9/11 Myth Signaled the End of Rationality

First, I’m not sure there’s any point to writing this. Aside from the fact this blog has fallen off rather dramatically, the subject of 9-11 is not a big favorite her or anywhere. However, I was taking a nice walk this morning and the though came into my head to write a diary on this subject. It may be one of my last ones–I’m kind of through being concerned about the political and cultural situation in this country. It has gone way too far into fantasy such that any kind of intelligent discussion is almost impossible since we have, even if we don’t admit it, lost sight of the foundations of Western Civilization which is the rationalistic “Great Conversation” as Mortimer Adler called it. Reasonable arguments go nowhere and are, in fact, automatically discounted usually as “conspiracy theories” since it is almost illegal to parse data and seek patterns. I will make absolutely no case for alternate explanations of 9/11, there’s no point–my beef is not with arguing the patterns that present themselves on the basis of available evidence–that’s a worthwhile argument. My beef is, as I’ve indicated, with the fact that any argument based on facts that goes contrary to beliefs that make people feel good is not only discounted but is utterly out of the question.

I want to examine, briefly, just how different the world is now than it was ten years ago. Frankly, if I think about it too deeply I want to weep not just for our political situation but for myself who is now living in an irrational world. I feel I am falling with no place to plant my feet and the sad part is that I see other people in the same situation only they don’t even know it. If you turn off your consciousness, if you devolve, morally, spiritually and intellectually then you are fine–that sense of “falling” I describe is not perceivable unless you are sensitive to the historical and spiritual dimension.  

The changes in this decade have been the most drastic of any decade I’ve ever seen except maybe the sixties. But even then the actual political situation wasn’t all that different. We had a Constitution, the working class had some say before and after the 60’s. We had, to the extent we ever had, due process of law and a pretty good regulatory system that became quite extensive and rational during the 70’s. The society, despite the problems of racism, chauvinism, ignorance etc. was sustainable. Income disparity was pretty good the economic situation was fairly fluid–enterprise and experimentation was possible. People did not have the luxuries we have now but basic needs were largely far easier to meet in that time than they are today. Non-rich families were not always on the edge of disaster before and after the 60’s.

In contrast we have a situation today when the future is bleak and I maintain hopeless in terms of sustained growth in the economy. We live in a situation when there has been a dramatic growth in the prison population, and in those people working in “security.” We live in what is pretty nearly a police-state. Habeas Corpus has, essentially, been suspended officially in certain cases. The Executive branch has the right to go to war at any time without even consulting Congress. It also has the right to execute at any time for any reason anyone in the world. It can also seize someone without any evidence or due process and torture and kill that person without any oversight from either the courts or Congress.

The idea the we are a nation of laws has gone out the window with the fact this Justice Department has specifically absolved major actors in the financial crisis of any wrongdoing due to the fact they have a President who appears to act as a paid agent of the main Wall Street firms. There’s always been corruption here and there but nothing on this scale–at no time that I know of has such a gargantuan fraud been perpetrated and no one has been brought to trial. We are now, officially, on an Imperial project that knows no boundaries–we invade and interfere with the internal affairs of any country at any time. There are also now no sanctions whatsoever in breaking U.N. rules, international law, domestic law–there are, in short no boundaries other than the limitations of propaganda and Public Relations.

We have a cultural situation in which it is clear to me that the vast majority of the American people WANT to be lied to so that they don’t have to think about this complex and intricate world. Everyone wants to keep it simple, i.e., bad guys (them) and good guys (us). If you have a bad guy like OBL you kill him. Never mind the evidence, never mind the facts, never mind that nothing has ever been proven about OBL’s involvement in 9/11–it has all been assertions by U.S. intel services–and does anybody wonder who these people are? How do we know they want to protect us? Any intelligent look at the history of CIA and other agencies shows a clear pattern over decades and even before CIA was ever created. No one wants to know about these people or the fact there is virtually no oversight over their operations because most of the operations have been privatized precisely to avoid any oversight–and even if Congress were allowed to view were every penny went any Congressperson who blew the whistle would be at the mercy of an organization that can kill you in 200 different ways or destroy you, your family, and so on through any number of ways–why do people not believe that people do these kinds of things when they can. Why do Americans not understand that power is addictive and intoxicating?

