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Deeper meanings of the Hong Kong protests Is China a gamechanger or yet another winner?

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević

Does our history only appear overheated, while it is essentially calmly predetermined? Is it directional or conceivable, dialectic and eclectic or cyclical, and therefore cynical? Surely, our history warns. Does it also provide for a hope? Hence, what is in front of us: destiny or future?

Theory loves to teach us that extensive debates on what kind of economic system is most conductive to human wellbeing is what consumed most of our civilizational vertical.

However, our history has a different say: It seems that the manipulation of the global political economy – far more than the introduction of ideologies – is the dominant and arguably more durable way that human elites usually conspired to build or break civilizations, as planned projects.

Somewhere down the process, it deceived us, becoming the self-entrapment. How?

*

One of the biggest (nearly schizophrenic) dilemmas of liberalism, ever since David Hume and Adam Smith, was an insight into reality: Whether the world is essentially Hobbesian or Kantian. As postulated, the main task of any liberal state is to enable and maintain wealth of its nation, which of course rests upon wealthy individuals inhabiting the particular state.

That imperative brought about another dilemma: if wealthy individual, the state will rob you, but in absence of it, the pauperized masses will mob you.

The invisible hand of Smith’s followers have found the satisfactory answer – sovereign debt. That ‘invention’ meant: relatively strong central government of the state. Instead of popular control through the democratic checks-&-balance mechanism, such a state should be rather heavily indebted. Debt – firstly to local merchants, than to foreigners – is a far more powerful deterrent, as it resides outside the popular check domain.

With such a mixed blessing, no empire can easily demonetize its legitimacy, and abandon its hierarchical but invisible and unconstitutional controls. This is how a debtor empire was born. A blessing or totalitarian curse?

Let us briefly examine it.

The Soviet Union – much as (the pre-Deng’s) China itself – was far more of a classic continental military empire (overtly brutal; rigid, authoritative, anti-individual, apparent, secretive), while the US was more a financial-trading empire (covertly coercive; hierarchical, yet asocial, exploitive, pervasive, polarizing).

On opposite sides of the globe and cognition, to each other they remained enigmatic, mysterious and incalculable: Bear of permafrost vs. Fish of the warm seas. Sparta vs. Athens. Rome vs. Phoenicia… However, common for the both was a super-appetite for omnipresence. Along with the price to pay for it.

Consequently, the Soviets went bankrupt by mid 1980s – they cracked under its own weight, imperially overstretched. So did the Americans – the ‘white man burden’ fractured them already by the Vietnam war, with the Nixon shock only officializing it.

However, the US imperium managed to survive and to outlive the Soviets. How?

The United States, with its financial capital (or an outfoxing illusion of it), evolved into a debtor empire through the Wall Street guaranties.

Titanium-made Sputnik vs. gold mine of printed-paper… Nothing epitomizes this better than the words of the longest serving US Federal Reserve’s boss, Alan Greenspan, who famously quoted J.B. Connally to then French President Jacques Chirac: “True, the dollar is our currency, but your problem”.

Hegemony vs. hegemoney.

House of Cards

Conventional economic theory teaches us that money is a universal equivalent to all goods. Historically, currencies were a space and time-related, to say locality-dependent. However, like no currency ever before, the US dollar became – past the WWII – the universal equivalent to all other moneys of the world.

According to history of currencies, the core component of the non-precious metals’ money is a so-called promissory note – intangible belief that, by any given point in future, a particular shiny paper (self-styled as money) will be smoothly exchanged for real goods.

Thus, roughly speaking, money is nothing else but a civilizational construct about imagined/projected tomorrow – that the next day (which nobody has ever seen in the history of humankind, but everybody operates with) definitely comes (i), and that this tomorrow will certainly be a better day then our yesterday or even our today (ii).

This and similar types of collective constructs (horizontal and vertical) over our social contracts hold society together as much as its economy keeps it alive and evolving. Hence, it is money that powers economy, but our blind faith in constructed (imagined) tomorrows and its alleged certainty is what empowers money.

Clearly, the universal equivalent of all equivalents – the US dollar – follows the same pattern: Bold and widely accepted promise. What does the US dollar promise when there is no gold cover attached to it ever since the time of Nixon shock of 1971?

Pentagon promises that the oceanic sea-lanes will remain opened (read: controlled by the US Navy), pathways unhindered, and that the most traded world’s commodity – oil, will be delivered.

So, it is not a crude or its delivery what is a cover to the US dollar – it is a promise that oil of tomorrow will be deliverable. That is a real might of the US dollar, which in return finances Pentagon’s massive expenditures and shoulders its supremacy.

Admired and feared, the Pentagon further fans our planetary belief in tomorrow’s deliverability – if we only keep our faith in dollar (and hydrocarbons’ energized economy), and so on and on in perpetuated circle of mutual reinforcements.

These two pillars of the US might from the East coast (the US Treasury/Wall Street and Pentagon) together with the two pillars of the West coast – both financed and amplified by the US dollar, and spread through the open sea-routs (Silicone Valley and Hollywood), are an essence of the US posture.

This very nature of power explains why the Americans have missed to take the mankind into completely other direction; towards the non-confrontational, decarbonized, de-monetized/de-financialized and de-psychologized, the self-realizing and green humankind.

In short, to turn history into a moral success story. They had such a chance when, past the Gorbachev’s unconditional surrender of the Soviet bloc, and the Deng’s Copernicus-shift of China, the US – unconstrained as a lonely superpower – solely dictated terms of reference; our common destiny and direction/s to our future/s.

Winner is rarely a game-changer

Sadly enough, that was not the first missed opportunity for the US to soften and delay its forthcoming, imminent multidimensional imperial retreat.

The very epilogue of the WWII meant a full security guaranty for the US: Geo-economically – 54% of anything manufactured in the world was carrying the Made in USA label, and geostrategically – the US had uninterruptedly enjoyed nearly a decade of the ‘nuclear monopoly’.

Up to this very day, the US scores the biggest number of N-tests conducted, the largest stockpile of nuclear weaponry, and it represents the only power ever deploying this ‘ultimate weapon’ on other nation. To complete the irony, Americans enjoy geographic advantage like no other empire before. Save the US, as Ikenberry notes:

“…every major power in the world lives in a crowded geopolitical neighborhood where shifts in power routinely provoke counterbalancing”.

Look the map, at Russia or China and their packed surroundings. The US is blessed with its insular position, by neighboring oceans. All that should harbor tranquility, peace and prosperity, foresightedness.

Why the lonely might, an empire by invitation did not evolve into empire of relaxation, a generator of harmony?

