Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

Centrist Yarn, Threatening Wintry Mix With Three Sticks, And Two Carrots

24 Oct

You bellow peace. I whisper war. You spit war. I mumble
peace. Is there REALLY any difference between your interpretation
of the less staggering conjugations of life, and mine?

This transmission is/was/will be interrupted
by Augustine's phlegm-covered book hurling
across the fuzzy horizon from where we stood,
starving, naked, hysterical, corner to corner,
nose to nose, sexual chunks in our well-picked pockets,
and I'm sure we lost a freckle or two banking the surprise
sunrise coasting along the tallest of the Yankee isles,
no man's land to thee.

All good I believe, I believe I think
this is the perilous spot, the one drop
where I lost him, or he lost me. Getting tossed
in the pronouns especially during a bumper crop
is such a sad waste of preventative vocabulary. All
the world's taking medicine to the next level,
or back to the previous stage. I knew better
before I knew good and well

what was the very best for the rest of us...

Communism versus Capitalism: haven't my wife
and I risked the bounty all so many times before,
decreed to charity in the dankest of times, worked
as the most generous of slaves when required
where required to snap the chains off ourselves,
others, and still, after still waters rose,
they receded like tsunami, while we struggle
gently to manifest to spotlight a simple life
without fear of collapse, I swoon al dente,
my central nervous system freakishly frazzled
down to the toes, right through to the freckled skin,
my skin electric, dry, unsuitable for
pickin' cotton or wearin' it.

There should be enough cheese and chocolate to go around.

Whom am I to pick winners and losers? Why should there
even be losers if there are no winners? I have
known many losers. Most have forgotten the sweat of the brow,
but few have ever worn a suit and tie for more than a day or two
in succession. Am I racist, sexist, populist, taking a job
from someone less qualified, less able, more needy,
half as lily but not nearly as dark as I am,
and is there any crossover effect
when I simply walk away and refuse
to take some pitiful but hardworking
wage slave's slot, and keep to myself
my own vision of things created
but unreceived?

Who owns the already money and how do I win some,
just enough, not a stick more, a zero sum, a river I swum—
an unabashed shame between God, the chastiser and myself? How do I win
without making a loser out of someone else? How do I lose
and thus pace the grace to transcend myself, a winner,
in zen mode as the ubiquitous Nazarene put it,
thus finally attaining...

the most unquestionable of statures?

Submarine munitions officer sunk the philosopher's horn
long ago knee deep in red soil, a lava flow. Nobody died,
but eventually a spoiler, the next generation died,
hanging their profits on a baseline thorn
called the Hitchens' apprehension,
a low rider he supplied
for those of us
quiet, alone, violently, or
painfully pleased, as we learned
that static heroes are not always
the best guide.

SWILL: Economy But One Strata In Whole Geology Of Troubles

23 Feb




Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000


Reading more from Article 3:

The SI also inherited a nineteenth century conception of materialism from the same sources. This legacy prevented SI critique from appreciating the complex alchemical processes which take place between subjective and objective facts (specifically the potent and complex role of existentialism and human psychological necessities which ensue from it). It is specifically this incomplete conception of materialism which gives rise to the naive revolutionism which anticipates that revolution follows dutifully on the heels of revelation—that human belief, perceptions and will follow meekly behind a radical description of the world. The uncomfortably ill-defined relationship of situationism with communist and anarchist blocs also derives from this unfinished work. This discomfort with other leftist bedfellows is in fact serious enough to raise questions about whether situationism is in fact compatible with these other traditions at all (or rather—vice versa).

Rebunk: I might caution against the use of the term "existentialism" in this instance, evoking as it does yer Sartres, Camus', Merleau-Pontys and the rest of yer "Temps Modernes" gang, especially when I think you're referring more to Keirkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky (have we discussed Heidegger ever?)

Ghe word Existentialism should definitely appear in the said declaration because it is a word which we cannot afford to lose to the enemy. However, I shall try to think of a phrase to add which briefly defines what is meant by it so that, as you say, it is distanced from the dreary likes of Sartre and Camus. As for Heidegger—wot a friggin kraut wanker he woz, eh? A genius without doubt but I'd sooner not have to actually go mince myself in any of that shit if it can possibly be avoided. (shoulda mentioned Husserl in there somewhere too—just to annoy the "antifascists").

