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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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WE CANNOT CONFIRM THE DENIAL
    #1688673 - 07/05/03 09:32 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

WE CANNOT CONFIRM THE DENIAL
Violence, even terror, always exists on the periphery of empire. They are the means by which empire is consolidated, defended, extended. Similarly, empire must respond to attack, or its basis is forfeit. All that is new about September 11 is that it didn't occur on a distant horizon. It was as if Rome had been attacked 2,000 years ago, at the height of its power.

The heartland of empire has a vast and ever-present meaning separable, and inseparable, from those twin towers in Manhattan. Everyday existence, under the sign of the capital and technology that the World Trade Center represented, also cries out.

We live in a culture of increasing emptiness; there is a vacuum at the heart of our empire. Epidemics of illegal drugs succeed one another, while tens of millions, including children as young as two, need antidepressants to get through the day. A great hunger exists for anesthesia in the face of emotional devastation and loss. Everyone knows that something is missing, that meaning and value are steadily being leached out of daily life, along with its very texture.

"The less people really live - or perhaps more correctly, the more they become aware that they haven't really lived - the more abrupt and frightening death becomes for them, and the more it appears as a terrible accident." Theodor Adorno's observation of decades ago seems even more pertinent today. Exploding jetliners and anthrax can terrify; meanwhile a much deeper crisis triggers a far more pervasive and fundamental fear.

The empire is global. There is nowhere to go to escape its corrosive barrenness. Frederic Jameson reminded us that we live in the most standardized society that has ever existed. In Global Soul, the peripatetic Pico Iyer ups the ante, meditating on how the whole world now tends towards a universal sameness. A global unity of alienness, of disorientation and disconnection, destined to resemble a mall or an airport. People now dress alike in every major city in the world. They drink Coca-Cola, and watch many of the same TV shows.

The empire's landscape of unreality and routinization grows steadily more pathological. Damage to nature and violence to the psyche compete in a postmodern culture of denial, punctuated by eruptions of the homicidal at work, at home, at school. We can expect to hear more and more alarm bells that will wake us altogether. Peaceful slumber is unthinkable.

Who doesn't know, on some level, where this empire - this civilization - is taking us? Our liberation movement needs to be qualitatively different from all the failed, limited approaches of the past. Everyday life is waiting - waiting to be truly lived.

John Zerzan is a philosopher and writer in Eugene, Oregon. His latest book, Running on Empty (Feral House), will be released in spring.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: WE CANNOT CONFIRM THE DENIAL [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1689745 - 07/06/03 10:47 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I was nodding along for a while and then I got to this part right here: "We live in a culture of increasing emptiness; there is a vacuum at the heart of our empire. Epidemics of illegal drugs succeed one another, while tens of millions, including children as young as two, need antidepressants to get through the day. A great hunger exists for anesthesia in the face of emotional devastation and loss. Everyone knows that something is missing, that meaning and value are steadily being leached out of daily life, along with its very texture. "

Which is bullshit, plain and simple. For thousands of years, people have been complaining about societies decline. There's actually a psychological definition for the belief that society is getting worse, or that it is worse than when you are a child. Old people, even if they grew up in desperate, impoverished conditions, will usually tell you that life was better when they were younger and that kids today are running wild. It's really a delusion that nearly everyone suffers from.

Those two year olds aren't on antidepressants because they're so sad, they're on them because their parents think they could be happier. Yes, it's really fucking stupid, but is it that much worse than 50 years ago when doctors would recommend certain brands of cigarettes, and a good fatty slab of bacon was "good for you"?

His most delusional idea though, is that society is more violent nowadays. That our culture has started glorifying violence, and we are all having these insane "violent outbursts" in the workplace and at home. Which is again, bullshit. The oldest stories in human civilization are accounts of battles, where the heroes are men who could kill masses with one swing of their blade. War, violence, rape, and torture dominated our culture for generations. These "outburts", school shootings, workplace violence, are in reality extremely rare. They do make excellent stories though, so when you've got a country with 250 million people, it's not hard to put one on the news every week. Pretty soon it seems like they're happening left and right, and "philosophers" from Oregon start pissing themselves with fear.

The reason that western society has spread across the world is not because it's some evil force, it's because technology for transportation and communication is improving and we are becoming a single unified culture as opposed to millions of disconnected ones. The idea of losing the colorful array of cultures may be disapointing to you, but it is inevitable. There really isn't any way you can take back thousands of years worth of technological advances.

So, you can either oppose globalization, throw a fit, and scream about it, or you can try and make globalization a good thing.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflineMaynardIsGod
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Re: WE CANNOT CONFIRM THE DENIAL [Re: Phluck]
    #1690016 - 07/06/03 02:03 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

So, you can either oppose globalization, throw a fit, and scream about it, or you can try and make globalization a good thing.





Amen. Everything you said in your post was right on. But I think it's important to note the difference between the kind of globalization that the IMF is responsible for, and the kind of globalization that fosters actual growth for countries. You can't stop them from being Westernized... if that's a word, but you can put it into their hands. Also, in regards to the violence, I'd recommend watching Bowling for Columbine, it shows how we're constantly pumped full of fear in the US of A.


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"But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable." - George Orwell, 1984.


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: WE CANNOT CONFIRM THE DENIAL [Re: MaynardIsGod]
    #1690280 - 07/06/03 04:17 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

So while some raise the alarm others stick their heads........somewhere


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Offlinemonoamine
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Registered: 09/07/02
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Loc: Jacksonville,FL
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Re: WE CANNOT CONFIRM THE DENIAL [Re: Phluck]
    #1695499 - 07/08/03 05:16 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Couldn't have said it better myself,Phluck.

You Canadians are starting to grow on me.


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People think that if you just say the word "hallucinations" it explains everything you want it to explain and eventually whatever it is you can't explain will just go away.It's just a word,it doesn't explain anything...
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