Why does it hold (extra-judicially) captive more political prisoners on Cuban soil than the badmouthed Cuban regime has ever had? Why does it remain obsessed with armament for at home and abroad?

Why existential anxieties for at home and security challenges for abroad?

Whydid the fall of Berlin Wall 30 years ago mark a beginning of decades of stagnant or failing incomes in the US (and elsewhere in the OECD world) coupled with alarming inequalities?

What are we talking about here; the inadequate intensity of our tireless confrontational push or about the false course of our civilizational direction?

Indeed, no successful and enduring empire does merely rely on coercion, be it abroad or at home. The grand design of every empire in past rested on a skillful calibration between obedience and initiative – at home, and between bandwagoning and engagement – abroad.

In XXI century, one wins when one convinces not when one coerces. Hence, if unable to escape its inner logics and deeply-rooted appeal of confrontational nostalgia, the prevailing archrival is only a winner, rarely a game-changer.

To sum up; After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Americans accelerated expansion while waiting for (real or imagined) adversaries to further decline, ‘liberalize’ and bandwagon behind the US.

Expansion is the path to security dictatum only exacerbated the problems afflicting the Pax Americana. That is how the capability of the US to maintain its order started to erode faster than the capacity of its opponents to challenge it. A classical imperial self-entrapment!

The repeated failure to notice and recalibrate its imperial retreat brought the painful hangovers to Washington by the last presidential elections. Inability to manage the rising costs of sustaining the imperial order only increased the domestic popular revolt and political pressure to abandon its ‘mission’ altogether. Perfectly hitting the target to miss everything else …

Hence, Americans are not fixing the world any more. They are only managing its decline. Look at their (winner) footprint in former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria – to mention but a few.

*

When the Soviets lost their own indigenous ideological matrix and maverick confrontational stance, and when the US dominated West missed to triumph although winning the Cold War, how to expect from the imitator to score the lasting moral, or even a momentary economic victory?

Neither more confrontation and more carbons nor more weaponized trade and traded weapons will save our day. It failed in past, it will fail again any given day.

Interestingly, China opposed the 1st World, left the 2nd in rift, and ever since Bandung of 1955 it neither won over nor (truly) joined the 3rd Way.

Today, many see it as a main contestant. But, where is a lasting success?

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is what the most attribute as an instrument of the Chinese planetary posture. Chinese leaders promised massive infrastructure projects all around by burning trillions of dollars.

Still, numbers are more moderate. As the recent The second BRI Summit has shown, so far, Chinese companies had invested $90 worldwide. Seems, neither People’s Republic is as rich as many (wish to) think nor it will be able to finance its promised projects without seeking for a global private capital. Such a capital – if ever – will not flow without conditionalities.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS – or ‘New Development’ – Bank have some $150 billion at hand, and the Silk Road Infrastructure Fund (SRIF) has up to $40 billion. Chinese state and semi-private companies can access – according to the OECD estimates – just another $600 billion (much of it tight) from the home, state-controlled financial sector.

That means that China runs short on the BRI deliveries worldwide. Ergo, either bad news to the (BRI) world or the conditionalities’ constrained China.

Greening international relations along with a greening of economy – geopolitical and environmental understanding, de-acidification and relaxation is the only way out.

That necessitates both at once: less confrontation over the art-of-day technology and their monopolies’ redistribution (as preached by the Sino-American high priests of globalization) as well as the resolute work on the so-called Tesla-ian implosive/fusion-holistic systems (including free-energy technologies; carbon-sequestration; antigravity and self-navigational solutions; bioinformatics and nanorobotics).

More of initiative than of obedience (including more public control over data hoovering). More effort to excellence (creation) than struggle for preeminence (partition).

Finally, no global leader has ever in history emerged from a shaky and distrustful neighborhood, or by offering a little bit more of the same in lieu of an innovative technological advancement. (Eg. many see the Chinese 5G as an illiberal innovation, which may end up servicing authoritarianism, anywhere.

And indeed, the AI deep learning inspired by biological neurons (neural science) including its three methods: supervised, unsupervised and reinforced learning can end up used for the digital authoritarianism, predictive policing and manufactured social governance based on the bonus-malus behavioral social credits.)

Ergo, it all starts from within, from at home. Without support from a home base (including that of Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet), there is no game changer. China’s home is Asia. Its size and its centrality along with its impressive output is constraining it enough.

Hence, it is not only a new, non-imitative, turn of technology what is needed. Without truly and sincerely embracing mechanisms such as the NaM, ASEAN and SAARC (eventually even the OSCE) and the main champions of multilateralism in Asia, those being India Indonesia and Japan first of all, China has no future of what is planetary awaited – the third force, a game-changer, lasting visionary and trusted global leader.

Post Scriptum: To varying degrees, but all throughout a premodern and modern history, nearly every world’s major foreign policy originator was dependent (and still depends) on what happens in, and to, Russia. It is not only a size, but also centrality of Russia that matters. It is as much (if not even more), as it is an omnipresence of the US and as it is a hyperproduction of the PR China.

Ergo, it is an uninterrupted flow of manufactured goods to the whole world, it is balancing of the oversized and centrally positioned one, and it is the ability to controllably destruct the way in and insert itself of the peripheral one. The oscillatory interplay of these three is what characterizes our days.

Professor Anis H. Bajrektarević is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He has authored six books (for American and European publishers) and numerous articles on, mainly, geopolitics energy and technology. His 7th book, From WWI to www. – Europe and the World 1918-2018 was to released in December.
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Monobazeus
Monobazeus

https://sputniknews.com/world/201908241076626482-greenland-us-consulate-denmark/

The US is opening a consulate in Greenland.!

Colour Change Greenland has officially begun.!

eddie
eddie

Memo to author: try an analogy with Macau; China’s other SAR (special administrative region); the 2nd wealthiest city in the world, and the world leader in gambling profit..
From 05:30 until 23:00, Mainlanders flock into the City, 7 days a week; like an entire country migrating daily.. No protests there, unlike their sinking cousins across the Bay in Hong Kong..

The author suggests that Xinjiang and Tibet be included as somehow vital to China’s dynamic progress, when they are empty of resources, and only need to be stabilized as a transit point for the BRI, which is progressing very well indeed.. People here think of it as the New Silk Road, not BRI..

The author is welcome to visit next year, when the 600 k.p.h. Maglev (magnetic levitation) train enters operation, and compare it to say, Amtrak in America, which is like a system from an 1860’s cowboy and Indian film..

In 9 more days, high school begins in China, so many of the thrill-seekers will be in class, while the US-paid street criminals will be exposed and ridiculed.. Hopefully locked up for a very long time..

Jack Leon
Jack Leon

Hopefully locked up for a very long time..

