Transcending the Hegelian Dialectic and Duality Reality

By Rosanne Lindsay

Source: Waking Times

In our ego-driven, divide-and-conquer world, we live in a duality reality. This reality reflects a matrix of opposites: introvert/extrovert, beginning/end, living/dead, mind/matter, wave/particle, self/other, material/spiritual, on/off, right/left. This is merely a separation of the mind that always wants to compare. We are both and neither. Humanity is a part of Nature and Nature is a continuum. In Nature, there is no separation, no opposition, no self and other, no conflict, and no destruction, unless destruction is balanced with creation. Just as Nature is self-sustaining and self-healing, so are we.

The hierarchical, dual systems in which we find ourselves, from prisons to politics, are grounded in duality, promoting separation over unity, creating leaders and followers. The system is served well by the Hegelian Dialectic.

The Hegelian Dialectic originated with George Hegel, a nineteenth century school teacher, who argued that human nature is a series of conflicts and resolutions that eventually elevate humankind to a unified spiritual state. The process is based in three easy steps: Problem-Reaction-Solution. Create a problem. Foment a reaction (of anger or sympathy). Provide a solution.

Two hundred years later, whatever Hegel’s good intentions, the goal to achieve unity from conflict-resolution has remained unproven and unachievable. Under duality reality, economic chaos has produced increased taxation. Shortages of oil and food have reinforced monopolies. The threat of pandemics has led to vaccine mandates. The threat of terrorism has resulted in restrictions on individual freedoms. Conflict has only bred more conflict.

The obvious truth that refutes Hegel’s idea is that unity is not uniformity. Unity follows no leaders and leads no followers. Unity does not restrict, limit, or conform through education or through more regulations and mandates. Unity fails where players must choose to align with a tribe and plug into the implicit biases of tribal programming. The tribe – wearing the suits of political parties or the robes of religious sects – reinforces the divisions and the information that we already believe and want to hear.

Hegel’s goal for unity can never work because in duality reality we naturally choose competition over compassion. In our system of choosing sides we lose our individuality. We hope for peace and wonder why nothing ever changes. Those who believe they are on the side of peace accuse others of being on the side of war. Each group fights with weapons of words, never able to find peace, unity, or common ground because the very foundation of the system keeps people divided.

Duality Matrix

Each side feels threatened by the other in a struggle over control. The duality matrix creates winners and losers. The media reinforces the infighting that keeps both sides distracted while an imbalance of power is maintained – the few controlling the many. The many are promised protection and security against all their fears. However, no guarantees are granted. As a consequence, the many are left feeling vulnerable and powerless, embracing their servitude and begging for greater protections at the expense of their freedoms.

As a nation, we experience the fear of vulnerability every time we are faced with the consequences of an unexpected natural, or man-made disaster. We have become dependent on the guise of security in the form of the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), so much so, that when the information is incorrect and the system fails, we are left helpless, not knowing how to forage for food, build shelter, or fend for ourselves as our ancestors did. We are a technically advanced nation without a community and without a connection to the land on which we live.

We believe that in giving our allegiance to the State and Federal government that we are protected. However, the State, including local law enforcement has no duty to protect us. The Supreme Court revealed this truth in 1856 in South v. Maryland when it ruled, “Local law-enforcement had no duty to protect individuals but only a general duty to enforce the laws. The Supreme Court uses the Constitution to protect the State in its ruling in Bowers v. Devito:

“there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the state to let the people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order.”

In exchange for votes to uphold a dual system, people receive a false sense of security. However, our inherent rights do not come from the government, The Constitution, or The Bill of Rights, or any paper document. These are merely symbols. Inherent rights and freedoms are not dictated by regulations and statutes but by common sense and morals, as long as no harm or loss is caused. Inherent rights are higher, transcendent rights that are “unalienable.” These rights are God-given under the laws of nature, and can neither be granted nor withdrawn. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads in part:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

New Hampshire is the only state in the country to have an express, written right of revolution in the state constitution. The only concern is the non-negotiable prohibition against violence of any sort in the enforcement or manifestation of this right.

Text of Article 10: Right of Revolution:

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Transcend Duality Reality

The division of opposites will continue to play out in reality until we recognize that all war and peace, introvert and extrovert, light and dark exists within us. To attack another is to attack one’s very nature. To judge another is to judge one’s self. In peaceful resistance, we can either opt out or withdraw consent from any system that would subvert unity and cooperation. Just saying NO can be a powerful stance.

Transcending duality reality comes down to creating new rules under Natural Law, that does away with the hierarchical systems of authority. It also requires real choice. Choosing not to participate in a system that doesn’t serve the greatest good is making an energy statement as powerful as choosing to participate. Choice determines outcome. Withdrawing consent is not apathy but the opposite of apathy. Being vulnerable is not the problem, but fear is. F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is merely a construct of the mind, but it serves to hold humanity in shackles. The power to transcend conflict, and come together, is found in choosing kindness as our tribe.

Are we ready?

 

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Posted in civil liberties, conditioning, consciousness, corporate news, culture, divide and conquer, media, news, Philosophy, Psychology, Revolution, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Spirituality, State Crime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saturday Matinee: American Nomads

Synopsis from Top Documentary Films

Beneath the America we think we know lies a nation hidden from view – a nomadic nation, living on the roads, the rails and in the wild open spaces.

In its deserts, forests, mountain ranges and on the plains, a huge population of modern nomads pursues its version of the American dream – to live free from the world of careers, mortgages and the white picket fence.

When British writer Richard Grant moved to the USA more than 20 years ago it wasn’t just a change of country. He soon found himself in a world of travelers and the culture of roadside America – existing alongside, but separate from, conventional society. In this film he takes to the road again, on a journey without destination.

In a series of encounters and unplanned meetings, Richard is guided by his own instincts and experiences – and the serendipity of the road. Traveling with loners and groups, he encounters the different ‘tribes’ of nomads as he journeys across the deserts of America’s south west.

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The Con of Diversity

By Chris Hedges

Source: OpEdNews.com

In 1970, when black students occupied the dean’s office at Harvard Divinity School to protest against the absence of African-American scholars on the school’s faculty, the white administration was forced to respond and interview black candidates. It asked James Cone, the greatest theologian of his generation, to come to Cambridge, Mass., for a meeting. But the white power structure had no intention of offering Cone a job. To be black, in its eyes, was bad enough. To be black, brilliant and fiercely independent was unpalatable. And so the job was given to a pliable African-American candidate who had never written a book, a condition that would remain unchanged for the more than three decades he taught at Harvard.

Harvard got what it wanted. Mediocrity in the name of diversity. It was a classic example of how the white power structure plays people of color. It decides whom to promote and whom to silence. When then-Maj. Colin Powell helped cover up the 1968 massacre of some 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam he was assured a glittering career in the Army. When Barack Obama proved obedient to the Chicago political machine, Wall Street and the Democratic Party establishment he was promoted to the U.S. Senate and the presidency.

Diversity in the hands of the white power elites — political and corporate — is an advertising gimmick. A new face, a brand, gets pushed out front, accompanied by the lavish financial rewards that come with serving the white power structure, as long as the game is played. There is no shortage of women (Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Donna Brazile), Latinos (Tom Perez and Marco Rubio) or blacks (Vernon Jordan, Clarence Thomas and Ben Carson) who sell their souls for a taste of power.

Ta-Nehisi Coates in his book “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” writes that “Barack Obama is directly responsible for the rise of a crop of black writers and journalists who achieved prominence during his two terms.” But this was true only for those black writers like Coates and Michael Eric Dyson who were obsequious cheerleaders for Obama. If, like Cornel West, you were black and criticized Obama you were isolated and attacked by Obama surrogates as a race traitor.

“For those who didn’t support Obama it was the lonely time,” said Glen Ford, the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, when we spoke recently. “It’s like A.D. and B.C. Before Obama time, my politics reflected that of a black commentator, probably within a respectable black political spectrum. I’m looking at a fax, ‘NAACP September 8, 2007. NAACP regional leader.’ I got this after giving a keynote speech in Little Rock, Ark., in commemoration of the events in Little Rock in ’57. You see what I’m saying? I could do that, even as late as 2007. Then Obama happened. It was a wonderful time for people who endorsed Obama. If you didn’t endorse Obama, you were verboten in the community. All of a sudden you were ostracized.”

The absence of genuine political content in our national discourse has degraded it to one between racists and people who don’t want to be identified as racists. The only winners in this self-destructive cat fight are corporations such as Goldman Sachs, whose interests no American can vote against, along with elite institutions dedicated to perpetuating the plutocracy. Drew G. Faust, the first woman president of Harvard University, whose appointment represented a triumph for diversity, upon her retirement was appointed to the board of Goldman Sachs, a role for which she will receive compensation totaling over half a million dollars a year. A new and “diverse” group of Democratic Party candidates, over half of whom have been recruited from the military, the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department, is hoping to rise to political power based on the old con.

