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The Messiahs of Hope Assure Us Everything Will Be OK in the End. But It Won't

Wherever all that came from, Beli, it’s some hela intense explicational matter!

However, your “we’d hear the screams of the indentured serf” concept, an imagined disincentive to ordering too much crap from the Amazon (as it burns down), bears a flawed assumption. For at least a moment there, you disregarded the possibility such screams might actually spur sales.

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“EXTINCTION REBELLION HAS LANDED STATESIDE”

https://extinctionrebellion.us

EXTINCTION REBELLION INTERNATIONAL

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“…no more than 3% to 5% of the population need be engaged to challenge despotic power. This means, first, naming and accepting reality. It will not be easy. It means grieving for what is to come, for there is certain to be mass death. It means acting, even if defeat is certain, to thwart those who would extinguish us. Extinction Rebellion plans to occupy and shut down major city centers around the globe in October. This is a good place to start. By defying the forces of death, we affirm life.”

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it is called denial and it is a survival mechanism. Just like religion and spiritual beliefs are where you cant stomach reality and the fact that your life doesn’t have some deeper, objective meaning and that one day you will be dust, recycled though the planet’s ecosystem and food-chain, so you make up gods and Prophets and messiahs and deities and ascribe some higher cosmic sense to your existence just so you can endure. You do it because you are in denial about the inevitable. It really is a survival mechanism. In fact, my observation is that most people live their lives like they were gonna live forever. In other words, in denial.

And this is exactly what is happening right now: people are in denial about Trump and the dark, foul direction this country, and with it the world, is going. Remember, A titan like the US wont just die quietly and without sending a massive, destructive shockwave through the world. We are connected, whether we like it or not. The Trump presidency, and just overall the direction the US has gone these past 50 years, is a worldwide tragedy that is going to affect every man, woman and child on this planrt, not just something USAians have to deal with.

But denial dictates that we simply cannot envision or fathom a world where the United States, not unlike bodies after death, crumbles to dust and we become just another shithole dictatorship. People just dont want to believe things can get bad like in the movies and no one likes hopelessness. Which is why people who have warned about Trump are repeatedly dismissed as negative alarmists. It is all part of denial.

Right now everyone is docile, being quietly converted into subservience while the oligarchs are quietly and slowly chipping away at our liberties and freedoms and livelihoods and, literally, lives. We are destroying the planet, the only oasis we know in a hostile, cold universe, just so we can maintain a billionaire class. And most people are ok with it because something something American Dream, bootstraps and meritocracy blah, blah blah… And those in power count on this lie they sold and the following complacency to thrive while pushing the false hope narrative in a final blow to silence us into subservience. After all, who wants to be around someone who is negative?

Hope sells, reality doesn’t.

Finally, an article that lets me know I’m just not just being a nihilist when I think, given the species past history, the world is doomed under capitalism. The climate strike in October will not only need to be massive but stay massive and inclusive of everyone who is unheard. The current powers-that-be can weather a one-off demonstration no matter how large and only a Occupy type movement worldwide that stays in the streets can ever challenge them. The occupation of oil refineries, pipe line construction, factory farms, banks, gated communities, concentration camps, and government buildings will be the only thing that has a chance to save us. Unfortunately, the cost will be horrific as the militarized police and military will be used against protesters everywhere and will become more violent the faster their power wanes. Change first, the hope can come later.

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It was also the time of unregulated tests of nuclear weapons, including the hydrogen bomb. Are their causal connections to that in this historical period from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, too?

Thank you Mr. Hedges.

If human nature does not change, yet societies do, then what societies do cannot be equated with human nature, though surely there is some relation.

No, the problem is–the panoply of problems are–systemic and circumstantial. It can be rearranged if we are aware and willing to do it.

Hope gives Hedges’ call to arms some meaning, though that does not seem to be the way he himself adds that up, at least not here.

Yes, we’re going to need some percentage to revamp government. But this is not just a revolt against government or some few people who call themselves elite. The time is upon us to put down the entire extractive global economy, and we are not going to manage to do that all at once: it would kill us, almost every one of us. And the responses people would likely have to it might do in the rest.

No, we have to create an alternative economy, an economy of regenerative systems. As that develops, more of us can step away not only from our renegade governments, but also from our degraded and corrupt and mostly useless jobs and businesses.

It’s always good to see Hedges here again. But we may not have time nor resources to fight the previous war. New methods and resources are coming into play, and we are going to need them.

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What do you think of these: “Care of Earth, care of people, return of surplus to these ends”?

Well, most historians consider that neither the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were necessary to end the war against Japan. The real purpose was the first two shots of the Cold War. The USSR went from ally to “existential enemy” by Truman’s presidential fiat. This period also saw the intiation of the Permanent War Economy. It was FDR that layed out the plan to create the oil monarchy of Saudi Arabia, the Saud family gets power, the US ruling class got the oil.

