Monday, November 21, 2016

I is for Interesting Times



"May you live in interesting times," says the old Chinese curse. The election of Donald Trump to president of the United States was the starting pistol for interesting times. From now on, not much will remain the same.

On the night of the election I had tried to stay awake to watch the whole thing unfold. Because of the time difference I knew there would be no clear results until early morning, and so I ended up going to bed at about 1am— at which point all the TV pundits were saying it was 'practically impossible' for Trump to win. So I went to be bed, but barely managed three hours of sleep due to fitful dreams. My phone was on the table next to the bed when I awoke, but I couldn't bring myself to turn it on and see all the "First Woman in the Whitehouse" headlines. I put it off and tried to snooze a while longer. Unable to do so I eventually reached over and turned it on with a 'better get this over with' attitude.

That was when I almost fell out of bed in shock.

It was like Brexit all over again. Brexit on steroids. The impossible had suddenly been proved possible. A spell had been broken and the world had been turned on its head. Donald Trump—a giant ego on legs—had pulled off the impossible. He had taken on the arrayed masses of media, celebrities, pundits, received wisdom and social inertia—and beaten them all. Thrashed them, in fact.

The stunned disbelief on social media rapidly turned into white hot anger. I felt a great disturbance in the force—it was as if a million voices cried out in terror; and then there was violence. Protestors rampaging around the streets, setting fire to cars and smashing window. Yes—the great hissy fit had begun.

From my perspective across on the other side of the Atlantic, I had one immediate cause for celebration: my family would not be nuked. Given Clinton's bellicose rhetoric about surrounding China with missiles and 'taking on' Russia, I had every reason to believe that she would willingly start a world war within months of taking office. With Nato forces building up on the border of Russia in numbers not seen since WWII, and the mainstream press squirting out anti-Russian propaganda from every orifice, and with Russia itself drilling its citizens for imminent nuclear war, I felt I had every reason to be concerned—especially as I live close to a couple of likely military targets. But on the morning on October 9th I got my geiger counter, my iodine pills and my copy of US Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Survival Manual, and put them away in my bottom drawer. For now.

But, of course, global nuclear war is a piffling matter for those more concerned with transgender bathrooms and the breaking of glass ceilings for power crazed career politicians. "But what about Pussygate?" scream the angry mob of social justice warriors. To which I would reply that there are plenty of places where presidential fingers don't belong, but frankly I'm more concerned about them being on the big red button.

So, yes, a large bubble has been popped. This is what the apocalypse looks like. The word 'apocalypse' means 'living the veil'. It's a consciousness thing. The apocalypse will happen at the level of human consciousness before it happens (if ever) on the physical plane. The fake doctrine of neoliberalism/neoconservatism/globalisation—that has made the world we see today, has been exposed for what it is. And all of those who happily went along with it feel a deep terror in their bones. They sense, perhaps correctly, that all of the horrors America and the West have unleashed on the world over the last four decades—horrors which they thought were safely locked away in the basement—have been awoken and are starting to walk up the stairs, feet shuffling, hands outstretched. Not even the soothing tones of Barack Obama can convince them to go back down again—they know they are done for.

So who are all these people who are so terrified? They are the ones who have fallen prey to the globalist controlling mindset. For them, it's all a matter of identity politics, victim statuses and the almighty ruling patriarchy. Status is conferred by your relative minority status, delineated along lines of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. By shifting the entire nature of politics into the realm of identity politics the globalist class have quite brilliantly— with the unflinching support of the mainstream media and Hollywood—cast a magic spell that almost succeeded in enslaving the entire world. And because identity politics so enfeebles people, it was easy to divide and conquer them and get them to conform to their idealised state of passive obedience. This idealised state is one where everyone is defined in a very narrow sense, there is no collective grouping outside of one's own little group, and anyone who objects to this state of affairs is called a 'racist' or a 'homophobe' or a whatever. With everyone so caught up in policing one another the globalists have been able to continue their destructive course of war profiteering and handing democratic sovereignty to corporations largely unchallenged.

The power of the spell is broken now, even if the socially-engineered, weak-minded apologists for the power set refuse to believe it. For what they don't realise is that the election of Trump—and Brexit before it—was the anguished howl of a people who had had enough and were unwilling to acquiesce to the madness any longer. In that respect, Brexit and Trump's election will go down as the most important historical events of Western civilisation in the 21st century. If you don't believe me, just wait.

Yet the people still entrapped by this spell believe in maintaining the status quo so vehemently that they are quite unable to function when their overlords are exposed as frauds and fakes. They are fine with their military raining death down on foreign nations so that they can plunder their oil (but don't turn away the refugees), fine with supporting a candidate who takes blood money from a nation that routinely kills gays and stones women for adultery (as long as we have freedom and equality) and fine with starting a nuclear war which would kill millions of innocent people (because Putin said something nasty about gays). They are also the ones who loudly insist that it is racist to be against globalisation, although they always assume that the benefits of globalisation will accrue to themselves, and if you find yourself living in a wasteland of drug addiction, crime and unemployment because of it, well then that's just your own stupid fault and you're probably a racist so there.

These people are all going to be swept away into history's compost bin, and they know it. It would be a good thing if they could be brought round to see reason—after all, some of them are good people and it's not their fault they've been brainwashed. But, alas, in most cases they are too far gone and it is impossible to reason with them. They belong to a superfluous unproductive class for which there will soon be no further need. They are the corporate PR flacks, the media, the overstuffed university faculty members, the fat layers of government who produce nothing but new regulations and rules to penalise everyday people, and the political hangers-on and other assorted medieval court fauna. As the global energy pie shrinks and the very real limits to growth assert themselves, these people will find themselves pushed out of the picture. No longer will they boast on Facebook about not being able to change a lightbulb as though menial, physical, useful skills are for the Untermensch classes—they'll be too busy fighting among themselves about whose fault all this was and forming circular firing squads.

For anyone who thinks they might detect a note of glee here, they'd be right. I would dearly love to see the likes of The Guardian, the Clintons and all the other warmongering, social engineering, psychopathically driven impediments to real human progress tossed into the fiery abyss. But, gratifying as that might be, it doesn't mean everything will then be all sweetness and light. Indeed how do we even know what to expect next? As has become abundantly clear to many people, the world of mass media, talking heads, opinion formers and politicos don't offer us any useful guidelines any longer. That's why the polymathically inclined turn to other areas where they might find better tools for human understanding—and one particularly useful area is the realm of mythology and psychology.


The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung noted the various archetypes manifest in human consciousness, and explained how we relate to these in our lives (although they exist on a subconscious level so usually we don't realise it). Joseph Campbell took this a stage further in his analysis of myths throughout human history, drawing out these archetypal figures to help make sense of such a widely diverse universe of stories. These archetypes are encoded in our minds and have been there from the time of our earliest ancestors. For the most part they lurk there unseen, only revealing themselves in times of need, when they help us to make sense of the world when everyday logic seems to fail us. This, of course, flies in the face of progress and scientism and the other pseudo-religions we like to insist are useful to us, and so many people choose to ignore the lessons of mythology. So it goes.

The archetype that should concern us today is the one they call the Trickster. The Trickster is a magician—someone who can conjure something seemingly impossible out of nothing. Magic, by the way, is the ability to take something from a non-physical realm and bring it forth into the physical one. It is the ability to change human consciousness through act of will. We all do it, usually without realising it, and politicians try to do it more than most of us (check out the Clinton team's disastrous experiments with Spirit Cooking). The Trickster is adept at this, appearing in times when civilisations have become stale and moribund, and when politics seems dead and insipid. The Trickster strides onto the stage and explodes the neat order of things, creating chaos and mayhem and collapse. Trickster is a disruptive intelligence. He laughs as he brings down elites, chuckles as he tosses political grandees into oblivion and cackles with mischief as he throws entire societies into turmoil.

In Norse mythology, Loki took the main Trickster role. Loki wanted to start Ragnarök—an all-encompassing battle that would destroy much of the world and also kill the gods in the process. Pan was also a Trickster—you've heard of 'pandemonium' and 'panic'—as was Shakespeare's Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Britain we have a real-life Trickster in the form of Nigel Farage, and now in America, we have The Donald. Pretty soon, across much of Europe, each nation will have its very own Trickster running the show.

A note of warning. Those who are tired of the status quo, who are sick of corrupt politicians and exploitative corporations, and who yearn for deep and meaningful change should beware. Because normally we don't get the Trickster we want: we get the Trickster we deserve. It is worth knowing that we ourselves may be tossed into the abyss along all the other detritus: we vanquish our control when we summon forth the Trickster. Because, as Jung once again explains, the type of Trickster we get depends on our own dark Shadow. This Shadow represents our deepest fears: it is everything about us that we have been too afraid to confront. Our Shadow, at a societal level, is represented by all those bodies in the basement I mentioned above. It's all the stuff we have tried to block out, such as the harm we do to the planet, the resource wars our politicians get into on our behalf, factory farming, nuclear weapons technology—all the stuff we chose not to focus on rises up from the collective subconscious and becomes the Trickster beating down our basement door.

What follows is never pretty. When Shiva dances, worlds crumble. But afterwards, when the Trickster has had his fun, he leaves the scene and a time of renewal can occur. For, even after the mayhem of Ragnarök the land rose up from the sea, cleansed and refreshed. 

I'll let Puck have the last word, with his closing speech in A Midsummer Night's Dream

If we shadows have offended,
 Think but this, and all is mended—
 That you have but slumbered here
 While these visions did appear.
 And this weak and idle theme,
 No more yielding but a dream,
 Gentles, do not reprehend.
 If you pardon, we will mend.
 And, as I am an honest Puck,
 If we have unearnèd luck
 Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
 We will make amends ere long.



***

In other news, the latest issue of the post industrial fiction magazine Into the Ruins has just been released. As ever, it features great stories that help us to imagine what might lie on the other side of Ragnarök, so to speak. I myself have a story in this issue called The Fifth Garden. It's about an old man in a dusty and ravished country who plants gardens and restores life to the land, changing human consciousness in the process. You can get your copy here.








