The Power of Protest?

The Power of Protest?

Special thanks to President Donald Trump for inspiring so many citizens to rebel and protest against the empire. When the previous administration deported over two million humans… The response from the citizens was silence. When the previous administration bombed six different Islamic countries and thereby murdered thousands of innocent Muslims… The response from the citizens was silence… When the previous administration bombed the living shit out of Libya killing tens of thousands and thereby turning that once prosperous nation into a failed state with boatloads and boatloads of refugees fleeing to Europe… The response from the citizens was silence… When the previous administration financed and armed a proxy army in an attempt to destroy the nation state of Syria… The response from the citizens was silence. When the previous administration provided the weapons, bombs and logistical support to their subsidiary government in Saudi Arabia so that Saudi Arabia could bomb and blockade the nation State of Yemen…The response from the citizens was silence. But now that the Trumpster Clown has taken over as the figurehead of Empire, people are protesting and marching and vocally opposing just about everything he does. Isn’t it great. All this activism. All this enthusiasm to get involved.

Did that sound sarcastic? I hope not because I am sincere.

Yeah, I know, probably a percentage of the protesters are merely brainwashed pawns of the corporate democratic machine. They focus their attention on identity issues instead of the real fundamental problem of Empire… If only a woman or even a sane multi-cultural man was the figurehead of Empire everything would be all right… But I’d be willing to bet that some if not many of the protesters are “imaginary revolutionaries” learning and using the technique of non-violent action to disrupt the machinations of the corporate empire.

I personally believe that the best way to oppose Empire is to divest from it as much as possible and create alternative localized economic systems that are not Empire dependent. While I do see the usefulness of targeted protests against specific corporations who are threatening the earth I’m not so sure about the usefulness of marching before a government that pays no attention to you anyway. Nevertheless, I do support the protesters and sincerely thank them for their efforts. We are going to need all the help we can get if we are going to put a stop to the next phase of the war. And if people are in the streets marching and protesting, they are ripe to be awoken to reality. All it takes is one intelligent conversation with an informed person or even a particularly cogent essay that explains things and a “protester” can fall through the rabbit hole and wake up on the side of the imaginary revolution.

For those of you unaware of reality…

It is the job of the President to sell War to the American People. Some Presidents are good at selling war while some… Not so good. It’s not an easy job. The fundamental difficulty is that the American people don’t want to believe that their economic system and hence… their way of life is built upon a foundation of war. Americans don’t want to buy war because war is an ugly, horrible, immoral thing. But deep down inside they know that they are buying war (investing in war). It may even gnaw at their insides… guilt. American citizens buy war… invest in war… all the time. But they won’t admit it to their conscious brains. It is the job of the President to keep people investing in war and it is the purpose of politics to keep the people confused about this reality.

The US government is structured like a corporation. Like all corporations within a capitalist system it must either grow or die. That is the premise of capitalist theory… Economics is a great big competition that everyone has to play. In other words, the empire of USA, inc must either expand or collapse. It is not designed for dynamic sustainability.

During the Cold War, the Middle East was more or less divided between the two teams. Some of the countries there were subsidiaries of USA,inc. (Saudi Arabia, Israel, the GCC, Jordan, and Egypt). and some of the countries there were subsidiaries of USSR, inc. (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon). We can argue and discuss until we turn green about the relative independence of the subsidiaries from the parent corporations (puppets or allies). But the facts on the ground clearly demonstrate the economic reality. The Parent corporation provides security in exchange for control of important economic resources of the subsidiary. Based on such an analysis, the only independent nation state in the region was Iran. And they only became independent after they kicked out USA, inc in the revolution of 1976.

When USSR, inc., collapsed in the early 1990’s, they lost “control” of their subsidiaries in the Middle East. Corporate America saw this as a great opportunity. The newly “free” subsidiaries were ripe for the taking. If only USA, inc., was bold enough to try. This is not conspiracy theory or free-floating speculation. It is basic economics. It is common knowledge among the movers and the shakers. There were dozens of policy papers and economic thesis written about this topic in the 1990s. The psychopaths at the Council on Foreign Relations produced the most well known with their Project For a New American Century but there were many others. It is a very logical and understandable conclusion if you accept the underlying premises of the dominant economic theory. The challenge for the empire was and is; how do you sell the conquest of the economically independent countries in the Middle East (and elsewhere) to the the good citizens of the Empire who don’t like war but who do like the financial benefits of conquest?

Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Does that list seem familiar? From nation state to failed state after a 21st century bombing? That is all it takes. Then, we can rebuild them all as corporate states. Think of the profits! Capitalism needs growth as a matter of principle. The remodeling of the Middle East should provide the Empire with growth for decades and decades to come. As long as you can get the American people to go along.

Democrats and Republicans sell war using different styles, techniques and metaphors but they both sell war all the same. As I listen to or watch the day’s propaganda, I am fascinated by the unfolding dynamic. These days, republicans are selling a war against Islam and the democrats are selling a war against Russia. The people don’t want a war against either. But as the people oppose the Trumpster clown and his various belligerent outbursts the propaganda machine attempts to transform that opposition into a pro-war movement against Russia. The whole thing is just plain crazy.

Anyway, on the brighter side of things, my book about traveling in the Middle East is about finished. It is basically a series of “sort of true” travel stories that are inter-connected thematically and woven into a metaphorical adventure. Most of the stories were posted on this website at some point or other but they have now been refined, edited, changed and combined into a single continuous narrative. It really is a good story and I am quite pleased with how it all seemed to fall into place. In my humble opinion, it has the potential to reach a wide audience and provide some important perspective on east/west relations. If only I can figure out how to publicize it and get it out there…

We also have plane tickets for this year’s wander. It will only be six weeks instead of the usual four months because we have the little one traveling with us. But at least we are getting out of the country for a while. Coming very soon… brand new stories and photos from Central America….

Do You Want to be a Revolutionary?

Do you want to be a Revolutionary?

All you really have to do is decide in your heart of hearts, at the deep down center of your soul that THE government is not YOUR government.

You don’t have to take up arms, or blow up buildings, or go to jail. You don’t even have to protest. You just have to conclude in your brain and decide with your will that “it” is not an “us” or “we.”

It’s a little bit like traveling. Everywhere I go in the world, there is always a government to deal with or put up with. They are always collecting taxes and fees and passing rules and regulations. I pay the taxes and fees when I have to and follow the rule or regulation if it seems sensible or just. That doesn’t mean I recognize the validity of or somehow identify with the ruling regime of the country I’m traveling in. It simply means I am adapting to the environment I happen to be in.

The same principle applies for living inside the USA and deciding to become a revolutionary. You have to deal with the government. It is sometimes convenient to follow their rules and put up with their shit. But not all the time. You can pick your battles. The important thing is the underlying relationship between you and the government. Is it your government or the government. Is it somehow a manifestation of you and your beliefs or is it an adversary that interferes with your life?

That is what the election game is all about. It’s a corporate marketing blitz to convince taxpayers that they are involved in the governmental process. If you believe it is real. If you believe that voting in Presidential elections matters, then you are not a revolutionary.

So now the election is over and the bad guy has won. The corporate media is now using the power of propaganda to focus everyone’s revolutionary energy on the bad guy at the face of the system. If you are protesting the newly “elected” President rather than the system that put him in place, then you are not a revolutionary. You are a pawn in a reality television marketing campaign.

A certain popular progressive politician recently ran a rather successful Presidential primary campaign that he marketed as a “revolution.” He didn’t win the nomination but he has now formed an organization to collect money to finance other Progressive candidates to run for different positions in the government. Calling such a strategy or plan a “revolution” is a bit ridiculous. Actually, it’s the opposite of a revolution.

It does not matter how many good progressives are pulling and yanking on the levers of the broken system. The system needs to be replaced not just managed by better, nicer and more competent people. Indeed, collecting money to convince more good people to continue working within the obviously broken system undermines the possibility for real fundamental change.

The political/economic system as presently designed requires continuous war and ever increasing energy consumption in order to thrive. If that system continues, the ecosystem is doomed.

Divest from war.
Divest from fossil fuels.
Divest from Empire!
Invest in your community instead.

We must design and implement a new system and stop participating in the one that does not work. That’s revolution.

How?

Start local.
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The Imaginary Revolution

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If you can imagine how something is possible there is always a chance that it will happen.  Even if the odds are significantly against it.  So imagine, if you will, a non-violent economic revolution…

How deep do I have to dig in order to explain the concept to the average reader? For me, at least, it is completely comprehensible. It seems so simple. All it has to do is unfold like a lotus flower. Why can’t everyone understand? It is a philosophical revolution. Collapse the old metaphor and replace it with a new one.  The “survival of the fittest”story is way too simplistic and one-sided.  Ecological interdependence is a much more realistic explanation of the observable world.   Down with the linear mechanical system that seeks only to win the competition and up with a dynamic organic system that seeks to live well within a healthy ecosystem.