“It’s an insult to the organized movements of people these institutions claim to want to include,” Ford said. “These institutions write the script. It’s their drama. They choose the actors, whatever black, brown, yellow, red faces they want.

“I don’t think a black left should be investing any political capital or energy into getting Barack Obamas into a Harvard,” Ford said, “or believing it can transform Harvard or any of these ruling-class universities from the inside out, any more than it can transform the Democratic Party from the inside out.”

Ford points out that “diversity” has been substituted by the white power elites for “affirmative action.” And, he argues, diversity and affirmative action are radically different. The replacement of affirmative action with diversity, he says, effectively “negates African-American history as a legal basis for redress.”

Once the Supreme Court in its 1978 Bakke decision outlawed “quotas” for racial minorities, ruling institutions were freed from having to establish affirmative action programs that would have guaranteed a space for those traditionally excluded. The Trump administration’s recent reversal of an Obama-era policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in admissions is an attempt to eradicate even diversity. President Trump and his racist enablers, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, are resegregating America.

“You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe you have been completely fair …” President Lyndon Johnson said in 1965 to the graduating class of Howard University. “This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity — not just legal equity but human ability — not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.”

Johnson’s call, along with that of Martin Luther King Jr., was swiftly sabotaged by white, liberal elites, who divorced racial justice from economic justice. White liberals could live with laws prohibiting desegregation but not with giving up some of their financial and social privilege.

“White liberals are not seeking justice,” Ford said. “They’re seeking absolution. Anything that absolves them of responsibility for what this society has done, they welcome it. They’re hungry for it.

“The legal, as well as moral, basis for affirmative action lay in the culpability of the United States and all of its layers of government in the enslavement and Jim Crow ‘hobbling’ of African-Americans — a unique history of oppression of a specific people that requires institutional redress,” Ford has written. “Otherwise, the legacies of these crimes will reproduce themselves, in mutating forms, into infinity. Once the specificity of the Black American grievance was abandoned, affirmative action became a general catch-all of various historical wrongs. Stripped of its core, affirmative action morphed into ‘diversity,’ a vessel for various aggrieved groups that was politically versatile (and especially useful to the emerging Black deal makers of electoral and corporate politics), but no longer rooted in Black realities. The affirmative action of Dr. King and President Johnson was a species of reparations, a form of redress for specific and eminently documentable harms done to African Americans, as a people. It was understood as a social debt owed to a defined class.”

“‘Diversity,'” Ford wrote, “recognizes no such debt to a particular people, or to any people at all. Rather, its legal basis is the ‘compelling interest’ of public institutions in a diversified student body (or faculty).”

Diversity does not force the white power structure to address racial injustice or produce results within the black underclass. This feint to diversity was abetted, Ford points out, by black elitists who found positions for themselves in the power structure in exchange for walking away from the poor and marginalized.

Ford calls these black elitists “representationalists” who “want to see some black people represented in all sectors of leadership, in all sectors of society. They want black scientists. They want black movie stars. They want black scholars at Harvard. They want blacks on Wall Street. But it’s just representation. That’s it.”

The plague of diversity lies at the core of our political dysfunction. The Democratic Party embraces it. Donald Trump’s Republican Party repudiates it. But as a policy it is a diversion. Diversity has done little to ameliorate the suffering of the black underclass. Most blacks are worse off than when King marched in Selma. African-Americans have lost over half of their wealth since the financial collapse of 2008 because of falling home-ownership rates and job loss. They have the highest rate of poverty at 27.4 percent, followed by Hispanics at 26.6 percent and whites at 9.9 percent. And 45.8 percent of black children under six live in poverty, compared with 14.5 percent of white children in that age group. Forty percent of the nation’s homeless are African-Americans although blacks make up only 13 percent of our population. African-Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites.

Diversity does not halt the stripping away of our civil liberties, the assault on our ecosystem or the punishing effects of mandated austerity and deindustrialization. It does not confront imperialism. Diversity is part of the mechanics of colonialism. A genuine revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, was replaced with the pliant and corrupt Mobutu Sese Seko. Both were black. But one fought the colonial tyrants and the other served them. A political agenda built solely around “diversity” is a smokescreen for injustice.

The victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the powerful Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in Brooklyn last month is not a victory for diversity, although Ocasio-Cortez is a woman of color. It is a victory of political substance over the empty rhetoric of the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez defied the party establishment as an avowed member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She could not even get a pre-election endorsement from Bernie Sanders, her mentor. She calls for Medicare for all, the abolishment of ICE, a federal jobs program and an end to the wars in the Middle East and has denounced Israel’s massacre of unarmed Palestinians. She stands for something. And it is only when we stand for something, including reparations for African-Americans, that we have a chance to dismantle corporate tyranny.

“I’ve always felt, in the early ’60s when I was just a kid, that the silent partner, sometimes reluctant although still a partner, in the civil rights movement were the corporations who wanted a unified market,” Ford said. “Jim Crow was a big anomaly in terms of creating a more unified market in the United States. You can’t have an Atlanta skyline, with its magnificent elevators, with Jim Crow. Not only would Atlanta not be an international city, it couldn’t be a national city with Jim Crow. The corporate forces wanted to break down Jim Crow and explicit color discrimination. It standardized the market. This is what capitalists do. The Democratic Party is not behaving any differently than the corporations over the past 50 years.

“I’m not worried by the Trump phenomenon,” Ford said. “That doesn’t scare me. It’s disconcerting. But it doesn’t scare me. I’m far more afraid of the space that it gives to the corporatists. It’s to their advantage. Trump defines the white man’s party’s space. It’s big. It’s no joke. It can win presidential elections. It can win again. It needs money from corporate Republicans, but it doesn’t need anything else from them. The white man’s party more clearly defines the space the Democrats claim. It’s everybody who is not an overt racist.

“I don’t think Trump will ever beat Obama’s records in terms of deportation,” Ford went on. “We should be fighting U.S. immigration policy. But that isn’t Trump. We should be organizing against Amazon taking over a whole city. But that isn’t Trump. Will Trump’s next pick for the Supreme Court be different from any pick that a Republican would make? In fact, because he’s crazy, he might f*ck up and make a bad pick for himself. He ain’t deep enough to pick the worst guy. He hasn’t read the Federalist Papers.”

 

Posted in civil liberties, conditioning, corporate news, culture, divide and conquer, Economics, elites, Financial Crisis, History, Inequality, Neoliberalism, Racism, Social Control, Social Engineering, society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

By Robert J. Burrowes

While the world watched and waited with bated breath for the outcome of the substantial global effort – involving over 100 cave divers from various countries, 1,000 members of the Thai Army and 10,000 others in various roles – to rescue a team of 12 young football players and their coach, who were trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand for 17 days, 850,000 children were killed by human adults in other parts of the world, many of them simply starved to death in Yemen or other parts of Africa, Asia and Central/South America.

But other children were killed in ritual sacrifice, many children were killed after being sexually trafficked, raped and tortured, many were killed in wars (including in Yemen), many were killed while living under military occupation, many died as child soldiers or while working as slave laborers, and vast numbers of other children suffered violence in a myriad other forms ranging from violence (including sexual violation) inflicted in the family home to lives of poverty, homelessness and misery in wealthy industrialized countries or as refugees fleeing conflict zones. See ‘Humanity’s “Dirty Little Secret”: Starving, Enslaving, Raping, Torturing and Killing our Children’.

Why did the world’s corporate media highlight the flooded Thai cave story so graphically and why do so many ordinary people respond with such interest – meaning genuine emotional engagement – in this story? But not the others just mentioned?

And what does this tell us about human psychology and geopolitics?

Needless to say, a great deal.

During the Thai cave drama, major corporate media outlets, such as the Washington Post and the BBC, were routinely releasing ‘breaking news’ updates on the status of the rescue effort. At high points in the drama, reports on this issue were overshadowing major political and other stories of the day. At the same time, there were no ‘breaking news’ stories on any of the many myriad forms of violence against children, which were (and are still) killing 50,000 children each day.

So why the corporate media interest in this essentially local (Thai) story about a group of 12 children trapped in a cave? And why did it attract so much support, including foreign cave divers, engineers and medics as well as technology billionaire Elon Musk, who flew in to investigate rescue options and assist with the rescue effort. They and their equivalents are certainly not flying in to rescue children in a vast number of other contexts, including where the provision of simple, nourishing meals and clean water would do wonders.

Well, in essence, the story was a great one for the corporate media, simply because it reported on something of little consequence to those not immediately impacted and enabled the media to garner attention for itself and other (western) ‘heroes’ drawn into the story while engaging in its usual practice of distracting us from what really matters. And it was an easy story to sell simply because the media could use a wide range of safe emotional triggers to draw people into the dramatized story without simultaneously raising difficult questions about the (appalling) state of the world and responsibility for it.

