Negative Capability: Glimpses Beyond the Brutalities of Power

Written by Chris Floyd 15 October 2014 3441 Hits

When you write regularly of politics and empire, you necessarily spend much time steeped in the very worst aspects of human nature. The reality of power is overwhelmingly brutal, ugly and negative; and if as a writer you wish to engage with reality, then the negative will be prominent in your work. I make no apologies for that — except perhaps to apologize that my skills are not sufficient to convey the full “negativity” of our reality. So when I hear the charge that my work is “negative,” I shrug my shoulders. I’m writing about politics and power; how could it not be negative?But of course, anyone who spends time raging against the depredations of power, against the negativity of our reality, possesses somewhere within them a more positive vision of what life is, or what it could be, both on public level and in the deeper, murkier depths of the individual personality. It is the violation and degradation of this vision by the brutishness of our reality that evokes the outrage in the first place. If these more positive intimations did not exist, then there would be no cause for anger or resistance; there would be nothing but a nihilistic acceptance of the unchangeable ugliness of reality. To me, such positive intimations are always elusive (and allusive), on the margins of perception, seen in the glimpse and the glance. They can’t be captured or hammered into dogma, but are part of a ceaseless process; a process of change and churning, of “breakage and mutation,” of new...

Read more ...Negative Capability: Glimpses Beyond the Brutalities of Power

Pay the Piper: Imperial Evils Bearing Bitter Fruit

Written by Chris Floyd 12 October 2014 3088 Hits

America, of course, is renowned for the historical amnesia that permeates its public discourse. Thanks to the tireless efforts our media, our educators and, above all, our elites, Americans enjoy a level of ignorance about the actions of their government that approaches the sublime. However, the truth is that past actions do have consequences — and chickens sure enough do come home to roost. In what has been a long season of bad news -- with new wars, new chaos, mass death, riots, repression, rampant terror (and the concomitant profiteering) exploding on almost every front -- one message is ringing clear: our reckless militarism and imperial ambitions are bearing bitter fruit. As the song says: it's time to pay the piper -- and we got nothing in our purse.....

Read more ...Pay the Piper: Imperial Evils Bearing Bitter Fruit

Potomac Fever: Washington's Insane Clown Posse Rides Again

Written by Chris Floyd 08 October 2014 3572 Hits

Below is my column in the latest print edition of CounterPunch. It was written last month, just after Barack Obama’s latest public embracement of the Potomac Empire’s Grand Philosophical Theory of International Statecraft: “More rubble, less trouble!” There may some overlap with my last post on this site, which developed a few of the ideas first explored in this article. The text below has been slightly revised and expanded from the print version.

Read more ...Potomac Fever: Washington's Insane Clown Posse Rides Again

An Enduring Casus Belli: The Liberal Club Hears the Truth

Written by Chris Floyd 30 September 2014 3327 Hits

On three occasions in the past few days, I've been approached separately by three of my children, ranging in age from 9 to 28, each of whom asked in different ways, "What is this war with ISIS all about?" Adjusting my answer according to their age, understanding and education, I spoke of various factors behind the new war, trying to give more of the context, history and reality of what is going on, behind the blizzard of contradictory bull that surrounds the operation.But later it occurred to me that the most direct -- and truest -- answer could be found in a short clip from an old film, made more than 30 years ago, in a scene set in the midst of a conflict now an entire century in the past. But the answer given then is most assuredly true now. So here it is, delivered at a cozy black-tie dinner at the well-appointed Liberal Club of Portland, Oregon:

Read more ...An Enduring Casus Belli: The Liberal Club Hears the Truth

Will You Be Free: Caught in the Trap of Permanent War

Written by Chris Floyd 27 September 2014 3178 Hits

The murderous absurdity of the new American-led war in the Middle East almost defies commentary, although I'm currently working on a piece that tries to thread through the obfuscation. In the meantime, below is something I wrote about one of our earlier wars in the region — but as we now live in a state of permanent war, it remains sadly apt for today … and no doubt far into the future.

Read more ...Will You Be Free: Caught in the Trap of Permanent War

Mr. and Mrs. America!

Written by Chris Floyd 24 September 2014 3010 Hits

The AmericaForever Corporation is proud to announce the latest winners of the Mr. and Mrs. America Contest: Pippy and Poppy Longdawdle of Rumsfeld, Ohio! They’re a thoroughly modern couple grounded in traditional values, upholding the best of American exceptionalism in the most exceptional way!Like all real Americans, Pippy and Poppy are entrepreneurs to the core, bootstrapping their way to personal fulfilment and financial freedom. The happy couple are the hardworking proprietors of Longdawdle Mental Ministries, Inc., dedicated to eradicating the scourge of depression that has unaccountably settled over our God-blessed land like a thick, mephitic cloud of bovine methane. As Pippy herself puts it:  “We know a way to counter that old evil eye — with the latest edition of Pippy and Poppy’s Positive Power Pack! This patented method of mental manipulation has been specially culled and curated just for you by Pippy and Poppy! Drawing on the latest top neurocognitive brain researchings by top brain researchers and the time-tested techniques and insights of such top historical mental giants as Sigmund and Froy, Carl Young and Dee Porkchoppa, Pippy and Poppy’s Positive Power Pack is guaranteed to chase away your blues, put pep back in your step and dissipate the noxious emanations of negative thinking which congregate in demonic battalions along the the alleyways of your basal ganglia.”Poppy adds : “You can download a free sample of the last two pages of the first three chapters...

