104

Do People Change?

Edward Curtin

Because there is so much personal anguish, unhappiness, and human mental and physical suffering in the world, many people often wonder how they might personally change to find happiness, contentment, or some elusive something. Or even how to change other people, as if that arrogant illusion could ever work.

This question of significant personal change is usually couched within the context of narrow psychological analyses.  This is very common and is a habit of mind that grows stronger over the years.  People are reduced to their family upbringings and their personal relationships, while the social history they have lived through is dismissed as irrelevant.

The United States is very much a psychological society.  Sociological and historical analyses are considered insignificant to people’s identities.  It’s as if economics, politics, culture, and propaganda are beside the point.

Yes, it is often admitted that circumstances, such as illness, death, divorce, unemployment, etc. affect people, but such circumstances are not considered central to who people are and whom they become.  These matters are rarely seen contextually, nor are connections made.  They are considered inessentials despite the fact that they are always connected to larger social issues – that biography and history are intertwined.

In writing about what he termed the sociological imagination, C. Wright Mills put it clearly when he described it as “the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances.  In many ways it is a terrible lesson; in many ways a magnificent one.”

Without learning it, one cannot know who one is or whom one might become if one chose to change and were not just blown by the winds of fate.

We now live in a digital world where the uncanny nature of information pick up sticks is the big game. Uncanny because most people cannot grasp its mysterious power over their minds.

What was true in 1953 when Ray Bradbury penned the following words in Fahrenheit 451, is exponentially truer today:

Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damn full of ‘facts’ that they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. . . . Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.

That it is all noise, all signal – no silence.  That it prevents deep reflection but creates the habit of mental befuddlement that is consonant with the mental derangement of the mainstream media’s 24/7 news reports.

When almost everything you hear is a lie of one sort or another, it becomes barely possible to keep your wits about you.

These bits of bait are scattered all over the mind’s floor, tossed by an unknown player, the unnameable one who comes in the night to play with us.  Their colors flood the mind, dazzle and razzle the eye.  It is screen time in fantasy-land.

This summer’s two hit movies – “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” – while seemingly opposites, are two sides of this same counterfeit coin.  Spectacles in The Society of the Spectacle as Guy Debord put it:

The spectacle is a social relation between people that is mediated by an accumulation of images that serve to alienate us from a genuinely lived life. The image is thus an historical mutation of the form of commodity fetishism.

“Oppenheimer,” while concentrating on the man J. Robert Oppenheimer who is called “the father of the atomic bomb,” omits the diabolic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as if there were no innocent victims, while “Barbie” plays the coy game of satirizing the doll that celebrates women as sex objects while advertising its same sex doll status.  It’s just great “fun.”  Colorful salt water taffy for a summer hoot.  “Little Boy” meets sexy sister in the land of dreams where existential crises lead to expanded consciousness.  Yes, Hollywood is the Dream Factory.

There is so much to attend to, multi-colored tidbits begging to be touched carefully, to grab our full consideration as we delicately lift them into the air of our minds.  So many flavors.  Call it mass attention disorder order or paranoia (beside the mind) or digital dementia.  The names don’t matter, for it is a real condition and it is widespread and spreading madly.  Everyone knows it but represses the truth that the country has become a comic book travesty sliding into quicksand while bringing the world down with it.

“Oppenheimer” plays while a mumbling and bumbling US President Biden pushes the world toward nuclear annihilation with Russia over Ukraine.

“Barbie” struts on her stilettos while men receive guidance from the CDC on “chest feeding” and millions of young people are not sure what sex they are.

What’s up?

It’s all noise, all signal – no silence.

The instinct of self-defense has disappeared.  “Not to see many things, not to hear many things, not to permit many things to come close,” this, Nietzsche told us, is the instinct of self-defense.  But we have let all our defenses down because of the Internet, cell phones, and the digital revolution.  We have turned on, tuned in, and dropped into computerized cells whose flickering bars note signal strength but not mental bondage.  Not the long loneliness of distant signals barely heard, but “Cause” what Rodriquez sings for us:

Cause my heart’s become a crooked hotel full of rumours
But it’s I who pays the rent for these fingered-face out-of-tuners
and I make 16 solid half hour friendships every evening

It’s all noise, all signal – no silence.

I recently had the arduous task of reviewing nearly fifty years of a writer’s personal journals.  The thing that stood out to me was the repetitive nature of his comments and analyses of people he knew and the relationships he had.  His political, literary, and historical comments were insightful, and his keen observations into the decades long diminution of the belief in existential freedom captured well the growing domination of today’s deterministic ethos with its biological emphasis and its underlying hopeless nihilism. But it was also very clear that the people he wrote about were little different after forty to fifty years.

Their situations changed but they did not – fundamentally.  They were encased in long-standing carapaces that protected them from change and choices that would force them to metamorphosize or undergo profound metanoias. Most of them saw no connection between their personal lives and world events, nor did they seem to grasp what William James, in writing about habits, said, “if we suffer the wandering of our attention, presently it will wander all the time. Attention and effort are … but two names for the same psychic fact.”

The notebooks, of course, were one man’s observations.  But they seemed to me to capture something about people generally.  In the notes I took, I summarized this by the words “social addiction,” a habit of living and thinking that has resulted in vast numbers of people locked in their cells, confused, totally bamboozled, and in despair.  This condition is now widely recognized, even by the most unreflective people, for it is felt in the gut as a dazed death-in-life, a treading of water waiting for the next disaster, the next bad joke passing for serious attention.  It is impossible to fail to recognize, if not admit, that the United States has become a crazy country, mad and deluded in the worst ways and leading the world to perdition on a fool’s dream of dominance and delusions.

The psychoanalyst Allen Wheelis, an intriguing writer who questioned his own profession, put it well in his 1973 book How People Change:

Often we do not choose, but drift into those modes which eventually define us. Circumstances push and we yield. We did not choose to be what we have become, but gradually, imperceptibly, became what we are by drifting into the doing of those things we now characteristically do. Freedom is not an objective attribute of life; alternatives without awareness yield no leeway… Nothing guarantees freedom. It may never be achieved, or having been achieved, may be lost. Alternatives go unnoticed; foreseeable consequences are not foreseen; we may not know what we have been, what we are, or what we are becoming. We are the bearers of consciousness but of not very much, may proceed through a whole life without awareness of that which would have meant the most, the freedom which has to be noticed to be real. Freedom is the awareness of alternatives and of the ability to choose. It is contingent upon consciousness, and so may be gained or lost, extended or diminished.

He correctly warned that insight does not necessarily lead to change.  It may help initiate it, but in the end the belief in freedom and the power of the will is necessary.  This has become harder in a society that has embraced biological determinism as a result of decades of propaganda.  Freedom has become a slogan only.  We have generally become determined to be determined.

To realize that one has choices is necessary and that not to decide is to decide.  Decisions (from Latin de = off and caedere = to cut) are hard, for they involve deaths, the elimination of alternatives, the facing of one own’s death(s) with courage and hope.  The loss of illusions.  This too has become more difficult in a country that has jettisoned so much of the deep human spirituality that still animates many people around the world whom the U.S. government considers enemies.

Such decisions also involve the intellectual honesty to seek out alternative voices to one’s fixed opinions on a host of public issues that affect everyone’s lives.

To recognize that who we are and who we become intersect with world events, war, politics, the foreign policies of one’s country, economics, culture, etc.; that they cannot be divorced from the people we say we are.  That none of us are islands but part of the main, but when that main becomes corporate dominated mainstream news pumped into our eyes and ears day and night from little machines, we are in big trouble.

To not turn away from what the former CIA analyst Ray McGovern calls this propaganda machine – the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academic-Think Tank Complex (MICIMATT) – is a choice by default and one of bad faith in which one hides the truth from oneself while knowing one is doing so.

