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Three New Reads

Philip Roddis
Today’s selection is on the face of it an eclectic mix, taking in the non-dualism of Indian sage Ramana Maharshi, the vast storehouse of treasure – and potential for WW3 – below Greenland’s melting ice cap, and ties of paedophilia and blackmail that bound the lately suicided Jeffrey Epstein to America’s most powerful players.

I’ve been in two cults: a Trotskyite sect in the eighties, and a spiritual cult whose gifted leader, while claiming lineage to Ramana Maharshi, fiercely claimed – and herein lay danger since it rendered him unaccountable – independence from any tradition.

Of the two, the second was the more intense.

Some say I’m given to extremes, and there’s truth in that. There’s more truth in the fact, though few acknowledge and fewer act on it, that ours is an extreme age: the recklessness of advanced capitalism having pushed us to the brinks of armageddon and climate meltdown, while its laws of motion accelerate grotesque inequalities between global north and south and, increasingly, within the north.

Tensions arising from that last are the thread binding seemingly disparate phenomena: Brexit and other threats to the EU project … Corbyn, Syriza, Podemos, Die Linke … right wing populism … secessionist movements in Catalonia and Scotland … disarray, which may well be terminal, in the two parties which have for a century dominated British politics …

These circumstances, and my past, have caused some soul searching. When I left the spiritual cult on the eve of imperialism’s war on Iraq (cheered on, incidentally, by the cult leader) I set out on a two-step recovery path.

First and easiest, since my stay had been eighteen months (most were in far longer, and some are still paying the price) was a spell of readjustment to the so-called real world. In the long run more important, however, was the task of integrating my political and spiritual experiences. Or to put it another way, making sense of what an old marxist like me could possibly have been thinking, to throw in his lot, at no small cost, with those in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.

Fifteen years on that second step is far from complete. (Though the potential for spiritual – I use this term for want of a better – awakening inherent in liberation from capital’s subordination of our humanity to commodity fetishism was not lost on Marx.) But I’m encouraged by the recent phenomena of materialist analyses combined with an openness to the extraordinary nature of human consciousness, and to the call – remarkably consistent down the ages – to Awaken.

*

One such voice is that of Australian blogger, Caitlin Johnstone. I often cite her as a scathing and eloquent critic of imperialism and its apologists. Now I’m delighted to introduce today’s piece (August 23rd), revealing another side of Caity:

Self-enquiry, or self-inquiry, is a practice popularized in the west by the circulation of nondual teachings from the renowned Indian sages Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. It requires no faith in any teacher, teaching or tradition, nor even in the practice itself. Self-enquiry is a method for inquiring for yourself into your own nature and discovering in your own firsthand experience what lies at the end of that investigation.

Most of our suffering and confusion (which is what the propagandists I write about rely on to manipulate us into believing establishment narratives) stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the way our experience is actually happening.

Partly due to culture, partly due to language, and partly to the fact we begin life as helpless little things at the mercy of an often terrifying world, we develop mistaken notions about ourselves, our minds, and the world, and we form conditioning patterns around those mistaken notions. Self-enquiry works to correct those fundamental errors and habits of perception, which allows for the possibility of a serene mind and an efficacious way of functioning.

Full piece here.1700 words

*

I’ll be briefer with my second read. While America’s Democrats, and liberal media both sides of the pond, deride Trump’s seemingly ham-fisted bid to buy Greenland, World Socialist Website suggests we stop guffawing and mug up on our history. Its post, also today (Aug 23rd), contains this:

It is no coincidence that the latest controversy over Greenland has erupted precisely at the point that the Pentagon is conducting test firings of a new land-launched, medium-range cruise missile previously banned under a treaty abrogated by Washington …

… following the dissolution of the USSR, Greenland is once again a focal point for US strategic interests in the context of a “scramble for the Arctic” that is part and parcel of the preparations for another world war.

Climate change has turned Greenland into a new front line. The melting of its ice sheet, while threatening rising sea levels and a global catastrophe, has begun to open up new sea routes linking Europe, Asia and North America. It has also created the possibility for exploiting Arctic resources, estimated to include 30 percent of the world’s unexplored gas reserves and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil, as well major mineral deposits; rare earth minerals, strategic materials whose production is currently dominated by China.

Full piece here. 1268 words.

*

Finally there’s the Jeffrey Epstein saga, on which I’ve written two short pieces, here and here. In by far the longest of these read recommends, Chile based journalist Whitney Webb traces the links between America’s ruling class and senior politicians, its FBI and CIA, and its crime lords.

