When I started this site a few months ago, my intent was to blog for my own self-awareness on the state of the globalized industrial world. Since this is such a heavy subject, it has become apparent to me that breaks from the computer and this sedentary lifestyle are necessary if I am to continue this work. My feelings were confirmed after I read this article. So in light of that realization, I am putting a request out to the blogosphere for a fellow writer who would like to team up with me on this project. With two people, it would be much easier and there would be an opportunity for exchange of ideas.
My general research regime is to scour the headlines on the RSS links you see to the left as well as some research on google and youtube in search of a salient news article or essay to talk about. The subjects I focus on are the following, many of which overlap:
- Climate Change
- Corporate State
- Ecological Overshoot
- Environmental Degradation
- Military Industrial Complex
- Peak Oil
- Wall Street Fraud
With the end of growth and our current economic system becoming increasingly dysfunctional, the creation of a more just and socially benevolent system would be a welcome development if we are to avoid widespread suffering from the widening wealth gap and future wars over dwindling resources. One of my goals is to show how the current scheme is not working and is in fact a brutish, Darwinian model that needs to be scrapped if the continued existence of humanity is to be achieved in any civilized form. Human nature may never allow such a thing; however, we really have no choice but to try.
So if you are interested in teaming up, drop me a line in the comment section.
tom tom said:
Damn good essay! Thanks for posting the link. Really good stuff that brings the Big Picture in full view.
Yes we are all prisoners, and most don’t know it. Being deprived of the Truth makes the suffering worse because you lack the self-awareness that comes with knowing why things are as they are. This is why I feel compelled to write about these things because I don’t feel I can have authentic introspection or retrospection without knowing the Truth.
Some quotes from your link:
“…Look at the power structure of the surrounding world, and how its authority functions. Every tyranny finds and improvises its own set of controls. Which is why they are often, at first, not recognized as the vicious controls they are.
The market forces dominating the world assert that they are inevitably stronger than any nation-state. The assertion is corroborated every minute. From an unsolicited telephone call trying to persuade the subscriber to take out private health insurance or a pension, to the latest ultimatum of the World Trade Organization.
As a result, most governments no longer govern. A government no longer steers towards its chosen destination. The word “horizon,” with its promise of a hoped-for future, has vanished from political discourse on both right and left. All that remains for debate is how to measure what is there. Opinion polls replace direction and replace desire.
Most governments herd instead of steer. (In U.S. prison slang, “herders” is one of the many words for jailers.)
In the nineteenth century, long-term imprisonment was approvingly defined as a punishment of “civic death.” Two centuries later, governments are imposing—by law, force, economic threats and their buzz—mass regimes of civic death.
Wasn’t living under any tyranny in the past a form of imprisonment? Not in the sense I’m describing. What is being lived today is new because of its relationship with space.
It’s here that the thinking of Zygmunt Bauman is illuminating. He points out that the corporate market forces now running the world are ex-territorial, that’s to say “free from territorial constraints—the constraints of locality.” They are perpetually remote, anonymous and thus never have to take account of the territorial, physical consequences of their actions. He quotes Hans Tietmeyer, former President of the German Federal Bank: “Today’s stake is to create conditions favorable to the confidence of investors.” The single supreme priority.
Following this, the control of the world’s populations, who consist of producers, consumers, and the marginalized poor, is the task allotted to the obedient national governments.
The planet is a prison and the obedient governments, whether of left or right, are the herders.
The prison system operates thanks to cyberspace. Cyberspace offers the market a speed of exchange which is almost instantaneous and used across the world day and night for trading. From this speed, the market tyranny gains its ex-territorial license. Such velocity, however, has a pathological effect on its practitioners: it anesthetizes them. No matter what has befallen, “business as usual.”
There is no place for pain in that velocity; announcements of pain perhaps, but not the suffering of it. Consequently, the human condition is banished, excluded from those operating the system. They are alone because utterly heartless.
Earlier, tyrants were pitiless and inaccessible, but they were neighbors who were subject to pain. This is no longer the case, and therein lies the system’s probable weakness….”
Mike, I’ve got a few ideas for related articles that I can forward over to you for consideration, I’m working on one now on privatization. I can send it over when finished.
