Category Archives: Society

Everyday is Domestic Violence Awareness Day: Not Just a Week in October

It is the large crime of multiple dimensions. Spousal abuse. Hundreds of millions of women trapped. Trapped not of their own doing, though every sort of flippant or fierce man, and some women, will turn blue on their room temperature IQ faces stating, drum roll:

  • how can a woman stay in that sort of relationship?
  • she could have left anytime
  • didn’t see the red flags before committing?
  • how can this go on for one, three, five, ten years . . . something is wrong with that woman
  • it takes TWO to tango . . .
  • women expect too much from men . . . yelling back and forth is not abuse
  • leave this up to the courts and cops . . . if they can’t charge a man with DV, then leave it alone
  • something is broken in this woman . . . she attracts that sort of relationship . . .

Oh, the stories go on and on. Even judges throughout this rot-gut land, blaming the victim, of course, in open court. Rape victims in their late teens, told they CAUSED the sexual assault by the way they dressed, where they went for drinks and for the drinks they drank.

Do the Gulag Google search — “judge blames girl for dress for rape”

Here ya go:

  • Judge accused of victim-blaming in comments on rape case…
    Mar 10, 2017 — Campaigners say Lindsey Kushner QC’s sentencing remarks were ‘the kind of thing that deters women from reporting assaults’.
  • Here Are 9 Times Clothing Was Blamed for Sexual Assault – Mich
    Apr 27, 2016 — A judge in 2006: “They made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party.” · A police officer in 2011: “Women should avoid dressing …
  • Jury blames woman’s clothing in rape case – UPI …
    Oct 5, 1989 — Broward County Circuit Judge Mark Speiser had the woman picked up by deputies after she failed to respond to subpoeanes for court appearances.
  • Manitoba judge criticized for saying victim’s clothing, attitude …
    Feb 24, 2011 — A legal expert says a Manitoba judge’s comment during a rape sentencing that “sex was in the air” is a troubling legal throwback.
  • Peru judge throws out rape case as woman was wearing red …
  • Nov 4, 2020 — A Peruvian court has declared that a woman who wore red underwear to a party could not have been raped because the garment signalled she …
  • Judge Tosses Teen’s Sexual Assault Conviction, Drawing …
    Jan 13, 2022 — Clinton’s conviction was “a clean and clear example of victim blaming.” By highlighting the girl’s clothing and chastising the hosts of the …
  • Canadian Judge Robin Camp to woman in rape case – CNN
    Sep 13, 2016 — He blamed it on his “non-existent” knowledge of Canadian criminal law.
  • Rape victim ‘inviting,’ so no jail: Judge rules woman’s clothes …
    It should be noted that the supposition that the judge is blaming the victim is … To say that a judge let a rapist off BECAUSE of the woman’s dress, …

Now, Google this — “domestic abuse blame the victim in USA”

  • The Psychology of Victim Blaming – The Atlantic
    Oct 5, 2016 — After the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York banned a performer in the wake of several women accusing him of sexual assault and abuse, …
  • Why We Blame Victims for Domestic Violence
    Aug 23, 2017 — At its core, says Elise Lopez, a researcher in sexual and domestic violence prevention and response at the University of Arizona, victim-blaming …
  • Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, And The Facts
    What is Rape Culture? Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence is normalized and excused in the media and …
  • Victim blaming – Wikipedia
    Secondary victimization of sexual and other assault victims — In efforts to discredit alleged sexual assault victims in court, a defense attorney may delve into an …
  • Helping Survivors Can Be as Simple as Changing the Way …Dec 9, 2020 — In relation to domestic violence, victim blaming places the responsibility for the abuse on the survivor instead of the abuser. Blaming domestic …
  • Victim Blaming: Why is it that some victims and survivors of violent crime get blamed for what has happened to them through no fault of their own? Crime victims are often …
    4 Reasons Why Victims Blame Themselves For Domestic …Jul 20, 2020 — As an experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney, Vanessa L. Prieto can help you take the steps needed to protect yourself.
  • Victim Blaming in Abuse and Relationships: In the arena of domestic violence, victim blaming is applied with a vengeance against survivors who stay with a primary aggressor beyond the first obviously …
    Why does everyone blame the victim in domestic violence …
  • Abusers only abuse intimate partners behind closed doors. They are very charming and nice to the partner in front of others. Abusers are very manipulative and …
  • Gaslighting & Abuse – House Of Ruth:
    Abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. Learn the behaviors to be aware of. Domestic abuse comes in many forms. Understand emotional, verbal, physical & abuse signs.

Yes, there are a million graphics and reports and ways to frame this epidemic in the world:

But, when it comes to your door or your circle of life, you will deal with all manner of what happened and how to help a woman extract herself from the abuse. And, you will find that many communities do NOT have great domestic violence “resources,” and that shelters are few and far between. When a woman is single, has a big dog, and has no car, no bank account, no one in a new community where she and her spouse have ended up, the amount of emotional and psychic turmoil is magnified.

This one person just three days ago reached out via email to ask me for help. I barely knew her, having met her at a hardware store. And, also, I did briefly meet the woman and the construction guy at the house just up the way: amazing house, a dream, the ocean, and, well, I didn’t spend time with the woman and her husband, so the red flags or tremors of an abusive dude never hit me.

But, the email, then the phone call, then meeting the person away from the almost-completed-house, and then some plan of action. It turns out that the person is legally married, but she is working on a green card. She’s from the UK. She was in New Mexico, before the couple ended up here of all places, to build the dream home. They were working on a green card. They had flown out to NM, last Friday, and the dude, a massive alcoholic, started gulping down airline shots. A bender. And, then, the Albuquerque mother of this guy, well, she was beat down too, as a wife of this guy’s dad, who ended up flying bombers in the USA Air Force, and giving shots to the my friend’s husband and his younger brother when they were 9 and 7 respectively.

The Brit gets her Social Security card, but there are no photos of the married couple together. More than five years married, and he manipulated that. Five years now, and the house and land are in his name. One vehicle, that too in his name. He held all the money from a sale of a house from Santa Fe, which he took as cash up here. The green card is now precarious, an unknown, a probable “no.”

Now, the story really is of the woman, whose parents have heard the cry wolf story many times. Her friends, they too, although this woman, Vicky, has kept some friends in the dark about this guy’s consistent behavior. That’s typical — embarrassment, recrimination, fear, and shame.

We are talking about a 38-year-old woman. She speaks three languages. She had a restaurant in Spain. She’s traveled the world. But that fateful day in 2017, she tied the knot. And he has been a constant up and down freak show, emotionally abusive, and many times, physically abusive. She says she always thought she could fix him. This last time there was no hitting or punching. She has on her phone a video of him attempting to throw her out of the car with the dog. He says it all: “You own nothing. You are nothing without me signing over the Green Card paperwork. You are worthless and can’t do anything without me. I have all the cards. If you cross me, I’ll kill you.”

That, under the state of Oregon, is not an arrestable offense, and while it should be, don’t expect much in this rot-gut of a patriarchal killer society.

No vehicle, no savings, and thus, people like me had to fall into action, because, a, it takes a village/community to do something about this shit, and, b, the idea of a death or a beating on my watch is horrendous for a radical writer.

I found the place for her to stay, some 30 miles away, in the woods, with an amazing woman, aged 83, with her horses and dogs and chickens and trees and garden. The lady, Alice, told Vicky that she has a safe place for a few weeks. She also related how her second husband, a lawyer, fought for three years her attempt to divorce. There were two children involved, and this Alice’s original farm (as she calls it) was in this guy’s sights (he was a lawyer).

My sister is a social worker coordinator in Arizona. She came to the rescue since she also ran domestice violence shelters. She knows Arizona and New Mexico. She’s connected. She has helped this woman get some sort of stability. She’s talked to her, counseled her, and directed her to some resources once she hits NM.

This woman is now on the road, as the New Mexico mother-in-law is helping out with rental car and cash for gas.  Flights to NM were prohibitive. Just for the big dog, $775 one way, and that’s without the costs of a final vaccination and the big kennel bitive. The rental car was a huge hassle since they do not take debit cards, and they want the owner of a credit card to be there, in person. The mother-in-law is in New Mexico, an RN in her sixties.

This mother-in-law is warning Vicky “to get away from my son forever.” This mother-in-law was abused by her sons’ father big time. The kids were beaten by the father. And, even after she divorced this fascist pilot, the guy’s second wife had enough of the raging and hitting and so she shot him square between the eyes. Later days for an abuser. A week later, that second wife turned the gun on herself.

“I have lost myself. I can’t believe this has gone on and on. I used to be independent, gutsy. Heck, I set up my own restaurant in Basque country. I did that for six years. That’s where I met him.”

Yes, this entire society — male, female, LGBTQA+, young, old — gets into victim blaming as a common reaction to any sort of violence or assault on women in a domestic relationship.

Victim-blaming attitudes marginalize the victim/survivor and make it harder to come forward and report the abuse. If the victim/survivor knows that you or society blames survivors for abuse, they will not feel safe or comfortable coming forward and talking to you.

Victim-blaming attitudes also reinforce the manipulative tactics that abusers use to control their partner; abusers tell survivors that it is their fault this is happening. Committing violence is always the choice of the person who is abusing. It is NOT the victim/survivor’s fault or responsibility to fix the violence that an abuser is committing against them. By engaging in victim-blaming attitudes, society allows abusive people to perpetrate relationship abuse or sexual assault while avoiding accountability for those actions.

Victim-blaming attitudes prevent society from acknowledging and changing toxic masculinity and rape culture.

In order to stop victim-blaming, it is helpful to understand why it occurs in the first place. One reason that people blame a victim/survivor is to distance themselves from an unpleasant occurrence. This gives a false sense that this could not happen to them. By labeling or accusing the victim/survivor, others can see the victim/survivor as different from themselves. People use the Just World theory, Invulnerability theory, and Assumptive World theory in an attempt to feel like they have control over situations where they do not have control. People reassure themselves by thinking, “Because I am not like the victim/survivor, because I do not do XYZ, this would never happen to me.” We need to help people understand that a survivor’s actions do not contribute to a perpetrator’s decision to commit relationship abuse and sexual violence. It is our responsibility as members of society to support survivors and hold abusers accountable. (source)

Again, we are not in any enlightened moment. It’s 2022, but story after story shows the courts, the cops, the citizens, the collective we blame victims. We blame women when they come forward to accuse the rich and famous. Just look at the women accusing Weinstein or Trump or Biden. This is how these guys and their male and female handlers work the system. Having a standing president, Clinton, coerce Monica for sex, well, how many have said — “She was 22 and knew perfectly well what she was doing.”

Think about all the feminists and apologists defending that Clinton. Imagine, as a school teacher, if I coerced a student in my college class to have oral sex with me for benefit of her grade or in Monica’s case, advancement. These millions of men are criminals, sure, but worse. I’ve been lucky to take a bat to the heads of several rapists, when I was a senior in High School, and a few times in my 20s. Not now, Cancel Me Joe McCarthy!

And then, all the affairs this guy had as governor. And his “fun” with the royals, legals, governmentals, rich creeps who went to Epstein’s pedophilia island. Imagine that, a society that lets this just pass. And, then the Genocidal Joe, and his lies and his accusers:

A NEW PIECE of evidence has emerged buttressing the credibility of Tara Reade’s claim that she told her mother about allegations of sexual harassment and assault related to her former boss, then-Sen. Joe Biden. Biden, through a spokesperson, has denied the allegations. Reade has claimed to various media outlets, including The Intercept, that she told her mother, a close friend, and her brother about both the harassment and, to varying degrees of detail, the assault at the time. Her brother, Collin Moulton, and her friend, who has asked to remain anonymous, both confirmed that they heard about the allegations from Reade at the time. Reade’s mother died in 2016, but both her brother and friend also confirmed Reade had told her mother, and that her mother, a longtime feminist and activist, urged her to go to the police.

In interviews with The Intercept, Reade also mentioned that her mother had made a phone call to “Larry King Live” on CNN, during which she made reference to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Reade told The Intercept that her mother called in asking for advice after Reade, then in her 20s, left Biden’s office. “I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified,” Reade told me. (source)

I only make these asides because, a, the society is sick. The media are sick. The people behind powerful figures are sick. But, even the dirt-poor or the deplorables or the mid-level folk, if men, accused of date rape, acquaintence rape, assault on a wife, beating a spouse, they are entitled on many levels since toxic masculinity is a face, and that we are in a rape culture. Forget about the Matt Taibbi types, or any of them, questioning the accusers of any number of thousands of powerful and in-the-news folk. They think the #MeToo movement is fake, on all accords.

Remember, here on these pages and elsewhere, I have written about my clients as a social services dude: homeless veterans and homeless folk. All my clients who were female were RAPED by their own soldiers, in this country, and some out of this country. Nah, not a rape culture, right?

It turns out that Vicky’s husband was a big shot at the University of New Mexico. Big shot in the fraternity. Big shot lording over women. Doing the old Ted Bundy soft shoe, but deep down hating women. He had many female friends — he’s tall, well built, a charmer, and, an amazingly open misogynist. Hates his mother. Uses the word “cunt” all the time, and bitch. Is he a product of a father with toxic military masculinity? A product of a military father who killed “the enemy” and bragged about it? A product of a death society enamored of military and macho and might? Is her 35-year-old husband worthless as a man? Full of sociopathic tendancies? Broken at a young age? Destroyed by booze? Determined to be all he can be as a sexist and shitty pig because he has no role models other than violent, piggish, misanthropes? The pigs and military, two of the highest rates of domestic violence of all sub-groups of baboon homo sapiens males. He is a product of that! TV, movies, sports, and toxic rape culture trapped in the DNA of men,

So, this person, Vicky, is out of here. She will have to withdraw from the toxicity. She’ll have to rewire her brain. Right now, she’s 800 miles away from the guy, but she had the shakes this morning, sweating, sick to her stomach. It’s the weight off of her soul, and it feels, well, discombobulating. Serotonin, dopamine, all the hormones in the fight or flight discharge. Cortisol loads. It’s an ugly reality that getting out of a toxic violent relationship is like getting off booze, coke, heroin. Or pills.

The body does rewire under strain and pressure and living in hell. It does create holes in mind processing. The body reacts to the hormones, the adrenal gland, all of that, including the gut and entire systems that keep a person from failing over with a heart attack at age 38.

Here, one of thousands of offending “judges”:

After the judge in her Wisconsin divorce case ruled that her ex-husband — a man who had sought treatment for anger and alcohol issues — would get legal custody of and equal time with their four children, Julie Valadez vowed to fight back.

But in every key ruling that followed, the Waukesha County Circuit Court judge overseeing her case, Michael J. Aprahamian, found Valadez’s concerns about her ex-husband not credible and her actions unacceptable. Aprahamian took away her ability to co-parent her children. He held her in contempt four times. And after Aprahamian ordered her arrest, she braced herself for jail.

Valadez, whose accusations of domestic abuse had led to her husband’s arrest, ran through a string of attorneys and represented herself at times. Eventually she found a Milwaukee civil rights attorney to represent her, along with a public defender, and enlisted the help of a Washington, D.C., legal service for domestic violence survivors. (source)

Yes, the court system — For Domestic Violence Survivors, Courts Can Be Another Abuse. They are living hells. There is no ethics in the law, and the rule of law, it is stacked against, well, fill in the blank_______________________________!  The Court System Is Stacked Against Survivors Of Sexual Violence!

The systems for Vicky are stacked against her. She’s been married to this felon (he has two DUI’s and an assault from his drunkenness) who has managed to not get any couple photos taken. She is at his whim. She is about to be in another state to work on counseling. DV services. Getting support for herself and her dog. A shelter? Can this punk track her down? She will need help with a divorce. She deserves half of whatever this house is worth — $350,000. He’s managed to beat her, and there is a hospital report of broken ribs and concussion with the words “assaulted by husband” on the report. That was 1.5 years ago. She never filed charges.

The healing process will take time. Funny thing, the lady who owns the rent-a-car outfit in Corvallis is a survivor, too. Ten years, no kids, and she said she hit the bottle when she got out of that hellhole. She now owns her own business.

And so there we go. It takes more than a village. It takes proactive and empathetic people to help lead a way or pathway out of people’s hell’s. Most people I know will not get involved, but their sick minds are putting those UkiNazi blue and yellow stripes up on their Facebook. They’ll give a dollar of their Big Mac order for guns for more UkiNazi’s in Ukraine, but they say — “Man, don’t get involved with her. Domestic Violence. If he finds out who’s helping her, man, he’ll come after you.”

That is the jelly consistency of most Americans’ spines. Except for the lady at the rent-a-car place. And my friend Alice in the mountains with her goats and dogs and fruit trees. She even gave Vicky a $100 for the road. This Vicky, mind you, is a new friend to both of us. No one I knew except for a 45-minute conversation in that hardware store parking lot a month ago.

Now, she is connected to me, to my friend, Alice, to my sister, to that car rental lady, to many many more folk. That’s how you help a person. It’s a team effort. And while the guy deserves a bat to the head, I am 65, with a spouse who is not into that sort of justice (she is, but not for the consequences of me going to jail). I have no problem with that sort of justice, but again, missiles and cluster bombs and napalm for UkiNazi’s, but not a finger lifted for a fellow human right in their community.

Note: Names, demographic and biographic stuff changed to protect the heroes and the victim. But the story is absolutely true crime, right from this writer’s horse’s mouth. I just got a text from her on the road. She’s in LA now, listening to Steve Miller, and the dog’s head is sticking out the window, and Vicky is moving on, south, a million mental miles away from a very bad relationship that would have ended in, well, a broken neck, or her death.

More, here: Battered Woman Syndrome

The post Everyday is Domestic Violence Awareness Day: Not Just a Week in October first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Requiem for a People-Centered World Dream

My dream is to invite a reader into a room and pour a nice cup of tea . . . and then nail the door shut.

— author Charles Bowden, 2010 NPR interview

There is so much daily that expresses so much about the slippery slopes we are in globally because of predatory-penury-parasitic-pugilistic capitalism.

In the USA, on this continent, north, and south of those colonial and Manifest Destiny “borders,” the amount of both absurdity and abomination is magnified in a world of protracted panic.

It’s there, truly, the panic. Young people are offing themselves with Narcan and with opiates. There are more dreams not only deferred, but dreams turned into nightmares by a thousand cuts.

We have a world where getting into uniform, with a rifle, with a joystick for murder incorporated, is the new abnormal. Hitch up in the killing machine US Army for $50K.

If this isn’t blasphemy, then, you know we have lathered ourselves on that slippery slope of the multi-pronged Faustian Bargain.

Then, more mercenaries recruited for big bonuses: Make that the disgusting US Army,

You know how messed up the USA is, from A to Z, and the news continues to illustrate the dying empire. Paying punks to enlist in the killing machine!

FORT CAMPBELL, KY — The U.S. Army is offering its largest bonus ever for new recruits with up to $50,000 available to qualified individuals who sign on for a six-year active-duty enlistment.

The total incentive package for a new recruit is based on a combination of incentives offered for the selected career field, individual qualifications, length of the enlistment contract, and the ship date for training.

In the past, enlistment incentives for full-time soldiers could not exceed $40,000.

The Army is competing for the same talent as the other services as well as the private sector and must have the ability to generate interest in the current employment environment, according to Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, who leads U.S. Army Recruiting Command in its mission to fill full-time and part-time vacancies in about 150 career fields in the regular Army and the Army Reserve.

“This is an opportunity to entice folks to consider the Army,” said Brig. Gen. John Cushing, who serves as the deputy commanding general for operations under Vereen at USAREC. “We’ve taken a look at the critical (military occupational specialties) we need to fill in order to maintain the training bases, and that is where we place a lot of our emphasis.”

Now run that up against The Man who coined the term Military Industrial Complex, and a new book written by, well, shall we call that person part of the elite, part of the chosen people from Ivy League and East Coast silver spoon roots. And, in the magazine that for many is a sell-out, for sure, Jacobin: Here, the article reviewing the man and the book.

Crisscrossing the country, Butler denounced US warmaking abroad and ruling-class violence at home as two sides of the same bloody coin, telling audiences from Racine to Roanoke that America was divided into “two classes”:

On one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 percent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came.

Butler published a short book, War Is a Racket, collecting the key themes of his orations in 1935. Later, in an essay in the socialist magazine Common Sense, Butler confessed to having been a “racketeer for capitalism,” elaborating that, as “a member of our country’s most agile military force,” he had served as “a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers.” In 1936, Marine Corps informants sent to spy on the ex-general observed him speaking on a panel alongside self-identified Communists and reported that “the General appeared to us to be either insane or an out and out traitor.”

[Major General John A. Lejeune, head of the Marine Corps, calls on General Smedley Butler in camp at Frederick, Maryland in 1922. (Bettmann / Getty Images)]

And, as an aside, but a big ASIDE, we are in a time of collective cholera of the conscious, in this remote work, remote being, remote news world. Just watching the fake left, Amy Goodman, daily (M-F) with an absolute stiff arm to authority, as the Democracy Now newsroom in New York is with Goodman, solo, while her correspondents, including Juan Gonzalez, are stuck in their homes with their laptops and tiny cameras and mic delivering their fear porn.

Young Lords logo.png

Imagine this happening today, 2022 — Verboten, again, in the Zoom Doom of Dead Consciousness. Mask up, sit on your toilet, tune into Zoom, if you are lucky:

[Students at the University of California at Berkeley filing in to listen to Smedley Butler’s Peace Day address in 1939. (Library of Congress)]

I analyzed Juan’s book, News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media, a while back. Remember, Juan was once in the radical group, the Young Lords.

Luís Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway, said “…in Murder City Charles Bowden plunges in head-first, without a parachute. There are moments when the book threatens to burst into flames and burn your hands.”

We are in a time of cholera of the consciousness, of infantalized masses following the dictates of a few chosen people, men and women of those classes, those groupings, the vetted and vaunted few, the ones who have been knighted by the lords of finance insurance real estate, and, more than FIRE, but the complex: Butler, War is a Racket.

Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket — and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples:

Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people — didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump — or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

Or, let’s take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.

There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.

Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.

A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.

