New Maoist Attack in India

A huge new Maoist ambush in the Bastar Region of Chattisargh killed 27 police and wounded 10 others. About 100 rebels opened up on the forces from a hilltop as they were returning from a patrol. I understand that the Operation Red Hunt in the region is winding down because the Monsoon season is starting up in Bastar.

India Has No Right to Exist

In the India Is a Shithole piece, James Schipper suggests that India has been free of significant civil strife:

Another thing for which India deserves credit is that, despite being one of the most multinational states in the world, it has managed to avoid serious internal conflicts. In terms of national composition, India should not be compared with the US but with Europe, which is of course divided in about 40 different states.

This is not true. Kashmir has been on fire since 1968 or so. There are now 500,000 troops locking the place down, and every day, another young Kashmiri or two at least is killed.

India was born in blood and sin, like the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and various settler-colonial states.

The difference is that the Indian state, incredibly, attacked her very own people from the start of the Indian state enterprise, and has been at war with them ever since. In this sense, India is an utterly failed state like Myanmar or Indonesia, two other former colonial states who have been battling insurgencies from the start from parts of the former colony who never wanted to join the new state.

India has about as much right to exist in its current form as Myanmar does. India is a failed state. It’s has failed to properly rule or provide for its people, and tens of millions of its citizens never consented to join the new state in the first place, but were dragged in kicking and screaming amidst slaughters.

Parents who can’t raise their children get their kids taken away. India’s children are its nations and peoples, whom it can’t and won’t care for because its ruling class is negligent and doesn’t care, like a crack-addicted Mom. Hence, India has no right to rule the peoples of the Northeast, Kashmir and Punjab and the Indian state in its current form should be dissolved as surely as Israel should be.

The Northeast has been in rebellion, often armed rebellion, nearly from Day One. There have been scores of armed groups fighting the state in that region, and many are still active. Bottom line is that India has no right to rule the Northeast, and as India is a cesspool anyway, why should the NE people be forced to live in a sewer? Let them secede and negotiate their way to modernity.

There is now a huge Maoist rebellion going on the East. There are easily 100,000 Maoists, and they have millions of supporters.

There was a huge rebellion in the Punjab a while back. It’s over, but it was nasty.

There is a continuous low level conflict going on with India’s Muslims, who regularly set off horrible bomb attacks on India’s Hindu cities. The Hindus are now responding by bombing India’s Muslim cities. Further, there have been many cases of inter-religious violence, mostly pogroms of Muslims by India’s Hindus and sometime riots by put-upon Indian Muslims. These pogroms started with the birth of the Indian state and the splitting of Pakistan, and to be honest, have never stopped.

In addition, there have been hundreds of killings of Christians in the East by Hindus, including burnings of churches and entire towns, pogroms, etc. This is ongoing as I write this.

One Party, Two Wings

It’s simply nuts that the Obama Democrats are some sort of a socialist or Communist political party, as the lunatic reactionaries in the Republican Party insist. These people are out of their minds. As socialists and Communists, would we not be the first folks to be cheering on our savior Barack? And why would we not do so? We would pretend that he is just another pro-corporate, anti-worker politician, if he were a real Leftist, why?

We are not so devious. It is the Right that is devious.

The truth is that there is one political party in the US, the Corporate Party. It has two wings, both anti-people, anti-worker, anti-society and anti-nation. The liberal wing is called the Democratic Party. The conservative wing is called the Republican Party.

The Corporate Party always has a minority project of:

  1. The Rich
  2. The upper middle class
  3. The corporations

Their project is in favor of these folks and opposed to:

  1. Society at large
  2. The public interest
  3. Investors
  4. The national interest and the nation itself
  5. The environment
  6. The consumers
  7. The workers
  8. The middle and working classes
  9. The low-income and the poor

The Corporate Party project is always an eternally class project. The dilemma of the Corporate Party is how to get the majority of the 2nd group to oppose their interests and their class interests in order to support the first group and harm themselves in the process.

The Corporate Party do this via a stupefying array of nonstop lying, bullshit, dissembling, sophistry, code words, trickery, linguistic games, psychological warfare and brainwashing, nonsense, crap, religion, racism, homophobia, sexism, bigotry, jingoism, ultranationalism, and whatever other silliness they can dream up. To do this, they utilize the entire media, which they generally control under capitalism.

It takes a lot of thinking to figure out, first of all, that you are in the second group and that the first group is lying to you, and there’s almost no one around to help you put the jigsaw together, so most folks in the second group just fall for it.

Part of the problem is that the Corporate Party brainwash most folks in the 2nd group into believing that the 1st and 2nd groups do not even exist, hence there is no class struggle. If that fails, they try to convince the 2nd group that they are actually members of the 1st group! There’s no one around to help you wade through this tsunami or horseshit, so most in the 2nd group just fall for it.

In the midst of this, we have an interesting development called the American Third Position Party. It’s really the closest thing to a White nationalist party in the US today, although they do not have a separatist platform. That they advertise themselves as a party for White Americans means that they are willing to blow off 35% of the population, which is disturbing. Third Positionism is really just a form of fascism, and the American3P group is not even that 3rd Positionist. For instance, they are pretty cool on socialism.

What’s frightening is that the American3P Party is probably one of the most pro-worker and anti-corporate parties in the US today. The Left parties can’t possibly be pro-worker as they are committed to Open Borders, which is de facto anti-worker.

It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when, amidst a colossal economic downturn, the only parties with a pro-worker project are the fascists.

Thinking historically, remind of you of anything? Yikes.

Who Was the First Novelist in English? What Was the First Novel?

Great question.

My usual answer to the first question is Daniel Defoe, and my typical answer to the second question is Moll Flanders (1722).

Defoe seems to be correct, though a better answer to #2 would be Robinson Crusoe, which predated by Moll Flanders by a whole three years (1719).

Interesting that about a century goes by between the end of Shakespearean drama, which one would have thought would have spurred something as great as the novel, until the first real novel. What happened in between. More plays, I think. Poetry, Milton, etc. Tons of religious nuttiness, lots of kings and queens, the usual early civilizationist grapplings.. The colonization of the Americas. Lots of stuff. But no novels. Funny, that.

Anyone who has an earlier English novelist or novel please speak up.

India Is a Shithole*

This article sums up what modern India is all about, written by a fairly progressive fellow named Sean Kelley. I’ve been studying India for a while now, and the more I study it, the angrier I get. India, quite simply, sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks and then sucks some more. I don’t know how long this suckiness has been going on, maybe forever. When the British first showed up, they were appalled. They tried to civilize the place, but the small-c conservative Indians kept objecting to getting civilized.

What sucks? India sucks. What about it sucks?

First of all, the state.

The Indian state has sucked from Day One, birthed in blood-soaked imperial and neo-colonial sin like America, Australia and Israel, with even less of an excuse as a long-abused colony themselves. Now, via alliances with imperialist America, the UK and Israel, India seems to be aping the worst aspects of its former imperialist and colonialist master. Like a crime victim going on a killing spree. Of all the ways to react.

The lousy nature of the Indian state is of course rooted in Indian society, as all states are rooted in the cultural formations of their societies. The Indian state sucks because Indian society sucks.

Why does Indian society suck? It’s hard to sum it up. First of all, you have one of the most callous and uncaring ruling classes, with the usual upper middle class allies, found on Earth.

Missing the good old days? Go to India. Nostalgic for debt slavery and bondage, feudalism (the real deal, not the semi-feudal modern kind), slavery (child and adult), child labor, shit in the streets like the Middle Ages Europe pre-Black Plague? Go to India. It’s all there in spades.

Even more appalling is that no one in India gives a damn. The bourgeois either live in denial or could care less if the lower classes live, die, or flop, gasping, somewhere in between.

The poor are too stupid and/or ignorant to know better, and many think that their savage and inhuman abuse, like something out of 1400’s England, is actually religiously ordained by God Himself. Sure, the bourgeois sold the poor this rope to hang themselves with or gave it to them, but they wrapped it up all up in one of the most barbaric cultural-religious systems known to modern Man, Hinduism, to give it the staying power of superglue.

The article makes clear that neoliberalism has ruined India beyond its prior Hellishness. Which is possible, since you don’t need to read Milton to learn that Hell can always get worse.

The pollution and the filth.

The pollution and filth is destroying India and turning it into an actual open cesspool/sewage ditch/garbage dump. One that traverses the whole country. It’s not only nauseous to breathe or look at the filth that surrounds you without respite, but it’s actually literally sickening. A visit to India means a continuous low-level infectious illness from all the filth drowning out your world.

Worse, Indians don’t care. See that guy shitting on the sidewalk? Pay no attention to him. OK, he’s getting up and walking away now. No problem, just don’t step it. The rich pay the trash collectors to keep their neighborhoods clean, and the Hell with everyone else. A callousness reminiscent of Anglo-Irish absentee landlords in 1820’s Ireland.

The one good thing about neoliberalism is a decline in bureaucracy. You gut government so there’s not much left. Bureaucracy means too many idle government slackers wasting time and messing around when they should be working. It could also mean an insanely underfunded state, which is probably the case with India.

The government doesn’t give a damn about anything but the rich. The state exists only to suck up to the rich or in its human form to move up classwise and become part of the elite class. The state cares nothing about workers, consumers, the environment – Hell, about anything relating to the people.

Everyone who works for the state is a crook, and they are all on the take. Schools and hospitals in rural areas are empty. Doctors and teachers collect salaries and never show up for work.

Nothing works. The electric grid is down most of the time, but you pay at the end of the month anyway even if you got little or no energy use out of the system that month. The roads are nightmarish, traffic is horrifyingly dangerous, and everything is so congested it makes Los Angeles look like a breezy Sunday drive in the country. The ports don’t work either – they look like something out of 1900. Let’s see, the ports don’t work, the roads don’t work, and bureaucracy stifles everything. How is this neoliberal paradise economy supposed to function anyway?

It’s tough in this neoliberal paradise to even purchase a product. Getting a hotel room is a pain in the rear end. Buying a new SIM card for your cellphone is a nightmare best avoided.

The one thing that everyone raves about in India is the trains. Nearly all Indians will insist that the trains are wonderful. Maybe 5-10 years ago they were, but not anymore. The traffic has maybe tripled since that time, and almost no new cars or lines have been added as you would expect neoliberals to do. The lines are Hellish, and customer service is probably better in Hell itself. Worse, no one cares. Even worse than that, Indians think Indian Train Hell is Paradise itself.

Malnutrition effects 51% of the population, and about the same number are permanently stunted in their mental and physical growth. This number is flat after 15 years of explosive neoliberal growth in India. Bottom line, all the Wild West dizzying growth rates haven’t filled a single starving Indian stomach. What a lousy system.

The starvation and malnutrition levels are actually worse than in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Kelly echoes this by saying that he’s been in 50 countries the world over, and even Ethiopia was less of a shithole than India. That’s a powerful indictment. To the Africans’ credit, most Africans, despite their IQ’s, will readily admit to you that their country is a shithole. They don’t like it, and they want change. Good for them.

The first part of getting out of a hole is not just to stop digging but to realize that you’re in a nasty hole in the first place and would prefer to climb out rather than digging your way towards China and sure death.

Indians not only won’t stop digging, they think that trying to dig your way to China is some kind of a cultural-religious noble endeavor. Any Samaritans stopping by to toss them a rope or offer a hand are showered with abuse for refusing to acknowledge that the Indian’s deep dug pit is actually the greatest civilization created by man. Predictably, most sane folks throw down the rope, say the Hell with em, and walk on.

