendencies which were competing for cultural and political dominance.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Positive and Negative.

Readers of this blog, such as they are, may wonder why there's such a disjunction between nice positive analytical articles and what are seen as spiteful and hateful articles.

Why have both? What produces both? Shouldn't I just be happy and write about positive futures? Why is it that I talk about the positiveness of a religious sensibility and yet openly have a link to the biggest Satanic organization in the world on my site?

There's no contradiction there.

The fact is that, yes, there are positive avenues out there for future gain by people in a creative and constructive way, but right now we live in a world which you'd have to be crazy to react anyway but negatively to.

So, yes, I support religion, and I even support Christianity and Catholicism, as they can be and as they really are for a small number of people right now. But right now most people who call themselves Christians are doing more harm than good and are on the wrong side of the fence, so the only rational way to respond to them is to be anti-Christian and, as their values dominate our society, to be against 'Christian' values in general. Hence Satanism.

The future is positive but the proper response to the present is blackness, and anyone who wields positivity without blackness will be crushed immediately by the forces that he or she superficially thinks "Are on the same side" as him or her.

This whole homophobia thing with responses to Ted Rall....

Really gets me.

My sexual life isn't the subject of this blog but, you know, I've had relationships with both sexes including a several year one, albeit when we were both kids, with someone of my own sex, and, well, hmm...

I guess I'm hoping that some characters out of the "Tom of Finland" books jump out and get these people in a dark alley somewhere on a lonely night and beat the shit out of them.

That's just my opinion.

Added Ted Rall's blog to my roll....not a slam against Tom Tomorrow, I just assume everyone who reads this reads his blog as well..I'll add the "This modern world" link when I do the rest of 'em.

I added it because it appears that Rall is coming around. He used to be too liberal for my tastes, too prone to criticize the left for things which the mainstream loves to criticize, which are mainly bullshit. But it appears that he's had a change of heart, so he's going on my blog roll.
Shit, something's happening here.

KMFDM, Laibach, and Front 242 all put out original albums within the last two years, all after very, very, lengthy absences from doing original music. And the albums are all great.

WWIII by KMFDM, on their own KMFDM label, is really great. Pulse, by Front 242, described by them as trying to get back to basics, is really good. WAT (We Are Time) by Laibach, kicks ass.

Interestingly, both Laibach and KMFDM chose their new albums to reflect anti-war and anti-Bush sentiments, which tells you something.

Laibach is probably the band with the least drop in continuity between the last time they put out an album of totally new music, NATO, and WAT. They've been doing a very creative thing where they do versions of classic rock and other albums, they did "Macbeth" a few years ago, and before that they did a version of "Jesus Christ Superstar", then, before they did NATO, they did Beatles and Stones covers.

But WAT still reflects something new, just like WWIII and Pulse reflect something new as well.

I'm not sure what it is, but I hope it'll keep on.

Me, I'm going into the Industrial history department and special ordering "Alles ist Gut" by D.A.F.....have to broaden my listening, you know?

Drinking ionized water in the deep south...

I like to keep my spiritual life separate from this site, but, I came across a wonderful saying about Karma and life in general which I wanted to pass on.

It's from Gorakhnath, reputed to be an embodiment of Shiva, who lived in medieval India. It goes like this: "If you ask for nothing you'll get milk, if you ask for something you'll get water, and if you take you'll get blood."

Very true.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Speaking of important passings....

Ray Charles died.

I think that the passing of Ray Charles is infinitely more important than the passing of Ronald Reagan, and I wish that the newspapers would be all Ray Charles all the time instead of all Reagan all the time.

It would be a hell of a lot more meaningful.

I'm sorry to see him go.

Lost Highway Times is back on the Air!

We survived the move (temporarily, only a month) back to the Deep South and, although it's just me and my computer, we're doing well.

I have to say that although Seattle is wonderful the Deep South does have some great things to recommend to it.

First of all, you can basicly do anything you want and no one cares. Really, all you have to do is keep up a basic appearance of being a law abiding citizen and no one gives a damn what you really do, in fact they'll probably be doing whatever it is you're doing with you.

Second of all, people leave you the fuck alone. Thank god for that. I mean totally alone. Peace and Quiet. Pacific Northwesterners, bless their hearts, are perpetually gabby people; Southerners are not. It's good to get away from it for a little while.

