Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Update to my political post of 10/16

The more I learn about the crop of Republicans who identify with the "Tea Party" label, the more I realize that they are irrational right-wing extremist whom one shouldn't want calling any shots during a collapse-situation such as the one our society is currently facing. They are so irrational and extreme, in fact, that even the Reverend Pat Robertson is telling them to cool their heels!

How da fuck do ya like that?

That these nuts would come to power in the previous election was an unfortunate inevitability given 1) the intense motivation of the right-wing fanatics and 2) the frightened and desperate mood of an ignorant electorate. But now I'm hoping now that these nut-cases have shown to what they're truly dedicated, the electorate will generate a wave in the opposite direction. After all, there are many vitriolic criticisms one may make of the Democratic Party, but one thing you will never see them do is indulge extremism for extremism's sake. They're such triangulators by nature, they would simply be incapable of it!

But at the same time, I refuse to invest any faith in the Democratic Party beyond replacing the right-wing loonies with politicians who are at least willing to pay lip-service to the concept of being reasonable. Even if I did wish to emotionally invest myself in a Democratic victory, I've been like Charlie Brown getting the football pulled away by Lucy too many times to be even capable of such an investment any longer. I have had my fill of the empty and contrived civic religion in which way too many Democratic Party supporters traffic. And I have no doubt that in the event of a Democratic "wave" in late 2012, our favorite Party for the Losers will govern another few steps to the right thanks to the tone set by the "Pee Tardy".

If the next election is another Republican victory or a stalemate, however, I think I will give up entirely on all but local politics after that. What hope would there be, after all, for an electorate so ignorant that they won't get up off their lazy asses to push a bunch of crazy people out of power during a time when one needs such people in power about as much as one needs a hole in the head????

Gotta love US national politics. :-/ But sometimes you just have to put your ego aside and do something you find distasteful in order to avoid an outcome that could well be rather beyond distasteful!

What I learned about collapse this year

This is primarily in regards, like much of this blog, to how to deal with collapse on an individual, spiritual level. Many of us will likely be meeting our maker as a consequence of unfolding collapse, especially those of us with chronic illnesses such as diabetes. That is why one's spiritual attitude towards these events is of the utmost importance.

One thing is clear: What you must not do is take an attitude towards collapse issues that could be characterized as either hysterical or lugubrious. And it should really go without saying that one absolutely shouldn't be gleefully misanthropic about the human tragedy that the collapse of industrial civilization will represent. These wrong-minded attitudes come from the ego and only lead to self-defeating and counterproductive social acting out. Acting like a deranged teenager isn't going to help anything or anybody.

What you should cultivate is inner peace and wisdom. These are the things that will keep people balanced and mature as things become increasingly dire. This does not mean kidding oneself that society's problems are going to have any sort of conventional political solution. One may, for instance, understandably vote in such a way as to decant the irrational right-wing extremists from political power next year because you don't want people like that making important decisions in a collapse-situation. But it would still be a mistake to invest any hope as such in the political establishment as it is currently constituted. Kidding oneself about what's going on and emotionally investing oneself in the deception will only court great disappointment.

However, community involvement is something real and substantial into which to invest oneself because we will need to rely on one another to deal with the realities of collapse. So if one is going to be involved in politics, local politics is definitely the place to be active. And local politics is always going to be the politics which are most immediately about you and your family and your neighbors. So even though that may well be frustrating too, it is also the area that is likely to be rewarding.

In our spiritual orientation, we should seek to put aside ego-investments of all varieties, because collapse will teach us in no uncertain terms just how little the realities of this world care about the fantasies to which we cling to keep ourselves going. And we must not flinch from looking honestly at our own behavior to see if fear of the harsh future is making us lapse back into the sort of bad old social habits we are better off outgrowing. Maturity and realism are the keys to dealing with collapse constructively, not kidding yourself and getting caught up in your old ego-garbage.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

As long as we're talking about the Democratic Party...