In simple language: like sports events and other forms of entertainment, the cave rescue provided a safely contained time and space for people to feel emotionally engaged in (this case) a real-life drama (with feelings like fear and relief allowed an outlet) while carefully reinforcing their unconscious feeling of powerlessness to do anything about it and their acceptance of this. This is why it was so important that expert rescue efforts were highlighted: the key media message was that ‘there is nothing you can do’.

Of course, in this context, this was largely true. The problem is that the corporate media coverage wasn’t aimed at this context. It was aimed at all those other contexts which it wasn’t even discussing, let alone highlighting: the vast range of issues – including the many ongoing wars and endless military violence, the threat of nuclear war, the climate catastrophe and innumerable threats to our biosphere posed by such activities as rainforest destruction, the refugee crisis, military occupations, as well as the ongoing violence against children in so many contexts as touched on above – that need a great deal of our attention but for which the elite uses its corporate media to distract us and reinforce our sense of powerlessness.

Another aspect of the story was the way in which it highlighted the ‘accidental’ nature of the incident: no one was really responsible, even the hapless coach who was just trying to give his young players an interesting excursion and whom, according to reports, none of the parents blamed.

By focusing on the logistical details of the story (the distance into the cave, the narrowness of certain passages, rescue possibilities, equipment, the threat of monsoon rains…), without attributing blame, the media could reinforce its endless message that ‘no-one’ is responsible for the state of the world. Hence, no individual and no organization is responsible for doing anything either. Again, this message is designed to deepen a sense of powerlessness and to make people disinclined to act: to make them powerless observers rather than active participants in their own fate.

As an aside, of course, it should be noted that in those contexts where it serves elite interests to attribute blame, it certainly does so. Hence, elites might contrive to blame Muslims, Russians, Palestinians or the other latest target (depending on the context) for some problem. However, in these contexts, the story of ‘blame’ is framed to ensure that elites have maximum opportunity to act as they wish (often militarily) while (again) engendering a sense of powerlessness among the rest of us.

The tragedy of the Thai cave incident is that one man died and many boys spent 17 days in a situation in which they were no doubt terrified and suffering genuine physical privation. But elite media cynically used the event to distract us from vitally important issues, including ongoing grotesque violence against children in a large number of contexts, and to reinforce ‘The Delusion “I Am Not Responsible”’.

In short, while the 12 boys and their coach were rescued after 17 days trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand which required a sophisticated and expensive international effort, during the same period around the world, 850,000 children were killed by human adults. Even in Thailand during this 17-day period, apart from those children violated and killed as a result of sex trafficking and other violence, 119 children drowned (at the rate of seven each day). See ‘Swim Safe: Preventing Child Drowning’. Obviously, these children were ignored because there was no profit in reporting their plight and helping to mobilize an international effort to save them.

So what can we do?

Well, for a start, we can boycott the corporate media and certainly not spend any money on it. What little truth it contains is usually of even less value (and probably gets barely beyond a good sports report). Instead, invest any money you previously spent on the corporate media by supporting progressive news outlets. They might not have reported events in relation to the Thai cave rescue but they do report on the ongoing violence inflicted on children in more grotesque circumstances such as the war in Yemen. They will also report and analyze important global events from a truthful and life-enhancing perspective and will often offer strategies for your engaged involvement.

If you want to understand why most people are suckered by the corporate media, whose primary function is to distract and disempower us, you will get a clear sense from reading how adults distract and disempower children in the name of ‘socialization’. See ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

If you want to nurture children to be powerful agents of change who will have no trouble resisting attempts (whether by the corporate media or any other elite agent) to distract and disempower them, you are welcome to consider making ‘My Promise to Children’.

If you are easily conned yourself, you will vastly enhance your capacity to discriminate and focus on what matters by ‘Putting Feelings First’ which will, among other things, restore your conscience, intuition and ‘truth register’, vital mental functions suppressed in most people.

You are also welcome to consider participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ which maps out a fifteen-year strategy for creating a peaceful, just and sustainable world community so that all children (and everyone else) has an ecologically viable planet on which to live.

And for the vast range of other manifestations of violence against children touched on above, you might consider using Gandhian nonviolent strategy in any context of particular concern to you. See Nonviolent Campaign Strategy or Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

You might also consider signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ which explicitly identifies the role of the corporate media, among many other elite agencies, in promoting violence.

Am I pleased that the 12 children and their coach in Thailand were rescued? Of course I am. I just wish that an equivalent effort was being made to rescue each of the 50,000 children we will kill today, tomorrow, the next day and the day after that….

 

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

Robert J. Burrowes
P.O. Box 68
Daylesford, Victoria 3460
Australia

Email: flametree@riseup.net

Websites:
Nonviolence Charter
Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth
‘Why Violence?’
Feelings First
Nonviolent Campaign Strategy
Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy
Anita: Songs of Nonviolence
Robert Burrowes
Global Nonviolence Network

Posted in Activism, Authoritarianism, conditioning, consciousness, corporate news, culture, media, Media Literacy, news, Philosophy, propaganda, Psy-ops, Psychology, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow suicide and the abandonment of the world

By Edward Curtin

Source: Intrepid Report

“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years. Our behavior is a function of our experience. We act the way we see things. If our experience is destroyed, our behavior will be destructive. If our experience is destroyed, we have lost our own selves.”—R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, 1967

“The artist is the man who refuses initiation through education into the existing order, remains faithful to his own childhood being, and thus becomes ‘a human being in the spirit of all times, an artist.’”—Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death

Most suicides die of natural causes, slowly and in silence.

But we hear a lot about the small number of suicides, by comparison, who kill themselves quickly by their own hands. Of course their sudden deaths elicit shock and sadness since their deaths, usually so unexpected even when not a surprise, allow for no return. Such sudden once-and-for-all endings are even more jarring in a high-tech world where people are subconsciously habituated to thinking that everything can be played back, repeated, and rewound, even lives.

If the suicides are celebrities, the mass media can obsess over why they did it. How shocking! Wasn’t she at the peak of her career? Didn’t he finally seem happy? And then the speculative stories will appear about the reasons for the rise or fall of suicide rates, only to disappear as quickly as the celebrities are dropped by the media and forgotten by the public.

The suicides of ordinary people will be mourned privately by their loved ones in their individual ways and in the silent recesses of their hearts. A hush will fall over their departures that will often be viewed as accidental.

And the world will roll on as the earth absorbs the bodies and the blood. “Where’s it all going all this spilled blood,” writes the poet Jacques Prévert. “Murder’s blood . . . war’s blood . . . blood of suicides . . . the earth that turns and turns with its great streams of blood.”

Of such suicides Albert Camus said, “Dying voluntarily implies you have recognized, even instinctively, the ridiculous character of that habit [of living], the absence of any profound reason for living, the insane character of that daily agitation, and the uselessness of suffering.” He called this feeling the absurd, and said it was widespread and involved the feeling of being an alien or stranger in a world that couldn’t be explained and didn’t make sense. Assuming this experience of the absurd, Camus wished to explore whether suicide was a solution to it. He concluded that it wasn’t.

Like Camus, I am interested in asking what is the meaning of life. “How to answer it?” he asked in The Myth of Sisyphus. He added that “the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.” But I don’t want to explore his line of reasoning to his conclusions, whether to agree or disagree. I wish, rather, to explore the reasons why so many people choose to commit slow suicide by immersing themselves in the herd mentality and following a way of life that leads to inauthenticity and despair; why so many people so easily and early give up their dreams of a life of freedom for a proverbial mess of pottage, which these days can be translated to mean a consumer’s life, one focused on staying safe by embracing conventional bromides and making sure to never openly question a system based on systemic violence in all its forms; why, despite all evidence to the contrary, so many people embrace getting and spending and the accumulation of wealth in the pursuit of a chimerical “happiness” that leaves them depressed and conscience dead. Why so many people do not rebel but wish to take their places on this ship of fools.

So what can we say about the vast numbers of people who commit slow suicide by a series of acts and inactions that last a long lifetime and render them the living dead, those whom Thoreau so famously said were the mass of people who “lead lives of quiet desperation”? Is the meaning of life for them simply the habit of living they fell into at the start of life before they thought or wondered what’s it all about? Or is it the habit they embraced after shrinking back in fear from the disturbing revelations thinking once brought them? Or did they ever seriously question their place in the lethal fraud that is organized society, what Tolstoy called the Social Lie? Why do so many people kill their authentic selves and their consciences that could awaken them to break through the social habits of thought, speech, and action that lead them to live “jiffy lube” lives, periodically oiled and greased to smoothly roll down the conventional highway of getting and spending and refusing to resist the murderous actions of their government?