Written in three parts – the first after Epstein’s arrest and the third shortly before his ‘suicide’ – Webb shows how, since the days of Prohibition, paedophilia and its potential for blackmail has been used, and still is used, by the powers that be. I recommend it for the obvious reason of its topicality, yes. But also because marxists and others on the left often speak with great accuracy about the overarching nature and motivation of our ruling classes, yet tend to pass on the webs of deceit and intricacy through which their most active elements live, breathe and make things happen at the nitty gritty end of power behind the curtains of democracy.

Webb’s skills as narrator enable her to present detailed accounts of byzantine relations in a way that holds our attention and prevents our losing the plot. Which is just as well, when the three parts of broadly equal length add up to some 20,000 words. Expect to be hooked.

Here’s a taster:

Crucial to Bronfman’s Prohibition-era bootlegging operations were two middlemen, one of whom was Lewis “Lew” Rosenstiel. Rosenstiel got his start working at his uncle’s distillery in Kentucky before Prohibition. Once the law banning alcohol was in force, Rosenstiel created the Schenley Products Company, which would later become one of the largest liquor companies in North America.

Though a high school drop-out and not well-connected at the time, Rosenstiel happened to have a “chance” meeting with Winston Churchill in 1922 while on vacation in the French Riviera. According to the New York TimesChurchill “advised him to prepare for the return of liquor sales in the United States.” Rosenstiel somehow managed to secure the funding of Lehman Brothers to finance his purchase of shuttered distilleries.

Officially, Rosenstiel is said to have built his company and wealth after Prohibition, by following Churchill’s advice. However, he was involved in bootlegging operations and even indicted for bootlegging in 1929, though he evaded conviction. Like Bronfman, Rosenstiel was close to organized crime, particularly members of the mostly Jewish-American and Italian-American mob alliance known as the National Crime Syndicate.

Subsequent New York state legislative investigations would allege that Rosenstiel “was part of a ‘consortium’ with underworld figures that bought liquor in Canada”, whose other members were “Meyer Lansky, the reputed organized crime leader; Joseph Fusco, an associate of late Chicago gangster Al Capone and Joseph Linsey, a Boston man Mr. Kelly [the investigator testifying] identified as a convicted bootlegger.” Rosenstiel’s relations with these men, particularly Lansky, would continue long after Prohibition and Samuel Bronfman, for his part, would also maintain his mob ties.

In addition to his friends in the mob, Rosenstiel also cultivated close ties with the FBI, developing a close relationship with longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and making Hoover’s right-hand man and longtime assistant at the FBI, Louis Nichols, the Vice President of his Schenley empire in 1957.

Though for years there were only hints to this other side of the controversial businessman, details emerged years later during a divorce proceeding brought by Rosenstiel’s fourth wife, Susan Kaufman, that would back the claims. Kaufman alleged that Rosenstiel hosted extravagant parties that included “boy prostitutes” that her husband had hired “for the enjoyment” of certain guests, which included important government officials and prominent figures in America’s criminal underworld. Kaufman would later make the same claims under oath during the hearing of the New York’s State Joint Legislative Committee on Crime in the early 1970s.

Not only did Rosenstiel organize these parties, but he also made sure that their venues were bugged with microphones that recorded the antics of his high-profile guests. Those audio recordings, Kaufman alleged, were then kept for the purpose of blackmail. Though Kaufman’s claims are shocking, her testimony was deemed credible and held in high regard by the former chief counsel of the Crime Committee, New York Judge Edward McLaughlin, and committee investigator William Gallinaro and aspects of her testimony were later corroborated by two separate witnesses who were unknown to Kaufman.

These “blackmail parties” offer a window into an operation that would become more sophisticated and grow dramatically in the 1950s under Rosenstiel’s “field commander” (a nickname given by Rosenstiel to an individual to be named shortly in this report). Many of the people connected to Rosenstiel’s “field commander” during the 70s and 80s have again found their names in the press following the recent arrest of Jeffrey Epstein.

That’s from Part One. Here is Part Two, and here Part Three – which appeared in Mint Press on August 7, three days before its subject’s ‘suicide’.

Top tactics for top tacticians – you might copy each part into a single Word document, then send to your Kindle for ease of reading over more than one session.

Scribbler for some sixty years, and for fifteen a photographer too, Philip Roddis began blogging in the early noughties by inflicting film reviews on an unsuspecting public. Soon he was doing the same with illustrated writings on wanderings in Asia and Africa. He writes “to help me think, and because I like to be read”, and finds photography's problem solving aspects "a break from those of writing, as well as an aid to writing and to reflective travel”.

His blog is Steel City Scribblings

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Scribbler for some sixty years, and for fifteen a photographer too, Philip Roddis began blogging in the early noughties by inflicting film reviews on an unsuspecting public. Soon he was doing the same with illustrated writings on wanderings in Asia and Africa. He writes “to help me think, and because I like to be read”, and finds photography's problem solving aspects "a break from those of writing, as well as an aid to writing and to reflective travel”. His blog is Steel City Scribblings

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Francis Lee
Francis Lee

One would have thought that Chris Martenson’s simple, common-sense statement, to ‘You can’t have infinite growth in a finite world’ would be self-evident. But no, this self-evident fact must not be broached – not in polite company at any rate. It should be understood that capitalism, is not merely an economic system, it is also a political and ideological system complete with its high priests and Institutions, the IMF, WTO, WB, with its postulates contained in holy scriptures communicated by the guardians of the faith and contained in sacred texts such as The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal – as well as the theological academic screeds read only by the high priesthood. Capitalism is, we are led to believe, part of the natural order of things, eternal and unchanging. This completely ahistorical belief system can be likened to a form of mass schizophrenia. The populace is saturated with propaganda, which is essentially BS, but like the man said: ‘It is true because it is absurd’ a view originally misattributed to the catholic theologian Tertullian. But whoever said it knew a bit about mass propaganda. Of course, there are those who have developed an immunity to this type of conditioning and represent a pole of opposition in what is a struggle for sanity. What impact they may have been a matter of conjecture.

But the system is coming into another fully expected crisis, whether this crisis will be terminal is unknown. But it is essential to bear in mind that the end of capitalism is a political/ideological question not an economic one.

Going back to Martenson’s insight we may say that the growth ideology is only supportable provided that the costs of growth are less than the output. That is to say that for $1 invested, $1.50 of growth will be produced. That is no longer happening. Growth entails costs, some direct, some indirect. If we take this at a national level, nations are experiencing debt-to-GDP levels. With the US in the lead with a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 106% and other developed, and developing nations are approaching this figure. In short for every $1 invested GDP grows by $0.90 cents.

Sotto Voce, we seem to be in, or headed for a Ricardian-Malthusian trap, the onset of Diminishing Returns with debt growing faster than output. Or what Marx called the ‘tendency of the rate of profit to fall’, or what Keynes called ‘the decline in the marginal efficiency of capital’. In short it becomes increasingly apparent that growth is no longer a free-lunch, growth has costs. Or what economists call externalities, negative externalities of growth.

These costs may be listed as follows:

1. Overuse of non-renewable and renewable resources (including exploitation of fossil fuels, water resources, clearances of forests.)
2. Overburdening of natural environment ‘sinks’ – that is, (for example the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, heavy metals in the soil and the ever-expanding waste pile and its disposal.)
3. The destruction of increasing numbers of eco-systems to create space for urban development.
Thus, even after all the efforts are made to recycle the unused energy and materials involved in production there will still be ‘things’ left over in the form of residual waste and environmental damage. This is simply because of the fundamental laws of thermodynamics cannot be over-ruled.
If I were to pick one industry which encapsulates these insoluble problems, it would be the shale oil Ponzi scheme. In terms of cash-flow, shale oil production simply doesn’t make a profit. It runs at a loss with increasing levels of debt over output. This has been made possible by ultra-low interest rates, but that can’t last forever. Sooner or later something has to give. Leaving aside the massive environmental damage of shale oil (negative externalities) the same is true of the economy as whole – costs higher than growth.

None of this is unknown but the rush toward the cliff edge seems to be gathering momentum.
Being a sunny Monday morning, I was trying to sound optimistic! But there you

Philip Roddis

Indeed. Homo sapiens has been around in our current evolutionary form roughly 100,000 to 140,000 years. The neolithic revolutions, and birth of class society, took place some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Industrial capitalism is 200-300 years old. (A little more if you buy the “long sixteenth century” thesis – I don’t but it matters little here – of marxist revisionists like Jason Moore of ‘capitalocene’ fame.)

In those thirty decades, give or take, industrial capitalism has never paid for its exploitation of cheap nature. In keeping with its entire, brief and violent history, those who gained least from that exploitation – the indigenous peoples of Greenland; the rice farmers of Bangladesh, their paddies flooding with salt water – are paying the highest price for its recklessness

BigB
BigB

Francis

If you are not aware of Dr Tim Morgan, and his SEEDS database …you should check him out. The cosmetic effects of debt monetisation are worse than you stated. In the UK: we monetise £6 of debt to add £1 of GDP.

That’s the good news. A recent paper by Leeds University’s Sustainability Department put the UK at an EROI of 6:1 (and as low as 3:1 for electricity). Which compares to a minimum of 11:1 for growth. For reference: an EROI of 5:1 and below is an energy sink… producing no excess energy for economic activity. To which, politically, everyone seems quite sanguine.

