More discussion re/ The Grand Coup

2002-05-02

Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors

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From: •••@••.•••
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 00:29:53 EDT
Subject: Re: The Grand Coup of 11 September
To: •••@••.•••

Richard,

If Chomsky & Solomon are "typical liberal reformers", as you
say, I have to wonder what ideological category you'd place
the likes of Senators Kennedy and Feingold.  If you can't
make a distinction between the former two and the latter
two, I'm going to have to start worrying about you.(:>)  And
Chomsky being "close to the mainstream" and wanting to seem
"reasonable"?  Ha!  His views on US foreign policy are
consistently total condemnation.

Cheers,
Bill Blum

==========

Dear Bill,

Kennedy, Feingold, et al, are what I would call demagogues. 
'Liberal' Kennedy was pushing Senate Bill 1 for years, an
early version of our current police state regime.  They are
opportunists, image-maintainers.  Chomsky & Solomon are
sincere, which puts them in a quite different category.

I overstated my case considerably in the case of Chomsky,
and other contributors (below) were quite irate.  My
apologies.  Nonetheless, I stand by the view that Chomsky
wears certain mainstream fetters, though not the full cloak I 
claimed in exaggeration.  In particular, I find his view on 
conspiracy theories in general to be quite illogical.  The
feeling I get is "Hey, look at me, I don't believe the JFK 
stuff - I must be reasonable."

keep up the good work,
rkm  .
http://cyberjournal.org

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Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 20:46:58 -0700
To: •••@••.•••
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: The Grand Coup of 11 September

    rkm> Chomsky & Solomon are typical liberal reformers.  They
    believe our liberal democracies are sound, in concept, and
    that all will be right if people are better informed and
    vote accordingly.  They don't understand how deep the rot
    goes, and they don't understand that democracy, as we know
    it, doesn't work and can never work.

I'm not sure about Solomon, but this doesn't at all
represent Chomsky's many speeches, books, articles,
interviews, or beliefs over the past few decades
<www.zmag.org/chomsky>. Chomsky is neither typical, liberal,
nor merely a reformer. He doesn't support liberal democracy
as an ideal, to say the least, and suggests much more than
voting, rarely if ever mentioning that tactic. It seems to
me, he knows quite well how rotten to the core the system
is, constantly railing against it, constantly showing its
inconsistencies, duplicity, brutality, and horror,
constantly condemning it, constantly advocating
anti-authoritarianism, community organizing, personal and
popular education, real democratization, full equality,
positive peace, and social justice. As an
anarcho-syndicalist, Chomsky opposes all abuses of power and
supports local control and workers' control at the points of
production. I think you have your reading cut out for
you.---Dan

==========

Dear Dan,

So nice to hear you speak out.  On social-movements it seems
you only forward things.  I'll take that as a compliment to our
community.  And I'll take your word for the range of
Chomsky's writings.  I've shifted my view, as I told Bill,
but I still don't see Chomsky as being on the front lines of
what needs to be said. I get a sense of a nationalist
real-politik perspective, not updated to the realities of
globalization. I see an imperative to be academically
acceptable, which is in many ways limiting.  I just don't
get a sense of revolutionary energy, less for example than
from Parenti.  Just my opinion.  And who am I to talk? 
Chomsky's surely done more good than I ever will.  But if I
have a contribution at all, it's to tell the truth as I see
it.  So be it.

best regards,
rkm

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From: P
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 00:18:34 -0500
Subject: Re: The Grand Coup of 11 September

Hello Richard,

What of the notion that the response to capitalism reaching
its limits is bumping people out of the "economy". You can
maintain the same size piece of pie either by making the pie
bigger or by reducing the number of people wanting pieces.

Does the rising tide of homelessness, the excessive police
activity, McJobs, the stripping of public assets, etc. in
the "advanced" societies indicate that people are being
forced to the economic margins and then booted out entirely?
Does the galloping rate of incarceration in the U.S.
represent a commodification of people by a desperate
economic system?

Could we be seeing capitalism's last stand? If enough people
are marginalized or forced out the technological
infrastructure that defines the "advanced" societies will
collapse.

I suspect that technology requires people and institutional
structures in proportion to its level of complexity. If such
is the case, the "Western" world's obviously thinning social
fabric is a direct threat to its technological capacity.

That most revered of all commodities "progress" is slipping
into reverse. It is visible here in Ontario with the, all to
evident, decline of the health and educational, not to
mention physical, infrastructures.

On a rather different topic, I noticed that one of your
respondents called for the articulation of a credible path
to a sustainable future. He did not seem to question the
existence of such a path. One can easily ask why, if such
paths do exist, they have not been articulated already. Can
the earth's pie be divided into 6 billion pieces? If so how
big would each piece be? What kind of technological regime
could be supported by such a division?

