Category Archives: Philosophy

The Collapse of The Enlightenment, by Paul Rosenberg

The Enlightenment propelled much of what we call civilization. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

We are watching the Enlightenment collapse before us in real time. I’ll be fairly brief in my explanation of why this is so and how it came about, but it strikes me as something we should understand.

Bear in mind that what remains of the Enlightenment is collapsing for structural reasons. I haven’t formed this discourse around political or academic theories, I’m basing it on facts and direct observations. Obviously I’m simplifying (one can’t write history any other way), but minus the inevitable exceptions and complications, this is what happened and what is happening.

How The Enlightenment Gained A Structure

The Enlightenment began with a collection of outsiders studying science. They had little backing and few credentials. In fact, the motto of the first group (that became The Royal Society) was Nullius in verba: “Take nobody’s word for it.” There was a lot to like in the early Enlightenment, and it led to a long string of crucial discoveries.

About halfway through its run, however, at about 1750 AD, the Enlightenment took a dark turn. Rather than working to discover what was right, it began to fixate on what was wrong. That is, the leading voices of the Enlightenment left off building and moved into tearing things down.

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A New Year’s Meditation, by Paul Rosenberg

New Year’s wisdom from Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

If you could go back in time a thousand years, you’d find people who were shockingly similar to those you presently love. The same is true for people who will live a thousand years from now. Some of them will be nearly identical to the people you now love, and you would care as deeply for them as you do for their present-day counterparts.

Please understand this: The men, women and children we would love in the future can advance only in the same way we have: by the benefaction of their predecessors.

Can you imagine how long it took for ignorant men to learn the rules of metallurgy? Or crop rotation? Or a hundred other things we can barely imagine being without? Our lives are advanced only because they created new ways of living and passed them down to us. Hundreds of generations lived through dark times, fighting toward whatever bits of light they could find, opposed by others nearly the entire way, to bring us where we are now.

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Chris Hedges: Teaching ‘The Gulag Archipelago’ in Prison, Chris Hedges

Police states are strikingly similar, especially in the fear they try to emphasize among their subjects. From  Chris Hedges at consortiumnews.com:

There are many disturbing similarities between the brutality imposed on Stalin’s victims and the injustices endured by the incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons.

No Justice No Peace – by Mr. Fish.

Two nights a week for the last four months, I plowed my way through the three volumes of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago with 17 students in the college degree program offered by Rutgers University in the New Jersey prison system.

No one in my class endures the extremities imposed on the millions who worked as slave labor, and often died, in the Soviet gulag, or work camps, set up after the Russian revolution.

The last remnants of the hundreds of camps were disbanded in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev, himself the grandson of gulag prisoners. Nor do they experience the treatment of those held in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and U.S. secret black sites who undergo mock trials and executions, torture, extreme sensory deprivation and abuse that comes disturbingly close to replicating the hell of the gulag.

Nevertheless, what Solzhenitsyn underwent during his eight years as a prisoner in the labor camps was familiar to my students, most of whom are people of color, poor, often lacking competent legal representation and almost always coerced into signing confessions or accepting plea deals that include crimes, or versions of crimes they were involved with, which were often false.

Over 95 percent of prisoners are pressured to plead out in the U.S. court system, which is not capable of providing jury trials for every defendant entitled to one, were they to actually demand one. In 2012, the Supreme Court said that

“plea bargaining . . . is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system; it is the criminal justice system.”

My students, like Soviet prisoners, or zeks, live in a totalitarian system. They too work as bonded laborers, putting in 40-hour work weeks at prison jobs and being paid $28 a month, money used to buy overpriced basic necessities in the commissary, as was true in the gulag. They too are identified by their assigned numbers, wear prison uniforms and have surrendered the rights that come with citizenship. 

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Welcome to the Ideological Collapse of the GOP, by Emerald Robinson

The Republican party is collapsing because it stands for nothing, opposes nothing, and has its snout in the same trough as the other party. From Emerald Robinson at emeralddb3.substack.com:

Trump didn’t demoralize Republican voters, the GOP did that all by themselves

Many of my conservative friends — quite a few of them GOP donors and campaign strategists and media people I must admit — greeted the news of Herschel Walker’s defeat in the Georgia Senate with a shrug.

