December, 2010

 Mythic Prelude:

The Monster's Throat

Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for December, 2010. The rhythm of the zodiac is always especially easy to see and feel at this time, as the Jupiter-ruled month of Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) is followed by the Saturn-ruled month of Capricorn (Dec. 21 - Jan. 20). Jupiter rules the money, the power and the pleasure, and is associated with power institutions: banks and corporations, the governments they own, and the courts of law they use to advance their own aims and impede everyone else through "the law's delay," as Hamlet put it. So late November through mid-December is the time when great official bodies and private people reckon their gains and evaluate their positions, and find something to celebrate in the harvest festivals of late fall. The ongoing Jovian feast of the holiday season used to be sacrosanct, as if the time itself were meant for giving and sharing rather than threatening to take away what little the least prosperous still have.
Not this time, though. It is almost as though we have fast-forwarded right to Capricorn month, with its icy, heavy weight of what we have lost as the hearts of the least generous among us turn as hard and unforgiving as the Great Cold that comes from now to mid-winter. The end of 2010, unlike traditional and typical Decembers -- at least in the northern hemisphere -- comes in the kind of implacable battle that seemed to be upon us months ago. But the difference between last July-August and this month is that amid the Cardinal Crosses of last summer, it was still possible to hide the critical issues and dire decisions behind the usual silly business of drug-addled celebrities, sex scandals, fake controversies, glamour tricks and all the other toys that puppet masters have used for decades to keep gullible people bouncing helplessly between rage and amusement. This time, though, in this year's Sagittarius month, a hugely important and sensational story masks other stories that are crafted to seem less relevant, or are ignored, but are far more perilous and pertinent to us all.
It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking.

John Maynard Keynes

As you know, the world's most violent-handed and controlling empire and its most intrepid and determined whistle-blower are no longer in the pre-war stage of legal and media maneuvers. In the face of Wikileaks' announcement that it will release 251,287 American State Department cables sent from 1966 through Feb., 2010 -- a document cache seven times as large as the Iraq War Logs -- the US government launched its first known cyberoffensive in history, a "mass distributed denial of service attack" that blocked access to Wikileaks' website until the documents could be made available, as they are now (Nov. 30) at Cablegate. For background on last summer's Wikileaks release, see Fire Thieves, the UFC mythic prelude for September, 2010.
In the midst of a more complex and delicate debate than any Wikileaks has provoked before -- about whether the public has a right to know everything that governments do behind closed doors, or whether these disclosures may endanger the professional positions and even the lives of US diplomats -- the Secretary of State and her lieutenants work furiously now to call and stroke the foreign princes and other malefactors who will likely be most outraged about what American officials know and say about them, and about all the conversations that should have been off the record, but are already appearing in the New York Times and major European papers, or will see print soon.
If the revelations by the Times' Scott Shane and Andrew W. Lehren in "State's Secrets: Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U. S. Diplomacy" are anything to go by, they'll be getting really mad in Moscow and Manhattan, and red-faced in Riyadh, now that the Great Game as all the players rig and run it is shown to be cynical and duplicitous enough to make Machiavelli look naive, and the American diplomatic culture in particular is clearly so laced with paranoia, mistrust and obsessive secrecy that it's no wonder Washington is now playing hardball with spheres of stone -- a symbol that will soon have a very different appearance below -- and that the government's computer security engineers are now suddenly able to do much more than leak and lament.
This new Wikileaks crisis, for all the panic it has triggered in the literal point of this word in telling how sheep and goats bleat and bolt in uncontrollable fear when the great god Pan has frightened them, is a classic example of the wild, sudden herd behavior that can ensue when structures of conformity and control are hit by chaotic forces that are too strong to contain. When those for whom "national security" is an empty mantra, to justify every sin they plot or practice, are engulfed by a wave of truth that blasts away everything but the core of their lies, then it's every ram for himself, as it will be in the days just ahead, and our focus will be divided in a thousand directions when it ought to be directed instead to matters that are far more urgent than which embassy staffer said what about Muammar Gaddafi's blond Ukrainian "nurse" or the ultimate buddy movie, Gli Pazzi Pericolosi, starring a stiff Vladimir Putin as Anatoly Analin and the irrepressible Silvio Berluconi as Gianni Sciocco. And those much more important stories are? The shredded envelope, please.

