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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Alexander Dugin's dream of apocalypse: Is it coming true?

It was clear just from the garbled wording that Trump's warning to North Korea was improvised. Trump promised "fire and fire" if North Korea threatened the United States. Trump did not specify that action would bring retaliation. He said that a threat would bring retaliation.

North Korea's immediate response was the issuance of a threat.

No fire, no fury -- so far. Thank god. But it is undeniable that Kim Jong-Un called Trump's bluff. As NY Mag put it:
North Korea proceeded to test this warning by immediately issuing a new threat, to attack Guam. This forced the United States into the unenviable position of either instigating a massive war with horrific casualties or surrendering its credibility. The administration has wisely chosen Option B.
And it gets worse:
North Korea said on Wednesday it will finish a plan to attack the US territory of Guam by mid-August, adding that "only absolute force" would be the right approach for dealing with President Donald Trump.

General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, made the remarks in response to Trump's statement Tuesday that the US would unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on Pyongyang in response to its rapidly developing nuclear and ballistic missile program.

"The U.S. president at a gold links again let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury,' failing to grasp the on-going grave situation," the statement said, according to North Korean state news agency KCNA. "This is extremely getting on the nerves of the infuriated Hwasong artillerymen of the KPA."

"Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him," it added.
Rex Tillerson tells us not to lose sleep. Perhaps he has made arrangements to be out of the country...?

Back to NY Mag's piece:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis have issued more normal-sounding statements intended to supersede the president’s improvised one. (Mattis’s statement redraws the red line, threatening reprisal in return for North Korean actions, rather than threats.) The message of this cleanup is that Trump’s statements do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. government – a reality most American political elites in both parties already recognize, but which needs to be made clear to other countries that are unaccustomed to treating their head of state like a random Twitter troll.

It is humiliating for the world’s greatest superpower to disregard its president as a weird old man who wanders in front of microphones spouting off unpredictably and without consequence. But at this point, respect for Trump’s capabilities is a horse that’s already fled the barn. New chief of staff John Kelly has supposedly instilled military-style order and message discipline into the administration, but Trump is unteachable.
So the future of civilization depends on the mad leader of North Korea choosing to ignore the rantings of the mad leader of the United States.

Meanwhile, the far right is doing everything it can to undermine McMaster and everyone else in this administration who is not a screeching maniac. Why? Why on earth?

Perhaps they've been listening to Alexander Dugin.

Is this Alec's Apocalypse? Perhaps the people with real power in this administration are all disciples of Alexander Dugin, the neofascist "philosopher" and mentor to Putin who makes no secret of his yearnings for The End.

If you'd like to know more about this man's crazed belief system, start here. Be warned: It gets pretty wild, especially if you've never explored the realm where reactionary politics meets gonzo occultism.
Throughout his intellectual career, Dugin has repeated proclaimed his adherence to the bizarre tenets of ‘Traditionalism,’ and in The Fourth Political Theory, he reiterates that ideological dependence: “I share the vision of René Guénon and Julius Evola, who considered modernity and its ideological basis (individualism, liberal democracy, capitalism, consumerism, and so on) to be the cause of the future catastrophe of humanity, and the global domination of the Western lifestyle as the reason for the final degradation of the Earth.” And Dugin’s promotion of his fourth political theory is marked by the darker aspects of Traditionalism spiritual syncretism:
Thus the Fourth Political Theory may easily turn towards everything that preceded modernity in order to draw its inspiration.… When it returns, postmodernity (globalisation, postliberalism, and the post-industrial society) is easily recognized as ‘the kingdom of the Antichrist’ (or its counterparts in other religions — ‘Dajjal’ for Muslims, ‘Erev Rav’ for the Jews, and ‘Kali Yuga’ for Hindus, and so forth). This is not simply a metaphor capable of mobilising the masses, but a religious fact — the fact of the Apocalypse.
It gets even crazier after that. Now go here:
Dugin doesn’t stop there, however. His visions of what Trump’s victory means go into the apocalyptic and civilization-changing:
“We need to return to the Being, to the Logos, to the foundamental- ontology (of Heidegger), to the Sacred, to the New Middle Ages - and thus to the Empire, religion, and the institutions of traditional society (hierarchy, cult, domination of spirit over matter and so on). All content of Modernity - is Satanism and degeneration. Nothing is worth, everything is to be cleansed off. The Modernity is absolutely wrong -- science, values, philosophy, art, society, modes, patterns, "truths", understanding of Being, time and space. All is dead with Modernity. So it should end. We are going to end it.”
This certainly would not be the first time in recent history a Russian thought that everything is wrong and the world needs to be completely uprooted.
Dugin considers Steve Bannon his "soul mate," and Bannon seems to think that Dugin is just peachy. Bannon's people are the ones trying to oust McMaster and Kelly and everyone else in this administration who retains any sanity.

Years ago, Dugin went on the record as favoring North Korea's acquisition of nuclear arms. In America and elsewhere, neo-Nazis and other assorted fascists favor what Kim Jong-Un is doing.
Welcome to The Daily Traditionalist, a video blog by Matthew Heimbach, an American white nationalist who advocates dividing the United States into ethnically and culturally homogenous states.

“As long as [North Koreans] can maintain their blood, it will maintain their identity as a people,” he says. “It’s pretty amazing if you actually look at what they’re trying to do [there].”
“North Korea has much to be admired,” said Matteo Salvini, head of Italy’s right-wing party Northern League, in 2014. “They have a splendid sense of community. Children play on the streets and respect their elders — things that no longer exist in Italy.”
“American imperialism and American militarism cannot abide a country [like North Korea] that wants to be sovereign and that rejects the radical globalist agenda,” Heimbach tells The Diplomat, adding that North Korea has survived despite being a “pretty universal punching bag” among Western governments.

Even Russia’s Alexander Dugin, an ideologue for white nationalists, has praised Pyongyang as an “island of freedom,” arguing that Russia should provide it with weapons of mass destruction to protect its sovereignty.

“If their weapons take flight, we [the Russian people] should cheer them on!” he says. “To not understand that North Korea is a seed of humanism and democracy in the face of an American occupation is to demonstrate complete and utter ignorance.”
If Trump truly opposes North Korea, why does he keep Steve Bannon -- a Dugin admirer -- within his administration?

Events are being engineered by madmen who believe that our "liberal" civilization needs to be cleansed by fire. Keep that in mind when Rex Tillerson tells you not to worry about North Korea.

Added note: And here is Boris Epshteyn -- the likeliest "Source E" candidate -- on Trump and Kim Jong-Un. I haven't the stomach to watch. Literally. Earlier today, I ate some food that was off and my tummy is now doing all sorts of weird gymnastics, so asking me to watch that guy is asking too much. Can anyone give me the gist?
A very niggly point, but one that comes up far too frequently in my reading: I believe the correct spelling is Epshteyn. The world would be a much better place if we never had occasion to see his name again under any spelling.
Typo: promised "fire and fire"
Dugin allegedly had a role in the July 2016 "coup attempt" in Turkey and as such seems to have been instrumental in Ankara's turn toward Russia and the resulting tensions with NATO.

Thanks for catching my misspelling. I've made the correction.
I wouldn't call Dugin a mentor or adviser to Putin, nor a close friend, main philosophical inspiration, etc. In his Fourth Political Theory, Dugin even cites Guy Debord. He is a tool. Like Zhironovsky, he has "FSB" written all over him. Gonzo is the right word.

Putin is sane, unlike his counterparts in Washington DC and Pyongyang. Orthodox apocalypticism and the holy role of Russia are being used rationally. Russia is WAY AHEAD of the US in psychological warfare, as well as in its internal equivalent, the creation and maintenance of the popularity of leader and state. (Not the leadership, who everyone knows are corrupt; the leader.) When the CIA tried to interfere in the 2012 Russian presidential election, Putin and the FSB regarded their efforts as water off a duck's back.

When elderly Russian widows prefer to reach for a bottle of Coca-Cola rather than a cross or an icon, that will be the day when the US has outfought Russia in psychological warfare. That day will never come.

Putin's fave philosophers include Solovyov, Berdyaev, Ilyin, and others.

Capitalism is an insane social system that really is hurtling towards Armageddon. The memes are in place and building. How the banking system has remained up and running for so long since 2008 I really don't know. The chattering classes may have stopped talking about "subprime" (what a euphemism!), but banks are continuing to lend, to coin a phrase, like there's no tomorrow. It won't be through derivatives markets and exotic financial instruments that the "great questions of the day" will be decided. All of that goes out of the window when paper currencies crash, the aircraft carriers get going, and the shop shelves run bare.

Will it be the ongoing war of words between the US and North Korean presidential nutjobs that builds to the apocalypse? I don't know. But it won't remain on hold forever. Both the British and the Israeli media seem to be itching right now for nuclear war in the Far East.
B, I am really at the beginning of my research into Dugin and what he represents. Of course, the new fascism is such a broad and complex movement that one can study it for a decade or two and still be "at the beginning."

