The Globalized Company Store

Well-meaning lefties sincerely ask "Does the economy serve the people, or do the people serve the economy?"; as if asking that question will put the 1% on the defensive. But, clearly, the economy has been reduced to the stock market, the stock market has been reduced to a handful of massively overvalued tech companies, and the central banks supply zero-interest liquidity to keep those stock prices in the stratosphere. The real world? The massive unemployment, the crumbling infrastructure? The school to private prison (with guaranteed profits) pipeline? That is no longer part of the equation in economics, or in politics.

So, the answer to the question is: The economy serves the 1%; the 99% serve the economy

e-currency

If you are a member of the 1%, every time wages are driven down and/or workers fired, your net worth goes up. Every time public infrastucture that you dodge, with your private planes and self-contained estates, is starved of maintenance, your net worth goes up. Every time public assets are privatized, you get them for pennies on the dollar; and that gives you another opportunity to squeeze the last drops of blood out of the 99%.

Corporate media stories about the economy uniformly repeat the average-vs-median canard (i.e., "Bill Gates walks into a bar, and the average income in the bar makes everyone a millionaire.") The CM completely ignore the lopsided (i.e., bimodal) distribution of income, a distribution that keeps growing as the superrich buy all of politics and rewrite the rules to literally loot the 99%.

This story about Detroit spells out the details.

...investment and dispossession are not two separate phenomena. They are two elements of the same process. Downtown revitalization doesn’t go on in spite of neighborhood deprivation  — it depends on these deprivations. In short, the problem is not that there are Two Detroits. The problem is that there is One Detroit that operates according to the needs of business...

Three examples showcase this phenomena. First, in 2013, the city published the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework (DFC), “a blueprint for Detroit’s future.” The DFC suggested cutting services in the city’s poorest neighborhoods in order to pay off creditors or free up resources for more “viable” areas. In short, the most impoverished would bear the costs of crisis and shoulder the burden of revitalization.

A second example: Gilbert has received $250 million in public subsidies for the Hudson’s site project and other new developments. The “browning legislation” he helped write has legally enshrined this transfer of wealth from poor to rich. According to the law, all development on “blighted” land is eligible for public subsidies, and developers are allowed to capture sales and income taxes from their commercial projects.

The devastation wrought by the previous generation of fleeing investors has therefore become a goldmine for today’s capitalists. And the wealth won’t trickle down. Detroit elites have created a closed circuit in which the profits from downtown development largely remain in the pockets of a handful of wealthy investors.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/01/detroit-revival-inequality-dan-gilber...

The Detroit case is just one example of the overall hijacking of government by the private sector - most egregiously by e-commerce, click-thru licenses, forced arbitration, forced denial of class action lawsuits. Corporations are now so powerful that either, like Detroit, they write the laws directly; or, they do as they please because they have brought government regulation of the internet ecvonomy to a standstill, with insane ideologues or outright crooks masquerading as politicians.

The whole process is called "functional sovereignty".

...major digital firms are no longer market participants. Rather, in their fields, they are market makers, able to exert regulatory control over the terms on which others can sell goods and services. Moreover, they aspire to displace more government roles over time, replacing the logic of territorial sovereignty with functional sovereignty. In functional arenas from room-letting to transportation to commerce, persons will be increasingly subject to corporate, rather than democratic, control...

With online platforms, it’s not a simple narrative of “best service wins.” Network effects have been on the cyberlaw (and digital economics) agenda for over twenty years. Amazon’s dominance has exhibited how network effects can be self-reinforcing. The more merchants there are selling on (or to) Amazon, the better shoppers can be assured that they are searching all possible vendors. The more shoppers there are, the more vendors consider Amazon a “must-have” venue. As crowds build on either side of the platform, the middleman becomes ever more indispensable...

these maneuvers...mark a faster transfer of power from state to corporate actors. The mayors are in a weakened position because their tax revenues are not high enough to support high quality municipal services, and now they’re succoring a corporate actor with a long history of fighting to push taxation even lower.

From Territorial to Functional Sovereignty: The Case of Amazon

This increasing domination of (product) search (by Amazon) proposes a rather bleak choice for most of the rest of the merchants. Either they join Amazon's Marketplace or they try to go it alone. By joining Marketplace, they have to abide by Amazon's rules, and as we explained in a previous article, this confers Amazon with a host of leverage, tilting the whole playing field in its advantage.

The Amazon economy (seeking alpha)

The bottom line here is that retail politics (i.e., the party formerly known as Democratic) has handed control of the economy over to corporations.

A few people have asked me why I have stopped commenting on American party/electoral politics. The answer is simple: we know what the state of affairs is, we know the elements that have produced it, we know what has to be done – and we know that it manifestly is not being done. There is no mystery about any of this...So, what’s the point of repeating what was written a year or two or three ago? If those of us who share a certain perspective have made not the slightest impression on the American body politic, and if that is due to the overwhelmingly powerful forces that have warped its sense of reality, then another couple of thousand words cannot make a difference.

The great political anomaly of our political times is that Republican electoral successes  – at local, state, and Congressional levels as well as managing to put a Trump in the White House – occur despite the locus of national opinion on most issues coinciding with the positions of the Democrats. Indeed, on some critical ones (like health care) it is well to the left of the party leadership.

The great corrective in a democratic system is supposed to be the presence of an opposition competing for power. Today, in the United States we don’t have a viable opposition. Let’s face it, the Democrats have been committing political suicide for a couple of generations...Their only salvation has been the Republicans’ own suicidal impulses. That is what gave them a couple of Presidencies. (Remember Sarah Palin?)

The list of what ails the party is a long one – an obvious list of basic flaws. Its dominant corporatist wing is fatally compromised on socio-economic matters; it is corrupt; it is controlled by self-absorbed careerists; it has passively allowed the Republicans to set the terms of discourse on just about every issue except gay marriage; it is intellectually lazy; and – not least – it’s dumb. To be perfectly blunt, its senior figures are, for the most part, second-rate hacks. Given the huge opportunities that they have been given over the past year, they have done little but beat the dead horse of Russian electoral interference. Is “hack” too severe?

On the Futility of American Politics

Given the complete political powerlessness of the 99%, what is next on the menu for the 1%? To confiscate everyone's cash and replace it with instantly hair-cuttable electronic currency. And then to replace all government programs with an e-cash handout called "basic income". Of course, "basic" will be redefined to "utterly inadequate" five minutes after it is passed into law.

Essentially, e-currency is the scrip at the globalized company store. The store where the company pays the workers in scrip only good at the company store, then it inflates the prices in the store to claw back anything beyond basic sustenance. With credit card usury being legal, this old song is more relevant than ever:

EDITED TO CORRECT THE LYRIC

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

END EDIT

0.01% capitalists on Wall St. are nothing more than high stakes gamblers playing with other people's money and all the advantages they can rig for themselves, like high frequency trading (a.k.a. digital front-running). The whole bitcoin craze is a no-lose proposition for the 1%. Being able to hire the sharpest talent, and having access to the fastest trading platforms, they can speculate like mad. If bitcoin crashes, they will be first out the door with their winnings. If, instead, bitcoin crashes the value of government fiat currencies, then the 1% will own all the money. They can't lose. It is financial disruption on a global scale.

The average person has no clue how completely rigged Wall St. is. However, stock market analysts posting at ZeroHedge quite clearly see what is going on:

financial markets are no longer a mechanism for price discovery and the pricing of risk of capital allocation decisions. Markets have been made into a utility. More to the point, they have been made into a political utility, a tool for ensuring wealth and stability of our political structures. The easing tools we dabbled in to stabilize prior business cycles were brought to bear instead as tools for propping up and expanding financial asset prices...

Markets have also rapidly become a social utility, an inextricable part of every contract between governments and the governed. Underfunded pensions and undersized boomer 401(k) accounts mean that ownership of risky assets is not a choice driven by diversification or relative return expectations, but by the fact that it is the only asset they can buy that has any potential of meeting the returns they would need to be adequately funded.

It's Different Because Financial Markets Are No Longer A Mechanism For Price Discovery

The takeaway is that the 1% already has complete control over Wall St. Add that to the increasing control over the economy by global retailers like Amazon, and all that is left to obtain the global company store is to get rid of cash.

