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

Our Leaders Kill for Their Own Benefit

Big Brother Award

Most people are terribly confused when it comes to understanding our leaders, whether corporate or political.

They think that the sort of ethical or moral constraints which hold them back, hold back leaders.

But being a leader in our society is about “extracting value” from ordinary people.

Raising the price of insulin to $300, for example. Or launching a war against a country which is no threat to you. Or throwing people in jail for 20 years for minor drug offenses.

Our leaders don’t think the same way we do. Their function isn’t to make our lives better, their function is to make their lives better–along with the lives of those people who can help them or the few people they care about. Biden, for example, goes on and on about how much he loves his family. Boo hoo. Then he supports policies like the bankruptcy bill or three strikes laws which destroy other families.

Obama and Geithner quite deliberately created a relief program for homeowners which relieved almost no one and instead made sure that they went bankrupt, so the banks would get their homes. The policy was intended, and this has been admitted, to help the banks, not ordinary people. (See David Dayen’s Chain of Title if you need the tedious proof.)

To elites, we are tools at best, useless eaters at worse. They are trained to look at us and figure out how much value they can extract: as consumers, workers, voters, and soldiers.

Then they extract the value, and if some of us wind up dead, homeless, sick, or crippled, well, they don’t lose one second of sleep over it.

Because to them, we aren’t people.

The great problem of being a member of an elite is keeping the Praetorian guard happy; this doesn’t just mean the core soldiers and cops, but the key retainers who execute policy at the highest level.

The next great problem is the mob: The tools and useless eaters sometimes get uppity, and revolt and you need to be sure you can put them down–hence the Praetorian guard.

But they’re working on this problem. Modern surveillance makes it so much easier to keep us down. Modern education trains us to be obedient (if you don’t think that’s what school, which is “Sit down, shut up, speak only when spoken to, and give me the answer I want, the way I want it,” does, you are either stupid or haven’t thought about it. Or it’s really, really worked on you.)

Meanwhile, we’re not so far out from the military bots. Get bots that can make bots and they won’t need us.

And that’s good, for them, because, man, having so many of us around is causing them huge problems. Once they don’t need us any more, once they have bots who will do what they want, don’t talk back, and don’t mind being scrapped or mistreated, well, the easiest way to deal with climate change is to get rid of six billion people or so, isn’t it?

I mean, they won’t need us. We’ll be a problem. They’ll have a solution: Climate change will kill some, the bots will deal with the rest, and they have the perfect servant class.

Dystopian fiction? Lunacy?

Well, maybe. But tell me, given that they are accelerating climate change, even though they’ve known about it since the 70s (we have the papers, we know they knew), and given their proven willingness to do anything nasty to us they want if they think it’s in their interest and they can get away with it, what would they be doing differently if this wasn’t true?

More reasonably, of course, some of them are planning this and the rest are just willing to go along when push comes to shove.

Remember, $300 insulin. You do that, you know people will die. You’re OK with it.

And your fellow elites haven’t stopped you. (And yes, yes, they could.)

Killing us for money or other benefits is one of the things our leaders do.

And that isn’t going to change until they’re more scared of us than we are of them.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 18, 2019


What Negative Interest Rates Mean and What We Should Do


  1. Joan

    Do you hear the people sing…

  2. VaultJ

    @Joan: It\’s much better in the original Japanese.

  3. Herman

    The Praetorian guard category also includes the scientists, engineers and technicians who are making this dystopian world possible. It is not just the politicians, business executives, police and soldiers. Few people want to say this because of the immense prestige that scientists and other technical professionals have in our society but they need to be criticized too and the “I am just doing my job” excuse is not acceptable. If we don’t accept it from other members of the Praetorian guard class then why should we accept it from the technocrats? Because some of them are nice liberals who vote for the Democrats?

    It is aggravating how few technicians come out against these diabolical systems of control. When they do, like the few Silicon Valley types who have come out against social media, it is usually after the damage has been done and they have made their boatloads of money. I would like to see more technicians loudly quit working on projects that involve surveillance, weaponized robotics and the like and argue for ending work on these projects and taking away their funding, which often comes from the public purse.

  4. Z

    If our rulers are able to pull off basically force feeding us Biden as the democratic nominee and he can make it to the finish line (I have my doubts that he can even find it) and he becomes president, they really risk a revolution from the young. Maybe not an armed one, but one that will force our rulers into large scale violence to maintain the system they have imposed on us.

    They’re going to have a doddering corporate controlled clown who is going to make stupid and insensitive gaffe after gaffe trying to maintain some sort of legitimacy to policies and a system that is in direct conflict with 90% of the American people and to the survival of life on earth. He ain’t Obama. He ain’t the big corporate lapdawg Clinton. Any teflon Biden ever had has flaked off or worn away.

    It’s going to start a huge generational divide as the young are going to watch this fool work against their interests and wonder who elected him? The conclusion will be the old. Then throw in the urgency of the climate and environmental issues which may threaten their ability to live full lives. Though our rulers have come to instinctively desire any divides that aren’t economically class based, that one at this time can bring a real threat to their control of this country.

    If Biden runs, they are much better with Trump winning, that way they can continue to point at Trump as the cause of it instead of it coming into tighter focus that it is the whole political and economic system that is the enemy of the vast majority of American citizens, particularly the young, who’ve had little say in it, but are slated to pay the biggest price.

    Of course, our rulers have taken an “anybody but Bernie” stance and will probably try to stand up Biden, one way or the other, and throw progressives a bone with having him pick Warren as his running mate thinking that they can defeat any major legislation that Warren tries to lead that seriously threatens the power structure and let her have a bunch of Lily Ledbetter sized victories they can have their media proclaim as change on the way.

    Next to that, their best bet is Warren herself and to go through the same routine of defeating any substantial legislative changes she tries to drive. Warren buys into the value of meritocracy in our market-based system and she’ll compromise. She speaks their language. She doesn’t have much charisma and won’t be able to lead any large scale movements against our rulers. Her support doesn’t come from those type of people. She won’t even have the interest IMO, because in too many ways, she is one of them. She doesn’t see them as a direct enemy. She taught at an Ivy League school, she’s had pleasant personal experiences with our ruling class and thinks they are decent people you can talk things over with. I do think she’d be a good vice president, potentially great if Sanders was the nominee, but I don’t think she has what it takes to lead the wholesale changes that need to start being moved on quickly for the increasingly impatient public who have to live with the corporate and Wall Street driven madness our rulers have subjected us to.

    It looks like Harris is drifting back as the best of a third tier of candidates with the vacuous Beto, McKinsey Mayor Pete, and Booker. Her surge began fading a week after the first debate as the Adderall liberals who run her campaign had the great idea to have $30 tee-shirts ready for sale a day after her obviously planned and contrived attack on Biden. Harris has a serious authenticity deficit she would have had to overcome as it is, she is so transparently about nothing but herself, and has no large scale, grass roots backing of her candidacy. But her staff was too anxious to strike when the hammer was hot, probably in hopes of parlaying legitimacy to her candidacy into big bucks from Obama’s merry band of big money bundlers, and blew her chance to gain solid traction among actual voters.


  5. nihil obstet

    I don’t think scientists and engineers enjoy all that much prestige any more. Despite virtual scientific consensus on anthropomorphic climate change and advisability of vaccines, the climate change deniers and anti-vaxxers have held their own. The corruption of science in the neoliberal regime of patent/copyright monopoly wealth makes the rest of us pretty skeptical as well.

  6. Dale

    Netflix has a very informative documentary on right now. Titled “The Great Hack”. It discusses the collection and use of personal data by organizations such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. It will make you think again about how much free choice you have in making decisions. The focus is on the 2016 and earlier elections around the world, and how the citizens of various countries, including ours, have been swayed in our decision making processes.

    Every app on your phone, every social media site you participate in, every website you visit, is used to collect your personal data. How much freedom of choice are you willing to give up in order to have the ease of use and amount of information available to you through these media? Kinda makes me wish for the days of telephones that hung on the wall, had rotary dials, and used a twisted pair of wires. Very happy I bailed out of Facebook several years ago.

