Category Archives: Religion

The Monotheistic Roots of Nationalism

Orientation

Over the last three hundred years in the West, nationalism has supplanted religious, regional, ethnic and class loyalties to claim a secular version of the commandment “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me”. How did this happen? Let’s say we have an Italian-American member of the working-class who lives in San Francisco. How is it possible that this person is expected to feel more loyalty to a middle-class Irishman living in Boston compared to Italians living in Milan, Italy? How is it that this loyalty is so great that this Italian-American would risk his life in the military against the same Italian in Milan in the case of a war between the United States and Italy? Why would the same working-class man kill and/or die in a battle with Iraq soldiers who were also working class? My article attempts to explain how people were socialized in order to internalize this nationalistic propaganda. Nationalism used the paraphernalia of a particular kind of religion, monotheism, to command such loyalty. This article is a synthesis of part of my work in chapters two and three of my book, Forging Promethean Psychology.

Questions about nationalism, nations, and ethnicity

Nationalism is one of those words that people immediately feel they understand, but upon further questioning, we find a riot of overlapping and conflicting elements. There are three other words commonly associated in the public mind with nationalism and used interchangeably with it: nation, state, and ethnicity. The introductions of these terms raise the following provocative questions:

  • What is the relationship between nationalism and nations? Were there nations before nationalism? Did they come about at the same time or do they have separate histories? Can a nation exist without nationalism? Can nationalism exist without a nation? Ernest Gellner (Nations and Nationalism) thinks so.
  • What is the relationship between a state and a nation? Are all states nations? Are all nations states? Can states exist without nationalism?
  • What is the relationship between ethnicity and a nation? Can one be part of an ethnic group and not have a nation? Can one be a part of a nation without being in an ethnic community?

There is rich scholarly work in this field and most agree that nations, nationalism, ethnicities, and states are not interchangeable.  Despite scholars’ differences about the questions above, they agree that nationalism as an ideology that arose at the end of the 18th century with the French Revolution. Because our purpose is to understand nationalism as a vital component in creating loyalty we are, mercifully, on safe ground to limit our discussion to nationalism.

Elements of Nationalism

Four sacred dimensions of national identity

In his wonderful book Chosen Peoples, Anthony Smith defines nationalism as an ideological movement for the attainment and maintenance of three characteristics: autonomy, unity, and identity. Nationalism has elite and popular levels. Elite nationalism is more liberal and practiced by the upper classes. Popular nationalism is more conservative and practiced by the lower classes. According to Smith, the four sacred foundations for all nations are (1) a covenant community, including elective and missionary elements; (2) a territory; (3) a history; and (4) a destiny.

The fourth sacred source of nationalism – destiny – is a belief in the regenerative power of individual sacrifice to serve the future of a nation. In sum, nationalism calls people to be true to their unique national vocation, to love their homeland, to remember their ancestors and their ancestors’ glorious pasts, and to imitate the heroic dead by making sacrifices for the happy and glorious destiny of the future nation.

Core doctrine of nationalism

These four dimensions of sacred sources in turn relate to the core doctrine of the nation, which Smith describes as the following:

  1. The world is divided into nations, each with its own character, history and destiny.
  2. The source of all political power is the nation, and loyalty to the nation overrides all other loyalties.
  3. To be free, every individual must belong to a nation.
  4. Nations require maximum self-expression and autonomy.
  5. A world of peace and justice must be founded on free nations.

Phases of nationalism

Most scholars agree that nations are a necessary but insufficient criterion for nationalism. While most of them agree that nationalism did not arrive until the end of the 18th century, almost all agree with the following phases of nationalism:

  1. Elite nationalism—This first nationalism emerged when the middle classes used language studies, art, music, and literature to create a middle-class public. The dating of this phase varies depending on the European country and ranges from the Middle Ages through the early modern period.
  2. Popular nationalism—A national community took the place of the heroes and heroines who emerged with the French Revolution. This nationalism was political and was associated with liberal and revolutionary traditions. This phase is roughly dated from 1789 to 1871.
  3. Mass nationalism—This nationalism was fueled by the increase in mass transportation (the railroad) and mass circulation of newspapers. It also became associated with European imperialism and argued that territory, soil, blood, and race were the bases of nationalism. This last phase of nationalism was predominant from 1875 to 1914.

In the second and third phases of nationalism, rites and ceremonies are performed with an orchestrated mass choreography amidst monumental sculpture and architecture (George Mosse, The Nationalization of the Masses)

Due to the Industrial Revolution, among other things, individualists began to sever their ties to ethnicity, region, and kinship group as capitalism undermined these identities. By what processes were these loyalties abandoned while a new loyalty emerged? The new loyalty is not based on face-to-face connections, but rather it was mediated by railroads, newspapers and books. This is a community of strangers whose loyalty to the nation is not based on enduring, face-to-face engagements. As we shall see, states create nationalism by two processes: first by pulverizing the intermediate relationships between the state and the individual and second by bonding individualists to each other through loyalty to the nation forged by transforming religious techniques into secular myths and rituals.

Centralized State Against Localities and Intermediate Organizations

Absolutist states in Europe didn’t emerge out of nothing. According to Tilly, they emerged out of kingdoms, empires, urban federations, and city-states and had to compete with them for allegiance. In feudal times, local authorities could match or overwhelm state power. This slowly changed as the state centralized power.

In their battles against these other political forms, states learned hierarchical administration techniques from churches that had hundreds of years of experience.

Churches held together the sprawling kingdoms of Europe, beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire and throughout the early, central, and high Middle Ages. In order to command obedience, the absolutist state had to break down the local self-help networks that had developed during the feudal age and among those states that became empires. What stood in the way of state centralization were the clergy, landlords, and urban oligarchies who allied themselves with ordinary people’s resistance to state demands.

Dividing and conquering intermediaries

Early modern popular allegiances of culture, language, faith, and interests did not neatly overlap with centralized political boundaries. States played a leading role in determining who was included and who was excluded in their jurisdictions. This would force people to choose whether they wanted to live in a state where they would, for example, become a religious or cultural minority. Furthermore, the state can play its cultural, linguistic, and religious communities against one another by first supporting one and then switching to support another.

It may seem self-evident that absolutist states would try to join and expand whatever local identity a people had, such as the Basques or the Catalans in Spain. However, this was not initially the case. A local identity was interpreted as a threat just like any other non-state identity—region, ethnic group, or federation—because it competed with the state for people’s loyalty. It was only later when states were out of cash and desperate for manpower that they began trying to manipulate these outside loyalties by promising citizenship and later education in exchange for taxes and conscription.

Sociologists and social psychologists have demonstrated that among a group with internal conflicts, the best way to get them to forge unity is to present them with a common group enemy. An individual’s group loyalty is solidified by discrimination against an outside group. Most often a scapegoat is selected because it is present, visible, powerless to resist, and useful for displacing aggression.

Building a centralized nervous system: postal networks and newspapers

States reduced barriers between regions by developing roads and postal systems. In the late medieval world, the emergence of private mercantile networks enabled postal communication to form. In the 15th and 16th centuries, private postal networks were built. In France, the postal system was created as early as the late 1400s, and in England it came about in 1516. They expanded until they linked much of Europe together, employing 20,000 couriers. Turnpike construction upgraded routes from major centers to London. From the second half of the 18th century on the postal network offered regular service between regions as well as into London. By 1693 in the United States regular postal service connected Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, and the comprehensive postal network assured postal privacy. The network of US postal systems came to exceed that of any other country in the world and was a way to bring the Western frontier under the umbrella of the Northern industrialists in their struggle against the agricultural capitalists of the South.

Postal networks also supported the creation of news networks intended for bankers, diplomats, and merchants. They contained both the prices of commodities on local markets and the exchange rates of international currencies. Newspapers also helped centralize and nationalize American colonies by pointing to commonalities across regions. For example, the Stamp Act led to the first inter-colonial cooperation against the British and the first anti-British newspaper campaign.

State vs. Religion Conflicts

In spite of what they learned from ecclesiastical hierarchies about organization, the state and the Catholic church were opposed to each other. The church was an international body that had a stake in keeping any state from competing with it for power. Before the alliance between merchants and monarchs, the Catholic Church played states off of one another. One event that began to reverse this trend was the Protestant Reformation. Protestant reformers may not have been advocates for the national interests of Germany, Switzerland, Holland, or England per se, but they were against the international aspirations of the Catholic church. Protestant leaders like Wycliffe and Hus called for the use of vernacular (local language) rather than internationalist Latin in religious settings. The Protestant religions became increasingly associated with either absolute monarchies or republics (e.g., the Dutch).

Religious Roots of Nationalism

What is the relationship between nationalism and religion?

It is not enough for states to promise to intervene in disputes and coordinate the distribution and production of goods, although this is important. Bourgeois individualists must also bond emotionally with each other through symbols, songs, initiations, and rituals. In this effort, the state does not have to reinvent the wheel. There was one social institution prior to the emergence of absolutist states that was also trans-local and trans-regional. Interestingly, this institution also required its members to give up their kin, ethnic identity, and regional identity in order to become full members. That institution was religion. A fair question to ask is, what is the relationship between religion and nationalism?

Do religion and nationalism compete with each other? Do they replace each other? Do they amplify each other and drive each other forward? Do they exist in symbiosis? Theorists of nationalism have struggled with this question. At one extreme of the spectrum is the early work of Elie Kedourie (1960), who argued that nationalism is a modern, secular ideology that replaces religious systems. According to Kedourie, nationalism is a new doctrine of political change first argued for by Immanuel Kant and carried out by German Romantics at the beginning of the 19th century. In this early work, nationalism was the spiritual child of the Enlightenment, and by this we mean that nationalism and religion are conceived of as opposites. While religion supports hierarchy, otherworldliness, and divine control, nationalism, according to Kedourie, emphasizes more horizontal relationships, worldliness, and human self-emancipation. Where religion supports superstition, nationalism supports reason. Where religion thrives among the ignorant, nationalism supports education. For Enlightenment notions of nationalism, nationalism draws no sustenance from religion at all.

Modern theorists of nationalism such as Eric Hobsbawm (Nations and Nationalism since 1780) and John Breuilly, (Nationalism and the State) share much of this position. For these scholars, secular institutions and concepts such as the state or social classes occupy center stage, while ethnicity and religious tradition are accorded secondary status. For Liah Greenfeld (Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity), religion served as a lubricator of English national consciousness until national consciousness replaced it.

For Anthony Smith, nationalism secularized the myths, liturgies, and doctrines of sacred traditions and was able to command the identities of individualists not only over ethnic, regional, and class loyalties, but even over religion itself. What Smith wants to do is conceive of the nation as a sacred communion, one that focuses on the cultural resources of ethnic symbolism, memory, myth, values, as they are expressed in texts, artifacts, scriptures, chronicles, epics, music, architecture, painting, sculpture, and crafts. Smith’s greatest source of inspiration was George Mosse who discussed civic religion of the masses in Germany.

How the State Uses Religious Paraphernalia in the French Revolution

If we examine the process of how the state commands loyalty, we find the state uses many of the same devices as religion. After the revolution in France, the calendar was changed to undermine the Catholic church. The state tried to regulate, dramatize, and secularize the key events in the life of individual—birth, baptism, marriage and death. French revolutionaries invented the symbols that formed the tricolor flags and invented a national anthem, “La Marseillaise.” The paintings of Delacroix and Vermeer supported the revolution. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen became a new belief system, a kind of national catechism. By 1791 the French constitution had become a promise of faith. The tablets of the Declaration of Rights were carried around in procession as if they were commandments. Another symbol was the patriotic altar that was erected spontaneously in many villages and communes. Civic festivities included resistance to the king in the form of the famous “Tennis Court Oath,” (Serment du Jeu de Paume) along with revolutionary theater. The revolution, through its clubs, festivals, and newspapers, was indirectly responsible for the spread of a national language. Abstract concepts such as fatherland, reason, and liberty became deified and worshipped as goddesses. All the paraphernalia of the new religion appeared: dogmas, festivals, rituals, mythology, saints, and shrines. Nationalism has become the secular religion of the modern world, where the nation is now God.

What occurs is a reorganizing of religious elements to create a nation-state, a social emulsifier that pulverizes what is left of intermediate organization while creating a false unity. This state unity papers over the economic instabilities of capitalism as well as the class and race conflicts that it ushers in.

Monotheistic Roots of Nationalism

How monotheism differs from animism and polytheism

Anthony Smith is not simply saying that religion itself is the foundation of nationalism. He claims that the monotheism of Jews and Christians forms a bedrock for European nationalism. However, Smith does not account for why animistic and polytheistic religious traditions are not instrumental in producing nationalism. What are the sacred differences between magical traditions of tribal people and monotheists? The high magical traditions of the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Aztecs, and Incas are not much like the Jews and Christians. We need to understand these religious differences so we can make a tighter connection between monotheism and nationalism.

