Escape From Evil

I read this essay British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read
by Britisher Nate White a few days ago and woke this morning thinking this is a good description of evil. This description springs to White’s mind: “Trump lacks certain qualities… For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief. …And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever… to lack humour is almost inhuman. Trump, doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty. …Trump is a troll and like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers. And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. …Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He’s more a fat white slug, A Jabba the Hutt of privilege. 

These are some very disturbing images for a Sunday morning, however, there are forces’ I am now ‘working’ to understand. I am reading Robert Moore’s book ‘Facing the Dragon: Confronting personal and spiritual grandiosity’ and this morning I read Moore describing that there is a “mighty struggle going on in your psyche between the shadow and your ego-personality, and how you must get them to stop warring and start communicating as partners and brothers. The struggle is like the twinship images of Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, which reflect the inner alienation and need for reconciliation” (35). I then decided to look at the references Moore was using and saw Ernest Backer’s book Escape from Evil 1985 listed. It is a sunny day and I need to tiptoe through some tulips growing in the back yard and then will listen to ‘escape from evil’. I’ll be back for dialogue.

Escape from Evil – Introduction – Ernest Becker

 Escape from Evil – Ritual as Practical Technics Chapter 1 – Ernest Becker

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High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos

I recently posted “An Answer Lies In Crisis – What Covid-19 Pandemic Is Telling Us”, and then sensed the Maslowian Self-Actualization Need to continue my anxiety attacks by re-watching the BBC documentary High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos, presented by David Malone. If Colin Wilson’s idea that ‘peak experiences’ are under the control of the person, can I test this by attempting to generate a peak experience by re-watching the mathematics of chaos. So, I re-watched it yet again and what I realized is this is a peak statement: “The problem with the mathematics of chaos is that it does not offer us a new plan to achieve what we want – prediction and control. It takes away what we want to believe, denies us the old icons of salvation and freedom through growth and gives us nothing comforting in return”. I then listened to Trump promise Americans the 4th Quarter will return to high growth and that 2021 will be a fantastic growth year. I then realized Trump is killing us, our families, and the World. Can we expect Trump will have a peak experience about this pandemic recovery, understanding what the mathematics of chaos is warning about? I am pessimistic.

This BBC Documentary “looks at how developments in mathematics over the past 40 years have completely changed our understanding of the fundamental nature of the world we live in. As we approach tipping points in both the economy and the climate, the film examines the mathematics we have been reluctant to face up to and asks if, even now, we would rather bury our heads in the sand rather than face harsh truths.”

Leading up to re-watching this documentary has been the synchronistic event of thinking about the classical economist Thomas Malthus’ 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population where he observedthat an increase in a nation’s food production improved the well-being of the populace, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level. In other words, humans had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known as the “Malthusian trap” or the “Malthusian spectre”.

Thomas Malthus and population growth Cosmology & Astronomy is an active animation explaining Malthus’s theory.

The ‘Malthusian catastrophe’ had been in part averted by the ‘agricultural green revolution’ setting aside some of the high anxieties in the mathematics of chaos that Malone addresses. However, wars, famine, and pandemics have been needed to check population growth and when our man-made ‘killing fields’ have not been sufficient to ‘balance’ the Malthusian equations, nature enters tipping the balance point. Malone states that economists still insist on ‘pushing through’ with economic developments, while environmentalists hold that “unwieldy economic growth will push the World’s natural systems (emphasis added) to their own chaos and collapse, from which there will be no coming back.”

I suggest that Corvid-19 is an aspect of the natural system now pushing back. The drop in World fertility rates and wars have not been killing enough humans to keep the World in balance and so, Covid-19 is taking-up the task of balancing the mathematical equations underpinning existence. However, as Dr. Meyers suggests in Does Science Point To God?, we are just now beginning to explore the idea of intelligent design”; and might we now have scientific support for an ‘intelligence‘ behind Covid-19 that we do not yet understand. If Man continues fouling his nest, nature will act, and here is Covid-19 knocking on our door, no IT is in our homes killing. How did this happen? Who is pushing for an economic response? No other than Trump, the most inept President the U.S. has ever had.

