May 6Liked by John Steppling

Off topic, John, but I notice once again on twitter the ridiculous anti-Marx material which seems to be accelerating with ad hominems, and recycling of age old boilerplate sloganeering stuff from old frauds like Thatcher's old hero Solzhenitsyn.

I find it laughable that, four years into the “covid turn”, we still have this comfy “cold war” rhetoric.

But why the anti-Marxism is accelerating right now is curious.

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May 6Liked by John Steppling

Alas, the post covid bifurcation into “Right”/anti-covid narrative/ anti-Marxism against “Left”/ pro-covid narrative/ gullible media swallowing, has delivered a devastating stunting of critical faculties whereby a lazy “occultist” mystical murmur has replaced sober analysis.

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Assuming that the anti-Marxists are not paid up Trolls, their incessant regurgitation of the old cold war rhetoric signals a deep anxiety about the increasing instability of the present. They are terrified of an impending change that will make a demand on them. And so they flee into an old comfortable submissiveness.

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50,000 deaths in 8 years is not that bad. That's 6k a year and there's much more than that who are suffering with terminal dieseases. It's fine as long as it's voluntary.

If we apply the Nuremberg code to euthanasia, it must be voluntary and without penalty of denying the treatment.

Adults should be able to choose, but not children. Actually the age should be around 25... That's when the frontal cortex is finished developing.

Btw, Is it possible to upload this to rumble, odysee or another site?

Substack player is buggy on Android.

I wish they had the transcript here too but that's a random thing that some posts get and others don't.

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Rob, I will check on Rumble et al.- As for numbers. I guess it depends on how you look at it. I mean forty thousand a year commit suicide (and climbing.).- from that perspective its reasonable , numerically speaking. But then you have the slow suicides of diseases of despair (sic). That usually includes suicide, about also overdose and liver disease. I mean it strikes me that all of these things are quite different, actually. Putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger is very final. Unambiguous. Drinking every day until comatose is a lot more ambiguous. Drugs entail pleasure (in theory). Gun in mouth does not. But this becomes a very rarified discussion......( bataille and his reflections on death by a thousand cuts https://intertheory.org/jorgensen.htm ) . The number though for people seeking (?) state assistance i maintain is pretty remarkable. Id not have imagined anything near that number.

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The Chris Hedges mantra (in the process of being recycled from Chomsky) is similar to the general anachronistic Cold War boilerplate rhetoric about Bolshevism which is seemingly accelerating amongst “anarchist” writers like Cudenec. This rhetoric had minimal credibility in an age some decades past in which, with the presence of at least nominal communist countries, a far more affluent Western population could unthinkingly absorb it. But it’s bizarre to encounter this rubbish now in a world where even this nominal communism has long since departed.

And so I wonder why so many channels are currently rubbishing Soviet Russia. It may be an offshoot of general Russophobia (overlooking the inconvenient fact that Russia is no longer nominally communist). But there is perhaps an underlying project to erect a pre-emptive defense against any general identification with the whole history of genuine organised labour resistance.

The Chomsky and Hedges accounts of the collapsing of the socialist states of the East echoes that of the odious Zizek who noted with a typically posturing gleefulness that the inhabitants of these “newly liberated” countries had a “childish expectation” of sharing in the alleged wonders of the Coca Cola world without having the “manliness” to face up to the new “free market” reality. Zizek, Chomsky and Hedges are pretty much the same deal but with vaguely differing spins.

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The Politico piece referred to by the Zero Hedge article underlines the “Leftist” contour of the new mainstream media theology. The piece is practically a manual of the now ubiquitous propagandist memes, especially constant repetition of the new demonic invocations: “Right-Wing”, “white”, “Conservative”, “Christian”. The impression is the one now familiar since the “Dawn of Covid”: that the entire media have had some explosive proletarian revolution and we are now careening towards some socialist utopian future – as defined by our new executive class.

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On Corey’s excellent comment on the influence of pornography on relationships, I recall an exchange on an old site called “New Left Project” between two women on the topic of pornography. One took the typically liberal view that porn was “liberated” and “liberating” and that both men and women enjoyed watching it. The other one took what seemed to me to be a hard line puritan angle saying that porn was unambiguously bad. I initially sided with the liberal voice but then a third voice came in which made a point I hadn’t considered: If you stop thinking about the theory and look at what actually happens, then everything changes.

And if I emerge from the boilerplate liberal spiel and think about the people I have known and spoken to, everything changes indeed. And I can state with little hesitation that porn is an overwhelmingly male interest. The only women I’ve known who showed an interest seemed to me to have been merely trying to please their male partners. Most women were disgusted or treated porn as a joke.

