The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Are We Doomed to Live In Hell?

I was in my 20s when I learned that the human body is capable of experiencing far more pain than pleasure, for far longer periods. I spent three months in the hospital, days screaming, weeks in pain, throwing up multiple times a day, crippled, and unable to move.

Recovery took years, and for months at a time I was in pain, near-crippled. The simplest movement would often occasion agonizing pain.

Earth isn’t hell, precisely. That’s a misunderstanding.

It is the human body, the vehicle through which we experience Earth, which makes this world Hell.

This isn’t to say pleasure and happiness and all the good stuff isn’t real, it surely is, but it is a pale shadow of the suffering that the human body can impose upon its resident consciousness.

People will say things like, “Pain exists to let you know there’s a problem,” but that’s a very partial explanation, so partial it’s wrong; you can experience pain so severe it is crippling, rendering it impossible to do anything to reduce the pain or address the underlying problem. If pain were strictly utilitarian, it would cut out far below, “Scream until you’re hoarse and don’t move at all.”

The human condition is, thus, biased towards evil. We have much more capacity to suffer than we do to experience pleasure and the pain we can experience is far greater than any possible justification.

There are those who take advantage of this. Civilization was built on it: The cruelties that various kings and governments have imposed, the tortures, are legendary. Civilization “domesticated” humans, but what is meant by that is similar to what we mean when we say we broke a horse. A small group of humans banded together, formed strong ties to each other, and then used unimaginable cruelty to force everyone else to do what they said, or else.

And they meant the “or else.”

(Christopher Columbus, having dogs chew the intestines of still-alive natives who didn’t bring him enough gold is the sort of thing we’re talking about. Or the Tudor habit of burning people’s intestines while they were still alive, and watching. Or various Chinese routine judicial punishment tortures.)

The human body has much more ability to experience hell than heaven, and some humans have taken advantage of that to rule in Hell, over the rest of us, using the most fiendish evil imaginable. If there is somewhat less of this today than thousands or hundreds of years ago it is only because, like a wild horse who now “willingly” carries a human on its back, we, too, have been domesticated; broken.

Our entire society, though more subtle than, “burn their intestines while they’re alive,” is based on nothing more or less than the fear of dying in poverty or homeless if one doesn’t do whatever various bosses (masters) tell us to do. This is, in the first world, nowhere more true than the heart of our modern civilization, the United States, with its record-setting incarceration rates and routine police theft, violence, and brutality — even as homeless people’s tents are destroyed.

This is, however, a choice. Oh, we (probably) don’t choose to live in human bodies. But how we treat each other, and what we tolerate from our elites, well, that’s a choice. The human body can experience good, and even a lot of it, if we organized our society around that instead of using terror to break entire civilizations.

The human body means that Hell is easier to experience here than Heaven is.

But both are our within our grasp, we have simply chosen the easy path.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy –  October 11, 2020


“Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks


  1. Plague Species

    Great post.

    We can apply it to the confirmation of Amy Conan O’Brien who is a devout Catholic. Catholics, as much as anything and as much as any group, engender and embrace suffering as their mantra. Suffering is their offering to their deity. The upper class of Catholicism buys suffering credits much like the wealthy elite want to buy carbon credits so they can keep on polluting while everyone else is impoverished by the price-to-live restrictions the wealthy elite impose on the unwashed in response to environmental degradation. For the wealthy Catholics, suffering is embraced and engendered in the unwashed because it is the cornerstone of their “faith.” They then pretend to offer services, Men For Others for example, that feign to alleviate that suffering but they never seem to accomplish that goal because the suffering continues virtually unabated in one form or another. Just as there is Poverty, Inc. there is Suffering, Inc. for the Catholics. Suffering is an industry for them, therefore suffering must never end. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of suffering. It’s not a finite resource like fossil fuels.

