12.22.2011

Initial Notes on Autism

Autistic man is overspecialized man. He appears in the more recent vintages of the human. He is so overspecialized as to be unable to survive on his own, and is a product of man’s ever increasing domestication, his subservience to specialized technologies and the social structure that emerges from them.

The autistic is the unintended consequence of man’s commitment to a particular metaphor and myth: the individual, ultra-competitive, hyper-rational economic man; a man modeled upon the computer; a man who being perfectly rational exists anonymously in the aggregates of the central planners.

The body is all he is. He experiences no “inner-life.”

He is artifice, the development of a culture’s worship of science and the computer, and the use of technologies to handle greater and greater amounts of information processing. Man has begun to resemble his technology, to merge with it, to become the artificial intelligence he endeavored to create.

He does not have an appreciation of music, though he may very well be able to perform it in a mathematically rigorous way.

He understands little of art or literature, or anything of a qualitative, non-technical quality.

He does not have empathy. He does not feel the emotional or physical pain of others. Indeed, the other as other consciousness, does not exist for him.

He does not understand the idea of a mother and father or the family. As such, he is unable to receive their gift: he cannot understand what is given, he cannot understand cooperation.

His inability to reflect upon the other, the consciousness of the other, the other’s perception of him, disconnects him from other men. Thus disconnected he is without self-consciousness beyond the rudimentary recognition that his body is his own and that others are other bodies.

Autistic man has broken the bounds of empathy and cooperation and the gift. Without consciousness of others beyond being bodies necessary to his survival, or the carrying out of a particular task, he is without consciousness. He is conscious of others only in so far as his needs and desires require others for their satisfaction.

He does not know that he will die and is unequipped to consider it. He does not comprehend the death of others in a way meaningful enough to consider it a possibility for himself.

He is incapable of boredom. For through boredom man experiences the extremes of self-consciousness and the consideration of death.

His emotional life is severely limited. His fear is limited to the fear of injury to his body, the only aspect of himself he is conscious of.

His recognition of his parents is limited to his need for them. He recognizes them because he needs them.

He can be said to be exclusively concerned with himself and therein lies his absence of consciousness. For consciousness exists in so far as it makes reference to other consciousnesses. A man’s recognition of other consciousnesses provides him the framework for the understanding of his own--his being self-conscious.

The appearance of autistic man heralds the gradually evolving disappearance of consciousness in humans.

Autistic man is not found to be excessively skilled economically. Indeed, the hoarding of wealth interests him little and he understands almost nothing of taking economic advantage. His interests and ability, when present, are with the code of technological life.

Technology allows for the continuing domestication of man. He is both a product of and reliant upon the technologies that compose his environment.

Technology both makes autistic man possible and allows him to live, to thrive in fact, in a society increasingly technologically focused.

Autistic man’s favorite color is green.

Autistic man finds inspiration in trains, in watching and listening to them, and in train schedules.

12.17.2011

Note on States and Systems

In places where a Western-style State does not exist there is still order be it the order of warlords or tribes or families. Appeals have been made to a large State as a means of protecting a population from the aggression of other States, and there would appear to be some truth to this. For certainly a State looks to procure for itself and its moneyed interests the assets and resources of weaker states, when it is expedient, through war or trade. The question of how a population without a State would protect itself would appear to be an important question.

But does the State really protect its population, safeguarding the country's resources for its people?

In Colombia, for example, because the domestic corporate elite remains underdeveloped, the State has aligned itself with foreign corporate interests to develop and take to market the country’s abundant raw materials. In doing so Colombian politicians have enriched themselves and no doubt provided employment to Colombian workers. But the greater part of the profits from these deals leave the country to foreign corporate interests. Has the Colombian State failed or succeeded in protecting its population?

The American State differs from the Colombian in that its privileged corporate interests are for the most part domestic ones, and, additionally, that it is better equipped to use war, treaty and tariff to promote those domestic interests. But both the Colombian and American State make the argument that their alignment and privileging of certain corporate interests is ultimately beneficial to the populace at large. It is the oft-made argument of a kind of trickle-down economic effect, one in which the immediate (and measurable) economic benefits to the ruling and corporate elite are argued to far outweigh the negatives for even the poorest of its citizenry. It must be noted that these secondary, trickled-down economic effects are mostly difficult to measure.

Indeed much of the American economic success can be attributed to a State highly skilled and committed to promoting its corporate interests abroad and working with other, comparatively weaker States, often with lesser developed corporate elites, to extend American corporate interests. The American State is the best among the State agents of plunder and it is no coincidence that it is backed by the world’s most powerful military (as well as an expansive prison system).
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Larger systems are constructed upon injustices. In dealing with aggregates, macro ideas, and anonymous others, the large system is unable to respond to the injustices committed against the few. It is only the threat of violence from those that maintain the larger system that contains those against whom these injustices are committed from rising up against it. A strong military is thus essential to the larger system, as much to deter violence from within as from without.

By contrast, within smaller systems, a family or small village for instance, any injustices are addressed immediately by the elite of the smaller system. One does not easily or profitably take advantage of one’s neighbor without consequences. Hence, smaller systems are more easily changed for the benefit of their membership and, indeed, smaller systems do not require military power to deter violence from within.

Additionally, the smaller system is more robust than the larger. In the case of its breakdown the effects are limited to a smaller number of people. The members of the smaller system are less specialized than those in the larger (with fewer members they are required to perform more tasks) and are thus less system-dependent and more able to survive should the system collapse.

Much of the larger system's power derives from that one cannot say exactly what it is.

12.11.2011

My Ugly Nigger

Because it is not simply to explore her firm large ass and well-hanging breasts, the nipples dark and large, but it is her moans, her whispers, and then she moans more loudly and begins to say these words to you, one after the other, as if a kind of code: mi amor, mi corazon, mi cariño, mi cielo, mi vida, and then when you smile at her she calls you "my ugly nigger" (mi negro feo), a term of great endearment. Then more moaning, and exploring her dark swarthy body, sweaty now and pulsing, looking up at you with those almond shaped eyes of hers, set just so far apart on her face as to make you crazy to look into them, and she inspires you deeper and deeper inside her, she grabbing your ass and pulling you in not letting you out, not even to pull back to thrust, your bodies crushing together. Then you struggle away and turn her around to have that big, smooth, tanned ass from behind where you can control it and shove into it and her groaning increases and more and more and si papi si Papi Si and then you both lay back, you having spent it all, it all gone now, something empty and peaceful, a long grassy Wisconsin field in the spring, the tall pines moving just slightly in the high wind and the dew drops on the grasses. Mi amor, you hear. Mi corazon. Mi cielo. Cariño mio. And you are coming back now from far away, and she is there again, stroking the head of your cock in a hotel room in Bogota.

12.09.2011

Bulletproof

Today in Bogota the sun was out and it was blue and warm, the mountains visible high behind the city and I walked up the calle from the hotel. I took a tinto at a café and then continued through Chapinero past the little shops and restaurants and street vendors, and along the route of the Transmilenio, until I reached Miguel Caballero’s bulletproof clothing store on Calle 71, no 15-28. The door is kept locked and an attendant in a black bulletproof vest opened it for me. Inside the clean, bright shop two women at the counter asked what I needed and I explained I was interested in both motorcycle clothing and bulletproof garments.

A small woman guided me to the motorcycle section where I tried on a number of jackets of a durable synthetic material. These jackets were implanted with hard protection on the elbows, shoulders and back. There were various colors other than black and some fit more snugly than others against my body. She showed me to the mirror and we both marveled at how well the jackets looked on me. All were quite affordable at prices around 300,000 COP.

Then we went into the bulletproof section and I tried on the jackets there. There were many wonderfully designed jackets and pants as well as boots and other protective wear and I wondered if this tiny woman who was assisting me had upon acceptance of employment with Miguel Caballero, donned a bulletproof jacket and allowed herself to be shot in the chest with a handgun. I had read that a condition of employment, including that of his lawyers, was a personal trial of the bulletproof qualities of the garments.

I helped the little woman hang the last jacket up on the rack and I thanked her and explained I would most certainly be returning to the shop. I thought the clothing, all from the design of Miguel Caballero himself, was both expertly made and fashionable. She smiled graciously and told me she would be at my orders upon my return.

