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

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Democracy, Class and the Fight against Recolonization

Click here to access article by Stephen Sefton (currently living in Nicaragua) posted in English on Wrong Kind of Green

It seems to me that the title of this article is a bit pretentious. A better title would have been something like "The Empire's renewed assault on its Latin American backyard". 
Having lost Eurasia, US and allied elites have prioritized Latin America and the Caribbean, seeking to re-consolidate control of the region’s resources. They work to destroy political movements and leaders who defend their countries’ impoverished majorities against the West’s neocolonial agenda. In particular, Western elites work with local allies to eliminate expressions of national sovereignty. From within, they undermine and co-opt governments and institutions. Externally they deploy all kinds of financial, trade, media and diplomatic aggression as well as military intimidation.
The author's main argument is that the US Empire is engaged in an increasingly aggressive media campaign to subvert truth throughout Latin America (I would argue throughout the world).
Recycling falsehoods promoting the US regime change agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean corrupts democratic debate in the West and creates an alibi for the phony, anti-democratically framed elections of US allies like Brazil’s fascist ideologue Jair Bolsonaro. Clear-sighted anti-imperialist writers like Max Blumenthal, Kerry Ann Mendoza and Jonathan Cook, among many others, repeatedly make this same point. Untruthful foreign affairs coverage by the Western intellectual, NGO and media class, destroys democratic debate at home, to the benefit of NATO country elites. Western coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially Nicaragua and Venezuela now, demonstrates that reality over and over again.
You see, truth is revolutionary! That is precisely why a grassroots organization to counter their lies (like the one I have proposed) is so revolutionary. 

In the past I have frequently asserted that we must a have a revolution to save ourselves from the capitalist Empire's current death spiral. I wasn't arguing that we should man the barricades, or organize a militia. All we have to do is create and support a truth-telling organization! 

So far, the hold on the minds of the people by the Empire's capitalist propaganda machines have been successful, however their influence is waning. The latter point coupled with the fact that we must act before it is too late to save ourselves from the Empire's dangerous behavior (planning for a global war and the ongoing assault on the environment).

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Articles/videos I read/viewed and recommend to you on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Also, on the same subject of the persecution of Julian Assange by agents of the US Empire, RT America clarifies the legal issues regarding Assange: 
  • "Time for opioid makers to feel the pain" from RT America featuring views by Rick Sanchez.
  

The Ten Rules of Hate

Click here to access article by Matt Taibbi from BS News.

There is much food for thought in this essay about how corporate media keep ordinary people fighting each other instead of their real rich and powerful oppressors--and this is from someone who has spent so many years in journalism and has admittedly participated in the ruse.
The trick is to constantly narrow your mental horizons and keep you geeked up [def.] on impotent anger. It’s a twist on Manufacturing Consent’s description of an artificially narrowed debate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Can the working class change the world?

Click here to access the review by Ian Angus of a book authored by Michael Yates with the above title, posted on Climate & Capitalism. (I have not yet read the book, but Angus's review sounds very inviting.)

Angus concludes his review with the qualifications of the author and this encouraging statement:
Michael Yates worked for many years as a labor educator, teaching working people in classrooms and union meetings across the U.S. Those years taught him something very important — how to express Marxist ideas in everyday English, without condescension, without false bravado or illusions, and without any hint of dogmatism. The result is a superb popular account of what’s wrong with capitalism and what working people must do to get rid of it. Even if you think you know all this, you should read it to learn, by shining example, how to explain socialist ideas in clear, concise and convincing terms.

Can the Working Class Change the World? should be on every ecosocialist’s bookshelf. More than that, it should be in every radical worker’s hands. It’s a book to be read and discussed and argued over and acted on. Michael Yates has made an important contribution to building movements that not only can change the world, but must.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The “Resistance” Struggles To Justify Support For Trump’s Prosecution Of Assange

Click here to access article by Caitlin Johnstone from her blog.
Ever since suspicions were confirmed that the Trump administration is indeed working to prosecute and imprison WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing authentic documents, the so-called “Resistance” has been struggling to explain exactly why it is so enthusiastically supportive of that agenda. And when I say struggling, I am being very, very generous.
Johnstone exposes the hypocrisy of Democratic party activists who pose as the "Resistance". I think that this is another illustration of how the capitalist ruling class is tolerating and using Trump as long as he does things that they couldn't get away with, or wouldn't want to, in order to preserve their facade of press freedoms.

(You might also be interested in reading an article by the same author entitled "The Empire Keeps Proving Assange Right About Everything".)

The World Order That’s Now Emerging

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Commentary edited for greater clarity at 4:15 PM CT.)

There are numerous errors in this article which in the first example illustrates sloppiness on the part of the author and the editor for this website, but following this error are errors due to long years of indoctrination that is an integral part of all education in the capitalist US-led (trans-national) Empire.

