nettime's diplomatic corps on Sat, 15 Apr 2006 09:22:52 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track [4x]

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   Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track                                      
     "Benjamin Geer" <>                                       

   Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track                                      
     brian carroll <>                                       

   Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track                                      
     "Benjamin Geer" <>                                       

   Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track                                      
     brian carroll <>                                       


Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 12:34:18 +0200
From: "Benjamin Geer" <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track

On 14/04/06, brian carroll <> wrote:
> or, maybe this is the pre-existing condition of the last 40 years,
> via the rise of a particular dynasty,

Although I agree that American democracy leaves a great deal to be
desired, and has been taking an increasingly authoritarian turn, I
think it's still a far cry from the sheer brutality of typical
military regimes towards their own citizens.  In the US you can
organise meetings, publish articles criticising the government and
take part in demonstrations.  In Syria, for example, which experienced
a series of military coups since 1949, culminating in Hafez al-Assad's
1970 coup, you can get arrested, tortured and imprisoned for decades
just for being suspected of opposing the government, e.g. just for
attending a lecture on the emergency law, which has been in effect
since 1963.[1][2]

> and this condition would merely
> be to transfer it from a private to a public realm,

Outside the present state institutions in the US, does an organised
public realm currently exist that would be prepared to assume power in
a more responsible manner?  If you think the answer is yes, what is it
and how does it work?

> in which the
> state could both be abolished by constitutional authority

What part of the US constitution provides for abolishing the state?

Moreover, the constitution is the basis of the flawed democracy that
you reject; it would seem to follow that the constitution itself is
deeply flawed.

> the military take the constitution seriously when they are dying for it

The rank and file are dying, not the generals.  In a military coup,
it's often the generals who take power, precisely in order to replace
the constitution with something more to their liking.


[1] "Syria: 41 years of the State of Emergency",
Amnesty International, 8 March 2004,

[2] "Syria Under Bashar (II): Domestic Policy Challenges",
International Crisis Group, 11 February 2004,


Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 12:42:11 -0500
From: brian carroll <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track

  hi Benjamin,

  yes, I can understand that taken from such a perspective that
  this may indeed be considered to be the case. another view to
  consider could be taken from 'the constitution' of the state itself,
  that is the creation of government and laws, upon certain given
  principles, and then over time the devolution of this into its anti-
  thesis- which for democracy is dictatorship, beyond rule of law.

  this devolution of the state over the last half-century (via the
  military-industrial complex, say) may have driven the final nail
  into the coffin of .US democracy as it was originally conceived,
  when the rise of the corporate citizen took precedence over the
  human citizenry, in the representation of public affairs of state.

  this transfer from a once 'public' mankind, of citizens, became
  foundational for the privatization of the state based upon the
  'private' corporation acting as if were representing 'the public.'

  this is to say that, by the way that the constitution is framed it
  would be considered a 'limited' view of what exists as a public
  realm, within a 18th century contextualization of such an idea.
  that is, laws that exist today were written by private mankind,
  and use reasoning which distorts a larger public point of view,
  and that these have created loopholes (bugs to be exploited),
  in which the Constitutional can become a tool of oppression.
  that is, if the bugs are not fixed. one such bug is the idea of
  a 'citizen.' where, today, a corporate citizen or human citizen
  can equally co-exist in interpreting the constitution of state.

  that is, within the .US, there may well be a democracy in a
  formal sense, yet this democracy has become a competition
  between various citizens and their constituents. and this has
  placed corporate citizens in contest with human citizens, in
  which a social darwinist 'survival of the fittest' situation has
  evolved in the culture and the state itself, i.e. government.

  and, time and again, it is this 'corporate citizen' who has
  won representation in places traditionally meant for human
  representation of human issues. this situation could also be
  broken down in terms of public/private aspects of citizens,
  where corporate citizens may at times represent a public
  view and human citizens, a private view, on some situation,
  yet this public/private dimension could equally be reversed,
  so that there is some ambiguity in terms of representing a
  clear and cohesive view of what is a 'public or private' view
  of a given citizen or on a given issue, as it splits across a
  huge divide of public/private corporate and public/private
  human interests. and the state, to govern effectively, would
  need to be able to 'reason', via some enlightening insight,
  how to navigate this situation so 'citizens' direct the state
  in a way that is in line with democratic self-representation.

  this idea of self-governance via representation has been
  changed since the .US constitution of the state, in that with
  the rise of mass media, the 'traditional' process by which
  a human represents a given constituency has increasingly
  become detached by way of the 'electronic' mass media.
  this has effectively created a short-circuit in terms of how
  'representation' in the state is mediated, i.e. governance.
  in that, what were once 'checks and balances' upon the
  process of representation between citizens and state are
  today 'mediated' by middle-managers, the mass media,
  who happen to be corporate citizens, with self-interests.

  thus, what is represented and what can be represented is
  within the 'rights' of private corporate-citizenry to decide.
  this filtering/editorial aspect creates a boundary or bubble,
  in which a larger 'public' reality is defined, for 'the masses'
  which make up the modern industrial state at national scale.

  this is actually a limited view of events, given by corporate-
  citizens, as to what is going on, as seen from their viewpoint.
  in this sense, it is to enframe issues in their own worldview,
  as they see it, represent it, and broadcast it, often one-way.

