One of Capitalism's innumerable victims, an elderly Tacoma man who now has no home – he and his generational peers (myself included) among the tens of millions targeted for extermination by the Capitalists' proposals for murderous reductions in health care. Meanwhile no one in the euphemism-strangled Capitalist media dares call it genocide, though that is precisely what it is. Photograph by Loren Bliss ©2016
(NOTES TO READERS: - “New Name” was substantially revised on 21-22 March 2017, mostly for clarity and emotional precision. Hence I have re-posted it with a more descriptive title, a new URL, and this apologetic request asking readers to please read it in its now-finished form. [Though it's no excuse, the fearful anxiety generated by the wearisome and unfamiliar task of rebuilding my website – a chore as technologically alien to me as differential calculus is to geese and chickens – obstructed the creative process far more than I initially recognized, doubtlessly all the more so because my time-frame was also severely limited by other obligations.] Thus the necessity of these revisions, the need for which I am wholly responsible and therefore cannot apologize too often. - The highly skilled and extremely helpful Typepad tech support people – without whom I could never have done the name-change work and to whom I am profoundly grateful – assure me this blog will not suddenly become difficult to access because of the name change and new domain. In fact, they say, there will now be two ways to access it: the old lorenbliss.typepad.com URL and the new dispatchesfromdystopia.net URL. Meanwhile, thank you for your readership. /LB, 19-22 March 2017)
DISPATCHES FROM DYSTOPIA, dispatchesfromdystopia.net, which evolved during the past eight years from the less sharply focused Outside Agitator's Notebook), has become precisely what this blog's new title and domain name describes. It is an ongoing anthology of reports, analyses, commentaries, photographs and other anti-Capitalist documentation from the Dystopia that Capitalism has made of our world. It's epicenter is the post-humanitarian United States of America: our species' self-inflicted Moron Nation and its empire of global-conquest malevolence, the de facto Fourth Reich, the true birthdate of which will eventually be recognized as 22 November 1963 – if by some miracle our species survives its present denouement.
Dispatches thus chronicles our relentless subjugation by Capitalism as it (inevitably) reverts to its traditional might-makes-right savagery and – just as Capitalism previously transformed itself into Italian Fascism and German Nazism – as it now matures into a Nazism of uniquely USian form and content. By examining the details of what is occurring, DfD shows how ours is a Dystopia characterized as much by the mindlessness of Moron Nation's Zieg-Heil-equivalent chanting of “USA! USA! USA!” as by the brutality such chanting invariably celebrates – the genocidal, ultimately ecocidal atrocities the Capitalist Ruling Class perpetrates in the name of “profit,” “growth” and USian “Exceptionalism.”
But what then is Capitalism? Though traditionally defined as economics, it is in fact the quintessential patriarchal ethos, the diabolical methodology of building a global empire by conquest and genocide both obvious and clandestine, with post-conquest world governance originally patterned after the despotic management of antebellum slave plantations. Capitalism is thus the forefather of fascism and Nazism, which are its only possible offspring. Behind its seductive cloak of euphemisms and Big Lies (“manifest destiny,” “easy credit,” “economic freedom,” “self-made man,” “entrepreneur,” “no down payment,” “rugged individualist,” “you too can be rich,” “free will,” etc. ad nauseam), Capitalism is the stench of burning flesh and rotting corpses; the shrieks of napalmed children; the final agonies of maliciously abandoned patients condemned to death by the deliberately genocidal costs of health care. Now, today, in the post-humanitarian U.S., it is increasingly the terminal despair of families evicted into permanent degradation – the filth, deadly danger of untreated disease and constant fear of enslavement by arrest or kidnapping that defines the USian brand of homelessness as the most nightmarishly lethal circumstance the First World can inflict without resorting to death camps.
Ultimately Capitalism is the boundless Evil of global dictatorship by moral imbeciles, specifically the white male Christian One Percent, a ruthless, tiny but unimaginably powerful cabal of Capitalist aristocrats for whom infinite greed is ultimate virtue, for whom the snuff-film sadism of class warfare provides the ultimate entertainment, and who by their unchallenged influence have now made their own moral imbecility the primary ethos of our entire species. Thus the final form of Capitalism – that is, fascism or some local variant of Nazism – matures into the ever-intensifying brutality of Capitalist Governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent and its Ruling Class vassals, zero-tolerance oppression and bottomless poverty for all the rest of us. Not that We the (formerly exempt) People should be surprised; the merciless regimen that is now ours is how the Capitalists have always tyrannized our sisters and brothers in America's First Nations, in the USian ghettos and in all the Capitalist victim realms abroad.
Cast off as “surplus human capital” when we are deemed no longer exploitable for profit, we are then methodically exterminated. We are slaughtered as cannon-fodder in the empire's endless wars of profit and conquest; we are murdered by the bullets and truncheons of the federalized and militarized local police; we are fatally poisoned by Capitalism's malignant toxification of our environment; we are slain by denials of health care and social services that are in fact deliberate, euphemism-cloaked policies of slow-motion genocide.
Meanwhile our overlords pornographically multiply their own wealth by knowingly destroying the planetary conditions upon which all sentient life depends. More recently – as if to demonstrate the infinite magnitude of their Evil by provoking unsurvivable thermonuclear apocalypse (not coincidentally in fulfillment of a malevolent scheme by Adolf Hitler himself) – they have imposed on the Ukraine the anti-Russian war-mongering and anti-Jewish violence of an avowedly Nazi puppet government. And now, in the person of Donald Trump and his appointees, the USian tyrannosaur has come home to gorge on its final and terminally ironic meal, the denizens of Moron Nation itself, the people who by their prideful ignorance and hatefulness loosed this demonically insatiable monster on the entire world.
In previous eras, such abject circumstances would have been definitively pre-revolutionary. But now our ability to effectively resist is obstructed not only by the USian regime of inescapable surveillance, but by the dreadful undertow of Moron Nation's intellectual and psychological paralysis: the deliberate deceptions and outright ignorance fostered by the Capitalist “education” system; by Capitalism's “mainstream media” propaganda machine (which is owned by the same smirking plutocrats whose vassal politicians so gleefully oppress us); and by the physical and psychic terrorism of Capitalism's manufactured crises.
Yet resist we must. As always, art – sometimes even unwittingly – depicts our present circumstances and so foretells our future. And as it says in a breathtakingly apt, wrenchingly poignant anthem grown increasingly popular far beyond its video-game origin, “shadows fall and hope is gone; steel your heart; the dawn will come.”
IT IS AT this juncture my personal history becomes relevant. Though I got my first union card at age 16; though I have been drawn to Marxism's unique promise of economic democracy for as long as I can remember (partly no doubt because my father was himself a Marxian); though I subtly defended Marxism and Soviet education during 1957-1958 post-Sputnik debates on education policy; I did not openly support resistance to Capitalism until June 1963, after I was jailed in Knoxville, Tennessee for my public support of the Civil Rights Movement and my career prospects were diminished accordingly.
The falsified charges against me were soon dismissed, but the racist hatefulness they engendered continued unabated, provoking three retaliatory murder attempts I survived by a combination of expert-class firearms skills, superior driving ability abetted by superb Porsche engineering, and most of all the vigilant protection provided by a beloved German shepherd named Brunhilda. The fourth and last of these attacks, in August 1964, was with poison aimed at dear Brunhilda herself, as a result of which she died in agony. It was in her memory I embraced the former “Outside Agitator” label of this blog.
That choice, now preserved in DfD's subtitle, was all the more appropriate given how art under patriarchy is always revolutionary agitation, and how the artist whether male or female is therefore always an outside agitator. Here of course – the suppression of revolutionary agitation – is the obvious motive behind the fire that in 1983 destroyed "Glimpses of a Pale Dancer," the book-length manuscript of text and photographs that had evolved from my 24-year study of the 1960s Counterculture. “Dancer” argued, largely from analysis of the Counterculture's music and art, that it had been at its core a spontaneous uprising against patriarchy. Hence the magnitude of the Central Intelligence Agency's Operation Chaos, which was tasked with was tasked with crushing the rebellion and suppressing any subsequent recognition of its true significance.
Not coincidentally, the fire occurred just as "Dancer" seemed on the brink of major publication. Indeed – because the fire was ignited at the exact moment I began a meeting with the editor who intended to midwife "Dancer" into a book – the message of zero-tolerance censorship was unmistakable. The flames also obliterated all my other life's work and – again no doubt exactly as intended – flung me into a post-traumatic clinical depression. Despite treatment I remained jobless and depressed. Eventually I was reduced to such poverty I could no longer pay for the care I needed. Hence in desperation I turned to welfare and was begrudgingly granted a stipend of $314 per month as "mentally disabled": an indescribably devastating socioeconomic downfall after living for years as a working journalist with gross income as much as ten times that amount.
Just as 30 years ago I myself was permanently thrust into Dystopia by the malevolence of Capitalism, now have the malevolently ignorant voters of Moron Nation Trumped the entire world, handing an existential Nazi literally unlimited powers of surveillance and murder, thereby thrusting all remaining humanitarians into Dystopia. There are no words adequate to describe the resultant intensity of our (entirely rational) fears, especially for our children and grandchildren.
Though the obstructive optimists and the other hope junkies reassure us “the arc of history bends toward justice,” those of us who know that history – our species' real history – recognize this false but reassuring assertion to be among the biggest of Big Lies. In truth the arc bends in the opposite direction, toward ever-more-dystopian extremes of the injustice that has been our species' defining reality for nearly all the approximately 6,000 years of patriarchy. We have become a predatory species that preys almost exclusively on itself; ours is therefore a history in which justice is never more than a phantom of light in an infinity of absolute darkness. That's why I believe today's Dystopia is most likely forever – that is, just as I said above, until our species renders itself extinct.
