All posts filed under: Essays

Paradigm shifts: The Great crash of 2008 revisited

Frank Lee Some years ago, I reviewed a book – State Building – by Francis Fukuyama. This was one of his lesser known works, he is more famous for being the theorist of the ‘end of history’ – a view fashionable during the days of neo-liberal triumphalism circa the 1980s. But the views espoused are much the same in both works. After the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, and social-democracy effectively throwing in the towel in Western Europe, Mr Fukuyama postulated that liberal, deregulated, market capitalism was now the historical norm, and if countries had not arrived at this terminal point in their history then in the fullness of time they surely would. This teleology became the received wisdom in official circles, and I would argue still is, at least among the political, financial and media elites. Paradoxically, this consensus – let’s call it the Thatcher/Reagan settlement – represented almost a theoretical mirror image of the cruder types of Marxist historical materialism. The term ‘cruder’ is used sparingly, since it is questionable whether Marx …

Bleak See on the Black Sea

Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević Following the latest events in and around the Black Sea, two old questions are reappearing. Both are inviting us for a repeated elaboration: If a Monroe doctrine (about the hemispheric security exclusivity) is recognised at one corner of the globe, do we have a moral right or legal ground to negate it at the other corner? This irrespectively from the fact that Gorbachev-Yeltsin Russia unilaterally renounced the similar explication – the Brezhnev doctrine about irreversibility of communist gains. Clearly, the ‘might-makes-right’ as a conduct in international relations cannot be selectively accepted. Either it is acknowledged to all who can effectively self-prescribe and maintain such a monopoly of coercion, or it is absolutely (revoked and) condemned as contrary to behaviour among the civilised nations. Next to the first question is a right of pre-emption. It is apparent that within the Black Sea theatre, Russia acts in an unwilling, pre-emptive and rather defensive mode. That is not a regime change action on the other continent following the rational of extra security demand by …

Sometimes A Pair of Pants Can Give You Vertigo

It is a dastardly habit no sane person should inflict on oneself. To rise from one’s night dreams and step into a litany of hyperbolic headlines shouting doom and gloom at every turn is to inject oneself with a poisonous drug before the sap of life has a chance to rise in one’s veins and one’s imagination might give birth to new possibilities.

In Defense of ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Max Parry To remain innocent may also be to remain ignorant.” John Berger, Ways of Seeing This November 22nd marked fifty-five years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Perhaps no other major incident in U.S. history has generated more uncertainty and skepticism towards its official account than his Dallas killing in 1963. A 2013 Gallup poll showed that a clear majority of Americans still doubt the Warren Commission’s determination that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone as the accused sniper, with many suspecting that others in government and organized crime were involved in a secret plot to kill the president. Although its etymological origins can be traced back further, as a cultural phenomenon the notion of belief in so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ is widely attributed to a surge in distrust of government and media institutions that followed JFK’s murder. Perhaps its only rival would be September 11th, which surveys have similarly indicated a trend of doubt towards the 9/11 Commission Report’s version of events leading up to the attacks in 2001. In other words, most people …

The Tale of Two Karls

Vladimir Golstein We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”Karl Rove Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.”Karl Marx History repeats itself twice. First as Marx, then as Marx Brothers; first as Karl Marx, then as Karl Rove.”Vladimir Golstein Karl Marx might have been dreaming of communism, but he analyzed capitalism judiciously and thoroughly. His insights into its mechanisms and principles, such as exploitation, alienation, or complex dialectical relationship between economics, politics, and ideology; his scrutiny of the inherent and dynamic …

I Was Right About Paedophilia, And I Am Right About The Far Right

David Lindsay I have spent more than 20 years, since I was just about still in my teens and had never seen the Internet, trying to get the story out about Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange. I have paid a terrible journalistic and political price for it, but I have no regrets. Media that always knew about it simply ignored the whole thing, banning me from their websites and what have you, until a period of no more than two weeks when they needed to distract attention from Patrick Rock. Normal service was rapidly resumed, and it has continued ever since. No one has done more on this issue than I have. No one. And now, the plan is advancing to make Harman the next Speaker of the House of Commons. Not only would I oppose her election, but, were she already in post, then I would oppose her re-election at the start of the next Parliament. I have always been right about this, and I am now being proved right about something …

Fascism Is the True Face of Capitalism

by Bertholt Brecht, 1935 The truth must be spoken with a view to the results it will produce in the sphere of action. As a specimen of a truth from which no results, or the wrong ones, follow, we can cite the widespread view that bad conditions prevail in a number of countries as a result of barbarism. In this view, Fascism is a wave of barbarism which has descended upon some countries with the elemental force of a natural phenomenon. According to this view, Fascism is a new, third power beside (and above) capitalism and socialism; not only the socialist movement but capitalism as well might have survived without the intervention of Fascism. And so on. This is, of course, a Fascist claim; to accede to it is a capitulation to Fascism. Fascism is a historic phase of capitalism; in this sense it is something new and at the same time old. In Fascist countries capitalism continues to exist, but only in the form of Fascism; and Fascism can be combated as capitalism alone, …

Beware the Trumpenleft!

