Essays, latest, United States
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Dead End Amerika

PA Farruggio

Documentary film maker Marc Levin has a ‘must see ‘ film entitled Class Divide about the gentrification of the West Chelsea area of Manhattan (23rd street around 9th and 10th Avenues). HIs former documentary, Hard Times: Lost on Long Island (2012) followed four individuals who lost their financial sector white collar jobs after the 2008 Wall Street housing bubble burst.

Viewing the film was disheartening, as we watch how devastated people who still believed in the false narrative of The American Dream can become. In Class Divide we learn that the western part of Chelsea, NYC is the fastest growing real estate sector in the entire city of New York. What was once mostly a low income working stiff neighborhood now hosts high rises and townhouses that cater to the super rich… not even just the 1%, rather the 1/4 of the 1%!

Imagine a townhouse across from a Chelsea public housing project that sells for $ 10 million. For real! The sad irony to all this is that in 1937 director William Wyler made a film called Dead End, based on Sidney Kingsley’s play of the same name. In the story a high rise apartment building catering to the 1/4 of the 1% of that day was built at the dead end of a really poor neighborhood in Manhattan ( perhaps even the same Chelsea area). And they wonder where anger and rage against the super rich can come from.

In Levin’s Class Divide there is a private school called Avenues : The World School right in the heart of West Chelsea, a few steps from where very poor people live. The tuition is around $ 40,000 a year… more than three or four times what those in the housing project earn… if they even have a job. In other apartment buildings on that street, the ones that the poor and low income have been living in for generations, landlords are making concerted efforts to get those folks out . There is gold in them there hills! In the spirit of Noblesse Oblige, the school does offer free tuition for low income kids.

Let’s see, from a student enrollment of 1,200 they allowed 40 such kids in for free…which is around 4%. The rest of the neighborhood kids go to the usually underfunded and underequipped public school nearby. Levin interviewed some of the rich kids who attend the Avenues school, and one can see how naive they really are concerning income polarization in Amerika. Nice kids who obviously never had to deal with what the poor kids must deal with every day in their apartments. Shades of Wyler’s Dead End.

The real sad reality of both of these films is the lack of understanding of how things should be. A nice couple in Dead End , he an unemployed architect and she a factory worker on strike, assumed that one has to accept the fact that there must be super rich people. Ditto for many of the poor residents of West Chelsea and the rich kids attending the Avenues school ( none of their parents were interviewed by Levin… one wonders why).

Everyone just sends out the vibes that ‘These are the cards we are dealt, and we can only play the hand the best we can.’

There are many steps that we working stiffs and unemployed working stiffs must take in order to really ‘take back’ our country from the 1/4 of 1%. The primary step is perhaps to come to the realization that NO ONE should be earning mega millions of dollars each year while the rest of us are one or two or maybe, if lucky, four or five paychecks away from being forced out on the street. We who ‘know better’ should teach our young that Socialism is not totalitarianism, or fascism. Rather, it can be a solution to this terrible and deadly income polarization our nation has been operating under.

Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn , NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 400 of his works posted on sites like Global Research, Greanville Post, OffGuardian, Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust., whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has an internet interview show, ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net

48 Comments

  1. How to get ahead in Dead End U$A. From the Thylacine BTL SyrPer:

    “The ignominy of the life of a low bastard like John McCain is illustrative of the hideous corruption of .. Washington’s craven politics. Read the litany of crime in Li Mae Min’s piece at
    https://www.facebook.com/eric.c.anderson.dc/posts/10156743081884430?tn=K-R

    [Excerpt: In two-track Dead End U$A, unless you come from a wealthy “background” like McCain’s you will not get ahead like he did]

    A “war hero” doesn’t finish 894th out of 899 and still get stationed at a Navy Officers champagne unit and promoted ahead of all but two of his 898 other classmates.

    A “war hero” doesn’t get promoted to squadron commander of the air field named after his own grandfather immediately after crashing his third airplane.

    A “war hero” doesn’t have all the military records that cover his time in Vietnam and all disciplinary actions against him censored and sealed “as a matte r of national security.”

    A “war hero” doesn’t get 28 medals awarded all after-the-fact “for bravery” for no other reason than being shot down and captured and then go on a celebrity public relations tour because he’s the son of two acclaimed Navy admirals.

    A “war hero” doesn’t systematically vote against every single pay and benefit increase for military and veterans throughout his entire political career, all the while claiming to be “the soldier’s Congressman,” and then take credit for the passage of a G.I. benefits bill that he voted AGAINST…”

    • Nice one , Vexarb 😉

      Might I add >>

      One thing that a K.A.Z.A.M. ** styled, typical American plastic pseudo-‘War Hero’ does do consistently, is always Vote for ..

      APARTHEID & WAR !

      itsa’ Fact & a matter of public record, that John McCain Voted 6 (Six) times against sanctioning South Africa for their divisive politic of Apartheid … ! ! !

      Actions speak far louder than words: & John McCain was clearly a ‘Great Sick in the Head Racist’ & a supporter of Apartheid and should be remembered as such >>

      Simply said, an arrogant self-opinionated & ignorant dumb firkin’ squaddie of the Lowest order of any human intelligence known to {Man}-Kind ! ! !

