Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Being critical of civilization just comes natural to me I guess, but regardless of my reasons, it should be apparent to at least some that what we know as civilization has actually become a threat to our very existence on this earth. The oceans are dying, the ozone is disappearing, the climate is showing signs of instability, and all of this is occurring while the human population expands well beyond the long-term support capacity of the land. Are these problems the fault of civilization or are they merely due to unique economic and historical circumstances? Perhaps these problems we now face are just a much larger scale of ecological ruin, mirrored after other civilizations of the past such as the Roman, Mesopotamian, or the Chinese.

This begs the question, "Is civilization a mistake"? In the words of Derrick Jensen:

“We are members of the most destructive culture ever to exist. Our assault on the natural world, on indigenous and other cultures, on women, on children, on all of us through the possibility of nuclear suicide and other means--all these are unprecedented in their magnitude and ferocity."

Jesnen wrote his book The Culture of Make Believe, as an alarm intended to shatter any lingering hope that our civilization could be "fixed" so that it would stop destroying both we, the people, and the larger world we're part of. Has consumerism become a mechanism of civilization, used as a control for the purpose of our domestication? Has consumerism been shoved down our throats for so long, that our behavior has been gradually altered to accept the idea as being natural and comfortable?

Consider the following excerpt from the Green Anarchy website:

The success of civilization can be gauged by just how much it has limited our vision and our aspirations. It's nearly impossible for any one of us to really grasp just how much we have lost by our domestication. Our senses have been dulled; we've been trained to not trust our instincts, subjugated to a fully dehumanized, mechanical hierarchy; living in boxes within boxes within boxes. We mow our lawns, we play along, and we spend our entire lives being pushed through the linear future that has been scientifically determined to breed the most "efficient" consumers. We play along, yet every one of us has that urge, that feeling that something is wrong, or there could be something more. For millions of years we have lived in a way that is completely different from this. We always have to remember that when we're looking at "savages" and "primitives" we are really looking at wild (or more wild as the case may be) versions of ourselves. They are no different from us in any physical or mental sense, other than the fact that they have not been beaten down.

Is this sentiment of primitivism that civilization can't be fixed a popular view? I think most people would say no, but with civilization's consumeristic domination of nature and total control over our lives, how can we, as human beings, propose to get out of this mess we have been and are currently a part of? How did we as a people move from responsible caretakers of our world and all life upon it into the position we now take which is one of total control? This need for control has been called The Culture of Empire.

Our ancestors lived by adaptation to the life of the earth. When the pathology of empire broke out in the human family this adaptation and unity with the cosmos faded, and rather than adapt to the cosmos, humans became "God," as it were. Humans sought control rather than adaptation. This is the pivotal fact of the culture of empire. Humans in empire culture began this control with domesticated "biological slaves": wheat, barley, sheep, goats, water buffalo and rice. When this change occurred, human culture changed from ecological balance to ecological imbalance. The biological slaves have historically been used along with human slavery to extort energy from the earth's metabolism in a parasitic relationship. This led to the idea that humans have no need to unify and act responsibly and cooperatively with the cosmos but instead it was the cosmic role of humans to control the cosmos. Thus, the suicide pact of empire began. This need to control, so characteristic, truly, of a position of weakness, is the pivotal fact from which the coercive dynamics of empire culture flow.

This empire of consumerism pulls out all the stops during the holiday season which is upon us. I have heard it said that...civilization is a mental/material world of culturally transmitted illusion. It is suicide on a vast historical scale. It is indeed a self-fulfilling prophecy of linear increase until the final exhaustion is reached. So how do we as concerned human beings begin to change our situation/place within our world and eliminate this empirical decay? Is there hope for change and a movement away from consumerism as long as the corporate interests keep mandating what we should do, what we should be, and what we should say? Will civilization finally pull in the reins of corporatism gone wild, or are we destined to just ride it out until everything, including our humanity, is depleted?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Clear and Present Danger

What we see today in the nationalistic, conservatist climate is an apparent "Clear and Present Danger", and the destruction of in it's wake takes a great toll on humanity and social justice is far removed. I once believed in the importance of negotiating. I once believed in the importance of compromise in working out our differences. I once believed practically everyone believed in compassion. I no longer believe these things. The enemy of our world is easily recognized and I will no longer negotiate with them nor will I compromise the destruction of humanity just to appease them. What these dictatorial few are doing is real terrorism.