The Indian keeps digging as the water fills in around his muddy and beaten feat. Hunger gnaws at his belly. In response to his dim and plunging prospects, he can think of nothing to do but shout, “Glory to Bharat!” while cursing Muslims, Christians and those nasty British. With every breath, the water’s creeping higher.

You wonder why I support the Indian Maoists. Of all of the people in India, only the Maoists seem to have a bat’s chance in Hell of negotiating some kind of a future lessening of the mess above. Everyone else is cheerily on board for stasis or worsening.

*About the title, I would like to sincerely apologize to all of the actual shitholes in the world. They were just poor innocent holes, sitting there in the ground minding their own business until some mean person came along and filled them up with shit.

I am truly sorry, shitholes, I didn’t mean to compare you with India.

An Argument Against Thomas Sowell and the Anti-Minimum Wage Reactionaries/Libertarians

Jamila is a reactionary Black blogger who has appeared in the comments section. I praised her earlier before I checked out her politics, and now I have to think otherwise.

First of all, it is certainly despairing that over 95% of race realists are fanatical pro-capitalists, either reactionaries or Libertarians. I never knew race had anything to do with economics! There are actually some deeper reasons for this seemingly strange alliance of race realism with hard Right politics, but I don’t have the time to go into it now. Suffice to say that hereditarians are almost always Social Darwinists, and have been since the days of Galton. I’ll let you ponder why this is so.

Jamila is opposed to minimum wage laws:

But either you eliminate minimum wage laws and allow unskilled workers to charge something for their work, or you make them unproductive members of society – because no one will hire them at the rate that laws say they have to be paid–and you end up making the productive members of society take care of them via subsidized housing, food stamps, cash assistance, child tax credits etc.Thomas Sowell has written extensively on how minimum wage laws harm unskilled workers.

Sowell is a reactionary who pursues a blatantly and objectively anti-Black politics. Jared Taylor, pre-eminent White nationalist, has said that he would vote for Sowell for President, so Sowell is palatable to the worst White racists of them all. That does not speak highly of Sowell’s project in terms of Black folks.

If jobs below minimum wage in the ghetto were offered…well, they would not be. There are no jobs of any kind in the ghetto, minimum wage, below, or above. If you drop the minimum wage to zero, the ghetto is not going to be flooded with job openings. Any below minimum jobs that opened up would be mass rejected by all the Blacks of the ghetto. Only illegal aliens would work them, like they already do.

If no minimum wage laws means paradise, the 3rd World would be Paris everywhere. It’s not because they aren’t.

The best living conditions are to be had in places where the workers make the highest wages. The shittiest conditions are in places where the wages are very low. This shoots the whole anti-minimum wage argument right there.

Another thing.

Capitalists need to hire workers. If there are jobs that need to be filled, capitalists in general will just fill them, since they can make a profit by hiring the worker via the Labor Theory of Value. If the position goes unfilled, the capitalist loses because they handle less volume, can’t keep up with work or customers, or have to close early. No capitalist wants labor holes in his business. That right there is bad for business.

Labor holes in a business cost the capitalist big bucks. That’s why capitalists advertise for workers, pay them, and mark up their labor as profits. Sure, there’s increased costs with hiring workers, but they are generally less than the costs of having a labor hole. Anyway, you can pass on the increased costs of the workers to your customers and make up the difference. You can’t do that with a labor hole.

Another thing to consider is Fordism.

The best places to live in the US are where wages are high. Highly paid workers, not the rich, spend most if not all of their money. They buy not just necessities but luxuries, high item stuff and utterly frivolous things like gambling excursions to Las Vegas. Profit margins are high, and businesses don’t compete by price-cutting so much because people with good incomes don’t compare price tags so much. In fact, many are willing to pay a “luxury markup” just for purchasing goods in a luxury zone. Businesses tend to be long lasting, and the malls are full of shops.

Areas with low wages tend to have poor economies since workers spend every nickel of their paychecks on necessities like rent, cheap food, gasoline, utilities, insurance and other bills. There’s literally nothing left over, and they are typically broke by the end of the month, if not before. The few businesses that survive fight to make it by mass price-cutting to attract broke customers. Profit margins are slim, and businesses go out all the time. Result is urban blight, which causes further job losses via capital flight to wealthier areas.

If the extra workers or higher wages raise the costs of doing business, you simply raise prices. As the minimum wage laws apply to your competitors too (Assuming they don’t use illegal labor!), you don’t lose any business, since your competitors are operating under the same economic laws you are and have to pass on all of their increased labor costs too.

$8 an hour won’t break a single businessman anyway. And the US minimum is $7.25/hr.

You have to understand who is pushing this pro-worker argument. The capitalists! Sowell is an apologist and spokesman for the enemies of the workers – the capitalists. The capitalists are the workers’ enemies, through and through, 100%, all the way, always and forever. This is a Law of nature as hard and fixed as Newton’s. The capitalists never, ever, ever promote anything that is in the workers’ interests. Anything they push related to workers is always and only anti-worker.

If getting rid of minimum wage laws was cotton candy for workers, workers would be behind it in a New York minute. They’re not because it isn’t. Who’s it good for? The capitalists! Duh. That’s why they are pushing it.

C’mon people, really, this is economics 101 here.

Idiot Latino Politician Wants to Boycott Arizona, But Can’t Find it on a Map

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQp8M0bkarM]

I actually feel sorry for this woman, because, her stupid Latino tribal politics aside, she’s a good liberal Democratic Supervisor from Milwaukee. There are also a lot of comments calling her fat, but for an Hispanic woman of her age or so, she’s not really fat. She’s just normal. Past a certain age, fat is simply normal for US Hispanic women. The Hispanic guys could care less, and past a certain age, most of them are fat too.

Latino bullshit politics aside, I like Latino politicians, and here in California, I usually just go down the list on my ballot and vote for all the Latinos and against all the Whites, because the Latinos are always liberal, and the Whites are usually conservatards. If she was running in my area, I would probably vote for her, in spite of the fact that she’s stupid. Have some sympathy for stupid! Come on! If you start hating all the stupid people, you’ll hardly have anyone to talk to, and you’ll be home alone, smarty pants! And what’s so smart about being a shut-in?

On the other hand, I want to whop my liberal sister over the head with something, maybe a frozen burrito.

Here she is at a Milwaukee county meeting arguing that the county should boycott Arizona because Arizona is being all mean to her good folks. And hey, it’s true.

But halfway through the spiel, she has a stupid attack. She declares that Arizona’s law would make sense if Arizona was on the border with Mexico, but since Arizona is quite a ways from the Mexico border, the law is simply outrageous. Yeah, Arizona is quite a ways from the Mexican border, sure. For hundreds of miles, it’s like zero inches from Mexico! She even suggests that people use Google to check out about the law. She should have used Google herself to figure out how to read a damn map of her own damned country.

Later, a Republican White dude chimes in to give her a geography lesson and say that he supports Arizona Whites cracking down on Mexican burrito-biters, I mean illegal aliens.

I wanted to do a face palm when I saw that. I actually cringed. This is so embarrassing. It’s like someone went down to the local Taco Bell and picked up some random Latina, threw her in front of the podium and asked her to give a retarded speech. OK, so she’s fat, stupid and liberal. It could be worse. She could be fat, stupid and conservative. Then she could change her name to Rushette Limbaugh and get her own radio show.

My dear liberal politicians, please do your homework if you’re going to give a speech. The conservatards have practically cornered the market on stupid, so how are we going to beat them? Do stupid at a loss and drive them out of the stupid business? Give it up.

I wonder why she couldn’t find the state of Arizona on a map. Maybe it wasn’t on the map. Just look at her. Maybe she ate the state of Arizona. She looks like she could have.

There, I made a fat joke!

Sorry hun. Lay off the chimichangas hermana, and keep the liberal faith. Si se puede!

The Race-IQ Conundrum: the Hard and Painful Truth

It’s time to talk straight about this race-IQ stuff, painful as it may be.

One thing is crystal clear to me after dealing with countless US Blacks. Your average Black person in the US is, how to put it kindly? Pretty damn stupid. My heart sinks as I write this. Consider the policy implications of tens of millions of these idiots in our land. The White nationalists have a point. What to do?

Much as I like Hispanics, we really need to look them in the eye clearly as we can and call it like we see it is as far as their brains, or lack of them, go. Face it, your average Hispanic may be a bit smarter than a Black, but they’re still pretty damn stupid. In fact, most are really damn stupid! Ponder for a moment the consequences of 11-20 million of these idiots, all illegals, swarming our land, laughing at corny Mexican movies, gorging on fast food, and pumping out baby morons faster than you can blink. What to do? One throws up their hands.

Now let us look at the great, or not so great anymore, White race. The race that, believe it or not, created this wonderful country. I’ve been dealing with Whites my whole life, and one thing that hits you hard after dealing with a lot of Whites is their intelligence, or lack of it. Because, come to think of it, your average White person, is, well, pretty damn stupid! You know, kind of like the Blacks and the Hispanics? What to do? One wants to cry. There is always separatism.

Smart separatism now! Let’s form a smart separatist state in the US! Where? Utah! No wait. West Virginia! Um, no. Mississippi! Hmm, won’t play. Texas! No go.

Hmmm, back to the drawing board then.

Riots in Kashmir

Some good video of heavy duty riots in Kashmir in the past few days. Six people were wounded when security forces opened fire on the rioters, who were throwing stones and attacking the Indian forces with sticks.

There are few things more infuriating than discussing Kashmir with a typical Indian. I’ve discussed this subject with many Indians. Most of them were upper class Hindus, but a few were actually Punjabis. It’s a sad comment that after the failure of the Sikh Rebellion, many Punjabis have descended into the rank sewer of Indian nationalism.

The reaction when discussing Kashmir with an Indian is always the same. First, they start getting very angry, pounding the table, and raising their voice. They insist that all Kashmiris love India and want to be a part of India. The entire Kashmiri rebellion, such as it were, is being fomented from this evil behemoth called Pakistan. The Kashmiris themselves, loyal patriotic Indians, have nothing to do with it and even hate the Pakistani invaders.

One particularly brainwashed fellow insisted that there were no such thing as Kashmiris, there were only Indians. This brings to mind Golda Meir’s comment that there are no such thing as Palestinians.

Indians are about as stark raving batshit nuts on the subject of Kashmir as your average Israeli Jew is on the subject of Palestine. There’s no reasoning with them, no room for conversation, nothing.

Try to bring up the history of Kashmir and you get more defense, blockage, diversion and bluster.

Here is the history of Kashmir.

When India was granted its independence in 1947, there were about 5,000 princely states in India. Each one was in effect its own state with its own government, leadership, etc. The terms of the independence protocol were that each of the 5,000 states would have a right to decide their own future. Join India, be independent, join with some other princely states in another state, etc. The overwhelming majority of the states opted to join India. However, the entire Northeast, Kashmir, and a number of other states around India did not.

Very quickly, most of the small states that refused to join India were attacked by the Indian military and overrun.  Many people were killed by the Indian military in these blatantly imperialist endeavors. The entire Northeast was invaded, overrun and occupied. Many Northeasterners resisted, and they have been fighting the state off and on ever since. Pakistan was partitioned off, which was a good idea (Who wants all those hostile Muslims?) and this resulted in horrendous massacres on both sides as Hindus fled Pakistan and Muslims fled India.

Kashmir, in the northwest mountains, had few natural resources and was mostly known as a vacation spot, the Switzerland of India. The population was 90% Muslim, but there were also Buddhist and Hindu minorities there. They practiced a tolerant, syncretistic form of Islam far removed from Islamic fundamentalism. The different communities had traditionally gotten along.