According to Smith, the foundation for the relationship between a monotheistic people and its God is a covenant. A covenant is a perceived voluntary, contractual sacred relationship between a culture and its sacred presences. This contractual relationship is one of the many differences that separates monotheism from polytheism and animism. In my book From Earth-Spirits to Sky-Gods, I show how polytheistic and animistic cultures perceive a necessary, organicconnection between themselves and the rest of the biophysical world, and this connection extends to invisible entities. The monotheistic Jews were the first people to imagine their spiritual relationships as a voluntary contract.

The first part of a covenant agreement is that God has chosen a group of people over all other groups for a particular purpose. This implies that God is a teleological architect with a plan for the world and simply needs executioners. Polytheistic and animistic people imagine their sacred presence as a plurality of powers that cooperate, compete, and negotiate a cosmic outcome having some combination of rhythm and novelty, rather than a guiding plan. Like Jews and Christians, pagan people saw themselves as superior to other cultures (ethnocentrism), but this is not usually connected up to any sense of them having been elected for a particular purpose by those sacred presences.

The third part of a covenant is the prospect of spreading good fortune to other lands. This is part of a wider missionary ideal of bringing light to other societies so that “the blind can see”. It is a small and natural step to affirm that the possession of might—the second part of the covenant (economic prosperity and military power)—is evidence that one is morally right. We know that the ancient Judaists sought to convert the Edomites though conquest. On the other hand, while it is certainly true that animistic and polytheistic people fight wars over land or resources, these are not religious wars waged by proselytizers.

The fourth part of a covenant is a sacred law. This is given to people in the form of commandments about how to live, implying that the natural way people live needs improvement. In polytheistic societies, however, how people act was not subject to any sort of a plan for great reform on the part of the deity. In polytheistic states, the gods and goddesses engaged in the same behavior as human beings, but on a larger scale. There was no obedience expected based on a sacred text.

The fifth part of a covenant is the importance of human history. Whatever privileges the chosen people have received from God can be revoked if they fail to fulfill their part of the bargain. The arena in which “tests” take place is human history, in the chosen people’s relationship with other groups. For the animistic and polytheists, cultural history is enmeshed with the evolutionary movement of the rocks, rivers, mountains, plants, and animals. There is no separate human history.

Lastly, in polytheistic societies, sacred dramas enacted in magical circles and temples were rituals. This means they were understood as not just symbolic, representational gestures of a reality that people wished to see in the future. Rather, they were dramatic actions believed to be real embodiments of that reality in the present. In the elite phase of monotheism in the ancient world, rituals were looked upon with suspicion because people became superstitiously attached to the ritual and thought their rituals could compel God to act. In From Earth Spirits to Sky Gods, I coined the word ceremony to describe sacred dramas that were more passive and less likely to create altered states of consciousness. These were intended to show deference and worship to a deity who was not subject to magical incantations. A religious ceremony, at least among middle and upper-middle class, is more passive. The priest or pastor does most of the work while the congregation supports what the priest or pastor is doing.

Common Elements Found in Monotheism and Nationalism

Let’s start with some definitions. Monotheism is a sacred system prevalent in stratified state societies with possible developing empires in which a single, abstract and transcendental deity presides over “chosen people” via a contract or covenant. Nationalism is a secular system which exists in capitalist societies in which a single nation claims territory regulated by a state. Before launching into a description of the commonalities, Table A provides a snapshot overview of where we are headed.Loyalty to one God; loyalty to one nation

All sacred systems have to answer the question of whether the sacred source of all they know is singular or plural. Monotheistic religions break with the pluralistic polytheism and animism of pagan societies and assert that there is only one God. It is not a matter of having a single god who subordinates other gods. This is not good enough. The very existence of other gods is intolerable. Any conflicting loyalties are viewed as pagan idolatry.

Just as monotheism insists on loyalty to one God, so nationalism insists on loyalty to one nation. Claiming national citizenship in more than one country is viewed upon with suspicion. Additionally, within the nation, loyalty to the nation-state must come before other collective identities such as class, ethnic, kinship, or regional groupings. To be charged with disloyalty to the nation is a far more serious offence than disloyalty to things such as a working-class heritage, an Italian background, or having come from the West Coast. In the case of both monotheism and nationalism, intermediaries between the individual and the centralized authorities must be destroyed or marginalized.

Loyalty to strangers in the brotherhood of man; loyalty to strangers as fellow citizens

The earth spirits, totems, and gods of polytheistic cultures are sensuous and earthy. In tribal societies, they are part of a network among kin groups in which everyone knows everyone else. The monotheistic God is, on the contrary, abstract, and the community He supervises an expanding non-kin group of strangers. Just as monotheism insists that people give up their ties to local kin groups and their regional loyalties, so the nation-state insists that people imagine that their loyalty should be to strangers, most of whom they will never meet. The universal brotherhood of man in monotheism becomes the loyalty of citizens to other citizens within the state. In monotheism, the only way an individual can be free is to belong to a religion (pagans or atheists are barely tolerated). In the case of a nation-state, to be free the individual must belong to a nation. The state cannot tolerate individuals with no national loyalty.

Many inventions and historical institutions facilitate one’s identifying with a nation. The invention of the printing press and the birth of reading and writing helped build relationships among strangers beyond the village. Newspapers and journals gave people a more abstract sense of national news, and they were able to receive this news on a regular basis. The invention of the railroad, electricity, and the telegraph expanded and concentrated transportation and communication.

The problem for nationalists is that all these inventions can also be used to cross borders and create competing loyalties outside the nation-state. Increasing overseas trade brought in goods from foreign lands and built invisible, unconscious relations with outside producers. In the 19th century, another connection between strangers began with the international division of labor between workers of a colonial power and workers exploited on the periphery.

Monotheistic contract of equality before God; constitutional contract of equal citizenship

In polytheistic high magical societies, it was only the upper classes who were thought to have a religious afterlife. If a slave was to have an afterlife at all, it would be as a servant to the elite. Monotheism democratized the afterlife, claiming that every individual, as part of God’s covenant agreement, had to be judged before God equally. So too, nationalism in the 18th century imagined national life as a social contract among free citizens, all of whom were equal in the eyes of the law and the courts of the nation. In the 19th and 20th centuries, popular nationalism included the right to vote in elections.

Monotheistic and nationalist history is repackaged propaganda

According to Anthony Smith, the history that religions construct is not the same as what the professional historians aspire to do. For example, historians ask open-ended questions for which they do not have answers. They accept the unknown as part of the discipline and accept that an unknown question may never be answered. In contrast, accounts of religious history are not welcoming to open-ended questions. Rather, they ask rhetorical questions for which they have predictable answers. Those believers or non-believers who ask open-ended questions are taught that the question is a mystery that will only be revealed through some mystical experience or in the afterlife. Further insistence on asking open-ended questions is viewed as blasphemy or a sign of heresy.

So too, nationalist renditions of history do not welcome open-ended, skeptical questions. The history books of any nation generally try to paper over actual struggle between classes, enslavement, colonization, and torture that litters its history. Members of a culture that have built nationalist histories like to present themselves as being in complete agreement about the where and when of their origins. But, in fact, evidence about the past often competes with each other and are often stimulated by class differences within the nation. Just as religion attacks open-ended, critical questions of heresy, so nationalists tar and feather citizens as unpatriotic when they question national stories and try to present a revisionist history.

Monotheistic and Nationalist History Is Cyclic

All national histories have a cyclical shape. They begin with a golden age and are followed by a period of disaster or degradation and, after much struggle, a period of redemption. First, there is a selection of a communal age that is deemed to be heroic or creative. There is praise for famous kings, warriors, holy men, revolutionaries, or poets. Second, there is a fall from grace, whether it be a natural disaster, a fall into materialism, or external conquest. Third, there is a yearning to restore the lost communal dignity and nobility. In order to return to the golden age, they must emulate the deeds and morals of its past epoch. For Christianity, the golden age consists of the story of Adam and Eve. For the Hebrews, it is the Old Testament with Moses in the wilderness. In the United States, it is the time of pilgrims, pioneers, frontiersman, cowboys, and Western expansion. These are mythic stories are endlessly recycled today in television program and movies.

Monotheist and Nationalist Founders Are Treated as Divine

Nationalist history is sanitized, polished, and presented as a result of the deeds of noble heroes. This mythology is intensified by the way the founders of religion and the nation are treated. It is rare that Moses, Christ, or Mohammad, in addition to their good qualities, are treated as flesh and blood individuals with weaknesses, pettiness, and oversights. So too, in the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are treated like Moses or Christ, having charismatic powers.

Monotheistic and nationalist altered states of consciousness

Altered states can be created by either sensory saturation or sensory deprivation. A great example of sensory saturation to create an altered state is the Catholic Mass. Here we have the bombardment of vision (stained glass windows), sound (loud organ music), smell (strong incense), taste (the holy communion), and touch (gesturing with the sign of the cross). Sensory deprivation in a monotheistic setting includes fasting, prayer, or meditation. Popular monotheistic states of consciousness invite speaking in tongues, and devotional emotional appeal.

Sensory deprivation in nationalistic settings is being at boot camp and on the battlefield of war itself. Sensory saturation occurs in nationalistic settings at addresses by prominent politicians, such as the presidential State of the Union addresses, in congressional meetings, at political rallies, and during primaries. Presidential debates and elections are actually throwbacks to ancient rituals and ceremonies. Those diehards of electoral politics who attend these rituals are almost as taken away by the props as were participants in a tribal magical ceremony. In the United States, the settings include the Great Seal of the United States hanging above the event, along with the American flag, a solemn pledge of allegiance, a rendition of “God Bless America,” and a military parade.

Religious and Nationalistic Attachment and Expansion of Land

The relationship between monotheism and territorial attachment is conflicted. On the one hand, elite monotheists in ancient times depreciated the importance of territorial attachment as an expression of pagans whom Christians feel are enslaved to the land. The prophets promote a kind of cosmopolitanism. Yet on the other hand, the more fundamentalist sects in popular monotheism insist on locating the actual birthplace of the religion and making it the scene of pilgrimages—Muslims go to Mecca, Christians to Bethlehem—or even a permanent occupation as with Zionist Jews in Palestine.

In a way, on a more complex level, the rise of a nation’s sense of loyalty based on geography is a kind of return to pagan attachments to place. For nationalists, attachment to a territory is a foundation-stone. In the United States stories and music celebrating the pilgrims landing, the revolutionary cites like Bunker Hill and the settling of the American West are examples.

Religious Zionism to Nationalist Manifest Destiny

Earlier we said that what separates monotheism from polytheism is the expansionary, missionary zeal of monotheism. This tendency was also characteristic of many nation-building projects throughout history. Both monotheism and nationalism wish to expand. There is an exclusive commitment to either one religion or one nation; yet once that exclusive commitment is made, the religion or nation sometimes advocates for expansion around the world. We can see this with Western imperialism, which in many cases sends in the missionaries first.

Commonalities in the Processes of Socialization into Monotheism and Nationalism

Table A showed the relatively static commonalities between monotheism and nationalism. These center mostly on beliefs and the use of propaganda paraphernalia on people. But there are many commonalities in how people are socialized over time. These include methods of transmission, rites of passage, special occasions throughout the year, educational training and geographical pilgrimages. We also have similarities on conversion experiences, how loyalty and exclusivity are maintained and how religious and nationalistic populations are ex-communicated. Please see Table B for a summary.

Qualification: What About the Place of Islam in Nationalism?

It probably crossed your mind that I did not include Islam in my monotheistic roots of nationalism comparisons. Certainly, Islam is monotheistic. Furthermore, when we look at Islamic fundamentalism, it might seem like there is fanatical nationalism at work.

But a closer look shows that Islam has similar internationalism as the Catholics. Being fanatical about your religion that you will kill and die for it is not necessarily nationalism.

Why did Islam not develop a nationalism the way the Jews and the Christians did?

There are at least the following reasons.

  • Western nationalism was inseparable from the development of industrial While Islam had a “merchant capital” phase of capitalism, they never went through the industrialization process that capitalism did in the West. Industrialization is very important in pulverizing intermediate loyalties.
  • Nationalism in the West was not built by one country at a time. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1689 created a system of states that became the foundation for nationalism at the end of the 18th. There was no system of states that existed in West Asia at the time. Predominantly what existed were sprawling empires, not nation-states.
  • In the 19th and 20th century, Islam has become a religion of the oppressed. European nation-states were not fighting against imperialism when they arose in England, France, the United States, and Holland. Their development was not shackled by fighting defensive wars. West Asian nationalism could not develop autonomously.

Conclusion

My article began by drawing your attention to how powerful nationalism is in swaying people to be loyal to strangers they have never met as well as to kill and die for them just because they occupy the same territory. I drew some boundaries around the meaning of nationalism and pointed out how people confuse nationalism with nations, states and ethnic origin. Then, following the work of Anthony Smith, I identified four sacred dimensions of national identity, five parts of its doctrine and three phases of nationalism.

