We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Your Up-To-Date Guide To Avoiding Internet Censorship & Getting Real Watchdog Journalism

Click here to access article by Whitney Webb from Mint Press News. (Note: Thanks to Christopher from northwest Oregon for alerting me to this useful article.)
There are lots of good strategies for beating both corporate and government Internet censors and snoops. These range from alternatives to Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter — to direct subscriptions to authors and pubs — to setting up your own VPN. All are worth the effort.
You might also be willing to consider Ecosia which I have recently used, but haven't used enough to know much about it or to thoroughly recommend it.

The Road to Charlottesville: Reflections on 21st Century U.S. Capitalist Racism

Click here to access article by Paul Street from CounterPunch

Street offers a valuable dissection of American racism that has become very complicated due to the obfuscation of it by all the indoctrination/propaganda agencies of the ruling capitalist class by transforming its more overt forms into more indirect, but still effective, forms that serve to preserve racism. Now with a more hardcore racist in the White House, many white Americans have been deceived by agents of the ruling class to see themselves as victims, and are now being encouraged to foment racist-based actions .

In my opinion, Street wastes far too much time (and ours) by listing details about what should happen to overcome racism, and far too little time developing his last paragraph in which he suggests that all the "shoulds" (expressed as "we need") will likely not change anything simply because those who rule our nation, under a system their ancestors created, will not permit such reforms to be made.

Unlikely under capitalism….

Can reparations (due also to Native Americans and nations abroad where untold millions/billions of people have been devastated by U.S. imperialism) be properly and meaningfully introduced under the existing U.S. regime of class rule called capitalism?  Almost certainly not – as with the demand for a shift to an ecologically sustainable economy and society.  It must therefore be considered a revolutionary demand and be combined with multi-racial working-class struggle to remove the “One Percent” (a catchy euphemism for the capitalist ruling class) not just from its wealth but also and above all from its command of the structuring and purpose of “our” (their) political economy. It must be interwoven with the struggle for the broad redistribution of wealth and power and for peoples’ socialism. This is very different from the reactionary, “divisive,”  and zero-sum way in which reparations is advanced by its bourgeois champions both white and Black.
Racism along with poverty, powerlessness for the vast majority, never-ending wars, environmental destruction, and all the other evils of capitalism will not change until we, the people, change the system that supports all those evils. We need to study and execute a revolution before our masters with their addiction to profits and power make humans extinct. Time is fast running out.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We'll be in afghanistan forever. Here's a cartoon you can re-use with each new administration!

by editorial cartoonist Matt Bors

Matt Bors: I made this cartoon in 2010.

You might also be interested in an article entitled "WATCH: Brave Congressman Explains How US Keeps Afghan Heroin Trade Alive at Your Expense" from Mint Press News.

Racist Organization Receives Bonanza Of “Anti-Racism” Donations

Click here to access article by Alison Weir from Mint Press News
For the past 69 years, Israel has oppressed Palestinians in diverse ways, confiscating their land, destroying their homes, killing numerous children, and imprisoning at least one member of 70 percent of all Palestinian families.

In addition, Israel has waged wars of aggression against Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. It has urged wars against Iraq, Iran, and others.

And the ADL has been in the forefront of supporting Israel. It has also used its $57 million budget to smear those who support fairness, justice, and equality for Palestinians.

The sad fact is that donations to the ADL, rather than fighting racism, will be used to enable it.
It is so ironic that an Zionist-American lobby organization (ADL) that promotes the interests of Israel and its apartheid practices is benefiting from the recent expressions of racism against African-Americans in the US. 

In many ways African-Americans can be regarded as the US's Palestinians. They have been a target of discriminatory practices by US police forces and, likewise, the huge US prison system confines a disproportionate number of African-Americans. This only accounts for the obvious racial discrimination practices by the ruling capitalist class that so often promotes racism, a method known as "divide and conquer", as a way to distract the American working class from the real issues of class war. What can we conclude about such irony? 

Israeli apartheid cannot even be legitimately classified as racism because Palestinians are racially classified as Semites like most Israeli Jews. The Zionist oriented ADL are a Jewish nationalist organization that has allied itself with the US-led Empire capitalist class in order to promote the interests of profit and power of Jewish international capitalists. As such their policies mirror the imperialist history of history's leading capitalist powers of the British Empire, the former Nazi Empire, the Japanese Empire, and the current US-led Empire. 