12.03.2011

Social Construct vs. Hard-Wired

3. What they call “hard-wired” is just a “social construct” that has existed for a long time; that has been repeated many times over, with slight variation, in many successive vintages of man. It is what comes to be encoded most deeply in a man's genetic memory and institutions. What is hard-wired was constructed and subsequently refined and repeated by man's ancestors over many generations.

4. What they call “social construct” is an institution or value that has appeared more recently, usually defined as being in opposition to what is “hard-wired.” It is a conscious attempt at remaking or correcting man so that he may live within some new myth or value.

6. Some want to denigrate the so-called social construct, saying that it is not how things have been. What is hard-wired has existed for longer and is thus truer and more authentic, they say. Their's is a conservative attitude: the conservation of the past. Furthermore, many of these conservatives argue that man cannot be changed in any meaningful way from those values characterized as “hard-wired”. But man is an animal with consciousness, and with consciousness any sort of overcoming is possible. Though, verily, what is oldest is only overcome with the greatest difficulty.

11. Man can overcome himself with new values and new institutions, and he may very well carry out a program to reconstruct his society. But the resulting transformation will be far different from that which he intended. Indeed, the restructuring may result in a new generation of men hard-wired for something entirely unintended (autistics and the obese are prime examples). For it is both man’s privilege and curse to be conscious of his own development and to reflect upon it, and sometimes to actively fight against it and remake it.

19. Indeed, those that encourage the distinction between social construct and hard-wired fail to recognize that a man's genetics do not reveal themselves in the absence of the institutions they were charged with responding to. For genes and institutions require each other for their expression. What is hard-wired emerges over time from what was socially constructed.

11.19.2011

Bellum De Pauci Contra Plures

9. The State comes to exist through submission. The strongest create the State to further their dominion over the weaker masses. They gain the acceptance of the masses by force and by hand-out, and beguile those masses to further solidify their power. The State does not exist without the complicity of the weaker masses.

14. Centralized government appeared when man realized his hoarding could be better facilitated through the threat of violence and imprisonment, rather than actually carrying that threat out: The realization that taking a percentage of a man's wealth over the course of his life is more efficient and lucrative than stripping him of his wealth and killing him today.

17. Hobbes argued that the appearance of the State ends the war of all against all (bellum omnium contra omnes) replacing it with a broad peace. Indeed, the State provides the masses protection from being plundered by criminals and the oligarchs of other nations. But beneath this surface peace, the domestic oligarchs continue their plundering legally through institutions of their own design and within the continually shifting laws of the State.

20. The State exists to protect those who have hoarded, and those who have hoarded contrive the State to hoard still more. The State is a mechanism for plundering.

21. Contra Hobbes, the creation of the State does not end any existing war of all against all, but rather expands the war of the few against the many (bellum de pauci contra plures). Indeed, it is a war that the expansion of the State only proliferates, further concentrating power and wealth with the oligarchs.

25. The State expands through regulation, subsidy and taxation, thereby continuing a progressive liquidation of the smaller, marginal producers, and further growing the hoarded wealth of the privileged oligarchs. The State exists to facilitate a wealth transfer from those without explicit State protection to those with that protection.

26. When there is no longer additional wealth for the oligarchs to accumulate, or when the accumulation of more wealth might destabilize the society and incite the masses to revolt, the State will instead look beyond its borders, to accumulate the wealth of other, weaker nations.

29. The State exists to wage war and create new wars. The State is the apparatus of war and the will to war.

37. The democratic state, the communist state, the capitalist state, the feudal state, the distatorship state, et al. are each distinctions without difference.

11.16.2011

The Revolution

I got off the Blue Line at Division and Ashland. I walked by the Strange Beauty Hair Salon. My appointment was for 4:30, but I did not have a watch. I figured I was early and thought maybe to sit down in a bar or café. I could ask the time and receive refreshment.

I continued down Ashland. It was cold and overcast. A winter wind was blowing up the wide avenue. There were only taco shops and vintage clothing stores. No bars or cafes. I felt I had gone too far and crossed the street and turned back towards the salon. On this side of Ashland I had noticed a bookstore called Revolution Books. I thought I might warm up inside, look at some books, and ask the time.

I stepped through the door into a one room bookstore. Two older ladies stood up from a table and welcomed me. They asked if I had been there before. I have not, I told them.

The younger of the two ladies stepped forward. She wore gold earings with a fashionable pink scarf around her neck.

“Do you know about the revolution?”

“I do not," I said. "But before I hear of this revolution, might you give me the time? You see, I have an appointment of great importance at 4:30.”

“Of course,” said the woman, pulling back her sleeve. “It is 10 minutes to 4.”

“Many thanks. You may now tell me of the revolution.” Certainly there would be time to hear of the revolution.

The woman entered into a long, jargon heavy monologue about what was the scientific nature of communism, how communism was coming to replace the oppression and exploitation and enslavements of the capitalists, and how it was simply a matter of educating people about it. The prior communist revolutions had been mistakes. Now there was science involved. The capitalists were doomed, she said. The scientific nature of communism meant their doom.

“And how will the revolution be conducted?” I asked. “How will the communists take power?”

“Science,” she explained. “By science it will happen. Our chairman, Bob Avakian, the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has laid it out in this pamphlet.”

She brought down a thin book from the bookshelf and opened it. This section of the bookshelves consisted only of books by the Chairman Bob Avakian. I began to read through the table of contents as she spoke. There were many, many of the words I had just heard her use. I wanted to make sense of all this jargon.

“But how shall the communist state come about?” I asked. “Do you have guns?”

“Guns?”

“Guns for the revolution.”

“No, no,” she said, “We do not have guns.”

“Then you will use the electoral process. Chairman Bob Avakian is running in the 2012 election.”

“Of course not.”

“What is the name of the Revolutionary Communist Party candidate?”

“We have no candidate.”

“You have no guns and you have no candidate?”

“Yes.”

“Then how will the communists topple the State?”

“It will happen scientifically,” she said, just as simply and assuredly as she had said it the first time.

“But when a State is in its death throes it is often at its most violent and oppressive. It will kill or imprison anyone it feels threatened by. Will the communists not fight back then?”

“Here, I need to show you this,” she went behind the counter and produced a single sheet of paper. It was a proclaimation from Chairman Bob Avakian about the scientific nature of the coming revolution as well as a call to discourage violent action by lone individuals. It seemed to leave open the idea of mass violent action.

“Then you will take up guns. I urge you to get them and stockpile them now. They will be much harder to come by later.”

“No, no,“ she said. The woman started to read the paper to me. Clearly I had not understood it.

“Then you are pacifists. Ghandi was very effective. It is a most effective strategy to allow yourself to be beaten and killed as a group.”

“No,” she said, and continued to read from this paper. I had read the paper and wanted to change the subject.

“What will you do with the capitalist pigs after the revolution?”

“What do you mean?” she looked up from the paper.

“Will they be executed or will they be imprisoned?”

“What?”

“Certainly the capitalists must not be allowed to walk the streets. Certainly an example must be made of those that stand against the revolution. Che Guevara personally carried out numerous executions.”

“Chairman Bob Avakian in this book talks about this,” and she pulled another volume from the shelf.

“Here look at this too. You should really read this.” As I began looking through the book she handed me a thin propaganda newspaper. It was three pages in length with large block text and cost $1.00.

“I can see that you can’t afford this so I am giving it to you.”

Clearly my long hair, uncut now for more than a year, bleached and damaged by South American sun, by wind and rain and sweat and filth, had given her the impression of dire poverty. I took the propaganda newspaper and did not contest my poverty.

Just then a black woman came into the bookshop.

“Can you spare some money please?”

“No, no,” said the communist woman. "We have no money. Please, please go,” she said, blocking the black woman from coming further into the bookstore.

“Just a little money so I can eat?”

“No, no, no,” she said more sternly.

The black woman left the bookshop.

The woman picked up another three page $1.00 propaganda newspaper.

“I know you do not have the money but you may have this one too. Inside you can read about the wrongful imprisonment of Fred Furster.”

“I have not heard of him. Is he a political prisoner?”

“He is oppressed. Oppressed by the capitalist state. Look at these pictures.” She directed me towards a bulletin board of photographs between the shelves. There was a photo of a man wearing a cardboard sign demanding the release of Fred Furster. I studied the pictures. There were pictures from other small rallies and demonstrations.

“Is the Revolutionary Communist Party legal team working to free these people?”

“We do not have a legal team.”