To not seek truth outside this complex is to deny one’s freedom and to determine not to change even when it is apodictic that things are falling apart and all innocence is being drowned in a sea of lies.

It’s all noise, all signal – no silence.

Change begins with desire, at the personal and public level.  It takes courage to face the ways we have all been wrong, missed opportunities, shrunk back, lied, refused to consider alternatives.  Everyone senses that the U.S. is proceeding down a perilous road now.  Everything is out of joint, the country heading for hell.

I recently read an article by Timothy Denevi about the late writer Joan Didion who, together with her husband John Gregory Dunne, was at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu in June 1968 when Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Los Angeles a few days previously, had died.  The thing that struck me in the article was what Didion described as the sickening indifference of so many vacationers to the news about RFK’s death and funeral.

Because television reception was sketchy in Hawaii, Didion and Dunne, not Kennedy supporters, were only able to watch a three-hour ABC taped special on June 8 that covered the assassination, funeral, and train ride of the body to Arlington Cemetery as millions of regular people kept vigil along the tracks.  A television had been set up on a large veranda where guests could watch this taped show.  But few vacationers were interested; the opposite, actually.  It angered them that this terrible national tragedy was intruding into their vacations.  They walked away.  It seemed to Didion and Dunne that something deep and dark was symbolized by their selfish indifference.  As a result, Didion suffered an attack of vertigo and nausea and was prescribed antidepressants after psychiatric evaluation.  She felt the 1960s “snapping” as she too snapped.

I think those feelings of vertigo and nausea are felt by many people today.  Rightly so.  The U.S.A. is snapping.  It is no longer possible to remain a normal person in dark times like these, no matter how powerfully that urge tempts us.  Things have gone too far on so many fronts from the Covid scam with all its attendant deaths and injuries to the U.S. war against Russia with its increasing nuclear risks, to name only two of scores of disasters.

One could say Didion was a bit late, that the snapping began in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA.  As Billie Joel sings, “J.F.K. blown away, what more do I have to say?”  And why was he assassinated?  Because he changed dramatically in the last year of his life to embrace the role of peacemaker despite knowing that by doing so he was accepting the real risk that he would be killed.  He was courage and will personified, an exceptional example of radical change for the sake of the world.

So I come back to my ostensible subject: Do people change?

The short answer is: Rarely.  Many play at it while playing dumb.

Yet is does happen, but only by some mixture of miracle and freedom, in an instant or with the passing of time where meaning and mystery can only exist.  Where we exist.  “If there is a plurality of times, or if time is cyclic,” the English writer John Berger muses, “then prophecy and destiny can coexist with freedom of choice.”  Time always tells.

The last entry in the writer’s notebooks that I reviewed was this:

I read that Kris Kristofferson, whose music I love, has said that he would like the first three lines of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” on his tombstone:

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

It seemed apposite.

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uncle pho
uncle pho
Aug 17, 2023 11:05 AM

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
MT

Zane
Zane
Aug 17, 2023 6:41 AM

But were atomic devices used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

https://jermwarfare.com/conversations/michael-palmer-atomic

The evidence suggests no.

Derrick
Derrick
Aug 19, 2023 9:00 AM
Reply to  Zane

Look up the fable of the seven blind wise men and the Elephant. One’s interpretation of events depends explicitly on one’s perspective and experience.

How do you explain the flash and how do you explain the experience of a person who was there whose tale of his personal experience at and subsequent to the arrival of the bomb I read back in the 90s.

tri$h
tri$h
Aug 16, 2023 9:06 AM

Do People Change? I should bloody hope so. However Colleagues at work still think covid was an pandemic…

el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo
Aug 15, 2023 4:54 PM

The greatest lie perpetrated upon humanity over the last several centuries (or millennia) is the belief that physical matter creates consciousness and not vice versa.

Vagabard
Vagabard
Aug 15, 2023 11:18 PM
Reply to  el Gallinazo

Indeed, as the 4th and 6th words of Genesis 1v1 in the original Hebrew indicate … direct objects indicators of what is to follow:

‘Elohim’ creating the heavens and the earth and not vice versa

GR-Watch
GR-Watch
Aug 15, 2023 3:38 AM

“Do People Change?”

when one comes to realise the governing authorities and their backers are full of serious malicious actors, it would be time –if not too late– to start thinking differently.

GR-Watch
GR-Watch
Aug 15, 2023 3:11 AM

Remarkable, this was written in 1935:

“Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damn full of ‘facts’ that they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking ..”

if we connect the dots, a lot of government spending on essential services must have been diverted:
1) to increase social divisions, and
2) to help generate industrial-strength bullshit.

Monti
Monti
Aug 15, 2023 2:46 AM

Can people ever change? Ask Augustin Carstens.

Like a bird on a wire
Like a chicken wing
In a deep fat fryer
I have tried in my way
To be slim

If I go down to Ernie’s at night
I hope and pray it’s not too late
To order a bucket
I can never stick to a diet
I always end up saying
Fa la lala la la…

mjh
mjh
Aug 15, 2023 4:58 AM
Reply to  Monti

What is the point of this stupidity?

Derek Williams
Derek Williams
Aug 15, 2023 5:41 AM
Reply to  Monti

Wonderful – love it!!
Thanks for the laugh Monti

el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo
Aug 15, 2023 5:05 PM
Reply to  Monti

Augustin Carstens’ mantra is “I will eat your lunch, and if still hungry, will eat you as well.”

Here he is, Mr. Creosote, in a featured roll several decades ago.

George Mc
George Mc
Aug 14, 2023 10:29 PM

https://twitter.com/iluminatibot/status/1689981809621172224

Suggestion to genetically alter humans to create an aversion to meat. What is so notable about this isn’t so much that these people are “beyond evil” – though they certainly are. It’s the justification given for all this lunacy: to “help the planet”, to “address really big world problems”. And this vacuous noise is then enforced through a warning about “a weakness of will”.

Thus this is indeed a new religion though one withour the specificity of an actual deity, just nebulous vibrations concerning “the planet” and “our problems”.

Jerry Alatslo
Jerry Alatslo
Aug 14, 2023 10:08 PM

Mr. Curtin includes here a quote by American sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962): ““the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances. In many ways it is a terrible lesson; in many ways a magnificent one.”

In his final year of life (Contribution, The Nation, April 14, 1962), C. Wright Mills comes arguably closer to where the rubber meets the road of (necessary change) relevance during these precarious days on planet Earth – August 2023:

“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the coming hell.”

GR-Watch
GR-Watch
Aug 15, 2023 3:17 AM
Reply to  Jerry Alatslo

+10

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Aug 16, 2023 3:13 PM
Reply to  Jerry Alatslo

At the end of WWII, the USSR was destroyed, losing 20 to 30 million people. Yet one year later in 1946 Churchill gave his famous “Iron Curtain” speech. Mills would have understood the shear lunacy of the notion that a Global Communist Conspiracy to Take Over the World was eminent and require the US to rearm etc. The Cold War was a psyop almost as big as Covid, and it stood strong for 50 years…

antitermite
antitermite
Aug 14, 2023 9:21 PM

Of course people change.
The most pertinent examples lately in mind, are all those bastions of personal freedom from last century, who in their dotage have been pushing the vax.

Fun fact: the young Leonard Cohen’s 1st visit to the promised land was with the express purpose of joining the IDF (I don’t think he did much more than sing to the soldiers)

Fun fact2: prior to her purchase by Mattel, Barbie started life as a Call Girl, “Bild Lilli”

https://www.messynessychic.com/2016/01/29/meet-lilli-the-high-end-german-call-girl-who-became-americas-iconic-barbie-doll/

https://culturacolectiva.com/en/history/bild-lilli-barbie-history/

She even had an overhaul by the “Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Institute”, for the benefit of Hitler’s troops:
https://www.intelligencer.ca/2016/07/27/wrong-barbies-beginnings-not-so-wholesome

Vagabard
Vagabard
Aug 14, 2023 8:39 PM

Wasn’t Fahrenheit-451 (the original novella) ALL about ‘change’?

