“Violence is as American as cherry pie.” –H. Rap Brown
A personal reflection on yesterday’s events by Surly1. Discuss this article here.
This past summer, my daughter came over for dinner one summer night and brought a friend to meet. She made it clear her guest was not “that” sort of friend, but a person of value nonetheless. “Nathan” (not his real name) was a slight young man, with shoulder length hair and a bespectacled, quiet manner.
Nathan and I spent much of the evening in pleasant conversation, albeit I strained to hear much of his part of it. When he spoke, which wasn’t often, you had to listen intently: his words barely reverberated in a quiet room. He was a young man of unfinished dreams. He was interested in ideas. He was intensely curious. He spoke of going to St. John’s College in Annapolis, to pursue a curriculum based on the great books. He was the best man at a wedding that I photographed, for two other friends of my daughters’. Yet whether it was his own struggle with sexual ambiguity, or his relationship with his father, or a lack of the ability to dance to the music of the spheres, we will never know.
Before Thanksgiving of this year, Nathan took his own life.
Last weekend, the neighbor told me about the daughter of neighbors up the street (not known to me) who had likewise committed suicide.
Stories of the suicide of young people are all too frequent, and always deeply troubling. Every community, every news cycle, every day brings us a news about premature death stalks young people. And then, the news of December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut. We’re told that the shooter was intelligent, nerdy, a Goth, remote, autistic. We’re told he had Asberger’s. We’re told he might’ve suffered from a personality disorder. We’re told investigators seek the motives of this young man, who took his own life after shooting 28 people. We sit mesmerized by the blue light of evening talk programs and watch mental health professionals infer motives from the shooter’s reported actions, this in the absence of any other evidence. Sock puppet politicians gravely intone they are “shocked and saddened” by the days events, (a trope which should earn the next utterer a blow to the head with a seven-pound hammer.) We are told by that God did not protect the Connecticut shooting victims because prayer has been banned in schools. (This mouth breathing opportunist apparently went to the “never let a good crisis go to waste” school of public relations.) We are told that we have to have a big, principled discussion about gun control, as if that might actually be permitted to happen by Wayne LaPierre.
We are told repeatedly what to think. Never are we invited to ask questions. We never ask about the quality of life in the schools or in this rapidly declining country. We never discuss the future prospects of a generation. We never challenge our spending priorities. We never debate why we can spend billions overseas, most of it routed to the pockets of transnational corporations, but we can’t afford to build bridges or schools at home. And, most of all, we never discuss the irony of a Nobel Peace Prize winner dealing death from above via drones and a private kill list.
“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.” — D.H. Lawrence
The unwelcome convergence of suicides close to home with yesterday’s news has led some of us who still retain a capacity for outrage to wonder aloud, “what the hell is going on here?”
And then you realize that none of this matters.
Screams over the intercom, 28 dead. Another violent rampage. Dozens of shattered families. This on the heels of another shooting earlier in the week in Oregon, and right before police in Bartlesville, Oklahoma arrested an 18-year-old high school student who was planning a school-shooting massacre plot.
A road man for the Lords of Karma might observe the bitter harvest of a culture steeped and marinated in violence. Others might cite our moral vacuity. Had we any sense of history, or capacity to consider more than the next quarter’s earnings, we would behold a culture which, in the space of a generation, has embraced both torture and drone bombing of civilians as “business as usual.” (All justifiable in the name of the “war on terror”, citizen. Get used to it.) Others will, like clockwork, cite the absence the absence of God and the Bible. Others will cite the need for new gun laws. All will have a point.
None will examine the bloody, beating Heart of Darkness that is this rapacious, flesh eating capitalist monster that devours all in its path. Having taken homeowners’ houses, dreams and lives (Google the story of Norman Rousseau), we have now begun to devour our children. What better symbol for the end game of the financialization of all aspects of human endeavor, in which human beings are turned into “head count” and “human resources,” and hopes and dreams into profits and losses.
Can there be a more to-the-point indictment of the utter soullessness and moral bankruptcy of the American enterprise?
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
–William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1 Scene 2
So much search for motive. We will not soon know the motives of this, or any shooter. What far shore of mind must a human being inhabit to take the life of another? And these incidences are happening more frequently. How many data plots do we need on our collective cognitive map to understand that there is something very wrong here, that goes beyond one or two disturbed teens? The rate of people killed by guns in the US is 19.5 times higher than similar high-income countries in the world. In the last 30 years since 1982, America has mourned at least 61 mass murders. There have been 27 such events–27– since Columbine.
