Friday, November 25, 2016
As an American citizen, I find that neither the Democratic or Republican parties say much of anything that resonates with me. Most of what they talk about are social issues they intend to do nothing about, as a means to divide us to more easily rule over us; otherwise most of what I hear is just Orwellian for whatever corporations, banks and big donors want, but don't want you to know or understand.
Politically, I'm an Anarchist. If you share the view of Anarchy of the Democratic and Republican parties, then you probably suppose I want chaos in the streets, mayhem, everyone against everyone else, death and destruction. But that is just projection, because that is what you are increasingly getting from the strict command and control leadership of Dems, Repubs, Corp, Bank and super rich people.
Anarchy is the Way of Nature. Anarchy is the way nature organizes, evolves effortlessly. Nature is resilient, irreducibly complex and sustainable. Humans at least are material, of nature, of the earth. It follows then there is the capacity within humanity for self-rule, spontaneous organization. I think you see that whenever there is a crisis, many people simply begin to organize a functioning society to meet simple necessities spontaneously.
Those who rule over us tend to believe however, either we are not of this earth (of God), so the rules of nature don't apply; or the opposite extreme, we are of nature and nothing else, it is all about competition, I can do pretty much whatever I want in the interest of my evolution (basest instincts). And so they feed us these ideologies that we might be separate from our true nature and each other.
If humanity were able to organize more as nature does, life would be more peaceful. An anarchic people would be self-organizing, core-strong, practicing self-rule. An anarchic people would value cooperation above competition. A truly anarchic people would take care of the earth and each other.
Organizing ourselves contrary to nature, we build immense, complex but inflexible societies one after another, every one of them collapsing under the weight of that complexity and inherent contradiction.
We now risk even human extinction, or worse, reducing the health of the biosphere such that we wipe out the majority of species and leave a severely degraded existence for a few wretched survivors.
Those who rule over us seek to divide us, by preying upon our prejudices, by exacerbating ancient hatreds, by encouraging us to percieve in absolute Good vs Evil, by highlighting petty grievances - while ignoring the overwhelming similarities between us, denying the systemic corruption that oppresses us all.
There are several tangible things we could do, that transcend race, ethnicity and political divisions, that would allow us to unlock the potential of individuals, strengthen communities, and make of America a true shining light and leader in the world.
1. Debt Relief
2. Redefine Currency
3. Land Policy
4. Rebuild Community
5. Shift in Consciousness
A simple list (the fifth one is a kind of summation of the four). Politically unimaginable in America, but the great thing about a Democratic party in a state of collapse, and a Republican party that doesn't know it is dead yet, it's a very creative time to imagine a different America.
1. Debt Relief
Don't you think that because money is so central to this society, that a study of economics would be central to a grade school education? Many American kids might be earning money by the time they are 15, yet the vast majority of American adults have no idea what the Dollar is, how it is created, or who owns it.
Why is that? Because an uninformed people are more easily made debt serfs.
Banks create money out of nothing, It is a slight of hand magic trick. They "loan" it into existence, as when they issue a mortgage, or they "buy" junk assets from distressed financial institutions and investors, usually for the full value, creating money and a corresponding and then-some amount of debt, or a claim on future production, ie interest. The money doesn't exist anywhere in reality: like some genie, say "poof", a cloud of smoke appears and suddenly it says right there on that piece of paper or computer, X amount of $'s exist - and everyone believes it.
Making money this way makes for a lot of debt. In fact, the debt can't do anything but increase exponentially over time. Thus, the Dollar is the greatest ponzi scheme ever created. Since 1980 debt has climbed relative to wages, and since 1970, considerably faster than GDP. Do you imagine these trends are sustainable indefinitely? Over time, more and more production, instead of re-invested into society, is consumed in the form of debt payments, until society breaks under the obligation.
There is a reckoning coming for the Dollar. Those who control the dollar imagine the whole world and all it's people indebted to it. But even total global domination doesn't prevent debt from growing out of control, eventually. Total global domination is not likely to happen, so the reckoning is likely coming sooner rather than later.
What would benefit regular people most, and the economy generally, would be debt relief. Growth in debt is inflation official bean counters ignore. Debt is eating away at purchasing power.
Debt Jubilee is a very old concept, mentioned in the Old Testament. A wiping away of debts, a kind of starting over, starting fresh. The ancients recognized runaway debt has a pernicious effect, causing great discord, and eventually, uprising against the creditors.