      Are you sure , Vexarb , that his classmates (895 – 899), that finished lower than him,
      were not K-9’s !? 😉

      (** KAZAM – KHazarian Ashkenazi ZioNazi Apartheid Mafia)

      Hell is no longer empty, thankfully, & not ‘All the Devils’ are still here.
      Way to go ..

  2. Here is a great link for all those ‘Yanks’ that despise the word ‘socialism’ , which discusses & exposes just how many are on ‘welfare’, as well as the timely demise of John McCain and even the Pope and the Vatican Bank, without ever losing focus on his most poignant point :- Our Kids ..

    https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2018/08/bathwater/

    Classy bit of journalism / blogging that ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ which moved Balky , and fits perfectly with something Balky had already done >>

    Balkydj sent his first ever tweet, yesterday >> (had the account for years but was hugely sceptical, lol: however, finally after celebrating the death of John McCain and his oven fried chips, suddenly something inspired Balky, given the volumes of sycophantic outpouring, even from Ocasio-Cortez >> silly girl should stick to what she knows about >> see link )

    At least Trump was not sycophantic , (before going off to play golf), he tweeted respects and prayers for the family, without to mention McCain, quite specifically , so Balky thought
    “Fair do..” , Balky will say it for you Don >>

    @realDonaldTrump:
    ” The Tempest is thankfully finally abating: ‘Tis no longer true that:-

    “Hell is empty and all the Devils are here..” Act 1 Scene 2 John McCain is down & out Dancing with the Devil & his war-mongering fake fighting malicious spirit is burning in Hell !

    #STOPWeaponisingWeatherWTC7 ”

    Balky implying, let us be rational in thought: surely Trump knows that the WTC7 based SEC investigation into ENRON, MONSANTO & GEC Geo-Engineering of the weather & commodity markets for profit & experimentation with HAARP (in order to create baron dried out land & to buy up farmers on the cheap for GMO production, afterwards), was going down, when ENRON went bust as the USA’s second largest Corporation: and Trump must also surely know more than a little about the nature of fire in a Steel Frame High Rise construction, like WTC 7 .. which never even got hit by any aircraft.

    So, Balky got carried away for a moment with twattering whataboutery and added ..

    @realDonaldTrump

    “Until you respect Physics and the fact that WTC 7 collapsed 100% surely as a consequence of Controlled Explosions, you may as well reserve your own place in Hell & look forward to joining John McCain !

    You owe it to our Kids: Science commands integrity=
    #Simples ”

    Greetings from the Balkans,
    Peace for our children,
    (& of mind, for us ‘oldies’) ..

    Hell is no longer empty ..

    McDrain the Swamp .. and think on this: would you like to join John McCain in Hell ?
    For all eternity ?? 😉

    • From SyrianPerspectiv:

      “Gooner

      John McCain made the world a better place…When he died.

      That cancer should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

      +23 “

  3. Perhaps the answer might be a new word for “Socialism”…
    It’s still not so long ago that in the US one frequently heard things like, “You mean you’re a SOCIALIST?!!!”, or, “Doesn’t that mean he’s a COMMUNIST?!!!”
    The propaganda machine has been so successful for many decades that these things are exclaimed in utter horror.
    So, why not begin to contemplate alternatives?
    Since nothing springs to mind on the spur of the moment, I’ll just facetiously suggest “Decent Humanism”, or even “Generosityism” for now, but I’m certain that imaginative people can do better than that, yet still manage to stick to the higher human impulses behind socialism as it was originally conceived.
    The word just has far too much baggage for the 21st Century, and common sense can no longer get through that baggage.
    A radical rethink of our society is overdue in any case, so, while I’m thinking so idealistically, let me just mention that Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the only philosopher and practical genius I have encountered who actually outlined a spiritual path for modern mankind’s further evolution, based on the staggering realization that we can think about our own thinking (obvious when somebody points it out), proposed what he called a Threefold Commonwealth for the government of western nations.
    It’s far too complicated to go into here, but the basis of it is that three principal areas of government (Law, Economics and Culture) would keep out of each other’s way, pretty much as our own nervous system, respiratory system and system of limbs for getting about in the world keep out of each other’s way, while still being part of our unified selves.
    Food for thought, anyway, but whether we find our radical rethink in such inspiring ideas, or look for them ourselves within the limited areas of influence most of us have to put up with, radical has to happen, or we’re sunk.

    • vexarb says

      @wardropper. It’s called Cultural Genocide. Through decades of systematic imprisonment, expulsion and denigration Communists have been Culturally Genocided in the U$A.

  4. King Kong says

    As long as the American society abhor the notion of socialist, it will not change.
    I a single Swede upper middle class (maybe) on a upper median income of $ 7100 a month, live in a 1 million dollar 3 bedroom house in Malmoe, drive a Mercedes Benz, and my 2 kids attend University for free, and I have at least $ 5000 in cash on my savings account, which I can use at will, my house is 2 thirds paid, which does not matter as the prices rise at 10 % a year solidly.
    I am a teacher at a poly tech, and as such not on a high wage, but I am clearly more well off than most. I live in a so called socialist country, he he, it is not, but nevertheless people are not homeless here and the “poor” get by. Education, health, care of the elderly and numerous other things are free. We gladly pay our taxes which are high, roughly 25-30 % of income general.
    Everybody pays in to the benefit of all.
    So yes socialism is bad, it is especially bad for one quarter of the 1 % , ripping you guys of! Let me just flounder my remaining years in this socialist hellhole 🙂

    • mark says

      I wish you well. But Sweden as you describe it no longer exists. It is the rape capital of the world, where police no longer even investigate violent rapes of very young children. Just a third wold s***hole, like Cairo without the sunshine. The wonders of cultural enrichment.