Banks will call the shots in the future, on your personal economy and that of the state. They are globalized, following the same principles of deregulation worldwide. They are in collusion with globalized corporations. They will decide whether you eat or become enslaved. They are one of the tree major weapons of the 0.1 % to beat the 99.9% into submission...Banking deregulation has become another little-propagated rule of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Countries who want to join WTO, must deregulate their banking sector, prying it open for the globalized money-sharks.

with a cashless economy, our accounts are vulnerable to be invaded and robbed by the state, by thieves, by the police, by the tax authority, by any kind of authority – and, of course, by the very banks that have had your trust for all your life. ..Bail-ins will become common practice for any bank that has abused its greed for profit and would go belly-up, if there wouldn’t be all those deposits from customers. Even shareholders are not safe. This has been quietly decided some two years ago, both in the US and also by the non-elected white-collar mafia, the European Commission.

Cashless trials are going on elsewhere, especially in Nordic countries, where selected department stores and supermarkets do no longer take cash. Another monstrous trial has been carried out in India a year ago, in the last quarter of 2016, where from one day to another 80% of the most popular money bills were eliminated, and could only be exchanged for new bills by banks and through bank accounts. And this in an almost pure cash country, where half the population has no bank account, and where remote rural areas have no banks. People were lied to so that the sudden introduction had maximum effect.

Digitization also includes the cryptocurrencies, the blockchain moneys floating around – of which the most famous one is Bitcoin. It brings digitization of money to an apex. The system is complex and seems to lend itself only to ‘experts’. Cryptocurrencies are fiat money, based on nothing, not even on gold. Cryptos are electronic, invisible and highly, but highly speculative, an invitation for gangsters and fraudsters. It looks as if cryptocurrencies were designed for crooks and speculators.

Retrenchment, Robotization and Crypto-Currencies: The Runaway Train Towards Full Digitization of Money and Labor

The other half of the cashless/dole route to the enserfment of the 99% is Universal Basic Income (UBI).

UBI’s effects depend on the amount distributed and the conditions of its implementation...it “must provide a sufficient amount of income to live on.” If the payment isn’t high enough to let people to refuse work, UBI might push wages down and create more “bullshit jobs.”

Despite the fiscal effort that would go into implementing the new system — 6.5 percent of GDP, or nearly twice the share of GDP that the US currently spends on its military — the results are rather disappointing. Child poverty shrinks from 16 to 9 percent, but for working-age people it decreases less than 2 points (13.9 to 12 percent), and among pensioners it declines only 1 point (14.9 to 14.1 percent). The considerable sum of money mobilized has only a modest effect on poverty and doesn’t specifically benefit those who need it most.

This fact is even more striking when we consider that the cost of eradicating poverty in any developed country is around 1 percent of GDP. An individual unemployment benefit set at the poverty line (around $1,200 a month) and granted to all jobless individuals regardless of their place in the family structure would not only pull everyone out of poverty but also end workfare, challenge the normative dimensions of family structures, and fundamentally alter the labor market. All this, for somewhere between six to thirty-five times less money than a universal basic income.

No existing economy can pay for a generous basic income without defunding everything else. We would either have to settle for the minimalist version — whose effects would be highly suspect — or we’d have to eliminate all other social expenditures, in effect creating Milton Friedman’s paradise. Faced with these facts, we should question UBI’s rationality; as Luke Martinelli put it: “an affordable UBI is inadequate, and an adequate UBI is unaffordable.”

The Case Against a Basic Income

In conclusion

This essay has laid out the facts about the upcoming doom of the 99%. I see absolutely no way out of the coming cashless globalized company store. The 99% doesn't even have a political party that represents it. The Democrats have proven to be, and continue to be, corrupt creatures of Wall St. and the neocons. The 99%'s share of the economy has also been shrinking, as the 1% hoovers up every financial asset available, and even creates new ways to loot the public via various privatizations and commodificiatons of products and services that did not used to be part of the market.

The 99% do not seem to understand that, by using regulation-wrecking, wage-busting services like Uber and AirBnB or the omnipresent Amazon, they are digging their own graves. They also cluelessly snap on their own shackles by buying spyware like Alexa and the flood of almost-zero-value-add-for-anything-but-spying Internet of Things gadgets. They don't notice their corporatized newsfeeds are full of worthless celebrity news and gossip, including the latest bullshit scandals in Washington. They do not seem to miss what real news used to provide: useful information like who is looting the 99%, why is the US threatening seven countries and having bases in over 100 countries - and how much money is all that is wasting.

