(RINF) – History teaches us that a few people had ideas and that the rest found their identities in following the lead of movers and shakers intent on overcoming inactivity that was capable of paralysing the mobility of social conveyance. Whilst being aware of the possibilities these movers and shakers were alert to, the remainder of the population remained proxies facilitating the process on hand. To not capitalise on the opportunities the moment might afford them, the proxies failed to achieve equivalence in power…land, livestock, wives…thus allowing hierarchies to come into being that ultimately ruled over them.
Man’s ability to metaphor meaning according to cosmologies of desire are incalculably fanciful however when it comes to the business of pursuing pleasure. The power of metaphor, instrumental in bringing into existence new ways of seeing the world and its potential for either fulfilment or self-aggrandisement becoming fulcrum de jour over time, to enliven every aspect of human life. Myriad aspects of awareness came into being to establish a diversity of perspectives celebrating the richness of the human spirit. The modern business school by comparison, staffed by economic vacuists believe money to be the element that anchors all moving objects in rationality…or should that read the hot air that floats all irrational bubbles…to bring the monotone universe of commerce into existence.
The United States of America is host to the delusion that money making is a task that is best left to the mechanically minded among us. When the great financial crash of 2008 occurred, it was the machine that was saved and the passengers thrown under the nearest bus when push came to shove. It was deemed the right thing to do because capitalism was machine de jure and the only ‘rational’ show in town.
Curiously, a Los Angeles Times article by the Times editorial board April 2, 2017, bemoaning the lack of rational thinking in the new President writes, “It’s difficult to know whether he actually can’t distinguish the real from the unreal” before going on to observe the fact of him ruling over “a divided country in which differences grow deeper and rational compromises become impossible”…then this… ”The new President regularly muddies the waters of fact and fiction” …plus… “The role of the opposition is to stand up for the rule of law” etc.,
To talk about rationality as an essential component of American culture is to imply that it is the objective of the rational state to bring grace, order and enlightenment to the world. Nothing could be further from the truth upon observing American history. Rationality in the American context tends to create an inversion of reason that corresponds to the survival interests of the system. There is an abundance of evidence to show that corporate-capitalism is a machine that is all revenue-rev and little else. It can only relate to human emotions and senses through the medium of money. It is also a system at variance with the here-and-there-and-then of matters affecting the health of the planet and it’s also deeply involved in the business of profiteering from war. Having marinated itself in the ether of exceptionalism for so long, it has become blind, if not indifferent, to the chaos it has inflicted on much of the world.
The Los Angeles Times editorial should forego navel gazing and take a closer look at how America unleashed its mechanical dogs-of-war on a defenceless world while claiming to be rational. If it can do that, it will discover that in America’s case, it is technology in the hands of the military that is the thing that rearranges the order of the world at great cost to smaller nations worldwide. It has been doing that for a long time under a succession of so called ‘rational’ presidents. In the process, it became the thing that acted in the interests of the machine of state while relegating man to a position subordinate to the machine…“Cry ‘Havoc’, and let slip the dogs of war”…there is money to be made!
We frequently sense that we were a part of nature, but fail to comprehend that consciousness is nature’s way of sharing the creative process with all human kind…consciousness, nature’s ultimate gift to humankind, is matter perceiving itself…and we, as part of matter, are implicated in the whole gamut of nature vis-a-vis intelligence cosmologies that breathe new life into our understanding of nature. To convert the nameless pristine wonderlands into brands for the purpose of assuaging vulgar taste is to connive at the death of poetry. Only the soul can know the entire reach and potential that might explain human intelligence or creativity, its voice singing the praises of the wonderland we were given and are now defiling…which leaves us no option but to finger corporate-capitalism as an ambiguous dynamic beholden to private ends that ultimately defy reason…as the level of despoliation can attest to.
Corporate-capitalism seeks to book-end itself in human society as the sole authority in matters pertaining to oversight. By simultaneously using covert regulation to control the printing of money and its supply, while using deregulating of the economy as a tool for the exploitation of the ‘commons’, it has cast Main Street in the role of the fall guy. Exposure to the artificial and corrupt intelligence emanating from Wall Street’s antisocial whorehouse has left much of the country in dire straits. When the mentality behind the unregulated economy achieved unlimited power to pursue filthy lucre regardless the cost, the sky fell on Main Street. Un-sublimated single passion was allowed to have its head and the rest is history; recalling Hegel’s ‘Theory of Madness’ as an evil “engrossing the whole man, so that he loses the power to tear himself free as he has no longer any will beyond this single passion” aptly diagnoses the disease in question.
We of ‘the commons’, victims of movers and shakers, need an intelligence that serves the needs of the entire society. The first priority should be to dramatically reduce the Pentagon’s budget, thereby freeing much of the world from the insane experience of perpetual war. We have acquired a great many new weapons and information systems which we keep using because they are simply available for war purposes. This madness seems to create the need for ever more enemies to bomb. The second priority should be curtailing the power of Wall Street to make funny-money available to those who prop up a status quo that forever takes the country down the path to war. The third priority should be to restrict the power of surveillance and security consortiums that skewer intelligence for political gain while manipulating public opinion.
To suggest that science, technology and engineering can exclusively guide human society toward a new world order is to misinterpret the philosophical potential of intelligence itself. The idea that hardware…as in machines…can, metaphorically speaking, ‘do it’ for the human spirit is akin to believing cosmology to be a kind of couth machine that functions as some kind of clock that ticks in a vacuum. But the reality is clocks are not aware of the service they provide. Being machines they work without experiencing cognizance of their surroundings…a bit like Wall Street perhaps? What America has come to do with its vast array of machines, drones, guided missile systems, B29’s, Black Hawk dogs-of-war attack helicopters, etc., etc., etc., in the hands of a bloated clockwork-military, beggars belief. It’s Doctor Strangelove’s way of using the national treasure!
The internet is probably the greatest machine man has ever invented, and as machines don’t do metaphor, it remains to be seen how far human input can furbish the ‘beast’ with soul, so as to free society from the evils of propaganda and censorship. Content in the context of the internet may be visceral or fairy dust by turns, but unlike established media, it is likely to retain a non-corporate persona, free of propaganda for the foreseeable future. And as a machine that has the potential to be used to mirror the evils of entrenched interests, it is inevitable that blowback from hierarchal altitudes will arrive. Silicon Valley boffins can invent machines of dazzling functionalist wizardry that can tabulate or store data, but the real ghost-in-the-internet-machine is the Genie let out of the censorship bottle, free to travel across space to provide fresh perspectives to mankind without hindrance.
America as modern colossus, as neo-colonial harbinger of dubious appellation, thrust itself into the history books as a death-star. After purloining another’s country and slaughtering its inhabitants, it strode centre stage to declare its right to impose its own rule of law on the rest of the world in a very Old Testament way. Do what we say or we will smite the bejesus out of you is the formulae adopted to demonstrate how machines beget GREATNESS through power. Imagining itself the big ‘gusher’ of oil field fame, America forcefully declared itself king-of-the-castle while salivating over the resources of the rest of the world, believing all it saw before it to be its oyster. But not satisfied with being king-of-the-colonial-castle, it turned instead to installing a global emporium with the means to coerce other nations to trade with it on terms it would dictate to them.
From this point onwards one is left wondering if American shenanigans belongs on the pages of ‘The Brothers Grimm’, using Jacob and Wilhelm’s scenarios to duplicate the actions of the protagonists (CIA) going from place to place for the purpose of putting on a show to convince the inhabitants they are getting rid of demons. And if they are not allowed to get rid of those they wish to demonise and remove, they will go from place to place bombing those places back into the stone (rubble) age…check out the topography of chaos America’s carbon footsteps have left in the Middle East for example.
Dwelling for a moment on America’s foreign policy and the carnage and chaos it has spread across the globe, is to observe corporate-capitalism run amok…a brand of corporate-capitalism that is now being outmaneuvered by China and its ability to foster trade negotiation without recourse to ham-fisted stand-over tactics. To everybody’s surprise the electorate choose an outsider, Donald Trump, to recalibrate its role in the trade-for-geopolitical-clout-lottery. What happened next was unbelievable; the country immediately lurched into a gigantic hissy-fit involving every cat in the realm with a political axe to grind over the outcome of the election. What was most surprising of all was that America seemed to morph into a Pieter Bruegel canvas of sorts, depicting the emotions of an enraged citizenry who then engaged in a cat-fight of massive proportions that involved every blend of furry feline, feral or otherwise, in a melee that was soon to acquire a life of its own… fury fuelling the furry-pitch-battle as it went national.
The great artist would have captured the visceral nature of an overly materialistic society engaged in dyspeptic melees where ‘human’ felines chewed ears and scratched eyes from sockets, while fatter cats, bedecked in kitty-fur confetti, looked on from the safety of the wings. With the mask of modernity slipping, the raw temper of a soulless and dysfunctional system began to slide into a morass of chaos. Bruegel, the Dutch-Flemish Renaissance painter, would have had a field day recording the fake concerns of the adherents of a fake order crying crocodile tears over their waning status.
Bruegel would have been at home observing collateral damage at home and abroad. He would have observed the essential cowardice within the military establishment that decimates entire societies simply because they have the mechanical means to do so. Sometimes a skilled artist steps forward to hold up a mirror to the machinery of state and capture the truth of the moment. The media purports to do something of the sort, but in America it has taken to doing the opposite, obfuscating the truth for a price. This is the collateral damage that has impoverishes the United States of Greed. So perhaps we are not observing the end of history so much, as witnessing the historic death of a fake culture.
Then again, perhaps America can produce a grassroots party to curtail the excesses of the corporate machine, or an artist to hold up a mirror to the problems at home which have become a festering sore. The emotional festering will hang around until real change comes to the land of the free. There can be no union or cosmology that means anything to anybody, unless honour returns to ruler and rule. Modernism thus far, is merely the clang and bang of misspent potential.
Denis A. Conroy