Civilised Man?

What effect has modern civilisation made on its denizens (that’s us) for good or ill?  There must have been some progress, some shifting from barbarism and bestiality to more ‘humane’ behaviour, surely?  Some softening from the necessarily ‘hard’ shell honed for survival in a hostile world?  Some growth and maturation of culture, appetites and outlooks in the herd as in the individual?  In the “…man affected by progress and European civilisation, a man who is “divorced from the soil and the national elements,” as they express it now-a-days.” – as described by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his ‘Notes From The Underground’ novella from 1864.

Dostoyevsky was a man who thought long and hard about the human condition.  It was he who said, in private correspondence –

Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time.  I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.

So, what does Dostoyevsky have to say about the impact of civilisation on mankind?  Here are some of his thoughts, again from ‘Notes From The Underground’.

I want to compromise myself personally, and therefore I boldly declare that all these fine systems, all these theories for explaining to mankind their real normal interests, in order that inevitably striving to pursue these interests they may at once become good and noble — are, in my opinion, so far, mere logical exercises!  Yes, logical exercises. Why, to maintain this theory of the regeneration of mankind by means of the pursuit of his own advantage is to my mind almost the same thing … as to affirm, for instance, … that through civilisation mankind becomes softer, and consequently less bloodthirsty and less fitted for warfare. … But man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.  Only look about you: blood is being spilt in streams, and in the merriest way, as though it were champagne.  Take the whole of the nineteenth century … Take Napoleon — the Great and also the present one.  Take North America — the eternal union.  Take the farce of Schleswig-Holstein…. And what is it that civilisation softens in us?  The only gain of civilisation for mankind is the greater capacity for variety of sensations — and absolutely nothing more.  And through the development of this many-sidedness man may come to finding enjoyment in bloodshed.  In fact, this has already happened to him.  Have you noticed that it is the most civilised gentlemen who have been the subtlest slaughterers, … it is simply because they are so often met with, are so ordinary and have become so familiar to us. In any case civilisation has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty.  In old days he saw justice in bloodshed and with his conscience at peace exterminated those he thought proper.  Now we do think bloodshed abominable and yet we engage in this abomination, and with more energy than ever.  Which is worse?  Decide that for yourselves.

You will say that that was in the comparatively barbarous times; … that though man has now learned to see more clearly than in barbarous ages, he is still far from having learnt to act as reason and science would dictate.  But yet you are fully convinced that he will be sure to learn when he gets rid of certain old bad habits, and when common sense and science have completely re-educated human nature and turned it in a normal direction.  You are confident that then man will cease from INTENTIONAL error and will, so to say, be compelled not to want to set his will against his normal interests.  That is not all; then, you say, science itself will teach man (though to my mind it’s a superfluous luxury) that he never has really had any caprice or will of his own, … so that everything he does is not done by his willing it, but is done of itself, by the laws of nature.  Consequently we have only to discover these laws of nature, and man will no longer have to answer for his actions and life will become exceedingly easy for him.

And then, rather presciently looking forward to our times, controlled by computers and gadgets, he says:

Then — this is all what you say — new economic relations will be established, all ready-made and worked out with mathematical exactitude, so that every possible question will vanish in the twinkling of an eye, simply because every possible answer to it will be provided.  Then the “Palace of Crystal” will be built.  Then … In fact, those will be halcyon days. Of course there is no guaranteeing (this is my comment) that it will not be, for instance, frightfully dull then (for what will one have to do when everything will be calculated and tabulated), but on the other hand everything will be extraordinarily rational. Of course boredom may lead you to anything.

Man is stupid, you know, phenomenally stupid; or rather he is not at all stupid, but he is so ungrateful that you could not find another like him in all creation.  I, for instance, would not be in the least surprised if all of a sudden, APROPOS of nothing, in the midst of general prosperity a gentleman with an ignoble, or rather with a reactionary and ironical, countenance were to arise and, putting his arms akimbo, say to us all: “I say, gentleman, hadn’t we better kick over the whole show and scatter rationalism to the winds, simply to send these logarithms to the devil, and to enable us to live once more at our own sweet foolish will!”  That again would not matter, but what is annoying is that he would be sure to find followers — such is the nature of man.  And all that for the most foolish reason, which, one would think, was hardly worth mentioning: that is, that man everywhere and at all times, whoever he may be, has preferred to act as he chose and not in the least as his reason and advantage dictated.

