In 1888, the year before he went insane, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote the following in Twilight of the Idols:
We have got rid of the real world: what world is left? The apparent world perhaps? … But no! Along with the real world we’ve done away with the apparent world as well.
So, if you feel you also may be going insane in the present climate of digital screen life, where real is unreal but realer than real, the apparent is cryptic, and up is down, true is false, and what you see you don’t, it has a history. One hundred and thirty-two years ago, Nietzsche added that “something extraordinarily nasty and evil is about to make its debut.” We know it did, and the bloody butcher’s bench known as the twentieth century was the result. Nihilism stepped onto center stage and has been the star of the show ever since, straight through to 2020. Roberto Calasso puts it this way in Literature and the Gods:
Here we are, announces Nietzsche, and it would be hard not to hear a mocking ring in his voice. We thought we were living in a world where the fog had lifted, a disenchanted, ascertainable, verifiable world. And instead everything has gone back to being a ‘fable’ again. How are we to get our bearings … This is the paralysis, the peculiar uncertainty of modern times, a paralysis that all since have experienced.
Obviously, we haven’t gotten our bearings. We are far more adrift today on a stormy electronic sea where the analogical circle of life has been replaced by the digital, and “truths” like numbers click into place continuously to lead us in wrong, algorithm-controlled directions. The trap is almost closed.
Of course, Nietzsche did not have the Internet, but he lived at the dawn of the electric era, when space-time transformations were occurring at a rapid pace. Inventions such as photography, the phonograph, the telephone, electricity, etc. were contracting space and time and a disembodied “reality” was being born. With today’s Internet and digital screen life, the baby is full-grown and completely disembodied. It does nothing but look at its image that is looking back into a lifeless void, whose lost gaze can’t figure out what it’s seeing.
Take, for example, the phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison in 1878. If you could record a person’s voice, and if that person died, were you then listening to the voice of a living person or one who was dead? If the person whose voice was recorded was alive and was miles away, you had also compressed earthly space. The phonograph suppressed absence, conjured ghosts, and seemed to overcome time and death as it captured the flow of time in sound. It allowed a disembodied human voice to inhabit a machine, an early example of downloading.
“Two ruling ambitions in modern technology,” writes John Durham Peters in his wonderful book, Speaking into the Air, “appear in the phonograph: the creation of artificial life and the conjuring of the dead.”
Many people started to hear voices, and these people were not called deluded. Soon, with the arrival of cinema, they would see ghosts as well. Today, speaking ghosts are everywhere, hiding in hand-held devices. It’s Halloween all year round as we are surrounded by electronic zombies in a screen culture.
This technological annihilation of space and time that was happening at a frenetic pace was the material background to Nietzsche’s thought. His philosophical and epistemological analyses emerged from German intellectual life of his time as well, where theologians and philosophers were discovering that knowledge was relative and had to be understood in situ, i.e., within its historical and social place or context.
Without going into abstruse philosophical issues here, suffice it to say, Nietzsche was suggesting that not only was God dead because people killed him, but that knowledge was a fiction that changed over time and was a human construction. All knowledge, not just science, had to be taken “as if” it were true. This was a consoling mental trick but falsely reassuring, for most people could not accept this, since “knowledge” was a protection racket from pain and insanity. It still is. In other words, not only had people murdered God, but they had slain absolutes as well. This left them in the lurch, not knowing if what they knew and believed were really true, or sort of true – maybe, perhaps. The worm of uncertainty had entered modern thought through modern thought.
While the average person did not delve into these revolutionary ideas, they did, through the inventions that were entering their lives, and the news about Darwin, science, religion, etc., realize, however vaguely, that something very strange and dramatic was under way. Life was passing from substance to shadow because of human ingenuity.
It is similar to what so many feel today: that reality and truth are moving beyond their grasp as technological forces that they voluntarily embrace push everyday life towards some spectral denouement. An inhuman, trans-human, on-line electronic life where everything is a parody of everything that preceded it, like an Andy Warhol copy of a copy of a Campbell’s soup can with a canned mocking laugh track that keeps repeating itself. All this follows from the nineteenth century relativization of knowledge, or what at least was taken as such, for to say all knowledge is relative is an absolute statement. That contradiction goes to the heart of our present dilemma.
