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, July 28, 2018

America’s Allies Against Russia & Iran

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from The Greanville Post.

In this article the Zuesse digs up some very inconvenient facts about the growth of fascism in the USA. He is famous for digging up inconvenient historical facts about the rise of fascism in the US, but he is always careful to disassociate it from capitalism. According to him (and many others) it's an aberration, an infection from the outside.

Zuesse's take on history is through the lens of someone who does not recognize the differences that the rising capitalist class represented from the earlier aristocrats from the era of feudalism. Thus capitalists are simply the modern form of aristocrats. Apparently he doesn't object to aristocrats, but only fascist aristocrats. This is because he doesn't see, or doesn't want to see, that the dynamics of capitalism are different than what existed under the rule of the monarchs and aristocrats during the feudal era. He always steers clear of analyzing the dynamics of capitalism. (It's a mystery to me why this website appointed him as Senior Contributing Editor.)

This lack of discrimination has much in common with the politicos who are now fashionably referred to as paleoconservatives (old-fashioned conservatives). The latter enjoyed top dog status in the US ruling capitalist class for much of the 20th century and earlier, but have been largely replaced by neo-conservatives (more overt fascists) who first infiltrated the Reagan administration and now appear to be top dogs. To be sure, Zuesse has demonstrated via his prolific writings, which are frequently well-documented, that he has a good grasp of history. But by avoiding the reality of capitalism and being extremely careful to always disassociate capitalism from fascism, he is very much like the paleoconservatives (Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, etc).

In sharp contrast to such a view of political history, I regard fascism as the end state of capitalism, or capitalism as pre-fascism. For a similar view of capitalism but with a detailed documented analysis, you should read The Apprentice's Sorcerer by historian Ishay Landa.

This blindness provides Zuesse with a certain safety from any repercussions to his career as an historian. (I've never found any references to his career, and I wonder why.) However, it does cause him to make mistakes in interpreting historical events. For example, Zuesse writes:

Under Hitler, hereditary rights and obligations were publicly recognized; and democracy, the rule over a land by the residents on that land, was publicly condemned. .... As an ideology, nazism totally affirms both the hereditary principle, and the imperialist principle. This is what the U.S.-Saudi alliance likewise affirms. And that is why, for example, the CIA has always favored monarchies and opposed democracies (or at least authentic ones, which the U.S. aristocracy cannot control).
Did you notice that he doesn't provide any documentation to support his contention about Hitler's support of the "hereditary principle"? Because there is none. In contrast, Landa writes with extensive documentation:
Hitler did not wish to revive the closed caste society of the middle ages, but rather to construct society according to paramount capitalistic-liberal tenet of equal opportunities, competition and individual merit. Like the majority of his right-wing contemporaries, he endorsed open [his emphasis] elitism, which admits into its ranks and promotes new talent from below. Hitler's "aristocratic principle of nature" was thus in fact distinctly meritocratic, i.e., bourgeois.The whole system revolves-- ... at least in theory--on "the principle of achievement". [Capitalists always view their success in business as "achievement" no matter how it is achieved.]
In stark contrast to their ideology, in practice the Nazi's always honored the hereditary principles of the capitalist class. This is because the German fascist-capitalists only pretended to be a basic alternative to the ruling capitalist class. They only differed in one way: to the capitalists' strategy of always presenting a democratic facade to their rule.

Venezuela on the verge of a social explosion?

Click here to access article by Jorge Martin from In Defense of Marxism (a British Trotskyist website).
The Maduro government has been careful to maintain the loyalty of the army top brass, by giving them a stake in the economy (through companies like CAMIMPEG and AfgroFANB), and by appointing military officers to run state-owned companies (from PDVSA to Aceites Diana), where they have been notoriously inefficient and corrupt, and more recently by raising the wages of the top officers.
Martin has been following events in Venezuela for quite some time, and he has always argued that the Venezuelan Bolivarian revolution did not go far enough. On my visit to that country in late 2005, I left with the very same impression. One factor in retarding the left's progress toward an authentic revolution is the psychological residue of capitalist influence throughout the country. This phenomenon is precisely what Caitlin Johnstone warned about in yesterday's post ("old patterns of fear and greed and need to control which are constantly used to manipulate us", and I might add, for us as well indoctrinated subjects, to control and manipulate others while striving for "success").

Maduro and previous administrations under Chavez appointed bureaucrats and military officers who had the necessary skills to run government offices, but they were so infected by capitalist norms of behavior that they often reverted to old patterns of behavior. Chavez saw the need to educate ordinary people and promoted free education through the college level. This was a good policy, but was it enough?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Humanity Is Deciding If It Will Evolve Or Die [one of the best all-time posts]

Click here to access article by Caitlin Johnstone from her website.  (I added a commentary at 6:25 PM CT.)