Another recent paper – also from Leeds – puts the EROI of our primary resource, oil, also at 6:1. Which makes it nearly useless to us. If you’ve read Martenson: you know that an energy transition will take 70 years or so. But we do not appear to have the energy capacity to achieve that (EROI declined 23% in the 16 year period studied).

I seem to be getting negative feedback for wanting to at least point this out as a matter of urgency: but things look very bleak for the UK and the rest of the world. We can only extend and pretend with debt monetisation for so long: but that exacerbates global debt deflation and the growing illiquidity crisis. Against which: either political parties hopium seems increasingly deranged. The only thing keeping the lights on is debt: to which the common response seems to be denial. I’m wondering how strategies of denial will produce a positive outcome?

milosevic
milosevic

a minimum of 11:1 for growth. For reference: an EROI of 5:1 and below is an energy sink… producing no excess energy for economic activity.

It would be good if you could explain this claim, because a naive person might imagine that an Energy-Return-On-Investment of 5:1 meant that for every unit of energy input, you would receive an output of five units. Which would seem to be an excess of outputs over inputs of either four or five units, depending on how you were counting.

In contrast, a naive person might also imagine that an energy sink was a situation where the output was actually less than the input, not just less than eleven times the input. But perhaps that would only prove that such a hypothetical naive person failed to understand the deep spiritual and numerological significance of the magic numbers “five” and “eleven”.

BigB
BigB

No offence M: but what do you think I have been doing these past years? Every term I have introduced I have defined and referenced. Who else defines their terms? Virtually every other comment is written without an epistemic definition of terminology …on the basis that the reader will be responsible for the correct interpretation.

Knowing language doesn’t work like that: I have defined my terms – at least in the first instance. As you know with ’embodiment’ and ‘disembodiment’; terms I subsequently dropped because of the linguistic barrier they create. As in ‘autopoiesis’: which is a common term I use elsewhere.

As for EROI: I have recommended the thesis of Hall and Klitgaard – “Energy and the Wealth of Nations” numerous times. I still do. I have also linked to numerous other papers in trying to promote a biophysical approach to economics. The reason I did not cite the Brand-Corea and Brockway’s papers is that Leeds has them behind a paywall. I also assumed someone acquainted with Martenson would know exactly what I meant.

For the “naive” reader: read – “We are fucked”. The chances of maintaining our current civilisational model are zero. The radical adaptation and transformation to a less energetically demanding society is not even at the conception stage – let alone the action and regenerative mitigation stage. The model on offer – the GND – is a thinly disguised business-as-usual model. Which, if we implement it; will catalyse – not avert – cascading collapse of our current civilisational systems.

The figures and the science indicate – for the UK at least – collapse is not a near term future event …but something we have been experiencing for at least two decades. Which correlates to what we know about the global economy. But no self-respecting scientist – even with tenure – would use such ‘alarmist’ framing. Alarmist: or realist?

The reason for such a parlous situation is collective denial. Denial that is almost universal from the top down penetrating even this very forum. The situation is a clear and present existential danger to our collective wellbeing. Denial makes for a very poor coping strategy. One that is the opposite of coping. Rather than be defeatist: there are strategies we could employ to cushion the fall. Strategies we could implement much more quickly once we exit the denial phase of the crises we are in the midst of. The ”magic numbers” just put a scale on the severity and speed of decline.

‘EROI’ is an easy enough term to define: the consequences for standards of living need interpolation or something like the ‘Lambert Energy Index’. But we do not need science to prove that living standards are in slow decline (exacerbated by wealth polarisation). We need to understand the underlying science of decline to realise that there will be no mythical return to prosperity: ever. Then responsibly adapt to a low energy, low carbon future. Not irresponsibly adopt the optimo-technofuturist response that we can transfer our existing civilisational developed lifestyles onto a renewable basis with no disruption to life. This is the criminal deceit that comes out of the Politician on a daily basis. One we believe, because we a ecologically naive and do not know EROI from the BIG LIES.

https://www.academia.edu/18452206/Energy_EROI_and_quality_of_life

[The 6:1 ratio was in 2012: since when we have done precisely fuck all – except manufacture political masking narratives].

Guy
Guy
Brian Steere

Mind framing is the politics of division.
The mind of division is in a sense writing its own Script as narrative continuity.
The idea of opting out is not of a personal escape, but of releasing the personality as the mind of control.
Insofar as the human experience is an unfolding of ideas to experience and transformation – we are all full participants – whatever we accept into our mind, perceive and act as experience.
The framing of conflict is a split mind – or a metal partitioning. Separation trauma splits the mind to ‘personalities’ or personae. The world of a split mind is the non recognition of our Self in another indivisible – for the perception of split meanings is the projection of a split sense of hate and love.

