Posts Tagged ‘Disinformation’

Trump as ‘Radical’

October 10, 2017

I recently asked a person why they thought Trump was working for the benefit of the American people.

Their reply mentioned the employment figures, ending the TPP, and peace in Syria.

I have to agree that the employment figures are nice but it seems that they simply continue the trend established under Obama. So far, I have not heard any evidence which supports the idea that Trump had anything to do with the continuation of this trend or had actually increased the trend. I’d be surprised if, without any large scale legislation, the first six month’s of any president’s office did not express the last six months of their predecessor.
What policies did he implement, or actions did he perform, that have changed things in that six months? without this data it could easily be that he is riding on the results of Obama’s policies?

I won’t object to abandoning the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership. People on the left have been arguing against the TPP for ages, as being a surrender of national sovereignty to corporate power, especially given the secret courts which would have allowed corporations to challenge wage increases, health restrictions and environmental laws as impinging on ‘free trade’. There has been massive amounts of right wing screaming against these objections. So it was good that Trump has now almost made it an orthodox position. However Clinton argued similarly, and in either case the TPP was not in force, so it was probably not yet impacting, and having only having a minor effect on the economy.

I’m certainly not sure about ceasefire in Syria. The war still seems to be going on as far as I can tell and I’ve recently been reading reports about the Russians complaining about American backed rebels. Trump may have bombed an airport, but that seems to be it, everything else seemed to be giving Putin the free hand he wanted, although Trump denounced the Syrian government as a major enemy in his speech to the UN, implying something should be done, or that he might strike again.

The idea of the ‘deep state’ and the autonomous power of the military, is now recognized by some on the right, thanks to Trump’s rhetoric. But the question remains how much of this is mere rhetoric. The general idea of the “military-industrial complex” has been part of Left orthodoxy for years (I can’t think how long Chomsky has been going on about it), so its only recently that the right has taken it onboard, even if they tend to blame Clinton rather than Bush Jr. for the wars in the middle east. However, the point is that it is the collaboration of corporations and the military that seems to be the prime problem, whereas the usual impression I get from the right is that they think that giving the corporate sector more power and money will solve the problem, which it probably won’t. I don’t know of any evidence that private military contracting has declined under Trump, and his deep commitment to boosting military spending will only increase the deep state and the bonds between government subsidy of corporations and military power.

Trump is threatening Iran and sometimes China, tearing up treaties, and threating nuclear war again (he already threatened that for the middle east during the elections). Nuclear war probably poses a reasonable threat to the safety of the American people, and his threats could increase the possibility of anticipatory strikes. He also seems to oppose disarmament or attempts to contain the spread of nukes. As far as I can tell, by his own account he appears to be continuing the mess in Iraq caused by the Bush Jr Admin ignoring all the advice they received. In March this year he said “our soldiers are fighting like never before” in Iraq and doing really well.

We shall see what wars arise in future, as the idea of combat seems appealing to him.

Mr. Trump also appears to be proposing to continue the Republican project of tax cuts and tax holidays for the wealthy, while removing health care and increasing military spending beyond its current level of excess – usually if military spending increases, the products get used. The money to pay for this spending has to come from somewhere, as so far the Laffer curve has never appeared to kick in and provide those increased tax revenues. We can guess the money will not be taken from corporate subsidy, but there is always a possibility.

Mr. Trump has also continued the Republican project of making it easier for US corporations to pollute and poison people and has abandoned an enquiry into the health effects of coal, not just because we already know coal is bad for people, but because his policies imply he just doesn’t seem to care about people’s ill health if that bad health increases profit. That he won’t tackle the elites producing climate change is to be expected. He is following the old trickle down economics always popular with the wealthy elites, and which might just help him make more as well.

Health care is one of the things the supposed master deal maker cannot apparently negotiate a deal on, even when the Republicans have spent years arguing against the Affordable Health Care Act. Now given the opportunity Trump cannot persuade them to repeal it, let alone make it better as he continues to promise – let us hope he can improve it. He did however make a deal with the Democrats on another issue, perhaps they are less prone to elitism, and they might help improve health care, if that is what he wants.

I still do not understand why a group of billionaires, (some hereditary), high corporate figures and the billionaires who have been supporting them with their media is not an elite, and one not particularly shown to be sympathetic to the people. They even behave as an elite; Trump seems to be the most expensive president in history because he want to go to his elite clubs and resorts. From what I’ve seen Trump also does not appear treat his ordinary workers that well. That there is a war in the wealth elite does not imply that either side has an interest in really supporting the people.

Indeed one of Trump’s problems as one of the hereditary wealthy seems to be that he has always been the boss. He has been able to do what he wants and fire those who disagree or give alternate advice. He is renown for the catch phrase “your fired,” and genuinely seems to have enjoyed uttering it. He has no preparation for working in a field in which he is nominally first among equals – he is part of an elite used to obedience.

We also have the Russia problem. That is not yet proven. But if Clinton had won, and the Russians had supported her covertly, and members of her team had had contacts with them during the election, and Clinton had lied about her business interests in Moscow, then we know that Republicans and the media would be screaming for her impeachment. Trump would probably be demanding her execution for treason. I personally don’t hold it likely that Putin supported Trump because he thought Trump would help the American people, or make America great again… precisely the opposite.

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Government as business?

October 7, 2017

One of the classic neoliberal arguments is that the country should be run like a business.

But why? The country is not a business. A country has to value things that do not make a profit, and sometimes has to do things which only have monetary cost and which business would not do – such as try and preserve the ecology for future generations and their survival. Likewise, a country should ideally not treat ‘big customers’ better than small customers because they pay more or use services more. Justice should apply equally, not by how much profit administering it makes. You should not only have free speech if you can afford to pay for it, or agree with the publisher, as is usually the case in business.

The only benefit of this neoliberal idea is that it gives the corporate sector more power and respectability, as they supposedly must know things about running a business and ideally should know how to run the country, or even be left to run the country. They are the ideal to which everyone should aspire and which should be emulated. The idea also allows a degree of pleasant abuse, of the form “those well intentioned left wingers are nice people but they don’t know how to run a business, so they are useless”. The idea also suggests that government should judge business actions by business morals: “do those actions make the business a profit?”, not whether they might harm people or the country or are a waste of government money. In this system, government should get out of the way of business, no matter what. It also justifies corruption, because it suggests all relationships are monetary, and if business wants to buy relationships with the government to give it advantages then why not? – that’s just competition? Similarly, if CEOs can get massive subsidies and special treatment, just for doing their job (even badly), then so should politicians, especially leaders, so it can be welcome to governments.

The idea promotes the lowering of government supervision of business and any efforts to prevent fraud, because clearly business knows best and the market will punish any real dishonesty or harmful behaviour – which it does not; the market may even reward such behaviour in the short term as the behaviour is profitable. The idea also suggests tax-payer subsidy of business, public private partnerships, commercial-in-confidence, because they are ‘clearly’ better than government by itself. All of these profitable relationships take responsibility away from government and distributes that responsibility where it can never be found – just as the corporate structure is intended to do (corporations are organisations designed to avoid personal responsibility). However, a government without visible responsibility for the arrangements they enter into is not even remotely democratic as that involves responsibility to the people and the whole of the people, not just the wealthy.

If we were to propose that military organization should be the model for government then we are suggesting that ‘the people’ should be fodder for the military. If we think that business is the model for government, then we are suggesting people should be fodder for business: people who consume what they have to choose whether it harms them or not; docile workers who are low paid and flexible at their boss’s request, who never think and never question business power or respectability, and who don’t have the support or information to do anything about it.

This idea can even permeate the union movement who sellout their members for business interests – after all the whole point is that business supposedly knows best, and business people are the best. So workers are perceived as merely an appendage, no longer the centre of what gets produced or gets done.

Where in life do we most heavily feel the unlistening hand of management? At work, which is usually in business, or governed like a business. Business models a form of authority which makes the state even more authoritarian and untouchable.

On Truth Part 1

October 3, 2017

Truth is a complicated process, which people often try to pretend is simple. And so this is a simple peice trying to pretend to be complicated.

Firstly, I would try not to use the term ‘truth’ at all, because it is a noun which implies an existent. And people do talk about Truth as if it was an existing thing, which I think is inherently misleading. Truth may not be something you arrive at, but something you work towards….

I would prefer to talk about the possibility (or likelihood) of making accurate or correct statements – assuming that we all roughly agree on the words employed and the intention behind the use of the words…. In other words we can ask whether a particular statement appears correct and to what extent it appears accurate. This process is not always immediately final.

I suspect that the idea of Truth as such may tend towards promoting ego-inflation and grandiosity. Compare, for example, the statements. “I know the Truth about the world” and “I can make some correct statements about the world.” The abstract idea of Truth tends to spread; if you know something is True then knowing the Truth implies you know not just something, but the Whole Truth… This is probably harmful to both discussion and finding out what is correct.

There may well be different types of correctness which it may also be worthwhile distinguishing.

  • Definitional: 1+1=2 seems correct by definition and by coherence with other definitions. We can talk about Goedel’s theorem later 🙂
  • Pragmatic/functional: The words we use in the statement “the dog sat down” are vaguer than in 1+1=2, but we can usually agree as to what we mean, and as to whether this statement was correct at a particular time or not if we have observed the event, or if we trust the witness. The statement is good enough for practical purposes – if we want more accuracy then we can perhaps improve the specificness of the terms (“Jane’s cocker spaniel called Fred, perched on his bottom with his front legs holding up his torso” – this refinement is possibly endless). Because the statement is “good enough”, or “not good enough” for the use we want to make of it, this comes close to being a pragmatist theory of correctness or accuracy.
  • Inter-subjective: The “trusting the witness” part in the last point, tends to imply that at least some of what we accept as correct will be inter-subjective and social. A lot of fake news seems to arise from trusting witnesses, or trusting stories which seem plausible for social (or pre-existing bias reasons). I suspect this kind of thing becomes particularly important in situations of what has been called ‘data smog’ or ‘information overload’.
  • Symbolic/poetic: Jung and Tillich (probably among others) have argued that it is impossible to talk about some important things with complete accuracy because of the complexity of the situation, or the inadequacy of human perceptual and cognitive functions etc., and hence human discourse and feeling often depends on symbols. We may always need to talk symbolically to some extent. In which case the ‘accuracy’ can be said to be ‘poetic’. Poetic accuracy seems really important (sometimes I think it is primary in any complex set of propositions, but that is another argument). Sometimes poetic accuracy can move into more ‘simply’ based accuracy (of the kind stated above) with work and testing. I suspect this happens in science a lot, as we move from fairly vague conceptions and categories to more precise, accurate and testable categories and propositions.
  • We might often still be making symbolic propositions anyway – and again if Jung is correct then this may have as much to do with human psycho-social functioning as reality. There may always be events which are distant from currently precise definition – the field may increase as we increase those areas we can define – I’m not sure, and don’t know how you could test such a proposition. (And I have a sneaking regard for the idea that most propositions we hold to be accurate should be testable in some way, or otherwise we are close to talking about things which automatically may not be correct)

    This hedging does not imply no correct statements can be made, but it does imply that it may be impossible to *only* make correct statements or false statements. In which case correctness is also a continuum or even a plane…

    Libertarian Fantasy….

    October 3, 2017

    I’ve just been reading an article by Australian Parliamentary libertarian David Leyonhjelm (ie a government man) which starts “Living in Australia sometimes feels like living in a bureaucrats’ version of a spaghetti western. The heroes are the brave and all-knowing public servants, while the villains are the naughty people who are too foolish to realise that government knows best.”

    I sometimes wonder what world the silly right live in. Where are these pages of news articles, or TV programmes, saying how wonderful public servants are?

    I’d be surprised if he could find more than a couple in the last ten or so years. The organised hue and cry against them is huge… and business people have their own section of the news in which we can constantly hear how heroic they are and how they fight against people being protected from them (unless, perhaps, some journalist has decided that the public should be informed of what seems like normal corruption.)

    Instead of bureaucrats hindering business, we have daily reports of businesses being allowed to ride over people, being given permission to injure or poison people for profit with full governmental support. Want to industrially fish in a national park? Go ahead. Want to destroy the climate, build pointless roads, or denude the Great Barrier Reef? Here’s some taxpayer money. Want to scrap regulations? Lower worker’s wages? Destroy the water table? Mine in people’s backyards? Here’s the legislation.

    “We are open for business” – not people.

    We live in a plutocracy in which “Business is not the solution, business is the problem” (see I can do slogans too…)

    The reason why things like AirBnB might needs *some* regulation is easy to find if you live in a block with a number of such units. All night parties, damage to surrounds and so on. Costs spread on the rest of the strata owners… just like most business loves to spread the cost of pollution and take the profits for itself.

    I guess the libertarian capitalist solution is just to let business get on with destroying people’s lives and for those who object to move somewhere else – where they will probably get done by another business…

    We can all cheer for that…

    How can scientists predict future temperatures when they cannot predict the weather accurately?

    September 20, 2017

    Firstly, climate scientists cannot predict the exact temperature of a particular place, in exactly 50 years, easily or at all, any more than they can predict the exact temperature at a certain time, in a specific place, in one month’s time. And while this is problem raised by ‘skeptics’, this predictive ability is not an ability claimed by any climate scientists that I have read, and is of no relevance to the ongoing issues of predicting general increase in average global temperatures.

    Weather systems form complex systems, and prediction in complex systems is notoriously difficult over length of time. We can predict climate trends such as: the average global temperature may rise by a particular order of magnitude, or that sea ice will melt and ocean levels rise, that low lying land will be flooded, and that deserts will expand, that weather will become more tumultuous, that storms are likely to get bigger, and that people will move as a result. But you cannot predict exact weather patterns for particular places. If we could, it would actually make climate change less devastating, as we could plan for it.

    You can also predict that given the continuance of the circumstances we are in, it is extremely improbable that average temperatures will trend towards decrease, or that weather will become simple and nicely warmer everywhere. Indeed the prediction that this will not happen has been born out for years, and there is no sign that such climate beneficence will happen. However, it is possible that as climate patterns change some particular places may get colder – for example, if the gulf stream stops or shifts southward, then this may happen with the UK.

    The point to bear in mind, is that climate and weather are complicated, but continuance of, or return to, the normal weather patterns of 20 years ago seems improbable in the extreme, and it is far more likely that weather events will become even more extreme than they are now, until (possibly) a new ‘steady state’ arises when the forces producing climate change have ceased. However, I am told that when we look at the last time the earth had high levels of CO2 and high temperatures (50 million years ago), massive storms may well have marked that normality.

    We might add that other factors of the Anthropocene (such as peak phosphorus), make the prediction of livability of earth systems even more complex and fraught, but that is another question.

    Most capitalism is ‘crony capitalism’.

    September 10, 2017

    Often people speak of ‘crony capitalism’ as if it was an aberration of economics. However it is an inherent part of the capitalist system.

    It was recognised by Adam Smith when he said that:

    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

    It seems to be an essential part of human nature for people to cooperate to further their group interests, and when the powerful and wealthy do this it has large consequences. They also try and break up cooperation amongst ordinary people by demonizing Unions and preaching individualism to workers. That helps magnify the power of their own cooperation.

    If business people can team up to manipulate the markets then they will. If capitalists can team up to make a State to enforce laws that benefit them, then they will. If capitalists can team up to take over the State to enforce laws that benefit them then they will. All of these acts help make money for them, and that is the point; such behaviours are a normal part of profit seeking. The bosses will call these laws, and these power structures, ‘free markets’, or say they are essential to the functioning of those markets.

    In a society in which profit is the prime good, then the wealthy become the epitome of virtue and talent. They are by definition the good and worthy people, who have their status because of that virtue. They are supposedly the admirable and intelligent people who are worthy to rule, and critising them is base envy. They make sure that their kin inherent the wealth, and form a ruling class with a State to support them to make sure that even more of the social wealth goes to them. That is basically the history of the last couple of hundred years with a short interlude after the second world war.

    In capitalism, wealth eventually comes to control the means of communication, the means of learning and the modes of thought, and the means of violence and law enforcement. By owning and controlling these essential parts of social process, the wealthy make sure they cannot be attacked, and that ‘free markets’ seem sensible and legitimate – and if you don’t like these markets, well you are an enemy.

    The wealthy elites may try and deflect attention from their power by paying people to attack other groups as elites, but generally these other ‘elites’ are not that powerful to begin with – they don’t have that much wealth. Wealth ends up controlling the other elites (where do they get the money from to live on?)

    The system of free markets always makes plutocracy, and the State grows to maintain the systems of wealth and oppression.

    Indeed people/politicians who talk a lot about free markets carry out these policies all the time – this is what is called neoliberalism – and it has been working quite well for the wealthy for over the last 40 years.

    Climate hoaxes

    September 5, 2017

    I keep reading people arguing that climate change is a hoax promulgated by governments or by the corporate sector.

    I guess this shows something about how disinformation works, as the most obvious source for conspiracy would seem to involve those who make money from doing the things which are thought to cause climate change, and who generally have a reputation for ruthless political engagement; that is fossil fuel companies, oil and coal barons etc. In general renewable companies do not have the established connections with politicians, and do not have the money to throw at false research or think tanks. Most of renewable companies also came into being after climate change first seemed to be a highly probable trajectory in the late 1970s early 1980s.

    Perhaps because this is implausible, and because people who don’t like corporations will have some awareness of how fossil fuel companies have acted in the past, it is more common to argue that scientists ‘believe in’ climate change because governments pay them to and encourage it.

    There is only one minor problem with this argument. There are few governments in the English speaking world who show they are really interested in promoting the reality of climate change, and getting out of fossil fuels.

    Republican and other rightist governments often try to forbid people from talking about climate change, they never make it central to their agenda or say the situation is urgent, and they often try to remove research monies from people who study climate change, or gather data. They accuse people of politicising weather disasters when those people point out that these weather events could have something to do with the predicted consequences of climate change. They may appoint people from fossil fuel companies to Environmental Departments, or to enquiries into energy reform. Governments can even try to make it easier for corporations to pollute and frequently actively resist renewables. They can tell companies to continue with coal when the companies do not think it economic. Governments encourage heavily polluting fracking and so on. Even the few relatively active governments are not hostile to increased coal mining and exports, and do their best to protect established corporations, as in India and China. Governments rarely behave as if they actually believed that climate change was a real threat, or as if it was a convenient ruse to increase their power.

    There is no real government campaign, which I know of, in the English speaking world, which has promoted climate change and anti-climate change action. If you know of something consistent and coherent, which survived for more than a couple of months until the fossil fuel companies persuaded them otherwise, then please tell me about it!!

    The fact that scientists keep being persuaded by the evidence that climate change is real and humanly caused, when this goes against government instruction and bias, could be taken as persuasive evidence that it is real.

    Economics and public discourse

    August 6, 2017

    Because there appears to be no provision for Comment on Jessica Irvine’s article in the Australian SMH today, about the benefits of economic ‘reforms’ and the decline of economics in schools along with public discourse, here it is….

    It is certainly true that people often have a great ignorance of economic history and Jessica Irvine has revealed she is one of them.

    Before the “great economic reforms”, even the right wing Coalition party could tend to govern on behalf of everyone, not just the wealthy corporate sector. Wages rose steadily above inflation. Social mobility was real. People born into poverty could work and make it into the middle class, something almost impossible now. Education was largely free to help the mobility and, under Whitlam, became generally available to all adults as well. People could afford houses. Homelessness was rare or voluntary. People could drop out to explore life or art or science or politics or business without fear of being disadvantaged for the rest of their lives. Strong Unions gave people security and clout. People extended their participation in government and so on.

    This did cause some fear amongst the establishment; it was something to be curbed – as the ‘proper elites’ were being challenged. People who had previously been quiet about their suppression were becoming economically secure enough to make noise.

    Despite Irvine’s claims, we were largely insulated from “international contagions” until the 70s oil shock when the multinational oil companies made a fortune out of crisis, and started funding free market think tanks to promote the power of their class. Since then we have suffered from overseas shocks routinely, the last major one originating in the corruption and stupidity of the dominant players in the US financial and housing market, and which penalised ordinary Americans, not them. Nowadays even the most conservative commentators wonder how we will survive a downturn in even one overseas market (China). Jobs have been exported. Manufacturing has declined. We largely cannot make our own products. Minerals are routinely given away to miners. We ignore, or even encourage ecological collapse if it makes money for the wealthy. Major financial institutions appear to continually suffer from corruption, fraud and scandals, which, before ‘reform’, were rare and penalised. Wages are no longer increasing, and the wealth of society is being redistributed back to the financial elite.

    Whatever the intentions of those involved, the ‘great reforms’ have led to an economy in which Plutocracy flourishes, and the rich are nannied and treasured, while ordinary people are abandoned. It is not an improvement, and its success requires that economics is not thought about, that economic history remains distorted and that public discourse becomes trivial. Economics has to mark an ‘unconscious’, as real thinking about the subject, might lead to radical politics and the overturn of ‘free market reforms’. Ignorance is inculcated by dominance.

    It is no surprise, in this situation, that real economics is not taught in high school, and it is no surprise that business studies replaces it. Business is were you get wealth and status. Business is, we are told, the important thing, the privileged thing. Naturally students are attracted to it. Naturally subjects based in dispassionate knowledge decline. That is the result of the reforms. We breakdown in an ignorance that supports power, but which leads to breakdown.

    The Right and Climate Change

    July 28, 2017

    Not all people who identify with the mainstream right refuse to be persuaded by the evidence that climate change is real, or that its humanly generated, or that crisis may be coming. Not all climate scientists are left of centre for one, and I’ve met, and heard of plenty of people on the right who wish their party would do a little more. And, in the US, some Republicans have been getting angry about the way that established powers try to stop them from using cheaper renewable energy and so on. Admittedly you rarely see this news in the corporately owned and controlled media, but you can find it if you bother to search.

    So the question might be “why is the right party elite so opposed to recognizing climate change, and why are the committed deniers so committed to ignoring the evidence, or saying things like ‘climate changes all the time’, as if this was something climate scientists were not aware of?”

    Most obviously, we have a problem in that the build up to climate change is, in human terms slow – its taken at least 50 years (since the 1970s) to get to where we are now. However, when the system changes state it will probably do this in a fairly short period of time, after years of building up. That’s how complex systems behave.

    So until it is too late, it is relatively easy to pretend that its all normal, and the continuing series of hottest years ever recorded, glaciers melting and so on, are not doing that much harm, or are just normal, or just freaky weather events. We also get used to things being different, so people can say “we were snowed out, and thus there is no climate change”, when thirty years ago they would have spent a lot more time being snowed out. We can also spend a lot more on artificial snow for ski resorts that don’t really have the falls they used to – but it looks the same.

    There is another problem that arises, because specific predictions in a complex system are really difficult. Thus we can say the weather will probably become wilder, and significantly different, but we may not quite know in what way. So people get frustrated with some failed predictions (the general trend is more reasonably accurate, if more disturbing than expected) and assume all predictions are worthless. Especially if they are really defending something else….

    Cynics could say that the US Republican Party, or the Australian Liberal Party’s resistance arises because some of their elite are so committed to the liberty of established wealth and power. Anything which might compromise that liberty, or give ordinary people a chance, must be repelled. Indeed we can see members of that elite cheer when corporations are given more freedom to stamp on ordinary people, exploit them, maim or injure them and so on. They cheer when corporations are given extra permission to freeload on others by polluting and poisoning the world. That was almost the first thing the Republicans did when they got a President. They gave corporations more liberty to hurt people. So that position is pretty basic. We have had close to 40 years of praising free markets and corporate power and business competence, and very little has improved, unless you were wealthy to begin with, or thought more corporate power was a good thing. The mainstream right are unashamedly neoliberal in their policies.

    For these people, the problem is that it would seem that the fairly easy actions we could take to lessen the risk of rapid climate change and ecological crisis, might affect the profitability of some established powers in the sacred corporate sector. Personally, I might think they would primarily be affected if they were stupid – but that is the sort of thing you cannot say as the common sense is that business knows best.

    Parties today require funding, and so funding is important, and those established people can spend lots of money (money is power) supporting political deniers, providing dubious research, arguments from principle, or casting doubt on whatever seems real. Their allies in the media can report as if climate change was undecided, or not a threat and so on. The media can more or less ignore it as a problem, as they generally do.

    Members of the establishment probably reckon that if they keep getting wealthy at everyone else’s expense, then they will be able to survive easily enough; wealth remains power when its concentrated. So they don’t have to worry, so what if other people get hurt? They might have more to worry about personally if coal was discontinued for example. Hence we hear Exxon and members of the electricity generating industry have been aware of the evidence for global warming for decades, but did not allow it to get in the way of profit. And profit is the real god.

    For this elite, affecting profit negatively is bad. Lots of people will support this position to be on side, or to make the others evil. Hence nothing will be done, until those who currently control mainstream right parties and their media propaganda decide that profit is not everything, and that it might be nice if normal Americans or Australians had a chance, for a change…

    Jung and Gods

    July 23, 2017

    In his analysis of Nazi Germany in 1935-6 Jung argued that that the true symptom of what was going on was possession by an archetype; an archetype which had its roots in German history; the archetype of Wotan. It was a return of the Gods. Wotan was characterized by restlessness, movement, violence, sacrifice, ruthless heroism and so on. In this view Hitler was an unaware shaman who stirred these dormant unconscious forces into action.

    This leads to the question of what are the current archetypes being stirred up….

    I suggest two possibilities:

    First: the “killer god.” The God that demands wars, sacrifices, serial killings, while pretending that he protects his followers. He demands the suppression of thought, of any aspiration beyond death – making the dream of death, and the death bringer, the only valid reality. Face death, your death, your friends death, the death of martyrs, the death of society, the death of the planet. There is nothing but death. It is heroic to kill. Serial killers become dark and dedicated heroes. Kill while you have the chance.

    We watch endless deaths on TV every night as drama; Sometimes these lawgivers are as brutal as the killers, they demonstrate the virtues of death, even is they punish the original numinous perpetuator, death still wins.

    The message is to give up, resistance is futile. Good is death, evil is death. Death is all. Do not bother to listen. Death is all.

    Second: The other archetype we are likely to become possessed by is Hermes, God of communication, lies, theft, promises and magic; all of which arise from communication, yet we need communication. Hermes is necessary but ambiguous.

    Hermes talks all the time. He is the internet. He is the whisper that flies around the world. He is the force that gives you constant misinterpretation, and allows you to blame others for your own mistakes.
    He will steal things from you and persuade you he hasn’t got them, or you gave them to him – and you will love him for it. He is the god of smooth talk, the blatant lies we ignore, and endless advertising – he is the cunning adorable heart of capitalism, or priestly religion, that tells you if you just give him your trust, your life and your property, you will gain happiness and satisfaction.

    He is the god of “the Secret”; he espouses the idea that if you think, say and desire hard enough then what you wish for will be come true. And if you don’t get it, all you need to is give him more of your money, or listen to him with more attention, because he has your best interests at heart…

    Hermes is the magician, the conjurer, the quick of hand and feet. He is the person who promises esoteric knowledge beyond the ken of ordinary people. He is Nyarlathotep telling you that he is unambiguously the good guy.