Monday, June 23, 2014

On The Topic of Dystopics

We live in a dystopia, don't we? A world spinning wildly out of control, governments veering crazily this way and that, secret interests and cabals undermining and subverting them -- and us -- for their own gain, arbitrary impositions of authority rampant, summary executions routinized, powerlessness inculcated in the Rabble from birth until untimely death.

The world as it is.

Not the world as it is becoming. The world as it is.

Those of us with an eye toward history and a modicum of critical thinking skills have witnessed this slow-motion dystopia forming in our midst for a generation or perhaps somewhat more. We can if we choose trace its origins to conscious rejections of parental values by the young. It happened globally as my generation came of age in the 1960s, though the consequences we see all around us, becoming more and more severe for the multitudes daily, were never intended. At least not consciously.

Now there is such a generational split between the young of today and their not-so-much older elders, let alone between today's young and the abuelos that there is no way to turn back, and there may be no way forward, either. The ultimate impasse?

I don't know. I was reminded of the kind of split between generations, and between peoples, is developing rapidly, when I watched this video out of Ukraine, Kiev I believe, posted yesterday at The Saker (or was it Graham Phillips? There are so many, and it's so easy to lose track when you're not researching for scholarly journals. No, it wasn't Graham as he is taking his ease in Brazil at the moment, writing about the World Cup and Mariupol, May 9, 2014. Back to that anon...)

The video in question:

What we see here, I think, encapsulates what's going on in many regions overseas, the dynamics involved, and who the participants are. What are they fighting? What are they fighting for?

And yes, what's going on overseas is very much a part of what's going on here in the USofA. Some of it is being generated and led by American interests and is supported by American power. The upshot is that it's easier to see what's going on when viewed from a distance. It's more difficult to get a full picture when you're in the midst of it.

There's a mob, a rightist mob, a Ukrainian "Pravy Sektor" mob,  in the video; note their youth. Note it well. They are as young as my grandchildren or even great-grandchildren if I had any, but in many ways I'm thankful I don't. I would hate to think the young I spawned had turned out like this...

I wrote about the "Pravy Sektor" -- the Right Sector -- in Ukraine months ago when it became clear to me that the uprising/coup in Kiev was being implemented with considerable violence and under the leadership and direction of...someone... whose interests were not those of the People. Just the opposite. This was a rightist uprising, close kin to the Nazi rebellion in Germany back in the day.

Yes, the Nazis were rebels. And they were mostly, at the time, young.

What's happening in Ukraine is emblematic of the consequences of decades of intense social and political conditioning and propaganda, led from the United States, with the intention of overthrowing and eliminating the last remnants of the Socialist/Communist economy and ideology in the West and throughout the world.

Rightist mobs, such as we see in the video, are just one of the tactics employed to ensure and enable the desired and approved outcome.

In the case of Ukraine, the target is Russia and all things Russian, not because the contemporary Russia has done anything in particular but because it exists at all. Of course there is history between Ukraine and Russia -- and particularly between Ukraine and the Soviet Union, the successor to Imperial Russia, and the state which birthed "Ukraine" as a political entity. "Ukraine SSR" even had a separate seat in the UN General Assembly during the Cold War, in addition to that of the Soviet Union, a seat provided by the Soviets in Moscow in recognition of Ukraine's cultural and social independence.

Ukraine as it exists today, in other words, is a creation of the Soviet Union -- the "grandparent" political entity which no longer exists. The "grandparent," in this case, is dead. The Russia which has taken its place is something of a cousin, perhaps, of Ukraine, but one that is psychically more akin to the great-grandparent, the parent of the Soviet Union, the Imperial Russia of the Tsars, under which "Ukraine" wasn't even a concept. And that may be part of the psychological underpinning of the current mob reaction to "Russia" -- which is both an image of the past and a loathed and feared image of a dystopian future.

Something the young do not want and cannot abide. In order for them to live, in other words, they must destroy the Old Order. They must be seen -- in their own eyes and the eyes of the world -- to destroy it. Thus the destructive mobs in Kiev and the so-called "anti-terrorist" operations in the South and East. The image is that of the young overthrowing and destroying the old.

So. We see a mob of mostly young people attack the Russian embassy in Kiev. We see the mob attack a Russian Orthodox church in Kiev. We see the mob attack a Russian bank in Kiev. We even see the replacement of the old spelling and pronunciation of (Russian) Киев "Kiev" with the modern (Ukrainian) Київ "Kyiv" -- though many news outlets in Ukraine continue to use the Russian spelling.

But... why must they do this?

What are they really destroying, and what do they think they will gain?

It might help to understand that they're living in a dystopian nightmare, one that is only partially of their own imagination.

Ukraine is poor, deliberately and cynically impoverished by outright pillage and policies of foreign interests, both Russian and Euro-American, though primarily oligarchic -- which has become the globalist interest.

Being poor but proud and independent is psychologically rewarding. Being poor but exploited and dependent is not. That's the basic psychology of what's going on. Younger Ukrainians see themselves as poor, exploited and dependent -- on Russia (or their grandparents). Freedom and liberation is seen in turning away from -- even destroying -- Russia and Russian influence, and turning toward Europe and America, even if they are further impoverished, exploited and made dependent. It doesn't matter, so long as they get to make the choice, or seem to. In other words, so long as they believe they are "independent" of ties to the past, independent of their parents and grandparents.

Their current dystopia may be spurring their rebellion, but their solution is another dystopia, quite likely a worse one for themselves, and most definitely a worse future for the "grandparents" whom they despise and whom they would destroy.

