The Harper Junta: From Bad to Worse

Canada is not immune to some of the uglier manifestations of the post-Enlightenment. As former readers of The Dark Age Blog know, I’ve never expressed an especial preference for one political ideology over another except as necessary to restore a socio-political equilibrium, being content to describe myself simply as a “counter-reactionary”. (In fact, passionately counter-reactionary). As a proponent of “integral politics” — ( that is to say, one who recognises some degree of use-value in all the formal political tools evolved through history, so painfully developed over the course of the Modern Era, for creating the Good Society, whether these tools be called liberal, conservative, socialist, or environmentalist) I have avoided hobbling myself by indulging in any strict adherence to a mere angular and narrow-minded nook-and-corner perspective that so often characterises the mentality of the vulgar ideologue or (what is equivalent) the politically oriented narcissist. Consequently, people who try to figure out my “political position” — the cliched term — often become frustrated with me.

But as you also may recall from The Dark Age Blog, too, I consider the present Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, as close to being the Devil incarnate — and as much a thorough-going, self-involved narcissist — as any Prime Minister the Dominion of Canada has ever seen. Certainly he is the most reactionary, being one whose politics crosses the line of what is considered proper conduct in a democracy, and whose politics slides down the greasy pole into the cesspool of crypto-fascism.

St. Stephen Illuminatus by the Grace of God -- (apparently)

He is also one of the most unpopular Canadian Prime Ministers of all time. In these times, however, that makes no difference. In these times, in Canada, a politician and his party can be assured of victory at the polls if it gains scarcely greater than 30% of the vote. This is a scandal. But the electorate is so fractured between the socialists, the liberals, the greens, the Quebec nationalists, and the (very much mis-named) “conservatives” that 30% of the vote now constitutes a plurality (though not a majority) sufficient to elevate even the likes of an Adolf Hitler to power (in 1932, the Nazis won over 37% of the popular vote, effectively consolidating their hold in that fractured nation over the liberal Weimar Republic, which they subsequently dissolved and replaced with a fascist dictatorship).

In other words, the German reactionaries came to power initially by largely constitutional means (along with a little violence and intimidation), and thereafter used quasi-constitutional instruments to subvert and destroy the constitutional state, establishing a dictatorship. Democracy, with its considerable shortcomings, is very fragile, and seizing control of state power in order to shape society to one’s preference is often far too tempting for the ambitious — and the weak. If you are more committed to your own political “perspective” than to the democracy (which means diversity) as a whole, then you are a political reactionary.

Now, describing the Harper Junta (the PMO or Prime Minister’s Office) as being cryto-fascist may seem like exaggeration on my part. But when even many self-declared conservatives have become alarmed by the direction in which a so-called (and mis-named) “Tory” government is moving, then it is necessary to conclude that “Canada’s new government” (as the present Conservative government likes to style itself) has crossed the boundary of what is considered acceptable conduct even to traditional conservatives. And the only boundary this might be, one that even traditional conservatives fear to cross, is into the wasteland of right-wing reactionary politics — the twilight zone called “fascism”.

I will point out, also, that even Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s chief appointed propagandist, could refer to the Nazi dictatorship and the politics of the pure ethnic state (der Volksstaat) as being “authentic democracy” (as opposed to “liberal democracy”) and that this was believed by many gullible and naive people as being the case.

There is a close relationship between the words “demos” and “demon”. (Plurality, thy name is Legion). And it was that relation that moved Nietzsche, after much reflection, to characterise democracy as “herd mentality”. And herd mentality is just what seems to be in vogue, at present, in much of current Canadian politics.

However, I will let you be the judge of whether the acts of the present Canadian government constitute the politics of the reactionary through the following links (even though this may be of more interest to Canadians than the majority of readers of The Chrysalis.)

Kelly McParland of even the conservative National Post: “Tory bodies are piling up” (the only parallel McParland doesn’t invoke here is the Nazi “Night of the Long Knives”, which purged the more naive “moderate” conservatives and socialists from the Nazi fold. But the continuing purge of even moderate conservatives and conservative appointees and progressives from the new Conservative Party of Canada by Stephen Harper means that this party has already crossed a line). The National Post, August 19, 2010.

Linda McQuaig: “Harper’s Foxy luncheon“. The Toronto Star, August 24 highlights the conspiratorial and secretive nature of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Harper’s reactionary politics.

Lawrence Martin: “Is Stephen Harper set to move against the CRTC?” The Globe and Mail, August 19, 2010. The PMO’s genteel version of subversion, or “coup from above” as it is sometimes called. This hasn’t disturbed (as it should have) many of the True Believers in the True (reactionary) Faith one bit.

Chantal Hébert: “Public servants find their voice; Harper MPs and Senators silent“. The toadyism and cowardice of the conservative MPs and the meekness of the Harper appointed conservative Senators (basically Harper’s window dressing). From The Toronto Star, August 20, 2010.

Neo-conservatism failed in the United States with the George Bush administration. But it seems some naive fools (Harper amongst them) believe — even more improbably — that it can succeed in Canada where it was a manifest and embarrassing failure elsewhere.

But, as I remarked in the earlier Dark Age Blog, Canada is almost always — invariably — 10 years behind everyone else in the world. There’s a word for that lag — “retarded”.

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44 responses to “The Harper Junta: From Bad to Worse”

  1. alex jay says :

    “Neo-conservatism failed in the United States with the George Bush administration.”

    I think you might be indulging in some wishful thinking on that one Scott. The label may have been rebranded, but all evidence points to business as usual – “new boss same as the last”. What has changed from the classic “neo-con” agenda except the rhetoric?

    Pre-emptive war – escalation in Afghanistan, new theaters in Pakistan and Somalia, new bases in Columbia, rearming Georgia, gun-boat diplomacy in the China Sea (flexing mussles against North Korea and China) and off the coast of Costa Rica, expanding missle defence (choke) systems encircling Russia, increasing military bases around the world (over 700 and counting), increasing military budget exceeding the rest of the world put together, a blank check to the Israelis, and Guantanamo is still open for business – all in all, a Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney et al “ne0-con” wet dream. Don’t kid yourself about ending the war in Iraq: there are still 50,000 troops combat ready (still drawing combat pay, funny if the war is supposed to be over), and the ones that have left will be largely replaced by private contractors – a euphamism for mercenaries.

    National Defence – the Patriot Act is still intact as is the COG (Continuity of Goverment – Rumsfeld and Cheney’s creation), licence to kill suspected US citizens anywhere in the world without due process (even Bush didn’t admit to that), an 847,000 top-clearance surveillance network spying on the American people (hundreds of thousands also involved with lower clearance), an on-going assault to control and shut down the free internet etc.

    Economy – the continuity of distributing wealth from the middle-class to the rich, i.e the “neo-cons” favourite handlers: big banks, big pharma, big agri, big military contractors, big media, big billionaires – big criminals.

    Many other examples of was is called “Neo-Conservatism”, which is just another sound-bite label to disguise and confuse (divide and rule – basic Hegelian dilectics) the people of this planet to embrace an One World Order in order to create a neo-feudalist system (a Wealth and Scientific dictatorship) designed and incrementally executed over the last century by Malthusian and Neo-Darwinist sociopaths.

    Canada and Harper are just going along with the agenda … as is Britain – Cameron, America – Obama etc. It doesn’t matter who’s technically in charge. They are all vetted and allowed to lead for as long as they are useful, and if they deviate from their assignment, they might wind up with a headache from a bullet discharged by disgruntled employee working in a book depository.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      “Neo-conservatism failed in the United States with the George Bush administration.”

