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
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Video: Hillary Clinton, A Threat to All Humanity. World War III is “On the Table”. Her Candidacy Must be Opposed
There is nothing like sensational headlines to grab people's attention, and many left writers are doing just that with Hillary Clinton's official candidacy for president by the Democratic Party.
I have argued for years that we in the USA (and most of the US-led Empire) are governed by an invisible government also referred to as a deep state, shadow government, and often more vaguely as "the powers that be". It appears that I and other deep state theorists have not had the slightest influence on many left political analysts whose articles are frequently posted on alternative websites. Still, I am in good company with people like Peter Dale Scott, Tony Cartalucci, Carroll Quigley, Stephen Gowans, and others.
I would like to put this to the test of future events, but that will not prove anything because the present government led by Obama is already on a very aggressive foreign policy course that has a high probability of ending in a nuclear conflagration. Therefore nothing is going to change under the presidency of Hillary Clinton. How can anyone dispute the premise of my argument and still argue that Hillary will be even more dangerous! The directorate of the ruling capitalist class have been grooming her for a long time to become president. She will represent them in this grand facade naive people call "democracy" very much like Obama has done. You won't be able to tell the difference. Thus, I recommend that you ignore this video and many articles like it.
This review of left movements and governments in South America is long overdue, and Sankey makes a very good effort to meet this need in this analytical report. We should have many more to fully understand the deficiencies of these movements/governments and to determine what strategies revolutionaries must pursue in the future.
The weakness of this analysis as I see it is that Sankey too often obliquely and abstractly alludes to what I think is the core problem with these pink governments: attempting to promote radical change within nations whose economies are overwhelmingly dominated by owners (capitalists) and these owners have strong ties with multi-national corporations and agents of the US-led Empire. I don't have a definitively practical remedy for this defect, but it is a problem that needs to be widely discussed among revolutionaries and left activists.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
In this review of a new book entitled The Great Class War 1914-1918, you can ignore Petersen's gratuitous moralism about "great" as used as an adjective in reference to wars. Instead focus on the author's use of the word "great", connoting "major" as applied to class war. As such the book appears to offer an alternative and accurate way to view the history of this war as a class war instead of obscuring this reality by presenting it as various nations gloriously clashing for dominance that one gets in conventional histories. The book appears to offer an antidote to the usual brainwashing we experience while treading through capitalist ideological muck of conventional ideological institutions, especially education.
Pauwels presents the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand as a pretext for war. However, the war was launched by elitists1 who feared the hoi polloi eating into profits by forming unions and demanding higher wages, and demanding greater democracy. There was also competition among nation states to grab colonies and gain economic advantage. The elitists believed that a war would crush revolutionary zeal, aspirations for democracy, and replace socialism with nationalism.
Wow. Bayer, BASF and Syngenta are suing the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world.
A huge public push won this landmark ban -- and we can't sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish.
Last summer, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying. We have to show Bayer and Co. now that we won't tolerate them putting their profits ahead of our planet's health.
Oliver Stone thinks this near failure was due to self-censorship by major film studios. It only takes a few adverse consequences to infect many people and agencies with the mechanism of self-censorship. Obviously with Edward Snowden considered as an official enemy of the US state, any film that portrayed him in a positive light would be considered not in the national interest (read this as ruling capitalist class interest). This makes me wonder how many films are not made or not distributed because of self-censorship.
The film is scheduled to be released on September 16th.
I wonder how many people are going to be fooled by the rebranding of the terrorist organization Jabhat Al Nusra to Jabhat Fateh Al Sham. This apparent ruse has resulted in a US agreement with Russia to ...
...share intelligence to coordinate air strikes against the Syrian Al Qaeda branch “Jabhat Al Nusra” and prohibit the Russian and Syrian air powers from attacking the so-called “moderate rebels.”The answer seems obvious to me: the vast majority of Americans who unwittingly assume that corporate TV broadcasts news instead of propaganda to engineer their consent for Empire policies and actions.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Cartalucci attempts once again to get us to see another subject through his clear lens rather than through the distorted lens of capitalist ruling class media. This time he focuses his lens on a prominent subject increasingly in the news--terrorism. However as long as so many of us are locked into corporate media, I think that his efforts will be for nought. Let us pray that this isn't so.
