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Monday, June 30, 2014

Smedley Butler And The Racket That Is War

Smedley Butler And The Racket That Is War

By Sheldon Richman
Information Clearing House
Monday, June 30, 2014

From 1898 to 1931, Smedley Darlington Butler was a member of
the U.S. Marine Corps.

By the time he retired he had achieved what was then the corps’s
highest rank, major general, and by the time he died in 1940, at 58,
he had more decorations, including two medals of honor, than any
other Marine.

During his years in the corps he was sent to the Philippines (at the
time of the uprising against the American occupation), China,
France (during World War I), Mexico, Central America, and Haiti.

In light of this record Butler presumably shocked a good many
people when in 1935 — as a second world war was looming — he
wrote in the magazine Common Sense:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and
during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle
man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short,
I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism [corporatism]. I
helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil
interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for
the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the
raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of
Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking
House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the
Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I
helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in
1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went
on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given
Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his
racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

That same year he published a short book with the now-famous title
War Is a Racket, for which he is best known today. Butler opened
the book with these words:

War is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most
vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one
in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

He followed this by noting:

“For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war
was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it.
Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they
are today, I must face it and speak out.”

Butler went on to describe who bears the costs of war — the men
who die or return home with wrecked lives, and the taxpayers —
and who profits — the companies that sell goods and services to
the military.

The term military-industrial complex would not gain prominence
until 1961, when Dwight Eisenhower used it in his presidential
farewell address.

Writing in the mid-1930s, Butler foresaw a U.S. war with Japan to
protect trade with China and investments in the Philippines, and
declared that it would make no sense to the average American:

We would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war, a war
that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of
thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of
thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit,
fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be
piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders.
Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.…

But what does it profit the men who are killed?

What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and
their sweethearts?

What does it profit their children?

What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war
means huge profits?

Noting that “until 1898 [and the Spanish-American War] we didn’t
own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America,” he
observed that after becoming an expansionist world power, the
U.S. government’s debt swelled 25 times and “we forgot George
Washington’s warning about ‘entangling alliances.’ We went to
war. We acquired outside territory.”

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average
American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements.

For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld
rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always
transferred to the people, who do not profit.

Butler detailed the huge profits of companies that sold goods to
the government during past wars and interventions and the banks
that made money handling the government’s bonds.

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are
six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent.

But war-time profits, ah!

That is another matter, twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred,
and even eighteen hundred per cent, the sky is the limit.

All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.

Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time.

It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and
‘we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,’ but the profits jump
and leap and skyrocket, and are safely pocketed.

And who provides these returns?

“We all pay them, in taxation.… But the soldier pays the biggest
part of the bill.”

His description of conditions at veterans’ hospitals reminded me of
what we’re hearing today about the dilapidated veterans’ health
care system.

Butler expressed his outrage at how members of the armed forces
are essentially tricked into going to war, at a pitiful wage.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to
die.

This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the
world safe for democracy.”

No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going
and their dying would mean huge war profits.

No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down
by bullets made by their own brothers here.

No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross
might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents.

They were just told it was to be a “glorious adventure.”

Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided
to make them help pay for the war, too.

So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.

Butler proposed ways to make war less likely.

Unlike others, he had little faith in disarmament conferences and
the like.

Rather, he suggested three measures:

(1) take the profit out of war by conscripting “capital and industry
and labor” at $30 a month before soldiers are conscripted;

(2) submit the question of entry into a proposed war to a vote only
of “those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying”;

(3) “make certain that our military forces are truly forces for
defense only.”

It’s unlikely that these measures would ever be adopted by
Congress or signed by a president, and of course conscription is
morally objectionable, even if the idea of drafting war profiteers
has a certain appeal.

But Butler’s heart was in the right place. He was aware that
his program would not succeed:

“I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past.”

Yet in 1936 he formalized his opposition to war in his proposed
constitutional “Amendment for Peace.” It contained three
provisions:

The removal of the members of the land armed forces from within
the continental limits of the United States and the Panama Canal
Zone for any cause whatsoever is prohibited.

The vessels of the United States Navy, or of the other branches of
the armed service, are hereby prohibited from steaming, for any
reason whatsoever except on an errand of mercy, more than five
hundred miles from our coast.

Aircraft of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps is hereby prohibited
from flying, for any reason whatsoever, more than seven hundred
and fifty miles beyond the coast of the United States.

He elaborated on the amendment and his philosophy of defense
in an article in Woman’s Home Companion, September 1936.

It’s a cliche of course to say, “The more things change, the more
they stay the same,” but on reading Butler today, who can resist
thinking it?

As we watch Barack Obama unilaterally and illegally reinsert the
U.S. military into the Iraqi disaster it helped cause and sink deeper
into the violence in Syria, we might all join in the declaration with
which Butler closes his book:

TO HELL WITH WAR!



Sheldon Richman is vice president of The Future of Freedom
Foundation and editor of FFF's monthly journal, Future of
Freedom. For 15 years he was editor of The Freeman, published
by the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38951.htm

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Horror and Hope*

Horror and Hope*

By Andrea Brower
Common Dreams
June 28, 2014

It has been a particularly depressing week on the news. From the
violence of war to that of poverty, we lack no evidence that things
are bad, perhaps getting worse.

During commercials we are advised to seek-out prozac, isolated
and pathologized for our sorrow.

We must not numb to the horror of the world, or turn a blind eye
and pretend that “it’s all good.”

It’s not.

But at the same time we cannot end with the tale of despair and
futility, taking the horror as evidence that we are incapable of
something better.

We must cultivate active hope, and turn it into a deeply political
and subversive act.

Our global society is structured around competitive hoarding,
manufactured scarcity and deprivation, hierarchy and distinction
between the deserving and the undeserving.

It’s tempting to blame the world’s troubles on “bad people” greedy
banksters, religious fundamentalists, corrupt politicians, choose
your demon.

But the greatest of horrors, including accelerating ecological
catastrophe, are inherent to the racist and patriarchal imperialist-
capitalist system that we create and re-create each day.

Increasingly, we have come (or been led) to believe that this is as
good as it gets, the best we can do as a hopelessly sinful species.

Capitalism is a system that demands the worst of our human
capabilities.

We are rewarded for greed, shamed for failure to accumulate
and consume fashionably.

We are taught to honor and strive to emulate those who have
too much, deride those without enough.

We bestow lavish wealth to those who steal what should belong to
us all, and imprison those who are made desperate by destitution.

