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, May 4, 2016
Orlov lists many of the barriers preventing ordinary people (non-capitalists) from participating in elections, but he misses the 800 pound gorilla that guarantees that nobody interferes with the capitalist agenda to gain more wealth and power.
The gorilla is capitalism, a system that a tiny group of people imposed through violence on the vast majority of humans over the past several centuries. Their system enshrines the right to take possession under rules of "ownership" of all the products and services created by working people. The capitalist ruling class have sought to legitimatize their dominance of society mainly by establishing the so-called "rule of law", and of course these rules, which they made, were designed to serve and protect their system of ownership. And they have many other means that they use to promote the legitimacy of their rule: their domination over every institution of society which they use to indoctrinate people in pro-capitalist values, especially the fake mythology of democracy and their sponsorship of elections. The capitalist class monopoly on the means of indoctrination has been so successful that many critics like Orlov completely miss this 800 pound gorilla.
Capitalism is a system born in the belly of feudalism. Feudalism was based on territory captured through the use of violence imposed on people who lived in those territories. Theirs was a system controlled by these victorious families who laid claim to everything that existed in the territory under their control: the food and crafts produced by working people and on the people themselves. This form of family domination was passed down through patrilineal and primogeniture rules which established the permanent power hierarchy known as monarchs and aristocracy. This ruling class reinforced the legitimacy of their rule by promulgating myths about the "divine right" of monarchs, and religion in general had a very important role in buttressing the rule of feudal authorities.
Feudalism was born in the belly of the rule by military chieftains who imposed violence on others to obtain war booty, slaves, etc. Such is the history of humans, about 2% of human history called "civilization", after the days when primitive communism existed for 98% of our history, but then ceased to exist after military chieftains imposed their violence on humans.
No doubt you have detected a pattern: the history of ruling classes are all ultimately based on violence or the threat of violence imposed by a tiny minority on the vast majority of humans. All else is subterfuge. And this includes elections.
What should we do in the face of the ongoing extinction crisis? What is rewilding, and how does it work? Is de-extinction, which involves the resurrection of extinct species, advisable? Ashley Dawson puts mass extinction and the various efforts to address it in a broader political-economic context.Dawson targets capitalism as the culprit behind the mass extinction of life forms that is increasing at a rapid rate in spite of various attempts by advocates of "green capitalism" to preserve species. A very thought provoking interview throughout, but he specifically draws our attention to the destructive role of capitalism at 36:25m.
In this brief article Spritzler focuses our attention on only one among many doubtful aspects of the whole 9/11 tragedy that suggests a conspiracy was involved to commit one of the grossest crimes against humanity in the nefarious history of false-flag operations.
Cook examines the latest attempt to smear the new British Labor party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, with the Empire's favorite brush of "antisemitism" that Empire agents frequently uses against their adversaries. His examination takes us behind the history of antisemitism that offers a new understanding of how it all began. From there he concludes with Finkelstein's argument that...
the “new anti-semitism” canard is likely – and possibly intended – to fuel the very anti-semitism that it claims to be exposing and challenging.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
...during the first decade of the the 21st Century the mainstream scientific view was that Arctic sea ice would be about in the range that it is today by around 2070 or 2080. And that we wouldn’t be contemplating the possibility of zero or near zero sea ice until the end of this Century.We in the northwest of the United States no longer need to read scientific sources to know that climate
But the amazing ability of an unconscionable fossil fuel emission to rapidly transform our world for the worst appears now to outweigh that cautious science.
For an excellent video discussion of this prospect, I recommend that you view a 43:57m video that was posted on National Geographic's website in November 2015. The video is structured around the five stages of grief, but I notice that in the final stage of acceptance the "patient", Bill Nye, starts engaging in hopeful scientific fantasies which I believe brings him back to stage one.
Of course nowhere in the presentation is any mention made of capitalism that is driving climate destabilization. The closest they come is some brief recognition that the fossil fuel industry will oppose any significant measures to construct indispensable new power and transportation infrastructures simply because they would require tremendous costs. The video actually charges science with the cause of climate destabilization, not the sacred cow of capitalism.
Another fantasy I have noticed is that some people imagine moving to other planets after they trash this one. Read this piece entitled "Scientists discover potentially habitable planets" in which they speculate that another planet may be habitable and it is "only" a little more than 40 light years away. Well, if we could travel at the speed of light (roughly about 186,000 miles per second) for 40 years, we could reach that planet!
