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
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Although I skimmed this article and recommended it before, I now wish to offer a brief commentary on introduction to this piece.
Webb explains the long American history in which organized crime has operated at the highest political levels to coerce government officials into supporting their interests. Nowadays it appears that the capitalist system has devolved into a system which supports organized crime rather than the welfare of the American people. Because of the key role that the USA plays in the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire, the interests of organized crime affects all nations of the world.
It is increasingly hard to differentiate organized crime from contemporary capitalism. This is because it has now fully integrated, or merged, with the capitalist system. This system seems to be a perfect host for organized crime. (For a good history of this development, I highly recommend reading a book entitled The Money and the Power by S. Denton & R. Morris.)
In this article Beckwith explains to ordinary people the complex nature of the Earth's oceans which are now, due to the vast increase of the burning of fossil fuels during this industrial era, rapidly acidifying at a rate that is unprecedented in the Earth's history dating back hundreds of millions of years ago.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Two recommended articles to keep you informed about the latest threats to human existence (Saturday, July 20, 2019)
- Britain Pirates Iranian Ship 'Grace 1' - Iran Responds - Takes British Tanker Hostage by Bernhard from his weblog Moon of Alabama.
Friday, July 19, 2019
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case by Whitney Webb from Mint Press News.
- Inside the Yellow Vests: What the Western media will not report (Part 3) by Ollie Richardson from A bird's eye view of the Vineyard.
- Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty (transcript) from A bird's eye view of the Vineyard.
- Western intellectuals freak over ‘Frankenstein’ China by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times.
- WikiLeaks Editor Kristinn Hrafnsson, Michael Isikoff, Pepe Escobar, As’ad AbuKhalil on CN Live! Friday 2pm EDT from Consortium News.
- Drug companies poured 76 billion opioid pills into US neighborhoods in just six years by Genevieve Leigh from World Socialist Web Site.
I think Stryker has got something, that is, some kernel of valid insight from the recent abundant coverage by media corporations about the next big thing--returning to the moon and going to the other planets. I initially thought that this was only a commemoration of the moon landing in 1969, but I now think they have another agenda.
After reading this article, I think that our ruling masters in the Empire's capitalist class, who are thoroughly addicted to profits and power, are looking elsewhere for their salvation. They have essentially given up on this planet, and want us to support them in their new agenda of saving themselves. Their self-serving system of capitalism has destroyed our habitat on planet Earth so they want to move to another planet (and repeat the same cycle). Their promotion and widespread coverage of this new venture is to subvert our minds into supporting this project by sacrificing our already perilous existence in order to save them!
Following the 2008 economic meltdown, knowing that the earth is likely to become inhospitable to humans in the near future, the 1% ceased pretending to care about the 99%, quoting Stephan Hawking Stephen Hawking:
“I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let’s hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.”“Even if humans manage to avoid a nuclear stand-off over the next thousand years, our fate on this planet is still pretty much certain. University of Sussex astrophysicist Dr. Robert Smith says eventually the aging Sun will accelerate global warming to a point where all of Earth’s water will simply evaporate.”
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
There are so many insights about political reality packed in this article and so many experiences that I can identify with. Hall was a dissident and activist during the Vietnam War among young people. I, who was slightly older, tried to warn this generation of the lies spread by our media corporations in support of this war and the ruling class's project of building their empire.
Long ago I discovered the secret of their success which I attributed to their incessant indoctrination and the use of psychological warfare techniques on ordinary Americans that were so similar to their efforts to sell all their fast foods, cosmetics, and other worthless junk solely to obtain profit for capitalists in place of more costly services to really benefit the health and welfare of ordinary Americans.
The ruling capitalist class convinced Americans that this was the American Way of Life and that their families would flourish if they played along. And they did. The ruling class were dedicated to their self-serving project of profit and power; but to accomplish this, they had to erase through their propaganda and indoctrination any class consciousness that ordinary Americans might have that was left over from the Great Depression of the 1930s. And they did.
Immediately after WWII they launched a comprehensive campaign to rid ordinary American of any beliefs about a class consciousness by inculcating beliefs about the "Red Menace" and the Russian threat. They used all their media, political as well as all institutions in this effort to substitute a fear of the Russians for lingering notions of social-economic justice which they labeled subversive. This period was known as McCarthyism. They also used the carrots of full employment, GI Bill, and the much vaunted "Yankee know-how" among ordinary Americans to distract them from any "subversive" thoughts about their imperialist foreign policies and contribute to the building of their empire. And American families benefited ... for a while.
