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The Reign of the Psychopaths

February 11, 2011 2 comments

By Steven LaTulippe

The Reign of the Psychopaths

One of the key traits of psychopathic personality disorder is a near-total absence of empathy. To the psychopath, other people exist as mere objects, to be used and discarded at the psychopath’s whim.

“I had to beat my mother with that baseball bat,” claims the typical psychopath. “She wouldn’t give me her pension check, and I needed it to buy more beer.”

Such statements are made without irony or sarcasm, since the psychopath literally cannot imagine that other human beings might have needs distinct from his own.

While watching events unfold these past weeks in Egypt, it became apparent to me that the United States is suffering from a foreign policy malady frighteningly analogous to psychopathic personality disorder.

On one hand, the history of the Mubarak regime is well-documented. For decades, the Egyptian people have lived in grinding poverty – on less than $2 per day, by some estimates – while Mubarak and his family have amassed vast fortunes. The Egyptian government routinely uses torture against its political opponents and denies the people even basic freedoms. Election fraud, censorship, and police brutality are realities of everyday Egyptian life.

That the Egyptian people have rebelled against such a regime should come as no surprise. And one would expect that the American government – itself the creation of a revolution against an authoritarian monarchy – would support their cause, at least morally if not materially.

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Recognizing the Language of Tyranny

February 7, 2011 1 comment

AP

February 6, 2011: By Chris Hedges
 
Recognizing the Language of Tyranny

Empires communicate in two languages. One language is expressed in imperatives. It is the language of command and force. This militarized language disdains human life and celebrates hypermasculinity. It demands. It makes no attempt to justify the flagrant theft of natural resources and wealth or the use of indiscriminate violence. When families are gunned down at a checkpoint in Iraq they are referred to as having been “lit up.” So it goes. The other language of empire is softer. It employs the vocabulary of ideals and lofty goals and insists that the power of empire is noble and benevolent. The language of beneficence is used to speak to those outside the centers of death and pillage, those who have not yet been totally broken, those who still must be seduced to hand over power to predators. The road traveled to total disempowerment, however, ends at the same place. It is the language used to get there that is different.

This language of blind obedience and retribution is used by authority in our inner cities, from Detroit to Oakland, as well as our prison systems. It is a language Iraqis and Afghans know intimately. But to the members of our dwindling middle class—as well as those in the working class who have yet to confront our new political and economic configuration—the powerful use phrases like the consent of the governed and democracy that help lull us into complacency. The longer we believe in the fiction that we are included in the corporate power structure, the more easily corporations pillage the country without the threat of rebellion. Those who know the truth are crushed. Those who do not are lied to. Those who consume and perpetuate the lies—including the liberal institutions of the press, the church, education, culture, labor and the Democratic Party—abet our disempowerment. No system of total control, including corporate control, exhibits its extreme forms at the beginning. These forms expand as they fail to encounter resistance.

The tactic of speaking in two languages is as old as empire itself. The ancient Greeks and the Romans did it. So did the Spanish conquistadors, the Ottomans, the French and later the British. Those who inhabit exploited zones on the peripheries of empire see and hear the truth. But the cries of those who are exploited are ignored or demonized. The rage they express does not resonate with those trapped in self-delusion, those who continue to trust in the ultimate goodness of empire. This is the truth articulated in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India.” These writers understood that empire is about violence and theft. And the longer the theft continues, the more brutal empire becomes. The tyranny empire imposes on others it finally imposes on itself. The predatory forces unleashed by empire consume the host. Look around you.

The narratives we hear are those fabricated for us by the state, Hollywood and the press. These narratives are taught in our schools, preached in our pulpits and celebrated in war documentaries such as “Restrepo.” These narratives humanize and ennoble the enforcers of empire. The government, the military, the police and our intelligence agents are lionized. These control groups, we are assured, are the guardians of our virtues and our protectors. They produce our heroes. And those who challenge this narrative—who denounce the lies—become the enemy.

Those who administer empire—elected officials, corporate managers, generals and the celebrity courtiers who disseminate the propaganda—become very wealthy. They make immense fortunes whether they deliver the nightly news, sit on the boards of corporations, or rise, lavished with corporate endorsements, within the vast industry of spectacle and entertainment. They all pay homage, even in moments defined as criticism, to the essential goodness of corporate power. They shut out all real debate. They ignore flagrant injustices and abuse. They peddle the illusions that keep us passive and amused. But as our society is reconfigured into an oligarchic system, with a permanent and vast underclass, along with a shrinking and unstable middle class, these illusions lose their power. The language of pleasant deception must be replaced with the overt language of force. It is hard to continue to live in a state of self-delusion once unemployment benefits run out, once the only job available comes without benefits or a living wage, once the future no longer conforms to the happy talk that saturates our airwaves. At this point rage becomes the engine of response, and whoever can channel that rage inherits power. The manipulation of that rage has become the newest task of the corporate propagandists, and the failure of the liberal class to defend core liberal values has left its members with nothing to contribute to the debate.

The Belgian King Leopold, promising to abolish slavery and usher the Congolese into the “modern” era, was permitted by his European allies to form the Congo Free State in 1885. It was touted as a humanitarian gesture, as was the Spanish conquest of the Americas, as was our own occupation of Iraq. Leopold organized a ruthless force of native and foreign overseers—not unlike our own mercenary armies—to loot the Congo of ivory and rubber. By the time the Belgian monarch was done, some 5 million to 8 million Congolese had been slaughtered. It was the largest act of genocide in the modern era until the Nazi Holocaust. Leopold, even in the midst of his rampage, was lionized in Europe for his virtue. He was loathed in the periphery—as we are in Iraq and Afghanistan—where the Congolese and others understood what he was about. But these voices, like the voices of those we oppress, were almost never heard.

The Nazis, for whom the Holocaust was as much a campaign of plunder as it was a campaign to rid Europe of Jews, had two methods for greeting arrivals at their four extermination camps. If the transports came from Western Europe, the savage Ukrainian and Lithuanian guards, with their whips, dogs and clubs, were kept out of sight. The wealthier European Jews were politely ushered into an elaborate ruse, including fake railway stations complete with flower beds, until once stripped naked they became incapable of resistance and could be herded in rows of five under whips into the gas chambers. The Nazis knew that those who had not been broken, those who possessed a belief in their own personal empowerment, would fight back. When the transports came from the east, where Jews had long lived in fear, tremendous poverty and terror, there was no need for such theatrics. Mothers, fathers, the elderly and children, accustomed to overt repression and the language of command and retribution, were brutally driven from the transports by sadistic guards. The object was to create mass hysteria. The fate of the two groups was the same. It was the tactic that differed.