Speculations about answers to these questions would at least
frame debate among those of us who are not at all
comfortable with our self-proclaimed "successes".

Regards,

P

===========

Dear P,

Well yes, people are being marginalized, imprisoned, and
otherwise declared redundant to the capitalist machine. 
This is nothing new, as you know yourself.  That's what
happened to natives in North America and Australia.  To
capitalism, people have value only in their contribution to
the machine, either as workers or consumers.  That's an
axiom of capitalism - ~all~ things are commodified.

What is new, since neoliberalism, is a dramatic rise in
marginalization within the capitalist core.  But I've seen
no evidence that this puts capitalism in jeopardy.  Nearly
every disaster in the world is a consequence of capitalism,
and yet propaganda is able to spread the perception that the
West is the good guys.  There's no feedback loop that links
capitalism to its consequences, at least as far as public
opinion goes.  No matter how bad things get, that doesn't
seem to create sufficient energy for capitalism to collapse
due to public uprising.  For chrissake, we've got a police
state and a declared perpetual war, and people are rallying
behind the Fuhrer.

You suggest that capitalism is in jeopardy due to a
declining infrastructure - insufficient complexity.  I don't
think so.  Whatever infrastructure capitalism need, it pays
for.  That which is being marginalized is that which isn't
needed.  Automation, computers, off-shore production, all
those little bits add up.  The complexity is now in the
chips, so to speak - the real world tip-of-the-iceberg can
be smaller without harm to the capitalist parasite.

As for progress slipping into reverse, I suggest you're
confusing capitalist interests with popular interests.  From
a capitalist perspective, the definition of progress is
'greater profits through new-product introductions'.  To a
consumer, the definition is 'better living through new
products'.  You are noticing that progress is declining from
a consumer perspective - life isn't getting better anymore.
But from a capitalist perspective, profits are higher than
ever.  It was the alleged collapse of capitalism that we were
discussing, not the collapse of middle-class comforts.


You say:
    > I noticed that one of your respondents called for the
    articulation of a credible path to a sustainable future. He
    did not seem to question the existence of such a path. One
    can easily ask why, if such paths do exist, they have not
    been articulated already.

They do exist, and they have been articulated.  You probably
have a more extensive bibliography than I on that topic, so
I'm not sure the sense of your question.  Shelves of books
have been written about sustainable economics, transport,
energy, and agriculture.  Not only that, but most of it
would be rapidly invented anyway if society ever set its
priorities in that direction.

Our problem, as I've said before, is primarily one of
politics, not one of finding solutions to technical
problems.  On the other hand, there is a critical need for
an inspiring vision of the future.  A vision that can gain a
broad consensus.  That is one of the necessary requirements
to bring about social transformation.  From that
perspective, I definitely support the kind of work you're
doing.

My own investigations suggest that the ~politics~ of the new
world is what most needs our attention and thinking.  If we,
in a mad revolutionary rush, were to achieve a sustainable
world - how could we be sure it would stay in effect?  Think
of all the work that went into the U.S. Constitution - all
those checks and balances to ensure that it wouldn't be
undermined.  And now, only 225 year later, it's dust.
Nothing is sustainable unless the societal regime is
sustainable politically.

As I investigated this line further, I found evidence from
many directions that the key to sustainable politics is an
emphasis on localism / community autonomy.  I wouldn't
embrace the label 'anarchist', but I do think non-hierarchy
is necessary to avoid elite usurpation of power ~in the long
term~ (which is what sustainability is all about.)

If one does accept localism as a political necessity, then
that shifts ones thinking about prescribing specific
solutions, such as 'how to divide the world into 6 billion
pieces'.  The people of Chiapas, for example, might have a
quite different answer to that question than the people of
Montana.  It is neither necessary nor advisable to work out
a universal answer in advance for questions that communities
will want to answer for themselves.

I'm well aware that many problems will require large-scale
planning.  There are methods of dealing with such problems
that do not require the introduction of hierarchical
authority structures.  Those methods do not start with a
global plan.

warm regards,
rkm

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From: "jefbuder" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Chomsky: not conspiracy but capitalism
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 07:25:48 -0700

Richard I have such mixed feelings about your work but I
respect you process of thinking about these things and I do
believe that it is possible that what you say is happening.
---<snip>---

To speak of the idea that George Bush actually plotted to
destroy WTC and pentagon is pretty outlandish and it will
invite ridicule even among the left. But to say that it is a
probable scenario that powerful people in the neoliberal
establishment knew about the attack but allowed it to
proceed could actually be seen as a very shrewd strategic
move that makes a lot of sense. Many claim this was the case
when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

The idea is that you lose the battle to gain a public
relations advantage over your adversary that will help you
win the war. It is a well known fact that it is not only
assets that win a war but public perceptions. During the tet
offensive in Vietnam, some say that Tet was a stunning
defeat for the communists but that they made a strategic
decision that the perception of such a penetration of
American defenses would weaken public support for the war in
America.