The people of Kashmir wanted to join Pakistan, but the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu prince. The prince wanted to join India simply because he was a Hindu. No one seemed to be able to make up their minds about what to do.

In the midst of this steamy stasis, Pakistani propaganda rallied many Pakistani tribesmen, mostly Pashtuns, over the mountain passes into Kashmir. This was basically an armed invasion of Kashmir by Pakistani forces, but the use of “independent irregulars” absolved Pakistan of responsibility. The prince called for the Indian army to come in and help him and joined India so he could officially call the army in. The Indian line is, “We were only trying to help.”

A messy war ensued, the end result of which was that Kashmir was split in half between Pakistan and India. India placed Kashmir under a lockdown of military rule, a dictatorship, that lasted for decades.

In the following decades, Kashmiris patiently tried to petition the state with their grievances. Mostly they wanted a UN Resolution to be implemented which called for elections in Kashmir so the people could decide what to do – join Pakistan, stay in India, or go independent. India has been flouting this UN resolution since 1948. As far as outlaw rouge states go, shitty big India is up there with shitty little Israel.

Peaceful protest was crushed for decades by the Indian state in the Dictatorship of Kashmir and real elections were banned for fear that Kashmiri nationalists would win. During this time, all politicians in Kashmir were appointed by India. Finally, some controlled elections were allowed, but only India’s handpicked candidates were allowed to run.

After decades of repression, some small Kashmiri independence groups began to be formed. At one point, there were more than 50 different armed groups fighting the Indian state. They were Muslim, but they tended to be pretty secular within the Kashmiri tradition.

By the 1990’s, the repression from the Indian state was in full swing. At this time, it was estimated that 90% of Kashmiri Muslims supported the separatist insurgents.

There was mass rape of Kashmiri Muslims, death squads roamed the streets, homes were routinely invaded and either shot up or searched for captives who were disappeared never to be seen again. Kashmiris were rounded up in huge detainment camps. Entire neighborhoods would undergo lockdown, and hundreds of young men would be handcuffed to the ground while hooded informers roamed through the group, pointing out insurgents. It was a typical Hellish insurgency.

At the same time, there was almost zero reporting of this insurgency in the US, as the US has always been slavishly pro-India. There are various reasons for this, but the main one is that about 98% of the reporters on the Indian beat at any paper or mag are high caste, typically Brahmin, Hindus, who are always ferociously, utterly deranged, nearly psychotic Indian nationalists. Hence there is almost never any critical coverage of the Indian state coming out of the US press for decades now.

At some point in the 1990’s, Pakistan got involved in the Kashmir issue. Mostly the Pakistani state, nearly as vile as the Indian state, just used Kashmir to whip the public into idiot jingoism and support for a state that few Pakistanis in their right minds should support. In this way, support for Kashmir was used to defuse national tensions in the same sickening way that Arab dictatorships use the Palestine issue to rally support around an elitist state that avoids serving their people properly.

The Pakistanis funded radical Muslim jihadi groups who sneaked into Kashmir, set up bases in the area and engaged in armed fights with the Indian forces. Many of these groups were very hardline radical fundamentalist radicals who were not particularly popular with Kashmiris. But gradually the insurgency shifted from the local Kashmiri groups to the Pakistani jihadis.

Now, if you ask your average Indian dipshit, the entire phase leading up to the involvement of Pakistani jihadis in Kashmir simply never occurred. I tell them about this period of history and they act outraged, as if they are being told toweringly offensive lies. It’s clear that they have never heard of the entire phase of the struggle leading up to Pakistan’s involvement.

The only conclusion is that almost all middle class and higher Indians have been ridiculously brainwashed on this issue. One wonders how this occurred. Clearly, the Indian mass media, long controlled by an ultranationalist high caste Hindu elite, has never  told the Indian people the real story of Kashmir. Nor has the school system, as I assume that Indian students are heavily brainwashed even in school on Kashmir.

The Pakistanis are not innocent on this issue, but most of the ones I talked to are a lot saner than the Indians. Pakistanis tend to be calm and level-headed about Kashmir, if somewhat deluded.

But most Pakistanis do not want Kashmir to go independent or stay with India. They only want it to go to Pakistan. So in their own way, they are as contemptuous of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as the Indians are. If you tell Pakistanis that Kashmiris don’t want to join Pakistan (only ~6% want to join Pakistan), you get sputters of denial and insistence that Kashmiris really do want to join Pakistan. Turns out the Pakistani state and press have been doing some brainwashing of their own.

Things have calmed down in Kashmir these days, and even the Pandits, the Kashmiri Hindus, are returning to Kashmir. They were ethnically cleansed, it is true, mostly in the early 1990’s. Most Kashmiris now seem ashamed of this act, and try to distance themselves from it, but it happened, and many Pandits were killed in the process. However, at the time, many Kashmiris opposed the ethnic cleansing of the Pandits.

The Pandits, 10% of Kashmir’s population, have since become a rallying cry for Hindutvas and idiot Indian nationalists. Many of them moved south of Jammu into refugee camps. Others scattered to the four winds. Even progressive Pandits are not too keen on Kashmiri self-determination as a consequence of their tribulations.

The insurgency is now at a very low level, but that’s because there are 500,000 Indian troops in Kashmir, which is not a large area. Keep in mind that at its peak, the US had 150,000 troops in Iraq which is twice as large as Kashmir. It would be as if the US had 1 million troops in Iraq.

Consequently, Kashmir is now one of the world’s pre-eminent garrison states. While the insurgency has died down, street protests have become the latest form of resistance in the past few years. The scene has an Intifada feel about it. Huge throng of Muslim youths fight it out in the streets with Indian forces on at least a weekly basis. This Intifada style rebellion is almost completely absent from the US press. On rare occasions, one glimpses a startling article to remind you that all’s not ok.

Try to tell an Indian about these huge throngs of Muslim youths regularly protesting and rioting and you will get a violent bluster. They insist, incredibly, that this is simply not occurring.

At some point, a sane state would give Kashmiris the right to vote on their self-determination. Support for independence has withered from 90% in the early 1990’s down to ~50% today. There’s about 45-50% support for both independence and staying with India. The option to join Pakistan, as noted above, is only 6%, which makes sense. Look at Pakistan. Why would any people in their right mind want to join that state?

There’s a little Kashmir backgrounder for you. You’re sure to never find that anywhere in the US or Indian media.

The End of the Mahdi Rebellion

General Gordon Brown, Governor of Sudan, dies on the steps of his palace at the hands of the Mahdi Army.

The year is 1885. It is winter, January 25th. The Mahdi Rebellion against the Egyptians, and really, the British, is over. General Charles Gordon, governor of Sudan, had only arrived a year prior. He died on the steps of his palace, fighting off the Mahdi warriors alongside his assistant, both firing pistols at the encroaching jihadis. His assistant was knocked unconscious.

When he came to, Gordon was dead, and his head had been cut off. When the head was placed at the Mahdi’s feet, he ordered it placed on a tree branch, where people would mock it as they walked by, children would throw stones at it, and hawks would circle it above.

The Mahdi Rebellion was one of the major Muslim jihads of the modern era. The Mahdi was a Sudanese Muslim who declared that he was the “Mahdi” or messianic redeemer of Islam. The Mahdi Army in Iraq is a recent reincarnation.

It was really an anti-Western jihad and an anti-colonial rebellion, as the British were controlling Egypt. The Sudanese Muslims actually defeated the British here, though the assembled army was not the actual British army, but more a collection of laggards, incompetents and mercenaries – 7,000 Egyptian soldiers. “Perhaps the worst army that has ever marched to war,” Churchill called them.

Gordon has several million rounds of ammo, artillery, cannons, thousands of men, but it fared him little well against the surging Mahdi warriors besieging Khartoum. In the winter, the Blue Nile receded, leaving muddy flats exposing the palace. The city was besieged, and food was running out. The civilians and troops were waylaid by cholera and starvation. After nearly a year of siege, Khartoum fell, and Gordon lay dead.

The Mahdi then ruled Sudan for the next 11 years until the British took it back under the fake cover of an Egyptian claim to the Sudan. This time the real British army invaded the Sudan. The Mahdi fought hard, but they were cut down with machine guns. A fake colonial entity called the Anglo-Egyptian administration administered the frank colony of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan until 1956.

Sudan got its independence in 1956, and the South immediately rejected joining the Sudan, a rejection which would culminate in decades of war. I figure that Sudan has so fucked up the business of running of a state that “Sudan” has no right to exist. Break it up into as many pieces as you wish, I say. Hardly anyone but the Arab Muslim ruling class around Khartoum wants to be part of the shithole called Sudan anyway.

There has to be some way away from this inviolability of borders crap, and it collides with the right to self-determination anyway. States are like parents, and the nations within them are like children. If you can’t manage your kids, they are taken away from you and given to someone who can. If you can’t manage the basic tasks of running a state, your right to run the state should be revoked, and the nations within should have the right to decide their destiny.

Iraqi Men Won’t Let Their Women Watch the World Cup

It’s like, adultery or fornication, you know, for an Arab woman to admire any man not her husband, or, if she is single, from another culture and religion. So women are being beaten and divorced for watching soccer games or having a favorite movie star.

What’s the Hell’s the matter with these backwards Arabs, anyway?

Growing Fascism in Israel, Part 3

Like I said earlier.

According to the article, Israeli National Socialist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (no relation to the US National Socialist Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman) wants most Israeli Arabs to be stripped of their citizenship and evicted from Israel.

Well, of course. This has been the trajectory of the conflict from Day One back in 1947, has it not? Lieberman is a nasty fellow, but he’s a Zionist through and through, just continuing the path first trod by Ben-Gurion, Dayan and the rest, on a trail first hacked from the wilderness by Herzl (“We shall spirit the penniless population over the borders…”, etc.).

It’s been a long, slow hike, with lots of twists and turns along the way, but in general, it’s been a path headed from Point A (Palestine full of Arabs) to Point B (Palestine with no Arabs), just as any reasonable journey does. The bits of backtracking here and there were mostly just temporary corrections, as the path from Point A to Point B is inherent in the very long of Zionism itself.

National Bolsheviks of Russia

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37jA1EwVTx0&feature=player_embedded]

These are the National Bolsheviks. People keep telling me that I am one myself. Others keep trying to recruit me to them. I don’t know why they are doing this. Maybe because I reject the Western Left on race.

The Natbols are extremely confusing and hard to understand, as are most Third Positionist movements. Third Positionism is said to be “neither Right nor Left.” It’s also called Left Fascism. Goes by a lot of names. They are pretty socialist economically, but not on other things. Mostly they are just very hard to describe and make sense of. The group in this video is a radical split from the original National Bolsheviks under Eduard Limonov, who has since softened his stance. But I still don’t like Limonov, nor do I think much of his group or the split.

This stuff smells like fascism to me. I know there is Stalin worship in them, but Stalin has some fascist tendencies, so that’s not surprising.

Color me dubious.

Feel free to discuss in the comments section.

Researching Your Book: The Hardest Part of Writing a Book

Case in point:

In preparation for writing his 1971 book Thy Neighbor’s Wife, An exploration of early-1950s sexuality in America, with notable discussion of the free love subculture Gay Talese had sex with his neighbor’s wife for several months at the nudist resort Sandstone Retreat. Incredibly enough, his wife, Nan Talese went along with this research.

