Iran detente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…

September 02, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogIran detente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…

Unfortunately, the final part in this 11-part series on modern Iran arrives at a time of major economic instability, perhaps the worst since the end of the Iran-Iraq War.

For the sake of argument, let’s be honest about what concrete steps Iran would have to take in order to finally get the sanctions called off.

We should totally ignore US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 Points speech in May (which is what everyone in Iran did): all of those claims, which essentially perpetuate the false, 1980s-era notion that Iran supports terrorism, are designed solely for unquestioning Western consumption. They also totally obscure the real aims of the West in Iran: They want Iran’s natural resources and a compliant government – that’s capitalism-imperialism.

So what exactly would Iran need to terminate to placate the West?

Firstly, ending the post of the Supreme Leader (held by Khomeini and now Khamenei), the “soul of the government”, seems like a must – the post is basically one non-stop civic exhortation to patriotism, morality, social justice and international justice. That requires rewriting the democratically-approved and democratically-supported constitution, which is entirely too modern & revolutionary by Western standards; Iran would obviously have to adopt a West European (bourgeois) model to finally win the approval of Western governments, media and NGOs. The Basij is impossible to dissolve, but since the post of the Supreme Leader is gone they can be put under the ideological control of the military and be reduced to a purely jingoistic and neo-fascist group, I suppose. The military can no longer include the Revolutionary Guards because such a group only exists in socialist countries and never capitalist ones. Secularism must be enforced, and that logically translates into some sort of formal edict by the Shia religious establishment that clerics cannot hold civil power, as the Roman Catholic church did in 1983; who cares who that in 2013 Iran voted in Rouhani in a first-round sweep, even though he was the only cleric among eight candidates. Forget about the hijab law, even though Muslim women say it is an obviously feminist solution to male superficiality, and say hello to miniskirts for women and shorts for men in public (buy stock in sunscreen companies!). Legalisation of alcohol is a must, and also drugs eventually (even though drugs are already incredibly cheap in Iran because they are right next to the poppy fields of Afghanistan). Undoubtedly, Iran has to recognise the colonisation of Palestine, and also do a 180-degree shift in their policies towards Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, despite Iranian democratic support for such policies.

These are the big issues, but they aren’t the lucrative capitalist-imperialist prize….

Above all, the only thing which will calm the West is economic domination: Iran needs to go full-globalisation and sell off majority control of their companies to foreign stockholders. Iran has, per my estimates detailed in this series, roughly 100% state control of the non-Black Market economy – there is no doubt that Iran is a socialist country economically. That would have to be slashed to window-dressing levels, perhaps to French standards: the French state, following the sell-offs of Chirac and all who followed him, now only has $100 billion of shares in national corporations, even though their CAC40 stock index is worth $1.9 trillion. I can’t imagine Western capitalists ever being content with allowing the current 10-20% of the Iranian economy to be legally controlled by the bonyads, or state-controlled religious charity cooperatives, so that must be rewritten by law to now fall under private control.

I think you are crazy if you think the West would make peace with Iran while they kept any of these policies, because they are all – without a doubt – revolutionary, anti-capitalist & pro-socialist. Iran could totally satisfy Pompeo’s absurd demands – which essentially call for a foreign policy the same as the US, and unheard-of openness to foreign inspections – but it wouldn’t lift one sanction.

And Iranians know this, and they know it now more than ever. It’s the pain of this knowledge which is causing the instability in Iran, which is purely psychological: It has fully hit home that there will be no real detente, but only more totally-unjust Cold War against us.

And so people are freaking out, overreacting, getting angry, thinking desperate thoughts and feeling hopeless. Iran’s leaders and citizens have spent five years politicking, discussing, deciding, negotiating, signing, waiting and hoping that the JCPOA agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy program would end the sanctions…but the West has not honoured their word.

And pain for the average Iranian has truly increased since 2012, because that’s when the sanctions really went to wartime levels – non-Iranians just don’t understand how unprecedented these UN-US-EU sanctions are, and how unjust & devastating they are. I’m very sorry to report that in the past six years Iranians as a whole has become less secure, more desperate, more coarse, more greedy, less humane – Iranians have become more like a Western capitalist country. That is terrible, because Iranians are incredibly warm, gentle and generous people, but Iranians admit this change is taking place.

I admit that truth because: That has always been entirely the West’s goal. It is no exaggeration to write that they want to starve Iran into acting like animals until they start biting each other, then install a dogcatcher to rule them on behalf of the West’s needs – that’s capitalism-imperialism, and if you don’t see the injustice of it now I doubt you ever will: it is soul-destroying, in every sense.

The same is true for North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and other socialist-inspired nations – it is the West who provokes the most pain, by far, and not their systems & vanguard parties.

And yet there is no way – NO WAY – Iran will take any of those steps I listed in order to appease the Western aggressors. It will not even be considered by the Iranian man and woman on the street, I can assure you.

The patriotic motivation of the 1979 revolution – “Neither East nor West” – was always the strongest force, and that has not diminished; conversely, it has only been strengthened after 40 years of war by the West, war with Iraq and seeing our neighbors invaded & their societies destroyed. On the positive side of the ledger, seeing Iranian-guided economic redistribution cause an economic renaissance since 1979 – which has only been paralleled by South Korea, China and Vietnam – Iranians KNOW they can run Iranian business better than any foreigner, and that will not change no matter what the pressures.

Giving up these policies the West wants to end is akin to suicide and certainly a betrayal of our sense of self…but continuing these policies will only engender more pain (through no fault of Iran’s own). That is the best explanation of why Iran is suffering from rather huge angst and economic instability right now.

The good news is: Iran is fundamentally quite healthy, thanks to the fruits caused by 40 years of a modern political revolution. This fever will pass because Iranians know there is no other solution but to sweat it out.

Hillary would have been no different than Trump – betrayal is what the US does

Unlike in the US, Iran grasps that “blame Trump” is a pathetic, near-sighted political analysis….

Fully implementing the JCPOA meant one thing: Iran becomes the first successful transition to a post-oil economy in the Muslim world – that’s historic.

The economic ramifications of that would be enormous and would drastically change the current capitalist-imperialist order. The cultural ramifications – given that Iran is the only modern, democratic, socialist-inspired nation in the Muslim world (with a nod to Algeria) – would be equally enormous as well.

Admiration for a highly-functioning Iranian model, and subsequent possible emulations, drastically changes the entire order in the Muslim world. Even though it would good for the Muslim world’s inhabitants, and thus the entire world, it should be obvious that none of that can be permitted by Western capitalist-imperialism.

Unfortunately for the American people and the entire world, political lobbies in the US make peace with Iran impossible, and the JCPOA’s failure makes that clear (yet again). As I described in an interview with Sputnik shortlyafter the US broke their word (again) and pulled out: US politics is based solely on lobbies, not ideology or morality or democratic public opinion or the fair-minded soul walking on Main Street. And not only is there not a single pro-Iran lobby in the US, but there are many powerful anti-Iran lobbies. The same holds especially true for Cuba.

Let’s say Iran races to a nuclear breakout or starts blocking Persian Gulf oil deliveries, and Trump loses re-election in 2020 – could his successor come in and resurrect the JCPOA in order to calm things down? Unlikely, as pro-Iran lobbies are not going to magically appear, nor will the anti-Iran lobbies disappear. That’s why even though a failed Iran policy from Trump theoretically implies that another presidential candidate could win votes via promoting detente with Iran, the “lobby reality” undermines this democratic possibility.

The idea that war-hawk Hillary would have rolled out a red Persian carpet for Iran is…absolutely untethered from reality or history. Iran and Cuba were the only two countries who Trump truly bashed during his election campaign, but even though Iranians knew more pain was coming many still believed, rightly, that Hillary would have been worse.

But blaming Trump for Iran’s current problems is simply what fake-leftist US Democrats do over and over: they cry bloody murder when conservative presidents follow the exact same policies as Democratic ones. Why didn’t Obama jump-start the Iran deal when he was in office through a myriad of executive orders? It was finally signed in July 2015, so he had half a year. Why did he wait so long to get the deal arranged in the first place? Why did Obama immediately undermine his similar deal with Cuba, via billion-dollar sanctions on European banks for working with Cuba (such sanctions are now the reason Europe won’t defy Washington with Iran)? The answer to both is simple: the US never has any intention of peace with Iran, Cuba or anyone else who is socialist-inspired and democratically revolutionary.

You shouldn’t have to be a Native American or an Iranian “hard-liner” (one person’s “hard-liner” is another’s “ardent revolutionary”) to know that the US never keeps its promises.

And this is why there is so much angst and instability in Iran right now: Iran is coming to terms with the reality – warned of by many in Iran – that the West will never compromise and never cooperate. The only way forward for Iran is more Cold War and…how can that not be frustrating? How can that not provoke anger, instability, resentment, scapegoating, etc. inside Iran – it was hard enough for Iranian revolutionaries to change Iran, but now they have to change the entire world, too?!

The fake-leftists in the West choosing to focus on women not attending football games or men not being able to parade in public wearing hot pants…do they really think the average Iranian is worried about that amid economic warfare and the prospect of continued Cold War? Do they really think Iranian women and men would gladly accept the coarsening and impoverishing of our society in return for such insignificant “rights”? But what can be done with fake-leftists…not much, of course.

The good leftists in the West, such as the World Socialist Web Site, whose 3-part pamphlet against my reporting on “Iranian Islamic Socialism” was the impetus for this series, made a major mistake last winter by assuming that sanctions-caused economic protests would somehow lead to (Trotskyist) socialist policies and revolution; their big mistake was not realising that the former has already existed from the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

The larger problem is that Western leftists totally misunderstand Iran, and thus how could they properly support it? The goal of this series was to eliminate a ton of Western misconceptions via facts nobody can deny: about the state-run & socialist nature of the Iranian economy, about Iran’s almost unparalleled success in economic redistribution, about the falseness of using the words “privatization” and “Iran” in the same breath, about the undeniable socio-political redistribution of power caused by revolutionary ideas such as the Basij, about the way Shia Islam was philosophically reworked to incorporate modern socialist ideas far more than the any non-Iranian can probably even imagine.

I earnestly defy anyone to refute my long-standing claim that Iran is truly socialism’s ignored success story. I hope that I have given plenty of ideas to challenge and scrutinise in this 11-part series.

Back to reality, in which Iran is essentially unaffected by the lack of Western support: Because of the failure of the JCPOA Iran is not having “revolutionary doubts”, “revolutionary failure”,” or “counter-revolution” but “revolutionary fatigue”. This is caused by the Western war on Iran, as our current problems are unthinkable in an Iran which is not so persecuted.

But no matter: Accepted by the West, or not, “more revolution” is sure to come in Iran, and cannot but succeed, eventually.

Plan B is failed, but Plan C will eventually work

It seems as if Iran’s Plan B has also failed: winning over half of the West – Europe.

That would have been a historical sea-change…but European firms won’t risk sanctions to work with Iran – they saw what Nobel-winner Obama did with Cuba.

The EU absolutely could counter the US sanctions on their firms, but all 27 nations would have to sign off on that, per EU rules. The EU – it must always be remembered – was rushed through after the fall of the USSR and is the most undemocratic and neoliberal capitalist model in the world. Therefore they have no intention of doing the right thing for anyone but international stockholders, and certainly not for Iranian Islamic socialists.

France’s Total Oil has pulled out of the South Pars oil field project -the bellwether deal – and so have plenty of other top European corporations.

Compared to the US, Iran’s business is not so vital. Not just yet…and that bring us to Plan C – China.

If the West will not incorporate revolutionary Iran fairly into to the world economy, then Iran will just have to remain firmly revolutionary until China does it from the other end. This is, as I see it, the only solution for Iran following the end of the JCPOA.

And China is willing and able to do this, thanks to their Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road plan). Iran is the central hub in this plan which will allow the world’s two top economies – China and the EU – to trade. Europe will have to break with the US when that goes online. How can they lose out on the huge price savings and trade which China can offer over the US? Like I said, one must totally disregard any consideration but the purest (neoliberal) capitalism in the European Union project.

Why do you think the West is so desperate now? Once BRI goes online, the unprecedented power of the US-led sanctions – which have always been based on Europe going along with them – will be hugely diminished.

BRI won’t be fully completed until 2049, but it’s getting close to “now or never” for the US regarding Iran. Europe sees the writing on the wall and thus wants to work with Iran rather than keep losing out, but the US remains especially willing to do anything to maintain their faltering domination. The US simply had to blow up the JCPOA, as they are capitalists who do not believe in “mutually-beneficial cooperation” (like Iran & China). For a country which in 2003 was certain of dominating the Middle East, a Middle Eastern economy dominated by Iranian exports must be especially galling; it would also further increase Chinese influence, and also help the EU if they finally allied with Iran – there is no way the US allies with Iran as long as Iran remains anti-Zionist.

But it’s not all bad: the JCPOA, even in its failure, will be remembered as a way Iran started chipping away at the 40-year US-EU tag-team to topple Iran. Frankly, I’m surprised it even made it this far! I am quite skeptical about the diplomatic intentions of capitalist-imperialists….

You can’t miss what you never had, and Iran has never had Europe since 1979. It would be nice if Europe honoured the agreement, mainly to immediately reduce the banking pressures on Iran. But Iran and the EU had just $20 billion in trade in 2017 (and that was a very good year), whereas Iran and China have not just a 10-year plan worth $600 billion, but a 25-year strategic plan. What Iran needs from Europe is just a second supplier to keep China honest – that’s just capitalism (and just socialism, whether of the Chinese or Iranian Islamic variety). But they don’t need Europe in order to thrive. Heck, Iran has thrived without Europe just fine.

EU prestige has also been chipped away: The failure to uphold the Iran deal means – especially if Iran decides that their only solution is to get “break out” nuclear bomb capabilities, as stopping nuclear proliferation has been the main propaganda effort in Europe – that the EU’s political system will be even more gravely undermined at home. The “international prestige” Europe arrogantly assumes it has is all in their head (racists, hypocrites, egotists, imperialists & capitalists who remain cancers on the developing world is how they are viewed by the developing world), but failure to implement the JCPOA shows just how much of a lap dog the EU is to the US, and thus will undermine the EU’s image domestically. Not tremendously, of course – it’s not like Iran hasn’t been the victim of a huge propaganda campaign for 40 years and is a political persona non grata – but this is one of those little thorns in the skin (ignored Maastricht votes, Brexit, Catalonia, etc.) that will continue to nag, fester, annoy, frustrate and undermine the subconscious of Europe. It’s clearer than ever that there is no “European model” – the EU is becoming more like the US in every way, and not just Macron-led France.

Of course, this became the case long ago: examine the neoliberal, corrupt structure of the Eurozone and one finds an American system, not a European one.

So the failure to keep the JCPOA will hurt Europe more than it will Iran in the long run.

What the JCPOA’s failure means in Iran: back to business as usual

It’s the same old thing – denial of humanity to Iran, and the denial of Iran’s humanity.

Iran’s economic goals will remain the same either way: national development, increased economic & social justice at home, and the (obviously politically opposed) re-negotiation of its place in the global economic order as a producer rather than mere exporter of natural resources (with Islamic and socialist-inspired constraints self-imposed as well).

Iran has no illusions about what the West wants: they want us to go the Yugoslavia and Libya route, but that’s impossible for two reasons: Firstly, there is no “Croatia & Slovenia” nor “Benghazi-Eastern Libya” to demand secession – Iran’s minorities (Kurd, Arab, Baloch, etc.) are all incorporated into the socialist-multiethnic-patriotic ideology. Yes, they are continually targeted by Mossad, the CIA, et. al, and yes this “promote racism” plan has worked so well for the West in other parts of the world, but there is no comparison between the success of Kurdish integration (for example) in Iran as compared with any other nation with a Kurdish minority.

Secondly, the incredible growth and popularity of the Basij makes such splits impossible. Like them or not, it’s a rather genius idea for national stability. The Basij proved in 2009 that they will fight against counter-revolution / huge political changes and, as I detailed in the 4-part sub-series on them, the coming years will only see more Basiji students, more Basiji jobs, more Basiji members, more Basiji government workers, more Basiji parts of the economy – as I concluded: they are on a path akin only to the Communist Party in China.

And that’s why we have the economic and political Cold War – the only route available for the West is internal implosion.

Again, that’s just business as usual – only Iranians who are not paying attention miss this reality. The same goes for Western journalists, like those who missed US Secretary of State John Kerry accidentally (but finally!) admitting in Paris that the goal of Iran sanctions is to “try to implode” Iran- he says it right here in my 2013 Press TV report at the 0:58 mark.

So the JCPOA’s failure is not new and the answers for Iran are not new: they must maintain the same revolutionary course, which means more socialist redistribution of wealth in order to keep everyone as reasonably contented as possible amid near-wartime conditions.

Iran will need more protectionist economic policies, but combined with the economic reality that Iran now has even fewer customers to sell to and these customers want more favourable terms to sell their goods inside Iran. There is no way out of this, because Iran cannot eat oil; the idea that acquiescing to this reality means that Iran & President Rouhani have “gone neoliberal” is totally absurd, and I won’t debunk it again here – simply read Parts 2 & 3 of this series.

Iran doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel…although they will be forced to become early adopters of things like a national crypto-currency. They are already testing and planning to go full-bore on crypto, and unlike Venezuela they have the national unity and bureaucratic unity to really make it happen. Indeed, Iran will soon say “God bless crypto-currency”, as it is such an obvious boon to those who hate and who are hated by neoliberal capitalists.

Lastly, I will simply say that Iran does not need another modern revolution in response to the failure of the JCPOA – they just had one, after all. What they need to do is not make the concessions the West is demanding because that is CERTAIN to decrease social justice, increase inequality and increase instability – such concessions are inspired by capitalist-imperialists, after all!