    Back to Amy Conan O’Brien. She’s wearing a mask during these hearings. Yet another contradiction. She’s already had COVFEF-19 so she’s immune, right? According to Trump the Scientist In Chief, once you contract COVFEFE-19, like he allegedly did, you’re not only not contagious anymore, and immediately apparently, but you are also immune. Either way you slice it, Amy Conan O’Brien is a raving hypocrite. She supports Trump and yet she’s wearing a mask. That’s hypocrisy, all things considered.

    But Amy is more than just a hypocrite. She’s evil. She promotes more suffering. She wants to make it illegal to create laws that mitigate suffering. Abortion, for example. Forcing unwanted children into this world of suffering is promoting suffering. It’s sick. It’s malevolent. It’s evil. There are no two ways about it. It’s evil.

    Couple that with taking away affordable healthcare for people and removing the preexisting clause from the ACA as part of that, and it’s yet more engendering and promoting of suffering. More people will unnecessarily die early and agonizing deaths because of it and Amy Conan O’Brien and ALL the various pedophile Catholics will offer it up to their lord and savior as so many chits to get into heaven. A deity that demands suffering as an offering. How can that be anything but evil and those who worship that and accommodate it, how can they be considered anything but evil? Pedophilia? That’s a whole lot of suffering as well, so it stands to reason Catholicism is a pedophile cult.

  2. kråke

    Ligotti isn’t wrong.

  3. I stopped in Hell, along The Way. Just that, another stop along The Way.

    As progeny of mid-fifties promiscuous pregnancy and sixties serial Southern California divorce, the bastard nobody wanted and a mixed-breed to boot (Métis, thank you), this culture, this society hasn’t done me any favors. On this day of all days – Indigenous Peoples Day, Columbus was trash – I find it hard to determine which is worse: that the Catholic Church has been responsible for more death and destruction, more rape murder and pillage, than any other organization, army, nation-state, country or religion in the known history of man; or that Catholicism so permeates not only the church but the so call protest-ants and even we anti-religionists (atheists) are to this day circumscribed in every thing we do by its influence.

    Yeah, I been to the edge; stood n’ looked down. Lost a lot of friends there.

  4. Hugh

    “‘Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,’
    Said then the lost Archangel, ‘this the seat
    That we must change for Heaven?—this mournful gloom
    For that celestial light?”

    As someone once said.

  5. Joan

    Great post. This is why I don’t fear death; I fear agony. A swift, merciful death is nothing to worry about. I am not scared of the afterlife or the void. What I fear is the long struggle of suffering.

  6. Synoia

    Are We Doomed To Live In Hell?

    No. Most of us are already there.

    Are We Living In Hell?

    Ask the 27 ,000,000 created refugees in the Middle East and Africa.
    Ask the UK’s working class.
    Ask the Blacks in the US.
    Ask US Citizens who owe rent.
    Ask all who cannot earn money in Lock-down world wide.
    Ask those living with post Covid Conditions.
    Ask those in US Prisons, and probably other prisons.
    Ask those who lost Jobs and Careers to Neo Liberalism.

  7. different clue

    Fear of dying altogether and not living at all is also a powerful force. When Ian Welsh says Americans “have a choice”, I am not sure he understands about fear of high-chance-of-dying in return for nothing which is what one gets after having died oneself.

    How do the Lords of Civilization use THAT fear? If the lower class majority wanted to reduce the imposed-from-above Hell-factor in their lives, they (we) would have to violently uprise and kill at least a million Upper Class and Over Class people and all their sympathisers. They would kill 50 million of us along the way and they are prepared to do that. The rest of us have a sneaking fear that they are prepared to do that and we are afraid to find out by dying in the uprising.

    If 300 million non-upper-class Americans were able to reduce the Hell-Factor by killing one or two million Upper and Over Class Americans and their eager helpers, 250 million of us would live to enjoy the benefits.

    Now . . . who volunteers to be among the 50 million who will die in order to exterminate the Upper Class and the Over Class and their eager helpers?

  8. Ian Welsh

    It’s a collective action problem. If you could guarantee that 50 million would do the job, I bet you could find the volunteers.

