We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Recommended articles for Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Einstein File reminds us that the FBI has always been an enemy of all the people and a tool of the oligarchs that rule the country. It also reminds us that the War on Terror and Russiagate ultimately share a common historical lineage with the “Red Scare” of the 20thcentury. The FBI used the “Red Scare” as justification to harass, murder, infiltrate, detain, and deport “dissidents” that the organization deemed agents of “Communist Russia.” Jerome’s review of Einstein’s file reveals the extent to which the famous scientist was caught in the FBI’s war on dissent. The Hoover-led FBI collected nearly 2,000 pages worth of intelligence on Albert Einstein over two decades of his life, most of which pertained to his affiliations with progressive organizations.

Einstein’s FBI file uncovers the enormous scope of repression experienced not only by Einstein but also a range of political activists and organizations of the period. 
Of course, the FBI like any other government agency and all other institutions (media, entertainment industry, education, etc.) were created by the ancestors of this self-serving capitalist ruling class to protect their system (capitalism) that has over the centuries supplied them with the drugs of profit and power.
  • New York Times op-ed by anonymous Trump official gives implicit support for palace coup by Eric London from World Socialist Web Site. At times, I get perverse pleasure out of seeing the internecine battles within the Empire's capitalist religious establishment. It's much like seeing Martin Luther breaking with the Pope of Roman Catholicism and launching the Protestant Reformation. The latter Christian sects collaborated with the rising capitalist class in defeating the feudal authorities (monarchs and the aristocracy) who were supported by the Roman Catholics. Except this where the metaphor breaks down: Trump and his supporters will be rather easily disposed of by the solid core of bankers in today's ruling capitalist class. Trump represents a quixotic historical throwback in the development of American capitalism when industrial barons ruled. (Added to this commentary at 4:15 PM CT.)