Preamble indefensible rant:

It really breaks my heart to see all the hysterical hand-waving and hair pulling over the latest psychotic war-mongering on the part of the neocon reality-priesthood. I would have hoped more people would be smarter than to fall for the same old trick again and again. If you can be induced into reacting, rebelling, opposing or railing away incoherently against someone else’s agenda, then you’ve pretty much eliminated the possibility of making any progress on your own agenda.

Contrary to what you might think, digging in and defining oneself in adversarial stance to anything else makes you an accessory to their plans, not an obstacle. Arguing against something only lends it credibility, rather than leaving it to rise and fall on it’s own merits as the crazy blood thirsty bullshit that it is. It’s like arguing against ethnic cleansing: do we needto argue against ethnic cleansing? Do we really want to give the maniacs who spout that kind of shit any more credibility by standing across the line from them? No fucking way. They’ll just suck you into their hellworld of mass murder and make you the token resistance in it. Fuck them and fuck their fantasies. Envision something positive and make them fight you for a change. They’re cowards and they’ll lose in the end. Guaranteed.

The sad fact is, very few of us are willing to fight for anything except the the right to be oblivious to the world, letting someone else handle it, and not having to make a real sacrifice for your convictions. Provided you happen to have any, and not just the usual list of liberal aversions and sentimental delusions. If you’re so scared of nuclear war then get busy building a better alternative, because not doing so only opts for hell on earth because you’re too gutless to come up with some new ideas. End of rant.

Part the first: A Gun on the Table has to Go Off

Let’s play the timeline game shall we? I realise it’s kind of unfair to bitch everyone out for not making real choices when the playing field seems so unclear. It’s like a twelve car pileup of catastrophic changes in the making out there, and even if you don’t buy into them uncritically, it’s obviously helpful to know which way the wind is blowing.

My thinking is that determining the outcome of specific events is pretty hard, but knowing the sweep of trends is rather easy. In that vein, my first section deals with the next five years, or so. There are so many chaotic processes going on that there’s no way of knowing what order or manner they will play out, but you can be pretty sure where we’ll be overall by the time they all do. The big three strands, all intertwined of course, are global financial crises, geopolitics, and governmental legitimacy.

For at least the last several decades, the dominant power has had within it a strand of lawlessness, a kind of oligarchical consensus that implements it’s will through an old boy network of gangsters, drug runners, ideological moles, and spooks. The true conceptual core is simply greed, and fear of losing vast fortunes and privilege to the whims of the herd. This used to have it’s public face as the fear of communism, but now manifests as a general contempt for education and raising living standards for the poor and underprivileged everywhere. The problem with this style is that it depends for it’s survival on the legitimacy of the system it parisitises. if the general public were to catch on that the game is rigged and totally corrupt, the backroom players stand to lose everything. Unfortunately, the system they exploit is founded on several instabilities that are just now coming to a head. In order to avert this eventual restructuring crsis, the oligarchs must recourse to ever more blatant displays of string pulling to keep the game going. It’s not that elections were never fixed before, or that markets were never manipulated before, or terrorism was never state-sponsored false flag provocation before. It’s simply that it’s never been used as extensively and as desperately as it has been now. Which ought to be a sign that that things are coming unglued at record speed.

The only reason that george can go on tv and make one ridiculous pronouncement after another and get away with it is not that we’re stupid and complacent, and apathetic. It’s simply the moment in time where the crooked players are forced to cheat blatantly and you sit there in shock not wanting to believe that that’s what’s been going on all along. But that’s exactly what it’s always been. And that shock is not going to last much longer. Eventually this overreach of manipulation and illegal influence will result in the de-legitimation of (at the very least) the neocon regime, but more likely the self destruction of the republican party, and possibly even the general recasting of the political landscape in the united states altogether, not necessarily for the better, either. It largely depends on how badly the mid terms gut the republican position, and secondarily on how soon the economy goes massively pear shaped. And if neither of those does it, simply three more years of this shit in general will serve to destroy the status quo once and for all.

Which brings us to the war question: believe it or not, Iran’s current leadership probably does want a war and probably does realise it can’t win. Leaving aside neocon spin, these are legitimate jihadist fanatics, not fantasy projections to justify struassian dialectics, or business-minded secular dictators like saddam, and that probably explains the reticence of some to attack them outright, because once you start that war, you’re not fighting poor starving insurgents in fallujah who hide in the basement, and hate americans becuase you dropped a cluster bomb on their aunt and uncle. You’re fighting religious fanatics who truly want to kill and die for allah. Sad to say it, but sometimes the stereotype is true. Iran probably wants this war because as bad as they will come out of it, the united states and israel will come away so much worse it’s not even funny. Their economies will be wrecked, their militaries stretched to breaking point, their security situations permanently turned to dust and ashes. Meanwhile these fanatics believe they’ll be hanging in paradise, having launched islam back to it’s proper position of glory. The western powers manufactured islamic fundamentalism, fed it , and turned it loose. And now here it is.

