James Howard Kunstler – Everyone Interested in Truth Should Be Reading His Writings

Very few people pack as many formidable ideas into articles as short as those of James Howard Kunstler. I can’t do it. Plus, he understands something most people, especially in the various freedom movements, don’t yet get:  even if 99.9 percent of everything the Establishment is putting out is crap, neither can we simply go back to the political-economic model based on extraction (which invariably leads to foreign interventionism and war), car-dependence to mostly BS jobs (David Graeber’s choice term although he spells out the word), and mass consumption and disposability. One of three things is going to happen in the near future:  (1) God intervenes directly. (2) We find and build up another way of organizing our lives and our communities, ending centralization, ending the worship of money like a god, tapping into a limitless energy source along the lines projected in the Thrive films and in my projected next project The Fifth Stage of Civilization. (3) We go down in flames, probably within the lifetimes of most people reading this. (There is a fourth possibility, of course, which is that the experimental mRNA spike protein producing vaccines for Covid-19(84) will kill off a portion of the human race before (2), (3), or even (1) happen.)

Incidentally, Dmitry Orlov’s June 4 column is also worth more than a look, as it reflects the thinking within the upper echelons of the Russian government about the status of the U.S. collapse, but since it is Patreon.com only, posting that here would not be the right thing to do. But you can access his material at https://www.patreon.com/orlov/membership. Incidentally, your humble narrator is also on Patreon. And although money is not his god, as long as it remains one of the central gods in secular civilization’s pantheon of surrogates, he openly welcomes tips, for authors need to eat and keep the lights on, too. My site:  https://www.patreon.com/stevenyates/membership

What If “the Big Lie” Is the Big Lie? 

by James Howard Kunstler             June 4, 2021

Maybe now that Dr. Tony Fauci has begun to spill the beans on his doings in service to the Wuhan virology lab, the phrase “conspiracy theory,” flogged by the media as jauntily and incessantly as by the soviet kommissars of yore, will have worn out its welcome.

In a sane polity, Dr. Fauci would be cooked. He looks circumstantially like an epic villain of history, who promoted and funded dangerous research activities knowingly, which led to an international disaster that killed millions of people and destroyed countless livelihoods and households, perhaps even the whole global economy, when all is said and done — and he appears to have lied at every step along the way.

As a practical matter, what is the “Joe Biden” admin going to do about him? Throw him under the bus? I don’t think they can at this point. Dr. Fauci has come to represent not just the falsehoods employed around the Covid-19 fiasco but more generally the long campaign against truth itself by a grossly illiberal Jacobin Democratic Party seemingly out to punish and destroy Western Civ.

Whether the Covid-19 pandemic was an overt tactic in that campaign, or just the result of Dr. Fauci’s catastrophic bad judgment, remains to be revealed. But at least half the country will conclude that there’s some connection between the terrible losses suffered in the pandemic year and the political bullshit they were force-fed in the four-year effort to defenestrate Donald Trump. All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense. You also have good reason to doubt that Merrick Garland will do anything but look the other way and whistle.

The downfall of Dr. Fauci is a watershed moment. There were so many more authorities caught lying over the past five years, but who got off scot-free — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Comey (actually, the whole FBI and DOJ E-suites), John Brennan, James Clapper, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, Adam Schiff, and the editors and producers of the news media, plus the execs of social media — who not only disabled the truth at every opportunity, but just about destroyed the public’s grip on reality.

The result has been an utter collapse of authority in this land, so that now nobody who runs anything is credible, from the current pitiful president of the USA, to most elected and appointed officials, judges, corporate CEOs, college deans and presidents, and “The Science” itself. Just remember: there is still a sizable faction in America of people who are deeply interested in ascertaining the truth about a lot of things. They are aiming to get at it, too, for example, the truth about the 2020 election. Maybe now you can begin to see why this is important.

Yet the cable news channels were really at it last night (Thursday) with Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper of CNN, and the slippery crew at MSNBC, strenuously assailing the Arizona election audit with their usual battery of opprobrious slogans: it’s a “conspiracy theory,” “baseless,” a “Big Lie.” Is it perhaps more likely now that their Big Lie is the Big Lie? It looks like we are going to find out. And perhaps not just in Arizona, because other states are warming to the audit idea.“

Joe Biden’s” DOJ may yet try to quash the AZ audit. But one subsidiary truth to be gleaned in all this is that the audit is solely a state prerogative as a constitutional matter and if the DOJ tries to lay some horseshit ruse about “civil rights” on the operation, they’ll end up with their pants on fire, maybe even an official nullification of federal action. Sound a little civil war-ish?

So, we can see that the disclosures over Dr. Fauci’s role in the origins of Covid-19 and the potential discovery of 2020 election fraud are converging toward a deep constitutional crisis this summer. If a growing number of Americans come to believe that the pandemic was a number run on them by the authorities, they may be more disposed to going forward with election audits in several states. And what happens if solid evidence is discovered and fraud is proven? Whu-oh…! Does the country perhaps have to call a re-do of the election, this time without mail-in ballots and with a more serious effort to substantiate the votes? That’s a tall order. Or does “Joe Biden” just keep ridin’ out for ice cream cones? Geopolitics may determine that. Can the nation afford to keep such a weak and illegitimate regime in power?

I’ll tell you something that could happen: “Joe Biden” (his handlers and their factotums, anyway) may try something else, another ruse to distract the public’s attention from a constitutional crisis: how about crashing the financial markets? That would do the trick, I’m sure. In fact, it looks like the Federal Reserve is already tuning that frequency in by announcing it’s “tapering” its bond buying activities, starting with corporate “junk” bonds. You know what will happen if they ramp up tapering of more bond purchases (currently around $120-billion-a-month)? Interest rates will rise — because who else will buy that paper at near-zero interest rates? (And, by the way, Russia just announced it’s about to sell off all its sovereign holdings in US dollars.) And when interest rates rise quickly, Wall Street’s current business model goes south. Wait for that!