  thus, what is represented in today's state as being a public
  viewpoint of given events, (i.e. 'the status quo' on the news)
  is actually a private representation of what is going on in the
  state, as seen by corporate citizens of this democratic state.
  this could be considered 'reality, incorporated' by those who
  define what will and will not be included in this representation
  of affairs, and the perspective given to consideration of events.

  therefore, it is in such a private 'reality, inc.' that a version of
  events gets distributed to the masses as a representation of
  what is going on, which is based upon a private point of view.

  what is significant is that this 'mass media' presents a private
  point of view of events, and that it is also itself a private citizen
  in the government, which seeks its own self-representation of
  its (corporate) constituency. that is, in the way that the state is
  now constituted, 'citizens' compete for representation of views,
  and it now is situated such that corporate citizens are in direct
  competition with human citizens over views of events and how
  they are represented, both in the media and in the government.

  the other aspect to this situation of 'Reality, Inc' in mass media
  is that 'the media' is not a formal branch of government yet it
  functions like one, in terms of providing 'checks and balances'
  upon given representations of events between citizens and state.

  (the 'poll' may function in some way as a referendum, etc etc etc,
  which could be considered an electronic petri diesh of populism.)

  the problem is that the mass media is not 'democratic' in either
  its operation of what is represented or who is representing it.
  the news anchor talks as if they are a citizen like any other, who
  shares their perogative on events. yet they are instead a gradient
  between the corporate citizen and the human citizen, existing in-
  between these two. in this sense, their are a human technology
  of a sort, cyborgs in a sense, which is part human, part machine.

  the representative of mass media is thus, part corporate and part
  human citizen. and what they represent is oftentimes largely the
  biased view of the corporate citizenry, as to events, interpretation,
  and values conveyed through this representation of mass media.

  as representatives of corporations, and their citizenry, this is not
  happening by way of voting in those who represent this 'reality,
  inc.' and instead it is to accept what is placed there for the public
  to digest in terms of point of view, which is largely based on the
  private economic (capitalist) point of view of what is going on. in
  this sense, it is a representation of the state of affairs by a built-
  in aristocratic class of corporate citizens and their representatives.

  so, none of this is regulated in terms of its influence upon the
  governance of state, by the 200+ year old constitution. this is a
  situation which has evolved into what it is, yet the basic relation
  between citizens is that of a traditional conception of events, as
  if we are in an 18th century reasoning and subsequent reality.
  that is, through the non-differentiation between human citizens
  and corporate citizens, this can go on as if nothing has changed.

  the major problem is that, corporations are (literally) machines.

  so that, in terms of competing for constitutional self-government,
  it places this machinery (and its values) in direct competition with
  human citizens, for representation of issues, and for governance.
  this is by default, not by intention or planning- and the limits of
  ideas to model this and modify the constitution accordingly, so
  as to differentiate the legitimate citizenry and to design balance
  between these branches of citizens, extends throughout affairs
  of the state, from labor relations pitting workers against industry,
  to having mass media functioning against ideas of democracy.
  all by default. by not being able to model this as a real condition
  that goes beyond the original 'framers' point of view of events.
  this is why the strict 'constructionists' and literalists are often-
  times speaking directly to creating a dictatorship of democracy,
  because in the traditional view this is what is rationalized as the
  good, while in this new context (electromagnetic, as presented)
  these same actions have become tyranny and are oppressive.

  this is an issue of the state as a living organism, as constituted.
  something which function as a feedback-based lifeform in the
  world environment, among other states/organizations, and it
  becomes an issue of how this state is going to govern itself. by
  what sentience is the state being guided in its decision-making,
  for instance? because, it is at this point that, the constitution as
  it exists, has allowed ascendancy to machinic-values systems
  in which people have become raw material, natural resources,
  for the planning of this machine of state and its future evolution.
  that is, 'governance' may have become separated from 'human'
  values along the way, in its long-range planning for domination
  and survival, which has also become detached from checks-
  and-balances of its human citizenry, yet this is believed to be
  unchanged during the massive transformation of perceptions
  in the last hundreds of years, and a traditional view remains--
  this is to say that the mass media can effectively short-circuit
  the human accountability, by supposedly representing its own
  version of events (which are private corporate perspectives),
  and this is assumed still to be the trajectory of a human state
  and its democracy, and not that of a corporate democracy in
  which corporations are who are represented in government,
  and this democracy of human citizenry is only vestigial, as it
  is based on some faith/belief in an overriding enlightenment
  of inviolable views and principles shared within government.
  that is, human democracy is only simulated by mass media,
  which bypasses this functioning and instead represents the
  corporate democracy via its own corporate citizens who are
  'public' representatives of the mass media, who represent
  a corporate democracy, by and for corporate citizens and
  their democratic state. this is corporate democracy, at its
  worst, could devolve into a corporate dictatorship, that is,
  even tyranny where even that last vestige of democracy is
  lost to the brutal truth that machinery may instead now be
  governing the state, and may be functioning on autopilot.