The enemy camp which rages against humanity and supports the proliferation of profits for the chosen few is well fortified and they have been enforcing their ramparts for a long time. The American Enterprise Institute, is possibly the most powerful pro-business, right wing think tank in existence. Global capitalism is their goal, and placing their chosen people in powerful governmental positions, is and always has been, their plan of action. A plan that has been in the making for over thirty years and has been extremely successful especially since the introduction of reaganomics, or as it's known, the trickle down effect. Primary funding for AEI comes from the Pew Freedom Trust, which is based on oil money via Sun Oil Co. And AEI is just one of many of these so-called think tanks who have their hands and money in structuring the spin, not just in the U.S., but the entire world and the fascist smell is all over it.

We need to learn to recognize the many different guises in which tyranny appears.

"Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy."

In short, what we have alive in the US is an updated and Americanized fascism. Why fascist? Because it is not leftist in the sense of egalitarian or redistributionist. It has no real beef with business. It doesn't sympathize with the downtrodden, labor, or the poor. It is for all the core institutions of bourgeois life in America: family, faith, and flag. But it sees the state as the central organizing principle of society, views public institutions as the most essential means by which all these institutions are protected and advanced, and adores the head of state as a godlike figure who knows better than anyone else what the country and world's needs, and has a special connection to the Creator that permits him to discern the best means to bring it about.

The war of these elites has been so orchestrated and planned so well. Details haven't been overlooked and as we lay sleeping, they have entered our homes and now they threaten our lives. So thorough is their focus that even the books that are read have become part of their agenda. These "fellowships" of the largest of these "think tanks", according to Ralph Nader, "The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has a problem. It is loaded with corporate money, full of rich fellowships for Washington, D.C. influence peddlers, masquerading as conservatives, who wallow in plush offices figuring out how to assure that big corporations rule the United States and the rest of the world."

Thes 'new age' neo-cons are nothing more than parasites and their belief system is apparent. They are against affirmative action, bilingual education, multiculturalism, and they support welfare reform and tougher criminal sentencing. And their analyses of race issues in the United States is well documented. The Rights Race Desk and their belief of the Bell Curve shows too well they think their views and their intelligence is far greater than other people of race and or color.

Back in 2001, the National Review Online published an article by Michael Ledeen entitled "Time for a Good, Old-Fashioned Purge”. In it Ledeen, who was an advisor to Oliver North during the Reagen era, asks the Bush team to purge the “environmental whack-os,” “the radical feminazis,” the “foreign policy types on the National Security Council Staff and throughout State, CIA, and Defense, who are still trying to create Bill Clinton’s legacy in the Middle East…”

Although these elite have mainly been invisible while they have been building their empire, their camouflage no longer blends in with the surroundings and these elite and their supporters are easily identifiable. If we don't try to halt their nationalistic, fascist protocol, the human beings of the world will find their views, ideals, and freedoms "purged" and humanity will cease to exist!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Dystopia, Utopia, Heterotopia, or E-topia?

Is it possible to build a more orderly and just society through participation in web-based communities? Will the proliferation of the internet bring about a transformation of thought which will help the inhabitants of our world move towards a more ideal society? Perhaps we first must understand the meaning of these "opias".

First we have dystopia, which is usually characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form government which exhibits certain traits. Although dystopia is basically an imaginary concept of what can be bad in a society, it is necessary to examine the concept for the purpose of debate and discussion of the probabilities of our future and the possibilities of avoiding the same. In a dystopia you will generally have an oppressor and the rebels who fight against the oppression.

Next we have the much acclaimed utopia, which actually can be broken down into a few different types. Utopia also is an imaginary concept of the perfect society, a heaven on earth so to speak. Just as in a dystopia, the utopian view is necessary in the debate between the worst and the best case-scenarios of society. The debate is an on-going study of the balance of justice within our world societies. The Society for Utopian Studies out of Toronto is a good site which maintains an extensive list of studies and programs dedicated to utopian thought and the entire text of Thomas More's Utopia can be read here.

