Archive for geopolitics

Everything you need to know about covid-19

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2020 by jtoddring
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Worldwide there have been 321 cases of COVID-19, or Wuhan flu, per million people.
 
There is the answer re: how infectious is it? Negligible. Unless you are 80+, have a pre-existing illness or are immune compromised, your risk of death is near zero.
 
More important is total deaths: 
 
Global deaths from covid-19: roughly 250,000
 
Global annual deaths from common flu: 250,000-650,000
 
So covid-19 is about as dangerous as the annual flu
 
Further, Taiwan has proven lockdown doesn’t work. 
 
Deaths from covid-19 in Taiwan, a free society which refused lockdown: 319
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JTR,
May 5, 2020
#StayStrongStayFree
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Further reading and information:
Necessary Illusions – Chomsky
Year 501 – Chomsky
Class Warfare – Noam Chomsky
The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein
The Ecology Of Freedom – Murray Bookchin
Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin
Roads To Freedom – Bertrand Russell
Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm
The Power Elite – C. Wright Mills
Giants: The Global Power Elite – Peter Phillips
Global Showdown – Maude Barlow
The New Rulers Of The World – John Pilger
A Game As Old As Empire, and, The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman – John Perkins
Oneness vs the 1% – Vandana Shiva
1984 – George Orwell
Brave New World, and Brave New World Revisited – Aldous Huxley
On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau
The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de La Boetie
Trends Journal
GreenMedInfo
Global Research
21st Century Wire
Geopolitics & Empire
The Boiler Room
TruthStream
The Corbett Report
American Herald Tribune
And my own writing: two books, and hundreds of essays on my blog.
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In particular, look into: Event 201, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Lock Step plan, Piers Robinson’s excellent work on propaganda studies, and the newly released declassified documents from the shadowy elite group known as NSCAI – which is a very Orwellian, technocratic, fascist, globalist merger of the military, intelligence and Big Tech elite, in a bid to transform the West in a race to out-compete China in the new arms and economics race to AI supremacy – which happens to require the West to become more totalitarian than China. Ya, it is Dr. Strangelove meets Orwell and Huxley. And it is here, now, in 2020, unless we follow the lead of people like Gandhi and MLK, and rise up to defeat it.
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Plus, take a look at this short article on Taiwan:

https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/taiwan-no-lockdowns-no-closed-businesses-non-who-member-and-relatively-unaffected

 

Work and Workaholism: Puritanism – and, A Day Off

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2020 by jtoddring

A few thoughts aloud, for anyone who might be interested – with a little philosophical, historical and political reflection in the midst:

This morning when I got up, feeling exhausted again from the on-going 30-year stint of sleeplessness and insomnia, I thought, I should take a day off – considering I pretty much never take a day off.

(Some people imagine that writers and philosophers sit around all day staring at their navels. Obviously they have never lived the life.)

But, despite my good intentions, shortly after mid-day I realized that my, admittedly joyous and quiet, “day off”, had consisted, so far, of readings in philosophy, politics and history, and the writing of three new essays. Then, as usual, I feel guilty for not accomplishing more. I’m not boasting – I am complaining to myself gently, that I don’t know how to stop or take a break, even when faced with physical and mental exhaustion. This is not a virtue – it’s simple idiocy.

I’m as stubborn as a mule, as the saying goes (though I hear that is unfair and inaccurate with regard to these noble, gentle beasts). And I realize again, what I have realized recently (we are a mystery to one another, by and large, and even to ourselves, at least for a long time): that I am indeed, and always have been, a workaholic.

Again, that’s nothing to be proud of. It is sheer stupidity. My Puritan up-bringing and cultural indoctrination – which everyone north of Paris and the Mexican border, and from Switzerland and Germany, at least, West to the Pacific Ocean, has been condemned with from birth for some few hundred years now – is hard to shake; even with decades of highly conscious efforts!

(I have gotten far better at life balance, but it is a definite work in progress. From purism and ascetic minimalism, and being exceedingly in my head and always lost in thought, to trying to balance that out and in turn becoming, unintentionally, a certified bon vivant, and then back again more moderately in the other direction, and finding, finally and at last, a bit of a better balance…but still definitely working it out…)

And so I say to myself, as a reminder (and to anyone who feels it may apply to them – and I would say it applies to virtually everyone in the North-West quadrant of the globe called The West, and more recently, The North, and to most urbanites outside this capitalist-Puritan empire’s heartland – and to the Japanese and Koreans, as well.):

First of all, unplug. Take a break, at least once in a while. Then…

Go outside! Remember what it is like just to sit and watch the birds and squirrels, the leaves and the grass, the trees in the wind, the sky and the clouds, and to simply be alive. And at least for a few minutes a day, sit or walk outdoors, with no music, no podcasts, no reading, no talking – just silence and nature.

Breathe. Just sit and breathe – for five minutes, at least. Do nothing but breathe, and pay attention to your breathe, as a focal point simply, letting your thoughts and your mind do whatever they like, but gently guiding them back to your breathe, every time they wander. Just sit (or walk) and breathe. And maybe smile as you do.

I am not joking, nor am I being pretentious. I am reminding myself to meditate daily – at least for five minutes, if not twenty minutes or an hour. It is simple, it is uncomplicated, it is something anyone can do, and it is powerful beyond all medicine, at least in the most important of ways: gradually, slowly, over time, grain by grain, it brings peace, calm, and clarity of mind, as well as openness of heart, and a simple joy of being alive. Just sit, and breathe. It is that simple.

Don’t over-complicate things. As my Swiss aunt liked to say, “Complicated works too.” But then, why choose complicated, when simple generally works better, or at least as well.

Take a walk in the forest (see Forest Bathing, if that inspires you, or the writings of Thoreau); or walk by the water – or at least around the block! (No headphones or earbuds, of course, preferably – if you possibly can be quiet for a few minutes, without distraction. Some people can’t. Or think they can’t. Fortunately, that I can do.)

Take a sauna, sweat-bath or steam – or a hot bath (ideally with Epsom salts).

Read a book for sheer pleasure – not out of duty, not for work, not even joyful seriousness (which is my normal reading), but sheer pleasure.

(A Wizard Of Earthsea, I have meaning to get to! Ah, how I love high fantasy, a la, Tolkien – and I love Ursula Le Guin!)

This corner of the world, which is Northern Europe and North America, north of the Mexican border, came, largely through a series of historical accidents (and brutal, genocidal conquest, followed by violent colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism) to dominate the globe for the past 500 years. (The declining relative power of the North-Western elite and their empire is now bringing a tectonic, fascistic, Orwellian, world-endangering power struggle into play, by the way, as some alert few have realized.)

That conquest mentality was a horrific mistake, as well as a horrific crime against humanity and nature. But the conquest began at home, we should realize. The mass of men, women and children in Europe, and in what became Canada and the United States, were first colonized, conquered, dominated and subjugated (incompletely and temporarily) by the ruling domestic elite, before that same elite sent them off to fight and die, to subjugate, colonize, conquer and dominate other peoples in other parts of the globe.

(The 99% great majority of the settler-colonial culture was being subjugated internally while its elite were busy with conquest, subjugation, slavery and genocide of the cultural “other” in the Americas, Africa and Asia. But the internal subjugation of the many by the few began first, and was necessary for the latter to occur at all. In short, we were pawns. We still are pawns. But no free man or woman is content to live as a pawn – much less as a pawn in some evil man’s game.)

The mechanisms of this foreign and domestic conquest and subjugation were, and remain: elitism in its various forms and its ideological rationalizations, subtle or overt authoritarianism, the sowing of fear, mistrust, paranoia, alienation and division, materialism and consumerism, the “manufacture of consent” and “necessary illusions”, along with thought control, PR and propaganda; and yes, Puritanism – and, not only a radically unbalanced way of life and approach to life, which arises from it, and a secretly self-loathing masochistic martyr complex and eagerness to be virtual slaves; along with a radical mistrust of nature, one another, and ourselves – which is the root of alienation, division, disconnection, dissociation and dualistic delusion, and is pure spiritual, intellectual, psychological, political and sociological poison.

This, among other things, is what we must unearth and exhume from our collective subconscious, this rattling skeleton, or rotting corpse, which not only haunts the world, but to a large degree controls, through insidiously, through stealth, the modern Western mind – up to and including the present day. By bringing it into the light of day, the light of consciousness, we strip it of its power; and thus, liberate ourselves, our societies, and our world: so that we can be free, and the world can indeed be born again.

And Thomas Paine was right: it is within our power to begin the world again.

As Arundhati Roy said,

“A better world is not only possible; it is already being born. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathe.”

Balance, re-connection, re-integration, re-examination, reflection, de-cluttering of the mind, simplifying of our lives and our approach – and with these things, and from these things, empowerment: this is what is needed now.

Time for a greater balance. We are too busy, yet, also put up with too much. We settle for too little. Bells and baubles and trinkets, distractions and entertainment, we have galore – we’re drowning in it. It is a sea of shiny, glittery sewage, and our world is drowning in it. But the things we need most, and which give our lives the greatest richness, meaning, and joy, we are impoverished in; or, as with liberty and democracy, and our basic human rights and freedoms, we are losing before our eyes.

We must now disconnect, in order to re-connect. Slow down, in order to re-balance. Do less, in order to regain a greater clarity, heart-centredness, and inner power. Then, begin again – with more power, more clarity, and more openness of heart; and all will be better, you can be assured.

At least, we can know this: lacking these things, and not taking time for such replenishing and re-focusing and re-connection, we can and will do less, and accomplish less – and will do it all with less clarity, and possibly with disastrous results, due to a lack of clarity.