  9. Synoia

    If you could guarantee that 50 million would do the job, I bet you could find the volunteers.

    One cannot.

    They would use the scorched earth strategy, Nukes, in a head to head confrontation.

    Piecemeal, one does not know who to trust, today.

  10. different clue

    Synoia and Ian Welsh,

    You are correct. My estimates of the upriser dead are vastly too optimistic. They would try to kill us ALL if we could not kill them ALL, in BUNCHES and then one by one in detail in mopping-up operations, FIRST.

    It is a collective problem. No one will volunteer to be among the could-be three hundred million non-rich/ non-pro-rich Americans who would be killed with every kind of CBA weapon.
    ( CBA stands for ChemBioAtomic).

    So can the majority victims of Upper Class Occupation Government figure out another way?
    A way to undermine the Upper Class? Undermine those parts of the economy which direct the most wealth/joy/pleasure up the ladder to the Upper Class? Undermine Undermine Undermine? Slow strangle strangle strangle? Attrit and degrade the money-concentrating parts of the economy?

  11. kråke

    I have children whose adulthood will be environmental collapse and fascism. Sign me up.

  12. Arthur

    Different Clue, I think the issue is that we’re a nation of cowards. We are raised to be two things cowards and consumers. The men I knew when I was in the work force thought they were tough guys because they watched the game with the guys and talked about the women at the office they wanted to bang. That was it. I, on the other hand, never had any delusions, which is why I seldom got an invite to watch the game.

    I am a liberal and I own rifle. I hope that should push really comes to shove I will act accordingly. But I don’t know. I don’t think any of us can really know till the time comes. Remember Starbuck in Moby Dick.

    Stay safe all.

  13. different clue


    If that is our Prime Directive . . . Avoid Dying . . . and we wait not knowing what we will do when push comes to shove . . . perhaps we can ask ourselves and eachother: what can we do in the meantime before push has come to shove? Are there things we can do on whatever the battlefield may be to attrit and degrade the OverClass/ UpperClass power position? Can millions of tiny little actions in a steady persistent directed direction begin to tilt the Luck Plane in our favor?

  14. Willy

    The best we’ve been able to come up with are elites dedicated to their own points of view, but wise enough to know that they’re just a points of views, and so are loyal to honest debate about some problem until some timeline arrives and a best-fit solution to whatever problem is agreed upon and implemented.

    Sadly, with the exception of the better pre-neolithic clan societies, thrillingly innovative brand new company startups, and puritan quilting bees, these optimal group situations have been few and far between in our human timeline. And even harder to maintain.

    Remember that quilting bee which went from petty gossip amongst nosy women, to “witches” being burned at the stake? Okay, neither do I. I never lived in Salem. But we can do thought experiments about what it would take for such a group situation to develop into that kind of hellish situation. And then, maybe other thought experiments about what would could be done to reverse course and take things back to harmless petty gossip amongst nosy women.

    I’d try to back up my thoughts with science, but around here a few anti-scientists seem to lurk, confusing discussions about problems which they don’t seem to want to believe even exists.

  15. Plague Species sums up Catholicism well. I am ex-Catholic. [as well as ex-fundie–long story] and now a deconvert to the fullest. As a child told to read \”A Story of a Soul\”, Saint Therese lets flies crawl on her for God\’s glory….lets be real our culture is in real trouble from a religion whose foundations rest on blood sacrifice and ancient barbaric rituals. I\’m not sure modern culture will survive or humanity itself until there is evolving out of this nonsense.

    As for bodily suffering, I\’ve been disabled since my late 20s, and scary things happen to me all the time, like my joints going bad within 24 hours, from a rheumatological disorder. I have SEVERAL autoimmune disorders including one that has taken away most of my hearing. Another rare disorders is highly stigmatizing and related to my user name.

