A NOTE FROM VISIBLE'S THIRD ELF


24 April 2014

A change of web host is now underway for all of Visible's blogs, meaning each has now lost their custom domain names (for a little while, anyway).

The blogs remain accessible at the URLS below, so please bookmark these links:


Reflections in a Petri Dish
Smoking Mirrors
Visible Origami


Please also be aware that although all of Visible's prose will remain accessible, many internal links, image links, MP3 music links and other bits and pieces will malfunction for the duration of the move (not that anyone visits Vis' blogs for pretty pictures anyway, but it's just polite to let you know).


Thank you for bearing with us during the move!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome to the Cloaca Maximus and the Gowanus Canal.

I’m writing this, five days (it ended this evening on the eighth day) into the loss of my internet service. I don’t know how long it will take to get it restored. Down here where I am, such things are a mystery. I don’t think there’s any foul play involved. Two companies are merging and it could be that new technology is being installed or it could be another example of the strange modus operandi of this charming culture where ass backwards is known as full speed ahead.

It’s been occurring to me that I don’t really care when it goes back on and that’s a very good thing. It’s stress free and it accommodates the circumstances which are always unpredictable. It also puts me into the situation of imagining what is happening out there. I don’t watch TV so, without the internet, the only news I have is the on site weather report which involves my going outside and taking a look around.

I’ve been harvesting my olive trees and it looks like I’m going to have what amounts to about two fifty gallon oil drums. That’s a lot of oil and as much as it has been raining lately, I could invite a few of Bruce Willis’s stripper friends and a couple of Eddie Murphy’s transvestites and have a real whoop de do of a hot oil and mud wrestling match. It would put a real dent in my pesto production but it would also heighten my credentials as a wild and crazy guy. It’s a tough call.

Wild and crazy doesn’t have the appeal that it used to because the world has cornered the market on wild and crazy and the world doesn’t possess the collective élan to do it with the necessary je ne sais quoi. The world’s idea of wild and crazy is much less fun than mine. It’s more Hellraiser oriented with Pinhead as the master of ceremony. Why is that do you think? Are we essentially sadists and masochists down deep? Do we prefer swimming in sewers without scuba gear?

If life is the sum total of all of us then it can be said that what we get is the sum total of all of us. If you’re rich and powerful than you probably don’t notice what’s going on from behind the walls of your private world. Regardless of what’s happening to the economy your scene isn’t altered that much and you can always depend on topping up the tank again when the need is upon you. As someone once said, “You’ll never go broke underestimating the taste of the general public. “ Those aren’t the exact words but the meaning is the same.

I guess my problem is that I always want to fix things. It seems to me that things could be a lot better than they are. In fact, I’m sure of it. I wonder why it has to be the way it is and that always causes me to look more closely at the people involved. I’ve found you can get a pretty clear idea of how the world comes to be the way it is by watching the people you run into. I’ve noticed that people lie and steal in all kinds of ways and that a lot of the time they aren’t even aware of it. When I hire a vendor, whether it is here or on Maui where I used to live or anywhere that I’ve been, I notice that they don’t show up when they say they will more than half the time. I notice that they try to get more than was agreed on... often. I notice that they don’t do what they say they were going to do either.

I listen to people when they are talking to me. I watch them. This is a dying art. It’s such a dying art that people take it for granted that you aren’t listening to them or watching them. That can be very revealing. I once heard that listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak. Well... people didn’t get the way they are all by themselves. They had help. I’ve turned this thing over in my mind for some time, looking at it from all of the angles and it seems like the world in which we live has been designed for the purpose of corrupting the inhabitants. People want the power to exercise their will and that invariably leads to pursuing power over others. And, as we have heard, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

This is a basic life drive. You see it in the animal kingdom but they sort it out a little better than we do. It’s become an obvious truth to me that it’s not the people running the sewers that are responsible for all of the shit. That shit is the sum effluvia of all of us. As long as we think shit and talk shit and do shit we are going to have a whole lot of shit. Some of it is pretty shit and some of it is ugly shit but it’s all shit. Right now, somebody is thinking, “Man, that’s a grim view of the situation.” No shit.

Okay... so some of you want to put wrapping paper and ribbons on the shit and some of you prefer shit tartare. Some of you like to gold plate it and for some of you it’s marine varnish cause you like the natural look. Some of you want to romance it and some of you just want to screw it but it’s the same thing colored and coiffed according to taste and according to the capacity and direction of your imagination.

There are people who object to the use of the word ‘shit’ but I think it’s a fantastic word. These people are the ones who get out of the shower to take a piss. ‘Piss’ is another word some people object to. It’s funny because these are the same people who think nothing of making money off of the deaths of people in distant lands or poisoning their fellows with whatever new form of shit they come up with for the marketplace. These are the cultured folk who don’t like rough talk and using the wrong fork.

I can understand the motive force behind the alchemists who wanted to turn shit into gold. It was Paracelsus who displayed ‘the first matter’ for the right fork people of his time. He lifted the top off of a silver chafing dish and there was the real McCoy in all its resplendent glory. I’ve wondered on occasion if it was his own but I don’t suppose I will ever know.

Turning shit into gold is an interesting concept and something worthy of investigation but it would probably be a good idea to get a fix on what is real gold and what is not. See, I think what everyone calls gold is the real Fool’s Gold and a commodity that will definitely land you in the shit sooner or later. I’ve never understood the attraction for gold, or diamonds for that matter. I don’t own either and wouldn’t consider any lasting engagement with a woman who did.

Yes... as we approach this holiday season it is the best of times to see what kind of shit we are in. Why we are in shit and not in clover can be understood in the simplest of terms and that term(s) is self interest. It’s ironic that this is the season of giving. It’s more than passing strange too that there is a season of giving. What are the other seasons? Are they seasons of not giving... ...seasons of taking? ...seasons of maybe giving and maybe not giving?

It’s true that there’s a hardcore contingent of materialistic psychopaths that manipulate you and shape the world in which you live... with your help ...but they can’t make you buy their shit and they can’t make you believe in the glamour and attraction of their world where you are not presently a member. You do that. You like the shine on the shitmobile and you are the one who wants the shit bling and shit chateau of emptiness that sits in the center of your crucified heart and gets all lit up from the blood that you shed for shit.

Not everyone is panicked or unhappy or afraid. People have found solace and peace of mind. Those for whom wisdom is the preeminent goal will find some measure of tranquility in the midst. It’s another one of those mysterious laws of nature, just like the one that makes your paddles disappear when you’re up shit creek. There’s no real injustice. We did it to ourselves, one way or another.

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ Right Thru My Heart ♫
'Right Thru My Heart' is track no. 5 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'
Lyrics (pops up)

Almost A Capella by Les Visible

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I didn't believe the Headlines in the National Enquirer but I guess it is true--Gerry Seinfeld and George Carlin did have a love child--
No Shit!!

Jj

marxist-socialist said...

Hello Les: Good to see you again !! You know Les, i am a person who respects other people's personal choices. And i respect whatever people want to do and think about with their own personal lives. However i like to critisize society and its problems. For example, i critisize how USA society puts so much emphasis on food, on extracting a hedonic pleasure out of eating. I mean i think that it is time for USA as a whole to find other hobbies, to motivate people to do other pleasurable hobbies other than eating. I was at the supermarket today and i am outraged by the excess of cakes, pies, fattening junk christmas foods literally all over the supermarkets, forcefed on our eyes. And no wonder why America is fat. And i really think that this *slavery to food* kills the will of people to participative in other more healthy addictions other than eating.

Here is an article which talks about the excess of eating and gluttony around christmas time


THE GHOSTS OF CAPITALIST CHRISTMAS, AND THE BINGE-EATING OF APPLE PIES, PECAN PIES, EGG-NOG, HAM, BREADS, TURKEY, AND DESSERTS, IN CHRISTMAS


By Charles Sullivan

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18785.htm

11/28/07 "ICH" - --- Everything about America is done to the max—super sized—including ourselves. Americans are fond of excess, fond of glitz and glitter, the bright beads and trinkets of capitalism; the symbols of conspicuous consumption. Millions of us live in McMansions, drive fast cars and hulking tanks and work at high stress glamorous jobs that provide enormous financial reward but leave us spiritually empty.

We tell ourselves that these events signal that we have arrived and achieved greatness worthy of respect and envy. They are a declaration that we have played the game and won; that we have acquired economic power that results in elevated socio-economic status and disproportional influence over the lives of the less successful; and those who have utterly failed or refused to participate.

We love to consume and waste with an appalling sense of entitlement. Our lives are enacted amid heaping mounds of swelling garbage and filth, while some of our fellow human beings pass lives of quiet desperation in cardboard boxes beneath our nation’s highway bridges, like beetles that move beneath the bark of trees: out of sight, out of mind, inconsequential—or so we think.

It’s a jungle out there where only the fittest survive. Those who cannot compete must not survive to reproduce; they must be expelled from the gene pool. Modern capitalism is economic Darwinism carried to the extreme.

America is a land of extraordinary contradictions. She has produced not only George Bush and Dick Cheney but also George Carlin, Upton Sinclair, Eugene Debs and Howard Zinn. This is a land of extremes; enigmatic even to itself. It is a place of posh surroundings with all of the amenities money can buy; but it is also a land of unknowable hardship and destitution that often exists in close proximity to stupendous wealth.

Just as the continent holds lush temperate rain forests, so it also harbors deserts where only the strong and well adapted survive the harsh conditions of heat and drought and oscillating cold.
Surely the national pastime must be shopping, which has acquired the stature of a genuine addiction; a disease on a par with alcoholism and played with the passion of a competitive sport. Witness the insanity of black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year where people are annually trampled at the doors of Wal-Mart in the quest for the latest incarnation of the X-Box. He with the most toys wins and the losers are trampled underfoot, ground into dust. Possessions matter more than people.

And we are a restless, fiercely competitive people—constantly on the move; a people that cannot countenance open spaces or unmanaged nature.

Hundreds of thousands of shopping centers and strip malls bear ample testimony to our excess, as do the mountains of debt that rise out of our spending habits like a newly spawned volcano swelling above a rising column of molten magma. Eventually they will become our gravestones—monuments to our lack of empathy and testaments to our unbridled greed and contempt for the earth.

The developers cannot relax until every inch of the earth is urbanized and paved and there is a McDonald’s and Wal-Mart on every street corner; a development in place of every orchard and farm. We cannot relax until everything wild and natural has been eradicated or imprisoned in zoos and admission is charged. Imagine a continent sized gated community for the well-heeled and the wealthy. The poor and destitute need not apply.

More than democracy, more than liberty, more than life—give us our shopping malls so that we can purchase happiness and fill our empty lives with possessions. Our senses are incessantly assaulted by merciless commercialism—we are programmed to consume and to be consumed by our programmers in the advertising industry whose job it is to plant the seeds of want in our all too receptive minds. Conspicuous consumption is the cornerstone of mature capitalism and no people in history have been more prominent consumers than we Americans—as measured by the girth of our waistlines and the girth of our mounting debt.

But as much as we are the products of Madison Avenue advertisers, we are also products of arrested psychological and spiritual development. We exhibit extreme pathologies because our lives are not rooted in nature and community; nor are they rooted in reality. Like spoiled adolescents, we have locked ourselves away with our box of toys and we call the world our own. We are a danger not only to ourselves but to the entire world. Quarantine should be drawn around us lest we infect the rest of the world with our madness.

Oblivious to the consequences of our own excess, our sphere of caring rarely extends beyond the self and our immediate families to the communities in which we are embedded that in turn spill into the great world beyond. We have erected psychological and physical barriers that isolate us from the rest of the world which have given rise to pathological visions of grandeur and exceptionalism. And, like a run-away virus, we are replicating our madness to the rest of the world which is, thanks to the disciples of Milton Friedman, seeking to emulate our example.
Better the world turn away and run for their lives as if we were infected with a new strain of pox or rabies. Better they should save themselves and let us perish, as will surely occur when we are consumed by the festering sewers of our swelling vanity.

