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DEMOCRACY MUCH ?
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The decline of the USA will not be resolved by whoever wins the presidential election. It is deceptive to think that things can change in time. We the people have no voice and those who do move at such glacial speeds that the greater problems of our times will not be addressed.

Liberalism and fascism are not opposites.

What a materialist analysis demonstrates is that liberalism and fascism, contrary to what the dominant ideology maintains, are not opposites. They are partners in capitalist crime. For the sake of argument, it is worth clarifying that I am not here distinguishing between fascism and authoritarianism, although this distinction can sometimes prove helpful (as in Andre Gunder Frank’s insightful analysis of Latin American military dictatorships). Whereas fascism is generally understood to be a movement that mobilizes sectors of civil society through propaganda campaigns, financial backing and state empowerment, authoritarianism is often defined as relying primarily on the police and military to control the population. These are somewhat porous categories, however, since fascism’s vigilantes are sometimes simply off duty employees of the repressive state apparatus, and authoritarianism has often deputized vigilantes and integrated them into the state. Moreover, in the cases of Italy and Germany, it is arguable that fascism actually evolved into a form of authoritarianism. During their ascent to power within bourgeois democracies, fascists in both cases ran enormous propaganda campaigns to mobilize civil society and work through the electoral system, but once in power, they destroyed the more plebian elements in their fascist bands, and they integrated what was left of them into the state apparatus.

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Society as we know it is being torn asunder.

Societies are held together by a web of social bonds that give individuals a sense of being part of a collective and engaged in a project larger than the self. This collective expresses itself through rituals, such as elections and democratic participation or an appeal to patriotism, and shared national beliefs. The bonds provide meaning, a sense of purpose, status and dignity. They offer psychological protection from impending mortality and the meaninglessness that comes with being isolated and alone. The breaking of these bonds plunges individuals into deep psychological distress. Durkheim called this state of hopelessness and despair anomie, which he defined as “ruleless-ness.”

Ruleless-ness means the norms that govern a society and create a sense of organic solidarity no longer function. The belief, for example, that if we work hard, obey the law and get a good education we can achieve stable employment, social status and mobility along with financial security becomes a lie.

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The curtain is being pulled aside.

Humanity will continue along its self-destructive trajectory until the masses use the power of their numbers to force real change. Humanity will not use the power of its numbers to force real change as long as it’s being successfully propagandized not to do so. The oligarchic propaganda machine is therefore the primary barrier to our transition from our self-destructive patterns into a healthy collaborative relationship with each other and with our ecosystem. So throw sand in the gears of the machine. If enough of us throw enough sand, we can cause the whole thing to break down.

So throw sand in the gears of the machine. If enough of us throw enough sand, we can cause the whole thing to break down.

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REPORT ALL INJURIES
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Democracy Is Dead.jpg
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OPERATOR: "Nine-one-one operator. What is your emergency?"
CALLER: I have a medical emergency. Democracy is dying.
OPERATOR: Where is Democracy?
CALLER: In the USA. Please send help!
OPERATOR: What is your name?
CALLER: magiamma.
OPERATOR: Don’t hang up! Help is on the way!
CALLER: Nevermind, Democracy died. (edit to add this line)
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It's your open thread, now...

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magiamma's picture

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A controllable membrane to pull carbon dioxide out of exhaust streams
https://news.mit.edu/2020/membrane-carbon-dioxide-exhaust-1016
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A new system developed by chemical engineers at MIT could provide a way of continuously removing carbon dioxide from a stream of waste gases, or even from the air. The key component is an electrochemically assisted membrane whose permeability to gas can be switched on and off at will, using no moving parts and relatively little energy.

The membranes themselves, made of anodized aluminum oxide, have a honeycomb-like structure made up of hexagonal openings that allow gas molecules to flow in and out when in the open state. However, gas passage can be blocked when a thin layer of metal is electrically deposited to cover the pores of the membrane. ...

This new “gas gating” mechanism could be applied to the continuous removal of carbon dioxide from a range of industrial exhaust streams and from ambient air, the team says. They have built a proof-of-concept device to show this process in action.

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Lookout's picture

The oligarchic propaganda machine is therefore the primary barrier to our transition from our self-destructive patterns into a healthy collaborative relationship with each other and with our ecosystem.

That's what make our little c99 community so important and valuable.

The membrane you mention sounds promising.