This old feeling of lostness is perhaps best summarized in a few lines from Mathew Arnold’s 19th century poem, “Dover Beach”:
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
But that was then. Today, the Joker’s sardonic laughter would suffice.
I am sitting outside as I write, sipping a glass of wine before dinner. Although New England fall weather is approaching, a nasty mosquito is buzzing around my head. I hear it. I am in killer mode since these bastards love to bite me. This is real life. If I went into the house and connected to the Internet on the computer screen – news, social media, anything – I would be entering another dimension. Screen life, not real life. The society of the spectacle. No real mosquitoes, no wine, no trees swaying in the evening breeze.
In his novel, The Sun Also Rises, written between Nietzsche’s time and now, Ernest Hemingway, a man who surely lived in the physical world, writes of how Robert Cohn, the boxing champion from Princeton University, wants Jake Barnes, the book’s protagonist, to take a trip with him to South America. As they sit and talk in Paris, Barnes says no, and tells Cohn, “All countries look just like the moving pictures.”
Whether Hemingway was being ironic or not, or simply visionary, I don’t know. For in the 1920s, before passports and widespread tourism, there were many places you could only see if you traveled to them and they would never appear in moving pictures, while today there is almost no place that is not available to view beforehand on the internet or television. So why go anywhere if you’ve already seen it all on a screen? Why travel to nowhere or to where you have already been? Déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra put it and everyone laughed. Now the laugh is on us.
This is neither an argument nor a story. It’s real. I am trying to get my bearings in a disorienting situation. Call it a compass, a weather-vane, a prayer. You can call me Al or Ishmael. Call me crazy. Perhaps this writing is just an “as if.”
About fifteen years ago, I was teaching at a college where most communication was done via email. I was, as they say, out of the loop since I didn’t do email. I was often asked why I didn’t, and I would repeatedly reply, like Melville’s Bartleby, because “I prefer not to.” Finally, in order to keep my job, I succumbed and with the laptop computer they provided me, I went “on-line.” There were 6,954.7 emails in my in-box from the past three years. In those three years, I had performed all my duties scrupulously and hadn’t missed a beat. Someone showed me how to delete the emails, which I did without reading any, but I had entered the labyrinth. I went electronic. My reality changed. I am still searching for Ariadne’s thread.
But I am not yet a machine and refuse the invitation to become one. It’s a very insistent invitation, almost an order. Neil Postman (Oh such a rich surname!) sums it up well in Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology:
The fundamental metaphorical message of the computer, in short, is that we are machines – thinking machines, to be sure, but machines nonetheless. It is for this reason that the computer is the quintessential, incomparable, near perfect machine for Technopoly. It subordinates the claims of our nature, our biology, our emotions, our spirituality. The computer claims sovereignty over the whole range of human experience, and supports its claim by showing that it ‘thinks’ better than we can…John McCarthy, the inventor of the term ‘artificial intelligence’…claims that ‘even machines as simple as thermostats can be said to have beliefs…What is significant about this response is that it has redefined the meaning of the word ‘belief’ … rejects the view that humans have internal states of mind that are the foundation of belief and argues instead that ‘belief’ means only what someone or something does … rejects the idea that the mind is a biological phenomenon … In other words, what we have here is a case of metaphor gone mad.
Postman wrote that in 1992, before the computer and the internet became ubiquitous and longer before on-line living had become de rigueur – before it was being shoved down our throats as it is today under the cover of COVID-19.
There is little doubt that we are being pushed to embrace what Klaus Schwab, the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), calls COVID-19:The Great Reset, that involves a total acceptance of the electronic, on-line life. On-line learning, on-line news, on-line everything – only an idiot (from Greek, idiotes, a private person who pays not attention to public affairs) would fail to see what is being promoted. And who controls the electronic life and internet? Not you, not I, but the powers that be, the intelligence agencies and the power elites. Goodbye body, goodbye blood – “I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in support of human estrangement.
