Why be a lord of time when you are already a Criminal?
A Sequence of essays investigating the crimes we commit, and what we might do about it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bluff and Egypt

It is a strange game of bluff being fought out in the the arab world - a game that the west has played ever since the end of the cold war, and the belief it gave the west that it was the end to all history. a game that reads the West is that- democracy plus capitalism is the thing and freedom - our one real sword, or at last says it with the one hand- and yet is terrified of the results, the possibilities that freedom might then breed. We want the arabs to have democracy.... quite- well as long as it matches our regional power play- as long as that means the ARE our allies or possibly supplicants or even colonies... And if not we will call you Maoists or terrorists, extremists or Islamists - or any other insult that comes our way.
In this freely used and rolling accusation, we joyfully cobble together a whole sequence of very different movements and protests,. Friends and enemies or potentially rivals , all crush together in a Foucault stigma machine- they are made by us to all be saying the same thing. They are made then into our enemies or at least not our friends, and so we do not have to face the unconvient truth that other democracy might not be like or like our own. Nor that other democracy might have some very pithy and provocative things to say about our power, and its abuses- that is the way we impress them with our might and force our will upon them, and all their doings. Heaven forfend they might make us feel real bad about ourselves and challenge our smug assumption that we are both best and the only option history has if it is going to end nice and neatly. And what is certain we keep the history, and the story of our monopoly of democracy clear simple and sacrosanct.
Better still from our point of view, by creating a single villan for us to tilt at we cobble together mesalliances in other lands, forced oppositions full of utterly incompatible individuals, and bound together in associations that cannot ever really work (or provide sensible opposition let alone government). We create then a force to resist us were moderates and extremist are caught in the same group- and fight. A group where failure is almost certain (as a single policy is a challenge) and the only utterly cogent view is of the 'extremists' (or perhaps purist) anti-western voices - groups that will take over purge out the other elements - and which the west has been over the years rather good at marginalizing (for the maoists onwards -).
or at least the West knows that it is the master of the script in this conflict.
Or at lest it did feel it was - until the Maoist state that got away from script became a world power. China really does destablize, not merely by being their an being an economic powerhouse, but also by proving that one can escape a western paradigm at least once- or at least appear to - and then be free to bank role other resistance movements. OIt is no wonder that the whispering walls of the world economic forum (self-creating-truth-mongers) are looking to China to fail in the medium terms economically at least. When all else fails, our whispering walls -seek to enforce the rigours of western capitalism to humilate a nation.....
And yet in all of this something is being lost- and lost at the very heart of democracy. It makes no sense after all to say that their is only ONE FREEDOM and we all must be forced to accord to it. or rather this statements is or course the single buttress for all tyrant and all oppression. The great creed of the tyrant. Democracy is only different if it actually allows the myriad voices within different cultures also to speak- and accepts that it might have different forms (maybe not simply parliamentary- maybe that is a historical form?) and different was to actually think its own nature (and its links to the worlds it finds itself). That is democracy without the self confidence to revel in the differences of other lands- in itself as different is worth not nothing (in some cases it is better than the alternative, sometimes- but many Pakistanese but beg to differ).
Unless then this other democracy - the one that does not confuse voices and allows for their differnces even articaltes them and follows something where they lead, actually happens, then the system anything but the end of history. it is indeed merely a name for the way the West encourage certain aspect of the Mafia to cease control in certain nations (under a banner of a political manifesto or social movement) . i defined then not power structures so much as ways the West will behave to both nation and rulers, ways of justice and injustice corruption and influence. It defines then not freedom, so much as political strategy. In demanding nations be a democracy - we demand then open to our influencing. WAs such we debase our own notions, warping them into a mere cipher
In short democracy becomes a mere brand- will of glossy shots and great promise, which is actually when to but it all hype, and merely yet another sugary caffine drink to melt you teeth with (but feel modern in the process). It is no wonder then ti is opposed to other brands (Al queada, or moaism ) that are similarly composed.
This yearning to expand democracy (via vulgar vox pop shows, or the National-'IDOL' shows is clearly active in west but aborted (what else is the otherwise dreadfully Tea-party?)- and in the east but suppressed and confused with other movements. the yearning then is their, and the suppression by confusion and trivia real - which raises of course three further questions. First What price democracy unless it is free>? what is the point of it unless it can all this debate? Is anything than oppression (lightish) under a different name. Secondly What exactly is capitalism running from - for tis hands are caught in the suppression. It fears democracy as the other voice the other freedom it doe not master, and fights hard against it - and often, we need if we are really going to peddle our freedom wares, to be aware of that fact. Finally there is a real sense in which the West is having to face down what it is - squalid player of global power politics, apostle for freedom, nor repressed colonalist - it is make up our minds time again (or the world will make them up for us).