    BTW, guess who has access to all this data? Why do you think Trump wants to deauthorize our spy agencies the right to start spying on us again? I’m betting most politicians will cave and go along with it. No putting the genie back in the bottle.

  7. Dale

    OOPS! Typo…meant to say “reauthorize” not deauthorize.

    Goebbels must be laughing in hell and Aldus Huxley crying in his grave watching how we are manipulated in today’s world. How does one determine what is real and what is made up?

  8. Hugh

    The rich and elites kill and trash our lives because they are rather like scorpions. They do these things because it is their nature. On a time, they may rationalize that what they do is good for them, for us, whatever, but now they will do these things even if it destroys them and certainly if it destroys us.

  9. Hugh

    My agreement with Z from a previous thread:

    By attacking Biden, Harris asserted a claim to a leadership role. But that means standing up and standing firm. It also means to get out in front on her controversial decisions as a prosecutor. Instead Harris immediately started walking back her stands on things like Medicare-for-All and she didn’t address her past leaving herself open to Gabbard’s devastating attack. Going to the Hamptons to suck up to the rich just completed her meltdown as a credible candidate.

    I would say that the Establishment would favor Biden except even they don’t think he’s up to running against Trump, let alone the country. What they really want is some dependable sellable apparatchik, like Harris or Buttigieg, or to a lesser extent Warren. If nothing else, throwing some “love” to Warren now has the added benefit of torpedoing Sanders.

  10. Ché Pasa

    Kamala’s retreat to the third tier is interesting as she was widely considered the likeliest to become the Dem nominee, partly because of her performances in the Senate before she even set out on The Quest.

    Elizabeth Warren is the surge candidate for now. She’s patiently and carefully assembling a vaguely leftish coalition which I’m sure she believes represents the majority of the electorate. (“Leftish” in the US context is equivalent to Conservative practically anywhere else.) She’s not trashing Bernie, but Bernie has lost the magic this time around, and ultimately, I expect him to endorse her. I also expect most if not all of the eventual drop outs to endorse her. While I’m sure she can give Trump a run for his money, I’m dubious she can beat him.

    Which is one reason why I still tend to think none of the current candidates will be the ultimate nominee. We’ll see. Next year sometime.

    As for Our Rulers and the ticking bombs all around them, they clearly believe they’re protected come what may. The Epstein Thing may have caused a shudder through the club they play in, but only a slight one. They’re perfectly happy to sacrifice some of their own if it means the rest of them survive and prosper. Cf: The Nobility’s response to the French Revolution, among many other examples.

    Ian is right. Those who rule us would just as soon we all disappear. They certainly intend to do nothing to prevent it, and I don’t doubt some have active plans for the Ultimate Disposal.

  11. DMC

    While we’re reccomending documentaries, check out the Netflix series “The Family”, from Jeff Sharlet’s book of the same name.

    It’s a look at the most influencial group you’ve proabably never heard of.

  12. ricardo2000

    I agree completely, and it is as obvious as this opinion states. It is as obvious as the US Supreme Courts ‘Citizens United’ decision that stated corporations have all the rights of real people.

    It has been decades since the electorate has been referred to as ‘citizens’.
    We are now only referred to as ‘consumers’, with the implication that we are useless mouths better off dying in ditches.

    Robert Mitchum was making a movie in Trinidad with John Huston. Mitchum walked around a lobby corner and found Huston masturbating the hotel’s pet monkey. Mitchum asked, ‘Why? Why do you do this, John?’ ‘The monkey likes it’, said Huston, ‘He really likes it!’

    Guess who the monkeys are, and who is jerking us off.

  13. Mark Pontin

    Getting back directly to the subject of Ian’s original post, I’ve long believed that humanity’s central problem is the fact that 1.5-2.00 percent of the species are psychopaths and they tend to rise to the top of humanity’s social structures.

    To be sure, there’s a spectrum of behavior and extreme narcissists can manifest many of the behaviors of psychopaths/sociopaths. Likewise, there’s the problem of the Praetorian Guard, the 10 percent of society who execute the directives of the psychopath elite in return for high position.

