Category Archives: Discrimination

Even the Fatherless Become Fathers

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These Op-Ed’s I pen in Newport News Times are my reckoning with loads of travel, plethora of spiritual work, and in-the-trenches journalistic forays dredging unimaginable but potent “land.”

I muck around with smalltown newspapers, even when the gig pays zero shekels, because I have a thing for smalltown newspapers staying in business. REALLY. So here you go:

I ended up in Spokane, years ago, near or around Father’s Day, 2001. Lo and behold, the story of the celebration is rooted there. A Spokane woman, Sonora Smart Dodd (man, I spent a lot of time in the Sonora – as diver, hiker, journalist), wanted to honor her Civil War vet father, who ended up raising her and five siblings after their mother died in childbirth.

June 19, 1910 was the “first” father’s day (Spokane, WA). The official national holiday designation came from a very odd father indeed, Richard Nixon, as the third Sunday in June (1972).

Much philosophical, political, sociological, and psychological territory has been traversed covering what it means to be a father, a son, an uncle, and a man. Oh, the dissertations that have been festooned dissecting intersections of American life with “the father.” We even have a bifurcation in politics around the father figure.–

I had my college students look at narrative framing around Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the strict father ideology (conservatives) and the nurturing father (progressives).

Two worldviews clash, as the strict father assumes that the world is inherently dangerous and difficult so children, who are born bad, must be made good. Whereas, the progressives see children born good, and parents can make them better.

Lessons in right versus wrong and a moral authority – George H W Bush and Ronald Reagan – define the conservative father. Contrastingly,  nurturing empathy and responsibility for oneself and taking care of others – Jimmy Carter or Barak Obama – are characteristics of the liberal father. George Lakoff looked at this, as well as how conservatives use language to dominate politics.

Here I was teaching at a university and community college in El Paso and adult professionals in Juarez, guiding them to consider the many sides of the male coin: Texas, a macho state governed by George W. Bush, and then for one term, Ann White. The town was more than 85 percent Latino, and my students (parents or grandparents from Mexico) were navigating what it means to be not just a college-educated person, but a high school graduate.

I also had many artist friends, and others, like masons and auto body guys, on both sides of the border, who were products of gangs. Many an out-of-town intellectual or journalist has ventured to this bi-national area to study gangs.

Many of my homies in and out of gang-life inked giant images of the Virgin de Guadalupe tattoos on their skin.

Many of the gangs in LA were rooted first in El Paso. I worked in Segundo Barrio, with youth who were in gangs like Los Aztecas and Los Fatherless.  I worked in prisons as a college teacher where gangs influenced each writing session.

I worked on military compounds – Fort Bliss, White Sands, even at the United Sergeants Major Academy.  Back then, very few women came through the Academy to get their last stripe, E-9. Many units were men’s clubs. Gangs, or sort.

Even in that setting, I pushed combat-toughened students to think about the role of fathers now (1986 to 2000) and back in their grandfathers’ days.

What is it to be a man in America? What is it to be a son or daughter in America? We went into the how’s and why’s of deadly violence in gang life, and we talked about the deadlier violence perpetrated by US military.

Men are from Mars (Roman god of war, Ares) and women are from Venus (beauty, love and relationships, as it represents the sentimental, affective and sensitive side of the heart).  Right? Hard versus soft, right?  Should we allow females in combat? And, then shelves of books on rape culture and toxic masculinity.

The landscape was mined with explosive topics from the get-go for me, as I got my classes rolling on debates and research projects around those controversial topics.

What does it mean to be father? Definitions have morphed foundationally since I started journalism and teaching at age 21.

I taught poet Robert Bly’s Iron John, and I had to defend that action since teaching “men to be men” in English departments seemed anathema to the “woke world.”

In ordinary life, a mentor can guide a young man through various disciplines, helping to bring him out of boyhood into manhood; and that in turn is associated not with body building, but with building an emotional body capable of containing more than one sort of ecstasy.

― Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men

I taught the Fight Club, too, and had to defend that book choice as well. However, my reading list included Alice Walker (The Color Purple), Sapphire (Black Wings & Blind Angels), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) and so many others.

I worked into syllabi Charles Bowden’s Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future and Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family to some consternation from female faculty in El Paso and Spokane.

As a case manager for the houseless, just-out-of-prison, struggling with addiction, I found many a male figure, for sure, was either absent from the men and women’s lives, or that father was someone who’d easily occupy Dante’s Seventh circle of hell.

There are many good men. Last month, I met a fellow who lives and works in Waldport. Eight years in the Marine Corps. He’s forty-five, and has 9 “kids” living with him: His own biological children, and those he has taken in from family members who have run away from their duties, to include mothers and fathers.

He’s a living lesson for any man – he teaches respect for all people, including those living in vans or tents. He gives back to Waldport community with free clothes and furniture. He is navigating all the attention needed from those 9 youth, ranging from toddlers to 18 years old.

Happy Father’s Day!

In ordinary life, a mentor can guide a young man through various disciplines, helping to bring him out of boyhood into manhood; and that in turn is associated not with body building, but with building and emotional body capable of containing more than one sort of ecstasy.

The Wild Man doesn’t come to full life through being “natural,” going with the flow, smoking weed, reading nothing, and being generally groovy. Ecstasy amounts to living within reach of the high voltage of the golden gifts. The ecstasy comes after thought, after discipline imposed on ourselves, after grief.

― Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men

The post Even the Fatherless Become Fathers first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Is Europe Really More Civilized? Ukraine Conflict a Platform for Racism and Rewriting History

When a gruesome six-minute video of Ukrainian soldiers shooting and torturing handcuffed and tied up Russian soldiers circulated online, outraged people on social media and elsewhere compared this barbaric behavior to that of Daesh.

In a rare admission of moral responsibility, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, quickly reminded Ukrainian fighters of their responsibility under international law. “I would like to remind all our military, civilian and defense forces, once again, that the abuse of prisoners is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations,” he said, asserting that “We are a European army”, as if the latter is synonymous with civilized behavior.

Even that supposed claim of responsibility conveyed subtle racism, as if to suggest that non-westerners, non-Europeans, may carry out such grisly and cowardly violence, but certainly not the more rational, humane and intellectually superior Europeans.

The comment, though less obvious, reminds one of the racist remarks by CBS’ foreign correspondent, Charlie D’Agata, on February 26, when he shamelessly compared Middle Eastern cities with the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, stating that “Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, (…) this is a relatively civilized, relatively European city”.

The Russia-Ukraine war has been a stage of racist comments and behavior, some explicit and obvious, others implicit and indirect. Far from being implicit, however, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, did not mince words when, last February, he addressed the issue of Ukrainian refugees. Europe can benefit from Ukrainian refugees, he said, because “these people are Europeans. (…) These people are intelligent, they are educated people. This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.”

One of many other telling episodes that highlight western racism, but also continued denial of its grim reality, was an interview conducted by the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, with the Ukrainian Azov Battalion Commander, Dmytro Kuharchuck. The latter’s militia is known for its far-right politics, outright racism and horrific acts of violence. Yet, the newspaper described Kuharchuck as “the kind of fighter you don’t expect. He reads Kant and he doesn’t only use his bazooka.” If this is not the very definition of denial, what is?

That said, our proud European friends must be careful before supplanting the word ‘European’ with ‘civilization’ and respect for human rights. They ought not to forget their past or rewrite their history because, after all, racially-based slavery is a European and western brand. The slave trade, as a result of which millions of slaves were shipped from Africa during the course of four centuries, was very much European. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, 1.8 million people “died on the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade”. Other estimations put the number much higher.

Colonialism is another European quality. Starting in the 15th century, and lasting for centuries afterward, colonialism ravaged the entire Global South. Unlike the slave trade, colonialism enslaved entire peoples and divided whole continents, like Africa, among European spheres of influence.

The nation of Congo was literally owned by one person, Belgian King Leopold II. India was effectively controlled and colonized by the British East India Company and, later, by the British government. The fate of South America was largely determined by the US-imposed Monroe Doctrines of 1823. For nearly 200 years, this continent has paid – and continues to pay – an extremely heavy price of US colonialism and neocolonialism. No numbers or figures can possibly express the destruction and death toll inflicted by Western-European colonialism on the rest of the world, simply because the victims are still being counted. But for the sake of illustration, according to American historian, Adam Hochschild, ten million people have died in Congo alone from 1885 to 1908.

And how can we forget that World War I and II are also entirely European, leaving behind around 40 million and 75 million dead, respectively. (Other estimations are significantly higher). The gruesomeness of these European wars can only be compared to the atrocities committed, also by Europeans, throughout the South, for hundreds of years prior.

Mere months after The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949, the eager western partners were quick to flex their muscles in Korea in 1950, instigating a war that lasted for three years, resulting in the death of nearly 5 million people. The Korean war, like many other NATO-instigated conflicts, remains an unhealed wound to this day.

The list goes on and on, from the disgraceful Opium Wars on China, starting in 1839, to the nuclear bombings of Japan in 1945, to the destruction of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, in 1954, 1959 and 1970 respectively, to the political meddling, military interventions and regime change in numerous countries around the world. They are all the work of the West, of the US and its ever-willing ‘European partners’, all done in the name of spreading democracy, freedom and human rights.

If it were not for the Europeans, Palestine would have gained its independence decades ago, and its people, this writer included, would have not been made refugees, suffering under the yoke of Zionist Israel. If it were not for the US and the Europeans, Iraq would have remained a sovereign country and millions of lives would have been spared in one of the world’s oldest civilizations; and Afghanistan would have not endured this untold hardship. Even when the US and its European friends finally relented and left Afghanistan last year, they continue to hold the country hostage, by blocking the release of its funds, leading to actual starvation among the people of that war-torn country.

So before bragging about the virtues of Europe, and the demeaning of everyone else, the likes of Arestovych, D’Agata, and Petkov should take a look at themselves in the mirror and reconsider their unsubstantiated ethnocentric view of the world and of history. In fact, if anyone deserves bragging rights it is those colonized nations that resisted colonialism, the slaves that fought for their freedom, and the oppressed nations that resisted their European oppressors, despite the pain and suffering that such struggles entailed.

Sadly, for Europe, however, instead of using the Russia-Ukraine war as an opportunity to reflect on the future of the European project, whatever that is, it is being used as an opportunity to score cheap points against the very victims of Europe everywhere. Once more, valuable lessons remain unlearned.

The post Is Europe Really More Civilized? Ukraine Conflict a Platform for Racism and Rewriting History first appeared on Dissident Voice.

How Can One Remain Silent?

I have never doubted that apartheid – because it was of itself fundamentally, intrinsically evil – was going to bite the dust eventually.

— Desmond Tutu, 2007

Along with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Nelson Mandela ‘Madiba,’ and Martin Luther King, Jr., the world has lost one of the greatest souls of the last two centuries or any prior — the last of the rare iconic figures who truly, genuinely cared for and spoke up with courage and conviction for the oppressed, the downtrodden, the marginalized, the humiliated, and any and all abused humankind.

These years of the raging COVID pandemic continue and spill over to 2022 – and have brought to an end the physical presence of one of humanity’s finest — the anti-apartheid human-rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. But there is no doubt that his thoughts, words, and actions will continue to be powerful and compelling forces for good for those who care and dream about a kinder, gentler, more just world — most principally, a free Palestine: “From the River to the Sea” — and Palestinian Muslims’ and Christians’ right to return to their own homeland from many points of diaspora.

The evidence is abundant and irrefutable: Palestine is the current-era victim of apartheid — an epic tragedy very recently (mid-2021) confirmed by both Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem. The above quotation is one example of Archbishop Tutu’s distaste for apartheid. Here are others apropos the Palestinians’ torment:

(2014) “Nelson Mandela famously said that South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free. He might have added that the liberation of Palestine will liberate Israel, too.”

(2014) “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”

(2014) “(Palestinians’) humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

(2014) “I know first-hand that Israel has created an apartheid reality within its borders and through its occupation. The parallels to my own beloved South Africa are painfully stark indeed.”

Archbishop Tutu was honored years ago with the title “International Patron of Sabeel” — his Christian-brotherhood association with the Palestinian Christian organization Sabeel Ecumenical Christian Liberation Center, established in 1989. (Sabeel is Arabic for “the way” or “the path.”) Sabeel, in a statement issued on 12-28-2021, wrote “Bishop Tutu spent his life actively struggling against apartheid and working for the liberation of his South African people.  Equally, however, he was committed to the liberation of the Palestinian people from the oppression and apartheid of the Israeli government in Israel and Palestine. For many years… he faithfully advocated for the achievement of justice, truth, inclusivity, equality, and liberation for all our Palestinian people.”

Elsewhere in this suffering world, we single out the ‘savages’ of India — the RSS, Hindutva/Sanghi promoters (followers of Nazism responsible for assassinating Gandhi) who are openly calling for GENOCIDE, taking up arms against and eliminating Muslims, Christians, and the Dalits (the ‘untouchables’). Perversely, they have also announced that all citizens of India must revert to Hinduism – the Pakistanis be made Hindus again – surely their DNA must have HINDU in them! Soon a civil war will be engaged — it is already in the making enabled by the ruling party of India, headed by Narendra Modi — he is completely SILENT: such an appalling prospect! And of course the majority who continue to be silent, covertly believing all along in the same or coming out of the woodwork now, have been emboldened by the silent stance of their government. They are putting up vile, demeaning and dehumanizing images of prominent Muslim women for auction: the ‘Sulli’ ‘Bulli’ deals that are circulating freely and brazenly.

And to add to the danse macabre of India: Kashmir is as occupied and oppressed as is Palestine. India plays by the colonial Zionist ‘playbook’: they believe in the same policies of oppression, humiliation, and subjugation. They are the ‘bosom pals’ of Israel. With support, assistance, and training from Israel’s Mossad, the Indian military has created the world’s largest prison camp in Kashmir — deploying seven hundred thousand soldiers.

How can one remain silent? In Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s immortal and searing words: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” This is so apparent now and brings to mind the prediction of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan who said in 1945, “Muslims who are opposing Pakistan (now) will spend the rest of their lives proving loyalty to India.”

We wish fervently in this 2022 that our world would transform into a kinder, gentler, more compassionate, healthful and vibrant place to live, in empathy, justice, dignity, tolerance, peace, and all encompassing love!