All centralized power, once restraints and regulations are abolished, once it is no longer accountable to citizens, knows no limit to internal and external plunder. The corporate state, which has emasculated our government, is creating a new form of feudalism, a world of masters and serfs. It speaks to those who remain in a state of self-delusion in the comforting and familiar language of liberty, freedom, prosperity and electoral democracy. It speaks to the poor and the oppressed in the language of naked coercion. But, here too, all will end up in the same place.

Those trapped in the blighted inner cities that are our internal colonies or brutalized in our prison system, especially African-Americans, see what awaits us all. So do the inhabitants in southern West Virginia, where coal companies have turned hundreds of thousands of acres into uninhabitable and poisoned wastelands. Poverty, repression and despair in these peripheral parts of empire are as common as drug addiction and cancer. Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Palestinians can also tell us who we are. They know that once self-delusion no longer works it is the iron fist that speaks. The solitary and courageous voices that rise up from these internal and external colonies of devastation are silenced or discredited by the courtiers who serve corporate power. And even those who do hear these voices of dissent often cannot handle the truth. They prefer the Potemkin facade. They recoil at the “negativity.” Reality, especially when you grasp what corporations are doing in the name of profit to the planet’s ecosystem, is terrifying.

All tyrannies come endowed with their own peculiarities. This makes it hard to say one form of totalitarianism is like another. There are always enough differences to make us unsure that history is repeating itself. The corporate state does not have a Politburo. It does not dress its Homeland Security agents in jackboots. There is no raving dictator. American democracy—like the garishly painted train station at the Nazi extermination camp Treblinka—looks real even as the levers of power are in the hands of corporations. But there is one aspect the corporate state shares with despotic regimes and the collapsed empires that have plagued human history. It too communicates in two distinct languages, that is until it does not have to, at which point it will be too late.

Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a weekly columnist for Truthdig. His latest book is “Death of the Liberal Class.”.

Copyright © 2011 Truthdig, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Here’s Why FBI Is Orchestrating Fake Terror Plots

By Paul Craig Roberts

Here’s Why FBI Is Orchestrating Fake Terror Plots

Why does the FBI orchestrate fake “terror plots”? The latest one snared Osman Mohamud, a Somali-American teenager in Portland, Ore. The Associated Press report is headlined: “Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Oregon.”

This is a misleading headline as the report makes it clear that it was a plot orchestrated by federal agents. Two sentences into the news report we have this: “The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the [FBI] agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.” The teenager was supplied with a fake bomb and a fake detonator.

Three sentences later the reporters contradict the quoted authorities with a quote from Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon: “The threat was very real.”

The reporters then contradict Balizan: “White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Saturday that President Barack Obama was aware of the FBI operation before Friday’s arrest. Shapiro said Obama was assured that the FBI was in full control of the operation and that the public was not in danger.”

Then Shapiro contradicts himself by declaring: “The events of the past 24 hours underscore the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad.” The story arrives at its Kafkaesque high point when Obama thanks the FBI for its diligence in saving us from the fake plot the FBI had fabricated. After vacillating between whether they are reporting a real plot or an orchestrated one, the reporters finally come down on the side of orchestration. Documents released by U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton “show the sting operation began in June.”

Obviously, the targeted Portland teenager was not “hot to trot,” so the FBI had to work on him for six months. The reporters compare “the Portland sting” to the recent arrest in Virginia of Faroque Ahmed, who was ensnared in a “bombing plot that was a ruse conducted over the past six months by federal officials.”

Think about this carefully. The FBI did a year’s work in order to convince two people to participate in fake plots.

If you are not too bright and some tough-looking guys accost you and tell you that they are al Qaeda and expect your help in a terrorist operation, you might be afraid to say no, or you might be thrilled to be part of a blowback against an American population that is indifferent to their government’s slaughter of people of your ethnicity or religion in your country of origin. Whichever way it falls, it is unlikely the ensnared person would ever have done anything beyond talk had the FBI not organized them into action.

In other cases the FBI entices people with money to participate in its fake plots. Since 9-11, the only domestic “terrorist plot” that I recall that was not obviously organized by the FBI is the “Times Square plot” to which Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to trying to set off a car bomb in Manhattan. This “plot,” too, is suspicious. One would think that a real terrorist would have a real bomb, not a smoke bomb. In his May 19, 2009 article, Joe Quinn of online site, Sott.net, collects some of the fake plots, some of which were validated by tortured confessions and others by ignorant and fearful juries.

The U.S. government comes up with a plot and an accused, and then tortures him until he confesses, or the government fabricates a case and takes it to jurors who know that they cannot face their neighbors if they let off a media-declared “terrorist.”

Perhaps the most obvious of these cases is “the Miami seven,” a pathetic group of Christian-Zionist-Muslims that called themselves the “Seas of David” and were quietly living in a Florida warehouse awaiting what they regarded as biblical end-times. Along came the FBI posing as al Qaeda and offered them $50,000 and an al Qaeda swearing-in ceremony.

The FBI told them that they needed to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and various government buildings. An honest Knight Ridder news service reporter revealed: “The Justice [sic] Department unveiled the arrests with an orchestrated series of news conferences in two cities, but the severity of the charges compared with the seemingly amateurish nature of the group raised concerns among civil libertarians,” who noted that the group had “no weapons, no explosives.”

The Justice (sic) Department and tamed media made a big show out of the “militaristic boots” worn by the hapless “plotters,” but the FBI had bought the boots for them.

The biggest piece of evidence against the hapless group was that they had taken photos of “targets” in Florida, but the U.S. government had equipped them with cameras. The U.S. government even rented cars for its dupes to drive to take the pictures.

It turns out that the group only wanted the $50,000, but an American jury convicted them anyhow. When the U.S. government has to go to such lengths to create “terrorists” out of hapless people, an undeclared agenda is being served. What could this agenda be?

The answer is many agendas. One agenda is to justify wars of aggression that are war crimes under the Nuremberg standard created by the U.S. government itself. One way to avoid war crime charges is to create acts of terrorism that justify the naked aggressions against “terrorist countries.”

Another agenda is to create a police state. A police state can control people who object to their impoverishment for the benefit of the super-rich much more easily than can a democracy endowed with constitutional civil liberties.

Another agenda is to get rich. Terror plots, whether real or orchestrated, have created a market for security. Dual Israeli citizen Michael Chertoff, former head of U.S. Homeland Security, is the lobbyist who represents Rapiscan, the company that manufactures the full body “porno-scanners” that, following the “underwear bomber” event, are now filling up U.S. airports.

Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury and former associate editor of The Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. His book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, is a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law. It was released in 2008 by Random House.

Happy as a Hangman

By Chris Hedges

Happy as a Hangman

Innocence, as defined by law, makes us complicit with the crimes of the state. To do nothing, to be judged by the state as an innocent, is to be guilty. It is to sanction, through passivity and obedience, the array of crimes carried out by the state.

