Category Archives: exploitation

White Allies For Black Lives Matter

We’re now emerging from an intense period of racial justice protests that began after the killing of George Floyd. It was exhilarating and pride-inspiring to witness the multitudes in the Lehigh Valley (Pa) who “took it to the streets” on behalf of racial equality, especially the waves of Black and white young people. According to the Pew Research Center, some 15 million adults participated in the protests which makes it the largest movement in American history. In terms of interracial composition, three times as many whites as Blacks participated and the percentage of Hispanics was higher than that for Black people. Further, so many young people participated that it could be rightly characterized as a generational revolt. But, will these events remain a historic “moment” or the start of an ongoing liberation movement?

After an interminable and unconscionably overdue response, we saw significant white allyship and we finally realized that white people must listen to Black voices and be accountable. However, in that vein, a key question remains: which voices should white allies heed? As Black activist Eric Jenkins reminds us, no organization speaks for all Black people and some Black-led organizations are totally disconnected from the lives of the Black working class. As Jenkins notes, some traditional Black organizations are even leery to accept white activists lest it disrupt their relationship with the dominant white power structure.

So, should white allies listen to the voices of the “go-along to get-ahead” types, like the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), composed of 55 members? The late Bruce Dixon, an editor at Black Agenda Report, characterized the CBC as part of the “Black Political Class,” whose first allegiance is enabling the 1% to rule, a class to which most Black Americans do not belong. “Blackness,” here, is just an image brandished to banksters, military contractors and corporate interests.” As Dixon asserted, CBC takes its marching orders from the Democratic Party and obscene gobs of cash donations from white corporate sponsors in exchange for safe Congressional seats, cushy lifestyles and undeserved status. Aside from rhetoric, they do nothing to advance the interests of 40 million Black citizens,

Should we listen to the Black voices those attempting to co-opt and neuter the system transforming potential Black Lives Matter by diverting it simply into voting for Democrats. As a Facebook friend recently wrote, “The Democratic Party is now “An upper-middle class party that’s singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ fifty years too late.”

Or, rather, should we be attentive to Black voices in our midst who echo the powerful legacy of social and political transformation derived from Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Paul Robeson to W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Audre Lorde to more recent voices like bell hooks, Margaret Kimberley, Keenanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Mary Hooks? Their work strongly suggests they would all advocate a gradual merging of BLM demands like “Stop Killing Black People,” ending mass incarceration (one in three Black boys can expect to be locked up during their adult lives) and abolishing institutional and cultural racism with demands to dismantle capitalism in all its predatory forms. The aforementioned social justice activists knew that a reckoning with America’s history of racism and economic injustice can never be realized without joining both sets of demands.

For example, as Martin Luther King matured as a leader, thinker and radical activist, be became openly anti-capitalist (and anti-U.S. imperialism). In a speech to his staff in South Carolina, just one month before his assassination on April 4, 1968, Dr. King spoke approvingly about the new and dynamic young radicals in the movement who understood that “only by structural change can current evils be eliminated because the roots are in the [capitalist] system rather than in men or in faulty operations…they all understand the need for direct, self-transforming and structural transformation. This may be their most creative collective insight.”

Finally, meaningful change will only come about when tens of thousands of people are willing to engage in large-scale civil disobedience and risk arrest in the revolutionary tradition of Dr. King. Is there any doubt that were he alive today he would be all about grass-roots organizing and planning another rally for the indefinite occupation of Washington, DC. This type of movement is the worst nightmare for those who own and rule the country. Doing anything less than attempting to bring their apparition to life would be wasting a convergence of favorable factors that may not appear again.

All Confusion and Contradictions in Trump’s Apocalyptic America

In front of White House

Americans are angry. I suspected they would be, but I got confirmation that they are, all over the place: in Miami, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Minneapolis, New York, and Boston. Basically, everywhere I went, while “taking pulse and temperature” of this country where I used to live, cumulatively, for more than a decade, I felt frustration and bewilderment.

“What is your job?” Shouted an African-American lady, right in the middle of the Union Station in the nation’s capital. Obviously, it was a rhetorical question, as she almost immediately answered her own query: “There are no jobs!”

Mr. Floyd got murdered by perverse, sadistic police officers. The economy is collapsing, at least for the poor and the middle class. The COVID-19 pandemic is like a rollercoaster, up and down, up and down, with no end in sight.

People are confused, while the government is increasingly aggressive. Much of the so-called “progressive media” is suddenly not behaving progressively at all. Racism is sometimes fought against with brand new types of racism. Anti-racist movements get periodically infiltrated by the extreme right-wing groups, as I witnessed in Minneapolis.

The U.S. government is basically confronting countries like China, Venezuela, Russia and Iran. Not just verbally, but militarily. And the reason why our world is not in the middle of WWIII, yet, is because of tremendous restrain and wisdom of the U.S. adversaries.

*****

At home, no jobs, no coherent policy on how to fight against the COVID-19; no national unity in the moment of disaster.

What I have been witnessing so far were some jerky, inconsistent moves on the part of the governments (the federal and the state ones), as well as the ensuing confusion, complimented by half-hearted, and patchy solutions. Quite the opposite of what I experienced in Asia, be it in socialist China and Vietnam, but also in the far from the socialist nations such as Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines.

Just a quick reality check, and it becomes clear that the U.S. system already failed, squarely and patently: 30 million people out of jobs since the pandemic began. Three million infected, and probably, by now, much more. Over 130.000 U.S. citizens lost their lives. Of course, it all depends on how the total number of victims is calculated. Still, no matter how it is done, even if the lowest numbers are correct, the United States is the most affected country on Earth, which is an absolute shame, considering that it is still one of the richest.

The Trump Administration is, of course, aware of all this, and just a few months before the Presidential elections, it is desperately searching for someone else to blame for this enormous national disaster. The President and his men are frantically pointing fingers in all directions: from China (P.R.C.) to the World Health Organization (WHO). From the Communist Party of China, from President Maduro to the U.S. state governors and those very few “disobedient” members of the mass media who still dare, at least occasionally, to challenge the official narrative.

Conspiracy theories are abundant. Demonstrations and protests are taking place all over the nation. In New York City, the murder rate is up. Sirens are howling. People are uttering clichés. “Follow the money,” I hear everywhere.

Who is to blame? Inept regime? Monstrous outdated capitalism? Corporatism? Shitty education system? People don’t now. While ‘false prophets’ are thriving.

Government, mass media, as well as a great majority of the so-called ‘progressive’ media (do not confuse it with left-wing media, which hardly exists in the United States, anymore), are blaming socialist China, as they are blaming Russia, Iran, and other independent-minded countries.

*****

This is clearly a political fight. The pandemic is there, of course, but for the White House, it is nothing else other than background noise and stench. On all fronts, the U.S. regime is fighting for its survival. Trump is clashing with various foreign countries, those which have a real, left-wing ideology.

Much is at stake. The survival of the entire repulsive system is now in question. If this terrible scheme collapsed, the whole world would rejoice; it would benefit. But the majority of North Americans would lose. Even those who like to paint themselves as ‘progressives’ or ‘different’ or “also victims”. And so, there are thousands of conspiracies aimed at discrediting the fury which followed the killing of Mr. Floyd. There are countless theories about the origins of the pandemic, as well as its management, or, more precisely, mismanagement.

For both the Trump and his Democratic Party opponents, it is now absolutely essential to discredit morally and socially much more successful countries like China, Russia, even Cuba.

Monstrous propaganda tsunami has been unleashed in the United States, but also the U.K. It is unprecedented and overwhelming. Alternative voices are silenced. Censorship, even amongst the so-called ‘alternative’ Western publications, is becoming bulletproof. And it all happened literally overnight. While my essays used to be reprinted just 2-3 months ago by at least 20 major outlets in the United States and Canada, now it is at most five which dare to publish me. My internationalist, unconditionally left-wing angle did not change at all. But true colors of the U.S. and Canadian “progressive” and “independent” media got exposed. Simultaneously, my work has been gaining great support in non-Western countries. This says a lot about the situation!

Back to Trump. He is attacking foreign countries, horrified that people could notice how optimistic and compassionate some other nations are. And how nihilist, over-rated, empty and depressing is the United States.

He is also antagonizing those who are now bringing down statues of Western bigots, genocidal cadres, slave owners, and conquerors.

He is clearly soiling his pants.

In the same breath he is smearing the health officials, who dare to paint bleak (read: realistic) picture, and urging him to put people’s interests above those of the economy, particularly the private sector.

On July 8, 2020, even pro-regime CNN reported:

Five months into a still-raging pandemic that has killed more than 130,000 Americans, the long-simmering tensions between President Donald Trump and the health experts who staff his government have escalated from private griping to shrugging disagreement to now open dispute.

The result, people at those agencies say, is a new sense of demoralization as they continue their attempts to fight a once-in-a-generation health crisis while simultaneously navigating the whims of a President who has shown little interest or understanding of their work.

That Trump does not trust nor follow the advice of experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, is hardly new. The President has not attended a meeting of his coronavirus task force in months, and recently its sessions have been held outside the White House, including on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Department of Education. Fauci was told to participate in the meeting remotely by videoconference, preventing him from participating in a midday task force press briefing…

Precisely, nothing new. Except that even CNN, one of the mouthpieces of the empire, is finally noticing!

*****

It is all about spreading nihilism, on both domestic and foreign fronts.

China is getting attacked in the most extreme, unreasonable, and even bizarre fashion by both President Trump and his team, but also by their adversaries. After winning the fight against the COVID-19, the P.R.C. has been blamed for virtually everything, from withholding data, negatively influencing the WHO, and even for the manufacturing of the virus in one of its laboratories based in Wuhan, and then spreading it to all corners of the world. “Chinese Virus,” the White House has been calling it, while no one knows yet for certain, where it actually really originated. Naturally, Beijing and entire China have been indignant.

None of the U.S. government accusations have been proven. Allegations after allegations have been ridiculed by the U.S. medical, scientific community, and often by the academia. But the administration already went too far, and it is clearly unable to stop its own attacks anymore. Trump ignores ridicule, hoping that his macho, vulgar and provincial rhetoric would appeal to certain group of uneducated, extremist part of the population, and win him the second term.

Even some individuals related to the U.S. diplomatic community in China, such as Tzu-i Chuang Mullinax and Roseanne Freese, are voicing disagreement with the official White House narrative.

Analyzing the uprising which followed the murder of Mr. George Floyd (who happened to be COVID-19 positive), I spoke to dozens of Americans of all races and social standings. The majority of them have been outraged by the government’s handling of the epidemy and the unrest. Not one person that I spoke to actually blamed China or any other foreign country, directly, for the dire situation in the United States.

Minneappolis burning

Anti-Chinese rhetoric is clearly a political football played by both Republicans and Democrats. The same goes for the anti-Russian sentiments, including belittlement of the Russian foreign aid sent to the United States, at the very beginning of the pandemic.

The strategy of the U.S. government is simple; some would say primitive: “Whatever terrible is happening inside the country, just counterattack and blame everything on the political opponents, and if you can’t, attack the foreign countries; China, Russia, even Iran or Venezuela. Or smear the United Nations agencies, like WHO.  Guide insults to all corners of the world, but also don’t forget to send the battleships.”

There is much that is going wrong in the U.S., very, very wrong. Tents with homeless people could now be spotted all around the downtown Washington D.C. The White House has been converted into a fortress. And while millions of American people are marching, protesting against the endemic racism and discrimination, the K.K.K. and its affiliates like Proud Boys, are burning cities and infiltrating legitimate anti-racist demonstrations (something that I will soon be addressing in my essays).

Images are apocalyptic. The situation is explosive.

This is one of the most dangerous moments in world history. But, shockingly, not much is being written about the urgency and threat which our planet is facing!

• Originally published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook (a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

The Marginalist Counter-Revolution, Science and Medical Social Management

By the time Alfred Marshall became prominent, the theory of capitalism formulated in Marx’s Capital had become a theoretical pillar of organised working class politics in Europe. Remarkably the so-called “marginalist revolution”, of which Marshall became a leading figure, coincides roughly with the abolition of slavery in Brazil (1886) and a major economic depression.1  Thus the shift from economics, for the allocation of surplus to that of managing scarcity is not a purely theoretical development. Following later scholars like Eric Williams, who argued that the “surplus” for industrialisation in Europe — that which had to be allocated through struggle or Adam Smith’s “invisible (whip) hand”– was derived from slavery and would now under the terms of marginalism become a “scarcity” of resources that theoretically had to be shared with liberated slaves and organising industrial labour.2

One of the objectives of political struggle in the 19th century was to appropriate the wealth held by the Church and the State and subject it to community/popular control. This meant also a struggle to find forms of governance adequate to this task. The opposition of marginalism, closely linked to progressivism and the emergence of “science” as religion (Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer), was a denial that the economic relationships between classes could be defined in any way, which would permit popular/communal control.3  Marginalism not only rejected the existence of a surplus to be allocated but also the idea that social benefit could be measured and therefore allocated through communal/popular governance. Since every economic relationship was reduced to implicit contracts between individuals there was no way to create scientifically reliable economic knowledge of classes, only tentatively for individuals, so-called methodological individualism.

