All posts by T.P. Wilkinson

Re-Orientation

In the preface to his last and perhaps most significant work, Andre Gunder-Frank cited what he called “Fairbank’s Rule No. 2”: “Never try to begin at the beginning. Historical research progresses backward not forward… Let the problems take you back.”1 My mother was a forensic photographer. One of her less appetizing assignments was for the record of corpses returned from Jonestown, Guyana, after what has since been billed as a mass suicide by a bizarre religious sect led by an American named Jones.2 My arguments in these pages have implicitly followed that rule and perhaps derive from that inclination to the historical that all forensics involves.

I have already argued in previous essays that the ruling elite in the West — let us call them the owners of NATO for simplicity — by virtue of their education and indoctrination possess a degree of consistency and determination which is not generally shared among the bulk of the far less organised population. Wealth and power permit not only an exercise of the will but a formation of interests which are far more focussed and of longer duration than the desires of ordinary people who are managed by advertising or police. If we continue to assume that the ruling elite has a rationality that is coherent with that of the broad mass, the majority of the population, we deny ourselves the vantage point needed to understand events through the past.

Of course, it is easy to get lost in debate as to the constitution of the ruling elite, to attempt to disaggregate groups and interests to show — as normative political scientists and sociologists do — that concerted behaviour is ultimately short-lived or impossible because of intra-elite competition. This is part of the same theoretical apparatus used to justify the current economics ideology — marginalism. With the nominal end of the Western chattel slavery regime, the ideology of white supremacy upon which it became based was modified. That was the real intellectual accomplishment of what was later called in the US the “Progressive Era”. Progressivism became the dominant Western ideology by the end of World War I and the military-industrial complex became the standard bearer of that ideology. It remains the ideology of what passes for “Left” in the US and has always been the underlying philosophy of liberalism. Hence when all debate transcripts are read and/ or burned it is the progressive consensus that maintains Western empire, led by the Atlantic alliance. Progressivism is embedded in modern mass media and its particular form of communication — one which is ultimately military and not democratic in nature (unless one means the form of democracy tied to the slavery system).

Given the foregoing, the problem that should now take us back is the current panic produced by the incidence of an illness known popularly as the “corona virus”, a kind of influenza detected in central China, in or around the major city of Wuhan. The result of this detection has been a combination of central government measures and a mass media saturation, which together make it impossible to assess with absolute certainty what has happened and the degree of seriousness or urgency; i.e., the risk involved.

The temptation is to look for the origin, the beginning of it all and then to argue the consequences both present and future.

However, it may be more fruitful to look at the essential problem created and work back to the range of issues upon which this problem is based.

The essential problem is not new, but it has become critical for the West. From the end of the Opium Wars in the first half of the 19th century until 1949, China was practically a tribute state of the Western powers. In 1949 the People’s Liberation Army under Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Communist Party succeeded in expelling the last of the tributary forces led by Chiang Kai-Shek. Chiang had seized control of the Kuomintang, the original nationalist organisation led by Sun Yat-sen and driving out the communists made it into an instrument of European collaboration until the Japanese invasion in 1937. The Kuomintang was driven to the island of Formosa where they remain today.

Until Richard Nixon was elected POTUS in 1968, the People’s Republic of China had been formally isolated from all international fora. Following US diplomatic recognition and its replacement as “the” China in the UN Security Council, successive leaders of the People’s Republic of China have promoted the industrial modernisation and development of the country. This meant expansion of foreign trade — also to obtain resources insufficiently available domestically — and increased exchange to obtain know-how and increase goodwill.

The Western empire, both its North American and European components, saw the opening of China as a vast new opportunity to deindustrialise and further undermine the organisation of their own working class and unemployed — in the interest of higher profits as always. Thus a strange reverse occurred. Whereas in the 19th century the West destroyed Asian industry to promote its own factory system, now the West was using China to destroy its own aging factory system, not for modernisation but for wealth extraction. The intensification of this process only became possible after 1989 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Until 1989 the Soviet Union was the most crucial ideological challenger to the Anglo-American system of piracy and plunder. It was visible, linguistically assessable and although incapable of expansion given NATO forces on all its outer borders, still an inspiration for the newly emerging independent states — the former colonies and protectorates of Euro-American empire.

Once European state socialism had been overthrown, Progressivism could rejuvenate its imperial attributes. Hence Progressives defended, even advocated, the destruction of Yugoslavia and the dismantling of social infrastructure that had been created as bulwarks against local socialist demands (going back to Germany’s “progressive”, Otto von Bismarck, the original author of that country’s social security programs).

The collapse of the Soviet Union and with it the strangling of the anti-imperial struggle in what was once called the Third World left China as the only communist country on the planet.

Contrary to Western expectations the industrial penetration of China was unable to dislodge the Chinese Communist Party or its claims to Chinese sovereignty.

China’s sovereignty has what might be called natural causes. With some 20 per cent of the world’s population in the fifth largest national territory, it is virtually self-contained. However, like all large populations in history, adequate distribution of food, housing and amenities has been a challenge, aggravated by the great size of the country and complexity of logistical tasks to be accomplished. For most of recorded history China has been the centre or the fulcrum of world population and society. One would not know that from any history classes or books and other media in the West. In fact, one only has to look at the standard Mercator projection to see the way in which China has been presented to the West — despite the fact that Europe was an insignificant population of nut and berry eaters on the Eurasian peninsula until about 1600.

Returning to the problem: ostensibly it is the incidence of an influenza strain in the world’s most populous nation and meanwhile second largest economy (whatever that really means).

Since this incident with a reported toll of deaths and infections, not even approaching the constant annual death toll in the US for ordinary surgical procedures or common influenza, the major corporate and state propaganda instruments of the West —  including especially the BBC which still profits from widely held if misguided trust around the world — has presented China as the source of an outbreak comparable to bubonic plague. Some 200 – 300 deaths have been presented as an impending extinction event. Thus magnifying the already cultivated fear that China’s development will trigger the climate catastrophe St Greta is preaching.

Unlike Western governments that routinely deny the existence or risk of the illnesses and hazards that arise in their territories — unless there is pecuniary advantage in their exaggeration — the Chinese government has taken what measures which would be impossible in the West, even under conditions of World War. At this writing it is impossible to say how long these measures will remain in effect. They are public health measures of a basic nature that amaze and awe simply by the scale in which they have been imposed. Thus we see the degree of social and political organisation which China has developed for protecting 50 million people in Hubei Province where Wuhan (population 11 million) is located. If one takes a country in the West of comparable size, let us say the United Kingdom, one can see how incompetent Western political organisations really are. Or perhaps we should say that organised selfishness for the benefit of whites — the guiding principle of Western “civilisation” — is incompatible with the very notion of public health and welfare.

Nonetheless, the events in China are disturbing. They do not reflect on China but on the West. If one goes from the apparent problem, an influenza incident developed into a public health crisis, to the historical context in which it arose, then it is necessary to see the current conflict honestly.

The Anglo-American Empire and hence its vassals are at war with China. This is not a cold war. It is a very hot one. It is being fought on all continents and with every conceivable weapon. The imperial propaganda apparatus (80% of the world’s mass media, including the unacknowledged control over the Internet — which after all runs on US servers everywhere except in China) — has focused on the narrow issue of “trade war” between the US (reduced to Trump) and China. This is a significant distortion of the facts. With substantial US manufacturing assets in China and China as holder of some 20% of outstanding US government debt, intellectual property and dumping prices — in US markets — are trivial points. Nonetheless these are the kinds of points that fill the pages or broadcast minutes of the media consumed by the “educated classes” in the West.

The climate crusade, the covert wars and coups in Latin America and Africa and the manipulation of stock markets for which Western “banks” (e.g. Goldman Sachs) are notorious are all directed at maintaining the marginal power of the West over China in the face of declining population and shrinking economies.  These measures are intended to deny China access to resources and markets for obtaining those resources that are scarce domestically.

The covert funding and support for border actions in Hong Kong, Tibet and the Muslim-dominated provinces are — following the strategy Brzezinski applied to the Soviet Union — aimed at diverting resources to military operations and creating a “terrorist” threat. Until now — and despite intensification of these actions last year — the Chinese government has refused to fall into the trap that Brzezinski bragged was his special contribution to destroying the Soviet Union.

In other words the two principal weapons of the West, “cold war” and “border terrorism using religious/ political sects” have thus far aggravated China’s external relations but were unable to provoke negative action or induce serious destruction.

However, the most serious threat to the West is not China’s foreign trade. Rather it is the return to sovereign economic self-sufficiency. At a time when the West has destroyed its own internal markets through financialisation and reintroduction of debt peonage, the loss of China as a tributary is something no Western banker, investor or member of the military-industrial-banking complex can view with equanimity.

The resistance to Google and other corporate machines for dominating the commercial internet — nonsense about “net neutrality” notwithstanding — and a body of users big enough to bear the cost of even a hermetically sealed domestic internet system is a genuine threat to Western Empire. An independent Internet in China — perhaps even shared with Russia — would ruin Silicon Valley and the military organisation that really manages it.

