Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Everybody Knows

Jeff Wells on symbols, the Libby non-frog march, 9/11, and of course, flying sorcerers:

...the Internet reaction is as rich as it is predictable, and ineffectual. Instead of America's streets, America's chatrooms are filled, because its citizens have been given them for the appearance of a commons, and clatter with indignant typing. But 10 million people posting We're not gonna take it anymore! isn't a revolution. It isn't even a Twisted Sister song.

That's the bad news. The good news is it's a Leonard Cohen song
. [my link to MJS, who also picked up on this vibe albeit in a very different way]

...What hath Bush wrought? If nothing else, he's made semiotics everybody's business, whether everybody realizes it or not. Under the Bush years, the signs by which Americans and much of the Western world have lived have become so evidently estranged from what they allegedly signify that they now suggest little more than the lies told by Power to maintain itself. "Freedom," "democracy," "justice": Everybody knows. Among other things, Bush is the Deconstruction President.

In The Trickster and the Paranormal, George Hansen has this to say:

"It is commonly assumed that there is a simple, objective correspondence between the signifier and the signified even thought they are separate entities. It is assumed that language is only a set of names for things, events, and concepts. These assumptions are incorrect, but few recognize the extent of the implications. This lies at the heart of deconstructionism, and magic."

There is power in the act of naming, because it imbues meaning to a thing - or to an event or a concept - that has no necessary correspondence to the thing itself. This was evident even on the morning of September 11, when the event of the attacks receded behind their purported meaning even as they were still under way. And then soon after, the breathless reporting of Bush's confirmation that this means war, albeit against an abstract noun which would nevertheless cost at least hundreds of thousands of actual lives.

From the start there was an institutional incuriousness about the attacks, as there so often is when the institutions themselves benefit by them ("Blair rejects 7/7 inquiry calls"; "Putin rejects public Beslan inquiry"). Naturally any circle of high conspirators would be reluctant to have any light shed on the criminal events they enabled, but there's a far broader circle of reluctance, that partakes of the Power that is enabled by the meaning of the crime. That is, those who stood to benefit by 9/11 were not limited to the relatively small number of perpetrators within the institutions of public life, because the perpetrators themselves partook of the larger circle of institutional power. Much of corporate media, including "alternative" corporate media, became co-conspirators after the fact simply by habit, because they inhabit and thrive within that outer circle. To acknowledge the possibility of a high crime of the magnitude of Kennedy's assassination or 9/11 would be an invitation, not to gentle reform, but to revolution. And institutional power sends out such invitations only when it sees how it can come out on top again.

Event and meaning is also an issue for the 9/11 Movement, which unfortunately has come to mirror some of the White House's most dumbed-down Manichaeism. For the leaders and proponents of the "New Truth" movement, as with the evangelists of the "Official Story," meaning has almost entirely effaced event. For some, the actual crimes of hijacked aircraft striking buildings have vanished all together, and in their place has been substituted "controlled demolition" and something, anything other than Flight 77 striking the Pentagon. Why? Because the actual event is perceived as of insufficient significance to support the sign of "Inside Job."

But that's a failure of political language which doesn't know the nuance of parapolitics, and it is one which allows those inside, to one degree or another, to define our terms for us. What does "Inside Job" mean? It doesn't mean Executive Branch; it doesn't mean, as with other empty jargon, "Bush knew." I've written before that many who push 9/11 as an Inside Job want to push Osama right out of the picture, but bin Laden is himself inside the security-narcotics-terror nexus, composed of factions that interpenetrate one another, which sometimes compete and sometimes strike strategic alliances depending upon what advantages they believe they can gain. Peter Dale Scott recently quoted a Russian general, who said that "9/11 changed the direction of the world in the direction desired by transnational oligarchs and and an international mafia." Scott also said, and I agree, that "I find it very hard to believe that the Bush administration either let or made it happen. It's clear that people within government were involved, but we should avoid condemning an entire administration."

I'd ask any who take exception to my position or to Scott's remark to ponder the course of 9/11 justice after the Bush administration leaves office, while the statecraft of clandestine power which preceded it, remains...

Another long ramble of a post from Jeff, but well worth reading, as are many of the comments.

So it's come down to this: we are a species that uses symbolic logic. But what happens when our premisses are invalid?

What happens when a species selects for intelligence not only for the ability to use symbols, but to lie about it?

Garbage in, garbage out. It's useful as a tactic to a point, but as a long term strategery, the Big Lie ends up only deluding the liars. Or so we'd like to think, fooling ourselves once more.

No comments: