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

Friday, July 19, 2019

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To the Moon!

Click here to access article by Deena Stryker from New Eastern Outlook.

I think Stryker has got something, that is, some kernel of valid insight from the recent abundant coverage by media corporations about the next big thing--returning to the moon and going to the other planets. I initially thought that this was only a commemoration of the moon landing in 1969, but I now think they have another agenda.

After reading this article, I think that our ruling masters in the Empire's capitalist class, who are thoroughly addicted to profits and power, are looking elsewhere for their salvation. They have essentially given up on this planet, and want us to support them in their new agenda of saving themselves. Their self-serving system of capitalism has destroyed our habitat on planet Earth so they want to move to another planet (and repeat the same cycle). Their promotion and widespread coverage of this new venture is to subvert our minds into supporting this project by sacrificing our already perilous existence in order to save them!
Following the 2008 economic meltdown, knowing that the earth is likely to become inhospitable to humans in the near future, the 1% ceased pretending to care about the 99%, quoting Stephan Hawking Stephen Hawking:
“I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let’s hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.”
“Even if humans manage to avoid a nuclear stand-off over the next thousand years, our fate on this planet is still pretty much certain. University of Sussex astrophysicist Dr. Robert Smith says eventually the aging Sun will accelerate global warming to a point where all of Earth’s water will simply evaporate.” 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

16 Tons of Madness

Click here to access article by John R. Hall from Dissident Voice.

There are so many insights about political reality packed in this article and so many experiences that I can identify with. Hall was a dissident and activist during the Vietnam War among young people. I, who was slightly older, tried to warn this generation of the lies spread by our media corporations in support of this war and the ruling class's project of building their empire. 

Long ago I discovered the secret of their success which I attributed to their incessant indoctrination and the use of psychological warfare techniques on ordinary Americans that were so similar to their efforts to sell all their fast foods, cosmetics, and other worthless junk solely to obtain profit for capitalists in place of more costly services to really benefit the health and welfare of ordinary Americans. 

The ruling capitalist class convinced Americans that this was the American Way of Life and that their families would flourish if they played along. And they did. The ruling class were dedicated to their self-serving project of profit and power; but to accomplish this, they had to erase through their propaganda and indoctrination any class consciousness that ordinary Americans might have that was left over from the Great Depression of the 1930s. And they did.

Immediately after WWII they launched a comprehensive campaign to rid ordinary American of any beliefs about a class consciousness by inculcating beliefs about the "Red Menace" and the Russian threat. They used all their media, political as well as all institutions in this effort to substitute a fear of the Russians for lingering notions of social-economic justice which they labeled subversive. This period was known as McCarthyism. They also used the carrots of full employment, GI Bill, and the much vaunted "Yankee know-how" among ordinary Americans to distract them from any "subversive" thoughts about their imperialist foreign policies and contribute to the building of their empire. And American families benefited ... for a while. 

Then in the 1980s they saw corporations buying out and merging with other corporations to reap ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. Later on in the 1980s these behemoth corporations saw their next opportunity to obtain profits and power from employing desperate low paid workers in other countries, and they moved their factories there. The story is far more complex than I can express, but the result has been the disappearance of any sense of class consciousness and "Yankee know-how". Instead we have seen the rise of poverty, homelessness, massive debts incurred by ordinary Americans, never-ending wars, the destabilization of our climate, etc. 

Hall vividly describes where we are now to those of us who can still manage to see reality somewhat clearly.  

Monday, July 15, 2019

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From Enlightenment to Enfrightenment: Romanticism as a Tool for Elite Agendas

Click here to access article by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin from Dissident Voice.

The author demonstrates how characterizations of major ideological trends of thought are largely influenced by ruling classes ("elites"). One such period called the Enlightenment, which emphasized the discoveries of the material nature of our Earth (and a little beyond), also was anathema to the rise of capitalist ruling classes. 

In addition, the Enlightenment examined the old ideas of feudalism and discovered that they were full of errors like the divine right of kings, feudalism's cosmology which placed the Earth at the center of the universe, and obedience to Roman Catholicism also gave rise to a whole new range of ideas that were first dramatically expressed during the French Revolution and soon led to socialist ideas, that is, to ideas of equality of rights and opportunities among inhabitants of regions. 

However, simultaneous to this, capitalist classes arose in various European countries which would soon formed ruling classes in those countries, and they saw such ideas as incompatible with their interests of private economic property and all the benefits derived from that ownership and control. They soon shaped what became known as a ideological period of Romanticism. This period was characterized not only by the mystification of nature but to differences such as language, race, and above all, nationalism that always favored the regions under the control of capitalist ruling classes.
The influence of Romanticism on politics shifted revolutionary thinking from burgeoning socialist movements to nationalism instead. Nationalism is the perfect class conciliatory ideology in that it retained the full social order/hierarchy (i.e. it includes the elites) and homogenised the people by excluding other national languages and foreign communities while putting the elites into positions of leadership and control.

Using divide and rule tactics and stirring up xenophobic attitudes and fears, the elites ran the new homogenised nations and used them for their old purposes: war. Modern global power struggles of the twentieth century started with nation set against nation in the First World War. 
Now we have entered a period identified as neoliberalism (the ideology of the new capitalism) as the capitalist ruling classes have outgrown their nation-states and formed transnational capitalist ruling classes such as we see in the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire versus the rest of the world. Trump represents ideologically the earlier period of capitalism which glorified nationalism while the Deep State (see this, this, this, and this), which is in command of the Empire, pushes their neoliberal agendas under the Empire using deceptive psychological practices developed in propaganda against enemies in WWI and WWII, but this time aimed at their own populations.