To be innocent in America means we passively permit offshore penal colonies where we torture human beings, some of whom are children. To be innocent in America is to acquiesce to the relentless corporate destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species. To be innocent in America is to permit the continued theft of hundreds of billions of dollars from the state by Wall Street swindlers and speculators. To be innocent in America is to stand by as insurance and pharmaceutical companies, in the name of profit, condemn ill people, including children, to die. To be innocent in America is refusing to resist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are not only illegal under international law but responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of people. This is the odd age we live in. Innocence is complicity.

The steady impoverishment and misery inflicted by the corporate state on the working class and increasingly the middle class has a terrible logic. It consolidates corporate centers of power. It weakens us morally and politically. The fraud and violence committed by the corporate state become secondary as we scramble to feed our families, find a job and pay our bills and mortgages. Those who cling to insecure, poorly paid jobs and who struggle with crippling credit card debt, those who are mired in long-term unemployment and who know that huge medical bills would bankrupt them, those who owe more on their houses than they are worth and who fear the future, become frightened and timid. They seek only to survive. They accept the pathetic scraps tossed to them by the corporate elite. The internal and external corporate abuse accelerates as we become every day more pliant.

Our corrupt legal system, perverting the concept that “all men are created equal,” has radically redefined civic society. Citizens, regardless of their status or misfortune, are now treated with the same studied indifference by the state. They have been transformed from citizens to commodities whose worth is determined solely by the market and whose value is measured by their social and economic functions. The rich, therefore, are rewarded by the state with tax cuts because they are rich. It is their function to monopolize wealth and invest. The poor are supposed to be poor. The poor should not be a drain on the resources of the state or the oligarchic elite. Equality, in this new legal paradigm, means we are all treated alike, no matter what our circumstances. This new interpretation of equality, under which the poor are abandoned and the powerful are unchecked, has demolished the system of regulations, legal restraints and services that once protected the underclass from wealthy and corporate predators.

The creation of a permanent, insecure and frightened underclass is the most effective weapon to thwart rebellion and resistance as our economy worsens. Huge pools of unemployed and underemployed blunt labor organizing, since any job, no matter how menial, is zealously coveted. As state and federal social welfare programs, especially in education, are gutted, we create a wider and wider gulf between the resources available to the tiny elite and the deprivation and suffering visited on our permanent underclass. Access to education, for example, is now largely defined by class. The middle class, taking on huge debt, desperately flees to private institutions to make sure their children have a chance to enter the managerial ranks of the corporate elite. And this is the idea. Public education, which, when it functions, gives opportunities to all citizens, hinders a system of corporate neofeudalism. Corporations are advancing, with Barack Obama’s assistance, charter schools and educational services that are stripped down and designed to train classes for their appropriate vocations, which, if you’re poor means a future in the service sector. The eradication of teachers’ unions, under way in states such as New Jersey, is a vital component in the dismantling of public education. Corporations know that good systems of public education are a hindrance to a rigid caste system. In corporate America everyone will be kept in his or her place.

The beating down of workers, exacerbated by the prospect that unemployment benefits will not be renewed for millions of Americans and that public sector unions will soon be broken, has transformed those in the working class from full members of society, able to participate in its debates, the economy and governance, into terrified people in fragmented pools preoccupied with the struggle of private existence. Those who are economically broken usually cease to be concerned with civic virtues. They will, history has demonstrated, serve any system, no matter how evil, and do anything for a salary, job security and the protection of their families.

There will be sectors of the society that, as the situation worsens, attempt to rebel. But the state can rely on a huge number of people who, for work and meager benefits, will transform themselves into willing executioners. The reconfiguration of American society into a corporate oligarchy is conditioning tens of millions not only to passively accept state and corporate crimes, but to actively participate in the mechanisms that ensure their own enslavement.

“Each time society, through unemployment, frustrates the small man in his normal functioning and normal self-respect,” Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1945 essay “Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility,” “it trains him for that last stage in which he will willingly undertake any function, even that of hangman.”

Organs of state repression do not rely so much on fanatics and sadists as ordinary citizens who are desperate, who need a job, who are willing to obey. Arendt relates a story of a Jew who is released from Buchenwald. The freed Jew encountered, among the SS men who gave him certificates of release, a former schoolmate, whom he did not address but stared at. The SS guard spontaneously explained to his former friend: “You must understand, I have five years of unemployment behind me. They can do anything they want with me.”

Arendt also quotes an interview with a camp official at Majdanek. The camp official concedes that he has assisted in the gassing and burying of people alive. But when he is asked, “Do you know the Russians will hang you?” he bursts into tears. “Why should they? What have I done?” he says.

I can imagine, should the rule of law ever one day be applied to the insurance companies responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans denied medical care, that there will be the same confused response from insurance executives. What is frightening in collapsing societies is not only the killers, sadists, murderers and psychopaths who rise up out of the moral swamp to take power, but the huge numbers of ordinary people who become complicit in state crimes. I saw this during the war in El Salvador and the war in Bosnia. It is easy to understand a demented enemy. It is puzzling to understand a rational and normal one. True evil, as Goethe understood, is not always palpable. It is “to render invisible another human consciousness.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his book “The Gulag Archipelago” writes about a close friend who served with him in World War II. Solzhenitsyn’s defiance of the Communist regime after the war saw him sent to the Soviet gulags. His friend, loyal to the state, was sent there as an interrogator. Solzhenitsyn was forced to articulate a painful truth. The mass of those who serve systems of terrible oppression and state crime are not evil. They are weak.

“If only there were vile people … committing evil deeds, and if it were only necessary to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them,” Solzhenitsyn wrote. “But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

The expansions of public and private organs of state security, from Homeland Security to the mercenary forces we are building in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the burgeoning internal intelligence organizations, exist because these “ordinary” citizens, many of whom are caring fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, have confused conformity to the state with innocence. Family values are used, especially by the Christian right, as the exclusive definition of public morality. Politicians, including President Obama, who betray the working class, wage doomed imperial wars, abandon families to home foreclosures and bank repossessions, and refuse to restore habeas corpus, are morally “good” because they are loyal husbands and fathers. Infidelity, instead of corporate murder, becomes in this absurd moral reasoning the highest and most unforgivable offense.

The bureaucrats who maintain these repressive state organs, who prosecute the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or who maintain corporate structures that perpetuate human suffering, can define themselves as good—as innocent—as long as they are seen as traditional family men and women who are compliant to the laws of the state. And this redefinition of civic engagement permits us to suspend moral judgment and finally common sense. Do your job. Do not ask questions. Do not think. If these bureaucrats were challenged for the crimes they are complicit in committing, including the steady dismantling of the democratic state, they would react with the same disbelief as the camp guard at Majdanek.