It’s just like Khamenei just said, and I don’t parrot him because I work for PressTV: there will be no negotiations and no war. That’s business as usual, and only because the West is (as usual) making such insane, sovereignty-violating, capitulation-declaring demands in order to even start negotiations; negotiations are done because…they are done – it was called the JCPOA!

However, it should be clear that “no negotiations and no war” is a temporarily depressing formula for a country which hoped for the first detente in 40 years.

But it’s the only formula, because conceding to insane, immoral Western demands is never been an option…and at least it’s not war. Iran – unlike armchair hawks in America – appreciates that.

Modern class issues in Iran – it was easier when it was everyone versus the Shah!

The Green Movement of 2009 proved two important things within Iran: The Revolution had created a new middle class – yet not fully won them over (because their demands changed) – and the Revolution had greatly abolished – and also won over – the lower class.

Class solidarity is never a given thing, except for the 1%: They are always united in working to preserve their own interests.

What did not exist in pre-revolutionary Iran was a middle class: studies showed that in 1976 just 500,000 workers (5% of the employed workforce) could be considered middle class (and 80% of them worked for the state, making them essentially an extension of the 1% because that state was monarchical-reactionary). However, due to the socialist economic policies of the Revolution – which I detailed in parts 2 and 3, and also in the sub-series on the Basij – Iran’s middle class jumped to over 30%.

That represents not only a huge socialist success but the BEST socialist success: if socialists are not primarily defined by “empowering the average worker at work” then they are primarily defined by economic policy, and the first responsibility of socialists is to get people lifted out of the lower class. Again, given the nationalist insistence for decoupling from Western capitalism, the anti-capitalist mandates of revolutionary Shi’ism, and the hard facts of the Iranian economic structure post 1979 – this more than 600% increase in the size of the middle class was all achieved by Iranian Islamic Socialism, baby!

But I write that in 2009 Iran had “not fully won them over” because the rich truly are different: middle class demands are different from lower class demands.

What the middle class does is complain about secondary cultural issues, having largely secured answers to life’s main economic problems, which are education, health care, jobs, status, etc. Whether it’s the Democratic anti-Trumpers or the Greens in Iran, they pretend like they have gotten to their privileged position via their moral superiority and hard work when (in Iran’s case) it was due to socialist economic central planning and modern revolutionary structures. This narcissism is likely because such middle classes are largely influenced by Western capitalist culture, which unambiguously says on every billboard, magazine page and song lyric: be discontented, get more for yourself, forget solidarity with your “stupid, non-hustling” peers.

So the Green Movement in 2009 truly heralded the power of this new middle class – that’s good, and proof of huge success.

Unfortunately, they marched mainly in order to preserve their interests amid the the social justice policies of the Basiji Ahmadinejad, and also to do what the middle class does worldwide in modern, 21st century countries: complain about cultural issues and hold rather fake-leftist positions.

The good news for the government is: the middle and upper-middle classes don’t do counter-revolutions if the lower class has been won over. The middle and upper-class simply do not have the fire to overpower the numerically-larger lower class, and they eventually admit their existence is already pretty settled and good.

Look at Brazil: Roussef was a leftist president, but Brazil never had even a mild leftist revolution. This is why the lower classes did not take to the streets when Roussef was impeached and Temer installed – there was not that much for the lower class to defend! Venezuela had a much more than mild yet not-complete revolution, and in 2017 they had their version of a Green Movement, which was four times as deadly as Iran’s, but their lower classes got deadly because Chavismo did win over the lower classes, unlike in Brazil.

So the real risk for Iran post-JCPOA is like what happened in the USSR – betrayal by the upper-middle class, i.e. the biggest beneficiaries of the revolution: all polls in the late 1980s showed overwhelming, democratic, mass support for socialism and continuing the USSR, but their “talented 10th” betrayed it.

Regardless of one’s sympathy, or not, with the middle and upper-middle classes – Iran must win them over: That is what all governments are tasked with – winning over all citizens via good & responsive governance; that is the source of democratic legitimacy (or not).

To win over the middle and upper class, Iran will have to keep tweaking the balance between Revolutionary Shi’ism and personal freedom; keep tweaking the balance between a revolutionary culture-corrupting glasnost and allowing boundaries to be intelligently pushed. This is the domestic cultural war in Iran…but it takes a backseat to economic issues, and now more than any time since the end of the Iran-Iraq War due to the sanctions.

Iran really only resembles China & Vietnam in this sense, because Cuba & North Korea are not there economically : the challenge for modern, socialist-inspired countries is to combine the affluence of capitalism with a revolutionary spirit. Iran, having had their revolution 30 years after China, is obviously further behind in winning their Western Cold War and also in solidifying their affluence.

I would posit that, after their tantrum in 2009, the middle class is being won over.

Just look at recent polls, voter turnout and citizen participation in a 10-25 million person group like the Basij – Iranians support their government structure in a huge majority (and, certainly, there is no huge majority support for scrapping the constitution or inviting a Western puppet to rule). Furthermore, given the failure of the Arab Spring after 2011, there is increasing acceptance that the middle class will actually NOT prosper under a new government, as some may have thought previously. The US-EU-UN triple sanctions of 2012 are designed to make this class crazily desperate that they can’t Keep Up With The Kardashians, but it’s just not going to work.

But the only way to win over the middle class is: keep winning them over with good governance. That is life and that is politics….

The hard part in Iran is done (and this is the source of its revolutionary stability): winning over the working class

The working class is the opposite of the 1% – it’s the hardest class to truly inculcate class solidarity into, as it is so broad and thus full of differences. However, Iran has done exactly this, and that is no longer deniable.

Those who led (and the children of those who led) Iran’s “Revolution of the Barefooted”. or as I say an Iranian “Trash Revolution”, in 1979 proved in 2009 that the military does not need to get involved: there will be no counter-revolution. Therefore, 2009 proved who is really in charge in Iran: the working class – the democratic majority. Modern Iran is no military junta; and as I detailed in this series – the military has been weak in Iran for more than a century.

The West has not won over their lower class economically and politically (the Western lower class subsists and persists on the bigoted “I may be unempowered Trash, but at least I’m not a slave / colonised subject”), but China has. Both China and Iran have stated goals of classless societies and of immediately prioritising the poorest sections of their societies; Western neoliberal capitalism’s stated goal is to create just enough social welfare that people are not dying in the streets and in public view. Anybody who has needed to collect unemployment insurance or has cashed their grandparent’s social security check knows this – former Rothschild bankers who married chocolate heiresses, like Macron, have no idea.

By winning over the lower class, Iran’s government has shown that it does not have to keep tweaking the balance between Islam and democracy.

Indeed, the capitalist-imperialist Western desire to rewrite Iranian democracy is proof that my declaration is correct. The West, on the other hand, will only continue to strangle its citizens as long as it has such neoliberal & anti-democratic structures underpinning the Eurozone, and a woefully-outdated and uber-bourgeois structure still being worshipped like divine revelation in the US.

But in Iran it is clear that the democratic will is maintained and that social redistribution of power and money have taken place on a nearly unprecedented scale since 1980. This is the economic war, and Iran actually fights this war, unlike the West….

The Iranian lower class, having not reached the economic comfort of the middle and upper-middle class, will thus continue, with enormous governmental assistance, to work, agitate and organize in the manner they have done for 40 years. That explains why institutions like the Basij will continue to grow in influence, prominence and power as a result of the JCPOA’s failure – the “hard-liners” will reap the political benefits.

The Basij and other Iranian-state linked economic ideas are denigrated as “clientism” – LOL, as if this is a bad thing! Allegiance to the state is always a function of their ability to allocate resources properly – this is merely a modern retelling of China’s “Heavenly Mandate”.

Anyway, true “clientism” is unthinking support for the government produced by selfish self-interest: this underestimates the ability of Iranians to judge for themselves as well as the morality of individual Iranians. Considering the exceptionally high level of education in Iran, as well as the exceptionally higher level of moral-religious-spiritual education in Iran, I reject such charges as unfounded. Are there “opportunists” – of course; are they the overwhelming majority – no way; are the “true-believers” large enough to keep the revolution from turning into a counter-revolution – no doubt.

The only way to win over the working and lower classes is: keep winning them over with good governance. That is life and that is politics….

So to wrap up this article: Iran will have to wait for detente a bit longer. The alternative – appeasement – is sure to debase Iran in every way, and thus is not an option and we all know it and hear that reality every day.

The Basij, the working class and the Principlists (conservatives) will gain from the JCPOA’s failure: they have been proven right that the West cannot be trusted, and that protectionism and the unique (revolutionary) economic structures in Iran, which are misunderstood and derided as “clientism” by the ignorant, is the only possible way forward; they will argue economics must stay an intra-Iranian affair as much as possible & combined with the social justice of revolutionary Shi’ism; they will say that the cuts to the Basiji, whose only criterion is to support the government, cannot be justified morally and cannot be risked politically-culturally by the government.

Or to put it in modern Western terms: the incumbents, having failed, will give way to the opposition party, as usual. This is what few people get about Iran: the great news is that the incumbents were revolutionaries, too! Truly, marinate on that reality and you’ll understand Iranian politics much better.

In capitalism the goal is speed – to get rich quick. In Iran the goal has been to reach a destination – a society governed by a modern, socialist-justice obsessed ideology of Iranian Islamic Socialism and not neoliberal capitalism-imperialism.

The world does not, and should not, decide the goals of Iran – the torpedoing of the JCPOA by the US ultimately makes no difference to Iran.

Hopefully the world learns a bit more about Iran’s true goals, and why they should support them.

Series conclusion

What’s going on Iran is much bigger than just Iran: it always has been.

Just as the US, French and Russian revolution terrified privileged reactionaries thousands of kilometres away, so the Iranian Islamic Revolution is similarly frightening.

I say this as a completely objective journalist: it is obvious that even if Iran is not a “global revolution” like the three previously mentioned, it is an enormously important regional revolution – that region being the Muslim world.

For four decades Iran has been the leader of Muslim Trash Revolutions: should the West ever call off their war on Islamic democracy, other Muslim nations would surely follow the Iranian democratic model (with local adjustments), and that threatens Western neo-imperialism on a massive scale.

This is already happening in Iraq: You have Islamic nationalists allying with Iraqi communists and pro-Iranian groups in order to wipe away the US-linked comprador establishment. Afghanistan would be the same thing. In Syria Assad will likely push 100% nationalism when the terrorists are ousted, but in the end he will be fighting the same forces as his father – the democratic inevitability of Islamic Socialism.

Anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, Islamic democracy – all of these things are anathema to the West…and yet Iran has pursued them successfully despite both hot, cold and perpetual war.

It is quite easy to blindly give statistics which show that Iran’s revolution has not achieved its socialist economic aims, and that too much money is still concentrated in too few hands. Hey, idiot: no nation has good statistics when it comes to standards such as these, as all nations are woefully far from economic equality on an absolute scale! Such analyses are political nihilism and lack both nuance and understanding.

But nobody who is actually familiar with Iran would deny that since 1979 a massive redistribution of wealth and power – one dreamed for if not centuries then certainly for decades – has taken place. The changes have been unbelievable – undoubtedly a Great Leap Forward. Come visit and see! Truly, preventing just such a Great Leap Forward in other Muslim nations has been the guiding light of the policies of Washington, London, Paris & Tel Aviv.

Iran is also not one of those tiny, unimportant, Arctic-touching, isolated, Scandinavian nations the Anglo-Saxon-led West so often points to as the world’s most superior model: Iran is at the heart of the world, filled with and surrounded by black gold – and foreign gold has made Westerners mad since Columbus returned with tales of riches. Confronted with a million more challenges than the Nordic nations, Iran thus has many policy solutions to modern political problems which the world could learn from and adapt to their own needs.

But when it comes to Western leftists and socialists who insist on forced atheism, Iran’s biggest sin is that it talks about sin – it is religious – and this renders irrelevant everything else about Iran. Yet Iran is far from being the “fanatics” – it is they who are guilty of that, not us!

Western leftists remind me of the delusional, paranoid, sexually-dysfunctional General Jack Ripper in the movie Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, especially when he was finally confessing his rationale for unilaterally launching nuclear war. Permit me just one change:

“I can no longer sit back and allow Communist (religious) infiltration, Communist (religious) indoctrination, Communist(religious) subversion, and the international Communist (religious) conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

LOL, what?

We would feel sorry for General Ripper…were he not hell-bent on destroying the world rather than accept and tolerate a few ideas of the Communists. The Western (fake) left views Iran from a perspective which is similarly divorced from reality, but hopefully this series will change a few minds.

I react similarly to those Iranians who claim that Iran does not have revolutionary Shi’ism, but “clerical Shi’ism”. This denies the modern, democratic structures, the checks & balances, and the voter oversights of the Iranian political model. And, LOL, you must desire a LOT of “revolutionary Shi’ism” because you are apparently not content with the the MOST revolutionary Shi’ism government in world history?!!!

But this absurd “I’m-a-patriot-but-not-this-government” position – which is not any different from anti-Trumpers (who rarely know their elbow from their behind, politically) – is essentially fake-leftism. Playing the blame game – scapegoating – instead of examining structures and reasons for possible failures (cough cough US Democratic Party cough cough) hides not progressive politics but intolerant authoritarianism. Similarly, the refusal to accept Iran’s revolution(ary Shi’ism) – despite its imperfections and the huge handicaps placed on it by the West – when a vast majority of the Iranian nation does – makes such Iranians out of touch and obvious opponents of democracy. They are elitists, plain and simple, who know better and who should rule over us Trash.

I would like to thank the World Socialist Web Site for their 3-part series, as it was informative, albeit in a very blinkered and limited way; it was not really dedicated to “anti-Ramin Mazaheri thought” but their claim that “Islamic socialism is a sham”. I wonder what they think after reading this 11-part series? I humbly suggest that they did not know much of what I related, and that is not really the fault of non-Iranians: after all, in the Western languages one never hears anything about the Basij, the bonyads, supporting the 1B Sector, the progressive political goals of Imam Ali, or nearly any of the many other points I raised. Westerners are not just denied balanced media on Iran but are bludgeoned with three main propaganda lines: religious fanatics, terrorists, hijab law. I hope my series gave a fuller picture of modern Iran, especially in the economic and socio-political arenas.

I am certainly eager to hear anyone’s rebuttal…but I predict that any such rebuttal ignores concrete economic and political facts – which has been the Western leftist tactic for 40 years – in favor of redrawing the definition of “socialism” according to their preference and experience.

This enforced stultification of “what is socialism” perhaps explains why the Western left has been in such an atrociously bad state ever since 1979; “Socialism” must grow, must change, must adapt – because otherwise it loses the war waged on it by capitalism-imperialism.

I think the most useful part of this series was the discussion of the Basij – a 10-25 million organisation which the West knows nothing about simply had to be talked about. It’s crazy that I am the first to give an objective accounting. And, of course the West doesn’t talk about it: the Basij has undeniable components of economic and socio-political redistribution – the West NEVER talks about such ideas. But 2009 proved the Basij is the decider in Iranian politics – if they go the “Chinese Communist Party-dominance of the government” route, well, that’s going to lead to unprecedented (revolutionary) results. The first good accounting of the Basij but likely not the last…

I reiterate my neutrality on the Basij as being good or bad – all I did was relate facts, structures and ideological motivations. The Basij as a vehicle for redistributing money, power and influence to the lower classes of society simply cannot be denied logically. It is also undeniable, logically, that the Basij was not produced by the ideals of revolutionary Iranian Shi’ism. But whether or not the Basij achieves those ideals is a question which I will not answer, and leave up to the reader, and that is truly the most important question.

The JCPOA…Iran will get over that – the fake-politics of the West are nothing new, after all.

The real question is: Who will take over for Khamenei when he passes? From a purely objective point of view as a journalist: no leader in the Muslim world has been as successful as he has since in 1989 (it’s rather a landslide, too).

One certainly believes that Khamenei’s success is due to the revolutionary structure of Iran as a whole, of course, but will his replacement have the revolutionary gravitas to be the Supreme Leader – who is also the only leader of the Basij – and will he have the human depth to be the “soul of the government?” Iran will be much like Cuba in 2018, when Raul Castro stepped down as president.

I have good news on that front, as I reported from there during that process: I cannot recall meeting even one person who did not support and who was not truly happy about the election of Miguel Diaz-Canel. Cuba is much poorer and even more sanctioned than Iran – if they can survive amid even worse hardships, Iran surely can make it. Diaz-Canel was a very well-known quantity, and a bureaucrat who rose up through the ranks thanks to repeated success in governance; he was not just a king’s son, a lobbyist’s puppet or an advertising agency’s creation, after all.

So I think that the new Supreme Leader will be similarly selected and similarly welcomed. Certainly, when Khamenei does pass on Iran’s intense nationalism will kick in like a lead boot across the country, LOL. Iran will be 100% on guard as well, as the West will be salivating for signs of discord. But Iranians are also more wilfully contrarian than Cubans, so far as I can tell – perhaps Iran should move 100 kilometres from the Imperial homeland and see what one risks by playing “devil’s advocate”?

In the end – and I toss this in as a reward for anyone who read this far – I have always felt that what makes Iran truly different, and often not understandable to the West, is that there is a huge difference between “public” and “private” for Iranians.

Americans walk around in public exactly how they walk around their own living room – there is no concept of boundaries. West Europeans can’t imagine not insisting on their “rights” to do anything they want in public as long as it does not result in immediate violence – it’s not that life is a beer garden to them, but that they seemingly want people to know that they are on the very precipice of discovering a new “right”, and one which they seemingly hope will make you uncomfortable. The Catholic Western nations are a bit more formal, I’ll grant, but they have a love of making a spectacle out of personal drama and tension which is truly abhorrent to the Asian mentality – the end of summer weather in Paris means the weekend-night spats between wife and husband or boyfriend and girlfriend must now move indoors, mercifully.

