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

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


What Happens When Insurance Goes Away


Israel’s Gunning To Lose US Support


  1. bruce wilder

    NC (Lambert) linked to a guest post on Dark Futura written by Isaac Simpson the other day that embodied two meta-issues that bother me.

    The issues are, first, the prominence of the Right in the rising counter-narrative to a dying globalist neoliberalism and, second, the dominant role of propaganda in politics.

    The essay by Isaac Simpson, Cthulhu Gazes Right

    The host, substack “Dark Futura”, belongs to Simplicius the Thinker, which I understand to be the singular persona of a pair of Russophiles who have gained an audience commenting on the Ukraine War. And this essay is written from a similar reactionary right point of view.

    The essay references Bernays and his ideas on publicity, public relations, and marketing as propaganda and speaks from the pov of a practitioner appreciative of his own profession’s dark arts. Isaac Simpson has apparently been exploring several of the themes he takes up in podcasts and other essays for some time, and the essay benefits from some genuinely good writing.

    Do I want to be an ally of this guy? I don’t think I do.

    Do I think he and allies might win the argument and “the revolution” in political ideas? I think he might. At least, they may be leading the fight against the decaying status quo, the soon-to-be ancien regime.

  2. bruce wilder

    Issac Simpson’s insight into the engines of political propaganda that create so much of our culture is that they are organized not “by conspiracies” but rather as “economies”, meaning that participants are organized not by beliefs or convictions, but by mutual interdependence across related industries and driven by the economic purposes of product/brand marketers. He is explaining to disgruntled cultural conservatives why how popular culture continues to drift “left” despite all the critiques and rebellion from conservatives.

    His personal “tastes” are definitely right-wing. He’s unhappy with the feminization of the corporate workplace for example. Resentment of elite academic credentialism, globalism’s attack on nationalism, the devaluing of white men, lie just below the surface. Still, he is sensitive to drama and humor and irony, which indicate something to me. (The seismic shifts in political culture concerning who can detect a joke or make a joke are critical indicators of which way the zeitgeist blows.)

  3. Jan Wiklund

    A few weeks ago a commentator heaped contempt and wrath upon religion. I believe I responded that religions like all ideologies arise in peoples’ heads to make sense of the confusing world, and that all people have a religion of a sort.

    Now, it is remarkable how ideologies shift their form according to the needs of the keeper. The most wellknown case is perhaps socialism: began as the ideology of the charity bourgeoisie (“we are not anti-social”), was hijacked by the labour movement (“we are more social than you”), and morphed into an ideology of state officials to cover people as different as for example Stalin, Attlee, Nkrumah and Palme – and Hitler. Then probably, people discovered that it didn’t stand for anything so the word was more or less dropped.

    But Christianity is as shapeless. I began to read a completely non-religious, scientific book yesterday – Randall Collins: Charisma, a book in micro-sociology to show what really charismatic people really DO – and of course Jesus was one of the case-studies. I understood that the gospels were about one thing: a series of confrontations between Jesus and those who thought they were holier than others because they kept a lot of rules they had made for themselves. Jesus, in these confrontations, defended only one rule: to answer to the needs of other people.

    Now, those who take out a patent on Christianity today hardly live up to that one rule, but instead they rigidly keep rules they think they have found in the bible, whatever unfounded they are in real life. Not least, they seem to think that there are “unworthy” people who should be treated as scrap. And these are not few. According to them these people should be put in jail and of course they shouldn’t have any kind of help.

    It seems that they don’t consider that they are on the other side of the controverse – that they are phariseans according to the terminology of the gospels: that it is about following a detailed rule-book and that those who don’t are damned.

    But even more strange is that it seems that nobody is pointing this out. Apparently those who have gotten sick from these hypocrites – it seems, about half the American population – have shunned away completely from discussion in kind, that they simply condemn and let it be thereby.

    I find that an unproductive position. People will always formulate ideologies because they make a kind of sense out of a chaotic world, and Christianity is worth struggling for, not least because of its history and cultural imprint. Perhaps even socialism is worth struggling for, but I think less so.

  4. bruce wilder

    Maybe the belief or doctrine attached to a religion isn’t the operative part; maybe the operative parts are the rituals, the arbitrary rules, the traditions and the community.

  5. mago

    We seek to make order out of chaos and confusion while wandering in thick mental fog and are thus susceptible to whatever demagoguery presents itself and makes sense according to a dim understanding of our culture’s ideologies.
    .Groping like salamanders in turgid waters.
    Something like that.

