UC Berkeley has a proud tradition as centre of protest and speaking truth to power. In the early to mid sixties the campus was the site of a string of protests. Civil Rights marches supporting the Black Americans’ right to vote, anti-Vietnam and pro-peace protests, and the FSM. That’s the Free Speech Movement. Here is a photo of one of their protests:
And, in one of life’s tragic ironies, here is an anti-Trump protester at a campus clash with a pro-Trump rally yesterday:
These are people who, notionally, stand for “love not hate”, who “go high when they go low”. Are they truly the spiritual successors to MLK or RFK? Do they see themselves as such? This is how far the left, and political discourse in general, have fallen in America.
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I think that the USA today exhibits far more National Socialism than socialism. Libertarians who support the constitution would not and should not describe the USA as a Judeo Christian country.
The USA places economic sanctions and embargoes and installs counter revolutionary groups in countries who do not toe the line. Then they say “see it does not work.”
You can’t trust the USA.
Free speech is a good concept. Conveyance through speaking of ideas while aimed at discovery of better ways of living which increase the health and well-being of the greatest number is better. Speaking one’s total truth is best.
I have never claimed to be an expert on Marx. My comment was on was is happening on our college campus’ in the US. Neither did I ever claim to be to be smarter than everyone else, although you seem to think you are.
If the OffG “lamented” Castro as a great ruler, it was pre my reading the OffG, and something I find reprehensible. Sorry, he was a tyrant. Love him all you want. I don’t. I’ve known too many people who fled Cuba.
You are entitled to your beliefs, and I am entitled to mine. That doesn’t make you smarter than me. See the world any way you wish, and allow me the same courtesy. There is no need to talk down to people you disagree with, which is exactly what you did, and I responded in kind. Have a nice day.
Permit me to apologize for my tone toward you.
The point that I was trying to make is that:
a) You imagine yourself beyond the influence of propaganda, but no more than anyone else, including myself, you are not.
b) You have strong opinions about Marx and Castro, but to someone who is familiar with either, it is obvious that you know nothing about them, and you at least have the courage to admit as much about Marx, now that you’ve realized you have never read anything that he himself has written. It is likewise with Castro. Remember, you live in a country that since 1959 has spared no effort demonize and vilify the “Castro Regime” as being the incarnation of evil on earth, and that and only that is the basis of your antipathy for anything having to do with Castro and “socialist” Cuba.
c) You claim that in your experience the U.S. has been on the path to socialism for the last 50 years, but this is simply objectively untrue and betrays your complete ignorance of what either socialism or communism are in terms of their objectives. Again, this ignorance of yours – and I’m not using the term “ignorance” disparagingly, but to simply designate the condition “of not knowing about something” – is not your fault, but the result of a cultural and propaganda context in which you live. You see, the American oligarchy, which owns and rules over everything in America, and the aims of socialism and communism are simply incompatible. The one implies the non-existence of the other. Oligarchy exists by virtue of the economic exploitation of the majority, whereas socialism and communism aim to put an end to this exploitation. Consequently, whatever the American Oligarchy can do to confuse Americans about the implications of either the socialist or communists projects, it does, and this isn’t too difficult for them to do since they “control” all of the avenues of information distribution, from the subjects taught in grade-schools all the way through to the highest levels of college and university, to everything that is consumed as media entertainment and “news.” The effect of all of this is quite obvious in the opinions to which you give currency.
A few things for you to think about.
OK, Norm, here goes. My original comment, as I have stated was in regard to what is happening to our youth on campus today. I have followed this closely for several years. The simple fact is, many of this generation is incapable of any kind of critical thinking or counter argument to any opinions or arguments which go against what they have been taught. It is a FACT that most academia in the US is to the left, many dangerously so. When confronted with with ideas they don’t like, the only response can be “bigot, racist, misogynist, Islamaphobe”. etc. Free speech exists for only those who agree with their world view, or it is shut down. They are being sold “globalism” as a Utopia, where all will be equal, everyone will have free healthcare, free education, etc., and all will be wonderful. It is not. Everyone vies for what group is the bigger victim in their identity politics. Many of them believe the government should supply them with free healthcare, education, and a good job after graduation, and that they should be able to buy a home. According to a recent poll, most don’t think they will have to pay back their student loans. When asked if they should have to pay higher taxes to achieve these things, most feel “the government” should pay, or “rich people”, rich people meaning anyone making more than they do.
