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 LappĆ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, December 22, 2017

Catalan independence forces win majority

Click here to access article by Jack Hazeldine from CounterFire (Britain). 

I'm mainly posting this article as an illustration of leftist journalism that very much annoys me. So much of left journalism functions like a cheerleader to lead a more left crowd in cheering for progressive measures, movements, or entire countries, but sadly often at the expense of reporting the truth regardless of its nature. Hazeldine does get around to reporting the rightward political movement of recent elections in Catalonia, but the headline and the opening paragraphs paint quite another picture. If we are to become truly informed about the ongoing ruling capitalist class war against workers, we desperately need, and require, the truth about events. Here is his first paragraph:
Catalan independence forces have won a 5-seat majority and 47.5% of the vote in Parliament on a 82% turnout and against the full political force of the Spanish state which as tried every tactic they could to delegitimise and destabilise them. Unionist parties garnered 43.5% of the vote.
Only when we read further on down do we become aware that the "Unionist" parties are against Catalonia independence. I guess we should have known by the name alone that this was so, but proper names, such as this capitalized one (it should not have been capitalized because there is no "Unionist" party), can mean anything. So, then, should we conclude that 47.5% versus 43.5% is a smashing victory as suggested by the headline and early paragraphs? Apparently not, because after reading several paragraphs down, we learn that the leftist parties suffered defeats, and there was a decided shift toward the right and centrist parties among the pro-independence voters. 

This reminds me of the elections held during the last days I lived in San Francisco when proponents of a new baseball stadium wanted to build it on a site closer to the downtown area. They kept holding such referendums for voters to decide until they finally got the vote they wanted. Then they went ahead to build the stadium. It looks like the Spanish government is using the same strategy and introducing measures to pressure the voters of Catalonia until they get a vote they want. Hazeldine alludes to pressures, but he doesn't elaborate.
A combination of political pessimism and the pressures of repression brought about a quite inward-looking and closed campaign generally....
A better report is, sad to say, from the NY Times. In this report we learn of the difficulties that separatist leaders confronted in the campaign: one was in prison and the other in exile.

The best report I have read this morning comes from a British Marxist website called In Defense of Marxism in a report entitled "Catalan elections: Rajoy's strategy defeated".

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Recommended articles for 12/20/2017

  • US Germ Warfare Apology to North Korea Could Advance Dialogue by Wayne Madsen from Strategic Culture Foundation. Of course, there will not be any apology issued. The main reason for this article is to advance the case for the fact that the US used biological weapons during the Korean War, a major war crime that the ruling class has devoted massive efforts--and largely successful--to cover them up since then. For a recent, comprehensive review of the evidence, the best source is a book entitled This Must Be the Place by Dave Chaddock. 

    And for other war crimes committed by the US on North Korea during this war, read an article entitled "State of Fear: How History’s Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today’s Crisis in Korea" by Ted Nace from CounterPunch.
  • Class Dismissed: Identity Politics Without The Identity by Michael K. Smith from CounterPunch. This piece provides an accurate description of the social "identity" problems suffered by the white working class that is obscured by corporate media with its emphasis on gender and racial politics. Of course, this is intentionally done by the ruling capitalist class to distract people from the real issues of class war. It also accurately describes one main difference between the work lives of upper-middle class salaried workers from wage workers of the lower classes.
 ...in the optic of identity politics, white people are “privileged” by definition, so downward mobility can only be the result of personal failure. In particular, if you are white and don’t have a college degree, and two-thirds of American adults do not, then you are not part of the good life and have only yourself to blame.

As a result, the white working class is virtually invisible today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Recommended articles for 12/19/2017

  • US Plans Slash and Burn of Middle East to “Minimize” Iranian Influence by Tony Cartalucci. The author is great on accessing publications by the Deep State to determine what they are planning. (The Deep State are top capitalists in finance and industry, who function much like a board of directors for the capitalist ruling class, and function behind a curtain of secrecy, much like puppeteers, to control all institutions, most especially government and media.) I sometimes think that articles published on Brookings' website (or their surrogates) reflect important policies that they want to be considered by the wider capitalist class, but not necessarily implemented. In any case we should be informed about what they are considering as plans for our world.
  • War and Conflicting Geopolitical Agendas by F. William Engdahl. (Disregard the opening paragraphs which appear to be a commercial to sell his book Gods of Money.) I am only posting this because I think he makes a disastrous attempt to interpret history of WWII. It is very important to understand history, especially that of the 20th century so that we can understand present day issues. I will not go into a detailed review of this article, because it is not worth the effort. This article illustrates that Engdahl knows a lot about geopolitical facts, but he sometimes errors in interpreting these facts--and he misinterprets big time in this article! In it his one major error is to argue that Churchill and company refused to support the anti-Hitler camp of Germany's ruling class, a mistake that led to war against Germany. He mostly bases this on something Sir Halford Mackinder wrote in 1904! He totally omits the significance of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the obsession by the Western capitalist countries to rid the world of this blasphemy for capitalist enterprise. I wonder if he hasn't lived too long in Germany where he may have been influenced too much by German apologists for the Nazis. For my interpretation of WWII see this, this, this, this, and this.
  • Putin Is Preparing for World War III "Lookie" (def.) here at the latest cover of Newsweek magazine! Our masters may be preparing us for WWIII and it will likely be a war fought with nuclear weapons. It seems to me that our masters nowadays are frequently guilty of projection, a psychological mechanism that tries to project onto others what they themselves want to do (or did) to others.
Newsweek International Preview