      I think you might be indulging in some wishful thinking….

      I don’t know, alex. It’s certainly failed and irredeemably so, though the “elite” mindset is oblivious to that reality. (They say the definition of insanity….)

      It’s not easily proven that we suffer a tyranny of the minority, though voter turnout records would seem proof enough. People know the system is rigged, but feel helpless to do anything about it, and eventually give up hope. The important thing in my mind, though, is that — regardless the political “stripe” in question among the public — on some level, people know. They may not know the particulars or precisely what to do about it, but they know, which recalls TDAB discussions on the subject of responsive action as opposed to unresponsive reaction.

      There’s a great deal of that last, of course. No sooner did the “Tea Party” rear up than the “Coffee Party” came into being here. At the same time, though, there are those promoting appropriate rather than inappropriate revolution. (As this one has been published pretty much everywhere from OpEd News to Organic Consumers to Atlantic Free Press to…and is proving quite popular, it would seem a foregone conclusion — though, of course, it can’t be proven — that this is the resonance frequency to which most people respond.)

      It is for this reason that I have the impression the ‘World Machine’ and the ‘Global Community’ (not necessarily ‘globalists’, but those who feel a sense of global community) occupy separate planes of existence. Those planes don’t have to collide, however, and there remains the ever-so-slight chance that, as pressure builds from within — not just in America, but around the world — the system will be forced to change in response however long that might take.

      The “perfect storm” of crises would seem to indicate there is not as much time as it likely would take for transformation to occur, but there is no question in my mind it is occurring.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I think you might be indulging in some wishful thinking on that one Scott. The label may have been rebranded, but all evidence points to business as usual – “new boss same as the last”. What has changed from the classic “neo-con” agenda except the rhetoric?

      I think infi is correct in her comment. Further, I also think that the rise of the Tea Party is certain proof that the neo-con centre of gravity imploded. Although the Tea Party has all the ugly features of the neo-conservative movement (and more, just like the Wildrose Alliance in America’s northern Siamese twin, the Province of Alberta), the neo-cons were, for the most part, an elite intelligentsia that thought they were competent to serve as masters of the universe. The Tea Party is a right-wing populist movement and I don’t know much about it except that it seems to be connected with Fox News in some way. (I know even less about the “Coffee Party” that infi mentions). But I don’t think it can be said to be directly drawn from the ruins of the neo-conservative movement, who were largely (bad) intellectuals who grossly over-estimated themselves and grossly under-estimated just how poor their mental faculties and judgement really were.

      The situation in Canada is somewhat different, since neo-conservatism is still the creed of the Harper regime, but it is likely to meet the same fate, even though Harper and his cronies have thrown their weight behind Alberta’s Wildrose Alliance and against the long-ruling Progressive Conservative Party (this is too involved to go into here in detail). But it is in keeping with Harper’s agenda for purging progressives (or “Red Tories” as they are called here) from the ranks of Canadian conservatism (and explains his support for a Fox News-type clone media outlet in Canada). Harper wants to radicalise the right. The “Progressives” were the moderating influence. This agenda also looks likely to fail, since with every step Harper takes in this direction (forcing the rest of Canada to resemble Alberta), his unpopularity ratings rise and his government’s poll ratings fall.

      If it wasn’t for Michael Ignatieff (who is even more unpopular than Harper) leading the Liberal Party, Harper and his party would be outta’here, quite possibly only a rump party penned up in its stronghold of Alberta to wither away. It has happened before.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        The Tea Party is a right-wing populist movement and I don’t know much about it except that it seems to be connected with Fox News in some way. (I know even less about the “Coffee Party” that infi mentions).

        It’s not a far leap. If the “Tea Party” is comprised of the Fox News/Drudge Report crowd, then the “Coffee Party” is comprised of (primarily) the CNN/Daily Kos crowd.

        Promise me something, Coyote. If — on the waaaayyyy off-chance — you ever decide you might be missing something in not owning a TV, you will purchase one solely to watch DVDs, documentaries, and perhaps…Star Trek reruns. 😉

    • Scott Preston says :

      There is another possibly humourous aspect to this issue of “Fox News-North” and Harper’s secretive meeting with Rupert Murdoch.

      It was once revealed that Harper didn’t watch the Canadian media because he didn’t like what the Canadian media were saying about him and his government. He preferred to watch American news channels (and we can guess pretty accurately which that might be). He has also had to defend himself against a popular perception that he’s “the devil”. Maybe Harper needs a media outlet that has exaggeratedly nice, endearing, and heart-warming things to say about him in Canada so he can watch a quasi-Canadian-content news channel featuring him — St Stephen. He is certainly attempting to fast-track the approval process for this, in his usual thuggish and faux napoleonic way, even though (as the head of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting put it), it’s not appropriate for the Prime Minister to be approving and issuing tv and radio licences. For Fox News North will then be little more than an arm’s length Ministry of Propaganda for the government, and especially for Stephen Harper who can then gaze at himself appreciatively reflected in the boob toob. Mirror, mirror on the wall….

  2. Scott Preston says :

    “You’re a fool if you don’t realize this is going to be the reactionary’s century, perhaps their thousand-year reign.” -Norman Mailer

    I just randomly discovered that quote on one of the WordPress blog sites called “Reactionary Century”. (But I think Mailer’s time-line is just a tad too long).

  3. Scott says :

    I was just reflecting on that quote by Norman Mailer, and it occurred to me that The Age of Revolution and of the revolutionary type (which the Modern Era truly was beginning with Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and ending with the Russian Revolution and the First World War) may necessarily have to be followed up by an Age of Reaction and of the reactionary-type (like breathing or alternating current or the swing of time’s pendulum). In effect, enantiodromia at work — reversal of fortune at the extremity (law of reciprocal actions: every action an equal and opposite reaction. It is this, one of Newton’s laws of physics, that gave us the political term “reactionary” — the counter-revolutionary).

    Example of the reactionary type: Robert Kaplan (a neo-conservative) whose book Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos advocated the rollback of 2,000 years of Western history and the revivification of the Roman Imperial model (Tiberius being his model of leadership suitable for an American empire). Too late, though! Hitler and Mussolini already tried that.

    This alteration or reciprocal action is not a comforting thought, actually. But I have the feeling that, somehow, this might be implicated in Jean Gebser’s “law of the earth” and with the mass anxieties of the Late Modern and Post-Modern period.

    But don’t take my word for it. It’s just a musing.

  4. alex jay says :

    Scott: “I was just reflecting on that quote by Norman Mailer, and it occurred to me that The Age of Revolution and of the revolutionary type (which the Modern Era truly was beginning with Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and ending with the Russian Revolution and the First World War) …”

    Or … the First World War was the beginning of three world wars as prophesised so accurately by American Civil War (Confederate) general, 32nd degree Mason, Albert Pike whose statue (dis)graces the Justice Dept. building in Washngton. Shame you don’t have broadband Scott, but I’ll leave the internet link for InfineWarrior (Pike’s prediction is read out on the second part of the 3rd video):

    http://www.infowars.com/the-real-story-pre-911-history/

    In a nutshell, Pike said that there were going to be 3 world wars. The first to destroy the Russian Czar and introduce Communism (atheism). The second to create a counterbalance to Communism – Fascism – and destroy Zionism in Europe so that they would be able to create a Jewish State in Israel. The third will be a war between Zionism and Islam which will be mutually destructive to both, while bringing in the rest of the world, which will cause a world-wide era of unimagineable death and destruction forcing all people to abandon all previously held religious beliefs thus enabling the emergence of a new Luciferian era totally controlled by his version of the elite – I guess.