So what does this mean in viral terms? The attack on China with biological — mass media weapons—and they must be seen together as a kind of binary weapon (like the types developed in the West for combat) — is an attempt to invade the domestic economy. The incident satisfies the prima facie conditions for any covert action: it is deniable and it is in the interests of the authors. Does this prove that the viral agents were introduced by some folks in trench coats and dark glasses with a pocket full of vials? Quite the contrary, the mythology of covert action has distorted entirely the perspective needed to see this event accurately.

It can be immediately argued that the incidence of the virus in question in other parts of the world, including Europe and North America, shows that it must be a genuine infectious incident with no specific target. This underlines the deniability — whether or not fatalities occur.

The covert action is not primarily the disease incident itself regardless of its putative lethality. It would be misguided to focus on the possible origin of the disease or its introduction to vulnerable persons. Such a disease incident in the West would go relatively unnoticed or neglected — like AIDS or the deliberate nicotine enrichment of cigarettes by American tobacco product manufacturers or innumerable industrial toxins sold and released in the West which still kill, not even counting atomic power.

The covert action lies in the remarkably overt action that everyone seems to take for granted: namely, the intensity of the mass propaganda campaign which, given the sensitivity of the Chinese government to all health issues among its enormous population, had to induce actions of an unparalleled kind. The Chinese government could not be provoked to using the PLA against Hong Kong protesters. Nor has it used its military abroad where it was clearly threatened. However, the West has provoked the Chinese government into taking actions that have impaired its domestic economic and social activity at a critical moment. These actions will incur costs that have to be borne by China alone. They are probably not insurmountable but the combination of a minor virus and a viral Western mass media have exposed the Chinese domestic economy to an enormous threat.

In a sense China finds itself with a reincarnation of the strategy pursued by Britain and its vassals in the Opium Wars. After invading and corrupting the Chinese regime with the opium trade, the British were able to humiliate China and together with France, Germany and the United States force it to pay tribute, to function as a subordinate part of the Western empire.

Seventy years ago that subordination ended. But for the indoctrinated ruling elite of the West no nation enjoys a natural right to its sovereignty and no escaped prisoner is ever forgiven. Recovered slaves were permanently disfigured and if they were free too long they were killed to prevent contamination of those still in chains. This is the deep cultural tradition that shapes Western relations to China (and the rest of Asia).

The effectiveness of China’s response to the disease is only important for its own people. The far more dangerous virus has its epicentre elsewhere beyond China’s shores. China’s sovereignty will rely upon the capability to protect the consciousness of its people from the insidious viruses that infect most of the West — and it would seem incurably. The rest is little more than a common cold.

  1. Andre Gunder-Frank, ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age, University of California Press, July 31, 1998.
  2. Since the Jonestown incident significant indications point to the “sect” actually having been a cover for offshore pharmaceutical experiments, in particular precursors to Prozac. Jones appears to have been a CIA asset connected to the infamous Dan Mitrione. Both came from the same town and apparently had contact while Mitrione was in Brazil. Shortly after this incident CIA director GHW Bush joined the Ely Lilly board. Lilly had also been an LSD supplier. In short, human experiments offshore not only serve putative defense purposes but help the drug industry.

Impeach the Impeachers

Disclaimer:  The author in no way implicitly or explicitly supports the pretensions of the US regime to commit overt or covert acts of aggression or interference in the internal affairs of other sovereign states by its constitutional or extra-legal institutions whether performed by executive, legislative or judicial institutions or their respective officers, agents or assigns. The accidents by which such violations of customary and explicit (treaty-based) international law are regularly committed by the regime is in the author’s view a matter of joint and several liability. No “branch” of the regime can transfer liability or culpability to another branch whether for convenience or to satisfy its own unique interpretation of international law or the scope of “national interest” under the colour of law.

*****

Given the aforesaid, the articles of impeachment submitted to the US Senate, as the chamber charged historically with representing the wealthiest in the respective states, by the US House of Representatives, the chamber charged with representing the wealthiest individuals among the population, in the case of the servile president of the United States, charged with representing the combination of unelected covert and overt institutions of the US empire, is first of all proof that the United States of America is represented by some of the most poorly educated and simultaneously pretentiously arrogant people in recorded history.

The first impeachment trial in US history, against President Andrew Johnson, was justified by the fact that a congress dominated by a Republican party intent on enforcing the results of the recently ended US civil war could argue that the serving president failed to execute laws enacted by Congress which, as executive officer, it was his duty to enforce. Despite the prima facie case that President Johnson, undoubtedly sympathetic to the slaveholder regime which had prevailed until 1864, had failed to enforce the laws adopted by Congress at the time, the bill of impeachment failed in the Senate. (It should be noted, however, that even in Andrew Johnson’s impeachment the bill accused him of violating a law which formally had little to do with the latent grounds for impeachment.)

The second impeachment, against President Richard Nixon, alleged after intensive investigation, that he had violated ordinary criminal laws and collaborated in such a way as to hinder prosecutions which ultimately were successful — that is to say by virtue of convictions could be established as crimes in which the Mr Nixon in his capacity as president was clearly complicit. Whether the Senate would have convicted him became a moot question since Mr Nixon resigned (and was subsequently pardoned by the Vice President appointed to replace a Mr Agnew who resigned because of crimes for which he was also later convicted. There were even proper allegations that Mr Nixon acted in pursuance of covert foreign policy objectives to which there was increasing popular political opposition and hence a need for individual sacrifice from among the ruling elite — to which Mr Nixon never actually belonged, and therefore could finally be deemed expendable. Some would say that Nixon was smart enough to know first hand that one could be removed from office by termination with extreme prejudice and therefore chose San Clemente retirement — with later rehabilitation.

The third impeachment, against President William J. Clinton, alleged that he committed crimes in civil matters which had also not yet been conclusively adjudicated. No pretense was made that Mr Clinton committed any felonies which in any way impaired his capacity to conduct the usual vicious policies of US empire. He notoriously ordered the bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Africa during the proceedings under the pretext that producing locally otherwise expensive drugs was a terrorist act to be punished by  the US. That impeachment failed in the Senate, not only because of the incompetence of those responsible for lodging the action but also because of implicit consensus that sexual offenses are not an exclusive domain of the Executive but constitute a sphere of activity among all branches of the constitutional government of the US.

The fourth impeachment, against President Donald Trump, alleges that he committed crimes which are essentially questions of “good taste” or “manners”. After a tortuous three quarters of Mr Trump’s term, the partisans of the Bush-Clinton enterprise — in which the Clintons have been the junior “white trash” partners — have been unable to find anything substantive with which to charge Mr Trump in which they are not themselves complicit. The bill is most curious because its central accusations are based upon principles which are utterly inconsistent with more than two centuries of constitutional practice.

The core of the complaint — to the extent it is not simply sophomoric — is that President Donald Trump refused to execute the foreign policy of the United States. This is also called the “national interest” in the bill — a recognised euphemism for whatever corporate objectives can be imposed through the regime and what it expropriates from ordinary people both domestically and abroad. This is patently ridiculous. It has become a matter of conventional if not explicit constitutional law that the foreign policy of the United States is the prerogative of the Executive, the President of the United States. While the Constitution states that treaties are to be ratified by the US Senate, there has never been either a constitutional or a statutory basis for the Congress to formulate, let alone execute, foreign policy. At the most it can legislate to restrain or it can refuse funding or it can deny the confirmation of those ambassadors and other plenipotentiaries appointed by the POTUS to facilitate such policy.

One can therefore conclude that even if there were no Republican majority in the Senate — were that chamber to be composed of persons with some semblance of legal education and cognizance of constitutional law and national history — then this allegation in the articles of impeachment would fail on its own without further consideration of the facts. It is simply constitutional nonsense.

The next amusing point is the allegation that President Trump committed acts that were calculated to influence elections not yet held against candidates not yet extant. In contrast Mr Nixon was accused of acts during an election campaign when actual candidates could be deemed to have been harmed. Even if the acts alleged to have been taken by President Trump could have caused harm to another corrupt politician, the fact is that neither the campaign nor the election to which the articles refer have commenced. A potential candidate does not enjoy special protection from examination of his corrupt conduct simply because he might be the nominee of the party most likely to oppose the serving POTUS. One can only interfere in an election that is actually in process. It is ridiculous to assert interference in an election campaign that might not even occur.

Much is made of the special prerogative of the US House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings. The argument presented, however, is actually quite different. The bill of impeachment insists that — like the much criticized grand jury method in Anglo-American law — the House is entitled to deny due process and the rights of the accused. The US Constitution, unlike its progenitor the British Constitution, does not establish parliamentary supremacy. The Executive is constituted as independent and co-equal with the Legislative. Thus the only moderating power — that was conceived by the slave-holding founding fathers — is the third estate, namely the judiciary.

Mr Nixon was charged with obstruction of justice not because he refused to cooperate with the Congress but because he refused the authority of the Judiciary. Then the Congress requested testimony and evidence and failing its delivery by the President or his officers, sought judicial relief. When this was granted Mr Nixon and/ or his officers frustrated judicial process. This constituted a valid charge since the Executive has never been held to be immune from judicial process, per se.

