3. Crisis Files
4. On the Diggers - 2
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, June 17, 2017.
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with my computer, my modem, the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible, and my health.
It may be that I'll be off for a few weeks, that is, I will
publish nothing or little for a few weeks. I don't know yet,
but I will keep you informed in Nederlog.
what I will do for the moment - since I am still looking at 35
sites every morning - is to list the items I selected,
but without any of my
comments. Today I selected five items, and they are below
and link to the originals, but on the moment I have no comments,
basically because that takes too much work on the moment.
As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various
reasons. These are the ninth ten of my aphoristical reactions  to Chamfort's aphorisms:
Most wit, especially of those who are famous for it, is not spontaneous
but cultivated or learned by heart. This is not wit but its pretense.
Public opinion is the product of the human average, educated and led by
the nose as it has been by priests, clergy and media. Accordingly, it
cannot be other than base, prejudiced, misinformed and banal.
There are few things as
contemptible or as dangerous as public opinion in times of religious or
Public opinion always is an artificially colored excretion of the
tastes and ideas of some human average.
As long as one hopes, one lives.
Nothing promises as much, and
delivers as little, as human hope.
Human beings live virtually
all day in hopes, in dreams, in illusions, in wishful thinking. This is
typically human, and is a source of much that is good, whereas it only
tends to be bad when people start acting on falsehoods they believe in,
especially when it moves them to persecute others.
There are very few human ends
that turn out as one expected, and this is the more so the more
emotions one invested in one's ends.
Nearly all social careers have been made by men who would have sold
their souls to the devil if only they could.
The ambitious deserve neither admiration nor commiseration: They are
all egotists, and nearly all hypocrites.
Intuitively speaking, the ratios of good to bad men, and of intelligent
to stupid men, are both similar and independent, and in the order of
one in ten.
The prime weakness of all
intelligent and good men is that, being both rational and reasonable,
they lack or avoid the usual means of the stupid and the bad.
To be reasonable among
ordinary men tends to be as easy and pleasant as it is to be sane in a
The good lack the means of
personal aggrandizements and self-defense that seem natural and
necessary to the bad.
Human society is a conscious attempt to improve the chances of life and
happines of its members, generally at the costs of all men in the
neighbouring human societies, and of the weak, the stupid and the
honest men in one's own.
A democracy where the majority of the ignorant and fools may decide who
will govern them, seems like Russian roulette on a social scale - as
testified by the rise of Mussolini and Hitler.
There is more from where the above comes from. And the last one - like all the others - is from 2008, that is from pre-Trump days.
3. Crisis Files
have been writing on the crisis since September
1, 2008 (Dutch) and
with considerably more attention since June
10, 2013 (English).
If you check out the crisis index you will find that I wrote in over
eight years nearly 1600 files, that nearly all consisted of a
reference to one or more articles that were partially quoted and mostly
I will continue with that, simply because I think the crisis is
a very important social, political and economical event, but
meanwhile I have turned 67 and need a little rest,
so what I'll be doing the coming weeks (at least), is selecting 3 to 6
files from the 35
sites I consult every morning to see what's happening in the
world of politics and econonomics, and present them, but now without
Here is today's selection:
1. Oliver Stone Hopes ‘The Putin Interviews’ Can Ease
all well worth reading.
2. A Psychiatrist Uses the Army's Field Manual to Show How
Trump Is Mentally Unfit to Be President
3. The Fallacies of the ‘Russia-Truthers’
4. Government Of, By, and For Trump
5. Wrong Way Economics: Trump's Roadmap for Corporate
4. On the Diggers - 2
This is an attempt to outline why I like the Diggers. This ought
to start with my own age and background and history, for these are all
quite relevant, but I skip these here.
What I like about them is this:
- they rejected the personalities and careers that were open to them
- they rejected capitalism, capitalist roles and property relations
- they tried to acquire new personalities and revolutionary careers
- they tried to practise what they preached: "Do your own thing" and "Everything is
- they made anarchist communities, both in 1967 around Haight-Ashbury and later at
- they were original in several respects: in freedom, in ideas, in practises, and in
1. they rejected the personalities and careers that were open to them
Note that this was mostly part of a far wider movement, that were "The
Sixties", that made very many things possible that were hitherto
impossible on that scale:
A new kind of music, much more freedoms of
various kinds, more money, the influence of politics and of the Vietnam
war, an opposition between the young generation and their parents
and grandparents, and the spread of ideas by music and by the
alternative press. There were some antecedents, viz. the Beatniks and the Bohemians, but these were very much smaller groups, that also had far smaller means to get well-known.
Then again, the Diggers were the most radical in rejecting personalities and careers:
They believed ordinary personalities were made up of hypocrisies and
conformisms, that much limited and falsified people; they believed
ordinary careers were based on conformism, egoism and greed; and the
Diggers rejected all of that.
What they replaced it by were basically
three things: (i) "Be free - everything is free", "Do your OWN thing";
(ii) a renunciation of one's previous personality and values, and the
adoption of an "everything should be free" notion plus a new practice
of life based on far more freedom and considerable doses of dope of
various kinds; (iii) a kind of communes - of various kinds - for most of the serious
There was the idea that (ii) was a kind of enlightenment, but I do not
think that was true (for real enlightenment requires a lot of knowledge
and a lot of training). What is true is that you got some
rather liberated personalities, who did and dared to do far more than
ordinary people, and who also had rather different standards and norms
than were normal (which again found expression in their abnormal
clothes and hairstyles). This helped a lot in setting up the Diggers.