The investment and allegiance to conflict under the attempt to escape or overcome the problem does two things at once. It sets the problem as the frame from which to think and live and it propagates the problem in forms of ‘answer’.

Yielding the mind of the problem, to Self-enquiry OR devotion, opens to an expansion of perspective received according to the willingness and capacity to integrate. So for many the problem is their ‘salvation’ from Self-awareness and as such cannot be taken from them.
But in any moment of release of the ‘problem-self’ to the movement of a true desire, a true resonance communicates as a synchrony or flow of being that gives witness to a different foundation than the ‘problem-self’. Opens a point of perspective and choice on what was before blind or compulsive reaction.
and persistence in giving welcome and worthiness to noticing rather than reactive identity grown the free awareness and the grace of noticing.
Feeding the answers to the problem is not only feeding the problem while starving a free awareness, but sacrificing or trashing the Living to the dead concept in caricature of life. But unless we for ourself see the mind and the cost of its ‘protection’, we will never challenge its authority but instead think in the frame of its core beliefs and definitions that are in effect expressed AS the strategy of denial and dissociation from separation trauma.

All tyranny is of fear.
Freedom from fear is not by opposition – because what we resist, persists.
While what we desist from using fades from non use.
Freedom from fear is shared in the willingness to a wholeness of being, now. This can be said in many ways – for the undoing of what seemed an intractable block, or transformation of problem to a workable expression of being in action, is not done by us but for us. This is a strict no entry for the ego of the belief you are alone and must do this all by yourself – perhaps to ‘earn’ what your belief system denies you; love’s awareness now.

Jesus sought to point to a kingdom so nigh as to be closer in truth than the world – but the mind can only hear what it is capable of accepting and so a ‘contested Sovereignty’ plays out as power struggle with love’s teaching subverted to the fight against evil. Jesus advised against it – because no illusion more cleverly passes off as true that the belief you are Right!
A key practical housekeeping tip that has established itself in me is of owning what is mine and releasing what is not. The voice for guilt will seek to insinuate itself in your mind if you give it welcome – and will seem attractive in its presentation of toxic debt to the unwary. But the attempt to evade our own responsibility by outsourcing the consequence to others (or to our body – but anywhere away) – is the belief guilt damns.
The witness of a free awareness is not stamping a past made in anger upon the face of its brother.
Nor presuming to deny or take away from another’s freedom OF responsibility for their thought in word and deed.
In even trying to approach the crossover point – as all my writing here attempts – I am aware that the investment in fear, hate and grievance is perhaps too loud, too compelling and too attractive to the attention given to social and political reflection for anything I write to ‘make sense’. Perhaps because the realm of words is so fitted to the tooling of the mind of self-reinforcing narrative appeal, as if narrative reality is fighting for the say so! – Which might seem true if it wasn’t at war with itself as a sense of independence seeking validity

The ongoing unfolding of Ideas given power of acceptance and belief by being acted out is both an individual gift and a collective gift – but the nature of the gift is not apparent to the idea of denial of a self-specialness that must needs judge and subject or reject others to maintain sustainability.

People lived in every era and all kinds of conditions as those who came before, and our part is to live our lives. We are part of each other in more ways than the mind allows and yet we are also and always uniquely ourself.

My invitation is to look within while looking out – for the two are one but for the interjection of a splitting mind. The split mind CANNOT look within and will do anything you give it the power to do in preventing you from seeing. Yet any and every moment of noticing given to willingness, grows a connection t the resonance of who you truly are – and will serve you in opening freedom from what you are not.

What divides the hateful from the peaceful? On Earth we may assign specific places and persons or conditions but beneath the imaged mind is the quality of resonant vibration.
When we are awake enough to notice the tonal qualities of what we are tuning into, giving energy and attention to – as an expression of the active purpose of intention and belief, we can read ‘anything’ from the purpose of a reintegrative wholeness – if that is our accepted purpose. Otherwise we are literally phished by images and forms of associated meanings that are derivatives of derivatives.
Identity theft – what you give sets the measure of your receipt. But a false identity hides its trail under black ops, deniable plausibility and a willingness to outrage and denial when directly challenged.

The awakening script is not within the separation script’s frameworld, but it is within us all and always active whether noticed or not. True desire is unified and unifying. Desire and intention are heart and mind as one – but this makes no sense under a reversal of thought. Perverted desire is a true desire filtered through distortion. The qualities of being are our true inherence – but to seek them outside ourself is to for get, and to let getting grow upon the sacrifice of a true giving and receiving.