Those who own the majority of that debt are the richest among us. The most powerful among us. But it is also owned by pension accounts, IRA, 401K, retirement accounts of all kinds. There are a lot of people invested in that debt, maybe half the society, who are the "rentiers", people "letting their money work for them", which is also living off the production of the lesser half, or rather, most of the rest of the world.
The economy is swamped by debt, something has to be done or there will be ever greater discord.
2. Redefine Currency
The Dollar is the world's greatest ponzi scheme. It is an ever greater claim on future labor/production, which stagnates the economy, eventually collapsing the currency.
But it is not enough to wipe out the debt, if you just start over the same process of debt creation. The very nature of currency has to be judged. The dollar is like a mechanical hamster wheel that spins ever faster. Over time, regular people are expected to work more for less return. The product available to them becomes ever more shoddy, yet the price increases. The demands of the dollar and debt encourages wasteful, predatory and even parasistic and cannabalistic use of resources. Growth then amounts to more pollution, ever more garbage and a ruination of ecosystems. All talk about the sustainable is just that, as long as the core currency demands the unsustainable.
Imagine, instead of a debt- and waste-based currency, what about a regenerative one? Instead of propping up a leisure class, a currency that is generated by the very act of production, and ecological healing, empowering all?
For instance, I have been hiking around the Twin Cities this fall, marvelling at the abundance of Eurasian buckthorn. A non-native, berry producing shrub that grows to about 20 ft, it is a diuretic to mammals so deer and rabbit won't browse the saplings (while they do eat native berry producers.) Birds particularly robins, scatter the seed across the landscape, the seeds are efficient germinators, it grows in dense patches crowding and shading everything else out. It is most noticable in the late fall because the leaves remain green after most of the forest is barren because of the cold.
Now imagine Joe Schmo spends his day ripping out buckthorn saplings, and by the very act of that labor, he generates currency? Money appears in his account relative to his labor. No one pays him, the money is simply generated.
Joe and Jill Smith start an organic farm on former GMO industrial corn mining land. Simiarly, they generate money simply by the act of growing vegetables, by producing food. They can also sell product for cash to people like Joe Schmo, but otherwise their labor literally creates money.
Tyrese Jackson generates money by picking up and delivering produce from local organic farms to urban areas. Maria Gonzalez generates currency by feeding and taking care of those who can't take care of themselves.
Thereon, throughout all the menial, "chop wood, carry water" tasks of developed, civil society. Taking money creation away from centralized powers, and from those ambitious, ruthless types who strive to rule over us, giving money creation back to "we the people."
Central to this notion of a regenerative currency, would be about healing. Healing people and the earth. The act of healing and restoring ecosystems would generate currency. Healing, restoration and sustainability would be incentivized.
3. Land Policy:
Land policy, such as it is in America, favors monopoly control, by large corporations and banks, agribusiness on ever larger land holdings, and the treatment of most of the land including public and private, inherenty extractive and exploitative.
Nor are these monopolies held accountable for the pollution they release into the biosphere. This is an "externalized" cost acting as another kind of debt, to be paid by society, by sucker consumers.
A new currency as described would encourage and incentivize the expansion of wild lands, while facilitating the healthy production of food and necessary materials, while eliminating pollution. If monopolies were forced to pay for their pollution, none would exist.
The script would be flipped. Favoring individuals and small groups, preventing monopoly, destructive, extractive, predatory behavior.
The economics of the local would be paramount. Local, responsible, ethical, sustainable, restorative, generative; a people with a close connection, care and concern for the land will protect it.
4. Rebuild Community:
Favoring small producers, citizens and small business over monopoly would help restore community. By empowering individuals economically, in relation to the needs of local community, local community is made more resilient and sustainable, healthy. Whatever your skills are, there is a need, and if filling that need generates income automatically, it is empowering people to fulfill their destiny.
As it is, globalization has hollowed out rural American communities. It has removed income potential, chaining most to low wage service employment and social welfare programs, such that many have turned to meth, heroin and alcohol to "escape." Many escape to the cities, where the forces of predatory capitalism congregate. Agricultural land prices around small communities have been preverted by a combination of monetary policy, the revolving door between corp/bank/gov, and globalist trade rules, putting local land out of reach economically, leading to a sence of helplessness, disconection, depression and dispair.
