Re: [-empyre-] Do You Still Own Your Reality?

This was inspired by the intensity of Henry?s prose whose website is
certainly not ?lousy?: So much to cover?what to say?this is gonna make
someone angry?..To get down to it: There have always been empires. Since
Sargon of Akkad kicked the arses of the highlanders of Elam there has
always been one, occasionally a few but never many at one time. At the
moment it is the USA?tomorrow it will be someone else. Over a considerable
time the United States of America will ?shrivel and collapse? but it won?t
disappear. If the USA keeps buying all those cheap electronic goods from
the People?s Republic and getting that fat trade deficit fatter something
gotta give. I don?t think Kerry can really do anything about it. George W
is trying to preserve the system that made him and his family rich. The
system in fact that made the USA rich but it can?t last forever: ?time
stands still for no man?even is he has an army?. The economy is moving
east having headed west for the last 200 years it?s come a full circle as
a long time ago China was a very rich place.
But of course the Iraq war is about oil. If the United States really
wanted to spread some love and understanding in the world, depose
dictators and spread freedom why the hell don?t they do something about
Burma where children are being worked to death building railways in the
jungle. Maybe their border with China is why.

?The USA has ALWAYS been an expansionist, imperialist power.
When it first started, it had already slaughtered many thousands of native
Americans, and had material designs on lands west and south of its borders.?

Yea, we know? The butchering of neighbours and small peaceful groups of
culturally sophisticated but materially sparse hunter gathers or seasonal
agrarian nomads has been going on for a bloody long time. Almost all the
major powers have done it. But the thing is what are we going to do
instead? How are we going to turn the bloodthirsty greed and disregard for
anything other than our own groups material comfort and power over others
around to where states such as the USA really want to help others, even at
their own expense? We can sit at or computers philosophising on the future
but it isn?t worth nought because we are all dependant on the bloodshed,
greed and ?the devices of private interests? (isn?t that Microsoft?). The
forests and the oil and the coral are going because of the way we all have
to live to maintain the consumption society that we can?t live without.
Tonight the Nobel Peace prize was announced; Wangari Maathai won. Her
?husband divorced her in the 1980s, complaining that she was "too
educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to
But that?s were it starts in the home not in the electoral booth. Any sort
of revolution will begin with the way we treat each other in our daily
exchanges. If people stopped buying cars?the war in Iraq would probably be
much less profitable for those people who want to fight it and John Kerry
was one who voted for it.
Democracy is a tricky term. Maybe nobody has ever got it right. I also
really get upset about what the United States does in the interests of its
own foreign markets and resource reserves. But even Sweden, Denmark and
Holland (whom many people seem to think have some monopoly on social
welfare or something) have some dark secrets of their own when it comes to
racial dominance and exploitation (?Racial Hygiene? having been a popular
concept in the north of Sweden right up until the 1960?s, and the rubber
plantations of Indonesia were painful places to be under the Dutch, not to
mention the shit that is going down in Nigeria because Royal Dutch Shell
is doing so well there- that?s right Queen Beatrice owns 51% of the
company!). When I speak of the ?roots of democracy? in the USA I was
certainly not speaking about the political system, rather the social
ideals that sent European/Asian settles/invaders there in the first place.
Not every single person who immigrated was a bloodthirsty pirate, rather
there were ideals. How they manifest is always debatable but there is a
considerable body of literature to testify that they were at least taken
seriously by many. I have never set foot in the USA either so I am
speaking from a purely mediated position, however I do believe those today
in the United States do enjoy certain freedoms that are just dreamed about
in other countries. Not so much the freedom to eat yourself to death or
purchase a 12 cylinder automobile or an automatic assault rifle which I
understand do exist there also. Rather the idea that you can organise a
group of individuals and call yourself a union or a church or even (god
forbid) an arts collective and not be lobotomised for it (in most cases),
exiled or tortured to death.  I?ve met quite a few Americans lately who
are really worried about what is happening in your country and some have
even talked of immigration because of it. I understand your anger over my
idealist ramblings but I use to think a lot about the suffering my
ancestors inflicted on the indigenous people of Australia and one day a
friend, who happened to be German (they too have some experience in
bloodshed) said to me ?There is blood everywhere. From Siberia to Tasmania
there have been cruelties that one cannot imagine. Let?s start making a
change and let the dying die.?
The super states are coming to be because the resources dictate it as so.
Trade blocks evolve because of scarcity and prices. Hope feeds no one. We
must begin making a change in the home, the street, the family. Plant a
tree. Sell your car, Occupy an unused building. Paint a public mural. Take
over a radio station. Go and live in India, Chad or Thailand or China (and
stop paying you taxes to these warmongers) and teach, build houses, build
wells. JUST DO SOMETHING!!!! But voting alone ain?t gonna change it,
there?s only 49% of the United States population doing it anyway.
And watch out for those black russians man, they?ll kill you in the end:)