As a heads up Max and Stacy cover the story of a new Bretton Woods, where they speculate the development of a digital IMF currency which will replace the US dollar as the means of international exchange. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRmuFY0B1KE

In this episode of Keiser Report, Max and Stacy note that global perception in advanced economies has shifted such that China is seen as the world’s number one economic power. At the same time, Goldman Sachs is suggesting clients short the dollar and buy silver as Joe Biden seems likely to win the White House and pursue policies that will continue this shift toward China and away from U.S. wealth-creation. In the second half, Max chats to Simon Dixon of BnkToTheFuture.com about his thoughts on the recent IMF call for a new Bretton Woods.

Big economic changes are afoot. And democracy died in darkness a good while ago.

Gilens and Page began by compiling data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United States public. By comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as taking into account the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two more often.

This is shocking. Gilens and Page wrote, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Basically, their statistics state that your opinion really doesn’t matter.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/11/21/princeton-study-the-u-s-...

I hope the bioswale is nearing completion and the weather has given y'all a break. I've been busy putting a new roof and floor in a an old storage shed. Finished up yesterday.

All the best. Have a good one!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

@Lookout
Thanks for all the links. Was seriously thinking of making the last line...

Nevermind, Democracy died. heh.

Yes, c99 is an oasis. Look forward to watching Max and Stacy. Bioswale is done except for some ongoing plantings of sedge and such. Fun stuff but not urgent. Dispersion chamber is almost done. The kurapia is growing. Water it everyday. Not much rain in sight now. But when it comes it will pour. Bet it's nice to have your storage shed ready to stuff. Have a good one. Lol

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@Lookout https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Mnuchin
Anything Goldman says ...

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We are so screwed.

Does 911 really respond to emergencies of the political sort?
Hope your insurance covers the great toll to 'muricans social sickness.
Love the evolving first aid kit. Dead dolls wrapped in the flag. Hehe.
Symbolic of these times indeed.

cheers

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magiamma's picture

@QMS

Hope your insurance covers the great toll to 'muricans social sickness.

Medicare for All? Oops, nevermind.

Take good care.

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wendy davis's picture

first, your 'Humanity will continue' hyperlink goes to page not found, but it sorta reminds me of a column by caitlin johntone i'd read. class war films also had produced 'let your life be a friction to stop the machine'. ha; it's still up! from 8 yrs ago:

from your Gabriel Rockhill piece at counterpunch, some of it i didn't quite grasp when i'd first read it, but i loved his opening quote:

“The intellectuals cast a veil over the dictatorial character of bourgeois democracy not least by presenting democracy as the absolute opposite of fascism, not as just another natural phase of it where the bourgeois dictatorship is revealed in a more open form.”

~ Bertolt Brecht

i suppose part of the reason i'd found it confusing is this:

'Leon Trotsky understood this perfectly and diagnosed what was going on at the time with remarkable insight:

The results are at hand: bourgeois democracy transforms itself legally, pacifically, into a fascist dictatorship. The secret is simple enough: bourgeois democracy and fascist dictatorship are the instruments of one and the same class, the exploiters. It is absolutely impossible to prevent the replacement of one instrument by the other by appealing to the Constitution, the Supreme Court at Leipzig, new elections, etc. What is necessary is to mobilize the revolutionary forces of the proletariat. Constitutional fetishism brings the best aid to fascism.

Once its power was secure, however, fascism revealed its authoritarian face, transforming itself into what Trotsky referred to as a military-bureaucratic dictatorship of the Bonapartist type. It unflinchingly set about—at a rather different pace in Italy than in Germany—completing the task it had been hired to accomplish by crushing organized labor, eradicating opposition parties, destroying independent publications, putting a halt to elections, scapegoating and eliminating racialized underclasses, privatizing public assets, launching projects of colonial expansion and investing heavily in a war economy beneficial to its industrial supporters. In establishing the direct dictatorship of big capital, it even destroyed some of the more plebeian and populist elements in its own ranks, while crushing many confused liberals under the juggernaut of repressive class warfare.

his link goes to trotsky's book, but it's not clear to me how many paragraphs are quotes from trotsky, given no italics, no quotation marks, etc.

the popular resistance newsletter had linked to this column from the Wayback Machine‘Lifting the Veil of Mirage Democracy in the United States’, Kevin Zeese (may he rest in power) & Margaret Flowers, Truthout, February 13, 2013

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magiamma's picture

@wendy davis
yes, that was caitlin. hmm. will try to fix the link. Have two appointments this morning so will read your links and peruse your reply later. Thanks for all you do. Be well.

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magiamma's picture

@wendy davis
Video is salient and the accompanying images are powerful. I re-read the part you did not understand. I get it up until maybe the last sentence.

In establishing the direct dictatorship of big capital, it even destroyed some of the more plebeian and populist elements in its own ranks, while crushing many confused liberals under the juggernaut of repressive class warfare.

