Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbononnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbononnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

The Need for a more Articulate Political Science is Demanded

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The Capitalist Class is not firm, monolithic, congealed;  it does not control the State, but needs the State to coordinate, fuse, if you will, at least from time to time, interests, direction, cooperation of like or near like interests . . . the one overarching being private profit.

If Roosevelt or Sanders are Socialists in your mind, then you are already lost or an advocate for the State Capitalism we endure, suffer? Yes, you are part of the problems we suffer directly from our Totalitarian Bourgeois Capitalist American State.

The State is a field of class struggle––an arena of class compromise?

 

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Written by jvr

June 25, 2019 at 11:48 am

Ralph Miliband and his The State in Capitalist Society; Leo Panitch talks

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Written by jvr

June 25, 2019 at 11:37 am

INFORMATION IS IN FORMATION [APOLITICAL SHORT STORY]

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To inform is to in . . . form, to put in form, some kind of formation of opinion, of thinking . . . nothing to add . . . what might be additive, an addition, hopefully positive, affirmative, as we like to misuse, is not of the essence here; what remains essential in our understanding is that is exactly what has always been meant when one uses the word ‘inform,’ yes we want information, or, as we cannot avoid, in . . . formation, get in rank and file, you soldiers of the new world order, neoliberal globalizing, inevitably Capitalist everywhere because in this keeping minds in form, informed, Capitalism is not only natural, but nature itself, the best possible human socio-economic order.

JOURNAL

7:58 AM

Here I sit alone at my table in the cafe with my coffee and croissant looking to the walls, to the mirrors, to the paintings varied about, scenes probably painted by artists who are now dead? There has never been a class more crass (crasser) about art than the bourgeoisie.

8:07

Another coffee. Not another croissant. I don’t want to get fat.

What is it about information in what has been called the information age?

What does that mean? Every age is the information age? Information travels different conduits in ages that have no mass media–and we still have mass media. The internet has not changed the mass in that. Newspapers and other periodicals as we have known them in what we could call a tradition of print publications for mass consumption–is it consumption, this thing we used to call reading––what about them? These newspapers? Print media has shifted, nt really changed in any significant way.

How has reading changed? Has reading changed? Is what we could have called advanced literacy changed? I mean, what it is, how it is, what out can do, in what ways it can be attained, maintained, used, help achieve understanding, turn facts into knowledge, help the notion that knowledge is not impossible persist? I question not out of any sense of doubt––Doubt is the highest wisdom today, you must understand.

 

8:15

Information, all of it everywhere has for-always been about in formation. I have heard this before; it has come back to me, this notion that to inform is to put something in form, someone? Yes, the person being informed is having just that done to him or to her.

Yes, if I garnered anything from watching The Prisoner television show, it is that when we receive information, we are put in form. This is not exactly the message sent by the show, but in the, the keepers are always asking our former spy prisoner chief protagonist for “information.” He asks them what they want of him, every episode, and as presented and repeated in every opening credits sequence, Number 2, the only person he sees from among those who control (or so we and he assume), tells him, “Information,” always unnaturally stressing the prefix, IN formation!

 

8:24 AM

As the titles above shows us, information is in itself in formation–yes, as I have interacted above in the reference to the British television show from the 60s, The Prisoner . . . to inform is to in form others, of course; however, what’s more is that it is not only by or with data or facts that we in form . . . yes, of course the facts and/or data delivered by the in-forming are themselves  put in form . . .but there is something else going on when this in-forming happens: theformation of the person are informing takes place. The act of informing is itself in form, but it also puts the receivers of information into yet another form. We are shaped by what relearn, by the information we get, garner, receive . . .

We have become very astute at doing this, forming others by our information; forming masses by our mass information disseminated through mass media, one mass medium after another at the disposal of those who are allowed access to the conduits. Very creative, we are; very effective, too.