Read the short book, then scale it up to today! Trillions stolen from US taxpayers, and all the apps, all the services of the private money hecklers who have gotten sweetheart contracts with every branch of the government you and I supposedly fought for. All those trillions in bribes and bailouts. Imagine that, a Trump LLC and then a CitiBank Biden BBB. And before these two scoundrels? Do the history, look at the administrations, and figure it out. Here, just one short diatribe featuring one hell of a Satan, Kissinger. Beware of the verbiage I deploy to singe this fellow and those presidents who have utilized this war criminal. I have already gotten emails threatening me for the Blog Post. And notice all those cozy photos of Henry Kissinger with all the tribes of descrutive capitalism, a la war. War on us, war on societies, war on nations, war on children, war on ecology, war on thought, war on agency, war on the human body, war on thought.  “Tribalism Rules.”

So here we are, now, the kernel of this diatribe today — our faces. Oh, how we give up more and more each day, until the chip is in the back of the neck, and those bots are gathered in our organs with graphene building blocks to our souls.

Again, I harp on this one blasphemey, IRS demanding facial recognition — and that agency is for us, right? A truly representative form of democracy demands we the people have a huge say in what happens to us, and that’s not just idiotic voting, but again, “War is a Racket” is now “Banking-AI-Pharma-Med-Entertainment-Science-Education-Prisons-Law-Congress-Energy-Transportation-Chemicals-Engineering-Space-Data” ARE the Racket.” This is yet another single story that comes to us via the Net which is yet another chink in the armor of humanity plucked from our souls:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US will require people to submit a facial scan through a third party provider to make payments or file taxes online. The system raises obvious privacy concerns.

Currently, users only require a username and password to log into their IRS accounts. But starting the summer of 2022, users will need to verify their identity through a third-party identity verification company called ID.me. The change was first noticed by Krebs on Security.

So you dig a bit, and find out who these millionaires and hedge funders and social impact investors are behind this “third party” (gouging, sick profiteers) outfit, ID Me!

Nader’s good, but he can only go so far. Yesterrday, 1/20, on Democracy Now, a rare media visit for Ralph Nader, who has been locked out of board rooms, out of newsrooms, locked out of so much for decades, when his memory, his insight, his analyses are vital to institutional memory and his own sort of harping against the profiteers.

He has to beat those dead horses, multiple times, year after year . . . dead horses tied to the fact there are no real journalists in the legacy media, and that there are no cops working the FTC or DoJ or EPA or FDA. He is spot on, but he never gets on NPR or PBS or Fox or CBS. Nader is spot on about Republicans being fascistic and messianic. They are, of course, worse:

And the reporters didn’t take him to task there. The reporters, either they’re not doing their homework or they’re full of taboos. I mean, they never raise the corporate supremacy over our country. There isn’t a single agency in the federal government that isn’t influenced maximally by corporate lobbies. And Congress is swarmed by corporate lobbies. You have 500 drug company lobbyists full-time assigned to Congress, and there are 535 members of Congress. And these corporations are strategically commercializing every aspect of our society, commercializing childhood, strategically planning the tax system, the food system, the health system, fighting global warming remedies, the fossil fuel industry, ExxonMobil. They’re planning our genetic inheritance. Commercializing childhood should be a left-right issue, conservative issue. The press never asks about it. The self-censorship of the press is overwhelming. That’s why we have to have a more independent media.

We have to have — I mean, look at the coverage of Ukraine. As Katrina pointed out, if our country was invaded in a span of 40 years from the north, with 50 million casualties, what do you think we would do? Do you think we would just station troops on the northern border? We would have taken over the northern country and annexed it. And that’s why dictator Putin can get away with what he’s doing now, in terms of public opinion of the impoverished Russian people, is because they remember. They have their casualties in their families from the western frontiers, started with Napoleon.

And here we are, expanding a military alliance for arms sales for the military-industrial complex, because, as was pointed out, a condition of joining NATO is to buy the F-16 and other weapons in Eastern European countries. NATO is a military alliance organized against the Soviet Union. And now they’re expanding it in Eastern Europe and putting troops there. It’s, here we go again, a completely preventable conflict. What Putin really wants is Ukraine never to join NATO, no strategic offensive weapons in the Ukraine. He’s asking for ending strategic weapons in Europe — that is not going to happen.

But the press asks war-inciting questions. NPR asked it. David Sanger asked it. They asked war-inciting questions. It’s like Vietnam all over again. It’s like Iraq all over again. They don’t ask peace-inciting questions about diplomacy. And this is a dangerous situation, and the press just isn’t doing its job. It isn’t just Biden.

He can’t communicate how the GOP is opposed to everything that’s defined as human. You don’t make moral appeals to the GOP, like Senator Warnock just did. You show that they are opposed to sending $250 and $300 monthly checks to 65 million children, which has stopped now, and the GOP will not expand it. I mean, that’s a good political item to communicate to the American people. Those 65 million children come from conservative and liberal families who are both deprived. He doesn’t know how to communicate. The GOP knows what it wants. It’s messianic. It’s fascistic. It’s driven. And the communication from the Democrats, from the DNC to the White House, is weak. It’s anemic. And the public senses that. (source)

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Finally, a story NOT covered in legacy media or left wing media. Ralph doesn’t get it yet. He still believes in his book title, how billionaires will save the world.

See the source image

 

He’s dead wrong about the above statement/title of one of his books. And, here it is, again, social impact investing, and the soul of humanity, especially youth, being sucked up by the ultra rich and investment teams for their data and their compliance — The Internet of Bodies and Human Capital Futures Bets In Brazil

In the coming years, global financiers, will attempt to meld dynamic pricing and mobile payments with biometric digital identity, Internet of Body sensors, and blockchain smart contracts and then weave it all into an expansive spatial web meant to control our social and economic relations in both the material world and, through digital assets, rights and privileges, in the Metaverse, as well. Click here to listen to an interview I did with Bonnie Faulkner of Guns and Butter that goes into more detail about how impact investing connects to digital twins, and mixed reality.

Surely it is twisted to view communities as resource deposits of untapped data, but that is the logic of end-stage capitalism. The infrastructure needed to scale human capital finance profit are ICT (Individual Communication Technology) devices including phones, tablets, and inexpensive computers like chrome books; wearable technologies and biosensors; and 5-6G used in combination with data-dashboards that verify impact data against predictions and success metrics laid out in the terms of the deals. These are all things one finds in recreation centers in the United States now, and given inroads made by the Aspen Institute, Stanford, Harvard and the like, they will very likely become standard issue in the favelas, too. Not because any of it is good for children, but because the children’s data has value, and their compliance has value.

The Metaverse will be populated by compliant avatars. Beyond social impact, the conditioning of the young to cyborg life is going full throttle. Meanwhile for portfolio managers, children’s futures are just tranches of investment – data commodities. It’s only business. — Alison McDowell, Wrench in the Gears (dot) com!

Most people I talk with do not have the bandwidth or wherewithal to understand this next stage, end stage, capitalism into our very souls, which is fascism, inverted totalitarianism, all bunched up in a world of chaos, all drawn and quartered on the backs of us, vis-a-vis all these scams of Build Back Better variety, or UN’s sustainability goals and Universal Basic Income propaganda, and the 4IR and WEF — the fourth industrial revolution is part and parcel of the Great Reset.

This sort of stuff Alison writes about does get under many of our skins, but for the most part, I know so many people who have given up, who think that we all are data mined anyways, that we have all our info in the banking-IRS-DMV-insurance-medical-education superhighway of giving up all agency, anyway, so what’s the big deal we are being tracked, and what’s the big deal that our kids are being watched and what’s wrong with our ovaries and prostates and such being monitored by the Internet of Bodies and Nano-Things when we just have to lean back and enjoy this new world?

And I have harped for 17 years here at Dissident Voice, and decades before, in newsrooms, in classrooms, in homeless shelters, in programs for the disenfranchised, on stage, at conferences for sustainability, on my radio show, elsewhere. I have harped and harped about the false flags, about the overlords drilling into our very being, about more and more of our agency stripped from us daily, not as part of a huge democratically controlled system of community building, power to the people organizing, or we are the 80 Percent movements, but to mine our souls so we are ghosts in their machines.

The agency we have given up was with that passport, all those sick people who pressed my ass at various border control passings. Strip searched and body cavity groped twice. Then, all the shot records needed to go here and go there. All the proof of life in school (Iowa IQ tests), the SAT, the LSAT, all the tests (run by the chose people, millionaires) and all the records of accomplishment, of criminal involvement, all the credit scores and all the car blunders, all of that kept for THEM, the Complext, the Insurance, Real Estate, Finance, FIRE, millionaires who get legislation in THEIR favor passed through the tricks of pimping and prostituting and arm twisting and outright bribery.

Imagine, protests and cops rounding us up, and then court cases, appearances, the hassles, the humiliations. Try it out for size.

How many arguments have I had with MD’s who know squat about nutrition and each time challenged me and my vegetarianism? Me, running 6 miles a day, biking 30 and scrambling underwater and up hills?

How man dirty arguments about “that” history, versus a new and improved revisionist history vital to a population from which to rise up and take on the paymasters, the body snatchers, the mind thieves?

Until we are here, 2022, in a chamber of stupidity, all the dumb and worthless stuff out there, all the racists and white-priviledged perspectives out there pounding it in the heads of unsuspecting youth, K12, TikTok, YouTube, all of the Net and WWW. All the Ivy League and Oxford-trained scum who determine not only our futures, but write our histories, and what they write is almost always semi-dead wrong. Because without the voices of the oppressed, those on the streets, in homeless camps, those suffering poverty and the inflammatory disease of capitalism; i.e., fines-tolls-fees-surcharges-service fees-handling charges-tickets-code violations-late fees-taxes-triple taxations-levies-processing fees-mortgages-ball on payments-PayDay loan rigged systems — without their voices at the forefront, and in the newsrooms, inside schools, and in the publishing houses and the actual process of writing their own stories, then we have the tin ear writers and prognosticators and anthropologists and psychologists, the elite, the highly connected, the bias of the white man and white woman writing about us.

They get it wrong 90 percent of the time!

Now, if this graphic doesn’t run chills up and down your spine, then, you are not following the overlords’ script. Catch up please!

UNSIF 17 UNSDGs

Dig down and listen, watch, read: And it’s not pretty, and it’s not slick, and it’s not all east coast, Ivy League, London Bridges Falling Down stuff.

Finally, I was reading about Charles Bowden last night. Found a piece in Literary Hub, and then went backwards to see one of his talks. Rough guy, but an amazing chronicler of people.”Eulogy for a Visionary: On the Grim Narrative Introspection of Charles Bowden — Leath Tonino Considers His Brief Correspondence with the Author of Murder City”

The piece was written and published December 2021, even though Chuck died in 2014.

Here, a gravel-voiced Chuck talking to the California Commonwealth Club. Mostly about the lies around the war on drugs.  I talked with Chuck years ago, in the 199os, in Juarez and El Paso. I was working on things for the two newspapers, and he was working the narcotraficante stories. That’s a whole other story, of my life maybe some autofiction is due, but for now, here, from the young writer who wanted to interview Chuck in Tucson, but never got the chance since Chuck died at 69 in his sleep. His piece is from the heart, and good.

My first thought: Murder City, solid title.

It was 2011 and I was scraping by in San Francisco, spending hours at the public library, tinkering with writing projects, browsing the stacks during breaks. The name on the book’s spine—Charles Bowden—was familiar yet unfamiliar; essayist Rebecca Solnit, a neighbor with whom I’d recently taken a long walk, had referenced Bowden, telling me that “he could make your skin crawl by describing a Q-tips factory.” Uncertain what that meant, but eager to learn, I slipped Murder City from the shelf, intending to start it when I got home, sip some vodka, have myself a relaxed Friday evening.

Little did I know that Bowden, a veteran investigative reporter from the South-west, author of twenty-five-plus books about polluted rivers, crooks in silk suits, flies swarming over pooled blood, collapsing communities, contract killers, rattlesnakes, and desire, had a slightly different plan. In a 2010 NPR interview, he summarized his approach to crafting stories on the page: “My dream is to invite a reader into a room and pour a nice cup of tea . . . and then nail the door shut.”

So, I end with a dead man, his words not dead, the voice alive on YouTube, and what an interesting conversation it would be with him now, as it would be with Andre Vltchek, with Kevin Zeese,  with David Graeber. So many others, long gone, or just gone. Even Gonzo Thompson.

I have been coming to this city [Ciudad Juárez] for thirteen years, and naturally, I have, like everyone here, an investment in the dead. And the living. Here is a story, and like all stories here, like Miss Sinaloa, it tantalizes and floats in the air, and then vanishes. — From Murder City

More from Bowden, at the Lannan Foundation.

Charles Bowden (1945-2014) was the author of scores of books including A Shadow in the City: Confessions of an Undercover Drug WarriorDown By the River: Drugs, Money, Murder and FamilyJuárez: The Laboratory of our Future; and Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America.  In Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields, he presented a devastating chronicle of a city in collapse where not just the police and drug cartel members die as violence infects every level of society. Luís Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway, said “…in Murder City Bowden plunges in head-first, without a parachute. There are moments when the book threatens to burst into flames and burn your hands.” Bowden was a contributing editor for GQ and Mother Jones, and also wrote for Harper’sThe New York Times Book Review, and Aperture. Winner of a 1996 Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction, he lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Post Script — One story is worth a thousand points of stabbing (not lights). Two here to end this missive. If you haven’t figured out how ugly the overlords and then the Eichmann’s are, then, gain, read, live, walk the streets:

The queen and her minimum wage payout, oh those billionaires! The pay for the 20-hour-per-week job is £9.50, or the equivalent of $12.96 an hour. That reflects the U.K.’s new minimum wage, which will rise from £8.91 an hour now to £9.50 an hour in April.

Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square on October 27, 2016, in Poundbury, England.

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“I apologize to the person who appeared before me and to our entire community for having failed to meet the high standards that we expect of our judicial officers, and that I expect of myself,” Alexis Krot said in a statement posted on the court’s website.

The statement was dated Tuesday, days after she ordered Burhan Chowdhury to pay $100 for failing to get rid of weeds and other vegetation at the rear of his property. The judge’s apology followed a TV report about the case and criticism about how she treated the man.

“Shameful! The neighbors should not have to look at that. You should be ashamed of yourself,” Krot said during the online hearing. “If I could give you jail time on this, I would.”

Chowdhury, a native of Bangladesh, explained that he was weak with cancer. A son, Shibbir Chowdhury, said he helps his father with the yard but was out of the country at the time last year.

The post Requiem for a People-Centered World Dream first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Why Study History? Why it Matters to the Yankee Population Who don’t Bother to Vote

Orientation

Why bother?

“Why should I care about the past? The past is over. What matters is the present and the future. Besides, the only people in the history books are usually kings, generals, or politicians. I could care less about them. What do they do? Fight wars? Attend Congress? Schmooze? History is about dead people and dead institutions. History has nothing to do with me, my family, or my friends. As for politics, I don’t vote. Why bother? They don’t represent me. Why should I care about their inaugurations, balls, and conferences? Why should I care for any of this? This has nothing to do with my life.”

Whether or not this cynical view of history appears true has a great deal to do with the class location of the individual. People in the middle and upper classes might feel that wars, congresses, and their dates are important because they think we can learn from the past. They might say politicians and generals are more or less expressions of the popular will. “After all,” they might say, “understanding history means knowing how human ideals and values have changed over time.” After all,” they may say, “we surely have come a long way since primitive times in terms of age longevity, medicine, and the power of tools.”

My claim

The purpose of this article is to say that it is perfectly understandable that people who are working class and/or poor think studying history is a waste of time. But in large part that is because mainstream history is an ideological expression of the upper classes. What I hope to do is present an alternative view of history which is:

  •  Bottom up rather than top down;
  •  That is primarily made by working class people;
  •  Process driven, rather than event driven; and,
  • Is materialist oriented, with change being driven by population pressure and resource depletion, and class-struggle that is idealist oriented.

This understanding makes working class and poor people, (the people who don’t vote) care about history. If you’d like to see a high-contrast comparison between mainstream history vs a council communist understanding, please see the table at the end.

History from the bottom up

Perhaps it seems reasonable that the study of wars, dates, and the lives of famous men might be irrelevant, not because the past itself is irrelevant, but because our view of the past is partial and skewed. Until recently, history books only described the actions of extraordinary people – kings, generals, heads of state, or scientific or artistic geniuses. This kind of history leaves the mundane life of the average person almost completely out of the picture. The contribution of the majority of people to the shaping of societies constitutes a history that is still in the process of being written. The history of class, ethnic, and gender struggles has surfaced in academia relatively recently and, though incomplete and still largely unknown to the general public, is now unavoidable in serious discussions about the past. While the “people’s historians” offer an alternative view, it is not a monolithic one; they contest among themselves which events should be chosen for description and how those events should be interpreted.

These developments represent an important step forward. However, despite them, most people still fail to see the relevance of history to the present and the future. History seemed to be a subject that already happened. It is the imperfect record of an objective past that has occurred, has impacted us for better or worse, and seems to have vanished, giving us no further opportunity to modify it. Yet, what is missing is that past struggles between classes are like hot molten lava that becomes crystallized in the institutions of the present. In this sense the past is solidified in the present. Also, past struggles can be reinterpreted and reorganized, for better or worse, in terms of our present and future politics. All groups, both in power and struggling for power, reinterpret history in the service of their own cause. If that were not so, there would not be so many different interpretations of the same historical events. History is always political; it has never been the impartial study of objective events for its own sake.

The study of history can be subversive because it can expose the relativity of our most cherished institutions – private property, wage labor, institutionalized leadership, the virtue of acquisitiveness, individualism, and the worship of male deities. History can open up our imaginations by enabling us to learn from the beliefs and practices of early societies and, on the basis of what we have learned, reorganize our future. This subversive approach to history centers on a study of past problems for the purpose of understanding how the previous societies attempted to solve these problems – as well as on the unintended consequences which resulted from chosen solutions. Books by Jared Diamond like Guns Germs and Steel and Collapse: How Societies Chose to Fail or Succeed; and Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind are examples.

Conversely, not knowing about the past leaves us vulnerable to the belief that the current order of things is more or less the way it has always been, and by implication, the way it will always be. It means our social problems today, social solutions, and the consequences which follow seem to have no link to the past, leaving us robbed of the soil we grew out from.

Here, in summary, are the reasons for studying history I will attempt to show:

  • it is mostly about the average person;
  • it is mostly about the present and future;
  • it is malleable and open to change;
  • it exposes the relativity of our present institutions;
  • it can help us to reorganize our present and future; and,
  • it reduces the chances of repeating past mistakes.

The Dimensions of Society

Describing historical events without referring to the types of society they occur in is like an artist drawing the human figure in motion with no understanding of how the skeleton or the muscles of the body interact, to create certain possibilities and constraints to movement. History can only occur through the construction of relatively stable socio-cultural systems. A natural catastrophe in a hunting-and-gathering society will not have the same impact as it will in an industrial capitalist society. It is impossible to make sense of ecological crises, inventions, and famines without a prior understanding of the type of social structure they are impacting. World history occurs in concrete social systems – hunting and gathering societies, simple and complex horticultural villages, nomadic herding societies, and agricultural states in addition to industrial capitalist societies. There are qualitative differences between bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and state societies. Yet all societies have to adapt to their ecological settings and develop systems for producing and reproducing their existence across generations.

Anthropologist Marvin Harris (1977, 1979, 1988) has divided all social systems into three subsystems – the social infrastructure, structure, and superstructure. These subsystems enable human beings to reproduce their existence. To begin with, the ecological setting frames the conditions under which societies are built. Whether people find themselves in steppes, deserts, jungles, or plains affects the kind of soils, plants, and animals that are available as resources as well as the climate and topography. All these factors affect how hard people work and how well they eat. Additionally, the size of the population interacts with the ecological setting to determine whether people will migrate or stay in the same place.

Activities in the social infrastructure involve the most immediate necessities in food production – whether people will hunt, gather, fish or plant. Once all of this is established, people must discover the process of how they can work most efficiently in order to gain the most yield with the least amount of effort. To do this an elementary division of labor is established which includes designing tools, devising ways of harnessing energy, and determining the length of the workday.

Producing goods, however, is only the beginning. There must be methods of determining out who gets what, when, where and how. Thus, a primary aspect of the second dimension of a society – its structure – is its economy, or system for circulating the exchange of goods and services once they are produced. Further, the economy involves decisions about how much gets produced. In societies with rank and stratified social relations, the asymmetrical ratio of distribution is justified by status, prestige, and the ownership or non-ownership of property.

The second major department within the social structure is a society’s politics. Politics in its original sense means the “policy” governing society in two senses: projecting the future direction of the society and maintaining and regulating the existing social institutions – that is, sustaining order. The establishment of social policy is rarely a smooth process. Especially in rank and stratified societies, different subgroups within society cooperate, compete, and struggle for political power. The political and the economic systems are interrelated, and both concern the public world.

As the saying goes, “man does not live by bread alone.” People in all societies seek meaning about what they are doing. Meaning-making systems include science, art, law, and sacred systems – which, according to Harris, more often than not serve to justify in people’s minds what they are already practicing in their work. These meaning-making systems can also inspire people to look beyond the mundane necessities of working, eating, and breeding. This dimension is called the society’s superstructure and is often simply referred to as its “culture.”

For our purposes, the most important part of Harris’ description is his claim about how these three subsystems interact over time. When most of us are taught about world history we are presented with a picture that presupposes that social change proceeds from the top down, moving from the social superstructure and descending to the structure and infrastructure. This is an “idealist” presentation of history, in that it assumes the social world changes because of extraordinary ideas, knowledge systems, or morals.

Harris argues that this is wrong. Social evolution is rarely determined by people’s values and ideas – whether they be sacred or scientific. In fact, in nearly every instance social change begins with a crisis of population pressure and resource depletion. If the crisis is bad enough and the society doesn’t become fragmented (people abandoning it or joining other societies), people will by trial and error develop new technologies and economic-political systems that temporarily relieve the crisis. The superstructure is usually the most conservative dimension of society and the last to change. In Harris’s model, the social infrastructure and structure are like the arms of a galaxy whirling very quickly. The superstructure is like the galactic core, whose rate of movement is slower. Harris backs up his claim with evidence that hunting-gathering, horticultural, and agricultural societies all change from the bottom up. Harris is a materialist. I am convinced that tangible, biophysical, and technological-economic processes determine beliefs, knowledge systems, and values far more often than the reverse.