> I detest "top posting" but in this case, I'll make an exception, as I feel
> it will make sense...
> The Voices in my Head tell me that on 10/7/04 3:23 PM, James Barrett at
> wrote:
>> Go Jeff...I was wondering myself with an apparent 54 national elections
>> taking place around the world in 2004 (including next Saturday in my
>> homeland Australia) do we really need yet more opinions (be they satiric
>> or otherwise) on the United States' struggle to return to its democratic
>> roots (which I believe have not received moisture in a long time but I
>> think many of us are aware of that).
>> We need to create not mutate....
>> Jim
> OK. this just gets me mad, so rather than rant, I'll be as methodical as
> possible.
> Before I digress, some disclosure:
> I should let you know that I will be voting for Mr Kerry, for reasons that
> will become clearer later. I hope. I just had a couple of Black Russians
> and
> decided to wander the infobahn for a few before I crash.
> So, (at 215 lbs) I'm far from hammered, but I'm feeling...ummm... OK. Why
> such indulgence?
> is why.
> Now: down to business...
>> the United States' struggle to return to its democratic
>> roots (which I believe have not received moisture in a long time but I
>> think many of us are aware of that).
> WHAT on Bog's little green planet of clocks makes you think that this
> country was ever really interested in democracy? Return to WHAT? The
> original republic? Sure, and in 1776 the political franchise only mattered
> if you were white and male. Is that the democracy you're thinking that is
> worthy of return? By the time women were permitted to vote in 1920, the
> was already well on its way to Global Empire...
> Simple fact: The USA has ALWAYS been an expansionist, imperialist power.
> When it first started, it had already slaughtered many thousands of native
> americans, and had material designs on lands west and south of its
> borders.
> The mythology of "democratic roots" as something we can return to is
> purely
> illusory. Never existed.
> The USA is a de facto global Empire, a left over from the duopoly of the
> cold war's fatal marriage / pissing contest. The American Empire had more
> money and access to credit resources than the Soviet Empire and was able
> to
> leverage its income in such a way that the Soviet system of Statist
> Capitalism couldn't compete.
> In the meantime, China has returned to the world stage: a totalitarian
> capitalist disaster growing by leaps and bounds, while the American Empire
> teeters at the brink. This has the Chinese very nervous. A detailed
> discussion of this is here:
> The American Empire is divided: there are the neoliberals who desire for
> it
> to become Oceania sans Big Brother, and the neoconservatives who see the
> fall of the Soviet Union as a green light for planetary domination. Kerry,
> the neoliberal, Bush the neocon. Both are evil, but Kerry is decidedly
> less
> so, as he and his ilk are trying to steer the USA into the position of
> Oceania by way of NAFTA, only without the trappings of a police state.
> Kerry sees the Eurasian Model of the EU. The EU is different as it is an
> "opt in" model, where a country must qualify to join. NAFTA is more top
> down: ruling elites sign an agreement and the body politic must follow.
> EastAsia, aka China, is another thing altogether, and the link above
> explains their situation far better than I can.
> My intuition tells me that part of what al Qaeda is about is that it is a
> feeble and misguided at an Islamic superstate to compete with Eurasia and
> East Asia. The pawn in all this is the Indian Subcontinent.
> I dislike geo-politics, this endless chess game of elites - it tends to
> lead
> to the kind of conclusions that Pareto indicated with his theory of
> cycling
> elites. Unfortunately, history has borne his theory out, but I don't see
> it
> as a reason for embracing fascism (as he did), as much as it is a call to
> continuous resistance.
> Where there's a will, there's a won't.
> The problem is, with this particular election, if Bush gets elected, there
> may not be an election of 2008, and if there is and a democrat wins, the
> country will have been so deeply bankrupted and so much of its wealth
> offshored, that it will be simply left to shrivel and collapse, resulting