“Will you attack the prisons in which these people are held?”

“What?”

“How will you free these people?”

“We are working to free them. That is why we are demonstrating.”

“Just look at that there,” said the woman.

I turned and through the window of the bookstore saw a Mexican man and woman pushing a shopping cart filled with what appeared to be the contents of their apartment. There were clothes, plates and glasses, a blender, two wooden chairs, sacks of unknown contents tied to the sides of the cart, and a queen sized mattress balanced upon the top. We watched the couple slowly push their possessions past the window.

And it was then, after they had passed, that I saw in the window display the latest book of poems by Kevin Coval called L-vis Lives. The book was displayed prominently in the window.

“Do you know this poet?” I asked her.

“Yes, of course. He comes here often. We hope to soon have him for a reading.”

“I once knew this poet.”

The woman brightened.

“But this poet was not so revolutionary then.”

The woman frowned. "He is quite revolutionary. Perhaps it is a different poet you once knew?"

“Perhaps."

"And what is the time, madam?”

“Oh yes,” she said and rolled back her sleeve. “It is 4:20.”

“I must be going. My appointment.”

She smiled and we shook hands.

“It was a pleasure to speak to you about the revolution.”

“No, madam, the pleasure was mine to hear of it.”

I left Revolution Books and I crossed the street to the Strange Beauty Hair Salon where Monica, a buxom dark-haired girl, originally from Duluth Minnesota, gave me the finest haircut I have had in years. I know so, because when I arrived home my mother told me I looked like a movie star.

11.10.2011

Solitude



"The great project is conducted in solitude. The great project demands the solitude of the man. It can happen no other way. But solitude is not itself a project. My brothers, do not rush into solitude without the project, for solitude will overwhelm even the strongest among you. Verily, solitude is dangerous and only the man of great destiny is drawn to it. But to go to solitude with an unformed project will doom any man. Let the project be your strength. Go to solitude when your project has been made strong in the world of men. Then let solitude be its test."

11.08.2011

Brothers

They are at opposite ends of longing.
One to lay with her,
Her soft warmth against him,
Stroking his body with her caring hand,
He loses it all in her embrace.

The other, alone at the mountaintop,
The cold wind cutting his flesh, training
Training and training, more training
For the bitter combat he hopes to find.

The one looks upon the other
Wishing and wanting--
I shall soon be there, he whispers.

For one, a woman unable to understand his cry
For the other, a loneliness too deep
To hear it.

11.02.2011

A Silent Negotiation

He does not know what sort of man he would be. There is truth in action and it is this truth he keeps from himself.

He imagines, he grows the fear in his imagination. He imagines what is as yet unknown and is frightened by it. He imagines terrifying scenarios.

–Cus D’Amato

28. There isn’t any training necessary for a life of fucking around and expressing your domestication. There isn’t any training required to be a part of institutions. Institutional life is untrained life. You are born into it. Training is something else entirely. You train for life outside institutions.

40. The only truthful action is that which reveals his character. It is action that is beyond the expectations of institutional life. It is action that sets him apart from other men.

42. Only institutionalized men say there is no truth. What they mean is there is no truth for all of us.

67. In training a man begins to express his character. His character will appear most forcefully when he is without the protection and anonymity of institutional life. It is what is true and only he will know it.

70. Men live within institutions because they fear themselves. They do not wish to examine their characters. They do not wish to be exposed.

85. And so he begins a silent negotiation with himself. The silent negotiation is unknown to other men, but its results will be clear. He will have settled. The pain, and uncertainty of more pain, have overwhelmed him. And with himself he negotiates a way out: “But I feel a little sickness today. I will abort this last bit of training. I do it for my own good. Surely it is for my own good that I stop. Yes. Yes, it is.” Then afterwards he deepens the lie: “And I will be stronger tomorrow for being so wise to stop today before I injured myself.”

96. The smile he exchanges with the boss he disdains to curry favor for a promotion. The nagging woman he quietly listens to on account of the child he is raising with her. The drunk at the bar he backs down from when challenged for fear of injury or arrest. Such are the tiny treasons that whittle away at his character. He negotiates with himself until he is flimsy and weak and easily swayed, until he is capable of any kind of whoring. It is how a man becomes domesticated and defeated.

109. His silent negotiation will go one way or the other. He will go the extra set, go harder, go faster; or he will come upon the excuse that relieves him of his obligation. He reasons away his failure, he makes it acceptable and thereby renews his confidence. He may even call his failure a decision made in the best interest of his future.

112. His days are more and more composed of little failings, often repeated, and he grows accustomed to them. He assures himself that when it really matters he will make a stand. Or perhaps he tells himself the world is worthless and instead attempts an escape of transcendence.

10.18.2011

Lonesome



What he enjoyed now was his advance. He consumed the minimum and avoided all that was sugary and artificial, all of the fleeting pleasures. Only the ideas that had lasted longest concerned him. The simple, passing pleasures of the others disturbed him and he steeled himself against them. Still, sometimes, he reminded himself of his mediocrity. After all, he was one of the others, the many others. He had been shaped by the same institutions. It was important to remember the places he had come from and overcome. Still, he did not lapse often. As much as he could, he choose not to require the others. He trained alone; he choose what was difficult; he made his life in such a way as to need the others less. He went the longest, hardest way whenever possible because how else, he thought, could he become extraordinary?

Living your life as every other man and relying upon transcendence was a joke. Mental acts were a joke. The men who thought ideas but didn’t act were gutless cowards. The world didn’t need any more writing or writers. He had the deepest contempt for each of them. His contempt was bottomless when it came to the men who thought and talked and wrote, but failed to act. He much preferred the men who had committed themselves to the average. He admired their unthinking, unreflective commitment to the institutions, the purity of their groupishness, their domestication. He sometimes in weakness longed for the comfort of their lives. They belonged to institutions, while he no longer could.

To be without institutions was to be deeply insecure, homeless. Though he was learning of other, older institutions, he could never belong to them with the commitment a man has to the institutions into which he was born. Having rejected that birthright he would always now feel somewhat outside. For a man belongs best to the way of life that has chosen him. It does not work the other way around.

So he did not belong and would have no comfort. That was what he had chosen. Part of overcoming was embracing lonesomeness. Because other men and their institutions were a fact of the species, solitude wasn't possible. A man could never be alone. His break with other men was never quite complete. It couldn’t work. And that's where the lonesomeness came from. It could only be tragic. And it was hard to choose tragedy. Few had the courage for it. But tragedy was good. That's what the Greeks said. It was how the gods punished great men. The Greeks were alright. Yeah, the Greeks were alright.

10.17.2011

41 North



In the north country the fall comes early
And through the barren trees
We see clear through to the next county.

A hawk holds himself steady
High in the blowing wind.
The wheat is felled across the hills.
The fallen leaves have blown into the low areas
And are sodden from the storm.

From the farmhouse at the height of the land
We look down across the rolling country
Dirt earthen brown, darkened for winter.

The light will fail early today
And still earlier tomorrow,
As we,
With all the land
Go on waiting,
Waiting around to die.

10.12.2011

Bubble

In 2004 Bernanke referred to the 30 year smoothing of the business cycle as “The Great Moderation.” There was no reason to think this moderation would end. Man now controlled the business cycle and his economic destiny. Three elements were critical to this 30 year period:

1. Financial innovation: beginning in the early ‘80s with the tranche-ing and packaging of mortgages into MBSs and then later in the ‘90s and ‘00s using all sorts of debt of even the poorest credit quality. Add credit default swaps and a multiplicity of other exotic products difficult to price (in terms of risk) and personal indebtedness levels rose dramatically, particularly those of the poorest Americans. Even the riskiest loans could now be tranched and transformed into AAA securities. Banks were able to make loans, quickly package them and move them off their balance sheets, thereby allowing for the origination of new loans. FNM and FRE bought up the MBSs as buyers of last resort in a government effort to make housing affordable to the poorest Americans. Essentially, financial innovation in the form of debt tranche-ing and packaging led to the democratization of indebtedness, and government support for MBSs led to a flourishing secondary market in mortgage debt of the shakiest credit quality.

2. Falling interest rates: from the early '80s to the present day short rates fell from 18% to zero allowing for the continual refinancing of existing debt. In effect, the Fed continually bailed out borrowers (and creditors who had lent too much).