Ahh the blessed joys of absolute power literally controlling every aspect of peoples thoughts and daily lives, can’t wait to move there. People in Macau cannot be black holed into a Chinese gulag that’s exactly why it is so successful, no one with any money goes to gamble and party in Beijing. Mainlanders flock there to escape the prison state that is modern China.

“Please move to the back of the Maglev or you will be punished. Discredited Entities are not welcome on this ride.”

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

Mainlanders don’t ‘escape’ China, they leave on a scheduled flight. The main limitation on where they go and how long they stay are their visas and they’ve got jobs and homes to go back to.

Just because a society isn’t a carbon copy of ours doesn’t make it inferior. We talk the talk about freedom and democracy in the West but you really don’t have to look very hard to see that its really a sham in many places, including rather a lot in the US. The important thing for most people is whether the government is ‘providing for the general welfare’ and in may ways the Chinese are outstripping us, they’re beating us at our own game.

(Incidentally, the reason why Chinese don’t gamble and party in Bejing is the reason why Americans don’t do this in most of the country — its illegal. We go to Las Vegas to do this, they go to Macau. So?)

mark
mark

If they didn’t go to Macau to bet, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson wouldn’t have his billions to corrupt US politics and buy up US politicians like so many street corner whores.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

“Discredited Entities are not welcome on this ride.” Exactly >>> off you trot 😉

I’m alright, Jack, so ‘Get to the back jack’, hit the road Jack and don’t you come back from the rear end, barking madder than ever, next time you try to sneak into First Class >>> do your homework first, like, i dunno’ learn a language maybe, any language or culture or a profession or even weigh the density of your own brain first, if yer’ gonna’ let the high tech. train, take the strain and weight of your useless deadweight load of comments & psycho-stoneage-washed-holy-baggage & mumbo-babble, to date; at least we’ll all know what weights to reckon with, for power supply, when it comes to magnetic elevation :), including your baggage &
dead brain weight 😉 a professional non-entity ? !

Norwegian Blues to the rear, please …

Do let us know, when you visit China, finally … you know, I mean actually physically go there & know something, anything about the place, first hand from personal experience, not from hearsay & nor from your NATZO Handbook of History, your bosses provide you with … by the way of Kack-Jack, & the rotating oscillator of feral faecal matter, their handbook has recorded the wrong side of history and history will always be written by the winners, so your job security is looking dire … straight up.

Opium & Gunpowder, Jack-shit man, you didn’t seriously think the Chinese would leave the likes of NATZO & You MAD Bunch, in control & possession of same, did you ?

Intellectual Property m8, and to hell with your queens !
& empirical systems, of corrupted Law. !

That would be incredibly naive, Jack, and in denial of all history . . . Russians are wiser 😉
I believe it was Sergei Lavrov who told Amanpour & CNN quite directly, though somewhat reservedly, what he truly thought of your media, with Congress & Co. when he asked if he could say “A Bunch of Pussies? “, just brilliant, Sergei, did I laugh ? ! Such a gent.

If you can’t beat them … you might as well go back to school and learn which is the largest country, economy & population, in tune & harmony with other nations as partners, like China, without any invasions, physically with Military, nor NGO’s Propaganda shit stirring to distract from a failed home system of justice & propaganda, where DAT DEMONSTRATES, repeat demonstrates the highest world record prison population and per capita, far & away the leaders in denying FREEDOMS, Dreamland Hollywood USA.inc & Co! Clean House, Jack ! MIC & PIC the Prison Industrial Complex … all financially bankrupt, in every sense, no justice system, do your job & With pathetic reasoning for elitist profiteering, just business as usual Jack, your business to be precise, that which you stand & work for,
trolling to promote insanity & chaos & a scienceless lifestyle of choices jack, you choose …
To be pitied ;( such attention seeking ). ! ? !

Stop yapping, jack . . . 😉

mark
mark

When communism collapsed in 1989, a whole class of smug self satisfied individuals like Fukuyama and the Neocons and Ziocons feeding off them patted themselves on the pack, assured of their complete moral superiority and unlimited virtue. They had won, and could now throw their weight around the planet however they pleased.

People who were a little bit more far sighted subsequently concluded that communism collapsed FIRST. The prevailing system in the Anglozionist empire just took longer to collapse. Our system of crony capitalism, crapitalism, parasitic financial capitalism, looting kleptocracy, managed to endure for another 20 years before it collapsed in turn over 2007-8, never to recover. It has remained on life support ever since, sustaining its zombie existence through the printing of tens of trillions of toilet paper money backed by nothing but thin air, negative interest rates, and draconian austerity ravaging societies and entire countries.

The world could have been re ordered for the better after 1989. Genuine cooperation between great powers. Wide ranging disarmament. A new security structure for all the countries of the planet. The dismantling of relics like NATO. The resolution of previously intractable conflicts. A much better deal for developing countries with new terms of trade. The needs of billions of people given the priority they deserved. This was all up for grabs. But the opportunity for a better world was thrown away and will never return.

Instead, militarism and aggression were given their head. NATO expanded deep into the former Soviet Union in breach of all the undertakings that were given to the contrary. Russia was comprehensively looted and reduced to destitution and misery. One country after another was invaded and destroyed. Millions died and tens of millions immiserated. The whole planet was destabilised. Trillions were squandered that could have been devoted to productive purposes and real human needs.

We now face disaster on multiple fronts. The very real possibility of war on a scale never seen before in human history, leading to human extinction. Financial, economic and social collapse dwarfing the experience of 1929. Political chaos and upheaval. All of this completely unnecessary.

mark
mark

The US National Debt Clock is whizzing round at $25,000 a second.
The current budget deficit is $1,175 billion.

Trump is trying to loot the rest of the planet to get himself out of the economic hole he is in.

Jack Leon
Jack Leon

The world could have been re ordered for the better after 1989. Genuine cooperation between great powers. Wide ranging disarmament.”

All very true and concise, but do you truly believe that had the USSR won the cold war and the USA gone bankrupt, they would have even extended the olive branch the other way? Although impossible to definitively say, my guess is yeah right the Soviets would make Perestroika look like a bargain. We’d be wearing shitty Communist clothes, eating Borscht and watching as the party ravaged every resource for the Soviet oligarchs.

Capitalism is ths best system for economic growth, undeniably proven over and over, problem is, your right we live in a corporate communist state, which destroyed the greatest economic system ever created. And I would also agree 2007 was the official end of our great Republic although building for decades to that point.

mark
mark

It may be an unfashionable view, but I don’t think Russia has ever been a threat to us any time over the past 500 years, since Elizabeth I first established diplomatic relations with Ivan The Terrible, through the 300 years of the Romanovs, to the Bolsheviks and USSR, and up to the present day.

