Listen to Radio Mike Ballard

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August, 2016

It begins as the coldest morning in years. By 2pm the weather is perfect. Sunflower yellow surrounds me under blue blue skies. A Sacred Ibis rides the thermals above my head wide circles like a Vulture only pretty instead of ugly. The Sun does not burn this time of year. Bees and flowers are around me all year long. Next door a couple argues as their kid cries. The kid cries a bit. I'm pretty sure their kid is a girl. She is mobile without speech yet. But expression. Yes she has that. She has both joy and sorrow in her life as told by her good humoured giggles and her baby cries for attention. She articulates sadness about 10% of her waking time. A certain norm is formed here. The man's voice is away a bit. I suspect he's doing FIFO work. I was a young teen when we said "that's bad" and it meant that it was dangerously good. Of course things can be dangerously bad as well. Those things wouldn't have been "bad". By then it's too late. I'm not killing myself. I'm living to the fullest I can live until I die. I decided to adopt a vegetarian diet in order to save money for retirement. I'm notorious for saying things I'm not supposed to say. I mean making honest observations in public. The left has allowed people with Puritanical moral tendencies to dominate it. This has led to its demise and increasing irrelevance in terms of changing the power relations between classes. You understand it's healthier. Lots of hormones being added to meat combined with the trace residues of same from cosmetics in the treated sewage we drink. You're taking unnecessary risks with your health. I adopted a vegetarian diet back in '97. Almost 20 years now so long I don't ever have yearnings to go back to an omnivore's diet. I suppose that if there were no edible flora I'd go back to eating fauna. My ethics don't extend to my extinction. There is a regressive left. Regressive takes us backwards. This can occur when the leftist becomes so tolerant of relative cultural norms that political conservatism is given a free ride. Criticism is frowned upon as being reflective of privilege. Privilege becomes confused with an ahistorical humanity one in which the cultural practice no matter how oppressive it might look to the privileged has to be celebrated lest imperialist cultural norms colonise another culture for all cultures are treated apolitically as little separate boxes just as we are all tiny people leading our tiny lives unconnected from each other alienated in our automobiles relating mostly to electronic devices whose content is controlled by people only in it for the money. Culture and politics are socially intertwined. Cultural preferences like religion should be left to the private time of the individual. Once faith steps into the public sphere it becomes political. Another way regressive leftism can be seen is when it takes us backwards further away from controlling and socially owning what we produce. Thus a regressive tax for example a sales tax on petrol might be a measure which some on the left would support and call good green politics. In contrast a progressive tax on petrol companies' profits would be much better way to deal with the issue of air pollution especially if such a tax provided revenue for government constructed renewable energy stations. One could make the same argument vis a vis sin taxes on tobacco beer and other pleasures. Commodity sale in the marketplace is usually taken for granted amongst regressive leftists. Progressive leftists understand that the market is us and that buying and selling the commodity has now become an unnecessary mediation in human social relations. The black parrots fly in a northeasterly direction. It's warmer there. Not bad here though. Spring arrives earlier every year as we head into an ever warming climate. Already there are mosquitos. In the Northern Hemisphere this would be February's weather. I've gotten to the point where I am considered boring and pedantic. Nothing there. "There is no there there." Why bother posting what I think. It makes no difference. Might as well be dead for all the voice I have. "Dead men tell no tales". Who cares beyond the immediacies of everyday life. History can be an escape from them. It can become an empty abstraction. There are dramas of everyday life which I'll never know about nor take into consideration when I express myself. I'm sure it's the same with others. Nobody wants anything true. You can be easily forgotten. The sense of libidinous rage which powered the movement out of post WWII conservatism has been shunted into the background of forgotten memory. Once it was the case that back alley abortions were illegal because abortion was illegal. People went to jail for defying that law. They made themselves criminals. Today we have people defending religious conservatives who want to make abortion illegal again. Isn't it great when the people you don't like don't like you too. The problem lies with the faux amis who put you down as soon as you're not in their presence. Reading Alice Munro and B. Traven can definitely stimulate your imagination and critical thinking faculties. Listening to quality music can also increase well being methinks. Longevity does not have to be boring. I feel sorry for those people who cannot think of anything to do with themselves unless they're in harness to an employer of their time. Even though we're not getting enough rain here to support the population, and the fall is declining over the decade as the population rises, I still yearn for those sunny blue sky days which are coming with the spring