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
Friday, June 22, 2018
This video illustrates and satirizes the pursuit of happiness in capitalist societies.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Black Agenda Report Book Forum: Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom
I regard Gowans as one of the top political intellectuals in today's world. The fact that he refers to Domenico Losurdo as a source of his influence, resulted in my ordering (from Abebooks) his latest book entitled Liberalism: A Counter-History.
In this series, we ask acclaimed authors to answer five questions about their book. This week’s featured author is Stephen Gowans . Gowans is an independent political analyst whose principal interest is in who influences formulation of foreign policy in the United States. His book is Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea's Struggle for Freedom.
Using the example of Hong Kong, the author illustrates how well-funded US sponsored NGOs lure educated young people in foreign countries to join in US's subversive activities on behalf of the Empire. These young people are enticed by the many rewards that their wealthy sponsors can provide them and the promise of lucrative future careers serving the Empire. Such rewards in these sociopathic individuals often offset their moral responsibility to others in their own countries.
There will always be sociopaths among us regardless of any one society. It is the responsibility of well socialized people to see that their influence is minimal. This also means that well socialized adults must strive to provide opportunities for young people to contribute to their societies in a productive way. In addition, they must insure that values of social justice, equality, truth, beauty, forgiveness, empathy, responsibility, cooperation, courage, patience, etc (perhaps you can think of others) are inculcated as an essential part of the socialization process and thereby thoroughly reject the crass, self-serving aggressive, materialist values of the US-led Empire. Could it be that the Chinese Communist Party that controls nearly all policies in China are not sufficiently promoting this kind of socialization?
This One's For John
Today is the June Solstice, where the Sun, appearing to travel along the ecliptic, reaches the point where it is farthest north of the celestial equator. In the northern hemisphere days are longest and nights shortest while the opposite is happening in the southern hemisphere.
Four years ago the concept was hatched of what today begins at https://hiddenhistorycenter.org/. A compelling and provocative scaffolding is now in place through which to relay information, raise questions, and generate discussion. The driving imperative has been to craft something akin to what John Judge would have envisioned were he alive to establish a brick-and-mortar Museum of Hidden History in D.C. to serve as its complement on the internet.
The yearning has been constant over the past four years to ask John what he thought, what he wanted, what to do, to seek his advice and counsel. This internet aspect of the Hidden History Center project of the Museum of Hidden History is our endeavor to manifest what John explored and expressed throughout his days here. I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for Amie Tracey, nonpareil web wizard. This redesign/upgrade would not have been possible without her good-natured help, support, savvy, and counsel.
The framework is not yet at full power; of the intended 49 subtopics—see the linked list of 31 Second Tier Subjects in Table of Contents—19 remain to be implemented including Alternative Economic Systems, Climate Catastrophe, Drones and Targeted Assassinations, Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) & Wireless Tech, Food Security, GI Resistance/Counter-Recruitment, and Nanotechnology.
Military Intelligence Dominance
On September 1st 2001, John wrote:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said there are three pillars that hold up the current system of domestic oppression: poverty, racism and militarism. In order to have real democracy, economic justice, peace and a unified society, we have to both envision our own liberation in our time and take back our history, power and moral integrity.
The reason Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King were both loved and hated, both followed and murdered had to do with their use of “satygraha” or truth force and “ahimsa” or nonviolent harmlessness. These powerful tools moved them outside the control game that has secured privilege for a few over millenia. These systems of privilege, which are the real, deep violence of society, cannot be challenged or defeated using their own violent methods. Nor can they be changed by substituting a new elite in the seat of power, or by reforming them.
As I see it, the crucial steps that must be taken now to stop the current trend to global corporatization, fascism and genocide/ecocide/ethnocide include the following, here in the belly of the beast....
There are many brilliant people and communities thinking about, practicing and expanding these ideas and actions that are the answer to the current global dilemma. If you are inspired, if you wish to share your vision of them, if you want to learn more, please contact us.
We Are Children Of Earth & Sky
This is an invitation to rededicate ourselves to both envision our own liberation and take back our history, power, and moral integrity. Please communicate with us, sharing your own endeavors and pursuits on behalf of the Seventh Generation yet unborn and your ideas of what to build into the Hidden History Center internet archive.