This isn’t because the Russians are wonderful, exemplary, especially moral people, or Russia is some kind of idealised place to live. That clearly doesn’t apply. But Russia, and China, are status quo powers. Look at the map. 8.5 million and 4.5 million square miles. Huge territories and populations, with equally huge internal problems. Their rulers have always been preoccupied with holding on to power (often in unscrupulous ways) and developing their economies and societies. The outside world has always been something of an afterthought. External upheavals and instability have been unwelcome things to be avoided.

Apart from Trotsky’s hot air about “world revolution” (never taken very seriously), Russia has generally wanted nothing more than being left to its own devices and, preferably, not being invaded. Stalin was more concerned with the growth of western communist parties than western plutocrats. They might become too independent and pose a threat to his authority. He urged them to cooperate in coalitions with other parties in their home countries. He was willing to form an alliance with western countries against Germany in 1938. Basically to preserve the existing order. He did a deal with Germany the next year out of exasperation after they had endlessly jerked him around. This is true whatever you think of his internal policies. His priority was retaining his tenuous grip on power and producing more steel, coal and wheat.

This pattern continued after WW2. Soviet control of Eastern Europe was taken as evidence of an objective of world domination. But Russia has never been interested in expanding into other countries to grab some agricultural land or natural resources. Russia wanted to control that invasion route that may have caused as many as 70 million deaths in 3 wars in a single generation. That may not be much comfort to people in countries like Poland, but western countries would certainly have seized much more.

This can be seen in things like the approach to post war Germany. Stalin was happy for Germany to be reunited with its own armed forces, and to choose its own political and economic systems, almost certainly western orientated. There was just one condition – Germany had to be a neutral country, like Austria. It could not join any military alliance directed against Russia, like NATO. Germany could have been reunited a few years after the war. But the US and right wing German politicians like Adenauer said no. They wouldn’t accept the deal. So we got the Cold War by default. The Russian response was reactive.

vexarb
vexarb

“the main champions of multilateralism in Asia, those being India Indonesia and Japan first of all”

Read that slowly and all will become crystal clear — despite the author’s Germanic gnomic English.

vexarb
vexarb

Sorry, I was being pretty gnomic myself. The Herr Professor is saying that the Chief Champions of Multi-Lateralism are countries which are either allied to the Empire (India) or have been crushed by the Empire (Indonesia) or both (Japan).

BigB
BigB

Mula – the six psycho-cognitive roots.

Akusala-mula – the Three Unwholesome Roots (Three Poisons; Three Fetters) …conditioning of Samsara (Binding)

Lobha – Greed
Dosa (Dvesa) – Hatred
Moha – Delusion

Kusala-mula – the Three Wholesome Roots (Three Antidotes) …’unconditioning’ of Nirvana (Unbinding)

Alobha – non-greed; non-attachment (to worldly things) => (Dana – Generosity)
Adosa – non-hatred; non-violence; => (Metta – Loving-Kindness)
Amoha – non-ignorance; non-delusion; => (Panna (Prajna) – Wisdom)

[=> the absence of …transforms into …]

So, anyone can look this up on the internet. But I wanted to make a point that shifts the relevance from the purely externalised politicised economics of our current existential permanent everything crisis …back to the spiritual. Which is to switch power back toward the empowerment of the conscious and self-responsible individual. Which is the ultimate, and perhaps the only antidote. From the dual to the nondual autonomous unity.

In Sanskrit: the prefix ‘a-‘ creates an antithetical term. It literally means ‘not’ …not-greed, not-hatred, not-delusion (…that which transforms into dana; metta; panna). The root of the Three Poisons is *avidya* in Sanskrit (in Pali – avijja) …literally – not ‘vidya’.

Vidya covers several semantic fields that range from the perceptual – ‘to see’; ‘to know’; ‘to perceive’ (the underlying reality) – to the conceptual – as correct and valid knowledge gained from scientific inquiry and educated higher learning. It is a broad lexical and semantic frame that covers several domains that combine to include the sense of a valid (epistemic) perception and conception of reality (pramana). The sense of which is almost totally lost when it is commonly translated as ‘ignorance’.

In Yogacara: the state of this underlying knowledge and wisdom is *yatha-bhuta-(jnana)-darsana*. Which means something analogous to ‘the actualised knowable state of reality – as seen without the conception of false intellectual constructs’. The *jnana* is added in other traditions to extend the meaning to the uncovered ‘clear undivided consciousness of things as they are’. So there is the sense in Yogacaran psychology that there is a clear state of realisation and comprehension; and an unclear state …*vidya* and *avidya*.

[*jnana* is another ‘unfettered seeing’ cognitive metaphor: especially when contrasted with *vijnana* – ‘split (divided) cognition’)]

The Three Poisons (greed , hatred, and delusion) arise from avidya. The Three ‘Antidotes’ (generosity; loving-kindness; wisdom) arise from – and return us to – vidya …a clearer comprehension of reality. There is the sense that perception alters conception from clear to unclear – and potentially back again. Bracketing out action – which is the third psycho-cognitive domain (perception is for conception and action – they all interact equally in a balanced cognitive psycho-physical state) …perception alters conception alters perception. For better or worse. Or: no better, no worse – which is the common (balanced or unbalanced) state of primal unknowing – avidya.

I can generate two main cognitive cycles from this. An open cognitive cycle – from and toward knowing (vidya) …and a closed cognitive cycle – from and toward (the extension of) unknowing (avidya). In Yogacara: the main metaphor of ‘avidya in action’ is *grahya-grahaka-(vikalpa)* …where *grahya* is the ‘graspable’ – and *grahaka* is the ‘grasper’. *Vikalpa* means an ‘imaginary’ (mental construct): which conveys the full futility of the grasping action. Which can be likened to grasping sand, water, or air. Or virtual fiat currency.

This imaginary grasping is no mere ‘object manipulation’ metaphor. The sense of the graspable is extended to all objectivity (*grahyatva*; Materialism) …and the metaphoric ‘grasper’ extends to all subjectivity (*grahakatva*; Idealism). In other words: it is Materialistically/Idealistically paradigmatic.

So, the false dichotomy of the paradigmatic Material/Ideal sense domain into subject/object duality is Samsara. A division from which all greed, hatred and delusion arises – generating and maintaining the illusion of Samsara. Which is a vicious closed recursive cycle of cognition – Bhavacakra …of bound cyclical existence generating and extremising greed, hatred, and delusion. This becomes recursive when these values are empowered in cycles of valorisation: where the output becomes the input in a new degenerative cycle. Sound familiar yet?