I often say that there is no possibility of major reform of any major part of our society. I often say that if there’s a rational idea about energy, health-care, international relations, housing, jobs and so on it will automatically be thrown right away into the garbage like all the State Department policy papers on Iraq after the invasion. All rational methods of reforming and ruling Iraq during the occupation were discarded because they were rational (go ahead ask me why). Rejecting a rational analysis has proven, in this decade, to mean that any rational analysis to anything is impossible.

For some reason 99% of American intellectuals cannot face the dramatic change of world-view that would required to doubt the official story. We are, both as an intellectual culture and as a culture doomed–we can live with the American Dream if we know it is a dream but we cannot live long in it if we believe the dream is reality.

To sum up: I don’t think there’s any point in discussing political-economy (economics and politics–I don’t believe there is the slightest difference between the two). We are wasting our time worrying about the shit we hear and read about if for no other reason than it is either false or misleading. I don’t even care to find out if it is. Did the real OBL actually die last week? I don’t know–I’m pretty sure that OBL is a symbol and may even, from the photos I’ve seen, been several people. From the scanty evidence I’ve seen it is doubtful he was the “mastermind” of anything much he has all the apperance of being either a patsy or a fictional composite like al-Zarqawi the alleged leader of Al-qaida in Iraq who just seemed to neatly to fit into the propaganda needs of the time.

If we have discussions it might be to see how we can break the spell of this dramatically false narrative most of us live by–cultural commentary is I think a more fruitful thing to discuss. Politics is done–we no longer live in a Democratic Constitutional Republic as we will see as time passes. Increasingly we will live under what are, in fact, a system of decrees generated from an entrenched and now very robust oligarchy. All political movement will come from various factions within that oligarchy–fortunately for us (I hope) there are many rivalries in that oligarchy and the only positive thing we can do is align ourselves with factions that might be more favorable and less destructive. Maybe writing about reading the tea-leaves on how surface events indicate movements and variations in the internal power struggles. We live in an Empire now and the drama is in the Imperial court what we think and believe is largely irrelevant because the whole system including elections has been totally gamed and removed from any possibility of reform. We also know that our jobs and livelihoods will be in danger if we dissent too loudly–of this have no doubt. BTW, writing in blogs like this I don’t think will put us in any danger–what we are doing here is harmless.  


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  1. banger

    I actually don’t know for sure. I could be living in a dream world. Actually, I’m not arguing that rationality is ultimately that important–there’s a deeper reality that I know for sure but if we want to continue the Western tradition we are obliged to at least use reason a bit more than we seem to be doing now.

  2. wilberforce

    One thing I noted, is that the NYT claimed that in one of the video tapes, which I guess they released without audio (?) OBL ranted against capitalism–I mean a millionaire ranting against capitalism?  Maybe.  But, maybe he’s just the boogie man for all things.  

    Politics is done–we no longer live in a Democratic Constitutional Republic as we will see as time passes. Increasingly we will live under what are, in fact, a system of decrees generated from an entrenched and now very robust oligarchy.

    Yes, I’ve been rating about this-but few really are going to believe it.

    All political movement will come from various factions within that oligarchy–fortunately for us (I hope) there are many rivalries in that oligarchy and the only positive thing we can do is align ourselves with factions that might be more favorable and less destructive.

    This I quibble with–I don’t think the Oligarchs care about our siding with them.  I say oppose them all.    

  3. Xanthe

    I wish I had some comfort to offer you or anyone here – but this I know.  Random events happen when we least expect them and we can only hope that good events will give us another chance to strengthen our country and constitution.

    You are not alone in your feelings, in your intellectual teasings.

    You chrystalized my own inchoate feelings about OBL.  And thank you for that.


  4. TMC

    I have had three (yes, 3) careers, my first was in the military and, now, trying to save as many lives as I can in disaster Emergency Medicine.

    You are not irrational and you are one of the reasons I convinced buhdydharma to give me the “keys” to “keep the lights on”. You all are.

  5. Mike Taylor

    Who will be the next one proclaimed guilty without due process (and will everyone cheer for that too)? A lot of money has been made off of Bin Laden (i.e. military industrial complex). It must be a nice for a government to have the power to declare suspects guilty without trial (especially when so many “democrats” say they are opposed to indefinite detention without trial, but seem to be ok with guilty verdicts without trial). Corporate sponsors must really like controlling that kind of political power. Terrorists are bad, but going back to pre-Enlightenment (i.e. no Habeas Corpus) Dark Age human-rights/legal standards is worse.