In short, the public has been infantilized.

We are headed towards a hydraulic despotism based on electronic cash and enforced by electronic surveilance. Any "rebellion" by the 99% has already been gamed out and will be defeated by a combination of internet surveilance, the militarized police, the corporate/government fusion centers, and the ability to simply turn off the money spigot to anyone or any city or region who is making trouble.

We will be serfs then until either

1) the environment collapses,
2) the China/Russia bloc manages to collapse our phony economy with gold/yuan oil contracts and One-Belt-One-Road carrots to lure away the few "allies" we have left, or
3) our batshit crazy MIC starts a nuclear war.

Of course, given the rate Trump is burning our alliances down (nuclear-armed Pakistan this week), that time may not be all that far away.

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Meteor Man's picture

Long story short:

The politics of nation states are under the complete control of global economic elites. The only role of nation states is to provide the illusion of political participation.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

hecate's picture

@Meteor Man
spaketh the Wizard Of The Crow:

“We are now embarking on a new mission of forging a global order. That is why I am now visiting all our friends to tell them to move in step with the world. To everything its season, says the preacher. There was a time when slavery was good. It did its work, and when it finished creating capital, it withered and died a natural death. Colonialism was good. It spread industrial culture of shared resources and markets. But to revive colonialism would now be an error. There was a time when the cold war dictated our every calculation in domestic and international relations. It is over. We are in the post-cold war era, and our calculations are affected by the laws and needs of globalization. The history of capital can be summed up in one phrase: in search of freedom. Freedom to expand, and now it has a chance at the entire globe for its theater. It needs a democratic space to move as its own logic demands. So I have been sent to urge you to start thinking about turning your country into a democracy. Who knows? Maybe with your blessings, some of your ministers might even want to form opposition parties.

“Let me make our position clear. We cannot build a global economy under the old politics of the cold war. What we are saying is this: many parties, one aim—a free and stable world where our money can move across borders without barriers erected by the misguided nationalism of the outmoded nation-state. The goal is to free up the resources and energies of the globe."

“The Global Bank and the Global Ministry of Finance are clearly looking to privatize countries, nations, and states. The modern world was created by private capital. The subcontinent of India, for instance, was owned by the British East India Company, Indonesia by the Dutch East India Company, our neighbors by the British East Africa Company, and the Congo Free State by a one-man corporation. Corporate capital was aided by missionary societies. What private capital did then it can do again: own and reshape the Third World in the image of the West without the slightest blot, blemish, or blotch. NGOs will do what the missionary charities did in the past. The world will no longer be composed of the outmoded twentieth-century divisions of East, West, and a directionless Third. The world will become one corporate globe divided into the incorporating and the incorporated. We should volunteer Aburiria to be the first to be wholly managed by private capital, to become the first voluntary corporate colony, a corpolony, the first in the new global order. With the privatization of Aburiria, and with the NGOs relieving us of social services, the country becomes your real estate. You will be collecting land rent in addition to the commission fee for managing the corpolonial army and police force. The corpolonial powers will reward you as a modern visionary.”

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arendt's picture

@hecate

At 700+ pages, translated from the Kikuyu language, I think I will take a pass on the book.

Nevertheless, you are absolutely correct in pointing out that shameless hucksters for neoliberalism (of all races, sexes, gender orientations, and religions) will come from far and wide to feast on the corpses of the nation states.

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hecate's picture

@arendt
a wonderful book.

Do you also pass on Dosteyevsky, because he runs over 700 pages, and is translated from the Russian?

Writing in English as James Ngugi, he became one of Africa's leading authors, and his novels A Grain of Wheat (1967) and Petals of Blood (1977) are Penguin Modern Classics. But after he renounced his Christian name and staged plays in the language of Kenya's largest ethnic group, he was jailed and forced into exile—he now lives in California. Prison cemented his resolve to write fiction only in Gikuyu. "A slave first loses his name, then his language," says his wizard, and Ngugi's aim has been to restore both, to "decolonise the mind".

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arendt's picture

@hecate

Call me a Philistine. I read the Cliff notes and the most important passages.

Life is too short and the world too large for me to give everything my full attention. I triage. So does everyone else.

