Ugliness

Observing the way the topic du jour is going in the MSM, we’ve had the full gamut – the building up of distaste for Islamic methods to the point where Cameron starts the bombing, the prelude to the ground troops, and now comes the predictable media backtracking – Islamophobia triples, they cry and even the conservative UNZ brings out an article that it was the Israelis, not the Muslims who were celebrating 911.

Not “as well as” but “instead of”. Those innocent Muslims never cheered at all, they were plunged into grief by 911, right?

That may or may not be be a legit topic in itself, however it’s mightily uncanny how this comes out right at this moment, almost as if the PTB wish us all to support bombing but leave the poor innocent Rotherham gangs to rampage as they do best. The bottom line is that, Chomskylike, the one option which really should be pursued – processing young Muslim men of that age, starting now – that never even makes it to the debating table.  

The word “debate” is a joke in this context, n’est-ce-pas? It’s manipulation.

And when we get to a point where to oppose something wrong is immediately branded, diverted, marginalized and stomped on through simple catchcries of Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, racism, then any real and wide-ranging debate is immediately excluded.

When Call Me Dave frames the debate on the invaders in such a way that he labels any who oppose bombing Syria “unpatriotic” – that’s rich coming from Blair or him, isn’t it – then there’s a situation very much as Noam Chomsky described:

chomsky principle

One way of stopping debate – and these muvvers know that full well – is to force pundits like us to have to go into lengthy, convoluted speech, just to deconstruct simplistic false ideas and enemies which have been swept in with the New, not unlike the new jihadis hiding in among the “refugees”, turning innocent victims into a destructive avant garde.

jihadi men

They can get simple people chanting the mantra “racist” but for us to deconstruct that mantra takes dozens of long blogposts – who’s going to persevere, to wade through those?  And for those of us who can’t put things simply, in Everyman’s language, it is doubly frustrating.

Unfortunately, this article today is convoluted.  By the time it is finished, the PTB will be onto the next falsehood and then we’ll all write posts on that and it will go on for weeks – Paris has now just about had its lot – and then will come the next one – all orchestrated by the PTB who release the next data to the media and cue the next atrocity.

This post has not got past 1989-1992 and it starts with Lyndon laRouche.

For a man so fundamentally Marxist at times in his career, LaRouche was an enigma, this Schiller Institute article from his stable is vehemently anti-neo-Marxist – he seems to have done a volte-face. There are things to be disputed in the article, e.g. the take on Aristotle but in the historical aspects and what he’s on about – in 1992, bear in mind – he’s right on the money and we’ve had ample time now to observe it happening, just as predicted.

The article was published in the Winter 1992 edition of Fidelio, it’s not about jihadis, killings and rapes but about changes far more insidious than that:

The ugliness we see around us has been consciously fostered and organized in such a way that a majority of the population is losing the cognitive ability to transmit to the next generation the ideas and methods upon which our civilization was built.

That ugliness, of course, can be a matter of dispute – that is one of the major hurdles to begin with. Most of us see the windfarms despoiling the countryside as unforgivable and yet one fellow blogger wrote that she thought they weren’t ugly at all, they were quite pretty dotted along the hilltops and amassed near the coastline.  Most of us do not concur.

The loss of that ability [to discern] is the primary indicator of a Dark Age. And a new Dark Age is exactly what we are in. In such situations, the record of history is unequivocal: either we create a Renaissance—a rebirth of the fundamental principles upon which civilization originated—or, our civilization dies.

Dissident asylum seeker Yuri Bezmenov, from the late 80s presaged this:

The result? The result you can see … the people who graduated in the 60s, dropouts or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, and educational systems. You are stuck with them. You can’t get through to them. They are contaminated.

They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You cannot change their minds even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior.

In other words [for] these people, the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To rid society of these people you need another 15 or 20 years to educate a new generation of patriotically minded and common sense people who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States [or any] society.

[The aim is] to “change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that – despite the abundance of information – no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

This multi-stage process requires media complicity/mediocrity, control of educational policy, widespread corruption in politics and industry, and the unlimited money/credit of the international bankers.

For PCists who see themselves as essentially good people who want what’s best for the society. e.g. to eradicate the great evils of poverty, inequality, environmental destruction etc., it is a gross insult for someone to quote Bezmenov but the people he refers to are not so much dumb – in fact many are quite intellectual – they have simply been brainwashed, as have we all. I’m brainwashed into believing in free enterprise, in God, in many things such as low taxes and freedom of thought and expression. We’re all brainwashed to a point.

The PCist hits back by saying that it was the liberal who marched over Vietnam, over the raping of the earth, over warmongers and true, that was his lot at the time marching for freedom, for the people, with good hearts and only wanting what was best.

And when our lecturers and professors on this side of the pond quoted Tawney, Shaw and others, Fabianism seemed the only way to tackle these monstrous things which had been done to society by the evil banksters and industrialists, just as decades earlier, Soviet Communism had seemed the only answer.

Throughout, we’ve been subject to a giant con.

Those professors conveniently failed to mention the logical extension of their ideas, ideas which were certainly rooted in indignation at very real wrongs – no disputing those wrongs – but we did not see the manipulation at the time, we did not see who introduced these ideas we came to believe and why they did.

We were condemned to see the world in a way which certainly began with truths, had many truths contained within it but then it somehow twisted away from those truths in its prescriptions for how to fix things, how to remedy society’s wrongs.

Key point – when your solution is not to fix the root causes but to reconstitute society as a whole according to an ideology, then that is a very sticky wicket indeed.

Key point 2 – when, Chomskylike, debate is limited to one of a few offered options and real debate is suppressed, then that is a very sticky wicket indeed.

atonality schoenberg

To my mind, the following is rarely debated in society – aesthetics takes a backseat in political discussion and yet aesthetics is a very real political tool – ask the old Soviets. Music and the atonal is a good topic which illustrates the process which has been foisted upon us.

First, two links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serialism

The Atonal Music of Arnold Schoenberg 1908–1923

… and here’s a simplified explanation on youtube:

It’s been presented at the end of those links and in the youtube as “the shock of the new”, avant-garde and those words are given a rosy hue or as the Schiller Institute writer referred to it: “the power of the word and what we want it to mean”. New substitutes for the old eternal values.

All the “bright young things” of each age find it is de rigeur to embrace the New, whatever the New is actually about, good or bad.

Atonalism:

In 1924, Adorno moved to Vienna, to study with the atonalist composers Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg, and became connected to the avant-garde and occult circle around the old Marxist Karl Kraus.

Here, he not only met his future collaborator, Hans Eisler, but also came into contact with the theories of Freudian extremist Otto Gross. Gross, a long-time cocaine addict, had died in a Berlin gutter in 1920, while on his way to help the revolution in Budapest; he had developed the theory that mental health could only be achieved through the revival of the ancient cult of Astarte, which would sweep away monotheism and the “bourgeois family.”

In essence, Adorno and Benjamin’s problem was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz had once again obliterated the centuries-old gnostic dualism dividing mind and body, by demonstrating that matter does not think. A creative act in art or science apprehends the truth of the physical universe, but it is not determined by that physical universe.

[The theory was that] by self-consciously concentrating the past in the present to affect the future, the creative act, properly defined, is as immortal as the soul which envisions the act.

That threat must, of course, be removed.

This has fatal philosophical implications for Marxism, which rests entirely on the hypothesis that mental activity is determined by the social relations excreted by mankind’s production of its physical existence.

Marx sidestepped the problem of Leibniz, as did Adorno and Benjamin, although the latter did it with a lot more panache.

It is wrong, said Benjamin in his first articles on the subject, to start with the reasonable, hypothesizing mind as the basis of the development of civilization; this is an unfortunate legacy of Socrates.

As an alternative, Benjamin posed an Aristotelian fable in interpretation of Genesis: Assume that Eden were given to Adam as the primordial physical state. The origin of science and philosophy [then] does not lie in the investigation and mastery of nature, but in the naming of the objects of nature; in the primordial state, to name a thing was to say all there was to say about that thing.

In other words, the buzzword, phrase or expression or a sleight of hand.  He also considered truth to be relative, time or situation specific – that it was only true for that time and in that situation.  And that applies to creativity:

This philosophical sleight-of-hand allows one to do several destructive things.

By making creativity historically-specific, you rob it of both immortality and morality.

[Therefore] one cannot hypothesize universal truth, or natural law, for truth is completely relative to historical development. By discarding the idea of truth and error, you may also throw out the “obsolete” concept of good and evil; you are, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “beyond good and evil.”

What you have done is constructed a new reality, now you only need apply it and disseminate, to con people into accepting it.

Benjamin is able, for instance, to defend what he calls the “Satanism” of the French Symbolists and their Surrealist successors, for at the core of this Satanism “one finds the cult of evil as a political device … to disinfect and isolate against all moralizing dilettantism” of the bourgeoisie.