We are directed to see our own worth as the ability to outdo
others, to claim our strength in another’s weakness.

We are trained in a logic and morality of numbers rather than
people, to consider human sacrifice for an abstract market rational.

And perhaps most counter-intuitive, we are forced into apathy
or fear of the “Other.”

We turn to all sorts of justifications to normalize a world in which
165 million children are so malnourished that they are physically
and cognitively stunted, and people are shot for crossing imagined
boundaries in search of a livelihood.

By perverted logic or emotional defense, we find ways to accept
the extreme suffering that is always in our face, and it becomes
simply routine to step-over the shelter-less body bundled on cold
cement.

All while we are instructed to “be good people.”

Yet despite the savagery that our system demands, we still do not
abandon our most innate drives for mutual-aid, compassion and
solidarity.

In fact, what is most evident all around us, all the time, is our
incredible generosity, sensitivity to fairness and the well-being
of others.

In the greater part of what we do, we truly are the “good people”
that we yearn to be.

The real brilliance of the human spirit is that we reflect such a
depth of selfless care and kindness in how we live together, even
though we are conditioned to view ourselves as possessed above
all by our self-interested “nature.”

In just observing our primary interactions, we might be reminded
that we are completely capable of living in a society where
cooperation, egalitarianism and democracy actually structure our
work, daily lives, and local and global societies, where the best of
our human attributes are cultivated, honored, and incentivized.

We are not short on the qualities necessary to organize systems
that equitably meet human needs, including for joy, creative self-
expression, leisure, voice and participation.

As anthropologist David Graeber has suggested, the very foundation
of all human sociability is a giving according to abilities and
receiving according to needs.

Liberatory visions might grow from recognizing our cooperative
dependencies and their boundless potentials.

There is no need for naiveté in this task, contradiction and duality
are built into the very essence of existence, and we will always
have to strive against the worst in the human spirit.

Nor is it helpful (or realistic) to passively hope for more enlightened
selves in an abstract utopian future.

Instead, we must actively make systems that motivate and inspire
the most beautiful of our capabilities, and abandon those that bring
out the most wretched in us.

While the question of pragmatically organizing alternatives
is a somewhat different topic, it should not strike us as so
overwhelming given our creative problem solving capacities,
the types of social organization that have worked in the past,
and currently existing (though systematically limited)
possibilities.

And there is no question that decisions being made right now will
either deepen the most pernicious of corporate imperialist-
capitalism, or move more towards, and open greater possibilities
for, ecological-sanity, actual democracy, egalitarianism and
demilitarization.

Horizons of possibility can expand rapidly and dramatically, and
what appears as socially and politically possible today should not
limit our imaginations of what could be possible tomorrow.

It is also true that our systems are deeply entrenched, and there
are people at the top of our pyramids who will not simply hand
over their power.

We will only challenge the cruel modern structures of privilege and
poverty if we overcome our collective dis-empowerment, that
strange but pervasive sense that while we might be able to do
anything as individuals (through neuroscience, or prayer, or good
old hard-work, or whatever), together we are just a violent, greedy
and generally lousy bunch.

Hope, the belief in better possibilities, lies within one another
and collective struggle.

Let’s allow our hearts to be broken by the horror we witness
everyday, but let us also remember that the depth of our pain
is the depth of our love.

That love, in ourselves and reflected in others, should be all the
evidence we need that the fight for a better world is never futile.



Andrea Brower is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology
at the University of Auckland.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/06/28-4

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One Day In 1913

One Day In 1913

By Jon Rappoport
Activist Post
June 26, 2014

President Woodrow Wilson was one of those men who saw a horrible
danger to his country looked it in the eye, and decided that instead
of trying to decentralize and dismantle that overarching power, he
would hope against hope that greater cooperation among leaders of
nations would bring sanity and peace and freedom of the individual.

Of course, he was wrong.

Wilson knew he was entangled with those very powers that were
destroying the best of what American stood for.

Nevertheless, no modern President has made more revealing
comments on the existence and nature of the shadow government,
the real rulers of America.

This was his 1913 thought:

“…the control of credit…has become dangerously centralized…
The great monopoly in this country is the monopoly of big credits.
So long as that exists, our old variety and freedom and individual
energy of development are out of the question."

“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our
system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the
nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few
men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public
interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings
in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very
reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine
economic freedom."

“This is the greatest question of all, and to this statesmen must
address themselves with an earnest determination to serve the
long future and the true liberties of men. This money trust, or,
as it should be more properly called, this credit trust, of which
Congress has begun an investigation, is no myth; it is no imaginary
thing."

“It is not an ordinary trust like another. It doesn’t do business
every day. It does business only when there is occasion to do
business. You can sometimes do something large when it isn’t
watching, but when it is watching, you can’t do much. And I
have seen men squeezed by it; I have seen men who, as they
themselves expressed it, were put ‘out of business by Wall
Street,’ because Wall Street found them inconvenient and didn’t
want their competition.”

(From “The New Freedom—A call for the emancipation of
the generous energies of a people,” Chapter 8, “Monopoly
or Opportunity,” 1913)

Actually, six years earlier, Wilson had another compelling thought:

“Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer
insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation
must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed
must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must
be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of
unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be
obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world
may be overlooked or left unused.”

(unpublished paper, 1907, quoted in “The Rising American Empire,”
by Richard Warner Van Alstyne, 1960)

In a speech delivered on September 5, 1919, about the Peace
Treaty ending WW1, Wilson stated:

“The real reason that the war that we have just finished took place
was that Germany was afraid her commercial rivals were going to
get the better of her, and the reason why some nations went into
the war against Germany was that they thought Germany would get
the commercial advantage of them. The seed of the jealousy, the
seed of the deep-seated hatred was hot, successful commercial and
industrial rivalry.”

And from “The New Freedom,” 1913, we have this blockbuster:

“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided
to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in
the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody,
are afraid of something. They know that there is a power
somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked,
so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above
their breath when they speak in condemnation of it. They know
that America is not a place of which it can be said, as it used to
be, that a man may choose his own calling and pursue it just as
far as his abilities enable him to pursue it; because to-day, if he
enters certain fields, there are organizations which will use means
against him that will prevent his building up a business which they
do not want to have built up; organizations that will see to it that
the ground is cut from under him and the markets shut against him.
For if he begins to sell to certain retail dealers, to any retail
dealers, the monopoly will refuse to sell to those dealers, and
those dealers, afraid, will not buy the new man’s wares.”

And again, from “The New Freedom”:

"American industry is not free, as once it was free; American
enterprise is not free; the man with only a little capital is finding it
harder to get into the field, more and more impossible to compete
with the big fellow. Why? Because the laws of this country do not
prevent the strong from crushing the weak. That is the reason, and
because the strong have crushed the weak the strong dominate the
industry and the economic life of this country. No man can deny
that the lines of endeavor have more and more narrowed and
stiffened; no man who knows anything about the development of
industry in this country can have failed to observe that the larger
kinds of credit are more and more difficult to obtain, unless you
obtain them upon the terms of uniting your efforts with those who
already control the industries of the country; and nobody can fail
to observe that any man who tries to set himself up in competition
with any process of manufacture which has been taken under the
control of large combinations of capital will presently find himself
either squeezed out or obliged to sell and allow himself to be
absorbed.”

In case there is any question about whom Wilson is referring to,
when he suggests that people of talent are being edged out of the
marketplace, here is a follow-up quote, from The New Freedom:

“The treasury of America lies in those ambitions, those energies,
that cannot be restricted to a special favored class. It depends
upon the inventions of unknown men, upon the originations of
unknown men, upon the ambitions of unknown men. Every country
is renewed out of the ranks of the unknown, not out of the ranks
of those already famous and powerful and in control.”

And finally:

“The dominating danger in this land is not the existence of great
individual combinations, — that is dangerous enough in all
conscience, — but the combination of the combinations, — of the
railways, the manufacturing enterprises, the great mining projects,
the great enterprises for the development of the natural water-
powers of the country, threaded together in the personnel of a
series of boards of directors into a ‘community of interest’ more
formidable than any conceivable single combination that dare
appear in the open.”

The suppression of Tesla, Royal Rife, Dr. William Frederick Koch,
Dr. Joseph Gold, the FDA’s war against natural health, the
sidelining of many energy solutions, such as tidal projects for the
production of electricity, the alignment of universities and giant
corporations with the National Security State, the trashing of the
public education system, the federal backing of pseudo-scientific
and destructive medicine, the centralized control of major media…
these and many more developments are covered by Wilson’s
statements.

The shadow power Wilson refers to are the “framers of reality”
for the masses.



Jon Rappoport is the author of two explosive collections, "The
Matrix Revealed" and "Exit From the Matrix" Jon was a candidate
for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California.
Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative
reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and
health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern,
and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.

http://www.activistpost.com/2014/06/one-day-in-1913-woodrow-
wilson-had.html#more

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

There Are No “Sheeple”

There Are No “Sheeple”

By Marcel Votluck
Disinfomation.com
June 24, 2014

There’s an alarming tendency among radical intellectuals to dismiss
those who don’t “get it” as mere lambs being led to slaughter,
meek “sheeple”.

But how does this reflect on us, our values, and our mentality vis a
vis those sustaining the State?

It’s easy to understand the widespread frustration in anti-
authoritarian circles over people who seemingly have failed
to seek enlightenment about the hegemonic hubris we face.

Watch people’s reactions when you question one tenet of the
Statist religion; they’ll become angry, defensive, and try to shut
down the discussion.

They’ll often poison the dialogue by questioning your intelligence,
doubting your sanity and besmirching your personal character,
assuming they even let you talk in the first place!

We’re “crazy” or “naïve” or “unrealistic” for expressing our
unyielding dissatisfaction with the status quo, for upholding
the same moral standards to Presidents and Congressmen
that we apply to everyone else.

Well, if we are “crazy extremists” then the Statist horde must be
a pack of naïve “sheep”, ha!

Hence there are many who heap scorn on those perky activists
who implore us to “Rock the Vote!”, the “moderates” who are
afraid of conviction, the advocates of “good government”, and
the troops whose blood feeds the Machine.

It’s easy and fun to hang out on forums and websites ripping on
the ignorant Joe and Jane Sixpacks who put up with it all:

“These people only want bread and circuses and HBO! We could
have something better but people are too stupid and weak! Oh
forget them, we’re all screwed anyway!”

Just remember that you were likely a “sheep” once too.

Alas, this sort of insular arrogance is not only more prevalent
than we’d like to admit, it’s our own worst enemy.

The idea of stupid, hopeless “sheeple” evokes the contempt
that a hardcore Statist has for human ability, reason, freedom,
and, for lack of a better word, spirit.

I often argue that there exists a terribly negative psychology
belying the State and related institutions.

It’s a subtle, malevolent, cynical view of life and human nature
and existence; a view of the world as something to be feared,
a dark, scary place filled with decadent people, unpredictable
catastrophes, and endless problems that, naturally, only the
State can address.

Every law, every program, every crusade, every war, every act of
social engineering on their part implies that people are only fit to
be herded like disobedient livestock.

And people buy it.

It’s this psychology at work when someone goes into near-hysterics
upon hearing the most timid of anti-State arguments.

It’s what makes people mumble, “Neither anarchy nor limited
government can work, because people are not perfect.”

Look at how people throw up their hands and put up with Statist
excesses:

“What do I know? Who am I to challenge this system? Even if I
don’t like it, it’s the lesser of two evils.”

It’s what makes people turn to strong leaders and dictators in
times of crises.

Perhaps this is a deep-seated lack of self-esteem and an
internalized need for authority figures in an intimidating
world?

At any rate, we don’t need hired goons to maintain this hegemony
because we tear our own selves down; we convince ourselves of the
lack of alternatives.

Thus the State depends on (and encourages) psychological
repression just as much as any overt act of oppression.

When people contemptuously dismiss others as “sheep” it feeds
into and reinforces this cynical mentality, not in the minds of the
so-called “sheep” but rather the ones who are supposed to be
proposing a radical alternative!

The more one dismisses those who don’t “get it” (or even snubs
his allies who don’t fall lock-step with him on every issue), the
less likely he is to see any hope of victory, and the less he bothers
to strive for it.

Finally, he rationalizes his failures by labeling everyone else as somehow unworthy or inadequate.

Look at how the various national governments tear people down
and lull us out of conceiving saner alternatives: they get in the way
of peaceful, enterprising entrepreneurs; they murder foreigners
with bombs; they convince us to fear phantom terrorists or even
our own neighbors; they use welfare checks, feel-good racial hiring
quotas, and moral crusades “for the children” as bribery for votes;
they pressure us to give our lives for a comfortable sense of “God
and Country”; they use the media and schools to endear us to the
State as not a criminal gang but rather a benefactor…the list goes
on.