The post How Can One Remain Silent? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Systems of Abuse in American Civil Service

In slightly hushed tones, of the kind so often uttered in workplaces, I conversed with a fellow civil servant the other day, one who could shed light on some of my past experiences. Over the years, we have met several times in passing, as we moved through the dank spaces of municipal life, and laughed about our mutual frustrations. Encounters of this kind are certainly not rare. In fact, one could even call our conversation ordinary or commonplace, if not for a single, defining moment.

In the half-light of dying florescence, as vending machines hummed and remnants of lunch enticed cockroaches — unnervingly large ones — we discovered something; the unnamed coworker and I, along with many others we had known, had suffered incredibly similar experiences of bullying and what, in some instances, was clearly racism and unfair treatment or some form of harassment intended to insure silence, this over a considerable number of years. Across racial lines, men and women both young and old suffered injustices at the hands of our government employer, but we tended to believe we were alone and without options, as each one of us struggled in relative isolation. The magnitude of this realization struck both of us, and we agreed that employee abuse — and the isolation of survivors — remains the proverbial elephant in the living room, a beast unlikely to leave of its own volition. Indeed, the history which could be told here is sad and alarming. It is a long narrative of decline, a story of progress lost from earlier labor movements, as the exploitation of public servants proliferates in the twenty-first century. Indeed, we find nothing less than a chronicle of sustained wrongdoing, hypocritical government agencies that violate their own laws with impunity, all the while boasting about their “inclusive” workplaces and lack of tolerance for harassment. In a single moment, our ordinary workplace conversation became a rather extraordinary glimpse at reality, the extent of the oppression quietly endured by numerous employees in our municipality.

Although the number of survivors is likely quite high, considering the many accounts we have heard throughout our careers — spanning nearly three decades in total — activism is rare these days and unity almost unheard of, divided as we are by circumstances. And how effective are the unions? Clearly, the system in question is deeply complex, quite adept at keeping its crimes hidden and its employees isolated — and the unions compromised. Standing against an immensely powerful culture of silence and coercion, they can do tragically little, it seems. Indeed, the problem is staggering, to the extent that its existence has largely become normalized.

We are faced with a pattern of abuse so pervasive as to be ignored and treated like a non-issue; that is to say, many employees have come to consider their harassment to be normal and inevitable, nothing more than everyday life in the public sector. This should not be the case. Nepotism, cronyism, and racism in civil service abide as secret evils which must be exposed to the light of day, for the sake of employees as well as the public. With all of this in mind, the sheer scope of the wrongdoing in our sector calls out for closer inspection, a hard, scrutinizing stare at some uncomfortable realities.

When Private Attitudes Become Public Crimes

The line that separates cronyism (or something as vague as personal favoritism) from outright racial, gender-based and/or age discrimination — all of which are illegal — is fluid and often difficult to discern. However, in climates where the former issues are commonplace, careful documentation is essential; we must note instances of bias when they take place, because those carefree nudges and winks among the favored few lead to discrimination, inexorably. In this manner, the symbiotic relationship that exists between private attitudes and public violations of the law renews itself time and time again, until corrective measures are taken. I consider this now, as I look back upon my career.

Initiating the Journey

The beginning of my career, back in 2001, was a time of anticipation, as I prepared to enter an exciting job, one to which I could loosely apply my education and training in museum work. But even as I looked forward to a new life in public service, there were certain surprises in store, things which could not have been anticipated. That my first supervisor had left his career with the State of California ignobly, after detaining an off-duty law enforcement sergeant and berating the man with racial slurs, was something I would learn later, after a colleague and I filed grievances against him with the union. A coworker had taken me aside one morning to provide that piece of information, hoping to lend context to my situation. And, since she was a supervisor, I regarded her account accordingly. Moreover, what she reported seemed very consistent with behavior I had already witnessed and experienced, time and again. And why had this individual continued his career with our agency? That question was never answered to anyone’s satisfaction.

Apparently, management believed the disgraced state employee to be a good hire, someone immanently well-qualified to supervise people — and to hold a certain degree of authority over the public. Of course, his subordinates could have told them otherwise. We were lied to, yelled at, denied vacation time and routinely given assignments below our job classification, this so the supervisor could allow the employees who should have been doing the work — those whom he favored — time to relax and smile at their good fortune. I recall sharing these difficult years with three colleagues, all of whom had interesting career trajectories after the fact. As for my first supervisor, I eventually — and a bit too charitably — considered his employment with our agency as a one-off, an anomaly for an otherwise reputable organization. In time, I would come to hold a different opinion.

On subsequent assignments, I had a few helpful supervisors, as well as one who was oddly similar to the first. He was only too happy to make racial jokes and grant favors (like allowing private offices, unlimited overtime, and new vehicles) to subordinates who were not African American, two of whom were fellow military veterans. With all due respect to their service, I took issue with the fact that my seniority had twice been ignored for vehicle assignments, and my continual requests for a desk—a place to do my paperwork and keep my research materials—had fallen on deaf ears. The supervisor laughed one day and said in his most mocking tone, “Of course you can’t have it. You’re not white. That’s the way it is around here.” Beyond this, I was sent to patrol and issue citations after dark in isolated areas or, in some cases, in areas that were simply known to be dangerous; both of these orders, which had been issued directly to me, were expressly prohibited by our department’s policies. My supervisor had taken this course vindictively for an earlier situation, during which time I had formally objected to conducting hazardous waste removal, a task clearly outside the scope of my job classification. I won a modest victory there. In our department, contractors are now more frequently utilized for large-scale waste removal projects. However, “team players” (who hope for promotions) still dutifully remove anything their supervisors deem worthy of disposal. To do otherwise, and to hold the department accountable to its own policies, is to end one’s hope for advancement. Some colleagues, whom I invited to the union meetings I organized, took things a step further and became indignant. “F__ the union! They can’t tell me how to do my job!” Somehow, they felt honored to be exploited by management and insulted by the union’s attempts to defend us. It was puzzling. As for the colleagues mentioned earlier, the ones who also worked under my first supervisor, perhaps their careers help to highlight the extent of the problem.

One of the above-mentioned coworkers ended his career by physically assaulting a member of the public — an elderly woman — and being sentenced to a small amount of community service, all the while being supported by a number of colleagues who, unsuccessfully, petitioned for his reinstatement. I was not one of them. As for the other two coworkers, I have spoken to some of their former subordinates on occasion and heard reports of abuse, unrelenting harassment and bullying blithely ignored by management; after being promoted, they created situations quite similar to the ones we endured all those years ago. As for the supervisor who deliberately placed me in harm’s way, he received a special award from management for caring about the safety of his employees, an honor bestowed upon him at our annual department meeting, the same year of my complaints. Eventually, he was rewarded with a promotion and moved to another department, despite the numerous allegations of abuse made against him by an alarming number of employees. Of course, not everything was reported. I recall one woman who confided that she was simply too scared to come forward and believed that nothing would change, regardless. Sadly, she was correct. Here, I note that I have had numerous conversations with coworkers who report being hindered by cronyism and, just as often, victimized by bullying and discrimination.

And what do we make of this? The municipality in question has, over the years, been at the center of a number of lawsuits, some involving racial discrimination, others pertaining to sexual harassment, crimes incubated by a demonstrably toxic atmosphere. So, this begs the question of why one might remain with such an employer. Being chilled by the shadow of abuse and corruption is terrible, but a steady paycheck, benefits, and a pension do offer a bit of mitigating warmth. And some people simply love their jobs enough to remain and choose their battles wisely, enduring until the sunlight of retirement appears on the horizon. In the end, we all arrive at our own conclusions, some people voting with their feet and choosing to leave, others electing to remain and hope for the best. And here I should note something of importance; a number of employees I spoke to reported that they have enjoyed positive experiences, on the whole. Others, however, were fearful and chose not to speak on the record regarding the bullying and discrimination they suffer, which is understandable. The prevailing system is formidably self-contained, keeping people so isolated as to make the sharing of information difficult at best, and the fight for justice a rare occurrence. Year in and year out, a sizable municipality protects its own perpetrators and betrays the employees who offer their service in good faith. Indeed, there are numerous stories which, for the historical record, really deserve to be told. I am reminded of one which serves as a fitting conclusion, if only in the form of a brief sketch.

A number of years ago, in the cool breeze of an employee parking lot, a colleague asked me an interesting question; did I know why our maintenance staff no longer had the services of court-appointed laborers? At the time, I did not. So far as I knew, the men and women who once fulfilled their community service with our department had simply disappeared one day, without explanation, almost entirely unnoticed. Apparently, certain government employees had been accused of extorting them for cash and sexual favors, so the laborers were quietly sent elsewhere. As I recall, that episode never made it to the evening news.

Hopefully, this reflection provides a useful bit of context to those who have not, and probably will never, work as civil servants. In the United States, as elsewhere, I’m sure, the public sector is an old and powerful house where secrets hide behind each closed door. As for solutions, they will need to be profound, as far-reaching as the scope of abuse, and their assessment lies well beyond this reflection. However, we can all be assured that many stories still linger in memory, calling out to be told, needing to be resolved.

The post Systems of Abuse in American Civil Service first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Burying “An Atlas of Human Suffering”

As the US economist and media analyst Edward Herman rightly noted in the aftermath of the mass slaughter of the first Gulf War:

It is the function of defense intellectuals and other experts, and the mainstream media, to normalize the unthinkable for the general public.

Examples include:

  • The appalling deaths of over one million Iraqis under UN sanctions from 1990-2003, including half a million children under the age of five. When asked in a US television interview about this horror of mass child deaths, the recently deceased Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, infamously responded: ‘the price is worth it’;
  • The ‘Shock and Awe’ of the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, with over one million dead;
  • The current death toll of 377,000 in Yemen through direct and indirect causes of bombing by a Saudi-led ‘coalition’, with the active participation of the UK.

In a normal, healthy, open society, the mass media would present these terrible events with appropriate levels of outrage, identifying responsibility where it lies – so often Washington and London – rather than attempt to justify them, or shrug them off as ‘that’s just the way things are.’

‘Normalisation’ also extends to making palatable the inactions of governments. The most glaring example is the climate crisis that is now engulfing humanity amidst the utter madness of corporate-driven neoliberal economics. The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow last year was an appalling abdication of duty by those in leading positions in government, industry and finance. As we noted in our media alert last November, COP26 was a ‘greenwash festival’ and its lack of decisive actions a ‘crime against humanity’.

Meanwhile, not even the climate crisis is permitted to interfere with the untrammelled might of the military machines of the US/Nato/EU, Russia, and any other heavily-armed nations around the globe, should they wish to pursue aggressive wars under the guise of ‘protecting’ their ‘sovereignty,’ ‘defending democracy’ and maintaining a ‘secure’ international ‘order.’

The US military, in particular, is a significant contributor to climate change. If it were a nation state, it would be the 47th largest emitter in the world. As Jangira Lewis, a Hong Kong-based teacher, observed in a piece for the website, Earth.org:

Their negligence, nuclear testing and disregard for human life has come at a huge environmental cost.

Military emissions do not even need to be reported to the UN. Researchers Doug Weir, Benjamin Neimark and Oliver Belcher observe that:

The US can take the credit for that. In 1997, its negotiating team won a blanket military exemption under the Kyoto climate accord. Speaking in the Senate the following year, the now special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, hailed it as “a terrific job.”

The UK-based Scientists for Global Responsibility have done vital work on the military sector and its climate-destabilising carbon emissions. But the issue is notable by its virtual absence from ‘mainstream’ reporting.

Also off the agenda of state-corporate media is any rational discussion of the real interests pursued by the globe’s most powerful nations when deploying their armed forces and state-of-the-art weaponry. As historian and foreign policy analyst Mark Curtis noted in his seminal work, Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World:

‘upholding “international order” means preserving the privileged position of Anglo-American power and ensuring that key countries and regions remain under their overall control.’ (Vintage, 2003; p. 14)

Since Media Lens began in 2001, we have documented numerous examples of how state-corporate media enable and promote this Western dominance. This applies especially to coverage of the US which is regarded and presented by starstruck BBC journalists in Washington, in particular, as ‘the shining city on the hill;’ a supposed paragon of ‘freedom’, opportunity and human rights. Meanwhile, under the US’s self-appointed watch as ‘the world’s policeman’, the planet continues to overheat dangerously.

‘An Atlas of Human Suffering’

Scientists are now reporting incredible extremes of Antarctic and Arctic temperatures 40C above normal. Alarmed climate researchers have warned that these temperature extremes are ‘historic’, ‘unprecedented’ and ‘dramatic’.

Mark Maslin, professor of earth system science at University College London, said:

I and colleagues were shocked by the number and severity of the extreme weather events in 2021 – which were unexpected at a warming of 1.2C. Now we have record temperatures in the Arctic which, for me, show we have entered a new extreme phase of climate change much earlier than we had expected.

These astonishing polar heatwaves are yet another sign of dangerous climate disruption by humans. Melting ice at both poles could even trigger a cascade of events that would accelerate climate breakdown.

James Hansen, the leading US climate scientist who warned Congress of the dangers of global warming as early as 1988, notes:

Reduced sea ice cover increases the planetary energy imbalance, as a dark ocean reflects less sunlight than sea ice does.

More starkly put, this is but one climatic effect that could initiate irreversible runaway global warming.

All this comes hot on the heels of the ‘bleakest warning yet’ on climate breakdown last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said:

‘I have seen many scientific reports in my time, but nothing like this. Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.’

Many of the impacts of global warming are now simply ‘irreversible’ and there is only ‘a brief window of time to avoid the very worst.’

A BBC summary by environment correspondent Matt McGrath, ‘Climate change: Five things we’ve learned from the IPCC report’, had at the top of its list:
‘Things are way worse than we thought.’

McGrath continued:

From the melting of the Greenland ice sheet to the destruction of coral reefs, climate related impacts are hitting the world at the high end of what modellers once expected. And much more quickly than previously assessed by the IPCC.

Right now, as the new report makes clear, around 40% of the world’s population is “highly vulnerable” to the impacts of climate change.

But the burden is falling mainly on those who did the least to cause the problem.

The IPCC study is the second part of their latest assessment report, and it focuses on the impacts of climate breakdown. It took seven years to prepare, based on the peer-reviewed work of thousands of researchers. The first part, on the science of climate change, was published last August in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow. That report had already been declared a ‘red code for humanity’ by Guterres.