Every cell is part of a tissue but is also an individual cell. Every tissue is part of a body, but is also an individual tissue. Every body is part of a community but is also an individual body. Every community is part of an ecosystem but is also an individual community. Every ecosystem is part of the whole planet earth but is also an individual ecosystem.

The dynamic relationship between the individual and the community. Therein lies the essence of free will. Therein lies the foundation for an economic system that makes sense. Communism/Socialism is a broken concept because it subordinates the individual instinct to the communal instinct. Capitalism/Corporatism is a broken concept because it subordinates the communal instinct to the individual instinct. Dynamic/Organic economics seeks the middle path between the two.

Capitalism is yang and Socialism is yin.
A healthy economic system is based upon the interdependence of both concepts.

Can you see the light yet?

Sometimes it acts like a particle and sometimes it acts like a wave.

Decentralize the power structures
And
Localize the economic system.

It’s not that complicated. Start with the first principle. A dynamic relationship between the individual and the community. Interdependence. Freequality. That is the foundation… the building block… The organizational structure (government) for a healthy community (state) grows out of that concept.

Dynamic/Organic Economics. (A Manifesto)

The first principle of organic economics is that all humans have an economic right to food, shelter and basic healthcare. Any government that does not guarantee those basic economic rights to all humans living within its jurisdiction is not a legitimate government.

It’s not welfare. It’s not an entitlement or a handout or charity. It’s a right. Everybody gets it. It’s your foundational bargaining position, human dignity, that allows you to participate in the free market.

The religion of capitalism is built completely upon the myth that the working class job seeker has bargaining position. But in reality, the worker does not have bargaining position. That is what the revolution is all about. If you guarantee economic rights you change the nature of the relationship between the employer and employee. The authoritarian hierarchy becomes a dynamic balance.

The theory of organic economics argues that the best way to give workers back their bargaining position/economic freedom is through the “democratization” of currency flows.

Presently, most, if not all, governments on the planet earth use some type of oligarchic linear money supply system. The currency supply is controlled by an elite central government and distributed to the population through a variety of trickle down mechanisms. In the US, they use a mechanism called fractional reserve banking. Private banks who borrow from the Fed are allowed to create money as credit and lend it out to people or institutions. In other words, when new money is added to the system, it is always given to people or institutions who have money in the first place. In other countries, the government or central bank creates the currency and passes it directly to its closest friends and relatives who then pass it down to the general population. Some governments may try to distribute currency in a way that is beneficial to the general population while some governments don’t seem to care about the populace at all. Either way, it is always a downward distribution from government insiders (bankers) to citizens.

In order to transform(revolutionize) the economic system, we must stop adding new money to the system through private banks. Outlaw fractional reserve banking. Private banks can only lend money they actually have. Instead, add new money to the system using the principles of organic economics.

In organic economics, all citizens have equal access to the circular flow of currency. Money is a function of the fair market value of food and shelter and basic healthcare within the jurisdiction that the money is distributed. It’s a mathematical equation with the community and the individual on opposite sides of the dynamic balance. There is no secret cabal of decision makers who get to decide who gets what. Money is automatically distributed according to the principles of the system. Every single person gets the exact same deal. You don’t borrow money from the oligarchy based upon your “credit rating”. You receive your fair democratic share of economic rights within the community/state where you live.

The formula itself is fairly simple. At the beginning of each month, each individual in the community/state is invested with the fair market value of food, shelter and basic healthcare in the currency of the community (how big the community? A small state? Hmm…). In exchange for that monthly investment, each individual agrees to respect the basic property rights (possessions) of other participants in the system and to contribute 50% of everything they earn (in whatever currency) on the free market back to the community/state at the end of each quarter or each year. The important thing is that money flows back and forth between community/state and individual as economic value is continually used and created.

In the confusing language of the punditocracy, you might say that everybody gets welfare (even billionaires)and everybody pays a 50% tax (even billionaires). But in organic economics, welfare is an investment in an individual and not a stigma because everyone gets it and taxes are a return to the community and not a punishment because they are based upon an agreement between people instead of imposed by psychopaths who want to fight more wars.