      • John G says

        Good lord. Id this parody? Or do you actually believe that nonsense?

  5. vexarb says

    Escape from Dead End U$A. BTL the Saker:

    “Tony_0pmoc on August 22, 2018 · at 7:54 pm EST/EDT

    They are victims too. They have been brainwashed, dumbed down, impoverished, and have had most of their moral values, energy, spirit, determination, and basic education, totally corrupted.

    It’s not their fault. I thought the Americans I worked with in the 1970’s and 80’s were brilliant.

    Now, I feel sorry for them. It’s as if they are having a national nervous breakdown. I hope they get better. Some of my family, who had moved to America, and have American born children, have returned to the UK and Germany.

    They couldn’t stand the USA any more.

    Tony”

    • JudyJ says

      I agree with the overall sentiments expressed in the comments cited here but I am doubtful that the UK and Germany provide a preferable alternative these days, and the situation only seems to be deterioriating.

      • Dear Judy,

        Rest assured that neither the UK nor Germany are an erudite alternative & I do speak from the experience of having worked in both pseudo-democratic sovereign nations: although in fairness to the German Embassy in Sofia, they were prepared to still offer me a passport & asylum from the U$uk Looney bin Laden Enterprise & GCHQ .. but, once Obama accessed Angela’s phone, I kinda’ gave up on that ridiculously naive option, because internet wise, the Germans always were a bit slow on the uptake and ‘Schliesslich’, just another sock puppet of the USA..
        (which conveniently managed to avoid paying their NATO dues ..) 😉

        Go Schroeder, go .. what a Chance-llor ! ? You gotta’ laugh, what a Gas 🙂

        “Whilst you’re here ..” , did you see the Fraudian’s latest attempt at smearing Putin & Russia with the whole Cambridge ANALytica Scandal ? That which (witch hunt), thus far, appears to have been financed by Robert Mercer, if Chris ‘Pink’ Wylie is to be believed , amongst much other evidence ..

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/27/tom-watson-demands-answers-about-alleged-russian-brexit-plot

        The only thing I can presently suggest, of a constructive nature, is ‘The The – Helpline Operator ‘ , to kick the proverbial can yet further down the road, a tiny wee bit further , at least until the sheeple catch on that thur’s nothing left to kick .. 😉

        I was the only white person in the remote beach bar (away from all the sad ‘pedos’) & far further away than the eye could see, in Gambia, I recall > Zero Alcohol for sale , excellent groove & the locals loved the track so much that it was on ‘Replay’, for what seemed an age, with people asking the DJ WTF is this .. (happy memories 🙂

        Johnny Marr’s baritone guitar work is just great,
        & James Eller on bass does a pretty ‘nifty’ job, too ..

        Never forget the music and always take something you love with you ..
        especially up the jungle 🙂 just in case something or someone needs a kick !

        Must rush ‘DUSK’ is drawing in here & Oh look, that just happens to be the name of the “Helpline operator” CD, which Balky happened to take up the jungle in the Gambia > sweet 🙂

        Regards
        Balky

        P.s.Sorry: Must double dash, incoming begging email from the Clinton Foundation 🙂 to delete,
        Yahoooo > it won’t be long now before all sheep are born Black 😉 and the Guardian & Tom Watson end up looking like a right bunch of plonkers .. inc. Carole d’Cad , who was clueless about Cambridge Analytica, until Balky informed the Rocker-fella’s Guardian comments section immediately after Trump won & gave them all the requisite ‘Heads Up’ ..
        jeeeez , call the helpline operator @GCHQ now ! I even told them all that Trump would win, but would they listen ! ?

        Unless.. it was those pesky Russians all along and they control Robert & Rebekah Mercer ! ? !
        🙂 Riiiight … ! ?

        Time for some ‘Waldeck’ & “The Night Garden” .. & ‘Cat People Dub’: an excellent cover of Bowie & Moroder, putting out the fire with gasoline 🙂 Energy crisis, what crisis ? the track rocks ..
        & Tears Running Dry .. classic synchronised reverb. with Joy Malcolm’s voice ‘got Soul’ ..
        Check – ‘Fallen Angel’ ! One for Carole-d’Cad…

        Peace N’Joy … Judy

  6. While in Live Line Syria; again courtesy of SyrianPerspective.com:

    “Daniel Rich

    All Class: Syrian First Lady, while fighting her own cancer, Visits Children’s Cancer Hospital – Link to Fort Russ

    Excerpt: “She’s in the trenches, not in an ivory tower. She’s with the poor and the sick, not the neoliberal, neo-capitalist muckety-mucks. She’s in Syria, with Syria, for Syria, of Syria and by Syria. Not the West. Not the Gulf. She’s a revolutionary, not a princess.”

    https://www.fort-russ.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/asma-al-assad-cancer-hospital-1.jpg

    • mark says

      When the aggression and western orchestrated terrorist invasion of Syria began 7 years ago, media organs in the UK were smearing Asma Assad as some sort of shopaholic bimbo who had fled Syria, a sign that the country was on the verge of collapse.