The first error is so obvious that I wonder about the editorship of this website. Zuesse's mathematical skills seem to be lacking when he divides 13.7% by .32% which is clearly more than 4.28. The correct calculation is 42.8. Thus those killed in the Soviet Union were 42.8 times greater than US killed in WWII. (11/22/2018: This error has now been corrected.)

The remaining errors he commits are the result of the long years of indoctrination he received to insure that he was thoroughly convinced of virtues of capitalism and likewise convinced of the failures of Marxist theories. The remainder of his essay provides numerous examples of this. 
... the USSR’s communist regime was additionally hobbled by Karl Marx’s labor theory of value, which produced prices that contained no useful information about demand and thus no constructive information for planners.
Whatever the weaknesses were of the Soviet Union, one was not charging much less for essentials like housing and food. Of course, they clearly had other measures to determine demand other than market prices. Thus, housing was dirt-cheap (like only a few dollars per month) and food likewise. This is true of every country claiming to be socialist. Socialism requires that such essentials as shelter and food not be a commodity the price of which is determined by the market. If there is a shortage of such items, genuine socialist societies will always resort to rationing.

Throughout his posts he typically avoids referring to capitalism, ruling class, etc. by always using the feudal term "aristocracy" instead of the capitalist ruling class. He summarizes his liberal/left bias by stating:
America’s post-WW-II dominance, combined with Marx’s crippling economic theory, and produced the exodus of East Europeans to The West.
He goes on to argue that the great errors of the US "aristocracy" (sic) was to embark on a goal of world domination and adopted a "greed is good" orientation--not that capitalist systems inevitably result in ruling classes and must forever seek the accumulation of wealth in order exercise control/dominance otherwise they will be absorbed by others who gain more wealth and power. Thus, one often hears from capitalists about the necessity to grow or die. Zuesse avoids the intrinsic antisocial nature of the system by implying that this was simply an error of judgement by the US "aristocracy" (sic).

Otherwise the essay is excellent in that it argues that we are on a path that will lead to a devastating WWIII, and is supported by excellent documentation. Also Zuesse accurately directs our attention to the two main weapons used by the US Empire to rule the world: military dominance and the maintenance of the US dollar as the world's currency.

Could it be that his perspective has found sympathy with the editors of this Russian website because Russian society has a large component of a capitalist contingent in their economy and government? In any case, I think you can agree that Zuesse's views illustrate what passes for a liberal-left perspective in America, and as such retards the rejection of a system that will be the death of all of us.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Blundering American Ambassadors Unmask the War on Terror

Click here to access article by David Boyajian from Foreign Policy Journal.  (Commentary edited for greater clarity at 12:25 PM CT.)
American officials downplay how “allies” such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia support terrorists lest the US government’s support of terrorism also be exposed.
The author reviews the glaring lies of the officials, who serve the capitalist ruling class, regarding US's participation in the hiring of mercenary terrorist armies in an alliance with the feudal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to implement the Empire's imperialist policies in the Middle East. In their defense couldn't these officials now plead that they were only "following orders" from their superiors? Like the Nazi war criminals who lost WWII and the German Reich? Like the Saudi butchers have so dramatically illustrated in recent years? 

Humans seem to have a genetic flaw that causes them to submit to "authorities" whether the earthly representatives of gods of their own creation, sociopathic leaders, or those who demonstrate a temporary command of weapons that can cause severe injury or kill. Humans have demonstrated this character flaw for roughly the last 10,000 years, or about 2% of human existence, as they settled down into communities after mastering the growing of their own food. This period saw the emergence of tiny privileged social classes that ruled over the vast majority using instruments of violence. Bringing human history up to date, during this period humans with their gift of intelligence have also mastered the creation of weapons of mass destruction that now threaten their own extinction. What could explain such a self-destructive flaw other than it is simply genetic?

I've been considering a theory that the conscious awareness of our own temporary existence is so terrible for many of us that we have been only able to cope by dominating or killing others. This murderous instinct somehow gives some of us a temporary sense of invulnerability, which for some, becomes an addictive habit. Likewise, those of us who are the victims of such violence have an almost obsessive need to cling to life by submitting to those with power who we come to idolize as superior humans. Over time this survival instinct instills in many people the need to seek their own advantage at the expense of others by serving those with "authority" which causes us to lie, and in some instances, to commit war crimes to please our "superiors".

Religions created by humans have also reinforced this orientation by declaring that we are above nature, from which we have arisen, and causes us to believe that nature should serve us. Religions claim that there are gods that will protect us, and give us permission to dominate or slaughter others who don't share such beliefs or who have their own gods to protect them. Species come and go as our planet experiments with so many life forms. Maybe our time is up. 

Do you have a better explanation?