Those who serve as functionaries within corporations such as Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil and carry out crimes ask of their masters that they be exempted from personal responsibility for the acts they commit. They serve corporate structures that kill, but, as Arendt notes, the corporate employee “does not regard himself as a murderer because he has not done it out of inclination but in his professional capacity.” At home the corporate man or woman is meek. He or she has no proclivity to violence, although the corporate systems they serve by day pollute, impoverish, maim and kill.

Those who do not carry out acts of rebellion, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are guilty of solidifying and perpetuating these crimes. Those who do not act delude themselves into believing they are innocent. They are not.

Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a weekly columnist for Truthdig. His newest book is “Death of the Liberal Class.” On Dec. 16 he, Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern, Dr. Margaret Flowers and several others will hold a rally across from the White House to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and attempt to chain themselves to the White House fence.  More information on the Dec. 16 protest can be found at www.stopthesewars.org.

Defense Against Zionist Aggression

By JB Campbell

Defense Against Zionist Aggression

Note from Author: Submitted for publishing for information purposes only. This is a highly controversial document.

Once we acknowledge the threat that faces us – Zionist Aggression – we are left with the problem of how to remove that threat. Jews are in controlling positions in every segment of our lives, from the financial collapse of Wall Street, to the collapse of our currency by the Federal Reserve Corporation, the collapse of the US military from Jewish wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a de facto Jewish war against Pakistan and a threatened Jewish war against Iran. Trillions of tax dollars have been lost to the pockets of Jewish bankers and speculators.

The news media have always been and continue to be in the hands of Zionists. These lie factories, thanks to the Internet, are in freefall collapse and deservedly so. If the news media had been honest, we would have been informed and warned of the criminal conspiracy so that we could have dealt with it legally. But we were not informed or warned. It was not in the interest of the Zionists to do so, as they explained in their Protocols a hundred years ago. So to save ourselves we must take the law into our own hands, where it belongs anyway. This is where the failure of news has put us.

Zionists are the masters of destruction. They now admit that they possess several hundred nuclear weapons, quite illegally in terms of international agreements, but very logically since it was Zionist mad scientists who designed and developed nuclear weapons and supervised the use of two of them on helpless Japanese civilians. Whether the Zionist nukes actually will work is open to question, since much of what the Israeli military does ends in failure, as we saw with the Lavi jet fighter and Merkava tank and their disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 2006, which ended in a rout. The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a catastrophic failure that destroyed an elaborate US/Israeli operation to sink the ship and blame it on the Egyptians, which would have “forced” the US military to join Israel and invade and occupy the Arab countries. It is now generally acknowledged that Israel engineered the shock and awe attacks on 9-11, with the complicity of the US air force and intelligence agencies. This attack was finally successful in putting the US at war with Islam.

Israel’s military strategy is completely dependent on the US military backing it up. The fact that Israel now slyly brags about its illegal nukes and even threatens to burn European cities with them indicates they may not actually function, that they are bluffing. Reports of American missile sites being mysteriously knocked out suggest that much of the world’s nuclear arsenal is kaput. But it has been Jews such as Einstein, Oppenheimer and Teller who have been behind the dropping of nuclear weapons on people in the past and Jews such as Netanyahu and Lieberman who want to drop them on people now.

I am proposing that we neutralize the Zionist threat before they try to use them again.

Zionist aggression is caused by their control of our money system. If this is taken away from them, and only if this is taken away from them, we could regain our national health, and the rest of the world could do so, too. There is a very simple way to do this. It has been done before in this country. The two presidents who did it were shot in the head soon afterward, so there is a risk involved. The Austrian leader of Germany also did this quite successfully until stopped by the combined forces of the Jewish allies (America, England and the Soviet Union) some years later. The Jews were successful in stopping these men mainly because the people didn’t understand the nature of money and debt, which the Jews call “credit.”

Once we understand that Jewish Rule depends on their control of our money system we can figure out how to beat them. Events have shown that there is no political solution, i.e., by elected politicians. The politicians can’t save us even if they wanted to, which they don’t. The police and FBI are controlled by Jewish agencies such as the ADL and SPLC. There is lately talk of a US military coup against the Jews but this is frankly unlikely, since there is no curriculum in the military academies teaching the army, navy and air force about Jewish subversion. The Jews have made sure that the only curriculum is about the Moslem threat and the threat presented by American “patriots.”

The way Jews control our money and our lives should be basically understood. It has been done by Privatization of the only legitimate function of the federal government, the creation of our money. This writer is not an admirer of the US Constitution for reasons explained in other essays, but Article 1, Section 8 does specify that “the Congress shall have power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.”

Nevertheless, Alexander Hamilton persuaded President Washington and the Congress to allow the private Bank of New York to become the first Bank of the United States in 1791, in a charter lasting twenty years until 1811. On the Caribbean island of Nevus, Hamilton’s birthplace, it is known and openly recorded that Hamilton’s actual father was named “Levy.” Hamilton was a Rothschild agent. The Bank of New York, aka the Bank of the United States, was a private, profit-making company owned mainly (at least 72 %) by the Rothschild-owned central bank in London – the Bank of England. So, from the very beginning of this country, the financial system has been owned and controlled by foreign Jews and their agents here. Despite a bloody war for independence from England, our money and credit was still run by the Bank of England – and is to this day. Dividends to investors have continued virtually uninterrupted for 219 years! The Bank of New York is today known as the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the actual headquarters of the Federal Reserve System.

Anyone still dumb enough to pay Jewish income taxes should examine the back of his canceled check to the IRS. It will say, “Pay to the order of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” Why do you suppose it doesn’t designate the IRS or Treasury Department? Why does your tax money go to a private, profit-making English corporation owned by Jews?

The (first) Bank of the United States lost its charter in 1811. Due to our second war with England in thirty-six years, the War of 1812, it was not possible to charter a second Bank of the United States – owned by the Bank of England! – until 1819, when another twenty-year charter was granted. In 1833, President Jackson cut off its funds and this private British-Jewish company calling itself the Bank of the United States died six years before its charter would have expired.

People were a lot smarter or more educated in the 19th Century and they would not allow the Congress to create another private, foreign-owned central bank that would profit by lending us our own currency at interest. By 1913, however, the persistence of the Jews finally paid off when Paul Warburg of Germany bribed and manipulated American politicians to pass the Federal Reserve Act, which gave us our third and current private central bank.

Paul Warburg’s brother, Max, was Germany’s chief financial advisor to the Kaiser as well as the head of the German espionage service during World War I, while Paul was on the board of the Federal Reserve – while Germany and America were at war! Only Jews can get away with such wild criminality.