Finally, in conversation with a German General, and I think this is absolutely brilliant and so apt for today.  By the way, in case you don’t see it, ‘Fater’ is the German ‘Vater’ – Father, head of house.

I can tell you that what I have seen and verified makes my Tartar blood boil. Good Lord! I wish for no virtues of that kind.  Yesterday I went for a walk of about ten versts; and, everywhere I found that things were even as we read of them in good German picture-books — that every house has its ‘Fater,’ who is horribly beneficent and extraordinarily honourable.  So honourable is he that it is dreadful to have anything to do with him; and I cannot bear people of that sort.  Each such ‘Fater’ has his family, and in the evenings they read improving books aloud.  Over their roof-trees there murmur elms and chestnuts; the sun has sunk to his rest; a stork is roosting on the gable; and all is beautifully poetic and touching.  Do not be angry, General. Let me tell you something that is even more touching than that.  I can remember how, of an evening, my own father, now dead, used to sit under the lime trees in his little garden, and to read books aloud to myself and my mother.  Yes, I know how things ought to be done.  Yet every German family is bound to slavery and to submission to its ‘Fater.’ They work like oxen, and amass wealth like Jews.  Suppose the ‘Fater’ has put by a certain number of gulden which he hands over to his eldest son, in order that the said son may acquire a trade or a small plot of land.  Well, one result is to deprive the daughter of a dowry, and so leave her among the unwedded.  For the same reason, the parents will have to sell the younger son into bondage or the ranks of the army, in order that he may earn more towards the family capital.  Yes, such things ARE done, for I have been making inquiries on the subject.  It is all done out of sheer rectitude — out of a rectitude which is magnified to the point of the younger son believing that he has been RIGHTLY sold, and that it is simply idyllic for the victim to rejoice when he is made over into pledge.  What more have I to tell?  Well, this — that matters bear just as hardly upon the eldest son.  Perhaps he has his Gretchen to whom his heart is bound; but he cannot marry her, for the reason that he has not yet amassed sufficient gulden.  So, the pair wait on in a mood of sincere and virtuous expectation, and smilingly deposit themselves in pawn the while.  Gretchen’s cheeks grow sunken, and she begins to wither; until at last, after some twenty years, their substance has multiplied, and sufficient gulden have been honourably and virtuously accumulated. Then the ‘Fater’ blesses his forty-year-old heir and the thirty-five-year-old Gretchen with the sunken bosom and the scarlet nose; after which he bursts, into tears, reads the pair a lesson on morality, and dies. In turn the eldest son becomes a virtuous ‘Fater,’ and the old story begins again.  In fifty or sixty years’ time the grandson of the original ‘Fater’ will have amassed a considerable sum; and that sum he will hand over to, his son, and the latter to HIS son, and so on for several generations; until at length there will issue a Baron Rothschild, or a ‘Hoppe and Company,’ or the devil knows what!  Is it not a beautiful spectacle — the spectacle of a century or two of inherited labour, patience, intellect, rectitude, character, perseverance, and calculation, with a stork sitting on the roof above it all?  What is more; they think there can never be anything better than this; wherefore, from their point of view they begin to judge the rest of the world, and to censure all who are at fault — that is to say, who are not exactly like themselves.  Yes, there you have it in a nutshell. For my own part, I would rather grow fat after the Russian manner, or squander my whole substance at roulette. I have no wish to be ‘Hoppe and Company’ at the end of five generations.  I want the money for MYSELF, for in no way do I look upon my personality as necessary to, or meet to be given over to, capital. I may be wrong, but there you have it.  Those are MY views.”“

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

I’m reblogging this as a rather cleverly constructed exposé of the true Kurdish situation. A quite larger dilemma than what the current focus on its intrusion into the war in Syria might suggest.

Not that I wish to belittle or deflate the significance of that intrusion, since it carries a much greater impact in that nation’s struggles against terrorism than might be imagined. Not least due to media overplaying and American backing of the Kurdish forces operating there, in what must be the last and least hopeful phase of US regime change policy.