Do you get it yet? It makes sense. Economic democracy. Dynamic work relationships. Organic economics.

The non-violent economic revolution starts now!

This essay is not copyrighted, please feel free to share it or copy it or paste it or plagiarize it or send it to anyone and everyone.

Thanks, and have a wonderful day.

 

Standing Rock

Standing Rock

The line is drawn, what side are you on? Do you believe in democracy or corporate capitalism? You can’t believe in both because the two concepts are contradictory. There is no such thing as a corporate capitalist democracy and the tragedy now unfolding at Standing Rock demonstrates that ugly truth. The water supply of 16 million people is threatened for the sake of corporate profits. In response to that threat, the people have made every possible objection through so called democratic channels. They have petitioned the courts and overwhelmingly contacted their “representatives”. They have held rallies and waived signs. They have made phone calls and written letters. They have even placed their bodies peacefully in front of the threat as water protectors. If this nation state was even remotely democratic, the pipeline would already have been cancelled. But as the standing rock controversy so clearly demonstrates, we are subjects of a corporate state, not citizens of a participatory democracy. Voting is a game designed to distract people from the reality that would otherwise be obvious. The government serves the interests of capital not the interests of citizens.

Nevertheless, all is not lost. We just have to engage the opposition on the proper playing field. Stop pretending that the government can or will save the day. Smiling Barry doesn’t give a potato about you and your water supply. Neither does the Trumpster or the department of injustice or the corp. of engineers. They don’t work for you. They work for the corporate state. The theatre of operations is capitalism not democracy so the only thing that counts is profits. As such, if you really want to help the cause of Standing Rock, you have to go after the profits. Accordingly, there are a few substantial things you can do.

1. If you have money or investments in or through Wells Fargo, Citibank, Bank of America, Chase, or any other institution that is invested in the Dakota Access pipeline, take all the money out today. It would be helpful to write a nice polite letter to said institutions explaining why you are removing the money. You could put the money in your local credit union instead, or in a different bank or in your mattress or in a hole in your backyard. You could even send some of the money to the water protectors. The reality is: If you are writing letters or making phone calls to “representatives” in government and you still have money in these institutions, you are fooling yourself.

2. Put your body on the line. Go to standing rock to join the water protectors. Do not take this action lightly. It is not a “free speech zone,” a pep rally or a rock concert. It is an occupation.. a resistance to corporate power. The situation is escalating and becoming more dangerous by the day. If my information is correct (it may not be). Energy Transfers is contractually obligated to complete the pipeline by December 31. If they do not complete it by then, the amount of money they charge for gas flowing through the pipeline will be subject to market price instead of the contract price agreed upon when the pipeline project was begun. Since the price of gas has fallen from almost a hundred dollars a barrel to less than fifty, that’s a difference of billions of dollars. In other words, if they can’t get it done by the 31st, the project will no longer be economically viable and will probably get cancelled. If the water protectors can hold off the black snake for that long, they may very well win the battle. (Of course, smiling Barry will probably step in and take credit for cancelling it with some bullshit rhetoric about democracy, but the real reason will be economics). Anyway, because of the fast approaching deadline, the corporate state has issued a notice of eviction to the water protectors for December 5th. They are threatening to arrest and forcibly remove the water protectors on that date. With billions of dollars on the line and thousands of protesters, things are likely to get very very ugly. If you are going to Standing Rock for the month of December, I commend you for your bravery. But please, understand the consequences. The stakes are very high and so are the risks. But no matter what you do, stick to the stated principle of the water protectors and practice non-violence. Violence causes more violence. If you think that you can out shoot or out gun the corporate state, you are a fool. You are playing into their hands. The only method that can possibly win is non-violent resistance. Be especially aware of the agents of empire who will undoubtedly be sent to infiltrate the water protectors and use violence so that the state will have an excuse to respond with violent oppression. That is the way the corporate state operates.

3. Send money and/or supplies to the water protectors at Standing Rock if you can’t go yourself. The front lines of any battle always need supply lines and thanks to modern technology, you can probably help the water protectors by sending them financial or material support from the comfort of your living room. However, as the situation continues to escalate, the corporate state will do its best to blockade such supplies and if you do attempt to provide them with financial assistance you will probably end up on corporate state’s database of uncooperative serfs.