Guardian environment editor Damian Carrington addressed the latest IPCC findings in a stark piece titled: ‘This climate crisis report asks: what is at stake? In short, everything.’

He noted:

tackling climate impacts alone will not work. The IPCC sets out in the strongest terms to date that the climate crisis is inseparable from the biodiversity crisis and the poverty and inequality suffered by billions of people.

He continued:

Given this scope, and with a liveable future on the line, the assessment could be seen as one of the most important in human history.

The ‘Old Loon’ and the Bitter Ex-BBC Functionary

Despite a few headlines, and good reporting of the latest IPCC warnings in the environment sections of the Guardian, BBC News and other ‘serious’ news outlets, it was swiftly swamped by the pro-Nato propaganda blitz devoted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Fiona Harvey, Guardian environment correspondent, had a piece the week after the IPCC report came out, asking: ‘Has the IPCC’s bleak warning of climate breakdown been heard?’

She answered:

the report has been overshadowed, understandably, by the war in Ukraine, and has received less policymaker and media attention than it deserved.

There was, of course, no hint of the corporate media’s structural biases, leading it to bury or marginalise uncomfortable truths about the world; not least the primary responsibility of corporate-captured governments for the climate crisis.

But, as we have long noted, knowledge of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s propaganda model of the media, or even a willingness to mention it, is completely lacking in ‘mainstream’ circles. Or, on the rare occasion when Chomsky’s name is raised, he may be dismissed as an ‘old loon.’ Those were the words of Andrew Marr, the former BBC political editor. In making such an unkind, ageist remark, readers may surmise that Marr still feels the pain of being bested by Chomsky in a famous 1996 BBC interview in which the linguist and political activist told the befuddled journalist that:

If you believed anything different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

Harvey continued:

That does not mean the IPCC report will be ignored. Governments are working on their responses to the scientists’ warnings, and later this year at the next UN climate summit, Cop27, they are obliged to lay out their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

But this bland statement obscures the reality: governments have been working non-stop since the IPCC was set up in 1988 to avoid taking the necessary action to address the climate crisis. Instead, they have pumped out a never-ending stream of PR propaganda, selling the myth that they can be trusted to do the right thing.

As the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg famously observed, it’s all: ‘Blah, blah, blah.’

So, when governments deliver ‘their responses to the scientists’ warnings’, expect a familiar litany of political rhetoric and weasel words: vows, pledges, promises, commitments, sign up, phase out, green investment, innovation, transition, progress, scaling up, carbon credits, bending the emissions curve, net zero, 2050, 2070.

Mutually Assured Destruction

Although the ‘better’ state-corporate media outlets do publish responsible accounts of the latest findings in climate science, any in-depth discussion is generally limited to the environment sections and rigidly confined within ‘acceptable’ political limits. In particular, there is a dearth of serious discussion or analysis of the profit-driven corporate economic system that is driving humanity towards the climate abyss and possible extinction.

It can be tragicomic to observe. For example, one part of BBC News reported the UN Secretary General saying that the rush to use fossil fuels because of the war in Ukraine is ‘madness’ and threatens global climate targets: ‘Addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction.’

Elsewhere, Faisal Islam, the BBC economics editor, prepared the ground in advance of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s ‘Spring Statement’, delivered on 23 March.

The excuses were rolled out by the BBC man: ‘The instinct of the chancellor, is that he can only do so much.’

And: ‘Rishi Sunak does not want expanded government spending to define his tenure at Number 11.’

In short, as the headline said: ‘Don’t expect much from Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement’

In line with its establishment role, the BBC was doing its bit to dampen public expectations that the Chancellor should act, heaven forbid, in the public interest.

There was not a single mention of climate in the BBC article: the single most important and pressing issue facing humanity.

The Tory government issued its latest economic ‘update’ as if the climate emergency had magically vanished. BBC News did not hold them to account; not even by joining the dots in their own reporting, such as it is. The remarkable headline at the top of the BBC News website the following morning was a Tory-friendly bullet point: ‘Rishi Sunak seeks to combat cost-of-living squeeze’

Thus, the state broadcaster led with the bizarre notion that the Tory Chancellor’s economic statement was some kind of ‘helping hand’ for the British public. There was a solitary, brief mention of climate in its leading story:

And the Green Party criticised him for not mentioning climate issues. Its co-leader Adrian Ramsay accused Mr Sunak of “[looking] after the interests of fossil fuel companies”.

A search of UK newspapers in the Lexis-Nexis database using the search terms ‘Rishi Sunak’ and ‘Spring Statement’ for the period 19-24 March yielded 5,307 hits. Out of this total, just 259 included the word ‘climate’: a mere 4.9 per cent of the total.

Moreover, browsing through these results indicated that climate was given short shrift. Typically, in a preview of Sunak’s announcement, the ‘Soaraway’ Sun referred to climate dismissively as a ‘costly’ policy to tackle. The headline was classic, Jeremy Clarkson-style, pro-car rejoicing:

 ‘AT LAST! 5p OFF A LITRE; CHANCELLOR’S BUDGET CUT ON FUEL Rishi to step in and help motorists’

After Sunak delivered his update, Carbon Brief, a UK-based website specialising in climate science and policy, observed that:

climate change is not a priority in the spring statement, with “net-zero” mentioned just once in the 52-page document, and “climate” mentioned three times.

The BBC News website had an article titled, ‘Spring Statement: Key points at a glance’. Climate was not even mentioned, which says it all.

Alice Bell, co-director at the climate change charity Possible and author of ‘Our Biggest Experiment: A History of the Climate Crisis’, credited Sunak for explicitly referencing energy efficiency, and cutting VAT to zero on energy-saving measures such as loft insulation. But it was ‘nowhere near enough’: a contender for understatement of the year.

Elsewhere, Sunak was ‘slammed‘ for axing VAT on items such as solar panels and heat pumps which only the better-off can afford, while doing virtually nothing to help the vast majority of people who are struggling to pay exorbitant energy bills.

Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, said:

The Chancellor has clearly not heard the outcry over rocketing energy bills faced by millions…Frankly, consumers waiting to hear good news on their energy bills will be left asking, ‘is that it Chancellor?

The Mirror noted a backlash to Sunak on Twitter, with someone making the crucial point:

Not sure how many of those struggling to buy food will be buying solar panels. Sunak woefully out of touch.

As for the backdrop of an ever-mounting climate crisis, Bell concluded:

once again, climate and energy policy is stuck in the waiting room. In the meantime, more and more people are being pulled into fuel poverty. Earth’s polar regions are heating up. We don’t have time to wait.

As discussed earlier, catastrophic climate impacts are mounting up, ensuring that the planet is quickly becoming uninhabitable for vast swathes of humanity. Despite some opposition to Sunak’s statement being reported, state-corporate media are continuing to normalise the unthinkable: that tinkering with the economy, blatantly favouring the rich, is rational behaviour while the planet burns. By contrast, a huge mobilisation of human and natural resources is urgently needed as part of a wholesale restructuring of the economy towards a sustainable way of life.

Josh Burke, a Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, cites the example of the Second World War:

Only structural change to institutions and economies will deliver a low-carbon world. Viewed through this lens, tackling climate change is more analogous with the “war effort”. WWII is the only historical event that conveys the need for rapid reallocation of capital and raw materials, new supply chains and innovative technologies. As such it may provide lessons for how economies can be transformed to meet the challenges of climate change, and for the role governments should play.

Unless there is a mass awakening and large-scale public revolt, the tiny elite now running human affairs will be the last to cling on to the vestiges of what remains of a liveable Earth. The majority of the population, on whom the elite rely for exploitation of labour and resources, will have already disappeared, victims of the corporate pathway to extinction.

If all this seems irredeemably bleak, bear in mind the words of Dutch historian Rutger Bregman in his bestseller, Humankind: A Hopeful History:

Catastrophes bring out the best in people. I know of no other sociological finding that’s backed by so much solid evidence that’s so blithely ignored. The picture we’re fed by the media is consistently the opposite of what happens when disaster strikes. (Bloomsbury, 2020; p. 6)

The climate crisis is the ultimate test for humankind.

The post Burying “An Atlas of Human Suffering” first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Shotgun Science and Bio-Colonialism

Introduction

As an Ottawa resident and an anarchist, it seems to me that an ultra-leftist analysis at ground zero of this thing is fundamentally necessary, specifically concerning the Canadian Government’s draconian get vaxxed or get fired policy. Having walked the congested downtown of Ottawa, it’s clear that this is an issue that transcends the political spectrum between the left and the right, since all walks of life and political stripes can be found in the downtown these days, contra the mainstream media’s coverage. And the exact point where the left and right sides of the political spectrum meet is upon the Government’s authoritarian application of its get vaxxed or get fired policy.

In short, to throw people out of work during a pandemic is insane and a serious error in judgment and governance. It is a total failure of leadership, policy, bureaucracy, and any form of decent human conduct during a global crisis when people are seriously struggling, both on the left and the right.  It is on this point, and this point alone, that any ultra-leftist analysis must revolve, and I dare say align with the other side of the political aisle. In my estimation, there is no significant issue for the ultra left pertaining to masks, social distancing, and lockdown policies since, from personal experience, it seems these innocuous practices have, to a certain extent, mitigated Covid-19 numbers, especially in my region. After all, people’s health must come before the economy.

However, upon the dreaded get vaxxed or get fired policy, there can be no compromise, no retreat or surrender. The Government is coercively enacting a fascist policy straight out of the 1930’s fascist playbook in order to construct a scapegoat, a lightening rod capable of diverting attention away from the Government’s own major failures during the pandemic. In sum, the Government is attempting to whip the population into a fascist hysterical frenzy of hate and retribution against a small minority of the population so as to absolve the Government of the fact that it has seriously fucked up in a lot of ways. And its get vaxxed or get fired policy (a major Government fuck up) is the mechanism by which the State is ducking its own liabilities, misgivings, and responsibilities. And, from any ultra-left perspective, such draconian State authoritarianism must be met with the unbridled force of anti-authoritarianism, namely, anti-fascism by any means necessary.

I

At the moment, society is in the full-throes of shotgun science, shotgun science being a  State form of one-sided medical science administered by means of coercion, hysteria, and mandated totalitarian threats, rather than any notion of sound reasoned scientific argument and scientific study. In brief, shotgun science is a perversion of the principles of genuine scientific inquiry in service of political power and profit. It is the acceleration of scientific inquiry and scientific study haphazardly in service of political power and profit via the removal of safeguards, as well as an expedited product roll-out coupled with authoritarian mandates, or more specifically, one serious fascist mandate that overrides human rights, liberty, and/or autonomy. Shotgun sciences come into existence when the State arbitrarily installs itself as the great arbiter of scientific truth and falsehood, and shuts down debate and scientific inquiry, thus, fast-forwarding and accelerating the implementation of an inadequate science in and across socio-economic existence regardless of the immediate and long-term consequences.

In short, shotgun science is a one-sided seemingly unanimous science, celebrated and buttressed by the repressive and ideological apparatuses of the State, which silence any and all dissenting voices by means of an underlying sense of terror and coercion, both mental and physical. To quote Paul Feyerabend, a shotgun science may be defined as a “monster Science that speaks with a single voice, [in the sense that it] is a paste job constructed by [a set of State-approved]  propagandists” for political and economic purposes.1 For Feyerabend, the real sciences never speak with a single voice because the real “sciences are full of conflict”.2 As a result, according to Feyerabend, any State-sanctioned shotgun “science cannot stand diverging opinions. [As a result,] it calls them [conspiratorial] lies” and, through the powers of the State apparatus, it strives to silence these diverging opinions and their scientific research permanently. In fact, any shotgun science paints itself to be an “alleged friend of reason, [but] it distorts it [in order] to make [reason fit its political and economic] intentions”.3

In  sum, shotgun science is political anti-science and an exercise in an anti-scientific rationality, despite portraying itself to be the embodiment of the pure spirit of scientific study and scientific rationality. In a word, it is a grotesque distortion of real science in service of profit and a nefarious political agenda. It is the one-sided bias politicization of a science.  And, out of the logic of these shotgun sciences, the Government’s get vaxxed or get fired policy arose and flourished like a poison weed in the brains of our centrist politicians. Whereby, the State squarely places a sawed-off shotgun in the people’s back and declared with its usual smug righteousness, to quote Jean-Francois Lyotard, “adapt [yourself] to our ends—or else”.4

II

As a Métis aboriginal, when the liberal governments of the world saw fit to mandate vaccines and vaccine passports under pain of duress, it was clear the government was no longer in support of democracy or rights, but instead preferred the capitalist authoritarianism of big business and big pharma. And not unfamiliar with these types of coercive mandates, aboriginals have a long history of dealing with a State government, drunk on power and a sense of righteousness, who decrees authoritarian mandates, willy-nilly. That is a set of micro-fascist mandates whereby a segment of the population must cough up its children under pain of duress since the government has deemed itself the great arbiter of what is true and what is best for each and all. To note, fascists are the great historical proponents of authoritarian mandates. And like the fascists before them, the liberal governments of the world are rummaging through the fascist playbook for despotic policies in the sense that vaccine mandates and vaccine passports are akin to all those fascist decrees that littered the 1930s. In the liberal Government’s case it is to identify and ban the unvaccinated from employment and from participating in public life. Like the fascists of old, the Government’s get vaxxed or get fired policy is an attempt to exclude and discriminate against a segment of the population simply because they are exercising caution or the individual rights to abstain. And like the fascists of old, the Government is defending its draconian policy in the name of Nationalism, absolute power, and the (health) purity of the people, specifically, those people who support the Government’s political agenda, unconditionally.

The injection mandate and passports discriminate against people’s right to choose, to move freely, and most importantly, to make a living. For example, abortion rights have given women the right to choose what they do with their bodies, pertaining to a specific medical procedure. And the same should apply with vaccines. People must be given the right to choose what they do with their bodies pertaining to a specific medical procedure regardless of consequences. This is what democracy and human rights are all about. You cannot pick and choose which rights you will champion on a given issue and which rights you will stomp on because it suits your myopic political agenda.

Imagine an employer or the State giving women the ultimatum: you either get an abortion or you get fired, this is our business policy. You must submit to the specific medical treatment of our work establishment or you starve on the unemployment line, either/or. In the sense that to work for us, you must resign your bodily autonomy to us, to do with as we please, medically. Like Doctor Mengele, who medically experimented with prisoners of the German State against their bodily autonomy and will, the Liberal Government is flirting with the same fascist modus operandi. Although, not as extreme, the same logic applies with mandatory vaccination and passports, get vaxxed or get fired. And clearly, being fired is the labor market equivalent of facing a fascist firing squad.

III

Ultimately, the State is ill-equiped and too ideologically partisan to be able to make any type of informed decision as to what people should put in their bodies pertaining to a specific medical treatment. We would call any government, who attempts to impose a ban on abortion, fascist.

And, in all honesty, it is our democratic duty at the moment to categorize the current liberal government and all its obedient media lackeys as fascists for supporting these get vaxxed or get fired policies. Because that is what they are — when these authoritarians and totalitarians attempt to arbitrarily remove rights from a segment of the population because this segment does not buy into the State-manufactured ideological tripe paraded before our eyes.

Abortion rights and vaccine injection rights are the same thing. You cannot champion abortion rights for one segment of the population, allowing them to make an informed decision about their own bodies, while denying the same rights to others when it comes to a different medical treatment. This is what Systemic Discrimination is, People!

It is giving leeway and rights to one segment of the population through State policies while denying another segment of the population the same rights, through another set of State policies. And both abortion rights and vaccine refusal rights work according to the same logic. That is, people must have bodily autonomy and bodily governance over their own bodies pertaining to their own personal decisions concerning various types of medical procedures. Whether it is abortion rights or the right to refuse a shitty vaccine, choice must fall with the individual and never with the State! In the sense that the State is too political, too partisan, too heavy-handed, clunky, bureaucratic, and mediocre to fully grasp the plethora of nuances, varieties, and differences found throughout the general-population. The State’s only job is to offer safe medical options and never to coercively impose by force one option upon the general-population, by means of terror, the terror of unemployment, a shotgun in people’s faces.

IV

History repeats itself, but, history repeats itself in a different form every time, hence its cunning and its ability to dupe the gullible over and over again. And like the authoritarian residential school mandates applied to aboriginals, once again we are faced with a totalitarian coercive mandate against our will and under pain of duress by a government who has lost its mind, but nonetheless, once again, has the gerrymandered support for its vile authoritarian State decrees, which are anti-democratic and straight out of the fascist playbook. Sunny ways have degenerated into an authoritarian State nightmare.

As a result, there is a strong likelihood that our future descendants, one hundred years from now or sooner, after endless denials, white-washing, and the smothering of facts by the State and its media propagandists, will be privy to another flurry of half-hearted apologies by another set of mediocre State-officials, bemoaning another State tragedy that could have been avoided if cooler and smarter heads had prevailed. And this time around, the teary-eyed apologies will be about the handling of Covid-19 and the implementation of the authoritarian State injection mandate and passports. Aboriginals know these half-hearted apologies all too well and have been their recipients all too often.

To have doubt; i.e., healthy doubts, is the cornerstone of any real science. To quote Paul Feyerabend, “science is not one thing, it is many. Science…[is] a wide variety of [opinions and] products held together, rather artificially (or should I say artistically) by a single name”.5  Science is never completely unanimous. It is never totalitarian. It is messy with many diverging verities. As Feyerabend states, “science is full of lacunae and contradictions”.5  Science does not speak in a single voice and does not offer a single coherent viewpoint, no matter how hard the State tries to pass off its shotgun science as unified, safe, and without side effects. Indeed, there are many undocumented side effects, not including the State-manufactured trauma of having to face unemployment head-on, due to a set of State-approved, authoritarian micro-fascist injection mandate. From an aboriginal perspective, the get vaxxed or get fired policy raises the spectre of colonialism all over again in a new guise, that is, the guise of bio-colonialism, bio-colonialism being the forceful application of State coercion via the medical community upon a racial minority who refuse to abide by a shoddy ineffective science.

Ultimately, doubt and plurality are central features of science, scientific rationality, and scientific inquiry. They are the double-helix at the center of science, by which science oscillates, and slowly, carefully, and rationally advances. And when the State shuts down dissenting voices and freedom of choice, it turns science into a grotesque monstrosity. It turns science against scientific rationality and/or logical-reason, that is, the pivot upon which any genuine science is founded and developed. In fact, the State transforms science into a totalitarian, I dare say, fascist-like Frankenstein monster, one that goose-steps across the globe with ear plugs in and blinkers on, regardless of the collateral damage it causes.  In short, science only becomes totalitarian when it is super-charged by a State-manufactured army of submissive centrist extremists, who saturate and populate the offices and cubicles of the State apparatus, as well as the talking slots of the mainstream media, spewing the State talking points on cue, devoid of critique and/or critical thinking.

In fact, a good rule of thumb is that whenever any State-approved scientist talks to you about the unanimous authoritarian nature of a specific science, you are in the presence of a quack, peddling another shotgun science. A quack is, by definition, a medical stool pigeon, who quacks on cue the latest platitudes presented to him or her by the State. A quack is a person with medical credentials who, being quite mediocre in the general practice of medicine and the general research of science and, broadly speaking, the philosophy and inherent ethics of science, finds refuge upstairs in the corridors of State power, that is, in the special administrative channels of scientific institutions as an obedient government lackey and spoke-person, namely, a quack on demand.  To reiterate Feyerabend, “there is not a single science”.6 Thus, whenever, you hear State officials or State-approved scientists speak in absolutes, you are in all likelihood being forced-fed a soup of verbal diarrhea by a government lackey, a quack at the beck and call of the higher-ups in the Medical-Darwinian hierarchical pyramid.

V

All things considered, there is nothing abnormal or conspiratorial about having serious doubts about a fast-food, shotgun type of government science, which is being rammed down the throats of citizens, a double-barrel shotgun pressed tight against the curve of their backs, care of the State and our profit-driven capitalist employers. In the short-term, these shotgun sciences are shoddy and full of questions and untested hypotheses. And most shotgun sciences lead to catastrophes in the long run, akin to the authoritarian mandated horror show that was John A. Macdonald’s State-approved residential school genocidal program.  In fact, any shotgun science works best under the heavy blanket of ideology and hysteria since shotgun science is political and economic, first and foremost. And the liberals, whether federal or municipal, have showered the National airwaves with gallons upon gallons of mass hysteria. One only needs to examine the news coverage of the Freedom Convoy’s first weekend in Ottawa to see an endless parade of Government lackeys, hysterical politicians, propagandists, and State-partisan news journalists, hysterically attempting to manufacture large-scale public hysteria against the convoy and in favor of drastic forms of State-repression (Goebbels would be so proud of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s dreadful one-sided coverage that initial weekend).

Notwithstanding, this is the operationa mechanics of shotgun science, namely, how it functions and operates on the ground; how it uses a mainstream media monolgue, devoid of critique and/or dissent, to drown out any and all opposing viewpoints to its own State-manufactured, distorted, alternate pseudo reality. Shotgun science conceals its own scientific inadequacies by pounding a State-manufactured scapegoat, politically, ideologically, and economically, that is,  a scapegoat of the State’s own design. In the sense that all shotgun sciences are foremost concerned with profit and the submission of the general population to the State. Shotgun science is about political, ideological, and economic profitability at the expense of a State-manufactured scapegoat. It is about the health of the State and its State power before the health of the citizenry.

Like the despot John A. Macdonald before, the federal government and its provincial and municipal underlings, have returned to John A.’s preferred mode of State terror so as to ram through another set of dubious State policies, namely, another round of dubious authoritarian John A. State mandates, namely, the get vaxxed or get fired State-policy. However, this time around, the State-imposed colonialism is biological in nature. It is bio-colonialism. That is, the coercive enforcement of a State-mandated medical treatment against the free will and autonomy of indigenous persons and/or the general-population. Like abortion rights for women, medical rights apply to all people. Everyone has the right to choose what they put into their own bodies, what treatment they will subject themselves to.

Yet, the average vaccine-marinaded citizen is giving full-fledged support to our government’s bio-colonialist John A. authoritarian mandate, oblivious to the financial consequences of such flagrant despotism. In the sense that most citizens are spellbound by the government’s vox populi, bellowing loudly and incessantly from the government’s bull-horn, namely, the State-gospel according to the CBC, the Canadian Brainwashing Corporation.

Therefore, at this exact moment in history, to refuse shoddy vaccination is one of the most courageous and heroic things a person can do right-now, especially as an ultra-leftist. Any State that partakes in authoritarian shotgun science must be resisted since all forms of authoritarianism must be resisted, at whatever the cost.  And, as an anarchist and an aboriginal, I will not submit to another State-approved authoritarian mandate like the ones imposed upon my indigenous ancestors. To exercise caution and patience, when it comes to these fast-food shotgun sciences, is good practice. No one should take the Government at its word without doing his or her due diligence.

Due to the fact that when the State and a shoddy science make a covenant, science is no longer benign and neutral. Indeed, science becomes a political and economic force, a highly partisan politico-economic force, whose notion of consensus becomes like that of the State, namely, that consensus is subjugation. In the sense that, according to the State, a consensus is reached when all dissenting voices are silenced, ignored, and/or marginalized into acquiescence, due to the fact that, for the State apparatus, consensus and subjugation are one and the same thing. One implies the other. Subjugation is consensus and consensus is subjugation, according to the State.

In a nutshell, the State builds consensus by silencing all dissenting voices, and, according to the State, a dissenting voice not heard is a consenting voice, nodding jubilantly in approval. Thereby, the fundamental values of real science; i.e., inquiry, debate, counter-argument, doubt, rationality, independent research etc., are usurped and made inoperative when, by covenant, the State absorbs a science into its partisan authoritarian agenda.  And, at that moment, scientific inquiry is corrupted by the State. It becomes an ideological tool of statecraft. It becomes a shotgun science, a degenerate version of its former self, whereby the verity of scientific facts, scientific rationality, and the efficacy of scientific treatments are in the end determined by the partisan political agenda of the State and, more importantly, capitalist profit. The motto of any shotgun science backed by the State, is: “a patient cured is a customer lost”.  As Feyerabend states, when science is subjugated to the State, scientific “research in large institutes is [no longer] guided by Truth and Reason, but by the most rewarding [element of the economy, namely,]…money”.7   And  the authoritarian vaccine mandate and passports are a sure way for the State to make sure that Big Pharma gets the large sums of money and big profits it so desperately desires and has forcefully imposed upon the Liberal Governments of the world.

Thus, regardless of the consequences, authoritarianism in all its forms, medical or otherwise, must be resisted by any means necessary if need be. And indeed, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is, willing to sacrifice my employment (or worse) for the most basic founding principle of any open-participatory democracy, ANTI-AUTHORITARIANISM! Better to die, principles intact, with a breathing machine stuffed-down my throat than to submit to a set of duplicitous State officials who are currently dabbling in fascist John A. mandates and a new State form of hard-line paternalistic authoritarianism.

And no-one should want to live in a world where the State exercises blatant forms of State-sanctioned fascist decrees at the expense of democracy and democratic human rights. It is better to give one’s life for anti-authoritarianism and cherished human rights than to live under the fascist thumb of a set of centrist liberal fanatics and their degenerate Statecraft experiments in hard-line totalitarian despotism!

Bottom-line, the spirit of any real science is never despotic.  It only becomes so when the capitalist State apparatus subjugates it for its own political and economic ends. Because, as Feyerabend states, “science [is comprised of] many different [scientific] areas…which are run by people with different interests and, [thus], produce widely differing results”.8  Real science does not require a State-sanctioned shotgun in one’s face in order to be accepted as fact as the grounding factuality of any real science invariably converts rational people to its basic scientific facts over an extended period of time without the threat of unemployment and/or any hard-line anti-democratic mandate or passport.

Only by means of the State and its zombie army of State-approved medical quacks can the creative spirit of scientific study be extinguished and turned into something authoritarian, that is, the tyranny of science over scientific rationality, scientific inquiry, and sound ethics. To quote Feyerabend, it is “by irrational means such as propaganda, emotion,… [that] a blind faith [in any shotgun]…science [becomes]…sound knowledge”.9 In short, as the saying goes, a well-crafted State falsehood has the chance to go half-way around the world before the truth can even get its pants on. Or more apropos, a shoddy shotgun science has the chance to go into the blood-stream of half the world’s population before genuine scientific research can even get its syringe filled and ready to counter the government’s own credentialized snake oil peddlers, namely, the snake oil peddlers of these dubious State-sanctioned shotgun sciences.

All in all, according to Feyerabend, the shotgun sciences are nowadays first and foremost “business enterprises run on business principles”, backed by the power of the State.10  And, when it comes to any shotgun science, the ethics and principles of real science are muted in favor of the profit imperative and the political agenda of the State, which are the central pillars of any shotgun science. The point is power and profit. The point is to manufacture ideological hysteria in service of greater profits and more draconian powers.

Unfortunately, the liberal-centrist State has descended into a form of radical centrist extremism with its injection mandate, passport, and these shotgun sciences. The fact of the matter is we the people are being ideologically massaged by the State and its media outlets daily, so they can change the narrative and cover up their errors, failures, and mishaps through their very own creative statistical experimentations.

VI

In the meantime, by State mandate, the vast majority of the global citizenry line up on the global treadmill of these assembly-line shotgun sciences like Christian parishioners looking for absolution by syringe; i.e., 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots, 4 shots etc., endlessly into the future, year after year, with no end in sight, cash registers ringing with sweet delight. Indeed, not until the citizenry is aptly marinaded by the revelry of State ideology and the periodic unexplained fevers and strokes of these new shotgun sciences run-amok can the citizenry be deemed fit for work, fit for public service, and fit for democracy, according to these John A. authoritarian neo-liberals.

Norms about truth and falsehood are based upon ethical decisions. Ethics is the basis that drives real science and real scientific inquiry, and when the ethics are corrupt, duplicitous, and down-right authoritarian, shotgun science is the result. Thus, when any shotgun science, backed by the overwhelming power of the State, is put into practice, it is inevitable that there will be collateral damage; i.e., accidents, accidents conveniently buried by government statistics and propaganda.