A good read, to be sure.

what's left

July 11, 2017

By Stephen Gowans

A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown nearby, under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus. The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified.

If the ISO existed in 1865. Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms. Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as…

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“Bye Bye America” – Part 2

You can’t, with any hope of retaining much in the way of credibility, say on one day “Bye Bye America” – a story of societal collapse – and on the very next day say “Is America Really Collapsing?” – another story of societal collapse with a note of hope at the end.  Yet this is exactly what Umair Hague has done in his follow-up piece on Medium.

He outlines in some detail just what, or some of what, societal collapse means, defining it as “a process of going from function through dysfunction to malfunction, a journey, in other words from one system state to a higher entropic state. An intrinsically one-way process – you can’t unscramble an egg.

Having then outlined four ways that America is in collapse, namely: Political Collapse, Social Collapse, Economic Collapse and Eudaimonic Collapse (you’ll need to read the article) – and this is not by any means an exhaustive list of the possible ways in which a society can fall apart – Hague then goes on to talk about the generally accepted view that a collapse is in essence ‘unstoppable’ as not applying, or – “is not the case with societies”.

What is it with doom-writers not being able to face up to the inevitability of what they clearly see coming up for sections of humanity?  They never seem to be able to abandon hope and think clearly on what to actually do in the aftermath of the events of which they tell.  Always looking around for any tiny speck of hope.  It’s nuts …and facing reality takes courage, not to mention – some sort of plan.  But not a plan which merely hopes to stop the unstoppable in its tracks and back it up to some earlier point in its prior path, based entirely on the good will and enthusiasm of the very people who set the unstoppable train of events in motion in the first place.   Such a plan could aptly be described as ‘pure folly’, whether applied at the purely personal or at a local, national or truly global level.

Now, just a final point.  I was thinking of, or trying to come up with a precedent for the type of social recovery (the ‘minor miracles’ he spoke of previously) of which Hague and other writers are so keen to have us believe.  One might think of post-war Germany or Japan as examples of such, arising from the utter destruction of that time to become major societal economies in the modern world.  However, the ruination of those particular nations in the middle of last century was not specifically or directly a result of societal collapse, moral, social, political or any other -wise.  The destruction of those nations was in each case not as a result of a decay of the central core of the nation, its peoples – those remained essentially, morally, spiritually, etc., intact throughout the ordeal of the forced collapse of their material and economic national structures through acts of war.  Two things then were central to their phoenix-like rise from the ashes.  Firstly the central core of national pride, the people themselves, and secondly they could call on the developing availability of world resources which came fully into prominence, profligate prominence from that time until today.  It was entirely a point-in-time thing, employed alike by many nations around the world to rebuild themselves at the same time.  The likes of which had never been seen before and sadly, after less than a century of complete and obscene global madness during which the world ‘partied’ in a once only orgy of digging things up and using them, it will never serve as an option for humanity to enjoy again.  At least on the same scale – the scale of rebuilding nations into any form of structure we would today recognise as being the equivalent of modern society.

So, there we have it, believe it or not, won’t make any difference.  Undoing collapse today can never return us to any resemblance of yesterday. There is no point starting something you can’t finish.

Someone should tell that to Donald Trump …and all other national leaders who continue to seek the elusive ephemera of ‘economic growth’ or ‘growth and jobs’ or simply ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’.

America is on the way down.  Basically, we are all on the way down.  The West, being for so long standing on the upper rungs of the ladder, will feel it the hardest when there are no more ladders to climb over the shoulders of other people.  A level playing field should look the same to everybody.

 

 

“Bye Bye America”

America, as I have long and often suggested, is in a state of social collapse. Is that down to Donald Trump? No. The process has been going on for decades, as Umair Hague maintains in his latest piece ‘Bye Bye America’ on Medium’s ‘Bad Words’.
 
“One bad leader didn’t make all of this true — decades of neglect did. Thus, the challenge is undoing those decades of neglect.”
 
It has a lot to do with the fact that America is basically a society based on hate, an unhealthy foundation for building anything.
 
“The deep antipathy to public goods, healthcare, education, and so on, in America is the result of a legacy of hate.”
 