I got your message. I’ll contact you in a few days through an anonymous route.
mike, i understand your burnout… writing is tough work. i used to blog but quit a few months ago. i wrote on about the same topics; we have similar takes on reality. but i realized these issues are well covered: kunstler, orlov, jm greer, berman, kulturcritic, floyd, billhicks, hipcrime, hedges, ich, on and on.
i’m curious why you feel compelled to write when there are so many people covering these topics, and it really is somewhat of an echo chamber. i’ve also realized that people will only believe what they want to believe, there really is no changing of minds, just sharing of ideas among those already in the know.
my thought is it is time, as you suggest, to get out into the real world and start building real projects, systems, etc. this i find to be very helpful, mentally and physically, and most likely more productive as well.
we all know this game is up and this ship is about to capsize. it seems better use of time and energy to build lifeboats instead of talking about what is wrong with the status quo (just about everything). “screaming at the avalanche”, as i call it, doesn’t slow it down one bit.
just my two cents.
p.s. thanks for that link… more confirmation i need to get offline and into the garden more.
Read my reply to Tom Tom for why I do what I’m doing. A quote from your site also applies:
And it’s also summed up in the following passage from the essay Tom Tom linked to:
“Prisoners have always found ways of communicating with one another. In today’s global prison, cyberspace can be used against the interests of those who first installed it. Like this, prisoners inform themselves about what the world does each day, and they follow suppressed stories from the past and so stand shoulder to shoulder with the dead.
In doing so, they rediscover little gifts, examples of courage, a single rose in a kitchen where there’s not enough to eat, indelible pains, the indefatigability of mothers, laughter, mutual aid, silence, ever-widening resistance, willing sacrifice, more laughter…
The messages are brief but they extend in the solitude of their (our) nights.”
if you take interest, or enjoy doing it, or use it as an outlet / form of expression, by all means, have at it… i’m not trying to discourage you. i was just wondering if you’re burning out what motivates you to keep going. carry on!
No burnout, but I’d like to get other writers to contribute perhaps a few times per month, or whenever they can. I’m not going to blog everyday though. I feel that’s excessive.
If I had an Oracle or Seer to confer with, they’d be frequent guests of mine.
time and financial factors have been the major influence over me these passed months.
Even with this, something has to give.
I am more than willing to offer my services – over your own judgement with final say in publishing – to four pieces a month from the beginning of August.
I would be very honored …
Sure thing. So it looks like I’ve got 4 people including myself who want to contribute here:
So if you could contribute perhaps just twice per month that would be appreciated greatly.
My schedule is rather odd. I’m out of town for half the month and that is the period when I can really read and study world events, etc. And this is a non-profit endeavor to spread knowledge, entertain, and exchange ideas; we all have other more pressing obligations to take care of.
LOL. I just glanced over to the left and see this headline:
Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, study says
Another reason not to be on the net all the time. Gotta be in shape for when the plebs revolt against the corrupt aristocracy.
tom tom said:
Check out BBC going collapsnik with this nifty graphic:
Great graphic! Of course the techno-optimists and free market evangelists don’t worry about such things. In their delusional minds, mankind’s problems will be solved with hi-tech gadgetry and scarcity will be solved by rising prices, magically creating alternatives out of thin air to fill the gap.
In the ocean of deluded websites run by people who suffer from one type or the other of panglossian disorder, this is a breath of fresh air. I too share a lot of your thoughts and world views.
I have been aware of the converging catastrophes facing industrial civilization (humanity, since other forms of humanity has pretty much been “assimilated into the system”?) for the past 5 years. As Gregg points out above, these people do not realize it on their own. Their world view must alter significantly and for that _they must think on their own_. I used to be vocal about these topics but only lost a lot of friends and relatives in the process. Instead, since the past 3 years I decided to change myself first and started taking action instead – sold my house that was on a mortgage, bought a parcel of land and started farming (albeit not full time), started getting into shape and health, quit my job and now moved to a marginal place (I live in India where there is a different elephant in the room, population – but atleast there is somewhat of a hope since we aren’t as industrialized as the west).
That said no time seems adequate for preparation and it is also important to engage people socially and live a “well rounded life”, if you get what I mean. As you have rightly said, such websites can be great points of connection for like-minded “prisoners” to help each other in escaping the prison.
I can volunteer. Please feel free to get in touch with me on my email and let me know a suitable mode of communication. We can catch up atleast once a week.
Welcome to the club. I will see if I can get non-administrative passwords for those who want to contribute here, if that’s possible. That way you won’t have to go through me to say your word.
Right now I’m away from home slaying the proverbial beast in order to put food on the table. I am still very much confined to operating within the hologram in order to survive. Does that make me a hypocrite? I don’t think so. I was born into this system and wherever/whenever possible, I disconnect from it, mentally and spiritually.
I’ll have more time to talk next week.