Or something like that.
A while back, in the commentary to a previous blog post, a particularly curmudgeonly and belligerent screen name, PailiP, advised me to update my memes in regard to something I wrote with which he/she/it disagreed. It was an ironic admonition since this arrogantly rigid commentator obviously hadn’t updated his/her/its memeware in quite some time, if ever. It did make me reflect for a moment if I had upgraded my own recently, and after thoughtful reflection I determined that I’m updating my memes regularly. But how can you prove that to anyone but yourself without some outward manifestation like an essay from a former time period? Well, you can’t really. Any interested parties, if there are any, will just have to take your word for it absent a physical manifestation outside the confines of your brain. Thankfully, I happen to have that outward proof in the form of an essay I penned over ten years prior just subsequent to the invasion of Iraq. See, I was dead-set against the imminent invasion regardless of the official justifications. And at the time, even though I didn’t believe the bullshit about Saddam and weapons of mass destruction, I did believe one of the ulterior motives was to bring Western-style mass consumption in the form of Democracy to Iraq. A couple of years subsequent to writing the essay, I gladly discarded that wayward notion. In fact, I no longer believe at least fifty percent or more of what I wrote in that essay, but much of it still does ring true, most importantly the sentiment.
I will post the essay shortly, but I want to clarify a few things before I do. First, as you’ll see from the essay, I opposed the invasion of Iraq, so when provocateurs who pretend to be legitimate critics of the American and Western establishment use the word “we” to decry all said establishment does, I take umbrage. There is no “we,” but if there was one, I’m certainly not included in that group, and don’t hand me that crap that if you’re a taxpaying citizen of the West, you’re part of the “we.” That’s horseshit. As a taxpayer, you’re coerced by the full force of law to hand over a portion of your salary to the government. You have no say in this except through so-called political representatives who represent everything and anything but you even up to and including foreign powers. I was not consulted in the decision-making process leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Had I been, perhaps there wouldn’t have been an invasion and oil would now be priced at $25/barrel with the notion of tar sands someone’s idea of a bad joke. You also were not consulted. My opinion wasn’t considered. In fact, no one’s organic, independently-derived opinion was considered, outside a relatively small circle of people, in the decision to invade Iraq. Opinions aren’t solicited in these matters, they’re manufactured for the majority as tacit consent. There is no organic “we.” It’s a fabrication — manufactured by the PR firms that create our realities at an ever-increasing pace. Now that I’ve mentioned it, keep a sharp eye out for the use of “we” by these dirtbag provocateurs disguised as “activists.” They’re at Moon of Alabama, Ian Welsh’s blog — you name it, they’re all over the place, but they’re especially prominent in the alternative media where they can take advantage of naive, young rebellious types trying to figure it all out but just wading into the abyss of so-called enlightenment for the first time. The provocateurs’ goal is to lay the hegemonic guilt of imperialism at the feet of those who had no part or say. And these naive dolts lap it up because they’re looking for guilt in all the wrong places. They are guilty, just not of that. They’re guilty of seeking guilt. It’s true, some people like to be guilty and search it out. Once a few do, it becomes trendy and it catches on, and before you know it it’s cool and hip to feel collective guilt for something you had no part in. I mean, why not? If everything else goes these days, so too should collective guilt trips. Fine, if that’s your thing, but I’m not part of your delusional and fetishistic “we” you freaks. If you want to be flogged so badly, take your guilt caravan to Iran and protest for LGBT rights and you’ll get that flogging you think you deserve. Or take your guilt caravan to Russia and protest for gay rights and the Cossacks will deservedly (by your insane standards) beat you black and blue, and maybe, if you’re lucky, they’ll leave welt marks. Wouldn’t that be swell (haha)?
This “we” issue was brought up recently by a commentator over at Moon of Alabama blog, so it’s been fresh on my mind, although I’ve run across it before, and have observed it repeatedly over the years, and commented on it in the past, in my internet travels which have been both far and wide. Here’s what I said at MOA about “we” (or is it Oui — or maybe both?):
It’s genocidal set-up when these provocateurs use the “we.” Believe me, I’ve brought this up numerous times and they just ignore you and continue to say “we” regardless of how cogent your argument is. When a commentator refuses to acknowledge it and continues on with the same spiel, you know their purpose. They are propagandists engaging in subterfuge.