The central metaphor of an imaginary and futile graspable/grasping action works at the personal; inter-personal; and trans-personal level (micro-, meso-, and macro-economic scale: or …micro-, meso-, and macro-cosmogonic (mythological) scale). In a self-organised, complex adaptive system: this accounts for the extremisation (through scales of competitive hierarchies) of emergent behaviours. No one willingly wants to destroy the underlying realities of the world. Collectively: as a ‘super-entity’ or emergent ‘super-organism’- that is what the cybernetics of desire-production entails as its sole output …a greedy, violent (hateful), ‘avidyan’ outcome consuming our sense-world (the earth will survive us). Which becomes gross (capital) income; which becomes the new (capital) input in the recurring closed cognitive (behavioural) economic cycles of world-consuming Samsaric destruction.

Thus: the name of this closed cycle economic rationality of Samsaric valorisational *retournement* is ‘capitalism’. This is Capitalist Realism as a grand-narrative constructivism; meta-ontological; and emergent macro-economic ‘reality’. Which is an institutionalised systemically closed cognitive cyclical recursion based on superventions of greed, hatred, and delusion …in denial of the presentational immediacy of life (life-blindness emerges as a macro-economic supervention over life coherence).

Capitalism is not (just) an ‘extrapsychic event’ happening ‘over there’. Or distant objectified (commodified) ‘economic system’ run by ‘them’ (whoever I choose ‘them’ to be). Capitalism is the modern epochal cultural-conditioning of humanity. Which: so long as this goes unrecognised – we, as political commentators – are mere Don Quixotian narrative constructors …’ingenious’ fictional characters tilting at imaginary windmills. The ‘consumer/spectators’ of an imaginary outer economic reality …(whose commodified advertorial narrative constructs are as shadows on the walls of a metaphysical neo-Platonic Cave)

Which: however a bitter pill that may be to those of us that cherish the autobiographical narrative or commentary …its just a narrative. About money. And a monetised bunch of narrative stories we tell ourselves about our selves is an epochal culture. Or a political-economic system. Based on imaginary narratives; based on imaginary exponential negentropic growth; based on the valorisation of imaginary money.

Once people start to divest from cultural-conditioning and capitalised versions of narrative constructions (like fiat money) – we can start to tell our real stories …with heart, not commodified mind. In the broadest sense: the narrative is in the writing. Which is to say: it is in the embodiment of the life-continuum of the ‘vidyan’ (‘clear-sighted’) living narrative. Where the story is not yet fully told. The ending is not yet written. We are writing for perception, conception, and action. If we write with real generosity, loving-kindness, and wisdom …and non-attachment to monetised worldly things – we might just change the fucking world.

TheThinker
TheThinker

BigB – I wrote this over on the thread a couple of articles back in a reply to George. But, it seemed pertinent to what you say above, perhaps even reinforces it. As I am double posting, Admin, feel free to delete if it is not useful to the discussion.

I’ve been reading a collection of essays by a Australian guy called Careys – on Democracy and propaganda, fully named, Taking the Risk out of Democracy. He died unpublished but his papers were collated in a book after. Here some bits from my read that were interesting.

In Jan 1994 David Hume reflecting on the consequences of the recent state terrorist projects that Washington had organised and directed in its Central American domains, with the Church a prime target. They took special note of ‘what weight’ the culture of terror has had in domestically the expectations of the majority vis-a-vis alternatives different for the powerful; the destruction of hope, they recognised, is one of the greatest achievements of the free world doctrine of ‘low intensity conflict’ what is called ‘terror’ when conducted by official enemies. Noam Chomsky 1994

Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbolism…collective attitudes are amenable to many modes of alteration…. intimidation…intimidation….economic coercion…drill
But their arrangement and rearrangement occurs principally under the importers of significant symbolism and the technique of using significant symbols for this purpose is propaganda. Lasswell, Bardson & Janowitz 1953

Successful use of propaganda as a means of social control requires a number of conditions: The will to use it, the skills to produce the propaganda, the means to deiiseminate it; and the use of significant symbols with real power over emotional reactions – ideally symbols of the sacred and satanic (Light vs DARK)

A society or culture which is disposed to view the world in Manichean terms will be more vulnerable to control by propaganda. Conversely, a society where propaganda is extensively employed as a means of control, will tend to retain a Manichean world view, a view dominated by symbols and visions of the sacred and satanic.

Manichean – an adherent of the dualistic systems (dual = 2) religious systems of Manes, a combination of Gnostic, Buddiasm, Zoroastrianism and various other elements with a doctrine of a conflict between the Light and Dark, matter being regarded as dark and light / good vs evil – love vs hate

The ‘public mind’ was recognised long ago by corporate leaders to be ‘the only serious danger confronting’ their enterprise & major hazards facing industrialists along with the newly realised political power of the masses, which had to be beaten back.

Big Business in the US stated started the Americanise Movement ostensibly to Americanise worker, who was being perceived as being under threat from subversive forces of the Industrial Workers of the world.

what started as a method of controlling the political opinion of immigrant workers quickly turned into a massive program for the thinking of an entire population. One of the most startling examples of the escalation of the whole population in processes of propaganda was how Americanisation Program ( a word which conjures up the ‘thought police’) came to be transformed into a National Celebration Day for the 4th July, to many of us (Carey’s words not mine) it comes as a shock to discover that American Independence Day had it’s beginning in a Business led program to control public opinion rather than as a direct expression of a Nation celebrating its historical birth.

BigB
BigB

TT:

Careys sounds like a Dude. Is there anywhere I can look at his work that is not owned by Jeff Bezos!?

Before he turned into in insufferable – but nonetheless highly intelligent and insightful – prick …Jordan Peterson wrote ‘Maps of Meaning’. If you want the Manichean manipulable mind topographically mapped out: read it. The Father (the Known); the Mother (the Unknown); the Son (the (Individuated) Intermediary) are his take on the classical Freudian/Jungian Oedipal Trinity …set in permanent battle with the primordial Dragon (Ouroborous) of Chaos. I use it as a reference all the time. It is an absolute treasure trove of who we think we are. Or what we have narratively become.

Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (D&G) critiqued the post-Freudian/Lacanian analytic psychologism in their ‘Anti-Oedipus’ …and developed their ‘schizoanalysis’ of our fragmented post-Freudian society (in ‘A-O’ and ‘1,000 Plateaus’). Conclusion: we crave fascism …in the form of a ‘Big Daddy’ or ‘Sky Father’ appearing to tell us how to think, be, and act. In other words: in an Oedipal/Manichean mythological worldview …we are pre-disposed to propaganda (by those who can best surrogate the invisibilised mythological ‘Father’). Looks like we need a new narrative mythology?

