Crash Dummies
The Cause of Poverty

The cause of poverty is the same everywhere on Earth: the lack of money. Capitalism and corporatism have no solution to this problem; hence, their insistence on misguidedly defining citizenship as employment, their imputation of absolute free will (that is, the poor choose to be poor, criminal, drug-addicted, or a serial killer, relieving neoliberals of any need for prison reform or education, social welfare programs for the poor, minorities, and the disabled, or to preserve the safety net of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security); and above all their fanatic insistence on the necessity of work. What Bertrand Russell observed in 1934 is truer than ever in the 21st century: “Modern technique has made it possible for leisure, within limits, to be not the prerogative of small privileged classes, but a right evenly distributed throughout the community. The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery.”

Very likely, oligarchs and tyrants of the Petrochemical Cartel like Charles and David Koch would disagree. So, unfortunately, would the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Wall Street and all of the institutions that have benefited most from the corporatized monetary market system of capitalism. That leaves out the vast majority of Americans, working or unemployed, and the majority of people in the world. 

Some Seasonable Thoughts

Capitalism built on the politics of scarcity and manufactured disasters breeds a mentality that favors crisis management. Money and markets depend on human predation, on the domination of the vulnerable by the powerful, the weaker by the stronger, on alternating cycles of war, depression, mass unemployment, and collapse. The reactionary rightwing insistence on austerity so apparent in the US and European political landscape, which the IMF and World Bank are trying to force down the throats of the rest of the world, is one sort of confirmation. Events and reports on the ground afford a sharper glimpse of the system. Girls age 15 to 17 prostitute themselves to middle-aged white tourists simply to acquire money with which to provide for themselves and their families. A 16 year old high school student in America is denied lunch because he is 45 cents short of the price; yet when the mother offers to pay, the school authorities refuse her offer. The VA systematically denies and delays approving injured veterans for disability and providing them with mental health services. The mining disaster in Turkey, telecom giants lobbying the FCC to eviscerate net neutrality in order to maximize profits, twelve-hundred doctors overcharging Medicare for routine office visits as reported by NPR, the apartheid system in Israel so apparent in the “open air” concentration camp of the Gaza, the state-sanctioned murders of striking mine workers in Africa, the worldwide growth in prostitution, internet pornography, and narco-trafficking all testify to the predations of capitalism and its sources in profit-maximization. These are only a handful of the myriad events and trends confirming my thesis, multiplied by daily headlines and reports of even the mainstream media; they are the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Whether human predation is a necessary or inevitable organizing principle for human society is of course a very old question; arguments for and against are found in Plato’s dialogue “Gorgias” and in The Republic. We are today in a position to answer that question with considerable confidence. Biology, medicine, and the social sciences focused on health and human development have made extraordinary advances in recent decades. The criteria and principled standards that provide the best, most reliably secure foundation for human society and the world are these: childcare and mental health, the identity of education and work, scientific curiosity and artistic creativity as the true regenerative forces of human development, economic health and technological innovation rigorously tied to genuine human need, not manufactured “wants”; and the promulgation of nonviolent democracy and diversity as symbiotic partners in human betterment.  

A society without justice is a barbarism. A world without justice is no world at all, but a Hobbesian “war of all against all.”

I am no idealist. What I propose is true realism. It is not hard to see that capitalism, money and marketing perpetuate predation and human misery for profit by the few, catering to oligarchy and fascism. Nor is it difficult to understand how a society and world founded on the standards described above serves the betterment of the vast majority if not all human beings. Perhaps more importantly, this feature of widely distributed human welfare provides a powerful incentive for attracting the global community of nations, countries and tribes to seeking policies based on common interests rather than on narrow self-interest as defined by competition, scarcity, and advantage-seeking egotism of so-called realpolitik.

What I am proposing offers no panacea. Murder, rape, suffering, and injustice will still plague humans—though perhaps with much less frequency. To live in a world where the largest global problem is overpopulation would be a welcome change from the status quo of genocide, violence and degradation to which we, like automata or zombies, seem to have become inured.  

 

New Thoughts About the Sinister Dynamic Argument

 

BRUTAL ORDER

Assessing America’s Destructive “Work Ethic”

D. C. Weiser[*]

          The meanness, or rather the brutality, which the leading institutions of corporate economy, education, and governance in America breed, nurture and hybridize is yielding a hellish crop. This brutality is evident in the social hemorrhaging of Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandyhook, in the incarceration, torture and execution of people of color as clearly as in the devastation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and Egypt. The rapes and hate crimes targeting women, men and LGBT persons testify to this deeply ingrained savagery. An epidemic of clinical depression and other forms of mental illness resulting from hopelessness in the general population is sweeping the nation (especially apparent in suicides of children, young persons, and young veterans of the US-driven ‘War on Terror’ and even un-deployed reservists). High tech educational testing, school construction and management corporations, enticed and backed by Wall Street gamblers, have launched an assault designed to cripple our public schools, dispossess our teachers and replace them with their own hand-picked and probably low-paid adjunct, temporary or “distance” staff in proprietary or “so-called” charter schools. The strategy is clearly meant to weed out the poor, especially poor blacks, Hispanics, the disabled, and other “undesirables”). A virtual menagerie of fascist strains have sprung up from the muck of stupidity, incompetence and chaos spread the length and breadth of this country ever since the Alzheimers presidency of Ronald Reagan. The Southern Poverty Law Center counts 1,007 such organizations since 2012, including Army of God, Aryan Nation, Racist Skinheads, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacist, Black Supremacist, Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim, Christian Identity, Radical Catholic Antisemites, Ku Klux Klan, and other criminal gangs and hate groups. We have permitted the cynical slaughter of our young in indefensible wars of aggression, ignoring US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, of which Fallujah is perhaps the cruelest, most terrible symbol. The ability of US House and Senate to govern is in complete collapse and it is far from certain that it can be restored.

          The wholesale imprisoning of minorities has become second nature for our criminal justice system, as racial profiling has for police. The degradation of American society is plainly visible in the rampant militarization of police departments, the widespread practice of over-policing, the application of increasingly harsh penalties for minor infractions, the acceptance of torture (in the case of unjustly imprisoned political prisoners like Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, four decades of solitary confinement; or in the case of civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart, who is dying of  Stage Four Terminal Cancer, the prison’s refusal to grant compassionate release, President Obama’s refusal to pardon), and especially the criminalizing of the poor, destitute and unemployed that the complete abandonment of America’s core principles is most evident. With the utterly barbarous and protracted execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, we can say with confidence that Oklahoma is Not Okay.

          Nowhere is the disconnect more apparent than in the complete opposition of the majority of Americans—Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, T.E.A. Party, Conservative, Liberal, Progressive alike—to the corporate and corporatized government positions on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, education (the majority wants amnesty on student loans, low- or no-cost college education, public schools, Obamacare (the majority of Americans actually want a single-payer system like Canada, Britain, and Scandinavia have), worker rights and safety protections, paid family leave, sick days, and Iran.

          What all of this nonsense most clearly shows is the immense influence of a corporate sector desperate to seize any and every conceivable profit center and revenue stream in the public sector. If the monster can’t expropriate (i.e., steal) something (say, Iraq, Social Security, or Afghanistan) outright, it destroys it then recreates it (like Haiti, like Iraq, like Afghanistan). Think about it: What does corporate welfare, typified by Big Agra, Big Oil and Big Pharma raiding the US Treasury in the form of immense subsidies, have in common with the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the continuous assault on Obamacare, the agenda to abolish or privatize all government agencies, the Postal Service, Department of Education, public health, EPA and OSHA, Social Security and Medicare; or with the wholesale granting of Constitutional and personhood rights to corporate entities, with Citizens United, with our inability to raise the minimum wage, or to pass meaningful gun control, campaign finance, and banking reform laws with enforcement teeth? They all have the same motive: profit-maximization or profiteering regardless of social cost. Corporate culture’s leadership and the new barony of 1-percenters are engaged in a power-grab of historic proportions, comparable to the secular confiscation of church property during the Middle Ages. Multinational corporations intend to take the place of the nation-state and traditional governments and to remake secular laws in their own image to suit their own oligarchic whims. Naturally, the nation-states, governments and their legal structures must first be destroyed.

          Or, if not destroyed, at least reduced to pliable, bribable, client-states with whom this New Disorder of the World can do business—though only as a preparation for their ultimate destruction. These are not so much client-states of the US government as they are of the global corporate hegemony that now dictates US policy, writes its laws, and buys off its bureaucrats and ideologues in all three branches of government. On this scenario, as Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying have plainly shown, allies are merely potential client-states, awaiting the same fate as those, like Iraq and Afghanistan, the US denominates as “terrorist” or rogue states. (A “rogue” state is one that does not wish to be economically colonized and exploited by a corporate confederacy of multinational conglomerates.)

          Destruction, followed by reconstruction, that’s where the smart money is, right? It’s really the same plot as the original movie version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” In that old fiction-horror classic, it’s what those alien peapods do to their human victims once they fall asleep (that’s when you’re most vulnerable). Suck up all their matter and restructured them—inside the pod. Replacement veggie-humans. Soulless zombies.

          It’s an apt metaphor—that pod—for modern, monopolistic, parasitic, corporate capitalism. It fits what Douglas Rushkoff calls “a corporate life-form,” calls it  an invasive institutional parasite that “mistakes the map for the territory.” In Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy, author Ted Nace describes it as “a new life form,”

“[with]…an evolutionary history, a characteristic structure, a set of behaviors. It scales to any size, serves virtually any function, adapts to any culture, and is robust—capable, at least in principle, of functioning indefinitely. It is programmed to survive, to maintain its structure and functional integrity, to grow, to avoid danger and recover from damage, to adapt, and to respond to the outside world.” (My italics)

          All Nace has to add is that it has green acid for blood, a remarkable knack for disappearing at crucial moments, hates living things with a vengeance, and is virtually impossible to destroy for the writer to identify this corporate “life-form” with the infernal monster in Ridley Scott’s original Alien. Where is Ripley when we need her?

          The subtitle of Rushkoff’s remarkably instructive book, LIFE INC.—‘How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back’—brings into sharp focus the extent of this parasite’s ambition: to literally recreate the entire world in its own image. Multinational corporatism might well say, in the words of an old sci-fi TV show, “The Outer Limits”: “We control the horizontal. We control the vertical.”

          Science Fiction and Fantasy, which as genres of literature constitute a kind of collective unconscious for our time, has supplied us with numerous representations of the relentless “corporate life-form” of modern capitalist ideology: Alien, Terminator (both spawning wildly popular sequels), andthe Dark Lord, Sauron, in The Lord of the Rings.More recently, in Neil Gaiman’s extraordinary, memoir-like fantasy, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, two visually challenging (for humans) alien creatures: the ancient demon, Skarthach of the Keep, that wanted “to give people money,” gave “THEM WHAT THEY NEEDED,” and “MADE them happy.” And the truly terrifying Hunger Birds, “vulture-monsters” and “cleaners” capable of tearing and devouring—cleaning—the fabric of worlds, in particular, the colored world of Earth’s material reality, leaving behind only a pulsing gray, nihilistic void like the static on a TV when the picture’s gone.

          Recent disclosures of the NSA’s global spying and its data sweeps of phone and email records of the entire population, intimidation of AT&T, Verizon, Google and the other telecom companies, the widespread lying and rationalizing of NSA and CIA (Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander) and other government leaders and mouthpieces (Senator Diane Feinstein) show that the US government has abandoned the rule of law altogether in favor of its own piecemeal and expedient “interpretations”; it has joined the ranks of criminal organizations like the Mafia, the Third Reich, Medellin and Cali, Sinaloa, Gulf, La Familia and Los Zetas cartels.

          Make no mistake: the US embrace of fascist tyranny while hiding behind painted masks of “Freedom,” “Transparency,” “Democracy” and “Progress” is driven exclusively by the corporate sector, with ExxonMobil and Walmart leading the way.

          The  Corporate Juggernaut singled out the United States, with its historic traditions of independence and civil rights, as posing, at least potentially, the greatest threat to its own agenda—even if that independence and those rights existed merely on paper, possessing no actual substance. Since passage of the two so-called P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Acts, the NDAA authorizing torture, indefinite detention and even assassination of U.S. citizens at home or abroad, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and our democracy are in tatters.  Destruction, after all, is what capitalism does best.

          I want to make it clear that I am talking about institutions, not individuals. I am an individual, not an institution. So are all of you, whether you understand what that means, or even agree. President Obama is an individual, not an institution, although he works for an institution. Barack Obama is the current tenant of the most powerful office of the most powerful government of the most powerful nation on earth. That is why it is sometimes said that the President is “the most powerful person on earth.” This is not strictly true. The President of the United States may be the most powerful person in the world. (Like bubonic plague or AIDS, he can invade and destroy countries, pardon persons on death row, or have people assassinated, after designating them enemies, terrorists, or threats to national security). But, although the President may be the most powerful, he is also the least free, person in the world. This is attested to by the fact that most sane persons do not wish to be President, by the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and JFK. You only have to look at the President’s itinerary. Like all other forms of employment in America, the US Presidency is a job, not a career or even a career move. President Obama’s job is 24/7. As much as any prison “lifer” President Obama has been institutionalized. It’s just a different, perhaps a better institution. A different kind of prison.

          I, on the other hand (for whatever reason: poetry, philosophy, or A.D.D.), have not been institutionalized. Not that society hasn’t tried. The closest I ever came to being institutionalized—in the sense intended here (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)—was at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Instead of becoming institutionalized, I got educated—and civilized. (Hannah Arendt claimed that, if anyone was responsible for making her a reasonable person, it was Karl Jaspers, her teacher, mentor and lifelong friend. I have been extremely fortunate in having had many excellent teachers, from grade school through grad school. I even managed to learn from the few bad teachers I had. Like a bad book, a bad teacher can often be instructive. So, besides my own efforts, I would blame all of my teachers collectively for the content of my character, the quality and conditioning of my mind. Especially the nearly two dozen really good ones—in grade school: Miss Grimes, Miss Cipelka, Lottie Crowder, Dorothy Pillman, in high school: David Brummet, Ruth Morrisey, in college: William Bleifuss, Chris Hauer, Jay Karr, Roy Leeper, Stanley Baldwin, Dave Collins, Wayne Zade, Richard Mattingly, Ernest Mitler, James Swindler, Martine Palo, and in grad school: Richard De George, Warner Morse, Rex Martin, Art Skidmore, and Jack Bricke.)

          All of the descriptions, judgments and attributions I have made and will make here apply exclusively to institutions and not to individual persons (although they may have significant consequences for individual persons). 

          On this scale, the Corporate Golem is driven exclusively by the profit motive, specifically profit-maximization, whatever excuses it makes or justifications it offers for its decisions and the actions it takes. Let’s be clear on this point: we are talking about MNCs the size of ExxonMobil, Walmart, Bertelsmann, Carlyle and J. P. Morgan-Chase, not small local businesses, mom-and-pop coffee shops, art house movie theaters, or professional firms ranging from independent book stores to psychology, law, or medical practices; although, to be perfectly honest, all businesses have been infected with and mind-numbed by the advertising propaganda promoting capitalist ideology that gets pumped out 24/7 through the highly-corporatized, mainstream media.