Unless you move in certain leftist circles, you may not have heard about one of the Russians’ most insidiously evil active measures, an active measure so insidiously evil that it could only have been dreamed up in Moscow, the current wellspring of insidious evil. Its official Russo-Nazi-sounding code name is still being decided on by leftist cryptographers, but most people know it as the “Trumpenleft.”

How Queer Theory Became University Policy

by Michael Biggs, [edited by Sarah Mills], via Conatus News The establishment of an official doctrine on gender identity is an unprecedented threat to academic freedom. Sex and gender should be subjects for debate. My university has recently established an official doctrine on gender, promulgated by its Equality and Diversity Unit. The University of Oxford declares that sex is not determined at conception but rather ‘assigned’ at birth, presumably on the whim of the midwife or obstetrician. Sex must be replaced for all practical purposes by an individual’s sense of gender identity, which may be chosen from a lengthy menu including nonbinary and genderqueer. Oxford is not peculiar, for the same doctrine is being instituted across British universities. This doctrine is derived from queer theory, an outgrowth of postmodernism. To understand how this esoteric discourse became the new orthodoxy, we need to follow the work of Gendered Intelligence, the charitable interest company that translates queer theory into public policy. Its chief executive is Jay Stewart MBE, a transman with a doctorate in Visual Cultures from …

Phil Ochs and the Crucifixion of President John F. Kennedy

Edward Curtin They say they can’t believe it, it’s a sacrilegious shame Now, who would want to hurt such a hero of the game? But you know I predicted it; I knew he had to fall How did it happen? I hope his suffering was small. Tell me every detail, I’ve got to know it all, And do you have a picture of the pain?” Phil Ochs, The Crucifixion You are aware of only one unrest; Oh, never learn to know the other! Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother.” Goethe, Faust President John Kennedy was assassinated by the U.S. national-security state, led by the C.I.A., on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. That is a fact beyond dispute, except for those who wish to engage in pseudo-debates to deny the obvious. I prefer not to, since there is nothing to debate. But there is everything to mourn, even after fifty-five years, first of course for the man himself, then for those who have suffered and …

Oceania is at War with Fascism

CJ Hopkins If you’re a critic of global capitalism (sometimes referred to as “globalism”), I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is, you’re not a “peddler of Russian propaganda” anymore. The bad news is, you’re an anti-Semite. You’re probably also a domestic terrorist, or an “emboldener” of domestic terrorism, or at least some sort of terrorism-apologist. And not good old-fashioned Islamic terrorism like we used to get during the War on Terror, because that ended in the Summer of 2016, right around the time Trump won the nomination. No, the brand of terrorism you are probably emboldening by criticizing global capitalism is anti-Semitic, fascist terrorism … the most terroristic form of terrorism there is! Up until recently, you might have just been going about your normal business, criticizing global capitalism, completely unaware of your anti-Semitic, white supremacist terrorist activities, but from now on there will be no denying them. Your hate thoughts are right there for everyone to read. Go back and check your Facebook posts and your …

The Quiet Imperialism

Frank Lee reviews Beyond US Hegemony by Egyptian economist Samir Amin, who died earlier this year. This work was first published in 2006, but has been remarkably prescient in its evaluation of US strategic imperial policy before, and, a fortiori, after that date. Many, if not most, Americans and of course their Petainist vassals in Europe, have always been in denial about the imperial ambitions and practises of the US.

The Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic

CJ Hopkins I suppose it was always just a matter of time until the global capitalist ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media combined their two main official narratives into a Ronco-type 2-in-1 kind of deal. That’s right, folks, your days of switching between the War on Terror official narrative and the Putin-Nazi official narrative are over, because now, for just $19.99, the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic® takes care of all your official narrative needs with just the press of one button! Here’s how it works. First, you take your classic mentally-disturbed individual, someone like, say, John Hinkley, Jr., Mark David Chapman, or Travis Bickle, or a total wack job like Cesar Sayoc, and you paint whichever clearly psychotic crimes he’s committed as acts of “terrorism.” Don’t worry about the definition of “terrorism” or how it has become a virtually meaningless label the capitalist ruling classes and corporate media can slap onto anyone. Just keep saying “terrorist,” “terrorism,” and any other lexical derivatives of “terror,” over and over, like some kind of mantra … you know, like the Hare …

NATO’s Nazi Beginnings

by Robert S. Rodvik, 21 June 2012, VoltaireNet Who gave NATO the right to rule the world? This author elucidates how the Western elite, many of whom were Hitler supporters, rescued a vast number of Nazi hierarchy and placed them in positions to continue the many decades long fight against Russia. The One Percent of the time and the One Percent of today have sent millions to their deaths in formulating and enacting Winston Churchill’s 1918 pledge to “strangle at its birth” the Bolshevik menace. Total control of the so-called mainstream media has furthered that odious task. Many writers have documented how British and American elites bankrolled Hitler’s rise to power and not until he turned his forces westward did they begin to mount defensive actions against the Third Reich. In Britain, elite members of The Right Club, often with government collusion, secretly supported Hitler’s actions against the Jews and against communists and socialists. The Duke of Wellington was a noted anti-semite and a member of the Right Club. Edward the VIII, known as “the …