All propaganda works toward this end; marketing is the science of strategies of informing . . . another clever working: being put in form looks like, sounds like and even feels like being given information (i.e. data and facts) which we are convinced is necessary. The medium does become the message this way? The message reciprocally a new medium, and so on . . .

8:32 More coffee.

I am not trying to assert that the meaning of a word in use today should be ruled by its etymology; I do, though., believe that it can be and might even fruitfully be informed by the meaning it held in the language of its origin in the time of its origin, andI am using ‘inform’ here as it has sometimes been used in critical discourse, to shape one’s thinking (often the mass shaping of individual psychologies to form mentality).

No language is cut off from its source or sources entirely; it is not an island in itself for itself by itself. There are links, connections too deep or remote to notice without excavation? There remains, however, residue of the past in its currency today.

This said, I will venture a small etymological investigation to unveil some of what I understand about some words, particularly those involved in certain discussions of beauty, formand how they relate, connect, detach, reconnect in a philosophy of form and/or beauty, the latter particularly in its relationship with truth, or should that be for the purposes herein, Truth.

8:43 AM

The word ‘form’ is from the Latin forma. Forma also translates into beautyin some contexts. In the Roman mind, as in the Greek, beauty was always in form. It had to be in form. Only in form could beauty exist. Therefore, form is beauty, beauty form–should not surprise anyone. Should this then be the question?

I know where you imagine this is going; I suspect anyone could, as I would have to as well, even if I were not the essayer here, that is, The Grand Expositor as I have conceived him (could also be her; I am he, so therefore . . .).

8:54

If this form referred to above is in itself beauty, beauty form, then we could say that if truth is beauty, then truth is form. If beauty truth is the result of truth is beauty, then beauty form is also inferred. Yes, without form, truth cannot take shape as idea. Truth has a shape in idea, it must seek its form. This is the metaphysical infrastructure for all marketing and all propaganda–it is what lends it valence and veracity as social functions, even if and often in spite of standing in opposition to what anyone might call the attainment of Truth (which is why so many totally immersed in our contemporaneity preach the gospel of No-Truth, an a-veritas become the dogma of Doubt is the Highest Wisdom).

What then does this mean for us in the maintenance of beauty, the maintenance of truth?

9:07 AM

More coffee.

It is my responsibility to bear truth, even if to do so is to bear it as Francis bears other wounds; yes, to carry this idea . . .

9:07

Yet more coffee.

. . . there is a Truth that is absolute, and It is an irony supreme that a culture so lacking in dexterity when it comes to carrying truth, bearing its pursuit to whatever term necessary, can persist in making abortion the issue it is in America, and insist that women must carry a fetus to term. We have aborted truth and jettisoned every notion of how form plays and interplays with beauty, the creation of beauty.

The link between beauty and form and beauty and truth links form to truth. To inform then becomes a kind of bearing of truth; the idea behind the act of informing is to place in/form, thus, at least residually in our traditional semantics it has something to do with maintaining beauty, what is beautiful. The aesthetics of Keats aside, whereby the pursuit of beauty is a pursuit of truth, there is too much exchange of information today, a thing a little less than beautiful, or so we could have assumed if we were awake, eyes wide opened. We are subject to much permeation from institutions wanting information about us, on us–always on top of us.

9:18 AM

No more coffee. A glass of water.

What we call information and the act of informing, what we mean when we say we want to inform, is quite separate from making or maintaining the beautiful. There is no beauty in the superstate’s obsession with information. The process of information is to put things in form, to have all things subjected to a kind of formation that resembles those in the military, whereby we find ourselves in rows and columns and other kinds of formations. We know of this from our experience with American football, not so unlike those of warfare. When the guardians of the prison told Patrick McGoohan, in the TV show, The Prisoner they wanted information, it was quite simply–they wanted him in . . . formation.

9:26

I could do with a cognac. Would they give one if I ordered it?