What difference did it make really? What difference could it make?

It was not indifference to Herschel Walker as a candidate, per se, so much as indifference to the GOP having a majority in the Senate.

Why?

Simply put: very few of them believed that a GOP-dominated Senate would do anything for GOP voters. The mood could be described as complete disgust with Mitch McConnell and GOP leadership — or, as I prefer to call them — our senators from the great states of Cialis.

It’s not just the gelatinous blob known as Mitch McConnell, or that closeted court jester of Fox News, Lindsey Graham. It’s not only the spectacular career implosions of Ben Sasse and John Cornryn. What about Pat Toomey? Rob Portman? Richard Burr? Roy Blunt? Mitt Romney? Thom Tillis? Bill Cassidy? Lisa Murkowski? Look at their voting records: they’re basically a chorus-line of limp-wristed flip-floppers.

In fact, this bunch isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

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The WEF isn’t a cabal, it’s a cult. By Mark E. Jeftovic

A totalitarian regime doesn’t keep its supporters in line with perks and power . . . they have to believe! From Mark E. Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

World Domination in An Age for Lucifer

 

“This book explores a strange new spirituality about to enter into competition with other established religions. My purpose here is to convince you that its emergence is probable, if not inevitable.


I begin this exploration with an unproven assumption based on Darwinian evolutionary principles: a new predator will appear on our planet, an evolutionary prototype designed to prey on humans. Another assumption then follows: this predator will evolve gradually and incrementally from humanity, just as we apparently evolved from lower forms to prey on them.

A further assumption suggests that these predators have already appeared as evolutionary prototypes, as new humans with advanced methods of survival and new forms of spiritual expression and religious organization designed to support and advance their predation.“

— Robert C Tucker, An Age For Lucifer

Robert C. Tucker was a Canadian psychologist who worked with an organization called COMA – Council On Mind Abuse (not to be confused with his namesake, an American political scientist who covered the Soviet Union and wrote a biography of Stalin).

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A Message From Long View Bay, by Ray Jason

The Sea Gypsy Philosopher reconnects with that part of the past worthy of reconnection—the virtues—in a favorite watery haunt. From Ray Jason at theseagypsyphilosopher.blogspot.com:

When The Darkness shrouds my spirit, I sail off to Long View Bay. I anchor behind a massive reef that hides itself below the surface and silently tames the waves. Because there is a vast expanse of shimmering water surrounding me, it feels like I am floating in the open sea. And yet it is completely calm. This tranquility soothes my soul. This long view sharpens my perception.

There is also powerful symbolism in this place. The dominant feature of our planet is its … wetness. This is what distinguishes us from the innumerable dry and lifeless stars gliding above us. Our Wide Waters are elemental. And so I have come here to ponder things that are … fundamental.

My belief is that the incessant Cacophony of Lunacy that the media bombards us with, is minor compared to the deeper issues that allow this societal dysfunction to occur. Stolen elections, fake pandemics and phony wars to “save democracy,” cannot be solved by elections or laws. That’s because most of the human actions that are evil, are actually caused by the deliberate, incremental destruction of humanity’s moral character.

Core values such as Honesty, Diligence, Fortitude, Kindness and Integrity, that used to define a person’s true worth, have been jettisoned in favor of expedient traits that might provide tawdry fame and tarnished fortune. It is all about “likes” and “clicks” and “re-tweets.” But here at Long View Bay, it is all about the need to restore long-abandoned virtues.

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Giving Anarchy a Bad Name, by Jeff Thomas

Anarchists want to live without governments. What’s so wrong about that? From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Here we have a photo of Corporal Maxwell Klinger, a character in the American television comedy, M.A.S.H., filmed in the early 1970’s.

The Klinger character was written as a soldier in the Korean War, who hoped that, if he became a transvestite, he’d qualify for a Section Eight discharge and would be sent home. In this photo, Corporal Klinger was taking part in a troop inspection.

In the early 70’s, America was still involved in the Viet Nam War. The liberal press graphically covered that war and its travesties – to the point that a majority of Americans became sick of the seemingly endless (and pointless) conflict and thoroughly sympathized with the Klinger character.

But, make no mistake about it: Corporal Klinger was an anarchist.

He did not desert on the firing line; he was not violent to his superiors; he simply dressed in an entertaining series of female outfits in order to be classified as insane, so he could be allowed to go home.

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The Crux of the Putin-Xi Revolution for a New World Order – Arresting the Slide to Nihilism, by Alastair Crooke

Xi and Putin believe that in the emerging multipolar world order a variety of firmly held beliefs is better than a uniform nihilism. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

It becomes questionable whether the West can compete as a civilisational state and maintain a presence.

The world ‘Map’ is accelerating its shift away from the paralysed Washington ‘hub’ – but to what? The myth that China, Russia, or the non-western world can be fully assimilated to a Western model of political society (any more than Afghanistan was) is over. So to where are we headed?

The myth of the pull of acculturation into western post-modernity lingers on however, in the continuing western fantasy of pulling China away from Russia, and into an embrace with U.S. Big Business.

The bigger point here is that former wounded civilisations are reasserting themselves: China and Russia – as states organised around indigenous culture – is not a new idea. Rather, it is a very old one: “Always remember that China is a civilization – and not nation-state”, Chinese officials repeat regularly.

Nonetheless, the shift to civilisational statehood emphasised by those Chinese officials arguably is no rhetorical device but reflects something deeper and more radical. Moreover, the culture transition is gaining wide emulation across the globe. Its inherent radicalism however, is largely lost to western audiences.

Chinese thinkers, such as Zhang Weiwei, accuse Western political ideas of being a sham; of masking their deeply partisan ideological character beneath a veneer of supposedly neutral principles. They are saying that the mounting of a universal framework of values – applicable to all societies – is finished.

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Vladimir Putin’s Vision of a Multipolar World, by Philip Girlaldi

Putin may believe that for all of us citizens of the world, diversity is our strength. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

An end to US hegemony?

In history books as well as in politics every story is shaped by where one chooses to begin the tale. The current fighting in Ukraine, which many observers believe to already be what might be considered the opening phase of World War 3, is just such a development. Did the seeds of conflict arise subsequent to Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s consent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 after having received a commitment from the United States and its allies not to advance the West’s military alliance NATO into Eastern Europe? That was a pledge that was quickly ignored by President Bill Clinton, who intervened militarily in the former Yugoslavia before adding new NATO members from amidst the ruins of the Warsaw Pact.

Since that time NATO has continued its expansion at the expense of Russian national security interests. Ukraine, as one of the largest of the former Soviet republics, soon became the focal point for potential conflict. The US interfered openly in Ukrainian politics, featuring frequent visits by relentlessly hawkish Senator John McCain and State Department monster Victoria Nuland as well as the investment of a reported $5 billion to destabilize the situation, bringing about regime change to remove the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovich and replace it with a regime friendly to America and its European allies. When this occurred it inevitably led to a proposed invitation to Ukraine to join NATO, a move which Moscow repeatedly warned would constitute an existential threat to Russia itself.

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‘Greater Idaho’ Moves Closer To Bi-State Referendum As Two More Oregon Counties Vote To Leave, by Allan Stein

Secession movements are in their early days. This trend is only going to gather strength. From Allan Stein at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

Two more conservative-leaning counties in eastern Oregon, and one politically split county in California, have voted to begin the process that could lead to secession from their respective blue states.

What the proposed border relocation would look like. (Courtesy of Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho)

On Nov. 8, Oregon’s Morrow County passed the Greater Idaho proposal with 60 percent of the vote and Wheeler County with 59 percent.

A similar measure in San Bernardino County, California, passed by a narrow margin, 51.3 percent to 48.7.

These are solutions they want their elected leaders to look into,” said Matt McCaw, spokesman for the Greater Idaho Movement based in Oregon.

“We think it makes sense to move the border to where the cultural divide [exists]. Oregon is a very polarized state—two very different cultures.”

Police clash with anti-Trump protesters during a protest on June 4, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Greater Idaho Movement seeks as many as 15 counties in Republican-majority rural eastern Oregon to join with neighboring Idaho to the east.

So far, 11 counties have signed on since the movement launched in 2019. Another county will vote on whether to investigate the secession process early in 2023.

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