    The establishment’s “fear of trials”. We’ll go into another Dark Age if the American people dumb enough to fall for this kind of crap.

  6. mikedquinn

    and I feel pretty much the same way.  However, rather than despair, I choose to deplore and subvert.  I find it is still possible to talk to people, introduce them to books and blogs and documentaries, and have serious discussions.  I can only do it one-on-one with friends and family, but I’ve make a few skeptics, maybe made a few cracks in their trances.

    Oligarchs have a great historical track record of success, but we know the system is unsustainable.  Build community, whether or not the end is near.

  7. mikedquinn

    is a skill that can be honed with practice.  TV & internet aren’t face-to-face, tend to keep us isolated.  I’ve run for local office 3x, won once in a gerrymandered district.  Try door-to-door campaigning for an office or a cause.  It’s fun to engage people on issues.  I’ll be going out soon again to get signatures to recall Rick Snyder here in MI.  And I spend some time & coin with friends in taverns, sorta like I imagine was done before 1776.  Don’t hesitate to try to engage people you’d label as conservative.  Lots of folks are pissed, and you’ll find some common ground.  Anyway, when the SHTF, knowing your neighborhood folks will be worth gold.

  8. Compound F

    The public sphere requires rational/empirical arguments to maintain any sort of justice, fairness, or accountability as we have known it previously.  Casting off of Constitutional moorings to reason in favor of subjective truths and national myths, in-group/out-group belief systems and quasi religious fantasies, e.g., American exceptionalism, so-called “free-market” and “christian” fundamentalism, is a direct repudiation of Modern Liberalism.  Indeed, the forces creating our national narrative have used the unique historical opportunities of both our global success and inevitable decline correlating with the rise and fall in cheap energy resources, first to promote our exceptionalism, then to promote our need to defend it, at all costs.  This means that those few who defend our founding principles, which are at odds with defending our energy resources, are now routinely given status degradation ceremonies to marginalize their views.  Now, even liberals engage in these degradation ceremonies against their own, e.g., Oliver Willis attacking and defaming Glenn Greenwald for a lack of patriotism.  To use Gore’s phrase, it is an assault on reason, as Bertrand Russell surely expected.

  9. Lasthorseman

    In fact killing off the very non-green world minority population of the US does free up lots of resources for sustaining the global oligarchy.  The whole thing is just as deliberate as using 911 and or making 911 happen to spawn a replacement enemy for Russia.

    I used to be passionate about 911 truth, the clear paths of both political parties enforcing the growing corporatism and total disregard for a rational justice system.  I view today’s american culture as something morphing into “better” Nazis than the Nazis where.  Now by saying that one focuses on “the Jews”, the holocaust so how could I ever dare to equate the “home of the free and the brave” with the Third Reich.  Well, “we” are the Fourth Reich in terms of a new “compliance” system.  It literally beams daily thoughts often directly into cell phones plus 900 channels of highly dense TV.  For the majority all that is needed is the morning news with smiling idiots talking about the weather, traffic and what you should eat, medicate yourself with and how to think.

    By all accounts the empire is ending be it from radiation, sunspots, economic and cultural decay on top of dwindling resources.

  10. FreeSociety

    The Country was really screwed after the 2000 Election was obstructed and stolen right in the light of day, and popular vote winner Al Gore was exiled from his rightful office, while George W. Bush was installed into power.

    This was the equivalent (in political terms) of the Kennedy Assassination all over again…. another U.S. Coup d’ Etat. At that point you had a Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, PNAC run Nation at the behest of Oil Multinationals, International Bankers, and the Military Empire.

    The pendulum has swung so far to the fascist pole now that even a (alleged) “Democratic” Party President who openly champions preemptive War, Human Torture Sites, removal of Habeus Corpus, Military Tribunals, Endless Foreign Occuaptions, Government Secrecy, “Nuclear Options” on the table, CIA Assassinations of Americans, Predator Drone Bombings of civilians, Government Wiretapping, Jailing Whistleblowers, and aggressively defending War Criminals — is actually thought of as a “liberal”, anti-business, socialist by some segments of the population.

    There is no hope for this Country until all the Wars and all the Foreign Occupations stop, cease, and desist.

    There is no hope for the Country until the sleazy (Central) Bank Monopoly that controls the internal operations of all our Institutions has all their crooked power taken away — which hasn’t happened since the heroic President Andrew Jackson courageously fought eight whole years to make happen.