What came to be social policy at the outbreak of WWI was, in fact, a denial that there was anything social at all. The entire history of the State’s promotion of adventurers, who in turn bought or leased the instruments of the State for the creation of monopoly wealth, was reduced to a footnote at best. Marginalism was conceived to explain — apologetics — what, in fact, had led to its creation as an ideology to counter democratic economic forces.

This is important in order to understand how the US religious doctrine of “free enterprise” was concocted and how the marketing strategy of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) became the dominant ideology of the end of the 20th century and the formal unquestioned dogma of the 21st. What is often alternatively called “neo-liberal” and “neo-conservative” is better understood if one looks at the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The 18th and 19th centuries were something like the Reformation, culminating in Marxism — itself a spectrum as broad as that between Lutheranism and Calvinism. The 20th century began the “Counter-Reformation”. Despite the successes of the October Revolution, the Chinese Revolution and the Cuban Revolution, the effect of this counter-revolution was to isolate these revolutions from the rest of the Church. In 1989, the Russian Revolution was no longer merely isolated but largely defeated — not surprisingly with a Polish pope in the van. The bullet in the neck was the NATO war against Yugoslavia.

The Counter-Reformation had two principal effects in Christendom. One was that it defeated the Reformation in the core Catholic dominions. In the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, for example, there was no Reformation. In the rest of the realms, the political content of the Reformation was purged. Luther and Calvin sided with the State and preserved their own versions of clericalism, inheriting, but not abandoning, the economic wealth and privilege established by centuries of Church theft.

The three great revolutions of the 20th century and to a far lesser extent the failed Mexican Revolution were the first to successfully transfer the socially generated wealth that had been appropriated by the Church and the corporate class (whether aristocratic or plutocratic) to a political structure based on popular/communal ownership and forced, for a brief period, the “Capitalist Church” to share at least symbolically some of its hoarded loot to provide facilities called “public” (as opposed to popular) and create a veneer of reform. The Church did the same thing in the Counter-Reformation — terrorising with the Inquisition and extending educational access through schools for the working class and poor and allowing local languages and some minor concessions to national preference in the clergy. From 1949 until 1989 the strategy was fierce repression and selective gradual openings:  social democracy in Western Europe (except Spain and Portugal, of course) on the “front” and death squads everywhere else.

1989 put an end to the biggest competitive alternative system and restored Russia to Orthodoxy if not to Catholicism. Since then the entire veneer of social democracy has been scraped away in the Western front-line states.  Seventy-odd years of pacification reduced the forces of class struggle — meaning those who supported popular/communal control of social wealth rather than corporate monopoly of the State — to less than a shadow of their former selves.

Nowhere, and at no time, has this become more evident than in 2020 when not a single political party of the “class struggle” tradition was able or willing to respond to the coup de grace against public space, social wealth and humanism that was administered in March past. The conspicuous silence at the massive theft that was orchestrated — untold trillions — while the bulk of the Western population was under house arrest — is beyond shameful.4 This was not an act to restrain a viral pandemic but an act culminating in the final expropriation, not only of the last scraps of social democracy but of the entire public space in which such struggles took place but also could take place. In Portugal, the quality might be called “Salazar light”, not the “new normal” but the “Estado Novissimo“.5

What we hear, for example, from the curia in Brussels, with its quasi-dual pontificate comprising the German Chancellor and her former rival now the president of the European Commission or the World Economic Forum, is something comparable — but, of course, on a global scale — a homily like that delivered by Martin Luther in support of the violent suppression of the Peasants’ Revolt. (Here I am only talking about those who are members of the “Left”.)

The Counter-Revolution/Counter-Reformation, whose spokespersons convene in the conclaves at Davos, has clear objectives. The euphemism is the great “reset”.6 What is described euphemistically as “growth” has always meant growth in power and control. By declaring an end to public space — anywhere — they are returning us to the closed world whose creation and maintenance was the objective of the Roman papacy. (I republished the bull Unaam Sanctam earlier this year for a reason!7  I do not want to repeat here everything I have tried to describe elsewhere. 8  At this writing the conclave in Brussels is deciding what to do with the residue of Christendom in the Western Empire.

Habemus Reset!

Somewhere I read in a history of China that at least the Confucians were amazed at the Roman Catholic Church’s organizational power and wondered that there was nothing equivalent to it in China. The Rockefeller Foundation was so concerned about China that it started very early (ca. 1914) to fund and train Chinese physicians in the Rockefeller model of industrial medicine and social engineering.9

The West compensates for its relatively small population with an extraordinary level of violence and organization. It was that “catholic” organisational capacity that shut down the West and its dependencies in March — and including the Shrine in Fatima, defies the strength of the Holy Virgin.

(What we have been told is the 18 months in the race to a “vaccine” should probably be seen as a planning parameter — adopted at least as early as 2015 — in the pacification program for which the vaccine is both a decoy and a weapon, by no means a toy.)

  1. For a discussion of the so-called “marginalist revolution” see, for example, Nuno Martins, “Interpreting the capitalist order before and after the marginalist revolution”, Cambridge Journal of Economics 2015, 39, 1109-1127.
  2. See Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery, and Gerald Horne, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism, reviewed by this author.
  3. What most people understand as “Darwinism” is actually “social Darwinism” as taught by Herbert Spencer et al. Charles Darwin did not consistently argue for the “survival of the fittest”. Rather he suggested that species’ variations could explain why some members of a species proliferated in an environment or survived changes in the environment. Unlike Spencer and vulgar Darwinists, Darwin claimed no teleology or interest in nature that could predict or promote any species or variation thereof. For a brief discussion of the difference between Darwin and vulgar Darwinism, see Morse Peckham, “Darwinism and Darwinisticism” in The Triumph of Romanticism (1970) pp. 176-201.
  4. While it is a matter of record that the US Federal Reserve gave away some USD 4 trillion on a single day at the beginning of the so-called pandemic, with no questions asked, both the US regime and its vassals in Brussels feel that any assistance to Europe’s SME sector must be endlessly debated and so structured that only the administering banks profit from it.
  5. For example, under Salazar’s Estado Novo that ended by revolution in 1974, three persons meeting in public spaces; e.g., on the street, constituted a “demonstration” requiring police authorisation. For those old enough to remember, the similarity to masks and social distancing is hard to overlook.
  6. World Economic Forum: The Great Reset; see also here:
  7. There is One God, One Faith, and One ChurchDissident Voice, May 2020.
  8. See my Dissident Voice articles this year if interested.  See, among others, “Re-Orientation”, 3 February 2020, and “The First Circle”, 24 April 2020.
  9. E. Richard Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men, Medicine and Capitalism in America. It is just a coincidence that it was also a man named Gates, Frederick T, a Baptist preacher and not a physician, who initiated the tradition of plutocrats using medical institutions to design society in their particular interests. Rockefeller money turned the Peking Union Medical College from a missionary endeavour into a scientific medical school. Rockefeller money also seeded the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, now under the patronage of billionaire Michael Bloomberg, where it hosts such exciting séances like Event 201.

Contemplating Human Extinction Terrifies Most People: A Strategy for Survival

Any serious study of the relevant scholarly literature reveals at least four possible paths to imminent human extinction, that is, human extinction within five years: nuclear war, the climate catastrophe, the deployment of 5G, and biodiversity collapse.

Moreover, as I have documented previously, under cover of the non-existent ‘virus’ labeled COVID-19, the global elite is conducting a coup against humanity. That is, by bombarding us with fear-mongering propaganda to focus our attention on the ‘virus’, the capacity of virtually all people, including activists, to devote attention to the coup, and to resist it, has been effectively eliminated.

Unfortunately, it has also meant that, despite the extensively documented evidence of the four paths to imminent human extinction, it is even more difficult than usual to get people to focus on this point. This means that engaging people to consider the evidence for themselves is extremely difficult: it is easier to live in delusion, reassured by elite-driven narratives promulgated through education systems and the corporate media which effectively convey the message that there is either no serious cause for concern (yet) or, perhaps, that the time frame allows for an adequate official response in due course. In either case we, as individuals or groups, do not really need to do anything differently; going along with the elite-driven narrative, including time frame, will ensure our survival.

Of course, as those paying attention to the evidence already know, being obedient to the elite-driven narrative is a recipe for extinction. We have already exceeded 2°C above the pre-industrial temperature, the ongoing and rapid deployment of 5G will be catastrophic, biodiversity is already collapsing (and will be seriously accelerated by the rising temperature and deployment of 5G) – for just the latest in the ongoing stream of disasters, hundreds of elephants have recently died in Botswana’s Okavango Delta – and, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, nuclear war is now a greater possibility than at any previous time in human history. For summaries of the evidence and further documentation in each case, see ‘The Elite’s COVID-19 Coup to Destroy Humanity that is also Fast-Tracking Four Paths to Human Extinction‘.

In this article I would like to explain why people are so terrified of the truth and what we can do about it so that an effective response to each of these threats can be implemented (assuming, problematically, that there is enough time).

Why are Most Human Beings so Terrified?

Virtually all human beings are terrified and they are terrified for the same reason: the child-raising process that sociologists like to label ‘socialization’ should be more accurately labeled ‘terrorization’. Why? Because from the moment of a child’s birth, parents, teachers, religious leaders and adults generally regard themselves as responsible for terrorizing the child into obedience of the commands, rules, conventions and laws that define the nature of permissible behaviour in their society.

This means that provided the child responds obediently to parental (or other adult) commands, obeys any rules imposed (by the parents, teachers and religious figures in the child’s life), learns all relevant social conventions for their society and, ultimately, obeys the law, they are allowed to live, recognized as compliant citizens, in their society.

Unfortunately, from society’s viewpoint, evolutionary pressures over vast time scales have led to each human individual being given Self-will to seek out and fulfill their own unique destiny: evolutionary pressures do not predispose any individual to obey the will of another for the simple reason that obedience has no evolutionary functionality.

Consequently, it takes enormous terrorization during childhood to ensure that the child surrenders their Self-will at the altar of obedience. To achieve this outcome and largely unknowingly, parents use a large range of behaviours from the three categories of violence that I have labeled ‘visible’ violence, ‘invisible’ violence and ‘utterly invisible’ violence.

A common element of this terrorization is that the child is frequently threatened with, and/or actually suffers, violence for being ‘disobedient’. Of course, this violence, assuming it is even recognized as such (given that ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence are just that to virtually everyone), is invariably labeled ‘punishment‘ so that we can delude ourselves that our violence is not harmful.

This means that virtually every single individual has been successfully terrorized into being submissively obedient. And, fundamentally, this obedience includes accepting the elite-driven narrative delivered by education systems and the corporate media in relation to issues crucial to human survival.

So despite our preference for believing otherwise, those individuals in our societies who survive the education system capable of thinking for themselves, or even of ‘clear thinking’, are rare. And then they must also survive (preferably by refusing to access it) the propaganda (that is, lies) presented as ‘news’ by the corporate media. Given that another outcome of being terrorized throughout childhood means that most people are very gullible, perceiving lies is a huge challenge in itself.

Of course, this powerless imperative to believe the lies we are told and to behave obediently in response is always reinforced by the fear of violence (‘punishment’), including the fear of social ostracism for resisting elite narratives, but it is also reinforced by other fears: for example, the fear that makes people feel powerless to respond in any meaningful way, the fear of changing their behaviour, and the fear of feeling out of control of their own destiny. After all, if extinction is imminent and we are to avert it, we will need to do some fundamental things – including thinking and behaving – very differently. But we are not allowed to think or behave differently, are we? That would be disobedient.

This can be readily illustrated. When a young child does not get what they need, the child will have an emotional reaction. This will always include fear, it will probably include anger and it will probably include sadness, among other feelings. However, almost invariably, parents behave in a manner intended to prevent the child from having their emotional response (and using this information in formulating the appropriate behavioural response in the circumstance). They do not listen to the child while they express their feelings. Instead, they act to make the child suppress awareness of their feelings.

At its simplest and apparently most benign, the parent might comfort the child in the misguided belief that this is helpful. But it is not, unless you want a submissively obedient child.

Another simple and common way in which we suppress the emotional awareness and, hence, capacity for emotional expression of a child is by giving them food or a toy to distract them from how they feel. The fundamental outcome of this act is that we unconsciously ‘teach’ the child to seek food and/or material items as substitutes for feeling and acting on how they feel. But this is absolutely disastrous.

The net result of this behaviour is that virtually all people in industrialized societies have become addicted to material consumption, and the direct (including military), structural and ecological violence that makes excessive consumption in these societies possible. All so that we can suppress how we really feel.

And, therefore, the very notion of substantially reducing consumption – a central part of any strategy for human survival by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial production and transport, checking the collapse of biodiversity by halting the destruction of habitat such as rainforests, denying financial incentive to deploy technology for 5G, ending wars (and the threat of nuclear war) for resources – becomes ‘unthinkable’.

Because the fundamental imperative of materialist societies is ‘Consume!’ (so that corporations can profit). And we do not have the emotional power to disobey that imperative because deep in our unconscious remains the childhood terror of resisting the offered food or toy and insisting on expressing how we feel and behaving powerfully in accord with that. It is far simpler to just put something more in our mouth or use one of our ‘toys’. Who wants to feel scared, sad or angry instead?

In essence, the individual who has been terrorized into obedience is no longer capable of thinking for themself and then behaving in accord with their own Self-will. This means that imperatives of the global elite – mediated through its agents such as governments, education systems and the corporate media and enforced by legal systems, the police and prison cells – are readily obeyed by the vast bulk of the human population.

And because the global elite is insane, this obedience means that we are submitting to the elite coup and complying with its imperatives that are fast-tracking humanity to extinction on four separate paths, as noted above.

To reiterate: At this most critical moment in human history, when a coup is being conducted against us and four separate threats to human existence and all life on Earth require our engaged attention and powerful response, it is almost impossible to get people to even acknowledge these threats, let alone to consider the evidence and act strategically in response.

Which means that profoundly altering our approaches to parenting and education, so that we produce powerful individuals, is critical to any strategy to fight for human survival.

So what can we do?

Well, if you would like to fight for human survival, it would be useful to start by giving yourself time to focus on feeling your emotional responses – fear, anger, sadness, dread…. – to the elite coup and the four most imminent threats.

If you do not do this, you are unlikely to be able to engage meaningfully and strategically in the effort. You will, most likely and unconsciously, simply put your attention elsewhere and go back to what you were doing.

So once you have a clearer sense of your emotional reactions to this knowledge and have allowed yourself time to focus on feeling these feelings, you will be in a far more powerful position to consider your response to the situation. And, depending on your interests and circumstances, there is a range of possible responses that will each make an important difference.

Fundamentally, you might consider making ‘My Promise to Children‘ which will include considering what an education for your children means to you, particularly if you want powerful individuals who can resist violence.

You might consider supporting others to become more powerful.

If you wish to strategically resist the elite coup against humanity, you can read about nonviolent strategy, including strategic goals for doing so, from here: Strategic Aims.

If you wish to powerfully resist the primary threats to human existence – nuclear war, the deployment of 5G, the collapse of biodiversity and/or the climate catastrophe – you can read about nonviolent strategy, including strategic goals to focus your campaigns, from here: Strategic Aims.

You might also consider joining those who are powerful enough to recognize the critical importance of reduced consumption and greater self-reliance as essential elements of these strategies by participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth‘.

In addition, you are welcome to consider signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World‘.

Or, if you want something simpler, consider committing to:

The Earth Pledge

Out of love for the Earth and all of its creatures, and my respect for their needs, from this day onwards I pledge that:

  1. I will listen deeply to children. See Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening‘.
  2. I will not travel by plane
  3. I will not travel by car
  4. I will not eat meat and fish
  5. I will only eat organically/biodynamically grown food
  6. I will minimize the amount of fresh water I use, including by minimizing my ownership and use of electronic devices
  7. I will not own or use a mobile (cell) phone
  8. I will not buy rainforest timber
  9. I will not buy or use single-use plastic, such as bags, bottles, containers, cups and straws
  10. I will not use banks, superannuation (pension) funds or insurance companies that provide any service to corporations involved in fossil fuels, nuclear power and/or weapons
  11. I will not accept employment from, or invest in, any organization that supports or participates in the exploitation of fellow human beings or profits from killing and/or destruction of the biosphere
  12. I will not get news from the corporate media (mainstream newspapers, television, radio, Google, Facebook, Twitter…)
  13. I will make the effort to learn a skill, such as food gardening or sewing, that makes me more self-reliant
  14. I will gently encourage my family and friends to consider signing this pledge.

Conclusion

Given that submissive obedience is the primary behavioural characteristic of all ‘good citizens’, it is going to take a monumental effort to defeat the elite coup and avert the now imminent extinction of Homo Sapiens. This is because most common human behaviours – from parenting to consumption habits – have been shaped to serve elite interests, and it is these behaviours that must change.

Of course, this is also why lobbying elite agents – such as governments and corporations – cannot work. Apart from the fact that they exist to serve elite interests and obey elite directives accordingly (rather than respond to grassroots pressure which they function superbly to dissipate), governments and corporations cannot meaningfully impact the crises that confront us.

That power is ours but we must use it, and deploy it strategically.

Why is Surrogacy Illegal in Most of the World?

The longing, desire and biological drive of many human beings to fulfill the imperative to be fruitful, to procreate and to become parents, is real and painful when unachievable.  This has led to an increase of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy, despite ethical and legal concerns.

Preface

The infertility and surrogacy multi-billion-dollar industries, those who benefit from it, and others, too often attempt to out-shout any criticism of surrogacy by conflating surrogacy with LGBTQ+ rights and labeling all opposition to surrogacy as homophobic.

Yet, the LGBTQ+ community includes those who are opposed to surrogacy and anonymous designer contract conception, aka assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Opposition to surrogacy has nothing to do with the sexual preference, sexual orientation, gender identification or marital status of those who use anonymous gamete and/or hire a surrogate.

It is contractual anonymous conception and surrogacy which is at question, regardless of who contracts for such services.

Anderson Cooper is the latest celebrity to have a child via surrogacy. He joins 35 gay, straight, married and single celebs such as Tyra Banks, Michael Jackson, Mariska Hargitay, Elton John, Andy Cohen, Katy Segal as well as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who had two of their four children born via surrogate, and Sarah Jessica Parker who has surrogate twins.

Hollywood and the public marvel at each new arrival often with no mention of how the child came to be.  While some have made grand public announcements and a few celebs have openly expressed gratitude to the surrogate, there seems to be an unspoken “don’t ask” etiquette in interviews about the new baby, leaving an almost unnatural silence in place of usual chatter such as: “Who does the baby look like, his mother or father?”

Traditional surrogacy, prior to the Baby M Case involved inseminating a woman with sperm – often, but not always – of the contractual father-to-be. Since 1986 when Mary Beth Whitehead battled for custody of her daughter Sarah (known as Baby M), the mega-billion-dollar fertility industry devised a way to avoid mothers fighting for custody of “their” child by creating “gestational surrogacy”- the current norm – that involves a carrier being implanted with a third-party’s fertilized egg, and incubating the unrelated fetus. The child is thus unrelated to the gestational carrier, greatly limiting custody claims.

For many, perhaps most, choosing to have a child by any means is a cause for celebration. Touting reproductive choice, freedom, and justice proponents argue any child who is wanted and loved is a thing of joy and everyone choosing to be a parent should be admired and supported, regardless of how parenthood is achieved, including the use of anonymous gamete and surrogacy as a reproductive “right.”

A Right?

Clearly all have a right to access to reproductive care and services. However, the fact is that no “right” or entitlement to have a child or be a parent exists. And certainly, there is no right to buy sperm or eggs or the use of a woman’s womb.

Feminists are divided on surrogacy, as they have long been with prostitution, with some arguing for women’s autonomy, legalization and regulation, and others concerned about exploitation and commodification. Yet, many woman’s organizations, intellectuals, pro-life groups, politicians, scientists and citizens from different cultural backgrounds and countries call for the universal elimination of surrogacy, paid or unpaid.

Feminists do not take an opposing position on surrogacy easily, inasmuch as many women – alone or with a partner – are consumers of surrogacy services.  It is thus all the more notable that women’s rights scholars such as Phyllis Chesler and Gloria Steinem opposed a NY bill (which passed in May, 2020) to legalize paid surrogacy saying it “turns women’s bodies into commodities and is coercive to poor women given the sizable payments it can bring.”

Gary Powell, a UK conservative political activist and longstanding advocate for gay and lesbian equality, writes,

As gay people, we cannot insist on the right to carry out practices that harm the rights of others. Rather than being an LGBT rights issue, surrogacy is a women’s rights issue and a children’s rights issue; and like the sale of human organs, it is not an activity that should be promoted or indeed permitted.

A Choice?

Defenders of surrogacy see it as a reproductive choice from a vast array of menu items ranging from IVF to adoption. However, these options are not available equally to all, but only to those who can afford them.

There are also legal restrictions as to what methodologies of obtaining a child are acceptable or not and even punishable. An “anything goes” ideology for becoming a parent does not include kidnapping, for instance, even if the child is loved and well-cared for, such as in cases like that of Carlina White and Kamiyah Mobley each of whom was kidnapped as an infant and raised as the child of their abductor for two decades.

And let us be clear: The word “donation” in regard to egg, sperm and womb is a euphemism intended to illicit a more altruistic tone to these purchases. Gametes –  egg and sperm are commodities being bought and sold most often via a third-party broker. While it is argued that payment is for services not the commodity itself, such “services” are seldom given without compensation. It is coercion and exploitation of the poor that prevents the sale of human organs and yet laws in all locals have not yet included a similar ban on gametes and wombs.

Anna Kerr, founder and Principal Solicitor of Feminist Legal Clinic Inc., Sydney, AU addresses the heart of the issue in regard to how much a of choice surrogacy is for the surrogates:

 … how often are these ‘choices’ being made under financial duress or in a context of social coercion?  …  Can we assume that women are truly acting of their own volition when in many cases their lives are so susceptible to the control of others? Or should we be skeptical of claims of ‘free choice’ and ‘consent’ in contexts that so clearly  … smack of abuse and shameless exploitation?

Desire, Love and Affluence

There is a belief that those who are eager to add to their families in a very intentional manner do so out of love and will be good parents. We also need to question the premise that being able to provide a child more material “advantages” – music or tennis lessons, private schools – makes for a happier, more well-adjusted child than those raised by less affluent biological parent or parents.

More importantly, the vetting of prospective adopters has missed adopters who physically, emotionally and sexually abuse, abandon, and even kill, children they sought out, paid high fees for, and were entrusted with.  Those who contract for surrogate births undergo no home studies. They are screened only by their ability to pay. At least one surrogate baby was placed with a man convicted of a sex crime.

Another common American ethos is that people “deserve” or are entitled to that which they can afford, a dangerous argument that would justify – even condone? – wealthy deviants who partake in sex tourism to countries with legalized prostitution and unknowingly purchase services trafficked of sex workers as young as twelve.

Payment

Those in favor of surrogacy point out that women voluntarily “choose” to be surrogates and are paid. However, compensation for time and labor does not necessarily make a transaction free of exploitation.

India, once the  go-to epicenter for commercial surrogate births, was forced to ban international surrogacy in 2018 as a result of a multiple concerns, according to the website Surrogate.com, including:

…unethical treatment, poor living conditions and exploitation. To keep up with demand from international intended parents, Indian surrogacy agencies effectively ran ‘baby factories,’ where Indian women were forced to live until they gave birth to the intended parents’ babies — with usually no assistance for the family they had left behind while pregnant.

In addition, the surrogates in India only received a fraction of the expenses that intended parents paid the surrogacy agency — only $4,000 to $5,000 for compensation. With agencies charging more than double that in total, surrogates were commonly exploited . . .

Drawn into surrogacy by poverty and lack of education, many  stayed as a result of being shunned within their communities and because one round of surrogacy is not a sustainable income “effectively became ‘baby-making machines’ year after year.”

Domestically, the exploitation is more covert and insidious. Surrogate websites, such as West Coast Surrogacy, paint this rosy picture to solicit surrogates using another euphemism, “gift” though gifts are not paid for by recipients:

It takes a special person to become a surrogate mother. The gift that surrogates provide is both remarkable and generous …

It goes on to speak of “the feeling of joy you experience as a surrogate …”

Those who become a surrogate mother (also known as a gestational carrier) provide a gift of unparalleled compassion for couples and individuals experiencing infertility or who are LGBT.

Most surrogates say their motivation is altruistic to help individuals or couples who want desperately to be parents and can’t, but they also report needing the money and universally agree that the financial “compensation” was a major factor. According to Surrogate.com the average “base pay” for surrogacy is $25,000 with additional payments for expenses such as medical, clothing and travel. At West Coast Surrogacy “experienced” surrogates can be compensated as much as $60,000, in part because California’s liberal surrogacy laws attract clients from all over the world.