No offense meant to the author or to you. I said your comment was "interesting and relevant". What more should I have done?

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hecate's picture

@arendt
has their limits. I myself will probably not be watching Ambiance, which runs some 720 hours. There is available a seven hour, twenty-minute trailer, which I may view, if ever I become bedridden.

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arendt's picture

@hecate

And who made a 7 hour trailer? Let me guess, the guy who made the movie.

The downside of digital moviemaking is that people are no longer constrained by the price of filmstock and developing. Bits are so cheap - 2 TB external hard drives for $100. 720P MPEG video is only 2.25 GB/hour. So 720 hours is only 1.62 TB.

The person who made this "film" needs an editor, stat. Smile

Oh, well, its a cheap way to keep deeply disturbed people from causing harm to self or others.

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Strife Delivery's picture

@hecate

Called Ambiencé, the epic 720-hour work of art will be screened simultaneously on all continents, for one time only, after which the Swedish director plans to destroy all copies, so that it can never be screened again.

My God, how pretentious.

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arendt's picture

@Strife Delivery

for most pretentious artist in my lifetime.

Another contestant for most pretentious is a Russian filmmaker who made a 90 minute movie in one, uncut take. It was a period piece, and the camera walked among a cast of thousands all done up in 19th century costumes. More Guiness Book of Records than Cannes festival, IMHO.

Russian Ark (Russian: Русский ковчег, Russkij Kovcheg) is a 2002 experimental historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot. The film was entered into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Ark

But, back to the main point, at least Ambience's silliness only costs $100 for media. The actors time and the crew's time, well, if the "artist" is paying out of his own pocket, I cannot complain too hard.

Still, it is way pretentious.

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@arendt I happened to live there, near where the fence went to the coast. The amazing part was the ranchers who agreed to let it happen, it was incredible. Suddenly it was there, and then it wasn't. It was the most beautiful incredible thing I ever saw in my entire life. Jaw dropping awesome, literally.

Christo’s Running Fence 40 Years Later: Photos, Stories & Memories

“We were in the barn and we saw Dad outside talking to this guy,” recalled Pozzi, then a pre-teen. “And when Dad came into the barn, we asked him what was going on, and he said, ‘Oh, some damn hippie wants to build a fence for us. I told him to come back later.’”

This damn little hippie was very happy to witness that pretentious fence, it was an amazing community effort. Many many different kinds of people had to come together and agree, it was groovy. Must have been inside another dumb bubble, why bother trying to appreciate anything anymore. I don't know. good luck

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@Strife Delivery

There must be a YUUUUUGE bet riding on this...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

arendt's picture

I even wrote an OP with nearly that title some months ago

The Controlled Demolition of First World Nation-States

Just like the guy I quoted in this OP, I should stop writing because it doesn't seem to be having any effect. People laugh at me when I tell them not to use Amazon or Uber. They think I'm stupid not to put everything on the plastic. They try to play the stock market, and think they have a chance of winning.

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snoopydawg's picture

@arendt

Good essay and great commentary. This is from it.

All his issues are distractions from the economic coup d'etat that is all but completed, and the political coup which is about to arrive.

I agree that Trump's constant tweeting is a distraction from the legislation that is being passed behind closed doors as do others here. Please explain what you mean by the political coup.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

arendt's picture

@snoopydawg

the politicians will simply do whatever the global corps tell them to do. Anyone who doesn't fall in line will be character assassinated by the corporate media with their brand of fake news, and be "voted" out of office by the sheeple who still think the democracy is real. We will be just another Third World country, with compradors for politicians.

They will keep the facade of democracy. They will try to get suckers to believe that the candidates are something more than bought and paid for corporate placemen.

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snoopydawg's picture

@arendt

Quite a few people are retiring now that they have gotten their dreams of the tax bill passed. Boring Orrin is handing his seat over to Romney who looks like he doesn't even have to campaign for his seat. The Utahns are very happy to see him running because he Saved the Olympics.
Sorta...

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

snoopydawg's picture

Good essay even though it's scary as hell. This doesn't really surprise me though because we got a hint of it coming during the last decade. But what is surprising is how fast the wheels are coming off. I thought I'd be on my way out before this happened. Boom! Looks like Medicaid is first up to be on the chopping block.