Stephen Meyer philosopher of science and intelligent design authored Darwin’s Doubt, which presents scientific evidence of the existence of God, based on his studies in physics, cosmology, and biology.

An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus 1798

 

 

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An Answer Lies In Crisis – What Covid-19 Pandemic Is Telling Us

Fannie and I arrived in Taiwan on January 15 returning to her home for the Chinese New Year Celebration. The airport was abuzz with people returning to their ancestral homes for this important holiday. We were met by my wife’s younger brother, who drove us from the airport to his Taipei home on a very busy freeway where we settled in for the start of our 3-week stay. We dinned out that first weekend in several fine restaurants not seeing any masks worn. Four days later we drove to Hsinchu 50  miles to the southwest to stay with Fannie’s older sister and family. We went to dinner in a new high-rise shopping center packed for the holiday, some were beginning to wear masks, as was our family.  When we returned for our departing dinner, the shopping center was full again but most now were wearing masks.

We were worried about our flight back to the U.S. Would we be allowed to fly to Tokyo? Would Los Angeles allow us to fly from Japan? If we got on the flight to LA and it took off, our worries of getting back home were for the most part over. Every passenger wore masks to Tokyo and to LA, maybe half to Dallas, and only us to Fargo. We brought home several boxes of masks as we watched the Covid-19 spread around the globe. The location and number of cases placed on a world map reminded us of a child with measles. This is a  ‘global pandemic’ and the World is now in survival mode. Taiwan was prepared, quickly responded, and avoided the big crisis now infecting the US and many other countries – our family is safe for now…

Colin Wilson suggests that we can remember everything that has ever happened to us. However, since our survival depends on focusing attention on the Bengal Tiger at the edge of the forest ready to pounce on us, our minds have had to specialize in order to avoid being eaten. However, today I am in our warm home, surrounded by a 6-foot wooden fence, with headphones on listening to Random Access Memories while making an effort to accessing my memories. I am mindful of the global crisis and the game-changing meaning Wilson attaches to this event. This is interesting: the World is in the midst of a ‘crisis’ which will allow a test of Wilson’s thesis that “crises drive expanding consciousness”. An issue for us, how to measure the increase in consciousness or what Maslow calls ‘peak-experience’ occurring in ‘self-actualization’ as a result of this pandemic crisis. Of course, the world and we need to survive to test this hypothesis. In these blog entries, an attempt to experience the Covid-19 crisis is presented, followed by several other videos presenting ideas addressing aspects of consciousness, which as we view them, we need to reflect on how the Corvid-19 crisis is increasing consciousness. We begin with Wilson’s proposal that an answer lies in crisis. Take notes in order to respond in the reply area at the end.

Colin Wilson on Freedom suggests that the answer lies in crisis

I was quite surprised when this Colin Wilson clip popped into view. Our Covid-19 crisis is the first really ‘global crisis’ allowing for this thesis to be tested. WWII was global but not global like Covid-19 is today – not threatening everyone, young-old, male-female, Chinese-American existence.

Coronavirus Pandemic | FRONTLINE Premiered Apr 21, 2020

Coronavirus: America’s Reckoning

How the coronavirus pandemic is changing the world | Fareed Zakaria Apr 13, 2020

The Green Man – Cheetham says we are unable to see Him

Tom Cheetham – Spiritual Imagination in the Work of Henry Corbin, CG Jung and James Hillman

Ibn’ Arabi – ‘Alone with the Alone’: Henry Corbin

One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Tehran. (Iran) Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His great work: “Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi “is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind.

Terence McKenna – The Third Eye Exists

Herbert Marcuse Interview about One Dimensional Man (1964) The last question that Marcuse is asked is, “What is the role of the academic scholar in addressing the one-dimensionality of man?” My ears perked up, as Herbert is talking to me – interesting, I have work to do!

Rick Roderick on Marcuse – One-Dimensional Man

Slavoj Žižek – What does it mean to be a revolutionary today? Marxism 2009

Zizek is at his best! At minute 23 he tells a joke about not just “dusting the balls” of capitalist like Trump but we should “cut their balls off” with this act’s only awareness being their voices rising an octave.