Exploitation

Surrogacy is an extension of a long history of low-paid female service workers such as housekeepers, nannies and nursery school aids who toil for the more well-to-do.

With the exception of a family member or close friend choosing to carry child for another, all surrogacy contracts involve payment to entice women in need of cash. It is the poor, or those in temporary need, who agree to rent their bodies and sell the end human “product” to those who can afford to buy a human infant. Charis M. Thompson, London School of Economics, writes:

The level of social, political, and economic disenfranchisement of the reproductive labourer is taken to be an indicator of the level of exploitation involved.

Surrogacy involves a contract prepared by the surrogacy businesses or the paying client, known as “intended parent(s).”  Because doctors implant multiple embryos to ensure a higher success, surrogacy often produces twins, triplets, and even four or five babies. The contracts thus include stipulations such as “selective reduction” of multiples and termination if it appears the child may not meet the requirements of those paying for it.  Such draconian terms led attorney Harold Cassidy to argue that surrogate contracts are “unconscionable” with the terms that are “manifestly unfair or oppressive.”

Surrogates who find themselves unable to comply with such contractual agreements have led to multiple protracted lawsuits and appeals such as the case of Melissa Cook, a 47-year-old California surrogate who became pregnant with triplets. Cook sued the commissioning father – a single 50-year-old Georgia postal worker, who is deaf, mute, and lives with his elderly parents – because he wanted her to abort one of the fetuses. The triplets have remained in the custody of the father as the case has wound through courts and appeals, despite the father’s sister’s claim he is ‘abusing’ the children.

Risks

Gestational surrogacy involves the dehumanization of a woman’s body to become a womb for hire – a handmaid. As human incubators they risk ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS), ovarian torsion, ovarian cysts, chronic pelvic pain, premature menopause, loss of fertility, reproductive cancers, blood clots, kidney disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, hyperemesis gravidaru (severe persistent nausea and vomiting), loss of the ability to have future full-term pregnancies, postpartum depression, and, in some cases, death.

In addition, women who are paid to produce and sell their eggs, undergo months of hormone injections prior to the surgical retrieval. Risks include bleeding, infection, ovarian hyperstimulation and damage to the bowel or bladder.

Risks to babies born of anonymous assisted reproductive technologies employed in surrogacy, include: preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, fetal anomalies, and higher blood pressure. Additionally, commercial surrogates agree to detach and dissociate themselves emotionally from any and all maternal hormonal feelings toward the being growing inside them, stoically overriding these natural instincts in order to consider the child they are carrying to be “not theirs.” This detachment causes stress which releases cortisol into the fetal growing brain.

Surrogate-born babies suffer additional emotional trauma resulting from separation at birth, also known as primal wound. Myron A. Hofer, B. Perry et al., Allan N. Schore, James Fallon and others have reported the lifelong neurological damage that results from traumatic depravation of maternal-infant attachment formed in the womb as a biological function. The unborn fetus shows a preferential response to maternal scents and sounds that the newborn expects to continue after birth, preferring the sound and smell of experiences in utero. Using MRI’s, neurologist Schore found that early separation from the gestational caregiver to be the genesis of adult personality disorders involving a person’s ability to trust, bond, learn, and emotionally attach.

Legal/Illegal: Where and Why?

In addition to being exploitative, most countries recognize surrogacy as baby-selling or human trafficking, which is universally illegal.

The US is one of only nine countries that legalizes surrogate pre-birth contracts. It was the first country in the world to recognize parentage created by payment and contract. Since 1985, the United States has become the preferred surrogacy destination for international parents such as British citizens Elton John and David Furnish as well as others from Australia, Canada, Spain, and Germany.

As of April 1, 2020, British taxpayers will be forced to “pay clinical negligence claimants six-figure sums to pursue commercial surrogacy abroad, which is forbidden under UK criminal law.” Additionally, lack of international regulation, can create citizens born to surrogates who are parentlessness and/or statelessness.

Within the U.S. the laws vary state-to-state, however, with some states allowing only unpaid, altruistic or in-family surrogacy while other states ban all surrogacy contracts. Some states ban and penalize the practice and some regulate it one manner or another.  It is important to recognize why the vast majority of countries — and many US states — restrict, prohibit or strictly regulate surrogacy or criminalize the practice.

Harold Cassidy who represented Mary Beth Whitehead, mother of Baby M, argued in the case of Melissa Cook that surrogacy reduces women to a “breeding animal or incubator,” and that pretending the surrogate “has absolutely no interest in what happens to the child is a cruel notion to both the mother and the child.”

The Children

Surrogacy intentionally creates motherless children despite society’s “best interest of the child” policies that guide all other aspects of family law. Yet the children produced — who are the entire reason and end goal of surrogacy — are not party to the contractual agreement.

There is nothing socially redeeming about surrogacy as there is with adoption, which purports to “rescue” orphans. It is purely a self-serving act based on a desire to parent and feelings of entitlement to a child. In fact, those who choose surrogacy are choosing not to adopt. Surrogacy is chosen over adoption so as not to have birth parents to deal with and because of the desire to have a child that is genetically connected them (biogenetic bias). Yet,  ironically, the child is often denied knowing half of his genetics and blood kin.

The legal necessity for the contracting parents to adopt the surrogate birthed child produces a falsified birth certificate, as do all adoptions (including step-parent adoption) that obliterates all or half of the child’s genetic heritage and lists the paying contactors as the only parents, as if the child were naturally conceived and born to just one person, two men, two women, or the heterosexual couple paying for the transaction.  Many posit that the denial of the right to true identity is one of the reasons the US is the only nation that has not ratified the UNCRC – Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Many of the issues children of surrogacy face, such as loss of one or more genetic forebearers, have been well documented by adoptees and designer contract offspring (aka “donor” offspring).  For generations, many have searched for their true genetic heritage, medical history and kin, which is understandable given the fact that genealogy is the “second most popular hobby in the U.S. after gardening, and the second most visited category of websites, after pornography” according to ABC News.

In addition to the natural desire to know one’s roots, children created from anonymous gamete deal with unknown familial medical history and the very real dread of unknowingly meeting, dating, even marrying a sibling or other blood kin.

The human products of these contractual, anonymous conceptions are at risk for genealogical bewilderment and will inevitably ask some form of: “Where do babies come from?”  Those raised by one or two mothers will undoubtedly question who their father is while those raised by a single dad or two dads will ask: “Who is my mother?” This question could be quite complicated, as noted by Molly Sheahan, graduate student at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family:

… [in] the most routine of surrogate pregnancies or donor conceptions, a child can have as many as six parents: the genetic father, the genetic mother, the surrogate mother, her spouse, and the intended parents.

Abbie Goldberg, Professor of Psychology, Clark University is one of many adoption professionals who now strongly recommend  full, honest disclosure of a child’s origin story by the time they reach adolescence.  Children born via surrogacy or other anonymous reproductive techniques who are told the truth have to deal with the anonymity and the monetary factors of their conception.  Others who are raised by heterosexual married couples, and may or may not be related to their social father, are often not told.

One young man, conceived via traditional surrogacy, expresses very poignantly how he feels about it:

How do you think we feel about being created specifically to be given away? … I don’t care why my parents or my mother did this. It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want. You can wrap it up in a silk freaking scarf. You can pretend these are not your children. You can say it is a gift or you donated your egg to the IM. But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. I don’t care if you think I am not your child, what about what I think!  . . . When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity. Babies are not commodities. Babies are human beings. How do you think this makes us feel to know that there was money exchanged for us?

Reproductive businesses flourish while these ethical questions are still being debated:

  • Do all reproductive choices equally protect the rights of the human being conceived or the women being utilized for eggs or womb?
  • Do the alleged “rights” of would-be parents override the rights of the human being created as they grow into adults?
  • Where is the line between third-party anonymous designer contractual conceptions and eugenics when egg and/or sperm sales are contingent on the physical and intellectual attributes of the “donor”/seller with college campuses and medical schools specifically targeted for sperm and egg “donors?”
  • Is it fair to continue to intentionally, and some might say selfishly, creating motherless children?
  • Why do we bemoan fatherlessness among minorities and in inner-cities and applaud the creation of motherless babies by the wealthy?

Kerr very accurately foresees surrogacy and other reproductive technologies creating “an Atwoodian dystopia that should provide the basis for litigation well into the future.  … international human rights provisions, do not adequately recognise and protect the natural and fundamental bond between a mother and the child she carries and must urgently be strengthened to prevent further development of a culture in which women’s reproductive capacities are commandeered and their offspring traded as mere commodities by wealthy men [and women].”1

  1. For additional information see:

    Surrogacy as the Sale of Children
    Surrogacy and the Politics of Commodification
    Surrogacy: Ethical and Legal Issues
    The ethics of surrogacy
    Surrogacy: Why the world needs rules for ‘selling’ babies
    Fundamental and legal problems for surrogate motherhood
    Global Perspective, All surrogacy is exploitation – the world should follow Sweden’s ban
    Inputs on gestational surrogacy for the OHCHR Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children
    Handmaids for Hire: Should Commercial Surrogacy be Legalized In NYS? Surrogacy Has Now Become A Way of Slicing and Dicing Biological Motherhood into Three Parts.
    Surrogacy: Why the world needs rules for ‘selling’ babies
    Eggsploitation, documentary
    The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC)
    All Ways of Family Building are NOT Equal and do Not Protect Child’s Rights.
    Designer Conception: Interview with Zave Fors, a product of designer conception discussing his feelings about it

The JNF’s Sordid History: Tower and Stockades, Forests and Jim Crow Vetting Committees

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) rightly presents itself as the most venerable of the Zionist institutions:

  • It stands at the heart of a state-building project launched more than a century ago;
  • It is an organisation that is today deeply embedded in the structures of the Israeli state;
  • It is the guardian of the Israel’s most precious resource – land;
  • And it is the bridge connecting Jews abroad to Israel, allowing them to become practically and emotionally involved in its continuing national mission of colonisation.

Created in 1901, the JNF was the earliest of the major institutions established by the international Zionist movement to build a state in Palestine. The Jewish Agency, the Zionist movement’s government-in-waiting and migration service, and the Haganah, its embryonic military force, would have to wait another two and three decades to make a proper appearance.

New ambassador

No institution stands at the heart of the Zionist mission more squarely than the JNF. And for that reason, if no other, it is not only the most pre-eminent but also the most zealous of those organisations.

If that seems unfair, notice a recent statement by the JNF-UK that hints at the organisation’s extremism even by the standards set by a Jewish community leadership in Britain that has grown increasingly fanatical in its support of Israel and actively hostile to Palestinian rights.

The statement was issued last month, as it was confirmed that Tzipi Hotovely, a rising star in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, had been appointed Israel’s new ambassador to the UK. Hotovely makes the Israeli prime minister seem moderate by comparison.

She is a proud Jewish supremacist and Islamophobe. She supports Israel’s annexation of the entire West Bank and the takeover of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. She is happy to lift the veil from Israel’s apartheid rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories.

That fact has made her appointment a deeply unappealing prospect for most of Britain’s Jewish community. It has prompted many hundreds to sign a petition calling on the UK government to block her apppointment. Prominent liberal Jews and Jewish organisations have either quietly lamented the decision or remained publicly silent. They are fearful that her outspoken views will tear the mask from ugly Israeli policies they have long supported.

But the JNF-UK broke ranks with this consensus. In a statement it insisted:

The British Jewish community will gladly and respectfully endorse Mrs Hotovely as the new Israeli Ambassador to the UK. She is a leader with many positive attributes and achievements, and we wish her the best of luck in her new position.

Tower and stockade

We can trace the JNF’s current zealotry, as well as its indifference to those who have paid the price for its colonisation project, to its earliest years. Its aims were twofold.

First, it sought to impose residential segregation as a way to expand the resources available to Jews and to diminish those available to the native population. This was what we might term its apartheid-enforcing role.

And second, it hoped to remove the natives from their homeland by depriving them of the resources they needed to subsist. What we might term its ethnic cleansing role.

These twin prongs of what soon came to be called “Judaisation” were Zionism’s particular expression of settler colonialism.

Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, foreshadowed the JNF’s transformative mission back in 1895, six years before the organisation had been created:

We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless [local] population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country.

To clarify how this model worked, I want to take a moment to step back and examine the first significant tool of land dispossession developed by the JNF in the pre-state years, in the 1930s. This was when Zionism began to develop its incremental – or creeping – ethnic cleansing model.

A half-hour drive from my home in Nazareth is a replica of a tower and stockade, next to Kibbutz Beit Alpha in the Beit She’an Valley. It was only the second tower and stockade built in Palestine, in 1936. Soon there would be dozens of them marching across the landscape.