    SPOOKY! Bearing in mind, he wrote about it in the 1800s. Not even Nietzche was so precise. Anyway, he’s been absolutely correct on the two world wars so far and his third world war prediction seems to be more than just possible.

    As far as your view on the premature demise of Neo-Conservatism in the US, did you hear Obama’s Orwellian double-speak speech on the Iraqi withdrawl (“New Dawn” – more like the Twilight Zone)? He even praised Bush Jr. on his patriotism (barf) – even his sychophantic cheerleader Rachel Maddow didn’t know how to deal with that, and arch-neo-con Kristol gave him a B+. By the way, have you noticed how many
    neo-cons are reappearing – Wolfowitz, Bolton, Rove etc. – on the MSM. These guys should all be in front of the judges in the Hague instead of being given air-time to spout their vitriolic propaganda in the mass media. Meanwhile, a recent Gallop Poll indicates that 56% of the US sheeples want to bomb Iran … and you think Neo-Conservatism in the US died after Bush???

  5. Scott says :

    Meanwhile, a recent Gallop Poll indicates that 56% of the US sheeples want to bomb Iran … and you think Neo-Conservatism in the US died after Bush???

    I’m not sure there’s any connection between wanting to bomb Iran and neo-conservatism. Neo-conservatism isn’t just a mood or an opinion, or a blanket term to take in all kinds of reactionary behaviours. It’s a defined ideology and political programme contained, in large part, in the Project for the New American Century’s (PNAC) Statement of Principles and expanded upon in the notorious document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”. The fact that some people you mention above (including The Weekly Standard) continue to whip a dead horse is not proof that neo-conservatism still has legs under it. That’s like people complaining that Labour or the Canadian NDP is “socialist” even though it has long since forsaken the core principles of socialism. They confuse the image with the reality. Something that’s a Zombie may look alive, but it’s not.

    It’s even a moot point, at this stage, whether Stephen Harper’s neo-conservatism even has any legs under it outside the PMO any longer, since he has taken to centralising power and decision in his office. A couple of things appeared in the press this morning that suggest it is also on the wane in Canada. I’m pleased to read, for example, political columnist Lawrence Martin’s article in today’s The Globe and Mail “Where is Igntieff’s plan to restore our democracy?” that agrees with much of what I wrote above. Martin doesn’t mince words in comparing Harper to Mussolini, with his apparent contempt for democratic watchdog institutions. It’s an apt comparison. (Even articulate conservatives like Andrew Coyne are aghast calling the present Conservative government and party “A know-nothing strain of conservatism”). Now, a new poll today shows the Harper Conservatives likely to lose an election to a tiny minority Liberal government should one be held today (it would be worse, too, for Harper if Ignatieff were not himself tainted by his former ugly and stupid endorsement of, and support for, neo-conservative and PNAC policies in the US). Fact is, the majority of the Canadian electorate dislikes Ignatieff as much as they dislike Harper, and for much the same reason.

    It’s only because the system of governance selection is in crisis in Late Modern democracies that such ugly political formations get any traction at all. As London School of Economics professor Patrick Dunleavy wrote: “For the first time in history…every key ‘Westminster model’ country in the world now has a hung Parliament.” — that is, Canada, Britain, India, and Australia. It is important to realise what this means as a symptom of the times.

  6. alex jay says :

    “I’m not sure there’s any connection between wanting to bomb Iran and neo-conservatism.”

    I totally agree that the PNAC is the manual for the neo-con ideology and , in that context, the current posture against Iran closely follows the agenda of its original architects to bludgeon any threat (perceived or imagined) that might present an obstacle to US global hegemony and “full spectrum dominance”. It should be clear that Obama’s initial rhetoric offering to meet the Iranian regime half-way diplomatically was either disingenous or he has been compromised by the Zionist (primarily neo-con – check out the initial signatories to the PNAC) influence grid. His flip-flop on the Turkish and Brazilian nuclear exchange initiative – initially having encouraged the very outcome achieved- by imposing draconian sanctions should dispel any doubts of the chasm that exists between his words and actions. Anyway Scott, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. As far as I’m concerned, all evidence to date, and the modus operendi employed against Iran (as just one example, though I’ve listed some others in preceding comments above on the execution of PNAC doctrine) is a re-run of the pre-Iraqi invasion scenerio. This suggests that the ghosts of the neo-con Bush administration are still haunting the corridors of the White House … and the forces of military-corporate totalitarianism (fascism) – as warned by Eisenhower – march on no matter what insignia is embossed on the banner.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Oh, I don’t disagree, Alex, that the ghost of neo-conservatism still haunts the halls of policy debate and the planet. (A zombie is difficult to kill, since its dead already). But the “Big Tent” consensus that the neo-cons attempted to create around the necessity of a post-modern American Empire (which Mssr. Harper in Canada is still attempting to do in his own small way here) has fizzled owing to a number of “perverse outcomes”, one of which being the market meltdown as well as the Iraq debacle. Although much of the intelligentsia and media stupidly and stuporously signed on to the neo-conservative/neo-liberal/neo-socialist Big Tent idea (Michael Ignatieff here in Canada being one of the foremost suckers) that experiment is over. There is, indeed, still a search for a post-modern (ideological) consensus about the meaning of the Global Era, but it will not be along the lines devised by the neo-cons. All the assumptions upon which that particular screed were based proved to be faulty when it came to implementation.

      Something far more dangerous seems to be taking its place — dispensing with such “assumptions” completely (emerging of anti-intellectualism and the irrationalities of the Tea Party, for example). The neo-cons may have opened the Gates of Hell and unleashed the demons waiting there, but they certainly don’t have command of them. The genie is loose, and no one at present can stuff it back into the bottle or direct its actions, any more than Marx, say, could command and direct his “spectre haunting Europe” (or the world). For events certainly turned out differently than Marx and Engels anticipated. Human beings love playing sorcerer’s apprentice, but once the spirit of a thing is unleashed, it acquires a life and logic of its own. That’s the essential significance of “Zeitgeist”.

  7. InfiniteWarrior says :

    the current posture against Iran

    You may be interested in Cutting Through the Media’s Bogus Bomb-Iran Debate.

    • Scott says :

      That’s a good and interesting piece. Yes, the neo-cons will still seek, despite not having their hands on the levers of power, to influence the direction of policy, especially vis-a-vis the Middle East and Israel, and using the crude and blunt (but effective) instruments they employed to gain power in the first place — perception management and propaganda. But, after the Iraqi debacle, I very much doubt they will find many takers for their histrionic narratives. If neo-conservatism does resurface again, it will not be as “neo-conservatism” overtly, but will have to come wearing different disguises and masks and using a new Trojan Horse. Even Rosenstock believed that the US (and much of the “democratic” world probably) was due for a bout of fascism (the implications of Mailer’s quote cited earlier about the Age of the Reactionary and equally of Bertram Gross’s book Friendly Fascism and Arthur Sellwyn Miller’s The New Corporate State).