Peter Koenig, one of the most astute investigators of this propaganda effort, puts it this way:
The panacea of the future will be crowned by the Pearl of the Fourth Industrialization – Artificial intelligence (AI). It will be made possible by a 5G electromagnetic field, allowing the Internet of Things (IoT). Schwab and Malleret [Schwab’s co-author] won’t say, beware, there is opposition. 5G could still be blocked. The 5G existence and further development is necessary for surveillance and control of humanity, by digitizing everything, including human identity and money.
It will be so simple, no more cash, just electronic, digital money – that is way beyond the control of the owner, the truthful earner of the money, as it can be accessed by the Global Government and withheld and / or used for pressuring misbehaving citizens into obeying the norms imposed from above. You don’t behave according to our norms, no money to buy food, shelter and health services, we let you starve. No more travel. No more attending public events. You’ll be put gradually in your own solitary confinement. The dictatorial and tyrannical global commandeering by digital control of everything is the essence of the 4th Age of Industrialization – highly promoted by the WEF’s Great Reset.
Like everything, of course, this push to place life under the aegis of cyberspace has a history, one that deifies the machine and attempts to convince people that they too are machines without existential freedom. Thus the ongoing meme pumped out for the past three decades has been that we are controlled by our brains and that the brain is a computer and vice versa. Brain research has received massive government funding. Drugs have been offered as the solution to every human problem. So-called diseases and disorders have been created through the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and matched to pharmaceutical drugs (or the revers) for scandalous profits. And the mind has been reduced to a figment of deluded imaginations. People are machines; that’s the story, marvelous machines. They have no freedom.
If one wishes an example of techno-fascism, there is one from the art world. Back in the 1920s and 1930s there was an art movement known as Futurism. Its leader proponent was an Italian Fascist, friend of Mussolini, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The futurists claimed that all life revolves around the machine, that the machine was god, that it was beyond human control and had to be obeyed. They extolled war and speed and claimed that humans were no more significant than stones. Patriotism, militarism, strength, method, and the kingdom of experts were their blueprint for a corporate fascist state. The human eye and mind would be re-educated to automatically obey the machine’s dictates.
Now we have cyberspace, digital machines, and the internet, an exponential extension of the machine world of the 1930s and the rise of Mussolini, Fascism, and Hitler. That this online world is being pushed as the new and future normal by trans-national elite forces should not be surprising. If human communication becomes primarily digitally controlled on-line and on screens, those who control the machines will have achieved the most powerful means of mind control ever invented. That will be MKULTRA on a vast scale. Surveillance will be complete.
Yes, there are places on the internet where truth is and will be told, such as this site where you are reading this; but as we can see from today’s growing censorship across the web, those power elites and intelligence forces who control the companies that do their bidding will narrow the options for dissenting voices. Such censorship starts slowly, and then when one looks again, it is a fait accompli. The frog in the pan of slowly heating cold water never realizes it is being killed until it is too late. Free speech is now being strangled. Censorship is widespread.
The purpose of so much internet propaganda is to confuse, obsess, depress, and then repress the population. The overlords accomplish this by the “peculiar linking together of opposites – knowledge with ignorance, cynicism with fanaticism – [which] is one of the chief distinguishing marks of Oceanic society,” writes Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four. “The official ideology abounds with contradictions even where there is no practical reason for them.” One look into one’s life will suffice to see how the overlords have set people against each other. It’s a classic tactic. Divide and conquer. Trump vs. Biden, Democrats vs. Republicans, whites vs. blacks, liberals vs. conservatives. Pure mind games. Contradictions every day to create social disorientation. Orwell describes Doublethink as follows:
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt…To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary…If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality. [author’s emphasis]
Nietzsche said that along with the real world we have done away with the apparent as well. Digital online life has accomplished that. It has allowed the rulers – through the media who are the magicians who serve them – to create counterfeit news and doctored videos at will, to present diametrically opposed points of view within the same paragraph, and to push breaking news items so fast that no one half-way sane could keep up with their magic shows. Nietzsche obviously didn’t foresee this technology, but he sensed the madness that the relativity of knowledge and the technology of his day would usher in.