4. A radical non-violent strategy: Beginning in the late 1970s and continuing through six consecutive presidents (democrats and republicans), the U.S. economy has undergone a process that can best be described as financialization. The end result of that process is that most ordinary Americans don’t have much financial equity anymore. The amount they hold in bank savings accounts is minimal so the big banks won’t give a shit if a few people remove their savings and put it in a credit union instead. The facts on the ground are: most Americans have debt and a credit line instead of substantial savings. Access to capital is based on how much you can borrow rather than how much you have. They call it leverage in the business world. Anyway, the point is… millions of Americans have credit cards (junk bonds for little people) issued by the above mentioned institutions (Wells Fargo, Citibank, Bank of America and Chase, etc.). On those credit cards, they have an outstanding balance, a monthly payment that includes interest and available credit. The easiest thing you can do and the least you can do is transfer your credit card balance to an institution (your local credit union or a different bank) that is not invested in the pipeline. While such an action is beneficial and the right thing to do, it won’t effect the bottom line of the big banks by too much because the institution you transfer to will have to pay off the big banks. If you really want to threaten the financial well being of the big banks, I would suggest organizing a nationwide boycott of monthly payments on credit cards. Send your monthly payments to the yet to be established, “Standing Rock First Amendment Legal Defense Fund” instead. Make a photocopy of your check and send the photocopy to the big bank in question along with a letter that says something like this: “Pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Citizens United, it is firmly established in U.S. Law that the payment of money is a form of political speech protected by the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I believe it is fundamentally wrong to use my money to invest in an oil pipeline that threatens the water supply of 16 million people. As such, I am choosing to direct my monthly payments to the people protecting the water instead of to the people threatening the water. If you do not fully credit my account for this payment or in any way damage my credit rating for this action, I will consider it a violation of my first amendment rights and pursue legal action for compensatory and punitive damages against you.”

This is, of course, a very risky strategy for an individual to pursue. If only a couple people did it, they would simply lose their credit cards and ruin their credit ratings as the big banks would simply ignore the letter. While the proposed legal action under the first amendment and Citizens United is theoretically possible, it would be a very long and time consuming court battle and lawyers don’t usually work for free. If, however, several hundred people or several thousand people could be convinced to participate, their monthly credit card payments could be pooled by the “Standing Rock First Amendment Legal defense fund” to pay the lawyers to bring the first amendment case against the banks. I, personally, have the Internet organizing skills of a Neanderthal and my time is fully occupied chasing a toddler. But if someone out there is skilled in that department, I would encourage them to start a petition or a group or whatever organizational form they can think of to get people to sign up for such a boycott. Ideally, you would want to get as many people as possible to sign on in advance and have everyone send their first amendment letter instead of payment on the same day. Actually, the mere existence of a large enough number of people who are willing to participate would apply significant economic pressure on the institutions in question.

I should probably emphasize before closing that I make the above radical suggestion as an outsider rather than as a potential participant. I started practicing organic economics 22 years ago. Accordingly, I have no credit cards (only a debit card) and no “investments” in greed machines (corporations). If everyone listened to me, they would withdraw all their money from globalized greed machines (multinational corporations) and invest it in the communities where they lived instead. But that would be a non-violent economic revolution so it’s probably just a pipe dream.

Finally, I would like to say that my heart and soul goes out to the good people at Standing Rock. I am sending them my prayers, my thoughts, my good vibes and my positive energy. Thank you for doing what all the serfs throughout the country should start doing if they would only wake up and see reality. Resist the corporate empire with determined non-violence.

I stand with Standing Rock.

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A Little Light in the Election Darkness

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A Little Light in the Election Darkness

I was wrong. It’s feels good to admit that once in a while. The universe just gave me a dose of humility to help round out my soul. I was all wrong about the election. I thought for sure that Hillary was going to win in a landslide. Of course I did not want Hillary to win. I didn’t want Trump to win either. As most people who know me are aware, I don’t vote in Presidential elections as a matter of principle. Democracy breaks down the greater the number of participants. And I don’t see the point in voting for people rather than policies. In my opinion, it’s a great big charade. It’s a friendly competition between two teams of oligarchs to see who gets to screw over the underclass for the next four years. Since both teams of oligarchs have been steadily applying the same policies for the last thirty years or so, it really makes little difference which party wins. This country needs a non-violent economic revolution, not another ruler to love or hate on the tv screen. Nevertheless, I thought for sure Hillary and the democrats had it in the bag. How in the world did the crazy clown pull it off?