An unconscious despair rumbles beneath the frenetic surface of American society today. An unspoken nothingness. I think the Italian writer Robert Calasso says it well: “The new society is an agnostic theocracy based on nihilism.” It’s as though we are floating on nothing, sustained by nothing, in love with nothing—all the while embracing any thing that a materialistic, capitalist consumer culture can throw at us. We are living in an empire of illusions, propagandized and self-deluded. Most people will tell you they are stressed and depressed, but will often add—“who wouldn’t be with the state of the world”—ignoring their complicity through the way they have chosen compromised, conventional lives devoid of the spirit of rebellion.

I keep meeting people who, when I ask them how they are, will respond by saying, “I’m hanging in there.”

Don’t common sayings intimate unconscious truths? Hang—among its possible derivatives is the word “habit” and the meaning of “coming to a standstill.” Stuck in one’s habits, dangling over nothing, up in the air, going nowhere, hanging by a string. Slow suicides. The Beatles’ sang it melodically: “He’s a real nowhere man/Sitting in his nowhere land/Making all his nowhere plans for nobody/Doesn’t have a point of view/Knows not where he’s going to/Isn’t he a bit like you and me.” It’s a far cry from having “the world on a string,” as Harold Arlen wrote many years before.

Maybe if we listen to how people talk or what popular culture throws up, we will learn more through creative associations than through all the theories the experts have to offer.

There have been many learned tomes over the years trying to explain the act of suicide, an early and very famous one being Emile Durkheim’s groundbreaking sociological analysis Suicide (1897). In thousands of books and articles other thinkers have approached the subject from various perspectives—psychological, philosophical, biological, etc. They contain much truth and a vast amount of data that appeal to the rational mind seeking general explanations. But in the end, general explanations are exactly that—general—while a mystery usually haunts the living whose loved ones have killed themselves.

But what about the slow suicides, those D. H. Lawrence called the living dead (don’t let “the living dead eat you up”), those who have departed the real world for a conscienceless complacency from which they can cast aspersions on those whose rebellious spirits give them little rest. Where are the expert disquisitions about them?

We’ve had more than a century of pseudo-scientific studies of suicide and the world has gotten much worse. More than a century of psychotherapy and people have grown progressively more depressed. Large and increasing numbers are drugged to the teeth with pharmaceutical drugs and television and the Internet and cell phones and shopping and endless talk about food and diets and sports and nothing. Talk to talk, surface to surface. Pundits pontificate daily in streams of endless bullshit for which they are paid enormous sums as they smile with their fake whiter-than-white teeth flashing from their makeup masks. People actually listen to these fools to “inform” themselves. They even watch television news and think they know what is happening in the world. We are drowning in a “universe of disembodied data,” as playwright John Steppling has so aptly phrased it. People obsessively hover over their cell phones, searching for the key that will unlock the cells they have locked themselves in. Postliteracy, mediated reality, and digital dementia have become the norm. Minds are packaged and commodified. Perhaps you think I exaggerate, but I feel that madness is much more the norm today than when Laing penned his epigraphic comment.

Not stark raving screaming madness, just a slow, whimpering acceptance of an insane society whose very fabric is toxic and which continues its God-ordained mission of spreading death and destruction around the world in the name of freedom and democracy, while so many of its walking dead citizens measure out their lives with coffee spoons. A nice madness, you could say, a pleasant, depressed and repressed madness. A madness in which people might say with T. S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock (if they still read or could remember): “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons . . . And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, / and snicker, / And in short, I was afraid.”

But why are so many so afraid? Everyone has fears, but so many normal people seem extremely fearful, so fearful they choose to blend into the social woodwork so they don’t stand out as dissenters or oddballs. They kill their authentic selves; become conscience-less. And they do this in a society where their leaders are hell-bent on destroying the world and who justify their nuclear madness at every turn. I think Laing was right that this goes back to our experience. When genuine experience is denied or mystified (it’s now disappeared into digital reality), real people disappear. Laing wrote:

In order to rationalize our industrial-military complex, we have to destroy our capacity to see clearly any more what is in front of, and to imagine what is beyond, our noses. Long before a thermonuclear war can come about, we have had to lay waste our sanity. We begin with the children. It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brainwashing their dirty minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I. Q.s if possible. From the moment of birth, when these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father, as their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of it potentialities, and on the whole this enterprise is successful. By the time the new human is fifteen or so, we are left with a being like ourselves, a half-crazed creature more or less adjusted to a mad world. This is normality in our present age. Love and violence, properly speaking, are polar opposites. Love lets the other be, but with affection and concern. Violence attempts to constrain the other’s freedom, to force him to act in the way we desire, but with ultimate lack of concern, with indifference to the other’s own existence or destiny. We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love . . . We live equally out of our bodies and out of our minds.

So yes, I do think most people are victims. No one chooses their parents, or to be born into poverty, or to be discriminated against for one’s race, etc. No one chooses to have their genuine experience poisoned from childhood. No one chooses to be born into a mad society. This is all true. Some are luckier than others. Suicides, fast and slow, are victims. But not just victims. This is not about blame, but understanding. For those who commit to lives of slow suicide, to the squelching of their true selves and their consciences in the face of a rapacious and murderous society, there is always the chance they can break with the norm and go sane. Redemption is always possible. But it primarily involves overcoming the fear of death, a fear that manifests itself in the extreme need to preserve one’s life, so-called social identity, and sense of self by embracing social conventions, no matter how insane they may be or whether or not they bring satisfaction or fulfillment. Whether or not they give life a meaning that goes deep.

But for those who have taken their lives and are no longer among us, hope is gone. But we can learn from their tragedies if we are truthful. For them the fear of life was primary, and death seemed like an escape from that fear. Life was too much for them. Why? We must ask. So they chose a life-in-death approach through fast suicide. Everyone is joined to them in that fear, just as everyone is joined by the fear of death. It is a question of which dominates, and when, and how much courage we can muster to live daringly. The fear of death leads one to constrict one’s life in the safe surround of conventional society in the illusion that such false security will save one in the end. Death is too much for them. So they accept a death-in-life approach that I call slow suicide.

But in the end as in the beginning and throughout our lives, there is really no escape. The more alive we are, the closer death feels because really living involves risks and living outside the cocoon of the social lie. Mr. Pumpkin Head might seize you, whether he is conceived as your boss, an accident, disease, social ostracism, or some government assassin. But the deader we feel, the further away death seems because we feel safe. Pick your poison.

But better yet, perhaps there is no need to choose if we can regain our genuine experience that parents and society, for different reasons, conspire to deny us. Could the meaning of our lives be found, not in statements or beliefs, but in true experience? Most people think of experience as inner or outer. This is not true. It is a form of conventional brainwashing that makes us schizoid. It is the essence of the neuro-biological materialism that reduces humans to unfree automatons. Proffered as the wisdom of the super intelligent, it is sheer stupidity.

All experience is in-between, not the most eloquent of phrasing, I admit, but accurate. Laing, a psychiatrist, puts it in the same way as do the mystics and those who embrace the Tao. He says, “The relation of my experience to behavior is not that of inner to outer. My experience is not inside my head. My experience of this room is outside in this room. To say that my experience is intrapsychic is to presuppose that there is a psyche that my experience is in. My psyche is my experience, my experience is my psyche.” Reverie, imagination, prayer, dream, etc., are as much outer as inner, they are modalities of experience that exist in-between. We live in-between, and if we could experience that, we would realize the meaning of life and our connection to all living beings, including those our government massacres daily, and we would awaken our consciences to our complicity in the killing. We would realize that the victims of the American killing machine are human beings like us; are us, and we, them. We would rebel.

Thoreau said a life without principle was not worth living. Yet for so many of the slow suicides the only principals they ever had were those they had in high school. Such word confusion is understandable when illiteracy is the order of the day and spelling passé. Has anyone when in high school ever had Thoreau’s admonition drummed into his head: “The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse.” Of course not, since getting a “good” living is never thought to involve living in an honest, inviting, and honorable way. It is considered a means to an end, the end being a consumer’s paradise. “As for the means of living,” Thoreau added, “it is wonderful how indifferent men of all classes are about it, even reformers, so called—whether they inherit, or earn, or steal it.” Is it any wonder so many people end up committing slow suicide? “Is it that men are too much disgusted with their own experience to speak of it?”

What the hell–TGIH!

I believe the story has it that when he was in jail for refusing the poll tax that supported slavery and the Mexican-American war, Thoreau was visited by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, who asked him, “Henry, what are you doing in there?” To which Thoreau responded, “Ralph, what are you doing out there?” Today, however, most folks don’t realize that being outside their cells is being in them, and such imprisonment is far from principled. That’s not a text message they’re likely to receive.

