Category Archives: Neoliberalism

Neoliberal Death Knell for Indian Agriculture

In a 2017 article, I asked what might a future India look like and concluded that, if current neoliberal policies continue, there could be dozens of mega-cities with up to 40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million (perhaps 15-20% of the population) left in an emptied-out countryside. And it could also mean hundreds of millions of displaced rural dwellers without any work.

The policies referred to have not only continued but have been given a massive boost in the form of three parliamentary bills: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

The ordinances were issued by the Modi-led government in June and (according to official rhetoric) seek to create barrier-free trade for farmers and allow them to enter into agreements with private players prior to the production for sale of agri-produce.

Some have commended these bills, claiming they will completely ‘liberalise’ the farm economy, leading to greater flexibility and efficiency and offering freedom and choice to farmers and buyers of produce. Others claim they effectively serve to impose the tenets of neoliberalism on the sector, finally clearing the way to restructure the agri-food sector for the benefit of large commodity traders and other (international) corporations: smallholder farmers will go to the wall in a landscape of ‘get big or get out’, mirroring the US model of food cultivation and retail.

As reported in the Economic Times, the Congress party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said his party will fight the government “tooth and nail” on this issue:

These three draconian ordinances are a death knell for agriculture in India. They will subjugate the farmer at the altar of a handful of crony capitalists….

He added that farmers would not be able to get a remunerative price for their crop under the current system of minimum support price and that his party will join with other parties to put up a joint opposition to the draconian ordinances of the BJP government aimed at:

Subjugating the farming community and abolishing the livelihood of crores [tens of millions] of people who are aligned with the grain markets and other market systems.

The proposed legislation will mean that mandis – state-run market locations for farmers (overseen by Agricultural Produce Market Committees) to sell their agricultural produce via auction to traders – can be bypassed, allowing farmers to sell to private players elsewhere (physically and online), thereby undermining the regulatory role of the public sector. In trade areas open to the private sector, no fees will be levied (fees levied in mandis go to the states and, in principle, are used to enhance market infrastructure to help farmers).

This could incentivise the corporate sector operating outside of the mandis to (initially at least) offer better prices to farmers; eventually, however, as the mandi system is run down completely, these corporations will monopolise trade, capture the sector and dictate prices to farmers.

Another outcome of the proposed legislation could see the unregulated storage of produce and speculation, opening the farming sector to free-for-all profiteering for the big players.

Randeep Surjewala argues that the three ordinances are also a direct attack on the federal structure of India (farming and mandis come under the jurisdiction of states), but the government did not even consider it appropriate to consult them before promulgating the ordinances.

Sitaram Yechury, leader of the Communist Party of India, tweeted:

No amount of propaganda and spin can conceal such destruction of India and it’s economy. Withdraw these ordinances handing over our agriculture to multinational agribusinesses, further ruining our ‘annadaata’, demolishing India’s food security.

The proposed legislation will enable transnational agri-food corporations like Cargill and Walmart and home-grown billionaire capitalists like Gautam Adani and his agribusiness conglomerate and Mukesh Ambini and his Reliance retail chain to decide on what is to be cultivated, how much of it is to be cultivated within India and how it is to be produced and processed. From seed to field to plate, the corporate take-over of the food and agriculture chain will be complete.

Smallholder and marginal farmers will be further forced out and those remaining in the sector will be squeezed, working on contracts for market-dominating global seed and agrochemical suppliers, trader, distributors and retail concerns. Industrial agriculture will be the norm (with all the devastating externalised health, social and environmental costs that the model brings with it).

It may make some wonder who is actually determining policy in India when hundreds of millions of ordinary people could lose their livelihoods. Instead of pursuing a path of democratic development, the Indian government has chosen to submit to the regime of foreign finance, awaiting signals on how much it can spend. The imperatives of global capital require nation states to curb spending and roll back interventions and support mechanisms so that private investors can occupy the arena left open. And this is exactly what we are seeing in agriculture.

Foreign capital and sections of India’s billionaire class are working to displace the prevailing agrifood model and recast it in their own image. Tens of millions of small-scale and marginal farmers are already suffering economic distress and leaving farming as the sector is deliberately made financially non-viable for them.

The Modi administration is fully on board with the World Bank’s pro-corporate ‘enabling the business of agriculture’ and other such policies aimed at further incorporating nation states into the neoliberal fold, while equating neoliberal policies with ‘development’. Other recent policies will also serve to accelerate current trends in Indian agriculture as we see with regard to the Karnataka Land Reform Act, which will make it easier for business to purchase and consolidate agricultural land (leading to landlessness and urban migration).

Both ongoing and proposed ‘reforms’ are ultimately about ‘liberalising’ agriculture to further ease the entrance of foreign agribusiness interests and serve the needs of India’s home-grown billionaires. The Modi government is predictably facilitating what could eventually lead to a trillion-dollar (value of the Indian economy according to Modi’s former associates at APCO Worldwide) corporate hijack of India three steps closer with the ‘ordinances’.

By bringing the full force of liberalisation to the farm economy and in the process fundamentally restructuring Indian society (around 60% of the population still rely on agriculture for their livelihoods), any remnants of economic sovereignty and sovereign state status will be hollowed out and India will become a fully incorporated subsidiary of global capitalism and its fundamentally flawed and exploitative food regime.

Of course, many millions have already been displaced from the Indian countryside and have had to seek work in the cities. And if the coronavirus lockdown has indicated anything, it is that many of these ‘migrant workers’ have failed to gain a secure foothold and were compelled to return ‘home’ to their villages. Their lives are defined by low pay, insecurity and callous treatment by the government.

It raises the question: what does the future hold for the hundreds of millions of others who will be victims of the dispossessive policies of neoliberal capitalism?

The post Neoliberal Death Knell for Indian Agriculture first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Do Americans Dream of Capitalist Sheep?

It’s capitalism after all.  Those political parties for the rich and powerful know how to sell exploitation and subjugation by their good cop/bad cop marketing. If you don’t buy this, you get Trump.  But if you buy what they sell, you get Biden, an imperialist with the crime bill, Patriot Act, and the rest of the schemes for the rich and powerful.   W.E.B DuBois talked about this in 1956 saying, “I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.” I don’t think there was real democracy founded by slave owners, but you get the idea.  Since then, people have kept voting for over a half century.  Now three people own the bottom half of the wealth of the US.  The feudal hierarchy is backed by 800 military bases across the globe with piles of weapons of mass destruction.  In the US, people have no healthcare, education is gutted, no legal rights, 1 out of 5 children are starving and so on.  The system works tremendously well to keep the feudal hierarchy.

Just like any moneyed social institution, the political institution is structured to serve the rich and powerful.  This is just like how colonialism works.  The colonizers come to steal land and resources, and they dominate every aspects of your life.  If you follow the rules shaping the hierarchy, you get to live in reservations as second class citizens.  If you complain, they manage to declare “love it or leave it”  If you complain more you could end up in prison or even be killed.  Why is Leonard Peltier still in prison when George Zimmerman walks free?  The essence of exploitation and subjugation is rooted in the origin of the whole enterprise, and it keeps going. Fear of murder, rape, theft and torture lurk beneath the filmsy lable of “democracy”.

Those who benefit from this, as well as those who are afraid of exclusion and unsavory name calling desperately scream “you must vote”, “a vote for third parties is a vote for Trump”, “don’t be stupid”, “don’t be selfish” and so on.  Those words come out of people who screamed “black lives matter” yesterday, asking you to vote for the father of the crime bill.  Last year his running mate Kamala Harris managed to say that the Colin Kaepernick phenomenon was orchestrated by Russians.  I guess if they have to bomb countries full of brown people, it’s not very good to get rid of racism.  She knows her role in the empire very well.

By the way, they also claim that their political opponent, Trump, was placed in his position by Russians.  People should remember that the Democratic Party supported Trump as a pied piper candidate—meaning that he was so ridiculous that people would rather vote for their candidate Hilary Clinton.  But the manipulation went a little too far, enough so that Trump actually became the president.  I mean, Donald Trump, the loud-mouthed reality TV star with gilded gaudiness and shadiness actually became the President.  This has triggered the privileged class status quo tremendously.  They want their ways of colonizing, militarizing and corporatizing with class and righteousness, the way President Obama delivered it.  They want an agonized Black man doing his best, yet resulting in seven wars, big bank bailout, deportation, surveillance state, loss of legal rights, militarized police, drone killing and so on, instead of the embodiment of a loony Uncle Sam with lies, racism and violence asserting what the US government has always pursued.  Trump is the exact caricature of what the people of the world see: the US as the biggest bully with no taste. He is like fourth of July fireworks insisting on what the empire is entitled to.  “That’s not my president” people scream. Of course he is not.  That would trigger a huge cognitive dissonance. Their identity as freedom loving Americans of democracy falls apart. It’s this psychological projection mobilizing the sentiment of “resistance”.

Therefore, Trump turned out to be a godsend for the Democratic Party. He justifies the corrupt corporate political party of war, big bank bailout and neoliberal restructuring. I mean, as it’s already stated, the Party is an integral part of the American political institution which serves the rich and powerful along with their counterpart the Republican Party.  The Democratic Party doesn’t have legs to stand on without evil Trump.

That makes Joe Biden a pied piper candidate.  Why him?  I don’t endorse any imperial politics party candidate, but Sanders, for instance, proved himself to be able to beat Trump in 2016. Why not him? After all, the Democratic Party clearly stated that it is a private entity and it can pick anyone regardless of Primary or whatever. Biden is a hardened imperialist with a solid record of colonizing, militarizing and corporatizing.  And he is more widely known as a creepy old man who can’t keep his hands off of females, any female, especially very young ones. He has also shown some symptoms of going senile as well. Why him?  He is a pied piper candidate to keep the Democratic Party playing the role of savior against evil Trump.  You get two pied piper candidates.  This is what happens when capitalists continue to narrow political options in order to give the illusion of choice. The lies are so inflated that there is practically nothing left that can be reasonable.  And it doesn’t matter how the dice roles as long as everything stays within the imperial framework.  In fact, the more ridiculous, the more infuriating, and the more sensational, the better.  It can create the illusion of a “democracy” more vibrant and lively. But there are tremendous sacrifices.

Now people would ask “so what is your solution?”  I know that the question is rhetorical.  How can people who have willfully ignored everything being said about the insanity of supporting the imperial trajectory listen?   For those who turned into soldiers to keep their positions within the system, logic and reason become enemies in winning against anything that threatens their positions. This is, and has been, a war against people.  This is how the system of “democracy” deprives humanity from people and herds them into what they despise: fascism.  And my answer unfortunately is:  I don’t know.  I do respect and admire revolutionaries who have stood against the establishment.  When Fred Hampton was murdered by the US government, he was only 21.  His Black Panther Party with socialist principles inspired people across the country.  Patrice Lumumba stood for his people and showed the world beauty and strength of humanity.

