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
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Greenwald provides the latest example of corporate media issuing fake news.
Julian Assange is a deeply polarizing figure. Many admire him and many despise him....
But one’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article, which is not about Assange. This article, instead, is about a report published this week by The Guardian that recklessly attributed to Assange comments that he did not make. This article is about how those false claims — fabrications, really — were spread all over the internet by journalists, causing hundreds of thousands of people (if not millions) to consume false news. The purpose of this article is to underscore, yet again, that those who most flamboyantly denounce Fake News, and want Facebook and other tech giants to suppress content in the name of combating it, are often the most aggressive and self-serving perpetrators of it.
As a recipient of Social Security and Medicare I can report my experience with these two programs. There has been an ongoing surreptitious assault on both programs for at least the last seven years, and it boggles my mind as to the lack of public outcry over this issue. As long as our ruling masters in the capitalist class can get away with their assault on retired people, many of whom are very vulnerable, they will continue to do so. But then that seems to be true of all poor people. The latter are the primary victims on our ruling class's imperial adventures within the USA.
Lindorff writes about how the Social Security should operate according to its rules, but not how it actually functions. For this information I have found one source that I believe is by far the most credible:
Dr. Allen W. Smith is a Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of seven books and has been researching and writing about Social Security financing for the past ten years. His latest book is Raiding the Trust Fund: Using Social Security Money to Fund Tax Cuts for the Rich. Read other articles by Allen, or visit Allen's website.In his latest article Smith writes:
The $2.7 trillion in Social Security surplus revenue, generated by the 1983 payroll tax hike is gone. It is not sitting in the trust fund or anywhere else. The money was embezzled as it came in and used to help finance wars. tax cuts, and other programs. As the money was spent, government IOUs were issued to keep track of the money. The IOUs, themselves, have no market value and cannot be sold. They serve as certificates of debt.Back in August I calculated my basic living expenses compared to Social Securities "cost-of-living adjustments" each year. My cost of just my living quarters in a one bedroom apartment has increased over the past 10 years by 75.2% while my Social Security benefits have only increased 18.2% for the same period. Now the 2017 property maintenance fees alone on my condo are due to go up by 2.4% while my Social Security adjustment will increase only .3%! Apparently our masters are hoping that with this slow attrition of benefits, nobody will notice; and in the future nobody will be able to retire.
Being forced to give up supplementary health insurance and with only Medicare insurance coverage, I can no longer get a reasonably good physician as my primary provider of medical services. The only option I and others have who don't have supplementary private insurance is a clinic that is run like a charity organization staffed by poorly qualified doctors. This clinic appears to cut corners on their expenses by having nursing personnel make decisions on patient care that a doctor should make.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Berlin, like Paris, Brussels, Munich, Orlando… is just a cog in the wheel of the monster’s drive towards full world hegemony.
Unexpected, haphazard carnage and terror acts are spreading misery, poverty and fear.
People who are afraid will call for more police and military protection.
They will voluntarily give up their human and civil rights for what they hope will be more ‘protection’, being totally oblivious to the fact that the very governments from whom they are seeking more protection are those that commit these acts of treason and terror, those who are behind the killings. The Anglo-american controlled presstitute mainstream media is in permanent brainwashing mode. Unless you search the news and information for yourself on alternative media, they will never tell you the truth, but their lies, after lies, after more of the same lies will fabricate the public truth.
The neocons and their liberal-interventionist chums never seem to think through one of their “regime change” schemes. It’s enough that they wrote the plan down in some op-ed article or reached a consensus at a think-tank conference. After that, all there is to do is to generate the requisite propaganda, often accompanied by intelligence “leaks” and maybe some heartbreaking photos of children, to rile up the American people so they can be easily herded into the next slaughterhouse.I keep wondering how much longer my fellow Americans will allow themselves to be so "easily herded into the next slaughterhouse" by our masters in the capitalist ruling class.
We’ve seen this pattern play out over and over again, from Iraq to Libya to Syria to Ukraine. You could even go back to the 1980s and the project for arming Afghanistan’s mujahedeen and a collection of international jihadists led by Osama bin Laden, a project enthusiastically supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out if our masters are split into two camps: one under the incoming Trump administration that wants to cozy up to Russia in a strategy to split Russia from China (as argued by F. William Engdahl); or two, (more of the same) the continuation of past policies of aggressively waging a new cold war against both Russia and China. Either way, we are in for more austerity and fake news and views at home, wars abroad, and increasing destabilization of our climate.
Obama's recent signing of the Pentagon budget bill promises more of the same as reported in this article by Bill Van Auken from World Socialist Web Site. It also includes funding for more sophisticated weaponry for the Empire's proxy forces that are trying to bring down the Syrian government, and our ruling class's effort to crack down on alternative websites that present views and analysis that our masters don't like.
[The bill] includes a provision known as the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act,” which represents a plan to build up the propaganda arm of the US government. In the name of creating a new government agency to “counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests,” it establishes the framework for directing propaganda against the American people and cracking down on anyone who challenges or exposes the crimes of the US government.
Fake news and propaganda driven by government’s and corporations is of course, nothing new. Brexit and the American election have brought the subject into sharp focus more recently as the political class have been unexpectedly losing important desired outcomes. Consequently, as TruePublica reported a week ago, in Britain, controversial laws have been introduced to stem free speech, which, over the passage of time will be used to halt any individual, website or news outlet from reporting against the government narrative with so-called fake news eventually being outlawed. Think this is conspiratorial theorising? Think again.While reading this article, I had a thought that I wish to share with you. Isn't it amazing how the issue of "fake news" suddenly appeared and took hold in media throughout the US-led Empire? I only saw its first appearance after the election of Trump.
To me, it is another illustration of the monolithic shaping of ideas that the Empire imposes on all the NATO countries which are members of the Empire. From all appearances none of these states have a significant amount of independence. The evidence furnished by the "fake news" issue; the anti-Russian economic, political, and military policies; the unanimity regarding the sacredness of banking interests; the occurrence of terrorist incidents; and other issues combine to favor a view that Empire countries are controlled by a super ruling class. The only difference that I've found among these 28 countries is over the acceptance of political refugees fleeing from the war plagued Middle East and the fairly recent independent policies of Turkey. Yet these states are all advertised as being "democracies"!