I recently met a woman, where or when I can’t recall. It might have been when walking on the open road or falling in a dreaming hole. She told me “if you look through a window, you can see the world outside. If you look in a mirror, you can see yourself outside. If you look into the outside world, you can see everyone inside out. When the inside is seen outside and the outside is seen inside, you will know what you face. Everything becomes simple then,” as she looked straight through me and my face fell off.

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Two for Tuesday

La Santa Cecilia

Immortal Technique ft. Brother Ali, Chuck D and Killer Mike

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Life-giving Light and Those Who Would Snuff it Out

By John Andrews

Source: Dissident Voice

The concluding sentence of Roy Medvedev’s superb account of Russia during the Stalin years reads:

When the cult of Stalin’s personality was exposed [in the XXth and XXIInd Congresses in 1956 and 1961 respectively] a great step was made to recovery.1

It’s a vital point, similar to that made by the incredible truth and reconciliation commission event that followed the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, and that point is this: before any society can really advance it must recognise and admit to itself the mistakes and crimes perpetrated by its own trusted leaders. Or, as Rosa Luxemburg once put it:

Self-criticism – ruthless, harsh self-criticism, which gets down to the root of things – that is the life-giving light and air of the proletarian movement.2

Yet self-criticism of our own governments is almost impossible. Infinitely more effective than state censorship – which can restrict criticism – is self-censorship, and that’s pretty much what we have: a society which is incapable of seriously challenging those in power, let alone calling them to account for any wrongdoing – not through any state-imposed censorship, but through creating a culture that’s utterly brainwashed into believing the perfection of their constitution and therefore refusing to even imagine its very considerable imperfections. Whilst we do not have the domestic death squads and concentration camps of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia to enforce domestic obedience, we still have loyal populations that are almost as effectively programmed to believe the perfections of their state leaders and their institutions as many Germans and Russians were during the Hitler and Stalin years.

In Britain, for example, in 2015 when the leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett was provocatively questioned about the Party’s well-known opposition to monarchy she remarked,

I can’t see that the Queen is ever going to be really poor, but I’m sure we can find a council house for her — we’re going to build lots more.

This obviously whimsical comment, although factually reasonable, provoked the following headline in The Independent: ‘We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,’ say Greens

Similar sensationalist headlines led in almost every newspaper and TV news broadcast. Green Party membership, which had been surging until that moment, immediately fell off a cliff. I was a membership secretary for our local Green Party branch at the time and had been signing up new members at the rate of about two a week. New memberships not only stopped completely, but some who had just joined us immediately cancelled their memberships. And this from people who would see themselves as progressives. No need to guess how Tory voters, who comprise most voters, reacted to Bennett’s quip. Such is the level of brainwashing in a supposedly democratic country about the perfection of the British monarchy, and its unchallengeable position as unelected head of state.

But it’s not just Britain that has to endure a majority of brainwashed citizens. I remember seeing a TV documentary about the time of the illegal Iraq War in 2003. The programme was about heroic US marines bravely defending western freedom, by helping to kill defenseless Iraqi civilians. Some of the heroes were interviewed about the hard time they were having, and the one that will forever stick in my mind implied that no amount of personal suffering was too great for him. “I would slit my own throat for my president”, he said. So Iraqi civilians didn’t have much chance.

The marine’s remark reminded me of a quote in Medvedev’s book, showing the similarity between modern US citizens and the brainwashed Russians of Stalin’s day:

Just as [religious] believers attribute everything good to god and everything bad to the devil, so everything good was attributed to Stalin and everything bad to evil forces that Stalin himself was [supposedly] fighting. “Long live Stalin!” some officials shouted as they were taken to be shot.3

When, very occasionally, some of the major crimes of our great trusted leaders are brought to our attention, there is never any clamouring for justice, no national outrage that the public’s trust could be so cheaply squandered. Whilst some newspapers might print a subdued story or two, located somewhere towards the bottom of page thirty nine, and whilst national TV stations may record a few words tucked away deeply buried somewhere on their websites, in the sacred name of “balance”, the real gravity of the misdeeds of our trusted leaders are otherwise routinely ignored, and the revelations are quickly lost in the usual myriad of trivial distractions.

For example, when, after many years and thirteen million pounds of treasure, the Chilcot Report was eventually published, effectively providing sufficient evidence for Tony Blair and other establishment leaders to be indicted for war crimes, no such calls from our trusted leaders were heard – just a deafening silence, followed almost immediately by business as usual.   But those who dare to provide the evidence of our rulers’ misdeeds are quickly and viciously victimized – as any whistleblower could easily confirm; with the better-known of whom, such as Daniel Ellsberg, Mordechai Vanunu, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden standing as fine examples of the terrible consequences of speaking the truth about power. This is how Rosa Luxemburg’s ruthless self-criticism is rendered impossible in our “free” societies where official censorship doesn’t exist, but where official “news” isn’t worth censoring.

One of the holiest cows of the establishment, the institution which, almost above any other, will not tolerate any form of criticism, are our so-called “defence” forces. The word “hero” has been re-defined to mean absolutely anyone wearing a military uniform. TV commercials encouraging young people to join the armed forces appear almost every night. TV programmes depicting the military as brave heroes resisting overwhelming odds in the sacred name of freedom and democracy appear almost every night. Every year people adorn themselves in little plastic poppies and stand in silence for two minutes on the 11th November, not so much to recall those who were needlessly slaughtered for the supposed “war to end all war”, but to serve as a subliminal recruitment aid. Criticising the armed forces is always strictly off limits.

The Annihilation of Raqqa

Yet a recent report by Amnesty International (AI), who investigated the devastating attack by western coalition forces on the Syrian city of Raqqa, is so damning that anyone who does not criticise those responsible is guilty by association of war crimes.4 They are in a similar position to those who silently stood by as their neighbours were carted-off to Nazi concentration camps. Although AI has a somewhat dubious reputation, earned mainly by its very tepid response to the multitude of horrors perpetrated over many years by the Zionist regime in Occupied Palestine, its latest report on Raqqa has some merit.

No one will ever know how many civilians perished in last year’s battle for Raqqa. However, estimates for the numbers of people living in the city prior to the war are given at around 220,000, whilst the number estimated to be living there earlier this year is around 61,000.  Some civilians managed to flee the city, but many did not, as they were prevented from doing so by IS. Amnesty summarised the terrible situation for civilians as follows:

The four-month military operation to oust the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) from Raqqa, the Syrian city which IS had declared its capital, killed hundreds of civilians, injured many more and destroyed much of the city. During the course of the operation, from June to October 2017, homes, private and public buildings and infrastructure were reduced to rubble or damaged beyond repair.

Residents were trapped, as fighting raged in Raqqa’s streets between IS militants and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, and US-led Coalition’s air and artillery strikes rocked the city. With escape routes mined by IS and the group’s snipers shooting at those trying to flee, civilians fled from place to place within the city, desperately seeking refuge or escape. Some were killed in their homes; some in the very places where they had sought refuge, and others as they tried to flee.5

If Amnesty was referring to North Korea, say, or Iran, Russia, China, or the Syrian government, almost certainly its report would have been leading the western world’s news broadcasts. Outraged politicians and their tame propagandists in the mainstream media would have been demanding that “something should be done”. But those countries were not the subjects of the Amnesty report. It was referring instead to the biggest villains in the world — the US and British governments, joined on this occasion by France. Although other countries were implicated in this particular “coalition of the willing”, their roles were relatively minor. Consequently our politicians and their lackeys in the mainstream media seem hardly to have noticed AI’s report. Once again the truth is available, but has been conveniently self-censored by all the usual tricks of state.

Two investigators from AI spent two weeks in February 2018 visiting the ruins of Raqqa. They went to 42 different locations and interviewed 112 civilian residents. About half of the report focuses mainly on the personal stories of four families whose lives were devastated by the “liberation” of Raqqa from IS occupation by the combined efforts of western firepower, and ground-troops supplied by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – a mainly Kurdish militia.

Although the so-called global coalition:

boasts membership of 71 countries and four inter-governmental organisations; an eclectic alliance including nations as diverse as Panama and Poland, Australia and Afghanistan. Some Coalition members, Chad, for example, or Niger, are likely to have given support in name only. Others, particularly European states, were more deeply involved, although the exact extent of their actions is not always clear.6

Whilst most people are probably aware that US, British and French air forces bombed countless targets in Syria generally, and specifically here, in Raqqa, fewer people know about the involvement of western ground troops. But AI tells us:

[T]he US deployed some 2,000 of its own troops to north-eastern Syria, many of whom were engaged in direct combat operations, notably firing artillery into Raqqa from positions outside the city. In addition, a smaller number of special forces were operating close to front lines alongside SDF members. British and French special forces were also deployed to the area, but in much smaller numbers.