I have been watching these clips for some years now, letting them ‘seep’ into my unconscious. I have thought to pull from each performance an ‘essence’ but then that would be interfering with your experience in ‘sensing’ their importance to what is now unfolding in the World.  I sense The Philosophy of Sense8 suggests a way through our current crisis, however, understanding and implementing such a strategy is a challenge.

The mathematical challenges to Charles Darwin’s  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life are very thought-provoking. At the end of the ‘Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’ video below, the interviewer Peter Robinson asks his guests scientists David Berlinski, David Gelernter, and Stephen Meyer about the contributions of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin. The two Davids disparage Marx and applaud Freud – but Meyer nails the question by saying all three thinkers made important contributions to the issue of consciousness under discussion. He begins saying “It is good to group their ideas together. Darwinism has become the foundation of a ‘world view’ and we need to look at the questions these three addressed: Darwin tells us where we came from, Marx offers a utopian vision of the future, Freud tells us what to do about our guilt. Between the three of these great materialistic thinkers of the 19th – 20th Century they form the basis of a comprehensive world view. They answer all the questions that Judeo-Christian thought addresses.” What intrigued me is that “the complexity of the cell, the building block of life, is increasing as the Universe expands. Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Recorded on June 6, 2019 in Italy

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis presented here is speaking to us – leave a reply below as to what you are earing.  Then it is time for the movie, Contagion 2011 Pandemic Movie.

 

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Afghanistan’s Art of the Deal

Once a teacher always one, I sense is true. In wondering the other day how Mr. Barney my 1960 high school history teacher would be reaching us with today’s technology I came across a two-part YouTube special on ‘Afghanistan: The Great Game’. Then as the last week of February 2020 ended, President Trump announces he and the Taliban have made a ‘deal’. So, I imagined being back in Mr. Barney’s class being assigned to watch the ‘Afghanistan the Great Game’ documentary, follow current news about Trump’s Afghanistan Deal, and write an essay on what is happening. Every Friday we had a current events Weekly Reader, that I think Mr. Barney used to marry the past to the present. It is the way I teach my classes today – every week we read a chapter with videos and then by Saturday 6pm students submitted a 5-page paper, 1.5 spacing, using only that chapter, our discussion, and videos as references.  I read the papers Sunday/Monday and re-turned them heavily marked at Tuesday class as we started again with a new chapter. This is going to be an interesting week – online intime, it is called.

Afghanistan the Great Game (Part I)
In this episode, Stewart tells the story of Soviet and United States involvement in Afghanistan. From 1928 until 1978 there had been relative peace and in the 1960s and ’70s was on the hippie trail but the cold war was at its height with Afghanistan surrounded by American allies Iran and Pakistan. In northern Afghanistan soviet aid was provided and in southern Afghanistan American aid. In Kabul Islamists and communists vied for supremacy and when the communists took control in 1978 they asked the SovietUnion for military assistance. Reluctantly they agreed after the Afghan president went to Moscow in 1979. 80,000 troops entered Afghanistan and the United States saw a chance for revenge against the Soviets who aided the communists in Vietnam. The CIA covertly through GeneralZia, President of Pakistan, provided modern weaponry. CharlieWilson and socialite JoanneHerring were prominent in the raising of 9 billion dollars covertly passed to Afghanistan. In 1988 the Soviets pulled out and the country descended into a vicious five-year civil war that the Taliban emerged victorious imposing strict Islamic law. Afghanistan became a safe haven for many terrorist groups after the Twin Towers were attacked in New York.

Afghanistan the Great Game (Part II) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6jItZF5ZeU
In this episode, Rory Stewart tells the story of British interventions in Afghanistan in the 19th century, when the British Empire became obsessed with the idea that their rival, Russia, was considering the invasion of Afghanistan as a staging post for an attack on British India. It was a period of mutual suspicion and paranoia that later became known as “The Great Game”. Afghanistan was perceived by Victorian Britain, as it’s believed to be today, to be an immediate threat to British national security. In this first film, Rory Stewart tells the story of the decision-making that led to the first British invasion of Afghanistan, and the three Anglo-Afghan wars fought in this era. And he tells the story of Afghanistan’s unlikely reaction to this period. When an Afghan-elite made a futile attempt to impose western-inspired ideas and modernity on the country.

Trump says Taliban wants deal in Afghanistan visit
President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, where he announced the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in ongoing peace talks and said he believes the Taliban want a cease-fire. (Nov. 28)

Afghanistan: Fears political divide may thwart peace deal
A week-long “reduction in violence” between the Taliban, US and Afghan forces has brought hope of a lasting peace deal. But there is concern it could be delayed by political division following a controversial election. Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel Hamid reports.

Taliban Country
Nearly 20 years after the U.S. drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, the group claims it holds more territory than any time since the war began in 2001. As President Trump says he wants to end the war, FRONTLINE reporter Najibullah Quraishi goes on a dangerous journey inside both Taliban- and ISIS-held territory and exposes the harsh reality that not only is the Taliban once again wielding power, but the threat from ISIS looms large.

Bitter Lake
Bitter Lake explores how the realpolitik of the West has converged on a mirror image of itself throughout the Middle-East over the past decades, and how the story of this has become so obfuscating and simplified that we, the public, have been left in a bewildered and confused state. The narrative traverses the United States, Britain, Russia and Saudi Arabia—but the country at the center of reflection is Afghanistan. Because Afghanistan is the place that has confronted political figureheads across the West with the truth of their delusions—that they cannot understand what is going on any longer inside the systems they have built which do not account for the real world. Bitter Lake sets out to reveal the forces that over the past thirty years, rose up and commandeered those political systems into subservience, to which, as we see now, the highly destructive stories told by those in power, are inexorably bound to. The stories are not only half-truths, but they have monumental consequences in the real world. https://thoughtmaybe.com/bitter-lake/

US signs historic deal with Taliban • Feb 29, 2020
The US and the Taliban signed an agreement that begins the potential full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and could pave the way to ending America’s longest war.

US signing a historic deal with the Taliban | ABC News • Feb 29, 2020
America’s longest war may finally be nearing an end and could allow for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Taliban, US sign peace deal • Feb 29, 2020
The US and the Taliban have signed a historic deal, aimed at paving the way for peace and the exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan. The ceremony in Doha was attended by dignitaries including the US secretary of state and foreign ministers from Qatar and Pakistan.

Now the task is to complete Mr. Barney’s written assignment. I’ll be back!

 

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The re-valuing of everything

I recently discovered David Harvey’s podcasts. In this one David Harvey’s Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: The Value of Everything (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32m7kcv08q8) he uses Mariana Mazzucato’s newest book The value of everything: Making and taking in the global economy as a backdrop.

Professor Mazzucato Youtube presentations are many and I picked this one The Value of Everything | Mariana Mazzucato Aug 22, 2018 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmRqT0-jB14) to watch. Mariana is an engaging speaker, presenting her argument forcefully and thoroughly. She is addressing “who are the makers and takers in our economy? If we want sustainable and fair economic growth, she argues, we need to question the stories we’ve been told about value creation. Mariana takes us on a tour of economic thinking on value, highlighting how it has changed fundamentally throughout history.

While the question of which activities create value – as opposed to moving, extracting, or even destroying it – used to be debated and contested, current thinking often states that ‘value is in the eye of the beholder.’ Mariana showcases some of the serious implications this thinking has for innovation, equality, and productivity. She argues that in order to steer our economy in the right direction, we need to re-open the debate around value creation, and start to see the public sector as an active player in shaping markets.” She wrote ‘The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths’ (Anthem 2013; Public Affairs, 2015) Times and is co-editor of Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (Wiley Blackwell, July 2016). Her new book ‘The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy’ is published by Penguin (Allen Lane, 2018).

Here is Mariana’s written contribution in Rethinking Capitalism – Chapter 1 Introduction pdf (https://www.books-express.ro/uploads/2016/07/rethinking-capitalism.pdf), which is a written essay which supports her audio presentation. In the presentation, she only mentions Karl Polanyi’s name in passing but his The Great Transformation (book) | Wikipedia audio article https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl5BDWITAo8 is at the center of her ideas.