Our corrupt government pretends to sell treasury bonds on Wall Street which are converted by the Federal Reserve into Federal Reserve Notes for which we pay the Fed to use our own currency! In other words, our government can print and sell bonds but cannot print and distribute currency. The currency must be supplied to us from a private, British/Jewish company (printed at the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving!) at great profit to itself. The US government is now trillions of dollars in debt to this artificial company calling itself by the grandiose name of the Federal Reserve System.

This scam must have irritated John F. Kennedy because he attempted to put an end to it, sort of in the manner of Andrew Jackson, by ordering the issuance of Series 1963 United States Notes – about $4.3 billion worth. That was just the beginning of his move to destroy the Fed. He tied the US Note to silver and this would have meant the end of the Federal Reserve Note, for who would have wanted something backed only by smoke and mirrors? But, five months later, JFK was dead and the US Notes were withdrawn from circulation. I still have one.

But, what Jack Kennedy did can be done again and must be done again. The Federal Reserve Note must be replaced by the United States Note and be issued by the Congress interest-free. This is exactly how the economic miracle of Germany was produced starting in 1933, when Germans were still starving due to our rapacious and sadistic program of “reparations payments to the victors” of World War I. Hitler and Schacht issued interest-free currency tied only to the productivity of the German worker, since we had stolen all of Germany’s gold ten years earlier. By 1935, while American farmers were starving to death and trekking to California to pick other people’s prunes or working themselves to death building dams, six million formerly unemployed German workers were taking paid vacations on cruise ships and buying their first cars. Germany was manufacturing again and exporting goods while the rest of the world was mired in the Great Depression, engineered by the Jewish-owned central banks – the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve. To the Jewish banker, German success was an outrage that had to be controlled or destroyed, and so we became the military partners of the Soviet Union for three and a half years, something America can never live down. Together, we, the Jewish allies, destroyed Germany and millions of Germans for the crime of being successful. To be successful, though, requires the removal of Jews from power. That’s what Germany did, or attempted to do. For that they had to die. For that we were ordered to kill them, which we did by the millions.

Today we face the modern version of the Great Depression. Actual unemployment in 1933 was 25%. Today it is 22% and climbing. This writer was “laid off” a very good job and subsequently homeless for 21 months and was lucky to get his old job back – but for how long? Those 21 months were the most terrible, degrading and frightening of his life during which he and his wife lost their home and vehicles and horses and virtually all of their belongings. Millions of Americans are experiencing this terror right now, with 43 million of us on food stamps! All of this misery has been caused by Jewish bankers and Jewish speculators on Wall Street.

George W. Bush lied us into two evil wars of aggression for the benefit of Israel and the Jewish war profiteers on Wall Street and the banks.

We are the victims of Jewish aggression. I have spent much space on our money system, since it is the heart of our lives. No money – no lives. We must remove the Jews from our money or we will die, and soon. Now, of course, the Jews cannot let go of our veins, arteries and bank accounts. It would be against their religion, the control of all money. We must pry them loose.

There is no legal way to do this, because Jews are the law. The Jews are God and they are the law. So, to bring them under control we must ignore Jewish law and make our own law. What law is that? It is the law of survival.

The Jewish Problem is much more terrible than we even know. Jewish subversion has saturated our lives with death and filth and our minds with confusion and an inability to defend ourselves. If you wonder how this was done, read a few of the twenty-four Jewish Protocols. You’ll get the picture very quickly. Few can read all twenty-four of them – they are too revolting.

Defense Against Jewish Aggression requires that Jews be disfranchised from all positions of power and influence in the important aspects of our lives. Starting with government, of course. Medicine, law, banking, finance, news, publishing, entertainment – all must be free of Jews and Jewish influence. Our actions should start against the powerful Jewish organizations of subversion, such as the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, the Jews-only Masonic lodge they call B’nai B’rith and the Council on Foreign Relations, which is roughly 70% Jewish. There are hundreds and hundreds of Jewish organizations such as the American Jewish Committee, the Zionist Organization. Quite simply, these subversive organizations must be destroyed. Jews must be put on notice that their dreamy days of power are ending. All things must end and Jewish power is one of them.

Naturally, the Jews will fight hard to prevent losing their unearned power over us. That is, they will hire as many of us as they can to fight us. Jews can’t fight. They can kill, assassinate, murder and just about anything by stealth, but they can’t fight. When the Jew is confronted with his Jewishness, he splits.

The filmmaker John Carpenter made a great training film for us in this coming struggle. THEY LIVE. Malevolent aliens live among us. But most of us can’t tell who’s who, or realize how they control our lives. A small group of resistance fighters have special glasses that reveal the hideous faces of the aliens, who have taken over the organs of power. The aliens are so evil that no mercy can be shown them. If you see the scary face, start shooting, because they mean to enslave all of us and kill some of us. The only way to save ourselves is to kill them and keep killing them until the source of their power can be turned off – forever.

Carpenter’s aliens are the Jews. Most of them actually look like us. Carpenter’s special glasses represent the Jewish Protocols. Once you read a few of them, you see immediately what we’re up against. That’s why the Jews always freak out whenever the Protocols are mentioned. They are probably the most important writings you will ever read, even if you can only manage a few of them. Victor Marsden of the London Morning Post translated them in a special room in the British Museum but could only manage a page or so per day, so malevolent and disturbing were they. He died shortly after finishing his work.

Just look at Palestine! Do you want to live the way those people live, showing your papers to some creepy armed Jew at a checkpoint twice a day, fearful that he may refuse to let you pass today? This is how life is under Jewish Rule. But forget Palestine – now we’re getting a well-deserved dose of Jewish Rule at our airports. In case you hadn’t considered it, the only reason for “airport security” is the fake fear that enraged, crazy Moslems are trying to get on board with bombs and guns, which the TSA can’t seem to find at the best of times. And why are these Moslems supposedly enraged and crazy? Because of Israel, right? Isn’t airport security all about Moslems being angry about Israel? Now there may have been a couple of fake Moslems with phony explosives in their pants or shoes, but real Palestinians? Name one. Not to mention that most airport security is run by Israeli companies.

TSA now stands for The Sex Aggressors. These morons are now authorized to squeeze your private parts for Glocks and grenades. Little kids, too! A friend of mine’s wife was strip-searched in June after she’d passed successfully through the metal detector because the moron thought she “didn’t look right.” “Airport security” is the result of what Israel does to Arabs. When you get your crotch squeezed, if you haven’t got the brains to stop flying, think about Defense Against Jewish Aggression.