Monday, January 24, 2011

a front line

The old (erroeneus) theory of the twin revolutions of modernity (there were so many more) is clearly collapsing. that theory argued that freedom happened twice, once for political freedom, and once for economic, and that these two remain apart until the end of the nineteenth century (the French and the british experience), but were now united in the liberal consensus- and in a front to sweep the world. a theory very much for the world of the post second world war - a theory that gained in smugness after the collapse of the iron curtain, and yet id a theory which is clearly dying, leaving a highly mobile and collapsing front line between these two freedom.
The collapse was perhaps orchestrated intially from out side- two voilent conflicts one for each freedom as destroyed the old consensual border - and re-ignited the conflict between the two erstwhile friends. The first is of course Iraq and the collapse of the myth of America megapower, which died in the Iraqi sun and sand. america looks vulnerable, Its one club military power fraught of defeatable. it looses then the right to be the simple future - as with it the claim to be the end of history, the end where personal and economic freedom incarnate. The Irony is very real here. the alliance of freedoms needed military might(and all that implies) to keep it real!
At the same time China has rediscovered the suppressed forbidden truth that economic and political liberality have nothing to do with each other. one can have a repressive state and yet an economically liberal on and visa versa. The old alliance was a post war creation, sold as an absolute truth, and we are again being forced to remember this fact.
But this external collapse is only half the picture, for a far more complex front line has opened. It was one of the cardinal points of the old alliance that the respective roles of economic and political freedom were clearly mapped out and established. States did not interfere with economic and economic with states: the former was protectionism and led to inefficencies and pointless duplication; the latter was corruption and led to the mafia.
But of course new technologies rather change that. Are after all network sites a democracy or a market place? They have clear elements of both - elements that are not necessary complementary. Political campaigns can arise then from the virtual sphere, and sweep across the political system, forcing change. All the more so as the political system craves these campaigns as that which gives it purpose: They are Youth - they are its sex. And yet these political campaigns are one and the same with economic campaigns that lead to Apps becoming widespread. It additional to this confusion, there is also the fact that it is this very act of democracy (that is mass recommendation, a spreading a word) what ad men want to market to. They want to go viral, They lust after our democratic bits, and wish to use then to sell product. The mobile acts of immanenat democracy have become then an a ad mens wet dream. The entire system is the pockmarked with real campaigns, and stooge campaigns designed to sell product. A picture whose complexity is then doubled up because it must cut across that other line the one between fact and fiction that the internet already buggers up - because as we all know the very act of mass believing or even reading a rumour adds to it its own reality and power. Truth is always social: And the social always finds its own truth: The trouble is that we cannot really ever tell these two things apart.
It the complex virtual kingdom, real sentiment and money mingle, as do political activisim which genuinely can mobile with cod activism which bribes its armies, and they all do so in ways that can not be easily distinguished or thought apart. At the same time another rather different freedom becomes the battle line. for what still united and divides the old allies is the issue of information. it was of course an assumption of the twin revolution model that within reason, information in both systeme was free and true and was so in the same way. But in this old new world of ours that assumption is clearly broken in two directions. Firstly it is very clearly in the rumour mill actual truth does not matte rover much. Rumour is king and out runs everything. free choice has then become based on mass democratic (actual or contrived) rumours. But within these rumours are of course nuggets of truth. Real state power (or antistate powers) becomes then all about controlling these nuggets and stopping them either looking signifcant or making sure they are never found- or in extreme cases ensuring that if they are found a virus comes within them and undermines their effectiveness. Freedom t think becomes then a real battleland - a place of absolute distortions and dangerous suppressions
Secondly and more problematically, the reaction of the two bastions of the old orders are clearly different in verity if not in intention. I mean politicians come a cropper if they believe the rumours (they often do) and feel they have to act upon them, They make then foolish inoperable policies that have no effect and merely junk up the statute book with rubbishy illiberal twaddle -. too much information, or the wrong kind of information makes the politicians life very difficult therefore. they need to judge when to suppress the truth, when to talk of it (and sacrifice it to the rumour mill, and when to attempt to suppress it. while of course in contrast business, which does not need such practical policy is free merely to sell lies and stuff : Rumour becomes marketing. the only problem then are inconvenient truths such as the product does not work too well) these must then be dismissed or drowned in rumours.
It is No wonder then the old alliance is gone. The interests of business and politicians in the virtual world are simply divergent and likely to become increasingly so), and this is a system where the working assumption has always been that they have to operate together (what else is a capitalist democracy?) The trouble the is of course both start to flay around politicians dream of illiberal policies designed to make their lives easier, while business people want greater and great rumour spreading freedoms and need then to counteract the democratic rumour verse that is the internet). A flaying around which is all too visible and lads then to new rumours, rumours where the issue of truth both parts of the old alliance become under deeper and darker scrutiny than ever before. a mistrust that errodes then entire system and leads where exactly.....
now one needs to be a little careful here. There is a sense in which one can say as ever it was ever thus to this set of 'fact'. one always can say that in our system. there always was after all tensions between the two revolutionary armies. that is true state regulation versus business freedom; corruption versus democracy. and yet there was at least a clear stable alliance. It is surely this alliance or perhaps treaty that has collasped, and gradually gently we are going back into the mobile state of war that existed between these two freedom in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. a war that that leads of course to many dark places (empires depressions, world wars) - which the old alliance in part (but only in part petrified. We have to really face up to this movement therefore- as not to - not too attempt to think through new solutions,and to assume there is no problem, or that the problem will solve itself might leads to the very dark history the smug world of the twin revolutionarily allies had promised themselves was a thing of the past.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Shadow light