Monday, May 2, 2016
As the quadrennial exercise in support of a "progressive" candidate within the Democratic Party comes to a close, Street offers his take on the meaning of it all. Street concludes his essay with the following hopeful statement:
“If voting made any difference,” the great American left anarchist Emma Goldman once said, “they’d make it illegal.” Elections, candidates, and parties come and go, though now the electoral extravaganza seems to last forever. Their outcomes are largely beyond our control. What is not outside our sphere of influence is the ability to build radical and durable people’s and workers’ power organizations that are ready, willing, and able to undertake what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called near the end of his life “the real issue to be faced: the radical reconstruction of society itself.”I am not optimistic about any serious, long-term effort at organizing a movement whose main objective is "the radical reconstruction of society". I was left with this feeling yesterday after watching the coverage provided by a local TV station of the annual parade of workers celebrating May Day in Seattle. The TV reports were frequently reinforced with reports from police sources. Thus the cops were the good guys protecting us from the violence of anarchists even though many in the march did not wear black which denoted anarchist affiliation. There were no interviews with the marchers which were only presented as a threat to society. Indeed, the masks and other facial coverings they wore were highlighted to show them as a criminal threat instead of measures to protect themselves from being identified by the police and from further police harassment. A few windows were broken (who knows by whom) and the TV camera poured over this as an indication of the violent tendencies of the marchers.
Despite the organizers' attempts to not cooperate with authorities to prevent the latter from controlling the march, in the end the massive police force demonstrated that they had complete control of the march by herding the crowd where the police wanted them to go. I stopped watching the coverage when it became apparent that the marchers were being corralled and cornered by the police.
After watching this coverage, I was left with the feeling that the ruling class had the May Day march entirely under their control. Because there was no alternative media that people could turn to, most people watching this event were likely influenced by the TV-police themes that these May Day marchers were violent people who posed a threat to society. Thus, not only were the marchers under police control but the meaning of the march was completely controlled by the local authorities of the ruling class.
What was direly needed was an independent media source like an alternative radio station that people could turn to offer a real meaning to the march, and also to present a sharply different perspective that listeners/viewers could contrast with the one-sided police narrative and perspective provided by the corporate TV station. If there was any serious effort to promote a "radical reconstruction" of society, such alternative media would already be functioning and this workers day celebration would have served a truly revolutionary consciousness-raising purpose.
And just when you thought the situation in Syria was entering into a period of peace, negotiation and reconciliation, and that the propaganda and deception might die down for a while.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Sanders began his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination with no expectations of electoral success or even significant influence. His aim was to play the role of previous left-liberal candidates, like Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton, and use the presidential primary process to give the Democratic Party a “left” face. The Clinton campaign itself welcomed his participation, counting on Sanders to allow her to position herself as the “responsible progressive” during the primary contests.
.... His “political revolution” turned out to be nothing more than getting out the vote for the Democrats, his “socialism” merely warmed-over liberalism, without the slightest threat of any inroad against capitalist property.
The author provides an excellent survey of the latest news reports related to events associated with Cold War II in which the Empire is battling both Russia and any significant independent movements that impede its global agenda of hegemony.
Although the investigative details provided by Engdahl do not appear to be original, still he puts all of them together in this tightly knit essay. See, for example, this article entitled "Why most of the Panama Papers have been kept in the dark?" by a Greek writer posted online by the unbalanced evolution of homo sapienson on April 13th. Also read today's article from the same online source, which argues that Panama Papers incident may signal a new tactic by Empire operatives:
The establishment could feed the mainstream information channels with huge amounts of controlled data, to overshadow crucial revelations by WikiLeaks, Snowden, or other truly independent whistleblowers, and gradually wipe them out from the field of the leak "industry". It's easy someone to understand that such a development would mean the end of real leaks and revelations.The release of the Panama Papers for me always reeked of a psy-ops program that is so typical of the operations of the Empire's deep state. The Empire's psy-ops agents seem to be active on daily basis to manipulate public opinion to support the interests of the ruling transnational capitalist class that forms the supporting foundation of the US-led Empire. The selective nature of corporate media coverage that used the Panama Papers disclosure to smear Putin and other figures who have not cooperated fully with Imperial directors was so obvious from the beginning.