DAJA. First step: Recognize the Jewish Problem. Where does the Problem originate? Well, probably in the synagogues, in Hebrew school, in all the brainwash programs the Jews have for their kids. These kids are born and bred to hate us, to feel nothing when they cheat us, steal from us and kill us. It’s all laid out in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and of course in the Talmud. The problem is with the rabbis. I’ve written it before but Defense Against Jewish Aggression means the entire rabbinical class has to be wiped out. That means all the rabbis who preach Jewish hate and all the Jews who accept it. The rabbis are the political commissars who keep the party members in line, just like the Jewish commissars under Stalin who shot Russian soldiers from behind to terrorize the rest into attacking the Germans. I’d bet that a lot of Jews who’d like to assimilate with us would even help wipe out some of the hate-mongering rabbis.

Theodor Herzl comes to mind. Herzl, the supposed designer of Zionism, actually hated the Jewish ruling class and all typically Jewish ways. What he wanted was to blend with the Gentiles, whom he greatly admired. He was rejected because in those days, it was hard to trust a Jew, no matter how much he wanted to be a Gentile, or a Christian. Sad story. So Plan B was to get the Jews out of Europe, out of polite society, and into a land for Jews only. Herzl knew that most Jews just couldn’t behave properly, so the humane thing was to put them somewhere they couldn’t do any harm. What he didn’t count on was the rise of the Russian Jews, the real Zionists, whom he’d never heard of before his 1897 Zionist Congress in Basel. These uncouth roughnecks from the Pale showed up, demanding to go to Palestine. Not Uganda, not Madagascar, not America, not South America – Palestine. These were the phony Jews, the poseurs, the Khazar converts to Judaism but converts who possessed the deadliest zeal in the history of the world. They wanted to kill all the Palestinians and take over “the holy land.” Well?

My late friend, Heinz Weichardt, was another. His mother was Jewish, a famous opera singer in Berlin, his father a well-known journalist with the big German papers. Heinz was a life-long supporter of Hitler and of National Socialism. I recommend his memoir, “Under Two Flags,” on the Gnostic Liberation Front website. Jews such as Aaron Russo and David Cole have done more to hurt the Jewish racket than anyone on our side. So we mustn’t be indiscriminant in our Defense Against Jewish Aggression.

Anti-Jewish operations must be designed carefully. The big organizations must be taken out first.

The US military has never exactly covered itself in glory. Actually, it has been a total disgrace to America. The military has done the Jews’ dirty work, and I do mean dirty, ever since the Civil War and the Indian Wars. World Wars I & II? Imagine, Americans going to fight Germans in Europe! Most Americans in those days were of German descent. Korea, Vietnam… Total disgraces. Desert Storm? Burying alive thousands of Iraqis with their hands up. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman, Fallujah, Predator drones – Jesus, what a shower of shit the US military has always been, including the glory days against the fascists. (Read Other Losses, Crimes & Mercies, Operation Keelhaul if you’re craving US military glory.)

And, soldier boys, I have news for you. The Jews consider YOU to be the fascists. That’s what the military is for, to absorb the “fascistic element” of society (masculine men) into a controllable organization, because you scare the hell out of the Jews. They dread the day that you will turn on them, stop killing their enemies like the fools you are, and aim your guns at them. Watch THEY LIVE. How do you think the guards at Abu Ghraib could become so sadistic so early in our invasion and occupation of Iraq? They were conditioned by Jews with Jewish hate before they ever got out of the US.

I do have one good story to tell about the marines. A buddy of mine, Mike Hanson, was at the airport in West Beirut in ’83, near where Arafat and his men were holed up. A half-dozen Israeli tanks came rolling up to wipe them out. The marines just looked at them but the captain in charge of the airport detail climbed up on the lead tank and held the muzzle of his .45 against the Jew commander’s head. “If this tank moves another foot, your brains are gonna be all over this tank.” Jew commander ordered everyone to leave. This is the only language Jews understand. The upshot was, a truck bomb soon killed over 240 marines nearby. Victor Ostravsky, a Mossad officer, revealed that the Mossad knew about the plot but deliberately withheld the information. Translation: the bombing of the marine barracks was a Mossad operation, probably in retaliation for the marine captain’s heroism. Mike bunked in the open and escaped the blast at the barracks. He carried out a lot of bodies.

But that captain was the exception that proves the rule: the US military man is always obeying Jewish orders. So, the only way for a US military man to gain his honor is to join with this DAJA program – Defense Against Jewish Aggression. It’s the only way to gain honor. You can’t regain something you never had. You joined up to fight, didn’t you? Against all enemies, foreign and domestic? The only foreign enemies we have are in Israel. You don’t need to mess with them. The real enemy is domestic, the Jew who sends you to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran to kill people who never threatened us but who are hated by Jews. We have to clean up this country by wiping out the Jewish organization. Once the organization is wiped out, the Federal Reserve and its stinking Note can be wiped out and replaced by the debt-free US Note.

And that’s how we’re going to clean up this Jewish mess.

Obama’s Finest Hour: Killing Innocent People For “Made-Up Crap”

October 19, 2010 1 comment

October 18, 2010: By Chris Floyd

Obama’s Finest Hour: Killing Innocent People For “Made-Up Crap”

If ever I am tempted by the siren songs of my tribal past as a deep-fried, yellow-dawg Democrat, and begin to feel any faint, atavistic stirrings of sympathy for the old gang, I simply think of things like the scenario below, sketched last week by Johann Hari, and those wispy ghosts of partisanship past go howling back to the depths:

Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbours until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops. Why? They refuse to comment. They don’t even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? Somebody told them. Who? You don’t know, and there are no appeals against the robot.

Now imagine it doesn’t end there: these attacks are happening every week somewhere in your country. They blow up funerals and family dinners and children. The number of robot-planes in the sky is increasing every week. You discover they are named “Predators”, or “Reapers” – after the Grim Reaper. No matter how much you plead, no matter how much you make it clear you are a peaceful civilian getting on with your life, it won’t stop. What do you do? If there was a group arguing that Pakistan was an evil nation that deserved to be violently attacked, would you now start to listen?

…[This] is in fact an accurate description of life in much of Pakistan today, with the sides flipped. The Predators and Reapers are being sent by Barack Obama’s CIA, with the support of other Western governments, and they killed more than 700 civilians in 2009 alone – 14 times the number killed in the 7/7 attacks in London. The floods were seen as an opportunity to increase the attacks, and last month saw the largest number of robot-plane bombings ever: 22. Over the next decade, spending on drones is set to increase by 700 per cent.

Friends, it’s very simple: if you support Barack Obama and the Democrats — even if reluctantly, even if you’re just being all sophisticatedly super-savvy and blogospherically strategic about it, playing the “long game” or eleven-dimensional chess or what have you — you are supporting the outright murder of innocent people who have never done anything against you or yours. You have walked into a house, battered down the bedroom door, put the barrel of a gun against the temple of a sleeping child, and pulled the trigger. That is what you are supporting, that is what you are complicit in, that is what you yourself are doing.

