Sunday, October 15, 2017

Learn From Chairman Mao!

 So, I'm reading Ross Terrill's biography of Mao, and the many chapters describing his career up to becoming the unquestioned leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Yan'an made me think about my own trials and tribulations. To whit; ... that in retrospect it is obvious that any revolution in the foreseeable future in early-20th century China would require the peasantry, because they made up about 90% of the population. But only Mao seemed to recognize this. The rest of the CCP was fixated on interpreting Marxist dogma, and that, through the blinkered lens of the Soviet Union, which was grandly ignorant of Chinese realities.

For years Mao was criticized, condemned, stripped of offices and even threatened, for departing from the official line. It wasn't until his superiors and rivals were severely weakened or even destroyed by their misplaced ideological loyalties, that they were forced to admit that he'd been right and this gave him the moral and intellectual clout to become the supreme leader of what was left of the CCP in Yan'an.


Now, because there are those among my [few] readers who misinterpret me (either honestly or otherwise), let me say that the title of this blog-post is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. It's a parody of the exuberant tone of so many Cultural Revolution slogans. I do not aspire to be a Mao (or a Pol-Pot as was said about me by one frenzied commentator at "Montreal Simon"), nor am I a fan of totalitarianism. (I'm also not one to dismiss the many important achievements of the CCP in light of the horrible state China was in at the beginning of the 20th Century.)

But I do want to say that it seems to me painfully, terrifyingly obvious that we are not going to petition or peacefully demonstrate and march away the violent, sickeningly evil oligarchy that presently controls the world. "Please murderous elite: We 'DEMAND' that you stop ruling over us. Or else we'll peacefully march in city centers for a day!"

It's ridiculous on the face of it. Accommodating this evil system (a-la "social democracy") is a dead-end. So is putting on a mask and throwing a rock through a window. So is the whole incoherent program of deluded anarchists such as that "slumberjack" imbecile from the departed EnMasse.ca discussion board.

We must fit a revolutionary program to the population we're given, not some abstract concepts in our heads. We must plan to take power away from elites and disperse it amongst as many human beings as possible. We must do more than endlessly critique and analyze the present. We must propose a future and a path towards it.




Friday, October 6, 2017

Suicide Epidemic

Wasn't there supposed to have been a meeting between the federal government and the provinces about the suicide epidemic this past September? Wouldn't you think that something should have been done about the conditions that have produced this epidemic? Especially since it's been going on for YEARS?


Friday, September 29, 2017

Humanity Is Doomed: Part 636,898

Here's a deluded Hillary-Bot at "Montreal Simon" blog:

I worry though, the "both sides are equally bad" progressive zombies are starting up, aided by a con media.

Someone replies:

I'm not sure, but I may be a progressive zombie. If I am, do I still get to be a snowflake? How about a cuck?

Anonymous deluded Hillary-Bot answers:

Do you think Hillary Clinton's flaws were so bad that the world needs to be pushed to nuclear Holocaust? In the last 23 minutes before the nukes hit, do you see yourself screaming about Wasserman-Schultz? Then yes, you may be a progressive zombie.

Let's review some fucking facts shall we?

1. Hillary Clinton was more hawkish than Barack Obama. She wanted to impose a no-fly zone over Syria against Russia's will. She threatened to "totally obliterate Iran" if they attacked Israel. Since Iran has expressed no suicidal desire to attack Israel, her ravings are equal to the drooling idiocy of Trump's threats against North Korea for merely testing weapons that it is building in self-defense.  

Therefore, it is a sign of deep-rooted ignorance and stupidity to imagine that Trump is a greater danger than the psychopathic Clinton.

2. Hillary and the detestable Debbie Wasserman-Shultz really did rig the primaries in her favour and against Bernie Sanders, who every poll showed would have defeated Trump. If defeating the disgusting Trump was important to you, then Clinton and Wasserman-Shultz should be blamed for his victory.

3. Hillary Clinton's  team also elevated Trump as a "Pied-Piper" candidate against his Repug rivals. (They thought he would be easier to beat. Because they had no clue about the sources of his appeal. Just as they had no clue about the sources of Sanders' appeal. Because they believe in all their disconnected, Washington Consensus neo-liberalism and militarism. Because they're fucking idiots.)

I mean, really!

So, we see that everything that Hillary-Bot said was self-evident garbage. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Late September Heat Wave

To hear the global warming experts tell it; We're going to COOK man! We're going to FRY! Methane is rising up from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. The permafrost will melt and more methane will explode out of the earth. Shrinking polar ice will mean less white reflecting the Sun's rays back into space and more dark ocean water absorbing heat. The eco-systems of the oceans will be devastated and so too those of the land.

Coastal areas will disappear, creating millions of refugees. Wind patterns will shift, meaning a much colder Europe. A much dryer India.

Calamity.