Curiously the inquisitors in the House have never sought judicial relief through the courts. (The Justice Department, to which the FBI also belongs as a subordinate agency, is part of the Executive and not the Judiciary,  a point easily missed by those whose legal system is based on the continental European inquisitorial model.) Is it because they knew that they could not satisfy even the most rudimentary evidentiary rules to establish the probity of their claims? We can only speculate. However, reading the bill of impeachment itself shows that the drafters must have come from either the least literate of the legal staff or perhaps comprised attorneys whose only claim to membership in the profession are exams from some offshore diploma mill.

There are a few questions to ask those who demand the removal of Trump. One of them is whether they are essentially supporting the Vice President, Michael Pence. Strangely we hear nothing about presidential succession from those who claim that removing Mr Trump is the holy mission of all liberals. If the loud and visible Mr Trump were to leave or be removed, then the silent but no doubt equally deadly Mr Pence would assume office. What kind of improvement would that be? Perhaps this is what some less vocal advocates of impeachment really wish — having seen Pence as the man with real POTUS stature but like a Bush practically unelectable — they would now like to remove the man who got the votes and replace him with their man who knows how to play the game. In such a case might it also make sense to keep Mr Trump in office just long enough to get past the elections and then fire him, so to speak? After all it is clear that there is no Democratic alternative capable of uniting the rich, the naive, and those who traditionally only want to vote for the winner. Who really benefits from a Trump conviction?

Of course, there are reasons enough for impeaching any President of the United States and there always will be as long at the chief executive of the US is head of the largest military-industrial warmongering apparatus on the planet. However, those are not the reasons for which any majority in the Congress would deign to impeach.

Impeachment, even under British law — from which the principle derives — has always been a political instrument for partisan purposes. One of the longest impeachment trials in recent British history was that of Warren Hastings who was accused by the Commons and tried before the House of Lords for abuse of power and enrichment as a servant of the British East India Company. Parliament assumed jurisdiction over his actions because the East India Company enjoyed a royal charter. The trial lasted for years and ultimately Hastings was acquitted. His acquittal was not because he had not enriched himself or abused power in India but because sufficient numbers in the Lords understood that Hastings’ governance of India was profitable for enough of them too.

There is no judicial or quasi-judicial remedy for the abuse of power, corruption and viciousness of the US regime whether in Congress assembled, as President elected and inaugurated, or as court sitting. The illusion that a spectacle on the floor of the US Senate will change anything in the way the US regime acts at home or abroad is poor entertainment and degenerate politics.

The capacity of the US media — from “Left” to Right — to absorb the world with this spectacle in which no real crime will ever be mentioned let alone deliberated is obscene. It is difficult not to find US political culture the epitome of pornography but without the least erotic titillation. Or perhaps that is mistaken. In a country that is unable to transcend anything except gender, titillation is both primitive and presidential and the prurient interest extends to all branches of the government so constituted.

The Temperature Movement: The Reincarnation of a Perennial Anglo-American Obsession

There are two basic fields in which more than a century of critical writing and education has made no impact whatsoever on what for convenience I will call the Anglo-American progressives, some of whom apparently like to think of them as members of the Left.

Here is not the place to discuss the meanwhile virtual uselessness of the term “Left” in describing Euro-American political discourse — and eo ipso those who engage in it.

The first basic field is science — by which I mean the institutions of natural science who produce and propagate what we have come to call scientific knowledge. The second basic field is Business, sometimes called economics or at universities “macro-economics” and “micro-economics or business administration”.

I am not exaggerating. All one has to do is read what most people in print or online write and get posted about the economic and financial issues of the day and one can see that these authors do not even read the relevant financial press. There is rarely a word about how Business actually works or what daily decisions or actions in Business are taken and the context that this forms for the political or social environment these authors pretend to describe and analyse. What we have in the end are pretensious articles that are not even as entertaining as football commentary.

The same applies to natural sciences. For our activist writers and commentators we find that their notion of science is purely medieval — in the sense of superstitious and obsequious. This is no less applicable to gender theory than it is to climate theory.

One of the characteristics of Roman Catholicism which helped provoke the Reformation was its antipathy to literacy. Reading the fairy tales compiled in the form of Holy Writ was prohibited and even possession of such canonical work could incur lethal penalties. The clergy knew why no one should be allowed to read what was supposedly the “word of God”. The Reformation in all its variety and ambiguity actually did not improve the situation. While it is true that Holy Writ was then published in the vulgate, and vernacular, the overarching principle was not life or even critical interpretation of the texts but “by faith alone”. Protestant clergy — at least in the Lutheran and Calvinist forms that came to prevail after the Counter-Reformation — were no more keen on critical thinking among their parishioners than their Roman Catholic predecessors.

This slightly late-Medieval culture with its bigotry and intellectual terrorism anchored itself in Britain and its New England colonies of North America. Undisturbed by the secularism of the French Revolution, vicious in the suppression of the Haitian Revolution, and full of loathing for every other social movement whether south of the Rio Bravo or East of the River Elbe, late-Medieval culture became the rock upon which George, Thomas, John, and the other apostles of colonial slavery and indigenous genocide built their Church.

Although there was always an ecumenical and modernist Church competing with this deeply authoritarian and feudal State, it has always been marginalised or persecuted except when international struggles distracted the State or enhanced the domestic struggle.

On the one hand US regime, founded as it was on slavery, had an addiction to free labour (meaning actually forced or unpaid). On the other having shared in the annihilation of the original inhabitants to take their land, they needed new bodies. This meant the Anglo-American medieval culture had to risk contamination by those who had other cultural and social values — some of whom, like the Germans after 1848, fleeing repression after their failed revolutions, with genuinely modern ideas. As long as these people could be bought or otherwise subborned, the cultural threat was minimal. However, toward the end of the 19th century waves of immigrants went to North and South America and were not easily suppressed or assimilated.

Hence on the eve of the Great War the Anglo-American elite who control the US regime were faced with two problems a) making money by investing in the mass slaughter in Europe and b) maintaining the loyalty of people who still had some social and cultural affinity with the countries from whence they had immigrated. Two approaches were adopted to deal with this problem.

The first approach was the invention of “the melting pot”: the supposed blessing by which all these inferior Europeans came to Anglo-America to build a great nation on the foundation of formally defunct African slavery and for the benefit of the ruling families of America’s ancien regime. I have discussed this point in numerous other places.

The second approach was temperance and drug prohibition with its attendant police repression. Officially the “American Dream” had civil liberties guaranteed in a written constitution — guaranteed to all whites and corporations. However, in order to profit from the imperialism-induced mass slaughter in Europe it was necessary to take all these recent Europeans and make them Americans — if only Americans second and third class. So while retaining the form of civil liberties, the regime turned to its Puritan traditions (including lynching and witchburning) and introduced laws to control the use of alcohol — to prohibit it. The real targets of temperance were not drunkenness (albeit understandable in the US) but the European immigrants who had beer and wine cultures that also constituted social organisation. Prohibiting beer and beer halls which were central organising venues for German immigrants and wine which was a significant part of Italian social life, gave police a pretext to bust immigrant organisations without formally violating constitutional “rights”.

Prohibition in the US is almost always described as a misguided religious objective or overly zealous concern about public health. This is simply nonsense. Prohibition was a reapplication of laws that had already been in force for the regulation of African slave labour. It is absurd to believe that the very people who for over a century were incapable of achieving enforceable workplace health and safety standards suddenly achieve the capacity to prohibit alcohol nationwide for public health reasons.

Prohibition, more extreme even than the prohibition of pornography and prostitution, was the central device introduced by the Anglo-American elite to circumvent the demands for a general application of the Constitution to all citizens regardless of race, colour, national origin, etc. It was the pretext for introducing a Metternich type police state which would then develop into a fascist system in the course of the 20th century.

This particular form of police state — only comparable to the Catholic Inquisition — defies easy explanation for European observers because they are generally blinded by the American Dream and have little actual knowledge of how the US regime is constituted and managed. It is a police state which is semi-privatised and based on reactionary Puritan ideology from about the time of the Thirty Years War. However, this police state has been more effective than that of Metternich because it is not recognised as one. Moreover it is a State which has successfully cultivated through mass media, film and fashion an intellectual cadre unmatched by anyone except those of the Roman Catholic Church.

Taking this preface with some patience, let us turn to the so-called “climate crisis”.

Proof it seems that this is a movement promoted by its “five-minute men” and “dogs of god”, every constructive doubt as to the alleged climate science and our impending damnation is answered by louder preaching. This is the only way I can interpret interventions after my last remarks (see: If the poles of Mars are melting and Extinction Promotion) The tactics comprise grabbing people, showing that they have seen the sins of the world and are in the process of confessing and doing penance. At the end of these pulpit ejaculations we are reminded, if you don’t believe him — it is still true. This is the science of witch hunting.

If some preachers are to be believed, then economic inequality, forced labour (still no mention of the US military and NATO), social strife etc are the results of climate change. Are we seriously to conclude that when we all put on our hairshirts or join some neo-Puritan sect that climate change will stop and then all the violence of Europe’s past 500 years of global terror will stop? This is highly unlikely, illogical and grossly unscientific by any measure.

