SS

I was realizing this morning that my 26-year ongoing goal, understanding the world, has gone as far as it can go, and that I need to work on other stuff now. I’ve known this for some time.

I understand American politics well enough to keep my distance. It’s a goofy pastime meant to distract us, nothing more.

I understand people as well as I can. As Napoleon observed, with a few noble exceptions they are desirous of being kept in chains for sake of security. They talk about freedom, but do not live it.

I understand the international scene as well as one isolated person can. One word: Machiavelli. There are no morals, no ethics. There is only power, and power despises weakness. Power has no use for ordinary people, would just as soon kill us as tolerate us.

There is a class of people out there, we call them psychopaths these days, who are always present among us. We need to get better at identifying them and putting them in tasks that challenge their abilities but do not give them power. Sweatshops would be a good way to go – Dick Cheney or Hillary Clinton could spend their long days stitching fabric to rubber instead of plotting misery for millions of people. The United States has a larger share of them in its population than other places due to colonial seeding. Australia, I would imagine, has a similarly large a percentage since it started out as a prison colony.

Psychopaths have always been with us. It is too bad our history is so corrupted that we don’t know anything of importance about our past. Otherwise we’d have a better idea of their activities over time. I see instances like the Battleship Maine blowing up, McKinley shot, Lincoln lionized, serial killer John Brown anointed a saint, and I see their handiwork. I’ve no doubt that when good people with influence are assassinated, die in small plane crashes, are caught in scandals … psychopaths got to them. The Bush’s and Clinton’s of this world live long lives of wealth and splendor even as they belong in stockades. John Lennon was shot by his doorman (who also happened to be present when RFK was shot! Imagine that!).

The key seems to be this: Keep them at bay. They are always plotting and scheming – nothing else pleases them. But we need to try to maintain some semblance of democratic government, laws and justice in spite of them. When they get complete hold of a place as they did in Germany, Poland, Stalinist Russia, Franco’s Spain and currently in Saudi Arabia and other such despotic hellholes, they cannot easily be dislodged. It usually takes conflict and bloodshed*. (“The tree of liberty …”) Power never gives up power without a fight.

That class is currently in power in the United States. We are in pathocracy. Every day they bring us more grief with out-of-control war spending, corruption in every corner including science (and even soft sciences like economics), our runway banksters, assaults on the commons, and a laughable system of justice. News is barely stitched together of lies, and most decent people in positions of responsibility cower in fear. Thousands of people know more truth about things like JFK, 9/11, Boston, Ukraine, Cuba, Iraq and our many wars of aggression and cannot speak for fear of retribution. Journalists may know stuff (it is hard to tell with them) but cannot write what they know. The only enemy our government fears is domestic – an awakened population, and I do not see any signs of life.

So for me the goal is to continue to lead my charmed life in spite of it all. The encounters that I have on the blogs lately are mostly unpleasant. I don’t like it when that happens. But if there is one type of personality that troubles me more than any other on this planet, it is the arrogant fool, the person so full of hubris that he is unapproachable and cannot be reasoned with. He will always presume himself more knowledgeable and wise while in truth knowing nothing. That personality sets me afire. I used to think the exchanges were fun, but now to see these same people years later unaffected by anything that has passed before their eyes, ignorant of all and yet assured of their own high intelligence and rightness … it gets really old. This is, as one of my kids’ teachers termed it years ago, “supreme stupidity.”

So I want to write about other stuff. I just keep getting pulled back in, that’s all. I love to set these people on their ears, rattle their cages in the hope that the shaking allows some light to break through. Never happens.

But there is Lizard and JC and SK and SW and ST and JR (Abe?) and Feral cat and so many others. I dwell on the negative when there is no much positive. I want to do better. I’ll keep working on it.
_______________
*Can someone please explain how the USSR and its satellites were brought down without bloodshed? That could never happen here or in Saudi Arabia or against the bloody British aristocracy … to dislodge a corrupt leadership class by sheer power of public will. What’s wrong with the picture?

24 thoughts on “SS

  1. http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/08/03/or-how-the-virgin-became-a-whore/
    Plausible, but impossible to fully understand.

    Oligarchs may have wanted intact “countries” to exploit for cheap, relatively well-educated labor, to keep the illusion of growth alive a few more decades. Fresh batch of politicians to corrupt, Russian energy reserves are close, and so are markets in EU. Pretty good place to set up shop for a while. I think Poland would be as good a place as any to search for more clues.

