Category Archives: Imperialism

How Many Concussions from Capitalists Can Americans Take?

America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

— Hunter S. Thompson, “September,” Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, p. 413.

Imagine, just how programmed are we, and this is it for an excuse?

The Doctor Who Inspired The Movie Concussion - Truth Doesn't Have A Side

So, the electricity will be shaky here, there, and everywhere. The excuse is, of course, supply chain. Ports are cloggged. Container ship chaos. They will not admit to the real reason for economic and spiritual collapse:  CAPITALISM and PRICE gouging. It’s Putin’s fault.

Mass shootings, Roe v. Wade down the drain, empty shelves at hardware and food stores. It’s all Putin’s fault, including the price thieving for these electrical transformers, right? The $6 a gallon for gas in USA and $10 a gallon in Denmark, Putin’s fault. Mindless media midgets, and here we are: Western culture trapped in their own lies, inside their own self-fulfilling nightmares. Or continuous requiems for our dreams!

Requiem for a Dream: Trailer, Kritik, Kino-Programm u.v.m. | KINO&CO

The lies and the shallow inquiries and the lack of curiosity, right up there with everyone is a used car salesman.

Journalism has always been dead in the mainstream:

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse.

— Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s,  November 6, 2003.

But back to other lies, and other lackeys lacking an inquiring mind. Local news from the local rag I publish my columns in, has stories about the local happenings. No pushback, just inverted triangle reporting. Referencing the local Public Utilities District here in Lincoln County:

Like utilities nationwide, Central Lincoln is being greatly challenged by supply chain delays, material shortages and massive cost increases for materials delivered. Demand for electrical supplies is robust, while transportation bottlenecks and raw material constraints are causing us significant concern over our ability to meet construction timelines. As we address these issues, Central Lincoln will strive to maintain supply levels to meet customer needs, while still maintaining emergency inventories.

We’ve all seen supply chain issues impact many aspects of life today. In some cases, lead times for Central Lincoln have increased six fold in the last two years when we’ve placed orders for materials. For example, new residential transformers typically took four months for delivery prior to the pandemic, and now they take between one year to 20 months to arrive. Costs for materials are also soaring — transformers that were $2,500 two years ago are now $15,000 each, and the cost is continuing to increase. This is not an exaggeration. (source)

Read that again: $2,500 for necessary transformers two years ago now SIX times more, at $15,000?

This is what defines USA, Biden, Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, Carson or Maddow, the entire shit show that is the American stupidity show. And how unprepared are we? This is the colonized mind, and this is the state of the American culture, as well as UK’s and Canada’s and EU’s. If all of this were true, and if we were guided (sic) by sane and humane folks, there’d be massive movements and masterful national plans to nationalize industries and rejigger the entire mess of capitalism for a world, a nation, that works for the people.

Now, shifting over to Scott Ritter, military lover, but still, smart.  He’s not on mainstream TV, in mainstream news. Again, the plastic hair and the Botox lips and the grappling girdles on these airhead TV presenters match their plastic brains. Here (below), he talks about how stupid Americans are (about world issues), and that includes what Yanquis do not know or want to know about the Nazi Ukrainians and this special military operation that Russia FINALLY had to unleash on that disgusting Ukraine and that perverted Zelensky and his crew.

But before Scott’s interview, how about  a little black robe insanity. Here we are now, with that un-Supreme Court, doing their shit show decision to get into the uterus of the female persuasion. Eichmanns, one and all.

See the source image

Imagine that? Supreme (not) Court now determining the legality of obesity, the calories, the sorts of foods, the environmental effects on the male perusasion. Will the male be held criminally libel for what they ingest and what they do to their bodies, their sperm, the RNA?

Let’s be consistent here, perverts?

There is substantial evidence that paternal obesity is associated not only with an increased incidence of infertility, but also with an increased risk of metabolic disturbance in adult offspring. Apparently, several mechanisms may contribute to the sperm quality alterations associated with paternal obesity, such as physiological/hormonal alterations, oxidative stress, and epigenetic alterations. Along these lines, modifications of hormonal profiles namely reduced androgen levels and elevated estrogen levels, were found associated with lower sperm concentration and seminal volume. Additionally, oxidative stress in testis may induce an increase of the percentage of sperm with DNA fragmentation. The latter, relate to other peculiarities such as alteration of the embryonic development, increased risk of miscarriage, and development of chronic morbidity in the offspring, including childhood cancers. (source)

Preparing for American Roe v. Wade protests in DC. Imagine that, Plywood USA. DC Police Gauntlets. AmeriKKKa.

Washington, On Edge About the Election, Boards Itself Up - The New York Times

This all connects, really, these issues of local electrical power outages, and war. War against Russia, and, well, local costs soaring: War against the people. Supply chain excuses. Oh, where oh where are those Republican pukes and Democratic pukes serving us, the people? Electrical outages? Check that one failure of leadership for massive deaths and injuries in simple households?

Ritter talks about Nato using nuclear weapons, talks about the stupidity of Americans, and actors and the cultural cancelling.

Here you go, Gonzalo Lira: Israel Provokes Russia

Because I’ve lost access to all my accounts and channels to the SBU (Ukraine’s secret police), I don’t have any way to promote my content—so please be so kind as to share this video with anyone whom you think might learn something. GL

He talks about how Jews, not just Zionists and those in Occupied Palestine, seem to collectively hate Russians. It’s racism, of course, to hate an entire people: Russians? And, will this YouTube be taken down? For the opinion of Lira saying that Jews seem to hate Russians, or, for, another reason?

So, on the Scheer Post, we get all sorts of mixed bag aggregated articles on Russia and Ukraine. Many are like this: “China Will Decide the Outcome of Russia v. the West: Is Putin the Face of the Future or the Final Gasp of the Past?”

John Feffer wrote it, and he is bought and sold — co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The original article came from Tom Dispatch. Feffer is self-described Jewish gay.

Look up George Soros and his Open Society Foundation. Look up DSA’s stance on pouring weapons and death into Ukraine. DSA is all for billions of weapons to Ukraine, and billions for ZioLensky to “operate” the Ukraine government, err, Mafia. This is how these pencil necks see their world:

In its attempt to swallow Ukraine whole, Russia has so far managed to bite off only the eastern Donbas region and a portion of its southern coast. The rest of the country remains independent, with its capital Kyiv intact.

No one knows how this meal will end. Ukraine is eager to force Russia to disgorge what it’s already devoured, while the still-peckish invader clearly has no interest in leaving the table.

Here some comments at Scheer Post, pushing back on this guy, and I won’t republish mine:

Robert Sinuhe:

This is what happens when you are seriously ignorant of facts. He seems to know what Mr. Putin is thinking which should prompt Mr. Putin to ask this fellow what he’s thinking. Complete nonsense!

Roger Hoffmann:

What a disappointing read from Scheerpost. As others have already noted the repeated falsehoods (Russiagate) and baseless claims (Russia wants to swallow Ukraine) and others, I won’t waste the time addressing them either.

I will only say that it is apparent that this writer, in stating a narrative that overlaps much with that of Washington and its mouthpieces, seems oblivious to (or else, dishonestly chooses to ignore) much of the actual history of this conflict- the context in which it emerged, the pleas and warnings not only by Russia but of many seasoned U.S. officers from military, Intel and Diplomatic corps alike, and that of Russia-expert western scholars; and the actions of the U.S. since 2014 at least.

My advice to the writer: please don’t write about things that you know so little about, especially if you want to persuade those who’ve taken the time to become informed.

Terrence Bennett:

Tom Dispatch is a now sadly Pro Nazi source for regressives.
I urge Robert Scheer to monitor and reject many former progressives who now appear on organs like the late great Tom Dispatch

So, taking it in the rear? The back alley abortions. The behind the box store automobile trunk deals for prescriptions and diapers. The people have a choice in what money goes here and there? No massive strike, rolling strikes, rebellion? Our lives are gutted more and more each day!

Rents? Is that on the Republicans’ and Democrats’ agenda?

Gerardo Vidal, who has lived in the same apartment in Queens, New York, with his family for 9 years, recently received a $900-a-month rent increase this year.

“It means having to uproot my entire family, given the fact we’re still having a difficult time earning money due to the pandemic and loss of jobs,” said Vidal. “It’s unfair that we are being basically forced out of places we lived in for nine years and that landlords can get away with this.” (source)

We’ll finish with Richard Wolff, on Capitalism and US Empire now that USA-Klanada-EU-UK are dumping their weapons on the world, and then a Brit who has been in Donbass reporting on the ground:

“The Economic, Political and Social Crisis of the United States.” One hour!

Here you go, the Nazi Zio-Zelensky using USA-French-German-Nato weapons to, well, bomb neighborhoods, bomb apartment blocks, bomb universities, bomb bomb bomb, and there are NO military targets in these volleys.

Graham Phillips: “20+ Minutes in Donetsk Under Shelling Just Now – Uncensored, Love Donbass, do what you can to help Donbass.”

Reality therapy. So, those transformers cost so much, uh? How many transformers in Donbass have been imploded by the USA-UK-France-Germany? Keep reading:

“National Security State Censoring of Anti-Imperialist Voices… the Latest Phase of its Long-Term Strategy to Divide and Control the Left” on Dissident Voice, by Stansfield Smith 

These secret US government and CIA operations have been detailed in The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played AmericaFinks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World’s Best Writers, The Cultural Cold War, and AFL-CIO’s Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage?

In 1977 Carl Bernstein revealed CIA interconnections with the big business media. More than 400 journalists collaborated with the CIA, with the consent of their media bosses. Working in a propaganda alliance with the CIA included: CBS, ABC, NBC, TimeNewsweekNew York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, Miami HeraldSaturday Evening Post and New York Herald Tribune. The New York Times still sends stories to US government for pre-publication approval, while CNN and others now employ national security state figures as “analysts.”

Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat operate similarly, participating in covert British government funded disinformation programs to “weaken” Russia. This involves collaboration with the Counter Disinformation & Media Development section of the British Foreign Office.

The CIA pays journalists in Germany, France, Britain, Australia and New Zealand to plant fake news. Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the largest German newspapers, showed how the CIA controls German media in Presstitutes: Embedded in the Pay of the CIA. Ulfkotte said the CIA had him plant fake stories in his paper, such as Libyan President Gaddafi building poison gas factories in 2011.

The CIA was closely involved with the long defunct National Students Association and with the trade union leadership. The AFL-CIO’s American Institute of Free Labor Development, received funding from USAID, the State Department, and NED to undermine militant union movements overseas and help foment murderous coups, as against President Allende of Chile (1973) and Brazil (1964), as well as defended the rule of their masters at home. This continues with the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, which receives $30 million a year from NED.

The CIA created publishing houses, such as Praeger Press, and used other companies such as John Wiley Publishing Company, Scribner’s, Ballantine Books, and Putnam to publish its books. It set up several political and literary journals such as Partisan Review. This CIA publishing amounted to over one thousand books, mostly geared to a liberal-left audience, seeking to bolster a third camp left, and undermine solidarity with the once powerful world communist movement.

Ahh, those transformers:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-197.png

No national movement to, well, nationalize the construction and deployment and installation of these valuable electrical units? Summer, heat, fridges, AC, fans, oxygen machines, well, you get how valuable electricity is and how dangerous disruption of it kill.

No Marshall Plan for that? For clinics in all neighborhoods? Social workers and counselors for millions of students? Aging in place adults, no help for them? All those with Complex PTSD?

Again, one little Oregon County, and, shit-show number 9,999,999, coming to a city-town-county-place near-by.

Footnote: So, I went to pick up some vital medications at the Walgreens in Newport. Lo and behold, that electrical outage a few days ago fried the Walgreens’ computer — here, in Newport, and then, in Lincoln City. So, there were  people lined up, freaked out since some of their meds are, well, life saving. That’s it for America, and it will only get worse as I wait in a line of 20 at the small USPS office in Waldport, where signs say, “Don’t leave junk mail here since we do not have a janitor . . .  We are short staffed so we have to cut Saturday pick up window services . . . Please be patient as we are understaffed.”

USPS, and Trump and Biden. Whew! Ben Franklin is turning in his grave. The light is out on his kite. Remember, USPS is a public service, and it is one foot in the grave:

What this report finds: The United States Postal Service is a beloved American institution that provides an essential public service to communities and good middle class jobs for workers. It is a model of efficiency and responsive to changing customer needs. But the conflicting demands made upon it by Congress and regulators put it in a precarious financial position even before the pandemic. Anti-government ideologues and special interests have long sought to privatize, shrink, or hobble the Postal Service. The Trump administration revived these efforts, spurred by the president’s opposition to mail voting and his animus toward Amazon, a major customer.

What needs to be done: The Biden administration and Congress must act to undo the damage and allow the Postal Service to adapt to meet unmet needs, including the revival of postal banking. (source)

Is Louis DeJoy's 10-Year Plan the Death Knell for the U.S. Postal Service?

The post How Many Concussions from Capitalists Can Americans Take? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Lethality of Washington’s Global Monroe Doctrine

LeRoy Clarke (Trinidad and Tobago), Now, 1970.

This past week, as part of its policy to dominate the American hemisphere, the United States government organised the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. US President Joe Biden made it clear early on that three countries in the hemisphere (Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela) would not be invited to the event, claiming that they are not democracies. At the same time, Biden was reportedly planning an upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia – a self-described theocracy. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s exclusionary stance, and so Mexico, Bolivia, and Honduras refused to come to the event. As it turned out, the summit was a fiasco.

Down the road, over a hundred organisations hosted a People’s Summit for Democracy, where thousands of people from across the hemisphere gathered to celebrate the actual democratic spirit which emerges from the struggles of peasants and workers, students and feminists, and all the people who are excluded from the gaze of the powerful. At this gathering, the presidents of Cuba and Venezuela joined in online to celebrate this festival of democracy and to condemn the weaponisation of democratic ideals by the United States and its allies.

Next year, 2023, will be the bicentennial of the Monroe Doctrine, when the US asserted its hegemony over the American hemisphere. The malign spirit of the Monroe Doctrine not only continues but has now been extended by the US government into a kind of Global Monroe Doctrine. In order to assert this preposterous claim on the entire planet, the United States has pursued a policy to ‘weaken’ what it sees as ‘near peer rivals’, namely China and Russia.

Philip Guston (Canada), Blackboard, 1969.

In July, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research – along with Monthly Review and No Cold War – will produce a booklet on the reckless military escalation by the US government against those whom it sees as its adversaries – mainly China and Russia. This booklet will include essays by John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, Deborah Veneziale, a journalist based in Italy, and John Ross, a member of the No Cold War collective. In the vein of that booklet, which will be announced in this newsletter, No Cold War has also produced briefing no. 3, Is the United States Preparing for War with Russia and China?, on Washington’s sabre-rattling and alarming march toward nuclear primacy.

The war in Ukraine demonstrates a qualitative escalation of the United States’ willingness to use military force. In recent decades, the US launched wars on developing countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Serbia. In these campaigns, the US knew it enjoyed overwhelming military superiority and that there was no risk of a nuclear retaliation. However, in threatening to bring Ukraine into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the US was prepared to risk crossing what it knew to be the ‘red lines’ of the nuclear armed state of Russia. This raises two questions: why has the US undertaken this escalation, and how far is the US now prepared to go in the use of military force against not only the Global South but major powers such as China or Russia?

Using Military Force to Compensate for Economic Decline

The answer to ‘why’ is clear: the US has lost in peaceful economic competition to developing countries in general and China in particular. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2016 China overtook the US as the world’s largest economy. As of 2021, China accounted for 19% of the global economy, compared to the US at 16%. This gap is only growing wider, and, by 2027, the IMF projects that China’s economy will outsize the US by nearly 30%. However, the US has maintained unrivalled global military supremacy – its military expenditure is larger than the next nine highest spending countries combined. Seeking to maintain unipolar global dominance, the US is increasingly substituting peaceful economic competition with military force.

Ikeda Manabu (Japan), Meltdown, 2013.

A good starting point to understand this strategic shift in US policy is the speech given by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on 26 May 2022. In it, Blinken openly admitted that the US does not seek military equality with other states, but military supremacy, particularly with respect to China: ‘President Biden has instructed the Department of Defense to hold China as its pacing challenge, to ensure that our military stays ahead’. However, with nuclear armed states such as China or Russia, military supremacy necessitates achieving nuclear supremacy – an escalation above and beyond the current war in Ukraine.

The Pursuit of Nuclear Primacy

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the US has systematically withdrawn from key treaties limiting the threat of use of nuclear weapons: in 2002, the US unilaterally exited  from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; in 2019, the US abandoned the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty; and, in 2020, the US withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty. Abandoning these treaties strengthened the US’ ability to seek nuclear supremacy.

Natalia Goncharova (Russia), Angels Throwing Stones on the City, 1911.

The ultimate aim of this US policy is to acquire ‘first strike’ capacity against Russia and China – the ability to inflict damage with a first use of nuclear weapons against Russia or China to the extent that it effectively prevents retaliation. As John Bellamy Foster has noted in a comprehensive study of this US nuclear build up, even in the case of Russia – which possesses the world’s most advanced non-US nuclear arsenal – this would ‘deny Moscow a viable second-strike option, effectively eliminating its nuclear deterrent altogether, through “decapitation”’. In reality, the fallout and threat of nuclear winter from such a strike would threaten the entire world.

This policy of nuclear primacy has long been pursued by certain circles within Washington. In 2006, it was argued in the leading US foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs that ‘It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike’.  Contrary to these hopes, the US has not yet been able to achieve a first strike capacity, but this is due to development of hypersonic missiles and other weapons by Russia and China – not a change in US policy.

From its attacks on Global South countries to its increased willingness to go to war with a great power such as Russia to attempting to gain first strike nuclear capacity, the logic behind the escalation of US militarism is clear: the United States is increasingly employing military force to compensate for its economic decline. In this extremely dangerous period, it is vital for humanity that all progressive forces unite to meet this great threat.

Shefa Salem (Libya), KASKA, Dance of War, 2020.

In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Global South remained gripped by a never-ending debt crisis, the United States bombed Iraq despite entreaties from the Iraqi government for a negotiated agreement. During that bombing, the Libyan writer Ahmad Ibrahim al-Faqih penned a lyrical poem, ‘Nafaq Tudiuhu Imra Wahida’ (‘A Tunnel Lit by a Woman’), in which he sang, ‘A time has passed, and another time has not come and will never come’. Gloom defined the moment.

Today, we are in very dangerous times. And yet, the despondency of al-Faqih does not define our sensibility. The mood has altered. There is a belief in a world beyond imperialism, a mood that is not only evident in countries such as Cuba and China, but equally in India and Japan, as well as amongst the hard-working people who would like our collective attention to be focused on the actual dilemmas of humanity and not on the ugliness of war and domination.

The post The Lethality of Washington’s Global Monroe Doctrine first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Imperialism Cannot Solve Our Problems

In learning more about the Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington set for June 18th, I came across this statement by Bishop William Barber, the campaign’s national co-chair:

Republicans say poverty is just a personal failure. And Democrats too often talk about the working class and those trying to make it into the middle class but refuse to talk expressly about poverty. Our debates are locked in struggles around and about trickle-down concepts of neoliberalism, and middle-class considerations.

He concluded that the country’s refusal to address poverty is “the basic moral contradiction” of our time.

I have to admit that I initially bristled at the idea of a “moral contradiction” because, as a non-religious person, that language sometimes raises red flags for me. But I began to think about how Marxists talk about the concept of contradiction.

