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, January 24, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Friday, January 24, 2020

  • The Troubling Decline of International Law by Craig Murray (British) from his weblog. (Note: Capitalists have long bragged about their nations' fake democracies which include the rule of law. The trouble is that this class has always made the laws, organized their court systems, appointed the judges, etc. Now it seems that this rule of law is too burdensome for the ruling classes. They now opt for outright violence or the threat of violence--fascism.)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Thursday, January 23, 2020

Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Danny Haiphong, a contributing editor at the Black Agenda Report, about his recent, eye-opening two-week-long trip to China.
  • Immediate US withdrawal due to its violation of the agreement and Iraq sovereignty by Elijah J Magnier from his weblog. (Note: The assassination of an Iranian official visiting Iraq has led to the exposure of  the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire as an occupying force in Iraq. This combined with the US occupying oil fields in Syria and ignoring international laws has made much of the rest of the world to see the US and its Empire as outlaws (fascists.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

  • Greta Thunberg | Averting a Climate Apocalypse | Davos 2020. "'I've been told telling people about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do' Greta Thunberg speaks at Davos 2020." (Note: This is like if she were talking to a group of hardcore alcoholics that they should stop drinking.)

Orwell’s 1984 is a paranoid piece of anti-communist propaganda [a critical review]

Click here to access article by Rainer Shea, a re-post of the article on his own website earlier in the month, and posted on The Greanville Post.

This is a contemporary expression of an old Stalinist view on George Orwell re-regurgitated by Shea, a young blogger in northern California. Yes, like Patrice Greanville, editor and founder of The Greanville Post, I too have been impressed with his knowledge of history. 

However, I soon became aware of his immaturity. He is like a typical 19-year-old blogger who views history as led by stereotypically good guys and bad guys, not as human beings with strengths and weaknesses, and people who make errors. He can say nothing bad about Stalinists (and often defends them--see here and here) and criticizes as "bad guys" like George Orwell who, at the risk of his life and health, went and fought against openly fascists and on the side of the democratically elected Spanish Republic in 1936 in a civil war that proved to be a dress rehearsal for WWII. Shea's citing as supporting documentation, a clearly Stalinist website (The Stalin Society), in this article is suggestive evidence that he has been coached by someone who has an old-fashioned pro-Stalinist view of the Soviet Union.

My readings regarding the Soviet Union, the anti-Bolshevik crusade led by British imperialist Winston Churchill and other capitalist cold warriors has led me to the following view on George Orwell. Orwell was influenced by his experience primarily in the Spanish Civil War as detailed by his book Homage to Catalonia. In this war he fought against the fascist forces of Germany and Italy who came to the rescue of the democratically elected Spanish Republic against the right-wing opposition. Meanwhile, the leading capitalist nations of USA, Britain, and France cynically stood by in neutrality and pretend isolationism. 

Stalin's behavior was informed by his superficial commitment to communist ideology and most of all by his authoritarian desire to maintain power which was reinforced by a nationalist view of the Soviet Union. Briefly put, this orientation led him to a visceral hatred to anyone challenging his authority and his support for the protection of the Soviet Union. Thus purges characterized his rule. When he saw the growing support by Western capitalist countries for Hitler's aggression, he supported the popular front as a first means of preventing the threat of Germany's invasion of his country. (A few years later he signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany as a means to provide time to enable the buildup of Soviet forces.) This support of Stalin's popular front policy occurred while Orwell was fighting in Spain, and led to the Soviet Union withdrawing support for the forces defending the Spanish Republic. 

However, Stalin not only withdrew support of Russian forces, but actively fought against those defending the Republic that they had previously supported. Orwell understandably could not tolerate this betrayal and especially their use of specious, self-serving propaganda to justify this betrayal. This is described graphically in his book Homage to Catalonia, and it left a deep impression upon him. Hence, his book Nineteen Eighty-Four published in 1949, and which is widely viewed by capitalist agents as an exclusive attack on the Soviet Union. But what is less popular is a view that all self-serving ruling classes can, and do, use such propaganda techniques. Orwell saw the British ruling class use such techniques to support the cynical war effort to preserve their Empire, and he merely extrapolated their advanced use in the future. Stalin and his supporters merely used these techniques to rationalize his rule and his supporters in the self-serving bureaucratic ruling class using the Communist ideology that Lenin and Trotsky had created. The reality of Stalinist rule clashed severely with this ideology.

Stalin to this day is widely popular in Russia among people who saw him as successfully defending their country. These people ascribe too much to his leadership and not enough to themselves, or rather, their ancestors who fought for their country against the fascist invaders who wanted to make them slaves of the Third Reich. Most of the captured Soviet fighters ended up as slaves put to work in Nazi weapons factories and were worked literally to death. (In 1957-58 I served in a medical unit of the US Army while stationed in Germany. A sergeant in my unit visited a cemetery associated with Bergen-Belsen prison camp, and to his surprise he didn't find many Jewish names, but mostly Russian names on graves of people who died in the concentration camp.)

The author of this article, Shea, has resurrected an old, tired debate among communists and communist-minded historians: the Trotskyists versus Stalinists. I come down on the side of Trotskyists and Leninists who foresaw that the communist revolutionary movement could not succeed in such a backward country as Russia. Rather they saw a need for revolutions in more advanced countries, especially Germany, as necessary to advance what would become an international workers movement to take power for themselves and support their interests. This did not happen largely because the nascent German ruling class of capitalists in 1919 foresaw the dangers of this movement and assassinated both Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, leaders of the Communist Revolutionary party in Germany, and ruthlessly put down the socialist movement existing in Germany after WWI.

Thus, the history of the human species reveals that this species could not overcome their DNA to protect and advance their own small groups. This defect had served their species for nearly 200,000 years which was characterized by families and clans and ruling classes instead of workers of all countries. When capitalist ruling classes arose based on the private ownership of economic property, they became obsessed with wealth and power through their exploitation both workers, who created marvelous economic benefits, and nature. These ruling classes in their ignorance and arrogance could not adapt to nature and its web of life, and like all other such species, have doomed their human species to extinction.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Monday, January 20, 2020

  • Why 'Corporate Social Responsibility Is a Hoax by Álvaro de Regil Castilla from Climate & Capitalism. (Note: The headline offers old news, but the author goes on to argue that "Subsequently, I gradually realized that an even larger hoax is our belief that we live in democratic societies."
  • Yes Minister Fan Fiction by Craig Murray from his weblog (British). (He satirizes British politicians regarding Britain's treatment (use of social identity politics) of Julian Assange. Murray may explain why British activists did, and are doing, so little to protest and rescue Assange.)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Sunday, January 19, 2020

As regards the letter to “CEOs,” it’s telling them to transition as fast as is reasonably possible out of fossil-fuel investments and into renewable-fuel ones, in order to become less vulnerable to the shock, when it does hit. This makes good sense: keeping the clients comfortable, while telling the CEOs: “Make major moves on this ASAP!”
If you think for a moment that capitalist ruling classes are serious about global warming, "I have a bridge to sell you" (def).
On the show this week, Chris Hedges, discusses the outsized influence of the writer, Ayn Rand, on America’s business and financial elite with New York University professor and author, Lisa Duggan.
 Duggan’s new book is entitled “Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed.”