I work for a government I despise for ends I think criminal.

The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent. It is not beautiful. It is not just. It is not virtuous. And it doesn't deliver the goods.

John Maynard Keynes

Let's assume for a moment that your health, and our collective survival, are more important to us than what style and color of bag Vice President Ahmed Zia Massoud of Afghanistan used to carry $52 million in cash on a plane to the United Arab Emirates. If we're on the same page, with the same priorities, then it may interest us that Codex Alimentarius is now moving rapidly toward implementation only a few months from now, when the European Union, the local pharmaceutical firms who own and operate it, and their allies at Pfizer Pharmaceutical and the Carlyle Group munitions combine (the main jewels in the B--h family's money empire) will set policy and enabling legislation to criminalize the use of natural health supplements, and thereby leave us no recourse but the addictive poisons synthesized and sold by Big Pharma. They aim at "taking away your health as of April, 2011," according to Jon King's "The Codex Alimentarius Conspiracy, 2011," posted Nov. 29 at Conscious Ape.
If you read Hermes 3 regularly, then you know how often Codex Alimentarius has appeared in these pages, most recently in "The Lord Captive," the UFC prelude for October, 2010. Much more is at stake here than choices of which medicines to use, if one must. Everything is at risk: the daily choices we make of pure, natural foods vs. GMO foods that are really DDD: from doubtful to downright dangerous now that Barack Obama has signed legislation aligned with Codex Alimentarius, thereby not only moving the US closer to a ban on natural foods and drugs, but also reinstating 7 of the 9 pesticides that have been outlawed in 186 countries.
The ax has just fallen in America, as the invaluable Mike Adams the Health Ranger has noted in his "Urgent call for action, last chance to defeat S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act." This disastrous bill was passed by the US Senate yesterday, and will soon be on the desk of Obama the Obliger, who has yet to show, after almost two years in office, any real inclination to defend his people against Big Pharma or any other salivating corporatist industry. There is a lot of this going around now too, notably on the other side of the Atlantic, as Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever) has turned into Erin Go Broke.
By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest things for the greatest good of everyone.

John Maynard Keynes

As Leo Panitch, Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto observed yesterday on The Real News in "Thousands Protest Irish Nightmare Economy," the Irish crisis has been precipitated "by the bust of the financial sector that Ireland didn't cause. It was very much an American-made crisis" orchestrated by Irish and other European banks acting in tandem with the US-controlled International Monetary Fund. "A good part of the Irish boom," as Panitch notes, "involved Irish banks borrowing short, in order to lend long to their property boom." When the Irish boom collapsed along with the rest of the mortgage-backed securities market, the scenario that has been familiar to us since late 2008 soon followed, as "The Irish government took onto public shoulders the private debt of the banks."
The play unfolds predictably now: the state saves the banks, then the banks bite the hand that has just fed them by offering help only in outrageously exorbitant terms: give-away-the-store concessions in exchange for bank loans, and a value-added tax at 23% that would have made the jaw of Blackbeard the Pirate drop right to his poop deck. It's easier and less conspicuously smelly to be a banker, of course, as the corporate tax rate is 12.5%, half of the VAT rate that the Irish people will have to pay. Corporate taxes, naturally, will not go up, now that US corporations have threatened to pull back investment if their taxes rise. "There's nothing new about this," Prof. Panitch says. It happens all the time now -- if one buys the fatalistic, reactive idea that we have no choice but to keep working for the banks. There is a lot of this going around too. Few people see any option, and if they do, corporatist media will not help air it.
Thus Paul Krugman's article "Eating the Irish" cites what may be the fiercest satire ever written in English or any language, Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal that the economic woes of Ireland in 1729 may be cleverly solved by using Irish children for food. “I grant," Swift wrote, that "this food will be somewhat dear,” but this solution would be “very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.” Such thinking tends to prevail when even a Nobel Prize-grade genius like Paul Krugman is not yet looking outside the box, especially when the subject is the poor, passive, Piscean country that James Joyce called (in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) "the old sow that eats her farrow." Samuel Beckett thought in the same dreary terms when he wrote that "Ireland has no present and no future, only the past endlessly repeating itself."
But -- what if Ireland and the rest of Earth were not helplessly condemned to repeating the same misery? What if the Irish, and the others whose numbers in solidarity with them grow everywhere, every day, were to dare what has been unthinkable until now? What if the ancient race of the Red Branch Kings were to remember itself?