We call ourselves a free people but we are prisoners of our own petty desires; prisoners of greed and excess and manufactured want; the products of capitalism taken to the extreme—replicating with the ease of cancer cells unrestrained by reason or empathy for others and for the earth. The world cannot tolerate another America . She cannot much longer sustain the one she already has. We have a carbon footprint vastly disproportional to our numbers and we are not only blotting out the sun; we are stamping out countless species of plants and animals and casting them into the abyss of eternal extinction. The ecological cost of our excess is incalculable.

We go on as if there are no consequences to what we do, ignoring the wolves baying at our door and the grim reaper peering at us through the curtain. We tell ourselves they are only apparitions of conspiracy theorists and alarmists, the ghosts of misplaced conscience.

Millions of Americans are experts at self-denial and delusional to the extreme, while others are realists and components of active resistance. But, cause and effect rarely enters our vocabulary. History, science and ethics are not our strengths—we prefer to go shopping or watching television, giving no thought to the kind of world we are leaving our children and their off spring, much less the offspring of other species. We hold that the universe turns on its axis and we are its center; but it is not so.

As a result of our excesses, terms such as ‘peak oil’ and ‘peak water’ have come into existence. Gluttony occurs on one end of the supply chain at the expense of the other; just as food webs are affected by events occurring at all parts of an ecological web the size of the world. One cannot pluck a flower without also troubling a star. All things are interconnected.

How easily we forget that commercial exuberance rests on the broken bodies of the exploited worker; it rests on the scrolls of flora and fauna that have been pushed out of existence because there isn’t enough room for them and us with all of our precious, energy consuming toys.

Thus we live in a world that is not enriched by our example but is diminished by us. Injustice is a byproduct of commercial exuberance as manifested by declarations of superiority through class warfare and other avenues of inequality. And it is felt in the dimly lit sweatshop somewhere in the belching slums of industrialized China , engulfed by the droning hum of sowing machines that never cease behind bolted doors; and guided by gnarled hands attaching Nike labels to athletic apparel destined for upscale Target and Macy’s stores in the US .

True, capitalism has made cheap products available to the voracious American consumer; but it has also given the world preemptive war and famine, global corporatism, pestilence and wage slavery; it has stoked the fires of mass extinction, global warming and ecological collapse—all of which have acquired an unstoppable momentum of their own with unimaginable consequences that extend indefinitely into an already uncertain future. There are consequences to everything we do, just as there are consequences to inaction.

Yet it is increasingly obvious that too few of us care enough to take action, as long as we are free to buy and to consume. We keep the consequences of gluttony out of sight and out of mind and pretend they aren’t there. But they are present and they matter.

And this brings me to the main point of my essay: it cannot go on. The age of exuberance—like the age of cheap oil—is mercifully drawing to a close. So I will say what was never meant to spoken aloud in the land of excess; and I will say it loud and clear so that it cannot be mistaken: Americans must dramatically simplify their lives to want less and learn more. We constitute less than five percent of the of the world’s population while usurping more than a quarter of her bounty. This is not acceptable—nor is it ethical.

No one has a moral right to take more than their fair share when that taking jeopardizes the chances of others of living a decent life, or makes nil their chances for survival—including other species.

Contrary to what one might think, we do not have to live like third world nations or like the hunters and gatherers of the past. But we must dramatically reduce our consumption and shrink our carbon footprint. Not only must we live within our own means but within the means of the planet to support us.

The majority of our food should be locally grown and mass transit must supplant the gluttonous and polluting automobile that proliferates on our nation’s highways. Moratoriums on development and urban sprawl must be enacted in order to protect critical habitat and rainwater recharge areas. Cities and towns must be redesigned and revitalized with sustainable industry. Goods and services, including work and jobs must again, as they were in the past, be rooted in vibrant, small scale local economies; and free trade agreements revoked.

Technological advances—no matter how boldly they are touted as saviors of humankind cannot increase the world’s carrying capacity and they cannot invoke justice. The latter is entirely up to us as sentient beings endowed with conscience. And this brings me to a second point: we must reduce the human population through adoption and cease to procreate for at least one generation—so that the earth can recover her carrying capacity. What better way to save the world, literally.

Simultaneously simplifying our lives by wanting less and reducing the human population will allow room for other people and other beings to share the bounty of the earth. And it will almost certainly have a beneficent rather than pathological social and psychological consequence: it will end our isolation and reconnect us to the rest of the world. We could finally realize our enormous potential to become world citizens and good neighbors worthy of respect and love.

Rather than an economy based upon savage greed and exploitation, let us create an economy based upon justice and equality, need rather than excess; a society that does not leave people behind but invites the full participation of everyone and recognizes that, “An injury to one is an injury to all.” Let it be all inclusive and worthy of respect: where every woman, man, and child, every being of this earth is the same under the law and equally respected and valued—a great global community seeking harmony rather than competitive advantage.

In the end, equality is beholden to the system we choose. Did we ask that the world be run on the profits of greed, or the prophets of wisdom? Where was that democratic choice? The profits of greed have given us voracious greed, consuming everything in sight; but they didn’t give us a choice; they took away our freedom and made us into lesser beings. But, if we are to muster ourselves to call ourselves Human one last time, where the prophets of wisdom really did have something to say, where people and the planet are put before profits in the Golden Rule, and where we have one large collective foot standing on the profit of greed then maybe, maybe YES we will turn this thing around: http://www.planetization.org/.

Charles Sullivan is a nature photographer, free-lance writer, and community activist residing in the Ridge and Valley Province of geopolitical West Virginia . He welcomes your comments at http://us.f362.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=csullivan@phreego.com.

jbpeebles said...

H.L. Mencken (link said something to the effect that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Lord Acton said absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Sounds like Les needs a change of scenery. Go somewhere it's cold.
They say people in more temperate zones were forced to have to lay supplies in for the winter and thus became more efficient, specialized, etc. over the generation--a sort of prepare or perish thing. If you are craving some Yankeee-style efficiency, I suggest going to where Yankees live. Now of course, the people tend to be much more uptight up here, and you'll undoubtedly freeze your ass, as well as deal with the usual collection of thugs, criminals, evangelicals, and dirty poltiicians, but hey, you probably get that where you are

Visible said...

You're not making any sense and-

there aren't any of those here which why I am here and not there.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Les for nigh on a year (about a year for the rest of you) and thought you could understand that the wholefuckingworld is in deep shit for lack of knowledge found in this site http://moneyaswealth.blogspot.com/
A friend of mine wrote it and it is my wish that you pass it on. The bankers have had it their way for far too long.

notamobster said...

مرحبًا Merhaba, les visible! Glad to hear you had a good haul on the olives. Also, glad to see you're up and running again. Glad the respite was a good one. When you take a break (intended or otherwise) the shit will always be there, waiting for you to return to it.

Marxilist - I agree with "YOUR" words, entirely. The people are such gluttons, they won't see the hammer when it drops, because they'll be too busy shoving a f*&%ing cookie in their collective mouth.

Give my best to the consort, for picking up your slack... ;-)

Still alive said...

Funny thing on monday I too lost my internet connection and just got it back an hour ago.

Anonymous said...

Severed Cables in Mediterranean Disrupt Communication (Update3)
Email | Print | A A A

By Malcolm Fried and Lars Klemming

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Internet and telephone communications between the Middle East and Europe were disrupted after three submarine cables between Italy and Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea were damaged.

The failures cut the flow of ``data of various kinds'' between Europe and the Middle East, and there's no timeframe for when communications will be restored, said Sanjeev Gaur, director of assurance at Reliance Globalcom Ltd. in India. France Telecom SA, which plans to send a maintenance boat to fix the problem, said the situation should be back to normal by Dec. 31.

Three cable systems carrying more than 75 percent of traffic between the Middle East, Europe and America have been damaged, according to the U.K.'s Interoute Plc, which operates a fiber- optic data network connecting 92 cities. The cables run from Alexandria in northern Egypt to Sicily in southern Italy. In January, an anchor severed the cables outside Alexandria after bad weather conditions forced ships to moor off the coast.

``The information we have is a bit sketchy, but chances are that it will have been an anchor again,'' Jonathan Wright, Interoute's director of wholesale products, said in a telephone interview. ``Close to 90 percent of all the data traffic between Europe and the Middle East is carried on these three cable systems.''

Interoute said the January incident brought down 70 percent of the Internet network in India and the Middle East

Jj

Anonymous said...

Your gifts are remarkable and ever changing. You're a kaleidoscope. I wish I had the relationship that you have with the muse. There are never more than a handful of people on the Earth at any one time who have this and you are one of them. I imagine that you have had a difficult life. You do know where you are headed though because you would not be going in that direction otherwise. As you said once, "Bon Voyage".

paolocaruso said...

Ciao Les, I have found my solace, in the face of relative poverty. Yes, I have no more need for shit. A good woman, good wine and food and friends that are not full of shit. I am one of the lucky enlightened ones. And as bad as the future looks, the shit has only begun to hit the fan. I'm ready... and enjoying the show. Paolo

kikz said...

thanks.. just what i needed.


glad ta see ya bak.. missed ya.

love
k*

pot said...

Like they say, don't sweat the stuff you can not control. What is, is, what will be, will come.

The trip is in trying to figure out what those in the shadows are up to, and seeing through the smoke and fogged up mirrors they use to hide it. The internet helps if you can filter the crap from the nuggets of truth, but sometimes a break is needed if what you find bothers you too much.

What helps me is I am pretty sure if we had global democracy there would be chaos. Lets face it, there are many dumb selfish beasts among us, majority rule always leads to anarchy and then tryranny, thats why our founding fathes gave us a republic, rule of law regardless of what the majority want or not. The republic is no more after a short period of democracy which led to our current benevolent or not dictatorship via the deified Presidency. Could it be any other way? I doubt it, tis mans nature that the powerful and capable among us in the end assume power. Those who are driven to assume the most power, tend to be those with little empathy for the less capable folks, and some of them are psychopaths (the smart ones do not get locked up).

So todays world is certainly not what I imagined it would be 40 years ago when I was a bit naive and more optimistic about mans nature, but it could be worse, and maybe it will be, but since all you really have is today, and tommorow is what it will be, if it is at all, just enjoy it.

Of course, I do not know if those citizens living in Iraq or Zimbabwe, or those who lost close friends/relatives in 9/11, and those who have had their homes foreclosed on can enjoy today as much as others. So I guess it depends on how well you have escaped the shit flying, and how much or little empathy you have for those who have been hit by it. Kind of dampens the enjoyment for those who have the empathy for those hit by the shit and know what is lurking for the rest of us. So enjoying today is easier said than done for some, but shutting down when it gets too hard helps to restore the balance needed to avoid whatever shit might be flying around you.

Of course, then I read the neo-malthusian propaganda of the psychopathic elite in a comment above. This is being used by them as justification to depopulate the world and reduce the standard of living for the rest of us while the elite like Fat Albert indulge in gluttony in homes using more electricity than in some some small cities. Peak oil, peak water, Global Warming (doomsday scenarios attributed to man) dupe the folks like marxist-socialist into following the new age religion of Gaia worship, a religion pretending to be science, but a religion all the same, requiring man to acknowledge himself as a sinner against Gaia and face punishment for not changing his sinful ways, while the high priests of the religion, politicians and their pseudo scientist lackeys tell us what is sinful (sin tax = carbon tax = carbon credits that banskers get rich on).

I sometimes wonder if man is undergoing de-evolution and is losing the ability to think or reason. If we are stupid enough to believe this shit as a race, then maybe the psychopaths should rule.

Shutting it down, suns up.

Anonymous said...

'GIVE UP WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE"

Susana's latest post at her site--take the time to read it.
http://easyidler.blogspot.com/

Jj

m_astera said...