The sophisticated neocon thinker believes that civilisation needs some kind of underlying moral narrative to prevent terminal stagnation. This then justifies deceit and corruption in the name of preventing us poor fuddles from sinking into a morass of self satisfied socialist apathy. Hence the obsession with manufactured enemies, and simplistic expainations for complex grievances.

This is just the latest face on the totalitarian backlash that haunted the 20th century front to back. The 20th was probably the most kneejerk retrograde century there ever was, in terms of paranoid recoil from political and philosophical forward motion. History has been slow, but always forward moving. It’s not very often you see the level of backsliding we’ve had in the last 60 years or so. Being born in it makes it hard to see that so much of the last hundred years was about severe disillusionment with the progressive growth of education, technology and liberalism. In many ways it’s been the resurgence of provincialism, tribalism, xenophobia and race hatred on a massive scale. Most of what we think of as modern, or post modern thinking was totally worked out by the 1930’s. Dada, Jazz, Existentialism, Quantum Physics, and certainly by the 1950’s there wasn’t much left to do. But then things ground to a halt, and haven’t really moved since. It’s important to recognise our era as a departure from the general trend of history, so that when that trend reestablishes itself, you understand why.

So don’t rely on common sense and tact to head this shit off, because it aint going to happen. Everybody wants this war, for entirely different stupid reasons, and sooner or later they’re going to get it.

When it does go down, you’ll probably get a general war in the middle east both in terms of anti-infidel jihad, and sectarian muslim civil war which will probably drag in the whole world after a few months, or maybe a couple years at the most, once it becomes clear that stabilising the middle east is only thing that will prevent that global economy from dissolving entirely.

From the perspective of economics there’s not a whole lot you can do to change the fact that your energy supply has peaked, and the change over to anything else will take a decade at the least. Similarly you can’t do much to change that most of the money out there is worthless paper holding you hostage to a world power that is rapidly proving itself totally untrustworthy and and little more than the global bully.

Again, the chaos we see now is simply the confusion as everyone tries to pretend it isn’t happening. but that can’t last much longer. Sooner or later a real decision is going to have be made, by everyone. Once it’s understood that there’s isn’t going to be any end of the world, just a bigger deeper hole to climb out of.

So in summary, by 2011, you’ve got ongoing and expanding world war, fueled by the dissolution of the world economy probably in favour of permanent war footing combined with currency backed by confiscated precious metals. The only thing holding any of this in check is probably the fact that popular backlash will eventually destroy the war effort for the united states, along with the parties that support it. It doesn’t mean american troops won’t be there, but simply that it will be an ongoing morass with no clear victory conditions, only the fantasy of restoring stability, and no political will to win, and no stomach to get out, for fear of making hard times even worse. Basically iraq, but everywhere it can go, all at the same time.

It won’t be about high minded platitudes anymore. It’ll be about feeding your kids and paying for parents medical care. This phase ends when it becomes clear that the old ideas have exhausted themselves, politically and economically. Or more accurate, that they have been exhausted for the last several decades and haven’t had the guts to admit it. It will be manifestly obvious that, as Marshall Mcluhan said, the owners of society have no belief in it, and haven’t for a long time.

and that’s when the real scary shit kicks in.

next: terror and transhumanism

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7 thoughts on “It’s Only the End of the World, Again

  1. That’s why I say let it happen. Give ’em what they want. The only thing that is going to make people face this conundrum is total fucking war. Overcome thy fear.

    P.S. You rock.

  2. “May you live in interesting times.” Fuck.

    Mea Culpa: I admit, I have trouble envisioning “the world I want,” partly because it seems so intuitive to me–e.g., lose the chumps fucking shit up, switch to renewable resources–that I am largely reacting on the negative. I’m not a anarchoprimitivist, I think those guys make all the faulty assumptions that the current regimes do, only forcing it across the status quo: e.g., where one is talking about how modern medicine is unnecessary (Sorry guys, I’m a big fan of birth control), another is doing its damndest to keep anyone except the sheltered wealthy from having access to medicine. Sorry, I’ll opt for the transhumanist option over the “we’ll all be happy substenance farmers” option anyday… Nevermind that a return to a permanent agrarian society without a capitalist mythos will likely result in the return of slavery, re-oppression of women, treating kids as property, persecution of difference especially hippies with facial tattos, etc. Although I’m okay with outhouses, as long as they’re well ventilated. Etc. So I keep getting jammed up on that one, partly because I keep getting fed these “You’re going to be an illiterate sustenance farmer and like it” myths.

    Personal Relationship: Most people are so fucking clueless. Including the super-super rich. I work in an office with a lot of millionaires every day, and people who pay more in rent than most families earn. They don’t have a clue, they read the same magazines: Time, People, etc. When it came out that Bank of American had settled a case against it for laundering about $3 billion, only two people on the fucking floor mentioned it outloud: me, and a partner (earns $250,000 yearly at least, has earned $100,000 annuanly since he was 25). These are the halls of wealth–I suspect the only folks who won’t be surprised will be a few conspiracy nuts, us screwballs, and the guys pulling 16-hour shifts barricaded inside the pentagon trying to dig out of the mess they made and shooting rioters from their rooftops.