Next, I discussed the need for nationalists to first tear down competing loyalties of kinship ties, ethnic loyalties, regional and class identifications in order for it to rule without competition. After pulverizing intermediate loyalties, it then builds up a centralized state through postal networks, national newspapers, railroads and telegraph systems which act as networks for nationalism. I raised and answered questions about the relationship between the state and religion. Do religion and the state compete with each other? Do they replace each other? Are they mutually supportive? Then I gave an example of how the radical wing of the French Enlightenment used religious paraphernalia in the hopes of creating a society based on reason, which came out of the French revolution.

My article then takes a step further. I argue that the state uses a particular kind of religion to strengthen its loyalty. It is no accident that the countries of the world that never developed nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries were not Jews and Christians. There is something about the monotheism of the Jews and Christians that was the best foundation to build nationalism and the centralized state that developed in Europe in the 19th century. Most of the rest of my article shows the similarities in the beliefs and dramatization between monotheism and nationalism. Lastly, I close with a table that shows how similar nationalism and religion are in their socialization processes from birth to death. I also addressed the question of why Islamic monotheism did not lead to Islamic nationalism.

It is no wonder that nationalism has such a hold on people. Since most Europeans and Yankees are either Protestant, Catholic or Jewish, nationalist indoctrination already has an infrastructure built in with monotheistic beliefs, practices, and socialization. Sure, there are some people who are monotheists and not nationalistic. And there are some people who are nationalistic but not very monotheistic. But most people in Europe and Yankeedom are both. Most of those people are the working-class people who buy both nationalism and monotheism and then get killed or maimed in wars, at least partly because they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.

• First published in Socialist Planning After Capitalism

The post The Monotheistic Roots of Nationalism first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Long Crusades of Western Imperialism

In late April 2021, US President Joe Biden announced  a withdrawal from Afghanistan. In other words, the US has been trounced in Afghanistan by its very own jihadist Frankenstein, the Taliban. The defeat of USA is covered with the ugly debris of history. The dirty war on Afghanistan was part of a disastrous process of occupying and controlling large swathes of the world. On September 16, 2001, President George W. Bush vowed to “rid the world of evil-doers,” then cautioned: “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.” The word “crusade” comes from the Latin for the cross, crux, and implies the warlike march of Christianity against the infidel, recalling one of the most shameful blots on the medieval maps of Western imperialism. The new Crusade by the American empire was waged in defense of a different professed faith, not Christianity but rather liberal democracy. But this belief also concealed less noble designs.

Like the original Crusaders, the US and its European partners have been concerned with geopolitical advantage in a strategically important area of the world. For the Crusaders, Jerusalem was an important site of pilgrimage but also a vital trade route. Today’s Crusaders have been more concerned about energy sources, whether the oil of Iraq or the natural gas pipelines that pass through Central Asia. To realize these more mundane goals, the West has made certain tactical alliances with actors in the Muslim world – the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, Sunni fighters in Iraq, and the illiberal governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. Hard-headed strategies aimed at gaining imperialist dominance translated into the infliction of calculated barbarity upon the people of Muslim majority countries. Slowly and steadily, the Crusade against terrorism spawned the monstrous machine of Islamophobia as the warmongers of the West deployed racist narratives and tropes against Muslims. This ideological idiom of anti-Muslim hatred is historically rooted in the Crusades of the late 11th and 14th centuries.

Emergence of Islam

Islam emerged in the 7th century in the Hijaz region of Arabia, which includes the cities of Mecca and Medina. The area was a major hub for trade activity, and the Arabs who lived there were in constant contact with their Christian Byzantine and Persian Sassanid neighbors. These economic and cultural linkages formed the context in which Muhammad, a trader by profession, began to devote time to spiritual matters. Muhammad worked for his wife, whose caravans traded with Syria. It is believed that in the year 610, while Muhammad was in the hills near Mecca, the angel Gabriel appeared to him to deliver a message from God. Over the course of the next two decades (610-32 CE), Muhammad had several such revelations, and on that basis he propagated a new religion called Islam. In the beginning there were very few converts to Islam. The people of Mecca greeted Muhammad with hostility. This was partly due to the welfarist message he preached – God expects people to share their wealth with those needier than them.

In 622, Muhammad and his followers left Mecca to travel to Medina, a journey referred to as the Hijra. Here, Muhammad became a spiritual and a political leader, creating a strong and growing community of believers; by the time of his death in 632, Islam had spread beyond the Hijaz and into other parts of Arabia. Within twenty years of Muhammad’s death in 632, his followers had laid the foundations of the first Islamic empire in the Fertile Crescent. Arab armies not only defeated the Sassanid dynasty (which had ruled Persia and the neighboring regions for centuries) but also took over parts of the Byzantine Empire’s territories. These victories were no doubt possible only because the Persian and Byzantine Empires had been engaged for almost a 100 years in a war that had enfeebled both sides, alienated their populations and opened a possibility of new conquests. Syria and Egypt were part of the Byzantine Empire; Iraq was ruled by Sassanid Persia. All three now fell to the force and ardor of a unified tribal force.

Impressed by these successes, entire tribes adopted the new religion. Mosques began to appear in the desolate deserts, and the army was augmented. Islam’s swift triumphs were seen as a sign that Allah was both omnipotent and on the side of the Believers. The expansion of Islam continued under the Umayyad dynasty (661–750 CE) into North Africa, and then into Europe in the early eighth century. Their conquests began in Spain, continued through the entire Iberian Peninsula (Portugal, and parts of southern France), and reached into Italy. Numerical strength and military strategy only partly accounted for these victories. The ability of the Muslim generals to maneuver their camel cavalry and combine it with an effective guerrilla-style infantry confused an enemy used to small-scale nomadic raids. However, much more important was the active sympathy which a significant minority of the local people demonstrated for the Muslims. A majority remained passive, waiting to see which side would triumph, but they were no longer prepared to fight for or help the old empires.

As the rest of Europe endured a period of cultural stagnation known as the Dark Ages, al-Andalus – as the Iberian Peninsula came to be known under Muslim rule – saw the growth and development of human knowledge. The works of various great societies, from the Greeks to the Persians, were translated into Arabic in the many libraries created by Muslim rulers (not only in al-Andalus but also in Baghdad under the Abbasid dynasty). One great site of learning was Córdoba in Spain. Here, as elsewhere, tremendous advances were made in the fields of philosophy, medicine, astronomy, architecture, and even urban development. While Europe was socially paralyzed, the citizens of Córdoba enjoyed streetlights and running water. Europe finally began the process of moving out of the Dark Ages in the early 12th century, and intellectuals visited the diverse libraries of the Muslim empires to regain lost knowledge. This period saw the retranslation of various works from Arabic back into European languages. Through this process, European intellectuals came to absorb the profound contributions made by Eastern thinkers.

Translated Arabic writings on medicine, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences were for centuries used as textbooks in medieval Europe, while the writings of Muslim philosophers like Ibn Sina (980-1037, known in the West as Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (1126-98, known as Averroes), and Jewish philosophers who wrote mainly in Arabic like Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204), were eagerly read and discussed and influenced several generations of medieval Christian philosophers and theologians. The period of European intellectual growth in the 11th century was accompanied by growth in commerce and trade. Markets and towns began to spring up. At this point, Muslims were one of the major obstacles to European expansion; the pagan raiders (such as the Normans and Magyars) that had relentlessly invaded Christian Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries had been converted and assimilated. The only enemy that remained was the Muslims.

Christian Offensives

Islam became a convenient “other” to mobilize support for the territorial ambitions of different rulers. In Spain, Christian rulers in the north began a war to retake the Iberian Peninsula from the “Muslim enemy” in what came to be known as the Reconquista (reconquest). In the East, the Christian Byzantine Empire (or Eastern Rome) suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the Muslim Seljuq Turks. The emperor wrote to Pope Urban II to seek Europe’s help against the Turks. His call was heeded. On November 27, 1095, Urban launched a holy war (known as the Crusades) and called upon all Christians in Europe to unite and fight against the “enemies of God.” This charge wasn’t simply about religion. For the Pope, the call to the defense of the faith and Jerusalem provided an ideal opportunity to cement the papal authority’s role in legitimating temporal rulers, and to reunite the Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) churches. Religion became the screen behind which social and economic conflicts were played out.

European rulers took up the clarion call of the Holy War for multiple reasons. Christian rulers, knights, and merchants were driven by the political, military, and economic advantages that would result from the establishment of a kingdom in the Middle East. Moreover, Europe consisted of a number of rival feudal regimes that constantly fought each other. The Crusades served as a means to reduce this intra-European conflict and to deflect attention onto an external enemy. Using religion to solidify identity and loyalty, the papacy sought to create a united Christian Europe over which it could hold spiritual authority. Those who responded to Urban’s declaration and joined the Crusader armies, however, were motivated by everything – from religious zeal to the rewards of plunder. A great feudal army entered Syria in 1097, captured Antioch in 1098, and then entered Jerusalem. In 1099, after a 40-day siege, the Crusaders took Jerusalem. The scale of the massacre traumatized the entire region.

The killing lasted two whole days at the end of which most of the Muslim population – men, women and children – had been killed. The Jews had fought side by side with the Muslims to defend the city but the entry of the Crusaders created a sense of panic. In remembrance of past ritual, the elders instructed the entire Jewish population to gather in the synagogue and in its surrounds to offer a collective prayer. The Crusaders surrounded the perimeter of the synagogue, set fire to the building and made sure that every single Jew was burnt to death. To maintain their dominance, the Crusaders needed to consolidate their military capabilities. This was accomplished through intensified accumulation. The result was: a) extreme exploitation of the Arab peasantry; and b) routine plundering of trade-caravans. Crusaders’ successes were primarily a result of internecine warfare within the Arab world. Sectarian schisms, notably a 30-year war between the Sunni and Shia factions, had weakened the Islamic camp.

Key rulers, politicians and military leaders on both sides had died in the years immediately preceding the First Crusade. “This year,” the historian Ibn Taghribirdi wrote in 1094, “is called the year of the death of caliphs and commanders.” The deaths sparked off wars of succession in both Sunni and Shia sects, further debilitating the Arab world. These sectarian divisions were exacerbated by the political disunity of the Islamic world. At first, the vast area the Arabs had conquered remained a single geopolitical entity under the Umayyad caliphs of Damascus. But the geography of the new Arab world contained several natural economic units in which separate ruling classes with interests of their own quickly developed. Distance limited the effectiveness of Umayyad rule. Nor was this the only problem. The Umayyads represented the Arab warrior aristocracy who had carried out the initial Islamic conquests and had settled in the ancient cities of Syria.

Their rule was increasingly resented by other sections of the population. The result was a revolution led by Abbasids – the cosmopolitan Persian faction within Islam. Rebels from Iran led by a descendant of the Prophet raised an army, overthrew the Umayyad caliphate, established a new dynasty, and laid down a wider and more secure base for continued Arab rule. However, the victory of the Abbasids disrupted the political cohesion of the Islamic world. During the 9th and 10th centuries, three centers of power emerged: the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, the Fatimid caliph in Cairo (belonging to the Shia tradition, which claimed descent from the fourth caliph, Ali, and his wife Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet) and the Umayyad caliph in Cordoba, established by the last remaining prince of the Umayyads, Abdel Rahman, who managed to escape to al-Andalus. Conflicts between and within these entities overstrained state power, drained national treasuries, and further weakened the rulers. During the 11th century the Abbasid caliphate effectively collapsed. The caliph’s Seljuk Turkish mercenaries seized power for themselves.

Islamic Resistance: Resurgence and Decline

As the Crusaders incurred the anger of large swathes of Muslim population, the Islamic states began regrouping. Northern Syria and Northern Iraq were united in 1128. Edessa was recaptured and added to the growing Islamic state in 1144. The Second Crusade of 1146-1148, organized in response to the Islamic resurgence, was an utter failure. Damascus and Southern Syria were added to the new state, and the Crusader Principality of Antioch shrank to a small coastal enclave. In 1183, Egypt was merged with the new Syrian super-state. The fusion of Egypt and Syria under the leadership of Saladin, a Kurdish warrior, greatly invigorated Muslim resistance. Saladin answered the Crusade with a call for popular jihad. On July 4, 1187, at the Battle of Hattin, Saladin, at the head of 30,000 men, destroyed the entire army of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. The recapture of the holy city followed soon after. There was nothing to compare with the wholesale massacres at Antioch and Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

Of the prisoners taken at Hattin, only one was executed (by Saladin himself), along with the Templar and Hospitaller knights, barbaric warriors who had waged a war of bigotry and genocide. Despite further expeditions, the Crusaders never recovered. Though it took a century to complete the process, their castles were reduced one by one, their territory gradually stripped away. Saladin’s victories had temporarily halted the Crusades, but the internal structures of the caliphate were permanently damaged, and new invaders were on the way. A Mongol army from Central Asia led by Hulagu Khan laid siege to Baghdad in 1258, calling on the caliph to surrender and promising that if he did so, the city would be spared. The caliph refused. The Mongol armies carried out their threat, laid waste to the city and executed the last Abbasid caliph. An entire culture perished as libraries were put to the torch.