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I am involved in a class teaching practical resolutions for group action to over 1,000 people at a time.

It helps to find the people who are already moved to seek answers. To some degree, their neighbors trail along behind.

This conclusion of your post is most pertinent. Maybe it’s unfair, but the hair on the back of my neck goes up resisting Hedges’ tone more than the points he recites. HisStory used the phrase “a tincture of Calvinism,” which hits the nail on the head. As if Hedges is one of the elect few, mourning the foolishness of all the little people.

It’s a deep struggle of life today, for anyone woke: the whole world seems insane. To retain what’s left of my own sanity, I can’t assume I’m above all that just because I’d like to be. Why wouldn’t I be just as messed up as everyone else, only perhaps in a different way? Would stand to reason.

The ideology of class rule, of capitalism is everywhere. It is hard to separate the ideological distortions in concepts of human nature from any meaningful one. An honest reading of history would demonstrate that human nature is plastic, malleable negating the idea of a fixed human nature. So often the term human nature is used as a justification for the proclivities of class rule.

For me, getting an intellectual handle on this came from reading Marx’s German Ideology.

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Humans are merely animals that call themselves “intelligent” to try to convince themselves that they are not animals. Our language and thumbs are supposedly evidence that we are intelligent. Although other species have much more eloquent communication abilities than humans. Our ability to use our thumbs to build shit, taller, wider and bigger shit is also used to claim “intelligence”. We define intelligence to fit us. No alien creatures are looking at us and saying “My how intelligent they are”. We ignore animal populations who overcrowded and died off because we are smarter than them. We ignore the civilizations that have crumbled in the past due to overuse of resources and overpopulation. i.e. Mayans, Incas, Anasazi and many others. We ignore that because we are smarter than them. So we think. For some reason. We are cavemen that learned carpentry. And not much else.

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Thanks for the recommendation. (Wiki says “it is perhaps the most comprehensive statement of Marx’s theory of history”.) Also, it sounds like M&E in a rowdy mood!

In my reading relay race at the moment: Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freires, who took the baton from Frantz Fanon. What I most treasure about Freires: The wisdom he forwards might have a chance of improving my writing. He’s the soclialist Mr Rogers in contrast to Fanon, the socialist Tupac Shakur (which doesn’t make any sense, sorry).

That is just a coincidence of timing. Atomic bomb testing had no appreciable effect on atmospheric CO2 levels. They effectively doubled the normal levels of carbon 14 in the air, briefly (1963 to 1965) but that only amounted to adding less than 2 carbon atoms per billion in the air, and that bomb pulse was half-gone by 1975.

Douglass was so right about many things. But is this the same Frederick Douglass who threw Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton under the bus?

Environmental degradation through control of S.A. & MENA ( oil countries ) in the 1950s, by Western powers, contributed to our current emergency. But, has the environmental destruction caused by nuclear testing in the same time period been studied as a contributing factor, as well?
All those careless tests haven’t helped, surely.

You tell me

https://www.nps.gov/wori/learn/historyculture/frederick-douglass.htm

Born into slavery in February 1818, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) became one of the most outspoken advocates of abolition and women’s rights in the 19th century. Believing that “Right is of no sex, truth is of no color,” Douglass urged an immediate end to slavery and supported Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and other women’s rights activists in their crusade for woman suffrage.

Hi Phred,

We saw Burns’ documentary on Susan B and E Cady Stanton some time ago, and of course were struck by their courage. Someone described their goal of women’s suffrage as simply the most “significant social revolution in human history.” And when you think about it, women have been oppressed by men ever since they got together and all around the world.

Burns shared a fact about a split between them and F Douglass–yes, they were allies but they had a significant disagreement.

Here is a quick ref from the Atlantic

"After the War, with abolition achieved, the movement turned to broadening the franchise. It was generally agreed. among the reformers, that universal emancipation – for black men and all women – was the ideal. But the old abolitionists split on the matter of timetables. On one side you had activists like Julia Ward Howe, Antoinette Brown, Lucy Stone and ultimately Frederick Douglass, who favored the enfranchisement of black men as a first step. On the other side stood Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who argued that the incrementalism was bankrupt and that the franchise should be expanded to include black men as well as black and white women.

The subsequent fight destroyed the old antebellum alliance and eventually sent both movements into a (short) dark age."

In short, women were dropped from the 15th amendment that gave former slaves the vote, and they had to wait about 62 years to receive the vote in 1920 w the passage of the 19th amendment. Douglass had his reasons, but the women’s cause was certainly as significant as any other social cause in history. So Douglass played a role in that delay, basically signing off on leaving the women out of the 15th amendment–was he sexist? were they racist? Most think neither is true, but that’s the conflilct for you. This is the link to the article quoted above: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/10/the-great-schism/246640/

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A chunk of the book is devoted to arguments very topical at the time between the Young Hegelians, but not so relevant today.

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