Slow down, and sometimes, simply stop. Pause. Take a breath. The world will go on. Or it won’t. Being forever frenetically busy will not help anything. It will only cloud the issues, cloud the mind, and sow exhaustion and ill-health, while depriving your life of richness, meaning and joy – as well as many a great potential accomplishment.

Slow…down.

Breathe.

Life is not a race – no matter the conditions, or what is going on.

No matter the urgency, no matter the stakes: never hesitate, and never rush.

Remember the words of Rumi, and Emma Goldman:

“Ours is not a caravan of despair.”

And,

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

Amen, sister.

Moreover, if we do not slow down and find a better balance, our chances of success in anything important – including rescuing humanity from suicidal ecological destruction, or from slavery to the new global neofeudal corporate empire – will be slim.

Nourish yourself in body, spirit and mind. Slow down. And know when to take a break!

Peace.
JTR,
April 29, 2020

See also:

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and the Blade – Rianne Eisler

The Hero With A Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Psychotherapy East and West – Alan Watts

Choosing Reality – Allan Wallace

Stolen Continents – Ronald Wright

A Short History of Progress – Ronald Wright

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Max Weber

The Pathology Of Normalcy – Erich Fromm

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Walden, and On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de La Boetie

The speeches and writings of MLK and Gandhi

 

Global Geopolitics Analysis 2020: Sinking All Ships (But Our Own): Elite Aim To Sink Global Economy, In Order To Consolidate Global Neo-Feudal Corporate Rule

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2020 by jtoddring

The currently reigning political-economic orthodoxy, philosophy or ideology, both East and West, and in virtually every nation, with only a few exceptions, has rightly been called neoliberalism. What that means, is the merger of business and the state, which as Mussolini himself defined it, is properly called corporatism – which, he said, is the proper term for fascism. That is the order which we are facing now. And this is the final phase, it would seem, of the slow motion fascist coup which has been under way for the past forty years. Things are coming to a head, right now, in 2020.

Neoconservatism, which arose along side neoliberalism in the 1970’s, as its uglier Siamese twin, is its mirror image – without the velvet glove, or the Obama-esque, silky smooth PR machinery.

Both neoliberalism and neoconservatism – the two wings of the global corporate oligarchy and its self-serving ideology – have been a disaster for human beings and the Earth – as well as for democracy, human rights, civil liberties, constitutional rule and the rule of law, and for freedom.

Everywhere, this beast roams, or lurks, waiting to devour ever more. And devouring the people and the planet, our freedom, our democracy, our future and our rights, indeed it is.

What neoliberalism and neoconservatism represent, at their heart, is simply an escalated and intensified class war. It is a class war waged by the elite 0.1% upon the other 99.9% of the people, along with democracy, freedom, and the Earth.

The oligarchs are fulfilling Adam Smith’s depiction of what Thomas Jefferson called “the new moneyed aristocracy”, which Adam Smith called “the architects of policy”.

Note what Thomas Jefferson said about “the new moneyed aristocracy”, 200 years ago. In 1812, Jefferson said, “I pray we shall crush the new moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for already it bids defiance to our laws, and seeks a contest of strength with our democratic government.”

Adam Smith spoke in similar ways, referring to “the vile maxim of the masters” – which he said was, “All for us, nothing for any one else.”

The elite simply want it all: all wealth on Earth; and more dangerously, all power. And they are making rapid progress. The richest eight individuals now have more wealth than the poorest half of humanity. Inequality has skyrocketed. Checks and balances and limits on power have been shredded, along with constitutions and human rights. The corporate coup is approaching completion.

What the neoliberal and neoconservative “New Bad Deal” of the past 40 years represents, is a) corporate globalization, b) globalism (closely related, but distinct), and c) corporatism. Corporatism means merger of business and the state – or the full corporate take-over of the state, in the case of the West, and the state take-over of the corporatized economy in the formerly Red East of China. Again, what is critical to remember is that in both cases, it is corporatism – which, again, as Mussolini said, is the proper term for fascism.

Globalization, and the ideology of neoliberal and neoconservative corporate globalism, is at heart, a war on democracy, since it is a slow-motion global corporate coup. It was sold to the people with the lie that it would lift all boats, and benefit all – while of course leaving all precious liberties and our democracy in tact, naturally.

What happened over the past four decades of neoliberal and neoconservative class warfare, however, has been the devouring of the middle class in the formerly wealthy nations of the West, the de-industrialization of the West, the offshoring of production for higher corporate profits, along with the offshoring of profits, and above all, a war on democracy at home and abroad.

Instead of lifting all boats, the result was a massive, historically unprecedented transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor – from Main Street – to Wall Street, the City of London, Davos, and the already stratospherically rich global business elite. And the corresponding hyper-concentration of power has been even more disastrous, and extremely dangerous.

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Now that the elite have given themselves trillions of dollars worth of cash and assets from the public purse between 2008 and the start of 2020, and have looted, privatized, bought up, or taken private, just about everything they can, they want to sink the global economy, pull the plug, and sink all boats – other than theirs, of course.

Remember, the super-rich are never harmed in a crash – they prosper, and go on a feeding frenzy. Moreover, they can demand more bailouts for themselves while sinking and devouring everyone else – and they will get it becuase they control the levers of power.

It’s happening now:

$4.5 trillion in public money, in the US alone, is to go to the corporate elite, for their protection, while they continue to crash the economy by the new fascist lockdown they themselves have imposed on the people.

The elite trash the economy with their imposition of  “temporary” police state lockdown measures, then loot the people, claiming an emergency multi-trillion dollar bailout for themselves…. Predictable. And this is just the start.

A “temporary” invocation of emergency powers and martial law, with the suspension of all civil rights, is already here.

A “temporary” suspension of all regulations, contractual obligations, labour and environmental standards is being rammed through as well.

Event 201 and the Rockefeller Foundation Lock Step plan had nothing to do with health, and everything to do with power and wealth. We are seeing a continuity of agenda.

Again, we should not be surprised. This is turbocharged class war on nitrous oxide. This is end game. Re-read Orwell, Huxley, Zamyatin, and Jack London’s Iron Heel.

 

‘Holy Crap This Is Insane’: Citing Coronavirus Pandemic, EPA Indefinitely Suspends Environmental Rules

“The EPA uses this global pandemic to create loopholes for destroying the environment. This is a schoolbook example for what we need to start looking out for.” – Common Dreams, 

‘Looting of America by Big Corporations’: Progressives Appalled as Senate Unanimously Passes Largest Bailout Bill in US History

“A transfer of wealth and power to the super rich from the rest of us, with the support of both political parties—a damning statement about the condition of American democracy.”

– Common Dreams,

“At the moment when the American people are most in need, our coffers are being looted by the wealthy and well-connected.”
—Progressive Change Campaign Committee

“We oppose the Senate’s looting of America by big corporations,” the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) said in a statement. “Over and over, the American people are told there is ‘no money’—for student debt relief, for Medicare for All, for a Green New Deal, to create millions of jobs and save our planet. And now, at the moment when the American people are most in need, our coffers are being looted by the wealthy and well-connected.”

 

But this is business as usual for the elite. Cause a crisis, present yourself as the cure, and increase your wealth, and more importantly your power, by delivering “the cure”.

 

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“Worth citing here is Caitlin Johnstone, who in a recent article noted how America’s response to COVID-19 illustrates the pathologies of market-driven capitalism and the politicians who so willingly serve it:

The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic multitrillion-dollar corporate bailout of which actual Americans are only receiving a tiny fraction. Instead of putting that money toward paying people a living wage to stay home during a global pandemic, the overwhelming majority of the money is going to corporations while actual human beings receive a paltry $1,200 (which they won’t even be getting until May at the earliest) at a time of record-smashing unemployment.

America’s capitalism worship has been highlighted with Wall Street Journal headline “Dow Soars More Than 11% In Biggest One-Day Jump Since 1933” running at the exact same time as “Record Rise in Unemployment Claims Halts Historic Run of Job Growth — More than 3 million workers file for jobless benefits as coronavirus hits the economy“. Stocks are booming, Amazon is surging, and mountains of wealth are being transferred to sprawling megacorporations, while actual human beings are terrified of what the future holds.

Nice to know a few are profiting while so many worry, suffer, and die.  But should we be that surprised by how callous America’s leaders are?

I recall reading Daniel Ellsberg’s book on U.S. planning for nuclear war.  Sixty years ago, U.S. leaders were prepared to kill 600 million people (that’s not a typo) in their efforts to “win” the Cold War.”

– William J. Astore, American Herald Tribune

Only 600 million killed. That was the plan. Mind you, world population is much higher now. The numbers may need adjusting.

Do the elite feel ok about mass murder for money and power? Yes, they do. Are they deeply concerned about public health? Are you delusional? They’re interested in money and power, as always. Mass deaths are quite fine. So are prison camps and a police state.

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And in turn, in the aftermath of the next great economic crash, which looks to be unfolding now, the cycle of an every-intensifying feeding frenzy of the elite few upon the many will continue, and with greater ferocity and speed.

Of course, if the ruling elite sink the global economy, then the levels of popular discontent, which are already extremely high, will go through the roof. That is understood. That is why a police state has been built.

But a police state must be rationalized. That was the purpose of the “war on terrorism” – which in reality was a war on democracy at home and abroad, as well as a pretext for resource wars and coups the world over.

However, the “war on terrorism” propaganda narrative is no longer working. People are beginning to realize what even Trump has admitted: the wars in the Middle East are about oil. The propaganda narrative is failing.

So a new narrative was created, to distract the people from the three powers at home who are devouring them: Wall Street, Washington, and the military industrial complex. The new official enemies became Russia, China and Iran – regardless of their real threats, which in reality are basically economic competition only.

