All posts filed under: Essays

How the West Could Destabilize Russia

by Denis Churilov Russian March 2018 Presidential Elections are approaching. Putin has recently announced that he will run as a candidate. The global players who don’t want Putin to stay in power will likely do everything possible to get rid of him. Let’s explore some possible pressure points and try to predict the most unpleasant developments. The measures to destabilize Russia amid the elections are most likely to be complex and could potentially include: 1. Exacerbating situation in Eastern Ukraine/Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. A coordinated, big scale assault on break-away regions by the Kiev government and ultra-nationalist battalions, if successful, could be exploited informationally by evoking a public discourse inside Russia about Putin betraying the people of Donbass/Novorossia, or being incapable of helping them, which could potentially decrease his approval ratings domestically. There are reports of soldiers from the US National Guard, namely the New York’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), being moved to Ukraine in late October 2017, so we might expect some dangerous provocations early next year. Also, as …

Capitalism’s Failure Of The Flesh: The Rise Of The Robots

by Phil Rockstroh Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology-created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being churned to spittle. On a personal note, an informal consensus has formed among my friends who share a passion for reading: We read far fewer books since the time we became enmeshed with the internet. Worse, we find the feelings of isolation that we have attempted to mitigate by an immersion in online activity, at best, provides only a palliative effect. Yet, in the manner of addiction — or a hopeless love affair —  we are prone to trudge deeper into the psychical morass by further immersion into the very source that is exacerbating our feelings of unease and ennui. Yet we insist on remaining mentally epoxied to electronic appliances, as the oceans of …

A New Code of Practice

by W Stephen Gilbert The Hays Code transformed the face of Hollywood in the 1930s, introducing rampant, some may say absurd, censorship and restricting the creativity of writers and directors. Here we take a closer look at what it meant, and what it can teach us about our own time From 1930 for almost forty years, film production and distribution in the United States was entirely governed by the Motion Picture Production Code. A set of dogmatic guidelines as to depicted behaviour, the explicitness of imagery and the tenor of the moral lessons to be deduced from a story’s outcome, this semi-literate document was known to all as the Hays Code, after its overseer Will Hays. Where a man like Hays would be coming from can be spotted a mile off. He was a Republican cabinet minister and a deacon in the Presbyterian church; to write his code, he commissioned a Catholic priest. The restrictions placed on screenwriters and movie directors inevitably look both piffling and dispiriting today. Thus: “…the use of liquor in American …

A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of Death

by Phil Rockstroh According to a nationwide study [https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm] conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a greater number of U.S. Americans died (approximately 65,000) from drug overdoses last year than were killed during the course of the Vietnam War. All part and parcel of capitalism’s war against life itself. The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate. The root of addiction is trauma. The soul of the nation is a casualty of war. There is not an Arlington Cemetery for these fallen, no hagiographic ceremonies will be performed over their graves nor statues erected in memoriam. Their ghosts will howl through the long, dark night of national denial. Listen to their wailing. It is an imprecatory prayer. A curse and augury … that admonishes, our fate and the fate of the nation will converge … as the nation will …

Thanksgiving for JFK

by Edward Curtin If he had lived, President John F. Kennedy would have been 100 years old this year. At Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, his family would be raising a glass in his honor. But as we all know, he was murdered in Dallas, Texas on this date – November 22nd – in 1963. A true war hero twice over, he risked his life to save his men in World War II, and then, after a radical turn toward peace-making in the last year of his life, he died in his own country at the hands of his domestic enemies as a soldier in a non-violent struggle for peace and reconciliation for all people across the world. But we can still celebrate, mourn, and offer thanksgiving for his courageous witness. When we gather tomorrow to give thanks, we should remember today – the profound significance of the date – and the absent presence of a man whose death, dark and bloody as it was, is a sign of hope in these dark times. For if John …

JFK at 100: The War on Our Heroes Part 2

In the first half of this article, published on JFK’s centenary, I discussed the general degradation of the intellectual and moral character of figurehead politicians, the concomitant societal decay, and whether or not this is a deliberate policy or a by-product of promoting sociopaths above their ability to function.

In this half we will re-examine the death of JFK, not just as a simple assassination, but as an act of psychic-warfare on the general populace, and explore the long-lasting effect on the American psyche.