This anecdote shows just how tough the job of researching your book can be. Note that he not only had to get permission from the wife to screw his next door neighbor’s wife (Not an easy task for any man!) but he had to keep on having sex with her (For research only!) not just twice, but on many occasions over a period of several months.

A lot of people can put pen to paper, but doing the real legwork of researching your book really separates the men from the boys.

Bottom line is writing is hard work.

Trailer for Oliver Stone’s South of the Border

Here.

Looks pretty good. Interviews with Raul Castro in Cuba, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Kristina Kirchner and her husband Nestor Kirchner in Argentina, Fernando do Lugo in Paraguay and Lula da Silva in Brazil.

Those South American accents the Presidents are speaking are really wild. I could barely understand a word any of them were saying.

Comes with another silly article in the Guardian by an interviewer who conducted a 1-hour interview with Chavez for the Guardian. Stephen Sackur’s interview is a bunch of distorted crap, as usual.

Yes, there is inflation in Venezuela, mostly due to an overheated economy but also due to the fact that the poor have so much more money now that they are buying so much more stuff. Also the producers are withholding products from the market to create artificial shortages in order to drive prices even higher. The US allies in Venezuela think that prices are not high enough!

Yes, there is an economic downturn, similar to one occurring all over the world, like in the US and Europe. I suppose the downturn there is due to the fact that capitalism is a failed system too?

Yes, there is unemployment in Venezuela, but the rate has been cut in half from 15% to 7% under Chavez.

Chavez is not “manufacturing poor people” as the opposition media owner claims. The poverty rate has collapsed under Chavez. He cut poverty in half.

He has not turned the oil, agriculture and power industries into vast state bureaucracies . The oil sector has always been state-run, but it was run by the elite for their own benefit. Chavez made it into a company that works for the people. He got rid of the elitist bureaucrats. The vast majority of the ag sector is in private hands, mostly in large estates. The state has only conducted some land reforms and turned idle land over to landless peasants. The power industry has been nationalized, true, as it has been in many European countries. So what?

Yes, the bolivar was devalued, a good idea. This was an economically necessary move and there was nothing wrong with it.

70% of the largest daily papers are in the hands of the opposition, as is ~70% of the broadcast media. The opposition media is like Fox News on steroids. If you went there and listened to what they say day in and out, you would be floored. Venezuela probably has the most vibrant opposition media in the hemisphere, certainly much stronger than the US opposition media.

RCTV was shut down for many reasons. Keep in mind that they supported the coup in 2002. If a TV station was a co-conspirator in a military coup to overthrow the US government, would it still be on the air. Anyway, they were kept on the air for years after the coup. They failed to abide by many reasonable regulations that they were asked to abide by, including keeping decent records.

They refused to abide by these rules in order to force a showdown with Chavez. Yes, they got suspended, but all they did was go to cable, where most of the Venezuelan media is anyway, like the US broadcast media. So they are still on the air and as wildly anti-Chavez as ever.

The owner of Globovision was arrested for economic crimes that he committed. The arrest warrant was issued not by Chavez but by a court. The charges are crimes related to his auto business. Chavez is cracking down on crooked businessmen all over the country. Too bad.

Yes, there is state corruption in Venezuela. It effects both Chavistas and economic pols in the states and cities that they rule. Corruption is a long-standing problem in Venezuela dating back to the early days of the Republic. It’s not going away anytime soon.

Blast from the Past – 1973

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct9aBySJkRQ&feature=related]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64Kz3D2OgAE&feature=related]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1ChUvX8_cE&feature=related]

I get a lot of questions about what kind of music I am into. Basically, I came out of the rock and roll scene in the 1970’s. Heavy metal, folk-rock, space rock, electronic music, glam, the works. In particular, glam, which was very much hated back in those days. I heard the second New York Dolls album in 1974 and saw God. This stuff was very underground back than. From there, to punk rock, on to Gothic and whatnot.

The New York Dolls doing Personality Crisis, Looking for a Kiss and Trash from 1973.

With David Johanson on vocals (still alive and looking fantastic at age 60), Sylvain Sylvain guitar, bass, piano (still alive at not looking nearly so good – or like a normal 59 yr old at 59), Johnny Thunders, guitar, vocals, (Dead! Heroin overdose at age 39), Jerry Nolan, drums (Dead! Bacterial pneumonia and bacterial meningitis at age 46), Arthur Kane, bass (Dead! Leukemia at age 55).

By the time of their first album, their first drummer, Billy Murcia, was already dead at age 21, barely a man yet, overdosed on booze and drugs at a party, forcefed coffee to revive him, suffocated on the coffee, dead in a bathtub. David Bowie’s song Time on Aladdin Sane is about Billy Murcia.

The second album was aptly titled Too Much, Too Soon. As might be expected, soon after its release, the band was already broken up. Too much high and fast living had caused their implosion.

They were punks before there was punk rock.

Glam!

Some of the greatest rock music ever made!

Blast from the Past: Great Movie from 1969

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnFoaj8utio&feature=related]

Midnight Cowboy.

With Jon Voigt as Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo in one of the greatest US movies of the past 50 years. Only X-rated movie to ever win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Directed by John Schlesinger. Unfortunately, the movie is now largely forgotten, but those of us who lived in the era will never forget it.

If you’ve never seen it, do.

A Painful Philosophical Dilemma

This is a difficult question, a moral dilemma, that speaks of a philosophical quandary you might find yourself in and how you would react to it. How you answer says a lot about your moral character, values and personality.

Suppose, assuming you are male and straight:

You are off on a camping trip in the mountains far away from civilization. You are alone in your tent. You wake up in the middle of the night and you feel very groggy. It seems as if you have been drugged. You can’t make sense of anything and you have no recent memory of anything untoward. You are very confused. You notice that your hands are tied behind your back. You also notice that for some reason, your pants are down around your ankles. And with horrified despair, you notice that your ass is really sore.

You somehow manage to work yourself free and you’re going to be ok. You make it back to civilization without any further strange incidents.

Here is the question:

Would you tell anyone what happened to you, or would you keep it secret?

Hint: You’re supposed to say you wouldn’t tell anyone.

Discuss in the comments.

"Older Really Is Better," by Alpha Unit

When I was a kid, my idea of what it might feel like to be old had been captured in this Beatles song:

When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine,
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Sixty-four was ages away in my mind. It was something my grandparents might have been. Whatever it was, it was old. You’d practically had it by then.
Sixty-four isn’t old. If you’re between 40 and 68, you’re doing better than you were twenty years ago.
The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain lays it all out.
Barbara Strauch, the author, explains that middle age is practically brand new in our species, a product of our increasing lifespan in the West. Scientists have only recently begun studying it.
Surely by the time you’re pushing fifty, it’s pretty much downhill from there, people might have once thought. It’s only a matter of time before parts of you are all used up, broken down, and ready to be replaced or given up on. Maybe not today or tomorrow – but the decline has set in, and there’s no turning back the clock.
Completely baseless, according to research cited in the book.
In middle age, your brain is actually still developing. In no way is it static or inevitably turning to mush.
Myelin is the fatty material that insulates nerve fibers. It increases the speed at which signals move around your neural network. Myelin levels actually increase the older you get. Its growth takes off in middle age.
Your brain is improving in other ways as well.
First, though, the big difference between your brain at 20 and your brain at, say, forty-five is processing speed. It’s slower, so you’re more easily distracted when your start to focus on something.
According to Strauch, processing speed mainly affects the beginning of your concentration on something. That’s why researchers recommend that you consciously focus at the very beginning when you set out to complete a task.
This slower processing speed, allowing for distraction, is how you end up in a room with no idea why you walked in.
Strauch says scientists used to think processing speed underpinned every aspect of brain functioning. But they now know it doesn’t. So the decline in processing speed doesn’t really matter that much in middle age.
There’s also no disputing the struggle with memory as you get older, particularly episodic memory and names.
What the author points out is that in spite of the fact that you’ve drawn a blank, those memories haven’t vanished. It’s just that your brain struggles now with requests for names and facts that it can’t associate with anything else.
It’s like trying to find the right book in a well-stocked library, says Strauch. It’s not a storage problem; it’s a retrieval problem.
Sound and meaning are stored in different parts of the brain, and over time, the link can decline. But these memories can pop up if someone gives you a hint.
To help yourself remember names as you get older, she says try to attach the name to something else. For example, when meeting Joe, who happens to have bushy eyebrows, giving him the name “Joe Bushy-Eyebrows” (in your mind, of course!) will help you remember his name. The simple word “Joe” might be too arbitrary for your brain to retrieve easily.
And to help yourself remember a task you need to do, she suggests imagining yourself doing it. This will create a neural footprint that will actually help trigger your memory.
Distraction and memory loss are common concerns the older you get, but what’s good is that they in no way signal any major loss of brain cells. Strauch says brains shrink about 2% per decade. The old idea that we lose 30% of our brain cells is completely wrong. You actually keep most of your brain cells.
What researchers will tell you is that since you keep these cells, there are ways to keep your brain running well.
The fact is that in middle age, entire areas of cognitive functioning are improving.

  1. Inductive reasoning is better than it was in your twenties.
  2. You are better at recognizing categories.
  3. You are better at sizing up situations.
  4. You are better at getting the gist of a matter.
  5. Your social expertise has never been better.

A sense of well-being peaks in middle age, across occupations and ethnic groups. Your brain is actually becoming less responsive to negative stimuli.
In all these areas, your brain is functioning at its best.
Over the years various “brain boosters” have been touted, but a couple of things have proven to be effective. One thing that’s good for your brain is being open to new ideas. Don’t shy away from confronting ideas that are different from your own. Talk with people you disagree with. These kinds of challenges sharpen brain functioning.
But the best thing you can do for your brain, by far, is exercise. According to researchers, anything that impacts your body impacts your brain. Your brain is like your heart; everything you do for your heart is just as beneficial to your brain.
Vigorous exercise increases brain volume and actually produces new brain cells. Cognitive functioning goes up.
All of this brings to mind more words from the Beatles:

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better,
A little better all the time…

References

Lennon, J. and McCartney, P. 1967. Getting Better [Recorded by the Beatles]. On Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Record]. London: Parlophone.
Lennon, J. and McCartney, P. 1967.  When I’m Sixty-Four [Recorded by the Beatles]. On Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Record]. London: Parlophone.
Strauch, Barbara. 2010. The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain. New York: Viking Press.

“Older Really Is Better,” by Alpha Unit

When I was a kid, my idea of what it might feel like to be old had been captured in this Beatles song:

When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine,
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Sixty-four was ages away in my mind. It was something my grandparents might have been. Whatever it was, it was old. You’d practically had it by then.

Sixty-four isn’t old. If you’re between 40 and 68, you’re doing better than you were twenty years ago.

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain lays it all out.

Barbara Strauch, the author, explains that middle age is practically brand new in our species, a product of our increasing lifespan in the West. Scientists have only recently begun studying it.

Surely by the time you’re pushing fifty, it’s pretty much downhill from there, people might have once thought. It’s only a matter of time before parts of you are all used up, broken down, and ready to be replaced or given up on. Maybe not today or tomorrow – but the decline has set in, and there’s no turning back the clock.

Completely baseless, according to research cited in the book.

In middle age, your brain is actually still developing. In no way is it static or inevitably turning to mush.

Myelin is the fatty material that insulates nerve fibers. It increases the speed at which signals move around your neural network. Myelin levels actually increase the older you get. Its growth takes off in middle age.

Your brain is improving in other ways as well.

