Escaping the Colonized Mind

In our late-stage capitalism, every inch of humanity has been exploited and maximized for profit, creating “colonized” minds and emotions, a challenge for humans to free themselves and save the planet, says poet Phil Rockstroh.

By Phil Rockstroh

Human sexuality mirrors human culture. Mating dances of seduction and refusal, and acts of non-consensual aggression cannot be separated from traits witnessed, practiced and internalized by the people of a particular society. It is impossible to close the bedroom door to the culture at large. Eros not only inhabits the genitals and the heart but Anima mundi as well.

Sculpture of Ares and Aphrodite

Sexuality is not going to go away because its nature, which is sublime in the sense of the beautiful and the monstrous, makes people uncomfortable. The phenomenon brings all things human to the fore of consciousness. Therefore, it is imperative we talk about it all, and without mind-negating shame and heart-freezing hysteria.

The late, archetypal psychologist James Hillman, in his final book, the brilliant but under recognized, A Terrible Love Of War, noted the consort, the backdoor man, of the Goddess of Love and Beauty is Ares, the God of War. Moments after her practical-minded husband Hephaestus would leave for work, Ares and Aphrodite would be ensconced in the lover’s bed, locked in intimate embrace, under the very roof constructed by her craftsman spouse. Withal, libido translates, often, into impractical, irrational and dangerous phenomenon.

Hillman asks, “where else in human experience, except in the throes of ardor – that strange coupling of love with war – do we find ourselves transported to a mythical condition and the gods most real?” — A Terrible Love of War (p. 9).

When human beings evince the erotic, we are gripped and grappled by primal forces. The ancient Greeks traced the phenomenon to the heights of Olympus while the lurid, Calvinist/Puritan imagination places it in lakes of torment-inflicting hellfire.

Under capitalism, the activity will be commodified. Sexuality is deemed a “human resource.” And, as is the case with the finite resources of all things on planet earth, designated as fodder for exploitation by ruthless profiteers. The genitals of an individual are but another precinct to be colonized. One is advised to be ready with a local insurgency of the heart, mind and body to retain self-rule.

If only it was that easy. Where are the mountains of the heart from which to stage a guerrilla war? The option is possible. But expect a long struggle, and for your heart to receive all manner of wounds. Yet the pain of struggle provides us with a common tongue that limns the radiance of everyday catastrophe, including catastrophes attendant to the realm of Eros, son of errant and erratic Aphrodite. Thus we blunder into self-knowledge, are privy to our own biography, read by pressing fingertips to the braille of one’s scars.

Taking It All 

When sexuality has been degraded by inequitable power, and the powers at large have decreed all the things of the world theirs for exploitation then the system from which the predatory class gains their power over the individual must be challenged and dismantled. But the setup cannot be changed from within its own self-sustaining, self-defining order. The notion is as risible as a yellow fin tuna joining the crew of a massive, sea life-decimating fishing trawler, the tuna claiming it plans to reform the system from within.

The Woodward Iron Company, near Birmingham, Alabama.

Men who callously disregard the autonomy of others are only as powerful as the societal structures in place that not only protect but lavishly reward their hyper-aggressive mode of mind and attendant modus operandi — apropos, the spoils gained by the capitalist class by means of their acts of perpetual plunder perpetrated against all of humanity and the whole of nature.

Speaking of which, the coal and steel processing company town, Birmingham, Alabama, where I was born was a colonized place. The small, Southern city, squatting at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, was founded, built and controlled by Northern industrialists. The homes of the city’s affluent management class, known among us economic lessers as the Big Mules, luxuriated in the clear, fresh air upon Red Mountain (on which stands an imposing, iron ore cast statue of Vulcan, the Roman version of the Greek’s Hephaestus) while the white laboring class and city’s Jim Crow-shackled African-American community were relegated to dwelling in the industrial smog below.

As is the case with colonialist socio-economic structures, worldwide, in which a region’s wealth is generated by a local, under-compensated labor force, it was imperative for the anger and resentment of the colonized masses to be shunted away from the colonizers. The time-tested method of racial animus did the trick. In my memory, the air of Birmingham was ridden with a heavy industry-generated, sulfuric, rotten egg-smelling reek that was inseparable from the miasmic rage of white working-class men such as my father.

The reasons for their fuming resentment included: When my father would ask for a raise, the stock reply from management was, “You know, I can go over to Colored Town, right now, and hire five n*gg*ers for what I pay, your narrow ass.”

Thus the anger of Birmingham’s Jim Crow era among working men was always close to the surface, and, at the slightest provocation, would come boiling forth like phalanxes of fire ants from a disturbed bed. Exposing the hateful social milieu of the Jim Crow-ruled South to the world at large was a primary factor in the decision of Martin Luther King et. al. to bring the Civil Rights cause to the city of my birth.

Denuded Empathy 

For the maintenance of a colonized order to be maintained, empathy must be denuded, fear and antipathy of the alien other must be perpetuated thereby obstructing any inclination towards mutual respect and incipient feelings of affinity between the tribe granted a favored, dominant position and the tribes subjugated into positions of low status. Alliances among the exploited would prove dangerous to the elites whose fortunes are dependent on perpetual racial and ethnic division and divisiveness. Then, as now, class consciousness must be suppressed by the fomenting of racial resentments. When one gazes upon the sorehead denizens of the so-called alt-right, one becomes witness to the workings of a colonized — and wounded — psyche.