If I were advising any of the Democratic candidates for President, I would suggest Mariana be on their team. Wow! However, the depth of thinking required would be daunting – indeed! It would be interesting to hear Republicans (Trump’s) proposal for ‘rethinking capitalism’ – can they even think this way? I talked to someone yesterday saying that he was interested in Bloomberg’s entry into the race and it was the same sentiment I also just had. Tonight is the first debate I will watch, have to see how they all perform.

Martin Wolf – The Great Transformation  Nov 11, 2019

Finally, Wolf suggests that the world is undergoing five fundamental transformations: “a changing global balance of power; a backlash against globalization; the rise of populism and authoritarianism; a technological transformation; and rising awareness of environmental limits. In his address, Wolf argues that these forces have created a series of interlinked economic and political crises, as shown in the election of Donald Trump, the China-US trade war, Brexit, the backlash against immigration and the weakening of global co-operation. Wolf discusses what role the EU can play in tackling these challenges, and how this transformation might end and predicts the EU will militarily rearm itself. He sees the conditions facing the World in 1935, with the US not willing to intervene in Europe, to be the same as today in Trump’s movement backward to ‘nationalization’, which is isolation.

 

 

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The Art of Living Is Loving

Artificial intelligence a game-changer was aired on 60 Minutes June 25, 2017. A key concern, if we reach ‘artificially intelligent life’ is, will it be benevolent? How to program benevolence into bicentennial man’s ‘positronic brain’ is a final frontier. How to first understand ‘life, love, war, and death’, and then write the program so as to “turn-on one’s personality”. This might be worth exploring, we have to first be able to “turn-on our own human personalities” before we can learn how to program Andrew’s personality. Okay, let’s see what comes first? Might it be Fromm’s The art of loving? What Andrew wants is to be considered ‘human’. The High Council would not grant this because he was immortal. So, Andrew programed himself for mortality, death, and then died before learning the Council had granted him ‘human’ status. Interesting that the Council Chairperson is a woman when Andrew was granted humanness. So, to understand the art of dying we need to understand the art of living. Let’s look into this.

Erich Fromm – The Art of Loving (1989)

I am again re-reading  Aziz’s book The Syndetic Paradigm also about what I had been discussing with a friend and my left eye began to have a sharp-needle-like pain. I had to stop reading, touched my eye, waited for the pain to subside some, stated reading and the pain came back and then I decided to sleep. I was reading about  Aziz’s last chapter “The Empty Mandela”, on ego control vs ego strength dimensions, which I had discussed with a colleague at the time he was having left eye pain. He had visited a slew of western medical doctors trying to diagnose the pain. I mentioned ‘alternative-medicine’, mediation and yoga, and suggested he try doing these. I know, I have to be better at them.

I have had a fascination with Bicentennial Man (1999) – Personality and Bicentennial Man – Right to Humanity (Part 1 & 2) and here the clips that discussed the requirement for a robot to be considered human. To achieve this Andrew had to program himself to die. I suggested this to my programmer son, how to program personality uniqueness.

Bicentennial Man (1999) – Personality

Bicentennial Man – Right to Humanity (Part 1)

Bicentennial Man – Right to Humanity (Part 2)

The wink is a sign of trust. What does it mean to trust the Other?

I, Robot interrogation and anger

After watching these clips what do we understand?  I am writing this blog as it helps me to think and feel what is unfolding in my life – My Project.  My significant other wonders if I will be able to write such that it will provide a living. Let me pause, get a cup of coffee, and turn on my new mic, Blue, to get used to using Her. Blue is my new voice mic linked to my voice recognition software to record directly onto his page. Hi Blue, good to have you with me this morning. I now remember Her movie, planning to soon be with you on the Santa Monica beach.

Her – The beach scene

How do you share your life with somebody? Is the past just a story we tell ourselves? I like this song of a photograph and this movie clip of Her in the photographed scene of piano music as being a photograph. And this is followed by the clip “needs & wants” which looks into the depth psychology perspective. A few comments follow viewing these clips. Enjoy!