Again they'll leave you alone PROVIDED that you 'play the game', so to speak, and don't do something so obviously stupid that they have to call you on it.

That's what most people from the north get hung up on when they move to the South; they do all this obviously stupid shit, which is offensive, and then when Southerners call them on it they decided that the South is an oppressive place and that they don't want to live there anymore, not even being aware of the Libertarian possibilities that the South can afford.

They did rebel against the United States, you know. They remember that, and it shows in their character and approach to life.

The Deep South is grand, I love it all, except, maybe, Alabama.

North Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana are spectacular. Alabama is like lock down white supremacy twenty four hours a day, but the rest of the Deep South is really a combination of African influences and white influences, with even white people taking a view of things that has SOMETHING to do with African culture as opposed to, say, the culture of people in Boston.

Give Mississippi a try before you pooh-pooh it, will you?

It's also, the Deep South in general, a lot like South America in some ways because of the legacy of slavery. Columbia, Venezuela, and Brazil, at least, although I'm sure every country down there participated to some extent, were based on African slavery and the slaves weren't emancipated, like in the U.S. as well, until the 19th century, with Brasil being the latest to end the infernal institution.

What that means is that these large countries in South America have been dealing with the problem of the consequences of slavery for roughly the same amount of time that the South has, and this consideration has deeply shaped their society, as has the consideration of the same in the South.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

More about the similarities between the Ancient Egyptian view of the Soul, the North Asian view of it, and the differences between that and the Indo-European view and why the Asian view might be better to come later.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Shit.

I was (temporarily) saying farewell to the Seattle area for a month and writing a long, complex, post contrasting the ancient Egyptian way of looking at things and the North Asian way of looking at things, with the European way, and saying that the Asians and Egyptians had the better idea, when I accidentally cleared my screen.

I'll make up for it and write it again later, but, until that time, until we meet again.....farewell.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

On a slightly different note: C. Wright Mills and Leninism.

Thinking of the Soviet Union brought back memories of reading C. Wright Mills' book "The Power Elite", and with it the criticism of the Power Elite concept that I formulated at the time.

Mills, while being for some sort of democratic socialism, approached the sociology of power in a way which almost seemed to legitamize the idea that political power exists, military power exists, and economic power exists, and there's nothing you can do to change the basic composition of that triumvirate.

At best you can make it more human and responsive....but you'll never be able to eliminate any of the three as a major player in any society.

Which looks a lot like the Leninism which existed in Bolshevik Russia prior to Stalin: Lenin justified his state on the same sorts of grounds...instead of trying to dismantle or, at the very very least, radically and totally change the composition of these three types of power Lenin outlined that all of them would have to be reckoned with and incorporated into a socialist state.

But, well, to put it bluntly, there are no continuous institutions which stand outside of the realm of history, and power itself should be dismantled, rather than tamed.

How to dismantle power? Well, democracy is a good example of the dismantling of power.

Democracy only exists because the power of aristocrats, princes, and kings, to deliberate on and create and enact legislation was taken away from them and given to the people.

It still has a long way to go.

But power can and should be dismantled and be replaced by a public sphere dominated by the needs of real life.

My russian teacher told us a long long time ago that Yeltsin meant Yelt-son, and that Yelt, actually pronounced ee-yell-t, meant Christmas tree. So Yeltsin meant Chirstmas tree man. He certainly played Santa for U.S. capitalism. Ho ho ho.
Did I make the point clear in the previous post?
The Cold War ended, and the Eastern Bloc and the Baltic States became independent, because Gorbachev let them, because he refused to send tanks in like was done in Prague and Hungary earlier in the century. There wasn't anything automatic about it. If it had been a different person at the helm the history of those independence movements may have been quite different.

Oh, and about Yeltsin and how he got power.

Now, you have to understand that the European Communist world had a lot of layers to it. On the top was the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. The Eastern Bloc was composed of countries which fell into the Soviet sphere after WWII. The Soviet Union itself was composed of further layers.

On the top were the Union Republics (it was the Soviet "Union", after all), led by Russia, which was the biggest and controlled all the rest, more of less. Then you had autonomous regions where ethnic groups, led by the party, administered their own affairs in their own language and had periodic folk festivals celebrating their culture. Then you had special administrative districts, which were a step down from being autonomous but still had a....well....special status which made them sort of semi independent in various respects.

Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and the central asian republics now known as Tadjikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Georgia and Armenia to the west, were Union Republics...as I guess Tuva was as well (a country within the Russian Federation....the federalism still exists!....in Siberia).

Russia was a "Union Republic" which dwarfed all the others in size and which was where all the decisions were made as well. But, technically, it was still a "Union Republic" just like Estonia.

So what did Yeltsin do?

He was elected as mayor of Moscow, I believe, under the opening up of elections and electoral power granted by Gorbachev and, you're going to love this, while Gorbachev was away on a visit to another "Union Republic", he took that "Democatic Mandate", as the conservative commentators were to call it, and declared Russia independent from the Soviet Union.

Yes, Russia independent from the Soviet Union. That's how he got power.

And what do you know....the crack team of dissidents who just happened to come to power with him started spouting Milton Friedman, the economist whose books were banned in the Soviet Union, almost immediately.

Oh, and he brought with him racist nationalists who also, coincidentally, were for neo-liberal economics as well.

Now, how the hell did they get their hands on Milton Friedman when he was banned in the USSR and is it just a coincidence that the U.S. immediately recognized Yeltsin and his "Russia independent of the USSR" as legitimate?

I'll leave you to draw the obvious conclusion.

There followed a dark descent into economic shock therapy and the halving of the life expectancy of the average Russian--have of what that was during the USSR, which was lower than ours already---and the birth of a kleptocracy of mafia bosses which still rules a lot of the country.

Putin is putting himself forward as a (non racist) nationalist strongman. Although not ideal he seems to want to restore some semblance of historical sanity to Russia.....i.e. not sell it all of to the U.S. and have it be American capitalism's personal bitch in Eastern Europe.

I can't endorse him, because he's a nationalist strongman, but hopefully some good will come out of his tenure.

Then there's that whole Chechnya and Dagestan question, which is already earning Putin genocide points in whatever score book is kept of these things in heaven.
Hypocracies of history.

I remember one of the very first times that I recognized the lies of government.

It was when I was a child, during the Reagan years.

The setting: Gorbachev vs. Reagan.

Being a childhood memory it's really a composite of a lot of separate events but the gist of it was seeing Gorbachev on television talking about peace and reform and then seeing Reagan on there talking about the 'Evil Empire' and realizing that Reagan and his whole line was full of it.

My family liked Gorbachev. What was there not to like? In contrast to the portrayal of the Soviet Union as still being a Stalinist prison run by evil ideologues presented by Reagan, Gorbachev always came off as the voice of reason.....wanting to peacefully change things and open it up: "Glasnost and Perestroika", Openness and Restructuring. Sounded a lot different than what Reagan was pushing as the face of the Soviet Union.

So I made the logical deduction.

Which brings us to the whole "Reagan ended the Cold War" business or "Reagan brought down the wall" business. Speaking of the wall, I thought that that honor was reserved by our nations propagandists to Bush Sr., with his frail pansy voice saying "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down your wall", while pointing a thin manicured finger decisively.

But I guess propaganda changes with the times.

Personally, I think that Openness and Restructuring, which lead, to among other things, the tolerance of Solidarity and the tearing down of the Berlin wall, had more to do with ending the Cold War than Reagan ever did. The Reaganites just feasted on the corpse with their banker friends after they organized a coup and put Yeltsin on the throne, deposing Gorbachev while he was away on a state visit to a southern USSR republic.

Did you ever wonder why, when all those protests were going on in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, why the government didn't send in troups and crush them? Gorby's record is not clean; he ordered a massacre in Georgia during his term in office; but the reason, largely, is that, while the Soviet Union surely had the potential to do it, Gorbachev ordered his troups not to intervene.

That's how the Berlin Wall fell.

It happened during the official celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Deutsch Demokratic Republic, or DDR, as East Germany was known then. The Soviets were in town participating in the festivities, in Berlin of course, when students started filling the streets protesting the communist government.

Erich Honecker, the dictator of East Germany and a constant foe of reform, even within the standards of the socialist orbit back then, wanted to crack down, wanted to send in troops to use force in what might have been a Tiananmen Square massacre before the Tiananmen Square massacre. And he wanted the Soviets to help.

He called Gorbachev, or Gorbachev called him, and Gorbachev explicitly told Honecker not to do a damn thing.

So the wall fell.

Eat that, Reagan.

The reality of cold war politics at the end of the Soviet era still outshines your propaganda.