And just as people believe that they need all this hubris in order to
have a functioning, sane society, so do haughty intellectuals believe
that people are weak and stupid enough to deserve it.

In a perverse and subtle way, our cynicism and silence in the face
of all this hubris serves as a tacit stamp of approval and a grand act
of capitulation equal to that of the most loyal Federal employee.

Another way this attitude hurts the cause has to do with our lack
of solidarity.

Libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, syndicalists, agorists, mutualists,
eco-anarchists…our diversity is a good thing but a certain “us versus
them” mentality has arisen that often gets taken too far.

It matters little whether we’re talking about various inter-factional
feuds or “us” (the enlightened radicals) versus “them” (the
unenlightened general public) because the effect is the same.

These attitudes reinforce our image and status as outsiders, drive
away potential allies among the public we wish to radicalize, and
alienate us from our goal of revolution.

Most poignantly, they evoke the same kind of divisions on which
the modern social-democratic State is based.

After all, if the State is a monopoly on legal violence, then politics
is the means by which one channels that violence in order to get
what he wants.

It’s a harried rat-race for power and influence, a zero-sum game
in which one party must win and the other must lose, thus all are
pitted against each other in order to advance their own interests
and are eventually alienated from each other.

“Red States” versus “Blue States” is just the tip of the iceberg.

With this thinking we fall into the same psychological trap that
keeps the State so strong.

“Divide and conquer” indeed.

A critic of mine once chided me, “Your problem is that you give
people too much credit!” to which I responded, “Maybe your
problem is that you don’t give them enough.”

People do have minds of their own; the fact that they’ve not
been able to “get it” suggests that their finite energies are
being channeled into things that don’t favor liberty and self-
empowerment.

The intelligentsia, activists, busybodies, corporate thugs,
politicians, and people who make their living by controlling
others and re-shaping society in their image using the coercive
force of the State, quite naturally have an intense fear of self-
empowered people who can resist their hubris.

They’d much rather have malleable converts for their purposes.

You’d expect anti-Statist radicals to unanimously hold the
alternative view that people are not like, "Play-Doh" to be
molded and twisted into one’s personal orthodoxy, yet we can
see among certain parties an insular, arrogant dismissal of
people who aren’t their devoted followers.

Observations of any number of anarchist book fairs, websites, and
activist functions suggest that we have a surprising number of such
“followers” indeed.

In one corner we have the folks sporting their Ché t-shirts and their
black flags, parroting Bakunin and Kropotkin, and bowing before the
altar of Chomsky.

In the other corner we have the folks who hang on to Ludwig von
Mises’ every word like Gospel, place unquestioning faith in the free
market economy’s ability to solve all our earthly worries, and who
think Somalia (which lacks a strong central government) is a beacon
of hope lighting the way for a future “Ancapistan”.

Ah, but everybody else is supposed to be a lamb being led to the
Statist slaughterhouse…right?

A lot of this boils down to a frustrated desire for victory.

Just as Statists wish to change the world, so do we; we just lack
the critical mass to get the revolution going, our allies are few
and far between, and we have few victories to celebrate.

It seems Statism is winning and folks want someone to scapegoat as
they dive deeper into their own intellectual and strategic lethargy.

Hence they lash out at the “sheeple” as a psychological projection
of their own feelings of desperation and despair.

I’m tempted to just dismiss this as something like sour grapes,
but ultimately this sort of thinking in radical circles evokes the
desire for malleable converts on the part of hardcore Statist con
artists eager to do some social engineering at everyone’s expense.

What kind of “anarchism” is this?

Sheep are for shepherds, not free people!

What kind of values serve as the antidote to this hubris?

An alternative view of humanity as having no right to be anything
other than great, a view of people not as peons who deserve their
oppression but rather the kind of hardy, pensive, compassionate,
courageous people who desire to “live free or die”, who don’t need
rulers.

Self-empowerment gives one the inner strength, strategic
mentality, integrity and courage to stand up to the amoral
State.

If we can send a man to the Moon and back, surely teaching him to
flip the bird at the military-industrial-welfare complex shouldn’t be
all that big a deal?

To summarize, the very concept of “sheeple” is perilous because it
evokes the kind of arrogance, contempt and deep-rooted fear the
State has for free, motivated and empowered people.

It brings radicals dangerously close to thinking along the same lines
as hard-core Statists even as we attempt to offer an alternative
way.

Not only does this sort of defeatist hypocrisy sap the strength one
needs to stand firm against equally defeatist Statist psychology, it
alienates us from those we strive to radicalize and it demoralizes
us in the end as our integrity rots like a corpse.

It assumes, also, that there are some who are elite; superior;
“above the herd”; fit to rule over the weak herd, which is the
cause of so many of our problems with illegitimate authority in
the first place!

But most of all, it fails to present us as who we are, visionaries far
ahead of our time, with a profoundly positive and liberating vision
for a seemingly insane world.

http://disinfo.com/2014/06/sheeple

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Warfare State of Capital

The Warfare State of Capital

War is a bastard but the bitch that bore him is in heat again.
— Berthold Brecht

By Frank Scott
Dissident Voice
June 21, 2014

The destruction of Iraq, which began under the conservatively
emotional Bush regime, continues under the liberally placid
Obama administration.

There are differences in style when an intelligent landscaper,
replaces a slack jawed gardener, but the plantation they serve
differs only in the cosmetic facade it sells the public, not the
diseased crop it produces.

The present political opposition is led by people who make
pinheads and maniacs seem thoughtful, but our current CEO
still acts the sibilant bully talking tough and selling weapons
to stop violence his cabal helps start in Syria, Ukraine,
Venezuela, the Middle East and even the Middle West.

It contrasts itself to its blood thirsty opposition as a peace-making
arbiter among squabbling foreigners, but those squabbles often
originate in our meddling foreign policy which looks like the rest
of our economy; dangerously de-structuring.

While Obama rattles verbal sabers in the Far East by ordering China
to behave better in the South China Sea, they act as though it’s on
their border, his witless secretary of state barks about threats in
the Ukraine, many of them financed by the USA.

These all mean arms sales from our multi-billion dollar
military/industrial complex, unmentioned by Americans
worried about personal gun ownership for our Pacific
puppets and NATO marionettes.

That euro group was supposedly a bulwark against communism but
it’s still around long after communism’s demise. Now it represents
a bulwark against democracy and peace.