[He goes on:] To condemn the Satanism of Rimbaud as evil, is as incorrect as to extol a Beethoven quartet or a Schiller poem as good; for both judgments are blind to the historical forces working unconsciously on the artist.

Thus, we are told, the late Beethoven’s chord structure was striving to be atonal, but Beethoven could not bring himself, consciously, to break with the structured world of Congress of Vienna Europe (Adorno’s thesis).

Similarly, Schiller really wanted to state that creativity was the liberation of the erotic, but as a true child of the Enlightenment and Immanuel Kant, he could not make the requisite renunciation of reason (Marcuse’s thesis).

Epistemology becomes a poor relation of public opinion, since the artist does not consciously create works in order to uplift society, but instead unconsciously transmits the ideological assumptions of the culture into which he was born.

This is the crux and is diabolically clever because just as most of us think we are products of our past and our culture, this can be taken far beyond that simple thought and turned into something nasty by a clever writer.

The issue is no longer what is universally true, but what can be plausibly interpreted by the self-appointed guardians of the Zeitgeist.

Thus, for the Frankfurt School, the goal of a cultural elite in the modern, “capitalist” era must be to strip away the belief that art derives from the self-conscious emulation of God the Creator; “religious illumination,” says Benjamin, must be shown to “reside in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson.”

Alienation is the goal:

At the same time, new cultural forms must be found to increase the alienation of the population, in order for it to understand how truly alienated it is to live without socialism. “Do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones,” said Benjamin.

The proper direction in painting, therefore, is that taken by the late Van Gogh, who began to paint objects in disintegration, with the equivalent of a hashish-smoker’s eye that “loosens and entices things out of their familiar world.”

Oh ho ho, isn’t that interesting now? Do you recall this episode of Doctor Who, for whom it might have been the viewer’s first or even the only look at an artistic great?  Did Moffat and Curtis direct viewers to Michelangelo, Manet, Matisse, Millet, even Magritte as their starter? Not a bit of it – it had to be Van Gogh, did it not? Fanciful selection? Iconic TV show, reinforcing key values?

In music, “it is not suggested that one can compose better today” than Mozart or Beethoven, said Adorno, but one must compose atonally, for atonalism is sick, and “the sickness, dialectically, is at the same time the cure….The extraordinarily violent reaction protest which such music confronts in the present society … appears nonetheless to suggest that the dialectical function of this music can already be felt … negatively, as ‘destruction.’ “

The purpose of modern art, literature, and music must be to destroy the uplifting — therefore, bourgeois — potential of art, literature, and music, so that man, bereft of his connection to the divine, sees his only creative option to be political revolt.

That last paragraph really needs to sink into modern man and woman’s minds, what Benjamin is not only suggesting but that which has been taken up by those in key positions to propagate it.

“To organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics and to discover in political action a sphere reserved one hundred percent for images.”

Thus, Benjamin collaborated with Brecht to work these theories into practical form, and their joint effort culminated in the Verfremdungseffekt (“estrangement effect”), Brecht’s attempt to write his plays so as to make the audience leave the theatre demoralized and aimlessly angry.

In other words, a direct assault on the human spirit and for what? To make the art, architecture and music of a new era no better than metal machine music.  For the young to embrace that which they have no alternative to, as alternatives have been quietly removed from the public gaze.

A DJ’s playlist is a powerful force and that is not determined just by him, it is determined from someone above in the organization, which that someone somehow came into control of.

Just as atonalism alienates, another way to introduce the dystopic involves lightheartedly introducing a concept, such as in the early 60s hits Multiplication, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny and others, so that to oppose those songs, at those early stages, to sound a warning, makes the critic look a sad case, one needing to get a life.

If that critic uses the term “thin edge of the wedge”, it would be dismissed.  This is precisely how the major PC concepts were introduced at school, through the media, through government.  And to oppose what seems natural and normal to most, to be a killjoy, is in fact attacking the very process which will inevitably result in the killing of joy, because it is in fact quite unnatural.

But few can see that, the mass of people subject to the quite effective marginalization of any opposition to the PTB’s process.

Eventually, the opposition’s message dulls – the medium is the message after all and no message can last any longer than a soundbite.  A turgid series of posts therefore is nowhere in this new shallowness.