    Sept 11 was a predictable trick that these powers engineered. Something very similar was planned back with “Operation Northwoods” but President John Kennedy was outraged, put an immediate stop to it, and fired General Lyman Lemnitzer.

    Sept 11 couldn’t have happened with Al Gore as President. It would not have happened with John Kerry as President. It would have also had a free ride with either George Bush, McCain, Romney, Lieberman, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gingrich, Huckabee, Pawlenty, etc. and far too many others within our “political class” in the White House.

    This is a corrupt and rotten system to the core, and possibly the only “hope” that we have left would be if Ron Paul gets elected and brings the Troops home, stops the Wars, reigns in the Federal Reserve, cuts Military spending, stops the “Police State” nonsense, Stops the “Drug War”, terminates NAFTA, etc. and begins to restore honorable and honest government inner workings and practises back again. He’s the only one that wants to put these Kingmakers out of power.

    Four more years of War (with Obama) will financially wipe out this Country, and leave it in third-World status. That’s for sure.

  11. banger

    It is such a perfect term (you always seem to have such an interesting way with words) for what is actually happening and putting it in what I call a “systems” approach. Society really is a complex value system and the most important value indicator of society how we confer honor or status.

    On the positive side, this society is clearly disintegrating so the value of social status is not so important.  

  12. banger

    But not there yet, thank God. But we are drifting into something like that.  

    I see our political battle between the three forces. The thieves and criminals (Wall Street, much of the corporate sector as well as your criminal-class as a whole), the chauvinists/neo-fascists (some of the MIC which is not criminal, and the fantatics and maniacs scattered throughout the government particularly in the security area), and the rational imperialists (some corporate people, intellectuals connected with the main Universities and non-right-wing think tanks, much of the CIA, much of the officer corps in the Army and many bureaucrats who actually believe in their mission). It is this last class that is keeping us from a full-scale kleptocracy/fascist state.  

  13. McGirk

    but I lost interest once it was hijacked by Anti-Semites and John Birchers. I still don’t buy the official story, but guilt by association has turned me compleatly off what passes as a movement.

  14. banger

    Quite right the oligarchs have little need for allies but all ruling elites must have consent of the governed. Today that consent is based on deception and mind-control. Public opinion does count for something and can be steered slightly this way and that benefiting one segment or the other.

    I think we can oppose the oligarchs rhetorically and that’s fine but it’s kind of irrelevant. Ultimately we will have to position ourselves around power-centers of one kind or another. Hopefully our rhetorical dissent might inspire those who have the energy to organize real communities and collectives–though, we have de-hypnotize ourselves from the bizarre cult of individualism which is really, from a historical POV, narcissism.

  15. banger

    I do appreciate keeping this place open–there’s no other place I feel I can express what I want to express without being either ignored or be radically misinterpreted.

  16. Lasthorseman

    good people want to do “the right” thing.  Which in todays world means

    Not wasting energy/resources

    Appearing to be equal to all, races/creeds/colors/belief systems or rather attempting to gain popular approval in a place so diverse in ideals as to be unresolveable.  Dam I can’t say it right short of borrowing the core concept of Micahel’s most recent wearechange article on the Soul Travelers.


    In the abscence of the spirital anything even an agnostic might identify with the concept of acceptance of proof of anything in this programmed society.  It is as old as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave which of course in America nobody has ever studied and or taken seriously.

    Like the sociopaths which I seem to karmically attract in my life I am most concerned about good people lured into the support of evil oriented themes.  Huge danger there.

  17. Compound F


    Here are just some recent examples:


    Remember the TV show “Branded?”

    The media did it to Carter and pre-emptively to Gore and Kerry. In general, it’s what hippie-punching is all about.

    Things like the Golden Winger Awards also qualify in my book.

    Obama uses the tactic sparingly, but when he does, as he certainly did against Trump, both at the WHC dinner and by walking all over Trump’s TV show with his OBL death announcement, he’s as nasty as any of us.

  18. banger

    I think good people are fairly easily lured into evil things because affiliation is what humans seem to want more than anything else. We all feel a strong need to be part of something. Today, with the breakdown of traditional mores, families, communities, affiliation seems to come via mass society. Thus people ignore the obvious (9/11 truth) in order to belong and not be outside the pale which each of us is the minute we speak of 9/11–it’s simply not done in polite society.

