Blasphemy: How Many Circles of Hell are there for the Elite?

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

? Smedley Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier

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There are thousands of examples daily in the mainstream and left-stream and right-stream media showing how broken and corrupt this system — capitalism — is.

I’ll look, then, at the war machines, the ugly thieving corporations that suck the life out of our communities, that sag all community safety nets, that kill universal health care, universal dental care, universal housing.

The military, and, yep, BlackRock, and all the other financial murderers tied together like a football stadium sized tape worm sucking dry humanity. War and AI and Money and Fourth Industrial Revolution and Billionaires all spooled together like a heaping globe of nematodes.

Nematodes found to positively influence dung beetle larval microbiomes

Anything and everything associated with the military is, well, right smack in all the circles and levels of “hell” — and you might look at your investments, you might look at your cousin’s kids employed by one of a thousand military-machinery factories or services. The military connection to everything is what this Empire has now accomplished. Even the forest service has assault rifles, bombs and armored vehicles. A thought experiment, below, Dante, hell, all of that Christianity, and from me, atheist deluxe!

Illustration to the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Abyss of Hell), 1480-1490

Here are the circles of hell in order of entrance and severity:

  1. Limbo: Where those who never knew Christ exist. Dante encounters ?Ovid, Homer, Socrates, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, and more here.
  2. Lust: Self-explanatory. Dante encounters Achilles, Paris, Tristan, Cleopatra, and Dido, among others.
  3. Gluttony: Where those who overindulge exist. Dante encounters ordinary people here, not characters from epic poems or gods from mythology. The author Boccaccio took one of these characters, Ciacco, and incorporated him into his 14th-century collection of tales called The Decameron.
  4. Greed: Self-explanatory. Dante encounters more ordinary people but also the guardian of the circle, Pluto, the mythological king of the Underworld. This circle is reserved for people who hoarded or squandered their money, but Dante and Virgil do not directly interact with any of its inhabitants. This is the first time they pass through a circle without speaking to anyone, a commentary on Dante’s opinion of greed as a higher sin.
  5. Anger: Dante and Virgil are threatened by the Furies when they try to enter through the walls of Dis (Satan). This is a further progression in Dante’s evaluation of the nature of sin; he also begins to question himself and his own life, realizing his actions and nature could lead him to this permanent torture.
  6. Heresy: Rejection of religious and/or political “norms.” Dante encounters Farinata degli Uberti, a military leader and aristocrat who tried to win the Italian throne and was convicted posthumously of heresy in 1283. Dante also meets Epicurus, Pope Anastasius II, and Emperor Frederick II.
  7. Violence: This is the first circle to be further segmented into sub-circles or rings. There are three of them—the Outer, Middle, and Inner rings—housing different types of violent criminals. The first are those who were violent against people and property, such as Attila the Hun. Centaurs guard this Outer Ring and shoot its inhabitants with arrows. The Middle Ring consists of those who commit violence against themselves (suicide). These sinners are perpetually eaten by Harpies. The Inner Ring is made up of the blasphemers, or those who are violent against God and nature. One of these sinners is Brunetto Latini, a sodomite, who was Dante’s own mentor. (Dante speaks kindly to him.) The usurers are also here, as are those who blasphemed not just against God but also the gods, such as Capaneus, who blasphemed against Zeus.
  8. Fraud: This circle is distinguished from its predecessors by being made up of those who consciously and willingly commit fraud. Within the eighth circle is another called the Malebolge (“Evil Pockets”), which houses 10 separate bolgias (“ditches”). In these exist types of those who commit fraud: panderers/seducers; flatterers; simoniacs (those who sell ecclesiastical preferment); sorcerers/astrologers/false prophets; barrators (corrupt politicians); hypocrites; thieves; false counselors/advisers; schismatics (those who separate religions to form new ones); and alchemists/counterfeiters, perjurers, impersonators, etc. Each bolgia is guarded by different demons, and the inhabitants suffer different punishments, such as the simoniacs, who stand head-first in stone bowls and endure flames upon their feet.
  9. Treachery: The deepest circle of Hell, where Satan resides. As with the last two circles, this one is further divided, into four rounds. The first is Caina, named after the biblical Cain, who murdered his brother. This round is for traitors to family. The second, Antenora—from Antenor of Troy, who betrayed the Greeks—is reserved for political/national traitors. The third is Ptolomaea for Ptolemy, son of Abubus, who is known for inviting Simon Maccabaeus and his sons to dinner and then murdering them. This round is for hosts who betray their guests; they are punished more harshly because of the belief that having guests means entering into a voluntary relationship, and betraying a relationship willingly entered is more despicable than betraying a relationship born into. The fourth round is Judecca, after Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ. This round is reserved for traitors to their lords/benefactors/masters. As in the previous circle, the subdivisions each have their own demons and punishments.