The popular 1990s term “Information Superhighway,” meaning the internet and all digital telecommunications, was the perfect term to describe this lunacy. Get on that highway and go as fast as you can while trying to catch the meaning of all the information flashing past you as you speed to nowhere. For not only does censorship, propaganda, disinformation, mixed messages, and contradictions line the road you are traveling, but contextless information overload is so heavy that even if you were stopped in a traffic jam, there is too much information to comprehend. And if you think this Superhighway is a freeway, think again, for the cost is high. No one puts out their hand and asks you to pay up; but the more you travel down this road you’ll notice you are missing a bit of flesh here and some blood there. And without a speed pass, you are considered road kill.
To make matters much worse, they say we need 5G to go much faster.
Paul Virilio, who has devoted himself to the study of speed (dromology), puts it this way in Open Sky:
The speed of the new optoelectronic and electroacoustic milieu becomes the final void (the void of the quick), a vacuum that no longer depends on the interval between places or things and so on the world’s very extension, but on the interface of an instantaneous transmission of remote appearances, on a geographic and geometric retention in which all volume, all relief vanishes.
And yet I don’t have a simple answer to the internet dilemma. You are reading it on-line and I am posting it there. It is very convenient and quick. And yet…and yet….
Can we just walk away from it? Maybe. Perhaps like those few who, in Ursula K. Le Guin’s excruciating story, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” we may decide the price for our conveniences and so-called happiness is too high and that there are hidden victims that this techno-scientific “progress” creates beneath its veneer of efficiency. Others, us, our children, all children, who are reaching out not for speed and machines, but for the human touch that the on-line propagandists hope to destroy. In Le Guin’s story, the price nearly all the citizens of Omelas are willing to pay for their happiness and comfort is the imprisonment of a single child. Perhaps we should consider what we are doing to all the world’s children and their futures.
My friend Gary recently sent me this letter. I believe it sums up what many people feel. There is a vast hunger for reality and truth. The analog life. How to live it – the question hangs in the air as the artificial intelligence/digital controllers try to reduce us to machines.
Although apparently it isn’t clear if Twain ever said this, it’s still a great quote: (“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do, you’re misinformed.”) To which “amen” is the only appropriate response.
I continue to daily stay abreast of events through the web, and these days much of what passed for “progressive media” simply regurgitates the covid madness as if it had been delivered on stone tablets – rather than by the same MSM that lie to us daily about literally ANYTHING of any importance.
There are days I wonder “why” I continue to bother to follow the unfolding madness as if it made some “difference.” I could certainly play guitar more, and I might even get it together to write a few pieces on the nature of our collective madness, for which I have studiously assembled copious notes. I really don’t need any more information or examples – I think I have things covered on that front.
Instead I find myself daily doing the little dance we’re all familiar with – uncomfortable with being “uninformed” – yet at almost every turn finding myself being routinely – “misinformed” – and so having to sift through the endless debris to have any chance at developing any coherent understanding of the world.
So yes, I totally get the draw of just saying to hell with the internet. After years of shifting through the endless propaganda operations our generation has been subject too, I have no doubt you and I see through most the nonsense for what it is before we even have the proof in hand. Once the rose-colored glasses of ‘American exceptionalism’ are off, one can almost sense and see through the lies in real time even as they are being uttered.
Reading Gary’s words reminded me of those of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s definition of the Unspeakable:
It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said, the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience…
Yes, real time, real life – as we do our little dances.
Can we do our little dances and preserve reality? I’m not sure.
41 thoughts on “The End of Reality?”
I have read this carefully and thought much (it, along with some related material e.g. the face mask arrest in OH, cost me a night’s sleep).