  this is to say that, if you gave a cybernetic machine the
  rights of citizenship, then you evolved this situation over
  a period of 200+ years, in which human citizens are placed
  in direct competition with corporate citizens in terms of their
  representation in the state and the governance of this state,
  that it is possible that the values driving the state could be
  dehumanized, as they evolve, in the world environment, in
  such a way that this is a natural evolution of the state in a
  constitution, as it is framed, via exploitations of its coding
  (language, logic, laws, functions, definitions, etc). it is in
  such a case as this that an event like 9/11 may be seen
  as not being only within an irrational view, but purposive
  for these other goals, these other constituencies, involved.
  and that this may not, at some point before-present, even
  have been an issue of 'free will' but instead of necessity,
  of the state to function as a cybernetic organism, and to
  seek out its own future as a machine in the world garden
  or wilderness what have you. this is a much longer essay
  i am in the middle of writing, (on the last section now) and
  issues such as these can be related to Lewis Mumford, etc.

  the aspect about this 'constitution' then, is that it both is
  able to constitute the state, as it exists, and thus it is what
  provides for government and governance- it is what relates
  the individual to the state, and vice-versa. it autogenerates
  much of what exists at the base level of what now goes on.

  in such a situation as today, with Neoconservatives et al, it
  provides lessons for what to do about internal and external
  insurrections within such a state. it gives basic direction as
  to what is not acceptable in terms of a democracy. thus, it
  provides clarity with regard to where to draw the line, and
  how serious it is. now, just for sake of example, imagine if
  Neocons were as horrible as the Nazis were during WWII,
  and yet this is all hidden behind the mask of mass media,
  and what is project to the masses is a simulated version of
  events, as they actually exist- and imagine that, instead, it
  were possible that the Neocons were actually terrorizing
  the .US citizenry, yet this is not how things are represented.
  and, let's say that these Neocons are actually 'in charge' in
  the government-- they are the 'democratic representatives'
  of 'the people'-- by fiat of voting, polls, news, and money.
  and it is all legitimate in this simulated realm where the
  traditional view holds sway over interpretation of events,
  and the ideas are taken as if the 18th century never left.

  it is possible that the government could become a tyranny,
  even a corporate dictatorship, yet be represented as if it
  were a human democracy of human citizens, which bases
  its actions on the good will of .US humans onto the others.
  such as the exporting of democracy through torture camps.

  at some point, there is a split in what is presented as the
  'reality, inc' in the mass media, versus the constitution itself,
  and what it is commonly believed to exist for in its functioning.

  that is, at the level of 'reasoning' and public debate, that it
  would be possible to provide checks and balances upon this
  reality, of how the state is governed and thus how individuals
  are governed, by way of investigating the logic of the ideas
  involved. that is, is torture a right of the democratic citizenry?
  and this argument can go down to the core principles as they
  are constituted, and this then can be debated in government.
  excepting that this 'public' debate is not able to occur in the
  government because it is occurring instead in private mass
  media, in a context in which corporations operate within a
  realm of self-interest and profit depends on their complying
  with the status-quo of the government as it is now constituted.
  or they'd be out of business. evolve or die, as is often said.

  the mass media, instead, determines what is represented,
  what is debated, what is heard, what is considered 'real' in
  their private spheres of influence, which make up a pseudo-
  public state of affairs as they now exist. thus, if the 'reality,
  inc.' turns out to be in-line with the Neoconservative version
  of events, that is, 'Neocon reality, inc' via newspapers, TV,
  radio, books, blogs, etc. that it creates a situation in which
  traditional representation of human citizens can become
  bypassed by mass media which represents a 'status-quo'
  view of events, with built-in bias, which may both function
  against the interests of human citizens in this state, and
  also against the constitutional democracy, in carrying out
  its agenda in such a way beyond democratic checks-and-
  balances for this unchecked and unbalanced power, and
  what amounts to the ability to concentrate power, of the
  mass media, of the power systems, and bureaucracies,
  outside the purview and view of citizens. all of it natural.
  pre-disposed to doing so. by fiat of the constitution itself.

  thus, in the Constitution, it is said one should call for a
  'constitutional convention' to fix the problems with the
  constitution should problems arise. excepting that, what
  if the 'representatives' are only for corporations within the
  given government, and have no self-interest in serving a
  human constituency, as there is no profit in doing so, only
  loss? what if you were to call a constitutional convention
  and not only did nobody come, but everyone laughed?

  that is, it is only a slight tweak here or there that is wrong,
  not something as obtuse as the constitution itself which
  may be generating structural problems, which themselves
  may evolve into events such as 9/11, by fate or necessity.

  and what if the main enemies for doing so, for changing
  this state as constituted, become the representatives of
  this state of affairs as it exists-- even the elected leaders
  of this simulated 'reality, inc' and its false shadow plays?

  what if there are people who've chosen allegiance to the
  machinery, at the cost of sharing a basic humanity with
  other citizens in the state, and thus became a certain type
  of human technology which are optimized based on certain
  values which are in-line with this (mega-) machinery of state.
  which, in fact, has become dehumanized in its very evolution.
  and that the 'sentience' of such persons may be more in line
  with robots or machines than with traditional human values,
  in that the way ideas are considered may be computational,
  to get from point A to point B, via routes that machines take,
  outside of human governance, or constitutional democracy.

