Archive for the Critical Commentary of Civilization Category

Philosophical Anarchism

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, ecovillages, Legal / Laws, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by Drogo

Anarchy is absence of supreme government leaders, company authorities, or laws. Anarchism is rejection of central state or group hierarchy for collaborative democracy and independent freedom. Anarchy does not mean ‘let chaos rule’, but can be messy as individuals express themselves voluntarily. Lack of direction from a boss can be scary for many who prefer to be told what to do. Another problem is the political vacuum of anarchy allows despots to use charisma and power to shatter the ideal potential of anarchy and democracy, and create populist structures of obedience to corrupt state systems.

Anarchy is a natural feeling for many people who have an intuitive reaction to any perceived authority over them; which maybe related to our pre-history. Civilization is considered new and brief compared to thousands and thousands of years when humans must have lived more or less like other wild animals with no writing, and no language rules, in primitive anarchy. This anti-authoritarian type of human nature can manifest in complex egalitarian cultures, and thus can create advanced anarchy systems based on cultural capacities. Proudhon considered anarchism to be a political philosophy for “stateless societies based on voluntary associations”. Having no desire for authoritarian companies or governments, anarchists often try to organize and maintain voluntary institutions (like SCOD).

Labor unions (aka trade unions) are groups or collectives of workers, organized to represent their job interests within capitalism. Unions are similar to trade guilds, except they are often employees of companies that need to negotiate with bosses using social pressure and collective protest bargaining, with threat of striking vs lay-offs to enforce contracts. Safety standards, living wages, and benefits are labor themes.

Philosophical anarchism often relates to democracy, communism, socialism, and labor unions because they all are systems to empower workers to control leaders, companies, and governments by the people being responsible for their power. The term ‘worker’ (proletariat) represents the bulk of citizens or their families, and therefore the masses of society. When the workers have to power to vote directly and frequently on their bosses, companies and governments become decentralized and depend on social networks and sub-cultures.

anarchy

[see also Mondragon, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman]

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The Horror of Lovecraft

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2018 by Drogo

The thing about writing horror is that you basically admit you are really sick and twisted. His racist writing describes accurately how people like him would think as they narrate the events. For me it shows how the concept of evil is a human perspective, based on what we fear; from fish people to aliens. To write about your fears shows your weakness and vulnerabilities, in my opinion. Lovecraft shows how fear is a scary illness from hating ethnic differences to being petrified of anything resembling fish or squids. Another aspect of Lovecraft is that his “heroes” do not ever really “win” against the demonic powers that spread, as migrants in NY did while he was living there, and they were thriving while he was failing. Clearly Lovecraft shows how conservative culture always dies of entropy as progressive immigrants take over, for better or worse, depending on who you are. That he describes the changes in culture as evil in fictional demonic terms exaggerates his own feelings to an absurd level of parody, which i feel he must have been conscious about to marry a Jew.

RIP H.P. Lovecraft  1890-1937

Power Corrupts People

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Ethics & Morals, History, Recommendations & Tributes, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by Drogo

Baron J.E.E. Dalberg-Acton (aka Lord Acton 1834-1902) was a noble English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. Lord Acton knew several major foreign languages. Acton’s linguistic and religious passion may have influenced Tolkien many years later. A fellow Catholic, Tolkien used the literary legacy that power tends to corrupt even the best men, as his main theme. In Lord of the Rings, the most powerful Ring cannot be used as a tool for good by even the best heroes, because they too would eventually be corrupted, no matter their intentions. The revelation seems to be that power is part of Original Sin as described in the the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament myth that humans fell from the grace of godly paradise because we submitted to the evil temptation of power (the apple advocated by the serpent), seems to have found new expression in the words of these men. Acton collected a large historical library for the “History of Liberty”. Acton was politically Liberal, and travelled greatly. Acton loved reading original historic letters. Acton lived at his country house in Aldenham, Shropshire; and served in the House of Commons. Acton admired the U.S. Government for the Constitution, but oddly sided with the southern Confederacy for defending individual citizen liberties against the tyranny of Union Federal empire (while ignoring slavery). Acton was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order, as a Knight Commander (KCVO).

“History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys.” “There is not a more perilous or immoral habit of mind than the sanctifying of success.” [about Oliver Cromwell] “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.” “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote his most famous quote:

“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the jailer to murder Mary, and William III of England ordered his Scots minister to extirpate (destroy) a clan. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman (biblical Persian minister in the Book of Esther), for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

He is best known for that remark he wrote in a letter to an Anglican bishop; but according to an editor of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Lord Acton has left too little completed original work to rank among the great historians; his very learning seems to have stood in his way; he knew too much and his literary conscience was too acute for him to write easily, and his copiousness of information overloads his literary style. But he was one of the most deeply learned men of his time, and he will certainly be remembered for his influence on others.”

**

Mohandas ‘Bapu’ Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian Hindu non-violent civil disobedience activist. Gandhi was leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Gandhi’s self-sacrifice inspired freedom movements for civil rights across the World. Raised in a merchant caste family in India, he later trained in law in London. Gandhi first used non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, for colonial civil rights. Returning to India in 1915, he organized farmers and workers to protest against high land tax and bigotry. Leading the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led national campaigns for social causes and self-rule (Swaraj).

Gandhi helped India challenge the British salt tax by marching in 1930. In 1942 Gandhi called for the British to leave India. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a community and wore a traditional hand-spun Indian dhoti and shawl. Gandhi was vegetarian and took long fasts for spiritual and political reasons. Muslim Nationalism (Pakistan) and Gandhi’s Hindu pluralism in India helped to force Britain out of India in 1947.

Displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs migrated; and religious violence broke out in Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi visited the riots to help and fasted to stop religious violence. Hindu nationalist conservatives criticized and assassinated Gandhi. Gandhi’s birthday is commemorated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. As with all martyr heroes that lives real lives, Gandhi had many human flaws of the sort that might be emphasized more when historical writers express loss of popular favor their cults.

**

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s work was certainly influenced by the events of the World Wars, despite his public refusal of metaphor speculation. ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ explores abuse of corrupt power, by considering that the temptation of use of power can eventually corrupt anyone. The One Ring of Power created by Sauron promises great power, but eventually corrupts all who use it. Even good people are corrupted by lust for the Ring because of its power to rival Sauron, and by using its vast powers even the lightest souls darken. The ones best able to carry the Ring are innocent souls with meager ambition, and the best they can do with the Ring is to destroy it.

Tolkien said these words about power: “The proper study of man is anything but man, and the most improper job of any man . . is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” [Letters #52] Tolkien believed that leaders should be judged by their example, more than common people are judged [James 3:1]. Power and authority allow for the most terrible things. The misuse of power often ruins leaders and followers who allow the abuse to happen. Vigilant active citizens will demand wise balance.

***

Power within us and others is clearly our responsibility; not only to control our own will power to keep it within reason, but also to influence the power that we allow others to hold over us and others. If citizens cannot control their own leader’s passion for power from within a government using democracy, then it will be left up to other governments in other countries (see World Wars). The conclusion to the problem of power is perhaps best summarized by Spiderman in Marvel Comics – “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Napoleonic Complex Bigotry

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Psychology, relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Sizeism is a real thing, more so than the Napoleonic Complex; because for clarification Napoleon was actually 5 feet 7 inches tall, which is basically the average height of our time. Therefore Napoleon was being bullied by a foreign leader for being shorter, while not actually being shorter than average. This is typical of society to bully shorter people, which can result in reactionary competition against the larger assholes. All kinds of people can be bullied, but it is built into the fabric of society to be prejudice more against shorter people probably about as much as shy or weak people. When a person is short, shy, and weak their suffering can be terrible. Most artificial objects are made for average height or taller. Adult short people are made to shop in the children’s section, and not taken seriously because they are less intimidating in stature. Women often say they prefer ‘Tall, dark, and handsome” men, but will often just simply say they like ‘tall’ men more than any other feature (including personality traits or wealth). It should also be noted that women are often discounted from equal rights based on body size and strength issues related to their general muscle size.

Sizeism – prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s size.

There are studies in favor of saying that short people are more violent and angry, but it is more probable that short people compensate to compete with larger assholes which may be simply more commonly accepted by society, despite clear bullying.

[to be continued]

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

12 Monkeys SCOD Review

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Film Reviews, History, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2018 by Drogo

The SCOD ‘FALLOUT 2020’ film uses critical montages of films that relate to the questioning of contemporary modern civilization, specifically the industrial capitalist way of life. Some social issues affect more than our limited individual/daily perspectives; a desire to be at constant War may have dramatic consequences on humanity and the planet Earth as we know it. The second part shows 2 kinds of holocaust survivors: surface-scraggs and under-ground-bomb-shelter-dwellers.

Contributing references are: Falling Down, Fight Club, Naquoyqatsi, Koyannisqatsi, Mad Max, Road Warrior, 12 Monkeys, the War on Terror, New World Order, 1984 George Orwell, Biohazard State of the World Address, Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys, etc

Regarding the importance of 12 Monkeys in SCOD theory, several plot points and quotes are significant for their profound post-modern meanings.

1. Historical importance has value for future events as well, because the future does become history. History has lessons, and time travel can be a state of mind.

2. The script origin ‘La Jetee’ inspired both Terminator and 12 Monkeys, and deals with time travel to stop a terrible historic event, in order to save humanity. Fate is not fixed. Technology does not solve problems for humanity without ethics.

3. Social concern for people as individuals is more important than trying to ‘save’ all of humanity through inhuman actions like war or assassination. A logical killer can be just as terrible as an emotional killer.

4. Reality and imagination are connected in ways that can easily make humans delusional, but traumatic situations can cause schizo break-downs in otherwise sober and normal people.

5. Ethical problems generally need more empathetic mystery solving, to avoid more violence later. Large environmental or social problems often make sane people do insane things.

*

Dr. Peters: I think, Dr. Railly, you have given your “alarmists” a bad name. Surely there is very real and very convincing data that the planet cannot survive the excesses of the human race: proliferation of atomic devices, uncontrolled breeding habits, the rape of the environment, the pollution of land, sea, and air. In this context, isn’t it obvious that “Chicken Little” represents the sane vision and that Homo Sapiens’ motto, “Let’s go shopping!” is the cry of the true lunatic?

*

Poet: Yet among the myriad microwaves, the infra-red messages, the gigabytes of ones and zeroes, we find words, byte-sized now, tinier even than science lurking in some vague electricity, but if we but listen we can hear the solitary voice of that poet telling us, “Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare; Tomorrow’s Silence, Triumph or Despair: Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.”

  • Cassandra in Greek legend, you recall, was condemned to know the future but to be disbelieved when she foretold it. Hence the agony of foreknowledge combined with the impotence to do anything about it.

*

L.J. WASHINGTON: I don’t really come from outer space. It’s a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo. Part of an intellectual elite preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless, Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent, friend?

Divergent reality is a theme of the film. Is Cole mentally divergent? Is the future of 2035 his Planet Ogo? And if so, what “unnamed realities” have plagued Cole’s life so he would invent such a reality? We don’t get any answers to these questions, and the film offers us enough evidence to craft multiple, conflicting readings. Washington appears to plant that seed of doubt, which makes the multi-layered plot more interesting.

*

James Cole: Look at them. They’re just asking for it. Maybe the human race deserves to be wiped out.

Jeffrey Goines: Wiping out the human race? That’s a great idea. That’s great. But more of a long-term thing. I mean, first we have to focus on more immediate goals.

*

I’ve never seen La Jetee. If I do something based on something else I make it a principle not to read or see the original: I’ll be intimidated by it, or I’ll feel an awesome sense of responsibility. So I avoid that problem. There was something about the idea that people putting layer upon layer to protect themselves from a potential infection, end up in a sense isolating themselves from one another. And I became obsessed with that. The locations I’ve used were old disused power stations around Philadelphia and Baltimore. Nuclear plants, factories, power stations: “cathedrals of technological progress.” I’ve always had a problem with the belief that technology was going to solve all of our problems; so I’m drawn to shooting in those places, particularly for this film, which is about decay and about nostalgia. These great spaces were considered to be providing the solution to all of our problems, yet now they’re just wasted, lying there, rotting. And that seemed very much what a lot of the film was about. About putting your faith in the wrong things. Television seems to be ubiquitous in “Twelve Monkeys”. Every scene has got a television screen in it doing something. It’s because I think television is this awful mirror that we all look into every day, but it distorts the reflection and I hate it. It trivializes life. Rather than really enlightening us, it ends up just dragging us down to the lowest, into the boring and the tedious. And however much you try to resist it, you begin to believe the world really is that way. “There’s the television. It’s all right there — all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray!” So we’ve included it in the film. And it shows commercials that are doing strange things, and cartoons, which works very nicely as a juxtaposition to some of the scenes that are going on. – Terry Gilliam, Director

*

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PragerU Propaganda

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 19, 2017 by Drogo

Dennis Prager’s Fascist Commercials are Sick!

Youtube has many annoying commercials now. Every other fucking commercial they show is telling me “YOU LOVE CAPITALISM” and “Anyone that ever did anything good was Conservative” wow what fuckers. What is up with all the PragerU trumpish propaganda on Youtube? It seems this kind of brain-washing is happening on mass media, as a symptom of problems inherent in a State Capitalist Government run system that produced a ‘Trump’ as our boss.

Do not believe the lies of PragerU!

PragerU is propaganda by selfish assholes who have a large percent of our National Wealth, and are intent on keeping your percentage low. Fuck them. We need to change our own system to work better for us, the People (aka workers and artists). Many of us would rather focus on doing things that we love, and taking care of loved ones. We do not want to worry and ask for money all the time, yet we are forced to because the basic costs of living are so high. They must have some serious money to be running ads as often as they do, but if you are exposed to their spin, make sure you question the clever wording of their con-artists.