This linear description of the movement from infrastructure to structure to superstructure does not mean that the superstructure is powerless and doesn’t have any influence. It just means its influence is comparatively weak. In reality, all three dimensions are interpenetrating. But the dynamics are not equally weighted. Lastly, this description is not meant to suggest that in practice people in societies first build the infrastructure, then the structure, and finally the superstructure. All three subsystems are built co-extensively in time. But as they are building all three subsystems, each subsystem is not affecting people’s material life equally. The infrastructure and structure of society are impacting and determining people’s lives more forcefully.

What do the dimensions of human society have to do with history? History is the long-term, irreversible, and accumulating result of the production and reproduction of the three dimensions of society as they evolve from hunter-gatherers, simple and complex horticulture societies, the agricultural states, to herding, to industrial capitalist societies. Historical events do not acquire meaning unless we first know: what kind of society is it? Which social class, race or gender is being affected? At what point in history does it happen? The production and reproduction of society is the foundation of history.   

History is About Collective Human Activity, not Primarily About Events

How humans shape society: cooperation

Like all other animals, we humans must earn a living in the environment to meet our needs. Each species has a specific activity, a “species activity” unique to itself by which adaptation is accomplished (for example, building dams is the species activity of beavers). All animals work; i.e., they expend energy in a focused way over time in order to survive and reproduce. But the overwhelming majority of animals do not deliberately cooperate with other members of their own species, except in caring for their young. They complete all processes of work essentially alone. The simple biological strategy of most other animals is to graze, forage, or chase down prey in solitude.

Considered in isolation, without society or culture, and relying only on physical prowess, a human being is a mediocre competitor compared to other large-bodied mammals. Other animals can run faster, jump higher, and have greater sensory acuity. It is our social strategies that have made us the dominant large-bodied species on this planet, and these social strategies entail cooperation. It is our ability to cooperate with other human beings that gives us the edge over the rest of the animal kingdom. We cooperate by (a) pooling our resources, (b) creating a division of labor, and (c) working to a common end. Cooperation creates a social whole which is more than the sum of its parts.

Human societies emerged as an adaptive strategy of Homo sapiens to compensate for our physiological mediocrity. But society does far more than help us to survive and reproduce. Society is responsible for completing our humanization and expanding it over the course of history.  Cooperation changes human species-activity from work to labor. In laboring, we accept roles. Members of a hunting band agree beforehand that some will join together to frighten the game, while others will wait in ambush. Later, if they have been suc­cessful, they will share the kill with other members of the band who have stayed behind at the campsite. After all, having finished consuming the edible parts of their prey, those members who did not participate in the hunt are expected to engage in other roles, such as sewing the carcass and tanning the leather of the animal.

None of these roles, other than that of waiting in ambush, directly leads to biological satisfaction. In fact, the strategy of frightening the game, taken by itself, would be maladaptive: it would probably diminish the chances of a successful outcome. But as a socio-cultural strategy, frightening the game is effective because others have agreed to be waiting for the game when it falls into their trap. This cooperative strategy, and others like it, are so effective that they have enabled our species to dominate the globe.

Over time, our species has built a network of social institutions around the earth that changes, and is changed by, our biophysical environment. Society becomes akin to what Teilhard de Chardin termed a “noosphere” – a “super-organic” planetary feedback system, a “socio-sphere” nested within the biosphere. It is within this socio-sphere that history takes shape. The dynamics taking place among other animals within the biosphere over time could be called “evolution.” “History” is a unique kind of evolutionary activity that goes with the building of a socio-culture. Without a socio-culture there would be no history. With the few exceptions of those other animals that have some socio-culture, the humans are the only species on earth that produce history. History consists of socio-cultural systems changing over time.

Summing up:

Most Non-human animals                  Human beings

work                                                                labor

little or no cooperation                                  cooperation: social roles

biological evolution                                        socio-cultural evolution

evolution without history                   evolution with history

Individuals are Both the Object and Subject of History

Role-making and role typification

The heart of cooperation is the creation of a division of labor, or role-making. When groups divide up to perform complementary roles, they create an interdependency. By relying on each, the people create synergistic results. They obtain more food per capita with less risk than could any single member working alone. There is no longer a direct relationship between biological needs and biological strategies. The ends may be biological, but the means are socio-cultural.

When a hunting-and-gathering society first begins to divide up the tasks, the people need to discuss what to do: “You go over here and frighten the game; you go here and wait in ambush; you stay back at the camp and prepare for a feast.” But then, after a few practices runs, the group members no longer need to discuss who is going to do what because the roles have been internalized. Each person reciprocally typifies the process in his or her head. (Berger, 1967) The internal dialogue probably goes something like, “Aha, here he or she goes again playing that role. This is my cue to play this role.”

The internalization of laboring activities allows old roles to be mastered to the point where they become subconscious. Each person can now anticipate what the others will do. “There she goes again” becomes “there we go again.” The socialization activity initially is consciously undertaken. But once internalized cues kick in, each person engages in roles automatically. This frees up the individual’s conscious mind to deepen existing skills or learn a wider set of roles.

So the more roles we internalize, the more human we become. The more roles can be typed and then formed into social habits, which can be counted on to recur, the more the mind knows its social place in relation to what other humans are doing. In this model, history does not “begin” with writing and civilization, because this would exclude all the laboring and role-making of pre-state societies. History begins with the construction and reproduction of all human societies, starting with hunter-gatherers.

People are objects of history

People are not, however. free to build roles from scratch. Throughout our lives we are limited by the tools, institutions, and beliefs that are passed on to us from previous generations. An individual is born into a particular type of society, within a given subgroup of that society, at a particular point in history. Nothing can be done about that. And these constraints define what the person has to work with. As an adult, through one’s goals and actions one not only cooperates with others, but also competes with the goals and actions of others. That encounter is an inseparable part of social life. Furthermore, competition between people is not a democratic “free-for-all.” Since the rise of stratified states five thousand years ago, most people have little or no political or economic power at their disposal to enable them to compete with the real powerholders in society. In all these ways, people are the objects of history.

Subjective possibilities

At the same time, while individuals are in one sense subservient to forces which are much more powerful than themselves, the institutions and social tools of previous generations contain the raw materials necessary to overcome these constraints. Each person still has responsibility for what is made of his or her circumstances. Through learning language, and through learning to take on roles, we are training ourselves to become weavers, not simply yarn to be woven into what history becomes. As adults, the quality of what we bring to our work, the morals, and beliefs we hold dear, and the way we raise our children are all aspects of being a human subject.

Individuals then, are both objects and subjects of society, both products and co-producers of society. What is more, the process of being a product and co-producer is going on all the time.

Externalization, objectification, internalization

The process of being a subject and object of history has nicely been broken down by Berger (1967) to include three moments: externalization, objectification, and internalization. For example, every day a person goes to work, her labor, along with everyone else’s labor, literally produces society for another day. Every morning a person wakes up, she is “pregnant” with the power of reproducing society for another day. As people express their subjectivity and creativity on the job, society is reproduced. We are each pregnant with a little part of the birthing process of society for that day. The fact that this externalization potential stands behind both society and history can easily be seen if there is a natural disaster or a general strike. Society comes to a halt. It can only resume its normal rhythms through the concrete cooperative action of people. As long as people withhold their laboring activity, social reproduction is temporarily halted. So, on the one hand, society is a human product, and we are the producer of it.

On the other hand, both the process of creation on the job and the goods and services which result from our joint actions of role-taking produce synergetic results. The outcomes and consequences of the consumption of these goods and services by others are beyond the power of any individual to control. Our actions are objectified in the substance of what gets produced. However much we “externalized” ourselves by laboring, the outcome of what people actually do with the goods and services produced confronts these producers as something new, as both more than and less than we bargained for. Externalization is the process of making something. Objectification is the product made, along with other people’s reaction to it.

Last, there is the stage of internalization. It is here that the person digests the difference between what was intended in the process of externalizing their social being and what actually happened to the product (objectification). This internalization is an evaluation of the results in the service of future cycles, beginning with externalization. This cycle repeats itself over the course of history.

A theatrical example of externalization, objectification, internalization

Let’s take a concrete example. Suppose you are an actress and along with others in your theater company you’ve been rehearsing for a play for weeks. Every day that you go to rehearsal, you are externalizing your being as you shape the form of this social activity (putting on plays). On opening night and all the subsequent performances, your performance is objectified. It is now subject to feedback from the world—as gauged by the number of tickets sold, as well as by audience response, critical reviews, and wages. When the play is over the actors and actresses internalize the outcome. They take in and evaluate the feedback and make judgments about future plays.

When we objectify and internalize, we are a product of society. When we externalize ourselves, we are co-producers of society. History is the result of the process of externalization, objectification, and internalization of societies over time and across space around the world. In sum, externalization is the process of laboring, objectification is the outcome of the laboring, and internalization is the evaluation of laboring, or the discrepancy between externalization (what was produced) and objectification (how it was received).

All roles and work patterns are not freely constructed from scratch every day. Roles are institutionalized; and customs, habits, and coercion ensure continuity from day to day. But while there may be pre-programmed roles, the enactment of the “play” can only occur through the performance of social roles by living actresses and actors. It is the average person more than the extraordinary one who, for better or worse, makes the drama real on the stage of history.

Production of conflict and order

Finally, the collective activity of reproducing society through externalization, objectification, and internalization over time produces both conflict and order. On the one hand, humanity’s labor reproduces continuity, integration, cohesion, consensus, and predictability from generation to generation. But at the same time, humanity’s labor also produces outcomes that are novel, competitive, conflicted, and that sometimes result in crisis. In reproducing our society, we reproduce traditional institutions of constraint, while also producing possibilities for challenging those institutions.

Qualification: there is a place for extraordinary people

My emphasis on the average individual as a history-shaper does not imply there is no place for extraordinary individuals who also write the scripts of history. But these scientists, artists, and politicians are essentially mental workers who couldn’t have done their work if it weren’t for the everyday work of farmers and “blue-collar” workers who provide the food and construct the buildings, roads, and machines that directly or indirectly make this extraordinary work possible. At the same time, not only are extraordinary individuals the beneficiaries of the work of the lower classes, but the work of privileged groups impacts the average person too. The work of Marconi on the telegraph, for example, changed the communication patterns of the average person dramatically. Extraordinary people are also products and co-producers of the externalization, objectification, and internalization processes.

Summing up dimensions of society, world history and laboring

Let us review the relationship between the socio-cultural dimensions of society, world-history, and laboring. In order for people to meet their needs and desires, they have to earn a living in their environment; therefore, human beings labor. The process of laboring involves a specialization of tasks and the use of tools to devise and take on roles. This laboring process–

  • satisfies needs and desires,
  • humanizes us,
  • breathes life into macro and micro social processes—
  1. a) building and sustaining the social infrastructure, structure, and superstructure of society,
  2. b) catalyzing externalization, objectification, and internalization,
  • Spreading the “sociosphere” in space, around the planet, creating order and continuity as well as novelty and conflict,
  • extends the “sociosphere” in time, shaping a human world-history, and
  • creates unintended consequences in our biophysical environment.

Laboring is the activity that reproduces society and history. Laboring might be defined as the totality of collective human effort, both physical and intellectual, that is expended on the shaping and reshaping of socio-culture over time and across space.

Social amnesia: reification and alienation, legitimation, and ideology

In the last section we discussed role-making and role-taking as the basis of cooperative labor. Following Berger, I argued that role-making arises out of discussion, while role-taking occurs once the initial roles have been mastered: they are acted on subconsciously, becoming habits. The blessing and the curse of role-creating occur when the original roles that were improvised by adults of a given hunting-and-gathering society are transmitted to the next generation; i.e., institutionalized.

The blessing is that the next generation is spared the task of having to invent roles for the first time and work out the bugs. The curse is that since the members of the new generation did not themselves construct these roles; they lack the same active, exploratory relationship to them. The daughters and sons inherit the roles their parents constructed. But since they didn’t participate in shaping those roles, their relationship to these roles is more passive. Over generations, it becomes more difficult to imagine that these roles are malleable. They seem harder to change, or even to imagine as being different than they are. The internalized cue of the next generation might no longer be “there we go again,” but “this is how things are done.”

Rigidification of roles

Our roles humanize us, and at the same time they have the potential to make our minds and bodies passive. We become automatic humans—humanoids. As long as the individual is actively constructing her or his roles, the act of playing out those roles seems tenuous and changeable, almost playful. But once the roles are passed on to the next generation, they become institutionalized and ossified in the body and mind of the individual as well as in society.

The old role-making habits become simple role-taking habits. Roles become crystallized at the macro-level in historical institutions and are experienced as being beyond the control of the individuals who currently embody them. Institutions appear to have a life of their own and confront the individual as external and coercive things about which nothing can be done. Still, no matter how difficult it may be to imagine, we have far more freedom to shape and change these roles collectively than we usually think, granting that some social circumstances are more difficult to change than others.

Reification

The process of conceptualizing a social institution as a “thing” divorced from cooperative labor is called reification. The transformation of role-playing from an experience of “here we go again” to one of “this is how things are done” as an example of reification. Suppose I am at work and someone new on the job challenges the role I am playing in order to get a particular project done. If I rigidly say, “this is how things are done,” without considering that this particular situation might be unique, I am reifying the social situation. First, I am renouncing my capacity to change the role I am in. Second, I am giving up or projecting my own power to change roles by allowing myself to be enslaved to customs developed by previous workers. Third, these customs appear to me to be out of our control and have a life of their own. “Who am I to change these customs? This is the way things have always been done.” Finally, the customs are not conceived of as having both good and bad qualities that are evolving. Rather, they are understood as static—as all good; or, if we happen to be rebelling against them, as all bad.

Let me define reification more robustly. Reification is a psychological process by which individuals turn social processes and products into things. Social processes and products include roles, language, and institutions. Reification is a kind of amnesia in which humans forget that we are the agents and ends of all social activities. Roles, language, and institutions are means to our ends, not ends in themselves. Reification turns means into ends. From the example above, in its full-blown form, reification can be broken down into four moments:

  • a renunciation of ourselves as the agents or subjects of our creations;
  • a projection of our power out of ourselves onto our creations;
  • a rigidification of our creations into a status which appears beyond our control;  and,
  • a characterization of our creations as having either all good or all bad qualities.

While reification is a collective illusion, in another sense it is real. On one hand, it presents social reality in a false form. In fact, human collective creativity (labor) stands behind all social processes and products. Reifications are illusions about how society is actually built and sustained over time. But on the other hand, when people act as if society were actually a thing standing above individuals, it gives society a certain kind of reality because people’s actions support that illusion. In other words, when people are mobilized around what we may think is an illusion, the illusion becomes real in the sense that we have to deal with all of the problems that real people add to a situation through actions based on their beliefs.

But is the tendency to reify society the only problem which stands in the way of people becoming more active as social shapers? If people didn’t have all of these collective psychological illusions, would we be free to create any type of society and history we wished?

The difficulty with this formulation is that it makes the problem of why societies tend to resist change only a question of social-psychological forgetfulness, or some sort of collective memory problem. This ignores the economic and political constraints that are real obstacles in changing society.

Alienation

Another reason, as Marx and Engels pointed out over 170 years ago, is that people become “alienated”—that is, they lose control over the infrastructure, structure, and superstructure of society. With the rise of agricultural states, societies became stratified, with elites using force and coercion (the threat of force) of the state to mobilize alienated castes to labor in all three dimensions of society while extracting a huge surplus of goods and services for themselves. Because they had the backing of a military, they could force the majority to work longer and harder against their will and despite their resistance. Besides surrendering goods and services, the alienated castes paid rent and taxes on land, and had to be available to fight wars and work on state projects. Bertell Ollman defined alienation as loss of control by workers over the process or production; the products of production; the relations between people on the job and relations to themselves.

It is important to keep in mind that alienation is a political and economic process of losing control over our collective-creative species activity—labor. In contrast, reification is a psychological process which can occur in any society, including those that are egalitarian. When people are alienated, they are still shaping history, but they are sleepwalking through it.

Legitimation

But alienation cannot be achieved by state force or coercion alone. Social institutions must be built which justify and support force or coercive power so that the need for armed force is not always immediately present. Legitimation is the set of superstructural institutions and processes used by those in power to induce those in submissive positions to comprehend their submission as being (a) necessary (rather than questionable); (b) socially beneficial to all, including themselves (rather than exploitive); (c) as part of a cosmic order (as opposed to a social arrangement); (d) as inevitable (rather than changeable); and (e) as eternal (rather than historical).

Ideology

I use the term “Ideology” to mean an integrated system of political and economic ideas that emerges in stratified societies among competing castes or classes to explain and justify each’s struggle for power. Ideology overlaps all meaning-making systems in the superstructure but is not identical with them. For instance, art in a given society can either support the status quo or undermine it. Sacred beliefs can justify the rulership of a king, or they can—through the efforts of a cult or sect—threaten the power of the elite. Ideologies have at least six dimensions: they provide knowledge and beliefs about the past, present and future political and economic world; they appeal to emotions; they provide norms and values; they promote goals and plans; they are enacted in rituals; and they have a social base among various sectors of the population.

Ideology limits the ability of any caste or class to see the world with any absolute objectivity. Thus, the way any given group sees the world cannot be completely separated from the political and economic struggles between various stratified groups.

While ideology is a body of ideas, legitimation requires material processes and institutions by which ruling-class ideology is transmitted. Certainly, the lower classes can house ideologies of resistance in their own counter-institutions, but this would not be a legitimizing process, but a “counter-legitimation.”

Social conscious and social unconscious

With state coercion and legitimation in place, most alienated people retreat from public life and from technological, economic, and political decision-making processes. Most people in stratified societies are aware of having needs and desires, possessing a skill, receiving a wage, satisfying a need, raising a family, and believing in deities. In order to satisfy their needs, people are aware that they need to go to work. But most are only dimly aware that their labor has collective, macro-social consequences which go far beyond their personal and domestic agenda.

In the process of working, we also reproduce the institutions of our society, indirectly partici­pate in the reproduction of other societies around the world, and impact our biophysical ecology. And doing this day after day, we are shaping society and history.

People are conscious of:

  • needs/desires
  • biological reproduction (raising a family)
  • choice of labor (this is not very relevant in ancient rank and stratified societies)
  • playing roles as given
  • wages or salaries received
  • satisfaction/dissatisfaction with needs
  • identification with superstructural sacred traditions,

while the following are relegated to the realm of “social amnesia”:

  • the fact that roles are changeable
  • the reification of society
  • alienation from society
  • inadvertent reproduction of local social institutions (externalization, objectification, internalization)
  • reproduction of international societies (through trade)
  • social impact on biophysical ecology

Example of alienation

Suppose I get a cup of coffee from a vending machine on my morning break. That cup of coffee I’m drinking has the labor of thousands of people contained in it—including people on the coffee and sugar plantations, and all the workers who ship and deliver the coffee to our country. That is collective-creative activity. They are shaping world history by their labor. But how can that work be creative? Those people on the sugar and coffee plantations don’t sit down with other people and coordinate their efforts. They just do what they are told. As for creativity, harvesting sugar cane is hardly creative. Furthermore, those people usually don’t give a damn about the rest of the workers who are responsible for getting the coffee to the U.S., nor do they care about who is going to drink it, or the quality of the coffee itself.

What most workers care about is not getting in trouble, not losing their job, increasing their wages, and bettering their working conditions. Whatever creativ­ity they express relates either to finding ways to fuck off on the job or to picking faster (if they are paid piecemeal). Real creativity is expressed negatively in avoiding the requirements on the job; it is expressed positively when they get off work. As Marx said, the majority of human beings feel most human when they are not working and more like animals when they are working.

Of course, the cooperation and creativity of workers on coffee and sugar plantations is limited in scope, given that we live in a stratified society, and they are working-class and have to take orders. Other members of the society—artists, writers, musicians, and architects, for example—are able to exercise much more creativity; while still others—such as entrepreneurs and athletes—tend to be much more competitive than factory or agricultural workers are. But even if all of the people in the system as a whole were competing with each other or being creative to the same degree, the social process instituted by the human species taken as a whole would still have to be considered essentially cooperative and creative. The very fact that a species can harness the fertility of the soil to meet its needs is a major achievement which distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We coordinate our efforts through occupational special­ization, and the product can ultimately be transported across oceans. That’s an enormous feat, and we would be shortsighted to take it for granted.

Summary

People don’t intentionally act to produce society, nevertheless their actions produce it, behind their backs, as it were. All those humans intentionally do is merely try to satisfy needs and desires. But in order to do this, they have to work at a specific job, receive a wage or a salary, and thereby satisfy their needs. However, in the process, people produce more than they realize. They inherit the tools, institutions, and belief systems of previous generations, which they inadvertently reproduce in the process of satisfying their needs. Whatever the individual’s immediate personal or family needs, his or her work responsibilities demand that more goods and services be produced than are necessary for private consumption. In order for the individual members of the society to get their needs and desires satisfied, a super-personal system of production, decision-making, circulation, and distribution must be set up, maintained, and in some cases, transformed.

As people become more politically and economically alienated, they become less and less aware of macro-social processes, which become more or less unconscious and over which they have diminishing control. In spite of their alienation, and in spite of the fact that individuals and families are to a large degree “out for themselves,” they nevertheless inadvertently reproduce larger systems and processes—they feed people they will never know, reproduce social institutions they have no power to control, and impact the biophysical environment in ways they do not understand. Part of their activity is conscious, but a much larger part is unconscious. I call the inability to grasp the full implications of cooperative labor, either because of reification or alienation, “social amnesia.”

Until now there has never been a time when human beings as a species have intentionally remade these institutions with the intention of changing history. In order for history to become a conscious process, people would have to overturn and restructure the stratification system, which would allow us collectively to take hold of that system. Then it would be possible to design our future, not just improvise it. We would become conscious history-makers, not just unconscious history-shapers.