The blog is shallow – everyone wants a short bite on a topic, not an essay.  Twitter is even worse in the dissemination of truth.

As for our cultural environment, remembering that the quoted text is from 1992 and yet is still highly relevant, even more so, we are being made, bit by bit, to accept bitter, soulless, distressing atonalism in all spheres – from a Hirst statue of a pregnant teen, to Emin’s bed, to windfarms, to the ugliness of London now, to the Turner and Booker prizes, to gross tattoos on women, to nose bones and other bits of metal through tongues, to transgender, to the charade of “marriage” for the purpose of buggery – the uglier it gets, the more inured the denizens of the dystopia become, sustained by faux constructs, faux definitions of peace, love, equality and diversity, blind to the political implications of those faux definitions, handed down by a cynical PTB.

Less and less the high points of the past are either noted or even understood, the genuinely great art, architecture, engineering works, music and film is now but a decaying backdrop to the New Dystopia, the New Dark Age.  It’s called the march of civilization, the inevitable rise and fall of civilizations, whereas in fact it is the result of quite evil muvvers deliberately interfering to progressively enslave and cheapen the human mind.

Cheapen is the word. AK Haart just wrote of crappy furniture – that’s the sort of thing today.

It’s not too fanciful to call this the rise of the new barbarism and you do not need to be an aesthete, an artist or a luvvy to see it happening – just step back and compare past and present.

And by logical extension, when the quislings in high places invite the barbarians through the gates, give them the 2012 Olympics to take care of in those ceremonies, and no one opposes these people and what they do any more, the sheer gauchness and crassness, then we have the end of Rome.

We are becoming inured against bad art, bad design, bad ideas.

Coming back to the way things get into our society before people wake up, we return to the notion of being duped, manipulated and this from the 50s is as good an example as any. It’s from an article on Bogie and Bacall, upon her death.  Remember that it’s the liberals we rely on to produce the fine art, the high and noble works, though not the engineering marvels:

[Bacall is] also being celebrated by liberals as a fighter for freedom in the arts, one who bravely confronted the closed-minded anti-communists in Washington—a stoic battler against Joe McCarthy and his “witch hunts.”

Sorry, but reality is more complicated.

The facts are that Lauren Bacall herself learned the truth about communism in Hollywood. She admitted to being badly duped by bad guys. She learned her lesson, even as her fellow Hollywood liberals to this day have not, opting instead for a false narrative that feeds a handy caricature.

The Ten accused, who projected themselves as just fellow artists and workers in the industry, fellow liberals, good people, put out a cry for Hollywood to come and defend their free speech, invoking the First and Fifth Amendments.

The liberals were more than game. After consulting with the “unfriendlies,” they created a group called the “Committee for the First Amendment.” It was a classic name.

The liberal stars they enlisted ran into the hundreds, with big names like Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Myrna Loy, Paulette Goddard. A group of roughly two dozen lent more than their signatures; they actually set sail for Washington: Danny Kaye, Ira Gershwin, Judy Garland, John Garfield, Sterling Hayden, Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, John Huston, Philip Dunne, Billy Wilder, and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Bogart and Bacall topped the list, as they would any blockbuster movie.

“Before we left Hollywood,” said Bogart later, “we carefully screened every performer so that no red or pink could infiltrate and sabotage our purpose.”

The street-wise Bogie prided himself in his ability not to be tricked. As one “First Amendment” crusader put it, Bogart “feels that he’s the most politically sophisticated guy in our business.”

The tough-talking Bogie seemed a most unlikely character to be duped. Neither he nor his girl, Lauren Bacall, would be anyone’s sucker.

The crew from the Committee for the First Amendment boarded a plane bearing the name (no kidding) Red Star, which immediately raised suspicions among the liberals, including Bacall, though apparently not enough to stop the voyage.

“Coincidence or design?” Lauren Bacall wrote later.

What happened on the road from California to Washington is fascinating political theater. It would make a terrific movie, if someone in modern Hollywood dared to portray it accurately. 

The liberals/progressives … were vicious toward the House Committee. They literally compared the congressmen to Nazis, stormtroopers, Goebbels, Hitler, the Spanish Inquisition, and on and on. The four major Hollywood writers called to testify—Dalton Trumbo, Albert Maltz, Alvah Bessie, and John Howard Lawson (a.k.a., “Hollywood’s Commissar”)—were especially belligerent.

Alas, to make a long story short, the liberals were stunned, dumbfounded, shocked beyond belief, and [felt] deeply betrayed when they got to Washington and found that the accused communists were undeniably and unmistakably just that: communists.