In Virginia, we survived the slaughter at Virginia Tech several years ago. The good citizens of the Commonwealth were left to try to puzzle out that latest act of wanton violence that led to 33 deaths and many more injuries. The ensuing conversations led to a conclusion of mental disturbance on the part of the shooter, a period of solemn mourning, and a good week a discussion of the proper role of guns in the society, after which the issue was shelved, per usual. There was some discussion about the shooter being a “collector of injustices,” an assessment which may have come closer to the truth then the FBI might have realized.
If mass murder and suicide is the symptom, perhaps the disease needs a name. Authors such as Paul Levy and Jack D. Forbes have explored a psychological disease observed by indigenous peoples informing self-destructive behavior on the part of European-based peoples. Some call it wetiko, others “malignant egophrenia.”
Indigenous people have been tracking the same “psychic”virus that I call malignant egophrenia for many centuries and calling it “wetiko,” a Cree term which refers to a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others. Professor Forbes, who was one of the founders of the Native American movement during the early sixties, says, “Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease.” Wetiko/malignant egophrenia is a “psychosis” in the true sense of the word as being a “sickness of the soul or spirit.” Though calling it by different names, Forbes and I are both pointing at the same illness of the psyche, soul and spirit that has been at the root of humanity’s inhumanity to itself.
Wetiko/malignant egophrenia is a disease of civilization, or lack thereof. To quote Forbes, “To a considerable degree, the development of the wetiko disease corresponds to the rise of what Europeans choose to call civilization. This is no mere coincidence.”[vi] The unsustainable nature of industrial civilization is based on, and increasingly requires violence to maintain itself. Genuine “civilization,” in essence, means not killing people. Referring to the lack of “civility” in modern society, Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization and responded by saying, “I think it would be a good idea.” It makes sense that native people would know about malignant egophrenia, as they were both oppressed by, but weren’t, at least initially, under the “curse” of modern civilization. Being under the sway of modern civilization can feel like something foreign to our nature is being imposed upon us, as if we are living in an occupied land. Modern civilization suffers from the overly one-sided dominance of the rational, intellectual mind, a one-sidedness that seemingly dis-connects us from nature, from empathy, and from ourselves. Due to its disassociation from the whole, wetiko is a disturber of the peace of humanity and the natural world, a sickness which spawns aggression and is capable of inciting violence amongst living beings. The wetiko virus is the root cause of the inhumanity in human nature, or shall we say, our seemingly inhuman nature. This “psychic virus,” a “bug” in “the system,” in-forms and animates the madness of so-called civilization, which, in a self-perpetuating feedback loop feeds the madness within ourselves.
Whether new age or old, literature informs us of the danger within. As we wage slaves scrape a living from the gears of the machine, in order to earn the privilege of additional consumption of things we don’t need, we often rub up against that within us that stops us from expressing our full potential and whatever creative genius might lie within. Is that “herd think,” that groupthink that enlists us in endless cooperation, and co-optation, and that leads us to a slaughter? It may be that these shooters are merely a physical manifestation of the psychic horrors that are embedded in our morally bankrupt culture.
“We have a companion for life…We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master.” Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda
There are echoes of this in the Bible as well. The Gospel of John refers to the devil as “the ruler of this world” (14:30; 16:11), and Paul speaks of Satan as “the god of this world” (Cor. 4:4). The Gnostic Gospel of Phillip, talking about the root of evil that lies within all of us, makes the similar point that unless this evil is recognized, “It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive.” (II, 3, 83.5-30)
Many chafe at the lessons of biblical Christianity. Yes only the blind and deaf could possibly fail to see the existence and the works of capital E Evil in the world. If evil exists, good must logically exist as well. If the devil exists, and his existence can be inferred from his works, then God must exist.
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
— Revelation 6:1-2˄ NIV
So we continue to search for answers. But that search will be in vain as long as we fail to acknowledge the reality and the consequences of this way of life, a dreamscape of horror inseparable from our ego and our own inner being. The wetiko “cannibal” culture is destroying us; as we militarize and financial lives, extract the last drop of oil, poison the aquifers and eat food manufactured by pesticide companies, the wave of suicides and shootings remind us of the culture of death that invests all of us. Our young people are being sacrificed to Mammon at an escalating rate: several dozen this week alone. Mammon is hungry. What we fail to realize is that we are offering our own children up for sacrifice. There is no difference between “theirs” and “mine.”