    Still, if the neural correlates of psychopathy could reliably be detected, and if individuals manifesting them and the corresponding behaviors could be prevented from attaining social position, and if the Praetorian Guard were then given other duties, our world would become a better place.

  14. Bill Hicks

    I’m not quite sure I willing to believe its a conscious conspiracy. It’s more like the elites don’t stop each other because they don’t want their own nefarious plans interfered with (not how Trump immediate dropped his “lock her up!” pledge once he got elected, even though she really SHOULD be locked up along with her serial rapist husband). As for climate change, it isn’t just the elites who don’t want effective action taken, it’s the top 20%, who might claim to be in favor of doing something but who will never agree to give up their relatively cushy lifestyles. Even those below that mark believe that they’ll be successful enough someday to have a McMansion, two luxury SUVs and a jet set holiday every year, and wouldn’t support such measures either.

  15. Temporarily Sane

    So what do we about our psychopathic ruling class and the dystopian tech-driven police state they are implementing? What is the point of all this “debunking” and “truth telling” on the internet if all we do is talk (and talk and talk) about how how awful the situation is but never actually do anything to take back power? Do you really think it’s all going to go away in an election cycle or two? Wake up.

    Bullshitting on the internet is not a productive activity. The only thing that has ever worked to put power back into the hands of the people is the people rallying around a common cause and presenting a united front to the ruling class that is strong enough to challenge their power. Well, “the people” are as disunited and polarized as they’ve ever been and the powers that be are doing all they can to keep it that way.

    Funny how you wise gabbing sages don’t seem to have any actual ideas on solving any of the many issues we currently face and bettering the lot of the masses. All you do is talk about how shitty things are and beg for money so you can keep doing it. You don’t seem to realize that you are actually the model neoliberal citizen-entrepreneur dedicated first and foremost to keeping your income stream going…and on top on of that you are doing your bit to help the ruling class by channeling discontent with the system into a dead end of endless bullshitting about the catastrophe that awaits or parsing whatever the media’s issue-of-the moment happens to be.

    You are part of the problem.

  16. Eric Anderson

    But, Ian.
    Don’t you understand?
    They’re doing it all for our benefit.
    It’s what we deserve.

  17. Tom

    Well, when we hit a critical mass of people so screwed over they start mass uprisings, then we’ll see changes. For good or ill is hard to say. But civil war in the US is inevitable as climate change sets in.

    Your best bet is preparing for the collapse of central government and ride out the inevitable successor state wars. The current elites will not survive the collapse as they lack the skills to do so and the Praetorians will abandon them when the pay stops and they need to protect their own families.

  18. Mike Barry

    In their campaign to ram Joe Biden down our throats, the Dems have escalated their “shaddup and siddown” message:

    Jill Biden: ‘Swallow a little bit’ and vote for Joe

    They’re demanding not only our votes but our “services.”

  19. Hugh

    Temporarily Sane, C- trolling. If you are being paid by the number of words, you are being overpaid. Do you think that those of us who have been around a while on the web haven’t seen about a million versions of your “blah, blah, blah, hate you, hate you, hate you.” It’s a pretty rookie mistake though to invoke “the masses”, and when you are BSing, not a good idea to rail against BSing. You really need to up your game.

  20. So power corrupts – we have known that for a long time. And the Praetorian Guard / Metropolitan Elite are arrogant because they do not want to lose their privileges. Welcome to Human Nature. It will never change.

    Good news is that most are not clever enough for successful conspiracy. Cock-up is the norm. So most of us will be safe most of the time. And occasionally cock-up will play straight into the hands of the people – as in the Brexit referendum. Look at the desperate back-lash from the Remainers. The less good news is that Boris will cock-up Brexit which will then create a back-lash against the back-lash as the economy crashes.

    There was a time when we believed in the safety net. Neoliberalism has trashed the safety net to such an extent that the holes now let the poorest fall straight through. We are back to square one with widening wealth, income and regional gaps as the PG/ME cream it all off for themselves.


    Herman, my experience with the younger generation, or generations if you will, is they are every bit as unethical and immoral and psychopathic as the generations that preceded them and maybe more so if that’s possible.