          As a matter of fact, everything that goes on in this society and much of the world, is imagined, devised and shaped solely by this profit-maximizing motive. That is a conspiracy, not a conspiracy theory. Only a people who have been so brainwashed by the allure of advertising imagery and self-flattering propaganda jargon aimed directly at their collective hypothalamus or reproductive organs that they believe in endless progress, that progress is growth in profits accurately measured by GDP, that GDP accurately measures anything other than growing inequality, waste, structural violence, disease and destruction reflected by the sum total of profits, independent of how those profits are distributed or used; that humankind’s destiny is for everyone to become a successful entrepreneur, or that entrepreneurialism is anything besides disguised social Darwinism, blind faith in salvation through technology, naïve trust in scientific “expertise,” and sheer hucksterism.

          The dark underbelly and corollary of the tenets of this Entrepreneur’s Creed is that it reduces everything to the criteria of  employment or ownership. Having a job is the litmus test for being able to enjoy the rights of citizenship, making acceptance of the tenets of entrepreneurialism the fundamental social reality. Not having a job or owning a profitable business is, in 21st America, the equivalent of a Medieval peasant not having a soul, or of excommunication from Mother Church. The mere fact that practically every MBA program in the country subscribes religiously to these tenets of entrepreneurialism, tenets that are demonstrably  false (including the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph), shows just how deeply entrenched and intransigent our trouble is.

          The only cause of poverty is a lack of money (not lack of education or having the “wrong kind” of education, not bad character, not laziness, not criminal tendencies, and assuredly not a lack of “right-thinking,” whatever that is). As Barbara Ehrenreich has compellingly argued, all of these problems, especially that of a minimum living wage, are moral issues, not economic ones. Decisions and policies about them may have economic consequences, but they are not the ones that conservative Republicans, T.E.A. Party Libertarians, FOX anchors or Wall Street lobbyists like to point to (erroneously). We can scotch this economic fairytale that raising the minimum wage causes unemployment. As a matter of fact, it has precisely the opposite effect; it acts as a stimulant to the economy, boosting enterprise and lifting all boats in a community. This scapegoat of reactionary conservatives is nothing more than a self-serving distraction from selfishness (profit-maximizing strikes again!). We shall have to look elsewhere for the causes of unemployment.

          Through her reluctant experiment in “emergent journalism,” putting her body on the line and actually working these low-wage jobs and experiencing the accompanying “life-style,” Barbara Ehrenreich learned some very important lessons: that the poor work very hard indeed at physically demanding jobs (waitresses, hotel housekeepers, warehouse pickers and assembly line packagers); that there are no “unskilled” jobs, that all jobs require intelligence, skill, focus and dedication; that the poor are disrespected and despised just for taking low-wage jobs, treated as criminals by misbegotten, paternalistic, white collar managers who themselves perform the vast bulk of workplace pilfering, theft and embezzlement. Ehrenreich also discovered that the poor are victims of wage theft by management to the tune of more than $100 billion each year, estimated by M.I.T. researchers.

          A nation and people that deny a living wage to every worker, especially to the working poor, who criminalize the poor, the young, minorities, or believe that poverty, like literary fiction, is character-driven, or who believe that the poor have only themselves to blame for their poverty must have a very low opinion of work. The vast majority of employed Americans hates work and despises what they do and, more importantly, detests why they do it: namely, for money. They may ignore this fact, drive it from their minds, by burying it under fatuous achievements and by consuming ever more material commodities.

          But, revealingly, by so doing they stand in flagrant contradiction to at least ten thousand years of history and the teaching of every major religion: that the needy, the widow, the orphan, the poor, the most vulnerable members of society have a claim on the majority to treat them with dignity, relieve their suffering, assist their needs, heal their wounds, and restore them to their full and welcome place as members of society. Not to blame them for weakness or criminality, while offering to sell them courses on basics of sound financial management.

          The business of America is not business, certainly not show business; but neither is it a Monopoly game, a Hobbesian “war of all against all,” a proof of natural selection or justification of social Darwinism. It is not built into the fabric of the cosmos or the nature of reality; nor is business humankind’s inevitable lot. Meaningful work is essential for human beings; working to “earn a living” is not. The proper business of America is to retire its existing business ideology as no longer a viable concept for civilization. 

 



[*] D. C. Weiser is the author of more than a dozen works of poetry, nd nonfiction. His latest work and the object of a current Kickstarter campaign is Sinister Dynamic: Global Governance and the Reconstruction of Nature.