Here we go, though, daily, the sickness of this country, Biden, Trump, the entire capitalist shithole. You kind reader could give this short piece your own multiple examples of the militarization of everything. You think the Internet of Things, the Internet of Nano Things, the Internet of Bodies isn’t tied to military and surveillence capitalism? Then you are living in a bowl of Jello. Face down!

“The price we pay for militarism — The United States’ massive military spending means less money for everything else” (Street Roots)


US Army DARPA 2 640

And, so, this is news, that never ever gets criticized by mainstream media, by the thugs in the Press, by all of the pukes that are Americans. War, toys, billions of taxpayer money for this shit. This is just ONE of a million tools of war, tools of subjugation, tools of chaos the Western Powers produce with their people’s taxes:

OPV – the future? Sikorsky and DARPA think so

What does OPV stand for? Optionally-Piloted Vehicle. Sikorsky and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have been working on a remotely controlled Sikorsky Black Hawk, aptly registered N60-0PV (former UH-60A 79-23298 of the US Army, with msn 70115).

Together with Lockheed Martin they used DARPA’s ALIAS (Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System) programme for a test flight, which took place at Fort Campbell AAF (KY), on 5 February.

Sitting on the runway, one of Sikorsky’s pilots flips the optionally piloted cockpit switch from two to zero, exits the aircraft and walks across the runway.

Not long after, on a clear cold morning, the Black Hawk, with DARPA’s logo, completes a pre-flight check list, starts its engines, spins up its rotors and takes off with no crew onboard. The test flight will take thirty minutes to complete.

Then, of course, the USA and decades of bioweapons, poison weapons, toxins, sound blasts, plasma guns, chemicals, drugs, synergistic weapons, and mass propaganda/false flags, torture vis-a-vis the PhD’s of the APA (American Psychological Association), etc. How many soldiers have I talked to over the years — my students — who were forced to take anti-malarial drugs, vaccinations for sand fleas, anthrax, Gulf War Syndrome, etc.? How many experiments do we have in this society on military and civilians? This is the reality of the freak show of USA.

The U.S.’s chemical and biological weapons programs were outgrowths of a Cold War mentality that pursued hegemony at all costs. This was in keeping with the history of the United States as a capitalist society founded upon slavery, exploitation and, war. While these programs were supposedly phased out decades ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised new questions about the character of biological and chemical warfare. Claims of a “lab leak” theory that suggest China leaked COVID-19 from its Wuhan Institute of Virology have been thoroughly debunked  and met with concerns about the continued operation of Fort Detrick in Maryland, the epicenter of the U.S.’s biological weapons program. Fort Detrick has been linked to the experimentation of pathogens such as Ebola and Anthrax. (Black Agenda Report)

Eight times the United States Has Used Biological and Chemical Weapons Since WWII

Then of course, the war lords, the felons, the liars, the polilticians, the media, the entire left-right pukes cruising to have a war with Russia? Now, let’s see, which country murdered millions? Which Germany murdered boys and men in Greece and destroyed villages? Hmm, Germany? That one, or the DNA in the Germans? And what did Cuba do to USA, how many invasions, how many countries did Cuba use to set up murder incorporated?