I wonder if you, like so many, are too beholden to Nietzsche. A brilliant man, (terribly sick and lonely much of his life) made certain radical claims about knowledge and reality, and far too often the response is: “that settles it, case closed”. “Truth is a fiction” “Truth is a myth” those are some of the claims. But what if those claims are deeply incoherent? Simply stated, nonsense? Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote a book circa 1949 “On Certainty” usually taken as a response to a long forgotten English philosopher GE Moore; but probably as well a response to Nietzsche’s epistemology. Wittgenstein starts with and develops with remarkable detail the claim that what appear to be meaningful assertions (Truth is a fiction) are not in any real sense meaningful. And – fast forward – ends at the position that humans – any sentient form of life – do quite well at knowing reality – we step around boulders in our path, we swat a mosquitoes. It’s not just that we are smart or lucky but rather, how could it be otherwise? How could a form of life persist, survive, thrive if those who engage it in were always in principle unable to know the world in which it takes place? More radically, how could falsehood exist if truth did not? The former is dependent on the latter.
Come to think of it, Wittgenstein could bring much insight to Orwell’s insights; isn’t that one of the ways propaganda works? By demanding assent and allegiance to assertions that appear meaningful (war is peace) but are not?
I will be checking back. Thank you.
Thanks. I think you misinterpret my point about Nietzsche. Nietzsche is a very complicated writer and open to various interpretations, which was his intent. I do not side with the position that “truth is a fiction” and case closed as you say. In fact, I wrote that “All this follows from the nineteenth century relativization of knowledge, or what at least was taken as such, for to say all knowledge is relative is an absolute statement.” I pointed out the contradiction in this position. You are right to say that people must be closer to reality to have survived, and it is good you quote Wittgenstein, who is important. My point is that I think we have entered a new era where the unreality of digital online screen life has taken most people to a new level of unreality that has divorced them from corporeal life to such a degree that if this continues, then the continuation of the human race is at risk. Perhaps they will tthink nuclear war is just another TV show.
Thank YOU. Yes, I did not read your position accurately but gave myself some wriggle room: “wonder if you,like so many”. Nietzsche said he would be born posthumously and he was correct. Much of the Nietzsche reception was, I think, of a “beholden” sort and much of his systematic philosophy is extremely crude. The young Nietzsche always said he was refusing to build a “system” but his older, sicker self proceeded to do just that – or start, at least. The young Nietzsche – Human all too Human – is a delight and revelatory on the dangers of political tyranny. The older Nietzsche can be absolutely terrifying and supportive of same. A better sister would have burned the unpublished writings. Instead she published them and lived to welcome a visit from Adolph Hitler a few months before her death in 1935.
One additional problem with the end of shared reality, and I wholeheartedly agree that this where we are at, is that the people who see and recognize the breakdown of the system often assume that they can no longer be fooled or misinterpret a situation.
I am thinking particularly of the COVID19 debacle where quite a few very intelligent people, who clearly see that it is being manipulated by powerful interests in order to advance their global surveillance state/bio-capitalist tech dystopia, maintain that the entire outbreak is an orchestrated hoax and that no measures need be taken to contain it.
No doubt the virility of the virus is being exaggerated for social control purposes and the public is being fed a steady diet of fear porn and bad information but there is nonetheless a novel coronavirus that causes a disease called COVID19 which can lead to serious illness, largely in elderly people with underlying pathologies. Stubbornly denying this fact despite irrefutable evidence is a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
This suggests that cultivating an awareness of how reality is being individualized and manipulated by the tech oligarchies and government propaganda spinners isn’t in itself enough to inoculate against jumping to false conclusions. There are other examples of course but this one is quite relevant at the present moment.
It is concerning that even people who “get it” are in some instances themselves unable to differentiate between fact and fiction. This is why it is important to keep an emotional distance from “the news” or current events… to be able to take a step back and critically and evaluate ones own assumptions.
Being able to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t yet have enough information to form a firm opinion” is not a sign of weakness or failure. Quite the opposite in fact. It simply means being honest and accepting reality. Because once you’ve decided that you know “the truth” about something, it’s much more difficult to admit being wrong even when evidence clearly shows that you are.
Eric – You offer excellent advice. Pax, Ed
Some Americans are pushing back against Five Eyes Fascism https://www.ohiostandsup.org/
“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” –Garry Kasparov
Thank you so much for this essay, which fits the present, dismal, dark
scene better than anything else I’ve read. What a time..
