Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Present

The Present
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places - Ephesians 6:12

Today is a window, tomorrow the landscape. All you need to do is take a look outside, to know what we’re bound to face. –Bad Religion

Global events now transpiring can be explained in many ways. What is crucial is the very historic nature. We live today in between two ages; in an age of global intimacy, terror and bountiful data and information that all too often overwhelm our emotions and instincts. In these times, the amount of change in any given period is exponentially greater than ever before. What once took one hundred years to emerge, now takes ten. This is a very simple but crucial point, for not only does it orient the disposition of the average person, but also direct the aims of government and business.

The present—life in the now— in a manner like so few other times in our history, is a bread basket stuffed with beauty, suffering, happiness, catastrophe, compassion and possibility. How do we harness the present? Deep within each of us there is an equanimity that evokes prescience as though it were the root of all things. However far away from this tranquil abyss we may live, it still resides within us and the entirety of being of which we are but a tiny susurration; in other words, programmed into us are incontrovertible truths of nature, and, promisingly enough, the socio-historic victimization of us by civilization has yet to strip us of these. Most likely it will not until programs designed to steer the course of genetic space—the hidden aim of such projects as the Human Genome Project—has been fully implemented.
Focusing does not come naturally for many of us. Our neuronal efficiency severely compromised due to tortured development, a fast life, propaganda, negative eugenics, malnutrition, general toxicity, pharmaceuticals, escapism, a penchant to depreciate happiness and the positive, lack of experience in healthy relationships, we latch onto the atomizing and egotistical elements of our socialization so as to justify our own increasing depravity. As adults we are supposed to be a sentient dichotomy: living life with the reckless abandon and wonderment of a child, but the serious and competent edge of a focused adult. We instead lose the natural confidence we enjoy as children—fostered by a sense of community and belonging—only to become lifeless ostrich cynics, who ignore the details and true state of affairs and yet presume earth to be a lost cause, without hope.

The quickening in the machinations and behaviors constituent of civilization is multifaceted. For simplicity’s sake, we can work within a “them vs. us” paradigm. On one hand, there is the increasing speed in which goods and services are centralized (for them). On the other hand, there is the rate at which people (we) are awakening to what factors attitudinize their environment; that being, social engineering, capital accumulation, power and control all developed over thousands of years within the civil hierarchy. The vector of civilization, an intermixture of human biopsychological processes and progressively established culture, is a diffraction—a phenomenon that occurs when there is an alteration in the properties of the medium in which energy is travelling—defined by Stanley Diamond as such: “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.” The medium, in this case, is human agency.

Further, author Derrick Jensen ponders the question of what civilization is, [1]

If I’m going to contemplate the collapse of civilization, I need to define what it is. I looked in some dictionaries. Webster’s calls civilization “a high stage of social and cultural development.” The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a developed or advanced state of human society.” All the other dictionaries I checked were similarly laudatory. These definitions, no matter how broadly shared, helped me not in the slightest. They seemed to me hopelessly sloppy. After reading them, I still had no idea what the hell a civilization is: define high, developed, or advanced, please. The definitions, it struck me, are also extremely self-serving: can you imagine writers of dictionaries willingly classifying themselves as members of “a low, undeveloped, or backward state of human society”?

Jensen keenly observes the propagandous temperament of even the dictionary. What, then, is progress in civilization? Traditionally, we have envisaged “progress” as the act by which we or our modes of living improve and move forward towards some sort of, usually theocratic, utopia. If it is true, that the harnessing of oil and the consequential industrialization is man’s proudest leap forward, what implications should we derive for the concept of progress when considering our current pocket of reality? There have been many ‘human instants’ by which man’s population has increased. In the hunting and gathering period from 2 million B.C. (use of fire, tool-making) to 35,000 B.C (spear-thrower, bow and arrow), there was a 167% increase in population. In the horticultural period from 8,000 B.C. (cultivation of plants) to 4,000 B.C. (metallurgy or bronze) there was a 975% increase in population. In the agrarian period from 3,000 B.C. (plow) to 1,000 B.C. (iron tools) there was a 249% increase in population. By the advent of firearms, in around 1398 A.D., there had been, approximately, an increase of 176.4%. Between 1650 and 1850, merely two centuries time, the world’s population doubled. It had doubled once-more by 1930, in just eighty years. The following forty-five years saw yet another doubling. Here and now, on the threshold between industrial man and, most likely, post-industrial man, we have the unique opportunity of examining our human concept of progress, and one thesis, arrived at by reverse engineering the notion, stems from the wisdom of the ancients: the higher you climb, the harder you fall. Progress, within the context of a limited but useful paradigm, might very well be viewed as the process by which the human technological stage is set higher. Jensen goes onto define civilization for himself and his readership:

I would define a civilization much more precisely, and I believe more usefully, as a culture—that is, a complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts— that both leads to and emerges from the growth of cities (civilization, see civil: from civis, meaning citizen, from Latin civitatis, meaning city-state), with cities being defined—so as to distinguish them from camps, villages, and so on—as people living more or less permanently in one place in densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and other necessities of life… The story of any civilization is the story of the rise of city-states, which means it is the story of the funneling of resources toward these centers (in order to sustain them and cause them to grow), which means it is the story of an increasing region of unsustainability surrounded by an increasingly exploited countryside.