  the issue here is what if the constitution has been exploited
  and its failure to adapt to changes has created the problems
  of the present, yet the traditional processes by which to re-
  claim human governance in the state are void of influence in
  that they are considered 'unreal' in the private 'reality, inc.' as
  it exists? that leaves few options. imagine that 'insurrectionists'
  were, in fact, in charge of the government itself, then. and to
  go about petitioning them to change any of what is going on,
  at a basic level, at the core of the ideas which generate this.

  it is impossible to consider this 'democracy' and not tyranny.

  and in the successive 'fall' of the branches of governments
  to corporate citizens and their representatives (white house,
  courts, congress) it is the complete transfer of power from
  the human citizens to the corporate citizenry, and then to a
  corporate dictatorship within these, as the policy of the state
  becomes based on the 'reality, incorporated' by these citizens.

  the white house becomes run by CEOs, the courts become
  bastions of (dehumanized) corporate law, and the congress
  becomes corporate representatives which on any given issue
  get to choose between corporate and human views, in binary
  decision-making in a totally saturated ideological environment.

  take Enron, for instance and energy policy planning. VP Cheney
  was able to have secret meetings with Ken Lay and others in
  the energy industry, which mapped out energy planning out-
  side of public interests (such as fuel efficiency, pollution, global
  warming), and this became .US _public policy when it is entirely
  _private policy of corporate citizens, and limited access and in-
  volvement of .US citizens in state planning, to only private views.

  this short-circuited events which led up to the Iraq war, no doubt.
  and when the election in California between Gore/Bush went on,
  the lights were going out, by the hand of Enron, etc. it is to add
  that when the time came to open up this inquiry, congressmen
  like Sen. Joe Leiberman vociferously defended such things, as
  being on the level, etc, all legal and part of government working,
  enough to make a special trip to a small island in California, no 
  to defend against claims of government surveillance of citizens who
  were looking into what was going on, pre- and post 9/11 events. etc.
  so, there are congressmen who are providing legitimacy to policy
  in terms of energy planning and its connection with larger issues.
  for example, war as it was engineered by the Neoconservatives.
  the senator represented the corporate citizens in this case, and
  the human interests were considered suspect against the state.
  that is, human democracy would imperil corporate democracy.

  then, you've got citizens and groups calling for opening up this
  energy policy and it goes to the courts, the Supreme Court, in
  which a key decision to open up these meetings is blocked by
  Justice Scalia, also part of this same network of persons who
  shared a certain ideology about how things work in this state.
  their lack of recusing themselves ends up blocking public access
  to these private meetings, which ended up bringing the nation
  to financial ruin in terms of the billions lost to Enron scandal,
  and potentially the ill-fated adventurism in Iraq, tied into oil.
  that corporate citizens become the measure of the law within
  such a constitutional democracy makes it all a non-issue, if it
  disregards the critical need for human checks-and-balances
  over the direction government is taking in the citizen's names,
  and in their lives, as the blood that has flowed is theirs, not that
  of cold corporate machines where this exists only as abstraction.

  so you have, in .US energy policy, absolute and total corruption
  of constitutional law based on human citizens, not corporations,
  and what happens is that all three branches of government are
  representing and protecting and defending this corporate citizen
  and their democracy, which is being represented by mass media.
  which then has to break the news to the lowly human beings who
  occupy the state, not as its masters, but as slaves of 'reality, inc.'

  this 'reality, inc' still today is largely that of a Neoconservative
  point of view, because it is in the self-interest of corporations to
  continue on autopilot, to make profits where they can be made,
  while citizens need to wrest back control of the state, so as to
  guide it away from crashing into more rocks, which it constantly
  is going to do, until the state can be abolished and reconstituted,
  so as to provide balance between corporate and human citizens,
  and their governance, both locally and in the world organization.

  a major problem is that "nationalism" is fundamentally against this.
  so too are fascists who may be in control of the government, in its
  various forms, whether formally or informally (media, industry, etc).

  one possibility is that this is a matter of 'intelligence' of evolving
  states of affairs, and the ability to model what is going on, and to
  provide better options where none may now exist-- so as to give
  'free will' to decision-making, to allow different futures or possibilities
  than those only offered by the past (say, in the 18th century no less).

  it would seem that the machinery of state is largely unintelligent,
  and having a difficult time adapting the old ideas to new environs,
  without having the insight needed to transform itself. thus, it is to
  do only what it knows to do. which is industrial modernism as its
  ideology, which is largely automated development of machinery.
  whether it is humans who are developed or the state or natural
  resources, it makes little difference to the planners or the plan.
  its amorality or even immorality is guaranteed. and ideologies of
  science and technology, and science-fiction in particular, weigh
  in as useful conduits for making citizens salivate for false utopia.

  (or if the state is intelligent, it is a machine-intelligence which is
  guided its decision-making rather than human intelligence and
  insight into how to develop itself and govern itself in the world.
  it could become purely materialistic, as a machinery of state.
  there could be no respect for the mystery or meaning of living.
  it could easily become functional, routine, an issue no longer
  about governance or growth of the people, but of management
  of this method, this way of doing things, this path of evolution,
  which by being falsely limited could become its own devolution.
  in that it cannot adapt to changes, in terms of its own modeling.)

  in any case, imagining the state is 'governed' by corporations
  which are actually a giant cybernetic organism (cyborg) which
  is part-human part-machine and this is where a human-citizen
  is supposed to petition this government for changes, when in
  such a scenario there exists no need for any changes given
  the point-of-view and self-interest of the corporate citizenship,
  and further that some in this dehumanized mechanism may
  enact godlike powers over the state, and over human citizens,
  so that the power of an individual to influence this state is now
  largely fictitious and part of the myth of a democracy which is
  no longer existent in the government as it is currently operates.
  that, ideas like petitioning government for opening up energy
  policy meeting minutes is stopped, in the name of the rights
  of corporate citizens and their privacy, etc. and, that it is this
  same class of citizens who may oppress humans who try to
  engage their government, in a social darwinistic environment.
  such that this sets up a conflict between the citizens in this
  state, and who and what gets represented, and how and why.

  in this sense, there is an ongoing war between citizens which
  is trying to direct the state towards needs of its constituency
  and the corporations have 'won' the .US government as it now
  exists and the human citizens are locked outside of its processes.

  and, in this situation you have a volunteer-based military in
  which human citizens sign-on to protect and defend the .US
  Constitution which legitimates and autogenerates this state.
  and they are fighting and dying on its behalf-- and yet, is the
  state governing on their behalf, or another agenda altogether?

  do the principles which are driving the .US decision-making
  actually line-up with the .US constitution and human needs,
  or has this been subverted for another agenda, both of the
  corporate citizens though also of an agenda beyond the .US,
  which has become a proxy for ideas that have nothing to do
  with the .US, its constitution, democracy, freedom, or peace?

  because this is an important difference if the .US constitution
  has been voided in the actual practice of the operation of the
  .US government. it makes the government illegal by way of
  the constitution itself-- it betrays its own principles, by letter
  of the law and by its spirit, if the goals pursued by the state
  are those of insurrectionists who are acting against the state
  itself- against democracy, itself, against the constitution, and
  against the citizenry, in the pursuit of their own private goals.

  legally, if such a state simply is to be allowed to continue to
  do what it is doing, automatically, its functioning is against
  the state itself. that is, if its operation is unconstitutional it
  is no longer the role of the .US military to protect and defend
  those who pursue this unconstitutionality, -- it is instead their
  role to protect and defend and preserve the constitution itself.
  if doing so requires abolishing offices of federal government,
  potentially occupied by insurrectionists who are carrying out
  another agenda entirely that has subverted .US government,
  it would be the patriotic duty of every American citizen and in
  particular of every soldier to reclaim the office of government
  for its citizens and their self-representation, so to ensure their
  survival. for else, it would be to lose all the preceding sacrifices
  made to retain the ideas of such a democratic state, and hand
  it over to an unthinking, unfeeling, automated machinery which
  manages this situation as it turns increasingly into armageddon.

  it would be the right of a citizen to call for such an action, if,
  in lieu of a constitutional convention (being an impossibility) it
  was necessary to stop the further deterioration of the state in
  relation to its founding principles, in terms of public reasoning
  and debate using facts and with respect for truth and its value.

  the point of doing so is not to seize control over the democracy,
  it is to stop the automatic devolution into tyranny and dictatorship
  that 'naturally' exists, as it has evolved, because of the nature of
  events as they have changed in the last 200+ years and the in-
  ability of the constitution to adapt to these, and to modify core
  concepts such as citizenry in an age of cybernetic organisms
  (human-machinery) and a recontexutalization of space and time
  in lightspeed networking, mass media, and the like. such change
  has come about through electromagnetism and its development
  and it has indeed changed the nature of reality, the nature of
  logic, and even truth itself. yet none of this is 'accounted for'
  in the constitution, and the perils are found in current events.

  if the state were to prevented from further deterioration, it will
  be possible to reclaim 'democracy' for human citizens, and in
  balance with corporate citizens, after a constitutional convention
  could be held and this taken on in terms of a great debate of a
  new modeling of our environments and ourselves and our state.
  it would influence not only the functioning of .US government,
  such that it may be that most large departments could be made
  into a 'department of infrastructure' where economics and tele-
  com and transportation are placed into some ecology relation
  (where broadband policy goes along with climate change policy
  with fuel efficiency, with tax laws, etc) - it would also be scalable
  to global/world institutions and establishing a more fair, equitable
  balance between states in the shared world organization, such
  that the rebuilding of the WTC could be seen as an opportunity
  to begin building such new relations between citizens, so as to
  redesign the basic 'constitutional' relation not between man and
  machines or man and gods, instead- between human beings in
  a cybernetic organization, which includes corporate machinery,
  who both have public and private dimensions that require new
  balance and greater cooperation to engage issues as they exist.

  thus, the idea of 'governance' being based on the constitution of
  an individual person or collective state would scale from human
  citizens to the collective state, and beyond the .US this could be
  the foundation for new world relations in a complex multi-polar
  environment which is based on building peace and prosperity.