Haunted by the Ghosts of War

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori

International Systems of States and Global Security Models

by Dr Vladislav B. Sotirovic Introduction The fundamental aim of the text below is to deal with the concept and models of global security as one of the crucial topics of global political studies. We have to keep in mind that a term and notion of security usually imply a kind of sense of protection and safety from different possible harms coming from „outside“. Therefore, it can be generally acceptable and understandable that the states want to protect their own territories by expanding great resources in making their territorial safe. Security topics are of very different kind, ranging from the causes of conflict between states to deterioration in the global climate or women’s rights in global politics. The question of Security Studies as an academic discipline within the scope of Global Politics has been the subject of much debate and one of the most prosperous ways to deal with global security is firstly to analyze different standpoints which are existing within the research discipline. The article, in one word, will try to provide the readers …

52 YEARS AFTER FASCIST GENOCIDE, INDONESIANS SCARED OF “COMMUNIST GHOSTS”

From Jakarta and Yogyakarta: Andre Vltchek It was once again a hot, muggy day in Jakarta. The air was full of pollutants, epic traffic jams blocking entire center of the city. Biasa, as locals would say, or in a lax translation, ‘business as usual’. It is September 29th, 2017, Friday, just one day before the most sinister anniversary in the entire Southeast Asia. On September 30th, 1965, the Indonesian military obeying orders from foreign powers (mainly the US and the UK), overthrew the progressive and anti-imperialist government of President Sukarno, murdering between 1 and 3 million men, women and children (including almost all members of the Communist Party of Indonesia – PKI). This was done with the direct help of almost all the major religious organizations (Muslim, Protestant, Catholic and Hindu). The bloodshed continued well into 1966, and the “Rivers were choked with corpses and ran red from blood,” as I was told by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the greatest Indonesian novelist. All the hopes for a socialist, just and egalitarian motherland were wasted. Before the …

The End of the Cold War and Shakespeare’s Macbeth

by Vladimir Golstein, October 9, 2017 It is naïve to think that Macbeth is only about some “vaulting” and murderous ambition. Macbeth does not acquire the throne with the intention of controlling his subjects. In fact, in his quest to secure his rule, he strives to control the very idea of time and change. It is thus hardly surprising that when he is killed, Macduff declares: “behold, where stands/The usurper’s cursed head: THE TIME IS FREE.” Enslaving time, means stopping its flow; it means attacking the very idea of change, and therefore destroying the agents of change: the young. Thus, Macbeth’ speciality is butchering children.  He does so as he tries to achieve “security,” – which, obviously, means the elimination of rivals.  But the witches do inform us that: “security is mortals’ chiefest enemy.”  The quest for it is as deadly as its temporary possession.  Permanence, security, they are as futile as the desire to stop the time. Now fast forward to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  That collapse meant that Russia, in fact, …

The Centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution: a Legacy to Celebrate

This month, commemorations will be held in towns and cities across Russia to mark the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Whilst the state and system that the revolution gave birth to – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Soviet communism – is no longer in existence today, the positive legacy of this pivotal event in history has endured in modern-day Russia. Indeed, as a result of the political, economic and social carnage of the 1990s in Russia, stemming directly from the collapse of the Soviet system, and which Russians continue to be haunted by to this very day, the legacy of what was officially known in the USSR as the Great October Socialist Revolution continues to receive more and more prominence within all age groups in Russia today, including the young.

From previously unpublished pages of Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman”

by Vladimir Golstein From recently found and previously unpublished pages of Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman.” Day 1. Woke up late today.  Read NYT.  There are a lot of things that bother me.  There are Russian spies and Nazis everywhere.  And all they do is plotting something against our democracy.  What a disgrace. Went to a coffee shop.  On the way there, saw a dog carrying a newspaper.  A Chinese Chow-Chow dog.  Oh, those are crafty.  Followed it.  Found where it lived.  As I was getting close to it, I’ve heard it grumbled something.  But it was in Chinese, so I didn’t quite get it.  I wonder, how they make it in this country without English. Returned home and listened to the NPR.  Our president bothers me.  He wants to keep foreigners out.  If he does that, who will cut my grass? Had my quinoa salad and went to bed. Day 2. The NYT wasn’t at its usual place on the porch. Somebody must have read it already.  Must be one of those dogs.  They …

How Jeremy Hammond Missed the Bigger Picture on Cyberterrorism

by Carla, therightsideoftruth.com For years, cyberterrorism has been on the periphery of our vision. While most know what the phrase means, the alarm surrounding the issue is minimal. On the other hand, freedom of speech and the right to an uncensored internet has become an increasingly common rhetoric in most alternative media channels. Guardian writer, Jeremy Hammond, spearheaded this exact opinion in an article last year. After Sony had fallen victim to North Korea-based hackers, he presented a view that shunned any repercussive fear. His theory: government officials are exaggerating the threat for their own financial gain. As is common in the MSM, his article grossly oversimplifies the topic. Cyberterrorism vs. Cybercrime Before even discussing the potential threat, it’s important to correctly identify what we mean by cyberterrorism, as opposed to cybercrime. Hammond, clearly unable to make the distinction, stated: Despite the apocalyptic hype, the Sony hack was not fundamentally different from any other high-profile breach in recent years.” While it is true the Sony hack presented itself like many other well-known infiltrations, the essential …