The quickening in the processes of civilization we are experiencing, accompanied by chaos as it is, is significantly anarchic. In fact, it exposes the generally anarchic nature of society. Adding to the anarchy is the notion held by most people that, contrarily, society is a highly ordered and lawful procession. In an age of ubiquitous corruption, the terms republicanism, democracy, fairness, equality, liberty, brother and sisterhood cannot be applied to our way of life. It could be argued, that one of the only ordered processes in the history of civilization is the top-down nature of violence and coercion—the story of conquistadores and the repressed.

The centripetal social evolution relegates the majority of power to a minority, resulting in far fewer conquistadores than repressed. After a certain movement of quantity over time a tipping point is reached at which a quickening in centralization—a leitmotif of this essay—ensues. The encroaching nature of power does not imply the dispersion of power amongst individuals, but rather the extension of powers influence over each good, service or participant tied to the nucleus. The shared belief in this matrix—which has as its heart paper money far exceeding true estimates of wealth (gold, silver, landbase and the conservation thereof)—constitutes common reality: a resounding testament to the power of mass psychology and, it should then follow, the power of communities. Not to mention propaganda.

This centralizing or centripetal pageant, eventually, cements the link between power accumulation and the few, causing an aberration or deviance in the community and a divergence of interests. Such power, accessible only to the few, gives rise the nefarious and more extreme elements of self-preservation, as opposed to a theoretical harmony of fairness.

Many emphasize the role elites play in the manipulation of markets and political theatre by movement of vast amounts of capital and clout, volume and volatility; many of these individuals—who oft are referred to ad hominem as ‘conspiracy theorists’—actively work, to varying degrees, for a more equitable world, however are discredited by mainstream culture and people who believe the current system of worldwide governance has any legitimacy other than as a massive control grid. Hoodwinked and withdrawn persons tend to underemphasize the relevance of top-down agency in government and business (people generally are inherently evil or our leaders are incompetent fools, they instead tell themselves): it is, nonetheless, there.

The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin . . . Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again . . . Take this great power away from them, and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. . . . But, if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.[2]

- Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England, 1927


  1. John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Empire held not only a near monopoly over the United States by the 1870’s, but also over many foreign countries. The King of Holland, in 1890, agreed to the creation of an international oil company called Royal Dutch Oil Company, founded, for the most part, to refine and sell kerosene from the Dutch colony of Indonesia. In that same year, a British company, the Shell Transport and Trading Company, was founded and began shipping Royal Dutch oil from Sumatra to myriad destinations. The two companies, eventually, merged into Royal Dutch Shell. Thus was born a mammoth multi-national, still in existence.

    To deal with the Great Depression—created in part by an extended period of runaway speculation and Federal Reserve induced deflation—finance capital exerted its influence as a means of creating a world system of control in private hands, more powerful than any political system, and governed in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world. The Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland was to be at its center, free from traditional values and the legal system of any country. [3]

    German medical records captured during the war reveal that Hitler was on a steady diet of euphoria and depression due to large daily doses of amphetamines, and developed increasingly dementia. For that reason, the second most power man in the Reich, deputy to Hitler Martin Bormann, who was healthy and capable, held the reigns of the bulldozer Nazi state. After gaining control, in 1943, over both the Nazi Party and the German economy, Bormann ran an organization made rich by the loot of Europe. In 1944, with German defeat approaching on the horizon, Bormann called top German business leaders and Nazy Party officials for a meeting, which took place at the Hotel Maison Rouge in Strasbourg, in order to ensure that “the economy of the Third Reich was projected onto a postwar profit-seeking track,” a program called Aktion Adlerflug, or Operation Eagle Flight. This flight of money, gold, stocks, bonds, patents, copyrights, and even technical specialists from Germany, resulted in the creation of 750 foreign front corporations, at the behest the capital of “black-clad SS, the central Deutsche bank, the steel empire of Fritz Thysen, and the powerful I.G. Farben combine.” [4]

    The ontogenesis of a regimental global complex bent on hegemony of form in terms of the economic, political, social and monetary frameworks is indeed Pentagon public policy. Full spectrum dominance refers to a military concept working towards absolute control over all aspects of the battlespace by land, air, maritime and space assets. This includes the physical battlespace of air, surface and sub-surface as well as the electromagnetic spectrum and information space. Such control renders opposition thereagainst totally prevented.