    This pug-faced putrified puke is just one example of so many. Clear her name, my ass. She’s a psychopathic opportunist who will be anything she needs to be in and at the moment to shine. Just like Trump. Just like Obama. Just like the Clintons. Just like the entire ruling class. They are the ones who are not human, not the other way around. This epidemic of psychopathy transcends all exploited divisions except class and the ruling class mines the lower classes for their lost psychopathic brethren and elevates them rather quickly when they find their precious pathetic pathological lodestars. Brittany is proof of that.

    Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Brittany Kaiser Is Out To Clear Her Name

  22. Gerrard Winstanley

    My theory is some kind of bio-weapon. One of the issues the Ruling Class has for their endgame is keeping the Praetorian\’s loyal once a catastrophe renders money obselete.

    My guess would be a plague with two treatment options: the 0.01% get the \”cure\” some kind of captial intensive, hard to \”steal\” treatment involving gene therapy with viruses custom tailored to individual DNA.

    The other treatment will be a drug that suppresses the plague, but must be taken at regular intervals otherwise you\’re dead. That\’s the mechanism for keeping the guys with guns obedient.

    We are definitely approaching having to make a choice. Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism for the many, or Fully Automated Luxury Pedophile Space Vampirism for the few.

  23. Don

    For someone who purports to hate identity politics, you sure do love them when you need to fill empty space.

  24. Sid Finster

    Power is to sociopaths what catnip is to cats, what cocaine is to addicts.

  25. Z

    In regards to sociopaths and psychopaths often rising to the top of corporate and social structures, I wonder if large scale pharmaceutical amphetamine use is causal or a consequence. I’m suspecting both from what I’ve seen. The ones at the top set the tone and enforce the rules of the game.

    Step on anybody to get where you want to go is the unspoken motto in the U.S. corporate work world and now most of the people at the top IMO are on amphetamines. It is the perfect drug to produce the type of boldness, aggression, energy, and selfishness to get to the top of organizations with that sort of ethos. When the users are thinking a mile a minute though, they have so little time to think in depth or about anything aside from their own self interests. It helps them stay ultra-focused on what is best for them in the short-term though I think that sort of thinking is a loser in the long-term, as it is for the health of the corporations whose operations focus on a what is best for the company’s short-term stock price.

    Not saying that amphetamine use necessarily leads one to sociopathy, there are probably plenty of people that use it and are still fine humans, but the most sociopathic people I have worked with have all clearly been on it. Maybe it has to do with the dosage. The biggest sociopaths that I’ve worked with have pupils about the size of actual dimes.


  26. Eric Anderson

    Hugh —

    I’d go a little easier on Temp Sane myself. My little comment is reflecting the reality TS is compelling about.

    We wouldn’t be in the predicament we find ourselves today if we had all followed Dr. Leary’s advice to “Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.”

    We play the online game that keeps us distracted from meaningful change.
    You’re being used. And as an admitted alcoholic, I recognize addiction and admit the dopamine keeps me coming back for more.

    Be honest with yourself, Hugh.

  27. Steve Ruis

    So cynical … and so spot on at the same time. Nothing has changed really. Read “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States.” Civilization is a creation of elites, to extract “surplus labor” from their fellows (there was no surplus until it was forced, through enforced grain agriculture–grain can be dried and stored). This led to mass slavery (the elites didn’t invent slavery, they just implemented it large scale) to the point that one estimate said that in the year 1800, half of all humans were in some form of slavery: serfdom, indentured servitude, chattel slavery, etc.

    And we owe it all the the elites! The few periods where the rest of us got a fair share are few and far between and have always been rolled back by the elites … as they are doing right now. (The conservative elites have plotted the demise of the New Deal for many decades.)

  28. Eric Anderson

    And yeah, you don’t see me around here nearly as much because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do in my little rural corner of of the U.S.

    Thinking globally. ACTING locally. And staying away from being a keyboard cowboy out to prove my intelligence to people I’ll never meet.