      This is not at all inconceivable. It’s in the Zeitgeist. A lot of people feel stressed out by, and anxiety-ridden about, the emergence of the Global Era (and emergent planetary civilisation) and are responding like cattle shocked by a cattle prod. The neo-cons are no different. It’s all a question of our responses to what Rosenstock-Huessy called (in the quote I cited in an earlier post) the powerful hand that has lifted us up and now places us down within new and different horizons. The familiar horizons — organised around Nation State and the pursuit of Self-Interest that gave the former Age “Modern Era” — are gone (basic intuition of post-modernism). Presently, our responses to this event have been inadequate and irresponsible, and more in the nature of panic. In fact, panic and anxiety — the key dominant feelings that lead to irrationality — are the typical features of the reactionary-type.

      The reactionary is still here, obviously, and neo-conservatism is one episode and aspect of this background current of absurdity that threatens to wash everything away in one stupendous act of nihilism. We all have to pace the transition through the present confusion and into the Planetary/Global Era carefully, otherwise Gebser’s prophecy for our time will be fulfilled — the end of the Earth and its mankind (which implies the entirety of life). This is very possible still, given the “ocean of insanity” that seems to be beating down upon our shorelines.

  8. Scott Preston says :

    Let me attempt to put this another way…. (although this should probably be a blog, rather than a comment).

    The PNAC statement of principles — and the neo-conservatives — thought they could rationally engineer events to effect a desired outcome, including their own longevity in power necessary to effect the transformation of the US from a Republic into an Empire. This did not happen (and their Canadian counterparts in the “new conservatism” are being equally frustrated in their attempt to re-engineer Canada along neo-con lines). Indeed, wherever this has been attempted (as mentioned) it is resulting in a crisis of the system of governance (particularly the hung parliaments of those countries which have adopted the Westminster model). Unite the right, (divide the country). That’s the perverse outcome of this particular political strategy. It induces social fracture, fragmentation, and disintegration.

    This is why I don’t accept conspiracy theories, which assume that rational actors are in control of events. Oh sure, they may try to control and direct events (or even generate fake events). But one of the key features of a declining age such as ours is the exponential growth in “perverse outcome” or “unintended consequence” — those emergent or synergistic factors which escape and defy rational manipulation completely, and which quite literally acquire a life of their own. This is the case with Ginsberg’s “Moloch” in his poem Howl. As they say “nobody saw this coming”. No one is steering the ship of state. It’s become more like a ghost ship — a Marie Celeste adrift in a Sargasso Sea. (I saw a dumb horror movie a while ago called Virus which, nonetheless, had this interesting premise of a ghost ship that had basically become its own volitional entity and which now treated its crew as though they were parasites like lice or a virus infecting it). It’s something a metaphor for the World Machine called Global Economy, but which resembles Ginsberg’s Moloch.

    Of course, political types need to be perceived as being in control of events, (and not just as the high priests of a new and terrible god). But all that is Wizard of Oz stuff just to appear powerful and confident (which means competent) and to inspire confidence in the public. The exponential growth in unintended consequence (“revenge effect”) and perverse outcome however means that the premisses upon which such rationality is erected have become “deficient” (to use Jean Gebser’s terminology for this). While those premisses, beliefs, and assumptions may have been adequate in one era, they have become inadequate in another. Events, therefore, are out of control, despite perception management which seeks to give the opposite impression. What happens, of course, is that image and reality grow further and further apart (like W.B. Yeats’ falcon and the falconer in his poem The Second Coming) until the entire house of cards comes crashing down — “things fall apart, the centre cannot hold”. Our responses to events become increasingly erratic, panicky, anxious, and inadequate. And that is in the nature of the “apocalyptic” disclosure of the real.

    Eventually, however, others arise who attempt to build a new ship rather than try to patch up the increasingly inadequate old one, and new eras are born. Their responses to events which pose as the questions put to us by reality prove to be adequate, successful, and “proper” responses, in which case a new sense of “propriety” is born, which also becomes the new common sense.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      the new common sense

      Same as the “old” common sense. As Oren Lyons put it [vid], “I was born with common sense. You’ve just got to use it. That’s all.”

      Propriety (i.e. proper balance and proportion; not to be confused with “piety”) never goes out of “style”…with anyone other than power-mongers, that is.

  9. alex jay says :

    Thanks for the link InfiniteWarrior. I’ve read quite a few in a similar vein. What frustrates me is the total lack of historical context that discourse seems to be applied these days. As George Santayana so presciently stated: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (sometimes miquoted as those who don’t understand history are bound – or doomed – to repeat it). This neatly brings me to Scott’s latest comment:

    “This is why I don’t accept conspiracy theories, which assume that rational actors are in control of events. Oh sure, they may try to control and direct events (or even generate fake events). But one of the key features of a declining age such as ours is the exponential growth in “perverse outcome” or “unintended consequence” — those emergent or synergistic factors which escape and defy rational manipulation completely, and which quite literally acquire a life of their own.”

    If I understand that statement correctly, you seem to be confusing cause and effect. A conspiracy is a plan of intent, while a “perverse outcome” is the potential result that deviates from the intent. This, however, does not negate the fact that a conspiracy (plan) was formulated irrespective of the consequences. The other abuse of the current ubiquitous throw-away line “conspiracy theory” is the misapplication of the terms hypothesis and theory. In other words, when people refer to the casual useage of “conspiracy theory” in the context of insufficient evidence, what they really should be saying is conspiracy hypothesis. This distinction is clearly accepted and understood in scientific discipline, yet totally confused in modern discourse relating to the causes of historical events. To deny “conspiracy theories” is to deny history – some results were intended while others unintended. And, yes, historical evidence does indeed support the theory that “rational actors are in control of events” (and, even if not in control, certainly manage/direct events – notwithstanding natural interventions).

    To illustrate the damage that can arise by the flippant misuse of “conspiracy theory” to denigrate and silence opposition to the spoon-fed myth of official perception-management, consider, what in my mind, is the axial moment of our era (equivalent and possibly exceeding the global impact of Arhduke Ferginand’s assassination triggering WWI – also a conspiracy): September 11, 2001 (“9/11”).

    One thing we can all agree on is that it was a conspiracy – it was planned by organised secretive elements with intent to produce a result commensurate to a formulated agenda. Whether you accept the official spoon-fed version that it was a conspiracy executed by 19 Islamic hijackers armed with box-cutters who could fly planes like Tom Cruise (“Top Gun”) planned and funded by a mad Arab from a cave in Afghanistan, or you’re inclined to scratch your head and think that maybe the official version of the *real* “conspiracy theory” (which has now achieved historical credibility) is so preposterous that it might just pass the hypothesis stage, but certainly cannot be given the superior status of a theory – i.e. it is totally falsifiable from every contrived empirical claim – scientific especially (over 1200 architects and engineers, not to mention physicists, chemists, pilots, demolition experts etc), and doesn’t even include the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, both prior and after the event. In fact, after 3 years of research, I’d go so far as to say that not only is the so-mistakenly-labled 9/11 “conspiracy theory” a theory, it is a fact (the only thing that is unclear, and perhaps will never be illuminated are the “rational actors” behind this greatest of all conspiracies in human history (Jesuit hanky-panky excluded : )).

    • Scott says :

      If I understand that statement correctly, you seem to be confusing cause and effect.