3. The computer and internet: These revolutionary technological innovations transformed society and provided the productive asset base for real economic growth, not growth tied to debt issuance. Massive productivity gains began with the introduction of the personal computer in the '80s and later, with the development of the internet, led to government budget surpluses by the late ‘90s. The computerization of society caused such a dramatic increase in productivity and tax revenues that even the Clinton government was unable to spend it. These productivity gains in turn gave rise to new expectations over future economic growth, that growth would at least continue at these new rates, and further debt issuance was based upon these growth assumptions.

Conscience & The State

39. Do not suppose that cooperation and competition are antithetical or opposite. Rather cooperation as learned from the good mother is the base foundation for all economic interaction. To wrong one’s trading partner, to hoard at the expense of others or at the expense of the exchange system itself, are each violations of the good mother’s originary example of cooperation. The good mother's example is a check on competition so that it does not begin to resemble some Hobbesian world of individuals in constant war with one another. The good mother’s example of cooperation allows mutual benefits to be maintained between trading parties in the absence of codified laws and regulation.

45. It is the good mother who develops and encourages conscience in the child. Conscience is cooperation embodied. He learns to feel his violation of cooperation and altruism physically. His conscience warns him with the racing of his heart, the sweatiness of his palms, the sinking feeling in his stomach.

48. Cooperation, altruism and the gift resist systematic codification in law. Indeed, the growth of the State and the expansion of regulation and law may be seen as a further factor undermining the institution of good motherhood. The State’s prohibitions are appealed to as a guide to economic interaction rather than conscience as developed by the good mother. The State, rather than the conscience of individual men, becomes the sole caretaker of the economic system, and any activity in accord with the State’s regulation is understood to be legal and just. Loopholes and other systematic abuse is legal and therefore acceptable. The State, rather than the conscience of individual men, is the arbiter of acceptable conduct.

10.07.2011

The Good Mother

4. The family is the first group. The family survives through cooperation, not competition. The good mother is savings and sacrifice. There is no family without her.

12. The bond between mother and child begins at conception with her body feeding the fetus’ development inside her, and later, after his birth, she nourishes him from her breast. The intimacy of these experiences and their shared genetic lineage founds the powerful connection between them. She gives of her body so that the child may live. Her attention is always in regard to the child. She speaks to it and plays with it. She gives of her body and time without any expectation. There is no calculus in the relation of mother to child.

17. From the good mother he learns cooperation, altruism, and the gift. The good mother’s care is the expression of man’s first and most basic institutions, and it is upon these institutions that others are founded. The good mother prepares the child for his future and to do so she forgoes consumption today. That is her sacrifice, self-sacrifice, and the child is her savings.

29. Motherhood is not simply preparing a child for the economic institutions he will encounter later in life. It is not about getting him a head-start on other children by making him an early reader, or educating him in Chinese, or forcing him to learn an instrument. If educating a child to gain a competitive advantage relative to other children was the objective of motherhood then it could be performed by anyone and, verily, this conception guides the Western mother. A nanny can nurse the child on formula while she is away at work. A good pre-school can advance his education. The Western mother argues that specialists are better equipped to care for her child and instruct him. And paying specialists for her child’s care also allows her to have a work career.

38. Child care is a nuisance for the Western mother. It diverts her from her career, which represents her independence from her husband and her family. She rationalizes that the economic benefits of being able to work while a surrogate mother cares for her child is best for both the child and family. Economic considerations are primary to her and thus to the Western family. No longer does the Western mother wish to be identified with her family and with her children. Rather her career, her bank account, and the clothing and possessions she has purchased is how she identifies herself.

50. The undermining of motherhood and the family has extended to the home itself. The home as the dwelling place of the family has more recently become an investment, an asset to leverage and borrow against for further consumption.

52. Whether it is as a result of indebtedness or the desire to earn more for further consumption, the mother is no longer at home. The family is split through by economic considerations. The child develops with a mostly absent mother and only a limited experience of cooperation, altruism and the gift that only she can provide him.

55. For many Western women, motherhood consists simply in providing food and shelter until the age of eighteen, and access to an education that prepares the child for economic life. Her time, she argues, is her own. With divorce laws erected to favor these careerist mothers, many cease to maintain their attractiveness to their husbands. They become emotionally cold, deny them sex, allow themselves to fatten, and call upon their husbands only to fix things around the house. In her refusal to be good wife and good mother, the family is compromised.

69. Abortion, the selection of sperm donors or other manipulations of pregnancy, choosing not to breastfeed (also nutritionally damaging to a baby), homosexual partners or single fathers raising children, etc. are all distortions of motherhood that damage the originary institutions of cooperation and altruism.

76. The good mother cooperates to make the family possible. The good father competes with other men to provide for the family.

77. The good mother is irreplaceable to the child. The good father though, is more easily replaced. Beyond the income he provides the family, he need only be present as a model of hard work and competitive effort for the child.

10.06.2011

Aforismo para Colombianas

An aphorism for Andreas of Braunau, Austria


The young Latinas say first among their priorities is the family. To have children, to be a joyful, simple and caring woman, to find the love of an honest man, these are her goals. Yet she sees the conspicuous wealth, the shopping malls, large homes, and fashionable women of the West and she thinks, ‘Now, if only I could have those things too.’ But she does not realize that the Western woman has given up families, the care for children, and her joy in exchange for grand material consumption.

10.05.2011

A Puzzling Reduction

The pure competitor.
The pure cheat.
The pure altruist.

There are others.

The evolutionists have identified many behaviors and questioned whether they could survive given natural selection. For them these behaviors are genetically determined, with genetic origins similar to those for blue eyes or black hair. But are they not mistaken to reduce human behavior to genes? Are they implying that human behavior is only genetic?

Certainly the genetic models can be predictive for physical attributes. But are these models equally predictive for human behavior?

Questions must first be asked regarding what exactly constitutes any of these behaviors. What (or who) is the standard? Who sets it? Is the individual expressing competitive behavior always in all cases competitive? Does he never act altruistically/cooperatively? Are there variant cultural interpretations of these behaviors--couldn’t one behavior also sometimes be interpreted as another? Do cheaters always trump altruists over time in the manner of dark hair trumping red?

And what does it mean that these supposedly weaker behaviors continue to exist? What does this mean for the evolutionist’s models?

What of Darwin’s statement that natural selection was only one force acting upon the evolution man?

9.24.2011

After Overcoming

His overcoming brings the great peace. He overcomes into silence. The untroubled man no longer writes. There is no more need for philosophy, any sort of talking or writing about. Indeed, what is philosophy no longer has meaning for him. He understands that language can have nothing more to say on these matters. His overcoming has returned him to the world.

9.13.2011

Note on Writing

“If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays. I would make decisions.” ― Montaigne

There is something of the coward’s hesitation in sitting down to write that can never quite be removed. The writing moment is an extension of the conscious moment, a breakdown of man’s place within the world. Writing may clarify a man for action and return him to the world, or itself become a kind of fetish, a bad habit, a secure retreat from the world of men and activity.

He who writes feels more productive than he who simply sits. But it is mostly a false comfort, because for whom does the writer write? His audience is those who sit to read. And his writing, if he chooses to publish, encourages other men to sit.

Writing, to be productive, must itself result from some conflict regarding an action, return the writer to action, and just as importantly bring any reader to action. While good writing returns both author and reader to the world of decision, bad writing creates a lasting world of its own for a reader, giving him pleasure and comfort to remain within it. He lives in the musty quiet of libraries, or under the protection of universities, and any writing he may do will be no more than a derivative, secondary literature on that which was already written.

9.09.2011

Shadows of Consciousness

1.The female migrating swallow is passionate in her care for her chicks. Her day is occupied with their nourishment and she will sacrifice her life to defend them against a predator. But when the flock of migrating swallows appears signaling the end of the season, the mother swallow will immediately leave her chicks to migrate with the others. She joins the migrating flock and abandons her chicks to certain death. She acts without hesitation or evidence of confusion.