...I figured that would be a good segue for this informative and helpful video called "Poopin' 2.O"! :-D

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The song that inspired the name of this blog that hardly anybody really reads :-)

This would be a good point to call attention to the fact that I am the Commentor Formerly Known As Loveandlight. The Loveandlight moniker was one I adopted back in 2003 as a reminder to myself of the ultimate futility of flame-waring Internet behavior. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

But the world is heading into some very severe and dire times while way too many people want to just go on kidding themselves about what is truly happening, and I feel like telling the truth about that whether or not anybody feels like listening. In light of that, I decided I needed a rather less fluffy-bunny, New-Agey handle, so I chose one related to what I randomly decided to call my nonexistent blog back in May 2004. That was when I signed up for Blogger.com in order to be able to comment on another blog.

I must confess to feeling rather like an automaton who is just "going through the motions" of late. That is how Mister Roboto the doomer-blogger was born. At least this was a better idea than lugubriously acting out and taking myself way too seriously on other people's blogs. After all, I'm forty-four years old, and such acting out really is the province of teenagers and Tea Partiers.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

US involvement in Libya

While there were undoubtedly some things that were extremely fucked up about the regime of Moammar al-Gadhafi, there was also an aspect to it that involved sharing some of the country's oil revenues with the people through popular social programs. In order to do this, control of Libya's oil production and sale necessarily had to be nationalized. To put an end to this for the benefit of the US and its NATO allies likely had a great deal to do with why the US invested as much as it did in the way of resources and effort to overthrow Gadhafi's "Green Revolution". After all, even the triumphant rebels themselves admit that they likely would have been crushed by Gadhafi's forces had it not been for NATO's intervention.

But even from a tactical "nuts-and-bolts" perspective, there is more to Gadhafi's ouster then what we're told by the mainstream press, and what the mainstream press is willing to relate is necessarily dumbed down to accomodate a domestic audience that believes that being a narcissistic fucking moron is a virtue.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Both sides do it"

I really do reject the whole notion that both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of the same degree of extremism and irrationality in exactly the same ways. They're just not. This line of nonsense would have us believe that the Democratic Party champions left-leaning values with the same tribalist zeal and fanaticism that highly partisan Republicans do right-leaning values. When you look at what's really going on, you see that the Democratic Party establishment has been backing away from defending left-leaning values while its supporters concoct increasingly absurd justifications why liberals should keep supporting them anyway.

But to deny that the Democratic Party has been playing a serious enabling role in the encroaching plutocratic and imperialistic realities of our age is to indulge a partisan Manicheism that is both self-deceiving and codependent. This sort of willful cognitive dissonance, however, is to be expected when people cling with a white-knuckled death-grip to defending the increasingly indefensible. In playing increasingly twisted mind-games with themselves to pretend that they are supporting something worth unconditional support, they are in fact supporting the very "Long March to the Right", as I call it, the countering of which is their supposed justification for this support.

I have to admit that the thing that is problematic about my own view of things is that I don't really have any alternative solutions to offer simply because I doubt that there are any to be had by way of conventional politics or perhaps any politics. We are entering an age of decline and contraction, and this reality is why the context in which our media and politics exist are irreparably sick and broken. Wishful thinking and codependent fantasies are not going to make it otherwise, and I feel sorry for those who insist on thinking that it will. If there is anything to be done, it lies in making specific preparations for dealing with an age of decline and collapse and attempting to bond with one's neighbors (difficult to do in a society as profoundly socially atomized as ours, I will readily admit) as we will need one another in order to deal with the coming difficult times. But as dubious and vague as this course of action sounds, one really must admit that it makes a lot more sense than expending one's time and energy supporting any of our dying society's decaying institutions.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

You heard it from Mr. Roboto first

If you're any sort of observer of US society, one thing with which you are all too familiar is the middle-class American tendency to cling to notions that are manifestly untrue to an utterly ridiculous extent. I like to point this out with the Orwell reference "2+2=5 and we've always been at war with Eurasia". As the various crises of deindustrialization rise and interact with one another to have a synergistic effect (this is known as "catabolic collapse"), I expect this characteristic to kick into high gear in a way that will be truly astonishing to witness. The Tea Partiers are the gold-plated, lemon-scented example of what I'm talking about here. But the phenomenon will be nearly universal. That's why I still expect to see Kostards and Democratic-Party Kool-Aid drinkers still rambling and ranting about how we have to support Obama and the Democrats long after martial law has been declared and elections have been cancelled.