So what is really being advocated by the clique of XR-types, such as those the honourable author from Los Angeles asks us to praise?

Let us leave the religious hysteria for a moment. I began by saying the “progressives” have no critical understanding of science or business. In none of the debate have any of these preachers told us who pays for this science we are to believe or who the actual beneficiaries of the treaty and convention provisions are which we sinners treat with generous or even vehement scepticism.

Does it make a difference if the corporate-sponsored science also promotes financial market solutions? Does it make a difference if an already oppressive economic system with fiscal and moral police harassment is enhanced by the general privileging of the owners of energy and other natural resources to extort the rest of us for our alleged “sinfulness” in exhaling CO2 or driving cars where there is no public transport? Meanwhile NATO continues its rampage against the resource-rich poor and the big economic competitors of Eurasia!

This climate preaching is as vile as that of Jonathan Edwards and as insane as Wahhab and Cotton Mather.

Jonathan Edwards

Cotton Mather

If the fanatics who wittingly or unwittingly preach for the silent but no less powerful ruling class are not capable or willing to declare their allegiances, intellectual, economic or political, then they may have to settle that discrepancy when they meet their maker.

The rest of us who have transcended the Late Middle Ages should feel no obligation to acknowledge their “angry god” let alone fall into that imaginary deity’s hands.

Years Ending in Nine

I was a punctual child. If the birth and marriage registers are accurate I was born exactly nine months to the day after my parents vowed before a duly ordained Roman Catholic Church to death they would part united in matrimony to remain. The untimely demise of my father, under conditions not unlike children who mistakenly play with a cluster bomb, assured, however, that all vows were satisfied. Hence I can say that I was born a child of punctuality and contractual satisfaction. I would prefer to call that sincerity.

Thirty years ago I was the accidental witness of the eruption which this year is hypocritically celebrated as some kind of “freedom” in Germany. On the weekend on or about 9 November 1989 I found myself accidentally in Berlin utterly unaware of the announcements made by the GDR government relaxing and then ending the border restrictions instituted in 1962 to protect the Soviet occupation zone from the subterfuge of the NATO through its German agents in Bonn.

There are certainly compatriots of mine who would prefer to see the events of 1989 and 1990 with what in German is called “blaue Augen” (blue eyes, but not necessarily blond hair). They repeat all the half-truths about the German Democratic Republic and completely ignore the truths about the Federal Republic of Germany. Much energy, money and media work — and not too little criminal activity — was invested in creating this naive view of West Germany and the evil view of the GDR. Hence it is not surprising that many people not only in old FRG but throughout the world have a highly distorted view of the history and hence an even more distorted view of the present.

It would burst the membranes of polite attention to describe the sources of these distortions and their impact. However, I feel obliged to summarise the conditions which actually prevailed and indicate that all of what follows can be derived from public record or the work of those who have investigated and reported on the past seventy years.

The annexation of the German Democratic Republic in 1990, celebrated annually on 3 October, is still presented as some kind of liberatory act. This is simply a lie. The division of Germany after the second world war was forced by the US regime. Every effort was made by the occupying forces of the US to prevent the establishment of a German state including all the occupation zones. The only political parties that somehow survived the war, the Social Democrats (led after the war by Kurt Schumacher who had survived Nazi concentration camps) and the Communists (who had been partially protected by the Soviet Union or other exile) were absolutely unacceptable for the US occupation forces. The pre-war Centrum Party had been dissolved on orders of the Pope. Hence the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) were established to provide a shell for Nazis and Catholic conservatives — and a bulwark against socialism in the West zones.

Konrad Adenauer was annointed head of the West German vassal state because of his unadulterated anti-communism, his antagonism toward the eastern, historically poorer part of Germany and his imperialistic background. Adenauer was a leading figure in the German colonisation faction under Wilhelm II. Adenauer was also known as a ruthless politician who could also claim not to have collaborated with the Nazi regime.

Adenauer was “popular” to the extent that the message was clearly sent by the US occupying forces — he is “our man”. By complying with US policies, protecting Nazi businessmen and their interests, and helping to scare a population that had participated in a genocidal war against the Soviet Union and all the Slavic peoples east of the Oder, Adenauer was able to stay in power — but just. It took covert action by the occupying forces, German business cartels, and the manipulation of historical events to keep him in power and to preserve the Federal Republic of Germany as a one-party CDU/ CSU state with timid cooperation by junior parties until Willy Brandt — until then the only German chancellor not to have held office or served in some capacity under the Nazi regime — broke the dry ice in which the US had packed Germany since 1945.

No sooner had the “Vaterlandsveräter” Brandt managed to become federal chancellor, then the krypto-Nazi state apparatus began to covertly work to remove him. This was done through a combination of mass media propaganda funded in part by corporations that had profited under the Nazi regime as well as by taxpayers, since the so-called Title 300, the chancellor’s “reptile fund” (secret money available for covert operations) was paid to agents in the German media to help create and maintain opposition to Brandt.

Even before that the CIA had helped Adenauer win an election everyone expected him to lose by helping protests in the Berlin reach such intensity that Russian occupying troops were compelled to use force to suppress them. This event formed the basis of the propagandistic 17 Juni commemoration which until 1989 was the de facto West German national holiday. If one reads carefully between the lines of the explanation given by the CIA station chief at the time, it is clear without the Soviet tanks on 17 Juni, Adenauer would have lost the election to the SDP.

Why did the US regime officially promote a unified Germany after the war and effectively do everything to prevent it?  There are several ways to arrive at an answer to this question. In the interest of consistency and simplicity I propose the following:

First of all the US regime was never anti-Nazi. It was always anti-Soviet, despite the fact that several capitalist advisors promoted the Soviet Union as a solid and desirable business partner. Britain and the US fought the war against Germany for completely different reasons. Britain viewed Germany as an imperialist competitor regardless of who ruled. The US elite was socially obliged to defend its debtors in Britain. The US and Britain were agreed that Japan was an enemy but for different reasons again. Britain was defending its Indian empire and the US wanted to control China and Japan.

When the Soviet Union defeated the Nazi regime militarily despite Standard Oil, DuPont, General Motors, IBM, ITT, Standard Oil and IG Farben (which included other Western chemical cartels), there was major panic in New York and London. The agreements in Yalta and Teheran by which the Soviet Union would be compensated for its war injuries (never mind the 20 – 30 million of its citizens killed by the Nazis) could only be satisfied if the entirety of Germany (including the assets of all those US corporations that supported the Nazi regime and earned windfall profits thereby) were available to the Soviet Union for reparations. The combined corporate power in the US; e.g., that of Standard Oil, had already been used to prevent destruction of concentration camp factories in which US corporations were investors. Now this power was applied to assure that Western Nazi-based profits remained in the West and the Soviet Union would be forced to replenish from wells it had had to dry just to stay alive.

Not content with depriving the Soviet Union of its due share of restitution for horrendous damage, death and destruction since 1940, the US regime, soon to be represented by the weapons cartel NATO, proceeded to use every means to bribe, kidnap, or otherwise divert the few skilled workers left in the Soviet occupied zone. They had already secretly plundered Saxony and Thuringia by removing the plant and equipment that would later establish firms like BMW (originally EMW until Hubert Quant laundered his Varta slave labour profits by turning it into the current luxury car producer) and Zeiss in the West. Just like the monetary manipulation, brain drain, and debt fraud practiced against the colonies upon independence, the Soviet zone was raided in every conceivable way by the West. THAT is what forced the construction of the fortified border in 1962! It was no exaggeration to say that the “Wall” was a defense against the West. The more striking point, however, is that these were halcyon days. None of the former colonies — with the exception of Cuba — were ever able to erect such barriers to Western imperial piracy.

Despite the Wall, however, and despite the weakness of the Soviet Union — something of which the NATO was always aware — the image of the Wall as a barrier to “human freedom” has been one of the most persistent myths of the past century. It is the necessary myth to preserve the even greater fraud known and taught as “The American Dream”.

If the Poles of Mars have melted, why bother writing?

I heard a rumor that the poles have melted on Mars. Could this be in anticipation of US plans to colonise the planet?

In an earlier contribution I observed that the person transported to the Rockefeller-sponsored/ donated headquarters of US faux multilateralism, aka as the United Nations, for a pubescent tirade performance was incredible — in the sense of incredulous and mendacious. Of course, I circulated these comments among my younger, less sceptical friends aware that my unrestrained criticism would not endear me. However, I am simply too old to worry about the “terms of endearment”. I recall just after the GDR/ BRD border was opened — thirty years ago — when I was accidentally in Berlin (was this done for me?) that I watched a lot of very strange things which were not reported on television.

The day after I departed for a trip to the US to visit my mother who was dying of cancer induced by her exposure to photographic chemicals at a medical university where she had worked as photographer and lab technician. Leaving aside the story of her then immanent death, I recall clearly how I tried to explain to a person who was dying (and died several months later) that this was the time, the last time, to talk sincerely. I do not want to say the “truth” because that is another issue entirely. Unlike almost all those (mainly Hollywood) films readers will have seen, my mother was not able to say anything — even knowing that this would be our last conversation ever.