Then in the 1980s they saw corporations buying out and merging with other corporations to reap ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. Later on in the 1980s these behemoth corporations saw their next opportunity to obtain profits and power from employing desperate low paid workers in other countries, and they moved their factories there. The story is far more complex than I can express, but the result has been the disappearance of any sense of class consciousness and "Yankee know-how". Instead we have seen the rise of poverty, homelessness, massive debts incurred by ordinary Americans, never-ending wars, the destabilization of our climate, etc.
Hall vividly describes where we are now to those of us who can still manage to see reality somewhat clearly.
Monday, July 15, 2019
- The UK must release the Iranian tanker; The UAE’s mission to Tehran by Elijah J Magnier from his weblog.
- As Cost of Climate Crisis Grows, Climate Movement Escalates by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers from Dissident Voice.
- Understanding American Capitalism (Revisited/ 2), a book review and analysis by Patrice Greanville from his weblog The Greanville Post.
- XR [Extinction Rebellion] summer rebellion begins by Sian Harrison and Sam Tobin from Ecologist.
The author demonstrates how characterizations of major ideological trends of thought are largely influenced by ruling classes ("elites"). One such period called the Enlightenment, which emphasized the discoveries of the material nature of our Earth (and a little beyond), also was anathema to the rise of capitalist ruling classes.
In addition, the Enlightenment examined the old ideas of feudalism and discovered that they were full of errors like the divine right of kings, feudalism's cosmology which placed the Earth at the center of the universe, and obedience to Roman Catholicism also gave rise to a whole new range of ideas that were first dramatically expressed during the French Revolution and soon led to socialist ideas, that is, to ideas of equality of rights and opportunities among inhabitants of regions.
However, simultaneous to this, capitalist classes arose in various European countries which would soon formed ruling classes in those countries, and they saw such ideas as incompatible with their interests of private economic property and all the benefits derived from that ownership and control. They soon shaped what became known as a ideological period of Romanticism. This period was characterized not only by the mystification of nature but to differences such as language, race, and above all, nationalism that always favored the regions under the control of capitalist ruling classes.
The influence of Romanticism on politics shifted revolutionary thinking from burgeoning socialist movements to nationalism instead. Nationalism is the perfect class conciliatory ideology in that it retained the full social order/hierarchy (i.e. it includes the elites) and homogenised the people by excluding other national languages and foreign communities while putting the elites into positions of leadership and control.Now we have entered a period identified as neoliberalism (the ideology of the new capitalism) as the capitalist ruling classes have outgrown their nation-states and formed transnational capitalist ruling classes such as we see in the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire versus the rest of the world. Trump represents ideologically the earlier period of capitalism which glorified nationalism while the Deep State (see this, this, this, and this), which is in command of the Empire, pushes their neoliberal agendas under the Empire using deceptive psychological practices developed in propaganda against enemies in WWI and WWII, but this time aimed at their own populations.
Using divide and rule tactics and stirring up xenophobic attitudes and fears, the elites ran the new homogenised nations and used them for their old purposes: war. Modern global power struggles of the twentieth century started with nation set against nation in the First World War.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
- Challenging capitalism is the ultimate climate mitigation strategy by Hans Baer (Australian) from Climate & Capitalism.
- What’s really going on in Hong Kong by Reese Ehrlich from 48 Hills (San Francisco based).
- Top Assange Defense Account Deleted By Twitter by Caitlin Johnstone from her weblog.
- ‘We did bad, evil things there’ – Vet turned peace activist on growing dissent with US forever wars by Kareem Raheem from RT.
Friday, July 12, 2019
This article is a warning not to trust fake Western news reports--as if we needed any. But we do! The public of the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire have short memories. Every generation needs to be reminded of the past false narratives by the capitalist ruling class in order to get their support for war. But can the public be reminded? There is decreasing chances of this happening because of the ongoing development of capitalism to increase the concentration of ownership and/or control of all institutions.
Well paid ruling class agents only need to fool about 65% of their nation's populace in order to promote wars. Under current circumstances of the concentration of ownership and infiltration of other media corporations, this is quite easily achieved.
Bernhard isn't fooled which is common among people who pay attention. But worker populations of the Empire are mired in debts, work long hours, and have been intentionally conditioned not to think critically by most public schools that they are fairly easily influenced by fake or exaggerated reports. Still, most populations are fed up with ongoing wars and the steady deterioration of their living standards, and thus it is becoming harder for propaganda agents to get them to support Empire wars.