For many years I have been fascinated by the intersection of economics and politics and this year’s Presidential election is an amazing demonstration of my theories on that intersection. I was dead wrong about the result but my underlying analysis was more or less on target. I simply misunderstood one little variable and that screwed up my conclusion.

First, the basics. Aside from the 01% who rule things, and the other 01% who are not even allowed to play (incarcerated or homeless), America has two distinct economic classes. It helps to realize what class you are in because the day to day lived experience of the two classes is dramatically different. Indeed, I would suggest that the two distinct classes have such different day to day realities that they do not understand each other at all.

At this particular time in history, approximately 70% of US citizens live survival check to survival check. Their survival checks come from minimum wage jobs or part time jobs or “free lance” jobs or some minuscule government subsidy or private pension survival ration. They have less than a thousand dollars in savings, very little home equity, no stocks or bonds and very high mortgage payments or rent to keep a roof over their heads. In other words, they are one unfortunate mishap away from seriously desperate circumstances. Their day to day existence is one of anxiety and work and more anxiety and more work. They don’t have the time to research detailed articles on politics or economics because they are too busy trying to make ends meet. No doubt they are exposed to large doses of mass media and they have their favorite source of news and information but politics is not something they focus on. I call this class, “the precariate” because their economic reality is so precarious. The majority of the precariate does not usually vote. And when they do vote it is based mainly on instinct and the superficial background information provided by the mass media. They do not vote based on detailed analysis of economics or policy.

The other 30% of US citizens do not live survival check to survival check. They have decent paying jobs, money in the bank, some home equity, and a few stocks, bonds or investments. Although they too suffer through tragedy, anxiety and stress because they are slaves of the corporate organizational structure, they are not one step away from seriously desperate circumstances. They have some leisure time to read the intellectual magazines and to study detailed analyses of economics and politics. They also have time to attend protests and rallies and to participate in the political process. They don’t necessarily understand politics or economics but they have lots of information and ideas to support their misunderstanding. I call this class, “the prosperiate” because their economic reality is fairly prosperous. The overwhelming majority of the prosperiate do vote. Generally speaking, they vote for one of the two teams of oligarchs (democrats or republicans). Their intellectual magazines and detailed economic and political analyses always convinces them that the two political teams are the only “realistic” options.

Generally speaking, it is the prosperiate who decide elections in the US because they are the ones that vote. They believe they are being good citizens by participating in a governmental process. Some people even get very patriotic and proud about it. But, in reality, their individual votes are statistically irrelevant and their opinions and analyses are ignored by the oligarchs. For the most part, the prosperiate vote is divided equally between the Democrats and Republicans with a little fluidity depending upon circumstances on the ground. The single most important variable that controls the outcome of elections is the day to day economic reality of the prosperiate.

I thought for sure that Hillary and the Democrats were going to win in a landslide this year because the facts on the ground are that Barack Obama and the Democrats have been quite good economically for the prosperiate. The economic world was on shaky ground even for the prosperiate at the end of George Bush’s term. The Republican team had fucked things up so bad that Capitalism itself was on the ropes. As such, Barack Obama had a unique opportunity to transform things. But he didn’t transform things. Instead, he just proved himself to be a remarkably good manager of the capitalist system. His team of bankers and Wall Street insiders got the money flowing again. If you are a member of the prosperiate, then you are probably aware of this economic reality. Life is way better at the end of Barack Obama’s term than it was at the end of George Bush’s. If you combine this truth with the fact that the Republican candidate presented himself as a mysoginistic, racist asshole, it seemed obvious to me that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats would win in a landslide. But I was wrong.

The precariate doesn’t usually decide elections because the precariate don’t usually vote very much. They understand intuitively that the process is bullshit and they can’t be bothered wasting their time. Every once in a while, however, a particularly persuasive orator with the right marketing plan will con the precariate into participation. I will call this, the rock star effect.
Ronnie Reagan was probably a rock star but I was too young to be aware of it. The first rock star candidate that I witnessed was Barack Obama in 2008. Since ethnic minorities make up a high percentage of the non-voting precariate, he had a unique advantage in convincing them to play in the election game. By 2012, of course, the jig was up. The precariate was painfully aware of the fact that Obama and the Democrats were full of shit and they went back to their non-voting well justified cynicism. They did not turn around and vote for Republicans, they just did not vote at all. Obama won in 2012 by winning the votes of the prosperiate.