      That reminded me of the Marovingian’s lines spoken to Neo in the second Matrix movie, The Matrix Reloaded. The Marovingian is quite sure that Neo is entangled deterministically and inexorably in the net of necessity and of cause and effect, the rules already predicated by the system itself, the outcome already decided. Yet, in the end the Marovingian’s confidence in the rules of cause and effect is confounded by Neo’s surprising unpredictability (not to mention his wife’s). And as Neo sums it up when he finally meets the Architect: “the problem is choice”.

      Things like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand are not causes so much as occasions. The cause of the First World War lay in the responses of men to events and not in the events themselves. The meaning that men ascribe to events are different from the events themselves. What determines this meaning? Here, we get into that whole area that Gurdjieff described as the machine-like character of mentation — the apparent inability of human beings under ordinary circumstances to rise above the level of the automaton or the amoeba.

      Which brings us back to The Matrix and Neo’s encounter with The Architect. The Architect (the arch conspirator here) appears to be the free element in the System, while Neo is cast as the fully determined one whose every act is ruled by necessity and prescribed by the rules of the system in terms of cause and effect. By the end of the encounter, it’s clear that the Architect is far less free to make the decisions he does than Neo. He cannot create. He can only implement. An even more powerful “invisible hand” ultimately determines the Architect’s every thought and response. While Neo discovers “choice” (which is in the nature of our selection of response — to affirm or deny), the Architect has no choice. He must think the way he does and he must respond the way he does. He cannot transcend the parameters of the system which shaped him and, like the Marovingian, cannot see what’s coming.

      All conspiracies rely on this machine-like response of human thought — the predictable response. But these conspiracies (such as market conspiracies) are not the free or controlling element here when we inquire into motive, and into what has its grip on the mind which shapes the thought and intent of would-be conspirators. And when viewed in this way, what are called “conspiracies” are, in themselves, effects and not causes. They are just as much mechanical responses of the automaton mind shaped by some even more primitive and irrational factor or instinct — greed or fear. And in a society where greed (born of fear ultimately) are dominating motives, the responses of “conspirators” to events are just as mechanical and as unfree as others. The “love of money” may be the root of all evil, but the flip-side of the love of money is the fear of destitution, powerlessness, and insecurity of existence. One might as well say that the ego’s fear and denial of death is the root of all evil. And in a culture of fear, where fear directs the intents and thoughts of men and women — where fear is the context for interpreting the meaning of “cause and effect” or of events and responses to events — where some implicit irrational element and fear directs the mind in its calculating course and logic — then conspiracy itself is effect and not cause. The intent is not shaped by the calculating mind, but by something more primitive still, a mood that we call the “Zeitgeist”, the horizon of which determines what is to be considered the “common sense” of the day, even if the Zeitgeist itself is irrational. But it is the Zeitgeist — the “invisible hand” for being the unconscious, determining element — that forms the horizon within which meaning is formed and ascribed, and in which our responses are framed, even if it is itself irrational and absurd, and it rules, just as something more fundamental and invisible still ruled The Architect’s intentions, motives, and calculations.

  10. alex jay says :

    I should also add, Scott, that sometimes what may be referred to as “unintended consequences” is purely “in the eye of the beholder”. As you know so well, it is nothing other than the manifestion of Narcissistic delusion.

    Example: Tony Blair. Conspirator Par Excellence that is, to this day (despite the vomit inducing crocodile tears and ingenuous mea culpas in his recent memoirs), oblivious to the unintended? (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt – a child of the system/matrix) complicity to satiate Moloch’s appetite and reap the rewards of ego satisfaction by accumulating a financial fortune and celebrity adulation on Fox News as an example.

    As long as conspiracies produce maerial benefits – intended or unintended – the image in the pond will always look attractive and the Echo wil support the delusion.

    Time to kill the Echo … the media controlled by Olympus

  11. Scott says :

    Time to kill the Echo … the media controlled by Olympus

    Olympus and the Olympians? That’s usually a code word for the so-called and alleged “Committee of 300” — ostensibly the Great Granddaddy and Great Grandmama of all conspiracy groupings (Trilateral Commission, Club of Rome, Tavistock Institute, Bilderbergers, Freemasons, Illuminati, Zionists, Communism, etc, etc all being deemed the offspring and brainchildren of the Committee). Hell, I even read one guy who claims he has solid evidence that the Committee of 300 had their beginning in Atlantis, and that it has been secretly steering and controlling human history and engineering the human race ever since (first cause of globalisation).

    I know a man (he’s an optometrist, in fact) who is a firm (if not a fanatical and very zealous) believer in the “Committee of 300” (and he would dearly love to make it the Committee of 301 by his addition to the roster, because he’s being eaten alive with envy. Unfortunately, he’s having a hard time making contact with anyone who’s ostensibly a member of Olympus in order to procure an invitation). Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to find any factual evidence whatsoever for the existence of such a shadowy organisation. For his part, my failure to find any evidence for the existence of a “Committee of 300” (which might just relieve him of his anxieties and chronic resentment about being excluded from, and shut out of, the Olympian commanding heights) is definitive proof of its very success as the world’s most notorious, invisible, and powerful conspiratorial group, functioning as the supreme command and “Hidden Hand” of history. (I note, with something like incredulity, that Aldous Huxley was supposed to have been a member).

    For my part, as the saying goes, I have no need of that hypothesis.

    • alex jay says :

      Very perceptive! I wasn’t sure you would cotton on to that. I should have added a smiley at the end. Nevertheless, well spotted. If you are interested in getting the definitive info on the gods manipulating the fate of humanity, you have to read D. John Coleman’s opus: “Conspirator’s Hierarchy: The Commitee of 300”. Normally, I take these theories (hypotheses) with a pinch of salt. The thing that makes this book somewhat different is the author’s background in the intelligence world, especially MI6. So he has either gone doo-lally in his dotage or there might just be something to it. I believe you can download it on kindle on his web site. In the meantime here’s a link with a brief review:

      http://www.barefootsworld.net/tavistok.html

  12. alex jay says :

    Better still … here is the book for free:

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_sociopol_committee300.htm

    You might want to pass it on your friend (though chances are he is probably aware of it)?

    Who knows, maybe Dr. Coleman can get him an application to be 301 : )

    • Scott says :

      Thanks for the link. I should probably start a file on conspiracy theories. I suspect that it would be a very interesting study in one way or another. But probably very time consuming.

      As for “Dr.” Coleman, he is apparently not what he seems. He has gone by other names in the past, has doubtful credentials as a “Dr.”, and dubious claims to have worked for British Intelligence.

      On the other hand, the fascinating thing about grand conspiracy theories like the Committee of 300 (extending all the way back to Atlantis, in some imaginative versions) is that they appear to provide a surrogate unifying “grand narrative” for history as an alternative to the very weakened Biblical one — God’s transcendent blueprint for history. Instead of history as an anarchic eruption of random events without apparent coherence, conspiracy theory provides a unifying and cohesive mythos (ie “story” or narrative, which is the function of myth) – a kind of integral theory of everything. So did the grand narrative of the Universe as a clockwork discussed in the posting Urbi et Orbi — the mythos of modern man as Odysseus in his pilgrimage through the machine world — initially as Captain of Industry, but latterly as Neo.

      • alex jay says :

        “As for “Dr.” Coleman, he is apparently not what he seems. He has gone by other names in the past, has doubtful credentials as a “Dr.”, and dubious claims to have worked for British Intelligence.”