  19. TMC

    to keep this place where those who found a home to express their free thoughts could do that. There are few restrictions here and not everything posted will make it to the front page or the recommended list, the first being editorial choice, the second is community. My only hope is that we are heard, loud and clear.

  20. wilberforce

    is being bandied about is in itself a huge step.  I was amazed to see Krugman’s article, which EK just posted here.


    OK, he doesn’t use the word ‘oligarch,’ preferring the simpler ‘elite’ but it’s close enough.  

    You’re right about mind control and propaganda.  The moments in time where there have been positive developments, though, are those where some other sorts of communication has been developed- the song books of the IWW, or the music of the 60’s are examples.  

  21. banger

    This issue is not just something like immigration, or health-care reform or any number of other issues. It is central to everything. It is central to our even being able to solve, collectively, any problem. Just because portions of the right have stayed with this issue, unlike the cowardly left, doesn’t discredit it and can never discredit it. You choose your friends–to me those on the right who have championed this issue deserve respect. You may feel differently and have different priorities and I can respect that too. I don’t expect everybody to believe like I do–I may be wrong about a lot of things including social and cultural issues but one thing I know I’m not wrong about and that is the central issue of 9/11. In fact, I don’t even know why this issue sticks in my craw–one is far better just going with the crowd–the left abandoned 9/11 and I’m pretty close to abandoning the left.  

  22. Lasthorseman

    I can see what you say about the Birchers and the whole Zionist arm but I don’t think anybody dominates any concept anymore.  These ideas rather are designed to disunite and disparage concepts outside the lamestream/normal culture as “rolled out” by commercial media.  There are strong neo-con factions also now endorsing “conspiracy” theories unmentionable in polite society only two years ago.

  23. banger

    I’m not quite there but I see your points. Ron Paul has the ability to unite cultural leftists and cultural rightists on some common ground. Anti-imperialism, pro-Consitution (in spirit as well as letter) and anti-fascism. But the police-state mentality is so entrenched right now I just don’t see anyway out. It would take an enormous cultural change starting, frankly, in Hollywood when they stop making pro-police, pro-violence movies where the heroes all shoot first ask question later–if there’s some info they lack then they go ahead and torture and brutalize someone and it’s ok beause he’s a “bad guy” and that label is simply enough. Centuries of jurisprudence thrown out the fucking window by LA fascists. I’m just stunned that any actor would agree to participate in such trash yet they do gleefully. I honestly believe that the problem is as much in Hollywood as it is on Wall Street and Houston.  

  24. FreeSociety

    You’re right about Hollywood and what it projects, but I think this is symptomatic of the larger U.S. Media control — which is essentially owned and operated by the Banking Elites and the CIA and their front Corporations — who profit from and orchestrate much of the madness in the World.

    The only reason why Oliver Stone was allowed by Holloywood to make a movie like “JFK” was because he was at that time, a hot, young, Oscar-winning director that had made the Studio a lot of money, and they couldn’t say no to him then. But preceding the release of the Film was attack-style press and bad reviews from News outlets.

    When they chop up the Internet into pieces (essentially taking it away in the form that we know it) then we’re all really screwed.

    I often think about what other Country should I move to and live in? Somewhere where they have no Oil that’s for sure.

  25. banger

    With the end of rationality we live in a Lewis Carrol world. One has only to turn to the trial at the end of Alice in Wonderland to understand today’s cultural mood. That is the deepest tragedy. The fear of trials is actually a fear of the truth. Everyone wants to live in illusions and it isn’t just about “terrorism” it’s, increasingly, about everything. I also is not a Democrat/Republican issue it is not a left/right issue. All sides, with some exceptions and even those exceptions are not immune to the general “mood” of the country, live in the realm of illusions and avoidance of truth. It is quite remarkable–I see it in my own life as I look over it so none of us are immune.

  26. banger

    Despair is not good. However “normal” ways to influence events or organize politically won’t work for any number of complex reasons. Just for starters, even “the left” is in denial, isolated, self-referential, and seemingly unable to get into true dialogs with non-believers.

    Most of us lack the ability to interact with others in public and neutral fora–and I don’t mean the internet which is amazingly low-bandwidth for communication–I mean directly talking as you are doing.

    I think the way you’ve found is the only way to go, so keep it up comrade because the system is unsustainable and already breaking down. My worry is that the police-state apparatus may actually work–but I’m skeptical–it may just create more disorder.  

  27. banger

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