We should all learn from experiences of revolutionaries and history of resistance against the capitalist domination, and see ourselves and our communities in such contexts.  And I do empathize with those who struggle with tremendous predicaments imposed by the oppressors.  But after all, I am merely an artist getting stuck in my studio, covered with paint and dust.  But I know one thing.  Years of working as an artist have taught me that a seemingly impossible problem can only be solved by a struggle, with honesty and patience.  What hurts me the most about participating in the corporate politics is that it kills our ability to reason and trust, therefore it deprives our ability to relate to others in truly meaningful ways.  It stands to reason that the dehumanizing symptom of capitalism—deprivation of our association to ourselves, communities, nature, and our future and our history—is most prominent in ways we determine our path as a collective.  It deprives our ability to dream together based on reality and our needs—dream about our future, dream about our children and dream about all the wonderful things in life.  And it brings tears to my eyes with sadness.  But I am certain that I am not alone.  I am speaking to you who are like me.  We are many.  And there will be more of us.

Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party

I wrote this article over four years ago in 2016 for the purpose of challenging left liberals to face the fact that they have no party. In re-reading it today, everything I said in the original article remains true. In fact, the Democratic Party has leaned even further to the right over the last four years.

In the face of uprisings of protesting the police killing of George Floyd and many other black Americans, the Democratic Party has done nothing. Even worse, in the face of these uprisings the Democratic Party candidate for president has named a vice-president who might be labelled the Queen of Prosecutions. Kamala Harris would be one of the first to prosecute the very blacks who are part of the uprising.

The only thing I want to add to this article is to define left liberal more precisely. The old liberals of the Enlightenment were committed to a constitution under law. They were against monarchies, for tolerance of divergent views and for separation of church and state. Left liberals during the FDR era have the following characteristics:

  • They were for Keynesian economic policies which admit that free market capitalism does not work and has to be monitored by state policies.
  • They supported what I call the “matriarchal” state. This means robust free public education, pensions and unemployment insurance. In the 1960s food stamps were added, and today universal healthcare. They also supported building mass transportation systems and building and repairing roads and bridges.
  • They were active in their support of science and technology. They believed science was the best way to understand the world and that building technologies would make life easier and better for most people.
  • They supported the existence of the military as a defensive measure only. They did not believe in imperial wars or overthrowing other governments.
  • They recognized and supported unions, which allowed for collective bargaining and strikes in support of the working class.
  • They made a distinction between communism and fascism. For example, liberals like John Dewey and Bertrand Russell actively gave the Soviet Union a chance before rejecting it.
  • Left liberals were committed to being more inclusive economically in relation to gender and race.

Most people I know who consider themselves liberal support all or most of these points, though they might not be able to articulate them all. Yet they ignore the fact that the Democratic Party, in practice, for the last 50 years, has little or nothing to do with any of these.

*****

Lost at Sea

Within the periphery of the circles in which I travel, people do not actively defend what it means to be a member of the Democratic Party. They come on much stronger when they say they are against the Republican Party. And why not? The Republican Party is the party of old money, inheritance, white supremacy and fundamentalist Christianity. Republicans and their followers are up front about it and don’t apologize. By implication, a Democrat is supposed to be opposed to such extremes. But what Democrats are for is simply left implied, and dissolves into a mist before the end of the conversation.

The case of the relationship between liberals and conservatives is pretty much similar. Long before political parties, the conservatives were considered to be the Party of Order, proudly supporting class, race and gender hierarchies, while proudly supporting obedience to authority and respecting tradition. In the time of French Revolution, to be liberal also meant taking a firm stand by opposing conservatives. But today, in the United States, to be liberal seems to be a weak program: more toleration, less inequality and less openness to experiment.

Above all, to be a Democrat or a liberal means you are not extreme. In fact, liberals have abandoned so many of the traditions they once fought for historically that the socialist movement has, unfortunately, taken over the causes of liberals ranging from state intervention in the economy, to raising the minimum wage, and introducing single payer healthcare as if this were the core of socialism. The fact that Bernie Sanders can claim to be a “democratic socialist”, promoting a program that is not even the equal of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s liberalism, demonstrates the failure of liberalism to defend its own best heritage.

Academic socialist leftists add more confusion to the mix by blithely calling the economic and political organization in the United States “neo-liberal” as if this term explained everything. The term neoliberal does not describe the state of the economy very well. It is not simply a return to Adam Smith’s economic liberalism. More importantly, liberalism is primarily a political stance that has undergone at least eight changes in the last 220 years. The fact that the general public has no understanding of this term, “neo-liberal”, doesn’t seem to phase these academics. The term does little to help the public understand the slide of liberalism into a morass.

Just as the Democratic Party and liberalism have allowed themselves to be defined by the Republican Party on the one hand and the conservatives on the other, the same fate has occurred in the case of what democracy is. During the 1920’s and 1930’s there was genuine concern that the American and Europe masses of people did not seem to act as democratically as Alexander Tocqueville had imagined. A few political theorists started asking questions about the political structure of electoral politics because so many people didn’t seem to show much of an interest in the candidates or the way issues were framed. But a not-so-funny thing happened to most political scientists in the 1930’s, at least in the United States. Instead of challenging the set-up of these electoral processes, political scientists turned outward, put on their best anti-communist face and instead invented the term “totalitarianism” to describe both fascism and Stalinism. The term totalitarian was toned down during World War II because the Soviets were on the side of the U.S., but the term “totalitarian” returned with a vengeance after the war to describe communist societies.

In the late 1940’s political scientists abandoned the very serious study of the problems of democracy, which were pointed out by left liberals like philosopher John Dewey, cultural critic Upton Sinclair and historian Charles Beard in the twenties and thirties. Instead they accepted a new right wing, elitist theory of democracy first championed by Joseph Schumpeter. Democracy was all about voting for the circulation of elites.

To sum up, in the case of Democratic Party, the political tradition of liberals and democratic theory the pattern is the same. All three words in practice have slid to the center right of the political spectrum. This rightward slide has occurred behind the scenes because it they have been contrasted favorably with the extreme right — Republican Party, conservative elites or fascists. The Democratic Party, liberals and elite democratic theory have also been favorably compared to the extreme left — communism. In fact, a Cold War Liberal like Daniel Bell could even dissolve the term liberal altogether in the book The End of Ideology. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. would write a book called The Vital Center. Liberals for him were synonymous with centrists.

My Claim

What I’m going to argue is that the best of the left wing liberal tradition is worth preserving and, as Ralph Nader might say, has nothing in common with the Democratic Party. The practice and politics of the Democratic Party is not liberal and never has been. Left-wing liberals have to face the fact they have no party.

A Whirlwind Tour of Liberalism

It is safe to say that what it means to be liberal has had different political meanings in different historical periods. According to political philosopher Stephen Holmes, in the glory days of the French Revolution, being liberal meant being against monarchies and aristocratic privilege. Liberals were militant against the church, claiming it was corrupt and filled with superstition, even as they defended religious tolerance. Liberals were opposed to censorship, and promoted freedom of assembly. They defended free trade against monopolistic trading companies before the working class and poor were driven into the mines and factories as industrial capitalism showed its full face.

In the early 19th century liberalism became entangled with the industrial revolution and moved towards the center of the political spectrum. Liberalism leaned right in the second half of the 19th century, buying into philosopher Herbert Spencer’s concept of “rugged individualism” and then slid into bed with social Darwinism. The early part of 20th century liberalism started moving left again with the progressive movement in the United States. For a while, some liberals were even open to hearing the communist case, with philosophers Bertrand Russell and John Dewey being sympathetic for a while.

Then in the 1930’s, catalyzed by the Great Depression, liberalism came to grips with the fact that free market capitalism wasn’t working and it embraced the economic policies of John Maynard Keynes. After World War II, Cold War liberals turned rightward, embracing the ideology of the Cold War. The Civil Rights and the anti-war movements of the 60’s drove liberalism leftward again in the form of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

As the growth rate of the capitalist economy slowed in the late 1960’s and the early 1970s, left liberalism slid rightward and has never recovered. For at least since the late 1970’s what has stood for liberalism was defined by neo-conservatives in the early 1980s and by right wing Democrats in the late 1980’s (the Democratic Leadership Council)

It’s not as if liberals are alone in using words that have little relation to a concrete policy. As many of us know, much fraternal blood has been spilled for well over 250 years between social democrats, Marxist Leninists, council communists and anarchists over what socialism should and shouldn’t be. But at least we socialists understand that in the United States, we simply have no party. Left liberals are still in denial.

Is the Democratic Party Left Liberal?

Back in the days of the French Revolution, no liberal government would put up with monarchies, even if they existed in other countries. For a short while after the French Revolution, the French government unsuccessfully tried to destabilize monarchies in other countries. Today Democratic presidents have no problems meeting with kings or queens and hammering out diplomatic agreements with them. Claiming to be a “democracy” it forms alliances with states that would be condemned as ultra-royalists 200 years ago.

Neither does the Democratic Party have any problems with inherited wealth. We see no bills in Congress coming from Democrats seeking to abolish inheritance or tax the inheritance of many of its members. These days, members of the Democratic Party do not attack the Catholic Church for its wealth or call for the jailing of priests for child molestation. Separation of church and state? How many Democrats are there who don’t support the religious theocracy of Israel?

Protection of free speech? No Democratic presidents had any trouble with raiding homes (the Palmer Raids), McCarthy witch-hunts, or involvement with the CIA and its anti-communist operations. As for free market policy, the Democratic Party has ignored what the best of liberals understood 80 years ago — a free market doesn’t work very well. Drone warfare, militarization of the police: these wouldn’t be problems for left liberals of the Enlightenment?

The Republican Party is my class enemy. But sometimes I respect my enemies. Republicans form in clear tendencies, they fight, undermine each other and violate virtually every one of Aristotle’s fallacies. However, one thing I admire is that they don’t swear allegiance to each other before, during or after the primaries the way Bernie Sanders has done to Hillary.

How obvious does it have to be that the left liberals have no party? Is the coming genuflection of Bernie Sanders to the neo-con in waiting, Queen Hillary, not enough to convince you? The Democratic Party stands for nothing but capitalism — before and during the primaries. It does what it has done for as long as I can remember: it presents a boogeyman Republican — whether it be Trump, McCain, Bush or whoever else. It then defends itself not by the sweet dreams it promises to deliver, but the Republican nightmares it promises to forestall.

Why Bother Writing About Left Liberals?