        You can’t say that without providing some evidence – don’t turn Fox News on me. Bearing in mind the nature of the (dis?)information he discloses, and his allegation that his life and that of his family have been threatened, it wouldn’t surprise me that he would use pseudonyms, nor that every effort in the pervasive armoury of his adversaries would be used to discredit him – standard operating procedure. Modus operendi – tried and tested over decades of psycho- behavioural practice – familiar to any worthwhile control system operative from Pavlov, Bernays, Freud et al …

        Stages of muzzling the truth (facts):

        1. Ignore — Most info only sticks for a short period as people are to pre-occupied just getting by day-to-day and the revelation will die a natural death in the attention span of the “bread and circuses” drugged masses.

        If that doesn’t work …

        2. Bribe — Join the party! How about a grant, or a fancy tenure at an Alpha league University, or lucrative lecture tours (etc.) to carry on your work for the “benefit of mankind”, as long as you don’t upset the apple cart.

        If that doesn’t work …

        3. Defamation — Release the hounds of disinformation to undermind the content of the message by discrediting the character or the qualifications of the messenger.

        If that doesn’t work …

        Termination — a convenient suicide or accident.

        No Scott, your comment is a cop-out. Read the material and evalue it on the content and its historical relevance ( I think you will find just how prescient his “prophetic” assessment has materialised – bearing in mind, much of what he revealed decades ago seems to have found an uncanny resemblance to the state of current affairs). As the old rugby motto instructs: “play the ball and not the man”.

  13. Scott says :

    I’m kind of loathe to provide links to the sites debunking Coleman, as they belong to the self-styled “patriot community” of conservative reactionaries and things like the Christian Defense League that Coleman used to work for. The reactionaries eat their own, so the debunking of Coleman is all the more interesting because they all belong to the same flock.

    If you google up the names “Barry Turner” and “Eustace Mullins” along with Coleman’s name, that should give you some stuff to chew on. Otherwise, I don’t wish to grace these sites (most patently neo-fascist) by channeling traffic to them.

    • alex jay says :

      Thanks for the references. It would appear that Dr. (?) Coleman (or whoever) has had a chequered and enigmatic career (not a nice one according to Eustace Mullins – I liked the Mossad bit). This accusation by Mullins was interesting:

      “Coleman’s vaunted sources of information were not secret at all, but were discovered by me in the process of reviewing his printed statements. Here are the results of my study: about 30% of his material was lifted from my own writings and about 70% was stolen from Lyndon Larouche publications. Principally, Coleman would rely on feature articles in the Executive Intelligence Review magazine. The material was simply rewritten by Coleman and crudely puffed up to five or six times its original length. Unfortunately, Warner never noticed.” [100% plagarised]

      What that tells us is that this particular critic is not necessarily disputing the thesis, but the man and the methods employed to make the information known. What did I say about “playing the ball and not the man” …

      There is no doubt that there is a load of rubbish in Coleman’s theory (the Beatles and Rolling Stones being collaborators with the Tavistock mind-control agenda as one of several examples). Despite those flights of fancy, and applying eclectic discretion, the underlying thesis proposing the existence of a control mechanism orchestrated by an elite cabal interconnected between the old European aristocratic (landed and commercial) blood lines and the new corporate oligopoly planning and executing a Neo-Darwinst-Huxleyian-Orwellian agenda can be seen unfolding before our eyes. To that extent Coleman’s book does provide some insight into identifying those “rational actors” steering humanity towards a “Brave New World” of enslavement (wherever or to what purpose the information originated).

  14. Scott says :

    What that tells us is that this particular critic is not necessarily disputing the thesis, but the man and the methods employed to make the information known. What did I say about “playing the ball and not the man” …

    She could hardly dispute the thesis if she claims Coleman plagiarised her, could she? That would be shooting herself in the foot.

    But a cyclically closed feedback loop created by people plagiarising each other’s thesis (it happens all the time, as when the neo-cons reviewed each others books for the press) doesn’t at all prove that the original thesis is sound or even realistic. I happen to find the thesis of a Master Conspiracy (spawning a whole lot of other little conspiracies and petite conspirators) to explain the changes in society and history to be unsound from the outset. While there are, indeed, conspiracies of all kinds (particularly market conspiracies), none of these are orchestrated by Masterminds from a Conspirator’s Central Committee. If it were so, I would have to doff my hat and acknowledge, with admiration, their genuine masterfulness and uncommon brilliance.

    • alex jay says :

      “While there are, indeed, conspiracies of all kinds (particularly market conspiracies), none of these are orchestrated by Masterminds from a Conspirator’s Central Committee. If it were so, I would have to doff my hat and acknowledge, with admiration, their genuine masterfulness and uncommon brilliance.”

      “Doff my hat” is a somewhat meek response. Now … if you were prepared to *eat your hat* that would be a far more challenging motivation to present you with countless sources (de-classified documents, CFR papers, speeches, books from bone fide insiders who have decided to go public – not of the Coleman variety – as well as quotes outlining the One World Fascist Government project from some of its key architects like Kissenger, Breszinski, David Rockefeller, John Holdren, Obama’s current eugenicist Science Czar, and Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Regulatory Czar who wants to “reformulate” (read abolish) the First Amendment and control the internet etc. etc. – sociophatic “masterminds” one and all.

      Just a little current taster of what Kissinger in a speech intimated a few decades ago on the objective of controlling the world food supply to manage the population of the planet, which has been implemented and in full swing with the onslaught and rapid destruction of the world’s small farmers to the giant GM agri-business cartel: There is now going through the Senate (the House already passed it) S.510 (laughingly called “The Food Safety Modernization Act), which will place draconian regulatory conditions – such as madatory inspections by the FDA paid for by those inspected, reems of record keeping and paperwork, inability to create a seed bank for everyone growing food, a mandatory licence to sell food to the public and just about anything else that will make it illegal or prohibitive for any market gardner, organic food producer down to the old lady with a few carrots and tomatos in her garden to grow food. And all of this under the wing of the Dept. of Homeland Security … would you believe? Well Yes! It’s been on the cards and planned well in advance decades ago, along with the disintegration of society (“divide and rule”), the current destruction of the middle class (the working class was pacified in the 80’s when the unions were neutered, which was Maggie’s and Reagan’s assignment), the pacifiction of the masses by a campaign of pharmacutical dependency overtly and covertly (in the water, food and vaccinations – even children) and celebrity, “bread and circuses” distractions to stifle resistence, and on and on …

      No Scott, the situation we find ourselves in today was not an “unintended consequence” nor did it come about by accident. It is totally agenda driven and “masterminded”. The evidence is overwhelming to those who have bothered to dig and try to make sense of the current insanity – all the information and the history of how we got to this point is readily available, all one has to do is connect the dots. “Rational Actors” are very much the source.

      I, like you, used to be a Doubting Thomas … not any more.

      • Scott Preston says :

        “men of the same trade seldom meet together, even for the purposes of amusement, but the conversation turns into a conspiracy against the public”

        — Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

        I’ll return to the significance of this quote in terms of the big picture of history, as it pertains to the issue of an alleged master conspiracy.

        The first objection to the thesis that their exists a master conspiracy of “Olympians” directed by a few hundred men and women called “Committee of 300”, is that if such a conspiracy exists to coordinate, steer, and engineer human events, then they are being damned incompetent conspirators. The fragmentation, disintegration, irrationalities, absurdities, and incoherence of the Late Modern Age defies the thesis itself. The Dark Age Blog, in fact, could not entertain such a notion at all without self-contradiction, that while the mass of humanity sinks into the turbulent seas of history, a small elite of enlightened “Olympians” has risen into the unperturbed heights of mental clarity and calm from which heights it steers the course of human events according to a rational plan.

