Article 43


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Where’s The Revolution?

image: american dream is over

Thoughtlessness has become something that now occupies a privileged, if not celebrated, place in the political landscape and the mainstream cultural apparatuses. The result is a social system overly invested in ethical ignorance and a public sphere, dumbed to the value of an enlightened and democratic body politic.
- Culture of Stupidity

In our social connections, we Americans are not doing much better. We cannot necessarily TURN TO A FRIEND in an emotional emergency, no less turn to them to BORROW MONEY. Families also can no longer necessarily help. They too live on the brink. Americans are increasingly ISOLATED. According to Robert Putnams book Bowling Alone (2009), there are fewer Americans connected to any group at all from PTAs to blood drives to political organizations than were in bowling leagues alone in 1970. Unfortunately, social and personal isolation is now worse.
- Awakening Part 12

Jenny Chan, Mark Selden, and Pun Ngai spent a decade conducting undercover research at Foxconn’s major manufacturing sites in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Shanghai, Kunshan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin, Langfang, Taiyuan, and Wuhan for their book DYING FOR AN IPHONE: APPLE, FOXCONN, AND THE LIVES OF CHINESE WORKERS. What they describe is an Orwellian dystopia, one where global corporations have perfected the techniques for a disempowered work force.  These vast worker cities are little more than labor penal colonies. Yes, it is possible to leave, but to incur the ire of the bosses, especially by speaking out or attempting to organize, is to be blacklisted for life throughout China’s archipelago of industrial centers and cast to the margins of society or often prison.
- Moden Day Slavery

“People ask me all the time why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society - given that middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, and almost all the economic gains are going to the top. The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out: (1) The working class is paralyzed with fear it will lose the jobs and wages it already has, and its major vehicle for organizing itself - labor unions - have been decimated; (2) students (who have been in years past a force for social change) are laden with debt and face a lousy jobs market, and don’t want to rock the boat; and (3) the American public has become so cynical about government (in large part due to Republican tactics) that many no longer believe reform is possible.”
- Robert Reich, 2014


If Everything Sucks, Where’s the Revolution?
How We Got Conditioned Into Accepting Dystopia

By Umair Haque
October 12, 2021

Here’s a tiny question. Why is it that the future of the human race, the planet, democracy, life itself is ON THE LINE RIGHT NOW - and there’s not a revolution anywhere in sight?

Take a glimpse at the headlines. Today they were so dystopian even I held my head in pain. A brief smattering? Trump’s back in action - and Biden’s sinking in the polls. The Democrats can’t get a thing done. China’s building more coal plants. Brits, thanks to the colossal stupidity of Brexit, still can’t get gas, food, milk, medicine - but nobody’s supposed to talk much about it. Billionaires got trillions richer, while millions are dead of a preventable plague. Shall I go on?

We’re hammered, you and I, with dystopia. It rains down on us daily like a deluge. FASCISM, climate change, BOUNTY HUNTERS CHASING WOMEN IN TEXAS, the Taliban back in power, nature being annihilated, the seasons changing into things we don’t have words for, whole regions of the globe becoming Fire and Flood and Plague Belts.

You’d think, given all that, that people would be fed up. That they’d be clamouring for transformation - not just “change,” whatever that even means, but profound, deep, lasting transformation. To institutions, constitutions, norms, values, these things we thoughtlessly call “lifestyles.”

You’d think, given the sheer scale of dystopia thundering down on us, that it’d be an Age of Revolution. But… it’s not. Instead, its an Age of indifference, of apathy, of resignation, fatalism, futility. It’s an Age of Paralysis, an age of Pacification, instead of a Revolution.

Something is very, VERY WRONG with that. That isn’t remotely normal. When people are pushed to the brink - like we are, and I mean everything from countries to generations - normally, they push back. But… we don’t. Throughout history, peasants have revolted when pushed too far. France, Russia, Britain. Ages of Revolutions have been a constant theme throughout history. WHY AREN’T we pushing back? Why are we just accepting dystopia fatalistically, instead of revolting against it?