So many words of wisdom from someone who, I am convinced, has traveled down this road to psychic transformation before. This is a route upon which, as she argues, we must all go on to determine whether our human species will "evolve or die".
Throughout recorded history and across all cultures around the world, there have been individuals testifying that it is possible to undergo a transformation in the way one relates to the world, experiencing life as it actually is instead of filtered through unconscious conditioned thought patterns. After such a transformation, thought becomes the useful tool it’s supposed to be instead of the writer, director and star of the whole show.

If such a transformation is possible on an individual level, it is possible on a collective level as well. With a shift in our relationship with thought and ego, we would become impossible to propagandize, and therefore able to determine a course of action that isn’t selected for us by plutocratic manipulators. We can awaken from the old patterns of fear and greed and need to control which are constantly used to manipulate us, and begin working in harmony with each other and our environment instead.
She refers to a sociopathic elite, but omits from her brilliant essay is that we are raised in sociopathy from birth onwards. It's not surprising that our capitalist society churns out so many sociopaths. Not only do agents of capitalism shape and infiltrate every institution, but our minds as well. The "old patterns of fear and greed and need to control" are not intrinsic human qualities, but must be inculcated. And, they are by every institution in the current society. However, she does make the profound point that we must rid ourselves of these foreign qualities in order to awaken our true natures that express values of equality and compassion in order to "begin working in harmony with each other and our environment ..."; and I might add, to rid ourselves of this scourge of capitalism.

Recommended articles for Friday, July 27, 2018

Nuking Sounds Fun When You’re High as a Kite

Click here to access article by Martin Berger from New Eastern Outlook. (Although I regard Berger's arguments in most of his articles as consistent with reality, I often see signs that they were written in haste and this article is no different. Some examples in this article: I would like to have seen some documentation for the phrase "According to one of the Pentagon press conferences given in 2014" which referred to commanding officers distributing drugs to their soldiers, some of whom controlled nuclear missiles, and some documentation about the BZ agent; and the use of the "OPCW" instead of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.)

Berger points out how many commanders of armies throughout history have drugged their soldiers in order to prepare them to engage in all sort of horrible acts in war time, and juxtaposes this with a more recent startling documentation that the Pentagon is drugging soldiers who are in control of nuclear weapons.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

CIA/FBI/DOJ Plot To Overthrow The President Of The United States

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his website. (Thanks go to an activist for alerting me to this article.)

I was shocked at this headline and the contents of the article. I wonder if Roberts, as a former member of the Reagan administration, can get away with such an allegation which, of course, we know is quite apparent given all the escalating attacks on Trump through the ruling class media corporations.

An open letter to Bill McKibben

Click here to access the letter by Eric Schechter, a retired professor of mathematics, posted on The Greanville Post.

The ignoring of the man-made system of capitalism is common among those upper-middle class professionals who want to enjoy a well-paid career. They go to great lengths to avoid offending their bosses who are themselves employed by, and serve, the ruling class of capitalists. Even Schechter is this letter does not name the system (although he may have omitted the name to avoid shocking McKibben and to increase his chances of getting a response). It has a name--capitalism. Hence, upper-middle class writers often treat the economic system as an absolute fixture of reality much like nature or gravity.

La izquierda está consumida por la propaganda occidental [The Left is Consumed by Propaganda]

Click here to access article from Wrong Kind of Green posting a speech (translated into English) delivered by Gustavo Borges Revilla, director of the Venezuelan media project Misión Verdad during the 24th Sao Paulo Forum in Havana, Cuba held July 15th -17th. (An activist alerted me to this post.)

Missions in Venezuela were begun under former President Hugo Chavez to create a variety of grass roots organizations in Venezuela. Thus, Venezuelan media project Misión Verdad (Truth Mission) is some kind of media project of a grass roots organization.

In his speech Gustavo Borges Revilla warned the audience that the capitalist Empire wages war in the form of propaganda to subvert and indoctrinate leftists of the world in addition to all their other means of warfare. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Recommended articles for Wednesday, July 26, 2018

  • A New World Order: That Possible Dream by Christopher Black from New Eastern Outlook. After giving up out of frustration on other subjects to write about, the author writes that the only solution is to create another "world order" after the disasters created by the various capitalist world orders.
These successive world orders are continually upset by the very conditions and circumstances they produce as capital searches for ways to increase its exploitation of resources, including human beings who are seen as just another resource to be used and destroyed, for new ways to secure more profit. And so at each new historical phase, a new balance of world forces is established by fresh military conflict, followed by a fresh set of agreements, followed by new conflicts ad infinitum as the dialectic requires in a logic that only a socialist world order can stop.
And, he goes on to argue that this can only be created by "working people of the world".

