March 1, 2011
It’s said that politics is the art of the possible; but in the age of the media distraction machine the parties have become like characters in a farce; their conflicts simplify, distort disguise the questions that should be asked. They perform this operation on their constituents for the directors of the show, the owners of the media (General Electric, for instance) who often are owners of sports conglomerates that like politicians serve the image-process. Life is a circus and sitcom; imagery buries and consumes reality. In closing I will address the puppenspiel in Wisconsin that is spreading like kudzu.
Oligarchies rule through government with media selling the cover story. The methods of successful rulers always bespeak power and the desire for power, the ability to do things to other people being the most potent aphrodisiac for those who want to govern, as a rider governs a horse: to direct, manage and control other humans. Often enough, this means to degrade others to the status of beasts. The EU Judiciary began pursuing human rights for chimps in 2008. “Public education,” an image hiding an ugly reality of coarsening, conditioning and ignorance is another means for subduing the human.
Facts from which the masses need to be distracted include the rising costs of food and energy, both excluded from the consumer price index; the transformation of the Republic into a multi-national empire; the collapse of borders in all aspects of life including “the rule of law” which now means the arbitrary application of law by the powerful. Key agents in the distraction machine are the nobility of the new order. The deities of screen world are valuable commodities. Those who neither belong to nor serve the oligarchies are disposable, a target audience to be de-sensitized, led to Singularity and discarded.
American diplomatic echelons have not pressed President Khadafy to resign as they did to President Mubarak. Khadafy’s turmoil boosts oil prices and besides, he looks good in hats and may well be a reincarnation of Salvador Dali. The oligarchic gain is not just profits on crude but impoverishment of the target audience and above all, global turmoil.
Periodically, revolutions in ideas and sentiments bring genuine motives and self-restraint to the fore. But once these brief periods pass or are co-opted, politicians revert to their role as actors in the illusion of representation. The growth of modern party politics stems from England in the period after the Great Charter of 1688. It was then that the aristocracy made alliance with finance to direct and control the nation through the screen of politics. “The king was merely the mask of this power” as ‘the President’ is today. Of this office one can say, as of the British “monarchy [it] is only the string which ties the robber’s bundle.” The transformation of aristocracy to oligarchy and from tradition to power has been the hallmark of the modern era. When it had transformed cultural norms, modes of thought, behavior and aspiration, the early modern period (“this strange disease of modern life”)  began (1850s) and England and then the West passed from Culture to Civilization, to the era of urban masses, alienation, world-cities and standardization, the method of control par excellence. Science and technology, the “power-knowledge” that typifies Faustian will facilitate uniformity, management and control.
In the age of radio, film and television much of this work is delegated to mass media which are the means for maintaining hegemony. In this era, ‘the people,’ human beings are herded toward abstraction, into a “group mind,” or corporate persona, a kind of living death formed by the slogans, clichés and de facto marching orders of the masters of screen world. Humans are told they are an electorate while in fact being molded into “a collectivity of obedience” whose celebrated “freedom of thought” is simply “a willingness to think to order.” Talking hairstyles have the answers; they have absorbed them from the founts of respectable opinion that “lies like truth.” The lords of the media, who also are the lords of money thus are like the fiends that elicit the latent madness of Macbeth; their code words and agenda of control, like an enzyme precipitate the “seed groups of the new age” that in myriad ways press for “group effort” and “group activity” to activate what they see as “the negative mass of mankind” into a force that serves their goal of a malleable homogenous collective. Outside the media, their major stronghold is public education where lazy know-nothings control and deform children by teaching them not disciplines but to “value education.” This “Law of Group Progress” is code for regression and oligarchic mastery. The English cultists, whose flourishing in the senile era of sentimental and artificial “second religiousness” Spengler identified as “the occultist and theosophist fraud,” the modern version of late antiquity’s cult of Isis Omnia, a “toying with myths… to fill the inner void,” exalt “civilization as an expression of a mass level of consciousness,” a media-massaged rapture of forgetting, slogans of group- think that coat the mind like polymer sealant “until the sum of [media] suggestions is the mind” of the child and adult too…But all these suggestions are our suggestions” exclaims the Director of Hatcheries who forms ‘good citizens’ in the satire that Bailey and those above her were making of life. More sober, Spengler recognized Civilization as a de-humanizing terror, the rise of the Cosmopolis, “the great petrifact” of the age of Caesarism that accompanies the “era of world peace” which is the epoch of “formless wars” more terrible than any State wars by their anomalous character, lack of clear traditional goals and smog of managed attrition.
This is the era in which we live and in which we struggle to maintain our humanity, resisting attempts to transform us into human inventory. The compulsion of the ruling class to regulation reflects the cloning impulse embedded in the idealizing drive of the West, the projection of identity into a ‘pure’ image. This drive expresses a collective will to rule by manipulating images. One of the myriad ‘true’ images fed to the target audience is the myth of moderate Islam. The four Americans murdered by Islamic pirates were fodder, an inevitable by-product of the incendiary agenda of those who rule by breaking eggs to make their global omelet, -- the better to eat you with, my dear. After the hurly-burly’s done in the Islamic crescent, population thinned, Israel perhaps culled by a ‘regrettable’ series of missile strikes, the regional solution will arrive and the “New Middle East” appear as the cornerstone of the ‘era of peace’ presided over by its perfect representative: a hologram, a construct with “nothing inside him but a little loose dirt, maybe.” Shortly thereafter a glorious memorial to 9/11, anchored by two reflecting pools will enshrine the image or reflection as the meta-figure of screen world. Meantime, another 1973 is being prepared, with or without a major war in which “Israel will have to bleed” as the Secretary of State, sometimes portrayed as a “Zionist” said then. Sovereignty is forbidden in the era of the petrifact; tradition and the human do not serve managerial needs. The spirit of all humane revolutions that of Sinai must be replaced by the pyramid: those are the antitheses of the world. We are heading for a period of darkness and those waiting for the dawn should have a beloved and sound home base.