Sorry, but I don’t just mean “voting for Joe Biden.” I mean actually revolting. For better structures and systems and institutions and values and norms. I mean disobeying the corrupt, corroded systems and structures which have failed us, ripping them down, and building better, fairer, truer ones. I mean really pushing back.

Here we are, at humanity’s most crucial juncture - the planet is dying, our polities are melting down, our societies do not function anymore - and there are no revolutions. Not even a hint or a trace of one. The next decade or two is going to decide the fate of us for centuries, probably millennia. Will we have a planet to live on? Societies to belong to? Or will we just plunge into a new Dark Age?

We are going down without a fight - and yet we live in one of history’s most critical moments.

That is profoundly, deeply weird. It says that somehow, something broke us. Right down in the mind, the spirit, the will to live, endure, grow. What is that something?

First, let me put a name to this weird phenomenon of living-in-one-of-history’s-most-dystopian-moment yet were going down without a fight, not a revolution anywhere in sight. Let’s call it the Great Paralysis. Somethings numbed us. Paralysed us. Pacified us.

A Chomskyite might call it “manufactured consent,” but I’d go further than that. Let me explain.

I think whats paralyzed us is the brutal combination of technology and capital.

Let me focus for a moment on young people. The last time the world went dystopian, young people responded fiercely. I’m thinking of the hippies of the 60s, the love children. Their intense focus on love and peace was a direct consequence of growing up in the ashes of world war.

Today, they’re derided. “Hippie” is a insult. But it shouldn’t be. Because young people back then believed in truly noble and earth-shaking goals. Like, yes, world peace and an end to war and violence and equality for all peoples and nations.

Did they make it happen? The answer that’s often given is that they didn’t. But that answer is wrong. The peace movements of the 60s had a massive impact. They were responsible, if not solely, than at least pretty critically, for everything from the passage of everything from civil rights to what would become, in the 1980s, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Those flower children grew up - at least some of them - and really did begin to end war, violence, hunger, and poverty.

It’s a foolish myth to imagine that the massive growth in consciousness which happened in the 60s resulted in nothing, that all those hippies just grew up to become boomers. They didn’t. Many of them went on to do genuinely beautiful and world-changing things, whether at the United Nations, or as civil rights advocates, or as gay rights lawyers, and so forth.

Now let’s think about young people today. They have no goals whatsoever. I don’t mean personal goals. I mean generational ones. In the same way that we could have said that young people in the 60s believed - not all of them, just at the average - in the end of violence, war, hunger, and so forth, today, we can’t say young people believe in or aspire to anything as a generation.

Sure, Greta and Malala are trying to get them to. But by and large, you don’t see young people on the streets every day shouting that they still need a planet to live on, or societies that work, or just lives that don’t end in dystopian ruin. Yes, it happens once in a while, but it’s not a generational, feeling, norm, rule, sentiment. We don’t think of Zoomers and Millennials as revolutionaries - but just the opposite: as poor kids who are caught like deer in the headlights of an approaching freight train, except this is the express train to global collapse.

So why arent young people more revolutionary? Again, that’s not some kind of “kids today” jeremiad - its just a fact. The fascists protest more and harder than the youths - whether anti-vaxxers or the Jan 6thers. The reason, I think, is technology.

Let’s take the example of young women. What are they doing, if theyre not out there making a revolution happen? TheyҒre glued to Instagram. The statistics are horrific. Teens spend, on average, nine hours a day staring at screens - three of them on social media. The average TikTok user spends one and a half hours on the app.

What does Instagram do? It makes young women OBJECTIFY THEMSELVES. Their goal in life becomes to look like weird alien baby strippers. Sexualized objects made of filler and pout and plastic surgery. That is the only way to win the popularity game, because its what the algorithm - an algorithm controlled and reinforced by men twice, three, four times their age - rewards. The algorithm tells them what to eat, wear, say, think. They react obediently, because, well, you can’t fight an algorithm.