In this article he addresses the publication of the previously censored 28 pages of the official government's 9/11 Commission report. It appears that our masters did this in spite of vigorous Saudi opposition as a way to deal with the many years of pressure from 9/11 activist organizations to reveal them.
The Western media has attempted to downplay the impact of the document's release, claiming that subsequent investigations found the "many" of the allegations in the document "without basis" - even as the US and Saudi Arabia today openly arm and fund terrorists in Syria.
Many mistakenly believe on one hand terrorism is simply an inevitable clash of civilizations between "Islam" and the West, while others maintain it is the predictable backlash to flawed or unjust Western foreign policy.
In reality, it is neither.
I'm not sure exactly when this began, but I've been noticing the steady rise of propaganda style reports or the management of news coverage in mainstream media for quite some time, but it seems to have accelerated since 9/11. Back in the 1970s reports (see this, this, and this for starters) kept surfacing about the insidious use of media by the CIA from government investigations and from renegade journalists. From all appearances the problem seemed to have diminished, but what I really think happened was that our deep state (one analyst reveals a lot about the "Deep State" in spite of being motivated by damage control) of which the CIA forms a crucial part burrowed even deeper so that corporate media today functions as an arm of the deep state.
For quite some time the deep state has been grooming Hillary Clinton to become president to take advantage of the identity political orientation of Americans which they have cultivated over many years to discourage any class-based orientation (see my 2013 commentary here). Thus during this election season their media went to work to insure that outcome. This article cites the most recent evidence of this phenomenon.
The pattern is unmistakable in both the UK and US – and I apologise for sounding like a stuck record. Liberal mainstream media prove over and over again their aversion to telling us the news straight. They conspire – I can think of no fairer word – with the political elites in Washington and London to spin and subvert stories damaging to their mutual interests, even when the facts are driving real events in an entirely different direction.
A perfect illustration is the story of the Democratic party’s leaked emails....
Zionism’s range of influence is shrinking. One can see this progression worldwide. At a popular level the Israelis have lost control of the historical storyline of Israel-Palestine. They may teach their own citizens their version of the story, the one wherein the Jews have a divine and/or historical right to all of Palestine’s territory. But beyond their fellow Zionists and the loony Christian Right, no one else believes this story. Significantly, an increasing number of Jews no longer accept it either.
None of this means that the Zionists are not still influential. Yet their influence no longer has a broad popular base. It is now largely restricted to Western government circles.
With all the terrorist incidents and other indications of social conflict happening, you may not have paid attention to what is happening across our border with Mexico. Campbell attempts to summarize what has been happening.
With the ongoing teachers’ strike that has morphed into a widespread rebellion, primarily in Oaxaca and Chiapas, we haven’t put together a more general roundup of resistance and repression in Mexico in some time. While that struggle is very much alive and well, the intensity with which it is unfolding has diminished some. This column will first take a look at the past three weeks of that conflict (if you need to get up to speed, check out this piece) and then cover some of the other recent events around the country.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
In selecting Kaine, Clinton is making clear that she plans on running a right-wing, pro-war campaign targeted at winning over the military and sections of the Republican Party dissatisfied with Trump, and particularly with the Republican candidate’s attitude toward Russia. Clinton also wanted to repudiate any association with the issues of social inequality that motivated the widespread support for her main rival in the primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Kaine is among the most hawkish figures among Senate Democrats.