I keep coming back to the Oscar Wilde quote that Rivero had at the top of WRH the other day:

"If you are going to tell people the truth, you had better make them laugh or they will kill you"

You definitely made me laugh with this one.

I particularly liked your line "ass backwards is full speed ahead". I've never been to S Italy, but I've traveled and lived many places like that; so far, Venezuela tops them all. You have to experience it to believe it, but one starts to wonder how anything works or gets done. I just laugh and bless their hearts. No, they are not doing the best they can. They aren't even trying to.

I'd like to stand up for gold and diamonds while I'm here. This is why I like them:

Diamond is so much harder than anything else that nothing comes close. The Mohs scale is used to rate hardness of minerals; things that your fingernail can scratch are like 2 or 3 on the Mohs scale; ruby and sapphire are 9, and they are very hard stones. Diamond is 10. Except that diamond is around 50 times harder than rubies and sapphires or anything else. If the numbers were to scale, ruby would be 9 and diamond would be 450. It's hard. (how hard is it, M_?) It is so hard that it cuts any other stone with ease. One can do any amount of chiseling and futzing around with abrasives, but when you really want to slice up some stone, having a diamond saw is the difference between a wooden knife and Damascus steel.

Diamond also refracts light very strongly. When it's faceted right, any light that enters the stone gets concentrated and beamed back with high intensity. That's what makes the sparkle.

And finally, diamond is pure crystallized Carbon. Carbon is the building block of all life forms; there are life forms that can exist without all kinds of other elements, even Oxygen, but nothing lives without Carbon. One can make of that what they will.

As for gold, gold is the incorruptible metal. You can throw gold into the foulest sewer or even that canal in Brooklyn and leave it there for a thousand years; it will still come out uncorroded and uncorrupted.

All metals have the property of malleability, they can be bent and stretched, unlike rock minerals or ceramics. Some are more malleable than others, but gold stands as far above the other metals for malleability as diamond is above other crystals for hardness. Y'know when you bend a wire coat hanger in the same place over and over how it gets hard and breaks? Gold doesn't do that; it just keeps on bending. Gold can be pounded or rolled into gold leaf that is so thin a 4" x 4" sheet can barely be weighed; one has to handle such gold leaf with a squirrel hair brush charged with static electricity from one's own hair as it will smear into nothingness if one tries to pick it up with their fingers. A single ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire over five miles long. It is a sweet and cooperative metal to work, yet strong for all its softness and has a very high melting temperature. In olden times the page-edges of bibles and fine books had gold leaf applied to them, as that protected them from attack by corrosive elements in the air.

Diamond is the hardest and most brilliant of crystals, gold is the most malleable and incorruptible of elements. Despite whatever shit values a shit society has piled on them, they are still intrinsically wonderful.

psychegram said...

So that's what happened to you ... welcome back to the intertubes! We've missed you.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who questions the necessity of getting out of the shower to pee. Though I've learned not to share that information with those I share a shower with, as most of the people I know, regardless of whether they know which fork is which, are pretty convinced their own shit doesn't stink (which doesn't stop them from demanding I use febreeze.)

Take a deep whif, I say. That's the pungent reek of life. "We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world!" Try to pretend life is something it isn't, and you're living an illusion, and no illusion can be sustained without cruelty of some kind: to oneself if you really believe the bullshit, to others if the bullshit's just a mask. Of course, if you call people on their bullshit you get covered in shit....

OK, I'll stop now. Man, it's fantastic what a rich vein of material that one word is.

Greencrow said...

re: "shit bling"

Funny, I was just wondering about the origin of the new word 'bling' the other day. It's often used as a substitute for the word 'jewellery'.

Now, who do you suppose made it up?

gc

Duke said...

Peace be with the reader.

Make sure to also read "Spiritual War"
on The Truth Seeker website.

RC said...

Nice post.
Love a thoughtful rant.
My own sense is that the world would be a splendid place if we simply screened and then exiled to some appropriate place those who were born without or those who somewhere along the way forgot to maintain and therefore lost their consciences.

Egotists, egoists are one thing, psychopaths something else entirely. Far too dangerous to allow intermingling with average, caring folks.
G.B.Shaw said there are some two-legged animals just as dangerous as four-legged ones, and they should be shot.
Humanely, . . . . maybe he had a point.
Maybe exile isn't the safest for the rest of us.....

Fletch said...

Welcome Back Les,
Missed your mind.
Great posts people.

I thought that matter could not be created or destroyed. I'm not a scientist, but won't our spirits and everything else just continue on?

This is what I try over and over: to move with love every heartbeat henceforth.


Fletch

simon said...

We are, mostly, what we do.
We do, mostly, what is in our minds.
What is in our minds depends, mostly, on what we see and hear.

Mostly we watch TV

No shit?

Apologies for the pronoun, I know it doesn't fit people at this site, mostly.
Substitute TV with mass media of your choice where appropriate.

And finally - I knew that if you hadn't been here for some time, then you must have had pressing business elsewhere.

Happy Solstice.

m_astera said...

Correction:

In my paean to diamonds and gold above, I exaggerated the relative hardness of diamond to ruby/sapphire. Diamond is really only about 4 times as hard as ruby.

On the scale of absolute hardness, the mineral talc is 1, ruby (corundum) is 400, diamond is 1500.

Visible said...

Gee... M Astera, thanks for clearing that up (grin).

Of course you know what I actually meant but I'm glad you went ahead and said what you did in that lyrical way that you have because I found it fascinating. Thank you for that.

There is a new Visible Origami up-

Christmas and Karma, Surrender and Love.

Dave Hastings said...

Hi Les,

A thoughtful post, as expected from you. keep trying, you are making things better, small increments at a time. I foresee a quick demise to American obsessive consumption, forced upon us. No loss.

But, as another has already posted, I think you might want to rethink the " I've never understood the attraction for gold..." statement.

First, I would prefer taking gold (or silver), whether flake, bar or coin, in exchange for my labor, my production, my services, than a piece of paper created by debt. My opinion.

Secondly, down through the ages, some of the most beautiful, magnificent artwork was fashioned from gold. The ease of forming mentioned before, the non-corrosive attribute, is hardly something "modern man as feverish consumer" thought up, Les. It has beauty.

Tell me, you don't really have a problem appreciating these, do you?

http://www.amwest-travel.com/awt_kingtut.html

http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/torc/Broighter_Torc.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mask_of_Agamemnon

http://www.precolumbiangold.com/sipan.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priam%27s_Treasure

And one of my favorites, the ORIGIN of the "Father of the Jews" story, from Ur (the city where his father fashioned statues, according to the bible , "Abraham" being in fact a priest of Brahma, or "A Braman" his city being on the ancient road from India, btw). Even his wife, and Brahma's goddess consort, had same name. Perhaps you know the myth I speak of?

http://arthistory.about.com/od/from_exhibitions/ig/RoyalTombsofUr/Ram-in-the-Thicket.htm

Quite magnificent, isn't it? Especially when you consider it is over 4000 years old....

Me? I'll happily take gold in payment.

farang

Visible said...

Once again people are having problems getting their comments posted here. This isn't an accident, by this time it's sure that someone at the source is messing with the machine. I could list a dozen things that are blocked now and can't be fixed and there's no way to reach the people in charge. So... once again, email me your comments and I will put them up just as I did Dave's.

Thank you.

kikz said...

gold.. haven't i read somewhere that gold possesses an extra atom? headscratch..


sorry, i'm a goldbug and a diamond diva...but wouldn't kill anyone to get them...

i guess part of their attraction besides their beauty is the aspect of security they represent to me...someone will always want them in trade for other things of necessity. at least that's how it's worked thru history thus far.... :)

marxist-socialist said...

THERE ARE NO ISLAMIC TERRORISTS. THE TERRORISTS OF THIS WORLD ARE AMERICANS AND ISRAELITES !!

"Divide et impera - divide and rule." (Roman strategy)
Islam and Terrorism?

http://www.cam.net.uk/home/nimmann/peace/islam.htm

Despite the media propaganda, Islam has nothing to do with the current world crisis or international terrorism. Fethullah Gülen, one of Turkey's most well-known and respected scholars writes:

"Islam does not approve of terrorism in any form.... Islam respects all individual rights and states clearly that none of them can be violated, even if doing so would be in the community’s interest. The Qur’an declares that one who takes a life unjustly has, in effect, taken the lives of humanity as a whole.... For this reason, no one—and certainly no Muslims—can approve of any terrorist activity."

The Roman strategy: "Divide et impera - divide and rule." is applied again today.


"Islam never approves of any kind of terrorism.. " - by Fethullah Gülen
Fethullah Gülen is one of Turkey's most well-known and respected scholars. The article below was on his web site in 2001.
I would like to stress that any terrorist activity, no matter who does it and for what purpose, is the greatest blow to peace, democracy, humanity, and all religious values. For this reason, no one—and certainly no Muslims - can approve of any terrorist activity. Terror has no place in one’s quest to achieve independence or salvation. It costs the lives of innocent people.

Even though at first sight such acts seem to harm the target, all terrorist activities eventually do more harm to the terrorists and their supporters. This latest terrorist activity, which is a most bloody and condemnable one, is far more than an attack on the United States of America - it is an assault against world peace as well as universal democratic, humanistic, and religious values. Those who perpetrated this atrocity can only be considered the most brutal people in the world.

The world should be assured that, although there may always be some who exploit any religion for their interests, Islam does not approve of terrorism in any form. Terrorism cannot be used to achieve any Islamic goal. No terrorist can be a Muslim, and no true Muslim can be a terrorist. Islam orders peace, and the Qur’an demands from each true Muslim that he or she be a symbol of peace and support the maintenance of basic human rights. If a ship is carrying nine criminals and one innocent person, Islam does not allow the ship to be sunk to punish the nine criminals, for doing so would violate the innocent person’s rights.

Islam respects all individual rights and states clearly that none of them can be violated, even if doing so would be in the community’s interest. The Qur’an declares that one who takes a life unjustly has, in effect, taken the lives of humanity as a whole, and that one who saves a life has, in effect, saved the lives of humanity as a whole. Also, our Prophet Muhammad says that a Muslim is one who does no harm with either his or her hand or tongue.

I strongly condemn this latest terrorist attack on the United States. It only deserves condemnation and contempt, and it must be condemned by every person in the world. I believe that before America’s leaders and people respond to this heinous assault, I would like to express that they surely understand why such a terrible event occurred and how similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.

I feel the pain of the American people from my heart, and assure everybody that I pray to God Almighty for the victims and that He may equip their sorrowful beloved ones and all other American people with patience.

I take this opportunity to present my due regards to everybody.

Respectfully,
Fethullah Gülen

See latest article on his web site: http://www.mfgulen.com/books/article.php?id=1077

Divide and rule - an old political tactic

The Romans' policy was very much following the motto: "Divide et impera - divide and rule." Today, some political forces follow the same lines:
Brandmark Islam - and get the Christian world to face the so called 'enemy'. The result shows immediately: racist attacs and prejudices harden. People are busy blaming each other: The Islamic world is split into condemning terrorism and understanding and sympathising with their motivation of fighting against injustice and an arrogant superpower. The result is, that the Islamic world feels guilty and is paralysed. This comes handy for others.
The real agenda behind this war against international terrorism is safe from being uncovered, is hidden behind a curtain of falling bombs and downpours of media propaganda. As long as the people fight eachother, they are busy and not likely to calm down, sit back, think and investigate. Ralph Nimmann, December 2001

marxist-socialist said...

Hello all: Here is a good article about the latest crisis from a worker's point of view:

The crisis of world capitalism is gathering speed

By In Defence of Marxism Editorial Board
Wednesday, 17 December 2008

http://www.socialist.net/crisis-world-capitalism-gathering-speed.htm

The crisis is unfolding relentlessly and with gathering speed. In November the USA shed jobs at the fastest pace in 34 years. World GDP has registered a sharp fall. The recession was preceded by a financial crisis (the so-called credit crunch). However, this was merely a prelude to the real crisis. As always, the bourgeois economists draw the conclusion that the cause of the crisis is a lack of credit. In reality, the lack of credit is caused by the crisis.

