Thank God for the Charlottesville Nazis! For a moment there, it was looking like we were actually going to have a few days to stop and reflect on the state of America without being subjected to some new form of manufactured mass hysteria. Seriously, just a few short weeks ago, as the corporatist ruling classes’ ridiculous attempt to convince the world that Donald Trump is some sort of Russian sleeper agent appeared to be finally fizzling out, a significant number of leftist types were beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that the United States government is controlled by a global corporate plutocracy that has no allegiance to any nation, or people, or to anything other than itself, and that is in the process of demonizing and potentially deposing an elected president...that maybe that might be something to focus on, not exclusively, by any means, but alongside other vital issues, like defending the rights of transgender drone pilots and purging syllabi of oppressive pronouns.
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, September 2, 2017
Friday, September 1, 2017
The response of workers raises broader issues. Hurricane Harvey, like Hurricane Katrina and many other disasters in the US and internationally, has exposed the class reality that the media and the political establishment attempt to cover up. As always, it is the working class and poor, of all races and ethnicities, that are the hardest hit. It is they who are either without insurance or face insurance companies that refuse to cover damages. It is they who will see the media and ruling class politicians depart as the flood waters recede and the major industries resume operations.
No small part of the reaction of the media and political establishment to the disaster is motivated by fear that it will spark social unrest, serving as kindling for a conflagration arising from the immense contradictions of American society.
My introduction to the series
In recognition of the overwhelming importance of the Russian Revolution, I will be running a series of articles which I believe best describe the events in 1917 that led to the first workers control of a nation. I am convinced that the revolution was the single most important event of the 20th century simply because all the other major capitalist classes were threatened by it because it might be regarded as a positive event by their own workers. You will learn that during the events of 1917 these capitalist classes were already meddling in Russia to prevent a workers' takeover of the revolution, and after the revolution was accomplished, many capitalist nations (some observers estimate as many as 14 nations) invaded Russia to overturn the revolution and restore control to those favorable to capitalism.
There is considerable evidence to support the fact that the rise of fascist governments and major pro-fascist factions in Western nations were a reaction by many capitalist ruling classes to the Russian Revolution. I have written many commentaries (for example, see this) regarding the events during the 1920s and 1930s which led to a number of fascist governments: the fascist governments of Italy, Germany, and Japan; the rise of pro-fascist factions among many ruling classes of the Western capitalist countries; the Spanish Civil War which was supported by fascist Germany and Italy (while the other Western capitalist countries stood by in "neutrality"), and led to the overthrow of the Spanish republic; and many interesting events in the Soviet Union including the slide into a centralized control of the government, the rapid industrialization of the economy, the full employment Russian workers enjoyed while the Western capitalist nation experienced widespread unemployment of the 1930s.
During the lead-up to WWII the ruling capitalist classes of the British Empire and the US became increasingly threatened by the aggression of Nazi Germany to the extent that they allied themselves with their nemesis the Soviet Union in order to defeat Germany and associated fascist governments. (Even as early as February 1941 the US ruling class foresaw that the US would be in a prime position to reign as top-dog in a world prostrate from the devastation that would result in this developing war (which became known as WWII), and the country was urged by the right-wing of the ruling class to abandon its previous "isolationist" view and enter the war). However, after their successful conclusion of the war, Western capitalist countries immediately returned to a hostile relationship with the Soviet Union which became known as the Cold War.
