Ukraine as mirror.
Our consciousness is a bubble of perception and we all need some sense of stability, some structure, of self, of community, of the cosmos, that gives us comfort. Thus the power of religions. At most we want answers to our questions, not universal truths. There are a lot of priests and politicians to give us those answers, but the philosophers are pretty much intellectually neutered and confined to the back alleys of academia. Stoicism anyone?
The problem is, as Philip K Dick so effectively put it, "Reality is what doesn't go away, when you stop believing in it."
I suspect the mother of all reality checks is in the mail and it will rip away far more than just our fantasies of war. As brutal, delusional and criminal as they have been, they really are a distraction from and effect of deeper issues.
Debt, for one thing. Debt doesn't matter, until it does.
Also the founding principle of our country is universal rights. Yet the basis of any healthy society has to be a general acceptance of responsibilities, with rights as reward. When everyone has all the rights they want and responsibilities are optional, the consequence is the Tragedy of the Commons.
When our country was first being imagined, the irresponsible were more likely to starve, so the assumption of a general degree of responsibility was a given, but now people wonder why their lives don't seem to have any meaning, without any clue that being responsible is what gives our lives meaning. What we give, matters more than what we get.
It is sad, but some lessons have to be learned the hard way.
Russia had a bit of a reality check, with the fall of the Soviet Union, thinking they could become good capitalists. Now we are all looking at a much bigger bubble being burst.
Great piece, Patrick. Yes, the ruling elite is currently running a narrative that, as Chris Hedges argues is being carefully managed. Unfortunately as Mr. Merryman points out through Phillip K Dick, reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. Unfortunately, our elites don't seem to recognize that they can't alter reality. Equally unfortunately, we don't have an "allies" to thwart the forces of evil and/or wickedness that are foisting the bubble on us.....
Good article, sir. Cynthia Chung's Substack recommended this and I can see why. Will be linking it today @https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/
And will begin following as well. Have linked several of your Consortium News articles in the past!!!
Thank you patrick. Truth is to many scarier than fiction, thus the need to prvaricate,no matter the cost
On despicable deeply corrupt Joe Biden – lying us into war while knowing with 100% certainty that WMD in Iraq is a bipartisan fraud (same as with Bucha and other crimes in Ukraine) – a major US war criminal
Try calling your local "Gas Utility", speak to the CEO's office with your caller ID on, and abuse him mercilessly, and threaten to confiscate his pipes, threatening to shut off his supply at the head meter and pumping in your own dubious hot air into the pipes......see how long before cops show up at your door....good luck. Yet, the Anglo Saxon ivy league elite, think they can do this with Russian pipes, on a transnational geopolitical scale, completely ignoring "the other party".
Also, it's high school math that you can not substitute LNG ships for piped gas infrastructure flows. You simply can not. the capacity is not even comparable. Never mind the greenhouse effect of shipping across the atlantic. US hollwood TV news can not even mention this point.
Good Luck EU! The EU are the most chump, compromised, colonized people on the planet. The deal with EU was: Nato will cover your military umbrella expense, in turn EU shovels "carrot payments" further and further into the east as inducement to (1) join the EU (for pay), and (2)join NATO. If you tell the EU as trump did, "pay for your own defense" , then you are breaking the bargain; in effect saying: stop the carrot payments to the new eastern members. Lest you think this carrot payment is a joke of mine, be aware Poland is due " more than 75 billion euros Poland is eligible for from the bloc until 2027" --Financial Times quote. This is what the "european union" is. It's really a US-England colony.