The process of history shaping involves three participating dimensions—the individual, society, and the biophysical environment. In the process of trying to satisfy our individual needs, we must engage in mediated social relations. In working together to satisfy needs, we use up natural resources and change the ecological niche we inhabit. As a result, socio-cultural systems accumulate wear-and-tear and undergo periodic crisis. People must decide on new ways of engaging this environment and have to build new forms of social organization to better adapt to these biophysical changes. If successful, they produce new means by which to satisfy individual needs. Individuals then develop new needs, and this results in changed social systems and changed ecological conditions. Changes in both these larger systems in turn provide new vehicles by which old individual needs may be gratified and new needs stimulated or discovered. All of this occurs despite reification and alienation.

History-shaping can be defined as the necessary, recurrent, irreversible, and accumulating process of the collective laboring of the entire human species in the past, present, and future. The table at the end shows the differences between mainstream ideas of history and a process-oriented history of council communism, a type of Marxian theory.

Conclusion: So What’s Next?

So where does an individual who doesn’t give a hoot about history or voting do with all this information? Right now, in Yankeedom, not much. In order to mobilize this cynic we would need a mass socialist political party with clear long-term goals and a transition program of every 3 to 5 years (I’m not talking about Trotsky transition program). The party must have roots in the labor movement (like Labor Notes) and connected to worker cooperatives. It needs socialist political theoreticians and political economists like Michael Hudson, Richard Wolff, Michael Roberts, and Anwar Shaikh. This party does not intend to win elections. Its purpose is to connect, broaden and deepen working class struggles and work these struggles as part of a plan. This was Marx’s vision for a communist party which he wrote about 170 years ago.

           TABLE CONTRASTING VIEW OF HISTORY

Council Communist View Categories of Comparison Mainstream Yankee View
About the past, present and future Temporal dimension About the past
Begins with the upper-Paleolithic hunter-gatherers When does it begin? With writing, in states and cities of the Bronze Age
Primarily mundane events:

working and breeding

What historical events matter? Extraordinary events: wars, congresses, inventions

 

Primarily made by average women and men laboring Who makes historical events? Made by extraordinary men: kings, generals, politicians

 

Labor is much larger than a social class.

It is human species activity Labor is the collective human activity which makes society and history possible

What is the place of labor? Labor is about a particular social class (the working class) that has little to do with history
It is inseparable from class, race, and gender struggles What is the place of objectivity? Already given

Universal and impartial

A process of interconnected, evolving events

 

Relationship between events Discrete unconnected events unless a war or congress
Human societies are the basic units of history Relationship between history and society Different types of human society are rarely considered in explaining historical events
Materialist: population pressure and resource depletion, produce crisis

Technological, economic, political adaptation

Ultimate causes of change Idealist

Extraordinary ideas, beliefs and values

External locus of control:

Improvised by the majority due to reification and alienation

 

Locus of control in the past Inevitably out of control of the majority

Not smart enough to take control of history

 

During revolutionary situations working-class people improvise a new society

In council communist society history can be designed

Locus of control in the future? External locus of control Inevitability out of control of the majority

Improvising collective action by workers to keep things from getting worse Human motivation The free will of heroic individuals middle and upper-class individuals
Structured but not pre-determined, irreversible, and accumulating, with periodic crisis Constraint-agency The will-power of competing elites
Workers are both the product and co-producer of history Who produces history? Extraordinary individuals
Improvised evolution Meaning of history Progress

First published in Planning Beyond Capitalism

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No Substantive Economic Recovery In Sight

One of the fundamental economic laws under capitalism is for wealth to become more concentrated in fewer hands over time, which in turn leads to more political power in fewer hands, which means that the majority have even less political and economic power over time. Monopoly in economics means monopoly in politics. It is the opposite of an inclusive, democratic, modern, healthy society. This retrogressive feature intrinsic to capitalism has been over-documented in thousands of reports and articles from hundreds of sources across the political and ideological spectrum over the last few decades. It is well-known, for example, that a handful of people own most of the wealth in the U.S. and most members of Congress are millionaires. This leaves out more than 95% of people. Not surprisingly, “policy makers” have consistently failed to reverse these antisocial trends inherent to an obsolete system.

At the same time, with no sense of irony and with no fidelity to science, news headlines from around the world continue to scream that the economy in many countries and regions is doing great and that more economic recovery and growth depend almost entirely, if not entirely, on vaccinating everyone (multiple times). In other words, once everyone is vaccinated, we will see really good economic times, everything will be amazing, and we won’t have too much to worry about. Extremely irrational and irresponsible statements and claims of all kinds continue to be made in the most dogmatic and frenzied way by the mainstream press at home and abroad in a desperate attempt to divert attention from the deep economic crisis continually unfolding nationally and internationally. Dozens of countries are experiencing profound economic problems.

While billions of vaccination shots have already been administered worldwide, and millions more are administered every day (with and without people’s consent), humanity continues to confront many major intractable economic problems caused by the internal dynamics of an outdated economic system.

A snapshot:

  1. More rapid and intense inflation everywhere
  2. Major supply chain disruptions and distortions everywhere
  3. Shortages of many products
  4. “Shortages” of workers in many sectors worldwide
  5. Shortened and inconsistent hours of operation at thousands of businesses
  6. Falling value of the U.S. dollar and other fiat currencies
  7. Growing stagflation
  8. Millions of businesses permanently disappeared
  9. More income and wealth inequality
  10. High dismal levels of unemployment, under-employment, and worker burnout
  11. Growing health insurance costs
  12. Unending fear, anxiety, and hysteria around endless covid strains
  13. More scattered panic buying
  14. The stock market climbing while the real economy declines (highly inflated asset valuations in the stock market)
  15. Spectacular economic failures like Lehman Brothers (in the U.S. 13 years ago) and Evergrande (in China in 2021)
  16. All kinds of debt increasing at all levels
  17. Central banks around the world printing trillions in fiat currencies non-stop and still lots of bad economic news
  18. And a whole host of other harsh economic realities often invisible to the eye and rarely reported on that tell a much more tragic story of an economy that cannot provide for the needs of the people

The list goes on and on. More nauseating data appears every day. Economic hardship, which takes on many tangible and intangible forms, is wreaking havoc on the majority at home and abroad. There is no real and substantive economic improvement. It is hard to see a bright, stable, prosperous, peaceful future for millions under such conditions, which is why many, if not most, people do not have a good feeling about what lies ahead and have little faith in the rich, their politicians, and “representative democracy.” It is no surprise that President Joe Biden’s approval rating is low and keeps falling.

What will the rich and their political and media representatives say and do when most people are vaccinated, everyone else has natural immunity, and the economy is still failing? What will the rich do when economic failure cannot be blamed on bacteria or viruses? To be sure, the legitimacy crisis will further deepen and outmoded liberal institutions of governance will become even more obsolete and more incapable of sorting out today’s serious problems. “Representative democracy” will become more discredited and more illusions about the “social contract” will be shattered. In this context, talk of “New Deals” for this and “New Deals” for that won’t solve anything in a meaningful way either because these “New Deals” are nothing more than an expansion of state-organized corruption to pay the rich, mainly through “public-private-partnerships.” This is already being spun in a way that will fool the gullible. Many are actively ignoring how such high-sounding “reforms” are actually pay-the-rich schemes that increase inequality and exacerbate a whole host of other problems.

It is not in the interest of the rich to see different covid strains and scares disappear because these strains and scares provide a convenient cover and scapegoat for economic problems rooted in the profound contradictions of an outmoded economic system over-ripe for a new direction, aim, and control. It is easier to claim that the economy is intractably lousy because of covid and covid-related restrictions than to admit that the economy is continually failing due to the intrinsic built-in nature, operation, and logic of capital itself.

There is no way forward while economic and political power remain dominated by the rich. The only way out of the economic crisis is by vesting power in workers, the people who actually produce the wealth that society depends on. The rich and their outmoded system are a drag on everyone and are not needed in any way; they are a major obstacle to the progress of society; they add no value to anything and are unable and unwilling to lead the society out of its deepening all-sided crisis.

There is an alternative to current obsolete arrangements and only the people themselves, armed with a new independent outlook, politics, and thinking can usher it in. Economic problems, health problems, and 50 other lingering problems are not going to be solved so long as the polity remains marginalized and disempowered by the rich and their capital-centered arrangements and institutions. New and fresh thinking and consciousness are needed at this time. A new and more powerful human-centered outlook is needed to guide humanity forward.

Human consciousness and resiliency are being severely tested at this time, and the results have been harsh and tragic in many ways for so many. We are experiencing a major test of the ability of the human species to bring into being what is missing, that is, to overcome the neoliberal destruction of time, space, and the fabric of society so as to unleash the power of human productive forces to usher in a much more advanced society where time-space relations accelerate in favor of the entire polity. There is an alternative to the anachronistic status quo.

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Three Strikes You’re Out for Western Psychotherapy

Orientation

Patient questions and therapeutic answers

The therapist says to the client, “tell me about your dreams” and the client shakes their head slowly and says “I had this dream …”. A therapist says to a teenager, “who are you?” The teenager answers, “I don’t know”. The therapist says to the teenager, “that’s normal at your age”. A client tells their therapist, “I am very angry at my father”. The therapist says, “let’s do a role play. You be your father and I’ll be you. I’ll show you how to do it.” A client says they are sick of their job but they stay because the money and benefits are good. They want to get into another field. The cognitive therapist says, “let’s brainstorm the different fields you want to get into. We can look at the Occupational Handbook for the skills and pay scale for the different kinds of jobs. Then we can set some goals and seasonal objectives so we make sure you follow through with your goals”. The client feels overwhelmed but agrees. A mother expresses great sadness when her thirty-three-year-old son is getting ready to move out. The therapist says to the client, “it’s long overdue for your son to leave.” After the patient leaves the therapist adds “dependent personality” to her diagnosis.

If you are an individualist living in an industrial capitalist society, both the problems and the therapeutic responses probably sound familiar and the therapeutic interventions sound reasonable. But how good are these interventions with people whose home culture is collectivists outside Yankeedom, specifically India, China or Japan?

What are collectivist and individualist selves?

Roughly 80% of the world’s population is “collectivist”, consisting of most parts of the world with the exception of the United States and Western Europe. The latter country and part of a continent have been characterized as “individualist.” For collectivists, the group is prior to the individual in two senses. The caste group is prior to the family, and the family is prior to the individual. For individualists, the importance of the individual is prior to that of the family and the family is prior to one’s membership in a social class. In the history of human societies, there have been two kinds of collectivists, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal collectivists have been hunter-gatherers, simple horticultural societies who do not have castes or classes. This is why they are called “horizontal” collectivists. Agricultural states are vertical collectivists because they have social castes. We will be using the agriculturalist states of India, China and Japan for our case studies for collectivists. Industrial capitalist societies will be the type of societies we will characterize as individualist.

For collectivists, society is like an organism and extension of nature. Different castes within that society are pictured as being like the organs of a body. Individuals are like different cells in the body. For individualists, society is autonomous from nature and is governed by its own laws. Social institutions are built up by individuals via a social contract. Individuals are independent of society and social relations appear to them as being voluntary, contractual and accidental. Lastly, collectivists value stability. What is old is revered and what is new is looked upon with suspicion. For individualists it is the reverse. There are many other interesting differences. Please see Table A for the full list. The question we will seek to address is how well will Western theories of personality work with collectivists?Six western theories of personality

There are six western theories of personality: Psychoanalysis; Behaviorism; Humanistic; Biological Physiological; Biological Evolutionary and Cognitive. Each of these theories can be broken down into sub-schools which have various kinds of quarrels and emphasis, but for our purpose the six original theories are plenty.

Unit of analysis

The basic unit of analysis for psychoanalysis is dreams, fantasies and drives. For behaviorism the basic unit is habits – what people do, over and over again. For humanistic psychology the most important focus is curiosity and peak experiences. For the biological-physiological school, what matters most are hormones, genes and brain chemistry. For the biological evolutionary school what drives individuals is survival and reproduction. For the cognitive school the main focus is the qualities of reasoning.

Structure of the psyche

The structure of the psyche for psychoanalysis is the id, ego, superego and the unconscious, the conscious and the preconscious. For behaviorism, the structure surrounding the habit  it is what happens just before the habit (associations, Pavlov) and what happens after (consequences, Skinner). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs focuses on where to place the individual for humanistic psychology. For the biological physiological theory, one major topic is temperament theory. For biological evolutionary school adaptation and sexual selection strategies is where the action is at. For the cognitive school automatic thoughts, cognitive interpretations , explanatory styles and assumptions is the focus.

Sources of conflict

For psychoanalysis there are two conflicts: between the conscious and the subconscious; and between id and the superego. For behaviorists the conflict is between the unconscious acquisition of associations and consequences which reinforce bad habits. For humanistic psychology the conflict is between the false self which is acquired from what they call a “a materialistic“society and the real self. For the biological physiological school, conflicts arise when people don’t know their own temperament and find themselves in a work or educational setting that are mismatches with their temperament. The use of drugs to stabilize hormonal balances can cause problems due to overuse and side effects.  For evolutionary psychologists many psychological problems stem from “evolutionary mismatches” between the predispositions we acquired as hunter-gatherers where we formed our human nature and our existence in industrial capitalist societies, which are far from our human nature. For cognitive psychologists, conflicts come from far-fetched automatic thoughts, cognitive interpretation distortions, pessimistic explanatory styles, and irrational assumptions.

My claim

On the surface it appears that western psychotherapy theories are very different from each other and they are –relatively. But when we consider the whole world, 80% of whom are collectivists,Western personality theories have more in common than they are different. Western psychotherapy is oozing with individualism as it falls under individualism in the last twelve categories under Table A. Because of this, Western psychotherapy has major liabilities as a therapy for collectivists. The “three strikes you’re out” in the title of this article stands for the average length of time some researchers have estimated that collectivists will stay in therapy with Western psychotherapists. My sources for this article will be the Sue’s book Counseling the Culturally Diverse; Harry Triandis’ book Individualism and Collectivism and John Berry’s Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Qualification

What I will  present covers a thirty-year period from 1970 to 2000. Perhaps in the past twenty years things have changed. I remain skeptical because cross-cultural psychology is the black sheep of the field and the field of psychology has historically resisted social and cultural explanations for psychological process, whether it be class, race, gender or religion. I would be happy to know that Western psychotherapy has become more cross-culturally sensitive in the past 20 years.

Where are we going?

The heart of the article will be to cite:

  • instances of problems that collectivists may raise in therapy;
  • Western psychotherapists’ interventions with a particular interpretation or suggestion; and,
  • why the intervention won’t work.

I will strive to have at least two examples for each school of Western psychotherapies interventions. As you will see, some Western theories are worse than others when it comes to alienating collectivists. After these examples are given I will state my five qualifications and then draw conclusions.

Ways in Which Western Psychotherapy Fail Collectivists

Psychoanalytic

Since moving to Yankeedom four years ago, a collectivist son has begun to see a counselor who his friend recommended because he feels worthless.  He claims it is because he is not able to keep up with the other kids in terms of dating and partying. After many sessions, the psychoanalytic therapist suggests to the son that his parents may be trying to keep their son dependent because it makes their lives more meaningful. How will the collectivist respond? Not well. The collectivist would be horrified to think that his parents, to whom he owes his life, would be capable of these machinations. He was raised in a Confucian culture where the family comes first.

A collectivist woman expresses dissatisfaction with her marriage. The therapist suggests the collectivist take out a sheet of paper and list all the virtues and vices of her husband. Then on the back sheet of a paper, list the virtues and vices of her father. The therapist then asks the client to compare the characteristics of her husband and her father. They are very similar. The therapist announces that their client is going through the Electra complex – a girl’s psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. How good an interpretation is this? It is out to lunch. Even if Freud’s theory was right, in order for it to work you would need to live in a nuclear family. The collectivist woman lives in an extended family with her grandfather and mother’s brother helping to raise the child. This diffusion of male responsibility will undermine Freud’s Electra complex.

A collectivist teenage boy has been feeling anxious in the presence of his older brother. An Adlerian therapist suggests that as the second born in the birth order, what he might be feeling is repressed competitiveness. “Competitiveness with the older brother  is how middle children behave.”  How will that go over with the collectivist? It won’t make much sense. Adler’s birth order assumes that the primary relationship is between the parents and each of the children taken separately. This ignores the fact that in collectivist societies older children take care of younger ones. Brother-sister dynamics are strong enough to throw a monkey wrench into the birth order theory. The job of the middle child is to take care of the younger child, not compete with the eldest.

A collectivist parent comes to therapy and says his son does not display the proper respect for them or towards his elders. The son talks back to them, questions their authority and complains that he can’t stay out as late as the other kids. The therapist suspects the problem is that the parent is raising the child in an authoritarian way. Will it be helpful to tell the parent this? No, it will not. With rare exceptions, collectivists of all castes raise their children to be obedient. What this parent is doing is not pathological. They are raising their children in the way in which the entire culture operates.

A collectivist female teenager comes to a school counselor because they are tired of taking care of their younger brothers and sisters. The Eriksonian therapist asks the teenager what they would like to do with their time. The teenager says they don’t know. The therapist announces  that teenager is going through a developmental crisis called “identity vs role confusion”. During this stage, adolescents explore their independence and develop a sense of self. How well would this interpretation work for this teenager. Not well. Typically, collectivist teenagers do not have a time as teenagers where they go to school and not work. They begin helping their parents, working as early as seven years old. They are also expected to do the same work their parents did. There is no asking “who am I?“ There are no “rebels without a cause” in collectivism.

A female therapist has been seeing a single collectivist male patient once a week for the past two years. The male patient asks his therapist if she would go out with him.

The female therapist thinks to herself that the transference is going very well. How right is her interpretation? She is off.  Transference is based on the idea that in order to become healthy, the patient must temporarily transfer their loyalties from the family of origin to the therapist. This theory will not work with collectivists because the family is too important to the client to ever allow any transference to occur.

Behaviorist

A collectivist is court-referred to attend therapy because of a drinking problem. A behaviorist therapist begins asking his patient what were his associations right before he began to drink. Then he asks him what were the consequences (positive or negative reinforcement) right after he has a drink. The therapist explains the patient must change the associations and consequences in order to stop drinking. How will this work for the collectivist? Not well. Behaviorists are very optimistic about getting people to change because mostly they think of people as blank slates. The collectivist is much more conservative and thinks of himself as a certain “type” (temperament) and there isn’t much that can be done.

When this technique doesn’t work well, the behaviorist refers the collectivist to an AA meeting. The collectivist is a Muslim and it is difficult to find an AA meeting with a Muslim higher power. Eventually he finds one. At the first meeting, in front of complete strangers, he is asked to admit he is an alcoholic. He is very uncomfortable and leaves after one meeting.

A collectivist man is violent with his partner. A social behaviorist following Bandura is interested in the relationship between watching television violence and committing real violence. The therapist suspects that the models he is following are attractive and competent and are not punished for their violence. The collectivist wife doesn’t think much of the intervention. She says men have always been violent with their wives and it goes back generations in her family. “That’s just how men are.”

Biological physiological

The medical doctor notices a collectivist female patient seems to have extreme mood swings and refers her to a psychiatrist at the hospital the doctor works for. The collectivist is embarrassed to see a psychiatrist because that means she is “crazy”. She goes anyway and the psychiatrist diagnoses her as bi-polar and gives  her medication. He explains to his patient that the drugs will “even out” hormonal imbalances. The collectivist takes the medication but does not understand how temperament can be changed with medication. She thought temperament was something you were born with and doesn’t change.

The collectivist woman’s mood stabilizes and she feels much better. She would like to continue to see the psychiatrist and, in fact, she invites him over to meet her family.

The psychiatrist tells the patient the hospital does not provide for ongoing therapy. The patient says okay, but still wants the psychiatrist to come over once to meet her family. The psychiatrist explains that would be very unprofessional. The collectivist is hurt that the psychiatrist rejects her offer.

Humanistic

A collectivist female patient complains to the therapist that her daughter is being selfish. She wants to go away to medical school to become a doctor. The collectivist patient says she should be helping out with the family business so they can pass their business to the next generation. The humanistic psychologist sides with the daughter and tells the patient her daughter is striving to be self-actualized as an individual and she should make room to let her grow. How does the collectivist react? Negatively. Collectivists have no models for self-actualization, and especially not for women.

A collectivist arrives at a therapy session and wants to report on a dream. The therapist is a follower of the Gestalt psychologist, Fritz Perls (image at the front of the article).  Perls believed that all the different parts of the dream were fragmented parts of their client’s personality. Perls wanted the patient to act out the different parts of the dream. So if part of a dream was a spewing fire hydrant, you acted that out. If a spinning house were part of the dream, you acted out the spinning house. Then the different parts of the dream talked to each other. Perls believed the parts of the dream talking to each other were ways to integrate the personality. How would that work for collectivists? It would be a disaster.

In the first place, collectivists do not think they are the authors of their dreams. They do not say, as individualists might, “I had a dream”. Rather they say “A dream came to me.” Secondly, collectivists do not think the dream is about their personal life. All dreams are about the group. Thirdly, collectivists’ dreams are not random firings of the brain or fragmented parts of their identity. Collectivists think that dreams are prophetic. They predict some future event that will happen to the group. Imagine the Gestalt therapist’s surprise when he learns his patient has travelled to Chinatown in another city to warn his people about a coming flood!

A collectivist has recently been widowed and claims that the house she has lived in with her husband is haunted by him. She claimed he is haranguing her for not showing respect to their grandparents. The therapist asks the client what she thinks is really going on here. Expecting his client to realize this is a projection of her own feelings, the therapist is disappointed that the collectivist lacks insight. This humanist psychologist thinks that insight and understanding are a necessary foundation for action. The collectivist is also disappointed. She came in expecting advice about what to do, not to play mind games.

A collectivist, after much reluctance, admits he is upset with his father for not doing more work on the family business. The Gestalt therapist says to the client, “let’s bring your father into the room”. The frightened collectivist agrees. Then the therapist says “let’s make believe your father is right here. In fact, let’s make believe he is this pillow. What I want you to do is punch the pillow are hard as you can and tell him how you really feel”. The collectivist grows silent and says he can’t do it. There are long awkward silences. Mercifully the session ends. The collectivist never returns. The humanistic psychologist thinks that his patient needs assertiveness training.

