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Loic

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  • Trump intervenes in the Great Mideast Civil War in Syria
    • An evident distraction from Trump´s domestic failures as president so far. But more to the point, it appears the militarists control Trump even more than they controlled Obama (in contradistinction to the avowedly, if Solomonically, neoconservative Secretary Clinton). Not only is Trump over his head, he has no head to speak of, no mind–mindlessness appears to be his natural state, at least as regards his political ontology (a particularly virulent and pathological form of lived nihilism). The executive branch of U.S. government is, in effect, acephalous, patently and grotesquely so, since with Trump it appears as a luridly living decapitation, a decapitated entity that nevertheless moves, gesticulates, gurgles, even talks, yet can produce no coherent pronouncement or rationalistic thought-action–not the fine tuned puppet that some accused Reagan of being, not even the poorly tuned puppet that many accused Bush fils of being, but a disturbingly, shockingly dry drunk babbler, way past being out of his depth, to the point of being psychosomatically out of control, i.e. to the point of uncontrollable paroxysms passing as acting passing as strategizing passing as principled governing. Extreme neurotic ressentiment is the only thing president Trump expresses with any cogency, consistency, or conviction: he really is that, a very resentful being.

  • Questions about Judgment: Trump appointed Flynn in the First Place
    • There are true conspiracies, huge ones, presently afoot, and some, like Kucinich (link to youtube.com), have just offered up the big picture to the American people: i.e. there's a massive subterranean civil war going on right now within the permanent structures and institutions of the American state, undoubtedly the most serious of its kind since the days of Kennedy, if not Lincoln. The ship of state is at war with itself, surely something massive is at hand, by which I mean something on the scale of 9/11. Only such an event will determine who will obtain full mastery of this gargantuan nuclear-armed vessel that currently seems to the entire world so chaotically adrift.

  • Here we go Again: Trump Admin Threatens Iran
    • All part and parcel of the tyranny of superficiality that afflicts Trump and that menaces to engulf, at the very least, the entirety of the executive branch. A curious effort at the de-dimensionalization of the world through extreme insistence on the transcendentality of surface differences. Capitalism itself evinces this same schizoidality relating to surface and structure by seeking to structure the psychological imaginary or, at least the perceptive representation of it, as pure surface, concealing no divinity, no sacredness, and, to be sure, no class tension, conflict, or inexorable expropriation of surplus labor. Consequently Trump is the Disney version of Mussolini (Mouse-olini one might call him). A daft Donald Duck with a very nefarious streak indeed. Like a projector-emitted cartoon he glides on to surfaces and disappears without a trace; this tracelessness is an essential product of his seemingly studied, or least psycho-defensively necessary, mindlessness. The structures that will leave a trace are the ones that always do, they produce or, at the very least, project Trump on to political (social and ideological) reality and, in turn, make economic and democratic justice unreal. Trump is not to blame, his rule is purely figural (the outsized Platonic shadow on the cave wall), the true structures (the genuine Platonic “forms”) hermetically recede further and further into inaccessibility and unaccountability under the coruscating theatricality and superficiality of the farcical/satyr(ical) regime. Richard III’s Shakespearean speech is inversely apropos in a world mysteriously, forsooth seemingly magically, turned upside down: “Now is the winter of our discontent”–says the chorus-like liberal media, which histrionically likens Trump to all the worst villains of old, in lieu of celebrating the coronation of Clinton-Macbeth, who would have been so much the better at concealing the plung(der)ing depths of the piratical hyper-militarized neoliberal state. All the world’s a stage, it takes a pillage, and Trump is but a walking shadow, a poor player
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
      And then is heard no more: [truly] a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.

  • The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump
    • This is sadism tout court and/or an act in preparation for war (you do not do what Trump is presently doing without giving the least prior notice unless you are making a declaration of open and direct hostilities and/or are engaging in the most denuded demagogy). As I at length commented here during the primaries Trump evinces extremely strong sadistic tendencies; this is likely a personal preference and appetite on his part, but it also functions as a demagogic whetting or instruction in psycho-political sadism (inherent in oligarchic fascism), i.e. in the promotion, legitimization, intensification, and popularization of tendencies equivalent to sadism and Sadean personality traits in preparation for an initiation of open hostilities (though, at least initially, short of outright war) against significant nations and economic blocs of the world (Mexico, Middle East, China, EU) and against important, yet ostensibly foreign-like, demographic sectors within the U.S.: African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Native Americans, even the “unreliable” majority of women concerned with equitable reproductive health access, etc). Nationally, the logic of such political sadism is in perfect complementarity with the international version: generalize the most divisive ethos short of actual militarized action through full spectrum use of media in the service of an oligarchy that feels itself receding from relative power in a world ever more immersed in freely globalized trade vis-a-vis (to reiterate) the relative detriment of American hegemonic political and economic power. Trump, standard bearer for an oligarchy opportunistically directly stepping “forward to the plate,” promises millions of industrial sector jobs in a newly, at least industrially, autarkic U.S. Maybe he will deliver in the mid to long term on this promise, in the immediate to short term his “achievements” will be essentially denagatory , denialist, negative: civic/humanitarian prohibitions, restrictions, dis-protections in the name of greater national security and policial exigencies, per oligarchic rationalizing protocol, best that the populace become even more inured and hardened to such civic and societal (oligarchically optative) harshness by being imbued in the “modelic” sadism of a personally autarkic -hyper-capitalist cult leader example, a Chairmen Mao redivivus of capitalist autarky (whose vision is to export, impose, and disseminate the same throughout the world and have the U.S. be the isolationist leader of an isolationized world).