Thanks, Carey. Pax, Ed
Our instincts are damn near dead from the unrelenting bullshit. Dogs cats, horses , squirrels, birds, offer us solace because they have’nt bought into the Madness. Clear and vivid Souls who bring light and radiance to our man made controlled and suffocating dystopia.
Epistemology would be an appropriate field of study for our time. Perhaps because the big lie our governments and institutions run on has become so large, as entropy eats up the world of men running faster and faster to stay in the same place, that it has at last attracted the notice of some few of us. It becomes paramount to understand what we believe and why we believe it. Rather than dismiss as absurd even the flat earth concept, better to suspect the Foucault Pendulum of deception when it is invoked by a believer as proof of flatness, as it has been, rather than the reverse.
Only in nature, directly the product of God, can there be no lie. The works of men are but dim imitations and accompanied by the narratives of men. The great powers offer it about that science has the answers to all the great questions, but their answers only seed the next question.
But we are not meant to have the real science, only the official trademarked Reality®. We cannot lay claim to our own awareness, as we were purchased at birth, certified citizens of the state, indentured servants of the invisible government.
It is rare to see two separate allusions to Melville in two consecutive paragraphs, but Ed makes it look easy. Perhaps he was writing in a Starbucks.
Gnu – Very funny that Starbucks comment. But no, I wasn’t. Pax, Ed
I have to be around animals. That’s the only way I stay sane (aside from reading your posts!)
By the way I just ordered your new book….can’t wait to read it. I’m disgusted that most of the bookstores in my town are still closed down. Bookstores, museums, theaters. Closed or closing. Museums selling off artwork to rich people. Privatization of everything. And it seems that most people don’t even connect the dots about this. My fellow performers are among the most blinded and virtue-signaling their way into online everyfreakin thing.
So. back to my animals.
thanks again, Ed.
Thanks, Lorrie. Animals are most comforting. I agree. Pax, Ed
Thankyou for this, I feel your emotion diffused throughout. I too love the comment about the emails. I have been doing this same sort of thing, without really realizing I was doing it. I don’t answer my phone, if the name isn’t on it. I don’t listen to recorded messages,the emails I block and delete incessantly and I haven’t had a tv on in my house in nigh over 10 years, let alone”the news”. I’m in the process of checking out. I’m quitting medicine, the end of this year(trained as a western medicine doc) as I have learned much about the falsity of what I have been taught. In a few years u may find me on my own sovereign island , as as declared sovereign being digging in the dirt and caring for my wee beasties. Anyone wanna come?
I do the same things you do. And my doctor friends feel the same way you do. Falsity is the word for so much. Pax, Ed
It seems you are still not grasping the FULL scope of the Operations that are running and being planned.
When you wrote “COVID-19:The Great Reset” you wrote an extra ‘e’! Operation COVID was planned for a couple of years and the last meeting for the final touches was made in Oct2019. I must say that the test has and is being successful beyond the expectations. After all you would have think that billions of animals would obey such moronic orders around the world in such a short time?
The best tool the Owners & Billionaires have today to gain control of the Planetary Herd is the WWW!
They’ve tried a similar operation during the 80’s and 90’s of the XX Century, but the lack of the WWW and especially the 24/7 G connection to it forced them to just go for the PROFIT.
Back to current lovely days… Their main Goal by 2030 is not what it seems at first! The actual next operation name is “The Great Rest”.
I hope you are wrong but realize what you are saying.
I don’t claim to have answers for other people, but I record answers to questions I ask myself. I do not see myself as a “saviour” to the extent that I cannot even consider which people I would like to save if I was one.
I have written (and had 50 copies of each printed) 10 books, but have resisted any temptation to publish or spread them “out there”.
Perhaps interestingly, my first book is called “All The Same”, the second one was “As If”, the last one (so far) is “In The Cage”, and the next one I am tentatively calling “War Of Words”.
I am a firm adherent of “disengagement”. I do not necessarily see myself as a part of the bus just because I occasionally ride on it. My thought for today is the difference between being prepared to die for what you believe, and being prepared to kill for what you believe.