How the initially ‘happy’ (but not really) Montag changed after his contact with Clarisse. Gradually adopting each and every one of her ideas one by one.

Though he already had a few books hidden in his ventilator system, so maybe he was pre-primed for his own personal future  🤔 

Vagabard
Vagabard
Aug 15, 2023 10:44 PM
Reply to  Vagabard

For the record, old man ‘Faber’ also added to the mix.

NB Worth reading the novella. It has different ending to the film. Think ‘Oppenheimer’ without trying to spoil plots unnecessarily …

Edgar
Edgar
Aug 14, 2023 7:37 PM

RE the movie “Oppenheimer” …” omits the diabolic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as if there were no innocent victims”

This conscienceless “fault” by the creator of the movie parallels the nature of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb..

The fact that dozens of Nobelists worked on the creation of the atomic bomb proves that guilt and conscience never played a notable part in them.

Oppenheimer’s guilt and conscience, too, was of no real significance as his actions in establishing the atomic bomb demonstrated.

It shows the real fundamental condition and nature of “civilized” humans — they are inhumanely mad …. Humans’ Fatal Soullessness Spectrum Disorder

“Our current ‘state’ is the dictatorship of evil. We know that already, I hear you object, and we don’t need you to reproach us for it yet again. But, I ask you, if you know that, then why don’t you act? Why do you tolerate these rulers gradually robbing you, in public and in private, of one right after another, until one day nothing, absolutely nothing, remains but the machinery of the state, under the command of criminals and drunkards?” (from a White Rose Pamphlet, the White Rose was a German resistance group fighting Hitler’s Nazi regime)

Straight Talk
Straight Talk
Aug 14, 2023 5:20 PM

So well written. Thank you! I read somewhere that humanity is like water. Some are frozen, not wanting to change, craving stability, no matter how toxic, others are water… changing jobs, locations, partners, minds, etc. While others are steam, rising above the fray, transcending materialistic madness, able to find peace amidst all the chaos. We have a frozen monetary class, so afraid of losing status quo certitude, no matter how nonsensical their convictions become while consciousness evolves beyond them. That’s the tension – evolved wisdom vs. antiquated profit scheming. Life always wins. Like a growing reed through a rusted lock, truth will out.

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:39 PM

Let’s not forget who we are. Aim to recite this at my brothers funeral……

There’s love in this world for everyone
Every rascal and son of a gun
It’s for the many, not for the few
Be sure it’s out there looking for you.
In every town in every state
In every house and every gate
With every precious smile you make
And every act of kindness.

Michael Marra

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:06 PM

Critical thinking is becoming a rare commodity in our societies. They know this of course. The deluge of trivia and universal distraction is legion. The scum conducting this malign orchestration knows full well how the masses can be coerced. Dark days approaching.

Captain Birdheart
Captain Birdheart
Aug 14, 2023 10:50 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Assaulted by 16, 20, 25 years of lies since birth, what chance have we got, well, some of us are still wild and alive.

Don’t worry about the fucks.

Willem
Willem
Aug 14, 2023 11:57 AM

I think Oppenheimer and Barbie perfectly match up: one was supposed to be the father of the atom bomb, and the other lives in fairy tale land

Both live in fairy tale land.

Haven’t seen Oppenheimer, but did see Barbie, where there was some fun about fascistic Barbie who does like everything except change and not being in the spot of the center and where human Ken fights for his own ideals and can’t help himself loving Barbie. Stupid ideals maybe and how can one love Barbie? But at least Ken has ideals and love with him, which cannot be said about the Barbies. Yet the Barbies are the heroes of the movie.

Almost as good as starship troopers.

Ken’s song is also awesome and Ryan Gosling is a great performer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wwux9KiBMjE

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:07 PM
Reply to  Willem

Wake up !

Captain Birdheart
Captain Birdheart
Aug 14, 2023 10:55 PM
Reply to  Willem

George Mc
George Mc
Aug 14, 2023 11:37 AM

On the topic of whether people can change, this statement from Trotsky seems astute and even initially surprising in that he fully accepts the innate conservatism of humanity:

“The swift changes of mass views and moods in an epoch of revolution thus derive, not from the flexibility and mobility of man’s mind, but just the opposite, from its deep conservatism. The chronic lag of ideas and relations behind new objective conditions, right up to the moment when the latter crash over people in the form of a catastrophe, is what creates in a period of revolution that leaping movement of ideas and passions which seems to the police mind a mere result of the activities of “demagogues.”

The masses go into a revolution not with a prepared plan of social reconstruction, but with a sharp feeling that they cannot endure the old régime.”

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:09 PM
Reply to  George Mc

That was then. They didn’t have Sky TV.

George Mc
George Mc
Aug 14, 2023 9:37 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Excellent point. If Trotsky and Marx – and frankly every thinker in the entire history of humanity – were alive today and witnessing this, they’d say, “What the fuck? I mean – what the fucking fuck? …….” and then after a huge pause, and a lot of eye rubbing and slapping themselves in the face, they’d look again and say, “I mean what the fucking fuckety fuck fuck…….?”

Hele
Hele
Aug 15, 2023 6:18 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Just read that Trotsky opined that the Second World War was an act of imperialism and nothing to do with freedoms.
Old tropes being trotted out for another go round.Why do people buy into it.

mjh
mjh
Aug 14, 2023 10:29 AM

Another article by Edward Curtin that makes me think, makes me feel both sad — and inspired. He is quite right in noting that “Insight does not necessarily lead to change. It may help initiate it, but in the end the belief in freedom and the power of the will is necessary.” Quite true when looking at how we intersect with the “public” world — the world of politics, war, etc. And certainly true that the ability to escape from the determinism all around us, pushed on us by the corporate media and other forces seeking to control and dominate everyone and everything. But on the personal level, my experience is that yet another thing beyond insight, belief in freedom and will power is needed — and that thing is grace, bestowed on those who reach out to God, a source of power, strength and truth beyond this material world. Yes, I know this internal change is not everything, that we are part of this world as well, that we are are “part of the main.” Internal change needs to be accompanied by action in the larger world. I hope I can do my part to spread some kindness, understanding and caring among the people I personally interact with and to avoid the “selfish indifference” that is so prevalent.
And it is so true that “It takes courage to face the ways we have all been wrong, missed opportunities, shrunk back, lied, refused to consider alternatives.” I can try to do this internally and on the local scale. But on the scale of the nation or the world? I do not have the answers.

Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
Aug 14, 2023 10:10 AM

Good piece. I remember Obama’s clever political marketing of ‘change’…ugh!

Straight Talk
Straight Talk
Aug 14, 2023 5:41 PM
Reply to  Anthony Murphy

I remember the late, GREAT comedian Bill Hicks’ advice to marketers: “By the way, if anyone is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself.”

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Aug 14, 2023 9:25 AM

Probably late to the party but here is a link to an excellent Canadian free paper with archive going back to 2020:

https://druthers.net/newspapers/

zenpriest
zenpriest
Aug 14, 2023 8:54 AM

Jesus can change people. The murderer can become a saint.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 14, 2023 8:36 AM

We never change. You will never change. You will always be the clown you are and were.
Isnt it a bit dangerous to throw this narrative around?

Some people get wiser by age and experience. Changing of a bad environment to a better environment can make people progress and change a lot.

Remember many people are forced to live in sad conditions because they are blinded from knowing there is something better. Thats why we have refugees.
So we can conclude we at least have the ability to change.

Straight Talk
Straight Talk
Aug 14, 2023 5:51 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Mass migration is artificially manufactured. The imperialist corporate empire wants a homogenous, border-free world, so they force people to emigrate to other parts of the world. They don’t want nationalistic allegiance, culture, individuality. Gaddafi toured Europe, warning them that they were planning to use Libya as a gateway to flood immigrants into Europe, and it happened.