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • Obama’s timidity or surreptitious Republicanism served for nothing, all it did was further impassion, indeed madden, the most extreme, retrograde right, and now they have won and they will reduce to rubble every ostensibly, however modest, progressive aspect of his legacy, leaving only his reinforcement of the increasingly neo-fascist security state in place. Hillary Clinton’s horrendously incompetent loss is an own goal of Waterloo-ian proportions for the Democratic party, which will only be encouraged as a result to become even more Republicanish in its subservience to high capital. Clinton’s technocratic arrogance, mendacity, and false “humanity” (i.e. her incapacity for emotional/psychological sincerity) were striking to large swathes of the “humbler, simpler” people, for whom intellectualism is a luxury they have never been permitted to afford, as a consequence as a “gut instinct” (response) they were impelled to vote in droves for an imbecilic charlatan who nevertheless could “emote” with an assuring, even endearing naturalness. The “animal spirits,” to quote J.M. Keynes, were thus on the side of Trump, he was both their performative master and their most sincere vessel, the process through which the latter would be alchemized and transmuted into the sacralized “spirit of the people.” In all its embryonically fascist “glory.” The new Trump regime is truly “voluntas populi,” for such is the hidden primeval heart of white America.

  • Trump does Poor imitation of Tin-Pot Dictator at "Press Conference"
    • It appears the liberal political order (including the officers of the various intelligence agencies) want to serve the plutocracy on their own “indispensabilist”/ gradualist terms and above all to retain the essentiality of their intermediary political position and sinecural role between the populace and the highest plutocratic powers, without having these directly invade and occupy as an outright oligarchy–with only the slightest democratic veneer (a la Mexico)–the highest positions of political power, in addition to their own dimensionally primary economic kingdoms within the U.S. As a result they simultaneously treat the oligarchic pretenders (and above all their maximal standard bearer Trump) and the “bewildered” populace as an enemy territory requiring intervention and manipulation in the literal manner in which the U.S. treated almost the entirety of the rest of the world during the post-WWII 20th century.

      The U.S. polity, if it wasn’t before, now truly has become one with the rest of the “globalized” world in its submission to the sorts of epistemic “voodoo” that has come to characterize CIA activities throughout just about every other country on earth.

      A hyper-multi-cultural, socially deconstructed, and globalized U.S. is (for this very reason) no longer a nation state but a continent-sized anomic empire of (self-)imported subservient and credulous post-proletarians: anomic denizens of a new anomic land they are themselves granularly (obviously unawarely) creating. The anomic state par excellence, vanguard of a horizonless global futurity and constellation of such states, whose very continuous reiterative deconstruction and concomitant totalizing anomie is the very matter and building block, the nucleic component, of the post-truth ontological realm/endless futurity, most especially seen in the previously "humanistic" realms of politics, culture, psychology, morality, law, economy, etc. The anomie befits the (neoliberal capitalist) ends and models the means for this new infinitely explicable (i.e. endlessly unfoldable), but never resolvable (i.e. communally fatally anomic) interlocutionary stage of post-truth “reality.”

  • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)
    • Since the very beginning millions of people were telling the major (neo)liberal media there was something very wrong with Clinton qua candidate that there was not comparably with Obama (or with Sanders) and the media discounted this manifest and generalized expressed reality ab initio and the result is that the aforesaid reality came back to bite with the immensity of "Jaws" said media, the Clinton campaign, and of course far more importantly the US polity and the rest of the world combined. Indeed, that "bite" has proven to be a self-inflicted defeat of Waterloo-ian proportions for the relevant faction of the U.S. "symbolic economy" establishment elite: through their very voracity for power (inextricably political and economic) the Clintonites ate themselves into a stupendous and stuporous rout in what was meant to be their Normandy over the empirically-based economic cognizance of the most reactive sector of the American working class, the white (male) working class. To say that reality defeated Hillary Clinton, and her deceptively endless camp of "neoliberal ontology"-based followers (notably "symbolic economy" techs,, sophists, and apologists) would be trite indeed if it weren't for the fact that everyone seemingly bought into the lie (even the poll gurus) despite knowing it was all based on a sea of lies (e.g. Russia hacking the election so that their so-called useful idiot Trump could get elected). Neglecting and indeed dispensing with reality from behind a shield of neoliberal shamelessness is what resulted in Bush II's win, and now in Trump's as well. Reality long enough repressed eventually takes on the form of formerly unimaginable nightmares and this is where America now fully finds itself: in a collective nightmare of heretofore inconceivable proportions.