But hey, let’s be all super-savvy and eleventh-dimensional ourselves here for a moment. Let’s be pragmatic, and technocratic, let’s be grown-ups, let’s not get sidetracked by a bunch of jejune, dorm-room, hippy-dippy moralizing. No, let’s concentrate on practicalities, let’s get down to brass tacks, let’s be serious and focus on “what works” to protect our national security. OK, so here’s the practical result of the illegal campaign of mass murder that Obama is waging on the sovereign territory of one of America’s allies:

… Drone technology was developed by the Israelis, who routinely use it to bomb the Gaza Strip. I’ve been in Gaza during some of these attacks. The people there were terrified – and radicalised. A young woman I know who had been averse to political violence and an advocate of peaceful protest saw a drone blow up a car full of people – and she started supporting Islamic Jihad and crying for the worst possible revenge against Israel. Robot-drones have successfully bombed much of Gaza, from secular Fatah to Islamist Hamas, to the brink of jihad.

Is the same thing happening in Pakistan? David Kilcullen is a counter-insurgency expert who worked for General Petraeus in Iraq and now advises the State Department. He has shown that two per cent of the people killed by the robot-planes in Pakistan are jihadis. The remaining 98 per cent are as innocent as the victims of 9/11. He says: “It’s not moral.” And it gets worse: “Every one of these dead non-combatants represents an alienated family, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially as drone strikes have increased. … It could be poised to get even worse: Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars says the US has an immediate plan to bomb 150 targets in Pakistan if there is a jihadi attack inside America.

Why, it’s almost as if the drone campaign was designed to create more and more enemies — and more and more contracts for war profiteers to build more and more drones, which can then be used to create more and more enemies, which means more and more contracts for …. say, it is a practical plan, after all! A practical plan to create terrorism, not quell it.

And what is the “evidence” used by the Administration militarists as they draw up their target lists for the defenseless villages in Pakistan? What is the “intelligence” produced by the $75 billion lavished on our 200,000 security apparatchiks every year? On what basis is Barack Obama killing people in Pakistan? Hari reports:

..[The] press releases uncritically repeated by the press after a bombing always brag about “senior al-Qa’ida commanders” killed – but some people within the CIA admit how arbitrary their choice of targets is. One of their senior figures told The New Yorker: “Sometimes you’re dealing with tribal chiefs. Often they say an enemy of theirs is al-Qa’ida because they want to get rid of somebody, or they made crap up because they wanted to prove they were valuable so they could make money.”

That’s right: Barack Obama is killing hundreds of innocent civilians in Pakistan on the basis of crap made up for money. Made-up crap. For money. That’s why a child who is just as precious as your child is to a parent who is just as real a person as you are was killed this week, by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party and the entire bipartisan foreign policy establishment of the United States of America: crap made up for money.

And of course, it’s not just tribal chiefs making up crap for blood money: the entire aforementioned bipartisan foreign policy establishment is now and has for years been making up crap “so they could make money” — for themselves, for their corporate patrons, for their government agencies, for their defense and “security” stockholdings, for the perpetuation of their bloated, belligerent, pig-ignorant domination of world affairs and American society — by killing innocent people all over the world.

“But oh my gosh, oh my lord, we have to support Obama! What if those Tea Party Republicans get into power? What would happen then?” What would happen? The same goddamned thing that’s happening right now, that’s what. More and more war, more and more murder, more and more domination by a militarist kleptocracy. As Glenn Greenwald notes this week, Obama and the Tea Partiers (and the neocons, and the liberal hawks, and the Bush Regime war criminals) are in lockstep (even goosestep) on keeping the War Machine stoked and rolling.

That’s why the opposition to the Tea Party Republicans has been so anemic, focused almost entirely on personality flaws or asinine comments or resume padding or stupid things they did in college. The Democrats can’t possibly attack them on substance — i.e., the fact that the Tea Partiers are rabid warmongers who delight in murder, torture and repression and believe that the poor, the sick, the old, the weak, the unlucky, and the vulnerable should just eat shit and die already — because these are the same positions the Democrats hold! Who “reformed” health care into a gargantuan, guaranteed boondoggle for rapacious conglomerates? Who bailed out the bankers and left millions in the hands of savage “robo-signers?” Who set up the “Catfood Commission” and stocked it from top to bottom with long-time, deep-dyed haters of the poor and the weak? It wasn’t Dick Cheney, bub.

I don’t want to see the Tea Partiers in power. But I’m not going to support one faction of murderers and plunderers just to keep out another faction of murderers and plunderers. Hari makes this good analogy about the drone program:

Yet many people defend the drones by saying: “We have to do something.” If your friend suffered terrible third-degree burns, would you urge her to set fire to her hair because “you have to do something”? Would you give a poisoning victim another, worse poison, on the grounds that any action is better than none?

Similarly, I say: would you support one murderer — who likes to break into children’s bedrooms and blow their brains out — in order to stop another murderer, who would do the same thing, from taking over a vicious gang of murderers? What would be the basis, the reason for your support? That the first murderer wears nicer suits? Digs cooler music? Throws better street parties? Leaves a pretty little flower next to the blown-out brains?

For a system sunk so deeply in evil, there is no “lesser” evil to choose. The militarist kleptocracy itself is evil, and every political faction that does not denounce it and seek to dismantle it is complicit in this evil. The choice is to stand outside such factions; the choice is non-cooperation with evil, as advocated by Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi, King. I’m not going to spend my brief time here on earth standing with blood-soaked killers, no matter what factional name they give themselves, or what loyalties they might claim on our myth-clouded memories of the past. I’m not going to teach my children that all we can do is to grovel before one child-murdering maniac or another, to keep quiet, to never speak the truth, to sell their votes, their dignity and their souls to murderers who would pervert every good instinct — and every bad instinct — every worthy hope and every nasty fear, to keep themselves in power.

Dead children. Made-up crap. For money. That’s what our leading “dissidents” want us to support. There is much that could be said about the utterly puerile arguments being offered for this murder-abetting stance; but in the interests of brevity, and civility — and my own sanity — I will forbear, and simply say: no thanks.

Retribution for a World Lost in Screens

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

By Chris Hedges

Retrubution for a World Lost in Screens

Nemesis was the Greek goddess of retribution. She exacted divine punishment on arrogant mortals who believed they could defy the gods, turn themselves into objects of worship and build ruthless systems of power to control the world around them. The price of such hubris was almost always death.

Nemesis, related to the Greek word némein, means “to give what is due.” Our nemesis fast approaches. We will get what we are due. The staggering myopia of our corrupt political and economic elite, which plunder the nation’s wealth for financial speculation and endless war, the mass retreat of citizens into virtual hallucinations, the collapsing edifices around us, which include the ecosystem that sustains life, are ignored for a giddy self-worship. We stare into electronic screens just as Narcissus, besotted with his own reflection, stared into a pool of water until he wasted away and died.