Movie Her our photograph scene “piano music”

I am just now looking at our World. Maybe Her song is a photograph and captures our needs and desires.

Her – Needs & Desires

We end with Ed Sheeran’s Photograph

HER

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Breaking Bad – Really Bad

The title of this blog entry is taken from the hit series Breaking Bad, which follows the life of Walter White ‘breaking bad’. Walter is struggling to support his family teaching high school chemistry, learns he is dying from cancer, leverages his chemistry knowledge, creating a meth lab, distributing the product, as he attempts to live a ‘normal’ suburban life. What is ‘bad’ here? What contributed to Walter ‘breaking bad’ and what would ‘breaking really bad’ be about?

So, how can breaking really bad add more ‘badness’ to Walter’s story? I suggest the only way to do this is to develop one’s ‘imagination’. If we are going to ‘liberate’ ourselves as Walter was trying to do, we will need to weaponize our imagination more efficiently and effectively, than Walter was able to do and not get caught. Once we have our 6-shooter loaded, with  Silver Bullets, we can carefully take aim and pull the trigger. Saddle-up, “Hi-ho Silver and away!” Who are these masked men? We meet five next, then two cats, and finally a Gadfly all loaded with Silver Bullets. 

I am re-watching the Netflix ‘Breaking Bad’ series and the following clips give us a view of what Walter is up against. Walter begins stating that teaching chemistry is about the study of change, then realizes that he is not making any choices for change in his life,  realizing he is just surviving life, marking time to one’s death is not what Walter imagines life to be about. We all come with a death sentence and he wants to be in charge of how his life is played out. Water is scared and lives in fear, which he sees as the real enemy, which he likes, he was good at it, it made him feel alive. He did it all for his family and realizes, in the end, he deserves this! Walter, I think, chose to try and commit class treason as “Pinky’s insomnia has recently been centered around questions of class treason: What happens when we do so many things in our lives ‘automatically’? What can we really do to make this world better? And what will we have to give up or risk in order to achieve it? Pinky’s class treason video is below but first, we consider the evolution of Walter – there but for ‘grace’ go I!

Breaking Bad – The Evolution of Walter White 

Zizek begins ‘What it means to be a revolutionary’ (linked below) with Adorno’s three studies on Hegel who reject the question of “what is still alive and what is dead in Hegel?” Such a question presupposes an arrogant question of a judge who can graciously concede what is ‘actual’ for us today. But Adorno points out when we are dealing with a truly great philosopher the question to be raised is not what this philosopher can tell us but the opposite one, what are we in our contemporary situation in his eyes, how would our era or time appear to his or her thought. The same should be done with communism. Instead of asking is the idea of communism still pertinent today, can it still be used as a tool for political analysis today, we should be asking “how does our predicament look from the perspective of the ‘communist idea’. This is the dialectic of the old and the new. Those using new terms to describe what is going on today, post-industrial, etc., are missing what is really new. The only way to grasp what is new-in-the-new, is to analyze what goes on today through the lens of what was eternal in the old. If communism is an eternal idea then it works as a Hegelian concrete universality. It is eternal not in the sense of a series of abstract features that can be applied to every situation but in the sense that it has the ability, the potential, to be re-invented in each new historical situation. So, my first conclusion is to be true to what is eternal in communism, that is to be true to this drive toward radical emancipation, which persists in the entire history of mankind, to keep this idea alive one had to reinvent and reinvent it again and this holds especially today. In 1989 State Communism came to an end. A new beginning is now called for and there is no other place where ‘things’ are really happening. If you are a liberal university professor, your gig is up, no longer can we claim the real action is in South America and then keep your posh job at the university driving your new Lexus to class to lecture on how others need to change.”

Slavoj Žižek – What does it mean to be a revolutionary today? Marxism 2009

Alex Callinicos – What does it mean to be a revolutionary today?