The tower and stockades were simple structures. They were wooden enclosures, fortresses with a tall watchtower at their centre. (Imagine, if you will, one of those cavalry outposts you may remember from old Westerns featuring John Wayne as he bravely battled the marauding “Red Indians”.)

Hebrew labour

In its land-buying role, the JNF secured the lands around Beit Alpha in the early 1930s from an absentee landlord in Lebanon. In line with Herzl’s proposal, each kibbutz not only took charge of the lands of local Palestinian sharecroppers but then refused to let them work the land or to employ them. There was a strict policy of “Hebrew labour” to deprive the native population of the ability to subsist and “spirit them across the border”.

Such land purchases – as well as the expulsion of Palestinian tenants from lands they had farmed for generations – began to awaken ordinary Palestinians to Zionism’s colonial nature. In 1936 the Palestinians launched an uprising, known by the British as the Arab Revolt. It lasted three years.

The Zionist movement, however, did not simply rely on British force to quell the Revolt. It took matters into its own hands. Its policy of “gentle” ethnic cleansing turned much more aggressive. It began building dozens of tower and stockades – each the nucleus of a future kibbutz – to forcibly drive the natives off the lands they depended on for their livelihoods.

Ethnic cleansing

Beit Alpha’s tower and stockade, named Tel Amal, was assigned a militia. Its members would take turns in the tower to keep watch over their comrades working the fields that until recently had been farmed by Palestinians. (Beit Alpha would later forge close ties to the apartheid regime in South Africa, selling anti-riot vehicles for Pretoria to use against black protesters in the townships.)

From the tower, the colonists would be able to shoot at any Palestinian who tried to return to his fields. Unable to harvest their crops, these Palestinian farmers faced a choice between starvation and moving further down the valley to find new land. But the Zionist colonisers were always close behind.

Once the lands around Tel Amal had been secured, a new kibbutz was built around it called Nir David. Its inhabitants then built a new outpost further down the valley with its own tower and stockade. And the process of dispossessing the Palestinians would begin all over again. It was relentless, incremental ethnic cleansing.

At the time, Moshe Sharrett, who would become one of Israel’s first prime ministers, explained the purpose of the tower and stockade in zero-sum terms. The stockades, he argued, would “make it as difficult as possible to solve the problems of this land by means of division or cantonisation”. In other words, the Zionist leadership intended to “solve the problems of this land” through force of arms and expulsion.

Yosef Weitz, the director of the JNF’s settlements division, was a similarly outspoken, early proponent of expulsion. In 1940, in the immediate aftermath of the so-called Arab Revolt, he wrote in his diary: “There is no other way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries. To transfer all of them. Not one village, not one tribe should be left.”

In April 1948, in the midst of the Nakba, he observed: “I have drawn up a list of Arab villages which in my opinion must be cleared out in order to complete Jewish regions.”

That list was the blueprint for the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist movement through 1948. During the Nakba, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, appointed Weitz to a secretive Transfer Committee to direct the ethnic cleansing operations.

Outposts and trees

The JNF’s tower and stockade mentality never went away – very obviously in the case of the occupied territories. It is represented today in the militarised architecture of the West Bank’s main settlements – fortified houses, circled like wagons, on hillsides overlooking Palestinian farming villages in the valleys below.

It is even more evident in the dozens of so-called “illegal outposts” in the West Bank. There settler militias, armed by the state, live in caravans atop yet more hills. They target key resources – the wells and the olive groves – of Palestinian farmers, terrifying them off their farmland so they depart for the relative safety of the Palestinian cities, freeing up the land for Jewish settlement.

But the legacy of the tower and stockade also resides more subtly in the architecture of citizenship and residency inside Israel – despite Israel’s claims to being a democratic, western-style state.

Weitz, the JNF official who had helped mastermind the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba, was appointed to head the JNF’s Forestry Department. Ben Gurion wanted a billion trees planted in a decade. The JNF fell short – it managed only 250 million.

Forestry was at the heart of the new Judaisation programme in Israel after statehood. Israel did not have enough immigrants to crowd out the Palestinians with Jewish bodies, so it used “Jewish” trees instead – especially the fast-growing pine.

The most pressing goal was to smother the lands of the recently expelled Palestinian refugees with forests. Their villages that had just been destroyed by Israel – more than 500 of them – would be covered with Judaisation trees.

The forests made it impossible to realise a Palestinian right of return that had recently been enshrined in international law. The trees were a physical obstacle to rebuilding the refugees’ destroyed homes or replanting the crops they subsisted on. Each tree was a weapon of war, a bayonet enforcing the ethnic cleansing of 1948.

But forestry also provided a cover for Israel’s malign intentions towards the Palestinians. The planting of trees was presented to the outside world as environmentalism, as the introduction of European order and civilisation, as Biblical redemption, as the Zionist realisation of its mission to make the desert bloom.

Blockaded by forests

The JNF’s forests were not just planted over the many hundreds of Palestinian villages Israel had destroyed.

They were also a vital weapon in the war against the minority of Palestinians who had managed to remain on their lands inside what was now Israel, despite the ethnic cleansing. They were eventually given a very degraded Israeli citizenship. Today these Palestinians comprise one-fifth of the Israeli population – what the historian Ilan Pappe calls the Forgotten Palestinians.

Many of the millions of trees planted by the JNF were in forests that pressed up tightly against the 120 or so Palestinian communities in Israel that survived the Nakba. These towns and villages were blockaded by forests, denied the chance to expand or use their lands for productive purposes, either housing or farming.

Palestinian communities in Israel, stripped of their historic lands by forests, would soon become overcrowded, de-developed spaces. Their working populations would be forced to abandon agricultural traditions and instead become casual labourers – a new precariat – in a larger Jewish economy.

The JNF’s forestation programmes are not just a relic of its early years. Trees are still being planted to this day to ethnically cleanse Israel’s Palestinian citizens. That is most obvious in Israel’s south, in the Negev (Naqab), where they are used to enforce the ethnic cleansing of Bedouin communities.

One such village, al-Araqib, is being wiped off the map by the JNF with the active complicity of the international community. The organisation is planting an Ambassadors Forest, in honour of the foreign diplomats stationed in Israel, to evict dozens of families from their ancestral lands.

Back in 2013, at the height of the campaign against al-Araqib and other Bedouin communities, Avigdor Lieberman, who was then foreign minister, made a telling comment. He said the fight to displace the Bedouin from their historic villages in the Negev proved that “nothing has changed since the tower and stockade days. We are fighting for the lands of the Jewish people and there are those [Palestinian citizens] who intentionally try to rob and seize them.”

Citizenship vs nationality

But the JNF’s tools of dispossession go far beyond the use of trees, into the very idea of what Israel is and who it belongs to.

The JNF was given a quasi-govermmental status that allowed it to function with the legal powers of a government agency but none of the legal restraints. Its role was formalised early on, in the Jewish National Fund Law of 1953.

Today, the state owns 93 percent of Israel’s recognised territory, serving as trustee. Defined as “national lands”, this territory is reserved not for Israel’s citizens, which would include Israel’s Palestinian minority, but for the Jewish people around the world.

Once again, the JNF has been principally responsible for advancing residential segregation with the aim of incremental ethnic cleansing. Judaisation, this time, takes place not through guns but through the law.

This goal has been achieved through a separation of the concepts of “citizenship” and “nationality”, which has provided a thin veneer of legality to segregation and institutionalised discrimination.

Israel has created two kinds of rights – “citizenship rights” and “national rights” – that accrue different privileges to Israeli citizens based on their ethnicity. Citizenship rights apply to all Israeli citizens equally – at least in theory – but national rights are based on each citizen’s national belonging, as either a “Jew” or as an “Arab”.

Importantly, national rights – for Jews – take precedence over citizenship rights for all Israelis. The JNF is one major mechanism by which superior rights in access to land can be guaranteed for “Jewish nationals” (including Jews who are not Israeli citizens) rather than Israel’s so-called “Arab nationals”. This distinction lies at the heart of Israel’s version of apartheid.

‘No equality’

In fact, this separation in Israel between citizenship rights and national rights is rooted in an idea central to the JNF’s charter, which promotes collective ownership of the “Land of Israel” by the Jewish people.

For this reason, many of the lands stolen from the Palestinian refugees in 1948 were hurriedly transferred by Israel to the JNF for a pittance, so they could never again be claimed by their original owners.

Today the JNF owns 13 percent of Israeli territory, some of Israel’s most prized lands, which it holds in trust for all Jews around the world. Only Jews can lease or mortgage its lands. As the JNF explained when it was challenged about its charter in 2004, it is

not a public body that works for the benefit of all citizens of the state. The loyalty of the JNF is given to the Jewish people – and only to them is the JNF obligated. The JNF, as the owner of the JNF land, does not have a duty to practice equality towards all citizens of the state.

But the JNF’s influence extends beyond the 13 percent of Israeli land it owns. Since 1960 it has played a decisive role – through the Israel Lands Authority, a government agency – in overseeing the further 80 percent of land owned by the Israeli state.

In fact, the JNF appoints 10 of the Israel Lands Authority’s 22 directors. Effectively, the JNF controls the Israeli state’s land policy in accordance with its own apartheid mission, making land available for Jews alone, including Jews who are not Israeli citizens.

Planning and Building Law

The JNF’s Judaisation model also underpins Israel’s planning system. Israel has created a web of planning bodies in which Palestinian citizens are almost never represented. That means that Palestinian communities struggle to get their master plans recognised, and as a result their residents are denied permits for new buildings.

Central to this planning system is a largely overlooked piece of legislation: the Planning and Building Law of 1965. It was legislated shortly before Israel’s Palestinian minority emerged from nearly two decades of harsh military rule.

The Planning Law determined whether Palestinian communities that survived the Nakba would be recognised by the state. The law retrospectively “unrecognised” dozens of small, largely Bedouin villages, many in the Negev (Naqab), such as al-Araqib, which is being subsumed by Ambassadors Forest. The law criminalised these villages overnight, and to this day denies them all services.

The law’s other important function was in fixing the expansion area of every Israeli community. Jewish communities were given generous allowances for future growth and natural expansion, whereas Palestinian communities – the 120 that were recognised – were confined tightly to their built-up area in 1965. The development area has rarely changed since, even though the Palestinian population in Israel has grown eightfold.

Palestinian communities have become overcrowded ghettos. Furthermore, tens of thousands of their homes have been built without permits and are therefore under threat of demolition. Families spend years paying large fines to the authorities to ward off destruction – effectively a form of extra taxation on Palestinian housing – and may still find their house eventually being demolished.

The Israeli authorities want Palestinian communities overcrowded. That is underlined by Israel’s refusal to build a single new Palestinian community since 1948. Planning rules are designed to intensify the pressure on Palestinian citizens to leave.

The kibbutz and moshav

These planning restrictions would not be so critical if Israel was not enforcing the same kind of residential segregation embodied in the tower and stockade, back in the 1930s.

Today, the tower and stockades are gone – except for a few reconstructions, like the one at Nir David, that are visited by schoolchildren learning about the glories of their forebears’ history.

The tower and stockade was succeeded by the kibbutz and moshav – originally collectivised agricultural communities. After the Nakba, many were built on the lands of Palestinian refugees. Hundreds of them exist today and are known as “cooperative associations”.

The kibbutzim and moshavim control about half of the 93 percent of the land the JNF oversees through the Israel Lands Authority. Most no longer rely on agriculture for their livelihood. They are now bedroom communities, with the residents travelling to jobs in larger towns. But they are still key enforcers of residential segregation and ethnic cleansing.

The function of the kibbutz and moshav is still to Judaise land: not only in a historic sense, by continuing to ensure that Palestinian refugees cannot return to reclaim their lands; but in a contemporary sense too, by preventing Palestinian citizens – a fifth of Israel’s population – from living on those lands.

Both literally and figuratively, these “cooperative associations” are gated communities – exclusive clubs, where you must be a member to belong. And Palestinian citizens are always denied membership.

Admissions committees

This is achieved primarily through the admissions committee, vetting bodies operating in some 900 communities across Israel. Each has the power to decide who will be allowed to live within their borders. These committees are guided by the JNF’s charter, and true to its spirit they always bar Palestinian citizens.

Years ago the admissions committees were explicit that no Palestinian citizens were welcome. It was Israel’s Jim Crow. But a legal challenge in the landmark Kaadan case reached the Israeli supreme court in 2000. Embarrassed by the bad publicity abroad, the admissions committees redefined the grounds for exclusion. This was formalised into the Admissions Committee Law in 2011.

Today Palestinian citizens are excluded because they are “not suitable for the social life of the community” or are found to be incompatible with the “social-cultural fabric.”

In short, Palestinian citizens are denied a place in these 900 communities because they are not Zionists, because they do not support Judaisation, and because they do not approve of their own exclusion, dispossession and ultimately expulsion from their homeland.