When we refer to conspiracy theory we have to understand
that we suddenly discredit ourselves within the academic
community. The fact that one cannot even speak of conspiracy
without risking one status as a intellectual within the
academic community speaks volumes about how the bounds of
the expressible is defined. This is because research about
possible situations where the public will and public good
was undermined by a conspiracy of the powerful threatens the
very legitimacy of the modern nation state by uncovering the
necessary illusions that sustain its legitimacy in the
public mind. The level of actual intentional conscious
conspiracy is debatable but what is more interesting is the
idea that systemic dynamics transcend individual awareness
and autonomy within these complex systems. In other words
the ability of a group of people to consciously determine
society is limited, rather it is they work in a way that is
complementary with the overall dynamic of the system.
---<snip>---

Jeff Buderer

============

Dear Jeff,

You say...

  > To speak of the idea that George Bush actually plotted to
    destroy WTC and pentagon is pretty outlandish and it will
    invite ridicule even among the left. But to say that it is a
    probable scenario that powerful people in the neoliberal
    establishment knew about the attack but allowed it to
    proceed could actually be seen as a very shrewd strategic
    move that makes a lot of sense.

I don't think George Bush plots anything, except possibly
how to avoid official functions and get time off for beer
and pizza with his buddy Homer Simpson.  He was selected by
your 'powerful people in the neoliberal establishment'
because he was just smart enough to read cue cards, but not
smart enough to plot.  Also because his personal elitist
mentality was 'in character' for the role they wanted him to
play - they knew he wasn't smart enough to act.

To pretend that Bush is a decision-making executive pushes
one so deeply into the mire of matrix illusion that useful
discussion becomes impossible.  That's the kind of trap you
fall into when you try to weave benign propaganda rather than 
pursue truth - you end up confusing yourself.

---

A crime was committed.  Thousands of innocent people were
incinerated in the WTC, and as a consequence the world is
now in a state of perpetual war.  I personally think it
would be good idea to figure out who did it and why.
Otherwise the perp is still at large and we don't know who
'he' is.

To investigate a crime, you identify the likely scenarios,
and then explore them. For the WTC we have two suggested
scenarios.  Scenario 1 is that a terrorist organization
carried out the attack, catching everyone by surprise. 
Scenario 2 is that official complicity was somehow involved.
 
In my opinion, Scenario 1 has been thoroughly discredited. 
The behavior of Bush on the day, the behavior of top
officials in Washington while the events were unfolding, the
failure of standard air-defense procedures to be followed,
the total lack of evidence pointing to Bin Laden or Al Qeada
- Scenario 1 just doesn't hold up.  It really has nothing to
be said for it other than the fact that the media keeps
repeating that it's true.  Argument by repetition of
conclusion is not argument at all.  There is simply no case
for Scenario 1.

So we look at Scenario 2, which has all sorts of evidence
pointing toward it.  Once you accept that those at the top
could knowingly allow the attack to happen, then you look at
things differently.  You then start looking for evidence
about when they got involved, and how active their role must 
have been.  Certain things become relevant, such as the fact
that energy companies had been lobbying for a war in
Afghanistan, to secure a pipeline.  And the fact that FBI
investigations into domestic terrorist networks were snuffed
out by the CIA. And the fact that numerous opportunities
existed to arrest Bin Laden and were passed over.  While
those kind of observations might be weak as evidence for a
conspiracy, they are informative if you are already
considering the complicity scenario based on other
evidence.

That is to say, if you are willing to admit that complicity
is a real possibility, then the thread of evidence indicates
that the complicity started quite a while ago, measured in
months and years, not in weeks and days.  That indicates
that the whole affair was basically a CIA operation, with
some naive terrorist group being set up to take the fall.

If anyone has a rebuttal to this argument, I'd like to see
it.  I cannot escape the conclusion that 'CIA operation' is
the most likely scenario, with a probability of about 99%. 
I can see no value in watering the story down for anyone.

---

  > When we refer to conspiracy theory we have to understand
    that we suddenly discredit ourselves within the academic
    community.  The fact that one cannot even speak of
    conspiracy without risking one status as a intellectual
    within the academic community speaks volumes about how the
    bounds of the expressible is defined.