equinox. At one time in my life I painted rooms the colours which I wanted to see. My bathroom was purple with yellow stars and my living room was tangerine. I never got around to painting the kitchen yellow and the bedroom dawnish from the floor going up to an increasingly black starry sky. My regrets have to do with repressed desire. Necessity trumps freedom every moment until it becomes unnecessary. I only needed one meal today. Brown rice fried in olive oil with purple onion dried chilies and fresh broccoli along with some cold cottage cheese. My drink was V-8. I love my cooking. I doubt most others would which is why I don't invite people to eat with me much unless we're in a pub or a restaurant. Faith is such a burden. God is always watching you. Privacy is non-existent. Cost-efficiency democracy is part and parcel of an ongoing commodification. Cheapness is a bourgeois principle. An attractive price can often result in a purchase we maybe shouldn't ought to have made. Census failures came out of this dynamic. I wish the anti-IS fighters well. Qaddafi would never have allowed IS to emerge in the first place. It's pretty much the same story in Iraq and Afghanistan. The neoconservative dream of militarily knocking off dictators and replacing them with pro-Western bourgeois democracies was a foreign policy mistake of gigantic proportions. It played right into the hands of the murderous feudalistic theocrats who yearn for their Caliphate. Our fearless leaders in the various political States of the world made pot illegal and locked people up for using it. In the USA the year was 1937. Thus class dominated society has demonstrated its uselessness once again by allowing moral prigs to make its laws. Capitalists are borrowing money from the Fed at near zero interest rates and then buying up shares in their companies to inflate their stock prices way above their value. What an absurd system for producing and distributing wealth we live under. If you're doing voluntary overtime without pay you're a fool aka "workaholic". The wage system makes mental cripples of so many. Life is for living and enjoying not for making capitalists richer by the moment. Deciding yourself how to spend your time is the luxury we should all be enjoying in this day and age. Reality is becoming increasingly irrational to our minds' eyes. Wake bake and fuck in that order. Not happening for you. You must this and that. Your chronic fatigue syndrome has an obvious source. Who wouldn't be depressed other than those oblivious to the lost potential of time gone stale. Why don't you fix the holes in your knees. Why do you use your free-time to tear holes in your jeans. As long as fashion is being determined from above it will be an unacceptable intrusion on my consciousness. But then I am vulgar. When people know what I really think I appear disgustingly rude. Good name for a rock band. What you may call dirty I can call stimulating. Prime time still eludes me. How does an idea become successful. What is the measure of success. The idea that humans can have a social relation with the machines they produce is absurd to me. It is Star Trek like speculative fiction amusing but ultimately sterile. Androids can be used to create wealth. They are tools humans use. Wage labour is a mode of producing wealth. Androids could never be wage-labourers. If wage-labour no longer existed another mode of producing wealth would exist but it would not be capitalism just as the slave mode of producing wealth was not capitalism or generalised wage-labour. Value is not produced by machines it is transferred from machines into commodities. I for one cannot relate to a machine as a friend. Perhaps some can. I would suggest that such a relation would be similar to the relationship between a caveman and his totem. Neither a slave nor a wage-slave is a machine. Capital is fundamentally a social relation not a thing. Machines would do nothing if we weren't here because such activity would be meaningless as it is humans who create meaning within their social relations. I hate being belittled. I'm sure I'm not alone. Belittlement is usually measured in terms of an ideal. An ideal of behaving is common. Sometimes you just want to withdraw into your own private thoughts. Accusations of bad behaviour flung in the direction of the belittled are supposed to be met with nods of agreement. They usually aren't. I must admit that I can totally understand why the proposition of living with me would be unappetising. Everything from my diet to my taste in music is based on unique tastes. How many hours of being at work do you have to put in in order to get a home mortgage. How many hours of work does it take to build a home. It must be disconcerting to the bourgeoisie that I do not have to report to a wage-slave driver every morning. I'm still suffering the indignities of renting though. Cleanliness inspections occur on a quarterly basis. But mostly I'm free to move about and do what I like within my means of purchasing said use-value in the marketplace of commodities. I achieve my desires when I daydream. My night dreams are surrealist plays. Must use this muse. Surplus value is value in surplus above the market price of the producer. Slaves produced plenty of surplus wealth for their owners. Labour power is the key to producing a surplus above immediate needs and that happens when private property in the means of producing wealth has occurred i.e. the domestication of plants and animals, debt and class rule by the owners of surplus wealth. Capitalists don't make a profit unless they can market the commodities produced by wage labour. If there is no wage labour there