How the World May End

by John Pilger, via Consortium News, August 4, 2017 The U.S. submarine captain says, “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.” Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1959 movie, “On the Beach,” showing how a nuclear war ends life on the planet. He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest. The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The Northern Hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now. A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most …

Force and Fraud

Niccolò Machiavelli Italian politician, Writer and Author, adviser to the Medicis
It seems now overwhelmingly apparent that the ‘West’ has entered a phase of terminal decline – a multifaceted and ongoing deterioration at multiple levels: cultural, political, ideological and economic. Such is the way with all civilizations, particularly those based upon empire. This is not a novel phenomenon; indeed, has become something of a cliché (1). But the process appears to exhibit a recurring historical leitmotif.

China: World’s Leading Defender of Human Rights?

by Kevin Kennedy, May 20, 2016, CanadianPatriot.org “Your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance … I don’t know where that comes from. This is totally unacceptable,” Was part of the translated response of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a recent press conference with Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion, when an iPolitics reporter audaciously asked why Canada is pursuing ties with a China which is ‘mistreating human rights advocates.’ CBC later released a scathing ‘analysis’ comparing President Xi to Chairman Mao, and citing Soros hit-squad Human Rights Watch saying, the regime “has unleashed an extraordinary assault on basic human rights and their defenders with a ferocity unseen in recent years …Senior Chinese leaders, perceiving a threat to their power, now explicitly reject the universality of human rights, characterizing these ideas as ‘foreign infiltration,’ and penalizing those who promote them.“ Many people complain about the ‘human rights record’ in China, and ask how someone can align with such an ‘undemocratic,’ ‘cruel and corrupt regime.’ Many of these people seem to have a prejudice and an unmalleable memory, which is either frozen, …

A Brief History of Mass Theft

by Darren Allen Our institutionalised brand of democracy goes by the name of capitalism. In such a system the word democracy, as Noam Chomsky points out actually means, run by the business classes. If it’s not run by business, it simply doesn’t count as democratic. Capitalist democracy is one in which all capital is privately, albeit indirectly, owned by a tiny club of psychologically stunted monsters. It is a democracy that asks us to vote, every four or five years, for people who have almost zero influence over the totalitarian corporate structures that actually run the planet and in which we spend most of our actual lives; a democracy that can only survive by making its members as stupid, anxious, greedy and hateful as possible so that they continue to vote for the owners and managers who sit at the bottom of the democratic money-funnel with their golden buckets, laughing like this: It’s worth asking, I think, how we could get to such a state. Ask yourself this; what do these six things have in …

Brexit Never Just Meant Brexit

by Dan Mallon “Brexit means Brexit” is one of the many cryptic slogans that constantly emanated from Theresa May’s shambolic – soon to be defunct – Tory Government. What it means is anybody’s guess. Many have speculated it is Theresa May opting for a hard Brexit over a soft Brexit, however these are not tangible constructs, they are mental constructs. The idea of a hard/soft Brexit are nothing more than negotiating positions and seeing as no one has sat around a table yet, nobody can say for sure what the consistency of Brexit will be once it’s finally baked. Considering the European Union (EU) wants to make an example of Britain so as to dissuade other countries from following suit means heading into a negotiation taking a soft approach, will only end in tears. The idea that EU super-state ideologues like Guy Verhofstadt, will simply roll over and allow Britain have an amicable divorce from their pet project, is naivety to the extreme. One thing is for certain though: May’s Tories sure as hell don’t …

The West Spreading New Wave of Feel-Good Movies and False Hopes

by Andre Vltchek, first published at NEO Watch blockbuster movies from the “south” and chances are you will start to believe that the world is not really such a desperate place. Perhaps you might even get convinced that under the present imperialist and turbo-capitalist global arrangement things can always get better. If you live in a gutter somewhere in Sub-Continent or Africa, you could simply try hard, you could “believe in yourself and love yourself”, you could “listen to your instincts”, and everything may eventually fall into the right places. You could get acknowledged, rewarded and even catapulted from your misery into some plush pastures that are covering the tall green hills of success. Think twice! Or…don’t think at all – just bury your head in the sand. There were always books written and films produced just in order to please the Western funding agencies and propaganda machine. I described the process, colorfully, in my recent political/revolutionary novel “Aurora”. Just think about Kite Runner written by an Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini, or about all those …