Meanwhile, the recovering (?) economy continues piling wealth
into the coffers of a tiny minority who rent giant computers to
stash their electronic loot because there’s so much of it, while
the working people politicians call a middle class, sink into
greater debt to pay the rent or mortgage, if they have housing,
the medical bills, if they have health care, and the education loans,
if they have schooling.

This is accompanied by news about the recession having ended,
again, and the economy bouncing back to new highs, again.

As always only for the upper percentiles, with the middle sinking
lower and poverty rising higher.

But the place where god lives, unintelligent design prevails, and the
big bang explodes all day every day, the market, is really booming
for the 1% and its professional class servants.

So there’s really nothing to worry about since we’ll soon have
increased weapons spending to employ more robots and immigrants
while killing more people.

Wonderful.

We have moved from a policy of wars that send Americans to kill
and die in other countries to one of financing of color-coded
electoral “revolutions” and, if necessary, civil wars with less need
for invasions of anything but money, weapons and mechanized
zombie warriors.

Investments of dollars instead of lives are more profitable for
warfare capital, especially as more American consumers threaten
to become citizens by demanding peace and democracy.

People still die but they are almost all foreigners.

The profits that come from those deaths increase while the body
count losses at capital central decline.

Nice. Great economy. Sure.

The increasing bloodshed in the middle east, which may have its
maps redrawn by Arabs who live there instead of Europeans who
don’t, may fit Israeli plans to break up the Arab/Muslim world in
as idiotic a way as American arming of ideological fanatics to fight
communism has come back to haunt capital.

Instead of a few Arab nations led by supporters of global capital’s
new Zion there may be several ruled by those who will not tolerate
a European apartheid state in their midst.

The safety and future of the middle east is also the safety and
future of the rest of the world, and if the warfare profit state rules
much longer, our world may plunge into a bloody collapse of nature
in all its substance.

The Ukraine, Detroit, fracking, gmos, guns, abortions, Palestine,
Israel, homeless people, sheltered pets and everything else that
make up usually misunderstood reality are part of the private profit
and public loss system that always means inequality.

That word has recently been rediscovered because it has become
so blatantly obvious that even academics have noticed.

Bulletin: profit on one side demands loss on the other and that
makes inequality a component part of the system.

Who knew?

Private minority control of a market where some always do well
at the expense of most others is nothing new.

It’s just that the system’s present crisis is more noticeable as the
losses are being suffered by greater numbers of people while the
fantastic profits increase for a much smaller group.

Liberals and conservatives are two sides of the political coin
of this realm.

While Americans are reduced to choosing from these lesser evils
and calling it democracy, indigenous people the world over are
rising to do battle with capitalism.

Inspiring some real democracy in South America, they clearly see it
as not only their enemy but also the enemy of the planet, or Mother
Earth, as they unashamedly address our multi-cultural, uni-racial
home.

Whether ecological problems are seen a short-term environmental
menace or a long-term climate disaster, they are the result of
reducing earth and its people to private profit producing
commodities that must be balanced by humanity’s loss.

This demented economics has become a form of justifiable
genocide, a war conducted on humanity itself.

Minority rulers cannot help but care for anything but increasing
private wealth in a system becoming more depraved with each
creation of an individual with a billion dollars in a world where
a billion individuals live in poverty.

The warfare state must be transformed into a democratic
state of peace, within and without its borders.

If that seems too difficult for rich North Americans to achieve,
maybe we should ask poor South Americans for advice.



Frank Scott writes political commentary which appears in print in
the Coastal Post and The Independent Monitor and online at the
blog Legalienate.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/06/the-warfare-state-of-capital

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Socialism versus Capitalism

Socialism versus Capitalism

By Helene Stohne
OpEdNews.com
June 19, 2014

It seems that socialism has become a dirty word for many Americans.

Having spent half my life in social democratic Europe I have to
wonder what exactly it is that caused this.

In a socialistic society everybody's basic needs are taken care
of through tax contributions.

The constant worry about lack of healthcare or education (in
this capitalistic utopia) is thus eliminated.

"Pre-existing conditions" are not an issue, and neither is
homelessness.

Roads, bridges and highways are kept in good repair, and things
generally work very efficiently.

Yes, the taxes are higher to accommodate for this, but the playing
field is leveled.

And no, in my experience this does not cause people to become
lazy, or indifferent, nor does it in any way stifle creativity.

The enormous differences between rich and poor are eliminated
when you don't go bankrupt and lose your home in the event of a
serious illness or injury.

Isn't it bad enough to have to go through major surgery/trauma
without the added stress of losing everything you own at the same
time?

It seems to me that the main advocates for capitalism are the ones
who have been extremely fortunate, inherited a fortune, or think
that they're on their way to making it big, and are afraid of
reducing their own piece of the pie.

Rarely do we see a social worker or a volunteer firefighter (anyone
in a helping profession) rallying for inequality.

Most people who are concerned for the welfare of others as well as
themselves are usually just looking for enough to live relatively
comfortably.

Anything extra is nice, but it's just not something they're willing to
step all over others to achieve.

You know how the poorest people in the world are generally known
to be the most hospitable and generous"?

Interesting isn't it?

There are dangers in both extremes, but they are not due to the
theories themselves.

Rather, the fault (as always) mostly lies with the elected officials.

It seems to be a difficult task to find the right individuals to
appoint; the ones who will not abuse their power for their own
personal benefit.

At this point is the US we're seeing a small minority coddled
and catered to at the expense of the masses.

I don't see how this could be conducive to a well functioning society
in the long run, even though for a short while it probably appears
wonderful to these special individuals.

But if you just keep cutting useful programs, social services, wages,
unions, pensions and jobs without actually adding any revenue,
things don't get better.

Just like no matter how much I cut my personal expenses, there is
no possible way for me to thrive without some actual income too,
right?

All it does is make the majority of people increasingly poor and
miserable, while the greedy top layer moves further and further
away from reality.

Just like in the developing world!

There are some good things about capitalism, and there are good
things about socialism.

The ideal would be to merge the two, and scrap the bad.

Provide the basics for everyone for free.

Make all members of congress equal to the rest of the population,
with the same rights and responsibilities, and without the
possibility of excluding themselves from laws that they implement
for everyone else.

Politics should be a temporary service appointment, not a lifelong
career.

If politicians push policies that will ultimately benefit all, and none
of them only themselves, bribery becomes much less prevalent.

Some things ought never to be privatized or run for profit - like
prisons, postal service, healthcare etc. Think about it.

Any such service needs to be funded by the government or is
doomed to either fail due to trimming any unprofitable areas
(like rural postal service), or become abused in one way or
another (like current healthcare system and privatized prisons).

If you're for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, then you're
already for socialism.

And it's OK! This does NOT make you a "commie". It makes you a
caring human being.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest
members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi.



Helene Stohne was born and raised in Scandinavia, where
democratic socialism is the norm. I am accustomed to relatively
high taxes in exchange for free health care for all, and a relatively
well functioning society. Independent and progressive when it
comes to politics, which to me means: let's move forward, not
back!

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Socialism-versus-capitalis-
by-Helene-Stohne-Capitalism-Failures_Capitalism-Over-
Humanity_Capitalism-A-Love-Story_Caring-140618-927.html

Monday, June 16, 2014

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

By Elon Musk, CEO Telsa Motors
Telsa Motors.com
June 16, 2014

Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our
Palo Alto headquarters.

That is no longer the case.

They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source
movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable
transport.

If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles,
but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit
others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal.

Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents
were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them.

And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they
serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant
corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than
the actual inventors.

After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just
meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided
them whenever possible.

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of
concern that the big car companies would copy our technology
and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing
power to overwhelm Tesla.

We couldn’t have been more wrong.

The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or
programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the
major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an
average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with
limited range in limited volume.

Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100
million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion
cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough
to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the
market is enormous.

Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric
cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars
pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and
the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving
technology platform.

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history
has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a
determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company
to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers.

We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents
will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

Sunday, June 15, 2014

“Dad”

“Dad”

By Karen Boyer
Latin Times.com
June 15, 2014

He never looks for praises,

He's never one to boast,

He just goes on quietly working,

For those he loves the most,

His dreams are seldom spoken,

His wants are very few,

And most of the time his worries,

Will go unspoken too,

He's there...

A firm foundation,

Through all our storms of life,

A sturdy hand to hold to,

In times of stress and strife,

A true friend we can turn to,

When times are good or bad,

One of our greatest blessings,

The man that we call "Dad."

-- Karen K. Boyer

http://www.latintimes.com/happy-fathers-day-
poems-6-verses-celebrate-dad-his-day-179627

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Peacefully Staring Down The State

The Power Of The Potential

By Dan Sanchez
Lew Rockwell.com
June 12, 2014

How do you think the American public, even as supine as it
is, would respond if the Federal government were to attempt
to re-assign everybody’s children to other parents; to force
everybody to burn their Bibles and other religious or
ideological texts; or even to confiscate everybody’s guns?

More importantly, what kind of response do you think the
government would expect?

The answer, of course, is mass resistance, including, but
not limited to, evasion and civil disobedience.

Why do I classify civil disobedience and evasion as “resistance?"

Here, I define resistance as the assertion of control over one’s own
person and rightful property in defiance of the State’s pretensions,
or helping others to do the same.

Under this definition, resistance is not limited to repelling
aggression with countervailing force or the threat of countervailing
force.

Civil disobedience qualifies as resistance, because the disobeyer
is asserting control over his own person and rightful property by
conspicuously refusing to follow State dictates, even if he does
not put up a fight when State agents comes to arrest or otherwise
expropriate him.

Evasion qualifies as resistance, because it is simply a surreptitious
(and noble) assertion of control over one’s person and rightful
property in defiance of the State.

The importance of evasion for the effective defense of liberty is
the chief reason that mass surveillance is such a tyrannical threat.

It is primarily because of the expectation of mass resistance that
the State does not and will not soon even dare to attempt such
outrages as the hypothetical ones listed above, at least not until it
manages to induce, through ideological indoctrination, propaganda,
and fear-mongering, a mass shift in public opinion toward greater
statism.

Otherwise, wouldn’t it be in the interests of those in the State to,
with such brazen grabs, demolish rival bonds and loyalties, delete
inconvenient doctrines, and confiscate potential tools for
resistance?

It is ultimately thanks to this potential resistance, and not thanks
to any constitutions, laws, or “advocates” within the State, that
we still retain whatever limited inviolable rights we still have.

This truth has crucial implications for libertarian strategy.

Education is widely, and rightly, regarded as essential to libertarian
strategy.

But the next question that naturally arises concerns how the rubber
meets the road: how can public intellectual assent to libertarianism
translate to a libertarian reality?

A common answer is politics: a libertarian population inducing
the state to roll itself back, either through democratic reform
or popular revolution: through ballots or bullets.

This answer is fatally flawed, for reasons I’ve previously discussed
and legitimized aggression will never be ended by seizing (whether
partially or completely) the apparatus of legitimized aggression,
whether such a seizure is undertaken by flooding voting booths,
public squares, or battlefields.

How else could the rubber meet the road?

The only way to realize liberty in a principled, non-backfiring
fashion will rely on potential resistance.

As argued above, State officers know that there is only so
much the populace will stand for.

They know that depredations outrageous enough would meet
extensive physical resistance if enforcement were attempted.

And they generally decide the costs of trying to overcome such
resistance outweigh the benefits of enforcing them; so they don’t
dare to even try.

Thus, government powers are effectively nullified or precluded
without a shot ever actually being fired and without a vote being
cast.

Now, imagine if, in the future, the public felt about truancy laws
and sporadic CPS kidnappings the same way they feel now about
wholesale child confiscation; about mass surveillance the same way
they feel now about forced book-burning; about all gun restrictions
the way they feel now about blanket gun confiscation.

The more successful that libertarians are in their educational work,
the less tolerant will the public be toward their own subjugation,
and the more will State encroachments on liberty be nullified or
precluded by potential resistance.

As the peaceful libertarian educational project marches forward, so
too will the buffer margin of potential public resistance advance
and induce the State to reverse-march.

The State may press its luck on some occasions and tyrannically try
to call what it suspects to be its victims’ “bluff”; and in response,
potential resistance might become actual resistance.

But it is absolutely vital that any such actual resistance is purely
defensive over one’s person and property, is as passive as possible
(e.g., civil disobedience and evasion), never violates the rights of
bystanders or even aggressors (through disproportionate responses),
is assiduously contemplated beforehand (painstakingly weighing
costs and risks to oneself and others), and is only undertaken in
a way that will likely invoke widespread public sympathy for the
defiant victim and public outrage against the State.

