Sunday, February 28, 2010

Church of God (COG): Esther As Archetype

Feast of Purim: Esther performs a subversive transformation of identity and power; she compasses simultaneously contradictory positions; she both submits and presides; she makes an eloquent plea against enslavement and violence [Esther 7] - she calls for liberation; external identity is a "mask" for her internal being; she is what she did not seem to be, a Jew, at the same instant, Esther "comes out" as a woman - just as she unmasks the truth of herself as Jew, she unmasks the truth of herself as woman; having masqueraded as a submissive being, she manifests herself as a potent, commanding leader who imminently takes the king's authority in her hands, legislates, and makes royal appointment - the Jews in Persia are transformed from oppressed people to empowered self-defenders - ESTHER TRANSFORMS HERSELF FROM OPPRESSED OBJECT TO STRIDENT COMMANDING SUBJECT; Esther's indomitable humane compassion [vs. a self-absorbed power like the king and Haman] drives her to risk her own life to oppose narrow and violent evil ["If I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16)] -- Esther's solution respects the integrity of the body by deconstructing the text [repeal the order of annihilation], yet the king has no power to revoke his own seal; the only recourse is to issue new orders giving the Jews permission to defend themselves; the monarch's solution destroys the body while maintaining the text intact: the outcome of the story enacts the horrific consequences of the displacement of integrity from human life to text -- Esther affirms her humane kindness, by contrast, the violent outcome is a perverse inversion, a mockery of divine immutability, and a displacement of the sacred from our texts and table !! -- TEXTUAL ACTIVISM IS A CHRISTIAN DUTY, A REASONING TOGETHER !! - Esther was an activist whose potent insurgence foiled a plot of global proportions; the Fast of Esther (preceding Purim, the Feast) is a day of strategy, a day to steel our resolve to foil all roots of evil: IT IS TIME TO UNMASK AND DISMANTLE, TO DECONSTRUCT THE PERVERSE, THE WICKEDNESS OF THIS WORLD !! -- [based on "Unmasking the Scroll of Esther"; Tikkun (Mar/Apr 2002 edition)]

The Road to Armageddon
By Paul Craig Roberts article link
February 26, 2010 "Information Clearing House'

Complexity and Collapse
Empires on the Edge of Chaos
By Niall Ferguson article link article link
Summary: - Imperial collapse may come much more suddenly than many historians imagine. A combination of fiscal deficits and military overstretch suggests that the United States may be the next empire on the precipice.
February 26, 2010 "Foreign Affairs" - March/April 2010 Edition
CFR Foreign Affairs issues
Information Clearing House home page

Twenty-First Century Breakdown
by Jim Quinn article link
SilverBear Cafe home page

21st Century Strategy: Militarized Europe, Globalized NATO
by Rick Rozoff article link
Global Research, February 26, 2010
Global Research home page

The Military Conundrum: Follow Orders, Or Follow The Constitution?
by Giordano Bruno article link
Neithercorp Press - 02/18/2010
Neithercorp Press web page


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Societal Fears Override God

MM Book 2 Chapter 7-5

All of the evil around us is the result of something; it is up to each of us to understand this !! – SOCIETAL FEARS OVERRIDE GOD !! – THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF HUMANITY IS REFLECTED IN THE PHYSICAL, this applies to *all* situations and actions; these are terminal spiritual sicknesses, MANKIND IS SPIRITUALLY ILL !! – ONLY CHRIST PROVIDES THE HEALING [SALVATION] — PATHOS [suffering; disease; feeling], the “quality” in something experienced or observed which arouses feelings of pity, sorrow, sympathy, or compassion; the ** MINISTRY OF TEARS ** answering the collective unconscious, the THEOGNOSIS, the knowledge and recognition [diagnosis]; the health of the community is measured by the number who participate in it [MINISTRY OF GIFTS]; DIVINE HEALING — Genetic Memory [spiritual/physical influences and characteristics imprinted; passed from generation to generation] must be a consideration — the one who has infused his own EVIL and FEARFUL spirit into others, who actuates and governs their minds, the originator and transmitter of all spiritual disease [LUST; his spiritual sacrifice] is SATAN the DEVIL !! – WE MUST KNOW THIS TO BE HEALED BY CHRIST, BY HIS TRUTH !!

MM Book 2 Chapter 7-6

They say the “price of freedom is high”, well God say’s there is no price on freedom; He offers it *free*, it is His to give !! – those who offer freedom at a price are offering slavery instead, to their systemic, and the price of their systemic is very high indeed; it is a price that we cannot pay and too many have died trying [paid the ultimate price] !! — the corporate monies have value because the evil is maintained [the servicing of Mammon; building holocaust]; the “price of freedom” is actually oppression – apathy fed by ignorance will lead to our extinction !! – WE EITHER SERVE GOD OR SERVE MAMMON; we must know what it means to serve God; we already know what it means to serve Mammon – the pain of the past [the fear] envelops each new generation; it is overwhelming our sanity; if we want our dreams to come true, we must first wake up !! – this [contrived and imposed] world is a realm of suffering and confusion [God is not the author of confusion]; the major source of suffering is ignorance and the major expression of ignorance is the belief in a Self – we must become conscious of the fundamental discontinuity and therefore illusion of Self; our purpose, our goal is to be *one with God*, our sense of Self within the One [individually we are NOT one, *together* we are one] – our individual stories are our essence; our goal is not to escape our stories, but to make our stories sacred [WE MUST WRITE OURSELVES INTO THE BOOK OF LIFE] !! – the unique torture of modernity [its thoroughness; impact] is the sense of being disassociated, de-storied [de-humanized], displaced [nameless, devoid of context, history, soul print; SEPARATED FROM OURSELVES AND GOD] – through pain, the torturer aims to force the victim to betray and abandon his story – to lose hope in life is to lose the thread of your story; to recover hope is to reweave the fabric of your story. [Sacred Stories based on Tikkun]

MM Book 2 Chapter 7 web page (widescreen)
MM Book 2 blog home


David DeGraw: How to Fight Back and Win 1

Part VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won
— The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the USA
By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report article link
Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2010

[Note: the multiple links included in the original article are not included in this posting; due to its importance the whole article, not an excerpt is presented here]

This is the final part of a six-part report. Click on the links below to view earlier parts. After reading this, please consider getting involved with this effort by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

I: Casualties of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage article link
II: The Rise of the Economic Elite article link
III: Exposing Our Enemy - Meet the Economic Elite article link
IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat article link
V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy article link
VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won article link

VI: How to Fight Back and Win:
Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

Throughout this report, I have presented statistical and fact-based evidence to demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched against 99% of Americans. Despite the efforts of the mainstream media and most current politicians, awareness of this reality is spreading throughout the United States. A recent Rasmussen poll found that only 21% of Americans think that the government has the consent of the governed. An Opinion Research Corp. survey revealed that 86% believe “the system of government is broken.”

An overwhelming majority of the population has come to the realization that our government doesn’t effectively represent us anymore. It is just a matter of time before people start taking it upon themselves to begin organizing on a mass scale. Our survival instinct will soon overwhelm our conditioned passivity and erupt into a powerful countervailing force. However, the longer we hesitate and delay action, the harder it will be to obtain economic and political justice.

We cannot continue to stand by and watch our nation be raped and pillaged like this. We can no longer remain idle and passive while our families’ futures are destroyed as we are sentenced to a slow death.

It’s time for 99% of Americans to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms.

We will obviously have many differences on how our country should be run, but we can all come together to dismantle the Economic Elite by making several pivotal political reforms. As long as the game is rigged in favor of the Economic Elite, we will all lose. So let’s find common ground and focus on several obvious battles that we need to win, and can win:

Election Reform

“The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.”
– Thomas Paine, Dissertation on the First Principles of Government

* Electronic Voting: First and foremost, no private corporation should be able to tell us who has won an election without providing an auditable paper trail. Many Democrats felt that Bush stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, and many Republicans felt Obama stole the 2008 election. Of course people are going to feel that elections are stolen when you have a private corporation secretly counting the votes; it is the inevitable result when you can’t verify the election results. In the past few years companies that count the votes have been consolidating, and one company, ES&S, now secretly controls the majority of all our votes. As voting watchdog Brad Friedman stated, “With the ES&S takeover of Diebold/Premier, their nearest competitor, the privately-run election Goliath now has an un-overseeable lock on virtually every election in the United States of America.” It is common sense to say that this is way too much power to be put into one private corporation.

* Campaign Finance: The stunning ruling by the Supreme Court to allow unlimited political spending by the Economic Elite has made a bad situation even worse. We must level the playing field by enacting laws to prevent the overwhelming influence of big money interests in controlling politicians who are forced to pander to them for the ever-increasing need to raise more and more money to have any shot at winning public office. Statistics show how much the Economic Elite already dominate this process: over 90% of the time the candidate who simply spends more money on their campaign wins the election.

* The Two-Party Oligarchy: We must end the two-party system by funding and voting for alternative parties. It is absurd and completely outdated to only have two dominant political parties in a technologically advanced nation of 309 million people. The two-party paradigm is obsolete and creates a system easily manipulated, as the past decade proves with the co-option of the Democratic and Republican parties. We can give our money and support to whomever we like - Libertarians, Tea Party, Progressives, Greens, Independents and the many soon-to-be-created political groups. However, it is pivotal that we immediately cease support for both the Republican and Democratic parties. We understand that there are representatives from both parties who are fighting for our interests, but they are very few and easily marginalized by paid-off party leaders.

* Getting on the Ballot: Republicans and Democrats have created rules to make it increasingly difficult for opposing political parties to even get on the voting ballot. We must make this process easier and invite new parties onto the ticket.

* Debate Commission: The Democratic and Republican control over who is allowed to participate in the nationally televised debates gives the two parties an insurmountable advantage over any other parties. If you are not even allowed to participate in them, you have no shot at winning. Along with this, all candidates should be given a fair share of television coverage.

* Voter Registration: If you are a citizen, you should be automatically registered to vote.

Governmental Policy Formation

* Secrecy, Transparency and Accountability: Government secrecy is at the root of most of our current societal and economic problems. When decisions are made in secrecy, corruption will most often be the result. By throwing light and investigation on the government policy process, we can easily expose the Economic Elite’s agenda and limit their influence. As part of this, all legislation and conference reports must be posted online prior to Congressional debate and vote.

* Lobbying: Along with campaign finance, political lobbying is another way the Economic Elite can easily manipulate our political process financially, in what amounts to legalized bribery. In 2009, a record amount of money was spent lobbying Congress, and now with the new Supreme Court ruling, lobbyists will have even more power to manipulate the political process with what amounts to buying the laws of our nation. Lobbying activities behind closed doors must cease entirely and equal time must be given, transparently, to all the parties directly affected by the law being written.

* Shutting the Revolving Door: No politician should be allowed to profit from government laws or policies which they have written or supported. The practice of leaving a major company to become a politician who then creates and/or supports laws that directly benefit the corporation he or she used to work for, or, conversely, politicians who leave public office to take a high-paying job for a company they have benefited, is a grotesque abuse and manipulation of the democratic process. The revolving door between politics and big business is worse than it has ever been and has corrupted the government like never before.


David DeGraw: How to Fight Back and Win 2

Information Platforms

* Media Concentration: Having a few large multinational corporations dominating the overwhelming majority of our news and information system will never lead to an informed citizenry. Only ten multinational corporations dominate our mainstream media system. These companies are run by 118 individuals who actively work to propagate Economic Elite rule. The people who run these media companies also sit on other corporate boards that often represent a major conflict of interest. Having only 118 people in ten companies dominating a system that creates public opinion for 309 million people is absurd. We must break up this information cartel and support a more diverse and vibrant independent press that fosters real investigative journalism.

* Net Neutrality: The free and open architecture of the Internet is vital to our success. Without an open Internet our most powerful medium for research and communication, and key organizing tool, will be lost. The Internet must be protected from growing forces that seek to control it by limiting our access to information and our ability to communicate on a mass scale.


* Medical Costs: We have disagreements on how to best provide healthcare, but we all agree that whatever the method, the result needs to be lower costs. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and we now pay twice as much as other nations. Other than creating huge salaries for health industry-related executives, there isn’t any reason why we should be forced to pay such outrageous sums of money for second-rate care. No American should die due to lack of money, or have to face bankruptcy in order to get life-sustaining treatments.

* Food and Water Supply: Our food and water supply systems have become a major health hazard. The amount of harmful chemicals found in both our food and water have reached record levels and is causing alarming levels of sickness in a growing number of people.

Real Economic Competition

* Most Americans Believe in Competition: If a person works hard, is productive and good at what they do, most everyone believes that they should make more than a person who sits around looking for handouts. However, just as in sports, to maintain a competitive environment you have to have rules in place that prevent people from having an unfair advantage. For those who believe in competition, in capitalism and free markets, you have to acknowledge that what we have now is not a free market based on fair competition. It is a rigged market, where larger institutions like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have an unfair advantage. We cannot allow them to be beyond the law, manipulate the market and then receive taxpayer funds to increase profits and risk-taking while smaller companies, outside of Economic Elite circles, have to play by a much stricter set of rules.

You can’t have free market capitalism when you have government policies favoring companies that have more political clout than others. What we have is socialism for the rich and trickle down economics for the rest of us. We have a market systemically designed to funnel money into the pockets of the richest. If the past few years have proved anything, they have proved that our economy is much more like a pyramid scheme than a free market, where the more money you have, the more money you make. So whatever your economic beliefs and theories might be, let’s all come together to admit that our “free market” is an illusion. We need to make the economic playing field fair so we that can have real competition.

* Redistribution of Wealth: Due to the rigging of our economic and political system, vast sums of wealth have been hoarded by the Economic Elite over the past 40 years. This money must be redistributed to the 99% of Americans who have been robbed and exploited. There will be much heated debate over how this money should be distributed, but we all need to agree that we must first hold the Economic Elite accountable and our wealth must be seized from them.

* Investigations and Prosecutions: The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has the power to reveal the inner workings of the financial coup. We must apply intense public pressure and scrutiny to force the Commission into conducting a real investigation. Another urgent priority needs to be a much wider-ranging look at war profiteering. There has been some investigation, but not nearly enough and hardly any prosecution. These are just two of the many investigations that need to be launched. As long as we keep letting the Economic Elite get away with outright theft in broad daylight, we will never be able to restore a nation of law.

There are obviously other vital issues that need to be addressed, but these are the core common-ground issues that we must urgently rally around and support. Unless we organize and take decisive action on all these issues, we will all suffer the consequences of our collective inaction. Any politician who does not urgently move on these issues must be voted out of office and replaced by people who will aggressively fight on these fronts.

These are the core issues that keep the Economic Elite in power. As famed military strategist Carl von Clauswitz wrote in his study “On War,” it is pivotal to strike at this core structure, at “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.”

To those Americans who feel powerless to change things, I say that your feelings are only a result of your induced delusion. You have become so propagandized that you do not even understand the significant position that you are in. We are not peasants trapped in a Third World existence. We are still a mass of people who have the power to change the course of history. The Economic Elite realize this, which is why they are attacking us with an increased intensity.


David DeGraw: How to Fight Back and Win 3

Why We Must Take Mass Organized Action Now:
The Devastation Ahead

Market Watch recently ran an article entitled, “Death of American Capitalism: The 10 final scenes.” The article references Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-time investment partner, stating: “Munger is warning us ‘It’s Over’ for America. Yes, ‘o-v-e-r,’ America’s in decline, at the end-of-days, coming to ‘financial ruin,’ says Munger.”

As a result of the Economic Elite’s attack on us, the inequality of wealth between the economic top one percent and the remaining 99% of the population is the highest it has ever been in our nation’s history. The Robber Barons of the Gilded Age have now been overtaken as America’s most depraved and despotic class.

As this attack continues, social safety nets and important public functions that are already reaching a breaking point will collapse under the weight of prolonged decline. With the national deficit now at an all-time high, economists are expecting major cutbacks in vital government programs and tax increases “that aren’t even imaginable.” President Obama has recently put together a “Deficit Commission” and is prepared to make “painful choices.” Many state economies are already running high deficits and preparing for deep cuts in Medicaid and retirement pensions. Major cuts in Social Security payments are also a real possibility.

On top of the 160 banks that have already failed in the past year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has listed another 702 banks as being in danger of failing. These banks “collectively hold more than $400 billion in assets” and the FDIC is already operating at “a deficit of nearly $21 billion as of Dec. 31, or more than double the previous quarter.”

With 30 million Americans now unemployed and underemployed, over the next few months five million people will lose the unemployment benefits which they have been surviving off of. Unemployment benefits in 27 states have already gone into the red. In total 40 state programs are expected to go broke. Even the most optimistic economists believe high unemployment rates will continue for the foreseeable future.

Millions more will be added to the five million families who have already been kicked out of their homes, as the number of foreclosures is expected to reach 13 million within the next few years. Food and homeless shelters are already overwhelmed, and there will be millions more in need of these life-sustaining services. 50 million Americans are currently in need of food stamps for survival and approximately 20,000 new people are added to this total every day.

Despite all the healthcare reform talk, the bill still being discussed will do little to reduce costs and extend coverage to those who urgently need it, as insurance rates continue to rise. The number of Americans without health insurance continues to skyrocket to now well over 50 million, with 45,000 preventable US citizen deaths occurring per year. Due to economic hardship, the number of people suffering from psychological depression has hit an all-time high, as suicide rates keep rising.

With a prison population of 2.3 million people, we now have more people incarcerated than any other nation in the world. Our per capita rate of 700 people imprisoned per 100,000 citizens is higher than the darkest days of the Soviet Union. On top of this, the prison industry is expecting major growth over the next few years, as a “new prison opens every week somewhere in America” and Obama commits more tax dollars for the federal Bureau of Prisons.

All told, the death and destruction wrought by this economic crisis is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every single week! And the attacks continue unabated, with no significant measures taken to defend against them and hold those responsible accountable.

With almost 200 million Americans now living paycheck to paycheck, and over 50 million already living in poverty, people are quickly running out of options. The clock is ticking loudly for them, and time delayed is time closer to death.

At the same time, Americans are arming themselves at an alarming rate. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high, and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders. In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

The recent suicide-bomber who hit the IRS building in Texas will be the first of many violent acts if we don’t demonstrate that justice and the rule of law can be restored in a non-violent manner. Suicide-bombers have already reeked havoc in many countries across the globe. As the last act of revenge and desperation, people throughout the world have increasingly resorted to this method of violence and terror.

Fate has placed us in our nation’s most pivotal moment. If we do not take it upon ourselves to lead in decisive non-violent mass action, our country will soon be torn apart by violence and destruction.

In our nation’s history, the stakes have never been higher. It is vital that we recognize the urgent gravity of the situation. What happens over the next few years will determine the fate of our very way of life, of our families’ very existence. We have been attacked, and we are now at war. This is the unfortunate reality of our current crisis.

Our enemy is extraordinarily powerful. However, we are 99% of the US population, and they are only 1%. If we fight, we win!

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.”
– Frederick Douglass

“All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency is great and unendurable. And oppression and robbery are organized, I say; let us not have such a machine any longer. I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.”
– Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

“We have no choice left…. A concealed yes drives us that is stronger than all our no’s. Our strength itself will no longer endure us in the old decaying soil. We venture away, we venture ourselves! We know of a new world.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

GET INVOLVED: We are going to begin outreach to organizations that are working on the core common ground issues mentioned in this report. If you plan to take action on any of these issues or would like to be involved in this effort, please sign up here.

Amped Status founder and editor David DeGraw
Amped Status home page


Friday, February 26, 2010

Anarchism and Truth 6

A Treatise of the Spiritual Aspects of Anarchism
by Peter Ostrowski
excerpts con't:

The 'industrialised' countries, of which Britain is one, garner a disproportionate part of the world's wealth and possessively hold it close, prepared even to murder in order to defend it. For not only is war murder, but so is the world-wide economic competition which starves millions. Moreover, given the arbitrary nature of country boundaries, all war is therefore civil war, whether it be in the form of armed combat or interpersonal socio-economic competition; we are citizens of one planet.

It appears that this is how most of the employed want the world to be. It is how most of the unemployed want the world to be. To then have the temerity to complain of being victims of such a system, or to pity the poor they themselves have created, is hypocritical, arrogant and wholly self-centred [we are complicit]. We speak of the concessions by which the unemployed are allowed to survive as being safety nets'. But why are we walking tightropes?

Countries do not exist - we have fabricated them from our bigotries. We have made them up. This is the most fundamental tenet of social organisation. Exploitative labour is maintained not by the ruling class, but by the exploited themselves. The exploited comprise the army, the one and only tool available to the rich and powerful with which to subjugate the majority, and to protect their own riches and power. The control of armed forces is ultimately the root of their power, the coercive mechanism which enables men to force their will onto others and to steal the common land. It was only because people who possessed this violent might took and divided the land long ago that exploitative labour ever came into being. People were spread so sparsely over the Earth that it was possible for anyone to find a plot of land, build their own home and grow their own food. If people had not been prevented from continuing to live so freely, trade and money could never have come into existence.

The existence of armed forces, therefore, is both a direct consequence of capitalism and a major prerequisite for its continuing survival. One cannot be without the other.

It is often said that prostitution is the world's oldest profession ('profession' is always misused in this common aphorism, of course - it is actually used here to mean exploitative labour). But this cannot be so, for military activity must be older still. Prostitution exists because of money - capitalism - which is forced upon us only by military means. Therefore there had to have been armies before there had been prostitution. The first exploited workers were soldiers.

The people of our world - the citizens of our global society, present and past - are lacking almost totally in pride, self-respect, dignity, a sense of the numinous and hope for our collective future. In place of these things fester violent hatred and nationalism, religion and superstition, and a fear of science, coupled with an inability to understand either it or the nature of its spirit. If we do not respect ourselves, then how may we ask for respect from others? We allow people to demand deference from us, and then meekly give it. This is my life - nobody has a right to tell me what to do, and I have no right to do likewise to anyone else - others' lives are their own. Only when we have first accepted this fundamental truth can we possibly accept responsibility for working towards mankind's future.

How can the exploited complain of their lot if they are not anarchists? About whom do they complain if not themselves? If they want capitalism, then they want to compete to stay alive, they want the ever present threat of redundancy, they want to be at constant risk of losing the game of Mammon. However, perhaps they do have this right of resentment if they have been enslaved and repressed, for a lifetime or for generations, and have had their intellectual and spiritual development stunted to such a degree that they don't even know what their basic human rights are. So many times I have tried to speak of rights and pride to such timid, obedient people as these, and have always found it frustratingly difficult to do when they so easily take deep offence at such frightening ideas.

Thus people who are trying to instigate anarchy are not trying to tell others what to do - they simply wish to ensure that individuals are fully capable of both making and exercising choices in their lives. A social system which allows this is by definition named Anarchy.


Anarchism and Truth 7

A Treatise of the Spiritual Aspects of Anarchism
by Peter Ostrowski
excerpts con't:

We allow God's land to be carved up and owned by a few and call the land - our land - property. Almost the whole world is chartered in this way, and we offer no opposition to this theft of our common heritage. Indeed, the popular use of the word heritage has been vulgarised to imply the ownership of the world by a few. Yet the ownership of the one thing which is above anything else the personal property of the individual - our very lives and minds and will - we unquestioningly throw away. We have damaged ourselves so badly that we cannot see that no one has the right to tell another what to do, to give orders, to starve, to murder, to imprison. We even surrender time. Our lives are so short, like the blinking of an eye compared to the cosmic time-scale, and still we speak of this time, this handful of years, as if it were not our own. We sell it to our masters so that we may live, and regard these contracts as just and fair. The 'theft of time' from these exploiters - shirking, impunctuality, sick leave - are condemned as anti-social, and we even speak of 'spare time', when we are not being abused and enslaved. But this time is ours! It is our lives! Must we be so helpless and obsequious? A day is such a precious thing, yet we let them all slip by, unused, one after the other until we die.

If people are not anarchists, then it is only they who must justify their reactionary stance. Yet although non-anarchists have vastly more opportunity than anarchists to expound their views, I have never heard anyone attempt to do so using a logically consistent argument. Not only do capitalists not understand anarchism, but it appears that they do not understand capitalism. Its proponents cannot justify it. There can be no subjective argument about right or wrong - if the mental handicap responsible for capitalism is responsible for the daily murder of millions, then it is wrong and must be cured or eradicated. It is not possible for there to be a logistically consistent counter-argument to this, and it is a waste of time to listen to anyone attempting to expound one. Anarchists need not justify that which is, by definition, the only way to facilitate mankind's survival and progress. Choosing and supporting capitalism entails wanting to live in poverty or under the constant threat of redundancy and poverty equally as much as wanting to live in wealth and luxury, for it is not possible for capitalism to exist without all these things. It also entails wishing such restriction and injustice on all other people. Capitalism's apologists claim that such a system facilitates the individual's freedom and choice. It does no such thing, because the free would not choose servitude. Under capitalism, social responsibility consists of being compliant, deferential and obedient, and merely deepening the age-old furrows worn by the machine of the system we live by. This social responsibility includes no form of contribution to society other than interpersonal and international economic competition - ultimately, to the death.

In places of exploitative labour (and, indeed, outside of such environments) so many people are quite prepared and willing to show deference to those who tell them what to do. No man has a right to give orders to another under such circumstances - that is, under the blackmail and violent coercion of capitalism - and conversely, for humanity's sake, no one has the right to give in to such false authority and offer such abject deference to others.

Governments aim to combat insurrection by exploiting this human weakness and seeking to create a strong and pervasive sense of hierarchy in society. In the workplace, if individuals are forced to compete within an infrastructure of fluid, meritocratic pay scales, then this will serve to destroy any sense of solidarity between those fellow workers, for everyone will then be at everyone else's throat - there will be no coherent 'mass' of employees, strong in their number. Also, by creating a culture where everyone is considered a 'consumer' or 'provider', governments ensure the fragmentation of industrial organisations, again stifling any possible spirit of solidarity.

So many accept and never question a great divide between 'manager' and 'worker'. Yet managers - secretaries and supervisors - serve no purpose other than to assist workers by organising their work for them. They have no other possible use, and if they do not perform competently then the workers must replace them with others. It is possible for entire companies - banks and suchlike, for example - to comprise no workers, in which case that whole organisation exists for no reason other than to serve and assist those who do work.

All the media perpetuate the capitalist ethos of home-owning, that is, the belief that a home is an investment and not a place to live. Anyone who regards their house as a monetary gamble and not a dwelling place must be prepared for the value of their investment to decrease as well as to increase. People who simply want a roof over their heads obviously desire low house prices, whereas capitalists speak of such a housing market as being 'depressed', and wish for prices to increase, which they then regard as being a 'recovery' of this market. People who choose to attempt to scale such a property ladder forfeit all rights of complaint against any loss or state of poverty they themselves suffer at Mammon's hand.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Must Refuse The Imposed Consumption

The augmentative oppression of humanity by technology; the cutting-edge [the real cutting-edge is the two-edged sword of God's truth (preaching and witness); REDEFINING OURSELVES AND HUMANITY] -- ANY CHOICE IS BEING REMOVED; WE ARE BEING FORCED !! - THERE IS NO CONSIDERATION GIVEN, OR PROVISION MADE, FOR NATURE OR PEOPLE TO REMAIN UNAFFECTED - ALL IS CLAIMED, TAKEN !! - THE COG MUST BE THE UNAFFECTED, THE UNINFECTED !! -- SOCIETY MUST REBEL !! - Christian non-participation, active resistance [intentional, deliberate obstruction BY REFUSAL TO PARTICIPATE (not destruction, demolition; but destructive to the cause or means; withdrawal) to any SAGE-Corporate cause, movement, activity, effort, etc.], not "corporate" doomsaying [as an art form; media; mainstream and the COG Inc.]; *complete detachment*, BEYOND DETERRENCE !! - as Christians we cannot in good-conscience participate in the world's imposed systemic, to any degree [CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS] - we cannot improve peoples lives, empower them as individuals, if we destroy who we are as human beings by our technological gods [gods without the guiding maturity, the (God-given) wisdom necessary]; OUR TRUE GOD-GIVEN HUMANITY HAS NEVER BEEN EXPRESSED; ONLY THE CONTRIVED HAS BEEN EXPRESSED, AND CONTINUES TO BE SO; THE COG HAS FAILED IN ITS PURPOSE !! - the virtualization of humanity, a new type of life-form [transhumanism] looming - the complexity [the intelligent design] of a human cell is beyond man's scope at this time; we must stand back in amazement at who, and what we are, and will be !! [WE MUST RECOGNIZE AND HONOR OUR CREATOR, AND HIS DESIGN] -- societal meltdown and large-scale mass murder [HOLOCAUST] is a future possibility; the neural net of society must be understood, employed for technological advance - special-interest groups [determining choice], individualists [cancer like choices] threaten humanity more than technology.

Commercial culture is seen as a benefit - positive externalities taken; association of the positive aspects of humanity, society, by the corporate - advertising [the imposed; the curriculum of society (the ability to imagine an alternative future diminished; a loss of our humanity !!)] paid for by the consumer [within the retail price, and our collective conscience], corporate income-tax deductions; "advertising" seen as the power to propel humanity, the technological society -- we must counter advertising by education, we must understand the science [psychological warfare] of persuasion, coersion; WE MUST UNDERSTAND THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF OUR IDENTITY !! -- measuring up to someones elses reflection of ourselves, a constructed image; we have grown up corporate, especially the youth of today - the images take on a reality of their own; the visual medium is real, socially constructed images !! - URGED TO BUY, TRY, COMPLY !! - citizenry media literacy is critically important; the innoculation of our minds [vs. women as bodies, men as minds]; we must deconstruct the images, the messages [the implications], the means used !! - we are socialized to rely on the images; success is linked [the corporate promises]; reinforcement by others -- we must avoid the corporate, the false logo's [THE TRUE LOGOS IS CHRIST; THE WORD OF GOD]; intrusive visual pollution is flooding our minds; we must develop a mental barrier; WE MUST DAM THE MESSAGE OF THE DAMNED !! - the media must reflect society NOT society reflecting the media - our identity is wrapped up in our history, but our history is manufactured !! -- a paradigm shift within culture or outside of culture ?? - the shift is from without, EXPATRIATION INTO GOD'S COMMUNITY, A SEPARATE CULTURE [GOD'S TABLE] !! - we must refuse the imposed consumption [the proliferation; the cancer]; OUR OWN COGNITION MUST BE OF PRIMARY CONCERN - WE ARE BEING MOULDED AND *NOT* BY THE MASTER POTTER !! - our intellect is being *bypassed* by the visual (and the music (the social tune)) -- private-corporate interest and benefit are NOT in the public interest, or for public benefit !! -- [multiple sources, including NPR All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation, concerning the commercialization of culture]


Joe Bageant: The Corporate State 1

Round Midnight: Tortillas and the Corporate State
By Joe Bageant article link article link
February 25, 2010 "ICH"

... There is a terrible science fiction-like awe in the autonomous American economic monolith, in the way that it provides for us, feeds on us and keeps us as its both its lavish pets and slaves. The commodity economy long ago enslaved Americans and other "developed" capitalist societies. But Americans in particular. The most profound slavery must be that in which the slaves can conceive of no other possible or better world than their bondage. Inescapable, global, all permeating, the commodities economy rules so thoroughly most cannot imagine any other possible kind of economy.

It comes down to owning stuff, and that the stuff we own also owns us (as anyone paying rent for a storage locker can attest). Transmogrified by industrial materialism, we have become what we own. More specifically, what we are observed by the rest of our society as owning. In the commodified society of industrial materialism, owning is being. So much so, that politicians bandy the term "ownership society" about, not only without causing the public to gag, but to cheers. Even liberals who claim to dislike the term don't want to be in a "We don't own shit society."

Early modern capitalism was more or less understandable, if not always pleasant. One can see why a pre-industrial world that had owned less would embrace owning a bit more. Who gave a damn if it came from Adam Smith's "unseen hand," the hand that was taking care of the already rich, who in turn managed the order of the world as seen through the lens of aristocratic and bourgeoisie English commerce. "If we work our guts out Nellie, we can buy a pork knuckle every Sunday. And a featherbed, if you get my drift. Woo Hoo!"

Enter the reign of the bourgeoisie, self-appointed and self-interested middlemen to anything and everything. The sheer complexity of the industrial revolution and associated finance was a dog that could fatten many fleas.

When the bourgeoisie did not get what it felt was a good cut of the action from the monarchies, it raised hell, sometimes enough to cause revolutions. If they won, as they did in America, they took credit for establishing democracy. If they lost, they fobbed it off as a "people's revolution," leaving the working slobs, the actual producers of wealth, to face the king's hangmen.

Even when "the people" occasionally win one of those "people's revolutions", we never really win. Not in the end. For instance, here in Mexico, contrary to what we've seen in Zapata movies, there has never been a successful people's revolution in terms of lasting and real egalitarian reform. Just armed struggle, and many promises of reform, always to be abandoned after the revolution. They were subsequently wiped out by the politically potent urban middle class, in league with traditional elites, such as the haciendados and corporatists. The bourgeoisie never gives up its profitable connections to the elites. Same as in America. The bourgeoisie lives at the pleasure of the elites.

However, in the people's revolutions it was mainly "the people" who got killed. So they get naming rights. The people own their revolution only in death. Just as in the U.S., the elites here and the business classes get everything else and rent it back to us as mortgages or whatever.

You can argue that people have always screwed other people for a buck, or a drachma or a shekel. You will win with that argument every time. However, the real issue is about how many people got screwed and how hard by how few. Under 250 years of capitalism, the rising take from the ongoing screw job has grown astronomical. Enough to buy every political tub-thumper in Washington and a Supreme Court. Enough that if the elite cartels on Wall Street rip 300 million Americans for trillions, leaving them squinting at the fine print on their eviction notices, they cannot do jack about it. Except pay the next ransom demand for their credit. On their credit cards. Then sign their children into future debt slavery.

We are all Mexicans now ...

Humping the Big Lie

Meanwhile, somebody has to hump The Big Lie, maintain the appearance to the rest of the world that American cowboy capitalism is stable. Also keep Americans sold on The Big Lie's flip side, the number two tune: "We are the richest and most blessed people on earth because of capitalism (but currently going through a rough patch). Proof is offered: "Step right up and see for yourselves! Just look at the spectacular services and goods that bury us in wonderment! Now go buy a PT Cruiser."

Decades ago, the spectacle of commodity capitalism, the sheer variety of possible stuff to own, ways to be, possible appearances of being, came to constitute a commodity in itself -- enchantment as a product, product as enchantment. Materialistic enchantment as commodity was so powerful in scale and scope, and so thorough in mind saturation that it came to colonize our consciousness in what Guy Debord aptly deemed "the society of the spectacle."

No ordinary person could ever have withstood such a colonization of human consciousness as the American people have seen. Consciousness being simply awareness, there was no surviving the onslaught. The tsunami of false possibilities and pseudo choices constituted entire constellations in the psyche, of goods, and images of goods large and small: hair dryers, iPods, anti-bacterial wipes, cable television, ammunition, plastic siding, gourmet foods, this HP notebook computer in my lap, the Prius and the Porsche, even words such as Google, Microsoft, China Mobile, Vodafone, Marlboro… They all have psychological and social meaning in our commoditized consciousness, that battlefield where each commodity vies for preeminence with every other commodity in the shifting exposition of stuff we are permitted to labor to pay for.

It can now be honestly stated that mere goods and services express the citizenry and the American culture in its entirety. Citizenship in a consumer society is consumership. Consumer culture consumes all rival cultures, replacing them with "pop culture," which is simply deeming the marketplace as culture. Hip Hop is a good example. So is the modern cinema, and all of the music and book publishing industry. Corporate industry and its products are not culture, despite all the new definitions of culture bourgeois academia and the marketplace come up with on behalf of the corporations that fund both of them.

Your iPod shall set you free!

Freedom and personal identity exists as freedom to choose identity from among the commodities, and particularly the entertainments, offered. The Mac person as opposed to the Windows person. The Mariah Carey or Rihanna Fenty fan as opposed to the Eric Clapton fan. Each is convinced he or she is different because of their chosen commodity. Yet at the root of this, they all purchased a computer or a CD from a faceless corporation grounded in the toxic wastelands and sweatshops of Asia and elsewhere. Those who, in a fit of defiance, choose Indy music choose a product originating in and listened to through digital equipment produced in the bowels of monolithic corporate commodities generators.

We may gaze at the hologram and dream of living larger, or conversely, living the uncorrupted "simple life" on that little organic farm in Vermont. In the end though, the lucky ones among us, all those people out there in anonymous Terra Condominia, out there in the sprawling suburban nether land, must be content with a flat screen television. Watching those commercials for the Super Bowl commercials, delivered to us breathlessly as "news," The News is the liturgy of the commodity economy -- whose scope and omniscience no man can grasp, but only consume as manna. We are feasters at the table of goods and services, most of which are not only unnecessary, distractive and mind killing, but earth destroying in both their manufacture and their use. This matters not a bit in an illusionary world of appearances. The commodity economy in its bounty, also offers us a chance to "buy green." To text a link to the Earth First website.


Joe Bageant: The Corporate State 2

It ain't fascism, it's practicality

If our national and individual minds have been colonized, occupied, then we necessarily live in an occupied nation. We have arrived at the destination where the trajectory of material consumer capitalism was always headed, toward an occupied (and preoccupied) totalitarian society. Rational, practical, productive and autonomous.

Cliché as the word is, you would have to call it overshoot. In judging the arc and trajectory of that technical rationality Western society so prides itself upon, we reduced the Enlightenment, the original launching pad of ration, to the merely practical, material and economic. The practical is scripture now. Without it material production and profit, the only concerns of capitalism, do not exist. All power rests in the practical.

What is most practical is hierarchy and specialization. Technical specialization -- within engineering specialization -- within scientific specialization. All contained within the economic specializations of the state sanctioned economy and ideology governing the conditions of our daily existence. By definition, this is totalitarian.

Totalitarianism calls ideology philosophy. It salutes itself in every medium and every product, material, legal, political. And we salute it in return through meaningless work and consumption.

In all likelihood, you the reader are younger than I. Possibly less cynical and surely less tired. You may believe yet that violent overthrow of such a monstrous system is still possible.

A year or so ago, I still believed that. Events in the world and at home have since convinced me otherwise. Maybe the system could have even been changed from within forty years ago. If it could have been and was not, then that most certainly is the greatest failure of my generation. The Sixties were a critical point at which important choices were offered us as a people. At the time, a minority realized revolution was still possible and warranted. Violent revolution, if necessary. But as a generation, we were no better at acting in unselfish concert than yours.

As Chris Hedges recently pointed out, violence today only assures the survival of the most violent, criminals of one sort or another, petty or international. Beyond that, the state now has the technological capability to inflict the most violence in every case, and therefore win. Realistic thinkers say aloud that what is so far advanced can no longer be stopped or turned around by revolution, violent or otherwise. Most other thinkers on the subject secretly suspect the same.

Mr. Popularity and the marmot

The rest of the country is oblivious, lost in the anxious clamor for an economic "recovery." The voice of the state defines recovery for them as a return to former levels of the unsustainable superheated capitalism, and increased indebtedness of the populace. "Oh when, oh when will the bankers loosen the credit markets so we can again buy things?" As if their debt slavery were a great gift! The banksters simply do not issue more credit to people they know are dead broke -- because they broke 'em, they will continue to make more money by letting the people wail, and taking the people's money directly from the state as bailouts. Stretched out over the coming years, we will see more of them. It should give us chills.

President Obama at some point asked himself if bailouts for those who caused the collapse will truly result in an end to the "current crisis" (a term calculated to make our slow inevitable collapse look temporary). How does getting the masses to accept more debt add up to anything but worse crisis later? Obama is a smart fellow, smarter than George Bush, which is what got him elected, right? (Of course after Bush a marmot could have run on the "smarter than Bush" ticket and looked good). So he must have asked that. And like any highly educated (indoctrinated) American politician who has interiorized the capitalist system -- you do not become a presidential candidate without interiorizing capitalism lock stock and barrel -- his first reflex was: "The system must be saved at all costs!" Members of Congress, whose butts arrived in the Washington through the same processes as Obama's, agreed. That cost us all plenty.

Obama is himself a commodity, the most telegenic political commodity since Kennedy. One that suits American style capitalism best this particular historical political moment. He is a useful illusion, the same as George W. Bush was a useful illusion. What is the difference between George Bush managing the country through media performances and Obama doing the same? Both are telegenic, which is everything today, but in different ways. One was stupid but radiated virility and manly appearance; the other is attractive for his intelligence and so smart he's stupid. Both lives are absorbed in "appearing to be" in the Great American Hologram of appearances. We are a nation following the appearance of national leadership.

It is cold comfort that we are not alone in this ultimate folly. Globally, it is estimated that the economic crisis has seen at least $50 trillion in financial assets -- approximately equal to the value of the entire global GDP -- wiped out. Given the bullshit "science" that is economics, and that economists serve the purposes of the money masters of their particular age, and that money is always in motion, it is very doubtful that anyone really knows the global GDP. But the illusion that someone does is necessary in preserving and controlling perceptions of the present system. Otherwise the concept of money itself would have to be reexamined and changed to fit the world reality. Better to proclaim a "crisis" and scare the shit out of the peasantry, than give them an opportunity to question the new feudalism of credit cards, mortgages, car loans, educational loans and general debt slavery. The word crisis scares people, flogs them into anxious submission, lest some fucking socialist come along and ask, Why don't you take charge of your own lives and destiny? Do you really need these people?

The "crisis" was set in motion by institutions lending each other non-existent money none of them can pay back. Consequently, the masses are once again expected to produce enough material value in the world to make the funny money real, and shore up the system one more time. To "raise the money" to do this will require generations of future productivity shoveled into the furnace of corporate capitalism's banking machinery. There was nothing left to steal, so extorting the future was the only option left. Assuming the skimmers and the scammers manage to extract enough public monies to pump up corporations one more time, there will be another and bigger disaster not far down the road. We don't need the Oracle of Delphi to predict this. Capitalism is unstable as hell, like an unbalanced dreidel that keeps tilting ever more wildly off center until it falls over or eventually hits the wall. We can now see the wall from here: Massive ecological collapse and species extinction. "Economic downturn," even "crisis," does not quite describe that approaching wall. All of America hopes we will miss that wall at least one more time.

Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper shit than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.

The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces.

Hope is political pabulum for an infantilized nation.


Joe Bageant: The Corporate State 3

A shot at economic justice (gets you shot at)

On those rare occasions when I do see nations take concrete steps toward liberation, the heart is cheered at having at least some reason for reality based optimism. After more than a century of taking it up the shorts from autonomous capitalism, Latin America is moving toward alternatives to the free trade cowboy capitalism that has so long raped them. ... (discussion of ALBA and new regional currency SUCRE follows)

Born with the disease?

It would be nice if we could neatly lay all the blame on the nasty monolith of autonomous capitalism as an outside malignant force of its own. A systemic pathogen that somehow infected a decent and unsuspecting America. Looks like I just did, in fact.

Nevertheless, America and its national character were founded on the purest greed. From the beginning the people who came here wanted more of the material world. Sure, there were some religious dissenters (of which too much has been made for propaganda purposes). But the English and Dutch stock companies that established the first colonies came looking for profits. And the common people who came here were looking for "a better life," which to them was, above all else, becoming as wealthy as possible. America was its own self-selecting process.

Read Tocqueville's description of earlier Americans' relentless buying and selling fever. Everything and everyone was always up for sale from the start. Read about the greed and stinginess of the "refugees from religious persecution," such as slave owning Quakers, Presbyterians and Methodists. Read about how the founding fathers ripped off the Revolutionary War veterans for the IOU script they so patiently held for many years in payment for fighting, buying it up for pennies on the dollar, then passing legislation to pay up on the script. Or how not only the business class, but also the supposedly bucolic and wise heartland American farmers cheered as the government troops shot down hungry striking miners, burned out their families, lest they disturb the order of the Republic of commerce.

There were the exploited working masses then, just as there are now. And there was always the petty bourgeoisie, more than happy to do the dirty work of the most elite owning class, in hopes of currying its favor. Always happy to sanction the "wet jobs" on the Italian, Polish, Chinese and Irish immigrant laborer. You could then, and you can now, depend on the true middle class, that 15% or so, capitalism's commissars, to crush the working class. They will do anything to remain in a more privileged zone of consumption, the boundaries of which are maintained by agreement of state authorities. From their petty perches, they have deemed themselves "the middle class." In reality they are the mitigating class, the petty anointed whose job it is to obscure class awareness in America.

Shut up and let the green stuff talk

An awareness of class makes clear who is fucking whom. That's why American capitalism's official line is that we area "classless society." Denying the existence of class, deeming all Americans (excepting a few too-obvious-to-be denied cases, such as inner city blacks and the poorest of immigrants), "middle class" was one of American capitalism's great strokes of genius. It blurred the line between workers and capitalism's middle class commissariat -- the petty business, mid-management, teaching and owning class managing the rest of us for the elites.

And just in case that line was not blurred enough, the bourgeoisie, particularly the academic institutions, successfully wrote the labor and the working masses out of American political history as taught in the public schools. We workers now have no continuous organic chain of memory and experience from which to draw.

The owning/business class has always been institutionalized as the state and the custodians of the entire American social and political process. History as we learn it in school is the owning class' version. Despite what we were taught, America's Constitution is mainly a property rights document, and those with the most property are naturally ascendant at all times in this country. Generation after generation of this ascent was bound to lead to what we see now. The ultimate triumph of property and money. A Supreme Court that, without the slightest hesitation, declares that money is speech and as such, will do most of the talking from here on out. The autonomous economy now has a tongue.

We can well imagine its future admonishments, its smug edicts, proclamations of terror afoot, more need for surveillance camera eyes, oil pipelines for its circulatory system. The autonomous economy not only has the bullhorn of the national media. It has a voice capable of drowning out what little of the people's voice remained, replacing our small national dialogue with soulless monologue. The bourgeoisie will listen closely though, for opportunity, a buck to be made in Kevlar, or perhaps the next new antidepressant for a demoralized, passive and discouraged republic. ...

Joe Bageant home page
Information Clearing House home page


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Christian Theory Of Just War 1

America and the Christian Theory of Just War
by John J. Dwyer article link
February 20, 2007 LewRockwell


... For my good friends, I must tell you that there is an impostor among us in this day. It presents itself as a lovely and inspiring and even holy thing, but it is actually a pretender, an idol, a damnable heresy. It seeks to swell our hearts with pride and sentiment and certitude, but in the end it demands the right to anything of meaning we possess in this world – our property, our lives, the lives of our children, our faithfulness to the teachings of the gentle and humble Savior who is the Redeemer of our souls and the Captain of our salvation.

This impostor has distorted our perspectives on world affairs, our own country, and our history. It has twisted American Christians’ understanding of our God and the Holy Scriptures He gave us. It has silenced our pulpits regarding that about which they should be aflame with righteous outrage and prophetic utterances, and it has made a lie before the nations of the world of the professions of our sacred rules of law and what George Washington, the Father of our country, called, "our blessed religion."

This impostor, this new god of Moloch, has demanded the deaths, mutilations, and moral corruptions, the mental and emotional devastation, of legions of our young, through multiple generations. Even as we meet here today, it multiplies the enemies of our nation and faith, and crafts a dark and uncertain future for our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This impostor, this detestable fraud and rapist and murderer, is American nationalism. It births its crimes in a flag, baptizes them with the anthems of bands, and seals them with 21-gun salutes and the rantings of wealthy demagogues who have come no closer to a battlefield than a television camera or studio microphone.

This impostor is not patriotism, though it would pervert that too. The patriot says, "I love my country," works for its good, and defends it if necessary – against enemies within and without. He strives and prays not primarily that God will bless his country, but that his country will bless God. The nationalist, meanwhile, says, "My country is better than yours." "My country is the greatest there has ever been." "The greatest nation on God’s green earth." "They hate my country because it is so good."

Of all citizens, the Christian should be the most faithful patriot. He should bloom where he is planted, and be a blessing to the country where God has placed him, whether America or New Zealand or Sudan. Yet we in America, especially we in the Church of Jesus Christ, have become the most faithful nationalists. If you do not believe me, talk to Bible-believing Christians from other countries. They wept and prayed for us after 9/11, then stood dumbstruck, with gathering incredulity, as they witnessed what has apparently become our true national character, unfold bloodily, mercilessly, recklessly, on the world stage in the years since.

But be not deceived, my friends, this impostor, and others that claim the place in our individual and national life that should be filled only by Almighty God, were working their will through our actions long before 9/11. In fact, they were in no small way helping to craft 9/11, and other calamities large and small, before and after.

I believe we must confront our idolatrous reverence for American nationalism – for United States nationalism – to escape leaving those who follow us to a multi-generational lot constructed, whether we wish to admit it or not, largely of our own making. And we must face the consequences of our assumptions and attitudes and in order to understand first that they truly exist within us, and second that they actually result in the actions that are the history we shall create and leave those who come after us.

Today I shall discuss some sad and sorrowful events. But these are not my primary message. They are a firebell in the night that something is wrong in this country, and has been, perhaps for a very long time. History – "His Story" as I tell my students, the story of God calling out a set-apart people for Himself from every tribe and tongue, through every generation – can teach us much. And there is no missing the repeated pattern of powerful nations like ours crumbling from within and without after engaging in the sorts of actions I shall discuss in the next few minutes.

But though this portion of the talk may seem to concern bullets and casualties and crimes of violence, these are only among the many symptoms of the true problem. "Power tends to corrupt," said the devout Catholic Christian Englishman whom we know as Lord Acton – and "absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." John Adams said that "our constitution is wholly inadequate for the governing of any but a moral and religious people." As sinful human beings, we are all prone to blindness, shortsightedness, arrogance, and greed. Ceaseless corporate yielding to such pursuits will bring ruin upon a nation. But humility, patience, and suffering faithfulness can bring blessing.

I believe we still have a chance as a nation to count for good for the long haul. Regardless of our national destiny, we have the opportunity as the Church to shine a beacon of light and hope to every nation. Lest we come too close to despairing today, we shall remember the wisdom given to us as precious treasure by faithful, suffering servants of God in generations past.


Christian Theory Of Just War 2

II. OUR HISTORY ... (excellent historical review follows in article)

... after many years of studying and teaching history, and not from a liberal or politically correct diet of source, I have come to fear that for all our affluence and prosperity and power and even Christianity, we Americans are in a bad way. Our history washes over us like a sea of blood. We now view our supposed enemies as so many digital figures on a computer screen. We urge our children to share and play and don’t hit, and yet our national identity is holding a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other. (And by the way, I will always support – with Bible and rifle if necessary – our Biblical and Constitutional right to carry both.) We tell our children to find peaceful solutions even as we continue to bomb cities full of women, children, old folks, and babies. Old and young, black and white and brown, we make very good fighters and very good haters. ...


Where to turn but for a remedy to Him who is not a respecter of persons – or nations. To Him who opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. To Him who delights not in the strength of the horse or chariot, but takes pleasure in those who fear Him. In the fifth of Matthew we read of the Beatitudes – the "be happy-tudes" – from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

"And seeing the multitudes, (Jesus) went up into a mountain: and when he was set, His disciples came unto Him:
And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,
'Blessed are the poor in spirit: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'"

Some Bible commentators attempt to dismiss any temporal applications of this famed passage and suggest Jesus’s intentions regarded strictly spiritual matters, as if the two are not part and parcel of one another. Many others just sort of scoot past the issue. Some, however, unpack, in the case of the "peacemakers" of Matthew 5:9, the implications for the believer in relations with others that are not limited strictly to evangelism.

The splendid Reformed theologian William Hendriksen, for instance, while declaring that the gospel of peace is the preaching of Christ Crucified, wrote:

"’Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called sons of God.’ A blessing is here pronounced on all who, having themselves received reconciliation with God through the cross, now strive by their message and their conduct to be instrumental in imparting this same gift to others. By word and example such peace-makers, who love God, one another, and even their enemies, promote peace also among men. . . . True peace-makers are all those whose Leader is the God of peace, who aspire after peace with all men, proclaim the gospel of peace, and pattern their lives after the Prince of Peace." ... (excellent review follows in article)

... So what are the key tenets of the theory of Just War? Well, many have been put forward in many different forms through the centuries. However, thanks to the efforts of the aforementioned men and many others (refer again to article), including some contemporary men such as conservative evangelical Presbyterian minister and economist Ron McKenzie of Christchurch, New Zealand, we can arrive at a consensus catalog of guidelines by which to estimate a war or a proposed war.

First, a Just War must be waged by a legitimate government authority. That is, not by private citizens, pirates, or usurpers. Also, its cause must be justifiable self-defense – as opposed to seeking the territory or property of others or furthering one’s own economic, social or political interests – and its intent to restore a just peace, fair to all. And it must have a reasonable expectation of success in accomplishing that goal.

A Just War must only be fought as a last resort, when every conceivable alternative has been exhausted. Its use of force must be proportionate in response to the wrongs committed. For example, burning every home within a five-mile radius of a partisan ranger ambush of uniformed regular soldiers would not be a proportionate response. Or bombing those homes from 15,000 feet in the air when they contain no soldiers.

Other tenets of Just War with solid Biblical basis include not having a large standing army (Deuteronomy 17:16, 1 Kings 10:26-29, Isaiah 31:1) and not possessing offensive weapons (Deuteronomy 17:16), Just War does not allow for the attacking and damaging of the land that is God’s creation (Deuteronomy 20:19), for "the tree of the field is man’s life," and "the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof." This item alone precludes the use of nuclear weapons, which by nature harm both the land and non-combatants. And, the defensive military alliances so common in recent generations – and so loathsome to America’s Founding Fathers – are decried in Isaiah 31:1–3 and elsewhere.

Rev. McKenzie, the New Zealand minister, further illumines the Just War philosophy when he writes how "God determines the appointed times of the nations and the timing of their rule. (Acts 17:26). No nation has the authority to invade another nation to change its government (even if it is evil). A nation cannot even be invaded to establish democracy. "Democracy," McKenzie continues, "must come from the hearts of the people, it cannot be enforced from the outside." Most attempts by great powers to establish ‘better’ government by force in other nations have failed, because the spiritual forces that control the nation have not been defeated (Daniel 10:13)."

And finally, non-combatants must be preserved from harm. That is, "collateral damage" is not allowed for, nor acceptable, however "regrettably." The first Geneva Convention on War in 1863, and others since, have minced no words: attacking defenseless cities and towns, as well as plundering and wantonly destroying civilian property, are war crimes, performed by war criminals.


Christian Theory Of Just War 3


May Christians remember that a crucified Jesus Christ was God's remedy for the evil powers that animate wicked men and nations. Let us purpose to fast, pray for and serve lands like Iraq – and Iran – caught in the grip of such forces. Let us commit to go to those lands and, if necessary, lay down our lives while armed not with an M-16 but with John 3:16.

I tell my students that we discuss such sorrowful events not because we hate America or we are nihilists without hope. To the contrary, it is because we believe in a sovereign, all-powerful, all-good God – Creator of the universe, Redeemer of us His elect company, and Sustainer of our weak needy souls – and we want to better know how we may please Him, and what are the obstacles and temptations to our doing so.

It is the truest patriot who loves his country enough to call her to task when she is in the wrong. Let the brave soldier who wears the uniform descended from Washington and those who froze at Valley Forge; from those who charged – and stood – at Cemetery Ridge; from those who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and those who drove their torpedo planes into the teeth of the Japanese carrier force at Midway – let that soldier refuse the order which calls him to war on the innocents. For such an order is an immoral order and should not be obeyed by any American soldier.

And let the Christian clothed in the white robes of righteousness and descended from the Lord of eternity declare that attacks on innocent women and children are a blot on history and on the nation who commits such atrocities. Ultimately it is our humanity that is the collateral damage, we Americans, especially we American Christians – if we remain silent. ...

Christianity and Avatar
by John J. Dwyer article link
February 24, 2010 LewRockwell

... I support discussions of Avatar that enfold Cameron's "religion" and its flaws and dangers. That being said, recent attacks by professing believers – some of them Christians working in or around the motion picture industry – accusing the film of being "Anti-America, Anti-Military" announce the speakers’ own cultural and nationalistic idolatry, if not their ignorance of the gospel itself. Of course, if a Christian chooses Fox News, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter books, and National Review magazine as their primary news sources, they'll be surprised to learn that our country's "military-industrial complex" – to use the famous words of that war hero and Republican President Dwight Eisenhower – has for generations acted as Cameron depicts it in Avatar.

Conservatives who deny the undeniable truth of our (often "well-intentioned") violent, rapacious, money- and power-fueled imperialistic behavior all over the globe are – well, they need some good teaching of the true "Christian history" sort. We should be thankful Cameron did not make Stephen Lang's villainous character in Avatar a Bible-spouting fundamentalist, as so many of our "noble warriors" actually are. (I was particularly struck by the recent story of a leading American arms manufacturer engraving Bible verses inside the barrels of the guns it made to kill people with.)

Christians moan and groan over the Church's ineffectual impact on the world in general and our country in particular. Christians who make (tax-deductible) money off other Christians moan the loudest about it. But why should a holy God honor the efforts of fools? (The biblical sense of a fool is one who refuses to learn.) Those spouting "Anti-America, Anti-Military" epithets about Avatar – and other recent films that criticized our tragic attack on Iraq – behave as stubborn, stiff-necked fools, and place themselves in the perilous role of opposing the Christian gospel of peace, humility, gentleness, purity, sacrifice, suffering, repentance, reconciliation, and redemption. So far as they labor in that direction, they act as enemies of Jesus – not because they criticize non-Christian films, but because of the unbiblical views they hold that animate this portion of their criticism.

Let us criticize those aspects of James Cameron's work – and anyone else's – that fall short of Scriptural precepts. And let us learn from such work when it casts light on our own blindness. We Christians who elect and re-elect warmongering politicians; who sacrifice our sons to serve as hired killers for Caesar; who confuse and terrify a watching world of unbelievers as we baptize our brutal military colossus with Christian symbols, imagery, song, and emotion; who cow our own pulpits into silence when they should be aflame with holy zeal and jealousy for God over such wicked idolatry – we are the villains of Avatar.

Christians should be men and women enough to own up to our shortcomings and assess where we need work to become more conformed to the image of Christ (Isn't that what we teach our children and grandchildren?), even when God chooses to use His enemies and ours to teach us some of those lessons. After all, He was no friend of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, or Romans, as is evidenced by "Where are they now?" But He used them all in His sovereign, Providential plan for sanctifying His people.

As I wrote seven years – and a couple of wars – ago, it is past time for the followers of Jesus Christ to put down our M-16s and to go forth into all the world with John 3:16 as soldiers of the cross and not Caesar.

John J. Dwyer serves as Adjunct Professor of History at Southern Nazarene University and Oklahoma City Community College. He is former chairman of history at Coram Deo Academy near Dallas, Texas. He is author of the new historical narrative The War Between the States: America’s Uncivil War. His website includes a five-minute preview video about the book. He is also the author of the historical novels Stonewall and Robert E. Lee, and the former editor and publisher of The Dallas/Fort Worth Heritage newspaper.

LewRockwell home page


Christian Theory Of Just War 4

MM Book 1 Chapter 3-19

WAR *IS* TERRORISM, a “war on terrorism” is a contradiction, and belies our spiritual illness: fighting terror with terror reduces man-kind to beasts without conscience, lashing out in the/our darkness !! – war is a taking, it cannot “give” peace [as result], especially if sought “as lie” by a weaponizing of excuse or opportunity: THOSE WHO TAKE, WAR !! – the absence of external conflict is NOT evidence of peace; engendered hatred remains, held within: OUR GOD(-ing) IS PEACE, there is NO other definition !! – war in the service of privilege and claim; asking God to guard the troops while conducting war [a crime *against* God] is to ask amiss; GOD WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN, OR SUPPORT, OUR SINS [deicide in the cause of Mammon] !! – those who conduct war [and those complicit] will be taken in war !! — the Word of God is NOT a “Sword of Conquest” to be wielded in the selfish hands of mankind; God’s “conquest” is a conquest of love NOT war and death !! – [Isa 1:4-5 "sinful nation ... the *whole* head is sick ..."] !! — every war, every conflict is about us, no matter where it is, or whom is involved: HUMAN FAMILY !! – the *excuse* of the other “forcing our hand” into striking, violence/war, criminal acts is exactly that, an excuse; THERE IS *NO* EXCUSE FOR EVIL !! – our awareness of complicity demands our repentance; our “false” family is sacrificing its members: ** FRATRICIDE ** [the crime of "murdering" a brother] and DEICIDE [putting Christ to death; His Way of Love] !! — the systemic APOTHEOSIS [n. of God; deification; consecration]: the Bush/Obama Admin., National Interest, etc., demanding sacrifice; AMERICA USED AS IDOL, “GOD BLESS AMERICA” !! – “America” (the people, their hopes and dreams) used as “divine sanction” by the Nation-State (US Inc.) to enslave the very same !! – America ceased in “being” many decades ago, usurped and misrepresented by the “State”.

MM Book 1 Chapter 3-20

WAR IS *NOT* MORALLY JUST; lack of morality “builds” war – traditional Christian “Just War Theory”, “just cause” determinations, sense of “imminent threat”, “social [corporate] obligations”, etc., all *excuse* mass slaughter in the cause of group selfishness – WAR IS BUILT, DEVELOPED – the US/UK seen as the “messianic” nation(s), in God’s service [generally held public view]; WAR IS *NOT* AN AGENCY OF GOD, MAN DOES *NOT* HAVE JUST AUTHORITY TO WAR !! – God is NOT (self)propaganda, GOD IS TRUTH; developed sin, imposed evil must be overcome by good !! – AGAPE TRUTH, PURE MOTIVE vs. self-serving propaganda of any variant; the LIE told, claimed for benefit/deception; even God’s Word taken/used for LIES !! – using Christ [in vain (in self)], and “being and doing” Christ are NOT the same !! — WAR IS BIG BUSINESS [business is war; cause/effect; resultant] !! — OUR COLLECTIVE SINS/EVIL MUST BE LAID BARE, REALIZED AND REPENTED OF, WE MUST (RE)TURN TO GOD !! — State imposed legality is NOT God’s legality !! — war does NOT ennoble a generation, it does NOT give it meaning; violence is NOT a means of communication; WAR IS NOT ENDURING, ONLY LOVE IS ENDURING !! – war “media” is complicit in the myth making, the excuses for dehumanization: human beings turned into objects – the CARNAL LUST OF/FOR WAR vs. the *ugly* truth about ourselves: WAR IS ORGANIZED DEATH !! – WAR DOES NOT UNIFY, IT DOES NOT GIVE US VALUES vs. State exaltation, heroic idolation – WAR *PERVERTS* SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUALS: PATRIOTISM IS SELF-GLORIFICATION, IT IS PREJUDICE vs. THE OTHER – WAR IS *NOT* SELF-PRESERVATION, IT IS SUICIDE !! – VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE UNTIL SOMEONE SAYS ENOUGH, STOP !! – the COURAGE of FORGIVENESS, a GOD-LEVEL AWARENESS is evidenced when the “strongest” surrenders to PEACE !!

MM Book 1 Chapter 3 web page (widescreen)
MM Book 1 blog home


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Hidden Enemy Within: Confront The Evil 1

The hidden enemy within; losing control of our soul; evil, the power that keeps us from what we want to be; found in ourselves and surrounds us [intention and will within]; dark expressions, forces of pain expressed in human beings - KNOW THYSELF !! - we must open our eyes and ears to the invisibility; we must turn on the lights [knowledge and self-understanding] - evil likes us to fear it [cohesive sentience; it has its own purpose] - we all possess faculties that have a given direction in certain circumstances [ie., pulled down into anger, hate; something in us draws us down, serving a purpose that is unknown to most human beings [maybe a blind mechanical response or a force, a sentience, SATAN] - we are spiritually deaf, dumb and blind; we have every influence ever created in us; heaven and hell, light and darkness meet in the human soul; these forces are given life by our choices, our decisions; our *relationship* with these forces determine who we are; self is relationship, we must be awake to what we are in relationship with !! - our mindset, conditioning, projection [movement of thought]; we cannot fix ourselves [psychology] with the very thing which is broken !! - we are in conflict, a divided being, a rift runs though the core of ourselves; "blame away", "explain away", are not answers - we are destroying our planet and ourselves in spite of all the prayerfulness [people resisting the evil]; we must understand NOT resist; the resisting actually increases the evil; we are fighting with shadows; we are fighting forces that are empowered by our *not* understanding their nature [ref: MM Book 1 Chapter 1-13 web page (widescreen) or blog] - we must learn to see into ourselves, we must discern spiritually - there is no such thing as "blind" anger, there is something in us that is angry [relative to our own conditioning; the dark state lives within us]; sympathetic vibration.

Darkness wins because we do not know how it operates; we are unaware that our *unconsciousness* is responsible; the negative state guides us [we remain asleep to its actual nature and action, its dictates] - THE ONLY POWER EVIL HAS IS IN DECEIVING US !! [FORGIVE THEM FATHER, FOR THEY *KNOW NOT* WHAT THEY DO] -- we define ourselves by our problems; our current sense of self [ie., the COG] is rooted in a nature that causes us to repeat the evil in order for us to remain within our false definitions !! - WE MUST TRANSCEND OURSELVES; WE MUST BE WHAT GOD WANTS US TO BE !! - there are parts of us that can only do one thing [a blind mechanical activity of darkness; suggestions serving their blind mechanical need] to restrict, to limit, to draw down - hatred is a self-imposed restriction; love is expansive, opening; these two consciousnesses are in us [we are sitting between two worlds of darkness and light; we have to choose - answering evil with evil is forwarding evil unto the whole human race [BUILDING HOLOCAUST] !! - EACH SOUL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS OWN ACTIONS !! - to be human is to have crises; we must examine ourselves when things are at their darkest [when we are torn, confused; reaching]; this darkness can be the ground of the new understanding that we see ourselves in [these dark "gifts" come to us bearing choice; the adversarial is actually emissarial], an opportunity presented, and we are responsible for our choices - we do not have to be subjected to what we don't understand, instead we can understand what we are subjected to !! - the issue of justice is a private, individual affair [we must grow in this understanding; the world is on a downward path into war] - we will serve evil pursuits if we do not understand them, and our complicity with them !!


The Hidden Enemy Within: Confront The Evil 2

There is a Hell (of our own creation), tormented feelings, regret - heaven and hell are born out of our fears, not knowing what is, the possibilities - "what may be" can never be the source of integral change within [just another safety blanket (ie., most religions)] - our lives do not change when we die [an object in motion continues in the direction of its motion; we must change ourselves, our direction]; all damage we do to ourselves can be changed by a love of the truth; the damage can be undone !! [GOD IS TRUTH AND LIFE; WE CANNOT CHANGE OURSELVES, BUT GOD'S LOVE CAN !!] - society's pace keeps us from stopping to think, we must take the time to be conscious of ourselves, of our needs [mindful of our helpful thoughts and our hurtful thoughts]; changing our relationship with our inner world; we do not have to live with the pain !! - the only power the darkness has over us [deception] is in the absence of the light [fear is real in the dark]; illumination vs. domination; dark spiritual forces, conditions, cannot live within the light [GOD IS LIGHT] - fear was never intended to be a form for us; our thought-forms make it real [when we revisit a negative state, we revitalize what we want to be free of]; we must be aware of the evil consciousness, we must dismiss it, reject it [BY GOD'S PRESENCE; HEALING] - keeping in balance; our choice; the dark, the negative seemingly necessary; there is danger here, new understanding [recognition] precipitated by the darkness [WE MUST COME OUT OF THE SIN]; an ongoing relationship of primordial forces existent [THE FEAR (reverence) OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM, A GOOD UNDERSTANDING HAVE ALL THEY WHO OBEY GOD'S COMMANDMENTS (the 10C: walking in the character of God); KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY IS TO DEPART FROM EVIL - EVIL IS *NOT* ESSENTIAL FOR NEW UNDERSTANDING; EVIL (application) IS THE *LACK* OF UNDERSTANDING !!].

The issue of control, the strength of evil; we are in a cage as a result of our limited understanding; powerlessness itself looks for power and control, and by doing so falls victim to the very thing it is seeking power and control over !! - we are evidence of a dualistic self; we express dualism; dualism is not necessarily real, but reality exists in levels - the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was to give the knowledge of the gods [the complexities, the nuances of things; not just knowing the simple good]; free will is [considered today] the result of the choice between good and evil; thus [the first sin] is deemed a gift [ATTRIBUTING GOD'S FREE WILL, FREE MORAL AGENCY, TO SIN, AS SATAN'S GIFT - GOOD AND EVIL IS NOT KNOWLEDGE AS SUCH, BUT THE NATURE OF THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION, THE WISDOM, THE RELATIONSHIP (knowledge is revealed, taught, discovered)] -- we are beings of choice, to determine for ourselves [our character]; darkness and evil are horrible, but we grow from them; their potential makes us think !! - we see the world through the eyes of our understanding of the conditions existent; evil seems to have the upper hand because humans have gone to sleep; true and false are becoming unknown; we are being misled - the goodness within us must be recognized and fought for [GOD PROVIDES THE ALTERNATIVE] !! - learning and growing; religion seeks to codify experience, which is impossible; we must continue in the life God gives us NOT continue in the life we create for ourselves; we must let go of the self with its definitions, then we will see God's definitions !! -- is righteous anger evil, NO !! - evil is unrighteousness; the cause and effect are different - do the inner evils of our own mind relinquish our choice ?? -- [The Hidden Enemy Within: Confront The Evil 1 and 2 based on multiple sources, including author Guy Finley, on the nature of evil (author Finley denies the existence of Satan)]

Cross-post from Mammon or Messiah meta blog link
Guy Finley home page

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