You can take it for granted that people will deal with the ongoing catastrophe by waiting for some ideological Santa Claus to come sliding down the chimney, and they will base whatever decisions they make on this assumption. In the face of mounting evidence that "Santa ain't comin' down no chimney no time soon", they will simply "double-down" on their respective delusion of choice. This is what human nature does in the face of disastrous societal predicaments that are too massive for small groups of concerned citizens to deal with in the sense of "solving a problem". In a socially atomized society such as ours in which you have most people drinking one flavor of Kool-Aid or another to be able to deal with life when things are normal and stable, look for this phenomenon to metastasize like a cancer being fed pure estrogen when things are decidedly not normal and not stable.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Apple

Industrial economies are like an apple ripening on a tree branch. The first phase is the "green" phase in which there is room for a lot of growth, and that capacity for growth is what makes so much expansion and favorable change possible. The second phase is the "peak" phase, in which society has a great deal of surplus available to take care of people and for all kinds of grand projects, and here prosperity and growth are taken for granted as luxuries become viewed as necessities. The third phase is the "ripe" phase in which the apple falls to the ground and becomes soft and brown. In this phase, resources become more scarce and expensive and need to be rationed differently. This is where you really see the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. This is where we are, and things are going to get worse, not better. The decay of the American industrial economy, not to mention the world industrial economy, is no more reversible than the decay of an apple fallen from its tree-branch.

This is why Keynesian spending doesn't work as well as it used to work. Because we're at our maximum capacity for growth, such social spending starts to encounter the principle of diminishing returns. In fact, you can pretty much count on all the usual solutions petering out in their effectiveness because the capacity for any further growth is now exhausted. And because you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet, trying to recapture the growth phase will only yield mass-insanity such as the Tea Party.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Paul Craig Roberts gets it right


Could it have been any other way? Probably not.


The money quote:

In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.

Well, at least Mr. Krugman has a glimmering of understanding of what's really going on, as limited as even his perspective necessarily is. What he needs to understand is that the fixed political realities in play made the outcome virtually scripted if not fully scripted.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt-ceiling hubbub

It looks like a deal is taking shape in which the extreme Republicans get pretty much everything they want, which means precious little cuts in military spending and bloody-awful cuts in social programs. Obama and the codependent-doormat Democratic-Party Kool-Aid drinkers deserve one another in a huge and major way. This was probably the plan all along in this whole ridiculous scripted drama.

And if the global economy would have been taken over the edge of the cliff by the Tea Party? I would have seen it as this country's karma playing itself out. There were plenty of signs and warnings that the new crop of Republicans would prove to be mondo-serious Jacobins unlike any previous generation of Republicans, but the electorate chose to let itself be beguiled by all the free publicity the media gave the Tea Party.

And the Long March to the Right which has made all that has transpired possible is something for which we can thank not just the Republicans, but also the now-withering middle class, the corporate media, and the Democratic Party establishment itself. All the Kool-Aid in the world won't change what the historical facts of the matter are. On the spiritual level, what has been driving this ongoing fiasco is what an utterly narcissistic society we have been for a very long time, and it's why our future as a society is very grim.

And let's face facts. The reason for this squabbling over our runaway national debt arises from the fact that energy and resources are necessarily becoming more scarce and therefore expensive, and some kind of conservation needs to start taking place, only we don't have the conceptual framework to realize that because our economic mode is based on generating profit through energy-waste. And reducing social spending won't restore growth as the far-right politicos and economists would have us think, because taking spending power away from ordinary people reduces the amount of money circulating in the economy, which reduces tax revenues, which increases deficits further. When waste-based economies no longer have fuel and resources to readily squander, contraction is the only option there is. And in corrupt, plutocratic societies, that means the people who are least able to defend their interests will be the ones who get fucked over.

And the fading-away and increasingly-irrelevant Liberal Class of whom Chris Hedges speaks will continue to pretend that voting for and supporting Democrats will somehow mitigate this ongoing disaster, in the face of all contrary evidence such as this last-mintue debt-ceiling deal. In the immortal words of Mr. Natural, "'Twas ever thus."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Something I really hate to admit

Those old Duran Duran songs from the early 80's have really managed to grow on me over the years. :-P

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thought for the day, #2

To invest yourself too much in human institutions is to set yourself up to become enslaved by delusions and ultimately disappointed. In order to maintain your faith, you will be compelled to see things as other than what they really are. Before long, too much of your identity becomes bound up in this institution so that you are essentially a prisoner of it. This can't really serve your spiritual life, because if this institution is large, powerful, and impersonal, as many modern institutions are, its leadership will be rather more concerned with their own power, status, and priveleges. Their petty concerns will stand in stark contrast to your ostensibly noble goals for so unconditionally supporting the institution in question. Such is the way of civilized human life. To deny that is as silly as trying to deny the Laws of Thermodynamics (which, of course, is another crazy thing our societies try to do, something known to those who study peak oil and resource issues).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thought for the day

If whatever is going to happen in the world is going to happen, then why waste time trying to get other people to change their mind or their behavior when you know it isn't going to work? Let them be who they are, and you just be who you are. Live and let live, or live and let die, whichever the case may happen to be.

We are all made in the image of the Divine, to whom all our beliefs and all our denials are but ripples on the surface of a pond on a windy day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


If there's one thing that the whole debt-ceiling kabuki-theater row has driven home for me, it's how much American public politics has become nothing more than an unrewarding and codependent civic religion. I won't indulge the popular and patently false mass-media fiction that both sides are guilty of the exact same things, but both sides do an awful lot of kidding themselves and "straw manning" in order to prop up the respective fantasy-worlds in which they live. And year after year, they fail to see that the fantasy they continue to support brings no tangible benefit whatsoever to their own or anybody else's lives. It's as though the more intelligent homo sapiens becomes, the more tools we acquire for ruining things and removing ourselves from the truth of matters.

So why do they continue to support what they support if it's so ultimately unrewarding? The answer is exactly the same as why people stay in romantic relationships that only drain their emotional energies and undermine their sense of self-worth: Their sense of who they are has become so completely bound up in the relationship or situation that something known as the psychology of previous investment takes over. If all your mental eggs are in one particular basket, of course you are going to be utterly loathe to recognize the fact that those eggs might be better protected in other baskets.

The whole thing makes me terribly sad because there truly appears to be no antidote. If people are going to cling with a white-knuckle death-grip to what isn't so and will only cling to it ever more tightly in the face of evidence that it isn't so, what is there to do? You certainly can't tell people what to think, and behaving as if you can is the most deranged, childish, and absurd control-freak-ism humanly possible (and of course those who choose that option cling to that with an insane codependent death-grip that only ends up kicking what they think they want further and further and further away from them, as though they were utterly infatuated with ignorance and failure).

So I guess the only thing left to do is, once again, just sweep your own front door-step, try to be as clear-headed as you can manage, and put those who cling to what doesn't work out of your mind. Life is too short to aspire towards and worship what only undermines one's ultimate purposes. I believe it is a much better idea to use our time here to make ourselves as spiritually evolved as we might manage, and that by the way by definition means rejecting fundamentalism and absolutism of every variety. And remember that God (the Divine, Spirit, etc.) loves everybody equally no matter how badly screwed up they are.

