All posts filed under: Essays

Book Review – “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”

David William Pear How can I write a review of Andre Vltchek’s new book Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism? I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Andre himself says that: There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please; no footnotes! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. If allowed to read them, even a child can understand.” He is speaking about the works of other great revolutionary writers, not himself. I think Andre is a great revolutionary writer, too. But, who am I to speak for Andre or greatness? Read his great works for yourself, and you will understand them without my introduction. You will find that Andre has the guts to put himself out there, let it all hang out, and expose his vulnerabilities as well as his wisdom… But I am damned if I don’t write a book review for Andre’s book, because I …

The West has Performed a “Philosophical Coup” Against the Left

It has been happening for quite some time, but no one has been paying much attention: Western academia, mainstream media, and the most visible propagandists, were trying to convince the world that 1) ideology has died, or at least became irrelevant 2) in case it did not die, the Left is actually… hold your breath…right-wing!

Especially the Left that is holding power, particularly in Asia and in Latin America, is being ‘re-defined’ in London, Paris and Washington. The Western propaganda gurus are apparently rejuvenated, lately, as there are great budgets available to them, in the United States, United Kingdom, and elsewhere. They are openly told to go after certain countries, particularly Russia, China and Iran.

The Sexual Passion of Winston Smith

There is a vast literature analyzing the political prophecy of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Big Brother, double-speak, telescreens, crimestop, etc. – all applied to our current political situation. The language has become part of our popular lexicon, and as such, has become clichéd through overuse. Blithe, habitual use of language robs it of its power to crack open the safe that hides the realities of life.

There is no doubt that Orwell wrote a brilliant political warning about the methods of totalitarian control. But hidden at the heart of the book is another lesson lost on most readers and commentators. Rats, torture, and Newspeak resonate with people fixated on political repression, which is a major concern, of course. But so too is privacy and sexual passion in a country of group-think and group-do, where “Big Brother” poisons you in the crib and the entertainment culture then takes over to desexualize intimacy by selling it as another public commodity.

They say there’s no “magic money tree”…well there is! But…

Bryan Gocke In Britain, if it wasn’t for BREXIT we would be discussing (among other things) Labour’s proposed economic policies, including an expansion of public sector spending. There would be a storm of media led disparagement about plans to stimulate the economy through borrowing and increased taxation and concerns raised about not paying down the national debt. As Theresa May said whilst campaigning for the last general election “There is no magic money tree.” I find it particularly disheartening that many well informed, left leaning people buy this criticism, worrying whether the country can afford improved public services and whether this will make Labour unelectable. The stock response of the Left to this would normally go along the lines of: The Tories are in disarray and deeply split over BREXIT and thus just might be even more unelectable than a slightly radical Labour Party. Britain is a rich country; surely it can afford better public services than it currently has? Labour’s proposals are, in truth, underwhelming! They represent such a modest step in a process …

Meanwhile in Ukraine….

In one of the largest, if not the largest, Neo-Nazi demonstration in Europe since WW2, 20,000 fascists and their supporters marched through the streets of the Ukrainian capital celebrating the birth of Stepan Bandera 01.01.1909 founder and leader of the ultra-nationalist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) commanded by Roman Shukhevych. This organization which along with the equally collaborationist outfit, the 14th Waffen SS Grenadier Division Galicia 1, were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Poles, Jews and Russians during the ethnic cleansing which began in Lviv with a pogrom of the city’s Jews a week after the German invasion in 1941, and in the western Ukraine between 1943-45.

An Open Letter to the People of Britain, from Vasily Livanov MBE

This open letter, from iconic Russsian actor Vasily Livanov MBE, was first sent to The Guardian. They declined to publish it, we did not. As with many of my compatriots, there are many things about Britain and the British people that I admire. As someone whose whole life has been linked with literature, cinema and theatre, I have the greatest appreciation for English literature and the arts, for its writers and playwrights, actors and directors. As someone who had the good fortune to have played the iconic Englishman Sherlock Holmes in a very successful Soviet film series, I was honoured to have been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I am grateful for a chance to have been part of the mutually enriching cultural kinship and synergy of our two countries. As someone who has lived a long life, I vividly remember the years of WWII when the Soviet Union and Britain were staunch and proud allies in the fight against Nazism. Many Russians feel an affinity with many things English – …

Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World

Most suicides die of natural causes, slowly and in silence.