Original posting here: https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/what-if-the-big-lie-is-the-big-lie/

Steven Yates here., with another possibility. The Powers That Be could try to fake an invasion by extraterrestrials. Maybe that’s what this sudden “flap” about UFOs is all about. Do note that everything we’re hearing about those is coming from the U.S. military / war machine, and no, there’s no new, real evidence there that we didn’t have before. I’m waiting for the feds to say, “Please send us more tax dollars and give us more power, and we’ll keep you safe from space aliens.” Any day now!

Posted in Coronavirus, Election 2016 and Aftermath, Media, Political Economy, Where is Civilization Going? | Leave a comment

Mother. Snapshots of Lives Outside the Limelight #1

Author’s note: this was written on April 14, and is the first in an occasional series profiling ordinary people whose lives touched mine one way or another, sometimes in a big way, helping shape who I am and the views I presently hold. It is something of an experiment. If people like it, I will continue with it. I post it here for Mother’s Day. Incidentally, obviously, we’ve not yet moved as I’ve not been satisfied with any of the alternative sites I’ve looked at as a possible new home for Lost Generation Philosopher.

As I write, this week is the tenth anniversary of the passing of my mother, Alice Mae Belles Yates (Nov 14, 1923 – Apr 14, 2011). As much as I miss her, part of me is grateful she did not live to see the world as it is now.

Both my parents were Depression children and then teenagers. They were fortunate in having fathers who remained employed during those years. One of my grandfathers was a baker; the other, a railroad engineer. As pre-teens, they knew what scarcity was. They saw plenty of it, and doubtless it shaped both their mindsets for life.

They did not grow up with the sense of entitlement that dominates the mindsets of whole generations today.

Both were 18 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Both enlisted. The man who became my dad served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Cuttlefish (Pacific Theater), and the woman who became my mom trained to become an Army Nurse serving on the Island of Guam. The irony is that at time my parents were only a few miles apart, though they would not meet until they were both back in the U.S., well after the war’s end.

They married in 1952, and I popped out four and a half years later.

When I was 5, Mom took me to a public library and checked out a book on the planets. I was hooked — especially on science. Both parents believed education was the key to success in life. At the time, that was more right than not. They also believed education begins at home. I would argue, this is still right.

I grew up surrounded by encyclopedias, textbooks, treatises. We had the Encyclopedia Britannica, the World Book Encyclopedia, and a series called Childcraft. Dad (the first in his family to go to college) had a BS and an MS in chemistry, and his chemistry, physics, and biology texts lined bookshelves. Mom had earned an RN, and her medical texts were also around. Dad also loved military history, so there were plenty of books on WWII, U.S. history, one or two on the ancient world, and more.  

I’m more than aware that not every kid grows up surrounded by books and encouraged to read. I consider this a shame. Not enough has been done to encourage respect for education — the real thing, as opposed to glorified job training. This is one of the reasons we’re in the mess we’re in.

As an adult, of course, I became convinced that powerful people do not want a population of readers and well-educated critical thinkers.

I was 6 when JFK was assassinated. It was the first time I saw my mom cry. I wanted to know why she was crying, and I distinctly remember, “Somebody shot the president of the United States.” My child’s mind wanted to know, Didn’t they know he was the president? 

She had liked JFK, voted for him, and would have voted for his brother in ’68 had he not also been assassinated. My dad, a staunch conservative Republican in the big business mode, didn’t care for the Kennedys. Neither cared for Ted, by any measure the black sheep whose policies, starting with 1965’s immigration law, were divisive and destructive.

Mom was the first person in my life to plant seeds of doubt about the official narrative of JFK’s assassination. It probably began two days later, when we returned home from church to learn that one Jack Ruby had gotten past two or three dozen police officers with a loaded gun and into Lee Harvey Oswald’s heavily-guarded cell where he shot him to death.

“How does something like that happen?!” she asked my father, who shrugged.

The truth is, something like that won’t happen unless someone wants things to play out that way. Unless the Dallas Police were utterly incompetent. I doubt this.

As we watched the gloomy funeral procession on our small, black-and-white television, I recall a sense that something terrible had happened to the country.

The 1960s saw those other political assassinations: Bobby, and Martin Luther King Jr. In both cases, there were things that did not add up. One of my South Carolina friends (who’d had a relative with the LAPD in the case of the former) later presented me with decisive reasons to believe that with Bobby at least, the real killer got away.

Bobby wanted to end the war in Vietnam. Powerful people wanted that war to continue. We all figured this out later. Bobby had America’s youth in his pocket. I’m of the view that he would have defeated Nixon in one of history’s biggest landslides. The entire history of the country might have been different. Or not, since those with real power always have a Plan B. And of course, there are no ways to devise tests for what might have happened but didn’t. 

My feelings about such ideas as civil rights which flourished under LBJ’s administration and later were mostly positive. Treat people fairly. As a kid who was different because he wore glasses, was lousy at team sports, and read too many books, I knew what it was to be an outsider. I could only imagine an entire race of people treated as second class citizens. I remember reading Richard Wright’s Black Boy and being moved by it. Thus when I learned more about nondiscrimination laws in high school, I felt that they were right.

My impression of the black kids themselves, though, is that (with rare exceptions) they wanted nothing to do with us. No intelligent effort was ever made at my high school to “integrate” them. We didn’t “hate” them. We did not understand them, and they did not understand us. Most people vaguely fear what they don’t understand, and that was my white friends and I in high school.

Mom counseled being decent to them. “Most of the time if you are nice to people, they will be nice to you,” were her words on one occasion.

As she grew older, her primary political villain became Lyndon Baines Johnson (on this, she and my dad were on the same page). She was convinced that LBJ had been involved in JFK’s assassination. The older I became, the more convinced I was that even if this was false, he certainly knew the inside story. I had the impression he did what the power elite of the day wanted him to do out of fear for his own life.

