What’s it Like – a Lesson from the Anthill

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]
What’s it like when an age-old and more-or-less trusted, definitely believed-in system begins to unravel, and as it does, it reveals that neither the emperor, nor those who bow before the august personage, have any clothes on despite having spent fortunes to convince themselves they had the best clothes any age, any society, any nation, any empire, ever wore? 
The system I’m talking about is capitalism. For most, capitalism is the best way if not the only way, to handle economies and satisfy the desires of the go-getters.  It’s bloody competition, but instead of lions in a savanna, or sharks in an ocean, this is done with money and the blood isn’t actually food, just collateral damage. For the believers, such damage is not only acceptable, but necessary to keep the system going. How else could it work? Capitalism’s first need is war, and it’s health depends entirely on perpetual war.
For those who doubt this, show me a true period of history that does not involve some form of war or conquest; an era concerned solely with the welfare of people and the planet during which there is no war at all. Please!
Capitalism, for those rare few in the know, aware, and sensitive to things that really don’t work, is a system designed solely to create the mass illusion of scarcity in a world of plenty.  The pretend competition is what gives meaning to the illusion of monetary motion between individuals and/or large collectives. Another word for manufactured scarcity is debt. 
According to the Gospel of Capitalism, every nation on the planet must, of necessity, be hopelessly indebted to organizations invented strictly to create the illusion of debt. International banking houses, organizations like the IMF, the Fed, (watch these replicate as time tightens the rope around the capitalists’ necks) these dictate who loses and who wins as they are forced to participate in gambling casinos they call international trade deals. First rule of gambling: the house always wins.
Think for one moment: why should those who sit on, and own by right, national, natural and labour (the only real resources), be indebted to institutions because these institutions say they are entitled to all of it, and entitled to distribute the spoils as they see fit?

Hello, out there?

“Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here!” 
Again, why should a native of El Salvador live in abject poverty, fear for his, or his family’s lives, or slave for some multinational corporation that has nothing to do with his country and is nothing but a vulture sitting on a carcass it claims for itself?  Can anyone explain the justice in that? If not, why not? If unjust, then why is it accepted as normal? Is injustice so ingrained in the Earthian brain that it no longer matters… maybe never has mattered until it slaps that brain across the face when it expected a handout and a silly and meaningless revolution results?  
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings…” And yet it fascinates me to see, in the current times, reasonably intelligent underlings scatter about each time someone or something kicks the anthill of civilization, to repair and rebuild, despite the fact that each repair and rebuild leaves the edifice in less working order than before the first kick and the ants much worse off. 
I used to do that to anthills in the north, there were lots of them, and watch what happened, week after week, after each time I flattened their hill. They’d swarm out and immediately set about rebuilding. As long as there was a queen in there, the rebuilding happened, though it looked less and less like a “hill” as the ants were too busy rebuilding to seek out food and tired themselves out in their useless labour. If I got the queen, the anthill was abandoned and reverted to grass. 
I see “the economy” and “climate change” and increased population with associated disorders, kicking “the living shit” out of civilization’s anthill, and I see those frightened, angry, brainwashed ants immediately rushing about madly plugging, patching, repairing the worst holes. They live in the “hope that springeth eternal in the human breast” that a younger queen (say, alternative energy, a “green” government, even perpetual motion machines – call it what you will)  will be able to prevent the final disaster: the end of the collective, for ants, being ants, cannot imagine life without the anthill. 
Collective madness: that’s what it’s like at the moment on earth’s kicked anthill.

“Say, ants, have you thought that perhaps it’s high time to imagine and implement an entirely new type of interaction with the environment, with each other, one that doesn’t require the maintenance of an entropic anthill?”

Injustice is ingrained
in my Earthian brain.
I struggle in vain
hoping for some gain
but the system’s a bane
in which I but wane
to an end which is pain.  (File that one under truly bad poetry)

Quote: “War is the only true industry capitalism can produce.” (Comment by Sojourner on TubularSock, WordPress)

23 thoughts on “What’s it Like – a Lesson from the Anthill

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      As long as we recognize the pattern, there is the possibility of breaking it. Thanks for commenting, Colette.