      They were lying then, like they’re lying now about Skripal, the White Helmets, and everything else. Like they lied about Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Russiagate and everything else. They lie every time they open their fat ugly lying mouths. Lying scum, one and all. Low life, lying, scumbag fake news filth.

      • JudyJ says

        Mark,
        I agree on all counts. The media has no shame about twisting their stories to suit their fake news agenda. With regard to Asma Assad, she was the subject of baseless accusations, when she started her cancer treatment, that she never mixed with ‘ordinary’ people (‘only’ families of Syrian or Russian soldiers killed in the conflict, as if they were not deserving of sympathy) yet when she was photographed a day or two ago in a cancer ward for children she came in for criticism for exploiting the children for self-promotion purposes. The media make up whatever lies they like as they go along because they get away with it.

  7. And in the dark alleys of Dead End U$A, where people are mugged by their own police; courtesy of SyrPer:

    “PacificNorthWest

    It bears remembering, today, what David Steele said 3 years ago.

    David Steele, a 20-year Marine Corps intelligence officer, and the second-highest-ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence. He is a former CIA clandestine services case officer, and this is what he had to say:

    “Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.”

    So here I am… putting Gladio antibodies out there into the digital ether is something to be widely shared. For it is known vampires do not tolerate sunshine; evil operates where the light does not reach!

    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/05/15/us-intelligence-officer-every-single-terrorist-attack-in-us-was-a-false-flag-attack/

  8. mark says

    It’s not a simple problem of free market capitalism because that just doesn’t exist in Britain or probably anywhere else.
    What we actually have is crony capitalism, parasitic finance capitalism, a looting kleptocracy. Call it what you like. Call it corporate welfare, fascism, call it fried chicken if you want. But it’s nothing remotely resembling free market capitalism.

    In the 1970s, Finance made up 2% of the US economy. That’s when they actually made things. Now it’s 40%. Another 17% is “healthcare”, ie price gouging by the drugs and insurance monopolies. This is 3 times what Britain spends on healthcare. A US ambulance journey is billed at $5,000. They charge $750 for a pill that costs a few cents to produce. These grossly inflated monopoly prices contribute to the figure given for the US GDP. If anything like sensible, justified prices were charged instead, the US GDP would be a lot lower. About another 6% is “defence”, war, with fighter aircraft that don’t work turned out at $400 million each.

    In the past, the millionaire class like Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, were absolute swine and robber barons who treated their work force like dirt and committed every crime in the book. But there was at least something to show for their activities, car factories, steel mills, oil refineries, railroads. The current global billionaire class of 2,300 people is essentially parasitic. It creates nothing of value. People like Philip Green take over businesses like Top Shop or BHS, using borrowed money and loading those companies down with debt, paying themselves or their Monaco based wife a “special dividend” of £1,200 million without contributing a penny in tax. Then they bleed those companies white and run them into the ground, and walk away with everybody who works there losing their jobs and losing their pensions – and the taxpayer is left to pick up the bill. There are countless other examples, like the Glazier brothers and Manchester United. One of the richest men in the world is Carlos Slim, who has a monopoly on telephone services in Mexico. Mexico has the most expensive telephone network in the world. This is not a aberration, it is the norm. The money that is made is all financial manipulation, with nothing of value to show for it. This applies to Internet tycoons like Gates – their businesses are the product of public research and investments (largely by the military), subsidies and tax breaks. They were left to harness the rewards.

    In the US, just 3 mega tycoons own more than the bottom half of the population, 160 million people. In Britain, we have levels of inequality not seen since the times of Charles Dickens. The end result is an unstable, dysfunctional system which has lost all legitimacy and credibility and is prone to collapse at any time. People no longer have any stake in a system which is blatantly skewed in favour of a tiny fraction of the 1%. The current order is like a house of cards that can come down in an instant without any warning. The US has a debt burden of $250 trillion, and a derivatives mountain several orders of magnitude greater. It is divided economically, politically, socially, racially, culturally. This goes a long way to explain upheavals like Trump, Brexit, Catalonia, and election results in one country after another, though ruling elites persist in chasing phantoms like Russian plots and skulduggery.

    16
    • “free market capitalism” is akin to equating ‘capitalism’ with democracy, exactly as it is expressed in the more rarefied oxymoronic expression, “liberal democracy,” a notion which fuses two contradictory aspirations into a purportedly single democratic aspiration: ‘economic liberalism,’ on the one hand, which is nothing but the right to private ownership in the means of production and which excludes and necessarily propertyless wage earners; and on the other hand, ‘political democracy,’ the purported expression of the people’s collective will in the regulation of social life.

      But if money is the substance of rule and political influence, and so it must be in a society in which everything can be commodified on the basis of the right to own, then the propertyless are effectively without any political standing.

