Via Infoshop News
By William T. Hathaway
Endless war … endless despair. The USA finally elects a leader who pledges to bring peace, and he morphs before our incredulous eyes into a war president. We’re still killing thousands of people, manipulating other nations, developing new nuclear bombs, forcing our financial will around the world, and jailing dissenters at home. Fortress America continues to expand globally as prison, sweatshop, and fire base. After all our years as activists trying to change this country, how could it have sunk to this?
To answer this question and avoid self-destructive rage, it might help to review the history of the age we live in. More than revolution or reform, what has shaped our times most strongly is revanchism. Rolling back change and reinstating the old order has been the dominant current.
This began immediately after the Russian Revolution, when the USA, Britain, France, and Japan sent in soldiers to try to reverse it. Although they failed, this marked the beginning of 70 years of military and economic warfare. The capitalist powers were so threatened by communism that they pulled out all the stops to overthrow it, unleashing an offensive of sabotage, espionage, and armed conflict that killed millions in Korea and Vietnam, brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation, and eventually brought the Soviet government to its knees. If communism hadn’t been under this relentless attack, it might have developed into a much different system.
The anti-communist campaign helped fuel the second revanchist movement, fascism. In a Germany impoverished by territorial losses and the injustices of the Versailles Treaty, the Nazis portrayed communists and Jews as actively destroying what was left of the country. They used them as scapegoats to mobilize the Germans into a war of reconquest, to restore the Reich.
Via Guernica Magazine and Infoshop News
The democracy uprising in the Arab world has been a spectacular display of courage, dedication, and commitment by popular forces—coinciding, fortuitously, with a remarkable uprising of tens of thousands in support of working people and democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, and other U.S. cities. If the trajectories of revolt in Cairo and Madison intersected, however, they were headed in opposite directions: in Cairo toward gaining elementary rights denied by the dictatorship, in Madison towards defending rights that had been won in long and hard struggles and are now under severe attack.
Each is a microcosm of tendencies in global society, following varied courses. There are sure to be far-reaching consequences of what is taking place both in the decaying industrial heartland of the richest and most powerful country in human history, and in what President Dwight Eisenhower called “the most strategically important area in the world”—“a stupendous source of strategic power” and “probably the richest economic prize in the world in the field of foreign investment,” in the words of the State Department in the 1940s, a prize that the U.S. intended to keep for itself and its allies in the unfolding New World Order of that day.
Despite all the changes since, there is every reason to suppose that today’s policy-makers basically adhere to the judgment of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s influential advisor A.A. Berle that control of the incomparable energy reserves of the Middle East would yield “substantial control of the world.” And correspondingly, that loss of control would threaten the project of global dominance that was clearly articulated during World War II, and that has been sustained in the face of major changes in world order since that day.
Go Chris GO! 🙂 -WG
Posted on Apr 10, 2011
By Chris Hedges
A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.
Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.
Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.
Via Infoshop News
Noam Chomsky speaks to Saswat Pattanayak
Noam Chomsky interviewed by Kindle Magazine
SP- Prof Chomsky, where do you locate the contours of the current crisis in Egypt, Tunisia and rest of the Middle East?
NC- The source of the crisis in the Arab world goes back very far and it’s similar to what we find in the formerly colonized world. Actually it was expressed rather clearly in the 1950’s by President Eisenhower and his staff. He was holding an internal discussion which has been declassified since. Eisenhower asked his staff why there is, what he called a “campaign of hatred” against us in the Arab world. Not among the governments, which are more or less docile, but among the people. And the National Security Council, which is the major planning body, produced a memorandum on this topic. It said that there is a perception in the Arab world that the United States supports harsh vicious dictators, blocks democracy and development; and we do this because we want to maintain control over their resources – in this case, energy. And went on to say that the perception is fairly accurate and furthermore that, that’s what we should be doing.
The basic principle holds not just for the Arab world. It was expressed rather succinctly during the period of the recent spectacular uprising in Egypt by Marwan Muasher. He is a former high Jordanian official who is now the head of research in the Middle East for the Carnegie Endowment. He said there is a prevailing doctrine which is that as long as people are quiet, passive, controlled, there is no problem. We do whatever we like. Maybe they hate us, but it doesn’t matter, because we can do what we like. That’s a principle that holds in Arab world, in India, it holds domestically in the United States; its a standard principle of domination. Of course, sometimes the people break the chains and then you have to make adjustments. What’s happening in Egypt right now is a dramatic, but not untypical example. There has been case after case where the United States and other imperial powers before have been compelled to abandon support for the favored dictator because he could no longer be sustained. So there is a standard gameplan now being applied in Egypt. You support the dictator as long as possible by adopting the Muasher Doctrine. Everything is quiet, so no problem. When the dictator can no longer be sustained, you sort of push him aside, issue Reagan proclamations of your love for democracy and freedom and proceed to try to reestablish as much as you can of the former system. And that’s what we see happening right now in Egypt, and as I said, it happens over and over again.
Via WSM Ireland
Date: Thu, 2011-03-24 12:48
Once again the apostles of “liberal interventionism” are filling the newspapers and airwaves with their apologetics for Western imperialism dressed up as humanitarian mercy missions. Last Friday’s UN resolution 1973 is being touted as why this latest military incursion into a middle eastern oil producing land “has nothing to do with Iraq”. Yet North African and Middle Eastern voices of scepticism regarding French, UK and US motives are being systematically ignored. Here is the perspective of a Libyan anarchist, calling for support of the struggle against the tyrannical Gaddhafi regime, but fearing the Western military intervention is dividing the insurgents and burying the revolution.
The signs of the defeat of Libyan revolution
In a few hours, the UN Security Council will decide to start air strikes against Libya. France has said that it is ready to start the bombardment from tonight.
We condemn this international resolution, if it is realized. And we totally reject any foreign intervention in Libya, whatever shape it may take, especially a French one. France, that sold Qaddafi weapons worth billions, weapons that he is using today to blow up Libyans, the same France that didn’t stop such deals until 3 weeks back.
We condemn this intervention that will transform Libya into a real hell, even more than now. That intervention will also steal the revolution from the Libyans, a revolution that has cost them thousands of dead women and men so far.
An intervention that will also divide the Libyan resistance.
Via Infoshop News
The liberal class is discovering what happens when you tolerate the intolerant. Let hate speech pollute the airways. Let corporations buy up your courts and state and federal legislative bodies. Let the Christian religion be manipulated by charlatans to demonize Muslims, gays and intellectuals, discredit science and become a source of personal enrichment. Let unions wither under corporate assault. Let social services and public education be stripped of funding. Let Wall Street loot the national treasury with impunity. Let sleazy con artists use lies and deception to carry out unethical sting operations on tottering liberal institutions, and you roll out the welcome mat for fascism.
The liberal class has busied itself with the toothless pursuits of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, identity politics and tolerance—a word Martin Luther King never used—and forgotten about justice. It naively sought to placate ideological and corporate forces bent on the destruction of the democratic state. The liberal class, like the misguided democrats in the former Yugoslavia or the hapless aristocrats in the Weimar Republic, invited the wolf into the henhouse. The liberal class forgot that, as Karl Popper wrote in “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”
Great interview with Noam Chomsky,well worth watching. –WG