  • The Vanity of the Billionaires: Circuses and no Bread
    • The American voters are tired of wars and war-like interventions (principally in the Middle East) and inconveniently were desirous, in their majority, of a candidate who shared their antipathy for such costly (for us), calamitous (for them), and repercussive (for both) actions. In other words, they were most loath to elect an establishment-type Republican (the example of Bush II still being so repellent) and almost equally loath to elect a similarly establishmentarian Democrat (Obama's elitist economic-priorities and continued interventionism abroad being an educative disappointment); some looked, perhaps more wisely, for a solution in socialist senator Bernie Sanders, others, certainly more foolishly, in the mediatically-magnetic magnate Donald Trump. In any case, it appears the media, along with the DNC, had pre-decided that Sanders, by the solipsistic reality of not being Hillary Clinton, would not be the Democratic presidential candidate. This very same media was sought, and assumed to offer no resistance, by the Democratic party to make and elevate a Republican "Pied Piper" candidate, who would lead the Republican presidential race off a cliff into populist extremity (besmirching by association the stance against imperial interventionism along the way) and definite presidential unelectability. The result is that the candidate considered best able by the security and defense (i.e. imperial-defense) establishment to continue and extend America's defense of its global imperial centrality will be elected president having already been pre-selected by the aforesaid elite and its media servitors. Leaving the anticipatory question: Was there any democracy at all? Or had the 'pre-deciding' risen to the level of material and technical pre-ordaining of electoral results?

  • GOP finally shocked as Trump admits to being serial Groper of white women on Hot Mic
    • The most recent Wikileaks revelations reveal that Trump is essentially a conspiracy, not by the Russians, but rather one effectuated by the msm at the implicit or otherwise suggestion of the DNC to elevate objectively risible and/or psychologically non-viable candidates such as Trump or Cruz to artificially sustained lead positions within the Republican pack so as to have what would essentially be a straw or bogey man as the Republican candidate for the presidency, enabling Hillary Clinton to have a (considering the demographic realities of the country) cake walk candidacy for the White House all while she pretends and maintains that the opposite is the case, i.e. that her opponent is formidable, albeit execrable, indeed, a serious threat to the constitutional order of the Republic, when in reality he is an artificially-elevated ‘pied piper’ buffoon, instrumentalized to lead the Republican presidential field in toto towards a ‘malarial swamp’ of political confusion and delusion, reflecting an almost Artaudian level of theatrical (political) irreality and perversity, of irrationality, incomprehensibility, even semiotic decomposition itself: a signal war consisting of amplifying up the ‘enemy’s’ signals (i.e. themes, messages, and methods) until they become indistinguishable from noxious and cacophonous static or white noise (ironically, considering his purportedly white nationalist demographic).

      Trump is a political eructation elevated by the msm to the condition of an intolerably shrill and repetitive psycho-environmentally offensive noise: noxious and toxic to a majority of American voters (especially those evincing the psychologies of responsible heads of families) by Orwellian-cum-Machiavellian design.

  • "This Parrot is no More": The 2016 Presidential Election did not Take Place
    • Clearly 'ceci [USA] n'est pas une démocratie', though it might have the potential to be one.

  • Trump and Extreme Vetting of Muslims
    • 'As with more and more aspects of contemporary Russia, the best explanation was offered more than half a century ago by Hannah Arendt, when she defined the true role of Stalin’s party purges: they were “an instrument of permanent instability.” The state of permanent instability, in turn, was the ultimate instrument of control, which sapped the energies and attention of all. The best way to insure being able to strike when it is least expected is to scramble all expectations. Perhaps that’s why Vayno’s “Protocol” turns the time-space continuum into a maze.’

      link to newyorker.com

      The above article in the much declined New Yorker is caricatural and immanently unserious in almost every respect except in its applicability to the current state of American politics, which, as the article itself states, has come to be “monopolized by the state” and its multiplicative security agencies and apparatuses. Trump in light of this, would be a planned or propitious part of the “instrument of permanent instability” which allows paradoxically for the plutocratic state to prolong its decayed (geo)political hegemony, not least because of programmed instability’s ability to sap “the energies and attention of all.”

  • Nice, France, Attack: A Gandhian Response to Serial Killers
    • "The common thread in the literature of the existentialists is coping with the emotional anguish arising from our confrontation with nothingness, and they expended great energy responding to the question of whether surviving it was possible. Their answer was a qualified "Yes," advocating a formula of passionate commitment and impassive stoicism. In retrospect, it was an anecdote tinged with desperation because in an absurd world there are absolutely no guidelines, and any course of action is problematic. Passionate commitment, be it to conquest, creation, or whatever, is itself meaningless. Enter nihilism.