All during the Cold War the US ruling class gradually constructed a new empire with its NATO army primarily by economic and financial means, but always backed up by the sponsorship of terrorist groups and armies (examples: Operation Gladio, Contras, and the anti-Communist purge in Indonesia). Even when nations such as Vietnam wanted to establish an independent government free of US Empire control, they were invaded in a war that devastated their country. In the late 20th century the Soviet Union's government collapsed which was probably due to the increasing sclerotic control of the economy by a self-serving huge bureaucracy, and thereafter the US ruling class reigned supreme and began their construction of a transnational ruling class consisting of capitalists who demonstrated their obeisance to the leadership of US-British capitalists. I identify this as a US-led Empire. As you can see, the Russian Revolution has had a profound effect on the subsequent history of the world. Therefore we must study it to see why it had such a profound effect and to understand why it didn't succeed.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
The science of attributing extreme weather to climate change is complicated and developing every day. Here’s a guide of what we know about the links between climate change and Harvey to help unpack the elements that contributed to this historic and unfolding storm.Obviously any website sponsored by the Rockefeller foundation (as this is) is not going to provide any relationship between the growing incidence of climate disasters and capitalism. Nevertheless the article does analyze the evidence from not only Hurricane Harvey but many other such events to indicate that a process of climate destabilization is continuing to wreck havoc on our habitat, and will very likely accelerate in the future if humans continue with literally "business as usual" (def.). And, of course, capitalist ruling classes will continue because they are fatally addicted to a system which provides them with the drugs of power and wealth. So, it is up to us, the vast majority of working people, to end this fatal disease of capitalism and to create a new system that can function in harmony with nature if we are to have any chance of surviving.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
This article presents another illustration of how media corporations serve only the interests of industrial corporations even when the latter's operations will likely cause major catastrophes.
We now know, thanks to a study by two Harvard University researchers, Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes, that Exxon acknowledged that climate change is real and human-caused in 83 percent of peer-reviewed papers and 80 percent of internal documents. Yet, 81 percent of editorial-style advertisements it placed in the New York Times from 1989 to 2004 expressed considerable doubt.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The Sicilian born Marxist-feminist talks about the new, global wave of women-led mobilisations and the continuing importance of class politics.Although this is more suited to those people who have studied high level theory (def.) related to feminism and radical politics, I believe that it has much to offer regarding the debate between identity politics and class politics, and the contrast between liberal or capitalist feminism as represented by Hillary Clinton and radical feminism. She also uses the term "social reproduction" (def.) which I believe is a very useful concept which views capitalism as not merely an economic system, but a comprehensive social system shaping every institution of society, and is designed to reproduce the exploitative social system from one generation to another.
Media's biased reporting on China serves only the rich and powerful [corporate media disinformation]
No less than the NY Times publishes this sort of rot.
This month, a leading newspaper ran a column bashing China by two former U.S. intelligence officials. The piece claimed that the United States loses $600 billion a year due to “intellectual property theft” and that “China accounts for most of that loss.”
This was striking for two reasons. First, the number is obviously absurd. Reputable news outlets usually make writers provide some backup for the numbers they use. That doesn’t seem to have been the case here. Second, if the number were plausible, the implications for policy on intellectual property and inequality would be enormous.
There is far too much evidence contained in this report not to be true. Besides, it is supported by other credible sources in the past (see here and here). Of course, ISIS could not exist without this type of support.
A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.
Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva authored a bombshell report for Trud Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting tons of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply anti-Assad fighters in Syria. Those weapons, Gaytandzhieva found, ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Monday, August 28, 2017
The Lies of 9/11 Miracle Workers: A Review of David Ray Griffin’s Bush And Cheney: How They Ruined America And The World
Curtin argues that Ray Griffin provides the logic and evidence to support a belief that no astute and awake people deny: the Ziocons were behind the 9/11 project which in turn led to all the other war crimes perpetrated by the US-led Empire since then.
That is only a sample of the lies that Griffin uses to lead the reader back to 9/11, the alleged reason for the death and destruction justified by such lies. If the US government would lie in all these ways, he is saying, why would they not have lied with the Big Lie that started this string of destructive deceptions.
September 11, 2001
New scientific research is quietly rewriting the fundamentals of economics. The new economic science shows decisively that the age of endlessly growing industrial capitalism, premised on abundant fossil fuel supplies, is over.
The long-decline of capitalism-as-we-know-it, the new science shows, began some decades ago, and is on track to accelerate well before the end of the 21st century.Some scientists believe that it is already too late to save humans as a species. I believe that regardless of the latter suspicion, we must make every effort to survive. Contrary to what Ahmed writes, there is no alternative form of "capitalism-as-we-know it". Therefore we must end the capitalist system as fast as possible and create another system that can live in harmony with nature and each other.