During the boom, everyone is prepared to borrow and lend, confident of obtaining handsome profits. As always there was a large element of speculation in all this. The dizzying rise of stock market prices bore no relation to the real situation. It must be borne in mind that, in the last analysis, the profits of the capitalists can only be derived from the unpaid labour of the working class. As long as surplus value is extracted, the capitalists, landlords, bankers and stock exchange speculators, can all make a profit. The illusion is created that this merry carnival can go on forever. But this process sooner or later comes up against the inherent contradictions of the capitalist system.

The second phase has now begun - the crisis of the real economy. Millions of workers face short-time working, cancellation of overtime or sackings and closures. The bosses are demanding wage cuts, under threat of closure. This means a general reduction in living standards, which in turn means a new fall in demand, with more closures, unemployment and new cuts. Falling activity means a fall in tax returns, which in turn must mean new cuts in social spending.

Payroll employment in the USA fell by 533,000 in November - the biggest monthly drop since December 1974. Unemployment has risen to 6.7 percent. However, this understates the seriousness of the situation. A broader definition that includes people who have given up looking for work, would mean a figure of 12.5 percent. There is now a spate of closures. The Bank of America is to sack 35,000 workers after it took over Merill Lynch. Dow Chemicals is closing 20 plants with the loss of 5,000 jobs in the USA and Europe. A further 2,300 jobs will go in 3M. Anheuser-Busch InBev is axing 6 percent of its US workforce (three quarters in St. Louis).

Nobody now repeats the nonsense that the crisis would be confined to the USA. This is an international phenomenon. The big Japanese company Sony is to shed a further 16,000 workers, cut back on investments and outsource some of its production. It has halved its annual profits forecast as a result of a slump in demand for its LCD televisions. The Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto is cutting capital expenditure and selling assets to pay back $10 billion of debts. It will cut 14,000 jobs by the end of 2009. Woolworth, a major department store in Britain, is closing after a hundred years, with the loss of 30,000 jobs. The list is never-ending and growing all the time.

The growing alarm of the ruling class is reflected in the succession of panic measures adopted by governments and central banks, which are no longer aimed at preventing recession but only of blunting its effects. But despite all these measures, the crisis is deepening and spreading all the time. The world economy has entered a downward spiral, and nobody knows where the bottom lies or when it will be reached.

In the past the bourgeois economists denied the possibility of a recession. Now the only question before them is whether it will be a deep recession or a depression. For the millions affected by factory closures, bankruptcies, sackings and evictions, however, the difference is merely semantic. The bourgeois and their pet economists imagine that all crises are caused by the lack of "confidence" and that therefore a few encouraging speeches (accompanied by large donations of public cash) will solve the problem. They do not understand that confidence does not drop from the skies but reflects actual conditions. Contrary to this superficial and idealist explanation (which explains nothing), we reply: it is not the lack of confidence that causes the crisis, but the crisis that gives rise to a lack of confidence.

It is necessary to bear in mind that unless the capitalists sell their commodities, no surplus value can be realised. The ability to find markets is limited by the limited consumption of society. Sooner or later a point is reached where markets are saturated and no buyers can be found. In the crises of 1990-91 and 2001 demand did not fall much. In the first case the rapid development of Asia (China) provided a cushion that prevented the recession from developing into a slump. After this, the huge increase in credit and the speculative housing bubble kept the whole thing going. But the basis was completely unsound.

This situation could not be maintained. In effect, the capitalists avoided a deep slump for two decades but only at the cost of creating the conditions for an even more serious recession in the future. This explains the alarm with which the bourgeois view the present crisis.

During the boom, when big profits are being made, people will buy and sell, loan and borrow, cheerfully acquire debts in excess of their earnings. If anybody notices that this is all based on speculation and swindling, nobody minds. Are we not rich? Are we not all making money? Live for today and to the Devil with tomorrow! But when the boom reaches its limits - which it must do - this "irrational exuberance" turns into its opposite. Confidence evaporates together with the mirage of never-ending enrichment. Instead of the old cheerful optimism, we have panic and despair. Not greed, but an equally primordial emotion, fear, becomes the predominant mood of the market.

Contradicting all their previous analyses, the bourgeois economists now say that this recession will be longer and deeper than anything since the Second World War. The capitalists are paying the price for the "irrational exuberance" they displayed in the previous period. Terrified of the social and political consequences, they are resorting to desperate policies, which will only serve to exacerbate the problems in the long run. At every juncture the spokesmen of the bourgeois announce that the "worst is now over." Such declarations, which were also made at regular intervals after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, are always followed by further falls on the stock markets and further cutbacks in production.

The bourgeoisie has dug itself into a deep ditch, from which it will not be easy to extricate itself. The banks are sinking under the weight of bad debts. Nobody knows how much these are and therefore nobody knows which (if any) of the banks is viable. This is why the economists say that this recession is not "normal". Some economists now look back nostalgically to the "good old days" of the gold standard, but a return to the gold standard is impossible now. It would lead to a complete collapse and an even deeper slump than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Before the Second World War the world economy was based on the gold standard, which made sense as a means of regulating money markets. Governments had to hold a certain quantity of gold bullion as a backup to their national currencies. Ultimately, creditors could demand repayment for debts in gold, which, like every other commodity, has an objective value.

The abolition of the gold standard was only possible because after the Second World War, the USA held two thirds of the world's gold in Fort Knox and its industry was intact. It could dictate its conditions to the rest of the world. Everybody wanted dollars because at that time the dollar was as good as gold. The dollar became the international currency (with the pound sterling as a second-class partner). This was a factor in the upswing of world trade after 1945 - the real basis of the economic upswing in world capitalism at that time.

Now, however, all that has changed. The USA has been transformed from the world's biggest creditor to the world's biggest debtor. The dollar remains the world currency, but nobody can be sure how much it is really worth. Unimaginable amounts of fictitious capital have been pumped into the world economy over the last two or three decades. The world market in derivatives alone is more than 500 trillion dollars, most of it of a speculative and fictitious character. The derivatives market amounts to 36 times the value of total US GDP [US GDP stood at $13.8 trillion in 2007] or roughly 10 times the value of entire world output.

The unprecedented expansion of credit in the last period served to maintain high levels of demand in the USA and other countries. But now this has reached its limits. The whole process is thrown into reverse. Now nobody wants to lend money and few wish to borrow. Society is seized with a parsimonious and miserly mood. The masses have no money to spend - only debts to repay. Those who previously lent money cheerfully are now calling in their debts. Many of those who took out mortgages to buy homes are unable to pay and find themselves evicted. Since the price of their homes has fallen, they are saddled with huge debts, which unlike house prices, do not fall.

The bankers, who yesterday were anxious to lend money to anyone, are now anxious to hoard money and not to part with a cent. This miserly and distrustful attitude applies not only to private house owners and small businesses, but also to other banks and big firms. They are not prepared to lend money to other banks because they are not sure the money will ever be returned. Nor are they prepared to advance money to firms to buy raw materials and equipment. They are quite prepared to pull the plug and force businesses to close as if they were matchboxes, throwing thousands out of work without blinking an eyelid.

Since credit is the life-blood of the capitalist system, the interruption of the supply of credit means that not only "bad" businesses will be made bankrupt but "good" ones also. The drying up of credit threatens the whole productive process of society with slow strangulation. The effects can be seen in a sudden spate of bankruptcies and closures, affecting not only small businesses but also major companies, like Ford, General Motors, Sony, Nissan and many others. The main reason for this is the collapse of demand, aggravated by the drying up of credit. Suddenly there is too much steel, too much cement, too many cars, too many empty offices, too much oil... In other words, what we are seeing is a classical crisis of overproduction.

The big US car companies attempted to boost their share of the market by ferocious discounting. This worked temporarily but only at the cost of cutting into profit margins. Ultimately, the result was bankruptcy. Now they are compelled to go, cap in hand, to the US government, which initially agreed to give them a large slice of taxpayers' money to keep them afloat. Coming after the bailout of the banks, this was an unprecedented action, especially if we bear in mind that the Republicans were supposed to be the Party of Free Market Economics par excellence. It was a measure of desperation.

This proposal of a generous donation to the big car companies was dictated by fear of the social and political consequences of firms like Chrysler and GM going bankrupt, which would mean the loss of millions of jobs. It was also a protectionist measure, directed against foreign car manufacturers. If it is passed, it will undoubtedly lead to similar measures in Europe and Japan. However, the government insisted on wage cuts in return for the package, which the unions rejected. The Republicans therefore voted against the proposal, which was defeated in the Senate. This is a repeat of the earlier conflict between the White House and Congress over the bank bailout. It exposes deep contradictions at all levels of US society.

We are entering into a period of growing protectionism and tensions between the main capitalist nations. The tendency towards protectionism will be even more pronounced under Obama, who will be under pressure to "save American jobs". Let us remember that the Democrats were always inclined towards protectionism. This will provoke retaliation from America's rivals. Already Volkswagen is demanding state aid. Others will follow.

The crisis is revealing deep fissures in the EU. The British and French are putting pressure on Germany to reflate its economy (that is, to increase its deficit in order to create more demand for British and French goods). But Germany is resisting. They see no reason why Germany should pay the price for other people's problems. But the participation of Germany is absolutely necessary if the plans for recovery in Europe are to be successful. They must all reflate simultaneously, or else Germany would benefit "unfairly" from the efforts of the others.

But these proposals have not been well received in Berlin. The German Finance Minister, Peer Steinbrueck derided the general yearning for what he called "the great rescue plan" as futile, saying such a plan "doesn't exist" and dealing with the unprecedented crisis is a puzzle that will be solved by trial and error. The European authorities who believe the answer is lavish spending programs are saying, in effect, "let's get the Germans to pay because they can," he added.

In reality, what Herr Steinbrueck said was correct. He pointed out that while policies can ameliorate the situation, the recession is unavoidable, whatever any government does. The policies of Brown and Bush amount to an attempt to reflate the bubble that caused the present mess in the first place. They have thrown billions at the banks in the hope that they will begin to lend again. But they have failed. The bankers are not prepared to lend under the present circumstances and no amount of interest cuts or state subsidies will make any difference. In any case, the scope for such cuts is minimal. In the case of the USA it is practically zero. One by one, the bourgeois in the richest countries in the world are using up all their resources in a vain attempt to halt a recession that is unstoppable.

In effect the bourgeois are trapped. Whatever they do now will be wrong. If they do not intervene to pump money into the banks and failing businesses there will be a deep slump with massive unemployment as in the 1930s. But if they resort to Keynesian methods of deficit financing, they will create huge debts that will undermine any future recovery and act as a tremendous drag on productive investment, creating the conditions for a long period of cuts and austerity.

The unsoundness of the policies pursued in the previous period is now revealed by a colossal hangover of debts. This has meant that the recession will be deeper and longer than it would otherwise have been. The bourgeois has now to pay the price for the "successes" of the last twenty years. Whole countries now face insolvency. Iceland is already bankrupt. Bank liabilities now represent 700 percent of the GDP of Switzerland, hitherto regarded as a safe haven for capital. The figure for Britain is 430 percent. That of the USA is just under 100 percent - after the huge bailout of the banking sector.

The intensification of the recession will mean a sharpening of tensions between Europe and the USA, between the USA, China and Japan and between Russia and the USA. In the past such tensions would have led to a world war. It was the Second World War that solved the economic crisis of the 1930s through massive arms spending and the wholesale destruction of the means of production during the war. However, the situation now is entirely different. The collapse of the USSR and the colossal power of US imperialism mean that a world war is ruled out. With an annual arms expenditure of about $600 billion, no power on earth can stand against the USA. But there will be constant "small" wars, like the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Congo and so on. The conflict between Russia and the USA can lead to wars like the war in Georgia.