Among the US deployment were Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) with GPS-directed 227mm rockets, which could be fired from 300km away, as well as hundreds of Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the 24th MEU equipped with M777 howitzers, which they used to rain down 155mm artillery fire upon the city from a distance of up to 30km.6

AI concludes its summary of the involvement of “coalition” forces as follows:

The Coalition launched tens of thousands of strikes on Raqqa during the military campaign. Of these, more than 4,000 were air strikes, almost all of them carried out by US forces. British forces carried out some 215 air strikes, while the French military was responsible for some 50 air strikes with the overwhelming majority – more than 90% – carried out by US piloted aircraft and drones. No other members of the Coalition are known to have carried out air strikes in Raqqa. At the same time, US Marines launched tens of thousands artillery shells into and around Raqqa…

While Coalition forces operated mostly from positions several kilometres outside the city, a small number of special operation forces from Coalition member states – notably the US, UK and France – operated alongside the SDF close to front line position in/around the city, reportedly mostly in an advisory rather than combat role.

The SDF were partly responsible for locating targets for Coalition air and artillery strikes. It is not clear what percentage of the Coalition air and artillery strikes were carried out based on co-ordinates provided by the SDF – as opposed to strikes on targets identified by Coalition forces themselves through air surveillance or other means – and the extent to which Coalition forces verified targets identified by the SDF prior to launching strikes on those targets.7

Although Kurdish militia were reportedly too lightly-armed to be physically accountable for the destruction of Raqqa, their target identification function was clearly significant.

It has long been routine for the military’s propaganda machine to dismiss concerns about civilian casualties inside war zones, and the carnage wreaked on Raqqa was no exception. Furthermore, the military’s word is always accepted at face value.

[A]t the height of conflict in Raqqa, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend wrote that ‘… there has never been a more precise air campaign in the history of armed conflict’.8

But the alleged accuracy of the ordnance used by the military is not the point. The point is that no matter how smart the smart bombs are, they’re still killing civilians – and that’s a war crime. An estimated 4,000 bombs were dropped on the defenceless civilians of Raqqa by “coalition” warplanes. Given that many of those are only accurate, on a good day, to within ten metres of their target, it’s very clear to see that these alone must have accounted for considerable civilian casualties. But they may not have been the main problem.

Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell (senior enlisted adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), suggests that the Coalition operation was far from precise: ‘In five months they fired 35,000 artillery rounds on ISIS targets… They fired more rounds in five months in Raqqa, Syria, than any other Marine artillery battalion, or any Marine or Army battalion, since the Vietnam War.’8

But legitimate ISIS targets must have been almost negligible, as IS had immersed themselves amongst the civilian population. Given also that most artillery shells are considerably less accurate than guided missiles, and can only be expected to strike within a hundred metres of their targets, and given that tens of thousands of these things rained down on the trapped and defenceless civilians of Raqqa, the claims by the military’s propagandists that they tried everything possible to minimise civilian casualties are obviously ludicrous.

There has never been a more precise air campaign in the history of armed conflict [than in Raqqa]
— Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend

Isis withdraws, undefeated, from Raqqa

Sometime in October some sort of deal was suddenly worked out which allowed Isis to simply pack up and leave Raqqa, in a convoy of trucks, together with most of their weaponry. According to a BBC report, the deal:

enabled many hundreds of IS fighters to escape from the city. At the time, neither the US and British-led coalition, nor the SDF, which it backs, wanted to admit their part.  Has the pact, which stood as Raqqa’s dirty secret, unleashed a threat to the outside world – one that has enabled militants to spread far and wide across Syria and beyond?

Great pains were taken to hide it from the world. But the BBC has spoken to dozens of people who were either on the convoy, or observed it, and to the men who negotiated the deal…

[T]he convoy was six to seven kilometres long. It included almost 50 trucks, 13 buses and more than 100 of the Islamic State group’s own vehicles. IS fighters, their faces covered, sat defiantly on top of some of the vehicles…

Freed from Raqqa, where they were surrounded, some of the [IS] group’s most-wanted members have now spread far and wide across Syria and beyond.

War crimes

The US-led “coalition” undoubtedly committed a vast number of war crimes in the “liberation” of Raqqa, and the considerably-referenced AI report summarises the particular breaches of law applicable:

(a) The Principle of Distinction

This requires parties to conflict to at all times, ‘distinguish between civilians and combatants’ and to ensure that ‘attacks may only be directed against combatants’ and ‘must not be directed against civilians’. Parties to conflict must also distinguish between ‘civilian objects’ and ‘military objectives’. Anyone who is not a member of the armed forces of a party to the conflict is a civilian, and the civilian population comprises all persons who are not combatants. Civilians are protected against attack unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities. In cases of doubt, individuals should be presumed to be civilians and immune from direct attack. Making the civilian population, or individual civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, the object of attack (direct attacks on civilians) is a war crime (My emphasis).9

It isn’t clear how hard the “coalition” tried to distinguish combatants from non-combatants, but in the four detailed case studies that Amnesty supplied – which were the tragic stories of just four families from a city of tens of thousands – it would appear they didn’t try very hard at all. One such piece of evidence was supplied by “Ammar”, who

told Amnesty International that on ‘the second or third day of Eid” [26-27 June 2017] an air strike killed 20-25 people, mainly civilians but some IS too, at a communal water point, around the corner from Abu Saif’s house.’10

So, clearly essential water supplies were either deliberately targeted by the “coalition”, or some “legitimate” target was so near that the likely presence of defenceless civilians was simply ignored.

(b)  Proportionality

The principle of proportionality, another fundamental tenet of IHL, also prohibits disproportionate attacks, which are those “which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated”. Intentionally launching a disproportionate attack (that is, knowing that the attack will cause excessive incidental civilian loss, injury or damage) constitutes a war crime. The Commentary on the Additional Protocols makes clear that the fact that the proportionality calculus requires an anticipated “concrete and direct” military advantage indicates that such advantage must be “substantial and relatively close, and that advantages which are hardly perceptible and those which would only appear in the long term should be disregarded (my emphasis).11

Whilst it is undeniable that the head-chopping organ-eating occupiers of Raqqa were about as vile a group of psychopaths as it’s possible to get, and that their removal from Raqqa would no doubt be extremely difficult to accomplish, it’s deeply questionable that the total destruction of a civilian-occupied city could be considered proportional to the reign of terror it was supposed to terminate. The fact that IS were eventually cleared out of Raqqa, very much alive and well, shows that they were not committed kamikaze warriors and suggests that alternative methods for bringing to an end their repulsive occupation may have been possible.

(c) Precautions

In order for parties to an armed conflict to respect the principles of distinction and proportionality they must take precautions in attack. “Constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects”; “all feasible precautions” must be taken to avoid and minimise incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. The parties must choose means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding or at least minimising to the maximum extent possible incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. As well as verifying the military nature of targets and assessing the proportionality of attacks, the parties must also take all feasible steps to call off attacks which appear wrongly directed or disproportionate. Parties must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. When a choice is possible between several military objectives for obtaining a similar military advantage, the parties must select the target the attack on which would be expected to pose the least danger to civilians and to civilian objects.

The limited information available on the precautions in attack taken by the Coalition suggests that they were not adequate or effective. The cases examined in detail indicate that there were serious shortcomings in verification that targets selected for attack were in fact military, with disastrous results for civilian life. Further, several attacks examined by Amnesty International suggest that the Coalition did not, at least in those instances, select weapons that would minimise harm to civilians. Also, the warnings that were given to civilians were not effective. They did not take into account the reality that civilians were blocked from leaving Raqqa, and did not include specific information (such as warning civilians to stay away from tall buildings).11

Amnesty claim that up to the point of publication of their report repeated approaches to “the coalition” for specific details regarding their attacks on Raqqa were either inadequately answered or had not been answered at all. Therefore questions relating to whether sufficient precautions were taken remain unanswered, and could imply breaches of international law.

(d) Joint and individual responsibility of coalition members

One of the attractions to “coalition” actions is the difficulty in attributing specific responsibility for possible crimes after the event, and Amnesty states:

It is concerned that this lack of clarity may enable individual Coalition members to evade responsibility for their actions. The UK Government, for example, maintained until May 2018 that it had not killed a single civilian in Syria or Iraq, despite carrying out thousands of air strikes across the two countries. On 2 May 2018 it admitted for the first time that one of its drone strikes had caused one civilian casualty in Syria in March 2018.11

However, there is very limited wriggle-room in attempting to evade responsibility by trying to divert attention to others. International Humanitarian Law (IHL):

Requires all states to ‘respect and ensure respect’ for its provisions under Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions. This includes both positive and negative obligations on states providing assistance to another state which is then used to commit a violation of international humanitarian law. The negative obligation is not to encourage, aid or assist in violations of IHL by parties to a conflict. The positive obligation includes the prevention of violations where there is a foreseeable risk they will be committed and prevention of further violations where they have already occurred.