The four girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing on Sept. 15, 1963. (Clockwise from top left, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair)

In my father’s case, the following reveals how he transmigrated the howling abyss of his displaced rage into the precincts of empathy.

My father injured his back in a fall from a freight car while loading a cache of pig iron; as a consequence, he, on a permanent basis, could no longer perform manual labor — the primary type of work available to the working-class men of Birmingham. During his convalescence, he taught himself photography, and, by the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, he was freelancing to Black Star Syndicate and became Life Magazine’s primary stringer in the region. I have memories of him arriving home from work, his clothes redolent of tear gas, his adrenal system churning, his mind buffeted, unable to process the brutality he witnessed being perpetrated by both city officials and ordinary citizens on the streets of the city.

On a Sunday, in late summer of 1963, my sister and I were immersed in Blakean innocence playing in the sandbox in the backyard of our family’s apartment when he returned from the site of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. There was a quality about his stare that I found unnerving. His gaze kept returning to my sister and me. Being a father now myself, I know what thoughts were gripping and grappling him… “what if it had been them. My god … what if it had been them.”

Empathetic awareness has its starting point by evincing a sensitivity to the feelings, hopes, and aspirations of those close to one’s heart yet cannot stall out there. The quality must ripple out to distance shores inhabited by the alien other. In this manner, the process of de-colonization of one’s mind can begin.

Denial of the reality of Climate Change, albeit outside the cynical ranks of obscenely compensated Big Energy Industry lobbyists and shills, is borne of a similar, life-negating dynamic, i.e., an ossified egotism winnows down awareness to manageable bits of casuistry:

“I just shoveled three feet of snow from my driveway. Global Warming…my frozen butt.” “I think too much political hay is made from weather. Our ancestors braved it and it was part of their lives,” arrive the (verbatim) quotes as seen on my Facebook newsfeed.

The declarations reveal an inner colonization, manifested by a monoculture of the mind. Because the natural world and the human psyche emerged from the same evolutionary schematic, circumscribing down one’s consciousness to ad hoc rationalizations for maintaining a destructive status quo, as is the case with climate denialism, amounts to psychical ecocide thus mirrors the fate of the earth, now in the throes of the sixth great extinction, due to the predation attendant to hyper-industrialization and consumerist addiction. The exponential loss of biodiversity is mirrored in the collective psyche of the consumer-scape, as if a massive fishing trawler has stripped all signs of life from the oceanic heart of humankind.

Going On

“I can’t go on…I’ll go on.” — final two sentences of Samuel Beckett’s novel, The Unnamable.

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

Yet, at times, I’m baffled as to how we, the scant and scattered few, who refuse to close our eyes and block our hearts to the realities of the day continue to go on. What force restrains one from reeling into the street seized by lamentation?

One foot is placed before the other. One word follows the next on the page. An ineffable understanding draws us into communion with the world and each other, even as the din of disconsolate angels braces the mind and cleaves the heart.

I know I am not alone in this. Nor are you. Even though, it seems so. What is the common prayer for those who cannot close themselves off from the agonized soul of the colonized world — for those of us who are ants who dream we are Atlas, and our visions crush us as if it were the weight of the earth itself upon our shoulders?

We face a vast aloneness together. An affinity of isolation binds us like a prayer of sacred vehemence. Empathy enjoins us thereby bestowing preternatural strength. Otherwise, the immense sadness of the earth would crush us into oblivion.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living, now, in Munich, Germany. He may be contacted: [email protected] and at FaceBook:

59 comments for “Escaping the Colonized Mind

  1. October 29, 2017 at 14:29

    Oh, this man knows how to write, beautifully. I’m just a former property manager who figured out a new way to fund political campaigns that engages more citizens in their communities and lets candidates be accountable to them, rather than multi-millionaire manipulators. No donations are sought. @thefairelection

  2. R Davis
    October 28, 2017 at 22:33

    We the people, the common man.
    Constantly & continuously it is shown to us, by them & us, that we are half witted futility itself.
    But do we believe it ?
    Trapped in the course of a life to be lived.
    And if that is not chore enough.
    We have a chance at reincarnation.
    “Oh please let me come back as a beautiful beetle” I beseech you “to be eaten by a bird of paradise only.”

    “May I be a rich man next time …. yabby, dibby, dibby, dibby,dibby, dibby, dibby, dum …. if I were a wealthy man yabby, dibby, dabby, dum, what would be the harm …. if I were a biddy, biddy, rich, idle, deedle, daidle, daidel man.”

    But is that who we really are ?
    Inconsequential to it all.

    A woman in Britain lamented that poor people should be responsible enough not to have children, “thanks all the same” as they themselves were enough cost to society.

    Throughout history, some of the most talented, creative, giving, hardest working & productive people that have walked this earth, have come from dirt poor. People who have only made the world a better place.