There are many who would be restored spiritually, given the opportunity to thrive economically, restoring a sence of community and healing the land and waters around community.
Some communities can't be saved, others will rebuild, some might spring up where there was none.
The point is, if trends continue, the whole of the earth will be a rich mans play ground, a mostly destroyed, degraded, polluted, ecologically barren tennant farm and mining camp, if the vast majority are huddled into the cities to live a "virtual" existence. Strong communities are made of strong people with strong ties built with love, care and concern. Such a people are not so easily reduced to consumer, junkie debt serfs.
5. A Shift in Consciousness
We are now more than 7 billion people on planet earth. That is by definition, humanity "separated from nature." In a way too, it is humanity succumbing to the most brutal of all ecological rules, overpopulation in the precence of over-abundance; it happens with rabbits, reindeer and rats etc too. But it is also humanity assuming there will always be a technical sollution, or that God will save us, or aliens will...
The 'solution" probably looks more like unintended mass starvation and war, if humanity stumbles into resource constraints and point-of-no-return biosphere damage. Most signs seem to point to a very dumb human totality going berserk.
It doesn't have to be that way. If humans are in fact an intelligent species, a radical shift in consciousness is possible.
America is supposed to be a place where a diverse people come together to structure a society that would benefit all. It was not meant to be the consumer driven seat of global warmongering and economic control, global empire, for the benefit of a new internationale aristocracy. It was not supposed to be utopia for grifters, nihilists and sociopaths.
It was supposed to be a culture free from the rule of tyranny; a society protecting the right of all, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
America could be the seat of a new kind of consiousness. I still believe, where America goes, the world will follow. This new consiousness would be focused on healing people and the earth, particulary the waters. Aware that a healthy earth will be reflected in healthy people and likewise, that we are All relations, that the way of Life is cooperation.
We are all of the earth. How we treat the earth is reflected in body and mind. The biosphere is suffering, as are people. Heal the earth and people will be healed.
Posted by William H Duncan at 11:28 AM
Sunday, November 13, 2016
After the "surprise" 2016 sweep by Republicans nationwide, including the Presidency of the United States of America, by Donald John Trump, I can say at least that I am relieved not to be occupied with passage of TTP/TTIP/TISA trade agreements, war with Russia or the invasion of Syria.
I'm loving the comeuppance in the media. Telling us what we are supposed to believe doesn't work as well anymore.
I've been holding my breath, only pointing out on social media, the success of Republicans has less to do with any virtue in them, than the failure of Dems to stand for the middle class, working poor or poor, abandoning them to globalist/monopoly market forces.
What is a Democrat anymore? What is a Liberal? Whatever they are, we are all about to get a big dose of Republican, whatever that is (retro-grade moneygrubbing and warmongering?)
I didn't vote for Trump; nor did I vote for Hillary. Good conscience, you've got to be kidding me. Democrats are in denial, wanting to shame people like me, because I am clearly a misogynist, racist bigoted stupid idiot, not to vote for Hillary. "Not ready for a woman president," despite that I voted for a woman who wasn't a war-loving economic elitist.
I think one of the biggest problems with America is our inherited Western duality, the indoctrinated tendency to see all things in Absolute good vs evil, black and white, light and dark, not as complementary and necessary to each other, but inherently opposed, ever at war.
Dems still love to mock George W Bush for saying, "you're either with us or you are with the terrorists," But Dems lost this election, in part because Obama and Hillary are not Good, to Trump's Evil, and so Dems did not hold either Obama or Hillary accountable for record income inequality, systemic corruption, a privatized, unchecked, unaccountable military, treating whistleblowers like spies, the total surveillance state, trends toward direct rule by corporation and bank - Dems have no more credibility. What, all this is goood when a Dem presides over it, but evil when a Republican does?
Instead of focusing on issues, Dems reduced the conversation to a gender, ethnic and race one, trying to ride an unenthusiastic coalition of professional women, black folk, Hispanic/Latino and other minorities, Muslim and LGBTQ, focused not on systemic corruption in economics and politics, the war machine, total surveillance, but on white power, white privilege. Not a winning strategy.
A lot of white people suffer in this system too. I want to stand with that coalition, but not if it means I have to hang my head between my knees, for my gender/ethnicity/race.