Greece raises World War II reparations issue, Germany unimpressed –

[The Kalavryta massacre (Greek: ????? ??? ??????????), or the Holocaust of Kalavryta (?????????? ??? ??????????), refers to the near-extermination of the male population and the total destruction of the town of Kalavryta, Axis-occupied Greece, by the 117th Jäger Division (Wehrmacht) during World War II, on 13 December 1943.]

“Do You Want a War Between Russia and NATO?”

After a strenuous six hours of discussions Putin, predictably, monopolized the eminently quotable department, starting with one that will be reverberating all across the Global South for a long time: “Citizens of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia have seen how peaceful is NATO.”

There’s more. The already iconic  Do you want a war between Russia and NATO? – followed by the ominous  “there will be no winners”. Or take this one, on Maidan: “Since February 2014, Russia has considered a coup d’état to be the source of power in Ukraine. This is a bad sandbox, we don’t like this kind of game.”

On the Minsk agreements, the message was blunt: “The President of Ukraine has said that he does not like any of the clauses of the Minsk agreements. Like it, or not – be patient, my beauty. They must be fulfilled.” (Pepe Escobar)

The entire premise of war lords, the USA, the UK, the EU, NATO, well, this is it — lies, drums of war, movies, fake headlines, rotten state department, Administration, DoD, Deep State, all of them from east coast private colleges running the USA into war machinery, war fomenting:

Here, Oliver Stone, on Robert Scheer’s podcast

 I can guarantee you that Mr. Putin is not at all interested in nationalism. He doesn’t see nationalism the way you’re seeing it. He sees national interests for Russia. And those interests are in the sphere of that area around Russia, which is  violated constantly by air exercises and land exercises, gigantic operations in the north and in the Black Sea, of Western allies, to warn Russia not to invade. The word “invasion”—it’s unbelievable, in my lifetime I remember Vietnam and I remember the New York Times writing about how dangerous Vietnam was because of the communists. But I’ve never seen the word “invasion” every day in the New York Times. Russian aggression, invasion—they did it like an Orwellian propaganda word, and they use it over and over, so that if there comes to be a fight, you will automatically register “Russian invasion.” That will be the first reaction, rather than “Ukrainian invasion of Donbass.” It’s a very sick game . . . it’s called the great game. It’s what these people do for a living; they play the great game. They raise the strategic tension wherever they can, the pot boils, and they take advantage of it.

For some of us, this is another inflection point on why the USA needs to go the way of the dodo: Harrowing Drone-Strike Testimony at US Senate/ February 10, 2022/

 ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi came under fire from Sen. Lindsey Graham, while the chair of a Yemeni group offered graphic testimony of airstrikes’ human costs.

The first to do so was Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, who said that former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama “started using drones strikes in Yemen without Congress or the American public ever even having a conversation about it.”

“Successive presidents have unilaterally claimed the power to use secretive war-based rules to kill terrorism suspects in multiple other countries around the world where we were not, or are not, at war,” Shamsi continued. “Despite widespread, credible reports of terrible civilian deaths and injuries, and lacking any strategic assessment of costs and consequences, or an end goal, the executive branch has kept expanding this program geographically, and in the categories of groups and people who could be killed based only on a president’s say-so.”

“The legal justifications are vague and ever-shifting, and virtually no other country agrees with them,” she added. “If any other country launched this program, we would rightly call it an unlawful, extrajudicial, and arbitrary use of force. Yet it is a core component of what Americans now call our forever or endless wars.” (Consortium News)

How many levels or circles of that Hell are we now constructing for the special and beautiful people — marketers, scam artists, the liars club, elite, the Eichmann’s in skinny jeans and hip skirts?

This is it, the lords of finance are the lords of war are the lords of AI are the lords of transhumanism are the lords of digital dungeons for us common folk.

Enough already. Enjoy your weekend, Big Mac’s and all.

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Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.