But we hear a lot about the small number of suicides, by comparison, who kill themselves quickly by their own hands. Of course their sudden deaths elicit shock and sadness since their deaths, usually so unexpected even when not a surprise, allow for no return. Such sudden once-and-for-all endings are even more jarring in a high-tech world where people are subconsciously habituated to thinking that everything can be played back, repeated, and rewound, even lives.

If the suicides are celebrities, the mass media can obsess over why they did it. How shocking! Wasn’t she at the peak of her career? Didn’t he finally seem happy? And then the speculative stories will appear about the reasons for the rise or fall of suicide rates, only to disappear as quickly as the celebrities are dropped by the media and forgotten by the public.

Peace is a cliché: When the West cannot control the world unopposed, it means war

Andre Vltchek Dedicated to my friend, a philosopher, John Cobb Jr The West likes to think of itself as a truly “peace-loving part of the world”. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: “Peace, peace, peace!” It has become a cliché, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being. Every year, there are “peace conferences” taking place everywhere where peace is worshipped, and even demanded. I recently attended one, as a keynote speaker, on the west coast of Denmark. If a heavy-duty war correspondent like myself attends them, he or she gets shocked. What is usually discussed are superficial, feel-good topics. At best, ‘how bad capitalism is’, and how ‘everything is about oil’. Nothing about the genocidal culture of the West. Nothing about continuous, centuries-long plunders and benefits that virtually all Westerners have been getting from it. At worst, it …

Australia needs an urgent reappraisal of its place in a changing world

James O’Neill It seems likely that the Australian House and Senate will pass the governments legislative proposals, ostensibly aimed at alleged foreign interference in Australia’s electoral process. Despite denials to the contrary, the legislation is manifestly aimed at alleged Chinese interference, although the scope of the proposed legislative provisions amounts to a sustained attack upon the ability of critics in the media and elsewhere to do their job of holding governments to account. The cynic might argue that such legislation is hardly necessary, as serious and sustained criticism of the policies of successive Australian governments, and certainly in the “defence” and “national security” areas has been conspicuously absent for many years both from the mainstream media and the Labor opposition. There has been a noticeable increase in the barrage of one-dimensional propaganda in recent decades, and a corresponding reduction in the presentation of fact based analysis. As equally insidious as the propaganda nature of much of what is termed “news” is the systematic ignoring of actual events. A stark illustration of this is in the …

Consensus reality has outlived its evolutionary usefulness

The nature of reality used to be a philosophical, metaphysical contemplation. But now it’s political.

The problem with conspiracy theories…

The official conspiracy theory for 9/11 has led to tremendously harmful effects. Many Americans have forgotten completely what it means to be an American. An ongoing terrorism lottery, that could select any of us as a victim at any time, continues with no end in sight. And the 9/11 Wars that were based on the official account are bankrupting the nation both financially and morally.

What if Babchenko had decided to stay “dead”?

What if Arkady hadn’t turned up, looking sheepish at that presser? What if he hadn’t turned up ever? What if he’d decided he couldn’t face the humiliation, or what if his SBU handlers decided it might be better if he just continued to be dead and skipped off the map somewhere with a few hundred grand and nice new ID.

Of Fake News and History Suborned (In War and Peace)

Brief: The gulf dividing established institutions—governments, political parties, academia, the judiciary, legislature, bureaucracies, the national security state, think-tanks, lobby groups, and especially the mainstream media—and those within and across the broader body politic, particularly those who’d challenge the chokehold such institutions seek to impose on the information and knowledge that forms the foundation of our political discourse as well as that of the official historical record, is expanding at a rate of knots. With a focus on one man who saw it all coming, it’s time to reflect on the backstory of this bourgeoning, perilous impasse, and what the implications might be for geopolitical stability and security, and indeed, the future of humanity.

Globalization the EU and the Road to Serfdom

It might be a good idea to start with some theoretical clarifications. Firstly, nationalism should not be confused with national sovereignty. Nations which are effectively ruled by outside agents – from Greece to Honduras – are not sovereign; they are colonies or vassals of some larger agency. And since they are not sovereign, the cannot be democratic, since decision making, and policies have been abrogated to an external ruling power. Secondly, nationalism: the term which in general is generally regarded as the all-weather bête noire by the orthodox left, can be and often is aggressive, racist, imperialistic, and so forth.

