re: The Grand Coup & what to do about it…

2002-05-13

Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors

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To: •••@••.•••
Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 06:18:44 -0400
Subject: Mo' Discussion/Le Grande Coup'
From: T

---<snip>---
I love Starhawk but she is wrong. Now is the time for
individual resistance. Now is the time for monkey wrenching.
The police are already kicking in our doors at night,
searching ostensibly for weapons and drugs, but in fact
warring against an entire class. Ask Huey Newton.
---<snip>---

You are wrong too. The collective begins with the
individual. Collective acts begin with individual acts. I
must make an individual decision to coordinate my energy
with others.

What kind of vacant ass joins a group in order to be told
what to do? Not one I'd want to carry on my back for sure,
and certainly not one from whom I'd attempt to gain a sense
of social direction.

Politics? Politics is the art of lying about social
realities to make them palatable to those unwilling or
constitutionally incapable of looking reality in the face.

Why not embrace Anarchy Richard? It's the ultimate in
personal integrity and responsibility. While I'm sure
Chomsky is an honorable man, anyone who needs to affiliate
themselves with a group to be an anarchist (anarcho
syndicalist) is not an anarchist. What is the difference
between collectivism and statism?

None that I'm aware of. Both endorse the right of the gang
to coerce the individual.

Love and Rockets,  T

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

Dear T,

I agree with a lot of what you're saying.  I don't want to
join a group that tells me want to do either.  Our political
system is indeed a game of deception and top-down control.
'Collectivism' - as we've seen it under the likes of Stalin
- is certainly not a solution.  'Statism' is centralized
tyranny, and anarchism - absence of hierarchy - is definitely
part of the solution.

Given all of that, I can quite understand how you can see
individual action as being the only reasonable path open to
us.  But it isn't the only path, and it isn't a path that
could get us anywhere.

'Monkeywrenching' can annoy the establishment, but it can't
overcome the establishment.  The establishment adjusts, and
keeps right on going where it wants to go.  Consider for
example the tactic of spiking trees to frustrate
irresponsible logging operations.  That tactic was somewhat
effective for a while, and then the companies started using
magnetic detectors so that spikes could be avoided.  That's
a microcosm of what happens every time.  The nature of
systems is to adapt to interference.  Consider this quote
from William Colby, former CIA director (sent in by
Cyberbrook):

    "I watched as the Anti-War movement rendered it impossible
    for this country to conduct or win the Vietnam War . . .
    This Militia or Patriot movement . . . is far more
    significant and far more dangerous for Americans than the
    Anti-War movement ever was, if it is not intelligently dealt
    with . . . It is not because these people are armed that
    America needs to be concerned. Colby continues, They are
    dangerous because there are so many of them. It is one thing
    to have a few nuts or dissidents. They can be dealt with,
    justly or otherwise so that they do not pose a danger to the
    system. It is quite another situation when you have a true
    movement [with] millions of citizens believing something."

The problem is how to achieve effective organization without
introducing hierarchy at the same time.  We need to learn
how to act collectively without becoming a collective ant
hill.  "There is strength in numbers" is indeed true, but we
don't want those numbers to be cyphers.

Humanity has never existed as isolated individuals.  We have
always lived in societies, even before we had evolved into
homo sapiens.  The concept of the "Social Contract" is a
myth.  Each of us is born into a family, in a community, in
a larger society.  Long before we are old enough to choose,
we are already integrated into those groups.  It has always
been that way.

Politics is simply the way a society runs itself.  Politics
as we know it is coercive.  We need to invent a politics
that is not coercive.  Until we do that we will be living
under coercion.  That's why I say that our problem is a
political one.

all the best,
rkm
http://cyberjournal.org

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From: mango <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: More discussion re/ The Grand Coup
Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 16:19:32 +0100

Hello Richard,

Thank you for your response to my 'righteous anger'. I
wonder how carefully you chose that phrase, bearing in mind
the old saw that it is the only thing bullies cannot deal
with?

I am also relieved to see that the 'gangster model' as you
term it is now deemed acceptable.

You end by saying "we seem a long ways from knowing how to
act collectively."