Humanistic psychologists are the enemies of formality and structure. They prefer their clients (they refuse to call them patients) call them by their first name and they dress more causally than other professionals. Furthermore, they set no agenda for the session because they want to “be in the present”. Lastly, they want the sessions to be led by the client, rather than the therapist because the client must take the initiative in their own self-healing. How will this work? Badly. Collectivists expect their therapist to play a professional role, including dressing for the occasion and referring to themselves as “doctor”. The collectivist expects the therapist to take the lead in what they will talk about and there needs to be procedures that are explicit in how the problem will be solved. All this lack of structure will raise the anxiety level of the collectivist. The humanist psychologist thinks the anxiety is good for them because it teaches them to handle anxiety in real life. It never dawns on the therapist that the collectivist’s home and work-life might be very structured.

Biological Evolutionary

Why are we attracted to fat and sugar when we know it is no good for us? Evolutionary psychology says because they are quick sources of energy and they are adaptative if taken in small quantities. In the era in which we formed our human nature, neither fat nor sugar was readily available. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, for upper-class collectivists in agricultural states, being overweight was a status symbol because it showed that you were more important and were less likely to be a victim of famines.

However, in the past 300 years sugar and fat are readily available. At the same time, over the same time period, life has been more sedentary – at least for the upper classes. These factors combine to make more people obese. What this meant for collectivist is that being overweight no longer had high status because even the lower classes now carried extra weight.

This upper class collectivist is told by a bio-evolutionary psychiatrist that they need to lose twenty-five pounds. The collectivist is upset because they are proud of their weight and losing weight will affect their perceived status. The collectivist asks the hospital if they are able to transfer them to an Indian doctor who understands these things.

A collectivist has lived in a temperate zone where the sun sets between six and nine PM, depending on whether it is winter or summer. The collectivist works as a middle manager for a transnational corporation and he is reassigned to work in Fairbanks, Alaska. The collectivist notices he has become depressed in the winter. His bio-evolutionary psychiatrist explains to his client he has seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and needs light therapy. The collectivist thinks that remedy is weird and does not want to buy any “magical” light box. He thinks he is depressed because he misses the people in his country of origin.

Collectivist parents come to therapy because they are unhappy with their daughter’s choice of a partner. The boy lacks broad shoulders and he appears scrawny. In addition, the boy has no interest in introducing his parents to her parents. The evolutionary psychologist explains to the collectivist that times have changed. He tells the collectivist that broad shoulders and physical strength were adaptive when men pulled plows. However, with the development of tractors, it became less necessary for a farmer to have physical strength to be an attractive mate. What matters in industrial capitalist society is these teenagers have common interests and are emotionally compatible. Further, he says that these days people marry for love and not for economic reasons.

This is incomprehensive to the collectivist. Their daughter’s boyfriend seems more likely to become sick and not provide for their daughter. Furthermore, their daughter is in no position to know what she wants in a partner. Sexual attraction is a very unstable reason to marry. Both their parents know more about what it takes to make a successful marriage. How can the therapist think that two people barely twenty years old are in any position to decide their future? The collectivist parents leave therapy because they think the therapist is incompetent.

Cognitive

A collectivist mom is upset with her six-year-old daughter for not making a list of all the groceries they need when they go to the store. The cognitive psychologist explains that it’s a lot to expect of a six-year-old to make lists of food and drinks and anticipate when they might run out before next week’s shopping. The therapist explains that her daughter has not mastered Piaget’s concrete operational stage and she is not likely to do this well. The collectivist does not know about western stages of development and treats children as little adults.

A collectivist man is required to attend a 40-week program for domestic violence. His partner is seeing a priest for help and as a result she is getting stronger. This makes the collectivist man very depressed and sad. The cognitive psychologist in the group program suggests they work on a writing a five-part radial message to his wife. A radial message consists of sense data, emotions, interpretations, intention and consequences. For the next three sessions the collectivist man disappears. When he returns, the cognitive therapist asks “where were you?” The collectivist confesses that he travelled to another city to confer with a shaman for help. They did a ritual together and the shaman claims to have expelled the evil spirit that has possessed his wife.

A collectivist lives in a city which has just had flooding as the result of a storm. One of his sons has been injured and there has been significant damage to their house. The cognitive psychologist, trying to be helpful, suggests the collectivist make a list of all the things that need to be done and set a time line for each task of the project. He further suggests that this may be a good opportunity to set some long-range goals for his children. How will this be received? Not well. The therapist is operating with an internal locus of control. That means how long something lasts, how much the event will affect other areas of a person’s life and whoever is responsible is largely under the person’s control. The collectivist won’t go for this. He thinks that the causes of things are either the will of the gods, luck or possibly due to sorcery. How long something lasts, as well as it how it affects the rest of his life are not under his control. He understands the therapist means well, but the therapist is naïve. Meanwhile the therapist is toying with a diagnosis that the collectivist is depressed.

Qualifications

Vertical collectivists are not the only kind of collectivist

As mentioned in the orientation section, I have only discussed collectivists in agricultural states. Horizontal collectivists at the tribal level of society are very different from vertical collectivists. However, we think Western psychotherapy would fare at least as bad with them

The degree of success or failure would depend on the acculturating group membership upon entering the country

There are six kinds of acculturating groups: immigrants, ethnic groups, refugees, sojourners, native peoples and slaves. Immigrants are migrating people who have come to new country intentionally, plan to stay permanently and have at least a modest savings upon entering the country. These folks have the highest probability of having limited success with western psychotherapy. Sojourners, who move from place to place, if they are students, might not do too badly if they had some extra money and would have become more familiar with western ways through courses taken. On the other hand, refugees are usually fleeing their country of origin because of economic, political or religious persecution or natural disasters. They have little money and no clear intention to stay. They are less likely to enter therapy voluntarily and more likely to be court-referred. Native Americans, given the genocide and persecution to which they have been subjected, would hardly come to therapy voluntarily.

There are collectivists in separate countries and subgroups within countries

My article has focused on collectivists as they exist in different countries. However, there are also collectivists who exist within a single country, even in Yankeedom.

There are predictable sociocultural factors that would make people more or less collectivist even within an individualist culture. For example:

Maximum Collectivist                        Maximum individualist

Working class                                              Middle class, upper-middle class

Racial minorities                                        Racial majority (72% white)

Women                                                         Men

Older than 50 years of age                       Between 20-50 years of age

Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, Confucian     Protestants, Jews

Rural                                                             Urban, suburbs

Deep south, farming                                  Coastal cities, industry

Military service                                           No military service

Children                                                       No children

Space does not permit me to explain this, but my point is there can be individualists within agricultural civilizations just as there are collectivists within industrial capitalist societies.

Pristine vs Hybrid Collectivist

In this article I have treated agricultural civilizations and industrial capitalist societies as if they existed in a pristine form with no interaction. But in the last two hundred years capitalism has traded with, colonialized and manipulated India, China and Japan so that they are no longer pure collectivist societies. China, despite the control of the Communist Party, has allowed forms of capitalism to come in so that the Chinese today are not the same as they were two hundred years ago. The same is true of India, thanks to British imperialism. While the Japanese industrialized themselves in the second half of the 19th century, they had their constitution dictated by the Yankee rulers after World War II. Despite this, both Chinese and Japanese capitalism still contain a collectivist core which has not been hollowed out.

I am not saying Western psychotherapy never works with collectivists

It is much more likely to work with people on the individualist side of the collectivist columns above. So a light-skinned collectivist, upper middle-class man between 20 and 50 living in a coastal city without children and no military experience might be very receptive.

Conclusion

I began my article with five psychological problems an individual in an industrial capitalist society might have, along with what seem to be good therapeutic interventions. The issue this article raises is two-fold:

  • How helpful will these interventions be with people who live in collectivist societies such as India, China or Japan?
  • Are the problems the client raises universal problems all people have or are the problems themselves not relevant for people living in collectivist societies?

My claim in this article are that therapeutic interventions fail to deal effectively with the problems that collectivists might face if they are immigrants, sojourners or refugees.

I began by defining what it means to have a collectivist or individualist self. I provided a table which compares collectivists and individualists across nineteen categories. I then gave an overview of six western personality theories and compared them across three categories: the unit of analysis; the structure of the psyche and the sources of the conflict to lay a foundation for understanding Western psychotherapeutic interventions.

The heart of the article is to raise, on average, three psychological problems a collectivist might have in a Western psychotherapy session. Each school was faced on average with three problems the collectivist will present. Then their interventions were criticized for being cross-culturally insensitive.  I closed my article with five qualifications.

• First published in Socialist Planning Beyond Capitalism

The post Three Strikes You’re Out for Western Psychotherapy first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Little Deaths . . . Finding Solace Inside One’s Heart

The consensus is in — no choice, no life, no job, no nothing, without a passport. That medical, DNA scan, the retina scan, all biological systems covered, that all-encompassing passport that lists every move, every moment, every job, every purchase, every fine, penalty, tax, rental, home, significant or insignificant emotional and economic and familial event, captured in a chip. Americans are spoiled, for sure, as are Europeans, and Canadians. That mostly encompasses the Great White Hopes of those respective “countries.” The rest of us, in these “first world” environs are struggling, even with debit and credit and La-La Land accoutrements ad infinitum.

These new times in the west are old times, bubbling up, really, from the early conquest days of razing Indian families, destroying and taking over and plowing through villages, lands, territories. Entire rooms at elite Ivy League universities and museums with drawers and boxes of Native American skulls, bones, skins, eyes, belongings, sacred objects. It is the way of the Egyptologists, and it is the way of the Crusades. Pillage, set villages on fire, and now, set states and countries on fire with fear and terror campaigns in order to exact total compliancy. Services, labor, debt, future payments, extracted from us, capitalism’s marks. Victims. Useless eaters-breeders-breathers-squatters.

Here, from David Rovics, musician and protestor, with some great stuff on Dissident Voice over the years, just coming back from Denmark (and other countries in his gig line). He embraces progressivism and the forced jabs. He is a good fellow, who interviewed me, and we talked about other things tied to the ugly side of leftists and their canceling culture, censorship, etc., but this conversation about jab/mask/remote lockup mandates has not happened yet. I still have room in my brain to listen to what he says, though he misses so many points here:

Despite the prevalence of disinformation platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube being as popular in Denmark as anywhere else that doesn’t have the good sense to ban them, the anti-vaccine movement and anti-lockdown movement in Denmark never grew to the proportions of such movements in the US, Germany, France and elsewhere. But unlike those aforementioned countries, in Denmark most people have a well-founded reason to trust the government on matters of public health and safety.

In Denmark, if anyone jaywalks, they’re usually either a foreigner or an antisocial type. The overwhelming majority of Danes would never do that. This is also true in Germany and some other countries. Americans and Brits and others visiting from abroad tend to make typically American and British individualistic, antisocial assumptions about this conformist behavior. They see a crowd of Germans or Danes standing at a crosswalk, waiting for the “walk” signal, even if there’s no traffic in any direction, and they see something scary, from Children of the Corn or some other horror movie, a bunch of zombies who can’t think for themselves, or are afraid of getting a ticket. (source — David Rovics)

That’s a whole other set of discussion points from this tour he had in Denmark about what democratic socialism is, what society is, how science and government should be trusted (really?). Jaywalking and shoot, tossing banana peels on the side of the road. How dare us lazy, supercilious and egotistical North Americans! Yankees!

The unfolding global hysteria is congealing into even more lovely by-products of Big Pharma as Dictatorship. It comes in many forms and offshoots, for sure. The main functions of Western society are broken — neoliberal and conservative values (sic) have gutted infrastructure, have thrown trillions of bucks-euros to the few, have propped up this society into a very effective kleptocracy, have imbued a dog eat dog set of beliefs into a slew of folks.

We are at the point where billionaires and their lackeys in high places set the narrative, tone, and write the legislation, laws and force zero delimits on corporations and government in this “we the people” system we supposedly “fought” for. There is collapse, after collapse, after collapse, and it is apparent in the lack of governance over decades, and the adventures of imperial overreach, too.

In daily lives, professional managerial class actors are hitting the middle/upper middle class stratum, economically, through the systems of pain, fines, fees, tolls, penalties, regressive taxation, permits and litigation that eat at us, the 80 percent, from the soul and the brain and the body. We are in a time of most people not being able to navigate “the system,” and that can be any system — school, medical, social security, DMV, courts, and any number of systems of oppression and subjugation. So it is a time of chaos, now Covid Chaos, moving into more Chaos.

Teachers should be a priority for Covid vaccines, unions and others say - POLITICO

“People are fed up,” says Winni Paul, a management consultant whose clients have included campuses and higher-education groups. “The graciousness, the compassion, the ‘we do it for the students, we do it for the work’ — that’s gone.”

And I am with a group of teachers from many states, who are now scrambling to figure out what to do with the forced jabs, the forced proof of jabs, the forced masking, all of that, and many will not submit to the experimental mRNA, many have looked into these DNA-alternating medical devices, and they feel alone, big time. Their AFT (American Federation of Teachers) union has caved, and they see in big cities and small, all venues requiring, soon, a passport, CDC-approved vaccination card.

Delta airlines is forcing non-vaccinated employees to pay an additional $200 a month premium, AKA fine for not being jabbed. Oh, that was yesterday (August 25), and that will not be the end of it. Fools like Thom Hartman advocate ER physicians having the right to refuse treatment to anyone coming in — motorcycle accident, heart attack, broken leg, stroke — who are not vaccinated.

This is the Brave New World already outlined by the eugenicists of the 1920s, of the Modest Proposal of Swift’s time, of the middle passage days of tossing overboard hundreds of sick shackled slaves in one one-way crossing. Multiply that by hundreds of ships, tossing human beings for the sharks, alive, shackled in chains. It is the genocidal policies of empires and their corporate thugs (overlords) in despoiling cultures, murdering millions, and enslaving regions for their rubber, silver, gold, lithium, any number of things the capitalists call loot and booty. Pirates compared to the thieves from history and today seem like Fred McFeely Rogers in comparison.

See the source image

Even a saint, Fauci, he is a titan of terror in his old man’s way — “over his 50-year career with the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to address the cause, to prevent or cure the exploding epidemics of allergies and chronic disease that Congress charged him with curtailing. The chronic disease pandemic is his enduring legacy. Those ailments now debilitate 54% of American children compared to 6% when he joined NIAD.” (source — RFK Jr.)

See the source image

In this group of teachers, daily there are emails announcing more and more statewide jab mandates, and the teachers that have to pay twice-a-week tests, if not jabbed, well, it is filling up those school districts; and many now in this group want out, since their email boxes are filling up. Teachers, youngish and not, with no money in the bank, really, and no place to go, since I predict all new rental agreements throughout the land (except in some Breaking Bad locales) will require proof of jab x, jab y, jab z, jab infinity.

The playing field shifts hourly, and while I have a literary reading manana, in Portland, for this hour, at least, the restaurant and community room demands all to be masked. There is no shot record demand, YET, but that’s on the horizon, since Oregon is the first state to reinstate mandatory outside masking policies. But the venue’s other locations, well, the rock and roll and progressives, they want to see vax cards or proof of SARS-CoV2 free tests. The Crystal Ballroom

It doesn’t matter how many millions of people worldwide are not happy with mRNA experimental chemicals forced into the bloodstream and across the blood-brain barrier;  not happy with the bioweaponry aspect of Operation Warp Speed; not happy with the therapeutics that have been disavowed and censored, which could have saved millions of lives, possibly. One size fits all, baby. This news aggregator and news maker site, well, it is almost scrubbed from all search engines:

These stories above and below are verboten in the minds of tens of millions, hundreds of millions Westerners — even though there are robust stories on other topics, besides Fauci, jabs and mRNA, and fascism in this places.

I am finding people fighting, for sure, against mandates. Hell, my one time with the doctor recently points to this: “While I did get the vaccination, I am against mandates. I am against forcing people against their will to get this. I am of the mind that people have the right to make up their own minds.” He’s older, maybe 70, is a DO, and I know the university where he adjunct taught and matriculated from, Touro University Nevada (TUN) (a private university in Henderson, Nevada. It is part of the Touro College and University System. Touro University Nevada is a branch campus of its sister campus Touro University California.)

My niece is there, in her second year, and my DO stated, his one word of advice for her is, Cash. “Tell her to write notes to family and friends, and state: ‘please send cash.’” The doctor likes me, and he’s a jokester. He told me reads a lot, and that he did work in Amazonian for years, “saving one life at a time.” He is looking at my recent stress test, and alas, getting a cardiologist on board to maybe do more investigation on some electrical anomalies when I got up to 160 beats per minute, that is another example of the failed capitalist system: there are none here on Highway 101 on the central coast, and getting one to see me could take weeks, out of the cities of Salem or Corvallis. This is the state of medicine, after decades of gutting taxation of the rich and the corporations (who are getting us sick) and years turning medicine into a bizarre insurance scam, where doctors spend more time on the computer screen than with the patient.

So, this next reset is all about pushing more and more people into fewer and fewer public spheres, pushing people away from outliers or those defiant and dissident like me and millions. It is about controlling the masses, setting forth sophisticated bandwagon forms of propaganda, and setting afire all forms of community gatherings and robust discussions of the millions of topics of the day.

With this teachers’ group, the messages are coming in:

  • Governor Pritzker just announced mandatory vax for all IL teachers
  • Here is Dr. Peter McCullough talking about the dangers of vaccines, among other things: Basically, the vaxxed are projecting all the havoc they themselves are wreaking even as “life is pretty much back to normal among the vaccinated,” as many are bragging onto the unvaxxed. Many op-eds in publications like WaPo and the NYT are filling their pages with doctors martyring themselves and declaring they won’t treat unvaxxed anymore (to cheers from bots and humans alike in the comments section) and normalizing ending friendships based on vaccination status. But they are the super spreaders. They are the ones making children and Grandma sick. This is scapegoating at its finest.
  • Some great work is being done by Mike Williams @ Sage of Quay. Also, great Common Law shows being done by Crrow777 Radio Alfonso Faggiola and Lena Pu.
  • Want to see a man stand up to the controllers? Check out Paul Unslaved . You can also gain a little insight from some of the good First Amendment auditors like Long Island Audit.
  • California AB455 – this bill, if passed, will mandate the C19 vaccine for all CA employees and for CA citizens to enter any establishment except church and grocery stores:
Doctor McCullough video.
  • Rally against this action set for September 8th
  • Some good news: a touching video of resistance to vaccine mandates in France (i cant verify the authenticity but hope it is real)
  • Lastly, ICYMI – Illinois’ Vax Verify – vaccination verification is tied to Experian – meaning residents will have to go through a one-time verification process through Experian to access their vaccination records. So stating the obvious – this is opening the door increasingly towards a social credit system.

Then this from one of the people on this list wanting the mandates and the draconian measures stopped:

Just a quick note: This Sunday will mark 58 years of me being active in the political sphere. Back in ’64, it was as a Goldwater volunteer. Some 6 years later, i switched sides, a consequence of the Vietnam War, the counterculture, ecological crisis,…  And became much more of an activist. I have no love whatsoever for the right.  But I’ve also seen the “left” act at critical points as a defender of the capitalist status quo, particularly as a consequence of the dominant tendency within the left to accept the state as if it were an institution acting on behalf of society as a whole, rather than the instrument of class power it has been since it emerged in history thousands of years ago. Both left and right (and “center”) are fully on board with the onrushing police state, while each proclaims itself to be defending the interests of humanity against the others. People need to look to themselves for solutions, and learn from historical movements, including anarchists and anti-statist socialists.

Connecting the dots is easy on one hand, but to get people to see this entire terror theater as planned is another can of GMO worms. Here, this is certainly a global, or EU, story worth a million lines of digital ink: Why do the experts on Science Advice for Policy by European Academies fight for higher pesticide exposure by Rosemary Mason

I heartily accept the motto,—”That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—”That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men and women are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

— Henry David Thoreau, Resistance to Civil Government, 1849

Succinctly, Communist approaches to anti-statism center on the relationship between political rule and class struggle. Karl Marx defined the state as the institution used by the ruling class of a country to maintain the conditions of its rule. To this extent, the ultimate goal of communist society was theorized as both stateless and classless.

We are at 8 billion, and the planet is run by Blackstone and BlackRock and around 30 financial organizations, and around 140 corporations. The bottleneck is what the planned pandemic was all about — getting people to run away from sanity, common sense, and running into the various insane asylums. For anyone to question why some of us — who are way beyond just coming out from under the Capitalist-Media-Education rock — might doubt the purveyors of capital, scientism, control, policing, finance and corrupt drug companies, well, that is where I am now — “since the majority of people are in line for the jab, what’s your fucking lunatic problem?”

Here, Chris Williams, and, yes, on ecosocialism — hmm:

The distortions that go on under capitalism are so obscene it’s hard to wrap your head around it sometimes, on a micro level as well as a macro level. I was riding on the subway and I took a couple of trains and I was looking at the ads. The average American sees about 3,000 ads a day. One ad was for a credit card, and this is the slogan for the credit card—“Less plastic, more human—Discover it is human.” Discover is the card that they were advertising. In other words, you can actually be more human by having this type of credit card. Another ad, and this gets to the quality of life, that I pass by was about online delivery of food—how you can order online instead of having to phone somebody—and the ad read, “You’ve perfected the odds of getting to third base faster. Food delivery date night.” The obscenity and depravity of capitalism knows no depths to which it will not plumb.

This is something that Karl Marx talked about quite a bit. He was speaking at the anniversary of the People’s Paper in 1856, and I think this resonates far more with us now than it did even in his time.

On the one hand, there have started into life industrial and scientific forces, which no epoch of the former human history had ever suspected. On the other hand, there exist symptoms of decay, far surpassing the horrors recorded of the latter times of the Roman Empire.

That kind of sense of decay pervades our world as it is currently structured. He goes on:

In our days, everything seems pregnant with its contrary: Machinery, gifted with the wonderful power of shortening and fructifying human labor, we behold starving and overworking it; The newfangled sources of wealth, by some strange weird spell, are turned into sources of want; The victories of art seem bought by the loss of character.

At the same pace that mankind masters nature, man seems to become enslaved to other men or to his own infamy. Even the pure light of science seems unable to shine but on the dark background of ignorance. All our invention and progress seem to result in endowing material forces with intellectual life, and in stultifying human life into a material force.

