Friday, October 5, 2012

No End in Sight

Black. Iron. Prison.

Via Melitta.
Yesterday, Greek dockworkers stormed the Defense Ministry. As a result their Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, spoke out:
Greek democracy stands before what is perhaps its greatest challenge,” Samaras told the German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview published hours before the announcement in Berlin that Angela Merkel will fly to Athens next week for the first time since the outbreak of the crisis.
Resorting to highly unusual language for a man who weighs his words carefully, the 61-year-old politician evoked the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party to highlight the threat that Greece faces, explaining that society “is threatened by growing unemployment, as happened to Germany at the end of the Weimar Republic.”
“Citizens know that this government is Greece's last chance,” said Samaras, who has repeatedly appealed for international lenders at the EU and IMF to relax the onerous conditions of the bailout accords propping up the Greek economy.
The government is waging a battle on all fronts for the nation's credibility and its future so that the sacrifices made by Greeks aren't lost,” he said, referring to the spending cuts and tax increases that have sparked record levels of poverty and unemployment. “I will not allow the country to become a free-for-all.”
With all due respect, Mr. Samaras, the country is already in a free-for-all state. Fascists are killing immigrants in broad daylight.

Viewed from afar, one fails to detect the hand that the Eurozone crisis has been dealt from almost all sides. What began in 2008 with the economic collapse that appeared to be due to American regulatory failures has quickly turned out to be a world-wide problem, involving banks, an endless array of scandals, and corruption.

Gordon covers quite a bit of it with his last post. But most interesting, he hits on some of his comments on the rise of fascism across the continent (another friend of mine, who just returned home from schooling in Amsterdam, confirmed that this rise extends well beyond Greece):
“This was a day or so after Jason and I had had an email discussion about these spectral Nazis I keep seeing whenever I go to the Continent of late. Some of it is down to the research I’m doing for an upcoming post series, but there are enough syncs with my personal and professional life (in ways I can’t currently go into) to make me take notice.

For instance, last week in Spain, while waiting for the taxi out the front of the hotel, I saw two spectral SS officers rattle past on a Mercedes bike and sidecar.

Thing of it is… those roads would have been built in the fifties at the earliest. They weren’t ghosts. It feels like… you know that theory about how a living person’s human energies can ‘activate’ a spirit playback of certain events in a haunted location? It feels like that. There is an inevitability to the unfolding events without any particular agency causing them. Since then, there have been a few posts and discussions about a creepy WWII feeling to the world, so I’m assuming it’s not exclusively a personal experience.

Just before they collapse, some old worldviews have a tendency to spawn cancerous versions of themselves. It is possible our apocalypse has taken a turn for the Dark.”
I more or less agree with Gordon. While America hasn't seen a rise in Fascism, per se, other toxic elements of our culture have emerged. The culture war on women being waged by the GOP and Tea Party enthusiasts are a reflection of the same habit: the belief, much like that held by the fascists of the past, that we have simply not been hard enough on everyone, and the only way to save ourselves is to begin forcing everyone to abide a small minority's set of insane beliefs. In America, we've also turned on immigrants (see: Arizona and SB1070, and other places where “immigration reform” became toxic), and even the movements sparked by our own dissatisfied youth. Consider the rioting in Oakland during the Occupy protests and the response: it's all part of the same side of the coin.

Whether or not we realize it, these events overlap in both the mindset they display, the responses our society has had to the corruption festering within it, and our inability to change our course as a culture. Start watching the patterns as they emerge and you can see where we're headed...

And I hate every single, toxic, stinking moment of it.

Whether the end blows come from Peak Oil, another war in Europe due to the rise of fascism, or environmental damage... Don't expect the end to come quickly. That is highly unlikely.

The next ten years will probably suck the world over. I've decided to follow Phil Dick's lead and stick to the fringes. Moving outside that element right now is pure insanity and just asking to become a target.

[EDIT:] For more, see Bro. Valentine's latest Doom Fairy installment. Also edited for added links at the top.


V.V.F. said...

The Empire never ended.

Scylla said...

"The revolution will not be televised. But it will none-the-less be broadcast on every screen. Every degree of the dial. Every rhythmic click of plastic keys. It will be in your country, your city, your heart. It will be everywhere and it will be invisible. Because you wanted a revolution, and when it came you stood around pulling your dicks." - The Heirophant Himself.

Gordon said...

Yep. Taking PKD's lead is wisdom. That's certainly how I plan to cope.

Gordon said...

Oh... and the attacks on the rights of women? Spot on.

Satyr Magos said...

All too true.

I shifted from my career in jewelry to my pursuit of professional academia about a year before these trends became really apparent. By the time I heard the clue phone ringing, I was already committed. At this point, I'm hoping to weather the storm in school and that I'll emerge into a world where shit is slightly less fucked. (No, I'm not holding my breath.) If my foresight had been better, I'd have tried to settle a little further out from center, both geographically and occupationally.

Your ten-year estimate is a nice, rock-bottom figure. I'm really, really hoping it doesn't turn out to be twenty years or longer. Two or three generations wouldn't be out of step, though, with the collapses of other great, relatively isolated, economic and military powers. The Western Roman Empire took as long to collapse as it did in large part because it had no neighbors powerful enough to knock it over and gobble it up.

I'm also going to go ahead and argue that we already have crossed the line into fascism here in the US. It just looks a little funny here because nationalism looks a little different here, and we're too big to fall under the sway a single charismatic leader... so, instead, there are a dozen or so leaders with followings of various sizes, but all of whom are preaching about the same things. Semantic arguments about what does and does not count as fascism aside, however: whatever it is that the US is doing is currently scaring me out of my mind.

Brother Christopher said...

this is probably a high flight of fancy, but why aren't we, as witches, sorcerers, magicians etc..., doing something about this?

but then, maybe this is the mechanism for the production of positive nonzero sumness on a global scale?

Lance Michael Foster said...

Where can I learn more about PDK's strategy to cope with what's coming?

Jack Faust said...

@Bro. Chris: Even if I did plan to do something, I wouldn't post it on blogspot. LOL. Just sayin'.

@Lance: That... Actually, I may write a post about that. But the short version? Read VALIS and pick up a copy of the newly/finally published first volume of Dick's Exegesis. It's pretty much loaded with awesome.

@Gordon: Sigh. I saw that. I don't even... It started here, you know.

Harold Roth said...

Yes, I am back to reading your blog, despite my advanced age.:) I really enjoyed this post of yours. Timely for me. Last night, a friend and I spent hours trying to untangle what were the differences between the visions of fascism we had back in the early 70s, when we met in SDS, and how it is actually playing out now. We marveled at our naivete. I started it by emailing him that I keep feeling like I am in Weimar Germany and am missing the clues that it's time to gtfo. Stay on the fringe is also my plan and has been for quite a while. Didn't get it from Philip K. Dick but from gardening. But whatever works for people to keep sanity and maintain some smidgen of honor as thing fall apart. Not so sure if it will take ten years, but that sounds more likely than the 2-3 years I hear a lot.