      "Camus, like the other existentialists, was convinced that nihilism was the most vexing problem of the twentieth century. Although he argues passionately that individuals could endure its corrosive effects, his most famous works betray the extraordinary difficulty he faced building a convincing case. In The Stranger (1942), for example, Meursault has rejected the existential suppositions on which the uninitiated and weak rely. Just moments before his execution for a gratuitous murder, he discovers that life alone is reason enough for living, a raison d'être, however, that in context seems scarcely convincing. In Caligula (1944), the mad emperor tries to escape the human predicament by dehumanizing himself with acts of senseless violence, fails, and surreptitiously arranges his own assassination. The Plague (1947) shows the futility of doing one's best in an absurd world. And in his last novel, the short and sardonic, The Fall (1956), Camus posits that everyone has bloody hands because we are all responsible for making a sorry state worse by our inane action and inaction alike. In these works and other works by the existentialists, one is often left with the impression that living authentically with the meaninglessness of life is impossible.

      "Camus was fully aware of the pitfalls of defining existence without meaning, and in his philosophical essay The Rebel (1951) he faces the problem of nihilism head-on. In it, he describes at length how metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and the victory of nihilism, characterized by profound hatred, pathological destruction, and incalculable violence and death."

      link to iep.utm.edu

      I can't help but consider the explication of nihilism offered by the above encyclopedia unfortunately philosophically very apt to the case of the most recent horrific and terroristic events in Nice, France.

  • Is the Mideast disintegrating or just being Auctioned Off?
    • The logical measure of these events is the progress or retrogress of democratic power. Will Brexit provide the neoliberally conservative and conservatively neoliberal establishment in the UK the opportunity to strengthen the already existing neoliberal order under cover of (avoiding) referendum-induced chaos, thus further transforming the working class into a permanent precariat, distantiated even more from the possibility of enjoying genuine democratic governmental responsiveness and representation? Or, conversely, will Brexit reduce the likelihood of continued British involvement in ongoing American-led military interventions in the Greater Middle East and elsewhere (e.g. in Syria)?
      Brexit was predicated, of course, on a fundamental questioning of the democratically-detrimental links between Britain and a supposed EU superstate, however, there was, for perhaps obvious reasons, no comparable/parallel questioning of Britain’s relationship to U.S. hegemonic policy, even though needless to say this also (as in the transcendentally important case of the Iraq War) has an inestimably reductive effect on the British government’s democratic responsiveness to an overwhelmingly anti-interventionist British public. A comparison of the largely coterminous (with the EU) undemocratic institutional power of NATO also immediately comes to mind. DItto for the inherently anti-sovereigntist, anti-democratic makeup of TTIP (which makes the EU seem a paragon of democratic responsiveness in comparison). Already, anti-democratic ‘mini-coups’ are being set off as a direct consequence of Brexit: PM Cameron’s imminent departure (essentially a self-decapitated government and governing Party); the Blairite revanchist attempted “coup” (sic) against democratically-chosen, highly popular leader Jeremy Corbyn; the mystifying/poll-defying post-Brexit electoral setbacks against anti-neoliberal/anti-austeritarian party Unidos Podemos in Spain: all of which seemingly conspire to cause one to wonder whether Brexit (improvisationally or otherwise) will prove to be the biggest neoliberal coup of them all?

      [corrected version]

  • GOP debate Civil? Candidates urged torture, child-murder, backing bloody Dictatorships
    • “...the society with which he deals has an unstructured brutality and a violence never far from release...”--John Russell

      Sadism is the operative force driving both the Cruz and Trump phenomena. It is a sadism born of an atmosphere of generalized nihilism and anomie in an America increasingly characterized by a deep sense of confusion, disorientation, and dislocation regarding the nature and even existence of society’s shared values and goals. Said confusion is perceived as extending to and/or emanating from the authority of a government that either cannot defend essential forms of social, economic, biological, and spiritual existence, or that in fact has, at least partially, midwifed the very destruction of these vital forms and thus provoked the anomie that now marks their decline/haunts their disappearance.

      As Dostoevsky has demonstrated nihilism in its most extreme forms readily leads to sadism or self-murder. Since the latter is the most absolute and redundant form of political self-extinction, only sadism remains in the existential arsenal of the subject so afflicted. Despairing of a neoliberally captured government’s ability to achieve even a modest rebalancing of politico-economic power in their, i.e. national labor’s, favor (or even more myopically “philosophically” incredulous as to its ability tout court and/or doubtful of the very justice of the notion), they instead predictably precipitate into neurotic (thus of course unconscious), unprogrammatic (distracted/impeded as they are from any authentically alleviative economic project), and ultimately hysteric (“nothing short of Trump shooting my daughter in the street and my grandchildren [would stop her from supporting him]”) forms of political and existential fervor. Thus awakening among a subspecies of the servitors of the powerful an opportunistic and, of course, exploitative desire to capture them anew in the net of an individually psycho-economically redemptive and/or religiously prophetic and hermetic übermenschlich figure: a literal ‘demagogos’-cum-’eupompos’ or fortunate guide to the insecure masses, from whom, as explains psychologist Benjamin Wolman, the “powerless individual strives to attain [psychologically educative and emulative] power by introjecting the powerful figures or a part of them or being incorporated by them.”

