Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bloglines - A conversation with a (Corporate) Cockroach


A conversation with a (Corporate) Cockroach

by William Bowles • Monday, 24 July, 2006

“ There appears to have been a cold calculation made at senior levels within the Anglo-American policymaking establishment: that the system is dying, but the last remaining viable means of sustaining it remains a fundamentally military solution designed to reconfigure and rehabilitate the system to continue to meet the requirements of the interlocking circuits of military-corporate power and profit.
” — ‘UK Government Sources Confirm War With Iran Is On’, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

cockroachI would add to this, ‘Apres la deluge’. It is an established fact that cockroaches can survive immense doses of nuclear radiation and that following a nuclear conflagration, if all else died, the cockroaches would still be around, although probably with little to eat given how they live of us, or at least our garbage.

Likewise, the Corporate Cockroach Class of the United States have made the calculation that Climate Catastrophe is unavoidable and unstoppable. Indeed, I contend that they came to this conclusion some years ago and have been actively engaged in preparing for such an eventuality.

Moreover, I contend that the decision was made based on cold, hard facts, not the least of which is the fact that what we call global capitalism is on the verge of a meltdown of enormous proportions, which in itself is not a new phenomenon, such over-accumulation of capital and intra-imperialist rivalries led to WWI and II in which hundreds of millions of people were sacrificed to the great God Mammon.

The only thing that has changed is firstly the scale of the catastrophe, brought about the changing nature of capitalist productive relations, or globalisation as it is called, which has led to a fragile and extremely unstable ‘system’, described by the cybernetician Stafford Beer some decades ago as follows

  • “A homeostat works (and we know all the cybernetic rules) by moving its stable point in a very complicated response to the shocks it receives to its total system.
  • Any homeostat takes a finite time to re-establish its new stable point. This is called the relaxation time of the system.
  • Today it is typical of social institutions that the mean interval between shocks (thanks to the rate of change) is shorter than the relaxation time. That is because the institutions were originally designed to accept a much longer interval between shocks.
  • From this it follows that societary institutions will either go into a state of oscillation, or Plunge into that terminal equilibrium called death.”

Homeostasis is, by the way

“the tendency of a complex system to run towards an equilibrial state. This happens because the many parts of the complex system absorb each other’s capacity to disrupt the whole.”

Beer goes on say, and I think extremely presciently given that this was written in 1973

“The cybernetician will expect the politician to adopt one of two basic postures in the face of these systemic troubles.

“The first is to ignore the cybernetic facts and to pretend that the oscillations are due to some kind of’ wickedness which can be stamped out. The second is to undertake some kind of revolution, violent or not, to redesign the faulty instruments of government. I do not have to relate the polarisation throughout the entire world to which this cybernetic expectation is the key. But it seems very clear to me as a matter of management science that if in these typical circumstances you do not like violence, then you should quickly embark on a pacific revolution in government. If you do not, then violence you will certainly get. [my emph. WB]” — ‘Fanfare for Effective Freedom’ by Stafford Beer, 1973.

This may sound a far cry from the present circumstances but it describes very accurately the situation brought about by ‘globalisation’, namely a situation spinning rapidly out of control for which the only solution the capitalist class have is predictably, war.

So, I think that the ‘plan’ is as follows:

Given the financial, technical and military resources they have at their disposal, they can effectively ‘ride out the storm’ and emerge, on the other side, relatively unscathed. Not without enormous cost of course, but hopefully they calculate, not to them.

Consider also, that the revolution in production made possible by information technology means that far fewer workers are actually needed to produce what will in any case be a vastly lower demand for goods and services.

They will have at their disposal the ‘intellectual capital’ needed to kickstart the capitalist system once again as well as the security forces to protect them and of course, savings to live off.

Also consider that with climate catastrophe taking care not only those millions of ‘uppity natives’ but also a good deal of the competition in countries like China and India, making the resources the rest of the developing world possesses available to these elites.

It is within this context that one must set the unfolding scenario that is Iraq and now Lebanon. Indeed, I would argue that the barbarity that is Lebanon is a carefully calculated ‘experiment’ to see what kind of reaction we in the rich world would have, in much the same way as the destruction of Yugoslavia served (or the Gulf War of 1990-91) or perhaps even more to the point, how the German Nazis used the Spanish Civil War to test out mass, aerial bombardment or the US the Vietnam War to test new and untried weapons systems.

If the reactions of the great mass of the populations are anything to go by, the destruction of Lebanon has on this basis, been a resounding success (with the able assistance of course, of the Mass Media in hiding the reality from us, and also through the wall of Israeli propaganda, justifying the awful slaughter and destruction.

Consider also how the ‘War on Terror’ fits into this scenario, for in order to pull it off, it needs a total Security State complete with all manner of ‘legal’, social control mechanisms, in the UK personified by the Civil Contingencies Bill as well as the various ‘anti-terrorism’ legislations.

“So is that what all the “emergency preparedness” legislation, here in the UK as well as in the USA and in Europea, all about? The US plans are bad enough, as Ellsberg notes, but the plans [of the] UK … are … hardly better, prompting The Guardian to describe the Civil Contingencies Bill (passed as an Act in 2004) as “the greatest threat to civil liberty that any parliament is ever likely to consider.” — Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

The question of course remains whether such a gamble, for that is what it is, will pay dividends. But make no mistake, these are the same elites who sacrificed hundreds of millions of people when they initiated WWI and II, so the idea of sacrificing a couple of billion people will not trouble them anymore than the millions already sacrificed.

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed doubts that such a plan will succeed but firstly, I argue that won’t stop them from trying anymore than the certain knowledge that the invasion of Iraq was doomed to failure. Okay, it might show that the elites are either blind to learning the lessons of the past or, motivated only by short term greed. But I argue that they really have no choice in the matter considering that they will not relinquish their control voluntarily and are thus driven by a kind of inevitability to commit the same errors (and crimes) over and over again, until we get rid of the bastards or, that Gaia does it for us?

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