      Quote begins:

      Liberalism, Landa reminds us, was the socioeconomic doctrine used by the budding European bourgeoisie in the 17th through 19th centuries against the nobility. The bourgeoisie won that battle but upon taking hold of power, they predictably had to defend it against its ultimate existential opponent, the propertyless majority. “It must be borne in mind that the whole purpose of liberal civil society from a Lockean point of view was to shore up nascent capitalist property and production. The political aspect of liberalism, namely parliamentary and constitutional rule, far from being an autonomous sphere alongside the economic one, was entirely a function of capitalism, conceived at all times as fully subservient to it”. “Parliamentarism and the rule of law were thus from the very beginning not the liberal end itself, to be defined, say, in terms of guaranteeing political pluralism; rather, they were mere means to an end, that of protecting capitalism”.

      [However,] “[p]olitical liberalism splits apart from economic liberalism and effectively undermines it, since the logical economic upshot of democracy is not capitalism but its antithesis, communism”.

      Quote ends.

      Source: Some thoughts on liberal democracy as a deceptive term

      So you are correct to point out that under capitalism, markets are not free, but therein lies the rub: “fee markets,” in which economic democracy would be the rule of production and distribution, are in fact incompatible with “capitalism,’ which is production for profit, or as Marx put it, the production of commodities, a system in which production happens on a socialized and collective basis, but in which what is collectively produced is (pre-)appropriated as the ‘private property’ of the capitalist enterprise and only gets distributed if a profit can be realized through its distribution.

      Under capitalism, markets can never be free, that is to say, that people could never collectively decide to produce first and foremost for the satisfaction of their needs, but would be constrained to produce only what ‘sells’ at a ‘profit’ for the owners of capital. Exactly the state of affairs that already stand.

    • John G says

      Of course it’s capitalism. Late stage capitalism. The notion of ‘the free market’ is just a slogan to hoodwink the gullible.

  9. BigB says

    It’s a philosophical, as much as an information, war. So we get the truth out and the quarter of the one percent lose their power base. Over 400 years of capitalism, we may then find to our cost that we have internalised the imperialisms and psychology of what has become a seductive and ubiquitous power. Cartesian materialism is a weapon of mass destruction: the Enlightenment Project is an absolutist disembodied classism, racism, and sexism waiting to act out its sectarianism through us (if we let it). It is an alienating way of objectified being …the subjectified antimony of PoMo was no better and no worse …so where to go next if the reversion to Enlightenment values is a reversion to their inhumane principles of power?

    “[M]an is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end” is how Foucault put it. Modern ‘man’ (and it is a patrilineal descent) is a personally constructed psychology invented and maintained by power. A good example of the invention is Darwin. As the late Stephen Jay Gould was keen to point out: much of that which was attributed as ‘Darwinism’ – particularly Social Darwinism – came from Herbert Spencer and a succession of lesser later commentators. And this happened not just historically: he anticipated the “Bell Curve” (the manual of pseudo-racist intellectual determinism and apologia for the “cognitive elite”) by 15 years when he wrote the “Mismeasure of Man”. E O Wilson, Dawkins, Dennet, Harris, Pinker, Hicks, and my personal favourite, Jordan Peterson …are some of the modern ideologues who tell us that is determined to be the way it is: because we were related to lobsters …or some other fishy pseudo-psychology like that.

    Judging from Peterson’s >25mn YouTube hits – mostly from red pill males who have lost their micro-imperial mojo to third wave feminazis (other brands of authentic and radical feminism are still superior and still available – says the self-censoring male!) and PoMo fluid genderists – there is a social spiritual void that needs filling. Well, returning to the Enlightenment instrumentally rationalised sectarian dualisms that gave us the exceptional and indispensable apartheid terrorist Disunited States of Amerika is no progression …except that perhaps they now have empowered the next wave of imperial corporate terrorisers. Neat, huh?

    So if both objectivism and subjectivism are extremised modes of being: what is left to try? The 2,500 year old Middle Way of Buddha, Vasubandhu and Nagarjuna? Well, yes and no. In the hundred years or so that Buddhism has come to the West it has been absorbed for its psycho-therapeutic value. The Ab-Fab caricature is of Eddi chanting “NamoRyohoRengeKyo” with a phone in each hand, and her secretary Bubble passing her memos. Buddhism is diminished and denatured as a therapy, it is a radical liberational praxis that defies all Western sectarian boxed-definitions.

    If liberalised from the totalising extremisms of duality: what is left? The pure and embodied experience of a universal humanity. All conceptualised dualisms are defunct. There is no mind-body sectarianism. There is no mind-matter (subject-object) sectarianism. There is no absolute-relative sectarianism. Even the universal cultural-givens lose their rigidity, and thus their power to hold and determine. The spatio-temporal strictures (three-dimensionality, distance, event-causality, disembodied mind, objective morality, instrumental reason) that define and contain both the subject/self conditionality and society are undermined as extremised. Thus they entail one dimensional caricatures of the full richness of the subjectified or objectified experiential.

    [Even the Sartrean “essence precedes experience” as a Cartesian inheritance collapses].

    Whoah, back up BigB: did you just say time and space do not exist? No, and yes: they are embodied metaphors that rationalise our enacted experience of …well, something I would not be able to convey without ontological metaphorical language. [see Lakoff and Johnsosn: Philosophy in the Flesh]. But space-time and causality are are independent pre-given absolutes that continually exist whether we experience them or not? Only, are they? Is that not just an imposed objectified and determinant extreme view that Dawkins or Peterson might validate with experiments on locusts or cod-psychology? And if we internalise such a view, do we rationalise the consequences: particularly the concretisation of the externally determined status quo?