John Bellamy Foster on ecosocialism:  “Ecological resistance in the twenty-first century has more and more been informed by the development of Marxian ecology and ecosocialism more generally. However, as ecosocialist analysis has grown, various divergent branches of thought have emerged, often in conflict with each other. Based on the conviction that clarity about capitalism’s relation to the environment is indispensable for the strategic understanding of present-day struggles, this talk will present some of the new research within Marxian ecology, bringing together the core issues of the expropriation of nature and the metabolic rift, and seeking to unite the ecosocialist movements of our time.”

Another set of notes from another teacher on this V is for Vendetta Vaccines email group — I’m calling it that as a joke:

  • I just attended a workshop for religious exemptions, and will forward the email for any of those who wish to attend. I am also happy to share insights and notes I took to help out anyone who wishes to take this route. However, I would like to share some notes and important information discussed in this workshop.
  • First, if you are part a union or teachers union, Collective Bargaining needs to take place. Many unions did not have a seat at the table and have sent cease and desist letters that could delay the mandates. Remember the unions represent both the majority and the minority of their union members and even if there is only 15 percent against the mandates, those individuals should be represented. It was recommended to call your Labor Relations Representative or Union Rep to see  if they have sent a cease and desist letter or are planning on it. Key word is the Collective Bargaining aspect of the unions and you may be able to ask them to do so.
  • Additionally, I think if you are able to file for a religious exemption it is a good way to buy time. The common law approach may be a good option for those who do not have an option. Realistically, for Californians we are a Right to Work state, and employers have the right to fire and hire at will.  With either method there is a possibility of job termination which has to be considered, and I do not know exactly how the outcome has been going for individuals who have filed religious vs. common law approaches. That said I do know there have been many religious exemptions accepted and there is an appeals process if denied. If you are on a timetable and need to be vaccinated by a date that is closely approaching, the religious exemption is probably more likely to be one way to hold onto employment a little longer.  My understanding of the common law approach is that it can be more time consuming because legal notices have times frames for notices, responses, and actions to take place and may not work with your deadline which again can lead to termination. Because California is an At Will Work state there may be risk to filing for any unemployment as well, so all these things should be considered before deciding which route to take.
  • I am not saying one option is better than the other, I am just presenting them as Option A or  Option B, because I think we all have differences in our personal situations. One may work better for you personally than the other. That said, we should also have our plan B  in place if neither work. Helping each other is essential and it will be good to share with one another what has worked and what hasn’t, and I do not want to argue either method, just help out in any way possible. Our differences in ideology are unimportant to me at this time. I believe there is a good portion of us, who are strong personalities, opinionated and intelligence — and these may be the wonderful unifying qualities that have brought us together at this critical time to fight for our humanity.

GoFundMe for a new novel, or old one, I am fixing up to get published!

Take up the White Man’s Burden, send for the best ye breed,
Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives need –
new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child…
Take up the White Man’s burden, the savage wars of peace.

— Rudyard Kipling (1899)

The post Little Deaths . . . Finding Solace Inside One’s Heart first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Alexa, Artificial Intimacy, and Living Lives of Quiet Desperation

More than 100 million Amazon Echoes have already been sold across the globe. Researchers believe many consumers purchase the artificial intelligence device as a “companion.”

A 2019 study, led by the University of Strathclyde’s Dr. Graeme McLean, found that:

Voice assistants may serve as a means of overcoming loneliness in a household with fewer occupants. Individuals converse with voice assistants in the same way as they do with other humans, developing a rapport with the artificial intelligent assistant. Robots can provide a sense of companionship while assisting their users … The additional social presence offered by the voice assistant replaces interaction that may be had with a human counterpart in a larger household.

Besides communing with Alexa, bot lovers also see the voice assistant as a status symbol in their otherwise mundane lives: “As AI technology has become more widely available, embedded as part of our everyday life and somewhat trendy to use, individuals may be adopting and using the technology to enhance their social status to make them appear important within their peer groups.”

Meanwhile, of course, their new friend (sic) is eavesdropping on their conversations and sending such data to third parties. What a time to be alive!

In the age of artificial intelligence (AI), it makes sense that we’re now dealing with artificial intimacy, too. Besides Alexa and Siri, we have sex robots, virtual reality pornography, AI-enhanced sex toys, etc. — not to mention all those clever algorithms that match you up on dating apps. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of men between the ages of 18 and 24 report having no sex at all in 2020. While, in 2019, more than five billion hours of pornography were watched on Pornhub alone. That’s 500 million years’ worth of hours dedicated to 12 months of artificial intimacy. What a time to be alive!

Before the advent of such digital dysfunction, the average human spent 192 minutes per day interacting — face-to-face — with other humans. Setting aside sleep time, that’s one-fifth of each day. Conversely, the average human in 2021 now surrenders about 153 minutes per day to social media usage. At this rate, it won’t be long before that reaches one-fifth of each day — fully reversing the hard-wired trend we require. And what happens during those 153 daily minutes on social media? Among many things, the robots put us in touch with far more humans than the infamous “Dunbar’s Number” allows.

British anthropologist Robin Dunbar postulates that a human brain can effectively connect with people in groups no larger than 150. We each possess physiology that evolved to negotiate the Stone Age. Inconveniently, we live in the Digital Age. Therein lies the rub. We are urban cavemen and cavewomen — overmatched in our daily crusade to navigate an artificial reality because we have surrendered contact with our deepest nature.

For one thing, we didn’t evolve to be surrounded by this many people. Thus, we attempt a futile search for a manageable tribe within a smartphone/social media culture. Our brains are burdened with trying to make peace and sense with a sudden influx of too many “friends.” The result is a corrupted version of intimacy, a loss of crucial IRL time, and an epidemic of loneliness. Interactions are available at our fingertips but our souls need more. Much more. 

I didn’t write this article to share some “interesting” info with you. I also didn’t write it because I “always focus on the negative” (stay tuned for an article about that). This is Paul Revere stuff. It’s a wake-up call. Amidst the headlines about a condo collapse, alleged new Covid variants, and crime rate spikes, all of the above is happening 24/7. It will impact the future far more than the “critical race theory” ever will. 

The already-embedded trends described in this article are shaping the lives and minds of children everywhere. But they are not inevitable. They are not unstoppable. In fact, they constitute nothing more than a house of cards. All it takes to tip the structure is for us to begin opting out. Say NO to artificial intimacy. Reclaim your humanity. 

To repeat: What a time to be alive! No, I’m not being cynical. I’m simply listening to the sound of opportunity knocking… kicking down the damn door, you might say. When else in all of human history has there been a time when we were in a better position to shape the future? What we do (or don’t do) in the next few years could quite possibly tilt us all toward either the point of no return or a far more sane form of society. In other words, each and every one of us can take part — right now — in creating the most important social changes ever imagined. How lucky are we?

The post Alexa, Artificial Intimacy, and Living Lives of Quiet Desperation first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Once a US Soldier, Always Wounded, Always Losing!

What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa?
W.E.B. DuBois

I Began My Career Working with Homeless Veterans. Here's What I Learned |  Inc.com

He died. In an assisted (sic) care (oxymoron) home (nope) facility/prison (yes). Homeless for a few years; he was a photographer; and his life went to shit in four years. He overspent on photo equipment, a studio, gave away shoots, and alas, he ended up living in his car, putting the entire inventory in an expensive storage unit, and then he tried surviving.

I met him when I was a social worker helping him as a short-term veteran (Army, 12 months, no combat) in a housing program, 24/7, where my job was to get him on his feet, get his VA benefits together, get him back on some financial track, and getting him inspired to live.

He was curious, could run in mixed company, and he was fragile. That is the way of families — estranged, bizarre old men (father) moving on with second and third wives, and just giving shit about offspring.

I worked for the Starvation Army, one bloody year, and you can read about that hell hole of a fake (maybe not) religious wacko institution (poverty pimps): Here, Here and Here, over at Dissident Voice.

The preachers and lecturers deal with men of straw, as they are men of straw themselves. Why, a free-spoken man, of sound lungs, cannot draw a long breath without causing your rotten institutions to come toppling down by the vacuum he makes. Your church is a baby-house made of blocks, and so of the state.

…The church, the state, the school, the magazine, think they are liberal and free! It is the freedom of a prison-yard.

― Henry David Thoreau, I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau

He lost one leg to diabetes, and it was typical – small black dot on his foot, and then, living the rough life, cold weather chills in a vehicle, long walks in the cold when the car broke down. Bad diet, and stress.

They chopped it (the leg) off at the knee. He was having eye/vision issues. He was a smart guy, even did a trivia night for his fellow homeless vets and their families. His memory, though, was flagging. He never wanted to learn how to deal with a prosthetic leg. He was getting more and more confused, obsessed with CNBC-type shit, and anti-trump disease to the max.

He had to be reminded of everything, daily, and we worked on getting him housing vouchers, and, alas, he was finally getting Social Security, and then, the VA took care of some of his stuff.

Nursing home kitchens in 'horrible' condition endanger the elderly,  advocates say

He went to a couple of my fiction readings in Portland, and he was always there for my movie nights to watch some documentary that pushed to push against the military mindset, and he was there to listen to me rail and rail.

He found out his estranged father left some money to him when he died. It was a windfall, and my vet could not handle all the information and financial asides. It took two years to get that money, and he gave one leech a $10,000 loan for some scheme for a new dog food patent (right!), and alas, that leech never paid him back. The vet’s dead, and this deadbeat who pried money from him has no reason to pay back.

Before death, and after the Starvation Army, my vet got into an apartment (with my help), and they screwed him over. The one ground floor apartment with a large step and stoop, impossible for him to navigate his wheelchair, that wasn’t in the bargain. He already signed the lease and wanted out of the Starvation Army. He and I worked on getting the apartment to build a stone or cement pathway from the back slider, to the parking lot, so he could get his Uber or handicap buses trips.

It was another eye opener – largest (now #3) property management company in the USA for apartments, out of Texas, and not one of them responded to my emails or calls. Terrible, since that has never happened to me ever in my life. I have always gotten responses, even harsh ones back. From cops, senators, CEOs, IRS, more. These people are human leeches.

Pinnacle comes in at number three in the rankings for the largest property managers in the country, with 172,000 units under management. The company manages a diverse array of assets, including mixed-use properties, commercial properties, affordable developments, senior properties, and student housing. It also specializes in the turnaround of distressed assets and assisting in the management of HOAs and condo associations. Pinnacle is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and is currently headed by President and CEO Rick L. Graf.

So think about that. He had to pay for this walkway, and it was an improvement for that unit, to say the least, so why should he have to pay? He had volunteers with a construction company and from the Rotary Club, and that Pinnacle nixed it. They had to have their vetted company. We are talking about $500 for the job using volunteers and a bonded contractor, versus the $2500 through Pinnacle’s outfit.

That apartment life did not last long. He was having major choking issues, and cognitive ones. He wasn’t eating right. No phone calls taken, or texts.

We are talking about a man, 68, no family. He had no one but a friend he met at the Rotary Club and acquaintances. And me, his former social worker. Who happened to move on the Coast, so I was 3 hours from him one way, via car.

He had to leave the apartment, to a care center (sic). That apartment would not give him a break, since he had to break the lease because of medical reasons. No big deal he was a veteran.

These are parasites.

Then, he ends up in one of the larger senior living places, and that was a living hell for him as he slipped more and more, had no decent meals, and never had a case manager for months. Then, lockdown, March 2020.

Here it is, Wikipedia

Brookdale Senior Living owns and operates over 700 senior living communities and retirement communities in the United States. Brookdale was established in 1978 and is based in Brentwood, Tennessee. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Fortress Investments became the majority owner of Brookdale, holding approximately 51% of its share. Currently, Glenview Capital Management (a hedge fund) holds the largest number of shares. Brookdale has approximately 70,000 staff members and 100,000 residents. As of 2018, it was the largest operator of senior housing in the United States. In 2021, a New York Times investigation revealed that Brookdale submitted wrong and manipulated data to the government, thus inflating ratings of the quality of care in Brookdale facilities. Shortly thereafter, the state of California filed a lawsuit against Brookdale, alleging that the company manipulated the federal government’s nursing-home ratings system.

 

He was paying out of his social security and this money he got from his father: $4100  a month plus another $2000 for “special services.” There were no “Special services.” This happens every minute in the USA. Imagine, a society with how many aging people? How many with chronic illness? Who the fuck has $6100 a month to pay for these scabies outfits? 

Again, we can either prepare for the ultimate disaster that disaster capitalism gives us, or, put our heads back in that sand:

In 10 years, more than half of middle-income Americans age 75 or older will not be able to afford to pay for yearly assisted living rent or medical expenses, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

The researchers used demographic and income data to project estimates of a portion of the senior population, those who will be 75 or older in 2029, with a focus on those in the middle-income range — currently $25,001 to $74,298 per year for those ages 75 to 84.

And it doesn’t look good for that group because of the rising costs of housing and health care. The researchers estimated that the number of middle-income elders in the U.S. will nearly double, growing from 7.9 million to 14.4 million by 2029. They will make up the biggest share of seniors, at 43%.  — Source

This three paragraphs cited above are from a two-year-old article. You think the plandemic has assisted with this? Socialism is about planning for and building out facilities and holistic ways to help the aging, the poor, the sick. Capitalism is about planning for and setting out a million ways to fleece and fleece people. Maybe blood and plasma and bone marrow transplants are the only way to get through. Or, just donating body and soul to Big Pharma for their Mengele stuff. A 10 by 10 room, with a roommate, and mac’n’cheese six days a week, fasting on Thursdays.

This is how America runs, as a continuing criminal enterprise, an elaborate multi-layered system of bilking and outright theft, casino capitalism on steroids, and zero concern by the majority of the people with investments, banks (owners) and the elected officials to make safety nets. Who the hell can afford $6100 a month for a studio apartment? Crappy food? Surly workers (underpaid, over worked)? This is prison on a whole other level.

He had to go to the VA, via ambulance, and with taxis, a few times with this female friend.

Nursing Home and Care Workers Officially the Most Dangerous Job in the U.S.  - Ms. Magazine

She got him to get a will prepared, and to get some things in order, but he was failing, vacant, not there, and alas, he died August 2020 age 70, and that should never have happened. If I had a community, 100 acres, gardens, small (tiny) homes, pets, chickens, and community conversations, he would NOT have died. Life expectancy dropped because he ended up in an apartment, isolated, alone, scared, and with deeper cognitive issues. A supportive community getting him off his duff, getting him involved, would have saved him. Could save millions of Americans. Hundreds of millions of global citizens.

So who owns the land, the farms, the concepts of living and aging in place, intergenerational, cooperatives, decent air and water? Dog-eat-dog. And who thinks that a coronavirus lives and breathes in the summer? Oh, that flu season, now 365 days a year, some rain or shine.

You know, I didn’t get a chance to talk to this vet too much about his concerns around lockdown, the SARS-CoV2, and, well, like many things once a person ages, sometimes talking real stuff about real things is too much for a mind that is going south.

Not all pandemics are caused by the obvious suspects. Though the media have us whipped up into a frenzy over a select cast of superstar pathogens, the villain in the next global drama may be lurking in the unlikeliest of places; perhaps it hasn’t even been discovered yet.

“I think the chances that the next pandemic will be caused by a novel virus are quite good,” says Kevin Olival, a disease ecologist from the EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based organisation that studies the links between human and environmental health. “If you look at Sars, which was the first pandemic of the 21st Century, that was a previously unknown virus before it jumped into people and spread round the world. So there’s a precedent there – there are many, many viruses out there in the families that we’re concerned with.”

Out of millions of viruses on the planet, very few have ever caused a major outbreak
Olival is not alone. Earlier this year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates warned that the next pandemic could be something we’ve never seen before. He suggested that we prepare for its emergence as we would for a war.

Meanwhile, the WHO is so firmly convinced that they have updated their list of pathogens most likely to cause a massive, deadly outbreak to include “Disease X” – a mystery microorganism which hasn’t yet entered our radar.  By Zaria Gorvett, 13th November 2018

The irony of ironies, I was talking about things like this way before that BBC (bad bad organization) put out these pabulum pieces as quoted about NOV. 2018, a year before the official Wuhan and Italian flu hit (sic).

The death of the vet, of course, create a nightmare for his friend, designated as the executor of his “estate.”

Comcast screwed the estate by keeping service going (charging $90 a month) even though he was dead. He had a storage unit that was charging $215 a month. That Brookdale ended up hitting the estate with more bills in the thousands. The apartment complex, Pinnacle, was looking for several thousand for fees and penalties. The bills came in, and the collection agencies rose to the occasion.

Stop the Cap! » Comcast's Reputation for Bad Customer Service is Legendary  and Never-Ending

And this vet’s friend (sic) who had borrowed the money paid nothing back.

It is May, 2021, and those proceeds to his small estate have not yet been disbursed. Pandemic lockdown has hurt the process. Two of the beneficiaries are a free clinic that attended to this vet’s needs during his hours of need. And a food pantry out of a church who also helped him with food and electricity money.

He probably had $340,000 total, most of it in a Morgan Stanley account. Mind you, this is all from his dead old man, and the vet had not expected that. There are tax filing fees, moving expenses for his stuff to a furniture nonprofit, fees for the storage unit. Some prescription bills and other outstanding bills that should have just vanished. The creditors came out of the woodwork, and because I was not a family member, brother, say, of nephew, all those bills got paid. If I had been that family member, I would/could have wrangled many of the bills into either zeroed out bills, or some with a dime on the dollar. It takes letter writing, advocating, and pounding down these leeches.

Why Morgan Stanley Bet Big on Eaton Vance - The New York Times

As of May 18, 2021, the five beneficiaries – two nonprofits in need – have not seen a cent. Because the executor has had to do so much, and the fact the vet had no family, my vet’s estate is getting whittled down by that great American tick – middle men, fees, penalties, taxes, this and that amount extracted as part of the ugly middle and middle man/woman mentality of the USA.

Some people came up to the plate and did pro bono work, but because I was close to this whole thing, and talked with the executor a lot, I see how the total amount that could have been distributed five ways — $70,000 each – might now be even close to $60,000 each. What the beneficiaries don’t know won’t hurt them, right? All those leeches sucking the dead, well, they just don’t know it. It was money they were not expecting, so what’s the big deal.

That’s not the point. This is a minute-to-minute situation in USA. Millions of people and their families get screwed in the tens of billions each year by the ticks and leeches. I have had to deal with PayDay loan companies, repo men, collection agencies, courts, companies, telecoms and hospitals and others who have their hands out for more and more cuts of many of my clients who were making $730 a month in Social Security, and some way less. I contacted hospitals and businesses and others to get fees and bills reduced or zeroed out.

Young or old, many of the homeless people I worked with could NEVER work in a competitive work environment. Their health and minds are shot to shit. Much of that (PTSD and complex PTSD) was caused by the Armed Forces, and by the systems of punishment that hit these guys and gals after departing that shit hole.

Not everything in their lives is someone else’s fault and responsibility. They made bad choices. Booze and drugs, you betcha, took them down. Bad food, bad thinking smoking, and more, deteriorated them at a young age. Trying to pay rent, evictions, etc., all that adds up to the weathering.

Healthcare | Free Full-Text | Application of the Weathering Framework:  Intersection of Racism, Stigma, and COVID-19 as a Stressful Life Event  among African Americans | HTML

Living in a truck or car or tent or in a garage, that also weathers these people. In the end, pre-Covid and now during it, these people are throwaways. The Stock Market is busting at the seams. Zoom school, and Zoom work for the middle class, the new normal abnormal. The rest of the workforce or citizen? Screwed blued and tattooed.

screwed, blued and tattooed meaning and pronunciation - video Dailymotion

The irony is that my vet friend “made” more money in that investment account dead than when he was alive.  And we know the great history of Morgan Stanley.

I’m writing this because I am delaying something bigger, and poetry, tied to the absolute hell hole that is American Zionism a la Israeli Zionism. War crimes that are ten thousand George Floyd’s “I Can’t Breathe” murder.

And I can’t wrap my head around this in a rural community. No marching here, no groups, and hell, in France and Germany and England, it is illegal to peacefully march for Palestine.

I’m thinking about Canada and USA, supporting murderous arms and murderous policies of that racist “country.” I am thinking about my vet’s account at Morgan Stanley:

The broker got him stocks in Walmart, Northrop Grumman, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Blackstone, BlackRock. This guy was a friend, and asked about investing, and I had a guy in mind, but my buddy went with a friend of the Rotary who said this broker with Morgan Stanley would take care of him. My buddy wanted social responsible investing, and that, alas, is yet another bullshit marketing tool of the masters of the casino capitalist Walled Street.

Northrop Grumman’s medium-caliber cannons boast unrivaled reliability and  effectiveness. When paired with our exceptional training, services, certified accessories and warranties, the result is exceptional value and performance over the entire gun system lifecycle. The company has produced solid propulsion systems for the Ground-based  Midcourse Defense interceptor, as well as for the Trident II D-5 and Minuteman III strategic missiles. Northrop Grumman has 100 percent propulsion success on strategic production motors. For nearly half a century, Northrop Grumman and its heritage companies have been designing and developing bomb fuses that have stayed on pace with the technological advancements of the time.
This is a tan vehicle with the

How many parts in a missile or Bushmaster automatic cannon? Parts equal jobs. Parts designed equal academic jobs. Think of all those people in all those companies, in factories and warehouses, and manufacturing plants, and marketing plants, paint plants, PR plants, all of them down to the web master and the photographer making money on dead Palestinian children. It comes down to that.

I have relatives whose kids (grown adults) are blonde beauties in the sense of USA beauty, and they are tall, and lean, and they are pulling down $120,000 a year as 28 year old’s, working for one of those California based military death companies.

Here, five — to include Raytheon, Northrup Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Flir Systems

More listed here

Here are California Dreaming Death Machine (139) openings for just one hiring site

In 2019, here are the top states, but remember, those figures are not the true amount of money made on death since so much more tied to offensive weapons and space should be factored in. Sort of the multiplier effect of all the businesses service and hard industries making bank because  of those contractors and their employees and their subcontractors and their employees living and eating the California dream, or whichever state listed is the dream. Forget about the billions in Hollywood and their enormous entanglement of people making money off those Tom Clancy, et al crap movies. Death, death, death, even in the form of liberal actors spewing off on this or that thing, but in the end, they love the DoD.