I do not make these criticisms because I hope that if left liberals build a “Tea Party of the Left” that I would join. We socialists have our own work to do. I consider the pessimism of the Frankfurt School, structuralism, post-structuralism and the nihilist and relativist posings of postmodernism as a 50 year embarrassment, and it is these folks who blithely paint right, center and left liberalism with the same brush. I think the ideas, programs and skepticism of John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell and John Dewey are just as relevant today as they were at the time they were written. Anyone who thinks these left liberals are worth defending should have nothing to do with the Democratic Party.

Neither do I think that liberals and socialists are ultimately “on the same side” as the term “progressive” seems to imply. Liberals are closer to conservatives than liberals are to left socialists because both liberals and conservatives are committed to capitalism. In the long run, left socialists and left liberals will differ. But in the short run, it would be good to have a left liberal party for company while we hopefully build our revolutionary socialist party.

One last way to make my point is by naming names. I trust Ralph Nader more than I trust Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky or Cornel West. Ralph Nader is a straight up New Deal Liberal. He knows the Democratic Party is the graveyard for left liberals. Neither does he play games with the term “socialism”. He is against it and he says so. On the other hand, while I see little or no difference between Bernie Sanders’ program and anything Ralph Nader proposes, Bernie insists on calling his New Deal program “democratic socialism” — and he joins the Democratic Party to implement it! Why would I trust that? Then there are the Left Gatekeepers who are also untrustworthy. Noam Chomsky writes about workers’ councils between elections then every four years tells us to vote for a Democrat. Cornell West talks about democratic socialism, yet he too, instructs us to vote for a Democrat when push turns to shove.

Why doesn’t the socialist left have a party? We have good reasons. Socialist organizations were crushed in the 40’s and 50 in the US by corporations, Cold War liberals, and spy agencies. In addition, to the extent that the socialist parties are really a party of the poor, working class and some middle class, building a party costs money, is time consuming and takes years. Most of us have little time and not much money.

But what excuse do left liberals have? Most left liberals are upper middle class. They have the resources to build a party. Why don’t they? What keeps left liberals from pouring resources into the Green Party, which has always been at least truly left liberal? Clearly the number of people in the United States who are for Bernie Sanders convinces me that the population would welcome such a party. For decades surveys have shown that Americans say there should be more than two parties. What is the hold-up? It’s past time.

Conclusion:

I can imagine those who support the “lesser of two evils” telling me “you are undermining us, and weakening our commitment to Biden and Harris” and this article will help deliver the election to Trump. I am completely cynical that I can convince any of the “Vote Blue No Matter Who” folks to not vote at all or vote for the Green Party. Your minds are made up. My only point is to say to you:

  • Your support of the Democratic Party has nothing to do with being liberal.
  • After the election if you want to rebuild liberalism get out of the Democratic Party and build your own party.

Do Not Reach for the Sky Just to Surrender

Greta Acosta Reyes (Cuba), Neoliberalism, 2020.
Greta Acosta Reyes (Cuba), Neoliberalism, 2020.

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Beirut, mon amour.

Those shattered mirrors once were
The smiling eyes of children,
Now are star-lit.
This city’s nights are bright.
and luminous is Lebanon.
Beirut, ornament of our world.
Faces decorated with blood
Dazzling, beyond beauty.
Their elegant splendor
Lights up the city’s lanes.
And radiant is Lebanon.
Beirut, ornament of our world.
Every charred house, every ruin
Is equal to Darius’ citadels.
Every warrior brings envy to Alexander.
Every daughter is like Laila.
This city stands at time’s creation.
This city will stand at time’s end.

– Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984).

The novel coronavirus continues its march through the world, with 18 million confirmed cases and at least 685,000 deaths. Of these, the United States of America, Brazil, and India are the worst-hit, harbouring about half of the world’s cases. US President Donald Trump’s claim that these numbers are high because of higher rates of testing is not borne out by the facts, which show that it is not testing that has ballooned the numbers but the paralysis of the governments of Trump, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, and India’s Narendra Modi and their failure to control the contagion. In these three countries, testing has been hard to access, and the test results have been unreliably reported.

Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi share a broad political orientation – one that leans so heavily towards the far right that it cannot walk upright. But beneath their buffoonish statements about the virus, and their reluctance to take it seriously, lies a much deeper problem that is shared by a range of countries. This problem goes by the name of neoliberalism, a policy orientation that emerged in the 1970s to stabilise a deep crisis of stagnation and inflation (‘stagflation’) in global capitalism. We define neoliberalism plainly in the image below:

Vikas Thakur (India), Neoliberalism, 2020.
Vikas Thakur (India), Neoliberalism, 2020.

The tax strike by the very rich, the liberalisation of finance, the deregulation of labour laws, and the evisceration of welfare provisions deepened social inequality and reduced the role of the vast mass of the world’s population in politics. The demand that ‘technocrats’ – especially bankers – run the world produced an anti-political sentiment amongst large sections of the world, who became increasingly alienated from their governments and from political activity.

Institutions of society that emerged to protect us from catastrophes of one kind or another were undermined. Public health systems were dismantled in countries such as the United States and India, while associated social services for childcare and eldercare were cut back or destroyed. In 2018, a United Nations study found that only 29% of the global population has access to social protection systems (including income security, access to health care, unemployment insurance, disability benefits, old-age pensions, cash and in-kind transfers, and other tax-financed schemes). A consequence of ending even meagre social protection for workers (such as sick leave) and of failing to provide public universal healthcare is that in the case of a pandemic, workers can neither afford to remain at home nor can they access healthcare: they are left to the wolves of the ‘free market’, which is really a world designed around profit and not the well-being of people.

Choo Chon Kai (Malaysia), Freedom of choice, 2020.
Choo Chon Kai (Malaysia), Freedom of choice, 2020.

It is not as if there have not been warnings about the policy framework known as neoliberalism and the austerity project that it has driven. In September 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned about the deep cuts in public health spending – including the lack of hiring of public health workers – and the impact this would have if a pandemic were to break out. That was on the verge of this pandemic, although earlier epidemics (H1N1, Ebola, SARS, MERS) already showed the weakness of the public health systems to manage an outbreak.

From the onset of neoliberalism, political parties and social movements warned about the threats posed by these cuts; as social institutions are whittled away, society’s ability to withstand any crisis – be it economic or epidemiological – is damaged. But these warnings were dismissed, the callousness remarkable.

Kelana Destin (Indonesia), Water, 2020.
Kelana Destin (Indonesia), Water, 2020.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), founded in 1964, lit the red light of caution from the publication of its first Trade and Development Report (TDR) in 1981; this UN body tracked the new economic agenda premised on liberalised trade, debt-driven investment in the developing world, and the slow emergence of a broad slate of austerity policies pushed by the IMF’s structural adjustment programmes. The austerity programmes imposed on countries by the IMF and by the wealthy bondholders negatively impacted GDP growth and produced large fiscal imbalances. Growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and exports did not necessarily mean an increase of the incomes for the people in the developing world. The TDR from 2002 explored the paradox that, while the developing countries were trading more, they were earning less; this meant that the trading system was rigged against these countries whose economies are largely reliant on exporting primary commodities.

The 2011 TDR looked closely at the after-effects of the 2007-08 credit crisis, which – it noted – ‘highlighted serious flaws in the pre-crisis belief in liberalisation and self-regulating markets. Liberalised financial markets have been encouraging excessive speculation (which amounts to gambling) and instability. And financial innovations have been serving their own industry rather than the greater social interest. Ignoring these flaws risk another, possibly even bigger, crisis’.

Lizzie Suarez (USA), Abolish Neoliberalism Resist Imperialism, 2020.>
Lizzie Suarez (USA), Abolish Neoliberalism Resist Imperialism, 2020.

After re-reading the 2011 TDR, I wrote to Heiner Flassbeck, who was the Chief of Microeconomics and Development at UNCTAD from 2003 to 2012, to ask him about that report and his feelings about it almost a decade later. Flassbeck re-read the report and wrote, ‘it seems to me that it is still a good guide into a new global order’. Last year, Flassbeck wrote a three-part series of articles titled ‘The Great Paradox: Liberalism Destroys the Market Economy’ in which he argues that neoliberalism destroyed the ability of economic activity to create jobs and wealth for the majority of the people. Now, Flassbeck wants to emphasise the importance of stagnant wages as an indicator of problems, as well as a place from which to develop solution.

The 2011 TDR argued that ‘the forces unleashed by globalisation have produced significant shifts in income distribution resulting in a falling share of wage income and a rising share of profits’. The Seoul Development Consensus of 2010 had advised that ‘for prosperity to be sustained it must be shared’. Apart from China, which developed a major scheme in 2013 to eradicate poverty and share growth, most countries saw wage growth fall short of productivity growth, which has meant that domestic demand grew slower than the supply of goods; nor were the possible solutions of relying on external demand or stimulating domestic demand with credit sustainable.

Pavel Pisklakov (Russia), Invisible Hand, 2020.
Pavel Pisklakov (Russia), Invisible Hand, 2020.

Flassbeck replied to Tricontinental: Institute of Social Research: ‘The core of the matter is wages. That was missing in the TRD 2011. All attempts to stabilise our economies and bring them back to strong investment growth are futile if the wage question is not fixed. To fix it means to implement in all countries of the world strong regulation to make sure that wage earners are fully participating in the productivity growth of their national economies. In the developing world, this is understood in Eastern Asia but nowhere else. You need strong government intervention to force companies, national as well as international, to apply wage growth in line with productivity growth and the inflation target set by the government or the central bank. It can be pushed through by governments decisions about the increase of the minimum wage, as China did it, or by informal pressure on the companies, as Japan did it’.

In a recent report, Flassbeck argued that many developing countries – even in the midst of the coronavirus recession – look to the advanced capitalist countries, which are cutting wages, underspending, and pursuing failed policies of ‘labour market flexibility’; the IMF often forces along these policies, which are the ‘main hindrances to a better growth and development performance’.

Sinead L Uhle (Germany), También la lluvia (‘Also the rain’), 2020.
Sinead L Uhle (Germany), También la lluvia (‘Also the rain’), 2020.

This newsletter is illustrated by posters from our ongoing Anti-imperialist Poster Exhibition. The first set was on the theme of capitalism; the second set is on neoliberalism, for which we received submissions from 59 artists from 27 countries and 20 organisations. Please spend some time enjoying the inventiveness of the artists.

Their inventiveness gives us confidence to be inventive and bold in our demands for society, which reject the neoliberal capitalist framework. If we are to reach for the sky, there is no point in putting our hands up merely to surrender to the propertied and the powerful; we need to reach for the sky to lift up the world from the morass of despair.