Exploding American Entrepreneurship and Exceptionalism

1.       The very idea that everyone or even the majority could, let alone should, become entrepreneurs is ludicrous, a fable for the gullible that is based on two assumptions: 1) that endlessly expanding and accelerating consumption is socially desirable, and 2) that human beings can be completely conditioned to respond predictably to applied stimuli. Both assumptions are false because 1) such consumption causes rapid exploitation of natural and human resources, depends on a delusional and therefore untenable notion of progress, and because 2) human beings cannot be completely conditioned but only conditioned by propaganda into believing that they are completely conditioned. Under modern capitalism this is accomplished by identifying freedom with consumption and consumerism with moral responsibility by inundating the population with powerful visual imagery and psychological propaganda (a similar conflation occurs in the public mind when rulers insist that mere casting votes somehow constitutes governance and consent). Of course, if they believe that, citizens must abandon any notion of free will or moral choice, jettisoning their traditionally held belief in the ideas and principles of freedom and responsibility, which in turn undermines the capitalist ideology that defines corporatism and supposedly provides the basis and justification for capitalism and consumerism in the first place.)

2.       If entrepreneurship is ludicrous, the doctrine of American exceptionalism is pure nonsense. Exceptionalism, the belief that a particular people or nation is divinely appointed to lead or rule the rest of the world, rests in the case of the USA on a wholly fallacious identification with Israel, God’s “chosen people” (though chosen for what is, historically speaking, an apt question), a national obsession and, if I may say, puerile hallucination of America’s being a “second Israel” indulged in primarily by demagogues, their congenital idiots and homegrown imbecile followers.

3.       Once citizens have jettisoned these medieval superstitions, they are free to see what Multinational Corporate Capitalism really amounts to: an unfettered, brutal system of empire and exploitation, brandishing weapons of war and slavery, spreading its cornucopia of corruption an economic collapse, while an oligarchic minority cashes in on the suffering and ruin if provides for its victims: the majority. Realizing not only that the jobs aren’t coming back and that the future holds only decreasing opportunities for organized labor, that work and labor as we have known them since the Industrial Revolution began no longer exist as meaningful categories of human activity. This is not to say that work and labor, properly understood, no longer exist, but rather that the ideas of working for a living, of the intrinsic dignity of work, of distinctions between labor and capital, worker and owner, employee and employer no longer have any relationship to the realities of modern experience. 

To recommend potential domestic or international campaign backers, email me at sita.dcw@gmail.com with “Backers” in the Subject line and I’ll send you a code to give the prospective backer (that way I’ll know that you sent them). This feature is open to backers whatever their level of support. These Levels are: Level I: Basic Backer: I-a less than $25; 1-b $25; Level II-c: Co-editor $35; II-d: Subscriber Magnet $35; Level III-e: GIT-GO $50. 

Every backer will be credited by name in the published book. Later, I’ll tell you how you can obtain a print copy of the Sinister Dynamic at a vastly reduced price. 

SINISTER DYNAMIC: Global Governance and the Reconstruction of Nature SYNOPSES:

Prologue The Axes of History

A radical reinterpretation of Perry Miller’s account of “the American theme of nature versus civilization” and Hannah Arendt’s analysis of science and technology as “irreversible processes” let loose in the world place the work of both figures at the center of an accelerating and irreconcilable conflict between eco-sustainability and multinational corporate capitalism. Both Miller’s exegesis of a “sinister dynamic of Nature” at work in American culture and Arendt’s explication of technological fabrication rooted in a human capacity for action independently confirm that corporate capitalism’s inner dynamic and agenda implies and in fact requires the reconstruction of nature; a salient theme fundamental to comprehending not only the priorities that determine modern capitalism’s monetary-market system but the politico-cultural key to Perry Miller’s “working model for American history.” The threat that corporate capitalism poses to nature and human life has profound implications for our understanding of all natural systems on our planet, the role of science and technology, the framework and rule of law, the place of politics, education, economics, morality, money, even the very viability of work itself. A careful exploration and reconsideration of these issues forms the basis and structure of this book. More importantly, it allows us to raise a single pertinent question: What is possible for human beings on earth?

Introduction The Significance of Roger Williams and Jonathan Edwards

The lives and biographies of Roger Williams and Jonathan Edwards resonate as parables of American cultural identity, revealing the tensions inherent in Protestantism, particularly those likely to arise from expressions of separatist autonomy and community orthodoxy, innovative self-direction and conventional authority. Williams is unmatched as an exponent of religious and intellectual independence from forces of social conformity and approbation, while Edwards emerges as a prototype of the artist in America at the center of a clash between the authority of Christian morality and the ambitions of entrepreneurial capitalism. That clash involves detailed a consideration of issues of free will, human nature and morality, America’s mythos of a “boundless prospect” of unlimited resources, exceptionalism, and contemporary partisan divisions between conservatives and liberals in the broader context of capitalism versus environmentalism.

Chapter 1 Lost Future: Corporate Science, Secrecy and Renewable Energy

J. B. S. Haldane’s and Bertrand Russell’s 1923 predictions of global corporate hegemony and its control of technology provide the context of a discussion of Hannah Arendt’s analysis of science; an exploration of the OSS’s influence on the organizational structure and subsequent “mission” of the Cold War CIA; the impact of the corporate national security state on the prospects for renewable energy; and James Douglass’ astonishing and comprehensive reassessment of the context and meaning of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I recount a personal anecdote about investigating Perry Miller’s wartime service in the Psychological Warfare Branch of the OSS and close with an ironic observation about Miller, Arendt and the Cold War.