Rebunk: These thinkers also have something in common with the young Marx, pre-autocritique Lukacs, and all of Korsch in the centrality that the notion of alienation holds within their work. If we can find some form of unification here—whose seeds exist in the work of the Frankfurt School; Kube has already mentioned Reich and Fromm, and I'd like to add Adorno and Benjamin...

Now my metaphor is this—suppose the handful of degrees of initial chill is equivalent to the relative deprivation induced by material shortages, by the exploitations of captalism. It sets up a chain reaction of social relationships which may in their turn worsen such shortages or in some other way worsen social cruelties or suppress consciousness.
Not happy with this. "Alienation" is a very much parenthesised version of angst. It tends to constrain the idea, once again, in the dated and inadequate conception that only the issue of production, of capitalist class relations, is what matters in the attempt to realize a better way of life. It tends to distract from the notion of SIN—of the root of alienation in an imperfect response to inherited (and personal) karma (to use no-doubt wholly unacceptable terms to convey a virtually indigestible idea). Reich and Fromm, for all their fine points, did precious little to redress this either, although the psychoanalytic school has certainly come out with some juicy stuff in recent years (such as 'Sexual Personae' and some of its very dubious political conclusions, which I plan to discuss sometime soon). Moreover—what kind of people think of themselves as "alienated" these days? Iffy kinds of people. The fact is that a LACK of alienation is no guide whatever as to whether a person is living a good life or not, and nor, basically, is alienation. All we see in this phenomenon is whether some particular individual is currently relatively successful or unsuccessful in losing him or herself in activity / whether LUCK (as much as anything else) is providing an adequate supply of options at a particular moment.

Rebunk: Then we can relocate revolutionary nihilism in the drama of everyday existence. From this I would tentatively argue that radical change takes place not after revelation, either through the presentation of a utopian ideology or pointing out the poverty of current conditions of existence, but after grasping the mechanisms of real social relations and locating the energies capable of transforming them.

Jahwohl. We are not so far apart on this at all, but to hell with the "tentatively" part. However whilst I do not dismiss the role of capital (therefore would not neglect to pay cheques into my bank account if I had any) the nature of those energies which do indeed transform real social relations is incredibly more subtle, and enduring, than the fixation on mere class-economics has long suggested. A prog on tonights TV suggests to me an example—600 million years ago, the earth for some reason suffered a smallish dip in average temperatures severe enough that in time the sea began to freeze over as far down as Texas. Because the frozen snowy wastes were WHITE, they reflected a substantial proportion of the suns heat back into space thereby making the chill increase geometrically. As a result the entire world was soon frozen solid EVERYWHERE. This flipping of state was basically irreversible—even at the equator there is estimated to have been a kilometre of ice. No free water, no rain—just one big snowball planet under a cold blue sky. (in fact this condition probably lasted for 10 million years until volcanic greenhouse gases flipped it back out). Now my metaphor is this—suppose the handful of degrees of initial chill is equivalent to the relative deprivation induced by material shortages, by the exploitations of captalism. It sets up a chain reaction of social relationships which may in their turn worsen such shortages or in some other way worsen social cruelties or suppress consciousness. It is entirely conceivable for the consequent social conditions to not only perpetuate unnecessary material scarcities even after the technological means of ending them altogether has been brought into existence, but even of increasing atrocities of various kinds as well as denuding life of warmth in general and replacing it with ever-growing suspicion, or hedonistic distractions from emptiness and the rest. The world could be trapped in such conditions for ten million years after the original economic cause has long since been irrelevant. Oh yes it could.

We must eliminate the assumption that reversing such a scenario hinges upon crude mechanisms, or else (at least) to prosper within it we must. The economy is but one strata in a whole geology of troubles—all of which are entirely REAL.



In Stating The Obvious We Falter: Open Letter To The Swill

14 Dec


Ode To Manus


Purpose, strata, conformity! Samson agonistes! The turning of the screw, the churning of the Swill and by the time we get to Phoenix, just call me Ishmael I rumble on, still kicking the tires and fuming like US Steel from the last work stoppage, and yet, there is still a tongue in my cheek and a gleam in my twitchy baby blue eyes because that's just the way I am, having brushed up against small candles long enough to catch a fire of my own, catching my drift, yet?