Now we'll talk about the next "opia", heterotopia which is based on Michel Foucault's observations that people in advanced technological societies would move into indeterminate spaces or "other places". As we see today, these "other places" have become a reality, as our virtual communities advance in a world which is both real and imagined. In a lecture by Foucault back in 1967, he described these Other Places and listed six principles of heterotopia. Foucault stated back in 1966 that he and the generation who were under 20 during the war, very suddenly and apparently without reason noticed that they were very far from the preceding generation. He became the proponent of a new generation of thinkers.

How does all these ideas of "other places" fit within the framework of the internet? The internet is still in it's infancy and it's techniques and tools will remain in the development stage for...uh...maybe forever? The internet is very heterogeneous and also dynamic, or in other words, the web consists of many identical yet separated items and continues to evolve with no end in sight. Web architects and designers continually work to build what can be described as another form of "topia" e-topia. E-topia consists of a web, built link by link, whose architecture is quickly learned and easily navigated and is used in conjunction with our physical place in order to build the communities of the future.

Mitchell argues that we must extend the definitions of architecture and urban design to encompass virtual places as well as physical ones, and interconnection by means of telecommunication links as well as by pedestrian circulation and mechanized transportation systems. He proposes strategies for the creation of cities that not only will be sustainable but will also make economic, social, and cultural sense in an electronically interconnected world. The new settlement patterns of the twenty-first century, he argues, will be characterized by live/work dwellings, twenty-four-hour pedestrian-scale neighborhoods rich in social relationships, and vigorous local community life, complemented by far-flung configurations of electronic meeting places and decentralized production, marketing, and distribution systems. Neither digiphile nor digiphobe, Mitchell advocates the creation of e-topias - cities that work smarter, not harder.

I think many of us who believe in the possibilities of the internet would probably agree with John Perry Barlow in his Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live. We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity. …We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge.

So in answer to the questions I posed at the top of this piece, my answer is "yes" to both. I believe in our possibilities of building a better world and I know that in the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and hopes, we will get it done!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Keep Your Enemies Closer

I've been a member of a union for almost thirty years now and I still have a problem understanding why so many Brothers and Sisters stand behind the capitalist way of life. I'm talking a spectrum of support ranging from the lowest paid grunts all the way up to the overpaid officials. Maybe it's my up-bringing or maybe I'm just plain old ignorant but for the life of me, I just can't grasp how organizations built on the premise of, "An injury to one is an injury to all.", can turn into the same identical structure which it was meant to dismantle! A structure which places self gains above humanity. I've read in numerous polls and looked at many graphs which place union members in the republican's camp at somewhere around 40%. Yeah, I know, it's their right and they're free to choose, but I just don't understand it do to the fact of the conflict of interest and different sets of ideals between capitalism and labor. So I decided to just look around the web to see what I could see!

There's an old adage, from the Godfather I believe, which says, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer". So in the spirit of things, I chose to cruise around some of the pro-capitalist sites which proliferate the web. I did a Google on the word "capitalism" and went to the top of the list. The first site was, and I read this from the quote at the top of the main page:

The moral justification for capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man's rational nature, that it protects man's survival qua man, and that it's ruling principle is: justice.

So according to this premise, if one believes in the capitalistic system, they must have a logical and sound mind which is adept at survial and accomplishes this by utilizing the principle of justice? Kind of disconcerting to think I might be of unsound mind and irrational! I guess justice is something like religion. I can do something religiously whether it is a good thing or a bad thing as long as I do it with extreme conscientiousness. I guess the capitalist does things judicially from a divine judgment? Note to myself: Find out which dictionary these capitalists use as I can't seem to corroborate their meaning of the word justice!

Well, I then went to's labor page and read through their FAQs concerning labor and minimum wage. Here is what I read on that page:

That a businessmen pays a worker less wages than the worker feels he deserves is not exploitation, as the worker is free to leave his job and look elsewhere for a higher paying one, if he thinks that someone can give him a better job for a better wage.

Well, I had to stop a while after that one, as tears began rolling down my cheeks from the laughter and the coughing began from the years of abusing my lungs with those damn cancer sticks. I haven't had that good a laugh since GW choked on a pretzel.