You are correct, there is no “we.” In fact, if you think about it, by using the “we,” they are taking the spotlight away from those who are responsible for this strategy of carnage across the globe, and instead disseminating that True Guilt to a collective of the unwitting and irresponsible. They are providing cover and amnesty for the True Perps by transferring the sentence to those who were never consulted but whose name was used involuntarily.
Second, as you read the essay, you will note, if you’ve been following along, I’ve changed my views, or more appropriately I’ve updated my memeware, substantially since 2003 when I typed the essay. For example, I no longer believe nuclear conflagration is a distinct possibility, but rather an extremely remote possibility. I do still believe there is a Clash of Civilizations but that’s not what’s going on in Iraq. They knew all that when making the decision to invade, so imo, there never was any intent to impose Western Civilization on the Middle East, and more specifically Iraq. In fact, we know they knew. Cheney as Vice President was The Decider when it came to foreign policy matters, not George W. Bush despite Dubya’s braggadocio he was. For proof, we need look no further than the horse’s mouth. Here’s Cheney in a 1994 interview discussing the decision not to go to Baghdad and take out Saddam during the first Gulf War.
This is so incredibly damning to any official reasoning for Gulf War II, and yet so very few allude to it or use this as an exhibit in their arguments, instead opting for the convenient “incompetent hubris” reasoning — if you can call it reasoning — and you can’t, in my opinion.
I want to clarify that just because I’ve changed my views since the essay (it’s coming, I promise), it doesn’t mean the history and entirety of my views are likened to a pendulum that now has swung to the far “Right” and become Fascist and Imperialist. Hardly. I’m not a clock and my perspective isn’t a pendulum. Just because I’ve become a full-time, equal opportunity critic of any and all things, but most especially a critic of critics and a critic of avant-garde criticism, that doesn’t make me a Fascist, it just means I’m not a team player. When it comes to pure objective criticism, or as pure as is possible, team play is a hindrance, hence I seek no alliance and eschew the notion of followers and fans. I will dance to no man’s fiddle, not even my own, although I do play my fiddle on occasion with increasingly less frequency as I age. I bring this up because a slime ball far “Left” creepy provocateur over at Moon of Alabama called me an imperialist and a Fascist in the commentary to b’s most recent blog post here. Here’s the freak’s comment:
Cold, don’t slime on me. Reading most of your posts I see that you are very close to fascist and us-imperialist thinking, not independent like the “War against War” text requires from you
Posted by: thomas | Jun 18, 2014 6:37:56 PM | 94
This dirtbag’s retort was in reply to a positive comment I made about the following quoted copy & paste provided by this smarmy interlocutor:
All said what’s need to be said, be it in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria or anywhere else:
War against war!
Statement of leftists and anarchists on the confrontation in Ukraine
In the ongoing conflict, we support neither Ukrainian government nor pro-Russian factions that established their authority on the portion of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The working class (i.e. everyone who has neither power nor capital) is equally alien both to the concept of unitary Ukraine and to the ideas of ”federalization” or creation of new states — these are merely the games of politicians, drawing blood from ordinary people. We, the left and the anarchists, should primarily adhere to the needs of the working class in the war-torn regions of Ukraine, protect their rights and freedoms.
Against LPR and DPR!
Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” are a collection of warring right-wing juntas. Rights and freedoms, which are granted to the rest of Ukraine, are not available in the territories under their control. Public manifestation of political dissent is not possible there; worker rights activists who criticized DPR were kidnapped and tortured. Upon preservation of these regimes the working class will be completely deprived of any opportunity to defend their legal rights. The only possible form of the “left” activity in DPR and LPR is the ritual worship of Soviet symbols, which has nothing to do with the workers’ interests.
The reactionary regimes of DPR and LPR are not interested in peaceful solution, they aim at escalating the conflict even further, which is confirmed by the promises of their leaders to “get to Kharkov”, “to Kiev” and “to Lviv”.
Against the Ukrainian government!
Ukrainian authorities profit from war contracts, send war reservists and untrained conscripts to to the frontline of the civil war, and attempt to use the protracted military conflict to strengthen their positions. Contrary to the forced rhetorics of the unity between the government and people, we must resist all attempts to curtail social guarantees, political rights and freedoms, all manifestations of police and military violence, all the incitement of nationalist and religious prejudice among soldiers and common people. For the ruling class, war is the opportunity of a crackdown in political and social spheres. In struggle against the aggression of Putin’s regime and his satellites, Ukrainians should not neglect the danger of a “Putin” who can emerge in their own country.