Read more ...Mr. and Mrs. America!

A Peace That Passeth Understanding

Written by Chris Floyd 17 September 2014 3331 Hits

At the London Review of Books blog, Omar Hamilton outlines the many confidence-building efforts being undertaken by Israel to construct a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land, following the recent spat in Gaza. Below is Hamilton's piece in full, but do see the original for links detailing the flowers of peace that Israel is planting amongst its Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Read more ...A Peace That Passeth Understanding

Killing Joke: The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program

Written by Chris Floyd 16 September 2014 3426 Hits

“And I was like, I killed 500,000 Iraqi children with my sanctions! And George here, yuk yuk, he was like — ““And I was like, 500,000? Hellfire boy, I can do better than that! We bagged us more than a million of them ‘Rackies, har har har!”“Yeah — haw haw haw —  you bigged it up, Texas style! And now Obama’s gonna get him some of his own!”“Well, there’s plenty to go around, hee hee hoo! Them folks breed like jackrabbits! Hey, Bill, you were a bit of a jackrabbit yourself in your day, weren’t you, ha ha ha?“Now don’t start with that stuff, George, hee-haw, har-har! Hillary might be in the audience, yuckity yuk yuk!”“Reckon how many ‘Rackies she’ll rack up when she’s Prez, Bill? — Did you see what I did there? ‘Rackies, rack up? Ho ho ho!”“Yee hee hee! This old boy’s a card, ain’t he folks? Well, I imagine she’ll get a passel of ‘em, George, don’t you worry! Har har hee hee ho!”“As long as she leaves a few for Chelsea in 20 years, ha ha ha ha ha! Say, Bill, I’m a bit thirsty. Could you pass me some of that water?”“Sure, George! Just lean your head back and I’ll pour it right down your gullet, haw haw heee-haw!”“You know, Bill, I sure am BOARD of that joke, snickety snicker guffaw guffaw!”“You slay me, George, you really do, hur hur ha ha! But seriously folks …..***Certainly the one word that comes to mind when you think of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush is “leadership.” That’s why the world is so lucky that these two sages for the ages have joined together to teach the...

Read more ...Killing Joke: The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program

Breach Birth: Bipartisan Bull Brings New War

Written by Chris Floyd 10 September 2014 3439 Hits

Trevor Timms' new piece in the Guardian is one of the best, most succinct articles I've seen on the insane rush into Iraq War III, which the Peace Prize President is announcing on Wednesday. The same lies that were told the last time around ("Sleeper cells!" "Mass Destruction of our cities!" "Unprecedented evil!" "Imminent danger!") are being trotted out again, this time in Democratic drag. Cheney and Obama, Kissinger and Kerry, working together to beat the war drums --who says bipartisanship is dead?  As in 2003 (and 1991, for that matter), facts are thin on the ground -- but the bull is flowing thick and fast. So it's once more into the breach, with a military intervention to solve the problems caused by the last military intervention -- which will no doubt cause problems which can only be addressed by a future military intervention. But hey, who cares? The new iPhone is here!!From Timms:

Read more ...Breach Birth: Bipartisan Bull Brings New War

Recent Popular Articles

Blood Money: Four More Years of Drug War Horror with HRC

Mar 03, 2016 6951 Chris Floyd
The Drug War, like the Terror War, is essentially a vast machine for profiteering by the purveyors of weapons and tools of repression. Like the Terror War, the Drug War demonstrably exacerbates the…
Read More...

No Bern Notice: The Imperial Myopia of Candidate Sanders

Mar 10, 2016 6918 Chris Floyd
Does Bernie Sanders know what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama did to Honduras? Does he care? Last week saw yet another savage murder of a Honduran activist for democracy -- one of hundreds such…
Read More...

Zero-Sum: The Savage Vision Driving a Terror-Ridden World

Mar 22, 2016 5726 Chris Floyd
The atrocities in Brussels -- and they are horrific, criminal atrocities -- are not occurring in a vacuum. They are not springing from some unfathomable abyss of motiveless malevolence. They are a…
Read More...

Dry Bones: Racist History Returns With a Vengeance

Apr 06, 2016 5313 Chris Floyd
When I was 18, I worked for the Tennessee Department of Conservation at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, a summer job where a few teenagers helped the park’s permanent workers clean up the picnic…
Read More...

A Picture of American Policy: Waking From the Fever Dream

Apr 30, 2016 5298 Chris Floyd
*My column in the latest CounterPunch Magazine.* Last month I saw a picture, a photograph that burned down the Potemkin village of American politics that tends to rise in even the most skeptical mind…
Read More...

Let us now praise those who helped make the world a better place in March 2003.

Mar 20, 2016 4907 Chris Floyd
March 20: 13 years to the day since the invasion of Iraq. Sure, people had their disagreements about it back then, but isn't the world a better, safer place these days? Look at how freedom and…
Read More...
class="statcounter" src="http://c8.statcounter.com/872452/0/cadb163c/1/" alt="web stats" >