Consequences are simple
“All thoughts that have huge consequences are always simple. My idea is that since vicious people unite with one another and become strong, then honest people must but do the same. It’s that simple.”Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Easter always brings on unique challenges just like Christmas. At Christmas, the challenge generally is on the competition between consumerism vs spirituality. Should we worship the God of Money in how we behave, show off our ability to spend, and dispense charity towards others? Or do we really try to spend our days contemplating the miracle of life despite hardships, a trail of tears, and the bitterness of knowing so little redress?
At Easter, we must fight off elation and hubris, the temptation to over-indulge in the happinesses of Spring and her rites. Should we devour everything that we can steal or deflower by night? Should we capitalize on someone else’s rights and intelligence by claiming it as our own? Shall we spend our days banking on the future of others, speculating on their behalf while mocking their poverty, as Moloch tempts us to do?
As a past educator, I know when someone does something wrong, such as cheating or stealing someone’s ideas. Sure there is really very lax rules nowadays. 2+2=5 if the powers that be have a new law that says so. However the laws of Nature do not change. We can see how useless Law is at the end of our short time. We may mandate God to extend our life, but even Faust had a final accounting after his deals with the Devil.
Cheating and stealing stain the conscience. Once, I thought a student had a brilliant idea for greening the environment, and I decided to embed it in an article but without giving him credit for coming up with that. It was a rotten thing to do, and I could sense that student sensed I had done that too. I felt bad about it, since the University was a public one, and many of the students relied on financial aid. At least I never did it again.
Even citing a term coined by Chris Hedges—and being a brilliant preacher and writer he does coin a lot of new terminology–without a citation that he was the inventor is a form of plagiarism. I try to cite him, even if there isn’t really space to digress at large and fully explain the aptness of the phraseology.
Recently I came up with the term “academic personhood” myself—it just came naturally if one thinks about how deeply embedded various corporations are now in K-12 education and beyond. We encourage high school students to invest in University brand names, and those universities, in turn, invest in the bragging rights over their students. It’s a “scratch my back so I can scratch yours” kind of deal, if there is some success wrought from the process. Students don’t know how heavily brainwashed they are by such branding till many years later.
There is “media personhood” as well. I congratulate Glenn Greenwald over the success of his podcast on Rumble. When he first started, with his nasal voice and sort of fumbling about at times, I thought he was a much better writer than presenter. But now he appears to have become acclimated to his new brand online, and is no longer bitter about his break up with The Intercept. Anyway this is another case, like recently at Project Veritas, where the board created subsumes the head, but that genius must find a new home.
We have many instances in America where once a company is taken public it is ruled by the stockmarket board, and all that board is interested in is the growth of capital. So whether it is academia, or media, there is a need to gain control, constrict, weaponize, accrue, and dispense with the information in ways which those at the top hope to shape public opinion. Right now that happens also to be tied with violent campaigns, campaign for resources, for continued extraction and exploitation.
Each time the European heads of state visit China, the mainstream media tend to downplay that, because it does not fit the worldview that China is an enemy-state. If it were such an enemy-state, why are corporations still lining up to do business there? If China were such an enemy-state, why is it even trying to create new “model-China manufacturing” in Africa, exporting its manufacturing model so that the African middle-class can grow and free itself from European debt servitude?
The capitalist ideas of opportunism are lauded by academia and media in the do-what-I-do-not-what-I-say practice of ruthless competitiveness and self-marketing. In Old China, the greeting was generally “where have you come from, where are you going” to emphasize the appreciation of the person and the present. But there is no such thing today, when the greeting is always a fixation with creating a label-and-niche that the Other must subscribe with for all time.
When people believe the labeling then they are too deeply attached, and this attachment becomes its own silo filtering thinking outside its box, thinking big picture, and appreciating all of life, even the feathery clouds floating by every day.
When for instance, Americanuck Radio says he is only interested in the person, not the news, he really does seem momentarily correct. All churches nowadays emphasize growth of the individual soul as if it were formally and analytically divorced from society. But the fact remains that we are born and nurtured in the social environment; we cannot alter our nature alone. We must navigate a society that is riven increasingly from global wars conducted abroad and hitting home in the many hidden social costs.
When someone cheats, it is a rotten thing to do. This is particularly because we are told we can trust authority, establishment, alternative establishment, giant figures, ministers, agencies who tell us they must be trustworthy because they are paid to be responsible. However there are many backroom meetings, mission burnout, surrogate authority figures, and troublesome hacks that we are not told about. Redacted, Inc. uses expert researchers and since coming online only a couple years ago, they are now aspiring to compete with Russell Brand. When they name-drop Brand, laud Harry Potter, hawk the Superbowl, and praise precious metals, it is safe to presume that they are not all they are cranked out as.