2. Some chimpanzees from the Gombe group were observed as they came upon a strange female chimp carrying a baby. The Gombe chimps immediately seized upon the baby chimp and killed it as they might have killed a pig or a monkey. “Humphrey was beating its head against a branch; then he started eating its thigh muscles and the poor infant went limp. Mike was allowed to tear off a foot. But now confusion seems to have overcome the attendant apes. They watched intrigued, but none begged a portion. They did however inspect the carcass, and Humphrey too began poking and sniffing rather than eating it. He even groomed it, then dropped it and walked away (prey is devoured by the group with not so much as a scrap wasted). Others retrieved the small corpse, only to play, examine or groom it, often giving it the respect accorded a dead community member. The carcass changed hands six times and, although battered beyond recognition, very little had been eaten.” (The Ape’s Reflexion, Adrian Desmond, pg 220)

3. Humans feel a deep sense of horror at the neglect, abuse or killing of a child by its mother or another adult. This outrage also extends to the abuse or killing of babies of other social species (puppies and kittens in particular). The case of the migrating mother swallow is curious to the observing ethnologist for this reason. In many ways her conduct appears similar to that of a human mother, but then in one astonishing moment, without any hesitation, she abandons her children to migrate with the group.

4. I previously used the metaphor of a suddenly stopped film to describe the appearance of consciousness. It was as though you were at the cinema when midway through a film the screen went blank, the lights came on, and the story in which you had been immersed is gone. You are suddenly aware of yourself sitting in the cinema. Consciousness appears as a similar sort of breakdown and awareness. The world in which one has been acting, its fluid, narrative-like quality, is abruptly broken. One is aware of himself and a world outside himself, seemingly distant. He feels very alone. He hesitates to act. What causes this hesitation? What triggers the conscious moment?

5. The mother swallow joins the migrating flock so that she may survive the winter and there is no evidence that she is conflicted over the abandonment of her children. The Gombe chimps by contrast appear conflicted over the infanticide. Humphrey and Mike carry out the killing, but when the others fail to join them in eating the dead infant both Humphrey and Mike hesitate. When the others (likely more than two) poke and sniff at the carcass Humphrey imitates them. Some of the others then play with the carcass or groom it, one seemingly treating it as a dead community member.

6. There is confusion among the chimps over what has happened and its significance. Though the gender of the other chimps was not recorded (were some or all of them women, mothers perhaps?), it is clear these chimps do not consider the infant chimp to be prey. Humphrey and Mike do not follow through on their impulse to eat the dead infant. None among them is certain how to act.

10. In their own chimp manner Humphrey and Mike have become aware of the conflict between their impulse and the behavior of the other chimps. To conceive this conflict is to become conscious. They are self-conscious because they are conscious of others.

21. Man’s consciousness is rooted in his sociability. There is no self-consciousness without consciousness of other selves. The two require each other. In much the same way a man’s genetics express themselves through the institutions that surround him, his self-consciousness requires the consciousness of others to express itself.

35. Consciousness emerges from a disagreement between genes and the institutions that exist for their expression. A man unwilling to express himself within the institutions around him feels alone, world-less. There is a breakdown of sociability. The institutions that surround him are no longer welcoming. Instead of acting he hesitates. He fears the disapproving look of the others, their judgment, if he acts otherwise. When the others are not present to provide the disapproving look his conscience provides it. The others physically, or through the institutions he was born into and through which he expresses himself, are part of him.

49. Institutions define what is expected, they define appropriate behavior and standards of conduct. Certain institutions are more deeply coded into man’s genes and to break with them will produce in him a physical anguish, the pang of conscience.

68. Motherhood is the original institution. Upon the model of the mother’s care for her child other species specific behaviors are based. Changes to the institution of motherhood as a result of birth control; first pregnancies in their late thirties; refusal to breast feed; employment of nannies to care for children born to careerist mothers; etc. pose specific challenges for institutions throughout a society.

9.05.2011

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

12. His genes are a record of what has worked, what has survived. Institutions are themselves a similar record. Institutions might be thought of as the genetic material of a society (see Veblen).

16. Institutions are the conditions, habits and rules of group life. His parents, through the genetic material they provide him and their care for him in his early development, enable him to engage and live within certain institutions.

22. Human life is group life. Man could not exist without some group. The family group, a particular lineage, is in his genes and he exists as an extension of it. In infancy he could not survive without the attention of his parents, attending to his nourishment and protection. In infancy and youth his parents introduce him to the institutions that will shape him. His parents are society, they are the others, and they bring to him a particular institutional life (language, social customs, art, economics, technology, etc.). From the start man cannot exist without other men, his parents and the others. (The nourishment and protection the helpless infant receives are themselves a form of institutional life.)

30. Genes work in tandem with institutions. There is not one without the other. Together they blur any distinction between “inner and outer” as conceived by the philosophers. They influence each other and develop together. Man is both himself and the others. He exists through the cooperation of his parents and the social cooperation that created the institutions within which he will come to understand his life.

34. He has the genetic makeup to learn to speak because a language already exists for him to learn.

35. The shape of his face changes according to the language he speaks; his body develops according to the food he puts inside it; his posture develops as a result of the number of hours per day he sits at a cubicle before a computer; etc.

45. His instinct is a genetic disposition for something. That something is defined by institutions, by other men. Without a particular institution an instinct would remain unexpressed.

58. Man’s destiny includes other men. It is a fact of his species. He is a descendant of other men and he is their record.

76. A man can only act with regard to his genes and his particular perspective on the institutions around him. His acts are his own, specific to him and his understanding. In this freedom consists: that his action is his own and cannot be any other’s. He cannot be anything other than free.

80. If you alter the institutions you alter man, though the effects are unpredictable.

92. In prior times nature, the wild, the unknown and dangerous world of other animals, was a significant element in man’s genetic and institutional development. Technology has allowed man to eliminate much of “the wild” from his daily life. Only rarely does nature affect his development (e.g. an earthquake or a bear attack), and then it is only for a moment. It is his institutions and technologies that compose his daily life.

109. Certain men will be drawn to other, different institutions to express themselves. An uneasiness within the institutional world they inhabit may push them towards other institutions. Some men may attempt to transform a particular institution, while others will depart for a new society altogether.

9.01.2011

Man, Myth, & A Poem

1. Man is unique among the social animals in that he is able to create myths to explain his world to himself and to other men. He lives according to myth and his institutions develop within it.

2. The sweep of the scientific myth is far reaching because of what it has produced technologically. Science must be correct because we have the jet airplane. It is as though a tribe decided to accept the metaphysical proclamations of a shaman because he had discovered a jungle root to cure an ailment that afflicted many.

5. Myth is most powerful when he can touch it. Through technology he touches science.

11. Observing other social species man recognizes a moral feeling and conduct similar to his own. The mother wolf cares for her children, the father provides, defends and will sacrifice himself. The family of wolves is affectionate with one another and a wolf will often assist a fellow wolf in need. Yet the wolves act morally in the ostensible absence of any religious myth.

12. Man shares with the wolves (and chimps, birds, elephants, dolphins and others) the moral habits of the family and the small group. But unlike these other species man attempts to explain this morality with a story. Through myth he communicates where he comes from and why he acts as he does. These myths no doubt strengthened the family and the group, providing it with a shared identity that could be communicated through language, ritual and art. But morality existed prior to the myths erected to explain it.

19. With Enlightenment the ancient myths were slowly destroyed. Strangely, man assumed that in the absence of religious myth his feeling toward other men, his morality, was now without a foundation. The philosophers argued the foundation for what is morality was “outside” him, first in a positive sense (Descartes, etc). Then later some argued (Nietzsche, etc) that morality was a negative imposition upon his essential freedom, a stricture without any basis, forced upon him by other men seeking power. Other enlightened men pictured man as only physical, defined by his genes, a being reducible to brain function and electrons. To others he was psychological man, a consciousness spontaneous and essentially nothing, fighting for its freedom against the inauthenticity imposed by other men and the world around him.

20. Common to these newer myths was a conception of man as individual, alone, separate from all the others, cut off from the world. In evolutionary terms he pictured himself as competing with other men in a fight for survival (see Hobbes and Huxley). Psychological man was also in a struggle, though one more for his authenticity and freedom than his survival. The economic man of the 20th century was also constructed upon these ideas of individuality and competition as man’s natural state. Mankind is best served through competition, not cooperation, they argued.

31. Might not there have been more cooperation in man’s history? It does not matter. Man’s myths of today hold no place for cooperation despite the examples of it he might observe among the other social species. Man and his institutions develop otherwise. He becomes as he believes. His myth is his becoming.
________________________________________________________________________

TRAINING HARDER

While they
Gettin turned out by they bosses
Making facebook updates,
Gettin drunk & trying to fuck

I alone living lone
And laying down
The fucking scorch
Motherfucka.

motherrrrrfuckaaaaahhhhhhh
And shittin on you face,
bitch

Now you shook, now

they all
Shook.