The inglorious exist of the caliphate segued into the destruction of the Iberian Peninsula. The Christian kingdoms in the north of Spain had already been engaged in a tug-of-war with the southern Moorish states; the religious frenzy of the First Crusade turned this belligerent peace into a full-blown Crusade. In 1085, the city of Toledo in central Spain was taken by the Catholic kings, and by 1250 the Moorish empire was reduced to the emirate of Granada on the coastal strip in the south of Spain. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic monarchs of Spain, took control of Granada, thus completing the ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. It is important to note that during the period of Muslim rule over the Iberian Peninsula, Christians and Jews were tolerated as “people of the book” and were allowed to practice their religion if they paid a fee.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, as Europe began to come out of the Middle Ages and into the modern era, its relationship with Islam changed. There was a slow abatement in the discursive construction of Islam as an acute threat to the existence of the West. This shift was the result of a number of processes. First, the incomplete project of a united Christian Europe started to break down around this time due to the rise of nationalism. The emergence of proto-nationalist currents internally fragmented Europe and prevented any attempts aimed at forging a common front against Islam. Second, the renaissance of European culture further weakened the authority of the Church. The key source of anti-Muslim religious hatred, the Church, was no longer able to drum up holy wars; the Crusades came to an end. Third, the Mongols had now entered the picture and posed a threat to Europe. This recognition of lands beyond Europe, and of threats beyond the Muslims, put an end to the Manichean division of the world into Christianity and Islam.

The Crusader mentality continued in the 21st century as US Presidents used interventionist tactics in pursuit of the American empire’s economic interests. While Bush considered himself a noble Crusader, Osama bin Laden compared himself to Saladin. As Karl Marx noted, “all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice…the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” The dualistic schema of Crusader-Saladin – and the Islamophobia it promotes – will not end soon. America’s morbid fixation with a perpetual 11th-century battle of “us” against “them” is a hideous way of motivating soldiers, ennobling the otherwise bloodthirsty and fattening the pockets of the rich. To put it in other words, the binarizing discourses of the contemporary world are materially engraved in imperial structures; we are witnessing a clash of civilizations not on the ground but only in the violent jihadist visions of warriors in the East and neo-colonial West. As long as the US believes that it has the absolute right to destroy and imperialistically intervene in the affairs of any country, this cycle of hatred and prejudice will go on in an excruciating and endless manner.

The post The Long Crusades of Western Imperialism first appeared on Dissident Voice.

On Trumpism and Netanyahu-ism: How Benjamin Netanyahu Won America and Lost Israel 

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is as much American as he is Israeli. While other Israeli leaders have made their strong relationship with Washington a cornerstone in their politics, Netanyahu’s political style was essentially American from the start.

Netanyahu spent many of his formative years in the United States. He lived in Philadelphia as a child, graduated from Cheltenham High School and earned a degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. He then opted to live in the US, not Israel, when he joined the Boston Consulting Group.

Presumably for familial reasons, namely the death of his brother Yonatan, Netanyahu returned to Israel in 1978 to head the ‘Yonatan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute’. This did not last for long. He returned to the US to serve as Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988. At the time, Israel was ruled by a coalition government, which saw the rotation of two different prime ministers, Labor Party leader, Shimon Peres and Likud leader, Yitzhak Shamir.

Then, terms like ‘Labor’ and ‘Likud’ meant very little to most American politicians. The US Congress was, seemingly, in love with Israel. For them, Israeli politics was a mere internal matter. Things have changed in the following years, in which Netanyahu played a major role.

Even in the last three decades when Netanyahu became more committed to Israeli politics, he remained, at heart, American. His relationship with US elites was different from that of previous Israeli leaders. Not only were his political ideas and intellect molded in the US, he also managed to generate a unique political brand of pro-Israel solidarity among Americans. In the US, Netanyahu is a household name.

One of the successes attributed to Netanyahu’s approach to American politics was the formation of deep and permanent ties with the country’s burgeoning Christian fundamentalist groups. These groups, such as John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, used the support for Israel – based on messianic and biblical prophecies – as a point of unity and a stepping stone into the world of politics. Israel’s Netanyahu used them as reliable allies who, eventually, made up for the growing lack of enthusiasm for Israel among liberal and progressive circles across the US.

The Israel-evangelical connection may have seemed, at the time, a masterful stroke that could be attributed to the political ‘genius’ of Netanyahu. Indeed, it looked as if Netanyahu had guaranteed American loyalty to Israel indefinitely. This assertion was demonstrated repeatedly, especially as the fundamentalists came to Israel’s rescue whenever the latter engaged in war or faced any threat, whether imagined or fabricated.

As American politics shifted towards more populist, demagogic and conservative ideologies, the evangelicals moved closer to the centers of power in Capitol Hill. Note how Tea-party conservatism, one of the early sparks of the chaotic Trumpism that followed, was purportedly madly in love with Israel. The once marginal political camps, whose political discourses are driven by a strange amalgamation of prophecies and realpolitik, eventually became the ‘base’ of US President Donald Trump. Trump had no other option but to make the support for Israel a core value to his political campaign. His base would have never accepted any alternative.

A prevailing argument often suggests that Netanyahu’s mortal error was making Israel a domestic American issue. Whereas the Republicans support Israel – thanks to their massive evangelical constituency – the Democrats have slowly turned against Israel, an unprecedented phenomenon that only existed under Netanyahu. While this is true, it is also misleading, as it suggests that Netanyahu simply miscalculated. But he did not. In fact, Netanyahu has fostered a strong relationship with the various evangelical groups, long before Trump pondered the possibility of moving to the White House. Netanyahu simply wanted to change the center of gravity of the US relationship with Israel, which he accomplished.

For Netanyahu, the support of the American conservative camp was not a mere strategy to simply garner support for Israel, but an ideologically motivated choice, linking Netanyahu’s own beliefs to American politics using the Christian fundamentalists as a vehicle. This assertion can be demonstrated in a recent headline from The Times of Israel: “Top evangelical leader warns: Israel could lose our support if Netanyahu ousted.”

This ‘top evangelical leader’ is Mike Evans who, from Jerusalem, declared that “Bibi Netanyahu is the only man in the world that unites evangelicals.” Evans vowed to take his 77 million followers to the opposition of any Israeli government without Netanyahu. Much can be gleaned from this but, most importantly, US evangelicals consider themselves fundamental to Israeli politics, their support for Israel being conditioned on Netanyahu’s centrality in that very Israeli body politic.

In recent weeks, many comparisons between Netanyahu and Trump began surfacing. These comparisons are apt, but the issue is slightly more complex than merely comparing political styles, selective discourses and personas. Actually, both Trumpism and Netanyahu’s brand of Likudism – call it Netanyahu-ism – have successfully merged US and Israeli politics in a way that is almost impossible to disentangle. This shall continue to prove costly for Israel, as the evangelical and Republican support for Israel is clearly conditioned on the latter’s ability to serve the US conservative political – let alone spiritual – agenda.

Similarities between Trump and Netanyahu are obvious but they are also rather superficial. Both are narcissistic politicians, who are willing to destabilize their own countries to remain in power, as if they both live by the French maxim, Après moi, le déluge – “After me, the flood”. More, both railed against the elites, and placed fringe political trends – often marred by chauvinistic and fascist political views – at center stage. They both spoke of treason and fraud, played the role of the victim, posed as the only possible saviors, and so on.

But popular political trends of this nature cannot be wholly associated with individuals. Indeed, it was Trump and Netanyahu who tapped into, and exploited, existing political phenomena which, arguably, would have taken place with or without them. The painful truth is that Trumpism will survive long after Trump is gone and Netanyahu-ism has likely changed the face of Israel, regardless of Netanyahu’s next step.

Whatever that next step may be, it will surely be situated in the same familiar base of Netanyahu’s angry army of Israeli right-wing zealots and Christian fundamentalists in the US and elsewhere.

The post On Trumpism and Netanyahu-ism: How Benjamin Netanyahu Won America and Lost Israel  first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Racist, misogynist, militaristic, imperialistic, homophobic, white Christian supremacy

Canadians like to think of ourselves as less racist, less right wing and especially less violent than Americans. But two recent events coming after a previous series of mass murders has shaken this belief.

Four members of a Muslim family were murdered in a hate crime while out for a stroll last Sunday in London, Ontario; two weeks earlier 215 First Nations children were found buried on the grounds of a Kamloops, B.C. Indian residential school; one year ago 22 died during a shooting spree by a Nova Scotia wannabe cop with a severe anger management problem after a fight with his girlfriend; four years ago 26 people, mostly women, were mowed down by a misogynist on a Toronto sidewalk leaving 10 dead; a year before that, six worshippers were shot and killed by a young man in a Quebec City mosque. All murders motivated by right wing hate.

This isn’t the real Canada, some people say. But it is. And always has been.

The truth is Canada, the British colony that preceded it, and the French colony before that, were all founded on racist, misogynist, militaristic, imperialistic, homophobic, white Christian supremacy. This is a history we share with the USA, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, all members along with Canada, of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance.

Our countries have proudly glorified white male warrior, racist colonialism and participated in it at home and abroad. Our laws, our institutions, our foreign policy, our culture have all been affected by these vile practices and ideologies, and they continue to infect and influence us today.

And this is not ancient history.

Born in 1953, I have lived in a Canada with genocidal residential schools, racist laws and immigration policies, that forbade people from voting based on their ethnicity, that ensured property could only be sold to white Christians, that jailed people for their sexuality, that had quotas for Jews in universities, that criminalized women’s reproductive rights and taught me in Catholic school that men were the head of the family and to be proud of the British Empire. The legacy of all that remains alive in me and my country.

These are historical facts that, if acknowledged, can be confronted, and overcome. But you can’t build a better world on a foundation of lies or ignorance, only on concrete reality.

And confronting our past is not just “virtue signalling” or part of “woke” culture or some academic exercise or ritual self-flagellation to earn forgiveness for our sins. There are those who revel in and glorify this past and would return us to it, whether we like it or not. Ignoring or whitewashing our history empowers the right-wing extremists who today wish to create something very much like Margaret Atwood’s Republic of Gilead. It is not only our neighbours to the south who are at risk of an authoritarian fascism built upon making America great again. There are people in all the “Five Eyes” who promote racist, colonial, imperialistic, misogynist, militaristic, homophobic white Christian supremacy and will use violence to achieve their goals.

Having spent the past four years researching and writing about the extreme right in the FAKE NEWS Mysteries, including my latest, American Fascism, there is no doubt in my mind that more violence is coming.

Fascists are conservatives in a panic. They are panicked because they see the victories of women, people of color, First Nations, anti-racists, the LGBTQ+, unions, socialists, peace advocates, environmentalists and internationalists as threatening. They are funded by some very wealthy people who use fascists as the tip of the spear against economic democracy. At its root fascism is a violent defence of economic and social privilege.

To combat those who would inflict Gilead upon us, we must understand who we were, who we are and who we would like to be. As many self-help books posit, knowing yourself is the first step to change. That’s exactly why conservatives and fascists glorify the past, defend statues of racists and insist history should focus on instilling patriotism instead of telling the truth.

To combat them we must educate ourselves and especially our children. Only then can we build a better world, one where all people can live together in respect, dignity and equality. One that is not afraid of positive change. One that can resiliently resist right wing extremism.

The post Racist, misogynist, militaristic, imperialistic, homophobic, white Christian supremacy first appeared on Dissident Voice.

In our hurry to conquer nature and death, we have made a new religion of science

Back in the 1880s, the mathematician and theologian Edwin Abbott tried to help us better understand our world by describing a very different one he called Flatland.

Imagine a world that is not a sphere moving through space like our own planet, but more like a vast sheet of paper inhabited by conscious, flat geometric shapes. These shape-people can move forwards and backwards, and they can turn left and right. But they have no sense of up or down. The very idea of a tree, or a well, or a mountain makes no sense to them because they lack the concepts and experiences of height and depth. They cannot imagine, let alone describe, objects familiar to us.

In this two-dimensional world, the closest scientists can come to comprehending a third dimension are the baffling gaps in measurements that register on their most sophisticated equipment. They sense the shadows cast by a larger universe outside Flatland. The best brains infer that there must be more to the universe than can be observed but they have no way of knowing what it is they don’t know.

This sense of the the unknowable, the ineffable has been with humans since our earliest ancestors became self-conscious. They inhabited a world of immediate, cataclysmic events – storms, droughts, volcanoes and earthquakes – caused by forces they could not explain. But they also lived with a larger, permanent wonder at the mysteries of nature itself: the change from day to night, and the cycle of the seasons; the pinpricks of light in the night sky, and their continual movement; the rising and falling of the seas; and the inevitability of life and death.