We live in the shadow light of so many 'well known events - events that have taken place of mythlogy and God. Events that we cannot query overmuch or question - events that we are told simply are. Without such deep mythologies state and economy would of course transform and quite possible become unstable.
no reason to moan here - after all all cultures are always the same- they all use mythology and legend, well known stories to define their position. And yet of course there is something odd both about our tales, and about our tellers. The tales only work when they claim to be not myth so much as truth- and elsewhere in our thinking we have of course set the truth bar very very high - What else is science? We have then a faith that our myths, particuliarly the ones defining our relations with others ought to be very high. We assume then things are true in the scientific sense that are merely myth- worse than that we assume that ideas defined within our cultural practice (freedom defined by democracy alone as if the two were one and the same) were both universal in application and easy in comprehensions. Problems that are very hard then are made seem easy (and so actually become impossible to solve), and an entire sad history is pulled out.
Worse than that of course if the well known truths are easy to implement those who do not do so are clearly really just very very bad- and so need to be punished (or instructed). It is never the myth that is the trouble, never our worlds, after all- it MUST BE 'em.
What is more our modern myth bringers are clearly a media that have lost all sight of when they are myth spinning and when actually reporting. they are in this of course working in the old storytelling tradition- news and myths are scrambled together- which was fine is a culture which knew and allowed for this fact, but sits oddly in a world where these truths must be treated as if they were by true, by quizzling politicians anyway. All the more so as these myths create a shadow world, of not just well known facts but cod science which apes the real stuff, and provides an on running mythic or moralizing commentary for it. One again in terms of anthropology this kind of mythologizing of the real world in nothing very special- it happens all the time and what else are dreams anyway?) -no the problem sis that we are presented with this hocus pocus as truth (which is never fine).
But the real trouble i think is this- that our society is rather too complex for this kind of shadow light. that is our reality is deep and turbulent, complex and challenging - there is so much more to modernity than their were to other times- more people, more thought, more current. It is then so much easier both to mythologize (and perhaps actually more necessary than ever to do so), but also even more easy to then mistake those myths for turbulent reality. myths becomes the simpler version of what is happening, and starts very quickly in its simplifying way to run the show- it seizes control of the money and guns and becomes what it is all about- and God damn anything and everything else that resists.
It a world of torrid and turbulent reality- it very easily slips into being the plain and simple, truth.
We entire a strange world then where myths ceases being what we fight crusades for, the holy principle to defined, and actually becomes the very battle itself, and its after math, and everything in it. a world where only the shadow light is clear.
Oh help.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