The recent shooting in Las Vegas was not “resistance” at all, but an
act of wanton murder. Such evil only breeds more evil, and feeds
tyranny.

And yet, if, through protests, strikes, online campaigns of
expression, etc, the public unmistakably conveys its profound
ideological shift and its newfound resolve to the power elite,
incidents of actual, true resistance may be few and far-between.

In that case, even the dullards and knaves in the State will have
to realize that there is no bluff, that their spell of false legitimacy
is broken, that they are hopelessly outnumbered, and that they
would be better off cutting their losses by either joining the
voluntary society, or skipping town.

“Ballots or bullets” is a false choice.

Non-state potential resistance can make a difference, and,
ultimately, is all that really has.

Education, ideological change, and potential resistance, and
not voting, legislation, or revolution, are responsible both for
the liberties we still retain, and the liberties we will peacefully
reclaim.



Dan Sanchez directs the Mises Academy at the Mises Institute.
He writes at Mises.org and DanSanchez.me

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/06/dan-sanchez/stare-down-
the-state

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Totally Nuts

Totally Nuts

By Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)
Axis of Logic
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's not try to figure out everything at once
,
It’s hard to keep track of you falling through the sky.

The National, from their song “Fake Empire” 


The 65th anniversary of the first publication of George Orwell’s
1984 – June 8th, 1949 – is a fitting time to address things
totalitarian, fascist, nazi, authoritarian, oligarchic, plutocratic,
dictatorial, and police state.

Each has its distinct significance; yet to simplify, perhaps, they are
all engineered, to a large degree, by Supremacist Control Freaks.

According to Orwell: "Every line of serious work that I have
written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly,
against totalitarianism and for socialism, as I understand it."

Totalitarianism, however, is not quite accurate for what’s going
on nowadays. One variation of the word comes from ‘total state’.

Yet it is not just the state wielding power; but, more specifically,
the corporate-state combo, which is how Mussolini defined fascism.

“The concept of totalitarianism was first developed in a positive
sense in the 1920s by the Weimar German jurist, and later Nazi
academic, Carl Schmitt and Italian fascists.

Schmitt used the term, Totalstaat in his influential work on the
legal basis of an all-powerful state.”1

Hmmmm. “In a positive sense”? Anyhow, the gist is: ‘all-powerful’,
hence ‘total’, hence megalomaniac and sociopathic.

Perhaps there is value in debating the various labels and their
meanings, but for those struggling or starving there are more
important things to be doing; for instance, becoming free from
the oppressor.

Is There A Pill To Cure FSD and FSS?

A new wine in an old skin is ‘Full-spectrum dominance’ (FSD),
a military entity's achievement of control over all dimensions
of the battle space, effectively possessing an overwhelming
diversity of resources in such areas as terrestrial, aerial,
maritime, subterranean, extraterrestrial, psychological, and
bio- or cyber-technological warfare.

This is officially known as ‘full-spectrum superiority’ (FSS)
and defined by the U.S. military as:

“The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime,
and space domains and information environment that permits
the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or
prohibitive interference.”2

Key phrases for the average citizen are:

‘psychological’ (think, if you dare, of Orwell’s ‘thought crime’
and the current pharmaceutical industry);

‘bio’ (think GMOs and "start with the so-called Big Six: Monsanto,
Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Bayer, and BASF who produce
roughly three-quarters of the pesticides used in the world.

The first five also sell more than half the name-brand seeds that
farmers plant, including varieties modified for resistance to the
very pesticides they also sell");3

‘information environment/cyber-technological’ (think ‘10
Corporations Control Nearly Everything You Buy, 6 Media
Corporations Control Nearly Everything You Read or Watch’.) 4

That is, of course, IF you buy, read, and watch what the Total
Corporate State packages.

Consolidation, monopolization – words generally having to do with
corporations, yet with corporations and the state in bed together
the total shebang going round in circles to fascism, totalitarianism,
totally nuts, or whatever you want to call it.

“I think the world is going to be saved by millions of small things.
Too many things can go wrong when they get big.”

- Pete Seeger

It may be surprising to realize the large percentage of small
farmers, mostly peasant women, whose back-bending work
provides the bulk of the world's food supply.

“Governments and international agencies frequently boast that
small farmers control the largest share of the world's agricultural
land. Inaugurating 2014 as the International Year of Family
Farming, José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), sang the praises
of family farmers but didn't once mention the need for land reform.
Instead he stated that family farms already manage most of the
world's farmland – a whopping 70%, according to his team. Another
report published by various UN agencies in 2008 concluded that
small farms occupy 60% of all arable land worldwide. Other
studies have come to similar conclusions. But if most of the world's
farmland is in small farmers' hands, then why are so many of their
organisations clamouring for land redistribution and agrarian
reform? Because rural peoples' access to land is under attack
everywhere.” 5

Full-spectrum dominance isn't lying when it speaks of ‘bio-warfare’.

Another chink in the Total armor has to do with media, news, and
information. In his article ‘Is The Mainstream Media Dying?’,
Michael Snyder begins:

“Ratings at CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have all been plummeting in
recent years, and newspaper ad revenues are about a third of what
they were back in the year 2000.” 6

The Supremacist Control Freaks fear loss of control, thus their
attempts to squelch real democracy and decentralization whether
with agriculture and the entire food chain, from seed to packaging,
or more recently the Internet which has the common folk rallying
for Net Neutrality (or as comedian John Oliver prefers to call it
“preventing cable company fuckery.”7)

Pay To Play

So how does one break free, or at least minimize being
psychologically and perhaps physically groped by the beast?

Perhaps it’s better to look first at how some people are not just
blind victims of the Total Corporate State, but actually willing
participants in the scheme.

Phrases such as ‘participatory totalitarianism/fascism’ and
‘inverted totalitarianism’ posit a wider angle on the situation.

The Western totalitarian system relies on the premise that you
will be distracted and sated enough (comfy items, snacks, toys,
entertainment), or busy enough (working to pay the bills) so as
to “not try to figure out everything at once” so you remain “half
awake in a Fake Empire.”

‘Participatory fascism’ is a phrase coined by Dr. Charlotte Twight.

As she has shown, the essence of fascism is nationalistic
collectivism, the affirmation that the national interest
should take precedence over the rights of individuals. 8

Shows like American Idol feed both ends of the full-spectrum,
though in this case it is not rights of individuals but individual
stardom that is celebrated.

The current wave of neo-nazi/fascist activity in Ukraine combines
nationalistic fervor with the desire to survive and to have a say in
local affairs that have been abducted by globalization.

