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, August 16, 2019

Recommended articles for Friday, August 16, 2019 (updated as of 1:42 PM CT)

Jeffrey Epstein and the Spectacle of Secrecy

Click here to access article by Edward Curtin from his weblog Behind the Curtin.

I love this article so much that I didn't want to merely include it on my "receommended" list where I usually put important articles. In this land of make-believe that is the USA, some articles have much more profound effects on me than others. This is one. 

Some of his concluding remarks especially resonate with me: 
Those of us who oppose these criminals – and there are growing numbers all over the world – must avoid being sucked into the establishment narratives and the counter-narratives they spawn or create.  We must refuse to get involved in pseudo-debates that are meant to lead nowhere.  We must reject the language created to confuse.
If revolutionary change is to come, we must learn to tell a new story in language so beautiful, illuminating, and heart-rending that no one will listen to the lying words of child molesters, mass murderers, and those who hate and persecute truth tellers.

Brave New Money: PayPal, WeChat, Amazon Go - A Totalitarian World Currency in the Making (updated)

Click here to access article by Norbert Häring (German economist) from his weblog. (Update: Because Part 2 enlarges the topic to digital money in general, I won't be posting Part 2.) 

I am only posting one of the two part articles today, and will be posting the second part tomorrow. I can't say I understood everything he writes, probably because English is a second language for him, but I think he is one of the few who are concerned about developments that already are underway using digital money plus surveillance technology.

Because I am on Häring's email list, I received this article and several others. I encourage others who are concerned about this issue to do likewise--and, in my opinion, every thinking person should be concerned. Because money in its current form in the USA has mostly enabled our capitalist ruling class to maintain control over it. Of course, because the latter have so obscured the meaning of money and issues concerned with it, much like all other similar issues, they want us to remain in ignorance. But Häring, who will not tolerate this ignorance, alerts us on how these new development using digital money and surveillance technology very likely will have negative consequences for ordinary people.

I think these developments are very much going on under the radar of ordinary people's consciousness. I rarely have seen it addressed elsewhere, and I think it clearly represents a dramatic move toward all the horrible futures scenarios imagined by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, the Wachowskis and their film The Matrix, and similar science fiction works. Such scenarios are now on their way to being implemented in the leading capitalist nations as well as in China. 

Digitization of money combined with the recent technological advances in surveillance are making these nightmarish scenarios possible and so appealing to our ruling masters. Because this new money is so convenient for us, we like it. But it comes loaded with the convenience of capturing all sorts of information about us and several other abuses. It appears that it matters not whether ruling classes are capitalist or shortsighted Chinese Communists because the digitization of money has the potential of giving them overwhelming control over us. Control and domination seem to be the most sought after drugs by, and for, ruling classes to get "high" (def.). Häring seems to be one of the few who are concerned about the adverse consequences for us.

I am convinced that only a thoroughly democratic society could use this new digital money, and we are a long way from accomplishing that. But since "we're all gonna die anyway", why worry? We are all fucked (def.#2)! And, obviously I don't mean in Vietnam. The destabilization of the climate will soon do the job for us, and a short-time later, the ruling classes (their fantasies about escaping to another planet are simply that--fantasies). Unlike our present societies and all wars, climate destabilization and/or a global nuclear war, will not tolerate inequality.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Articles recommended for Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Corporate media after the latest shooting incidents is driving people nuts in the USA

By Ron Horn.

I gave up on media corporations quite some time ago after the 9/11 event. Before that there was an occasional useful interpretation of events, but now they cover events like the mass shooting incidents only superficially with instant, suspiciously fake interpretations. There have been many reports in alternative, independent media, mostly online, of CIA infiltration of media corporations (see for examples: this, this, this, and this) that suggest such coverage by media corporations is largely propaganda to serve the interests of the capitalist Deep State and/or their US/Anglo/Zionist Empire. I don't pay much attention to their coverage of these events, and I won't be commenting on them at the present time. 

In spite of polling data which seems to indicate that ordinary people view with disdain and skepticism news and analysis provided by media corporations, I still think that media corporations have a major influence on how ordinary people view such events. One only has to look at these current articles (see this, this, this, and thislargely from liberal-left online websites that take the coverage provided by media corporation of the shootings seriously, and try rather desperately to sort the wheat of truth from the chaff of deceptions (fake news and analysis).