  3. Mild-ly - Facetious
    October 26, 2017 at 16:49

    Trump’s speech today on the subject of Opioid Addiction was a reminder of the liberal use of Soma in Brave New World.
    Except that Oxycontin is a Killing Drug that our gov’t paved-the-way for a Free Flow Of, based completely upon Political Contributions from Drug Companies.

    That mass death has occurred in Red State America, by means of this Pharmaceutical Attack born out of The Love of Money, has forced Mustafa Mond, aka President Trump, (with USAG Jeff Sessions) to issue this Very Late Proclamation that the US Gov’t will allocate $$$Millions of dollars to fight the epidemic and the Wasting Away of Red State Lives, of rural Americans who’ve “lost their way” within the self-defeating , self-defining oblivion of POVERTY.

    In case you fail to connect-the-dots vis-a-vis drug epidemics, let me remind you…

    The United States’ CIA funded the Central American CONTRA war through a huge cocaine smuggling operation that Targeted and Devastated inner-city Black America in the 1980’s.

    This led to the calamitous destabilization of Central America which is the cause of the current Migration of young people out Of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Honduras resulting from the self-same BLACK MARKET Economy that fueled the rash of gun-violence/death which ravaged inner-city America and paved the way to Prison Privatization in the Criminalization of countless Millions of Black Americans – thus killing, as it were, three birds with one stone; the drug (altered cocaine), the addiction, and the unscrupulously long prison sentence.

    If you cannot see/realize the effect/unbelievable trauma this affected upon inner-city family life at the time when Ronald Reagan CUT tax subsidies to inner-city/urban America – slashing funding for schools, hospitals, playgrounds.etc. — you have only to recognize the self-same Plight in this decade’s Red-State America, where joblessness has opened the door to MASSIVE “LEGAL” PROFIT BY KILLER PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES PREYING UPON POOR WHITE AMERICANS.

    So, Trump wants to provide gov’t funds for rehabilitation from Addiction to “legal” pain killers.
    Yeah, The voice of Mustafa Mond has spoken.
    Past history is Irrelevant. We march ahead into the brave new world of
    The Sinclair Group and Donald Trump/Mustafa Mond style Authoritarianism.

  4. Sandy Schwartz
    October 26, 2017 at 14:31

    Great article Phil!
    You have kindred company in our home!

  5. October 26, 2017 at 12:15

    The innocent victims slaughtered in the wake of competition for profit should require us to make the intellectual effort to understand the dilemma described. Revolution requires recognition of the absurdity of modern “life”, as described by Camus; The reference to Beckett, “I can’t go on; I’ll go on”, expresses the existential crux of the matter: Competition for profit, with no consideration for the slaughtered and the destruction and the homeless. Compete to stay alive…trudge, trudge, trudge through the nihilism of existence of paranoia and fear.

  6. Will
    October 26, 2017 at 09:42

    Beautiful, true and very, very, sad reflections. Quite simply a planet-load of human potential for doing so much better mostly being pissed down the drain, and the biosphere with it, because we’ve chosen to let money decide everything, and now can’t find any way back.

  7. zagostra
    October 26, 2017 at 08:47

    I would simply point out that the author, a very good writer, has a facebook site. If you are using facebook, then I suggest you don’t see that you , in part have been colonized.

  8. October 26, 2017 at 00:07

    Phil Rockstroh, poet, lyricist and philosopher bard formerly living in New York which he gave up best known for reason by himself, now living, Munich, Germany. People not knowing what people like Phil Rockstroh are about should refrain from reading material by persons of his kind.
    Reading all of the above comments shows the majority do not understand what Phil Rockstroh is saying to them.
    Have a nice day.

    • Realist
      October 28, 2017 at 05:39

      If he’s misunderstood it’s his own fault. His style obscures his lucidity.

  9. Kelli
    October 25, 2017 at 19:37

    “Yet, at times, I’m baffled as to how we, the scant and scattered few, who refuse to close our eyes and block our hearts to the realities of the day continue to go on. What force restrains one from reeling into the street seized by lamentation?

    One foot is placed before the other. One word follows the next on the page. An ineffable understanding draws us into communion with the world and each other, even as the din of disconsolate angels braces the mind and cleaves the heart.

    I know I am not alone in this. Nor are you. Even though, it seems so. What is the common prayer for those who cannot close themselves off from the agonized soul of the colonized world — for those of us who are ants who dream we are Atlas, and our visions crush us as if it were the weight of the earth itself upon our shoulders?

    We face a vast aloneness together. An affinity of isolation binds us like a prayer of sacred vehemence. Empathy enjoins us thereby bestowing preternatural strength. Otherwise, the immense sadness of the earth would crush us into oblivion.”

    Beautifully written. I love your writing, Phil. It grabs me by the heart and mind and pulls me in to embrace every word, every feeling, every illustration. Phenomenal. Thank you. I feel the same.

  10. REMant
    October 25, 2017 at 18:53

    There’s nothing more wrong with profit than sex. There is with a market that isn’t actually free. And the author understands nothing about Calvin or “puritans,” either. With liberals it seems it’s always somebody else’s fault.

