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Enjoyed listening, thanks for the efforts towards getting more towards genuine work towards “more perfect union in US”
Perhaps we / people will learn in a few more years or generations to self govern / with less fear mongering, border & wall fixations so much / so well that global cyclic “gov” & “edu” as we’ve largely known them to largely promote oppressive domination or appeasement of “empire” building, towards that….. more positive towards revolution in USA, US grown, US assembled and sewn (US) hemp flags (again now, more popular than plastic and whatnot commodifications / monetizations so frequently plundering and littering ecology / us / planet).
The comments on (creating) resiliency of community are great.
Defunding most of fema (And, military offensive approaches too), putting resources towards building / promoting resiliency from soil, perma agriculture, to modern non-fossil fuel non-etablisment/crony-corp based infrastructures). Fema, if exists, should be more like (In long run much less costly, more effective and healthy) a citizen based gao of emergencies offering logistics mgmt oversight towards healthy, eco conscious basics during emergency, and people / ecology (not corporate $$$$$ minded) ensuring basis for healthy rebuilding and when needed legal & justice oversight. The emphasis as you both highlighted, is proactive, before worsening disasters, eco conscious community building.
(My previous rambling comments, more than welcome to delete)
(Oops, that is, I wrote response to the long comment in **below**)
Problem with “capitalism” is, once addicted (for some people 1 gumball, for some 1 paycheck, for some 520 paychecks), that people get neural paths rutted, heart & teeth rotted, competing for who has most of “stuff” and or living/dying with fear / shackles’ always needing one more paycheck to afford “key” (sometimes true key of basics to live healthy enough lives).. to afford key to unlock one’s shackles….. as primary motivator.
“Why, for example, is there no powerful mass movement in response to the (rather obvious) march towards fascism?”
(Question in long comment above)
Part of answer: the “1%” has “their” 10% sales force that has their 20% sales force that has their 30% sales force that has their 20% sales force… and half of whats left waivers yet sticks with being on the sales force’s chain gang for hopes of crumbs falling from the table of frequently oligarch & fascist often dedicated players — the other either being dedicated & genuine resistence, or the doped up cheerleaders, or our walking near dead very near dead, though perhaps more glimmers of potential than the upper most sales forces (dnc demgop types).
Well, need to get back to listening as this sounds very enlightening. Keep up with / working towards regenerative & organics while being positive in great voice and actions ~ thank you ~
A Deep and Abiding Concern,
Dear Eleanor and Lee,
Apologies for the long post. My internet access is the shits; and hell, it’s your fault for inspiring me to write!
I was very glad to hear your latest podcast where you spent some time addressing the issue of staying positive in these
very difficult times.
I feel this is crucial if we’re to see a decisive shift in the political landscape.
You made some good suggestions; but if I may say, I think you just touched the surface, and I’d like to offer some
comments in the hopes of encouraging you to explore this more in the future.
In essence, you both offered ideas for staying positive, (namely, the 7 C’s: cats, comedy, creativity, ice-cream, copulation, crown-royal; crucially,
you forgot to mention coffee). What I’d like to focus on is the context of “WHY we’re in this (depressing) situation.”
Why, for example, is there no powerful mass movement in response to the (rather obvious) march towards fascism?
Why do we – who trust our capacity to THINK, to analyze objective reality – feel so isolated? so at-odds with most of the
online community? Or why is the vast majority either unable to take off their Repugnican/Demoncrat blinkers? or in some kind of silent bubble?
I mean, it goes beyond propaganda, right? Our loneliness, sadness, looming-sense-of-doom is a fact formed from
objective social conditions.
Until we answer these questions, then our attempts to “stay positive” will only go so far.
Your audience will continue being inspired by your work; yet it will, I think, resound as a positive example amidst a sea of shit – a larger
reality sucking the life out of the message.
It seems pretty clear that what we might call the ‘radical left’ perspective is steadily losing ground. (Yes, there’s always room for hope,
and breakthroughs do tend to come at the darkest time, but…)
As you say Lee, we may resolve to “get in a few punches as we go down” – which is another way of admitting we’ve basically
lost; which again, gets kudos for courage but not much inspiration to act.
As the anti-fascist psychologist Wilhelm Reich long ago said, “The masses go where they see strength.”