    I maintain they are powers entrapment and hold over our psychological autonomy: that are not imposed (necessarily) by violence (though they entail an exported and thus distanced violence in a bourgeois society) …they are imposed and policed by consensus. Which, to a social species, the threat of cultural ostracisation is a more powerful violence than violence.

    So we find ourselves perhaps unconsciously kowtowing to the imperialism of an absolutised dualism for fear of our freedom, to paraphrase Paulo Freire. Or aversively, we are forced to an opposite, but mirror, subjectivised extreme. Either way: we are “condemned” to believe and act from a subject/self conditionality we no longer really believe in; we know or suspect is sectarian; we know is instrumental and subject to dominance and agency of oppressors and manipulators (and we may unconsciously extend the dominance/submissive conceptual duality with our own instrumental agency); we find ourselves so grounded in the dominant hegemonic capitalist culture, that even though we may be aware of its imperial oppressions, we find it difficult to make a decisive clean break …especially if we must do it on our own.

    This is the modern cultural aporia: which is not a state that can be rationalised by the same Cartesian mechanist-materialist deterministic thinking that produced the irresolvable aporia in the first place. The aporia dissolves in the praxis of the Middle Way. But first we must liberate the liberational from the relegation to a mere psycho-therapeutic salve for the False. If we can dissolve the Gordian Knot of our current cultural and sub-cultural aporia – a new society of mutual aid and spiritual community arises …the Sangha of society that Cartesian materialism negates. Only there is no arising or cessation of that which transcends conceptualisation …maybe, only the waiting for the cognitive recognition, embodiment and enaction of the Real?

    • vexarb says

      @BigB. I never bought Descartes, but then I am no mathematician. Newton said, ‘Descartes is a taller man than I am but I stand on his shoulders’. Lying on his back staring at a white ceiling he invented Plot Y vs X — one of those sensuously simple concepts that take hum’nity a thousand years or more to discover.. But once Descartes discovers Y vs X, off goes Newton like a rocket.

      The part of Descartes which I could not accept was his belief that dogs and cats h’ve no soul. I thought it showed the limitation of building one’s philosophy by staring at a white ceiling. The Buddha’s view of subject / object relation is far nearer to modern physics than Cartesian dualism.

      Re actual topic of this thread: All I know is that I met an old resident of Long Island three years ago and he told me the young people from Long Island were moving back into the city; and now we learn that rents have risen. Makes sense.

      • Robbobbobin says

        “Newton said, ‘Descartes is a taller man than I am but I stand on his shoulders’. Lying on his back staring at a white ceiling he invented Plot Y vs X — one of those sensuously simple concepts that take hum’nity a thousand years or more to discover.. But once Descartes discovers Y vs X, off goes Newton like a rocket.

        The part of Descartes which I could not accept was his belief that dogs and cats h’ve no soul. I thought it showed the limitation of building one’s philosophy by staring at a white ceiling.”

        So where does that leave Fermat’s cat?

        I suspect you’ve confused the white ceiling of mathematics with the black hole of metaphysics.

        Newton was into white ceilings too. Specifically his mother’s, jumping on to which he was off like a rocket to the sun before he’d even met Descartes. You should try jumping in to Newton’s later discovered black hole. You’ll love it.

        Talking of Descartes, he didn’t plot nothing alphabetical against nothing alphabetical. His white ceiling only had room for an X. Or a Y. Take your pick. It was over a decade before someone else had a ceiling big enough to include a fixed, orthagonal Y (or X, depending on your earlier choice) for you to hatch your plot. On.

        But back to that soulless cat, alone in its sea of black. What is Fermat doing about any or all of that?

        Now you’ve got my cat getting hungry too. Talk about spooky meouwing across the emptiness of historical space-time.

    • Robbobbobin says

      “…the Real?”

      Only while you;re peering, poking and prodding at it,

  10. Robbobbobin says

    Abolish limiited joint stock companies/corporations, rewrite all legislation identifying them wholly or partly as legally equivalent to natural persons.and return all forms of money creation to the joint society.

    Don’t like thinking or acting out of the box? No probbies, just stay in your current box along with all your children while the times tosses it onto the pyre.

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    • Robbobbobin says

      Forgot to make explicit: no more absentee landlords, either, in real estate as in any other enterprise.

  11. rilme says

    Kevin Zeese has a tax plan. It used to be on the internet. Now I can’t find it. Except:

    What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?
    “The most urgent problem facing our nation is ending corporate control of government, as that is at the root cause of the war in Iraq, the lack of health care for all, the rich-poor divide and stagnant wages for most families. My tax plan makes the first $100,000 federal income tax-free, a 22 percent raise. I want to restore civil liberties and prevent terrorism with sensible foreign policy. I want to end our addiction to fossil fuel for our environment, economy and national security as part of a 21st-century economy. I favor an immediate, rapid, responsible withdrawal from Iraq.”

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  12. George says

    The central issue is that capitalism is assumed to be totally natural – the very air we breathe. This inevitably leads to pure fatalism. Many think there is no alternative. Indeed – they may not even think about it at all. Capitalism is simply presupposed.