To Protect and Serve… The Empire

by Phillip Farruggio Writer Eric Zuesse wrote a great new piece ” How Democracy Ended ” seen on a few fine sites. In it he shows how our U.S. so called democracy is really a scam controlled by the super rich. When all else fails to stop a political momentum, the two parties have always resorted to ‘ The Fix is in’. To this writer, the ‘ fix ‘ that Zuesse alludes to is deeply nesting in both our mainstream media and our elected and enabling two party structure. The police have that wonderful saying ‘ To protect and serve’. In many cases, witnessed at times throughout the years by this writer, local police have done just that. Sadly, in just as many instances, they have ‘ protected and served ‘ the private property and rights of the super rich. Remembering the great labor disputes spanning perhaps since the beginnings of our republic, it was always the ‘ Cops’ who came in on the side of the corporate few. It has always been as IF …

Gina Haspel and Pinocchio from Rome

by Edward Curtin Being in Rome, Italy and thinking of Gina Haspel, the CIA nominee and admitted torturer who says her “moral conscience” has changed after the fact, seems most fitting. Wherever you go in central Rome, you can hear the screams and smell the blood of those tortured and killed by the Roman Empire and those who ably followed in their stead. And you can see the crumbled stones and the pathetic architectural remains of those who thought they had triumphed. Their triumph turned to dust, and their belated mea culpas, if and when they ever came, always rang as hollow as Gina Haspel’s, Lt. William Calley’s, and Adolph Eichmann’s excuses that they were only doing their jobs and following orders. Throughout Rome there are hawkers dangling Pinocchio trinkets in your face, constant reminders of the cost of lying. Or perhaps more aptly, the fame that ensues from lying followed by a childish semi-apology, even when it’s as obvious as the nose on your face that you are lying still. So in the Senate …

On U.S. Imperialism, Capitalism and Fascism

If you want to know the untold history of the U.S.A., then a good place to start is with the history of US imperialism in Asia from the mid-19th century until today. Not only will that reveal the history of the criminality of US foreign policy, but it will also reveal the true nature of U.S. capitalism, imperialism, fascism and U.S. wars of aggression: past, present and future.

Westworld: Does the ‘Door’ of Perception Lead to the Valley Beyond?

by Dan Mallon Dan Mallon gives his overview and analysis of the psycho/social themes in HBO’s hit series Westworld. Who, what, when, why; where are we? In Johnathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s second instalment of the Westworld saga obviously; once again, we have found ourselves lost. This time, just like William (Ed Harris) — the formerly known Man in Black; we are now lost at the epicentre of ‘the Maze’, with no conceivable route out and with William’s ultimate wish having materialised: the stakes are real this time. The creators of the Westworld series clearly have quite a few seasons in the pipeline and have decided to give them names which seem to reflect the deep and varied themes we have seen develop so far. The first season was aptly entitled ‘The Maze’; whereas this brand new one has been dubbed ‘The Door’. Of course the Maze was never anything more than a metaphorical challenge, intended for the human-like hosts of Westworld to develop consciousness by way of intermittent voice commands to “Remember” or “Wake up”, all …

The Disappointing Jeremy Corbyn

by David Lindsay We all know what a disappointment Theresa May has turned out to have been. Her purported energy price cap has been scarcely worth mentioning, while there is no sign of workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, or of shareholders’ control over executive pay, or of restrictions on pay differentials within companies, or of an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, or of greatly increased housebuilding, or of action against tax avoidance, or of a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies, or of banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers, or of a ban on unpaid internships, and of an inquiry into Orgreave. Instead, we have had the bombing of Syria in the Saudi-backed jihadi interest. It is immaterial whether or not that had parliamentary approval. The wars in Iraq and Libya both had parliamentary approval, but so what? And the emphasis on that technicality, instead of on the wrongness of the bombing itself, points to the fact that, as a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who is not a member of any …

The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists

by C J Hopkins So the global capitalist ruling classes’ War on Dissent is now in full swing. With their new and improved official narrative, “Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis,” successfully implanted in the public consciousness, the corporatocracy have been focusing their efforts on delegitimizing any and all forms of deviation from their utterly absurd and increasingly paranoid version of reality. The Democratic Party is suing Russia, the Trump campaign, and Wikileaks (seriously … they’ve filed an actual lawsuit in an actual court of law an everything) for launching “an all-out assault on democracy” by publishing the DNC’s emails, “an act of unprecedented treachery,” according to Party Chairman Tom Perez. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, having already spent the last six years in a room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being arrested by the British authorities, extradited to the United States, and imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life, has been cut off from the outside world in order to prevent him from further “interfering” with democracy by expressing his opinions. In Syria, …