I'm amazed at how many people are buying Alexa and hooking their homes to Google and other companies. Duh, of course they are being spied on through the things they've installed. Plus there's that new tv system that lets whomever spy on us. How many have put tape over your webcams? Ok

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

arendt's picture

@snoopydawg

I have tape over all my computer cameras. I never use the damned smart features of the TV. And I never turn on the GPS on my cell phone or cameras.

In the end, its all futile. Passive defense cannot stop this coordinated, multi-faceted assault on a country full of people who have forgotten how to be citizens.

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@arendt Social Security will be privatized soon. Democrats will be willing little enablers.
There will be no People's Revolution.

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Big Al's picture

It's called a revolution. At this point, it should be a global revolution but one in the U.S. would do.
The only chance is to take away their power, which is in this political system that keeps them in power.

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Wink's picture

The Revolution in fact has started.
@Big Al
It's just that 99% of the 99% are unaware.
If you ain't got a gun yet, go buy a gun. A deer rifle will do.
Got any extry money buy a .357 mag. They come in handy, and when you fire .38 ammo down the barrel you not only save money (vs. .357 rounds), but you'll find the handgun Much easier to fire. Or a 9mm. Both work great. Don't bother with a .44 mag. That's only movies b.s., and I dare say ol' Clint his self couldn't hit d!ck (except maybe his own) firing one handed.
Why buy a gun?? Becuz your friendly ("whose streets? OUR streets") police have tanks. I fully suspect and expect Revolution clashes will happen this year, becuz if not this year any later effort will be pointless. Those not yet woke soon will be. Alas, they'll likely be cheering on the police.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

arendt's picture

@Wink

Any "rebellion" by the 99% has already been gamed out and will be defeated by a combination of internet surveilance, the militarized police, the corporate/government fusion centers, and the ability to simply turn off the money spigot to anyone or any city or region who is making trouble.

Armed rebellion is exactly what they want. They are ready for it. They have been practicing with live ammo in the Middle East for two decades. Even the local police in Podunk, Wyoming have MRAPs. You and your pathetic deer rifle would be cleaned up in no time.

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Wink's picture

And don't disagree.
@arendt
They're armed and waiting. But, 'muricans will only put up with so much bull$h!t before the $h!t hits the fan. 40% of 'muricans own guns. Most of them more than one. And, you're right again. Standing toe to toe against the militarized police, "we" lose. Bigly. Game over.
Any Revolution gonna have to be hit'n'run, 1776 style. Or, we just wait to be turned into Soylent Green. Pretty much our choice. Join the Revolution or become food. Either way, it ain't gonna be pretty. But I'm not one to sit on the curb as the tanks roll by. "Lovely afternoon, isn't it citizens! Peace to you all." Fuck that b.s. Wolverines! I'm a pretty good shot. 'specially when they ain't lookin'. Besides... I know I can turn a soldier or three over to the woke side.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

arendt's picture

@Wink

My working assumption is that everyone who posts on this tiny little site goes on a watchlist. People who make comments about violence go on an extra special watchlist. (If you live in Prepper-land (UP, Michigan; or Idaho/Montana), I'm sure the Feds have a contingency plan to simply cordon and run search-and-destroy missions.)

Don't you think that if some violent funny business starts near you that a heavily armed local swat team is going to come to your home, interrogate your friends and relatives, etc?

It ain't gonna be Rambo or Red Dawn. Its going to be the Stasi 2.0, backed up by Blackwater mercs.

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Wink's picture

on the curb waving the red, white and blue?
@arendt
Not my style. Nor many that I know.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

arendt's picture

@Wink

Right now, knowing how to cover your trail on the internet is the best guarantee of survival.

I'm not sure how realistic the portrayal of Ed Snowden's abilities is, but if you can do internet security, you have a much better chance of surviving and breaking lose info that can hurt TPTB. Maybe you can whip up some fake IDs, or download them from the Dark Web (assuming you can find the part of the Dark Web that isn't already a police sting operation).

Why do you think there is all this investment in quantum computing? So that they can crack even the toughest encryptions. Nobody really wants to replace silicon with liquid helium temperature, flaky, quantum device unless it is the only solution. The only people who have the motive and the money to do that is the intel community.

So, my focus is more on crypto than guns. You need brains to beat these people, not guns.

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Wink's picture

Not that I disagree, I just don't have
@arendt
those skills, nor do I know anyone that does, nor are many silicone valley types "our" friend. I'll stick with my tried and true. This is going to take more than brain power. Doing this off grid is the hard part, but they did it in 1776 without Google. But, yeah, any resistance is good resistance!

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

arendt's picture

@Wink

where they make the porn movies. Smile

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Wink's picture

In silicone valley,
@arendt
Mountain View. I call it that
(instead of silicon) thinking the First thing a female employee does with her very first silicon city paycheck is make an appointment for a boob job. Hence...
A tad sexist, and my sister has proven me wrong, but I just like the play on words.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

arendt's picture

@Wink

35 years ago (wow, time flies) I had an apartment about a mile from the Flying Saucer. Small world.

I couldn't stand the place and relocated back to the East Coast within six months. Bunch of phony, scheming greedsters with this smooth California facade running. Not to mention that SV, even then, was paved over; and housing prices were in the stratosphere for tiny lots - you could literally stick your arm out your window and touch your neighbors house. Surface roads ran between miles of noise walls surrounding what were effectively gated communities. In fact, the apartment complex I lived in is today a gated community. A depressing place, although it got nicer as you moved north towards Palo Alto, Atherton, etc.

You could say I was an idiot to leave SV in the 80s; but the vibe just creeped me out.

Its no wonder the rich ones decided to move to San Francisco. Although that place is always freezing cold and foggy.

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Wink's picture

My sister keeps
@arendt
asking me to "come on out!,"
and after this winter, which is kicking my ass, I might "do" winters there starting next year. But I'm northeast-oriented. As gorgeous as the weather might be I can do without the rest. I live on a quiet street. Can hear the little kids chattering away during the day, but is quiet after 8pm. I Love to hear the voices of the little ones. I'm amazed they know some of the sing-songs we grew up with 55 years ago. Something about kids voices that I never paid much attention to before. There's life in the neighborhood, not just us old geezers! But, I'll get out on my back deck and holler, "what are you kids up to, dammit!" just to get a reaction. They're so used to hearing that that they just laugh and continue doing what they're doing. And life is good in the neighborhood. Amazing to think some oligarch fucks want to take that away.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

mimi's picture

@Big Al
marching on the streets? writing essays on a blog? taking out your money from the banks and dig it into your garden? If you can't pay cash anymore, what should that be good for?

I guess barter trading with the produce from your garden will make a come-back?

Me? Getting a gun? Are you crazy? No guns in my house. I won't shoot, even if that means I won't fight. You all can kill me and then kill yourself.

Dumbfuck comment of mine in a shithead thread here to an excellent essay by arendt.
Sad

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Wink's picture

and pitchforks will rear their ugly head before any of this dystopian wet dream unfolds. Americans not woke yet but getting there. It didn't stand in 1776, won't stand today.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Wink's picture

MSLSD and the like. I don't see the point in watching total corporate bull$h!t. I finally turned it all off 2, 3 years ago when it finally dawned on my lame brain that "these assfucks don't know d!ck (and are feeding me the same)." Turn these asshats off. For christsakes you know more than they do! Friggin' Amy Goodman trying to pump some life back into Russia! Russia! last week. wtf? Just turn it off. Drop back to Basic Cable, use Roku or Sling or one of those for whatever else you need. Unplug the b.s. And 99% of it is b.s.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Strife Delivery's picture

At times I used to have glimmers, pockets of hope.

Now, it's dead.

It's odd, walking amongst others who are dazed or sleepwalking through life. They live within their individual bubble, filled with trinkets and baubles that keep them afloat and are shipped directly to them in the smiling Amazon box.

There are some who say America will revolt before it all happens? America? Americans? No.

Americans will straddle or waddle onwards, or ride a Rascal scooter pretending they have freedom and live in the greatest country in the world. From a psychological perspective, it is baffling how utterly warped and brainwashed Americans are.

Americans spend more energy on useless, frivolous bullshit. Remember that dress that people saw two different colors of. Blue and Yellow or something I can't remember. Or Starbucks having a red cup for Christmas. Or even saying Merry Christmas. And on and on and on.