Were you not heartened by the strangely peaceful gatherings
in DC and SF recently? I think you underestimate the
'collective'. My reading of the present situation leads me
to suspect that vast numbers are just awaiting 'the' key
event that will plunge the present administration into total
chaos. The anger is mounting inexorably (5 new websites this
week alone, two of note - http://www.questionsquestions.net/
and http://www.9-11.co.uk/ ). Enron; Venezuela; Sharon, the
'man of peace';<insert next fiasco here>

How much longer do you think the most slippery and seemingly
untouchable mafia the world has ever seen can go on fooling
the entire populace? My guess is only as long as Cheney can
continue stonewalling the GAO and as long as Ashcroft does
not recuse himself from the New York cases.

Odd how it all hinges on legal formalities. The law is the
key, as Bush keeps hammering home. Are there no competent
and sufficiently brave lawyers on this list of yours able to
throw their weight behind congresspeople like McKinney,
Kucinich (http://www.thespiritoffreedom.com/) gratis?

As for the bugle and 'a charge', (delicious semiotics your
words conjure up), the only one I was contemplating at this
stage was to your credit cards. Powerful weapons on the
contemporary stage but for how much longer...?

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

'It is those who follow any authority blindly who are the
real danger.' Prof P. Zimbardo, Stanford University.

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

Dear Mango,

"Righteous anger" was meant in humor.  "Frustrated anger"
would be perhaps more truthful, or maybe "facetiousness".

I do agree with you that the movement has made considerable
progress in acting collectively.  But that process has been
limited to movement activists.  "We" as a society have a
long way to go.  And the movement's 'acting' hasn't been
able to get much beyond protest demonstrations.  The
movement has a good process but it doesn't yet have
long-term goals, nor any strategy for victory.  In that
sense, the movement also has a long way to go.

The administration is not going to plunge into chaos.
Despite mounting anger among some of us, the average
American thinks about displaying a flag rather than bringing
down the system.  The crises being faced by the
administration are all of their own making, and they are
managing the PR effectively.  McKinney is brave, but she
stands more or less alone in Congress.

Legal formalities have been helpful to us in the past, but
the system has adapted to that.  Disastrous appointments to
the Supreme Court have given us a panel of judges who
endorse election fraud and who sit quietly while the
Constitution is being nullified.  Traitors are running the
nation and we can't look to government institutions to
remedy the situation.

best regards,
rkm

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Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 01:15:07 -0800
To: •••@••.•••
From: "Fred V. Cook" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Documenting Le Grand Coup

Dear Richard,

I guess we need to clarify what we mean by political
leadership.  I mean people like Barbara Lee and Cynthia
McKinney, Michael Moore, and others with guts.  I was not
thinking of sold-out politicians.

I agree that democracy is very much a work-in-progress and
that what little we had in the US suffered a huge hit in the
months following 9/11.  I agree with you that it make sense
to view it a coup.

Are you saying that efforts to expose the scam are
pointless?  That we should just focus on the potentially
winnable battles which are coming and avoid dealing with
battles which are lost already?

Do you think that making and distributing a documentary
which assembled the full range of evidence and tied it to
documentation which people could delve into for themselves
would make a difference?  I'm pretty sure there will be a
Congressional "investigation", just like there was a "Warren
Commission".  What I've been hoping is that we could force
some of the lies into the open by providing adequate and
DRAMATIC enough evidence to the public so that there would
be a demand that the key questions be raised and
satisfactorily answered.

If you know of good folks who are already working on such a
documentary, please let me know.  I'd rather support their
efforts than duplicate or compete.

Do you think that this is a futile pursuit?  If so, why?

My worst fear is that if the powers that be thought a search
for the truth might succeed that they'd  preempt any move
toward more democracy with a new round of terrorist attacks.

I'd like to understand more of how you're seeing the
situation - and what YOU think the positive possibilities
for basic change are at this moment in history.

Thanks for all your good work,
Fred

===========

Dear Fred,

The question of leadership is a deep one.  When I say that
leadership is part of the problem, what I really mean is
that the concept of 'following a leader' is
counter-democratic.  Here I am in sympathy with our first
contributor, T, above, who doesn't want to join a group and
be told what to do.  As Bob Dylan said, "Don't follow
leaders".  And Howard Zinn, who I was fortunate enough to
meet in a small gathering, said "Americans are always
looking for a white knight to save them."  Leadership in the
sense of providing inspiration, or education, is a good
thing.  Leadership in the sense of granting authority to a
'trusted person' is not.  We may be in agreement on this
point.