    Professor Philip Taylor of the University of Leeds, an expert consultant to the US and UK governments on psychological operations, propaganda and diplomacy dismissed the doctrine in 2005: [5]

    "It's true, though rarely recognized in the control-freakery world of the military, that full spectrum dominance is impossible in the global information environment."

    In his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Harold Pinter had this to say: [6]

    "I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as 'full spectrum dominance'. That is not my term, it is theirs. 'Full spectrum dominance' means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources."

  2. Currently, the main impediment to dominance over the information realm is the internet. Senator Jay Rockefeller recently declared that we would all be better off had the internet never been invented. Of course, what he truly regrets is the waning dominance of corporate controlled media in the dissemination of information. The government and elite are sincerely concerned about the increasing numbers of people who receive their news from alternative media sources on the internet (see: the Cyber Security Act of 2009). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct9xzXUQLuY

    Knowledge, from its origin in the ephemeral to its birth in action, magicks itself in many ways. Our traditional understanding of smart— the nerdy, academic type—worships a formula that has at its center data and information directing emotion (“I received a 91% on my math test, I feel somewhat satisfied). Another episteme demonstrated by the average person perceives by way of a formula that has at its center emotion, given meaning and direction by an interplay of data and information (I just try to keep it positive and play it cool, everything will work out, because it has in the past…for me at least). Some balance between the two ways of knowing is ideal.

    Unfortunately, most—but certainly not all—persons avoid paradigm shifts by freezing their opinions as tied to some lofty premises and assumptions. Still, a great number of individuals must harbor some valid views, as inspired by compassion and happiness. Compassion and happiness, as they are generally understood, convey a surprisingly vibrant and lucid collection of values. Compassion caters to humanity’s innate capacity for community, whilst happiness, as sprung straight from emotions, speaks for our inner essence or biology.

    A philosophy, many argue, is a way of knowing that is constantly in flux and open to revision, while a worldview is static and unchanging. A philosophizer understands that the process and understanding is a movement of fitting differently-similar and similarly-different experiences, whereas one who holds a worldview attempts to hem in their personality, ensuring it is not subject to revision by new experience. This limits considerable offshoots of cogitation by the information provided up to and within a certain time and place; let’s say in the circumstances of one’s adolescence. Each philosophy (constantly in flux and open-minded) or worldview (unmoving and inert), depending on the perceiver, has elements of the other in itself.

    The latter is the more pervasive cognitive orientation found in a highly censored and monolithic culture. “It had never occurred to me that in the Soviet Union anything could ever change. Let alone that it could disappear. No one expected it. Neither children, nor adults. There was a complete impression that everything was forever,” Andrei Makarevich, the famous songwriter and music, said in a televised interview. [7] In his memoirs, Makarevich expressed that he felt as millions of Soviet citizens had: that they lived in an eternal state. Not until around 1986 and 1987, when reforms of perestroika (reconstruction) were already embarked upon, was it that the the socialist systems vulnerability to collapse even entered into the superego. Peculiar as it is, despite the unthinkability of such a fall before the mid 1980’s, much of the public found themselves prepared for it, unsurprised by it once it had come to pass. The quickening of the Soviet collapse—most likely accelerated by those programs meant to prevent it, such as perestroika and glasnost—did precipitate and usher in a cognitive reorientation of the Russian citizenry.

  3. Similar is happening now, with the help of decentralized dissemination of news and information, at the global level. As the pace towards an Orwellian social order quickens, the frequency with which individuals ask themselves pertinent questions as to what sort of world they would like to help build also quickens. Crises precipitate change. Despite the dominant cultures continued nosedive into imprudence—the current social climate, after all, has drifted into a realm where news stories about the Queen of England gifting a copy of 1984 to President Felipe Calderon of Mexico receives little press [8]—an exponential enlightenment threshold has been discovered. Because of the internet, because of radio, because of all these technologies the commoners have, the rate at which individuals stumble onto enlightened paradigms increases. Hence, four hundred years of power consolidation by finance capital, usually by way of steady incrementalism, has been replaced by hastily wrought transformation, as demonstrated by the acceleration of nearly every program: gun confiscation, carbon tax, banking takeover, open borders, escalation of wars, escalation of the police military (of course, in a time when domestic police forces have come to resemble the military, as they do today, we are speaking of the military state), and so on. With such a maelstrom of regressive legislation—effectively yanking us back to pre-Magna Carta—I would argue that elites and policy makers appear weak, in a panic.