  11. Rob
    October 25, 2017 at 14:53

    I enjoyed this piece, mostly. The paragraph about global warming turned me off, which is interesting. I am a physicist and from what I can see there is no indication of human induced global warming. So, to me, the feelings of empathy needed to overcome this manufactured problem are misplaced. For why&how this problem is manufactured by our overlords, see ‘How & why Big Oil Conquered the world’ on the Corbett Report.

  12. Adam Halverson
    October 25, 2017 at 11:12

    I do get that the article does address very important points in a manner that may seem torturous and/or pretentious for some – especially to those who find an artsy approach very grating. In a time where we attempt to conceptualize, understand, and learn new things as quickly as possible – in a world that constantly emphasizes expediency – it’s important sometimes to gather perspective from differing points of view. However, I also do get the fear sometimes of wondering whether or not reading something that requires substantial time will yield anything of (commensurate) value. (Because, after all, who wants to read a 1,000-page novel that turns out to be a waste of time – exaggerating in this case, of course.)

    But I can assure you that there is definitely value to be reaped from this article. Granted, the style in which it is presented will definitely not appeal to everyone. The irony, in this case, is that trying to read this piece becomes more of a waste of time if you attempt to read through it too quickly, because less of the material becomes understood. Sometimes, it’s best to take the scenic route approach to things, as opposed to focusing solely on maximizing the efficiency by which content can be read and understood. For those who read through dozens of articles on a daily basis, hoping to cram in as much material as quickly as possible – maybe for fear of falling behind our peers and being judged for our ignorance in discussions – it’s sometimes important to emphasize quality over quantity. (I’ve had to constantly remind myself that I cannot know everything – in both a literal and metaphorical sense.)

    To sum/wrap things up, it’s perhaps interesting to note, allegorically speaking, that the colonizers referred to in this article are the same types who have imposed the mindset of “efficiency” upon us all – this is another way in which they have colonized our minds. (The other day, the author of this article also talked about the blight of careerism on society, in which a business-oriented mindset robs us of the ability to empathize. As a people, we become more callous and cold-hearted… and less human. In becoming more like computers, we actually become more like the wild animals of nature.) In some cases, perhaps, the more we know, the less (of that which we know) we actually understand.

    I hope this comment is easily understood. The underlying premise, in a nutshell, is that the two components to understanding are scientific and artistic. Oftentimes, the artistic is key to helping us understand the scientific. Once you can skillfully use real-world analogies to explain scientific concepts, it can be reasoned that you probably don’t merely just know the concept, but you understand the concept as well. Which largely ties in to the premise of this article.

    • Adam Halverson
      October 25, 2017 at 11:13

      This comment was supposed to be a reply to mike k – the very top comment. I hate it when this happens!

      • waterways
        October 25, 2017 at 11:31

        EXCELLENT Thanks Adam.

  13. Bob Van Noy
    October 25, 2017 at 09:12

    I’m writing this as I see 24 responses ending with Brad Owen’s reply and I’m impressed by the variety of responses by people I have come to know and respect. I agree very much with fudimer‘ s reply, and I think that publishing this piece was remarkably prescient by Robert Parry in that it is a spiritual venture by a poet.
    I recall a very animated discussion between Harold Bloom and Richard Rorty where they seem to reach a consensus that philosophy ultimately is inhabited by the strong poet. I find assurance of that here on this site by several people who regularly comment here. The diversity the clear decency and commonality are apparent, and much appreciated in our current political environment. What we have long cherished as good has been shown to be fiction, and now it is up to each of us to find a new consensus that we can move forward with and that can only be determined by individuals with varied thoughts communicating with one another to attempt to reach a kind of consensus.

  14. Kalen
    October 25, 2017 at 03:14

    Why most of people do not see the reality as authors does?

    It is daily manipulation of our basic aesthetics, general sensibilities and ethics/aesthetics of human society and human interrelations imposed by capitalism that revere rampant individualism and hedonist pursuit of individual “happiness” whatever that vague, mislabeled and meaningless euphemism is understood by [liken to hard drug addition to Dopamine, lust for accumulation of moneyed capital, while Serotonin is suppressed in the brain ], combined with what Horkheimer called subjective goal seeking [profit, advantage over others, domination] reasoning is in the core of the state of today’s American society easily malleable and strictly, immanently controlled by ruling elites who set fundamental human and social values we are gullible to think are our own.

    Hence, we have toleration by socially unconscious masses of utter logical absurd and hence curious features of American inverted totalitarianism such as illusion of free speech that has been concocted as a element of the system of control which in reality comes to media gagged/manipulated speech, and a right to speech with no right to be heard and right to oppose with no right to lead.

    • Kalen
      October 25, 2017 at 10:09

      There is a popular reference to colonized mind author is writing about.

      It is old movie titled “They Live” that regained its currency recently since it is based on premise that people live in augmented reality, and hence perceive reality as the ruling elite (there aliens) wants them to see and live in the world of illusion, a permanent dream.

      It takes a special glasses to see reality as it is. It is perfect metaphor for current situation of propaganda onslaught and false and spurious information overload, making people docile, while their conceptual as well as sensory reality is arrested and manipulated.

