Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Survival mode

So ddjango, over at "P!" makes the case pretty well. We must all begin to switch over to survival mode. He says, and I agree, that the chances of any of the resistance movements afoot today actually being able to stop, slow or divert the juggernaut of late capitalist empire are pretty slim. Most people in America are completely clueless as to what's really going on, and all our efforts at education, dissent and resistance are pointless. Most of what's happening is being manipulated to create circumstances so the controlling interests in the world can further consolidate their control and keep most of us blissfully ignorant of what's happening.

If any serious resistance were to arise, the jack boots would come out.

A few more excerpts:

"The US government or its client state, Israel, will strike Iran, as much to introduce its willingness to use nuclear weapons as to disable Iran's nuclear ambitions. Two things will then happen: a nasty hot war involving several Middle East states and the global "terrorist" elements and a major false-flag "terrorist" event in the US, resulting in martial law and suspension of the Constitutional rights and freedoms of the ordinary citizen. The chances of this occuring before the '08 election are rather high.

"The entire planet will then go to DEFCON 5. There may be a brief period of "diplomacy", during which some bargaining will occur among nuclear-capable states. Governments will calculate acceptable casualty rates in hundreds of thousands and ruling elites will concentrate their efforts in devising personal survival strategies and mechanisms, caring little about the fate of their citizens.
...
"The New Deal is dead. Johnson's Great Society never was. Over the next few years, we will see the cornerstone of The Great Diversion - The American Middle class - begin to erode. The buy-off mechanisms - cheap gas, high wages in new technologies, fortunes made in stocks through market funds, and cheap credit (including mortgages and car loans) - cannot be sustained. A major bete noir that drove Roosevelt to the brink of socialism was the menacing spectre of communism. It won't happen again. As I noted earlier, all the boiled frogs in the middle class will take a long time to realize they've been scammed by The Great Diversion. By that time, the security state now being built will be ready for the forces of rebellion. Be ready for 1984 meets The Gulag on crack. And don't be surprised when the Men behind the Man Behind the Curtain show their ugly faces.
...
  • The Great Diversion, which might also just be called "Americanism", pervades 95% of all American society. Its main characteristics include terminal narcissism, the religion of Materialism, addiction to entertainment, ignorance born of jingoism, a national inability to think conceptually, magic thinking, refusal to accept personal responsibility and make meaningful sacrifices for the common good, and massive, unremitting denial.
...
So where are the solutions? They must be found at the popular level, in movements of cooperation; politics with a spiritual base; reduction in energy-inefficient economies; development of sustainable, democratic, and intentional communities; sacrifice for the common good; and meta-knowledge."

This is all from "P!" again...
Link

Someone agrees with me!

Well, at least he seems to... The blog is called "P!" and he says:

"Indeed, some of the recent cries of "conspiracy", "coming financial collapse", "total environmental breakdown", and "apocalypse/end times" may be somewhat alarmist in terms of their scale and immediacy, but they should be considered and studied seriously - there is much substance to them. We should be afraid . . . very afraid. And we should be well-informed enough to motivate ourselves to organize effectively for the eventual arrival of economic, ecological, and societal catyclism on at least a regional scale. Lovejoy's predictions of "broken rabble led by brutal warlords" are ignored to our great peril."

Which is essentially what I've been kicking around lately. And then...

"...the short-term outlook may not be as apocalyptic and immediate as I think, I am certain that the overall situation, both domestically and globally, is much worse than described by even the best and the brightest in the political spectrum..."

And, "The paradigm shift required to effect the changes necessary to avoid something like an apocalypse must be radically more dynamic and far reaching than most anything I've seen put forward so far. Short of that shift, I believe that the human race and the biosphere will look something like the settings and societies portrayed in Blade Runner, Road Warrior, and The Terminator combined, or worse."

So he's pretty far beyond me, so far... I'm hoping to be able to summarize his argument in next post.
Link

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ya gotta watch what you say!

This article from the NY Times underscores the dangers I mentioned earlier for progressives. As the government becomes more and more desperate to prove that they are effective, and that the administration needs to be allowed free rein to fight threats, the action required to get one arrested is less and less.

The NY Times report says:
Published: July 9, 2006

WASHINGTON, July 8 — In Miami last month and now in New York, terror cases have unfolded in which suspects have been apprehended before they lined up the intended weapons and the necessary financing or figured out other central details necessary to carry out their plots.

For officials in Washington, it is a demonstration of the much-needed emphasis in this post-9/11 era for pre-emptive arrests.