is no market for the commodities to be sold in. If there is no market for a commodity the commodity will not be produced. Use-value is in the eye of the beholder. The beholder is a human being. There can be no exchange-value without use-value. Human beings are necessary for commodity production and sale to take place. Human beings are necessary for value production to make sense because human beings are the ones who make sense of the world. I would argue that human beings would see no sense in allowing a few owners of robots to own all the wealth in society and that society would either undergo a social revolution or it would see humanity turned into a mass of broken wretches. What I'm concerned with is the workers knowing what the score is and the score is Capital won, workers zero. The workers need to be told that their instincts are right about the market being flooded with immigrants and how that plays into the social relation of Capital. They need to know that labour power is a commodity. You need to tell them that and stop lecturing them and me about our immorality or how we somehow control the political State's immigration policy. Of course, workers need to establish social ownership and democratic control over the collective product of their labour. But they're not going to do that by being morally cajoled by the left or hoodwinked by employees of rightist think tanks writing for the Murdoch Press. It is mid-August. I'm reading "Walking on Water" by Alice Munro when of a sudden I catch a glimpse of something out of my eye. Sacred Ibis circle clockwise above my head. They are 500 feet high. Others join the flock. These birds appear grey-black indistinguishable except for the white one. There must be 200 of them flying in wide circles. Each time they turn they seem to disappear until their bodies become flat against the blue sky again. After ten rounds they start flying counterclockwise repeating their long circular arcs until finally they disappear in a v-form toward the East to who knows where. The child next door coughs as she cries to her father appealing against his decision. Naps are such an issue for kids. Growing up we begin to appreciate the kind arms of Morpheus slipping around us. Segregation sucked dead donkeys' dicks dividing the working class and making humans legally believe that they were divided into races. Integration was great but much to the chagrin of many it also meant the integration of some of the formerly segregated "race" into the bourgeoisie. Of course this is just what the progressive bourgeoisie wanted. Such is the direction of bourgeois democracy with its equality of classes under the rule of laws which mostly protect private property and the sacred wages system of slavery. Nobody wants to hear this. Nobody wants to hear what is important to other people unless they can materially better themselves. Well maybe somebody does. But those somebodies are few and far between. He was born in Vietnam. He was fighting for Vietnam. His guts had been partially blown out in a blast as the battle of Long Tan between Vietnamese and Australian workers and peasants become soldiers took place. He was 21. He wrapped his guts back in tying his black pants tightly to keep them from spilling out as he raised his AK47 once again... In the end he and 240 or so of his comrades lay dead amongst the 18 workers born in Australia. Despite the superior firepower of their opponents resulting in higher casualty rates the Vietnamese State exists now. Its red flag with yellow star flies next to the Stars and Stripes just outside the building the two States share at their Perthian Consulates on Saint George Terrace. Wage-slavery continues. Emancipation for the producers has been put on the back burner as usual because the workers aren't ready in favour of free-trade deals made between class ruled governments. Care about free trade and the stock market workers. Be prepared to shed a tear when the Hang Seng goes down. But don't panic. Class rule and the exploitation of the producers go together like a horse and carriage. It is a marriage made to last for thousands of years. One hopes a breakup is possible. Monogamous marriage so important in the establishment of private property and the State. Certainly not the only factor involved still a major outcome of the historical process. I awake to pee at 2am. I'm sweating a bit. It's winter and I'm sleeping in the nude under a duna. As cold and rainy as it is it is still not cold and rainy enough. Such is the current state of affairs. You don't need a weatherman to know the climate's changing for the warmer. Every year brings us closer to the unbearable. Classwide class conscious organisation is the material force of the social revolution. Yeah, let religion range free like the cows in the pasture and goats in the glen. Mais oui, we must excuse ourselves and not wear French swimsuits on the beaches across the Med. T'would be culturally insensitive. Perhaps a Batman costume. BTW I have no problem with people proclaiming their sexylessness in society dressing up like the wives of Jesus and so forth in order to proclaim their faith. Wear what you like. As the old saying goes "what's good for the goose is good for the gander". People all over the place are wearing the uniforms required of them by the people who politically control them e.g. their bosses the religious police the fashion industry etc. Maybe we should start questioning that power relationship. The concept of a basic income is based on the material wealth being produced. The concept of fiat currency reflects the material wealth being produced or the currency becomes inflated and it takes more and more of it to buy the same good or service embodying the same amount of socially necessary labour time. The economy is functioning. Wage labour in the world at large is being employed to produce a vast