We believe that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war. We believe that money, rather than manufactured products and goods, is real. We believe in the myth of inevitable human moral and material progress. We believe that no matter how much damage we do to the Earth or our society, science and technology will save us. And as temperatures on the planet steadily rise, as droughts devastate cropland, as the bleaching of coral reefs threatens to wipe out 25 percent of all marine species, as countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh succumb to severe flooding, as we poison our food, air and water, as we refuse to confront our addiction to fossil fuels and coal, as we dismantle our manufacturing base and plunge tens of millions of Americans into a permanent and desperate underclass, we flick on a screen and are entranced.

We confuse the electronic image, a reflection back to us of ourselves, with the divine. We gawk at “reality” television, which of course is contrived reality, reveling in being the viewer and the viewed. True reality is obliterated from our consciousness. It is the electronic image that informs and defines us. It is the image that gives us our identity. It is the image that tells us what is attainable in the vast cult of the self, what we should desire, what we should seek to become and who we are. It is the image that tricks us into thinking we have become powerful—as the popularity of video games built around the themes of violence and war illustrates—while we have become enslaved and impoverished by the corporate state. The electronic image leads us back to the worship of ourselves. It is idolatry. Reality is replaced with electronic mechanisms for preening self-presentation—the core of social networking sites such as Facebook—and the illusion of self-fulfillment and self-empowerment. And in a world unmoored from the real, from human limitations and human potential, we inevitably embrace superstition and magic. This is what the worship of images is about. We retreat into a dark and irrational fear born out of a cavernous ignorance of the real. We enter an age of technological barbarism.

To those entranced by images, the world is a vast stage on which they are called to enact their dreams. It is a world of constant action, stimulation and personal advancement. It is a world of thrills and momentary ecstasy. It is a world of ceaseless movement. It makes a fetish of competition. It is a world where commercial products and electronic images serve as a pseudo-therapy that caters to feelings of alienation, inadequacy and powerlessness. We may be locked in dead-end jobs, have no meaningful relationships and be confused about our identities, but we can blast our way to power holding a little control panel while looking for hours at a screen. We can ridicule the poor, the ignorant and the weak all day long on trash-talk shows and reality television shows. We are skillfully made to feel that we have a personal relationship, a false communion, with the famous—look at the outpouring of grief at the death of Princess Diana or Michael Jackson. We have never met those we adore. We know only their manufactured image. They appear to us on screens. They are not, at least to us, real people. And yet we worship and seek to emulate them.

In this state of cultural illusion any description of actual reality, because it does not consist of the happy talk that pollutes the airwaves from National Public Radio to Oprah, is dismissed as “negative” or “pessimistic.” The beleaguered Jeremiahs who momentarily stumble into our consciousness and in a desperate frenzy seek to warn us of our impending self-destruction are derided because they do not lay out easy formulas that permit us to drift back into fantasy. We tell ourselves they are overreacting. If reality is a bummer, and if there are no easy solutions, we don’t want to hear about it. The facts of economic and environmental collapse, now incontrovertible, cannot be discussed unless they are turned into joking banter or come accompanied with a neat, pleasing solution, the kind we are fed at the conclusion of the movies, electronic games, talk shows and sitcoms, the kind that dulls our minds into passive and empty receptacles. We have been conditioned by electronic hallucinations to expect happy talk. We demand it.

We confuse this happy talk with hope. But hope is not about a belief in progress. Hope is about protecting simple human decency and demanding justice. Hope is the belief, not necessarily grounded in the tangible, that those whose greed, stupidity and complacency have allowed us to be driven over a cliff shall one day be brought down. Hope is about existing in a perpetual state of rebellion, a constant antagonism to all centers of power. The great moral voices, George Orwell and Albert Camus being perhaps two of the finest examples, describe in moving detail the human suffering we ignore or excuse. They understand that the greatest instrument for moral good is the imagination. The ability to perceive the pain and suffering of another, to feel, as King Lear says, what wretches feel, is a more powerful social corrective than the shelves of turgid religious and philosophical treatises on human will. Those who change the world for the better, who offer us hope, have the capacity to make us step outside of ourselves and feel empathy.

A print-based culture, as writer Neil Postman pointed out, demands rationality. The sequential, propositional character of the written word fosters what Walter Ong calls the “analytic management of knowledge.” But our brave new world of images dispenses with these attributes because the images do not require them to be understood. Communication in the image-based culture is not about knowledge. It is about the corporate manipulation of emotions, something logic, order, nuance and context protect us against. Thinking, in short, is forbidden. Entertainment and spectacle have become the aim of all human endeavors, including politics, which is how Stephen Colbert, playing his television character, can be permitted to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Campaigns are built around the manufactured personal narratives of candidates, who function as political celebrities, rather than policies or ideas. News reports have become soap operas and mini-dramas revolving around the latest celebrity scandal.
Colleges and universities, which view students as customers and suck obscene tuition payments and loans out of them with the tantalizing promise of high-paying corporate jobs, have transformed themselves into resorts and theme parks. In this new system of education almost no one fails. Students become “brothers” or “sisters” in the atavistic, tribal embrace of eating clubs, fraternities or sororities. School spirit and school branding is paramount. Campus security keeps these isolated enclaves of privilege secure. And 90,000-seat football stadiums, along with their millionaire coaches, dominate the campus. It is moral leprosy.

The role of knowledge and art, as the ancient Greeks understood, is to create ekstasis, which means standing outside one’s self to give our individual life and struggle meaning and perspective. The role of art and scholarship is to transform us as individuals, not entertain us as a group. It is to nurture this capacity for understanding and empathy. Art and scholarship allow us to see the underlying structures and assumptions used to manipulate and control us. And this is why art, like intellectual endeavor, is feared by the corporate elite as subversive. This is why corporations have used their money to deform universities into vocational schools that spit out blinkered and illiterate systems managers. This is why the humanities are withering away.

The vast stage of entertainment that envelops our culture is intended to impart the opposite of ekstasis. Mass entertainment plays to the basest and crudest instincts of the crowd. It conditions us to have the same aspirations and desires. It forces us to speak in the same dead clichés and slogans. It homogenizes human experience. It wallows in a cloying nostalgia and sentimentalism that foster historical amnesia. It turns the Other into a cartoon or a stereotype. It prohibits empathy because it prohibits understanding. It denies human singularity and uniqueness. It assures us that we all have within us the ability, talent or luck to become famous and rich. It forms us into a lowing and compliant herd. We have been conditioned to believe—defying all the great moral and philosophical writers from Socrates to Orwell—that the aim of life is not to understand but to be entertained. If we do not shake ourselves awake from our electronic hallucinations and defy the elites who are ruining the country and trashing the planet we will experience the awful and deadly retribution of the gods.

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