Current temperatures in large parts of the Midwest have been rising steadily for more than 100 years, with accelerated warming in the past few decades. According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the average temperature in the region increased by more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit between 1900 and 2010. Between 1950 and 2010, the rate of increase doubled, and since 1980, the pace of warming is three times faster than between 1900 and 2010.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
I'm not so sure that one can look at "China through a lens, clearly" by reading Jeff Brown's book. Although unlike what I found as mostly extremely positive reports about China in his online articles (now found here), Nissani assures us that in this book Brown presents a reasonably balanced report on current Chinese society. But then Nissani ends up posing many more questions that I had hoped the book might answer.
I was initially very impressed with Brown's writings a few years ago which provided a much needed prospective on China from an American living and working in China (Nissani also lived in China for a brief period) to fill a large void missing in corporate media, and what little coverage they provided was mostly negative. Subsequently I noticed that his views expressed a decidedly and consistent pro-China bias. It was almost like he was trying to convince himself that he made the right choice by moving to China. In other words, there seemed to be no balance to his reporting on Chinese affairs. I suspect that this might be an over-reaction to years of anti-China propaganda that he was fed by US corporate media. For Americans who have little knowledge about Chinese society, this book might be a good entry point.
For background material on contemporary China I recommend reading the Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping (vol. 3). Ever since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping took control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China has launched a broad policy in pursuit of economic development. To accomplish this they opened China to the outside world, particularly to Western capitalist countries, under a "one country, two systems" policy. This policy combines significant (but not exclusive) capitalist development of their economy which is under the control and direction of the CCP. This policy induced, or one might argue "seduced", Western corporations to transfer a lot of their operations to China by offering cheap labor and other inducements as a method to rapidly obtain the high technology of the West while improving China's economy, while for Western corporations the prospects of increased profits could not be ignored. Since then the CCP has pursued a peaceful strategy that attempts to use economic development as a method to deal with conflicts both internal to China and external in foreign relations.
This general policy has succeeded beyond even the CCP's wildest dreams. However, the risk has always been that the capitalist pursuit of profit by any means would have a corrupting influence on China and the CCP. Although China is strongly supporting renewable energies and implementing changes to improve the environment, they appear to be promoting economic development as a major priority over sustainability. China's pursuit of nuclear power seems to be an illustration of this priority.
One major worrying effect of China's success as an economic powerhouse is that the US-led Empire's ruling class now see China as a threat to their domination of the world. This has resulted in the Empire's "pivot to Asia [China]" foreign policy which we currently see dangerously being played out in the conflicts about control over the South China Sea.
Like many of these climate related websites that are funded by wealthy charities featuring writers from corporate media or government media, there is no mention of the 800 pound capitalist gorilla in the room that is driving the plunder of the Earth's natural resources.
"Who are the capitalists?" the professor asks his students. I give the professor a "D" for his answer. Any definition has, of course, an element of arbitrariness to it, but this is especially true when dealing with amounts of income from capital, and even more-so when looking at compensation for boards of directors. I think I can do better. A capitalist is anyone whose income is substantially from the ownership of capital or property.
What I think he describes, if we focus on major financial as well as industrial corporations, is a capitalist ruling class. The amounts they receive on these boards is usually quite inconsequential to their total income. Often it is pocket change to them. Still I believe the subject is well worth thinking about.
Friday, July 22, 2016
In my opinion Shoup is a leading intellectual and writer on the left, and thus his dissection of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as a primary think tank for the Empire should be read seriously.
We learn from the book review and other sources that the origins of the CFR stems from the merger of Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), a major British think tank, with a group of intellectuals and diplomats connected with Wall Street in 1921. This bi-product of WWI created a close relationship between the ruling capitalist class of the British Empire with Wall Street capitalists of the US. (Carroll Quigley has written about this in his book The Anglo-American Establishment.)
Much of the first half of the 20th century in which a multi-polar capitalist world existed, there emerged a contest for world dominance between Germany and Britain. Because Wall Street capitalists had in WWI bet heavily (in the form of loans) on Britain and France in this contest, they were soon able to get the US participation in the war to insure victory and the repayment of their loans (with interest). In WWII this rivalry, their earlier defeat, and bitter memories over the Versailles Treaty activated the deep resentment of the Nazis and provoked them into invading France, the Low Countries, and to launch an air attack on Britain (for less than 4 months) in spite of the fact that many Western capitalists had financially backed the German Nazi party as an instrument that would destroy the Soviet Union, a major heretic in an otherwise capitalist world. In was this same division among the allied capitalist countries that enabled the easy early German victories, and not the overwhelming power of the German military.