“In a libertarian society, there is no commons or public space. There are property lines, not borders. When it comes to real property and physical movement across such real property, there are owners, guests, licensees, business invitees, and trespassers — not legal and illegal immigrants.”
~ Jeff Deist, president of the Mises Institute

So, end nation-states, borders, Constitutions, environmental protections, citizenship itself. They want a world of Big Owners and Others…. who will own nothing.

Rollerball: “In the Global Corporate controlled world of 2018, the individual free thinking spirit has been almost completely eliminated by the corporate bulldozer. The Caan character is a man where this individual expressive seed still stirs and under increasing psychological pressures from his corporate puppet masters, begins to recognize and resist the depth of control that is exerted on his own individual destiny and illusion of freedom.”

Antonym
Antonym
Aug 14, 2023 6:01 AM

People? The present species of Homo sapiens does have a limited potential to live from other body parts than their brains, guts or balls. Buddha was one but escaped this planet not having enough faith in “Evolution”.

Bryan
Bryan
Aug 14, 2023 7:43 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Every cell in the human body (and in any body) is sentient and intelligent homoeostatic organism, which is also collectively intelligent [Levin.] Cells ‘talk’ to each other by chemical and electrical “molecular cross talk”; which is all the more amazing as not all the cells in the human body are human. The microbiome acts like a second ‘brain’, and indeed the vagus nerve is ~90% afferent; sending sensory information from the gut to brain with little efferent motor return. We really do have “gut feelings.”

In very rare cases the PFC and much of the cerebral cortex fail to form; but we can still survive with much of our cognitive ability, albeit with limited motor capacity. I believe there is a kid in Scotland who would be a young teenager by now who has “no brain.” Anencephalous is not the same as ‘mindless’; so the craniocentric view we have of the brain as the seat of consciousness needs reassessing. The whole body is the seat of consciousness.

We are each a multispecies cellular collective that cooperates together (sharing DNA) as an endosymbiosis. The body as a whole is sentient and does not need to be moved by an alien entity or animae immortalis that animates and articulates our mechanical dead meat.

Thereafter: the whole body is sentient, self-animating, self-articulating, as self-moving holistic physiome that only works in synergy and symbiosis, not separately reducible to body parts…. exeunt metaphysics…. “goodbye soul” — I don’t think so!

Bob the Hod
Bob the Hod
Aug 14, 2023 10:12 AM
Reply to  Bryan

In my opinion, the whole idea of an extant individual “seat of conciousness” seperate from everything else in the Universe needs reassessing. The Universe is the seat of conciousness, and we perceive conciousness much as we perceive light. It is a fundamental factor of the Universe, necessary for the Universe to be. There is one, infinite conciousness that is eternal.

To me, that is a far more simple and elegant theory than the idea that there are an unknown multitude of conciousnesses that pop into and out of existence in an almost random fashion, and only started doing so at a certain stage of life’s evolution. To me, the “accepted” version of conciousness raises far more questions than it answers, and requires far more assumptions and complex belief systems in order to work.

Attempts to create conciousness in a machine will always end in failure. It is as futile as an attempt to create matter or energy from nothing. It cannot be created, it can only change in its state. It is material already, if you are willing to accept that what is material extends way beyond our current, accepted understanding.

I’m certain that I’m far from the first person to postulate such a theory, but it did occur to me individually on a drive to work one morning and it seems to explain a lot. I’m not a scientist or a philosopher, I’m not particularly well educated in the formal sense, or particularly well read and I’d appreciate your input on where I might be wrong.

Bryan
Bryan
Aug 14, 2023 10:54 AM
Reply to  Bob the Hod

Don’t do yourself down Bob, you’ve got all the consciousness you need. We all have, with no exceptions or exclusions. The body is conscious of the body in place. Every cell is conscious, but maybe not in the way we like to think of it which is separable as differentiable from the body. Every cell is homoeostatic, but incomplete. We need to supply a constant supply of energy — as food and drink — to keep the cellular matrix active and healthy.

As we are incomplete in ourselves, we have enough sensory capacity to find or grow food to complete our metabolic functioning. We also have enough memory to learn to anticipate our rhythmic fluctuations in energy as compensatory planning; eg farming. It stands to reason that all heterotrophs — that’s organisms that need to supply energy from the environment — must have the sensory capacity to do so.

There is a biological law (minimax) that we get as much sensory capacity as we need for as little extra metabolic demand as possible. Brains are energetically demanding, so we have enough biocognitive power to stay alive, stay healthy, make hay, and so on (as per Maslow: the greater part of our natural capacities is taken up by fulfilling physiologic deficiencies; ie our natural appetites.)

However, our intellectual forebearers found biological necessity to be beneath them. For 2My of hominid development, we found feeding ourselves sufficiently taxing so as to not bother about much else; comes a point when biologic necessity was too easy, we got bored and stretched our imaginability further and further. Come to think of it, our biological senses are deficient, but our imaginability is fucking amazing! With biology behind us, we imagined everything and created greater and greater surpluses of energy to feed our imagination. In short: we overturned Maslows pyramid of needs by putting all our energy into psychiatric development.

So, our idea that we have a unversalisable intellect is an overleaping beyond biology and even beyond biologicaly constrained imaginability.To say we have limited cognitive capacity is no denigration; we just never really took the time to realise just how amazing our ordinary cognitive capacity really is.

You might be interested in the essay by Nietzsche I posted below. We turn nerve impulses into images — the first metaphor; and then turn images into sounds — the second metaphor. All out higher faculties are metaphors abstracted from biocognition, is if ‘normal’ sense-perception was not miraculous enough!

Bob the Hod
Bob the Hod
Aug 14, 2023 3:50 PM
Reply to  Bryan

I wasn’t doing myself down, Bryan, I was stating some facts about myself. None of which mean that I’m not intelligent or considered in my opinions.

Bryan
Bryan
Aug 15, 2023 11:00 AM
Reply to  Bob the Hod

It was a joke.

Balkydj
Balkydj
Aug 17, 2023 5:57 PM
Reply to  Bryan

@Bryan. Chuckle. Looks like I pressed the wrong reply button and submitted my reply to you, directly to Bob the Hod…
as you can see below…

A true appreciation .

Great to have you back Bryan. Perhaps most, here & now, do not yet appreciate the jocular nature of a recovering zen Buddhist ‘builder’ with a big’B-52 bombing run loaded with flyers of bombastic mimicry, 💣 to re-construct the constructions of others: howsoever , i always found your manner amusing & a sound reminder in terms of vocabulary, almost forgotten. 😂 Logic, surely fun at any party 😉

Indeed, if I recall correctly, one of the last times we communicated B.C.
was in complete agreement over ‘Language’ usw. Und so weiter…
Truthfully, you were sorely missed in your timeout, for some level headed rational thought founded on knowledge, in this Arena: I had to distance myself too, for fear of non-stop saying “I told you so…”
Here’s hoping you can help sort the wheat from the dusty chaff,
(Emphasis on dust), with a soundblast of resonant vocabulary ..
Give people time to reflect thoroughly, as you have. . .
What constitutes Freedom,
when declared unilaterally,
With consuming Force ?
Best wishes, Big’B
Balky

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:23 PM
Reply to  Bob the Hod

“Accepted version of conciousness “. ?? Whose version would that be ? WWE are all human beings. Honesty, truth and love is all that matters.

Bob the Hod
Bob the Hod
Aug 14, 2023 3:41 PM
Reply to  Grafter

The mechanistic-materialist version of conciousness where each individual creates their own conciousness, a version which seems to pervade Western systems of thought and which I don’t accept, by the way. Personally, I find it more likely that we simply perceive what is already there, and process that perception within our own innate perceptory and mental boundaries, in a similar way that we do with visible light.