I’m not so certain today we even know what exchanging information means. Anything akin to a philosophy of beauty would be lost on us. The idea of truth is lost on us. Aesthetics has long lost its influence in the academies of learning in America, somewhere now in an intellectual graveyard with philology and metaphysics.  We have given up on ever perfecting this special acumen; even if the possibility of perfecting them in our lifetime or all of our lifetimes did not exist, the pursuit was what was important. It was the realization that truth was perhaps a construct that misguided us. But it was not the transcendental truth that was a construct, but the forms that truth took or could take that were constructed, were things made. We lost our ability to speak metaphysically. We convince ourselves that metaphysics was bullshit and a power game played by men who were white and thus naturally determined to be racist oppressors.

9:37

We no longer believe in truth–of course we do not. We cannot be seriously critical of our culture and not know that doubt has become the highest wisdom, that knowledge has become impossible, that what we know is that we might never know, and not the once believed we can never know completely, but veracity and validity themselves have become the question, and not either in the Socratic, I know nothing as an emptying point whereby we can get to see what I fill my cup with . . . yes, it is beyond pessimism; it is deeply and broadly pervasive nihilism, the only escape from becomes solipsism.

My cup runneth over is another thing.

9: 48 AM

We have in turn lost our ability to build any truths rooted in an ideal Truth, or set against the ideal. Where has this left us but at the mercy of the Elite: Monied, Power, Media, whatever have we in terms to modify the Elite. We are like the character in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasonswho would cut down all the trees of law in the forest to get at the Devil, but when the Devil turns to face him, he is asked, what have you to hide behind, what is left to come between you and the Devil.

9:59 AM

I’d like a cognac. I’ll ask if that’s possible early. Am I worried what they might think. Americans are fuckin’ Puritans anyway. We’ve got a stick shoved so far up our asses–it’s what too many people confuse for being serious.

10:12 AM

I enjoy cognac.

Ourselves wandering in a wasteland that was once the forest of truth, nothing.

10:20 AM

There was a professor in Japan who wanted to know all he could about Zen, so he came to a Zen Master and asked the question, Can you teach me all there is to know about Zen? The professor imagined he was asking an intelligent question.

The Zen Master invited the professor into his home when the professor arrived to receive the answer to his question which the professor had sent in a letter introducing himself and making his request. The Zen Master had responded to the professor’s request.

The two sat down to have tea before they were to embark on this quest for knowledge on the part of the professor.

The Master began by pouring tea into the cup he set out on the table for the professor who was already seated at the table. The Zen Master had brewed the tea as the professor patiently waited. What the professor did not expect was what was to happen next, which was that the Master continued to pour the professor’s tea into his cup even after the tea had reached the lip of the cup and the limit of what would go in. As the Master continued to pour the tea, it spilled over the rim and onto the table and eventually the professor stood in desperation and shouted for the Master to stop, to stop pouring the tea, then adding, Can’t you see that no more will go in!

To this the Master replied calmly and succinctly, Like this cup, you too are full, full of your own opinions and preconceptions. Before I can teach you what you want to know, you must first empty your cup.

I will.

I asked for the check.

 

Poat Script.

 

Another day.

Inside the Mass (formed) Self, the individual suffers from a solitary confinement? I don’t know if you have the patience for what I have to say on this, I do not know if I have the patience necessary to convince you of the opposite of what I suspect you have convinced yourself . . .

I am We, you must understand, and this is understood with the reciprocal, you are We, as he is too and so is she . . . I am We the People.

This is essential for a democratic society. The problem with too much Structuralist Marxist critique, or Marxist Structuralist critique of government, of Capitalism or of the West in general, or of any of our social problems (apart from many of them being delivered by Power and Money as means for pretend subversion or a theater of subversion, that is, a mask-of-subversion worn for State control of the subversion, or State use of it in one or another Machiavellian strategy . . .) is that they mis identify the limits and boundaries of State apparatus and thus how much direct control in society it has, while also misidentifying institutions that are separate from the apparatus of State as part of that apparatus; thus also misidentifying or equating individual life in the society as horribly determined, right down to the elimination of free-will as even an idea to debate.