8.19.2011

Fearful Day

And he became frightened again. Buffered by the protection of the West the fear was quick to renew itself. He researched the far away place where the people and culture was altogether different, mostly unknown, and when he imagined going there he saw only the danger. He could not go there. He felt a reaction against it. He knew that if he traveled there he would die.

Yet he had just recently been in places of legitimate danger and had not once been scared to die. It was so easy to hide within the security of old habits, the institutions he had lived with for much of his life, and now returned to these institutions he felt convinced of the fearfulness that accompanies them.

But he remembered that when you accepted death and trusted it as an outcome, you found that death was always more distant than you had imagined it. When you no longer feared it, it went away. Though it might come for you, it would come for you when you willed it. Because when you did not fear it you did not look for it anymore. Death became a trusted outcome, a powerful confidence.

And when he remembered this he felt differently. The traveler must continue into the new territory. He will go to the Guajira to live among the Wayuu.

8.10.2011

Nothing

Certain deep thinkers will say of the waiter at this café that he is not really a waiter. These deep thinkers will say that this waiter does not really prefer the color blue; that he is not really attracted to young boys instead of women; that he is not really a Marxist; that he does not truly fear the Chihuahua. None of this is truly him, certain thinkers will say. He is a nothing, they say, a blank slate upon which these characteristics and roles and ideas have gathered. Other ideas might have gathered there instead and he is just stuck on these. It is a lack of will, a fear of realizing his being nothing that drives him to the comfort of these roles and feelings. Or maybe bad parenting or schooling. Perhaps he is no way responsible.

To call him nothing is to strip him of a becoming particular to him--to say of his life, his job, his fears and passions that they were simply accidents to which he has grown accustomed. But man is born wanting and needing and motivated, born into triumphs and traumas that shape him as he grows; he is an inheritance of physical characteristics and the histories of those who were destined before him; he has a genetic lineage and a culture, and taken together his is a motivation unique in the world. His life is not be a series of accidents or contingencies, but the development of a particular destiny. To call him nothing is to diminish him, to equate his life with every other human life, to say of the physically strong and the smart and the weak, the master and the slave, the man and the woman, that they were equals in the world.

Man is conscious of himself as a strange consistency of choices over time. As he ages he more forcefully becomes that for which he was destined. What was strange becomes clear. The pederast, Marxist waiter who fears small dogs, does not constrain or limit himself by conceiving himself in these terms. Rather the consistency of his choices in the world and his commitment to them is his fullest expression. Each man gets exactly what he wants from life in each his own way. To say he is nothing, that there is no path of becoming particular to him, is to posit a sameness and equivalence among men that undercuts any idea of the individual. If all men are nothing, none is unique, none different than any other. It would be to say that his wants and satisfactions and the comfort and discomfort of his choices--his destiny--was all an error.

(Though the peddlers of the nothing fight hard against it, greatness and overcoming are never accidental or possible for all men.)

8.05.2011

Body

A body always tells the truth,
that’s why its usually depressing and disgusting to look at.
--Celine

4. Communication does not consist simply in words. Communication is also the tone that accompanies the words spoken, the facial expression of the speaker, the movement of his hands, the volume and speed of his speech. When his gestures disagree with the words he speaks, we are likely to question the veracity of what he is saying. For gestures, tone and the physicality that accompanies speaking pre-date spoken language and are a more truthful indication of his intentions and feelings. We are more apt to disbelieve words than bodies.

5. Even when he writes we say that we hear “his voice.” Language has a sound and a feel. It must come from some one, some body.

7.29.2011

Houses

Think of particular skills as being houses. Imagine a house of swimming. Dolphins may be on the third floor, man on the first. The dolphins may say among themselves how lowly and poorly evolved man is, he swims so badly. Man will respond, I swim well enough. I have no need for swimming better, though we men do have the capacity for it. Come next door to the house of language, he says. There you dolphins will only be on the first floor while we men will be on the third. That doesn’t matter, say the dolphins. We have no need for more language, though we have the capacity for it.

7.20.2011

Corrida at Malaga







Do you remember the novillero Gallen at Malaga?
Do you remember his second bull, the little one
That got him and tossed him and how Gallen ran after him
And slapped the little bull and cursed him.

Do you remember the Swedes that hooted him?
They sat behind us in the sun cheering for the bull
And cheered loudest when the little bull got him again.

But then Gallen dusted himself
And demanded the muleta.
And Gallen showed him the cloth and brought him charging
And wound the bull around his body, closer ever closer,
Gallen still, only the muleta moving, punishing the bull, reducing him,
The bull that had had him could have him no more.
It was the finest faena I ever saw.
Even the Swedes had been quieted.
I never saw anything like that, never.

Then Gallen eyed him up and sworded him cleanly and he fell
And the crowd threw in their hats and botas
And the president awarded both ears and the tail.
On the shoulders of the cuadrilla
They paraded Gallen around the ring
Until he asked to be put down before us on the sun side
And glaring up at the Swedes
He tossed the bloody bull elements into them.
The Swede behind us caught an ear and dropped it, horrified.

Do you remember that bloody ear in the sun at Malaga?

7.10.2011

Stay Needful, My Brothers



Beyond his need
The world is no longer
And he is alone
The worst sort of excess.
What man is after all,
Is unnecessary.

The rest is the falsest confidence.

7.02.2011

Notes On Human Rescue

*The ratio of brain size to body mass determines the capacity of humans and other animals to remember and develop relationships with their fellows (knowing who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person). Dunbar has given his number for the human brain and his range. Archaeology and anthropology have confirmed his findings. 148 is the number, 100 to 230 is the range, and groups have formed throughout human history with these sizes: 150 as the estimated size of a neolithic farming village; 150 as the splitting point of Hutterite settlements; 150 as the basic unit size of professional armies in Roman antiquity and in modern times since the 16th century; notions of appropriate company size; and 150 as the average number of "Friends" on Facebook.

______________________________________

To rescue another human one may risk his life to do so. It is puzzling behavior if one begins from the perspective of the individual out only for himself and the furtherance of his selfish genes. But understood within the small group the life-risking rescue appears as the strongest form of group behavior, behavior which may form the basis for the group itself. To lose a member of a group is maybe to lose the group itself depending upon that member's importance and specialization. (Additionally, we may identify in the cries of the helpless man a similarity to the cries of the baby in need. That the helpless baby attracts more assistance than the helpless man, is a related question needing exploration.)

In military fighting units engaged in heavy combat men who openly despise each other will each be willing to jump on a grenade to save the other's life. The medic who runs through heavy gunfire to assist a wounded platoon member denies he acted courageously. I was just doing my job he says, what any of us would have done. A story exists of a five man bomber team choosing to die together in a fiery crash instead of ejecting because one member of the team was unable to operate his ejection seat. They had earlier formed a pact to do everything as a unit. (I am making no distinction between rescue of an individual group member and self-sacrifice for that group member.)

The group is strongest that provides its members with the knowledge they will each risk their lives for one another. That group fights more cohesively and with more confidence today. It is a special sort of paradox: the strongest group, and each man's best chance for survival, rests upon each individual's willingness to die for the group. Any failure to act according to this expectation weakens the group and puts it at risk. A man in turn fears being ejected from that group for this failure. And alone he is less secure. But even when he does not fear being expulsed from the group, he fears the shame of acting improperly. He may even fear being shamed by the group more than his own death. (That shame is more terrible than death requires further investigation.) Through fear of expulsion and shame the group is strengthened and the chances of each man's survival are increased.

Shame and expulsion also motivate rescues that occur in small, modern communities. While expulsion from a Western community can hardly be considered life-threatening, the shame associated with that failure to rescue carries on in the glances and whispers of that community.

But in the city, where the human brain cannot recall the faces it sees daily in the streets, any failure to rescue is understood. A man calling out for help on a busy thoroughfare can be ignored. The anonymity of living among thousands of people protects him who ignores the drowning child. He is the source of any shame he feels, not the glare of the shopkeeper. The city is where he can act shamelessly. The city can exist entirely of the expulsed.

Groups certainly form in the city, but with so many groups and an abundance of security and resources, one need not fear expulsion or being shamed. One can simply switch his group affiliation and begin anew.

