JR'S Free Thought Pages
                                                                       No Gods  ~ No Masters    ~ No Bullshit



Capitalist Techno-Stupidity v Freedom and the Intellect

Living in a Hopelessly Corrupt Inauthentic Dystopian Capitalist World that is Dumb – and Getting Dumber

A Diatribe on Dogs, Dogma, Dumbness and the Global Corporatist Neo-liberal Dictatorship of Capital

By JR, August/September 2020

Our FUBAR World

We’re on the road to nowhere – Talking Heads

And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was; same as it ever was, etc, etc.

Once in a Lifetime   - Talking Heads

While the American state and its people continue to fixate on the drama-filled Trump unreality show scripted by the corporate media and powers-that-be directed from the nation’s capital and played out in high definition hysterical tech across the country, mass protests throughout major cities against multiple socio-economic injustices and racist police brutality continue. [1] But to what effect are these demonstrations when the country continues to be dominated by mass complacency, docility and willed ignorance while being anaesthetized by stupefying hand held technological devices as the authoritarian capitalist state moves steadily toward full-blown fascism. In the vortex of a global pandemic, unprecedented economic collapse, mass unemployment, hunger, destitution, anger and revengeful resentment, the stock market is booming and the richest of the rich are richer beyond their wildest sociopathic greed-ridden minds could envisage.

Vladimir Lenin described politics as “Who does what to whom?”This declaration seems more accurate and apt today than ever as the vast majority of vulnerable people in the world are having the jack boot of the neo-fascist police state, the infamous enablers of predatory finance capitalism, stomping on every semblance of democracy and justice they have fought for during the past five centuries. This dismal state of affairs has accelerated over the past four decades as the hard won social democratic reforms of the 20th century are being systematically reduced to zero by an amoral authoritarian corporatist state apparatus that staunches the flow of any and all wealth to the bottom 99%. The temporary human mask on the ugly face of capitalism has now been totally removed and replaced by a technocratic Godzilla monster while eight multi-billionaires have confiscated more wealth than half the world’s population. Socialism exists, but only for the predictable fuck-up fiascos by the plutocratic financial thieves who operate with impunity, immune to the rule of law and who are subsequently bailed out by the public with trillions of dollars printed by central banks. This, despite the corona virus pandemic, is what has re-inflated the massive stock market bubble now getting ready to implode as the lords of finance buy back their own stock, purchase private islands, mansions, helicopter pad yachts and lavish aircraft as the real economies for the masses of impoverished humanity disintegrate.

We are heading for disaster on a number of fronts, political, economic and ecological. The dystopian nightmare is already upon us.

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility - Professor and Philosopher Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985)

Since education, media and culture critic Neil Postman wrote those prophetic words in 1985, personal computers and cell phones were primitive devices in their infancy and the internet was still merely an idea. People actually read books back then and actively engaged in serious dialogue face to face rather through some techno medium. Postman died in 2003 and would be shocked by a situation that is far worse than what he was warning us about during the anti-intellectual dumb and dumber culture during the neo-conservative Reagan-Thatcher-Mulroney era of greed and exploitation so vividly expressed in the Oliver stone movie “Wall Street”.  Professor Postman, feared “people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think”. But were he alive today, he would be appalled and deeply disturbed by what one might describe as a planetary Idiocracy combined with a globalized neo-liberal world order of fascistic zombie capitalism: a nightmarish dictatorship of money plagued by privatization, immorality, systemic corruption, deregulation of markets that understand no limits, unprecedented shocking levels of economic inequality, infinite debt, atomization and decimation of working class solidarity that tyrannizes our ongoing dying world as the SHTF (the shit hits the fan) on several fronts – political, economic and ecological.

I think it’s safe to say that conservatives really only believe in two “moral” imperatives, “might is right” and “what’s in it for me?” I dare say this is the view of many 21st century neo-liberals that have all but forsaken classical liberalism as passed on by the traditions of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and the last of his lineage, who my choice would be the moral philosopher John Rawls, esteemed MIT/Harvard professor and author of A Theory of Justice (1971). Rawls, among other enlightened principles, argued convincingly that any government pretense to justice and morality must prioritize its impact on the worst off in society. Sadly, Rawls theories were ignored, instead opting for the very polar opposite (a vile loathsome socialism for wealthy elites, private banks, multi-national corporations the super-rich called neo-liberalism) in which the most privileged and wealthy would be the prime consideration, thus destroying the life chances for billions of people throughout the world not born with a silver spoon. [1a] One contemporary fellow traveler who would concur with Rawls’ position was the great 6 foot 9 inch Canadian left-leaning liberal-social democrat economist, prolific writer, social critic, historian, humanist and advisor to US presidents JFK and LBJ: John Kenneth Galbraith, was right when he referred to conservatism thus: “The modern Conservative is engaged in one of mankind’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” In other words, they are self-serving bastards and assholes.

A few years ago a group of German psychology researchers had concluded that the average global IQ has descended from 100 (which is not too bright, about the equivalent of a “C” average high school student) to a depressing 85. This confirms what I’ve sensed intuitively for at least 20 years, not only in terms of failing intellects papered over by high school and university grade inflation, but serious decline in morality in a systemically corrupt uncaring capitalism totally lacking in compassion, empathy or justice - a dystopian faceless technocratic system that understands no limits. You see it in the way people are generally depicted on television and in the mindless corporate marketing and advertisements; namely, as unthinking semi-literate jerks, walking dead zombies and bumbling idiots. Children are generally portrayed as undisciplined out of control brats as massive dogs sleep with their owners and lounge on the family couch. But don’t fret, there are Scott towels and spray air fresheners to clean up the out of control unruly kid’s messes and mask Fido’s stench. Nineteenth century Danish Philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, in reaction to the unthinking distracted cretins of his own age, was prophetic in describing them as “tranquilized by trivia”. Technology will certainly not save us; in fact it’s part of the problem. [1b] Perhaps a cosmic wizard is available that can fix this ADHD dumb and dumber FUBAR walking dead overpopulated simulacrum world?       



                                                                  Who’s that man behind the curtain?

The thrust of Postman’s arguments in Amusing Ourselves to Death and a later book Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology were motivated partially by two milestone dystopian novels written by brilliant British cultural critics, George Orwell’s 1984 and more significantly, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World which described a futuristic nightmare scenario of mind numbing trivia dominated cultural wasteland  of television, endlessly distractive technology and drug sedation, consumption driven global society of instant gratification and stupefied unthinking automatons. The average American “adult” is now staring at a hand held screen for 75 hours a week – more than full three days wasted on what is primarily serious brain impairment. And what typically passes for “news” is the headline on the home page of Microsoft’s new web browser “Edge”: “Celebrities that have birthdays in September”. Is this the sort of mind fuck and useless information that one needs to clutter an already distracted mushy mind constantly inundated by idiotic marketing and trivia about the parasites in the British Royal Family, what Oprah is up to, the disgraceful quacks Dr. Oz, Phil and Ho or the silly story about a dog who will not leave a shelter for “heartbreaking reasons”?  Do I need to mention the toxic cell phone OCD and addiction problem?