Manus, I think once we have ripped past the communist manifesto negation phase of these chats, and accept the fact that capitalism with all its excesses is still a rather young pup and has a ways to go (fifty? a hundred? 200 years?) unless raped by a nuclear holocaust gangbanger before imminent global collapse, we should indeed strive to reveal to the group as a whole just what it is we as individuals strung across the marble as we are, find fascinating about dancing on the fringe with the faith that we among millions who don't give a damn, might be selected by history, fate, or hard work to make a big enough difference in the world we find so challenging, repugnant, lovable, just plain here, while so many try and fail (saving the Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" argument for a later discussion), and how we organize that plan.

I hope that we are now at that fulcrum, but I am not sure. Despite symbiotic desires to share my resources with a few good minds who just happen to appreciate said resources, I am not a communist, and have never been a communist sympathizer, except when it comes to a personal sharing of my own occasional windfall with those who have crossed my path. Unfortunately, I have been far too vigorous in displaying myself as an easy touch for hucksters and abusers of my time and generosity, and as a result, I began to grow bitter and abusive in return, groping for anything I could exploit with fingertips and gutfire since little in my opinion (and I'm talking about a 12-year stretch of woeful friendships) was being funneled my way in any kind of usable quid pro quo. After finally divesting myself of these dead-in social relationships one at a time I am only just now attempting to harden my resolve against these "communistic" tendencies of mine.

There's not much info on the sites right now, particularly for you folks across the high seas who may not comprehend the initial outline, but the ROCC project is very hot property and I've got to play these cards as soon as I can seize the opportunities, so I welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the Scenewash Project pages in ANY capacity to climb aboard, state your skills, your preferences for contribution, and don't be shy or silly in offering insights about improving a particular hierarchy of thought (but I'll be on guard against frivolous changes, and still hold rank as editor of the Project).
As mentioned in an earlier note to you, Manus, I seek to wed theory with action. Until I change my mind I must admit I find intellectual masturbation counterproductive and truly boring, and need the grounding praxis of social purpose to give it that reality kick I need to sustain my interest at this point in my life (having no academic training since highschool graduation in 1973). That's why, I, in my panic to achieve something real right now rather than chase after publishing contracts which may never materialize, cannot return to the unreadable 900 page novel nesting inside my Macintosh.

Being a full-blooded child of inertia (body in motion tends to remain in motion, body at rest tends to remain at rest) my spectacle-thwarted psychology keeps requiring a return to the real sticks and stones I find out my back door, and I explode in a furious desire to help influence a change, make that unproven splash that requires the powers that be to grant us not only an audience but to recoognize that we speak the truth and must act now, not later.

Note in particular the early beginnings of the GASS & ROCC subsites. My wife works for a lobbying firm, hired guns, environmental and transporation concerns mostly, but will bank any paying client that can afford them. She has the ear of a rising young black woman in the office whom I want to amply politicize with my points on developing the Anacostia River stretch I live along primarily (she's warmed to the initial threads already), and refederalizing the District of Columbia, as a constitutionally pure but politically radical solution to the governing problem here.

This latter scheme will be a tough sell, but she's a politically perfect candidate to juggernaut the ROCC Foundation into the public consciousness with the express purpose of revolutionizing the urban landscape of the federal city in which I and half a million more intruders now reside illegally (according to my argument), if I can convince a constitutional law firm to pro bono the case. There's not a chance in hell these ideas will win favor in my lifetime, but I am certain the war is worth fighting.

The battleplans must be drawn, and the soldiers called. There's not much info on the sites right now, particularly for you folks across the high seas who may not comprehend the initial outline, but the ROCC project is very hot property and I've got to play these cards as soon as I can seize the opportunities, so I welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the Scenewash Project pages in ANY capacity to climb aboard, state your skills, your preferences for contribution, and don't be shy or silly in offering insights about improving a particular hierarchy of thought (but I'll be on guard against frivolous changes, and still hold rank as editor of the Project). But there's no length I'll not go to accommodate a genuine effort, and no doubt depending on the level of cooperation we muster we may truly have to pass out menial tasks, so let's get rolling, there's more to the SWORG than this Swill...

I know we each have our pet projects. Time will rat us out, as to who is in this for the long haul, and who is merely coasting looking for a place to lodge a rant every now and then. No insults intended, but as Manus warned, a little caustic straight dope will be required if the SWORG is not to be back-burnered on a consistent basis. OK, Manus, how's that for putting on the ego and self-esteem? Ritz or no, I can puff up big time, brother, but the kindler, gentler side of this bull elephant is sensitive to disgusting extremes at times, and you tiptoed through some of that earlier.

Bargaining With The Situationists At Large In Today's Dollars

12 Nov


Guy Debord


Originally published on November 12, 1997

I haven't been keeping up with these rad dudes since the list became a book selling booth and then something's screwed up to where I'm on the list twice (get everything in duplicates) but can't respond or unsubscribe because of some unexplained cosmic glitch. However, I decided to peek and see you getting mutilated by some humanoid. I can't say if I agree or disagree because I don't have the whole story but the hostility is acidic. I know, however, that you can take it and I'm sure you're just laughing on this.

Landry, I've thought about your newsgroup problem. How does this sound? Pick out what you find pertinent, disregarding the rest. Spud really doesn't monitor the newsgroup. It's automated. You signed up beaucoup months ago when you had another address. In order to UNSUBSCRIBE, you have to UNSUBSCRIBE with that same address. You get duplicates sometimes because I forward you stuff and the newsgroup forwards you the same stuff because you are still on the list. Your company E-mail server still accepts mail from your old address. Unsubscribe twice using both your current E-mail address and your former, then SUBSCRIBE afresh should you still be interested in receiving the list. Other than that I'm clueless. Yes, I am laughing, saddened by this sorry state of affairs, but laughing nevertheless. It's my only refuge.

I want to note that I believe that a lot of the people on this list are graduate students or something and are disappointed at the thin intellectual conversation spewing from their lip-fingers. How sad. I would love to get paid to spew. They don't know what they possess. Looks like academia is nothing more than a booksellers guild where they reshape sentences of sentences written about thinkers of the past. Who's doing the original thinking?

Not this crew. That is certain. I think I am wiggling towards the next wave of logic, but I can't get a word in edgewise. It's funny because I never mention g-o-d, but these people truly run for cover whenever I quote anything remotely Hebrew, even though I've tried to point out over and over again the wholesale ransacking and theft of the literature by Marx and Debord. Dead silence or the petty voice you quoted below is all these "great thinkers" can manage. Strange, I didn't receive that unsigned text. Maybe Spud has indeed axed me from the group.

Was Marx the highest point intellectual thought could attain? I keep waiting for the next thing, the next evolution on the food chain of an attempt to organize the human condition but I see only rehash rehash rehash. Art is rehashing cubism with slightly different variations. Literature is dancing around the macabre Faulkneresque trip into the dark side of family life with modern therapy heavy judgment thrown in. Music is nothing but push button computer masturbation.

They claim a desire to elevate the man without quality but when I present a self-portrait of that very man without quality they attack me with strange wordy affairs from their own contrived bible, contrary to the schematic of universal understanding, and sink into the abyss, well-deserved victims of their own lack of quality.
Well, the "next" thing was Debord. Of this I am positive. At least, the Situationists group as chaos, which is what I saw happen under the iron thumb of Debordian authoritarianism. A very good starting block for this clearinghouse of competing ideologies swarming around like angry hornets with an endless supply of stingers. However I seek not to clarify but to modify Debord, present a plan of action (or action by inaction) for which we stand. But of course these yahoos are too busy worshipping at the altar of Debord to ever "say" anything much less something of substance. It's the same numbing stagnation of thought they claim the spectacle creates and holds the world as hostage, that they practice. Duh, what a waste of fine godfodder, oops, I finally used the word.

Your text above describes what Debord was howling against. He was aware of the rehash, and wanted to "revolutionize" everyday life, but I believe he failed rather miserably*, just as Jesus** did in his own revolutionary pose (although his effects are as well-documented as this modern messiah***), but GODSPEAK on the other hand IS very much alive conducting his press upon the stage of HISTORICAL TIME, that Hegelian phrase that seems to have only one meaning for all that I can uncover: the spark that leads to the Len Bracken generation's own personal civil war. Debord was an athiest; Bracken confesses the same.

Civil war is the great god they worship. Capitalism the devil. Their own historical time, their own dirty war in the name of the zeroworker theory interlaced with an abrupt dismissal of all things proprietary, a ridiculous idea of course betrayed by their own hypocrisies. I say, like Zachariah, the great and terrible day is coming in nuclear spades but woe to those who would wish for its arrival, especially to those by whose hands it is accelerated. Of course I am dismissed as a mere fool and a preposterous godlover. It seems to me they actualize, accentuate, and love the Great and Terrible Lord of Theosplatz more than I do, but that's just my opinion, uncouth, unhip as it is. The mark of the beast. The fall of mercantilism. No copyrights. No work. Hot BOG & BOR topics****, but all these wankers can do is strut about in their task to mark me as declassé. They claim a desire to elevate the man without quality but when I present a self-portrait of that very man without quality they attack me with strange wordy affairs from their own contrived bible, contrary to the schematic of universal understanding, and sink into the abyss, well-deserved victims of their own lack of quality.

Aaah, the wonders of the intellect . . .

A few notes:
* in his exclusionary practices
** in his inclusionary practices
*** in this case I see Debord as Barrabas, and still no messiah on the horizon.
**** BOG (Book of Genesis), BOR (Book of Revelation)


"I see pieces of men marching trying to take heaven by force . . ."
-Bob Dylan

If Jesus Christ Is Capitalism, Gabriel Is His Satan Detector

13 Mar


Capital Saves Lives


As a public service, Los Altos Technologies, a provider of UNIX system security software, has developed and released Gabriel™, a SATAN detector. Gabriel gives the system administrator an early warning of possible network intrusions by detecting and identifying network probing. Gabriel is complete and ready to run. Los Altos Technologies is providing Gabriel to its customers and anyone else who wishes to use it at no charge. It is expected that any future updates, enhancements, and revisions will come from the users.

And there's more from the News of the Weird department or is that wired? The so-called Second Coming of Jesus is likened to the advent of capitalism. And the Situationists thought they had it all bagged!

Jesus (Yahushua) taught by precept and example an ethic of sacrifice for the sake of the future. A tool, by definition, is an artifact embodying sacrifice for the sake of the future. Thus capital (which is the totality of all tools) embodies the same spirit of sacrifice as was orginally embodied in the life and teachings of Jesus and his followers. Therefore, capital is a (if not the) re-incarnation of Christ—Christ being defined here as the spirit of sacrifice for the sake of the future, based upon a particular interpretation of the message of Jesus. Note that the proposition as demonstrated so far is analytic in character. In other words, its truth is a matter of definition, depending on the meanings we assign to the words that compose it. As such it can tell us nothing about the world we live in, such as how much (if any) capital there is, or what its properties might be. It is curious, therefore, that the stuff we call capital also exhibits a number of highly improbable—indeed fantastic—empirical qualities that are traditionally associated with the second coming of Christ. For example, capital is:

  • The King of Kings: it rules nations, as in World War II, the Civil War, the Cold War, the Gulf War.
  • The Tree of Life: its fruit is livelihood.
  • Like a grain of mustard seed: a single penny invested 2000 years ago at two percent interest would be worth more than all the wealth in the world today.
  • Brighter than the Sun: the H-Bomb.
  • Eclipses the Moon: the Apollo moon rockets.
  • Comes through the clouds with glory at the right hand of power: the American, Israeli, and European air forces, Air Force One.
  • Is simultaneously visible everywhere at once: modern satellite telecommunications, CNN, the World Wide Web.
  • Like a thief in the night: it came, but nobody recognized it for what it was.
  • The Philosopher’s Stone: though largely made of base metal, it is more precious than gold, producing the goods that gives to gold (and every other form of money) its value.

But the most important thing about capital is that it is a vast store of human servitude, a resurrection of the dead which bestows upon the human race the power to escape from servitude. (The reason we don't have slaves or serfs anymore, at least in the West, is that we have machinery now to do the work instead.) It is for this reason that capital must be judged humanity's most precious inheritance from the past, as well as our most sacred trust to future generations. Capital, at least potentially, is the foundation of freedom and justice in the world; and not just for a few, but for all people everywhere.

Glaringly left out of this decree was the fact that the Nazarene said rather poignantly that one cannot serve two masters. God and Mammon. So, while I call out this theory of holy capital as one of Satan's most pernicious counterfeits, I am a rabid capitalist in both mind and spirit. Not a very good one, granted, but a snarling anti-communist to the most vibrant of my fibers, so I will never grant capital this level of honor among men or gods. I hate money. I spend it like a Weimar republican just to get rid of it. And besides, a king's ransom had always ruled kingdoms—long before JC came onto the scene for a short while. Nothing really to inspect here but dead birds. And Luciferian bank notes.



"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""