      Regarding the term Übermensch, scholars affirm: “Nietzsche derives [said] term...from Lucian of Samosata’s hyperanthropos.” Lucian’s satire Kataplous e turannos, ‘The Descent or The Tyrant,’ “offers the account of the tyrant as “overman,” that is: as a superior man of wealth and power who in this worldly life towers above others regarded in this same life as inferior or “lesser” [i.e. literally and figuratively “lower”] human beings...Lucian’s parody transposes the same putatively “higher” man, the hyperanthropos, escorted by Hermes and ferried by Charon or Death into the afterlife of the Greek underworld.”

      Another terminologically and conceptually elucidative classical example is the Sophoclean tragedy ‘Oedipus Tyrannus,’ which begins not altogether unpromisingly--(“You set my beloved land on a fair straight course when it was storm-tossed in troubles, and now may you be its fortunate guide [eupompos]”)--. However, as is famously known, fate and (political) hubris had other designs, namely, tyranny, madness, and tragedy (hubris, as an authority described, is that “arrogant disregard for laws and other moral constraints,” which is both seed and fruit of the “excessive acts committed by the powerful against the less powerful,” and which in turn “breeds the tyrant” [hubris phuteuei turannon]). Of course it is precisely Trump, among the Republican candidates, who most self-consciously presents himself as an ‘eupompos’ (i.e. as a literally most “fortunate” self-avowed “guide” to individual secular self-redemption), but who by hubristically promising to supersede the laws of national constitution, in the name of mass popular will and personal power, reveals himself an ultimately unapologetic ‘demagogos,’ itself the traditional ‘anteactus’ of the ‘tyrannus.’

      Clearly then a form of neurotic-reactive magical thinking (though one no longer entirely captive to neoliberal false consciousness) is motivating a significant number within the so-called neoliberal “precariat” to not simply stand openly manifest of (heretofore repressed) tendencies regarding their long-fantasized sado-nihilistic views on the purposes of the instrumentalization of U.S. state (super) power, but to, in fact, develop a new, transformative and englobing orientation or Weltanschauung that universally (and not just politically) obsessively seeks what it perceives to be guiding magnifications or modelic concentrations (i.e. “emanative” reservoirs) of psychological power and impregnability (with outward and reflective manifestations of impressive and imposing material attainment)--and it is in this alternatingly shallow and profound (but never undynamic) sense that the psychological übermenschlich type of political leader serves a positive function to those he inherently attracts.

      However, in pragmatic political, legislative (and even avowedly extra-judicial) terms, for the aforesaid reasons of plutocratic constitutional foreclosure, not even the leader’s übermenschlich “personological” capacities (“He shall be greatest who...is overrich in will. Precisely this shall be called greatness: being capable of being as manifold as whole, as ample as full”--Nietzsche), however, can be expected to translate into more than an essentially negative governing principle (i.e. determinatively, programmatically denegative, denialist, nihilist). For this is precisely where the nihilist-derived ubermenschlich fantasy accedes and surrenders to the banality of neoliberal denialism--the snake’s rebellious tail is rewound back into the ouroboric hold of its possessor’s befanged trap-like mouth. : i.e. a governmental repercussive effect of necessarily even greater negative potentiality: more aggressive, incarcerative, punitive, reactive, relegative, obstructive, secretive, suppressive, violative, and violent*--in short one that is ultimately even more foreclosive to popular positive politico-egalitarian change. And all under the color of retro-political revanchism, regression, discrimination, intimidation, and suppression.

      **(And with more than a scattered dose of the antinomian in the case of Trump: e.g. the military is “not gonna refuse [my illegal orders]...Believe me”).

      Hence the subconscious source of both the “Cruzian”/”Trumpite” animation and vehemence for the rescission of the protections or even the outright attack of those seen as more vulnerable than they. Recourse to conceptualizations of parasitism come easily/are readily at hand (the cruelties, injustices, and stigmata of history ironically and inversely proffer it to them), previous and ongoing vulnerabilities become suggestive ellipses and directional shorthands (formulae) for future “historical” sadistic punishment. The implicit targets of today were the explicit ones of yesterday: African Americans; other historically defeated/super-exploited ethnicities; undocumented immigrants (for the same); homosexuals (the very ahistoricity of their granted protections mark them as specious, unmerited mercies, and therefore “naturally,” inclinatively revocable); those with even light and superficial criminal records (pariahic by definition); geopolitically obstreperous foreign individuals, groupings, and nations “selectively” and contradictorily (i.e. hypocritically) designated “pariah states” by the United States (and thus made so through the circuitous ‘totalitarian logic’ whereby naming--by the powerful--is perilously, potentially existentially, experienced as being by the less powerful [”the Jew is an ‘undesirable’, therefore he is...to be extirminated”; “the Mexican is a ‘rapist’, therefore he is...”]). Such a psychology, in short, evinces a generalized and expansive manic and sadic subconscious pre- or proto-fascist Weltanschauung which I think the following quotes do much to elucidate:

      “[I]f the body social remains unconscious of [the need of suffering] or imagines that the need can be ridiculed...the mind proceeds to invent in the guise of acts of cruelty the sufferings it has forbidden the heart to undergo...their fancies lose all vital touch and all capacity for being in sympathy.” (Denis de Rougemont, ‘Love in the Western World’)