The result is that a generation of young women are being traumatised by a pedophilic, algorithmic male gaze. Of course they’re not out there revolting. They’re too busy being rewarded for sexualising themselves, and being punished when they don’t, with eating disorders and self-hate and loneliness and worthlessness.

What is tech teaching young women? That their real role models are “influencers” whose job in life is to look like baby strippers with alien demon plastic surgery faces. That is who they should aspire to be, and they should feel worthless if they can’t be that popular. This game is RIGGED by men for men, who “code” it, of course.

Young women are supposed to be baby strippers - not Malala and Greta.

See the problem here? Think of how many young women combined follow all those “infuencers,” whose only real job it is to degrade them into sexualization. Tens, hundreds of millions. Now think of why Malala and Greta can barely rouse a protest at the UN or Congress or wherever. You begin to see the problem. Way, way more young women are objectified by tech than are allowed, encouraged, incentivized, to care about the world they live in.

I want to make clear thats not a misogynistic insult. It is an observation about how the structures of patriarchy and capital control women. The “code: that teaches young women to be baby strippers, not Malala and Greta is literally owned by men. Written by men. Traded on “stock markets” by men. Patriarchy and capital batter young women with exploitation just as they always have - only this time, they use an algorithm, not a scarlet letter or a stone. Your place is virgin or whore. It’s to look pretty, but not too pretty. A woman’s job isn’t to think. And it’s certainly not to rebel.

Now lets think about young men. Why don’t they rebel, either? Well, TAKE A LOOK AT CULTURE TODAY. What passes for it is Marvel movies. A few generations ago, you had John Lennon singing about the end of war and violence and hunger forever to hundreds of millions and they believed in it. See the difference?

Young men today exist in a cultural matrix poisoned by the stupidity and greed of capital. Whats a young man told to be? Elon Musk, maybe. Or maybe some dumb Marvel movie hero. Save the world with your super-muscles! Young men grow up in a weird, abusive cultural matrix, which is only getting weirder. The ones that can’t make it, cant fit in, can’t get girls, don’t even become punks or nerds much anymore - they become incels. And then incels taunt each other into self-castration or massacring women. It’s super, super bad.

The plight of young men is, of course, the mirror image of that of young women. If young women are taught to be submissive, giggling, hypersexualized baby strippers - all vocal fry and filler - than young men are taught to be the muscled, mindless, “alpha male” bros who abuse and exploit them, and if they cant be that, then they’re worthless. The average young dude today couldnt tell you what happens at two, three, four degrees of climate change - because, like a young woman, he’s glued to a screen.

But what do young men do on their screens? Well, if young women are hypersexualizing themselves for an algorithmic male gaze, then young men are addicted to porn, violence, and greed. I know that makes me sound like Joel Osteen or something, but - well, think about it. 70% of men who watch porn are under the age of 24. There’s evidence that the age group that’s most likely to develop a porn addiction is THIRTEEN TO SIXTEEN years old.

Then there’s video games. Hey, I like a good video game as much as the next dude. But you can’t just play video games and not know a damned thing about global warming. Then theres the omnipresent Marvel Movie. A new one every month - none of which have any redeeming value in terms of making young men think about the world they actually live in at all, versus promoting the dumb fantasy that Real Men Have Super-Powers.

Tech in this way has pacified an entire generation. They should be out there in the streets, revolting. Instead, they’re glued to screens. And what screens do to young people, were beginning to find out, is incredibly depressing. Screen time crushes the soul, breaks the mind, paralysed the spirit. It pacifies - instead of sparks, enlightens, illiuminates, edifies.

That pacification is itself often traumatic. Young women aren’t happily pacified by Instaculture which teaches them that if they’re not baby stripper influencers, all giggles and submission, theyre worthless. It makes them depressed. But that is pacification too - the eradication of the will to revolt.