A major means of power is money and beneath the joy at stoking the flames, with the added piquancy of claiming that ‘twitter did it’ is the coming spike in oil prices. The speculators of ancient Greece and Rome, in their late, secular stage pioneered money’s preeminence.
“Cleomenes, Alexander the Great’s administrator for Egypt was able by book transactions to get the whole wheat supply into his own hands, thereby producing famine in Greece and raking in immense gains for himself… All highly developed economy is urban economy. World-economy itself, the characteristic economy of all Civilizations is World-city economy...Civilization then is a stage of the Culture at which tradition and personality have lost their effectiveness and every idea, to be actualized, has to be put into terms of money.” 
Money is the overt issue in Wisconsin and the symptom of the issue in the ruin of this nation. Yet it is possible to preempt or mitigate some of the current and coming ruin. Consider the high-profile uproar centering on State workers and teachers. The greed of State/government workers is so ugly and obvious that the tussle may become a fulcrum to crush unions; given what they have become, that might be good: unions have become part of politics and the rule of money. They are a caste system that exists to extract from their members the means of their continuing hegemony and political allies. It is like professional baseball: for a century the owners grossly exploited the athletes; then, with lawyers and a union, the players became, during the past three-plus decades pampered members of the upper caste, invaluable assets in distracting people from the growth of management and control as the first principles of life in the oligarchy. A correlative of this degradation is what has been done to the singing of the national anthem during this period. And what has become of the pledge of allegiance in public schools? But the indoctrination and degradation of young people is the key issue.
Up to eighty-five per cent of State or municipal taxes pay for “public education.” The great majority of public school teachers know little and teach less: they are agents of mind-numbing tedium, indoctrination in political correctness, that is, inability to think or tolerate ideas (as opposed to idée’s fixes), and of control by bored females who as with the ‘teacher’ who locked a child in a cage like nothing better than to rule those smaller than they are but potentially far more intelligent.
This writer worked for the NEA during the first Bush administration when there were some people in government with a serious intention to transform public education by facilitating the hiring of teachers with at least a BA in their field and able to pass a content-based test. After a year and a half of conferences, generation of syllabi, reading lists and tests, the effort turned into a glossy journal, cynically titled Education that was about nothing at all. Though written in English, it was like trying to read applesauce. The effort died, negated by those who do not want young people in school learning to think, learning history, math, literature, skillful and articulate expository writing or science. The group mind absorbs fictions like “global warming” and ‘sensitivity’ which now means fiercely asserting the correct biases and hatreds when the tone or cliché sounds. In place of thought we have stimulus-response like Pavlov’s drooling dogs, and thus the ‘group-mind’ pours into the streets of Madison, etc. This is why there is violence in schools; it is akin to the violence in and around the Islamic means for scrambling eggs, arising from a failure of truth, a withholding of knowledge.
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To save something of what is left of America, get rid of public education in its entirety; let parents seek out and pay educators skilled in their discipline to teach their children and a true revolution will occur. Property taxes will be reduced from fifty to ninety per cent; everyone will win accept the oligarchy whose seed groups are the teacher’s unions whose dues support political domination by the party of the elite that poses as tribunes of the people. Can this happen? If the tea party does nothing else, this would be an enormous change for the good. Is it possible that the oligarchy and their assets would let it happen or will they accelerate intimidation and co-option of alternatives? As the group mind absorbs the media massage, the frontal lobes grow ever squishier, even vestigial, and ‘informed’ people continue to “think to order” and rage accordingly.
Eugene Narrett’s recent book is Culture of Terror (www.authorhouse.com 2009)
Lev Grossman, “Man and Machine,” TIME, February
21, 2011, 42-9
2, Percy Bysshe Shelley, “A Philosophical View of Reform” (1820; Shelley’s Prose edited David Lee Clark, University of New Mexico Press 1954), 243
3, Matthew Arnold, “The Scholar Gypsy” (1853), verse 203
4, Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (1962, abridged English edition by Alan West, translated by Charles F. Atkinson), 391-6, “The Fate of Democracy” and “The Press” in Chapter 19
5, Shakespeare, Macbeth 5.5.42-3
6, These and the following quote from Alice Bailey in “Seed Groups in the New Age,” July 1937 in Externalization of the Hierarchy (NY, Lucis 1957, 2001), 26-35 passim
7, Spengler 346-7
8, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932; NY, Modern Library 1946), chapter 2, page 32
9, Spengler 376-82
10, Joseph Conrad on the company spy of the Manager of the Middle Station, the man whose only quality is the ability to provoke unease, Heart of Darkness (1901; NY 1978, 3rd critical edition, R. Kimbrough), 29
11, Michael Bloomberg, “Ground Zero Today,” TIME, 12-06, 2010, 40-45
12, Spengler 406-07
© 2011 Eugene Narrett - All Rights Reserved