This is the thing that baffles me. Most but not all of my regular social contacts are members of the prosperiate. They still do not seem to believe that the big con happened because they did not really have to suffer the consequences. Indeed, in some respects, they were secondary, minor beneficiaries of it. The precariate, however, is painfully aware of the consequences even if they don’t understand exactly how it happened. What is the economic truth?

Financial engineering. In the last eight years, the oligarchs engineered the largest transfer of real world wealth upward from the lower classes to the oligarchs in the history of the world. Most of the prosperiate class was lucky enough to get their hands on some of that wealth as it passed its way upward so they are still doing pretty good. But a significant percentage of the prosperiate class fell into the precariate class and the precariate class as a whole got slammed.

I don’t blame Obama personally. He was merely the smiling front man. The brain trust at Goldman Sachs probably came up with the concept. Republicans and democrats were both in on it but it was a democratic administration that implemented it. The primary mechanisms they used to pull this maneuver off included TARP, bank bailouts and quantitative easing. They also did not prosecute bankers for obvious fraud. But this is not the place for a detailed analysis of their little economic magic trick. If you have the time to research politics and economics you can probably figure it out. My point is a simple one. The prosperiate class seems blissfully unaware that the magic trick happened. At most they might mention it as one issue among many. But the precariate class has to live with its consequences in their day to day economic reality… Full time “jobs” are now part time “jobs”. The “jobs” available are minimum wage part time jobs in the service sector. The cost of shelter is going through the roof. The only food that is affordable is chemically laden genetically modified corporate garbage. It now costs money to drink water. Indeed, it now costs money to do anything and money is just not available. In other words, day to day economic reality for the precariate class really really sucks. They may not know how or why the system has fucked them over but they do know that it has.

Which is why I assumed that the precariate would not vote. After all, a vote is an affirmation of the system. A republican is just the same as a democrat. Only a rock star conman could convince the precariate to go out and participate in the election game. Which is why I was wrong about the election. I didn’t think Trump was a rock star conman. I thought he was an absurd clown and obvious conman. I even thought he and Hillary were in on it together. He was there to make the opposition look bad so that Hillary could generate momentum for her more aggressive war in Syria. Apparently, the Trumpster was a much better con man than I gave him credit for. The democrats took the bait and responded to his rather unusual candidacy in the stupidest way ever.

In retrospect, it seems obvious to me that Hillary lost the election the day she referred to Trump’s supporters as “a basket of deplorables”. And it wasn’t just her, it was the entire Democratic campaign. They did not debate, discuss, and intelligently criticize candidate Trump’s various policy proposals, instead they insulted the citizens who were “stupid” enough to vote for him. If you have social media or you watch television you were exposed to the barrage of memes and insults. Fascists, nazis, racists, bigots, crackers, white trash, losers, meth heads, stupid people, morons. They would capture an image of the most absurd example of a Trump supporter doing something stupid and splash it all over the news feed. Half of them were probably actors. It all makes perfect sense to me now. The democrats had a lock on the people who usually vote. Donald Trump was entertaining to people who don’t vote. They probably would have just laughed at Trump’s obnoxious character and stayed home like they usually do until the Democrats started egging them on. When the entire media and political establishment joined in the pile on against Trump, a tidal wave of condescending was directed towards his supporters. Action therefore reaction. The entire establishment was telling them not to vote for this guy. Their attitude is; fuck the establishment. So, of course, they voted for him. In other words, President Trumpster is Karmic Payback to Democrats for pissing on the precariate class.

But alas my dear friends who are Democrats, things are not as bad as it seems on this time of election darkness. This was not a cout de tat. The Donald is not a Dictator. Those scary people you saw on television and in Facebook memes are not taking over the government. Team Republican of the oligarchs just beat out team Democrat in a marketing contest. The well-mannered, smooth talking, ethnic minority figurehead is about to be replaced by a rude, obnoxious, clown figurehead. The oligarchs will move a few seats around and the system and the Empire will continue. If you voted for Hillary, you are probably a member of the prosperiate class. Since team republican generally pursues the same economic policies as team Democrat and those policies sort of benefit the prosperiate, your life will probably continue pretty much the same as it is now. It may even get a little bit better. Hopefully, though, with an obnoxious clown on the nightly news every night, you will be inspired to learn about and criticize the dreadful things your government does to others for the sake of your economic benefit. The massacre in and wholesale destruction of the once prosperous nation state of Libya comes to mind. Not to mention the economic warfare waged against your fellow citizens through the aforementioned magic trick.