  taking back control of the .US government by public citizens is
  a key to this because there is no intelligence in government as
  it now exists as a private corporate entity- it cannot do the right
  thing, no matter what happens-- it is only able to manage as it
  is, it cannot transform itself or even think/imagine/see for itself.
  this requires human beings, who with their constitutional rights,
  have the obligation to do this, for many have sacrificed for their
  opportunity, which remains unclaimed as to the greater goals.
  that is, outside of the individual self and its narrow view of things.
  that citizenship goes beyond the private domain, to a civic duty,
  an obligation to improve things for the next person, and those
  who may be out of sight, but are not out-of-mind, for those who
  are human beings and do not accept people as mere mat=E9riel.

  there is every opportunity to invert this situation by claiming it
  as our own, as our right and our duty to take this challenge on
  and to do not only the right thing- but the necessary things to
  provide for those who come next-- * no matter the sacrifices *
  that is the price of life. the price others have given for us to live.
  and if we don't live, and don't live up to our obligations, we have
  failed. we will have failed as human beings to transcend apes
  and machinery as our reason for existing, and our only purpose.

  if this situation is transformed into one of human governance, in
  which the state can be reconstituted along more realistic modeling
  of events, and transform decision-making so that it works on many
  scales, for many constituents, yet remains in a balance that today
  does not exist and leads only to a business plan of 'endless war',
  then it will be possible to address climate change, pollution, energy,
  illiteracy, poverty, genocide, from within the democratic functioning
  of government in which people add up to a larger intelligence, and
  in this formation of governance, can successfully engage and adapt
  to these situations, to shape them for the better of the human state,
  whether it is a local state or the global state, that both human and
  corporate citizens work for one another and all benefit in doing so,
  and not against eachother in this mindless zero-sum competition.

  that is what is at stake, by allowing the status quo version of events
  ('reality, inc.') to define and represent this situation, everyone can
  believe this is constitutional democracy when it is in fact not this.
  and the right to reclaim this government is particularly important to
  those who are dying on its behalf. that is where the honor is found,
  in upholding the principles and if they are betrayed, to reclaim them.
  the state, after all, is an idea that is shared by individuals, and to
  accept the state today as it exists would necessitate equating the
  dysfunction of today's affairs with some idea of human democracy.
  which is nonsense, or even insane. the state people believe in, die
  for, the one that is constituted in the individual self and scales up to
  a larger collective state and its reality, is the one that ceases to exist.
  it is only held within the minds who believe it is the actual state which
  we owe our allegiance, and indeed, our lives to, as human citizens.

  and to call upon people to take back their government, is to call
  upon people to take back this government within themselves, their
  own critical abilities to model what is going on, instead of having it
  spoon-fed by distorted corporate ideologues with political agendas.

  what the hell is life for, if not for living? and what is government for
  if it is not for governing? well, it could be a good business, etc, yet
  that is not 'constitutional democracy' as it was originally intended.
  under no reasonable interpretation could what exists today with-
  stand a critical review of its functioning as if the original principles.

  that is where the Constitution, law, logic, truth, language, facts, and
  reason become important in such a duel of realities, of governance.
  this can all be (and has been) successfully argued, in detail, in depth
  and breadth, and defeat the existing positions en masse and one by
  one, to provide the impetus for legitimating such decision-making
  whereby the .US military legally can and should reclaim the public
  government for the public citizenry and dissolve the .US government
  until a constitutional convention can be held, and then to hand over
  this temporary management to its newly balanced civilian leadership
  for self-representation-- anything short of this will eventually and likely
  immediately necessitate coming back to this fact, that is inescapable-
  that the .US government is a failed system and the constitution is both
  part of the problem and vital to the solution and must be dealt with.

  how this happens when you've got threats of bird flue and anthrax
  and terror bombings and assassinations and death threats going on
  is anyone's guess. I believe that the .US constitution provides a way
  to engage this, responsibly, and its adaptation to the present day will
  provide a model for other states and world organization, so to better
  model and build for and develop our world the way we now need to.
  including transforming the worldwide war of terror into the issue as
  it actually exists, a mideast peace which will begin this new ordering.

  I've written a book-length online essay on this, which provides a
  much better overview that this, by looking at it in more detail and
  from a wider viewpoint, yet the conclusion is the same: that if the
  issues such as New Orleans rebuilding are to be dealt with, which
  includes poverty, racism, and corporate profiteering at the expense
  of the human public- that this is not an issue of political management
  but a structural flaw in the way the state is programmed and responds
  and that this is originating out of the constitution itself and its coding,
  which, unless changed, will not change the outcome of redevelopment
  in New Orleans, only copy the pre-existing patterns, extending them
  anew. that is, that there are elements of racism built into the .US
  constitution that are carried over from days of slavery, and this is
  seen in the response to the hurricane and its aftermath. that this is
  part of the 'constitution' of the federal state yet also the individual
  state, that in this self-limiting privatization, that the commonality of
  citizens has become that of class, race, and demographics and
  not of a shared identity beyond this. it is instructive when the .US
  president Bush says that his first loyalty is to his family, while he
  is in supposed to represent the entire 300 million .US citizenry.
  it would be to place his family before all others in his decision-
  making and in his view of his responsibilities to others, that is,
  his private family takes priority over the needs of the .US public.
  that his first loyalties are not to protecting the .US citizens, and
  this can be seen in other employees and elected officials whose
  views may be of loyalties which are also not firstly to .US citizens,
  and instead to another country as was seen in this last .UN vote,
  where the .US position is equated with that of the position of .IL.
  at the level of grand strategy, this is treason at its most clear.
  and it is unacceptable and must be stopped from continuing to
  represent a public that it holds no allegiance to, nor its principles.