After their victory over the “separatists”, whose position is doomed without the external military support, the strengthened Kiev regime will once again become a major threat to the working class. If the oppressed unite with the ruling class under the patriotic banners, the crackdown on human rights and freedoms, which was to be avoided by the Maidan, is inevitable under the new government. Parliament is comprised of the representatives of conservative and far-right parties (“Batkivshyna”, “Svoboda”), which had repeatedly sponsored obscurantist bills – in particular, the restitution of death penalty, restriction of reproductive rights, preventive arrests on political motives; the charters of these parties contain appeals to ban political strikes. In many of the initiatives they mimic such of the Putin’s regime, of the Party of Regions or of the Communist Party. Despite their plummeting ratings, such rhetorics are perceived as a legitimate part of the political field.
Against fascists on both sides of the frontline!
We unhesitatingly oppose the legitimization of ultra-nationalist and criminal groups as members of the “anti-terrorist operation”. However, we should note that among those fighting on the other side are the volunteers from European fascist organizations and the ultra-reactionaries from Russia, and pro-Kremlin propaganda only portrays them as “anti-fascist warriors”.
Against war incitement under the guise of pacifism!
We are equally disgusted by saber rattling and cheering the killing of enemies, on the one side, and by pseudo-pacifist speculations of the people directly responsible for the escalation of violence, on the other. Pacifism is neither compatible with the backing of the “New Russia” regimes or expressing any kind of sympathy towards them, nor with the support of Ukrainian militarism.
Against lies and propaganda from all sides!
Information space and the media have become a genuine battlefield, the people of Ukraine and Russia are being fed opposite in content but equally spurious propaganda that strengthens militancy on both sides of the conflict and sets workers on against other; this allows governments to channel social discontent into a safe direction. Therefore, it is important not to follow the crowd, which is pleased to receive the news it wants to hear, but to keep a sober mind and stay true to our principles. Only time will help to reconstruct the events truthfully.
For the development of the labor movement!
The working class in Ukraine is still in its infancy and is does not take part in the conflict as a subject. We need to formulate and defend the social agenda and help the development of organizations that express the interests of workers. Only a strong labor movement that realizes its interests will be able to establish peace in Ukraine.
We oppose involuntary military service, and demand to end the conscription and release all soldiers who do not want to fight.
We support the campaign of aiding internally displaced persons from the war-torn regions, and we are ready to support deserters and conscripts who evade service on ethical and political grounds. AWU-Kharkiv already runs a campaign to support the internally displaced people in its area – we urge all libertarians and left to join in or do the same in their areas.
We express our support and solidarity with the workers’ and trade union initiatives that fight for their labor rights; we are ready to actively support those who are struggling against DPR and LPR from the class standpoint. They are in a much more serious danger today than activists from Central and Western Ukraine.
No war but the class war!
You may sign this statement by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by leaving a comment right here.
Posted by: thomas | Jun 18, 2014 5:36:54 PM | 84
Of course, those who know me fully expect I wouldn’t let that pass me by without some sort of comeback. I slept on the smear before replying this morning to this Ira Einhorn wannabe as follows:
The working class in Ukraine is still in its infancy
thomas the train & company pretending they’re championing friends of those who actually produce so they can grift their productivity like capitalists in cut-off jean shorts and sandals. We all know these types — troublemakers who manipulate others to do their bidding for power and control. They’re in it for the adrenaline rush from perpetual conflict regardless of the degree of said conflict. They live for “activism.” Their goal is the means. To them, there is no end, and in fact they eschew any notion of an end. The struggle must go on in perpetuity, for the struggle is what defines them and feeds their crooked, exploitative souls. Just another species of vampire is all they are. There are so many these days sucking at the trough of human potential. It’s enough to make you cry if you’re a sentimental type like me.
thomas’ copy & paste had one thing right with which I agree, but the authors deviously chose to insert themselves in lieu of pro-Western Kiev and pro-Russian Separatists under the not-so-clever cover of workers’ anarchy. Rule number one — if someone or something refers to you as a “worker,” you know they don’t have your best interests at heart no matter how many sweet nothings they whisper in your ear. To them “worker” = “beast of burden” — something to be driven or ridden.
No more “workers” and no more “work.” Any true Anarchist (there aren’t any, by the way) would never describe themselves or others as “workers.” Huge Red Flag thomas has presented with his copy & paste, but that’s to be expected from a slime ball who’s motivation is to further exploit the gravely exploited.
And if you don’t like what I’ve said here, thomas, sue me as is your wont and like the good Anarchist you are. Anarchists using the establishment to thwart other marks of the establishment. If that’s not an indication that reality is now satire, nothing is. By the way, thomas, how’s your lawsuit against b coming? Did your lawyer reach out and set b straight after your threats? Lawyered-up Anarchists — what’s not to love? Too funny.
People are crazy. Civilization is insane. Reality is satire and any attempts at satire are redundant at best. But I have nothing better to do, so I’ll be redundant when I’m not playing my fiddle.
Alright, I know you’ve all been waiting anxiously for this essay, so without further adieu, here it is. As you read it, tell me you don’t love the smell of Imperialism/Fascism in the morning.
The Last Crusade
The concept of Materialism is an extremely appropriate, and I would say urgent topic, considering the serious issues currently confronting Man and the Globe. I believe the topic lends itself to a multi-faceted analysis, however, I will limit my discussion to the facets that appear to me to be the most crucial and pertinent.
Materialism, the word itself, in my opinion is somewhat of a misnomer in that Material refers to something concrete, physically identifiable, tangible and measurable. As such, the term precludes something less tangible such as services. Therefore, I feel it more appropriate to refer to the issue as Consumerism; the purchase or acquisition of wants versus needs.
It has been my observation that the discussion of this topic centers around the assumption that Consumerism has been adopted wholesale by the inhabitants of the Globe, or in the least will be, and as such the analysis of the issue proceeds according to this precept. I do not agree with this assumption/precept as a given, however, for the sake of the point I am about to make I will allow the assumption in the hypothetical. My second point will address the validity of this assumption, so hang in there.
Assuming that Consumerism is fully accepted and adopted as the way of life under the New Global Order, then I fear the implications of such will be destructively far-reaching and ultimately catastrophic. I will attempt to illustrate my point through the use of an analogy, given the disclaimer that analogies are not foolproof; nonetheless, I will do my best to come close.
Try, if you will, to envision mankind collectively as a fetus in its mother’s womb. Ideally, the mother and fetus coexist in a state of equilibrium for the entirety of the gestation period; the fetus requires exactly what the mother can provide. Suppose the fetus has a genetic defect though, a defect that alters the nourishment equilibrium and leaves the fetus yearning for more than the mother can provide; an unquenchable yearning that must be satisfied regardless of the implications.
The mother, in an attempt to quench the fetus’ insatiable nourishment requirements, diverts life- sustaining nutrients from herself to her developing offspring, thus depriving herself of vitality. The fetus’ requirements increase exponentially to the point where it is defecating in the womb. Alas, the mother can no longer provide any additional nourishment, in fact, her yield to the fetus declines precipitously, and she is on the verge of death, while the fetus wallows in a cesspool of its own excrement with an unquenchable and voracious hunger.
It is no longer receiving satisfaction from the mother so it proceeds to devour its host. It begins with the umbilical cord and proceeds to the uterine lining, consuming layer upon layer.
The mother is in physical arrest at this point, she is writhing in pain; the internal bleeding is massive and irreversible. She succumbs and in a final act of rebellious recognition, violently vomits the monstrously parasitic fetus from her ravaged and now lifeless womb.
Such is Man’s destiny if it continues to globalize the concept of Consumerism; the production and/or the delivery of wants.
As I mentioned earlier, I do not believe that Consumerism will be adopted globally despite the intentions and aspirations of the New Global Order. In fact, the resistance to such will ultimately lead to a global clash and human self-annihilation. An analogy of such could be likened to two diabolically opposed fraternal twins (two mutually exclusive Civilizations) in the mother’s womb fighting for position in the birth canal and ultimately destroying each other in the process.
I believe the current clash between many of the Arab nations and the West (exemplified by the U.S.) is a clash over ideology; that ideology being Materialism, or more appropriately Consumerism.