  1. rawgod

    I just did a post on Capitalism (And the RC Church, who are the biggest capitalists of all!) from a wholly different viewpoint, but it came out the same in the end, I think. “War” might be the only industry, but “Greed” is what drives the bus, IMO.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Just off the cuff here, I’d comment that war is the food of capitalism, greed is its lifeblood, it’s raison d’être. Since man’s systems (within civilization) always choose to revert to greed as their modus operandi, then that says that greed is addictive; that man will do anything to express his greed however destructive it always is on the long run. Greed isn’t just about the money chimera either, it translates into all the gratuitous violence people do to each other and to their environment.

      1. rawgod

        Yep, you got it, girl. Greed is an addiction, one that grows the more it gets. But not only does it always want more, it also hates to give up what it already has. Just the billionaires in this world alone could make our world a pleasant place to live, if they were so inclined. But they cannot do that, because then they would not have whatever it is they have anymore. Those kids in the Philippines lately could have been rescued in hours, not days, if the billionaires decided to help. They are damn lucky the kids survived…
        But the world goes on. Someday all that money and wealth will disappear, and then where will all those billionaires be? Jumping out of their highrise penthouse offices, 1929 all over again.
        And I prophecize it will happen, because it must!!!!!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Lisa. We’re in it up to the eyeballs, aren’t we. I heard that our number one psychopath, Jeff Bezos, has topped the 100 billion$ for his own little self. And he continues to treat his employees like serfs and slaves, cracking the whip to get more and more production out of them in the Amazon anthill. I wonder what he’s waiting for to replace Trump as president…

      1. Lisa R. Palmer

        Maybe he’s discovering that being President isn’t nearly as glamorous as it once was. After all, who will take any President seriously after Trump and his allies get done making a mockery of the entire US government?

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Good point. He’d probably be tempted if he could be guaranteed absolute dictatorship and given a free hand to shove all and sundry to slave in his warehouses, all “human rights” and labour codes cancelled. He’d probably make a few more hundred billions overnight but his pleasure would be from watching the entire nation of slaves suffer and die at his whim. I’m glad I’ll probably never have the opportunity to meet him, I’d throw up on him… 🙂

  2. stolzyblog

    Read something a few years ago about the ‘gift economy’, how a space must be acknowledged and protected, for the simple sustaining power of giving, agenda-free. That would be an anthill of a different color. With no queen.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      As long as that space is all of planet earth, that could work. Otherwise they’re bound to find oil, or diamonds in it and mine it…

  3. mistermuse

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” –Winston Churchill

    I doubt that socialist Scandinavian countries are a shared case of miseries, but I’ll leave that to economists to debate. What’s obvious to me is the statement that “capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings” is a substantial understatement.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Quoting Churchill is handling a two-edged sword. He was the ultimate WASP, virulent anti-socialist British upper class… and like Lincoln, way, way, overrated as to his “contribution” to the war effort, being primarily a demagogue and smart ass who liked to get drunk. No wonder the British, in a rare moment of clarity, dumped him right after the war. That said, this particular quote is basically what you’d call a “Tweet” today. My take on it anyway. Thanks for commenting, it’s appreciated.

      1. mistermuse

        Just in case my previous comment wasn’t clear, Churchill’s take on capitalism as “the unequal sharing of blessings” was what I meant by a “substantial understatement.” You probably took it that way, but I wanted to make sure, because I’d like to avoid misunderstandings.

        Thanks for the conversation.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks for clarifying, but I don’t believe I was misled, or misled myself as to what you meant. Churchill was being his asinine self, a Donald Trump with an education and some military experience with a very big mouth. A ypical capitalist, he was making fun of the poor. He knew, they all know, that when a few do all the taking and the vast majority does the giving (by force mostly) it’s not an unequal sharing of the burden of civilization. But the increasing propaganda convinces the slaves that the takers are the benefactors without whom chaos would immediately ensue. With that mindset securely locked in, they can say and do whatever they want, their “support base” is assured.