What is a contradiction? All social phenomena contain contradictions. Contradictions aren’t simply accidents but essential features of what those objects are. For example, the U.S. is a society that describes itself as free and touts its wealth but is plagued by the poison of white supremacy and male supremacy. The constitutional system grants due process, but cops kill and beat thousands of people each year. It has 142 million people living in dire poverty or one paycheck, one health crisis, or one disaster away from financial desperation. More than 52 million workers earn less than $15 per hour and often can’t meet their basic needs.

U.S. leaders and capitalists brag about advanced technology, such as medical technology and knowledge. Still, they couldn’t prevent the loss of 1 million lives from COVID or 100,000 opioid overdose deaths, or 46,000 deaths from guns. We wring our hands while little change takes place. We wonder why we never see these things coming and constantly react only after so many people have been harmed.

Political leaders boast about an advanced educational system but cannot provide it free or at a reasonable cost to the mass of working-class people. Decades-long debt peonage is the best choice we have. As illiteracy grows and workers score poorly on tests that measure competence with mathematics and language, politicians cut school and university budgets.

These are essential contradictions that define the U.S. as a social formation. They aren’t just bad choices made by an otherwise just society.

This reality shapes how I read Barber’s comments. “Moral contradiction” causes one of the major political parties to demand the state control women’s bodies by banning safe abortions claiming the human rights of unborn fetuses. But then, the next day, it votes as a bloc against immediate steps to remedy a baby formula shortage. A baby formula shortage! They will demand pregnant women register themselves to track births and punish abortions but refuse to consider gun registration. The Republicans and fascists built a morally bankrupt political platform. But the moral contradictions of the capitalist market economy, which they cherish even above life itself, are central pillars of the whole system. Abortion, gun violence, and baby formula are just the most recent plain examples.

Contradictions

Why do we care about contradictions like this? Social systems change and develop based on how social and class forces address these contradictions and turn a system into a new substance. Many capitalists and their sympathizers see contradictions as mere inconsistencies or glitches. Reformers want to fix these glitches and bring our “values” back into alignment with our actions. Or, they want to mend these problems by creating philanthropic or socially innovative programs that help out the poor but leave the system intact.

Billionaires and fascists have different ideas about resolving contradictions. Think of Elon Musk’s recent embrace of the Republican Party and its fascist platform. He is mad that the government continues to investigate his suspicious financial activities, and he is afraid unions will weaken his absolute power in his companies. He wants state power that he can personally bend to his will to help him get over his emotional problems. He wants more power to resolve contradictions through coercion and legal force.

Imperialism uses war to resolve contradictions. Consider the U.S. government’s drive to perpetuate or expand the war in Ukraine. It manufactures images of Russian human rights abuses—some of which are undoubtedly true. But the U.S. record of torture, mass killings, destroying civilians, racist mass incarceration, assassinations, political interventions, and hybrid wars on a global scale, in just the past two decades, embarrass even people like Henry Kissinger, among the vilest of abusers. George W. Bush’s recent verbal slip wasn’t just a gaffe.

Though immoral, these aren’t simply moral inconsistencies. They are contradictions that comprise the structure of U.S. capitalism and its political system. Its capitalist class, on the whole, believes that it must maintain these structural forms of power if the U.S. is to keep its hegemonic position in the imperialist world system. In simple terms, these contradictions make the U.S. what it is as a country. This structure drives us from war crisis to economic crisis to health crisis and back all the way around again. So far, our only means of psychological survival has been self-induced amnesia. Forgetting, like self-medication, eases the pain of this moral contradiction, which I believe most of us feel very deeply.

Barber’s terminology about moral contradiction is essential. And amnesia is no longer a practical solution. However, working-class power transformed into social power could be the basis for an answer.

Imperialist world system

In the present world system, five fundamental contradictions are interconnected and reveal moral bankruptcy, logical inconsistencies, and anti-human tendencies that make capitalism what it is:

  • a world imperialist system that denies to most humans their national aspirations
  • worldwide poverty that denies human dignity on a scale of billions
  • deepening rates of exploitation that spark frequent crises of overproduction
  • global socialization of labor vs. the anarchy of national systems that rely on the capitalist market economy
  • excess capitalist production without rational planning for the survival of humanity and the planet.

What is a world system? World system is not a conspiratorial term, nor does it refer to “globalism” or the “deep state” or any mystifying right-wing concepts about evil hordes of racial others dominating the U.S. or Europeans. Those racist and anti-Semitic theories drive right-wing capitalist agendas and fascist violence.

The world system names the dominant form of global integration of countries into the capitalist-imperialist system in a particular period. For example, the European slave-trade-based capitalist development, led by Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Dutch in the 17th century, and Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, formed a world system based on markets in human beings as a financial basis for market and industrial capitalist development. It created a settler-colonial-slavery complex, which also drove Indigenous genocide in the Americas. It made modern capitalism possible. (Gerald Horne’s The Dawning of the Apocalypse, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism, The Counterrevolution of 1776, Negro Comrades of the Crown, and Confronting Black Jacobins can be read sequentially as a study of this world system. Joseph Inikori’s Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England is also an informative study of one aspect of that system.)

These kinds of global interactions gave capitalism a racial characteristic it still relies on to maintain its capacity to accumulate surplus value and recirculate it as new capital.

By the end of the 19th century, this slavery-settler system transitioned to an imperialist-colonial system. It kept critical features of the former, as settler features persisted in Southern Africa until 1994. And Canada, the U.S., and Australia continue to deny land and sovereignty to the Indigenous people who hold rightful claims. European powers, sometimes with agreement among themselves but always in fierce long-term competition, strove to conquer and dominate the entire earth.

That system collapsed during the Great Depression and subsequent global war. Fascism—the most extreme form of capitalism and imperialism—pitted Europeans against one another in unprecedented ways. Within two decades, the colonialism system followed suit.

After this unprecedented collapse of the world system, the U.S. managed to rise to the top of the heap. The debts incurred by the imperialist powers and the U.S.’s skillful management of the shift to dollarized neo-colonial control of former European colonies enabled this transition. (W. Alphaeus Hunton’s Decision in Africa and Walter Rodney’s How Europe Under Developed Africa are essential for this history of U.S./European colonialism and neo-colonialism in African countries.)

Essentially, the U.S. recreated and managed a world system that expropriated vast tons of raw resources from the colonized world to fuel its own and Europe’s redevelopment after World War II. The collapse of the colonial regimes through national liberation struggles aided by the socialist countries prompted a transition to the domination of finance capital in the neoliberal regime of structural adjustments, privatization, forced labor, and hybrid war.

That new regime successfully produced wealth and power for U.S. capitalists that one commentator characterized as the “end of history.” Meanwhile, vast billions of the human population suffered from extreme poverty, hunger, lack of health resources, rapid environmental change, disease, war, and conflict.

The end of “the end of history” came after a series of financialization crises from the late 1990s to the 2007 housing collapse, which ruined the bliss of everlasting capitalist success. The failure to conquer Iraq and Afghanistan, which sucked trillions out of the U.S. economy, further signaled U.S. decline.

Unlike the 1930s, when the U.S. political system responded to manage the contradictions through “Keynesian” economic theory and New Deal social democracy, the present system blunders along with handouts to the banks, tax cuts for billionaires, and more austerity. Today, we are at the end of 60 years of declining rates of growth that pale in comparison to China’s 8%-9% rates of growth each year for the past 40 years.

The U.S. political class frequently admits that it can’t afford the record hundreds of billions pumped into military spending and a universal health system each year. It can’t afford to buy new missile systems and quality schools and universities. It can’t provide a meaningful safety net and ensure record profits and wealth accumulation for millionaires and billionaires with low tax rates.

Even as globalization generates the socialization of labor on a world scale, the anarchy of capitalist market economies within national frames produced new internal contradictions in those ruling-class agendas. (I am indebted to Cheng Enfu’s China’s Economic Dialectic for the phrasing of this contradiction.)

This contradiction between the needs of the empire and the interests of national economic and political systems is evident in the conflict over Ukraine. Consider how deeply and violently the U.S. ruling class split over the Russia-Europe contest. Trump was willing to dump Europe for an alignment with Russia, while much of the U.S. capitalist maintains corporate ties to Western Europe. We have yet to understand how much this conflict has altered and shaped U.S. domestic politics. (And the impending internal conflict over links to China has only been kicked down the road.)

Over here

The U.S. capitalist class aspires to maintain its dominance of the imperialist world system. But this means they have to carefully manage an increasingly expensive military, intelligence apparatus, local police, and border patrol system. The institutions operate strictly for the purpose of global and domestic repression of dissent. These are the only spending priorities for which a nearly unanimous Washington consensus exists.

At the same time, however, capitalists discovered that their goal of endless higher profits had been little more than accounting schemes and fantasy for some decades. Corporate policies drove record profits with higher prices, lower wages, and benefit cuts, all aided by a significantly weakened labor movement since the 1980s. Further, accounting tricks like stock buy-backs and debt schemes made bubbles and fantasy wealth a mainstay of Wall Street chicanery.

The capitalist class’s drive to manage the top spot in the imperialist system propels deepening exploitation worldwide, and in the U.S. Initially, globalization of production made the prices of imported goods seem like a boon. But then, the loss of manufacturing jobs meant a weakened labor movement, lower pay, and more frequent cycles of simply not being able to buy things. In some communities, whole neighborhoods became ghost towns. City services vanished overnight. Workers found they needed more than one job to survive. Consumption levels dropped, producing new levels of poverty combined with new demands for higher exploitation rates.

Racist mass incarceration became a mechanism for resolving some aspects of that crisis simply by cultivating and exploiting racism to punish Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant people with imprisonments, criminalization, and mass deportations. Euro-American racial solidarity seemed to be an appropriate alternative to multi-racial working-class solidarity.