War is so good from business, especially for the military-industrial section of the US capitalist economy whose interests of profit and power drives US Empire policies.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I'm posting this as a prime illustration of liberal thinking (in the modern sense) which had its heyday in the 1930s under the Franklin Roosevelt administration to counter the threat of revolutionary ideas that were fueled by the successful Russian Revolution of 1917. Its roots were in President Wilson's administration, and its slow demise came after WWII when its philosophy was vigorously attacked by right-wing capitalists (fascists) during the McCarthy period as a reaction to liberalism as practiced by members of FDR's administration. This modern sense of liberalism had a brief resurrection under the Kennedy administration, but was soon extinguished with his (and his brother's) assassination by the ruling class's CIA.
This concept is to be distinguished from classical liberalism which included the core concept of private ownership of the new economy that was arising in Europe in the 17th & 18th century characterized by the harnessing of various forms of power (water, coal, petroleum) with machines operated by workers. A new class that came to be known as capitalists wanted the same exclusive control over these new productive units that feudal authorities had over agriculturally based landed economies.
Originally the words relating to liberalism were influenced by the need of the new class of capitalists to attract peasants and other workers in their struggle to take power away from feudal authorities consisting of monarchs, aristocracies, and the Catholic church which was the ideological ally of the feudal authorities. Hence the new capitalist ruling classes always publicly presented classic liberalism, which included private ownership of the economy, as promoting various freedoms such as speech, association, vague notions of equality, and promoted notions of a social contract (under capitalist governing structures called states) which promised peasants and workers that the new capitalist class rule would insure their welfare. Their ideas appealed to many because they promised that one could achieve prosperity based on one's merits and hard work, and not on connections or social rank as had been the case under feudalism. As you can see, these deceptions worked to bring this tiny class of "owners" to the overwhelming power and wealth that they enjoy today.
Since the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people during the latter half of the 19th century known as the Gilded Age (in the US), capitalist ideological authorities started dropping notions of private economic property from public discourse in order to prevent any notions among the hoi polloi that other systems existed, most especially systems without their class rule which was based on ownership of economic property.
Hence the success of the Russian Revolution profoundly threatened the capitalist classes, and they mobilized every weapon they could to crush the Soviet Union. This viscerally hostile reaction by leading capitalist classes to the Soviet revolution colored so much of the history of the 20th century. Early on around 13 capitalist nations invaded Russia immediately following the revolution and many of these nations also funded the White armies that were in opposition to the new Soviet government. During the 1930s capitalist ruling classes in Europe and North America heavily backed the rise of the Nazi party in Germany (see this, this, this, and this) with the idea in mind of Germany attacking the Soviet government (Hitler had written this in Mein Kampf). These ruling classes insured that their countries remained "neutral" while the fascist governments of Germany and Italy destroyed the republican government of Spain. Here in the US the FDR administration pursued liberal policies (in the modern sense) in order to counter radical ideas that began taking hold in the US during the Great Depression when 25% of Americans were unemployed amidst full employment in the Soviet Union.
Neoliberalism is an ideology whose exponents want to do away with the rest of the propaganda baggage of the original classic liberalism by eliminating the costly programs of the "social contract" in addition to weakening constitutional protections of civil liberties (as they have already done under the Patriot Act), and strictly promote the narrow interests of major economic property owners (capitalists) throughout the globe by eliminating border restrictions on commerce.
This introduction was necessary to explain Giroux's liberal views regarding political forces today. Notice that he makes no reference to capitalism. Such liberal views represent the last gasp of contemporary liberals who still cling to notions of a kinder, gentler form of capitalism which he, along with other liberals, refers to as "democracy". This is because he as been so completely indoctrinated in capitalist ideology by having spent many years in academia to the extent that the subject of capitalism can no longer even be questioned. The sooner this view dies, and the ascendance of revolutionary ideas of bottom-up authority structures and public ownership/control of the economy, the better for the survival of humans.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Click here to access a copy of Chapter 1 ("Part 2") to a recently published book by Nicholas Schou entitled Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood posted on WhoWhatWhy.
You may also be interested in a 33:07m interview with Schau (I posted this back in August) of Schou discussing his book with Kevin Gosztola of Shadowproof.
The author explains a bit about his background followed more in detail about his contacts with the CIA in preparation for his book The Phoenix Program that was first published in 1990. What he learned from is contacts with the CIA is probably more applicable today than ever before.
I said that in the book specifically about The New York Times. I said, “When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. To have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories. In return, CIA officials leak stories to reporters to whom they owe favors.” I told how, at its most incestuous, reporters and government officials are related. I cited the example of Charles LeMoyne, a Navy officer who ran the CIA’s counter-terror teams for a year in the Delta, and his New York Times correspondent brother James. I said that if Ed Lansdale hadn’t had Joseph Alsop to print his black propaganda in the US, there probably would have been no Vietnam War.
So I not only got the CIA mad at me, I also got the Vietnam press corps angry at me too.
I haven't had time to view all of these videos, but I believe they show what you are not allowed to see in corporate media, and illustrate very well the fake news that corporate media keep inflicting on the American people to cover for the capitalist Empire's war crimes.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Peace activist and Radio Host Dan Yaseen and author/analyst Jeff J. Brown discuss China, Western Empire, the future of Planet Earth and the roots and inspirations of Jeff's political awakening, as told in his latest book, China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations. This is a very personal, revealing interview you will not want to miss.Yaseen asks four main questions after his introduction and before general questions about his book at 25:35m. If you don't know about Jeff Brown and his unusual itinerary which eventually took him to China where he now resides and works, be sure to listen to the introduction.
- 2:10m He asks Brown about his views of the Deep State.
- 8:50m He asks about the three leaders since China's independence in 1949.
- 16:50m He asks about the "pivot to China" policy and China's installation of military bases on islands off China's coast.
- 21:55m Brown's views of Trump's election and what changes we might expect from his administration.
Ain't capitalist elections wonderful?! After nearly two years of the electoral stage show, US citizens have chosen a president who does essentially the same thing as the preceding presidents.
Just when we thought it couldn't get worse with the recruitment of the Wall Street mafia by Donald Trump, he does everything he can to make sure that the US plutocracy will secure its interests at the expense of the US middle class. With such a cabinet, it's a matter of time to see the US middle class completely vanished.But this concern for the middle class poses a question in my mind: why should societies be divided by classes competing over influence and rewards? Answer: only people who are in the top class enjoy this kind of class warfare. Unfortunately, the top class nowadays only constitutes about .01% of the population.
The recruitment of another plutocrat and fanatic supporter of deregulation proves now, beyond doubt, that Trump is here to continue the neoliberal pro-establishment agenda for the benefit of his billionaire class.
An Australia journalist dared to ask a forbidden question of a former Israeli government official:
Loewenstein has been under fire since he attended the event in Jerusalem, hosted by the Foreign Press Association (FPA), on December 12. According to the Israeli media, he asked former government minister Yair Lapid: “Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, when you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during Apartheid?”You might be also interested in this piece entitled "Trump appoints ex-Israeli settler to oversee peace process".