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell
Apr 17, 2020 Orwell’s final warning – Picture of the future
George Orwell Final Words
Jun 7, 2013 George Orwell 1984 Newspeak
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words…”
I won’t pretend this is relevant, though it may be. When I was a kid (I’m now 76) and TV had just entered the picture, I had no problem understanding the “unreality” of what I was watching.
But, when I saw a movie for the first time on TV (it was a Jack Benny movie from at least 10 years prior), not even my grandmother (who I depended on for real “truth”) could make be understand the concept of watching something from 10 years ago in real time. I absolutely could not grasp it for some reason.
A ghost within a ghost was just beyond my comprehension.
These are the days of empires ending;
Of hopes now exhausted;
Of lonely winds fleeting-
Winds cold like the breath of Persephone, whistling-
That turn us to ash as the clouds pass us over.
Poor Persephone- half alive and half dead; half in the light and half in the dark; daughter of the harvest and queen of hell.
It’s just that she couldn’t resist.
Thanks, Ed. A perfect peace for morning insomnia. 😉
Thanks to you.
Thanks Ed, for yet another brilliant article. Keep the Faith – there are many people worldwide fighting back, for human rights and human dignity https://docs4opendebate.be/en/open-letter/
Darrell, Yes, those fighting back are growing in numbers. Hope lives! Ed
If, like the quote at the end of the article, you are disparaged by the so-called alternative media, then your media isn’t alternative enough yet. If you really want to know what is going on, listen to Bashar / David Anka, Marina Jacobi (whose channelings talked about a coming virus btw), Tina Louise Spalding, Dick Allgire, Barbara Marciniak, Kryon, and others, yes, even including David Icke. Read the Seth Material. Yes it is true we don’t really have democracy. Yes it is true that there is a level of power above what we think of as the government. Buy some land and plant a garden. Get a manual pump on your well. Those are the real acts of defiance.
until weextinuish the culture of Hitlerian militarism,wewill forever be engulfed by themyth of progress
“Behind the Curtin” would be funnier.
How the media online and offline has influenced our behavior towards each other that our behavior is becoming predictable. I ask myself, “Am I the only one who is noticing?”
Today I found out by the help of a faceless female shopper in the grocery store that I was going the wrong way. Apparently you can be going the wrong way in the grocery store if you aren’t following the nicely laid out red arrows on the floor giving you the constant directions of how we are supposed to behave.
Have we become so frozen with fear of Covid-19 that we are behaving like machines and auto-correcting anyone who steps out line and isn’t following the rules of the new normal.
I never considered myself the type to follow the norm, despite the computer graphics schooling I have. For a computer will never have a Soul no matter how much artificial intelligence it develops.
In these difficult times I feel I have found myself, despite the disillusionment that is being forced upon us by Elite.
Until we extinguish Hitlerian war, we will forever be engulfed by the myth of progress
Interesting response. I ask how would we extinguish Hitlerian war? There’s already protesting happening in Canada, London, Berlin, U.S., Ireland, France and a few other countries. But the disillusioned still out ways the few who are awake. (“To seek the truth will set you free.”) Also, we don’t need any more machine, biological, and chemical wars; we already have enough of those going around the world right now. “To live by the sword is to die by the sword.”
Ye olde Red and Green arrows. Eh? The notion that there is one way to shop is so absurd, on top of the idea that any virus keeps a measuring tape to check whether its close enough. Its all theater
Sometimes weird times brings us to our senses – despite the disillusionment, or maybe because of it. Pax, Ed
The Iron Cage, The Portable Phonograph and The Birds
“Mechanized petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance”
What we are stuck in is The Portable Phonograph, 1941 and The Birds, 1963; and what was ‘perfected’ betwixt in this generation.
Whatever that setting actually was [and remain in contemporary imagination], in The Portable Phonograph, it express destitute.
Written on heels of Great Depression.
It feel like somewhere in midwest, a bitterly cold day into night.
In that place, no scenery historically for actual nuclear war or a catastrophic one. That is one of the rubs for me, in terms of explication [excepting Indian/native American wars].
Also, the minimalist interaction in this short story put in relief the banning, now of any even minimalist interaction. . . .at point of gun and jailed, enforced.