pressing that legacy

You can tell we have got time wrong when government or at least political leaders start to obessess about legacy after less than a year in the job. The trouble a guess is the great mythological 'leaders' just prior to the end of the cod war, have set a very high standard. Or perhaps better they ahve shown to an ego what the job might lead to - how one might remember, ad leaders ears prick up. What is more they know that good marketing requires time and constant referal to the product (themselves)- so one needs tog et thinking legacy straight away (all the more so as our crop of young leaders are going to hang around to be in their own legacy, and not retired senile or dead).
but this would be meaningless if the media did not of course cooperate. legacy is the stuff of new print and easy cheap stories. Legacy needs not be investigate or revealed a sham - it is just there- the popular knowledge we all have about what someone did. To write the legacy before the time in government or to connive with writing of it makes good sense for journalist whose new cycles do not allows for proper research or anything- for journalist then who need not stories but easy dog tag mythology instead.
life is so much easier if we all know where we are going.
and yet of course it is always the problem with the mythological as fact. it has no predictive gumption. One cannot then simply predate or demand what will be- that that is the point. Balls up happens in places other that mythology. Wars happen and legacies are gutted or destroyed or strikes are lost.
And yet are the core of what is happening here is something that is not awful. All parties all government state their aims and their goals- of course they do it is what you do when you govern. The mere statement of where you want to go is fine enough.- indeed without such hope democracy is effectively meaningless. But a hope or dream for a possibility to come is no legacy- for one has acknowledge the difference in time between scheming and doing- One has allowed for that difference (the one where what values one have come more to the fore).
Once this important distinction is gone then one enters a strange dark kingdom- suspended between truths and fictions - a realm of pre-history, where journalist and politicians attempt to write do is write the initial draft of the history (and do it before the events have happened). Memories are being written before the action are done to fill them (the celebrity problem) - and in the knowledge that once these history are written they will to a degree (barring disasters) start to bend history in their way, start to warp what is actually occurring i their direction. The history repeats itself into the future. It might change then, but as it attempts to punch as history not hope, it has a power to demand the world listen to it as 'real'.. It does so even when events dispose of it or change it (although not is a way hat is useful- Bliar is hated so much as much as because he was writing his own history as for the war).
But the real trouble is that this pre-writing of history is not the job of politicians, nor government nor even selling government- and its presence wit the confusion of facts and fictions to come actually injures governing as they cloud issues and prevent real decisions being made (one wonders always what it looks like in the fantasy legacy). It plays then to the vanity of the trappings of power and not the reality- the myth of being PM,a myth that is currently governing us all at the moment - a vaccousness we might rue one day.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The many worlds or the modern theodicy

Hang two worlds - there are so many- josseling around - worlds we are citizens of, and move freely between- worlds we force to coagulate and separate. These world might be neatly arranged into some kin form some kind a Pyramid, with a
At their apex lies the odd actual world. This is a strange complex place of its own- for it cobbles together both individual minds, the truth we know and the ones we guess about other minds, memory, and events - all lie together in this world. truths are then created socially, and believes, but always tested and transformed by events- events that mind their meaning in the fabrics they erupt into. a world where no human can feel themselves unimportant (they are at every one time their own local centre) and yet at the same time they are aware that their center in shifts across time, and changes where it is (they change), or again that evens and other ensure that where they thought the wold was centred is never simple, and never exactly where they might have thought it was. A world of a wandering centred- and myriad perspectives. we know that others are on their same journey - moving around heir own perspectives, findling their own realities - finding their own truths, which refract into our own truths, our own current point of view.
The square based pyramid has then four faces, faces that meet at the edge, and which if you could look at then from outside would imply then were other mirror world to our own (or many)where the orders, the events and possibly even the humans are different. and yet those worlds are of course hidden -only the edges are visible, with faces that form distinctive pairs.
to the north and the east are faces that appear to open out onto the worlds of reality as it might be lived by objects themselves. The great north face then patterns this other world in terms of sciences - with the most fundamental physics lost at the bottom of the pyramid hidden from perspective - while layers and layers of separate worlds are built up upon these truth. Each such world, each ayer of building is complex and complete in themselves, each their own world, once certain assumptions are given, once relation between it and the world earlier are established.A face is the formed of hidden reality- of this of the world to be known.
As the face gets closer and closer to the real human world it will of course change a little. it clearly starts to reflect up also reach into that world. Yo can see clearly lines running up into the apex creating disturbance. More than that there are clear affinities between what is happening in the real humans world at the top and the eddies and changes on the face below. the latter describes to a degree the former - is supports that human world and clearly makes somethnin in possible, and yet as it does so, the human lines run into that face. Once these lines are seen they seem to run further than one might think down the face, towards that fundamental level. One starts then to look for links between circles of physics and the conscious minds(this link in then one of the edges).
The Each face is an odd one- for ti s made of events big and small, linked and unlinked - events of the world. these events as the some up towards the real world start to form order chains, changing whose top most slice then mirrors the human worlds exactly one almost cannot tell the two apart. One might be at the apex on that last world. And yet the face is so distinct. for once one is the world of events, ones eye naturally slides down to other things the same events might have created, other worlds one is already in (these tend to lie to the south on this face) and other links or loops between these same events (which lie to a degree to the north). The of the face seems to be the most chaotic- many events many world see, to meet, as other events stream in, ones and consequences that never happened, dark world or other worlds, worlds of noting or worlds of possibility. the existing a huge affinity (bit no identity) between this choasmosis of worlds and the world of the fundamental layers of science. Both are a chaos of possibility and other worlds. The edge between the two being compose of endless experiences (on the science side), and their ramification (on the events) a world of dates and local legends, which span into their respective faces, creating eddies and possibilites.
To the south and West lie the human worlds. The West face, is the world of Humanity that capital 'H'. The worlds of morality and ethics. It joins science on an edge in which human conscious and conscience seem to demand a reality in the scientific faces or at least pitch it is own problem. This is then the world the top point claims to honor and respect- the world of perfectable societies and social systems. A world with its foundation in legend, which lie at the bottom, and somehow allow this face to appear distinct from science and give all that follows into shining character. Above this fundamental assumptions worlds of morality and ethics lies. and yet and yet there is something wrong with this world, once you get beyond it pointillistic order. if you look at the pictures in them, they are often disturbed and change lights appear to play through them. The fact image might if one changes the angle actually transform and become rather draker. annthe mor so if one runs eyes not from top to the bottom but say from the bottom to the top or diagonally. The worlds then that might from one angle look like a succession of perfections, would also else where appear dark suppression and near fantasy. there is then a real feeling that things might not be as one thought they were- or how one thought they where. Maybe the moral order- maybe the humanity a mere trick of the light? All the more so as edge of this Western world meets with the north shadow axis of the pyramid.
the northern shadow face is the world of rumour- they other world where distortion of reality always appear as the truth. A world that sets of from the top, and the human worlds which is only distorts a little in the reporting, and yet very soon the echoes of those rumours have grown and changes,into something very different, very weird or threatening or just plain odd. ranging across this world are then the worlds we think we live in- the ones other tell us about, the rumours we almost belief. a world that is utterly disturbed by the same kind of score lines that pock mark the world of bright humanity. The two worlds appear then in a sense to reflection of the other. and yet there is a clear difference. The Western face imposes its order upon the face. The order is appearance, the disruption then is hidden and yet their. this face by contrast appears all disruption, all rumours, and yet across this rumour are clearly half orders appears, across the scores one sees a near structure. A structure that is never simply imposed - and yet might well be judged. so much so that the Base of this pyramid appears an ordered world where these rumours are worked out and all the grinding around create their own reality. There might then be a real order somewhere in this face- and yet all is chaos and grinding folly. one gets the impression that near the top are lies, distortions of real problems.
We live then less in the one world or the two, but the shiftings perspectives of a pyramid whose faces create very many worlds many possible ways to see this one and to change with it- man options. And the danger we all face is never knowing quite where we are.