What's happening in Ukraine is a starker version of rightist uprisings against the "grandparents" that we're seeing in many places. It echoes in some ways the uprisings that convulsed the 1960s, but like the Chinese Cultural Revolution, many of the rightist rebellions of today are consciously instigated and manipulated by the very interests the young think they are rebelling against.

We saw this phenomenon over and over again during the Arab Spring -- rebellions that inspired rebellions in the United States, first in Wisconsin (ostensibly against the rightists installed in the Statehouse) and then throughout the country in the Occupy movement (ostensibly against the power of Wall Street).

I followed the Arab Spring rebellions with hope and joy, and when so many people came to occupy the Wisconsin State Capitol in rebellion against the rightist dystopians who had were in power, I cheered them on, and at times became so emotional at what I was witnessing -- or thought I was seeing -- that I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Later, when Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots arose, more or less spontaneously, I enthusiastically joined in and participated in the rebellion, as did many of my peers and contemporaries... We may have been Old Farts, but somehow we felt kinship with the young rebels in the streets and squares who would have to carry on... This was The Revolution, or so it seemed.

Later, I would realize that all these movements, global movements, were not The Revolution itself, especially not Occupy, they were the precursors of Revolutions yet to come. The ground was being prepared. The alternatives to the present dystopia were being explored. But no real Revolution had yet come.

When the military coup in Egypt commenced last year the elected government was overthrown and thousands and thousands of Egyptians were shot down in the streets and thousands and thousands more were rounded up and disappeared -- and the United States and "the world" looked on bemused or disinterested when not actually supportive -- the pattern and practice of suppression of the Rabble in the future was pre-figured and ordained. This would be our future if we persisted in rebellion. Make no mistake.

"Rebellion" was to be the sole provenance of... whom?

Not those who sought a better future for the downtrodden many, at least not if the Egyptian model was any indication. For the many, an increasingly harsh dystopia would be the only alternative.

For the few, on the other hand, there would be endless bounty.

Many have come to recognize the pattern of increasingly harsh impositions of authority on the many, increasing benefits and bounty to the few, as a reaction to the reality of climate change, a reality which will, it is widely believed, lead to the near-extinction -- if not the complete extermination -- of the human race. Our Betters are simply greasing the skids, if you will.

That may be. I have no idea. Climate change is obvious and real, and I know we're supposed to become activists to do something about it, but I've felt for some time that we are well beyond the Tipping Point, and what will be, will be. Extinction or nearly so? Perhaps, but I tend to doubt it. Belief that extinction is inevitable unless we do something NOW! NOW! NOW! in the loving embrace of... who? Doing what? Unless we agree to be stampeded into... what... we're all going to die? What kind of bullshit is this? It's not a denial of climate change, it is more a refusal to be stampeded into some sort of Other "No Alternative Dystopia".  Our Betters, after all, are looking out for themselves, not for you and me. Whatever they want us to do is to protect them and theirs, not to comfort the masses.

They'd much rather dispose of the masses. In bulk.

Which, if predictions are borne out, climate change may take care of sooner rather than later.

As conditions deteriorate for the Great Unwashed, they may become more and more inclined to rebellion and revolution, but as we saw many years ago now, such rebellious instincts is generally turned against one's own rather than against those who are responsible for exploitation and suppression. Put another way, rebellion and revolution, when it comes, tends to come from the Right not the Left -- such of the Left as remains at any rate.

Rightist mobs rampage at will in Kiev, rightist death squads roam at will in the Donbass and along the Black Sea coast. Ukrainian oligarchs literally rule and determine who will die and how soon.

Indian rightists are triumphant in recent elections and immediately set about a neo-liberal program to the benefit of the oligarchic class.

Rightist mobs (and their oligarchic sponsors) attempt to overthrow elected and more-or-less popular governments wherever they show the least interest in social and economic justice.

Within days, within weeks, and certainly within months, such governments are overthrown by "popular" will, and anyone who says otherwise is liable to not wake up the next morning.

In the United States, people who don't fit certain relatively flexible definitions of social norms are routinely subjected to summary executions by police. This has become the primary issue in cities like Albuquerque where police misconduct has been allowed -- required? -- to reach the point where the people must rise up and demand change. Change that is slow to come, or may not come at all.

There are times when I think the DoJ's job in these instances is to protect the police and The Powers That Be from  the wrath of the people, not to rein in an out of control and unaccountable police force.

In the end, of course, the people are conditioned to accept what otherwise would be a completely unacceptable set of circumstances -- on the basis of Ol' Maggie Thatcher's dictum that "there is no alternative."

Our Rulers set us on this path decades ago, and there is no going back, nor is the a forward that accommodates the public interest, social good, community, and so on.

This is our dystopia.

This is now.

Building a better future requires envisioning alternatives to what is, imagining what can and will be. "A better world is possible," to be sure. Those who can are finding ways to achieve that Better World one baby step at a time.

This envisioning process was part of what was happening in Albuquerque over the weekend, and it is going on in cities and rural communities all over the country and the world. It's a necessary transformative process that can take a generation or more to mature. Our Rulers sought to nip it in the bud with the suppression of Occupy, but they failed. The seeds that were planted then have germinated, some have flowered, a few have spread seed of their own.

People of good will have managed to free themselves from worse situations than our own. Those who rule us are not so very bright nor so very willing to sacrifice themselves that it can't happen again.

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