But even the new Red Scare and the new Cold War have failed. People are seeing through that as well. Something new was needed.

After a number of trials, over several years, the public health emergency pretext for the police state, fascism and martial law, have been refined to a fine edge.

Whether the coronavirus was naturally occurring, or whether it was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Bioweapons lab, or whether the Chinese government released it deliberately, or the US government, or perhaps even a US-China joint effort, to consolidate the powers of the oligarchs East and West simultaneously, or some other actor, it ultimately matters very little. Any crisis, real or manufactured – whether honestly portrayed, or greatly exaggerated, as this one seems clearly to be – any crisis will do as a rationale for the new global police state.

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So there you have it. Conspiracy theory? No: it is simply political-economic, sociological and geopolitical analysis of power elites and their known patterns and proven past actions, with extrapolation to the near future, based on very clear and undeniable indications.

In short, get ready for a global shit-storm: not necessarily due to a pandemic, which is very unlikely to amount to anything much beyond its present, wildly exaggerated levels. (Compare 11,000 global deaths from coronavirus vs nearly 50,000 deaths per day from the combined body count from poverty, hunger, obesity and poor diets).

What is clearly unfolding is:

a) fascist architecture continues to be being built;

b) draconian and authoritarian, fascist responses to the coronavirus, both East and West are in play;

c) an already extremely unstable global economy is being pushed toward collapse by the fascist lockdown imposed by elites, both in China, and also in the West;

d) economic crash – with huge spikes in global uprisings, as well as suffering and deaths, are certain to result if the draconian lockdowns continue for long; and

e) the hounds will likely be unleashed by the new global fascist police state, justified by the war on terrorism, by the new Red Scare and Cold War, by calls for “order”, and quite possibly by a public health emergency – and whether it is real or fabricated, does not matter – as popular unrest soars to new hiehgts world-wide in the face of the global economic crash which the elite have brought about.

The oligarchs create a crisis, then use the crisis to ram through sweeping changes that favour themselves, at the expense of the people, democracy, freedom, and the Earth. That is what is happening now – again, only this time with greater ferocity.

Remember, I will say again, I predicted the 2007-2010 global economic crisis when everyone was saying things are just rosy. It would be unwise to dismiss this second warning, of an even greater economic crisis coming fast – and the fascist “solution” to the crisis which will follow.

Speak up, and stand up: for democracy, freedom, human dignity, and the Earth which is also being razed, looted, devoured and destroyed.

The hour is very late. The next few months to several years will be our greatest; or, if we are complacent, or reality avoidant, our darkest hour.

Speak up, stand up. It ain’t over ’till it’s over.

Neo-feudalism, or more simply put, global fascism, is what is arising now.  The oligarchs, the elite, are consolidating their power. If we value our freedom, our democracy, or our future on Earth, we had better stand now.

JTR,
March 27, 2020

See Trends Journal, Economic Epidemic, March 17, 2020

Medical Martial Law, The Corbett Report, March 2020

Coronavirus: Martial Law & The New Police State

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2020 by jtoddring

An excellent live webstream discussion was given last night by Sayer Ji, the founder of GreenMedInfo – the best source I know of for science-based health information. His remarks offer a calm, well-reasoned, fact-based entry into the discussion as to what in the world is really going on with the coronavirus hysteria, and the obvious draconian, authoritarian responses by governments around the world.

James Corbett summed it up well: every authoritarian in the world is taking advantage of the crisis. And that is the gist of it.

The coronavirus itself is still less dangerous than the common flu, traffic accidents, or bathtub drownings. But the draconian, authoritarian responses to the virus, are ushering in fascism, most ominously, as well as destroying the global economy, and will create millions of times more deaths from the coming economic crash than the virus is ever likely to do.

GreenMedInfo founder and primary medical researcher Sayer Ji, in his live webstream discussion last night, was mainly re-assuring people that the sky is not falling, though things are decidedly bad, and the growing authoritarianism is certainly very concerning, to say the least.

He emphasized natural methods of boosting immunity, if people are afraid of germs. He said, emphatically, he is not.

He re-stated the view of every serious researcher and analyst I have seen. (At present, there are only a handful, since the best and the brightest have joined the masses for the moment, it seems, and have also temporarily lost their minds, or at least their ability to think rationally.)

He stated the obvious, which is this: based on the facts and figures to date, the virus danger is wildly exaggerated (2% mortality rate now confirmed for Italy, and 90% of deaths are among the very old and the severely ill) – probably, and almost certainly, for political motives (ie: social control, both in China and in the West).

He posted a summary of the articles that appeared in Rolling Stone and The Hill yesterday, March 22, on the US government’s Department of Justice secretly calling on Congress to suspend constitutional rights, in order to allow indefinite detention – for anyone who MAY be infected, or is deemed infected, or is suspected of being infected: in short, anyone the government wants to “quarantine”.

It is an obvious power grab, as Sayer Ji at GreenMedInfo, Gerald Celente at Trends Journal, and James Corbett, along with myself, have made clear.

Make sure you read the GreenMedInfo summary articles, and above all, see the video on Medical Martial Law, by the Corbett Report.

The Rockefeller Foundation made plans in 2013 for what they called “Lock Step”: a move to “a more authoritarian order” “with tighter government control” – utilizing a pandemic as the means to bring this about, during a state of public health emergency.

Since popular movements shut down the World Trade Organization talks in Seattle in 1999, the ruling corporate oligarchy have been afraid of the rising tide of global protests, and the growing crisis of legitimacy, that threaten to sweep them from power. They have been dreaming of, and planning for, preparing for, and writing about, the nullification of constitutional rule, civil liberties, freedom and democracy, and the consolidation of their powers by use of a global police state, for over 20 years. This “crisis” is largely their creation. Whether natural or man-made, they have clearly turned it to their advantage. This is disaster capitalism. Read The Shock Doctrine. This is a desperate act by desperate men to stave off social change, and to ensconce themselves in power for another generation – and to hell with the other 99% of humanity, democracy, freedom, civil rights, or the future of life on Earth.

Whether the coronavirus was a deliberately released bioweapon – perhaps the first joint US-China military operation, designed to consolidate the powers of oligarchs East and West, which it clearly has done, and done remarkably well (and the evidence points in this direction), or an accidentally released bioweapon, or a natural virus, in any case, the indisputable facts are these:

1) The danger of the virus has been vastly exaggerated, for political and/or commercial reasons that are clearly unrelated to public health;

and

2) The manufactured crisis is being used as a pretext to establish what the billionaire elite and their political minions have been clearly seeking, moving towards, preparing for, dreaming about, and also writing about, for years – especially since 9/11: the consolidation of the corporate-state oligarchy, by means of the creation of a global police state, and the suspension of all constitutional rule, human rights and civil liberties.

Make sure you watch the Gerald Celente, Trends Journal video from March 17, in particular. Remember, this is the best trend analyst in the world – the guy all the major governments and all the biggest corporations go to for trend analysis. He puts it plainly enough.

Get ready to fight for freedom and democracy, or to be slaves. Yes, it is that stark.

As the US constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley said, at an earlier juncture, when the elite were just getting warmed up on their constitution-shredding power grab, (I’m elaborating further here on what he said) this is not just a roll-back to pre-New Deal times, and a tearing up of the social contract of compromise between the ruling business elite and the other 99% of the people; it’s not just a roll-back to Charles Dickens’ time, in the early industrial revolution; it’s not just a roll-back to before the American and French Revolutions of 200 years ago. This is a roll-back of 800 years of common law, based on the Magna Carta, the basis of all constitutional law – the right to not be arbitrarily arrested or indefinitely detained without trial.

This is an attempt by the new empire of global corporate oligarchs and their political minions to establish a new kind of feudalism, with themselves as the God-kings, who are thoroughly above the law, with the people stripped of all rights and all protections, and at the mercy of the ruling elite.

See Jonathan Turley and Keith Olbermann, The Military Commissions Act 2006.

How familiar are Olbermann’s words from that time:

“We have lived, as if in a trance.”

That about sums up the state of the people now.

“We have lived in fear. And now, our freedoms and our rights in peril, we awaken to realize, we have been afraid of the wrong thing.”

It is exactly the same then as now.

The Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act began the shredding of constitutional rights, as part of the professed “War On Terrorism”, in 2001 and 2006. The new quarantine laws and pandemic/public health emergency laws, seal the destruction of 800 years of constitutional rule since the Magna Carta.

To stop a virus that has a death toll of 1% of the common flu, we are willing to accept a global police state? Very wise. Very wise indeed.

What the “war on terror” began, which was a war on democracy, will be finished by the war on a germ, and for the same purposes and ends.

If we don’t stop this now, or very, very soon, we will be peasants and serfs, or worse, and more likely: we will be slaves.

The real danger, as I have been saying, is not a virus that has 1% the death toll globally as the common flu – but the fascist response to it.

Get ready to defeat the second wave of fascists. We defeated them in WWII. We will defeat them again.

JTR,
March 23, 2020

Here is the best analysis on the coronavirus event that I have seen anywhere to date:

The Corbett Report (what serious investigative journalism looks like)

Liberty – such an outdated concept…

 

It’s happening again, and the war on democracy and constitutional rights and freedoms is intensifying – with the war on a germ, and the pandemic laws and draconian responses of elites that are ushering in martial law.

 

The war on germs is the new 9/11

 

Peddling hysteria

 

Fascist response to virus hysteria is also crashing global economy

 

Italian Government Study: 99% of their Coronavirus Fatalities Were Already Sick; Half Diagnosed with 3 or More Diseases

Serious doubts about the accuracy of COVID-19 testing methods, results, mortality rates, and the supposedly unique and extreme lethality of this virus are starting to emerge, even within mainstream media and government reporting. A recent study released by the Italy’s national health authority found that nearly everyone who was pronounced dead from COVID-19 was already struggling with serious chronic disease(s).