Iran is not like that. There is home life, and then there is social life, and never the twain should meet. Iranian culture fundamentally insists that there must be a difference in one’s behaviour in these two different realms. To give an extreme, but quick, example: Some women in Iran wear the hijab in public but short skirts at home, and they would do this even if wearing the hijab in public was not the law…and no Iranian would deny this is true. This is the “public face / private face” nature of Iranian culture.

This makes Iran fairly subject to accusations of hypocrisy – I can’t deny that. However, it also implies a level of public courtesy, respect, generosity and consideration via the virtues of self-denial and self-sacrifice. This virtues are denied by many Westerners, but mainly because Westerners don’t perceive or look for such things anymore, I think. As is usually the case in life – the good and the good are both true at varying degrees…and hopefully the scale is balanced positively in Iran’s favor.

What is certain is that something like Iranian Islamic Socialism has been created via the decades-long discovery, installation and victory of Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism, and this progressive political advancement remains open to the world. The rejection of monarchy, imperialism and capitalism is not limited to Iranians, nor to Shia Muslims, nor to Muslims, nor to Middle Easterners, nor to anyone else.

However, one needs an open mind, first! That is difficult, given the decades of anti-Iranian propaganda – I hope this series definitively defeated that for some readers.

Perhaps what is required is the smashing of the final irreligious idol – the Western concept of “unfettered individualism”, which is the foundation of anti-social, immoral & destructive imperialist-capitalism. Certainly, if the West cared anything about someone besides themselves and their ideas, Iran would be allowed to follow their unique & revolutionary model in peace, finally.

One day, Inshallah. Peace to all.

***********************************

This is the last article in an 11-part series which explains the economics, history, religion and culture of Iran’s Revolutionary Shi’ism, which produced modern Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Here is the list of articles which have been published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

The WSWS, Irans economy, the Basij & Revolutionary Shiism: an 11-part series

How Iran Got Economically Socialist, and then Islamic Socialist

What privatisation in Iran? or Definitely not THAT privatisation

Parallels between Irans Basij and the Chinese Communist Party

Irans Basij: The reason why land or civil war inside Iran is impossible

A leftist analysis of Irans Basij – likely the first ever in the West

Irans Basij: Restructuring society and/or class warfare

Cultural’ Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shiism

Martyrdom and Martyrdom’ & martyrdom: understanding Iran

The Death of Yazdgerd: The greatest political movie ever explains Irans revolution (available with English subtitles for free on Youtube here)

Iran détente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 30.08.2018

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Pepe ESCOBAR

Get ready for a major geopolitical chessboard rumble: from now on, every butterfly fluttering its wings and setting off a tornado directly connects to the battle between Eurasia integration and Western sanctions as foreign policy.

It is the paradigm shift of China’s New Silk Roads versus America’s Our Way or the Highway. We used to be under the illusion that history had ended. How did it come to this?

Hop in for some essential time travel. For centuries the Ancient Silk Road, run by mobile nomads, established the competitiveness standard for land-based trade connectivity; a web of trade routes linking Eurasia to the – dominant – Chinese market.

In the early 15th century, based on the tributary system, China had already established a Maritime Silk Road along the Indian Ocean all the way to the east coast of Africa, led by the legendary Admiral Zheng He. Yet it didn’t take much for imperial Beijing to conclude that China was self-sufficient enough – and that emphasis should be placed on land-based operations.

Deprived of a trade connection via a land corridor between Europe and China, Europeans went all-out for their own maritime silk roads. We are all familiar with the spectacular result: half a millennium of Western dominance.

Until quite recently the latest chapters of this Brave New World were conceptualized by the Mahan, Mackinder and Spykman trio.

The Heartland of the World

Mackinder

Halford Mackinder’s 1904 Heartland Theory – a product of the imperial Russia-Britain New Great Game – codified the supreme Anglo, and then Anglo-American, fear of a new emerging land power able to reconnect Eurasia to the detriment of maritime powers.

Nicholas Spykman’s 1942 Rimland Theory advocated that mobile maritime powers, such as the UK and the U.S., should aim for strategic offshore balancing. The key was to control the maritime edges of Eurasia—that is, Western Europe, the Middle East and East Asia—against any possible Eurasia unifier. When you don’t need to maintain a large Eurasia land-based army, you exercise control by dominating trade routes along the Eurasian periphery.

Even before Mackinder and Spykman, U.S. Navy Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan had come up in the 1890s with his Influence of Sea Power Upon History – whereby the “island” U.S. should establish itself as a seaworthy giant, modeled on the British empire, to maintain a balance of power in Europe and Asia.

It was all about containing the maritime edges of Eurasia.

In fact, we lived in a mix of Heartland and Rimland. In 1952, then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles adopted the concept of an “island chain” (then expanded to three chains) alongside Japan, Australia and the Philippines to encircle and contain both China and the USSR in the Pacific. (Note the Trump administration’s attempt at revival via the Quad–U.S., Japan, Australia and India).

George Kennan, the architect of containing the USSR, was drunk on Spykman, while, in a parallel track, as late as 1988, President Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters were still drunk on Mackinder. Referring to U.S. competitors as having a shot at dominating the Eurasian landmass, Reagan gave away the plot: “We fought two world wars to prevent this from occurring,” he said.

Eurasia integration and connectivity is taking on many forms. The China-driven New Silk Roads, also known as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), and myriad other mechanisms, are now leading us to a whole new game.

How delightful that the very concept of Eurasian “connectivity” actually comes from a 2007 World Bank report about competitiveness in global supply chains.

Also delightful is how the late Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski was “inspired” by Mackinder after the fall of the USSR – advocating the partition of a then weak Russia into three separate regions; European, Siberian and Far Eastern.

All Nodes Covered

At the height of the unipolar moment, history did seem to have “ended.” Both the western and eastern peripheries of Eurasia were under tight Western control – in Germany and Japan, the two critical nodes in Europe and East Asia. There was also that extra node in the southern periphery of Eurasia, namely the energy-wealthy Middle East.

Washington had encouraged the development of a multilateral European Union that might eventually rival the U.S. in some tech domains, but most of all would enable the U.S. to contain Russia by proxy.

China was only a delocalized, low-cost manufacture base for the expansion of Western capitalism. Japan was not only for all practical purposes still occupied, but also instrumentalized via the Asian Development Bank (ADB), whose message was:

We fund your projects only if you are politically correct.

The primary aim, once again, was to prevent any possible convergence of European and East Asian powers as rivals to the US.

The confluence between communism and the Cold War had been essential to prevent Eurasia integration. Washington configured a sort of benign tributary system – borrowing from imperial China – designed to ensure perpetual unipolarity. It was duly maintained by a formidable military, diplomatic, economic, and covert apparatus, with a star role for the Chalmers Johnson-defined Empire of Bases encircling, containing and dominating Eurasia.

Compare this recent idyllic past with Brzezinski’s – and Henry Kissinger’s – worst nightmare: what could be defined today as the “revenge of history”.

That features the Russia-China strategic partnership, from energy to trade:  interpolating Russia-China geo-economics; the concerted drive to bypass the U.S. dollar; the AIIB and the BRICS’s New Development Bank involved in infrastructure financing; the tech upgrade inbuilt in Made in China 2025; the push towards an alternative banking clearance mechanism (a new SWIFT); massive stockpiling of gold reserves; and the expanded politico-economic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

As Glenn Diesen formulates in his brilliant book, Russia’s Geo-economic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia, “the foundations of an Eurasian core can create a gravitational pull to draw the rimland towards the centre.”

If the complex, long-term, multi-vector process of Eurasia integration could be resumed by just one formula, it would be something like this: the heartland progressively integrating; the rimlands mired in myriad battlefields and the power of the hegemon irretrievably dissolving. Mahan, Mackinder and Spykman to the rescue? It’s not enough.

Divide and Rule, Revisited

The Oracle still speaks

The same applies for the preeminent post-mod Delphic Oracle, also known as Henry Kissinger, simultaneously adorned by hagiography gold and despised as a war criminal.

Before the Trump inauguration, there was much debate in Washington about how Kissinger might engineer – for Trump – a “pivot to Russia” that he had envisioned 45 years ago. This is how I framed the shadow play at the time.

In the end, it’s always about variations of Divide and Rule – as in splitting Russia from China and vice-versa. In theory, Kissinger advised Trump to “rebalance” towards Russia to oppose the irresistible Chinese ascension. It won’t happen, not only because of the strength of the Russia-China strategic partnership, but because across the Beltway, neocons and humanitarian imperialists ganged up to veto it.

Brzezinski’s perpetual Cold War mindset still lords over a fuzzy mix of the Wolfowitz Doctrine and the Clash of Civilizations. The Russophobic Wolfowitz Doctrine – still fully classified – is code for Russia as the perennial top existential threat to the U.S. The Clash, for its part, codifies another variant of Cold War 2.0: East (as in China) vs. West.

Kissinger is trying some rebalancing/hedging himself, noting that the mistake the West (and NATO) is making “is to think that there is a sort of historic evolution that will march across Eurasia – and not to understand that somewhere on that march it will encounter something very different to a Westphalian entity.”

Both Eurasianist Russia and civilization-state China are already on post-Westphalian mode. The redesign goes deep. It includes a key treaty signed in 2001, only a few weeks before 9/11, stressing that both nations renounce any territorial designs on one another’s territory. This happens to concern, crucially, the Primorsky Territory in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, which was ruled by the Ming and Qing empires.

Moreover, Russia and China commit never to do deals with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

So much for turning Russia against China. Instead, what will develop 24/7 are variations of U.S. military and economic containment against Russia, China and Iran – the key nodes of Eurasia integration – in a geo-strategic spectrum. It will include intersections of heartland and rimland across Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the South China Sea. That will proceed in parallel to the Fed weaponizing the U.S. dollar at will.

Heraclitus Defies Voltaire

Voltaire

Alastair Crooke took a great shot at deconstructing why Western global elites are terrified of the Russian conceptualization of Eurasia. It’s because “they ‘scent’…a stealth reversion to the old, pre-Socratic values: for the Ancients … the very notion of ‘man’, in that way, did not exist. There were only men: Greeks, Romans, barbarians, Syrians, and so on. This stands in obvious opposition to universal, cosmopolitan ‘man’.”

So it’s Heraclitus versus Voltaire – even as “humanism” as we inherited it from the Enlightenment, is de facto over. Whatever is left roaming our wilderness of mirrors depends on the irascible mood swings of the Goddess of the Market. No wonder one of the side effects of progressive Eurasia integration will be not only a death blow to Bretton Woods but also to “democratic” neoliberalism.

What we have now is also a remastered version of sea power versus land powers. Relentless Russophobia is paired with supreme fear of a Russia-Germany rapprochement – as Bismarck wanted, and as Putin and Merkel recently hinted at. The supreme nightmare for the U.S. is in fact a truly Eurasian Beijing-Berlin-Moscow partnership.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has not even begun; according to the official Beijing timetable, we’re still in the planning phase. Implementation starts next year. The horizon is 2039.

(Wellcome Library, London.) 

This is China playing a long-distance game of go on steroids, incrementally making the best strategic decisions (allowing for margins of error, of course) to render the opponent powerless as he does not even realize he is under attack.

The New Silk Roads were launched by Xi Jinping five years ago, in Astana (the Silk Road Economic Belt) and Jakarta (the Maritime Silk Road). It took Washington almost half a decade to come up with a response. And that amounts to an avalanche of sanctions and tariffs. Not good enough.

Russia for its part was forced to publicly announce a show of mesmerizing weaponry to dissuade the proverbial War Party adventurers probably for good – while heralding Moscow’s role as co-driver of a brand new game.

On sprawling, superimposed levels, the Russia-China partnership is on a roll; recent examples include summits in Singapore, Astana and St. Petersburg; the SCO summit in Qingdao; and the BRICS Plus summit.

Were the European peninsula of Asia to fully integrate before mid-century – via high-speed rail, fiber optics, pipelines – into the heart of massive, sprawling Eurasia, it’s game over. No wonder Exceptionalistan elites are starting to get the feeling of a silk rope drawn ever so softly, squeezing their gentle throats.

consortiumnews.com

‘Cultural’ & ‘Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism

August 03, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog‘Cultural’ & ‘Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism

Trotsky was and, in as much as he lives in his writings, remains the foremost strategist of world socialist revolution. Hence the indissoluble association of his name with the theory and strategy of Permanent Revolution—an association familiar even to those like Mazaheri….”

That is a quote from the World Socialist Web Site’s 3-part series designed to rebut my work popularising the concept of “Iranian Islamic Socialism”, and by extension to also rebut “Islamic Socialism”, “Christian Socialism”, “Hindu Socialism”, etc.

Well, a supremely important association which I think is not at all familiar even to those like the World Socialist Web Site is that, for Shia, Imam Ali “remains the foremost strategist of world cultural revolution”. Nor are they likely at all familiar that the conscious martyrdom of his son, Imam Hossain (spelled Husayn or Hussein or Hussain in Arabic), makes him “the foremost strategist of world permanent revolution”.

This article will show that there is room for all of them in socialism, and in the fight against capitalism and imperialism.

The reason for this is because Prophet Mohammad, unlike Jesus son of Mary, undoubtedly led the greatest, most immediate and most sweeping religious and political revolution ever. This undeniable fact of humankind’s history can certainly continue to be ignored, but it will remain a historical fact.

This should be quite relevant to the WSWS in 2018 because the messages of Imam Ali and Imam Hossain have been combined, over many decades, with socialism to arrive at the unique culture proclaimed in the 1980s and which I refer to as “Iranian Islamic Socialism”.

That is a on an undeniable socio-political-cultural level. On an intellectual level it is just as crystal-clear: 20th/21st century Iranians re-examined Islam through the intellectual lenses provided by Marxism, Trotskyism, Maoism and all the other socialist schools of thought, and this led to the intellectual concept known as Revolutionary Shi’ism.

All of these facts can certainly continue to not be discussed outside of Iran, but Iran will keep adding layer upon layer of solder upon these two ideas from two different historical eras – the early Islamic era and the modern era of socialism – and certainly all without me clarifying it or commenting upon it.

It is unfortunate – because it shows their lack of crucial & objective historical knowledge – that just as Western leftists do not appreciate the political-economic-social revolutionary aspects of Prophet Mohammad, even fewer appreciate the similar qualities of Imam Ali. That will be the basis of this part, while Part 9 will discuss the related political qualities of Imam Hossain. These are not two figures I have plucked from obscurity – they are the two key leaders of the Shia religion, as well as successful revolutionary political beacons in two eras separated by 1300 years.

For the WSWS, Western leftists, and many Western rightists, religion is not and should not be political. People keep telling this to Iranians as if we have not heard it before…and quite obviously totally ignored it!

“It is surprising! For what purpose then, was the Prophet fighting? For what purpose was Imam Ali fighting? Is it not the question of politics? Is it not the fact that criminals are ruling over the people?”

In these two articles on Ali and Hossain I will often quote from Revolutionary Shi’ism proponent Ali Shariati and his Martyrdom and Martyrdom, a collection of his lectures on this issue.

Westerners may believe that religion and politics must be separated in a government: to use their sacred, inviolable and individualistic phrase, they “have that right” in their own countries. What they cannot believe – unless they willingly wish to remain in error – is that politics and religion are somehow two fundamentally unrelated socio-intellectual domains: both endeavour to tell us how to live, after all. It is notable that the Western view also lacks the democratic majority in a global sense – perhaps one finds that significant.

What is certain is that if one side does not give up…we will just go around in circles endlessly: Westerners with their dogmatic secularism and rabid laïcité (both of which latently support Christianity), and on the other side people like Shariati, myself and countless billions of others with: It is surprising! For what purpose then….

How imperialism dies: Learning from socialism’s mistakes and unlearning capitalist propaganda

The WSWS seems to think that I have invented something new:

“He again insists that socialism in Iran can galvanize the masses only if fused with Shia Islam. This argument is far easier to make if one ignores, as Mazaheri does, any consideration of the pivotal role of the Stalinist Tudeh Party in the development of the Iranian workers’ movement.”

I am not insisting anything about the galvanising power of Shia Islam in Iran – this is what has already happened. Truly, I am a journalist just reporting the facts. These are facts which are, unfortunately, not reported by many others.

However, this article will provide some new scholarship on Iran: I will show how there is a clear parallel between the aims of Imam Ali and Mao, both of whom attempted Cultural Revolutions after they perceived their initial political revolutions to be failing.

This is of vital interest, precedent and perspective to all political revolutionaries, and not just Shia and Chinese ones.

Now, I don’t want much credit here because I will use Shariati’s own scholarship to show that he essentially proved this…but he did not know it. The likely reason is that people like Shariati (died 1977) did not have the chance to unlearn the anti-socialist propaganda about China’s Cultural Revolution, which I helped debunk here. Furthermore, Shariati was so powerful because he was incredibly and uniquely adept at employing Marxist perspectives on Islam, but he was also anti-Marxist in the sense that he did not want formal communists to come to power in Iran – he was not inclined to openly laud Chinese communists, perhaps. Indeed, much of Shariati’s writing on communism is negative and filled with now-outdated ideas that communism is inescapably totalitarian, whereas modern socialist countries are not the USSR in 1942.

While there is much writing on Marxism and socialism on the Farsi-language internet, there is apparently no claim like the one I am making. Nor is there much on the claims of the next part in this series – the link between Imam Hossain and the need for “Permanent Revolution”, but it is not the desert of the Imam Ali-Cultural Revolution claim. However, I feel certain these links are easily proven, and that they likely were made in the revolutionary heyday of the 1970s…back when Revolutionary Shi’ism was disseminated via cassette tapes of Shariati and Khomenei lectures and flimsy mimeographs. I’m glad the internet makes the registration of such ideas seemingly permanent.

The continued moral failures of capitalism and imperialism mean that socialism – from an economic and democratic perspective – is the only way forward. Iran, and others, will never give up religion, so that is a non-issue, but understanding historical parallels shows the universality of the human economic-political experience. The ability to appreciate Prophet Mohammad, Ali, Hossain, Jesus, Moses, Mao, Trotsky and others as common socio-political liberators draws us all closer together, and closer to the goal of peace and shared prosperity.

This what’s makes the above claim by the WSWS rather pernicious, and it marks a turning point in their tract: it’s when the WSWS tries to appropriate the credit for the 1979 Iranian Revolution away from Revolutionary Shi’ism in order to give it to the Iranian Communist Party. And to give it lock, stock and barrel, furthermore. This is why the bulk of their series discusses the history of the Tudeh Party. Both ideologies existed, but one obviously prevailed; both ideologies existed, and to completely ignore one of them is obviously bad history. This appears like the rather common modern practice of rewriting Iranian history by Westerners, which is misleading, dangerous and self-serving. Of course, Iran is not alone in being victimised like this.

Certainly, it was not communism which ultimately galvanised the masses: by the late 1970s communism had already been present for decades, just as it was in every other nation in the world. Indeed, as Iran was never subject to colonial domination, it is a fact that communism had far more latitude and influence than in many colonised nations. But the truly-atheist Tudeh party members (which were truly few in Iran, where polls show less than 5% are atheists today) faced the same problem the WSWS does today: you may educate the Iranian masses all you want on Trotskyism, but that doesn’t mean they will also renounce viewing Imam Ali as a religious and political model.

While their series was informative on the topic they preferred – although it was clearly exaggerated – WSWS readers would have learned much more about Iran if they had instead talked about the enduring political influence of Imam Ali.

Indeed, the refusal to even consider the possibility that Ali, Islam or religion can have a positive and enduring political influence is what dooms Western leftism to political marginalisation in Iran, and elsewhere. It is also creates obvious enmity, discord, sanction & murder.

Imam Ali’s failed Cultural Revolution: the ideological schism between Shia and Sunnis

It is impossible to understand Iran without at least passing familiarity with Ali and with his son Hossain.

In short: Imam Ali, the very first male Muslim, Mohammad’s son-in-law, the 4th Caliph to Sunnis and the 1st to Shia –in the historical context of a perceived slackening in Islam’s revolutionary, political and moral integrity – cemented the ideological Sunni-Shia schism by trying to implement a Cultural Revolution after the initial political Revolution of Islam.

(The schism was officially created decades before: Mohammad repeatedly & openly declared Ali to be his successor at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but this decision was surprisingly reversed on the very day of the Prophet’s death at the Saqifah. This decision installed tribal dominance instead of the will and house of Mohammad, and Ali was not able to resist this decision. Ghadir Khumm is why Shia consider Ali to be the first Caliph, and is truly the root of the split, but Ali’s future actions – described here – would considerably exacerbate it.)

Perhaps all peoples of all times have reinterpreted religion to better understand and to improve the times in which they have lived?

It’s certain that many reinterpret religion to make their times more reactionary: drive through the United States and you will hear on radio station after radio station the combination of Christian fundamentalism and anti-government / pro-capitalist ideology. This is no exaggeration – for them the “beast” of the Bible is actually a symbol for the government, which is inherently evil. It obviously fits perfectly with the neoliberal view. There is also plenty of airspace reserved for “prosperity gospel”, where faith in God is only needed to make you rich. These are obviously not distortions of a failed Christian creed, but of a failed capitalist-imperialist one.

Instead of delusionally reinterpreting Jesus as a way to make money, the application and promotion of leftist perspectives on Ali and Hossain provided more inspiration for the common masses than the Tudeh Party ever did or possibly ever could.

Leftists fail to see that Prophet Mohammad was a political revolutionary

Don’t worry: This section will not be long, nor will it involve quoting the Koran.

I could do that, but many leftists have closed ears, and “God confounds whom He will” (couldn’t resist that one short, oft-repeated quote!).

What this section will recap is the political humanitarian revolution which Prophet Mohammad created. These basic historical, sociological and political aspects of Islam are facts which cannot be denied, and should be of intellectual interest to atheists at the very least.

As I have said often before: Shariati was just one of many, many similar Iranian political thinkers who was / are intensely Muslim and also politically leftist. His work is marked by superb political insights combined with an intensely urgent and open concern for morality.

For an example of his political insights, Shariati noted that the social origins of Jesus and Mohammad – the two Abrahamic prophets of whom we have definitive historical proof – were not the aristocratic ones of Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, Aristotle, Plato, etc. Indeed, all the founders of schools of pre-Enlightenment thought in Europe, China, Iran and India fundamentally supported their aristocratic, elitist, hyper-conservative political establishments. However, the primary Abrahamic messengers (including Moses, who was born to an enslaved people and then orphaned) were drawn from the People and openly opposed the existing power structure.

This helps explain why the main Abrahamic prophets were explicitly sent to free people not just spiritually and morally but politically as well. Unlike Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism or Taoism, “Abrahamism” has always been decidedly political and decidedly against the establishment: Abraham against the ruling polytheists and his father the idol-maker; Moses against Pharaoh; Jesus son of Mary against a slave-owning, imperial Rome which lacked political compassion; Mohammad against the oppression inherently imposed by polytheism (the humorous and sad delusion that God or gods are actually working against you), the meagre cynicism of materialism (scientific, not material), aristocratic privileges, social castes and tribal divisions.

Indeed the Western-created “Sunni-Shia divide” could only be created by non-Muslims because Mohammad ENDED tribalism, sectarianism and nationalism ,and every Muslim is aware of this. This is easily proven: Watch any gathering of Muslims and you see people of all hues and ethnicities – it is beautiful, politically, and the direct result of the humanitarian revolution espoused by Islam. This is absent among the insular “chosen” Jews, and far less present among Christians; indeed, the presence of multiple races in Christianity is largely due to their legacy of forced conversion, a practice barred in Islam.

All of this helps show why Islam is the undoubted political updating of Abrahamic thought. Mohammad had a mission of unification because he repeatedly confirmed the previous Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity (the Torah (Old Testament) and New Testament), and because he also created a unification of time and space by pointedly declaring Islam to NOT be a “new” religion – it is simply a continuation of the one true religion of monotheism.

This idea (tawhidis the indispensable base of Islam: it is the oneness of God, which implies the oneness of all things (from atoms to people to galaxies, as everything is under the direction of a limitless, all-knowing, all-seeing God). This is a fundamentally unitarian concept, accommodates both Western and Eastern concepts, and is also fully in accordance with the last great confirmed scientific theory, the Theory of Relativity.

A fun scientific sidebar!

The Theory of Relatively is far from being just the equation E = mc2 – that’s just the part to say to appear smart. Its theoretical importance is this: when observing the universe no one place is any better or different than another – the laws of nature are universal no matter where or by whom they are described, i.e. there is this egalitarian tawhid on a galactic level.

When scientists inevitably find a “theory of everything”, that too will logically confirm tawhid.

There is one scientific and cosmological debate left which, I must concede, still threatens the victory of tawhid and which could prove the polytheists correct: What is the true nature of the universe’s continual expansion?

If expansion never stops, that implies an eventual thinning out of matter, and thus cooling, and thus death – in theological terms, the Day of Judgement. But what if there is never a day when the universe stops expanding but – instead of thinning out – a day when it actually contracts upon itself? And if that occurs, does it then expand again?

The latter is posited by Hinduism, which believes that the universe has an infinite number of deaths and rebirths; Big Bang, contraction and reversal, then back to the same Big Bang; have all been here before, and we will all be here again. Does time run backwards during a contraction?

This is all scientifically plausible because it has not yet been disproven.

The key appears to lay in solving the mysteries of black holes, if that possible.

Another key lays in the possibility of being able to discover the nature of matter by finding the truly “smallest particle” – we may just keep subdividing forever: molecules into atoms into quarks into…. If we subdivide forever, that seems to support tawhid, because God is limitless. If we reach an end, that seems to support Hindu cosmology.

So for all the opprobrium Muslims and monotheists heap on Hinduism for their idolatry (known as shirk), we still cannot scientifically reject their cosmology. For now, the answer is a question of faith.

I think religious honesty requires us to be open and honest about the limitations of our scientific knowledge – the Koran repeatedly states that one who makes up lies about God is among the most reprehensible of sinners. Indeed, a mind that demands total certainty and cannot tolerate doubt is a fanatical one. I also think every religious person agrees that atheists are far more fanatical in their alleged cosmological certainties than either monotheists or polytheists.

We may never find out, but I have faith in the galactic applicability of tawhid. Fortunately, the Koran forbids forcing a Hindu into accepting tawhid. Nor can you force a Muslim to become a Hindu because Hinduism – it is often said – is not a religion but a culture: there is no process to “convert” to Hinduism – one can only live it. So…Muslims have no problem allowing Hindus to remain peacefully confounded in whatever hundred billion-year cycle they are currently in, and the same goes for Hindus regarding Muslims who refuse to practice Hindusim.

I do not seek to upset the peace of the Hindus, because solving the most difficult astronomical and cosmological questions are far beyond the ken of a daily hack journalist like myself. And maybe there is tawhid in Hinduism which I am perhaps missing?

What this sidebar makes clear is: capitalist-imperialist Western societies have been totally unable to incorporate 20th-century scientific advances into their cultural philosophies. Their People are encouraged in identity politics (where one viewpoint is superior to another, depending on the situation), supporting foreign wars and in exacerbating economic inequalities, all of which contradict the social corollaries of modern science.

They remain quite stuck in their unmodern bourgeois conceptions of humanity, society & science, and this should be expected: they have rejected socialism, which was directly inspired by such modern scientific advances, and which has always sought to reflect it.

Back to something far easier to explain: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

This inviolable unity of all things proclaimed by Mohammad necessary implies a call for socio-political-economic-cultural unity. To say that it does not is to take us back to, “It is surprising! For what purpose then….”

Shariati’s genius was to take Islamic concepts like tawhid and make correlates with them in Marxist socio-economic thought. He did this over and over, and this is why he was so wildly popular and why Iran was so successfully inspired to create a truly modern revolution in 1979. This is also why all of the politics and structures I have described in this 11-part series do not have historical parallels; are decidedly not capitalist; nor are they a return to the 7th century – what has been created in Iran since 1979 is entirely unique (revolutionary).

And I’d say he was right: Tawhid clearly is more politically revolutionary than the insufficient “chosen people” unity of the Jews. Even China’s I Ching explicitly warns of this, in Chapter 13 “Seeking Harmony” – “Seeking harmony within a clan, it is selfish and stingy”.

It is also more progressively uniting than the Holy Trinity of Christianity, which Islam explicitly rejects: God is not three – He is one, and one is all.

In the Abrahamic religion Islam is obviously the most concerned with this idea of egalitarian unity. Indeed, Prophet Mohammad “cornered the market on unity” for all-time and for every time: In Islam (as I alluded to earlier by saying that Islam unified time and space), anyone who has ever believed or will ever believe in monotheism is essentially a Muslim. This insistence also makes it an undeniable reality that there can never be another monotheistic religion in the Abrahamic line – Islam has effectively co-opted all monotheism.

Therefore, the next Abrahamic prophet can only appear on the Day of Judgment… because what else could possibly be offered more than an Islam which offers everything there always has, is, and will be offered regarding monotheistic belief? This is why the Koran begins with praise after praise for monotheistic Jews & Christians as well as plea after plea for Jews & Christians to join this intellectual, social and cultural updating of Abrahamism provided by its latest prophet.

Because another monotheistic prophet is thus a logical impossibility, Muslims believe a “Hidden Imam” (or Mahdi) walks the earth until the Day of Judgment, when he will walk hand-in-hand with Jesus to defeat the false messiah (or Antichrist to Christians) and establish peace and justice on earth This doctrine is not essential in Sunni, but popular, while for Shia it is an essential doctrine.

Many have falsely claimed to be the Mahdi over the centuries, including the fore-runner of the Bahai – that claim was obviously false, because peace and justice clearly do not reign globally. That is why the Bahai are not tolerated in Iran (and this fact predates 1979, of course): there is a rather enormous, Islam-jeopardizing claim which is being made and not fulfilled.

But the galactic nature of tawhid and the realisation that Islam owns all monotheism aside, what needs to be appreciated by non-Muslims is how Mohammad overturned the political order and broke with aristocratic and sectarian values. Just as bus drivers became bosses in 1979 Iran, so in the time of Mohammad slaves with noble natures became higher than aristocrats. From Shariati:

“This is why the Prophet of Islam marked the turning point for slaves who, throughout history, were certain that their fate was slavery…they believed that they existed solely to experience suffering, to carry heavy loads, and to go hungry so that others might receive pleasure. They were born and created for this.

This deprived class, who were convinced that the gods or God were their enemy…. The Prophet of Islam had been appointed in order to complete the movement which had existed throughout history against deception, falsehood, polytheism, creation of discord, hypocrisy, aristocracy and class differences which were all made an object of the spiritual struggle; and by announcing that all of humanity is of one race, one source, one nature and one God, to declare equality for all, with philosophical explanation, and by fighting an economically powerful regime to maintain social equity.”

Clearly, the lenses, ideas and language of Marxism, socialism, class struggle, democratic equality and economic equality are present and have been combined with Islam in 20th century Revolutionary Shi’ism. Combine this by many volumes and you have only Shariati’s output on an issue which captivated Iranian society. “Iranian Islamic Socialism” is not new – it just an apt journalistic catchphrase.

Certainly, the political impact of Jesus son of Mary was only felt after his death, while Prophet Mohammad created political revolutions in land after land, tribe after tribe, ethnicity after ethnicity, and race after race with his creed of total social equality.

Many Christians openly hold Mohammad’s political conquests against him from a moral point of view: this because they clearly fail to realise the revolutionary socio-political demands of Islam, due to their often total ignorance of Islam’s doctrines. Priests in Islam simply are fighters for God and social justice. Islamic preachers are not monks, nor celibate, nor divorced from society, nor unconcerned with society in order to worship God all alone, nor encouraged to live in isolation, nor obsessed with performing rites and rituals, nor plying magic to make it rain (or to do whatever polytheistic / folk shamans do), etc. They are ordered to create social justice.

However, to Shariati and to Shia, this very real socio-political revolutionary aspect of Islam was diminished due to the failure of 2nd and 3rd-generation Islamic revolutionaries to heed Imam Ali’s message.

Imam Ali and his call for Cultural Revolution to preserve the leftist political gains

Because Islam was a political revolution of still unparalleled global consequence, there is much for everyone to study on a historical-political level in the period immediately after Mohammad, who passed in 632. We can view this era from an areligious historical perspective, and it is politically quite enlightening.

This is not the exact same thing as what Shariati and others did – they applied a modern political lens on Islam itself as well as its history. What I am saying here is: Non-Muslims can apply a modern historical lens on the early Islamic era, and we will find the results are almost identical.

We must realise that in 656, when Imam Ali became the 4th Caliph, it was a dire situation for the now-aged first generation of political revolutionaries of Islam.

After all, how many political revolutions haven’t lasted more than a few years before reverting back to the previous & reactionary status quo?

From a purely political perspective, and as Shariati recounts: In 656 it was nearing the end for that first generation of revolutionaries. Ali, the only person ever born in the Kabaa, was 55 years old and had fought in nearly every major battle. He had also retired from politics to work as a farmer – he still mended his own shoes. He had to be pushed into becoming Caliph, and only did so because the revolution was starting to eat its children: His predecessor had been assassinated, factions had appeared, once-liberated areas were rebelling due to poor political governance, while some new converts may have converted for political gain and were thus possible opportunists with questionable grounding in Islam.

It is as if Raul Castro was seeing the growth of parties who want Guantanamo Bay to be legally part of the USA, that the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were no longer holding meetings, and that state-ownership of the mother industries of the economy were being sold off to Floridians.

Imam Ali assumed the Caliphate and did what he thought was needed – he restored the political revolution of equality initiated by Mohammad.

Ali waged a war against financial corruption and unfair privileges – he was a politically-enlightened (as well as religiously enlightened) revolutionary, after all. He gave the same wages for politicians as he did to slaves, levelled taxes and opposed the reigning nepotism in favor of seniority. There is no doubt that such leftist ideas rarely reign supreme now, either, and that they were just as opposed by the same unenlightened forces back in the 7th century.

Ali’s message of political piety was obviously not appreciated by everyone, least of in largely-Christian Damascus. The governor there was Muawiyah I, the eventual founder of the Umayyad dynasty. After a political marriage to a powerful Christian tribe and many military successes, Muawiyah was powerful enough to not recognise Ali as the 4th Caliph.

The Christian makeup of Damascus was not the problem: the problem was that the anti-reactionary blaze of the Revolution of Islam had so very much to burn. From Shariati, in that typically overstuffed-yet-somehow-not-unnecessary style of Persian carpets and minatures:

“The traditions, rules, etiquette of society, economic and aristocratic systems, thoughts, ideas, tastes, literature, poetry, music, dance, amusements, social relations, ethics and manners of ‘civilized’ Rome and Iran, the social class system and aristocratic regime, the political system of the Caesars and Kings, the type and form of monastic and clerical traditions, the properties which are hierarchical and bureaucratic, the official and classical system of rule, and finally, the progressive (meaning less austere) Iranian and Roman civilizations certainly had an influence upon the simple Islamic communities.

The wealth, power, position and countless ‘spoils’ which had been earned in the Muslim victories make people grow fat and it is because of this that they are no longer listening to Ali’s advice, his goal and his sufferings. The majority of the people are quite happy with the situation. They are no longer fond of such problems. They show no sensitivity whatsoever to them. These people have now changed into being the servants of wealth and power.”

Shariati has clearly recounted a lessening of political fervour which can be seen in seemingly all political revolutions.

Also for Shariati, Ali is so vital in large part because the power centre in Damascus began to manipulate Islam for its own political conquests, fostering a quietism among the religious authorities.

Comparisons of the post-Mohammad-era political culture with the USSR after Stalin and China in the 1960s show obvious parallels…as they must, because all three were the supremely-modern political revolutions of their respective eras.

After the first generation of revolutionaries passed with Stalin, Khrushchev pursued revisionist policies in the name of individualistic anti-Stalinism; then, when the USSR had pulled itself up to the level of the dominant Western imperialists, they preferred the calm Brezhnev era, which was totally stagnant from a revolutionary perspective; finally, Gorbachev’s era had become so estranged from Russian socialist ideals that he foolishly embraced massive tolerance of counterrevolutionary thought (glasnost), which played a major role in subverting the Russian Revolution. Revolutionaries became “the servants of wealth and power,” instead of the deprived classes.

Following 1949’s victory, after many years of similar revolutionary stagnation and at least seven failed official anti-corruption campaigns, Mao and his fellow first-generation revolutionaries listened to the demands of their youth in the 1960s and empowered them to institute the Cultural Revolution in order to restore revolutionary integrity. Thus when Mao died in 1976 the younger generations had personally witnessed the regeneration of revolutionary ideals, and ones extremely similar to those which Imam Ali was espousing 1,300 years earlier. In 2018, when China is close to returning a socialist nation to the same economic status as the dominant Western imperialists, books such as China is Communist, Dammit by Jeff J. Brown are necessary reading not just in the West but inside China itself – rust never sleeps, after all.

Iran instituted the world’s only other official Cultural Revolution immediately after the 1979 Revolution. Even though it expressly rejected anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist thought, as in China, it came at a very different revolutionary period of revolutionary history. This is a vital nuance, but one which does not overshadow the kinship between the world’s only two official Cultural Revolutions. There was talk of a second one in 2005 with the election of Ahmadinejad, the first Basiji president.

In my 8-part series on China I showed how constant Western pressures (blockade, Vietnam War, Indonesian communist genocide) were key additional reasons for China’s Cultural Revolution – it would thus not be historically surprising if the constant Western pressure on Iran does eventually produce a 2nd Cultural Revolution more exactly similar to the first one in China.

The appetite for and unprecedented success in Cultural Revolution is one of the many, many cultural and political similarities between modern Iran and modern China, as I discussed in part 4 of this series.

Perhaps it is not surprising that the non-Semitic Iranians have been so insistent in their accusation that the Arab early Sunnis turned Islam into an imperialist war machine instead of being content to morally improve their own backyards. But it seems historically verifiable: Instead of the values being determined by the Koran and Islam, the values were being decided by Damascus…unless Ali’s ideas prevailed. Did they?

To Shia: The counter-revolution in Islam in generations after Mohammad

No they did not. Ali’s Cultural Revolution created major opposition from the Byzantine elites in Damascus. Governor Muawiyah openly rebelled, demanding autonomy, refusing diplomacy, and thus sparking the First Fitna (Muslim Civil War).

Muawiyah’s army had become accustomed to war, with regular battles against the Byzantines (or Romans, as they called themselves – North European historians apparently insist on this false distinction). The militarily-innovative Muawiyah had just established Arab naval supremacy over the Byzantine / Eastern Roman Empire in the Battle of the Masts of 654, two years prior to Ali’s assumption of the Caliphate. The death of the Zoroastrian Yazdgerd III, Sassanid Iran’s last ruler, occurred in 651 and thus both East and West presented plenty of war booty for thousands of kilometers.

So, in 656, for Imam Ali to come in with his revolutionary piety instead of worldly gain at a historical time when all roads to conquest were wide open….

War between the partisans of Ali (the word “Shia” means “partisans of Ali”) and Muawiyah ensued and, about to be defeated, Muawiyah famously instructed his soldiers to put Korans on the tip of their lances. Inspiration or blasphemy? The soldiers themselves did not know, either, and the confusion stopped the fighting and saved Muawiyah. Diplomacy resumed, arbitration was unsatisfactory and confusion reigned for several years…which was the obvious goal of Muawiyah.

It was his goal because during this break in the First Fitna the powerful new elites in all directions certainly did not grow to appreciate pious Ali’s views. It’s as if Muawiyah was betting on the continued decreasing of revolutionary fervour and increasing of capitalist-imperialist desires. Ali’s soldiers began to be poached and bought off by Damascus. Infighting and discord increases among Ali’s own partisans. Eventually, Ali could not consolidate his position in Iraq, where Muawiyah’s army began invading.

In 661 Imam Ali is assassinated in in Kufa, Iraq – stabbed in the back while prostrated in prayer.

Ali’s legacy is summed up by Shariati thusly:

“The Prophet is the manifestation of Islamic victory on the foreign front – over outright atheism and polytheism – whereas Ali is the manifestation of Islamic defeat within the ranks, at the hands of hypocrisy.”

Thus we have a major cause of the root of the Iranian obsession with hypocrisy, which is essentially the same thing as “corruption” to the Chinese or “opportunism” to Cubans. Of course, capitalists cannot be called “hypocrites” because capitalism is synonymous with hypocrisy, corruption & opportunism in every sense of the words and their practices & applications.

Equal to Iranian hatred of hypocrisy is “arrogance”, which is used synonymously with “imperialism” in everyday Iranian political discourse: imperialists arrogantly believe that they know better than the conquered locals, after all.

In the same way but with none of the same logic, Americans use “imperialism” and “capitalism” interchangeably, even though they are two very separate (but related) practices. Falsely using these two as synonyms explains why Western media essentially instructs (“read: capitalism”) in the rare case they actually even print the word “imperialism”.

“The political, social and international make-up of Ali was the representative par excellence of a new struggle, a struggle between the leaders and the loyalists of the new set of values, of the new faith, who rose up with new and true slogans of Islam and found themselves confronting the greed and worst elements of the revival of the rule of ignorance…. Ali is the manifestation of an age in which an internecine struggle took place between a loyal faithful and anti-movement elements who donned the masks of faith.”

Ali did not represent “only Iranians” or “only Iraqis” or “only Mohammad’s Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe” – he represented the idea of moral improvement: that is what true socio-political revolutions must be based on, while forgetting it means the revolution is nearing its end.

This is why Iranian Islamic Socialism has been proven to be not just some petty nationalist, sectarian or racist creed but a true, progressive revolution. The message of Imam Ali is open to all peoples; his political message is open to non-Muslims, if they would only look….which is rather the point of this article.

“Confronting the ‘neo-ignorance’ and ‘neo-aristocracy’, which comes to life within the context of Islam under the cover of truth and the very heart of the justice-seeking Revolution of Islam, Ali is the base of resistance.”

It is not surprising that a “resistance base” – has been chose as the term for the smallest unit of Iran’s Basij – there are 60-80,000 such small bases nationwide, comprising 10-25 million Basiji.

We also see here how Shia view Ali’s opponents as a “neo-aristocracy” which mistakenly installed an era of “neo-ignorance” (“neo” because it is post-Mohammad, but “ignorance” because they opposed the social revolutionary Ali).

Ali resisted the unjust, and this resistance is most certainly the cause of his still-galvanising legacy in 2018. The Tudeh Party, for all their decades of progressive activity, never approached the impact of Ali in Iran- not in politics, nor in culture, nor in morality, nor in anything. Iranian socialists succeeded because they subverted themselves to Ali, and thus won over the masses.

The effects of Ali’s failed ‘Cultural Revolution’ – revolution devolves to empire

Upon Ali’s assassination his son, Hassan, becomes the next caliph, but he is obviously dominated by Muawiyah. Muawiyah is declared Caliph with the promise that upon his death the Caliphate will return to Hassan or, if Hassan has passed, his brother Hossain.

But infamously, upon his death in 680 Muawiyah reneges on this promise and appoints his son Yazid for his successor as Caliph. The Umayyad dynasty is declared.

Thus, not only is Mohammad’s will disregarded, but the house of the Prophet has been deeply marginalized, and the democratic, consultative government of Islam has ended with the re-establishment of monarchy.

Some say that Muawiyah told his son to be gentle with Hossain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, but it should be clear that this will not be the case.

The Umayyad dynasty, while it was religiously tolerant – indeed, it was officially secular and Christians held top posts – it was ethnically intolerant, as it was pro-Arab. It was also an imperialist war machine which conquered from Spain to Afghanistan. Its legacy is almost universally considered to be negative among all Islamic historians (except by Syrian nationalists). How could it be otherwise? Given its imperialist nature, it was obviously not revolutionary nor sufficiently Islamic.

(Like Alexander, the Umayyads mistakenly thought they could do anything remotely significant to the continent and perpetual superpower of India – claims of victories there by Greeks or Muslims are woefully & shamefully exaggerated, and serve only to amuse Indians. Unfortunately, the belief of such false claims undermine the amazing achievements of India, and thus have produced a huge Western and Muslim under-appreciation for their singular importance and dominance throughout human history.)

While the actual Sunni-Shia schism undoubtedly started on the day Mohammad died, with the refusal to honor Mohammad’s appointment of Ali as the first Caliph, it might have been averted if Ali’s Cultural Revolution had been implemented.

So…we can say this intellectual schism was a cultural conflict between the Byzantine and Persian cultures in early Islamic society – that would seem to rest upon the belief in some sort of native Persian austerity which lays in opposition to a native Mediterranean belligerence. Or we can say that the Umayyads created a wholly new Islamic culture which preferred tolerance and imperialism (how very modern European) to the socio-political revolutionary Islam of Mohammad. Or we can take a political-ideological view – the Umayyad Dynasty only was able to take power because the Revolution of Islam had weakened in its fervour and integrity.

This weakening was not just by the new Islamic elite like Muawiyah, but with the People themselves – to believe otherwise seems to accept a view that history is controlled by the 1%: why did the 99% not rise up with Ali? Clearly, many preferred Muawiyah’s promises, his larger army, his richer allies, his less pious worldview. Islam was a political revolution and people do tire of revolution, after all – not everyone is a seemingly tireless Lenin or “Mr. Dyanmo” Mehdi Ben Barka of Morocco (assassinated in France in 1965, likely with aid from the Moroccan monarchy).

Of course, while under the reign of the Umayyads many would regret this decision – and these are called “Shia” today.

While they would initially headquarter in Iraq and become culturally rooted in the “Shia crescent” (Lebanon east to Iran), Shia are significantly present in nearly every Asian country from Turkey eastward until Bangladesh & China. Thus, Shi’ism is not just a small regional affair as portrayed in the West; this vast presence helps explain why there never any sort of ideological-fuelled war with Sunnis like beween Protestants and Catholics…until Zionism gained the upper hand, that is.

If the Umayyad reign had been more politically enlightened, then they would have likely superseded Ali, correct? Instead, as time went on, Imam Ali obviously became appreciated for the true & just revolutionary he was. Despite nearly 70 years of rather appalling ritual cursing of Ali – the first male Muslim – in public prayers, as ordered by the Umayyad Islamic authorities, Ali’s message grew and now his picture is all over Iran and elsewhere.

I rather doubt Mao knew the story of Ali, but as he was also an undoubtedly poetic soul I’m sure he would have appreciated it…assuming he had dispensed with the blinding anti-religious hatred of early socialists.

Conclusion:

I hope this historical recounting clearly shows how, for Shia, Ali represents a Cultural Revolution within Islam after the original Revolution of Islam. As I said, my terms and historical parallels may be new, but the ideas were present before I was even born. This will become even more clear in the next part of this series, on Imam Hossain. 20th/21st century revolutionary Shi’ism is largely based around the combination of Prophet Mohammad, Imam Ali & Imam Hossain and the political ideas of modern socialism.

The split between Iran and the rest of the Muslim world is not based on religious doctrine, but on political-economic doctrine. Iran was always fortunate to escape the capitalist-imperialist domination nearly all other Muslim nations have been and are still subjected to.

It is unfortunate that it must be tirelessly repeated to combat the dominant propaganda: The “Sunni-Shia divide” is a concoction of Washington and Tel Aviv designed to further their imperialist capitalism. That is very clear from Netanyahu’s 2016 interview with the US television news program 60 minutes: Simply look at the chilling way he responds to the journalist’s question, “Israel and Saudi Arabia: Are you actually developing an anti-Iran alliance in the Middle East?” It’s clear that he has put plenty of time into thinking about this from the way he tries to persuasively respond: “It doesn’t have to be developed – it’s there anyway.” (here at the 4:30 mark) To me it is clear that he is talking about “developing” the Sunni-Shia split, in defiance of nearly all of its 1400+ years of history.

These two articles should illustrate that the so-called “divide” is nothing compared to the Western European Catholic-Protestant divide but much closer to the Theravada-Mahayana discussion in Buddhism, where things were heated temporarily after the split, but then calmed down into peaceful mutual coexistence. Of course, if the Americans had defeated socialism in Vietnam I’m sure they would have exacerbated this difference and would have manipulated the Vietnamese into waging war on the minority Theravada nations of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand….

Yet Ali does represent a different school of Islamic thought in politics, culture and economics – many would say “the original school”.

Ali poses the question: What is to be done in the face of decreased revolutionary commitment and political counter-revolution? His son Hossain provided the answer: constant self-sacrifice for the benefit of a political-social-moral-cultural-religious goal.

Islam, like communism and Confucianism, views humans as perfectible via correct efforts and beliefs. Thus the martyrdom of Hossain inspires a Permanent Revolution in all Muslims, but especially Shia, and one which is simultaneously personal-moral & social-political.

In my experience, open-minded & religiously-searching Sunnis know, appreciate and are inspired by Hossain and Ali, but more than a few Sunnis seem to have no idea. Of course, how many Christians can truly parse the differences between the apostles of Jesus? Let’s not be harsh – we’re all united here under God (and the concept of tawhid).

However, “martyrdom” is not only about suicide – to believe this obviously extreme idea is to assume so many, many things incorrectly about the Muslim concept of “martyrdom”, and most of which reduce Iranians and Muslims to non-humans.

Clarifying the martyrdom of Hossain, the Western and Muslim views of martrydom, the cultural effects of the promotion of selflessness, and the Iranian governmental policies which have been inspired by this culture, are the subject of the next part in this series.

***********************************

This is the 8th article in an 11-part series which explains the economics, history, religion and culture of Iran’s Revolutionary Shi’ism, which produced modern Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

The WSWS, Irans economy, the Basij & Revolutionary Shiism: an 11-part series

How Iran Got Economically Socialist, and then Islamic Socialist

What privatisation in Iran? or Definitely not THAT privatisation

Parallels between Irans Basij and the Chinese Communist Party

Irans Basij: The reason why land or civil war inside Iran is impossible

A leftist analysis of Irans Basij – likely the first ever in the West

Irans Basij: Restructuring society and/or class warfare

Cultural’ & ‘Permanent Revolution’ in Iranian Revolutionary Shi’ism

‘Martyrdom and Martyrdom’ & martyrdom, and the Basij

‘The Death of Yazdgerd’: The greatest political movie ever explains Iran’s revolution (available with English subtitles for free on Youtube here)

Iran détente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

The Essential Saker II
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

Erratic Empire Downfalling

July 29, 2018

By Sergio Weigel for the Saker blogErratic Empire Downfalling

Everybody understands the importance of the dollar system as the Achilles heel for the US empire yet oddly, when analysing imperial action of Warshington of the last decades, the focus is usually on ideologies like Zionism or American exceptionalism, or on at most partial aspects such as fossil fuels and pipelines. Another focus, favored mainly among Americans, is that America once was great but now has lost track somehow. I still think that the means of production, or in case of the US selling dollar annotated debt masked as investment, is far more paramount for US decision-making than ideology or oil, and that America hadn’t lost track but instead desperately tries to hold on to its track.

First, a few words about America’s track. The imperialists of the US regime desperately cling to their empire, that’s a classic, that’s what imperialists do. The Nazis clung to their short-lived empire until Germany was in ruins, the Romans clung to theirs until defeated, and the British struggle during WW2 was far more about preserving theirs than it was about defeating Nazi Germany. Empires usually don’t dismantle themselves. But it’s also the American people, serfs to the empire, who are desperately clinging. That’s what I found so appalling about the Occupy movement. These millennial brats had no political agenda but to demand their cheap flat screens back from the banksters. They didn’t want change, they wanted continuity. The same is true for the so-called “alt-right” movement who have zero political agenda for a better future. They lament the present while dreaming of a past 1950s/1960s America that has never even really existed. When they say America has lost its track, they might have Middle Eastern wars in mind, but that’s rubbish because there is nothing new or different in these wars than in any wars Warshington had fought before against the Natives, their own Southern brethren, Mexico, Spain, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, you name it, and the meddling on Maidan is in no way different to what they’ve been doing in Latin American countries since the mid 19th century. Psychologically, I think, what they mourn is that the mask has fallen off and that they cannot go back to that cozy, simple, and ignorant lifestyle they had been able to enjoy up until 9/11.

To me the US empire is an historic aberration of humanity. With its genesis, its unparalleled level of violence, the categorically insolidary and segregated society and surreal consumer culture it has created, and the delusional ideology and mythology with which it justifies itself based on a borderline psychotic Messiah complex (Manifest Destiny), it represents an exceptional oddity among nations. But beyond its mental problems there is a cold, hard fact – at least within the realm of capitalism – that explains the actions and reactions of US imperialism throughout the years, especially in recent decades. It is both fuel and failure of the empire: the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, or rather the system behind it which consists of masquerading and selling debt as investment.

Many people consider the US to be a proper republic with a valid constitution, separation of powers, rule of law and all that jazz. I think that is baloney. In truth the US government is a front for a criminal enterprise and it has been like that ever since the US Constitution has been created and passed by whom Gore Vidal rightfully dubbed as “frightened men of property”. While the American Revolution in itself was a truly unique and valuable moment in human history, the system that resulted from it was and still is designed by men of wealth for men of wealth to obtain as much wealth as possible at the expense of everybody else without the tedious social responsibilities the French republicans came up with. In fact, this lack of social responsibility is what they mean when they say freedom. The American nation never had a chance to develop to its potential, because it was hijacked early on by networks/cartels of the rich. What is commonly referred to as the American dream should therefore rather be named the American deception. In my view, the Pursuit of Happiness is the largest middle-finger ever erected in human history. America has never lost its track, I think it has always been on the same track, yet it is about to derail hard.

While Europe has managed (more or less) to develop, kill and struggle itself into a bunch of societies in which solidarity, social justice and rule of law remain core cultural and social concepts – to a certain extent even for the rich (Napoleonic Code) -, America has developed into a rat race society based on property, materialism and a general save-your-own-ass mentality. A smart guy from New York once described his own country to me as money talks, bullshit walks. The fish rots or rather trickles down from the head. America is run by a bunch of mafia cartels no better than street gangs – Wall St, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Media, Military-Industrial-Complex etc. – with the Federal Reserve as their giant money laundering corporation, a bureaucracy of ridiculous proportions as both the mafia’s hitmen (CIA, Pentagon) and legal front (Congress), and the US president as the constantly changing promotion mascot. There is very often no love lost between these cartels or their players, but there are two things that unite them. First, the US dollar system, the single largest Ponzi scheme in human history and, second, an extremely elitist self-concept inherited from English aristocracy asserting that it is them, and only them, who shall rule the world. Take the infinite callousness and arrogance of the English upper class, offer them a vast country and endless influx of human material for exploitation and what you get is the United States of America and its WASP regime. The US has been an imperialist project right from the start, because it was founded out of (British) imperialism.

From their elitist perspective the American or any other people serve as human cattle to be duped, exploited and used. It is the ultimate Fordist nightmare, which Aldous Huxley could only vaguely anticipate in his novel A Brave New World. The people are made to live under conditions comparable to that of farm cattle with TV screens flickering in their stables. To the regime they are nothing but salary and consume cattle, cynically dubbed as human resourcesin the business world, a euphemism for slaves if you ask me. Lives, thoughts and views, food, medicine and drug use, culture, or the fairy tale people are supposed to believe as history are determined and conditioned by a gigantic propaganda industry that makes Joseph Goebbels drool in his coffin. Hollywood is the manifestation of what he could only dream of.

Europeans suffer from pretty much the same state of shallow and philistine slave existence, but it’s mostly a post-WW2 imported American thing for us. We still have a choice and we have all the necessary cultural, nutritional and intellectual roots to free ourselves from it. I might be dead wrong in my observations, but I don’t see how Americans with what I consider as their still prevalent settler mentality could really do that. I hope they will find a way and if only after the collapse of the empire. Regardless, you cannot properly understand US imperialism, let alone the so-called “West” in general, unless you fully appreciate the manufactured fake that it really is. Therefore let’s start with the only real thing about it – at least in a capitalist sense – the dollar system.

Empire of Snakes and Weasels

Through their dubious actions and policies of supporting all sides before and during WW2 the US cartels managed to weasel their host country’s way from the world’s number one debtor before the war to the world’s number one creditor after the war. With this leverage at their disposal the US entered the Bretton Woods negotiations in 1944. The Bretton Woods conference was in essence the result of Anglo-American establishments contemplating on how to rule and dominate the world after WW2. British imperialists, the other oddballs of human history and well worth an article of their own, and America’s ruling cartels had already united their criminal enterprises, although from different perspectives. While the British were mostly interested in using American muscle to preserve their empire which had been struggling especially against Germany’s rising economic power since the late 19th century, the American cartels were eager to establish themselves on a global and especially European stage, an endeavor for which Britain served well as springboard.

It is therefore no surprise that the English speaking imperialists on both sides of the Pond had different views on how to run future currency-based world domination. England was represented by British economist John Maynard Keynes – himself one of the initiators of the Bretton Woods conference – who put forward the idea of an international bank called International Clearing Union which would issue its own currency – the bancor – as an account currency between nations. The idea was to have trade surplus or creditor nations invest in the economies of trade deficit or debtor nations and so to even out global economic imbalances. Lord Keynes was one of the few if not the only competent of capitalist economists.

Keynes proposed that any country racking up a large trade deficit (equating to more than half of its bancor overdraft allowance) would be charged interest on its account. It would also be obliged to reduce the value of its currency and to prevent the export of capital. But – and this was the key to his system – he insisted that the nations with a trade surplus would be subject to similar pressures. Any country with a bancor credit balance that was more than half the size of its overdraft facility would be charged interest, at a rate of 10%. It would also be obliged to increase the value of its currency and to permit the export of capital. If, by the end of the year, its credit balance exceeded the total value of its permitted overdraft, the surplus would be confiscated. The nations with a surplus would have a powerful incentive to get rid of it. In doing so, they would automatically clear other nations’ deficits. (source)

This is – within the realm of capitalism – a pretty neat idea, one that would have, for example, prevented the flaws of the euro system, in which the common currency is undervalued for Germany (great for exports, pretty shit for the domestic market) but overvalued for pretty much everyone else with the result of German industry and its retailers Lidl and Aldi literally eating up the rest of Europe. Had the euro been designed as a common account currency with a proper multilateral treaty based on Keynes’s ideas while preserving national currencies, we wouldn’t have had to experience the euro crisis with all its terrible humanitarian consequences, and Germany would not have had the chance to abuse its imperialist power within Europe the way it did. I don’t think that the crappy euro design was a mistake but rather one deliberately made by German bankers and industrialists who prevailed over French and others when drafting the euro – but that’s something others have already written extensively and are more skilled about. The same flaws we can see in the euro system persist in the dollar system on a global scale since Bretton Woods, when one country can dominate the rest using the leverage of currency.

In the beginning of the conference everyone was with the ideas of Lord Keynes for they were as reasonable as it can get within a capitalist frame. But it was the American imperialists, represented by Harry Dexter White, who had quite different ideas for their currency-based world domination. They wanted to seize the opportunity by establishing an International Stabilization Fund which would put the whole burden of economic imbalance on the debtor nations. Instead of a global account currency like the bancor they wanted to establish their own US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It is not documented how many arms the US cartels had to twist in how many directions at Bretton Woods, but eventually they prevailed and the notorious Bretton Woods system with the US dollar as sole reserve currency was implemented with the infamous IMF at its core, an institution that evidently turns everything it touches into deep shit as it keeps working along utmost economic illiteracy – even for capitalists – designed only to withdraw further capital from already troubled nations.

Having one country’s currency as the world’s sole reserve currency was and is so far unique in history. It is often and commonly believed that the US dollar had just replaced the British pound as the world’s reserve currency, but this is not quite accurate. British pound, German mark, French franc or Portuguese escudo had at their respective times always been reserve currencies alongside each other. Some were more regionally focused, like the French franc in Africa, with the British pound playing the major but not singular role globally. Bretton Woods, however, introduced the US dollar as the world’s or rather capitalist world’s sole reserve currency with all other currencies having fixed exchange rates to it. The US cartels gained tremendous political and economic clout by that, especially since it later allowed them to run a much larger and longer state and trade deficit than they could have, had the dollar been just been one garden variety currency among others. But how did it go and what does it mean today, when the world appears to be returning to a “normal” state of affairs again with the rise of euro and yuan?

A Roller Coaster That Only Goes Downhill

Many of America’s grumpy nostalgics who thought that a billionaire with a terrible hairdo would help them out of their misery by building a wall consider America to have been great in the past. Of course, it was never great at all. Those were times of heinous crimes against humanity by the US regime against the world and its own people, earlier even inspiring other villains. On principle it was just like today and how it has always been. The USAF was carpet bombing Asian countries and everybody was scared of Russians. Still, the times felt great, because the country was surfing the big post-war Kondratieff wave and enjoyed a Brave New World of Fordist pleasure based on hard work and hedonistic obedience to advertisement. Milkshakes tasted sweet, Rock’n’Roll pounded loud, and Cadillacs rolled big. Universities were negro-free and retards were sterilized. America was great and Jesus in love with you. The share of household consumption to GDP was already around 60%, but that wasn’t a problem because most of what Americans consumed was also made in America by Americans. But then the wave turned into swash and started lapping against the shore of reality. The markets were saturated. Everyone had a fridge and one or two cars and TVs by then. No new major technological innovation for further consumer goods lurked around the corner to drive the economy. The Kondratieff wave backwashed. Capitalism had once again reached its regular growth limits and the usual meltdown was looming. Voracious for more profits corporations started the big outsourcing frenzy in the 1970s to get their fix by having to share less with their workers in exchange for cheaper products from cheaper countries. Now, outsourcing as such is not a problem if the CEOs know what they’re doing and have a long-term strategy such as using profits generated from saving to invest in research for new innovation, for example. The problem is that the US is for the most part a shareholder economy and CEOs and their corporations are legally obliged to provide profits for them. I am talking about short-term quarterly or yearly profits, not profits for long-term visions. Even if the odd business school graduate working as CEO has a long-term vision, the American cartel model of economy won’t allow him or her to implement it without providing for shareholder profits first. Keep that in mind when you wonder where US industry went compared to German industry, apparently a core part of Trumpish penis envy triggering infantile feelings of unfair.

Over the course of the 1970s to the 1990s American workers increasingly turned into burger flippers, janitors and cashiers, while Mexicans, Filipinos and Chinese started to increasingly sweat in their shops. The purchasing powerof American consumers declined and that threatened the colossal GDP. Reaganomics didn’t trickle down at all, but it made sure that lumberjack shirts presented something non-existent, and banks and corporations got another decade-long profit fix. By the late 1990s, it became obvious that to keep the machine running Americans had to have their credit cards loaded and their stock markets bloated. Therefore, Bill “Never-Inhaled-and-Didn’t Have-Sex” Clinton deregulated the banks so that they could provide Americans with cheap mortgage credits for their consumerist pleasure. Advertisement went on hyperdrive to make Americans buy junk and sprawl suburbanly. Another profit fix for banks and corporations for yet another decade had been conjured up. GDP and plebeian excitement were saved for the day. The result of this policy was the much feared massive trade deficit, because economies in Europe, Asia and Latin America managed to replace American manufacturing globally either with their own products or simply by producing American ones.

In reality it is all a bit more complex, of course, but I’m deliberately keeping it simple to highlight America’s economic failure by design. It’s the sparkler among empires, having burnt so bright for three decades between 1945 and 1975 yet violently fizzling out ever since. What is important to understand at this point is that without Bretton Woods the US cartels would have never been able to run it this far, almost half a century on debt and delusions by now, because even when Nixon ditched the gold standard to free the empire from its shackles to run mile-high deficits, the US dollar remained the world’s reserve currency, first, in lack of another major currency to challenge it, and, second, as a result of a dirty deal made with the Saudi Barbarians: you sell your oil only in US dollars and make the rest of OPEC follow suit and we build up your stone or rather sand aged country American style. Goats as the common garbage disposal system in Riyadh had been replaced by white trucks, skyscrapers built, American weapons bought, and US debt sold to European and Asian oil junkies. John Perkins described this dirty deal perfectly well in his Confessions of An Economic Hitman. With the petrodollar established this way the US cartels could continue their criminal enterprise and it is the only reason why the Saudis have come as close to US imperialism as airplanes into tall buildings.

The US cartels are dependent on the dollar as the world’s sole reserve currency to be able to run the deficits necessary to fuel their criminal enterprise of world domination. In order to do that they need other countries to hoard dollars in the form of US debt, which they will only do if they believe the US was a thriving economy. But since the 1980s the US cartels can hold up the illusion of presiding over an economic powerhouse pretty much only with plebeian consumption running on debt. Currently about 70% of the GDP is private household consumption which is nominally not much more than during America’s self-felt greatness, but it has now turned into the last, almost lost engine rattling to keep if not America’s success at least its success story going. Virtually none of the consumed products are made in America anymore. Industry, engineering, and manufacturing went down the toilet and despite their constant attention whoring neither the narcissists in Hollywood nor Silicon Valley could make up for it. The only industry still pumping hard to inflate the GDP is the bogus financial sector and so the American economy hovers from one bubble to the next, each one inflated with the illusion of a working economy based on a bloated GDP. The question is: why is it so important for the US cartels to keep up a colossal GDP even at the cost of its own economic foundation and what does it have to do with US aggression all around the world, at least in the past two decades?

Welcome to the Dark Side

As the ever so astute American philosopher Homer Simpson once said“People can come up with statistics to prove anything […]. Forfty percent of all people know that.”, so I will toss some stats at you. Please bear with me. I chose to compare military spending, trade deficit, household consumption, household debt, government debt, and GDP – all numbers are in billion dollars.

Chart

Numbers are from the World Bank and United Nations and from this site.

The curves aren’t what is striking, they’re obvious, what strikes are the correlations between different data:

Correlation of: Military Spending Trade Balance Household Consumption Household Debt Government Debt GDP
Military Spending 1.00 0.22 0.83 0.89 0.78 0.82
Trade Balance 0.22 1.00 0.11 0.39 -0.12 0.12
Household Consumption 0.83 0.11 1.00 0.91 0.97 0.99
Household Debt 0.89 0.39 0.91 1.00 0.79 0.91
Government Debt 0.78 -0.12 0.97 0.79 1.00 0.96
GDP 0.82 0.12 0.99 0.91 0.96 1.00

I’ll just arrogantly assume that you know what correlation is. The important thing to note is that it’s about whether two data sets are related or not. The first thing that strikes the eye is that US trade deficit is hardly related to any other indicators, except perhaps for the relation to household debt. Therefore, the question arises if the Trump administration really is about trade deficit at all, as Mr Orange likes to claim, since it is mainly debt that cripples the country and shareholder values dependent on a high GDP that drive it. I don’t see Trump battling debt at all, but I modestly assume that there are at least one or maybe even two staffers in Warshington who read and analyse economic data.

The strongest correlation exists between household consumption, household debt, government debt and GDP. They are all above the 0.9 mark, even reaching almost full correlation between GDP and household consumption. In other words, the massive GDP of the US goes hand in hand with household consumption, which goes hand in hand with both private and public debt. The US appears to produce its GDP colossus mostly by investors buying dollar annotated debt. The irony – and eventually system failure – arises from the fact that the US cartels need to fake high economic productivity and reliability by financing high consumption of mostly imported goods on credit to show off a colossal GDP necessary to attract financial investors, both domestic and foreign, whose investments are then again used to finance aforementioned credits. This is what I call a vicious circle and kind of what I imagine to feel like hugging a pork half.

When we put military spending into the mix, the actions of US imperialism become even clearer. It correlates strongly or even very strongly to the other four indicators, yet military spending is hardly the cause of high public debt or GDP. After all, military spending amounts only to about 3.5% of GDP (not counting the totality of national security spending, let alone money made by CIA drug trafficking). Apparently, and in some magical way, US military action, or at least military spending, guarantees high consumption and thus a high GDP.

Bombing for Debt

It is a rather mundane insight, that what one wants and what one can do to get it are two different things. What the US cartels want is clear: Full World Domination (FWD), which even if they got it, would still be a system designed to fail as it cannot survive without a foe. Regardless, Brzezinski formulated it in 1997 in his pamphlet The Grand Chessboard, an American version of Uncle Adolf’s Mein Kampf. Like Mein Kampf was in many parts bootlegging Henry Ford’s The International Jew, Brzezinski hadn’t had one original thought either. His ideas were almost identical to those that British geostrategist Halford Mackinder formulated as Geographical Pivot of History in 1904. This idée fixe, never to let any land power take control in Eurasia or let any kind of Eurasian integration happen, seems to be engraved on the crazed minds of Anglo-American elites since the 19th century and is guideline to their politics ever since then. Germany and Russia had been and still are the main adversaries and targets, but also Iran and China. The whole history of the 20th century can only be understood under this premise. This, however, is not part of the official fairy tale that is bourgeois history. No wonder I didn’t learn about it at school. Anyway, it is also related to the preservation of the dollar system.

When the ever so humble Anglo-American crazies were convinced they had defeated the Soviet Union they started acting right away. The goal was to destroy any possible Silk Road and/or cooperation between the land powers of Germany, France, Russia, China, and Iran. Let me first briefly summarize the pre-millennial actions:

  • They nationally endowed democracy and Russophobia in what today has become the Idiot Belt (Baltics, Poland, Ukraine, Scandinavia) to shape a cordon sanitaire between Germany and Russia.
  • They literally ate up Russia economically during the 1990s and meddled with the aim to once and for all get rid of it as a power to reckon with.
  • They gave Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait in order to have a pretext to set foot in the Middle East – the first step against Iran after Saddam had screwed up the 1980s Gulf War.
  • They broke apart Yugoslavia, the last standing and just too large socialist country in Europe – this time with the help of Germany which had and still has its own imperial ambitions in Europe.
  • They bombed Serbia and sliced out Kosovo in order to establish a military base at the historical end of the Silk Road from China – first step in preventing Eurasian integration (and to control heroin trafficking to Europe as a sweet cherry on top).

So far, so good. But as I already mentioned, by the end of the millennium the dying horse of US economy had turned into a leaky horse-shaped balloon that needed to be constantly inflated with loans and foreign dollar investments, so that they now had to fight two fronts: inflate the balloon and conquer the world. At the same time the EU was about to establish the euro, the first currency able to challenge the dollar as the world’s sole reserve currency. They must have realized that time is running out. I assume this had let them to make an extremely filthy deal with the Zionists and Saudi Barbarians to demolish the World Trade Center in a staged terrorist attack to have political carte blanche for the next couple of years. The attack on Afghanistan was surely still part of the masterplan to encircle Iran, Russia, and China, and to set foot in Central Asia, and thus to block the historical Silk Road at the Chinese end. It was crafted two months before 9/11 after all. However, the following actions became increasingly erratic and, I believe, they were in part deviating from the original plan. The aggressions against Iraq, Iran and Libya, be it bombs or sanctions, all had a monetary background as well. Hussein announced already in 2000 that he wanted to price oil in euro, Iran announced in 2006 to open an oil bourse trading in euro, yuan, rial and rubel, and Libya wanted to introduce a gold backed currency, the dinar, as a joined currency for the African Union (which also heavily undermined French colonial interests in Africa). This can’t be a coincidence. These aggressions, while still more or less in accordance with the original plan yet conducted hastily and often without much of a detailed plan at all, had the primary aim to save the petrodollar by preventing any alternative from emerging. Without the primal petrodollar they wouldn’t be able to run the massive deficit needed to struggle for Full World Domination (FWD). The dollar must remain the world’s primary reserve currency or the house of cards masquerading as empire masquerading as democracy will crumble. It was and still is a rat race against their own demise.

All this bombing, chaos and destruction launched upon the world since 2001 had less PNAC, let alone “Israel”, in mind, but increasingly the assurance of further dollar investments in their debt, the most precious “natural resource” to keep the colossus colossal. Imagine a big fat drug-addicted bully who pummels weaker school children to prove that he is theoretically solvent because he could theoretically take anyone’s lunch money, so that, therefore, other junkie kids borrow him money which he then uses to buy more dope to be fit enough to pummel more kids. This is how the global economy has been working in the early 21st century before Russia and China started to collude effectively to ensure Eurasian integration and a multipolar, post-dollar world.

The difference between the US regime’s pre- and post-millennial actions have been that the former had been carried out carefully, quite successfully and according to plan, while the latter had been executed extremely sloppily and, except for the case of Libya, essentially failed (if the mess is on Europe it is a success to US cartels). Russia “snatched” Crimea, EU and Iran now want to trade oil in euro, Germany is increasingly free-trading with China, Iraq is colluding with Iran, which is selling its oil in yuan to China, and Saudi Barbaria is about to follow suit. The mercenary war against Syria, last hope for the imperialists, has failed because Russia, which has resurrected under pesky Putin, has ruined it for them. If you ask me, ever since the millennium the US regime acts under increasing panic of losing not only their precious PNAC, but also their imperial lifeline: the dollar. The fact alone that the empire is now increasingly relying on mercenaries, be it Academi or ISIS, shows the desperation. The Anglo-American establishments have for about five centuries followed Machiavellian principles and the use of mercenaries is not one of them. When (not if) the dollar crumbles, the empire will never resurrect from the rubble that will be left. This was pretty much the exact situation under which the Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump Punch and Judy show was performed.

Realpolitik in a World of Delusions

I must admit, I still can’t quite figure out Trump, but I am convinced that the cartels’ original plan was to install Hillary in order to blind liberals with her pink hat the same way they had before blinded them with O’Bomber’s dark complexion. To liberals women and minorities are fluffy teddy bears unable to do evil stuff and if they go to war then it will be nothing but a humanitarian pillow fight. Rednecks and conservatives, however, have never caused much trouble for the cartels since they had always been patriotically following their leaders and happily joined any mayhem as the cartels’ cannon fodder. However, the latter now were so discontent with their dire social and economic situation, a domestic consequence that is inevitable for any empire, that after generations of patriotic cheering for war they had become a reliability as well. From the cartels’ view Trump turned out to be the better choice. The liberals are now too focused on his chauvinist personality and imagined Russian collusion to notice his disastrous policies, while the grumpy nostalgics still at large view him as their big Orange Hero. While the plebs are in this way tamed and focused, he surely seems to be compliant enough on issues like Syria, Iran, Korea or Zionist apartheid not to be assassinated. But he also keeps antagonizing the US cartels’ core allies in Europe, even the UK now, and that seems rather weird, doesn’t it? I consider it to be a massive sign of the deep perplexity the cartels are in.

If the US regime was a proper republic instead of a criminal enterprise and its deep state as pragmatic as, say, the German deep state, they would surely do the only right thing there is to do in their very host country: dismantle the US military empire and invest heavily in infrastructure at home. The economy would get a boost from such mundane tasks as repairing bridges and highways, but there is plenty of more room to invest. The US doesn’t even have high speed trains, it has a 3rd world power grid, and its family homes still mostly consist of heat wasting carpet boxes. There are also vast possibilities for renewable energies in sunny and windy U.S.A. which, regardless of whether you choose to believe Exxonmobil or science, offer great economic value. Imagine the number of proper jobs that could be created by just bringing the domestic US into the 21st century. That would be realpolitiks. And hopefully will be the future of the United States.

The military highway has been bloating GDP with a certain success for the cartels for years, but it’s a dead end now. Even if they had installed cattish, insane Hillary in Warshington, the US would still not be able to attack Iran – the Europeans would still not have followed, and it would still turn out a ruinous endeavor. The US empire has simply ran out of attackable enemies to pretend to be powerful. Even Venezuela would be too hard for them to attack as they’d entangle themselves in an endless guerrilla war in the jungle, something they’re not exactly brilliant at. Besides, the times when the American people still “cattled” behind every given war are over, and I don’t see any significant European nation to follow. So, what’s left to do? If they went down the road of realpolitiks, the cartels’ would lose their more than two centuries old absolute power over the US. For example, if the US brought their energy regime more closely to the 21st century, the big oil and big nuke cartels would lose out a lot to the more decentralized renewables which then belonged to farmers or local communities (a struggle that is still far from over here in Germany). Large central investments are as key in corporate capitalism round table style as they were in state capitalism Soviet style. The empire cannot be saved, but everything that could save the domestic US from its demise and collapse would in the end mean the end of the iron grip of power of Wall St, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Military-Industrial-Complex, etc. The criminal enterprise that we have known as the U.S.A. is about to come to an end either way – involuntarily and violently destroying the country or voluntarily and peacefully preserving the country. If you haven’t seen the film Der Untergang yet, I assume you should do now by all means.

The cartels don’t give a rat’s arse over the country. That’s why, instead of focusing on domestic issues, they are now going for desperate measures to try to “discipline” Europeans, Chinese, and even Rwanda with silly tariffs in order to somehow keep the global dollar regime by asserting an illusion of power – and with Europeans they’ll always find pleasurable surrender monkeys. But the dollar regime is ending. The greenback will surely remain an important currency (unless it fully collapses), but only next to others like the euro and yuan. I think, they’re still trying to figure out what to do next, not realizing that there is nothing to do next but to deviate from imperialism. The one thing they can count on, however, appears to be the infinite asininity of the American public who now seem to be less divided over Democrat vs Republican groupthink, over empire vs domestic, but more between the Great Russia Panic and the Great Jew Panic. This is painfully facepalming to watch from over here, I can tell you that with all my benevolent heart.

Collapse, civil war, disintegration seem to be ahead for the US. The world in the 2030s might even be a world without the U.S.A., entirely. Instead there might be several new countries on the North American map. And why not? Texas, California and Florida could surely do alone economically, and Hawai’i and their “howdies” don’t even belong to the US one single bit. The smartest grassroot movements in America would call for segregation of their respective state or states such as the Pacific ones. I hate to say it but my money is on a violent collapse and disintegration of the US hopefully not tearing Canada down with them. The erratic empire is downfalling, and while that’s a great thing for humanity in the long run, including for Americans who I believe will eventually benefit from such catharsis, it will at first turn out to be extremely ugly.

Sergio’s Bio:  Born to a Portuguese mother and a German father Sergio was raised in Northern Germany, just two kilometers away from a British-German NATO air base. The daily sonic boom and thunder of low altitude Tornados was the sound of his childhood. They years when NATO wanted to station Pershing-2 missiles with nuclear warheads at the air base, were formative for him and he can still vividly remember the Cold War, Reagan, Thatcher, Chernobyl, the claustrophobic atmosphere, and the relief when the Berlin Wall finally fell. He makes his living as a web-programmer and IT consultant but still avidly studies studies history, geopolitics, economic theories, monetary theory, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx and music.

The Essential Saker II
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

Zuckerberg On Denial and Being Wrong

By Gilad Atzmon

In an interview with technology website Recode, Mark Facebook  Zuckerberg stated that posts from Holocaust deniers should be allowed on Facebook.

In response to a question on Facebook’s policy on fake news, Mr. Zuckerberg offered, without prompting, the example of posts by Holocaust deniers.

“I’m Jewish and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” he told reporter Kara Swisher. “I find it deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

He added, “everyone gets things wrong and if we were taking down people’s accounts when they got a few things wrong, then that would be a hard world for giving people a voice and saying that you care about that.”

Despite the fact that FB has earned itself a reputation as a tyrannical Zionist force and an enemy of elementary freedoms, Zuckerberg expressed a clear position consistent with whatever is left of the true American spirit and the 1st Amendment.

The Jewish press is totally upset by Zuckerberg’s policy.  Israeli commentators denounced his remarks.  Here in Britain, the editor of the so called ‘anti-fascist’ magazine Searchlight, Gerry Gable, told the BBC that  “Because of his financial powers, he [Zuckerberg] just does a bit of tinkering without understanding how this material could inspire crazy people to firebomb synagogues, mosques or churches.” I can’t see how comments about the past incite violence against “synagogues, mosques or churches.” But of course, “crazy people” can firebomb anything at anytime, regardless of Zuckerberg’s recent intervention. I’d advise the Gable that the perception of Facebook as a tyrannical Zionist power that silences differing viewpoints may be far more dangerous for Jews and others.

I probably should have finished today’s article here. But I just can’t stop myself from taking this discussion at least one step further.

Here is a point to ponder: with Zuckerberg presenting a reasonable and tolerant attitude to historical debate, WWII, history revisionism and the Holocaust can easily be reduced to an internal Jewish debate. This is the point I make in my recent book, ‘Being in Time.’ I contend that when Jews accept that something about their culture, ideology or politics is perceived as a ‘Jewish problem,’ some Jews are quick to form a satellite opposition.

When it became clear that the criminality of the State that defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ had become a Jewish problem, Jews for Palestine was created. The Palestine solidarity movement was rapidly reduced to an internal debate among Jews. Here in Britain, some Jews grasped that the Jewish campaign against Jeremy Corbyn is very dangerous for the Jews.  Jews for Corbyn was formed. At the moment, the future of the Labour party has become an internal Jewish debate between the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement and the so called ‘anti’ Jewish Voice for Labour. Neocon wars are now an internal Jewish debate between Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky. In his brave essay, ‘On The Jewish Question,’ Karl Marx comes to the conclusion that Capitalism is a ‘Jewish symptom’. Not surprisingly, many of his followers were of Jewish origin and the battle of capitalism (for and against) became an internal Jewish discourse. It is possible that Zuckerberg, who is not stupid, can sense the growing resentment to FB’s Zio-centrism and he is clever enough to present a new more liberal principled view. He even kindly allows the rest of us to be wrong.

In ‘Being in Time’ I note that the emergence of a Jewish satellite opposition is not necessarily a conspiratorial maneuver. It is only natural for Jews to oppose the crimes committed in their name by the Jewish State. It is equally natural for Jews to oppose Zio-con global wars. It is also reasonable for Zuckerberg to try to amend the negative impression his company bought itself in recent years and to decide to promote basic freedom of speech. The outcome, however, could be problematic. The entire debate on elementary rights and freedoms can easily become an internal Jewish discourse.

To understand ID politics read

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

On Jewish controlled opposition:

Being Ordinary

giladprophet.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

The Jewish press in Britain and around the world has seemed thrilled for the last few days.  “One of Britain’s most vocal anti-Semites,”( apparently me) “was handed a humiliating court defeat in London on Monday” wrote The Jewish Algemeiner. On Twitter, Israel’s firsters wrote about me ‘grovelling’ at court.

I guess that lying is a bit of an official policy within such circles. In order to remove any questions regarding my position in court, here is my Lawyer’s statement as delivered on my behalf:

“Defendant’s Solicitor, Jeffrey Smele

On behalf of the Defendant, Mr. Gilad Atzmon, I agree with the words of my learned friend.  Mr. Atzmon never in fact intended that his article would suggest to the reader that Mr. Falter was a “fraudster” or that he personally profited from his position at the CAA.

Mr. Atzmon offers his sincere apology to Mr. Falter for his actions.”

(The official court settlement document can be found here.  The official court document that was the base for Falter’s claim, to which I apologised,  can be found here).

Contrary  to the exclamations in the  Zionist fake news, the court didn’t charge me with ‘antisemitsm’ or ‘lying.’  There was no mention of such words in the court’s ruling. In fact, ‘a trial’ didn’t actually take place. As proceedings evolved, I wasn’t willing to defend Justice Matthew Nicklin’s ‘definition’ of the meaning of my words. I didn’t agree that in my original paper I intended to accuse CAA chairman’s Gideon Falter of ‘fraud’ or ‘profiting personally.’  I saw no point in defending an interpretation that was merely attributed to my words.

But the issues raised here are far more complex. I wonder why these Zionist outlets see the need to engage in an intensive smear project that actually reflects very badly on the Jewish political project as a whole?

Jewishness is a sophisticated survival strategy. It is a strict regulatory system of adherence. It encourages internal debate but limits any such deliberation by clear boundaries. If Israel, for instance, deploys hundreds of snipers against unarmed Palestinian protestors and practically perpetrates a massacre, then it will allow a few of its people to speak out against its own brutality. The outcome is predictable: Israel’s war crimes are reduced to an internal debate among Jews. Within the context of the Jewish universe, every so-called ‘Jewish problem’ is met from within by Jewish dissent.

Jewish history reveals important exceptions — people who broke out; who decided to unveil the tribal matrix by means of universal thought. Jesus was such a character, he ended up nailed to the cross. Spinoza was another, he was punished by excommunication. Marx, in his early writing, broke ranks and pointed out on the intrinsic bond between Jews and capitalism. The 20th century brought about some Jewish heretics and to a certain extent I followed their path– rather than speaking ‘as a Jew’ and contributing to ‘controlling the opposition,’ I openly denounced my roots; spiritually, culturally and politically. I stopped being a Jew and dedicated my time to the production of a critical study of the tribal mechanism that drives Jewish politics and identity.

It has never been an easy journey. Since I launched my writing career, I have been subject to intense attempts to buy me out by recruiting me into the Jewish so-called ‘anti Zionist’ camp. Anti Zionists, as they call themselves, can offer a lot of support.  They are well connected and organised. They can set up your tours, concerts, talks, university lectures and media coverage.

It took me a few years to understand that my dissent was actually pretty similar to early Zionist thought, sharing its phantasmic idea of becoming ‘people like all other people.’ Indeed, my personal goal was to fulfil the early Zionist project for myself: to become an ordinary human being like all other goyim. I realised that to achieve my goal, the first step was to stop being a Jew.

In 2014 Professor Marc H. Ellis,  regarded by many as the leading contemporary Jewish theologian, published  Future of the Prophetic,  an extensive study of the Hebrew prophet. In his book, Ellis dedicated a chapter to me and my work. He reached the conclusion that yours truly is the new Jewish prophet.

“Like the ancient prophets Atzmon exposes Jews. At the same time, Atzmon believes that the Bible, from which the prophets spring, is bogus….Atzmon provides no hiding place for Jews anywhere.”  (Future of the Prophetic, Marc H. Ellis pg’ 332)

“Atzmon is extreme but, in his extremity, he is much like the biblical prophets.” (pg’332)

So in the world in which we live, some Jews see me as Satan incarnated, others have called me the last Hebrew prophet. Naturally, I was flattered by Ellis’ insight. And it helped me to grasp the role of the prophet within the Jewish survival paradigm. Making a dissenter into a ‘Hebrew prophet’ works to dismantle opposition. It reduces the universal critical insight into an internal Jewish exchange. I wrote to Ellis that

as much as I was thrilled by his view of my work, I didn’t see myself as either a prophet or a Jew.  Instead I saw the need to emphasise that rather than speaking ‘to Jews,’ I much preferred to talk about “Jewishness, Jewish culture and ID politics.”

My approach must have been frustrating for both Zionists and the so-called ‘anti’. Since the publication of my first book  (2001) I have been persistently harassed by Jewish ethnic activists of all persuasions (except probably Torah Jews). They have called me a racist, an anti-Semite, a bigot, etc. and yet, to their dismay, despite the strict legislation in Europe and America, I have never once been questioned by any law enforcement body about anything I have ever written or said.

I have challenged my detractors and those who call me a ‘racist’ and an ‘anti-Semite’ to point out where I have referred critically to Jews or anyone else as a ‘race,’ ‘ethnicity’ or ‘biology.’ I have vowed that if such evidence appears I will issue an apology and never write again. Yet no such reference has ever been put in front of me or anywhere else. Instead, I criticise Jewish ideology, culture and ID politics because I believe that ideologies, cultures and politics must be subject to debate and criticism!

I will keep doing this as long as the law in Britain allows. If this changes, I will either impose silence on myself, or leave London and move to a slightly freer city, perhaps Moscow or Teheran.

In case you want to support my legal costs

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See Also

Filed under: anti-semitism, AZZ, Britain, British Jews, Capitalism, Freedom of Speach, Gilad Atzmon, Goyim, Identity Politics, Iran, Jewish culture, Jewish History, jewish identity, Jewish Ideology, Jewish World, Jewishness, Russia, Zio-controlled media | Comments Off on Being Ordinary

لماذا تريد أميركا الحرب؟

Posted on by martyrashrakat

أبريل 20, 2018

كتب الدكتور جاك باولز لـ Global Reasearch

ملاحظة: كُتب هذا المقال في 30 نيسان عام 2003 في أعقاب انطلاق الحرب على العراق من قبل المؤرّخ والعالم السياسي جاك باولز. ترتبط هذه المقالة الى حدّ كبير برئاسة جورج دبليو بوش. والسؤال الذي يطرح نفسه في الوقت المناسب: لماذا تسعى إدارة ترامب الى الحرب بما في ذلك الحرب على كوريا الجنوبية، إيران، روسيا والصين؟

كوريا، فييتنام، كمبوديا، العراق، ليبيا، سورية، اليمن… لمَ لا تزال الولايات المتحدة تفتعل الحروب منذ أكثر من نصف قرن…؟ ولمَ يصرّ الأميركيون على دعم أجندة الولايات المتحدة العسكرية؟

إنّ الحرب هي خسارة كبيرة على مستوى الأرواح والموارد، ولهذا السبب يعارض معظم الناس من حيث المبدأ قيام الحروب. ويبدو أنّ الرئيس الأميركي من الناحية الأخرى يعشق الحروب. لكن لماذا؟ سعى العديد من المعلقين لإحالة هذه المسألة الى العوامل النفسية. ورأى البعض أنّ جورج دبليو بوش يعتبر أنّ من واجبه إنهاء المهمة، بسبب بعض الغموض وقلة الوضوح، الذي مورس من قبل والده إبان حرب الخليج ويعتقد آخرون أنّ بوش الإبن توقع حرباً قصيرة من شأنها ان تضمن له ولاية ثانية في البيت الأبيض.

أعتقد أنه علينا البحث في مكان آخر عن تفسير لموقف الرئيس الأميركي. ففي الحقيقة، انّ حرص بوش على الحرب لا علاقة له مطلقاً بوضعه النفسي، بل الكثير من العلاقة مع النظام الاقتصادي الأميركي. وهذا النظام، الذي هو العلامة التجارية الأميركية للرأسمالية يعمل أولاً وقبل كلّ شيء على جعل الأميركيين الأغنياء، أيّ «سلالة المال» لبوش الأكثر ثراءً. ومع ذلك، فبدون حروب ساخنة أو باردة، لم يعُد هذا النظام قادراً على تحقيق النتيجة المتوقعة في شكل أرباح أعلى تعتبرها الولايات المتحدة من حقوقها المشروعة.

تكمن القوة الكبيرة للرأسمالية في ضعفها الكبير، وتحديداً في إنتاجيتها العالية الفعالية. وفي التطوّر التاريخي للنظام الاقتصادي الدولي الذي نسمّيه الرأسمالية، أدّى عدد من العوامل الى زيادات هائلة في الإنتاجية، على سبيل المثال، تصنيع العمليات الإنتاجية التي بدأت في وقت مبكر من القرن الثامن عشر في إنكلترا. وفي بدايات القرن العشرين، قدّم الصناعيون الأميركيون مساهمة حاسمة في تحويل العمل من يدوي الى آليّ باستخدام كافة الوسائل والتقنيات الجديدة مثل خط التجميع. وكان هذا الأخير بمثابة ابتكار قدّمه هنري فورد، وبالتالي أصبحت هذه التقنيات تُعرف مجتمعة باسم «الفوردية». وقد ارتفعت إنتاجية الشركات الأميركية الكبرى بشكل مذهل.

وعلى سبيل المثال، وإبان العشرينات من القرن الماضي، كانت سيارات لا تعدّ ولا تحصى تخرج يومياً من مصانع السيارات في ميشيغان. لكن من هي الجهة التي يُفترض أن تشتري جميع هذه السيارات؟ فغالبية السكان الأميركيين لم يكونوا يمتلكون ما يكفي من المال لمثل هذه المقتنيات الباهظة الثمن. كما غمرت الأسواق الأميركية أنواعاً أخرى من المنتجات، وكانت النتيجة ظهور تنافر عميق ما بين العرض الاقتصادي المتزايد والطلب المتعثر. وهكذا نشأت الأزمة الاقتصادية المعروفة عموماً باسم الكساد العظيم، والتي كانت في الأساس أزمة فائض في الإنتاج. كانت المستودعات تتدفق بسلع غير مباعة، وصرفت المصانع موظفيها وانفجرت البطالة، وتقلصت مع ذلك القدرة الشرائية للشعب الأميركي أكثر فأكثر، مما فاقم من حدّة الأزمة.

لا يمكن أن نتجاهل أنّ الكساد الكبير في أميركا لم ينتهِ إلا مع الحرب العالمية الثانية وبسببها. حتى أولئك المعجبون بأداء الرئيس روزفلت يعترفون بأنّ سياساته الخاصة بالصفقة الجديدة التي حظيت بتغطية إعلامية كبيرة لم تسفر عن أيّ إزعاج يُذكر . ارتفع منسوب الطلب الاقتصادي بشكل مذهل عندما بدأت الحرب في أوروبا، وحتى حين لم تكن الولايات المتحدة نفسها مشاركةً في الحرب أيّ قبل العام 1942، ما سمح للتصنيع الأميركي بالازدهار وإنتاج كميات غير محدودة من معدّات الحرب. وبين عامي 1940 و 1945، أنفقت الولايات المتحدة ما لا يقلّ عن 185 مليار دولار على مثل هذه المعدّات، وبالتالي، فإنّ نصيب الإنفاق العسكري من الناتج القومي الإجمالي ارتفع بين عامي 1939 و 1945 من نسبة ضئيلة 1.5 إلى ما نسبته حوالى 40 . أضف الى ذلك، أنّ الصناعة الأميركية تمكّنت من تزويد البريطانيين وحتى السوفيات بكميات هائلة من المعدّات. وفي الوقت عينه، كانت ألمانيا تنتج للشركات الأميركية مثل فورد وجنرال موتورز و ITT، كميات كبيرة من الدبابات والطائرات وغيرها من المواد القتالية النازية، وحتى بعد بيرل هاربور، لكن لهذه المسألة قصة مختلفة . لكن الكلمة المفتاحية لحلّ مشكلة الكساد الاقتصادي عدم التوازن بين العرض والطلب تكمن في الاستعداد لضخّ الطلب الاقتصادي عن طريق تنفيذ أوامر ضخمة ذات طبيعة عسكرية.

بالنسبة الى الأميركيين العاديين، فإنّ إنفاق واشنطن العسكري لم يؤدِّ الى عمل فعليّ كامل فحسب، بل ايضاً إلى ارتفاع في نسبة الأجور أكثر من أيّ وقت مضى فخلال الحرب العالمية الثانية انتهى انتشار البؤس الذي ساد خلال فترة الكساد الكبير، وحققت غالبية الشعب الأميركي درجة غير مسبوقة من الازدهار. ومع ذلك، فإنّ أكبر المستفيدين الى حدّ بعيد من الازدهار الاقتصادي في زمن الحرب هم رجال الأعمال والشركات في البلد ممن حققوا أرباحاً استثنائية. وبين عامي 1942 و 1945، كتب المؤرّخ ستيوارت دي براندز، أنّ الأرباح الصافية لأكبر ألفي شركة في أميركا وصلت نسبتها الأعلى الى 40 وذلك مقارنةً بالأعوام بين 1936 و 1939. ومثل هذه «الطفرة في الربح» كانت ممكنة، لأنّ الدولة أمرت بصرف مليارات الدولارات على المعدّات العسكرية، وفشلت في فرض ضوابط على الأسعار، وضرائب على الأرباح. استفاد من هذا السخاء عالم الأعمال الأميركي بشكل عام، وعلى وجه الخصوص، تلك النخبة المحدودة نسبياً من «الشركات الكبرى» أو «الشركات الأميركية». وخلال الحرب، فإنّ أقلّ من 60 شركة حصلت على ما مجموعه 75 من مجموع الشركات المربحة. وكشفت حينها الشركات الكبرى مثل فورد، IBM، وغيرها، – أنها «خنازير الحرب»، ويكتب براندز حول هذا القدر الهائل من الإنفاق العسكري للدولة. فشركة IBM على سبيل المثال، تمكنت من رفع نسبة مبيعاتها السنوية بين عامي 1940 و 1945 من 46 الى 140 مليون دولار، والفضل في ذلك يعود إلى الحرب و»خيراتها». استغلّت الشركات الأميركية الكبرى خبراتها «الفوردية» حتى الثمالة بهدف تعزيز الإنتاج، غير أنّ ذلك لم يكن كافياً أيضاً لتلبية احتياجات الدولة الأميركية في زمن الحرب. هناك حاجة ماسة إلى الكثير من المعدّات، ومن أجل إنتاجها، احتاجت أميركا الى مصانع جديدة وإلى تكنولوجيا أكثر كفاءة. وقد خُتمت هذه الأصول الجديدة على أرض الواقع، ولهذا السبب ارتفعت القيمة الإجمالية لجميع مرافق الإنتاج في البلاد بين عامي 1939 و 1945 من 40 الى 66 مليار دولار.

ومع ذلك، لم يكن القطاع الخاص هو الذي قام بجميع هذه الاستثمارات الجديدة فعلى حساب تجاربه غير المرغوبة مع الإفراط في الإنتاج خلال الثلاثينات، وجد رجال الأعمال في أميركا هذه المهمة محفوفة بالمخاطر. لذا، قامت الدولة بهذه المهمة من خلال استثمار 17 مليار دولار في أكثر من 2000 مشروع متعلق بالدفاع، في مقابل رسوم رمزية، سمحت للشركات المملوكة للقطاع الخاص باستئجار هذه المصانع الجديدة من أجل الإنتاج… وكسب المال عن طريق بيع الإنتاج الى الدولة. علاوةً على ذلك، عندما انتهت الحرب وقرّرت واشنطن التخلي عن الاستثمارات، اشترتها الشركات الكبرى في البلاد بنصف القيمة، وأحياناً كثيرة بثلث سعرها الحقيقي.

كيف موّلت أميركا الحرب، وكيف دفعت واشنطن الفواتير الباهظة التي قدّمتها GM، ITTوغيرها من الشركات الأخرى للمعدّات الحربية؟ والجواب: جزئياً عن طريق فرض ضرائب حوالى 45 – لكن بقروض أكبر بكثير حوالى 55 . وبالاستناد إلى هذه المعطيات، فقد ازداد الدين العام بشكل كبير، أيّ من 3 مليار دولار عام 1939 إلى ما لا يقلّ عن 45 مليار دولار عام 1945.

ومن الناحية النظرية، كان يُفترض تخفيض هذا الدين، أو محو ذلك كله، بفرض ضرائب على الضرائب الضخمة، وذلك خلال الحرب الضخمة التي كانت تشنّها الجيوش الأميركية، غير أنّ الحقيقة تختلف كثيراً. وكما سبق وأشرنا، فشلت الدولة الأميركية في فرض ضريبة أرباح للشركات الأميركية المفاجئة، وسمحت للدين العام بالتضخم، ودفعت جميع فواتيرها، والفوائد على القروض بإيراداتها العامة، أيّ عن طريق الدخل الناتج عن الضرائب المباشرة وغير المباشرة. وعلى وجه الخصوص، بسبب قانون الإيرادات المتراجع الذي صدر في تشرين الأول عام 1942، ليُصار إلى دفع هذه الضرائب بشكل متزايد من قبل العمال وغيرهم من الأميركيين ذوي الدخل المنخفض، وليس من قبل الأثرياء والشركات التي كان أصحابها هم المساهمين الرئيسيين و/ أو كبار المديرين. ويلاحظ المؤرخ الأميركي شون دينيس كاشمان: «عبء تمويل الحرب»، كان يتآلف بقوة ويرتفع على أكتاف الأفراد الأكثر فقراً في المجتمع».

ومع ذلك، فإنّ الرأي العام الأميركي، المنشغل بدقّ طبول الحرب، والذي أعمت عيونه بعض التوظيفات ذات الأجور المرتفعة، فشل في قراءة كلّ هذا. ومن الناحية الأخرى، فإنّ الأميركيين المؤثرين في الرأي العام، هم على دراية تامة بالطريقة الرائعة التي ولّدت بها الحرب لهم ولشركاتهم طائل الأموال. وبالمناسبة، فقد موّل الحرب أيضاً عدد من رجال الأعمال، أصحاب البنوك، وشركات التأمين والمستثمرين الكبار الآخرين الذين اقترضت منهم واشنطن الأموال اللازمة لتمويل الحرب. وهكذا استفادت الشركات الأميركية من الحرب بحصولها على حصة الأسد من المصالح المتولّدة من شراء سندات الحرب الشهيرة. ومن الناحية النظرية على الأقلّ فإنّ الأغنياء والأقوياء في أميركا هم الأبطال الكبار لما يُطلق عليه اسم المشروعات الحرّة، وهم يعارضون أيّ شكل من أشكال تدخل الدولة في الاقتصاد. غير أنهم لم يبدوا خلال الحرب أيّ اعتراضات على الطريقة التي تدير بها الدولة الأميركية تمويل الاقتصاد، لأنه، وبدون هذا الانتهاك الضخم على نطاق واسع لقواعد الشركات الحرّة، لم يكن من الممكن لثروتهم الجماعية أن تنتشر كما حصل خلال السنوات الماضية.

خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، تعلّم أصحاب الثروات وكبار مديري الشركات الكبرى درساً مهماً للغاية: خلال الحرب، هناك أموال يمكن جنيها، الكثير من الأموال. وبعبارة أخرى، يمكن إبطال المهمة الشاقة المتمثلة في تعظيم الأرباح وهو النشاط الرئيسي في الاقتصاد الأميركي الرأسمالي بطريقة أكثر كفاءة من تلك المتبعة خلال الحرب، بدلاً من تحقيق السلام ومع ذلك، فإنّ التعاون الخيريّ من الدولة مطلوب. ومنذ الحرب العالمية الثانية، فإنّ الأغنياء والأقوياء في أميركا استمرّوا واعين جداً لهذه المسألة. كذلك الأمر، بالنسبة لرجلهم السابق في البيت الأبيض، جورج دبليو بوش، وهو سليل «إمبراطورية المال» الذي هبط على البيت الأبيض بواسطة المظلّة، بهدف خدمة وتعزيز مصالح عائلته الثرية وأصدقائه وزملائه في الشركات الأميركية، أصحاب مصالح المال والامتيازات والسلطة.

في ربيع العام 1945، كان من الواضح أنّ الحرب حققت أرباحاً مبهرة وأنها ستنتهي قريباً. فماذا سيحدث حينها؟ ومن بين الاقتصاديين، يوجد العديد من «الكاساندريين» الذين قدّموا سيناريوات بدت مزعجة للغاية للقادة السياسيين والصناعيين الأميركيين. وخلال الحرب، اقتصرت المشتريات على المعدّات العسكرية، وليس شيء آخر، قد أعادت ارتفاع الطلب الاقتصادي، وبالتالي لم يكن ممكناً قط تحقيق التوظيف الكامل لكنها أيضاً أرباحاً غير مسبوقة. ومع عودة السلام، فإنّ شبح التنافر بين العرض والطلب يهدّد بالعودة الى أميركا مرة أخرى، حيث أنّ الأزمة الناجمة قد تكون أكثر حدّة من الأزمة الاقتصادية العظمى إبان «الثلاثينات القذرة»، لأنه وخلال سنوات الحرب زادت قدرة الأمة بشكل كبير كما رأينا. سيتعيّن تسريح العمال على وجه التحديد في الوقت الذي يعود فيه ملايين المحاربين القدامى إلى ديارهم بحثاً عن عمل مدني، وستؤدّي البطالة وتراجع القوة الشرائية الى تفاقم العجز في الطلب. أما من منظور الأغنياء والأقوياء في أميركا، فإنّ شبح البطالة القادم لا يشكل أيّ مشكلة على الإطلاق وما يهمّ هو أنّ العصر الذهبي للأرباح الهائلة سيصل إلى نهايته. من الضروري منع حدوث مثل هذه الكارثة، لكن كيف؟

كانت نفقات الدولة العسكرية تشكل مصدر الأرباح العالية، ومن أجل الإبقاء على تدفق الأرباح، وبسخاء، إلا أنّ هناك حاجة ملحة لأعداء جدد وتهديدات حرب جديدة بعد هزيمة ألمانيا واليابان. وكم كان من حسن حظ الاتحاد السوفياتي، أن يتواجد في تلك المرحلة، في بلد كان شريكاً مهماً في الحرب، لسحب زناد النار بوجه الحلفاء في ستالينغراد وغيرها من المدن، إنما ايضاً شريكاً سمحت له أفكاره الشيوعية وممارساته لتتحوّل بسهولة الى بعبع جديد يقف في وجه الولايات المتحدة الأميركية. ويعترف معظم الموثقين الأميركيين أنّ الاتحاد السوفياتي عام 1945، وهو البلد الذي عانى الكثير خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، لم يشكل على الإطلاق أيّ تهديد اقتصاي أو عسكري للولايات المتحدة الأميركية ذات النفوذ في هذا المجال. ويعترف هؤلاء ايضاً أنّ موسكو أظهرت حرصاً شديداً على التعاون بشكل وثيق مع واشنطن في فترة ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية.

ترجمة ليلى زيدان عبد الخالق

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