      In a way one may say that our mind is colonized by aliens to humanity.

      Another important metaphor in the movie is the presence of aliens among us, which begs a patallel to ruling elite and heir cronies who shed their humanity becoming aliens to human species, walking among us, looking human while behaving beastly.

      While all this manipulation in the movie is accomplished via secret brain wave generation and propagation, it is the media and commercial culture play that critical role in our struggle to return to human reality.

  15. Mild-ly - Facetious
    October 24, 2017 at 18:26

    Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote The ORIGINAL “Brave New World” – Titled “We”.

    • irina
      October 24, 2017 at 20:13

      Yup. An excellent novella, and even better in the original Russian.

  16. Mild-ly - Facetious
    October 24, 2017 at 18:00

    It seems the colonized mind affect,
    places Mr. Trump

    in characterization of
    Mustapha Mond,

    the Brave New World of Huxley’s
    vision, Alive in Donald Trump ! !

    Welcome into the colonized mind effect
    The NWO of things/education sec. style

    W/Las Vegas a Depiction of Things
    To Come,and of things already planned.

  17. Zachary Smith
    October 24, 2017 at 17:44

    I’m surprised the author didn’t mention the newest capitalistic innovation – Sex Robots.

    • mike k
      October 24, 2017 at 18:06

      Most people are not much more than robots. Why seek a robot for sex – just find another robotic human.

  18. Joe Tedesky
    October 24, 2017 at 17:21

    When I started to read Mr Rockstroh’s eloquent piece here, and having never seen his essays appear here on this site before, I had to wonder to if his article had been hung up in ‘moderation’ for so long of a time that it is only now finally coming out?

    I see it a little differently than through the eyes Greek mythology. I see it as for we the people are severely getting screwed, while never being tenderly kissed. The elite through out mankind’s history were never that great at treating the working class slaves that good, let alone with respect. What is always needed is a government with a true representation of the working class, who will keep the scales of fairness well balanced. Like walking is the art of balance we humans practice constantly, so what’s so hard about keeping our system of governance putting but one foot before the other…it’s not that hard.

    Now after me, on the count of one…let’s start walking.

    • mike k
      October 24, 2017 at 18:03

      Dare I say that there should only be one “class” – the human class?

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 24, 2017 at 19:30

        You certainly mike may dare say it, but you definitely have earned my praise for you simply stating it as you just did….good one, mike. Joe

        • Virginia
          October 25, 2017 at 14:58

          And is losing mine as we go along …!

  19. Ian
    October 24, 2017 at 17:11

    Yet another article about human suffering and railing against the establishment. We, the 99%, understand the nature of our system is predatory and inequitable. But who EXACTLY are we supposed to rail against and how? Alternative news sources are good at pointing out problems but, for the most part, have little or nothing to say about who EXACTLY (i.e. names and faces) is causing the problem, why and what options are available to correcting the problem.

    Let’s use a specific example. The large number of ‘deploreables’ in the US rust belt are very much aware there is a problem. They do not need another article such as this one which describes the type of inequity they live with every day. What these people need is to understand is exactly who is imposing the problem on them and why and then to have someone knowing and willing to lead them out of their poverty.

    For example, the massive and crippling debt in the US (it is about $8 trillion) occurred because the US relinquished control over money creation (as stipulated in it’s constitution) to private money interests (e.g. the Federal Reserve). As a direct result, according to many sources, the US cannot even pay the interest on its debt (let alone the principle) and it is technically bankrupt.

    One of the direct consequences of handing money control over to private banking interests is that it can and does create financial a crisis (e.g. depressions) in order to exert political control over internal and foreign policy.

    In Canada, the COMER group (see h__p:// sued the Federal Government in Supreme Court in an attempt to money control to the Bank of Canada instead of private banks. The primary purpose was regain control of our debt. This law suit was largely ignored by MSM for obvious reasons. My take on the outcome is strong pressure was exerted and the Supreme Court dismissed the case.

    Austerity measures we see being imposed around the world are largely a result of artificial financial crises produced by a predatory (I would argue, criminal) banking system. In short, our private banking system and private money interests are one of the primary causes of why the ‘deploreables’ in the US rust belt are faced with such extreme inequity. Private money interests, which dominate our entire societies, have means to impose free trade agreements on countries which have little or no benefit to the 99%. So, for example, jobs move to the country with the lowest standard of living leaving ‘deploreables’ in the US rust belt with nothing.

    I would encourage the author to write another article which examines the key underlying problems the lead to gross inequities in our system and then to consider what the real and viable options are available to overcoming them. Otherwise this is just another article that tells us what we already know.

    • mike k
      October 24, 2017 at 18:01

      Long version of what I said above.

      • Realist
        October 25, 2017 at 06:17

        But more concrete, relatable and accessible than the original piece. I liked Ian’s remarks.

      • Virginia
        October 25, 2017 at 15:31

        Mike k — Did you read the article and/or read through Ian’s reply? Ian brought up a new topic — a very important one. I don’t think you can take any credit for the substance of Ian’s comment by saying it was what you said but longer!