Perhaps not surprisingly, our ancestors tended to attribute common cause to these mysterious events, whether of the catastrophic or the cyclical variety, whether of chaos or order. They ascribed them to another world or dimension – to the spiritual realm, to the divine.

Paradox and mystery

Science has sought to shrink the realm of the inexplicable. We now understand – at least approximately – the laws of nature that govern the weather and catastrophic events like an earthquake. Telescopes and rocket-ships have also allowed us to probe deeper into the heavens to make a little more sense of the universe outside our tiny corner of it.

But the more we investigate the universe the more rigid appear the limits to our knowledge. Like the shape-people of Flatland, our ability to understand is constrained by the dimensions we can observe and experience: in our case, the three dimensions of space and the additional one of time. Influential “string theory” posits another six dimensions, though we would be unlikely to ever sense them in any more detail than the shadows almost-detected by the scientists of Flatland.

The deeper we peer into the big universe of the night sky and our cosmic past, and the deeper we peer into the small universe inside the atom and our personal past, the greater the sense of mystery and wonder.

At the sub-atomic level, the normal laws of physics break down. Quantum mechanics is a best-guess attempt to explain the mysteries of movement of the tiniest particles we can observe, which appear to be operating, at least in part, in a dimension we cannot observe directly.

And most cosmologists, looking outwards rather inwards, have long known that there are questions we are unlikely ever to answer: not least what exists outside our universe – or expressed another way, what existed before the Big Bang. For some time, dark matter and black holes have baffled the best minds. This month scientists conceded to the New York Times that there are forms of matter and energy unknown to science but which can be inferred because they disrupt the known laws of physics.

Inside and outside the atom, our world is full of paradox and mystery.

Conceit and humility

Despite our science-venerating culture, we have arrived at a similar moment to our forebears, who gazed at the night sky in awe. We have been forced to acknowledge the boundaries of knowledge.

There is a difference, however. Our ancestors feared the unknowable, and therefore preferred to show caution and humility in the face of what could not be understood. They treated the ineffable with respect and reverence. Our culture encourages precisely the opposite approach. We show only conceit and arrogance. We seek to defeat, ignore or trivialise that which we cannot explain or understand.

The greatest scientists do not make this mistake. As an avid viewer of science programmes like the BBC’s Horizon, I am always struck by the number of cosmologists who openly speak of their religious belief. Carl Sagan, the most famous cosmologist, never lost his sense of awestruck wonder as he examined the universe. Outside the lab, his was not the language of hard, cold, calculating science. He described the universe in the language of poetry. He understood the necessary limits of science. Rather than being threatened by the universe’s mysteries and paradoxes, he celebrated them.

When in 1990, for example, space probe Voyager 1 showed us for the first time our planet from 6 billion km away, Sagan did not mistake himself or his fellow NASA scientists for gods. He saw “a pale blue dot” and marvelled at a planet reduced to a “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”. Humility was his response to the vast scale of the universe, our fleeting place within it, and our struggle to grapple with “the great enveloping cosmic dark”.

Mind and matter

Sadly, Sagan’s approach is not the one that dominates the western tradition. All too often, we behave as if we are gods. Foolishly, we have made a religion of science. We have forgotten that in a world of unknowables, the application of science is necessarily tentative and ideological. It is a tool, one of many that we can use to understand our place in the universe, and one that is easily appropriated by the corrupt, by the vain, by those who seek power over others, by those who worship money.

Until relatively recently, science, philosophy and theology sought to investigate the same mysteries and answer the same existential questions. Through much of history, they were seen as complementary, not in competition. Abbott, remember, was a mathematician and theologian, and Flatland was his attempt to explain the nature of faith. Similarly, the man who has perhaps most shaped the paradigm within which much western science still operates was a French philosopher using the scientific methods of the time to prove the existence of God.

Today, Rene Descartes is best remembered for his famous – if rarely understood – dictum: “I think, therefore I am.” Four hundred years ago, he believed he could prove God’s existence through his argument that mind and matter are separate. Just as human bodies were distinct from souls, so God was separate and distinct from humans. Descartes believed knowledge was innate, and therefore our idea of a perfect being, of God, could only derive from something that was perfect and objectively real outside us.

Weak and self-serving as many of his arguments sound today, Descartes’ lasting ideological influence on western science was profound. Not least so-called Cartesian dualism – the treatment of mind and matter as separate realms – has encouraged and perpetuated a mechanistic view of the world around us.

We can briefly grasp how strong the continuing grip of his thinking is on us when we are confronted with more ancient cultures that have resisted the west’s extreme rationalist discourse – in part, we should note, because they were exposed to it in hostile, oppressive ways that served only to alienate them from the western canon.

Hearing a Native American or an Australian Aboriginal speak of the sacred significance of a river or a rock – or about their ancestors – is to become suddenly aware of how alien their thinking sounds to our “modern” ears. It is the moment when we are likely to respond in one of two ways: either to smirk internally at their childish ignorance, or to gulp at a wisdom that seems to fill a yawning emptiness in our own lives.

Science and power

Descartes’ legacy – a dualism that assumes separation between soul and body, mind and matter – has in many ways proved a poisonous one for western societies. An impoverished, mechanistic worldview treats both the planet and our bodies primarily as material objects: one a plaything for our greed, the other a canvas for our insecurities.

The British scientist James Lovelock who helped model conditions on Mars for NASA so it would have a better idea how to build the first probes to land there, is still ridiculed for the Gaia hypothesis he developed in the 1970s. He understood that our planet was best not viewed as a very large lump of rock with life-forms living on it, though distinct from it. Rather Earth was as a complete, endlessly complex, delicately balanced living entity. Over billions of years, life had grown more sophisticated, but each species, from the most primitive to the most advanced, was vital to the whole, maintaining a harmony that sustained the diversity.

Few listened to Lovelock. Our god-complex got the better of us. And now, as the bees and other insects disappear, everything he warned of decades ago seems far more urgent. Through our arrogance, we are destroying the conditions for advanced life. If we don’t stop soon, the planet will dispose of us and return to an earlier stage of its evolution. It will begin again, without us, as simple flora and microbes once again begin recreating gradually – measured in aeons – the conditions favourable to higher life forms.

But the abusive, mechanistic relationship we have with our planet is mirrored by the one we have with our bodies and our health. Dualism has encouraged us to think of our bodies as fleshy vehicles, which like the metal ones need regular outside intervention, from a service to a respray or an upgrade. The pandemic has only served to underscore these unwholesome tendencies.

In part, the medical establishment, like all establishments, has been corrupted by the desire for power and enrichment. Science is not some pristine discipline, free from real-world pressures. Scientists need funding for research, they have mortgages to pay, and they crave status and career advancement like everyone else.

Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, wrote an editorial last November warning of British state corruption that had been unleashed on a grand scale by covid-19. But it was not just politicians responsible. Scientists and health experts had been implicated too: “The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency.”     

He added: “The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines.”

Global warming? We can create an even whiter paint to reflect back the sun’s heat. Plastics in every corner of our oceans? We can build giant vacuum-cleaners that will suck it all out. Vanishing bee populations? We can invent pollinator drones to take their place. A dying planet? Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk will fly millions of us to space colonies.

Were we not so technology obsessed, were we not so greedy, were we not so terrified of insecurity and death, if we did not see our bodies and minds as separate, and humans as separate from everything else, we might pause to ponder whether our approach is not a little misguided.

Science and technology can be wonderful things. They can advance our knowledge of ourselves and the world we inhabit. But they need to be conducted with a sense of humility we increasingly seem incapable of. We are not conquerors of our bodies, or the planet, or the universe – and if we imagine we are, we will soon find out that the battle we are waging is one we can never hope to win.

The post In our hurry to conquer nature and death, we have made a new religion of science first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Freedom of Thought and the Death of Ideologies

Amidst widespread mistrust of authority and governing institutions (politicians, particularly governments, are the least trusted group in society), dogma, from whatever source, appears to be losing its suffocating hold on the minds of people everywhere. Disillusionment with ideologically based solutions is being strengthened by the consistent failure of existing methods to solve the problems of the times, which are many and considerable.

If global and national challenges are to be met fully and whole-heartedly, creative reimagining, free of doctrine, is required; independent thinking outside the ideological box. Decrepit systems must be reappraised, the good retained the rest rejected; values realigned, belief systems revised and expanded. Humanity has been wedded to ideologies of one kind of another for eons. Our devotion to them strengthens self-identity, albeit limited and false, and provides a degree of comfort and order in a chaotic world which has no easily discernible logic or purpose to it. This is particularly so in relation to organised religions with their defined order, fixed doctrine and mapped-out route to ‘God’.

Capitalism, democracy and Christianity (2.2 billion believers) are the most pervasive global ideologies, but there are a host of others. In the religious field there’s Islam, the fastest growing religion (1.8 billion); Hinduism (the world’s oldest, one billion), which is not really a religion but a collection of traditions and ancient philosophies; Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism and Sikhism, plus a bundle of sub-sects. Then there are the socio-economic/political structures: Socialism, Neo-liberalism, Communism, Fascism, and the many divisions; on and on it goes.

A veritable jumble of isms then, conditioning the minds of everyone, everywhere, enabling control, fuelling social divisions, historic conflicts, sparking terrorism and wars too numerous to count. Ideologies consisting of systemized forms, inflexible rules and cherished beliefs administered by devotees, suited and enrobed intermediaries — between the ignorant masses and the state or the divine. Ordained or elected to perpetuate the system, devoutly deliver the doctrine, condition the unsuspecting from the pulpit, the election rally or news channel, and orchestrate the hollow rituals designed by their predecessors. Mass media and education, plus already infiltrated peers and parents are key feeding grounds for the perpetuation of ideologies

Love in Action

Alongside the calls for justice, a relentless rhythm of the times is the collective demand for freedom. It adorns the placards and lyrics of protest songs around the world. Various freedoms are contained within The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR): “Freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want, freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.” And crucially, “The right to freedom of thought” (Article 18). This ‘right’, which is the most important of them all, like numerous others contained within the aspirational articles of the UNDHR, does not exist anywhere in the world; it cannot exist within the boundaries of any ideology, and no society is free, not just from a specific ideology, but a potent cocktail of isms.

All belief systems inhibit and condition thinking, colour attitudes and impact behavior. Rigid adherence to isms of all kinds creates divisions, within the individual and by extension the society, and where division exists conflict and fear prosper. All of which runs contrary to the impulse and need of the time, for unity, collective action, cooperation and tolerance. It is these perennial ideals that need to be strengthened if we are to overcome the major issues facing us. All that separates and divides needs to be discarded.

Existing ideologies are in varying states of decay, with devotees of the doctrine lacking the freedom and imagination to allow the system (socio-economic, political or religious) to evolve. But as attitudes and values shift, and this is happening apace throughout the world, in order to be relevant and to adequately meet the demands of the time, evolve they must.

Unity is the key element in any such shift — the required guiding principle underlying the development of existing systems and modes of living. Systems and methodologies rooted not in ideology but in compassion and brotherhood, leading to love in action; systems designed to foster social justice, reduce inequality, dismantle divisions and build relationships.

Unity does not equate to mechanical conformity, that is what exists now; in a tolerant, non-judgmental space where the common good is the collective aim, different ideas can happily co-exist, each contributing to the enrichment and beautification of the whole. Oneness is the very nature of things,  the essence of who we are; creating ways of living that are rooted in and encourage expressions of this inherent fact is essential if we are to face the challenges of the time, safeguard the environment and begin to build a just and free world.

The post Freedom of Thought and the Death of Ideologies first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The health which I see is disease (… if the Hierarchical Church so defines)

Gates:  The Fauci Project

In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius Loyola, the man credited with the establishment of the Society of Jesus, to which the reigning Roman Catholic pontiff belongs, stipulated Rules to have the true sentiments, which we ought to have in the Church Militant. The thirteenth rule is:

To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of all souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the Ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.

— Rule 13

It is conspicuous that the de facto NATO chief drug lord, Anthony Fauci, was trained by Jesuits before he became head of the US biological and chemical warfare research machine embedded in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The regimental genealogy of the NIAID can be traced to the War Research Service, the US regime’s secret biological and chemical weapons research office, run by George W. Merck, president of one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world. In 1948, coincidental with the importation of Japanese and German war criminals with their cases of prison experimentation results, the War Research Service was transformed into the US Microbiological Institute.1 The War Research Service had been hidden in the Federal Security Agency, a Roosevelt organisation that included a variety of civilian programs deemed to have national security relevance. Federal security meant programs to protect against anything that could destabilise the US regime during the 1929 Great Reset.

After 1945 and the adoption of the UN Charter, repeating the injunction of the Kellogg-Briand Pact and establishing the offense at Nuremberg of “crimes against the peace”, wars did not stop.2 Instead names were changed. Names make a difference. The Washington Naval Treaty (1922) restricted the tonnage and types of ships that could be built. Hence ship classes were also renamed. At the same time armament and displacement were reallocated among new ship classes so that construction could continue. The US sought not only to buttress its secret first strike strategy against the Soviet Union but also later to circumvent the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties (starting 1972) by maintaining the same number of missiles and introducing the so-called MIRV, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles. In other words one missile was turned into a delivery system that could deliver the same number of warheads as additional missiles.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), America’s Gestapo, could not have been sold to the states had it been called a police force.3  In 1947, the National Security Act was also a response to the need for new language. If war was illegal then one could not have a “war department”. So the national military establishment was renamed the Department of Defence. After the ceasefire in Korea, the US was also forced to rebrand the programs developing weapons it denied ever having or using—namely the chemical weapons, already prohibited and the biological weapons it had inherited from the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army and the Japanese war criminals of Unit 731 Douglas MacArthur hid from exposure or trials.4 The principal war criminals from this secret Japanese military research facility no doubt joined their German colleagues recruited through the good offices of Allen Dulles.5

Although military research continued under the auspices of the US Army’s Chemical Corps and biological weapons research was still conducted, mainly at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD—with other major facilities such as Dugway Proving Ground, Wendover, UT—World War II had also raised the petrochemical industry and its sister pharmaceuticals to a major role in the military – industrial – complex. Atomic weapons had enormously expanded the already firm hold of DuPont on the munitions side. The Army Air Corps and the vastly expanded aeronautical and aerospace industry joined behind the new Air Force. Thus it should be no surprise that petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals needed their State bureaucratic partner for the massive post-war armaments program. It is important to remember here that one of the benefits of US strategic success in the war was the plunder of some of the most lucrative basic research and capture of the most ruthless research personnel available in Germany and Japan. When the leaders of the US regime whine about alleged intellectual property theft by China, they are merely sobbing at the inevitable trickle down from their historical larceny and brain draining.

It simply would have been impossible after the war in Korea to openly foster a biological warfare service in the US war machine. A solution was found. This was supported by trends already well established in the US. Since Frederick Taylor Gates assumed control over the General Education Board (GEB) within the Rockefeller tax dodge, the two largest tax dodges of the time, Carnegie and Rockefeller, had agreed to allocate the theatres of ideological warfare in defence of their fortunes, their class and the system that had come to be called capitalism. Rockefeller money would be devoted to manipulation of the domestic political environment and Carnegie money would be used to buy control of the international side.6

At the same time Gates advised Rockefeller to invest his loot in scientific medicine. Although Gates, like Rockefeller, came from a Baptist background, both had come to recognise that medicine is more powerful and intimate even than religion. Scientific medicine, based on the work of professionals operating with “security clearances” could turn the laboratory into technology for social transformation. Just as John D. Rockefeller had legalised his criminal activities to establish the Standard Oil monopoly, Gates proposed a strategy for establishing an ideological monopoly on medicine and thus a practically invincible defence of the gangster class’ prerogatives to rule.

Today’s complicity of the Johns Hopkins University (Bloomberg) School of Public Health should not be a surprise to anyone who recognises that history did not begin in 2019 or 2020. It was GEB money that founded the JHU School of Public Health (in 2001 named after the financial propaganda magnate, Michael Bloomberg, whose tax dodging has permitted him since 1995 to buy reputation at the nation’s premier population control academy).

Corporate control over scientific medicine, especially through funding of medical schools and medical research laboratories, combined with the integration of the pharmaceutical industry into the military-industrial complex. This process reached its international apex when the Rockefeller tax dodge, which had already made substantial financial donations to the United Nations organisation (notoriously supplying part of its feudal estate in Manhattan to build a kind of international “Vatican City”), managed the foundation of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The chief US delegate to the 1946 International Health Conference was Thomas Parran, the US Surgeon General, who would also be credited with the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on unwitting African-Americans (1932-1972).7  Rockefeller sent five official observers to the conference. Without a doubt the most powerful delegation at the conference was on the side of corporate medicine and pharmaceutical weaponry.

Recently those few critics of the WHO to be found complain about the amount of money it receives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.8  However, it is important to note that WHO was deliberately underfunded when it was started. A proposal that the organisation be funded by the United Nations was defeated in favour of separate contributions by members and a provision for financial gifts (bribes) from other sources.9

In 1955, the US Microbiological Institute was again renamed. It became the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1946, the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas, a military operation was renamed the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) and later becomes part of the US Public Health Service—itself a derivative of military/naval hygiene operations. In 1951, the CDC established its cadre program keeping with the ultimately military tradition to which it belongs. The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) was intended to satisfy “the need for an adequate corps of trained epidemiologists who can be deployed immediately for any contingency, including chemical or biological warfare”.

Consistent with US first strike strategy in its war against the Soviet Union, the 1950s were full of experiments to test human reactions to the radiation and the radioactive materials that formed the core of the atomic weapons economy. By 1954, the US was waging overt and covert war against all those countries that took the UN Charter seriously and attempted to establish themselves as independent and self-governing nations. As early as 1943, another operative of the Rockefeller tax dodge was leading what was called then the “Green Revolution”. In 1943 Norman Borlaug took the chemical-biological weapons research product from the US and invaded Mexico, preparing the foundation for the fertilizer-seed monopolies that together with official US policy would destabilise the largest country in Central America. The subsequent destruction of indigenous agriculture would not only stimulate migration of cheap labour to the North but contribute to the country’s debt crisis—despite its immense oil reserves.

The same technology that deceptively promised miracle harvests would be applied in the form of the herbicide Agent Orange during the 30-year US attempt to subordinate the Vietnamese population. On one hand the US wanted Vietnam to continue—with Korea—to subsidise its Japanese vassal with cheap food (rice). On the other, it was necessary to control the region’s huge opium sources inherited from France.10

1972 was a watershed in the world of war. Richard Nixon visited Mao in China. British Army units committed the massacre in Ireland known as Bloody Sunday. US aggression and bombing of Vietnam escalates massively. The assassination of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics, attributed to a terrorist group named “Black September”, provides the first pretext for major security controls at international airports. The US signs SALT I and the ABM Treaty. The Club of Rome publishes its eugenics treatise The Limits to Growth. The television whitewash of the war against Korea, M*A*S*H is first aired by CBS. The concepts of molecular biology and recombinant DNA (Stanley Cohen, Herbert Boyer, Paul Berg) receive public scientific recognition. Edelman and Porter are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for providing a picture of the structure and action of biologically important substances previously unavailable to immunology.11   US government officials admit that they had secretly used African-Americans as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee Study. Also the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was signed.12

The BTWC requires that each state “never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain: 1. Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; 2. Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.”

The US regime, in particular the CIA, already admitted during the so-called Church hearings one notorious incident although Senator Frank Church refrained from designating it as a possible violation of international law.13  Although the US regime ratified the treaty it has consistently resisted acceptance of inspection (enforcement) protocols consistent with its general self-exemption from international criminal law; e.g., self-exemption from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court whose establishment it forced. The treaty retains an advantageous loophole since it exempts prophylactic and protective purposes. This is very consistent with the renaming practices that began after 1945. Since the US by its own policy definitions does not wage offensive war all activities by its military establishment are prophylactic or protective.

In 2001, on the anniversary of the US-sponsored overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973, the NY World Trade Center towers were demolished following the crash of two passenger airliners into its upper floors. This triggered what became known in the US defence jargon as the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Within days of the spectacle, a sequestered federal legislature adopted the USA Patriot Act, the legislative framework for comprehensive domestic and foreign surveillance and policing. It also induced a “new normal” of invasions and occupations by US military and secret services as well as private contractors, massive air and ground travel restrictions. The Department of Homeland Security was created modelled on the CIA’s Phoenix Program in Vietnam.14  In fact, the “new normal” that has continued since 2001 is the globalisation of the Phoenix program, surveillance, kidnapping, assassination, torture, corruption and subordination of civil authority, black marketing of all manner of contraband—in short permanent covert war against the civilian population.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan, patron saint of the United States, declared during a sound check for radio broadcast, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes”. The Sandinista National Liberation Front wins elections in Nicaragua, triggering US covert war against the poor Central American country under the patronage of the re-elected St. Ronald. A methyl isocyanate leak due to an engineering design defect at a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, kills up to 23,000 people. NASA and the FAA performed an intentional crash of a Boeing 720 airliner using remote techniques for flying the Boeing 720 as a drone aircraft. In 1984, Anthony Fauci was promoted from Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation to director of NIAID and chief medical advisor to the POTUS.

It was the year after which George Orwell’s novel had been named. It was the year following the assertions by researchers Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier in 1983 that a novel retrovirus may have been infecting people with “AIDS” HIV. As director of NIAID, Anthony Fauci would lead and manage the dispersal of research funds to find treatment or cures for what was presented as a health threat of epidemic proportions. In the course of his career Dr Fauci would become the effective lord and master over HIV research and subsequent immuno-threats attributed to viruses, real or imagined. It has been said that although the mission of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is to reduce the threat of such afflictions, the number and frequency of allergies and infection diseases has increased since 1984.15

Dr Anthony Fauci is not only the highest paid federal employee; he has held his post under seven POTUS, even surpassing the 48-year reign of J Edgar Hoover as head of the secret police. Now he apparently is the drug lord with the last word on corona viruses, in particular the one known since 2020 as SARS – CoV2. Together with Bill Gates (no relation to the Rockefeller lieutenant, Frederick Taylor Gates) Anthony Fauci is in charge of defining the “new normal”. The Global War on Terror has now been turned into a biological war. The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) augments the NATO and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish new more intimate and saturated means of surveillance than those adopted in Washington two decades ago.

A comparison of the strategic language of the GHSA, the Third Offset and COVID-19 The Great Reset, shows just how effective the work of a century of financial malevolence has been.16  At the beginning of the 20th century Frederick Taylor Gates bought ruling class control through the domination of scientific medicine because “freedom from disease is the great longing of all peoples” and the desire for health as a unifying force “whose values go to the palace of the rich and the hovel of the poor”—where medicine is “a work which penetrates everywhere”.17 Today the great acolyte of John D. Rockefeller, William Henry Gates III, with Anthony Fauci as his medical field marshal, tell us that scientific medicine must first deliver us from disease by means of injections (aka vaccines) that will defend us against viral threats.18 The owner of a monopoly created selling software that cannot be protected from viruses is joined with a lifelong medical bureaucrat whose institution has proven incapable of protecting anyone from viruses converge in the war games held by the “ark” of Rockefeller-based medicine, Johns Hopkins University, the medical school and school of public health.19 Can that really be for the benefit of humanity?

Others have asked this question. The question leads to historical questions of great importance for understanding the biological war being waged since December 2019. Who is Bill Gates?20  Who is Anthony Fauci?21  Who is Klaus Schwab?22  What do the GHSA 2024 Framework, the Third Offset strategy and the WEF “Great Reset” have in common? If the “new normal” of 2001 has been so firmly imposed that the US offshore prison and torture system is no longer even mentioned—twenty years later—can anyone seriously expect that the “new normal” in 2021 will not be imposed. Repeatedly it is said that crises are opportunities. It ought to be clear by now for whom.

Could it be that there is a deeper, historical origin to the present crisis? In 1947 the business of war was renamed “defence”. Perhaps the business of biological war was renamed too. For decades the military – industrial – complex has been no secret. Its necessity was kept a secret until the 1970s.23 However, since 1992, the enemies of the Western ruling class have been reduced to China and the world population at large. The NATO war against the Federated Republic of Yugoslavia, nominally waged against Serbia, not only destroyed the last surviving socialist state in Europe, it destroyed the residue of the already anaemic Left. The framework was created for the integration of the environmental movement into the neo-liberal global system, in part under the umbrella of reactionary war profiteer George Soros’ Open Society consortium.24

Quietly what then might have been called the “Bilderberg” class was adopting the language of the compatible environmentalists. Using their control over the world’s mass media—intensified after a round of mergers under POTUS Bill Clinton—the Club of Rome jargon was reiterated especially through what became Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, formed shortly thereafter. Then in 2001 the first World Social Forum was convened in Brazil, ostensibly an opposition response to the Davos meetings. Just as the Davos meetings are paid from the troughs of multinational corporations and taxpayers, the WSF meetings could only be convened with the funds from taxpayers and corporate tax dodges funnelled through NGOs. Inevitably this has led to the creation of an international cadre whose special mission is the interface between the rulers under capitalism and the ruled. Although it would be an exaggeration to compare both institutions one-on-one, the gravy train of international conferences corrupts activists as often if not more so than scholars and scientists on the academic lecture circuit.