Hague suggests that only a series of minor miracles can turn things around, and this is where I tend to disagree with him. Miracles are in short supply these days, even minor ones, and even Hague’s final points seem to negate that possibility. I agree. There is now no stopping the collapse. It’s completely natural. It’s what societies do.
 
“Life will go on. Just not very nicely. Life doesn’t stop because societies collapse. Life just keep going. What collapse really means is that life gets worse and worse. Inexorably, like the frog in the pot. Take the example of life expectancy. It’s already falling. As millions of Americans lose healthcare, what’s going to happen? It’s going to fall further, faster, obviously. That’s what collapse means at a personal level. Life itself dwindles day by day. People live shorter, meaner, dumber, nastier lives.
 
And, as ever, dumber, meaner, nastier people don’t undo the mechanisms of their collapse. They only ever tug the strings faster and harder.”
 
Just you watch and see.

American Exploits

The American dream was always an unreachable and unworkable myth. Yet some Americans still cling to the idea and other Western nations still attempt to emulate that mythos.

For fuck’s sake, why?

The dream could never become reality without exploitation. It needs an underdog to be trampled on, robbed and taken out of the picture. From the overt exploitation of slavery, through the continued exploitation of segregation, on to the current period of stagnation where desperation has reached the point that, even by exploiting (stealing) the wealth of other nations over recent decades and making deals with evil forces, the dream has already faded. As Umair Haigue explains: back in 1971 – “…without a group of people to exploit, the American economy simply began to fail, because it was predicated still on that exploitation to begin with.”

Read the full article here: Did America Ever Really Work?

When is the world going to wake up?  Ever?  I personally fail to see the ‘hope’ for better things that Umair always seems to need to add to the end of his fine writings.  There is no ‘hope’.  So, on to eventual ‘collapse’.  Now that’s something you can really believe in.  It happens every time a society reaches the stage modern society is already experiencing.  I can smell it in the air.  A ‘reboot’ is in order  …and it will have to be achieved without the fillip of the considerable ‘one shot only’, irreplaceable earth resources that we have so assiduously and profligately consumed over the past century or more to get to where we are today.

‘The State Cannot Convict Itself’: Operation ‘Gladio’ & the Crimes of U.S. Empire

I have long held the view presented in this excellent, re-blogged article and encapsulated in this quote from it:
“Given post-WWII history and our current state of affairs Western governments and institutions clearly exist as criminal entities which function outside the rule of all recognized morality and law, domestic and international.”
…and so I am both gratified to the author, Gary Weglarz, for putting together such a fine piece, to Sarah Abed for sharing it, and also pleased to have the opportunity to share it further myself.

This is information that all Westerners should be aware of, if they want to own their own lives and to live consciously, enjoying the freedom to live and act as moral, caring, self-respecting beings. I don’t for a moment expect that everyone would choose to take that course, preferring to remain ignorant and controlled, living under the “full spectrum domination” that is the global objective of the US elites.

Me? I’d rather die fighting for the liberty that is every human’s right to enjoy.

The Rabbit Hole

Written By: Gary Weglarz

Global Research

Also posted on: The Ugly Truth

The key institutions of Western societies have lost their credibility. They fail to merit either the respect or loyalty of the domestic populations they purport to serve.

Testing the validity of this assertion requires examination of Western institutions from a holistic rather than fragmentary perspective. This is easier said than done.

There exists a massive amount of near real-time web based information available for us to process daily if we are attempting to keep abreast of world events. This often leaves us diligently evaluating recent events, while lacking the opportunity to step back and assemble these discrete events into a more comprehensible whole.

The assassinations of the entire elite level of progressive leadership in the United States during the 1960s (JFK, Malcolm X (image left), MLK & RFK within a 5 year…

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Syria: NOT A Revolution! [Video analysis]

Syrian revolution and civil war? What revolution? What civil war? There is no Syrian revolution. No Syrian civil war.

What conflict there is, and there is no doubt that Syria has been suffering constant and terrible conflict for the past six years, was ideated, spread, fostered, promoted, goaded, paid for, supplied, armed, led (from behind, or even alongside), by elements of the West (US, NATO, EU) and their rich and powerful regional allies, and propagandised through their fawning and complicit media.