In Revelation, we are told that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are released after the Lamb of God opens the first four of the seven seals on the scroll in God’s right hand. This action summons forth four beings on white, red, black, and pale horses symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, which visit a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment. Perhaps the shooters in these serial killings constitute a Fifth Horseman, a herald of sorts, announcing the coming of the promised Four, and the End of Days.
If wetiko is baked into our beings as a legacy, stemming from the “original sin” of agriculture and “dominion over all things,” then our challenge, and our work, will be to determine what it is that we do about it. Which is hte work of this website. It is quite clear that we are almost out of time.
We have been engaged in many discussions here and on TAE lately regarding how the monetary system collapse will play out and our various philosphies on how this should be dealt with. Embedded in this discussion is my interpretation of Revelation 18 from The Bible.
I have been engaged the last couple of days with debates inside the Diner and on TAE, and have not had time to write another feature. Tonight I went back to look for an Oldie but Goodie, and Fortuna has it the very first one I turned up quotes that very passage from Revelation 18 also. This post was written originally as one of my Frostbite Falls Daily Rants on The Burning Platform, directly after I received the news of the Death of my mother a little over a year ago now.
For those of you also currently involved in the Goodness Gracious! Great Wall’s on Fire! discussion on TAE, this post also has more of my thoughts on the value of Gold and Silver in a Collapse. All in all, a fortuitous post for me to dig up tonight, and I am not sure it was coincidence that I found it as the very first one I turned up.
It was the Finger of God.
All that is written in there remains as true today as it was then.
You might have noticed its been more that the 2 days between the rants I usually do as max. Reason is yesterday my Mom Passed into the Great Beyond. I have been arranging to fly down to the lower 48 to attend the Funeral and tidying up stuff I have been procrastinating on before I leave, like my TAXES. So I haven’t spent the usual time writing. I do have the monetary analysis I wrote before I got the news of her Death which I will include in this rant after I write just a few of my feelings about this. Not sure when I will write the next rant.
My Mom was 82 on her Death, and the last few years were very difficult. My sister bore the greatest burden for this, and to her credit she enabled my mom to avoid going into a Nursing Home, and she died in her own bed in her own place in her sleep. Since she retired at 65, she has ben living on Social Security and a Pension from the CA Franchise Tax Board. She had a couple of Cancers which required expensive operations to keep her going, and medications to control her BP and Heart issues. I am grateul for the extra years she got, my mom was always there for me, a big supporter even with all my odd choices. I am very sad I will not see her again in this life, but I still do wonder what the purpose was for her to keep going these last 10 years or so, beyond the fact it made me happy to talk to her and reminisce with her about times gone by.
So now she is gone, along with my Dad the Pigman who Passed into the Great Beyond a couple of years ago. Grandparents all long since gone, I am now Next Up in the Generational Trip to the Great Beyond, and by no means do I expect I will be making it to anywhere near 80. Frankly, if I make it to 60 these days I will be surprised.
Mom’s Passing leaves me a whole new set of problems,because like me Mom watched her pennies and she left me yet ANOTHER tidy sum of Toilet Paper to deal with. To most folks inheriting a bunch more money would probably seem to be a good thing, to me it just puts me in another quandary. How can I get rid of it in the best way here before it goes worthless? I have enough money and preps already, I just don’t need any more, but now I have a whole LOT more to deal with. Its times like this that make me REALLY hate money. I WISH the whole fucking concept never was invented. It WAS though, and I am stuck with dealing with it.
I would of course give every PENNY of it just to see my Mom one more time, but not as she was in these last 10 years or so. I want to see my mom again as she was when I was a child, a healthy young woman with all her faculties. That will not happen in this life though. I will see her again that way in the Great Beyond, when my turn comes to pass. I believe that, and it comforts me to believe so.
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. We all live a while on this Planet, and Death comes to us all in the end, some sooner, some later, all the while you live your life is sacred. But it cannot and does not ever last forever and as a species,we must insure the survival of the young here, not the old. The Sanctity of Life is in our Species, not in the individual Lifespan.
At this point, my money will all go to my school. I hope I can get rid of it fast enough to help the school grow. It’s the only really important thing left for me now. Everything I have accumulated, everything I have left to give, it all goes to the School. I go in Peace with this idea.
Although the most lively stories these days in the MSM are with respect to the ongoing Nip Nuke Apocalypse and the rapidly expanding War in the M.E., there are equally important things going on in the monetary system devolution, so I thought I would briefly touch on them here to stay abreast of the entire Collapse Picture.