Chris Harman – The Crisis Now – Marxism 2009

Lukács on Lenin – John Rees – Marxism 2009

David Harvey’s talk, The Crisis Today: Marxism 2009,  was delivered in 2009 as the 2008 World economic crisis was taking hold. Ten years on and the World is still in crisis. Harvey proposes a revolutionary movement to address this crisis and suggests what it should look like. He suggests we need a ‘theory of social change’ that would talk about the ways we can move toward something that is a radically different kind of society. This theory of social change is embedded in Marx’s Theory of Capital and has seven variables that we need to understand this evolutionary theory of change. There are seven moments:

  1. Nature Moment: What is our relation to nature and in what ways do we think about modifying it? How do we think dialectically about our relation to nature? There is a co-evolution of man and nature, this dialectic is crucial and Marx writes about this in a very expansive way. This is one moment in historical transformations. What kind of relation to nature are we expecting in a socialist society and how can we move toward it? Marx was one of the first environmentalists.
  2. Technological Moment: What kind of technological mix are we looking for? We are interested not only in ‘hardware’ but the ‘software’ needed to operate the hardware. How does capitalism identify its own unique technology, suited to its system? We can examine this moment by examining the transition from feudal technology to capital technology. So, can we imagine what are the technologies needing to evolve out of capitalism to arrive at socialism? This moment co-varies dialectically with the nature moment, for example, ‘green technology’.
  3. Social Relations Moment: This moment also co-varies dialectically with the others. A very complex moment with internal conflicts in regards to what we are looking for i.e. how do we deal with class, gender, race as it relates, for example, to technology.
  4. Organization of Production Moment: There is a labor process that is not independent of the other moments.
  5. Mental Conception Moment: Our mental conceptions of the world are always changing.
  6. Daily life Moment: How do we go about our daily life, feeding, clothing, and sheltering our family?
  7. Intuitional Administrative Moment: How does the State operate?

These Seven Moments are dynamically co-evolving. Capitalism is perpetually evolving within these seven moments. Think about what these Seven Moments were like in 1970 and what they are like now in 2020. How are they changing? What is the process of social change now underway? A moment of crisis is a reconfiguration of these seven moments. What are we witnessing that reveals a re-configuration away from ‘profit-making’ to a configuration that ‘meets human needs’ in a very radically different way? The important issue is where can we start a social movement to impact our system of moments. Harvey suggests we can start at any one of these moments. We can start at any moment but we have to move to each one of the moments as the change process unfolds. Capitalism does not now know what is coming! Many of these moments are imprisoned inside their institutional chains, which have to be broken free. Harvey gives a personal example of working in a University and needing to break the chains tying Universities to Corporations. In order to mobilize a chain-breaking movement one has to have a vision.  This breaking movement is complex and very involved – the transition to socialism will take as much time as the transition from feudalism to capitalism. A problem on the left, Harvey suggests, is that it has not yet imagined what lies ahead. This imagination ought to now be birthing in the Democratic Party – this is what we can call ‘breading bad, really bad’.

Finally, Pinky and Bunny suggest the effort needed to tackle realigning our Structure, Power, and Agency – will require committing class treason.

“In the course of our ongoing notation and probing of The Eternal Good Machine, we have noticed that the logic and patterns embodied by its institutional components has produced disaster-level human stupidity, as well as a corresponding material crisis that all (remaining) living beings are now attempting to survive. What can be done?

Based on the simple observation that the dominant Euro-American industrial formations – the school, the degree, the law, the arts, the corporation, the product and so on – require all classes of people (be they direct beneficiaries of high society’s lustrous aura, the oppressed and marginalized, or anyone in-between) to accept their Natural superiority in order to maintain the current social/environmental history-vector, we have devised an easy-to-remember three-part directive that anyone can use to help us steer away from EPIC PLANETARY FAILURE:

1. Identify all structures and relationships that denigrate or disadvantage.
2. Figure out if you are somehow supporting or benefitting from any of the above.
3. If yes, stop.

A critical mass of people rejecting the logic and privileges of unethical and harmful regimes can only bring about their eventual collapse. And we are not positive but we think that this can be accomplished without nuclear weapons, war-jets, or machine guns.”

A Covey of Vultures by Ed Raymond HPR December 23rd, 2019, is Ed, breaking really bad. Ed, as Zizek instructs us, is doing more than dusting the ball of capitalists, he is trying to cut them off!

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