OK, so the academic community has an orthodoxy, and that
orthodoxy says conspiracies cannot even be mentioned. 
That's a rather immense blind spot they've been shackled
with.  This is the age of rampant elite agency, and no
official ever tells the truth about anything.  What is there
besides conspiracies?  Your academicians are missing the
main event.  They are weaving complex Ptolemaic orbits
because their orthodoxy can't allow them to entertain the
obvious truth.  They are like the Pope who refused to look
through the telescope and see the moons of Jupiter for
himself.
                [approx]
              I don't put down, nor find fault,
              with anyone, who lives in a vault.
              But it's all right Ma, 
              if I can't please them.
              -B. Dylan 

---

  > In other words the ability of a group of people to
    consciously determine society is limited, rather it is they
    work in a way that is complementary with the overall dynamic
    of the system.

That's a tautology. Even the Emperor cannot order the tide
to recede.  By definition we all live under constraints.  No
one questions that the designs of elites have limits.  What
needs to be determined is precisely where those limits are in
our current globalist world.  It's an empirical question,
not a theoretical one.

From a theoretical perspective, what we have is one of those
wave-partical dualities.  For years scientists debated
whether matter was really particles or really waves. 
Finally they realized that both were only models, and that
each model had predictive advantages - depending on what
aspects of physics you happened to be investigating at the
time.

Similarly, we can model society as a system, and we can
model society by looking at what powerful people do.  To use
only one of the models is like tying one hand behind your
back.  Each model sheds light from a different direction, and each
has major blind spots.

best regards,
rkm

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From: "Brit Eckhart" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: The Grand Coup of 11 September
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 21:54:58 -0400

Dear Richard,

Normally I feel that you're way ahead of me, but I must
object to your characterization of Chomsky. This is not
hero-worship either. He may not be "prescriptive" but he
surely is not pandering to the Establishment -- and I find
his acerbic depth a source of strength - have you read
"POWERS & PROSPECTS: Reflections on human nature and the
social order?" 

Regards, Brit Eckhart

===============

Dear Brit,

As you saw above, others share your objection.  I didn't
even know about POWERS & PROSPECTS.  I stand corrected.  The
fellow has a broader canvas than I was aware of.  By the
way... in your opinion, is he as perceptive and
knowledgeable about those other topics as he is about U.S.
foreign policy?

rkm

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From: mango <•••@••.•••>
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Cc: <mango list recipients> •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: The Grand Coup of 11 September
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 11:20:48 +0100

You're all nuts! Meyssan's research is atrocious compared to
Ruppert's.

All this talk but what are you doing about it? Have any of
you kept up a dialogue with Solomon, Corn, Ruppert -
Vreeland, even? They're all still talking from my
experiences with them - so get writing! Have any of you
invited (insisted!) Fair or Alternet or The Nation to take
up Vreeland's brave offer of interviews?

And what about supporting McKinney? Are any of you rebutting
the character assassinations in such rags as Orlando
Sentinel (who even go so far as to mention treason), Atlanta
Journal etc etc? Are any of you donating to her campaign? IF
NOT, WHY NOT?

The time for abstruse pontificating is over -  Hubbards Peak
indeed! I am sure it must be quite clear by now that we are
dealing with gangsters*, impure but not so simple. Deal with
them as such. Use what law is left before we all go under
their darkness.

As Starhawk has rather accurately said:-

'Either we continue to fight them together now when we can
mount large-scale, effective actions, or we fight them later
in small, isolated groups, or alone when they break down the
doors of our homes in the middle of the night.'

Do you want to be another Niemoller?

mango
http://www.environment.org.uk/activist/

==========================================

Dear Mango,

It seems you favor the 'gangster model' of society.  Sounds
right on the money to me.  In the dialog above, I was
arguing that the conscious actions of elites matter, even
though there are real system constraints as well.  When we
then look at the actions of those elites, mafia gangs is
what they most resemble.  After all, the CIA does runs the
global drug trade, and the big New York banks handle most of
the world's money laundering.  In a real sense, our top
leaders are ~literally~ the top of the mafia food chain. 
And then there's U.S. interventionism.  A bully pushing
people around, just like a Mafioso tough guy.

And many thanks for the Starhawk quote.  I couldn't agree
more.  We definitely need to ' Use what law is left before
we all go under their darkness.' No question about it.

Like many others, you are ready to call "Charge!", to sound
the bugle.  Your bugle sings: "Write letters to Corn! 
Support McKinney!"  Those are new ones to me.  I have,
however, received hundreds of strident bugle calls from
people, some even more articulate than yourself.  And each
saying "Charge!"... but in all different directions.

We need no 'abstruse pontificating', but neither are we
ready to deploy an effective offensive.  Such an endeavor
must be a collective one, and we seem a long ways from
knowing how to act collectively.

admiring your righteous anger,
rkm

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