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23 June 2017

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Imagine

An answer to monolithic news is to have distributed local news--at least one channel for each country. Harder to subvert that way, and countries can battle it out on the airwaves, instead of in the streets.

Degringolade

Mr. Sale: An excellent piece.

As always, fiction sometimes states the issue better than many.

“We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which 'now' was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents' have insufficient 'now' to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. ... We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment's scenarios. Pattern recognition”
― William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

Donald

This was good. And at last, a topic I can comment on--for the most part I recognize that I don't have that much to add to the conversations here, dealing as they do with issues where you need to know something about military affairs or intelligence agencies and how they work. But knee-jerk political allegiances--these days anyone who pays attention can see this firsthand

I'm on the left and what I have noticed ever since the 2000 Nader campaign is that the Democrats and their vehement online supporters take it as a matter of faith that all decent people have an absolute moral obligation to vote for the Democrat--this is the view your female acquaintance was pushing. No longer are politicians obligated to earn our votes. The duty here is almost entirely on the ordinary person. The Democrat who wants your vote is only obligated to be the lesser evil. I don't think I am exaggerating.

And it's worse than that. In the 2000 campaign some people on the left (I am only speaking about the Left here--people on the Right can describe their own problems) said that what Nader should have done was to run in the primaries and make his criticisms of lobbyists and corruption and our foreign policy within the Democratic Party and pull it to the left from the inside and then support whoever the nominee was. So along comes Sanders in 2016 who follows that advice to the letter. And he is still denounced. The truth is, they don't just want the votes. They want people to line up and all say the same things in praise of the candidate.

People who are obsessive about supporting mainstream Democrats and become very angry if the Clintons are criticized accuse others of having a cult of personality. And they are much more upset by someone not voting for the Democrats than they are by, for example, the support the US has given to the Saudis as they bomb Yemen. Now that Trump is in charge there is a shift towards that becoming a partisan issue. You need to have a Republican in the White House these days in order for most liberals to support an antiwar movement. Obama supported the Saudi bombing for nearly two years and very few liberals cared. What upset them much more was Susan Sarandon saying she wouldn't vote for Clinton.

Personally, I do find the logic of lesser evil voting convincing, so I voted for Clinton, but if someone disagrees I can respect that and in fact acknowledge that there is an argument against it. But with most online Democrats, that is the worst heresy imaginable. You will be labeled a moral purist and held responsible for every bad thing that the Republican does, even the things that the Democrat would have done if he or she had won. Right now I see some Democrats criticizing Trump for inching towards war with Syria, as though this wasn't what Clinton would have done.

EEngineer

The brain is indeed always busy, but an overloaded brain cannot THINK. When someone becomes over stimulated they loose the ability to reflect on any of it.

Adam Curtis did a 4 hour mini-series called Century of the Self that goes into how we've collectively allowed our subconscious desires to overwhelm us. It's out there on YouTube and torrents for those interested.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_of_the_Self

dilbert dogbert

"We must remember that the majority of the American public elected Trump President."

Didn't the Electoral College elect Trump?
I have read that about 90,000 votes elected Trump vs the almost 4 million for Clinton.

David O White

Correct. He lost the popular vote. Also,the total number of votes accorded to all Democratic members of congress also greatly exceeds that of the Republicans. I know that's how the "system" works but there is something rotten in the state of denmark.

TonyL

Richard,

Thank you. Beautilully written essay. I wish more people would think like this:

"I try to vote for merit. I try to vote for honesty, for people of heart and vision. I am suspicious of politicians because most are devoured by a lust for power."

Tony

David E. Solomon

Richard,

This is an excellent article (as was Colonel Lang's). I see the real problem as the result of the total degradation of our educational system - (from the ground up).

Of course, we are all about the same age. That is to say, "old".

Possibly the old always see the current environment as awful. Nevertheless, I am glad I will not be around in the long run.

That said, I hope not to have to live through another war with anyone.

Thanks for you effort.

Regards,

David

turcopolier

richardstevenshack

And you learned that up in Canada. pl

Cee

Mr.Sale,

Another fine piece.

Donald,

I was a Perot campaign chair, a Nader voter who went on to vote for Trump Because I'm sick to death of both parties. Pat Buchanan is right to say they are two wings on the same bird of prey.

EE,

What you said brought to mind a quote from They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer.

And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.


Timothy Hagios

There's the morality of ethical conduct, and there's the morality of belonging to the proper identity. The former is difficult because it requires you to do something notable, while the latter is much easier, since all you have to do is be something (meaningful action is voluntary). I believe that the growing political tribalization and groupthink is skewing the public's perception of what is acceptable from its political leadership. When two ostensibly different teams each think that anything is permissible so long as their side does it, we wind up the situation where power is shared between the kind of people who get elected when merit and ethics have become minor concerns in comparison to identity.

