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A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of Death

A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of Death

Phil Rockstroh

We human beings, as a species, have arrived at a profound point of demarcation: paradigm shift or perish.


“The solution: Within each of us swells a deathless song. Powerful. Resonate. Piercing. A song, miraculous of influence, plangent with the force to seize back your soul from the death-besotted spirit of the age. Let it rise from within you. Notice: how flocks of empire’s death birds scatter like ashes in the wind.” (Phil)

Yes - that’s how it was when I went climbing. I just saw a twelve minute video of Peter Croft (“The Hulk”), and it seems so obvious that is why he climbs still, and Alex Honnold, Sharma, and all the rest.

‘Moral Injury’ is what Phil is talking about - translating into real physical manifestations, including early death.

Survival of the fittest at work - gruesomely so.

“The cause of the reprehensible situation, it should go without saying, is not the fault of the poor but the poverty of spirit at the core of capitalism.” (Phil again)

I have seen this personally - who has not ?

Perhaps many, as Phil so poetically relates. Many are ‘caught up’ in fantasy - Steinbeck’s “temporarily impoverished millionaires”.

But Joseph Tainter was on to something when he stated that things are just too big - too complex.

We are, in effect, out of our depth, above our pay grade - there are many ways to express this.

Very glad to have Phil Rockstroh’s article - it really does do something positive, even though, as Phil points out - we are powerless.

“If reality is met head-on, if empire, external and its inner analog, is renounced and challenged, then a liberation staged by the heart’s partisans can begin” (Phil)

That’s my hope - why I blog.

Let’s hope Phil is right on that one, i.e., ‘get real’ is possible !

And if it is not, or if we are late, as appears the case - then we need to prepare ourselves for an awful lot more casualties.


if you enjoy reading sci-fi you likely have run across a particularly nasty monster often called the death-eater who thrives nourishing itself on death and carnage. his sole purpose is to gather massive armies of marauders to destroy everything in their path. this death-eater creature cannot die, but grows larger and more powerful as he inhales the fumes of freshly spilled blood. now here’s a strange quality of the monster; he feeds and is sustained not only from the deaths of so-called enemy combatants but by the loss of his own loyal warriors as well. in our world the monster goes by the name, capitalism.

how then do we demolish such an awesome and evil enemy? do we gather arms against him and by fighting inadvertently nourish and strengthen him? we cannot play his game on his turf for his game is fixed. we must not linger o’re long in fear and desperation for he gobbles our futility as an appetizer tantalizing his insatiable appetite for more, ever more, glorious death. we, then, must embrace life and all that lives with us. we must shy away from the consumerism that supports his death march. as phil advises

The solution: Within each of us swells a deathless song. Powerful. Resonate. Piercing. A song, miraculous of influence, plangent with the force to seize back your soul from the death-besotted spirit of the age. Let it rise from within you. Notice: how flocks of empire’s death birds scatter like ashes in the wind.

hi! i’ve been meaning to respond to you on our recent “slo-mo” discussion. i had said that as slo-mo glides through life seemingly without effort he has escaped the stresses of capitalism. i even used the term, stress free. you pointed out–and correctly–that life cannot be stress free. in deed, i was a bit hyperbolic there. for life cannot nor should not be stress free. in life change is constant and always we must shift our center of balance as we skate through.

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Interesting observations. I’d add that part of the manipulation (conscious or otherwise) is mis-identification as part of the psychological ‘externalization’ of advertising in predatory capitalism.

For example, if I mistake a cause for an effect, I am effectively removed from interactive positioning. If I regard stress as a sort of ‘barometer’ - a metric made manifest, I get a handle on identifying my bodily/mental matrix, and can train myself to ‘cut its effects off at the pass’ as it were. That having been learned, it can become a nurturing meditation and practice. I am reminded of the dynamics of jujitsu as a model for negotiating inter-existance with reality. There is an entire universe of of peaceful warrior practices throughout the cultures that the predators extract from and destroy. In the west, the Quaker compilations of short meditations on faith and practice sometimes have stunningly elegant windows on the clarity of spirit.
The tao-te-ching

sometimes exploring wisdom completely alien to everyday experience can transport consciousness to a new horizon and vision.


Re-visioning of capitalism is a necessary first step in renovating a broken, corrupted system created by our traditions. Capitalism must serve the people - not the other way around, as presently is the case. Capitalism must serve an authentic democracy, something we don’t have either. Dems and Pubs, Cons and Libs all support the system which guarantees poverty and suffering. They will not change this system because they support it, regardless of what they say otherwise.
Unaccountable and opaque governance, corporations as citizens, politicians and bureaucrats immune from swift removal and severe legal consequences - these and many more traditions must be renovated before we can hope for justice and democracy.


How many Americans do not support capitalism and truly envision something different? 2%?..not many at any rate. Of course people want something better than the crappy situation we now find ourselves inhabiting. But, for goodness sake, republicans are trying to make everything truly, horribly worse. If Americans had any brains and caring for others then we would elect progressives whether democrat or independent or whatever. But we don’t. How we find ourselves with republicans in charge is truly depressing. Ignorance, stupidity, evil…all we can do is try to summon the energy to fight the good fight.

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Death and Taxes, the only two things that you can truly count on.

And, the two things that Donald Trump seems eager to push.

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Bitcoin and Blockchain can beat Wall Street:

Whenever I comment on an article on CD, I try to pick one of the most meaningful lines therein, and copy it to my post. With Phil Rockstroh, however, it is impossible to select any one sentence or paragraph that stands out from the rest, for they are all part of an organic whole. It is breathtaking to read and ponder the beauty and truth in his words and thoughts

I really can’t come up with an adjective that is quite worthy in describing his work. It is magnificent. It is spellbinding. It is profound. It is all of those things, and yet, it is more than that!

Thank you, Phil! Keep writing, Friend!


thanks! in fact i have of late been studying the tao te ching verses. lao-tzu’s philosophy still works!

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“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”― C.G. Jung

I liked Phil’s use of this concept in his brilliant article. Also suggested is the link between trauma and addiction. I guess that is part of lesson, build a strong bridge between the unconscious (unseen) to the conscious (seen). Creativity.


The transition from book one to book two is very relevant in our culture at this time in my opinion. With Confucius being a bit on the punishing fire and brimstone side to Lao-Tzu the philosopher. Do you read it as an oracle?

Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.

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Kudos, as always, to Phil Rockstroh and his eloquent assessments of our ongoing disaster.

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Good God! What prose!

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Sorry, I’m a fairly well educated engineer in the physical sciences, but I find that bit coin is based on the same incomprehensible capitalist bullshit and based of the same fucking old “greed” as capitalism.

Fuck Bitcoin.

Solidarity is the way.

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It is curious to me that no one wants to harness its power in a linear and transparent way.

Everyone wants it to remain without gravity.

Emmy Lou Harris sings “It’s a hard life wherever you go”, and truer words were never said.

Each of us deals with it a different way - ‘slo-mo’ was one way - Phil’s article here is another - and all of us commenting different again. I think Phil reminds us of ‘the better angels of our nature’, for indeed the good die young, as Phil points out - it becomes just too much for a sensitive soul - and for the unlucky.

Some of us, lucky and tough, opt out - for awhile anyways - which is what I did.

But as Phil points out, the cultural landscape of death has eventually to be walked through, unless one is lucky enough to be killed, climbing say, as happened to climber Ueli Steck not so long ago this year near Everest.

Since you liked slo-mo. here is a vid I just discovered, of another favorite climber, the Canadian Peter Croft, dealing with life his way. I’ll post the interview on outdoor gear, a part of our capitalist system, which alerted me to a new anchor, the ‘bunny ears’ double figure eight, which I’ve found is easy to make, much simpler than the cordlette system, lighter, faster, simpler, less is more type of thing - all things the interview goes over, but it’s a bit technical, so if you want, just scroll down to the video (12 minutes), for a really nice little look at ‘opting out’, at least partially (Origins - The Hulk).

As I write this, I’m re-reading Phil’s “partisans of the heart” - so fine !

Here’s one of many of Phil’s lines that struck me:

"Yet, and the fact is mortifying in its implications, there is not a sign of the emergence, even an incipient one, of a viable resistance to the present order. "

I am reading Martin van Creveld’s 1991 “The Transformation of War”, and I’ve just finished the section where he gives a brief re-capitulation of the history of war, from tribal thru Greek & Roman times to the present.

What strikes hard is the depiction in this history of exactly what Phil’s quote alludes to - the people in large hierarchical societies have always been used and abused, and we’ve never found a way out.

US democracy - the Declaration - seems a failed experiment, or maybe it was just another step along the way - I don’t know ?

‘Prepare for impact’ seems an appropriate response right now.


Phil, in my view, is one of the most intelligent and cogent writers of today. Nothing more to add, because in contrast to Phil’s enormous, narrative of wealth my two cents worth is miniscule

" Paradigm shift or perish ." ENOUGH SAID.

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