  the .US government exists to self-represent .US citizens and their
  needs, and this has been short-circuited and is the cause of the
  'war of terror' and is itself terrorizing citizens without consequence.

  as I said in a telephone conversion after 9/11 -- I would like to
  find out who perpetrated 9/11 and put their heads on sticks. it is
  ironic that Cofer Black repeated my exact words days later in a
  Senate Testimony regarding going after the shadowy terrorists.
  and President Bush has often said: "we must fight the terrorists
  over there so we don't have to fight them here". there is only one
  problem with this-- what if the terrorists are indeed "here" and our
  military is 'over there'? and what if the terrorists who are terrorizing
  the .US homeland are somehow tied in with the Neoconservatives?
  such that, when you go to protest a public rally and get anthraxed
  that this is your friendly neighborhood fascist government at work.
  well, whatever the case, if such terrorists do exist here, there are
  plenty of people ready, willing, and able to start putting heads on
  sticks in this cosmic war of good against this dehumanizing evil.
  and there are some very good suspects that fit the profile of the
  terrorists-- violent extremists who are ideologically out of place.
  and what i am saying is that it is time to start doing something
  about this, by taking a stand, and fighting for our lives, because
  if we don't, we die. and if we do fight, we have a chance of living
  out our greatest dreams, and sacrifice is involved and we must
  start to do more, expect more, demand more of ourselves, as it
  is all possible, it only requires one to believe they are not alone
  in such a dark place, and that there is a way out of here into a
  better day-- and we have friends around the world ready to help.

  the .US is going to get back on its feet and the .US military is in
  the position to make this happen. and they are obligated to do so.
  that is, if the constitution, democracy, freedom, individual rights,
  and the greater good have any meaning left in our very souls.
  and I'm willing to bet my life, as are many others, that we can
  work through this and unleash our capacities far beyond the
  limits this falsification of events has led us to doubt ourselves.

  a toast-- "to the troublemakers!"

brian carroll


Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 22:21:14 +0200 From: "Benjamin Geer"
<> Subject: Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track

On 14/04/06, brian carroll <> wrote:
>   this devolution of the state over the last half-century (via the
>   military-industrial complex, say) may have driven the final nail into the
>   coffin of .US democracy as it was originally conceived, when the rise of the
>   corporate citizen took precedence over the human citizenry, in the
>   representation of public affairs of state.

Who was included in "We the people" in 1789?  US democracy as it was originally
conceived was flagrantly undemocratic.  Slavery was legal. The constitution didn't
specify who had the right to vote, and states only allowed white, property-owning
males to vote.  Blacks didn't get the right to vote until the 15th Amendment in
1869, only to lose it in practice via literacy tests, poll taxes, and so on; these
obstacles were only removed thanks to the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Women didn't get the right to vote until 1920, after a long struggle.

>   this is to say that, by the way that the constitution is framed it would be
>   considered a 'limited' view of what exists as a public realm, within a 18th
>   century contextualization of such an idea.

The 18th-century idea was of course essentially about liberating white,
property-owning males from the rule of monarchs.  It wasn't about enfranchising
the masses.  Greater enfranchisement has only taken place because of mass
movements that struggled *against* the 18th-century concept of democracy and
dreamed of something quite different.

>   one such bug is the idea of a 'citizen.' where, today, a corporate citizen or
>   human citizen can equally co-exist in interpreting the constitution of state.

Definitely.  I thought the film _The Corporation_[1], which likens the corporate
citizen to a psychopath, was on target in this respect.

>   is that 'the media' is not a formal branch of government yet it functions like
>   one

I think you've found yet another bug in the constitution.

>   what if you were to call a constitutional convention and not only did nobody
>   come, but everyone laughed?

This is what I had in mind when I asked whether you thought there was an organised
public sphere capable of governing more responsibly than existing state
institutions.  I think it's clear that no such sphere exists in the US.  Whether
or not people came to a constitutional convention, and whether or not they
laughed, I would expect it to reproduce existing forms of power, because those
forms are the only ones Americans are familiar with.  The American belief in
"freedom", which as you rightly point out is essentially the freedom of the
corporation to exploit human beings, is inherent in American nationalism.  If you
ask Americans to give "their own opinions" about democracy, this belief will
surely come out "spontaneously" again and again.  They will demand the right to be

>   the .US is going to get back on its feet and the .US military is in the
>   position to make this happen.

I still don't understand why you think the US military, of all things,
is in the least bit interested in democracy.  Or maybe you mean the
sort of "democracy" that they've set up in Iraq?

Let's turn the question around: why hasn't there ever been a military
coup in the US?  Perhaps because governments have long set a high
priority on keeping the military happy, by funding it generously and
giving it plentiful opportunities to test its weapons in the field.  I
would be more inclined to expect a military coup if, say, defence
funding were considerably reduced.