To put this another way: you guys are already spending great amounts of time examining the hows and whys of our condition; but if you
were to discuss these conditions with a focus on its’ effect on us, we might find something rather startling, something that can
turn our pain into a point of empowerment.
i.e., If we take the time to explain to people WHY this is happening, now, (historically) – how this is COULD be a rather temporary
condition – and that the rising reactionary wave is actually an expression of Elite DESPERATION – then we can empower people to
make certain emotional/intellectual adjustments and prepare for a profound change-to-come… with confidence, a growing sense
of STRENGTH, momentum.
Lee, you’ve alluded to this in passing many times when you speak of “late-stage capitalism”; and I think we need to
expand upon this.
With me so far?
Let’s address the most obvious question first.
Why is there no significant mass movement?
The principle reason is state violence. They have literally made peaceful protest ‘unlawful.’
Although the “Occupy” movement had its’ shortcomings, it was brought down BY FORCE. Standing-Rock was brought down BY
FORCE; and we can go back through every major movement since 2001 and see the brute fist of the state breaking heads and
Yes, it was not violence alone; for in the early days, Zuccoti Park protesters endured enormous repression, and their numbers only
GREW, (same for Standing-Rock). What had changed in the meantime is that the public had lost interest in the movement, (or was
in a state of shock after Trump’s election). The protesters felt the internal discord combined with the public fatigue, and they
started to retreat, whereupon the state attacked.
(We needn’t go into the other element – internal provocateurs, blac-bloc incendiaries – which also played a crucial role).
In short, vast numbers of activists/protesters have come to FEAR going into the streets, and/or lost faith in the capacity of
those protests to produce a positive result.
That’s the first question; and although the above SHOULD be obvious to informed people, I think it bears continual reminding – especially
for young people coming onto the scene who will tend to think of todays’ conditions as ‘normal.’
Otherwise, we’re want to think that ‘people just don’t care,’ or ‘there’s no mass desire for serious social change.’
No. Our present (depressed) condition is a reflection of tremendous Elite Power, (in the short-term) and our inability to connect
with the masses, (in the longer term).
So, if our present weakness is largely a reflection of Elite power, let’s look at this power-structure.
CorpRat monopoly: 5-6 companies OWN the media landscape; the oiligarchy, (or, Dictatorship of the Petrol-atariat); the Military;
alphabet-soup of ‘intelligence’ agencies penetrating every organization outside my Grandma’s sewing-circle, (she’s militant about
vetting); and the Big Banks.
Basically, they’ve WON the commanding heights of the political-economic landscape – including media and culture; where, they
simply print a bunch of money to isolate and overwhelm any independent voice, (i.e., some such voices still exist, of course, but
the way things are going…)
So on the one hand, their power is quite breathtaking; but what is the source of their power?
Wealth/money, traditionally obtained as ‘profit’ through the process of industrial production, (Capitalism).
This is the means by which the Elite pays off the class of administrators, (politicians, bureaucrats, judges) and enforcers, (cops, military,
organized crime) to keep the rest of us in line. Without it, they’re done.
The problem with Capitalist ‘profit’ is that it has a two-fold, contradictory nature: on the one hand, it comes from ‘cheap,’ (unpaid)
labor, (en masse); on the other, through technical, (mechanical) innovation which dramatically expands production, cheapening
cost-per-item, thereby grabbing larger sales and market-share.
The problem with this mechanical ‘profit’ expansion is that it’s TEMPORARY: so soon as that innovation saturates the marketplace,
it accrues no new advantage, and no expansion of ‘profit’; a new mechanical innovation is required for the next expansion; and each
time, the machine REPLACES LABOR; it permanently removes more and more labor from the production process – until, there is
practically no ‘profit’ left to be extracted.
This is a simplified description of what Karl Marx called, “The Formula for the Falling Rate of Profit.” (Productivity – profit/per/wage-labor –
increases, but the overall profit goes down).
As the machine saturates production, (within a given economy) the ability to generate REAL profit evaporates. The very core of Capitalist
power – by which it “tears down all Chinese walls,” (to quote Marx) and transforms the global economy into its’ image – is the harbinger of its’
This is the central, fatal blow to Capitalist power; and within the ‘advanced’ capitalist economies, the source of real Elite ‘profit’/wealth has now
reached the point of exhaustion.
This is why, by the 1990’s our rulers were FORCED to move their ‘western’ industrial base 1,000 of miles away, to take advantage of the
dirt-cheap Chinese, Indian, Mexican labor. (Yes, it was a hammer-blow to organized labor; but that was secondary).