The diplomatic clashes and tensions will add a further ingredient to the general instability. The uncontrollable spread of terrorism is a symptom of the underlying crisis. All these phenomena, which sentimental pacifists bemoan, are merely an expression of the underlying cause, which is the contradiction between the colossal potential of the productive forces and the narrow limitations of private property and the nation state. The bigger powers (especially the USA) will try to use their muscle to intimidate their rivals and grab markets and sources of raw materials, but the capitalists cannot find a way out of the crisis by taking the road of war as they did in 1914 and 1939. Therefore, all the contradictions will be expressed internally, through a growth of the intensification of the class struggle.

The eyes of the bourgeois are now fixed on China, from whence they hope that salvation may come. But China is now firmly embedded in the capitalist world market and must suffer the consequences of the downturn along with all the rest. In order to keep unemployment at its present levels a growth rate of at least eight percent is required. If growth falls below this level, the prospect arises of serious social conflict. The latest IMF estimate for China's growth in 2009 is now only 5 percent. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF, said: "We started with China at 11% growth, then 8%, then 7%, then China will probably grow at 5% or 6%." This is still high when compared to the growth rates in the USA and Europe. But it is a sharp fall in comparison to the kind of growth rate of around 10 percent enjoyed by China in the last period. And it is not clear that even this level will be reached.

China has a large internal market, probably about 300 million. But this is insufficient to absorb the huge productive capacity that Chinese industry has built up over the last two or three decades. The falling demand in the US market is hitting China's exports. The contraction in Chinese industrial production deepened in November with steel production down 12.4% from a year earlier, steel mill product deliveries down 11.3%, generation of electricity off by 9.6% and petrochemicals output down as well. In November year-on-year exports fell sharply by 2.2 percent, whereas analysts had expected them to rise by 15 percent. To understand the change, it must be remembered that between 2000 and 2006 China's exports grew at an annual rate of 26 percent. In the same month imports fell by 18 percent. This was the first time since 2001 that imports have fallen.

There are emerging signs of overproduction and overinvestment in China, whose internal market, though considerable, is not big enough to absorb the colossal productive potential built up over the last two or three decades, and which is now reaching its limits. The first warning of a crisis was the sharp fall on the stock exchange, which has lost about 60 percent of its value. But the crisis is not confined to the stock markets. House prices are falling, construction is slowing and industry is slowing faster than GDP. Car sales in November in China fell by over 10% year on year. Power generation, generally regarded as a reliable index of economic growth, fell by 7 percent.

These figures have altered the views of western economists on China. The previous optimism is fast turning to pessimism. The Economist (13th December 2008) stated: "Optimists even hoped that these huge emerging markets (India and China) might provide the engines that could pull the world out of recession. Now some fear the reverse: that the global downturn is going to drag China and India down with it, bringing massive unemployment to two countries that are, for all their successes, home to some two-fifths of the world's malnourished children."

It is true that China has huge reserves, which it can use to foment public works schemes to develop the infrastructure. In November the government announced a four trillion yuan (nearly $600 billion) fiscal stimulus package. But according to some estimates, this would add up to an increase of GDP by just over one percent. This is insufficient to get the kind of results that China needs. Beijing only has one other option: to try to solve the crisis by exporting more. This brings it into a direct collision with Europe and the USA, which is pressurising China to reflate in order to import more. Paulson visits Beijing to ask China to revalue the yuan, but Beijing is more likely to support a devaluation, which will deepen the contradictions between China and the USA.

The leaders are afraid that the worsening economic situation will produce what one of them referred to as "a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil". The Economist (13th December 2008) reports: "Each week brings fresh reports of factory closures, particularly in the industrial belt around the Pearl River Delta in Southern China. Unpaid workers have been staging violent protests." The same journal adds: "Indeed, demonstrations and protests, always common in China, are proliferating, as laid-off factory workers join dispossessed farmers, environmental campaigners and victims of police harassment in taking to the streets."

The slowdown in China is hitting Japan, for whom the Chinese market has become increasingly important. In the three months to September the Japanese economy shrank at an annualised rate of 1.8 percent. Other emerging economies are even less able to provide the necessary stimulus to the world economy than China. All will be dragged down in the next period. This signifies social and political convulsions on a huge scale. The chaos in Thailand is a further indication of this.

After a five-year period in which India grew at 8.8 percent, exports fell in October by 12 percent compared to the same period last year. Hundreds of small textile firms have gone out of business. But big firms are also in crisis. The car industry has suspended production. Sales of the Ambassador, India's most popular car, have slumped. Pakistan already stands on the verge of bankruptcy. The central bank has revised its projected figures for growth to 7.5 percent and this is too optimistic. The real growth may fall to 5.5 percent - the lowest since 2002.

With a budget deficit of about 8 percent of GDP, India, unlike China, has very little room to manoeuvre. If China needs a growth rate of 8 percent in order to absorb the seven million people entering the labour market each year, how can India absorb a workforce that is expanding at a rate of about 14 million annually? Its main growth has been in sectors like information technology, which does not employ large numbers of workers. A rapid growth in youth unemployment in India will produce explosive conditions in society. "And as in China unrest and even insurgency are widespread." (The Economist)

The fall in world demand is being expressed in a general fall in commodity prices. Oil has fallen from a peak of $147 to about $40 in a few months. This will affect all the oil producing economies in the Middle East, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico, Russia and Venezuela. Russia has the third highest surplus in the world but this has fallen by $144 billions since August. There is a flight from the rouble, underlining the fears of the bourgeois for the future. The ruling clique is trying to distract the attention of the masses from the crisis through foreign adventures (such as Georgia). But the developing crisis must sooner or later express itself in a crisis of the regime and the growth of opposition, strikes and protests.

The Ukrainian economy is in crisis and the country has to borrow $16 billion from the IMF. The economic crisis is deepening the political crisis, which has an endemic character. The impasse of the regime expresses the complete failure of capitalism to solve the problems of the Ukraine or any other of the former Soviet Republics. The pro-US government has avoided elections but in reality it is hanging by a thread. Most of the other former Soviet Republics are in an even worse position.

The sharp fall in the price of oil will intensify the pre-revolutionary ferment in Iran, where the regime of Ahmadinejad is hanging by a thread. There is already widespread discontent and anger among the youth, but also among the workers and middle class. There has been a wave of strikes. The fact that the Americans have decided to withdraw from Iraq means that they will be forced to open negotiations with Iran and Syria to cover their rear. This deprives Ahmadinejad of his main card - anti-American chauvinism and war-mongering rhetoric. Deprived of the external enemy, the contradictions within Iran will come to the fore with revolutionary implications.

In the poorest countries of Africa elements of barbarism have begun to appear and in some cases threaten to engulf society and push it back to savagery. In the Congo five million people have perished in a murderous civil war. In Zimbabwe people are faced with the horrors of starvation and cholera. In Sierra Leone over 70 percent of the population live on 70 cents a day and two-thirds of the women are illiterate. To the nightmare of hunger and poverty are added the scourge of malaria and AIDS. Everywhere the productive forces stagnate or decline, creating more unemployment, poverty and despair.

It is not difficult to portray the whole world as a nightmare or a lunatic asylum. These are the symptoms one associates with the senile decay of a system that has outlived its historical usefulness, like the Roman Empire in the period of its decline. But there is another side to the picture. There is ferment in society and the beginnings of revolt. This naturally begins with the youth, which on the one side are the first victims of the crisis, in the second place are highly sensitive barometer for the moods of discontent that are maturing silently in the bowels of society.

It is true that the suddenness of the crisis has shocked not only the bourgeois but also the workers. There will be a certain tendency to cling to jobs and even accept cuts in the short term, especially as the union leaders offer no alternative. But there will also be a general mood of anger and bitterness, which will sooner or later find its way to the surface. It is inevitable that the first layers to move into action will be the youth. It was always the case. The youth, beginning with the students, are always a sensitive barometer of the moods developing in society. They can anticipate big movements of the workers, as in 1901-3 in Russia and 1968 in France.

In Italy and Germany there have been big protest movements of the youth. In Spain the students strikes this autumn were organised and led by the Marxist-led Students' Union. There have also been upheavals of the youth in Hungary and earlier in France. But in Greece this movement has acquired an explosive and semi-insurrectionary character and was combined with a general strike of the workers. This is a serious warning to the bourgeois of what can happen in other countries. It shows the falsity of the argument that the onset of economic crisis will inevitably lead to a paralysis of the working class.

The bourgeoisie would like to resort to repression. This is shown by the recent declarations of Cossiga in Italy, which have a clearly Bonapartist character. But Greece shows the limitations of this policy. It was the murder of a young school student by the police that brought the masses onto the streets. The right-wing government considered a state of emergency but Karamanlis could not use force to impose order on the streets because that would have taken Greece to the brink of a civil war. He had to back down. The government was paralysed.

What the Greek events show is the weakness of reaction and the enormous strength of the working class at the present time. If the leaders of the Greek labour movement had had a revolutionary policy, they could have taken power. But without adequate leadership the movement will be reduced to pointless rioting, which the government will eventually bring under control. Nevertheless, the movement was a serious warning to the Greek capitalists of the mood of rage and frustration that exists in society. The ND government is finished. A new stage in the class struggle is opening in Greece. And tomorrow the same process will emerge in one country after another.

In Latin America the revolution has already begun. This is not an accident, and we explained it a decade ago, when we decided to orient the IMT towards Latin America. In this continent capitalism has broken at its weakest link. The Venezuelan Revolution has reached a critical point, where its future direction must be resolved one way or another.

The crisis of capitalism hits Latin America hard, although it is unfolding unevenly, affecting some countries more than others. Brazil, the economic giant of the region, expects to grow by 4 percent (which is probably optimistic) whereas Mexico, closely linked to the US economy, is expected to grow by only 0.4 percent. However, at different rates and at different times, all will be affected.

In October, the IMF forecast a growth rate of 3.5 percent for Latin America in 2009. Two months later, the World Bank cut its estimate to 2.1 percent and Morgan Stanley is predicting a fall of 0.7 percent for the seven biggest economies of the region. In the last two months there have been stock market and monetary crises and shortages of credit. This has followed a fall in exports and sharp falls of commodity prices. The slowdown in China affects demand for Venezuelan oil, Peruvian minerals, Argentine soya and Brazilian iron ore and orange juice.

The crisis in the USA affects the continent in a more direct way. Whole towns, villages and even regions of countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Ecuador depend on the remittances of their nationals working in the USA or Europe. Since the immigrant workers are the first to be sacked, these are now forced to return home. So these countries are at the same time deprived of foreign currency and obliged to absorb an influx of labour when unemployment is already rising.

The reformists have argued that the "Venezuelan model" would guarantee immunity from the problems associated with the "neo-liberal model". But this is a reformist illusion. Because the revolution has not been carried through to the end, Venezuela is still subject to the vicissitudes of the capitalist world market. The falling price of oil means that the reforms of the past period are under threat. Morgan Stanley predicts an economic contraction in both Venezuela and Argentina in 2009, of 1 percent and 2 percent respectively. This will mean that the reforms and misiones will be in difficulty. In addition to the general crisis of capitalism, the Venezuelan economy is suffering from sabotage and a strike of capital aimed at destabilising the Bolivarian government and causing mass discontent. Despite all the appeals to the capitalists, private investment is practically non-existent and there is a flight of capital. Only the state sector maintains the economy.

Sooner or later the Revolution will have to decide whether to advance and carry out the socialist transformation of society, or else be driven back, one step after another, to ignominious defeat. The demand for drastic measures against the counterrevolution and expropriation under workers' control is growing, and matters must be settled. In the past US imperialism would have intervened militarily to abort the process, but now this is very difficult. The US is bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and cannot open another front in Latin America, which would have revolutionary consequences inside the USA itself.