      *”[I]f life and created nature are but dark wickedness and cruelty, it becomes necessary to obtain release from them by exceeding this cruelty and wickedness. And there is but the alternative to be cruel either to ourselves or to others.” (idem)

      “’What! An ambitious sovereign shall be able to destroy as he likes and without scruple the foes that hamper the execution of his schemes for achieving greatness! Cruel, arbitrary and imperious laws shall likewise murder in every century millions of human beings! And yet weak and unfortunate private persons such as ourselves shall not be allowed to sacrifice a single being to our revenge or to our caprice? Could anything be more barbarous or more ridiculously queer? And should we not, under cover of the most profound mystery, avenge ourselves abundantly for this absurdity?’--D.A.F. de Sade, ‘La Philosophie du boudoir’ (as quoted by de Rougemont in idem)

      ‘Donald, “I’ve learned from my experiences. As a safety factor, I very often see other people as a revolver that could be pointed at me. They are the gun. I, however, am the trigger...We never know what will trigger another person’s killer instinct. It can be something that happened when they were five years old. So avoid being the trigger, and the revolver will not be a threat.”’--Trump: How to Get Rich

      Feeling the psychic armor of asympathy and general psychological inurement (i.e. indifference) reflected back onto their persons by the profoundly exemplary and educative discourses of sadism embodied respectively by a bombastic and anti-apologetic Trump, and by the hermetic captiousness of Cruz, their ‘awakened’ (read: disturbed) supporters are, in the aggregate, asserting to the wider world their own psycho-specific--and this is of course the very point--yet imperiously aggressive and expansive Weltanschauung: in essence, a recurrence of the same dark neurotic fantasies that alimented the fascism of the early twentieth century, and which now manifests one of its principal ‘movemental’ epicenters in the United States (itself doubtless an effect not unrelated to over a decade of essentially uninterrupted blatantly aggressive foreign wars, and ones stereotyped by a 'foreign' sectarian-ness to boot).

  • Syria: 500 Turkey-backed Sunni Arab Fighters Cross to defend Azaz from Kurds
    • This pretty much sums it up: "Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s prime minister, was keen to make a point. All the evidence suggested that the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) were responsible for Wednesday evening’s car bomb in Ankara that killed 28 people, he declared on the morning after the attack.

      For Davutoğlu, this “certain” conclusion demonstrated the truth of what Turkey had been saying all along: that the YPG and its political arm in northern Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD), are terrorists who are no different from Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK).

      “A direct link between the attack and the YPG has been established,” Davutoğlu said. It had received logistical support from PKK militants inside Turkish territory, he added. But both the YPG and the PKK flatly deny responsibility. The PYD leader, Salim Muslim, also said his group was not involved.

      These denials, plus the speed, unusually detailed nature and alacrity of Davutoğlu’s announcement, will raise questions about the thoroughness of the investigation, the accuracy of its findings and possible political motivations."

      link to theguardian.com

  • 5 Worst Foreign Policy Moments of GOP New Hampshire Debate
    • The Democratic-Republican axis of (captured) constituencies are, in the end, going to want a contest between Clinton and Cruz I predict. Hillary Clinton is using a strategy of divide and conquer of the Democratic subconstituencies to defuse the Sanders’ threat, and in this I think she will succeed. Ultimately her intent is to be unchallenged servatrix of Wall Street against both the “bewildered herd” that are supposedly the "masses" and the less ideologically sustainable–she believes/maintains–(because more precipitous) pro-plutocracy promises of the Republicans, especially those of the Tea Party-wing.

      Ted Cruz, for his part, almost seems to be using a strategy taken antithetically from Denis de Rougement or some other worthy scholar of all that is good and beautiful in the Western religio-humanistic tradition and doing with it something reversely based on the following:

      “If we shut our eyes after gazing at a white statue we shall have the image of a black. In the some way, the eclipse of the myth conjured up the exact opposite of Tristan. If Don Juan, historically speaking, is no invention of the eighteenth century, the period nevertheless played in relation to this character the very part assigned in Manichean doctrine to Lucifer as regards Creation. The period gave shape to Tirso de Molina’s (Don Juan) Tenorio, and endowed the hero of that play with two thoroughly typical features–noirceur and rascality. Nothing could be more directly the reverse of the twin virtues of chivalrous love–candour and courtesy!…

      …The repression of the myth by an all-embracing irony and the applauded triumph of ‘felons’ soon excited some curious reactions. Amid so much pliancy, so much intellectual and sensual refinement, so much satiation, one most profound human need was left ungratified–the need of suffering. If the body social encourages this need, it grows enfeebled, as is shown by the waning Middle Ages; but if the body social remains unconscious of this need or imagines that the need can be ridiculed, it quickly dries up and grows enervated. Thereupon the mind proceeds to invent in the guise of cruelty the sufferings it has forbidden the heart to undergo. Kindness is a stranger to those who have not suffered: their fancies lose all vital touch and all capacity for being in sympathy…”–Denis de Rougemont, ‘Love in the Western World’