The Bloomberg article also pointed out that the primary threat is to the elderly (the average age of someone who died was 79.5) and that the fatality rate may have been significantly overblown: instead of 8%, the fatality rate may, in fact, be closer to the global average of about 2%.

“The median age of the infected is 63 but most of those who die are older.

The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.

According to the GIMBE Foundation, about 100,000 Italians have contracted the virus, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported. That would bring back the country’s death rate closer to the global average of about 2%.” 

This new report challenges much of the global reporting on the topic which presents a unilateral narrative that simply being exposed (within six feet) to someone who may have tested positive for the virus is life-threatening, independent of one’s health status and other precautions one might take, such as supporting one’s immune system.

In short, the Italian Government’s own federal health agency report shows that a) the coronavirus danger is wildly exaggerated, b) is almost exclusively a threat to the very old and the already ill, and c) IS NOT A DANGER OF CONTAGION TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT EITHER EXTREMELY OLD OR SEVERELY IMMUNE COMPROMISED. THIS MEANS THAT THE MASS QUARANTINE AND POLICE STATE MEASURES ARE COMPLETELY UNJUSTIFIED. IT MEANS THAT THE POLICE STATE MEASURES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH AN ELITE POWER GRAB – AS I HAVE BEEN SAYING FROM THE START.    – JTR, March 23, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Central Challenge Of Our Time

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, American Freedom Agenda, American Freedom Campaign, analysis, anarchism, anthropology, banks, capitalism, Chomsky, civil liberties, class, climate change, collapse, common ground, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, democracy, democratic deficit, detention centers, ecological crisis, ecology, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, global warming, globalism, globalization, history, imperialism, inspiration, Jefferson, libertarian, Mussolini, must-read, nation state, national democracies, neo-feudalism, people's movements, philosophy, police state, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, social theory, sociology, sovereignty, sustainability, the world's other superpower, tipping point, Uncategorized, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2020 by jtoddring

What is the central challenge of our time? It is not what most people think it is. It is not race or gender, or climate change, or the environment broadly, or issues of war and peace, or poverty, or justice, or equality, or fighting terrorism, crime or violence, WMDs and disarmament, the arms and drugs trade, imperialism, national sovereignty and the rule of law versus aggression, “regime changes”, coups and “intervention”, or freedom, or democracy, constitutional rule or human rights. All of these things are extremely important, of course. But there is one issue which connect them all.

The central fact, dynamic or pattern, which connects all of these things, and is at the centre of them all, is the excessive concentration of power. This we must address, above all, and immediately, or we stand no chance of resolving any of these other issues, or even making any serious or lasting progress on them.

Until we address the extreme and growing, excessive concentration of power in the world, both within nations and also globally, we will have no chance at a better future, no chance at a decent future, and, in fact, little chance of a future of any kind.

*

Marx was a terrible political philosopher, it must be admitted – but it must also be admitted that he was a brilliant sociologist. That is, his analysis and portrayal of the problems of modern state-sponsored capitalism (and it is always state-sponsored, because the business elite demand it, and because otherwise it would even more quickly self-destruct) was very perceptive, honest, and revealing. We would do well to continue to study Marx – as a sociologist. His diagnosis of the problem held some considerable merit, even if his proposed solution was poorly thought out. And one of his central observations, as the clear-minded sociologist that he generally was, is that capitalism tends to concentrate wealth. And that much should be perfectly obvious to us by now.

In 1812, Thomas Jefferson warned of the growing power of the business elite, and said, prophetically and passionately, unequivocally, “I pray that we shall crush the birth of the moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for already it defies our laws, and seeks a contest of strength with our democratic government.” That was over 200 years ago. The central problem now is, quite simply: we failed to listen.

We allowed wealth, and far more dangerously, economic power, to grow unchecked, and to become astronomically concentrated, far beyond anything ever seen before in history. We placed checks and balances on political powers, but not on economic powers – foolishly, and most unwisely.

The result, is that 200 years after Jefferson’s warning, which we failed to heed, we no longer have liberal-democracy at all: we now have oligarchy – rule by the few, or plutocracy, which is rule by the rich, or as Mussolini defined it, corporatism, which as he said, is the merger of business and the state – as the business elite have grown so powerful as to take over the state – and which Mussolini said is the proper term and description of fascism.

It is called by sociologists, institutional capture.

The global business elite have captured (or effectively ruled from the start) the all of the major social institutions: including the major international organizations (the IMF, World Bank, WTO, ECB…), the financial system, the media, and the majority of the governments in the world – including all of the most powerful governments of the Western world.

The street level, plain English description is simply, a coup.

Well, the people had better recapture their democracy, or they will soon be slaves. They are already serfs – they will soon be slaves, if they do not act now, or very, very soon.

*

We now have a global situation where the largest 500 corporations, and the 2,000 or so billionaires who own or control them, have more power than the most powerful nation in the history of the world (the US, of course). A situation where the eight richest families control more than half the wealth on the planet. And the growing concentration of wealth, and far more dangerously, of power, continues to accelerate rapidly.

This is what people are referring to as the oligarchy – or plutocracy, or kleptocracy, or corporatocracy.

This is what I have described as a new world order of global neo-feudal crypto-fascist corporate oligarchy. It has already devoured democracy, and is busy devouring all freedom, all constitutional rule, and all rule of law (law is for the little people, the 99.9%, not for “the masters of the universe”, as they like to call themselves). The new global corporate empire is now, without question, devouring both the people and the planet – along with our freedom. Clearly this has to stop, or we will not only be in chains: the life-support systems of the living planet will be destroyed, and our future will be extraordinarily dark.

As I have said before, we now have one remaining choice: revolution, or a new dark age, followed by extinction, and collapse.

*

The new empire ruling the world is not the US empire, which is in decline and heading for collapse, bankrupt, and heading fast for economic and financial implosion; but the global corporate empire, which has swallowed the US empire whole, and uses it now as a puppet-master pulls his strings – mainly as a hired thug.

The new masters of the world, the new oligarchs, are an elite who are clearly drunk with power, and have become, not only insatiably rapacious, and much more dangerously, insatiably hungry for power, but also, parasitic, frankly sociopathic, rabidly anti-democratic, as well as anti-ecological, suicidal, and world destroying. We either remove them power, or they will destroy the Earth which we all share, not to mention our freedoms in the process.

*

The good news is that since 2001, it has been recognized even by the ruling elite, from their own global poll, which came back in early of that year, proving the point beyond any doubt: there is a profound and growing, crisis of legitimacy for the ruling powers. The people of the world are fed up with the power games and machinations of the ruling elite, and are hungry for change. There is a global awakening taking place.

However, the elite see the global awakening of humanity, not as a great boon, a cause for rejoicing, but as a threat.

The Davos club – what John Ralston Saul called, “the new Palace of Versailles”, and “the new royal court”, and which the world’s leading business journal, the Financial Times called, “the de facto world government” – knew in 2001, or it was spelled out to them by their intellectuals in residence, what their own global poll meant. It meant the Western power elite are experiencing the same kind of crisis of legitimacy which caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.

For the first time since its founding, the WEF meeting at Davos was not jubilant or euphoric – it was deeply nervous and glum. There were only three remaining options, in the face of the indisputable, serious and growing crisis of legitimacy: a) compromise, and give the people a New Deal of some sort; b) surrender power, or else get ready to lose power completely; or c) batten down the hatches, and prepare for lockdown, repression, fascism – a police state, and resort to brute force. The Western elite concluded very quickly that the first two options were unacceptable. You can figure out what conclusion they came to from that – and why we have been moving rapidly towards fascism ever since.

People who do not understand these central facts of the past two decades of world history, understand nothing at all. Their advice is meaningless, for they have no connection to reality.

Remember Neville Chamberlain’s foolish statement: “Peace in our time!”

No, we need more serious voices and appraisals – and advisors – now. Churchill, for all his faults, is vastly preferable, to a Chamberlain, or worse, a Vichy government, or a Quisling – and believe me, the latter are in great abundance, while the former, at this, our truly darkest hour, is exceedingly rare.

*

The first step, is for the people to unite, and to reclaim their power. That, by now, will require revolution of some manner or another, in most nations on Earth. Whether by ballot box, or, more often, by blockades and political-economic siege, it is revolution – non-violent, Gandhian-King style – that is needed now.

What we must do, is to reduce the vastly excessive powers of the international business elite, and the trans-national corporations and institutions (such as the IMF, World Bank and ECB), which they control; and to either break up these giant economic empires, as is most wise, in most cases (such as the big banks, the fossil fuel giants, the arms merchants and the media empires), or else reduce their powers dramatically by some other means, and bring them under the control of democratic processes – meaning, bring them under control of the people, so that the people rule the nations, and set checks and balances on the powers of both governments, and also corporations and other economic powers.

The alternative is that the global corporate empire rules the world, as it effectively does now; and the 99.9% of the people who are not among the ruling elite, are reduced to peasants, serfs, or slaves.

Let us not play games. These are not realities we can safely avoid, or sweep under the carpet. We either face reality, and now – both political-economic reality, sociological reality, that is, as well as ecological reality – or our future will be bleak indeed.

*

The nation-state, as Chomsky has said, is the only institution powerful enough to be a counter-balance to the powers of big money. Therefore, we must, as Chomsky has also said, temporarily strengthen the nation-state, in order to reign in the excessive powers of big business.