First, though, the big difference between your brain at 20 and your brain at, say, forty-five is processing speed. It’s slower, so you’re more easily distracted when your start to focus on something.

According to Strauch, processing speed mainly affects the beginning of your concentration on something. That’s why researchers recommend that you consciously focus at the very beginning when you set out to complete a task.

This slower processing speed, allowing for distraction, is how you end up in a room with no idea why you walked in.

Strauch says scientists used to think processing speed underpinned every aspect of brain functioning. But they now know it doesn’t. So the decline in processing speed doesn’t really matter that much in middle age.

There’s also no disputing the struggle with memory as you get older, particularly episodic memory and names.

What the author points out is that in spite of the fact that you’ve drawn a blank, those memories haven’t vanished. It’s just that your brain struggles now with requests for names and facts that it can’t associate with anything else.

It’s like trying to find the right book in a well-stocked library, says Strauch. It’s not a storage problem; it’s a retrieval problem.

Sound and meaning are stored in different parts of the brain, and over time, the link can decline. But these memories can pop up if someone gives you a hint.

To help yourself remember names as you get older, she says try to attach the name to something else. For example, when meeting Joe, who happens to have bushy eyebrows, giving him the name “Joe Bushy-Eyebrows” (in your mind, of course!) will help you remember his name. The simple word “Joe” might be too arbitrary for your brain to retrieve easily.

And to help yourself remember a task you need to do, she suggests imagining yourself doing it. This will create a neural footprint that will actually help trigger your memory.

Distraction and memory loss are common concerns the older you get, but what’s good is that they in no way signal any major loss of brain cells. Strauch says brains shrink about 2% per decade. The old idea that we lose 30% of our brain cells is completely wrong. You actually keep most of your brain cells.

What researchers will tell you is that since you keep these cells, there are ways to keep your brain running well.

The fact is that in middle age, entire areas of cognitive functioning are improving.

  1. Inductive reasoning is better than it was in your twenties.
  2. You are better at recognizing categories.
  3. You are better at sizing up situations.
  4. You are better at getting the gist of a matter.
  5. Your social expertise has never been better.

A sense of well-being peaks in middle age, across occupations and ethnic groups. Your brain is actually becoming less responsive to negative stimuli.

In all these areas, your brain is functioning at its best.

Over the years various “brain boosters” have been touted, but a couple of things have proven to be effective. One thing that’s good for your brain is being open to new ideas. Don’t shy away from confronting ideas that are different from your own. Talk with people you disagree with. These kinds of challenges sharpen brain functioning.

But the best thing you can do for your brain, by far, is exercise. According to researchers, anything that impacts your body impacts your brain. Your brain is like your heart; everything you do for your heart is just as beneficial to your brain.

Vigorous exercise increases brain volume and actually produces new brain cells. Cognitive functioning goes up.

All of this brings to mind more words from the Beatles:

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better,
A little better all the time…

References

Lennon, J. and McCartney, P. 1967. Getting Better [Recorded by the Beatles]. On Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Record]. London: Parlophone.

Lennon, J. and McCartney, P. 1967.  When I’m Sixty-Four [Recorded by the Beatles]. On Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Record]. London: Parlophone.

Strauch, Barbara. 2010. The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain. New York: Viking Press.

Good Audio Session on OCD

Voices of those who have OCD.

Pretty good program. Six audio segments of six neurotics afflicted with an anxiety disorder called OCD. All are high-functioning people, and none appear to be insane in the slightest. It always bothers me that people think we are nuts. I know people with this illness who are always getting accused of being crazy, of being psychotic, of being schizophrenic. How stupid can you get? How could anyone possible confuse the people in this audio with true crazies, psychotics or schizophrenics? I just don’t get it at all.

It’s also amazing how many people think we are dangerous. You don’t have to think about this disorder or the people who get it very hard to realize that these are some of the least dangerous people on the planet. All it takes is a basic understanding of human nature of the sort that any smart person in a primitive or tribal society might have.

Among all of the scales of the human personality, two of the scales are the guilt scale and the aggression scale. The scales actually run in opposite directions. The greater the guilt, the less the aggression. The greater the aggression, the less the guilt. It’s not a pure relationship, but it’s as good as any. Once again, any smart shaman could tell you this in a New York instant. Why can’t modern people figure this out.

Highly aggressive people are so in part because they feel little to no guilt. Guilt is a brake on the gas pedal of aggression and antisocial behavior.

Highly guilty people are so in part because they commit so little aggression or do so little wrong. They commit so little aggression and do so little wrong in part because they are driving with the breaks on all the time.

As a prominent psychiatrist said, “Antisocials commit tremendous aggression and feel little to no guilt, and obsessionals feel tremendous guilt and and commit little to no aggression.”

Well, of course. It’s as clear as air. We can’t people see the obvious?

A Strange Bioethics Case

A Bioethics site highlights a strange protocol engaged in by a pediatric urologist team. This team is involved in clitoroplasty of young girls. The girls have CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia), a condition that can produce an enlarged clitoris, among other masculinizing effects.

There is no evidence that an enlarged clitoris is harmful in any way, psychologically, socially or medically. Hence, there really is no need for the research. The surgery aims to reduce the enlarged clitoris to a normal sized clit. No one really knows what the effects of the surgery are, but the authors of the study aim to prove that nerve function is spared and the girls can have normal sex lives later on.

How they are proving this is rather strange. One of the doctors has the girls come in with their parents and strip naked in the office. Then she lies down on a table and he takes a vibrator-like object and places it on her clitoris. The girl is asked to report the intensity of feeling she experiences with the stimulation by the vibrator.

The gist of the article is that this study is bioethically dubious and should have at least gone before a committee for approval.

Some of the comments are saying that the doctor should be arrested for child abuse, but I think that goes too far. It would be best for the research to go before a committee to determine if it is appropriate. No one knows what long-term effects these girls will experience from this research.

Diddling lolis with vibrators in the name of research. LOL.

Interview with CPI (Maoist) Spokesperson Gopalji on the Current State of the Revolution in India

Great interview with an Indian Maoist spokesperson from the Monthly Review. The interviewer is hostile, as you might expect. The talk took place in Jharkand. We don’t hear much about Jharkand these days, but lately the Maoists have seriously overrun almost the entire state. The lower half of Bihar to the north is also seriously overrun as is the far east of West Bengal.

I believe that the situation in Jharkand is different from Chattisargh. Chattisargh is almost all adivasi tribals, but I think there are more Dalits involved in Jharkand – that is, it’s not a totally adivasi rebellion.

The spokesman answers a lot of good questions.

No, they are not opposed to mining and industrial development, only such that harms the interests of the people.

In the Maoist army, cadre of all different castes sit down at the same table and eat together. You won’t fight that scene in many other places in India. That right there is an excellent blow against caste. The spokesman actually mentioned caste and Dalits quite a bit, probably because of the dynamics of Jharkand. That’s a good thing, because they have been criticized by Dalit groups for ignoring the caste question.

The Maoists have their work seriously cut out for them. They need to expand a lot, and this Green Hunt offensive is a great opportunity. They need to move into urban areas from small towns to cities. They need to establish a foothold in the universities among professors and students, and also in the K-12 public schools. Making inroads with urban workers and slum dwellers is a must. Also, they need to move out of Eastern India and into the center and west of the country. But organization will be a lot more difficult in the West in Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

This interview answers a lot of questions about the Maoists and counters a lot of state propaganda. It’s long at 52 pages, but if I could get through it, than you can too.

In this wide-ranging interview, Gopalji discusses many important issues including: The development of Revolutionary People’s Committees and the Maoists’ efforts to establish fully liberated base areas; the agriculture, education and health projects the Maoists have built; how they conduct military operations to avoid harm to local people; Operation Green Hunt and moves towards a fascist police state; the challenge of developing the revolutionary movement in the plains and among the working class and petty bourgeoisie in the cities; how the Maoists plan to defeat the powerful Indian military and state; and what a New Democratic state would look like in India.

Interview with Gopalji, Spokesperson of the Special Area Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in a Forest in Jharkhand, Eastern India

by Alpa Shah

Communism in the rest of the world seems to have collapsed. What hope do you have of achieving a socialist state in India?

The claim that there is no hope for socialism and communism, that they are dead, is mere propaganda unleashed by the imperialists and the apologists of capitalism. The 20th century saw the first round of revolutions led by the working classes and the toiling masses of the communist parties in various parts of the world – the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the Revolution in Vietnam and many more. The 21st century will see a new wave of revolutions led by communist parties such as ours in India.

Massive socio-economic and political transformation takes time. The bourgeoisie took at least 400 years to achieve victory over feudalism and even then they entered into unholy alliances with the feudals in order to fight the working classes. These alliances are still prevalent today in many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in order to stop the revolutions of the toiling masses led by the communist parties.

After the Great Depression II, the recent economic crisis, there are very few takers of the bourgeois philosophy TINA, ‘There is No Alternative,’ to capitalism. Many intellectuals, many people in the developed countries, in the capitalist countries, have turned to Marx’s Das Kapital. Recent developments in the world have proved the theory of Marx, the invincibility of Marxism and the inevitability of socialism and communism.

Only socialism and communism can eradicate hunger, poverty and inequality and solve problems, such as that of climate change, which our planet is facing. In India we are trying to achieve a New Democratic Revolution as part of the world’s socialist revolutions.

What stage are you at in the Indian revolution?

In general we are in the phase of guerrilla warfare. This means that the armed struggle against the state is the principal form of struggle and armed organization is the principal form of organization.

In some places, such as in Dandakaranya and in some parts of Jharkhand, we have formed Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPC’s), which are the organs of alternative people’s power. If this continues, we will be able to build base areas.

Base areas are places where the enemy, the ruling classes (that is the Indian big-bourgeoisie and the landlords) do not have any organ of power – any military, any police force, or any administrative apparatus – and where people develop their own organs of power, their own army and their own administrative apparatus to implement economic policies of the people by the people’s government. Our immediate target is to build base areas in certain pockets of our country.

What are the strategies you are using to achieve a base area?

Our guiding ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Our strategy is ‘protracted people’s war’. Comrade Mao taught us that the poor nations, the nations where semi-colonial, semi-feudal systems are in existence, should take the path of protracted people’s war – making bases in the countryside and then encircling the towns from the countryside.

This is the strategy taken by the communist party here in India and it is the strategy taken by Maoists in semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries all over the world. In India, there are certain changes; it is not exactly similar to pre-revolution China. So we have made certain changes in our tactics to suit the changes in our concrete conditions.

What are the main differences between the conditions that existed at the time of the protracted people’s war in China and the conditions in India now?

Internationally we are operating in a world where there is no socialist country or bases to seek help from. After the WWII, various national liberation struggles forced the imperialists to renounce the old form of direct colonial rule. So they resorted to neocolonial forms of exploitation. Internally, India now has a centralized and militarized state that has reached the remotest parts of the country. Transport and communications are far more developed. Chieftains who had their own armies dominated the Chinese countryside.

In India we don’t have such a situation. The loathsome caste hierarchy with a strict Brahminical order is the backbone of Indian feudalism and there is uneven development in every aspect of the socio-economic and cultural realms. The Indian ruling classes ruled this country for over 60 years in a so-called ‘democratic’ framework. India has a much bigger urban petty bourgeois class and a huge working class force.

It is a county of numerous nationalities at varying degrees of development. India has a long history of revisionist practice that still has considerable influence over the toiling masses and these revisionists have proved themselves an apologist of this reactionary rule.

There are also big differences in the process of building the army and the base areas. In China they already had a base area and an army. Even before the formation of the Communist Party, the Kuomintang was leading a bourgeois democratic revolution against imperialism and feudalism. We had neither a base area nor an army when we began. We started with a small squad and have been able to form a People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army.

So our struggle will be longer and different. Additionally, we have vast plain areas that need a somewhat different treatment than hilly and forested regions. The importance of urban work and the need for organizing the working class is greater in our country. Apart from organizing a strategic united front of the four classes, we are also making a special effort to organize adivasis, dalits, women, minorities and various nationalities.

The Indian bourgeoisie exists in some form even in remote parts of India. We see the effects of capitalism in all the nooks and crannies of remote villages here – people who want motorbikes, mobile phones, notions of private property, individualism. What hope do you have of creating an alternative set of values in the world?

The people know that our party is fighting for an India structured around principles of equality. We want an India where individuals cannot amass capital and private property while simultaneously driving large sections of the society into poverty. We are here to make a corruption-free India where corruption, dishonesty and lies have no place; and where honesty, labour and truth are rewarded.

They also know that we are fighting against discrimination based on gender, caste, religion and other sectarian identities. For instance we encourage inter-caste marriages. We want a society where no one is bigger or greater on the basis of his or her birth.

While the effects of capitalism and its affiliated values are certainly in the rural countryside, a vast section of the society is against their corrupting and deteriorating effects. By and large the peasants and the workers support the values that we are fighting for. They participate in the struggles, based on these values, that our party organizes. They are fond of our cultural troops, read magazines and listen to the audio-cassettes and the CD’s that we release.

Our supporters also appreciate and promote the values that are perpetuated within the party. For instance, caste hierarchy has no place in our community. People from different castes eat from the same plate amongst our cadres: a concept that is generally unthinkable for many people outside our party.

Women are treated equally to men and there is no division of labour based on gender roles within the party. Our cadres are not paid a salary; they live a simple life that meets basic needs without unnecessary luxuries. They appreciate the values and visions of living that are being created within the party and are here to promote them beyond the party. There is much hope that these values will spread like fire across the Indian countryside, despite the efforts to trample them out by the Indian big bourgeoisie, because our supporters are increasing on a daily basis.

Why are you boycotting elections in your strongholds?

The Indian parliament and constitution actually represent the big bourgeoisie class and the big landlord class – not the people, not the toiling masses or the middle classes of India. So for any basic change, if you want to bring any basic change in the lives of the ordinary masses, you must first bring a new constitution and a parliament based on that new constitution.

So any action like participation in elections will actually strengthen the same reactionary parliament that is causing havoc, which is causing tragedy to the lives of the ordinary people. That is why we call upon people to boycott the elections. They must boycott the parliament itself that is reactionary and anti-people.

India is often declared one of the world’s largest democracies. Clearly you disagree?

India is not even a bourgeois democracy. It is actually a semi-colonial and semi-feudal state. The vast majority of people in India do not have any democratic rights. The transfer of power from the British in 1947 went into the hands of the comprador Indian bourgeoisie and the big landlords – the tested servants of the colonialists. In fact these two classes served the British imperialists in pre-independence British India.

The vast majority of the people did not get any rights. The new government talked of land reform but in practice they did not give land to the actual cultivators. People did not acquire equal opportunities in the case of jobs, or in access to health and educational facilities. Corruption has become a way of life in India. Now crores of people are dying of hunger and diseases.

People are not allowed to speak openly and to organize, although they have written provision for so many things in their constitution. In fact the constitution carried majority of acts from colonial rule and has been prepared under their instructions. How can a bureaucracy, which was serving colonialism till yesterday, become democratic, pro-people and patriotic overnight?

So this claim of independence of 1947 is actually not for large sections of the Indian people who achieved no democratic rights. Moreover, today the Indian parliament obeys the dictates of the WTO and the World Bank. It is actually carrying out the instructions of US imperialism – the chieftain of world imperialism.

The Indian ruling classes claim that India is a federal and secular republic. But how federal are they? The Kashmiri people are fighting for the implementation of the provision of the plebiscite for a separate Kashmir and the people of the Northeast are fighting for their cause, for their own nations.

Observe how brutally the Indian government is treating them. Analyze the center-state relations. They claim that the provincial governments have so many powers. But actually the power is centered in Delhi and center-state relations are very feudal. The central government is least interested in decentralizing power to the state governments. When capital is concentrated in the hands of the comprador big bourgeoisie, backed by imperialists, how can you expect the decentralization of power?

As far as the claim of being a secular country is concerned, you have seen the state initiated and promoted massacres of the minorities over the years. Their claims that India is a democratic, federal and a secular republic are a big farce.

What does democracy mean for you?

Our immediate aim is to achieve a New Democratic Revolution. In a New Democratic India, power will be in the hands of a four-class alliance – a strategic united front where no one class is in power – the workers, the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie.

This new state will liberate the peasants from the clutches of feudalism. It will liberate national capital from finance and comprador capital, confiscate finance and big capital and assets, and write off the foreign loans. It will seize the surplus land from the landowners and distribute it among the landless and poor peasants. It will eradicate each and every instance of imperialism and feudalism in the realm of economy, culture and politics.

The New Democratic Revolution will thus bring a truly federal and secular democratic republic of India that will give the oppressed nationalities a right to self-determination and even to secede. That India will not favour any religion: religion will be a private affair. It will bring an India in which people have not only equal opportunities in jobs, medical and educational facilities but also the objective conditions for everyone to avail of them.

The united front of the four-class alliance will be organized under a decentralized organ of power of the people called Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPC’s). RPC’s will represent the majority of the people of India and will be elected by a truly representative body of the people. In fact in the countryside where our struggle is currently strong, particularly in Dandakaranya and Jharkhand, this united front, whatever classes we have in the villages, are already being organized under Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPC’s).

In Dandakaranya we have RPC’s at a village level, at a block level, and in one or two places at the district level too. These are in rudimentary form at present, they are just emerging.

In the last elections you blew up schools and hospitals in the areas where you have a strong presence. Why?

In our areas of struggle, the state’s paramilitary forces are establishing police camps in the schools. You will find hundreds of schools in the struggling areas where the enemy forces have built up camps. We blow up only those schools where the police regularly establish military camps for their combing operations – not all the schools.

The case of blowing up a hospital is rare. It is in fact very rare to have hospital buildings in the countryside and even in those cases where there may be hospital buildings, they are not functioning as hospitals: the doctors never visit them and there are no medicines.

As far as schools are concerned, this government is least interested in educating the boys and girls of the toiling masses. You can see the conditions of the education system, the way in which they are privatizing the whole education system and how the boys and girls of the ordinary people of India are unable to have advanced studies.

In some places where we have blown up schools, we talked to the villagers, to the supporters and sympathizers of the movement, before blowing them up. And in some places we are rebuilding the schools. Please be clear that when we blow up schools we make sure there is no one in the school and that we are also running many of our own schools in the countryside.

If the government stopped using the schools as military camps, there would be no need to blow up the schools. The High Court recently passed a verdict that schools should not be used as police camps. But even after this verdict the security forces have not vacated the schools. Many schools in the countryside are actually being built for military purpose, and the police humiliate the students and hamper the studies there. That is why we are forced to blow up a few schools.

India has made huge investments in developing the nation. Why are you so critical of the government’s development program agenda?

There are two things. First is the development programs of the government and second is more broadly their concept of development.

All these development programs are actually a part of their strategy of Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). This is a reform and dole program. The Indian government is least interested in the development of the common people. Even according to their own estimates, 77% of Indians do not have a daily earning of Rs20. This means more than 800 million people are living under dire conditions. They are people Below Poverty Line.

This is the case after 62 years of so-called Independence! In 2000-2001, the average availability of food grains for an Indian was 157 kilograms, now it is hardly 140 kilograms. So this is the pathetic condition we have. On the other hand, a few Indians are becoming billionaires and the Indian state is boasting of that.

What the Indian government is actually trying to do through these developmental works is to create their social base in the form of petty contractors and other middlemen – becholia, we call them. Their aim is to divert youth who are naturally coming towards the revolution. So many youths are being diverted to petty contracts. These are sugarcoated bullets. Just observe the development projects in the countryside.

Even today, more than 65% of the Indian population is engaged in agriculture. But see the condition of agriculture. They have forgotten land reform – no one talks of that now. There is no program for the implementation of land reform in the countryside. What are they doing in fact? They are making roads and they are making bridges in order to facilitate the mobility of their armed forces.

Even this much-publicized NAREGA, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, is a big flop because it has so many lacunae in it. Corruption is everywhere. People are not getting wages. The claim is to give employment for 100 days per person. But people are not getting employment even for 10 days. Moreover, NAREGA neither provides a permanent and stable form of employment nor does it challenge the power structure of inequality in our countryside.

So what they are trying to claim as developmental projects are not developmental at all. They are part of their strategy of Low Intensity Conflict to fight the armed struggle, the struggle of the people of India.

More broadly, there is much to criticize in their concept of development. The development of the country should not be related to Sensex and GDP growth rates. The government thinks that the development of the comprador big bourgeoisie, landlords, a few bureaucrats and multinationals is the development of the country.

For us the development of the people is actually the development of the country. They are least interested in solving the fundamental problems of the people. Their development is dependent on imperialism that just prevents our country from becoming self-dependent. Following the instructions of the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, the government is promoting the policies of globalization, privatization and liberalization. They are trying to sell out our natural resources, our land, our forests, to the Indian big bourgeoisie and their imperialist masters.

Coincidentally, the natural resources are mainly concentrated in the areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Orissa where the Maoists have a strong presence. More than 80% of India’s natural resources are there. They know that unless and until they remove the Maoists, they suppress the Maoists there, they won’t be able to sell out our land, sell out our natural resources, openly and nakedly to their imperialist masters.

I will give you some examples. In Singur they sold land with the help of the so-called left government to the Tatas. In Nandigram they sold it to an Indonesian bourgeoisie, the Salem group. And in Lalgarh they sold it to Jindals. And in all the three places, we organized movements against this naked selling of cultivable lands of the peasants and against the displacement of the peasants. And in all the three places they were forced to withdraw.

In Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh we are fighting against the plunder by the comprador big bourgeoisie of iron ore and coal. And in these areas, the adivasis, mainly the adivasis but also the nonadivasis, the moolvasis, will be forced to vacate their homes and villages.

They will be displaced in great numbers as they have been in the past for the sake of so many ‘development’ projects. So now we are fighting against this plunder. We are fighting this implementation of liberalization and privatization. That is why they are saying that we are against this kind of development. Now it is for the people to see who is against the development of ordinary citizens.

So are you against the development of mines altogether?

No, we are not against the development of mines or the installation of plants and factories. We are against the plunder of our natural resources, our motherland, by the Indian big bourgeoisie and their imperialist masters who are plundering them only for their own profit. The Indian government is not interested in opening plants and mines for the betterment of the people.

The people in these areas – they will be forced to vacate their areas. The people will be thrown out. They will become wage earners in towns. They will be displaced in great numbers as they have been in many development projects earlier. In earlier cases where they built mega projects in Bokaro, Tata, and other places, people couldn’t get sufficient compensation – most people did not get land or homes or proper jobs in the plants that were built. Hundred and thousands of people, adivasis and moolvasis, were displaced.

So what is the guarantee that this will not happen again? That is why we are organizing people against such plunder and such loot of our natural resources. We won’t allow the plunder of our land and our natural resources by the imperialists and their allies, the Indian big bourgeoisie.

Under a Maoist government a few things will be kept in mind before opening plants and mines in these areas.

First, such plants and mines are nationalized and must be used for interest of the country. They must not be open for the profit of certain capitalists, bourgeoisie and multinational corporations.

Second, in general the cultivable lands should not be taken for mining and other things.

Third, if taking such land is unavoidable, then proper compensation must be given to the affected families. They should be given appropriate compensation for the land. They should be given jobs, they should be given homes, and some lands for cultivation. The New Democratic state will look after the welfare of the displaced people.

Fourth, these mines and plants must be eco-friendly. You must consider the ecological factors while opening these plants and mega projects as this is becoming a vital thing in our lives, in the lives of the human civilization.

And fifth, people must be taken into confidence before you start such projects; they should be taken into the management of such plants and mines. In our state, when we will build a New Democratic India, we will take into account all these things.

You say you are against the corruption. However, it is widely reported that you fund yourself through the black economy of development schemes coming in through the state. How do you justify participation in the very systems of corruption that you are against?

This is not corruption. This is taxation. In the areas of our struggle, we are the authority that is serving the people. We therefore tax those who are amassing wealth through major development programs and their contractorship in order to use this wealth for the service of our masses. We are using the funds to accelerate our struggles and we are using them in radical reform programs under the leadership of RPC’s.

We have rules and norms around how we tax people. For instance large schemes and operations are taxed more than smaller ones. We don’t tax the building of schools, hospitals, small tanks, tube wells etc. We also have rules and norms around how we use the fund collected. So we are not simply collecting money for private gain – that would be corruption. We are collecting money for the service of our toiling masses.

Your struggles against corruption, against caste discrimination, against feudal values are also the struggles of human rights organizations and NGOs. How do you differentiate yourself from such organizations?

Social, political and cultural values are based on the economic structure. Unless you change the economic system any talk of reforming social-cultural and political values is just a farce. The NGOs and the government human rights organization fight cases on an individual basis and from within the system. Feudal and imperialist values are part of their system.

These organisations are being nourished by the system itself. Unless you eradicate the system, you overthrow the system, you can’t have another system that will promote an alternative set of values, the democratic values. Fighting individual cases of caste discrimination or discrimination against women, or discrimination against dalits and adivasis, won’t take us far; it won’t eradicate the system.

You must eradicate the whole system. And in order to eradicate the whole system of feudal and imperial values, you must seize power. The NGOs and the human rights organizations don’t go for the seizure of power. They fight within the confines of India’s pro-elite constitution. In most cases they work only as safety-valves for the state whose credibility is eroding fast. That is the limitations of their conception.

In areas of Jharkhand where the party has been around for 20 odd years, what are the concrete achievements of the Maoists?

The first and foremost achievement is that the toiling masses, the landless laborer and the poor peasants, have emerged as a political and military force in India. In our struggling areas feudal authority has been demolished to a great extent. The struggling people have developed a guerrilla army of their own in the form of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army.

The second important achievement is the dignity and place in society that the dalits and adivasis have attained in the face of the historic discrimination they have endured. Wrong practices such as abuses against women, abuses against dalits and adivasis, and the dominance of the upper castes and outsiders in the forest areas are all changing now.

The third is the emancipation of forests that were under the control of the forest department, the corrupt and repressive forest officials. Even the lower level staff were quite repressive and they were controlled by the forest mafias and landlords. The forests are now completely liberated and the people are free to use the forests according to their needs. We have been able to control deforestation.

The fourth is the achievements of the antifeudal struggle. People in our struggling areas are enjoying democratic rights. We have seized thousands of acres of the lands of landlords and in many places, most of the places, the landlords have been ousted from the villages. In many places we have implemented land ceilings – sometimes radical ceilings – decided by our party locally. And surplus in lands have been distributed amongst the landless and poor peasants. In many places, the peasants are cultivating the land.

The wages in Bihar and Jharkhand in agriculture were very low. The wages for the collection of kendu patta and other forest materials such as mohalaun patta were also very low. So we organized people to demand a hike in wages. Now people have a comparatively better wage rate. Usury, that is mahajani, has been widely abolished. You won’t find the old kind of mahajan or money lender any more in the struggling areas.

In our struggling areas we have stopped theft and dacoity. Apart from this, we have abolished the auction of tanks, river beds, bazaars, orchards etc by the government to big contractors. Now these resources are free for the people to use.

In our areas of influence there is almost no communal riot. The Sangh goons just cannot dare to organize this. In a few places where they have dared, we have punished them as in the case of Swami Laxmanand in Kandhamal, Orissa.

Another important achievement is that till now we have been able to restrict to a great extent the implementation of various Memorandums of Understandings that the state government and central governments have signed with the big bourgeoisie and the multinationals – so they have not been able to plunder the land, loot the resources, as comfortably as they might have thought they could.

As far as our developmental schemes are concerned – unless you seize the power centrally, it is not possible to implement pro-people policies thoroughly. But even then, in places where we have formed RPC’s, we have tried to develop pro-people economic policies.

For instance, we are promoting the formation of cooperatives in agriculture and other related occupations. Secondly we are trying to develop methods of cultivation in the backward areas – we are digging up canals, wells and tanks – mostly through shramdan – voluntary labour. And we are opening schools and hospitals. We are giving medicines at subsidized rates. These things we are doing where we have formed RPC’s. But all these things are in rudimentary form.

The Indian Government has labeled you a terrorist organization. How do you respond to this?

The first thing is that this labeling is a part of a so-called ‘War on Terror’ unleashed by the US imperialists. The Indian ruling classes are fast emerging as favorites of US imperialism in South Asia. Actually the ruling classes of India are vying with the Pakistani ruling classes to be the favorites of US imperialism.

So what does US imperialism mean by terrorism? Any movement, or any mobilization or any act of protest that goes against the interest of US imperialism, that goes against the hegemony of US imperialism, which goes against the grand design of US imperialism of a new Empire, is being labeled ‘terrorist’ by US imperialists.

The governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America are labeling the nationality movements, and the movements of the toiling masses in their countries, as terrorist. In India too, the ruling classes are labeling the movements waged by the people under the leadership of the Maoists, the nationality movements in the North Eastern Provinces, and the nationality movement in Kashmir as terrorist movements.

The labeling of the Maoists as ‘terrorist’ gives more power to the police to arrest any person who is progressive and democratic – he/she need not be related to any mass organization of CPI(Maoist). The police forces are able to pick people if they speak against any undemocratic method, any repressive method, of the state. This includes journalists, lawyers, intellectuals and civil liberties activists. So first of all, we severely condemn this labeling.

Second thing is that there are some significant differences between us and those who commit terrorist acts. Terrorist activities generally cause indiscriminate killing, including the killing of innocent people. We condemn such killing and we are totally against such actions in which innocent peoples become victims.

We have never supported even a small action that harms an innocent villager. Wherever our armed unit has committed such a mistake, we readily come out to make self-criticism on such things. We are totally against the killing of innocent citizens; we are against indiscriminate killing.

Moreover, we are not going to make India into a theocratic state. Religious fundamentalism is often observed in terrorist acts: some organizations using terrorist activities claim that they are working towards building a theocratic state. This is entirely the opposite of what we want to achieve in the New Democratic India.

Our ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. We are fighting for a truly federal, secular and democratic Republic of India. The labeling of CPI(Maoist) as a terrorist organization is very malicious. It is full of cunning through which the Indian government wants to befool the people, deceive the people, by sheer propaganda.

As far as our functioning is concerned, the terrorist labeling is not going to affect us. Our party in any case has been functioning underground from the very beginning. So the only thing that the ‘terrorist’ label will achieve is that that it will give more power to the police forces to harass the common people, especially in the struggling areas.

The government has just declared that they are going to wipe you out totally in three years’ time. The largest military offensive against the Maoists has begun. What are you facing?

We condemn the Indian government’s military offensive against the Maoists. This plan is totally in tune with the imperialists – actually the Indian government has planned this offensive at the behest of US imperialism. This United Progressive Alliance government, under the leadership of the Congress party, is quite fascist in nature. When Chidambaran says that we won’t talk about development before the Maoists are wiped out, you can observe the reactionary content and the fascism of his intentions.

Repression campaigns are not new to us. We have faced so many repression campaigns in the past. But this is the greatest one. They are deputing 75 battalions of paramilitary forces along with an equal number of state forces to fight the Maoists. The rein of the operations is in the hands of the central government and the Central Reserve Police Forces are in command.

They are in addition preparing so many commando forces – like the Special Task Force, Jharkhand Jaguar and Cobra, the Indian Reserve Battalion, the Special Auxiliary Police, in the line of the Greyhounds. And they have established many jungle warfare schools at various places.

In Chhattisgarh they have started the military campaign in September 2009 – you know in one month they killed at least 27 people in two massacres – 27 innocent people. They burnt 12 villages. They looted, they raped and the burnt. Thousands of people have been force to flee, to vacate their villages. They are fleeing to Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

In Lalgarh they have deputed 7,000 forces in just one district. And they are just killing innocent villagers. In Jharkhand they have also begun. You know the result is that they are going to involve even the army and the air force in so many disguised ways. You know all this means that they are going to kill many thousands and thousands of innocent people.

And the whole area of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal that is very rich in mineral resources and that this government is trying to sell to the imperialist comprador big bourgeoisie and other big contractors will then be clear for them.

There are many aspects of this offensive, this repression campaign. There is not only the military side; there are other sides too – what we call in Hindi, sam, dam, dande, ved (fear, temptation, punishment and division). So they are also strengthening their intelligence network. They will spend much more money in developing coverts and developing intelligence sources from the local people: police informers. And they won’t keep any record – this is the instruction of the central government – they can spend much money on this work.

Next, they have passed many black laws and they have allowed state governments to pass black laws to suit their needs. So actually what we are going to have is a complete police state in India. And again the centralization of power in Delhi will be observed more.

The state governments will lose much of their powers in the enforcement of laws and in maintaining what they call ‘law and order’. So the government is obviously not taking this movement as a democratic movement, and when Chidambaran says CPI(Maoist) is a terrorist organization, their stand is clear.

What they will add to these campaigns is the vicious propaganda against us that they have already been spreading. For instance, the notion that leading Maoist leaders are making money and there has been a large embezzlement of party funds by the party leaders. They spread the rumor that there is sexual anarchy in the party; that the Maoists are against development; and that Maoists are promoting the cultivation of opium; and that Maoists are obstructing the Public Distribution System.

They want to brand us as criminals; they claim that we kill innocent people. Every day you will see advertisements by the police in the form of news reports in the newspapers. Sometimes there are hoardings in the towns – propagating so many incorrect things about our party and our movement.

Moreover, the corporate media – both the TV channels and the newspapers and the other forms of the media that are controlled by the corporate world – are supporting the government and putting forward the government’s stand in spreading propaganda against our party, and against the leadership of our organization. The corporate media is supporting the government wholeheartedly.

So in the coming days we will see that this military offensive will bring India to a complete fascist state where not only the struggles raised by the CPI(Maoist) but also the struggles raised by the ordinary citizens against displacement, against the job losses resulting from privatization, against hunger, against anti-people economic policies – particularly agricultural policies – and many such struggles will face brutal state repression and all will be clubbed in one term, ‘terrorist’.

Any honest struggle will be branded terrorist; that is what you will see in the coming days.

Armed struggle involves a lot of deaths along the way. There are media reports that a thousand people a year are dying as a result of Maoist-related violence. How do you justify the death of so many people?

First, who are those whom the party eliminates? Annihilation is the last choice. We only annihilate those reactionaries – the landlords, the police agents and the members of the gangs raised by the government – who do not accept their crime and do not surrender before the people’s courts. The government and the corporate media create propaganda against us – that many people are killed in Maoist-related violence. I don’t know the exact numbers they are claiming and what they are propagating but a part of it is malicious propaganda against us.

Second, see the other side of the picture. What are the hundreds of thousands of army personnel and paramilitary forces doing in Kashmir and the North East? Each and every day they are killing youths in fake encounters. What are the paramilitary forces and state police doing in the areas of Maoist struggle – particularly in AP, and in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand? They are killing youth in hundreds.

And do you remember the pogroms of the minorities organized by the ruling classes? The anti-Sikh riots in 1984, the recent murders of thousands of Christians in Orissa, and the 2002 riots in Gujarat? How many people have the Hindu chauvinists and the state forces killed?

Right from 1947, from Indian independence, the state forces were very much hand in glove with the Hindu chauvinist forces. The corporate media and the media persons should expose the other side of the picture too – how the minorities are butchered in state-sponsored pogroms; how the people belonging to the oppressed nationalities in the North East and Kashmir are being eliminated; how the dalits and the adivasis in the struggling areas of central India are being killed by the state forces in organized killings in the name of Salwa Judum and such projects.

And lastly, do you know that during the last few years, 500,000 peasants have committed suicide because of anti-people economic policies? In the last one year, 2008-2009, thousands of peasants have become daily wage earners?

Many people are dying of hunger. This republic, as Utsna Patnaik calls, is a ‘Republic of Hunger’. So who is responsible for such deaths? Who is responsible for the death of thousands of people dying out of starvation and hunger, from so many diseases? People are left with no other option. No one is going to listen to you. This violence has been imposed by the state on the people of India.

You are waging a war against one of the world’s emerging global economic superpowers. India is a very strong state. What hope do you have of achieving success?

There are two parts to this question. It is true that the Indian state is very powerful. We are quite aware of the strength of our enemy.

However, in a war, arms and armed personnel are not the most important things. The most important thing is the people. Who is getting the support of the people? We think that we have been waging guerrilla war for the last 40 years with very, very little armed strength. It is because of the support of the people in these states that we have been able to consolidate ourselves.

And naturally because we are a party of the people, we are a party of the common man, the toiling masses, so the appeal of the program of our party is much more than those of the comprador and those of the ruling classes. So the most important thing is the support of the people. It is people’s support that will ultimately decide the fate of the war.

The second important thing is sticking to the guerrilla policies, the guerrilla methods of warfare. If we could implement the guerrilla policies of warfare completely and thoroughly and in a more and more meticulous method, and if we continue to win the support of the people of our country, we do believe that we will win this war.

If we can achieve these two things then it won’t be possible for the ruling classes of this country to abolish us, to finish us, as they are claiming. There is every chance that we will survive not only this offensive, but also many such offensives, and defeat them.

As the war intensifies, though, as the military campaign of the government rises, inevitably a lot of ordinary poor peasants are going to get caught in the war in between. You have your AK47s, your landmines, and your 306s to protect you. But there are going to be a lot of bloody deaths of ordinary villagers in the process. How can you justify this?

Sorry, you are putting the question in the wrong way. This is not a war between the CPI(Maoist) and the Indian state. This is a war between the people of India and the Indian state. What is CPI(Maoist)? What is the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA)? It is nothing but the organized strength of the people.

So if they harm the CPI(Maoist), if they harm PLGA that is fighting under the leadership of CPI(Maoist), then actually they are harming the organized strength of the people. And the people understand this and that any such war is not a war against a party, it is a war against the people – we should look at the whole situation in this perspective.

In the same way that you do not distinguish between the CPI(Maoist) and the people, surely you cannot differentiate between the people and the present Indian government? For example, many of the policemen who are your main targets are coming from the same houses as some of your own supporters and cadres. So why are you killing policemen from poor village backgrounds in the process of the war?

It is true that in ambushes the policemen who are killed generally come from humble backgrounds. However, they have only ever been targeted when they have been on their area domination operations, on their combing operations, and they have come to suppress the people and the people’s movement.

I can give you a few examples. You know there are many policemen and armed personnel living in our struggling areas who are serving the police department and army elsewhere. Their families are our supporters. Whenever these officers return to their home village in festivals or on vacation, you will not be able to cite a single example when our party has harmed them.

Secondly, rarely have we harmed any home guards that are from the villages.

Third, we restrain ourselves from harming the zila police, the district police, who are actually in the main the local people. Whenever we have ambushed the policemen, we have ambushed them when they are coming as combat forces, when they come to suppress the people, when they come to suppress the people’s movement – only then they have been targeted.

In a war, if your enemy is using the persons who come from your own class, it is inevitable that they will become a target of the offensive. Our appeal to the policemen, to the army personnel, is that the state they are serving is not their state. The ruling classes they are serving are actually against the interest of their families. So it is better they come out from this reactionary army, reactionary police department, and join the PLGA.

P Chidambaram, the Home Minister, has been calling you to the negotiating table. Why don’t you go?

P Chidambaram actually proposed that the Maoists must lay down arms before they call them for any kind of negotiations. Then, after a massive protest by the intellectuals and progressive persons, he is now saying that the Maoists must abjure violence before the government can call them for any kind of negotiations. This simply means that the government is putting conditions that are unacceptable to us.

You just can’t have negotiations at gunpoint. You have your paramilitary forces inside the struggling areas and you are making statements daily that you will depute more and more paramilitary forces into those areas and you will depute choppers and all that. Then you say that the Maoists must come to the negotiating table: you know this is just unacceptable. In many press statements and press conferences time and again we have made it clear that we are not averse to negotiations.

But, for any kind of negotiations – history tells us that for any negotiations – you must have an atmosphere for the negotiations. In this particular condition it means that if you have your forces in the struggling areas and if you make threatening statements every day, it means that you are trying to have negotiations at gunpoint – that you are expecting us to surrender actually.

What conditions do you want for negotiation?

There is only one condition – that the government must make an atmosphere that is congenial for negotiation. Concretely speaking it means that the government must withdraw the paramilitary forces from the struggling areas, one. The government must release the revolutionary leaders and cadres and must treat them as political prisoners, number two.

The government must lift the ban from our party and the government must not prevent the democratic mass movements. These things are the basic things, but we can talk of so many things – such as the government must suspend the memoranda of Understanding that they have made with the big bourgeoisie and the imperialists. These are not the conditions – these will make the situation favourable for any kind of negotiation.

Like Rice? Eat Brown, Not White

These healthy Asians love to eat this White rice, but increasing evidence indicates it’s not even good for them, much less for the rest of us. Just forget White rice altogether as much as possible, and eat the brown instead. I almost live off rice, so this is good advice for me.

The brown lowers the risk of diabetes 2. Know anyone with diabetes 2? I have known many. As a disease, it sucks. Really, really, really, really sucks. You do not want to get this disease! Bottom line: don’t get it. Life is fucked up enough as it is. No reason to add to the misery to the extreme.

Deepening Fascism in Israel: The Evidence

Like I said earlier.

From the always great Jonathon Cook (a bit long at 30 pages, but if I can read it, so can you), an American living in and writing from Nazareth, you know, the birthplace of, you know, that religion called, you know, Christianity? Except now Nazareth is part of something called a Jewish state, of the Jews, by the Jews and for the Jews.

The Christians are relegated to the background, to a footnote, and that’s at best. At worst, they are an oppressed minority like the Blacks under apartheid South Africa. But this is all necessary, you know, to give the Jews their safe haven from Holocaust 2 you know, because as Herzl and Hitler remind us from beyond the grave, everyone hates the Jews, with good reason.

Cook has the advantage of being neither Arab nor Muslim nor Jewish traitor, so no one quite knows what to do with these folks.

Yet I wonder for how much longer Mr. Cook can keep penning his prose from inside the heart of the beast amidst the deepening gloom. It’s no longer daytime in Israel, ever, anymore. Nor is it the darkest night. There’s still light, just enough to see by, but that’s it.

It’s dusk. The dusk of a settling fascist dark.

The Internet: A US-owned and Controlled Asset

A stunning claim, yet that is what is proposed in an incredible new Senate bill announced by Jew Lieberman, I mean Joe Lieberman, formerly a Democrat, then Independent Senator from Connecticut, now a National Socialist Senator from Tel Aviv.

The bill breathtakingly declares the entire Internet all over the world to be a US asset, and would give the President the right to seize it and shut it down in a national emergency. The purpose of the bill is supposedly to prevent a Cyber 9-11, but it looks like the cure is the same as as the disease it claims to prevent.

How Black and Hispanic “Values” Clash with White Middle Class Upbringing

Referring to the video here, a commenter disagrees that the people on the show were out of line to ask the White woman why she won’t date Blacks. He also denies that they said she was racist:

One again, did he actually use the word racist? I listened to that dialogue again and I did not hear it. At 8:48 he says something like “well that…” and then it becomes intelligible. Then all I could hear is “why?”

I also heard him say, “not everybody is going to be attracted to the opposite race…” We’ll forget for the moment that there’s no such thing as “an opposite race”, but he did seem to acknowledge that some will just prefer their own. All he asked is why.

1. They didn’t need to say she was racist. It was implied.

2. They should not have asked her why in the first place. I mean, in White culture, you ask a question like that, and people will look at you like, “What the Hell kind of question is that!?” And everyone can read that body language.

You know, I was not brought up that way. Would I ask some Black woman to go out with me (assuming I wanted to take her out), then badger her if she didn’t want to, then ask her why, then say she was racist for not dating me? I mean, in the White bread world I was brought up in, that is like the nadir of outrageous, audacious rudeness. You’re not “acting White.” You’re “acting like a nigger.”

But Black guys do this all the time. Ask White women out, badger them when they say no, then say they are racist for saying no.

Do you realize what White middle class socialization is like? We are brought up, and there’s like a million rules about every little stinking thing. It drives you mad just to keep track of them all the time and not be constantly violating them. Chronic violation of the rules leads to ostracization, rejection, not getting hired, firings, all kinds of bad shit. So you learn or you’re an outcast.

Violation of a lot of these rules, it is implied, is called, “Acting like a Black or a Mexican.” IOW, it’s low class. White people don’t act that way. Or, good White people don’t act that way. Trailer trash? Sure, but they’re hardly White. They are barely above the Blacks and the Mexicans. In some cases, worse.

In fact, even in White liberal environments, you will hear people say, often laughing, “Don’t do that! That’s not the White thing to do.” “That’s not White. That’s not a White way of acting.” That’s what, “Hey, that’s mighty White of you!” means. It means you are acting like an upstanding White person.

Now. Is there an implied supremacism behind that? Sure. But if supremacism is what it takes to get your group to act good, I say go for it. I would love it if Blacks would shame their kids who act bad, saying, “Don’t do that! You’re acting like a White person! How disgusting! Act like a proud Black person instead.” Indeed, this is part of the Afrocentrist mindset.

Now, maybe Blacks think we are a bunch of uptight nerds who keep dropping turds in the punch bowl and spoiling all the fun. Perhaps we are, I have no idea.

But I’m pointing this out to show you how profoundly offensive a lot of Black and even Hispanic behavior is to White bread, middle class suburban Whites. I mean, you were brought up that you don’t do these 100,000 and one things on near penalty of death. Then you see non-Whites not only doing this stuff, but doing it unapologetically, refusing to apologize when called on it, and even seeming to glory in it.

It’s so offensive to us it’s beyond words. It’s appalling.