And you didn't say why you think a military coup in the US would
deviate from the typical historical pattern, which produces
long-lasting authoritarian military regimes.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --
George Santayana

"Santayana's aphorism must be reversed: too often it is those who can
remember the past who are condemned to repeat it." -- Arthur
Schlesinger Jr.




Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 16:06:27 -0500
From: brian carroll <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> re: nuclear diplomatic track

hi Ben,

thanks for the replies - I think we largely agree as far as I can
tell, it is only a matter of perspective and what assumptions
are shared, as to how this is being considered. I tried to give
a clear indication that this is not a military 'coup' because that
would be _illegal. it would be to overtake a legal government.
the situation I tried to present was that this is not the case, to-
day, and thus a military take-over would be a legal obligation
in order to actually have a functioning democratic government.

that is, the present situation is now a simulation of this idea,
and not actually a constitutional self-representative government
in the original sense of 'we the people' because these 'people'
are now 'machines' and occupy every branch of government as
representatives. what the point I was trying to make and failed
to mention is that it is by such mechanisms as this, that if one
is to reinterpret the constitution with regard to these present-
day exploits- that issues like 'slavery' - that which differentiates
constitutional from unconstitutional government- exists today in
the form of corporations who are exploiting the human citizenry,
as you are describing. my point is that this is less to do with the
intention of corporations than with the environment they are
operating within, in terms of a state, laws, and representation.
so, one can click-in abuses of corporate power with slavery,
Neoconservatism with insurrectionists, including some mass
media, who exploit this and have become illegal government,
outside of public checks and balances. yes, it is a lot to do with
definitions, which is the point-- this 'we' has been described in
what today exists as private language: mankind, god, etc. it is
not in human terms, and thus bias and inequality exist in the
founding documents by which to replicate all legitimate action.
thus, if the constitution were considered a program made up
of code, it may be considered an operating system of the state,
both of individuals and the larger nation and even world- and it
becomes both the limit and the paradigm within which events
can happen and can be mediated. what I am arguing is that
a small group of people have root access, having effectively
hacked and cracked this code, including institutions, and now
exist outside of the legal framework of this constitution and are
calling the shots in a way that is clearly illegal as a democratic
form of government. and this is where things start. this is to
say that this 'coup' long ago happened and was only recently
formalized in its most vagrant forms, as pure corrupted power,
devoid of truth, which is a total lie which becomes a worldview.

akin to Nazism, is this status-quo Neoconism, which becomes
an everyday fascism-- if people just go along, it grows and
grows and grows into even greater fascism by every new day.
it gains legitimacy by being perceived as benign, simulating a
pastoral ideal of some Jeffersonian Democracy while tyranny
is what is actually governing events in the mass media mirage.

i do disagree with your views of the military, only because it is of
a higher level of complexity than this and yet that is not the point.
the point is citizen government and reclaiming this ability, and not
about bureaucracy or corruption or lies-- it is about a threat to the
very state itself, its basic functioning, in which an emergency exists
which requires the military as an institution to protect and defend
the .US constitution, even from its own misguided government if
that would turn out to be necessary: internal/external insurrection.

yes, I am not naive enough to believe even this is so simple, yet it
is to say that there may not have been a choice at some point in
which decision-making was made that preceded the present, and
then there may be today, where a choice _does exist, a better and
a worse choice: between choosing the good and or choosing evil.
and that there are those in the military, like everyone else, who is
capable of choosing the good, and what this good is is described.
it is to protect and defend the .US constitution against what is an
evil agenda. and that the time to make that choice is right now--
not after the nuclear bombs start being lobbed around the world.

if you think you can accomplish this, go for it. I'd put my trust in the
ability of some goddamn tough-as-hell bastards who are Generals
and the rank and file to start battering back against this evil, in the
present context, and that day and time will eventually come to pass.
maybe you don't think so, yet I guarantee you people will and are
dying on yours and my behalf, to give us a fighting chance of victory.

how can we get from where things are now to where they need to
be, without dealing straight with the issues as they actually exist,
and not in some utopian daydream detached from the very reality
of the issues -- that we share basic assumptions about where we
exist and how we exist and how to work together to get beyond this?

if it is an endless worldwide war where citizens are turned into
terrorists for questioning their democratic government, I'd say it
is probably pretty helpful if you've got the .US military on your side
in such an arrangement, and that it's time to start wising up a bit.
and respecting warriors, as they're capable of contributing in ways
that become very necessary in times like these-- it is possible that
we are all on the same side of this situation, and that it is our in-
ability to see eachother's points of view that limit needed changes.
to me there's no question here, and to argue this is non-sensical.

like previously stated, it would be _legal for the .US military to take
command and control of the .US government and abolish existing
offices of government on many counts, as being illegal and also
unconstitutional, including the fatal compromise of the Courts and
Congress and the White House by Neocon insurrectionists who are
also known as being traitors in traditional parlance, against the state.

those are the stakes: pretend this is a democracy and continue, to
nuclear war, or take back the government by way of issues a state
of emergency in which this situation is brought under public control
(that is, military control in the legal sense, not itself the  

again, I never wrote this is a coup and I'd appreciate it if you do not
misrepresent what I am saying, as it is unhelpful to keep doing so.

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