In fact, as if by magic, the grim reality of these vaccine accidents will be massaged by the State. They will be given a thorough rubdown by the State. Whereas any damning visible facts will be downplayed by the soothing digital touch of creative statistical massages, care of the mind-numbing propagandists of the State. To quote Feyerabend, “scientific ideas [and empirical data] can be modified in many ways, [since, empirical data]…can be interpreted in a strict way and in more lenient ways. [Ultimately, State] models are [never] direct pictures of reality”, no matter how much the zombie army of State medical quacks repeat this State-sanctioned talking point on cue with ardent religious regularity. There will always be more than one way to fry an egg.11

In the final analysis, any hard-edge scientific facts against the State’s partisan agenda are to be polished clean, care of the many docile, obedient, and hopelessly servile State officials and/or medical professionals looking for a little morsel of media recognition. As a result, any hard-edge scientific facts will be concealed from public view and public scrutiny, hidden conveniently inside the broad general data sets, numbers, and numeric models, paraded before our screens by the functions and operations of State-manicured modeling, devoid of critique and/or dissent because dissent and critique have been outlawed by the State and its partisan media outlets. Like residential schools statistics, the numbers will be massaged in favor of the State and its civil servants. To quote Feyerabend, “empirical evidence is [always] sifted and str’amlined in accordance with [a State-approved] criteria that were [ultimately] developed in a [government] office” so as to serve the State’s partisan agenda rather than the principles of rigorous scientific inquiry. 12

In the end, the State must preserve its purity, sanctity, legitimacy, and supremacy first and foremost, even when it is wrong and/or makes a slew of significant errors along the way. It must always be perceived to be empathetic and on the right side of history, even when it is not. And to do this, the State must have the final say on what constitutes scientific truth. Therefore, according to Feyerabend, “power over minds and institutions [plays an] important…role in [any State] science”, despite the fact that “questions of [scientific] reality are too important to be left [solely] to [the State’s zombie-army of politically pliable] scientists”.13

In truth, the individual must be given reasonable room and freedom to rationally decide what constitutes scientific verity for him or herself without State-sanctioned consequences. Thus, when the State takes an authoritarian paternalistic stance against freedom of choice by outlawing the freedom of choice of individuals, the State shows its true colors. That is, the State shows it is inherently totalitarian, nothing but a mechanism of subjugation, working on behalf of a small aristocracy; i.e., the 1 percent and Big Pharma, against the general-population, namely, the 99 percent, which the State seeks to keep docile, ignorant, and in the dark about the real scientific facts. For Feyerabend, “every [science] has opponents”.14  And when, these opponents are censored, bullied, and/or prevented from freely sharing and freely choosing to abstain, scientific advancement and scientific rationality are short-circuited. They are short-circuited in service of super profits and State ideology. Whereby scientific advancement and scientific rationality are distorted beyond recognition in service of State propaganda, State ideology, and the instant profitability of these weaponized shotgun sciences. For the aboriginal community, this is means a new and improved form of State-sanctioned, John A. bio-colonialism, whereupon, aboriginals and the general-population must donate their bodies, including those of their children, in service of the State, which, like its past, the State denied aboriginals their human rights, not to mention the rights of the general-population.

Conclusion

As the residential school catastrophe has shown, regardless of the immediate costs, the State will never admit wrongdoing or immediate errors in judgment, until generations upon generations have passed on and the initial State-sanctioned trauma has been significantly dulled in people’s minds. Then, and only then, after many decades, with overflowing crocodile tears, akin to the crocodile tears pouring out of any well seasoned actor or actress, the State will offer up a plethora of empty apologies, worthy of a Shakespearean melodrama since its supremacy is now secured and no longer threatened by the obvious ineptitude of its own State-personnel.

Ultimately, whenever the State resorts to totalitarian mechanisms such as shotgun science, vaccine passports, and a get vaxxed or get fired policy, it does so foremost in order “to keep the capitalist production machine going”, in the sense that keeping the capitalist production machine going is the prime objective of the State, not the lives of people, per se.15  The health of people is only a distraction and/or a secondary consideration to corporate interests.

Thus, by forcefully injecting the public with doses upon doses of a shoddy shotgun science, including a constant stream of State-propaganda, according to Feyerabend, it “only shows how little objectivity there is in [these so-called shotgun] scientific arguments”, peddled to us daily by the State’s zombie-army of medical quacks/lackeys.15

It is true, as Feyerabend argues, that  State “science…seems [to be] an irresistible force,…but only if you…give into the PR of the [State] science mafia”, since, in actuality, as Feyerabend articulates, “different sciences have vastly different [voices and] ideologies”.16 In the sense that genuine science is never authoritarian and/or unified. Real science is a plurality. It is open-ended and full of scientific deviations and mutations. To quote Feyerabend, real “science is…complex and heterogeneous”.17 Or more specifically, “there are many different kinds of scientists [and] there are [many] different [ kinds of scientific] opinions”, nothing is truly settled or unanimous in the real sciences, once and for all.18 Real science is always evolving and rewriting its paradigms. It is only the shotgun sciences that are truly unanimous, unitary, and static once and for all, but they are only unanimous, unitary, and static by means of State terror; i.e., the forceful acquiescence of the general-population to a shoddy ineffective science by means of State coercion, namely, by way of the shotgun; i.e., by way of an authoritarian mandate and passport.

When all is said and done, to quote Feyerabend, “the sciences are [never] the last authority” and, even more so, when it concerns the validity of any shotgun science.13  The final authority is always the individual. And to deny and forcefully subjugate the individual to the State is the historical definition of fascism. And, if the barbarism of the residential schools has taught us anything, it is that any fascist-like tyranny, like mandatory injections, must be opposed with every fibre of one’s being no matter the cost, especially if this fascism stems from the authoritarian paternalism of the State. And no matter how benevolent the State and its submissive lackeys paint themselves out to be in the biased mainstream media, the fact of the matter is John A. authoritarian mandates are despotic and piss all over indigenous rights to self-governance and the personal bodily autonomy of the general-population. In essence, the State apparatus is riven with incompetence and mediocrity, as the best and brightest are blocked from the upper echelons of the State apparatus due to the fact that they do not subscribe heart and soul to the dominant State ideology and the religious centrist fanaticism of its State officials, who have lost all scruples to the grand spectacle of bio-colonialism and these shotgun sciences.

All told, true science is conflict. It is a plurality of miniature power struggles in and across a litany of micro-fronts, concerning what is true and what is false, what is ethical and what is not whereby the freedom of the individual always has the final say. To violently repress individual freedom and coercively impose another form of State-sanctioned colonialism; i.e., bio-colonialism, upon aboriginals, or anyone for that matter, is to castrate democracy and  transform all indigenous rights, and all human rights into a joke, a falsity without consistency in its application.

Overall, real science is one of the most important theaters of power struggle, that is, the power struggle in between the 1 percent and the 99 percent. And the pandemic has only intensified these power struggles, having clearly demonstrated that the State invariably sides with the 1 percent and the economy against the 99 percent and its bodily autonomy.  In the age of totalitarian capitalism, the State delivers its health services and recovery benefits by means of terror, that is, by means of a sawed-off shotgun, the sawed-off shotgun of State-sanctioned unemployment and the terror of financial ruin.

My Body! My Land! My Governance!

Postscript

The most vile aspects of history tend to repeat themselves in new disguises, and like John A. Macdonald before, we the people are witness once again to a State government stomping on aboriginal rights and people’s rights to self-governance and bodily autonomy. The State is attempting to purge non-compliant people from employment, so as to reassert its power against a segment of the population it seeks to utterly destroy financially. Thus, we must break the ideological spell of the State, its despotism, and its latest doctored platitudes that seem to indicate that the vast majority of people are devoid of critical thinking and lack any adequate understanding of what actually constitutes human rights!

Any time the State resorts to John A. authoritarian mandates, whether it is mandated residential school attendance or mandated vaccinations, the State is partaking in an excessive use of force against a minority, a minority of the population, which the State sees fit to exterminate and humiliate so as to safeguard and enlarge its power and supremacy into the future. The State has learnt nothing from the mandated atrocities it has sanctioned in the past! Thus, it is doomed to repeat another set of discriminatory acts, because, once again, it puts its faith in John A. authoritarian mandates against a minority, a specific segment of the general-population it seeks to crush into acquiescence.

All told, having sufficiently learnt the lessons of my residential school ancestors, there will be no reconciliation here! I will not submit to another anti-aboriginal John A. authoritarian mandate, imposed by a government out of control and out of its mind, whatever the cost! Due to the fact that the State and its government lackeys are clearly high on liberal ideology and fascist bio-accelerations. And now, the State is functioning and operating beyond the pale of reasonable restraint and any decent human conduct. Sunny ways have devolved into an authoritarian nightmare! And if the State does not return from the brink of authoritarian catastrophe, it will have to be forcefully demolished, one way or another.

Because  I will not be marinaded ad nauseam by any type of State-sanctioned fast food shotgun science! I will not be another guinea pig, another faceless numeric bar code on a cell phone, another compliant pin cushion of a failed State, attempting to line the pockets of Big Pharma; i.e., those corporate aristocrats who are really calling the shots inside those so-called liberal governments of the world!

All in all, we are faced with an anti-democratic, authoritarian-paternalist State right now. And it has learnt nothing from John A. Macdonald and his degenerate daddy-knows-best, authoritarian genocidal fascism, that is, the unmitigated terror of his authoritarian residential school mandates! Therefore, faced with the Government’s get vaxxed or get fired policy, I can only raise my fists to the sky and yell out with certain conviction, resolve, and an inflexible iron will:

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny Of Science, ed. Eric Oberheim (Malden, MA, USA: Polity Press, 1996)  p. 56.
  2. Ibid, p. 56.
  3. Ibid, p. 74.
  4. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, trans. Brian Massumi, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999, p. 64.
  5. Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, (London, England: Verso, 2010) p. 204.
  6. Ibid, p. 203.
  7. Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny of Science, ed. Eric Oberheim (Malden, MA, USA: Polity Press, 1996) pp. 73-74.
  8. Ibid. p. 9.
  9. Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, (London, England: Verso, 2010) p. 113.
  10. Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny of Science, ed. Eric Oberheim (Malden, MA, USA: Polity Press, 1996) p. 73.
  11. Ibid, p. 50.
  12. Ibid, p. 47.
  13. Ibid, p. 51.
  14. Ibid, p. 66.
  15. Ibid, p. 53.
  16. Ibid, p. 55.
  17. Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, (London, England: Verso, 2010) p. 105.
  18. Paul Feyerabend, The Tyranny of Science, ed. Eric Oberheim (Malden, MA, USA: Polity Press, 1996) p. 57.
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Amnesty’s Israeli Apartheid Report & US Lies

Amnesty International’s 2022 report “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians” that exposes and  condemns Israeli apartheid has provoked false allegations of lying and anti-Semitism from the mendacious and genocidally racist Zionists and their US Alliance supporters. In actuality, denial of Israeli apartheid is a lie, and the Zionists and their supporters are manifestly mendacious, racist, and both  anti-Arab anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish anti-Semitic by falsely defaming anti-racist Jewish, Arab, Palestinian and Muslim critics of Apartheid Israel.

Israeli apartheid by the numbers. 1.9  million Indigenous Palestinian Israelis (up to 50% impoverished) live as Third Class citizens under 65 Nazi-style, race-based laws in a Zionist-proclaimed Jewish State (they were permitted to vote in 1966 but were recently explicitly  denied equal rights by the Israeli parliament). For 55 years the Occupied Palestinians (presently 5.2 million) have lived under violent foreign military rule, excluded from Jews-only zones, denied all the human rights set out in the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, excluded from voting for the government ruling them, highly abusively confined to the blockaded and bombed Gaza Concentration Camp or West Bank ghettoes, and condemned to bare survival (GDP per capita $3,400 for Occupied Palestinians versus $46,400 for Occupier Israelis). Of 8 million Exiled Palestinians deriving from successive mass expulsions of Indigenous Palestinians (800,000 in 1948, 400,000 in 1967), all are excluded on pain of death from the land continuously inhabited by their forebears to the dawn of the Agrarian Revolution, and 7 million live utterly impoverished lives without basic civil rights in Middle East refugee camps (about 10% of the world’s refugees).

Human rights experts, activists and South African anti-apartheid heroes expose and condemn Israeli apartheid. The comprehensive and horrendous Apartheid Israeli abuses against the Indigenous Palestinians constitute apartheid as (a) detailed by the Amnesty International Report, (b) as defined by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, and (c) as perceived by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, President Jimmy Carter, Jewish and non-Jewish heroes in the fight against South African Apartheid (notably Ronnie Kasrils and Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu), by numerous anti-racist Jewish humanitarians (including me, and who say of Israeli crimes “Not in my name”), by numerous non-Jewish anti-racist humanitarians, and even by the very architect of South African apartheid, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, who in 1961 declared: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state”. Anyone denying the horrendous reality of Israeli apartheid is simply lying.

Denial of Israeli apartheid is notably espoused by members of the mendacious and racist International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) that claims 34 member states of which all are dominantly European, 25 belong to nuclear-armed NATO, 14 were notably involved in the brutal conquest and genocide of Indigenous non-European people, and 7 were notably complicit in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust. The IHRA is anti-Arab anti-Semitic (by falsely defaming Palestinian, Arab and Muslim critics of Apartheid Israeli crimes), anti-Jewish anti-Semitic (by falsely defaming anti-racist Jewish critics of Apartheid Israeli crimes and falsely conflating Apartheid Israel with all Jews), and holocaust-denying (ignoring all WW2 holocausts other than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed by violence and deprivation), namely the WW2 European Holocaust  (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed), the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons by the British with Australian complicity in 1942-1945), and the WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35-40 million Chinese killed under the Japanese, 1937-1945), and ignoring 60 other genocide and holocaust atrocities).

Zionist and pro-Zionist lying about Israeli apartheid (e.g., by elected US, Australian, Canadian and UK representatives and by the Murdoch and other Western Mainstream media) is (a) repugnant racism (through race-based ignoring of human suffering), (b) anti-science (science has zero tolerance for lying), (c) bad for societal and national security (science-informed rational risk management crucial for security is sabotaged by lying), (d) bad for business (that depends on mutual honesty and trust), and (e) bad for democracy (that requires an informed electorate).