In order to remove the corporate elite from their current position as the unelected and unaccountable, de facto rulers of the world, we will have to temporarily strengthen the nation-state, and national democracies.  This makes libertarians of the right and the left nervous, but it simply must be done. The alternative is neo-feudalism, and global corporate-fascist rule – which anyone of sound mind should view to be far worse, than a limited form of constitutional democracy asserting its power to reign in the corporate giants and the ruling business elite.

You can talk all you like about your libertarian or anarchist views, but you will be discussing them in chains, if we don’t deal pragmatically and immediately with the present order that now rules the world. Your high ideals, in short, will have to wait. We have more immediate dangers to take care of, first.

Once the people have recaptured and reclaimed their democracy, their constitutional republics;,and the business elite, the new corporate oligarchy, has been dethroned, and also placed within very firm checks and balances on their powers, then we can look to a further decentralization of powers – which would be…nay, will be, the further evolution of democracy and freedom. But first things first: we have a global oligarchy and police state to defeat. Fascism is here again.

And let us make no mistake, we will need all the tools, short of violence, that are at our disposal – including, most centrally, the state – in order to defeat this second round of fascist usurpers and would-be Gods.

*

Note that the greatest of libertarians, Chomsky and Thoreau, have argued for exactly the same thing. They combined a rare long-range vision which was highly idealistic, very far-sighted; and yet, at the same time, an immediacy of pragmatism: what do we do now – right now, in this moment, while keeping our long-term vision, our high ideals, and our dreams alive?

To my mind, the most important piece of political literature, the most important political document ever written, is not the Magna Carta, or the Bill of Rights, the UN Charter of Human Rights, or the Declaration of Independence, though all of these are greatly important, of course. But all of them, to the last, are merely pieces of paper – unless the people stand up to protect and defend them, and what they stand for.

For that reason, I believe the most important political documents ever written are those of Thoreau and La Boite – for they urge the people to stand up for themselves and one another, and to embrace their power. The other documents mean nothing without this.

(See Etienne de la Boite, The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude, and Henry David Thoreau’s short essay, On Civil Disobedience, which has reverberated around the world for over 150 years, inspiring Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the environmental movement, and popular movements around the world to this day.)

Thoreau remarked, in his famous essay, On Civil Disobedience, (and I am paraphrasing, mostly accurately, from memory here) “I heartily agree with that motto, “That government is best which governs the least”, and I should like to see it acted up to more speedily and more fully. And I would extend it to say this: That government is best which governs not at all. And when are prepared for it, that is precisely the kind of government they shall have.” (And note his emphasis – “when men are prepared for it”.)

But, having made his views clear as a decided libertarian, he goes on to say, “But I am not among the “No government men”. I do not wish for, at once, no government, but at once, a better government. Let every man state what kind of government would command his respect, and that shall be one step towards attaining it.”

Now that, to me, as with Chomsky’s views, is what Thomas Paine might agree is a matter of Common Sense. Let us first secure our liberty in the broad sense; and seek to dispel the greatest dangers, and the greatest threats to it first – which is, to be sure, the growing police state and fascist architecture, which is being actively and eagerly created by a set of bankers and their business friends, cronies and stooges in high places.

After we have dispensed with the greatest of dangers, then we can afford to be more high-minded and idealistic in our visions. But for now, let us deal with the reality at hand. We must defeat the new corporate oligarchy, or not only will liberty be vacated, but the planet, and the people, will also be laid to waste; and the new God-kings will rule, until they destroy themselves as well.

Stand now.

It is now revolution or slow death.

Choose wisely.

To be perfectly clear, we must recognize this fact: the state and the government are going to exist for some time to come – the question is, who controls it: a handful of global bankers and an oligarchy of business elites, or the people?

Again, I would say, Choose wisely. This is the critical hour.

A shift in consciousness, culture and lifestyle are urgently needed and essential, if we are to survive as a species, much less have a good, or even a decent future – yes, that is undoubtedly the case. But no New Age revolution of mind, or any other kind of shift in consciousness, is going to be successful, or mean anything at all, unless the new would-be God-kings are deposed and dethroned, and removed from power.

If that is not yet clear, it will be soon, and in terrifying ways. Better to act now, before the reality is confirmed in starker, more brutal ways.

Heed the warning, I urge you now. We failed to heed the warning of Thomas Jefferson, 200 years ago. That was a grave mistake. And the consequences will be even greater, and far more grave, if we fail to listen now.

Stand.

JTR,
March 15, 2020

Post-Script:

Flash-Drive Revolution:

Save this or any other document, image, video, poster, film or song that you find important, or socially/politically/philosophically relevant or pertinent, to a USB flash drive, for safe storage and sharing. Censorship is increasing now. We need alternative ways to communicate important ideas and information if, as is likely, censorship increases further. Consider, at least, all of my books, essays and writings as public domain. (Other living authors will have to decide the matter regarding their own works for themselves. I would urge people to respect their rights unless they state something similar to what I have just stated here.) I would appreciate people buying my books or making donations to support the writing and research, as I am a typically broke writer; but do share my writing with others – that is far more important to me. I certainly did not become a writer, much less a philosopher, for the money. Vive la revolution! For a better world for all.

WATCH THIS – EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:

Whether this is a warm-up, a dry-run, a preamble to the big putsch, or the main event, the following short video will remain extremely important. Please watch immediately:
Celente: Police State Emerging Now        https://youtu.be/5aLiEVbNTUs

Further Reading:

Chomsky, Necessary Illusions, Class Warfare, and Year 501 (These three in particular)

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

John Perkins, A Game As Old As Empire, & The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman

Naomi Wolf, The End of America

John Pilger, The New Rulers Of The World

Susan George, Shadow Sovereigns

C Wright Mills, The Power Elite

Peter Phillips, Giants

and I would recommend my two first published books:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions for A New Millennium

and,

The People vs The Elite:
A Manifesto For Democratic Revolution,
Or, Survival In The 21st Century And Beyond

 

Coronavirus Update – Panic or Propaganda? Both? Or Simply Mass Insanity? All The Above

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2020 by jtoddring

As of today, the mass media hype and hysteria over the latest exotic virus continues to spread, unabated. In its wake, mass insanity is spreading nearly as fast. Let’s step back, and look at the figures, to try and gain some much-needed perspective.

As of today, 3,200 people have died of the coronavirus globally. For perspective, that is 1/200th of the annual death toll from the flu, and a statistically zero percent of the DAILY death toll from both poverty (hunger) and obesity (poor diets).

The flu kills 650,000 a year. Hunger and obesity each kill over 20,000 people a day. The corona virus has killed 3,200.

Let those figures sink in.

Do we have reason to be concerned? It is possible. New viruses could pose serious dangers. This one has an 80% infectious rate and a 15% mortality rate, I believe. That is serious, but far from the Black Death, the Plague that hit Europe roughly 600 years ago, and killed 30-50% of the population. Could this be “the big one” – the virus that is a once in 500 year epidemic? Possible, but extremely unlikely.

Are the CDC, WHO, governments and major media reliable sources of information? Do we really have to ask that question? Both the CDC and WHO have been effectively taken over by the ruling corporate oligarchy in general, including Big Pharma, as have the majority of governments – certainly in the US, Canada, Britain and Europe. And six corporate empires control all the major media in the world – all of them in bed, one way or another, directly or indirectly, with Big Pharma. And all of them interested in a grand narrative of fear, with a clear strategy of divide and conquer. Anyone who takes his or her information uncritically from any of these sources needs their head read.

We should remember that the global pharmaceutical market is roughly on par with Big Oil, fossil fuels, and illegal drugs – each worth roughly $1 trillion a year. That is a very big trough, indeed; and we should never underestimate the power of greed – or power lust, which is even more dangerous, and ever-present, in every generation, of course.

Does anyone remember the Patriot Act? Or the military industrial complex? Or the war machine? Or the corporate take-over of virtually every government, along with the major media, the global economy, and the global financial system? Now there are some things to keep you up at night. Things to be deeply concerned about.

Re-read Orwell. And Chomsky. Perspective is critical.

From what I can see, I’d hasten to avoid lending the latest virus hype legitimacy, myself; because it looks like a psyops program, from what I can see: sow fear; divide and conquer; get the people ready to accept a lock-down – for their own protection, of course; feed the slow-motion corporate-fascist coup.

Do you disagree? Don’t be too quick to dismiss such a possibility. Look at the undeniable growth of a new global surveillance and police state, along side the equally undeniable corporate take-over of the economy, the financial system, the major media, and most political systems and governments of the world, along side the seemingly vast exaggeration of actual virus dangers. Occam’s razor would lead to the conclusion I just made, as the most likely explanation. We don’t know yet, but it is more plausible and more likely than this virus being as dangerous as it is being presented. The official narrative seems wildly out of sync with the facts. It should make us question, at least.

The known facts indicate that this latest virus represents a fraction of the danger of the flu. That may change, but it is the present reality.

The known facts therefore indicate, at this time at least, that we should be far more concerned with the ongoing, slow-motion fascist-corporate coup, which has clearly been in play since at least 2001 and the start of the “war on terror” – which has everywhere been a war on freedom, truth, and democracy, and a rationale for building a global surveillance system and police state.

Just how slow on the uptake are the masses anyway? I trust that at least a growing minority are paying some attention to what is really going on, or we are in far deeper trouble than being “plagued” by an exotic bug that is far less dangerous than the flu.

Anyone for mass quarantine?

How about voluntary (“”) house arrest? Ah, but that has already begun. The psyops war is working quite well, even if basic sanity among the people is not.