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  2. What a tormented world you must live in.

    Herbert Spencer noted that whether a person votes for the winning candidate, votes for a losing candidate, or abstains from voting, he will be deemed to have consented to the rule of the winning candidate.

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    1. I suppose in your idyllic world it is voting that matters, and not money. What if either candidate in backed by the same money, and they just posture differently while campaigning? I think Swede that you simply do not understand power, which is why you and PW are bookends.

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      1. First amendment matters. The majority in the supreme court agree.

        And there is a difference in legislators from MT. Denny and Conrad were always consistant in their campaigning and voting. MT Democrats swing more conservate at election time and then march lock step with their leaders.

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      2. Too general, and anyway, they answer to money, and not voters, who only pay attention at two or four year intervals. Republicans have it easier in that they don’t have to lie so much, but both behave the same once elected.

        Do you realize that most votes don’t matter, most bills don’t pass, so that a D and an R can have voting records that appear different and yet act in service of the same power? It’s all play acting.

        Here’s what Bob Dole told freshman senators: “You’ll never go wrong voting for something that is going to fail or against something that is going to pass.”

        Does it occur to you, Swede, that they merely play to your perceptions, that they have studied you, know you, and put on a little show just for your benefit?

        Politics 101.

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        1. Tell that to people who just lost their health insurance and is now forced into more expensive plans with higher deductables with manatory aboration/birth control coverage.

          But getting back to our specific races in MT, speaking generally or not, MT Dems lack character and excell at telling voters one thing and doing the other.

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          1. So when you are advised that “Obamacare” is really just “Romneycare,” and that it was originally designed by the Heritage Foundation, and politicians don’t pass it so much as don’t interfere with its implementation because politicians don’t have real power, that has no effect on you. Right? You still think it was Obama and the Democrats rather than Heritage Foundation. Even after all these years.

            This is why I say you are unreachable. Nothing ever sinks in. I could hit you with that information with a stick and next week you’d say exactly the same thing. You are frozen in cement.

            Your partisan view of Montana politics is fairly pedestrian. Most people think that way, either party, about the other. All politicians lack character. It has to be that way, as they are working quietly for money and pretending to be something else. By definition, they are frauds. All of them, Swede. All of them.

            That you can write that after coming here for what, eight years now, again emphasizes that your feet are in cement, you never progress in your thinking.

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          2. Obamacare and Rcare turely are different.

            Not one republican voted for Ocare while both parties supported the other.

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          3. The programs are virtually identical. I don’t see why who voted for it is important. Huh?

            In fact, and this is deep politics that you’ve never accepted, part of the reason for the Tea Party was to help pass Obamacare. When the news showed that guy holding a sign that said “Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” and other outrageous and stupid behavior, reserve reverse psychology kicked in. People supported the program thinking if those strange and not-very-smart people are against it, it must be good.

            Politics 201. Hard to believe, I know. You’ve so much to learn!

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          4. Really? I’m thining you need some learning.

            “Compare this to Romney’s healthcare law in Massachusetts. Romney’s version has always had broad support among the voters of his state. The bill was not passed against the voters’ will. The bill was not passed behind closed doors. The bill was and is popular. Three years after passage, Romneycare was supported by greater than 2-1 margins by residents in Massachusetts. Other polls have shown support even higher than that. Oh, and in the same year that poll was taken, those same Massachusetts voters elected Scott Brown to the US Senate to replace Ted Kennedy. His main promise? To be the 41st vote against Obamacare.”-about.com

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          5. Focus, Swede. Again, I am not talking about political support or how party members might ahve voted.

            The bill. The contents of the bill. Romnerycare and Obamacare same thing.

            Here is what happened in a nutshell: Several states, CA most importantly, were likely to pass single payer. Because it works, it would soon spread, and the insurance companies would be out of business. To head it off at the pass, they, and not Obama, decided it was time for national “reform” that included a private mandate and stop single payer from passing anywhere.

            Obama had nothing to do with it. Neither did Romney. It was AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Providers, a private lobbying group), acting on a model provided by Heritage Foundation.We are a corporate-run society, and politicians merely front for them.

            Politics 301.