The JNF has been advancing its ugly, settler-colonial agenda on the ground for more than century. It is long past time that the JNF was held to account for its nefarious activities and that your campaign succeeds in stripping the JNF of its charitable status.

Tearing Down the Idols of Colonialism: Why Tunisia, Africa Must Demand French Apology  

The visit by newly-elected Tunisian President Kais Saied to France on June 22 was intended to discuss bilateral relations, trade, etc. But it was also a missed opportunity, where Tunisia could have formally demanded an apology from France for the decades of French colonialism, which has shattered the social and political fabric of this North African Arab nation since the late 19th century.

A heated debate at the Tunisian parliament, prior to Saied’s trip highlighted the significance of the issue to Tunisians, who are still reeling under the process of socio-economic and political transitions following the popular uprising in 2011.

Sadly, the Tunisian parliament rejected a motion forwarded by the centrist Karama coalition calling for a French apology, despite a fifteen hours’ long debate.

“We are not animated by any bitterness or hatred, but such apologies will heal the wounds of the past,” Seifeddine Makhlouf, head of Al-Karama, said during the debate. Makhlouf is under no moral obligation to explain his motives. A French apology to Tunisia, and many other African countries that have endured French colonialism for hundreds of years, is long overdue.

Ravaged by a relentless economic crisis, and still largely dependent on France as a foremost trade partner, Tunisia fears the consequences of such a just demand, which, if officially made, will also include a call for compensation as a result of nearly 75 years of exploitation and the subsequent collective trauma suffered by several generations.

A particular statement made by Osama Khelifi of the Qalb Tounes party delineates the unfortunate reality that continues to govern the thinking of Tunisia’s political elites. “We are not going to feed Tunisians with such notions,” he said.

Inconsequential to Khelifi, and others among the parties that rejected the motion, is that coming to terms with the past is a prerequisite for any nation that wishes to start anew. What would be the point of revolutions and revolutionary discourses if Tunisian politicians insist on merely trying to get along with a status quo that is imposed on them by outside forces?

While Saied was paying his diplomatic dues to Paris, statues were tumbling down across the Western world; some of former slave owners, others of racist ideologues and pioneers of colonialism.

On June 7, the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader, was taken down in the English town of Bristol. This was only one of many other monuments that were destroyed or defaced throughout the United States and Europe.

However, across the English Channel, the French government remained obstinate in its refusal to take down any similar statues, as if insisting on its refusal to revisit – let alone take responsibility – for its sinister past, especially the bloody and tragic events that shattered the African continent.

Statues are built to honor individuals for their great contributions in any society. They are also erected as a reminder to future generations that they must emulate these presumably great individuals. France, however, remains the exception.

Unsurprisingly, French government officials are engaging in nonsensical arguments as to why such statues, as that of Jean-Baptiste Colbert — a white aristocrat who, during the 17th century reign of King Louis XIV, established the horrific ‘Black Code’, the rules according to which black slaves were to be treated in the colonies – should remain intact.

Macron himself has made it clear that “the Republic  … won’t remove any statues.”

The collective rethink underway in various Western societies, which have greatly benefited from the exploitation of Africa, was ignited by the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of American police officers in Minneapolis.

Spontaneous popular movements, led mostly by the youth, connected the dots between racism, slavery, and colonialism, taking to the streets in their millions to demand a complete overhaul of the status quo.

Yet, France’s political elites continue to embrace French exceptionalism, arguing that, unlike the American experience with race and slavery, French law was never, at any point in the past, purposely racist.

In truth, past arrogance — ‘mission civilisatrice’ — continues to define France’s attitudes towards the present. This is why the French colonial experience was particularly keen on composing a clever discourse to account for its exploitation of Africa and other regions in the world.

In this skewed rationale, France’s invasion of Algeria in 1830 was dubbed as something else entirely. Algeria was now an integral part of France, they argued. Other countries, like Tunisia and Morocco, were made protectorates, ruled indirectly through corrupt local authorities. The rest of France’s African colonies were ravaged mercilessly by greedy French administrators.

Unlike other European experiences, the French colonial connection to Africa did not disintegrate in recent decades. Instead, it took on different forms, known by the now disparaging term ‘Françafrique’.

The expression ‘Françafrique’ was introduced in 1955 to describe the ‘special relations’ between France and the newly-independent African countries, now bound with what France called ‘cooperation agreements’. It was rightly understood that France was entering a new phase of colonialism in Africa: neo-colonialism.

Despite former French president, François Hollande, pledging to eradicate the term ‘Françafrique’ and its practical meaning, little has changed between France and its former African colonies.

Indeed, France can be found in every aspect of life, whether political, military, economic or even cultural, in many African countries. In the cases of Mali and Libya, the French intervention takes on an even more crude manifestation: domineering and violent.

To appreciate French neo-colonialism in Africa, consider this: fourteen African countries are still economically bound to France through the use of special currency, the CFA franc, designed specifically by France to manage the trade and economies of its former colonies. This jarring example of French neo-colonialism in Africa is consistent with France’s colonial and racist past.

Whether France chooses to come to terms with its past is entirely a French affair. It is, however, the responsibility of Tunisia – and the whole of Africa – to confront France and other colonial and neo-colonial regimes, not merely by demanding apologies and compensation, but insisting on a complete change of the present, unequal relations as well.

“In the colonial context the settler only ends his work of breaking in the native when the latter admits loudly and intelligibly the supremacy of the white man’s values,” wrote Frantz Fanon in ‘The Wretched of the Earth’.

The opposite must also be true. Tunisia, and many African countries, must demand a French apology. By doing so, they declare ‘loudly and intelligibly’ that they are finally free from the ‘white man’s (selfish and racist) values,’ and that they truly see themselves as equal. 

The Shallow Deep-State Goes Deeper as It Moves Toward Martial Law

I am not trying to be cute and play with words.  That title is meant to convey what it says, so let me explain.

The people who own the United States and their allies around the world have a plan.  It is so simple that it is extremely devious.  Their plan has been in operation for many years.  It has most people bamboozled because it is Janus-faced by design, overt one day, covert the next, but both faces operate under one controlling head.  Some call this head the Deep-State. Even the Deep-State calls itself the Deep-State in a double fake. It is meant to make people schizoid, which it has.

The so called Deep-State has been given many names over the years.  I will not bore you with them, except to say that it was once called the power elite.  They are the upper classes, the super wealthy who control the financial institutions, Wall Street, the intelligence agencies, the corporate media, the internet, the military, and the politicians. They are multinational.

They are the wealthy nihilists who care not one jot for the rest of the world. They operate in secret, yet also run above-ground organizations such as the World Bank (WB), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), etc. Their bloodstream runs on war, the preparations for war, and economic exploitation of the world.  All wealthy people are not party to their machinations, but they are almost always complicit in profiting from their crimes, unless they are very stupid.  Or play stupid.  Since I am talking about a great confidence game, that is quite common.

Other people, all other classes, the poor, middle-classes, even a portion of the upper middle classes mean nothing to the power elite unless they can serve their interests.  They are always waging class warfare to maintain their domination and control. Their recent version of this class war is underway in the United States and in many other countries. As of today, they are using race fears to create chaos and outrage to disguise their class warfare that is leading to the imposition of martial law.  Soon they will shift back to the coronavirus fraud. Back and forth, in and out, now you see it, now you don’t.

By shutting down the world’s economy, they have destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and are creating poverty on a vast scale. Much famine and death will follow.  In the United States alone, 40-45 million people have applied for unemployment insurance and job loss is the greatest since the Great Depression. The reason:  a massive propaganda campaign created around Covid-19 fear porn.

This class war is not new, but it is conducted today at warp speed since these people control the technology that has allowed them vastly increased power. In the U.S.A., it is conducted as usual under the guise of Republicans versus Democrats, the two representative political factions that are the faces of the controlled “opposition,” who are actually allies in the larger confidence game.  Keeping “hope” alive is central to their strategy.  Mind control is what they do.  Speed is their greatest ally.  Race is central to their game plan.  They always say they are protecting us.

It is all a lie.  A show.  Nothing but a spectacle for the gullible.  A shadow play.

The current president, Donald Trump, is the choice of one faction of these psychopaths.  This year, Joseph Biden, is the shaky presumptive choice of the other. Both are deranged puppets.  Regular people fight over who is better or worse because they are living inside what Jim Garrison, the former District Attorney of New Orleans and the only person to ever bring a trial in the assassination of President Kennedy, long ago called “the doll’s house.”

It is a place where illusions and delusions replace reality.  It is 24/7 propaganda. It keeps people engaged. It gives them something to argue about, one team to root for.  It’s a sport. It is similar to Plato’s Cave.  Fire has been replaced with electronic lighting and screens, but little has changed.

The sick system of exploitation is oiled and greased with the tantalizing bait of hope dangled for the masses.  Shit slogans like “We are all in this together.”

But there is no hope for this system.

But when the propaganda is so slick that it creates a double-bind, people grasp at any neurotic “solution” out of frustration.  As I write, huge angry crowds are out in the streets protesting the sick murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a white cop. Police infiltrators have started violent looting.  Chaos reigns, as planned. Such killings are routine, but someone turned a switch for this one when just yesterday operation corona lockdown with its fear and fake statistics had everyone cowering behind masks at home as the economic lives of vast numbers were destroyed in a flash.  For today, the masquerade is in the streets. Many good people are caught up in it.  In a few days the scene will shift and we can expect another “bombshell.”  These surprises will keep happening one after another for the foreseeable future.  Shock and Awe for the home crowd.  The war come home.  The controllers know you can’t wage war against the rest of the world unless you do so at home as well.

When one group within the deep-state won the internecine battle in 2016 and “shocked” the country with the election of the comical Trump, the other deep-state group called the Democrats, immediately set in motion a plan to try to oust him or to make it seem as if they were trying to do so. The naïve thought this may happen, and their deluded yearning has been stretched until the 2020 presidential election, although some probably think Trump might go before then.  He won’t.

So many people have destroyed their minds and relationships because they can’t see through the fraud.

Early in 2017, as the outgoing front man for the CIA/warfare/Wall St. state, Barack Obama, left his time bombs for the future. The pink pussy hats were sent out marching to open the show.  Russia-gate was launched; eventually impeachment was tried. The Democrats. with their media allies, went on a non-stop attack. It was all so obvious, so shallow in its intent, as it was meant to be. But millions who were in the doll house were outraged, obsessed, frantic with rage.  They bought the con-game. Both those who hate Trump and those that love him have spent almost four years foaming at the mouth, breathless.

Trump was cast as the personification of evil.  A relentless attack on Trump began and has continued all this time. It is pure theater. Trump remains at the helm, as planned, holding the Bible aloft in a style reminiscent of a Bible thumping Klansman from The Birth of a Nation. Only the ignorant thought it might have been different.  He knows how to perform his role. He is a fine actor.  He outrages, spews idiocies, as he is supposed to do. That Mussolini style stance, that absurd hair, the pout.  Just perfect for an arch-villain. It’s so obvious that it isn’t. Herein lies the trick.

And who profits from his policies?  The super-rich, of course, the power-elite.  Who just stole 6-10 trillion dollars of public money under the hilariously named Cares Act?  The super-rich, of course, the deep-state.  It was a bi-partisan bank robbery from the public treasury carried out under the shadow of Covid-19, whose phony hyped up numbers were used to frighten the populace into lockdown mode as the Republican and Democratic bank robbers smiled in unison and announced forcefully, “We care!”  We are here to protect you.

Remember how Barack Obama “saved” us by bailing out Wall St. and the big banks to the tune of trillions in early 2009.  Then waged unending wars. Left black Americans bereft.  He cared, too, didn’t he?  Our leaders always care.

Obama was the black guy in the white hat. Trump is the white guy in the black hat. Hollywood on the Potomac, as Gary Wills called it when Ronald Reagan was the acting-president.  Now Obama’s war-loving side-kick, the pale-faced, twisted talking Biden is seriously offered as an alternative to the Elvis impersonator in the White House.  This is the false left/right dichotomy that has the residents of the doll’s house in its grip.

If you can’t see what’s coming, you might want to break out of the house, take off your mask, go for a walk, and take some deep breaths.  The walls are closing in.

Knees will be on everyone’s necks in the months ahead.

Left Gatekeepers Through the New Left: Monitored Rebellion Part II

Orientation

In Part I of this article, I raised some questions about the uneven distribution 0f media coverage (radio, newspapers, magazines) between leftists, social democrats and anarchists on the one hand, and Leninists on the other. The social democrats and the anarchists receive the most media attention.  Next, I showed how the social democrats and the anarchists can be grouped into a single category of “New Left,” while Leninists represented the “Old Left”. I looked for patterns in their differences as I compared them across thirteen categories.