Encoded in our individual DNA is the experience of our lineage from the very beginning. Whose whole perceptional reality was what I was just saying: all things have being, we’re made up of the Earth—all my relations, pray to spirits. See, and they didn’t pray to man or human form. The closest they came to it was they prayed to spirits that were called ancestors. And because they were praying to those ancestors for help and guidance, they understood that we were borrowing today from the past and the future. We’re borrowing it from both places. So they had this understanding of reality. They knew that to keep the balance was the purpose.... The reason for being was to keep the balance.... So this was what I will call a spiritual perception of reality. Because of the spiritual perception of reality they understood that life was about responsibility. It wasn’t about the abstraction of freedom—it was about responsibility.
—John Trudell, What It Means To Be A Human Being (2001)
May we all continually awaken to and be renewed by recognition of our participation in and partaking of life at this unique time of Koyaanisqatsi.
For the Earth, the children, and all that follow us here,
I remain, sincerely yours,
Hidden History Center is a project of the Museum of Hidden History, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of little-known history. We depend on your tax-deductible contributions to continue our work.
editor and publisher
rat haus reality press
Roslindale, MA 02131
Assistant Director Museum of Hidden History
Archivist, Board member Committee for Nuclear Responsibility
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The title of this article refers to the relatively new chairman, Jerome Powell, of the Federal Reserve who expressed surprise at the failure for wages to rise in this period of supposedly low unemployment and corporate tax cuts. Likewise, this mystery affects a lot of Radford's friend in the economics profession.
He writes that there is no mystery. Those, in the upper-middle class, who work in high places serve their capitalist masters. To do this, they frequently encounter contradictions between capitalist theory and reality. To psychologically handle these contradictions, they must, in order to serve their masters and earn high salaries and numerous perks, engage in self-deceptions consciously or unconsciously.
... reality has become inconvenient. It contradicts what our elite prefers to believe.
So rather than waste time tearing their hair out over Trump’s manifest ignorance and disregard for democracy, perhaps my friends all ought to be pondering their own role in transferring power to the unelected elite that is currently enriching itself and starving the masses of a prosperous and secure future.
The article includes other immoral and criminal spending on nefarious activities beyond support for Israel such as the never-ending wars in the Middle East. But such reckless spending at the expense of taking care of our elderly citizens omits our contribution to NATO and military support for many countries near Russia in order to intimidate the Russian government, the numerous US military bases strewn all over the world, the CIA which has a history of overthrowing governments on behalf of the Empire's corporations, the numerous "aid" programs designed to corrupt foreign governments and their officials and to support fake non-political NGOs which prepare the groundwork among foreign citizens to undermine their governments. This list doesn't include the domestic uses to surveil its citizens, subsidies and tax breaks to corporations, and on and on.
These sad facts provide proof that the Empire's trans-national capitalist class is really concerned about the precarious nature of its control over the world and not the welfare of its citizens. That is precisely why they must deceive their citizens into believing that they are concerned about humanitarian issues.
A current example of the latter is the ubiquitous coverage they give in their corporate media of the separation of children from their parents under the government's immigration policies. This is not new, but it has been increasing under the Trump administration. Meanwhile they give military support to the feudal regime in Saudi Arabia which results in the starvation of the people, especially the children, of Yemen--but you won't see this covered in corporate media.
The Deep State (the informal, behind the official scenes capitalist board of directors of the US-led Empire), which is smarting from their defeat in the last presidential election of their candidate Hillary Clinton, are using their news and information media to discredit Trump in every way they can to prepare citizens for his removal from office. The Deep State is not accustomed to losing, but in recent years they have been losing everywhere. Sooner or later the American people--not only the elderly--will suffer catastrophic consequences from these policies and their failure to overthrow this capitalist regime and establish a social system that is truly their own.
Monday, June 18, 2018
The Australian government has an obligation to free Julian Assange, John Pilger told a rally in Sydney on June 16 [their time, but our time on Sunday, the 17th], marking Assange’s six years’ confinement in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.Also, for a description of this event, read this piece from World Socialist Web Site.
Journalist Milton Mayer traveled to Germany in the wake of World War II to find out how ordinary, normally decent, educated German people got caught up, co-opted or neutralized in the horrible devolution of the country that ended in the atrocities with which we are all so familiar — and a World War that cost countless lives.The retired physician from northern Minnesota provides potentially insightful excerpts from a book about "educated" Germans shortly after WWII in an attempt to explain how they followed Hitler and the fascists into compliance with their horrendous actions. However, he doesn't provide the insight. I think he leaves that for each of us to experience. I lived through WWII, and like many others, I wondered how "educated" and decent people could follow their leaders into such a miasma of evil. Let me tell you about my experience while reading the article.