I’m aware there are many degrees of socialism. Democratic socialism as practiced in Europe is one. I have no idea where you reside or what form of government you live under, and unless it is totalitarian and crushes the will of the people, I don’t have an opinion. Sorry if I disagree with you, and think that is exactly what Castro was guilty of. Having a !00% literacy rate means nothing when people are told what they can read, or write about. Free higher education for all means nothing if the average worker earns less than $30 per month. If you want to dispute these facts with how dissent isn’t crushed in Cuba,what a thriving middle class they have, feel free. Here in the US, we have a Constitutional Republic. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the term socialism to describe the direction our country has taken in the last decades. Totalitarianism would be more accurate, as the state, in many cases, egged on by the UN, tries to remove our constitutional rights. This is part of the globalist agenda as written out in many of the UN Conventions and UN Agenda 21/30, among other things. Many people in this country payed no attention to what was happening right under there nose until fairly recently, and most do not want to be under the thumb of the UN. Period.
I am aware of what propaganda and social engineering are about. It has always been at work in society and been coordinated by the ruling class. My generation, with the advent of TV, was probably the first to be widely exposed to this on a daily basis. It is much worse now. While we are all victims of it to some extent, I learned at a young age to question everything, so possibly I may be better off than some. Education in the US didn’t get totally immersed in it until after the formation of the Board of Education. With Common Core it has gotten worse. Teaching second graders things such as “Government is my friend”, “Good citizens obey”, is not education. It is indoctrination Teaching the 5 Pillars of Islam and making students in America wear a hijab, to “see how it feels”, while not teaching the basic tenets of the bible or making a student wear a Star of David or teaching the beliefs of Hassidic Jews, is not equal education. In America today, you can bash Christians and Jews, but don’t say a word against Islam. We are a country, like it or not, built on Judeo-Christian beliefs. In some cases you can’t bring a bible to school to read on your own free time. It might offend someone. This is the how our education system operates. Tolerance is only for those who believe as they are told.
And now for a quote from the former director of the CIA, William Casey:
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
Well, after all of that, whatever could anyone add?
(Je suis tout simplement bouche bée. Et aux éclats je ris! Merci!)
Glad I was able to amuse you, Norm.
I propose that we change the inaccurate term “Free Speech” to the more apt “Cheap Speech”, meaning what we have access to, as Serfs: zero-authority platforms we can rant to our hearts’ content on… while public opinion is formed by “Expensive Speech” platforms (CNN, Hollywood, BBC, Sony ATV , Fox, NYer, NYT, HuffPo, et al) that are granted, regularly, to our ideological enemies who are supported by The System.
“Free Speech” is a nice oxymoron in a system in which some people have access to (or actually own) prohibitively expensive media platforms capable of reaching and persuading hundreds of millions of people… and others, with radically differing opinions, are “free” to be mocked/ marginalized/demonized by same. An ultra-famous idiot goes on “The Bobby Bucephalus Show” (or whatever) and says “Velveeta!” and the audience applauds and the stocks on Velveeta rise the next day; I write “Gruyere” on my blog and… crickets. It makes very little difference whether I’m banned from using the word “Gruyere” or not, in the end. The overall Apathy/Antipathy towards anything other than the Norm takes care of that in our Free Speech Utopia.
“Free Speech” is a notional civil right that is granted and removed for each of us, every day, on a random basis and I’d be irritated to have mine removed permanently, on an official level, but as “Marc Krizack” wrote, wisely, below, (triggering down-votes, for some reason), “A photo of one person in Berkeley burning a sign that says “Free Speech” only means that one person in Berkeley is burning a sign that says “Free Speech.”