Chapter 2 Contempt: The Spread of Corporate Contamination

A personal reflection about working for an independent oil company in the late 1970s introduces a review of the chief features of modern corporate hegemony through the work of Annie Leonard, Bill McKibben, Ted Nace, economists James Henry, William Black, Michael Hudson, Simon Johnson and others. Topics addressed include the rise of corporate power, the role and nature of modern advertising and media, the Koch brothers and ALEC’s hijacking of state legislatures to promote anti-abortion, concealed carry and other reactionary legislation, and their ties to the racially motivated murders of Kenneth Chamberlain, Trayvon Martin and Kimani Gray. To evaluate the perpetual war economy under Bush-Cheney and Obama, I assess the Pentagon’s support for widening structural inequality, its plans to achieve “full spectrum dominance” by weaponizing space and weather and to finance their plan by confiscating social entitlements. Themes analyzed include the repression of whistleblowers, the embracing of drone assassination and torture as approved US policy, the current state of the global economy, and the bogus “trade” agreement that is a corporate power grab on an unprecedented scale, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Analysis reveals that contempt infects the very structure of modern capitalism at its core; and that entrepreneurialism is the chief defense and justification of the existing capitalist monetary-market system. Further reflection on these themes, the growing militarization of civilian government and law enforcement, and a perpetual war economy since 9/11 yields a single conclusion: the United States is now the leading fascist state in the world.

Chapter 3 We Are the Ocean, We Are Water

Having evaluated the downside of corporate capitalist hegemony and its agenda, I review some positive developments for human social evolution in the ocean work of Peter Neill and biomimetic designer Jay Harman, Janine Benyus, eco-activists Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, Wenonah Hauter and the local food movement, economist Richard Wolff and others whose voices contribute to eco-sustainability and the wider environmental movement, contrasting these with exponents of their organized opposition. Everything depends upon the well-being of the oceans and fresh drinking water is a human right, not a commodity (Peter Neill, World Ocean Observatory founder). Capitalism’s failure as an economic system signifies an imminent “end to growth” conceived as GDP, inescapable debt, unpredictable climate and weather disasters resulting from global warming, threatening soil, air and water, life in the oceans and on land, forcing ordinary citizens to suffer routine collective hardship. Citizens must peaceably dismantle the corporate-governmental system that is responsible for this state of affairs and take steps to collectively imagine how best to reconstruct or create “an economy that exists within the limits of nature” (Richard Heinberg). The state of the environmental movement and ecological sustainability is assessed through a critical examination of the views of oil CEO Peter Voser and the facts concerning hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Jonathan Edwards’ concept of fusing objective and inherent good in a perceiving “sense of the heart” offers an instructive and valuable path to overhaul our aesthetic appreciation of nature and so facilitate our quest for comprehensive revolutionary transformation. From this perspective, I examine and evaluate the tragic and barbaric 12-year history of US atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands. Lastly, I argue for the view that Edwards’ account of “true virtue” uniting objective and inherent good and Arendt’s account of political virtue as “understanding” or a special case of imagination are identical.

Chapter 4 Global Autonomy: Corporate Central versus Local Resilience

The stakes are high as centrifugal local movements begin to mobilize for safe healthy foods, public education, clean air, water and soil, decentralized banking, alternative currencies, rights of nature ordinances, worker rights and fair wages. Such progressive, grassroots, populist movements threaten the centripetal control of giant, vested, corporate interests like ConAgra, ExxonMobil and Monsanto, J. P. Morgan-Chase, AIG, Dow, Bechtel, Halliburton, Kellogg Brown and Root, Walmart, The Carlyle Group, the military- and prison-industrial complex, Wall Street, and the entire exploitative juggernaut of multinational corporate empire.

I examine Martin Bormann’s “flight capital” program, undertaken to guarantee Germany’s economic revitalization after World War II, showing how Bormann actually shaped the subsequent development of multinational corporate banking and its executive culture. Wall Street lawyer and spymaster, OSS bureau chief in Berlin at the end of World War II, and the first civilian Director of the CIA, Allen Dulles is at the center of a complex strategy of banking fraud, manipulating and concealing assets on behalf of clients including Prescott Bush, Averill Harriman, the Rockefellers and Fritz Thyssen, the German steel magnate who had bankrolled the Nazis. The work of empowering local communities by community organizers and educators like Paul Cienfuegos, Thomas Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, and Andrew Kimbrell is contrasted with the corporate strategy of keeping the public distracted and divided by inflammatory single issue politics like guns, crime, terrorists and abortion. I examine the implications of the war on terror, drone assassination and torture, global surveillance, and the government’s crackdown on whistleblowers, the import of these trends for journalism and free speech. Compelling new evidence in James Douglass’ comprehensive reinterpretation of the 1963 JFK assassination is explored in detail. Entrepreneurialism and the Kauffman Foundation’s program of “Expeditionary Economics” are examined in the context of the historic strategies and behavior of forerunners of modern multinational corporations, the Dutch United East India and British East India Companies. 

