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

Friday, January 12, 2018

Recommended articles for 1/12/2018

  • Face Facts: A West That Never was by R. S. Ahthion, a blogger and author from Britain. Ahthion reports on some very "inconvenient facts" (a paraphrase of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth) overlooked by Western media corporations which have been established by capitalists to support capitalism.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In Almost All Western Colonies No Alternative Views Allowed, Victims Blame Themselves

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from New Eastern Outlook.

World traveler and passionate humanist Vltchek reports on what life is really like in many areas of the world that are not reported in any Western media. Thus, to many Westerners the plight of many of the world's people, which is due to the plundering system of capitalism led by the US Empire, go unrecognized and unknown because of the censorship of Western media corporations.
The West is manufacturing simplistic, uniformed and one-sided ‘pseudo reality’ for all of its colonies and client states. It is one-type-fits-all sort of ‘pseudo reality’, intended to sustain collaborators and their regimes and to make the voices of people who are tormented, completely irrelevant. In fact, those who are robbed of everything are not supposed to even realize that they are being bled.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Empire’s “Lefty Intellectuals” Call for Regime Change. The Role of “Progressives” and the Antiwar Movement

Click here to access article by Michel Chossudovsky from Global Research (based in Canada). (Edited for greater clarity at 8:42 AM Seattle time on 1/12/2018.)

The genius of the current ruling capitalist classes, especially the US class since WWII, has been so successfully demonstrated with their record of co-opting dissident organizations and people, the use of deceptive propaganda to hide their crimes of war, and the comprehensive control of the culture through their control of every institution of indoctrination. You might call this "full spectrum dominance" of the minds of citizens. In this article Chossudovsky only focuses on one part of this domination by looking at the co-opting of many prominent intellectual dissidents such as Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali. His insight demonstrates the truth of what people, such as Upton Sinclair, have known for many years: "It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it".

By co-opting prominent intellectuals, he essentially argues that the ruling class directors have killed the anti-war movement. That this movement has been killed is an obvious fact, but I don't think that it was caused only by this effort. Again, I would like to stress the comprehensive nature of the capitalist ruling class control of ideas and beliefs. As I have argued in the past, the ongoing promotion of futuristic wars as featured in films and TV (Star Trek, Star Wars, etc), entertaining comedic effect of TV series like Mash for which the setting was the Korean War, the profusion of computer games about physical conflict and war: all have had their influence of crushing the anti-war movement that arose prior to 9/11. The latter false-flag event has had a decisive influence on the promotion of war among the general population in the US and other capitalist countries aligned with the US Empire. And this is only a partial list of influences.

Nevertheless, this article is an important contribution to our understanding of one part of this cultural "full spectrum dominance". He concludes by stating the obvious:
An antiwar movement funded by major corporate foundations is the cause rather than the solution. A coherent antiwar movement cannot be funded by warmongers.

What is required is the development of a broad based grassroots network which seeks to disable patterns of authority and decision-making pertaining to war.

This network would be established at all levels in society, towns and villages, work places, parishes. Trade unions, farmers organizations, professional associations, business associations, student unions, veterans associations, church groups would be called upon to integrate the antiwar organizational structure. Of crucial importance, this movement should extend into the Armed Forces as a means to breaking the legitimacy of war among service men and women.

The first task would be to disable war propaganda through an effective campaign against media disinformation.
What is vitally needed are concrete proposals and discussion of these proposals, and I don't see this happening. For example, I have proposed a scheme to organize a grass roots independent media organization that I felt has real potential for an ultimate revolutionary movement to overthrow the rule of our oppressors--the capitalist class. Subsequently, I have seen no evidence that this proposal gained any traction among anybody. After all, isn't it obvious that we need "an effective campaign against media disinformation"? And I am convinced that such a movement would inevitably end up being a revolutionary movement to free us from capitalist rule. Although I have seen some collaboration among alternative media outlets, mostly they continue to compete with each other for funding and support of dissidents. 

This is another manifestation of the success of capitalist indoctrination: the overwhelming influence of individualist ethics of capitalism on dissidents and alternative media people against the social ethics of socialism, a class-free rule of, by, and for the people. The comprehensive nature of this indoctrination and 24/7 propaganda have effectively defeated such an obvious proposal. Thus, I fear that Americans and others are being led like sheep into the slaughterhouse of some type of Domesday scenario.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

USA: A Different Strategy For A Different Ambition

Click here to access article by Christopher Black, a Canadian international criminal lawyer, from New Eastern Outlook

During the first part of this article Black comments on his reading of the latest United States National Security Strategy released by President Trump in December 2017.
There once was a time when working people were on the move, had confidence in themselves, created their own leaders, their own heroes and heroines, their own philosophy, their own ideas of democracy, of society, of their conditions and how to overturn the old brutality of the capitalist system and establish new conditions favourable to us. But failures and betrayals have sapped the energy, weakened the will, created confusions and illusions, turned sister against brother, wounded the solidarity of our class, and pitted people against people in war after war solely to advance the quest for profit. ....

But all is not lost and rise we will again. The countries and peoples that resist are the proof before us that the omnipotence of the empire is illusory as all empires, based on power and fear, are. The resurgence of working class parties and movements is a fact. Things are happening. If we can find our way out of the maze they have created around us by dividing us into a thousand self interests, special interests, “identity” interests, gender interests, dividing us by religion, skin colour, accent, level of pay, nationality and ethnicity, and all the other things they use to get us opposed to each other, if we can make working people comprehend their own power once united, to see that anyone who works for a living is the brother and sister of all others who must do the same, then the resistance moves to a more concrete level.
Then in the 2nd half he, as a lawyer, examines the UN founding principles to compare with the US Empire's actions and finds that "the USA has been in persistent violation of the principles of the Charter since 1945..." and could be expelled from the UN. Black doesn't understand that the legal structure has been erected under capitalist rule, and as such it, like all other institutions, has been constructed by, and support of, capitalist rule. When laws are ignored--and they often are--they are used simply as legitimizing propaganda, or "putting lipstick on a capitalist pig". (This is what the Bill of Rights section of the US Constitution was designed to do.) Therefore, as a lawyer he can complain all he wants, but as long as capitalism exists, which only serves a tiny minority, we will continue to have war crimes, violations of UN laws, and a frightening devolution into the likelihood of a nuclear war conflagration and a slow development of climate destabilization that either or both will lead to our extinction. The only real solution is revolution.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Living Through the Catastrophe

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from ROAR Magazine online.

This is the first article of the 7th issue of the magazine, and authored by the founding editor of ROAR Magazine which was formerly known as Reflections on a Revolution before Roos and associates sold it to a foundation. I have been very critical of Roos and associates--see this and this (along with David Graeber at other websites)--for running a series of articles on their former website which featured prominently the influence of Murray Bookchin, an American radical, on the Syrian Kurds. The clear implication was that this group was spearheading a very progressive agenda in Syria, but not the reality of collaboration with the US to undermine the Syrian government. However, I believe with this issue of the magazine entitled "System Change" that they are on much more solid ground in dealing with the ecological disasters awaiting us under capitalism. 

After reading this first article of the 7th issue of the magazine, you may be interested in reading many of the other articles. Roos sums up his article with this insight:
Against these neoliberal delusions, we must stand firm and insist: the real catastrophe is capitalism, and the only acceptable outcome system change, not climate change. As unrealistic as this may seem from the dominant perspective of capitalist realism, the future of our species — and that of countless others — now depends on it.

Are Long-Term US Regime Change Efforts Behind Iran Protests?

Click here to access article by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers from Popular Resistance. (Note: This is a transcript of their podcast.)
We talked to Mostafa Afzalzadeh from Tehran about what the current protests in Iran are about and where they are going. Mostafa has been an independent journalist in Iran for 15 years and a documentary filmmaker. One of his documentaries is Manufacturing Dissent, about the US, UK and their western and Gulf State allies that launched a covert war in Syria in early 2011, dressed up by the media as a “revolution,” to remove Assad from power and the role of western media in creating support for the war.

Mostafa said the US has been trying to change the Iranian government since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

“An Idiot Surrounded by Clowns”: Why Trump (Still) Sits in the White House

Click here to access article by Paul Street from CounterPunch

I especially love his historically accurate final paragraph:
Now the U.S. and the world are saddled with a juvenile, stupid, pathologically narcissist POTUS who poses grave environmental and thermonuclear dangers to humanity. Thanks to the absurdly deified Constitution bequeathed to us by wealthy and anti-democratic aristo-republican slaveowners and merchant capitalists 228 years ago, it is hard to imagine him being removed from office except by death or (further) disability prior to January 20th, 2021.  We continue to be screwed by the Founding Fathers.  Hold on to your powdered wig.
However, in spite of their ongoing attacks against Trump I think that the ruling capitalist class is not going to remove him from office because of two reasons: 1) they want to punish the American people for voting the "wrong way", and 2) with their attacks on Trump they have turned him into a useful right-wing idiot to pursue agendas that they wouldn't dare to promote with a Democratic Party puppet in office. 

The Anti-Empire Report #154: Happy New Year

Click here to access article by William Blum from his website.

Blum attempts to allay our fears and sorrows with this excellent piece of satire. After all, isn't it true that it is better to laugh than to cry over a situation that at times seems overwhelming. He begins the satire with predictions like this:
2018 is going to be a fun fun year. And to better prepare yourself for all the merrymaking here is a calendar of some of the more delightful things to look forward to.

February 16: The United States bans entry to the country of all people except white Christian and Jewish citizens of Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel.

February 18: Congress passes a law that requires all new citizens to submit an essay – in excellent English – about how brilliant Donald J. Trump is, how devoted they are to him, what a huge success he’s been, how he’s going to make America great again, and how modest a man he is.