Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Other readers may already be familiar with the case of the 'Craigslist Killer' as it has made the rounds in national news given all the lurid details which American society, simultaneously repressed and overexposed (i.e. bored), loves. As a quick aside, I just want to say that the title 'Craigslist Killer' should really have been saved for someone who kills more than one person (I think the Hotel Hooker Homicide should have be used if only for the crassness and clever alliteration), though perhaps it will become more apropos as this jerk-off has promised that there is, "More coming out." Maybe Markoff is putting the serial in serial murder and truly making this case more like a contemporary pulp novel than anything else.
Either way, this post is really a follow up to my previous one on the death-cult, isolated individualism born of the Reagan/Thatcher era. This Markoff kid being another prime example of it. On the outset we have a sloppy preppy Med student from Boston University (more on this later) who lived in a Quincy high rise and was soon to be married, just another unassuming yuppie-in-training piece of shit. He was going through all the rituals for entry into bourgeois society: Doctor job (√), T-accessible, utilitarian pad close to the city (√) and a love-less marriage (almost). But then the dark stuff comes out, he's seeing prostitutes in hotels (who he met through the internet!) and instead of just fucking them like a normal person he's robbing them and even kills one. It is also rumored that he was stealing because of a gambling addiction, which is quite possibly the lamest addiction there is (what? nobody does coke anymore?) Of course, it is understandable why all the accouterments of bourgeois living didn't do it for him, but instead of dropping out or at least living a double life he turns to a fatalistic spree of prostitute robbery and murder. Why? Because There Is No Alternative! Once more, the lyrics from Billy Childish's Thatcher's Children ring true in our ears:
Thatcher’s Children/ The headlines will grab ya/ Don’t go outta your homes/ Or your children might stab ya
And now for the unsubstantiated blanket statements section of the post. As is readily obvious, colleges attract certain personalities given their strengths in certain subjects as well as the power which lies behind their name. From what I have seen, Boston University is a mediocrity factory which attracts only the most mundane and vapid of students. The University has ruined an entire section of the city (half of Commonwealth Avenue) with it's horrid, faceless buildings and dormitories. Those students who don't live in the dorms litter the destroyed neighborhood of Allston like all the other refuse found there. If one wants a snapshot of Generic College Student, BU will offer you an extensive array to choose from. Now while the argument can be made that the colleges of the empire (note to the LaRouchites: universities in a third-world backwater like Florida don't count) attract those only motivated by money and power, BU simply doesn't hold the prestige of those institutions and thus we can assume that those who make up the hordes of body snatchers who clog up Comm Ave are really honestly excited about a banal existence in middle management somewhere. As such, and the Markoff case just proves it, with notable exception, I can truthfully say all Boston University students are sociopaths.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The above featured chart comes from a LaRouche PAC rag titled The Noosphere vs. The Blogosphere: Is the Devil in Your Laptop? which starts with the rather wild claim that there is a fascist mass movement based on college campuses these days which has three faces: Facebook, Myspace, and violent computer games. Now obviously I am not going to seriously entertain these claims, nevertheless I find the chart itself interesting on a few levels:
a. I find conspiracy theories (the more intricate & wild, the better) fascinating for they represent a battle between individuals interpreting their own reality in the matter they see fit and the imposition of the Establishment weltanschauung (subjective rationality vs. standardized, objective rationality.)
b. Building off the last point, even by the standards of an objective rationalist (one who believes that something actually exists outside of the collective consensus of individual subjectivities which we can label reality) the conspiratorial view of history or events at the very least qualifies as an existential escape from the mundanity of everyday life. An effort to create an elaborate narrative which makes participation in life exciting. Hence, while I certainly do not truly subscribe to all the theories of Michael A. Hoffman II or James Shelby Downard, their works are on par with the greatest fantastic fiction.
c. Maybe they are really on to something...
Now the LaRouche crew can warrant an entire study all on their own (in fact, they already have) and have also been of particular interest of mine for quite some time mainly because they seem to be the only fully organized, international, youth-based political organization with regularly publishes multiple publications who are beyond the false left/right dichotomy. Nevertheless, this post-spectrum perspective is not generally a good thing in that they essentially support a technocratic, military keynesian system which only differs from the one presently in place in that it would serve their own bizarre projects (Eurasian land bridge) and is based off their own conspiratological metanarrative. So it is that that they at least provide a direct line of connectivity, albeit from the opposite perspective which I hold, from the current social plutocracy to it's origin in the proto-state capitalism of the American School, as presented here:
At that point, Vecchio asked LaRouche to give his view, as an economist, on American economic thinking, and on John Maynard Keynes. LaRouche explained that many people in Europe tend to concentrate on Keynes, when they debate free-market economics, as opposed to other schools in economics; but that the American school of economics actually goes back to President Abraham Lincoln.
Economist Panizza underlined the importance of what LaRouche said regarding three "American System" economists—Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List, and Henry Carey—given the demonstrated failure of present economic theories to face the world financial crisis.
Now I just want to clarify that I would be open to supporting a global welfare system, but only if it was structured along the lines of something like this. I also want to say that on an abstract level, the methodological nature of the LaRouche crew is something to be admired and replicated along different ideological lines: a tightly knit network of activists organized through meritocratic means, with many methods of propaganda available, around a complex grand narrative which offers a New, Revolutionary world view which combines the best elements of Archaic and Enlightenment values. Of course, the biggest aspect of the LaRouchies which needs to be scrapped is the cult of personality, lest we end up like a certain cretinous family.