Politicians and mendacious Mainstream journalist, editor, political, academic and commentariat presstitutes who support Apartheid Israel and hence the vile crime of apartheid are utterly unfit for public life, notably in one-person-one-vote ostensible democracies like the US, Australia, Canada, the UK and the EU. Decent anti-racist folk world-wide must (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and all people, politicians, parties, collectives, corporations and countries supporting this endlessly subverting, nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, serial war criminal, International Law-violating, grossly human rights-abusing, child-abusing, mother-abusing, and democracy-by-genocide apartheid rogue state (for a detailed and documented account see Gideon Polya at Countercurrents, 6 February 2020).

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Solidarity Forged from Slave Chains

February is black history month and with conservatives challenging Critical Race Theory, there’s one thing when studying history, we have to always remember and it is the victors that write the history. It is the duty, therefore, of every socialist to tell it like it was, and is, at every opportunity. In the battle of ideas that we wage against the ruling class, we must not concede them one inch in interpreting the past.

When the American Civil War ended, Lincoln and his successor Andrew Johnson gave the defeated Confederacy generous peace terms. Vengeance upon the slaveocracy was to be no part of the reconciliation process. It was to be amnesty for Southern slave-owners but new chains for the former slaves.

The fierce resistance from the plantation owners effectively killed off any protection from the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Freedmen’s Bureau was swiftly dismantled by Andrew Johnson who also tried unsuccessfully to veto the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The 1866 Southern Homestead Act was another toothless project and the later Civil Rights Act of 1875 was never really enforced, to be later declared it unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

For the four million ex-slaves, freed by the Emancipation Act, the promise of 40 acres and a mule never materialized. The new freedmen were refused the material means for economic independence nor guaranteed their democratic rights. The land that could have given ex-slaves security was instead returned to the previous plantation owners. Lacking land, former slaves were forced to return to working on the same plantations where they had toiled for generations. Over 600,000 former slaves stayed with their masters. Others were forced into share-cropping which could be described as a type of farm feudalism when chattel slaves are turned into serfs, trapped by ever-increasing debt into a form of peonage. Despite being formally free, most Southern African-Americans continued to live in poverty, reliant on white benefactors for food, shelter and agricultural supplies in return for their labor. That was the best that many could achieve.

In the Southern states, the Black Codes were enacted. These codes declared that unemployed African-Americans were vagrants, who could be arrested and hired out to the highest bidder and forced to work for that person for a prescribed time. Employers were also given the right to physically punish these workers. These codes also made it illegal for African-Americans to bear arms. Those subsequently led to Jim Crow laws, a system of oppressive laws that perpetuated racism, inequality and brutality, that was to last another 100 years to ensure that the social system of subjection and subjugation of African-Americans continued and all the gains of the ex-slaves could be undone. It took for instance until 1967 for miscegenation laws to be finally repealed. Even to this day several Republican-controlled states are still trying to discourage the Black communities from exercising their vote.

The need to ensure a free supply of labor brought the mass incarceration of blacks and the chain gang. The USA disproportionately jails African-Americans. Following the abolition of enslavement at the finish of the US Civil War, the 13th Amendment ended slavery except for those convicted of a crime, and the adoption of the “Black Codes”, allowed harsh penalties against newly freed African-Americans for minor crimes. Convict leasing and chain-gangs ensured the continuance of “free” labour.

But there was also a political purpose as well as an economic reason for the policy of criminalization.

Governors although reluctantly accepting the 14th Amendment were determined that their states would never accede to African-American suffrage. The solution was to write felony disenfranchisement into their state constitutions. Low-level crimes—vagrancy and petty misdemeanors were turned into felonies. 

The Southern whites used whatever measures they felt necessary to suppress the freedoms and rights of African-Americans. The Red Shirts in Mississippi and the Carolinas, the White League and the Knights of the White Camelia, both active in Louisiana, and, of course, the Ku Klux Klan exercised a reign of terror. These white supremacist night-riders spread such fear that they managed to change the course of American history, placing the country on its path towards inequality, prejudice and discrimination under which it still suffers. 

More than 2,000 African-Americans were murdered between the end of the civil war in 1865 and 1876 to keep black people enslaved in all but name. Freed slaves were lynched at an average rate of almost one every two days. The Ku Klux Klan Enforcement Acts had been designed to permit the federal government to prosecute vigilantes but a  Supreme Court decision held that it only applied to actions of the state, and rendered the law ineffective.  

The Exoduster Movement was a mass migration of refugee ex-slaves, fleeing oppression and repression as the South once more fell into the hands of the very men that had held African-Americans as slaves. Of the 147,000 African-Americans eligible to vote in Mississippi, only about 8600 registered under the constitution of 1890. Louisiana had 127,000 African-American voters enrolled in 1896; under the constitution drafted two years later, the registration fell to 5300. For South Carolina in 1900 indicates that only about one African-American out of every hundred adult males of that race took part in elections.

In 1865, Colored People’s Conventions outlined a new Bill of Rights which included repeal of the Black Codes, the right to serve on juries, to vote, to own land, to bear arms, to free public education, etc. By the summer of 1867, about 80% of eligible black male voters had registered in all but one of the former Confederate states. This representation brought some 2,000 African-Americans to the elected office during Reconstruction. At the beginning of 1867, no African-American in the South held political office, but within three or four years about 15 percent of the officeholders in the South were black which was a larger proportion than in 1990.

In 1870 Hiram Revels from Mississippi took a seat in the US Senate. Jefferson Long, in 1870 became Georgia’s first Black representative in the United States Congress and the first African-American to speak on the House floor when he opposed the Amnesty Act of 1870 which returned full civil rights to ex-Confederate officials, restoring their eligibility to hold public office. Twenty-two African-Americans served in Congress as a result of Reconstruction, and more than 600 African-Americans served in state legislatures throughout the South, mostly from 1868 through 1877. African-Americans also succeeded in holding numerous positions, such as sheriffs, justices of the peace, city aldermen, and county commissioners. 

The land in America was first stolen from Indigenous peoples, by force. It was then cleared and made productive for intensive agriculture by the toil of African slaves, who after Emancipation some would come to own some of it. The sheer number of the African-American population meant that many did achieve to secure precarious and tenuous access to some land, driven by what W.E.B. Du Bois called “land hunger” seeking every available and affordable plot of land they could, no matter how marginal. If they didn’t find a sympathetic white landowner who would sell to them, they’d become squatters on unused and unwanted land. The initiative and accomplishments shown by the emancipated ex-slaves, their overcoming of handicaps and achievements under the Reconstruction are seldom acknowledged these days. There were immense improvements in the conditions of the ex-slaves in the aftermath of the Civil War, through self-help mutual aid and reciprocal cooperation.

By 1875, African-Americans had acquired between two million and four million acres of land after the war. By 1880 this was six million, ten years later about eight million. In 1910 this land had increased to nearly twenty million acres, as large as Ireland. (By 1969 this had “shrunk” to 8.7 million acres or 13,000 square miles, an area the size of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined.) 

120,738 farms owned by African-Americans in 1890 increased to 218,972 in 1910, or 81%. This is despite the disenfranchisement of three-quarters of the black population in this same period. There were already two hundred private schools and colleges managed almost entirely and supported by African-Americans, plus old folks’ homes and orphanages, thirty hospitals and 22,000 small retail businesses and forty banks.

The former slaves did not wait passively to secure their rights, especially in regard to the land and the right to bear arms. In a number of areas, they seized possession of the plantations, divided the land amongst themselves, and set up their own local forms of administration. On the Sea Islands off Georgia and South Carolina, for example, freedmen took land and worked it on their own account. When the former owners came later to claim their plantations, they were resisted and these freedmen survive today, called Gullah or Geechee communities. Similar occupations took place elsewhere.

Freedom Died, Justice Denied

But most African-Americans couldn’t resist white kleptocracy. They were either forcibly dispossessed or “legally” expropriated. Their “rights” abrogated. Through a variety of ploys—sometimes illegal, often coercive, frequently violent—farms owned by African-Americans freed slaves, came back into the ownership of white people.

These cases of dispossession can only be called land-theft powered Jim Crow. 98 percent of black landowners in America were dispossessed and lost 12 million acres over the past century, leaving millions of families landless.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 25,000 black farm operators in 1910, an increase of almost 20 percent from 1900. Black farmland in Mississippi totalled 2.2 million acres in 1910—some 14 percent of all black-owned agricultural land in the country, and the most of any state. The foothold was never secure. From the beginning, even the most enterprising black landowners found themselves fighting a war of attrition. Mass dispossession did not require a central organizing force or a grand conspiracy. Thousands of individual decisions by white people, enabled or motivated by greed, racism, existing laws, and market forces, all pushed in a single direction.

Around the turn of the century, in Leflore County, Mississippi Oliver Cromwell, organized the Colored Farmers’ Alliance. In September 1889, whites retaliated against what they saw as a threat to their white businesses by black economic independence and self-sufficiency, with a mob murdering as many as 100 black farmers along with women and children.

The black population in Mississippi declined by almost one-fifth from 1950 to 1970, as the white population increased by the exact same percentage. Farmers migrated as laborers to Chicago and Detroit. By the time black people truly gained the ballot in Mississippi, they were a clear minority, held in thrall to a white conservative majority. But some white people undeniably would have organized it this way if they could have. The vast majority of black farmland in the country is no longer in black hands, and black farmers have suffered far more hardships than white farmers have. Between 1920 and 1997, the number of African-Americans who farmed decreased by 98 percent, while white Americans who farmed declined by 66 percent. Virtually all of the property lost by black farmers is owned by whites or corporations.

The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow persists despite desperate attempts to deny it. But to deny the legacy of slavery and the subsequent consequences of Jim Crow has a lingering effect is simply hiding from the facts. For sure, blatant segregation and discrimination are illegal but there are more surreptitious ways about it.

FDR’s New Deal established the Farm Security Administration. Although the FSA ostensibly existed to help the country’s small farmers, as happened with much of the rest of the New Deal, white administrators ignored poor black people—denying them loans and giving sharecropping work to white people. In 1961, JFK’s administration created the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, or ASCS, a program that provided loans to farmers. The ASCS was a federal effort and the members of committees doling out money and credit were elected locally, during a time when black people were prohibited from voting.

Homeownership is the key source of wealth for most families. These days, three-quarters of white people own their home less than half black families do, 44% … and falling. The racial wealth gap is primarily based on differences in home appreciation values. Black families historically had homes that did not appreciate and often went down in value. 

There have been repeated findings that white families have wealth and income many times more than African-American families. Just before the pandemic, the median white family was 41 times more wealthy than the median African-American family. The disparity has become normalized and rarely challenged by the white population who rely on the usual stereotype shame-naming explanations to explain their white privilege.

The large wealth gap between white and black families today exists because of a historic loss. Most wealth is inherited, passed down from past generations to future generations. In the USA, if you start with very little as the ex-slaves did, there is nothing much to bestow to your children.

It seems too convenient to forget the actions of the past and their effects on the present. It is a-historical and it is no wonder Critical Race Theory is under such criticism by those who benefited the most from making no reference to the history of racial inequality.

Nor should we think it is merely a coincidence that polling laws and voting district re-alignment are happening once more in red states with the purpose of gerrymandering the electoral outcome. If they cannot outright deny blacks the vote, then they are making it difficult for them to exercise that vote.

It was the foundations built during Reconstruction, in black education, black churches, and black political and community organizations that would continue to provide support and solidarity to African-Americans throughout the long years of Jim Crow, the 1960s Civil Rights movement and now Black Lives Matter.

The post Solidarity Forged from Slave Chains first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Parasite Empire Unravelled

So before Covid, a local school where one of my kids used to attend, had prominent race issues. Namely, teachers were being accused of being blind to obvious racist incidences against black students. The normalized notion of racism was so rampant that the school was forced to embrace some sort of deprogramming sessions by a parent-led committee on the issue.  However, this committee itself was ultimately deemed rather racist in its own way by the school’s black alumni group. To me, at the end, it became rather obvious that the whole momentum was part of a corporate political campaign for the Democratic Party establishment.  The same people who raised their fists and said “Black Lives Matter” turned out to be the supporters of Joe Biden who has bragged that he was the architect of crime bills and The Patriot Act—the very root of the school to prison pipeline, the racist, colonial “war on terror,” the prison industrial complex and so on.  Is irony completely dead as “reality” continues to be stretched to fit the ruling class interests? In the end, I felt so dirty and violated to be a part of that committee’s activities.

Fast forward to the Black-Lives-Matter-only-if-you-are-vaccinated era, and this school is voluntarily implementing a strict mandatory vaccine policy with few exemptions.  My son doesn’t like to gossip and he never really talks behind anyone’s back. But the other day, he said that the whole school is basically bullying the few kids that have not received the experimental injections.  He was particularly upset about his Black friend being given a hard time, after being subjected to the blatant racism previously.

There are some harsh numbers regarding race-related matters and the Covid “vaccines”.  In NYC, where Covid “vaccine” mandates are effectively shutting people out from indoor activities, roughly half the Black people have chosen not to receive the experimental injections. How can anyone justify segregating half the Black people from indoor activities? What is that?  And what is wrong with businesses that, without a mandate, voluntarily exclude unvaccinated people from entering their premises when statistical risk factors for getting the illness in question range from obesity to old age to having chronic conditions.  To be clear, the efficacy of the Covid injections are being debated by scientists and doctors vigorously, along with their safety issues. Yet, there are business owners who are calling themselves “community leaders” for being medical cheerleaders for big pharma, proud of being brown-nosed social climbers at the expense of those who make their own medical choices.  And if we take the whole US,  40% of small Black-owned businesses have been wiped out.  This whole virus event is a giant urban renewal push disguised as war on virus—don’t they realize what people have gone through with war on crime, war on drugs and so on?

The cozy Covid life for privileged, resourced people who can work from home or afford not to work is propped up in many ways at the expense of many who are suffering under the economic restructuring process for the oligarchy.  An unprecedented wealth transfer from the already exploited population to extremely rich and powerful people has been ongoing for the past two years, while the kind of neoliberal restructuring they’ve been dreaming about has been implemented in the name of saving lives.

