Thursday, November 10, 2011

A vision

Hoisted up from comments, by Bukko:

The entry hall at Dachau, where prisoners were processed as they came in, now has a lot of historical information explaining Hitler's rise to power. (Sorry if I've rattled on about this before on your blog, Tux, don't mean to bore you if this is repetition.) It laid out the "tick-tock" of THIS machination to put Nazis in control of a local legislature, THAT judicial decree oppressing different people's rights, ANOTHER takeover of an industry so that it could be used to manufacture weapons... The bit-by-bit descent into madness.

We see the rise of barbarity as a smooth thing now, compressed as it is by the hindsight of historical perspective. But to the Germans living through the 1930s, caught in the middle of the details, would they have any ability to sense on the grand scale how things were coming apart?

I feel that same way now as I see the U.S. doing its slow-motion collapse. Life is getting nastier. It seems to be building to a vicious crescendo. Each little event, every new "Don't taze me, bro" degradation -- it's part of a pattern that's ramping toward monstrosity. A century into the future, is there going to be a historical multi-media display located in some monument to horror, detailing how the days we're living in today were part of the accretion of details that led to the unimagineable? Can we see it, when we're in the midst of it?

Some people see it. I've been a careful observer for the past forty years and seen the slow slide happening, somewhat less slow over the past ten years when the national security state has ramped up to another level. But given that the only people who can do anything about it are either too apathetic, too narcotized on their drugs of popular culture and entertainment, or too busy fiddling crazy dance tunes to do anything about Rome burning in the background, I don't know what to do other than be that voice saying, "we are going the wrong way, this way lies atrocity." There were such voices in Nazi Germany, before the horrors really started. They were silenced eventually, but perhaps they were the lucky ones, those who did not sell their souls to horror.

-- Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin


  1. Meaner -- that's the word we used today @ RangerAgainstWar. The OWS crowd show agitation, like a pricked paramecium, but have no clear agenda, demands or leader and so are dismissed or reviled.

    We see the game's fixed, but don't know what to do.

  2. FWIW, I have seen among people I know a much greater interest in politics because of OWS. If nothing else it has succeeded in getting people's attention. I really hope that translates to better candidates being selected in primaries followed by a much higher participation in the voting booth. I have hope. Funny how a bunch of kids camping out can do so much.

  3. We see the game's fixed, but don't know what to do.

    We all know what needs doing, we just don't know how to get it done in the face of an all-encompassing system of corporate fascism that has completely sucked the resources needed out of the system while imposing a security state that is awe-inspiring in its totality, where even our grocery-buying patterns are examined for "suspicious" activity. We all know that we need good schools, for example, but the corporate fascism system makes sure that any attempts to improve schools instead go to fatten the wallets of crony capitalists. We all know that we need to vote for candidates that will represent the interests of the people, but every time we think we're voting for such a candidate, it turns out he was in the pocket of the crony capitalists after all, or he gets corrupted so fast that we might as well have saved our votes, or he gets marginalized like Dennis Kucinich to the point that he has no practical effect on the system.

    There is no way that this is going to have a good end. The 1% is going to follow their Ayn Rand philosophy of perfect freedom without responsibility all the way to disaster, while the rest of us labor under the oppressive weight of a system of crony capitalism which has removed most of the capital we needed to have a future for our children. Something's going to crack. Either there will have to be a dictatorship imposed to keep the people suppressed as life gets harder and meaner every year (maybe a Soviet-style dictatorship where we're allowed, nay mandated, to vote, but everybody running is part of The Party and thus it's all for show), or the country descends into an orgy of violence that will make the French Revolution look like a nursery school flower play. Either way a lot of people are going to die.

    Or the oligarchs could come to their senses... but they're so inbred, so isolated in their perfect little enclaves, how can that happen? This is not 1934 when most oligarchs were 2nd generation at best and most fortunes had been made the old fashioned way, from scratch via fraud and monopoly, a process that requires at least some modicum of intelligence. Today's inbred oligarchs have all the intelligence of a Pekingese.

  4. It seems everyone is part of the party today, and yet no off-their-heads is being called. Surely Obomba is the best Republican Democratic we've had.

    You're correct in that we know what to do in an orderly sort of way: Go to the voting booth, go to the PTA, etc., but if those things are rigged via propaganda and insularity, then ticking the lever had little result.

    As you point out, the oligarchs are insulated. I remember the moment of realization when Al Gore had to laugh when asked to quote the price of a gallon of milk; he had no idea. Gone are the FDR's who walked among the common man, while also having Hyde Park. (Having visited his Warm Springs lodgings b/f it burned down recently, I can attest to the modesty of the couple. FDR's bedroom was so tiny it would be considered impoverished, today.) Ah, and having the intelligence of a Pekingese, alas.

    "The 1% is going to follow their Ayn Rand philosophy of perfect freedom without responsibility all the way to disaster." I cannot get my mind around people who actually think such austerity bodes well for a civilized nation. Ms. Rand was a seriously disturbed individual, IMHO.

  5. Thank you for the hoist-up. I keep hoping that I'm wrong. I read too much science fiction as a teenager, and I tend toward apocalyptic envisioning. The trouble is, my wife feels the same way about the direction the U.S. is headed (she read a lot of Nazi history instead of sci-fi) and she's got excellent intuitive instincts. I often resist her instincts at first, thinking "that can't be true!" and later I find out that she was right.

    God help us, if only there was one.

  6. Man, you guys are a huge bummer ;)

    I hope you are wrong. I wish I could say that I wholeheartedly believe that you are but I can't. I do have some hope that things will turn out ok though. All we need is for people to pay attention and vote.

  7. Amen, Mr Tux. We are caught in the wheel like rats. Sad but true. As an aging man my only recourse is to go down making it hard for them.
    Like mailing back 3rd class crap.
    Grow as much as I can of what I need and learn to do without what I can't grow. Not to "buy in" to wally mart and whatever."Never eat food you see advertised" , stuff like that. Peacefull, continous resistance on any level I can reach.
    What else do I have in my arsenal to use?
    True resistance is not overnight, it must build from pressure.

  8. How fitting that I should read this this morning. I'm reading half a dozen books, but I picked up The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's this morning.

  9. Ahhh, yes . . .

    "There is plenty of data available to demonstrate in directly measurable ways that, in the aggregate, we are poorer than we should be. And what makes this even worse is that growing income and wealth disparities have led to an economically top-heavy society that is probably unstable. Ultimately, this will require either effective mechanisms to redistribute wealth downward, or effective mechanisms to repress an increasingly impoverished and unruly population. The latter could be accomplished by a stark and impenetrable stratification of society into haves and have-nots – the kind of forced repression that leads to either South American style banana republicanism or 12th century European style feudalism. On the other hand, forced redistribution led to America's post WW II golden age."


  10. I agree and do not think we're far off on our vision of what's comeing down the tube. It sucks it really does.


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