Also, this Liberal/Left-confusion thing is fingernails-on-chalkboard-time for me. Calling the supporters of HRC/BHO/Jon Stewart/Rachel Madow/Amy Goodman “The Left” is exactly as nuts as calling LBJ’s supporters, when he was bombing SE Asia, “The Left”. Huh? Civil Rights legislation was introduced during LBJ’s reign, just as LGBT-friendly proclamations were made under BHO, but, The Left? I have enough of a problem with the straggling skeletal remnants of The Actual Left (lost as they are in Cannabis Crusades, New Age music and “Free ______” personality cults) without having to look at pictures of Bizzaro Clintonites in action every time an article-writer equates all anti-Trumpism with “The Left”.
“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings…Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe…no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent…For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”
― President John F. Kennedy
Are these people ‘the left’? I don’t class liberals as leftists.
In regards to banning anything we don’t like, here is a link to a different approach.
Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin.
Call me old fashioned but I don’t think people such as nazis should be allowed to talk anywhere , there are enough real nazis to ban instead of going after people who have a different but bona fide political opinion you don’t like .
If you remove the right to freedom of speech from one person you are effectively removing it from everyone. Once one section of society can be silenced any section can be silenced. And one day that will include you. We uphold freedom of speech by insisting on the right of everyone – including the wrong, insane, stupid and perverse – to be heard. After all there is a concomitant right you can exercise – not to listen.
“If you remove the right to freedom of speech from one person you are effectively removing it from everyone.”
On the other hand, I can think of dozens of things we dare not say, online or in meatspace-public… some being obviously nasty/offensive but others merely controversial. But you can NOT say them. So, it’s not really “Free Speech” we have, anyway. We were closer to having that 30 years ago, for better or worse, but speech of any kind is very closely policed now, across many platforms. The consequences for an infraction can be dire: remember the “dongle jokes” guys?
I second what Admin said, and would also add that if you ban that kind of speech, you may think you’ve solved a problem, but you haven’t. You’ve made it worse. Banning doesn’t mean eliminating. It means driving it underground, into the shadows, where it can feel persecuted. When it feels persecuted, it can become a movement, based on, say, resisting illiberal forces that ban free speech. Perversely, when you ban it, you put it on the side of freedom, and yourself on the side of oppression. You help it grow. You give it legitimacy.
We shouldn’t let these people feel persecuted. We shouldn’t hand them any rhetorical weapons. Let them out in the sunshine where they can enjoy the full force of the mockery and counter-argument that they deserve.
I would call Johnny Hacket an old-fashioned free-speech nazi because he doesn’t think certain people should be allowed to talk anywhere and also because he claims the implicit right to determine what is “bona fide political opinion” and what is “a real nazi”.
Speech as I see it is the conveyance of information. Information is used to articulate one’s position. The value of information is only valuable to and within a system of established values. Information outside the established value system is seen as alternative and condemned as not following the narrative. We have come to a place in polarized America where what once would have been obvious to an individual is now obscured by a collective fog of perception. All for the bottom lines of a web of indifferent entities? When will we as citizens take responsibility for our part in the bigger picture? We have condoned plowing through the lives of millions and dealing with the wake of carnage like sorting tomato’s. We seem content now in arguing about sorting methods.
“We think it’s worth the price” is an established and acceptable position within the political body. We have already forgotten about ‘the highway of death’ and ‘The convoy of death’. Small potato’s I suppose. If you listen, if you still can listen, you will hear the mantra of ‘kill anything that moves’ quietly gurgling in the darkness all around us. A darkness which can only be exposed by free speech. But exposed to whom? The capacity to interpret that speech has been deliberately diminished and manipulated into irrelevant dialog. We are made to think in terms given us only through the media. We participate like actors handed a script. A script without values, without conscience. There will be awards for best actors, then a poll to remind us how popular we are as a group. After the show, we will be asked if we can tell the difference between the decimation of Dresden or Hiroshima from a picture. The stacks of dead look the same. We see them like cord wood. Hard to count them. Is there a prize? Quick, where’s my calculator? In my cynicism I even wonder if Offguardian is merely a front to flush out those of us who have remained quiet, for a final purge. It is ironic that I see in Trump, a spark of possibility for our awakening. I am willing to be made a fool. What is the option? All I really know is we better slow down as a species. Our values have plummeted to near incoherence and it is by design.
A photo of one person in Berkeley burning a sign that says “Free Speech” only means that one person in Berkeley is burning a sign that says “Free Speech.” First, that person could be a provocateur. Even if that person is a self-proclaimed leftist, it is a long stretch to say that he is representative of “the left in America.”
The right to free speech is a right that we have against the state, not against other individuals. It is one thing (and the wrong thing) to ask the state to permit some speech and not permit other speech, because today it might be your opponent, but tomorrow it might be you who the state decides to shut up.
In the Free Speech Movement of the 1960’s, the left and the right united against the University and the State. The person burning the free speech sign above was protesting against individuals. Would you allow uniformed neo-Nazi groups to speak? They certainly would not allow you to speak if they had their way. So Free Speech is a principled question when it comes to the state, but it is merely a tactical question when it comes to non-state actors.
BTW, I have lived in Berkeley for 40 years.
Then you are aware the burning of that one sign is not all that took place at Berkeley yesterday. So, are you saying Trump supporters shouldn’t be allowed to speak at Berkeley by equating them with neo-Nazis?
In the absence of information to the contrary, If that was one person burning a sign – and we know, better than we ever have in this era of color revolutions and hybrid warfare, that agents provocateurs are used all the time everwhere – then you have a point. But the people are being made stupid via propaganda (including Camelot nonsense) and the doctrinal system, and just because they are economic victims that doesn’t mean that they are automatically caring. There is, in fact, no 99% – in some respects. There’s 1% of the iconic 99% who pays attention and cares and fights for social justice for all. That may be what I call Left.
I’m seeing a few who I do consider to be leftwing (James Corbett being one) declaring that the Left/Right categories are bogus. Which I find bogus. English speaking activists might as well declare English to be bogus. That would be just as helpful as dumping on the Left / Right labels. There just isn’t solidarity when you can’t even get the best of us to talk plainly. In all my years of talking to people who pay no attention, since becoming politicized myself, the most frequently asked question I have gotten from individuals who decided to dip their toes in the water of becoming politicized (knowing what’s going on around them in other words) is What is leftwing? Or some variation of that. I would have been a great help if my response had been “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
There’s no reason to complicate these super simple ideas. Those who are (genuinely) leftwing believe in collective problem solving and collective society-building – for the betterment of all. Those who are rightwing, which I don’t view as being a equal alternative to leftwing, believe in collective problem solving and collective society-building for their class only, because they also believe in inequality (the core of neoliberalism and neoconservatism). They have to be winners who can lord it over the losers. Why? Those are people who have self-modified (which we are free to do, which doesn’t make it right to do) into being believers in inequality. They were us. Then they consented to being re-designed. They’ve abandoned the (‘natural’, in my view) operating principle or rule, described as golden, that makes considering the welfare of your neighbors (far and wide) mandatory in all that you do. The world, including many victims of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, plays the godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’. So what is James Corbett and others on the Left trying to prove? Because we all have something to prove.
Incidentally, I’m also seeing a declaration, again, by some on the Left, that neoliberalism is dead. What does that mean? It isn’t helpful to be cryptic. If by ‘dead’, those ones mean discredited, Well of course. But it would be better to state that plainly, especially if we want to reach people. We do want to reach people, Don’t we? One leftist declares neoliberalism to be dead, then another (Chris Hedges) declares neoliberalism to be entering into turbo charged territory under Trump.
“I’m seeing a few who I do consider to be leftwing (James Corbett being one) declaring that the Left/Right categories are bogus. Which I find bogus.”
Democrat/Republican is a bogus distinction (when it comes to professional politicians; especially in the US Congress), but the Left vs Right distinction is the enormous difference, for example, between Angela Davis and William F. Buckley. When Corbett makes totally-off assertions like that it’s… peculiar.