This is a powerful response to the situation in Ukraine and the lying provocation of Blinken/Biden and the whole US military industrial WMD sales to Zelensky and the AZOV-mob atrocities and the lying presentation of what is actually happening. I've just been writing to a friend having learnt she read Chekhov's story The Lady and her Dog - some 15 years ago - in Russian - and referencing respected Tony Kevin (former Australian diplomat) and his books on Russia - personal reflection and political analysis (and his influence on me after his book on walking the Camino pilgrimage in Spain - around 20 years ago - to walk the Japanese equivalent - the 88-temple path around Shikoku) and in order to check publication dates I googled his name. I was shocked to find several entries scurrilously portraying him a stooge of Russia. Readers here will no doubt think me naïve? But then yesterday here in Australia (April 25th) was our national day of mourning for all Australians (and those from NewZealand, too) who have fallen in wars ANZAC Day. Which has in many ways become a day for military celebration - and khaki photo opportunities for politicians especially. It is a conflicted day - at the very least but mostly when politicians use it to boost their election chances. As yesterday - when one of the nation's ugliest politicians - Peter Dutton - jumped up and down telling us that the nation has to be preparing for war - against China - because way out in the Pacific north-east from Sydney 2,000 km - the Chinese have negotiated a treaty with the Solomons Islands. The Sky is falling! The Sky is falling! shrieked Peter Dutton - ramping up as best he can the "fear" factor! (Our federal elections less than four weeks away - as you might have guessed!) It makes as much sense as the lies around Russia/Ukraine at the moment.
No chance, our western bubble of unreality is so deeply inculcated it is inescapable. Foucault’s post modern nonsense about power and reality being being only a social construct is imbedded in all institutions and it is how we think, the guiding thought process of all our people. We are steeped in the belief that we can manage our way through anything and all failure is just mismanagement. The end of history, a return to a state of nature and balance is attainable through the redress of power differentials. It is all consuming, physical reality is an encumbrance to be overcome, we love our unreality it is our quest, it gives purpose to our lives. We seek to achieve an achievable utopia, and you Patrick, are a bit of a bummer: truth truth truth, dude buzzkill.
No chance of emerging from this delusion, we have comprehensively lost our way. There is no emerging from this bubble, lest we forget is of course always ironic because we always forget and make the same mistakes: Ukraine narrative management is embraced by us on mass, we love it and want it.
It’s also a very handy war, no Americans are being killed, arms sales to the EU will surge, visible minorities are not involved and then there’s the delicious schadenfreude of seeing our generational foe Russia suffer; our elite can dawn blue and yellow ribbons, bemoan the tragedy and cry freedom unto the last Ukrainian, perfect.
Tech companies are deeply integrated with Deep State "security" apparatus. With all current free speech Tweeter excitement, the critical test will be if TOTAL censorship of contrary views on, e.g. Ukraine’s “democracy” and relentless NATO expansion, will be maintained.
Noble and courageous Scott Ritter has been permanently banned from Tweeter -- will he be allowed to speak again?!?!
"The 'defactualization' of America" -- Ukraine as mirror -- Patrick Lawrence – April 25
A scary piece more than warranted by the times...made more so by my observation of the past ten minutes indicating that President Biden's approval rating continues to slip.
That is not unexpected.
The high-level explanations given suggest that the slip is being driven by his insane policies towards the Russian-Ukranian coflict.
Fruther reading indicates that the dis-satsisfaction with Biden's performance stems from his apparent hesitancy (!) for rapid escalation in the proxy war.
That is not unexpected; it is simply hopeless.
As to what Americans see when they gaze in the mirror I can only fathom:
Exceptionalism unburdened by consequences.
Hi Patrick, Very good article, pointing to amongst other things, the surreal nature of our present milieu. It’s a recurring theme for me as a writer, and one I’m weaving into an article I’m penning on the Old Gray Lady as we speak. It didn’t go unnoticed you name-checked ‘her’ in this piece. Some of your musings will doubtless be grist to the mill as I bring the project to completion. Being a fan of creative neologisms, the word “defactualisation” appeals! Is this your handiwork? 😎🙏👍
In Vietnam the army had its silly inflated "body count" but at least the press was skeptical. See "Five O'Clock Follies."
What's gonna happen when Ukraine loses?
" I do love The Times for its delicate phrasing when describing indelicate matters."
Such falsity is unnecessary and is detractive. It is disingenuous and your readers are aware of its contradiction, its own long-time falsity; at least I am objecting to pretense. You are an iconoclast and you have a good deal of ideologies to strike down. The Times is not worth the spit.