Chapter 5 Teachable Moments: Renewing Education

I explore and evaluate several “teachable moments” in contemporary American culture and the broad framework of existing market capitalism with a view to renewing public education. These “moments” concern the media, the surveillance state, Aaron Swartz, US death squads, journalism and democracy, the role of general education, charter schools, recent developments affecting patents and patent trolls (shell companies that buy up patents in order to sue startup companies), Big Agra and Monsanto. Robert McChesney, Vandana Shiva, Christopher Pyle, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Michael Hastings, Barrett Brown, Judi Bari and Julian Assange provide an accurate measure of the condition of our corporate national security state.

Chapter 6 Venus Rising: Science-Based Energy Management

A detailed investigation of the argument in Peter Joseph’s documentary, ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD, provides the context for examining the economic system and evaluating the claim that entrepreneurial S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training and scientific rationality are the appropriate determiners and arbiters of social policy. Invoking Hannah Arendt’s analysis of science and technology, I defend her argument that, while scientific knowledge must inform policy decisions, science qua science and scientific reason cannot replace or overrule political wisdom.[DW1] [DW2]  The techno-scientific regimen for social salvation envisioned by Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project, Amory Lovins’ Rocky Mountain Institute, and proponents of so-called “natural capital” offers only a partial, piecemeal, and instrumental protocol, which, however technically valuable its insights and projects, cannot provide a political solution to problems of public policy (for example, program funding, energy policy, commercial and technological regulation, allocation of resources, private vs. public education, and healthcare). I trace numerous grounds for Joseph’s conclusion that the greatest threat to human and planetary survival is “[t]he Socio-Economic System itself at its very foundation.” The need of humankind to put capitalism back in the box of the big, corporate-driven, Monopoly game will necessitate all sorts of correlative changes in society, including an end to human labor, its replacement by labor automation. Scientific knowledge rather than economic profit will work with local, autonomous, community-based, democratic politics to manage global resources, with a view to sustaining and maintaining resources like fresh water, forests, and energy.

Chapter 7 The Last Capitalist: The Trouble with Capitalism

Citing industrial entrepreneur, Armand Hammer, as the last genuine capitalist, I revisit more than 22 reasons why capitalism simply doesn’t work, in particular the grounds for claiming that profit-maximization, which trumps all other social and humane values, is the exclusive driver of the existing capitalistic monetary-market system. I discuss Cory Panshin’s “The Secret History of the Twentieth Century” and Dave Emory’s investigative work reexamining rightwing politics since 1945 and its connections with international fascism. For all of the reasons adduced, none of capitalism’s destructive trends are likely to change as long as capital persists in its present form or a remains fused to, and continues to valorize, the profit motive. For the world to change direction and move toward democracy, peace, justice and a sustainable future, the profit motive must be detached from a flexible form of credit that is universally available to all.

Chapter 8 Liberating Labor: The Purpose of Work

I examine and assess economist Richard Wolff’s worker self-directed enterprise, similar work of political economist Gar Alperovitz, and Chuck Collins’ writings on income inequality. Bertrand Russell’s 1935 critique of the social value of work, “In Praise of Idleness,” provides a transition to a fuller discussion of the meaning and purpose of work. Labor’s vision of the future is regressive and it incorrectly analyzes what it is up against in the corporate fascist state, clinging to an outmoded narrative that retains the structural opposition of capital vs. labor, owner vs. worker, private vs. public. Adherents to the doctrines of traditional organized labor play into the hands of entrenched global corporate power and are unable to address the needs of the planet or the future. Invoking previous arguments and conclusions, I build on Russell’s insights, arguing that, however counterintuitive it may sound, the way to full employment is in a sense attainable through full unemployment. For the world to change direction and move toward institutions that embody democracy, peace, justice and a sustainable future, the profit motive must be detached from a flexible form of credit that is universally accessible by every person. We should abolish capital and all national currencies in favor of universal credit freely available to all.

Chapter 9 The Challenge: Reconciling Equality and Authority

There is hope neither in a return to traditional or modified forms of worker capitalism nor in New Age optimism, technological salvation, “natural” capital entrepreneurialism, single-issue politics, or piecemeal local community organizing, taken in isolation. Yet, we cannot afford simply to plod along under the weight of an atavistic fossil fuel and petrochemical status quo, and its subsidiaries of global warming, exported wars, disease, narco-trafficking and slavery. Hannah Arendt’s account of the mechanism of authentic political virtue and action offers a promising if challenging potential solution. Our only choice is to become educated citizens and organize on the order of local, state and regional, national and international communities; to take control of our political and electoral processes and elect leaders who embody Arendtian political excellence. The generative work of Saul Alinsky and Gene Sharp suggests a strategy for systematically replacing dictatorship through coordinated, nonviolent, revolutionary action whereby citizens anywhere can organize to transform their nation’s institutions. Unlimited, nonreciprocal, universal credit for all persons, that is, credit from which the profit motive has been detached, is the only realistic antidote for the lethal mutation of modern capitalism. Implementing such credit globally presupposes the crucial need for total international agreement on first principles and goals, persistent good will in collaborative cooperation, requiring that nations and societies divest themselves of all notions of narrow self-interest in favor of the mutually shared interest of every nation in establishing and maintaining peace, stability and improved quality of life.

