There is no Golden Age


“What the Founding Fathers actually meant was…”

“Well, if you really read into the Bible, you’ll see that Jesus meant…”

“We’re not meant to eat wheat.  If you knew what our paleo ancestors used to eat…”

We hear remarks like these all the time, in casual conversation on politics, religion, history, to the point of cliché.   They all share a common theme: to put it simply, things aren’t going as well today as they were yesterday, so if we simply figure out what people were doing yesterday, we can get better!

When I used to teach, I would occasionally drive home three “rules” of history.

1.  There is no Virgin Land

2.  There are no Indigenous Peoples

3.  There is no Golden Age

I’m going to focus here on the final of the three rules (the other two I may get to later).  The quotes I opened with were fixations…

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The FBI and JFK

Hanesydd Cymraeg


Over a period of a little more than twenty years, the FBI, under the instruction of J Edgar Hoover, collected a wealth of information on John F Kennedy, commencing when he was a Navy lieutenant working for Naval Intelligence in 1942, resuming when he became the Democrat presidential candidate in 1960 and continuing until his death in November 1963. The information, acquired through surveillance, wire tapping, informants and bugging, consisted of a variety of subjects, some idle gossip, some salacious rumour, others a possible threat to national security and capable of harming the prestige of the office of the President and, more importantly to Hoover, that of the international standing of the United States. It was done for a number of reasons, but the cause of Hoover’s campaign against Kennedy were fourfold: the political and ideological differences between the Kennedy’s and Hoover; Hoover’s moral judgement of John Kennedy’s actions; the…

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Ayahuasca (part 2 of 2)

Aidan J. Reid

This is a continuation of the original post which can be found here.

The Shamanic lodge was located in the middle of a forest about 45 minutes drive from the city of Cusco. That Saturday, after the Group readings, my buddy and I explored our surroundings. It was a beautiful location, hemmed in on all sides by pine trees and a little rocky river that flowed near the house. After spending a couple of hours basking in the sunshine, we returned to the lodge where we filled the empty hours with sleep and reading books.

The next ritual was a second, and final dose of ayahuasca which was at 8pm. It would be the same process as the one the night before except my friend would swap places with me, placing him beside the Shaman (he had been distracted by the movements of the staff in the twilight of…

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An academic crash course on Ayahausca


Originally posted by: Benton Rooks on Reality Sandwich

20 Essential Books on The Mysterious Power of Ayahausca

“Despite the recent surge in mainstream popularity of the vine (due primarily to celebrity culture, Elle, Oprah, and National Geographic) the subtle occult, paranormal, and metaphysical aspects of ayahuasca—for those who have dedicated their entire life to understanding and working with it—are still very much in need of further exploration….”


“By any means necessary”

Hanesydd Cymraeg


Discuss the phrase ‘by any means necessary’ in the philosophy of Malcolm X

Malcolm X is one of the most contentious figures of the twentieth century and has caused debate among scholars, journalists and followers with his views on Black Nationalism and Black Power. He is a divisive figure having many critics who accuse him of being inflammatory and an advocate of the use of violence, and many supporters who see him as a champion of black civil rights who stood up to the white power structure of America. His oratory skills were remarkable, and his use of purposefully ambiguous language allowed the mainly black audiences to take what they wanted from his speeches. His principles and beliefs can at times seem contradictory, but over the last three years of his life, his political views change from that of a militant, radical revolutionary to a more gradual but still controversial…

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What Russia gained by its Crimea takeover

Phil Ebersole's Blog


0518-web-blacksea-artboard_1-0Russia’s annexation of Crimea gives it a dominant position in claiming the oil and gas reserves of the Black Sea.  Crimea’s oil and gas assets, shown in the map above. now belong largely to Russia.

The maps at the right show Ukraine’s and Russia’s claims in the Black Sea before and after annexation.  The red area in the lower map at right shows what Russia gained by taking over Crimea.  Click on the link below for details.

In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains a Sea of Fuel Reserves by William J. Broad for the New York Times.

Speaking of Ukraine and Russia, here are links to three articles on the background of the Ukraine crisis that I found to be highly illuminating, and perhaps you will, too.

The Errand-Boys of Europe by Padraig Murphy for The Dublin Review of Books.   A look at the historical roots of Putin’s “Eurasianism,” a political…

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Proletarian Revolution versus The Real Movement of Society: A reply to Siddiq

The Real Movement

revolution A comment by Siddiq on my blog argues that I am off-base by suggesting there is no need whatsoever for a conscious revolutionary subject. I want to take a moment to respond and explain my apparent difference with value critique writers like Robert Kurz.

In contradiction to value critique theorists like Kurz, I assume the collapse of capitalism and emergence of communism are one and the same event. Disputing this opinion, the commenter writes,

“First hand experience, and historical precedent, leads me to agree with Kurz that there is no guarantee that capitalist collapse will lead to some sort of emancipation.”

His argument is based on his direct experience in Zimbabwe in the aftermath of its recent crisis, where he observed economic crisis led not to a post-capitalist order, but to

“grassroots capitalism, in which the entire population hustled to survive by any means PERMITTED, most of which involved entrepreneurship…

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High minimum wage and small-biz job growth

Phil Ebersole's Blog

Growth in small-business jobs is greatest in Washington state, which has the highest state minimum wage, and in San Francisco, which has the highest urban minimum wage.

That conclusion is based on the Paychex | IHS Small Business Job Index, a survey of more than 350,000 small-business clients of Paychex, a payroll processing firm, in partnership with IHS, a consulting firm.

20140429_national U.S. Small Business Jobs Index

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.  Overall, the United States had a Small Business Job Index of 101.26, which meant that the number of small-business jobs was up 1.26 percent from 2004, when the survey began.

Washington state, with a minimum wage of $9.32 an hour, had a Job Index of 103.51 and San Francisco, with a minimum of $10.74 an hour, had a Job Index of 104.02.

During the past 12 months, small-business jobs increased by 2.2 percent in Washington state. …

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