It would not be foolish to contemplate the possibility of a far greater progress still.

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.

John Maynard Keynes

What if the Irish were now to emulate the greatest of their heroes, the peerless Cuchulainn? As the incomparable warrior who died young, he is often liked to Achilles -- yet, as we'll soon see, another famous mythic parallel may now be more relevant. He got his name when he slew in self-defense the monstrous mastiff (Cu) of Chulainn, who embodies the mythic features of the dog when it is not loyal, protective and brave, but only stupidly territorial, so that it becomes -- mirroring today's predatory bankers -- determined to hoard what it cannot use, and thus to empower itself negatively by denying others any chance to approach what they need.
As we see in this 1904 painting by Stephen Reid, Cuchulainn seems to have used his spear to dispatch a hound bigger than himself. But the traditional story is even more compelling.
Here, a painting on the Oghme anime website shows a variation on the tale of the boy who will be Cuchulainn -- yet another parallel to David vs. Goliath -- and how he stops the Dog of Doom by using his hurling stick to choke the monster by whacking a stone ball down its throat. This is how it can and ought to go when the one who has no power, but a lively wit, can keep cool accuracy and summon enough sheer pluck.
Is any sane person now suggesting that the cure for Erin's agony, or anyone's, is to destroy the banks? Of course not. But it will surely feel like death itself to the banking industry when our collective, communal will forces it to play its legitimate role as the servant of our people and their planet, and surrender its false, arrogated posture as the presumed slave master who gets to own and whip us until we find the backbone to declare that we will have no more of it.

The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems . . . of life and human relations, of creation and behavior and religion.

John Maynard Keynes

It is quite clear what must be done, as it was a week ago to activist Jim Corr, whose cogent and stirring "Message to the People of Ireland" -- thanks to John McCabe for the tip on this -- helped motivate 100,000 people to march on the General Post Office in Dublin, site of the Easter Rising in 1916, to demand an end to the enslavement of our people through the manipulation of money as debt by means of the parasitic fraud of fractional reserve banking. One does not need to be an expert like Leo Panitch to see that "The only real solution is for Ireland to lead the way by defaulting on the debt. . . . That will mean . . . a more radical set of responses, not only in Europe, but much more broadly, whereby people are given a lead in terms of not just socializing the private banks' bad debt, but actually nationalizing the banking system and turning it into a public utility."

Let us make no mistake about it. If Ireland must fight alone against such huge and powerful adversaries, and is defeated, then Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy will be the next to fall and be eaten, and it will be only a matter of time until even the biggest and wealthiest prey, even the United States, even China, find out what the domino theory is really about.

"For at least another hundred years," wrote John Maynard Keynes in the time just after World War I, "we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still." There will be another time to say more of this Leonardo-scale genius whom others likened to a bird being, like Thoth, as did Douglas LePenn, who asked, "Does he belong to our species? Or is he from some other order? There is something mythic and fabulous about him. I sense in him something massive and sphinx like, and yet also a hint of wings."
For now it's enough to note that the much misunderstood and misrepresented Mr. Keynes, not so much an economist as a philosopher working in the realm of relationships between societies and numbers, envisioned economic life as evolutionary, progressing along with human consciousness toward a refined awareness and freedom in which vision expands beyond individual matters to embrace the whole of an interdependent human and planetary community. In simpler terms, as the hero of Haruki Murakami's novel Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World saw today's choices, "As a whole, humanity doesn't lend itself to generalizations. But as I see it, there are two types of people: the comprehensive vision type and the limited perspective type."
To the limited perspective type, Ireland's business has no relation to our own. To the comprehensive vision type, We Are All Irish Now, if not in sympathy and solidarity, then for the sake of survival itself. We can wait to feel the noose being tightened around our necks. Or we can sing about those Irish Black Velvet Bands and what they mean. Better to live with an open throat. Keep Holding That Frequency.

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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude (2008) and Acts 1 - 5 (April, 2009 - Nov., 2010), see UFC Index
2012: The End of . . . What?

 

Copyright 2010 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.