With capitalism-as-we-know it in inexorable decline, the urgent task ahead is to rewrite economics to fit the real-world: and, accordingly, to redesign our concepts of value and prosperity, precisely to rebuild our societies with a view of adapting to this extraordinary age of transition.
Hayhoe morally grew up while working for Exxon. She tells the story of her experience as an illustration of how major energy companies rely on scientists to exploit nature while in their public pronouncements they disguise and dis-inform people about how their industry is destroying the biosphere (see also this report from Business Insider) that supports the existence of humans and other species. This presents a conundrum for many scientists who have graduated with huge debts.
So now, if Exxon came calling, what would I do?Science is a disciplined method of obtaining truth, but shareholders of corporations demand profits which legally trumps the pursuit of truth. Wealth usually wins the battle against truth because it is buttressed by a system (it has a name--"capitalism") that legitimatizes and supports the priority of the pursuit of wealth regardless of its harmful effects. It is easy to see how this morally conflictive issue also affects highly trained people in other industries, especially those whose profits are derived from the production of weapons (euphemistically known as the "defense industry").
There’s no one right answer to this question. Speaking for myself, I might ask them to give those funds to politicians who endorse sensible climate policy – and cut their funding to those who don’t. Or I admire one colleague’s practical response: to use a Koch-funded honorarium to purchase a lifetime membership in the Sierra Club.
Despite the fact that there’s no easy answer, it’s a question that’s being posed to more and more of us every day, and we cannot straddle the fence any longer. As academics and scientists, we have some tough choices to make; and only by recognizing the broader implications of these choices are we able to make these decisions with our eyes wide open, rather than half shut.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
This article illustrates how some nations are beginning to learn how to cope with the Empire's use of covert NGOs to promote "color revolutions" in their countries to further the Empire's interests of profit and power.
The notion that NDI is “promoting democracy” is at face value an absurdity. Democracy is a means self-determination. Self-determination is not possible if outside interests are attempting to influence the process.
A political party funded and directed by US interests through organisations like NDI, supported by media outfits and fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations likewise funded from abroad preclude any process of self-determination and is thus not only in no shape, form or way “democracy promotion,” it is a process that is fundamentally undemocratic.
In the US where it is widely understood that money dominates campaigns and wins elections, it is difficult to perceive the US pouring money into opposition parties abroad for any other reason besides skewing electoral outcomes in favour of US interests.
Contrary what you have been led to believe in history classes, the American Civil War was not because northern capitalists loved African-Americans and wanted to free them. They merely regarded them as another source of cheap labor. They were as racist as the southern plantation owners who were the ruling class of the South. Also the southern plantation owners resented the heavy duties, which benefited northern manufacturers, imposed on many imported products from Britain and other European countries which they wanted to buy. Instead they were forced to buy such products, some of which were inferior, from the North.
History has always been written by the victors, but the northern victors were not troubled by the racism of the South or the erection of statues of southern heroes. We need to remove the propaganda in their history classes as well as the statues of Southern racist heroes. They both serve their descendants which are our present capitalist ruling class. However we are not victors or their descendants--we are the subjects (def. under "people") of the present ruling class. Hence this will not be done in either case if we continue to allow this tiny class to rule us.
There is far more at stake now than either statues or propaganda-loaded history lessons. We must now become victors to insure our survival. You see, the present ruling class is pursuing actions that will cause all humans to become extinct either through nuclear wars or the destruction of the natural environment that supports all human life. They are daily causing this destruction through their compulsive drive to exploit all of nature for more profits and power. And our gang of capitalists want to cut other gangs out of this endeavor, and they will risk everything including us to be the dominant exploiter of both humans and nature. Consequently we now have no other choice: either we study and accomplish a revolution or we will perish from our Mother-Earth.
As an added bonus we will then be able erect our own statues to our heroes and rewrite history according to our memories of it (personally I want to see statues of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Bradley (Chelsea) Manning), and Seymour Hersh). Meanwhile destroying statues does not, in any way, remove the many evils caused by our current masters.
Class, our assignment for this coming week will be to study revolution, and the following week's lesson will be to put what we have learned into practice. Our objective is to create an egalitarian society maintained and ruled by all of us in harmony with nature, and for the benefit of everyone. Now get to work.