Today, the performance of racial reforms (that aren’t reforms) and openly fascistic racist doctrine (great replacement dogmas, ravings about critical race theory, book burnings, and xenophobia) stand in for actual resolutions to deepening exploitation. Philanthropy and the non-profit industrial complex take the place of systemic solutions to poverty.

The anti-war movements (2002-2008), Occupy Wall Street (2011), #BlackLivesMatter (2014-2020), and worker uprising (2020-2022) have lain bare the crisis of the political system. They have uplifted specific analyses of different aspects of these five main contradictions.

Imperialist double jeopardy

Withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan signaled the severe jeopardy of U.S. dominance of the imperialist world system. In contrast to the past, it appears unable to assert its agenda for Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the South Pacific, or even Latin America, which it had long proclaimed its “backyard.” De-dollarization combined with new military blocs appear to be steps toward sovereignty for some countries.

Will this produce a new, competing imperialist system? Will this unique situation solidify into two new geopolitical and economic blocs? Are we simply witnessing a deadly realignment of imperialist forces? Yes, to each is possible—unless we bring forward internationalist, working-class revolutionary solutions.

The U.S. intervention in Eastern Europe, specifically in Ukraine, from 2014 to the present, has centered on promoting a proxy military conflict with Russia. State Department officials recently admitted to this. However, like its invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the results have been mixed for U.S. imperialism. It feels compelled to continue with this dangerous and deadly strategy, unfortunately.

While the most violent part of that conflict is still in its early stages, many ruling class commentators may already be crying “uncle.” The New York Times recently opined that a negotiated settlement that concedes territory inhabited by Russian-language speakers to Russia might be necessary. Further, to provide promised energy resources to European allies, the U.S. was compelled to walk back its de-humanizing sanctions regime against Cuba and Venezuela.

On the gain side, the U.S.-Europe faction has drawn more “neutral” Sweden and Finland into its orbit and extracted billions in new contracts for U.S.-based weapons makers from Germany, the U.K., and other countries. But even these gains are fraught with localized contradictions as NATO isn’t an ideologically unified bloc, and its actors hold competing and contradictory interests.

On the loss side, Russia controls vast amounts of natural gas and petroleum desperately needed in Eastern Europe. Their military power has proven to be far more robust than expected. Their restraint in this war (relative to U.S. “shock and awe” and Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo Bay-level atrocities) has proven disappointing to Western human rights watchers who regularly side with U.S. government interests.

The petroleum element of this war produces an internal domestic problem for the U.S. government. Rationed resources have driven up prices, even as oil companies look to deepen their already sizeable profits on gas-guzzling U.S. consumers. High prices are another form of deepening exploitation of workers and provoke political instability. The fascists are already exploiting this instability.

Meanwhile, the Western media and political establishments have soft-pedaled fascist movements that the U.S. has funded and used to spark international conflicts along the Ukraine-Russia border since 2014. Like a page out of the Cold War playbook, the U.S. government has supported extremists painted as “freedom fighters.” Those choices have never ended well for U.S. imperialism, even if it allows them to accomplish short-term goals. Think of the various U.S.-funded drug cartels in Central America (like Noriega’s in Panama), the mujahideen in Central Asia, the “contras” in Nicaragua, and the militarists in Chile, Indonesia, and South Korea.

End of humanity?

While the imperialist world system leaders plotted a Ukraine-Russia war, cried crocodile tears about “blonde, blue-eyed” refugees, and pumped billions of dollars into Ukraine to keep the war going. A United Nations call for immediate, urgent global attention to human-caused climate change went almost unheeded.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in April 2022 that if the world continues on its present course, humans can expect new levels of suffering due to “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages, and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals.” He referred to a report by the International Panel on Climate Change that showed swift and deep action is needed within the next couple of years to turn back the worst effects of the changing climate.

Few within the U.S. political class seem concerned, let alone capable of leveraging the sorts of emissions reductions needed to protect human life. Indeed, maintaining world system dominance appears to be their only operating concern.

What do we do with these contradictions? They show us that imperialism cannot cure itself. Imperialism cannot deliver human rights and dignity to the people it regularly exploits and oppresses. Capitalism cannot end racism or stop mass killers motivated by racist theories. It cannot suspend its need for racist super-exploitation or its exploitation and destruction of natural resources, like the air we breathe, water, and soil in which we plant crops.

We have no time to celebrate the failure of capitalism to solve the problems it has created.

The working class, especially its socialist and communist parties, can fight for more prominent organizations, clearer analysis, and class leadership. The socialization of labor on a global scale creates unprecedented levels of working-class power. It is the one lever with which we can move the immovable force of ruling class power and resolve the major contradictions of the present to change this world into something new. When working-class power becomes the supreme power in the world system, we have the means to win peace, avoid climate disasters, reduce exploitation, uplift the national aspirations of the world’s peoples, and bring our values into line with our actions.

The post Imperialism Cannot Solve Our Problems first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Peace Question and Imperialism

The war in Ukraine is a propaganda war, with all of the belligerents, sponsors, and their allies churning out — through an abjectly subservient media — masses of lies and disinformation. In this regard, they resemble other wars, but with an added dose of shamelessness.

For that reason, it is difficult to discern how the war is being conducted or who has the military advantage at any time. Like all modern wars, atrocity stories abound and losses are wildly exaggerated.

But what separates this war from wars in the recent and not-so-recent past is the near-absence of an organized anti-war movement. It is more than a curious oddity that there are few actions in the streets or campaigns of influence or resistance to stop the mayhem of this brutal war. Sure, there are generic appeals to cut military budgets or oppose war philosophically, but little action to stop this particular war. In spite of the so-called “fog” of war, everyone knows that soldiers and civilians alike are dying in significant numbers, that bodies are ripped apart, homes destroyed, and people dislodged from their homes. No amount of “fog” can hide this.

Of course, there are a few prominent voices — Pope Francis, even Henry Kissinger — who have called for a cessation of fighting and negotiations. And Communists and trade unionists in Italy, Greece, and Turkey have blocked NATO weapons shipments, staged demonstrations, and picketed embassies.

But in most cities, states, and countries, there are few actions directed against the war in Ukraine. And most surprisingly, the leftists in Europe and the Americas, usually leading the way against war, are largely silent. They haven’t even minimally demanded that their own countries stay out of this war.

Instead, they have tacitly or openly sided with one belligerent or another. I have written and spoken on different occasions against taking sides in the conflict. Moreover, I have sought to place the war in the context of classical imperialism and suggested that the left’s support of either belligerent or its sponsors is misplaced, akin to the collapse of left opposition at the beginning of World War I. In that case, the left succumbed to narrow nationalist appeals. In this case, the left is succumbing to a muddled concept of imperialism and anti-imperialism.

Rather than repeat the argument, it might be useful to look at how and why leftists justify their support for one side or the other and refrain from adding their voice to the cause of peace in Ukraine.

It is easy to dismiss those who uncritically support Ukraine.
Apart from the rabid nationalists of the “Glory to Ukraine” crowd, who welcome the conflict and hope to draw the Western capitalist countries into a crusade against Russia, there are those who simplistically see the war as a naked aggression with no back story. From ignorance of the post-Soviet Ukrainian history of corruption, reaction, Western meddling and aggression, or from willful collaboration with US and NATO intrigue, these new Cold Warriors seek a Russian defeat and have no interest in an immediate peaceful settlement or concern about the mayhem.

Against them are the more measured comrades who, remembering the Cold War standoff between the US and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies, conflate today’s Russia with the Soviet Union. They recognize how the Soviet Union constituted a pole of resistance that countered and sometimes reversed the Cold War imperialist alliance’s designs on the world. US imperialism, the dominant imperialist power at the time, was effectively checked by the Soviet Union from 1945 until the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. These anti-imperialists see Russia, in its war on Ukraine, as a similar emerging pole against US imperialism and see Russia’s invasion as an expression of a break-up of the absolute military and economic US dominance of the world established after the departure of the Soviet Union. For them, a multipolar world is in birth.

There are shards of truth in this view, but Russia is not the Soviet Union. It does not share its ideology; rather, its motives replace Soviet internationalism with an aspiring great power nationalism. While it exploits cracks in US global hegemony, it does not offer an alternative vision or unconditional assistance to the victims of capitalism and imperialism. In that regard, Russia is no Cuba, either.

Russia’s foreign policy is capitalist opportunism: friends with Turkey or Israel one moment, in conflict the next moment. Russia aligns with Saudi Arabia when it’s economically profitable, while fighting Saudi proxies in Syria. There are no consistent principles guiding it. Nor can there be for a country that rejected socialism for capitalism. Those who see Russian foreign policy and alliances as progressive are very selective in their examples.

Russia’s leaders readily embrace the capitalist ethos and reject the Soviet project, though they appeal, when needed, to Soviet symbols and traditions when useful.

It may be true that the Russian invasion ultimately will achieve the goals sought by its ruling class. And it may be true that these gains will come at the expense of US imperialism and its ruling class, but how does that move us any closer to a world of peace and social justice? The rivalries remain, the goals of the respective ruling classes remain uncertain and unstable, despite their claims of peace-loving and democracy-seeking; and the danger of conflict remains high or even higher.

There are others who envision the war — insofar as Russia is challenging US power — as a blow for those on the bottom of what we might envision as the imperialist “pyramid” — the developing countries. Jenny Clegg, for example, writing in the Morning Star, sees the development of “competitors” to US dominance as establishing the first steps toward a multipolar world. She correctly notes that multipolarity “is not a policy but an emerging objective trend…”

Further, she sees unequal exchange between the highly developed countries and the developing countries as the principal contradiction — the contradiction defining imperialism and anti-imperialism.

While this center-periphery distinction was popular and influential among independent Western “Marxists” in the era when the working classes in the center — the West — were generally tamed by social democratic opportunism, it was neither particularly insightful nor of continued relevance. Marx went to great lengths to show that exchange, under capitalist relations of production, was not generally unequal — values exchange for values. But those same relations of production always produce and reproduce inequality. The locus of inequality — capitalist exploitation — is embedded in the capitalist system, not in the thievery of unequal exchange.