Accepting and feeling Universal Love certainly seem like key steps on the path to Infinite Awareness to me.

Balkydj
Balkydj
Aug 17, 2023 1:21 PM
Reply to  Bob the Hod

A true appreciation .

Great to have you back Bryan. Perhaps most, here & now, do not yet appreciate the jocular nature of a recovering zen Buddhist ‘builder’ with a big’B-52 bombing run loaded with flyers of bombastic mimicry, 💣 to re-construct the constructions of others: howsoever , i always found your manner amusing & a sound reminder in terms of vocabulary, almost forgotten. 😂 Logic, surely fun at any party 😉

Indeed, if I recall correctly, one of the last times we communicated B.C.
was in complete agreement over ‘Language’ usw. Und so weiter…
Truthfully, you were sorely missed in your timeout, for some level headed rational thought founded on knowledge, in this Arena: I had to distance myself too, for fear of non-stop saying “I told you so…”
Here’s hoping you can help sort the wheat from the dusty chaff,
(Emphasis on dust), with a soundblast of resonant vocabulary ..
Give people time to reflect thoroughly, as you have. . .
What constitutes Freedom,
when declared unilaterally,
With consuming Force ?
Best wishes, Big’B
Balky

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:16 PM
Reply to  Bryan

I think the “no brain” accolade belongs to most politicians.

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:14 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Whatever

Johnny
Johnny
Aug 14, 2023 5:35 AM

A near death experience, the death of a loved one or a terminal illness can be catalysts for change, real change, otherwise most of us a stuck in the rut of repeating our own one act play.

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Aug 14, 2023 9:31 AM
Reply to  Johnny

From experience that change lasts until the danger is over.

Then it’s back to normal !

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:27 PM
Reply to  Johnny

Sad but true. However change is an alien concept to most. Frighten them all with viruses, war and financial insecurity is the order of the day.

Edward Bernaysauce
Edward Bernaysauce
Aug 14, 2023 3:54 AM

the question at hand is a misdirection, ‘people’ do not ‘change’ they ‘grow’-
albeit sometimes into monstrous forms…

Grafter
Grafter
Aug 14, 2023 3:28 PM

Deformed will suffice.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Aug 14, 2023 2:48 AM

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy . . .

– JFK

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_President_and_the_Press
The President and the Press
Delivered in Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961.

Since the 1910s, the USA and Russia had been occupied and controlled by the same “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”. How could JFK have been a “peacemaker” when the cold war against the Soviet Union was fake? Do you think he didn’t know that it was fake? Instead, he was killed because he threatened to name the unnameable.

hotrod31
hotrod31
Aug 14, 2023 2:29 AM

To OffG and those who, make-it-tick … You’re ALL very much like a breath-of-fresh-air, in a polluted world.
Thank you for your tireless work.
To the detractors and trolls … WTF up.
Pardon the language.

Kalvin Stardust
Kalvin Stardust
Aug 14, 2023 2:27 AM

My neighbour hasn’t changed. When I moved in 8 years ago, he was an arsehole. He still is an arsehole.

STJOHNOFGRAFTON
STJOHNOFGRAFTON
Aug 14, 2023 2:23 AM

…mental befuddlement that is consonant with the mental derangement of the mainstream media’s 24/7 news reports.

There’s no need to be up to date with the latest news. It is not mandated that you do so and you cannot do anything to change what’s happened, so detoxify your mind from your mindless addiction to ‘the news’. Avoid that news induced mental derangement syndrome. Save your brain for the freedom of critical thinking.

les online
les online
Aug 14, 2023 12:48 AM

An impression of the USA today is The Return of The Repressed ,or, maybe it’s The Revenge of The Repressed ?
Decades ago i realised i’m walking backwards to The Future…That feeling predated learning of that guy’s image of an Angel flying backwards to The Future whilst looking at the carnage of History piling higher and higher…No. I sometimes think Security may have existed back There, and i’m trying to recover it, and hold onto it…

“Psychoanalysis is the study of how we maintain not knowing what we know.” Matthew Steinfeld…

Roy McCoy
Roy McCoy
Aug 13, 2023 11:04 PM

Yet is does happen,”

Congratulations yet again to OffGuardian’s editor(s) – also, I might add, to Mr Curtin (to whom also good luck). I note that Iain Davis’s articles, at least, have been properly edited recently, elsewhere if not at OG. I also note that corrections can’t be communicated to the OffGuardian email address owing to a chronically full mailbox.

niko
niko
Aug 13, 2023 10:45 PM

As with any living being, we’re changing all the time. The extent to which we’re awake to living leads us to learn all the time, too. But as with any social being subject to control over the course of so-called civilization, we’re dissociated from living beings, wildness and wholeness, most of all among our own kind, kept within gates by our protectors, building our own prisons, forgetting the gates are there. Therein lies the rub: how to (re)awaken our essential buddha nature as changing, suffering creatures in a common, compassionate journey with all our relations, as the Lakota Sioux say. Change is the enemy of control. Captivity is closing upon us as never before. It’s past time to tear down the gates (and Gates) of hell and reclaim our right to change.

Listen now to what the land is telling us, all of us, remnant orphans of pillaged and scattered tribes. It is telling us that the time has come, that the empire’s days are running out, that it is time to begin a dance, a variegated brilliant Ghost Dance for the end of the millennium that will bring together all the broken villages, the runaway slaves, the rebels who have regained their humanity by deserting the machine, all those who are seeing the signs and beginning to understand that it was always a lie, and that one way or another it will come to its end. 
-David Watson

les online
les online
Aug 13, 2023 11:55 PM
Reply to  niko

Lovely sentiment, but…
‘How can we ‘desert the machine’ when The Machine is us ?’

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 14, 2023 12:44 AM
Reply to  les online

Close the electricity to the machine. A whole new and beautiful world will open for you.

Kevin Craig
Kevin Craig
Aug 13, 2023 10:23 PM

No. People do not change.

Bryan
Bryan
Aug 13, 2023 8:40 PM

More misquotation, more misaligned misattribution: today it’s my favourite — Guy Debord. I swear that nobody who quotes Debord has any idea what he was saying: the whole civilisation is the integrated spectacle – not just “Barbenheimer”. As the recuperated simulacrum, it becomes easy to reference “Barbenheimer” as spectacle: but then the whole language is the imaginary dream factory, whilst the culture industry – epitomised as “Hollywood” – provides only some of the spectacular symbolic imagery. The rest happens in the collective psyche as instinctual and institutionalised self-defence.

Nietzsche and Debord had a shared enemy in Plato and the Platonic inversion of lived experience as abstracted <Idea: Essence: Appearance>; whichever turns life, value, and morality itself into a concreted inversion of life and a spectacular simulacrum as a fully autonomised “parallel pseudoworld”. And this inversion is in the grammar and the sentence structure itself.

As I already know nobody is that interested (judging from earlier this week): so here is a link to Nietzsche’s views on language and why they end up being the spectacular simulacrum of living experience as “anthropomorphic truth.”

The drive toward the formation of metaphors is the fundamental human drive, which one cannot for a single instant dispense with in thought, for one would thereby dispense with man himself. This drive is not truly vanquished and scarcely subdued by the fact that a regular and rigid new world is constructed as its prison from its own ephemeral products, the concepts.

So, both Debord and Nietzsche thought the whole conceptual world was a fully subjective simulacrum generated by conceptual metaphors abstracted from sentience, whichever has become our imaginary prison.