"We don't wait until someone has lit the fuse to step in," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday at a news conference about the New York plot.

But the Miami and New York cases are inspiring a new round of skepticism from some lawyers who are openly questioning whether the government, in its zeal to stop terrorism, is forgetting an element central to any case: the actual intent to commit a crime.

"Talk without any kind of an action means nothing," said Martin R. Stolar, a New York defense lawyer. "You start to criminalize people who are not really criminals."

In the two most recent plots, the authorities have simultaneously warned that the suspects were contemplating horrific attacks — blowing up the Sears Tower in Chicago and setting off a bomb in a tunnel between New York and New Jersey — but then added that as far as they knew, no one was close to actually making such a strike.

In the Miami case, an F.B.I. official said at a recent hearing that the suspects apparently did not have written information on how to make explosives, details on the layout of the Sears Tower or any known link to a terrorist group.

In New York, officials said Friday that none of the eight suspects believed to be planning the tunnel attack were in the United States, and that they apparently did not have bomb materials and had not completed reconnaissance work on their supposed target.

The arrest on April 27 in Beirut of Assem Hammoud, 31, a Lebanese man who is accused of being the mastermind of the tunnel plot, came after the authorities monitored Internet chat rooms used by Islamic extremists who had used coded language to discuss a possible attack. One American official said the members of the group had never met one another.

In announcing the case, federal officials, including Mr. Chertoff, said the government could not waste time trying to determine whether the suspects were smart enough or serious enough to turn their threats into destructive action.


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/us/09plot.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin
Link

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Transitions

The way things are going...

I often feel that the political situation in this country is beyond hope. The mainstream media are certainly lost as an avenue of information leading to change of heart, as this Media Matters post makes clear (thanks to Jessica Wilson for the link). The threat to the internet as a vehicle for other, alternative sources mounts, and despite the heavy hitters lining up to defend it, it seems clear that sooner or later, we will see some limits on effective use of this medium for the rest of us.

That's usually the first step in despotic takeover - shut down all avenues of dissent. As an Iraq attack veteran was pointing out recently, street protest and similar movement activity against the war has become nearly pointless, since the administration has declared itself to be above the law and immune to the will of the people. They literally don't care what the people think or want. Obviously, they lost the last two political elections, but maintained control anyway, so why should they care? They control the process to an extent that leaves them impervious to the will of the majority, and they control the media to an extent that makes it possible to maintain the illusion of democratic form and conceal the reality of control from most people.

We have passed the point that I expected to result in some real change, some real action against the administration. Enough serious, established people have spoken out and revealed the truth of the Emperor's new clothes. The June 25 statement by Ann Wright, for example. Fitzgerald's statement from my last post should have begun the unraveling of the Bush/Cheney robes. Something big, serious and radical should have happened by now. It hasn't. The PNAC has closed up shop, mission accomplished. The right wing has consolidated control to the point where they no longer even pretend to be concerned about the majority consensus.

I am now in transition to survival mode. Open resistance is futile. We must go underground and get safe, establish secure communications, and then procede to plan for the survival of true human values, progressive ideals, and alternative modes of existence.

If we wait for the crunch, much will be lost. We have a year, maybe two, to get it together and be ready the loss of much of our present freedom to communicate without fear of retribution. We need to make the most of it.

In this transition, we must begin building ways to protect our sanity and shore up our internal resources. We may need to begin memorizing important texts, as in Fahrenheit 451. We certainly need to establish networks of social, spiritual and economic support independent of institutions and technology.

I don't have much in the way of practical solutions for the problems this poses, and of course, I hope I'm wrong about its necessity. But I think it bears consideration. What if we knew that freedom of speech and communication, mobility, and exchange would be shut down as of some date, say January 2009? What would we do now?

I think it's time we began to think of those possibilities, began to make contingency plans based on that worst-case scenario.

Politically, organizationally, the progressive movement in the US is about as naive and unprepared, as in denial, as the society as a whole is about global warming. We just keep thinking, 'it can't happen in America' and pretending that we will be able to go on being the vocal opposition and that somehow that will change things. The realities don't seem to be tending that way.

As long as we do nothing, they're happy to let us rock along preaching to ourselves. As soon as we take any kind of action that really threatens corporate domination, we will become "terrorists" and dealt with in summary fashion. Like the seven guys in Miami.

As Glen and Peter say, "We are targeted." That we includes anyone who seriously becomes a threat to the mind-numbing control that the system currently has over this society.

So either we maintain our "harmless" ineffectiveness or we go underground. Seriously underground. It's transition time.