Yes, it’s pretty sad. The saddest part is that those doing the burning, etc, have no idea of the cognitive dissonance they are operating under. They have no true idea what free speech is, or even what they truly believe. All many of them can shout is pre-programmed terms like racism, misogyny, etc. While they scream fascism, they have no idea what it is. While they admire people like Marx and Castro, they haven’t a clue. They are the first truly, deeply brainwashed NWO generation. We can just be glad it didn’t affect all of them.
“While they admire people like Marx and Castro, they haven’t a clue…”
Are you kidding ? Do you think that Clinton and Obama , Robert Reich or Paul Krugman admire socialists?
If so they do it from a great distance- these people admire money, power, violence and exploitation.
They fear people like Castro above everything.
The left isn’t involved in this campus nonsense, after decades of supporting imperial adventures and backing corporate democrats the left has absented itself politically.
The good news is that a real left will emerge again because the crisis of capitalism demands one, the way that a stinking corpse creates a grave digger.
I’m speaking of the protesters and those on campus who admire Marx and Castro because that is the leftist indoctrination they are receiving in college. I guess you missed all those in academia and media who lamented the death of a “great leader of the people” in tribute to Castro upon his death.
The eitists don’t support socialism/communism for themselves, just for the masses. They are the “elite”, after all.
Are you saying that the protesters are taught to admire Marx and Castro by their teachers with the implication that neither the teachers nor the protesters have ever had a clue as to what Marx, Castro and the entire socialist project from the 19th century onwards was about?
I’m saying that the indoctrination in the American school system has become all about the state. Many of these kids have become programmed to accept the ideology of their far left professors, who are in abundance on college campus’ today, and profess great admiration for people like Mao, Marx, Che, and Castro, but no one of them have any idea what it would actually be like for the people living under such a regime. A lot of things sound good in theory, in practice the reality is quite different.
Ask these kids about how people are faring in Venezuela, and most will give you a blank stare. Ask about Castro and they will laud him for the people having a nearly 100% literacy rate. It doesn’t cross their mind that being literate isn’t that great when you are told what you can read or write. Or that the average Cuban makes less than $30 month with all that free education. Or that the free health care is in broken down facilities, while the good health care is reserved for those that can pay.
They are all for the benefits of socialism, such as free health care, free higher education, etc, but don’t think when they get a job, they should be subject to higher taxes, and would never consider the fact they may not be able to afford a car, etc.
I assume you know that Venezuela’s economy took a nosedive in 2014 and remains in the doldrums as a result of Saudi Arabia’s decision to flood the global oil market with extra supplies so as to crash down world oil prices and wreck Russia’s economy. At about the same time, the US imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela.
Before 2014, Venezuela’s economy had actually been doing fairly well and the country even was able to supply free heating oil to poor communities in the US.
Likewise Cuba has also been subjected to an economic, trade and financial embargo by the US since the early 1960s. While theoretically Cuba is blockaded by the US only, in practice any country that trades with Cuba can be punished by the US. At present the embargo is not being enforced to the full but neither have past US governments (including the Obama government) considered repealing the legislation altogether.
There is a lot that I’d like to say. But propriety forbids it.
So I’ll be nice and only say what at a minimum absolutely needs to be said to you: no, Noreen, your elites do not want socialism or communism for the masses.
If you believe that, you prove that you are capable of believing anything whatsoever.
That is not a good thing, Noreen — just to be clear.
But speaking hypothetically, if you were to spend a bit of time here, at OffG, maybe you would learn to limit the field of what you believe to what is actually believable and not believable. And that, Noreen, would be a good and much better thing.
As for myself, I can just be glad that beyond the borders of America, where people are still not too much like Americans, not everyone has yet been “affected” in the way that you, Noreen, have obviously been.
It’s a long, long walk from America to socialism.
And an even longer one to get to that thing called communism.
Well, Norm, don’t let propriety stop you. And don’t worry about being nice, either, since you have seemed to draw a lot of conclusions about how I have been “affected”, whatever the hell that means.
I am making an observation on what I have seen in my country and educational system as it has evolved over the last 50 years. And no, it is not a long, long walk to Socialism in American. It is the direction it has been heading. Now it seems to be veering back. The last administration was full of political appointees with Communist and Socialist backgrounds.