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    • Maggie says

      @ George,
      What alternative is there but to accept our fate?
      I have been researching and posting information since 9/11 (my lightbulb moment) – about the ‘US and British Oil Imperialism’. Manufactured Wars, Economic Hitmen, and the evils of Capitalism. But people are slow to wake from their slumber, and actually choose NOT to think about it…. because what exactly can they do about it? The present voting system doesn’t work, because all politicians are corrupt to the core.
      All we can do is continue spreading the virus, and fervently hope that the generations following us have the information embedded in the psyche, and have the will to be informed, and vote for change? PARTY politics should be abolished completely. They spend more time filling their OWN agenda’s and pockets than representing US, who lets face it are simply renewable pawns in the Banker’s game…

      The guy who painted the controversial mural was spot on the money when he portrayed Vampire Bankers gorging themselves on the backs of the broken and impoverished poor.
      Those who complained the loudest about this truth, were simply ‘wearing the cap’?

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      • Betrayed planet says

        Problem is that we don’t have time to change this horrifying Capitalist nightmare. Global warming will get us before there is the possibility of any form of real advancement of our dysfunctional species. We have ignored the warning signs for the past 40yrs, we have now crossed the rubicon and it is only a question of time now. I live in Wales, a more democratic country than the England, money isn’t quite god here however everywhere I look there is so little real realisation of our true dire predicament and the focus on endless growth is still boundless as we continue to rape and plunder the last remaining gifts this lovely planet has given us. See Paul Beckwith on Utube, a Canadian climate scientist with a history of integrity, honesty and deep concern.

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        • Maggie says

          @ Betrayed Planet.

          Temperature Changes have always existed… because this planet has been in a constant state of flux since year dot. Several Ice-ages have been recorded on every continent. The Thames used to freeze solid less than 2 or three hundred years ago. Yet from the Romans to the nineteenth century English wine mattered. Indeed, we are told that the Romans brought the vine with them when they conquered Britain: or was it perhaps already there? Roman legislation from the end of the first century A.D. limits British, French and Spanish vineyards to defend the Italian market. And these vineyards somehow survived the next dark centuries to reappear in Domesday Book, where fort y six British vineyards were recorded as far north as Suffolk. Primitive sea life fossils were discovered in The Rockies, proving that they were previously under water???
          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mother-lode-of-fossils-discovered-in-canada/

          ‘Global Warming’ is a capitalist construct, designed to impose a carbon tax and charge us to breath ”clean air.”
          We already pay to drink ”clean water” as a result of ‘big business’ and the Pharmaceutical industry being allowed to poison our water systems with their pernicious waste chemicals in the race to make profit!.
          And Vampire cabals, are sucking the life blood/oil from the earth, and now fracking…. but how many really care about this?? (It’s not in my back yard so why should I?)
          In point of fact ‘global warming’ is a just another name for corporate profit micro-management..
          And you are willingly being propagandised to campaign it’s cause? IMHO.

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          • vexarb says

            Maggie, you may be right and youmay be wrong, because “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future” but the weight of evidence is now much more likely that you are wrong. I used to ignore the warnings of scientists but now I believe they have built up a solid case. Humankind is going to suffer primaeval levels of catastrophe, within a century or two, unless we reduce our present burning of carbon and consumption of meat.

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          • Betrayed planet says

            Maggie, what was once the thickest ice is now breaking up. This in the last few weeks, ice is now less than 1metre thick. It is only a question of a few yrs before we have a blue ocean event.
            To say global warming is a construct is madness, unless 97% of all Scientists are wrong and you know better which is rather arrogant to say the least. I have been studying the climate since years and follow only the most ethical and reliable sources available.
            Have you ever heard of global dimming, another feedback loop as a direct result of human based activity. Look it up if only to educate yourself to the reality of what is actually happening.
            Do people really think we can abuse the planet, have endless growth, pour pesticides and other chemicals over everything, spew toxic sulphates into the atmosphere endlessly, and get away with it. It is people like you who delay the long overdue collapse of our current paradigm with your denial of the need for urgent radical change so our children might have some kind of future.

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            • JudyJ says

              Betrayed planet,
              I agree with what you say but I also empathise with Maggie’s perspective. Most, if not all, of the ’causes’ of ‘global warming’ (whether or not it does indeed exist as a phenomenon) are man made. In my opinion, and ironically, it is the whole debate about whether global warming does or doesn’t exist which gives those causing undeniable catastrophic damage to the planet an excuse to carry on regardless, on the basis that global warming hasn’t been proven.
              Scientific evidence, personal observations and experiences and a large dose of common sense should dictate that the emphasis should always have been, and must continue to be, on universal protection of all things in the natural world, whether this be the air that man and other living creatures, plants and organisms breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the seas and lakes that marine animals inhabit, the well-being of all living creatures, the landfill and environmentally contaminating waste that mankind produces etc etc.
              Mankind shouldn’t need to indulge in a debate on whether global warming exists in order to recognise and do something about the damage being done globally by its largely conscious activities, and to do something to at least reduce such impact to a minimum if not reverse the effects of the damage already done. It is ridiculous that measures proposed internationally to combat these real damaging issues can be stalled simply because agreement cannot be reached on whether ‘global warming’ exists or not. Looking into and debating the existence of ‘global warming’ should be an ancilliary issue associated with the much wider objective of reducing the negative impact of mankind’s activities, period.
              Both you and Maggie are actually coming at the issue from the same standpoint – you both clearly recognise the damage being done to the planet and the need to do something about it. But you are allowing your united front to be jeopardised by the semantic argument as to whether this damage is or is not the result of ‘global warming’.