He thus screwed up royally in Vietnam, and positioned the civil rights movement for its hijacking with his “Shackled Runner” argument (I’ve no idea if he read a certain essay called “Repressive Tolerance” by a Marxist professor, Herbert Marcuse). 

My mom believed LBJ committed suicide, and it was covered up. Again I don’t know if this is true or not. I do know she gave such matters thought. She’d read several of the available books on the assassinations of that era, and did not reach her conclusions lightly.

The strength of that era, the 1960s, was its optimism and openness to new narratives. Some of that strength survived into the 1970s, during which I learned the value of setting aside what “everybody knows” and snooping around on my own. I read everything from Biblical archeology to books like T.S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 1970) which sold me on studying the philosophy of science professionally.

The weakness of 1960s idealism was its ghastly inattention to the communist element, utterly unprincipled and willing to use legitimate causes to further its goals. Even Dr. King, whom I never believed was himself a communist, was blind to the communists orbiting him like hawks.

Both my parents knew I would end up a writer. My mother saw the rise and part of the fall of my academic career. She always encouraged me to write what I believed was true to the best I could. Unlike my father, who with age grew increasingly cynical. He spoke of my “big mouth” and told me it would only get me into trouble (on more than one occasion he was right).

My mother had two life-threatening health crises. When she was in her teens she had an attack of acute appendicitis. For over a week it went undiagnosed as anything worse than a really bad intestinal cramp. The other, when I was in the fifth grade, was a cervical cancer diagnosis. Emergency surgery was successful, but she had to be checked every six weeks for months afterward in case the cancer had metastasized. It had not. By God’s grace, the surgeon had got it all. 

On April 15, 1999, she suffered a massive, disabling stroke. My dad found her on the bedroom floor. When she was clearly struggling to say, “My feet went out from under me,” he knew what had happened and immediately called 911.

The remainder of my mother’s life would be a struggle. She would prove to be the greatest fighter I ever saw.

After months of physical therapy and over two years of hard work she reached the point of being able to get around the house on her own using a cane. But in May of 2002, my parents had an automobile accident. A girl pulled from a side street in their woodsy neighborhood without looking. My dad could not stop in time. Mom suffered a painful back injury, also had bone fragments lodged in her hip that had to be surgically removed. She never fully recovered from this setback. Never again was she able to walk unassisted, cane or otherwise.

My parents won a six-figure settlement from BMW, as the girl had been driving a company car as an uninsured driver. Lawyers took more than a third of it. Naturally.

My dad had received a nasty bump on the head which he would not allow anyone to examine. A few years later, he began exhibiting early signs of dementia, initially forgetting how to do easy computer tasks like empty his email trash folder. He lost passwords and made buying decisions that made no sense (in 2005 he bought a van, which Mom could not climb into without a lot of assistance).

The dementia progressed until it showed up in his bookkeeping, which by early 2008 was a shambles.

This was someone once complimented by an IRS agent on his bookkeeping skills (he was audited when I was a graduate student).

To make a long story short, Dad did not have a caretaker’s personality, but was not trusting enough to allow anyone else to care for my mom unsupervised. This was very unfortunate. Nor was he a patient person, and I will never know how much stress my mother was under because of his impatience with her worsening physical incapacities.

Then, on June 8, 2008, both had a bad fall in front of a local restaurant. Dad lost his balance, and as he’d been assisting my mom, she went down with him.

It was downhill from there on out. I had to put both parents in assisted living, but repeated falls sent them into nursing care. Both needed round-the-clock care by this time, and since I had two teaching jobs, that seemed the only option. Mom and I found a good facility. I fell into the pattern of visiting my parents every Thursday afternoon/evening and every Saturday.

My dad’s dementia worsened. Abrupt changes of venue were probably a contributing factor. He would forget where he was, even what city he was in. Not remembering how he’d gotten there, he’d ask, “How long is this vacation for?” On more lucid days he’d obsess over whether the bills were being paid, and had trouble accepting my assurance that they were. He never learned how much it was costing to keep them there; suffice it to say, the BMW settlement was a godsend! Also the fact that he’d owned stock which could be sold. He would badger my mom, and she’d tell him, “Ask Steve.” He never did.

There were days when he’d confuse me with his younger brother. Such days increased with time. Eventually he was struggling to speak coherently. Word salad came out.

One reason I can say with reasonable certainty that Joe Biden is in the early stages of dementia is that I’ve seen it up close. I know what it looks like. I take no pleasure in this. I would not wish Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia on my worst enemy. I can barely stand to watch Biden struggle to get words out when he speaks, and I understand why there was no State of the Union Address this year. What astounds me is the collective blind spot of liberals who can’t see it. I question the collective sanity of a nation that allows someone in that condition to be instilled in the White House, whatever his party affiliation or ideological beliefs.

Obtaining Veterans Administration benefits for my parents exemplified how stupid many federal employees really are. Applications kept coming back, “Marital status unclear.” Both were WWII Veterans, remember. The paper shufflers seemed unable to discern, they were processing applications from two Veterans married to each other. (Maybe the VA should hire a few white men? Ya think?)  

Dad passed away two days before Christmas in 2009 from vascular dementia related complications. He was 86. My mom grieved and then kept fighting, lucid as could be (everyone was watching). We had many good conversations. Still a current events junkie, she would watch CNN in her nursing home room (“Can’t you find something better than the Clinton News Network?” I would ask with a skewed smile, but she had no computer access and there were no televised equivalents of NewsWithViews.com). She cross-stitched when I was not around, and with only one-usable hand, her products (which I still have) were truly heroic.  

Then, in late 2010, her health began to fail. Something was going on in her blood, and neither the resident doctor nor a specialist could diagnose it (she had two transfusions). By mid-March, 2011, she was having trouble keeping food down. Her weight dropped precipitously.

At some point, she told me of a dream she had. She’d been looking at a napkin, and on it, in Dad’s distinctive handwriting, was, “I love you and I’ll see you soon.”