Yet even that was not sufficient; and this is why the Elite banksters were FORCED to orchestrate the banking crisis of 2008 – so that they
could get the ability to produce virtually unlimited amounts of dollars, for to finance a (futile) re-organization of society before the REAL
This is why The Empire is FORCED to commit endless wars – destruction for its’ own sake – because this is the ONLY significantly
profitable industry left to it, (besides the printing of dollars).
On the one hand, they’ve never been more powerful. Their ability to outflank opposition, create disinformation and bomb scores of
nations back to the stone-age, (while being the most bankrupt nation on earth) is truly breath-taking; but it’s an ILLUSORY power; and
they’re running out of time. Their ability to keep their middle-managers in line can only be obtained by manufacturing
money out of thin air.
They’re presently aiming to ruin the U.S. dollar so to replace it with whatever else they come up with, (based, of course, on their
utter ownership of all property as collateral); and they’re going to get away with it, so long as the mass population either bows down
in fear or (bravely, sporadically) goes down fighting while believing their power is REAL.
Lee, your analogy about “getting in one punch before going down” is interesting; and I think it could be more-effectively expressed with
the martial art of Tai Chi; where, if we can see the weakness of our (much bigger) opponent, then we use it to our advantage – allowing ‘the
beast’ to take a swing and letting its’ own weight cause it to lose balance and fall down. (Whereupon we tap it on the head with
a shovel, throw sand in its’ face and ants in its’ pants, then tickle it senseless).
So how do we do this?
1) we first have to recognize the breath-taking power/control the Elite presently have – so that we cease wasting our energies along
dead-end channels, (e.g., federal/state elections).
2) this (rather dire) recognition requires a process of emotional grieving; for in essence, it embodies a kind of death on a mass scale, (loss of dreams,
mother-of-all-crisis, no more white-picket-fence, etc). This grieving must be made public, discussed, supported.
3) the key to stopping the Elite is through a mass withdrawal of cooperation/participation in the system, letting the power-structure fall
in on itself. This starts with a core of people who SEE, who are prepared to uphold this vision in a simple, understandable way – even as the
vast majority of brainwashed and/or silenced people seem unmoved or resistant.
We slowly build a belief amongst a small army of stalwarts who are prepared to face the dark, difficult news – largely alone, at first – and who
find themselves actually strengthened by it. At some point, larger circles will begin to see, and from a sovereign place, (i.e., not persuaded
by argument alone, but by example of a quiet resolve).
We create a sovereign army of independents with a clear vision, (under no illusion to ‘take on’ the beast with a weak hand); and, an inner faith in
the capacity of the truth (to quietly transform consciousness) will have its reward.
Such an approach also by-passes the (historical) tendency where a few leaders, (like yourselves, Abby & Robby Martin, Max Blumenthal, etc) take on
‘the beast’ – largely alone – and get increasing attention until it gets irritated enough to take you out.
I’m serious about that; yet in this regard, humor is also crucial, for it tends to channel our anger in diverse ways, so that it becomes less a
Again, Reich was ahead of his time when he said, (paraphrasing) “Rationally hate the system wherein oppression, waste and stupidity are
allowed to flourish; but do not hate the human instruments of power, (police, judges, politicians, presstitutes) for that just
acknowledges that they have power over you, and affirms their purpose in hating you back. Rather, feel sorry for them, as sad, little
creatures so imprisoned in their ‘success’ that they see no other way.”
(By the way, I highly recommend Reich’s book, “People In Trouble” as a chronicle of a dedicated anti-fascist struggling to organize amidst
the rising fascist fist – and ‘left’ dysfunction – of 1930’s German. It’s a little dated in some ways, but still prescient – particularly for his insistence that
we recognize the emotional/psychological content of the class-war, which ‘the Right” tends to be good at feeding on and manipulating.
i.e., we cannot get at the HEART of the hate-machine through (objective, rational) argument alone. In essence, it’s a question of POWER, and
peoples’ perception of it).
sum guy in a cafe
my apologies if I can’t respond quickly to any e-mails. I’m a deep-country lad, and my internet connection
is… near neanderthal.
Thank you, Todd, for all the kind words and support!
typo in my comment, please moderate the nonword financiallyu
First time hearing your podcast. You two together kick ass: informative, dynamic, funny, random and macabre (this is politics after all). I’m vexed whether to get a dog and stay in optimistic denial or solace my foreboding despair with the comfort of an indifferent cat. Side note: I’m doing as much as financiallyu sensible currently on a limited budget in supporting independent media, but given any improvement will certainly contribute on Patreon for example.