2. they rejected capitalism, capitalist roles and property relations
This was political and very outspoken with the Diggers,
indeed in part also because of their "Everything is free" practices
(free food, free health care, free sleeping, free stores, which again
all were supposed to help people to be free and to do their own thing).
But the main theoretical thing was their denial of property relations,
together with their practice of giving things away for free.
Both were quite radical:
Very few of "the Left" denied
property relations, except - perhaps, possibly - after the socialist
revolution, while the Diggers insisted these relations were falsifying
everything and should be renounced here and now, instead of
being put forward to some completely indefinite and vague future, and
the Diggers also maintained the provisions of free food,
free health care, free sleeping and free stores, were in part to help
people, and in part to show people what would be possible if most
things were really free.
Both were mostly new in "the Left".
3. they tried to acquire new personalities and revolutionary careers
Indeed they did (and see point 1.). One of the things to keep in mind
here is that the Diggers were rather young (three out of the four main
leaders were around 25 in 1967, the fourth around 30), and another
thing to keep in mind is that they did quite soon acquire
alternative personalities, but did so in part by marijuana, peyote,
mescaline and LSD, and in part also by heroin and amphetamins. 
And these personal changes enabled them to engage in various revolutionary things that also were not
done by the other leftist groups, and notably life-acting and the
provision of free stuff (food, health care, sleeping, commodities).
I think the life-acting was a mistake (it doesn't face the dishonesty
of actors acting from some script trying to move naive others to be
honest and real), and I think the provision of free stuff failed to
wake up the majority of those it was given to, but both were quite new,
and both also were initially successful, at least to a considerable
extent, while the life-acting was a development of the acting
techniques practised by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, where it should
be remembered that the Diggers originally all were members of the Mime
4. they tried to practise what they preached: "Do your own thing" and "Everything is free"
One other radical thing in which the Diggers differed from most other
leftist groups and ideologies was that they tried to practice what they
preached, and indeed did not care much for preaching without a
Then again, I think their main slogans (which did make them quite well known) were somewhat mistaken: "Do
your own thing" denied responsibility, knowledge and intelligence, and
indeed sometimes tended to insist that doing your own thing was good
also if it were irresponsible, ignorant or stupid. It is not, but this
was not often seen, neither by the Hippies, and also not by most
Diggers, at least not initially.
Also, under capitalism it simply is false that "Everything
is free". It was possible - then and there, by hook or by crook - to
provide quite a big number of free things to quite a big number of
willing recipients, but it also turned out, already in 1967, that only
a relatively small minority of those who received free stuff, quite
possibly in part because they were young people that did not know much
of politics or morals or ethics or philosophy, were motivated to do
more than receiving free stuff and doing what they pleased.
But it is also true that the Diggers did make quite a few
things free for several hundreds to several thousands of recipients,
depending on what they gave, and that they were quite new in doing that.
5. they made anarchist communities, both in 1967 around Haight-Ashbury and later at several places
The core of the Diggers seemed to have lived communally (in various
forms) from the beginning. And when it turned out that - for various
reasons - the Digger ideals of doing your own thing and providing basic
commodities for free more or less failed (here are two reasons among many more: because far too many young
people were drawn to San Francisco to try to indulge in its freedoms,
and because the San Francisco mayor and police were much against them),
quite a lot of the original Diggers moved out from San Francisco,
indeed already in 1967, and started to make various communes -
anarchist communities - of their own. This was called The Free Family
rather than the Diggers.
Most of these communes collapsed again in the early or late Seventies
for various reasons, but there still was sufficient fellow feeling and
mutual support from several hundreds of persons (and their children) in
the 1990ies, and there still are (in 2017) one or two of these communes
in existence. (See Black Bear Ranch)
6. they were original in several respects: in freedom, in ideas, in practises, and in ideology
I think this must be started at the end, namely the differences in ideology:
The Diggers were quite well-informed about the various leftist groups
and ideologies of the Fifties and the Sixties (indeed a proportionally
large number of the Diggers had socialist or communist parents or
backgrounds), and they were rather unique (with a few others, like the
Black Panthers) in rejecting the leftist ideologies as a kind of moral
conformism, that mostly conformed to capitalist values, norms
and practises, while it insisted it was "moral" because it also was
against capitalism, and it provided well-paying jobs for some
(conventional, conformist) leftist leaders. For the Diggers, it seemed
that if you can't practice what you preach, it is mostly nonsense. That
was one - radical - difference from the traditional left.
Also, because the Diggers were much interested in personal freedom and
in personal authenticity, and possibly in part because many took LSD or
were strongly influenced by "Do your OWN thing", there were quite a
number of ideas and practises that were either new (indeed including a
considerable amount of nonsense) or that had never been practised on
the scale the Diggers practised them before.
In any case, from my personal point of view, that is quite well
informed about Marxism and Leftism in the 1960ies, the Diggers had more
original ideas and plans than the other prominent Leftists of that
time, such as Provo in Holland, the French students of 1968, or the
German students of the late Sixties and early Seventies.
More to follow on the Diggers.
 These are aphorisms of my own. I like them and therefore reproduce them. Nicolas Chamfort
was French and lived from 1741-1794. He was extremely witty. (And I
admit neither he nor I are friendly about the majority.) Also, while I
say these are "ten aphorisms", there usually are more: I am speaking of
"ten" due to the original grouping (which has been deleted in this
 Incidentally: I am an opponent of taking hard drugs and always was.