It’s really demoralizing to really understand that the mechanism of exploitation and subjugation is rather simple.  The power of the wealthy oligarchs is so huge that they own everything.  They own the media.  They own the politics.  They own the governments. They own the scientists. They own the military.

And the same people who own everything tell us that we have to respect the separation of powers, we have to rely on “representative democracy,” and we have to obey the legal system which is ultimately ruled by Supreme Court judges who are appointed by, well, the same people who own everything. Needless to say, the whole thing is made to divide us and consecrate the rich and powerful as priests of capitalism, because they own everything and all powers are designed to concentrate in their hands, while  the people are effectively deprived of all power.

In the US, the power of the people is represented by two corrupt corporate political parties.  I mean, they don’t really represent people, but they pretend that they do.  The situation is so obvious and blatant that it is tedious to even mention, but the reality is that this mechanism of two corporate entities engaging in ritualistic battles within a strictly curated capitalist framework has been so effective in staging the appearance of “democracy” that it is hard to discuss the social dynamics in the US without it.  No matter what ideological leaning one has as an American, the larger than life theater of historical myths, dramas, glories of wars, nationalistic emotions and the reverence of the American flag are likely to be a part of the internalized authority which builds its footings in the minds and the bodies of those who are born on this land.

Today, many of the rich and powerful are associated with the Democratic Party—for example, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Bill Gates, and so on. This is strange because it is the Republican Party that is supposed to represent business interests. Recent numbers also indicate the trend:  “Some recent US figures on the distribution of income by party: 65 percent of taxpayer households that earn more than $500,000 per year are now in Democratic districts; 74 percent of the households in Republican districts earn less than $100,000 per year. Add to this what we knew already, namely that the 10 richest congressional districts in the country all have Democratic representatives in Congress“.

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter because when people play politics—meaning you cheer for one of the corrupt political parties—you are not supposed to talk about how money controls social institutions and how our values, beliefs and norms are determined by the interests of the ruling class, and how the economic caste order effectively enforces capitalist imperatives to perpetuate the reign of money and violence.

Believe it or not, today, this sort of understanding is labeled as “conspiracy.”  Right, you are a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nut case if you happen to call out corporate crimes, their criminal conspiracies and so on and so forth.   How obvious can it get? Rich people dominate corporate politics with the good old righteousness of exceptionalism, and a colonial attitude with the kinder, gentler face of liberal politics, and it is perfectly OK to call a simple Marxist analysis of exploitation a “conspiracy.”

The tendency to obscure the mechanism of capitalism is mirrored exactly among many of those who oppose the overwhelming push for Covid lockdowns, Covid “vaccine” mandates and so on. For many of those who stand on the other side of the virus event, the entire mobilization is described as a “communist takeover.” That’s right.  All those diehard capitalists who have been conspiring to perpetuate their interests through World Economic Forum, IMF, World Bank and so on are communists now. How convenient?  You can’t have capitalism without opportunism.

But the whole thing makes perfect sense. Both ends of the capitalist spectrum, fascists and social democrats, have always struggled to perpetuate capitalist hegemony together. At the end of the day, their ultimate goal is to perpetuate the capitalist caste hierarchy and their righteous positions within it.  One step with the left leg goes forward as the right leg moves forward to balance the momentum of the imperial hegemony — just as the hopelessly corrupt Hilary Clinton gives birth to a Donald Trump Presidency, which, in turn, gives the Democratic Party a reason to exist.  Left, right, left, right, the empire moves forward as it gently shifts its weight left to right.  As they march the imperial-scape together, they sing derogatory smears against any revolutionary momentum.  Both sides are free to argue and fight as long as they adhere to the imperial imperatives of capitalism.  The corporate media ensure that the narratives are told to fit this dynamic.  Those who do not belong to the dynamics are portrayed as “others”–fringe extremists to be demonized from multiple angles.

How does the empire gain its mythical aura of authority?  Easy. They play a good old protection racket scheme against unsuspecting “good people.”  For example, they tell people that terrorists are coming, while “secretly” funding the killers in ways which are not so secret to the people. People get the idea: “Oh I see. we have to pay the protection fee. Otherwise, we get fucked up.” Or, for example, they tell people that plague is coming, and force people to get injected with special medicines.  If the people refuse, their jobs are taken away, their families are split apart, you can’t eat at a restaurant and so on. They can effectively turn everyone into a dangerous element with an infection until proven “healthy” by the designated means of the authority.  There goes the presumption of innocence along with informed consent out of the door.

This is a big deal. There is a huge reason why an authority must prove someone guilty without a reasonable doubt.  Otherwise, people can be arbitrarily accused of committing any crime and then punished for it.  And without informed consent, people can be forced to drink Cool Aid just because they are told to do so. Moreover, as soon as the feudal overloads deal with the life and death of the people, they effectively consecrate themself as gods.  A politician would claim that Covid “vaccines” are sent by God.  Cultural figures would start accusing those who refuse the medication of “defying the law of nature,” defying “science” and so on, effectively turning Bill Gates and the rest of the snake oil salesmen into gods of our times.

So now it seems that even this pretend “democracy” is being taken away by the acceptance of decrees under an “emergency” just like any other fascist take-over.

Colonizing humanity and nature

How is it even possible, though?  The capitalist assaults come in stages. First, it attacks to destabilize, infiltrate and tear communities apart.  It destroys the fabric of communities and turns vital institutions useless.  It cultivates the ground on which the invaders can turn themselves into the new providers of artificial social relations, resources and facts. Then the colonizers embark on domesticating people with their own beliefs, norms and values to exploit them and subjugate them.

Social institutions are taken over by capital. As they lose their functions for the people, they are further bought and sold by the oligarchs to transform themselves into machines for the ruling class interests. In every step of the process, people are mobilized to destroy and reassemble their own institutions only to be domesticated by the resulting fake institution for the ruling class. Corporate NGOs, corporate think tanks, paid academics, paid scientists, corporate politicians are always ready to help in this regard.  This is how education has been taken away from the people.  This is how healthcare has been taken away.  This is how politics has been taken away.

The people’s institutions are intentionally deprived of resources so that they must rely on the rich and powerful to function.  Then, privatizing and corporatizing transform the institutions into entities for profit, indoctrination and domestication. The more you struggle financially, the more you are likely to be trapped in a cycle of exploitation—an ironic reality imposed by the capitalist hierarchy in which those who could gain the most by overthrowing the establishment are pressured the most to obey the capitalist imperatives. Meanwhile those with privileged positions are conditioned to protect the status quo. Hierarchies of ideas, ideologies, religions, and people are formed.  The caste system built by all elements permeates the empire—what’s good for the empire naturally floats as the opposing elements sink systemically and structurally. People are forced to compete in serving the interests of the oligarchs regardless of the ultimate consequences to them.

This is how people are indoctrinated to hate the system that gives power to the people—socialism, and are forced to crave the system that strangles them—capitalism.  Here is a brief summary of how socialism is actively demonized in our society:

1. Point out results of imperial assaults against socialist countries and claim socialism doesn’t work.

Examples:

  • Give them economic sanctions, then call the countries “economic disasters”.
  • Send death squads to destabilize their countries, then call the enemies of the western hegemony “strong man,” “dictator,” “butcher” and so on.
  • Attempt to overthrow the government by massive propaganda campaigns, then call them oppressive.

2. Claim that no ideology, country or government is perfect, in order to ignore the injustice and inhumanity systematically and structurally imposed on the entire capitalist hegemony and beyond by the western ruling class.

Examples:

  • Claim that socialism and capitalism are the same when they are not historically and in practice.  Capitalism is a system guided by forces of accumulated wealth and power. It manifests as imperialism at the global scale. Historically, socialism has emerged to counter imperial exploitation and subjugation. Socialist countries have been vehemently assaulted by organized forces of imperialism.  The equation totally dismisses these obvious historical dynamics, while also obscuring the very nature and mechanism of capitalism, itself.  This position is often expressed with the use of the word totalitarianism.  Although the term has been largely normalized in the western cultural sphere, historically, this term has been used by reactionary forces to equate fascism (which operates within the framework of capitalism) and socialist countries with the intention of demonizing socialist countries.
  • Claim that all violence must stop as the capitalist hegemony targets a socialist country, knowing that the imperial hegemony can topple the socialist country by many means if the country stops engaging in self-defense.
  • Demonize political leaders who defy the western hegemony saying that although the West is atrocious the dictators aren’t worth saving anyway.

3. Utilize an emotional personal anecdote in demonizing “socialism” in its entirety, totally ignoring its inner workings to forward the interests of the people, imperial dynamics and so on.  Reactionary voices of those who betray their countries of origin in seeking to secure positions within the empire are often promoted by the capitalist media.

Examples:

  • “My grand dad was killed by communists.”
  • “My family members were imprisoned by a socialist regime.”
  • “So and so is killing its own people.  I know because I’m from there and you are not.”

4. Simply rely on propaganda lies concocted by capitalist social institutions.

Examples:

  • Just mock, ridicule and demonize socialists.  The notion is fully normalized so there is no need to explain. The burden of proof is on those who defy the notion.
  • Engage in 1, 2 and 3 using the propaganda lies.

Where is this giant monster swinging right to left, guided by the selfish motives of the ruling class, going?  Is it going to put us all in a digital prison as it continues to digitalize, financialize, and transhumanize, colonizing humanity and nature?  Is it going to declare a war against China?  These are very significant concerns, but it is unlikely that they will be on the table for all of us to examine anytime soon.  Our thoughts and ideas are constantly, systemically and structurally beaten into shapes by layers of capitalist institutions over and over so that they fit into the capitalist framework. Then the momentums of pros and cons are safely exchanged within the imperial framework at the expense of the people who struggle to secure their livelihood within it.

When we are beaten by the capitalists, we are put against each other.  As we fight back, we are forced to attack our fellow community members as our institutions are further colonized as I described above. In the corporate political theater billions of dollars are spent in picking between hardened corporatist Joe Biden, and “reality TV show star” Donald Trump, but we cannot embrace the political institution which can truly function as our own—such a drastic shift is firmly demonized, again, as “socialism,” “communism,” Marxism and so on.

Look at how doctors and nurses are forced to be complicit in the ongoing virus event. They are forced to limit treatment options.  Effective early treatments such as Ivermectin or HCQ, which have saved countless lives in other countries, are being ridiculed as snake oil, because as long as there are effective treatments for the virus, the experimental gene therapy drugs can’t have emergency use status.  All this goes on as Covid “vaccine” deaths are blatantly covered up in the US and in other Western countries. The health professionals are forced to put people on deadly ventilators, deadly remdisivir, and deadly sedatives—the real reason why there are so many deaths in the US, along with the fact that obesity is a hidden killer in patients with seasonal respiratory illness.  The more they try to protect their positions within the institution, the more they compromise the whole institution. Doctors, scientists and the rest of the healthcare professionals who wish to protect the institution by speaking the truth about the virus and experimental injections are censored, harassed and fired for doing so, while those who obey are forced to be complicit in failing their patients with profit-oriented protocols.

This is what the system does when it’s driven by, and for, the oligarchs.

Their exploitive schemes create crises on many fronts—environmental crisis, health crisis, housing crisis, economic crisis, psychiatric crisis, you name it. The ruling class officially designates a chosen crisis to impose prepackaged corporate “solutions” for more profits, more power grab and readjustment of the capitalist trajectory.  In the process, they destroy vital social institutions and reassemble them for domestication.  Nothing else matters other than the chosen crisis and the associated corporate schemes. Other crises deepen as the capitalist trajectory is recalibrated and the capitalist hierarchy is readjusted. They will not run out of crises as long as they exploit and subjugate.  Crises are not predicaments for those who can buy their way out of anything, they are opportunities for them.  And they have nothing to lose in the process.  We are forced to do their work of destroying our own institutions.  We are forced to do their work of turning them into our cages.  They can buy most of anything, and if they can’t, they destroy it, then they can simply buy and sell any remaining elements, repackage them as something else and sell them back to the people.

See how it works?

As we further lose our connections to ourselves, to each other, to our community and nature, we are freely subjected to propaganda and indoctrination through ruling class sanctioned entities. Psychology has been applied to adjust individuals to the hardships of capitalist behavioral conditioning. Sociology has been applied to shape collective behaviors within the capitalist framework. Economics has been applied to justify the capitalist domination. Politics has been applied to ritualize the normalization of the feudal hierarchy. Now, we see science being applied to shift the trajectory of exploitation and subjugation.

Our behaviors are largely based on establishment-supplied social relations, facts, culture, and so on.  We don’t generally act because we perceive actual events in our lives.  Most of us go through our lives on auto-pilot mode within the structurally sanctioned capitalist framework.  The Covid event clearly shows this aspect of our lives.  People wear masks, social distance and follow lockdown measures when clearly stipulated; however, at the personal level, most of us do not act like there is a deadly plague out there.  The masks, very possibly contaminated with the “deadly virus” are thrown away everywhere without being treated as biohazard materials.  People wear masks only to enter a restaurant, then take them off to eat with strangers stuck in an enclosed space. As soon as we are born into our society, we learn to perceive the capitalist framework as our guiding principle over our actual perceptions.  This makes us extremely vulnerable to top-down mobilization, as we see with the virus event.  As soon as we are systemically and structurally forced into following instructions, then facts, our perceptions, and experts’ opinions become totally irrelevant before the decrees coming out of the establishment. The process of colonization of humanity and nature has been ongoing for generations, deeply affecting how we are, and it is accelerating.

Being deprived of our actual perceptions based on material reality, and the subsequent manufacturing of our perceptions based on the imperatives of the ruling class interests contributes to acute divisions among dissidents as well.  The urgency of capitalist oppressions together with marginalization of ideological positions has often cornered those who voice their concerns into prescribing “solutions” based on their own condition, regardless of the consequences to others.  This often happens over class lines, or against those who are victims of imperial violence.  The classic example was seen during the imperial war against Syria.  Many anti-war dissidents had taken a position in support of the US military intervention of Syria to varying degrees due to the western demonization of the Syrian government, western propaganda that glorified the US backed terrorists as victims of Syrian violence and etc.  (Those who stand with enemies of the empire are strongly urged to amend their anti-imperial positions. This urging comes from across the spectrum; for instance, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and others who are considered “dissidents” adamantly demonized leaders of targeted countries and repeated official propaganda narratives justifying the toleration of violence against those countries–By the way, both Chomsky and Hedges also hold starkly discriminatory opinions against unvaccinated people, echoing their strong condemnations of the middle eastern leaders.)