The USA, UK, France, and other states involved in military operations as part of Operation Inherent Resolve therefore may be legally responsible for unlawful acts carried out by Coalition members.12

(e) Duty to investigate, prosecute and provide reparation

States have an obligation to investigate allegations of war crimes by their forces or nationals, or committed on their territory and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute the suspects. They must also investigate other war crimes over which they have jurisdiction, including through universal jurisdiction, and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects.12

Life-giving light – and those who would snuff it out

The Amnesty International report provides compelling evidence that, at the very least, there are legitimate questions to be answered regarding the attacks on Raqqa by the USA, Britain and France. And it must never be forgotten that the whole IS phenomenon is mostly a creation of the west, that without the deeply cynical plotting of the US, British and possibly French deep states, IS would likely never have come into existence. The words of French foreign minister Roland Dumas should be recalled:

I’m going to tell you something,” Dumas said on French station LCP. “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business [in 2009]. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.

So Dumas may have said – but the French were involved in the destruction of Raqqa.

If similar probable war crimes had been carried out in some other country by Russia, say, or China, or Iran, or any other nation to which the west is routinely hostile, almost certainly outraged voices would be heard caterwauling in Westminster and Washington. Front pages of newspapers, together with TV and radio news programmes would be howling that “something must be done”. Yet in Westminster and Washington the silence is deafening. Not a single word of protest appears on the front pages of our newspapers, and our TV and radio stations appear to be looking the other way. Why? Because our “heroes” are personally involved, and personally responsible for the terror, and that is the terrible truth that cannot be admitted.

The cold hard fact is that far from being heroic, many people in the military are de facto war criminals. From at least as far back as the second world war, when defenceless civilians were bombed to death and incinerated in their homes in the pointless bombing of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo, for example, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, through the slaughter of countless defenceless civilians in later wars, in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to the more recent civilian killing fields of Iraq, Libya and now Syria, our so-called heroes have just as much innocents’ blood on their hands as any Nazi war criminal ever had.

With very few exceptions, the military seldom do anything heroic. The very last thing that senior officers want, the generals, admirals, air marshals and so on, is a peaceful world – for the very obvious reason that they would all be out of work, vastly overpaid work requiring very little real and useful effort, work that not only pays these people far more than they’re worth, but also, which is far worse, gives them far too much power in our societies. Consider, for example, the words of an unnamed general in a recent Observer interview that if Jeremy Corbyn – a lifelong pacifist – was to win a general election:

There would be a mutiny in the armed forces… unless he learnt to love NATO and the nuclear bomb.13

The cold hard fact is that these people, those who run our so-called “defence” forces are out of control. They are more interested in protecting their own careers than doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and which so many people mistakenly believe they are doing – protecting us. We are not made safer by the ruthless and illegal destruction of civilian cities such as Raqqa. The people that carry out these war crimes should be brought to account and charged like the common war criminals they really are, which is pretty much the same conclusion reached by Amnesty International:

Where there is admissible evidence that individual members of Coalition forces are responsible for war crimes, ensure they are prosecuted in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.14

We need complete, truthful information. And the truth should not depend on whom it is to serve.
— V.I. Ulyanov, (Let History Judge, Roy Medvedev, Preface.))

Self-criticism – ruthless, harsh self-criticism, which gets down to the root of things – that is the life-giving light and air of the proletarian movement.
— Rosa Luxemburg15

Sometimes I think we biologists may find ourselves coming into politics from our own angle. If things go on as they are going – We may have to treat the whole world as a mental hospital. The entire species is going mad; for what is madness but a complete want of mental adaptation to one’s circumstances? Sooner or later, young man, your generation will have to face up to that.…

I have an idea, Father, a half-formed idea,that before we can go on to a sane new order, there has to be a far more extensive clearing up of old institutions… The world needs some sort of scavenging, a burning up of the old infected clothes, before it can get on to a new phase. At present it is enormously encumbered… This is just a shadowy idea in my mind… Something like breaking down condemned, old houses. We can’t begin to get things in order until there has been this scavenging.

— HG Wells, The Holy Terror, Simon and Schuster, 1939.

  1. Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism, Roy Medvedev, p. 566.
  2. Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism, Roy Medvedev, Preface.
  3. Medvedev, p. 363.
  4. Amnesty International Report, p. 9.
  5. AI Report, p. 5.
  6. AI Report, p. 48.
  7. AI Report, p. 49.
  8. AI Report, p. 53.
  9. AI Report, p. 62.
  10. AI Report, p. 44.
  11. AI Report, p. 63.
  12. AI Report, p. 64.
  13. How the Establishment lost control, Chris Nineham, p. 93.
  14. AI Report, p. 67.
  15. Let History Judge, Roy Medvedev, Preface
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Dismantling A Society: How Empires Feed Off the Republic

By RS Anthion

Source: CounterPunch

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America.”

-Nikki Haley (1)

Nikki Haley released a ferocious rebuke of a UN report detailing poverty in the United States. As if she could will away or dismiss its findings simply by how angry she denounced it. The life expectancy in the United States sits at 78.6 years (2) whilst Cubans can expect to live to 79.5 according to the World Health Organisation(3). Cuba is of course a country that has been economically embargoed by the United States for over half a century. Nikki Haleys ferocious retort comes amid a United Nations report examining poverty in the United States. 40 million Americans live in poverty, 18.5 million americans live in extreme poverty and 5.3million live in “third world conditions of absolute poverty” (4).

“The Special Rapporteur wasted the UN’s time and resources, deflecting attention from the world’s worst human rights abusers and focusing instead on the wealthiest and freestcountry in the world.”

-Nikki Haley.

It probably needs repeating that the United States imprisons more people (both total and as a percentage of their population) than anywhere else on the planet. Americans are 5 percent of the population whilst having 25 percent of the worlds prisoners. This doublespeak has become the norm. The US ambassador can say straight faced the US is the “freest country in the world” whilst having the highest percentage of its population in prison. Significantly higher than Russia, China or Iran.(7)

This is a myth of American empire, that freedom only exists in the United States. And if freedom exists elsewhere then the US is the “freest”.

The UN report does indeed paint a bleak picture for the average man or woman in the US and it’s no surprise that Nikki Haley has reacted with such venom at this UN report.

Because this strikes at the heart of one of the other ‘myths of American empire’. That each successive generation will live better than the previous one which fuelled the idea of ‘American exceptionalism’. That their form of government and ideology was something to be celebrated and even lifted up as the ‘messianic nation’ (ie. exported across the globe). But the precise definition of a nation in decline is when the generation after you lives worse than the previous generation. So the US ruling elite, a ruling class that has been doing victory laps since Reagan in removing workers rights/protections and labour laws, is caught in a dichotomy. A contradiction where they still try to propagandise their population into the messianic nation worthy of justifying imperialism (“bringing democracy” or “humanitarian intervention”) whilst the working class of the United States slips further into poverty.

“The United States is a land of stark contrasts. It is one of the world’s wealthiest societies, a global leader in many areas, and a land of unsurpassed technological and other forms of innovation. Its corporations are global trendsetters, its civil society is vibrant and sophisticated and its higher education system leads the world. But its immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live. About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty.4 It has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the highest infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States. Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent, and it has the world’s highest incarceration rate, one of the lowest levels of voter registrations in among OECD countries and

the highest obesity levels in the developed world. 5. The United States has the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries.5 The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in December 2017 overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality. The consequences of neglecting poverty and promoting inequality are clear. The United States has one of the highest poverty and inequality levels among the OECD countries, and the Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks it 18th out of 21 wealthy countries in terms of labour markets, poverty rates, safety nets, wealth inequality and economic mobility. But in 2018 the United States had over 25 per cent of the world’s 2,208 billionaires. 6 There is thus a dramatic contrast between the immense wealth of the few and the squalor and deprivation in which vast numbers of Americans exist. For almost five decades the overall policy response has been neglectful at best, but the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship. 6. The visit of the Special Rapporteur coincided with the dramatic change of direction in relevant United States policies. The new policies: (a) provide unprecedentedly high tax breaks and financial windfalls to the very wealthy and the largest corporations; (b) pay for these partly by reducing welfare benefits for the poor; © undertake a radical programme of financial, environmental, health and safety deregulation that eliminates protections mainly benefiting the middle classes and the poor; (d) seek to add over 20 million poor and middle class persons to the ranks of those without health insurance; (e) restrict eligibility for many welfare benefits while increasing the obstacles required to be overcome by those eligible; (f) dramatically increase spending on defence, while rejecting requested improvements in key veterans’ benefits; (g) do not provide adequate additional funding to address an opioid crisis that is decimating parts of the country; and (h) make no effort to tackle the structural racism that keeps a large percentage of non-Whites 7 in poverty and near poverty”

Ultimately the empire “feeds off the republic” (to quote Michael Parenti). So when the US has spent an estimated either $3.6 trillion (based on a Brown University study) or $5.6 trillion (according to the associated press) on war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria(5). This money isn’t plucked from thin air. US tax payers have to pay that back and is the source of Americans increased poverty. The $2 trillion discrepancy between the associated press and the Brown university study is testament to the open corruption in military contracts. The money has been funnelled through so many private contractors looking to milk the tax payers for all their worth there’s a 2 trillion margin of error when estimating what has actually been spent.