        The origins of modern conspiracy theories (and of conspiracy too) lies in Adam Smith’s remark cited above. Here is just such an example of “perverse outcome” that so often characterises the attempt to steer events according to a rational plan. The consequence of free market economics (liberal economics; economics of the Adam Smith variety which means, economics of the “Newtonian” variety) is that it contains an irrationality that, in time, contradicts itself and annihilates itself. The Free Market introduces unpredictability, uncertainty and riskiness into economics. Although proponents of capitalism always praise the classic entrepeneur as risk taker and innovator (neither of which is completely true), the truth is men of business (like most other people) hate uncertainty, unpredictability, and risk and constantly try to eliminate those conditions from their business dealings and from the market. Adam Smith’s economic philosophy of the free market actually creates (or at least exacerbates) the very conditions for conspiracies to flourish. Conspiracies are a “perverse outcome” and “unintended consequence” of rational thought themselves. Smith actually inverts cause and effect here.

        This is in the nature of what George A. Briggs terms “crippling Free Enterprise” in which the logic of the “invisible hand” of the Free Market a la Adam Smith induces duplicitous conduct on the part of actors in the market. It becomes necessary for the state to intervene to mitigate the effects of such conspiracies as monopolies, trusts, cartels, through regulatory activity in the public interest, which introduces new anxieties amongst men of the same trade. Thus, an incentive now emerges to try and capture the regulatory apparatus itself in order to mitigate these anxieties and the additional uncertainties, unpredictabilities, and risks of the free market.

        This reflects Nietzsche’s observation that the triumph of liberalism would be simultaneously its own self-negation — illliberalism. All higher values devalue themselves. Adam Smith’s logic contains an implicit irrationality — an implicit self-contradiction that will eventually self-negate that results in a coincidentia oppositorum. Conspiracies, however, are not cause. They are effect — and an effect in the sense of defect in the mental-rational structure of consciousness itself. This is what Briggs means by “crippling free enterprise” or what is being called today “illiberal liberalism”. This is reflected in the fact that so-called “Free Trade” is actually forced trade (or Neil Ferguson’s belief that democracy could be spread by imperialism, war, and at the point of a bayonet). The “invisible hand”, the “hidden hand” is a self-contradiction in the mental-rational structure of consciousness. Conspiracies are effect, not cause.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Here is just such an example of “perverse outcome” that so often characterises the attempt to steer events according to a rational plan.

        Thank heavens Scott commented first as I had no idea how to introduce The Century of the Self.

        The Century of the Self is a British television documentary film that focuses its attention on Sigmund Freud’s family,‭ ‬especially his daughter and nephew (Edward Bernays),‭ ‬who exerted a surprising amount of influence on the way corporations and governments throughout the‭ ‬20th century have thought about,‭ ‬and dealt with,‭ ‬people…. The series describes the ways public relations and politicians have utilized Freud’s theories during the last 100 years for the “engineering of consent”.

        Freud was definitely of the Darwinian/Newtonian school of thought.

        The documentary can be viewed online for the time being. In Part I, Happiness Machines, Bernays reminisces about the propaganda he produced for the Wilson administration and having coined the term “Public Relations” for peacetime use by corporations when “propaganda” came to have negative associations. And that’s just one of many compelling highlights.

      • Scott says :

        The Century of the Self is a British television documentary film that focuses its attention on Sigmund Freud’s family,‭ ‬especially his daughter and nephew (Edward Bernays),‭ ‬who exerted a surprising amount of influence on the way corporations and governments throughout the‭ ‬20th century have thought about,‭ ‬and dealt with,‭ ‬people…. The series describes the ways public relations and politicians have utilized Freud’s theories during the last 100 years for the “engineering of consent”.

        I have very much wanted to see this documentary. Maybe I will order it on DVD instead of waiting for broadband.

        Bernays is quite a figure. His 1928 book Propaganda is crucial reading for any student of propaganda, public relations, and perception management.

        And that reminds to to once again mention Alex Carey’s Taking the Risk Out of Democracy and how Carey’s thesis fits in with what I wrote above about uncertainty, unpredictability and risk in market economics. The rise of “the risk society” (and “crisis management”) goes hand in hand with efforts at “taking the risk out of democracy” through the instruments devised by Bernays and others.

        The principle of “truth to the friend, lies to the foe” becomes very much the point in taking the risk out of democracy, since modern propaganda had its origins in the First World War, too, only to be extended to organising the “peace-time” by Bernays afterwards.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        From the review linked of Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:

        corporate propaganda has since been exported wholesale to Australia, with little if any concession to local cultural values.

        Speaking of being exported wholesale, How the US exports its mental illnesses blows the whistle on Big Pharma’s ad-ventures in Asia. (Ethan Watters has written a book on the subject titled, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche in which he also makes the case that cultural differences and values are in no way being taken into account when American psychiatrists are called into crisis situations or the DCM guidelines of the APA are subscribed to by mental health professionals abroad.)

        I haven’t read the book, but found myself musing a few years ago about how every personality “type” and even human experience (such as bereavement) imaginable has been given the status of psychological abnormality. While it’s heartening that general physicians have grown leery of prescribing antidepressants, etc. willy-nilly, I don’t believe the same is true among practitioners of psychiatric “counseling” as yet.

      • Scott says :

        How the US exports its mental illnesses blows the whistle on Big Pharma’s ad-ventures in Asia. (Ethan Watters has written a book on the subject titled, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

        Just a quick reply here, as I’m pressed for time this morning. By coincidence, it was reported yesterday that the Canadian economy loses 50 billion a year in productivity losses due to mental illness (its a very bloodless and technocratic interpretation of the social problem of mental illness, but does highlight the issue).

        The man who first stirred the pot about the issue of mental illness was Thomas Szasz, whose book The Manufacture of Madness created quite a controversy in its time.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        The man who first stirred the pot about the issue of mental illness was Thomas Szasz

        I like him already. Why do I doubt his book is required reading in undergraduate psychology courses?

        Never mind. I think I know. It’s a book I will most definitely have to read. Thank you very much for the mention.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Pardon. I meant “is not required reading”. Time to engage in a little R&R.

  15. alex jay says :

    Well Scott, if you want to bring up Adam Smith (a somewhat detatched, insular, and free-thinking – albeit with a large dose of David Hume’s influence – child of the of glory days of “THE” Enlightenment), you must also take into account the alleged contradictions (the jury is still out – similar problem to what you face with your interpretation of Neitzche contra to his detractors) contained within “The Wealth of Nations” and “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” (some say, he believed it was a superior work – his “opus definitus” [my concoction, is there a Latin word definitus? – it’s been over 40 years since my last encounter with our classical obsession to immortalise the tongue of our cultural progenitors – and so it should be, afterall, what has replaced it – rhetorical question]. In a nutshell, the former deals with man’s self-interest and the latter with moral judgement (how topical and relevant is that today? – ask Wall Street and their henchmen in government, actually don’t bother ’cause you know). Adam Smith can be used and abused in a smilar way as Neitzsche, or Plato, or any holistic mind (viewing things from different aspects – like your “blind men and the elephant” among countless other metaphors like “Jacob’s Ladder”, the spiral progression of spiritual (consciousness) octaves of the angelic beings (nine last time I counted – then again, we must have a conversation about hierarchies, which you disdain – and I understand why, from your holistic perspective, though inescapable from our collective unconsciousness in our yet to be fulfilled pilgrimage to reach the top of the “ladder” in the “noosphere” – or achieve the alchemists’ ultimate consumation of the marriage of the primordial dialectic: male-female, left-right brain, ying-yang, positive-negative etc. to incarnate the “infans solaris” (away from a deficient Cartesian/Hegelian – lack of imagination – simplistic “synthesis”).