accumulation of commodities as per usual within the wage system. As the productivity of labour power grows so too does the "surplus population" the "reserve army of labour" and the question recurring to the bourgeoisie each winter remains "What to do with the unemployed?" That question will only become more acute as the introduction of robotics increases the productivity of labour to exponential heights. Perhaps then the working class both employed and unemployed will begin to see and move to remove the absurdity of the wage system and establish common ownership and democratic control over the collective product of their labour --including the robots of course. My mother's Christian practice was never much more than that whispered wisdom of the ancients "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It is written that Jesus repeated these words. She took them seriously and passed them on to me. I take them seriously as well. Those words make up a very communistic thought. We are all dependent on one another for survival. We knew that deeply before the advent of collectively produced private property debt and class domination began human solidarity's erosion. We're not dead yet. We still have our imagination. Where do we put the saved labour time once we emancipate ourselves. Will greater and greater portions of socially necessary labour time be devoted to leisure space expansion. What is music for. What is literature for. What is art for. Creative impulse can best be nurtured by humans doing what they have an urge to do. Not sick humans who want to kill or dominate. Boss time takes up too much of our space. Humans who want to soar and who want their fellow humans to get free makes sense. Humans depending on down-pressing others to obtain their sense of freedom need to rethink that sadistic urge. When a harmless pleasure becomes a sin become a sinner. Stay out of jail. Have fun. Don't let them who hold and blare the public megafone turn you into a semi-sentient market share. Class rule makes tough love legal. I'm on the other side of the fence from radical liberals who now dominate the IWW when it comes to free expression. I fear the censor more than the speech. I can see the censors now thinking up ways in which songs from the "Little Red Songbook" offend believers. "Rebel Girl" should probably be eliminated from the "LRS" as it demeans 'wimmin'. Good luck on getting one big union of the diverse individuals making up the working class to agree that they should shut up out of fear of being brought up on charges for hurting another member's feelings. CIS gender indeed. How heavy Big Bill Haywood was was never a concern of mine. I find the whole discussion about fat shaming too precious. My own view is to concentrate on organising as a class to abolish the wage system. The rest of the New Left cum Post Modernist identity politics stuff is like religion to me a private matter. Diet etc. is your own thing. Free speech but don't gore my ox right. That's what the conservatives push. Typical. Nobody can really handle free expression. There's always somebody who'll cry foul. At least it's not as bad as it used to be with the sin police banning books and films. The IWW was always an integrated union. That differentiated it from the "fair day's wage for a fair day's work" organisations. Wobblies organised as a class whereas the Socialist Party had segregated locals in the South way back when. My understanding was that we organised as a class because we knew that we could only have the political power power to abolish wage labour and change the mode of producing and distributing wealth by doing that as opposed to fighting each other on the basis of "race" or one's own perception of national identity or whether our union should have the right to sell the labour power of its members to an employer over another labour power vendor. My point is that the embrace of identity politics has not and will not lead to classwide unity any more than pushing anti-political sects or particular political parties would. In fact it will lead to our continual division as a class squabbling with each other for the moral high ground. The twirling rolling warble of Magpies announce morning's arrival. I fear the censor more than the expression. Without freedom of expression we cannot engage in the informed dialogue necessary for citizens to sustain a democracy. Libel laws also suppress free speech and conservatives are big fans of libel laws. All oxen should be fair game to gore. Let's play like. Remember that. When you were a kid some kid would say let's play like we're in the desert fighting giant ants or some other scenario. Hospital comes to mind. Also war. A game would begin with rules thought up on the spot and agreed to by the players. We were not polite to each other. Girls and boys did not mix yet. Good behaviour on our part was the contrived face we put on for adults. Not that we consciously practiced bad behaviour. More like we were ourselves acting freely imaginations engaged without regard for authority outside our own making. Some of us go so far as to take all our clothes off and run naked through the desert surrounding Wickenburg. We grow out of these liberties as we mature adopting the codes of class dominated cultural norms. It's difficult to resist the temptations of pleasure. You have to be schooled in this discipline. And then it all goes wrong when someone rebels by embracing some aspect of