    As Epstein proved, American governance is owned, lock stock & two smoking barrels by forces who wish to preserve and enhance the status quo power structure until the majority of humanity is no more. Most if not all politicians are compromised in one way or another, be it blackmail or they’re just easy whores who will dance and prance and pirouette for payola. Those who aren’t compromised, are marginalized and don’t last long. The rare anomalies who do last, i.e. Bernie Sanders, are convenient iconic foils to placate the rebellious with the perception that there’s maybe, miraculously, some small chance government could actually be representative of the people versus the plutocracy. This is why believing that we can vote our way out of this mess and predicament is delusional to say the least. They have layers of containment strategies in place if containment strategy or another fails. Boeing only has that one sensor, but these folks have multiple sensors so the safety features can and will not fail.

    As The Great Hack reveals, they are engaging in psychological warfare and it works. People are easily manipulated. People are gullible. People are idiots, by and large. And these pathological sadists know it and exploit it and they get off on it. It’s sex for them. Better than sex, actually.

    Cambridge Analytica is just, or was just I should say, a glorified political consulting firm although I think that term is increasingly antiquated. A better term is political management. Either way, they’re also the scum of the earth. They are part & parcel of the Praetorian Guard.

    Aristotle, Inc. is one example of so many and it’s not so different from Cambridge Analytica. The owner is quite the privileged character. He has intelligence asset written all over him. If he was a Chechen and his name was Tsarnaev, he’d be dead or he’d be held in isolation in federal prison for the remainder of his days for what he did. But thankfully for him he was white, or considered white, and a Princeton graduate and, well, if you’re that, all is forgiven and you can pretty much do as you please because the world is your oyster, so, if you want to nuke politics after publishing the blueprints for a nuclear weapon, well, have at it. Be all that you can be, humanity and the living planet be damned.

    Fyi, I’ve crossed swords with an employee of Aristotle, Inc. and they are every bit as psychopathic as Brittany. Cut from the same cloth. If they’re not CIA, they should be because they’re perfect candidates. Immoral. Unethical. Psychopathic. Young. Eager. Arrogant. And they lie much more cleverly than the orange day-glo doofus in the oval office. They lie because it’s their nature to lie. Lies for them are truth. To not lie is to be weak and ineffectual. And they know how to work social media. It is their playground, or better yet, their boudoir.

    John Aristotle Phillips

  30. Eric A

    And as I said above, consumption of the propaganda leads to indoctrination.
    Just drop the f*ck out. They can’t use you if you don’t play by their rules, and their rules require one to consume their propaganda.

    Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.


    This sub is dedicated to monitoring the extermination of the poor. From Latin pauper (“poor”) the suffix \”-cide\” (a Latin combining form meaning \”killer,\” \”the act of killing\”).

    Paupericide is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.
    The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control—in everyday language, to make money—by destroying or taking the lives of those below. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below
    Anything about criminalizing or hampering Survival by either state or non-state actors is permitted in this sub. Examples of Survival Crime include things like basic behaviors, such as sitting, lying down, sleeping, building shelter, making fire to stay warm, sharing or recieving food.

    Beware of

    • Biofuels policy that raise the prices of food such that people begin to become malnourished or starve in poorer countries.

    • Enactment and enforcement of legislation that makes it illegal to sleep, sit, or store personal belongings in public spaces in cities where people are forced to live in public spaces.

    • Selective enforcement of more neutral laws, such as loitering, jaywalking, or open container laws, against poor people.

    • Sweeps of city areas in which poor persons are living to drive them out of those areas, frequently resulting in the destruction of individuals’ personal property such as important personal documents and medication.

    • Enactment and enforcement of laws that punish people for begging or engaging in unsanctioned/unpermitted work, in order to move poor or homeless persons out of a city or area of higher socioeconomic class.

    • Enactment and enforcement of laws that restrict groups sharing food with poor/homeless persons in public spaces.

    • Enforcement of a wide range of so-called “quality of life” ordinances related to public activities and hygiene (i.e. public urination) when no public facilities are available to people without housing

    Historical examples are welcome.

    Please tag your posts [Pro-Paupericide] or [Anti-Paupericide] if they are self posts. Neutral posts do not require tags.

    As Solzhenitsyn’s character reflects in The Gulag Archipelago: “How we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if … during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

  32. Ian Welsh

    This is class politics, not identity politics. Which should be obvious.

  33. different clue

    What is the opposite of “bullshit” ? ” Bullshinola”? What would bullshinola look like on the internet?
    Every avatar who comes to the internet to read things or write things has an analog meatspace avatar-master who sends it here. What if the meatspace avatar-masters all used their avatars to exchange bullshinola on the internet?

    And so once again, what would bullshinola look like on the internet? I will suggest one thing it could look like. It could look like potentially useable information or knowledge which an avatar-master could use in the analog-meatspace realworld and gain or create some analog meatspace realworld benefit for hermself.
    For example, I read recently on the internet that potatoes and corn make good companion plants for eachother in the garden. If I go ahead and do it for real in my analog meatspace realworld garden, and it works for real in the realworld, maybe that piece of information will turn out to have been a solid gold piece of internet shinola.

    It is not the internet’s fault if people reading something on the internet fail to apply what they have read in the real world.

    I have thought of a better set of advisory sayings for the leaner meaner world of today than Timothy Leary’s little triad. And here it is.

    Tune out. Slow down. Slack off.


    I think the Catfood Democrats will try to give us the ticket of Biden/Harris. BetterSeekers could get one of the Decent Democrats nominated on ballot number one or maybe number two. If they can’t get a DD nominated on ballot number two, then they can’t get a DD nominated at all.

    So if its Biden/Harris versus Trump/Pence, what will the disappointed SanderBackers do? Those who think that defeating Trump is THE Prime Directive will vote for Biden/Harris. Those who think that destroying the Catfood Democrats and declintaminating the Democratic Party is more important than defeating Trump . . . won’t vote for Biden/Harris. Will they vote Third Party? Will they Write Sanders In? Will they boycott the Presidential Line on the ballot?

    I guess we’ll just find out two Novembers from now.


    Just drop the f*ck out.

    I did drop out, Eric. Ten years ago, in fact. But the spectacle is in your face 24/7 no matter how much you diminish your support of it. Seeing it for what it is only serves to make it that much more onerous and it follows you wherever you go and whatever you do, even into your dreams, or nightmares I should say.

    My Job Now Is To Sing To The Mountain And The Moon

  35. Hugh

    I am one of those who is not going to vote for Biden. I will not vote for anyone who doesn’t support and isn’t willing to fight for at a minimum real Medicare-for-All and real action on climate change, student debt, and wealth inequality.

    I agree with Ian this is about class. Some of us are in this for the long haul, and putting forward a coherent view of the world and insisting upon it are really the only way we are going to develop the kind of political and social consciousness that has a chance of getting us out of all the existential messes we are in. We may not succeed but it is still a fight worth fighting.

  36. Eric Anderson
    I hear you. It’s why I come here. And, the Elephant Revival? Loved it.

    “putting forward a coherent view of the world and insisting upon it are really the only way we are going to develop the kind of political and social consciousness that has a chance of getting us out of all the existential messes we are in.”

    Yes, Hugh. But, as Thomas Jefferson would surely agree, that ‘political and social consciousness’ can only be attained by physically occupying the latin root “res” — the “public thing” — of this thing we call a Re[s] Public[a]. Outside of the few domains like Ian’s, and arguably not even wordpress, the is no longer a public thing to inhabit. It’s privatized, you’re being milked for “profit,” and they’re in control.

    Come on, man. Admit it. The Revolution won’t be fought on the platforms of the overlords. Hell, the revolution won’t even be televised because it won’t happen until enough people can’t afford them. Yup. We’re all THAT addicted.

  37. Ian Welsh

    Commenters tend to forget that most readers don’t comment and don’t read the comments. For most, this is a pure stream.

    My view is that information and ideology is useful. Of course I do make $ of it, so a cynic or a “realist” could get on me for it, and does. The writing is either worth something, or not. If it’s worth nothing, I assure you, I’ll do a lot less of it.

    But I once did the math, and the time spent would have earned me more at McD’s.

    And when I didn’t need the money, before 2015, I didn’t ask for it.

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