  • California: $66.2 billion
  • Virginia: $60.3 billion
  • Texas: $54.8 billion
  • Florida: $29.8 billion
  • Maryland: $26.1 billion
  • Connecticut: $19.7 billion
  • Pennsylvania: $18.1 billion
  • Washington: $17.8 billion
  • Alabama: $16.0 billion
  • Massachusetts: $15.8 billion

So, I am having a difficult time focusing, with this Industrial Complex tied to killing Palestinians, and so many other people’s of the world, through the training, outfitting, arming, and educating of the despots of the world. This is a telling interview. Malak Mattar, Dan Cohen and Miko Peled join MintCast to discuss the ongoing Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip.  See interview here.

I am still processing all of this, trying to listen to Zoom continuing education credited things like trauma and social service workers in a time of lockdown and Covid-19. Things like that, which are bullshit, really. Just amazing bullshit now on Zoom, most of it. But I am just cruising through these people who believe they are thinking and saying something new.

© 2021. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.

BAR’s poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner is an accomplished performing artist. You can find much more of his work at https://www.youtube.com/user/zigilow

BAR’s poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner is an accomplished performing artist. You can find much more of his work at YouTube. 

+–+

The acrobats are back…(gimme a bleepin’ break!)

The acrobats are back—riding bareback and backwards on Donkeys! They’re back juggling hocus-pocus focus groups; Back, spinning Wall Street straw into fools’ gold for the war- mongering mouth of a punch drunk politician. Back hallucinating on FDR Fairytales. Back somersaulting over scarlet streets, strikes and factory seizures; back vaulting over violence/militant eviction resistance

The acrobats are back—Lilliputian left-Munchkin Marxists—juggling Classless analysis; doing back-flips erasing millions; Tumbling above herds of handcuffed communists, socialists, anarchists, trade unionists who waged pitched battles with Pinkerton-police-national guard-gun thugs. The acrobats are back turning cartwheels; Flipping history on its head— Landing squarely in the laps of generals and statesmen…

The acrobats are back—flipping LBJ minus 34 dead and smoke-filled skies over Watts/43 dead in Detroit/27 dead, 1400 arrests in Newark; LBJ minus millions marching NO to Jim Crow, war/women’s oppression; Minus martyrs—whose M’s include Mickey, Medgar, Malcolm, Martin… The acrobats are back, dancing in donkey dung down the Yellow Brick Road for the Emerald City Intersectional Empire—strangely resembling the Pentagon…

The acrobats are back—daredevils who dangled dangerously for 8 yrs. from the Drone Ranger’s dick. They’re back—Capitalist Hill cartwheels and flips—sticking stealth socialist landings as Comrade Schmo plays them like The Great Oz—ominously warning: “Pay no attention to Wall Street-War-Profiteer- Big Pharma/Fossil Fuel-Credit Card Companies behind my thin blue curtain of Promises!” Then he quietly pulls his pistol and mumbles, ”What’s in your wallet?”

WALL STREET IS WAR STREET: best slogan spotted at #OccupyWallStreet | Not  My Tribe
And the reality is that Wall Street and those Mutual Funds and Exchange Tradeable Funds (ETF’s), all are tied to bombing, booze, tobacco, big pharma, the entire shooting match. Just can’t go to sleep at night, or can’t look myself in the mirror, when thinking about all that time and energy and research and writing, and educating, and the reality is we are what we are — war criminals. Or, read, “Try as You May to Deny, but Evil is in Our DNA“!

Israeli Forces spokesman Zilberman announced the start of the bombing of Gaza, specifying that “80 fighters are taking part in the operation, including the advanced F-35s” (The Times of Israel, May 11, 2021). It is officially the baptism of fire for the US Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation fighter, whose production Italy also participates in as a second-level partner.

Israel has already received twenty-seven F-35s from the US, and last February decided to buy no longer fifty F-35s but seventy-five. To this end the government has decreed a further allocation of 9 billion dollars: 7 were granted by a US to Israel free military “aid” of 28 billion, 2 were granted as a loan by the US Citibank.

While Israeli F-35 pilots were being trained by the U.S. Air Force in Arizona and Israel, the US Army Engineers built in Israel special hardened hangars for the F-35s, suitable for both fighters’ maximum protection on the ground, and their rapid take-off on attack. At the same time, the Israeli military industries (Israel Aerospace and Elbit Systems) in close coordination with Lockheed Martin enhance the fighter renamed “Adir” (Powerful): above all its ability to penetrate enemy defenses and its range of action which was nearly doubled.

These capabilities are certainly not necessary to attack Gaza. Why then are the most advanced fifth-generation fighters used against Palestinians? Because it serves to test F-35s fighters and their pilots in real war action using Gaza homes as targets on a firing range. It does not matter if in the target houses there are entire families.

The F-35s, added to the hundreds of fighter-bombers already supplied by the US to Israel. are designed for nuclear attack particularly with the new B61-12 bomb. The United States will shortly deploy these nuclear bombs in Italy and other European countries, and will also provide them to Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East with an arsenal estimated at 100-400 nuclear weapons. If Israel doubles the range of F-35 fighters and is about to receive eight Boeing Pegasus tankers from the US for refueling the F-35s in flight, it is because it is preparing to launch an attack, even nuclear, against Iran.

 — “F-35s Bombing Gaza

Books - Democracy at Work (d@w)
 
Wolff and I have corresponded.
 
https://youtu.be/ynbgMKclWWc

The coronavirus pandemic, the deepening economic crash, dangerously divisive political responses, and exploding social tensions have thrown an already declining American capitalist system into a tailspin. The consequences of these mounting and intertwined crises will shape our future. In this unique collection of over 50 essays, “The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself,” Richard D. Wolff argues clearly that “returning to normal” no longer responds adequately to the accumulated problems of US capitalism. What is necessary, instead, is transition toward a new economic system that works for all of us.
 
 “A blueprint for how we got here, and a plan for how we will rescue ourselves” – Chris Hedges
 
“A magnificent source of hope and insight.” – Yanis Varoufakis
 
 “In this compelling set of essays, and with his signature clarity, intensity, accessibility and deference to historical and present perspective, Wolff has issued not just a stark warning, but concrete reasoning, as to why this time really should be different.” – Nomi Prins
 
“One of the most powerful and incisive voices in America. As an economist he transcends that “dismal science”, he is a tribune of Main St, a voice of the people.” – George Galloway
 
 “Wolff clearly explains the ways that capitalism exacerbates unemployment, inequality, racism, and patriarchy; and threatens the health and safety of workers and communities – i.e., most of us.” – Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D.
 
“If you care about deeper measures of social health as Americans suffer the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, you will find here a wealth of insight, statistics, and other ammunition that we all need in the fight for a more just society.” – Adam Hochschild
 
“The current failed system has a noose around all of our necks. Richard Wolff offers an economic vision that gets our society off the gallows.” – Jimmy Dore
Corporate Welfare Hurts Us All - Imgur
Source.
Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world. — Henry Kissinger, interview with the Observer, 1983, on his book, Years of Upheaval 
New study outlines trillions handed out in U.S. corporate welfare bonanza -  Tax Justice Network Corporate Welfare: How Exactly Does It Affect Us As Americans
The post Once a US Soldier, Always Wounded, Always Losing! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Big Picture is Ignored in the Covid Debate

What is the “Big Picture” of Covid-19, alias SARS-CoV-2 ?  Is it what we could also call the end-game, or what Aldous Huxley called the “Brave New World” (1932), science-fiction – gradually turning into reality in the form of the UN Agenda 2030 – with the implementing tool of the Bill Gates created Agenda ID2020 (see here) ?

We are at the beginning of the end-game. We are in what the 2010 Rockefeller Report calls “The Lockstep” scenario. This is the first one of four scenarios, prompted by an invisible enemy, a virus, a corona virus, akin to the one that was at the origin of the SARS outbreak in China in 2002 to 2004. This virus is to be propagated as a huge deadly danger. It’s a brainwashing fear campaign. The decision for the launch was taken during Event 201, in NYC on 18 October 2019, a few weeks before the actual SAES-CoV-2 outbreak. And it was confirmed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) conference in January 2020 in Davos, Switzerland.

Event 201, hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (funded and created by the  Rockefeller Foundation) and the WEF, was chiefly a computer simulation of a SARS-like pandemic, killing some 65 million people in 18 months and destroying the world’s economy as we know it (see here).

What was foreseen was a bio-warfare against humanity. The virus was called SARS-Cov-2, later for reasons of disguising from its creators, was renamed by WHO to “Covid-19”. The close companion of the virus was FEAR — weaponized Fear.

Together, with a huge propaganda and brainwashing effort, the entire world – 193 UN member countries were called a covid risk – and WHO declared a pandemic — as we later found out, it was a plandemic — on 11 March 2020. Imagine! With only about 4,600 “cases” worldwide, the World Health Organization calls it a pandemic. The world fell in shock. When people are in shock, they are gullible to accept anything – see Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine (2008).

A worldwide lockdown was ordered by an invisible Globalist Cabal to all 193 UN member governments at once, by mid-March 2020. Governments were bought, corrupted, coopted or threatened into behaving as ordered by a worldwide common must-narrative. The entire UN system was, and is as of today, part and parcel of this worldwide fraud. Indeed, those government leaders, who did not follow the narrative, who defied the plandemic, risked severe “punishment”.

The President of Burundi, Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza, died unexpectedly on 8 June 2020 shortly before the official end of his term. He was the longest-ruling president in Burundian history. His death was diagnosed as a heart attack. He was known for defying the official narrative of covid-19, and of kicking WHO out of his country shortly before his death.

Tanzania’s popular President John Magufuli, died on March 17, 2021, from “heart complications”, in a hospital in Dar es Salaam. Mr. Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent coronavirus sceptics. He called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus. Shortly before his death, he said that he had PCR tests carried out on a papaya and a goat and the tests came back positive, implying that the notorious PCR test kits were pre-tainted with the virus.

The public at large is being kept in the dark about what the Deep State, the corporate, banking and high-tech communication oligarchs, or simply the Globalist Cabal’s real plan is behind the covid fraud.

The so far almost invisible Big Picture, also called The Great Reset, or in the UN Agenda 2030 jargon, “Build Back Better” – consists of a threefold objective:

(i) Taking over total control of humanity, as in One World Order (OWO); by electromagnetic manipulation (that’s where 5G, later 6G come in); by digitizing everything, including all money; by converting humans into transhumans; they – Mr. Klaus Schwab, the co-author of the Great Reset, and his cabal, call it the 4th Industrial Revolution;

(ii) Shifting assets and resources from the middle and the bottom of society to the top few; and,

(iii) Drastically reducing world population, via a eugenist massive depopulation agenda. Eventually, a small globalist elite – all those associated with managing and governing the OWO-tyranny – plus a relatively small world population of serfs – or what Aldous Huxley called the “Epsilon people” (the lowest cast working people) – in today’s world, “transhumans”, would survive. The serfs or Epsilon people would all be electronically controlled and manipulated, so they would not transgress into seeking their erstwhile “freedom” lost.

The Rockefeller-led Bilderberg Society and Rockefeller’s protégé Henry Kissinger, have been propagating a reduced world population for decades. Remember Henry Kissinger’s infamous saying: Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”

Bill Gates is today’s chief proponent of a reduced world population. He has also recently become the largest private farmland owner in the United States. He reportedly owns 242,000 acres (about 980 square kilometers) of farmland across 18 states. What does he intend to do with this farmland? – Well, who controls the food, controls the people. Gates is also a significant shareholder and partner in (Bayer-)Monsanto’s GMO seed- and pesticides branch.

At this point we can only speculate. But some of the not so farfetched speculations would indicate that Bill Gates, under the guise of environmental protection (i. e. the good-old “climate change agenda”) and the New Green Deal, he may want to produce synthetic food, laboratory produced meat and GMO (genetically modified) grains and vegetables. This synthetic GMO-food, spiked with toxic pesticides, will then compete with ‘real food’ which – under the neoliberal market forces will become ever rarer – affordable only by the elite.

Synthetic food may include all kinds of “health and disease agents” to regulate population. The Epsilon people will, of course, have no clue. As the Great Reset concludes – They will own nothing and be happy.

While this is going on in the shadows, invisible for most people, the media make sure that the debate – official by governments, and unofficial by anti-covid protesters – is entirely focused on covid, the infection, the invisible atrocious enemy, the fear-mongering, plus all the repressive covid-measures, masking, social distancing, semi- versus full lockdowns, travel restrictions, vaxxing or not vaxxing – and the so-called obligatory electronic vaccination passports, akin to the Agenda ID2020.

All are concentrating on the covid-virus. Almost nothing lets you suspect that there is a Big Picture, a much larger, much deadlier agenda behind all this, that the virus and the atrocious Fear it promotes, is but an instrument to reach the larger objectives, those listed above.

Hardly does any public or unofficial debate, even massive anti-covid measures protests, like the “Wake up the World“ demo by the World Freedom Alliance in Copenhagen on February 4, 2021 touch the Big Picture, what awaits us at the end of the UN Agenda 2030: You own nothing and are happy.

We are at war. Not just against an invisible enemy, the corona virus and the weaponized factor of FEAR, but also against our own ignorance and unconsciousness. Plus, against the Global Cabal – the WEF and its Great Reset with its treacherous, fake New Green Deal, a new ultra-neoliberal capitalism, painted green – and intent of swallowing us all under the fakeness of climate change and environmental protection, the rebirth of the Greta-agenda.

The British PM, Boris Johnson, addressed on 8 October 2020 via video his conservative Tory Party with about these words:

We have lost too much, mourned too long and life cannot continue like before. History shows us that events of this dimension  — wars, pandemics — don’t just come and go. Most often they are triggers for social and economic changes. We see these instances as a period to learn and to become better. Hence, this government wants to “build back better” (UN slogan for Great Reset).

Let’s compare this with the words of Klaus Schwab in his “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”:

Many of us ask when will we return to normality? The short answer is NEVER. Nothing will return to the rotten feeling of normality that existed before the crisis, because the corona-pandemic marks a fundamental change in our global development. Many analysts call it a crossroads, others a crisis of biblical dimensions, but in essence this shows us that the world we still knew in the first months of 2020 doesn’t exist anymore. It dissolved in the context of the pandemic.

Wow! This is strong and quite insensitive language for the many people who died on covid-19 and especially for those hundreds of millions, if not billions, who have lost everything — their jobs, their homes, their income, their families and friends, those who suffer from famine, who now live in misery, at the edge of sheer existence, those who are driven to commit suicide.

The grandiose WEF, the Rockefellers, Gates, Prince Charles, the Director General of WHO, the Chief of the IMF, the UN Secretary General, and all those who participated in the planning of this “pandemic” during Event 201, never mention these people. In other words, for this small elite, the planners and organizers of the Great Reset, those who represent the concept: You own nothing and are happy – these dumped-into-poverty “epsilon people” are dispensable.

If we cannot master the covid fraud, put an end to it, even unseating and bringing to justice the 193 lying, cheating and eventually murderous UN member governments, how can we come to grips with, and escape the fangs of, the “Big Picture”, The Great Reset, that eventually will deprive us of our daily nutrition, rendering us infertile and sterile with toxic artificial food with the forced vaccines, and bring about a mass genocide through genome-altering mRNA-type vaccines, pesticide-GMO food – with a soulless, masked life in solitude?

The post The Big Picture is Ignored in the Covid Debate first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Psychic Dangers of Infected Minds (With a Lie this Large)

The emergence in 2020 of the Coronavirus (or Covid-19) and the putative dire implications for us all of its unchecked spread and virulence caught most people on the planet off guard. This development signalled an epochal turning point for the global political economy, for our society and humanity. Greg Maybury gets ‘up close and personal’ with the virus, reflecting more on the ‘popular delusions and madness of crowds’ attending it, and those purporting to manage the crisis in our best interests. In this context, he offers a more off-piste reflection on the forces driving us to a destination almost surely will not be to our liking.

*****

Picture the prince, as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people’s advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, hater of…freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires.

Erasmus

Nothing will avail to offset this virus which is poisoning the whole world. America is the very incarnation of doom…She will drag the whole world down to the bottomless pit.

— Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (1934).

A Blood Poisoning of the Body Politic (Foul Deeds Arising)

In an early essay “Symbols of Transformation“, archetypal ‘poster-boy’ of the collective unconscious Carl Jung noted:

There’s no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes. The supreme danger which threatens individuals [and] whole nations is a psychic danger.

Though history is littered with the mortal remains of the countless victims of such dangers, it’s hard to recall an event in recent times where Jung’s insight has carried such portent. The much-touted microbial perils aside for now, possibly not since September 11, 2001 have we witnessed or experienced such a sweeping psychic contamination of the global body politic implicit in Jung’s maxim, as with the emergence of the Coronavirus (or Covid-19). Both events were game changers: disparate to be sure yet ‘transformative’; both have underscored the man’s insight indubitably. It informs much of what follows.

With uncertainty, fear, anxiety, suspicion, hysteria, intolerance, paranoia, and panic in the ascendancy, infecting ever more deeply our already ‘overloaded’ psyches, and some of our most basic, hitherto presumed freedoms and liberties abruptly curtailed or suspended ostensibly for the greater good (by some earnest accounts, temporarily), all of us have been affected in some measure. For the most part and for most people, this has not been in a good way. The true calculus of the effects will be some time in coming, if, in fact, we can expect such. (See here, here, and here for just a few examples of the widely reported mental health impact of Covid and its attendant, bespoke insanities.)

Irrespective of whether one views Covid (and mooted mutations thereof) as a) as bad as we’re told it is or could be; b) [as] real an existential threat to humanity as our established and establishment sources of news and information would have it; or c) whether it is even real at all*, it is the all too human propensity for irrational thought and illogical action that gives rise to the psychopathology implicit in Jung’s assessment. (*See here and here for further information.)

This is decidedly the case when such propensities are combined with our easy willingness to accept prima facie the proclamations of our ruling elites, fuelled as they are by their own hubristic ambitions, almost all of which are fiercely echoed and mirrored by their news and information intermediaries. All this brings to mind that memorable couplet via Hamlet: ‘Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.’

Whilst it seems the global populace has stoically accepted the official narrative of ‘experts’ in such matters, there is all the same a highly credible, eminently qualified, and eclectic mix of folks who’ve declared themselves at least quite sceptical of the whole business. As events and developments triggered by Covid unfold, significantly more individuals and groups are coming forward and crying ‘foul’, about the severity—indeed the very authenticity—of the crisis, and the official responses to it. Indeed, there’s credible evidence the virus was not a naturally occurring phenomenon, but man-made.

To understand why this acceptance has been so ‘contagious’, a slight digression at this point is useful. In his slyly subversive 1995 tome The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, philosopher John Ralston Saul offers us a useful view: he presents doubt as ‘the only human activity capable of controlling power in a positive way’. For the eminent Canadian, doubt is ‘central to [our] understanding’. Ralston Saul also suggests: ‘…it is curious just how easily [our elites] set about serving only themselves, even if it means…they or the society will self-self-destruct’. For his part British philosopher John Gray had this to say:

When belief systems are contradicted by facts, beliefs are rarely renounced…More often they’re reinterpreted and thereby reinforced. Humans are more interested in preserving an internally coherent worldview than in testing their view of things against events. Nearly always, faith trumps facts.

As with Jung’s earlier insight, such musings are crucial to our fuller understanding of what’s taking place at present. They’re further critical to providing an insight into the implications of ignoring the portents therein. In the Age of The ‘Coronapocalypse’—with doubt amongst the populace an increasingly rare commodity—it seems clear we’re not only ‘over’ it as an instinctive response to the machinations of our political, economic, media, technocratic, financial, and intellectual power elites. To the extent we do embrace doubt, we’re doing so inwardly, not outwardly. In the wrong direction as it were!

All of which is to say, it is our own judgment we more readily apply such doubts to than [to] those who govern us. In its place, we’re second-guessing our “aggressive common sense”, substituting a misplaced trust in authority. These wielders of great power known and unknown, elected and unelected, for whom the quaint notion ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ is both anathema and risible, know this: as such, they leverage—politicise, weaponise and/or monetise—our (self) doubts, our fears, insecurities, anxieties, even our primal instincts against us in the service of their own agendas and individual and collective self-interest.

It is said: ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste…’. Putting aside the inherent ambiguity of this trope and the fact that the precept itself has been doing the rounds for some time in one form or another, it not by chance shoehorned itself into the political lexicon in the wake of 9/11. Yet the subtext of this meme was then and remains now, ‘if we get tired of waiting for one to show up, go the extra mile and have one tailor-made and fit-for-purpose…’. That this possibility should be apparent to all is, well, without doubt! To re-mint an old adage, we don’t need to be paranoid to see this. In any case, it may even be too late to help us. Such are the stakes with this particular crisis, such is the zeitgeist. This is not idle hyperbole.

And for those who might be tempted to view this as bordering on conspiratorial musing, as  author Lance deHaven-Smith has suggested, our ready acceptance of the edicts from on high is predicated on a misplaced ‘sentimentality’ about our political leaders, public figures and institutions ‘rather than’ he says, ‘on any unbiased reasoning and object observation. One supposes here, then, we’re talking about the benefit of a reasonable doubt versus the disadvantages of unreasonable suspicion or even unreasoned certainty.

It’s difficult, though, reconciling such “sentimentality” with any known, rational reason for it being so. For those of us not naturally inclined towards sentiment when we contemplate the general character, mindset, integrity and scruples of our average political and public figures, this especially might be the case.

Here’s the thing: If we don’t use doubta measure of political agnosticism wherein we question that misplaced trustto control the psycho-pathologically derived misanthropy and the collective totalitarian mindset of these people, they’ll have little compunction in using our inability, refusal, or unwillingness to doubt [to] control us. As indeed they are, and will continue to do! (See here and here.)

Picturing the Prince (The Ballad of ‘Bogus Bill’)

We’ll return to these themes later. But any meaningful discourse of Covid requires us to critically examine the integrity of the chief architect of the existential milieu in which we find ourselves. For those looking into our current malaise (how did we get here?), it is to Bill Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates (BMG) Foundation we must turn our attention.

In reporting on his much-touted philanthropic endeavours, James Corbett of The Corbett Report is one who’s nailed the essence of Gates, and dared to challenge the accepted narratives of the public relations exercise which has crafted them. For those who haven’t seen Corbett’s expose, suffice to say there are many takeaways, most of which may be difficult to digest for those disinclined to doubt. But essential viewing it is. Along with being an admirer of the man’s work, it’s worth noting I’ve rarely seen him as animated as he has been about the Covid agenda. This in itself is a most telling observation.