It is now a question of either-or for the Venezuelan Revolution. The forces of the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie have taken heart from their partial advance in the November election, which has given them important points of support from which to launch a new offensive. The economic crisis will give them further impetus. Chavez has called for more expropriations and proposes to stand again for President. Chavez could use his majority in the National Assembly to approve this even without a referendum. This would provoke clashes on the streets, which would pose the question of power point blank. The battle lines are drawn that will settle the fate of the Revolution one way or another.

This will be a period of enormous turbulence and instability - a period of revolution and counterrevolution that can last for years, with ebbs and flows. In the past, a pre-revolutionary or revolutionary situation would not last long. It would either end in the victory of the revolution or of the counterrevolution in the form of fascism or Bonapartism. But under present day conditions that is not the case. In the past, the bourgeoisie in Europe and elsewhere had important reserves of support in the population, particularly the class of small peasant proprietors. This is no longer the case. The middle layers of small proprietors has been whittled away by the development of capitalism, while the working class has grown and become the majority of society in many countries. In the past the students were drawn from rich families and were inclined to fascism. Now in most cases, the students are on the left. The ruling class is not strong enough to move towards reaction, but the working class is being held back by its leadership. This means that the present situation of unstable equilibrium between the classes can last for some time.

The revolution never moves in a straight line. There will inevitably be ups and downs in the movement, as there were in the Russian and Spanish Revolutions in the past. Between February and October 1917 there were periods of enormous upswing, but also other periods of tiredness, despair and even reaction (July-August). The same was true in Spain between 1931 and 1937, where we had the Two Black Years (El Bienio Negro) in 1934-5. But in a situation where the pendulum is swinging to the left, such "lulls" are only the prelude to a new and even stormier revolutionary upsurge.

The objective situation that we have now entered will be far more similar to the interwar period, or the 1970s, than to the last twenty years. Similar conditions will tend to produce similar results. The masses will be far more open to our ideas than they were in the past.

The degeneration of the mass organizations has reached unheard-of depths in the last period. The Social Democrats have abandoned all pretence to standing for socialism and the former "Communists" have abandoned all pretence to standing for communism. It is an irony of history that precisely at this moment they have renounced all claims to stand for a revolutionary change of society. Now history is taking revenge on them.

The striking successes of the Marxists in Rifondazione Comunista in Italy and in the French Communist Party are an indication of the profound change that is taking place. In the past such a turn in events would have been unthinkable. It shows the existence of deep discontent in the rank and file. The same discontent exists in all the mass organizations. It will grow as the crisis unfolds and the policies of the leadership are exposed in practice.

It is true that consciousness tends to lag behind events, but sooner or later it catches up with a bang. That is precisely the meaning of a revolution. We are approaching that critical point now. There is a general development of an anti-capitalist mood in society, not just in the working class but also in the middle class. People who never questioned capitalism before are now increasingly discontented. This is a very dangerous situation for the ruling class. And the crisis has only just begun.

The occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago (which has now been settled) shows the revolutionary potential that is being prepared in the USA itself. These were mainly poor paid Latino workers. The factory was forced to close because the banks were refusing credit, and the bosses were not going to give the workers redundancy pay. This is what sparked off the occupation. The workers said: "we have no money to pay our mortgages; we will lose not only our jobs but our homes!" So they occupied. But then the question of property was raised. The idea took root among the workers: these assets belong to us! This is how consciousness is rapidly transformed in the course of struggle.

In Belgium the big banking concern Fortis collapsed, and the company was plundered by French and Dutch capitalists. Fortis was regarded as the "People's Bank". 700,000 people had shares in it. But the shares collapsed and lost 90 percent of their value. This provoked a wave of anger directed against the banks. Everywhere we see the same indignation against the bankers and capitalists, who are obliged to lean on the leaders of the working class to hold onto power.

In the crisis of capitalism, the workers' parliamentary leaders cling to the ruling class and the trade union leaders cling to the parliamentary leaders. In such periods the ruling class prefers the reformist workers' leaders in government. Their policy is to use and discredit. They will use these leaders to do the dirty work and then cast them aside like a dirty dishrag. Then they will say to the masses: "Now you see what socialism means!" Thus, a contradiction opens up between the tops of the movement, which are moving to the right, in the direction of class collaboration, and the rank and file, which is moving to the left, looking for radical solution and militant action. Sooner or later this internal contradiction must be resolved. The coming period will see all sorts of crises and splits in the traditional organizations of the working class.

Big possibilities are opening up for the Marxists, and the social crisis is still at the early stage. As the crisis develops, the radicalization of the working class will reach levels not seen for decades. Ideas that were listened to by tiny handfuls will find a mass audience. The basis will be laid for the creation of mass Marxist tendencies everywhere. This is ultimately the only guarantee of the future socialist transformation of society.

Anonymous said...

Hi les,

You were not the only one - the Net here in Egypt went down yesterday morning, and until someone told me why I had a moment of sheer panic, along the lines of AAAHHHHGGGGG! So I guess we are each and every one in hock to a little bit of materialism; in my case, my omputer! Couldn't live without the Net. (Well, I could, but it would be one long AAAHHHHGGGGG! moment.

Also appreciated the comments on gold and diamonds as things intrinsically useful as well as beautiful, but like kikz, I wouldn't kill or harm anyone to get even the teeniest tiniest milligram.

Love your posts as always, les, and I'm really glad you're back. Thought the bad guys ahd got hold of you for a few seconds.

landers

marxist-socialist said...

I just watched a video documentary about Chavez on Free Speech TV called "Hugo Chavez: On The Path to socialism" and Chavez put it straight, he claimed that all nations that have capitalist systems concentrate wealth in a minority and suffering in the many, like the current corporate bailouts

Anonymous said...

Let's remember what a De Beers "whistle blowing" insider said a handful of years ago: the real market value of a near perfect 1 carat diamond should be no more than $75 USD, based on what the cartel actually mines. Which is why I almost laughed out loud at movies like "Blood Diamond" and "Flawless". Similar things could be said for gold. As well, I am fairly certain that there is tech that can produce both substances, main through modern advances in what used to be termed "alchemy". Let's also recall the literal descriptions of some of the gold in South America hundreds of years ago: a life size "corn field" entirely out of pure gold; entire buildings of solid gold??!! And the current Jew gold traders would have us believe that is more than currently exists in the entire World... Sure. Just another example of the entire System being completely gamed. We truly live in illusion, and the only "real" things of value probably being love, compassion, and understanding as manifested in feelings, actions, and words. As sappy as this sounds, I now believe it to be true. In terms of the physical, I believe a source of fresh water without all the toxins, heavy metals, chlorine, floride, arsenic, hormones, drug residues, etc. will be far more valuable than any diamond or gold mine, and the relatively recent action of the criminal elite prove that they know this as well.

Dr.F

in retrospect said...

Hey Les, its good to have you back. However, your temporary absence gave me the opportunity to write with one of the posters who frequents this blog. You are right, the art of conversation spoken or otherwise is rare nowadays, and when it does occur some people can’t help but hear you speak but they aren’t necessarily listening.

Your European Internet service must be contagious because communication cables connecting Europe with the Middle East have been accidently (?) cut, and gmail in the States has been crashing, which BTW also ended the great sidebar email correspondence I had with another poster.

In 1992 my family and I had experienced a massive isolated storm cell in our remote South Carolina mountain valley, which left us without the services of phone, power, and water. It was a great learning experience of survival and un-preparedness, and having only verbal communication as a means of entertainment. You learn a lot about your family when you are trapped in a house buried up to your ass in trees, with all roadways blocked, and enduring single-digit temperatures huddled by a fireplace. In retrospect, it was probably one of the best and warmest memories we have ever had together as a family and, an experience that we all shall never forget.

Visible stated:
“See, I think what everyone calls gold is the real Fool’s Gold and a commodity that will definitely land you in the shit sooner or later. I’ve never understood the attraction for gold, or diamonds for that matter. I don’t own either and wouldn’t consider any lasting engagement with a woman who did.”

I totally agree with your statement. If you look back on the historical lessons regarding the ownership of gold and silver, it was outlawed in the USA before, with the Presidential coup in 1934: Roosevelt’s Gold Reserve Act that outlawed private ownership of gold. And since all precious metals purchased recently are registered, then the Establishment knows where to kick-in doors to retrieve it when history once again repeats itself… and history always repeats itself eventually. What good is gold or silver? People say that it’s used for dental work; but plastics are less expensive and work better than metals on teeth. Others say that industry uses it for electronics circuitry and components; but there are many composites (superconductors) that are cheaper and better than gold or silver. People say that it can be used for money in hard times when paper money is rendered worthless, which is an ignorant assumption because if I have food, I will trade (barter) my food for anything I may need such as batteries or Band-Aids; not metal coins. Neither gold nor silver will have the value of a can of beans, or a can of gravy, or even a manual can opener when you are starving. I will tell any bearer of gold and silver to eat their coins if they are hungry because the only thing you can do with those coins is melt them down to make bullets and arrow tips. Perhaps these hoarders of precious metals should have invested in blocks of lead instead… it will go farther for a less invested cost.

I also have a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit when we are blowing the fucking shit out of unarmed women and children in the Middle East and in other parts of the World we are spreading "democracy". The Neocons have taken the Christ out of Xmas and, furthermore, the fact that the “Greatest Story Ever Told”, is also one of the biggest fictional myths ever fabricated.

I will admit that I have hung strings of jingle bells on my front and back doors because if I hear these bells jingling in the middle of the night, I know it won’t be St. Nick at the door… and I won’t be giving that uninvited person Christmas cookies and milk.

Happy Holidays!

m_astera said...

As of the 8:10 pm comment from in retrospect, 31 comments so far.

Total words: 13,877

Total spam from marxist: 9,527 words (counting only the paste jobs).

Percent of total comment section devoted to spam from marxist: 68.65%

Down here in the 21st Century Socialist Bolivarian Democratic Republic Workers Paradise of Venezuela we have something a little like this called the "cadena". The cadena is when Saint Hugo the Infallible commandeers all radio and television broadcasts in the country to wax eloquent about whatever he feels like talking about. So far this year, as of the middle of last week, Venezuelan residents have been gifted with 170 hours of cadena, just a bit over four 40 hour workweeks worth.

Castro is pretty famous for these monologues too; it appears to be SOP for marxists.

Hope everyone else is learning a lot. I think maybe I have better things to do.

Visible said...

Michael;

I understand your frustration, especially since it hits close to home with your perception of it but... there's no requirement to read any of it and you know that. The key here is to let everyone express themselves within the wide parameters that this place provides for.

You've got a lot of contained brilliance and a great deal of savvy. Even taking the time to take the time to say what you said when you could have done another of your gold and diamonds monologues (which I enjoyed a great deal) cheats us all of the spectacle.

M.S. is just doing it from where he's at at the moment. Eventually we all put everything aside... willingly or... more commonly... unwillingly but willingly finally at that fine moment within and ahead.

I'm not telling you anything you don't know but I can hardly censor something like this. This place rubs off on people and no matter what anyone is in to it eventually will change and not because of me you may be sure.

m_astera said...

I did know what you meant about the gold and diamonds, Les. Not good values to base one's life upon. I've read that the Aztecs called gold the excrement of the gods, the original holy shit. On topic?

I do like gems and jewelry for their beauty, though I don't wear it and I'm not a diamond fan; rubies are much prettier to my eye, and much more rare. In retrospect's comment about the diamond market is true; it's all artificial because it's a monopoly. As for gold, no. There are pretty good tallies of the world's gold supply; best estimates put total above ground gold at 4 billion ounces, or 2/3 of an ounce per person alive today.

I've bought and sold silver and gold since the late 1980s; not to make money, but as a store of value. Greenbacks spend too easy, gold and silver tend to stick around until you really need the cash. Perhaps there are records kept of internet gold sales, but I've always dealt with friends and local coin shops, cash transactions, no paper trail, and that's how everyone else I know does it too.