It's a Monopoly game and our owners own the most valuable properties. There is no way we can win. By the rules. Therefore we have to break the rules. How?

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wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

film enunciated the history and trajectory of Imperial propaganda clearly eight years ago, and how great was the need to mass mobilize. as did zeese and flowers' ((of the Oct. 2011 movement but got upstage by those pesky kids at Zucotti Park) exposé on the mirage of democracy in 2013 was it?

but we constantly get schmoozed into believing that the Next Duopoly Candidate for Prez who makes our ♥s go pitty-pat will be The One.

i gave up Wishin' and Hopin' long ago, but just try to stay focused on the issues that
matter most to me, and remain philosophical when i'm able...as it all plays out.

i never was taken in by bernie and lot readers & authors at the Café noting 'fuck! i never thought he'd be attacked from the Left'! but...so it goes, eh? sorry to be so late; i had another copy/paste thingie to put together. ; )

i may put the video up as a PSA, as i've dug up a transcript. but the images are superb.

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magiamma's picture

@wendy davis
As to schmoozed - yep. Because ppl want hope. Bernie changed the conversation and a lot of ppl got hip to the ‘imperial propaganda’ and corporate tyranny who were not. Makes it harder to control the uber message. But that’s their game. Really worth watching. Images are superb. Indeed. Gotta keep on. Regardless. Heh.

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ggersh's picture

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Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

magiamma's picture

@ggersh
Heads they win, tails we lose. Yep. Still have hope for some damn reason. Gotta. Thanks for all your posts. I look forward to them. Take care and have a good one.

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RantingRooster's picture

@ggersh Holy shit, that's funny... Crazy

A new billboard in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, attempted to trash Democratic presidential nominee and former US Vice President Joe Biden, but its presidential fitness argument missed the mark after misspelling “dementia.”

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

magiamma's picture

@RantingRooster
? Dimensions? How could they mess up so badly. Did not see rhat. Thanks for pointing it out. Take care.

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I'm not feeling the gloom and doom. My gloom and doom came about at the beginning of September and now it has lifted and I'm seeing the light. The universe is in charge and has a plan for planet earth. Hold onto your hats until February 1st - we are in transition and by then we will be able to look back and see what has transpired. We will begin to move slowly forward, with fits and starts along the way until 2025 when Pluto exits Capricorn and enters Aquarius and we truly move toward a more humane society. Mark your calendars!

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

magiamma's picture

@Raggedy Ann
yes, I have hope. For some unknown reason cause the facts are not good. Thanks for your always uplifting and positive outlook. Good luck with your move. Take good care.

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enhydra lutris's picture

most especially, of course, what you did with the first aid kit. Great graphic.

Re:

Society as we know it is being torn asunder.

Somebody fed the social contract into a paper shredder. Instead of dong for the people what they cannot do for themselves, government is doing to the people what they would never consider dong to themselves.

Is it not serendipitous that 'Humanity will continue' goes to 404? What artist could consciously do better?

3 words from what is now so long ago; "gears and levers"

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris
Absolutely.

Somebody fed the social contract into a paper shredder.

Heh!

Is it not serendipitous that 'Humanity will continue' goes to 404? What artist could consciously do better?

You are on a roll this morning. Gotta laugh cause what else. Have a great one.

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magi. I do like your first aid kit art. First aid, according to the dictionary, is help given to the sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available. Since both help and medical treatment are in very short supply, it does indicate one aspect of an unraveling social contract. It appears our society has thrown away its first aid kits.

Jeffrey St. Clair consistently reports on all injuries, or, more accurately, on a great many injuries. This, I think, is a good thing to do but doesn't seem to be getting any notice from authorities.

Here is a sample of his report from last week:

+ A new report from the Journal of American Medical Association finds that the number of Americans dying from COVID-19 since early May is on average 50% higher than 18 other high-income countries, adjusting for population size. “The United States really has done remarkably badly,” said Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a professor of health policy and medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the authors of the study. I mean remarkably badly.”

Speaking of Democracy,

+ In 2000, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all worked for George W Bush to stop the recount. This year they’re likely to vote together to stop the actual counting.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/10/16/roaming-charges-pray-grin-and-ba...

Brecht had some thoughts for us on this. Although it seems he didn't anticipate that we would be repeating history.

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magiamma's picture

@randtntx
“So the time passed away which on Earth was given me”

Thanks for the Brecht. Just wow. Does feel that way. Beautiful.

Yes, the “US has done remarkably badly. Deaths 50% higher tha 18 other high-income countries adjusted for population.”

It didn’t have to be this way. I don’t think anyone expected the coldness and incompetence.

Thanks for your thoughts. Take good care.

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