In the second half of Part I of the article, I discussed the machinations of a CIA front group in the 1950’s and 1960’s called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. The purpose of this organization was to keep communism from spreading into Europe by drawing anti-Stalinists into their organization, writers and artists, to make the case against communism through books, movies and modern art produced by non-communist left.

In Part II of this article, I explore the presence of other organizations today that perform the same monitoring function, except that Left Gatekeeping is directed primarily within Yankeedom. In the second half of this article I identify the characteristics of a left organization that would threaten the Left Gatekeepers. I complete the article by revisiting the characteristics of the New Left I laid out in Part I and show how its theory and practice can work quite well with the goals and purposes of liberal foundations, think tanks, political campaigns and mainstream media. As it turns out, the Left Gatekeepers of the 2nd half of the 20th century use the New Left to do their monitoring of any kind of movement that has any independent aspirations from the Democratic party. These organizations perform a very similar role as the Congress for Cultural Freedom played in the 50’s and 60’s. The leftist patron saints I named at the beginning of Part I are all unintentionally being used as tools of the Left Gatekeepers today.

Stratospheres of the Ruling Class

William Domhoff is a political sociologist who spent his entire life as a social scientist tracking empirically how the ruling class rules. Two of his books that detailed this were The Powers that Be and Who Rules America?. Domhoff found that the three most powerful organizations in the United States are the National Association of Manufacturers, The Business Roundtable and the Rockefellers’ group, The Council on Foreign Relations. These organizations rule through eight descending levels, culminating in the control of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

The first level is through university trustees and the setting up of foundations and grants. The second level are the think tanks which represent conservative, centrist and liberal viewpoints. More on this later. From the think tanks come policy discussion groups which develop public relations campaigns. Out of these public relations campaigns come reports, testimonies, books and newspaper editorials. From these are drawn “opinion leaders” who speak regularly to mass media. Policy discussion groups also lead directly to lobbyists and these lobbyists control the political candidate selection, whether they are Republican or Democrat. Lastly, there is the pageantry of elections where the public gets to vote. The important thing to notice is how passive both political parties are. They are the creatures of the upper levels, both liberal and conservative.

Most pertinent to Left Gatekeeping are the think tanks. Conservative think tanks include the Rand Group, American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Hoover Institute and the Manhattan Project. A centrist think tank is the Brookings Institute. Liberal think tanks include the Center for American Progress, the Ford Foundation, the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

While the Congress for Cultural Freedom has supposedly dissolved, the ruling classes have learned quite well the importance of controlling alternative visions to capitalism through think tanks, media and selected personalities. Their goal is to exclude any serious organizing of a socialist movement independent of the Democratic Party.

But if the Old Left died with the fall of Stalin as I argued in Part I, what do the ruling classes have to worry about? The truth is that the Leninist tradition has not died out, especially outside the United States. It continues to be present in Cuba, in parts of South America, in Europe and in parts of Asia. The job of the liberal think tanks in the United States is to either censor them or vilify them. How do they do this? By indirectly supporting the Old Left’s competition – the social democrats and the anarchists of the New Left.

Liberal Think Tanks, Media, and Left Patron Saints as Left Gatekeepers

In his powerful research paper, Left Gatekeepers, Bob Feldman created a flow chart with ruling class powers such as Council of Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, the CIA, with the Carlyle Group at the top. The funding for liberal think tanks comes from the Rockefellers, Carnegie, and Soros.  The Ford and MacArthur Foundations establish grants for left liberal news and media sources such as Mother Jones, the Nation Magazine, Z Magazine, AlterNet, Fair, NPR, Pacifica, and Democracy Now.

The funding of any leftist organization depends on the organization’s willingness to “play ball” if it expects to get regular funding. In his paper, Feldman asks:

Are the interests of the people being served by dissidents who are being subsidized by the very agencies of the ruling class whom they should be exposing? What does it say about the motivations behind the left establishment ideological warfare against conspiracy researchers, and their adoption of an increasingly watered-down analytical view which fails to look closely at the inner power structures and conspiracies of the ruling elite?

What is Left Gatekeeping?

The purpose of both the CIA, the upper classes and the entire Left Gatekeeping organizational apparatus is to combat communism, whether at home or abroad. Left gatekeeping is a practice by the ruling class of setting up organizations, foundations and think tanks which funnel money into leftist organizations that are:

  1. To the left of Leninism (anarchism)
  2. To the right of Leninism (social democracy, and New Deal liberals)

They do this in order to infiltrate independent working-class movements, whether Leninist or not. This is the job of the CIA and FBI. The second purpose is to indirectly fund what is perceived as the weaker and less threatening tendencies of the left for the purposes of isolating the Leninists. This is the job of foundations, think tanks, the policy-making discussion groups and the political campaigns. Thus DSA, Jacobin magazine, Socialist Alternative and Global Exchange will always find a welcoming ear on the radio waves and journals of the Left Gatekeepers. Noam Chomsky, proclaimed anarchist, can come onto Democracy Now whenever he wants. But Michael Parenti, who will defend the Soviet Union or China and who is quite capable of matching Noam Chomsky, rarely gets on the air. Then, in election years, without too much nudging, DSA, Jacobin and Socialist Alternative will, one way or another, collapse themselves safely inside the Democratic Party. The rightward turn of the Green Party was orchestrated so that they limited themselves to campaigns in “safe states”. This way the Democratic Party will have no competition coming from the Left.

Left Gatekeeping in Action: Let’s Get Personal

In 2002 Naomi Klein made a wonderful documentary with Avi Lewis called “The Take”. The movie was about workers taking over bankrupt factories and running them without bosses. This was followed by a well-researched and popular book of hers called The Shock Doctrine. It described the destruction of economies around the world by a neoliberal economic policy founded by the “Chicago Boys”. A book or so later, she wrote This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. In this book she uses the term “capitalism” in a manipulative way. The word “capitalism” is provocative for selling the book. However, the book does not criticize capitalism as a system, but only the more neoliberalism version of it. So we are left to wonder, is she a Keynesian or is she a socialist?

Naomi Klein could have gone all over the world in a follow-up to her documentary and described workers’ self-management projects. She could have linked that to the workers’ councils that were present and operating in Russia from 1917-1921 and in Spain from 1936-1939. But this was perhaps not a project that a publisher would be interested in or a think tank or a foundation might support or promote.  So, Naomi Klein swings the gate between sympathy towards anarchism (worker occupations) and New Deal liberalism.

Cornel West is another critic who gives his followers mixed messages. In non- election years, he promotes a social democratic program. In most election years he bows to the “lesser of two evils” scenario and tells his followers to vote for the Democrats. Whether or not he promotes the Democrats or the Greens depends on who is running as a Democrat. So, for him, if he likes the person, which party the person is in is not so relevant. From a structural Marxist viewpoint, it doesn’t matter who is running as a Democrat. The Democratic Party is a ruling class party and whoever the individual may be is irrelevant. West also swings the gate between social democracy and New Deal liberalism.

Noam Chomsky swings the gate in a way similar to Naomi Klein. In election off-years, besides criticizing US foreign policy, he will promote anarchism by writing forwards to anarchist books. However, during election years his anarchism seems to disappear, and we will be told that the Republican Party is the most dangerous party in history, and we must vote for a Democrat. Chomsky swings the gate between anarchism and New Deal liberalism. Like the Cold War liberals of the 1950s, Chomsky is a dogmatic and relentless critic of any kind of state socialism and does not make a distinction between communists and fascists. Christopher Hedges also equated antifa to the Proud Boys as equally dangerous in that both advocate armed conflict. All these unwitting Left Gatekeepers share the characteristics of the New Left in Table A in Part I of my article.

Who do the Left Gatekeepers Censor and Vilify?

Any organization that is clearly for the working class. This doesn’t mean unions necessarily. In the business unionism of the United States from the 50s onward, union leadership lost all sense of vision, of fighting for workers to manage the workplace. Union dues were spent by the leadership on promoting voting for the Democratic Party rather than on organizing workers. Union bureaucrats were much more at home with Democratic politicians than they were with their own members. One organization that we predict will not ever make the news at either NPR or the Pacifica radio station is Labor Notes. Labor Notes has been in operation for 40 years. It tracks working class struggles around the United States from the point of view of the rank-and-file. Their goal is to “put the movement back in the labor movement.”

Another enemy of the Left Gatekeepers is the formation of a working-class party that is independent of both political parties. In his article on our website, Joe G. Kaye has nicely identified all the reasons a working-class party has not been formed in the United States. However, he has not included the machinations of the ruling class – the foundations, think tanks, etc. Despite whatever good intentions they may have, DSA, Jacobin, Socialist Alternative on the right, and anarchists Noam Chomsky and Michael Albert on the left, all are colluding in keeping a working-class party from forming when they invite us every four years to vote for the ”lesser of two evils”.

Whatever their shortcomings, Leninist parties all over the world have had some success in Russia, China and Cuba in organizing socialism at a national level and sustaining it over decades. Despite their political authoritarianism, they have done very well in reducing poverty, raising the literacy rate, and providing inexpensive housing. Leninist parties will always be condemned. The social democratic parties of Denmark, Sweden and Norway have also done well but only because their social democratic movement was a separate party and did not try to influence a ruling class party like the Democrats, as DSA has done here. While social democracy in these countries has not been condemned by the Left Gatekeepers, they are ignored as examples of how to be socialist and also produce a high standard of living. An independent socialist party terrifies the Left Gatekeepers.

The third group to be disinvited is any New Left group that is anti-Zionist. US foreign policy is very dependent on having a friendly base in the Middle East and we can rest assured that any group that is pro-Palestinian such as the ANSWER coalition will be attacked as being anti-Semitic. There is good reason why the scholar Norman Finkelstein has never been able to receive a full-time teaching position because of his defense of the Palestinians. The entire New Left must get a permit paper from AIPAC, the most powerful lobby for Israel in Yankeedom.

Another group targeted by the Left Gatekeepers are organizations that actively support anti-imperialism. Any Pan-African movement leaders like Gaddafi in Libya will be condemned as “authoritarian dictators”, mouthing CIA positions. The African People’s Socialist Party in Yankeedom would also be dismissed.

Furthermore, on an international level, any organization or media outlet that show the slightest sympathy to nations deemed an enemy of the United States will be targeted. The Left Gatekeepers will have no problem with anarchists who condemn both US foreign policy and the authoritarian governments of Russia, China and Iran. But any news source that reports some sympathy for Russia, China, Iran, Cuba or Venezuela are deemed enemies. It is very important to the Left Gatekeepers (whether inside or outside the CIA) that the left in the US tow the party line about its perceived enemies.

So, for example, it is impossible to say that that yes, China has an authoritarian government and, yes, there is a deep class structure and, yes, it is state capitalist. Nevertheless, the Chinese state has raised the standard of living for millions of people and internationally it is doing what Marx said was best about capitalism: developing the productive forces through building the New Silk Road. China is also going off the dollar, as is Russia, and they are backing their economies in gold. We think that any nation-states or states that attempt to break the domination of the Yankee empire is worth critically supporting. But for the Gatekeepers and their new left pawns, this is too much.

News sources that defend countries that challenge Yankees’ foreign policy will be harassed. This is the case for New Eastern Outlook, Russian Times, The Greanville Post, TeleSUR, or Venezuelan Analysis.

Lastly any group that suggests the United States has been and is capable of assassinations and false-flag operations at home or abroad will be labelled “conspiracy nuts”. This is certainly what happened and is happening to the 911 Truth Movement.

Strange Bedfellows: Is the New Left a Pawn of the Left Gatekeepers?

In this last section I want to show how easily the beliefs of the new left can mesh with the foreign and domestic policies of the Left Gatekeepers. First, when the New Left uncritically rejects the state socialism of the former Soviet Union or the current state capitalism of China, it cuts itself off from the Yankees’ greatest international rivals and it makes sympathetic collaboration impossible.  Secondly, when the New Left championed identity politics at the expense of social class, it lost the most powerful force for stopping the capitalist system — the working-class production of surplus value in the workplace. Organizing around race and gender does not have a concrete site in which surplus value is produced. As far as gender goes, however real “patriarchy” is, a women’s revolution against men is very far-fetched since it runs against evolutionary psychology’s sexual selection strategies.

When the New Left throws up its hands and says capitalism can go on forever, it deprives itself of understanding the weak points of the system and how it could be overturned. The Left Gatekeepers are thrilled with the 50-year wild-goose chase dissecting language, psychology, and sexuality, none of which are threats to capitalism. It would be one thing if the New Left approached political democracy with its own party. However, the New Left never built its own party and so it has been trapped for 50 years inside the Democratic Party. With the possible exception of the anarchists, the New Left ignored democracy, in the economic sense of democracy, in the workplace. Being trapped inside the Democratic Party is the ultimate aim of the Left Gatekeepers.

