Friday, April 2, 2021


- Why did you want to meet here? 
- This is where you demanded a hundred dollars* from the religious school students to allow them to perform their ritual on you?
- Yes, they come here Friday afternoons. Do you think, when you try to talk to our countrymen and find it impossible, it is because they are stupid, or deliberately misinformed, or because they have thrown themselves head over heels into the pursuit of bad intentions?
- All three at once. They're been deliberately misinformed into a state of stupid self-absorpsion with their own evil intentions. 
- On my way up to the University this morning I stopped near the new medical school building to talk with a man adjusting a remotely operated quadcopter. I asked him what he was doing.

- I'm setting up a shot for a video I'm making.
- For what?...You won't answer?
- Starbucks, actually. I'm making an instructional video.
- Instructing what?
- Kindness.
- I'll tell you about Starbucks and kindness. A bent over little woman in her 60s with nothing more than the clothes she is wearing, not so much as a plastic bag of possessions, used to fall asleep nights on the bench built against the outside wall of the West Hollywood Starbucks for the few hours they were closed. To get rid of her Starbucks took to hosing down the bench at closing time. This woman now spends the night in Westwood, Village, outside Dennys down the street from here, on the public sidewalk, throwing herself down on the sidewalk pavement, cheek directly on the concrete, no bedding of any kind, restaurant customers carefully stepping around her and the puddle of liquid streaming from her. At the Beverly Hills Starbucks a few mornings back the manager told to leave a emaciated black man who protested to her that he was cold and wet, had been sleeping on the grass outside the church when the sprinklers turned on. He was cold! Didn't she understand? Can't he stay a few minutes? No, if he doesn't go she'll call the police. Why couldn't she let him stay? I asked the manager after the shivering fellow left. She can't lose her job, she answered. She can and does help people like this man, but she can't do it on the job. That is the truth about Starbucks kindness: company policy is to turn a kind person into an unkind person.
- The tens of thousands on the streets is a problem that has to be addressed by the government, not Starbucks.
- Starbucks and the other large corporations bribe the government into policies that create the problem. The stockholders of Starbucks and of other corporations want the company to talk about kindness but don't want the company to talk about why there is a need for kindness, about the unkind behavior of the rich, the corporate stock owners.
- That is one point of view. I've got to go to work and earn a living.
- A requirement for your earning a living is not talking and not thinking.

- And you let him go?
- No, not before I revealed to him that he was stupid, had been deliberately misinformed by his slave master employers, that he was selfishly evil-intentioned. 
- Do you think what's happening here is related to what we were talking about last time, consciousness and homeostasis?**
- I do.
- We respond to the world, then respond to the responded to world, then respond to that world. A cycle, or a spiral, if we imagine ourselves advancing, like in science, or retreating, which is what we are seeing here maybe. But how does it happen we get locked into this downward spiral?
- Simple: it is the familiarity of deadlock itself that is the attraction, that provides the adhesive force. As the people stupidly repeat the evil hatred deliberately sold to them they feel safe in the habit, and the more they rely on this repetition the less able they are to see the world clearly and therefore respond to the world creatively. The more the rich impoverish everyone else, making them insecure, the more stupidly the people repeat the indoctrinated ideas, the more they admire the rich for the security represented by money that has become their sole goal. Locked out are intelligence, sympathy, understanding, the result of an economy become religion enforcing its own cycles of destructive repetition: in the violence inherent in accepting the status of slave working as a employee, in the violence of being a consumer seeking the lowest price from sellers seeking the highest, in the violence of being locked in a system itself suicidal in always requiring new external populations to buy the products in excess of what the slaves can buy with their salaries, the collective slave wages being less than the price of the collected products they have made because the employer's profit has been added. Only the additional buyers outside the home market in a colony can buy those products with the money earned from raw materials sold to the colonizing country. When the colonized cannot buy more because their raw material income has run out, and there are no more populations to colonize, the employers begin to colonize their home populations, getting them in debt by manipulating unemployment and prices, then repossessing collateral of defaulters.*** The slaves continuously fight their masters, buyers continuously fight sellers, each economically trapped individual continuously fights the collective fate of the economically defined civilization, seeing danger everywhere, and feeling safety in repetatively seeing danger everywhere, becoming paranoid in work, consumption and national destiny.
- Ending with the rich having everything and the rest with nothing, with what the rich exclusively live for - selling to their slaves the products they themselves have made - become impossible, exposing the rich as being as stupid, self-indoctrinated and evil as their victimized slaves, locked down like everyone else in their death cult of money. When do the Yeshiva students usually show up here?
- Just before sunset and the beginning of Sabbath.
- And do they exhibit too all three characteristics of our time and place? Stupidity, self-absorption, indoctrination?
- You decide. Last week when the two kids showed up and I demanded again my $100 and refused otherwise to submit to their ritual a whole crowd of their fellow students surrounded me, and while trapped within their circle, my cap whipped off my head, one of my imprisoners recited the required prayer.
- So you were gang ritualed! We're they laughing?
- No, but I was. They were deadly serious and dispersed without a word.

Further Reading:
*** See: Michael Hudson, America’s Neoliberal Financialization