As American Society Crashes and Burns, the Cult of Neoliberalism Marches on

The right to have a slave implies the right in some one to make the slave; that right must be equal and mutual, and this would resolve society into a state of perpetual war.

— William Seward, from the “Freedom in the New Territories” speech, March 11, 1850

Long after they have set fire to the values of the New Deal and the civil rights movement, neoliberals continue to regard themselves as a bulwark protecting civilization from barbarism. In reality, they have betrayed all the values that the New Dealers and the civil rights leaders courageously and nobly fought for. Indeed, a class that once espoused unions, public education, the Constitution, integration, and freedom of the press, while standing in unequivocal opposition to imperialism and McCarthyism, has been transformed into a cult which speaks in the trappings of a progressive-sounding language, yet which has come to be allied with the forces of reaction on each and every one of these issues.

The mass media has successfully convinced a vast swath of the population that Obama and Hillary stand in brave opposition to racism and sexism, while Trump personifies Racism and The Patriarchy. This inane view of politics, coupled with the fact that the education system has raised an entire generation on nothing but woke novels and immigrant memoirs that pathologize whiteness, has resulted in a crisis where Western Civilization and the values of the Enlightenment are in grave danger. The videos showing Hillary supporters sobbing as their beloved Class-A war criminal was defeated in the 2016 election signifies this dangerous rift with reality.

Let us posit that a cult is a social structure that embodies the following characteristics:

* A rejection of logic and reason

* A fanatical devotion to an irrational belief system

* A profound anti-intellectualism

* A rejection of history and objective truth

* A relentless vilification of those who are outside of the cult, especially those who attempt to challenge the cult’s dogma

* An Orwellian manipulation of language

That neoliberalism possesses each of these characteristics is irrefutable; while all who attempt to question this creed are branded as “racists,” “fascists,” “Nazis,” “bigots,” “sexists,” or “conspiracy theorists”; i.e., mentally ill. Moreover, faux leftists continue to exhibit a blind faith in the holy texts of neoliberalism; and no matter how many times The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The New Yorker lie and dissemble, they refuse to read these publications with even the faintest trace of skepticism.

A critical tenet of neoliberalism is that it “fights racism,” when, in fact, the opposite is the case, as evidenced by the fact that multiculturalism and identity politics relentlessly foment and exacerbate segregation, ghettoization, and tribalism. And despite the fact that the two parties have been doing essentially the exact same things since (at the very least) the inauguration of Bill Clinton, the cult of neoliberalism remains anchored in an uncompromising belief in the two-party system. The idea that it is “progressive” to dispense with the national identities of the West since they epitomize “racism,” is yet another putrefying pillar of neoliberal ideology. Following this line of thinking, Americans can get along just fine with vocational communities and tribal identities that break down along lines of ethnicity, language, religion and sexual orientation.

A belief that the multicultural society is a meritocracy where everyone gets the job and income that they deserve; an insistence that “the left” should no longer concern itself with improving the lives of workers, students, patients, and prisoners but with “fighting racism,” are likewise foundational tenets of identity politics doctrine. In actuality, the fragmentation unleashed by the multicultural curriculum, identity studies, the multilingual media, and bilingual education create the very racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that faux-leftists claim to combat, undermining their very raison d’être. In a curious historical irony, neoliberals have even backed the restoration of McCarthyite witch hunts, thereby facilitating attacks on those who remain outside, or in defiance of, this peculiar dogma.

The multicultural curriculum has been specifically engineered to deny black, Latino, and poor immigrant youth an education in American letters, British literature, and classics of Western Civilization. This underscores the sinister and bigoted intentions of liberal academic administrators. Jettisoning these books from public schools which are dominated by students of color has led to staggering amounts of illiteracy, from which sectarianism has arrived to insatiably and inexorably fill the void. Perhaps unsurprisingly, proponents of the anti-working class have birthed an anti-humanities curriculum.

Multiculturalism subverts class consciousness without which there can be no political literacy, no understanding of history, and no progress. The anarchy, chaos, and atomization of the multicultural society (an oxymoron), turns workers into amoral automatons and interchangeable parts, while facilitating plutocratic pillage and authoritarianism, which its architects know full well.

In many ways, the demonization of Trump serves to deflect attention away from the fact that it is the ideology of neoliberalism which has betrayed the legacies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Martin Luther King, turning the country into a failed state. Black nationalism and white nationalism are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. It is not possible to have one and not have the other. Indeed, anti-white bigots are no more interested in the restoration of unions, the Constitution, integration, good public education, demilitarization, and freedom of the press than their white nationalist counterparts. If these critical checks and balances are not restored, and the health care system remains privatized, our democracy will be lost. The political prosecutions of Julian Assange, John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner, Daniel Hale, Barrett Brown, and Jeremy Hammond mean nothing to these zealots, as the accused are white, and the reinstatement of habeas corpus is not a part of their agenda.

A country can have different ethnicities, religions, and languages, but it cannot survive competing and mutually hostile curricula, as a nation-state must have a cohesive canon and a common historical narrative in order to sustain itself. As things presently stand, we have one curriculum which portrays white people as the devil incarnate; the other, a conservative curriculum, portrays Americans as the Indispensable Nation, and inculcates its charges with an ideology anchored in jingoism and Manifest Destiny. Both courses of study denigrate American literature, and refuse to educate their students in the history of European and American imperialism. These two curricula are on a collision course, and it would be unwise to dismiss the possibility of serious sectarian violence.

James Madison was acutely aware of the vital importance of having a literate population. As he wrote in a letter to W.T. Barry, on August 4, 1822:

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

John F. Kennedy reiterated this fundamental truth when he stated at Vanderbilt’s 90th Anniversary Convocation Address on May 18th, 1963, that “Only an educated and informed people will be a free people.”

Faux leftists continue to be fanatical supporters of illegal immigration and the importation of guest workers, and refuse to acknowledge the many problems this has wrought, particularly with regard to deunionization and the depression of wages, ghettoization, catastrophic overcrowding in public schools and hospitals; and the fact that mass immigration foments destabilization, which in turn facilitates the ruling establishment’s dismantling of due process and the rule of law.

Are liberals truly “fighting racism” by allowing so many destitute Americans to wallow unaided in a hell of mass incarceration, mass illiteracy, mass unemployment, and appalling unmet health care needs, while simultaneously clamoring for more cheap labor to be brought in from abroad? There are also large numbers of Americans with advanced degrees that struggle to find jobs, and yet are forced to compete with a seemingly endless arrival of foreign workers that are hired to fill these very positions. Can a society survive if it incessantly denies educational opportunities and job opportunities to millions of its young people while replacing them with indentured servants and more compliant foreign workers?

The taboo placed on criticizing these policies has made it virtually impossible to discuss extremely serious domestic problems with any degree of intellectual honesty. And while liberals have long forgotten that the egregious economic inequality of the Gilded Age was inextricably linked with open borders, the ruling establishment has never forgotten that this has always been capital’s most effective and devastatingly powerful weapon.

With regard to the nonsensical term “cultural Marxism:” Marx himself understood that mass immigration was used by the ruling elites of the US and UK to drive down wages and pit workers against one another. Furthermore, he would have understood that identity politics atomizes the working class, shattering it into a dizzying array of competing and antagonistic camps. Far from having anything to do with Marxism, the true meaning of “cultural Marxism” is unfettered capitalism. Indeed, when “the free market” is at its most unbridled, checks and balances are no longer sustainable.

For liberals and socialists it has long been anathema to suggest that bigotry can be anything other than a one-way street, yet upon closer examination this argument reveals itself to be mere casuistry. In the ‘60s, “fighting racism” was synonymous with fighting segregation. Today, “fighting racism” has devolved into calls for more “diversity”; i.e., less white people. In the neoliberal cult, the word “racist” has literally come to mean “evil white people,” which has in turn given birth to the idea that only whites can commit “hate crimes.” As towns, cities, and institutions that are predominantly white are denounced as “racist,” it is clear that the goal of multiculturalism is to make whites into a minority throughout the country, burn books by white people, and tear down statues of white people. Is this not what is meant by the growing calls to end “white privilege” and “white power?” This can only lead to a perpetual state of acrimony between the cult of neoliberalism and the rest of American society. The ahistorical and knavish notion of “white privilege” is contradicted by the fact that there has never been a time in the history of the country when there weren’t significant numbers of poor white people. Furthermore, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that while the white middle class is being systematically dismantled, the white oligarchs are richer than ever. (Another mysterious feature of “white privilege” is that roughly 70% of all suicides in the US are committed by white males).

Liberals once fought segregation, ghettoization, and tribalism – now they fight for these things – a turn of history evidently lost on them. Irregardless of whether the multiculturalists succeed, or the political pendulum swings back to a traditional far-right element such as the Christian Right, the road to despotism has been paved by the liberal class. Martin Luther King’s dream, that Americans would one day “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” has met its inversion in identity politics. Hundreds of thousands of white Union soldiers died so that over three million black slaves could be free. Were they also “racist?”

It is clear that the minions of multiculturalism have no more understanding of the historical significance of these events than the squirrels of Central Park. Nevertheless, it is also conceivable that the oligarchy understands this totalitarianization all too well, and that these events are part of a deliberate strategy to destroy the working class.

The fiendish nature of identity politics is underscored by the fact that statues of Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Hans Christian Heg have been toppled, while a statue of Matthias Baldwin has been defaced. While none of these individuals fought for the Confederacy (paradoxically, they held quite radical views), they all have one thing in common: they were white. That the marauders do not differentiate between Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee, on the one hand; and Jefferson, Grant, and Heg on the other, underscores the fact that this is a wicked movement hell-bent on the destruction of our civilization. (In this same vein, the book burners do not distinguish between The Scarlet Letter, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Mein Kampf). Moreover, it is from precisely this very anarchic environment that a Mussolini, Pinochet, or Franco could seize power — and save the country from “the left.”

Speaking at the unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument (also known as the Emancipation Memorial) in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1876, which was paid for by freedmen, and which woke barbarians are champing at the bit to destroy, Frederick Douglass said of Lincoln:

Fellow-citizens, I end, as I began, with congratulations. We have done a good work for our race to-day. In doing honor to the memory of our friend and liberator, we have been doing highest honors to ourselves and those who come after us; we have been fastening ourselves to a name and fame imperishable and immortal; we have also been defending ourselves from a blighting scandal. When now it shall be said that the colored man is soulless, that he has no appreciation of benefits or benefactors; when the foul reproach of ingratitude is hurled at us, and it is attempted to scourge us beyond the range of human brotherhood, we may calmly point to the monument we have this day erected to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.

The multiculturalists are now denouncing this memorial as “a monument to white supremacy.”

