The “war news” — not so good:
Confirmed reportage: http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/reports
The Malignant controls, discourages, manipulates
The Reparative liberates, encourages, and grows
Attempt to escape as he may, the editor of BackChannels returns to his themes even while journeying out to Hollywood between the pages of a hardcover, i.e., celebrity Holly Madison’s Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny (New York: Harper Collins, Dey Street imprint, 2015).
As ladies men go, some peacocks appear to have an image both to create and maintain, and not infrequently that at high cost to the cheerleaders seduced into hanging on to their elbows.
Now how different is that from the global politics — and the themes attending those “leaders and their followers in a dangerous world” written about by Jerrold Post (2004) — visited here by way of the pack of contemporary autocrats?
I have seen the term “state capitalism” applied to Putin’s medieval revanch in the creation of the post-Soviet neo-feudal Russia now wrapped around his own “vertical of power”. The idea has its appeal (and many related posts break into a BackChannels’ category ne “21st Century Feudal“).
In the American Wildness, distributed business-borne capitalism, which in North America could not be otherwise, appears to produce in part feudal competitions and related private environs as part of the nature of power arrayed between chairmen and presidents, members of the board, and shareholders and other stakeholders. The degree to which those at the top embrace their own “vertical of power” and effectively promote their own cultural fascism around and beneath them needs must vary, but overarched by democratic governance, such private feudal behaviors have only the boundaries of a few legal papers (noncompete and nondisclosure agreements, for a start), the discipline of their accounting departments (no workee, no checkee), and their doors for fending off equally private but solitary revolutions: employees belittled, degraded, demeaned, denigrated, enslaved by their environments can, do, will outgrow their my-way-or-the-highway keepers — and walk across the street or do that highway thing and move one big town, state, or country over.
It’s a big world, and life’s too short to tolerate a capricious and irrational subjugation forever.
Of course, with governments operated as private businesses for authoritarian elites, the same problems are much, much greater for those suffering — and not individually: en masse — beneath them.
Odell, Amy. “The 14 Worst Things About Hugh Hefner, as Revealed in Holly Madison’s New Book: From his incessant mansplaining to the constant infighting he created among girlfriends, Madison describes her life in the mansion as anything but happy.” Cosmopolitan, June 22, 2015.
Wikipedia. “Presidency of Vladimir Putin”: About the same time, Vladimir Ryzhkov pointed out that a bill Medvedev had sent to the State Duma in late January 2009, when signed into law, will allow Kremlin-friendly regional legislatures to remove opposition mayors who were elected by popular vote: “It is no coincidence that Medvedev has taken aim at the country’s mayors. Mayoral elections were the last bastion of direct elections after the Duma cancelled the popular vote for governors in 2005. Independent mayors were the only source of political competition against governors who were loyal to the Kremlin and United Russia. Now one of the few remaining checks and balances against the monopoly on executive power in the regions will be removed. After the law is signed by Medvedev, the power vertical will be extended one step further to reach every mayor in the country.
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I and many others, I’m sure, had hoped that the Internet would help us get “over the wall” for the benefit of our careers and wallets. It has done that for some but turned millions into heavy online readers and typists even with good “Klout” and other statistics.
It’s good to be here.
I would still like to be fed.
Lost in cyberspace, networking around the universe, should have been a good thing and with most participants better adjusted in a growing online economy that still may be coming. However, as you note, the malicious are ever among us, and, indeed, others know our names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers, for a start. Outfits like Facebook and Amazon — never mind what the Federal government may be doing — have us complexly profiled for relationships, purchasing behavior, entertainment interests, etc.
Privacy has become an offline, computers off (!), phones off, pen-and-paper and real space face-to-face prize, the problem with which is how little can be done with it by most.
While the global village may be defined by shared mind, the local village stubbornly remains a collection-and-delivery point for exchange in basic retail and trades functions.
It looks like BackChannels could do with some funding.
Indeed, it’s author has been spending more time away from politics and The Social Network, some for business in another sector, some for the sanity afforded by solitude, a good book, and a journal.
Well, these days, retreat into the 19th Century (Modern!) might comprise a new dimension in insanity.
We’ll have to see about that.
Before this morning’s exchange of correspondence, from which I have copied the above statement, these items from International Business Times (IBTimes) showed up in my inbox:
Hear this, Amazon: the end-user does not want the upstream mill to have predictive validity as regards the anticipation of his next need or want, not that he wants to shop around in real space either to save a buck or two (while spending many on gasoline) on this and that.
And may one add to this: no earner — no spender.
Whatever effects BackChannels may have on global political psychology — well, I’ve enjoyed the project, as have readers in 112 nations, at least — the life-and-work style have pummeled me with a barrage of advertising daily while returning . . . air.
So I have reached for an old weapon.
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