Notably, I received at least 20 flyers in the mail prior to election day from the Clinton campaign, which showed a picture of Jill Stein with a line drawn through her and something to the effect of, "A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Donald Trump." It was a big flyer and had plenty of room to list reasons why I should vote for Hillary, yet it did not devote even a single line to why I should vote for her. The message was clear: if you have have a liberal identity, you don't need to think about anything else.

Huckleberry

You say you want critical spirit, but I don't think you do. Not really.

If you did, you'd heck out the Alt Right.

You might think you know what it's about - but you don't.

For better or worse, whites have begun to wage identity politics. No amount of constitution-worship is going to put that genie back in the bottle.

Get on board or get out of the way.

Cortes

Thanks for the stimulating essay.

My old dad used to tell us that there's a big difference between having no money and being poor. On reflection and in the light of experience I'd rather acknowledge that he was right.

Jack

A very nice post Richard.

I've got a question for you. In the long arc of history do you think we've seen other epochs similar to our contemporary behavior patterns?

There's no doubt that the current frequency, even frenzy of information update leaves a frantic response. Everything is Breaking News. Twitter updates throughout the day. There isn't much time for deliberation and consideration, let alone reflection and contemplation. Is it possible, that all that we've changed is our environment, however we're the same human in our behavior. Has human behavior changed significantly in five millenia?

turcopolier

Huckleberry

You don't get it. If "white people" as you call people of the majority culture take up identity politics, the only thing that will protect ohers is the constitution. Without that they would be kicked back to the curb where they were before the present constitutional protections developed. pl

Lars

Actually, things are just fine in the state of Denmark. According to surveys, the happiest people on the planet live there. Of course, the most astonishing thing about the country is that they are providing players to the NHL.

What is rotten is the US election system that was created to support slavery and has now been thoroughly corrupted by large amounts of money.

turcopolier

lars

You have never grasped or accepted the concept of state sovereignty. The electoral college was created to protect states like Rhode Island and New Hampshire. The states created the Union. Remember? You and Fareed Zakariyah like the US but wish it were another country. pl

Bill H

Thank you, Colonel. Another voice heard from who understands the relationship between Congressional legislation, and the presidential election. A consensus of the decisions by the sovereign states.

kxd

Huckleberry,

whites have begun to wage identity politics? that's a nice hallucination you got going on there.

What whites have begun to do is get sick and tired of being told about their so called privilege and being made to feel guilty for "the sins of their father" because of course white people were the only group of humans in the history of our species to be oppressors right?(irony alert)

Nah, the ones who started this identity politics BS were the college marxists back in the 60s who realised they couldn't justify their support for the massacres happening in the Soviet gulags and the Chinese countryside and so switched the narrative from 'bourgeoisie and prols' to 'oppressors and oppressed'.

The so called 'Alt Right' is a direct response to that identity political BS.

I got an idea, how about minority groups stop victimizing themselves, and stop blaming 'whitey' for everything. Maybe then your boogeyman of the 'Alt Right' will go away.

wisedupearly

An excellent and very timely article. Research suggests that we are killing our intellects by becoming dependent on dramatic visual content and well crafted apps. We are training ourselves to become good consumers of images/videos even as we walk and if the app makers have their way, our personal world will be fully delineated by their interfaces. I would love to halt all smart phones in NYC for one and check how many people would become completely flummoxed. Unable to distinguish East from West. Unable to judge for themselves the best way from A to B. Unwilling to try some place new unless some app gives it 4 stars.

LeaNder

thanks, Donald. were I American and had voted for Nader in 2000 I might have voted for Clinton too. But more basically the two basic offers felt like a 'no-way-out' scenario for this foreign observer.

Concerning intelligence. There was a rather good document available on the web by Pat Lang in the larger Jeffrey Sterling context. Strictly I think "intelligence" in the context of the military is as old as the world or wars, and at no point something like the invention of the wheel happened in this context.

https://exposefacts.org/jeffrey-sterling-the-governments-circumstantial-case/

https://exposefacts.org/blog/special-coverage/

LeaNder

The brain is indeed always busy, but an overloaded brain cannot THINK.

EE, and that's why you meditate occasionally?

Maybe I should watch it. Been mentioned before. Much of what he seems to look at would fit into the larger box of what a German art historian defined as UN-aesthetic versus aesthetic. On first sight, or superficially. The constant bombardment with a flood of information via, colors, logos, slogans, AND news(?) ads we have to live with.

Maybe a US President slightly reminiscent of our earlier POP stars who said it like-it-is, although in his case in slightly higher frequency, is some type of natural civilization development after all?

And our "collective subconsciousness" has what exact desires? Freud's Eros or his Death Drive? Or are they mysteriously joined at the hips as some assumed over the ages?

Fred

dibert,

I take it you think the other 136,000,000+ votes didn't matter.

Fred

Lars,

It may be news to you but slavery was ended a century ago. It is the legacy guilt that lives on.

Fred

Huck,

"...wage identity politics" .

On that note we should end the legal race based discrimination policies known as "affirmative action" in all its forms.

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