              • Your representation of the AGW debate owes more to the misrepresentation of that debate in popular media than to the actual scientific discussion (which the media all but ignores).

                There is no real debate about whether the planet has warmed, because it has. The debate is about the extent to which this may be due to CO2. The same faux left ‘liberal’ media selling us identity politics and antifa also sells the faux progressive idea that science is settled. It’s not. In reality the real science is complex and little understood and the best scientists are open-minded agnostics currently.

                One of the biggest scams had been to convince good people to refuse to look at one side of this debate. This self-censorship had been cleverly sold as a war against the oil giants. It’s no such thing, any more than antifa is a war against fascism. These many aspects of censorship are all part of the war against information and free thought.

                At OffG we urge people to immerse themselves in both sides of the AGW debate before drawing any conclusions.

                We have good articles on here by people of different persuasions. We suggest everyone reads them before replying to this!

                Just search the site for ‘AGW’ or ‘Global Warming’

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                • JudyJ says

                  Admin
                  I hear what you say and I am aware of the reams of debates on this issue; far be it from me to suggest that there isn’t irrefutable evidence of global warming out there.
                  Where I say “on the basis that global warming hasn’t been proven” I am not personally saying that it hasn’t been proven, I am saying that that is the excuse given by others to ignore the negative impact of mankind on the environment. I personally haven’t looked in detail at the scientific arguments for or against the existence of global warming so I tend not to side one way or the other or criticise those who do. But I do think that for the sake of the planet it does no harm to assume it does exist, much as that might irk ‘non-believers’.

                  All I was trying to highlight was that it is not necessary to believe in ‘global warming’ as a concept in order to see the need to stop the activities which create a polluted environment and all that comes with it. If I were to say to someone that I, personally, don’t know whether global warming exists or if I said that I didn’t believe in global warming, why is their automatic reaction to assume that at best I don’t believe we should fear for the planet’s future, and at worst I don’t care about the environment and the future of the planet? Neither of these is true. I want to do all I can to protect it but my point is that I care as much about it as those who maintain definitively that ‘global warming’ definitely exists – I just don’t need to use ‘global warming’ as a reason to have those concerns. The whole debate about whether it exists or not hands large corporations, whole countries and even individuals who choose to follow the sceptical line an excuse for not signing up, literally and metaphorically, to beneficial environmental impact measures.

                  It was never my intention to reopen here the debate on whether GW exists and I would implore anyone tempted to put forward their views on this here to please refrain! But that is precisely my point – action taken to protect the future of the planet shouldn’t hinge on whether ‘believers’ or ‘non-believers’ win the day. And that is why it is imperative that people like @Betrayedplanet and @Maggie should stick together to promote the shared principle of advocating what is beneficial to the planet with immediate effect rather than allowing themselves to be drawn into conflict over what might have triggered the need for those beneficial actions.

                  • Our belief is that however suppression or censorship is packaged the result is the same: reduction of freedom and suppression of opinion. This is never good. The truth doesn’t need to be protected by censorship, but lies do.

                    And I think only a minority of those who question the man made climate change claim are opposed to rational attempts to protect the environment. Again, this is largely an invention of the neolib media. Carbon taxes, however, don’t save the planet any more than a sugar tax stops obesity. They’re both rich man scams being sold as something else

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                • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                  There is NO ‘scientific debate’ as to whether CO2 and other greenhouse gases have caused the recent, hideously rapid, destabilisation of the planet’s climate. One that will shortly end human civilization. To say that there is is either intractable stupidity and ignorance, or something far fouler. To make Offguardian the site for genocidial idiocy more suited to the Murdoch cancer or Donald Trump’s ilk is nauseating.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            Such omnicidal stupidity is truly nauseating.

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  13. Kaya3 says

    A sniff of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists right there.

  14. Harry Stotle says

    The trailer to ‘Class Divide’ suggests economic apartheid is just one more obstacle to overcome before you can live ‘the American dream’.

    This type of phenomena was documented musically by Eminem – today, ‘Eight Mile’ exists as a physical dividing line, as well as a de-facto psychological and cultural boundary. Serving as the northern border to the City of Detroit, it separates the city’s predominately African American urban core from the more white, upper-class suburbs to the north.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRhEcKHU5LY

  15. George Cornell says

    Right on, Phillip. Socialism in the US is a dirty word for way too many of the 99%. The US is a cruel jungle and why it resists any serious attempt to declaw its ample supply of predators is beyond me. It has become a predator nation, primarily concerned with having a good supply of prey.

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    • Starac says

      Capitalism is predatory system. And it worked well in the land of plenty. “Growth” can’t last on finite land. Time for a change is close.

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    • Maggie says

      That is because Socialism cuts the claws of the stinking Capitalist Bankers, and they are frothing at the mouth at the prospect.
      What other reason is they try and destroy Jeremy Corbyn with their lies and propaganda, before he even gets into Number 10?

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole