EMPEROR TRUMP NOW STANDS PARTIALLY NAKED

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A child exposing the nakedness of the emperor by speaking truth to power?

Not these days.

More than half of the United States — not just liberals and the left but also the mainstream media and some Republicans — has been shouting at Emperor Trump for months on end that he has no clothes. These declarations have fallen on deaf ears, for Donald Trump is constitutionally incapable of acknowledging his own flaws.

Also, there are still plenty of people telling Trump what he wants to hear. The president is surrounded by family members, advisors, and careerists who have refused to acknowledge the simple truth that the White House has been occupied for more than three years by a person that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once called King Moron (oops, I misquote: he actually said a “f**king moron”).

In the last week, however, this picture has begun to change. Three important clothiers of the president have said that maybe the commander-in-chief has been experiencing a wardrobe malfunction all along.

Twitter, Justin Trudeau, and James Mattis all took their turns in the spotlight recently to challenge the American president. Representing three important constituencies — social media, the Pentagon, and the international community — all three in their own way have chipped away at Trump’s power.

True, they have all provided important cover for the naked leader in the past. Also, their statements could have been clearer calls to arms. But now, all three can help precipitate the “run for the exit” moment that will spell Trump’s downfall.

We’ll have to wait until November to be sure, but the president might have effectively lost his reelection bid this month, well before Election Day.

Social Media

Donald Trump once wooed the mainstream media. He chatted up gossip columnists. He pretended over the phone that he was his own publicist, singing the praises of his boss. He so desperately wanted to be on the cover of Time that he created dummy versions of the magazine proclaiming that “Trump is hitting on all fronts” and hung them in at least five of his golf clubs. Throughout, he groused that the media was not sufficiently flattering.

Twitter provided Trump with the ideal solution to his chronic need for attention. He no longer had to rely on the media and instead could communicate directly to his followers. He could simultaneously disparage the mainstream media as “fake news” and dispense his own fake news by tweet.

In the first three years of his presidency, Trump fired off more than 11,000 tweets. Many of them were rambling attacks on his opponents (somehow Trump manages to be rambling in under 280 characters). But some of them were actual policy announcements or served some other tactical purpose.

Twitter wasn’t simply a tool of the presidency. It became the presidency.

According to this New York Times analysis of this incessant Twitterstorm:

Early on, top aides wanted to restrain the president’s Twitter habit, even considering asking the company to impose a 15-minute delay on Mr. Trump’s messages. But 11,390 presidential tweets later, many administration officials and lawmakers embrace his Twitter obsession, flocking to his social media chief with suggestions. Policy meetings are hijacked when Mr. Trump gets an idea for a tweet, drawing in cabinet members and others for wordsmithing. And as a president often at war with his own bureaucracy, he deploys Twitter to break through logjams, overrule, or humiliate recalcitrant advisers and pre-empt his staff.

Twitter has helped Trump. And Trump has helped poison Twitter.

Although the social media giant has had no problem deleting praise for the Islamic State, it hasn’t shown comparable due diligence toward white nationalism. According to an account of a discussion at a Twitter staff meeting, a technical employee explained that “on a technical level, content from Republican politicians could get swept up by algorithms aggressively removing white supremacist material. Banning politicians wouldn’t be accepted by society as a trade-off for flagging all of the white supremacist propaganda.”

With the compliance of social media platforms, Trump and his coterie of Republican extremists have helped to mainstream otherwise marginal content.

But that tide might be turning. At the end of May, Twitter took the unprecedented step of labeling two of Trump’s tweets, directing readers to accurate sources of information on mail-in balloting and announcing that Trump had violated its policies on glorifying violence. Then, last week, Twitter took down an account that retweeted all of Trump’s utterances, again for violating its policies.

Trump, predictably, went ballistic. He lashed out on Twitter (the man is impervious to irony). He retaliated with an executive order to lift some of the liability protections on social media companies.

It’s not as if Trump is going to abandon his principle mode of communication. This last weekend, after all, he broke his own Twitter record by sending out 200 Tweets in a 24-hour period, including 74 in one hour. By increasing the outflow of his firehose, Trump seems to be daring Twitter to keep up with its labels.

Twitter hasn’t deplatformed Trump, as it has some other darlings of the alt-right. It let slide Trump’s latest Twitter outrage — promoting a conspiracy theory about a Buffalo protestor injured by the police — because the use of a question mark marked it as “speculative” (Really? Really??).

But with its labels, Twitter is finally saying that no one is above the law — the admittedly loose laws of the internet — not even the president of the United States.

Justin Trudeau

In the United States, we are still talking about the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a cop knelt on George Floyd’s neck, killing him.

In Canada, they’re talking about 21 seconds.

That’s the pause that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to answer a question on Trump’s threat to use the military against those protesting Floyd’s death. Trudeau could have used that time to criticize Trump directly. Instead, after his long pause, he chose to speak of the problems facing people of color in his own country. “There is systemic racism in Canada,” he said.

Trump has never hesitated to lambaste other heads of state. He called Trudeau “two-faced” as well as “very dishonest and weak.” He labeled comments by Emanuel Macron “very, very nasty.” He criticized comments of Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen as “nasty and inappropriate.” With comments about friends like these, you can imagine how Trump tongue-lashes his enemies.

For the most part, the international community has quietly tolerated Trump. They’ve delivered tersely worded rebuttals. They’ve made fun of him behind his back. But they haven’t directly or personally criticized him.

Given the power of the United States, it’s unlikely that the leader of an allied country will take the president to task. So, perhaps the best we can hope for is 21 seconds of silence, during which the rest of us can voice the thoughts we think are going through Justin Trudeau’s mind.

Maybe it’s because I worked for a Quaker organization for many years, but I think that sometimes silence can speak volumes.

James Mattis

Former Pentagon chief Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis was one of the more prominent “adults in the room” who were supposed to rein in Trump. He failed. He resigned in December 2018 after disagreeing with Trump’s push to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. When he resigned and later when he published his memoir the following year, Mattis kept his thoughts on Trump to himself.

Last week, Mattis broke his silence with a remarkable statement in The Atlantic criticizing the president’s threatened use of the military against protesters. He said, in part:

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.

In all my years as a protester, I have never witnessed someone of Mattis’s background and standing actually side with folks on the street. “The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation,” he said.

It wasn’t just Mattis. Former chair of the joint chiefs of staff Mike Mullen wrote a similar condemnation of Trump as did former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan John Allen. It was the journalistic equivalent of D-Day, with the generals landing their forces on Omaha Beach in the hopes of dethroning their adversary several months hence.

Yes, yes, I know: Mattis, Mullen, and Allen are no leftists. You can’t even call them liberals or moderates. Andy Kroll is right to point out in Rolling Stone that these are “the same military leaders who endorsed and defended a policy of forever war that has led to tens of thousands of American deaths, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghans and Syrians and Yemenis and Pakistanis, hundreds of thousands of injuries physical and mental suffered by U.S. service members, and many billions of taxpayer dollars poured into endless conflict.”

Kroll is both right and spectacularly off the mark. After all, Donald Trump similarly dismissed Colin Powell’s endorsement of Joe Biden by linking him to America’s failed wars.

The fact that these old establishment figures have blood on their hands is precisely the point. Noam Chomsky denouncing Donald Trump is not news. Everyone expects the leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to criticize the president. I’ve been slamming Trump from day one of his presidency (and many months before), but I doubt my preaching goes very far beyond the choir.

All the attacks on Trump from left and center are what journalists call “dog bites man.” It’s no surprise. But “Mad Dog bites man”? That’s a different story altogether.

The military has been the most trusted institution in U.S. society for decades. According to Gallup, it enjoyed a 73 percent approval rating in 2019 — compared to 38 percent for both the presidency and the Supreme Court, 36 percent for organized religion, and 11 percent for Congress.

People listen to the military. And by people, here I mean folks who voted for Donald Trump, continue to support the president, and are still thinking about voting for him in November.

As importantly, these generals are willing to take enemy fire — from Fox News, from crazy Internet trolls, from the president himself—so that other former Trump enablers might be more willing to stand up and speak their minds.

Immediately after Mattis waded into the debate, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) confessed her concerns about Trump and said that she hasn’t made up her mind about who to support in November. Francis Rooney, a Republican member of Congress from Florida, is now leaning toward Biden. A number of prominent Republicans won’t vote for Trump, but they also are reluctant to say so in public.

This doesn’t exactly constitute a surge. A solid core of the party remains firmly behind the president. The more telegenic version of Trump, Tom Cotton (R-AR), is enjoying a swell of support after The New York Times criticized its own handling of the senator’s incendiary and inaccurate piece, “Send in the Military.” So far, Mattis has not played the role of the journalist Edward R. Murrow taking down the demagogue Joe McCarthy.

But you have to believe that statements from Mattis and others are at least going to introduce an element of doubt into the minds of some true believers. Active duty soldiers and veterans who voted for Trump — he received 61 percent of the veteran vote compared to Hillary Clinton’s 34 percent — might just heed the generals. And the latest polls suggest that both older Americans and white Americans are starting to abandon Trump.

I don’t expect Mitch McConnell or Tom Cotton to denounce Trump. Much of the Republican Party will loyally follow the president into his White House bunker. But thanks to the truth-telling of Mattis and others, everyone else will be laughing all the way to the polls at the emperor stripped bare by his enablers.


By John Feffer
Source: Foreign Policy In Focus

Must Watch – Storyville, Lea Tsemel-an Israeli true hero

 BY GILAD ATZMON

In the past I have been critical of many aspects of contemporary Left, in general and Jewish Left, in particular. But my criticism of Jewish Left ends with Lea Tsemel. This Israeli human rights lawyer is out of this world. For decades Tsemel has been supporting the Palestinians and their rights including their rights to emancipate themselves and their land, Watch this video before it is removed

The Left is from Jerusalem

 

Left is from Jerusalem.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

We learned yesterday that Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (“XR”) apologised after his comments about the Holocaust sparked outrage.

I was curious to find out what it was that Hallam said that led to such indignation. German Green politician Volker Beck accused Mr Hallam on Twitter of “bringing the climate movement into disrepute.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the Nazi genocide was “uniquely inhumane” (can the German foreign minister provide a list of what he considers to have been  ‘humane’ genocides?). Ullstein, Hallam’s German publisher announced it had stopped publication of Hallam’s book on climate change and that it was disassociating itself from his comments.

Judging by the  scale of the histrionics I assumed that Hallam had broken every rule. He must have praised Hitler or perhaps justified or even denied the Holocaust all together.  Apparently, he said nothing at all like that. In an interview with Die Zeit, Hallam stated that the Holocaust was  “just another fuckery in human history.”  The “fact of the matter,” he said, “is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history.”  He concluded by observing that genocides have occurred repeatedly over the past 500 years and “in fact, you might say it is like a regular event”.

At least on its face, his statements were factually correct, Hallam didn’t deny or diminish anyone’s suffering.  Quite the opposite, he expressed a universal disgust with all forms of oppression and hatred.

What was Hallam’s crime? Apparently, that he spoke both authentically and ethically, and ignored the fact that this form of discourse is extinct within contemporary ‘Left’  and progressive circles.

XR’s Annemarie Botzki tweeted: “We distance ourselves from Roger Hallam’s trivialising and relativising comments about the Holocaust.”  Hallam is being accused of ‘trivializing’ and ‘relativizing’ the holocaust simply by noting the clear and undeniable fact that history has witnessed more than one systematic destruction of one people by another.

The study of history benefits from a  comparative approach. Our scholarly understanding of the past expands when we can see, for instance, the equivalence between the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the 1948 Palestinian Nakba. Our understanding of Zionism grows when we delve into the parallels between the national socialist aspirations of the early Labour Zionists and  those of German National Socialism that surfaced later. Yet, within the domain of the Holocaust religion such a scholarly comparative approach is regarded as the ultimate heresy. To examine the Holodomor, the Boer War, Stalin’s crimes, Neocon global atrocities, or Israeli War Crimes alongside the Holocaust is perceived by some as the ultimate profanity as it ‘relativises’ that which ‘must’ extend beyond history and reason, namely ‘The Holocaust.’

For Jewish institutions, Holocaust:  ‘Relativisation,’ ‘Trivialization’ and ‘Universalization’ are the ‘ultimate crimes’ as they tend to prevent the crystallization of the Holocaust as a unique chapter in human history. The attempt is made by these institutions to prevent  the application of language that is ‘specific to the holocaust’ to events that are unrelated to it or to Jewish suffering in general.

We are stumbling upon two core elements at the heart of the Holocaust religion.  One is, of course, the primacy of Jewish suffering. The other is the Orwellian attempt to dominate language, terminology, vocabulary and expressions by restricting the usage of certain words so the words themselves serve Jewish identitarian causes.

The great Israeli thinker Yeshayahu Leibowitz noticed as early as the 1970s that the Holocaust was morphing from an event in history into a dogmatic religion. It was he who coined the notion “Holocaust religion.” Leibowitz perceived that, although Jews believe in many different things, Judaism, Bolshevism, Human Rights, Zionism and Anti Zionism: all Jews believe in the Holocaust.  A decade later in 1987, Israeli philosopher Adi Ophir expanded on this shift in Jewish consciousness and identification. In his paper On Sanctifying the Holocaust: An Anti-Theological Treatise, Ophir admitted that “a religious consciousness built around the Holocaust may become the central aspect of a new religion.”

Ophir listed the four commandments of the new religion:

 1. “Thou shalt have no other holocaust.” 

2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or likeness.”

3. “Thou shalt not take the name in vain.” 

4. “Remember the day of the Holocaust to keep it holy, in memory of the destruction of the Jews of Europe.” 

Ophir’s commandments illuminate these two Judeo Centric core elements of the Holocaust religion. The primacy of Jewish Suffering (1, 2 and 4) and strict lingual restrictions (1,2 &3).

Orwell’s insights into left authoritarianism that made 1984 into a prophetic masterpiece together with Ophir’s thoughts  provide us with the intellectual framework to understand both the Jewish and the Left’s attitude toward the Holocaust. The Left that, at least in the past, attempted to unite us in the name of a universal ethos is now at the forefront of the battle against each of its own core values: the ethical, the universal (equality) and, most important, freedom.

Noticeably, not a single Left politician or thinker stood up for Hallam and his expression of a genuine humanist and universalist outlook. This is tragic but not surprising. It can easily be explained by the concepts of ‘Athens’ and ‘Jerusalem.’  If Athens is the birthplace of philosophy and Jerusalem is the home for Torah and Mitzvoth, then Athens teaches us how to think while Jerusalem produces a set of directives as, for example,  what ‘not to say.’ The Left’s call that was born of an Athenian instinct that was both dialectical and universal has generally been reduced into a Jerusalemite set of ‘commandments’ that are totally removed from truthfulness, authenticity or human nature.

It is this Jerusalemite authoritarian mode that is quintessential to contemporary Left politics and explains why Corbyn’s Labour has expelled its best members for truthful speech. Why is it that Corbyn himself never stood for Ken Livingstone and others who were telling the truth? This systematic failure of Left politics may explain why the promised revolution never materialized.   It also explains why Hallam was stabbed in the back by his allies for telling the truth.

Truth is from Athens but the Left is from Jerusalem.

مناقشة هادئة لخطاب خالد حدادة الغاضب

أكتوبر 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– كتب الأمين العام السابق للحزب الشيوعي اللبناني خالد حدادة مقالاً نشره على صفحته على الفايسبوك، يناقش فيه المواقف التي أطلقها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، في إطلالته الأخيرة حول الحراك الشعبي والمخاطر والمخاوف والشعارات. ولغة حدادة القاسية الأقرب إلى نبرة القطيعة وليس الحوار، تستحق النقاش كما الحجج التي ساقها لتفسير موقفه، ليس فقط لكونها تعبّر بصورة غير رسمية عن مواقف تفسر اصطفاف الحزب الشيوعي اللبناني، وتفلسف هذا الاصطفاف، بل أيضاً لأنها الأشد جرأة ووضوحاً من بين همهمات في صفوف الكثير من اليساريين والوطنيين الذين يدعون حزب الله للانخراط في الحراك ودعمه والمشاركة في قيادته، ويأخذون عليه عدم ترجمة ما قاله من تقدير وتفهّم لأسباب الحراك ودوافعه بالانخراط فيه، بل بتغليب موقف التحفظ والحذر من الأفق الذي يرسمه الغموض في قيادة الحراك الفعلية، رغم طمأنة حدادة بأن كل شيء سيكون تحت السيطرة، لأن الفقراء في الشارع والمدافعين عن حقوقهم هم الذين سيحصنون الحراك كما حصنوا ويحصنون المقاومة .

– يبدأ حدادة مقالته بالقول إن خطاب السيد جاء تغليباً للبنية المذهبية للحزب، كشريك في نظام طائفي وأكثر من ذلك قدّمه السيد أمس، كحامٍ للنظام عبر إطلاق لاءاته الثلاث المناقضة لحس الناس ومطالبها: لا لإسقاط العهد، لا لاستقالة الحكومة، لا للانتخابات المبكرة . ويضيف باختصار وضع السيد خطاً أحمر هو النظام نفسه . وتناول حدادة مخاوف المقاومة من غموض القيادة والتمويل ودور السفارات والحاجة لتحصين الحراك بالقول للسيد بلغة التحدي هل فعلت أنت ما هو واجب لتحصين هذا الحراك الشعبي والوطني والمحقّ على حد تعبيرك؟ أعتقد أن خطابك بالأمس سيساهم في تقوية وزن ودور السفارات، في محاولة حرف التحرّك. نحن سنتصدّى لذلك، الفقراء في الشارع والمدافعون عن حقوقهم هم الذين سيحصّنون الحراك، كما حصّنوا ويحصنون المقاومة ، واصفاً دعوة السيد للحراك ببلورة قيادته وصولاً للتفاوض بالتحدّي قائلاً أنت تعرف يا سيد أن كل التحركات لا تبدأ بالتفاوض إلا مع البدء بالتنازلات من المسؤولين، سأطلب منك العودة الى مسار الثورة الإيرانية وليس ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي ، شارحاً خريطة الطريق التي يراها سبيلاً للحل بالقول مطالب الساحات واضحة، عدا عن الجانب المعيشي فإن الشارع، بعفويته، وضع مساراً مسؤولاً: استقالة الحكومة، تشكيل حكومة انتقالية موثوقة، إقرار سريع لخطوات إعادة المال المنهوب والأملاك العامة وسواها، إقرار قانون انتخاب جديد نحن نريده وطنياً خارج القيد الطائفي وعلى أساس النسبية ، إجراء انتخابات مبكرة ، مضيفاً ابدأوا بالخطوة الأولى عندها يصبح التفاوض مجدياً .

– مناقشة كلام حدادة لا تستقيم من الأعلى إلى الأسفل لأنه وضع النتائج في الأعلى وترك الأسفل للمقدّمات، فالقبول والرفض لاستنتاجاته وتقييمه لموقف السيد كحامٍ للنظام وللفساد، واعتباره أنه غلب البنية المذهبية للحزب كشريك في نظام طائفي، أو وصف دعوة السيد لتحصين الحراك بوجه تدخل السفارات بالتحدي واعتبار كلام السيد يخدم تعزيز نفوذ السفارات، سيتوقف على تفحّص ما عرضه حدادة من تصوّرات يمكن تلخيصها باعتباره أن توازن القوى في الحراك تحت السيطرة لصالح برنامج ينتهي بانتخابات مبكرة، وفقاً لنظام نسبي وخارج القيد الطائفي، وأن كل المطلوب من السلطة التي يشارك فيها حزب الله أن تنحني للحراك باستقالة الحكومة، وبعدها سيكون كل شيء قابلاً للذهاب نحو تحويل الحراك إلى ثورة. وهنا يعتقد حدادة أن دور حزب الله يجب أن يكون بالدفع لاستقالة الحكومة متخلياً عن دعوته لإسقاط العهد، بقوله، عند استقالة الحكومة يبدأ التفاوض، مستعيناً بالتشبيه بالثورة الإيرانية، لاعتقاده ربما بأن السيد لم يقرأ أو يطلع على تجارب الثورات الملوّنة التي شملت أغلب دول أوروبا الشرقية التي يعرفها السيد حدادة جيداً، ويعرف ما آلت إليه مع استقالة الحكومات، وأن حدود ثقافته السياسية تقف عند تجربة الثورة الإيرانية.

– المفصل إذن هو استقالة الحكومة، التي يثق حدادة ومعه آخرون أنها مفتاح الحلول، المفتاح الذي يدعون السيد نصرالله لاسترداده، وبهذه الاستقالة سيتولى الشعب ومعه المدافعون عن المقاومة الذين قاموا بتحصينها بتحصين الحراك ، فهل يبدو كلام حدادة دعوة لسيناريو قابل لسيطرة أم هو القفزة في المجهول التي تقف وراء الخشية والحذر اللذين طبعا كلام السيد، والتدقيق الذي هرب منه حدادة لا يمكن للسيد إغفاله، فلنفترض أن الحكومة استقالت اليوم، وبالتأكيد لا نظن أن حدادة يدعو لحكومة بديلة برئاسة الرئيس الحريري أو أي من رموز الطبقة الفاسدة كما يصفها، فهل لدى حدادة و الفقراء والمدافعون عن حقوقهم معه، الذين حصنوا المقاومة ويحصنونها، اسم لرئاسة الحكومة يناسب تحقيق الأهداف التي يسوقها باستسهال القدرة على حماية تحقيقها بموازين القوى الحاكمة للحراك، والتي تدخل فيها فعالية الحضور المنظم عبر أحزاب وجمعيات تملك مقدرات مالية وتنظيمية لا يمكلها حدادة و الفقراء والمدافعون عن حقوقهم ، ويتاح لها بقوة السفارات، التي يستخفّ حدادة بحضورها في الحراك، فرصٌ مستديمة للسيطرة على وسائل الإعلام الوازنة والفاعلة والمموّلة، والتي تكرس بثها لما هو أبعد من تغطية الحراك نحو الإمساك بدفته السياسية والتنظيمية ورسم خطواته. السؤال هو: ماذا سيحدث في اليوم التالي لاستقالة الحكومة، ولأن المنطقي أن الحراك الداعي للاستقالة سيتمسك بالدعوة للامتناع عن تسمية أي من رموز الطبقة الفاسدة لرئاسة الحكومة البديلة، أن تفشل الاستشارات النيابية بالخروج باسم مرشح يقبله الحراك، ويبقى أمام الفقراء والمدافعين عن حقوقهم والمقاومة التي يحصنها حدادة ويعد بتحصينها، ونحن نصدق صدق نياته هنا، خيار واحد، هو التساكن مع الحكومة المستقيلة كحكومة تصريف أعمال لا يمكن مطالبتها بشيء ولا مساءلتها على شيء، وعجز عن استيلاد حكومة جديدة، بل حتى تسمية رئيس للحكومة الجديدة، وتمضي أسابيع وشهور، ويبدأ التفاوض، نعم التفاوض، ولكن ليس مع حدادة ولا مع قيادة يبلورها الحراك، بل بين السفارات، على رمي اسم غامض يضمن الخارج تسويقه في وسط الحراك، بصفته من التكنوقراط والخبراء المشهود لهم بالكفاءة والنزاهة، ويخرج الحراك يحتفل بالنصر لبدء مسار حكومي جديد، يعوّمه الغرب والعرب مالياً، كما يقترح ديفيد أغناسيوس في مقالته في الواشنطن بوست تحت شعار منعاً لخسارة لبنان على طريقة خسارة سورية. ويبدأ شعار أولوية النهوض من الوضع المالي الصعب بالتسلل لفرض معادلة تحييد لبنان، تحت شعار النأي بالنفس، وبالتأكيد لا محاربة فساد ولا محاكمات ولا استعادة مال منهوب، والانتخابات المبكرة تصبح أحد اثنين، ذكرى جميلة أو انتخابات على القانون الحالي تعيد إنتاج المجلس الحالي مع حجز حصة للقوى التي سيطرت على الحراك، وليس للوطنيين واليسار حصة وافرة منه، بل للذين قادوا فعلياً وصاروا حزب رئيس الحكومة الجديد. فهل هذا هو المسار الشعبي والتغييري الذي يريد حدادة من السيد نصرالله فتح الطريق أمامه؟

– ربما لم يكن لدى حدادة الوقت ليتذكر أن الثورة الإيرانية كانت لها قيادة واضحة وبرنامج واضح وقائد مُجمَع عليه قبل أي بحث بكيف ومتى بدأت بالتفاوض، ولن يمانع السيد من التفاهم على اعتبار نموذج الثورة الإيرانية فيصلاً في بت الخلاف، بدعوته الواضحة لبلورة هذه القيادة والبرنامج. وليثق حدادة أن هذه هي بيضة القبان، وضوح القيادة والبرنامج وبعدها لن نختلف مع حدادة حول توقيت التفاوض قبل استقالة الحكومة أم بعدها، فبوجود الوضوح في القيادة والبرنامج تتغير أشياء كثيرة. وربما ايضاً لم يكن لدى حدادة الوقت للانتباه لمخاطر استقالة الحكومة في ظل غياب قيادة وبرنامج للحراك، ولا الوقت لفحص سيناريو آخر، هو البدء من رأس الدرج بشطفه وليس من أسفله، أي إلزام الحكومة والمجلس النيابي، بقوة الحراك وثقة حدادة بالقدرة على التحكم بضبط أدائه لمحاربة الفساد وإسقاط النظام الطائفي، بإصدار قوانين الانتخابات المنشود وقانون رفع الحصانات والسرية المصرفية عن كل من تولّى الشأن العام الموعود، وتحديد مرحلة انتقالية في هذه القوانين، التي تتشكل بنصوصها هيئات قضائية مستقلة للإشراف على تطبيقها. ووفق المرحلة الإنتقالية تصدر لوائح المتهمين بجرائم المال العام خلال ثلاثة شهور، وتتشكل حكومة من غير المرشحين بالتزامن، لتتم الانتخابات في نهاية المرحلة الانتقالية المحددة بستة شهور، لتنبثق الحكومة الجديدة من نتائج الانتخابات وفقاً للقواعد الدستورية، ويكون في المجلس الجديد وفق قانون الدائرة الواحدة والنسبية واللاطائفية فرصة تمثيل للقوى التي رسمت خريطة طريق نظيفة وواضحة للحراك، ومنها الشيوعيون واليسار، ويكون على حزب الله ومعه مَن يشاركه الرؤى في الحكومة ومجلس النواب كما وعد الضغط لضبط الإيقاع بالتناغم مع مطالب الحراك الواضحة بقيادته المعروفة لضمان السير بهذه الخطة، ويكون بقاء الحكومة الحالية كحكومة فعلية تسائل وتحاسب وتطالب بتنفيذ متتابع لبنود الخطة الإصلاحية وتصويب الخاطئ فيها، بدلاً من تصريف الأعمال الطويل بغياب أفق حكومة إنقاذ موعودة. فهل هذا السيناريو دفاع عن النظام الفاسد وتعبير عن بنية مذهبية غلبت روح المقاومة، وترسم خطاً أحمر حول النظام أم تضع خطوطاً حمراء حول مشروع غامض يُرشّ عليه بعض السكر الذي سرعان ما يزول بأول فركة يد، فيكشف لنا الخادم الحقيقي لتأبيد نظام الفساد بل تجديد شبابه بنسخة متوجة بشرعية شعبية تماماً كما فعل الربيع العربي.

– مشكلة بعض اليسار أنه يعيد في الحراك تكرار التجربة التي خاضها منذ التسعينيات بخروجه من المقاومة نحو سراب السلطة، والحديث عن منعه عن دوره فيها، ورمي مسؤولية تراجعه على حزب الله، لأنه يريد من حزب الله توظيف قوته في المقاومة لصناعة دور للآخرين في السلطة. وقد لا يُفهم الغضب والتحدي في نبرة حدادة إلا باعتباره ترجمة لهذا التكرار، الرهان على توظيف مكانة وقوة حزب الله لحجز مقعد فاعل في الحراك، لا يبدو أنه متاح اليوم، لكنه للأسف مقعد لا يخدم تحصين البلد والمقاومة ولا الحراك نفسه إذا بقي مصطفاً تحت شعار لم يكن له يد في رسمه. وما ورد في هذا النقاش ليس إلا دعوة للتفكير مجدداً ليضع اليسار والشيوعيون في مقدمتهم خريطة طريق موصلة للأهداف التي نثق بإخلاصه لها، ويقود حواراً مع شركائه في الخيارات المناوئة للهيمنة الأميركية والعدوانية الصهيونية، وصولاً لتفاهمات تتوزع فيها الأدوار كل من موقعه بدلاً من لغة الأحكام الظالمة، والتهم اللتي تصير افتراء، تترجمها نبرة التحدي والغضب، التي لن توصل إلى مكان ولا تقدّم شيئاً للبلد والحراك والمقاومة.

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How is it possible that the Right Wing Fox News asks all the right questions?

The answer is devastatingly simple: truth often interferes with the Left and Progressive’s worldview. It is then suppressed so it fits with a vision of correctness.

I delved into this question at length in my latest book: Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto:

Traditional Left Ideology sets out a vision of how the world ought to be. The ‘Left’ view can be summed up as the belief that social justice is the primary requirement for improving the world, and this better future entails the pursuit of equality in various forms. The Left ideologist believes that it is universally both ethical and moral to attempt to approach equality in terms of civil rights and material wealth.

But if the Left focuses on ‘what could be,’ the Right focuses on ‘what is.’ If the Left operates where people could be, the Right operates where people ‘are’ or at least, where they believe themselves to be. The Right does not aim to change human social reality but rather to celebrate, and to even maximize it. The Right is also concerned with rootedness that is often nostalgic and even romanticised.

The Left yearns for equality, but for the Right, the human landscape is diverse and multi-layered, with inequality not just tolerated but accepted as part of the human condition, a natural part of our social, spiritual and material world. Accordingly, Right ideology encompasses a certain degree of biological determination and even Social Darwinism. It is enthralled by the powerful, and cruel, evolutionary principle of the ‘survival of the fittest.’ For the Right ideologue, it is the ‘will to survive’ and even to attain power that makes social interactions exciting. It is that very struggle that brings humanity and humanism to life.

So, the traditional debate between Right and Left can loosely be summarized as the tension between equality and reality. The Right ideologue argues that, while the Left’s attempt to flatten the curve of human social reality in the name of equality may be ethically genuine and noble, it is nonetheless naive and erroneous.

Illusion vs Insomnia

Left ideology is like a dream. Aiming for what ‘ought to be’ rather than ‘what is’, it induces a level of utopian illusory detachment and depicts a phantasmal egalitarian world far removed from our abusive, oppressive and doomed reality. In this phantasmic future, people will just drift away from greed and gluttony, they will work less and learn to share, even to share that which they may not possess to start with.

This imaginary ‘dream’ helps explain why the (Western) Left ideology rarely appealed to the struggling classes, the masses who, consumed by the pursuit of bread and butter, were hardly going to be interested in utopian ‘dreams’ or futuristic social experiments. Bitten by the daily struggle and chased by existence, working people have never really subscribed to ‘the revolution’ usually because often they were just too busy working. This perhaps explains why so often it was the middle class agitators and bourgeois who became revolutionary icons. It was they who had access to that little bit extra to fund their revolutionary adventures.

The ‘Left dream’ is certainly appealing, perhaps a bit too appealing. Social justice, equality and even revolution may really be nothing but the addictive rush of effecting change and this is perhaps why hard-core Leftist agitators often find it impossible to wake from their social fantasy. They simply refuse to admit that reality has slipped from their grasp, preferring to remain in their cosy phantasmal universe, shielded by ghetto walls built of archaic terminology and political correctness.

In fact, the more appealing and convincing the revolutionary fantasy is, the less its supporters are willing to face reality, assuming they’re capable of doing so. This blindness helps explain why the Western ideological Left has failed on so many fronts. It was day-dreaming when the service economy was introduced, and it did not awaken when production and manufacturing were eviscerated. It yawned when it should have combatted corporate culture, big money and its worship, and it dozed when higher education became a luxury. The Left was certainly snoring noisily when, one after the other, its institutions were conquered by New Left Identitarian politics. So, rather than being a unifying force that could have made us all – workers, Black, women, Jews, gays etc. – into an unstoppable force in the battle against big capital, the Left became a divisionary factor, fighting amongst itself. But it wasn’t really the ideologues’ and activists’ fault; the failure to adapt to reality is a flaw tragically embedded in the Left’s very fantasised nature.

If I am right, it is these intrinsically idealistic and illusory characteristics that doom Left politics to failure. In short, that which makes the Left dream so appealing is also responsible for the Left being delusional and ineffectual. But how else could it be? How could such a utopian dream be sustained? I suspect that for Left politics to prevail, humanity would have to fly in the face of the human condition.

And what of the Right? If the Left appears doomed to failure, has the Right succeeded at all? As opposed to the ‘dreamy’ Left, the Right is consumed by reality and ‘concretisation.’ In the light of the globalized, brutal, hard capitalist world in which we live, traditionally conservative laissez-faire seems a naive, nostalgic, peaceful and even poetic thought.

While the Left sleeps, Right-wing insomnia has become a universal disease which has fuelled the new world order with its self-indulgence and greed. How can anyone sleep when there’s money to be made? This was well understood by Martin Scorsese who, in his The Wolf of Wall Street, depicts an abusive culture of sex, cocaine and amphetamine consumption at the very heart of the American capitalist engine. Maybe such persistent greed can be only maintained by addled, drug-induced and over-stimulated brains.

Rejection of fantasy, commitment to the concrete (or shall we say, the search for ‘being’ or ‘essence,’) positions the Right alongside German philosophy. The German idealists’ philosophical endeavour attempts to figure out the essence of things. From a German philosophical perspective, the question ‘what is (the essence of) beauty?’ is addressed by aesthetics. The question ‘what is (the essence of) being?’ is addressed by metaphysics. The questions: ‘what are people, what is their true nature, root and destiny?’ are often dealt with by Right-wing ideologists. It is possible that the deep affinity between Right ideology and German philosophy explains the spiritual and intellectual continuum between

German philosophy and German Fascism. It may also explain why Martin Heidegger, one of the most important philosophers in the last millennium, was, for a while at least, a National Socialist enthusiast.

The Right’s obsession with the true nature of things may explain its inclination towards nostalgia on one hand and Darwinist ideologies on the other. Right ideology can be used to support expansionism and imperialism at one time, and isolationism and pacifism at another. Right ideology is occasionally in favour of immigration as good for business, yet can also take the opposite position, calling for protection of its own interests by sealing the borders. The Right can provide war with logos and can give oppression a dialectical as well as ‘scientific’ foundation. Sometimes, a conflict may be justified by ‘growing demand’ and ‘expanding markets.’ Other times, one race is chosen to need living space at the expense of another.

The Right is sceptical about the prospects for social mobility. For the Right thinker, the slave* is a slave because his subservient nature is determined biologically, psychologically or culturally. In the eyes of the Left, such views are ‘anti-humanist’ and unacceptable. The Left would counter this essentialist determinism with a wide range of environmental, materialist, cultural criticism and post- colonial studies that produce evidence that slaves do liberate themselves eventually. And the Right would challenge this belief by asking ‘do they really?’ ( Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto pg. 13-17)

* I refer here to the slave in an Hegelian metaphorical way rather than literally.

Farage vs. Corbyn – Richie Allen and Gilad Atzmon delve into the post-political condition

May 24, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Richie is joined by the musician, author and political commentator Gilad Atzmon. In a provocative and insightful article on gilad.co.uk this week, Gilad writes; “How it is that once again a right wing populist has won the minds and hearts of working people? How is it possible that Jeremy Corbyn, who was perceived by many of us as the greatest hope in Western politics, has managed, in less than three years, to make himself an irrelevant passing phase? How is it possible that the Right consistently wins when the conditions exist for a textbook socialist revolution? Nigel Farage, Britain’s Donald Trump character, is by far the most significant man in British politics. Farage stood up against the entire political establishment, including the media and the commercial elites and has promised to change British politics once and for all. So far, it seems he is winning on all fronts.” This is a must-listen interview.

Support The Richie Allen Show by donating at www.richieallen.co.uk Richie has been producing and presenting television and radio programs for the best part of twenty years. The Richie Allen Show airs Monday – Thursday at 5 PM GMT and at 11 AM UK Time each Sunday.


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Syrians in Northwest Deir Ezzor’s Countryside Protest against the SDF

Protests against US-sponsored SDF northwest of Deir Ezzor احتجاجات ضد قسد شمال غرب دير الزور

Seems that the land started shaking under the Kurds in the areas they received from ISIS north and northwest of Deir Ezzor, the Syrians are refusing the crimes committed by the separatists as if nothing has changed for them between living under ISIS and living under the SDF.

Kurdish separatist militia known as SDF were faced with fierce protests by the local Syrians in the villages of Miheimdeh, al-Hossan, Sfeira Tahtani, Sfeira Fokani, Wusseiah, Muweileh, Hassin, and Ghariebeh, in the northwest countryside of Deir Ezzor province.

The locals protested the continuous status of insecurity in their regions and the practices and provocations of the SDF militias, the sharp increase in crimes like kidnapping and murder, and the stealing of the oil by the SDF militia and the companies working with them.

Syrians in areas under the control of the new ISIS, the US-sponsored SDF, refuse to be recruited in the ranks of the SDF or its affiliates to fight their citizens in the Syrian Arab Army and to betray their country, they who had to endure the long years of ISIS’s horrific brutality are not going to accept another US militia to control them and the Kurds will end up paying a hefty price for their betrayals, rejecting to listen to all who have warned them until now depending on the US promises.

The protesters have managed to block the main roads in those areas, burned tires, and blocked the traffic on the main Deir Ezzor – Raqqa road north of the Euphrates. The locals also evicted SDF militias and their commanders who came for negotiations with them.

This video was shared on social media showing the protesters burning tires, blocking the roads and throwing out the US-sponsored SDF militias and commanders.

The US forces operating illegally in northeast Syria carried out a flag handover between ISIS and the SDF similar to the previous handover between Nusra Front and the ISIS which continued the siege over Deir Ezzor. SDF was hailed as heroes in the Pentagon mouthpieces like CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, Reuters, BBC, Fox News and others for their ability to ‘defeat ISIS’ when no real battles took place between the two sides, while on the other side of the Euphrates from the southwest of the river towards the river’s banks the Syrian Arab Army and its allies were fighting fierce battles with the US-sponsored ISIS terrorists village after village and the US interfered with its ISIS protecting air forces several times bombing the SAA advancing troops.

Until now the US and its separatist Kurds are trying to divide large parts of Syria from the central government, similar to what they did in Iraq, and keep its control over the oil and gas-rich fields areas and where Syria’s main crops are grown in order to pressure Damascus into surrendering. Topped up with the most severe sanctions and blockade by the US and its European lackeys and its regional Gulfies and Turkish agents, exceptional pressure is exerted over the Syrians with results opposite to what the US was planning.

Swamp Drunk Trump - Was elected to drain the swamp and instead became swamp drunk
Swamp Drunk Trump – Was elected to drain the swamp,
instead became swamp drunk Trump.

Donald Trump who was elected to stop his country’s interventionist wars abroad and ‘Drain the Swamp’ became ‘Swamp Drunk’ himself and is furthering the Pentagon and the deep state in his country more than all his predecessors combined, especially taking the fight to new levels that the ordinary US citizen will soon feel the pain much sooner than expected no thanks, or maybe thanks, to the Regime of War Trump put in control of him at the White House.

Why is Corbyn so Important?

March 10, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

pacified corbyn.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

For the same reasons that President Trump has been a significant political development.

These two post-political characters bring to the surface what has been suppressed for decades: we are subject to foreign occupation. We the people, are reduced to mere consumers and our so-called ‘elected politicians’ are a bunch of detached, compromised actors.

Trump was elected to make ‘America great again.’ Throughout his election campaign Trump was accused by Jewish media of spreading  ‘dog whistling anti-Semitic tropes’  in order to appeal to White nationalists who indeed responded to their new master. They made Trump president only to discover that their beloved country isn’t that great and is not going to reinstate its greatness any time soon. However, Trump and his administration have been working relentlessly to make Israel great again.

https://youtu.be/YkDmKIKX_bs

Trump has succeeded in illuminating the hopeless state of the democratic adventure. Trump has exposed the vast depth of the political crisis that splits America apart; the battle between the ‘Identitarians’ and the rest. America’s battles could deteriorate into a civil war at any time. Trump is not the cause of this demographic, geographic, cultural and spiritual clash. He just galvanized the symptoms of that clash.

Similarly, Corbyn acts as a catalyst to awaken a new consciousness. Through Corbyn we learn to perceive how grim our situation is and how truly impotent the contemporary Left and the Labour party are.  Corbyn’s struggles allow us to see that the Labour party is an occupied zone. Corbyn’s helplessness has revealed that the best radical candidate the British Left has produced in decades is, tragically, very weak and can’t hold his ground on any issue from Israel/Palestine to Brexit and beyond.

Since Corbyn was chosen to lead the Labour party this old political institution has revealed its true tyrannical nature, engaged in a constant purge of the best of its members. Any criticism of Israel or its intrusive Lobby leads to immediate suspension and even expulsion. Since Corbyn was elected to save us from the Tories, the Labour party has adopted an Orwellian Big Brother attitude. The party has been spying on its members and digs into their social media accounts, even evicting members for comments they made years before they joined the party.

Indeed, Corbyn has helped us see the dark machinations at the core of his party, and  the way in which it is  puppeteered  by Tel Aviv and its local British stooges.

Most devastating is that through Corbyn it has been revealed that the Left has most likely finished its historical political role. Corbyn promised to ‘care for the many not the few,’ a pledge that initially sounded promising but has been largely contradicted by the reality on the ground. The Labour party and its leader ignore the many as they follow the orders of the very few. The British working class aren’t impressed by the closest ally they have ever had at the helm of the Labour Party.  It is through Corbyn and his to date colossal failure that we understand that a fresh form of opposition is crucial for our survival as ethical and dignified people.

My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Denate

Why the ‘Left’ is Dead in the Water

 

February 28, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

left.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon 

It seems that there is not much left of the Left and what remains has nothing to do with ‘Left.’

Contemporary  ‘Left’ politics is detached from its natural constituency, working people. The so called ‘Left’ is basically a symbolic identifier for ‘Guardian readers’  a critical expression attributed to middle class people who, for some reason, claim to know what is good for the working class. How did this happen to the Left? Why was it derailed and by whom?

Hierarchy is one answer. The capitalist and the corporate worlds operate on an intensely hierarchical basis. The path to leadership within a bank, management of a globally trading company or even high command in the military is of an evolutionary nature. Such power is acquired by a challenging climb within an increasingly  demanding system. It is all about the survival of the fittest. Every step entails new challenges. Failure at any step could easily result in a setback or even a career end. In the old good days, the Left also operated on a hierarchical system. There was a long challenging path from the local workers’ union to the national party. But the Left is hierarchical no more.

Left ideology, like working class politics, was initially the byproduct of the industrial revolution. It was born to address the needs and demands of a new emerging class; those who were working day and night to make other people richer.  In the old days, when Left was a meaningful adventure, Left politicians grew out of workers’ unions. Those who were distinguished in representing and improving the conditions of their fellow workers made it to the trade unions and eventually into the national parties. None of that exists anymore.

In a world without manufacturing, the working class have been removed from the consumption chain and demoted into an ‘under class.’ The contemporary Left politician has nothing to do with the workless people let alone the workless class.  The unions are largely defunct.  You won’t find many Labour politicians who have actually worked in factories and mixed with working people for real. No contemporary Left politician including Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders is the product of a struggle through a highly demanding hierarchical system as such a system hasn’t really existed within the Left  for at least four decades.

In most cases, the contemporary Left politician is a middle class university activist groomed through party politics activity. Instead of fighting for manufacturing and jobs, the Left has embraced the highly divisive identitarian battle.  While the old Left tended to unite us by leading the fight against the horrid capitalists rather than worrying about  whether you were a man or a woman, black or white, Jew or Muslim, gay or hetero, our present-day ‘Left’ actually promotes racial differences and divisions as it pushes people to identify with their biology (skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, Jewish maternal gene etc.) If the old Left united us against the capitalists, the contemporary ‘Left’ divides us and uses the funds it collects from capitalist foundations such as George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

The British Labour party is a prime example of this. It is deaf to the cry of the lower classes. It claims to care ‘for the many’ but in practice is only attentive to a few voices within the intrusive Israeli Lobby. As Britain is struggling with the crucial debate over Brexit, British Labour has been focused instead on spurious  allegations of ‘antisemitsm.’  It is hard to see how any Left political body in the West even plans to bring more work to the people. The Left offers nothing in the way of a vision of a better society for all.  It is impossible to find the Left within the contemporary ‘Left.’

Why has this happened to the Left, why has it become irrelevant?  Because by now the Left is a non-hierarchical system. It is an amalgam of uniquely ungifted people who made politics into their ‘career.’ Most Left politicians have never worked at a proper job where money is exchanged for merit, achievements or results. The vast majority of Left politicians have never faced the economic  challenges associated with the experience of being adults. Tragically such people can’t lead a country, a city, a borough or even a village.

The Left had a mostly positive run for about 150 years. But its role has come to an end as the condition of being in the world has been radically transformed. The Left failed to adapt. It removed itself from the universal ethos.

The shift in our human landscape has created a desperate need for a new ethos: a fresh stand point that will reinstate the Western Athenian ethical and universal roots and produce a new canon that aspires for truth and truthfulness as opposed to the current cancerous tyranny of correctness.


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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The Life of the Party Has Left

by Norman Ball for The Saker Blog

“First, after days and days of intensive negotiations, Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov finally reached a deal on a cease-fire in Syria which had the potential to at least “freeze” the situation on the ground…Then the USAF, along with a few others, bombed a Syrian Army unit…Needless to say, following such a brazen provocation the cease-fire was dead.

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were “недоговороспособны”.  What that word means is literally “not-agreement-capable” or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it.”  –from ‘Why the Recent Developments in Syria Show That the Obama Administration Is in a State of Confused Agony’, The Saker, September 23, 2016

At first blush, one is tempted to attribute “not-agreement-capability” to profound dysfunction or organizational disarray within the sprawling US Government. A confluence of human error. Perhaps the State Department doesn’t know what the Pentagon is doing. Compartmentalization run amok? Autonomous fiefdoms gone rogue?

After all Lavrov and Kerry sat for hours, man to man, their capable staffs buzzing about, and banged out a mutually acceptable agreement. Suspecting the Obama administration of intentional deception credits the about-face too much. No, the disconnect is too gaping. The strategic advantage, nonexistent.

Unless American agreement capability has been lifted from the purview of human agency altogether? Our titular leaders are glorified water carriers. The rulers behind the rulers want to pore over every detail first. Perhaps when Kerry returns home, the meeting outcome was fed into some disembodied, superseding algorithm and the returned answer was an emphatic ‘no’.

Fast forward to the current thorn in the system’s side, Donald Trump. Sitting alone with Putin, the American President seems to be trying to get away with or from something. Of course this ‘clandestine summit’ opens him up to the usual ‘Putin’s stooge’ accusations. Just a high-placed spy reporting back to his foreign handler. We are reminded repeatedly of Putin’s prior KGB affiliation.

Trump returns to the US with announced plans for a second summit in Washington. Suddenly it’s as though someone pressed the red button on a giant computer console. Smoke billows from all corners at once. Cannot compute. Another hard-stop. From all government and media organs the answer, with eerie simultaneity, is the same. Impossible. The idea is dropped. Nothing more is heard.

America’s leaders have relinquished their instinctual prerogatives. Instead they are reporting back like stenographers. But to whom or what?

Absorbing the Reality

 

It’s not just foreign policy and diplomacy. A discernible human imprimatur has been vacated from America’s political parties in recent years too. Human passions no longer gurgle up and congeal into codified party platforms. America is being run more and more like an autistic top-down machine.

As we shall see, the two-party system is a stalking horse for corporatism which is a stalking horse for inverted totalitarianism. In a million subtle ways, people are being asked to stay out of the way, to be seen and not heard.

In an ideal world, a society’s political system should be a responsive and dynamic reflection of the aspirations of its people. Political scientists attempt to plot the tumult across a bloodless spectrum. If its two major political parties are any judge, America’s political landscape today is a dead letter. Someone or something has its thumb on the scale. The people rattle on about things. But to small effect.

Corporatism has seized America’s two parties with no indication that it will ever let go. As though covering for the void, corporate media fills the air with frenetic sound and fury. A new crisis hatches every day beneath the overarching anti-Trump theme.

Trump’s unsuitability is Saddam Hussein’s Weapon’s of Mass Destruction (WMDs) come home. The Straussian myth-makers have settled, for this iteration, on a domestic foe. Centralized control has never been more consummate. Yet everything, we are told, is spinning out of control.

Trump is drawing huge crowds at rallies around the country. Thousands wait hours to see him. The political stillness (that thrives paradoxically on manufactured soup-du-jour crisis) is being invaded by an up-swell of unmistakable human complexion. Just when the System had banished human input forever. Now they’re back in an ugly populist form. This poses a grave threat to the frictionless hum of unimpeded commerce.

spec thumb1.png

Until Americans truly absorb and understand the implications of the chart (above), their political discourse will remain conceptually mired in Managed Democracy’s kabuki of red-blue mirage-making. There is no organized Left in America. There is no organized Center. This can’t be repeated enough.

The political spectrum has been invaded and ‘de-politicized’ (certainly dehumanized) by corporate interests lacking any real interest in a populist portfolio. The polis has been swapped for an expanded corporate boardroom.

The balance of this essay will explore:

    • how America ‘got to’ this chart
    • what holds this ideologically lop-sided distribution firmly in place
    • how Trumpism might represent a disruption of this corporatist configuration
    • what ‘tautologies’ can be gleaned in terms of expected party behaviors

When Salvatore Babones of Truthout observes that in recent years, “America – or at least American politics – has swung violently to the right” he is injecting a subtle but crucial distinction into the debate. First of all, ‘American politics’ has had little choice but to move where the two major America parties have taken it.

A more compelling question, which we’ll get to, is what moved the parties themselves? Finally, there’s nothing to suggest the American people are pleased with what amounts to an intentionally engineered and anti-democratic misalignment so clearly at odds with their aspirations.

Without question, a significant number of Americans (certainly those not ‘turned’ from their own interests by false consciousness and antithetical manufactured consent) would support a centrist or even leftist party if there was such a thing. After all, why should Americans be any less ideologically diffuse than other populations? Yet American politics steadfastly refuses to serve them.

A common refrain is that the American people are naturally conservative center-right. This might be true. All we know for sure is that the US Chamber of Commerce-dominated Mainstream Media keeps telling the American people what the American people are perhaps in the hopes they accept that imposed definition as their own.

If only the levers of manufactured consent would grind to a halt, there’s no telling what uncued epiphanies might usher forth from the people themselves. As it is, in the age of immersive media the popular will (if there is such a pre-mediated wellspring anymore) courses along like an untapped underground stream.

Suffice to say Babones’ right-shift observation is hardly an obscure opinion (see chart below):

what american left

False Frameology

 

The nature of top-down (authoritarian) impositions is that the appropriate social energies must be manufactured since there are no organic eruptions initiating a desire for them. Walter Lippmann had a polite term for this: guided democracy.

Even if a third party could negotiate the formidable barriers to entry, it would barely register a sound in a media landscape charged with validating and mirroring, via Fox and MSNBC, the party duopoly.

The tele-spittle-war does its best to keep up the appearance of a fully engaged two-pronged ideological struggle. All that remains is the residue of prior content and facile rhetorical flourishes aimed at evoking a bygone era when material political differences truly hung in the balance. Frankly, political responsiveness in America, such as it is, would benefit from an embargo of the terms Right and Left until more ‘people-centric’ content was allowed to re-authenticate the debate.

Another by-product of the current confusion comes from Blue Donkey-Red Elephant being so profoundly installed that no criticism can be lodged against one party without reflexive accusations being hurled at other side. In a strange way, this dead-on-arrival reflexivity insulates the entire frame from valid critique. All criticism becomes prima faciepartisan, ridden with self-interest and thus not deserving of serious examination.

Instead the red/blue, Donkey-to-the-Left-Elephant-to-the-Right configuration (below) enforces the debate parameters, complete with chastely rendered equidistance from some copacetic and completely fabricated Center. A google search turns up hundreds of similar representations. Countless media hours have been expended to manufacture mass consent around this false premise. Media propagates and amplifies the divide, making frenetic hay out of a dime’s worth of dodgy difference.

wrong spectrum

The oligarchy realized long ago that a toothless dialectical configuration dissipates populist energies. Toothless how? To the extent mass energy can exhaust itself horizontally in a fairy-tale struggle based on ideological virtue-signalling, an assault by the Bottom on the Top is forever forestalled. Shifting the entire ill-suited parade to the Right offers core corporatist values a double layer of misdirection. How neat. How tidy. How pointless. How dystopian.

The people are endlessly conscripted into what amount to internecine corporate struggles, a proverbial Groundhog Day of the Eternally Wrong Battle. Those who never ‘find themselves improperly arrayed’ are precisely those who’ve ingested near-fatal amounts of false consciousness.

America’s choked with sentimental left-leaning denialists who still cling to the Democratic Party the way a lion cub circles its dead mother before coming to terms with her demise. These folks need a stomach-pumping, a brain transplant or perhaps an exorcism. Before these expensive remedies though, a brick through Rachel Maddow’s televised mug should be attempted first.

Take Obamacare for example. Despite all the obligatory language aimed at winning voter compliance, it was developed with private insurance companies uppermost in mind. That many of them subsequently abandoned the program as a result of undue complexity doesn’t erase the fact that business was the intended customer. In all these corporate battles, the people become more akin to Heidegger’s standing reserve: something to be extracted from and deceived in order to ‘line up the votes’ as opposed to being forthrightly served. This is more than a subtle distinction.

For the moment, a spellbound stadium population is held fast by the comfort of two. Predictable enemies are like old friends. Me good, you bad. An entity with one foe can be relied upon not to let its gaze wander. Opposing mugs and tee-shirts sell like hotcakes. The NFL team-frame is a powerfully reinforcing binary template.

Whereas coalition politics smacks of European enfeeblement and excessive nuance. No one wants complexity seeping into the water like fluoride where it can jeopardize the impulsive risk-taking so typical of American forward-ho-ness.

Then there’s the credulity of the American viewing audience, as seemingly bottomless as divide-and-conquer crowd management is insidiously effective. Media content has body-snatched autonomous cognition. People think they’re thinking but they’re only listening and repeating. Stockholm Syndrome and habitually confined-space dynamics play key roles too. People, like slow-boiling frogs, seem capable of acclimating to a two-inch ledge while convincing themselves they’re still fighting for boundless prairie.

When the White Southern aristocracy bestowed the front of the bus to the poor white redneck, the latter guarded his Brahmin-like allotment with all the fervor of Davy Crockett at the Alamo. Focused like a laser beam on the red line spray-painted between rows 8 and 9, Bubba failed to notice a sniggering Beauregard T. Pufard III speeding by in his window-tinted Lincoln-Continental.

 

Better to Kick Your Elephant Than Cure My Donkey

 

For those not glued to TV, little can obscure the fact that the Democratic Party suffers from an illness far graver than anything that ails its elephant twin. Already cognitively-neutered ‘liberal’ Democrats are coming out of their seats at this ‘partisan insinuation’.

However that’s sort of the point.

A corollary to the spectrum chart’s ‘myth of equidistance’ is that no party can possibly be more dysfunctional, more hypocritical or more inauthentic than the other. Furthermore, only a point-scoring enemy combatant would have the audacity to allege such a sacrilege.

Unfortunately, this diagnosis is apt when we consider the comparatively vaster distance the Donkey had to travel from its traditional New Deal/Great Society perch in order to sidle up beside the Republican Party and essentially divide the corporate market (see chart below). Such migratory paths are not traversable without boatloads of soul-selling happening first. Profound cognitive dissonance induces nausea and confusion. Prodded too much, it strikes with an outsized anger. Trump Derangement Syndrome is famous for eliciting this response.

sprectrum distribution.png

In the Valley of Death: A Tactical/Evolutionary Roadmap

 

So how did the party of FDR become a sycophantic shadow of the GOP? There is both a tactical/evolutionary and a conceptual explanation.

For the first, this 25-minute Ralph Nader interview is well worth the reader’s time. There’s no one better qualified to chronicle the fifty-year capitulation of the Democratic Party than one of the era’s chief protagonists. Nader after all invented the consumer, environmental and workers’ safety movements, essentially progressive American politics in the modern age.

nader days of revolt

Honest people can differ as to the wisdom of the progressive era. The point of this essay is to catalog definitively its demise. A summary timeline follows:

1965 – Nader writes ‘Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile’. The ensuing Senate hearings lead to the formation of the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seat belts become mandatory in 49 of the 50 states.

1969-74 – Calling Republican President Nixon both, “our last liberal President” and the “last President afraid of liberals”, Nader duly credits him with the lion’s share of progressive legislation such as the Air Quality Act (1967) and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970). How ironic.

1971 – Alarmed by a series of largely uncontested progressive legislative victories, Lewis Powell (soon to be a Nixon Supreme Court appointee) drafts his eponymous 34-page Memorandum to the US Chamber of Commerce. In it, he urges American business to form a lobbying and think-tank complex aimed at pushing back on the Left. This is the equivalent of waking a sleeping giant:

“The American economic system is under broad attack…Business must learn the lesson…that political power is necessary, that such power must be assiduously cultivated and that when necessary it must be used aggressively and with determination–without embarrassment and reluctance.” 

1973 – Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation is formed. Ultimately, the Reagan Administration will adopt two-thirds of the Foundation’s 1981 policy recommendations.

1974 – The Powell Memorandum galvanizes the business community in short order; so quickly in fact that Nader concedes: “There hasn’t been a single major piece of legislation advancing the health, safety and economic rights of the American people since 1974.” 

1978 – The Consumer Protection Act is defeated due to an unprecedented assault by corporate lobbing interests. Nader calls this the ‘high-water mark of the consumer movement’.

1978 – California freshman congressman Democrat Tony Coelho outspends his Republican opponent 2:1. Democratic Party big-wigs take keen notice.

1980 – Coehlo becomes chairman and chief fundraiser for The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or ‘D-triple-C’, the youngest since LBJ. Notes the Washington Times:

“Republicans erred in thinking businesses would support their free-market ideology. Mr. Coelho understood that what businesses really want from government is protection, tax breaks, loopholes and contracts.” 

Enter two-fisted corporatism and the retail politics money chase.

1980s – Generally, the Reagan Era. A number of key liberal Senators are buried in the Reagan Landslide. One facet of Reaganomics involves appointing pro-business agency heads who oppose the spirit of the underlying regulations. This proves to be an effective strategy.

1993-present – Clintonism, often called Third Way politics, consolidated the corporatist gains achieved by Powell, Coehlo and Reagan. Indeed the Democratic Party is still a captive of Clintonism. How do we know this? Hillary Clinton was the party’s 2016 Presidential nominee and her name was floated just this week for the 2020 ticket.

Clintonism deserves expanded attention for it stone-cold cynicism and evil genius. Indeed Bill Clinton may be the Mephistopheles of this play. While Justice Powell may have hatched Satan’s spawn, the devastating duration of Clinton’s namesake movement –25 years and counting– certainly puts the former President in contention for chief body-snatcher.

Clinton realized that if he succeeded in shifting the Democratic Party to the right, he could compete on an equal footing for corporate dollars while continuing to enjoy the political support of the Left and Center. How so? Because the Democratic Party could be assured of winning the lesser-of-two-evils calculus every time, provided they peppered their rhetoric with feel-good leftist bromides. Laborite Tony Blair pursued the same Third Way politics in the UK. Where, after all, was the Left going to go?

The term ‘third way’ (Dick Morris called it triangulation) was meant to imply an authentic dialectical ‘best-of-the-best’ synthesis of traditional liberalism with self-aware business-friendliness. Critics however saw through it as little more than a cynical, “coddling of big money (except guns and tobacco), winning at any cost, flip-flopping and prevaricating”.

The plight of American liberalism over the last fifty years can be summarized thus: the progressive-liberal movement was remarkably short-lived (1964-74), the bulk of it was accomplished by a widely demonized Republican President (Nixon in 1969-74), Reaganomics dismantled much of it through deregulation while Clintonism finished the job by shutting the door to organized center-left resistance and promoting a full-on corporatist agenda. NAFTA anyone?

We close this circle with an astounding punchline from Ralph Nader: There hasn’t been a major piece of legislation advancing the American people’s interests for 44 years!

spectrum thumb

 

In the Valley of Death: A Conceptual Framework

 

Interestingly, a year after Unsafe at Any Speed, Bill Clinton mentor and Georgetown University Professor Carrol Quigley pointed the way to our future in his 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies… is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

Over the ensuing half-century the American Democratic and Republican parties have achieved an even tighter conformance propelled by a monism that hides behind a putative party duopoly. Because yes, America is moving along an eschatological conveyor to a monist unity where, in time, even the Potemkin twin-villages will fall away.

In his book Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, Sheldon Wolin refers to this monistic drive as totalism. Forget elaborate geopolitical analysis for a minute, and yes even Genie Oil and Gas. The reason Syria, Iran and North Korea are under assault is that they violate the totalizing ethos of the central banking regime. All the rest is secondary and tertiary newspaper fodder.

Dissent is an abomination to the monistic worldview. In Nineteen-Eighty-Four, it is imperative to the self-image of the regime that Goldstein wring ‘willing consent’ from Winston Smith. Big Brother must be legitimate even in his own eyes. It’s the same reason despots run uncontested on ballots and then bask in their lop-sided ‘victories’.

The ‘inversion’ in Wolin’s brand of totalitarianism derives from the fact that preeminent economic interests have harnessed the power of the State. Whereas in the classical form, Mussolini enlisted and subordinated economic interests to further the totalizing power of the State.

In Wolin’s configuration, “inverted totalitarianism perpetuates politics all the time but a politics that is not political…a politics without politics.” Political language –Left, Right, Conservative, Liberal– becomes a provisional exercise in crowd-pleasing. Moreover political discussion and analysis are deployed mainly to disguise the underlying corporatist motives lurking behind all public actions.

In the inverted (some might say perfected) form, there is no precise locus of political power, no charismatic leader, to be toppled, thus ‘ending the nightmare’. Rather the power is diffused and distributed within and throughout a featureless administrative state complicit with thousands of interlocking corporate interests. Wolin expands the complex here to include: “…governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers hav[ing] been seamlessly integrated into the system.” The serpent has no head. It has morphed into an ubiquitous atmosphere.

We find too in inverted totalitarianism the totalizing Spirit of Antichrist, hell-bent on a mission of complete earthly hegemony against which no human force can prevail. Not only is the Beast “not-agreement-capable”, it is agreement-impervious and wholly committed to an inhuman and eschatologically-ordained terminus where people are held in complete contempt.

A Pending Case Study

 

America is about to be conceptually ‘head-turned’ again with Trump’s negotiated trade deal, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), poised for debate in the Senate. Already, the counter-intuitive ramparts are being prepared.

Organized Labor is lining up with its age-old partner-in-corruption, the Democratic Party. Because the Donkey is loath to give Trump a victory on something as ‘close to its heart’ as American workers (that would be mighty embarrassing, wouldn’t it?), Organized Labor must do the same. This promises to be a cognitively dissonant whopper of a skirmish.

WND’s Curtis Ellis describes this alliance’s deep roots:

“There’s always been an unholy alliance between corporatism and the left. Since the birth of the progressive movement, big corporations have used the instrument of big government regulation to cement their market position and strangle small businesses, upstarts and insurgents who threatened their dominance.”

He probably meant the unholy alliance existing between corporatism and the Democratic Party. Indeed the evidence of Trump’s economic populism is on full display in the USMCA. The Democrats must be beside themselves.

Regional Vehicle Content (RVC) for all types of vehicles sold in North American is increasing from NAFTA’s 60% to 75% for most vehicle types, 40% of an automobile and 45% of a light truck must be produced using an average labor wage of $16/hour.

While admittedly not in the same league, this baseline wage-setting recalls Henry Ford’s transformative $5/day program. Overnight, Ford’s employees received in some case 150-200% wage bumps. The company’s dominant market share made his competitors match it or die.

Ford’s enlightened capitalist invented American discretionary income which went on to invent the middle class. Should this wage floor manage to stick and reverberate through Mexican society, the implications for that nation will be immense. North American wage parity will do much to ‘arbitrage away’  illegal immigration.

Predictably, this baseline wage is being picked at by Organized Labor because it isn’t indexed to inflation, Mexican compliance will hard to enforce, etc. Hear the grumbling already –and this from a party that managed to live with NAFTA for 25 years (for which Wall Street. a Democratic patron, is eternally grateful):

“House Democrats are particularly concerned about a provision that would require at least 30 percent of the labor used to build each car in Mexico to be completed by workers earning at least $16 an hour. That amount will rise to 40 percent by 2023 but the $16 wage is not indexed to inflation, meaning the increase will be diluted over time as prices rise.”

The Agreement’s Article 32.10 restricts the ability of all three countries to unilaterally negotiate free trade agreements with “non-market economies” (ahem, China). This transforms North America into a job-protecting trade bloc further increasing the continent’s market power.

The point is USMCA is an agreement the Democrats are politically (i.e. nominally) obliged to support, if only political obligations still mattered. Alas, Wall Street is the preeminent champion of borderless ‘free trade’ (read: globalism). Wall Street makes a fortune moving Main Street jobs offshore.

It will be fascinating to watch the Managed Democracy media apparatus grind against the evil Trump’s heroic efforts to reindustrialize America at a livable wage. Decades of anti-NAFTA crocodile tears will no longer be enough.

Off-the-Chart Populism

Which brings us to the elephant in the room. No, not that elephant. The other one. A true enemy of the Totalitarian Machine is measured by the outrage he evokes in all the proper suspects. On this point, President Trump passes with flying colors.

Multinational corporations are the foot soldiers of inverted totalitarianism set loose on the world. Their field commander is the US Chamber of Commerce, the single most powerful and feared lobbying group in Washington. Much can be said about Trump’s garrulous coarseness, his ego-driven bloviations. This is low-hanging fruit for the propaganda onslaught. Much can be said too of his slim prospects for success. Few can argue he’s an infuriating, yet all-too-human, force.

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The Donkey’s stultified spokespeople have taken to calling him a fascist and a Nazi. When all else fails, Nazify the opposition. Trump’s ability to engage and excite the middle of America is frightening to all the right people, which is to say all the wrong people.

Trump spearheads a populist insurgency and the most exogenous proposition since at least JFK. This places him off the rote chart of American Political Spec-thumb.

Please, there are no panaceas and the hour for America in its current permutation is late. Nonetheless the sense among at least half the nation is that they have in Trump a President who is discernibly grappling against forces anathema to their interests. This alone is a sea-level change after decades of hermetic elitism. Agreement capability, if it is to be resumed, is an outward emanation that must begin at home.

A Decalogue: The Ten Theses of American Empire-Building: A Dialogue

Global Research, November 10, 2018

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

First published by Global Research on August 11, 2018

Introduction

Few, if any, believe what they hear and read from leaders and media publicists. Most people choose to ignore the cacophony of voices, vices and virtues.

This paper provides a set of theses which purports to lay-out the basis for a dialogue between and among those who choose to abstain from elections with the intent to engage them in political struggle.

Thesis 1

US empire builders of all colors and persuasion practice donkey tactics; waving the carrot and wielding the whip to move the target government on the chosen path.

In the same way, Washington offers dubious concessions and threatens reprisals, in order to move them into the imperial orbit.

Washington applied the tactic successfully in several recent encounters. In 2003 the US offered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi a peaceful accommodation in exchange for disarmament, abandonment of nationalist allies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the US with its European allies applied the whip – bombed Libya, financed and armed retrograde tribal and terrorist forces, destroyed the infrastructure, murdered Gaddafi and uprooted millions of Africans and Libyans. . . who fled to Europe. Washington recruited mercenaries for their subsequent war against Syria in order to destroy the nationalist Bashar Assad regime.

Washington succeeded in destroying an adversary but did not establish a puppet regime in the midst of perpetual conflict.

The empire’s carrot weakened its adversary, but the stick failed to recolonize Libya ..Moreover its European allies are obligated to pay the multi-billion Euro cost of absorbing millions of uprooteded immigrants and the ensuing domestic political turmoil.

Thesis 2

Empire builders’ proposal to reconfigure the economy in order to regain imperial supremacy provokes domestic and overseas enemies. President Trump launched a global trade war, replaced political accommodation with economic sanctions against Russia and a domestic protectionist agenda and sharply reduced corporate taxes. He provoked a two-front conflict. Overseas, he provoked opposition from European allies and China, while facing perpetual harassment from domestic free market globalists and Russo-phobic political elites and ideologues.

Two front conflicts are rarely successful. Most successful imperialist conquer adversaries in turn – first one and then the other.

Thesis 3

Leftists frequently reverse course: they are radicals out of office and reactionaries in government, eventually falling between both chairs. We witness the phenomenal collapse of the German Social Democratic Party, the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), (and its new version Syriza) and the Workers Party in Brazil. Each attracted mass support, won elections, formed alliances with bankers and the business elite – and in the face of their first crises, are abandoned by the populace and the elite.

Shrewd but discredited elites frequently recognize the opportunism of the Left, and in time of distress, have no problem in temporarily putting up with Left rhetoric and reforms as long as their economic interests are not jeopardized. The elite know that the Left signal left and turn right.

Thesis 4

Elections, even ones won by progressives or leftists, frequently become springboards for imperial backed coups. Over the past decade newly elected presidents, who are not aligned with Washington, face congressional and/or judicial impeachment on spurious charges. The elections provide a veneer of legitimacy which a straight-out military-coup lacks.

In Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela, ‘legislatures’ under US tutelage attempted to ouster popular President. They succeeded in the former and failed in the latter.

When electoral machinery fails, the judicial system intervenes to impose restraints on progressives, based on tortuous and convoluted interpretation of the law. Opposition leftists in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador have been hounded by ruling party elites.

Thesis 5

Even crazy leaders speak truth to power. There is no question that President Trump suffers a serious mental disorder, with midnight outbursts and nuclear threats against, any and all, ranging from philanthropic world class sports figures (LeBron James) to NATO respecting EU allies.

Yet in his lunacy, President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger, billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

Thesis 6

When a bark turns into a bite, Trump proves the homely truth that fear invites aggression. Trump has implemented or threatened severe sanctions against the EU, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and any country that fails to submit to his dictates. At first, it was bombast and bluster which secured concessions.

Concessions were interpreted as weakness and invited greater threats. Disunity of opponents encouraged imperial tacticians to divide and conquer. But by attacking all adversaries simultaneously he undermines that tactic. Threats everywhere limits choices to dangerous options at home and abroad.

Thesis 7

The master meddlers, of all times, into the politics of sovereign states are the Anglo-American empire builders. But what is most revealing is the current ploy of accusing the victims of the crimes that are committed against them.

After the overthrow of the Soviet regime, the US and its European acolytes ‘meddled’ on a world-historic scale, pillaging over two trillion dollars of Soviet wealth and reducing Russian living standards by two thirds and life expectancy to under sixty years – below the level of Bangladesh.

With Russia’s revival under President Putin, Washington financed a large army of self-styled ‘non-governmental organizations’ (NGO) to organize electoral campaigns, recruited moguls in the mass media and directed ethnic uprisings. The Russians are retail meddlers compared to the wholesale multi-billion-dollar US operators.

Moreover, the Israeli’s have perfected meddling on a grand scale – they intervene successfully in Congress, the White House and the Pentagon. They set the Middle East agenda, budget and priorities, and secure the biggest military handouts on a per-capita basis in US history!

Apparently, some meddlers meddle by invitation and are paid to do it.

Thesis 8

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

In the US the buyers and brokers are called ‘lobbyists’ – everywhere else they are called fraudsters. Corruption (lobbying) grease the wheels of billion dollars military spending, technological subsidies, tax evading corporations and every facet of government – out in the open, all the time and place of the US regime.

Corruption as lobbying never evokes the least criticism from the mass media.

On the other hand, where corruption takes place under the table in Iran, China and Russia, the media denounce the political elite – even where in China over 2 million officials, high and the low are arrested and jailed.

When corruption is punished in China, the US media claim it is merely a ‘political purge’ even if it directly reduces elite conspicuous consumption.

In other words, imperial corruption defends democratic value; anti-corruption is a hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships.

Thesis 9

Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building – especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Imperial financed mobs – provided the cover for CIA backed coups in Iran (1954), Ukraine (2014), Brazil (1964), Venezuela (2003, 2014 and 2017), Argentina (1956), Nicaragua (2018), Syria (2011) and Libya (2011) among other places and other times.

Masses for empire draw paid and voluntary street fighters who speak for democracy and serve the elite. The “mass cover” is especially effective in recruiting leftists who look to the street for opinion and ignore the suites which call the shots.

Thesis 10

The empire is like a three-legged stool it promotes genocide, to secure magnicide and to rule by homicide. Invasions kills millions, capture and kill rulers and then rule by homicide – police assassinating dissenting citizens.

The cases are readily available: Iraq and Libya come to mind. The US and its allies invaded, bombed and killed over a million Iraqis, captured and assassinated its leaders and installed a police state.

A similar pattern occurred in Libya: the US and EU bombed, killed and uprooted several million people, assassinated Ghadaffy and fomented a lawless terrorist war of clans, tribes and western puppets.

“Western values” reveal the inhumanity of empires built to murder “a la carte” – stripping the victim nations of their defenders, leaders and citizens.

Conclusion

The ten theses define the nature of 21st century imperialism – its continuities and novelties.

The mass media systematically write and speak lies to power: their message is to disarm their adversaries and to arouse their patrons to continue to plunder the world.

*

Prof. James Petras is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Future of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil

October 09, 2018

Future of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News by special agreement with the author)

Stripped to its essence, the Brazilian presidential elections represent a direct clash between democracy and an early 21st Century neofascism, indeed between civilization and barbarism, writes Pepe Escobar.

Nothing less than the future of politics across the West – and across the Global South – is being played out in Brazil.

Stripped to its essence, the Brazilian presidential elections represent a direct clash between democracy and an early 21st Century, neofascism, indeed between civilization and barbarism.

Geopolitical and global economic reverberations will be immense. The Brazilian dilemma illuminates all the contradictions surrounding the Right populist offensive across the West, juxtaposed to the inexorable collapse of the Left. The stakes could not be higher.

Jair Bolsonaro, an outright supporter of Brazilian military dictatorships of last century, who has been normalized as the “extreme-right candidate,” won the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday with more than 49 million votes. That was 46 percent of the total, just shy of a majority needed for an outright win. This in itself is a jaw-dropping development.

His opponent, Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT), got only 31 million votes, or 29 percent of the total. He will now face Bolsonaro in a runoff on October 28. A Sisyphean task awaits Haddad: just to reach parity with Bolsonaro, he needs every single vote from those who supported the third and fourth-placed candidates, plus a substantial share of the almost 20 percent of votes considered null and void.

Meanwhile, no less than 69 percent of Brazilians, according to the latest polls, profess their support for democracy. That means 31 percent do not.

No Tropical Trump

Dystopia Central does not even begin to qualify it. Progressive Brazilians are terrified of facing a mutant “Brazil” (the movie) cum Mad Max wasteland ravaged by evangelical fanatics, rapacious neoliberal casino capitalists and a rabid military bent on recreating a Dictatorship 2.0.

Bolsonaro: Danger for Brazil.

Bolsonaro, a former paratrooper, is being depicted by Western mainstream media essentially as the Tropical Trump. The facts are way more complex.

Bolsonaro, a mediocre member of Congress for 27 years with no highlights on his C.V., indiscriminately demonizes blacks, the LGBT community, the Left as a whole, the environment “scam” and most of all, the poor. He’s avowedly pro-torture. He markets himself as a Messiah – a fatalistic avatar coming to “save” Brazil from all those “sins” above.

The Goddess of the Market, predictably, embraces him. “Investors” – those semi-divine entities – deem him good for “the market”, with his last-minute offensive in the polls mirroring a rally in the Brazilian real and the Sao Paulo stock exchange.

Bolsonaro may be your classic extreme-right “savior” in the Nazi mould. He may embody Right populism to the core. But he’s definitely not a “sovereignist” – the motto of choice in political debate across the West. His “sovereign” Brazil would be run more like a retro-military dictatorship totally subordinated to Washington’s whims.

Bolsonaro’s ticket is compounded by a barely literate, retired general as his running mate, a man who is ashamed of his mixed race background and is frankly pro-eugenics. General Antonio Hamilton Mourão has even revived the idea of a military coup.

Manipulating the ticket, we find massive economic interests, tied to mineral wealth, agro-business and most of all the Brazilian Bible Belt. It is complete with death squads against Native Brazilians, landless peasants and African-American communities. It is a haven for the weapons industry. Call it the apotheosis of tropical neo-pentecostal, Christian-Zionism.

Praise the Lord

Brazil has 42 million evangelicals – and over 200 representatives in both branches of Parliament. Don’t mess with their jihad. They know how to exercise massive appeal among the beggars at the neoliberal banquet. The Lula Left simply didn’t know how to seduce them.

So even with echoes of Mike Pence, Bolsonaro is the Brazilian Trump only to a certain extent: his communication skills – talking tough, simplistically, is language understandable to a seven-year old. Educated Italians compare him to Matteo Salvini, the Lega leader, now Minister of Interior. But that’s also not exactly the case.

Bolsonaro is a symptom of a much larger disease. He has only reached this level, a head-to-head in the second round against Lula’s candidate Haddad, because of a sophisticated, rolling, multi-stage, judicial/congressional/business/media Hybrid War unleashed on Brazil.

Way more complex than any color revolution, Hybrid War in Brazil featured a law-fare coup under cover of the Car Wash anti-corruption investigation. That led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and Lula being thrown in jail on corruption charges with no hard evidence or smoking gun.

In every poll Lula would win these elections hand down. The coup plotters managed to imprison him and prevent him from running. Lula’s right to run was highlighted by everyone from Pope Francis to the UN’s Human Rights Council, as well as Noam Chomsky. Yet in a delightful historical twist, the coup plotters’ scenario blew up in their faces as the front-runner to lead the country is not one of them, but a neofascist.

“One of them” would ideally be a faceless bureaucrat affiliated with the former social democrats, the PSDB, turned hardcore neoliberals addicted to posing as Center Left when they are the “acceptable” face of the neoliberal Right. Call them Brazilian Tony Blairs. Specific Brazilian contradictions, plus the advance of Right populism across the West, led to their downfall.

Even Wall Street and the City of London (which endorsed Hybrid War on Brazil after it was unleashed by NSA spying of oil giant Petrobras) have started entertaining second thoughts on supporting Bolsonaro for president of a BRICS nation, which is a leader of the Global South, and until a few years ago, was on its way to becoming the fifth largest economy in the world.

It all hangs on the “vote transfer” mechanism from Lula to Haddad and the creation of a serious, multi-party Progressive Democratic Front on the second round to defeat the rising neofascism. They have less than three weeks to pull it off.

The Bannon Effect

Bannon: Danger for Europe.

It’s no secret that Steve Bannon is advising the Bolsonaro campaign in Brazil. One of Bolsonaro’s sons, Eduardo, met with Bannon in New York two months ago after which the Bolsonaro camp decided to profit from Bannon’s supposed “peerless” social engineering insights.

Bolsonaro’s son tweeted at the time, “We’re certainly in touch to join forces, especially against Cultural Marxism.” That was followed by an army of bots disgorging an avalanche of fake news up to Election Day.

A specter haunts Europe. Its name is Steve Bannon. The specter has moved on to the tropics.

In Europe, Bannon is now poised to intervene like an angel of doom in a Tintoretto painting heralding the creation of a EU-wide Right Populist coalition.

Bannon is notoriously praised to high heavens by Italian Interior Minister Salvini; Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders; and scourge of the Paris establishment, Marine Le Pen.

Last month, Bannon set up The Movement; at first sight just a political start-up in Brussels with a very small staff. But talk about Boundless Ambition: their aim is no less than turning the European parliamentary elections in May 2019 upside down.

The European parliament in Strasbourg – a bastion of bureaucratic inefficiency – is not exactly a household name across the EU. The parliament is barred from proposing legislation. Laws and budgets can only be blocked via a majority vote.

Bannon aims at capturing at least one-third of the seats in Strasbourg. He’s bound to apply tested American-style methods such as intensive polling, data analysis, and intensive social media campaigns – much the same as in Bolsonaro’s case. But there’s no guarantee it will work, of course.

The foundation stone of The Movement was arguably laid in two key meetings in early September set up by Bannon and his right-hand man, Mischael Modrikamen, chairman of the quite small Belgian Parti Populaire (PP). The first meeting was in Rome with Salvini and the second in Belgrade with Orban.

Modrikamen defines the concept as a “club” which will “collect funds from donors, in America and Europe, to make sure ‘populist’ ideas can be heard by the citizens of Europe who perceive more and more that Europe is not a democracy anymore.”

Modrikamen insists, “We are all sovereignists.” The Movement will hammer four themes that seem to form a consensus among disparate, EU-wide political parties: against “uncontrolled immigration”; against “Islamism”; favoring “security” across the EU; and supporting “a Europe of sovereign nations, proud of their identity.”

The Movement should really pick up speed after next month’s midterms in the U.S. In theory, it could congregate different parties from the same nation under its umbrella. That could be a very tall order, even taller than the fact key political actors already have divergent agendas.

Wilders wants to blow up the EU. Salvini and Orban want a weak EU but they don’t want to get rid of its institutions. Le Pen wants a EU reform followed by a “Frexit” referendum.

The only themes that unite this mixed Right Populism bag are nationalism, a fuzzy anti-establishment drive and a – quite popular – disgust with the EU’s overwhelming bureaucratic machine.

Here we find some common ground with Bolsonaro, who poses as a nationalist and as against the Brazilian political system – even though he’s been in Parliament for ages.

There’s no rational explanation for Bolsonaro’s last-minute surge among two sections of the Brazilian electorate that deeply despise him: women and the Northeast region, which has always been discriminated against by the wealthier South and Southeast.

Much like Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 U.S. election, Bolsonaro’s campaign targeted undecided voters in Northeastern states, as well as women voters, with a barrage of fake news demonizing Haddad and the Workers’ Party. It worked like a charm.

The Italian Job

I’ve just been to northern Italy checking out how popular Salvini really is. Salvini defines the May 2019 European Parliament elections as “the last chance for Europe.” Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero sees them as the first “real election for the future of Europe.” Bannon also sees the future of Europe being played in Italy.

It’s quite something to seize the conflicting energy in the air in Milan, where Salvini’s Lega is quite popular while at the same time Milan is a globalized city crammed with ultra-progressive pockets.

At a political debate about a book published by the Bruno Leoni Institute regarding exiting the euro, Roberto Maroni, a former governor of the powerful Lombardia region, remarked: “Italexit is outside of the formal agenda of the government, of the Lega and of the center-right.” Maroni should know, after all he was one of the Lega’s founders.

He hinted however that major changes are on the horizon. “To form a group in the European parliament, the numbers are important. This is the moment to show up with a unique symbol among parties of many nations.”

It’s not only Bannon and The Movement’s Modrikamen. Salvini, Le Pen and Orban are convinced they can win the 2019 elections – with the EU transformed into a “Union of European Nations.” This would include not just a couple of big cities where all the action is, with the rest reduced to fly over status. Right Populism argues that France, Italy, Spain, and Greece are no longer nations – only mere provinces.

Macron: Perfect “progressive” wolf to be released among the sheep.

Right Populism derives immense satisfaction that its main enemy is the self-described “Jupiter” Macron – mocked across France by some as the “Little Sun King.” President Emmanuel Macron must be terrified that Salvini is emerging as the “leading light” of European nationalists.

This is what Europe seems to be coming to: a trashy, Salvini vs. Macron cage match.

Arguably the Salvini vs. Macron fight in Europe might be replicated as Bolsonaro vs. Haddad in Brazil. Some sharp Brazilian minds are convinced Haddad is the Brazilian Macron.

In my view he is not. His has a background in philosophy and he’s a former, competent mayor of Sao Paulo, one of the most complex megalopolises on the planet. Macron is a Rothschild mergers and acquisitions banker. Unlike Macron, who was engineered by the French establishment as the perfect “progressive” wolf to be released among the sheep, Haddad embodies what’s left of really progressive Left.

On top of that – unlike virtually the whole Brazilian political spectrum – Haddad is not corrupt. He’d have to offer the requisite pound of flesh to the usual suspects if he wins of course. But he’s not out to be their puppet.

Compare Bolsonaro’s Trumpism, apparent in his last-minute message before Election Day: “Make Brazil Great Again,” with Trump’s Trumpism.

Bolsonaro’s tools are unmitigated praise of the Motherland; the Armed Forces; and the flag.

But Bolsonaro is not interested in defending Brazilian industry, jobs and culture. On the contrary. A graphic example is what happened in a Brazilian restaurant in Deerfield Beach, Florida, a year ago: Bolsonaro saluted the American flag and chanted “USA! USA!”

That’s undiluted MAGA – without a “B”.

Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale and author of How Fascism Works, takes us further. Stanley stresses how “the idea in fascism is to destroy economic politics… The corporatists side with politicians who use fascist tactics because they are trying to divert people’s attention from the real forces that cause the genuine anxiety they feel.”

Bolsonaro has mastered these diversionist tactics. And he excels in demonizing so-called Cultural Marxism. Bolsonaro fits Stanley’s description as applied to the U.S.:

“Liberalism and Cultural Marxism destroyed our supremacy and destroyed this wonderful past where we ruled and our cultural traditions were the ones that dominated. And then it militarizes the feeling of nostalgia. All the anxiety and loss that people feel in their lives, say from the loss of their healthcare, the loss of their pensions, the loss of their stability, then gets rerouted into a sense that the real enemy is liberalism, which led to the loss of this mythic past.”

In the Brazilian case, the enemy is not liberalism but the Workers’ Party, derided by Bolsonaro as “a bunch of communists.” Celebrating his astonishing first round victory, he said Brazil was on the edge of a corrupt, communist “abyss” and could either choose a path of “prosperity, freedom, family” or “the path of Venezuela”.

The Car Wash investigation enshrined the myth that the Workers’ Party and the whole Left is corrupt (but not the Right). Bolsonaro overextended the myth:  every minority and social class is a target – in his mind they are “communists” and “terrorists.”

Goebbels comes to mind – via his crucial text The Radicalization of Socialism, where he emphasized the necessity of portraying the center-left as Marxists and socialists because, as Stanley notes, “the middle class sees in Marxism not so much the subverter of national will, but mainly the thief of its property.”

That’s at the center of Bolsonaro’s strategy of demonizing the Workers Party – and the Left in general. The strategy of course is drenched in fake news – once again mirroring what Stanley writes about U.S. history: “The whole concept of empire is based on fake news. All of colonization is based on fake news.”

Right Against Left Populism?

Haddad: Three weeks to head off Bolsonaro

As I wrote in a previous column, the Left in the West is like a deer caught in the headlights when it comes to fighting Right populism.

Sharp minds from Slavoj Zizek to Chantal Mouffe are trying to conceptualize an alternative – without being able to coin the definitive neologism. Left populism? Popularism? Ideally, that should be “democratic socialism” – but no one, in a post-ideology, post-truth environment, would dare utter the dreaded word.

The ascent of Right populism is a direct consequence of the emergence of a profound crisis of political representation all over the West; the politics of identity erected as a new mantra; and the overwhelming power of social media, which allows – in Umberto Eco’s peerless definition – the ascent of “the idiot of the village to the condition of Oracle.”

As we saw earlier, the central motto of Right populism in Europe is anti-immigration – a barely disguised variation of hate towards The Other. In Brazil the main theme, emphasized by Bolsonaro, is urban insecurity. He could be the Brazilian Rodrigo Duterte – or Duterte Harry: “Make my day, punk.”

He portrays himself as the Righteous Defender against a corrupt elite (even though he’s part of the elite); and his hatred of all things politically correct, feminism, homosexuality, multiculturalism – are all unpardonable offenses to his “family values.”

Brazilian historian says the only way to oppose him is to “translate” to each sector of Brazilian society how Bolsonaro’s positions affect them: on “widespread weaponizing, discrimination, jobs, (and) taxes.” And it has to be done in less than three weeks.

Arguably the best book explaining the failure of the Left everywhere to deal with this toxic situation is Jean-Claude Michea’s Le Loup dans la Bergerie – The Wolf Among the Sheep – published in France a few days ago.

Michea shows concisely how the deep contradictions of liberalism since the 18th century – political, economic and cultural – led it to TURN AGAINST ITSELF and be cut off from the initial spirit of tolerance (Adam Smith, David Hume, Montesquieu). That’s why we are deep inside post-democratic capitalism.

Euphemistically called “the international community” by Western mainstream media, the elites, who have been confronted since 2008 with “the growing difficulties faced by the process of globalized accumulation of capital,” now seem ready to do anything to keep its privileges.

Michea is right that the most dangerous enemy of civilization – and even Life on Earth – is the blind dynamics of endless accumulation of capital. We know where this neoliberal Brave New World is taking us.

The only counterpunch is an autonomous, popular movement “that would not be submitted to the ideological and cultural hegemony of ‘progressive’ movements that for over three decades defend only the cultural interests of the new middle classes around the world,” Michae says.

For now, such a movement rests in the realm of Utopia. What’s left is to try to remedy a coming dystopia – such as backing a real Progressive Democratic Front to block a Bolsonaro Brazil.

One of the highlights of my Italian sojourn was a meeting with Rolf Petri, Professor of Contemporary History at the Ca Foscari University in Venice, and author of the absolutely essential A Short History of Western Ideology: A Critical Account.

Ranging from religion, race and colonialism, to the Enlightenment project of “civilization”, Petri weaves a devastating tapestry of how “the imagined geography of a ‘continent’ that was not even a continent offered a platform for the affirmation of European superiority and the civilizing mission of Europe.”

During a long dinner in a small Venetian trattoria away from the galloping selfie hordes, Petri observed how Salvini – a middle-class small entrepreneur – craftily found out how to channel a deep unconscious longing for a mythical harmonious Europe that won’t be coming back, much as petty bourgeois Bolsonaro evokes a mythical return to the “Brazilian miracle” during the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Every sentient being knows that the U.S. has been plunged into extreme inequality “supervised” by a ruthless plutocracy. U.S. workers will continue to be royally screwed as are French workers under “liberal” Macron. So would Brazilian workers under Bolsonaro. To borrow then from Yeats, what rough beast, in this darkest hour, slouches towards freedom to be born?

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is 2030. Follow him on Facebook.

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Stop confusing Kurdistans! Syria’s leftists must turn home to Assad

February 22, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Stop confusing Kurdistans! Syria’s leftists must turn home to Assad

As Assad-backed troops enter Afrin to fight Turkish invaders, the Syrian conflict has entered its decisive crossroads:

Will Northern Syria cooperate with Damascus, or not? This is the key to Syrian peace and territorial unity.

It’s also the question which will make or break claims that a Northern Syrian enclave which refuses to help expel uninvited Americans can somehow be a “leftist project”.

(I say it is a leftist project…IF they return to full cooperation with the Syrian government. I will detail my analysis of the political structure of “Rojava” in an upcoming article – this article only deals with immediate political concerns.)

No question can be answered, however, until I clarify some key facts about Northern Syria. Indeed, reporting about Northern Syria in the West is rife with the most fundamental errors, and the most egregiously false claims.

Firstly, the Kurds in Syria have only ever asked for autonomy, not independence.

People assume all Kurds are like Iraqi Kurds – separatists – but the Kurds in Syria want to stay within the Syrian state. This disavowal of independence is an undisputed, long-standing (if underreported) fact. Indeed, the arrival of pro-government forces in Afrin was met with celebrations – the “Arab Socialist Baath Party” is a nationalist one, it seems to have been forgotten. The fact that such celebrations could possibly raise some eyebrows only shows how terrible the West’s mainstream reporting is in Syria.

The second most important point is this: “Rojava”, “Syrian Kurdistan”, “Northern Syria” or the “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” – whatever it is called – is among the most interesting (and newest) leftist projects in the world today.

For that reason alone, nobody is reporting on it honestly.

After all, the Western mainstream media has no governmental or private mandate to support the 99%…much less in a Muslim country…still less in an anti-Zionist country like Syria!

Rojava’s governmental culture is based around ethnic equality, collective unity, local emancipation and undoubtedly socialist-and-not-capitalist inspired democratic & economic ideals. Therefore…the capitalist-imperialist West totally ignores all of that and solely focuses on identity politics: thus, it’s always reported as just “the Kurds”.

That leads to the third important issue: foolishly lumping all the Kurds across Southwest Asia together, thereby assuming that there are no regional differences: For Western media it is as if Kurds walk around all day in a special “Kurdish daze”, so enamored with being Kurdish that the countries and local neighborhoods where they live have absolutely no effect on them or their worldview. Their “Kurdishness” is all-consuming, it seems! The theory underpinning this is identity politics: if you are Kurdish, then you must all think alike.

So it makes no difference if you grew up/lived in Saddam’s Iraq, modern Iran, Baathist Syria, or Istanbul: You are a Kurd and – as a Kurd – you can only possibly see things via the lens of your Kurdishness. But only the West proffers this absurd, one-dimensional view of the Kurds – not the Middle Easterners who live alongside them.

A fourth problem – an even larger one for those in Syria – is that the Kurds in Syria are not even “Kurds”!

What I mean is: Kurds are around ½ of the population of Northern Syria, but only compose around 1/3rd in some of the biggest areas of Rojava, such as Membij. There are Assyrians and Chaldeans – they are Christian. There are Sunni Arabs. There are Turkmen, who are not allied to Turkey and are Syrian patriots despite their name. There are Circassians, Armenians, Yazidis, Chechens and others. Hard as it is for non-Muslims to believe: All these people like each other, live & work together, intermarry and have done so for more than a millennia. You cannot even say that all the fighters in this area are Kurds, either, because the Syrian Democratic Forces forces – who helped rout ISIL – are majority non-Kurd.

But they are all Syrian – and they want it to stay that way.

This IS the case…even though Kurds in Iraq aimed for independence…and despite the Western anti-Assad propaganda.

Clearly, a major overhaul on the idea of “Kurd” is needed for many….

The Kurdish ‘Bad Century’ is relative to where they live

Anyone can have a bad century and finish as winners…look at the Chicago Cubs.

So in Northern Syria the “Kurds” are not even Kurdish nearly half the time, LOL, but let’s be like the West and look at the “Kurds” across their 4 main nations.

If we accept that “Kurdishness” is not all-consuming , we can see how the experiences of “Kurds” in Iraq (which also compose Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen, etc.) – who lived under Saddam Hussein’s wars, were massacred by the anti-Iranian MKO homicidal cult, lived in a country forced to endure material shortages caused by US sanctions from 1990-2003, and who are enduring US invasion and occupation – are fundamentally different than the experiences of “Kurds” in Syria…where these things did not happen.

The experience of “Kurds” in Syria – which is bordered by the menacing, illegitimate state of Israel, which had a different political conception & practice of Baathism than Iraq (which provoked more enmity than cooperation between the two since 1966), which was invaded not by a “coalition of the willing” but radical terrorists, which is on the cusp of benefitting from the extraordinary national unity which can only be created by victoriously defeating foreign invaders – are fundamentally different than the experiences of “Kurds” in Iraq.

“Kurdishness” in Turkey is an vastly larger issue than Syria, because there are vastly more of them than in anywhere else.

“Kurdishness” in Iran is totally different than in any of the four primary Kurdish countries: they are more accepted there than any other country.

This is a result of the acceptance promoted by Iran’s modern, popular revolution of 1979 (by definition, you can’t have a “modern, popular revolution” based on racism/ethnic superiority). Indeed, Iran’s definitive cultural “female Iran-Iraq war experience” was the best-selling, award-winning story told by a Kurdish immigrant from Iraq to Iran – in the book“Da”, which means “mother” (not in Farsi). Such a thing could never happen in Turkey, obviously, nor Arab nationalist Syria and Iraq. This modern acceptance is why Iran is the only nation of the four where there is no chance of fomenting a Kurdish uprising in Iran: being Iranian and Kurdish is not any sort of contradiction – they are incorporated in the national self-conception about as much as any numeric minority can reasonably be, as the success of “Da” illustrates. And for this reason – which is called (Iranian Islamic socialist) “modern democracy” – there is no chance of any sort of a “Kurdish uprising” in Iran. Even amid this ongoing historical era of Kurdish militancy across the entire region, the PJAK Party (Iranian Kurdish separatists) gave up armed operations in Iran in 2011: it’s useless – Iran is different, and on the Kurdish question as well. Israel could spend a zillion usuriously-gained dollars on such a project and it would get nowhere…which is why they spend their time in the southeast (in Baluchestan with Jundallah).

And, to repeat, because this is so important: The people of Northern Syria have never, ever said they want anything but autonomy within Syria. This proves that Syrian “Kurds” are not Iraqi “Kurds”, where Barzani and their bid for independence have been neutralised…much to the dismay of the US & Israel.

An often ignored (or not known) point is that Iraqi “Kurds” had been wooed (or led astray) by the US for two decades via preferential economic, political, cultural and immigration policies. The US paid for a lot of goodwill over many years. In Syria – LOL, not at all. So, Syrian “Kurds” have not come into contact with the American ideology anywhere as much…and their ideology is necessarily different (despite the overpowering Kurdish daze they walk around in, LOL!)

Only by ignoring these realities can one assume the “Kurds” of both regions share the same political outlook in February 2018.

So, I hope we are bit less konfused on who the “Kurds” really are.

Now, because of the leftist nature of northern Syria, we must de-konfuse our notions of their political ideology.

But I’m going to postpone that to part two – let’s talk immediate politics.

A very interesting leftist political project…but not if they ally with the US

It was with great alarm that greeted the recent US declaration that they will keep 2,000 troops in Northern Syria – that news turned off many to the possibility that northern Syria could possibly be leftist.

And rightly so, but Washington’s plans are simply their desire – there has been no official political deal: Rojavan leaders insist their cooperation with the US is strictly military to fight ISIL. Indeed, they have grown up in Syria, which has been attacked by Israel…but now they are going to be allies?

Certainly, the downfall of Barzani in Iraq is a blow to US/Israeli imperialism – so…of course they are refocusing to Northern Syria. But that doesn’t mean they will get what they want!

Certainly, Northern Syria cannot allow a military base inside its borders. There can be no “Syrian Guantanamo” to permanently menace a newly-liberated Syria, like in Cuba.

Let’s keep a couple war realities in mind: It’s not as if Northern Syrians could have stopped the US from planting soldiers and using an airstrip – there has been a huge war, after all, with a well-heeled army called ISIL to stop.

Let’s also remember that the Northern Syrians work with everybody to fight ISIL in Northern Syria: Russia, the US, Damascus, Iran, Hezbollah – everyone but Turkey. (Obviously, the US both fights terrorism and supports it.)

Rojavans…it may be now or never to fight for Syrian unity

The invasion by Turkey means Northern Syrians have now reached the point of no return: to work with Turkey (and thus the US) is to betray the Syrian people which Rojavans have always claimed to want to be.

Therefore, Syria is on the verge of peace and total victory…or major civil war: It will be decided by inter-Syrian diplomacy. Negotiations have been ongoing between the two areas for years, of course, and they are no doubt in overdrive right now.

The fundamental problem is this:

Damascus has always rejected the idea of a federated state and autonomy for Northern Syria. Northern Syria has held their ground militarily, and Damascus has been too occupied with ISIL to demand cooperation…but it’s February 2018, and here we are.

So what will Damascus do, and what will Rojava do?

I am not a Syrian, and thus my opinion should be worth very little – the future of Syria is only for Syrians to decide – but to me it looks like this:

Rojavans may view siding with Damascus as a risk regarding the re-installation of some Arab Nationalist policies they dislike (Rojava has 3 official languages for a reason, for example)…but siding with the Americans is a guarantee of leftist betrayal, a guarantee of a failure and a guarantee of regional bloodshed for decades.

Maybe Rojava can expel ISIL on their own, but they cannot expel the US and Turkey without Damascus…and they must be expelled. How can these troops stay if Damascus and Rojavans cooperate? They cannot, whatever the Pentagon wants.

Therefore, at some point – a point quite soon – Rojavans will need to openly embrace Damascus, in the name of Syrian unity and in the realization of issues larger than their own interests and sacrifices.

On the other side, there is nothing stopping Damascus from making concessions to win over Rojava…and yet, one easily sees the government’s hesitance: Making major changes to Syria’s political structure seems to require the democratic approval of the entire nation via vote. The granting of wholesale structural changes for one-third of the country during wartime appears to lack democratic legitimacy.

Rojava is where most of Syria’s oil is located. Certainly, those funds cannot be made the complete “autonomous” property of Rojavans. One easily sees how “granting autonomy” is a major question that goes beyond just the decades-long elevation of Arab culture over the culture of Turkmen, Chaldeans, Kurds, etc.….

Of course, it should not be surprising that Assad’s view of Rojava never gets an airing…but given Rojava’s leftist bonafides, nobody ever talks about them at all either. “Keep ‘em konfused with just ‘Kurds’” is the media line….

To sum up my view of the immediate political situation: Unity requires faith – Northern Syrians need to trust their fellow citizens that their success has earned them good faith credit in Syria’s common future.

And, finally, what choice does Rojava have? Turkey will never accept them (this is the pretext for their invasion), nor Damascus, nor Iraq. The only ones who will are the US and Israel…and that is leftist?!?!

No…this is why I predict a reconciliation. The failure of Syrian-Syrian diplomacy at this juncture is…civil war.

And who wants that in Syria?

In an upcoming second article I will examine what is the “leftist ideology” of Rojava, and how these ideas might interact with Arab Socialist Baathism in a unified, free, victorious state of Syria.

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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Gilad Atzmon and Islam

January 14, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction GA: In the following book review Jay Knott suggests that  Being in Time scores a very high mark on many fronts, however, the text fails to attack Muslims and Islam. In the last two decades I have been accused of many things but this is the first time I am criticised  for ‘not being an Islamophobe.’ I have met Knott before and I think that regardless of the peculiar premise of this text,  it deserves attention. 

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Gilad Atzmon And Islam

Book Review by Jay Knott

A review of Being In Time – a post-political manifesto, Gilad Atzmon, Skyscraper Publications, 2017

“There is just one point where I have encountered a difficulty” – Russell to Frege, 1902.

I introduced a talk by Gilad Atzmon, and organised a reading group to discuss his first book, “The Wandering Who?”, about Jewish identity politics. We had many criticisms of it.

The new book is much broader, and better. I have only one major criticism. This article is about that criticism, but though as a result it’s mostly negative, I actually think this book is a major contribution to understanding the times we live in. It explains Donald Trump, Brexit, the left, identity politics, political correctness, and especially, US support for Jewish supremacy in the Middle East. It is undogmatic, finding inputs from a wide range of sources. Atzmon even manages to get something useful out of the book “The Bell Curve” while rejecting its central premise, IQ. I mostly agreed with much of “Being in Time”.

But chapter four, “United Against Unity”, woke me up with a jolt.

But what about Hammed, a metal worker from Birmingham? Hammed identifies as a ‘Muslim’ – can he join a Left demonstration against the War in Syria? It’s a good question and the answer is not immediately obvious because it’s no secret that many of those who subscribe to ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ ideologies and especially activists, are rather troubled by religion in general and Islam in particular.

You could have fooled me. In 2003, I attended a large Palestine solidarity demonstration in London. There was a small group of Muslim extremists shouting “Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas!”. They were tolerated. Far milder expressions of white identity are violently excluded from left-wing events.

Shortly after criticising political correctness, Atzmon writes

What about Laura? She’s a Muslim convert who often hides her face behind a veil. Does she feel comfortable in ‘progressive’ or liberal gatherings? Not really.

“Feel comfortable”? This is political correctness!

The progressive left on both sides of the Atlantic is more than tolerant of Islam, the most regressive section of Western society.

The American women’s march against Donald Trump selected Muslim misogynist Linda Sarsour as one of its organisers,

and German feminists applauded Islam too.

Atzmon is right to say that a British patriot would not be welcome at an anti-war protest. But he’s completely wrong about the left and Islam.

One of the reasons Muslim men were allowed to get away with raping hundreds of underage girls for decades in Britain is that most of them live under Labour Party-controlled councils. Paralysed by political correctness, sending social workers who noticed that it was primarily “Asians” trafficking the girls, on “diversity” courses, they ignored the problem, or suppressed attempts to expose it, for fear of being called “racist”.

When Labour’s left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke in the House of Commons about the Grenfell tower disaster, he rightly pointed to Orgreave and Hillsborough as examples of police malfeasance, then he mentioned the Rotherham child-trafficking scandal as another example, again rightly. But he didn’t mention the other major factor: the overwhelming overrepresentation of Muslims among Rotherham’s child traffickers, and the influence of political correctness on allowing them to rape children. Instead, he went out of his way to make a gratuitous remark about Muslims breaking from prayers to help their neighbours in the Grenfell fire:

A more extreme example of the leftist attitude to Islam is the Socialist Workers Party arguing against Islamic terrorism – on the grounds that it wouldn’t work: Socialists Stand With The Oppressed.

Atzmon’s book is pretty good about the connection between identity politics and Zionist power in the West. He’s also right about the overrepresentation of self-identified Jews in the origins of the most sophisticated variants of movements designed to take advantage of Western self-doubt – Franz Boas’s anthropology, Theodor Adorno’s psychology and sociology (the Frankfurt school), Freud, postmodernism and the “anti-racist” anti-science of Stephen Jay Gould. But it’s not only Jewish activists who exploit this loophole. Political correctness also undermines the West’s defence against the influence of Islam.

EXAMPLES

Page 48: “Jewish ethnocentrism and even Jewish racial exclusivity is fully accepted, while other forms of ethnocentrism are bluntly rejected.”

In fact, the left tolerates prejudice from black activists, usually against white people. “African-American Studies” is positive, whereas the study of “Whiteness” is invariably negative. One can easily find dozens of examples by checking out the sites “The College Fix”“Campus Reform”Sargon of Akkad’s videos on Youtube, or reading up on the 2006 Duke University Lacrosse rape case. I suspect that’s the main reason for the left’s support for the socially conservative ideology of Islam – most of its adherents have dark skin.

Page 81: Atzmon claims that the Guardian does not mind offending ‘Islamists’, on the basis of its broadcast of one televised debate between two Zionist Jews.

He’s right about the paper’s hostility to the white workers. When hackette Zoe Williams went to Rotherham to investigate Pakistani taxi drivers raping underage white girls, she dismissed the mostly-white English Defence League as “racist”, instead asking for the opinions of… Pakistani taxi drivers. Atzmon doesn’t realise that this is normal. Muslims usually get gold in the Oppression Olympics. Here are six examples of the Guardian’s Islamophilia:

Zoe Williams: “This brutal blame game pays little heed to justice in Rotherham”

Suzanne Moore: “Poor children are seen as worthless, as Rotherham’s abuse scandal shows”

Jonathan Freedland: “Rotherham inquiry: the ‘PC gone mad’ defence is itself a form of racism”

Nazir Afzal: ‘There is no religious basis for the abuse in Rotherham’

Chi Onwurah – “The grooming of girls in Newcastle is not an issue of race – it’s about misogyny”. In a way, she’s right. It’s not about race, and it is about misogyny. Muslim misogyny. But she doesn’t say that.

The Guardian ran a story “Muslim women ‘blocked from seeking office by male Labour councillors’”. Notice that the religion of the women is mentioned, but not the men. Can you guess why?

Page 125 – ID Politics – the belief that the personal is political unless you are Muslim or white. This reiterates the idea that the left encourages identity politics for all except Muslims and white Europeans. He’s fifty percent right.

Page 129 – Atzmon argues that Islam and Christianity are similar, but Judaism is different, because it’s based on “an obedience regulatory system”, in which “God-loving is not voluntary”. And again on page 197. He argues that Christianity and Islam are universalist, as opposed to the sectarian attitudes of Judaism – “the chosen few”. He’s right about Judaism, and the myth of “Judaeo-Christian”, but he substitutes the equally false “Islamo-Christian”. The only way Islam is universalist is that anyone can join it, and many had no choice. If you haven’t signed up, or especially if you leave it, it’s not a bit universal. Its God is close to the vengeful monster of the Old Testament, not at all like his son, the pacifist who founded Christianity. “Judaeo-Islamic” is a more accurate neologism.

Page 144 – “Real Jewish power is actually the power to silence criticism of Jewish power”. Right. But what is the power to silence the defence of a scientific view of gender differences inside Google? The need to fire a black diversity officer at Apple who said it’s ok to be white? The show-trial of student Lindsay Shepherd, for showing a video clip of a debate on “gender pronouns”? The fact that Nobel Prize-winning biologists can be fired for an opinion, or a joke … and dozens of similar examples, too numerous to mention, and no doubt hundreds which have never attracted the publicity of these cases. Some of them can be found here: “The Left-Wing Campaign Against Liberal Values”. This is political correctness. Jewish power is one of its results.

CONCLUSION

Social Justice has taken over, not just academic humanities departments, but large sections of the media, and, amazingly, the most important corporations in the world, such as Apple and Google. “Cultural Marxism” is not a paranoid right-wing conspiracy theory.

It’s my contention than Zionists use the same mechanisms as SJWs to manipulate Western societies to do things which are opposed to the interests of most of their inhabitants, rich and poor. Like professors of “African-American Studies”, they use false, or meaningless, allegations of racial prejudice to take advantage of our morality. We can kill both of these birds with one stone.

Support for Israel is a result of political correctness, the expression of a weakness in white European people and societies. The immigration of millions of Muslims, among them many who don’t accept Western values, is another. Atzmon dismisses concern about Islam altogether. But read “Being and Time”. Apart from its blind spot regarding ‘Islamists’, it’s damn good.

ID Politics, Diversity and Biological Determinism?

August 20, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: The following is a segment taken from my new book Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto. The book offers a crude attack on ID politics.  This mini chapter examines the exclusive nature of the New Left discourse and its detachment from working people and their politics.  It points at the divisive apparatus that drives the Identitarian philosophy. By adhering to such an ideology, New Left  has managed to adopt the most problematic chapter in Hitlerian ideology namely biological determinism.  

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United Against Unity  (Being in Time pg. 46) 

What does it take, in an era dominated by progressive identity politics, to be accepted as a fully qualified member of the ‘New Left’ or to be considered a ‘liberal?’

Jane is a well-off London lawyer who identifies politically ‘as a woman,’ and marches enthusiastically for human rights. Can she join? I think the answer is yes, she can.

George is a medical doctor who also happens to be a black man and identifies as ‘Black middle class.’ Can he subscribe to a progressive email group and contribute to the discussion? I hope and suspect that he can.

And what about Julie? She runs a real estate agency on the posh side of town but she also identifies politically as a ‘gay lesbian,’ can she join the parade? What a question! Of course she can.

Abe is an accountant and very attached to his Jewish heritage. Abe identifies as a ‘secular liberal Jew,’ can he join the anti-war movement? More than likely he can, in fact, he may even, within hours of his joining, find himself in a position of leadership.

But what about Hammed, a metal worker from Birmingham? Hammed identifies as a ‘Muslim’ – can he join  a Left demonstration against the War in Syria? It’s a good question and the answer is not immediately obvious because it’s no secret that many of those who subscribe to ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ ideologies and especially activists, are rather troubled by religion in general and Islam in particular.

So, while Hammed identifies with an inclusive, universal and humanist precept, Jane, ‘the woman’, Julie ‘the gay lesbian’ and George ‘the Black’ subscribe to political identities that are largely determined by biology. Furthermore, Abe, as a secular Jew, affiliates himself with an (imaginary) blood- based ethnocentric tribal identity. Clearly, the contemporary so called ‘New Left’ has no problem with marginal and exclusivist political identities that are often biologically oriented.

How has the contemporary ‘liberal’ discourse been sustained by people who subscribe to biologically- determined identity politics, yet often reject those who actually support equality, human rights issues and who are also often from the working class? Could it be that the ‘New Left’ is detached from working class politics and instead focuses on a vague and inconsistent pseudo-empathic discourse primarily engaged in sectarian battles?

Let’s consider some more possible cases:

Uri is an Israeli peace activist and writer who identifies as an Israeli Leftist. Is Uri welcome within the progressive network? The answer is an unreserved yes.

But how about John Smith, an English bus driver from 47

Liverpool who is proud to be English and ‘as a patriotic Englishman’ opposes the war because John truly believes that peace is patriotic. Can he join an anti-war protest and, while he’s at it, carry a Union Jack to demonstrations? Perhaps.

Tony is a ‘Jewish Socialist’ – certainly not religious but an ethnic Jew who identifies ‘as a Jew’ racially and ethnically. And by the way, Tony also operates politically within Jews- only anti-Zionist groups. Tony is hugely welcome at most progressive gatherings. But can the same be said for Franz who identifies as an ‘Aryan socialist?’ I suspect not.

The point is that there is a critical discrepancy in contemporary Left, liberal and progressive movements between professed humanism and the reality on the ground. Jewish ethnocentrism and even Jewish racial exclusivity is fully accepted, while other forms of ethnocentrism are bluntly rejected.*

And, while we’re at it, what about Laura? She’s a Muslim convert who often hides her face behind a veil. Does she feel comfortable in ‘progressive’ or liberal gatherings? Not really. But Laura certainly supports human rights and equality almost as much as she loves Allah. But the Left, supposedly progressive and liberal, shows very little tolerance towards Allah worshippers while worshippers of the Talmud who are willing to oppose Israel are not only tolerated, they are welcomed. Torah Jews, for instance, are often invited to progressive gatherings though, it must be said, they may encounter some resentment, especially from Jewish secular activists (this surely is because progressive Jews don’t like to be ethnically and ‘racially’ associated with ‘reactionary’ people in caftans).

Membership in a progressive club is not a straightforward matter. We are dealing with an operation that is far from being universal, open or inclusive. The discourse is selective, incoherent and unprincipled. The working class is not represented unless they demonstrate adherence to an Identitarian ideology and subscribe to a predetermined tablet of diverse ‘correct politics’, or shall we call it, an inconsistent set of progressive values. If they espouse a commitment to ‘working class’ values, its presence is not detectable.

So what are ‘correct politics?’ Where are they defined and by whom? Is it the same people who set a ‘progressive threshold’ that excludes the Muslim, the nationalist and the so-called ‘White’ (whatever that means), yet embraces biologically-determined sectarian politics and even racial categories?

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 Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

 

*Black ethnocentrism had been accepted within the progressive milieu for some time, however this has changed recently once it was revealed that Black Lives Matter stood for the Palestinians. To read more: http:// http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/why-did-black-american- activists-start-caring-about-palestine/496088/

Being in Time – a Revolutionary Leftist review by Roy Ratcliffe

Introduction by GA: the following is an extended review of my latest book, Being in Time, by Roy Ratcliffe, one of the last free creative thinkers within the Left milieu.

Far from being surprising, Ratcliffe, a revolutionary Marxist, found a lot of truth in the book. The same can be said about conservative and Right Wing intellectuals who also praised the book. How is it possible that both Right and Left ideologists/intellectuals agree upon the validity of a critical text?  Being in Time offers an answer to the above question. In Being in Time, Traditional Left and Right thinking modes are complimentary substances. They are like day and night, the ‘dream’ and the ‘real,’ together they from a mirror image of the human psychic, that mental transition between the ‘ought to be’ and ‘Being.’

Being in Time – a post political manifesto is critical of all forms of Identity (ID) politics: Jewish, gender, White, Black etc. The book argues that the breaking of society into biologically oriented ID sectors has obliterated our ability to fight together as one people. It was set to serve the interests of big money: the Soroses, the JP Morgans, the Goldmans, the Sachses. Being in Time attempts to explain why the USA is being pushed into a civil war. It explains why Trump became the president. It predicts Corbyn’s growing popularity.  It seeks a to offer a new synthesis of our human faculties. Instead of looking into that which spreads us apart, time is ripe to look into that that which unites us all.  

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عن حيل الجبناء والمهزومين

عن حيل الجبناء والمهزومين

ابراهيم الأمين

ارتداء القفازات، كما الأقنعة، حيلة الجبناء. لكن جعل الخوف من تهمة الخيانة وكأنه خوف من رصاصة طائشة، فهذا والله حيلة البلهاء. أما التذرّع بالاختلاف الدائم حول الهوية الوطنية، فهو، في حدّ ذاته، المرض المستعصي مع حاملي فيروس “الانكار”. ومعهم لن يستقيم الحال ولا النقاش!

مشكلة أهل الانكار مزدوجة: فشل ذريع في التوقعات والتقديرات، وإلقاء اللوم على المنتصرين. هؤلاء ينفون عن الآخرين معرفة الحق والصواب. جلّهم لا يرتاح على مذهب أو رأي، والتاريخ عندهم حمّال أوجه لا حقائق فيه.
في حالتنا اللبنانية والعربية، يصبح فشل النظام الرسمي العربي، ومعه نخب وأفكار وأحزاب، في حفظ السيادة والاستقلال والعجز عن تأمين التطور والازدهار، مبرراً للاعتراف بالعدو. يريد أهل الانكار لنا أن نكون مثلهم. أن نعيش تحت وطأة الهزيمة كل العمر.

أهل الانكار يشكون من أنظمة متهالكة تسببت بالفقر والتخلف والاحتلال. ثم يقولون لمن يحاول ــــ وقد نجح ــــ في مواجهة الاحتلال وتقليص حجم الظلم:

لا نريد سيادة واستقلالاً على أيديكم. ثم يصدرون الفتوى بأن المشكلة ليست في الاحتلال والاستعمار، بل في من يرفض الاستسلام.

ومع خلاصات كهذه يصبح صحيحاً قولهم بأنه لا مجال لاتفاق على وطنية أو مقدّسات، ولا حتى على بعض من قيم!

لنعد إلى بديهيات كالتي تلجأ إليها الشعوب من أجل صياغة تفاهمات الحدّ المقبول للعيش بسلام. يتم جمع الأوراق والأفكار في دستور يرسم إطار الوطنية العامة، ولا يغلق الباب على تعديلات فيه أو نسف له. وفي حالتنا نسأل:

هل ثمة تفاهمات أولية لدينا في لبنان؟
هل إسرائيل عدو لنا؟
هل تمثّل مجموعات الإرهاب خطراً علينا أم لا؟

إذا كان لدى البعض رأي آخر، فليخرج ويقل لنا، علناً، إن إسرائيل ليست عدواً. وليطالب بإلغاء حالة الحرب معها، وليقل لنا إن ارهابيي العصر لا يشكلون خطراً وإنهم أخوة لنا. ولكن، ليرفق موقفه بالدعوة إلى استفتاء، كما تفعل الدول التي يعشقها أهل الانكار، وبرعاية من يشاؤون. وإذا ربحوا بفارق واحد في المئة، سنذعن لهم، أو نترك البلد ليرتاحوا منا.

أما إذا كانت النتيجة، كما هو واقع الحال، حيث أن غالبية لبنانية حقيقية مقتنعة بأن إسرائيل هي العدو، بعدما جرّبناها جميعاً، محتلاً أو حليفاً، وبأن الإرهابيين يمثلون نقيض الحياة، وقد جربناهم انتحاريين أو ثواراً أتقياء… فماذا نفعل؟
كيف يستقيم الحال مع هؤلاء، وهم لا يرون حقيقة القوى المعادية لبلادنا. وهي القوى التي تعطينا الدرس تلو الآخر، عقداً بعد عقد، بأنها تحتقرنا، ولا تريد لنا مكانة تعلو فوق نعالها.

كيف لنا مناقشتهم وهم يقولون لنا إنه لا موجب لمقاومة الاحتلال وقتال الإرهابيين، وإن كل ما علينا فعله هو الصمت، وانتظار بركات الرجل الأبيض؟

هل يقول لنا أهل الانكار كيف نتصرف معهم وهم يرفضون مراجعة مواقفهم وتصريحاتهم ونصوصهم خلال ربع قرن، وكيف لم يصيبوا في تشخيص أو تحليل أو تقدير واحد؟

بماذا نصفهم، عندما يصبح موقفهم معادياً لمن يرفض الاحتلال والقهر والمجانين. بماذا ننعتهم وهم يرفضون كل مقاومة للعدو والإرهابيين؟

هل من صفة تطلق على هؤلاء، سواء في العالم المتخلّف أو المتقدّم، أو حتى في عوالم من ينتظر على الرصيف، غير صفة الخائن والعميل؟

أهل الانكار يريدون لنا اعتبار فشلهم، المتوالد سنة بعد سنة وإطاراً بعد إطار ومشروعاً بعد مشروع وفكرة بعد فكرة، أنه نتيجة تعنّتنا نحن، وإصرارنا نحن، على مقاومة الاحتلال وأدوات الاستعمار!

■ ■ ■

على أيّ حال، من بين قلة يمكن مناقشتهم، بعض العقائديين، حتى العظم، من فريق يرفض كل ما يمتّ إلى عالم المقاومة بصلة. بينهم حازم صاغية، المنتمي طواعية إلى نادي الخصوم. وبرغم ما يعتبره جرأة في رفض المقاومة، فهو لا يزال يخاف من قول حقيقة موقفه من إسرائيل ومن الإرهابيين وفي كيفية مواجهتهم… إذا كان يرى وجوباً لهذه المواجهة.

في مقالة له في ٢٦ تموز الماضي، كتب حازم صاغية في «الحياة» ما عناه درساً لنا بعد انتصار المقاومة في تحرير جرود عرسال من قتلة وإرهابيين. قال بجدية أو سخرية:

«إنّ من ينتصر يتعلّم الرحابة والثقة في النفس. يدعو خصومه، وقد انتصر، إلى طيّ صفحة الماضي. إلى فتح صفحة جديدة. وقد يقول، مثلاً، عبارات من نوع: «عفّى الله عمّا مضى». قد يتذكّر الأوصاف القديمة التي نسبتها كتب الإنشاء إلى العرب: العفو عند المقدرة».

حسناً، لنفعل ذلك، وقد فعلنا، لكن: كم مرة تقول للشخص نفسه عفى الله عما مضى، وكم مرة تسامحه، وكم مرة تطلب له العفو؟ ألم يتعلم من كل ما مضى، ويتوقف عن الخطأ؟ ألا يعرف أن المدرسة التي يتعلم فيها فاشلة، وأن مرجعيته خائبة، وأن خياراته تجعله في مواجهة الجدار دوماً؟ لكن حازم صاغية يكرر وصفته الدائمة بأن «انتصار طرف كهذا ــــ وليكن على «داعش» أو «النصرة» أو إسرائيل ــــ هزيمة. لن يُبتزّ أحد بالطبيعة القبيحة للطرف الآخر، لكنّ أحداً ينبغي ألّا يُبتزّ بالطبيعة المثيرة للغثيان في هذا الطرف».

هل نعود هنا مع حازم صاغية نفسه، إلى ما كتبه عشية تحرير العام 2000، يوم طالب المقاومة بإلقاء السلاح والرحيل، حتى قبل خروج قوات الاحتلال؟ وجد ما يكفي من الأسباب لحلها. لكن الجواب جاءه يومها من جهاد الزين الذي دعاه لأن يصبر ويهدأ ولا يغضب من انتصار مقاومة ليست على ذوقه الايديولوجي!

ثم يعود حازم صاغية، في ٢ آب ٢٠١٧، لينشر في «الحياة» درسه الجديد لنا بأن 

«ظاهرة العمالة والخيانة، لا تنشأ إلّا في بيئة الأنظمة الاستبداديّة والتوتاليتاريّة التي تقول بوجود قضيّة مقدّسة أو قضايا مقدّسة»،

ثم تراه لاعب جمباز يقفز فوق كل الحقائق صارخاً

«أعطنا قضيّة مقدّسة وخذ عملاء وخونة».

وحتى لا يطول بنا الانتظار يقف بيننا مثل خطيب حاسماً النقاش: 

«نحن مختلفون عميقاً في معنى الوطنيّة، في معنى مكافحة إسرائيل، في معنى محاربة الإرهاب».

ثم يزجر بنا متوهّماً تفوقاً معرفياً وأخلاقياً ليقول:

«قياساً بوطنيّين كهؤلاء، يسعدنا أن نكون خونة هذا البلد وعملاءه. إنّ الدنس خير من تلك القداسة».

في كل ما سبق، يبقى حازم صاغية أميناً لفكرة سكنته منذ اكتشف عجز المقاومة الفلسطينية عن تحرير فلسطين، وعجز الحركة الوطنية اللبنانية عن إنتاج حل لأزمة لبنان. وهذا حقه. لكن المشكلة التي تحزّ في القلب، أن يصل به فقر المنطق وصدأ أدوات التحليل، إلى أن يعتبر مهاجمة الخونة والعملاء تورية تخفي «طائفيّة مقنّعة بحيث تُستخدم تهمة العمالة لتجنّب ذكر جماعات طائفيّة أخرى هي المقصودة فعلاً بالشتيمة».

في هذه النقطة، من المفيد لفت انتباهه إلى أن آخر ما يتمناه المرء لشخص مثل حازم صاغية، أن يكون مواظباً علىسماع أناشيد فؤاد السنيورة حول الطائفية والمذهبية. لأن حقيقة ما نعيشه يقول، بوضوح، بأن اتهام الآخرين بالعنصرية والطائفية هو، في الحقيقة، حيلة المهزومين!

بالأمس، كتب حازم صاغية مقالة بعنوان «زمن حزب الله» متحدّثاً عما شهده لبنان في الأسابيع الماضية، وبدا فيها متفاجئاً وعاتباً كيف

«نعيش اليوم الحقيقة الخطيرة التي هي اندماج البندقيّة بالتأييد الشعبيّ العابر للطوائف». ثم في لحظة تخلٍّ يرى أن هناك أسباباً لانتصارات حزب الله بينها «سبب اسمه حسن نصر الله: الوجه السياسيّ الوحيد غير التافه في صحراء السياسة اللبنانيّة. ذاك الرجل بنى موقعه بالعمل والجدّ والسهر، والعيش تحت الأرض… في خطاباته سلّح، ويسلّح، جمهوره بالحجج التي تغذّي سجالهم السياسيّ…

يخطب نصر الله فيُشتقّ موقف سياسيّ من خطابه». ربما يجد البعض في ما يقوله حازم صاغية «إقراراً بالهزيمة». ربما في ذلك بعض الحقيقة. لكن الأكيد، أنه إقرار يشبه إلى حد المطابقة إقرار ابو مالك التلي بهزيمته في جرود عرسال. إنه أشبه باستسلام من خسر المعركة ولم يبدّل قناعاته.

حازم صاغية، هنا، لا يخبرنا بجديد عندما «يمدح» عدوه الأول، و«يبهدل» من اعتبرهم هو، يوماً، الأمل في بناء دولة لا وجود للمقاومين والممانعين فيها. لكن الصدمة التي لن يتأخر حدثها وستفقده صوابه، تتعلق بأن الغرب، الذي يعشقه صاغية، يركض بكل أنفاسه، بالإغراء كما بالتهديد، صوب حزب الله وما يمثله، يريد منه تواصلاً، أو علاقة وتعاوناً، وربما تحالفاً إن لزم الأمر. وهي صدمة سبق لحازم أن جرّبها قبل عقود!

في ذلك الزمن، كتب الراحل جوزيف سماحة عن صديقيه وليد نويهض وحازم صاغية، محللاً علاقة خاصة بينهما، وسجالاً حيال النظرة إلى إيران والغرب في ثمانينات القرن الماضي مع انكشاف فضيحة «ايران غيت»، إذ تبين أن الأميركيين يبيعون السلاح لإيران. قال جوزيف يومها إن «حازم ذهب في «الحداثة» محمولاً على المد الريغاني باعث أمجاد الغرب وأميركا ووائد كارتر، «الديمقراطي المائع» الذي لم يعرف أن يلقن خاطفي الأميركيين في بيروت الدرس الذي يستحقون. لكنه عاش مفاجأة «أميركية». أحسّ أن ريغان غدر به. جعله يعتقد أن أميركا العائدة بقوة إلى قيادة العالم هي خارج إطار التعاطي السياسي مع إيران».

قال جوزيف

إن حازم «يهاجر من جواب إلى جواب». هي الهجرة التي تحولت مهنة. لكنها بلغت حدوداً تتجاوز الحدود المعقولة لسن التقاعد، وهو ما قد يكون العلاج الأنجع… أو لنقل إنه حيلة المفلسين!

■ ■ ■

اليوم، 14 آب، الذكرى السنوية لتحطيم المقاومة أسطورة جيش إسرائيل. ويصادف، أيضاً، يوم صدور العدد الأول من «الأخبار». نعود إلى ذلك الصباح الذي كتب فيه جوزيف سماحة إننا في «زمن يتميّز بوفرة «الحسابات الخاطئة». إنّ لبنان في مرحلة مفصلية، وكذلك منطقتنا. ويمكن قول الأمر نفسه عن العدوان المتمادي الذي نتعرض له. لقد دخلنا هذه المرحلة المفصلية لأن هناك من أجرى «حسابات خاطئة». لقد كدنا نعتاد أن هذه التهمة توجّه إلى من يقاوم ظلماً، أو يتمرّد عليه، أو يرفضه بعنف. إلا أن الفترة الأخيرة توفّر أدلة لا تحصى على أن التهمة انتقلت من جهة إلى أخرى. لم يعد سرّاً اليوم، من هو الطرف الذي خالف الدقة».

قال جوزيف قبل 11 عاماً ما يطابق حالنا اليوم، حيث

ان لبنان «الخارج من صلابة الممانعة وركام الخرائب لن يكون لبنان الذي عرفناه قبل. فلبنان قبل 12 تموز 2006 كان وطناً معلّقاً ومزرعة سمّيت، تجاوزاً، دولة. يجب الحؤول دون ترميم المزرعة من أجل التقدم نحو بناء دولة المواطنين التي يمكنها، وحدها، بعدلها وقدرتها وحرصها السيادي، أن تستوعب هذا الاستعداد المذهل للانتصار على الصعاب، وأن تنظر إلى المقاومة، أيّ مقاومة، بصفتها عصباً يشدّ النسيج الوطني، ويقوّي صلابته، ويدافع عن عروبته، ويمنع انزلاقه نحو الخراب الكبير الرافع وهم «الحياد» والداعي إلى حرمان الأمة من المساهمة اللبنانية الفذّة. دلالات المواجهة المستمرة كثيرة».

اليوم، نقترب أكثر، من أي وقت مضى، من فرصة إعادة صياغة المنظومة السياسية والاقتصادية التي ستحكم هذا الشرق لعقود طويلة. وهي حقبة قاسية وموجعة بعوارض نموها، وربما بأصعب من آلام المواجهة مع المستعمر وشياطينه.

بيننا مقاوم يرتفع دوماً فوق القامات.

وبيننا خونة وعملاء لن تغسل الدماء عارهم.

وبيننا مهزومون يحتاجون الى علاج على يد مبدع يمنع عن مرضاه الارتماء في حضن شياطين العصر، حيث لا شيء سوى الجنون والانتحار!

مقالات أخرى لابراهيم الأمين:

Who is afraid of Gilad Atzmon?

June 12, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Adam Garrie is one of the most sophisticated scholarly minds around. We discussed censorship, identity politics, social cohesion, Left tyranny,  the crisis of the post-modern west. We tried to figure out what being in time  is all about. If you want to see me challenged, here is your opportunity…

https://youtu.be/mmL-f020mlY

On Corbyn and Nostalgia

June 09, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

If you want to grasp Corbyn’s success Being in Time is your book…For the working people ‘utopia’ is nostalgia…

“People who were born in the 1960s and before are often nostalgic about the 1960s and 1970s, the promises and beliefs that things were getting better.  Barack Obama’s first election campaign was, in that respect, a nostalgic moment.  It was an instant of delusional liberal democratic reawakening.  The recent surge in popularity of Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, both old-style Leftists, shows the same longing for the ‘political era.’  And, in fact, the incredible presidential victory of Donald Trump may not be much different; it evokes nostalgia of true rebellious freedom as opposed to the post-political tyranny of political correctness.   Sanders, Trump and Corbyn have been reminding many of what the electorate’s hope was all about.” (Being in Time-a Post Political Manifesto, pg. 20)

Being in Time-The Post Political Manifesto can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com  and on Gilad’s site  here

Being and Politics – a Left oriented critical review by Kim Petersen

June 07, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: The following is a Left oriented critical review of Being in Time by Kim Petersen (Dissident Voice). I would like to thank Kim for his eloquent approach. However, in Being in Time I obviously refrain from following the orthodox definitions of Left and Right. I actually insist that Left and Right are not what they seem to appear or represent but instead are a mirroring of the human condition: a dialectical interplay between the dream and the real (or shall we say being and becoming).  Petersen writes in the end of his review, “it would be fruitful if the book erected a promising structure, rather than simply tear down structures with little left standing.” This point must be addressed. While activists tend to know who is right and what is wrong, I see myself as a philosopher. My task is to refine questions rather than produce answers.  I leave the domain of  ‘promising structures’ of the Jerusalemites.  I am, by far more excited by the Athenian approach, namely thinking things through. For me to teach, is to teach other to think for themselves. 

The book can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com  and on Gilad's site  here. 

The book can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com and on Gilad’s site here.

Being and Politics by Kim Petersen

http://dissidentvoice.org/

Gilad Atzmon has a new book just out titled Being in Time: A Post-Political Manifesto. The title probably is influenced from a book, Being and Time, written by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Atzmon has put forward his manifesto that attempts to synthesize various political, cultural, psychological, linguistic strands to explain why the western world finds itself in its current state of unfettered capitalism, crushed communism, the continuing Jewish occupation of and oppression in Palestine, supremacism, the West fighting Israel’s wars, and the discourse being manipulated (even within purportedly independent media).

In Being in Time, Atzmon pulls on many threads, including sexuality, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt school, cultural Marxism, cognitive partitioning, political correctness, language, identity politics, leftism, rightism, and more.

Identity Politics

I continue to dissent from how Atzmon characterizes the Left, which he divides into the Old and New Left. Fine, there are divisions in the Left. There are certain core principles that leftists adhere to: pro-human rights for all humans, accepting of diversity, anti-war, pro-worker, anti-exploitation, etc. But what must also be realized is that many persons may pose as Left but are not leftist in orientation. People who do not embrace core leftist principles are not leftist, they are faux-leftists. To criticize the entirety of the Left because a fifth column has undermined a segment of the Left speaks to the level of infiltration, the gullibility of certain leftists, or the fragility of social conviction among some leftists.

The Left is not a monolith, and neither is the Right a monolith. Hence any criticism leveled at the entirety of a political orientation is only valid when the entirety of a political orientation espouses an identical platform.

Atzmon considers that identity politics characterizes liberalism and progressivism. (p 8) He names, for example, LGBTQ, feminists, Latinos, Blacks, and Jews as forming exclusive political alliances. However, a major plank of the Left is solidarity as it is widely understood that to bring about some greater form of socialism the masses must unite. Ergo, strict allegiance to identity politics is contrary to leftist principles. Atzmon further notes that patriotism is secondary among leftists. Jingoistic nationalism is an enemy of the working class, and it is certainly anathema to anarchists. Therefore, insofar as patriotic sentiment prejudices one’s attachment with wider humanity, it serves to divide rather than unite peoples.

Yet rightists also engage in identity politics as Whites, militarists, religious sects, and anti-abortionists attest. In the case of the US politics, Amanda Marcotte of Salon writes, “Democrats are always accused of playing ‘identity politics.’ The reality is that Republicans do it far more.”

Left-Right

I wonder what exactly Atzmon means by post-politics. I assume this refers to the “fatigue” he points to in the Brexit vote and election of Donald Trump, as well as the discarding of Left and Right politics.

He sees Left and Right as “now indistinguishable and irrelevant.” (p 9)

According to Atzmon, the Left is focused on “what could be” and the Right on “what is.” (p 13) Atzmon argues, “The Right does not aim to change human social reality but rather to celebrate, and even to maximize it.” (p 13)

But the Right has engineered this “social reality” through neoliberalism, imperialism, and militaristic violence, and the only ones really benefiting from this so-called maximization are the capitalist class. That the Democratic Party in the US, the Labour Party in the UK, the Liberal Party in Canada are in step with this engineering of “social reality” adduces that they are rightist parties.

“The Left,” continues Atzmon, “yearns for equality, but for the Right, the human condition is diverse and multi-layered, with equality not just tolerated but accepted as part of the human condition, a natural part of our social, spiritual and material world.” (p 13)

The imprecision of what constitutes a chunk of Atzmon’s manifesto is annoying. The Left “yearns”? This might be written in a less biased manner as a “desire.” But it is not simply a desire for an undefined “equality.” The Left calls for an equality of conditions, opportunities, and access to resources. Why not? Should an inequality of conditions, opportunities, and access to resources be accepted? Should one class of people be accorded privileges over the rest of humanity? Is this not supremacism – which Atzmon deplores? And for most of the Left – most (and for anarchists, likeliest all), respect for diversity is a valued principle. Diversity is recognized by the Right, specifically, pecuniary diversity. But American society historically has been considered a melting pot rather than a celebration of diversity.

Atzmon sets up the parameters for discussion,such that the “post-political” author can diss both Left and Right. He does not discuss in the Left-Right context as to what constitutes “the human condition” and whether the rightist perspective is indeed “a natural part of our social, spiritual and material world.” I find such a statement ahistorical. The economist Karl Polanyi presented a compelling historical perspective in his book The Great Transformation that elucidates how communitarian human society was changed.

Atzmon writes, “For the Right ideologue, it is the ‘will to survive’ and even to attain power that makes social interactions exciting.” (p 13) The sentence strikes this reader as platitudinal. There is no example or substantiation provided. Which ideologue from whatever corner of the political continuum does not have a will to survive or seek exciting interactions?

Atzmon sums up the Left-Right schism as “the tension between equality and reality.” (p 13) If one cannot accept the definitions, and if the premises are faulty, then the logical structure collapses.

One flips the page and the Left is described as dreamy, illusory, unreal, phantasmal, utopian; thus, it did not appeal to the working class. Atzmon asserts, “Social justice, equality and even revolution may really be nothing but the addictive rush of effecting change and this is perhaps why hard-core Leftist agitators often find it difficult to wake from their social fantasy. They simply refuse to admit that reality has slipped from their grasp, preferring to remain in their phantasmal universe, shielded by ghetto walls built of archaic terminology and political correctness.” (p 14-15)

Atzmon is also abusive of the Right, seeing the Right ideologue as mired in biological determinism. (p 17)

Atzmon says he wants to push past political ideology. I am unaware of his professing any political leaning, so I guess he is, in a sense, already post-political. This strikes me as illusory since in western “democracies” the corporations still pull the strings of their politicians.

Atzmon applies the noun democracy recklessly. Without defining what is a democracy, through using the word (as so many people do), he inadvertently reifies something that does not exist in any meaningful sense.

Atzmon writes darkly, “Symptomatic of the liberal democratic era was the belief that people could alter their circumstances.” (p 19) Yet contemporary politicians still play on that sentiment, witness Barack Obama in the US and Justin Trudeau in Canada whose political campaigns appealed to such a belief. Does Atzmon think people cannot alter their circumstances?

Atzmon points to how the Labour Party under Blair became a neoliberal, warmongering party. He concludes, “The difference between Left and Right had become meaningless?” (p 24) I would describe this as the Left (to the extent the Labour Party was genuinely Left) being co-opted and disappeared by the Right — a political coup.

Atzmon says the political -isms and free markets are empty. He does not specifically target anarch-ism, however. Besides mentioning anarchist professor Noam Chomsky, one supposes anarchism is too fringe for Atzmon, but also it is beyond much of the criticism he levels at the Left. And as for the notion of a “free market,” there never has been one. Polanyi wrote in The Great Transformation: “The road to the free market was opened and kept open by an enormous increase in continuous, centrally organized and controlled interventionism.” (p 146)

Why has the genuine Left never attained power and brought its vision to fruition? Rampant capitalism has allowed 1% to profit grotesquely relative to the 99%. The 1%-ers have the money and the power that money buys: media, corporations, resources, and government. With the government controlled by the 1%-ers that puts the state security apparatus also under their control – and paid for the 99%-ers (because the rich all too often escape paying tax) to keep them in place. The police and military is, in essence, socialism exploited to protect capitalism. The few countries that have brought about Communism (Cuba, China, USSR, Viet Nam, etc) have found themselves under incessant militaristic and economic threat from capitalists who fear the example of successful socialism. This is missing from Atzmon’s analysis.

Atzmon even proposes that socialism can also be considered greedy because “… it promises that neither you nor anyone else will possess more than I.” (p 25) Really? Where is this stated and by who? Anarchist economics does not propose such a premise.1

Political correctness

Political correctness (PC). What is it? Atzmon calls it “a tyrannical project. The attempted elimination of essentialism, categorization and generalization… in opposition to human nature.” (p 38) Basically, it is the avoidance of language that stigmatizes other groups. Who wants to be stigmatized? Nobody. I can agree that PC has been pushed to extremes. PC also does not distinguish between intention and denotation. Should it? I confess when younger that I, close friends, and colleagues would call each other “gay.” It was actually a term of affection we used for each other. No negative sentiments were felt toward any sexual orientations; in fact, many of us were frequently in the company of LGBTQ. But we were not PC.

Atzmon finds that self-censorship is an outcome of PC: “Initially we don’t say what we think; eventually we learn to say what we don’t think.” (p 39) Perhaps. But sometimes it is better to bite one’s tongue and say nothing. I prefer to think of PC having encouraged a more respectful discourse, but PC should be criticized when it becomes excessive. There are plenty of non-PC examples among those who affiliate with the PC crowd, such as denigrating people who demonstrate for Palestinian human rights as “anti-Semites” – probably the most abused anti-PC term. PC becomes a tool of indoctrination when not practiced with equanimity and sincerity.

Is PC a freedom of speech issue? In some cases, yes. For instance, why is it okay to label someone a “holocaust denier” when questioning the veracity of certain aspects of WWII history? No serious person denies that Jews were among those targeted by Nazis; and no serious person denies that Jews were among those people transported to and having died in concentration camps.

An inordinate focus on PC can be vexing; there are much bigger issues in the world than a focus on whether to call a female “girl” or “woman.” It seems simple enough to raise awareness of inappropriate use of language. Most people will come around to a polite request to avoid words that may offend.

Miscellania

Being in Time finally begins to hit its stride when focusing on manipulations to grab and maintain power. The author is unafraid to point a finger and criticize identitarian groupings that create and exploit divisions.2 The stride is bumpy though, as Atzmon discusses sexuality, LGBTQ, feminism, Left abandonment of the working class, psychoanalysis and the scientific method, Athens and Jerusalem, severe criticism of Marxism, etc. The depth and breadth of the manifesto is beyond a book review.

The scope of Being in Time even looks at a 1970’s sitcom, All in the Family, which Atzmon sees as having “succeeded in pushing the liberal agenda into every American living room.” (p 109) Atzmon calls it a “sophisticated” “cultural manipulation.” (p 110)

Atzmon sees Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as an institutional failure “embedded in progressive and liberal thought.” (p 120) Describing the ardent neoliberal Clinton or her supporters as liberal or progressive is classic mislabeling.

Atzmon is razor sharp when discussing aspects of Jewishness and what the different aspects mean for being a Jew. However, when discussing the political spectrum, political ideology, and society, his definitions too often seem contrived to support his thesis.

In the final pages of Being in Time, Atzmon speaks from deep familiarity with the subject matter: capitalism, Mammonism, and tribalism. With a closing flourish, Atzmon poignantly dares to ask, “And isn’t it correctness, pure and simple, that stops us from mentioning that the protagonist [in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brotherhood leader Emmanuel] Goldstein is, himself, Jewish?” (p 208)

Final Comments

In the typical human perspective, Being proceeds in a linear fashion. But from a cultural, historical, linguistic, ethical, scientific perspective Being is clearly multi-faceted and not confined to linearity. Atzmon is fully aware of this, nonetheless his Being in Time tackles myriad issues in a rather binary fashion.

There are arguments presented in the book that I diverge from, but Being in Time presents points of view that deserve contemplation and a threshing out. Over all, it is a manifesto that I find unrefined; in dire need of definitions that are substantiated, not merely asserted; and (although I believe Atzmon would state this was beyond his remit) it would be fruitful if the book erected a promising structure, rather than simply tear down structures with little left standing. Being in Time comes across as an interesting foray to understanding and twining politics, power, and ontology that deserves deeper development. A dialectical approach might be most illuminating.

Alas, politics is not yet dead.

The Dream of a better world is not yet dead either. But one day the Dream must end because the Dream must be made a Reality. That is my simplistic two-sentence manifesto.

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