Not so fast: the ‘Strict Father’ morality is physically embedded in our neural networking – including at the primary first person narrative level. Our metaphors and semantic frames are psycho-physically (neuronally) embodied …according to modern cognitive linguistics. And they are unconscious. We respond to linguistically embedded archetypal narratives without ever recognising them. Advantage Freud/Lacan. And Bernays/Lipmann.

Among others: Deleuze (and Mark Fisher) delineated the ‘Society of Control’ (Capitalist Realism) where freedom is control. Freedom is the freedom to conform and consume in whatever fashion we choose. We are not free to refuse. In fact: it is a bureaucratic, administrative, and institutional impossibility. We are the interpellated and Automatic subjects of an oppressive and ‘Oedipal’ authoritarian regime – whether we listen to the propaganda or not. Whether we like it or not is irrelevant. There is the operant conditioning market structure to control (with schedules of reward/punishment, pleasure/pain) that. Freedom is the ultimate capitalist control mechanism. The propaganda – or advertorial narrative script – is a secondary reinforcement schedule. As is money in the symbolic token economy.

The primary means of control is our own desire/production. Those who control the means of production and the symbolic token economy (ex-nihilo fiat money creation and usury of lending) have assailed the economic and psychological heights of behavioural economism all at once. They are rewarded with status power as well as symbolic wealth. Those who can best martial the ‘Chaotic’ market forces are naturally assumed to be the surrogate ‘Father’: unconsciously.

In the capitalist society; this is naturally the capitalists. They can control our desire/production *and* interactively determine our psychology (through operant pleasure/pain cycles) without ever producing a gun (though, of course, the option is retained as a silent, invisibilised, schedule of overpower and control. The ultimate pain being the control of the means of life and death).

The advertorial narrative constructivism – propaganda – is the secondary, not primary, reinforcement schedule. The surrogate ‘Father’ is the perceived projection of those who control or regulate best the desire/production. They are the ones who can influence the normative constraints on our own desire/production: determining who we are and who we can be. This is the psycho-political reality.

If the Society of Control is an exogenous construction – one that dictates us psychologically – then we are forever dominated by our own reciprocal projections of the ‘Demigods of Money’ and dominion overpower. We might resent it – as pseudo-capitalists that hate capitalism – but we are forced to consume and partake in the Spectacle nonetheless. Even if we find an isolated cave and live off moss: we cannot escape the collective results of our overconsumption. Ditto: the monastery or intentional community. This is Capitalist Realism.

It should be obvious: but is not – that grand-ontological narrative Dark/Light; Order/Chaos; Father/Mother; Black/White; Yin/Yang constructivisms are dualistic and abstract projections. As in metaphysical mythologies: but they are also neurally embedded in our central nervous system …in our cognitive linguistic ‘meaning bodies’. Language – and its hidden mythologies – are physical …not metaphysical.

As the Dao De Jing states: as soon as you have Black – White appears. With Love comes Hate. With Big comes Small. How we order the Unknown into the Known – psycholinguistically – is ultimately the hidden means of control. We affirm the Order; the Father; the Known; as a closed cycle gnosis …rising from the ‘Collective Cognitive Unconscious’. Extrapolate that from the micro- to macro- and you have the dynamics of Capitalist Realism and Societies of Control. Freedom is slavery. Control is freedom. Language is knowledge and overpower that no one controls. We merely conform to its hidden Unconscious patterning by making the mythological real …by abstract reification (and absolutised deification of an imaginary ‘Father’ metaphor). Money (Capital) is literally – and physically embodied – as ‘God’ in our constructed power and knowledge regime.

The only way out of the absolutised capital Samsaric society is the realisation and embodiment of nonduality …where the Oedipal/Manichean Order/Chaos structures collapse. There is no access to this point – except intra-personally. Inter-personal communities of care are supportive: but recognition is intra-personal. The ‘plane of immanence’ is pre-personal; pre-linguistic; pre-ontological (pre-conceptual).

This is the ‘Revolution at the Base of Consciousness’ (*ashraya-paravrtti*) …which has best been described as the “Interbeing of Individual and Collective Consciousness with the Earth” by Thich Nhat Hanh. Which is a direct relationship: bypassing the neural mythology of the monetised commodified ‘Sky Father’ to embrace the ‘Earth Mother’ in a pre-linguistic inter-knowing. Sitting on a mat won’t change the world. But getting up off it and inter-acting with generosity, loving-kindness, and wisdom might. Right now: it’s about the only option and resource – that is not yet wholly commodified (though it is highly consumerised) – we have left.

Metta.

TheThinker
TheThinker

Thank you for your considered response, apologies for lateness of reply. Your post was a very interesting read and I will certainly look more at the Maps of Meaning you mentioned. I tried backtracking to find the PDF I read on Carey’s work but could not find it, but I get what you say about Bezos! It was on a online book library archive site.

I understand getting off the mat and being a good person, I try to do that everyday, small things example: I happened to be in a space where someone told me a very needed support group was closing down via lack of funding – I said I would not promise, but I would try to see if I could get them some help – it took me one 5 minute conversation, two emails. Funding was found and others means of support connected. It wasn’t in my job to do, but, many people would have lost valued support and I knew it was the right thing to do.

I find all the linguistic constructs as you start to unpick it, just ingrained from cradle to grave. The layers and layers intended to bog down, confuse and mislead has been finely metered out, like a matrix, which is seemly impossible to live outside of if you want to pay your bills and look after your family.

Regardless of what we all think we know and that we cannot do much about, as you say, we can be a kind being and live a kind and humble life and push aside the division and hate being foisted on the world from so many directions or even misdirections.

Best wishes TT

Ramdan
Ramdan

“the conscious and self-responsible individual. Which is the ultimate, and perhaps the only antidote.”

The solution has to go (forcefully) trough the individual. society does not build narratives on its own cause there is no real entity called society, but the coming together of individuals. If the currently existing conscious state-narrative is not challenged and transcended at the individual level, then society as a whole can not transcend.
But again, we are stocked with the fact that this challenge starts by taking the “bitter” (red) pill, and a few others in the way.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz

(“The Soviet Union – much as (the pre-Deng’s) China itself – was far more of a classic continental military empire (overtly brutal; rigid, authoritative, anti-individual, apparent, secretive), while the US was more a financial-trading empire (covertly coercive; hierarchical, yet asocial, exploitive, pervasive, polarizing).”).