In case the reader cannot imagine, permit me to make the point of this digression clear. Even impending death cannot induce sincerity or candor where it has not been learned and practiced in one’s active life. I do not claim a monopoly of the truth or the right answers to every question but I have spent my entire conscious life trying to achieve sincerity or authenticity if you will. Hence my impatience with the article posted on DV (and certainly elsewhere) that leads me exceptionally to a direct reply — even if in the sense of parliamentary courtesy I refer only to the honourable contributor from Los Angeles (his city of residence according to the Internet sources I consulted).

Hence, Reader, I rise and pray to respond to Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World.

The honourable author represents the phenomenon Extinction Rebellion I presume without sarcasm as a democratic, youthful and positive expression, a response to supposed problems that is to be welcomed and supported.

I disagree emphatically. Moreover, without prejudice to those young people who are justifiably frustrated with the resilience of the ruling corporate elite and the sheer force it is able to wield against any attempts to end wars, poverty, gratuitous state violence, and the massive health hazards created and maintained by parasitic capitalism, I reject and believe that such rejection is justified for critically thinking persons, any of the author’s assertions or insinuations that such a movement is either democratic or even benevolent.

Permit me to elaborate my objections:

First of all, the author insinuates that the so-called sans culottes were disciples of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This is historical nonsense. The sans culottes were what Marx later called “Lumpenproletariat”; i.e., ideologically vacuous opportunists mobilised in part because of their willingness and experience in petty violence (as part of the police-petty criminal dialectic) and in part by their own awareness that in the midst of massive social disruption crime can be dressed in politics. It is absurd to associate this kind of mob violence with Rousseau — an author whom it is reasonable to assume a largely illiterate criminal class had not even read.

It is a minor point but Rousseau may have inspired many of the revolutionaries in France but he was by no means the inspiration for the most powerful who were, in fact, bourgeoisie. Moreover the motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” is nowhere traceable to Rousseau, per se. It is also doubtful that he was responsible for this motto’s establishment. Rousseau held no political office during or after the Revolution.

Second, a mere glance at the Extinction Rebellion website indicates that the demands are not democratic but “statist”. The idea that establishment of “citizens’ committees” makes a top-down state operation more democratic is absurd on its face. I would refer the Reader here to the speeches of the German democratic activist Rudi Dutschke, whose life was ended prematurely by assassination some 40 years ago. Democracy in Dutschke’s view cannot exceed the consciousness of those who are themselves involved in the democratic process. There are no fast tracks to “Bewusstwerdung” (becoming conscious).

There are even more serious objections to the author’s arguments, both explicit and implied. I will limit myself, however, to just a few.

The single issue “climate change” is not only absurd and arrogant it is also deceptive. While it is possible to forgive the vulnerability to absurd ideas, arrogance and deceit cannot be dismissed. Now I must, and am willing to concede that the author does not write to deceive. Yet what he reproduces is deceptive even if he is only the innocent bearer of the message.

It is not necessary to deny climate change. There has always been climate change. Most of us could not help learning in school that the earth rotates, revolves around the sun and in the process is part of an ever-changing universe. The moon we were told partly causes tides — moving more water than in each individual human body. So it is logical to believe that the moon and sun have an impact on our bodies even if we cannot measure it very well. Hence with this basic knowledge what has been added by the millennialism of the “climate change crusade”?

For one let us start with the propaganda. Every day we are told that such and such or so and so does not comply with the Kyoto Accord. But does anyone talk about what the Kyoto Accord really is? No. There is constant self-flagellation (but mainly the flagellation of non-whites) about the failure to reduce carbon emissions. Well, if we all held our breath until we died we would have no more CO2 problems. The Kyoto Accords are not an emission-reduction agreement but an emission trading framework. Ever since NATO was able to disable the Soviet Union and COMECON economies and annex all but the Russian political apparatus, there has been only one mode for exercising non-military power: the “market”. By “market” is really meant the banking and commodities trading cartels domiciled in the US and UK, but whose directors are resident wherever they cannot be reached by accidents of jurisdiction.

‘Compliance with Kyoto has nothing to do with reducing pollution, ending the exploitation of natural resources by international corporations at the cost of the human population. Kyoto is an agreement to implement a regime by which those who are forced to use inefficient and polluting energy sources are compelled to pay to the rich for that privilege — so-called carbon taxes. It is also an agreement to financialise the already virtually unrestricted pollution by international industrial corporations (mainly NATO-defended) by creating and enforcing the “market” for emission credits — a derivative financial instrument. Kyoto — like so many international agreements — has nothing to do with the benefit of ordinary people on the planet. It is an agreement like that adopted at the Berlin Conference in the 19th century: to divide Africa among the Europeans.

Why would the author encourage an organisation with such a dubious impact on the consciousness of those who genuinely are frustrated and interested in improvement of the quality of human life? I will assume for the sake of argument that this interest is sincere and extends beyond satisfaction of one’s own personal anxieties.

I submit to the Readers that the answer is complex, but not complicated. In other words, it is possible to understand but difficult.

Let us begin with the organisation of Extinction Rebellion. If it is, as the author would have us believe, analogous with the sans culottes, then we have to say that it is an organisation that has adopted the tactics of the lumpenproletariat — of opportunistic or ignorant exercise of brute force without consciousness (or interest in) as to the consequences of such violence. The ostensible single issue strategy of the organisation betrays this opportunism.

Since 1945, the Atlantic forces organised in 1947 as NATO have been challenged by the demand for popular sovereignty in the colonies of Europe and the US and socialism even in the reactionary US. The defeat of the NATO in 1949 and the victory of Chinese over Western colonialism (per capita worse than the horrid 1917 revolution in Russia) was probably the most traumatic event of the century for capitalism (the nihilist ideology of Euro-American piracy). The official policy issue was framed in terms of “decolonialisation”. The colonised framed this as “independence”.

The most important practical issue, however, was how to maintain control and how to defeat independence movements and prefer “decolonisation” agents. The most important conflicts for this process were the US war against Korean independence, the French wars against its Indochinese colonies and Algeria and ultimately the US war to absorb French Indochina (with its drug industry) and surround China –which it ultimately lost in forty years ago when the last UH-1 left the CIA compound in Saigon.

As the only military power capable of challenging independence armies, the US armed and funded all its European allies in order to defend its future “open markets”. In Korea and Vietnam, it intervened directly because domination of Asia was seen by the US elite as the logical terminus of Manifest Destiny. The inability of the US to dominate Asia militarily in the same way it dominates Latin America led to massive research investment. On the one hand the war department (renamed “Defense”) spent trillions to develop weapons of mass destruction aimed mainly at peasants. On the other hand it invested millions in social sciences to find witting and unwitting scholars and activists who would create what now is called “Humint” in US military jargon. Humint is a euphemism for what the Gestapo did. In fact, the first advisors to the US military for Humint were Nazis and Madison Avenue marketing types following the lessons of Edward Bernay (used effectively to create mass hysteria for WWI).

In this process the CIA et al. developed a complex program called “Phoenix”, originally ICEX, which cleverly combined civilian operations with assassination and other forms of terrorism. People like the deceased Phoenix operative with ambassadorial rank, Richard Holbrooke, were trained as twens to combine building clinics with killing cadres. This was not an accident of war but the product of a vast intellectual undertaking to which an obscure graduate of Ohio State University belonged, no later than when he published “National Security through Civilian-based Defense” in 1970. This booklet, a reverse engineering exercise, analyses without references, the strategy of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front, derogatively called Viet Cong in the US, and develops the concept of covertly organised middle-class resistance to Communism based on the lessons “learned” by US scholars about the yellow enemy. This work would lead the US war department and other agencies to fund what became the Albert Einstein Institution. From this modest sinecure Dr Gene Sharp (Oxon.) would become the equally modest prosyletiser for “non-violent” warfare against NATO targets.

Around 1989 with the culmination of NATO warfare against the Soviet Union and COMECON, a previously little known financial manipulator from the same right-wing Hungarian clique to which people like Holbrooke were connected by marriage, would borrow the slogans of the anti-communist philosopher Karl Popper to create with his manipulated millions (or billions?) the “civil society” myth. This “civil society” implicates the entirety of outsiders without actually including them. Thus the alleged philanthrope turned the money he stole from the British Treasury (actually British taxpayers) with his naked speculation against sterling into an international organisation for disenfranchising citizens and concentrating civilian authority in unelected, foundation-financed, elite (mostly university-educated) cadre organisations which appropriate the voices of the mass of citizens, especially in countries where NATO is attacking their government.

Extinction Rebellion is one of the products of this “photosynthesis”.

But what makes this possible? Are the people who associate with Extinction Rebellion stupid, ignorant or insincere? Are they “dupes” — as it used to be said of Westerners who remained communists despite the benefits of the West? Are perhaps the facts right — that is to say members are driven by good will and best available knowledge? Honourable author and Readers, I do not assert that everyone associated with Extinction Rebellion or similar organisations is either a “dupe” or stupid.