The fight went out of her, bit by bit. Soon she was weak as a kitten, and barely able to speak. Late afternoon, April 13, I got the call, which went something like, “You better get down here.” I stayed with my mother the entire evening holding her hand as she gradually and quietly went to sleep. She stopped breathing at 1:35 am the following morning. She was 87.

Just a few months previous — I don’t recall what prompted the remark — she’d noted something that had escaped me.

“Do you realize, there haven’t been any political assassinations since the attempt on Reagan’s life?”

All I could say was, “You’re right. Isn’t that interesting?”

Isn’t it, though? Since the early 1990s we’ve had four presidents who were hated by significant fractions of the population. Although there was abundant gun violence during those years, there were no “lone gunmen.” That we know of.

Could it be because however powerful the elites became, in the Internet age they understood: they’d never get away with what they got away with back in the 1960s? Almost no one would believe another “lone gunman” narrative these days.

I find this just a little bit encouraging. A little bit.

Steven Yates’s new book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory should be published by Wipf and Stock later this year.

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What’s Wrong With Conspiracy Theories?

Since this title can be read in two different ways, I’ll state: James H. Fetzer is a defender and not a critic of the idea. He has done, or assembled, results of the most extensive investigations ever conducted of the Kennedy assassinations (there were two of them, after all, and in neither case does the official story stand up to criticism). These results blow the Warren Commission Report out of the water. Obtain Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on the Death of JFK (1998) which he edited.

Professor Emeritus Fetzer has also written and edited numerous well-received works in the philosophy of science, cognitive science, research into artificial intelligence, critical thinking, and all the cognate areas, all with major publishers. Why his own critical thinking skills should mysteriously desert him when it comes to conspiracy claims is, or ought to be, a complete mystery.

So where does the topic stand now, in 2021? If you read mainstream news, you might come away with the impression that being a “conspiracy theorist” is a mark of irrationality. My conclusion, which I suspect Fetzer would share, is that conspiracy theory / theorist are nothing more than weaponized phrases. They are signs, written by apologists of dominant narratives, of points of view or lines of thought we are not supposed to go down. They open doors those with wealth and power would rather remained closed and locked.

So is there merit to “conspiratorial” thinking? Go here, learn, and perhaps gain a little wisdom (the love of which being what philosophy was supposed to be about).

https://www.unz.com/article/whats-wrong-with-conspiracy-theories/

Posted in Culture, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Political Philosophy, Workarounds | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fall of Chile

Boots-on-the-ground report.

Here: https://www.unz.com/article/the-fall-of-chile/

Posted in Chile and Its Future, Coronavirus, Culture, Libertarianism, Political Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

So You Want to Get a PhD in Philosophy?

Here: https://stevenyates.medium.com/so-you-want-to-get-a-phd-in-philosophy-f94058acb5eb?sk=f8b2ffdb92641c84debc95fc12a2c05b.

Posted in Academia, Philosophy, Where Is Philosophy Going?, Workarounds | 1 Comment

We Are Moving….

Lost Generation Philosopher will be moving to Medium starting in January, 2021. The primary reason is that since the (altogether unnecessary) upgrade of WordPress, the platform’s new features are too annoying, and the platform itself has become unreliable and almost impossible to use.

More details on where to find LGP when they become available.

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(S)Election 2020: Was It Stolen? (“Fact-Check” Follies, Dominion, and More)

Was the November 3 election stolen by the Democrats?

It might seem odd for a philosopher to involve himself in the issue, but even before leaving academic philosophy I was not one to shy away from controversial topics or positions, and this one surely bears the scrutiny of one who pays attention to how journalists–or those who pass for journalists today–among others, use language when they can’t lay their hands on physical clubs to swing.

If you ask those folks, you will “learn” that Joe Biden was declared the winner on Saturday, November 7. By whom? By them, of course.

I immediately penned this, where I suggested that Donald Trump walk away from that mess in the Asylum on the Potomac and found his own brand new media company, Trump Media (or some equivalent to that). There’s been slight indication he might do something like that, but more that he will begin to mount a 2024 campaign. (He will be 78, however, the age Biden is now.)

As to whether or not the election was stolen, I do not believe I’ve ever seen a war of narratives like this one!

For a representative sequence of pieces presenting the case that the election was really a (s)election, stolen brazenly, go here. You can also find accounts of the Sidney Powell and other recent legal actions on The Epoch Times site, including this just yesterday.

One side of that war controls most of the media resources, of course, but a look past their clear need to control information using weaponized, club-swinging language suggests a certain unease, or even fear. I recently wrote:

Even if the “win” was declared in corporate mass media long before all votes had been counted, and amidst large and growing allegations of fraud (dead people voting, hundreds of thousands of votes for Biden-Harris appearing out of thin air in crucial swing states, etc.).

In a media-saturated world, corporate mass media maintains the official narratives: allegations of a stolen election are then “baseless,” “unfounded,” “unsubstantiated,” “unproven allegations”; or “unverified” and “without evidence” (or “evidence-free”), based on “false information” (Flakebook loves that one!); a product of “unhinged” “right-wing extremists”; “bogus conspiracy theories”; etc. This, in addition to “racist” and “fascist” (or “neo-fascist”), is a healthy (or unhealthy!) sampling of the brain-paralysis inducing phrases I’ve seen since the November 3 fiasco.

Facts no longer matter if they interfere with official narratives and agendas. Thus the largest narrative war I think I’ve ever seen has unfolded, between those using the above demon words and phrases, and those who insist that documentation of how voting-machine technology was used to commit fraud is clear and factual, and backed with evidence that corporate media and Big Tech are censoring just as fast as they can …

And yes, vehicles filled with votes for Biden (none for Trump) seem to have appeared in crucial states like Michigan and Wisconsin at wee hours of the morning. Roger Anghis writes:

Ballots were brought in nine and half hours after the polls closed in vehicles with out-of-state plates. On Monday evening, GOP spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington tweeted out the log of a poll watcher in Detroit, Michigan, who noticed some suspicious activity going on at the location where ballots were being counted. According to the poll watcher, a number of things seemed awfully irregular. For one, an entire load of ballots came in at around 4:30 a.m. on November 4. According to the poll watcher, the shift was ending around that time but one of the men in charge of counting ballots announced over the microphone that an entire load had just come in. The poll watcher was told that the vehicles these ballots were delivered in had out-of-state plates.