the death culture. Puritanical sadism posing as tough love is a dominant paradigm. It lies on a bed of abusive behaviours by people empowered to be superiors who are themselves psychological casualties of authoritarian social relations of power embedded in the interpersonal dynamics within the totality which is class rule. I have an affection for seeing rolling fields of corn while driving through Iowa from Chicago and into Nebraska. The freedom to roll under clear skies as puffy white clouds pass the green gleam coming off the rows and the AM radio station is tuned to some sad country song with those weepy steel guitars backing another story of lost love. The desire to socially own and democratically control the wealth you help to produce as a class is constantly being put on the back burner. Instead, we are told that the most important thing is jobs jobs jobs. The question of where the wealth we produce from these jobs goes is not raised. This is why the working class is politically weak and why opportunists posing as leaders constantly sell the useful producers down the river into wage-slavery. The whole idea of setting up bourgeois democracies in the Middle East through military projections of power by the dominant capitalist States is a neo-conservative strategy which has been discredited by the history of its implementation. My own view is that readers of CAPITAL have been stymied in their grasp of Marx's critique for decades because of their inability to grasp fundamental dialectical principles like the unity of opposites and sublation. The first time I attempted to read CAPITAL I thought it was just some boring piece of economics. It was only after my introduction to the dialectical method via Plato Hegel and Engels not to mention some others, including my Hegel prof (a right Hegelian) that I began to grasp the significance of the distinctions being made between exchange-value and use-value and their relations to the social relations of everyday life. I want this writing to be seen as a pixelated version of my thought. Like a still photo capturing moments not the totality. I say this after reading a bit of Alice Munro writing about how matters of language in the culture of the bottom 90% have changed since the 30s 40s and the 60s 70s up to the present. Of course the content of language lies within the social relations between human beings. What appears to be the norm today was considered out of line yesteryear. And what was commonplace then has become outdated in many superficial and degrading ways. Munro doesn't romanticise the past either. In many ways the past was raw and daring compared with today. Read SOMETHING I'VE BEEN MEANING TO TELL YOU as I have been doing in my backyard when it's not been raining this August 2016. You'll see girls riding logs for fun during floods. You'll vicariously experience having a brother who has gone off the rails of normalcy a seeming parasite being forgiven for all his sins via caring. Unless you buy it it's not worth anything. The beach is free. Well it's still free in Australia. I'm sure someone would love to own the beach and make you pay to use it. Would you use it more if you had to pay for it. Would it seem more valuable to you. Is this a core principle upon which the society is run which allows for a tolerance of deforestation especially in the face of climate change. Commodification lies here too. It's in your mind and contributes to your weakness in the face of a cowardly bourgeoisie's hiring of political
power over you. I love the word bourgeois to describe the upper 10% and the companies they own. Other critics don't like to use it. That's their beer. Why is it that some people think it's cool to make their phone conversations half public. What used to be considered attention seeking behaviour has become the norm. Murder is the product of the insane. War is the product of class rule. I'm always amused at the notion that there can be humane slaughter. I think a person should be able to check out without interference from the State. But this would imply the old lie that the consumer is a rational buyer in the marketplace of commodities. Most people committing suicide are making a mistake. People worry that legalising pot will make everyone an addict. People worry about a lot of things that maybe they shouldn't oughta. Then there are the real challenges: climate change inequalities of wealth and political power. Inanities like whether your husband has just purchased a Rolex and the proud gift giver smiling at his having bought a fake Rolex are boggling our mind space. Can you imagine being offended by people who wear very colourful clothing. There is something to be discovered in everything. A feeling of time urgency can make you forget that and that feeling surrounds our attention in the here and now of the death culture. When you're on mescaline time slows down. What seems like hours are only minutes in reality. You can achieve focus. What was once inconsequential can become a matter of intense concentration. Patience develops enough to watch the spider make a web. After awhile you realise how much of a part of the All you are as the Totality becomes apparent and your ego gets lost in the immensity of the Universe. Because we cannot comprehend Everything we have ordered a mystification of It with the names of gods within the religions of our choice assuming we have a choice which we do and don't depending on the social norms of the cultures we find ourselves in after we're born.  We have also called it space-time. It ends with partly cloudy skies after a night and partial day of rain.

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