      Ted Cruz may very well be the paragon–best reflecting and educating in the ‘ethos’–of an evermore precarious American age, which in its ever increasing urgency for security and strength (empirically individual and suppositionally statal) misappraises the lasting value and instrumentality of what may be described as a psycho-political strategy of ‘immurement’ and ‘inurement': of erecting (against), protecting, fortifying, conditioning, accustoming, the mind, the body, the state against anything that would cause it to feel weak, insecure, disprotected, even unsure, and, in so doing, repressing or even vacating the psyche (all that it touches and encounters) of the sympathetic urge in emulation of a sort of imagined Übermensch: never vacillating, never susceptible to error (or rather the consequences of it), never infirm (at least in the literal sense), never injured (at least emotionally), but forever embodying and enacting the danger and harm (the spiritual injury; the psychological loss, for those who once possessed it) of having let irretrievably atrophy the capacity for sympathetic human comprehension and, by extension, the discernment of honesty in oneself as well as others; so that all that remains is a labyrinth of lies, even if it seem a dais of power.

  • Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars
    • Perhaps it should rather be more emphasized what to my mind, and it seems to those of many others, seems obvious: all the known (i.e. televised) American presidential candidates have far more in common politically and economically than they do differences, and far more differences than they do commonalities to the majority of Americans: for surely none among them is expecting to retire or has retired with no less than a few millions in ‘the bank’ (and likely much more)…more importantly, none of the Democrats, and none but perhaps one of the Republicans is proposing anything that is contrary to more hegemonic interventionism in the Middle East and beyond. There are no true (i.e. inimical to the political regime) leftists allowed even remotely near the physical proximity of the politically debased debates, only servitors, in one form or another, of American private corporatism, public-private militarism-cum-interventionism, or international ‘Wall Streetism’–all permutations of a highly perverse form of inegalitarian capitalism (one still hardly seen in Western Europe) that engenders a far stronger and more virulent orientation towards civic and economic separatism/’segregationism’ among the rich and upper middle class than is currently the case in ‘socialist’ Western Europe. And yet not every homme or femme moyenne is a non-intellectual loser or toxic personality type, meriting nothing more from the likes of Cruz or the Clintons than transparently veiled distaste, disdain, and seigneurial noblesse oblige of the, to be sure!, meritocratic sort.

      Since its foundations the U.S. was designed as a polity of and for the protestant merchant rich and this has extended to the present in its seemingly galactic (“too big to fail”) iteration of Wall Streetism, which is proceeding at a whirlwind pace to undo the egalitarian and democratic advances of the postwar years (the ascent of political correctness notwithstanding) and permanently restore the ancien régime of the American Gilded Age under the guise of meritocratic new age utopianism: i.e. a utopianism built on, over, and to conceal the ever-extending derelictive or intentional ‘gutterization’ of America created by its expressly and intrinsically unequal model of monetarily-convertible capital generation, separation, and accumulation–the rest is the self-serving and systemic propaganda of the Clintonian or Cruzian variety to justify this massively expropriative and marginalizing for the majority (again “too big to fail” and the ensuing oligarchist coup de main bailout [and jail-in of the economic system]) and hyper-iniquitous system this perfidy augurs as the permanent end (of democratic political and economic) history for all but the one percent (and their ten percent servitors) of Americans. And ultimately why? Because power is not power if it is diffuse, indeed it is diffused in its effects, and societal confusion allegedly asserts itself as in the ’60s and ’70s “crisis of democracy,” when the U.S. polity was alleged by ‘very serious’ anti-Communist personages to have been suffering from a pernicious “excess” of the same. Wall Streetism is there to Trumpishly wall off that parlous fate from ever befalling the U.S. again.

  • Does Obama have a Syria Strategy? Putin Does.
    • The Middle East has become an ever expanding labyrinth of chaos, with Iraq as its hollow and eviscerated center. The labyrinth of chaos has now expanded to Turkey, there is the ever present threat of its further expansion into Lebanon and Jordan; the liquifaction of boundaries, order, and government in the region has brought death and destruction to it on a modern unprecedented scale: yet how does one return from madness, from the schizophrenic condition of the inescapeable labyrinth? Only the reframing of the problem along materialist and economic lines, with a deep consciousness of the history and continuing presence of colonialism, can offer the impoverished majorities in the region an identitarian solution that escapes the self-defeating ideological labyrinth of ethnic and sectarian division, however, this is precisely what internal and external oligarchic forces in the region fear most of all, and, to be sure, what colors their perceptions of sectarian monstrosities such as ISIS--rather the whole Middle East on fire than that the hoi polloi enjoy anything approaching an actual semblance of democracy.

  • Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria
    • Loic Marsillac 09/30/2015 at 7:31 pm

      Correction to previous comment: "does not impact poorly on the long term growth prospects of such vital and eternally “nationalist” economic sectors."

    • The U.S. and the West lack all credibility at this point (Occam's Razor has been broken by their arguments, explanations, and justifications directly and in and through the media too many times), this is no doubt why even characteristically non-paranoid intellectuals such as the philosopher Slavoj Zizek have recently voiced comments such as this: "The first thing is to recall that most of refugees come from the “failed states”—where public authority is more or less inoperative, at least in large regions—Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Congo, etc. This disintegration of state power is not a local phenomenon but a result of international economy and politics—in some cases, like Libya and Iraq, a direct outcome of Western intervention. It is clear that the rise of these “failed states” is not just an unintended misfortune but also one of the ways the great powers exert their economic colonialism."