Eisenhowers A Chance For Peace speech in 1953 seems more relevant than ever.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

The United States is currently at war with 7 different nations (Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya) all the while leaving it’s citizens to the ravages of the free market: whether that’s the burgeoning opiod crisis, the children drinking lead contaminated water or the 40 million Americans in poverty.

Alexander Zinoviev berating Gorbachev and Yeltsin on TV in 1990. His errily prophetic vision of Russia came true. When capitalism was restored to Russia under Yeltsin in the 90s Russia experienced what economists would later call the “Russian Cross” whereby the death rate shot up and the birth rate slowed to a crawl (creating a cross on a graph). The return of capitalism meant a death spiral of every social ill; alcoholism, domestic abuse, drug abuse and homelessness. The return of orthodox Christianity to fill the power void. The wholesale sell off of public services that had once been owned by the collective people to the fortune 500.

The brilliant thinker and Soviet dissident who later came to regret being a tool for western interest spoke in a brilliantly prophetic interview in 1999 in which he asserted the end of communism in the east meant the end of democracy in the west. That the glue for any kind of pluralism in media/politics etc. came from the united front against communism to the east. Since the fall of communism he asserts a kind of democratic totalitarianism has arisen. And who can argue it hasn’t? Voter turnout is worse each year as people realise no party in a First Past the Post system will represent their interests. Princeton University long released a peer review paper that the United States is an oligarchy. That the average person in the US has little to no effect on the policies and laws that are ratified by the courts. That’s perhaps why 54 percent of citizens in democracies believe their voice doesn’t have an impact on political decisions, and 64 percent think their government doesn’t act in their interest.

“Q: Don’t you think that people can have their own opinions, and that they can vote and thus express themselves?

ANSWER. First of all, even now people don’t vote that often, and they will vote even less in the future. With regard to public opinion in the West it is shaped by the media. Suffice it to recall the universal approval of the war in Kosovo. Remember the Spanish war! Volunteers from all over the world traveled to that country to fight on one side or the other. Remember the war in Vietnam. But these days, people are so well shepherded that they react only the way that the purveyors of propaganda want them to.

Q: So, the role of Gorbachev was not positive?

A: I look at things from a slightly different angle. Contrary to common belief, Soviet communism did not collapse because of internal reasons. Its collapse is certainly the greatest victory in the history of the West. An unheard of victory which, let me say it again, can establish a unitary power monopoly on a planetary scale. The end of communism also signalized the end of democracy. The modern epoch is not only post-communist, it is also post-democratic! Today we are witnessing the establishment of democratic totalitarianism, or, if you will, totalitarian democracy.

Q: Does not it all sound a little absurd?

A: Not at all. Democracy requires pluralism and pluralism implies an existence of at least two more or less equal forces which oppose each other and at the same time influence each other. During the Cold War there was world democracy, global pluralism, with two opposing systems: capitalist and communist, plus other countries with an amorphous system which belonged to neither. Soviet totalitarianism was sensitive to Western criticism. In turn, the Soviet Union influenced the West, in particular through the latter’s own communist parties. Today we live in a world dominated by one single force, one ideology and one pro-globalization party. All of this together began to take shape during the Cold War, when superstructures gradually appeared in various forms: commercial, banking, political and media organizations. Despite their different fields of activity, what they had in common was essentially their transnational scope. With the collapse of communism they began to rule the world. Thus, Western countries ended up in the dominant position, but at the same time they are now in a subordinate position as they gradually lose their sovereignty to what I call the supra-society. The planet-wide supra-society consists of commercial and non-commercial organizations whose influence extends far beyond individual states. Like other countries, the Western countries are subordinated to these supranational structures. This is despite the fact that the sovereignty of states was also an integral part of pluralism and hence of democracy on a global scale. Today’s ruling supra-power suppresses sovereign states. The European integration unfolding in front of our very eyes is also leading to the disappearance of pluralism within this new conglomerate in favor of supranational power.

Q: But do not you think that France and Germany remain democracies?

A: Western countries got to know true democracy during the Cold War. Political parties had genuine ideological differences and different political programs. The media also differed from each other. All this had an impact on the lives of ordinary people contributing to the growth of their wealth. Now this has come to an end. A democratic and prosperous capitalism with socially oriented laws and job security was in many ways thanks to a fear of communism. After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, a massive attack on the social rights of citizens was launched in the West. Today the socialists who are in power in most European countries are pursuing policies of dismantling the social security system, destroying everything that was socialist in the capitalist countries. There is no longer a political force in the West capable of protecting ordinary citizens. The existence of political parties is a mere formality. They will differ less and less as time goes on. The war in the Balkans was anything but democratic. Nevertheless, the war was perpetrated by the socialists who historically have been against these kinds of ventures. Environmentalists, who are in power in some countries, welcomed the environmental catastrophe caused by the NATO bombings. They even dared to claim that bombs containing depleted uranium are not dangerous for the environment, even though soldiers loading them wear special protective overalls. Thus, democracy is gradually disappearing from the social structure of the West. Totalitarianism is spreading everywhere because the supranational structure imposes its laws on individual states. This undemocratic superstructure gives orders, imposes sanctions, organizes embargos, drops bombs, causes hunger. Even Clinton obeys it. Financial totalitarianism has subjugated political power. Emotions and compassion are alien to cold financial totalitarianism. Compared with financial dictatorship, political dictatorship is humane. Resistance was possible inside the most brutal dictatorships. Rebellion against banks is impossible.

Q: What about a revolution?

A: Democratic totalitarianism and financial dictatorship rule out the possibility of social revolution.

Q: Why?

A: Because they combine omnipotent military power with a financial stranglehold. All revolutions received support from outside. From now on this is impossible because there are no sovereign states, nor will there be. Moreover, at the lowest level the working class has been replaced with the unemployed class. What do the unemployed want? Jobs. Therefore, they are in a less advantageous position than the working class of the past.

Q: Would it be correct to say that the intensifying radicalization in the West will leads to its own destruction?

A: Nazism was destroyed during total war. The Soviet system was young and strong. It would have continued to thrive, had it not been destroyed by outside forces. Social systems do not destroy themselves. They can only be destroyed by an external force. It’s like a ball rolling on a surface: only the presence of an external obstacle could break its movement. I can prove it like a theorem. Today, we are dominated by a country with enormous economic and military superiority. The new emerging world order is drawn to unipolarity. If the supranational government manages to achieve this by eliminating all external enemies, then a unified social system can survive until the end of time. Only a person can die from their illness. But a group of people, even a small group, would try to survive through reproduction. Now imagine a social system comprising billions of people! Its capacity to anticipate and prevent self-destructive phenomena will be limitless. In the foreseeable future, the process of erasing differences across the world cannot be stopped, since democratic totalitarianism is the last phase of the development of Western society, which began with the Renaissance.” (6)

In a world where capitalist-liberalism is disintegrating right before our eyes; where ‘human rights’ are justified in bombing the poorest people on earth, that “humanitarian intervention” is used straight faced by world leaders and their sycophantic media cheerleaders in the mainstream media and a world where most of humanity only has debt peonage and decreased living standards to look forward to.

It certainly does look like humanity has been nailed to an iron cross.

The world is in desperate need of a liberating ideology, in which true media and political pluralism can thrive instead of the circus currently on offer. One where we’re not in thrall to capital or beholden to the fortune 500 who rule every aspect of our lives.

Notes.

(1) http://thehill.com/policy/international/un-treaties/393659-nikki-haley-ridiculous-for-un-to-analyze-poverty-in-america

(2) https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/21/health/us-life-expectancy-study/index.html?no-st=1529923969

(3) http://www.who.int/countries/cub/en/

(4) United Nations Generaly Assembly, 4 May 2018 http://undocs.org/A/HRC/38/33/ADD.1

(5) http://www.newsweek.com/trump-says-us-spent-7-trillion-middle-east-mistake-iraq-cost-88-billion-804215

(6) https://russia-insider.com/en/history/russian-thinker-1999the-end-communism-russai-signalized-end-democracy-west-alexander

(7)https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/07/yes-u-s-locks-people-up-at-a-higher-rate-than-any-other-country/?utm_term=.ab39c81fabff

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