Sunday, December 25, 2016
We examine some of the early political appointments of the new Trump administration and the geopolitical shift in American foreign policy that it represents. The powers behind the Trump presidency - the Netanyahu Likud connected think-tank, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, including General Mike Flynn, Walid Phares; James Woolsey, and Michael Ledeen, among others; an attack on the nuclear deal with Iran; the failed strategy of using radical political Islam to destabilize and destroy countries; a strengthened alliance between Russia, China and Iran; the failed CIA coup in Turkey of July 2016; a strong dollar policy and a weakened European Union; rising interest rates and concomitant flight capital to a Wall Street safe-haven; making America great again by re-building Americas defense industry infrastructure.
The presentation of the Top 25 stories of 2015-2016 extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State University students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across North America has made the Project even more diverse and robust. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed 235 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 221 college students and 33 professors from 18 college and university campuses that participate in our affiliate program.
Scientists have calculated the mass of that unnatural achievement called the “technosphere”, demonstrating the scale of human activity that drives climate change. The bleak conclusion is that cities, factories, cars, railways, cameras, computers, ballpoint pens, swords, machine guns and all other manmade things now weigh about 30 trillion tonnes.What is excluded from this otherwise excellent account of "human activity that drives climate change" is the system of capitalism created by a particular socioeconomic class that seized power in the 17 and 18 centuries from feudal authorities. Authors writing for capitalist funded websites (see section "About our funders" on their "About Us" page), publishers, and other media resort to abstractions, as Radford does here, in order to avoid any "controversial" references to a system and class that are really responsible for any significant problems: particularly alarming problems like global warming, widespread pollution, and related health problems. Writers know from their indoctrination and/or experience that such references are verboten if one wants any kind of lucrative career in media (or any line of work).
Under this system the production of 30 trillion tons of stuff created the extremely concentrated wealth and power for capitalists who are only a tiny portion of the Earth's population and left many in dire poverty and powerlessness. The 30 trillion tons was also facilitated by the capitalist sector of advertising in order to create desires for many unnecessary products that make up this huge amount. This concentration of wealth and power has been also facilitated by wars that capitalists love to create because wars not only supercharge their profits, but it destroys things which need to be produced again.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
The real Trump is starting to emerge from the fog of political campaign theatrics. Here we see evidence that he will pursue a pro-Zionist policy in support of apartheid Israel. Like I wrote "many moons ago", you will likely not see any significant difference under the new administration. That is simply because our ruling capitalist class politicos do not depend on the functions of the official government to decide their policies. They use the official government as a facade or puppet show behind which they pull the real strings of power. This arrangement is called the "Deep State".
This is not to deny that there might be competing factions within the ruling class, but their differences are only marginal in terms of the interests of ordinary people. Hence the seemingly never ending political campaigns and the official organs of government are for show only. Our capitalist masters don't even use the official organs of government to settle differences of strategy to attain their profits and power as they did in the distant past. They do this in their "think tanks" such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, etc.
Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said in a news briefing on Tuesday that the queries "could have been an attempt to target civil servants," including "scientists and lawyers and other experts who are critical to the success of the federal government's ability to make policy."
By design, their work transcends the term of any one president, Earnest said.
Trump, a Republican, said during his election campaign that climate change was a hoax perpetrated by China to damage U.S. manufacturing.
Indirect evidence suggests that the Southern Ocean is a net carbon sink and has absorbed as much as 15% of the carbon emissions emitted by humanity since the industrial revolution. But at some times of year and in specific places in this region, carbon-rich surface waters release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Now, researchers are getting some of their first glimpses in near-real time of what happens in the Southern Ocean, particularly in winter. “Right off the bat, we are seeing CO2 fluxes into the atmosphere that are much greater than we had estimated before,” Sarmiento says. “It’s just revolutionary.”
Friday, December 23, 2016
Without commenting on whether the Pizzagate stories are true or not, Engdahl alerts us to the suspicious timing of the widespread reaction by major media and government officials to these events and their plans to crack down on "fake news". He also reveals many of the disreputable people involved in supposedly combating "fake news". Given all this information it seems likely to me that the Pizzagate stories were planted by agents of our capitalist masters as a part of a PSYOP project to effectively censor websites that reveal too much about the widespread lies spun over their corporate media. He concludes his article by writing:
It’s not even the foxes who are guarding the Internet Henhouse. It’s the werewolves of CIA and US Government censorship. Whether the explosive Pizzagate Podesta revelations merely triggered a dramatic acceleration in the timetable for the CIA’s planned “Fake News” operation as the successor to their 1980’s “Conspiracy Theory” linguistic discrediting operation, it’s clear this is no unbiased, objective, transparent public service to protect the Internet public from harmful content.
And, besides, who are they to tell me or you what you are allowed to read, digest and form your independent ideas about? This is a 21st Century reincarnation of the Spanish Inquisition, one by the real fake newsmakers–Washington Post, AP, ABCNews, Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, the CIA and friends. I would say it’s an alarming development of cyber warfare, not by Russia, but by those CIA-run networks that are fomenting Fake News to demonize any and everyone who opposes Washington intelligence propaganda.
Big Lies and other type fake news are repeated enough get most people to believe them. Americans are the most over-entertained, under-informed people anywhere - carpet-bombed by state-sponsored and supportive scoundrel media propaganda, aided by constant bread and circuses distractions.
According to neocons infesting Washington and top Pentagon officials, Russia is America’s main threat - even though it poses none to any country.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Several astute political observers cite reasons and evidence that secret agencies of the US Empire were likely behind the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey. Empire secret agencies are famous for their use of false-flag incidents to further their imperial aims, and this incident was likely aimed at the warming Russia-Turkey relations.
The bullets of an assassin shook the world on Monday. Shot from behind by a former Turkish police officer, at an art gallery in Ankara, right across the street from the US embassy, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, a man with a long and distinguished career in the Soviet and Russian Foreign Service, died on the spot.Others such as F. William Engdahl and especially Sibel Edmonds, a Turkish-American who worked as a Turkish translator for the FBI and knows a lot of the dirt behind CIA operations in Turkey are among those who have their suspicions. Kurt Nimmo assembles their rationales and evidence that informs their suspicions in an excellent article entitled "Did CIA Assassinate Russian Diplomat Karlov?".
Those who are behind this assassination, for no one can believe that this man acted alone, are exposed by the slogan he shouted after the murder, “Don’t forget Aleppo.” They are exposed by the words and photos which were quickly splashed across the front pages of the western media and set in an editorial context that implicitly condoned the act.