Written by jvr

June 24, 2019 at 11:10 am

WE, ANOTHER MASK

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The ‘we’ you find anywhere in my essays is the conventional editorial we, the we of most social commentary, the we that sets before it, as a rhetorical strategy, you and I, not solely the collective plural. I am not separate from you, another form of the I and thou we all need to understand better in our politics and our ethics. Any critique levied in my writing is not an attack but a corrective, or so I say, although I do not take contemporary hyper-sensitivity or the temperamental as a barometer to read the weather of what should and not be said. What the pronoun ‘we’ says that the pronoun ‘I’ does not, cannot, we might understand as something inclusive, inviting, softening . . .

When I criticize and say you or they instead of we, I set myself apart from the critique. I am not subject to the corrective I pronounce. This is simple enough to comprehend. I will not venture a discussion of the rhetoric of I and the rhetoric of we; the implications should be clear. Yet, what we do here at The Falling Leaf Review is answered by the things I do, the things I say, words, words and more words formed by me here on the virtual page–I do miss writing with a pen, how the pen and word-processor do not write the same, do demand a different syntax?. Everything herein is I; I am the review, I am the editor, I am the publisher, I am the chief writer, I am every word, every thought, every opinion et cetera. So, what does this the have to do with the pronoun ‘we.’

Being is plurality; the Self is one of many selves. I steal from poets. I wish to make this review as literary as possible. I have not degraded my understanding of literacy by confusing it with what the French call alphabetisme; you have heard me refer to this before. yes, the French do not call be able to write your name and address correctly on a mail envelope literacy, no. This perfunctory dexterity with letters is not literacy but a from of alphabetics, circus tricks like acrobatics, only with letters. Being able to negotiate the alphabet is what it is as it allows you to read the tabloid newspapers written on the third and fourth grade level; it allows you to fill out applications and other forms from the bureaucracy. This, though necessary for base level social functioning, is not what anyone with any higher level of reading would call literacy. That is, being able to spell one’s name correctly, being able to read the tabloid newspapers with efficiency, being able listen to and digest TV journalism with its sound bite reporting and commentary, being able to fill out the forms and applications supplied by the state and institutional bureaucracies are all of them necessary skills, you could say, but are hardly literacy. Yes, these abilities are the mark of being alphabetically correct, not having attained what could be called–should be reserved for naming–literacy.

Written by jvr

June 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

MAMON IS GOD?

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How can we expect to get any politician other than Trump or Obama or Hilary or Bush II or Cheney or Bloomburg or Spitzer, or Bill Clinton, or Wiener, or any other contemporary politico, when we have so little respect, so flaccid a reverence for Truth, for Reason, for Objectivity, for Beauty, for any capital letter idea or ideal, a notion that anyone with sense and/or sensibility, what we might have called human feeling if what is felt is humane. Even the language we speak we have lost respect for, admiration of; we possess so little love and passion for it, we do little other than cluck, bark, moo or baa. Ocasio-Cortez who offers solutions to problems meant to mask the greatest problem we face: that the State helps maintain a social order governed by the overarching need for more and more profit to the exclusion of people; Ocasio-Cortez uses the word people, often, but means Public, the State-serving kind that was the hallmark of all of Obama’s rhetoric of service. Ocasio-Cortex grew more white than I did and is another alleged woman of color here to serve People of Color; but the authenticity of that is only the mask of color she wears over the American Bourgeois Capitalist she is at heart, the latter identity being what besets people of color more than  the Whiteness others like her use instead of the appropriate diction of Capitalist critique.

Speaking and writing are no longer endeavors to be perfected, set in judgement by a hierarchy of standards meant to raise thinking, no. We have abandoned the notion of hierarchy, adolescently believing that maintaining hierarchies of achievement have helped garner other repressions.

We have a lot less reverence  for the literary, it seems, than we do, or now can, have for what remains insipid, mundane, mediocrity following mediocrity the first and last in all will toward fiurther democratization, or so we imagine.