This harmonisation process gradually brought the jargon of the WSF, mediated by NGOs, into alignment with that of the WEF. This was most blatant with the explosion of the Swedish Alberich, Greta Thunberg, with her millenarian Climate Doom in 2019. The “Ring” cycle continued into 2020 with at least the populations of Anglo-America and the white dominions completely cowed by her doomsday performances. Thus the stage was set. It did not take much psychological pressure to turn a variant of the common cold into the “war of the worlds”. Moreover not only was the dynamic duo in Bethesda and Atlanta ready and waiting at “bat time and bat channel”, the de facto lord of the digital branch of the military-industrial-complex was able to activate all those integrated circuits in the GHSA and WEF to establish battlefield supremacy. The Colossus of Seattle and the Fauci Project presented to the planet: two worlds from which to choose—obedience or fear.

It was an appeal to Loyola’s Eighteenth Rule:

Although serving God our Lord much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all, we ought praise much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear—when the man reaches nothing else better or more useful—helps much to get out of mortal sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all acceptable and grateful to God our Lord, as being at one with Divine Love.

— Rule 18

  1. “US Microbiological Institute Established to Study Malaria, Polio, Typhus and Colds”, New York Times (23 October 1948).
  2. General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy (1928).
  3. Geheime Staatspolizei, secret state police—the undercover branch of the extensive policing apparatus subsumed by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) under Germany’s National Socialist dictatorship from 1933 – 1945. Like the FBI, the Gestapo performed as a national political police as well as conducting detective criminal investigations.
  4. See also Report of the International Scientific Commission for the Investigation of the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and China (1952).
  5. Most of this is associated with the CIA program known as Operation Paperclip. However, there were numerous programs for absorbing know-how from German scientific experiments wherever performed. IG Farben, a major industrial beneficiary from concentration camp exploitation, offered a natural channel, even to US corporations, through capture or cooperation among the constituent entities restored to operations after the war; e.g., Bayer AG.
  6. E. Richard Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America (1981).
  7. Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, conducted by the US Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was conducted in cooperation with the historically black college, Tuskegee Institute (University). Participants were told that they were receiving free medical care when, in fact, medical care was pretended so that the effects of syphilis could be studied on these unwitting, poor black sharecroppers. The 40-year study is only the most notorious of the unethical (in fact, criminal) research performed in violation of the derived Nuremberg principle of “informed consent“. Cornelius P. Rhoads performed similar experiments in the US colony of Puerto Rico in 1932. Rhoads stated (but later denied) that he had injected cancer cells into test subjects. Rhoads was also credited with developing the use of mustard gas—a chemical weapon—as a cancer therapy. He would be appointed head of research at what became Memorial Sloan – Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.
  8. The WHO program budget anticipated contributions in the amount of $7,969,367,000 of which only $956,900,000 were assessed from members. $5,242,480,000 came from “voluntary contributions”. As of Q4 2020, BMGF was the biggest funder of the WHO (11.8%) plus the 6.8% of the GAVI Alliance. The corporate interest in directing the WHO can be seen together with the funding from several other friends of humanity, 0.42% from the Bloomberg Family Foundation, 0.15% from Wellcome Trust, 0.13% from Sanofi-Aventis, 0.12% from the Rockefeller Foundation, 0.11% from Gilead Sciences Inc, 0.09% from Merck & Co. Inc, 0.06 from Bayer AG, 0.01% from Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies Contribution Fund Inc.
  9. See UN World Health Organization Interim Commission (June 1948) Official Records of the World Health Organization, Summary Report on Proceedings, Minutes and Final Acts of the International Health Conference held in New York from 19 June to 22 July 1946.
  10. For a discussion of the US war against Vietnam, see also “A Fly’s Eye View of America’s War Against Vietnam” in Dissident Voice, April 30, 2015.
  11. Gerald Edelman (1929-2014) went from the US Army Medical Corps to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (Rockefeller University) until 1992 when he joined the faculty of Scripps Research Institute as a professor of neurobiology.
  12. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction. It entered into force in 1975.
  13. C-Span, Clip of William Colby, Church Committee Hearing, 16 September 1975. The treaty entered into force 26 March 1975. US Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, chaired by Senator Frank Church (D) of Idaho.
  14. See Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (1990) and The CIA as Organized Crime (2017).
  15. Children’s Health Defence, statement by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  16. See e.g. Global Preparedness Management Board, 2019 Annual Report A World at Risk, Eric P. Hillner, “The Third Offset Strategy and the Army modernisation priorities”, Center for Army Lessons Learned (May 2019) and Klaus Schwab, Thierry Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset (2020).
  17. Brown (1981), p. 122.
  18. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NAID Biodefense Research for CDC Category A Agents (February 2002).
  19. 201 Event:  A global Pandemic Exercise.
  20. James Corbett, Who is Bill Gates? Corbett Report (05/01/2020).
  21. Dr David Martin, The Fauci/COVID-19 Dossier (2021) David Martin World YouTube channel.
  22. Johnny Vedmore, “Schwab Family Values”, Unlimitedhangout.com (21 February 2021) Vedmore mentions the cross-border support of the Nazis in which the Schwab family was involved. It is most likely that Allen Dulles, who was stationed in Switzerland at the time especially to monitor such relationships during WWII, knew about this and may well have provided later references for the post-war order he helped to construct.
  23. Journalism and Pornography”, Dissident Voice (5 January 2017).
  24. George Soros, Interview on CBS 60 Minutes (1998) Archive.org.  In the interview Soros explains that if he had not been profiting from the expropriation and deportation of Hungarian Jews during WWII, someone else would have done it.
The post The health which I see is disease (… if the Hierarchical Church so defines) first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Religion Meets Climate Change

Global warming is the biggest challenge of all time. It impacts every living species. However, the inherent dangers are very difficult to comprehend.  As such, people brush it off as one more issue in life that will somehow be handled, fixed, no worries, human ingenuity will prevail.

But, what if it’s not that simple?

Stuart Scott, executive producer of Facing Future.TV, which is part of United Planet Faith & Science Initiative (UPFSI.org) founded by Stuart, knows better than almost anybody that it’s not that simple.  He is one of the few, the exceptional, to cast aside a comfortable lifestyle to take on the biggest issue of the 21st century.

Along the way, Scott has racked up impressive achievements, one after another after another, bringing the climate issue directly to the heart and soul of the world’s leading religious leaders, as well as directly influencing scientific and political luminaries across the globe.

Of special note, in 2018 he introduced Greta Thunberg (aged 15) to COP24 (Conference of the Parties) in Poland. An overnight sensation, she enlightened the world to the dangers of climate change, especially the youth via her movement called #Fridays For Future. His early imprimatur of her courageous efforts in Sweden to influence parliament to tackle global warming literally brought her onto the world stage.

Stuart and Greta at a Fridays For Future rally in Stockholm Sweden

Scott does not adhere to the norms of mainstream life and culture, though he’s well known and respected within the scientific community as an extraordinarily powerful force behind the scenes, single-handedly moving mountains by initiating and powering ahead his personal crusade to inspire religious leaders of all faiths to pay heed to the forces of nature trapped in the iron clutches of rapacious ‘infinite growth economics’ within the Anthropogenic era, a remarkable geological age of humongous human footprints now consuming one-and-one-half Earths, likely not sustainable for much longer.

Stuart’s motivation runs deep, ever since his original commitment to Al Gore’s Oscar-winning “Inconvenient Truth.” He attended Gore’s training courses in 2007. Subsequently, he delivered over 100 presentations in public forums during his first year. In a February 2009 letter the former VP wrote: “I commend you for your work, which has contributed to the great increase of awareness and understanding of the climate crisis.” To this day, Stuart remains connected to Al Gore’s team. However, his posturing on climate change has deviated considerably to a much greater sense of urgency than Gore is willing to accept.

All of which served as a backgrounder, inspiring him to attend the climate summit COP14 in Poland in 2008. That exposure launched his trademark Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change of 2009 (InterfaithDeclaration.org) established to inspire and motivate religious leaders, in concert with scientists, to open doors for a thorough examination of the planet’s dangerously changing climate system, whilst pushing policymakers to find solutions, quickly, without hesitation. After all, ecosystems, especially where nobody lives to see it happening, were already showing early signs of collapse.

His work was enthusiastically embraced by religious leaders Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who, after hearing about Scott’s grandiose plans for betterment of the world, remarked, “I am going to need a clone of myself,” with so many commitments.

Soon after start of Scott’s campaign to blend faith with science in the fight against global warming, accolades arrived. Following his attendance at an intercessional meeting in Bangkok in April 2011, as a lead to COP17 in Durban, an international press release said of Stuart: “Man of All Faiths Fights for Climate,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) d/d April 8, 2011, highlighting his herculean efforts to change the course of humanity: “Scott, a 62-year-old American, who regards himself a man of all faiths, believes the forces of religion can make a positive impact on the tortuous diplomatic efforts to resolve the global warming crisis.”

Scott carried onwards and upwards to COP17 Durban, December 2011 where UN Climate Chief, Chistiana Figueres spoke of the remarkable selflessness of all those who worked to bring the Interfaith Declaration uniting people of all faiths to fight against the forces of global warming.

The UN World Council of Religious Leaders, the World Council of Churches, the Central Council of the Baha’i Faith, as well as secular organizations Greenpeace, McKibben’s 350.org and The Center for Biological Diversity endorsed Scott’s Interfaith Declaration.

The Holy See and Stuart Scott

Spiritualism and clairvoyance have always been at Scott’s side. Prior to delivering a very special message to Pope Benedict, he prayed at the foot of the cross in the Basilica of St. Clare that St. Francis famously said had spoken to him saying, “repair my church, which is falling in ruins.” Scott is neither Catholic nor Christian, but he nonetheless experienced murmurings of a series of serene ethereal voices, whispering encouragement, words that resonated within Stuart’s mind.  He silently asked for guidance on how he might succeed in personally delivering the handwritten message from Yvo deBoer, then Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, inviting Pope Benedict to attend COP15 in Copenhagen. His prayer was answered by what Scott describes as ‘a clear but silent whisper’ of the words, “Do it the way I did it.”

He received a letter of introduction from a highly placed cleric as an invitation to a “Public Audience” with the Pope. Scott was able to pass along a cloth bag containing 300 personal messages by individuals from around the world, inviting the Pope to COP15 in Copenhagen, December 2009.

Thereafter, “pulpit power” became Scott’s motto. With determination and hope, he pressed the world’s religious leaders to intercede in the most pressing issue of all time, a dangerously accelerating climate system that society at large found difficult to fully understand.

Pope Benedict did not attend COP15 but did issue strong statements on the day preceding the conference. In December 2009, in celebration of the Roman Catholic Church’s “World Day of Peace,” the Pope, voicing Scott, said: “Mankind needs to rethink its way of life.” Called the “Green Pope,” he suggested “more sober lifestyles” with reduced energy consumption in favor of energy efficiency like solar and proper management of forests. Those closest to Stuart, and UN staffers, felt that he helped bring about the Pope’s words.

Stuart Scott, similar to heads of state, has influenced, and/or personally met dignitaries across the world, including Greta Thunberg, Al Gore, Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Peter Wadhams, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, Dr. E. O. Wilson, Ela Gandhi (granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi), Jane Goodall, Christiana Figueres, Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, author and journalist Dahr Jamail, Noam Chomsky, Bill McKibben, President Barach Obama, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rabbis Jonathan Sachs and David Rosen, H. H. Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Phra Bramhapundit (Thai Buddhism’s chief spiritual leader), Rev. Baron Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury), Patriarch Bartholomew (spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox Church), Cardinal Peter Turkson, Pope Benedict XIV, and Pope Francis.

He attended 10 of the last 13 Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocols (COPs), or world climate conferences, becoming a regular feature at the venues.  He conducted interviews and panel discussions for broadcasting purposes branded as ScientistsWarning.TV and ClimateMatters.TV under the banner of ScientistsWarning.org, which he founded in order to spread the word of an emerging climate emergency beyond anything humanity had ever encountered.

Early climate change warning signs clearly stood out when Stuart began his quest in 2008. Accordingly, to move the needle to fix the problem, especially amongst stubborn naïve nation/states, required divine intervention, in addition to science. Stuart Scott fit that bill as a scientifically trained accomplished public speaker.

In 2016 Stuart met Pope Francis in person, which was a year after the release of the Pope’s major encyclical – Laudato Si (released June 18, 2015) a strongly worded diatribe on Climate and Justice. “Caring for Creation” is one of the seven tenants of Catholic orthodoxy.

Pope Francis, a trained chemist, in concert with his team of scientists, distinctly stated: “Climate change is the greatest threat to life our Earth has ever seen… and it is caused by humans.” He described relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness.

Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years”1

On December 7, 2020 Scott received an email letter from Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, named by Pope Francis as the first prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and widely regarded as “papabile,” meaning a candidate for election to the papacy. The cardinal’s letter to Scott stated: “I have read your mail and the urgent request to have the Pope participate in an interfaith event at Glasgow.”