There is no doubt in my mind that Western Civilization is marked by, among other things, Consumerism. It is “the” way of life in The West. There is no need for me to elaborate on what is obvious, one need only turn their head about and observe to prove this point.
However, since I do not have the luxury of observation related to the Arab world, I have to rely on the observations of others; for example, T. E Lawrence.
Lawrence gives a profound (given that he was speaking to the issue in the early part of the 20th century) insight into the Arab, Semitic, Bedouin disposition, specifically as it relates to Western Materialism/Consumerism.
In his book, Seven Pillars OF Wisdom-A Triumph, Lawrence expounds as follows:
The common base of all the Semitic creeds, winners or losers, was the ever present idea of world-worthlessness. Their profound reaction from matter led them to preach bareness, renunciation, poverty; and the atmosphere of this invention stifled the minds of the desert pitilessly. A first knowledge of their sense of the purity of rarefaction was given me in early years, when we had ridden far out over the rolling plains of North Syria to a ruin of the Roman period which the Arabs believed was made by a prince of the border as a desert-palace for his queen. The clay of its building was said to have been kneaded for greater richness, not with water, but with the precious essential oils of flowers. My guides, sniffing the air like dogs, led me from crumbling room to room, saying, “This is jessamine, this violet, this rose.”
But at last Dahoum drew me: “Come and smell the very sweetest scent of all”, and we went into the main lodging, to the gaping window sockets of its eastern face, and there drank with open mouths of the effortless, empty, eddyless wind of the desert, throbbing past. That slow breath had been born somewhere beyond the distant Euphrates and had dragged its way across many days and nights of dead grass, to its first obstacle, the man-made walls of our broken palace. About them it appeared to fret and linger, murmuring in baby-speech. “This,” they told me, “is the best; it has no taste.” My Arabs were turning their backs on perfumes and luxuries to choose the things in which mankind had had no share or part.
Western civilization cannot buy the Arab world. We may think we can, witnessed by the various puppet governments placed in power and kept in power by the Western Multinational Corporations, however, that device is only temporary, and we are beginning to see the dismantling of it before our very eyes. The Royal families and the Puppet dictatorships of the Arab world are not a true representation of the Arab people. The renunciation of Materialism/Consumerism is woven into the life-breathing fabric of Arabs. Conversion, considering this pretext, is impossible.
One might well say, “nonsense, look at the Royal families of Saudi Arabia and Jordan.” I would say, “yes, let us look at them. They appear to me to be irresponsible and contradictory individuals according to Western logic. Their life of opulence is a conflict for them and their erratic behavior exemplifies this.”
T.E Lawrence writes:
To live, the villager or townsman must fill himself each day with the pleasures of acquisition and accumulation, and by rebound off circumstances become the grossest and most material of men. The shining contempt of life, which led others into the barest asceticism, drove him to despair. He squandered himself heedlessly, as a spendthrift: ran through his inheritance of flesh in a hasty longing for the end — the Semite hovered between lust and self-denial.
So you see, the Arabs are not at peace, at home, amongst Materialism/Consumerism, and as such, will ultimately squander their fortune due to an un-conscience longing to return to worthlessness.
What we are seeing now, in the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam, is not so much a religious revival, as much as a Cultural revival. According to Lawrence, these revivals have come in waves as follows:
Since the dawn of life, in successive waves they had been dashing themselves against the coasts of flesh. Each wave was broken, but, like the sea wore away ever so little of the granite on which it failed, and some day, ages yet, might roll unchecked over the place where the material world had been, and god would move upon the face of those waters. On such wave (and not the least) I raised and rolled before the breath of an idea, till it reached its crest, and toppled over and fell in Damascus. The wash of that wave, thrown back by the resistance of vested things, will provide the matter of the following wave, when in fullness time the sea shall be raised once more.
Lawrence experienced a wave that predicated his novel. There have been waves since, and, I believe, we are in the midst of a wave right now; a tidal wave of astronomical proportions. One that may perhaps strip the granite clean in one fell swoop and clear the Earth of Materialism/Consumerism once and for all. Of course, Mankind would be a casualty, leaving only Purity (God).
T. E. Lawrence, when he mentioned, “ages yet,” obviously had no knowledge of nuclear weaponry. With the advent of such, and his knowledge thereof, I’m certain he would have asserted “years yet.”