Were it not for Lincoln and Grant, it is highly probable that the Confederacy would have successfully seceded. Heg was slain at Chickamauga, and gave his life fighting against the Slave Power. The iconic statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the Museum of Natural History, which I once gazed up to in wonder as a young boy, is also slated to come down. That Roosevelt was a complex individual who fought for things both progressive and reactionary means nothing to these philistines. Even Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ exquisite Shaw Memorial, which took 14 years for the artist to complete, and which honors the all-black Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment, has not escaped the wrath of the mob.

The rise in racial diversity and diversity of sexual orientation has coincided with an unprecedented demise in diversity of thought. As historian James Oakes said in an interview with the World Socialist Web Site on November 18th, 2019:

There was a time, a long, long time ago, when a “diverse history faculty” meant that you had an economic historian, a political historian, a social historian, a historian of the American Revolution, of the Civil War, and so on. And now a diverse history faculty means a women’s historian, a gay historian, a Chinese-American historian, a Latino historian. So it’s a completely different kind of diversity.

More dangerous than racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, are those who use these words in intellectually dishonest and disingenuous ways. This is exemplified by the vitriol heaped on those who maintain that all public school students should be required to read American letters, British literature, and classics of Western Civilization. Denying these books to students of color isn’t “fighting racism;” but conversely, its quintessence. (Note how the euphemisms “respecting cultural differences” and “protecting diversity” serve to glorify segregation). Once these students are inculcated with the pernicious sophism that all white authors are racist they become unteachable. It is as though they have been injected with an anti-literacy vaccine.

There is little difference between students at an elite preparatory school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and the sons and daughters of the Ancien Régime. Likewise, there is little difference between the polyglot rabble that are warehoused in the New York City public schools and the children of medieval serfs. The only difference is that the multicultural serfs are so dehumanized that they have been taught to despise the very books that they so desperately need, and without which they are destined to become second-class citizens.

International students who hail from high schools where English is not the language of instruction should devote their time in the US to earning bachelor’s degrees in American or British literature. Alternatively, they are destined to learn nothing more than the English language jargon of their field; an arrangement deemed advantageous, both for the for-profit universities, as well as to their future exploiters. The idea that it is “anti-racist” to sell an international student a graduate or undergraduate degree when they struggle to read John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, or write an essay with a single grammatically correct sentence, is indicative of what Gad Saad has called “an idea pathogen.” Again, this begs the question: who is the real racist here?

Arguing that foreign-born students should, at the very least, always be less than ten percent of any student body K-12, and that they should not be allowed to arrive after the sixth or seventh grade, is nothing more than basic common sense. This would help protect not only the integrity of the public schools, but also foreign-born students themselves, who frequently fail to become literate and articulate in English, either because they arrive too late, or because they are educated in schools where ghettoization has relegated academic standards to the lowest possible level. What are immigrant children to integrate into when they are literally hanging from the chandeliers?

In Britain, faith-based schools continue to have a deleterious impact on native and foreigner alike, as this greatly exacerbates the problem of parallel communities. How can a Muslim child growing up in Luton become a literate British citizen if his education is predicated entirely on Islamic texts? Those who raise this issue are invariably met with accusations of “racism,” “xenophobia,” and “Islamophobia” — or most preposterous of all — “hate speech.” The first casualties of any cult are logic and liberty of thought.

The American canon has always been dominated by the so-called “dead white men.” Getting rid of these books cannot be done without destroying the entire society. (Do I have the right to go to Pakistan and complain that their education system is dominated by “dead brown men?”) The poor academic performance of many Americans of color is rooted in the fact that they have the black or Latino nationalist in one ear and the white neoliberal in the other, two Iagos essentially spewing the same venom: don’t have anything to do with white teachers, white students, or books written by white people. Indeed, all the great black writers and orators in the history of the country: Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, Martin Luther King, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Langston Hughes, to name a few, would never have accomplished anything intellectually without having attained a solid foundation in classics of Western Civilization. Did Martin Luther King martyr himself so that black children could read Amy Tan, Edwidge Danticat, The House on Mango Street and be railroaded into African American studies departments?

Here is Du Bois from The Souls of Black Folk:

I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out of the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed Earth and the tracery of stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the veil.

Above all, an education system must maintain and safeguard a particular national identity, as manifested by its unique humanities curriculum. Once this sacrosanct mission has been abandoned, education deteriorates into a collection of soulless vocational institutes that become technocratic factories for illiteratization. No multicultural curriculum can exist, because it is not possible to make children literate and articulate in hundreds of different languages. Notwithstanding neoliberal protestations, the multicultural curriculum is a psychopathic, nihilistic, and deeply reactionary curriculum. Nevertheless, it does what it was designed to do: foment tribalism and ignorance, while deflecting anger away from the oligarchy’s destruction of the country and towards white people.

As Frederick Douglass said in his “Our Composite Nationality” speech on December 7, 1869:

Mankind are not held together by lies. Trust is the foundation of society. Where there is no truth, there can be no trust, and where there is no trust, there can be no society.

If white power is wrong, black power must also be wrong. If misogyny is to be denounced, misandry must also be denounced. It is unconscionable for the cult of neoliberalism to continue to indoctrinate American youth with extremist ideologies.

In the cult of neoliberalism white nationalism is everywhere, yet anti-white bigotry — even when it is at its most spiteful and vicious – is nowhere to be found. Black nationalism is romanticized, as it “fights racism;” while misandry is extolled, as it “fights sexism.” Identity studies and the multicultural curriculum (where classes are taught by demagogues and not by academics), have fomented unprecedented forms of sectarianism, and fueled the free market jihadis of black nationalism, Latino nationalism, and Feminisis, along with other anti-intellectual and anti-Western hordes which are tearing apart the cultural fabric of society. The absence of a legitimate progressive alternative to endless wars, austerity, book burning, the medical industrial complex, and mass incarceration, where one may choose only between a white right and a colored right, has straitjacketed us into a paralysis of analysis. Irregardless of who is victorious, there can only be one winner: the kleptocracy.

The Yellow Vest movement, presently crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, is a traditional working class movement which seeks to protect social services, unions, and middle class jobs, and whose supporters understand that endless ranting and raving about race and gender is divisive and self-destructive, as this can only enhance the power of a rampaging bourgeoisie increasingly hostile to democracy. They also understand that the triumph of identity politics would constitute the triumph of alienation over camaraderie and solidarity.

Ultimately, multiculturalism is rooted in the idea that our national identity is illegitimate, a form of self-flagellation that is increasingly popular in Europe, notably Sweden. This humiliates and dehumanizes Americans of all ethnicities, and degrades and sullies the credibility of the left, while emboldening traditional reactionary ideologies.

Theodore Roosevelt was acutely aware of the dangers of tribalism. Speaking to the Knights of Columbus at Carnegie Hall on October 12, 1915, he warned:

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic.

If the multicultural cancer continues to metastasize unchecked our civilization will disintegrate, leaving the younger generation with nothing but a desolate wasteland enveloped by amnesia, where those who cry “extremist” are the real extremists, and where the citadel of reason lies in ruins, as Old Abe’s “mystic chords of memory” fade into a broken hourglass forever.

Ever hubristic and increasingly deranged, the cult of neoliberalism continues to maintain that the multicultural society constitutes a revolutionary movement comprised of integrationists, whose disciples are the heirs to the civil rights movement and the New Deal, when these crusades are diametrically opposed to one another. That the acolytes of identity politics fail to see this is lamentable. Yet cults require only emotions and blind obedience — not cognition. As Paul Craig Roberts writes in “Education Is Offensive and Racist and so is America:” “The elite have worked long and hard to acquire a divided population that cannot unite against them. They have succeeded.”

As American Society Crashes and Burns, the Cult of Neoliberalism Marches on

The right to have a slave implies the right in some one to make the slave; that right must be equal and mutual, and this would resolve society into a state of perpetual war.

— William Seward, from the “Freedom in the New Territories” speech, March 11, 1850

Long after they have set fire to the values of the New Deal and the civil rights movement, neoliberals continue to regard themselves as a bulwark protecting civilization from barbarism. In reality, they have betrayed all the values that the New Dealers and the civil rights leaders courageously and nobly fought for. Indeed, a class that once espoused unions, public education, the Constitution, integration, and freedom of the press, while standing in unequivocal opposition to imperialism and McCarthyism, has been transformed into a cult which speaks in the trappings of a progressive-sounding language, yet which has come to be allied with the forces of reaction on each and every one of these issues.

The mass media has successfully convinced a vast swath of the population that Obama and Hillary stand in brave opposition to racism and sexism, while Trump personifies Racism and The Patriarchy. This inane view of politics, coupled with the fact that the education system has raised an entire generation on nothing but woke novels and immigrant memoirs that pathologize whiteness, has resulted in a crisis where Western Civilization and the values of the Enlightenment are in grave danger. The videos showing Hillary supporters sobbing as their beloved Class-A war criminal was defeated in the 2016 election signifies this dangerous rift with reality.

Let us posit that a cult is a social structure that embodies the following characteristics:

* A rejection of logic and reason

* A fanatical devotion to an irrational belief system

* A profound anti-intellectualism

* A rejection of history and objective truth

* A relentless vilification of those who are outside of the cult, especially those who attempt to challenge the cult’s dogma

* An Orwellian manipulation of language

That neoliberalism possesses each of these characteristics is irrefutable; while all who attempt to question this creed are branded as “racists,” “fascists,” “Nazis,” “bigots,” “sexists,” or “conspiracy theorists”; i.e., mentally ill. Moreover, faux leftists continue to exhibit a blind faith in the holy texts of neoliberalism; and no matter how many times The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The New Yorker lie and dissemble, they refuse to read these publications with even the faintest trace of skepticism.

A critical tenet of neoliberalism is that it “fights racism,” when, in fact, the opposite is the case, as evidenced by the fact that multiculturalism and identity politics relentlessly foment and exacerbate segregation, ghettoization, and tribalism. And despite the fact that the two parties have been doing essentially the exact same things since (at the very least) the inauguration of Bill Clinton, the cult of neoliberalism remains anchored in an uncompromising belief in the two-party system. The idea that it is “progressive” to dispense with the national identities of the West since they epitomize “racism,” is yet another putrefying pillar of neoliberal ideology. Following this line of thinking, Americans can get along just fine with vocational communities and tribal identities that break down along lines of ethnicity, language, religion and sexual orientation.