One can't eat it, but it's a good medium of exchange. It's hard to make change for a whole cow when all one wants is a pound of hamburger. (did that make sense?) Most are willing to take pretty coins made of precious metals, knowing they can trade them to someone else for something they want. In many traditional societies, women can't inherit property, but their jewelry remains their own no matter what. India is a good example.

Anonymous said...

Les I absolutely love what you do here.
And I thank you wholeheartedly for allowing me to participate.
I really like the people who come here and have the get up and go to comment.
The opportunity you afford us is most generous.
Thank you
Tony

Visible said...

Thank you Tony. Imagine my gratitude for what you've done for me.

Michael... yes, it does make sense. I'm just not into jewelry. I shave my head for the same reason that I don't wear jewelry and there are some great tales I could tell on how I personally learned the virtue of this. On the occult side I have a great appreciation for gems although diamonds are not one of them. I like emeralds, rubies and something can Tanzanite (I think) it is like sapphire. That might be my favorite.

I like gems for their healing properties which are much magnified by certain states of mind but I must admit that was all long ago. Now the only jewel I care for shines in my heart and it dwarfs all others. I don't want to put the world down; after all, we have to live here and I myself and still captive due to things I discussed at Origami today. One should never bullshit themselves.

There are many marvels here but the greatest marvel is the appreciation of their true use. That's over for me too but it was fun for awhile... right up to the point where I got saved from myself.

As for coin of the realm in times of chaos. I have what I need for that and it's inner.

Anonymous said...

m_ 12:05 AM, thanks for the gold lesson mate.
My family have owned/worked/managed Gold/Copper and Diamond mines in Aus. for generations. I thought I was up on all of the current info but thanks to you I have now caught up.
The natives must be so thankful for you being in their land instructing them on how to go about their daily business. Much appreciated.
Tony

m_astera said...

I already wrote and posted the followup on gold and diamonds above before I read your note.

I have no problem at all with those who have an opinion or an axe to grind. I have a problem with cut and paste spam that takes up most of the space. If the person commenting doesn't understand their subject enough to tell it like it is in their own words, they don't know their subject. I would think a link and a brief synopsis would be sufficient for those who are interested, and I can't say I've noticed anyone else pasting 9500 words of off-topic spam.

I've seen little evidence that Marxist socialist even reads his own spam, viz the Henry Makow piece posted the other day. There is even less evidence that there is anything going on other than waiting for his turn to speak. Apparently you didn't go to my agriculture blog the other day when I linked to the three shit fuck piss cocksucker "comments" that Marxist/Socialist spewed there to show his method of discourse when someone disagreed with him on YOUR blog. He didn't post his sewage here or he would have been banned, I'd venture to say. He searched out my blog and took a big shit in the middle of it.

Guess I should have followed my first impulse and just pasted them back to Smoking Mirrors instead of deleting them after a day.

Visible said...

There's a new piece here 9/11 Dreaming in a World of Flesh.

pot said...

Actually, those in control and who create these crisis have evolved from the Marxist Global Communists of the past.

They have subverted Democracy while pretending to fight for it, and calling any developing nation resembling a Democracy as socialist, so they could justify the attack as part of the Cold War(regime change, invasion, war).

They have corrupted democratic capitalism with Fascism, and called it neo-liberalism. The fascism of the Nazis and Mussolini was a creation of the elite who financed them so thye could fight the war against communism. The elite backed Commuinsism in the war which was the real winner of WW II, and created fascism in the US with FDR;s New Deal policies. FDR used to call Stalin Uncle Joe and was a great communist. It seems a great contradiction.

The elite are the creators and leaders of the terrorist organizations to justify a war against terrorism over there, before bringing the fight home, and to take away democratic freedoms to keep democracy safe.

To them, anyone who does not go along with their plan for One World Government (Marxist style) is a terrorist. The Muslim Brotherhood for example has it's headquarters in London. At the top of the pyramid, these leaders are not even practicing Muslim. At the bottom are zombies fueled by hatred created by injustice and hardship who are prepared to blow themselves up, fully duped by the elite of their kind that their actions can facilitate change.

This pyramid structure of power is in every level of government, terrorist organizations, corporations, religous and educational institutions, secret and not so secret societies, think tanks, military. Only those at the top of the pyramid see the whole picture and know the real plan.

Those at lower levels of the pyramid are on a need to know basis and know less the further they are from the top of the pyramids power structure. Those at the bottom are just as clueless as anyone else outside these organizations or institutions, but all are given reasons that make sense to them to do evil, if indeed they even recognize it as such, being told it is for a greater good, the end justifying the means.

So anyone seeing events of today as an opportunity for Marxism is partially correct, but should know that those behind the chaos and evil are themselves Marxists.

Many of the elite in the US today are devout followers of Leo Strauss who was simply a Trotskyite, a slight deviant of Marxism.

McCarthy was right in the 50's about the threat from Communism within, he was simply wrong about who was behind it. The elite created the communism of the Soviet Union and made sure China went communist to give us the Cold War. This spread communism through 1/2 the globe and ended religion in these regions. The illusion of it's defeat is pervasive by flawed.

Global Communism pre-requisite is that industrialization must already be created by capitalism in order to work. So the barriers to Chinas and the Soviet Unions industrialization had to be brought down by the illusion that they were no longer Communists or that trade would force China to become more democratic and capitalist. The essential point though is that fascism or corporatism is the essential stepping stone to Global Communism.

So today we see fascism and corporatism and not liking it too much even though it's been essential in the industrialization of the East, because it has come at the expense of the deindustrialization of the West which is lowering Americans and now Europeans standard of living in order that we may be comfortably merged with the rest of the world.

We are not far away from the end of history, or a History of the sort in Orwells 1984. They been at this for 160 years and the mission is almost accomplished. Maybe things will be better after, but do not count on it, as mans nature is what it is, and those with absolute power tend to abuse it.

in retrospect said...

To m_astera who wrote:

“I've bought and sold silver and gold since the late 1980s; not to make money, but as a store of value. Greenbacks spend too easy, gold and silver tend to stick around until you really need the cash. Perhaps there are records kept of internet gold sales, but I've always dealt with friends and local coin shops, cash transactions, no paper trail, and that's how everyone else I know does it too.”

What you said m_astera makes perfect sense in a controlled civilized environment… but very few who are posting here today (including me) has ever witnessed total anarchy, and neither gold nor silver will fulfill the essential staples of life for survival. Furthermore, a cow would be transacted through the exchange of several families at a time… there won’t be food stores like Wal-Mart, Food Lion, or 7-11 convenience stores.

In all of these posts I have not read a single clue that explains the unsubstantiated value of gold or silver (I didn’t mention diamonds because most people could not tell a real diamond from an artificial Zirconia). Other than the acceptance of precious metals as a medium of exchange, gold has always been an excepted tender for exchange of goods or services… but why?

Like a broken record, I have constantly pointed-out that the truth behind the factors which brought our economies to where they are today, and where we shall be in the not too distant future, has occurred in the historical past and is evidenced in the uncovered archeological ruins from over 5000 years ago (before the Egyptian Pharaohs).

Gold has been used since the dawn of man because Homo sapiens were created to mine it. Therefore, gold does have “historical” value because we would still be spear chucking hunter-gatherers living in caves - if gold had no value. We were created to be slaves for the mining of gold, and some of us are still slaves to the superficial allure of its manipulated intrinsic value. History always repeats itself, and the more things change, the more they stay the same… even after 250,000 years.

(see link: http://www.redicecreations.com/specialreports/2006/01jan/annunaki.html

m_astera said...

Perhaps we are playing post tag. I've said what I wanted to say. It is of course your blog, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't respect what you do and have done. This is the place to argue the shallow values of maya. I honor those who play their roles with impeccable gusto and convincing passion.

The coin of the realm that I have in these times of chaos? This realm of flesh requires coin at the food store for me these days, but less for me than for most. Give the body the food it needs to go another day forward with the memo, but carrying the message is the task, not the food or the lures that I can thankfully appreciate just by observing. I need not own Fujisan to view it from my garden.

Take this sword and conquer yourself is what I heard once. Or twice. Who was that who fought the Hydra of endless heads, which grew two more each time one was cut off? And did he need a friend to hold the blazing torch, to cast the brilliant light and to cauterize the bleeding stumps?

And so we come to this new place, where the Hydra has lost its strength, where there are no new vicious heads arising, and those that do arise are feeble, easily dismissed. How now, friend? As we survey the now quiet battlefield that once seemed so impossible to even survive, much less prevail. But prevail we have, and it is time to remember the objective, whatever that was. It has not lost its importance.

In the great plains of the country now called America, where this body was born into this world, there are great spiral maelstroms of air that come out of boiling green skies with the sound of a thousand oncoming freight trains. They explode the proud strong dwellings of man into powder and kindling, they rip great trees from the earth, they suck up the water and life from lakes and rivers and leave them momentarily dry. Powerful forces, powerful storms, and none may defy them. Yet, sometimes in the midst, from out of the path of chaos and destruction, a tiny baby is lifted gently in its cradle, and set down unharmed miles away, its cradle perhaps now swaying gently in a high treetop. The sweet baby will live; the storm had other objectives, as does the baby. This is where I put my trust, as I know the impermanence of walls however stout. This is the coin of my realm.

Visible said...

How's this for a compromise? Any C&P that gets excessive in length (like say beyond what it takes to illustrate the point of the writer or is okay within some mysterious way that only I understand (grin). Sorry, heh heh, you know what I mean... is no longer permitted. Links are okay and if someone wants people to read something then they should put it in a link.

I'll enforce this. It's just that it's really difficult for me when I have to play policeman here and every time I please one person I piss off someone else. But it does make sense for this place not to be subjected to missing children posters and 'old' furniture for sale.

People get angry at me for various things but the one thing that is most difficult is when they get angry at me for not being omniscient and instantly, telepathically picking up on what they want and acting on it. It's always a good idea to ask me about anything because I often don't do anything unless I am asked.

m_astera said...

Thanks Les. Methinks it will only make us better writers and communicators. I'm certainly not angry with you, nor have I been. It's that passion thing, y'know. :)

Ricky Nelson knew what he was talking about when he sang "You can't please everyone, you got to please yourself." If yourself is not happy, what matters it if you make everyone else happy? (which you won't anyway.)

m_astera said...

pot-

I've been following your analyses of the world's manipulators and their agenda and want to compliment you on the clarity and succinctness of your presentation. If the readers don't know about Adam Weishaupt, haven't read the Protocols, and don't know about the Tavistock Institute or the Fabian Society then they are being duped and are too ignorant to realize it.

Just lately I've been considering whether or not there are possibly some players at the top level who have the survival of humanity and the planet as their prime directive, yet are forced to work with the crude tools available. I think most of us would agree that a functional and benevolent system of administration for the necessarily interconnecting parts of our world would be a good thing. Note I didn't say government, and I don't think cultural homogeneity would be a good thing at all. The family and the tribe are basic effective units and they will only become more important in a truly abundant and peaceful world. Any form of life higher than a slime mold is composed of different types of cells. As below, so above.

My overall outlook for humanity and planet Earth is very hopeful and positive.

m_astera said...

in retrospect-

I've been what's called a survivalist for most of my life. In the USA I carved a homestead out of the wilderness that approached self-sufficiency, but I always still needed a convenient medium of exchange. When I left the USA and moved alone to a new country where I knew no one and didn't speak the language, I brought some FRNs but also a little gold and quite a bit of silver. The paper money was soon gone but the gold and silver have lasted. I have sold some, given some as gifts, used them for security deposits, and even pawned them for quick cash then redeemed them. Very handy. If nothing else, there are always some around who appreciate their beauty.