The poll watcher logged that the ballots were brought in and placed on eight, long tables, but noted that the way they were brought in was irregular. The boxes were carried in from the rear of the room, which wasn’t typical at all. Also, somewhat irregular, is that every single vote was for Joe Biden.

Trump stated in the Epoch Times reproduced interview that “All of a sudden, I went from winning a lot … to losing by a little.”

I am more than aware that for many people, this is just “conspiracy theory” stuff (as is the case with any number of posts I’ve made this year in particular).

That seems to be mainstream media’s favorite phrase these days. I think I see it at least three times per day. What I read in it is, Here’s a claim or line of thought or instance of putting two and two together that we peons are not supposed to pursue, or do.

Leave It Alone, Stop Thinking, and Listen to the Experts!

I did that with affirmative action, and look at what resulted!

At present, it is as if the two different camps are living in incommensurable universes, each with its own truth (perfect for Fourth Stage postmodernity!). The two are fundamentally at war with one another. Hence the phrase narrative war.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are very much involved in this narrative war, using the easiest weapon at their disposal: censorship (sometimes deplatforming). Or, only slightly more modestly, Big Tech’s minions claim to “fact check” posts, would have you believe that Expert Opinion backs up its “fact-checking.”

Authoritative, or merely authoritarian?

A couple weeks ago, I received this. It is no longer posted anywhere I know of, so I reproduce the whole thing unedited. The author is anonymous, as is to be expected as he/she could be sued and possibly even prosecuted.

This was posted this morning on MeWe:

I can’t say this on Facebook, but I feel it’s important to say. I was a Facebook Fact Checker. And your conspiracy theories about Facebook, are more true than you realize.

I work for a company named Appen. We are a 3rd party freelance contract company. A few years ago Facebook approached us with an offer. He couldn’t legally censor people on his platform because he plead to congress that he was an open forum. So, he uses several 3rd party companies to “Fact Check”, and otherwise censor, information.

Justin Trudeau has been taking action in Canada, China, and America, to prepare us for the Great Reset, and by us, I refer to civilians. Part of this process is to work with Zuckerburg and Dorsey to restrict the flow of information, and to push the statutes of the Reset into peoples minds, repetition is the key here.

We coordinate our efforts with a company in India, from our base in Canada, to provide our censorship services to Facebook. A lot of this information, you probably already guessed. But here’s what you might not have known.

We have specific directives on what to fact check and how to fact check. I’m going to list off a couple of these directives:

1) First off, primarily conservative and right leaning posts on Twitter and Facebook make it to our service.

2) Left leaning posts are to be ignored and never manually flagged, it doesnt matter if it violates ToS or even federal law. If Facebook gets in trouble they blame us, and they can’t do anything because we’re not based in America, so we give the government the run around and nothing can be done. It’s worked so far.

3) Zuckerburg created a program that feeds posts automatically into our service, it analyzes content in posts, searching for common images and lines of text, and if it matches any of our guidelines it gets automatically flagged and entered into our system to be “Fact Checked”. So we don’t just go looking for conservative posts, Zuckerburg sends them to us with his automatic program.

4) If there are multiple ideas in a conservative post, only 1 of them needs to be potentially disputable. We are to flag an entire article as disputed/false/discredited/untrue/etc even if theres only 1 idea thats not completely confirmed.

5) Even ideas that are confirmed, don’t matter unless its a left leaning idea. What this translates to is as long as we all push the same idea, what we say becomes truth. That’s standard psychology, and American’s are the easiest to manipulate with this. The only thing making it difficult is their freedoms that are not common in most countries around the world, which forces us to deal with America in a different way.

6) When we write articles for Politico, NYT, etc we are allowed to mark a title or article as true as long as at least 3 of the core ideas in the article or post are potentially true. Keyword here is potentially, it can be completely false, but as long as we can cite a source that argues in our favor, we can confirm it 100% true. The inverse is also true, if we can find even 1 source that dictates something to be potentially false, we can mark the entire article/post.

7) We write articles, and then cite our own articles as evidence. Check the fine print of each article, we always cite ourselves, but what you might not know, is that only a handful of companies are actually writing the articles for dozens of websites, news media, and mass media. This isn’t unique to America, we’ve done this in countries around the world for a very long time.

8) We only allow members to join us if they pass a test, this test is an opinion based survey, however, they must answer all left leaning, or they are not allowed to join, we wont be diluted.

9) This part I cannot confirm, but I am suspicious that China has more to do with this than just their involvement with Canada, but again, i can’t confirm that, thats just my personal theory because we’re not allowed to say anything negative in our business chats about China’s government.

10) This is all preparation for the Great Reset, by getting Trump out, because he opposed the idea. Biden has agreed to go full on into it, which is why he’s been getting such a big hand from Facebook and Twitter, however, it’s much bigger than just that. In our new world order, we’ll control not just national news, but global news. By controlling the global narrative, we control what information you’re allowed to know and what you’re allowed to think.

11) There are contingencies in place. Trump cannot win. We have members of Congress a part of this, and soon the President and VP.

12) If a civil war breaks out, it will be according to our plan. We hope for it, and we tried to use race to spark it in America, If that doesn’t work, ISIS is on stand by for when Biden is in office. This was determined along time ago, or so I’m told.

13) I no longer work for this company. I registered with them using a fake identity. While I am afraid that they’ll find out, I’m hoping this post is in an obscure enough place to start leaking information without drawing too much attention too quickly. My hope is that this information gets out, but you cannot change what’s already in place.