Monday, January 3, 2011

mapping causality

Causality is one of those things. We take one example we all know so very well- those wretched snooker balls, and build an entire religion from it. The world suddenly appears full of snooker balls impacting - and the quest for them - the 'science' of certainty; -A cod 'science', which breeds its own athestists (who deny everything abased on its failure) and its innocent acolytes (who cannot reckon probabilities.
The real nature of causality thereby slips away- or is rather drowned beneath this noisy quest for certainity.
Surely if one wanted a quieter and more accurate methodology of the cause, one needs to imagine a series of series that plot out mere contours in a three dimensional landscape. Each series is made (Foucault and Deleuze suggest of a series of linked events. suns rise, or CCTV camera or scientific instruments trace a sequence of shots; or perhaps christmas happens and then happens again and again and ..... These seres the appear to run in one direction,and we assume aka the snooker ball that there is something inevitable about this direction, this line for time(this is Kant) so that the series in moving off one way and one the other - and that there is some current or force making it do so.
So far so easy - But these sequences of events, and their assume currents are caught up in a three dimensional and highly contoured landscape- an landscape that defined not only their interaction with themselves but also their relations with one another. Every series will changes hoe w it looks, and that it does by angle: It will likewise quite possibly have for or less elements within it. Or again two series will from myriad angles appear to meet - but not necessarily from angles or at all times - or again seres that never meet might hook up elsewhere.
But these patterns become even more complex when one realizes the very texture upon which they are drawn is not at all constant. On the contrary it shifts and bubbles away. it pulls series together, sucking them into vortexs , forcing them to converge or bubbles them apart, forcing them to flee headlong. Series are merely mobile contorous of this other dar texture- that we wish to map. The events which series take up and echos, are actually patterns in this texturing, - a fabric which as space and time moves this way or that, captures us in its power or propels us onward - or backward or wherever.
The trouble then being that that we do not all in a sense know this fact. The real trouble is that it takes so much patience to really realize it. It is as easy to realize false or faux textures and patterns as it is to build crazy stupid series. We do it all the time if we do not check our facts - for what else is blind prejudice or east assumptions? Or even cock up or conspiracy theories? ll assume texture and then bend there series to describe that texture, making it lone seem real. Textures make series too simple to distort and to warp - for once the texture has power or is seen as real, once we allow ourselves its reality then everything collapes into easy truth. Impatients becomes prejudice, and prejudice creates its own realties.....
Our problem is then in a sense really one of humility We are not masters of the texture: it is rather only our half guess and always speculatively mapped 'hidden' truth. it is the thing the series ought when left to themselves lead to - the thing we are not initially allowed to assume. The event we need to let the series and not ourselves map.
and yet this line might not be that holdable in actuallity for there are always more that one one texture at play in this process. Namely their are textures in the world or rather that we assume are of the world, but their are also textures in our minds- the textures of our thought process- textures that are as part of the series and anything else. the series we start with in a series always traces a dividing line between these two elements - these two worlds - and does so even as it traces out a contour in either (or both) to the worlds. That it a series in the point something beyond becomes into the mind, and becomes comprehended and conscious - at the same moment we attribute it to that other texture. and yet this divide is hard to maintain - It is so easy to step over that line and look to understand real texture only in terms of mental patters or else to demand that mental patterns conform with reality (The tyrannies of bigotory or utilitarianism).
To trace causes in an impossible series is then to pose a series of question always about what it is you are uncovering what texture what thought and where or how or when - It is the to demand one hours that old copernicus effect and fact in ones own mental texture into the picture as help or more often hinderance- and if one fails to do this and simply assumes causes are ones birthright and the entire picture collapses into characterure and grotesque.
To actually honour the world of causation is terefore very hard,a nd very complex - but then is that the point?