In his article The Durability of Ukrainian Fascism Peter Lee writes:

“It is anathema to liberal democrats, but it should be acknowledged
that fascism is catching on, largely as a result of a growing
perception that neo-liberalism and globalization are failing to
deliver the economic and social goods to a lot of people.
Democracy is seen as the plaything of oligarchs who manipulate the
current system to secure and expand their wealth and power;
liberal constitutions with their guarantees of minority rights appear
to be recipes for national impotence.” 9

Thus, a sense of identity and survival are driving forces behind both
the more willing, overtly violent nationalistic fervor on display in
Ukraine and the more subtly violent (foreign policy) numbness of
cultural assimilation, a buy-product of the United States Empire
(USE).

In a recent article John Feffer calls the Western version
‘participatory totalitarianism’ and offers the following as
one example:

“Today’s metaphor is still Big Brother—but it’s the TV show,
not the sinister presence of the George Orwell novel. In this
reality TV show, the public watches what goes on inside a house
fully monitored by surveillance cameras. But here’s the twist:
we are both voyeurs and exhibitionists, for we have also turned
the cameras on ourselves so that the surveillance can be mutual.
We don’t just like to watch, like Chance the gardener in Jerzy
Kosinski’s Being There. We like to be watched as well.” 10

Well worth the hour of watching and REALLY listening is Chris
Hedges' critique of Sheldon Wolin's book Democracy Incorporated:
Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. 11

Citing the personality cult of the likes of Mussolini, Stalin, and
Hitler, Hedges quotes Wolin to explain the current difference:

“In inverted totalitarianism, the leader is not the architect of
the system but its product.”

Recent USE presidential elections marketed ‘brand’ Obama,
which was promoted via social media.

But outside the political arena is where the cult of personality has
found a new home with an array of entertainment superstars.

The citizenry is insipidly swayed by these ephemeral personas (and
a desire to be one of them) which serves as distraction from real
problems including economic sanctions and wars perpetrated by
the semi-invisible corporate-military-state in foreign lands — not
to mention economic sanctions at home, where the poor, which
includes Native Peoples, are most affected.

Hedges notes that inverted totalitarianism is also fraught with
contradictions, for example, CEOs getting bonuses while social
program funding is cut.

Another such contradiction is highlighted by Noam Chomsky in
his recent article on the surveillance state:

“In brief, there must be complete transparency for the population,
but none for the powers that must defend themselves from this
fearsome internal enemy.” 12

Big Brother likes to watch through a one-way window . . . while
the watched watch themselves.

Native artist and activist John Trudell has the following words-lyrics
in “Never Too Loudly” which is included among several of his
spoken-word-to-music pieces here.

We know the predator

We see them feed on us

We are aware

To starve the best

Is our destiny.

It is each person's and each community's choice to figure out what
to do or not to do, so as to minimize enforced total control and to
maximize the well-being of Mother Earth and humanity as a whole.



Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on
Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small
press publisher and Turtle Islander.

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_66725.shtml

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nowhere To Run

Nowhere To Run

By Chris Sullivan
Lew Rockwell.com
June 4, 2014

The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850 to deal with the problem
of runaway slaves and the weakening of a 1793 law with the same
objective.

All people want to keep the fruits of their labor and when this
desire is violated they seek some remedy, whether it be a change
in the law or a change in location.

If a slave could make it to Canada he was probably safe from the
slave catchers.

Some northern states had laws against black people – slave or free
– moving into the state, so Canada was probably the best option.

If a slave could escape to a free area he could keep all his earnings
since there was no income tax at the time.

Today the state of affairs is a little different. If an American citizen
wants to keep all his income there is no place to escape to.

If such a person moves to Switzerland, Uganda, Haiti or Antarctica
the IRS wants its “share” of his income.

It doesn’t matter that the person no longer lives in the US or makes
any money in the US, just by virtue of citizenship, Uncle Sam wants
his share.

If the plantation owner of yesteryear could somehow reap the
benefits of the runaway slave’s labor no matter where he was,
he would have had no incentive to capture him and bring him
back.

What difference would it make where he was if the “owner”
still had an irrevocable claim against his productivity?

The slave had an advantage over the modern counterpart if
he could escape the country.

In feudal times there were serfs known as serfs “regardant”
and serfs “in gross.”

A serf regardant was only a serf in regards to one Lord, otherwise
he was free.

A serf in gross was a serf always and everywhere no matter who he
worked for.

Americans are now what could be described as serfs in gross.

No matter where they live or work, the federal vampire demands
its gallon of blood even though the victim is using none of its
“services.”

Every time a national holiday of some sort comes around, be it
Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day or some other, we
hear the usual script about how Americans are free and that we
owe a huge debt to founders, veterans or somebody for all the
freedom we enjoy.

This presents an odd definition of freedom. What exactly does it
mean to be free?

Is it possible to be free when someone has an irrevocable, unlimited
claim on everything you earn?

Some will object that the income tax is not unlimited, it’s “only”
thirty-nine percent or whatever it happens to be, but this can be
changed at any time for any reason.

Serfs generally owed about twenty percent to the Lord – were they
free?

Americans are so indoctrinated in the slave mentality that they will
refer to someone who wants to keep the fruits of his labor as a “tax
cheat.”

Our Founding Fathers probably would not even have understood
such a term. Weren’t all of them aspiring tax cheats?

During every election politicians prattle on about reducing taxes,
closing loopholes, tax reform or some other bromide to hoodwink
the greatest number of voters.

Almost none ever talk about abolishing the income tax and
abolishing the IRS.

The government loves an income tax because it allows it to pry
into the financial affairs of all its citizens and it gives it a sword
of Damocles to hold over any person or group that might have the
wrong opinions.

Many people like the income tax because they envy those more
successful than themselves and like to see them punished.

Marx and Engels undoubtedly realized this when they made “A
heavy progressive or graduated income tax” the second plank
of the Communist Manifesto.

Anything short of abolition is adjusting the fit of the chains on
the slaves.

Not only does the government tax income of those living outside
the country, it prohibits those who “owe” back taxes from leaving
the plantation country.

Nobody is free who has a master that has first claim against all his
earnings.

Proverbs XXII:7 says that the borrower is slave to the lender, but in
the land of the free, even those who haven’t borrowed are slaves
by virtue of citizenship, and there’s nowhere to run.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/06/chris-sullivan/nowhere-to-
run