So please understand that I stand on unsure footing when I say "I disagree." Dugin doesn't strike me as anyone's tool. What are you proposing? That a group of covert schemers in the FSB suddenly came up with the bright idea to prop up a bizarre bearded guy who pushes an updated version of Rene Guenon's occult philosophy? Sorry, but I just don't believe that ANYONE in the FSB has ever had the ability to think THAT far outside the box!

I'd agree that Putin seems a rational actor, certainly in comparison with someone like Trump or Kim Jong-Un. But Putin is also a criminal. He certainly seems to believe in the dictum that fortune favors the bold. And his high intelligence makes him dangerous -- just as Trump's lack of intelligence makes HIM dangerous.

In some respects, I miss Russian communism, or at least the post-Stalin version thereof. That system didn't work, but at least the USSR's post-Stalin leadership tended toward conservatism (with the exception of the idiotic decision to put missiles in Cuba). Ideology put a ceiling on the grift and graft. Although I've often said that all isms are prisons, having an ideology (Marxism, Christianity, Confucianism, whatever) does have its virtues: Even if you're not a true believer, even if you are just giving lip service to your ideology, you have to keep up appearances.

For example: Stalin lived very, very well -- but he didn't live like a Czar or like a modern oligarch, and he refused to transform his dictatorship into a monarchy (perhaps because he disliked his kids). Ideology played a role here. Stalin couldn't live like a Putin and still call himself a Marxist.

Sorry. I'm rambling. A man must do something with his time while waiting for the nukes to fly.

Oh...and I don't think that capitalism per se is hurtling us toward The End. The problem is libertarianism. Before Milton Friedman was elevated to sainthood during the Reagan administration, capitalism tended to work fairly well. Well, yes, there were tons of problems and lots of corruption; you needed go over the familiar list. But let's say that the thing worked BETTER than it does now. Of course, back in the 1970s, one could call the US a "mixed economy" without provoking ideologues into a volcanic rage.
Joseph I know this film is a little 'out there' but Victor Pelevins 1999 tommb Generation P is now on youtube with English substitles. I sometimes feel that this Russian writer's novel was spot on vis-a-vie fake politics, digital manipulation, etc... Amazingly prescient for an almost 20-year-old book! N.B. It's quite a literary film, so slowing it down to 75% allows the viewer to both get the nuances, and enjoy the film, and since it's mostly Russian men sopeaking, slowing it down doesn't make it unlistenable. Please watch this film, maybe it's not actually happening now, but is it that far off?
Not quite so about capitalism and the U.S. Prior to the 1970's, the U.S. comprised a society. In the 1970's the U.S. drifted from being a society to being an economy. By the middle of Carter's term, most people self-identified as consumers, no longer as citizens. Then, thanks to the silicon chip and cheap electronic calculators, and armies of cheap PC's, the economy drifted from manufacturing and exchanging goods and services to trading in money, aka, finance. That's the outline. Today's so-called capitalism consists of passing along debt and trying to outrun the sun before it sets.

Old-fashioned capitalism can be understood using the holiday season, as it was the brief period when retailers would take in enough revenue to show a profit for the year, or break even at worst. Soon enough the holiday season was pushed back, thus Black Friday. Then it was pushed back further so that Hallowe'en became a national kind of holiday. Then, because the holiday shopping season was insufficient, we got Presidents Day week. And so on. The fiscal capital calendar has lapped itself, or the snake is swallowing itself, so only acquiring debt and outrunning it is what remains.

The financial system can stay afloat as long as Wile E. Coyote doesn't look down. It isn't necessarily doomed any more than living day to day and year to year with thousands of nuclear weapons ready to launch has worried us with despair. We know how to deny stuff.

I would include the historical fact of TV as a marketing tool unlike anything before it, and how it was accelerated by cable and then exploded by satellite. First it was local, then regional, then national, and now global.

Yeah, each of my paragraphs requires at least a book. Like about how come manufacturing got outsourced, about which there are many books and theories, including the EPA's regulations binging, erosion of river banks right up to the factories front doors, labor union members demanding a vacation home, and, notoriously, the successful PR efforts to prevent conversion to the metric system of standards and measures.

All that failure when the U.S. population numbered 200 millions. Now, 300 millions are all cash cows, and we know who milks them every day and every nanosecond.

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