[Ed. note: I apologise for the poor scan quality of the chart provided. For a better look, I recommend opening the image in a new window and utilizing the magnifying glass tool available on Macs.]
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I recently started reading Confronting the Crisis, the selected writings of the late, great Paul Piccone, founder of the TELOS journal. I wasn't even through Gary Ulmen's introduction when I came across what must be one of the best summations of our political climate to date:
Once the Left had collapsed-New and Old-Paul really came into his own: "The categories of 'Left' and 'Right' are paradigmatically modernist. It is not an accident that they date back to the French Revolution, and that they fade with the decline of modernity. In the early 19th century, the distinction referred primarily to the relation to the French Revolution, with the Right defending the status quo ante, and the Left the new bourgeois regime. Later, after it became clear that there was no way to restore the ancien régime, the categories came to characterize the split between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. But, even that became obsolete with the development of social democracy and the integration of the labor movement into the system at the turn of the century. Subsequently the Bolshevik Revolution introduced a seven-decades-long distortion, which only now is beginning to disappear, whereby Left and Right were identified with political regimes based respectively on capitalism and socialism. The capitalist turn in Communist China and the predominance of social democracy in the capitalist West indicate the extent to which the reduction of politics to economics presupposed by the distinction was a Cold War fraud. Consequently, after 1989, the distinction has become increasingly blurred; it lingers on by default, pending the development of better alternatives and of a political climate that will make it possible to recast the political in terms other than those deployed by the ruling elites.
In other words, how to reconfigure the political is itself a political issue, whose outcome is a function of political struggle. Today, the Left/Right split remains an ideological smokescreen concealing the real distinction: between neo-liberals (as well as neo-conservatives) and communitarians.
The former are committed to ever-growing state intervention, bureaucratic rationality, and the bourgeois values of abstract individuality, formal equality, social justice, representative liberal democracy, and unrestricted inclusiveness. This is the ideology of the therapeutic New Class, camouflaging its axiological particularity as universal truth, proceduralizing politics, and privatizing morality. The hypostatizing of bourgeois values to universal truths warranting their imposition on dissidents, now degraded from political opponents to pathological or criminal cases, is part of that general process of depoliticization entailed by the liberal project from its very beginning: the reduction of politics to administration.
The latter (communitarians) insist on local autonomy, direct democracy, cultural particularity, and traditional values of solidarity, belonging, and the identity of politics and morality. Opponents are neither pathologized or criminalized, but classified as 'enemy' or 'friend' and treated accordingly (within various kinds of confederal, federal, or international agreements) or ostracized, confronted, and, in extreme cases, forcibly coerced."
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Once it was power that created high style. But now high styles come from low places, from people who have no power, who slink away from it, in fact, who are marginal, who carve out worlds for themselves in the nether depths, in tainted "undergrounds."
~Tom Wolfe, "The Girl of the Year"
Julius Evola writes in Ride the Tiger:
I can certainly agree with Jünger when he says that these processes of the current world have caused the individual to be superseded by the "type," together with an essential impoverishment of his traits and ways of life, and a dissolution of cultural, human, and personal values. In the majority of cases, the destruction is suffered passively: the man of today is the mere object of it. The result is an empty, mass-produced human type, marked by standardization and flat uniformity; a "mask" in the negative sense; an insignificant, multiple product.
To appeal to the lowest common denominator for a moment, I can't help but think about Bill Burr's stand up bit where he talks about the amount of idiot drivers in traffic: "We already got that guy!" In his essay Superman Comes to the Supermarket, Norman Mailer addresses the same phenomena as Evola but gives it some cultural background:
The twentieth century may yet be seen as that era when civilized man and underprivileged man were melted together into mass man, the iron and steel of the nineteenth century giving way to electronic circuits which communicated their messages into men, the unmistakable tendency of the new century seeming to be the creation of men as interchangeable as commodities, their extremes of personality singed out of existence by the psychic fields of force the communicators would impose. This loss of personality was a catastrophe to the future of the imagination, but billions of people might first benefit from it by having enough to eat -- one did not know -- and there remained citadels of resistance in Europe where the culture was deep and roots were visible in the architecture of the past.
Nowhere, as in America, however, was this fall from individual man to mass man felt so acutely, for America was at once the first and most prolific creator of mass communications, and the most rootless of countries, since almost no American could lay claim to the line of a family which had not once at least severed its roots by migrating here. But, if rootless, it was then the most vulnerable of countries to its own homogenization. Yet America was also the country in which the dynamic myth of the Renaissance -- that every man was potentially extraordinary -- knew its most passionate persistence...
And this myth, that each of us was born to be free, to wander, to have adventure and to grow on the waves of the violent, the perfumed, and the unexpected, had a force which could not be tamed no matter how the nation’s regulators -- politicians, medicos, policemen, professors, priests, rabbis, ministers, idèologues, psychoanalysts, builders, executives and endless communicators -- would brick-in the modern life with hygiene upon sanity, and middle-brow homily over platitude; the myth would not die. Indeed a quarter of the nation’s business must have depended upon its existence. But it stayed alive for more than that -- it was as if the message in the labyrinth of the genes would insist that violence was locked with creativity, and adventure was the secret of love.
So it is in this spirit of excellence and desire for adventure that I turn to the Island One Society for a solution. Let us leave this world with all its crass exploitation, human commodities and infernal crises for a better one. Let us rescue space exploration from the militarists so one day we can be able to make love to space women under Buckminster Fuller-designed domes. I want what Billy Pilgrim wants!