The end of the world as we know it is already here.
Its a crash course in waking innate responsibility or in suffering the effects of trying to get rid of or evade it. But the ability to truly respond is not the boot of the past – but the movement of true presence – in which the past is revisited from an expanded perspective.
This is not mentally achievable.
there is no thinking our way to an expanded embrace.
We have to be willing to give it and live it as who we are.
And not as a polarised reactive assertion of who we are not.
There’s no call to deny what has no truth.
But there is a call to restate a true with-ness that gives no support to a manipulative interjection you no longer need to call on.

bevin
bevin

If one defines politics in terms of the power games in class society it is easy to assert that the political and the ‘spiritual’ are antithetical. If politics is, by definition, dishonest then it must be unconnected with sincere searching for truth.
But there are far larger definitions of politics, besides which parliamentarism, and parties of the sort which we know, some revolutionary, some reformist, some simply gangs of criminals, are dwarfed. When neighbours gather around a bankruptcy sale and buy everything on offer for pennies, before restoring it to the victim of usury-that too is politics. So is a ‘wildcat’ strike to prevent the loading of munitions for war, or to fight the sacking of a militant shop steward. So is the arming of peasants to protect themselves and, of course their families, particularly the weaker and more vulnerable from Death Squads or soldiers. When kids in a playground stand up against a bully-that is politics.
And of course all these things are also solidarity, which is the essence of community. And if these things are not spiritual then, I’m sad to say, ‘spiritual’ doesn’t interest me.
In fact politics and democracy-there’s no need to qualify that term, we all know what democracy is not- are indistinguishable from matters of the spirit, are spiritual.
If the yearning and struggle for freedom and life is not spiritual what is?

Philip Roddis

Beautifully put, bevin.

BigB
BigB

Bevin

The political/spiritual duality is a false dichotomy, I agree. The point I was getting requires positing an extra dimension to the political. Everything is political. But politics cannot deliver us from politics …it can only deliver us into more politics.

To understand why: let’s define ‘politics’ – which is more than just ‘governance’. The heart of politics is debate – which defines it as a purely linguistic functionality. We are a long way from the *agora* – the public forum of democracy. So let’s make a distinction of ‘high politics’ – for the party/state formalism of governance; and ‘low politics’ for the *ecclesias* of public assembly and fora of debate.

Politics implies action: not just discussion. But that action is not random and spontaneous. It follows from policy, ideology, diplomacy, and dialogue. The basis of politics – preceding the act of politics – is the speech-act …conveying conceptual ideations of how things should be. Those who agree about how things should be done form communities of consent that share the same social script …as communities of speech. The universe of discourse is political.

Underlying all this high political talk (polity and policy): there has to be a financial means of implementing the action – fiscal and monetary policy. Based on the political economy – which is global. It does not matter whether it is deemed neoliberal or neonational – or some other stripe in between – all political economies are based on notions of perpetual exponential negentropic growth. Forced by interest and profit rates for the valorisation of capital. Externalising all wastes, pollutions, and extractivist degradations. And having no allowance for any source to sink material throughputs – particularly primary energy resources. Excluding entropy and the rising marginal costs of extracting energy and material resources.

This makes all high political talk just that …talk. There is nothing anyone can say – particularly entering global recession – that can have any positive impact on the real world. Apart from the mollification effect of glib words. Even the short term implementation of negentropic Never Never (debt funded) policy comes at a biophysical cost and ecological footprint. One which catalyses the potential for an eventual cataclysm of meaningless capital.

All this high political talk has done is create and character mask an existential crisis for humanity. The system rewards those who destroy the system. This speech based system based on discursive narrative construction has utterly failed humanity. And all that is on offer is the very same formulaic and faith based negentropic econometrics that have failed humanity and our co-evolutionary interspecies communities. Humanity and the natural world are dying because of all this empty and morally bankrupt rhetoric …which amounts to ecocide apologism.

High politics is omnicidal hate speech couched in empty promises based on debts that can never be repaid …but are driving species extinctions in the effort to maintain them. The function of high politics is the dream production and distractive masking narrative. It currently serves no other purpose. Which is why, as a tactic, it is failing. The hollow lies ring ever more hollow. So maybe there can be a low political emergent solution?

My point is that it cannot be based on the current universe of discourse or current onto-axiological value system of greed valorisation. Which is why I posit a spiritual – or spiritually informed politic. Those values come from – and lead toward – nonduality. Reality – the Real – is nondual. The politicised universe of discourse is divisive and dichotomising – and becomes an assumed Dominion of instrumental overpower – precisely because of its dualism. Whether it is an acceptable fact or not: there is no other causal factor or agency other than that dualism. The only way to realise this is to examine dualism from the perspective of nondualism. Which entails a spiritual shift in our relationship with the highly politicised regime of truth and overpower of modern language.

Civilisation is conception, communication, cooperation, organisation, coordination, and distributive cognition – all mediated by a politicised and partisan language and logic function. One thats hidden invisibilised biases pattern conception, cognition, and behavioural action. The tyranny is all in the dualism of the language. We manufacture concepts like free will to character mask that we are just acting out the unconscious algorithms of syntax and semantics we culturally condition ourselves with – politically.

Only something outside of the political plane of existential suffering can provide insight – and possible antidotal solutions. That thing is the East/West science/spirituality nexus that is forming globally. Politics nearly killed us. Spirituality might just pull us back from the brink. More politics won’t: that’s for sure.

Junaid

Thanks

Junaid

The head of the White House, Donald Trump, said that it is quite possible to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Starting point”: Trump may call Putin to the G7 summit

Starting point”: Trump may call Putin to the G7 summit

Father Beyond
Father Beyond

With regard to the statement. “Some say I’m given to extremes, and there’s truth in that” this is an indication of a lack of self-restraint. Only when you take the Middle Way will you become enlightened to the inherent evil in going to any extreme, no matter how much academic claptrap is expounded in justification of it. Extremism of any sort is evidence of a lack of humanity, an ability to empathise, even with those you take perverse delight in hating. If your arguments are based purely on economics and politics, disregarding the sovereignty of the individual, then even if the treatise runs to many volumes, it remains a heretical doctrine, devoid of meaning.

Gezzah Potts

Hmmm, we seem to have a bit in common Philip. Involved years back in the 80s and 90s in two Trotskyist groups; one in Australia, the other in New Zealand, and later in last 15 years, increasingly interested in Eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism; belonging to a meditation group, and more recently an interest in Taoist thought.
I regularly look at Caitlin Johnston who is excellent in my opinion, sometimes comment on her blog, and usually look at the WSWS about 3 times a week. Know of the Whitney Webb series, tho havn’t read it yet. Oh, and also much opposed to Neoliberalism and Imperialism and the parasitical plunder of the 0.01℅ along with their propaganda arm: the stenographers. Cheers…

Philip Roddis

G’day Gezzah. Yes, there are a few of us in this tangle. The so-called spiritual scene is no less corrupt, no less replete with wannabee sages and armchair know-alls, than the left is riddled with factionalism and bursts of internecine vitriol spray. But we do what we must, huh? And we do what we can. What else is there?

I’ve been threatening for at least two years to pen a long essay on the law of value. It’s too often viewed in a small way that presents, correctly, the mechanism through which labour sellers are defrauded but fails to grasp the wider significance, spiritual impoverishment absolutely included – and let’s not forget the dialectical (yin-yang interplay) aspect of Marx’s method – of our subordination as cogs in a value-production matrix that diminishes us all, ruling class included, in every conceivable way.

Gezzah Potts

Cheers Philip. Your reply resonated quite strongly with me. We do what we must, indeed. I forgot to

Ramdan
Ramdan

Politics can not save us (humanity/planet). Politics is division. Politics is build with the language of passion, of desire. Passion, desire for left-wing conceptual perspective and framework vs. Passion, desire for right-wing conceptual perspective and framework….and everything in between.

But passion, desire is what got us here. That’s what created the whole delusion of separateness: the me vs. you, the we vs. them, the man vs. “hostile” Nature: the delusion that stems from fear.
Passion and desire give birth to the delusion of desirability, permanence and satisfaction for things of this fleeting world, this momentary existance. A mind deluded with these ideas becomes deranged and goes to extreme lengths in order to perpetuate its own delusion.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.049.olen.html

A mind consumed by fire (see BigB comment below on this thread) will always be divided, separated… fighting to choose between competing desires. That is what politic is. It feeds the fires, it feeds division and we need UNITY: unity at the individual level and UNITY at a planetary level.
And UNITY is out of politic’s reach.

Philip Roddis

My erstwhile teacher also professed the view, frankly deluded, that politics was some kind of option one may dip out of. It isn’t- ask BigB. All that happens is we side with the powerful while fooling ourselves we stand outside of class war. We don’t.

Philip Roddis

My erstwhile teacher was of a similar view. In this he was, for all his profound insights, deluded. Politics is not something we can opt out of. We can fool ourselves otherwise but all we do is side with the powerful.