Today, WhoWhatWhy has seen heavy traffic coming from Google searches that point to a story we ran almost two years ago. Why the sudden interest? It took us only a moment to discover the connection: We had written about the odd phenomenon of terrorists repeatedly leaving ID papers behind at the scene. And now, with the Berlin truck attack, we see yet another such example.
We also see that, in a pattern we have previously reported on with other terror incidents, the suspect was already known to authorities — had even been in custody, but was released.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Todhunter explains how the celebration of Christmas has many roots in history and many cultures, but one wouldn't know this with the present artificial celebration of this holiday which has been imposed on us by the culture of the powerful few in Wall Street and the City of London. He sheds much light on some of the consequences of this culture of capitalism.
Although the roots of Christmas lie in the commemoration of ancient rural ways which centred on humanity’s relationship with the natural environment, it has pretty much become a festival for an urban, media-manipulated population for whom the original customs and beliefs have been lost.
The ultimate irony (and hypocrisy) it that Christmas is now cheer-led and celebrated by a consumer capitalism whose corporations are destroying the environment through, for example, the genetic engineering of crops, the drenching of soil with agrotoxins, the eradication of indigenous cultures and agriculture and the privatisation of land, seeds and water. And they are doing this by ‘playing god’.
One such person is from Seattle.
|Homeless in Los Angeles|
Tickets have accumulated on her vehicle that no longer runs and that, for now, doubles as her home. A month and a half ago, the singer-songwriter packed her belongings and drove her Dodge Ram from Seattle, Washington to Venice, California.
Trump’s election is having fascinating consequences. Today the New York Times ran a long piece titled, “Liberal Zionism in the Age of Trump,” by Omri Boehm of the New School saying that liberal Zionism is a contradiction: liberal American Jews have “identified themselves with Zionism, a political agenda rooted in the denial of liberal politics.”
Boehm’s most startling point is that Zionism has anti-Semitic strains, witness its collaboration with Nazis. Hannah Arendt is happy today.
The piece will greatly increase the pressure on liberal Zionists to choose one idea or the other, and to stop denying the existence of apartheid.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
The Jimmy Dore Show is a hilarious and irreverent take on news, politics and culture featuring Jimmy Dore, a professional stand up comedian, author and podcaster. With over 5 million downloads on iTunes, the show is also broadcast on KPFK stations throughout the country. It is part of the Young Turks Network-- the largest online news show in the world.
Also I couldn't resist posting this hilarious parody of PBS from Dore's website:
The film was posted a few days on RT, but has since disappeared to await its distribution in various countries. Having viewed it, I am inclined to doubt that it will be widely distributed in the US--if at all--except maybe on university campuses. Fortunately you can access it on this website which you may want to browse for other such informative films.
"The Coming War on China" is a warning that nuclear war is not only imaginable, but a ‘contingency,’ says the Pentagon. The greatest build-up of Nato military forces since the Second World War is under way on the western borders of Russia, and some 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. But these happenings are of course not reported as United States antagonism. Instead, there is a familiar drumbeat of war, the kind of the old “yellow peril,” a restoration of the psychology of fear that embedded public consciousness for most of the 20th century. The aim of this film is to break the silence, and as the centenaries of the First World War presently remind us, horrific conflict can begin all too easily. By recounting the secret and forgotten history of the rapacious actions of great power against China throughout the decades, such as the destruction of the Marshall Islands and the Opium wars, "The Coming War on China" is also a report of an inspiring popular resistance to nuclear weapons, military bases and warmongering of the United States, of which little is known in the West.
Scientists not only see a huge crack in the Antarctic ice shelf, but their measurements of the area of sea ice has dramatically shrunk in recent years.
Antarctica holds more than half of the planet's fresh water in its snow, glaciers and ice formations. But conditions around the continent are worsening.
The NASA mission also flew over Antarctic sea ice. It found coverage to be sparse in the Bellingshausen Sea, on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
In November, Antarctic air temperatures were 3.6 - 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. Antarctic sea ice set a new record low, as did the Arctic. Antarctic sea ice was a staggering 699,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average.
"Antarctic sea ice really went down the rabbit hole this time," said Ted Scambos, the lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Oh my god! Next we'll learn in corporate media that the Russians and Putin are responsible for this.
Monday, December 19, 2016
I am a bit leery about posting this. On the one hand it does provide information about the intrusion of government secret services into corporate media, but on the other hand it steers people to reformist oriented media that is heavily funded by the rich. No doubt our capitalist masters have learned from their arch enemy Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who has been quoted as expressing this insight: "The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves."
For a prime example, take this website openDemocracyUK which is a part of openDemocracy. In the article Jones writes "Only if alternative/co-operative/investigative journalism is financially supported by its readers will they be able to research and write high quality articles. This is a valuable observation about alternative media. However after looking at the funding sources of openDemcracyUK, it violates this principle. The chart shows that 54.9% of their funding comes from the rich through grants and large donations, and only 5.2% from readers. They list the Open Trust has providing most of its grants. I believe this charity functions very much like the Tides Foundation (notice that Democracy Now!, 350.org, etc are on their 2013 list of grantees) in the US: a clearing house for grant funding by the rich. They make the following very naive statement regarding their independence of the grant money openDemocracy receives from the rich:
The Trust has no direct stake in openDemocracy but conducts regular oversight to be sure that oD is operating in conformity with the Trust's charitable purpose.And, I have little doubt that these funders make sure that the grantee websites function in conformity with the political views of the rich, and the people at openDemocracyUK avoid any content that might really annoy their rich funders. Thus I don't think you will find any links to radical websites that are devoted to question the system of capitalism. At best, the reformist sites, that the author steers us to, only want the existing capitalist system to function in a kinder, gentler, and more egalitarian way.
However, in spite of my criticisms I strongly support reader supported media organizations that are absolutely independent of influence by corporations or the rich. Too much of alternative media suffers from a lack of financing which interferes with their ability to present accurate news and analysis. To overcome this problem, I think that many of them should merge in order to combine resources and skills. And, of course, we the general public must support them with whatever we can spare. At the same time I think that they must build into their organizations bottom-up authority structures not only to maintain discipline to prevent them from being co-opted by the rich or their secret services, but also to build into their organizations a successful template for future non-capitalist societies.
I'm not sure that this will reduce the deplorable function of the Environmental Protection Agency from what has happened in the past except to function with much less hypocrisy.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
While Madsen correctly reminds us of the history of the CIA interfering in elections of other countries, he is mistaken by thinking that they are interfering with "democracy". His error is clearly expressed in the final two sentences of the article.
The CIA is now directing its wealth of election chicanery toward the American electorate to discredit and undermine the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. For the sake of democracy everywhere, the CIA must be abolished.I don't know of any genuine democratic elections taking place anywhere in the world or in history with the possible exception of those in the classic period of Athens. But these were tarnished by the fact that Athenians practiced widespread slavery. I've read estimates that 50% of their population were slaves taken in many of their wars. The fact that elections are confused with the practice of democracy is one of the biggest cons (def. #4) of all time.
Elections have been used (and abused) to support the legitimacy of capitalist class rule ever since this class wrestled power from feudal authorities. One must keep in mind how elections serve this class rule, and how other preceding ruling classes used other devices to prop up their rule. Let's briefly review this history.
Capitalism has been superimposed on feudal societies by the rising power of a new class of "owners" of productive property when new forms of power (water, coal, fossil fuels) drove machines operated by workers. Feudal economies were based on a primitive kind of agriculture in which workers (serfs) were tied to the land and controlled by aristocracies and monarchs. Feudal authorities used religious authorities to ideologically support their rule ("divine right" in European countries). This ruling class conveniently ignored, and made their subjects forget, that their class were the descendants of warrior bands who took the lands by violence from small substance farmers.
The present arrangement, under the rule of capitalists, is no more legitimate than the first rulers whose rule were founded on violence and intimidation. The only difference is the application of self-serving propaganda used by these ruling class to add a veneer of respectability or legitimacy to their rule. Elections as well as propaganda serve this purpose. Having a choice between evil people, or those who support the ruling capital class has become de rigueur in capitalist societies, and is touted as "democracy". With their control of very sophisticated ideological institutions in education, media, and entertainment, this ruling class have most people believing that having a choice between two people who serve the interests of capitalists somehow represents democracy. Just as astounding is how they are able to use secret, unaccountable agencies like the CIA, that are advertised as protecting the security of the nation, to hoodwink people. But have you noticed that in case all these methods don't work, they are fully prepared to use violence and intimidation against their own populations?
True democracy can only be attained when all of the people participate meaningfully in decisions over every aspect of their lives, and control over the economy is the most important of all. Capitalism, which inevitably concentrates economic property in the hands of ever fewer people, is one of the greatest evils of all time. Private ownership of the economy must be abolished forever before any kind of meaningful democracy can be established.
What we might infer from all the present hysterical controversy over the recent election outcome is that there is a split between factions of our ruling class. But I don't think we can be even certain of that simply because the latter always rule by deception. It could be argued that the CIA is only appearing to undermine Trump's election to hide the fact of a change of major strategy to confront the power of Russia and China into one of driving a wedge between them. It could be that our ruling masters are engaged in an elaborate attempt to hide this new strategy behind a controversy over the election. Evidence to support this theory could be supported if all the present hullabaloo is simply allowed to diminish over time and subsequent events show that our masters are warming up to Russia and acting more aggressively in their relations with China.
I'm not arguing that this is the case, what I'm arguing is that we don't know what our masters are doing simply because they are chronic liars and deceivers. Instead of wasting our time trying to figure out what they are really up to, we should be preparing to overturn their rule, not only of our nation, but the entire world before their misrule ends in our extinction.
Facebook has decided to make it easier for Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News, the Associated Press, and PolitiFact to flag “fake news.”
What this means is alternative news stories the establishment decides are fake will be pushed down in the Facebook newsfeed.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
With the defeat of terrorists in Syria's largest city, the US-led Empire is sticking to its script--and turning reality on its head--by reporting in their megaphones of corporate media that "rebels" are losing and that populations are suffering due to Russia's assistance to the Syrian government. The control of media and what people think about their world is of primary concern for those who are addicted to power and profits.
We in independent media must continue our fight to tell the truth and spread our message over our tiny platforms on the internet. As George Orwell learned when he fought in the Spanish Civil War against fascist forces: telling the truth is a revolutionary act. There has never been so much at stake: a nuclear holocaust, widespread poverty, fascists colluding with terrorist forces and running amok in the world, and climate destabilization. It is imperative that we all become revolutionaries by telling the truth as best we see it.
As Russian forces help liberate the Syrian city of Aleppo this week from a four-year terrorist siege, Washington and Europe step up threats of cyber war and economic aggression with sanctions. That’s no coincidence. It is the response of accomplices bitter in defeat.After you read this article, I urge you to read a more passionate article in defense of the truth-telling in an age of lies orchestrated by ruling class media corporations. The article is entitled "The Ghost of Goebbels Past: The Mainstream Media Declares War on the Alternative Media" by Timothy Alexander Guzman from Silent Crow News.
Perverse isn’t it? Instead of celebrating with the people of Syria over the liberation of Aleppo from terrorists; instead of sending massive humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of civilians freed after being held under siege for four years by terrorist gangs; instead of commending Russia for its decisive role in restoring peace to Syria’s second biggest city, the US and European Union turn reality on its head and further demonize Moscow.
The author is far more optimistic than I am by concluding with this upbeat message:
The alternative media is now the enemy. “Fake news” accusations against the alternative media are the only weapon they have as the establishment and their MSM minions move forward in an attempt to censor the “real news.” The ghost of Joseph Goebbels whispers in the ears of the establishment and that is for them to “use all of its powers to repress dissent.” It will be an epic failure because the truth always finds its way.Finally, I recommend viewing the following dramatic presentation by Anonymous who explains how and why our masters in the capitalist ruling class are so preoccupied with distorting news and information, and why they offer so much mindless entertainment so that most people don't even want to think for themselves. Instead their conditioning is designed to persuade people to look to authorities for understanding the world in which they live.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Client regimes the United States and its European allies have cultivated throughout the region have either turned on them or have been effectively removed from power, or even the prospect of ever holding power again.
The CIA is the premier purveyor of fake news and the establishment media routinely passes off spook created fake news as unvarnished truth.
Meanwhile, the compromised corporate media insists Blacklisted News, Activist Post, and other alternative news websites are in the business of disseminating fake news.
The CIA’s refusal is yet another indication the entire affair is a psychological operation.
And throughout all of this...the U.S. media, which is doing a fantastic job keeping the American people woefully and blissfully unaware of anything happening outside the country’s borders, selling this image of the European Union as a warm and fuzzy force for peace, the sole factor responsible for European countries not waging war against each other over the past 70 years. Never mind that they are waging war; since it’s with non-European countries or is in the form of economic warfare, it doesn’t count.