6.17.2011

A Typical Phone Conversation in Colombia

"Hola Jesse."
"Hola. Qué tal?" Caleñas are always calling from numbers other than their own and I'm not yet sure who I'm talking with.
"Bien. Qué hiciste ayer noche?"
"Nada."
"Liar."
"Hablas en serio?" It must be Jacqueline I'm talking to.
"Mentiroso. Estoy seria."
"I don't believe this."
"You were with other girls."
"I was sick."
"Liar. Mentiroso."
"I really am sick." I cough for effect.
"Listo, listo. Where are you now?"
"In my room."
"Solo?"
"Yes, I am alone."
"Estas solo? Verdad?"
"No," I say. "Con Luisa. Hey, como te llamas? Leidy? I am here with Leidy too."
"En serio? Two girls!?"
"Si."
"Malo! Eres hombre malo!"
"Ja ja ja ja ja!"
"Estas bromeando?"
"Claro que si. Of course."
"Estas solo?"
"Si."
"En serio?"
"Si, tonta, si. Vamos. C'mon."
"Are we going out tonight?"
"No."
"Por qué?"
"I'm going out with other girls."
"Malo! Malo!"
"Ja ja."
"Are you serious?"
"Vale. We can go out."
"I will come to the hostel. Vamos a ir al sex hotel."
"Venga a las nueve."
"You will pay my cab ride?"
"Por qué yo pago para todo contigo?"
"Estas serio?"
"Si."
"Mi tia va a pagarme manana. Voy a llevarte al cine el miercoles."
"Maybe."
"Por qué quizas?"
"Nada. Just come at 9. Nos vemos."
"Nos vemos. Chao."

6.14.2011

Mothers


It is Western culture that endangers the man of destiny. Western culture comes to him as a beautiful woman, she is it’s vessel--for Western culture is a Western woman. His sexual desire allows her into his bed, to effect his work, and finally to undermine his project. She helps him to forget that for which he was destined and leads him to physical pleasure. It is only when his sexual desire for her has lessened that he remembers the project he has forsaken.

His one protection against this culture, and the women who transmit it, is a great mother that will shield him and nurture him according to his destiny. She is the only woman he will trust. She is the nurturer of greatness, the guardian of destiny. The mother must protect the son. His destiny calls out and requires her. It is that call that the great mother answers.

Her Great Weight

“A great weight has been lifted,” she said. “I have never felt so happy.”

My mother was sitting up in her hospital bed. Tubes ran into her body from the machines that blinked and beeped. Yesterday the surgeons had removed all of her non-essential insides, all the parts that had made her a woman. The cancer had grown rapidly in her uterus but had not spread into the organs and lymph nodes. She was going to live and I could see that she was truly and deeply happy.

“What do you mean by a great weight lifted, mom?”

“I can live the way I want now. It was never like this before. I have just begun to live.”

She did not stop smiling. Her whole face was smiling. She was ashen and very weak but the new happiness made her glow.

6.01.2011

Pro-Union

My apologies to Paulie the Pollock, with whom I once argued against unions from 3am to 6am on a cold April morning while fork lifting. You were right. I was wrong. You were a helluva forklift driver by the way.

I am now pro-union.

Yes, I understand and agree with the Austrian position that the end result of unionization is higher unemployment and a higher cost of goods across an economy. But as with many of the Austrian positions, there is an immediate benefit to the group that initiates an economic intervention. A union can improve the working conditions, wages, and benefits of its members. It is the non-union worker, or the unemployed man who would have been hired in that industry at the lower non-union wage, who is negatively affected. Such are the unintended, and often un-attributed, consequences of economic intervention.*

The Austrians make a similar argument of unintended consequences in regards to currency devaluation. In fact one might think of unionization as a bottom-up intervention and inflation as a top-down intervention. Currency inflation effects those in banking and the wealthy less than it does the working class. That is to say, as those standing nearest the cash registers and making commission from an expanding supply of money and credit, the banker's wages will rise first with an inflation. The income of the upper classes will also rise, as the managements of publicly held companies are compensated for the performance of the company’s stock, equity markets being highly correlated to inflation. Their ownership of homes and equity portfolios will also provide them protection.

The last to see his wages rise will be the low paid worker. If he owns no home or stock or precious metal he will have seen his savings eroded by the inflation. Even without a savings he will have seen prices rise in food, energy, clothing, and rent all before his wages have risen. Being furthest from the banking centers from which the inflation originates, the low-paid worker is damaged the most. At minimum a union is necessary to protect a worker’s real purchasing power by tying wage increases to an inflation metric.

But there is a more essential argument for unionization and that is for the workers to unionize and get their share of the company before it is slowly gutted by the Harvard trained, leisure-class managers. The brave entrepreneurs who created companies such as the Home Depot have all moved on. These were the risk-takers and innovators, who thought up new ways of marketing, sales and production. In their place is a crew of MBA men and women who make cost-cutting and efficiency decisions from the top. Alongside them are highly trained accountants, busy at work making adjustments to the balance sheet to best produce the illusion of growing profitability, working to manipulate the stock price higher and bonus themselves and their managers.

But these MBA men and women are economically unproductive. They create nothing new. They have none of the ingenuity and courage of the original entrepreneur and engineer. They are spreadsheet trained and bonus driven. What they call better efficiency and profit is no more than a further cost or sacrifice born by the company’s workers.

The Home Depot, like Walmart, is “proudly non-union”. I watched as they tried to run Old Marvin out. They had it out for Patrick and Dan who were experts in the electrical and plumbing departments. They had it out for Roy too. They had it out for all of the longest tenured workers with wages that had risen over the years, or had been hired at an earlier time for a higher wage (Home Depot jobs were at one time well paid). They were all being fired and replaced by new crop of minimum wage workers. How is this not corrupting and destroying a company? How is this economically productive?

There appears to me to be a company lifecycle where with luck and hard work and sometimes genius a business is engineered and grown. When its growth has peaked its creators move on, giving it over to the Harvard men and women who then slowly begin its destruction, slowly stripping it of its value for their own personal benefit (and the shareholders). Why shouldn’t the workers unionize to take their piece? Why shouldn’t they defend themselves against the sacrifices being forced upon them by management--by a management enriching itself as a result of those sacrifices? Unions are unproductive, but equally so are the leisure class managers. It is as though two parasites were fighting over a decaying corpse. What was economically productive and lively departed with the entrepreneur.**

As I argued above, inflation has less effect upon the wealthy class than the worker. At the Home Depot the average raise among those who received them was $0.10, clearly less than the Fed’s traditional 2% target inflation. The Fed is simply another group of MBA (and PhD) men and women trained in spreadsheets and management efficiencies. Like the wastefulness and corruption the managers reap upon a company, the Fed reaps a similar corruption upon the economy. In both cases it is the poorest who bear the dearest cost. A union is their only defense.

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* There is also the Austrian argument that union intervention weakens and destroys a company and is thus counterproductive for its members. My view is nuanced on this point, as you will see below.

** The successful entrepreneurs make up a tiny fraction of the population yet their ingenuity and daring is what drives an economy, is what is productive. The unions and managers (and government) then parasitically fight over what was created. As in all things, only creators matter.

Hungry (Leaving Cali)

1. Where the hunt is comfortable, the terrain known, the feeling of danger gone, he will find nothing. The land is overhunted. The animals have moved into the new territory. The hunter must go to where it is uncomfortable and unknown to find the great beast.

2. Women now pick berries in the clearing where he killed the great bear. In the once dangerous forest he hunted, the women walk alone. The triumph of the bear is long ago, and the men and women no longer speak of it. Without meat protein his muscles have thinned, his strength lessened, and he has begun to resemble the women.

3. He must go to hunt in the unknown lands, in those darker forests: his constant hunger is a constant reminder of his lack of courage.

5.30.2011

Aphorisms While Imagining Durango, CO

1. A man is capable of dying for an idea. A woman can only die in childbirth.

2. Think of Galileo and ask yourself what woman would choose to sacrifice her life, to be utterly alone, for the rightness of an idea?

3. Chrysippus is said to have died of laughter while watching a woman feed figs to a donkey.

5.28.2011

A Tiny Opening

There had been a murder at the Eclipse and she wanted to go to a different love hotel. I said there was nothing to worry about. A man had simply strangled his girlfriend after a quarrel. No one had burst into a room and shot someone. There was nothing irrational or dangerous about the strangulation of a lover. I liked the Eclipse and wanted to return.