      This colonialism seems to consist, at this point in the context of the Middle East, in the vying for control of natural resources so that alternative centers of geopolitical power, such as Russia and China, do not have even a share of such resources in the Middle East and the rest of Eurasia more generally. Nearly as important, and inextricable with the latter goal, is the U.S.'s increasing reliance on arms manufacturing (and security and defense in general) as a non-offshorable component of its economy and its citizens' employment; constant war, alimented by the monies and commodities of wealthy Arab regions, does impact poorly on the long term growth prospects of such vital and eternally "nationalist" economic sectors.

  • Did the US DIA see ISIL as a strategic Ally against al-Assad in 2012?
    • link to philipbobbitt.com

      The "Salafist principality" recalls Giovanni Sartori's words (as cited by Philip Bobbitt) with reference to Machiavelli's seminal treatise on the same:

      "the term that symbolized more than any other [a] vertical focus [of power]…that term is ‘Prince’."

      The point is that "principality" in Western-informed/derived political discourse usually evokes "verticality," i.e. power that descends from above, from an established and frequently imperial authority--even if its methods of acting are, as is routinely the case, veiled and surreptitious.

      Indeed, per Bobbitt, such a principality may potentially be the product, as well as the agency (so in this there is a paradox) of a "fundamental change in the strategic context [that] brings about fundamental change in the constitutional order, both the order of the individual modern state and the collective order of the society of modern states," especially when there are grave political impasses as in the case of Syria, and before that Iraq; impasses that seemingly can only be resolved when the "principality" serves as instrument of a greater "vertical" power in its own edification, in its own reification, which otherwise would never have come about.

  • Iraq: 25,000 Shiite Militiamen gather for Battle of Ramadi
    • Loic Marsillac 05/20/2015 at 7:46 pm

      The Bush regime undertook the direct “kinetic” reorganization of the Middle East under an assortment of necessarily mendacious pretexts (not even the U.S. will admit to the unambiguous war crime of gratuitous aggressive war). Having cracked the Iraq nut open using a strategy of an “accumulated evil of the whole”: fomented sectarian strife, Abu Ghraib, the devastation of Fallujah and other cities, destruction of all previously functioning public insitutions, etc., they shift under Obama, either contingently or per the original strategy, to a continuation of the strategy of “kinetic reorganization” this time by proxy, by the counter-dialectic of an “unforeseen” foil to the thus “comparatively good” American occupation: the ultra-barbarous ISIS occupation of Iraq. This dramatic shift in the direct cause of the “accumulated evil of the whole of the crimes” of occupation propagandistically lets the U.S. off the hook at least from that point on for the kinetic reorganization of Iraq, which continues apace/enters a new, more intense/accelerated stage, one in which U.S. guilt for the “supreme international crime,” the crime of aggressive war, recedes from public consciousness in the face of the unimaginable enormity of ISIS’s own crimes, which cause the U.S’s to be as nothing in comparison, when in reality the U.S. has superseded the “supreme international crime” by orchestrating a metastatic expansion of this crime, of the “accumulated evil of the whole” on an ever expanding scale via the invisible and unimplicatable proxy that is ISIS and other terrorist groups and their masters in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Perhaps the dialectic will turn again under a potential Republican president, and the U.S. will directly kinetically return to Iraq to “save” what is left of Iraq fromthe hordes of ISIS and finally complete the reorganization of the irreversibly fragmented country, along with that of an irreversibly fragmented Syria.

  • Did Jeb Bush just commit a War Crime in Justifying the Iraq War?
    • The tribunal's predictive or determinative applicability (its propheticalness, one might call it) in the case in question suggests the possibility of a "reflect effect" whereby a consciousness of raisons d'État (both foreign and own) has (as would be expected) informed both and (problematically) even determined its proscriptive/descriptive effects, resulting in an almost predictive/prescriptive quality to the same in the matter of the Iraq war, its consequences, and even U.S. military strategy/policy more generally (which is has been far more openly and initiatorily belligerent than during the Cold War). For how else to explain the fact that in the matter of Iraq the U.S., in unleashing, as the tribunal famously states, "the accumulated evil of the whole [of the crimes of war]," fits the bill so perfectly through the "evil" it has directly or catalytically precipitated not only on Iraq, but on the wider region, and, indeed, on the loss of the sense of security of the entire world? Can it be mere coincidence or catastrophic incompetence alone that the effects of the U.S. invasion and intervention in the Middle East resemble, in their results, fascist total war (e.g. the second Battle of Fallujah), and that the very same, to boot, is occurring again in Ukraine, again with U.S. determinative involvement, with the allied assistance of very real, historically-linked, self-described fascists fighting the very nation, Russia, that so famously, reflexively, and existentially fought the original fascists in those same lands the first time around?

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