Engdahl's article connects the dots from a pro-NATO German media firm, Süddeutsche Zeitung, that first released this "leak", to a non-profit organization, International Consortium of Investigative Journalism, to a Washington DC-based Center for Public Integrity to funders such as the following:
- George Soros’ Open Society Foundations
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- Rockefeller Family Fund
- Carnegie Corporation
- Ford Foundation
- Foundation for National Progress, Soros-backed mother of Mother Jones
- Fidelity Brokerage Services, second largest mutual fund in the world
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Okay, here’s the proposition — you can have a good job, decent pay, lots of overtime, but only if you give me your grandchildren or maybe your great-grandchildren.Obviously what is referred to here is the fatal consequence of continuing with the devil's system of capitalism that scientists have been warning us about since at least 1972: climate destabilization because of extensive carbon pollution driven by capitalism's insatiable drive for profits. Unfortunately because people find it difficult to imagine any other economic system and/or don't want to incur the risks to their lifestyle to challenge the present one, they usually go for easier answers provided by the capitalist devil to satisfy their more immediate interests. So far the record seems to show that humans have in effect chosen to accept this bargain with the devil, or that most humans have believed the assurances of this devil that they don't need to worry about it because our masters have it under control.
Would you make this deal with the devil?
Because it is likely that the amount carbon pollution in our environment may have already occurred in sufficient amounts to threaten the eventual extinction of humans, these human characteristics (lack of imagination, immediate gratification, and gullibility) may be regarded as fatal psychological flaws that will cause humans to disappear from the Earth.
The author provides substantial evidence to show that the US capitalist ruling class has used, and is using, not only NGOs, as many others have shown, but information technology giants such as Google and Facebook in collaboration with the Department of State in their efforts to promote regime change on behalf of the Empire's capitalist interests. This emphasis by Empire agents on the use of information for political purposes illustrates once again the importance of independent media to prevent not only the Empire's successful engineering of consent to their policies, but the liberating revolutionary goal of eliminating any type of class domination over the vast majority of humans.
Morningstar explains why corporations have backed McKibben's and 350.org's support for divestment of stocks that support environmentally harmful activities. (clue) It is just another deception to make us believe that capitalists are doing something constructive about the threat of climate destabilization.
What most people are happy to dismiss is the fact that the bourgeoisie do not fund and promote what they cannot control and manipulate for their own benefit. It’s incredible how millions of dollars in funding enables those who benefit (those of privilege) to not ask the obvious questions that follow such “philanthropic gifts” (ie. investments). If any person of sound mind truly believes that Rockefeller et al. are united in financing and promoting a global divestment campaign because they simply wish for a clean world, then this author has a bridge to sell them.
Today, the Ecuadorian government is required to pay $180 million to multinational oil corporation Occidental, the final payment of a total settlement of $980 million following the widely criticized decision of an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunal. Just two weeks after a major earthquake, this payment threatens to undermine Ecuador’s disaster relief efforts by financially limiting the government’s ability to rebuild severely damaged hospitals, homes and hundreds of schools.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Jill Stein explains some of the ways the ruling capitalist class has to prevent any threats to their interests by preventing progressive candidates within the Democratic Party or a third party candidate from being elected. She also explains some of the reasons how the New Deal legislation was passed in the 1930s, and how it was co-opted and tamed into something that was acceptable to the ruling class.
Given her career as a physician, her most interesting comments were about how the expensive health care system is not helping the increasing pathology rates of most Americans. Here are some quotes that I gathered from her talk before time ran out.
We are not only literally sick in the sense of high rates of pathology and longevity, but sick in the sense of social injustive and extreme inequality. In addition humans are under threat of extinction due to climate destabilization.
[Her cure is a] green New Deal which cures the economy, cures the climate, and cures the wars for oil.
Our health care system has increasingly become coopted, profiteered, and costs have skyrocketed and peoples' health has not improved.
The Brazilian journalist extraordinaire frames the impeachment proceedings in Brazil as part of a larger effort by the Empire to attack the evolving BRICS and the threat they pose for Empire hegemony.
Cold War 2.0 is essentially about Russia and China – but Brazil is also a key player. Edward Snowden revealed how NSA spying was centered on Petrobras, whose proprietary technology was responsible for the largest oil discovery of the young 21st century; the pre-salt deposits. US Big Oil is excluded from its exploitation. That’s anathema; and that requires deployment of Hybrid War techniques inbuilt in Full Spectrum Dominance.The Empire has been actively seeking alliances with ruling capitalist classes among all Latin American countries, and it has been largely successful to the point that many of these classes actively cooperate with Empire directors against their own citizens. In other words, the ruling classes throughout most of Latin America are much more loyal to the Empire's ruling class than they are to their own nation. This is simply because they know that the precarious foundations of their power rests largely on the support of Empire elites. Actually this is true with the Empire's relations with most of the world's ruling capitalist classes, but I think that this phenomenon is more advanced in most Latin American countries.
Brazilian comprador elites have been gleefully playing the game.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
History shows that our best hope for radical social change lies not within the sphere of electoral politics, but in building popular power from below.The only criticism I have of this article is that Reynolds omits a major building block of any revolutionary movement: propaganda efforts to counter the massive disinformation put out by capitalist institutions. This has always been a major component of any of the movements that he mentions in the article; but when these movement died, propaganda work died with them. Because this has not been pursued by any sustained, organized movement over time in the US (and elsewhere), each generation must re-learn political lessons and real working class history that previous movements and generations had already learned.
