celebratedrecluse wrote

In order to prevent your ISP, or anyone who has access to the local network (the router you connect to, the wifi network, etc) from seeing everything, you have to use encryption which they can't break and don't have access to the keys to unlock.

a VPN is one way to protect your data in this way, however they usually cost money and you have to trust the VPN provider to not look through your data. Anonymity networks like tor, i2p, etc also do this, however they have certain weaknesses. Messaging apps that use encryption will work quite well for preventing your ISP from seeing the traffic, however that's just a personal message and not going to help you with your web surfing or other online activities.

There's no foolproof solution, but particular configurations may be more or less appropriate for you. It really depends on your Threat Model, which is a term I encourage you to look up on EFF.org


celebratedrecluse wrote

As a follow-up, I would like to add that the problem with left-wing ideology with respect to this battle between theocracy and nihilism, is that it is a project of creating a new religion. In the US, look at the strange discourse forming around bernard sanders, full of unrealistic expectations. The tankies are even weirder, with their fixation around defending long-dead leaders of toppled regimes. Even anarchists contribute to this, ranging from the "an"cap fetishization of markets (literally just neolib bullshit on steroids, would require a return to feudal social relationships) to the anarchist communist strangeness around mass politics, unions, strikes, and breaking windows somehow transforming the fundamental relationships that reproduce society. Everyone is creating their own little religion, on the left and the right.

That's why anarchism and communism is most authentic when in the context of nihilism and the post-left. It offers a genuine contestation of this phenomenon of petit hegemonies, where you get to choose which death cult most accurately defines you as a person. It offers a context for meaningful action, by destroying the idea of a morally coherent universal world and instead recontextualizing the experience of being alive in a less symbolic and alienated way, one more direct and less mediated by anything, least of all capital. It also avoids the traps of recuperation which especially electoral and workerist "praxis" tends to fall into with predictability.

All anarchists should engage meaningfully with nihilist and post-left discourse, for these reasons and more.


celebratedrecluse wrote

Neoliberalism, its proponents devoutly eschewing any label, is a religious ideology more than anything else. It is the best attempt capitalism can produce at creating a holistic worldview which sanctifies the inner mechanisms of capital accumulation, from the individual to grandly systemic levels. It is a spirituality of wealth, and there is no coincidence that its rise to power was accelerated by the same people who promoted the prosperity gospel megachurch phenomenon.

Best way it can be defined is as an attempt at emergent synthesis, to the problems inherent to the social relationships between people which are mediated by capital: alienation.

For example, what does the neoliberal say to a woman out of work? Well, you should look inward, why have you not gotten more credentials or applied yourself more? To the man of great wealth? Inheritance couldn't be the explanation, his investments have been so profitable. And so on. It is a rationalization of a broken world into terms which create clear moral sense, defiant against any critique.

And so neoliberalism, when faced with the persistence and in fact heightening of the underlying social tensions, has created already the framework for a slide into fascism. For see, if you didn't take advantage of the liberal order to make it big and rise to the top of the hierarchies, it must be because of something inherently problematic about you as a person, right? And if that is the case, if certain undesirables like you are the problem, well then it is only rational and in a certain sense, holy, that we should find ways of incentivizing, and ultimately controlling this population of unproductives. Holy, because this is really about the spiritual meaning of life, which is found through the twin altars of productivity and consumption.

Perhaps the multi-level marketing scheme is the best example of this new religion, the most blatant.

You see the "need" for a new religious force dominant throughout western society in the sermons of liberal pastors to historically empty pews, the "realpolitik" cynicism toward most politicians by even the middle classes, a splintered and search-bubbled media environment, the death of all public spaces ranging from malls to concert halls to bars, the disintegration of "traditional family" and the lack of anything substantial to replace it, the rising worker productivity-to-wages ratio, the proliferation of, the plateauing and even decline of life expectancy throughout the colonizing nations. Far from nihilism, which might be emancipatory, it seems that most people have embraced a sort of cynicism, consigning ourselves collectively to passively receive the programming of this cult, and acquiesce to its absurd rituals: netflix binges in your apartment alone instead of playing cards with your neighbors, amazon "wishlists" instead of actual gift-giving or DIY, posting for upvotes and likes on social media instead of calling your friends, the using of drugs to the point of self-abuse, numbness and death instead of use to enhance pleasurable experiences or engage in a healthful or healing process.

Power needs a new religion, because something has to hold all this together enough so that markets remain predictable. That's why the rituals involve productivity and consumption, these margins must continue to expand in order for the owning classes to maintain the power imbalances. However, neoliberalism is failing, because that's all it can do. You can only patch up the cracks so much, on a house divided against itself.

So where are we going? What will be the organizing narrative of power? If we continue on the trajectory of neoliberalism, the future looks bleak. Neoliberalism has already totalized society, which unsurprisingly lays the groundwork for a totalitarianism which is distributed throughout society. Fascism, or really any form of authoritarian politics including the state-capitalism favored by MLMs, requires broad participation throughout the society. The police agencies of the neoliberal state have heavily implemented this for decades through their successful snitching incentive programs, but really you can see its tell-tale stink every time a housed person complains about houseless people, or when a commuter curses at a protestor blocking the road for a few minutes. The lines are drawn, the scapegoats are picked, and time is starting to run out for everyone as multiple intersecting crises jeopardize the fragile political economy which allows neoliberalism to exist.

We will certainly see a resurgence of authoritarian statist politics, but preceding and underlying that will be the development of religious thought and practice, the sanctification of new gods and saints, and the affirmation of new pariahs to be scorned and marginalized. This is the biggest danger, for in times of revolutionary potential and unusually high tension, there is a huge risk of libidinal reactionary theology. It gratifies the desire for moral sense, providing a reproductive euphoria to the individual as an implement of symbolic social perpetuation. So, it can only be confronted effectively by a coherently expressed, deep and actualized nihilism, which is necessarily a contestation of the theocracy in both its material and discursive forms.


celebratedrecluse wrote

proprietary elements, additionally it is very difficult if not impossible to delete messages & contacts from the android instance. They also got a lot of funding from some questionable sources. I am fully in favor of de-listing that application, it has a lot of alarm bells-- even more than Signal, by a long shot


celebratedrecluse wrote

USAian liberals still idolize Obama, now that many of them have started to consider supporting Sanders this is for them a vindication of what the Sanders campaign was saying for a long time-- that the Democratic institutions/establishment figures would rather lose to Trump than win with Sanders. So, this is important, because it pulls back the veil a little farther for people in the imperial center who don't have any meaningful understanding of, or relationship with, critical standpoints on US foreign policy.

More radical people know Obama was a horrible war criminal himself, and facilitated the escape of war criminals from justice, among many other detestable things, but there are a lot of US liberals out there who genuinely think Obama as "Our Cool Community Organizer Guy" even now, in large part because of Trump's violations of politeness norms and processes. So this story is important, because it shows how this way of thinking is so wrongheaded in a way these people might understand.