  6. Curt Kastens

    As evidence that we live in a simulation and not a base universe I point to the supporters of Israel. To be abel to support Israel with a straight face would require such a high levle of dis dis dis, what the word I am forgetting? , well intellectual blindness, that it is overwhelmingly likely that such a people are not actually sentient beings.
    Well if all videos of their actually existence were deep fakes then maybe such people do not actually exist. I myself have never meet such a person in real life. But I think that it is more likely that supporters of Israel do actually exist with in the simulation, not just on celluloyd or digital celluloyd with in the stimulation.
    If you think that is stupid thing to say, your eyes are not wide open.

  7. Curt Kastens

    Cognative dissonance. The word came to me as soon as I hit the send button.

  8. Curt Kastens

    If I were President Putin and I had entered in to negotiations to end the liberation of Ukraine because the west suggested that they were ready to negotiate. My initial offer would be. Russia gets all of Ukraine. Russia gets the 300 billion in Russian assets that are that are frozen in the west unfrozen. All sanctions against Russia end. NATO countries have to pay to rebuild Ukraine. Then on top of the costs of rebuilding to covir actual damages of the war NATO countries have to pay 162 billion in penalties. I am not talking about Canadian Dollars. Furthermore all people who consider themselves Ukrainian have to move to a NATO or EU country. People living in the Ukraine who consider themselves Russian can of course stay. In addition all people living in Finland, Estonia, Latavia, and Lithuania, have to move out, unless they consider themselves Russian. Finally, but not least, the 2500 people from Europe that is on our list of war criminals and the 2600 people from North America that is one our list of war criminals have to be sent to Russia to stand trial for war crimes in a trial that would be a least as fair is the one that Chelsea Manning got.

    Every good deed, even if it is as small as a poppy seed gets weighed in the weight room of the STimulation Direktorate. Bringing a fair and just peace to Europe will allow the world to concentrate on rapidly slashing world transmissions.
    But since world history is not likely to play out like the scenario that I just outlined, now would be a good time to start rapidly stashing canned corn and beans. After that rapidly slashing the defence budgets of the collective west. Then slashing rapidly the silliness that is running rampant throught the world, western world especially.

  9. Curt Kastens

    Yes, if you see somethng written by me that is a sign that it is a slow news day.

  10. Curt Kastens

    Which of the following is true?
    A. The Israeli Lobby controls the US government which controls the US MIC.
    B. The Israeli Lobby controls the US MIC which controls the US government
    C. The US MIC controls the US Government and the Israeil Lobby.
    D. The Israeli Lobby is just one independent faction that battles other independent factions inside of US Political institutions resulting in a certian level of incoherence and inconsistency in US policies because policies are subject to potential change due to this comptition
    E. All of the above
    F. None of the Above

    I myself do not think that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in June of 1967 was an accident. But I do not buy any of the previouse explinations for why the Israelis deliberately attacked the USS Liberty.
    I think that this attack was part of a premeditated plan by the leaders of the US MIC to exstablish the perception in the minds of the world that the Israeli lobby in the USA is all powerful.
    I think that this perception of an all powerful Israeli lobby is another layer of deception to shield the worst criminals from accountabilty for their crimes.
    The worst criminals have done a very food job of shielding themselves from accountability. The 5 members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are not even in the Chain of Command between the President and the operational commands.
    Of course I would not try to say that the Israeli supporters are not war criminals. I am just saying that they are not the ones who push the buttons on the global stage. The Zionists are also stupid puppets of the US MIC*.
    Now 1.68° closer to destruction.

  11. Curt Kastens

    The comments that I just wrote got me to wondering in an entirely new direction.
    What if the United States was not the only country capable of a grand deception like creating a puppet that appeared to be a puppet master, I mean that the US politicíans are puppets of the Israelis when actually it is the other way around. ( And what goes along with this is that the military leadership are puppets of the politicians and obey the orders of the politicians rather than the other way around.
    So, what I was wondering is if Iran itself might be a grand Russian deception.
    I have heard that back in 1979 or 1980 maybe even 1981 the Iranian military was about to stage a coup against the Islamic Republic but this coup was revealed by the Tudeh Party.
    My imagination took this one step further. Could the seeming Islamic leadership of the Iranian Islamic Republic actually be deep cover agents of the Russian govenment?
    Since Khomeni was in France before he arrived back in Iran I guess that one could wonder if he was a deep cover French agent. Who knows maybe the French thought that he was. But maybe the Russians pulled off a huge victory gaining control of an Iranian Deep State underneath the noses of the French, British, and Americans.
    That might be the real reason that the US is so hostile to Iran. Though there are many Iranian expats that believe this US government hostility is faked and that the US Deep State is really delighted for the Islamic Governement to remain in power because due to the econmic incompetence of the regime the Iranian government really is hindered in developing its full military potential.
    That is what I call thinking outside of the box. My last name is box.”

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