As Lenin elaborated, uneven development is a feature of relations between people, social institutions, firms in the same industry, between industries, and between countries, and even continents. It is not unequal exchange that accounts for the uneven development, but differences in the pace of development, cultural and social practices, political and other institutions, and most importantly, especially in the epoch of imperialism, the stunting effects of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and their legacy.

In the last half-century, technological developments have freed capitalists to move, access, and service the material productive forces — factories, transportation networks, resources — in order to gain access to formerly inaccessible labor markets, cheapening labor in general. At the same time, this development created rising living standards in some developing countries, while lowering them in some advanced capitalist countries.

Consequently, some capitalist countries — like India, Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia — have become powerful rivals to the late-twentieth-century great powers.

The concept of “unequal” exchange as an explanation for the inequality between developed and developing countries (and for the difference between imperialism and anti-imperialism) fails because it implies that should exchanges become equal, that same inequality between states would evaporate. Even more importantly, it suggests that equal exchange — and not an end of capitalism — would signal the demise of imperialism.

To understand imperialism as a conflict between advancing and lagging development based upon the unequal terms of economic activity — a kind of organized thievery — is to misunderstand the nature of exploitation under capitalism. Intense competition between players — big and small — for markets, resources, labor, and capital are the essence of capitalism and imperialism. There is no sharp line between this competition and war.

Clegg wants us to believe that in a multipolar world, with US power diminished, establishing equal exchange will bring forth a period of civil, well-behaved, respectful competition. She insists that this contrast with today’s dangerous world is captured by the distinction between competition and rivalry, a distinction that I think few will find satisfying. In an aside, she explains: “competition is not the same as rivalry — think competing in a race as opposed to deliberately tripping over your rival in that race.” To think that sporting competition doesn’t evolve commonly into no-holds-barred conflict and into violence is surely out of touch with the history of both sports and international politics in the twentieth century.

From the reliance on the now intellectually fashionable and prominent rational choice or game theory to the behavior of capitalist enterprises, from the constant haggling over borders, sea lanes and territorial waters to establishment of military and economic alliances, there is little evidence that capitalist countries are striving for a fair economic playing field with fixed, transparent, and respected rules. “Win-win” is not part of the capitalist vocabulary.

Clegg writes of “the old — US hegemonic power” as having “been in relative decline” and the “new — a more equal distribution of wealth and power” as developing, albeit slowly. While one might happily concede that aspects of US power and influence have been challenged and dampened, while one might add that the US shows many signs of economic, political, and social decline, it does not follow, nor is it likely, that any “new distribution of wealth and power” will be more equitable or just. And most importantly, even if wealth and power were more equitably distributed between countries, there is little reason to believe it would be more equitably distributed within those countries. Clegg’s multipolarity can make no such promises to the working classes.

Finally, there are those on the left who have carried on a lifelong struggle against US imperialism and can only see an enemy of our enemy as our friend. There are few people on the righteous left now alive who can remember a time when the US was not the leading great power and the anchor for the capitalist alliance against socialism, socialism as a legitimate political current, as a rival to global capitalism, and as a pole rallying the forces of anti-imperialism.

Therefore, it is hard to envision the world not benefitting from the defanging of US imperialism, from its fall as a great power. No great power in our time has caused more deadly mischief. But that surely displays a weak understanding of capitalism and its stages of development.

There were nationalist leaders in various countries under the boot of British imperialism in the interwar period who welcomed the rise of Hitler and Tojo, greeting them as possible saviors from hundreds of years of suppression by the British Empire, the leading imperialist of the time.

Subhas Chandra Bose, for example, an Indian nationalist leader who was once president of the Indian National Congress, was so deeply committed to overthrowing British rule in India that he actively and unapologetically collaborated with the Nazis and Japanese in World War II. This myopia is an extreme version of the blinders worn by many anti-imperialists who fail to understand the logic of imperialism and its unbreakable link to capitalism.

Chandra Bose demonstrates the hollowness of narrow nationalism and obsessive self-regard over viewing the world through the lens of class and class solidarity.

The struggle against US imperialism, like the struggle against its predecessor, the British Empire, will ultimately be resolved at home when the people finally refuse to continue paying the price for their rulers’ grand designs. Of course, those oppressed by imperialism play an equally important role, that of resisters; though imperialism like rust, never sleeps. It is an imperative, a demand made by capitalist accumulation — if it is defeated in one place, it will surely find another place to satisfy its lust. This dynamic only finally ends when our world finds socialism. The wishful thinking of a benign capitalism with all participants peacefully on an even playing field is just that — a wishful thought.

Multipolarity — a notion first discussed by bourgeois academics looking for tools to understand the dynamics of global relations — has been adopted by a segment of the anti-imperialist left. While it assuredly describes an actual trend emerging, as Jenny Clegg acknowledges, it has often been presented as an anti-imperialist stage shifting the world balance of forces in the direction of a better world.

I have argued that this is a retreat from classical imperialism as understood by VI Lenin and his followers. In the context of an unstable world in ideological disorder and suffering untold crises, there are no guarantees that the poles that emerge or challenge the post-Cold War super-pole are a step forward or a step back simply because they are alternative poles. Undoubtedly, any resistance that weakens the asymmetry of power that the US holds should be welcome. But we should not presume that every opponent will become a force for stability, justice, and peace. Knowing what we know about the history of capitalism from its first expansionist era accumulating involuntary human capital to exploit the riches of the new world should chasten our expectations about new rivals to US imperialism.

With the fall of the Soviet Union as a backdrop and the uncertainty left in its wake, we should be cautious about anointing any new candidates for the role of arch-rival not only to US imperialism, but to all imperialism as well as its genesis, capitalism.

While the left futilely disputes the victim and the victimizer, working people are dying unnecessarily, suffering horrific wounds, homelessness, and despair — all the products of modern war. Working class lives should not be proxies in ideological debates. Events will decide who has the correct understanding of imperialism, but history will not be kind to those who failed, in the meantime, to oppose the war and to seek a peaceful solution.

The post The Peace Question and Imperialism first appeared on Dissident Voice.

New York Times admits truth of Haitian coup

“A Haitian president demands reparations and ends up in exile”, declared the front-page of Wednesday’s New York Times. Eighteen years later those who opposed the US, French and Canadian coup have largely won the battle over the historical record.

French ambassador Thierry Burkard admits that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s call for the restitution of Haiti’s debt (ransom) of independence partly explains why he was ousted in 2004. Burkard told the Times the elected president’s removal was “a coup” that was “probably a bit about” Aristide’s campaign for France to repay Haiti.

Other major outlets have also investigated the coup recently. In 2020 Radio-Canada’s flagship news program “Enquête” interviewed Denis Paradis, the Liberal minister responsible for organizing the 2003 Ottawa Initiative on Haiti where US, French and Canadian officials discussed ousting the elected president and putting the country under UN trusteeship. Paradis admitted to Radio-Canada that no Haitian officials were invited to discuss their own country’s future and the imperial triumvirate broached whether “the principle of sovereignty is unassailable?” Enquête also interviewed long time Haitian Canadian activist and author Jean Saint-Vil who offered a critical perspective on the discussion to oust Aristide.

Radio-Canada and the Times’ coverage was influenced by hundreds of articles published by solidarity campaigners in left wing outlets. Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment: Repression and Resistance in Haiti, 2004–2006, Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority, Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation, An Unbroken Agony Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President provide richer documentation about the coup, as do documentaries Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits, Haiti Betrayed and Aristide and the Endless Revolution.

The Times article on Aristide’s ouster was part of a series on imperialism in Haiti the paper published on its front page over four days. “The Ransom” detailed the cost to Haiti — calculated at between $21 billion and $115 billion — of paying France to recognize its independence. “A bank created for Haiti funneled wealth to France” showed how Crédit Industriel et Commercial further impoverished the nation in the late 1800s while “Invade Haiti, Wall Street urged, And American military obliged” covered the brutal 1915–34 US occupation, which greatly reshaped its economy to suit foreign capitalists.

The Times decision to spend tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars on the series was no doubt influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement and the paper’s 1619 project on slavery. Additionally, Saint-Vil and other Haitian-North American activists have been calling for France to repay the ransom for more than two decades. In 2010 a group of mostly Canadian activists published a fake announcement indicating that France would repay the debt. Tied to France’s Bastille Day and the devastating 2010 earthquake, the stunt by the Committee for the Reimbursement of the Indemnity Money Extorted from Haiti (CRIME) forced Paris to deny it, which the Times reported. The group also published a public letter that garnered significant international attention.

While these campaigns likely spurred the series, a number of academics made it about themselves. White Harvard professor Mary Lewis bemoaned that her research assistant was cited in “The Ransom” but she wasn’t. Another academic even apologized for sharing the important story. “I regret sharing the NYT article on Haiti yesterday. So many scholars are noting their egregious editorial practices. The writers of the article did not properly credit their sources.” Unfortunately, the academics’ tweets received thousands of likes.

Leaving aside the pettiness of academia, the series is not without questions and criticisms. First, will the Times apply the historical logic of the series to its future coverage of Haiti or continue acting as a stenographer for the State Department? More directly, why didn’t the series mention the “Core Group” that largely rules Haiti today? The series is supposed to show how foreign intervention has contributed to Haitian impoverishment and political dysfunction, but the Times ignores a direct line between the 2004 coup and foreign alliance that dominates the country today.

Last week Haitians protested in front of the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince. They chanted against the Core Group, which consists of representatives from the US, Canada, EU, OAS, UN, Spain, Brazil and France. A protester banged a rock on the gates. Previously, protesters have hurled rocks and molotov cocktails, as well as burned tires, in front of the Canadian Embassy.

The Times series has solidified the historical narrative regarding the 2004 coup and popularized the history of imperialism in Haiti. The series is a boon to North Americans campaigning for a radical shift in policy towards a country born of maybe the greatest victory ever for equality and human dignity.