The 911 scam does need to be exposed to the general public,
but I don't think there's much more we can do along those
lines on this list.  A good documentary would be a good
thing, but the problem is getting air time for it.  In fact,
I think Ruppert already has a video out, but you won't see
it on CNN.  There are many messages that the public needs to
receive, but how?  Control over the media is the key to
maintaining our current tyranny, and that control is not
going to be relaxed.  My own belief is that the public can
only be reached by face-to-face communication.  This could
be in the form of community meetings, of an appropriate
character, or it could be in the form of some kind of
travelling road show.  When people read something in
isolation it has less effect than when they receive the
information in the company of their friends and neighbors.

What do I think about the positive possibilities for basic
change?  There is only one possibility, and that is the
right kind of movement.  Movements are the only thing that
has ever made changes.  The 'anti-globalization' movement
has many of the right features, including its
anti-capitalist orientation and its decentralized consensus
process.  But as I said above, it must get beyond protest
demonstrations.  Demanding changes from the regime is a waste
of time.  The regime itself is the problem.  Any reforms
which might be granted only serve to preserve the regime in
power.  And the granting of reforms is no longer going to
happen.  That's one of the characteristics of globalization.

In order to succeed, the movement must see itself as the
replacement of the current regime.  And it must reach out to
all segments of society.  If there is one single thing that
is the key to revolutionary change, it is the coming
together of the grass-roots left and right.  That will be
the political equivalent of nuclear fusion.  Divide and
conquer is what keeps us in chains; coming together is what
can break those chains.

thanks for your contributions,
rkm

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From: "Margaret Wyles" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: More discussion re/ The Grand Coup
Date: Sat, 04 May 2002 18:28:28 -0700

Richard:

I would agree with most of what you articulated in your
various most recent exchanges.  However, one matter I would
NOT agree with is this comment:

    > 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.

I'm not certain as to your sources in this regard, but I
would site the following facts that contradict your
assertion.  The S&P is selling at 65 times earning.  The
historical average is 15 to 1. So that makes the S&P over
four times more expensive than it should be --or at least
has been-- providing the investor no more than 24 cents of
value for every dollar invested in an S&P stock.  Further,
of the "profit" extracted from the system, a precariously
large percentage of it comes from monetary and accounting
transactions, not from the profits made from the production
of real goods.

As a very successful capitalist has oft repeated to me, "the
only problem with capitalism is competition."  The "crisis"
that we are experiencing is in large measure a result of
shrinking profit margins due to increased competition,
excessive inventories and a static consumer base unable to
absorb the additional inventories.  The result of these
economic difficulties can be seen in the capitalist's need
to resort to accounting trickery a la Enron, and a gloves
off approach on the part of the military in its effort to
secure for its masters the resources (both human and
natural) that remain in the rest of the world.  One can
fault them for their brutality but not for their logic.

As for Chomsky, well...., to paraphrase what the French
writer Jacques Ellul points out in his book on propaganda,
the liberal is the easiest to propagandize as he can't
believe his government is run by a bunch of thugs and
thieves.

==========

Dear Margaret,

Your comments about '65 time earnings' and 'monetary and
accounting transactions' are valid, but that simply explains
~how~ record-breaking corporate profits are achieved. 
Genuine growth has stopped, and so other kinds of growth
have been developed out of necessity.  Besides the ones you
have pointed out, there is also monopolization -
consolidation of ownership into a handful of TNCs.  This
allows those TNCs to keep growing by simply swallowing up
existing businesses - with no real growth in the overall
economy.

