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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Our State

As Stated,

"The State", Randolph Bourne ca. 1918 (Randolph Bourne died of "Spanish Influenza" after being shut out of his journalistic platforms by The Espionage Act, which was used to imprison, and sometimes torture, Americans who spoke or wrote against American involvement in WW-1. His manuscript was found by his friends, along with his body. This book, The State was published after the end of the war, when speech against the State got safer again. We need to keep these realities in mind.
To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favour of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday. ..
Wartime brings the ideal of the State out into very clear relief, and reveals attitudes and tendencies that were hidden. In times of peace where is the sense of the State flags in a republic that is not militarized? For war is essentially the health of the State. The ideal of the State is that within its territory its power and influence should be universal. As the Church is the medium for the spiritual salvation of man, so the State is thought of as the medium for his political salvation. Its idealism is a rich blood flowing to all the members of the body politic. And it is precisely in war that the urgency for union seems greatest, and the necessity for universality seems most unquestioned. The State is the organization of the herd to act offensively or defensively against another herd similarly organized. The more terrifying the occasion for defense, the closer will become the organization and the more coercive the influence upon each member of the herd. War sends the current of purpose and activity flowing down to the lowest levels of the herd, and to its remote branches. All the activities of 
society are linked together as fast as possible to this central purpose of making a military offensive or military defense, and the State becomes what in peacetimes it has vainly struggled to become—the inexorable arbiter and determinant of men’s businesses and attitudes and opinions.

History is a Weapon, by Howard Zinn, about how "War is the Health of The State" and how that played out in WW-1, as capitalist and banking elites imprisoned anybody who spoke to anybody else in a way as to discourage support for the war. That was a wide and tight net.
Despite the rousing words of Wilson about a war "to end all wars" and "to make the world safe for democracy," Americans did not rush to enlist. A million men were needed, but in the first six weeks after the declaration of war only 73,000 volunteered. Congress voted overwhelmingly for a draft... In Florida, two Negro farm hands went into the woods with a shotgun and mutilated themselves to avoid the draft: one blew off four fingers of his hand; the other shot off his arm below the elbow...
About nine hundred people went to prison under the Espionage Act. This substantial opposition was put out of sight, while the visible national mood was represented by military bands, flag waving, the mass buying of war bonds, the majority's acquiescence to the draft and the war. This acquiescence was achieved by shrewd public relations and by intimidation-an effort organized with all the power of the federal government and the money of big business behind it... Three men who were jailed at Fort Riley, Kansas, for refusing to perform any military duties, combatant or noncombatant, were taken one by one into the corridor and:... a hemp rope slung over the railing of the upper tier was put about their necks, hoisting them off their feet until they were at the point of collapse. Meanwhile the officers punched them on their ankles and shins. They were then lowered and the rope was tied to their arms, and again they were hoisted off their feet. This time a garden hose was played on their faces with a nozzle about six inches from them, until they collapsed completely...  Socialist Kate Richards O'Hare, speaking in North Dakota in July of 1917, said, it was reported, that "the women of the United States were nothing more nor less than brood sows, to raise children to get into the army and be made into fertilizer." She was arrested, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to five years in the Missouri state penitentiary. In prison she continued to fight. When she and fellow prisoners protested the lack of air, because the window above the cell block was kept shut, she was pulled out in the corridor by guards for punishment. In her hand she was carrying a book of poems, and as she was dragged out she flung the book up at the window and broke it, the fresh air streaming in, her fellow prisoners cheering.

One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn’t exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can’t even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you’ve imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about “defending democracy” and “democratic values.”... This is how simulations work. The replica does not exist to deceive us into believing it is the “real” thing. It exists to convince us that there is a “real” thing. In essence, it invokes the “real” thing by pretending to be a copy of it... In the cosmology of global capitalism, “democracy” is capitalist heaven. We hear it preached about throughout our lives, we’re surrounded by graven images of it, but we don’t get to see it until we’re dead. Attempting to storm its pearly gates, or to create the Kingdom of Democracy on Earth, is heresy, and is punishable by death. Denying its existence is blasphemy.

Old Google employees, hired under "don't be evil" have rebelled against designing AI to help autonomous US militarydrones get better at hunting and killing people. Google has had to abandon that Pentagon contract for lack of willing staff.

The Cognitive Dissonance Surrounding Donald Trump. He's really just another president, and presidents don't matter. They don't drain swamps. (John Kennedy was the last to try that.) 
[The deep state is presented monotlithically here. I think it has divisions. Trump takes orders from a rival arm of the deep state, which is engaged in ongoing negotiations with the previously hegemonic neocon arm of the deep state. They are working it out.] Trump is used to frequently reversing himself. He's comfortable with it. He works out well in this setting. It's a style difference, mainly.

Trump Kim summit is on for 2 weeks from now. The statements from the meetings of the past few days are remarkably reasonable, if somewhat enigmatic. This summit will be one step in a process.

Preparations are finally far enough along for Washington to announce that Trump and Putin will get a summit meeting some day. Both Bush and Obama met with Putin within 6 months of taking office.
However, before any summit takes place, a he meeting is likely to occur between Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, the official said. These talks would focus on de-escalation of the conflict in Syria.

Here is our background support condition, all of these energy flows fuel our complex and artificial life-support system. Who will we strike out against when our life support is drastically curtailed? That choice will be made for our own good by The State. Know that in advance and quietly prepare. It's the best advice I can give, and take, myself.
Visualizing U.S. Energy Consumption in One Chart


Going With the Flows

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