        Ian — I wish you would tell us more. Where is a good place for one’s money? Among the commentators, I often see credit unions recommended? Is that right? Would you all who are knowledgeable please explain and advise. Should we all try to open Swiss bank accounts, invest in Yuan or Bitcoin, or what?

    • Seer
      October 24, 2017 at 22:03

      EVERY single empire collapses. It’s the result of a failed premise: perpetual growth. The system of growth demands future growth. No matter how little there may be there still has to be growth. Empires have excelled in growth, until, that is, they find that it’s no longer within their grasp- their demands are too great to be supported by the lands and the peoples whose lands contain required resources (conflict ensues).

      Ideology, monetary control or policy, types of leaders, NONE can produce perpetual growth. In the early parts of the cycle there appears to be infinite resources available, that tomorrow will provide for growth isn’t even a remote doubt. Yet, radius of conquest needs to expand further and further, with each ripple diminishing in power, diminishing in the power to more resources to feed the growth machine than those efforts are consuming, until, finally, the expansion is halted (rebuffed through war). The feeding frenzy then turns in upon itself, various groups proclaim to have the “answer,” an answer which invariably attacks those currently at the helm (but not the architects) and the downtrodden and scripted scapegoats (persons of whom the architects have programmed the masses into believing are the sources of their ills).

      All that is happening now is the same as has happened for thousands of years to all past empires. And every empire figured to be the exception, yet none of them were, or ever will be.

      • Realist
        October 25, 2017 at 06:50

        Always good to hear you point out the elephant in the room that the rest of the world chooses to ignore, Seer. The entire biosphere, including human society, must conform to the laws of thermodynamics governing energy flow and order over time.

        Consequently, not only will avarice be the cause of both our recurring and ultimate undoing; but also the aggression rooted in too much “love” (sex, procreation and consequent competition) must drive the system to instability and finally collapse.

        To parse the issue more on Mr. Rockstroh’s humanistic platform rather than science, too much Mars and too much Venus remain an inseparable part of human nature (encoded in the human genome). Yin and Yang are never equal or even in equilibrium, but rather in a steady-state relationship over time, as the wheel turns. When one is at its maximum within the circle, the other is at its minimum. That’s what the taoist symbol shows. Infinite cycles of expansion and collapse are also what the Hindus and Buddhists also speak of. I suspect most mature cultures do so. Western laissez faire capitalists have not devised a way out of the vicious circle, and they will have that proven to them once again, probably soon.

      • Al Pinto
        October 25, 2017 at 09:35

        “EVERY single empire collapses.”

        History has told that a number of times, including the collapse of Soviet Union (not the current Russia, at least not yet); however…

        Times, technology, military might, etc., had changed drastically since the WWII. Arguably, the US is the greatest financial and military power of the world, with influence and military presence in most countries. The 800+ military bases in foreign countries, a large number of them with nukes, tend to keep countries in check. Waiting for this empire to collapse will require lot of patience and even then, it may not take place. Especially, when the oligarchy spreads in to other countries, be that locals and/or imported from the US.

        Most empires had collapsed under the excessive military spending and the resistance in the occupied countries. While the US certainly has excessive military spending, there’s really no substantial resistance against its occupation/resistance. While China, Russia, Venezuela, and other countries cooperating in establishing a economical solution without the US, it remains to see what impact, if any, there’s going to be for the US empire. Could the replacement of the “petro-dollar” with “petro-yuan” be the start of the demise for dollar dominance? While I certainly hope so, it’s doubtful that the US empire will just take a beating without taking action to prevent the demise.

        • BannanaBoat
          October 25, 2017 at 16:32

          The Mujaheddin have ben resisting for almost 50 years. Anywhere USA bases are attacked, that is resistance. Occupy Wall Street is resistane, as is Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. Corruption and economic hardship also leads to Empire collapse.

          • Al Pinto
            October 25, 2017 at 18:10

            @BannanaBoat …

            None of the listed resistance resulted in anything, other than a minor bump in the spread of oligarchy.

            But, yes, “corruption and economic hardship” may contribute to the demise of the empire. As long as police-state can be reversed….

    • Abz
      October 25, 2017 at 04:27

      The 99% who want everyone elese (e.g. alt media) to tell them what to do are the problem. The silent majority killed the people

    • Sal Slade
      October 26, 2017 at 12:28

      “For example, the massive and crippling debt in the US (it is about $8 trillion) occurred because the US relinquished control over money creation (as stipulated in it’s constitution) to private money interests (e.g. the Federal Reserve). As a direct result, according to many sources, the US cannot even pay the interest on its debt (let alone the principle) and it is technically bankrupt. ”