Ramdan
Ramdan

The only thing we can not opt out is Life. All other things are pure conceptual fabrications.
That we, humans, feel a need to label and conceptualize everything (out of fear of the ‘unknown’ as if labaling could bring the unknown to be known) is part of the delusion. Hence, we need to label any and all positions- statement, discourse- as right or left, as with the powerful or against them. That is a clear sign of our divided mind.
We dont need labels to feel, act and think for humanity wellbeing with love and compassion….which of course precludes any and all kind of harm inflicted to any other being. …..but if you (and this is not meant personally) need labels you can use them as long as you know they are just that: labels and nothing else.

Philip Roddis

Thanks for the permission Ramdan. One conclusion I drew early on in my own inquiry is that the ‘spiritual’ path is a journey from thinking we know to knowing we don’t. Yet the ‘spiritusl’ scene (and this is not meant personally) is littered with Know-alls.

Ramdan
Ramdan

What permission, brother….
…what permission??
Peace be with you

NukesDownUnder
NukesDownUnder

we develop mistaken notions about ourselves, our minds, and the world, and we form conditioning patterns around those mistaken notions.

Priceless observations, indeed. Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone’!

Exploiting these weaknesses by the Establisment’s propagandists deserves more scrutiny. The quicker that is brought into the open, the better.

BigB
BigB

[Whitney Webb’s trilogy is now a four-part: which ties in the Clinton Mafia connection.]

Politics and spirituality are incommensurable: two almost antithetical and mutually exclusive world views – with very little possibility for cross-fertilisation …even potentially. The core values of spirituality – empathy, compassion, loving-kindness, wisdom – are merely simulated in the political sphere. They act as a character masking narrative for their opposite values. That is – the ‘Invisible Hand’ principle (‘greed is good’) – that individual greed and a self-maximisation calculus will deliver the *summum bonum* greatest good for all. This is a clear lie: which we did not need Piketty; Credit Suisse; or Oxfams annual pre-Davos report to expose.

Wealth is at a historic zenith of polarisation. Study of the underlying economics reveals that this can only get worse under the current ecomometric logic of exponential debt-fuelled negentropic growth. The prospects are not good either for humanity: when future debt-fuelled expansion will be consumed by debt servicing and debt deflation. Debt servicing debt is Ponzification. Like Japan (where the BoJ is the major stakeholder in much of Japan’s economy): this can continue for decades. But eventually the amount of debt – as a claim on future resources and labour – outweighs the actual real world stocks of essential resources. If you want to know why the Amazon is burning: it is to fund a future we cannot afford.

Which puts me in mind of the Fire Sermon: the Amazon is burning; Greenland is burning; the Arctic is burning …

…burning with the fires of greed; burning with the fires of hatred; burning with the fires of delusion.

In the face of this: the Politician has the audacity to say – “Vote for me: and if we tweek this and manipulate that – I will promise you the illusion that the world is not burning”. Which, locally, as a comfort and distraction – many will believe …because they are naive.

Contra the fact: “The mind is burning, ideas are burning, mind-consciousness is burning, mind-contact is burning …”

…burning with the fires of greed; burning with the fires of hatred; burning with the fires of delusion.

Which is why the Amazon, Greenland, the Arctic, the whole world is on fire. Because – under the influence of the Cartesian Error Protocols (of logic and language) – we have separate semantical domains for politics, psychology, ecology, language, geography, philosophy, and the burning economy …We cannot integrate all these fictitiously disaggregated semantic domains to see WHY the world is burning. It’s happening over there in Brazil. It’s Bolsonaro’s fault. The media are only highlighting it to push the fictitious GND narrative.

Politics is a bounded entity – or series of bunded territories – of separation. Offering a sense of comfort for the consensual territory …or unreality based speech community. Its just a story: given a sense of substantiation by repetitive abstract reification. But no matter how many times the story gets told; or how many different sub-narrative plots and sub-scripts are added …a political economic story built on exponential negentropic growth is a fallacy. A debt and derivative fallacy – taking the unreal to be real and pseudo-concretising it – it is just a mass hysteric narrative construction. One that is character masking the fact that the world is burning, the economy is burning, the mind is burning.

Only spirituality can cut through the narrative to the underlying Real. Until we replace the unreal political narrative with at least a sense of the interdependent boundless Real …the Amazon will continue to burn, Greenland will continue to burn, the Arctic will continue to burn …burn with the fires of greed.

Spirituality – not politics – is the only antidote for the fires.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.nymo.html

Ramdan
Ramdan

Bravo!!

Metta. 🙏

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Caitlin is a very perceptive person.
(I just wish I could get past her Captcha wall).
Ramana Maharshi was one of the great teachers, along with Douglas Harding and J Krishnamurti.
With the tsunami of bad news we are confronted with every day, Caitlin displays her compassion by suggesting some coping ‘strategies’

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”
– J Krishnamurti.