Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Depths of Depravity

Have we at last reached the depths of depravity?

In the United States, we have the story now broadcast around the world of the drug-addicted man shot to death by police as he was literally gnawing off the face of a homeless man while he was still alive.
Cyclist Larry Vega said there was "blood all over the place" when he came across the horrific scene by MacArthur Causeway.

"I told him get off," Mr Vega told WSVN Fox 7. "The guy just kept eating the other guy away like ripping his skin." He said he alerted a police officer, who warned the attacker several times to back away from the victim. "The guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled," Mr Vega said.

The victim, identified as a 65-year-old homeless man, Ronald Poppo, remained in a critical condition in hospital on Tuesday. A Miami police spokesman said: "We are expecting a report from our detectives to give more details to the media. We are also looking for more witnesses to this crime."

Armando Aguilar, of Miami's Fraternal Order of Police, told the Associated Press: "He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth."
Meanwhile in Canada, blood-soaked packages containing body parts are being mailed to the offices of the ruling political party.
A blood-soaked package containing a human foot was delivered to the offices of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party on Tuesday.

The second package, containing a hand, was found by police on Tuesday night.

That parcel was addressed to the Ottawa office of the Liberal Party, Canadian media reports.

Montreal police told the BBC that they believe the torso and the limbs are from the same body, but are waiting for test results to confirm this.
And let's not forget this from America's other neighbor from earlier this month:
Forty-nine mutilated bodies have been found dumped by a roadside near the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico. Security officials said the 43 men and six women had been decapitated and had their hands cut off, making identification difficult.
And that's just for starters. There are so many stories from all across the country:

Three people have been killed and two hurt after a gunman opened fire in the university district of Seattle, in the US state of Washington.

Man, 41, 'rapes and impregnates girl, 15, he friended on Facebook after posing as 25-year old'

Talented teen who graduated school a year early shot dead by long-range rifle as she drove home from party the next day.

So despite our so-called "progress," it seems industrial civilization is every bit the equal, if not superior to past civilizations for levels of sickness and depravity. At least the Aztecs who tore the hearts out of their victims could claim superstition - that they actually believed they were renewing nature by their sacrifices - something we cannot claim.

Seriously, can we say industrial civilization has reached a level of sickness and depravity heretofore unimaginable? I mean, how much worse does it have to get?

What have we done?

Some will say these are just "isolated incidents" and they don't mean anything except for a few sick people. But society has been getting sicker and sicker hasn't it? Behavior so shocking as to be considered inhuman just a few years ago has become the norm. Why do we ignore the signs? Is there not a message here, this month of May 2012?

Many ancient prophecies talk of a Kali Yuga - an age of destruction when human civilization spiritually degenerates. Where the fundamental bonds between humanity become untethered and humans behave like animals. I think a man chewing off another man's face while growling like a wild animal qualifies, don't you? Such warnings have been posted by seers since the very beginnings of civilization. I'm not a superstitious person by nature, but I have to wonder if we're fulfilling the prophecy. If we're finally plumbing the depths of societal depravity.

How bad to things have to get?

Everywhere you go you see protests - from the NATO protests in Chicago, to the Occupy movement, to the Montreal charivari protests, to austerity protests throughout Europe, to the marches against Putin's oligarchy in Russia, to the self-immolations in China, to massacres of children in Syria - everywhere the system is failing. People are fed-up, disgusted and demoralized.

I think people secretly, deep down in their hearts know that civilization is unraveling. They feel lost and without hope. They feel a sense of disgust at what they've become in the pits of their stomachs, even if their rational mind tries to tell them that everything's all right. Dmirty Orlov, in his five stages of collapse model, identifies cultural collapse as the final stage.

I think we've reached it. How can we not see what a sick society we're become?

And that's why I think people are attracted to the collapse narrative. They want this to all go away. They want to be human again. When will this blood-drenched Babylon, that manipulates all our basest impulses and worst human instincts and desires with abandon, finally crawl off to die in a fetid corner of the swamp that spawned it? When will this nightmare end?

Wake me when it's over...

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

- Yeats, The Second Coming


  1. Speaking of Yeats, his prophet work "A Vision" is quite similar to Spengler's. He foresaw a state of formlessness in society with jackals devouring what they could (the Goldman Sachs's corresponding to the barbarian and corrupt general/senator of late Rome) which the average person had no strength to oppose or even criticize, absorbed in panem et circenses and the general frustration and confusion of their existance. This would leave the ground ripe for a Caesar to rise in an uprush of blood and fury, then a period of the fellaheen and a new religousness. Kind of wish we could go straight to the fellaheen. PS Love your blog.

  2. Interesting...I'll have to give Spengler a read. I know JMG refers to him often. I wonder how it comports with "From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present" by Jacques Barzun. I've been meaning to read that one too. Review here:


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