When the New Left rebels against social evolutionary visions of progress domestically, it renounces the expectation that capitalism live up to its promises to use science and technology to reduce the work hours while creating a better life for all. It walks away from the prospect that socialism must be based on abundance, not on redistributing scarcity more evenly. With the exception of Murray Bookchin and his followers, when the New Left embraces the ecology movement it treats ecology as separate from political economy, as in the case of Earth First.  Ecological spiritual interventions of the 1980s and 1990s treat nature as separate from capitalism. It also loses the Promethean spirit of humanity as a higher form of nature. When New Leftists renounce the nation-state for localism or “small is beautiful”, these decentralized movements are much easier for the Left Gatekeepers to control.

When the Club of Rome tells us that the Earth has a limited carrying capacity, it looks to the size of the population in peripheral countries as a problem. Instead of understanding that these countries have larger populations because they have a resource base in agriculture, they are seen as irrational. In reality, like all agricultural societies, they have more children because more children mean free labor. If peripheral countries were allowed to industrialize, their populations would shrink. By telling these countries they have to do with less, the Left Gatekeepers deny peripheral countries their right to the fruits of modern capitalism. Less people in the periphery means less competition for wealth.

Internationally, when the New Left becomes anti-western and throws itself into tribal primitivism, eastern mysticism or Wicca, it loses the potential for an organized liberation theology within the major churches. As this anti-westernism spreads around the globe, it opens the door for the Left Gatekeepers’ promotion of religious fundamentalism. This keeps science and engineering from developing in peripheral countries. That is dangerous for the Left Gatekeepers because these scientists might discover new forms of energy harnessing that might undermine the resource base of western capitalism.

In the arts, the Left Gatekeepers are delighted when the New Left rejects representational art and considers socialist realism too constraining. Abstract expressionism doesn’t depict existing social reality or how social reality could be. It describes psychological rumination that is cut off from social issues. The Left Gatekeepers tell abstract expressionists – “by all means, throw paint on the canvas, you rebel you!”

The same goes for personal appearance. In my article Is Shocking People Revolutionary, I explain how infinite personal expression may be psychologically satisfying to some but it also creates distance between the middle class, who might be curious about this, and the 40% of the working class for whom this seems quirky or weird.

While pot smoking and LSD tripping may be relaxing and mind-transforming in small doses, too much of this is a loss of organizing potential. I could not organize anyone who was high on pot or in the middle of an acid trip. The CIA gatekeepers knew exactly what they were doing when they flooded black communities with hard drugs in the early 70s. The New Left began with an interest in Reich’s Mass Psychology of Fascism. But many disappeared into the rabbit hole of individualist psychology, whether it be primal scream or gestalt psychology. The feminist cry “the personal is political” soon became the belief that the personal is all there is. For close to a century of psychological manipulation of Gatekeepers, see Adam Curtis documentary Century of the Self, especially Part III.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to suggest that the non-Leninist left is the passive victim of the CIA, foundations, think tanks and lobbying groups. After all, these organizations did not create the New Left out of nothing. The New Left created its own politics and culture in reaction to real social struggles of the 1960s. It is instead to say that once these politics and culture were created, especially in the late 1960s, they were massaged, sculpted, cut, pasted and smoothed over to also meet the needs of the Leftist Gatekeepers. It is to say:

  1. there is real documentation in the present and past that shows that most leftist groups were, and are, being monitored and controlled by Left Gatekeepers;
  2. that there is an implied profile of the kind of leftist groups that are the enemies of the Left Gatekeepers; and,
  3. that in the light of the current crisis in capitalism and the coronavirus, it is more urgent than ever to embody, organize and spread a political-economic movement along the profile in line with the enemies of the Left Gatekeepers.

First published in Planning Beyond Capitalism

See Part 1 here

Battle Against COVID-19 in a Fragmented World has Ruined illions of Lives

It is not only about physically surviving the pandemic. People miss people, and places, sometimes desperately. And they die when separated.

We are bombarded by briefings and numbers. We are scared into submission by horrifying medical stories, by shocking images, and then, simultaneously, by predictions of economic and social downfall. Day and night, day and night.

But somehow, so often during this so-called coronavirus emergency, we tend to forget that people are people, not numbers, and that bare survival is far from everything.

*****

For decades we were told: “You are living in a globalized world. Borders have become redundant”. Some reluctantly, others happily, accepted.

Rich Westerners invaded all corners of the world with their yachts, villas and third and fourth homes.

Poor Philippine and Indonesian maids and hotel employees have migrated to the Gulf, in search of decently paid jobs.

Interracial, intercontinental marriages and relationships became the norm.

By the end of 2019, hundreds of millions were living in several parts of the world, simultaneously. For different reasons, both rich and poor individuals. For some it became a lifestyle, for others bare necessity.

For better or worse, cultures were increasingly becoming intertwined. To many, the color of skin was increasingly irrelevant. At least to those few hundreds of millions, who have been living on this planet Earth, not just in Asia or Europe, Oceania, the Middle East, South or North America.

I have written a lot about this trend. Some of it was clearly positive, while I have been criticizing, decisively, many elements.

But it was the reality, and as many of us believed, an irreversible, permanent one.

Human beings were breaking up the chains of their past. Suddenly, they felt free to step out of their traditional cultures, religions, habits. They formed relations with human beings coming from other parts of the world. They were marrying people with thoroughly different cultures and backgrounds. They were moving to far away places. And not only young people. Often their parents, seduced by wanderlust, were deciding to retire thousands of miles away.

Men and women were doing research in deep rain forests, some of them deciding to stay there forever. Others were ruining these forests, becoming rich on shameless plunder.

So many stories, good and bad. So many reasons, wonderful and horrible, of globalized or internationalized life.

Then suddenly, the end. Full stop!

COVID-19, or call it novel coronavirus, has arrived.

It came from nowhere, its mortality rate low, that of the common flu, but remarkably contagious.

Abruptly, our world stopped.

Almost all proverbial liberties have been taken away from the people. So fast, and without plebiscites, referendums, debates. Police, drones, surveillance, have rapidly been employed against the citizens, virtually everywhere.

And then, almost from the start of the pandemic, the borders began closing down. Borders, which we used to be told, were there to stay open forever.

And the international, or for some of us internationalist life, was suddenly arrested.

The changes were implemented so rapidly that most of us had no time to react. We watched, helplessly, as frontiers were closed, airlines cancelled flights, and the movement of people came to an abrupt stop.

Across the border lines, disappearing beyond the horizon, were our families, or loved ones, our colleagues and comrades, as well as countries and cities for which we longed for.

*****

There was nothing much we could do, because this brutal global lockdown was performed “for our own good”. We found ourselves sheltered in prison, ‘so we, and others, could survive’. Or that’s what we were told.

We have not been allowed to take risks, nor to dare. Our loved ones have not been allowed to dare either.

We have all become soft and so easy to manipulate.  All that talk about freedom and democracy has quickly been forgotten.

In just one or two months, our planet has become fragmented, as never before. Borders have been closed, even between the countries of Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East.

Europeans, for instance, who were forced into great sacrifices in exchange for a borderless continent, were suddenly stuck with those existing sacrifices, but also with the re-erected frontiers.

With shocking speed, all the gains made by humanity — gains towards an open world — were annulled, liquidated.

I have to repeat: people were not asked. Nobody consulted them.

While several airlines began receiving billions of dollars in government subsidies, there has been no compensation for those hundreds of millions of people whose lives have been virtually ruined, reduced to near nothing by the travel bans, which have amounted to imprisoning multitudes in their current locations.

*****

Right now, almost the entire South America is “out of reach”, and so is Asia. Foreigners cannot enter the United States. Actually, most of the countries have turned themselves into fortresses.

Imagine that you have relatives living in a different part of the world. Imagine that your spouse is there, somewhere, or your house, or important work which you love, passionately. Imagine that some neoliberal government is using COVID-19 lockdown to cover up the speeding-up of the destruction of its rainforests, as is happening right now in places such as Brazil and Indonesia. Imagine that such governments are dispossessing indigenous people, and you cannot continue your work, which is to expose crimes against humanity and nature.

Millions of people depend on your investigative work, but you cannot go. The borders are closed, planes are not flying. “It is all for your own good”. “It is all for the sake of others”.

You may want to ask: “What about the good of those millions who are being robbed, impoverished, even killed by events unrelated, or just partially-related, to the COVID-19? Do they have the right to live? Do they have the right to be protected, defended?”

But, not many are asking those questions! And if they do, the mass media is not paying attention.

The novel coronavirus, it appears, is now all that matters, at least to some, or to the majority. Or to the regime.

It is like those proverbial hospitals, which are letting people die from cancer and strokes, because their emergency rooms and beds are being used exclusively to treat COVID-19 patients.

There is something essentially and morally wrong with this approach. Something deeply wrong, philosophically and logically, too.

*****

Do governments in, say, Europe, have the right to tell a husband whose wife is dying in Japan or Korea, that he cannot jump on a plane and go, in order to be with her?

Can a scientist be prevented from flying to a lab, on the other side of the world, if he or she is working on some urgent project that could improve life on our planet?

Can I be prevented from flying to Venezuela, where U.S. and Colombian mercenaries have just attempted yet another coup against a legitimate government?

Apparently, the answer is “Yes!”

It is the “new normal” yes.

Four or five months ago, it would all have been considered insane, unacceptable, even criminal.

But now, a flu pandemic, has suddenly created a new ‘morality’, as well as thoroughly new rules and norms for humanity.

And we do not have to look for important missions, or life and death situations, only.

There are hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of people, who are simply living on this beautiful planet of ours, not in just one particular country, and who cannot exist in any other way. Their culture is multiculturalism. I do not say that it is good or bad. It is simply a fact. Their health, even medical supplies, depend on this ‘lifestyle’, as well as their emotional well-being, and their work.

Without being able to travel, their personal relationships are falling apart, their houses and apartments are literally collapsing, and their life is losing its meaning.

Is anyone compiling statistics on how many human lives are being affected, or even ruined in this manner? The number is definitely staggering.

*****

Caution, of course! Caution is essential. The coronavirus should not be taken lightly. But not the extreme approaches, which could, for decades to come, set back those countless positive gains that have been made by our civilization.

To travel, to explore; getting to know “the Other”, trying to understand, to live with each other as one humanity: this is one of the great advances made by humankind. Imperfect, sometimes hypocritical or half-hearted, but a great advance, nevertheless. Not globalization, but internationalism, when things are at their best.

We thought that we could take these advances for granted. We strongly believed that they couldn’t be removed from us.

We fought for the others, for the people of all nationalities and races, to be able to enjoy them soon, too. We thought that we could win.

And now, all of a sudden, we have realized that everything was just a mirage.

One strike of a pen by some government official, and all our liberties can disappear, get cancelled. We get pushed into the corner, as if we were cattle, or kindergarten children.

True rights are only those rights that can never, under any circumstances, be taken away from us.

*****

The most frightening is the absolutism, extremism with which the regulations have been introduced.

A state of siege, perhaps, but not outright incarceration.

Travel could have been made difficult, but still possible.

I will say it as an anecdote, but there is some truth in it: I have a combat gas mask, which I use when covering riots, uprisings and revolutions. It has a huge filter. There is no way that if I was wearing it, I could get infected, or infect other people on an airplane. If that is not enough, I would be willing to wear some plastic disposable suit, all the way from, say, South America to Asia, with transit points in Europe. It would be an extremely uncomfortable, but safe (for me and everybody) way of travel. And when in Asia, say Japan, I’d be happy to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine. And even pay some reasonable fee, for ‘causing bother’.

But if I really need to go, if it is a matter of life and death for me, there should be some draconic option for me and for millions like me.

But there isn’t! The borders of the entire Asia and of South America are closed, hermetically. Even the borders of the United States are sealed, despite the fact that it has the highest rate of infected people. Only citizens and green card holders can board the inbound planes.

And so, human lives continue being ruined, on a just recently unimaginable scale.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, can be done, it appears. All of us are at the mercy of our regimes.

We had no idea, but now we know.

Even when these restrictions are lifted, nothing will ever be “normal”. People will be well aware of the fact that their lives can be shattered again, on any pretext, at any time.

*****

If a cure, or prevention, are ten times, or even hundred times deadlier than the disease, then it is immoral to be applying them.

Also, it is essential to remember, that there are many different ways in which human beings can die. Some people could easily perish even if their lungs are intact, and hearts are beating. They could die from sorrow, from the absence of loved ones, or from the meaninglessness of life in confinement.

Today’s struggle, and combat should not be exclusively against COVID-19. The battle should be simply for life, for each and every human life, no matter what viruses, conditions or circumstances are endangering it.

• First published by the 21 Century Wire