A belief that the multicultural society is a meritocracy where everyone gets the job and income that they deserve; an insistence that “the left” should no longer concern itself with improving the lives of workers, students, patients, and prisoners but with “fighting racism,” are likewise foundational tenets of identity politics doctrine. In actuality, the fragmentation unleashed by the multicultural curriculum, identity studies, the multilingual media, and bilingual education create the very racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that faux-leftists claim to combat, undermining their very raison d’être. In a curious historical irony, neoliberals have even backed the restoration of McCarthyite witch hunts, thereby facilitating attacks on those who remain outside, or in defiance of, this peculiar dogma.

The multicultural curriculum has been specifically engineered to deny black, Latino, and poor immigrant youth an education in American letters, British literature, and classics of Western Civilization. This underscores the sinister and bigoted intentions of liberal academic administrators. Jettisoning these books from public schools which are dominated by students of color has led to staggering amounts of illiteracy, from which sectarianism has arrived to insatiably and inexorably fill the void. Perhaps unsurprisingly, proponents of the anti-working class have birthed an anti-humanities curriculum.

Multiculturalism subverts class consciousness without which there can be no political literacy, no understanding of history, and no progress. The anarchy, chaos, and atomization of the multicultural society (an oxymoron), turns workers into amoral automatons and interchangeable parts, while facilitating plutocratic pillage and authoritarianism, which its architects know full well.

In many ways, the demonization of Trump serves to deflect attention away from the fact that it is the ideology of neoliberalism which has betrayed the legacies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Martin Luther King, turning the country into a failed state. Black nationalism and white nationalism are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. It is not possible to have one and not have the other. Indeed, anti-white bigots are no more interested in the restoration of unions, the Constitution, integration, good public education, demilitarization, and freedom of the press than their white nationalist counterparts. If these critical checks and balances are not restored, and the health care system remains privatized, our democracy will be lost. The political prosecutions of Julian Assange, John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner, Daniel Hale, Barrett Brown, and Jeremy Hammond mean nothing to these zealots, as the accused are white, and the reinstatement of habeas corpus is not a part of their agenda.

A country can have different ethnicities, religions, and languages, but it cannot survive competing and mutually hostile curricula, as a nation-state must have a cohesive canon and a common historical narrative in order to sustain itself. As things presently stand, we have one curriculum which portrays white people as the devil incarnate; the other, a conservative curriculum, portrays Americans as the Indispensable Nation, and inculcates its charges with an ideology anchored in jingoism and Manifest Destiny. Both courses of study denigrate American literature, and refuse to educate their students in the history of European and American imperialism. These two curricula are on a collision course, and it would be unwise to dismiss the possibility of serious sectarian violence.

James Madison was acutely aware of the vital importance of having a literate population. As he wrote in a letter to W.T. Barry, on August 4, 1822:

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

John F. Kennedy reiterated this fundamental truth when he stated at Vanderbilt’s 90th Anniversary Convocation Address on May 18th, 1963, that “Only an educated and informed people will be a free people.”

Faux leftists continue to be fanatical supporters of illegal immigration and the importation of guest workers, and refuse to acknowledge the many problems this has wrought, particularly with regard to deunionization and the depression of wages, ghettoization, catastrophic overcrowding in public schools and hospitals; and the fact that mass immigration foments destabilization, which in turn facilitates the ruling establishment’s dismantling of due process and the rule of law.

Are liberals truly “fighting racism” by allowing so many destitute Americans to wallow unaided in a hell of mass incarceration, mass illiteracy, mass unemployment, and appalling unmet health care needs, while simultaneously clamoring for more cheap labor to be brought in from abroad? There are also large numbers of Americans with advanced degrees that struggle to find jobs, and yet are forced to compete with a seemingly endless arrival of foreign workers that are hired to fill these very positions. Can a society survive if it incessantly denies educational opportunities and job opportunities to millions of its young people while replacing them with indentured servants and more compliant foreign workers?

The taboo placed on criticizing these policies has made it virtually impossible to discuss extremely serious domestic problems with any degree of intellectual honesty. And while liberals have long forgotten that the egregious economic inequality of the Gilded Age was inextricably linked with open borders, the ruling establishment has never forgotten that this has always been capital’s most effective and devastatingly powerful weapon.

With regard to the nonsensical term “cultural Marxism:” Marx himself understood that mass immigration was used by the ruling elites of the US and UK to drive down wages and pit workers against one another. Furthermore, he would have understood that identity politics atomizes the working class, shattering it into a dizzying array of competing and antagonistic camps. Far from having anything to do with Marxism, the true meaning of “cultural Marxism” is unfettered capitalism. Indeed, when “the free market” is at its most unbridled, checks and balances are no longer sustainable.

For liberals and socialists it has long been anathema to suggest that bigotry can be anything other than a one-way street, yet upon closer examination this argument reveals itself to be mere casuistry. In the ‘60s, “fighting racism” was synonymous with fighting segregation. Today, “fighting racism” has devolved into calls for more “diversity”; i.e., less white people. In the neoliberal cult, the word “racist” has literally come to mean “evil white people,” which has in turn given birth to the idea that only whites can commit “hate crimes.” As towns, cities, and institutions that are predominantly white are denounced as “racist,” it is clear that the goal of multiculturalism is to make whites into a minority throughout the country, burn books by white people, and tear down statues of white people. Is this not what is meant by the growing calls to end “white privilege” and “white power?” This can only lead to a perpetual state of acrimony between the cult of neoliberalism and the rest of American society. The ahistorical and knavish notion of “white privilege” is contradicted by the fact that there has never been a time in the history of the country when there weren’t significant numbers of poor white people. Furthermore, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that while the white middle class is being systematically dismantled, the white oligarchs are richer than ever. (Another mysterious feature of “white privilege” is that roughly 70% of all suicides in the US are committed by white males).

Liberals once fought segregation, ghettoization, and tribalism – now they fight for these things – a turn of history evidently lost on them. Irregardless of whether the multiculturalists succeed, or the political pendulum swings back to a traditional far-right element such as the Christian Right, the road to despotism has been paved by the liberal class. Martin Luther King’s dream, that Americans would one day “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” has met its inversion in identity politics. Hundreds of thousands of white Union soldiers died so that over three million black slaves could be free. Were they also “racist?”

It is clear that the minions of multiculturalism have no more understanding of the historical significance of these events than the squirrels of Central Park. Nevertheless, it is also conceivable that the oligarchy understands this totalitarianization all too well, and that these events are part of a deliberate strategy to destroy the working class.

The fiendish nature of identity politics is underscored by the fact that statues of Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Hans Christian Heg have been toppled, while a statue of Matthias Baldwin has been defaced. While none of these individuals fought for the Confederacy (paradoxically, they held quite radical views), they all have one thing in common: they were white. That the marauders do not differentiate between Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee, on the one hand; and Jefferson, Grant, and Heg on the other, underscores the fact that this is a wicked movement hell-bent on the destruction of our civilization. (In this same vein, the book burners do not distinguish between The Scarlet Letter, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Mein Kampf). Moreover, it is from precisely this very anarchic environment that a Mussolini, Pinochet, or Franco could seize power — and save the country from “the left.”

Speaking at the unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument (also known as the Emancipation Memorial) in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1876, which was paid for by freedmen, and which woke barbarians are champing at the bit to destroy, Frederick Douglass said of Lincoln:

Fellow-citizens, I end, as I began, with congratulations. We have done a good work for our race to-day. In doing honor to the memory of our friend and liberator, we have been doing highest honors to ourselves and those who come after us; we have been fastening ourselves to a name and fame imperishable and immortal; we have also been defending ourselves from a blighting scandal. When now it shall be said that the colored man is soulless, that he has no appreciation of benefits or benefactors; when the foul reproach of ingratitude is hurled at us, and it is attempted to scourge us beyond the range of human brotherhood, we may calmly point to the monument we have this day erected to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.

The multiculturalists are now denouncing this memorial as “a monument to white supremacy.”

Were it not for Lincoln and Grant, it is highly probable that the Confederacy would have successfully seceded. Heg was slain at Chickamauga, and gave his life fighting against the Slave Power. The iconic statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the Museum of Natural History, which I once gazed up to in wonder as a young boy, is also slated to come down. That Roosevelt was a complex individual who fought for things both progressive and reactionary means nothing to these philistines. Even Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ exquisite Shaw Memorial, which took 14 years for the artist to complete, and which honors the all-black Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment, has not escaped the wrath of the mob.

The rise in racial diversity and diversity of sexual orientation has coincided with an unprecedented demise in diversity of thought. As historian James Oakes said in an interview with the World Socialist Web Site on November 18th, 2019:

There was a time, a long, long time ago, when a “diverse history faculty” meant that you had an economic historian, a political historian, a social historian, a historian of the American Revolution, of the Civil War, and so on. And now a diverse history faculty means a women’s historian, a gay historian, a Chinese-American historian, a Latino historian. So it’s a completely different kind of diversity.

More dangerous than racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, are those who use these words in intellectually dishonest and disingenuous ways. This is exemplified by the vitriol heaped on those who maintain that all public school students should be required to read American letters, British literature, and classics of Western Civilization. Denying these books to students of color isn’t “fighting racism;” but conversely, its quintessence. (Note how the euphemisms “respecting cultural differences” and “protecting diversity” serve to glorify segregation). Once these students are inculcated with the pernicious sophism that all white authors are racist they become unteachable. It is as though they have been injected with an anti-literacy vaccine.

There is little difference between students at an elite preparatory school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and the sons and daughters of the Ancien Régime. Likewise, there is little difference between the polyglot rabble that are warehoused in the New York City public schools and the children of medieval serfs. The only difference is that the multicultural serfs are so dehumanized that they have been taught to despise the very books that they so desperately need, and without which they are destined to become second-class citizens.

International students who hail from high schools where English is not the language of instruction should devote their time in the US to earning bachelor’s degrees in American or British literature. Alternatively, they are destined to learn nothing more than the English language jargon of their field; an arrangement deemed advantageous, both for the for-profit universities, as well as to their future exploiters. The idea that it is “anti-racist” to sell an international student a graduate or undergraduate degree when they struggle to read John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, or write an essay with a single grammatically correct sentence, is indicative of what Gad Saad has called “an idea pathogen.” Again, this begs the question: who is the real racist here?

Arguing that foreign-born students should, at the very least, always be less than ten percent of any student body K-12, and that they should not be allowed to arrive after the sixth or seventh grade, is nothing more than basic common sense. This would help protect not only the integrity of the public schools, but also foreign-born students themselves, who frequently fail to become literate and articulate in English, either because they arrive too late, or because they are educated in schools where ghettoization has relegated academic standards to the lowest possible level. What are immigrant children to integrate into when they are literally hanging from the chandeliers?