JTR,
March 5, 2020

For greater perspective, see my earlier essays: Danger and Delusion, and Reality Check

US Intervention In Syria: The Next Iraq

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2016 by jtoddring

Here is a very brief synopsis of the US role in Syria. We will, for the sake of brevity,  leave aside for the moment the obvious and documented facts of the US arming and supporting of the very terrorist groups they claim to be fighting; as well as the fact that the majority of “rebels” in Syria are associated with either ISIS or Al Queda; and the the third fact, that the reason the US is arming and supporting the very groups it claims to be fighting is in order to overthrow yet another government in the Middle East. We will instead focus on the broader picture.

It is becoming clear to any who are paying attention, and any who remember even recent history, that Syria is rapidly becoming the next Iraq – a country set on fire in an unending cauldron of violence and civil war, with no resolution and no peace in sight, and nothing but a black hole and a quagmire for all involved.

After five years of war and geopolitical battles among rival powers, half a million Syrians have now been killed, the country is in ruins, and there are now over 11 million Syrian refugees, in the biggest humanitarian disaster since the war in Iraq. And we have to ask, who is to blame?

Who is to blame for the bloodbath in Syria? This seems to be the question of the hour. Tomorrow, or soon after, there will be another bloodbath, and there will be other scapegoats, and the grand game of assigning blame will turn once more, and as usual, with all the same repeating patterns. But let us ask that central question of this present moment, at this present moment: who is to blame for the turmoil and war in Syria, and the massive human suffering that is the escalating result of it?

I don’t think there is any question that many players or factions are involved in what is going on in Syria – no one seems to want to respect national sovereignty or the self-determination of peoples, much less international law, and it seems like everyone wants to coerce the Syrian people into accepting their own particular wishes and demands for what kind of government the Syrian people should have.

Among others, there is the Syrian government, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and Iraq involved. ISIS and Al Queda are of course involved, but as very knowledgeable observers have noted, they are more a symptom than the cause of the turmoil, and they are being armed and funded by other, larger powers – particularly Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States.

And we can add to the list of parties who have involved themselves in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, Canada, Europe, Israel and Russia. But there is also no question that Washington and the CIA are playing a major and pivotal role in the war in Syria, and nobody of any sound mind doubts that, for it is obvious.

And if we look to recent historical precedents in the region, we can see a clear and obvious pattern: in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya….. and that is without going further back, over the past 60 years of US foreign policy, beginning with the Washington/CIA overthrow of the democratically elected Mosaddegh government in Iran in 1957 – an extremely foolish and short-sighted, as well as criminal action, which gave birth to the extremist Islamic movements in the Middle East to begin with; or much longer, from the time of the Mexican-American war in the mid-1800’s, which Thoreau detested and wrote about, and before, from the time of the Indian Wars and the colonization of what was to become the United States of America.

The US has been a rising global super-power since the early 1800’s, until its recent decline, and one with a clear case of infantile grandiosity (the doctrines of Manifest Destiny and the like make this clear) and a self-justifying messianic complex, covering, only thinly, an obvious imperial pursuit of territorial expansion, conquest and hegemony, and of course, simple wealth and power.(See Noam Chomsky, Year 501: The Conquest Continues, for an overview of the past 500 years of Western history.)

To be fair, the US was on the right side, on the side of freedom and democracy, during WWII; and along with Canada, Britain and other nations, and most pivotally Russia, the US helped to defeat the horror of fascism. But before and since, the US has been on the wrong side of history, more often than not. And that is because the US has been ruled, from 1945 until the present, and for the better part of its history before WWII, by a political elite who have been the willing puppets and servants of big business and moneyed interests – exactly as Thomas Jefferson had warned. These are the simple, ugly facts of the matter. This can change, and it will change, when the American people are ready for it, and willing to make it happen, but at present, the US is still a dangerous rogue super-power that is ruled by Wall Street – and with truly disastrous consequences both for the American people and for the world.

And in recent history, who was the major player responsible for the utter devastation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya? The evidence is indisputable. These countries are now basket cases, and have been destroyed, and set aflame in civil wars – and it is the United States and its allies who are primarily responsible for these terrible atrocities, with well over a million dead, and nations laid to waste.

And although Washington had allies, and allies who will be recorded in history as having been actively involved in war crimes, the central player was the US government and the CIA in all three cases. The record speaks for itself.

The US government has been, and continues to be, dedicated to a policy of global hegemony, as its actions clearly and unquestionably show, and as its own internal record plainly speaks. (See documents from NSC-68 to PNAC and beyond.) And such actions are not only abominable, unconscionable, and in violation of international law, and furthermore, war crimes, under the precise definition of international law and the Nuremberg Trials; but furthermore, they create three very clear results: 1) countries are destroyed, and democracies either destroyed or prevented from arising, and with great human suffering and mass murder in every case; 2) there is inevitable blow-back, or negative repercussions, because such violent invasions and “regime changes” – that is, coups, in more honest and less euphemistic terms – create great hatred and fanaticism, and hence, more terrorism, exactly as the US intelligence community had predicted; and 3) the world becomes an ever more dangerous place as a result of such actions.

We cannot white-wash the involvement of Washington or the CIA in the Middle East, or Syria in particular. Their role has been, and continues to be, simply disastrous.

All nations have a duty to respect the sovereignty of other nations, and the right of peoples to self-determination. This basic principle, the principle of non-aggression, is the very foundation and under-pinning of international law, as well as the foundation for real and lasting peace. Currently, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Europe, Russia, and even the traditionally peace-loving Canada, along with the leading actor, the world’s dominant super-power, the United States, are all disregarding and violating these basic principles. And it is complete disaster which is the result, as all can clearly see, as well as a greatly heightened instability and danger – not just in Syria, not just across the entire Middle East, but for the world, as a conflict between super-powers looms, with Russia, China and Iran lining up on one side, and the US and its allies and proxies on the other, in an extraordinarily dangerous, and frankly insane, set of power games.

Let the madness end. The people of Syria can and will find a way to peace, and determine their own future, and what kind of government they want to have – but only if other powers in the region and in the world stop meddling and let them have the space to breath and to settle things for themselves. At present, the involvement of the US and other foreign powers is doing nothing but creating ever greater suffering and chaos, and no good will come from it.

The words of Henry David Thoreau come to mind. “If I knew someone was coming to do me some good, I should like to get as far away as possible.” I think by now, a great many people in Syria and the Middle East would like to be free of the “help” they have been receiving. Such help has been a nightmare and a horror, to say the least.

A basic respect for national sovereignty and the rule of law would be infinitely more helpful, but no one seems to be interested in that. That does not serve the underlying motives of empire fetish, and ego-maniacal, greed-driven power games.

Hands off Syria. This is the most urgent point of the matter.

If we truly want to help the Syrian people, then we should send food, emergency shelter, doctors and medical supplies, and we should take in refugees, and give shelter to those in need. Sending more arms, bullets and bombs is not going to help the situation. Indeed, it has only made the situation a thousand times worse than it already was, before our “help” arrived.

J. Todd Ring,
February 27, 2016

 

For further readings, video commentaries and analysis, see:

Noam Chomsky

Paul Craig Roberts

Michel Chossudovsky

Tulsi Gabbard

John Pilger

CounterPunch

The Real News Network

Global Research

And as a start, here is Noam Chomsky, speaking with his usual lucidity, saying clearly that if we want to halt terrorism, we have to do pretty much the complete opposite of what we’re doing now, which will only increase terrorism, not reduce it, much less end it:

http://www.actvism.org/en/events/noam-chomsky-ueber-die-terroranschlaege-in-paris/

 

 

 

 

 

ISIS and Terrorism – A Reality Check

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2015 by jtoddring

“The responsibility of intellectuals is to speak the truth and expose lies.”

– Noam Chomsky

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

– George Orwell

According to a February 2015 Gallup poll, a majority of Americans consider the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL — and the international terrorism they support to be the greatest threat to the United States’ vital interests.

This is really quite amazing, when you think about it. Not global warming, not record droughts and crop failure, not de-industrialization, massive and rising unemployment and poverty, soaring inequality and the demolition and razing of the middle class, not catastrophic ecological destruction, not the poisoning of our food, air, water, soil, our bodies and children, not disastrous “trade” deals (read, corporate rights deals), not a ravenous and criminal Wall Street cabal that rules the nation and is pillaging and plundering the middle class and the poor – no, it’s a few armed thugs half a world away, with no tanks, no battle ships, no air force, no ICBMs, and the military power of one ten thousandth, at best, of that of the US, which is the greatest threat to “America’s vital interests.”

Holy delusional.

Former National Security Adviser, and chief intellectual and geopolitical strategist in residence to the Western elite, Zbigniew Brzezinski, recently scoffed at such delusions, and said, “What are they going to do, swim here?” But the hysteria has been manufactured, and fear is a powerful weapon, as the BBC documentary, The Power of Nightmares, clearly showed, and Orwell and other observers have also recognized and noted.

The “war on terror” is a campaign that is being used to justify wars over oil, and geopolitical power and empire abroad, and a full frontal assault on democracy, freedom and civil liberties at home, in order silence the people, and to protect and consolidate the powers and the interests of the currently ruling corporate elite. It has nothing to do with fighting terrorism.

It’s time we got real. We are being lied to.

The US wants to impose a regime change in Syria – and that is flatly in defiance of international law, and is defined as a war crime under international law. As Chomsky said, if the Nuremberg trials were held today, every US president since WWII would be hanged for war crimes – and the war crimes continue to this day. And they are war crimes, regardless of how they may be justified.

Because the US is trying to topple the Assad government in Syria, the CIA has been arming, funding and training terrorist groups in that country – just as it did in Libya, Afghanistan and other countries. So we’re fighting terrorism by arming terrorists. That makes sense.

And why does the US want to topple the Assad government? Is it because Assad heads a brutal regime? No – the US was friends and allies with Saddam Husein when it suited their interests, even though Saddam headed an even more brutal regime.

