Pluralism

Intelligent people can come from anywhere. Stupid ones do come from everywhere. The Democratic ideal has been abdicated in favor of a pluralistic one, a hallmark of twentieth century politics everywhere, certainly; a current politique in favor among a broad spectrum of college educated administrators and fellow paper pushers (paper in the ether?) managing America’s affairs with a bureaucratic efficiency reminiscent of the best managerial traditions of our military. The military-social-complex is here. Intelligence in America is more in line with saying so than proving so. Democracy has thus been transformed in the image of the State, the newest form of God we worship, and worship we do.

Power in Democracy is numerical, we once believed. We had deferred to the idea that a people were a powerful entity in any country, let alone a country like the United States with a unique tradition of liberty. We were certain of this; we are no longer certain of this; in fact, we are no longer aware that we are uncertain of this. I don’t believe we hope for the truths inherent from believing that Power should serve the People–upper case here referring to our once better understanding of what We the People could mean.

We were once sure that the people were the only “institution” of governing that had the potential to counterbalance the weight of the state; We the people meant something to each of us, was in fact something that every person stood for, that each man or woman or child was proxy for the People. I am We the People; you are We the People; each and every other person is also We the People; much the way the cosmos has an infinite number of relative centers to its expansion, each of us has a relative macrocosmic relationship to the State. Of course, this relationship is metaphysical, not physical, or even relatively physical in how a person relates to the State and its agencies of control.

It was the people and only the people who were dense enough to counterbalance the weight and mass of the state, l’etat en soi-meme. Now, all states serve themselves; a truth to be undenied today as it has been for always true everywhere. However, this is a truth that had at least the potential to be countermanded in the past. (I understand that we cannot imagine today that we are less free than we were, or that our potential for freedom today is less probable than it was even when we might not have been as free as we would have wanted to be.)

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National Coffee Day [Flash Fiction]

Every day is coffee day for me. Just be around when I realize I have forgotten to get coffee the day before. I love my espresso machine.

Even though the first espresso machine in the world was in Naples Italy, I do not feel any special affinity for espresso coffee because my father’s mother’s family is from Naples, which might mean somewhere along the Amalfi Coast in close or remote proximity to Naples–I do not know exactly, but then I feel this more than I know this, if you understand what I am saying, you know what I mean?

I cannot, though, drink weak American coffee, or anything like medium roast or blonde roast as some say–whatever that is supposed to mean–dish water. I do not know why anyone does. I should understand that there are specific ways a person can know who is suited for him—is it possible to love a person who likes blonde roast coffee, some weak shit that’s like coffee passed through the same grinds several times? No, it is not; no more than it is possible for me to be with a woman who puts ice cubes in good red wine, like a good bottle of Gigondas. Anyone who puts ice cubes in a glass of Gigondas should be beaten with a stick. I mean, do you eat with your feet; do you stick your thumbs up your ass before you take hold of a sandwich? Do you have sex with the dead or with animals? These are the same as putting an ice cube in a glass of Gigondas, and the fact that anyone else reading does not understand this points to the decline in civilization.

The Words of an Anonymous Man on the nature of News and Propaganda [Flash Fiction]

Some words on news and propaganda or news as propaganda by a man not so unlike any other man, but a man as different from every other man as any man could be, each man unique in the entire history of human being, no one now or who has ever lived or who will ever live occupying his simple separate spot in space or perpetual moment in time.

Propaganda is everywhere throughout the media of any society where that media operate as organs in the body politic, whether that society purports to be democratic, socialist, communist, an Islamic Fundamentalist Theocracy (including, if not specifically, ISIS), a fascist state (as the current Fascist State of Israel [and this is not hyperbole, but does fly in the face of current received ideas, themselves the seeds of Propaganda]), or as in these United States, a Totalitarian Capitalist  State pretending to be the lighthouse of freedom for the world. (And please stop comparing us to the third world and how much better it is in the U.S. than in East Timor.)

Propaganda is dangerous to any society wanting to be free and democratic because it is set against freedom and truth–even the very idea of Truth, which our Academies of higher learning have helped foster with greater rapidity and more wide ranging effect than ever before. Yes, adolescently we cried and descried the realization that the symbols and signs of our lives were not facts of nature but the nature of civilization; so we then abandoned all signs and symbols and ideas and knowledge as fictions, worse, themselves lies–Propaganda could never have found a richer soil for its seeds to grow and sprout than the one we have provided for it, cultivating the right soil for us to grow a harvest Propaganda could never have found in former soils of once rich development, like Fascist Italy, Bolshevik and later Stalinist Russia, Nazis Germany, Franco’s Spain, Peron’s Argentina, Pinochet’s Chile, Mao’s China–do you want more; the litany could go on and on . . .).

Propaganda  is not only the most serious threat to democracy everywhere, but is the principal threat to our humanity–collectively human and humane–as well as the perpetuation of universal human (read thus humane) rights. Propaganda is the most virulent enemy of Truth, even of smaller ‘t’ truths; thus, it is a virulent enemy of freedom and democracy anywhere. We cannot have positive propaganda without serious effects to our sense of Truth or what is true–it is like creating some of the conditions for brainwashing without having to create all of them because the aim is not to completely reconstruct the individual, as in actual brainwashing, which in its practical applications to an individual, possesses none of the magical elements we so eagerly imagine in our proactive anti-communist propaganda, which is not to say that the Chinese Communists did not and have not continued to use effective brainwashing to re-construct individuals psychologically, but most specifically, ideologically.

There were no iconoclasts of civilization like the Bolsheviks or the Nazis. We have–paradoxically or perhaps not so paradoxically–followed in suit.

The Brian Williams affair is not an anomaly, but is indicative of the extent that the Media in America has not only lost its way toward seeking the Truth and finding truths, but has opted to be proactive in the means and matters of Propaganda set against the truths they are supposed to be finding, the Truth they are supposed to be defending. There is no enemy like the enemy within–we have not yet lost, but we might–we can–it is possible. (I am being overly optimistic when I say the latter–it is possible.)

An individual like Brian Williams can easily find himself losing his sense of truth, having no idea what Truth means (and you must be acute in your sensibilities for minor ‘t’ and major ‘T’). Being set diametrically against Truth and all minor ‘t’ truths lest they interfere with selling sensational stories (the drive to  maximize profits) meant to numb us, divert our attention from the lying and the liars, distract our abilities to defend against lies and half-truths in the manipulation, that is, in the forming and reforming that propaganda engages . . . yes, in the media, all information is to put us in formation. To inform is just what it says, to put in a form of one kind or another.  We have allowed the media to shape us, form us, re-form us; tell us what we think, why we think it, and how we think it. We have allowed these media to take the place of Truth and any referencing of what the truth is–never before has saying something is so become so as easily as with the media and by the media telling us what to think and how to think it. Television can be a great tool of education but never in its short history has it ever been able to imagine itself in its fullest Orwellian dimensions as it can today.

All media is to be mistrusted. Publishing has no guts; print media have only stock holders; broadcast media have sponsors that dictate how to sell, what to sell, when to sell it. Freedom is being raped by the media and the outcries we sometimes hear are ignored as the screams of pleasure because how many times have we paused to say a woman was asking for it after we find out she was raped; how many times will we continue to vilify freedom in the name of exonerating the Media.

Opinions are what they are, neither true in themselves nor false. An opinion does, though, have quality, except we have undermined the necessity for discerning the quality of opinions; we have only now the quantity of opinions. The excessive demand for equality necessitates we undermine any hierarchic value for opinions. That only leaves us with a dogma that insists majority opinions are the right opinions. This is tyranny pure and simple.

The opinions of this man are independent of what is popular or whatever publicity agents of the media and government hold in their hands; manipulating images and information part of the design. The man is who he is, as anonymous as he is, as anonymous as any individual is where plurality reigns.