Men’s will to revolt, meanwhile, is pacified in a different way. You kill some dumb imaginary alien in a video game. You watch some dumb Marvel hero take on a super villain. Hey, wow! You feel betterfor a day or two. You go onto some forum where you can hate women, immigrants, minorities, anyone in your way - and you feel better. YouҒre egged on and encouraged by those just like you, trapped in a vicious circle of masturbatory catharsis. The will to revolt? Male culture is onanistic at this point, meaning, if you’re a young dude, and you’ve got porn, violence, and hate on tapwell, what need is there to revolt? Your will to revolt is going to eradicated by all those forms of masturbation long before it ever reaches a crescendo.

I know a lot of you won’t like reading the above. You’ll say: “What the hell is this dude on about?” And yet the fact, the problem, remains. This should be an Age of Revolution. Instead, it’s an Age of Paralysis. People - especially young people - should not be going down without a fight. But they are. And so something, my friends, needs to explain: what broke our spirits, minds, our will to revolt against the systems and structure which are hammering us over the heads with dystopia, every single day? Why is it that the future of the human race, the planet, democracy, life itself is on the line right now - and there’s not a revolution anywhere in sight?



Getting back to Robert Reich - the guy who believed fear was keeping the country from revolting for better jobs seven years ago....

The General Strike of 2021
By Robert Reich
October 13, 2021

On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that some 4.3 million people had quit their jobs in August. That comes to about 2.9 percent of the workforce up from the previous record set in April, of about 4 million people quitting.

All told, about 4 million American workers have been leaving their jobs every month since last spring.

Add this to last Friday’s jobs report showing the number of job openings at a record high. The share of people working or actively looking for work (the labor force participation rate) has dropped to 61.6 percent. Participation for people in their prime working years, defined as 25 to 54 years old, is also down. Over the past year, job openings have increased 62 percent.

WHAT’S HAPPENING? You might say American workers have declared a national general strike until they get better pay and improved working conditions.

No one calls it a general strike. But in its own disorganized way it’s related to the organized strikes breaking out across the land, Hollywood TV and film crews, John Deere workers, Alabama coal miners, Nabisco workers, Kellogg workers, nurses in California, healthcare workers in Buffalo.

Disorganized or organized, American workers now have bargaining leverage to do better.

After a year and a half of the pandemic, consumers have pent-up demand for all sorts of goods and services. But employers are finding it hard to fill positions.

This general strike has nothing to do with the Republican bogeyman of extra unemployment benefits supposedly discouraging people from working. Reminder: The extra benefits ran out on Labor Day.

Renewed fears of the Delta variant of COVID may play some role. But it can’t be the major factor. With most adults now vaccinated, rates of hospitalizations and deaths are way down.

Childcare is a problem for many workers, to be sure. But lack of affordable childcare has been a problem for decades. It cant be the reason for the general strike.

I believe that the reluctance of workers to return to or remain in their old jobs is mostly because they’re fed up. Some have retired early. Others have found ways to make ends meet other than remain in jobs they abhor. Many just don’t want to return to backbreaking or boring low-wage shit jobs.

The media and most economists measure the economy’s success by the number of jobs it creates, while ignoring the *quality* of those jobs. That’s a huge oversight.

Years ago, when I was Secretary of Labor, I kept meeting working people all over the country who had full-time work but complained that their jobs paid too little and had few benefits, or were unsafe, or required lengthy or unpredictable hours. Many said their employers treated them badly, harassed them, and did not respect them.

Since then, these complaints have only grown louder, according to polls. For many, the pandemic was the last straw. Workers are burned out, fed up, fried. In the wake of so much hardship, illness and death during the past year, they’re not going to take it anymore.

To lure workers back, employers are raising wages and offering other inducements. Average earnings rose 19 cents an hour in September and are up more than $1 an hour or 4.6 percent - over the last year.

Clearly, that’s not enough.

Corporate America wants to frame this as a “labor shortage.” Wrong. What’s really going on is more accurately described as a living-wage shortage, a hazard pay shortage, a childcare shortage, a paid sick leave shortage, and a health care shortage.Unless *these* shortages are rectified, many Americans wont return to work anytime soon. I say it’s about time.


Posted by Elvis on 10/14/21 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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