Saddam was targeted for regime change only when he stopped obeying orders from Washington. The same has happened many times, and always for the same reasons: brutal regimes are fine – so long as they cooperate with the masters in Washington; and when they don’t, they are either brought under control, or taken out: either through bribery, economic and financial extortion, or by covert, or overt use of violent force.

And why does the US want to take out the Assad regime, if it’s not for human rights reasons? For oil, most likely – as with Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan…. There is a proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline that “could radically alter Europe’s energy supplies, diminishing Russia’s fossil fueled prowess in Europe” – and Assad opposes it. So he has to go.

“These strategic concerns [of the US, to control oil and gas in the Middle East], motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”

It is this – the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria – that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.”

– The Guardian, August 30, 2015, Syrian intervention plans fuelled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns, by Dr Nafeez Ahmed, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It

Now, not only is Syria spiraling further into crisis and chaos, with the US intervention only making matters worse, but it has also generated a refugee crisis in Europe, with refugees pouring out of Syria, and 4.5 million people displaced – a refugee crisis that the US and its allies actively helped to create. All for the sake of oil and gas profits for the US and its allies – and the corporate interests which they serve.

Russia on the other hand, wants to protect the Assad government, because Assad is a Russian ally, and because Assad opposes the pipeline deal which would radically reduce Russia’s fossil fuel super-power status in Europe – which is most likely the real reason Russia just started bombing in Syria, and not because it wants to fight terrorism.

With the US and its allies fighting and bombing in Syria, and Russia now entering the conflict, and bombing in Syria, and for the other team, the US trying to oust Assad, and Russia trying to prop him up, we are now literally faced with the very real threat of an outbreak of WWIII. And all this, for the control of oil and gas money. This is clearly insane.

So the motives are all twisted, when we’re talking about the major players, in both the West and in Russia, and it is the people who are suffering, while the military actions, the bombings and the regime changes simply serve to foster ever greater hatred and ever more terrorism – exactly as the US intelligence services warned they would do.

“Let’s see…. The resort to violence, to war, bombing, and forced regime changes – read, coups – didn’t work, and has instead sown chaos, hatred, further hostilities, greater instability, and more terrorism. So let’s redouble our efforts, and try the same methods again.

As Einstein said, “Repeating the same actions and expecting a different outcome is the very definition of insanity.”

But fighting terrorism and creating peace were never the objectives. It’s about controlling the flow of oil and gas, and the astronomical profits, and power, that derive from it.

The Guardian is quite unreliable in terms of the consistency of its quality of reporting and commentary – sometimes it does a great job, and sometimes a poor one, or even a terrible one – but they got it right here, with regards to Syria and war in the Middle East:

“The 2011 uprisings, it would seem – triggered by a confluence of domestic energy shortages and climate-induced droughts which led to massive food price hikes – came at an opportune moment that was quickly exploited. Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

So what was this unfolding strategy to undermine Syria and Iran all about? According to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to “attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years”, starting with Iraq and moving on to “Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” In a subsequent interview, Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.

Much of the strategy currently at play was candidly described in a 2008 US Army-funded RAND report, Unfolding the Future of the Long War (pdf). The report noted that “the economies of the industrialized states will continue to rely heavily on oil, thus making it a strategically important resource.” As most oil will be produced in the Middle East, the US has “motive for maintaining stability in and good relations with Middle Eastern states”:

“The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized… For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources… The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”

– The Guardian, August 30, 2015, Syrian intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns

If we are serious about reducing hate, violence, war, conflict and human suffering, then we should, among other things, be racing to get the world off its deadly addiction to fossil fuels, and end the wars over oil, pipelines, and the politics of fossil fuel addiction, and switching as rapidly as possible to clean, renewable energy.

How about diverting half or three-quarters of the obscenely bloated US military budget to massive investments in solar, wind and other renewable energy industries and technologies, and kick-starting the economy and providing millions of jobs in the process?

Nope. Can’t do. The oil and arms corporations require that we continue with business as usual, so that is simply not possible. The wars, therefore, must continue – and the people and the earth be damned.

How about this for a proposal? End the wars in the Middle East, and use the money saved to buy a fully electric Tesla Model S for every home in the United States over the next 20 years. That would cost approximately $5 trillion. By comparison, the wars in the Middle East have cost an estimated $6 trillion – so far. So this is completely feasible.

There are probably better, more effective ways to invest in clean, renewable energy, and to break our addiction to oil and fossil fuels, but this was meant simply to make a point. How about ending the wars and spending the war budget to install solar, wind and geothermal heating, cooling and power systems for every home in America, making them fully off-grid and energy self-reliant, as well as being powered by clean energy? This would cost about the same amount, roughly $5 trillion, and could be done over the next 20 years, if the wars are ended now. That would also cause the economy to soar, and millions of jobs to be created. And this is not even mentioning the lives that would be saved and the suffering averted by ending the bombing and the wars.

By ending the wars, we would do more to halt terrorism – by not participating in it, and not fueling it – than by anything that has been done so far. Certainly the “bomb-em-to-bits” strategy has been a complete disaster, and has only increased terrorism, exactly as US intelligence services said it would do. And the money saved could be used to rebuild the US economy, create full employment, shift the nation to renewable energy, break the dependency on oil and other fossil fuels, and halt our race toward ecological cataclysm and collective suicide.

But we can’t do that, because the oil and arms corporations are making a killing, both literally and figuratively, off our addiction to fossil fuels and war.

*

Here are some startling figures to contemplate. Official terrorism – which means, terrorism carried out by official enemies, and not by Washington and its allies in Canada, the UK and France – accounts for roughly 20,000 deaths a year. Meanwhile, over 20,000 children die every day from hunger. Poverty is the far greater killer, but where is our war on poverty? There is lip service, rhetoric, but no serious action, as poverty continues to rise globally, and also in the United States, the richest country in the history of the world.

But even more people now die from over-eating and obesity than from hunger – with millions dying every year from heart disease and stroke alone, primarily due to poor eating habits. But are we launching a war on MacDonalds and fast food? No, we’re fighting ISIS – supposedly – even though the fast food industry kills far more people every year than ISIS could ever dare to dream.

We should be launching major public health campaigns, and anti-poverty campaigns, and stopping the Wall Street war on the middle class and the poor, because the death toll from that, and the toll in terms of human suffering, is vastly greater than that caused by official terrorism, which is positively dwarfed by comparison.

The real terrorists are in Wall Street and Washington, where the financial and conventional bombings are coordinated, and the global looting is orchestrated and carried out. You want to fight terrorism? Start at home, and start with Wall Street.

Please see my recent essay, also on my blog, entitled, Danger and Delusion, from ISIS To Ebola, for a deeper look and some critical perspective on the real dangers that face the United States and the world today. It’s time for a reality check.

We need to remember that the media are overwhelmingly controlled either by corporations or the government. In the US, six corporations control 90% of the media. We should not expect anything other than propaganda, considering these facts.

Fortunately, according to another recent Gallop poll, roughly 40% of the people have virtually no faith left in the media – and the corporate and government controlled media continue to lose credibility, and their audience, at a rapid and accelerating pace.

So while the majority of the people, a slim majority, continue to believe the lies and the propaganda, the tide is changing, and the people are waking up. This is happening none too soon. All we can say is, we had better accelerate the awakening, because the world is in serious peril – and peril, above all, due to the lies and illusions which are being propagated daily, and which need to be cut through, and demolished.

J. Todd Ring,
October 3, 2015

And this just in:

U.S. Military Bombs Doctors Without Borders Hospital, Killing At Least 19.
Doctors Without Borders’ statement suggests more than just collateral damage. The Afghan trauma center “was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged.” The hospital reportedly had 105 patients and caretakers, and more than 80 staffers from all over the world.
According to the aid group, U.S. forces continued bombing for 30 minutes after receiving phone calls telling them the hospital was being bombed. “All parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location [GPS Coordinates] of the M.S.F. facilities – hospital, guesthouse, office,” the statement said.
October 3, 2015
http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/10/03/3708837/doctors-without-borders-bombed/
Who is fighting terrorism? And who are the terrorists? Are we really so certain?

As Chomsky has repeatedly said, the leading terrorist centre in the world is Washington, DC – and global polls show that the great majority of the people around the world agree.

The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria

Noam Chomsky: US, Not Iran, [Nor ISIS] Poses Greatest Threat To World Peace

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/9/22/noam_chomsky_the_united_states_not

The real reasons for threats of war against Syria

Posted in American politics, analysis, Barack Obama, Brzezinski, China, collapse, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, elite, empire, end-game, fossil fuel, geopolitics, imperialism, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, Obama, oil, peace, policy, political economy, politics, politics of oil, resources, Russia, smedley butler, sovereignty, sustainability, Syria, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by jtoddring

(that the mass media won’t tell you about)

1. The Middle East holds 60% of the world’s remaining energy reserves: therefore, the entire region is critical to control – for anyone with an empire fetish, that is. And if you’re serious about controlling the Middle Eastern oil reserves, then you must control, not just the oil-rich nations, but also the nations surrounding them.

2. Washington has played the role of “gangster for capitalism” – to use General Smedley Butler’s term – for a very long time. Washington is the hired thug for the global banking and corporate elite – and they want to control the entire Middle East, because oil profits are simply astronomical.

3. The banking and corporate elite who control Washington also love war, since war is also astronomically profitable to them – and they don’t care that it is disastrous to human life, the environment or national economies.

4. The Middle East is the linch-pin to the entire Eurasian continent (as well as a major key to controlling mineral-rich Africa). Eurasia holds the majority of the world’s population and resources. And historically, whoever controls Eurasia, dominates the world. Controlling the Middle East is therefore seen as critical, as the leading geo-strategic planner for the Western power elite, Zbigniew Brzezinski has said explicitly (see, The Grand Chessboard).