Such techniques may eventually run out of steam, but by that
time everything in the world will be owned by a few TNCs,
and the rest of us will be in poverty.  At that point, they
can introduce some kind of neo-feudalism to replace
capitalism.  That won't be a solution for us.

ciao,
rkm

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Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 14:00:08 -0700
From: B
Subject: Re: More discussion re/ The Grand Coup
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>

Richard, yet another great cyberjournal issue, with
perceptive contributions by correspondents and your usual
consistent and even replies. I still think you should
develop the first-ever campaign for President via the
Internet. But on a more realistic subject, I'd like to agree
with your initial assessment of Chomsky and suggest you back
away from the apologetic tone of some of your replies. Of
course I realize you mostly said that you weren't that
familiar with Chomsky's work, and based on the professed
knowledge of others and the titles of a few books you were
content to grant Chomsky the benefit of the doubt. Don't
bother.

While I've got over a dozen books by Chomsky, I haven't read
them all, nor all of any one of them. They pretty much defy
being read. I think I have read enough to make a judgment,
and I have attended several lectures by Chomsky, including
one recently. Also, he's frequently on Amy Goodman's
Democracy Now as well as local KPFA programs.

A good 7 years ago my daughter, her Cuban boyfriend, and I
attended a Chomsky lecture on the crisis in the Mideast.
After he finished my daughter was crying, the boyfriend was
laughing, and I was nonplussed. She found the lecture
depressing, with no hope offered. Her radical Cuban BF had
long since concluded that "government sucks" and found humor
in Chomsky's support for this view. I found it to be yet
another institutional analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian-US
reality, with no way out proposed.

The recent lecture at USF, the local Catholic university,
was packed to the window sills, without even floor space in
the aisles. Luckily no fire marshal came along. His
convoluted and sardonic style were so confusing that I
wondered if the youngsters were getting it. Regardless, the
lecture droned on for about an hour with historical details
from the '80s and '90s. Some in the audience left during the
lecture, and many bolted before the Q&A began. The people
who invited me were angry at Chomsky for failing to suggest
anything to be done and for "depressing all the kids here."
Active in the School of the Americas Watch and other
organizations, they found the intellectual circumlocution
more as bragging than teaching.

Their "gut" reaction, along with my daughter's and her
boyfriend's, reinforces the thought I've had about Chomsky
for many years now -- namely that the Establishment is quite
content with his role in the New Left scene. I think his
institutional analysis serves to paralyze the Left, and the
Powers-That-Be are more than delighted to allow free speech
so long as it leads to confusion, apathy, and inaction by
their opponents.

In your post I especially liked mango's gangster metaphor (
http://www.environment.org.uk/activist/),
but mostly because he is zeroing in on the "actors"
component of the equation, not the institution of gangsters.
Real people draw up the plans and pay for their execution.
Institutions don't do anything, which is the main point that
academics and Chomsky routinely miss. At mango's website
there is a lot of focus, in the movement for change, on
fighting real people. Unfortunately there are no lists of
the key actors, who are responsible for such as the
assassinations of key political leaders from Patrice Lamumba
through the Kennedys and King and up to Danny Casolaro and
others in recent years. There are no email addresses and
phone numbers for the heads of multinational corporations
and key government officials the world over. But it is
important that we acknowledge that these are real people,
making real decisions/plans, and paying with real dollars.
And, yes, they have an agenda, which is not hidden and which
by itself is enough for us to act upon. We may not know
exactly who is ordering and paying for what, but we know the
broad outlines, and this is one focus of the politics we
need to pursue. Whether the current Resident

As you pointed out, Chomsky denies that there was a
conspiracy behind the murder of JFK. If we take this as an
attempt to gain acceptance in the academy, and that he knows
better, then we must wonder why he is helping prop up their
insular view of the world. If we take this no-conspiracy
view as the real Chomsky, then we can see his
blinders, which profoundly influence his overall analysis.
Regardless, other historians do a better job of laying out
the facts, which is why Chomsky is not on my "must read"
list.

In short, over the years I have come to view the actor vs.
institution axis of analysis as a key indicator of where a
person is coming from, and what to expect in terms of both
analysis and suggested solutions. Our world today (media,
schooling, government, etc.) focuses on passive acceptance
of the various stimuli pouring in, consistent with having
the institutional view incessantly marketed to us, with our
being consumers of everything from ideas and values to
gismos they want us to buy in order sustain their rapacious
capitalist machine. The institutional-structural analysis of
Chomsky, the academics, and numerous others is entirely
consistent with capitalism. They claim to rail against it,
but they're actually selling it.
 
Keep up the good work.

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