    And amoung the younger set, they’re totally fucking clueless. Totally. Clue. Less. Someone asked me what I “planned on doing.” I told them, “Ask me again when I have a few thousand dollars in oil EFTs and silver. I don’t feel comfortable extending myself financially to get an advanced degree at this point.” “But it’s a sacrifice that’ll pay for itself.” IF everything stays exactly how it is at this moment. It’s a ridiculous disconnect from any history at all, and a huger disconnect from recent events–bankruptcy, credit debt, and home prices all rising in lockstep, “invisible” political coup, etc. There’s simply this busted-ass assumption amoung youth–particularly the ones who have “ambition” that the sun will always shine on your ass regardless of society’s shaky legs. It’s golden-girl syndrome writ large, and I suspect these people will be falling fast and be surprised as hell when they can’t get to the office because the transit workers set the trains on fire.

    Otherwise Thanks for the hope. Rather than view this as the precursor to the unending age of substenance farming, I’ll choose to see it as the undoing of one regime lived past its usefulness. In the decades to come, I hope to sit in the library with the groupies touching each other outside, working out lines in a telepathic session with my fellow monks examining the use of Late Capitalist Society in the precursory development of the posthuman society that replaced it.

    transvaluation now and forever.

  3. I was a hardcore anarcho primitivist, hakim bey esque psychic paleolith back in the day. after awhile though it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    and you know what did it? it was one story from uncle terrence, about the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.

    it hit the yucatan and in a fraction of a second it drove several hundred feet into the earth. it flung up a wall of rock 500 feet high, moving at mach 7. everything within 800 miles was instantly killed by the flash, and eventually anything on earth bigger than a chicken died.

    i did not want my kids to be the ones to look up in the sky one day and go ‘oh fuck’

    simple as that.

    a lot of transhumanism and whatnot strikes as hopelessly constipated and dull, being the wet dream of a bunch of aging computer geeks. they’ve got the tools lined up but not the aesthetics. have you ever seen one of these extropy conferrences? there’s a video of one somewhere. god bless them but these dudes need to get laid. you do not need to be a posthuman intelligence to get lucky, guys! clean up real nice and learn to talk to girls! it’s okay! i believe in you!

    but anyways, a lot of this was just limbering up for the real futurism. this section could be mailed in by any spastic who’s actually paying attention.

  4. Well, by no means am I a “transhumanist” although I am into smart drugs, I support vaccination (well, the mercury-free kind), and am trying to return to exercise and diet while overworking myself. While I often feel allied with the anarchoprims via my tendency towards “ecomasculinity” and paleo-paleo-paleo-conservativsm, I can’t swallow the myth whole. Like Ran Prieur’s stuff, he’s insightful but in many ways makes the same “flatland” assumptions Ken Wilber accuses many groups of… Damnit, we’re the only animal that can be more than animal but we never will be if we spend all are time playing either capitalist worker-bees OR potato-farmers… If anything, I’d be a “traditionalist” pushed through this ever-looming looking glass. Terrence McKenna’s relationship to transhumanism and technology has bothered me, as he tended to flip-flop between suggesting that we’re coming upon a purely technological singularity and/or a purely ontological one. While I tend to believe technology might be able to enhance one’s life, the idea that we need tech to live forever/get psychic seems to fall too much into what Freud called the “Prosthetic God.” We have the technology. We always have.

    Generally, I find that any subculture that has conferences needs to be destroyed, or get put next door to the swingers’ conference, although every swing club I’ve been to has been too fucking square to deal with for more than five minutes, even with a hot bisexual [ex]girlfriend.

    I am interested in seeing the secong part of this, as I’ve said, I can’t get a workable fucking future out myself, I think that’s the greatest trick these bastards have.

  5. “Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” Yep, yep, yep. There’s a subtle difference between lighting the proverbial candle, than burning the mutha down.

    I always had a hard time wrapping my head around post-industrial philosophical isms. I pretty much wrapped it up with Mills and Locke.
    Perhaps it’s fortunate that as I avail to see the historical context of the 20th C. with better objective hindsight, I can get a better leap ahead.

    My hope is as the present US administration sinks deeper in the quicksand it decided to build upon, the next major election could be a bumpy reconstuctive transition, to eventually get some real progress in about 6 years.

    I’ll trust in a growing collective of aware folk that can be heard above the din. Art is a powerful force, I hope I’ll figure out how to harness … soon.

    I have a working statement in progress, trying to figure out the best syntax. Maybe some of you can help me out … it goes something like this “Art: because life is greater than we can imagine”

  6. The United Nations are like a row of dominos all nicely standing up, back to back. It just takes one country to knock it for them all to come tumbling down. Yea, I could see the physics in what you said up above about the amount of time it would take for the whole world to suddenly be involved.

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