5. The US and Europe are in severe and deepening economic crisis, and also, in a severe and growing political crisis, as the people become increasingly frustrated by growing inequality, poverty and insecurity. And as Orwell described so accurately, perpetual war is a way to distract the people from their problems at home, and to deflect anger away from governments and powers at home, onto a vilified “other.” How did the ruling elite control the rabble of Europe in the Middle Ages when famine, hunger and injustice fuelled the fires of discontent? Send them off on a holy war, a crusade, and let them vent their anger at an official “enemy” – any enemy: anybody, anywhere, just so long as the anger is deflected off of us. The same principle applies today.

6. While the Western powers face a growing and profound crisis of legitimacy at home (just as the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc did before its collapse), they – the US and Europe and the Western business elite – are sinking globally, in relative terms, and are losing their global dominance as the rising super-powers of China, India, Russia, Brazil and other BRIC nations continue to gain ground. The Western business elite apparently see the global domination game as a winner-take all scenario, and they are not planning to lose – no matter what the stakes, the cost, the death toll, or the risk to life on earth.

The risks and costs of war against Syria? Extreme.

  1. Great human death toll.
  2. Further moral bankruptcy of the US government and its allies and further erosion of their credibility at home and abroad.
  3. Further squandering of huge sums of money on death and destruction while people go hungry and homeless, and jobs, social programs, economic recovery and environmental programs go begging and get only lip service, hollow rhetoric, empty promises and token gestures for the sake of PR.
  4. Serious risk that war with Syria may lead to the involvement of Russia and/or China – with the very real danger of the outbreak of World War III. Russian and Chinese high officials have said that any violation by the US of any nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated, and “all options are on the table” – which means nuclear war.

The insanity of further intensification of warfare in the Middle East could not be greater. Stop this madness now. Speak up.

When Washington stops killing innocent men, women, children and civilians with drone strikes in countries around the world, then, perhaps, it may begin to have some moral ground for speaking against another country. It certainly has no right to bomb or attack another country, hypocrisy aside.

Stop the insanity now. No to war with Syria.

J. Todd Ring,
August 28, 2013

Reflections on democracy

Posted in analysis with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2013 by jtoddring

There is a global war on democracy underway, and if it is not addressed, our future will be bleak. But let us start with the ground work of democracy, and follow from there.

Simple majority rule is accurately described as the tyranny of the majority; hence the need for constitutional democracy, where the rights and freedoms of the individuals are enshrined in constitutional law, and hopefully also, in custom and in practice.

And it is constitutional democracy that the vast majority of people mean when they talk about democracy. The term democracy, therefore, can be used as a short-hand for constitutional democracy, since that is what most people mean by the term, and what most people want; so long as we remember that democracy requires constitutionally-enshrined human rights and civil liberties for it to be a desirable system for human society. If we look at other, immediately possible forms of human society, I would say, constitutional democracy is far and away the best that is available, and we should defend it, and protect it, as we protect and defend our own lives. The alternative, at present, is one or another form of tyranny.

To elaborate further, unity and diversity; freedom and collective, cooperative action, are often taken to be mutual exclusive, but they are not. We can have a deeply valued sense of freedom and diversity, and at the same time, a sense of the value and underlying reality of unity within diversity; and an awareness that we, as human beings, have always been stronger, more creative and more adaptable when we work together and pool our resources and talents.

For this reason, a radically democratic, grass-roots, populist and participatory constitutional democracy which might be called libertarian socialism, to put a label on it, is the most intelligent form of human society of which I am aware, with the exception of libertarian communalism, which is probably too far of a stretch for human beings at this time, given the level of fear and mistrust that exists, and the illusions which rule our world. Again, liberty and collective action are not necessarily at odds, as simple reason would clearly indicate; nor are diversity and unity. Whether we realize these facts or not, will shape our future; and at this time of great crisis for human kind, it may be definitive, and decisive.

But again, to speak of the immediate task at hand, we must re-invigorate, and indeed, recapture and reclaim democracy, simply – constitutional democracy, of course, with human rights and freedom for all – or we will almost certainly have tyranny, and we will regret our passivity and complacency in the face of great danger, in the deepest of ways.

And what does this mean, in practice, at this particular time in history? It means, now as always, that we defend constitutional democracy and freedom from any threat, foreign or domestic, which seeks to usurp the power of the democratic process, and to gather unto itself unwarranted and tyrannical powers.

And what powers now threaten freedom and democracy, world-wide? It is no longer the church, the aristocracy or the monarchy. The threat now is from the merchant class, from the now globally hegemonic and overwhelmingly dominant business or corporate elite, who have effectively taken over the global economy, the governments, the electoral system, the political process and the media world-wide.

To defend freedom and democracy now, therefore, means to question, to challenge, to resist and to rebel against, and to overthrow, the corporate elite who have now become the ruling powers in the world. That is the task at hand, and nothing less will do.

*

As to the term socialism, there is much fear in many quarters relating to it, and it has become a dirty word, and a terrifying word for many, particularly in the United States, where the levels of political literacy are among the lowest in the world. But socialism need not be feared. Socialism has become synonymous in the United States with Karl Marx, and even with Stalin. But this is sheer idiocy, and the link is made out of ignorance. There is a profound lack of understanding there of the history of the left, and the various threads of it. The left was certainly not homogeneous then, two hundred years ago; nor has it been since; and nor is it now. Nevertheless, it is widely unknown that there was a major divide within the left, from the beginning, which was the Enlightenment thinking of the 18th century.

From the beginning, there was a spilt in the left between Marx and his acolytes, who sought to gain control of the powers of society, and in particular, the powers of the state, in order to carry out a revolution which would, supposedly, free all humanity; and those who questioned the idea of a few self-proclaimed intellectual elites taking over all power; as Bakunin in particular challenged, and rightly questioned.

The short history is that the wing led by Marx temporarily triumphed among the left, and the libertarian socialists were marginalized – and so much so, that socialism became synonymous in many people’s minds with absolute power held in the hands of the few, a la Stalin.

To be wary of, and even hostile to Stalinism, or any form of tyranny by a self-professed vanguard, is simply sane, and intelligent; but to dismiss socialism, or to equate it with these pathologies of social theory and political action, is a grand act of blindness and ignorance, if not self-delusion, or sheer deceit.

Socialism, at its root, values human solidarity, human equality, and the well-being of all; and we would be unwise at the least, if not foolish or radically confused, to dismiss or reject it. Socialism, at its heart, has nothing to do with tyranny or the rule of the few over the many; and when it has devolved into this, it no longer deserves the name socialism.

Do we remember the motto of the French Revolution – which, by the way, was far more revolutionary than the American Revolution, which sought, to be honest and frank, to replace the tyranny of British elite rule, with a merely American elite rule? It was liberty, fraternity and solidarity, along with constitutional democracy. In short, the French revolution, in contrast to the much glorified, but highly faulted American revolution, sought freedom, equality, solidarity and constitutional democracy.

And if we strike out or eliminate equality and solidarity from the mix, then we are not only infinitely poorer, and also weaker for it, but we will find ourselves living, sooner or later, once more in a tyrannical state, for you cannot have freedom without equality; and you cannot have the safeguarding of any of these values – of freedom, of democracy, or of equality – without solidarity.

In short, socialism, when it is practiced intelligently and honestly, keeps us rooted in the real world, and keeps us held fast to the values of equality and solidarity which are the very underpinnings of both freedom and democracy. To disavow them is a form of slow and protracted suicide. To embrace them is the road to freedom – but again, only if these values are linked deeply and in practice to the values of freedom, and to the refusal of any form of elite rule.

*

As to the libertarian elements of this conversation, meditation or dialogue, it should be noted that libertarianism originally had a very different meaning than it has come to mean today, at least within the United States and North America. Originally, libertarianism came out of the Enlightenment thinking of the 18th C, and from the left side of that thinking. It was an extension, from reason and experience, of the democratic and freedom-loving thrust of the enlightenment, which sought to limit any undue powers in society which might be or become oppressive or tyrannical.

Libertarianism originally meant an opposition to any form of oppressive powers over humankind, or any excessive concentration of powers in human society which could easily become oppressive. That included the aristocracy, the monarchy, the church, the military, or any other power which could come to dominate the society as a whole, including the rising powers of the business class.

Now, two hundred and some years later, the monarchy is not the dominant power in most nations, nor is the aristocracy or the church. It is the business elite who now rule over all, and left libertarianism, or libertarianism in its original sense, addressed and also rejected that form of tyranny, along with all other forms and guises.

In the US recently, libertarianism has, by contrast, devolved into a mistrust of government, with a blind eye turned towards the powers of business and corporations. It has devolved into a political philosophy of limited government, combined with a naive and uncritical laissez faire capitalism. Fortunately, that is changing, and the libertarian right, as it should be called, has begun to recognize that corporate and other business powers can be as tyrannical as any government powers ever can be.

*

For us to live in the real world, in short, we must address any form of tyranny, as Jefferson, limited in awareness as he was, so passionately urged. It would mean that we would challenge any excessive powers of government or the state; and also, any excessive powers of the business or corporate elite – as Jefferson himself urged, fully two hundred years ago, and which warning we ignored, at our great peril.

That is what we need now. We need a fierce and undeterred defence of constitutional democracy and freedom, against any attacks or any threats, foreign or domestic. And to say it again, at this time, that means deposing the corporate elite who have taken over, and who have usurped far too great of powers. If we refuse this task, then both democracy and also freedom will be no more, and we will be no more than serfs and slaves.

Stand now.

J. Todd Ring,
February 25, 2013

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