So far, all the activism of respectable folks has compelled our political and business leaders to engage in empty lip-service (while doing nothing to even mitigate the crisis) while outlying voices like the oil industry and moronic psychopaths like Donald Trump and stephen harper fell confident enough to dismiss it all as a socialist plot.

If the doomsayers' predictions come true (and I believe they will), do you think it's possible that the folks who condemned the firebombing of an RBC branch in Ottawa in protest of their support for the Tar Sands abomination, might reconsider their stupid pearl-clutching and their inane generalities about "violence begetting violence"?

When the Apocalypse is upon is and this signifies the utter and complete failure of their "raising awareness peacefully" and their rallies and their petitions; that they might have second thoughts about having shrieked about this one attempt to cause genuine damage to the interests of the powerful who led us to the disaster?

Personally, I don't think so. I think people are too deluded and stubborn to acknowledge reality.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Instant Gratification


You can't get the things you want instantly. You can't have a big protest and then expect that the powers that be will magically see the light, act against their self-interest and grant you all your demands.

It takes sustained campaigns that inflict actual damage on elite structures and power and etc., ... before anything important will happen.

You know, a BIG reason why politicians have been slavishly servicing plutocrats in recent decades is because progressive institutions have lost so many battles that they are now visibly almost powerless. And through incremental gains, succeeded by increasingly huge victories, the oligarchs are now totally in control. And so, grasping, conniving narcissistic power-hungry politicians serve oligarchs with little pretext of doing otherwise.


It all comes down to power. We don't have any. We don't know how to get it. Some of us insanely imagine that we should not try to get power. "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss." Ridiculous. This leaves power in the hands of the inhuman psychopaths and the strategy of those anti-power leftists is for us all to be forever petitioning our masters for decent treatment.

We have latent power in our numbers. In one-person, one-vote. But we also need a vision. A positive plan for the structure of a future society.

I don't see anyone on the Left actually talking seriously about much of this stuff.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Oh Lonesome Me


There was one part of Russell Brand's book that affected me. The human need for community. He says that consumer capitalism destroys so many of the opportunities for community. Brand himself mentions religions and sport teams.

I confess to sometimes casting wistful glances at the church groups/ethnic communities/extended families/workplace friends that I see cavorting merrily in Sunnybrook Park when I'm riding my bike there. Or the groups of air-head rich cyclists in their idiotic Tour de France gear yelling to each other on their early morning rides.

Alas! I'm an elitist swine. I can't make myself believe in stupid things. Two minutes listening to some child-molesting priest/con-artist preacher, ... and I start to gag. There's only so much banality that I can fixate on in a Tim HOrton's parking-lot. I don't have a lot in common with any of my family. I'm a third-generation multi-Slavic Canadian on my Dad's side and a ... I don't know, ... tenth-generation British Canadian on my Mom's side. I have no strong attachments to another culture ad I'm not a Canadian patriot. I was an NDP activist for a couple of years, but I can't make myself believe that the leader of the Nova Scotia NDP is "extremely charismatic" (which is the level of devotion and adulation that appears necessary to rise within that institution).

I'm an artist. An individualist. A loner. Whenever leftists decry individualism, I get worried.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

Belated Review of Russell Brand's "Revolution"


Back in 2013 a lot of people were excited by an interview on the BBC between Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand. There were demonstrations and riots in Britain and Brand (a comedian) had recently co-edited a magazine series about political change and BBC interviewer Paxman brought Brand on the show to comment about what was going on. At one point in the interview, Brand said he didn't vote because he thought it was a waste of time. The change that was needed in Britain wasn't going to be delivered by ANY of the traditional status-quo parties.

People I knew told me to watch the interview thinking that I'd be on Brand's side. But I wasn't. I agree with a lot of what Brand said about what was needed, but I'm past-tired of reading and listening to progressives admit that they haven't yet figured out the slightest first steps to actually putting their visions into reality. For me, the fatal flaw of leftists is that they act like the mice in the story "Belling the Cat."

So, while I'm no fan of Jeremy Paxman (He's an establishment media figure after all. Institutions like the BBC may rise above the inherent childishness and delusion of mainstream US "journalism" but they still present insane narratives wherein imperialism and capitalism are found to be noble, normal and good.) but I had some sympathy for his attempts to understand how Brand could reject voting while having no coherent alternative.

I do like Brand's YouTube series "The Trews" ("It's like the news, if the news was true."). He's done some especially good skewering of FOX News, more cutting (at times) than the best of what Jon Stewart did on "The Daily Show."

Well, one day I found that I had to take a bus trip and I had nothing to read. I thought about buying a Globe and Mail or Toronto Star in desperation, but then I saw Brand's book Revolution on the discount table and decided to get it.


If you want a book about how to make a revolution you'll be disappointed big-time. If you want a book with a number of great metaphors for how and why our system is doomed, you'll be moderately satisfied. Towards the end there are some tentative stabs at articulating some concrete ideas. (Very tentative.) If you want to read about how one man ponders the emptiness of fame and fortune and sex with beautiful (sometimes multiple) partners, ... Brand spends a fair bit of time on that.