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  3. The leaders of the USSR were not really dislodged, as much as they dislodged themselves from an ideology/system that was not keeping up with the west in terms of wealth and power. The nomenklatura who were on their toes did not lose power. Mr. Putin after all is still with us.

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    1. They still have an oligarchy there behind the scenes flexing muscle, though not nearly as powerful as ours. I regard Russia today as a much more democratic country than anything we have to show, and Putin an effective leader, far more than any of ours. It’s funny how Cold War thinking, so deeply programmed in us in youth, still resides.

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  4. The fact is a lot of the same people who essentially ran the USSR, through administrative and government positions, were able to transfer their influence in the new society and become wealthy and remain powerful. Just like you said power is not going to give up power without a fight and they didn’t..most of them made out quite well. Although to a certain extent some of the dead enders from the old regime who did not see the writing on the wall still tried to fight to keep the old system in place (re: the situation where the generals tried a coup against Gorby and Yeltsin stood on the tank). But to me it seemed the smart ones and those with a long view knew the system had to go to keep up with the west and they stood to cash in. I don’t think there is any real question Russia is more powerful in real terms now than they were in 1991.

    Putin is a cagey and wily fox. In some ways its more transparent in Russia where power resides because of the strength of his leadership. He alone now has the power and authority to stamp down anyone within Russia who crosses him, no matter the wealth or stature of the opposition. He was not given this authority or “elected” to it but consolidated it through his own skill and maneuvering against rivals. There are powerful interests in Russia but Im pretty confident there are no oligarchs that have the power to make Putin kiss the ring. That kind of power obviously does not exist for President B.O. or any other recent president, but when Putin is finally gone for real its also probably not going to last for his successor.

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    1. I don’t understand Russian politics well enough to argue with you. But I don’t think you understand Americna politics well enough to argue with me. Real power in this country is not in the political system. That is only for show, and keeps us distracted. We’ve not had a real president since 11/22/63, a coup d’etat.

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      1. “Real power in this country is not in the political system. That is only for show, and keeps us distracted.”

        Right that was my point when I said Obama does not have the kind of power that Putin has. I didn’t know I was arguing with you. But I can if you’d like. Putin is as much a psychopath as any other. It is likely that he murdered hundreds of his own people in the staged apartment bombings in 1999 that he used to consolidate the authority of the state and himself. Kind of a nice example for the US (if you believe the 9/11 to be a false flag attack). He also appears to have some kind of odd narccisistic streak, even by the standards of a world leader. All of the staged photo ops where he is riding around on tanks barechested, driving racecars, etc.

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        1. Yes, the shirtless photos are indeed narcissistic, or perhaps play to some aspect of Russian culture and politics that I don’t understand, just as Obama’s being black is a cultural play. We’re probably not arguing, but I do quickly point out to those who like to draw distinctions between us and the Soviets and now Russians that we are not culturally, morally, or democratically superior to them. That is all in our propaganda system.

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  5. Post communist Russian politics and history is really interesting to me. Putin himself if I recall was something like the chief of staff to the mayor of Leningrad or something like that after he left the KGB, and rose through the ranks by being an effective administrator and bureaucratic infighter, he had never been a person of wealth. I think he was pretty much at the right place at the right time when the Yeltsin clan was abdicating after what were multiple changes in govt / parliamentary no confidence votes and he slid in on basically a promise to protect / not prosecute the Yeltsin cronies for any of their financial activities. Once Putin was in…by his own skill and effectiveness….he was able to consolidate authority and liquidate rivals (not literally) in a way that hadn’t been seen since the “communist” era had ended. And he is still here….some 15 years or so later. Ive got some good books on this now Ill have to go re-read them its been some time.

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  6. Putin makes a convincing case that he’s restoring Russia’s rightful place of power and influence among nations. The problem is that nations all seem to be losing ground rapidly to machines and capital. The “regional power” slight by the U.S. was no accident. Faux nationalistic brinksmanship as we rot from the inside. What’s interesting to me is how global capital seems unimpeded by national constitutions and laws, except in the case of a handful of countries on the “terrorist” hit/shit list. We may be witnessing one of the last great national leaders (Putin, not Obama) fending off waves of attacks by the wolves of Wall Street and London.

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  7. I’m on a similar trajectory. I removed my last post because I’m crossing boundaries I need to respect in order to be effective irl. my problem is I sometimes take the ignorance of others personally. it’s a distraction from the real work that needs to be done.

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