And my pithy closing sentiment is thus: "Convictions all too often make convicts."

Monday, July 25, 2011

What I realized today: We're all crazy, and that's okay

The title is a little simplistic, because it isn't entirely true that I realized this just today. Rather, it's the culmination of something that has been building up for a while. And it's a pretty "no-duh" realization, at that. This grand revelation is that deep down inside, everybody in this society and maybe the entire world is a howling lunatic, and that's just the way it is. And yes indeedy-do, this includes yours truly. That this worldview includes me might lead some people to say that perhaps I'm just generalizing from myself onto the rest of society. To that I can only say, it's certainly possible, but based on what I've observed, I rather doubt it.

I'm not saying that this is a reason to harbor hatred or animosity towards other people. Misanthropy and bitterness for its own sake are never good things and not attitudes towards which I aspire. There was a period in my life in which I did hate myself and other people. I am appropriately ashamed of that period, but at the same time, I'm not going to dwell on it. What would be the use of that?

If anything, it's good in a certain way that everybody is basically nuts. Why that's the case make it necessary and important to look at why everybody is nuts. The world today isn't a good place. It is completely corrupt and dysfunctional, and heading towards a historically unprecedented crisis due to the fact that energy and resources are becoming increasingly scarce. Our societies and our mass psychologies are simply not set up to deal with something so drastic, inevitable, and comprehensive.

The result is something called cognitive dissonance. If you don't know what that is, Googling it will certainly provide quite an education, I'm sure. An example of cognitive dissonance are the Tea Party types who loudly proclaim as a matter of quasi-religious faith that there are and will always be plenty of energy and resources, and any information saying otherwise is part of some Evil Conspiracy. When you look at the totality of what these people believe in comparison to the reality of the world in which we live, you can see that what they're doing is sealing their minds inside the cultural myths that have traditionally sustained them, even if that means believing ideas that are essentially factually false. In the most extreme cases such as the Tea Partiers, cognitive dissonance becomes a fundamentalist religious mindset that must not be challenged. And if you don't believe me, go ahead and see what happens when you do try challenging it!

Certainly not everybody is as extreme, aggressive, and fundamentalist in their existential cognitive dissonance as the Tea Partiers. But such is the troubled and troubling nature of the world in which we live that even people who are mostly intelligent and fact-based engage in cognitive dissonance to some extent, and I have arrived at the conclusion that this condition is nearly universal. So how is it a good thing, you may ask?

Well, if the world is insane and headed for catastrophe in a way increasingly difficult to deny, normal human beings are going to be very freaked out by this. And that's good precisely because that is a normal human reaction. If people were not freaked out, then that would be something about which we should be very frightened. After all, generally only sociopaths are the ones who can remain eternally unaffected by the unfolding of dire events. And there are already more than enough sociopaths in this world, especially in the ranks of those who rule this planet!

On a practical level, that everybody is nuts is more likely to have detrimental than beneficial effects. People will cling to inappropriate courses of actions and self-defeating fantasy-notions about how to deal with the unfolding crises. But while there are things we could be doing on the collective level that could mitigate our predicament, once again, our institutions and mass psychology are not really set up to accomodate such courses of action. But on an existential level, it means you should love and accept people "warts and all" and do your best to constructively work within the realization that everybody is nuts.

After all, just because we the commonfolk may lack agency to do anything about where the world is heading doesn't mean that our existences lack inherent worth. So just do what you can to make your little corner of the world a little brighter for those with whom you have interaction, and if they're not in a place where they're able to deal with hearing about the harsh realities of the world situation, then find something else of substance about which you might converse with others. When one has no agency on the collective level, one is left to do what one can on the personal level. My advice would be to try and do so in a spirit of, well, Love and Light. :-D

Oh yeah, and also don't take the Internet too seriously. As Darva Conger of "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire" infamy said eleven years ago, "America is high school and the Internet is the bathroom wall."