“But speaking hypothetically, if you were to spend a bit of time here, at OffG, maybe you would learn to limit the field of what you believe to what is actually believable and not believable. And that, Noreen, would be a good and much better thing.”
I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. One, you have no idea how much I read at the OffG, so it’s a little presumptuous on your part. How exactly should I “limit the field of what I believe to what is actually believable and not believable”? What kind of condescending attitude is that toward someone when you have no idea what I believe? While a lot of people were asleep for the past 50 years regarding what was transpiring around them, I was not only observing, I was educating myself about what was happening in my country and globalism. Apparently, my beliefs were not too far off the mark, since it’s all going down just as predicted.
The politically elite and the those with extreme wealth will always live better than the masses. Castro certainly did, though he didn’t portray himself that way, and even in Communist Russia, the politically elite had summer homes while people stood in line all day for a loaf of bread.
And my apologies for much that is badly garbled in my comment. Hopefully I’ll do a bit better on the next round.
I think we are done, Norm.
But we’ve only just begun, haven’t we?
Well, Noreen, I took my cue from you, didn’t I? Surely you know what I hint at? Why, you yourself wrote:
So, whatever the hell could you possibly have meant that we can just be glad “it” didn’t “affect” all of them?
As for being “condescending,” are you sure that I wasn’t also taking my cue from you? Apparently, while you can see that “they” are brainwashed, apparently, you reserve for yourself the special status of somehow or other standing beyond the reach of a similar condition for yourself — no?
And yet you can write something like, that the “. . .eitists don’t support socialism/communism for themselves, just for the masses. They are the “elite”, after all.” Now this is actually rather hilarious if intended as irony, but to put it in your own words, “it’s pretty sad” — in precisely the spirit you uttered that phrase, to help you “understand” what I’m driving at, which seems to be rather difficult for you — if it is intended in earnest.
On the other hand, it’s true, there are more than just a few ironies at play in your very peculiar view of things, which is akin to the standpoint of all those unfortunate admirers of, again as you put it, Marx and Castro. And speaking of Marx, since you seem to be an authority on the old man, when was the last time you actually took the time to read him, and not some second-hand misreading of him if even that?
Or do you know all about what Marx believed and was about by what you were told about him at second- and third-hand? You see — and I’m not being “condescending” in saying this — for someone who actually has read a little Marx, well, maybe a “lot” of Marx relative to the average American, I know that what you spout is the “proof” that you either have not read the old man or you have not understood him. So how much of Marx have you read? Which works? Which essays? Name them.
As for how much reading you have done here at OffG, I guess you missed how Castro was here lamented upon his death in tribute as to a “great leader of the people,” and I was simply wrong in my assumption about how much time you’ve spent here at OffG. I thank you for correcting it. But then in that case, it would appear that although you apparently do a lot of reading here, a lot of it is simply “misreading.” Not that one’s “fixed” assumptions could be responsible for that . . . (I know. I know. You won’t “get” what I’m hinting at, here, either.) Well, okay, then. Maybe you are right, that even spending a whole lot of time here will not have as great a corrective effect on you as might have been hoped. Some people are impervious to having their overall point of view on things altered in any way, and certainly by rational argument. Granted.
And so you really do not see anything amiss in asserting in all sincerity that for the last 50 years, socialism “is the direction the U.S. of A. has been heading.” And you are genuinely puzzled by how incredulous anyone but you and others like you could be about that assertion? And indeed, you are. But as I said, that could only be because you really don’t have a clue about the meaning of the terms “socialism” or “communism.”
In fact, what you call “socialism” and “communism,” what you seem to be alluding to by those words as you impute them to the state of affairs in the U.S., is what “socialists” and “communists” call “capitalism.”
So what might that tell you, Noreen? That maybe a bit of “reading” and thinking might be in order? But why bother, eh? You already know what Marx and his ilk are all about, don’t you? Because you are immune to propaganda, aren’t you? You are smarter than the rest. But I’m the one who is being condescending, right? And you don’t “understand?” But really, you do, right?