    I think if there was a god as Christians describe it has to be a sociopath, considering all the different varieties of horrors it planned for us via our very limited bodies. Reality meant my deconversion had to happen. Also expecting perfection out of imperfect beings with even less perfect bodies is the very definition of an abuser. I\’d like to recommend Theramin Trees as a good Youtuber that deals with the God question.

    When a dominant religion is based on control, compliance and hell, it affects the way society is structured and operates. Christianity is literally bringing hell to this life and earth. I know some will be horrified I am so blunt and try to tell me about all the loving Christians who help their neighbors, sure those people are there, but those are the authoritarian roots and why we can\’t have \”nice things\” because the dominant religion of our culture is one where God, sends the majority to a place of eternal suffering.

  16. different clue


    As I think further about your comment, if it is really true that there are two things that we are raised to be, and the “other” of those two things is consumer, then there may be some value to re-thinking our approach to consumption.

    Down-consumption does not require any bravery, which means that cowardice need not be any barrier or disincentive to down-consumption.

    People speak of a National Strike. What if there were a National Consumption Strike? What if that were too unrealistic to entertain? Would it still be possible to speak of a National Consumption Slowdown? Would it be possible to study all the rings and rays and sectors and threads-of-the-spiderweb of the various bodies political-economic we live in to come up with ways where downconsuming “this” could cause pain and weakness and disability to “that particular” sector of activity or group of people?

    Would 150 million Americans be able to co-ordinate their hyper-detailed hyper-informed Consumption Slowing-Down in such a way so as to shrink the economy from the top down? To shrink-wrap the economy around the faces and heads of targeted parts of the upper class and overclass? To cut off their financial air supply?

    Picture one hundred and fifty million pairs of strong blue hands wrapped around the neck of Koch Brothers, squeezing squeezing squeezing their revenue stream windpipe until it is crushed flat. Is it not a beautiful vision?

    Perhaps enough inspiring sayings might inspire enough people over time into the kind of diffuse non-illegal action which the Overclass cannot successfully crush. How many police would it take to make a hundred million non-shoppers go shopping when they didn’t “feel like shopping”? Perhaps we can develop the new dark arts of passive obstruction, uncivil obedience, etc. Literal and technical non-violence in a very violent spirit.

    Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.
    I am not my keeper’s brother.
    Nobody owes the rich a living.

    With a head full of plans and a heart full of hate, we can make things happen.

  17. Ten Bears

    I think you’re on to something dc, taking the Black Friday Boycotts to another level. I have long struggled to come up with a way to stage a general strike given the interconnectiveness and interdependencies of that which we are trying to disrupt. Tad charagined, I am, it’s been right under my nose: pinned to the top of the page at my place for over three years …

    Boycott Republican businesses. It isn’t difficult, they’re the ones that are rude.

    Not sure that it would need to be a “general” boycott, just target those businesses the most egregious violators of the social contract and hit them where it hurts: their wallet. It’s easy enough to boycott the Home Depot, Whole Foods, stay away from the bars and the ballgames, the mini-markets; just don’t shop there. Ideally we would suffer some inconvenience, or have presence enough of mind to plan ahead, and target not just one day a year but several days a week, at least, and just don’t spend money. That’ll disrupt the system.

    (I’m gonna’ try and round this out as a blog post dc, thank you)

  18. nihil obstet

    Remember Bush’s patriotic call to Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks? Go shopping.

  19. kråke

    A general boycott is quixotic. Most people don’t have off-grid food sources.

  20. GlassHammer

    Christians and Catholics that say “suffering is good for the soul” believe in renewal through pain and violence.

    A truly evil sentiment.

  21. Plague Species

    Wow, Durbin and Whitehouse smashed this farce of a nomination in the mouth. It’s well beyond hypocrisy. Sheldon Whitehouse, senator from Rhode Island, provided an excellent presentation on the scheme being run in the shadows by Dark Money.

  22. Ché Pasa

    A general strike might have been effective five or better yet ten years ago, but it didn’t happen. Now it’s likely too late. Why? Because Our Rulers have seen — repeatedly — that the economy can collapse, and nothing bad will happen to them. They’ll get way richer and more powerful. And the Lower Orders will get poorer and more precarious and will do essentially nothing that the Overclass need pay attention to. A General Strike will not actually affect the wealth or well-being of the High and Mighty, so have at it. Or not. It makes no difference to them.

    What might work until the guillotines are oiled up is pulling the plug on the electronic jiggery-pokery of Our Rulers’ wealth and power. That it hasn’t yet been done is something of a mystery.

  23. Hugh

    On the subject of going to hell, how about the current Supreme Court nomination hearings for Amy Coney Barrett?

    The Supreme Court throughout its history has been political in a bad way, upholding the power of the rich and privileged over the rest of us, fighting decades long rearguard actions for them against us. There is this insulting pantomime that Barrett won’t be political even though she has been chosen precisely because of her politics and that those politics will determine her votes.

    We used to say IOKIYAR, It’s OK if you’re Republican. McConnell, Trump and this nomination are perfect illustrations of this. They stack the judiciary their way and that’s OK. Installing an unelected group for life, how banana republic, how normal nowadays.

    The structures are screwed up. The Senate is this irrelevant, aristocratic holdover. The judiciary is stacked –against us. And none of this gets addressed or changed. It’s not so much the road to hell that’s so bad. It’s staying on it, fighting to stay on it, that is.

  24. GlassHammer

    I never bought the “apolitical judges” nonsense because a truly apolitical person would appear totally bonkers to the average person.

    It would be like appointing John Brown to the highest court in the land in his own time. People would say “We have a madman for a judge”.

  25. Hugh

    But the Roger Taney Court (which defended slavery in the lead up to and during the Civil War 1836-1864) during that period was both real and mad. And that’s the pattern, the history of the Court.

  26. GlassHammer

    Hugh I wouldn’t call the Roger Taney Court mad in the same way I would describe John Brown as mad.

    And I am not 100% sure I could call the Roger Taney court truly apolitical either.

    I think we both see ACB as “fitting in” as opposed to being so far outside the mold as to appear insane to us.

  27. DMC

    What would really hurt the plutocrats would be the destruction of the several stock exchanges as very much of their wealth and power drives from the manipulation of stocks. That could be accomplished by a relatively small militant minority.

  28. Hugh

    My point is that there is this whole myth of Supreme Court gravitas when in fact the history of the Court is full of whacks holding whack opinions. After Taney, the Court championed segregation and Jim Crow. There were the 40 years of the anti-labor Lochner era (1897-1937). As a backward thinking reactionary, Barrett fits right in. And for me, that’s the problem.

  29. Plague Species

    The problem, Hugh, and perhaps it always was the problem, is that the vaunted Supreme Court, often touted as the most independent and objective of the three branches, is owned by the wealthy elite who use their dark money to select and nominate Supreme Court Justices. Whitehouse indicates everyone knows the wealthy elite own the legislative branch and the executive branch but few understand and know that the moneyed special interests also have conspired to own, and do own as a result of their orchestrations, the Judicial Branch. The Roberts’ Five have 80 straight victories on cases involving raw naked wealthy elite power grabbing via Judicial Branch manipulation. The forces doing that are as much backward thinking reactionaries as they are forward thinking undemocratic oligarchic tyrants.

    I mentioned it above and I’ll mention it again, the Sheldon Whitehouse presentation yesterday is excellent. Note the press will not give this any shrift for all the obvious reasons.

    CNN and MSNBC and FOX News and The Wall Street Journal all agree in their assessment of Sheldon Whitehouse’s spot on analysis. It’s Glenn Beck conspiracy mongering. Except it’s not. It’s an honest and accurate portrayal of what’s truly going on. Democracy, my ass.

  30. Ten Bears

    An ideologically stacked panel of non-elected activist civilians. Vigilantes.