– sorry, but this line left me laughing out loud and gasping for a little air. If the meaning of the term’s “covertly coercive” and “exploitive” actually are simply euphemisms to mean things like carpet bombing peasant societies into the ‘stone age,’ running, training and arming death squads and torture operations decade upon decade, over-throwing democratic populist governments and installing brutal dictators, and organizing and supporting mass murder and torture on an epic scale from Indonesia to Chile to Vietnam to Guatemala, and of course endless others, then yes, I suppose we American’s have been “covertly coercive” and “exploitive.”

I wonder, however, why such routine U.S. mayhem fails to rise to the level of the former Soviet’s “overtly brutal” designation? As usual when I read the world as described by Western “academics” I am confused by the carefully coded language used to describe the absolute amoral brutality of Western empire. But hey, perhaps describing the willful murder of a half-a-million Iraqi children as “worth it,” is simply an example of America’s “asocial” tendencies rather than of actual barbarity.

wardropper
wardropper

The worst of it all is that none of it NEEDS to have “meaning”.
Another sex scandal, or a bank scandal of huge proportions is plastered all over the media, and, two days later, while people are still trying to digest it with the most superficial thought processes they can muster, we suddenly find we are at war with China, Russia – or Denmark, for that matter…
“Oh, we seem to be at war again!”, would seem to be the most likely response, while we eagerly await the next scandal…
The owners of our media honestly deserve the same end that Goebbels faced , but we share guilt inasfar as we have all-too readily allowed them to confuse our thinking until it isn’t even thinking any more, but merely knee-jerk reaction to click-bait.

Brian Steere

Hi wardropper

You don’t come over as who you say you are. IE confused unable to think as a knee jerked reaction.

Meaning is mine to give and to share in – just as for everyone else. But if we give out conflicted meanings we get a conflicted world and self-conditioning under fear. I give as I would in truth receive – but always learning by living. Else the mind runs invisibly like a shadow gov or deep state of established identity investment.

Because we are waking to the need for a re-education doesn’t make us guilty for not knowing what we didn’t recognise until we’d lived the experience. I see guilt as THE primary vector of deceit – so face it, own it and change you life but if you hide and protect it from your awareness you will effectively have a back door open – and what comes in may also teach that you have unfinished business and a humility in which willingness can be found in what once would have been unthinkable.

All ideas unfolds logically – and yet insane (doublethink) of self contradiction in terms can only logically result in insanity. This is deeply habituated in the collective thinking such as to ‘script’ or paint us into a corner.

Looking at the currency of our thought may be helped by recognising a collective insanity of which we are a part – but also somewhat aware of – which is no longer totally insane or dissociated.

What ‘everyone else seems to be doing’ can become a way of not owning or own consciousness and if your are AWOL – who is on duty?

There is no meaning to be got from meaninglessness – except to recognise all meaning lies in walking out of it. Living where we are – truly – always transforms us – as a natural unfolding of awakened desire for peace or sanity that isn’t manufactured and is wise and resilient to deceits. None of the words are needed for the territory to reveal a felt meaning that needs no words to be itself fully.

wardropper
wardropper

Well, Brian, on this occasion I don’t think I was actually saying who I am, but I certainly don’t disagree with anything you have said here.
My use of the word, “we”, just means that I identify with my western brothers and sisters to the extent of understanding some of the sources of our modern confusion and don’t wish to appear aloof, uncaring, or isolated from others.
I consider myself lucky enough not to be as confused as most, but of course I also find it sad that many people are unaware of just how manipulated they have been.
It takes work to become self-aware in an appropriate way, and, as you suggest, we are not going to undertake that work unless something happens to encourage us to realize what we lack by letting meaninglessness rule our lives.

Brian Steere

I realise your intent – and well said – but I align to joy (wholeness of being or freedom) as our true motivator rather than the frame of guilt – which is always coercive or manipulative and sacrificial of the truth.
The frame of guilting judgement is the basis of fears that protect against self-awareness – and so makes hard work of the willingness to persist through fears instead of being framed in them.
Psychological defences have been mapped out to a great extent – as can be looked up in a click or two – but are generally presumed to apply to ‘patients’ – as judged by their psyche-doctors. Confusion is both a strategic defence and a plausible denial – but also represents wanting conflicting things at the same time.

Meanings that are imposed on a life (therefore not truly felt and known) and which life is then conformed to (sacrificed to fit into) are like derivative currencies that have come adrift from anything real except to serve as substitution for what is (real).

Identifying in a mind-substitution for a wholeness of being, drives the futile and destructive attempt to find – and defend it – in a world of substitution.

Who releases their grip on the ‘little that they hath’ unless they recognise how much it costs them? The light of truth is not made welcome to fear of loss of self-investments held as if life itself. We are humanly conditioned to masking fear that has learned to doublethink as a masking over a greater fear by which sacrifice of aligning in the ‘lesser evil’ seems either good,necessary, or coercively compelled.

Giving priority to a fear defined sense of self overrides the heart – assigns its denial TO the heart and TO the minds of others as a masking reality fuelled by fear and hidden in confusion, to present a fig-leafed armouring of self-justification masking self judgements taken as irrevocably and inescapably real.
Mind control is manually managed reality, that burdens and taxes the mind of no such capacity, so as to assign power to rulesets, systems and ideas that offer to release to an unconsciousness or insulated and protected sense of security at a willing price.

However, the mind of such a framing is founded on denying fear’s conflict, and assigning or casting it out, to then offer protection to its ‘comeback’ seen as alien threat. Its whole basis is protection from fear, by compartmentalising or splitting the mind. As the masking disintegrates from instabilities inherent to control, the fear is no longer hidden, it is an inside job, and the ‘protector’ is a deceit running as a blind automated ingenuity.

No one will face or open to what they are not yet ready to see. Every kind of psychic defence is available to the refusal to see, own, or know – even unto madness, loss of mind, and death.

The key is free willingness that may be ‘hard work’ to find when set against one’s own ‘ego’ defences. And yet is the grace of noticing – abided with – instead of being fed to sustain judgement.

Awareness is in and of itself innocent and unconflicted – but the idea through which it focusses intention can be of a mis-identification – given power of energy and attention.

Any focus of invested desire and attention is a gift or extension of ‘Self’ that ‘goes forth and multiplies’ or unfolds according to its kind. Giving and receiving a meaningless or joyless sense of self and reality sets the context for the attempt to make and impose it as opposition to whatever is assigned blame as the scapegoat – whose ongoing sacrifice ensures the sustainability of the reversal in thought.

‘Let the dead bury the dead’ is also bringing full attention to the living – and the attempt to die under fear of living can take many forms of engaging and locking attention in substitutions running at cost of life truly lived and shared – aka being truly yourself without justification or apology.

Junaid

Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that the Department of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. New US weapons: how will Russia respond

New US weapons: how will Russia respond

wardropper
wardropper

Try that again in English, please.
Demanded what?
And the link leads nowhere.