I'm familiar with the Annunaki scenario from many sources. As I have no personal evidence to prove it right or wrong, I have to accept the information I get from those whose opinions and expertise I trust. Sitchin would be at the bottom of that list, BTW.

I think there is good evidence that mankind was not only genetically manipulated, but that it happened a number of times, and also that the planet has been colonized on more than one occasion by humans from other planets.

Very recently I read a synopsis of some info supposedly from the NSA that talked about the purpose of the gold that was mined on Earth; that it was used to create a protective layer in the atmosphere of the planet Niburu to stabilize its climate over its eccentric orbit.

Thunderbolts.info has some interesting theorizing about the past history of the Earth, that possibly it used to exist in the atmosphere or corona of a small brown dwarf star or perhaps very large gas-giant planet with different gravitational fields than we now experience; that could explain how the huge dinosaurs could live here, something they couldn't do under the present gravity.

The newest and most interesting data I've read about the Annunaki and the creation of humans is the Project Camelot interview with James of the Wingmakers web site. That is only a very small part of what he talks about in the interview; the rest of it pertains to the spiritual evolution of mankind and this planet; I would rate it five stars plus. Already it is pushing a lot of buttons due to the threat the concepts pose to the spiritual hierarchy of the galaxy. Those interested in such heresy may find it here:
http://www.projectcamelot.org/james_wingmakers_sovereign_integral.html

Visible said...

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Anonymous said...

I found this post almost too clear--no rings around the rosy or meanderings through the twilight. A "Cut to the Chase"--if you will. You won't find diamonds or gold in the Jj household--we know folks who are wealthy and their diamonds just stay in the safe or hidden in the underwear drawer because when it comes down to it, where do you wear them--not too many high society parties out here in the sticks-- Like so much, they twinkle in your eye--a brief orgasm of "This is It"--and then hidden away for fear that they may be stolen or lost.--like a great book that sits on the shelf collecting dust--and your hoping someone will see it--hoping that it makes you look like more than you are--more illusion.
Like that outfit you bought that was going to change your world--get you your dream job--dream girl--or guy. Well, it went out of style--whatever that means-- and now it just sits--$800.00 on a hanger waiting for someone to say its cool to wear again.
It's the flavor of the day--book of the month--that never gets tasted or read--we live in a cut and paste world--why think for your self when you can just point to the book on the shelf that you've never read, or if you did, didn't understand-- so as to make people think you're somehow more enlightened--a ponzi scheme of the mind until you're asked a question by someone who did read, and understand.
It's the bullshit world of the bullshitter--never saying much because that might lead to an actual discussion where you would have to back up what you say--afraid you will be found out as a fraud--but the unspoken among most folks is that you don't ask those questions or everybody might start to and then people would be seen for the liars they are--24-7....

We live in a cocktail party world--15 second commercials or political candidate messages creating an illusion of stoic granduer--something you just gotta have because it's new and improved--really--trust us

The world has a 15 second attention span--and thats being generous--

We don't want more than the abreviated text message life--the "high, how are you"--"Good, real good" dance--Let me get you a drink----

Do not lay up treaure here on earth (unless you're the catholic church or a mega-church pastor)

"The streets in heaven are paved with gold and the buildings are encrusted with diamonds...........

Well, now you know they are an illusion-----or bullshit--either will do.

Share with me a song, a poem, a work of art, a thought or a realization, a memory that i can take with me wherever i go--that doesn't rely on anything but the moment i saw it or heard it--therein lies true value and worth

jj

pot said...

m astera, I do not rule out that we have been colonized by aliens, perhaps 6000 years ago, maybe longer, and these fallen angels were in fact aliens. Man of today was then genetically engineered from the life that existed on this planet at the time they came, from a species that was dumb and primarily satisfied as hunter gatherers, to a war like, intelligent race that dispersed on a mission to globalize the planet. The sons of god were said to find the daughters of man pleasing.

Much of our mythology suggests as much, representing the aliens or their descendents with great powers and beings, half animal and half human, that presumably were failed bioengineering experiments.

The Bible possibly was code and a blue print of the plan, and Ancient Mysteries were locked in the pyramids built by very large and powerful beings to protect them until we were advanced enough to obtain and understand them. This information is likely transmitted among the elite via the secret societies from generation to generation.

The end purpose may be for good or bad. Who knows, but the methodolgy being used suggests there is a time table and it is not looking good.

Perhaps they have a taste for humans and are preparing to turn us into an intergalactic stop-over for fine dining or perhaps fast food and human burgers and french fingers.

Perhaps we will be enslaved to serve the aliens once they arrive in bunches after the elite have prepared the world for them.

Or maybe this world will be a paradise and simply needed to take a path that has a lot of rough spots in order to get there.

Being optimistic or pessimistic is largely a matter of faith. The odds favour the latter IMO. But I think many of the players below the elite level think they are doing good.

And those at the top may have no say in the matter. Perhaps they have been told to have a stable world government by 2012 or else when they return they will consider this to be a failed project and end life as we know it so as to begin again.

Or maybe we are just being ruled by pychopaths that have been homegrown.

I do find the push for DNA testing food for thought. Perhaps they want to find out who has alien blood, and how much, as this might dictate their place in society, or as a food source. LOL.

m_astera said...

Pot-

The closest to perfect galactic alignment at the winter solstice occurred in 1998. Ten years ago. The 2012 thing applies to the Mayans (or Olmecs) who created the calendar back then because the triple rebirth of the sun happens close to sunrise in the southern Yucatan where they lived on Dec 21, 2012. Simple astronomical data, and the solar system is several million years away from a closer alignment.

I gave you the interview link because it has something to say about Nibiru, as in Nibiru isn't coming back this time.

IMO, Joseph Davidovits put to rest the mystery of how the great pyramids were constructed back in the 1980s. They are poured concrete, made from the aggregate broken up from the Giza plateau and cement. The Romans built with the same material or close to it.

I'm not talking about other-species alien blood colonizing planet Earth; I mean humans as in blonde white skin. They showed up around the end of the last ice age and everything changed.

The astronomical data is easily checked, the pyramids have been tested by independent labs and deemed artificial stone. The rest, of course, is simply speculation.

in retrospect said...

To m_astera who said:

“I'm familiar with the Annunaki scenario from many sources. As I have no personal evidence to prove it right or wrong, I have to accept the information I get from those whose opinions and expertise I trust. Sitchin would be at the bottom of that list, BTW.”

Many have the same opinion about Sitchen as you, and yes, there are many who now have more profound knowledge about the Annunaki and Niburu than Sitchin. However, in my recollection, Sitchen was one of the first to transcribe and write a book about the ancient Sumerian writings. So in my opinion Sitchen’s work on the Annunaki, is similar to what Henry Ford was to the automobile… one of the first to break new frontiers of historical knowledge.

I did start to read the link you supplied to the Project Camelot Interview, and it is very good. I read a book recently which parallels the answers of “James” in the Project Camelot interview. I heard the interview of Lawrence R. Spencer at Rense.com (free mp3 file), and then read Lawrence’s e-book which can be downloaded here:

http://www.lulu.com/content/2144178

Thank you for the Project Camelot link.

pot said...

m_astera Like I said, I have an open mind to the possibilities. I have not studied other theories and do not much about Niburu, having not yet read/heard the link.

My reference to 2012 had nothing to do with the Mayan calendar, but is my guess as to when Global Government will be officially imposed on us given it ends Obamas 1st term and is when the UN Secretary General comes up for election, and thus that could be the deadline. But that is an interesting coincidence.

As for the pyramids, the issue is not what they were made of. That seems a red herring issue. The issue is it seemed well beyond what man was capable of at the time, and the geometry, dimensions, precision and orientation suggest a knowledge of astronomy, mathematics and engineering somewhat advanced for the time. I am not sure we could duplicate it today using the tools, materials and resources they had at the time, and an incredible amount of horse (man)power was needed, and mythology and the old testament suggest large men of great strength (Goliath) existed in the past. Myths and superstition sometimes have an element of truth.

We build tunnels today where ceilings collapse and leak using modern materials and technology.

But it is hard enough to know what is the truth in the present, let alone thousand of years ago, especially if there are elements of this truth that are being kept secret by the elite. So one can only speculate based on the information and literature such as the Book of Enoch, etc., available.

m_astera said...

in retrospect-

Thanks for the link to the Spencer book. I'll check it out right away.

Sitchin does deserve credit for popularizing the Annunaki concept, but I have a couple of reasons to doubt his veracity. The first is some friends who went to hear him speak on his books; they told me he was very evasive and refused to answer any difficult or straightforward questions. Their impression was that he was hiding something.

The second was an article I found on line written by a scholar of the languages Sitchin claimed to be translating; this scholar wrote that Sitchin's translations were completely off base, and that he believed Sitchin had either poor or no knowledge whatever of those languages. This scholar was not averse to the idea of UFOs, alien intervention, genetic manipulation etc; he was willing to look at it all with an open mind; his point was that Sitchin's translation and interpretation was junk. He also said that he had contacted Sitchin and Sitichin's webmaster about this a number of times and gotten no response. Sorry I don't have the link, but I came across it with a google search so it's out there.

Just checked out the Spencer book. Looks excellent and I will get the download. I think Ellis posted a link to it here a month or so ago and I didn't follow up then. What fun!

m_astera said...

pot-

RE the pyramids: Davidovits is a French geochemist; he specializes in geopolymers and holds many international patents on them; well over a hundred last I checked. When he started creating artificial stone using natural processes (back in the 1970s I think) he began wondering about some ancient stone structures, the great pyramids in particular.

His book The Pyramids, an Enigma Solved came out in the late 1980s; I ran into it at Powell's technical books in Portland OR and bought it. According to his conservative calculations, the great pyramid could have been built by about 1100 men over a period of 20 years, using limestone rubble broken up from the shallow underlying bedrock at Giza with bronze or wooden tools. He suggests that part of the Nile was diverted to the area to soften the limestone bedrock. The cement mix used to bind it was a mixture of burnt lime (mason's lime), natron (sodium bicarbonate) from alkaline lakes in the area, and copper ore from the Sinai. His book has photos of pyramid blocks that still show the marks of the form boards, still show cold pours (where the mold was filled in two stages) and show the random jumble of the fossil-containing limestone rubble. Natural fossil shell limestone does not show random jumbles, but rather sedimentary parallel layers.

All of this could have been done with relatively primitive technology, the only advanced part being the knowledge of geopolymer chemistry. Davidovits credits Akhenaton as the probable chemist/alchemist who discovered the process.

All of these giant hard-stone constructions were done during the Old Kingdom. Davidovits thinks the building of the Great Pyramid depleted the copper mines in the Sinai, and only small hard-stone sculptures etc. were made using the technique after that. Why carve granite or diorite when you have the knowledge to pour it? Almost all of the New Kingdom work was carved out of soft stone like sandstone and soft limestone.

I've done personal research on it to the extent of examining eqyptian stone "carvings" from the Berlin museum. Many of them were crudely done and showed chisel marks, but there was one highly detailed bas-relief in hard red granite that was perfect and looked like it was cast in a mold to me.

The Romans had some of this knowledge and used it to pour the Coliseum and the Pantheon; after the fall of Rome the knowledge was lost until the invention of Portland cement in the 1800s, though Portland cement is nowhere close to the quality that the Egyptians and Romans employed.

We could easily build the Great Pyramid today if we poured it in blocks using the technology that Davidovits re-discovered.

The same technique could possibly explain some of the South American work such as Sacsahuaman, but Baalbek in Lebanon remains a mystery.

pot said...

m-astera, So the knowledge of geopolymers was then lost for thousands of years until the 20th century. Kind of supports my alien theory. LOL.

Thanks for the information, one more book I got to read.

The dimensions, location, precision of the corners and orientation are also of interest and suggestive of an intelligence or knowledge beyond what might be expected, but I may not be up to snuff here, a bit outdated. I better read up some more about it before discussing further.