From Microsoft to microbes of the life-threatening kind, from viruses of the digital to the less metaphorical variety, Corbett’s own finely tuned doubt receptors have rendered us a compelling portrait of Gates and his backstory, along with the myth, his agenda, and his ‘business model’ for humanity. Once such are revealed, doubt impels us to question many aspects of the Covid phenomenon, not least the disruptive and destructive impositions, edicts, and directives we’ve come to blithely accept from those purporting to manage the ‘crisis’ in our best interests. The wearing of masks, social distancing, lockdowns, border closures, self-isolation, and draconian penalties for infringements of any of the above are just a few of the countless examples.

To be sure, this purportedly philanthropic—and on its face off-piste—career ‘redirection’ for one of the world’s richest and most ruthless of capitalists had many folks reassessing their views of the man. After experiencing a ‘come to me Lord’ moment, Gates had recalibrated his values, mended his ‘wicked ways’, and set out on the road to redemption. Doubtless it was one he presumably felt would, like St Paul’s, in the fullness of time lead him to a higher moral ground and a ‘salvation’ of sorts. And one expects, an immortality of the type few folks might reasonably aspire to much less anticipate.

Sounds fair enough. Using one’s massive, somewhat ill-gotten fortune to eradicate the world’s diseases, reduce poverty along with economic and social inequality, and in general make the planet a better place for the masses (of whom there are far too many in the ‘gospel’ according to Gates), sounds like a grand idea, a selfless goal, taking the whole concept of noblesse oblige to another stratosphere entirely. Some might say it is quixotic, though in his case absent ‘the Don’s’ altruism, the windmills, suit of armour, sceptical off-sider, and trusty steed. It seems to have worked a treat.

To reiterate, there are many who didn’t buy Bill’s ‘bill of goods’ from the off, and remain consistent still; as noted even more now are, if not rejecting it outright, applying suitable mechanisms of doubt. For those doing so, the Covid agenda has revealed Gates’ apparent Damascene conversion all those years ago to all-round good guy, the prince 0f the pathogenic epoch as it were—in his case, the penultimate humanitarian of our era, making John D Rockefeller look like a curmudgeonly ‘scrooge’ even after his not dissimilar re-baptism back in the day—as a fraud, a phony, a chimera of charitable intent.

The Parasitic Profiteers of Adversity

Few people one imagines have transformed the act of giving away their money such a consummately profitable business model. We only need follow the money, or ask: Who benefits? Cui bono? as we say. As with 9/11, the dramatis personae in Covid’s ‘cattle-call’ of beneficiaries is a ‘cast of thousands’, and then some! The parasitic profiteers of angst, adversity and misfortune are rarely in short supply!

And whilst a more complete picture of the ultimate goals of the BMG Foundation, along with the agendas of its various ‘franchisees’ and subsidiaries, might remain unclear for some, it’s enough to say that if its much-touted altruistic aims are to be accepted, there is much more work to be done. In the PR domain that is. This even if the results thus far are quite impressive to say the least.

Public relations (one of whose notable pioneers was no less than Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays, who leveraged then monetised his uncle’s conclusions about the inner working of the human mind to stunning effect), doesn’t as a rule seek to provide objective insights into contemporary events. It is about manipulating and moulding (sorry, “managing”) our perceptions of people, situation and circumstance, and doing so by deception, either by omission or commission, by misinformation or disinformation, or both, in each case! This ‘alchemical’ myth-making aims to poison—indeed mutate—the core narrative of our history, as well as the more contemporary political and civil discourse.

Now I feel I can say all this with some measure of authority as I’ve an insider’s grasp of how PR works, a previous life having afforded me such. Being able to match one’s own knowledge of history in general with the history of PR and how it has become such an omnipotent force governing the management of our political economy and our society provides such insight. For those who might challenge the substance of Freud’s own ‘warts ‘n all’ insights into the human condition, the effectiveness of PR is the best evidence we have that the fabled former Viennese ‘shrink’ knew his id from his superego.

We might even go so far to say that whatever values remained of the heritage bequeathed to us by the so-named age of enlightenment, were subverted by Freud’s conclusions around two hundred odd years later. More accurately, it was their application in the real world for purposes and motives that had little to do with enlightenment, reason and rational thinking and much to do with their antithesis, that may have been the real fly in the ointment.

 True, one does not need a post-doctoral degree in Freudian psycho-analytical theory to decide when the forces of PR are in effect. A modicum of “aggressive common sense” will do it. Yet as the American author H.D. Thoreau once mused, ‘…there is such a thing as circumstantial evidence, as when you find a trout in the milk’. Sadly, our “common sense” is not as ubiquitous as we give ourselves credit for, even less “aggressive” as it needs be.

What Gates and Co. have presented thus far is a masterclass in PR’s preternatural capacity to induce the desired doubts in the populace, and from there, mould opinion and/or manufacture out of thin air the credulous acquiescence of the misgoverned. In the view of many (nowhere near a critical mass to be sure), humanity’s ‘crisis’ du génération has unmasked the Gates’s real motives and their earnest, over-arching game-plan. Put another way, we don’t need to wait for the lab results to tell us there are rats in the gravy!

In squarely assessing the Covid phenomena, one is struck by any number of conclusions—as inescapable as they’re disturbing—about the forces driving it, and about our collective surrender to these forces. As noted (but cannot be overstated), the first is our recidivistic disposition to, like sermons upon the mount, internalise ‘fashionable’ ideas in the deeper recesses of our cognitive backyards. We continue to embrace such edicts from on high, without a great deal (if any) of critical thought, analysis or again, simple, homespun doubt. Our belief in, and acceptance of, such edicts are little more than faith-based.

In this, our education system is to be sure, a principal culprit. As someone who’s spent (another) previous life as a professional educator, for this writer that much is a given. Whilst this’ll be the subject of a future, deeper reflection on the root causes of our contemporary malaise, suffice to say there’s little provision within the modern school curriculum for the encouragement of critical thought (in this writer’s view, the opposable thumb of the intellect), the terrain having been purposely—yet covertly—well-tilled and seeded to this end over several decades. Beyond formal education itself, other forces come into play to be sure, not least our media.

Thus our “worldview” remains forever unchallenged, unchanged. It needs be noted that along with positioning himself amongst the medical and health fraternity as the ‘go-to’ global guru on public health policy in general and the dangers of contagious diseases in particular, Gates has cemented this reputation with the broader public by assiduously courting the mainstream (corporate) media and the reigning political classes and their unelected patrons in unstinting support of the BMG Foundation’s agenda.

And though the COVID thing represents the best evidence we have of how we’re being misinformed—and from there (mis) governed—in the here and now, it serves as a reliable index of how we might be so governed in the future. This much is clear: they’ll keep ‘pushing the envelope’ here until our mailboxes are full. A casual scrutiny of some of history’s most consequential events, developments and turning points is enough for the discerning doubter to appreciate this. Though it might go without saying, as indicated by then it most likely will be too late. Even if the truth of events comes out, the damage has already been done. No collective, belated epiphany upon the part of the public can undo it. Here we might recall John Gray’s earlier point about beliefs being “rarely renounced” when “contradicted by facts”.

In the Land of the Infected (None so Blind)

Now those not persuaded by the preceding views may need to ‘get out more’, to use the vernacular. Which is to say we need to wake up to the brain-numbing barrage of propaganda on the one hand and stifling censorship on the other to which we’ve been subjected for many years: this Orwellian milieu has expanded greatly since the emergence of this so-called crisis. It’s tantamount to psychological warfare of the asymmetrical kind, where the stronger power determines to have the upper hand, and is well positioned to achieve and maintain it.

As Vanessa Beeley from 21C Wire reveals, this trend towards increasing censorship, surveillance and secrecy is very much an exponential work in progress, with the latter possibly not being the most appropriate word given the zeitgeist. To the degree notions of transparency and accountability are in play, the miscreants driving these developments are now more open (or less embarrassed or apologetic) about being caught out, and ever more immune when they are called out. Any sense of embarrassment, guilt or shame their ilk might have been prone to back in the day has long since been surgically removed as if it were a ruptured appendix. (See here, here, here, here, and here for more on this.)

The perpetrators and sources of propaganda and censorship are many and various: They run the gamut from global and regional foundations, commissions, movements, and assorted agenda-driven organisations to national, state and provincial governments; [to] the corporate (mainstream) media along with the intelligence and security agencies; lobby groups, think tanks, NGOs; Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Arms et. al.; and myriad other private and public institutions and vested interests, including even our regulatory bodies and legislative assemblies. If only we could have a vaccine to inoculate us against this cognitive onslaught, this pernicious societal and political virulence!

This operant conditioning (or programming), a euphemism for old-school brainwashing, albeit utilising more sophisticated technological and psychological instruments, is designed to elicit a false consensus effect (or bias) in people, whereby they ‘see their own behavioural choices and judgments as relatively common and appropriate to existing circumstances’. In other words, we accept our personal beliefs, values, perceptions, and attitudes as relatively widespread through the general populace, and we react in kind, something of a herd mentality one suspects. Once the herd mentality is in play, there is no herd immunity. (Think wildebeests here, or maybe lemmings).

Jung, himself, warned of the ‘politico-social delusional systems’ and ‘monkey tricks’ politicians use to ‘poison the utterly incompetent mind of the masses.’ Less lofty in tone, yet perhaps more pithily, the popular British satirist and fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett acutely observed: ‘…the IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters’. Aristotle’s oft-cited postulate that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ may have its discontents; what is inarguable is that this is where stupidity finds its natural habitat, and ignorance its idyll.

Such acquiescence on our part can be aroused by sub rosa, beguiling means, like predictive programming. This is very much a forte of the film and television business to be sure. According to Alan Watt, ideas which might otherwise be seen as undesirable, bizarre, vulgar or impossible ‘are inserted into films [as] fantasy. When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins.’ Hollywood has been called the ‘dream factory’, ironic on many levels, especially as it is no slouch in the fabrication of nightmares. That it does so purportedly for our ‘entertainment’ is doubly ironic. (Here we might again think of the events of 9/11. See here also.)

Predictive programming is usually deemed the domain of the “conspiracy theorist”, Watt and his ilk being dismissed as such. The epithet has always been and remains the de rigueur response from those who like to ‘man the barricades’ at any hint the official narrative of events past and present may not be kosher. As with such theories, whether they turn out to be true or not (we know many do, in fact; see here, here, and here just for starters), coincidence plays a key role in how we determine what’s a conspiracy and what’s not.) Again, as Gray’s previous observation underscores, even then, such revelations rarely deliver an appropriate corrective to the accepted narrative.)

Though by no means the best or the only one, an exemplar of such programming (akin to ‘tilling the soil’), is the 2008 British film Doomsday—a dystopian, nihilistic, viral-apocalypse gore-fest of the first order. The central ‘character’ in this film is the aptly named “Reaper” virus, the arrival and impact of which decimates the population and splits the UK in two under martial law. It then ‘disappears’, only to ‘mysteriously’ resurface thirty years later. By this time, we’re living the nightmare! Cue the darkness, in the land of the infected.

Slickly made—with a plot that on its face stretches plausibility and replete with over-the-top action scenes rivalling the Mad Max (aka Road Warrior) films and their ilk, only with lethal badass germs and a cast of infected zombie-like thousands a la The Living Dead roaming the desolate landscape, the film does what it says on the box. Although I didn’t see Bill Gates’ name in the credits (OK, I didn’t check; but ‘creative consultant’ or ‘technical adviser’ anyone?), it was like so many others of its ilk, scripted and produced to transcend mere edge-of-your-seat, pop-corn entertainment. (See here for the “Top Ten” in the genre; and yes, it is a “genre”.)

There was a message in the film to be sure, and it wasn’t necessarily a cautionary tale about capricious microbes waiting to bush-wack us on our evolutionary path and eradicate us all before we do same to ourselves by other means. What makes this film relevant herein is the subversive political agenda that drives much of the action. (As fictional fare, everyone, man and his dog, loves a good conspiracy theory it seems. It’s only when we step back into the real world that we have trouble entertaining, less so accepting, such possibilities. What makes us think Covid might just be different? This question need not be simply rhetorical.)

Yet for apocalyptic prescience of the pathogenic kind in fictional conspiratorial plotting, it is Israeli Hamutal Shabtai who gets the nod. Over 23 years ago she wrote a book—largely unnoticed it appears—about the emergence of a Covid-like pandemic, set in 2020. Not so imaginatively titled 2020, this novel was apparently only published in Hebrew, and according to Raul Diego of MintPress News, originally written as a film script. Diego:

Shabtai…predicts the state of the world today as a result of the counter-measures with uncanny accuracy and foretells of a society ravaged by a virus, which ushers in a “global health dictatorship”.

Rats in the Gravy

And for those unaware of the origins of the “conspiracy theory” construct as used in the pejorative (it almost always is), it’s time to bring oneself up to speed. Look no further than the CIA’s infamous Operation Mockingbird, the most enduring, successful, well-documented, psychological operation (aka ‘psy-op’) ever concocted by The Company, one promiscuously embraced by all Western intelligence and security agencies and their governments. They’ve been dining out on it for over seventy years. And we’ve been picking up the tab.

The phrase “conspiracy theorist” itself was a purpose-built initiative of OpMock and its attendant illusions and shell-games. So effective has this meme been, it has prevailed against our political enlightenment over three generations, shows no sign of approaching its use-by date, and provides us more evidence if required that Freud knew his stuff.  It has been the perfect vaccine against authentic doubt (or “aggressive common sense”), the latter being the virus that most scares our political and power elites. For his part Gates appears increasingly unhinged by all the Covid naysayers, recently decrying “conspiracy theorists” and their “crazy, evil” accusations. One marvels as to why he took so long to ‘sound the alarm’! (For more information on OpMock, see here, here and here).

And this is without mentioning MK-ULTRA (aka Artichoke), the same agency’s diabolical mind-control and brainwashing plots, programs, experiments and schemes. This is a program the records of which the CIA reportedly destroyed (at least by some accounts) in the early seventies. But this author doesn’t buy that theory. (See here, here, and here.)  Even if the names might’ve changed, that the overarching (and overreaching) goals of both programs could still be in play is something we should take as a given.

We are then via real-time surveillance faced with the prospect of more and more intrusions into, and dispossession of, our privacy—propelled by frontal attacks on our presumed entitlements in this respect. This is especially so with the advent of artificial intelligence, genetic modification (GM) and 5G intelligence and data mining and manipulation technologies: I’m reliably informed of such prospects by an associate, a long-time career computer engineer no less, who sees a dark future for humanity herein. The increasing sophistication of, and both ubiquitous and iniquitous (increasingly untested, unregulated), application of AI/GM/5G control tools and power-wielding processes makes this a given.

In this Brave New World meets 1984 future, such technologies will come to rule, direct, psychologically orchestrate, socially engineer, behaviourally manage, and genetically manipulate every aspect of our lives. One can reasonably surmise this is one of the key motives for—and objectives of—those associated with its rollout. Human nature has a track record of going off-track, and it is not one overly imbued with circumspection, erring on the side of caution, forward thinking, altruism, or broad consideration of the public weal. If it can all be monetised along with being weaponised all the better. Which it is and will continue to be. Of that we can be sure.

Though space prohibits an in-depth discussion of such, it’s worth mentioning at this point the widely perceived connections between the timing of the rollout of 5G and the arrival of Covid. It’s enough to say that one credible observer—Robert F Kennedy Jr.—foresees a “catastrophe” for humanity. For him, there are no ‘mights’ or ‘maybes’ about it. It is instructive that he made this comment in the context of talking about pandemics, vaccines and the like. But he was clearly alluding to the possible environmental and health blow-back from rolling out this scandalously untested technology. (See also here.)

And it would seem that Covid has brought into sharp relief the corruption and avarice of our once trusted medical science and health professions. In this writer’s ‘humble’ opinion, Kennedy is one of the most articulate and principled advocates for more accountability and transparency within and across the broad medical, pharmaceutical, healthcare, health insurance, health science and scientific research and associated regulatory domains. He attends his message with a no punches pulled indictment of the widespread, deep-seated conflicts of vested interests therein, and the rampant abuse and neglect of the public trust he sees as being out of control in these spheres.

In a lengthy interview last year, Kennedy gave vent to all of the above and then some. Whilst the main focus was on Covid and the disturbing implications for our future, his views extended to the numerous issues which attend Covid. There are any number of reveals in this wide-ranging discussion and RFK’s son—a litigation lawyer, safe vaccine advocate, and environmental activist—was ‘all over his brief’ as it were. Like the Corbett revelations on Gates, this interview provides valuable insights. (Similar to many who share his beliefs, Kennedy maintains that he is not against vaccines but wishes that they be more thoroughly tested and investigated.)

One striking illustration (countless others abound) providing further evidence of the misinformation and disinformation that has become the hallmark of the perpetual motion propaganda and censorship machine that has been purpose built to keep the official narrative on track is the following. Dr. Roger Hodkinson is Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons committee in Ottawa, and also CEO of a large private medical laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta. He’s also Chairman of a medical biotechnology company seeking to enter the vaccination market.

On its face this looks a typical conflict of interest of the type referred to earlier. Yet in a video (originally posted on Youtube, but tellingly removed by YT gatekeepers shortly thereafter), Hodkinson decried the utterly unfounded hysteria’ surrounding Covid, which he said was ‘driven by the media and politicians’. Along with calling it ‘the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspected public’, Hodkinson declared the ‘crisis’ as nothing more than ‘a bad flu season. It’s politics playing medicine and that’s a very dangerous game.’ He further added:

There is no action needed…Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence whatsoever they are even effective. It is utterly ridiculous seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people walking around like lemmings obeying without any evidence. Social distancing is also useless… [T]he risk of death under 65 is 1 in 300,000…the response utterly ridiculous.

 Quarantining Humanity (Useless Eaters and Useful Idiots)

To sum up: If we relinquish our freedom of action, choice and movement to the pandemic priesthood and supplant our individual thoughts and speech with the accepted narratives of their agendas, we do so at our own peril. We are in effect dispensing with one of the most effective tools of defence in the smoke-filled ‘wilderness of mirrors’ (located as it is inside a cacophonous echo chamber) that passes for reality, one in which we all too readily assume will present greater opportunities for us, our families and descendants to pursue, attain, then lead full, free, productive, meaningful—and better; i.e., improved—lives.

This illusory construct has been purpose-built to reflect and echo a reality of their own making. Such pseudo-realities have been with us for some time and remain extant, a work in progress. One hardly needs to be a political philosopher or logician to detect the vicious circularity of this existential malaise, and we are but bit players performing in this post-modern danse macabre, this cosmic, mordantly ironic, nihilistic opera of the absurd, one directed by criminal sociopaths and choreographed by the certifiably insane.

We sacrifice all this for what is rapidly approaching in extremis, something of a devolution of humanity, marked by soulless economic determinism, technological tyranny, social engineering, genetic manipulation, political absolutism, psychological alienation, and an ineradicable spiritual ennui unimagined of in the most conceivable of pessimistic, dystopian futures. The mythical deities of Grecian antiquity combined, from Zeus himself on down the mountain, might hardly have marshalled, much less manifested, this much narcissistic hubris towards, and disdain for, their mortal constituents and/or presumed omnipotence over them.

Brought into sharp relief by Covid, this entrenched institutional corruption, deception and fraud alone is prevalent and ongoing at the highest levels in both the private and public realms of our global political economy. As always seems to be the case, the corporate media—the glue that holds the monolithic capitalist, free market, globalist, free trade, neoliberal construct in place—have outdone themselves in this regard; after all the Russia-gate farce, some folks might’ve expected this to be a hard act to follow.

But follow it they did, doubling down and being even more brazen about it. Whilst a story for another time, they seem to have outdone themselves once more with their reportage on the conduct and outcome of the 2020 election. On both counts this has no precedent in American history, with the lies, damned lies, and dodgy statistics that underpinned their election coverage and the preordained narrative embedded therein being key to the stand-out nature of the poll.

With each passing day, though it may be too little too late, more high-profile and/or authoritative folks are beginning to speak up about the challenges and variegated dangers posed by the COVID crisis, and the manner in which it has been managed. One such person is the erudite German author Eckhart Tolle. During a recent lecture on the subject of adversity (an apposite title for the age in which we live perhaps?), Tolle delivers some poignant, yet still portentous comments on the Coronavirus hysteria.

In this two-parter, “Awakening Through Adversity,” the following are just a few of the points he covers:

  • Collective ‘hive mind’ and the spread of ‘mind viruses’;
  • How the collective mind is projected through social and mainstream media;
  • How sensationalism in mainstream media drives the ‘crisis’ narrative; and,
  • How to be more conscious of mainstream media manipulation.

 In these uncertain times, Tolle’s views on the Covid upheaval are especially worth listening to.

As a fitting coda to our ruminations then, the following might be appropriate. Insofar as COVID goes—and any plot dreamed up by hidden agenda-driven intriguers and schemers designed to serve their own interests or those in whose service they’re being amply rewarded—we’re looking down the barrel of not so much a medical, health, and/or social crisis (as bespoke as it is). We’re facing nothing less than what we might term a blood poisoning of the body politic.

It’s all but a fait accompli that we now accept it is their interests that will always come first. Although to some extent trust in our political, public and private institutions has declined precipitously, this half-assed realisation is too little, too late. We rarely seem to stop what we’re doing and consider the implications of that. Until that mistrust is converted into critical mass action, we’re on a hiding to nothing.

Which is to say, we’ll face two choices, both of which are something of the Hobson’s variety. We either become one of Vladimir Lenin’s “useful idiots” in the service of this all-out assault on democracy, the public weal, and humanity. Or we end up one of Henry Kissinger’s “useless eaters“. The ‘choice’ is ours (or not).

Or like Henry Ford once reportedly opined, ‘you can have any colour you like, as long as it’s black!’

If only we could embrace doubt with as much enduring enthusiasm and commitment as we do the purported good intentions of those who rule over us. If only…

The post The Psychic Dangers of Infected Minds (With a Lie this Large) first appeared on Dissident Voice.