Well this was getting interesting, so I thought I'd try another link. Next on the list was capitalist magazine, and there at the top of the page was the top story, Thanksgiving: An American Celebration of the Creation of Wealth. Here is the first paragraph from the article:

Thanksgiving celebrates man's ability to produce. The cornucopia filled with exotic flowers and delicious fruits, the savory turkey with aromatic trimmings, the mouth-watering pies, the colorful decorations -- it's all a testament to the creation of wealth.

Here is another article entitled, What's So Bad About Being Selfish?, and below are a few quotes from the same:

Selfishness means acting in one's rational self-interest. Contrary to popular opinion, all healthy individuals are selfish.

The opposite of selfishness is self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice means giving up a greater value for a lesser value.

Certainly, a selfish person wants to share his success with those he genuinely cares about--his family, friends, or children (greater values). But why should he make sacrifices to individuals he does not know or care about (lesser values)?

In a rational society, selfishness is encouraged. A rational society is one where individuals are left free to pursue their self-interest. In the process, everyone benefits. Rational selfishness means acting in your self-interest--and accepting responsibility for determining what truly serves your long-term interest. It is a nice alternative to a life filled with duty, drudgery and disillusionment.

These two articles were by Gary Hull who writes for capitalsim magazine and who is also a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute. ARI is an advocate of free-market capitalism with a focus on bringing it's philosophy to students, both in our high schools and our colleges. One common thread I've noticed so far is that the philosophy of Ayn Rand keeps popping up on practically all the pages promoting capitalism.

I'm becoming depressed now and I'm no longer sure if it's such a wise idea to keep our enemies closer. It just seems to turn things a shade of gray and brings on a feeling of hopelessness. You know, maybe that's the answer to why so many of us working people tend to support capitalism. We've been forced to wallow in the suffocating stench of the elite's shit for so long, we have begun to smell like shit ourselves!

I'll have to continue this once I feel well again. For now, I think I'll go take a shower to try to remove some of this stench and attempt to return to my life that is filled with duty, drudgery and disillusionment. I seem to find my simple life very consolling.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tortilla Curtain?

Back in the first week of November, the republican congressman Duncan Hunter, who happens to chair the Armed Services Committee, announced the introduction of the TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act. While the proposed act covers everything from giving states authority of enforcing immigration laws to increasing penalties for hiring illegals, the one piece of the proposed legislation that stands out is the building of a 2,000 mile fench along the U.S./Mexico border. Believe it or not, there are others fanning the flame of this outrageous scheme. A conservative group called Let Freedom Ring has began a campaign called We Need a Fence.

The founder of the 'We Need Another Berlin Wall'...err...I mean the 'We Need a Fence' initiative, Carl Hanna, has this to say about their proposed border fence:

We have proposed a six-element fence that is modeled after the Israeli fences on the West Bank and in Gaza that consist of a barbed wire element, a ditch, a tall and sturdy steel fence that is heavier duty than a chain link fence but not a solid fence, followed by a patrol road. And then the same elements in the other direction, fence, ditch and barbed wire, comprising about 50 yards in total width.
Hanna's organization has already been promoting their idea on Fox News and CNN via this commercial and other senators are also supporting the fence idea. I've heard different proposals directed toward the 'weneedafence' group concerning a name change. Like 'weneedalife' or how about 'weneedsomesense'? Constructing walls is just another form of oppression as far as I'm concerned. The Great Wall of China didn't work, nor did the Berlin Wall! How shallow have these people become, that they can believe building a physical wall between cultures will change anything? Even the non-physical barriers such as the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain failed as well. The time for erecting barriers between the people of our earth is over. We no longer require or will we put up with barriers. We are way beyond that and the future of the earth lies in the destruction of these barriers, not in their construction! And they called native americans savages?

What we need is meaningful debate by people who actually have some frickin brains; not more conservative 'non-thinking', 'knee-jerking' actions by people who are too damn lazy or either too dangerously dumb to be involved in forming public opinion!


Welcome, this is day one of this blog and hopefully it will live a healthy life and will grow old radically!
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