Useless, meaningless garbage. The world is collapsing and all Americans can do is shrug with a smile, running towards their broken recliner to watch whatever droll or mindless drivel is on.

Even look at media (entertainment, not news) itself. Bland, corporatized, uncreative, run-of-the-mill material on a never-ending loop. Over and over again. In one sense you can look at media as an expression of culture. Art, music, creation, movies, music, etc. Just reboots, remakes, remixes, over and over.

America had it's chance to revolt. That was during the Great Depression. That was the make-or-break moment of the country. Even the moment of the 2008 crash paled in comparison to the magnitude of those events. And we lost. We got concessions, not a revolt. And those concessions are gone, with a few on life support now.

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arendt's picture

@Strife Delivery

It's odd, walking amongst others who are dazed or sleepwalking through life. They live within their individual bubble, filled with trinkets and baubles that keep them afloat and are shipped directly to them in the smiling Amazon box.

I used to think the zombie movies were made to desensitze people about brutal violence to ordinary fellow humans, and that is true. But, there is a, perhaps unintended, subtext that says we are all becoming zombies, lusting after nothing but money (bra-a-a-ins).

Until they laid me off for good, I worked with highly educated people from all over the world. 80% of them were clueless, 10% of them were Libertarians (the disease of the digiterati), 5% of them were rightwing, gun-toting nutbags, and about 5% of them would put up with my rantings. There was one guy, a foreigner of course, who agreed with me on most stuff, but he was coming from a Libertarian POV.

And that was the educated lot. They still believed NPR. They voted for Hillary. They were deeply into Identity Politics.

As you say, there is no hope. But its really great to talk to someone who has reached the same conclusion. Like meeting a fellow sane person inside a lunatic asylum.

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About the cash less train coming down the track than I do about red buttons and NK missiles. Its astonishing to me how many people are just fine with the idea. Thanks for the essay.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

Even look at media (entertainment, not news) itself. Bland, corporatized, uncreative, run-of-the-mill material on a never-ending loop. Over and over again. In one sense you can look at media as an expression of culture. Art, music, creation, movies, music, etc. Just reboots, remakes, remixes, over and over.

Stupid kids are especially bad when it comes to this kind of crap. Some get pissy just because people of color or women got lead roles in their favorite series.

"Oh bew hew teh SJWs ruined Star Wars and Star Trek and Ghostbusters becuz teh white guy t'aint teh main guy bew hew hew."

You can find shit like this all over the net, but it's especially prevelant on youtube. Some dumbass kid is always whining about shit like that. This, amomg other things, is why I've largely checked out of social media.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@The Aspie Corner
"90% of everything is crap."

Some places (social media?) it's closer to 99%.

Sturgeon never admitted it was a "law", but it is universally applicable, so there it is.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

arendt's picture

@The Aspie Corner

The discussion is bound by something like the Overton Window (not that I believe in the OW), with increasing thought policing in the name of fake news. The kiddies are allowed to play in the sandbox with their fake plastic guns; but nothing real happens. Maybe some child gets kicked in the stomach and it hurts. But the whole thing is just a distraction while they complete the corporate takeover. Oh, and social media lets the troublemakers self-identify to the NSA.

Now, in their defense, maybe the young folks today have figured out that its all a scam; that they don't have a chance of success without a trust fund. Maybe social media is just a way to escape the boredom and futility of life in a Logan's Run/Soylent Green world.

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Interesting read if anyone hasn't seen this. Nothing anyone here didn't already realize.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/01/the-curse-of-bipartisanship

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O.k. When is the next meeting for the revolution?
-FuturePassed on Sunday, November 25, 2018 10:22 p.m.

arendt's picture

@WIProgressive

...the list of bipartisan screwjobs on the 99% is worth keeping for reference.

I'm not quite sure why FA published this, or who Luke Savage is. Is this a "5 PM Friday news dump"? That is, publish this article in early January (dead time), which offers no action or solution, and move on. In future, refer back to it and say it was dealt with.

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@arendt reference. Really puts it out the for the Her crowd. Luke Savage appears to be Canadian and apparently has also written for Jacobin magazine and others. You're right who is going to see this? But I try to forward these things to the neolibs I know to try and get through. Sigh.

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O.k. When is the next meeting for the revolution?
-FuturePassed on Sunday, November 25, 2018 10:22 p.m.