RMG Rhymes Reasons w/Dr. Edward Rhymes: Abby Martin

Click here to access this interview with a leading independent media journalist Abby Martin. (Note: This 40 minute audio interview starts at 1:40m.)

The retired sociology professor asks what America's premier independent journalist Abby Martin has learned primarily about her recent visit to Venezuela and secondarily her observations about an earlier visit to Israel. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Capitalism puts profits first, but an ecological society will serve humanity-- an Interview with Fred Magdoff (a "best post")

Click here to access this interview from Truthout.
What would a truly just, equal and ecologically sustainable future look like? Why would it require a change in our economic system, namely the end of capitalism? Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams answer(s) these questions in Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation. Suffused with radical hope, this book can be yours with a donation to Truthout!

Is a world possible based on equitable needs, empathy and sustainable economics? Two authors believe so -- and that it would require the end of capitalism: Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams, who co-wrote Creating an Ecological Society. In this Truthout interview, Magdoff -- a professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont -- shares his vision of how we could move toward such a world.
Magdoff's articles have been frequently published in the Monthly Review, a longtime socialist journal. He is a professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and co-author of the new Monthly Review Press book Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation.
Fred Magdoff demonstrates in this interview that he is a very wise man as illustrated in this paragraph in a partial answer to the question "In summary, what would an ecological society look like to you?"
It will be critical to operate in ways that maintain an egalitarian and democratic society. Transparency and openness need to be maintained. There are a variety of methods to help make that happen, such as simple processes for recall of unsatisfactory persons in positions of authority and regular rotation of positions within economic units and within social structures, such as community, regional and multi-regional councils. Continuing efforts will take place in schools and society at large to encourage pro-social traits needed in a cooperative society -- cooperation, reciprocity, sharing, empathy, treating all people equally and fairly (no favoritism) -- and to work to minimize the expression of traits emphasized and rewarded by capitalism (especially, greed, selfishness and individualism) and to eliminate the deep scourges of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination and oppression.
In the last lengthy sentence he poses what I believe to be a major hurdle to overcome by any revolutionary movement that attempts to replace capitalism with what is truly a social-system: individualism that is laced like fabric throughout the culture of capitalism. That is why I believe that any effective revolutionary movement must emphasize a pro-social prefigurative component (see mine here and here in my revolutionary proposal) in order to provide training and experience to create a totally new human being to preserve this new social system.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Is Capitalism Killing Our Climate? A radio interview with Ian Angus [a "best post"]

The hosts of Planet Haliburton, a program from the wilds of Haliburton County in Ontario, Canada, interview Ian Angus, the editor of Climate & Capitalism.

This fascinating interview lasts about 46 minutes minus 6 minutes in the middle (which you can skip) to hear a Bob Dylan song.

Trump's Base Turns On Him Over Afghanistan

Click here if you wish to access the 10:43m podcast via YouTube that originated from the Jimmy Dore show.  

I especially liked the exchange between Dore and one of his guests (Ron?) toward the end of the show.
Ron: Let's look at the system that allowed this snake oil salesman [Trump] to happen in the first place.

Jimmy: No wants to do that, Ron. That's a good idea. I know no one wants to change the system. No one wants to get rid of their money. No one wants to get rid of their corporate cash. Nobody wants to change the system, believe me.
Unfortunately, they didn't name the system, but the system has a name--capitalism. 

Capitalist speech versus people speech

by political cartoonist Matt Wuerker.

This cartoon very well illustrates the truth that a tiny class of capitalists, who rule the US, have overwhelmingly more opportunities to influence decisions than the vast majority of Americans. In addition, it shows the hypocrisy of the propaganda that we are all subject to: "the people have spoken". What is missing from the satire is the power of wealth also enables capitalists to hide a very "inconvenient truth": Their wealth enables them to control both political parties and select their candidates. It's not a perfect system as they discovered in the recent election, but it is sufficient to fool most Americans into believing that they live in a "democracy".

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression

Click here to access article by Jeremy Malcolm, Cindy Cohn, and Danny O'Brien from Electronic Frontier Foundation.  

Although these people don't acknowledge the reality of the current class war that is occurring, they, as experts on all technical matters of internet, recognize that there are attacks happening against the norms of free expression of opinions over the internet. There is much to be learned about the internet in this piece to enable us to better fight against censorship that is currently being waged by agents of the capitalist class.