You cannot tell me that what passes for education in the Public Schools, let’s examine here in New York City, or what is maintained as the educational standards in many of the institutions of higher learning anywhere, especially in the community colleges, has anything to do with the traditions of universita as I understand them over time in our tradition(s); but then humanism is joke or an ugly moniker to be avoided as in one or another taboos we impose on speech. This tradition I refer to is what has been called western civilization, which, like my Italian-Italian cousins, I understand exists and has existed for more than a millennia, and continues to be true irrespective of how many asians have come to live here in America; of course there are those of you who will disagree, perhaps out of a misguided adherence to an anti-metaphysics born of a dogma and ancillary received ideas formed by a Post-Structuralist critique, a lot of it in America more highly propagandized than any thinking person should allow, accept, use or dis-avoid; yes, our traditions, in as much as there are many cultures in this civilization’s mainstream and tributary streams, is a tradition that has forbearance on our contemporaneity.

The overarching pedagogy in our culture has only to do with the most topical and relevant in education, a pedagogy that panders to the new student as patron, student as customer, university as store.  We cannot really believe that the loss of liberty or the erosion of civil rights has nothing to do with waning literacy, the inability to express ourselves in the written word, which can inform how we speak; and after having spent more than fifteen years teaching freshman composition in several colleges. it is clear to me that a systematic effort to under educate is a multi pronged initiative to, one, get more while delivering less; teachers do less and students learn less and leave with lesser abilities;  two, students who learn less and develop lesser abilities also fail more often, even at lower standards (which had to be lowered to adjust upwardly the percentages of those who  do pass while being under educated); this perpetuates the need for remediation at the college level, thus more jobs for those who are getting more for less by under teaching; three, insuring that power and its politics will continue to support their under efforts because a semi literate undereducated population is more easily controlled than even a peasant/folk illiterate one; and this undereducated population will not be able to negotiate the forums for greater democracy or democratization. By design or in effect, however it has happened, it is happening now and our nation as a nation of people suffers; as a nation of the public, a public that always abdicates its role as the people, a public that must be in service to the state in order to get its crumbs from the table of the state–as this kind of nation, the idea is spreading. By this we have seen power become more powerful and money more monied.

Of course now the University of learning is the Diversity of appearing to have learned, which in fact is only another form of subdividing the market to increase profits, the profit here for the colleges is enrollment, for the state, an increase or a perpetuation of enough under qualified to fill the welfare roles, if not just enough semi qualified to fit the perfunctory office menials who will partly administer the state bureaucracy which will only grow and demand that morons be managers.  pedagogics of failure in our teaching of reading and writing ensure that both of these are either perpetual or maximized; it will insure we have enough people who will prefer bread and circuses to advanced literacy and freedom.

We have submitted ourselves and our energies to engaging the ritual practices of the dual cults of the Now and the New; neither of these serve truth, both of them preach the salvation of doubt.  Both of them or either at any time here and now, or then and there, serve only Mammon inside the ritual practices of the most degraded materialism.  American materialism is a religion where we worship a new God as ourselves, doing so as no one devout anywhere in the world at any time would have for his God or Gods.  Religious faith has transferred its manifest forms.  One of the greatest tricks of our culture has been to convince us in our liberalism that all organized religions are the enemies of freedom, while we maintain a fervent religiosity for all things secular, for all things material.

 

Written by jvr

June 19, 2019 at 8:58 am

How Can You Say that the Car Service Driver Got What Was Coming to Him? [Fiction]

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I just do not believe my ears, but then as often as I do not believe my eyes, I am not surprised.

I

The L— driver was wrong. He took a match to stick of dynamite and blames the dynamite when it blows up in his face.

The passenger who had asked to be taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens was obviously in distress, was in no condition to be rational, was asking for the driver to drive faster, and then when the driver sarcastically says, “I can’t . . . Don’t you see the traffic,” the passenger then uses vulgar language to say the driver could move into the right lane, to which the driver then says, very dis-compassionately, “If you are going to be disrespectful, I’m going to pull over.”