> in
> something very much like a civil war by 2012. Or: like another nation
> saddled with impossible debt, the USA could inflate its way out of debt by
> destroying its currency. This could easily happen - the first thing would
> be
> for OPEC to shift its measure of oil wealth to petroEuros from
> petroDollars.
> After that everything else would quickly drop in line.
> This threat to the USA some see as one of the reasons for the Iraq War.
> Here
> is a very detailed examination of this theory:
> I see the EU as too wobbly at present to be able to mount a credible
> threat
> to American Global Dominance, and besides, it's beside the point.
> The point is this: we live in a world where corporate (or in China,
> Statist/Corporate) elites dominate society. Some societies are more
> democratic and fair to their people (say, Sweden or Denmark or Holland)
> and
> some places less so (North Korea, Egypt, China, etc.) and most places lie
> somewhere in between. The fact is that these smaller entities are
> compelled
> to operate as larger entities (NAFTA, EU, ASEAN, etc.) in a global stage,
> and this is pushing them headlong into Orwellian superstates.
> This isn't *necessarily* bad: if the superstates are able to care for
> their
> people better than the former constituent states are, then the transition
> to
> superstates could be a good thing. But I'm not going to hold my breath to
> find out, as this is *exactly* where the left is failing the most: as
> these
> superstates are being organised by transnational elites, resistance to
> their
> excesses must be brought to bear and be at the table when the pie gets
> cut.
> Otherwise, the elites will simply leave none for the masses, and those who
> resist will simply be destroyed by daisy cutters, or, more likely, thin
> threads of support will be given: just enough to keep the body going:
> three
> hots and a cot.
> The nation that slaughtered the Indians, the nation that invaded Canada,
> Mexico, declared war on Spain for its Pacific possessions, aided the
> europeans in the destruction of China, that has continuously undermined
> governments that it finds the least bit troublesome, the nation that
> instituted the barest minimum social security benefits to prevent a
> workers
> revolution, that drops nuclear bombs on a prostrate enemy, that killed
> almost 60,000 of its own people for a pointless war in Vietnam, that
> helped
> Salvadore Allende to become the first democratically elected leader to
> shoot
> himself in the back with a submachine gun from forty paces (pausing only
> once to reload), this nation that broke countless international laws
> mining
> the harbours of Managua, overturning the governments of Iran, Indonesia,
> guatemala, and recently attempted such in Venezuela, this NATION where the
> richest 400 families possess more wealth than 20 nations in Africa, HAS
> NEVER BEEN democractic. Ever. So get over it.
> Democracy in America is "a something to hope for". It is not "a root to
> return to." The sooner we get over that little mythology, the better.
> And THAT is why it is important to vote for Kerry. Not because he's such a
> great guy, but because we need to move the nation to a point where the
> Democratic party is seen as the Right Wing nightmare it is, and truly
> progressive voices can get a place at the table when the political
> machinery
> of Oceania is developed in the not so distant future. If left to the
> devices
> of private interests, there will be no political development of Oceania,
> and
> the entire nation will simply resolve into the backwater of itself.
>>> How can artists "inform" during the political process? What are all of
>>> you
>>> doing as part of your art practice? Just curious to know who all of you
>>> are on this list.
> Political art is problematic. At some point it ceases being art (a way to
> address the sublime) and becomes propaganda (a way to convince people of
> an
> idea).
> My lousy website (that I am re-designing at present) is here:
> HW
> I'm so wired right now, I need another black Russian... later...
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

Doctoral student, Umeå University
The Department of Modern Languages/English
 +46 (0)90 786 6584

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