My many years of activism has given me a rather cynical view of coverage by media corporations. For example, I knew instantly in 2001 when I saw on TV the collapsing of the twin towers of the World Trade Center that their coverage was designed as a major false-flag event in order to generate fear in Americans. However, I didn't know at the time the ultimate purpose of the event. Only later I became aware that our ruling class were preparing us for their agenda to re-shape the Middle East

This is the reaction I have now regarding the mass shootings: wait and see what solid evidence sheds light on what is truly going on. I'm not arguing that these were contrived events, but I view their coverage by media corporations with considerable skepticism. I think that more time is needed to uncover the true reasons behind their coverage and interpretations.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Articles recommended for Tuesday, August 13, 2019

New Models Point to More Global Warming Than We Expected

Click here to access article by Bob Henson from Weather Underground.

Because I am not trained/educated significantly in the physical sciences, I don't pretend to understand many technical concepts by climate scientists. This article is an example of the latter. But, because I have had extensive training in the social sciences, much of it outside of conventional curricula, I have been left with the glaring impression of the extent our tiny ruling capitalist classes will lie to protect their system which gives them dominance over the vast majority of humans (99.9%). 

The capitalist system is like a cancer: it requires incessant growth to maintain itself. Mostly independent scientists have for the last 50 years warned our masters of the evidence pointing to this crisis, but the latter regard this information as intolerable. Capitalist ruling classes have punished scientists along with other critics of their system using economic sanctions by imposing roadblocks on their careers. Most scientists consciously and instinctively know this; and to guard their careers, they go out of the way to subdue the truth about the crisis. Knowing this and our masters' capacity to lie and deny, I have during the past several years concluded that our capitalist masters are pathologically obsessed with avoiding the truth about the climate crisis and the fundamental contradiction between climate stability and their system. 

Capitalist ruling classes have demonstrated the extent of their ability to tell lies (I don't think most of them are aware that they are lying--it's mostly unconscious) through their control of every institution of advanced capitalist nations. In my obsessive pursuit of truth, I have become aware of this insight over many years of social justice and anti-war protests, formal education (political sociology), and informal education through reading of often hard-to-find books and articles. Thus, I have become indelibly conscious that such ruling classes will lie, cheat, and murder millions to propagandize and indoctrinate us in the wonders and virtues of capitalism, and to deny their many crimes. They are consumed by the pathology of dominance and control.

So, nowadays, as we descend into the crisis of climate destabilization, there is no limit to their pathological attempt to deny the evidence of impending disasters and assured extinction. Because humans are so susceptible to this pathology, capitalists along with the vast gullible majority will become extinct. But not only human species. I've learned that most other species will not survive this catastrophe. The monstrosity of this crime grows ever larger.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Articles recommended for Monday, August 12, 2019

Rojava: A practical example of ecosocialism?

Click here to access article by "Make Rojava Green Again" posted on Climate & Capitalism.

I was amazed that the Monthly Review crowd behind this website was deceived by this Empire propaganda piece. Its inspiration is a recent book entitled Make Rojava Green Again published self-servingly by the Internationalist Commune of Rojava.  Rojava, for the people who don't know, is a center of the Kurdish enclave in northern Syria that has collaborated with, and supported by, US forces.

Five years ago a number of pieces started appearing in left-wing websites that extolled the same kind of pro-Kurdish propaganda that the Syrian Kurds were the most progressive scene on the face of the earth because they were supposedly promoting feminist and a new radical form of a socialist government.

In late 2014 I noticed a report by David Graeber from The Guardian and others reports, mostly in the website of Reflections on a Revolution (since sold to a non-profit organization) extolling the Syrian Kurds as having a very appealing ideal of progressive ideas about how to organize a society. And, I was so easily convinced of this view because of the authors or the sources. 

Then in early 2016 I started noticing reports that gave a very different picture. In 2017 there was a number of articles that took issue with the earlier reports (see especially this, this, and this), and that viewed the Syrian Kurds as being used by the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire to balkanize Syria (this was a favorite strategy used to attack their enemy nations by the British in their earlier empire). I was thoroughly convinced of this view when Stephen Gowans posted his article in 2017 entitled "The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence".

Still, we see articles like this one and by Pete Dolack, normally a progressive writer, that keep on extolling the Syrian Kurds and that the Empire must defend them! I never cease to being amazed by the Empire propagandists and their accomplishments to infiltrate and influence leftist organizations to post articles like this one.