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

Top notch article from that link. I hope my PC wasn’t hacked.

wardropper
wardropper

For me, clicking on the picture of Putin just took me to the same picture of Putin again, but clicking on what seemed to be a subsidiary link did take me to the article.
Thanks for your persistence.

I always reckon that I was hacked long ago, so I just try to clean up, or avoid, things which obviously slow my computer down. Those pictures of me having gay sex with a 100-year-old corpse will just have to blacken my name in due course, I guess…

Note well
Note well

It takes a lot of imagination to think of associating

empire of relaxation, a generator of harmony

with the US.

Antonym
Antonym

Russia’s centrality? I wouldn’t be fooled by the CIA’s apparent obsession with Russia; the rest of the world knows that China is now no. 2. The Chinese have caught up technologically by study and crook, and are financially and population wise much stronger than Russia.

In fact Russian Siberia must look quite juicy for Beijing with all its space and minerals , were it not for those damn old Russian MIRVs.

mark
mark

This is a hoary old chestnut much beloved of Divide And Rule Neocons from before the time of Nixon and Kissinger.

“Watch out, you Russkies! Them Chinks want to take Siberia and its minerals off you!! There are billions of them and they want all that empty space!!! You better watch out!!!”

In actual fact, the Chinese side of the Siberian border is equally empty. Because nobody wants to live there, apart from a few Eskimo type people who like the cold. And well paid contract workers from Russia and China extracting energy and minerals who can’t wait to get home with their bonuses.

Even when there were clashes at the Yussuri River in 1967, it was nothing to do with land or resources. This was the most God forsaken spot on earth where nobody in his right mind would want to live. It was all down to ideological disputes between the 2 countries and their claims to moral authority over the other.

Note well
Note well

Nice essay!

Indeed, the US empire has survived [hopefully for not much longer] by swindling, and, fraudulent treaties.

One critical aspect of the widespread of US influence is SPYING!
Highly likely, most of what the US achieved would not have been possible without the spying apparatus that have infiltrated every corner of the world. Of course, spying did not start with the Internet, although now it is made ‘natural’.

SPYING, and the ubiquitousness of it, should be stated every time US influence is mentioned.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Chinese companies had invested $90 worldwide.

I assume that’s a typo. Ninety dollars?

0use4msm
0use4msm

Should read: $90 billion. With banks having provided an additional $300 billion in loans.

The article has important things to say. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that it could do with a few extra proof reading sessions.

bevin
bevin

Which is putting it mildly. Had it been written in a foreign language it might have been translated into english. It reads as if it were written by someone who thinks that he is fluent in the language, but is not.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Is the ‘centrality of Russia’ that significant in the age of massive container ships, tens of millions of frequent flyers, the www and the deadly cancer of the growing middle class in India and China?

Antonym
Antonym

Why would only growing Indian or Chinese middle classes be cancer? Any greed is cancer, whether from a beggar or a billionaire. be they be India, Chinese, American, British etc.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

The Western middle class has pushed the planet to the precipice.
The 400 million plus Chinese and Indian middle class will bury the world at the bottom of it.

Roland Spansky
Roland Spansky

Oh give it a rest, Chicken Little. People such as yourself have been squawking about the planet being on the edge of a precipice for – conservatively – the last sixty years. Open your eyes. It’s a con. You’ve been had.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

It’s Mr Little to you Sport.

wardropper
wardropper

It seems to have escaped your attention that the middle classes are the main victims of “austerity” these days.
The aim is to wipe them out, and have the 1% vs. the enslaved 99% as the new norm.
It would be very uncomfortable to have a flourishing 55% middle class against the 1%, which is why we have austerity in the first place.
As for “deadly cancers”, well, we obviously have our own fair share of those, but it so happens that they are not the middle class.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

The working poor, unemployed and underemployed have never had enough income to be mindless consumers.
The smug middle class, on the other hand, consume everything in their path.
Check it out at your local mall or busy airport.

wardropper
wardropper

I get your point, but in my view the working poor usually have access to a TV, and most of them consume mentally whatever they are fed from the media because they lack the education to do otherwise.
The middle class have the same proportion of “smug” individuals as the wealthy, and those who are, in fact, smug, probably have the same motivation as the smug super-wealthy: Greed.
But being born into the middle class does not make you smug, because most middle class people still have to work in order to pay their bills.
Those born into super-wealth, or achieving it by a mixture of luck and hard work, do not need to work, and when they have children and grandchildren who take that super-wealth for granted, you get lazy, ignorant, super-wealthy people, which, to my mind, is far worse than merely smug people.
I don’t understand why you think it is the middle class which consumes everything in its path.
The super-wealthy who actually do that, are simply far fewer in number, as well as deliberately isolating themselves from contact with most of us in the real world.
Which is why we don’t notice them.
As I said, these are the people who wish to remove that middle class entirely, whether it is smug or not, because they want to add the moderate wealth of that class to their own.

wardropper
wardropper

Nor should we forget that the middle class cannot yet control the 1%, while the 1% can, and do, control the rest of us.

wardropper
wardropper

And this is not only because the 1% want to add the moderate wealth of the middle class to their own great wealth – for motives of pure greed, but also because they fear that such numbers of people with adequate wealth might constitute a threat to their continued hold on power.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

I see the middle class as the soldiers of the 1%.
Middle management, politicians,
advertising executives, senior police and military etc. And there’s the property investors, landlords, private school managers _ _ _
They all aspire to be like the 1% and they number at least half a billion.
‘Consume, travel, exploit and consume is their creed.

wardropper
wardropper

Perhaps you’re right.
Still, I see the increasing gulf between the 1% and 99% as a gulf which could eventually swallow the middle class.
Your “soldiers of the 1%” earn much more money than the 1% want to pay them, and replacing those soldiers with slaves in the future is something they would undoubtedly see as very profitable business for themselves.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

What pisses me off the most about the suited soldiers, is that they SHOULD know better.
They can’t blame their undereducation.

Dominic Berry
Dominic Berry

Their education is first and foremost about recognizing the importance of the existing hierarchy and knowing their place in it. Any facts or ideas they learn after this are recognized, understood and acted upon within the context of performing that role.

Implicitly anti hierarchical facts provoke a cognitive dissonance which prevents them being recognized, but even when it is recognized as important, not accounted for by the existing procedures, critically important, (e.g., ecological collapse, nuclear weapons, austerity economics,) even when we see that something has to be done, well, “What am I supposed to do?”

Most of the rewards and punishments of being a middle class professional are not related to being right or wrong, justified or not, honest or dishonest. They are to do with being obedient or not, disciplined or indisciplined, “normal” or eccentric.