14) I left because what they were doing was appalling to me. I can’t stand by and watch this happen. My original job was to consult with Walmart and Facebook on customer engagement and advertisement engagement, as well as website management. This isn’t what I signed up for. Now all the new recruits are immediately pushed into this Facebook Fact Checker conspiracy. It’s sickening. Ill say that Facebook at least pays up, which is the only reason I think most of us were doing it this long. I’m under a very strict NDA, so I had to use a throw away account.

15) You can’t change what’s to come, but what you can do is get the message out to not just Americans, but everyone in every country that values freedom. There are allies all over the world that are resisting this, especially in France and Australia. If you want to remain free, you have to hope that Trump can pull out a miracle, but I already know it’s not possible, Trust me when I say, they’ll make sure people die before they let him get another 4 years. If that happens, Americans, do what you need to do to keep your country free. Protect yourselves.

16) Admins, if I do not delete this post sooner, please delete this within 24 hours.

This is how official narratives are created, and how alternatives to them are bullied off stage by those with the resources to do so. I write as one who has been “fact-checked” numerous times!

What evidence do we have for the alternative narrative? We linked to one important source above, but there are others. Anyone who wants to can read Sidney Powell’s briefs for themselves (here and here). You can decide for yourself if she is a “crazy conspiracy theorist.”

But before you do, you ought to have a listen to this.

I seriously hope you’ve followed me this far!

Pay special attention to everything Joe Oltmann says from 6:00 to 16:00, where he names and outlines the professional history of the person most likely responsible for using Dominion electronic voting machines to steal votes from Donald Trump.

This person, whom I am antsy about actually identifying here (not that it would do much good), actually promised Antifa that Trump would not win, and was very much in a position to do just that (confirming our “fact checker” whistleblower above who also stated that Trump would not be allowed to win).

Needless to say, the person has literally disappeared almost entirely from the Web, including his connection to Dominion Voting Systems.

This information, provided to judges and legislators, has simply been ignored. It does not fit their narrative. It does not belong with what they’ve been told the truth is.

Although it’s an aside, this should also lay to rest, once and for all (but probably will not), the idea that governments have more power than corporations with global reach.

At the very least, we can also lay to rest the ridiculous caricatures of Sidney Powell and her actions that you will find in mainstream media. They are either uninformed or dishonest.

Finally, the Eric Mataxas video supports another of my longstanding assumptions about where we stand in our present moment. I have been assuming that cultural leftist groups such as Antifa are being used, bankrolled, by higher-echelon globalists as disruptors. They and Black Lives Matter are trying to “cancel” U.S. history and undermine Constitutional government.

They will probably not stop if Joe Biden becomes president, because he won’t be far enough to the left for them. Unlike Trump, though, Biden would not even think of invoking the Insurrection Act to put down violence coming from the left, some of it from a group he once absurdly labeled “an idea.”

Eventually such groups will cause sufficient chaos that the masses may well start begging for the intervention of someone able to step in and restore order and stability. (Add to this the draconian responses to the coronavirus that will likely continue to shut down a great deal of Main Street economic activity and church services.)

Those stepping in will be the globalists, of course.

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Is Covid-19 a Global Cult?

My first answer is, it is definitely a global narrative.

What is a narrative? It’s a story. It has central themes and is likely to have unstated premises.

What is a narrative’s purpose? That can very, depending on who is telling the narrative, whether they have political or cultural power or are trying to free themselves from political-economic or cultural power.

Truth doesn’t have to play a part in it, although it is good for the interests behind the narrative that those to whom it is addressed believe in it wholeheartedly … possibly to the point of being willing to die for it if asked to do so.

Edward Louis Bernays (from the first page of his slim book Propaganda, written in the early 1920a):

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Thoser who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

Walter Lippman, in his book Public Opinion (1922):

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power. . . . Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.”

This ought to raise the question: who are the “manufacturers of consent”? Who, which groups, have the money (economic power), influence (especially in corporate media and in academic), and cultural power (in the streets) to “manufacture consent”?

If you’ve no idea whatsoever, I recommend undertaking the job of finding out.

Contrast the spirit of the above quotes with that of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein:

Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

And this, also from Heinlein:

Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

Kind of makes you think of Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech giants, doesn’t it. Not to mention “cancel culture” and its effort to eradicate every element of history it finds “offensive,” which seems to be most of it.

Only the latter is using force understood as physical coercion or overt intimidation, mostly because the cult of “woke” is, by and large, too stupid to know any better.

Turn to Covid-19. Medical truth or medical narrative? Science or cult (as if, with most science today being bankrolled by corporations or by government, there is a difference here that makes a difference)?

Before deciding, be sure to read this:

https://www.unz.com/chopkins/the-covidian-cult/

The reason for my being in here this morning. Goes without saying, this is a workaround post; it would not exist without Flakebook which blocks posts to Unz Review, and other sorts of censorship. Why the rising tide of censorship, on which I’ve commented before?

We aren’t suppose to ask these kinds of questions. We aren’t supposed to pursue these lines of inquiry, such as whether there is more to this “pandemic” than meets the eye, or, more exactly, is talked to death in the fearmongering mass media.

We are supposed to fall in line before our (moneyed) betters, the owners of our institutions and would be owners of our lives themselves. We are supposed to believe they are there to protect us, to safeguard public health. That the lockdowns / quarantines of healthy people aren’t doing more harm than any virus ever could on its own. (This, from yesterday.)

We are supposed to believe wholeheartedly in their narrative of monopoly over truth (called “expertise”), and eschew what they dismiss as “quackery” (e.g., hydroxychloroquine and zinc as cures for Covid-19), while we wait for their “expertly” produced (and likely to be oh-so-profitable) vaccine. Maybe a series of vaccines. Produced by corporations who have legal immunity from being sued for damages if you are harmed by their products.

Paranoid? Dangerous, even? I am genuinely sorry if you think so. It’s no fun, having awakened to the realization, some time ago, that your civilization is based on encirclements and controls, not freedoms (except to consume): that this is not “capitalism,” it is not “socialism,” nor is it even the “mixed economy.”