    The quest to achievie the synthesis, however, has taken on many guises/aspects/perspectives (magical, mythological, rational, integral? – one would hope, but we’re not there yet) in human consciousness and its manifestation in the historical narrative (of which at least 80% is bullshit – only rely on dates and personages, the rest of reported and edited history (propaganda) is mostly crap – and if you send your child to school and pay for his education, you should ask for your money back – unless, of course, you have a vested interest in the “survival of the fittest” ego-trip – Hell, you might even become a “Rhodes Scholar” (like Bill Clinton – Gee-Whiz).

    Time for a whiskey … hopefully, we will continue on a subject that will continue for some time. “If the lord is willing” – that is?

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      we must have a conversation about hierarchies

      Is it just me or is hierarchy a primarily Western (and patriarchal as opposed to matriarchal) phenomenon in origin? What is it with us building “spiritual” skyscrapers and worrying about “getting to the summit” of mountains? Whatever happened to “going with the flow“?

      Thankfully, at least one person in the “Integral community” is speaking of the so-called “vertical dimension” of existence in terms of our being “participants in an emergent universe” because — not to be confused with feminism , as by “feminine”, I don’t mean biologically female — the general disdain and subjugation of the feminine principle (especially Sophia, as Scott recently pointed out) simply has to go.

      Lest it be forgotten, I realize this does have an Eastern equivalent of sorts, given that the “dark” portion of the yin-yang symbol is associated with the “negative,” “cold” feminine principle in Taoist philosophy.

      • alex jay says :

        “Is it just me or is hierarchy a primarily Western (and patriarchal as opposed to matriarchal) phenomenon in origin?”

        Hardly. Otherwise, India wouldn’t have a caste system; nor would reincarnation make any sense; nor would Chinese and Japanese emperors reach divinity status. Patriarchal vs matriarchal? Not really … more of a bloodline thing. Ergo, Hetshepsut (spelling?), Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth(s) et al — also, in some Christian traditions, the cult of the Virgin Mary is equivalent (or even supersedes) in veneration (importance in the hierarchy of worship).

      • alex jay says :

        “Getting to the summit” or “going with the flow”? The former is the ocean; the latter is the wave; the fire, the flame; the goal, the quest. (God has a wonderful sense of humour)

        E Pluribus Unum

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Patriarchal vs matriarchal?

        Kindly note, the phrasing is “as opposed to”, not “versus”, but I get the gist of bloodlines taking precedence over each other at various points in history.

        How this “vertical dimension” has played out “in the world” before now, however, has been invariably as (very brittle and orthodox) hierarchy, as in the examples you give. A caste system (and India is more “Middle” Eastern than Eastern, in my estimation) is an hierarchy as is the example of Chinese and Japanese emperors “reaching” divinity when — last I checked — “the inner sanctum”, “the holy of holies” was central (“the heart of hearts”, “the vestibule”, “the central sun”…) and supposed to “fan” out in all directions “horizontally”.

        I don’t know, alex. I get the distinct impression the examples you give are all of historical power-mongering and hijacking.

        The former is the ocean; the latter is the wave

        Are you saying that the purpose of the “wave” is to create an ocean of “hierarchy” there, Butch? 😉 Just call me Sundance, because I find mandalas of Being ever so much more appealing. In fact, I’m half-tempted to join the Wiccans because they’re the only ones around who truly practice gender equality (and not just in the biological sense)–at least, as far as I’m aware.

        On the other hand, the “Great Chain of Being” is in the process of being reimagined (by a very, very few) and far more closely resembles Indra’s Net (thank God) than the Vatican, but I suppose it remains to be seen whether or not “the dance” of the “co-arising” universe will ever truly play out as a “dance”.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Pardon. Scratch “vestibule”. That is, of course, the lobby. Or has that historically proved the lobbey? 😉

      • Scott says :

        As usual, infi, good and thoughtful links on Vedanta and the Great Chain of Being. Of particular interest to me was Duane Elgin’s very elegant statement on the co-emergent universe (I’m familiar with his early book Voluntary Simplicity). That resonates with Tolle’s “New Earth” and with the theme of Gebser’s Ever-Present Origin, too. It’s something I referred to in TDAB as The Seventh Generation Event. All the linked articles have merit, though. And I’m going to reread them more carefully. Thanks.

      • Scott says :

        I’ll be posting something about this in future, as the significance of the “archos” (Greek “ruler”) and “arche” forms quite a constellation of meaning. In some ways, when Jung began to write about the hieros gamos (rather than hieros archos) we were already beginning to enter into an alternative consciousness or way of “knowing” (and almost, indeed, in the famous “Biblical sense”). That, however, is for a later date.

        But infi’s intuitions about the matter are correct intuitions, and the attractions of Wicca are connected with those intuitions. For Wicca is a matter, really, of an hieros gamos which we can call “hierogamy” (I’ll invent that word if it doesn’t now exist). You might recall “hierogamy” as something of a theme in Marianne Faithful’s “The Witches’ Song”.

  16. alex jay says :

    “How this “vertical dimension” has played out “in the world” before now, however, has been invariably as (very brittle and orthodox) hierarchy, as in the examples you give.”

    It’s not “vertical” as such (a Newtonian bias for the importance of gravity in our macro-physical planetary confinement), it’s a vortex (a spiral) that can just as easily be turned on its side horizontally like the notes – octaves – visually represented on a sheet of music: bass (lower) to soprano (higher) – therein lies the confusion of heirarchies – and the infinite variables within the fractal alpha and omega range of audible sound, which gives every musical concoction ever created, and yet to be created, its individual quality in the context of possibilities (ocean and wave). The concept is sound; the perception is arguable. “That is the question” … and lots of answers. (Isn’t it great!) I’ve always been a fan of “string physics”; even Mr. Hawking has run out of ideas … and is leaning towards the vibrations (he calls gravity). Heck, why not just call it God? That is why I’ve got a lot of time for Wittgenstein and his frustration with the absurdity/deficiency/distortion of language (that’s why I like longsword – aka? – because he applies language in its original form without “devaluing the value” : )).

    Why are we not telepathic? Yet …

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      It’s not “vertical” as such

      I have to admit to a little frustration with the “mappers” of “spiritual evolution”. The “spiral” in spiral dynamics (for one) has most of them labeling themselves “turquoise” while everyone else is — well, you get the picture. (And where is everything other than Man’s psyche in this “map”?)

      Don’t mind me. I’m from the “animated wind” clan and would probably be considered “purple” for thinking there are such things as “mystical signs”….

      language in its original form without “devaluing the value”

      Alas, I think “versus” is unsalvageable so I try not to employ it. Hope you don’t mind my clarifying and, I agree, longsword is probably one of the very few people left on the face of the planet who actually speaks English.

      Why are we not telepathic?

      Because the telepathological machine keeps pushing the “trickle down” theory into our midst? I don’t know. It’s a theory.

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