All posts filed under: Essays

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 …

JFK at 100: The War on Our Heroes Part 1

If the bullets hadn’t flown, John Fitzgerald Kennedy might have been one hundred years old today. Granted, it’s not likely, put definitely possible. If the parade route hadn’t been changed, and the roof taken off the limousine, and the secret service ordered to stand down, the world would likely be a very different place. If the man had safely negotiated the last 54 years, and was still breathing today, what would he make of this mess?

Escaping the Iron Cage of Hopelessness

By Edward Curtin Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved” Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism In this frightful round of unchecked means, nobody knows any longer where they are going, purposes are forgotten, and ends are overtaken. Human beings have set off at astronomically high speeds toward nowhere.”Jacques Ellul, Presence in the Modern World In a previous article I argued that those who think science can solve our major social problems – in particular, world destruction with nuclear weapons and the poisoning of the earth’s ecology and atmosphere – were delusional and in the grip of the myth of science and technology. These problems were created by science when it became untethered from any sense of limits in its embrace of instrumental rationality. Once it became wedded to usefulness and the efficiency of technical means, it lost its original aim: the search for truth. (Obviously this doesn’t include all scientists.) In embracing means as ends, it produced …

Lebanon – Hedonism and War

Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek, first published on New East Outlook Palestinian refugee camps are up in flames, across the country, a result of the disputes between the rival factions, but also of ‘unsavory’ influences from abroad. As everyone knows here, there are, for instance, the Al Qaida-affiliated militants hiding in the South. There are Israeli incursions into Lebanon, both by land and by water. There are also drones, flying habitually from Israel into and through the Lebanese airspace. There is great tension between Israel and Hezbollah, over Syria, but not only. Lebanese forces are fighting DAESH, mainly in the Northeast of Lebanon, on the mountainous border with Syria. Hezbollah is fighting DAESH, too, but ‘independently’. In the 7th year into the war in Syria, there are still more than 1 million Syrian refugees living on Lebanese territory, some in awful conditions and many with extremely uncertain future. The exact number is unknown (UNHCR stopped the registration of all new arrivals approximately 2 years ago), but is believed to fluctuate between 1 and 2 million. …

Marching in Circles: Faustian Thinking and the Myth of Science

The recent marches on April 22nd to promote science and to celebrate Earth Day were perhaps well-intentioned, but they were delusional and conducted without any sense of irony. They served power and its propaganda. Obviously science has benefited us in certain ways, but it has become untethered from any sense of moral limits in its embrace of instrumental rationality and its unending efforts to sabotage faith in human freedom by rationally “proving” its illogical deterministic credo.

Why Vault 7 Tools Used by Private Contractors Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild Part 2

So, let’s begin at the end. The fastest way to get things done on a geopolitical level has become hiring the private Intel and policy making professionals and letting them loose as experts to the mainstream media. Who is using chemical weapons on the Syrians? Who was involved in the Russian election interference and fake news during the 2016 elections? Who shot down MH-17 in 2014? Someone, somewhere had to be doing something, right?

Is Putin Incorruptible?

first published in 2014, this alternative analysis by Sharon Tennison, who recounts her personal experience of Putin, is still more than relevant As the Ukraine situation has worsened, unconscionable misinformation and hype is being poured on Russia and Vladimir Putin. Journalists and pundits must scour the Internet and thesauruses to come up with fiendish new epithets to describe both. Wherever I make presentations across America, the first question ominously asked during Q&A is always, “What about Putin?” It’s time to share my thoughts which follow: Putin obviously has his faults and makes mistakes. Based on my earlier experience with him, and the experiences of trusted people, including U.S. officials who have worked closely with him over a period of years, Putin most likely is a straight, reliable and exceptionally inventive man. He is obviously a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals under mounds of accusations and myths that have been steadily leveled at him since he …

On Propaganda and Bias: An open-letter to the Royal Academy

Mr Christopher LeBrun, President Mr Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive Mr Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes Royal Academy of Arts, London 28 March 2017 Dear Sirs, I am writing to you to express my disappointment at the curatorial handling of the exhibition Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 currently on display at the RA. Whilst I am not an art historian or an expert in Russian art of the period, it is well known (and apparent just looking at the pieces on display at the RA) that the years covered by the exhibition represent a decisive and hugely fruitful moment in the development of Russian and European Modernism in which artists who came from a figurative tradition coexisted with avant-garde currents like the Russian Futurists or, later, the Constructivists, along with visionary figures like Kasimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky and others (whom you reference in the exhibition), besides, of course, developments in photography, theatre, dance, music and cinema. For this reason, I was incredibly excited to visit the RA exhibition, anticipating a serious, …