In Britain, faith-based schools continue to have a deleterious impact on native and foreigner alike, as this greatly exacerbates the problem of parallel communities. How can a Muslim child growing up in Luton become a literate British citizen if his education is predicated entirely on Islamic texts? Those who raise this issue are invariably met with accusations of “racism,” “xenophobia,” and “Islamophobia” — or most preposterous of all — “hate speech.” The first casualties of any cult are logic and liberty of thought.

The American canon has always been dominated by the so-called “dead white men.” Getting rid of these books cannot be done without destroying the entire society. (Do I have the right to go to Pakistan and complain that their education system is dominated by “dead brown men?”) The poor academic performance of many Americans of color is rooted in the fact that they have the black or Latino nationalist in one ear and the white neoliberal in the other, two Iagos essentially spewing the same venom: don’t have anything to do with white teachers, white students, or books written by white people. Indeed, all the great black writers and orators in the history of the country: Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, Martin Luther King, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Langston Hughes, to name a few, would never have accomplished anything intellectually without having attained a solid foundation in classics of Western Civilization. Did Martin Luther King martyr himself so that black children could read Amy Tan, Edwidge Danticat, The House on Mango Street and be railroaded into African American studies departments?

Here is Du Bois from The Souls of Black Folk:

I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out of the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed Earth and the tracery of stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the veil.

Above all, an education system must maintain and safeguard a particular national identity, as manifested by its unique humanities curriculum. Once this sacrosanct mission has been abandoned, education deteriorates into a collection of soulless vocational institutes that become technocratic factories for illiteratization. No multicultural curriculum can exist, because it is not possible to make children literate and articulate in hundreds of different languages. Notwithstanding neoliberal protestations, the multicultural curriculum is a psychopathic, nihilistic, and deeply reactionary curriculum. Nevertheless, it does what it was designed to do: foment tribalism and ignorance, while deflecting anger away from the oligarchy’s destruction of the country and towards white people.

As Frederick Douglass said in his “Our Composite Nationality” speech on December 7, 1869:

Mankind are not held together by lies. Trust is the foundation of society. Where there is no truth, there can be no trust, and where there is no trust, there can be no society.

If white power is wrong, black power must also be wrong. If misogyny is to be denounced, misandry must also be denounced. It is unconscionable for the cult of neoliberalism to continue to indoctrinate American youth with extremist ideologies.

In the cult of neoliberalism white nationalism is everywhere, yet anti-white bigotry — even when it is at its most spiteful and vicious – is nowhere to be found. Black nationalism is romanticized, as it “fights racism;” while misandry is extolled, as it “fights sexism.” Identity studies and the multicultural curriculum (where classes are taught by demagogues and not by academics), have fomented unprecedented forms of sectarianism, and fueled the free market jihadis of black nationalism, Latino nationalism, and Feminisis, along with other anti-intellectual and anti-Western hordes which are tearing apart the cultural fabric of society. The absence of a legitimate progressive alternative to endless wars, austerity, book burning, the medical industrial complex, and mass incarceration, where one may choose only between a white right and a colored right, has straitjacketed us into a paralysis of analysis. Irregardless of who is victorious, there can only be one winner: the kleptocracy.

The Yellow Vest movement, presently crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, is a traditional working class movement which seeks to protect social services, unions, and middle class jobs, and whose supporters understand that endless ranting and raving about race and gender is divisive and self-destructive, as this can only enhance the power of a rampaging bourgeoisie increasingly hostile to democracy. They also understand that the triumph of identity politics would constitute the triumph of alienation over camaraderie and solidarity.

Ultimately, multiculturalism is rooted in the idea that our national identity is illegitimate, a form of self-flagellation that is increasingly popular in Europe, notably Sweden. This humiliates and dehumanizes Americans of all ethnicities, and degrades and sullies the credibility of the left, while emboldening traditional reactionary ideologies.

Theodore Roosevelt was acutely aware of the dangers of tribalism. Speaking to the Knights of Columbus at Carnegie Hall on October 12, 1915, he warned:

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic.

If the multicultural cancer continues to metastasize unchecked our civilization will disintegrate, leaving the younger generation with nothing but a desolate wasteland enveloped by amnesia, where those who cry “extremist” are the real extremists, and where the citadel of reason lies in ruins, as Old Abe’s “mystic chords of memory” fade into a broken hourglass forever.

Ever hubristic and increasingly deranged, the cult of neoliberalism continues to maintain that the multicultural society constitutes a revolutionary movement comprised of integrationists, whose disciples are the heirs to the civil rights movement and the New Deal, when these crusades are diametrically opposed to one another. That the acolytes of identity politics fail to see this is lamentable. Yet cults require only emotions and blind obedience — not cognition. As Paul Craig Roberts writes in “Education Is Offensive and Racist and so is America:” “The elite have worked long and hard to acquire a divided population that cannot unite against them. They have succeeded.”

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.

WE Charity Scandal and NGOs’ Role in Imperialism

Once again the media focuses on salacious details rather than the big picture.

While TV and newspapers have focused on the whiff of corruption surrounding the government’s $900 million contract with the WE Charity, some broader points have been ignored. Whatever the Trudeau and Morneau families have pocketed from WE, the deleterious impact that NGO has had on social services and young Canadians’ understanding of global inequities is much more significant.

In a series of poignant tweets Simon Black highlighted how WE has directed young people towards ineffective political actions and a narrow understanding of doing good in the world. He noted, “teaching kids that ‘breaking the cycle of poverty’ (WE’s words) involves travelling to a ‘developing’ country to build a school and not marching on the IMF, World Bank, White House or Parliament Hill to demand the cancellation of global South debts. That’s the real #WEscam.” In fact, a little discussed reason the federal government funds NGOs is to co-opt internationalist minded young people into aligning with Canadian foreign policy.

In another tweet Black mocks WE’s educational program. “Thanks to the Keilburgers and WE,” he writes, “a generation of kids have learned about ‘international development’ but still don’t know what an IMF structural adjustment program is.” Imposed by the Washington-based international financial institution, structural adjustment programs (SAPs) pushed indebted African, Asian and Latin American countries to privatize state assets, weaken labour regulations and liberalize trade and investment rules. Through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s Canada channeled hundreds of millions of dollars in “aid” to support SAPs. Canadian mining companies greatly benefited from liberalized mining laws, but structural adjustment policies produced deep social and economic crises. Nutritional status, health, education and other social indicators declined in the wake of SAPs. For many African countries the structural adjustment period was worse than the Great Depression. International creditors argued that the flipside of this government downsizing would be increased aid, particularly to private sector NGOs. Ottawa asked the NGO sector to “undertake tasks previously performed by governments, such as the delivery of” health, sanitation and other services.

The NGO as replacement for government service is another side of the current WE scandal. On Facebook Matthew Behrens explained, “the real crime, which the media has utterly failed to mention, is that Trudeau was essentially privatizing a chunk of the Canada Summer Jobs program — which provides summer jobs at minimum wage — to a private corporation”, which then planned to pay them below the legal minimum. Charity as replacement for social services is what WE and Canadian-government-funded NGOs do all over the world. In a country like Haiti, for instance, social services are almost entirely privatized, run by “charities” often based in other countries who decide whether one qualifies for assistance. Foreign-funded NGOs have contributed to a process that has undermined Haitian governmental capacity.

This foisting of “charitable” international social services delivery systems on poor countries shouldn’t surprise Canadians since the same corporate interests that promote privatizations over there push similar efforts at home. In fact there have been hundreds of battles over many decades in every corner of the country against right wing efforts to dismantle public social services. Most Canadians understand what’s going on when pro-corporate forces argue for cutting social services. Yet when the federal government pushes similar policies elsewhere there has been little protest, mostly because the dominant media simply does not report what’s happening.

If the media were interested in telling the real story it would broaden the discussion about #WEscam. Ottawa, WE and other NGOs’ role in undercutting social services and confusing young people about global inequities is a far bigger scandal than however much one charity paid the Trudeau family.

The End of History lasted 2 Years: I’ll give the Great Reset 18 Months

The many similarities in the unfolding narrative of Covid-19 to that of September 11, 2001 — the mass hysteria, the banker bailouts, the insider trading, the censorship of dissent, the apparent foreknowledge (Lockstep, Event 201, PNAC, Catastrophic Terrorism, A Clean Break etc), the rollout of mass surveillance measures and more — make the two seem like parallel conspiracies. Covid-19 could also be compared to 9-11 in that it seems to be a ‘controlled demolition’ of the world economy by the global financial powers, one that was either planned, or at very least allowed to happen.

One of the initial red flags surrounding the events of 9-11 was NORAD’s failure to scramble a single interceptor in response to the attacks. It was later claimed that they were conducting a ‘training exercise’ at the time which created confusion. Strange how these training exercises always seem to take place during major crises. Event 201, a joint venture of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum hosted by Johns Hopkins University in October 2019 was billed as a simulation response to a novel disease pandemic. Was this also a training exercise which went live? Mike Pompeo’s remarks during a White House press conference in March would seem to suggest so:

Pompeo: “This matter is going forward — we are in a live exercise here to get this right.”

Trump (under his breath): “You should have let us know.”

The case for conspiracy in the events of 9-11 is easily made when we allow our reasoning to be guided by the principle of cui bono. Who has benefited from two decades of regime change wars in the Middle East and North Africa? Arms manufacturers and their many private investors? Big Oil? International finance? The Zionist occupation state?

The question of who was responsible for 9-11 doesn’t hinge on whether or not jet fuel can melt steel beams (it can’t.) It hinges on the fact that the US had been planning a war in the Middle east for a decade prior to the event. The US decision to invade and occupy Afghanistan and to depose Saddam Hussein was made during Western liberal democracy’s ‘uni-polar moment’, a fleeting window which Francis Fukuyama would describe as ‘the end of history’ — the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union during which the US was the world’s only superpower. 9-11 was a staged event which provided the pretext for maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military force in the new century. There are several key policy documents which spell this out if you could be bothered reading them. They even talk about the need for a Pearl Harbour like event to galvanise public opinion. At least two of the authors of these documents had specifically mentioned attacks on the World Trade Centre prior to September 11, 2001.

With the benefit of hindsight, how can policy directives such as Richard Perle’s “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”, and PNAC’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century” be seen as anything less than manifestos by the conspirators themselves? Similarly the article by Ashton B. Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow entitled Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger which appeared in Foreign Affairs November/December 1998 edition presents chilling circumstantial evidence of foreknowledge of the events.

Most incriminating of all, however, is the Patriot Act. Passed into law soon after the 9-11 attacks, this draconian bill expanded terrorism laws to include ‘domestic terrorism’ and subjected US citizens, journalists, whistle blowers and political organisations to surveillance, wiretapping, harassment, and potential criminal action.