It is necessary to understand that Extinction Rebellion originates in a complex of political warfare, what the military types call “asymmetric warfare”. That is a euphemism for the fact that the army can incinerate you and your village at enormous cost and you can impede the market simply because you are unable to buy the newest product upon which a major corporation has placed all its bets.

Political warfare is complex but not complicated. As the principal authors from the Albert Einstein Institution are fond of saying it takes only about 3% of the population committed to make substantive change. Anyone who has studied school classroom behaviour can grasp this. I have called this the “bully principle”. The question that I raised in my previous article was if all these activists know that 3% is the critical mass — where is the 3% to stop police murder of Blacks, or to end real estate and bank usury, or to create universal health care (it is being dismantled where it already was achieved)?

The answer is that the single agenda “climate” movement the author so lauds is not a movement at all but a staging. This stage action involves a few people who pose as research and guidance and a mass of people who have little in common beyond (1) their desire to see a simple unifying solution to world problems and (2) their inability to think historically or in terms of class consciousness. The simplification or better said reduction of all problems to one cause mimics the West’s interpretation of Marxism-Leninism, just as radioactive cesium imitates calcium in the bone marrow.

Especially in the US with its medieval fundamentalism and slavery-based political ideology, a scheme of religious-motivated vigilantism is enormously attractive. Witch-burning and lynching, popular but top-down managed forms of retribution, persisted long after Europeans (until the fascist era) had abandoned mass religious persecution. It is still an essential element in popular culture, even among those who do not enjoy John Wayne or Clint Eastwood.

The CIA and other secret police agencies recruited across the political spectrum — especially in the US. The recruit was not always witting. However, one element was always present and the psychologists in the Company understood this very well: the deep belief that no matter how heinous the US regime may be, it was the best of all possible worlds and hence had to be defended. If anyone should doubt this they only have to read the text to Lillian Hellman’s Candide, brilliantly rendered to music by Leonard Bernstein.

This also explains the composition of Extinction Rebellion and the “climate” movement as a whole. It is ultimately a political warfare strategy based inter aliaon the counter-insurgency doctrines developed by the US regime during the war against Vietnam. It is a part of Phoenix. It is mainly “white” and ultimately it is directed at “non-whites” and the poor- – even if many associated with it still believe the contrary.

As I have argued elsewhere, the US regime went to Vietnam for tin, opium, cheap rice, and cheap labour among other things. Just as it was in Indonesia where a million were killed to secure primary commodities from that country and three plus million in Korea before that. “Communism” was just a term used to rile the religious fanatics in the US and Europe to attain the necessary degree of participation in whatever witch-burning, lynching party or mass murder was planned to perfect the theft. “Climate” is the crusade of the post-communism era. It is still a religious crusade. It is rooted in the irrationalism of Christendom.

It is truly regrettable that the author either has not read his history or is at best indifferent to it. It is shameful that he submits to the reader such a superficial and distorted homily.

Readers, I thank you for your attention and yield the floor.

Stop Press: The Queen’s Screech: Britain, Spain and other illnesses

Anti monarchist Soviet poster: “Once and for all”

There are some people — whereby I do not know how many — who recall the key elements of British colonial rule. I was fortunate enough not to live under it. My grandfather had no great admiration for the country where he was born, despite the almost rabid Anglophilia to be found in the most surprising places.

I still find it bizarre that in a country whose monarchy was ended in 1918, many people still say “the Queen” as if they were still subjects of Hanover under Britain’s George III. That at least was the last point at which some of my compatriots could legitimately claim that the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is their Queen.

Perhaps as an hypothetical exercise or a thought game, it would be amusing to imagine that Elizabeth II by the grace of God, Queen (by virtue of an ancient papal dispensation) Defender of the Faith, of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and her Commonwealth Realms, were also “our Queen”. That would leave the question why “our queen” is not Margarethe of Denmark or was not the Queen of the Netherlands?  Strangely enough my compatriots do not call the occupant of the slave-built mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, USA “our president” — although that person has more direct control over our country than Her Britannic Majesty.

If we assume that the Federal Republic of Germany is nothing of the sort but a covert member of the Commonwealth, a secret vassal of the House of Battenberg (aka Windsor), then perhaps we should ask what the statements delivered to the Lords and members of the House of Commons in London actually mean for those passionate, deluded, or perhaps just mistaken subjects of British imperial rule?

Let us imagine something else, just for fun. Some Catalonians have just been sentenced to gaol for six or more years on account of their actions in support of independence of Catalonia from Spain. Never mind the problems that such an independence would present (EU membership, financial obligations, currency and other aspects of national rule), the verdicts and sentences have provoked considerable discontent in Barcelona, the virtual nation’s capital. One official has pointed out that this is a political problem and judges are appointed to resolve issues in the criminal code not political questions. This implies that the only recourse to those condemned for their political actions is to appeal beyond the scope of Spanish criminal law. But to whom? The Spanish monarchy was ended in 1931 with the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic. That republic was overthrown by the fascist Francisco Franco with the active assistance of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy as well as the passive and partially active support of His Britannic Majesty, the Roman Catholic Church, the clerico-fascist president of the Irish Free State, the president of the Portuguese Council of Ministers, and internationally active corporate interests.

The dictator (El Caudillo, also by the grace of God if the coins minted during his rule are to be believed) Francisco Franco declared the defunct Spanish monarchy restored and imposed it upon Spain and its non-Castillian provinces. Regardless of the objective merits — seen in practical international power context — of Catalonian independence, it was certainly no less credible than the various “independence” movements supported by NATO to destroy Yugoslavia. So to whom should Catalonians submit for justice in their struggle — executive clemency from the pretenders who occupy a defunct throne “Franco gratia”?

Returning for a moment to the Battenbergs and the New Yorker Etonian who serves as their First Lord of the Treasury. The Queen’s Speech — the formal proclamation of HM Government at the State Opening of Parliament — focusses on two elements, for obvious reasons. The first is the effort by a segment of the British imperial elite to remove itself from the perceived strictures of the European Commission — the so-called “Brexit”. The second is the extension of British police powers under the pretext that the great prudish kingdom is threatened by foreign (non-white) criminal invaders and sexual offenders (are people like the deceased Jeffrey Epstein and his meanwhile invisible partner, the daughter of Robert Maxwell, suicide and notorious defrauder of a major British media group, also included?)

In the briefing document, issued by No. 10 as commentary to the Queen’s Speech, the First Lord of HM Treasury, stresses the end of “free movement” and a return to the Stormont regime in Belfast.

This interesting choice of words betrays the real attitude of the Churchill fanatic from New York. Those who recall Stormont could be forgiven for thinking more of Bloody Sunday than Good Friday.

With Mr Johnson’s adoration of one of Britain’s most repugnant 20th century imperialists, it requires little imagination to ask if Mr Johnson does not dream of Ireland as it was under his idol — of Para- occupied Catholic neighbourhoods, of Orangeman death squads and maybe even the Black and Tans.

Whether in Madrid or London (don’t look too close at Brussels or The Hague) monarchy holds its ugly, condescending head with a paper-thin democratic mask made by its corporate marketing legions. The contempt in which true democrats and socialists are held by these imperialists has never been very well concealed. It has taken the willing and constant servility of those who adopt foreign dynasties and stuff themselves on pomp and pageantry to maintain the illusions that nonetheless break in the slightest breeze of spontaneous self-respect.

Rotation or Revolution

Teatro Nacional de São João, Porto

In this year 45 since the overthrow of the ancien regime of Portugal, I went to the last performance of Nuno Cardoso’s staging of Georg Büchner’s Dantons Tod (A Morte de Danton).1  Since I have heard that this play has been included in the season of other stages beyond our borders, a review of a revolutionary play performed in a country with relatively recent revolutionary experience seemed worth sharing.  The operatic adaptation was performed in the Vienna State Opera in May. In September it was presented in Duesseldorf’s Schauspielhaus. It has also been presented on various French stages this year.

Although I had heard of the play, I had not read it. So after buying a ticket I dutifully digested the German original before attending the Sunday performance. Lest anyone be confused, I want to say that since moving to Porto three years ago I have attended nearly every classical performance at this wonderful theatre and have generally been quite impressed at the high quality of professional acting and staging to be found in the Teatro Nacional de São João. This company has performed amazing work. The 2017 production of Karl Kraus’ Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit (Os Últimos Dias da Humanidade) was unforgettable.2

However, today I had to ask myself after three hours of very serious staging and solid performance if anyone has understood what the revolutionary Büchner must have been saying in his first play. I could not bring myself to applaud — not because of the acting, which was first rate — but because the overall performance upset me. It upset me because it is possible to excuse a young man who died at 23 for lacking the experience to write the framework in which his play could be performed and interpreted so that an audience might understand what moves a revolution. It is very likely that at that age one can only feel that movement not comprehend it.

Today, however, we can appreciate the scope of the revolution in France in a way that few contemporaries could have — just as few soldiers ever know why they are ordered to kill or die.