It is Third Stage industrial civilization itself, which was growing by leaps and bounds when folks like Bernays and Lippmann were penning their quiet truths, for anyone who cared to read and understand.

They, and their owners, gambled successfully that the Third Stage masses would work and count the days till the weekend when they could drink, party, and fornicate … anything except read and internalize rather densely written books about how industrial civilization really works.

They, and their owners, gambled, that is, that most Americans would inhabit the “real Matrix,” consisting of governmental, corporate, and media-reinforced narratives for their entire lives, and that the handful of us who learned to “unplug” could be dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” (or whatever) and marginalized.

These are all Fourth Stage realizations, that present-day civilization is made almost entirely of narratives, and will remain such unless enough people awaken to do something about it, figuring out what is true and what isn’t, or at least, what is worth believing and what isn’t.

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Life Advice Author Mark Manson on Why You Should Study Philosophy

Philosophers (academic and otherwise): you might find this of interest.

Mark Manson (noted author of the New York Times bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck) provides an overview of what philosophy matters that is sufficiently competent for someone who probably took a few courses in the subject in college and absorbed them.

Manson argues reasonably that in our era of constant distractions, chronic information overload, and the increasing difficulty of discerning truth from falsehood amidst the narratives competing for our (your) attention and loyalty, philosophy has never been more important. Why? Because it gives you the tools for questioning your premises, or the prevailing ones, on your road to something that might be both personally helpful and useful in your community: a worldview that is adequate to the facts, free from contradictions, and existentially satisfactory in that it renders life meaningful.

Manson’s article is lengthy, and does not shy away from theh “colorful” language that is one of his trademarks. But I figure readers of this site have appropriate attention spans, and that we’re all adults here.

I don’t agree with Manson on every point or emphasis. For my taste, he spends too much time on the roots radical feminism and critical race theory, and I would never endorse the idea that Simone de Beauvoir is a more significant twentieth century philosopher than, say, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

But as philosophy today needs all the friends it can get, and Manson has hundreds of thousands of subscribers to his weekly newsletter, despite these quibbles I’m glad this is out there, available as an anchor from which anyone can begin to engage the subject.

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The “Virus” of Revolutionism

The real “virus” infecting any number of societies for much of the past 500 years is not organic but philosophical in origin. This is the “virus” of revolutionism.

Paul Craig Roberts just penned a brilliant piece focusing on how revolutionism puts ruthless tyrants in power, as during the French Revolution, and how expansionist emperor-types such as Napoleon sometimes follow.

How much reminding do we need? Revolutions are a very bad idea!?

Societies end up ruled by their absolute worst: criminals, bullies, thugs, and losers.

And whatever the problems of the government they just overthrew, revolutions always leave everyone except the newly empowered worse off than before.

It’s good that PCR takes note of how the so-called “American Revolution” wasn’t really a revolution at all in this sense.

British rule was ended, and the Founders established a republican government still based on British common law, and on balances of power against power at different levels — something never before achieved.

The major changes happened at the top. For the rest of society, the old order merged seamlessly into the new. The overall worldview (essentially Christian, if with denominational variations) and ways of life remained the same. Those not actively fighting the British did not experience the level of upheaval that struck France in 1789.

Revolutionism is fundamentally Jacobin. What does this mean? Who were the original Jacobins?

They were a group of far left activists and political operatives who came of age in Revolution-era France. They drew inspiration from Enlightenment thought, especially the strain that led from Rousseau to Robespierre, through whom they enacted the Terror.

The Jacobins believed it possible to place all of a society’s institutions under the microscope of an abstract “Reason,” raze them to the ground if they didn’t measure up to “rational” ideals of liberty, equality, and the fraternity or brotherhood of [all] men, and build up a new society on an Enlightenment-based, “rational” footing.

For those who didn’t measure up, the original Jacobins’ favorite device for dispatch was the guillotine.

Historically, what results from revolutions is always tyranny, since the old “irrational” order must be purged. Everything that would threaten the new order must be gotten rid of. This means all independent thought and writing must be crushed. Those unwilling to get with the program may be guillotined as in France, or with the strains of Jacobin revolutionism to come, shot, set to gulags, or otherwise destroyed. Entire populations that don’t fit the “rational” plan become nonpersons and may be “canceled.”

Thus the elimination not just of the French monarchy but the ousted king’s entire family.

Thus the Soviets’ elimination of all opponents of collective farming, with Stalin adding a new wrinkle: deliberate policies that resulted in mass starvation.

Thus the fate of Jews who didn’t flee Nazi Germany.

Is America falling prey to the “virus” of Jacobian revolutionism? You better believe it!

I’m not referring just to Antifa anarchists and Black Lives Matter cultural Marxists. They are just tools — agents of chaos, one might say, whose primary targets are conservative white people (liberal whites, as fellow Jacobin fellow travelers, get a pass, for now).

These movements are bankrolled by a powerful Jacobin globalist named George Soros, probably among others of the revolutionist power elite.

What will be the fate of Americans of any race and creed who resist or don’t fit into the planned New World Order being masterminded in globalist organizations ranging from the Trilateral Commission to the International Monetary Fund to the World Economic Forum? The question bears asking!

Revolutionism has a deeper philosophical root, and as a trained philosopher, I’m the obvious person to ferret it out.

The deeper philosophical root of revolutionism is Cartesianism, the name reserved for the intellectual product of early 17th century French philosopher René Descartes.

Descartes (1596 – 1650) is often called the Father of Modern Philosophy. He might also be thought of as the Godfather of the Enlightenment, and therefore of Jacobinism.

Descartes worked out a methodology. He thought it possible to raze all his beliefs to the ground based on an abstract logical possibility they could be false: the testimony of his senses, the findings of science as they then existed, God Himself. Descartes thought it possible to build up, from scratch, a whole new rationalist system of knowledge, based on the indubitable foundation of “Cogito; ergo, sum” (“I think; therefore, I am).