Within seven weeks, October 24th 2001, the House of Representatives was presented with the Patriot Act and passed it the next day. After the Senate passed it President Bush signed it the following day. Later it would be revealed that not one congressman read the 900 page Patriot Act before voting for it, nor does anyone know who wrote it, which makes many believe the Patriot Act was sitting in some right-winger, globalist’s desk just waiting for something like 9-11 to happen.

— Randolph Polasek, Powers Behind JFK Assassination (Expanded Edition, October 8, 2009)

The World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform is a comprehensive plan for world governance, covering every aspect of life, from employment, to food production, to mobility, to management of oceans and forests — everything from the biggest issues — ‘great power politics’, right down to the micro-management of our daily lives — religion, ethics, human rights, mental health, and even ‘human enhancement’, aka, transhumanism. The platform is presented as a manifesto for the new era into which we are being thrust; an era of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘impact investment’ through human capital bonds. Much like the Patriot Act, it is difficult to believe that such an incredibly dense, user-interactive online document could have been written start-to-finish during the initial weeks of the unfolding Covid pandemic. It is simply too comprehensive. Was this document also sitting around in some globalist’s desk just waiting for the right moment?

The Covid Action Platform presents a blueprint for the hostile takeover of every aspect of human decision making; a undertaking which is being accomplished right now, through blockchain technologies, image recognition and mechanised translation; through deep learning algorithms which make use of our smartphones and computers and employ cutting edge technologies such as facial recognition and speech translation to assimilate whole libraries of information about us — a vast neural network capable of making accurate predictions about our behaviour — in particular, our purchasing habits. In this late stage of capitalism our value to the ruling class is increasingly as consumers rather than producers. Ever wondered how it is that products and services are advertised on our screens immediately following a phone call or private conversation? Even now artificial intelligence is plotting our behaviour and making predictions based on the data it collects. The more information we feed it, the more it is able to predict and control us.

[The human population is controlled] via digital identity systems tied to cashless benefit payments within the context of a militarized 5G, IoT [Internet of Things], and AR [augmented reality] environment. The billionaire class has built and is rapidly putting the finishing touches on infrastructure to run human capital social impact markets that will securitize the lives of most people as data streams. The technology that underlies this 4IR automation will hasten the death of the planet. The World Economic Forum is advancing a technocratic system of control and domination of humanity and the planet… Why should we agree to this? It is a profound sickness of Western culture. Hubris. Sick. And totally ignoring the impact our actions have on the natural world around us.

— Alison Hawver McDowell, Wrench in the Gears

It is the need for increased surveillance and data gathering capability that is currently driving the roll out of 5G technology. Our new augmented reality lifestyles are going to require a great deal more speed and bandwidth, not to mention all those new driverless trucks on the road. Is this perhaps also why the horse shit peddlers are claiming that 5G itself is spreading the virus? Leaving aside the potential harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation in confined spaces, blaming 5G for the pandemic is about as nuanced as blaming ‘the Jooz’ for 9-11. And yet 5G does play a crucial role in this conspiracy. It will provide the extra capacity needed to micro-manage our lives when we are eventually released from lockdown into a world of digital surveillance, biometric I.D. and social credit.

The layoffs and retrenchments of workers by the million also present new opportunities to bring online automation on a scale hitherto imagined. We should not be surprised that figures like HRH the Prince of Wales and other illustrious world leaders are now calling this a golden opportunity to reshape the world. The ruling class are literally calling for a new social contract. Would you let your employer ‘renegotiate’ your contract without your union representative present? There is no historical precedent for the ruling class giving up their power and privilege. Why would they do so now?

We are indeed entering Huxley’s Brave New World; a digital panopticon where our every move will be tracked and traced; where Universal Basic Income will function as behavioural scrip; where our Covid Passes will provide access to public spaces. All of these things will be packaged and sold as the solution to our current predicament; the way we ‘reopen’ our economies and return to normal. All thanks to Covid-19.

This is a social engineering on steroids. It is not, however, unprecedented. Our rulers have made no secret of their plans to implement technocracy, couched in terms from the sublime “the systems approach to complex global challenges” to the brazenly unabashed “the self direction of human evolution”. From Julian Huxley’s foundational philosophy of Unesco to the managerial technocracy described by Carroll Quigley and Edward Bernays; from David Rockefeller’s work on global governance to Jacques Attali’s Brief History of the Future, the conceptual framework has been spelled out clearly for more than a century for anyone willing to pay attention. Texts once dismissed as works of speculative fiction now look more like the blueprints of mad scientists, social Darwinists and Malthusian eugenicists. These are the manifestos of the elite. We are living in HG Wells Open Conspiracy; in Aldous Huxley’s Ultimate Revolution. Covid 19 is simply providing the theatrical smoke and fog between acts.

Technocracy is no more compatible with human happiness than Ayn Rand’s theory of rational self interest, but this, we are told, is what progress demands, and history shows there is little we can do to stop revolutionary change. Do we become Luddites? Do we join the masses with their pitchforks and go out and set fire to the 5G ‘cancer towers’? Or do we recognise Robert Frost’s truism that “the best way out is always through”?

It’s clear that technology is here to stay. Alas, the shape of our future will depend entirely on those who control it. Failing a return to fashion of the guillotine, power is likely to remain concentrated in the hands of an increasingly small and elite group. We might find comfort, however, in the fact that hubris seldom has the final word in human affairs, and we can be reasonably assured that Huxley’s ultimate revolution will be every bit as fleeting as Fukuyama’s End of History.

Miserable Bankruptcy of Neoliberal “Takeover” Reports

For decades, one of the main strategies used by neoliberals to destroy public enterprises and eliminate the public interest has been: Starve It, Demonize It, Discredit It, Privatize it.

Since the late 1970s, neoliberals and their state have made greater use of the “Takeover” reporting method to justify wrecking and privatizing social programs and public enterprises, especially public education.

In practice, this neoliberal strategy means continually cutting funding for public enterprises and making it very difficult, even impossible, to do things properly and effectively, even though an enormous amount of money actually exists. Then the targeted public entity is vilified and blamed for not surviving brutal funding cuts. The targeted entity is methodically and repeatedly disgraced, shamed, and reproached. It is blamed for everything under the sun even though it is the victim of numerous neoliberal assaults. Then, once antisocial public opinion is consolidated, the targeted public enterprise is privatized—handed over to powerful private interests in the name of “efficiency,” “accountability,” “sustainability,” “competition,” “choice,” and “results.”

Neoliberals call this attack on the public “restructuring.” Such language debases the meaning of things and sanitizes assaults on the public. It is an attempt to conceal the fact that “restructuring” always enriches owners of capital and has nothing to do with improving public services or advancing the common good.

In recent years, neoliberals and privatizers have increased their cookie-cutter production of lengthy, glossy, high-sounding “Takeover” reports produced by “experts,” “prestigious institutions,” “commissions,” or “special task forces.” These unelected “experts” and entities—often chosen for their neoliberal credentials—zealously over-document “inefficiencies,” “cost over-runs,” “redundancies,” “waste,” “dysfunction,” and “governance problems” in the targeted public enterprise.

“Takeover” reports bend over backwards to make the targeted public enterprise look incompetent, unsustainable, and mired in constant turmoil. Thick descriptions of “internal conflicts” and “conflicts of interest” are invented, exaggerated, or highlighted to add extra sizzle and sensation to the report. The smallest details and all manner of secondary issues are self-servingly magnified ten-fold. A salacious vibe is generated about various functions and procedures. In this way, the focus is removed from the crimes and failures of the rich and their neoliberal state and placed instead on the victims of the rich and their neoliberal state. Perpetrator and victim are cynically inverted.

Not surprisingly, “Takeover” reports follow the same template everywhere and never investigate real social, economic, and political conditions and the crises they produce and perpetuate. Top-down austerity reports cover-up real problems and are self-serving, anti-intellectual, and unscientific. One will never find a “Takeover” report soberly examining the root-cause of problems and thinking through problems and issues in a serious manner. This is why so many public school “Takeover” reports, for example, ignore poverty, unemployment, segregation, homelessness, racism, and inequality, even though thousands of researchers and others have been highlighting these leading causes of poor achievement for more than 100 years. Neoliberals self-servingly claim that such problems, which are constantly worsening, are “too big to solve.”

Nor is there any recognition in “Takeover” reports that changes in governance, aim, policies, functions, and outcomes must be determined by the people themselves. Instead, the narrow interests of neoliberals and privatizers are placed center-stage.

“Takeover” reports are used to fool the gullible and to create antisocial public opinion in favor of “restructuring.” Such reports fabricate alarm and hysteria in order to convince people to be outraged and to beg the rich to “do something” to “fix the terrible situation at hand” that neoliberals themselves created. In this context, the dangerous notion that “anything other than what we have now” will “supposedly do” is heavily promoted. Jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire is presented as rational and desirable.

But even a child knows that any institution starved of much-needed funds for decades is being set-up to fail. Everyone knows high-quality public services and social programs can’t be done on the cheap. Real investments must be made to meet people’s needs in the 21st century. A modern society comprised of hundreds of millions of people and a mass industrial production system cannot operate on constant cuts and growing political, economic, and social inequality and instability.

For more than 40 years, the neoliberal state has been slashing funds for a range of social programs and public enterprises that serve millions of people, causing many to disappear and bringing many others to the brink of extinction. This is conscious and deliberate, not some accident or oversight. It is not the result of the “bad intentions” of “some people.”

Fortunately, there is an alternative to antisocial and antiworker “restructuring.” Privatization, corruption, and all manner of assaults by the rich on the public can and must be combatted.

However, the old way of thinking, the old “social contract,” and liberal institutions are all part of the past and no longer work, which means that they cannot provide a way forward. A new politics, outlook, and arrangements are needed. A new orientation, free of the influence of both parties of the rich and their media, is needed to open the path of progress to society.

A pro-social alternative begins with discarding the old. It means consciously rejecting capital-centered ideas and developing a human-centered outlook that recognizes that all humans are born to society and have rights by virtue of being human and that society is duty-bound to provide these rights with a guarantee in practice. Putting the narrow interests of the rich ahead of everyone else is unethical and unacceptable.

Social programs and public enterprises need more funds, not fewer funds. Society must stop paying the rich and make greater investments in social programs and public enterprises since these social programs and public enterprises are key to the continual improvement of the health, skills, and overall well-being of the people, the economy, society, and the nation.

Public funds must never be funneled to narrow private interests driven by the obsolete aim of maximizing profit as fast as possible. The rich must be blocked from accessing any public funds or deciding the affairs of any public enterprise. Public monies should always remain under the full control of a public authority worthy of the name.

If “restructuring” is needed it is “restructuring” to empower people, not major owners of capital, to become the decision-makers in society.