9 comments:

  1. Excellent post. I think Trump is a symptom more than an agent. For a while I have been looking for some signal event that would make it evident that we are on the downhill side of the prosperity curve. I think that in the US it has been the election of Trump. Trump has basically made evident the mass delusion promoted by the media and attacked their legitimacy. If they were wrong about Trump and Hillary, what else were they wrong about, that the US is a force for good and that all those wars are humanitarian interventions? That the recession of 2008 is over and we are prospering again? That we are energy independent? That Russian aggression must be contained? that globalization and the offshoring of manufacturing has been a net benefit, etc, etc.
    Prosperity has been declining in the US since the 1970s when oil production peaked here. Doesn't take a whole lot of math to figure out that when each year you have to buy more oil from abroad, that you're going to have less money for everything else. But between the magic tricks of the economists and the fog created by the media, the obvious symptoms of a declining civilization could be ignored by diverting attention to shiny technology. If you are the only one in your neighborhood without a job, maybe it was your fault that you were not prospering. If half the people in your neighborhood are out of a job, maybe some larger forces were at work.
    Re the trickster idea, if I understand it correctly, the trickster is not a person in the phenomenal world so much as an embodiment of larger social forces that are destroying long held and no longer useful ideas that propel a society along a particular trajectory.
    If we are to survive, we need to let go of cherished delusions.
    Brexit, Putin, Trump, Syria, all different aspects of the trickster.

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    1. That's how I understand Trickster too - an emergent thought form that moves through society.

      I agree that Trump is a symptom. I liken him to a missile fired by the Clinton team that malfunctioned and turned around in mid air. Of course, he'll have problems living up to all those promises he made as he'll discover that Obama added $8 trillion to the national debt and a big recession is long overdue. An interesting thing to note, though, is the funny way that people believe him when he says he'll do these things - with other politicians people say "Oh, don't worry, he/she won't actually *do* that - it was just a campaign promise." Funny that.

      Along the same lines - if the economy wasn't so broke then everyone would be reasonably well-off and nobody would consider voting for someone like Trump, So, yeah, down the slide we go! People like Trump getting elected are only a surprise to those not paying attention..

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  2. I had an interesting time on election night. I live in Washington DC and was invited to a party by some liberal elite friends to celebrate. Watching the party fizzle, disbelief, agony.... boy it was something to behold.

    Over the last 4 years I've purchased property in the rust belt, near Cleveland Ohio (my own little fox wood, well more of a coyote orchard). I have been going there as often as I can since my boring IT job allows me to work from home. Leaving the DC bubble is quite enlightening...if only DC folks could do it. Learning where food comes from, the skills involved in making things, the energy it all takes....is quite a sobering (and fulfilling) experience.
    Glad to see your pace of blogging picking up. Congrats on your story getting picked. My copy arrived last Thursday but I've been reading about celestial navigation and haven't got over to it yet. Look forward to it. Thanks again Jason, and good luck over there.

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    1. That sounds like an 'interesting' party. I once had to attend a party of Americans abroad in Copenhagen when Obama got elected. It was truly terrible. There were literally thousands packed into the Marriott Hotel and the febrile atmosphere was almost hysterical. Dems and Repubs were partying hard and they all seemed to be supporting Obama - including the then ambassador, who was a personal friend of George Bush the younger. He even posed with his arm around a cardboard cutout of Obama and said "We are sure he will continue with our good work." Seriously - people almost got crushed in the foyer they were that excited about the "Hope and Change" - I had to get out of there.

      Good luck with the celestial navigation. A little bird tells me I might be getting a telescope for Christmas, so I guess we'll both be looking up.

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  3. Your essay seems to focus more on the shattered status quo as it was experienced by the liberal end of the political spectrum here in the U.S., but let's not forget that the conservative end is also in pandemonium, as Trump had already upended that side of the status quo machinery during the primaries.

    In some ways, the Republicans are in a worse spot now, since they are the majority, and in theory, having both branches sewn up, should be able to pass any policy shifts they want. I suspect the rifts in the Republican party will be revealed all the more, and chaos will continue.

    Yes, the trickster we deserve could be quite unpleasant.

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    1. That's a good point, Steve. I only ever seem to hear from/about how liberals are feeling.

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    2. Yeah, but in this case the upset conservatives are almost all of the elite, not the regular people. It's one reason I thought I ought to vote for Trump. As someone who has eschewed both parties for many years, voting 3rd party, the way that the Republican elites hated Trump and even endorsed Hillary made me prick up my ears.

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  4. Fine analysis Hepp. Sorry I am so backed up on cross-posting, I am trying to keep your Alphabet in order so it's way up the queue. I posted the link to r/collapse and r/globalcollapse though.

    Keep up the good work.

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  5. Once again, whenever you talk about "The Trickster", I can't help but think of the chaotic-evil-aligned comic-book villian The Joker, whose sheer malevolence is a wonder to behold. I hope he's not "The Trickster we deserve", but I have a very bad feeling that the green-haired one is precisely that!

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I'll try to reply to comments as time permits.