As has been expected for a while, the Portuguese Goobermint is collapsing and their debt is being rapidly downgraded by the ratings agencies. Besides the Portuguese, apparently also the Canadian Goobermint is in trouble. What does it really mean though to say one of these Goobermints is “collapsing”. At least so far, the Politicians in these countries aren’t being run outta town on a rail, and the structures of their Goobermints are sort of intact. Just what is happening here is that these legislative bodies are losing the aility to govern effectively. They are running out of money and slicing and dicing their budgets isn’t working to keep them solvent.
Because Goobermint tends to be a Whipping Boy for its inefficiency and profligacy, all these Goobermints are being BLAMED for the problems. However, doesn’t it strike anyone as a slightly INCREDIBLE coincidence that virtually every Goobermint on the PLANET has the SAME problems at the SAME time here? The problem does not lie with the Goobermints, it lies in the Monetary system they all depend on to function, and they mostly do not control it.
During the time of Credit Expansion prior to Peak Oil, the CBs could always keep expanding Credit, which of course means somebody else has to take on Debt to continue this expansion. This is how the money supply increases to match increasing population during a civilization expansion. As the Private Sector began to slow in its debt accumulation and/or begins to default on the debt, the Public Sector in ALL countries has had to pick up the slack to keep those ever increasing GDP numbers coming out. Otherwise you get a monetary contraction and deflation. At the Critical Point of Peak Oil, all expansion of credit had to stop, including Goobermint expansion. At least Credit & Debt that you might have a reasonable expectation of being paid off on anyhow. With the collapse in the Private Sector of the Dot Com Bubble and then the RE Bubble, Goobermint has had to take on ever more debt to keep the ILLUSION of Growth continuing. This has been the case since the mid to late 1990s, Jesse over on Café Americain has noted this as well. For at least the last Decade, the Private Sector has not been creating enough new jobs to absorb all the working age people looking for jobs. So Goobermints took up the slack, issuing still more Debt to be able to hire still more Goobermint Workers. They could not raise enough money to do that through Taxation, because the Private Sector was already choking and not growing.
Goobermint Debt was considered a “safe” investment until the need to issue so much of it went hyperbolic. So now, the CBs who CREATE the money to lend don’t even want to lend it to Goobermints anymore, and the only Goobermints with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of credit are those TBTF countries that are in a symbiotic relationship with the TBTF Banks. The smaller countries are having Austerity Budgets rammed down their throats from the IMF to be eligible for any NEW loans to rollover their old ones, but they simply cannot afford to do it.
The FSofA currently is not really subject to this problem, because at least to fund Da Federal Goobermint, the Illuminati Cabal personified in Da Fed will print as much as needed for running this level of Goobermint. The State and Local Goobermints are in a much bigger Pickle of course. Like the smaller countries, these Goobermints are also going to rapidly become unable to govern their communities.
Despite the commodities speculation with Hot Money provided to the TBTF Banks, all across the board you are seeing a rapid DEFLATION of the credit system. Money is not being loaned to Small Biz, nor is it being loaned to Small Goobermints. As they fail, more people will be unemployed, reducing their purchasing power further, reducing tax receipts further. This is DEFLATION. If you just focus your nose on the Commodities Markets, you are going to jump up and down pointing to INFLATION, but this is not an accurate description of what is occurring here. What is occurring is a credit collapse, now at the Nation State level in smaller economies. Its going to take out of circulation more of the money individuals need to buy the commodities, and it will force another crash here in those prices as inventories build and they are hoarded by people with access to credit to buy them. That would be the Super Rich of course.
This action is the Backdrop to the more intensive Collapse scenarios being played out in Nippon and the M.E. The BIS/Fed Cabal is committed at this point to providing Infinite Liquidity, and this is Levitating the Markets across the globe right now. The problem here is that the marginal utility of this hyperbolic debt increase is NEGATIVE now, so all that is occurring as more debt is issued is that its value decreases. Debt money is being POURED into Sinkholes in Japan to try to clean up the Tsunami Mess and into Military enforcement in the M.E. to try to maintain control. Its going to crash the system, just it is impossible to say precisely when or how this crash will manifest itself.