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why Socialists Have Always Fought for Open Borders

Click here to access article by Wladek Flakin from Left Voice

The author explains the Marxist roots regarding this issue that is often resulted in divisions among workers in various countries; and, of course, this is always encouraged by capitalist ruling classes in order to divide workers.
The capitalists and their states use migration to divide workers and increase the rate of exploitation. But workers have no interest in limiting the movement of their class sisters from other countries. As the history of capitalism has shown, restrictions on migration don’t really stop anyone from moving – xenophobic laws simply deny immigrants their rights, and therefore lower wages even further.
And, more importantly (in my opinion), he clarifies the long standing socialist position as articulated by leading Marxists, in contrast to many confused socialists, that real socialists must not be misled into thinking that they should simply take control of the capitalist organization of society. No, capitalist societies are integrated societies, that is, they are thoroughly organized to serve the ruling class of capitalists. 

When and if socialists take power (before the catastrophic destabilization of our ecosystem), they must thoroughly reorganize their societies to reflect their values of egalitarianism by creating their own institutions, instilling in every person that they must take some role in the decision-making apparatus that governs their society,  and recognizing the critical need for a worker-oriented education in order to effectively participate in governing society. The latter would require workers (everyone, since capitalists would no longer exist) to reduce their work week to about 15 hrs (this could now be easily attainable in order to satisfy all their essential needs) in order to attend classes.
Marxists argue for workers’ control of production – the proletariat must seize the means of production to open the road to a classless society. However, Marx argued that workers cannot simply take over the existing state apparatus, i.e. the police, the army, the border regime, etc. Workers’ revolution must smash the state and replace it with organs of self-organization (councils, militias etc.). This is why Marxists reject all demands for "workers’ control" of the capitalist state as illusory.

Trump Drops the Value of the EU as an Ally — to Zero

Click here to access article by Alastair Crooke from Strategic Culture Foundation

This government careerist of the fallen British Empire and quite astute geopolitical analyst attempts to shed light on the meaning of the recent Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki, Finland. Since then the American ruling class, who own and control corporate media, has treated the meeting as a major scandal and has dramatically escalated their attacks on Trump. Unfortunately, his analysis of the significance of the meeting and its aftermath is marred by biases that was shaped by his career in the British Imperial government.

For example, in contrast to other analysts, Crooke doubts that Trump will be removed from office simply because he has committed no crimes! (ha, ha)  In addition, he drags out the tired old reactionary theme that Wall Street funded the revolutionaries of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and adds a new twist: Stalin took control of the country and the Trotskyists, who were bought and paid for by Wall Street, were removed; and this caused the American ruling class to turn against Russia. Total nonsense!

I have often posted articles by this British establishment figure because he understands how the Anglo-American ruling classes think, and he often brings this skill to bear on major geopolitical issues. However, in this article he shows his ruling class biases that enabled him to pursue a successful government career in the British Imperial government. On the other hand, in this article he demonstrates that he understands Trump and his entrepreneurial competitive strategies.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

It’s all fake: Reality TV that masquerades as American politics

Click here to access article by John W. Whitehead from Intrepid Report. 

Now that I've moved into a new building that includes basic cable television, I occasionally watch TV programs (although mostly sports events when I'm not surfing the internet), but I can't help noticing the other programs presented while searching through various channels. I also occasionally linger a while on a particular program to see the kind of material it is presenting. I discovered old movies like Mash (the comedy program set in the Korean War--it never seems to die), religious programs, soap operas, weather reports, managed-news programs by the CIA (see this, this, this, this, and some posts that our masters have taken down--see this and this), sports programs, and tons of commercials.

Anyway this article provides good advice about watching cable TV programs.
Look behind the political spectacles, the reality TV theatrics, the sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions, and the stomach-churning, nail-biting drama, and you will find there is a method to the madness.

We have become guinea pigs in a ruthlessly calculated, carefully orchestrated, chillingly cold-blooded experiment in how to control a population and advance a political agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.

This is mind-control in its most sinister form.
And the author summarizes his essay with this statement:
The bottom line is simply this: Americans should beware of letting others—whether they be television news hosts, political commentators or media corporations—do their thinking for them.