Even if I do not share the Arnold3 viewpoint that the virtue or quality of art lies essentially in moral edification (indoctrination) I do believe that the interpretive act — and staging a play and viewing it are both — is nothing trivial.

At one point I could not suppress the thought that the “revolution” on the stage was to be understood in terms of today’s fashionable obsession with “gender” and “sexual identity”. However, that bit of artistic license in the performance might be forgiven as a citation for the young audience, even if not very illuminating. Only the audience can guess whether the curious choice of soundtrack was relevant: mainly a Strauss’ An der schönen, blauen Donau (Blue Danube waltz) and the tango Por una cabeza by Carlos Cardel. Perhaps Cardel’s song is supposed to be ironic.

To understand my position one has to begin with the end of the play. The last line spoken by Lucile, the wife of Camille Desmoulins, apparently before her execution, is “long live the king” (Es lebe der König!) What does that mean after Danton and several other members of the early revolutionary movement were executed? What do these words from Desmoulins’ wife indicate about the previous events?

In Büchner’s text this is ambiguous. However, if we work back through the piece from end to beginning we see a classical tragedy. That is the hero, Georges Danton, is defeated by his inability to understand himself in the revolution. Very late, in his dream, he considers that his willingness to become an instrument (or the inevitability of this role) could only lead to him being instrumentalised. He arrives at the conclusion that if his actions were correct in “September” then he cannot object to his own arrest and condemnation. This is not a question of some particular guilt or innocence.  It is an issue that arrives from a revolution in which the established rules have been abandoned in whole or in part and only the laws of life and death are certain.

Robespierre’s speech to the assembly in which he demands the condemnation of Danton is logical and consistent—it is ultimately about the relationship between terror and virtue and the historical possibility of change. If taken as a principle, it is consistent beyond reproach. That argument is then tainted with cynicism by other characters as they insist that measures be taken to disarm Danton. They violate the formal trial procedures to prevent Danton from using his rhetorical skills and capacity to elicit emotion to sway those charged with his trial and judgement. In fact, Büchner leaves the question unanswered whether Robespierre in his puritanism is vicious or cynical. Michelet, in his history of the French Revolution, gives Robespierre his due– both as an old clerical bureaucrat, a sincere revolutionary and as a potentially misguided and even manipulated fanatic.4 But is that really Büchner’s point?

Let us move back — or forward — toward the first scenes with which the play begins. Danton is essentially in a brothel. There is a mixture of revolution and libertinism. This will be recognisable to anyone who has read de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom.5 Büchner insightfully describes the ambiguous boundaries that separate crime from sedition, debauchery from revolution. Danton is a creature of the ancien regime — like all those who led the revolution. Who else would there have been? Revolutions are not started by extra-terrestrials and only in the last century does it seem to have been instigated by foreigners. So it is natural that Danton and all others who take their place on the revolutionary stage do so with all the habits and baggage of the world in which the revolution erupts.

The drama proceeds from the conditions of revolution and the war against France (although only mentioned in asides). It focuses on the personality of Danton because he probably more than any other represented both the ancien regime and the emerging order. At least he seems to have been the most charismatic person of this period. By the end of the first act Danton has been condemned. The formal charges — whether they pertain to specific acts left unsaid — are conspiracy with the forces of restoration. Collateral evidence is given in the form of condemnation of his aristocratic lifestyle — in contrast to Robespierre’s asceticism. Danton is condemned because of his origins in the ancien regime and his vice, living like the aristocrats whose principal crimes have been explained in terms of morality. That is to say that rather than discussing the system of aristocracy, it is the aristocratic lifestyle, which is condemned as the visible aspect of the system to be overthrown.

There is indeed some validity in this argument. Not that the exemplary decadence of the aristocracy is remedied by republican virtue. No, the point is that the supposed virtue of the ancien regime was transmitted symbolically. Republican virtue in 1789 had to create a symbolic universe of its own. It had to counter divine right, the myth of royal benevolence and noblesse oblige, the natural order of Church and Monarch. This transformation was not just a matter of passing laws and changing office-holders. Moreover such a new virtuous order had to be created surrounded by monarchs, princes and prelates who still exercised complete control over their subjects and territories.

Danton is tragic in the classical sense because he recognises this more than anyone else around him. He also knows that he cannot be part of the new order. He does not have the capacity or the soul for it. It is immaterial that — as we know — Robespierre would also be executed. What we do not see in the play is that the short period of the Terror under Robespierre and the Jacobins was the shortest part of the violence triggered in 1789. With the fall of the Jacobins, the counter-revolution slaughtered even more people than died in the so-called Terror—practically the only part of the French Revolution that is ever taught or dramatised. Büchner can be forgiven at his young age for leaving so many issues open in his drama. What I found difficult to forgive after 230 years is the inability or unwillingness to lend the revolutionary spirit to a contemporary performance that Büchner certainly had when he wrote the play. The text does not tell the director how to interpret it. In fact, the virtue of the play is the classical openness — it is under-determined. There have been many opportunities to learn from revolutions since 1789. In Portugal forty-five years ago, there was a serious demonstration of how some of those lessons were, in fact, learned — even if the counter-revolution was no less aggressive.6

A Morte de Danton as performed this week in Porto was at best an “amoral” or “revolution-neutral” treatment of a work by a young romantic revolutionary. At its worst it was another demonstration of how mass movements for social change that take arms are trivialised or even maligned — or maybe worse actively misrepresented. A drama on the stage is always a dialogue. I can only say what I saw. There is no looking into another person’s head to see what he is thinking.

  1. Georg Büchner, 1835, translated by Francisco Luís Perreira, 2019.
  2. Karl Kraus, 1915-1922, a nine-hour performance based on the translation by António Sousa Ribeiro, 2016.
  3. Matthew Arnold, e.g. Culture and Anarchy (1869).
  4. Jules Michelet, History of the French Revolution (1847).
  5. Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom (1795). De Sade’s philosophical essay, La philosophie dans le boudoir, was supposed to demonstrate among other things how revolutionary rhetoric can be distilled into the rationale for crime and libertinism.
  6. 25 April 1974, what was later called the “Carnation Revolution” overthrew the government of Marcelo Caetano and thus ended the Estado Novo, the regime that had been created and ruled by Antonio Salazar since 1933. The counter-revolution was largely managed by US ambassador Frank Carlucci, a senior CIA officer, who died in 2018. In Portugal itself the overthrow of the Estado Novo regime was relatively peaceful.

Extinction Promotion

After years of teaching school and university, observing with dismay — to put it mildly — the institutional promotion of illiteracy and communicative incompetence, under the pretext that the soft prisons which are maintained for the incarceration and indoctrination of children are there to promote their personalities and get them through examinations so that they can replace their automaton parents, it took enormous digestive discipline to withstand the barrage of the past few days.

Maybe at my age — which we need not discuss — I can relax about personal extinction. However, it is nauseating to witness in the midst of some of the most extreme violence maintained since 1989, how well-fed, expensively clothed white children have now become another popular product to market through the mass media.

After the officially unexplained death of an official pedophile while in New York “Schutzhaft” awaiting trial, it is easy to see that only embarrassing individual pedophiles and child abusers risk disgrace or suicide. However, child abuse is a highly diversified industry. At the lower end of the market– the volume business– we find slavery and prostitution. At the high end we find overdressed functionally illiterate white children who no longer have to complain to get toys, so they complain to get attention from their parents (in a permanently infantalised society) to get erotic attention — either in the wake of their parents’ gender disruption or inability to guarantee a summer residence on some tropical island.

It would be nice if one could find a positive side of this apparent mobilisation. When I was their age, there were young people worried about being sent to the “cripple and mass murderer plantations” of Southeast Asia. They were conservative but their experience confronting the vicious slaughter in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia taught them to organise if only not to hang separately.

In none of the speeches I have heard has the Congo been mentioned. It is fine to have a spasm over the fate of the Amazon or the polar bear, but what about the millions who have died to sustain Facebook and other social media which would only be viable with the stolen wealth of Congo’s coltan and other minerals.

In none of the speeches have I heard a call for US disarmament. The US has the largest military in the world by any measure and the US military has the largest carbon footprint of any single institution on the planet.

In none of the speeches do I hear anything about two-thirds of the world’s population that has been systematically robbed and denied clean water, clean air, edible food, and safe homes– all in order that the “global” strike for the climate or planet can be conducted by children who do not have to work in sweatshops or on plantations — so that the striking can comfortably toss balloons about their crowd.

I mention Vietnam quite deliberately. Most of those protesting for the climate will hardly know where it is unless their parents took them or spent some of the middle-class income to send them there on vacation. Many parents of Vietnam protestors said these youth were just protesting because of boredom or because they were spoiled. However, after the fascist and quasi-fascist discipline to which their parents had been subjected from 1932 until 1968 (plus or minus depending on whether you count the US and/ or Europe) demonstrations were, in fact, radical. They were threatening. Above all they were unexpected and unplanned. The youth then did not have “adults” guiding them. They had to learn on their own. Those were the days of “never trust anyone over 30” (or was it 40?)