      This is not technically correct. You conflate public debt with private debt. They are very different. Government “debt” is not a debt per se when that “debt” is denominated in the sovereign currency of the nation. This is very important for everybody to understand. Through a central bank the “currency” of a nation is issued and given value by fiat with that value being derived from the necessity to pay back some of our earnings in taxes. In this way taxes drive demand for our currency. As a currency issuing sovereign, a countries central bank can never go broke as it’s debt is issued in the denomination of that country. As yourself this question. “Who does the central bank owe its debt to?” The answer is to itself as that debt is denominated in the very currency that it alone can issue.
      We often hear the phrase “government deficit”. All that refers to is the accounting of currency issued into the economy by the monetary sovereign which is our publicly owned central bank. It is not debt that we owe to some other foreign entity. It is an accounting entry on the books of our central bank. All money is created through double entry book keeping whether it be public or privately created. Anybody can create money in this manner and denote it in the denomination of that countries currency. This is what private banks do. The difference being that central bank money is a special type of money that can only be brought into existence by the central bank. This form of money is called currency. Private bank money is called credit.
      With regard to the catastrophe that people innocently refer to as the government’s debt, and is evidenced by that debt being denominated as government bonds, ask yourself another question. “What form of payment does the government mandate that bond issuance’s be paid with?” The answer is the currency of the country. For example, people can only pay for US treasury notes with US currency, which is the US dollar. Think of a treasury note as a dollar that has been moved from a liquid account like a chequering account into a less liquid account like a savings account. All US dollars reside in the central bank’s accounts within the central banking system. Currency and bonds are one and the same. They just reside in either a liquid chequering account or in a time deposit account like a savings account within the central banking system. As all currency is created by the sovereign through its central bank so to is the interest paid on government bonds. We are encouraged to falsely think of government bonds, which in reality are savings accounts in the public banking system, as a social debt that we owe to some mysterious third party entity. They are not! They are social savings that benefit the public as they serve as a conservative and safe means for people to build wealth from the surplus of earnings that they have accrued through their honest labours. So just as government “debt” is the accounting of currency issued by the sovereign and is reflected in their book keeping entries as a deficit, so is it true that this “deficit” is the private sectors surplus, as it is the private sector, you and me, that benefits from holding the nations currency. Please watch the video below and start educating yourselves as to how our modern monetary system actually works. There is a plethora of information available to educate oneself further with regards to these matters and as well some very astute and courageous individuals who are out there willing to contribute their resources so that the public can be empowered, through their newly understood knowledge, to demand the changes that are needed from our political representatives.

    • October 26, 2017 at 20:33

      Well, movie critics are not required to make a better movie. So too, political critics are not required to fix the system. However, I do believe that the author hints at the experience of the heart of the non-colonized mind. Such persons are able to have HOPE, which is transformative.

  20. mike k
    October 24, 2017 at 16:15

    Futile fireworks of intellectual verbiage. Revolution dies in the emptiness of such pyrotechnics.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 24, 2017 at 17:24

      I like how that sounds mike, now what’s it mean? Respectfully, Joe

      • mike k
        October 24, 2017 at 17:59

        Joe, it means the piece above is a lot of intellectual stuff that lacks the kind of substance that might help us build a better world.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 24, 2017 at 19:23

          I agree the best opinion is found on the loading docks, but who goes there?

        • Realist
          October 25, 2017 at 06:13

          Sadly, Mike, you nailed it, and I don’t think breaking out a thesaurus would add a thing to your point.

        • fudmier
          October 25, 2017 at 07:05

          Once again Mike, what is that better world.. It needs to be defined..

          should Mike’s world be driven by the principle that all voices should be heard? or will Mike’s world be group driven , corporate driven, elite driven.. ? Who shall have the authority to make the decisions and how will those decisions be reviewed?
          Needed, very much needed is a strong interactive discussion to evolve that model utopia.. something that everyone can agree serves the needs of all mankind but thousands of years of history and just about as many revolutions have shown that the no matter the effort to change things, the result is that the old system quickly rebounds to reestablish its gated access to information method where-in all human culture, thought, morality and behaviour is honed and determined by the function of the information environment which is controlled by those who control the power.

          Without Mike’s model, racial, genetic, political, religious, and the meaning of life will not advance.. Gee Mike you did not know the wisdom of your posts?
          I think the next generation is about to evolve humanity into a new social and political structure.. Such an evolution is the natural outcome of access to each other as the Internet has provided, before those in power could stop it, but something the information distributors are working diligently to fix. The want to deny the public access to unlicensed content.

          THOSE IN CONTROL no longer colonise places; instead they colonise people’s minds.
          Information distributors (such as this website, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, NYTs NFL seem controlled already, but there are millions of website that are not controlled by and regulated by the software (government and educational institution created).

          Main commercial players on the internet seek to entangle commercial media with goal oriented target person directed mind changing fake propaganda in line with the demands of governments and the corporations that control the governments) but at the same time, those with access to the technology seek to disentangle true information exchange between interested parties.
          A war has been declared by those who control the media against those who use the media to protect the interest of those already in power in society. The war is about who shall have access to information not licensed by those who are in control.
          Here on this site, many many posts are either denied or deleted..but when a big players gets involved many many websites are removed, redirected, monitored and whatever.. and if technology can not shut down a website a law can be created that will.

        • Abe
          October 25, 2017 at 16:28

          Colonized minds do strive to colonize places

          Your remark about “this site” is erroneous and quite surprising, fudmier.

          Apparently you are unfamiliar the Consortium News site Comment Policy.

