The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.
Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.
I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).
As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.
I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.
So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)
You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?
Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.
A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.
So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”
The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.
The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.
Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.
Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.
And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.
I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.
The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.
So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.
Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.
The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.
Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.
I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.
Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.
The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.
The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?
The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.
Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.
After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.
As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.
After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.
The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

About That "Stab in the Back"

Many German Jews were very patriotic during World War 1. Quite a few fought and died for their country and its lousy cause. The problem was that the war was a lousy cause, like the Vietnam War and just about every war we ever fought after the Great War.
Germany started losing, and a dissident peace movement similar to the antiwar movement in the Vietnam era sprung up in Germany. Some of these people, but many others were just good Germans sink of junkers, kaisers and disgusting mess that was incipient German imperialism and militarism. The antiwar movement helped end the war, which was a good thing. After the war, which ended in Germany’s defeat, this protest movement began challenging many of the traditional views of the land which had dragged the nation into a stupid militaristic adventure that led to the massacre of a generation of European men. Many liberals, media people, comedians, musicians, show business types, politicians and intellectuals joined this movement.
Of course some were Jews but most were not. Keep in mind that Jews were maybe 1-2% of Germany at this point. The point here is that these Jews were not traitors at all any more than the rest of the liberals were. They were calling for a Cultural Revolution in Germany and challenging the reactionary views that led the nation to war.
This was the “stab in the back” that Hitler referred to. There was no stab in the back anymore than that the Vietnam War Protest Movement was a stab in the back.  Hitler and the Free Officers were reactionary militarists. They were not OK people. They were like McNamara and LBJ on steroids. They were a bunch of lousy killers, militarists fighting for a no good cause. And really the entire liberal intelligentsia stabbed the country in  the back, if anyone did.
But the stab in the back more than anything was self inflicted. Germany was losing a lousy war they started for no good reason. The Army and the militaristic state was stabbing its own self in the back in a form of perverse hari kari.

Something Wrong with America? or Why Is America Hated? By A. J. Harvey-Hall

An interesting piece from a reader and financial supporter (thank you!) of this website. Hope you enjoy it.

Something Wrong With America? or Why is America hated?

By A. J. Harvey-Hall, Australia

Where do I start?
I originally wrote this in 2013 when I was mad as hell, and here we are in 2015, and I am still mad as hell at you guys. Most of what I have written has come true.
Don’t believe me – ask your Remote Viewing (Project Stargate) people to drop in and check me out. It works both ways in case you are unaware.
Coming from Australia I can tell you a hell of a lot of where America “went wrong”. I am not saying Australia is/was perfect – it’s just a fact we were the last large island/continent settled by the so-called enlightened Westerners – due to distance we saw where everyone else stuffed up and decided as a whole not to do that (Commonwealth knowledge?).
Canada is very similar to Australia, so look to them as well. One thing’s for certain – everyone gets a fair go in this country. We are multicultural and tolerant. Early Western settlers did not treat the Aboriginals appropriately, but in summary, it was probably no different to any superior culture that overtook another at some time in history. It’s easy to look back and say what the Westerners did to Aboriginals was disgraceful.
I have a right to tell you how it is because Australia is the only country that has fought every war alongside America all through WW1 and WW2 and several “police” actions.
Let’s revisit some words spoken by one of your greatest presidents in the course of the America’s Cup back in 1962 when Australia was still a country of 10 million:
Quoting Kennedy –

Ambassador, Lady Beale, Ambassador and Mrs. Berckmeyer, Ambassador and Lady Ormsby Gore, the Ambassador from Portugal, our distinguished Ministers from Australia, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I know that all of us take the greatest pleasure in being here, first of all because whether we are Australian or American, we are all joined by a common interest, a common devotion and love for the sea.
And I am particularly glad to be here because this Cup is being challenged by our friends from Australia, this extraordinary group of men and women numbering some 10 million, who have demonstrated on many occasions, on many fields, in many countries, that they are the most extraordinarily athletic group in the world today, and that this extraordinary demonstration of physical vigor and skill has come not by the dictates of the state because the Australians are among the freest citizens in the world, but because of their choice…
Australia became committed to physical fitness, and it has been disastrous for the rest of us. We have the highest regard for Australia, Ambassador. As you said, we regard them as very satisfactory friends in peace and the best of friends in war. And I know there are a good many Americans of my generation who have the greatest possible reason to be grateful to the Australians who wrote a most distinguished record all the way from the desert of North Africa, and most particularly in the islands of the South Pacific, where their particular courage and gallantry I think met the strongest response in all of us in this country.
But I really don’t look to the past. I look to the present. The United States and Australia are most intimately bound together today, and I think that — and I speak as one who has had some experience in friendship and some experience in those who are not our friends — we value very much the fact that on the other side of the Pacific, the Australians inhabit a very key and crucial area and that the United States is most intimately associated with them. So beyond this race, beyond the result, rests this happy relationship between two great people.
– President John F. Kennedy, Newport, Rhode Island, September 14, 1962

Let’s go back to the (your) War of Independence:
The English were wrong in what they were doing – hence independence – not a problem. In gaining independence however you put in place the building blocks that as of today are not crumbling – they have already crumbled.
Every builder in the world knows that unless your foundations are spot on and repaired when cracks appear, a structure cannot live for hundreds of years. You must update and repair as you go to ensure the building is viable for hundreds of years ongoing – not just paper over it.
The building I am referring to is the “United States of America”. It has now crumbled as a result of a demarcation dispute between your two political parties that act worse than our Australian Parliament. Each party is only out to make a name for itself and has lost the understanding of “serving the people”.
Let’s talk about your constitution – ohhh – am I upsetting you already? Remember I am an outsider who is looking in giving you an unbiased opinion.
When your Constitution was framed it was OK, for the day!
It is now the oldest ‘out of date’ Constitution in the world. Don’t stand behind your outdated constitution. Start again. Be bold.
Yes – you have made amendments, but those amendments are just papering over extensions – you need to go back and look at the foundations and do the work there.
Take one example – a right to bear arms.
It was OK 200 years ago when things were a bit rough – it is not acceptable in the 20th or 21st Centuries, but you will not remove that right. How many people have died in your country as a result of that one so called right?
Your gun culture is one of the bases (not basis) that has crumbled. This is ultimately why you have numerous police forces that are happy to shoot first and ask questions later.
Your children and work colleagues will continue to die in massacres as a result of this “right“. They will continue to die in soft target areas such as schools, mass transport, malls, parades (early days – wait for it).
Hang on – maybe the British, Russians or Communists are still coming to invade. Pity you don’t update your Constitution the same way you enforce updates to laws you force upon people who want to trade with you.
You allow gun lobbyists to “set the course” with government officials, senators and the public.
Since when did lobbyists of any ilk run the government? Since when did they represent “the people”?
You continue to think of arms as a gun – they are no longer guns – instead are bombs, viruses or maybe even the Internet itself. But it’s OK because you have a right” to bear arms.
Let’s talk about your medical care.
Actually let’s save time and refer to Michael Moore. He is spot on. How can you allow your own citizens suffer and even die on the streets because they don’t have medical insurance? And some of your citizens applaud this stance.
How about your returned veterans – even wounded veterans have to fight to get medical assistance upon return – why – because you outsourced the process and someone applied expiry dates that wounded veterans were not aware of. It then requires an act of Congress or a law to be passed to allowed them back into the system.
More veterans have committed suicide upon return that you lost in actual combat. That is an absolute disgrace.
Even that poor, small country across from Florida – Cuba – does it better than you. A pissant island makes you look like a disgrace. Ohhh that’s right…you won’t interact with them because they put one over you in the Cuban Missile crisis. Get over it – you eventually did with Vietnam. And that leads me to another chapter – Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia…or shouldn’t I mention all the “minor” illegal wars you waged?
You lost LOST the Vietnam War – admit it. You will also lose the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars. The Middle Eastern wars are also bankrupting your country – why can’t day to day Americans see this? No one (starting with Alexander the Great) has ever conquered Afghanistan – get real or get out.
If you think those wars are over, and as G. W. Bush said, “Mission completed”…think again. You have effectively put people in charge who are far worse than the dictators that were already there in Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Afghanistan etc. and now you are trying to do the same in Crimea via the Ukraine. You are responsible for the extremists that are now running around the Middle East, and I don’t mean Al Qaeda. You are responsible for the creation of ISIS.
Let’s look at all those African refugees (including Syrians, Lebanese etc.) who are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe. The USA is totally responsible for all these simply because of WMD lies that resulted in the invasion of Iraq. All Middle East actions from thereon are his fault. He is a war criminal – oopps did I break one of your laws saying he is a war criminal in the land of the free and home of the brave? The land of free speech?
Fact – history is written by the victors.
The USA is trying to run the Middle East like a corporation – all the top executives from the G. W. Bush era on are criminals lining their own pockets.
Starting wars in the 21st century will no longer get a country out of a recession. It’s simply profit-making. Why don’t you take Saudi Arabia to task for 9/11? Ohhh that’s right, they control the oil flow. Don’t upset them – why don’t you find an alternative to Middle East oil?
Are you getting a message here?
The entire world dislikes and even hates you. You have acted the bully for many years after The Korean War, effectively destroying the good will you established in the early 20th century. You are hated across all lines – economic, religious, social, political and otherwise.
What is your obsession with Israel?
Fact – Israel was founded by Jewish terrorists. They set off bombs, killed people and destroyed property to achieve their aims. Because the world had ‘sympathy’ for Jews after WW2, it happened and a blind eye was turned. Today Middle America strongly believes in the Bible literally and as such wants to see Israel succeed in order the “Second Coming” results.
People – the Bible is a guide. It is not Gospel.
Why? In the early centuries, the Roman Catholic Church held conferences and decided which books, writings and teachings ended up in “The Bible”. God did not decide which early Christian books ended up in The Bible – so it is absolute rubbish for someone to state that the Bible guides what the United States should do. Too many real accounts of Jesus’ workings were excluded. The Roman Catholic Church is responsible for closing our eyes to the real Christ.
Hopefully Pope Francis can arrest this BS.
There are numerous United Nations resolutions that Israel has refused to comply with. By the way – are you (USA) financially paid up with the UN, or do you still refuse to pay in a timely manner in order to attempt to remind them that you rule over them?
How about the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq that lead to invasion? Colin Powell held up a drawing and said – here is the proof. You never found proof and never admitted you were wrong. Yes – Saddam Hussein was a bastard but he had the warring clans under control. It was all ALL about oil and nothing else. When the mud got too deep, you changed tact and said it was all about democracy. How far is Greece from Iraq? – damn closer that the USA. If the Greeks could not influence them – you sure in Hell can’t.
You can resolve the Palestinian problem in a matter of weeks, but you won’t due to that “minority” in the Middle East. This bullshit has been going on for 60 years.
Everyone knows (sorry – obviously you don’t) – the longer a problem festers, the harder and more costly it is to resolve.
I worked in the finance industry for many years and can only say that the number of times “we” (non-Americans) had to change our processes and rules etc. because the USA had set ‘”new standards” makes me sick. The standards set were not improvements – they were changed to line your pockets.
Look at Sarbanes Oxley for example – the world spent hundreds of billions of $’s attempting to comply because the USA would not do business with another country unless they did so only to see the USA itself found it too costly to implement itself! What a joke!
We now have many European countries in dire straits as a direct result of the exporting of American ways.
You destroyed the financial industry with your Subprime rubbish.
What about changes to financial models and makes etc. of any product or service that demand that people buy the “updated” version to reline your pockets. This is simply to keep the money wheel turning. You are desperately trying to ensure it keeps turning long enough for your problems to be passed to some other country or the next generation.
Ever thought about how much you spend on items such as defense, spying, war, inventing, manufacturing and using machines of war? Just imagine if only half of that was diverted to your health programs, science or to the benefit of other countries less fortunate? What about converting the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines into an international force for peace and relief of local and international disasters?
How can you allow a company to have a patent on the human breast cancer gene? You have to be kidding the world – but then again that’s your Constitution at work. No one owns human genes!
What happened to the “United States” that I remember as a child? That far-off country whose technology was so far advanced we could never dream of equaling.
What happened to that country that every county – even Russia in the old days – feared  -a form of respect?
Oh – and how long before I get the FBI, CIA, and all your other bullshit muscle agencies to frame me for some rubbish and shut me down…
A parting true story:
In late 1978/early 1979 my family traveled to Washington state where my father was working on behalf of a company in Australia. Unfortunately, departing Auckland NZ they had an emergency which meant we had to go back, dumping fuel on the way. 24 hours later we took off again after repairs and finally landed in Honolulu. My mother was pretty savvy and said get to the front of the Customs line so we can get to the connecting flight to LA.
Well – I was at the front of the queue, 18 years old, looking at an overweight female Customs officer wearing a gun strutting back and forwards. Her welcoming words to the Australians and New Zealanders were, “If you step over that yellow line, I will shoot you!” What a fucking joke – in 1978! No wonder you have a gun problem.
Welcome to America!
Congratulations to the NRA who lobby the most congressman/women on both sides.
Fact – I was born in July 1960, and in November 1963 I still vividly recall my parents being very upset when they heard of the news of Kennedy’s death despite my being three years old. All the more remarkable is the fact that we lived in Papua New Guinea – a protectorate of Australia at the time – literally a colonial backwater. I was too young to understand but remembered the words Kennedy and death and vaguely remembered the Cuba Crisis. We cried in the backwaters of the Pacific!
I fully understand that the Kennedys had their dalliances. Small beer in the scheme of things.
He and his brother are the standard you must return to.
Did Kennedy not say “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country?”
And in closing, written on the base of the Statue of Liberty…

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazurus

My country totally lacks world-shaking oratory ,but I think we more than make up with it in our actions.

The Hell with the Pentagon

As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.
First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?
Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.
Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?
The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.
It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?
There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.
Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.
In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.
1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.
So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.
The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.
Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.
The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.
Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.
I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.
But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.
And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.
And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.
One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.
Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.

Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory

I participated in a session with this fellow on Academia.edu. I believe the author is a professor at a university somewhere in the UK. I really liked this paper a lot. It’s a bit hard to understand, but if you concentrate, you should be able to understand. If I can understand it, at least some of you guys can too. It is an excellent overview of what exactly neoliberalism is and the effects it has on all of us all the way down to the anthropological, sociological and psychological.

Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory

by Simon During

Over the past decade or so “neoliberalism” has become a word to conjure with. It is easy to have reservations about its popularity since it seems to name both a general object — roughly, capitalist governmentality as we know it today — and a particular set of ideas that now have a well-researched intellectual history.

It also implies a judgment: few use the term except pejoratively. I myself do not share these worries however, since I think that using the word performs sterling analytic work on its own account even as it probably accentuates its concept’s rather blob-like qualities. Nonetheless in this talk I want somewhat to accede to those who resist neoliberalism’s analytic appeal by thinking about it quite narrowly — that is to say, in literary and intellectual historical terms.
I begin from the position, first, that neoliberalism is an offshoot of liberalism thought more generally; and second, that we in the academic humanities are ourselves inhabited by an occluded or displaced neoliberalism to which we need critically to adjust.1 Thus, writing as a
literary critic in particular, I want to follow one of my own discipline’s original protocols, namely to be sensitive to the ways in which the literary “tradition” changes as the present changes, in this case, as it is reshaped under that neoliberalism which abuts and inhabits us.2
To this end I want to present a reading of Joseph Conrad’s Victory (1916). To do this is not just to help preserve the received literary canon, and as such is, I like to think, a tiny act of resistance to neoliberalism on the grounds that neoliberalism is diminishing our capacity to affirm a canon at all. By maintaining a canon in the act of locating neoliberalism where it is not usually found, I’m trying to operate both inside and outside capitalism’s latest form.

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1 Daniel Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2014, p. 17.
2 This argument is made of course in T.S. Eliot’s seminal essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1921).
Let me begin with a brief and sweeping overview of liberalism’s longue durée.3 For our purposes we can fix on liberalism by noting that it has two central struts, one theoretical, the other historical. As generations of theorists have noted, the first strut is methodological individualism: liberal analysis begins with, and is addressed to, the autonomous individual rather than communities or histories.4
Methodological individualism of this kind is, for instance, what allowed Leo Strauss and J.P Macpherson to call even Thomas Hobbes a founder of liberalism.5 Liberalism’s second strut is the emphasis on freedom as the right to express and enact private beliefs with a minimum of state intervention. This view of freedom emerged in the seventeenth century among those who recommended that the sovereign state “tolerate” religious differences.
It marked a conceptual break in freedom’s history since freedom was now conceived of as an individual possession and right rather than as a condition proper to “civil associations” and bound to obligations.6 We need to remember, however, that methodological individualism does not imply liberal freedom, or vice versa. Indeed neoliberalism exposes the weakness of that association.
Early in the nineteenth century, liberalism became a progressivist political movement linked to enlightened values. But after about 1850, non-progressive or conservative liberalisms also appeared. Thus, as Jeffrey Church has argued, Arthur Schopenhauer, the post-Kantian
philosopher who arguably broke most spectacularly with enlightened humanist progressivism,
3 Among the library of works on liberalism’s history I have found two to be particularly useful for my purposes here: Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: a Counter-History, trans. Gregory Elliot. London: Verso 2014, and Amanda Anderson’s forthcoming Bleak Liberalism, Chicago, University of Chicago Press 2016.
4 Milan Zafirovski, Liberal Modernity and Its Adversaries: Freedom, Liberalism and Anti-Liberalism in the 21st Century, Amsterdam: Brill 2007, p. 116.
5 Van Mobley, “Two Liberalisms: the Contrasting Visions of Hobbes and Locke,” Humanitas, IX 1997: 6-34.
6 Quentin Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1998, p. 23.
can be associated with liberalism.7
Likewise Schopenhauer’s sometime disciple, Friedrich Nietzsche, no progressivist, was, as Hugo Drochon has recently argued, also an antistatist who prophesied that in the future “private companies” will take over state business so as to protect private persons from one another.8 Liberalism’s conservative turn was, however, largely a result of socialism’s emergence as a political force after 1848, which enabled some left liberal fractions to dilute their individualism by accepting that “a thoroughly consistent individualism can work in harmony with socialism,” as Leonard Hobhouse put it.9
Conrad himself belonged to this moment. As a young man, for instance, he was appalled by the results of the 1885 election, the first in which both the British working class and the socialists participated.10 That election was contested not just by the Marxist Socialist Democratic Federation, but by radical Liberals who had allied themselves to the emergent socialist movement (not least Joseph Chamberlain who, as mayor of Birmingham, was developing so-called “municipal socialism” and who haunts Conrad’s work).11
The election went well for the Liberals who prevented the Tories from securing a clear Parliamentary majority. After learning this, Conrad, himself the son of a famous Polish liberal revolutionary, wrote to a friend, “the International Socialist Association are triumphant, and every
disreputable ragamuffin in Europe, feels that the day of universal brotherhood, despoliation and disorder is coming apace…Socialism must inevitably end in Caesarism.”12 That prophecy will resonate politically for the next century, splitting liberalism in two. As I say: on the one side, a
7 Jeffrey Church, Nietzsche’s Culture of Humanity: Beyond Aristocracy and Democracy in the Early Period, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015, p. 226.
8 Hugo Drochon, Nietzsche’s Great Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2016, p. 9.
9 L. T. Hobhouse, Liberalism, London: Williams and Norgate, 1911, p. 99.
10 It was at this point that one of neoliberalism’s almost forgotten ur-texts was written,Herbert Spencer’s Man against the State (1884).
11 For instance, he plays an important role in Conrad and Ford Madox Ford’s The Inheritors.
12 Joseph Conrad, The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad, vol 1., ed. Frederick Karl and Laurence Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1983, p. 16.
 
progressivist, collectivist liberalism. On the other, an individualist liberalism of which neoliberalism is a continuation.
By around 1900, liberalism’s fusion with socialism was often (although not quite accurately) associated with Bismark’s Germany, which gave anti-socialist liberalism a geographical inflection. Against this, individualistic liberalism was associated with Britain. But this received British liberalism looked back less to Locke’s religiously tolerant Britain than to Richard Cobden’s Britain of maritime/imperial dominance and free trade.
Which is to say that liberalism’s fusion with socialism pushed socialism’s liberal enemies increasingly to think of freedom economically rather than politically — as in Ludwig von Mises influential 1922 book on socialism, which can be understood as a neoliberal urtext.13 By that point, too, individuals were already being positioned to become what Foucault calls “consumers of freedom.” 14
They were now less understood less as possessing a fundamental claim to freedom than as creating and participating in those institutions which enabled freedom in practice. Crucially after the first world war, in the work of von Mises and the so-called “Austrian school”, freedom was increasingly assigned to individual relations with an efficient market as equilibrium theory viewed markets. This turn to the market as freedom’s basis marked another significant historical departure: it is the condition of contemporary neoliberalism’s emergence.
Neoliberalism organized itself internationally as a movement only after world war two, and did so against both Keynesian economics and the welfare state. 15 It was still mainly ideologically motivated by a refusal to discriminate between welfarism and totalitarianism — a line of thought already apparent in Conrad’s equation of socialism with Caesarism of course. As
13 See Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane. New Haven: Yale University Press 1951.
14 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 63. One key sign of this spread of this new freedom is Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous appeal to the “free trade in ideas” in his 1919 dissent in Abrams v. the US, a judgment which joins together the market, intellectual expression and the juridical.
15 See Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe (eds.), The Road from Mont Pèlerin, Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2009.
 
Friedrich Hayek urged: once states begin to intervene on free markets totalitarianism looms because the people’s psychological character changes: they become dependent.16 For thirty years (in part as confined by this argument), neoliberalism remained a minority movement, but
in the 1970s it began its quick ascent to ideological and economic dominance.
Cutting across a complex and unsettled debate, let me suggest that neoliberalism became powerful then because it provided implementable policy settings for Keynesianism’s (perceived) impasse in view the stagnation and instability of post-war, first-world welfarist, full-employment economies after 1) the Vietnam War, 2) the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement; 3) OPEC’s cartelization, and 4) the postcolonial or “globalizing” opening up of world markets on the back of new transportation and computing technologies.17
In the global north neoliberalism was first implemented governmentally by parties on the left, led by James Callaghan in the UK, Jimmy Carter in the US, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in Australia, and leading the way, David Lange and Roger Douglas in New Zealand.18 At this time, at the level of policy, it was urged more by economists than by ideologues insofar as these can be separated (and Hayek and Mises were both of course).
As we know, neoliberals then introduced policies to implement competition, deregulation, monetarism, privatization, tax reduction, a relative high level of unemployment, the winding back of the state’s participation in the economy and so on. This agenda quickly became captured by private
 
16 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 48.
17 This history is open to lively differences of opinion. The major books in the literature are: Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France 1978-1979, London: Picador 2010; Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, London: Verso 2014; Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe; Joseph Vogl, The Spectre of Capital, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2014; David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007. My own understanding of this moment is informed by Stedman-Jones’s account in particular.
18 It is worth noting in this context that the left had itself long been a hatchery of neoliberal economic ideas just because liberalism’s absorption of socialism was matched by socialism’s absorption of liberalism. See Johanna Brockman, Markets in the name of Socialism: the Left-wing Origins of Neoliberalism, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2011 on the intellectual-historical side of this connection.
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interests, and from the eighties on, it was woven into new, highly surveilled and privatized, computing and media ecologies, indeed into what some optimists today call “cognitive capitalism”.19
In this situation, more or less unintended consequences proliferated, most obviously a rapid increase in economic inequality and the enforced insertion of internal markets and corporate structures in non-commercial institutions from hospitals to universities. Indeed, in winding back the welfare state, renouncing Keynesian and redistributionist economic policies, it lost its classical liberal flavor and was firmly absorbed into conservatism — a transformation which had been prepared for by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.20
But two more concrete conceptual shifts also helped animate this particular fusion of conservatism and liberalism. First, postwar neoliberalism was aimed more at the enterprise than at the individual.21
Largely on the basis of van Mises’s Human Action (1940) as popularized by Gary Becker, the free, independent individual was refigured as “human capital” and thereby exposed instead to management and “leadership.” At the same time, via Peter Drucker’s concept of “knowledge worker,” which emphasized the importance of conceptual and communication skills to
economic production, postsecular management theories for which corporations were hierarchical but organic communities also gained entry into many neoliberal mindsets.22 At that
 
19 Yann Moulier Boutang, Cognitive Capitalism, trans. Ed Emery. Cambridge: Polity Press 2012.
20 Nietzsche and Schopenhauer’s influence is no doubt part of why neoliberalism emerged in Austria. Indeed the Austrian context in which contemporary neoliberalism emerged is worth understanding in more detail. In their early work, Hayek and Mises in particular were responding to “red Vienna” not just in relation to Otto Bauer’s Austromarxism but also in relation to its version of guild socialism associated with Hungarians like Karl Polanyi, with whom both Hayek and Mises entered into debate. See Lee Congdon, “The Sovereignty of Society: Karl Polanyi in Vienna,” in The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi, ed. Kari Polanyi-Levitt. Montreal: Black Rose Books 1990, 78-85.
21 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 225.
22 Drucker was another Austrian refugee who turned to capitalism against totalitarianism in the late thirties and his profoundly influential work on corporate management shadows neoliberal theory up until the 1970s.
 
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point, neoliberalism also became a quest to reshape as many institutions as possible as corporations.
At this point too Foucault’s consumers of freedom were becoming consumers full stop. To state this more carefully: at the level of ideology, to be free was now first and foremost deemed to be capable of enacting one’s preferences in consumer and labour markets. It would seem that preferences of this kind increasingly determined social status too, and, more invasively, they now increasingly shaped personalities just because practices of self were bound less and less to filiations and affiliations than to acts of choice.
This helped the market to subsume older gradated social and cultural structures of identity-formation, class difference and cultural capital. At this juncture, we encounter another significant unexpected consequence
within liberalism’s longue durée: i.e. the sixties cultural revolution’s reinforcement of neoliberalism.
This is a complex and controversial topic so let me just say here that, from the late seventies, neoliberal subjects who were individualized via their entrepreneurial disposition and economic and labour choices, encounters the subject of post-68 identity politics who had been emancipated from received social hierarchies and prejudices, and was now attached to a particular ethnicity, gender or sexuality as chosen or embraced by themselves as individuals. These two subject formations animated each other to the degree that both had, in their different ways, sloughed off older communal forms, hierarchies and values.
Governing this ménage of hedonism, productivity, insecurity and corporatization, neoliberalism today seems to have become insurmountable, and is, as I say, blob-like, merging out into institutions and practices generally, including those of our discipline. And it has done
this as a turn within liberal modernity’s longer political, intellectual and social genealogies and structures rather than as a break from them.
Nonetheless, three core, somewhat technical, propositions distinguish neoliberalism from liberalism more generally:

  1. First the claim, which belongs to the sociology of knowledge, that no individual or group can know the true value of anything at all.23 For neoliberals, that value — true or not — can only be assessed, where it can be assessed at all, under particular conditions: namely when it is available in a competitive and free market open to all individuals in a society based on private property. This is an argument against all elite and expert claims to superior knowledge and judgment: without prices, all assessments of value are mere opinion. In that way, market justice (i.e. the effects of competing in the market) can trump social justice. And in that way, for instance, neoliberalism finds an echo not just in negations of cultural authority and canonicity but in the idea that literary and aesthetic judgments are matters of private choice and opinion. In short, neoliberalism inhabits cultural democracy and vice versa. By the same stroke, it posits an absence — a mere structure of exchange—at society’s normative center.
  2. There is a direct relationship between the competitive market and freedom. Any attempt to limit free markets reduces freedom because it imposes upon all individuals a partial opinion about what is valuable. This particular understanding of freedom rests on the notion of the market as a spontaneous order — its being resistant to control and planning, its being embedded in a society which “no individual can completely survey” as Hayek put it.24 Not that this notion is itself original to neoliberalism: Foucault’s historiography of liberalism shows that, in the mid eighteenth century, this property of markets was thought of as “natural” and therefore needed to be protected
    from sovereign authority’s interference.25 But as Foucault and others have argued, neoliberalism emerges after World War 2 when the spontaneous market conditions of freedom are no longer viewed as natural (even if they remain immanently lawbound) but as governmentally produced.26
  3. Neoliberalism has specific ethical dimensions too. While it generally insists that individuals should be free to “follow their own values and preferences” (as Hayek put it) at least within the limits set by those rules and institutions which secure market stability, in fact individuals’ independence as well as their relation to market risk, provides the necessary condition for specific virtues and capacities. Most notably, in Hayek’s formulation, a neoliberal regime secures individuals’ self-sufficiency, honor and dignity and does so by the willingness of some to accept “material sacrifice,” or to “live dangerously” as Foucault put it, in a phrase he declared to be liberalism’s “motto”.27 This mix of risk-seeking existentialism and civic republicanism not only rebukes and prevents the kind of de-individualization supposedly associated with socialisms of the left and right, it is where neoliberalism and an older “Nietzschean” liberalism meet—with Michael Oakeshott’s work bearing special weight in this context.28 But as soon as neoliberalism itself becomes hegemonic in part by fusing with the spirit of 1968, this original ascetic, masculinist neoliberal ethic of freedom and risk comes to be supplemented and displaced by one based more on creativity, consumerist hedonism and entrepreneurialism aimed at augmenting choice.29

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23 See Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis, p. 55.
24 Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom: Texts and Documents. The Definitive Edition, ed. Bruce Caldwell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007, p. 212.
25 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 19.
26 This is argued in Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval’s The New Way of the World: on Neoliberal Society, London: Verso 2014. For the immanent lawboundedness in Hayek, see Miguel Vatter, The Republic of the Living: Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society, New York: Fordham University Press 2014: pps. 195-220. Vatter’s chapter “Free Markets and Republican
Constitutions in Hayek and Foucault” is excellent on how law is treated in neoliberal thought.
27 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 130. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 66.
28 See Andrew Norris’s forthcoming essay in Political Theory, “Michael Oakeshott’s Postulates of Individuality” for this. We might recall, too, that Foucault argues for similarities between the Frankfurt school and the early neoliberals on the grounds of their resistance to standardization, spectacle and so on. See The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 105.
 
I have indicated that Conrad belongs to the moment when socialist parties first contested democratic elections and which thus split liberalism, allowing one, then beleaguered, liberal fraction to begin to attach to conservatism. In this way then, he belongs to neoliberalism’s deep past (which is not to say, of course, that he should be understand as a proto-neoliberal himself). Let us now think about his novel Victory in this light.
The novel is set in late nineteenth-century Indonesia mainly among European settlers and entrepreneurs. Indonesia was then a Dutch colony itself undergoing a formal economic deregulation program, which would increase not just Dutch imperial profits but, among indigenous peoples, also trigger what was arguably human history’s most explosive population growth to date.30
Victory belongs to this world where imperialism encountered vibrant commercial activity driven by entrepreneurial interests, competition and risk. Thus, for instance, its central character, the nomadic, cosmopolitan, aristocratic Swedish intellectual, Axel Heyst, establishes a business— a coal mine — along with a ship-owning partner, while other characters manage hotels, orchestras and trading vessels. Victory is a novel about enterprises as well as about individuals.
But Conrad’s Indonesia is other to Europe as a realm of freedom. Importantly, however, its freedom is not quite liberal or neoliberal: it is also the freedom of a particular space. More precisely, it is the freedom of the sea: here, in effect Indonesia is oceanic. This formulation draws on Carl Schmitt’s post-war work on international law, which was implicitly
 
29 The history of that displacement is explored in Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott. London: Verso 2005.
30 Bram Peper, “Population Growth in Java in the 19th Century”, Population Studies, 24/1 (1970): 71-84.
 
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positioned against liberal and neoliberal theory. In his monograph The Nomos of the Earth (1950), Schmitt drew attention to the sea as a space of freedom just because national sovereignties and laws did not hold there.
But Schmitt’s implicit point was that liberal freedom needs to be thought about not just in terms of tolerance, recognition, rights or markets, but
geographically and historically inside the long history of violent sovereign appropriation of the globe’s land masses so that elemental freedom was enacted on the oceans where law and sovereignty had no reach. From this perspective, piracy, for instance, plays an important role in freedom’s history. And from this perspective the claim to reconcile radical freedom to the lawbound state is false: such freedom exists only where laws do not.
The sea, thought Schmitt’s way, is key to Conrad’s work. But, for him, the sea is also the home of economic liberalism, free-trade and the merchant marines by whom he had, of course, once been employed, and whose values he admired.31 Victory is a maritime tale set on waters which harbor such free trade at the same time as they form a Schmittean realm of freedom — and violence and risk — which effectively remains beyond the reach of sovereign law.
Let me step back at this point to sketch the novel’s plot. Victory’s central character Heyst is the son of an intellectual who late in life was converted from progressivism to a mode of weak Schopenhauerianism or what was then call pessimism.32 Heyst lives his father’s pessimism out: he is a disabused conservative liberal: “he claimed for mankind that right to
absolute moral and intellectual liberty of which he no longer believed them worthy.”33
Believing this, Heyst leaves Europe to “drift”— circulating through Burma, New Guinea, Timor and the Indonesian archipelagoes, simply gathering facts and observing. But, on an
 
31 For Conrad and trade in this region, see Andrew Francis, Culture and Commerce in Conrad’s Asian Fiction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015. For Conrad’s affiliations to free trade proper see my unpublished paper, “Democracy, Empire and the Politics of the Future in
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”. This is available on this url.
32 Joseph Conrad, Victory, London: Methuen 1916, p. 197.
33 Conrad, Victory, pps. 92-93
 
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impulse, while drifting through Timor he rescues a shipowner, Morrison, whose ship has been impounded by unscrupulous Portuguese authorities, and through that act of spontaneous generosity, becomes obligated to Morrison.
The two men end up establishing a coalmine in the remote Indonesian island of Samburan, backed by local Chinese as well as by European capital. The company soon collapses. Morison dies. And, living out his Schopenhauerian renunciation of the world, Heyst, the detached man, decides to stay on at the island alone except for one Chinese servant.
He does, however, sometimes visit the nearest Indonesian town, Surabaya, and it is while staying there in a hotel owned by Schomberg, a malicious, gossipy German, that he makes another spontaneous rescue. This time he saves a young woman, Lena, a member of a traveling “ladies orchestra,” who is being bullied by her bosses and in danger of abduction by Schomberg himself.
Heyst and Lena secretly escape back to his island, causing Schomberg to harbor a venomous resentment against Heyst. At this point Schomberg’s hotel is visited by a trio of sinister criminals: Jones, Ricardo and their servant Pedro. Taking advantage of Schomberg’s rage, they establish an illegal casino in his hotel. To rid himself of this risky enterprise, Schomberg advises them to go after Heyst in his island, falsely telling them that Heyst has hidden a fortune there. Jones and his gang take Schomberg’s advice but disaster awaits them.
The novel ends with Jones, Ricardo, Heyst, Lena all dead on Heyst’s island.
The novel, which hovers between commercial adventure romance and experimental modernism, is bound to neoliberalism’s trajectory in two main ways. First, it adheres to neoliberalism’s sociology of knowledge: here too there is no knowing center, no hierarchy of expertise, no possibility of detached holistic survey and calculation through which truth might command action. Heyst’s drifting, inconsequential fact-gathering, itself appears to illustrate that absence. As do the gossip and rumors which circulate in the place of informed knowledge, and which lead to disaster. Individuals and enterprises are, as it were, on their
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own, beyond any centralized and delimited social body that might secure stability and grounded understandings. They are bound, rather, to self-interest and spontaneity.
This matters formally not simply because, in an approximately Jamesian mode, the narrative involves a series of points of view in which various characters’ perceptions, moods and interests intersect, but because the narration itself is told in a first person voice without being enunciated by a diegetical character.
That first person, then, functions as the shadow representative of a decentered community, largely focused on money, that is barely able to confer identity at all, a community, too, without known geographical or ideological limits just because the narrator, its implicit representative, has no location or substance. This narratorial indeterminacy can be understood as an index of liberalism at this globalizing historical juncture: a liberalism divesting itself of its own progressive histories, emancipatory hopes and institutions. A bare liberalism about to become neoliberalism, as we can proleptically say.
More importantly, the novel speaks to contemporary neoliberalism because it is about freedom. As we have begun to see, Heyst is committed to a freedom which is both the freedom of the sea, and a metaphysical condition which has detached itself, as far as is possible, from connections, obligations, determinations. This structures the remarkable formal
relationship around which the novel turns — i.e. Heyst’s being positioned as Jones’s double.
The generous Schopenhauerian is not just the demonic criminal’s opposite: he is also his twin. Both men are wandering, residual “gentlemen” detached from the European order, and thrown into, or committed to, a radical freedom which, on the one side, is a function of free trade, on the other, a condition of life lived beyond the legal and political institutions that order European societies, but also, importantly, are philosophical and ethical — a renunciation of the established ideological order for independence, courage and nomadism.
To put this rather differently: Heyst and Jones’s efforts to live in freedom — to comport themselves as free individuals — combines economic freedom — a freedom of exchange, competition and
 
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entrepreneurial possibilities— with a state of nature as a line of flight (or emancipation) from received continental laws, values and social structures. Freedom, that is, which combines that which Carl Schmitt and the early neoliberals imagined, each in their own way.
The novel’s main point is that there is, in fact, nothing in this freedom to sustain true ethical substance. It is as if Schmittean freedom has smashed both liberal freedom and pessimistic asceticism, along with their ethical groundings. Or to come at the novel’s basic point from another direction: it is as if the absence at the heart of a free society has transmigrated into these characters’ selves. It is at that level that individual freedom cannot be separated from violence and risk and good from evil.
Without an instituted social structure, Heyst cannot stay true to himself: his commitment to freedom and renunciation is compromised because of his spontaneous acts of generosity and sympathy which lead to his and Lena’s death. On the other side, Jones, a homosexual shunned by respectable society, is afflicted by those key nineteenth-century affects, resentment and boredom as well as a quasi-Nietzschean contempt for “tameness”, which drive him towards living outside of society, at contigency’s mercy, and towards reckless, malevolent violence.
Heyst and Jones die together almost by accident, in deaths that reveal them not just as entangled with one another at existence’s threshold, but as both attuned to death, even in life. It now look as if while they lived they wanted to die. In that way, the novel makes it clear that the risk, disorder and emptiness which inhabit their striving for a radically liberal practice of life corrode distinctions not just between violence and renunciation, not just between good and evil, but also between life and death.
We can put it like this: the freedom that these characters claim and the risks that it entails and which bind them together are inclined more towards death than towards life, just on account of freedom’s own conditions of possibility, namely radical autonomy, absence of sovereign power, and maximum choice.

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As I say, this is a reading of the novel which, at least in principle, helps to canonize Victory just because it claims that its form, plot and characters address versions of our current neoliberal social condition, and does so in metaphysically ambitious terms. Victory is a critique of freedom, I think.
Conrad is insisting that even in a liberal society devoted to free trade,
enterprises and markets, the law — and the sovereign state — comes first. It is, if one likes, beginning the work of detaching liberalism from freedom. To say this, however, is to ignore the most pressing question that this reading raises: to what degree should we today actually accede to Conrad’s ambivalent, pessimistic and conservative imagination of radical freedom?
How to judge that freedom’s renunciation of established hierarchies, collectivities and values whether for adventure, risk and spontaneity or for violence and death? It is a condition of the discipline’s neoliberal state that the only answer we can give to that question is that we can, each of us, answer that question any way that we choose.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

In 2007, NATO, in particular the US, the UK, France, Germany and Turkey all decided to overthrow the government of Bashar Assad for uncertain reasons. In general, the reason for this was given as roll back Iran, defeat Iran, destroy Iran, etc.The targets at the time were:

  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Hezbollah
  • Hamas (sponsored, armed and trained by Iran and Hezbollah)

Later enemies included the Yemeni Houthi, falsely accused of being Iranian proxies. The Iraqi Shia were left out of this anti-Shia jihad for tactical reasons although the Iraqi state is quite close to Iran.

Seymour Hersch’s article called The Redirect describes this change in policy using CIA sources. The US and the rest of the West decided to change focus and take on the Shia states and movements instead of the Sunnis. The reason for doing this is unclear, as Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the Houthis are no threat at all to the US or the rest of the West.

They are a threat to the Jews – to Israel. For a very long time now, the Jews have been yelling at the US when they are not whispering in our ear that Iran and its allies are the biggest threat to the US and the West in the Middle East. It’s all a gigantic lie of course, and it’s part of a project to make the enemies of Israel into the enemies of the US, which has been very successful by the way.

For whatever reason, the US and the rest of the West, especially France and the UK, have decided that Iran and its allies are the worst enemies of the West in the Middle East. This has been official NATO policy since 2007 – Iran and its allies are NATO’S enemy #1 in the Middle East. Other than the fact that NATO has decided that the enemies of Israel are the enemies of NATO, it hard to see the logic of this.

For the US at least, one reason may be paybacks. The US is still furious at Iran for the Embassy takeover, and we have never forgiven them. The US Deep State are like the Jews – their motto is “never forgive, never forget,” and so is ours. This is one more way that the US is a “Jewish” country of Judaized Gentiles. America never forgives any attack or slight done to it, and we stay in revenge mode forever until the target of our enmity is destroyed, just like the Jews.

We still refuse to pay Vietnam for the tremendous war damage we did. We won’t even help them clean the place up! This “never forgive, never forget, never back down” mindset is the reason why we will not cooperating with them. We are still furious that the Vietnamese forced us to withdraw from Vietnam while our South Vietnam puppet was overthrown in a severe defeat for America. I do not think we will ever forgive them for that, as America never forgives.

And similar to Vietnam, Iran will always remain a US enemy due to the Embassy takeover until we make them say uncle or regime change them at some point.

By the same token, the US is still furious at Hezbollah for the bombing of the US Marine base in Lebanon in 1983 in which over 300 US Marines died and for the execution of a CIA agent in Beirut several years later.

But this probably not done by Hezbollah. It would be more accurate to say it was done by Iran.

There was also some sort of a Hezbollah plane hijacking that I am not up on. For some reason, this made us very angry.

Also Hezbollah probably set off the bomb at the Jewish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, killing ~80 Jews and wounding many more. The group also probably set off a suicide bomb on a bus in Bulgaria, killing ~17 Israeli tourists. Both of these incidents where Jews and Israelis were killed really infuriated the US, which doesn’t seem to make sense, as it was Argentines and Israelis, not Americans, who were killed in both places. But if the US is a in effect a Jewish country filled with 310 million Jews or Judaized Gentiles, and if the enemies of the Jews and Israel really are the enemies of America, then it seems to make a lot more sense.

As such, the West has declared war on much of the Shia of the Middle East because they were aligned with Iran. But it is a mystery why the West feels so threatened by Iran and its allies.

American Exceptionalism Is the Culprit

Found on the Net:

Americans are the Exceptionalist nation.

They can do whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want – no matter how many millions of people they slaughter (see the invasion of Iraq or the Vietnam War) or regions of the world they destabilize (see the Middle East and Central Asia).

At base, the West in general suffers from a psychopathic delusion that they are a Force for Good – hence, all their wars of aggression are perfectly justified or at worst an unintended mistake.

At base, Americanism and Westernism are one and the same with Zionism.

Just as the Zionists believe that Jews are God’s Chosen People.

Westerners and Americans believe that their nations are God’s Chosen “Democracy” – which is just their Orwellian way of saying that they are God’s Chosen Empire.

This is the worldview and value system of the American/Western/Zionist threat.

This is 100% true and the majority or possibly eve4n the vast majority of Americans actually believe this drooling idiocy. Even my father, a lifelong liberal Democrat, believed in this. The US Democratic Party believes in this completely. The Democrats and Republicans only differ on how hawkish they are going to e ab out US exceptionalism – the Democrats are flat out batshit nuts imperialists, and the Republicans are far worse.

Furthermore, the American people either support everything the US government does or simply do not care about US foreign policy, so the US Deep State just does whatever the Hell it wants because the American people say, “Go ahead and do whatever you want to.” Then when the inevitable blowback comes from diabolical US foreign policy, Americans simply get even more exceptionalistic and jingoist and start demanding even more crazy wars and aggression which was what caused the blowback in the first place which in turn creates even more blowback.

When was the last time the American people ever said, “Hey, we really oppose US foreign policy here?” Vietnam. Vietnam was the end of the “bipartisan foreign policy consensus” whereby both the Democratic and Republican Parties agree on the basic of US foreign policy and only differ on how crazy, psycho and hawkish they should be about it. However, the bipartisan foreign policy consensus was reinstated a while afterwards when Reagan came in and it’s been there ever since.

Think about it. Vietnam was the last time we had any real debate about US foreign policy. Ever since then, Americans have been “good Germans.” Vietnam was the last time we marched in the streets to protest US foreign policy.

Don’t think the Deep State doesn’t know this. They know that Americans have given them the green light to go ahead and do whatever the Hell they want to. In fact, they can usually get most Americans to agree on whatever the nuttiness du jour is via the 100% control that the Deep State has over the US media. Realize that six huge corporations (all of them part of the Deep State in effect) own 90% of US media. Realize that when it comes to foreign policy, all media outlets in the US say exactly the same thing with no variation whatsoever.

Therefore, polls show that ~70% of the American people, when polled, tend to agree with US foreign policy on whatever foreign policy question is put before them. They do this obviously because they have been completely brainwashed by the media. And keep in mind that it is typical that only ~30% of respondents have typically even heard about whatever foreign policy question that is asked. So ~70% of Americans typically know absolutely noting about the major foreign policy questions of the day and of the ~30% who do, typically 70% of them whatever the whatever Deep State position the media has been brainwashing them into believing.

That a strong majority typically backs the Deep State on whatever it wants to do cannot be a coincidence. The only reason those people can possibly have felt that way is because they have been brainwashed by the media into feeling that way. Since obviously the vast majority of Americans simply blindly allow the media propaganda machine to brainwash them into believing whatever it wants them to believe, it follows that Americans must have extreme faith in the US media and that the media and state is telling them the truth.

After all, if large numbers of Americans thought they were being lied to to 24-7, they would not mimic like Myna birds whatever the media line of the day is. Obviously the vast majority of Americans do not think that the government and media is lying to them all the time.

After all, we live in a free country with free speech and a free press, not a totalitarian state where the media is 100% controlled by the State and its functionaries. But that is indeed what is the case. Our free speech and free press is useless because the opposition has no way to get their message out. States in which all of the media is controlled by the state (in our case, the Deep State) and its functionaries are not democracies. They are properly called totalitarian or authoritarian states. Therefore, on that metric, the US is an authoritarian or totalitarian state. But We the People are 100% at fault for this state of affairs because we have shrugged our shoulders and let them get away with it when we were not cheering them on.

Why US Liberal Democrats Are Absolutely USeless

Vietnam was the last time we marched in the streets to protest US foreign policy.

There were a few protests around the Iraq War, but they were very weak. I know because I was at a few of those marches. It was incredible how hostile many of the people driving by were. Their faces would turn to hard stone hate when they saw us. Many people flipped us off and threatened us. When I opposed the ramp-up to the invasion and the invasion itself, I was repeatedly threatened by other Americans for not supporting the war. My own father, hardline liberal Democrat and fanatical Zionist, supported the war to the hilt and even threatened me for not supporting it.

I know some liberal Democrats who say, “I opposed the war!” but they were sheepish and more or less silent during the entirety of the war and seemed embarassed to come out against it. For the entirety of the war, I almost never heard one single comment from them against the war. When I called the war “a Nazi-like war of aggression,” I got a lot of animated reaction from liberal Democrats. Even today, they are very reluctant to talk about that war, and when you bring it, they first say they opposed the war, and then they go on to give all sorts of reasons justifying it.

In other words, the antiwar and certainly the anti-imperialist and anti-interventionist movement in the US is dead in the water. When even most liberal Democrats are jingoistic flag-waving exceptionalists, you know the country is history.

Take to the Skies Tonight!

Sky Pilot by the Animals! One of the greatest bands of all time. Eric Burdon!

Angie Cohen just posted a list of Christian songs that you can listen to if you wish. But this was always one of my favorites. The video is about the Vietnam War, but I always thought this was a song about Christianity. Anyone know? Is it about Christianity or Nam?

If it’s a Christian song, it is one of the greatest Christian songs I have ever heard.

The prose that follows the video is my attempt at literary writing, in case you were wondering. This is what I call Flash Fiction. I write some flash fiction things now and again.

You’re welcome.

Sad Song

The rocket, if it was a rocket at all, raced across the sky towards the dawning hours away. The roar split the clouds. We thought the sky would fall down. In its wake, it’s only the two of us, you and me, shuddering in the screeching silence, and you know the the whole damn world can go right to Hell. When it all comes crashing down, we will still be standing here, you and me, shivering amidst the ruins.

How high can we fly?

Sky pilot!

Hilary Clinton, Republican

Evidence.
There doesn’t seem to be any limit to how low she will stoop. She has also proved herself to be a 100% dyed in the wool neocon. She’s more hawkish than Barak Obomber. As a young woman, she protested against the Vietnam War. Then she sat on Congressional subcommittee that drew up articles of impeachment for mass murderer Richard Nixon.
One of the charges against him was his secret bombing campaign in Cambodia that killed 500,000 people and directly led to the radicalization of the Khmer Rouge and their genocidal takeover of the country. The man who ran that bombing campaign? Hilary’s hero, Henry Kissinger, the man she lauds as promoting “values-driven foreign policy.” Sure he promotes a values driven foreign policy. The values of a psychopath. Apparently sociopath Hilary Clinton thinks a psychopathic foreign policy is the way to go. She would.

A Brief History of the Neoconservatives

Jason Y writes:

How does this relate to the neocons, as some have said they had Trotskyite roots? I always had a hard time understanding this. I mean, how could W. Bush, the furthest thing from a leftist or communist you can think of, could be in with communists?

I am not sure. Many of the Trots were Jewish. For whatever reason, many Trots turned into neocons. They began turning away from Communism with the revelations about Stalin and Stalinism, including Khrushchev’s secret speech.
A lot of them simply left Communism and formed the anti-Communist Left, or became anti-Communist liberals like my later father. The CIA set up a number of organizations and journals to work out of starting in the 1950’s. One was called the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
It was during the 6-Day War that many really turned against the Left. As I said, most were Jews, and Jews the world over who had never cared much about Israel rallied round the Israeli flag in 1967. This was the start of this group’s big break with the Left.
The Vietnam War was going on too at this time, and many of this group were pro-war. They were sickened by the pro-Viet Cong and what they saw as anti-patriotic attitudes of the antiwar crowd. Many of this crowd were older conservative Jewish guys, and they were disgusted and sickened by the counterculture, especially by the fact that many of its leaders were Jewish, which they saw as bringing shame on the Jews.
This group began to merge with Jewish conservatives who had always been around but had not been very common. This goes back to the time when Jews first came here and many were poor and living as renters. Many of their landlords were rich Jews. A lot of these poor Jewish renters became leftwingers and specialized in taking their Jewish slumlords to court all the time. This caused a major split in Jewish society and the Jewish landlords saw the Jewish leftwing tenants as some sort of treasonous
“enemies of the people.”
This group nevertheless stayed with the Democratic Party, but they had started to become the rightwing of the Democratic Party. In the 1970’s, they began to congregate around Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s office. Jackson was known as “the Senator from Boeing” and he was widely known as a super hawk. He strongly supported Israel and the Vietnam War. Support for Israel and the Vietnam War became intertwined in this crowd.
In the 1970’s, some early proto-neoconservative publications came out, mostly published by Jewish rightwing Democrats.
When the Reagan Administration came around, many of these proto-neocons got jobs in the Reagan Administration. Most of them specialized in Cold War politics where they become wild, crazed, fanatical Cold Warriors. Particular focus was on ramping up military spending and opposing nuclear arms reduction.
They made alliances with such characters as Frank Gaffney, a wild-eyed Cold Warrior. This was the trajectory of characters like Richard Perle who cut their teeth as Cold Warriors under Reagan. Paul Nitze was another proto-neocon from this era. Jean Kirkpatrick can also be seen as a proto-neocon. Really Reagan’s foreign policy was already a neocon activist foreign policy as we supported fascists and mass murderers the world over in the name of opposing the USSR.
I am not quite sure what happened to the neocons during the 1990’s. I think they may have formed a lot of their classic neocon organizations. Some of them worked closely with Israel’s rightwing government during this period.
With Bush’s selection and theft of the election in 2000, many neocons ascended into power. After 9-11, they gained a lot of prominence.
Both Trotskyites and neocons could be seen as radical revolutionaries. Generally conservatives are supposed to be cautious folks. The Trotskyite plan was always “world revolution.” Since socialism in one country was not possible, Communist revolutions the world over would have to be sparked in order to ensure that large states like the USSR could succeed. The neocons are also wild revolutionaries like the neocons and they also believe in a sort of world revolution involving attacking and undermining their enemies all over the world and instituting regime change in many enemies of the US.

America Lied, People Died #'s 32,869 and 32, 870

After the war had slaughtered Vietnamese in vast numbers, most of them women and children, Johnson’s secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, confessed that the Tonkin Gulf attack had never occurred.

After the war had slaughtered Iraqis in vast numbers, most of them women and children, Bush confessed that the weapons of mass destruction never existed. “The most lethal weapons ever devised” were his own speeches.
In the following elections, he won a second term.
In my childhood, my mother used to tell me that a lie has no feet. She was misinformed.
Eduard Galeano.

It isn’t strange that the US lies its way into wars. Many nations do this, the US is not unique. What is a bit odd is that the American people fall for this crap over and over, and tens of millions still think that the word of the lying media is gold.
Not only that, but even after their leaders are proven to have lied to them and made them out to be utter fools, they reward the con artists who put one over on them with another term in office. I don’t get it. Is America suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Do we enjoy being made to look like suckers, fools and idiots?
The Gulf of Tonkin was in 1964. The Iraq War was in 2003. Over almost 40 years, Americans haven’t learned a damn thing. Truly pitiful. Now we are doing it again, and American fools are falling for the lies one more time. What are Americans but congenital rubes?

False Flags Operations – How They Work

I actually hate to believe in conspiracy theories because I think most of them are nonsense. But sometimes, they are just true. This is particularly true in geopolitics, politics and war when conspiracies are hatched continuously and dishonestly is the order of the day.
During wartime, one thing you see a fair amount of is something called false flag operations. They do not happen nearly as often as conspiracy nuts say they do, but false flag operations definitely occur some of the time during warfare. This is considered to be an exceptionally dirty way of fighting, and only the dirtiest nations of all utilize the malign false flag operation.
In a false flag operation, the perpetrator either kills their own people or kills innocent people. The attack is structured in such a way as to blame the opposition for killing the perpetrator’s supporters or innocent people. In this way, the enemy is framed and convicted of committing a grave crime during wartime.
There is quite a history of such things. The Gulf of Tonkin incident has now been shown to be a complete frame-up. In fact, the recordings that were used to frame the North Vietnamese were recorded by the US one day before the incident even happened. This incident was then used as a casus belli for the US to enter the war with the justification that “North Vietnam attacked us!”
Hitler used false flags regularly. The invasion of Poland was preceded by a false flag operation in which Nazis dressed up like Polish forces attacked their own troops and then blamed Poland for the attack. This was used as justification for Germany to invade Poland.
The burning of the Reichstag was another false flag. An amateur, bumbling Communist was framed with setting the Reichstag on fire when in fact the Nazis set fire to their own building in order to have justification to institute martial law.
Israel has done a number of false flag operations.
After the 1948 War, most of the Iraqi Jews stayed in Iraq and refused to go to Israel. There were hundreds of thousands of Jews in Iraq. Israeli agents went to Iraq and did things like throw grenades into meetings of Iraqi Jews. A number of Iraqi Jews were killed and wounded in this way. Israel then blamed the Arab Iraqi government and began an international campaign agitating for the Iraqi Jews to leave Iraq and come to the US. Almost all of the Iraqi Jews fled Iraq and headed to Israel.
Later, in 1954, Israeli agents ran around Cairo bombing movie theaters and American institutions and blamed the attacks on the Egyptian government. The attempt here was to show that the Egyptian government was depraved and to drive a wedge between the US and Egypt.
Later in the 1973 War, the Israelis deliberately attacked a US vessel called the USS Liberty that was offshore of Israel. The Israelis claimed it was a terrible accident but actually it was deliberate. The reason was because the ship was spying on the war between the Egyptians and Israel and US sig intel had picked up signals that Israel was getting ready to murder 6,000 Egyptian POW’s in the Sinai Desert. Israel did indeed kill all those POW’s, and they did not have a good excuse for it.
The Jewish-controlled US have never properly investigated the incident and the US government has basically said it is cool for Israel to kill Americans or US troops any time they feel like it. We covered up for them.
After the bombing of a US army dance in Berlin that casualties among US forces, Israel placed a receiver on the coastline of Libya with recordings that were used as evidence that Libya set the bomb. Libya may indeed have set off that bomb, and on the other hand, maybe they did not. Know one knows. But the recordings were fake.
The downing of the Lockerbie flight over Scotland resulted in two competing theories. One said that Libya did it as revenge for trying to kill Qaddafi. The other said that Iran did it via their ally Syria. There was as much evidence for one as for the other, in fact, promoters of the Iran-Syria theory say there was never any evidence of Libyan involvement.
Nevertheless, Libya was tried and convicted of a crime they may not have committed, a vast monetary settlement was extorted from Libya and the crime was used as an excuse to overthrow the Qaddafi government with Al Qaeda type Islamists who then murdered Qaddafi after they captured him.
During the Years of Lead in Italy, the Italian state, possibly with CIA assistance, used fascist agents to set off numerous bombs in crowded public places which killed a number of Italian civilians. The state then blamed these attacks on the Italian Left in an attempt to destroy them.
In 1980, a deranged Turkish gunman named Agta tried to assassinate the Pope in Bulgaria. For a very long time, the Deep State and their controlled media tried to frame the KGB of the USSR for this crime. In fact, they were utterly innocent of this crime and all of the US evidence was simply fabricated.
Right before the first Iraq War, part of the propaganda for the war was the false flag lie that Iraq was killing Kuwaiti babies by unplugging their incubators. This was proven to be a lie, but it helped set off a war.
Later, before the 2003 War, the US did it again by concocting with deep Israeli assistance an elaborate lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when a cursory look at the evidence showed that he did not. This fake evidence was used to launch a huge war.
A British special forces unit was caught with a bomb-rigged car that they were apparently driving somewhere to set off. Although they were let go, it was never adequately explained what they were doing with a bomb car, where they were going to blow it up, who were they trying to kill and for what purpose.
There are interesting accusations that the blowing up of the Al Askari Mosque in Iraq in 2006 was the work of Iraqi security forces in league with US special forces. The purpose was supposedly to set off civil war to take the heat off US casualties during a hot political season by redirecting the war from Iraqis kill Americans to Iraqis killing Iraqis. It is an interesting theory, but I regard it as unproven.
Turkish intelligence was recently caught planning a huge terrorist attack at the Turkish-Syrian border that killed Turks and Syrians, mostly civilians, as a plot to frame Syria in order to use that as a casus belli for Turkish entry into the war.
There were many accusations of false flag attacks during the Algerian Civil War. The government seemed to be allowing terrorists to invade the villages of their own supporters and massacre them in horrible ways. Military bases were often close by, many calls for help were made to them, but the soldiers never moved from their barracks. They sat back and watched while the terrorists massacred their own people.
During the US-planned Venezuelan coup of 2002, the coup forces opened fire on both Chavez supporters and their own people in an attempt to blame Chavez’ police for a depraved crime. They were caught, but the false flag was wildly played up in the corrupt US media.
False flag attacks are very dirty and most governments who do these attacks are fascist or fascist like states or imperialist states with deep fascist sympathies. False flag attacks are pretty much a part of the fascist playbook. For example, Nazi Germany and Israel were both fascist states, the Venezuelan opposition is a fascist movement, the Italian state in the 1970’s was ruled by rightwing governments, and the Algerian and Kuwait states were deeply authoritarian governments.
The justification for false flags is the greater good. If we blow an airplane full of innocent people out of the air and it helps us to get the world against Russia and evaporate support for our rebel enemies, then the false flag was the lesser of two evils. False flag attacks operate on an ends justifies the means basis.
There have been many accusations that the 911 attacks were false flag attacks by the US, Israelis or both. Despite quite a bit of evidence being offered, I have not seen any convincing evidence that any group other than Al Qaeda was involved. However, I do believe that there were deep Saudi links to this attack both at the private and state levels.
Many assassinations and “accidents” are in a sense false flags. A helicopter crashes with the head of state of Panama, Trujillo, on board. It was just an accident! No it wasn’t. The CIA rigged his copter to crash. The CIA has been involved in a number of killings made to look like accidents. Plane and car crashes are especially popular.
The US Deep State often kills people and makes it look like a suicide. The Mossad engages in these “fake suicides” also. In a case associated with the Kennedy Assassination, three prominent witnesses all “committed suicide” by carbon monoxide poisoning in their vehicles at around the same time. The best conclusion is that the National Security Establishment (The Deep State) killed these men.
We will probably never know the truth about the Kennedy Assassination, but he was probably killed by the Deep State with a major role for the CIA because he angered the National Security Establishment. The lone gunman theory appears to be a ruse and if anything, Oswald was used as a convincing fall guy. Oswald may indeed have killed Kennedy, but that does not prove that he acted alone. Oswald could have killed Kennedy as part of a Deep State plot.
Karen Silkwood was murdered by US law enforcement by putting plutonium in her food. This was then made to look like an accident because she worked with such material, it was assumed she brought it home with her. This was to stop her from blowing the whistle on the nuclear power industry to make her serve as a warning to others who may think of doing something similar.
A number of cases of “single car accidents” where the vehicle veers off the road into a ditch killing the driver are actually Deep State or law enforcement homicides. These vehicles are probably run off the road.
The best false flags use a controlled media and a corrupted state and intelligence service in order to create a huge propaganda event to further geopolitical goals, often during armed conflicts.
Right around the time of the Kennedy Assassination, the CIA waged a massive campaign centered around “conspiracy theory.” They planted the idea in Americans’ minds that conspiracies and false flags never occur, that murders are never made to look like accidents or suicides and that anyone who suggests such a thing is an unhinged lunatic. The controlled media was 100% cooperative in propagating this false theory. 
However, it was very successful. Most Americans refuse to believe that any deadly state conspiracies of any kind ever occur anywhere at any time, and that everyone who suggests this is a mental case, a crank or a kook. A ranting, raving, unstable nutball who should be either laughed at or ignored.
Once the American people were convinced that deadly state conspiracies never occur, they and their fascist allies were then free to conduct all of the conspiracy theories that they wanted to with no consequences whatsoever! You see how that works?
The problem with false flag theories is that for every 50 false flag cases the conspiracy crowd claims to uncover, perhaps one of them is a real false flag and the rest are either demonstrably not false flags or are lacking in probative evidence and hence cannot be proven one way or the other.
Now that we know what false flags are, it will be much easier to imagine that the Ukrainian government may have committed a false flag attack when it deliberately shot down Malaysian Air Lines Flight 17 recently in Ukraine. I believe that the odds are that this is the best explanation for the attack.
And following the theory laid out above, the framers of the Russians and Novorussians are accusing those who blew the whistle on the false flag of “conspiracy theory”, opening them to ridicule and dismissal. A completely captive and controlled media has gone along with all of the US and Ukie lies being used to frame innocent Russia and Novorussia with scarcely a single voice in dissent to be heard.
The Modern Era is a field day for the conspirator. Modern Man likes to fashion himself as scientific, logical, and sane. He is someone who will not believe wild theories easily. This is useful, but the vast majority of folks playing the Scientific Logical Sane Secular Role are dupes because they refuse to believe that deadly conspiracies ever occur.
Hence conspirators can operate with free reign and few hindrances in hatching and carrying out their conspiracies. They also know they will never get caught and their conspiracies will never be proven because they are committing acts which have been proven to never exist.
In such an environment, all things are possible.

The Vietnam War and the Land Question

Like the Iraqi police in the previous post, the South Vietnamese army similarly was poorly motivated and relied on the US Army to do their fighting for them. Apparently they felt little or no allegiance to the South Vietnamese state, for reasons of which we will discuss below.
Although some ARVN soldiers fought well, many were lousy fighters who either would not advance on the enemy or would cut and run as soon as fighting broke out. They did not seem to have much loyalty to the South Vietnamese state.  And sure enough, soon after the US pulled out, ARVN was rapidly defeated by a highly motivated NVA from North Vietnam along with whatever was left of the Viet Cong after Tet in 1968 and the Phoenix Program after that.
Supporters of the US war accuse North Vietnam of invading and interfering in the war, as if North and South Vietnam were valid states. Really there is just one country – Vietnam. The north was trying to reunify the country and had nationalism on its side.
The South was corrupt, a regime of landlords and traitors who had previously worked for the French colonials and now worked for the US invaders who more or less colonized Vietnam after the French left.
2% of the population controlled 98% of the land. The Viet Cong took up the land reform question. This question more than anything else drove the war. But like many rightwing regimes, land reform was never to be unveiled. The rich simply refused to give up their feudal power, the war dragged on and on, and in the end, the South’s feudal landlords lost it all.
A lot of Left revolutions in the 3rd World have been driven more by the land question than anything else. A land reform is no big deal. You get paid for your land. But many states put it off forever and end up with a FARC, a Chavez, a Morales, an FMLN, Sandinistas, an NPA or a Viet Cong. There’s no putting off the land question. Until you deal with it, your nation will be in continuous turmoil.

Moon of Alabama

This is a superb blog, widely despised by the Lunatic Western (Trot) Left, so you figure it must be good for something. When I saw Louis Proyect, poster boy for the dysfunctional Western (pro-US imperialist Trot) Left, bashing away at Moon of Alabama that seemed like a pretty good recommendation to me.
The author of MOA is a fine author and the site has been around for some time. He is actually quite reasonable, which surprised me. His basic position is anti-US imperialism. He opposes the imperialism of both the Liberal Interventionist Left and Neoconservative Right (What’s the difference!?), which is after what I would call “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.” Vietnam threatened to upset this hoary relic of the Truman Era, so the Vietnam Syndrome had to be destroyed. This was actually cited by monsters like Rumsfeld and Cheney as a major reason to invade Iraq in 2003 – to overcome the Vietnam Syndrome! What the Hell kind of reason is that to stage a Nazi-like war of aggression against a sovereign state?
On Ukraine, he supports the self-defense forces in the East and Russia and opposes the Ukrainian Nazis and the Western scum backing them.
On Syria, he supports Assad against the diabolical Sunni Islamists. On Iraq, he supports non-intervention.
He supports the Palestinians versus the Israeli criminal regime, and for this apparently he gets constantly bashed as an anti-Semite. I have been to his comment section and it is just straight up clean Left anti-imperialists in there with few if any confused or depraved anti-Semites. Sounds like a false charge.
The comments are even better than the short posts. The commenters are extremely knowledgeable and very smart. Fascinating stuff, better than anything you get in the Lie Machine called the US MSM media.

Democratic Party Liberals Are Militarists

And they always have been.
Their current incarnation in the US is in the form of “The Cruise Missile Left” and “The Humanitarian Bomber Left”.
They are the ones who ramped up the Vietnam War and expanded it to its greatest extent. Let us look at the record of the two first post-WW2 Democratic Presidents and their incredible militarism and very rightwing foreign policy.
Democratic Party liberals did the following things:
Under Democratic Party liberal Harry Truman:

  • Engaged in a massive campaign to hide and secrete away Nazis after World War 2 so the CIA could use them to fight Communism.
  • Installed military rule in Japan. The first act of the military government was outlaw all labor unions.
  • Overthrew the democratic government of Greece with a rightwing monarchist coup and then helped the new Greek fascist government as they murdered 12,000 Greek Communists and threw another 40,000 in prison, thus starting the Greek Civil War.
  • Supported the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalist UNO as it waged its anti-Soviet guerrilla campaign in the Ukraine.
  • Supported and assisted the South Korean government while they murdered 200,000 South Koreans in the face of a Communist insurgency from 1945-1950.
  • Destroyed every city in North Korea, often with firebombs, bombed dams causing rivers to flood. North Korea was so devastated after this that most of the population was living underground in tunnels, shelters or caves. All in all, 3 million North Koreans were killed in the war, mostly by US bombs.
  • Assisted the French colonialists in the fight against the anti-colonialist Viet Minh.
  • Assisted the British colonialists in the fight against the anti-colonialist Malay guerrillas.
  • Assisted Chiang Kai Shek when he consolidated his rule in Taiwan by installing military rule, outlawing all languages but Chinese and murdering 100,000 people, mostly Leftists.
  • Set up the fascist Gladio stay-behind network all across Europe. This was a group of fascists who would “stay behind” after a Soviet invasion to fight an insurgency against the Soviets. The Gladio network subsequently caused all sorts of problems, including a wave of fascist terror bombings in the Years of Lead in the 1970’s.
  • Illegally interfered with the Italian elections after the war to keep the Italian Communist Party from winning.
  • Threatened to drop nuclear bombs on both North Korea and China if they didn’t say uncle.

Under Democratic Party liberal John F. Kennedy:

  • Stepped up the Vietnam War by vastly increasing the number of advisers into the tens of thousands.
  • Invaded Cuba in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
  • Supported a savage government and state death squads in Guatemala that slaughtered 5-10,000 people while fighting an insurgency.
  • Supported the French colonists versus the FLN anti-colonialists during the Algerian Civil War.
  • Initiated a violent coup that overthrew President Diem of South Vietnam, killing him because he was getting in the way of US plans.
  • Imposed an embargo on Cuba which idiotically continues to this very day.
  • Waged a guerrilla war called Operation Mongoose in Cuba where 10,000 people were killed, often civilians. They would get in boats and cruise along the beaches on Cuba, killing beachgoers with machine guns. They set off bombs in factories full of workers, killing up to 100 people at a time. The US began its endless efforts to murder Fidel Castro.
  • Started a lying campaign that the Castro government was going to take parents’ children away from so they could be raised by the state. 10,000 Cuban children fled the island with their parents.

It's Official: Americans are Fascists

Polls don’t lie. 59% of Americans (all of them fascists) say that Julian Assange must be prosecuted for espionage.

I’ve been feeling this way for 30 years or so, that Americans are fascists. I’m wondering if it’s always been this way though? Was there ever a time when polls have showed that a majority of Americans were not fascists?

For instance, Barack Obama’s fascist Administration is trying to prosecute Assange under a fascist US law called the Espionage Act, passed during the First Capitalist World War in 1917. It’s one of the worst laws ever passed in this country, and it was used to criminalize dissent during WW1. It was used again during WW2 to criminalize dissent again.

The court rulings during the war said that the act could be used to restrict any political expression that the government considered a “clear and present danger.” Apparently this is only operative during wartime, or at least during world wars. But subsequent rulings found that the Vietnam War did not meet the test of clear and present danger.

The fascist Nixon Administration tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg using this fascist law. The courts ruled that Ellsberg was a journalist, and he had whistle-blower’s rights to release the Pentagon Papers. There have been repeated attempts at prosecution using this Act since then, but all have failed in the courts. At this point, the courts have slapped down Espionage Act prosecutions so many times that the very constitutionality of the Act itself is in question.

I am curious what the polls at the time showed? Did they show support for Ellsberg (the anti-fascist position) or did they support the state (the fascist position)?

It’s a poignant question. Have Americans always been fascists? How sad that I should even have to ask that.

More from Wyatt Jewell on Tom Metzger’s Show

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4pEXDtsPfs]

Part 2 of Tom Metzger’s interview for Wyatt Jewell. It’s clear that Jewell puts primacy of the class war over his racist beliefs. We do see a bit of his racist beliefs here unfortunately, but they seem to be somewhat subdued.

He went over to Vietnam because he had been brainwashed into thinking he was fighting the Chinese enemies of the Whites. When he got there, he realized he was fighting for the Vietnamese, who were not his people. He said, “Fuck it, I’m not fighting for these people,” and got a honorable discharge. Then he went back home and was involved in street protests, often violent, against the Vietnam War. Good for him!

Metzger admits that, like almost all racist Whites, he supported the US state in the Vietnam War.

Then Jewell went over to Europe where he participated in the Paris 1968 Uprising. He then hitchhiked and rode buses through Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

He makes some racist statements here. He says The Alamo is surrounded by a very low class Latino slum that is downright dangerous, full of criminals, pimps and whores. This isn’t so much racism as White disgust at Latino ghetto trash. There’s a bit of other racist stuff here and there, but it’s clear put on the back shelf to class.

Metzger’s agenda is clear. Metzger says little to nothing about the class war, and he keeps trying to steer Jewell back from class war to race war. Whatever you think of it, race war is just bullshit. It’ll never happen anyway, and it never liberates anyone. All it does is divide the workers, which is another plot the capitalists are always cooking up.

I really like this Jewell guy on class though, with his 1980’s Wobbly Speak.

I’ll take him over 1,000 “non-racist” corporate Republiscums and “anti-racist” bourgeois corporate Democratic National Committee Barack Obama Democraps.

So the guy’s a racist? So what. The only thing that matters to me anymore is class. I’ll ally with this guy in a New York minute. Anti-racist and non-racist bourgeois neoliberals of either party are not my allies!

The Significance of the Refoundation of the Maoist Movement in Pakistan

This is an interesting document outlining the prospects for revolution in Pakistan.

If not for Islam, Pakistan would probably already be in a revolutionary situation right now.

Bangladesh, where objective conditions are just as bad as in India, if not worse, has seen little progress in an actual armed struggle by Maoist forces, mostly due to the presence of Islam. Islamic Bangladesh has recently seen a large movement towards Islamism, though the nation’s elites are still secular. The Islamic parties are very large and popular.

Your average poor, starving peasant, who ought to be on board with revolution, is instead wasting his time jerking off with Islamist reactinaries. The Islamist militias have attacked the Maoists many times, killing many cadres. The state is probably using them for this purpose. This is reminiscent of the situtation in Indonesia in 1965, when Islamist militias were used to kill 1 million Communists in less than a year, a massacre that the CIA was involved in from start to finish.

Every time revolution rears its head in the Islamic World, the Islamists immediately condemn them as “atheists” and slaughter them. I assume that your average religious Muslim supports this massacre of the apostates.

Since Islam is so embedded in the population, I am dubious at the prospects for revolution in Pakistan. The Islamists will quickly condemn the Maoists as “atheists” and will be free to slaughter them. Further, the state will use the Islamist militias, as it already does. For instance, the Pakistani state used the Islamist militias to kill Benazir Bhutto recently. Further, getting pegged as atheists will make it hard for the Maoists to get support.

The revolutionary situation in Hindu countries is much better for some reason. Maoism went over great in Nepal, and the Maoists are doing well in India. In Nepal, the Maoists simply asked, “What’s Hinduism done for you lately?” The answer in general was nothing. Hinduism was used via the caste system by local elites to repress the peasants in a feudal to semi-feudal manner. In India, most of the Hindu Maoists have not really given up Hinduism. I suspect that Hinduism is not as deeply embedded in your average peasant’s psyche as Islam is.

Nevertheless, I understand that the PMKP is already quite popular among peasants oppressed by semi-feudalism. They hold large rallies in favor of land rights and lots of peasants show up. I assume that they don’t directly attack Islam – that would be idiotic in Pakistan. I have a Pakistani friend who comes from a feudal landlord family, and even she supported the PMKP, saying they were good for the peasants.

At any rate, I don’t think a revolutionary situation exists in Pakistan right now, and it will be a while before one starts up. And that’s almost all due to Islam.

The Significance of the Refoundation of the Maoist Movement in Pakistan

August 12, 2010

A Statement to the Seventh National Congress of the Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party

From the General Secretary of Revolutionary Initiative

With our fists raised as high as our hopes for the future of the
Pakistani revolution, Revolutionary Initiative, a
Marxist-Leninist-Maoist pre-party formation in Canada, offers a red salute to the comrades convening the August 2010 7th National Congress of the Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party (Pakistan Workers and Peasants Party).

We understand that the 7th Congress will mark a return of the PMKP to the Maoist origins of the party, as established by its founders Major Ishaq Mohammed, Afzal Bungish, Eric Sperian, and Ghulam Nabi Kaloo in the 1960s.

The new program of the PMKP will effect a decisive break with the pseudo-alternatives currently being presented to the people of Pakistan: the perpetuation of a backward semi-colonial, semi-feudal society maintained by the pro-imperialist military and civil bureaucracy, comprador bourgeoisie, and feudal ruling elite; versus the equally backward social program offered up by the Taliban of
Pakistan. By breaking with the revisionist Left, which looks to U.S. imperialism for enlightenment through its brutal “War on Terror”, the PMKP is setting a course to truly rally the peasants, proletarians, and the progressive petty-bourgeois elements to the anti-imperialist cause.

Further, by exposing the program of the Taliban as fascism in a different form, the PMKP has truly placed itself at the vanguard of all the toiling masses in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s lackeys to the imperialists and the Taliban only appear to be irreconcilably opposing forces, but in practice they are two sides of the same coin. The world will never forget that it was U.S. imperialism, during the course of the Cold War, which helped create the Taliban with the unwavering support of the Pakistani state.

Due to the Pakistani ruling classes’ subservience to U.S. imperialism, the vast majority paid a steep price for the maintenance of the country’s incredible state of economic backwardness. Today, this relationship
has brought only new sufferings, with U.S. imperialism raining down drone attacks upon the heads of Pakistani civilians.

With a population of 170 million people, 48% of Pakistan’s labour force is involved in agricultural production. About 55% of the country’s population possesses no land at all. The vast majority of people in the countryside are exploited by landlords, usurers, merchants, and the religious institutions.

As the PMKP’s new draft program reads, it is the semi-colonial aspect of Pakistan’s countryside that remains the “main obstacle to the release of productive forces and the progress of our country”. This is what makes the heavily exploited and oppressed peasantry the “main force in the peoples democratic revolution carried out under the leadership of the proletariat.”

It is these conditions that make Pakistan ripe for People’s War. If the Maoists do not lead the struggle of the people, the Islamic forces will continue to prevail in their reactionary mobilization of the masses in their pseudo-opposition to U.S. imperialism.

The floods that are currently ravaging Pakistan, bringing great misery and dislocation to as much as 10% of the population and claiming thousands of lives, could be easily mitigated by a socialist society which places all the productive forces of society in the hands of the workers and peasants.

It is our hope that the floods do not derail the plans for the 7th Congress, but if they do, we know it will be because of the urgent need for the revolutionary vanguard to serve and guide the people in a time of great hardship. It is inevitable that the imperialists and the reactionaries in Pakistan will use the catastrophes to strengthen their legitimacy and order, just as the imperialists and reactionaries have done in Haiti with the great earthquake there in January 2010.

In addition to the great consequences that the rise of the Pakistani Maoist movement will have at the domestic level, the Pakistani revolution would also affect historic transformations at the regional and world levels.

Regionally, the revolution in Pakistan would carry the revolutionary tide sweeping South Asia deeper into the Muslim world, breaking the monopoly of the clerical fascists in the struggle against imperialism, which they do not fundamentally oppose and do so in appearance only for their own opportunistic and self-aggrandizing purposes.

At the world level, the rise of a revolutionary communist tide in Pakistan would deal a blow to the ideological basis of the imperialist ‘War on Terror’. In the Western imperialist countries, Muslims are being scapegoated to divert the rest of the masses from the true geopolitical and economic interests of the NATO bloc of imperialists: to plunder the world, exploit the toiling masses, and gain the upper hand in the inter-imperialist competition with the other imperialists and regional geopolitical rivals, especially Russia and China.

The masses in the West are blackmailed into supporting the imperialist war of aggression in Afghanistan through the specter of Taliban rule. But we know that the war against the Taliban, a war on domestic reactionaries and exploiting classes, can only be the class war of the toiling masses, not the imperialists. The world was reminded of this on May 1st, 2010 when the PMKP rallied and marched in North-West Frontier Province for the support of the revolution in Nepal.

We look forward, comrades, to the great feats that the people of Pakistan will achieve under the leadership of genuine communists guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and we will show the masses in our country that the people of Pakistan are our friends and comrades, and that they strive for genuine democracy, for socialism and for communism, just like ourselves.

If the PMKP, alongside our comrades of the Shola Jawid (Communist Party Maoist of Afghanistan) and Sarbederan (Communist Party of Iran-Maoist), successfully organize and arouse the masses for national democratic revolution by way of anti-imperialist People’s Wars in Central and South Asia, genuine communists all around the world will rally to your cause, learn important lessons from your struggle, and promote them amongst the proletarians of their home countries.

If the PMKP holds fast to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism after the convention of the 7th National Congress, deeply uprooting the revisionism of the past decades, and boldly applies MLM to the conditions of Pakistan, then a glorious future lays ahead for the people of Pakistan and South and Central Asia. The era of imperialism is the era of world proletarian revolution. In this phase imperialism’s strategic decline, the phase of the second great crisis of capitalist imperialism that has plagued the world since the early 1970s, the conditions for proletarian revolution are inexorably improving.

Finally, this message of solidarity would not be complete without our own organization clearly identifying Canadian imperialism as a leading enemy of the people of the world, including the people of your country. A leading player in the occupation of Afghanistan and NATO is Canadian imperialism, the basis of which is Canadian monopoly-finance capital. As the imperialist war in Afghanistan more and more spills over into your country, your connection to the Canadian proletariat’s revolutionary struggle deepens more and more.

The proletarian youth who are being sent to Afghanistan only to return to Canada in body bags are also the victims of imperialist war, but they must be driven from Afghanistan just the same. The ruinous war in Afghanistan sets the basis for revolutionary agitation amongst the soldiers, no less than the Korean War and the Vietnam War radicalized whole generations of youth and soldiers in the West.

Together, let us hasten the movement towards socialism and communism on a world scale before the imperialists drag us further into a hellish world of war, avertable disasters, ecological catastrophe, and the day-to-day grinding exploitation and oppression of capitalism.

Red salute to the PMKP for taking up the banner of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism!

Onwards with the People’s War in Pakistan!

From Canada to Pakistan, long live the international proletarian revolution.

From Trotskyites to Neoconservatives (Short Version)

A commenter asks if there is something about Trotskyism that turned them into neocons:

Do you think there is something fundamentally sinister about Trotskyism that makes such transformation inevitable?

Not really, but they are super-revolutionaries. They believe in worldwide revolution. Spontaneous worldwide revolution. They don’t believe in socialism in one country, remember? They want the whole world in revolt.

The Trots used to just be a bunch of Jews. They liked Trotsky because he was a Jew and supposedly Stalin sacked Trotsky due to anti-Semitism. Trotsky was running around telling everyone that Stalin was an anti-Semite. Also, Stalin was a conservative and a nationalist and he undid a lot of the radical changes that the Trot types had done before 1927. So anyway, if you were a Commie and a Jew in the West, you were supposed to be a Trot.

Then with Khrushchev’s secret speech, the full weight of Stalin’s atrocities, 3.2 people just murdered in peacetime, came out. Actually they were throwing around numbers like 20-110 million. Lot of Commies in the West, including most of the Trots, abandoned Communism and turned into Cold War liberals in the 1950’s associated with a CIA publication called Encounter. They were regularly trotted out to show how liberals hated Communism as much as conservatives. My Dad came out of this mold. Fierce liberal who hated Communism.

With the 6-day war in 1967, the group radicalized. They supported Israel, and they got behind the Vietnam War in a big way as a Cold War thing. Also they became these cultural conservative Jews who were sort of waging war on their fellow Jews. They saw the Counterculture as a bunch of traitorous Jews, and they were pissed. So they were pro-Vietnam War, pro-Israel, pro-Cold War and anti-counterculture.

In the 1970’s this movement grew around a few very obscure journals which have since gone under the names of which elude me. The group coalesced around Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s office in the Senate. He was known as the Senator From Boeing. Jackson represented Washington State. He was this “liberal” who was all tied in with the military industrial complex, a hawk on Vietnam in the 1970’s and a Cold Warrior. My father loved him.

He was a Gentile, but the neocons saw him as Israel’s best friend. All of these guys, Perle, Wolfowitz and the rest of them, come out of this environment. They still wanted to be Democrats though because they were still liberal Jews at heart.

When Reagan came in, they saw their opening and joined on board for the pro-Israel Cold War ride. They formed a BS committee called The Committee on the Present Danger. The whole reason for its existence was to say that the CIA was lying in its estimates on Soviet strength and that the Soviets were stronger than we were and about to conquer us.

This was all lies and apparently they knew this, but they pushed it anyway. They got the CIA to revise its estimates of Soviet strength to dramatically overestimate it. This was the Reagan defense spending ramp up thing. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Frank Gaffney, Perle and other scoundrels were all involved in this.

Most of them were turning into Republicans already when Bush Jr came in, and they made a rush to sign up. Most of his administration came out of the CPD and JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. The purpose of JINSA is, through corruption and propaganda, to sort of merge the Israeli military and its MIC with the US military and its MIC. It has sort of worked.

The rest is history.

Trace the trajectory of Norman Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine and Irving Kristol of Public Affairs Magazine (William Kristol’s father). Those were some of the original proto-neocons who are now full-on neocons.

“A Guess About Why Men Went Along With a Feminist Agenda,” by Alpha Unit

The Vietnam War is to blame.

It’s because of the Vietnam War that so many men today can’t stand women.

There isn’t a force in creation that can stop the attraction between male and female, but if you listen to the way a lot of young men talk about women, you are struck by the degree of intense loathing so many of them express. And the seeds of this loathing were apparently sowed by feminists.

Not those suffragette-type feminists you see in old photographs, with the long skirts and hats and sashes – the ones who wanted women to be able to vote. No, all this trouble was begun by those other feminists – the ones who were so vocal and demanding in the late sixties and early seventies, when men were being exposed as The Font of All Evil.

Evil like the oppression of Blacks in the South. It was men – older ones – who were causing Blacks to get beaten up and hosed in the streets and attacked by police dogs, and killing Black people and White people who were trying to register Black people to vote. And it wasn’t just the South where Black people were being mistreated.

Everyone had seen this on TV.

It was men, that same generation of older ones, who were sending young men to Southeast Asia to fight a war that many of them wanted no part of. It was a war you could see everyday on TV, and you did.

A lot of these young men who wanted no part of it were being incredibly disrespectful to authority in ways their fathers wouldn’t have dared. Gathering to display contempt for the military, chanting rude slogans about the President of the United States. And then, after an unfortunate incident on a college campus, singing inflammatory songs about tin soldiers and Nixon coming…it was deplorable, really.

Why couldn’t more of these kids today be like The Carpenters?

It was too late. People were getting killed in Vietnam and Ohio. Older men were ordering these deaths. Older men were not to be trusted. Older men were liars.

Older men had made life hell for everyone, and that included women. Anyone who had a beef against older men was to be listened to and deferred to. That included women.

Young men nodded in agreement with young women. The young women were right about men. You know, those older men who had screwed up so badly. The young men had seen for themselves how screwed up the older men were.

The sins of men were being broadcast everyday on TV.

The old way, created by men, had to go. The older men got the message, didn’t they?

They did get the message. Once your message has gotten through, you don’t stop. You keep pushing. And pushing.

Women and the men who agreed with them kept pushing. They’re still pushing. And now we’ve got young men who want nothing to do with women in this country.

At some point people push back.

Even The New Republic Now Calls for a Party Purge of Corporate-owned "Centrists"

Even The New Republic Now Calls for a Party Purge of Corporate-owned “Centrists”, by Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald is one of top liberal bloggers. His site is Unclaimed Territory and gets tens of thousands of hits a day. He was formerly a constitutional law and civil rights attorney, but his blog has been so successful that apparently he has mortgaged it into a writing career and left his lawyer job. He’s authored three books in the past three years and now gets regular writing gigs. It’s hard to believe that he’s making more money writing than practicing law! Here is his former blog, now moved to Salon. The guy made the bigtime with a Blogspot blog! Incredible.
I have not talked any about the health care debate, but I am sure that you know where I stand. Fully 72% of Americans support a public option, and that is what all the fight is about.
The pubic option is much misunderstood. It just means that you will have a choice to buy into a government run health program, which I guess will be something like socialized medicine, i.e. Medicare, Medicaid and that horrible health program that every Congressman has. I really favor single payer, and it’s the best program out there, but I guess it doesn’t have the votes.
The insurance-company run for-profit medicine system is shit. Michael Moore’s movie Sicko makes that quite clear. I don’t understand all these Whites yelling about how great health insurance is. I guess they have not yet gotten too sick or too hurt. After all, the shit insurance model is all based on making money off denying you care. The more care they deny, the more they make. The more care they approve, the less money they make. Now why would it be a good idea to be covered by private medical insurance, given that obvious capitalist reality?
If and when you get too sick or hurt that your insurance plan dumps you (matter of time for most of us), you will have to burn through every nickel you have and every tangible asset you own until you are so damn poor that you can go on Medicaid.
I guess conservatives think that’s cool? What’s so cool about that? I don’t have money or many tangible assets, but if I did, why should have to burn through all of them and go poor just because I get sick or hurt? Why would anyone with money or assets support such nonsense? Why not have the state pay for the care due to my injury or illness, and that way I get to keep all my money and stuff? Which is all conservatives care about anyway, money and stuff.
One big lie is that the public option will drive out all the private insurance companies. Lord, I wish it were true that anything would put this gang of thieves and vipers out of business, but surely a government plan would not.
Left unstated is why the public plan would theoretically put all the private folks out of business anyway. I mean, competition, right? If private insurance is so sucky that anyone with a brain would take off and go buy the public insurance instead, then according to market logic, the private entities deserve to die, right? That’s like Neoliberal Economics 101.
Anyway, there’s nothing to worry about. All you fools who so love your evil private insurance needn’t worry your little heads one bit. My understanding is that in most every nation that has socialized medicine (other than Communist countries), you can still go buy private insurance if you are stupid or masochistic enough. But indeed, my understanding is that hardly anyone does. Once again, if it’s so wonderful, why does hardly anyone buy it in states that have socialized medicine?
So with 72% support for a public option, Obama and the Centrist Dems are caving. How much support would be enough for them not to cave? 80%? 90%? I remember Bill Clinton used to regularly cave in and support issues that had like 2% support, like weakening clean water laws.
You see, as Greenwald points out, this is really all about money. Both parties are controlled by corporate interests, just the Dems somewhat less so. You get a Liberal Corporate Party and a Conservative Corporate Party. Turning the Dems into a corporate party was the brainchild of the Democratic Leadership Committee. Rahm Emanuel is the DLC point man for Barack Obama.
The idea was either Dems or Repubs take corporate money, and if we let the Republicans get the corporate money, they will win every time. If Dems take it too, then we at least get to win sometimes and can come in and kind of sort of maybe almost a little bit once in a while do piecemeal, half-assed reforms here and there.
A health care plan with no public option is shit. There’s nothing in it for me or anyone that I care about. All it does it force everyone to buy the evil called health insurance. If you’re poor or low income, the government subsidizes you so you can buy the shit called health insurance. How is that good for anyone’s health? It’s not. Supposedly it’s good for taxpayers, because we fork over lots of dough to serve the uninsured in emergency rooms. This way they have to buy insurance so we save. Whoop-te-doo.
What good is that? Everyone else is forced to buy this overpriced insurance poison, and many are going to go broke paying for it. If you don’t want to go broke, now the state will force you! Wow, such a wonderful plan. What it really is is the biggest piece of corporate welfare in the history of the US. So billions of working people’s ill-affordable dollars get shoveled to some of the most vile corporate slime in the country. Somebody show me the upside?
Greenwald’s post is interesting.
The New Republic is basically the liberal wing of the neoconservatives. The jerks who known as the Neocons, so prominent in the Bush Administration, are really just the rightwing of that movement. The liberal wing has similar roots as the conservative wing, coming out of the 1970’s, the aftermath of the Vietnam War and in particular the aftermath of the 7 Day War and 1973 Wars in Israel.
The liberal neocons are as Jewish as the conservative ones. These guys are basically the same “Cold War Liberals” as the neocons, but they did not go as far to the Right as the rest of them. TNR spent most of the 1980’s fulminating against the USSR, welfare, liberalism and Arabs while supporting genocidal Latin American regimes like the Salvadorans and of course, Israel.
I used to subscribe to this magazine, but finally I gave it up around 1983. I wasn’t hip to Jews yet, so the magazine mystified me. After it got taken over by uber Israel-firster Marty Peretz, he stacked it from top to bottom with liberal Jewish neocons. About half of every issue was about Jews, Jewry, Israel, Judaism, Judaica or whatever. Even the book reviews was usually some Jewish reviewer reviewing a book by a Jewish guy about Jews.
The whole exercise was one of endless Jewish solipsism. I read all this stuff at the time, but the solipsism never made sense. Only when I figured out Jews did I understand the solipsism. Jews are probably the most solipsistic humans on Earth, part and parcel of their hyperethnocentrism. To Jews, it’s all about the Jews. What’s all about the Jews? Well, everything, pretty much. They just can’t get enough of themselves.
Up until this year, TNR has continued to beat the drum for the Blue Dogs, the liberal neocons, the Democratic Centrists and other losers. Jew Lieberman or Joe Lieberman or whatever his name is is like God incarnate to TNR. SuperJew and Liberal Neocon Jonathan Chait is one of their top writers, and reading him gives you a good insight into the mindset of TNR.
Well, finally, even TNR has had enough with the Rahm Emanuel  – Barack Obama Centrist corporate controlled Democratic Party. They’ve become even too Republican-like for the original Democratic Centrists.
The about-face by TNR, among other things, shows there’s a liberal rebellion growing in the Democratic Party, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a while.
Let’s water it well and let it grow.

"They Spit On the Returning Soldiers!" The Journey of a Nazi Lie

Perhaps most of you are familiar with the line from the Vietnam War days. The line is: “The anti-war people spit on the returning veterans!” The story, told endlessly by pro-Vietnam War folks, is that long-haired, hippie, anti-American antiwar protesters spit on the returning veterans coming back from the Vietnam War. They also supposedly called them, “baby-killers.”
As the story is usually told, it’s always women, young, beautiful women, who spit on the haggard, wounded, ill and psychologically battered heroes as they disembarked off the plane or ship or whatever and set their first steps on US soil. “Their women spit on our brave heroes!” is the line.
A journalist, Jerry Lembcke, investigated these claims and wrote a whole book about it, Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, published in 1998.
Lembcke went back over every single case of someone who said they got spit on, or who reported soldiers getting spit on, and he was not able to substantiate a single case. None of the soldiers reported getting spit on, though you might have expected some of them to lie. It’s was always, “someone I know” or “someone told me.” Same thing with the civilians. A friend witnessed soldiers getting spit on, or told them about soldiers getting spit on, or a soldier they knew got spit on.
None of the stories panned out when Lembcke tried to track them down.
Furthermore, Lembcke noted that there were no regular flights or ships coming into civilian airports or ports bringing soldiers in uniform. The story always is that the uniformed soldiers are disembarking the flight or the ship at a civilian airport or civilian port to waiting throngs of jeering antiwar protesters. It is here that the dirty deed of girls spitting on brave patriotic men occurred.
One problem here. All soldiers coming back from Vietnam disembarked at Navy, Air Force or Army bases. These are places where no civilians are allowed. There’s no way for waiting throng of protesters to greet uniformed troops coming off planes or ships. The protesters can’t get anywhere near the scene of the disembarking in order to line up and protest.
So it turns out that one of the worst lies of Vietnam War is just that – a great big fat lie.
I believe that some antiwar protesters may have shouted, “Baby-killers!” at some soldiers, but after My Lai and other massacres, you had to admit there might have been some truth to that. Actually, considering how crazy a lot of those Vietnam protesters were, I am surprised that they didn’t spit on returning troops. That’s something I fully expected the most whacked out of them to do.
Perhaps you were wondering where that line originated? It did not have its genesis in the Vietnam War. The reporter, on doing some digging, found something far more sinister.
The story about beautiful young, unpatriotic antiwar protesters spitting on wounded, shell-shocked and beleaguered heroes originated WW1 postwar Germany. At the time, it was said that as the brave German soldiers trudged home from the front, battered, freaked-out and defeated, throngs of beautiful, blond young German maidens lined the streets and spit on them as they passed by. After all they had been through, it was the ultimate insult.
Problem is it was a lie then and it was a lie in Vietnam.
Lembcke went back and researched the cases in Germany, and it turned out that German historians widely agreed that this never happened. Guess who made up this lie? The Nazis, and the proto-Nazis.
After all, Hitler himself, as a wounded returning soldier, came out of the hospital after three months and was outraged that his society turned his back and him and his fellow returning veterans. Worse, the vets seemed to be blamed for the war. That was the last straw.
The vets formed rightwing populist groups like the Freicorps and rampaged through the streets of Germany in the 1920’s, attacking Communists, socialists, pacifists, trade unionists and anyone deemed un-German. They were used by the German elite to attack their enemies on the Left at a time when Left wing revolution threatened Germany in the early 1920’s. Problem is, the monster got out of hand, turned into the Nazis 13 years later, seized the government and went nuts.
If the story ended there it would be bad enough, but it does not.
Lembcke found that the story emerged again in France, when returning vets from the Algerian War were spit on beautiful, unpatriotic young French lasses as they trudged home, bitter, wounded, defeated, thousand yard stares poking holes in the Parisian landscape. The author researched the story there, too. French historians looked into the case and found that it never happened then either.
It’s never happened anywhere, not in Germany, nor in France, nor in the US. Sure, it could happen anytime, but historically, it never has. It’s important to shoot down this lie because even I believed it until a colleague told me about this book.
Note that the beautiful young women are an essential aspect of the story. The evil unpatriotic antiwar protesters convince the most beautiful women of the land to turn against its very finest men, men who risked their lives for the nation.
There is something particularly humiliating about a grown man being spit on by a woman, especially a beautiful young woman, especially when he is a brave warrior, especially when his pride, dignity, manners and chivalry prevents him from fighting back against a woman.
The scene implies all sorts of things, especially men humiliated in their manhood after it has already been battered by war and especially by defeat or quasi-defeat. There are overtones of impotence and women mocking men for their impotence or lack of masculinity. The symbolism runs deep and it’s designed to make blood boil. It all adds up to one nasty equation. You do the math.
It’s also interesting  that this lie originated with fascists, in particular ultra-nationalist Nazis. Then it went to ultranationalist French colonizers of the early 1960’s. The French who supported the war in Algeria are generally considered to be a far Right grouping. It emerges again in nationalist Americans fighting another more or less colonial war in Indochina.
I don’t like to call my fellow Americans fascists or Nazis, but the trail of this lie is quite clear.
Shame on anyone who knowingly repeats it.