Many young people actually learned to organise themselves. They learned to read what was and see what was to see — not what they were told to read and see. They saw their friends who had failed return without eyes, arms, legs, or sanity. What will these children learn from a dead polar bear or fish? They can scarely learn from the humans around them who have actually suffered the price of the system — capitalism and its underlying ideology white supremacy.

European culture — that is Christendom, the form which survives today — is remarkable in its belligerence. If one considers the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa and Asia (yes, also the Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and others) it is also remarkable that all of these peoples have elaborate, deep traditions of respect for nature and ancestors. Europe and the “white” peoples of the Americas do not. It is certainly no accident that the most destructive forces unleashed by humans were implemented by Europeans on both sides of the Atlantic. It is tempting to say that the great sacrilege – the great threat to humanity is not the climate but the European-American empire, driven by psychopaths.

Christendom — the reign of the religious cults combined as Christianity — was first and foremost an empire. That empire was ruled by a class whose formal pinnacle was the pope in Rome. Every time that pope or the curia (the extended papal bureaucracy) saw its power or income streams endangered, it summoned a crusade. The conditions of a crusade varied. However, the usual format was people were summoned to send armies and their baggage trains against some enemy proclaimed by the Pope. In return for supplying a crusade, the pope granted credits in the form of pardons for sins (real or imagined). In some cases (for the powerful) he shared the profits. The ordinary person could be sent by his master or go on his own. The master could pay money in lieu of sending an army and the wealthy could pay money for surrogates. The most important point was that money flowed into the papal treasury and the pope’s enemies were destroyed.

We are not permitted to discuss who proclaims a crusade. However, the machinery functions the same as it did in the days of papal supremacy. We have surrogates on the streets. We have armies launched against the enemies of the elite that rule us. We have the faithful and the blind. We have saints and miracles. There are those who tell us it is science but, in fact, it is theology.

These are not strikes or crusades to save the planet — the planet does not need to be saved, and certainly not by the nut and berry eaters of the European peninsula with the descendants in “Vineland”. What we really have is neo-Mathusian hysteria propagated by children whose education has been systematically neglected by vain and greedy bureaucrats in the service of those whose wealth has always depended upon fear and destroying that part of the planet upon which truly civilised people have lived before a Euro-American ever set foot there.

If there is an extinction immanent, than hopefully it will take the right ones with it. Against such attrition we need not rebel.

Stop Press: Imperial Observations

Today I was walking toward the restaurant where I always take luncheon on Tuesdays. I passed the Cafe Imperio in the same street. Since I was thinking about a talk I am to give in Macau the term “empire” crossed my mind more than once. The sign of the Cafe Imperio also said it was founded in 1973. Well, I thought, did the owners imagine that a year later there would be nothing left of the Portuguese empire?  In 1974 the Salazar/Caetano regime was overthrown after more than 40 years. The last pretense that the empire was, in the French sense, Portugal overseas was abandoned. Only Macau remained under Portuguese administration until 1999.

In London the recently minted British “Supreme Court” — the replacement for the judicial committee of the House of Lords — declared Mr Boris Johnson’s Cromwellian intervention unlawful, null and void and ordered that Parliament be reconvened. Now that is a rather peculiar change in the British Constitution that Bagehot certainly never imagined. In Britain, a monarchy dressed as a representative democracy, the guiding principal — at least since 1688 — has been parliamentary supremacy. That meant that Parliament and hence the government (the Crown and Parliament) were subject to no higher authority than itself. The settlement of the royal succession by the Parliament — establishing William and Mary and assuring a continuous Protestant lineage — was ostensibly the end of British monarchy as a governmental system. In fact, it was the absorption of the monarch into the bourgeois ruling class — something the French were unable to do.

Now if I may risk a prediction, Mr Johnson will be forced to expose himself to a confidence vote in the Commons which he is now even more likely to lose unless his backers can whip the votes he needs together. The loss of a confidence vote after the defeat before the Supreme Court means that the fraud surrounding BREXIT could well be defeated if not exposed.

Throughout the BREXIT debate the proponents and opponents have disregarded a point of British constitutional law that Bagehot made quite clear in describing the lack of a constitution (in the US or French sense); namely, that Parliament is only bound by its own laws and every Parliament is free to change the laws of a previous one. Of course, the class structure and the bourgeois monarchy prevent Parliament from becoming revolutionary (except in the sense of revolving). But the so-called Glorious Revolution never completely extinguished the dictatorial strain embodied in the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. It was the Puritan Cromwell and his mercantile, colonial supporters who plunged the deepest wound into Ireland and created the troubles which, in fact, have only subsided by virtue of the EU.

Mr Boris Johnson, despite Eton and renunciation of his US citizenship, is a Cromwellian. That is what confuses his opponents. Unlike his predecessor David Cameron, Mr Johnson is today’s equivalent of the “West Indian strain” — the drug (sugar and slave) barons of the Caribbean who bought their way into Parliament. Today those drug barons are operating legally (as opposed to legitimate) financial institutions — but that is another topic. The BREXIT fraud consists primarily in the fact that there is no constitutional principle which binds Parliament to such a foreign institution as the referendum or plebiscite (its continental version). Even if we disregard the British voting system with all its gerrymandering and manipulative potential, no British Parliament was ever de jure bound by the results of the so-called BREXIT vote. This is the real significance of May’s defeat. Thrice Ms May failed to obtain parliamentary approval for a BREXIT. That meant that it would become a dead letter by the end of her legislative term.

Mr Johnson’s attempt to adjourn Parliament and govern without it — also very Cromwellian — was a recognition of the fact that absent an Act of Parliament, the BREXIT would be imposed when the EU treaty negotiated by Ms May entered into force. The United Kingdom would not have withdrawn from the EU. It would have been de facto expelled.

What has turned a major faction of the British establishment against Mr Johnson? That is the only way that the Supreme Court could have understood its unanimous decision. Permit me to suggest some interpretations.

As much as Britain’s Cromwellians hate Ireland and therefore fight to the death of Catholic Irish, if not for religious reasons today, they cannot make a disruption of the trade and financial benefits of peace between Ulster and Dublin attractive. Moreover, Britain — meaning its elite, including not least of which the Battenberg/Windsors — benefit enormously from EU largesse. Never mind that if strictly enforced the exit would cause a serious reduction in the living standard of average Britons — people who already have a disproportionately low standard of living in the EU (and historically have always had a lower standard of living than most people on the Continent). Then there is the embarrassment of that other country in the North — the far more European realm of Scotland. North Sea oil was Scottish and Norwegian. A future rump England would be reduced to what its owners really have — a quasi-third world country. That would be fine for the simians in the City but if votes still count for anything, it would make Britain singularly unattractive.

Now if we shift to a completely different part of the world, we can begin to imagine the contradictions and parallels. Hong Kong has been subjected to terrorism quite obviously sponsored by the main instigators of such foreign disruption — the CIA (NED) and most certainly other agencies of HM Government. In the scheme of things — as opposed to the ludicrous “internet of things” — it is impossible to say who is agitating in Hong Kong against the local government and the authority in Beijing. However, if we take the long view; e.g., back to the Opium Wars, the patterns are recognisable. Since, as I have argued elsewhere, one of the products of a “public school/prep school” education is that one is indoctrinated with the same historical nonsense of those who founded the schools in centuries past, then it should be no surprise that the terrorists in Hong Kong — presented as “democracy activists” — are behaving in the same way as the representatives of the British East India Company did when they sought the conditions for creating Hong Kong in the first place.

Imagine what would happen if the Irish republicans again insisted (given the prospect of BREXIT) that we in Ulster are Irish and not British! In Hong Kong some of these gangs are beating Chinese for not accepting that they are “Hongkongers”. Well, we know what happened to Irish republicans until the Good Friday Accords. We also know that it was the British Special Branch, MI5 and Phoenix-style units operating with covert support by the British military that “disciplined” those republicans. If the Chinese government were as “democratic” as the British in Ulster there would not only be dead in the street but assassinations galore. To date there have been no tanks or APCs deployed in Hong Kong. If we compare the conduct of the Hong Kong police with that of the NYPD or the St Louis police in Ferguson, Missouri, we will also locate the democracy deficit — not in China.

There are lots of demonstrations these days. The ones that count are quasi-religious like the Swedish “Joan of Arc”/Fatima peasant who is currently paraded through every conceivable forum, like those weeping statues the Catholic Church maintained so profitably for centuries.

When children join their parents to say that Black lives matter, the police have exercised their license to beat or kill non-whites at will. We have not really progressed since Lester Petersen was murdered by the South African Police in Soweto. The venues of white supremacy have merely changed their window dressing. The Anglo-American Empire will keep Hong Kong down to the last Chinese, if allowed. They will keep everything they have stolen over the centuries. And that is why there will be no BREXIT– not for the benefit of the British or Irish but because there is still more money to be made through Brussels than without it. (And meanwhile the arbitrage gangsters bet on both sides and keep raking in their winnings.)

It is all related but the relationships are not easy to see and they shift with the digestive conditions of our elite rulers. So all predictions here are subject to the reservation of how well they ate and drank on the eve of their next rapine excursion through our planet.