The book he wrote should be better known: They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 was published in 1955 by the University of Chicago Press.
It didn't take me much time to flash on the thought that I was looking into a virtual mirror that portrayed the zeitgeist of current times, and here in the good ol' USA. The details are different, but the process of inducing compliance with evil among "educated" people is much the same. It also occurred to me that this process was being accelerated with the advanced methods of "public relations", that is, the advanced methods developed since WWII to influence people not only to consume, but to accept the overwhelming deceptions about what the ruling transnational capitalist classes under the US-led Empire (the Fourth Reich?) are doing in the world.
Here I am thinking of the ever-present means of inducing a false consciousness about world events through the various means of electronic communication: TV most of all, movies, Facebook, and other electronic means of herding the "sheeple" into thought-pens. Even the technology of 24/7 surveillance of citizens is used to measure how well their brainwashing is doing, and is used to modify and perfect their techniques. All these methods have been accelerated by the concentrated ownership of media and guidance by the CIA and other secret agencies, and now the attack on the internet and the World Wide Web which favors corporate use of this wonderful technology, a technology that was originally designed to be used democratically.
Added to this array of technological advancements is the mountain of debts that our ruling masters have induced most of us to take on amidst a developing reality of precarity. Debts act as an inhibiting influence over any resistance to the general brainwashing process described above.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Cook uses the metaphor that was so well illustrated in the film Matrix to explain why we in the West are so brainwashed about the issues between Israelis and Palestinians.
The conclusion from this is that the way to change our societies fundamentally for the better depends on a change in our consciousness, on liberating ourselves from false perspective, on stepping through the door.Of course, the "Great Western Narrative" applies to not only the issues in occupied Palestine, but to a number of other issues that the Empire's ruling capitalist class are so concerned with. Having walked through the door of the illusions created by the Great Western Narrative, Cook knows so well what is really happening in this corner of the world.
If we remain in a world of illusions, of false hierarchies of virtue, oblivious to the role of power, we will continue to be Neo living in his dream world.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) concern about CO2 is decisive: “Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended.” One hundred times anything is big.
That is an unprecedented rate of growth with profound and nasty negative consequences for temperature, climate, ecosystems, and species on land and in the oceans, nothing good.
Friday, June 15, 2018
I've recently experienced the new digital technology while re-settling in another area of the country, and had considerable difficulties with it. Although it offers conveniences, I think that American companies are overdoing its introduction in an effort to reduce payroll expenses and to enhance profits. Digital technology is used by owners to reduce the normal complex interactions between their workers and customers into very narrow digital categories without workers. This is another illustration of how benefits from advances made in any field in a capitalist society always go to the rich ruling class and often at the detriment to workers and the general public.
Anyway, in an effort to keep up with latest technological developments, I thought this explanation about blockchains might clarify the subject for you and me.
- Europe Faces Crossroads as Atlantic System Crumbles by F. William Engdahl from New Eastern Outlook.
The world events of the past days are significant far beyond the apparent divide within the G7 industrial nations. If we imagine the planet as a giant electric force field, the lines of flux are in dramatic reordering as the post-1945 global dollar-based system comes to its disordered end phase. Europe’s political elites are currently split between rationality and irrationality. The developments to the East however are drawing more and more force and we are seeing the early phases of what might be called a geopolitical polarity reversal within the EU from West to East. The latest developments across Eurasia including the Middle East, Iran and above all between Russia and China are gaining in importance as Washington offers only war, whether trade war, sanctions war, terror war or kinetic war.
- The Real Results Of The Trump-Kim Summit - Freeze For Freeze (And Some Amusement) by Bernhard from Moon of Alabama.
- Antarctic melt holds coastal cities hostage. Here’s the way out. by Eric Holthaus from Grist.
Antarctica’s glaciers are massive enough to flood every coastal city on Earth. So it’s no exaggeration to say that what happens in Antarctica over the next few decades will determine the fate of not just Miami and Mumbai, but also the course of human history. If we’re lucky and quickly start cutting emissions, Antarctica’s glaciers might mostly remain in place. The alternative is unthinkable.
There’s still so much we don’t know about Antarctica. But a series of major breakthroughs in recent years have raised the urgency and scale of scientists’ efforts. This week’s papers put that information into context. The clear takeaway: There is no sign of a slowdown in Antarctica’s melt rate.