Epilogue: The Last Whale

Explicitly formulating nine premises of two interlocking arguments made throughout the previous chapters, the first about the realities of capitalism and capital and the second about political freedom in a truly sustainable world, I discuss and evaluate their implications. There is nothing that existing capital and currency can do that idiosyncratic, universal credit cannot do as well or even better. It therefore makes sense to replace global capital with an idiosyncratic, nonreciprocal form of credit, which is universally available to every person on the planet.  

            Argument 1 Conclusion: Because capitalism’s monetary-market system in its existing form no longer serves the purpose for which it was intended, namely, the satisfying of genuine human needs, and in fact comprises an anti-economic system devoted to producing cyclical consumption, endless waste and destruction, capitalism and the monetary-market are completely broken and dysfunctional and should therefore be scrapped.

            Argument 2 Conclusion:The conclusion of the first argument establishes a tenth premise,

Premise 10: To restore the economy to its intended purpose of satisfying actual human needs and to reconnect money transactions with life reproduction so that the money sequence of value actually delivers the life sequence of value, we must abolish global capital and all forms of currency, replacing them with a nonreciprocal, idiosyncratic form of credit that is universally available to every person on the planet, thereby detaching the profit motive from all conceptions of personal wealth.

Conclusion: A sustainable world of renewable energy in which local communities manage resources according to demonstrable knowledge and scientific best practices is possible; but it will only come about if local communities across the United States first regain the “lost treasure” of genuine political action to secure their democratic institutions for themselves and for posterity.

After describing what the complete collapse of the biosphere, the death of oceans, habitat and mass extinctions would look like, I call on citizens to rise to the challenge of our time, and organize for non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, intervention and change under a well-planned overall strategy for taking back control of our political institutions. Only then can we persuade the community of nations to join in transforming our world for peace, social justice and democratic equality for all.


Politics has been the victim of a concentrated, 34-year campaign orchestrated by the right as part of a concerted strategy to undermine and destroy politics and to eradicate the people’s faith in government and democratic institutions. With passage of Citizens United, the passage of “Stand Your Ground” laws, perpetual war against terror to prop up the economy, NSA’s global surveillance, the secretive fast-tracking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (which will, if passed, give multinational corporations complete control over environmental protections, governments, the internet, pharmaceuticals, and universities) will give the executive barony of multinational corporate cartels a stranglehold over Congress, the people and democracy. As a result, what most people think of as politics has nothing whatever to do with actual political experience and political wisdom. And the farcical circus of career bureaucrats on Capitol Hill has nothing to do with genuine politics.

 

Sinister Dynamic Publishing Project May 1-May 31

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Why I Wrote This Book: Purpose and Overview                              i-iv

Prologue         The Axes of History                                                     1

Introduction    The Significance of Roger Williams and Jonathan                             Edwards                                                                      25

1  Lost Future: Corporate Science, Secrecy and Renewable Energy 45

2  Contempt: The Spread of Corporate Contamination                     75

We Are the Ocean, We Are Water                                               127

Global Autonomy: Corporate Central Versus Local Resilience  169

Teachable Moments: Renewing Education                                  207

Venus Rising: Science-Based Energy Management                     243

The Last Capitalist: The Trouble With Capitalism                       261

Liberating Labor: The Purpose of Work                                       279

The Challenge: Reconciling Equality and Authority                    299

Epilogue          The Last Whale                                                         317

Appendix 1: The Chambersburg Declaration                                   327 

Appendix 2: CELDF Draft Rights of Nature Ordinance                331

Appendix 3: Ordinance for Sustainable Farming in Hawaii            335

Appendix 4: Sample Council Motion                                               343

Appendix 5: Analysis of Leaked TPP Investment Text (link)         344

Appendix 6: Saul Alinsky’s “12 Rules for Radicals”                       344

Bibliography                                                                                     347

Supplementary Bibliography                                                            365

Postscript                                                                                         i-viii

About the Author

SINISTER DYNAMIC PUBLISHING PROJECT - KICKSTARTER - MAY 1

SINISTER DYNAMIC PUBLISHING PROJECT - KICKSTARTER - MAY 1

My Short Story’s Just Been Published!

"Current Events" by Dennis Weiser has just been published online in the January-March 2013 issue of The Cat’s Meow for Writers and Readers http://www.thecatsmeowforwritersreaders.com/.

Unglue.it Campaign a Success!

The 60-day Unglue.it campaign for the worldwide release of a free ebook (Kindle .mobi and Adobe Digital Reader Epub formats) of The Third Awakening was a success. Here’s an excerpt from a press release leading up to the American Library Association meeting:

Dennis Weiser’s erotic sci-fi thriller The Third Awakening broke new ground in a number of ways. Produced and distributed through Smashwords, its successful campaign showed that Unglue.it can also work for self-published books. Digital files for the unglued edition of The Third Awakening were generated by Smashwords’ “Meatgrinder” system by special permission. Weiser’s campaign was also the first to succeed since Unglue.it’s relaunch with Stripe as its payment provider. “Stripe performed flawlessly. It’s great to be back in business!” said Hellman. “Smashwords, as much as any other company, is redefining how the publishing industry works, to the great benefit of authors.”
—Eric Hellman, President, Gluejar, Inc.