And the biggest cheerleaders of all are perhaps not even the major news outlets such as The New York Times and the Washington Post, but those oh-so-progressive, oh-so-hip and edgy media outlets targeting the young and supposedly enlightened....
While you're on the website, I encourage you to peruse other pieces of their work. This is British satire at its best. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Somehow during my reading of a post, an epiphany within which contains a theory that flashed through my mind. I will attempt in the short time remaining before my posting deadline (noon Seattle time) to bring most of the evidence together to support this theory which might account for the split in the US ruling class that has so dramatically been in evidence by events since the election of Trump in issues that have been targeting "fake news" (alternative media) and the alleged Russian hacking of the election. (See this post of mine.)
I will express this theory as follows. The ruling capitalist class split has been caused by the increasing influence among politicos of this class by a faction ("Rockefeller") that wants to pursue a grand strategy of driving a wedge between Russia and China because of a fear in a powerful section of this class of the increasing power of their collusion that is threatening the dominance of US Empire. Hence, the necessity of driving a wedge between the two countries. The old divide and conquer strategy that has worked so well for empire builders.
I offer as Exhibit 1 in support of this theory an excellent article entitled "Russia and China Together”: The Greatest Fear of Donald Trump" posted last year. In this post author Caleb Maupin argued that this was only in Trump's mind, but my theory holds that this is behind the recent emergence of the ruling class faction that has successfully promoted Trump as president.
Exhibit 2 might be even more significant. Zbigniew Brzezinski's startling essay entitled "Toward a Global Realignment" (posted in April of this year) which subtly argued that some sort of accommodation should be reached with at least one of the two nations.
While no state is likely in the near future to match America’s economic-financial superiority, new weapons systems could suddenly endow some countries with the means to commit suicide in a joint tit-for-tat embrace with the United States, or even to prevail. Without going into speculative detail, the sudden acquisition by some state of the capacity to render America militarily inferior would spell the end of America’s global role. The result would most probably be global chaos. And that is why it behooves the United States to fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.In my commentary to one of my posts I expressed amazement at this startling turnabout from someone (and a powerful influential of the ruling class representing the Rockefeller clan and associates) who had previously exhibited an obsessive hatred of the Russians and the former Soviet Union.
Because I am running out of time, I will list posts which I think also support this theory: "WaPo Does It Again: CIA “Secret” Assessment Discredited By Top US Spy Agency, FBI And CIA Itself", "China Wary of Tillerson Wooing Away Russia", "Will Trump 'Try to Drive a Wedge Between China and Russia'?", and "CBS Disappointed: James Baker says Rex Tillerson will be 'excellent secretary of state'" (Baker, I believe, has been associated with the Rockefeller crowd.).
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The Dominant Sector of the Ruling Class Takes Full Control, Part I: A Brief History of the Ruling Class in the U.S.
I've only had a chance to scan this article before my noon (Seattle time) deadline for posting, but I have been so impressed with what I've seen so far that I am posting it today. It appears to me that Jonas is arguing that Trump's pick (who will still need to be confirmed by the Senate) of Sec. of State, Rex Tillerson who is the CEO of the world's largest corporation, suggests that the dominant faction (Trump's faction) of the ruling class is taking over. This assertion is the reverse of my assertion in yesterday's commentary that the dominant faction was promoting Hillary Clinton. I still think I am correct if one considers who has been in charge of the Empire in recent decades.
Unless you have been sound asleep the last eight years, I recommend that you skip many of the initial paragraphs that the retired professor of sociology devotes to a review of all the lies of Obama and the promises of President-elect Trump. Start at the sub-heading "The Structural Basis of Capitalist Democracy" to get to the real interesting part of his argument which begins as follows:
Under capitalist democracies, Presidents put on the appearance of ‘talking to real folks’ while skillfully working for the biggest capitalists and bankers.
When ‘capitalist democracy’ is under threat and discredited, the search for populist demagogues kicks in.
"The half that will never be told..." (about US history) refers to the huge contribution that African slavery contributed to capitalist fortunes, and those who have inherited this wealth, and its concomitant power, now constitute our ruling class. Thus our contemporary capitalist ruling class, whose agents control all ideological institution of our society, have a vested interest in covering up this history. Ruccio is outraged by the negative reviews of recent books that reveal the role of slavery in the building of capitalist fortunes.
That’s a problem for those of us who work in and around the discipline of economics: mainstream economists are simply unwilling to give up on homo economicus and doggedly refuse to examine either the economic effects of the brutal system of torture that was central to U.S. slavery or the role slave cotton played in the development of U.S. capitalism. Not to mention their arrogance in responding to the work of anyone who argues otherwise.Note: You might also be interested in a review of a book entitled Capitalism and Slavery by historian Eric Williams.
And that’s why the other half of the story will never be told by mainstream economists.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
The political campaign contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for president has continued after the November election. It appears that the source of the overwhelming support for Clinton by corporate media was promoted by the dominant neocon faction of the capitalist ruling class, whereas Trump drew his support from an upstart faction that is challenging their dominance.
This unprecedented struggle is likely a symptom of the recent failed policies of the dominant faction in Syria, the failed effort to undermine Russian nationalism under Putin, the failing Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the growing power of China, other issues like Philippine President Dutarte's efforts at closer relations with China, and a rejection of the Democratic administration, which represented the dominant faction, due to the dissatisfaction of large numbers of citizens with the deteriorating economy for ordinary people.
The dominant faction is attacking the Trump faction using issues about "fake news" and the alleged Russian influence over the elections, both of which allegedly led to the election of Trump. Leading the dominant faction are corporate media and the CIA (which I believe exercises strong influence over US and most major European media); whereas the Trump faction is as yet much more amorphous, but is drawing support from many major military and corporate leaders. The dominant faction is using the issue of "fake news" to attack alternative websites and independent journalists who exposed corporate media lies and may have caused Clinton to lose the election. The FBI's re-opening of their investigation about Clinton's alleged misuse of emails only eleven days before the election and their recent denials about Russian influence in the election suggests to me that they have been aligned with the Trump faction.
It is clear that whichever faction of the tiny capitalist Deep State wins, workers and ordinary people will lose. On one side we have the aggressive neocons who are lusting for war with Russia and China, and on the other side we have those who are, at best, indifferent to social identity issues (ethnic and gender), and want to weaken all social programs and lower taxes on business.
Anyway, here is the list of the best articles that offer their views on this contest (in reverse chronological order by days):
- White House, Clinton campaign intervene in conflict over Russian hacking charges
- Pro-Hillary Dark Forces Plot Anti-Trump Coup?