But for the most part, I found it the epitome of the wooly-headed, optimistic delusion of leftist/progressive thinking. Brand has no clue about how ordinary people can overthrow the present system of powerful, intrusive state systems, with their billionaires, their private armies, the militarized police forces, the actual state militaries and the propaganda system and the religious delusions that divert so many people into consumerism, racism, capitalism, "conservatism" and etc. No clue at all.

I found Brand's religious-spiritual cheerleading annoying. He states that science is finding out its limitations and must admit religion's legitimacy. (Something similar to Stephen J. Gould's "Non-Overlapping Magiseria.") But here's the thing: Science and religion come from the same place, ... the human brain. Religion does not have a line into some actually existing higher, spiritual realm. Religions were humanity's first tentative steps to understanding the world we live in. They were designed when there was much less information to go on. To the extent that religions presume to make statements about wider issues of existence than someone studying how bacteria function, or how marsupials evolved, or how atoms are made-up,  does, ... to that extent it might have something valid or worthwhile to say than those narrower investigations do. But actual knowledge of the sacred or the divine? Most of the jury has decided it doesn't and there's just a couple of dead-enders stubbornly refusing to concede so that a verdict can be delivered.

To repeat: Science and religion are both creations of human minds.

Any scientist who thinks we're even close to understanding the infinite is deluded. By definition, the infinite is beyond our abilities to grasp. There are doubtlessly infinite things going on around us that we don't even have the sensory capabilities of even perceiving. But the unknowable is (self-evidently) unthinkable and we would do well not to speak of it.

Brand spends a lot of the book going on and on about how he was always searching for deeper meaning. First, as the chubby son of a poor single-mother, he tried to believe in consumerism and then pornographically inspired compulsive masturbation. In his late-teens, it was heroin that filled up his life. Then, when he became a successful comedian, it was fame and fortune and sex. But all of these things were found hollow.

He's walked away from his addictions. He's walked away from the Hollywood scene. He's trying to be a more philosophical comedian and a voice for progressive values. In this he's assisted by adherence to East-Asian philosophies and pseudo-philosophies. (As well as the 12-step program of AA.)

Some quick observations:

Yes. We are all stardust. We are part of existence made up of parts of that existence. Atoms, etc., ... we are part of this collective whole that have temporarily assembled into these particular forms and identities of human beings. So, YES, our individual goals and aspirations are unimportant to the great scheme of things. YES, in the long-run we're all dead. But does that necessarily mean that we must deny ourselves? If our identities and desires and dreams are so pointless, isn't our dedication to physical survival equally meaningless? The universe doesn't care one way or the other if we get that high-paying job. It also doesn't care if we die of cancer.

I'm not sure why that means we should all embrace apathy or suicide or why Brand and others who think like he does fail to realize that pointlessness is the end-result of their philosophy.

Brand says we are meant to be happy and are only being frustrated by a sick political system. But Science and me say that we are animals. Look at animals in the wild. They are made from stardust, just like we are. They live closer to their origins than we do. They live in the moment. Are they happy? Do they know joy? Perhaps some of the higher life-forms know brief spasms of genuine joy. But they also know a lot of fear, hunger, pain and terror. Most all of them suffer horribly at the end. They're either killed (sometimes eaten alive) during those times when they're too young or too old to escape predators. Or they die of slow starvation when they've devoured their surrounding food resources and are too weak and sick to move on to greener pastures or to catch prey.

For the most part, I don't think they experience much inner emotions at all when things are going decently for them.

So if they have no right or experience of lives of bliss, why should we expect human beings to?

Sadly, Brand spends a lot of time on crack-pot ideas of Transcendental Meditation. He puts a lot of stock in a supposed "experiment" a couple of decades ago, in Washington D.C., where a large group of TM devotees meditated and tried to project good vibes to the surrounding city. And lo and behold! The crime rate actually went down!!!!

First of all: Even if there was a correlation between the separate events, that the TM'sters meditated and the crime rate went down, that doesn't mean it was the meditating that lowered the crime rate. Experiments need to be repeated and results replicated, before you can even start to make claims like Brand is trying to make.

But, ridiculously, the crime rate didn't even go down. The murder-rate in the city hit an all-time high! What happened was the TM guru-dude predicted what the crime rate was gong to be at the time the experiment would be conducted, and then praised his work when the rate was lower than the one he predicted.

In short; laughable, embarrassing garbage.


Russell Brand is (despite his ex-junkie religious delusions) an intelligent man. He's got a good heart and (forgive me) a good soul. He says a lot of things that I agree with. But he's as far away from helping us transform our societies as is every other starry-eyed, optimistic idealist. And that means too far away to have any impact whatsoever.