But Redacted, Inc does do some decent interviews. I was more impressed with the investigative work on-the-ground done by Status Coup News actually—their coverage on the train derailment merits a watchdog award—including with various residents, parents, Erin Brockovich, and walks around the new toxic waste town. That would be the most apropos thing to do is to rename East Palestine, Ohio as “Toxic Waste Town” or “Superfund Dump Town” to help the nation and EPA wake up on all that needs to be done there, including the safe relocation of all residents for several years.
And this is exactly what happens when cheating matures into a managerial status with a heavy-grade and classification status. It is a like a childhood friend and classmate we once had who was so bright and winsome, but who absolutely was completely brainwashed when it came to capitalism and consumerism. Even playing the game “Monopoly” she had to cheat and tuck fake play money under the board so she had all the extra stash of play money to buy up more fancy homes with than anyone else…
In the book, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, a very fine Russian writer, he is requoted (in the movie version by Mosfilm) as saying essentially, for the good to overcome the bad, they must band together. Just as the bad band together to create destruction, so the good must band together to create peace. Here there is the war brought on as Napolean invaded Moscow in the War of 1812. For at least five weeks there was much burning, looting, and taking of prisoners for butchery. Yet when it was apparent that no peace agreement could be wrought, and the French were forced to retreat, the Moscovites did not wreak vengeance. On the contrary the great General Kutuzov allowed the war conducted by Nature to do its worse, and as the General was wont to say, “They shall be forced to eat horsemeat.” Anyway the Russian Army could have wrought the worst kind of vengeance, but they did not, and they instead returned to Mother Russia to rebuild and recover from all the destruction.
This was not merely forgiveness, but it was seeking to live charitably and peacefully as religious Christians should do. Whether or not the online newspaper CRG recognizes how it has changed, that there is no longer an index of authors, that there is a coterie of authors that replicates the mainstream media in its predominantly white-alt-good-old-boyism, that readers must sense the irony that the news is being “exposed” by a privileged pack of groupies (perhaps even creative arts agency affiliated), that they do as much to fence out writers or relegate them to one-time publishing.
It’s another when they also view any submission as becoming their intellectual property. It is not. There is an inviolate that states that what one does remains the originator’s copyright, and there is no need for a creative-commons licence to be displayed. However we have seen other NGOs do this as it is such an easy and tempting overtaking. Open up an online news-group, and establish a board, and soon the in-fighting has become so overwhelming that the news group falls apart and everything becomes frozen in time. Of course it has also happened that Examiner.com folded up because it was probably tired of too many independent voices reporting truth in media. The same with another small group blog that sold itself to a private university news bank. In fact, a whole bunch of once-freely accessible archives are transforming into “digital revenue” at the hands of speculators. How else to explain why the Internet Archive is now worth $36.7 million dollars, capitalizing on the assets of so many websites and domains, and the backs of so many poorly paid bloggers?
We can accept this peaceably or not. A professor warned that Microsoft can claim intellectual ownership of anything published through its operating system. And Facebook has problems stemming from exploitation of photos being published for use in advertising. There is the predatory practices embedded in Amazon culture to worry about. Countless opportunists can and probably are pilfering stuff online to profit at your expense. Meanwhile, any corporate HR person will assure you that self-publishing is a valueless work.
Tommorrow Google might decide to shut down Blogger, and then many people may see their blogs disappear overnight just like once there was GeoCities. Now many aspiring writers and retirees are finding Substack to be the fad, even though, per usual, there is a coterie of name-brands actually paid well enough so that everyone is attracted to join.
We are a trendist society, another high-price for capitalism, where anything can be shut down tommorrow even one’s own domain. So the best thing to do is to always keep multiple copies of your work. Do not submit to any place or anywhere you do not trust. Realize that trust is too easily compromised today. Find your voice in other outlets, however small or humble. The giants of the earth have fallen—they used to exist in North America—now they are entombed here and there, such as in Appalachia or in the Midwest. Our “experts” like to hide information they deem is unfit for the public to know. They want you to submit articles because it makes them feel powerful, like curators of a museum housing so many items that really originated elsewhere.
The reasons the Russians were able to overcome the French and all the foreign-armies that signed up with Napolean was because the will of the Russian people remained strong and faithful. It was a nationalism felt from the top to the bottom, a fervor shared by all, and at the root of it, the Russian peasant was loyal because they were not debased. The peasants were more like the yeomen in Britain, while the royals knew the hardness of the Russian winters.
Writers as well love their readers and care about humanity; they look forward to its betterment, the best of them do. There is no time for angerness or bitterness in the melee of war when the time must be in preparation for action in the promotion of world peace.