IN MY OWN case, this victory of Nazism is indubitably forever. Given the reality of congestive heart failure, there is no chance I will live long enough to witness the overthrow of Capitalism, especially now that Capitalism is openly morphing into the genocidal morally imbecility of technologically impregnable Nazism – not just Dystopia, but as I already noted, Dystopia in its terminal and therefore ultimate form, Dystopia that is arguably eternal in any world deprived of the antidote of a Red Army and a diligently anti-Nazi corps of generals like Zhukov, Konev, Rokossovsky and Vatutin. Thus the Capitalists now possesses by default all the punitive powers of the sadistic, Sodom-and-Gomorrah despotism conventionally defined as "divine,"
Nevertheless I admit I have long harbored what I suspected were memories of past lives, enough accurate in obscure details to seem otherwise inexplicable, all the more so since these details sometimes include what indisputably seems to be physical memory: for example the eerie familiarity of how my body immediately (and without any such prior experience in this lifetime), accommodated and in fact emotionally welcomed as a homecoming my first-ever (?) encounter with the pitch and roll of a ship on the open sea. But witnessing the now-almost-certain apocalyptic futility of life, I realize now those "memories" were probably nothing more than compellingly intricate fictions the human mind generates as mechanisms of self-comfort. The more complex the intellect, the more irrefutable its fantasies. More to the point, properly secular psychiatry and psychology tell us such compensatory delusion is especially likely in a definitively hopeless environment like that of Moron Nation and the USian Empire in general. Based on what we know of the human psyche, the unacknowledged wounding power of reflexively denied hopelessness is at least as injurious as the universally acknowledged hopelessness that was characteristic of a German Nazi concentration camp. Here too, in the bottomless totality of our species' loss of hope, is no doubt the explanation for the renewed contagion of frenzied Abrahamic extremism, the murderous hatreds increasingly exhibited by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, especially the consummate nihilism of Jihadist suicide-bombings. Verily, hopelessness can quickly turn to poison.
Will we eventually triumph? Will our planet and our species survive? Assuming World War III does not cancel all our tomorrows before old age cancels mine, I will never know whether our story ends in victory or defeat, though that does not prevent me from covering it as best I can with as much supportiveness as I can muster.
But I won't lie. I think it far more likely our overlords will destroy us all, whether by thermonuclear war or environmental destruction, in an apocalypse they are arrogantly convinced they themselves will somehow survive. And then, in our final moments of consciousness, we will recognize our hopelessness was the only rational response to a universe that is definitively sadistic, whether consciously so – as the expression of divine malevolence (i.e., the cosmos as nothing more than a snuff film for the gods) – or by some hitherto unacknowledged but nevertheless definitive inertial property of matter, entropy reductio ad absurdum, Merriam-Webster's “degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity,” of which my death (or any other individual's death) is the perfect microcosm.
No wonder death is so feared by those who believe in immortality; hoist as they are by the petard of their own gullibility, their death becomes the most psychologically destructive experience possible: the incontrovertible realization the function of one's own life and indeed of the entire evolutionary process is the affirmation of its futility and the confirmation of its pointlessness. No wonder the so-called “near-death experience” is so often characterized by visions of dead relatives and friends; the underlying realizations are so terrible they fragment one's dying consciousness to terminal insanity – but at least those of us who are dialectical materialists are as prepared as one might be for this final descent into all-encompassing invalidation and meaninglessness.
Such notions – particularly the ever-more-irrefutable suspicion nihilism is the only valid response to the core truth of existence – are the tabooed, fearfully unspoken conclusions implicit in the now undeniable triumph of Moron Nation and its Empire of ignorance and deception. Ours is not just Dystopia; it is terminal Dystopia, conditioned helplessness and hopelessness in the face of impending doom – a Dystopia so overwhelmingly unassailable it reduces even the unflinching honesty of Marxism to self-deception.
To paraphrase an old Scots lament, “Nazi steel we could disdain, but Nazi gold has been our bane; such a parcel of rogues rule the nation.” Our confinement seems ensured in perpetuity, not just by our cowardice but by the inescapable cage of total surveillance, the invisible but omnipresent electronic barbed wire that has reduced our entire planet to one monstrous concentration camp.
What then are We the Few Remaining Humanitarian People to do? It seems we must now either bare our throats, bellies and genitals in craven submission to Capitalism or righteously rise up in anger – not because we still foolishly believe we can somehow overthrow technologically omnipotent Capitalist (i.e., Nazi) governance and save our planetary Motherland from destruction (for most of us have become astute enough to dismiss all such notions as grandiose fantasy) – but merely because revolution is the only remaining expression of humanitarian consciousness Moron Nation allows us.
LB/17-22 March 2017