None of that is in any way to be doubted, since there is ample and sufficient evidence, both internal and external to those entities, to render that position as truth. Indisputably so.

If any more evidence were necessary, and it seems that the truth has not yet been universally accepted or even heard in many quarters, then such is presented here in this reblogged article. I urge any doubters to consider this information carefully.

In Gaza

Mar 18, 2017, Syriana Analysis:

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“The narrative of the corporate mainstream media is that the vast majority of Syrians resorted to peaceful protests against the “dictator Assad regime”.
In this video, I will prove with evidences that, what you were being told is a lie.”–Syriana Analysis

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Related:

My October 2015 article, “Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on SyriaDeconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria“. Excerpts:

“…it is known that from the beginning, in Dara’a  and throughout Syria, armed protesters were firing upon, and butchering, security forces and civilians. Tim Anderson’s “Syria: how the violence began, in Daraa” pointed out that police were killed by snipers in the March 17/18 protests; the Syrian army was only brought to Dara’a following the murder of the policemen. Additionally, a storage of protesters’ weapons was found in Dara’a’s al-Omari mosque.

Prem Shankar Jha’s, “Who Fired The…

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Three Years – Back In The Family

Welcome home, people of Crimea, just three years ago today. Once again part of one of the great and historic and peaceful nations of Earth.

I salute you …and secretly wish that I could be as proud of my own nation as you have the justifiable right to be of yours.

Oh, and a happy birthday to me.  Can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

Video: War on Syria: Manufactured Revolution and Fake Media Narrative

It’s really a moot point now, because while the battles for Syria to retake the areas of their country that were stolen from them over the past six years still roll on, the 24 hour media cycle has long since also moved along and nobody, at least in the West, is still thinking about what occurred in Aleppo (if they ever did think about it) during the past years and earlier this year. But I want to do my part in ensuring that the truth of the matter is historically recorded, not lost behind the false image that has been predominantly foisted on a public more concerned about ‘celebrity’ antics than what is going on that actually matters or should be held to be important, in the world around them …and so I am reblogging, for the record, this fine piece of documentation on those events in Syria by independent journalist Eva Bartlett.

It is kind of heart-breaking that such action should be necessary but in a world where deception and obfuscation of the truth seems to be acceptable and even ‘normal’, even at official national levels, what else can we do to combat the laying down of false claims of historic events?

I congratulate and offer gratitude to brave people like Eva Bartlett and others (Vanessa Beeley https://thewallwillfall.org, Sarah Abed https://sarahabed.com/) for the great work that they do as truth-tellers. Why is it that it is mostly brave women appear to take the front ranks to lead this ongoing battle for truth?

In Gaza

me-int
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By Global Research, February 28, 2017

Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett is the object of a smear campaign by Canada’s mainstream media. Listen to what she has to say and then decide who is telling the truth.

The mainstream media denies the existence of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda.

According to mainstream sources, there were no terrorists in Aleppo.

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are supported by US-NATO, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They are the state-sponsors of terrorism. We are dealing with a war of aggression. Eva Bartlett provides detailed evidence of  war crimes.

The following video interview by Global Research TV was conducted in Montreal in January in the context of Eva Bartlett’s Canada speaking tour.

It is followed by her presentation at the Montreal venue. (M.Ch, GR Editor)

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Eva Bartlett’s presentation in Montreal:

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Excerpts from Eva Bartlett’s Sott article entitled

Western corporate media ‘disappears’…

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Combating Cognitive Dissonance

Some wise words from The Rabbit Hole on cognitive dissonance – perhaps the major affliction ailing the western world in the modern age.

The Rabbit Hole

December 31st, 2016

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to accept what is true. Soren Kierkegaard

I realized tonight that it’s much more frustrating to argue politics with people in person than it is on social media. Especially with close friends who are only familiar with the NATO/US narrative, by choice. Knowing we have opposing views I didn’t initiate the politics talk.

I was told, “you’re intelligent, how could you support a dictator”? I said because I’m intelligent I don’t believe the lies and propaganda spewed on mainstream media, and dig beneath the surface. “But he’s killing his people, he’s using chemical weapons”.. So I proceeded to explain how that’s false and even shared a recent post of mine that said that the Syrian state provided evidence that the opposition were the ones who used mustard gas…

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