- EU/UK/USA Closing Down Free Speech Whilst Producing Propaganda On Industrial Scale
- US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims
- From ‘Fake News’ to ‘Fake Intelligence’
- Trump Trumpets His Real Plans
- U.S. Foreign Policy and the Electoral College Vote. Towards a December 19 Surprise?
- Stop the CIA Coup: The Deep State versus Donald Trump (thanks to Christopher in northwest Oregon)
- Rogue Elements of the CIA Are Operating Against President-elect Trump
- What Are The Hearsay Leaks About "Russian Election Hacking" Attempting To Achieve?
Monday, December 12, 2016
Capitalism in a nutshell: "stagnation, oligarchic redistribution, the plundering of the public domain, corruption and global anarchy".
So, what is going on? We can only speculate because so many important decisions in our country are made in the secretive Deep State where major capitalists mediate issues behind the scenes of public discourse. Considering that the CIA (the FBI is staying safely out of this fray) is a very important agency of the US ruling class and this kind of opposition is unprecedented since the days of John Kennedy's presidency (and we know what happened to him), I think it is a phenomenon that we should pay attention to in the months ahead. I've noticed that foreign media are certainly paying attention. Martin offers his thoughts:
These rapid-fire events, in which intelligence agencies feed the media and the media seeks to stampede public opinion, only underscore the manipulative character of the election process as a whole. The real issues being fought out within the ruling elite—over what tactics and methods to employ against its global rivals—were concealed from the population while a barrage of slanders and scandals was unleashed to provide political cover for a further shift to the right.Martin also noticed that other issues are obviously unimportant to the ruling capitalist class:
While the campaign on Trump and Russia escalates, neither the Times nor the Democrats devote a fraction of that energy to condemning the cabinet of billionaire reactionaries and generals Trump is assembling or his plans to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and public education and eliminate all restrictions on corporate pollution of the environment and all regulations on the banks and big business.
They are entirely focused on preventing any shift under Trump away from the offensive against Russia.
McGovern reviews the history of the false-flag event that resulted in the terrorist war in Syria, the fleeing of millions of refugees to Europe, the toppling of Ukraine's government as a likely act of revenge by Empire operatives, and the aggressive anti-Russian policies ever since. Only a Russian proposal stopped what likely would have resulted in a US invasion of Syria as happened in Iraq with the phony allegations of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
This gross false-flag event, which set in motion all the other lies about "moderate rebels", is an illustration of the enormous destructive effects that such deceptive operations can have, and another illustration of the Empire's intolerance of any country that in anyway interferes with their imperial activities.
A review of events leading to the very edge of full-blown U.S. shock-and-awe on Syria three years ago provides a case study with important lessons for new policymakers as they begin to arrive in Washington.
It is high time to expose the whys and wherefores of the almost-successful attempt to mousetrap President Barack Obama into an open attack on Syria three years ago. Little-known and still less appreciated is the last-minute intervention of Russian President Vladimir Putin as deus ex machina rescuing Obama from the corner into which he had let himself be painted.
Accumulating evidence offers persuasive proof that Syrian rebels supported by Turkish intelligence – not Syrian Army troops – bear responsibility for the infamous sarin nerve-gas attack killing hundreds of people on Aug. 21, 2013 in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus. The incident bears all the earmarks of a false-flag attack.
On Thursday December 8th, the US senate quietly passed the National Defense Authorization Act ( or the ‘NDAA’ ) for the fiscal year of 2017. Basically, the NDAA is passed every year to re-approve & add to the United States’ so-called “defense” spending — which is sort of like Christmas for the officials who run the profitable death-machine called “US foreign policy.” However, many would likely be shocked by the ridiculous & terrifying laws that our treacherous congress usually buries inside the yearly bill — for example, congress just used the NDAA to create a “Global Engagement Center,” headed by the Secretary of State. Sounds harmless, right? Well, it might seem that way until you realize that “Global Engagement Center” is code for our new “Ministry of US Propaganda.”
The title is meant to be ironic because he soon refers to co-opted people who only participate in "green" circuit tours with their NGO sponsors and companions.
Like his compatriot Naomi Klein, Tom Goldtooth was once a principled and articulate spokesman in opposition to Wall Street, until he was seduced by the dark money flowing from the oil industry into the non-profit industrial complex. Now, like Klein, he is a caricature of his former self, hobnobbing with the elite of the NGO champagne circuit. Reduced in his role to the status of token indigenous front for the pseudo left?—?living out their psychodrama as Wall Street dependents in the toy revolution entertainment sector?—?Goldtooth has become co-opted, or as Chief George Manuel described the phenomenon?—?assimilated.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
The bottom line is that a swing towards authoritarianism happens when resources become scarce. Climate change is simply a symptom of humans overshooting the planet’s carrying capacity. Free market ideologues are nearly always climate ‘skeptics’ because acknowledging the reality of human-induced climate change would be an admission that industry must be curtailed or controlled. Left-leaning people nearly always accept the science because it goes along with their criticisms of capitalism which externalizes social and environmental costs for the benefit of just a few at the top of the economic hierarchy. Thus we see parasitic Trump surrounding himself with right-wing, climate denying, fossil fuel corporatists and insiders who will be doing everything in their power to dismantle health and environmental regulations including privatizing social services which are barriers to capitalist expansion.
To be blunt, our chance of developing a sustainable culture passed us by a long time ago.
When referring to David Ignatius and his recent interview with Richard Stengel, a State Department official responsible for "public diplomacy, Carley writes:
The more the State Department official goes on, the more surreal his narrative becomes. Let’s call it, "truth speak", borrowing from Orwell’s prophetic dystopian novel 1984. Poor Ignatius is as far from a muckraker as you can get, and swallows the whole State Department gob without blinking. Somebody has got "to restore the currency of truth," says the State Department man. He mentioned Twitter and YouTube deleting several hundred thousand accounts.Carley refers to Seymour Hersh as the only major muckraking journalist left in the US. Hersh, of course, is especially noted for his exposés of the Mai Lai massacre, the development of nuclear weapons by the Israelis, the lies of George Bush and David Rumsfeld regarding their promotion of the invasion of Iraq, torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and the very important article entitled "Redirection" that reported on the secret policy plans of the Bush administration to contain Iran and support Sunni extremist groups that espoused a militant vision of Islam which later evolved into ISIS.
There’s the cue for policing "the truth". Shut up the people who don’t speak it, according to State Department lights. Just yesterday, the German chancellor Angela Merkel, said "truth" has to be protected and action contemplated against Alternate Media which could threaten "the stability of our familiar order". Is the groundwork being laid in the west for censorship of discordant narratives?