On a personal note, the cardinal’s letter also referenced Scott’s battle with cancer: “…that it may help and contribute to healing.” Prayers for his recovery are ongoing at the Holy See.

The 2021 United Nation Climate Change Conference aka: COP26 is scheduled for November 1-12, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. At the meeting, Glasgow will likely be populated with 25,000–30,000 attendees from around the world.

Will Pope Francis attend COP26 at Stuart Scott’s urgent request?

Already, Cardinal Turkson has advised Scott that Pope Francis will likely send a pre-recorded message; hopefully, he can also attend.

Scott’s tireless efforts over twelve years of strategic work with the Holy See are coming to fruition more so than ever before via a request by Cardinal Turkson’s Dicastery for Mr. Scott to source an intern in Ecological Economics for the Holy See.

Ever faithful and deeply spiritual, Stuart Scott carries a small Saint Francis cross and regularly communicates via meditation and prayer with Archangels Michael and Raphael.

His widely endorsed Directive brings science and religious faith together, which propitiously led to an unexpected introduction to the dean of climate science, James Hansen, the world’s leading climate scientist and former director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science, meeting together by happenstance at a restaurant close to the Columbia University campus.

Dr. Hansen avoided attendance to climate negotiations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for 20 years, until he met Stuart Scott, who convinced him that his criticism of the affairs would have more cache if, in fact, he attended the meetings, critiquing from one of the UNFCCC’s press conferences.

That chance meeting blossomed into their joining together for attendance at COP21 in Paris in 2015 at the landmark Paris climate accord agreed to by the nations of the world. At the end, Dr. Hansen dismissed the negotiations as “ineffective.” The conclusion was far too political, “a sham” in Hansen’s words. Nevertheless, Scott convinced him to attend future climate meetings in order to continue legitimately stating his position in opposition to politically motivated sham agreements.

Will Hansen appear at COP26? He has committed to attend if Stuart attends, which is uncertain because of Stuart’s cancer. At COP25 he had to be helped onto the stage in a wheelchair. The week prior he experienced chemotherapy treatment.

For the better part of two decades, Stuart Scott has interfaced with Buddhist monks, Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals, and Popes, Hindu Swamis, Sikh Granthi, Christian ministers and scientists to support efforts to save the world from humanity’s carelessness and ignorance, which, far and away, is the most potent adversary of the factual evidence as discovered by science.

Stuart has made the ultimate sacrifice. In that regard, he believes that the extreme levels of continuous stress associated with his work likely brought on his cancer. He has achieved major accomplishments all the while without outside financial support beyond his own dwindling lifetime savings.

Stuart Scott’s mission is an important one. It is serious work. It is tough work. It is thankless. Yet, he does it… the most challenging thankless work in the world.

Thanks, Stuart!

Postscript: FacingFuture.TV recently announced the launch of a special event, which Stuart helped organize, on January 9th, 2021 in which the Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg will join together with leading scientists to discuss five short films entitled Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops narrated by Richard Gere.

Details here

  1. Encyclical Letter Laudato Si of the Holy Father . Francis.
The post Religion Meets Climate Change first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Four F’s

In 1940, eighty years ago, a New Yorker deemed by many in the Establishment a “dictator” who had to be removed — and went so far as to conspire except that General Smedley Butler denounced the plot — was elected to a third term as the President of the corporate United States. He was an established member of the Democratic Party from an established family among the US plutocracy who had been forced by the catastrophic handling of the 1929 Great Reset, aka as the Great Depression, by his nouveau riche predecessor Herbert Hoover, to restore popular support for the regime.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to be written into orthodox US history as a quasi-Bolshevik among US chief executives. All the measures forced upon him by populist, socialist and even communist activism were to lead to his beatification, especially after his untimely death in April 1945. Roosevelt never achieved sainthood like Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington but at least until 1980 he was widely worshipped by the survivors of the era and those who vainly clawed at US history for any soul who could redeem the plutocracy from damnation. The legacy attributed to him is also the very thin foundation upon which subsequent generations would claim that the party of slavery and Jim Crow was the “Left” or in American political jargon “progressivism” (the late 19th century intellectual notion that the plutocrats could gradually be persuaded to yield their wealth and power in favour of the mass of ordinary citizens, albeit mediated by technocrats appointed by that same plutocracy).

In fact, it was more likely than not the necessity of the day — maybe even with the advice of his personal ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph Davies — that led him to embrace diluted social welfare measures. However, it could just as well have been the convergence of political attitudes common to all but the most stubborn governments that state-organised relief was infinitely superior to revolution. The policies adopted and labelled for posterity as “The New Deal” were not much different from those adopted by the NS regime in Germany or Mussolini’s fascist state. In other words, countries with an industrial base and military infrastructure used both to organise unemployed workers in ways that served the State and relieved the pressure of mass unemployment and revolutionary agitation.

Europe was on the brink of war, too. Those who understood what the so-called “appeasement” in Munich really meant, like Joseph Davies, also knew that Germany was being armed for war against the Soviet Union. They also understood that France and Britain were passively supporting these preparations. With a little imagination, they could know that the US plutocracy was also supporting this effort with money and materiel. Of course, the US was engaged in its own preparations for the Pacific theatre. Later US Secretary of State Dean Acheson headed an office in the US State Department waging economic warfare against Japan.

In short, world war against the Soviet Union and Japan had been in the planning and was awaited if not openly discussed. With this in mind, it would do well to reread Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address delivered to the US Congress on 6 January 1941. It was about six months before the launch of Operation Barbarossa — the German invasion of the Soviet Union — and eleven months before the Japanese Empire would respond to US provocations by attacking the unguarded colonial naval station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Franklin Roosevelt’s 6 January address was remembered in orthodox history as the “Four Freedoms” speech. Afterwards it was interpreted as a statement of the US philosophy behind its war aims. Roosevelt devoted much of the speech to the principles of that great political cliché “bipartisanship”:

In the recent national election there was no substantial difference between the two great parties in respect to that national policy. No issue was fought out on this line before the American electorate. And today it is abundantly evident that American citizens everywhere are demanding speedy and complete action in recognition of obvious danger. Therefore, the immediate need is a swift and driving increase in our armament production.

But after all the explanations and appeals to a Congress he expected to finance the massive war effort, it was fit and proper to give this war a moral quality it scantily possessed. Thus certainly to imitate his 1916 predecessor, there must be slogans. So Roosevelt continued:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship god in his own way—everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want—which translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception—the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Naturally Franklin Roosevelt’s view of US history was that of the Empire which his cousin Theodore, among others, helped to enlarge. It was a view that took the imperial conquest of the American continent and domination of the Western hemisphere for granted. And yet there was the moral imperative to wage war and to win an insular population for another global venture.

Eighty years later, at this writing, the first man in at least a century to be elected POTUS who was not either a senior civil servant, military officer or professional politician (or CIA asset), whom the Establishment also accused of being a “dictator” or a “Hitler” is serving the remainder of his term. Having survived non-stop international opposition including a failed impeachment attempt, Donald Trump may conceivably deliver a State of the Union Address in January 2021, eighty years after Franklin Delano Roosevelt began the US participation in the world war against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is no more — having been defeated thirty years ago by the relentless warfare of the West.

However, the United States has never been short of countries to dominate economically, militarily, politically and culturally. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century we should not be surprised by the world war against China that the US has been preparing for at least a decade now. So perhaps it is time for another slogan, the four F’s inspired eighty years ago, why not today? Here is a suggested update, to pick up where FDR left off.

In future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human fears:

The first is the fear of admitting that the State and Business lie to us.

The second is the fear of admitting that conformity of opinion is more important than honesty and truth of information.

The third is the fear of admitting that civil and human rights really do not count, anywhere.

The fourth is fear of life itself — death with a little help perhaps, comes of its own accord.

The post The Four F’s first appeared on Dissident Voice.

A Comparison of Respect for the Sanctity of Mosques in France, the US, and China

France has seen a spate of attacks carried out by radicalized Muslims. The attacks and killings must be denounced. But more so must one denounce the terrorism and killings carried out by the French state against Muslims in its wars abroad. In a move that gives a strong inkling of French values, the French state has targeted 76 mosques for “unprecedented action” and potential closure.

France is a party to the western chorus that condemns the alleged internment of the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. China has rebutted the western disinformation; for example, China provided real-site photos in Xinjiang to debunk satellite images as purported evidence of so-called internment camps.

Eljan Anayt, spokesperson of the Xinjiang regional government, said,

I want to emphasize that Xinjiang is an open region, and there is no need to learn about it through satellite images. We welcome all foreign friends with objective, unbiased stance to come to Xinjiang and to know a real Xinjiang.

The Qiao Collective, an all-volunteer group comprised of ethnic Chinese people living abroad, complied a must-read report on Xinjiang that warned of “politically motivated” western disinformation:

The effectiveness of Western propaganda lies in its ability to render unthinkable any critique or alternative—to monopolize the production of knowledge and truth itself. In this context, it is important to note that the U.S. and its allies are in the minority when it comes to its critiques of Chinese policy in Xinjiang. At two separate convenings of the UN Human Rights Council in 2019 and 2020, letters condemning Chinese conduct in Xinjiang were outvoted, 22-50 and 27-46. Many of those standing in support of Chinese policy in Xinjiang are Muslim-majority nations and/or nations that have waged campaigns against extremism on their own soil, including Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, and Nigeria. On the issue of Xinjiang, the clear break in consensus between the Global South and the U.S. bloc suggests that Western critiques of Xinjiang are primarily politically motivated.

France states that its crackdown on radicalized mosques is spurred by terrorist actions. The Qiao Collective notes that France had earlier begun its own “de-radicalization programs.”

➤ 2015 October – France begins operating “de-radicalization programs.” It would seem these programs have since garnered mostly criticism from the public, but mainstream Western discourse has not accused France of cultural genocide.

Earlier in 2020, French media alleged the destruction of mosques in Xinjiang by Chinese authorities. The New York Times ran a similar story claiming that “China Is Erasing Mosques and Precious Shrines in Xinjiang …” This is coming from the US that erased several Indigenous nations from it landmass at its establishment. This is coming from a country that is engaged in genocide against Muslims worldwide — calculated to be 34 million avoidable deaths in 20 countries post-9-11.1

The below video depicts how US forces respect the sanctity of a mosque during its illegal war waged in Iraq, a war based on the fixing of intelligence and facts indicating that Iraq possessed weapons-of-mass-destruction (weapons that the US arrogates the right to possess to itself and some of its allies) around the policy. That war has been condemned as a genocide.2

Regarding the situation surrounding mosques in China, CGTN corrected the western disinformation:

Western accusations of “forceful demolition of mosques,” “persecution of religious leaders,” and “restrictions of religious freedom” in Xinjiang are “ridiculous” and “groundless,” and the lies and slandering have deeply offended the feelings of Xinjiang people and tarnished the true picture of Xinjiang, Xinjiang Islamic Association said in a statement…

Xinhua, the largest media organization in China presented an affirmative and uplifting video on the respect for Islam by the Chinese government.

Another video report cites the greater number of mosques in China than in either the US or France, even when compared per capita; the modernization of mosques having been carried out; the effectiveness of a respectful de-radicalization program in Xinjiang; and the reluctance of western governments and western media to acknowledge terrorism having been carried out in China.

The Qiao Collective provides relevant background information that China has been a victim of several attacks by Muslim terrorists:

Although there were many attacks between 1990 and 2016 and not all of the information is yet available, some high-profile attacks are as follows:

➤ 2009 July 5The Urumqi Riots, 197 killed, 1700 wounded…

➤ 2013 October 28 – Tiananmen Attack, 5 killed, 40 wounded…

➤ 2014 March 1 – Kunming Train Station Attack, 31 killed, 141 wounded…

➤ 2014 May 22 – Urumqi Attack, 39 killed and 94 injured …

➤ 2014 July 30Assassination of Imam Jume Tahir at the Id Kah Mosque after morning prayers…

➤ 2016 September 6 – Kyrgyzstan’s state security service attributed the suicide bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek to the ETIM/TIP.

While terrorist actions have been carried out by Muslims, this points to a minority among Muslims. In no way does it diminish Islam as a religion compared to other religions because there is plenty of terrorism to be attributed to other confessions such as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Unless otherwise demonstrated by solid evidence, then the terroristic actions must be acknowledged as that of a minority in the religion. Any actions taken to remediate the violent factions must be undertaken in a respectful manner that does not tarnish the entirety of a group.

Finally, to stake out the moral high ground, the state must abstain from carrying out its own terrorism.

  1. See Gideon Polya, US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide (Korsgaard Publishing, 2020). Review.
  2. See Abdul Haq al-Ani and Tarik al-Ani, Genocide in Iraq: The Case against the UN Security Council and Member States, (Clarity Press, 2013). Review.

The post A Comparison of Respect for the Sanctity of Mosques in France, the US, and China first appeared on Dissident Voice.