The British-American origins of this major "think tank" of the US-led Empire has forged an alliance among Anglo-American capitalists that plays a key role in policies and actions of the Empire that we see today.
While the CFR has a long history, the focus of this book is its role in the formulation and propagation of neoliberalism as the dominant ideological prescription for governments globally since the 1970s. A highly prominent figure within the CFR, David Rockefeller, who was chairman between 1970 and 1985 (and the single largest financial contributor of the organisation’s entire history), was an early enthusiast for Friedrich von Hayek’s free market dogmas at the heart of neoliberal economics.
Only a psychopath could read someone else’s lies from their teleprompter with such feigned emotion. And only the flag-waving, dumbed down masses could believe them. Politicians are puppets, and your only questions should be: “Who is writing their speeches? And who is pulling their strings?”
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Todhunter with his brilliant, penetrating mind refocuses his attention and ours from corporate contamination of food and the harm they are causing independent farmers to another aspect of capitalist rule--the ever present threat of their use of catastrophic weapons, especially nuclear weapons. He was prompted to write this essay by some remarks made by the new British prime minister, Theresa May, who said she wouldn't hesitate to use these weapons of mass destruction (presumably under certain conditions).
Politicians like May are reading from script devised by the elite interests. Members of this elite comprise the extremely wealthy of the world who set the globalisation and war agendas at the G8, G20,NATO,the World Bank, and the WTO. They are from the highest levels of finance capital and transnational corporations. This transnational capitalist class dictate global economic policies and decide on who lives and who dies and which wars are fought and inflicted on which people.
The mainstream narrative tends to depict these individuals as "wealth creators".
Roberts provides and excellent review of Kennedy's opposition to the deep state that had been constructed after WWII to transfer control from the official capitalist government into an invisible government consisting of top capitalist figures in banking and corporations and using the new secret agencies to conduct activities that were illegal or that Americans would not support. Thus Kennedy, and others who stood in the way of this invisible government, had to be assassinated. However Roberts' focus is largely limited to the foreground of Kennedy's assassination and misses the greater significance of this new deep state: the emergence of neo-fascism to replace the capitalist version of democratic institutions of government. The latter became a facade while the former has taken control of all important decisions.
As a former member of the Reagan administration Roberts knows how the US government works. In this article he knows that the CIA functions to hide secrets from Americans and from the rest of the government. There are at least 15 other such government agencies, but I think that the CIA has played and is playing a key role in serving the ruling capitalist class in general, and the 9/11 project in particular. Given his knowledge about how these secret government agencies work, Roberts is very suspicious of the new revelations about the role the Saudi government played in the project.
The evidence of Saudi financing is what restores the credibility of the original story. Nothing changes in the story of the collapse of the three WTC buildings, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crashed airliner in Pennsylvania. American anger is now directed at the Saudis for financing the successful attacks.
To hype the Saudi story is to support the official story.
The murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille were not unique. On average one black person is killed by police every day. But cameras were rolling and the sight of police lynch law twice in 48 hours was too much for millions of people to bear. So much so that revenge was not just contemplated but carried out. Micah Johnson and Gavin Long were named as suspects in shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Both paid with their lives. If guilty, they were motivated to act on their anger and they changed everything about the movement to end police lynch law.Note: "Convos" in the following video is Gavin Long. (I wonder how long the agents of our masters will permit this video to be shown via YouTube.)
Johnson and Long were both black men who served in the military. Johnson was deployed in Afghanistan and Long in Iraq. Aside from the police version of their conversation with Johnson we know nothing about his thinking. But Long often expressed himself on social media. What he said is worthy of attention.