watching-tvI got no takers below on the question of who is behind ISIS. I kind of expected that result. The minute I suggest that people are being diddled by mainstream media, there’s a rush for the exits. Why, the very idea!

We could be self-reliant, never trusting, always verifying, and dredge through information trying to piece together complicated scenarios to explain the behavior of power. We could use deductive reasoning, insight and experimentation, and try and fail until we form a coherent picture.

Or, we could just watch TV and, in a semi-hypnotic state, and passively absorb our views. We could just be somnambulist sponges.

Here’s Eric over at 4&20:

Well JC, it’s sure nice to know that Russia did not take back Crimea, and that their troops and tanks aren’t anywhere near Ukraine – LOL.

It’s the “LOL” that got me. The guy is not only stupid, but smug to boot! I’m not worried about hurting his feelings, as my take on Eric over these many years is that he’s impenetrable, and also, that he never comes near this blog. So feel free to talk about him, even insult him, as this is an Eric-free zone.

I’ve got a bigger mission here … why these constant wars? There’s no moral justification for them. We are in no way threatened by the countries we attack. But we are constantly attacking people. Why?

The character O’Brien in Orwell’s 1984 says to Winston Smith,

The primary aim of modern warfare … is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living … if it became general wealth it would confer no distinction. … The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must also not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.

O’Brien also says

“You could grasp the mechanics of the society you lived in, but not its underlying motives … [that] the party seeks power entirely for its own sake.”

But there’s something more going on with our empire than that. These guys appear to be running scared.

We’re bankrupt, have been for decades. That’s a given. The only reason the rest of the planet pays us any heed is because of our military. Fletcher Prouty, whom I’ve just begun to appreciate, wrote that after World War II the US had a massive cache of weaponry stored in Okinawa, and that half was shipped to Korea, the other half to Vietnam.

The bomb, said Prouty, was a game changer. It was well-understood that we could not afford a nuclear war, and yet needed these constant wars. So rather than global conflict, US planners decided that future conflicts would be localized. Apparently they knew shortly after the war ended where the ensuing conflicts would take place.

But it’s hard to keep people in a constant state of fear and anger necessary for public support of wars. It requires constant agitprop. Planners settled on the Soviet Union as the source of all evil, and launched a massive agitprop campaign that went on for decades. No matter who the U.S. attacked, it was because of the Soviets. When that threat vanished, terrorism was used as the new motivational force, and our planners gave us 9/11.

But agitprop is a destructive force in itself. Have you ever tried to unlock your car, get in it, start it up and drive off when you are in a state of fear? That’s because our primitive brain, the amygdala, has overridden our cerebral cortex, or modern brain. This constant state of fear that agitprop keeps us in – of terrorists, immigrants, communists, terrorists, criminals, blacks, terrorists … it takes its toll on our thinking abilities. It reduces normally intelligent people to what we see around us, frightened fools.

So if I read Orwell right, we are kept at constant war to prevent ordinary people from benefiting from our massive material output. That is done because powerful people always crave more power and fear losing it. And I add to that the state of the Empire, in protracted collapse, and suggest that our leaders are running scared.

What, after all, did Iraq ever do to justify its destruction? They had switched from dollars to euros to trade their oil. If a little matter like that can cause such a huge panic response, how vulnerable are we?

It does not bode well for the immediate future of the species. There is pain and suffering in store for millions of people, and we will be the cause.

12 thoughts on “Somnambulists

  1. Can’t figure how to post the cartoon, which is priceless.

    Empiric Myopia
    “You have to give credit to Western Media in how they are able to frame the language surrounding events in the Ukraine. For example, the term Pro-Russian is deliberately misleading and designed to frame the discourse away from reality. The Ukrainians would be happy to be Pro-Whatever country that offered assistance from a junta that is terrorizing them. We do not think clearly when we are scared and thus we do not challenge the language they set. Try it, call them freedom fighters instead of pro-Russian and listen to the torrent of gibberish that will follow. The essay presents an alternative language and theory about the movers and shakers of recent events in Ukraine as well as my process on how I made those determinations. The article maintains a sense of humor on a very dark subject.”


    1. A phone call oughtta do it, as far as I can tell. ISIS is employed by the Western powers. Why is the concept, controlled opposition, so hard to for you to grasp? This way your mind works, that every surface phenomenon is real, is no way to go through life. I so have a bridge I want to sell you.

      But suppose they were real – The Iraqi army and air force combined with Syria could take care of it, and god knows Turkey is sitting my with an excellent army. The US formed them, armed them, set them free, all as pretext for the attack on Syria that Russia thwarted last year. They’ve simply broadened the scope,a nd want to bomb Iraq again.


      1. Lets talk patterns of thought. If I was a fervent non-believer in American exceptionalism, a anti-patriot, anti-war, anti-interventionist reading blogs and authors of the same ilk, believing that US is solely responsible for all wars and injustices in this world I’d certainly mimic all your writings and beliefs.

        Taking this further I’d feverishly deny attacks on the homeland as in 9/11, Boston bombers, underwear bomber..etc were all false flags events meant to rally the subjects into battle. I’d portray our situation as hopeless or powerless by offering no solutions. No heroes to rally round, no point in voting knowing full well that a depressed electorate will attach itself more easily to tyrannical figurehead, case in point 1930’s / 40’s Germany.

        Lastly in the pattern I’d blame all conflicts, skirmishes, invasions as a product of evil capitalistic motivation. Which as the last piece of the puzzle accomplishes both goals of misdirected blame and heightened jealousy, which successful reduces commerce and increases poverty adding to hopelessness.


          1. Swede’s pattern of thought is a lot like ‎Alicia Acuna. ‎Bill O’Reilly, ‎Megyn Kelly, and ‎Bret Baier. Coincidence or luck?


  2. Stop funding them. It costs money to run and army. End military aid to Saudis, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Turkey, etc. Admit to the world that we screwed up, again. Terminate NATO. Throw all the neocons out of the White House. Shutter the “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street casinos. Close the IMF, World Bank, reopen with a new (not neoliberal/neocon) mission. Raise taxes on financial transactions, expecially on futures and derivitives. A good start.


  3. I must disagree. Eric Coobs is a decent guy. I have given him many opportunities over the years to insult me and name call, but he never has. I like Eric. He’s way out there on the right, but he is a gentleman. And there is something to be said for that now days, for many on the right are not. I would gladly buy Eric a beer if he ever gets to Great Falls.


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