What Carley omits is that Hersh, like many other US journalists, have been forced to seek out independent media abroad to express their views. Hersh no longer publishes his articles in The New Yorker, instead he now has his writings published in the London Review of Books. Other US independent journalists (like Carley) are welcome to express their critical views in foreign media outlets such as RT, Strategic Culture Foundation, teleSUR, etc., in addition to domestic alternative media.
It appears that 1984 arrived a little late, but there is little doubt of its existence now.
Note: You might also be interested in an article entitled "Washington Post admits article on 'Russian propaganda' and 'fake news' based on sham research" published on RT (another website that is on PropOrNot's blacklist).
This week the 9th circuit court of appeals upheld the conviction of the would be Portland Oregon Christmas tree bomber. The federal court rejected the defense’s argument that the FBI had entrapped the defendant and that the FBI unconstitutionally collected his emails without a warrant. Not only does this ruling uphold warrantless surveillance, it also legitimizes the government's tactics to manufacture terror plots against Americans.I remember this incident very well having been a resident of Oregon for 15 years. It was clear to me then, as well as now, that this was a clear case of FBI inducement and entrapment of an unwitting person (a student at Oregon State University) to commit a terrorist incident that would not have occurred without their involvement.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spent at least $33,413,000,000 on 186 individual contracts during November 2016. This amount does not include nineteen Foreign Military Sales transactions worth $1,869,924,000.This report gives one an understanding of the importance of the military-industrial complex to the functioning of the US war economy. Unfortunately, most of the spending will not improve our infrastructure or have any other benefits to the economic well-being of the vast majority of Americans with the exception of people employed by these companies. In addition there is one tiny segment of the population that will derive major "benefits" by these largely no-bid contracts: they will supply the drugs of power and profits that our masters in the capitalist ruling class are addicted to.
I wonder how these expenditures compare with those that supposedly promote "human rights" which our masters pretend to vigorously support in the world. What is certain is that while our masters are getting high on their drugs, many in the world will experience more misery from the loss of their loved-ones, the destruction of their countries, and becoming war refugees in foreign lands.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
The author is a British citizen, who lived in India for a number of years, studied the impacts of neoliberal development on India agriculture which had devastating effects on small farmers and reaped big profits for Western corporations. Writers of classic liberalism, the ideology (or theology) of capitalism, wrote that the unimpeded pursuit of profit by owners (under the rules of capitalism) inevitably results in benefits to the entire society. While living in India Todhunter observed the devastation that was occurring among small farmers and simultaneously the tremendous wealth that neoliberal policies and actions were generating for Western corporations. Thus I think it is worth our time to review the development of capitalism to see why such contradictions to their theory about capitalism have since occurred, not only in India, but across the entire world.
These classic liberals built their theory on the foundation of feudalism which was characterized by the ownership and control of lands that were originally taken by violent force and bequeathed to feudal descendants known as the aristocracy and monarchs. The early capitalists saw the vast potential for generating wealth in the organization of production concentrated in large workshops that combined the new developments in machines and power (water, coal, and later petroleum fuels) with human operators, and they wanted to have "ownership" rights over such production like the feudal authorities had over the production of foodstuff on their land by serfs engaged in agriculture.
These capitalist classes rallied working people to their side in order to defeat the feudal authorities by espousing "natural rights", "liberty", "equality", and "fraternity", "social contract", "freedom", sovereignty of the people as opposed to "divine right" of kings, etc. But what was always included in this new ideology of capitalism was "property rights", and it was this element that the new class really took seriously. The rest was pure propaganda or window dressing to sell to the unwashed masses the new system where rights (or freedom) and influence were in reality based on the ownership of economic property. The end result of this agitation by the new class of capitalists was the eventual overthrew of the rule of feudal authorities and the establishment of governing structures that promoted the interests of capitalists.
Where kingdoms existed before, these new ruling classes absorbed them into states under their control, and established elected parliaments (congresses) and other institutions to mediate disputes between capitalist competitors. Of course they always sold these new structures to the general public as evidence of "democracy" because members were selected through elections, however they always took great pains to obscure their control over the electoral process.
Originally they allowed only property owners to vote in these elections, but over time to appease the ever yearning popular desire for more democracy, they gradually permitted more and more people to vote as they consolidated their ownership of economic property, control of money (Federal Reserve in the US, central banks elsewhere), political parties, and especially the ideological institutions--education, media, and entertainment. Since then they have used, and are using, ideological institutions to advance deceptive ideas, views, and news of the world to obscure the facts of ever increasing inequality: wealth and power for a few and poverty and powerlessness for the vast majority.
These new states competed with each other for dominance over resources and markets which inevitably resulted in wars, and the wars grew increasingly larger until what we witnessed in the first half of the 20th century was worldwide devastating wars with around 100 million lives lost.
Out of the WWII devastation rose the US capitalist ruling class whose economy was intact along with a powerful military establishment. This ruling class saw the world ripe for a takeover by them. In order to accomplish this, they first combined forces with British capitalists in order to inherit what was left of the British Empire. Then they launched a series of efforts to contain the influence of the Soviet Union and any ideas of public ownership of economies among their own populations (see McCarthy period and Gladio operations). They also wanted to organize the very fragmented states of Europe into one big economic enterprise and a bulwark against the Soviet Union. This they succeeded in doing with the European Union and NATO. And, as they say, the rest is history--the history since WWII and the rise of the US-led Empire.
This integration of the world's economies under the Empire's domination necessarily led to efforts to break down all state barriers to the free flow of capitalist enterprise throughout much of the world. This effort became known as neoliberalism. Thus, one cannot separate this rise of Empire domination without considering subsequent neoliberal policies and actions. In this neoliberal stage of capitalism we see international industrial corporations and banks diminishing the power of national governments, whether fake democratic or autocratic, and increasing the power of international capitalists under the leadership of the US Empire's ruling class which is increasingly transnational. Thus, neoliberal capitalists are erecting supra-national institutions to override the authority of nation-state institutions. As George Monbiot wrote referring to neoliberalism:
The state, it asserts, should do little but defend the realm, protect private property and remove barriers to business. In practice it looks nothing like this. What neoliberal theorists call shrinking the state looks more like shrinking democracy: reducing the means by which citizens can restrain the power of the elite. What they call “the market” looks more like the interests of corporations and the ultra-rich. Neoliberalism appears to be little more than a justification for plutocracy.The world's economy, especially the part that is under the domination of the US Empire, serves the interests of profit and power of the transnational capitalists associated with the Empire. Whether in the process of these pursuits they wreck havoc on workers or their environments is of little concern to this transnational class.