          I recommend that you review it. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

          Consortium News is an independent investigative journalism site. CN supports true information exchange, strong interactive community discussion, and a wide range of views.

          However, views shared in the comments need to be supported by facts.

          Conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial, political propaganda and other forms of so-called “information” unsupported by facts qualify as violations of this site’s Comment Policy.

          Conspiracy theory enthusiasts, fake news purveyors, and propaganda trolls try to distract, divert and disrupt true information exchange and interactive discussion.

          Racial or religious slurs (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), allegations that are unsupported by facts, and other violations can be brought to the attention of the CN site moderator.

          The Comment Policy states: “Repeat offenders will be placed on a watch list requiring case-by-case approval of their comments.

          The Comment Policy also notes “because of annoying SPAM, we have installed a SPAM filter that uses algorithms to detect SPAM. The filter does a good job at this, but sometimes catches legitimate comments by accident. During the day, we try to recover these comments, but please do not be upset if one of your comments suffers this fate.”

          Of course, fudmier, don’t be troubled by propaganda trolls constantly complaining that they’re “nonconformists”, or conspiracy theorists endlessly muttering about “those who control the power”.

          The CN community is here for lively discussion of true information, not dis-information peddled by conspiracy theorists and trolls with a political agenda.

          • Antonio
            October 26, 2017 at 02:23

            People who use the term “Conspiracy theorist” actually betray their own biased agendas. Most crimes are in fact the result of conspiracies and a theory is simply an attempt to explain anything for which complete proof is lacking. As additional evidence becomes available so we have possibilities and probabilities. Given the degree of outright provable lies from government sources it is prudent to assume everything stated by them should be viewed with suspicion.

            The term “Holocaust denial” assumes that everything known about that period is completely accurate when in fact all of history should be subject to revision, or taking another look at the evidence as more becomes available. The term holocaust revisionism is a more honest term to use, if indeed it is your intention to be truthful.

            I see you’ve taken it upon yourself to police policy here at Consortium News. Why not just limit yourself to your own comments and leave policy enforcement to those who actually own and run this site? Thank you.

          • Abe
            October 26, 2017 at 14:21

            As a community member at Consortium News, I admit my agenda for true information exchange and my bias for interactive discussion supported by facts.

            Investigative journalism and historical analysis, using well-established principles and methodologies, admit additional data and revise interpretation of information based on evidence supported by facts.

            Conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial, and political propaganda rely on speculation and posit objects of belief not supported by facts.

            Legitimate historical revisionists challenge orthodox interpretations of history using established methodologies of historical analysis.

            Genuine conspiracies do exist, and the factual evidence of conspiracies are common objects of investigative journalism and historical analysis.

            Historians and scholars use the term “denial” to describe the views and methodology of Holocaust deniers in order to distinguish them from legitimate historical revisionists.

            Holocaust deniers may use the euphemism “revisionism” , but the methodologies of Holocaust deniers are often based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary.

            Holocaust denial is not historical analysis, but a form of revisionist historicism unsupported by facts.

            As we’ve witnessed in numerous instances here at CN, references to conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial are used in Hasbara propaganda assaults to smear investigative journalism sites critical of the pro-Israel Lobby or Israeli efforts to influence US politics and foreign policy.

            I assume your intention is to be helpful. However, much of what you stated is simply not supported by facts.

            Thanks for your comment, Antonio.

    • David G
      October 24, 2017 at 18:31

      I liked it.

      • October 26, 2017 at 20:19

        Me too. I don’t find big words offensive. Sometimes they are even necessary to make a sound argument. It’s ironic to me that here at this site one would find folks whose criticism concerns merely the “bigness” of the words. I would expect this of Trump-etts. The refusal of some to tackle a challenging piece merely on the basis of the extensive vocabulary might just be a symptom of a colonized mind.

    • Seer
      October 24, 2017 at 23:26
    • SJ Conti
      October 25, 2017 at 09:07

      ah, Mike Futile fireworks? Intellectual verbiage? Perhaps you should re-read the article. And this time with a dictionary in hand. And a bit of an opened mind.

    • Adam Halverson
      October 25, 2017 at 11:16

      I reply to this comment below (see October 25, 2017 at 11:12 am EDT) – I meant to post it here, but accidentally posted it as an original comment on a new thread instead.

    • Virginia
      October 25, 2017 at 14:55

      Those who have hearts will hear! Mine did!

      “Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher,” and I thank God for such as he. He has a pungent way of bringing things home.

      I’d say more, not less, of such writing!

      God bless…!

    • WH
      October 26, 2017 at 22:36

      Wow, incredibly well said.

    • kn tlt
      October 26, 2017 at 22:45

      The article is using depth psychology pioneered by Carl Jung and not just intellectual verbiage but mythology as energy archetypes, to indicate that when the psychopaths gain ascendancy they tend to turn a larger percentage of the population (around 17-20%) into apathetic self-serving psychopaths (look out for number one), corrupting societies regulatory norms. This causes an imbalance in society leading to cataclysmic events, such as the Russian revolution. I refer you to an eye-opening book called Political Ponerology by Andrew M. Lobaczewski a free PDF. Very much worth the read.

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