But the point of activism is not simply to describe the world, but to change it.

The post New York Times admits truth of Haitian coup first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Keir Starmer has returned western imperialism to the core of Labour policy

The local authority election results earlier this month in the UK were as bleak as expected for Boris Johnson’s government, with the electorate ready to punish the ruling party both for its glaring corruption and rocketing high-street prices.

A few weeks earlier, the police fined Johnson – the first of several such penalties he is expected to receive – for attending a series of parties that broke the very lockdown rules his own government set. And the election took place as news broke that the UK would soon face recession and the highest inflation rate for decades.

In the circumstances, one might have assumed the opposition Labour Party under Keir Starmer would romp home, riding a wave of popular anger. But in reality, Starmer’s party fared little better than Johnson’s. Outside London, Labour was described as “treading water” across much of England.

Starmer is now two years into his leadership and has yet to make a significant mark politically. Labour staff are cheered that in opinion polls the party is finally ahead – if marginally – of Johnson’s Tories. Nonetheless, the public remains adamant that Starmer does not look like a prime minister in waiting.

That may be in large part because he rarely tries to land a blow against a government publicly floundering in its own corruption.

When Johnson came close to being brought down at the start of the year, as the so-called “partygate scandal” erupted with full force, it was not through Labour’s efforts. It was because of relentless leaks presumed to be from Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former adviser turned nemesis.

Starmer has been equally incapable of cashing in on the current mutinous rumblings against Johnson from within his own Tory ranks.

Self-inflicted wounds

Starmer’s ineffectualness seems entirely self-inflicted.

In part, that is because his ambitions are so low. He has been crafting policies to look more like a Tory-lite party that focuses on “the flag, veterans [and] dressing smartly”, as an internal Labour review recommended last year.

But equally significantly, he has made it obvious he sees his first duty not to battle for control of the national political terrain against Johnson’s government, but to expend his energies on waging what is becoming a permanent internal war on sections of his own party.

That has required gutting Labour of large parts of the membership that were attracted by his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, a democratic socialist who spent his career emphasising the politics of anti-racism and anti-imperialism.

To distance himself from Corbyn, Starmer has insisted on the polar opposites. He has been allying ever more closely with Israel, just as a new consensus has emerged in the human rights community that Israel is a racist, apartheid state.

And he has demanded unquestioning loyalty to Nato, just as the western military alliance pours weapons into Ukraine, in what looks to be rapidly becoming a cynical proxy war, dissuading both sides from seeking a peace agreement and contributing to a surge in the stock price of the West’s military industries.

Broken promises

Starmer’s direction of travel flies in the face of promises he made during the 2020 leadership election that he would heal the internal divisions that beset his predecessor’s tenure.

Corbyn, who was the choice of the party’s largely left-wing members in 2015, immediately found himself in a head-on collision with the dominant faction of right-wing MPs in the Labour parliamentary caucus as well as the permanent staff at head office.

Once leader, Starmer lost no time in stripping Corbyn of his position as a Labour MP. He cited as justification Corbyn’s refusal to accept evidence-free allegations of antisemitism against the party under his leadership that had been loudly amplified by an openly hostile media.

Corbyn had suffered from a years-long campaign, led by pro-Israel lobby groups and the media, suggesting his criticisms of Israel for oppressing the Palestinian people were tantamount to hatred of Jews. A new definition of antisemitism focusing on Israel was imposed on the party to breathe life into such allegations.

But the damage was caused not just by Labour’s enemies. Corbyn was actively undermined from within. A leaked internal report highlighted emails demonstrating that party staff had constantly plotted against him and even worked to throw the 2017 election, when Corbyn was just a few thousand votes short of winning.

With Brexit thrown into the mix at the 2019 election – stoking a strong nativist mood in the UK – Corbyn suffered a decisive defeat at Johnson’s hands.

But as leader, Starmer did not use the leaked report as an opportunity to reinforce party democracy, as many members expected. In fact, he reinstated some of the central protagonists exposed in the report, even apparently contemplating one of them for the position of Labour general secretary.

He also brought in advisers closely associated with former leader Tony Blair, who turned Labour decisively rightwards through the late 1990s and launched with the US an illegal war on Iraq in 2003.

Instead, Starmer went after the left-wing membership, finding any pretext – and any means, however draconian – to finish the job begun by the saboteurs.

He has rarely taken a break from hounding the left-wing membership, even if a permanent turf war has detracted from the more pressing need to concentrate on the Tory government’s obvious failings.

Flooded with arms

Starmer’s flame-war against the left has become so extreme that, as some critics have pointed out, both Pope Francis and Amnesty International would face expulsion from Starmer’s Labour Party were they members.

The pope is among a growing number of observers expressing doubts about the ever-more explicit intervention by the US and its Nato allies in Ukraine that seems designed to drag out the war, and raise the death toll, rather than advance peace talks.

In fact, recent views expressed by officials in Washington risk giving credence to the original claims made by Russian President Vladimir Putin justifying his illegal invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Before that invasion, Moscow officials had characterised Nato’s aggressive expansion across Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union, and its cosying up to Ukraine, as an “existential threat”. Russia even warned that it might use nuclear weapons if they were seen as necessary for its defence.

The Kremlin’s reasons for concern cannot be entirely discounted. Two Minsk peace accords intended to defuse a bloody eight-year civil war between Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and ethnic Russian communities in eastern Ukraine, on Russia’s border, have gone nowhere.

Instead, Ukraine’s government pushed for closer integration into Nato to the point where Putin warned of retaliation if Nato stationed missiles, potentially armed with nuclear warheads, on Russia’s doorstep. They would be able to strike Moscow in minutes, undermining the premise of mutually assured destruction that long served as the basis of a Cold War detente.

In response to Russia’s invasion, Nato has flooded Ukraine with weapons while the US has been moving to transfer a whopping $40bn in military aid to Kyiv – all while deprioritising pressure on Moscow and Kyiv to revisit the Minsk accords.

Nato weapons were initially supplied on the basis that they would help Ukraine defend itself from Russia. But that principle appears to have been quickly jettisoned by Washington.

Last month, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin declared that the aim was instead to “see Russia weakened” – a position echoed by Nato former Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The New York Times has reported that Washington is involved in a “classified” intelligence operation to help Ukraine kill senior Russian generals.

US officials now barely conceal the fact that they view Ukraine as a proxy war – one that sounds increasingly like the scenario Putin laid out when justifying his invasion as pre-emptive: that Washington intends to sap Russia of its military strength, push Nato’s weapons and potentially its troops right up against Russia’s borders, and batter Moscow economically through sanctions and an insistence that Europe forgo Russian gas.

The existential threat Putin feared has become explicit US policy, it seems.

Fealty to Nato

These are the reasons the pope speculated last week that, while Russia’s actions could not be justified, the “barking of Nato at the door of Russia” might, in practice, have “facilitated” the invasion. He also questioned the supply of weapons to Ukraine in the context of profiteering from the war: “Wars are fought for this: to test the arms we have made.”

Pope Francis, bound by formal Vatican rules of political neutrality, has to be cautious in what he says. And yet Starmer has deemed similar observations made by activists in the Labour party as grounds for expulsion.

The Labour leader has clashed head-on with the Stop the War Coalition, which Corbyn helped found in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The group played a central role in mobilising opposition to Britain’s participation, under Blair, in the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq.

Stop the War, which is seen as close to the Labour left, has long been sceptical of Nato, a creature of the Cold War that proved impervious to the collapse of the Soviet Union and has gradually taken on the appearance of a permanent lobby for the West’s military industries.

Stop the War has spoken out against both Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the decades-long expansion by Nato across Eastern Europe that Moscow cites as justification for its war of aggression. Starmer, however, has scorned that position as what he calls “false equivalence”.

In a commentary published in the Guardian newspaper, he denied that Stop the War were “benign voices for peace” or “progressive”. He termed Nato “a defensive alliance that has never provoked conflict”, foreclosing the very debate anti-war activists – and Pope Francis – seek to begin.

Starmer also threatened 11 Labour MPs with losing the whip – like Corbyn – if they did not immediately remove their names from a Stop the War statement that called for stepping up moves towards a diplomatic solution. More recently, he has warned MPs that they will face unspecified action from the party if they do not voice “unshakeable support for Nato”.

Starmer has demanded “a post 9/11” style surge in arms expenditure in response to the war in Ukraine, insisting that Nato must be “strengthened”.

He has shut down the Twitter account of Labour’s youth wing for its criticisms of Nato.

In late March he proscribed three small leftist groups – Labour Left Alliance, Socialist Labour Network, and the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty – adding them to four other left-wing groups that he banned last year. Stop the War could soon be next.

Starmer’s relentless attacks on anti-war activism in Labour fly in the face of his 10 pledges, the platform that helped him to get elected. They included a commitment – reminiscent of Pope Francis – to “put human rights at the heart of foreign policy. Review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice”.

But once elected, Starmer has effectively erased any space for an anti-war movement in mainstream British politics, one that wishes to question whether Nato is still a genuinely defensive alliance or closer to a lobby serving western arms industries that prosper from permanent war.

In effect, Starmer has demanded that the left out-compete the Tory government for fealty to Nato’s militarism. The war in Ukraine has become the pretext to force underground not only anti-imperialist politics but even Vatican-style calls for diplomacy.

Apartheid forever

But Starmer is imposing on Labour members an even more specific loyalty test rooted in Britain’s imperial role: support for Israel as a state that oppresses Palestinians.

Starmer’s decision to distance himself and Labour as far as possible from Corbyn’s support for Palestinian rights initially seemed to be tactical, premised on a desire to avoid the antisemitism smears that plagued his predecessor.

But that view has become progressively harder to sustain.