  4. kertsen

    Capitalism has a neat fit with human nature , which was born and bred in the jungle and moved into the industrial jungle with the same motives. Other systems have been tried but they always convert into capitalism , China being a fine example .
    There is evidence to suggest we are in the most peaceful period of human history since the second world war and the ever active intelligent ant Steven Pinker has gathered a monument of evidence to support this in ‘ The Better Angels of Our Nature ‘.
    However he spoils the bandwagon of progression by adding the reason for this is that war not longer pays ; we’ve become better to get richer.
    Apple need customers to buy their mobile phones as well at smart technicians to invent them , so it is in the interest of those whose wealth comes from technology to raise standards. We now have three hundred million Chinese who are middle class : good for business eh?
    So capitalism has raised up these three hundred million ( beware Donald ) and if the thread does not break it will raise up more but not in the west which has had its glory. Those of us who already , like me , wallow in the joy of capital make the most of it for the earth is feeling the pressure and has its own unpleasant way of leveling the anthill.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      The denizens of the jungle get a bad rap from man attempting to justify his violent and vile greed. Jungle people (not necessarily of the Home Sapiens Sapiens variety) are not a greedy bunch. They are, for the most part, predators, yes, but only as far as they need to sate their immediate needs. They have no greed. The military industrial jungle is a different playing field. Here greed dominates, hence there can never be any balance. Surely no one with an iota of intelligence and active brain would claim we are in the “most peaceful period of human history” unless intent upon bitter satire! There is conflict everywhere; refugees swamp lands that don’t want them while resource wars rage throughout the Middle East, compliments of the US, Britain and the EU/NATO. We’re sitting in the edge of a nuclear volcano threatening to erupt at any moment. Trump wants to invade Iran; Palestinians are being decimated by the Zionists; Buddhist Thailand is busy with ethnic cleansing of the Patani; the US threatens to invade Venezuela; India and Pakistan are as close to open war as ever while Afghanistan is being decimated by US intervention and proxies… Yes, this definitely spells peace in our time, if “peace” is described as that place and time when we aren’t lobbing nuclear missiles at one-another and the only reason that isn’t happening is, the elites aren’t sure they can escape the fallout and they can’t sail their yachts in underground bunkers.

  5. kertsen

    Well I did struggle a bit with Steven Pinker’s book he’s a boy for facts hundreds of them and graphs galore but I do know he is very intelligent and means what he says.
    Just as there is a balance in the real jungle so there is a balance in the industrial jungle. Sometime species are wiped out by others and they all look for advantages. Greed is a human concept , a moral idea and does not enter into the jungle world . The industrial jungle creates a pyramid of wealth the only stable structure that has existed throughout all civilisations and all wars up to the present time.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I guess it comes down to what one is willing to call “a jungle” and how one defines “wealth” doesn’t it. For me, the jungle created by capitalism is a monstrous garbage pile and its wealth is fake wealth. As you said before, nature will find a way to re-balance the slate and money isn’t going to save anyone, at least not for long if climate change, whether caused by natural earth cycles or anthropomorphic activities, or both, continues to build up as predicted by some.

  6. kertsen

    I think many would concur with you regarding the monstrous garbage pile but then they nip into McDonald’s for a quick lunch and when they get home turn on the TV after taking a beer from the fridge. Thoreau escaped to Walden pond ‘ I did not wish to live what was not life ‘. His little hut did not look too bad better than sleeping rough but what did he do all day?

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I believe he walked around the pond, meditating on the length of pine needles and wondering why stars hide in the daytime, like they were vampires or something… then he twirled his thumbs, clicking his tongue at the squirrels, and thought about thinking a lot… I have a pin suck to the firewall in my van that says, ‘I think, therefore I’m dangerous.’ Maybe he meditated on becoming dangerous so he died. It is said that when he lay dying in his bed (lucky him, he could have been lying frozen on the edge of the pond) a preacher came to see him and asked, ‘Have you made your peace with God, my son?’ and he replied, ‘We’ve never quarrelled.’ I’ve always marvelled at that wonderful lie.


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