During and since Postman’s observations, the public schools and universities have been increasingly corporatized and de-intellectualized as the liberal arts so valued by the humanist enlightenment – the intellectual disciplines such as philosophy, history, literature and even the sciences have been hijacked by the mind numbing banalities of capitalist “economics” [2], “marketing” and “business administration”. People with no understanding of the past and who have been convinced of the dogmatism of “there is no alternative” to no-holds-barred neo-liberal predatory capitalism will also have no hope during the ongoing shit-show and “slow cancellation of the future”. Over a decade ago the late Mark Fisher described this Hobson’s choice scenario embedded within our numerous capitalist predicaments and grim prospects in a book titled Capitalist Realism. But this type of book is common now as conditions are far worse than when Fisher wrote his notable book. As the corona virus rages out of control killing millions and the stock market indices move steadily upward toward a predictable bubble, the neo-liberal neo-fascist corporatists will exploit it to the limit as they have other previous disasters for the hoi polloi. As in 2007-09 we will once again be subjected to more of the normalized Naomi Klein capitalist  “shock doctrines” of financial exploitation, privatizations and the bailout of reckless corporations, banks and wealthy power elites and, most disturbing, the colonization of the mind. What is referred to as “stimulus” is simply a government/central bank code word for corporate welfare of trillions of dollars to rescue a desperate desolate failed capitalist system. The latest “stimulus” ruse is real existing socialism, invariably reserved, not for the needy and destitute, but for the rich, whereas dog-eat-dog capitalism is the reality for the working classes scrambling for low paid “gig economy” wage slavery jobs. 

The steadily spreading global corona virus pandemic has simply deepened and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and iniquities as the lords of finance are simply using this latest calamity as an opportunity to further enrich themselves. Rather than business as usual governments with any pretense to democracy ought to learn from social transformations ushered in by past pandemics and man-made disasters. For example, during the three decade post World War II era much needed reforms were instituted such as public health provisions and socialized medicine, the New Deal, widespread social services such as unemployment insurance and pensions - and the even the Marshall Plan - were progressive and radical responses to dramatically changing circumstances. Today, the unprecedented challenge of covid-19 offers a similar opportunity to reconstruct our screwed up world dominated by a culture of privatization, greed, selfishness and untrammeled corporate power that has decimated any and all democratic advancements for a better just world achieved since 1945.But it will not happen in a world that cannot be fixed.

We now live in a global environment of ever-increasing oligarchic capitalist authoritarianism and systemic corruption verging on fascist totalitarianism coupled with a marginalized fragmented left, a trajectory that very likely cannot be reversed. In the UK, as we find in the United States and elsewhere throughout the world, Sheila Smith describes our global predicament as a system of “termite capitalism”. The “termites” are a sub-species of the parasitic wealth extractors, falsely posing as wealth and job creators, who make money out of shifting money around wherever a quick profit can be made, often by a computer keystroke or mouse click. Their activities have resulted in the global phenomenon of private equity destroying not only businesses that once provided real services and manufactured useful goods (not just mind numbing and distracting tech toys) but demolishing indebted Third World countries for fun and profit. There are also the modern slave-owners who build nine figure fortunes while exploiting their employees in Asian and Latin American sweat shops. Then they hide their ill-gotten gains from the taxman in offshore tax havens; they’re free riders on a civilizations constructed by and maintained by others. And in a globalised economy, the inequity within nations is replicated in the inequity between nations.

It is clear that dramatic revolutionary change is required. Such change, secured through radical fiscal policies such as for example a commitment to a Universal Basic Income or a truly environmentally sound economic policy that addresses the existential threats on several fronts such as overpopulation, global warming, species extinction and pollution. Economic inequality and social injustices have become unprecedented and will demand a radically different kind of political order and politician from the corrupt sociopathic imbecilic con man Donald Trump, shallow Trump copycat Boris Johnson and countless other blood-drenched neo-fascist leaders that now rule countries throughout the world. For politicians who have a moral compass, vision, and competence to ascend to power, requires a transformation of the conversation citizens have with each other. This must mean something profoundly different from the disconnected, reactive, narrow-minded, mean-spirited, ill-informed, reactionary and deceitful and prevaricating discourse orchestrated by media and platforms owned by and shaped according to the interests of multi-millionaires and billionaires.

It almost seems as though the era of politics and the notion of states as sovereign are now over since the entire system is so systemically corrupt, chaotic and manipulated - including the intellect as private property that has made a fortune not for scientific inventiveness, creativity and contributions to the commons, but for “entrepreneur” vultures like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley vampires - and controlled by Big Tech, their fraudulent swindles like “intellectual property rights” from which they have become billionaires. One would have to be comatose not to notice the ongoing calamities for the past four decades of pillage and destruction of the public realm and decimation what little democracy that previously existed. [3] And today, people have become complicit in their own psycho-political enslavement with voluntary information provided on Facebook, Google, Twitter and a multiplicity of other Big Data platforms. I rarely venture online without my Virtual Private Network (VPN) software activated; one can surf the corporatist surveillance state web incognito, even to your ISP.

Colonization of the Intellect

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing

-         William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Even human emotions and what is left of the intellect have been colonized and reduced to mere commodities by the corporate capitalist leviathan. Some, such as Italian philosopher Franco “Bifo” Berardi, who has been studying the impact of technology for over 40 years, argues that an irreversible authoritarian cognitive post and trans-humanist mutation is underway as humans are being transformed into “connective elaborators of information” by the algorithms of Silicon Valley Tech Behemoths such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that are already influencing and manipulating politics and elections. Facebook for example, in addition to a spy agency, is primarily a gossip and misinformation network of self-confirmation, ego tripping and self-aggrandizement. Skepticism, fact checking and critical thinking, tolerance of ambiguity and nuance always rare, seem to be slowly disappearing. Private schools now offer high school and diplomas and Mickey Mouse college degrees that are essentially commodities like everything else. Universities are being corporatized and de-intellectualized, transformed into third rate vocational schools as the debt laden students earn “degrees” in the banalities of “marketing”, neo-liberal “economics” (aka fascism) and “business administration”. The upshot of these trends is an epidemic of global idiocy as an impotent reaction to frustration, humiliation and resentment against the arcane mathematical abstractions of financial obfuscation, corruption and plunder.