Starmer has turned a deaf ear to a motion passed last year by Labour delegates calling for UK sanctions against Israel as an apartheid state. References to it have even been erased from the party’s YouTube channel. Similarly, he refused last month to countenance Israel’s recent designation as an apartheid state by Amnesty and a raft of other human rights groups.

Last November, Starmer delivered a fawningly pro-Israel speech alongside Israel’s ultra-nationalist ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, in which he repeatedly conflated criticism of Israel with antisemitism.

He has singled out anti-Zionist Jewish members of Labour – more so than non-Jewish members – apparently because they are the most confident and voluble critics of Israel in the party.

And now, in the run-up to this month’s local elections, he has flaunted his party’s renewal of ties with the Israeli Labor party, which severed relations during Corbyn’s tenure.

Senior officials from the Israeli party joined him and his deputy, Angela Rayner, in what was described as a “charm offensive”, as they pounded London streets campaigning for the local elections. It was hard not to interpret this as a slap in the face to swaths of the Labour membership.

The Israeli Labor party founded Israel by engineering a mass ethnic cleansing campaign, as documents unearthed by Israeli historians have confirmed, that saw hundreds of thousands of Palestinians expelled from their homeland.

Israel’s Labor party has continued to play a key role both in entrenching illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories to displace Palestinians, and in formulating legal distinctions between Jewish and Palestinian citizenship that have cemented the new consensus among groups such as Amnesty International that Israel qualifies as an apartheid state.

The Israeli Labor party is part of the current settler-led government that secured court approval last week to evict many hundreds of Palestinians from eight historic Palestinian villages near Hebron – while allowing settlers to remain close by – on the pretext that the land is needed for a firing zone.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper concluded of the ruling: “Occupation is temporary by definition; apartheid is liable to persist forever. The High Court approved it.”

Labour’s ugly face

The ugly new face of Labour politics under Starmer is becoming ever harder to conceal. Under cover of rooting out the remnants of Corbynism, Starmer is not only proving himself an outright authoritarian, intent on crushing the last vestiges of democratic socialism in Labour.

He is also reviving the worst legacies of a Labour tradition that cheerleads western imperialism and cosies up to racist states – as long as they are allies of Washington and ready to buy British arms.

Starmer’s war on the Labour left is not – as widely assumed – a pragmatic response to the Corbyn years, designed to distance the party from policies that exposed it to the relentless campaign of antisemitism smears that undermined Corbyn.

Rather, Starmer is continuing and widening that very campaign of smears. He has picked up the baton on behalf of those Labour officials who, the leaked internal report showed, preferred to sabotage the Labour Party if it meant stopping the left from gaining power.

His task is not just to ensnare those who wish to show solidarity with the Palestinians after decades of oppression supported by the West. It is to crush all activism against western imperialism and the state of permanent war it has helped to engineer.

Britain now has no visible political home for the kind of anti-war movements that once brought millions out onto Britain’s streets in an effort to halt the war on Iraq. And for that, the British establishment and their war industries have Sir Keir Starmer to thank.

First published in Middle East Eye

The post Keir Starmer has returned western imperialism to the core of Labour policy first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Reality Privileged: Orwell/Huxley/McLuhan on Steroids

You can go through life with a thousand epigrams or deep quotes that you might come back to over two, four, six decades. Then, the disrupters pop up, those techno fascists, the tinkers and culture blasters.

These sociopaths who get the limelight then become part of a new set of epigrams, but not grand ones, but totally emblematic of a new normal of Triple Speak, Capitalism Porn, and the Stiff Arm to the Coders and their Masters.

It’s sad, really. Here, quality ones of very different and varied origins:

  • Timothy 6:10 “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
  • Pierre Joseph-Proudhon: “Property is Theft.”
  • Karl Marx: “Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it – when it exists for us as capital.”
  • “It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.”
    ― Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?
  • “It is capitalism, not Marxism, that trades in futures.”
    ― Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right

We don’t think you fight fire with fire best; we think you fight fire with water best. We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism. We’re stood up and said we’re not going to fight reactionary pigs and reactionary state’s attorneys like this and reactionary state’s attorneys like Hanrahan with any other reactions on our part. We’re going to fight their reactons with all of us people getting together and having an international proletarian revolution.
― Fred Hampton (source: “Fred Hampton Speech Transcript on Revolution and Racism” ) 

“Only from a capitalist viewpoint being productive is a moral virtue, if not a moral imperative. From the viewpoint of the working class, being productive simply means being exploited.”
― Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

One might wake up after two decades of capitalist slumber and feel like Rip Van Winkle while observing how deep the slide into those circles of capitalist hell we have all ended up. Exhumed from the grave all the felons, high and midddling, and then see that the world is still valorizing . . . Kissinger, Albright, Bush, Trump, Biden, Obama, et al. Shocks to the system every nano second. Capitalism with a gun, with a drug, with a bank.

Here, McLuhan:

Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth’s atmosphere to a company as a monopoly. (Marshall McLuhan rocketed from an unknown academic to rockstar with the publication of Understanding Media: The Extensions of Manin 1964.)

Concentrated power — information age, and now, it’s even so much worse, 60 years later.

Get these people’s aims and goals. These are the powerful, work with the powerful, are armies unto themselves, and they take no prisoners. We are all Luddites if we resist their machinations, their totalitarianism in skinny jeans, on the spectrum, vegan and all.

I’ll let the guy’s words flow here, longish. Monsters, really:

Marc Andreessen (“The Internet King on why the Internet is a force for good, on media conformity, the inevitable triumph of the WEIRD, Crypto, ‘Retards,’ etc. — Source) breaks down Reality Privilege:

Your question is a great example of what I call Reality Privilege. This is a paraphrase of a concept articulated by Beau Cronin: “Consider the possibility that a visceral defense of the physical, and an accompanying dismissal of the virtual as inferior or escapist, is a result of superuser privileges.” A small percent of people live in a real-world environment that is rich, even overflowing, with glorious substance, beautiful settings, plentiful stimulation, and many fascinating people to talk to, and to work with, and to date. These are also *all* of the people who get to ask probing questions like yours. Everyone else, the vast majority of humanity, lacks Reality Privilege—their online world is, or will be, immeasurably richer and more fulfilling than most of the physical and social environment around them in the quote-unquote real world.

The Reality Privileged, of course, call this conclusion dystopian, and demand that we prioritize improvements in reality over improvements in virtuality. To which I say: reality has had 5,000 years to get good, and is clearly still woefully lacking for most people; I don’t think we should wait another 5,000 years to see if it eventually closes the gap. We should build—and we are building—online worlds that make life and work and love wonderful for everyone, no matter what level of reality deprivation they find themselves in.

Here’s a thought experiment for the counterfactual. Suppose we had all just spent the last 15 months of COVID lockdowns *without* the Internet, without the virtual world. As bad as the lockdowns have been for people’s well-being—and they’ve been bad—how much worse would they have been without the Internet? I think the answer is clear: profoundly, terribly worse. (Of course, pandemic lockdowns are not the norm—for that, we’ll have to wait for the climate lockdowns.)

Is this an easy target? Am I just poking fun at culture, the new masters of the metaverse? Are we speaking two very “man who fell to earth” languages? Or, is this fellow above, misanthrope on a very pathetic scale? We know he’s got hundreds of millions, and he is the guru, and governments and the Titans of Media all have his ear.

Oh, I have old people whispering how they feel for today’s kids, how they feel for the young adults who are stuck in this bubble inside a bubble. I hear them while they have grand machinations of flipping a home into a bank account and some smaller home. Too expensive in Pacific Northwest or California? Then, sell sell sell, and end up in Appalachia. Lewisburg. Get a home and two acres for $250K, and bank the rest, and be damned, the rest of the world.

Me-myself-I, that’s the reptilian brain angle these Titans of the Screen/Black Mirror in the Hand have going for them (not a great term, really, repitilian, but you get the picture — food, sex, water, fight or flight, flash, rest, run, jump, gobble, hump).

Indonesia cancels Komodo island closure, saying tourists are no threat to dragons | Indonesia | The Guardian

Get these stats, mom and pop, uncle and aunt, cuz:

In Chain Reactions, he writes about how stunning the scale of the internet has become; every minute on the internet:

  • Netflix users stream 404,444 hours of video
  • Instagram users post 347,222 stories
  • YouTube users upload 500 hours of video
  • Consumers spend $1,000,000 online
  • LinkedIn users apply for 69,444 jobs
  • TikTok is installed 2,704 times
  • Venmo users send $239,196 worth of payments
  • Spotify adds 28 tracks to its music library
  • Amazon ships 6,659 packages
  • WhatsApp users send 41,666,667 messages
  • And 1,388,889 people make video and voice calls

Every minute. American adults spend over 11 hours interacting with digital media every day. Daily media consumption on mobile has grown 6x from 45 minutes in 2011 to 4 hours and 12 minutes in 2021.

The Brains Development - The Cavern

The “entire world is a stage” is played out minute by minute, in Ukraine by the Zionist Comic Nazi-loving Jew (not-not), or the charades of Biden and the gang (media). Now? Every man, woman, child is an island — connected to the WWW — unto him-her-them SELF:

Biden mocks himself and roasts Trump

This is it, while the crocodile tears are spewing for the poor Ukrainians, and the trillion$ soon for guns, nukes, these idiots try a Jon Leibowitz Stewart thing: White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on Saturday night. The dinner was shunned by Trump and canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But then, they all are misanthropes, and again, the optics, man, the optics of the USA decaying while Biden shits his pants: “I’m really excited to be here with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have,” Biden joked to the Washington, DC crowd, referring to his own sub-40% polling and to surveys showing just 36% of Americans trust the mass media.

This is insane, of course, on many levels. It is the inside joke, and the giant overt joke. This is the spokesperson for the free world, and these are the minutes they spend in their spare time. All puppets, all wind-up dolls, and the media, they are the lever pullers. Behind the media? Oh, man, you don’t need a recap on who the monster men (a few women, too) are?

