My Dinner with CJ: On the New Normal Reich; “Reality”; Cowardice, Complicity, & Courage; His Controversial Take on Mass Formation; & Killing Beckett
Just the medicine I needed today...a rollicking, and rocking, and wise and wondrous conversation between two of my most favorite human beings!! THANK YOU Margaret and CJ!!🙏💖🤗 If it weren't for beautiful and precious souls like you two I'd feel a lot less grounded, and sane, and well, grateful. It means so much to me to know there are kindred spirits like you both milling about the theater of life ...truth-telling, laughing, crying, living, and loving! I extend my heartfelt gratitude to you as always Margaret, you are a twinkling diamond in the rough seas of the moment, and you help me to stay the course by watching your sparkle ebb and flow amongst the rolling waves. Keep on ROCKING my friend!!✌️
That was just….superb. So rich. So thought provoking. I even role played what I’d do if responsible for little ones in some possible End Times. I’m not saying how it came out, but I can sleep. By one of the many simple twists of fate, between about 11 & 16, I read the entire canon of US post war “SciFi”. I find nothing anywhere close to where their great imaginations might have taken us. What is happening is pretty tame. Nasty, unacceptable & potentially irresistible, sure, but not that “far out”. Not shocking, rather dull. As if a software salesman & not Vonnegut wrote the script.
Accompanying me as I read & paced about, occasionally remonstrating with myself or with an imaginary guard who might, in the future, have the misfortune to deal with me, were the Kossoy Sisters “Bowling Green”.
So many brilliant songs, but I’ll Fly Away is a personal favourite, yet the one which reduces me to tears is The Banks of the Ohio.
Whoa! Be still my theatre nerd heart! Been following CJ for awhile and of course, I aped into your writing only a few months ago, but what delightful treat it was to take a deep dive here. Funny how CJ mentions that he was searching for what can be said post Beckett and settled on - when there’s nothing left to say, you must do.
Lately, this sentiment has been reverberating through the Stackosphere with valid questions of what to do. We’ve all been shouting about totalitarianism taking over but what do we do? And an old Charles Eisenstein podcast echoes in the back of my head “we do what is ours to do”. Garden, take care of a dying parent, stand in front of Amazon bulldozers, write a play, or a song, giggle with a toddler, nurse a wounded animal back to health... there are so many things to do and we can’t do them all, but if each one of us simply does what is ours to do, our micro input will amplify on a macro level and we’ll pull humanity through the next level of evolution.
Thanks for this interview, Margaret. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
INTERESTING HOW GOD and PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS ARE IN THE SAME parenthesis ---- CJH is many years younger than I am!
CJH: I get in trouble when I talk about “reality.” I spent too much time in the theater, took too much LSD, and probably read too much Nietzschean post-structuralism in my youth. Thus, what is “real” in one society may be “unreal” in another society (e.g., the existence of God, or ancestral spirits, or certain diseases and psychiatric disorders). Or that is how it has been for most of history.
-------------This Is the Number of Innocent People Murdered by Governments. Let’s start with a number: 262 million. That’s the number of unarmed people the late Prof. R. J. Rummel estimated governments murdered in mass killings he termed “democide” during the 20th century. “This democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century,” he wrote. When Georgetown University bioethicist Lawrence O. Gostin cheers on former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nanny-state meddling and writes, “the public health approach rejects the idea that there is such a thing as unfettered free will,” he forgets (or doesn’t care) that using the law to clamp fetters on us unhealthy saps creates more rules and regulations that we could ever possibly obey.
I just finished reading your amazing discussion with C.J Hopkins. It was fascinating and a lot to take in. I will have to reread it again to fully understand it all. Thank you.
Thank you Margaret for some glorious thoughts and a remarkable profile of a remarkable man. You captured my own feelings when you say: "Tears are welling up in my eyes, CJ, and I feel like I’ve just read the ending of a new beloved book and want to wrap around to the beginning as I’m not yet ready to leave this experience." Sadly I have just finished 'States of Emergency'.