Perhaps the specter of Agent Orange – ignoramus huckster Donald Trump - is the nadir of this ongoing capitalist dysfunction, chaos and emerging fascism. The state has become nothing less than an authoritarian hegemonic mechanism that serves and protects the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of wealthy power elites and the financial dictatorship of proto-fascist capitalism for which cultish pursuit of profit is their only imperative. Democracy, empathy, solidarity, community, egalitarianism, compassion, peace and progress have lost any societal appeal they once had. Fragmentation of progressive left wing movements, identity politics and growing psychological disorders are on the rise that include common irrational behaviors such as conflation of wants with needs, religious fanaticism and superstition, paranoia, anxiety, miniscule attention spans, depression, cell phone and tattoo fetishes, social and personal disorientation, cognitive malfunction, self-loathing, drug addiction and suicide are widespread; the upshot being nihilism - the power of nothingness. There is both a quantitative and qualitative difference between “living” and existing”. For most people, it has become the later.

Byung-Chul Han, Self Imposed Slavery and the Dictatorship of FAGMA

In a recent book Psycho-politics: Neo-liberalism and New Technologies of Power (2017), the Korean-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han has floated a concept of domination in neoliberal societies that he calls psycho-politics. The word “psycho-politics” refers to a new mode of domination and control that ruling corporate elites and their dupes in government employ through the use Big Bata and endless flows of personal information. According to Han, the internet, social media, and Big Data are core mechanisms of the neo-liberal modus operandi, since they enable a more subtle, inconspicuous, stable and efficient form of control, unlike the raw power and punishment dystopian models described in the past by Jeremy Bentham, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and most recently philosopher Michel Foucault’s critique of 20th century capitalist industrial societies. Han’s description of domination, control and surveillance within neo-liberal high tech globalism is exercised in a very different and subtle manner from traditional authoritarian or totalitarian means of control such as cops and spy agencies, since instead of limiting communication, they stimulates it: “The society of digital control makes massive use of freedom: it is possible only thanks to voluntary confessionals, self-exposure, self-denudation… the disclosure of data does not take place coercively but responds to an inner need” Hence, ironically or not, psycho-politics is founded on the principle of freedom - and that’s what makes it so efficient and effective.

But what is Big Data, you might well ask? “Big data is a vast, commercial enterprise,” explains Han. “Here, personal data is unceasingly monetized and commercialized. Now, people are treated and traded as packages of data for economic use. That is, human beings have become a commodity.” In Hegelian terms we’ve escaped the master-slave dialectic by becoming both master and slave in one complete anaesthetized package. The Big Brother 24/7 watchman of Orwell’s 1984 can now be eliminated as redundant since even the clever multi-billionaire diabolical smart asses of the neo-liberal technocratic oligarchy – Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos – no longer require a Big Brother. Their iniquitous cunning is revealed in the ability to cajole and convince the docile gullible public to play that role themselves.

At least in Nineteen Eighty-Four, nobody felt free. In 2017, for Han, everybody feels free, which is the problem. “Of our own free will, we put any and all conceivable information about ourselves on the internet, without having the slightest idea who knows what, when or in what occasion. This lack of control represents a crisis of freedom to be taken seriously.”

Your mobile phone (aka “smart” phone), for Han, is crucial as the iconic multifunctional tool of our auto-exploitation. We are all Big Brother now, self-disciplining. The humiliating process is not unlike Christianity, specifically Catholicism, but with far more effective mechanisms with the clever technology that’s available. It’s perhaps synonymous with the Christian symbols of guilt and self enslavement, a crucifix or rosary that operate as handheld confessionals and an effective surveillance apparatus all in one. As Han writes, “Both the rosary and the smart phone serve the purpose of self-monitoring and control. Power operates more effectively when it delegates surveillance to discrete individuals.” And like robotic sheep or lemmings, people will line up overnight or early dawn to purchase the latest overpriced $1500 Apple I-phone or Samsung Galaxy, further imposing on ourselves our own enslavement to corporate capitalist domination. Why is god not protecting people from their obsessive irrational desires?

Modern neo-liberal finance capitalism is misanthropic, exploiting all and everything that is utilized within the exercise of freedom, such as emotions, play and widespread cyber-communication. The smart phone has become the iconic instrument in this self-inflicted tyranny. This new psycho-political form of power is far more efficient and effective than the traditional means of control so brilliantly analyzed by Foucault because it makes rebellion and e  revolution almost impossible. Those “entrepreneurs of the self” who fail in the gig economy neoliberal system of atomization and precariousness live their failure as their own responsibility, and in the best case, direct their frustration via guilt and shame by increasing their productivity (“auto-correction”). In the worst case, their frustration at their failure to create for themselves wealth or fame makes individuals depressed and self-destructive – but not critical towards the oligarchic capitalist system of corporatism that has fostered this depression and self-destructive behavior. Psycho-politics is founded on the principle of deregulated freedom that involves bogus positivity, the vain pursuit of an enigmatic happiness, entrepreneurial achievement over all else (the “entrepreneur of the self”) which is what makes it so effective. Modern neo-liberalism exploits everything that is utilized within the exercise of freedom, such as emotions, play and communication, but not by solidarity or community but filtered through smart phones and internet platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Within the ideology of neo-liberalism, freedoms, which by definition should be freedoms from constrictions, generate constrictions. Former principles of wisdom that included prudence, frugality, postponing gratification, risk aversion, self-criticism and skepticism have been replaced by cavalier Nike “just do it” behavior, risk, debt peonage, selfishness and hedonism.

The latter behaviors (and much more) are graphically displayed in the disgusting television program called The Dragon’s Den. In the nauseating episodes fawning potential entrepreneurs humiliate themselves by obsequiously ass-kissing as they plead with arrogant multi-millionaires and billionaires such as the repulsive moral degenerate Kevin O’Leary to finance their mostly lame brained ideas. One cannot watch this pathetic pornographic boot licking lickspittle spectacle for more than five minutes without throwing up. The counterculture and refuse nick radicalism of the 1960s needs a re-run – a rejection of corporations, consumerism, hierarchy, nationalism, patriotism, war, all mainstream political parties and their authoritarian neo- conservative and neo-liberal fake democracies and proto-fascist failed states that merely re-arrange the deck chairs on the titanic while systematically ignoring destitute people without basic needs such as shelter and food. Embrace what Nietzsche called the “ruthless critique of everything existing”, since almost all of what currently exists is beyond repair and not worth saving. Perhaps it’s time to dust off E F Schumacher’s classic from the 1970s, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.

The tragedy of psycho-politics is precisely that it deceives the subject into making himself a slave to guilt, intuition, gut feeling and emotion - as rationality, appeal to evidence and logic become outmoded enlightenment strategies of life under the 21st century absurdities of capitalist realism. Living, for all but the very well off 1%, has been reduced to self-enslavement and culturally barren subsistence, sustained in many cases by the burnout of working multiple part time jobs.

According to Han and others, the cell phone - and other Big Data devices and technologies such as Facebook - have in many ways replaced other means of power, control and punishment so brilliantly understood and described by Michel Foucault. Control, surveillance and punishment of the masses were the norms under industrial capitalism but have in the past three or four decades become self-inflicted: voluntary self-exposure and confessionals, revealing personal information and contributing to emotionalism as opposed to rationalism. Atomization, the notion of entrepreneur of the self, isolation, loss of community and solidarity and the phenomenon of identity politics have become the standard. Neo-liberalism has spawned a new religion, by- passing the rational mind in deference to identity politics, narcissism, instant gratification, emotional appeals of non-stop indoctrination, hype and marketing as the financial markets rarely reflect the real economy and are merely conduits for the steady upward movement of wealth to a thin layer of the 1%. Societal calamities such as the current corona virus pandemic are merely shock doctrine opportunities for capitalist exploitation and profit as the impoverishment and misery of hundreds of millions worldwide are ignored by the ballooning pyramid scheme stock markets, bloated by endless debt, both private and public.

Much of the blame for the current epidemics of stupidity can be attributed to the technological revolution of the internet, gratuitous addictive and distractive computer technology, invasive nanotechnology, superfluous tech toys, mind altering time wasting “apps”, information overload, inane social media gossip platforms and the overall anti-intellectual onslaught of cyberspace, hackneyed uniformity to the status quo by corporate and state surveillance and the acquiescent mass media controlled, manipulated and monopolized by multi-national corporations - the infamous FAGMA {4]. Most people in the 21st century have the attention span of a humming bird on crack cocaine as communication now takes places between high tech devices, not people. Devices such as cell phones can be deadly as hundreds of people are killed each year while taking a “selfie”, a picture taken with a mobile phone - a narcissistic self produced photo op ego trip, thus providing new candidates for stupidity called the Darwin Awards. Others maim or kill themselves driving a vehicle while babbling on their mobile phone, which also substitutes for a teddy bear, since apparently many of these same people take them to bed.  If television ads are any indicator, many apparently also sleep with their pets as well, including huge smelly drooling bulldogs and pit bulls. I’ve read that surveys show there is a growing phenomenon of people suffering from sleep deprivation, the result of setting multiple alarms at night in order to check their cell phone text messages.

Marketing Mania, Information Overload and Useless Knowledge

Over the past several decades we have witnessed an ever-increasing velocity at which mostly useless and superfluous information is churned out, the only purpose of which seems to be distraction, an anaesthetization of the already uncurious credulous masses of humanity. The marketing business is becoming like an insidious death cult or an invasion from outer space as every available space and every nanosecond of time are gobbled up by the intrusion of marketing. Can anyone tolerate watching a sporting event on television any longer as even every square millimeter of the boards of a hockey rink are plastered with ads and logos of business advertising and even the shameful and hypocritical “we’re in this together mule fritter corporate co-option of movements like Black Lives Matter? Since mainstream Christianity is now peddling the mantra that “the Lord wants you to be rich”, flying in the face of the biblical adage about the rich man, the eye of a needle and the camel or Christ’s smashing up the premises of the financial hucksters and con men of his era, one wonders why we have not seen ads on TV such as Jesus promoting reverse mortgages, online gambling, Russian vodka and pay day loan sharks? Dystopian corporations co-opt and hijack everything, including the name of the sports stadium and even the radical logos of anti-capitalist and anti-racist dissent. “We’re in this covid-19 thingy together”, “Your call is important to us”, “Have a good day! “ = Big Business Bullshit on Steroids.

Two and a half decades ago it was a novelty, even a privilege, to be connected to the internet. Now it’s a privilege and a positive act of the will, not to be connected. The late Steve Jobs and a few others from the Silicon Valley super-rich have admitted to the media that they do not allow their children unlimited access to technology such as latest cell phones and tablets that they peddle relentlessly. Moreover, these oligarchs of high tech send their kids to schools in which such distractions are not allowed - in some cases not even a laptop. “We limit how much technology our kids use in the home” is the message from wealthy parents like Jobs who want a quality traditional undistracted intellectually driven education for their offspring. In other words, “listen kids; don’t get high on your own supply”. Some social critics have referred to the tech companies as narco-capitalists who peddle addictive manic-depressive products and web site platforms that are turning people into illiterate morons. Learning and the intellectual life are only possible in a quiet setting void of distractions and with sufficient time to concentrate on one learning task at a time.

The billionaire and multi-millionaire classes of the .01% are for the most part, people that are not stupid, who know global warming is real, that ecosystems are failing and that we are possibly facing a scenario like the futuristic movies Waterworld (1995) or Children of Men (2006). Many are preparing for such inevitable apocalyptic futures. As one plutocrat says to another, “I hear you bought a huge property in New Zealand, complete with a private military”; Wink, wink, nudge, nudge; say no more”.

For example, are you perplexed by the chaotic volatile behavior and velocity of stock markets in the face of nothing but dismal economic news for all but the 1%? When you understand that stock markets are rigged and manipulated endlessly, almost exclusively by central banks and massive investment and hedge funds as trading is primarily executed by computer driven algorithms, you will understand why there seems to be no human input to empirical facts as perceived by the vast majority when at a time in the past coherent language and literacy prevailed. And another question you’d likely prefer not to know is: who are these mystic shamans and high priests of finance called “economists” and more importantly, what exactly is “the economy” and who is served by it? Does anyone today understand “money”, especially since 1971 following the dismantling of the Bretton Woods monetary system in which all currencies were pegged to the referent and solidity of the gold standard? Money no longer has any grounding or reference point and its “value” is determined by linguistic hocus pocus as global currencies trade chaotically like any commodity such as copper, silver and sugar. Money is now the self-replication of debt which is spiraling out of control at every level of human existence, private and public. And what is meant by duplicitous corrupt politicians who justify crypto-fascist neo-liberal economic policy as being in “the national interest” – to most people a vague opaque, bullshit term at best. Demand conceptual clarity and justifications when some duplicitous politician or corporate CEO justifies decisions (like toxic sludge pipelines from the Alberta tar sands running through parks and indigenous land) based on the “national interest”. Ask what is meant by this expression and cui bono?

We are constantly being carpet bombed by trivia and other opaque or false information that we don’t have time to assimilate and employ what reasoning powers some may still have in order to analyze, assess evidence and critique what we are fed by our corporate masters and their sock puppets in government. To cite a nauseating common example we are subjected to every day it seems: the decadent parasitic British Royal Family The only news I want to hear about these pathetic thieving wastes of human skin is this: the long overdue day when they will have their massive stolen wealth confiscated and be taken to the wall? And when will the rule of law be applied to the corporate shysters and banking mafia bailed out every few years by the taxpaying public be prosecuted and punished? The rule of law, as it has been for most of human history, is only reserved for the masses. Typical of the attitude of the wealthy, most of whom avoid taxes by hiding their billions in illegal and immoral offshore tax havens was the New York real estate heiress and slum lady tycoon Leona Helmsley who said before one of the very few plutocrats to be convicted of tax evasion in 1989, “Paying taxes is only for the little people.”

Stupidity and ignorance seem to be becoming societal norms. Even most of our political leaders, one known as public servants, are obtuse know nothing careerists and thieves. Someone once said “I am not dumb, I just have command of thoroughly useless information”. But what is more depressing than this is how utterly helpless people are regarding behaviors and habits that your mother ought to have taught you in your pre-school years that are the essentials of effective sane prudent living. That there is a need for acquiring these practices that in my childhood at least seemed to have been acquired by most kids before kindergarten, explains why a very moralizing boring book of banal recommendations by a conservative Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson is a best seller. One of his recommendations is “keep your room clean, be organized and prioritize”. Duh! And what about balancing your budget? That will require Grade Two Mathematics; and perhaps some “advanced” arithmetic such as ratios and percent. That’s it. Double Duh!

Assimilating the huge volumes of data and information (much of it superfluous, bullshit, propaganda and prevarication) takes time, focus and intellectual toil, for which most people are either not educationally prepared in critical thinking skills, are uncurious slackers, have no interest in undertaking or often simply lack time, one reason being working multiple jobs at often dead end temporary service sector work to stay afloat.

The oft-promoted process of multitasking is, of course, a myth. Most eternally agitated and distracted people today are incapable of concentrating on even one task effectively, deploying their usually deficient assessment of evidence, reasoning and critical faculties sufficiently to arrive at genuine knowledge and truth. Both life-speed and sloth are the enemies of the intellectual life – and democracy – both of which take time and high levels of often agonizing reflection, cognition and concentration. The intellectual life can be extremely humbling and difficult; it is not for slackers and sissies. Sadly, willed ignorance and intellectual sloth seems to be the norm of which religious faith, organized religion and other superstitions is one of the worst contributors. [5] And what happens to people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden who expose lies and tell the truth about injustice, war, torture, environmental degradation, imperialism, corrupt corporations and the governments that enable them? They are labeled “terrorists” and “enemies of the state”.

General diminishing literacy levels and misuse of language in cyberspace are rampant, including intellectual and cognitive infirmities such as of ADHD, dyslexia and autism which are nearing epidemic levels and all-time highs. We are now seeing the results in our political malfunctions in which anti-science know nothing moronic buffoons and moral degenerates such as the likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are leaders of some of the largest most powerful countries in the world.

The Walking Brain Dead

Permit me to provide the reader with what is very likely a common story, one I experience often regardless of the environment in which one lives. In varying degrees of alarm and disbelief, I witness scenes such as this every day.

Recently a group of three adults and four preteens strolled down the sidewalk in front of our home. This was to me, who does not own an annoying time wasting cell phone – life is too short for such annoyances and distractions - a shocking scene, as I will now describe. A young man with two very large canines on a leash was leading the pack, followed by the four kids and then tailing behind were two women, one much older than the other. I assumed one was the wife and the other a grandparent. I’ll return to this scene in a few paragraphs.

Typically with walkers in our neighborhood there are two or more dogs on a leash regardless of the gender or age of the people, ostensibly heading toward the walking trail along the Chilliwack River which is about a two minute stroll from our home. Once these folks get to the scenic trail, most never get to enjoy the beautiful disappearing natural environment - often strewn with all forms of debris, including fishing tackle and dog poop - because their eyes are glued to their techno-devices such as cell phones. This is a serious addiction, like gambling and the mania of tattoos – that look particularly hideous on women - plastered all over people’s bodies? Am I missing something?  Should I follow the obsessive herd?

Quite often I see mothers pushing either a baby carriage or stroller with one, two or more kids in tow. I wonder about the dogs that also accompany them, usually two or more and which generally garner more attention than the kids. Do they allow these notoriously unclean animals in their homes? I have been forced to erect a wire fence along the perimeter of my lawn with the sidewalk since I don’t enjoy seeing brown spots and cleaning up dog shit before every lawn cut; but that’s another story about irresponsible assholes and neighbors from hell who seem to becoming a much larger percentage of the species called homo saps. Most of these people don’t even have a minimal understanding of ethics as they offload their self-inflicted problems without any dialogue onto neighbors and use the planet as a trash bin. When I walk along the river below the trail I bring a bag and often fill it with garbage, usually plastic and discarded fishing rubbish and beer cans. This is of course inconsequential but I feel better when I do it. When you realize that it takes about 2000 gallons of water to make a pound of hamburger, the recycling  with filling blue and green bins and other things many of us feel good about doing have little or no impact in the face of a world gone bonkers.

By the way, although I was terrorized and bitten many times as a kid and later as an early morning runner by dogs, I don’t hate them - just the uncaring jerk owners. But why do dogs bark? Perhaps the answer is the same as why they lick their balls; because they can. I prefer cats that are independent, low maintenance, purr (not bark) and don’t shit and piss on your carpets. I’ve often thought that the popularity of dogs as pets can be attributed to the master-slave relationships that still prevail in most political milieus and workplaces. Some people, sadly an increasing number it seems, get their rocks off with power, even if it is dominance over an animal. Back in the 1970’s someone came up with what appears to be a lame idea: marketing the idea of a “pet rock”. Proving that there’s a sucker born every second, the guy became a millionaire - no chump change back then as it is now. But hey, with low maintenance, low food bills and no defecating on your new carpets, maybe it wasn’t so dumb.

My very organized, intelligent, neat and tidy amazing mother - who died last August 2019 at the age of 94 - would never allow a dog in our modest but super organized pristine Northern BC home. This was a rule despite my outdoor loving father - an environmentalist long before the word was invented - who after his often 10-12 hour work day would periodically over the years bring home a dog. This was the 1950s and early 60s when parenting and discipline were still common practices. “Of course you realize there must be a dog house for this mutt”, my mother would insist,” or you’ll find yourself in one”. That usually solved the problem for our no nonsense but very affectionate mother.

Back to the three adults (I assume two parents and a grandparent); four preteens and the guy holding two leashes with two ugly pug-faced large slobbering bull dogs on the end. [6]

All except the guy, I assume the dad, including all four kids were staring into their mobile phones texting as they walked down the sidewalk oblivious to the external world, rarely even looking up. Anyone coming in the opposite direction would be forced off the sidewalk onto the street. The guy with the leash was perhaps trying to juggle a cell phone with both hands on the dog leashes. This is not an isolated case as you witness this disturbing scene anywhere you go. You even see people on TV at sporting events in which they have paid a small fortune to attend, spending much of their time on the cell phone. This practice is a serious disease, about as viral as covid-19 and as dumb as buying a lottery ticket or wasting your precious time at mind destroying casinos while losing a shit load of money.

One of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels most profound quotes from The Communist Manifesto, an amazing brief document that if read by anyone without knowing the title or author, would likely nod in agreement “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” This statement was prophetic in 1848 as it has been multiple times throughout history since, and today it is more relevant than ever as chaos, distraction, docility and stupidity are becoming the norms. The efforts to reform a deeply immoral capitalism following World War Two, in addition to the drafting of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, was successful in putting a human face on the capitalist Godzilla for about thirty years. But at the first opportunity these reforms were either weakened or rescinded. During the past four decades we have witnessed a steep decline in what little democracy that prevailed and have descended into ever increasing authoritarianism, grotesque economic inequalities and the return of barbaric fascism, especially reflected in a universal globalized financial parasitism for which the end justifies the means and as profit overrides all else.

In consideration of my reading of history, I believe that the capitalist system is as authoritarian, unjust and oppressive as any ideology that has existed; it is not even remotely moral or democratic. There is too much to say on this topic but one young college student in 1964 had some insights and premonitions into the future as the US was at the time becoming fully involved militarily in the barbaric abomination called the Vietnam War.

His name was Mario Savio. He was one of the leaders of the University of California, Berkley Free Speech Movement. Here is a snippet from that his remarkable speech:

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus; and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”


                                                                                   Mari Savio delivering his famous Speech


                                                                                             Real Free Speech in America

We are presently witnessing another massive heist of the commons as trillions of dollars flow from a metaphysical vacuum to bail out neo-liberal fascist capitalism once again. What these calamites accomplish is further concentration of power in the hands of the same financial elite vultures that presided over the ongoing disasters in the first place. How do the masses of complacent, distracted and agitated humanity tolerate this global thievery? And why are they unable to create forms of consciousness, solidarity and resistance that are capable of bringing this evil totalitarian global system down?  Politics, the aim of which is to modify or replace institutions and create reflective ethical collective behavior is increasingly being replaced by brain altering techno devices and information overload. Neither our prospective democratic movements nor the corporatist neo-fascist authoritarians who hold the real power seem capable of processing the infinite and hyper-accelerated flow of data and information. There is a pervasive sense of hopelessness, helplessness and futility that, as Frederic Jameson wrote several decades ago, that “the end of the world seems easier to imagine than the end of capitalism” which has survived (and often benefited from) every failure and crisis that it has created. This feeling of powerlessness, inadequacy, impotence and anxiety are hallmarks of depression and psychosis which has been rampant for the past four decades as we now live in a society in which about half of the population - including children - is on Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Adderall or other mind altering pharmaceutical drug. Children are even drugged with Ritalin for challenging authority, which now has been given the ludicrous label “oppositional defiance disorder” (ODD) by the American Psychological Association. Yes, I’m serious. I had this psychological disease a kid and feel fortunate to still “suffer” from it.

Stock market trading, most of which is driven by computer programs and algorithms - virtual trading robots - can execute thousands of trades per second which have the potential of igniting a global meltdown in a matter of minutes.  Finance capitalism means submission of social and economic life to the regulatory mechanisms and manias of abstract mathematical calculation as anything to the zombie gods of capital in the neo-liberal realm that cannot be quantified or reduced to turning a profit, including the humanities, art, reason, critical thought, community, solidarity and ethics, is deemed irrelevant or worthless. Everyday fifty times the global GDP is traded on stock exchanges throughout the world. This is a global system out of control, the slave of its own internal logic. Perhaps, as Norbert Weiner, Marshall McLuhan, Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Kurzweil, Neil Postman  and others have warned, in an age of mutating creeping abstractions the future will not need us and we will eventually lose control of our technology and will have reached the stage of what some call trans-humanism – the age of nanotechnologies and genetic engineering.

What little democracy and state sovereignty that emerged post World War II has been steadily eroding. The final nail in the coffin was perhaps in 2015 when the democratically elected government of Greece (where the still unconsummated idea of democracy as “government by the people” was born) was subjected to blackmail by the EU, IMF and ECB (the infamous dictatorial troika) as - not the people - but the banks and the countries financial parasites were bailed out. Most people in Greece and throughout the world now believe that we’re up against an intellectual and political brick wall and there is no way out of the continuing global tyranny of financial capitalism that despite having lost all its credibility, it survives every disastrous financial mess and imperialist wars and other calamities it has created. People now seem to have capitulated as they sleepwalk (the walking dead) through their often humiliated, depressed, precarious, submissive, suicidal and cognitively overloaded lives coupled with periodic outbursts of rage. Our world is increasingly becoming more like a Philip K Dick dystopian novel in which people are reduced to winners or losers in the smarmy game of non-stop chaotic commercial transactions and economic mumbo jumbo as the amorphous gods of the “market” decide everything.

The deadening vacuuming sound you hear is the massive pump of finance capitalism’s insatiable gargantuan leech sucking life from atomized individuals, the organism of what’s left of society and the planet’s ecosystems - accelerating by the second as it devours its host.


[1] Donald Trump is a 21st Century Caligula who, in addition to suffering from multiple psychological disorders including the Dunning-Kruger Effect, he also in plagued by various forms of psychopathological maladies. His narcissistic authoritarianism partly explains his admiration for other tyrannical misfits of his ilk such as North Korea’s “dear leader” Kim Jong-un and the sadistic Saudi monarchs. As Ron Jacobs wrote in a recent Counterpunch piece called “It’s a Sick Country”, “His sense of reality is based in a childhood of privilege and prejudice. It is the latter which attracts some of his low rent supporters: the Nazis, Klansmen, many women, sexists and homophobes. It is the former which brings the rest of his support on board. No matter how reprehensible and boorish the rich might find Trump’s behavior and pronouncements, they welcome his tax cuts and the power his regime brings them…Even those in his class who oppose him are quite silent regarding their tax cuts and the destitution they are beginning to cause. When it comes to the cops and shooting Black people, their protest is almost deafening in its silence. A whisper of alarm might follow another of his regime’s announcements that anti-environmental protections are being removed, but you don’t hear about any Democrats taking their investments out of those corporations that will benefit the most from the removal of said protections.”

The November 2020 election campaign is proceeding against the conditions of perhaps the greatest social, economic and political crisis in the modern era of the United States. The outbreak of the corona virus pandemic has deeply destabilized American society and exposed the depravity of and increasing uncompetitive capitalism addicted like a cocaine habit to debt, courtesy of trillions of dollars of endless government welfare. Almost 200,000 people have died from the pandemic and at least 30 million people are unemployed - which only includes those documented. Food lines stretch for city blocks and 25% of mothers with young children say their families do not have enough to eat.

The ruling corporate oligarchy’s uncontrollable greed placing profit before all else and their efforts to force children back to school and workers back on the job, despite a raging and increasing pandemic, have led to a wave of strikes and protests and seen millions of people demonstrate against police violence in thousands of cities and towns throughout the country. But as millions suffer poverty and depravation, the founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos has doubled his net worth to $200 billion since the beginning of the year. At the same time, since Agent Orange, Il Duce Trump’s election, the Democrats have worked on a bipartisan basis with the Republican lunatics in the White House to slash corporate taxes, increase military spending to record highs, build up Trump’s personal Gestapo of killer kops, private red neck thug militias and head bashers in major cities against legitimate protests (real democracy), border patrol units while at the same time carrying out the largest bailout of multi-national corporations and banking criminals in human history.

[1a] Political party labels don’t mean much anymore. For almost 70 years In British Columbia we have endured far right wing parties. First the far right wing neo-Nazi Social Credit Party elected in 1952 due primarily to decades of fiscal irresponsibility and incompetence of both “conservative” and “liberal” governments. The dynasty of BC Social Credit (referred to as “Socreds” by many British Columbians) was led by the obtuse Grade Nine Graduate W. A. C (Wacky) Bennett, until 1972 when people became sufficiently disgusted with the ongoing corruption, cronyism and scandals. Wacky was replaced by the best BC Premier ever, Dave Barrett, leader of the social democratic NDP. But the effervescent loveable former social worker Barrett only lasted three years, vilified and condemned daily by the big business controlled far right wing press and other capitalist media regardless of the valuable progressive legislation he introduced such as income supplements for impoverished senior citizens, public auto insurance and reform of the draconian education system. One the first enlightened decisions of the Minster of Education, Eileen Daily who was a former teacher, was to banish the barbarism of the strap. I vividly recall having this weapon inflicted on me numerous times in both public elementary and high school. My crimes were primarily curiosity, precociousness and asking uncomfortable questions such as one in my grade six class: “why do we have Bible readings every morning in class”? I thought this a good question at the time since it was mind numbingly boring and of no relevance to any of the students, at least not any I hung out with.

In 1975 Social Credit was, via endless big business propaganda and the not uncommon nepotism, re-elected; this time led by WAC’s son, the dismal grade 11 graduate, intellectual zero and insider stock market trading scammer, the misanthropic dullard Bill Bennett. The province of BC continued to be ruled by this BC capitalist cabal with infrequent brief terms of the NDP until it finally imploded on its own sleaze and excess. It ultimately was renamed BC Liberal Party, a misnomer that was primarily populated by far right wing Social Credit re-treads, walking dead Christian fundamentalists and slimy big business lap poodles that never did anything for ordinary people, consistently underfunding social programs, privatizing everything they could and throwing the poor and vulnerable off the bus. About fifteen years ago my sister-in-law, who worked in a publically owned long term care facility for helpless seniors in Prince George, was a victim of these ruthless neo-fascist/neo-liberal bastards. She was earning about $18 an hour with some benefits and a pension but one day when she arrived at work, the employees were informed that the public enterprise they worked for was being privatized, were all fired but could be rehired the next day at $9 an hour with no benefits or pension. The story became even worse but I’ll spare you the agonizing details. Thanks for nothing Premier Gordon (Gorgon) Campbell who my brother at the time wanted to assassinate.

Despite a current BC minority government of the NDP and Greens, conditions have become steadily dire because regardless of the political persuasion, elected parties located anywhere to the left of Attila the Hun are unable to do anything progressive since they are mired in (we are informed “there in no such thing as society” and “there is no alternative”) what has now become a deified law of the cosmos: the neo-liberal dictatorship of financial predatory capitalism which, when they screw up in their next inevitable orchestrated market bubble, will be bailed out by “whatever it takes” – in the words of US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

[1b] During early 1990’s as personal computers, mobile phones and the internet were in their infancy, Catherine Ingram interviewed Jerry Mander, author of the insightful book The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System. His comments are revealing in light of the techno nightmare that is plaguing us and contributing to not only pervasive distraction and stupidity, but financial predation by a few keystrokes on a computer, daunting debt at all levels, impending financial collapse and extinction events that are leading to the irreversible death of our planet’s ecosystems. Mander had this to say at the about emerging technologies:

“New technologies are introduced to us without a full discussion of how they are going to affect the planet, social relationships, political relationships, human health, the natural world and our conceptions of nature and of ourselves. Every technology that comes along affects these things. Cars, for example, have changed society completely. Had there been a debate about the existence of cars, we would have asked, ‘Do we want the entire landscape to be paved over? Do we want society to move into concrete urban centers? Do we want one resource–oil–to dominate human and political relationships in the world?’ Our culture lacks a philosophical basis, an understanding of the appropriate human role on earth that would inform these developments before they happen. Such an understanding would enable us to say, no, we cannot go in that direction because it is destroying the secular sanctity of life, a failure to be grounded in the humanistic natural world and lacking any sense of limits. You see, once you’re living in an industrial, technological society, choices become much more difficult. Even if you believe that cars are inappropriate, you almost cannot function without the use of a car. You can’t function if you don’t have a telephone or a computer–unless you retire from participation.”

[2] Economics is often rightly criticized and discredited by referring to it as the “dismal science”. Most economics assertions and non-falsifiable claims are at best no better scientifically than any of the social sciences. The truth is, unlike physics, astronomy, medicine, biology and chemistry - economics is not a science at all - but rather more akin to a religion in which preconceptions, faith based assumptions, dogmas, postmodern abstractions and mathematical obfuscations that distort reality and have little or no predictive capacity or resemblance to realty. The notion of assigning quantitative value to human emotions, thought processes and other mostly irrational behaviors involved in economic decision making (Francis Bacon’s Idols of the Marketplace - fear and greed, for example) is the attempt to assign empirical reality and reify mathematical concepts and formulas based on subjective observations. Let’s not forget that not one of some one million trained mainstream capitalist “economist” predicted either the Dotcom Bubble or global financial meltdown of 2008-09; not one. These deluded dolts are no better at prediction than preachers, soothsayers, shamans, astrologers, tea leaf and palm readers or any of the other countless hucksters and intellectual frauds throughout history. The late great Canadian economist John Kenneth Galbraith even admitted economics was bullshit and that an economist was a bullshit job, had it right when he wrote, “There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’ know”.

There are tens of thousands of obscenely overpaid bullshitting economists, CFOs, CEOs, financial advisors and stock market forecasters in Canada and the United States alone vainly attempting to predict interest rates, recessions and the direction of markets. For them, every market collapse is a “correction”, a meaningless mound of euphemistic hot steaming bovine excrement. If they could do this successfully they’d be retired on their own Caribbean Island. When have you ever heard of a stock market guru having the intestinal fortitude to be a town crier of bad news and offer a “sell” recommendation on any stock? But these rose tinted spectacle dreamers are great at post hoc reasoning, confirmation and attribution bias while providing lame excuses for their failures, regularly committing countless other logical fallacies. These modern day gizzard squeezers, crystal ball gazers and witch doctors are classic hopeless optimists with rose tinted spectacles and unlike the town crier, avoid truths in the form of bad news like a plague. As one of the few truly brilliant and realistic aforementioned economists just quoted, John Kenneth Galbraith, pointed out, “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrologers look respectable”. And what happens to people who expose unpleasant verities and menacing truths to power? Consider the fates of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, now deemed by the US government as “enemies of the state”.

Heeding the advice of two skeptical, contrarian and critical thinking economists who in 2006-07 did predict the debt induced financial meltdown of 2008-09, Nouriel Roubini  and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, saved my financial butt.

Simply examine the lame prognostications of so-called “investment advisors”, stock market analysts and other “yes men” in the mainstream who are little more than delusional peddlers of faith and false hope - no better and forecasting  than crystal ball gazers, shamans and fundamentalist Christian preachers. They never; I mean never, recommend a “sell’” on any stock trading on any of the global markets – only “buy” or “hold”. Yet for every transaction there is a buyer (optimist) and a seller (pessimist). I translate any “hold” status to really mean “sell” - ASAP. Listen to these mystical men and women who generally receive a commission for recommending securities and you will lose a boatload of money over time riding on the predictable hills (booms) and valleys (busts) plainly visualized on the graphs of securities trading prices and volumes over time. These mathematical charts are the only source of truth in the “investment” racket. With the chaos of these regular peaks and valleys in the stock markets the adages of “buy for the long term” and “diversify” are both a fool’s game. And can anyone, even the high priests of financial theology explain what is meant by the endless opaque mumbo jumbo and cow pies such as “the invisible hand of the market” or EMH (the Efficient Market Hypothesis)? NO!

To live in a world in which there are no random events, to which everything is comprehensible, meaningful and predictable, rather than at best probable, is delusional like the claims of the religious who believe an invisible supernatural omnipotent entity guides and is responsible for everything that happens in the universe - and has a “reason”. Just observe baseball players who point to the sky after hitting a home run, a behavior that is mysteriously absent when he strikes out or fumbles a routine ground ball. And why is a one month old child struck by terminal cancer? I know; God has his reasons and works in “mysterious ways”. And why is the world now dealing with a deadly pandemic as the DJIA stock market soars to new heights? Apparently the Federal Reserve that creates trillions of dollars out of a vacuum to hand out to bandit Wall Street banks and bail out corrupt corporations, like the Xian sky daddy, works in mysterious ways.

 [3] Finance parasites, banking mafia and corporate criminals that were bailed out following the global financial meltdown of 2007-09 are the same vultures now being rescued by the governments in the USA and elsewhere with the infusion of trillions of dollars of public mammon. This unreal phenomenon of money from heaven probably appears to the many uninformed perplexed people some sort of divine intervention by an invisible capitalist deity. The corona virus pandemic is being touted as the “disaster” evoked to justify another massive shock doctrine style swindle. As I write, the corporate oligarchy that owns our politicians and government bureaucracies have demanded the factories, offices, business and schools be reopened, thus generating millions of infections and tens of thousands of deaths, ignoring the explicit warnings of medical and other scientific experts.

From the beginning, the main concern of the corporate elite and its political lackeys in the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States - and Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada – has been to protect their wealth, and the neo-liberal capitalist system of exploitation, plunder and profit upon which it is based. The death toll, especially in the United States with their dysfunctional privatized for profit health care system, was not a concern when the pandemic began to spread across the country in March. But the precipitous drop in the DJIA and S&P 500 certainly was.

In response, what was demanded from the United States government by the corporatist “masters of mankind” was a blank check to prop up the financial markets and to fill the coffers of wealthy power elites and the big corporations. While Trump and his coterie sang the refrain that there was “no money” to establish a mass testing and contact tracing system in the United States to contain and eradicate the deadly contagion, the president worked diligently with Congress to enact a $6,000,000,000,000 bailout for the ruling financial oligarchy.

Even the most generous estimates from economists, including one from Politico, show that at most eight percent of the bailout was directed at measures to end the virus itself, including making more personal protective equipment, working on treatments, expanding contact tracing, implementing mass testing and working on a vaccine. About one-twentieth went toward the stimulus checks that Americans without a job were supposedly to survive on for months on end. Everything else went into the already overflowing coffers of the super-rich.

At the same time, such sums had to be paid for but by whom? Just as trillions had been handed to Wall Street back in 2007-09, trillions now once again have to be extracted from the labor of working people. Trump began to make the false claim that, “Our people want to return to work.” The fact that these reckless actions have been proven to spread the pandemic and have cost thousands of lives of the working poor is of little interest to the sociopathic Donald Trump or the greed ridden socio-economic interests he represents.

Instead, workers are being forced back into contaminated plants and infected factories under a de facto policy of herd immunity. In order to pay for the crisis, the ruling elite has sent millions back to work in deadly conditions, ones that are allowing the pandemic to spread throughout communities, killing and maiming thousands. If allowed to continue, Trump’s actions will make Dr. Fauci’s warnings a living nightmare.

This homicidal - one might argue genocidal - policy is being followed ever more robustly now that autumn is approaching and, according to the dunce capped Trump, “schools must open!” Trump knows that the only way to consummate the economic reopening is get kids back to school so their parents can be sent back to work. The excuse that children seem to be less susceptible to the deadlier consequences of the pandemic is being used to justify a mass reopening of schools. This has already caused a massive spread of COVID-19, both among children and their more susceptible older friends and relatives.

 [4] FAGMA = Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple. The ETF QQQ which represents the big companies on the New York NASDAQ index, FAGMA represents about 37%.

[5] As the great philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) once remarked, “If you think your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument rather than by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based upon faith, you will realize that argument is useless, and will therefore resort to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting or distorting the minds of the young in what is called ‘education’.”Were he alive today, Russell would be shocked by the decimation of the humanities and the transformation of education into merely an institution in compliance with the dictates of big business and the neo-liberal/ neo-fascist market. The critical mind is unable to function in conditions of information overload and the saturation of cyberspace with endless distractions of useless knowledge, ignorance and schizophrenic annoyances. People have even lost the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion, belief and knowledge and who understand “truth” as being “whatever works for me”. Emotional appeals now pass for cogent evidence based argumentation.

[6] The two ugly drooling dogs were huge and would perhaps require a second mortgage for most families to feed.

Perhaps at this point the reader needs a little comic relief:

Question: What’s black and brown and looks good on Donald Trump?

Answer: A Doberman.



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