Only by forgetting this primitive world of metaphor can one live with any repose, security, and consistency: only by means of the petrification and coagulation of a mass of images which originally streamed from the primal faculty of human imagination like a fiery liquid, only in the invincible faith that this sun, this window, this table is a truth in itself, in short, only by forgetting that he himself is an artistically creating subject, does man live with any repose, security, and consistency. If but for an instant he could escape from the prison walls of this faith, his “self consciousness” would be immediately destroyed

Do people change? Not for 2,500 years! Not so long as we have Platonic “meaning as truth”; whichever is static, immutable, and eternal transcendent meta-absolute metaphor they don’t. Change would be overturning Platonism and grounding image-forming metaphor as embodied in the senses. It would mean the transvaluation of value from transcendent imaginabilities as ‘true worlds’ to earthbound necessities and the rejection of pseudo-morality grounded in moral ‘truth’; which is nothing but anthropomorphic metaphoricity.

My main proposition: there are no moral phenomena, only moral interpretation of these phenomena. This interpretation itself is of extra-moral origin.

https://www.kth.se/social/files/5804ca7ff276547f5c83a592/On%20truth%20and%20lie%20in%20an%20extra-moral%20sense.pdf (It’s only 8 pages: shorter than one of my usual comments!)

AntiSoof
AntiSoof
Aug 13, 2023 7:39 PM

Is it a coincidence or not, but a Barbie doll was recently made that represents a ‘virologist’. So this is how children are conditioned, I think.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&sca_esv=556563504&q=barbie+virologist&tbm=isch&source=univ&fir=qFKN88t0ynAlpM%252C1IlrVe92w2qSwM%252C_%253BEsedmq91IMkB4M%252ChWJg UONoaSpucM%252C_%253Bo_-HaJ4_NEqP4M%252C1IlrVe92w2qSwM%252C_% 253BpbA9ayCAP2SGPM%252Czrpf0HwI96YbxM%252C_%253BxBp_6pbA1L74jM%252Czrpf0HwI96YbxM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kT_Y09ZjBexR5oVATu09zGAll_H1w&sa=X&ved =2ahUKEwjgxPmJo9qAAxWL76QKHbumAsoQjJkEegQIERAC&biw=1177&bih=769&dpr=1.25

I don’t think the Bible disapproves of idolatry for nothing.

Kevin Craig
Kevin Craig
Aug 13, 2023 10:27 PM
Reply to  AntiSoof

There was a recent TV appearance by a disabled girl, celebrating the launch of a doll (Barbie or not) ‘with Down’s Syndrome’. Now, the doll obviously wasn’t. It merely displayed the ‘features’. I thought it was only another letter in the Alphabet lexicon. Clearly it was far more loaded than that.

George Mc
George Mc
Aug 13, 2023 7:29 PM

This is saying a lot but the Graud may very well have produced their most vacuous item yet:

“‘Better martyrs’: the growing role of women in the far-right movement”

It seems that women played a crucial role in that utterly terrifying and hideously monstrous monstrosity- the Jan 6 nightmare of nightmares! Not since the actual Hitlerian Hitler has anything so utterly Hitlerish stormtrooped its way across our defenceless etc.

Other than that, the desperate Graud gatekeepers are reduced to echoing the word “Right” over and over and….. I did a word search and the scary R word appears 34 times on this page! To be fair, I didn’t have the patience to check if every usage corresponded with the political sense of the word. But by this time I reckon the R word has lost every other meaning.

George Mc
George Mc
Aug 13, 2023 8:09 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Did a quick whip round there and it’s like a serious case of Tourette’s:

The far right… the growing role of women in the far-right movement….is an important aspect of the extreme right wing in the US ….Researchers who track how the far right … “alt-right” women have also shifted …. in rightwing media production and far-right national politics….fight against US rightwing book bans …..“[Far-right women] have a lot more power than you think,”… in extremist groups and far-right politics, …Some women figures on the far-right scene … The most high-profile far-right conservative women… and Canadian far-right YouTuber Lauren Southern, who produce conservative media and rightwing propaganda, … and “alt-right” ideologies…. “I don’t think ‘alt-right’ women go into politics for altruistic reasons.”… women commit to far-right politics …the far-right election-denial group Women for America …. members of the far-right movement…..“Women make better martyrs in the ‘alt-right’,” ……. with the far-right view …… to spread far-right ideas….Far-right mothers start building …The far right can take the same recruitment posture… women who fall into the far-right trap …”

As far as I can see, there is only one non-political use made of the word:

“… began as a small parents’ rights group but which has spread across the US and is a leading force in promoting book bans.”

But then the word there is plural.
 
So at this rate, the executive hackmeisters are frothing in their chained up padded cell, screaming “RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT …..”

mgeo
mgeo
Aug 14, 2023 7:31 AM
Reply to  George Mc

You’re too kind. I would have taken your word that it was 34 times. 🙂

arielazalexander
arielazalexander
Aug 13, 2023 7:25 PM

This is for Edward Curtin. 3 political assassinations plus explanation in 4 four line verses.
It’s a little jerky because it was originally a band number by me, and the electric guitar sustain was part of the arrangement. Did it with at least 3 bands, never recorded.
DEALY PLAZA BLUES – YouTube

sandy
sandy
Aug 13, 2023 6:27 PM

I suggest everyone read David Graeber’s small little book from 2005 “Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology” and as the previous commenter said: “Turn off, tune out, drop in. To reality.” And get ready. This is being alive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragments_of_an_Anarchist_Anthropology

Sal P
Sal P
Aug 13, 2023 10:05 PM
Reply to  sandy

I managed to hunt down a digital copy. I’m only 15 pages in but so far so good. Thanks for posting.

Jyrkoff
Jyrkoff
Aug 13, 2023 4:19 PM

If you are truly living life, it changes you.

Those who’ve remained the same since high school (sadly most folks) have avoided living. They merely “are,” and behave according to their programming.

Don’t ever forget: yesterday only exists in memory, tomorrow only exists in fantasy. There is only Now, this second, this moment. What are we doing with our lives right now? Staring at a screen typing with our thumbs. This isn’t living.

Turn off, tune out, drop in. To reality.

See you in the real world.

arielazalexander
arielazalexander
Aug 13, 2023 7:26 PM
Reply to  Jyrkoff

RIGHT – NOW.

arielazalexander
arielazalexander
Aug 13, 2023 8:23 PM

It’s one of the, or maybe THE truism.

Balkydj
Balkydj
Aug 18, 2023 12:47 PM

“… or maybe THE truism ” in Altruism.

sok
sok
Aug 14, 2023 10:18 PM
Reply to  Jyrkoff

i think its more complicated in a society of billions of fantasy creators all with separate minds.

MattC
MattC
Aug 13, 2023 4:02 PM

“there is so much personal anguish, unhappiness, and human mental and physical suffering in the world”.

Governments have been hijacked for personal gain and enrichment by special interest groups whose only motive is wealth transfer to themselves. The result is that taxation is now legalised theft as the proceeds are never used for the benefit of the population.

if the sociopaths and psychopaths who are misleadingly described as politicians and billionaires were removed along with all the issues that they deliberately created then ordinary people would no longer be living in an artificial climate of endless misery and fear.

Straight Talk
Straight Talk
Aug 14, 2023 6:17 PM
Reply to  MattC

What do the rich and rich-want-to-be’s seek? Beauty. To be surrounded by and enveloped in beauty. We see beauty in so many ways, within and without. But it is THE HOLY GRAIL of existence. So why not pledge to beautify the world? Why not make THAT the monetary goal? To rid the world of ugliness, to end bombing, sickness and suffering… This could be a planet of immense beauty, to emulate its inheritance of Nature, to find solutions in bio-mimicry and resilience. Why destroy for profit, only to rebuild for profit? Childish games. If only the quest for beauty could replace the quest for profit, we could live up to the gift of planet Earth.

Balkydj
Balkydj
Aug 18, 2023 1:21 PM
Reply to  Straight Talk

Fine words ST. Indeed, ‘Science would not last a second without Beauty’…

‘As you like it’, you will no doubt recall the original quotation Not forgetting too,

“If you want to overcome the World, overcome yourself.”
Best wishes &
Much Beauty,
Balky

Howard
Howard
Aug 13, 2023 3:40 PM

The question Do People Change? should always be prefaced with the more basic question Should People Change?