The Birds and the Horror of the women become mentally gone, from the terror of The Birds.
We are that woman; we are being pecked and pecked and pecked.
We have not done away with the real world.
Animals live in it and do their best to thrive, domestic and wild ones.
We are animals and live in it and are more domesticated and more and more and more domesticated.
And tortured, the new torture, in this crime still in progress. Forced Alienation.
Actual post modernism.
[that negates modernism by substituting alien ideologies — or call this synthetic or symbolic reality, this, in place of concrete reality]
What Weber missed — in his assumptions about rationality, including instrumental rationality [ideal-typology] . . . — The Eclipse of Reason; and rise of Faith Based Pre-Enlightenment “Thought”.
[[[No one knows who will live in this cage (Gehäuse) in the future, or whether at the end of this tremendous development entirely new prophets will arise, or there will be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or, if neither, mechanized petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance. For the “last man” (letzten Menschen) of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: “Specialist without spirit, sensualist without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of humanity (Menschentums) never before achieved” [Weber 1904–05/1992, 182: translation altered].]]]
Perhaps Eros and Civilization written today would begin:
“Sigmund Freud’s proposition that civilization is based on the permanent subjugation of the human instincts [and the banning and outlawing at point of gun and going to jail of actual and direct social interaction] has been taken for granted.
“His question whether the suffering thereby inflicted upon individuals has been worth the benefits of culture has not been taken too seriously — the less so since Freud himself considered the process to be inevitable and irreversible . . . .”
Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony is a road map in.
Whether it is a road map out, too? . . . seeing in can allow us to see out.
Marx understood where technologoy run amok was taking the life of man.
In Capital: “the conscious technical application of science, the planned exploitation of the soil, the transformation of the means of labor into forms in which they can only be used in common, the economising of all means of production by their use as the means of production of combined, socialized labor, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and, with this, the growth of the international character of the capitalist regime.”
I’ve been having similar thoughts and worries as yours, dear Edward.
Though things have become so overwhelming it’s even difficult to know how to begin with. It feels as though one thread leads to another, endlessly, without forming any coherent pattern.
For example: the relation between this STEM glorification and the neglect-demeaning of History, Geography, Sociology etc. It’s a pungent problem.
At any rate, I would say… the existence of older people such as you, who’ve had a classical education before it was systematically dumbed down is very important.
I’ve been noticing a trend that comes especially from the United States: a form of anti-educational technicism. Which is even more worringly becoming the global Zeitgeist. With the rise of China, these issues will become even more latent. But at any rate, hopefully, no one will take this to mean any form of confrontation between them… we ought to find the best of East and West. A certain global elite would like to mix the worst of them.
For those of us who’ve grown up with a classical education, and understand its value, a person is not a machine, and no “necessities of the market”, “efficiency”, should dictate what every human being in a healthy society should learn.
Definite answers are hard to come by. But I’m confident there are many of us.
If you wish to, do pay a visit to my blog. It’s been missing comments.
I will, Leo. Thanks.
(“There were 6,954.7 emails in my in-box from the past three years. In those three years, I had performed all my duties scrupulously and hadn’t missed a beat. Someone showed me how to delete the emails, which I did without reading any, but I had entered the labyrinth.”) – And indeed the “labyrinth” is – “the end of reality.”
The ‘labyrinth’ is a place where as you point out Ed the amazing and the impossible and contradictory happen daily. A place where the deadly ‘Russian designed’ nerve agent ‘Novichok’ can be rubbed on “door knobs and beer glasses, and put in perfume bottles” (take your pick) without killing it’s victims – and where subsequently MI6 can simply disappear those inconvenient ‘undead victims’ into the ‘labyrinth’ – and yet not a single soul in Western MSM will show the slightest interest in where they (the Skripals) might have disappeared to – and god forbid that anyone might wonder aloud it they might still remain among the – ‘undead.’
‘6,954.7 emails’ – I needed a smile amidst all this madness, and now I’ll grin about that one every time I think of it Ed.
Gary – Thanks for getting it. Ed
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