Dems remain in denial, falling into old divide and conquer patterns, doing it badly. Many are now focusing on the electoral college, as if the electors might flip the vote, give it to Hillary. So that Hillary can preside over a Republican Congress, who only agree on war, and corp, bank and billionaire (monopoly) power? So that you can confirm for all those Bernie and Trump supporters that the system actually is rigged and the establishment will take what it wants no matter what? There is nothing civil about civil war. Hillary didn't lose because everybody who didn't vote for her is a racist bigot woman hater. Acting out of denial is a bad idea, generally.
Grieving takes healing and time. There are many stages. You can't skip or cheat.
So what will Trump do? Not even Trump knows. He said a lot of things on the campaign trail, and I don't necessarily believe he believes half of it, not deeply anyway. There are only two things he said that truly matter to most of his voters, that he will focus on the American economy more than the global, and draining the swamp, cleaning house in Washington.
Hell will have no fury like Trump supporters, if he betrays them by embracing neo-liberal/neo-con principles, embracing the establishment he railed against, reinforcing existing predatory economics favoring monopolies, and the war machine and the total surveillance state continue to expand exponentially.
But then, maybe Trump voters will be like O and H voters, excusing the most heinous because their "good" guy did it.
It's early yet, but it appears Trump is surrounding himself with the ususal characters, who will be incapable of doing anything but reinforcing what is heinous about the status quo, predatory/cannabalistic economics, and incessant warmongering. The sheer momentum of the State will likely overwhelm him, he will simply fall in line, and nothing fundamental will change.
Except that Republicans nation-wide are adept at manipulating the system to entrench themselves. In the next two years they could gerrymander the voter right out of democracy, making America Republican indefinitely. Except that Republican elite are just as dense as Dem elite, and while it remains to be seen whether Dems learn anything from this election, I'm certain elite Republicans won't, offering up nothing but what they have offered up before, over-stepping their "mandate" by about 1000 years.
Pence leading the transition team, a true inside elitist if there ever was one, assures all the same elite actors will be recommended, while the bureaucracies will not be hampered, as much as filled with true believers in the hoax that is climate change, the holy holy market and the sole-sanctity of the fetus.
If there are serious market disruptions in the next two years, part of me expects Trump to go full authoritarian. I'm hoping instead he focuses on cutting the legs out from the Military Industrial Complex, the neo-liberal agenda of direct rule by corp and bank, and rebuilding America's productive capacity.
More, the world needs debt relief. Americans need debt relief. The world needs a reprieve from war. The world needs healing. America needs healing.
I don't hear much of that coming from either party. I don't expect it from a Trump Administration.
~~~ Next post I will focus on some tangible things that could be done, to focus America on healing.
Posted by William H Duncan at 10:55 AM
Monday, November 7, 2016
When it still looked like Bernie Sanders might secure the Democratic nomination, I gave his campaign $27. I never gave a Pol so much as a penny, before or since. For the first time in my life though, I felt like there might be an opportunity for a course correction for America, some kind of spark of positive change for regular people (when Obama took more money from Wall Street than anyone ever had, I knew Hope and Change was Orwellian for More of the Same.)
I wanted Bernie to run as an Independent, after it became clear that the Hillary campaign and the MSM colluded to shut him out. That he did as well as he did, despite the near media blackout (what coverage there was, mostly negative), seemed a sign, a tide had shifted. I was convinced - still am - he could beat both Hillary and Trump in a three-way race. Seriously, how would things have appeared in those debates if Bernie were there? If he had declared Independent and continued his campaign, he would have been well past the threshold of 15% required support, to appear in the debates. Bernie is no savior, just possibly the catalyst of a movement of change.
But Bernie didn't have the stomach for it. And now he is out there campaigning for Hillary, promising at least to challenge her to turn progressive (good luck, Her cabinet will be a Who's Who of neoliberal/neocon globalist elite), while calling Trump the most dangerous candidate for President in at least a generation.
That last part is debatable at least.
Donald Trump is most certainly dangerous. In the third debate he said he thinks America should be run like his business. A corporation is a not a democracy, and Trump is the dictator of his corporation. How do you fire a Citizen, tyrant? Would you fire this citizen because I have worked for several corporations and find the culture inhumane and profoundly distasteful? I have a friend who calls all CEO's and billionaire financier types, Pigmen. Pig-Orange Augustus, going to run America like a predatory dictatorship?