And what are they changing if they do change? They’re still themselves; they’ve just decided to wear a bluish soul today instead of a reddish soul. It’s a Doppler thing, this business of changing.

People choose every single day what kind of person they’ll be – what particular face they’ll allow others to see. But a thousand faces in a thousand days were all fashioned using the same set of facial muscles.

The thing no one can change is their DNA, their genetic heritage. They might at some point be able to suppress, e.g., genes which prime them for cancer. But no matter how much they wish or how hard they try, they cannot substitute their genes for, say, those of a cat.

We’re free to make as many little changes as we want. But not free to change the big things.

Bryan
Bryan
Aug 13, 2023 9:47 PM
Reply to  Howard

People do choose every single moment of every single day — but never in isolation, As soon as you point out the globalised systemisation people entrench in solipsistic simulation as self-imagery and reactive self-defence. As usual, the comments consider the first person perspective as agentic, autonomous free will choice as paramount, ignoring the fact that 8 bn other personal choosings are going on right now; mostly not that freely, but by mutual coercion and obligated moral-guided ‘choice’, canalised together in the same intentional, institutional framework aka civilisation.

So we can change our daily routine, or stick two pencils up our nose and say “Wibble” (like Blackadder) but we cannot change civilisation-bound personalisation whichever is the sum totalisation and anthropogenic aggregation of all of our owned choices.

So who is this ‘person’: you, me, Ed Curtin or all of us singularised all at once?

Person: from the character mask worn by an actor in a play; persona the assumption or inhabitation of a role; personification of role orientation, as a performative role ethics in the hyperindividualised “false face civilisation”? Or the character assumption amplified through the mouthpiece of the conceptual personae?

Balkydj
Balkydj
Aug 18, 2023 3:32 PM
Reply to  Bryan

@Bryan: which is why, since childhood, I have asserted that Shakespeare’s

“All the World is a stage…” should be amplified 📢 ‘… and is staged.’

Encapsulated by Fyodor:
“If you want to overcome the World, overcome yourself.”
Know your enemy & evil devices… of divisive intent.
And the song remains the same, after many decades,
Whole Lotta’ Love 😍

Speaking of devices, during your ‘timeout’, did you get to
reconsider Extinction Rebellion ? Or better still…
(you know me, persistent by nature, somethings never change 😂)
Did you have the chance to consider accoustic Resonance
& Wave Energy ? Given the sheer volumes of Transmissions and
Pfizer’s abject failure to test for same, despite their very public
Transmissions of Efficacy (that resonated worldwide), one Event in
Bornholm appears to have gotten’ lost in the Hysteria over other matters.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/15/mystery-tremors-on-danish-baltic-island-puzzle-scientists-bornhol

Undistorted Line of Sight to Rostock: a major consideration in ‘inexplicable events’: events, that I happened to witness the immediate aftermath of, firsthand. The Irony being, my son, the skeptic Amiss in Denmark 🇩🇰 in need of AiD, recalls my comments for once, so I showed him this article just this morning… finally, he at least understands exactly my thoughts 💭 without me having to articulate.
Even though he does not grasp the Physics involved: if you are interested,
I can explain what I saw, in various formations, not just once on this island,
that neighbours Bornholm & the dire states of cognitive dissonance.
Denial is not an African river… 😉 & I cannot deny
High Auroral Accoustic Research Programming.
Viele Grüsse,
Balky

ariel
ariel
Aug 18, 2023 8:54 PM
Reply to  Balkydj

Have you got one of these nearby? This is 14 miles from us.

HAARP Facility In Wales UK. – YouTube

County Girl
County Girl
Aug 14, 2023 8:39 PM
Reply to  Howard

None of us possess genes which ‘prime’ us for cancer. Another lie by those who believe they rule us. Cancer is caused by toxins that the body has failed to excrete and is still attempting to. If we understand that, it is another change we can choose to make – or not – if we don’t want to make a change.

wardropper
wardropper
Aug 13, 2023 2:35 PM

Just stating the obvious here, but sometimes that’s helpful:

Any committed astrologer can tell you that individual tendencies are there from the start and that they follow one’s entire life.

Circumstances change, and the consequences of that are extremely difficult to predict.

If anybody really wants to know more about this complex subject, then the serious study of karma is going to be necessary.

That won’t make us all into prophets, but it will certainly help us to see more clearly.

Bryan
Bryan
Aug 13, 2023 6:35 PM
Reply to  wardropper

As a recovering zen buddhist: I’m interested in your take on karma. Karma is action: and in that respect people do change by incessantly reinforcing negative qualities. That is people are inhabited to inveterately change for the worse across time; as all the available empiric evidence goes to show. This is not inevitable, but by moral-guided ‘free’ choice. We are what we do; which is cooperate economically across generations: not what we say we do; which is deny that we cooperate globally and act individually. Ergo: the only real change would be downscale our economic karma as anthropogenic action.

wardropper
wardropper
Aug 14, 2023 12:37 AM
Reply to  Bryan

You are certainly more specific than I am, and your observations are certainly food for thought. Thank you.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 13, 2023 7:54 PM
Reply to  wardropper

They made an ethnology study of Haiti and Barbados, because both inhabitants are 95% black and their ancient forefathers dna are from the same tribe in Africa.

One developed into a poor country, the other into a high civilised society.

It showed how little race, dna and other bs means. Politics/ideology matter too much.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Aug 13, 2023 2:10 PM

The era of the 1960s was an extraordinary time, it was like a rouge wave of consciousness that rose from the depths. It was reflected in popular culture from that era as a time of relative optimism. The Empire as you noted struck back; initially it ignored the threat but when it became mainstream, threatening to derail the cultural status quo, the pushback became a war on ‘undesirable’ elements of society.

It was hugely successful, unfortunately. If you look at popular culture from then and compare it with culture now you see that the awareness of society, the idea that we’re all in this together, has been totally displaced by individualism and the idea of ‘fairness’, the turning of the mass of society in on itself.

AntiSoof
AntiSoof
Aug 13, 2023 7:29 PM
Reply to  Martin Usher

That’s true. It seems that people are in a kind of mass psychosis. There are few who have lived through the good old days. Those people are old now.
People are often a result of the mental climate. I personally miss the cheerful umbrellas on the beach, the beautiful colors, the cosiness, the confidence. Now the architecture is ugly and temporary. Even the cars are getting uglier. The dull colors. I feel that the mafias of this world are expressing their own filthy soul. And people know nothing. They just go their way. But yeah, it’s been that way for a long time. For thousands of years, the bad people have played the leading role, otherwise it wouldn’t be the ones in power. They have seized power and killed for it. And we see that karma now.
Times change, but people don’t. This knowledge gives me insight into the world.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 13, 2023 12:55 PM

Noise is life. Children’s laughter and play is life. Music is life, The sound of the birds the trees the wind is life, the sound of real Sea is life.
Silence is a graveyard.

“You see a guy you dont know, he has a gun, you shoot him. Its that easy man!”

Howard
Howard
Aug 13, 2023 3:25 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

May I ask who you’re quoting. The quote seems totally out of place following the rest of your comment.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 13, 2023 7:36 PM
Reply to  Howard

The movie “Desperado”.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 13, 2023 8:08 PM
Reply to  Howard
Ahorn
Ahorn
Aug 13, 2023 5:17 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

There is another type of silence that is created by the absence of potential noise. Silence that is chosen is potent.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Aug 14, 2023 12:00 AM
Reply to  Ahorn

Absolutely. An Eremite Crab is doing fine. The Undertaker has a potent job too.

One for you :-D. “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.” ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

George Mc
George Mc
Aug 13, 2023 9:34 AM

Some ruminations:

“This summer’s two hit movies – “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie”…..”