I have quoted and linked in my Letter on August 20. As humanity's spiritual battle against evil proceeds we will need more champions such as the two of you leading the charge.
Thank you so much for the recommendation and link to C.J Hopkins. I must confess I was unaware of this individual and have signed up after a sneak preview of his essays.
Stunning, and intimidating. Will be working for quite a while to process this. It's a remarkable achievement that you've sustained and developed this conversation.
Thanks again for the invigorating dialogue, Margaret!
Thanks Margaret, that was a fantastic read.
Simply stellar. Thanks so much for this deep and intimate dive into these matters most pressing on us all, rarely so poignantly spoken of.
Both of you are among by favourite writers. I bought his latest book the other week and keen to buy yours when you publish a hard copy. I think it's important to have a paper record of this period.
Looking forward to finish this long read! However, I'm at #7 and I have a question:
CJH says: "Totalitarianism causes mass psychosis... It is an essential part of the structure of totalitarianism. The people who conform to the dominant system of power will conform to ANY dominant system of power."
But the most conformist people I know currently, i.e. people who find my questions or POV alarming/endangering, and who are all-in on masks, lockdowns, mandates, and boosters, for example, are all people who ostensibly (or philosophically) opposed the capitalist system for the last 30 years. What am I missing here? I was more openly capitalist (I'd be a hypocrite otherwise), my friends were much more overtly socialist, and have been much more 'in line' with government diktats. Would CJH say we're all in the same system so it's irrelevant? It feels awfully relevant.
So many thoughts about this.
First, I arrive at this discussion from what seems to be a different set of ideological givens, and I think of capitalism as a useful and productive force. But "the global-hegemonic system (i.e., global capitalism)" is clearly malign, and clearly intolerant of local capitalism, and of everything else local. The state-aligned corporations, like the ones selling pharmaceutical products by getting governments to coerce people into taking them -- after making those products with government funding and then selling them directly to governments -- no longer seem to me to be participating in markets in any real sense. Gleichschaltung isn't about the free market. So I wonder where this very astute critic of global capitalism sees corporate capitalism and its alternatives going, though I see the dismissive line about how we'll "sell each other individually hand-crafted artisanal doodads on Etsy." My impression, apparently shared here, is that giant corporations hate markets and want to abolish them, and sell through the security of mandates and regulatory monopolies, so I don't think a critique of "capitalism" gets at the heart of the game. It feels like there will be space for voluntary exchange, for people who are awake to the fact that that's a thing. Maybe not!
Second, about the decoding machine and the way it's "rendering everything and everyone an essentially valueless, interchangeable commodity," I immediately thought of the very strange war on childhood:
I can give fifty other examples of this, but **wow** the experience of watching grown-ups teach eight year-olds to shake their sexy little asses for dollar bills. And I think the decoding machine makes some sense of this, as it breaks down distinctions to make everyone merely an undifferentiated consumer.
Will be thinking about all of this for a long time. A really productive series of discussions.
With regards to the twelve German soldiers who opted out of shooting Polish Jews…..this exact same choice is now in front of everyone who recognizes the current “thing” for what it is. As humans recognize physicality for the illusion it is, fewer and fewer will consent to participate in nonsense, no matter the consequences for them within physicality.
Margaret Anna Alice, your output of high quality work simply astounds me. Yes, I am familiar with C.J. Hopkins and your piece here with him is first-rate. I agree with him that the current paradigm works to dismantle everything in order to commoditize the human. In some ways that is essentially another way of saying "turning them into compliant sheep", or perhaps compliant cogs in the machine. What we're seeing is people going along with the nonsense, some wanting to be the farmers, some the shepherds, but most content to simply be sheep. Those of us who would never consider ourselves sheep are problems. The sheep bleat at us to shut up and get in line. We must be the wolves, eh?