Pull over!? What is the driver, twelve? That’s what you say to a man who is agitated and irrational because he is in pain and distress? Questions beget more questions; no one is innocent here.

The passenger’s condition should have been clear and would have been clear to any man with sensitivity for another human in distress; no matter how seemingly polite the driver was being (and I am not one who sees the driver as polite), he was disconnected from being humane, from being able to be bigger, only allowing himself to stand on the need for hyper-correcteness, born of his self-involvement? his self-aggrandizement? Perhaps from having been told too many times when he did not deserve to be told . . . you are special?

The man-child driver could not tolerate what the man was saying, which was what? You can pull into the fucking right lane. If the driver is so sensitive, suffering an emotional hemophilia inherited from a generational myopia born of a self-involvement, ripe with the DNA of solipsism and subjectivity qua subjectivity . . . I’m sick. I would have punched him, maybe more viciously than the passenger did, and I still think the passenger let the driver off the hook.

The driver got what was coming to him, some could say, would say if . . . might not say because they want to deny the legitimacy of violence. But perhaps the passenger could have waited until he got to the hospital then punched the driver in the face when he was looking because I still don’t like the piece of shit driver. Simple.

II

This opinion here is misanthropic, perhaps, to some; but the driver was detached from human connection, and without compassion for a man obviously hurting, as anyone could see viewing the video. The driver was unable to weather from the passenger what any Man, if a man, should have been able to understand immediately . . . that the passenger’s distress and pain was great. How could he not have just cut the passenger some slack.

Yes, there are many things I could say about the driver that I learned on Brooklyn street corners, and just because we did not feast on each other and tear each other to shreds like rats in a box as some did in other neighborhoods does not mean I did not grow up on Brooklyn streets, does not mean I did not face one or two assholes with a gun or some other asshole with a knife, or some punk weasel piece of shit who should have had his teeth knocked out or his nose broken just to understand his mealy mouthed self-absorption should not be tolerated; yes I did smack the shit out of enough in my time in Brooklyn, with full respect for our diversity, a multicultural array of smack down of one or another assholes with a chip on his shoulder.

I would like to say that we should demand that Power let the People police themselves, but I do know where this could lead; yet I am unwilling to say that I know where it will lead. 

There are too many words from the street I could use for the L— driver, but he did get what was coming to him, as far as I am concerned. I think the passenger let him off the hook seeing that the driver was the one who was monstrously disrespectful . . . and that’s the kicker–I think the driver was disrespectful, first when he was sarcastic to the passenger, and then when he was all about himself in his pretend indignation by saying to man who needed to go to the hospital, I’ll pullover if you keep cursing.

“Fuck him! What an asshole, what a punk,” the brother of a friend of a friend said when I had told them the story . . . and politique does keep me from saying more.

Any of you who ever hung out on any city street corner knows exactly what he should be called, what he is, how little respect you should pay this whiny boy . . . I don’t know when emotional hemophilia became the default denotation for sensitive or for humane?

Written by jvr

June 17, 2019 at 11:19 pm

OCASIO-CORTEZ

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Intelligent, yet somewhat naive; articulate, yet nearly subsumed by received ideas and other cliches born of the dominant socio-political rhetoric of her contemporaneity. However, there are plenty of ways in which she remains apart from previously formed informers of the status quo . . . she is unique.

An unwitting stooge for the State, unable or unwilling to address issues of class, opting fro the same trite rhetoric of race that has left issues of race unresolved. She is really a benign revised-New Dealer, which is a lot better than Obama or Hilary, and certainly far far from the grotesque manias of Donald Trump.

Preferable to the Status Quo, but in as much as she did grow up more white than I did, having been subsumed by the status quo forms of the Bourgeoisie, she will only be the space of pretended subversion to masquerade freely in order to control any real attempt at reform.

 

Written by jvr

June 16, 2019 at 2:56 pm

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