    “We’re a republic, not a democracy” is the dog whistle of the day. And it’s true, from our inception we’ve never been a democracy in the vein of Athenian direct Democracy. We have always been a republic, ruled by an elite few ostensibly on behalf of we unwashed masses, the sixty per centers and the dispossessed. Democracy was never The Founders intent.

    Whitehouse came as close to exposing the deep state as I’ve seen.

  31. Hugh

    The Barrett hearing is useful in that it shows how intellectually bankrupt the process and those involved in it are. Kudos to Whitehouse but his is a rare voice. It is both ridiculous and shameful that Barrett spends hour after hour not answering but refusing to answer any and every question on any and every subject. At the same time, Barrett has a paper trail that shows that even among reactionary corporatist stooges she is extreme. This should be the centerpiece of the hearing, instead it is relegated to an after session footnote.

  32. different clue

    @Ten Bears,

    Thank you for the kind words. The general ” national consumption slowdown” idea itself is big and formless enough that various people and groups can design and advocate for and carry out their own different versions of it. Every TAG ( Theory Action Group) can design their own specially engineered boycott or slowdown based on their own TOC ( Theory Of Change)

    Those like me who are only mildly liberadical and will lift a finger towards an effort like this will probably stop at a consumption slowdown. We will try to consume “less” and spend our whole lives consuming “less”. We will try to figure out how to target the “less” we decide to deconsume so as to hurt or destroy the particular Bad Actors and Black Hat Perpetrators who make or do the particular things which if we reduce or delete those particular things from the rest of our personal economic lives will hurt or destroy the entities which make or do those things.

    Tougher-minded radicals may carry such a concept all the way to boycott, and will boycott those entities they wish to see destroyed through shrinkage of business.

    If it begins to happen this way, I hope the different downconsumption and deconsumption and hard-boycott groups will be nice to eachother and not try to raid eachother for recruits. Let every TAG pursue its own designed and targeted actions based on its own TOC. Let the various TAGS compare notes with eachother every so often to see what seems to be working and how it seems to be working.

    Some individuals or groups may even decide to pursue a mixed and layered approach based on what they see. They may well want to downconsume “this” and hard-boycott “that” at the same time.

    Some targets may be so broadly recognized as evil or harmful that everyone throughout the whole “targeted downconsumption” community-of-movements may well decide to downconsume that thing or sector. Who knows?

    Any effecitve “something” is better than nothing at all. Even if your “something” seems pointless by yourself, imagine if a hundred million other people each did their own version of that same little “something” A hundred million little “somethings” might add up to a lot of “something”. That accretive mass of “somethings” might be enough to crush and destroy the target.


    You are correct in that most people don’t have off-grid food sources. Those who see a general boycott as quixotic and therefor pointless to achieve might well want to consider the possibility of targeted special boycotts. Or a general consumption slowdown. Or targeted consumption slowdowns or shrinkdowns. It can be as simple and do-able-for-a-lifetime as redirecting your food-buying dollars aWAY from petrochemical toxicorporate industrial mainstream food and toWARD ecobio-correct organic artisan or artisandustrial sidestream food. To do a small part towards weakening the Black Hat ToxicFood Sector and strengthening the White Hat NutriFood Sector.

    Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat. And economics is the pursuit of war by other means.

    And the minority who DO have SOME access to SOME off-grid food numbers in the millions.
    Every suburbanite COULD grow its some of its own food if it WANTED to.

  33. different clue

    @Ten Bears,

    I did not know that you have a blog. Now I know. I will visit it from time to time.

  34. Ten Bears

    Thank you dc, been there almost fifteen years. Gets a little weird, sometimes, but look at the company I keep 🙄

  35. StewartM

    We have court packing because that’s what the system allows–*one* person gets to pick the candidates, and typically of late it’s not because of any deserved reputation of legal brilliance or highly respected previous experience as a judge.

    To fix the system, you have to fix that. If one person who had no experience or background in science were given the power to choose the scientists to work for, say, the FDA or EPA, and chose a bunch of hacks, would you be surprised by their decisions that resulted?