Congress, both Republicans and Democrats alike, openly presented mountains of evidence: registration rolls, news clips, Daily Worker articles, New Masses’ bylines, front-group memberships, party applications, forms, cards, checks, cash, and even numbers. The world quickly learned some crucial facts.

Anyone can be duped, not just liberals.  Anyone, including us.  The issue with this term Communist in that day was not the general philosophy per se but the direct connection with Moscow and Peking, with the clearly stated view of reconstructing society in such a way as to make an anschluss with the Soviets and/or Chinese possible, a physical merging which would need the US Constitution to be put aside for the nonce.

For most of the Rik Mayalls of the day, this was just urban guerilla stuff, creampuff student politics but for others in key positions in the public consciousness, e.g. beloved stars, what they said often went uncriticized.

Perfect example was Walter Cronkite, of whom LBJ was reported saying: “Lose Cronkite and you’ve lost America.” You can explore this man for yourself, his antecedents, what he got up to. I don’t want to get sidetracked from the theme of ugliness but here are two excerpts as starters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_World_Federalists

Citizens for Global Solutions has its roots in a 1947 convention in Asheville, North Carolina, when World Federalists, USA merged with four similar organizations to form the United World Federalists.

Membership was open to any American “except persons Communist or Fascist oriented”.

It had more than 50,000 members during the late 1940s and early 1950s, including Albert Einstein, Kurt Vonnegut, Sen. Alan Cranston, Mortimer Adler, E.B. White, Oscar Hammerstein, Cord Meyer, and the organization’s longtime President, Norman Cousins.

Over the course of its history, the organization recognized a number of leading globally minded citizens for their support of the organization’s goals through the presentation of the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award.

Recipients have included Strobe Talbott (Deputy Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton), Walter Cronkite, and Ted Turner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Federalist_Movement

The World Federalist Movement (WFM) is a global citizens movement with member and associate organizations around the world. The WFM International Secretariat is based in New York City across from the United Nations headquarters.

The organization was created in 1947 by those concerned that the structure of the new United Nations was too similar to the League of Nations which had failed to prevent World War II, both being loosely structured associations of sovereign nation-states, with few autonomous powers. Supporters continue to advocate the establishment of a global federalist system of strengthened and accountable global institutions with plenary constitutional power and a division of international authority among separate global agencies.

The Movement has had Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC since 1970 and is affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and a current board member of the Conference of NGOs (CONGO). It currently counts 30,000 to 50,000 supporters.

Check Cronkite’s speech at the 1999 Norman Cousins Global Governance Award. Also this:

You do not need to have any love for Christianity to understand, in that speech, that this was a gross betrayal of middle America in that day.  From the very man who was seemingly supporting and protecting America in most people’s minds.

We can therefore add betrayal to duping and flatly lying, to lack of ethics.

Another of the key people involved, for those old enough to remember her shows, was Lucille Ball, of I Love Lucy.  She differed from Bogie and Bacall, from many of those other Hollywood names, in that she was not duped in the least, she was a card carrying Communist Party member with a stated aim of the reconstruction of American society.

She later claimed, on the stand, that she was coerced into supporting them.  That’s as maybe but then she went further than most – she even set up a production company, Desilu, to promote her world view through the medium of comedy.  Who provided the funds for that? She also stated later that her marriage to Desi Arnaz was nothing like how it was portrayed in the shows.

We were duped then and we’re duped today.

Aesthetics is the poor cousin of political philosophy, of the cut and thrust of daily politics we concern ourselves with at this site.  And yet aesthetics is one of the key tools in bringing about the desired dystopia.  It was no accident that the Soviets commissioned such wonderful art and sculpture – you could see examples of that until recently in the Moscow Metro.  Ditto with Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, my own particular period of interest.

Atonalism is in the same vein as that which they’ve done to the Cutty Sark – a marvel of wood, now shrouded in a gauche tangle of low grade metal and glass, designed by a “modern” group of architects.

Let me end by repeating a quote from the top of this article:

The loss of that ability [to discern] is the primary indicator of a Dark Age. And a new Dark Age is exactly what we are in. In such situations, the record of history is unequivocal: either we create a Renaissance—a rebirth of the fundamental principles upon which civilization originated—or, our civilization dies.

This article follows on from:

http://www.nourishingobscurity.com/2015/12/sad-song-for-certain-reasons/