On the other hand capitalist propaganda issues from every pore of mainstream institutional bodies with the result that people end up misinformed and confused. The capitalist ruling class knows something that revolutionaries do not seem to take seriously: if you can capture the minds of those who might rebel from their rule, these potential rebels will remain docile and even supportive of imperial policies with the additional benefit that you don't need to use so many costly coercive measures to contain dissent.
Thus the fundamental task of any viable revolutionary movement must be to build media organizations to counter capitalist propaganda. Initially such forms can emulate anti-Vietnam War activists who spread information near army bases in coffee houses and other establishments. Nowadays, similar efforts can make use of small businesses, collectively run coffee houses and restaurants near college campuses and areas where workers and the unemployed congregate. Online anti-establishment media must make greater efforts to collaborate and share resources. Future efforts can also devote energies to teaching working class history to counter the massive programs of indoctrination that children and youth are subject to in schools.
Finally, I must add that serious revolutionaries do not pursue careers in order to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, take-on the burden of home mortgages, and raise a family. People who do this are easily co-opted into serving the system because of the ever present threat of a loss of their jobs by capitalists or capitalist overseers who control their jobs. Because revolutionaries know that capitalism is going to be the death and ruination of the working class and indeed the planet, they dedicate their lives to the overthrow of this deadly system in order to replace it with a sustainable, life-affirming system.
The youth of today are increasingly aware that their generation may be the last that can save humans from nuclear war conflagrations and catastrophic climate destabilization. Never before in human history has a generation faced such a monumental task: to save humans from extinction.
Although MacMillan mostly resurrects a 2014 report (I posted articles, see this and this.) by the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte to make his point about the infiltration of intelligence agencies in mainstream newsrooms, it must be stressed again and again.
While writing a commentary last year about China's President Xi and his visit to the Seattle area, I discovered that one of the major local TV stations in the Seattle area is owned by Tegna corporation located in McLean, VA.
This TV station, like all the other local stations, is not locally owned, instead owned by Tegna corporation based in McLean, VA. Maybe it's only a coincidence, but CIA also has offices there in addition to nearby Langley where CIA headquarters are located.Because the news coverage provided by all major network corporations reveals striking similarities, I think there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the coverage, especially regarding foreign affairs, is carefully managed by the CIA or some other
I don't normally post articles of war activities based on a single source, but in this case I respect the honesty and credentials of both the reporter, Dr Souad Al-Azzawi, and Arbuthnot. Independent sources have issued many accusations against corporate media for dishonest reporting about US military campaigns against ISIS and associated armies, and this confirms that this is the case around the major Iraqi city of Mosul.
This morning I also read two other reports on Aleppo, a major city under severe attack in northwestern Syria: the first from In Gaza entitled "Western Media Break Their Silence on Aleppo With Flagrant Lies, Omissions, Obfuscations" , and another from Reuters entitled "Air strikes on Aleppo hospital kill doctors and children" in which the overwhelming emphasis was on casualties inflicted by some mysterious air force. The contrast between the two articles regarding the same subject was startling. Only brief mention in the Reuter's article was made of ground weapons used. Also in the latter report the nation supplying the air bombardment was, for some strange reason, not clearly identified, but there were allusions made that either Syria or Russia was responsible.
A Syrian military source said government planes had not been in areas where air raids were reported. Syria's army denied reports that the Syrian air force targeted the hospital.
The Russian defense ministry, whose air strikes have swung the war in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, also denied its planes were responsible.
It appears to me that Angela Merkel is like US presidents who are mere puppets for the deep state that lies behind the official government.
A flood of uncontrolled war refugees from Syria, Libya, Tunisia and other Islamic countries destabilized by Washington’s ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions, has created the greatest social dislocation across the EU from Germany to Sweden to Croatia since the end of World War II. By now it has become clear to most that something quite sinister is afoot, something which threatens to destroy the social fabric of the very core of European civilization. What few realize is that the entire drama is being orchestrated, not by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or by faceless EU bureaucrats of the Brussels EU Commission. It is being orchestrated by a cabal of NATO-linked think tanks.
This is excellent news. See how scientists reviewed a recent Wall Street report entitled "An Overheated Climate Alarm" by reading the report first and then the scientists review of it in Climate Feedback. Still, the Wall Street's report will be read by many millions compared to a few hundred that will read the critical reviews by scientists in Climate Feedback.