I liked the clean rooms and hard white beds, the porn that looped on the television, the modern elevators, and how the first floor reception area was also a garage where taxis and cars and scooters pulled in and out, allowing visitors to not be seen entering and exiting the hotel. It was a fine sex hotel and if it had been located nearer to Granada instead of the poor, far south of the city I would have considered getting a membership card to take advantage of the weekly discounts and specials.
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I felt of the outside edges and then I pulled her thigh open to take a closer look. She realized what I was doing and squeezed her legs together but I had seen it. It was the smallest vagina I had ever seen. With my hand trapped between her thighs I prodded it a bit, searching for the clitoris. I wasn’t sure I found it either. Everything was in miniature. It was as if the rest of her had grown up but her vagina had remained that of a little girl. Her being cleanly shaven only added to the effect. The tiny vagina explained her pain during sex and my aching cock after returning from the love hotel. It wasn’t deep enough or wide enough. Still, she insisted on seeing me. She wanted me to return to Cali in two years, when she was 24, to implant inside her the sperm to make her first baby.

5.26.2011

Rape

1. Just as the human is born fearing the darkness of night and the snake, a woman is born with a deep understanding of rape. It colors her expectations of sex, only partly visible in the background, and often expresses itself in her most dangerous fantasies. In their genes men and women carry the history of the world, its tragedies and traumas and greatest fears.

5.24.2011

Sobre el Techo

I lie awake in my sleeping bag on the hostel rooftop.
I look out across the city.
Cali is aglow.
The tiny lizards make a squeaking sound before they feed.
Tomorrow I shall learn to climb the mountain ahead of the rain.

Back in Cali

“I am sure that’s a man,” said Andreas as he sat down. “She has the hands of a bricklayer.”

“Why are you touching her?”

“Sylvana keeps making her dance with me. That ladyboy keeps grinding her ass into my dick.”

I laughed. I was very sick and weak and while everyone danced I sat at the table coughing and spitting mucus into napkins. I shouldn’t have been out in Menga but I was enjoying this. Andreas was a very serious Austrian and I very much enjoyed listening to his Austrian accent.

“Her hair stinks. It stinks horribly.” Andreas was disgusted. “Only black people are able to smell in this way.”

Sandra was rubbing the back of my neck and kissing me as we talked. Like Sylvana, the ladyboy and the gay cousin, Sandra didn’t understand English. The rum was cheap and it was starting to work and I was feeling a little better.

“I want to leave right now,” Andreas announced.

“Just wait,” I said. If he ran out I figured to get stuck paying for Sylvana’s taxi, and maybe the gay cousin and the ladyboy. Sylvana had pulled the old caleña trick of bringing her friends out on Andreas' tab. My girl Sandra knew better than to try that shit.

“You’re gonna get laid tonight, man. Just be cool. She knows we’re going to the sex hotel afterwards.”

Andreas and the gay cousin took Sylvana and Sandra to the dancefloor and I was now sitting alone with the ladyboy. The ladyboy leaned across the table and asked me something. I asked the ladyboy to repeat it.

“Do you think I am ugly?” she said. Her voice was very feminine.

I looked at her and smirked. She couldn’t have been more than 17 years old. She had done alright with her face but her body and chest was clearly that of a boy. I said she wasn’t ugly and made a point of using the masculine form. She must have figured my Spanish was bad and she took it as a compliment. I poured out the rum and the ladyboy and I did a shot together.

Four hours later at Motel Deseos I was ramming away at Sandra from behind. Reggaeton was blasting on the radio, porn on the flat screen, and I was watching us in the mirrors above the bed and on the wall, her big tight black ass smacking back against me. But like last week it became too painful for her and though she didn’t bleed, we had to stop. I was too big and she was too small. I told her we were incompatible and there was nothing to do about it and she began to cry. I pulled the condom off and rolled over and went to sleep. I could jerk off tomorrow if I needed to.

5.02.2011

The Story of Failure

They feel entitled to a life of pleasure and security, and to be distracted from boredom. They consider each other as equals, working desk jobs and going to restaurants and lounges on the weekends. Sometimes, when feeling especially risky, they go out late on a weeknight to consume alcohol with another couple despite having to report for work the following day. To each other they are one half of a whole and have no interest in creating children. Sex is simply another act of many that has been stripped of its consequences. It is one more pleasure to be consumed, one more distraction from boredom.

During the week they cuddle on a couch before a television and he watches the fashion designer reality show she likes and then a cooking show and sometimes a sitcom. She likes to discuss these shows and he will discuss them with her. It pleases him to see her enthused over the characters and contestants. She has a point of view that he values. Of course, she is tolerant when he asks to watch important sporting contests on the weekends and sometimes to go away from her to see them. They are partners in life and it feels good to both of them and they believe they are building something. They share pleasures and security and consume things together and it feels to them that everything has been solved; that they have discovered something the others are still looking for.

4.21.2011

Shame: The Seed of 4130.2010

(All of Denver is talking about shame these days. It made me think about shame for part of the afternoon.)

Shame, as it is commonly felt, is outdated. Acting in disagreement with the morality of the group or the family or the woman are understood to bring upon him shame. Shame is his fear of losing the security of the others, access to the food and shelter and support of the group or the family, and sex with the woman. Shame is a physical response to keep him in line with the species, to best insure his survival.

But the moralities of man lag far behind his technological control and manipulation of his world. Food, shelter and security are in abundance in the West, and easily accessed. There is no reason to feel shame for breaking the rules of the group or the family, and even in the case of a wife or girlfriend trying to shame him, it is only a bad case of one-itis or beta-tude that enables such shame. Man is slow to understand the inefficacy of the moralities he has inherited. He is slow to understand that the time in which he lives is only vaguely moral. He can still be shamed for actions which do not threaten his survival.

Authentic shame is what a greater man knows and only he himself can know. Such a man has rejected the surrounding, lesser moralities of the group, family and women, and replaced them with a morality of his own. He has honestly assessed his skills and abilities and he knows what he is capable of and he knows when he has fallen short, not due to lack of effort, but as a result of neglect. For him what is shameful exists in not doing that which he was capable of and should have done. Others cannot understand the shame he feels for failing to act in accordance with his values. There is no one to punish him but himself, no one to whom he may apologize.

4.19.2011

Note on Women + Aphorisms (for men with projects)

To chase after her is to accept her as necessary and to privilege one’s interaction with her. But to chase after a creature that is physically weak, intellectually short-sighted, superficial, resistant to challenge, soft, and security-driven is his greatest mistake. A man will be unable to gather himself for his own project if his concern is with a woman. For to be with a woman means to enter into her world, a world of frivolity and dilettantism.

Rather discipline oneself to resist women. Choose instead to put the project first and relate to women only as a break from your work. If the project is strong and your commitment sincere she will sense it and be drawn to you. A man with a project can relate to a woman as a light and infrequent diversion from hard work. Because he does not need her, he need not take her seriously. Jealously wanting to be as important as his work she will be the one to give chase.

But beware, as much as she may present herself as a cheerful and patient companion, it is her nature to be primary and she will come to resent your project as though it were another woman. Because she cannot go to the hard places and do the hard things to which a certain type of man is called, her presence can only undermine and weaken what is strong and disciplined. His greatness can only exist alone or in the company of men who have also put great projects first.

There can be no greatness in the company of a woman.

A man with important work must be always wary of who he surrounds himself. Many are careful in their selection of other men, but fail to be as selective regarding women. They allow to be closest, to sleep beside them at night, she who while seemingly supportive at the start, slowly sows the seeds of his destruction, slowly softening him, lessening him, gently remaking him according to her needs. And then, when his will to greatness has been destroyed, his project abandoned, and he has been recast as she would like him, she loses interest. If she still has her looks she leaves him for another man. If she has lost her looks she stays with him, despising him every day.

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APHORISMS:

11. Around a woman he must not linger too long. A man strays into dangerous territory as his physical desire for her wanes and he begins to provide himself other reasons for keeping her around.

13. “Women live for the species. Men live for the individual.” (paraphrased from Art Schopenhauer) But that was more than a century ago and is no longer. Men no longer put their projects first or aspire to have them. They live as women live, frivolously.

14. Game = men living for women

17. Game is a woman’s dream come true. “Finally,” she says to her girlfriend, “men have learned how to wear makeup too.”
 
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