The Apocalypse Not Now

Edward Curtin It was balmy and breezy by the bench where I sat outside a public library east of Atlanta, Georgia, brooding about the state of the world. It seemed like the end times, and I had just attended a fire and brimstone sermon, not perused the mainstream and alternative press. I had just spent a few hours on the internet, noting so many articles that announced that the world as we know it was coming to an end, or maybe just the world. The American Empire was collapsing, the U.S.A. was a failed state, climate change would soon destroy the world if nuclear war didn’t do it first, etc. Many of these articles were predicting that soon the elites who run the U.S. would be getting their comeuppance because of hubris and overreach and, like the Roman Empire, the die had been cast and disaster was on the horizon. Such prognostications were appearing in publications that covered the political spectrum. All of it was fear-inducing, notwithstanding one’s political beliefs. Left, right, and center had …

The Assassination of Donald Trump

CJ Hopkins OK … here’s a question for you. Let’s assume, strictly for the purposes of argument, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or at least a proto-Hitlerian fascist, like the neoliberal ruling classes and the corporate media have been saying he is. And let’s go ahead and also assume that he’s a treasonous Russian intelligence asset working in league with Vladimir Putin to destroy the very fabric of Western democracy, and that he isn’t even legitimately President, because he stole the election from Hillary Clinton with all those Russian bots and Facebook posts, and all that other stuff they’ve been accusing him of, which would make him the most monstrously evil villain in the history of monstrously evil villains, not to mention an existential threat to the nation, and Americans, and … well, the rest of humanity. And so, basically, what I want to know is, why don’t they just kill this guy? Seriously, if Trump is really Hitler, and a traitor, working for a foreign enemy, like The New York Times and more …

Does Elizabeth Warren Know What ᏣᎳᎩ Means?

Hope K Senator Elizabeth Warren got tired of being called “Pocahontas” for claiming to be Cherokee and took a DNA test. I’d like to give her a test. What does “ᏣᎳᎩ” mean? Last summer my mother and aunt asked me if I felt like a Cherokee. It’s a valid question. I haven’t lived in the Cherokee Nation since I was a toddler. My father is of European descent, so my skin is white. I thought about it for a moment and said, “Yes, I do.” In order to officially be a member of the tribe, you must have one of these cards: But being Cherokee is more than just having the bloodline to me. It’s memories of spending summers at my grandmother’s house surrounded by baskets, pots, and turquoise. It’s having a mother who talks about the Little People and space travel as well as the Bible. It was that time I stayed on the bus during a school field trip to the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, in a silent protest my classmates didn’t notice. …

What on Earth is the Eleusis Benefit Corporation?

John Helsby Last year, a friend of mine studying computer science at the University of Cambridge noticed a curious poster pinned up in the William Gates Building, which houses the Computer Laboratory – the computer science department of the university. The photo was taken on the 29th September 2017. Some questions that occur: Why the emphasis on high achievers? What is the purpose of this study? Who will benefit most from understanding how the brains of high achievers respond to psychedelics? Why must they be working on a problem that is highly meaningful in the context of a professional or academic pursuit? Why must they enjoy math and/or have strong math competency? (Note the American spelling.) Why are they exclusively looking for people who have never done psychedelics before? Does “available in London for 6 days” mean they are dosing people on 6 different occasions? What are they doing at the follow-up sessions? Why is the University of Cambridge putting posters like this up in its computer science department? Did anyone vet it to make …

Australia and its Israel Embassy: What are they Thinking?

James O’Neill According to recent media reports, the Liberal candidate in the Wentworth (Sydney) by-election, former diplomat David Sharma said he “was open” to the idea that Australia’s embassy in Israel could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a separate tweet he went further and said Australia “should consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The ostensible reason is that it would be following the lead of the United States. In separate reports, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is said to be making an announcement in Canberra on 16 October also suggesting that Australia should follow the US lead. Sharma did qualify his suggestion that Australia’s embassy shift to Jerusalem “should be looked at in the context of a two-state solution (to Israel-Palestine)“. It is possible that both Sharma and Morrison have timed their statements to coincide with the by-election by making a pitch for the Jewish vote in that electorate. According to census data, Wentworth has 12.5 percent of its population professing the Jewish faith, a significant figure in electoral terms. That is the …

Please Remember Not to Vote

So, it’s three weeks before the US midterm elections, and it looks like we have got ourselves a horse race! That’s right, folks, once again, it’s time to start playing with those forecast maps on Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight, and obsessively following the fluctuating poll numbers of congressional candidates you have never heard of competing in districts you couldn’t locate if someone held a gun to your head. You need to start doing this immediately, if not sooner, as the stakes in these midterms could not be higher. Nothing less than the continued existence of “American democracy” hangs in the balance, so the ruling classes need every last one of us to get out there and vote for somebody!…