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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, July 21, 2016

In the Shadow of the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder

Click here to access article by Colin Todhunter from his blog East by Northwest.

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".


  1. Mark Twain is credited with quipping that if voting actually changed anything, they wouldn't let us do it.

    If language did not change anything, they would not insist we use theirs.

    English is the global language for a myriad of not-so-savory reasons I won't get into. Words matter. Words like "elite".

    The people who own everything - including the media - choose this word because it means "best", ultimate, "highest levels" (3rd line of paragraph). The owners believe these to be fitting words for them and they are well aware of the inherent subconscious message that reinforces synapses in our brains each time we use them.

    "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me....They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are.... Even when they...sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Rich Boy"

    Hegemons, psychopaths, owners, one percent, thieves, murders, controllers, rulers, oligarchs...
    There are many fitting nouns. Choose your own and help replace the lofty, genteel, godlike mental image mis-evoked by their chosen media terms with truer mental pictures.

    Todhunter is a good journalist and certainly not the only one to use the owner’s pet terms. This is not to pick on him, just using his article as a smack in the head to remind us all how THEIR words are intended to effect docility and defeatism. Don’t let them!

    1. I have to disagree. As someone with a background in sociology, my reading of 'elite' is - a small group of powerful people that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege or political power in a society. I used the term it in a sociological sense.

  2. Well at least here in the US "elite" has been a bit down-graded by the working class to something like snobbery. The use of the word "elitist" is often used sarcastically.

    Words often carry loaded concepts with values favoring the ruling class, and are too often adopted by working people. I'm thinking of such words as "democracy" or "democratic" instead of capitalist or bourgeois democracy, "national security" instead of ruling class security, and their use of "freedom" to denote freedom to exploit regardless of the adverse consequences to the rest of society and the environment. I bet that the above commentator can probably add several others. Then there are the more subtle forms of racism that are mostly subliminally inserted into our brains.

    We have all been subject to their brainwashing by ruling class agents. We all need to struggle against it.

  3. I would just like to add another comment to my above comment. I have followed Todhunter for about three years now and I've marveled at the progress he is making in terms of raising his political consciousness. He, like many others, would never refer to capitalism, at least not in any critical sense, but now he does this frequently. Yes, he is a very good journalist and we need many more like him.

    1. I steered clear of the term 'capitalism' to appeal to a wider audience. And once you begin to side-step the issue of capitalism (which is what I kind of ended up doing by not tackling it head on), there's a danger of losing your way and watering everything down. With an academic background in sociology, I was already 'politically conscious' in terms of Marxian analyses. But that was decades ago. You certainly made me re-assess what I was writing and how I was writing about things and made me aware that I had moved away from how I should have been writing about things. Criticism can be tough to take. Egos get in the way and some defend their ground. Some of us take it on board and change accordingly.

  4. It is testimony like this that keeps me going in what sometimes seems like a overwhelming struggle for positive change.


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