This has resulted in acceptance of the US military attacks and the US support for violent opposition groups inside Syria. Those American people who insisted on saving the children of Syria by bombing Syria and by supporting brutal terrorists, who would behead children, failed to see the great sacrifice paid by the majority of Syrian people, who were in support of their government and their military.  Activist communities were split into pieces, while the momentum greatly exacerbated the US led war against the Syrian government.   The situation began to turn as independent journalists—Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and others—started to report from Syria on the actual situation—in which the majority of the Syrian people have approved the determined government policy against the west backed terrorists and the US colonial policies which had strangled Syrian people on many grounds.

The war on virus, which has directly targeted our entire society, as well as the global dynamics, has presented itself as a great divider among us.  Our alienated perceptions have effectively prevented our ability to understand the course of action taken by others.  The excruciating hardship of those who wear masks 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, or more, to keep their jobs, or the anger and bitterness of those who were forced to be vaccinated against their will to remain employed,  or the predicaments faced by those who chose to be fired for their medical choice, are not shared by those who do not share the circumstances and perspectives.  The virus event kept people away from each other, prevented freedom of speech, and prevented freedom of assembly while deeply dividing people on many grounds.  It is appalling that US media outlets actually told their audience to cut their ties to friends and family members who are not vaccinated.  Anger, frustration, fear and hatred have been boiling in our communities.

Sadly, the situation is not any better among those who oppose the draconian virus measures. For example, some people see anyone who complies with a government mandate as an enemy, even if non compliance would have meant a total loss of livelihood.  I’ve seen a sad instance in which a bar owner, who courageously spoke against the government “vaccine” mandate for his customers, was mocked and ridiculed for complying with the strict mandate, though not doing so could have resulted in loss of his business.  This sort of atmosphere effectively prevents constructive community actions.  It prevents natural growth of genuine social relations among the people based on creativity and practical means.  The real struggle involves real observations of facts and spontaneous reactions to associated events. Ultimately, it cannot be prescribed by those who stand outside of the particular circumstance.  Without the existence of a genuine institution for the people to coordinate overall strategies and educate people about the mechanism of exploitation, this sort of arbitrary behavior of purging would emerge only to exacerbate alienation and division among those who should be united to counter the ruling class assaults. What Lenin said in last century still stands on this regard. It also cultivates a defeatist attitude to embrace martyrdom as the only plausible goal of resistance.

The establishment understands this mechanism very well.  That is why organized efforts of socialists, communists, and Marxists have been vehemently attacked by the US empire.  As long as we stand with the establishment in demonizing any potential to build revolutionary momentum, we are bound to stay within the framework of the exploitation. Our goal is to change the exploitive system to the one that benefits our mutual well-beings.  We are not the enemies of each other.  On this point, we have a lot to learn from the Syrian government, which has been allowing reconciliation between those who took weapons against the people and those who lost their family members by the violence.

Anti-Chinese sentiment

I have already written briefly about China and the virus event here, and here.  This topic continues to be crucial because China continues to present itself as the biggest obstacle to the western capitalist hegemony.  Although China is fully integrated in the global market economy, it continues to resist western domination of its social fabric through western neoliberalization and financialization.  This makes total sense if we understand the very reason why China opened itself to the market economy—it has done so to put its economic activities under the guidance of the Communist Party of China.  It allows China to grow economically in providing for its people while preventing western propaganda infiltration, development of western guided black market, and western capitalist restructuring of Chinese social structure.

That is why we are flooded with anti-Chinese rhetoric today.

All western wars are ultimately imperial in nature.  War on virus is not an exception. Those who operate within the capitalist framework— including those who claim to resist the lockdowns and the experimental Covid injections—express their disdain toward the imperial enemy as a gesture to express their allegiance to the empire even when they must oppose their feudal overlords.

Historically, the western capitalist mobilizations—war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror and so on—that reshape and perpetuate its structural integrity occur in tandem with imperial dynamics. The slogans and talking points have always included anti-communist/anti-socialist elements.

The war on drugs was about destruction of minority communities as much as about destruction of Latin American movements to defy the US hegemony. The war on terror ended up destroying the middle eastern countries which have cooperated with the US hegemony to varying degrees.  The US simply does not tolerate an alternative system that demonstrates the viability of social relations outside of the imperial framework. Millions have perished.  One out of hundred people became refugees. Countries were destroyed. The momentum of war on terror exacerbated institutionalized racism and structural violence within the US as well, ultimately depriving people of legal rights through the National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act, installation of the surveillance state, militarization of police and etc.

China has experienced capitalist onslaughts of colonialism, colonial wars, chemical/biological attacks, proxy wars, propaganda campaigns, regime change operations, trade embargoes, trade sanctions, economic war and more even before it embarked on the path of socialism with its revolution.

China has seen it all.

There is a reason why we keep hearing “China is complicit,” “the Chinese system is coming,” and “China is violating human rights” over and over. Because the war on virus follows the same rule.  It restructures our society to perpetuate the oligarchy, and the momentum of exploitation and subjugation parallels the imperial violence against targeted countries.  This is why hundreds of military bases are surrounding China, while multiple propaganda projects are being carried out—Hong KongTibetUyghur, continued lies about Tiananmen Squareoutright deceptions stating China has killed millions of its own people.

As long as the movement of resistance being built in the west stays within the framework of imperial exploitation and subjugation, ultimately, it will serve the empire very effectively.  The oscillation between fascism and social democracy applies within imperial dynamics as well.  For example, within the imperial framework, Nazi Germany was cultivated by the US industries to assault USSR, its failure to do so then became a justification for the US to construct its imperial hegemony.  Famously, Nazi scientists and even some political figures were absorbed into the US empire (see Operation Paper Clip).  The current atmosphere emerging is not new or any more deadly than the imperial essence, itself.  This dynamic is crucial to understand.  Failure to do so would allow another oscillation within the empire which could perpetuate the empire.  On the surface, China seems to be a part of the momentum generally referred to as the “Great Reset.”  However, meanwhile, the western allies in the pacific are also arming themself to encircle China militarily.  China is under tremendous pressure to accept western led financialization and neoliberalization of their social structure.  The situation greatly echoes how USSR and its allies were subjected to containment and encirclement.  China seems to recognize the dynamics very well as I explain shortly.

Or, down the road, the fascist “Great Reset” might grow into a modern day economic Nazi to give a legitimacy to its counterpart within the western hegemony just like how the US achieved its imperial status after the WW2.  The history could certainly rhyme.  Such a possibility can’t be ruled out, but who wants to become another Nazi to be destroyed by the empire?  All players understand these dynamics.  The US won’t allow its own allies to threaten its own interests, while some allies are very eager to please the empire by playing their role in enforcing imperial imperatives—see how draconian measures in pushing big pharma vaccines, along with digitalization, financialization and the rest of the 4th Industrial Revolution, are forcefully forwarded in Australia, Canada and so on.

Perhaps the role of Israel in the imperial dynamics should be pointed out here to illustrate the dynamics.  The violence which has been inflicted by the Israeli regime against neighboring countries and beyond serves the war-based US economy while punishing those who defy the imperial hegemony. Israel plays a violent guard dog for the empire under US protection, takes on the blame for it and sustains itself in this imperial relationship. Israel has been faithfully playing its role in the war on virus by relentlessly vaccinating its people while introducing various associated measures as well.  Again, understanding the war on virus requires understanding imperial dynamics.

Meanwhile, China clearly understands its position within the imperial dynamics.  China is not about to impose on itself a deadly neoliberal restructuring such as the USSR suffered as it was being demolished. China is not about to accept colonial war on its soil in any form including biological attacks, proxy war or economic war.  If China sees its economic sphere as a part of its socialism with Chinese characteristics, it stands to reason that China would have to confront the waves of the western socio-political-economic restructuring associated with the virus event appropriately.

It’s none of western business if China decides to prepare itself for potential western biological attacks with any measures it deems necessary considering that the US owns the biggest pile of WMDs along with hundreds of bio weapon facilities across the globe, along with the history of actually using such weapons during the Korean War and on other occasions.

It’s none of western business if China develops its own Covid vaccines and virus measures in order to protect its financial sovereignty against western waves of Covid-related neoliberal restructuring and financialization.

It’s none of western business if China ends up succeeding in all of the above and turning the occasion into an opportunity to strengthen its economic viability, scientific progress and international presence with the overwhelming approval of its people.

Parasites devouring paralyzed hosts

Twisting around fear and putting people against each other in consecrating the unconditional authority of corporate entities over families torn apart, communities destroyed, and individuals rendered hopeless and hateful is not anything nature meant for us humans.

We are looking at parasites devouring paralyzed hosts.  This is the very essence of an inhumane social formation called capitalism described precisely by Karl Marx. It is revealing that the formation is called “communism” even by those who claim to “resist”.

Again, the colonized institutions ultimately act as cages for capitalism. They work together to recalibrate the caste system.

Over and over we’ve been deceived.  We are mobilized to play ritual battles on political theaters. We are mobilized to play “activism” on social theaters. We are mobilized to play good citizens on cultural theaters. We are mobilized to fight “others” on colonial theaters of war.  As long as we run around within the framework of the oligarchs, we just shift the blame among ourselves and we keep fine tuning the very feudal hierarchy that traps us as expendable beings.

The wealth and power hoarded by the parasitic minority never belong to them. They are blessings of nature and humanity belonging to the harmony among us. Those oligarchs have only one thing—they are astronomically richer than the rest. They monopolize what belongs to us all in order to domesticate humanity and nature. But life can’t be contained by their primitive cage.  So they have been modifying life to fit within the narrowly defined framework of their own kingdom. We became dumber, we are less brave, we are more cynical and hypocritical.  None of it is acceptable from any angle from which we look at it. The current social formation is extremely destructive to our species. If we fail to grasp the situation, gene therapy drugs, psychotropic drugs, behavioral conditioning and so on will be fully used to exacerbate the situation, commodifying our minds and bodies as our lives are more and more digitized and financialized.  If we become the products to be consumed, we are subjected to planned obsolescence, reduced quality, reduced diversity and so on just like any other items around us.  They spread their tentacles in taking over social institutions.  They freely attenuate and amplify the roles of institutions in orchestrating the material reality to suit their interests.  Again, they paralyze people with illusions, lies, deceptions, drugs, carrot and stick and eat us alive.  We do not deserve this parasitic social formation.

We need a system which firmly ensures that the material reality reflects a harmony of man and nature.  For one thing, the ridiculous rituals of corporate politics, corporate slogans for health, and so on have no place in getting us out of this feudalism of money and violence.  How can we all step back a little and take a look at what is really going on, calling out the parasites for what they are?  How can we recognize that the same colonizers who destroyed countries across the globe have embarked on psychological asymmetrical urban warfare against us? We are told that we are all in this together only to find ourselves shooting each other. We are told to flatten the curve only to see our communities flattened to be swallowed by corporate entities. How can we build our communities with social relations based on our needs?  How can we build social institutions which can help us build a social formation that serves us all?

The parasites devour the hosts because they do not have the ability to engage in the creative process of life. They must lie and deceive to imprison the subject population so that the captive beings are forced to construct the kingdom for the parasites. Parasites are not the all-seeing gods which they present themselves to be.  In order to survive and embrace the blessings of the universe as one of the species on our planet, we must recognize this destructive state of being and somehow move beyond it.

We are hardly the only ones screaming.  We are a fraction of a huge momentum of humanity continuing to make a point about our species’ obvious predicaments. The following words came from George L. Jackson shortly before he was murdered in California’s San Quentin Prison (I thank John Steppling for mentioning the quote recently):

Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.

— George L. Jackson, Blood in my Eye, January 1, 1972

Like Fred Hampton said:

… you can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution. You can run a freedom fighter around the country but you can’t run freedom fighting around the country. You can murder a liberator, but you can’t murder liberation.

— Fred Hampton,  Speech delivered on April 27, 1969 (Movement Vol. 5. No. 12, The Movement Press, January, 1970)

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Persistent Discriminatory Enrollment Practices In Charter Schools

Privately-operated charter schools are notorious for consistently under-enrolling different groups of students, even though they are ostensibly public schools that are said to be tuition-free and open to all. Few charter schools have a truly diverse student body.

Students with special needs, English language learners, and homeless students are the three main groups of regularly under-represented students in charter schools. Students who are “poor test takers” and students who have “behavior problems” are also frequently excluded from charter schools, leaving charter schools with a reputation for intensifying segregation. In Los Angeles, California, for example, privately-operated charter schools “suspended black students at almost three times the rate of traditional schools; students with disabilities were suspended at nearly four times the non-charter school rate.” Suspensions and expulsions are two key ways these unregulated schools cherry-pick their students.

To this day, 30 years after they first appeared in the U.S., there remains no effective mechanism to hold these outsourced privatized schools accountable in a meaningful way, even though they collectively receive billions of public dollars every year and are routinely mired in scandal, corruption, and controversy.

The most recent example of dozens of charter schools cherry-picking students comes from Colorado. On January 13, 2022, Chalkbeat carried an article titled  “Colorado: Charter school applications can’t ask about disability“. The article states that:

Colorado charter schools will no longer be able to ask on their applications whether students require special education services. The rule change brings Colorado into compliance with federal rules issued more than five years ago. It was approved unanimously by the State Board of Education Wednesday. Charter schools will also have to make it clear on their websites that they don’t discriminate and train employees to accurately answer questions about admissions policies in ways that don’t deter the families of students with special needs, including those with disabilities and those learning English.

Nearly 30 Colorado charter schools illegally “asked questions about disability status on their applications.” It comes as no surprise that Colorado charter schools under-enrolled these students “at a lower rate than the state average — and at a lower rate than charter schools in most other states.”

According to the Colorado Department of Education, there were more than 260 charter schools in Colorado serving students in the 2019-2020 school year. The state does not have a cap on the number of charter schools allowed. Nor does it set enrollment limits for virtual charter schools. Further, both nonprofit and for-profit companies may apply to open a charter school in Colorado.

The rise and expansion of charter schools across the country has degraded the overall level of education in society while enriching a handful of people.

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