I am starting to doubt that there is such a thing as a genuine “hit” these days i.e. a movie or song or whatever that becomes popular because people choose it over all the others. What happens when the “hit” is just about the only thing they ever hear about? And covid demonstrated in the most brutal terms that the media is unified to a degree hitherto unsuspected. So this monomaniacal media megaphone can churn out the most deafening propaganda on the most minimal output and guarantee a “hit” since most people will want to at least have a look in to see what all the contrived fuss is about. And “having a look in” is something they can only do if they pay. And once they’ve paid they naturally want to stay and see the whole thing even if they get the feeling that it’s crap as soon as it starts. Granted, they may not see it ever again but by that time they’ve paid and sufficient numbers have been duped into it to generate this “hit”.

“….“Barbie” plays the coy game of satirizing the doll that celebrates women as sex objects while advertising its same sex doll status.”

I have seen the bit where Barbie confronts the “smart young things” in the diner and they tell her off for playing to a stereotype that “sets the women’s movement back decades”. And yes, there is hypocrisy in that the Barbie image is “being satirized” whilst being “secretly” celebrated anyway. But there is another irony in that the young girl lecturing Barbie is just as stereotypical with her fashionably “cute” look – which is also implicitly designated “intellectual” since she has the round slightly baby-faced appearance that signals “student”.

But the underlying theme here is an old one: the film industry (along with the TV, radio, book etc. industries) don’t care if you sneer at what they produce and write up dense “postmodernist” essays on it all etc. Just so long as you keep watching it.

As for Oppenheimer, I see David Baddiel is already initiating a rich vein of pseudo-critique by complaining that the Jewish figures (title character and Einstein) are being played by non-Jews. The horror, the horror!

This is what our pseudo-democracy is: the whipping up of intense emotions and arguments over pseudo-issues. Someone on a recent comment thread suggested that the whole transgender issue may be one such deliberately distracting pseudo-issue. I’d say it’s more than that – but it’s also that. The blatantly ridiculous claims being made on behalf of this whole oxymoronic gender ideology are supposed to whip up the masses into a frenzy. The entire business suggests the intro to that Madness song: “Don’t watch that! Watch this!”

“I recently had the arduous task of reviewing nearly fifty years of a writer’s personal journals. The thing that stood out to me was the repetitive nature of his comments and analyses of people he knew and the relationships he had.”

Such repetition is what every genuinely critical person has to constantly go through. Because no matter how much you have seen through the shit and indeed no matter how obvious the shit is, the fact that the “public discourse” is belligerently limited to this shit and the blasé assumption that everyone believes it forces you to keep going back to basics and covering the same ground over and over again. And the mighty propaganda machine is complacently based on this contrived matter: They know that the more you have to repeat the basic facts, the more discouraged you will become and their aim is to manoeuvre you into the state that Winston Smith is in at the end of 1984: smashed out of his face and staring up at an image of Big Brother who he realises he now loves.

And speaking of 1984, I recall a moment in that book where Smith has a conversation with a member of the public to see if there was any awareness there about what had been happening in general over society for the past decades. But all he gets is a meditation on “the perennial issues of humanity” which are taken to be immutable. To be sure, there are such “universal” changes that people go through and are likely to go through no matter what society we live in but curiously I feel less impressed by that as I get older i.e. when I was younger I thought about these “ageless matters”. I took the coming life changes for granted even before I had been through them. Now that I have been through most of them, I think it’s all a bit of a con. And I realise that much of these processes have been “incubated” in our capitalist consumer society where everything has been geared to rope in the gullible young.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Aug 14, 2023 7:48 AM
Reply to  George Mc

It really annoys me that an historical film about Oppenheimer was made decades ago by people who were actually alive during WW II, yet now the propagandists must remake it to fit nonsense 2023 narratives.

Oppenheimer was NOT a Communist, he committed the crime of fundamentally examining, and ultimately rejecting, the tenets of Communism during the 1930s when communism was being considered as one alternative to fascism.

Like many scientists, he focussed too much on ‘can something be done?’, rather than ‘should it be done?’ And when he saw the reality of what he created, the original film had him quoting ‘I am death….’

He then became a victim of the far-right McCarthyite witch hunts, and this was pushed by the self-serving Edward Teller, who was jealous of Oppenheimer’s leadership skills, which he did not possess to any great degree.

Oppenheimer’s life is the typical US story of blind idealism, followed by sober reflection and then pure dog-eat-dog thuggery in a highly charged domestic political atmosphere.

Now that the USA have whipped up anti-Russian hatred again, just as they did in the 1950s, they presumably think that remaking that film is timely.

It’s not. The original version, made by people that lived in those times, is the only one that students should watch.

If you want to make modern versions, make one about US bioweapons production, links to Chinese virology and how the US State covered up Fauci’s misfeasance and pushed Bill Gates’ obscenely ridiculous ‘no alternative to vaccines’ agenda.

Oops, that might get independent film makers blacklisted.

Can’t have two prominent criminals being shown up for what they are.

Kaczynski2
Kaczynski2
Aug 13, 2023 9:06 AM

“It takes courage to face the ways we have all been wrong” honesty too.
How many have become entrenched in what they want to believe rather than what is?

Think these last few years have shown how difficult it is for many to change. Especially, their perception of the life long show calculatingly played out Infront of them and the lies peddled seamlessly amongst it all. Their role in it too, coerced,begrudgingly or just blind unquestioning believers. The thousand yard stare making a comeback as the enormity of it all hits. If , that is, you can be honest with yourself.

Breaking patterns isn’t easy. Breaking an intergenerational brainwashing spell even harder. Realising that the ideas you thought were held dear were written on shifting sands and were to pacify and give purpose and pride. But could also be snatched away on a whim. Is quite the shocker.

But I too feel like the vacationers. As the”spreading of democracy” that that land embarked upon soo.. brazenly. Seems at odds with how they’ve not dealt with their own enemies at home.

Recall a headline in the Independent (UK) many years back saying “Those that wish to spread democracy should practice it” not saying any of us have truly experienced that. Yet, it strongly appears our world wide revolution has arrived. Yet too many are hypnotised or caught in the headlights to see it. Whilst others can’t see beyond their own wants & conditioned needs.That conformity was a trap.A soul destroying one.

Or maybe they conditioned that spirit out of people. So much so that they can’t change.

wardropper
wardropper
Aug 13, 2023 3:01 PM
Reply to  Kaczynski2

Indeed those who “have become entrenched in what they want to believe” are a formidable force.

But against them there will always be those who want to believe only what is true, and in that case perhaps it wouldn’t be so terrible if those few became “entrenched”?

Good vs Evil always comes down to a battle of wills, after all, and we currently see on a daily basis how futile it is to use reason to win political arguments.

For example: A foolish politician today, even if defeated in Parliament by rational argument, will still continue in his foolish enterprises, because our ‘representatives’ are now selected exclusively from decadent sources, and there are no longer any horrifying punishments meted out to those of them who lie and cheat.

Voting has nothing to do with it.

Kaczynski2
Kaczynski2
Aug 13, 2023 4:08 PM
Reply to  wardropper

The entrenched positions appear many times as fear based but can’t discount the lack of a viable alternative to our predicament and the emerging new one from that either. So they go with the Devil/Master they know ,it’s vision. Do it’s bidding by attacking those that speak out. Stockholm Syndrome manifests itself fully.Bezmenov has a very glaring point. The demoralisation is complete & presented with alternate information. They just can’t allow themselves to accept it.
To a non conformists eyes it looks like currying favour. But it’s also an indication of a deep mind control at work.

Back to divide & (c) rule and how successful it’s been in making people not trust eachothers motives, not saying I’m immune.

Perhaps some people are just not meant to see? Is everyone here in possession of a Soul? Many NPC’s and wholly callous ‘people’besides the self serving political ‘class’.