  36. different clue

    Here is an example of exactly what StewartM is referring to in the comment just above this one.

    This is part of what makes Barrett so very attractive to the Republican Senate.

    Perhaps we can think about how to conquer the government and make it ours . . . sommmmme daaaaaayyyyy . . .

    In the meantime, perhaps a hundred and fifty million blue, green and bluegreen Americans
    might think about how to grind their hundred and fifty million lifestyles around to reduce the revenue they are spending into the coal , gas and oil business over the long term. And some of the Black Hat Perpetrator companies which deserve extermination are Canadian. Like Enbridge Energy. Perhaps a slow steady patient extermicott can exterminate them over the next few decades.

  37. Ché Pasa

    Worth noting: It’s apparently much easier for them to pull the plug on us than it is for us to pull the plug on them. Just look at what’s happened in the wake of the pandemic. Shortages were immediate and long lasting. Some shelves have not been refilled and probably won’t be in the near future. We learn to live with it. Hospitals were overwhelmed and they’re getting that way again. Yet in the midst of it, hospital staff was reduced, and some hospitals were closed because they “couldn’t make a profit” under the circumstances. Needed medications were suddenly hard or impossible to get. Restaurants closed by the thousands and won’t reopen any time soon. Same with hundreds of thousands of retail outlets. Gone. Not returning. And they can pull the plug on the internet any time they want. What would we do?

    That all affects us but not them. Intentionally. The point is to ensure we know how vulnerable we are — not just to the virus — and how essentially invulnerable they are. Same with the protests in the streets. Overwhelming numbers marching and carrying signs, ignored or beaten senseless, jailed and sometimes killed for their efforts. Nothing (much) changes.

    They are safe, not just behind their walls of robo-popo, but safe above everything occurring, and they don’t care. We see this all the time in the catastrophic failures of our governments — who are forever and always the servants of wealth and power.

    But they are vulnerable, aren’t they? All it would take is disabling their electronic fonts of money.

    They may be protected now, but not forever.

  38. different clue

    @Ché Pasa,

    I came up with a little semi-parable for this situation. I think the basic point is a good one. If others can make the parable better, that is fine.

    You can bring a ten ton elephant to the Washington Monument and have it push till forever against it and it will never fall over. Or you can bring ten tons of moles and gophers to the Washington Monument and have them dig all the soil out from under one side of it. After a long enough time, it WILL fall over.

    Or you can bring ten tons of demonstrators to march around it in circles, waving their little signs at it and screaming their screamy little screams. It will never respond. It can’t hear them. It don’t gots no ears, you dig?

  39. Willy

    Miriam Adelson quotes for the day:

    “Trump is a businessman and a statesman with an instinct for justice.”

    “Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,”

    Some of these super rich, must be either:

    1. Only ever able to comprehend anything from the lifestyle perspective in which they find themselves immersed in, with all thinking, cognitive bias, and emotions fully wrapped around that axle


    2. They’re transactional sociopaths who ‘know’ reality but believe they’re ubermensch, anointed by some power (even if it’s themselves) to control everybody else.

  40. Mister Roboto

    If it\’s not too personal a question, WTF happened in your twenties that thrust you into the particular hell you describe? I\’m new around here, so perhaps you\’ve told this story before. If so, you could just give me a link to where you did that.

  41. Ian Welsh

    I wrote the story once, most of it starts about half way into this article:

  42. Mister Roboto

    Holy wow, man! That’s really one of those stories that makes me tell myself I need to stop being so emo and realize how lucky I’ve been. So I’m guessing you’ve had to spend your life attached to a colostomy bag since then? And that surgeon sounds like he was a great example of why so many people think Americans are assholes.

  43. Ian Welsh

    Illeostomy bag (slight diference), I have no colon at all. It’s not that bad, except that sometimes accidents WILL happen.

    Canadian, surgeons tend to have big egos everywhere. (Though the last one I had I think I very highly of.)

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