So anyway, I am finding myself strangely optimistic in the face of the Trumpster’s presidency. Not because I think he will adopt good policy. There is no such thing as good policy in a capitalist empire. No doubt about it, the clown is going to kick the precariate constituency that put him in office right in the head just like Obama did to his precariate constituency. They will probably have a good laugh about it during their Oval Office meeting. Obummer did it as soon as he named his Goldman Sachs cabinet and I will bet you dollars to donuts that the Trumpster names a bunch of old hands from team republican to run his show as well. After all, it is not as if the clown has a plan to run the government. The Trumpster dumpster full of wacky policy ideas he tossed out during the campaign was not even a coherent ideology. Perhaps he will shut down the TPP and improve relations with Russia. That would be good. But I won’t hold my breath.

I’m optimistic about the Trumpster’s reign because I believe his presence will inspire people to act in opposition to empire. I know the media is trying to spin the election result as some sort of manifestation of racism, misogyny and lurking cultural backwardness. But the media is full of shit with a not so hidden agenda. They are trying to incite a culture/race war in order to fend off an economic revolution that is becoming more and more possible all the time. The election of the Trumpster clown to the highest office was a rejection of the globalized capitalist economic system, it was not the choosing of a race-based mysoginist tyrant. And when the Trumpster clown governs just like other republicans, the precariate who put him in office will reject him too.

That’s right, the times ahead look interesting and entertaining as well. Yeah, I know, my democratic friends who are members of the prosperiate are afraid of real revolution. What can I suggest to appease their fear? Try not to worry too much because it probably won’t happen. There is at least a 30% chance that the BS wing of the Democratic Party will co-opt the revolution with a promise of cookie crumbs for the precariate and Capitalism will continue on it’s merry way until it destroys the planet in a climate meltdown or nuclear conflagration. There is also probably a 30 % chance, the Trumpster and his republican team will save capitalism by providing the precariate with decent jobs in the ever growing “homeland security” and “world conquest” industries. How many serfs does it take to build a wall? In which case, Capitalism will continue on it’s merry way until it destroys the planet in a climate meltdown or nuclear conflagration.

That leaves about a 40% chance for economic revolution. It’s not quite probable but it is possible. I will takes those odds. Way better than years passed. I guess it is also possible that the revolution will be violent but it certainly doesn’t have to be. When the European descendants in the precariate become disillusioned with their clown President, the situation will be ripe. The mass media is trying to ignite a culture war between the two sides of the precariate in order to distract them from focusing on the Oligarchs. Don’t feed the media’s fire. Reach out to the precariate no matter what their race or how “stupid” their superficial politics. Love trumps hate. Try to empathize with the desperation a broken economic system has imposed upon them. They were so desperate, in fact, that they voted for a clown. If the opposite sides of the precariate culture war can unify to fight for their common economic interests, the oligarchs will lose. All they need is a plan or theory or concept to get behind.

Not Capitalism
Not Socialism
Organic economics
Reverse financial engineering
DEMOCRATIZE THE MONEY SUPPLY
Quantitative ease the precariate class!
Viva la Revolution

And have a very wonderful day.

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Change the Metaphor

This is another supplemental essay. A full story will be posted later in the week.

Change the Metaphor.

How do you change the controlling metaphor? That right there is the first and foremost challenge? Maybe it’s impossible. The metaphor is in the government, the metaphor is in the economic system, the metaphor is in the media and the metaphor is in the education system. The metaphor is so ingrained in our life that we hardly even know it’s there. What I mean by metaphor is the made up story that serves as the foundation for our day to day lives. The metaphor isn’t true but if you stop believing it a large part of what you do will be a complete waste of time.

It’s easy enough to change the metaphor for me. I simply don’t believe it. I have traveled a good part of the world and lived among people who believe different metaphors. Thus, it is easy for me to step back and look at my society’s metaphor critically. And when I do so, the metaphor seems kind or ridiculous. Most people who live here, however, believe the metaphor to be true without ever really thinking about it. Indeed, the mass media here is so powerful, that if I just watch it for a little while, I will start to believe the metaphor again. But no, not really, a quick trip to a nearby forest and I am back to reality. Continue reading