In the history of ideas, this was a gamechanger! It was the most influential philosophical product, in one way or another, for centuries — as important as Newton’s physics if not more so. The Newtonian revolution, well over a century later, might not have happened had Newton not been willing to raze Aristotle to the ground.

Note carefully: For Descartes, his abstract intellect using Reason alone, could dismantle all his former convictions. And then rebuild them from scratch on that foundation.

This abstract intellect was not religious until it “proved” God’s existence (Descartes offered a proof, but it failed miserably). It was disembodied. It had no culture, was not loyal to any nationality or place, had no psychological makeup. It was not subject to ethical imperatives that could not be proved — in later forms, not of its own choosing. The door to relativism and subjectivism opened.

Was this not the most stupendous wrecking ball any intellectual had ever unleashed on the world?

The Jacobins studied Descartes as well as Rousseau, because everybody studied Descartes. All they did was apply his basic method to the political realm. This released the “virus” of modern revolutionism, in which political and economic institutions, monarchy or any other governance, a church, “inessential” businesses, the family unit — really, anything not justifiable by abstract “Reason” — can be “canceled.”

Modern liberalism is Jacobin in its origins. So is neoconservatism, and so, by default, is neoliberalism. While we do not have space to explore all its strains, Jacobinism in a broad sense is literally everywhere, operating at multiple levels, from the street thugs of Antifa to the “commanding heights” of globalist elites.

Jacobinism is the connecting link between the hard left and globalism, and explains the unholy alliance between the two. But the “virus” also infected liberal democracies.

In classical liberal economics, the Cartesian abstract intellect became the “sovereign consumer” who makes marketplace decisions solely on utility maximizing. Subsequent schools of economic thought increased in mathematical complexity and incorporated some psychology, but did not touch that basic premise.

Since Jacobinism leads naturally to questioning everything except itself, often manufacturing problems when it can’t find any, the revolutionist “virus” goes everywhere, spread by people who probably never heard the term Jacobin, never heard of Descartes, and can’t get the American founding in the right century.

Somehow I have a hard time imagining those drawn to Antifa and Black Lives Matter reading books at all, much less works of history and philosophy.

That’s not the case, of course, with World Economic Forum attendees.

The vulnerability of the U.S. to revolutionism is very bad news, as we approach an election likely to be disputed, and which could easily result in violence no matter who wins.

Not simply because the form of Jacobinism known as identity politics or “wokism” is out of control (although it is).

Not simply because Americans can no longer talk to one another (although they can’t).

But because most have forgotten much of their heritage, and what hasn’t been forgotten is being “canceled” (statues pulled to the ground in perfect Jacobin fashion).

How many other societies are ripe for revolutionism?

Chile certainly is! I’ve lived here for eight years now, and last year I saw leftist Jacobin violence first-hand. To be sure, the “reconstruction” of Chile’s economy along neoliberal lines during the Pinochet years was Jacobin, just as had been the upheaval of the short Allende period. As I said, Jacobinism in one form or another is literally everywhere.

Other South American nations are vulnerable to Jacobin revolutionism. Brazil is. Venezuela eventually, if Russia ever lets down its guard. (What would happen would be the ouster of an anti-corporatist Jacobinism and its replacement by a pro-corporatist Jacobinism.)

Several European nations might be ripe for revolutionism as the EU slowly unravels.

Anyplace rife with corruption to the point where a critical mass of public anger can be channeled and exploited by a strongman or political party or agenda adhering to a Theory (“Reason”), be it Marxism or neoliberal Hyper-Capitalism that sees persons solely as laboring / consuming ciphers, is vulnerable to Jacobin revolutionism.

Russia, at the moment, appears not to be. Its Jacobin epoch appears to be in its past. Maybe this is why Jacobin-influenced pseudo-pundits of Western media and academia hate the country so much.

The forces behind the planned Great Reset, scheduled to be the main topic of next January’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, are Jacobin to the core.

Bill Gates (who has no scientific, medical, or public health credentials), Dr. Anthony Fauci (far more a federal bureaucrat than a real doctor), and every other technocrat, are Jacobins in my sense. Technocracy is Jacobin because, as much as any ideology, it looks at human beings and organizations as abstractions, or as means to its ends: organic machines to be incentivized and manipulated. Jacobinism’s metaphysics (theory of reality), it goes without saying, is materialist. It has no room for a Creator or a transcendently grounded morality. It doesn’t so much reject them explicitly, it just dismisses such matters as irrelevant.

To the technocrat, every human problem has a scientific / technical solution. Depressed? Take a drug.

The “virus” of revolutionism currently spreading across the world is using supposed coronavirus / Covid-19 numbers to raze as much economic activity to the ground as it can through lockdowns and associated police-state measures.

These, interestingly, are far more draconian in places like Australia and New Zealand which disarmed their citizens years ago. When guns are outlawed, only criminals and governments will have guns. The two will be as indistinguishable as the animals at the end of Animal Farm.

All to raze to the ground our present order based on ideals such as freedom and virtue, and build up the New World Order: cashless society, all transactions digitized for monitoring purposes, education mostly if not entirely by remote, much work done by remote, church services the same way: total surveillance and control.

The crowning achievement: a Covid-19 vaccine likely to become a condition for schooling, employment, shopping, and travel, if not made legally mandatory.

The ruling tyranny to follow will be the ultimate in Jacobinism: a centralized world government answering to the corporations profiting from all this (e.g., Big Pharma). It may not have to do that much, given the ground-level tyranny of fear-based social sanction, as brainwashed sheeple who identify with authority (the folks screaming at you in stores or on planes to “Put on your mask!”) control others through the tried-and-true method of bullying.

 

 

Steven Yates’s next book, What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory, will be published early next year by Wipf and Stock Publishers.

If you liked this article, please consider supporting my work on Patreon.com; otherwise the lights on this kind of writing could go out at any time.  

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