Okay, now down the other rabbit hole: Go to Alison McDowell’s work (Wrench in the Gears (dot) com) recently in Salt Lake City, following the LDS/Mormons capitalization of transhumanism, blockchain, social impact investing, cyber everything, internet of bodies, brains, babies. Slide show/stack here, Ignorance is Bliss?

Check out 36 videos looking into this dispicable system of mind-matter-money control: Transhumanism, CIA Enslavement, Faith and Technology, Digital Education. YouTube.

I have those discussions now, with former students, who want to know from me, what I think of Zoom Doom Rooms, or where I think education, both K12 and higher (sic), is going. Of course, the language we use is not always in synch, since I think the systems of education were flawed from the beginning, and that capitalism and fascism as it is delineated by GloboCap, set people up to accept lies, and the systems of oppression are about getting people to learn how to lie to themselves.

I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers do care and do work very, very hard, the institution is psychopathic — it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to a different cell where he must memorize that humans and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.
― John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

I talked recently with a teacher who knew me, and wondered where I was, in the substitute teacher stable. I informed her that this county, the school district, has banned me for pushing high school students to think about their own lives tied to stories like Of Mice and Men and Animal Farm, two books the teacher of record was having me, the substitute of record, work with. Amazing, I was frog marched out of the classroom and school, and there was zero recourse, no audience to be gained, and alas, I couldn’t defend myself: this is how one system of oppression works.

This fourth grade teacher went on and on about how oppressive it is to be that elementary grade teacher in this district, and how the higher ups, the school board, they have scorn for the teachers, the paraeducators, the staff.

Hell, I was teaching a community education class, and it took me more than a month and a half to be paid by the community college. This is the new normal, but not so new. This is the mentality whichruns the world. And, more and more people want to be their own boss, but their options are limited — really, a cinnamon roll shop, beads, candles, more deep fried oysters?

Capitalism is lovely, so creative, open, available for smart small and tiny entrepeneurs. Wrong!

Disdain, just like the fellow announcing that Reality Privilege is dead. The world of games, the world of on-line shopping, dating, hunting, driving, hiking, that is it for the world from here on in. Get on the phone, six hours a day, at least. Plug in.

Zoom Zelensky from Britain or Poland. Watch Sean Penn or Pelosi fly into some staged area, then, long-live the ZioLenksy Nazi, and then, more dialing for dollars. Stage left, masks on, start themusic, do the edits, cut cut cut, and then let the lies fly.

Reality. Here, from Farnam Street Articles!

“The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts,” wrote McLuhan. Rather they “alter patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance.”

In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, McLuhan proffered,

“A new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace. It never ceases to oppress the older media until it finds new shapes and positions for them.”

We see this today as newspapers transition to a digital world and how the medium—the internet—remakes the papers to fit its own standards. Not only have newspapers moved from physical to virtual but now they are hyperlinked, chunked, and embedded within noise. If he were alive (and healthy) McLuhan would argue these changes impact the way we understand the content.

McLuhan foresaw how all mass media would eventually be used for commercialization and consumerism:

 “Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit by taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left.”

Carry on:

CM 170: Nicholas Carr on What the Internet Does to Our Brains

And, finally, reality is reality, all those down-home chemicals, cancers, catastrophies. A new outfit with the Environmental Working Group, The New Lede.   PFAS, Monsanto, other pesticides, all covered by investigative journalists. You can attempt to “virtual reality” away the reality world. These are freaks!  However, a hero like Carey Gillam has spent more than 25 years reporting on corporate America. She is the managing editor at The New Lede. Watch her over at RFK Jr’s site!

Reality for Us, the Unprivileged.

For a visitor to this rural part of eastern Nebraska, the crisp air, blue skies and stretch of seemingly endless farm fields appear as unspoiled landscape. For the people who live here, however, there is no denying that they are immersed in an environmental catastrophe researchers fear may impact the area for generations to come.

The signs of a silent poisoning are everywhere: A farmhouse has been abandoned by its owners after their young children experienced health problems; a pond once filled with fish and frogs is now barren of all life; university researchers are collecting blood and urine from residents to analyze them for contaminants; and a local family now drinks water only from plastic bottles because tests show chemical contamination of their drinking well.  — Source, Carey Gillam

No matter how many hours you might be connected to a gamefied world, virtual and augemented, the chemicals will still bore their toxins into your cells until no amount of AI-VR-AR can save you!

Listen to these monsters . . .

And then, four hours learning about this global brain mentality. Good work by Wrench In the Gears:

And how many people are willing to go down these blockchain, decentralized technologies, social impact and reality priviledge and digital ID and crypo-funding? The Church of LDS is into Transhumanism. Keep your eye close on these folk, synthetic biology eugenics freaks.

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NYT Pundit Thinks U.S. Should Be “Calling the Shots” in Ukraine’s War

This is a commentary upon N.Y. Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s statement on May 6 that Ukraine’s Government is and ought to be the U.S. Government’s agent in its war against Russia, not representing the interests of the Ukrainian people in it. He introduced the statement by noting that Ukraine is a bad country,

a country marbled with corruption. That doesn’t mean we should not be helping it. I am glad we are. I insist we do. But my sense is that the Biden team is walking much more of a tightrope with Zelensky than it would appear to the eye — wanting to do everything possible to make sure he wins this war but doing so in a way that still keeps some distance between us and Ukraine’s leadership. That’s so Kyiv is not calling the shots [I boldfaced that — he didn’t] and so we’ll not be embarrassed by messy Ukrainian politics in the war’s aftermath.

He starts there by putting down Ukraine as a “country,” and then asserts that, fortunately, “Kyiv is not calling the shots and so we’ll not be embarrassed by messy Ukrainian politics in the war’s aftermath.” Perhaps an underlying assumption of his in saying this is that America is NOT “a country riddled with corruption,” and, so, that it is right and good that Ukraine is America’s slave in this matter.

He continues there:

The view of Biden and his team, according to my reporting, is that America needs to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty and beat the Russians back — but not let Ukraine turn itself into an American protectorate on the border of Russia. We need to stay laser-focused on what is our national interest and not stray in ways that lead to exposures and risks we don’t want.

I believe that Friedman truly does represent the U.S. Establishment that he is a part of, and that “Biden and his team” likewise do. I accept Friedman’s statement as reflecting accurately the way that “Biden and his team” (which, given the U.S. Congress’s virtually 100% voting for it in this matter of Ukraine, also includes virtually every U.S. Senator and Representative) feel about the matter: they feel that Ukraine must be their slave in it and must do whatever the U.S. Government demands that it do in its war with Ukraine’s next-door-neighbor, Russia.

That view — the view that it’s not only true but good that “Kyiv is not calling the shots” in this matter — reflects the view that an imperialist government has toward one of its colonies or vassal-nations (which the imperialist nation nowadays calls instead its ‘allies’). And this is the reason why they treat not only their armies but all of the residents in their ‘allies’ as being appropriate cannon-fodder or ‘proxy soldiers’ in their foreign wars, wars to conquer other countries — such as, in this case, Russia.

Here was how the former U.S. President, Barack Obama, phrased the matter to America’s graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, on 28 May 2014:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.

It could as well have been said by England’s royals and other aristocrats during their imperialistic heyday.

All other nations are “dispensable.” America’s military is an extension of international economic competition so that America’s billionaires will continue to rule the world in the future, as they do now. “Rising middle classes compete with us” and are consequently America’s enemies in the “dispensable” countries (everywhere in which vassalage to America’s billionaires — being “America’s allies” — is rejected), so that “it will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.” So he told America’s future generals, regarding those who live (as the 2017 U.S. Army report put it) “in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unacceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.” America’s military are the global gendarmes not of Hitler’s nazi regime in WW II, but of America’s nazi regime in the lead-up to WW III.

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and all of the other U.S. major ‘news’-media, feel this way about it, and report and comment upon the ’news’ that way, but I think that it was a slip-up that Friedman and the Times expressed it, for once, so honestly, especially given that they are master-liars on most international-news reporting and commentary. The pièce de résistance in his commentary was its ludicrously hypocritical line that “America needs to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty.” (They must be America’s slaves but restore their sovereignty. How stupid do they think that the American public is?) That too is typical of aristocrats’ hypocrisies and general corruptness — including that of the U.S. Government itself, which represents ONLY America’s billionaires and other super-rich — it’s a regime and no democracy at all.

Moreover, whereas America has no business at all to be involved in this war, Russia very much does, and the U.S. regime’s involvement there is ONLY in order to conquer Russia — which is a psychopathic and super-imperialistic objective to have, and not MERELY a real and soaring threat against the safety of all parts of the world — the real and now rapidly growing danger of there being a World War III.

Incidentally, the title of Friedman’s commentary was “The War Is Getting More Dangerous for America, and Biden Knows It.” It’s an interesting title, because it concerns ONLY what Friedman and America’s other aristocrats care about, which is themselves, and not at all about what any of the ‘dispensable’ countries (including Ukraine) care about. Since the publics everywhere care about preventing a WW III (nuclear war between Russia and America — including all NATO countries), that is a stunningly narrow sphere of concern regarding a potentially world-ending catastrophe. Clearly, America’s aristocrats are rank psychopaths. They control the U.S. Government, and this is the result of that. It’s a Government in which the worst come first, the public last. Russia is up against that: it is up against America, and Ukraine is only the first battleground of WW III, now only at the proxy stage for the U.S. regime but not for the Russian Government, which, in this matter, truly does represent the most-vital national-security interests of its citizens. Everyone except U.S.-and-allied aristocracies (many of whom are buyers of billionaires’ bunkers) have an overriding interest in America’s defeat in this war, before it ever reaches the nuclear stage, of direct Russia vs. U.S. warfare.

The shame of today’s U.N. is that it’s not enraged against the U.S. Government. This is shaping up to be the biggest scandal and failure in the U.N.’s entire history, virtually its own collapse.

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