Hillary on the other hand, notwithstanding Bernie's promises to liberalize her, is probably more dangerous than Trump. Russia is the crown-jewel in neo-liberal/neo-con, regime change, global hegemonic doctrine. Five minutes into the third debate and she was beating the war drums. At every opportunity throughout this election, she has raised the spectre of Russian barbarians at the gates, to cover every revelation of the untoward, ugly activity of her campaign, of the revelations of collusion with the DNC and media, of the revealations of her behavior and activity behind the scenes contrary to her public persona - while risking nuclear conflagration and WWIII.
In that third debate she spoke of Mosul in Iraq and the fight there, then moving on to Raqqa in Syria? To Alleppo then? Damascus? First establishing a no fly zone, which she knows well will kill many civilians, and will certainly provoke Russia to all-out war, as they have military bases in Syria. Except invasion of Syria is an act of war, and we are not officially at war with Syria, nor is Congress likely to declare war. But then, the Chief Executive can now go to war wherever, whenever he or she wants, without declaring war or even speaking of it. More like, the Military Industrial Complex decides, and tells the Executive.
This nebulous state of war/not war has made for much mischief, and more blowback. When Hillary says America is Great because we are Good, that is just a political mantra to carry her to the "We came, we saw, he died," of her presidency. Surely she is giddy at the thought of sitting at the head of the greatest military the world has ever known. But again, the Military Industrial Complex is not controlled by the three legislative checks on power in Washington, but by the expectations of Wall Street and GDP. Our weapons makers are undemocratic corporations, requiring 12% growth year on year. While most corporations maintain growth by suppressing wages, decreasing benefits, stealth crappification of their products, and manipulating the tax code, weapons makers (war profiteers), Wall Street and Washington conspire to make more war every year.
Hillary is the candidate of that status quo. And the momentum toward direct rule by corporation and bank. If you think everything is pretty much ok with that, that America under Hillary would stay on a path of increasing prosperity, tolerance and moral exceptionalism, then vote for Hillary.
Trump is the wrecking ball, who threatens to derail the neoliberal, neocon consensus, while possibly initiating race and gender wars, while dismantling American governance, while handing out the largest tax cuts in history to predatory dicatorial "pigmen" (Animal Farm) - who have been feasting on bailout money and free money from the Fed, but that has dried up mostly - enter the Donald. Probably nothing about the neoliberal, neocon takeover of the world will change, under Donald, whatever his squaking about draining the swamp. Probably under Donald, his Law and Order will just be a heavier boot on the neck of Americans generally, while he and a GOP controlled legislature, do a slash and burn to America's safety net, and old people and the poor can go back to dying in the street like "God" intended.
So you see, whether it is Hillary's wars or Donald's wrecking ball, 2016 is not like the positive change for regular people and the earth I was hoping for with Bernie.
More of this status quo, and I expect a monster worse than either of these two, 2020.
This is clearly the election consumer America deserves, the triumph of marketing, aka separating you from your money by preying upon your fears and insecurities. Total bullshit is to the Trump campaign, what horseshit is to Hillary. That's what America has neen reduced to, what Americans have been reduced to, in this neoliberal, neocon, direct rule by corporation and bank, eternal warmongering former Republic - proud citizens to consumer debt serfs, slaving away ever harder to maintain the gilded lives our elite betters have grown accustomed to.
What is a conscientious American Citizen supposed to do then, this election? Stock up on canned goods and gunz? It seems to me, to be Democrat or Republican is to be susceptible to group think, participating in mass psychosis, excusing the most inexcusable, unethical, anti-democratic behavior. A Republic needs clear eyed, skeptical, free-thinking citizens of solid character and dignity, incapable of being manipulated, who neither care to rule nor be ruled, who are impervious to group-think.
Your beloved Dem and Repub parties are competing to sell you out to the highest bidder. Neither serves the people, democracy or the Republic - like the monopolies they are, they serve monopoly control, they are conspiring to take the sovereignty of the people and this nation-state, to empower corporations and banks to control the affairs of all people everywhere, to control the earth, that these American elite may become the neo-Internationale, global, untouchable aristocracy.
I will never, ever vote or that. ever.
Posted by William H Duncan at 12:21 PM