    There are, of course, many histories and nows, sordid tales of suffering juxtaposed with the most redeeming of success stories, and so therefore history and the present graph an ambipendent—relationship between pre-institutionalized mechanisms and sentient agents drifting between historically given parameters of change over time; culture drifts like kelp upon a holdfast, a prisoner of its own beginning. These preset mechanisms, worked in throughout the centuries like neurons conditioned to a well-known song, predispose the agents, who are ourselves, towards accumulation by dispossession (of others); in other words, conquest and larceny. An ambitendency—a tendency to contradictory behavior arising from conflicting impulses—still leads the majority of us, especially those outside the universes of war and austerity, to refrain from, and even despise, utter carnage. Unfortunately, we the sentient drown in an onslaught of psychological terror, false common sense, obsolete premises and of course the good, reliable information, collectively bringing it forward. Within this state it becomes easy to be determined by civilization and difficult to determine it.

    The past, the present and the future continually liberate a fuzzy markov process, a mathematical model for the evolution of a memoryless system. The catch? That this memoryless system indeed has engineers: CEO’s, managers, politicians and associates who have set as their agenda the abuse of a system already in their favor. This memoryless system is given memory by human ideas. Each of us can intimately get to know Aristotle, for example, by reading his works and familiarizing ourselves with his ideas. In large part, we understand him because we exist in the same state of civilization as he once did.

  4. The past, the present and the future continually liberate a fuzzy markov process, a mathematical model for the evolution of a memoryless system. The catch? That this memoryless system indeed has engineers: CEO’s, managers, politicians and associates who have set as their agenda the abuse of a system already in their favor. This memoryless system is given memory by human ideas. Each of us can intimately get to know Aristotle, for example, by reading his works and familiarizing ourselves with his ideas. In large part, we understand him because we exist in the same state of civilization as he once did.
    The digital nature of ideas—expressly, their being available to cloning, sharing and reconfiguring—exemplifies cognitive entanglement. According to quantum entanglement, objects are linked together in such a way, that no one object can be wholly described without full mention of its counterparts—even when spatial separation is factored in. The non-local connection of consciousness, and its subsidiary of ideas, implies that, while we are all unique individuals, we would never be ourselves were it not for our forbearers and each contemporary sentient creature with whom we came into contact. Just as Aristotle and Democrates affected thousands of years of history, we too—especially in the age of the internet, whereby the collective network takes precedent over the lineament of esoteric corporate cabals—have the opportunity to directly affect the future. By amassing knowledge not only do we compromise the further “lobotomization”* of culture by intellectual property laws, but we also help prove to our descendents what their ancestors did to them, so they can help make us go away.

    Our collective problems, even though it may seem so in the immediate, do not stem directly from the detritic nation-states, mankind, etc., but, more accurately, civilization; more specifically, the empire’s need to extract from the other and, ultimately, itself. The crafting of the political, legal and psychological realms by elites is a practice dating back thousands of years, enabling the upper echelons to steal and undervalue the labor of many. But, although the atavistic institutions by which they obtain the power to do so—stooped in a violent motion of explainable coincidences as they are—lead us in vain, they have no inherent power outside of their having had a beginning. They do, nevertheless, contextualize a conspiracy of one: those on the breadline, the demonic, the uberclass and the castaways, the miserable and the shunned, the brainwashed and the paralyzed, the conquered and the objectified and those who know there is a better way.

    There will be a better way.

  5. 1.Derrick Jensen, Endgame: The Problem of Civilization, vol. 1. Seven Stories Press: 2003.
    2.Ellen Hodgson Brown, Web of Debt. Third Millennium Press: 2007: Page 2
    3.Marshall Gavin Andrew, Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order, 28 July 2009
    Available at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14552
    4.Jim Marrs. The Rise of the Fourth Reich. Harper Collins: 2007
    5.Joint Vision 2020, U.S. Department of Defense.
    6.Government Executive Magazine:
    Available at: http://www.govexec.com/features/1205-01/1205-01s5.htm

    7.Yurchak, Alexei, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More. Princeton University Press : 2006
    8.Mexico’s president given George Orwell’s 1984 by the Queen. The telegraph, 30 March 2009.

    Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5077917/Mexicos-president-given-George-Orwells-1984-by-the-Queen.html

    *a term oft used by independent financial analyst Max Keiser, host for the show On the Edge, on Press TV, and available at this website www.maxkeiser.com, and refers to the decay of culture under modern copyright law.