The one thing you can say with reasonable certainty is that those in control of the monetary system will try to maintain value in the paper they issue. So at some point here infinite printing will stop. Infinite printing debases ALL the currencies and will crash the trade, which is the source of sieving wealth. It seems unlikely to me that a complete crash would be engineered, because rebooting with an entirely new currency would be close to impossible. Rather what seems likely is that the massive printing will continue until weaker currencies explode into hyperinflation, driving all remaining trade into the currencies left standing. As I see it, the Yen and the Euro are the weakest of the major currencies right now. The Yen because of the massive Debt to GDP ratio the Japanese have along with their Nuke problems; the Euro because it is a poorly designed currency to begin with based on a lot of nothing. Once these currencies collapse, it will strengthen the Dollar, and then only after that will massive printing stop in the dollar, and deflationary collapse in this currency be allowed to occur. This consolidates all the wealth into a single currency. At this time, some revaluation of the Dollar might be undertaken, possibly trying to underpin the value with PMs. That will be difficult to do, because the absolute value of the PMs themselves is in question when measured against energy resource. What is a Gold Coin worth against a Gallon of Gas when you really need the Gas to get to work but it is very hard to come by?
Clearly in this environment of energy scarcity, the value of Gas relative to Gold will go up, but of course this quickly prices out of the Gas market virtually everyone, which makes keeping the whole infrastructure running of pumping oil and refining it unprofitable. The Gas disappears from the market, and then you cannot buy it at ANY price, no matter how much Gold you have.
You get a similar problem with Food once the Gas disappears from the market. Food production and distribution will decrease with the decreasing availability of Gas, so Food then starts to skyrocket in value relative to the Gold. Again, you run into the problem that most people are priced out of buying food relative to Gold here, so even if the currency is based in PMs, they will have problems. As with all the M.E. Countries right now where people live on $2/day, once the food scarcity problem moves its way into center, NO MONEY, PM based or otherwise will buy much food. At this point in a monetary system collapse, only the Food itself holds real value. This is why in the time of Babylon when their market collapsed that there were no buyers for Silver and Gold in the marketplace. They likely had reached the Peak of their ability to provide food throughout their civilization, and as it disappeared from the marketplace everything else lost its value, INCLUDING the PMs. A civilization expands so far based on its ability to engineer a Food Surplus, all other trades in the civilization are subservient to it. Once you hit Food Deficit, the value of everything else falls to Zero almost immediately. Let us review the critical passage from Revelation 18 on the Fall of Babylon to understand this better:
8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
15The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
20Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
Because our Civilization and our Food production and distribution schema is now GLOBAL, our increasing inability to provide enough food WORLDWIDE to all the people living on the planet is rendering everything else WORTHLESS. All of the poorest nations on earth are getting hit first here, and they will take the hardest hit first in terms of die off. War, Humanitarian Crisis, call it what you will, the simple fact is that it is becoming impossible to produce the food in the quantities we did because it is impossible to keep upping the energy production to grow the food and distribute it. So EVERY poor nation on Earth is starting to EXPLODE here in internal violence, because each one of those places has its Haves and Have Nots. The Have Nots have nothing left to lose here, and unlike for the Hebrew Slaves in the time of Moses, for the most part they cannot all get together and walk away into the desert. There is nowhere left to GO.
Here in the developed countries, we are not facing this yet, nor will we until the Oil flow to our refineries falls below a critical level. If there is sufficient die off in the poor countries fast enough and the oil resources from those countries can be secured to move oil this way, it could put off the day we face this crisis a while longer. However, it seems unlikely that with so much disruption in the M.E. that we will be able to move that Oil out of there, so the disruption here will follow in fair short order.
For certain,the attempt is going to be made to drop in NATO “Peacekeepers” in places like Libya that still have some exportable Oil. Unlikely we will waste Peacekeeping forces on a country like Syria, which has no exportable Oil. If our Peacekeepers are successful in Libya (and Saudi Arabia of course eventually), we might get a few more years here of Plenty in the Supermarkets. Not a whole lot of years though under any circumstances, and the fact that the monetary system UNDERPINNING, which is Food Surplus, is falling apart means that all the currently functioning money of any kind will fall worthless.
What is likely to replace this in the developed countries with still functioning Goobermints? Some sort of Rationing is likely, as in the FSofA where the food market and the energy markets are controlled by a few corporations like Monsanto, Conagra, Krafft, Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum, you will likely see a very explicit merger of Goobermint and Corporations in the Fascist Model. For most places it will be early impossible to escape this model. You have to be very far from the center of this to escape it, I hope I am far enough. Small communities with good resources and hard working people may be able to make it through this maelstrom. That is my great HOPE anyhow.