Permit me to digress because I've just had an epiphany and, before I forget, I want to share it with you! Don't ask me how I arrived at it, because I don't remember. It has something to do with the free expression of ideas.

The thought just occurred to me that education in a capitalist controlled society, such as we are in, has so effectively blocked any class-based analysis of issues in those it educates. (If this is difficult for you to grasp, think of it in terms of inoculation against a disease--the disease in this case is critical thinking.) And the more education one receives, the more this blocking process occurs. These insights have been validated by many experiences in my rather long life of 81 years. 

Capitalists need highly trained people to enable them to exploit workers, to design devices (robots, subsystems, weapons, etc) which eliminates the need for workers, to better exploit workers, have better access to resources and markets, to develop weapons that can threaten other countries to comply with our masters' demands, to staff their many institutions to protect and promote their system of capitalism, etc, etc. The more education one receives in a capitalist controlled society the more potentially dangerous one becomes for our capitalist masters. To offset any threats to their rule and their system, which lays so many golden eggs (among which are wealth and power) for them to enjoy at our expense, they especially load their system of higher education with pro-capitalist ideas about the sanctity of private economic property, the mythology/religion of the "invisible hand", the justness of their economic and political system, and the necessity for workers to obey their leaders and work hard for their bosses. 

Of course, such ideas are pure indoctrination and people are discouraged from ever questioning questioning these fundamental beliefs of capitalism. They are like the 10 Commandments of Judaism and Christianity. Capitalism is a faith-based belief system which often resembles a religion.  As mentioned above, my experience has validated a corollary of this indoctrination component of education: the more education one has, the more indoctrinated such a person is likely to be in these fundamental tenets of capitalism. (This holds true even when the factor of rewards/benefits are factored in--although less so.) This explains why I nearly always have found it more difficult to convince educated people of the class nature of our society than I have people who have received much less education.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The truth will not be Googled

Click here to access article by Claire Connelly from Renegade Inc. (Edited for clarity at 5:45 PM Seattle time.)

Even people who I regard as believers in the reform of capitalism (otherwise known as "liberals") are disturbed by the increasing efforts of internet related corporations to censor out material that our masters in the capitalist class find objectionable. 
While web-hosting services have been criticised for cancelling the registration of neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, progressive left-leaning sites are losing Google ranking and traffic because of a deliberate move to censor “fake” news by the internet search giant.
I haven't yet seen any significant evidence that my website has been adversely affected by corporate internet censors (other than the usual August slowdown when people go on vacations), but many as reported in this article have been affected. However, I have a rather difficult time sympathizing with people whose websites have been adversely affected. I think it is very naive of them to expect otherwise. They seem to have actually believed in all the propaganda about liberties in a capitalist class ruled society. Actually I am surprised that this has not happened sooner. So, I say, "people, grow up! Get a grip on reality! (This does not mean that we should simply accept their efforts to control the internet--on the contrary, we must throw everything into the battle to preserve it for our use.)

You live in a society that is ruled of, by, and for the interests of a class of owners of the economy, otherwise known as capitalists. The latter see evidence all around them that the internet is used by people to reject their self-serving propaganda, and logically they want to shut it down. Is that so hard to understand?

Yes, I am aware of all the amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, to the Constitution. However our early "founding fathers" were forced to tack on these liberties to their constitution in order for the states to ratify it. They didn't really mean it. So, get over it. Surely you stopped believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Likewise you should stop believing in all the fairy tale indoctrination about freedom existing in the US. These freedoms largely only exist for this class; and when "push comes to shove" as they are now for the increasingly threatened ruling class, they won't exist at all for ordinary people. 

The implication of all this is clear: we ordinary people must act to secure your own liberties by overthrowing the rule of the capitalist class and insuring that no ruling class ever takes control. But we can't stop there. We will also have to design a new society that insures equality, that the fruits of one's labor is shared by all, and, most importantly, the policies that govern this new society are influenced by all. 

There has never been a more favorable time to do this since the beginning of civilization. Think about it. We have constructed so many labor saving devices that free us from work; and with our control of them, we could all work about a 15 hour week which would free us to educate ourselves, to govern, spend more time with our families, create things, enjoy life, preserve the environment, etc, etc. Unfortunately under the rules of capitalism, these devices are all "owned" by capitalists whose only interest is to accumulate more profit and power at your expense by producing many frivolous and even terribly harmful things (never-ending wars) that we can and must do without if we are to survive as a species.