And I think there is an obvious reason for this hold that porn has over men rather than women: in real sex, the sense of sight only plays a part in the beginning when the potential partners are attracted to each other. (And even then, there are a huge number of other factors to consider.) But when the two come to have a sexual relationship, sight is practically irrelevant. They are too close to even see each other. Sight is the sense of distance and it’s what pornography relies on. Thus watching sex is the most radical violation of the sex act itself. But watching creates the illusion of control. This appeals to the male mind – which is then caught in the trap of apparent power which collapses into a mournful alienation. And the far more realistic and logical female mind realises this from the start. Which leads to the questions: “Why are you watching this? What can you possibly enjoy here?”

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On the topic of a general “deflation” of sex, the entertainment sector is central to this. The most recent “big hit” on Netflix is “Baby Reindeer” which conveys an unremittingly pessimistic and indeed even nauseating image of “the youth scene” in which the two industries most affected by covid – the pub (bar) scene and the comedy circuit – are portrayed as hostile gloomy places. The main character is a failed comic called Donny played by Richard Gadd who wrote the series and claims that it is based on his own life.

(The story has a similarity to the movie “Joker” in which the mentally disturbed main character (played by Joaquin Phoenix) is another would-be comic with a narcissistic and masochistic personality. That movie had parallels with the “incel movement” of aggressively “non-sexual” males.)

So Donny inhabits a world of pubs and comedy circuits that is reminiscent of Scorsese’s image of New York in “Taxi Driver”. There is an ever present paranoia attaching to the “social scene”, and Donny is plagued by cold audiences, a stalker, and a male TV producer who is clearly gay and who wants to groom Donny using drugs. The latter affair amounts to a lapse into one of the most reactionary memes around homosexuality i.e. that no-one is naturally gay but has to be “programmed” into it.

The overall effect is of an apparently radical series which sells a hard-line conservatism. The ultimate message seems to be: “Don’t go out! Don’t trust anyone! Don’t drink! Don’t look for relationships! Sex is a sleazy disgusting business!”

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I posted this on Johan's blog, so apologies for reposting here, but it is relevant to the other comments: That CBC article on this topic of euthanasia indicated that the issue was medically assisted death in cases in which patients were very ill, not able to recover, and certain to die in the near future. The statistics (50,000) may seem high, but when considered as part of the total of all people who die in one year, the number may not be very high, especially if the number is increasing only because doctors are now required to report a practice that was always common and done informally (the patient’s pain increases, so increase the dosage of medicine to relieve pain until a fatal dose is reached). The article mentioned that there are some who want to offer assisted suicide to people with mental health problems and no means of material support. Fortunately, this is being opposed and debated, but not enough.

One could wonder about the rationale for wanting to assist a severely depressed person in killing himself. Perhaps the thinking is that a person shouldn’t kill himself in a messy way that is going to traumatize others or cause costly cleanups and delays in the train schedules. Perhaps it is seen as a type of suicide prevention in that the person asking for assistance could be talked out of it in most cases and would benefit from counselling and provision of some essential support. Perhaps this could be a pressure tactic on government—"Look, we have hundreds of people here asking for help in dying because they are homeless and abandoned. Shouldn’t we be giving them homes? The government must do something!”

Or this could be eugenics, something very sinister that involves a slow drift toward a final solution for problems that our society has failed to solve humanely. As Vanessa Beeley’s article points out, Bill C-7 in Canada does include provisions that open the way to euthanasia for people who are mentally ill and not terminally ill. The CBC article stated that the Health Canada report indicated in 2023 “3.5 per cent of all MAID [Medical Assistance in Dying] recipients—463 people—did not have reasonably foreseeable deaths” (i.e. they were not terminally ill and there were other options besides dying). In 2021, this number was 223, about half the 2023 figure. That is not insignificant.

These articles failed to discuss what checks and balances are in place. Who is supervising all this? Does a doctor uninvolved in the treatment do an impartial review the patient’s file? Do lawyers or judges review the file? Who signs off on this legally? It’s not only the destitute and poor who are threatened by euthanasia laws. Family members who want hastened access to inherited property would have motives to encourage euthanasia, bribe doctors and lawyers, or make donations to hospitals. The ethical quagmires just worsen as the bureaucratic momentum seeks to include new categories of people eligible for Medical Assistance in Dying, which could more honestly be called legalized killing.

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May 1·edited May 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYzPVKg3wyo. Rob, you really think 50,000 assisted deaths are not bad? I find it horrifying! Have you read Beeley's piece?

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