How rich people get rich–according to them and what really happens.
Source:Occupy Wall St.
One for Canadians:
The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power, buttressed by the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and global capitalism, is unraveling. Most, including many of those at the heart of the American empire, recognize that every promise made by the proponents of neoliberalism is a lie. Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality. The working poor, whose unions and rights have been taken from them and whose wages have stagnated or declined over the past 40 years, have been thrust into chronic poverty and underemployment, making their lives one long, stress-ridden emergency. The middle class is evaporating. Cities that once manufactured products and offered factory jobs are boarded up-wastelands. Prisons are overflowing. Corporations have orchestrated the destruction of trade barriers, allowing them to stash $2.1 trillion in profits in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes. And the neoliberal order, despite its promise to build and spread democracy, has hollowed out democratic systems to turn them into corporate leviathans.
Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless in the neoliberal order. Political elites, Democrat or Republican, serve the demands of corporations and empire. They are facilitators, along with most of the media and most of academia, of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”
The attraction of a Trump, like the attraction of Radovan Karadzic or Slobodan Milosevic during the breakdown of Yugoslavia, is that his buffoonery, which is ultimately dangerous, mocks the bankruptcy of the political charade. It lays bare the dissembling, the hypocrisy, the legalized bribery. There is a perverted and, to many, refreshing honesty in this. The Nazis used this tactic to take power during the Weimar Republic. The Nazis, even in the eyes of their opponents, had the courage of their convictions, however unsavory those convictions were. Those who believe something, even something repugnant, are often given grudging respect.
These neoliberal forces are also rapidly destroying the ecosystem. The Earth has not had this level of climate disruption since 250 million years ago when it underwent the Permian-Triassic extinction, which wiped out perhaps 90 percent of all species. This is a percentage we seem determined to replicate. Global warming is unstoppable, with polar ice caps and glaciers rapidly melting and sea levels certain to rise 10 or more feet within the next few decades, flooding major coastal cities. Mega-droughts are leaving huge patches of the Earth, including parts of Africa and Australia, the west coast of the United States and Canada and the southwest United States, parched and plagued by uncontrollable wildfires. We have lost 7.2 million acres to wildfires nationwide this year, and the Forest Service has so far spent $800 million struggling to control conflagrations in California, Washington, Alaska and other states. The very word “drought” is part of the deception, implying this is somehow reversible. It isn’t.
Migrants fleeing violence and hunger in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Eritrea are pouring into Europe. Two hundred thousand of the roughly 300,000 migrants to Europe this year have landed on the shores of Greece. Two thousand five hundred have died so far this year in the sea, on overcrowded and dilapidated boats or in the backs of trucks such as the one discovered last week in Austria that held 71 corpses, including the bodies of children. This is the largest influx of refugees into Europe since World War II, a 40 percent jump since last year. And the flood will grow ever greater. By 2050, many climate scientists predict, between 50 million and 200 million climate refugees will have fled northward to escape areas of the globe made uninhabitable by soaring temperatures, droughts, famines, plagues, coastal flooding and the chaos of failed states.
The physical, environmental, social and political disintegration is reflected in an upsurge of nihilistic violence driven by rage. Crazed gunmen carry out massacres in shopping malls, movie theaters, churches and schools in the United States. Boko Haram and Islamic State, or ISIS, are on killing rampages. Suicide attackers methodically commit deadly mayhem in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Iran, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Mauritania, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, Nigeria, Russia, India and Pakistan. They struck the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and in 2010 when Andrew Joseph Stack III flew a light plane into a building in Austin, Texas, that housed offices of the Internal Revenue Service. Fanaticism is bred by hopelessness and despair. It is not the product of religion, although religion often becomes the sacral veneer for violence. The more desperate people become, the more this nihilistic violence will spread.
“The old is dying, the new struggles to be born, and in the interregnum there are many morbid symptoms,” the theorist Antonio Gramsci wrote.
These “morbid symptoms” will expand until we radically reconfigure how we relate to each other and the ecosystem. But there is no guarantee such a reconfiguration is possible, especially if the elites manage to cling to power through their pervasive global security and surveillance apparatus and heavily militarized police forces. If we do not overthrow this neoliberal system, and overthrow it soon, we will unleash a Hobbesian nightmare of escalating state violence and counterviolence. Masses of the poor will be condemned to misery and death. Some will try to violently resist. A tiny elite, living in a modern version of Versailles or the Forbidden City, will have access to amenities denied to everyone else. Hatred will become the primary ideology.
The attraction of Islamic State, which has up to 30,000 foreign fighters, is that it articulates the rage felt by the wretched of the earth and has thrown off the shackles of Western domination. It defies the neoliberal attempt to turn the oppressed into human refuse. You can condemn the group’s medieval vision of a Muslim state and its campaigns of terror against Shiites, Yazidis, Christians, women and homosexuals—which I do—but the anguish that inspires this savagery is genuine; you can condemn the racism of white supremacists who are flocking to Trump—as I do—but what they are responding to is their similar frustration and despair. The neoliberal order, by turning people into superfluous labor and by extension superfluous human beings, orchestrated this anger. The only hope left is to re-integrate the dispossessed into the global economy, to give them a sense of possibility and hope, to give them a future. Short of that, nothing will stem the fanaticism.
Islamic State, much like the Christian right in the U.S., seeks a return to an unachievable purity and utopianism, a heaven on earth. It promises to establish a version of the seventh-century caliphate. Twentieth-century Zionists seeking to form Israel used the same playbook when they called for the re-creation of the mythical Jewish nation of the Bible. ISIS, as the Jewish fighters who founded Israel did, is attempting to build its state (now the size of Texas) though ethnic cleansing, terrorism and the use of foreign fighters. Its utopian cause, as was the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, is attractive to tens of millions of youths, most of them Muslims cast aside by the neoliberal order. Islamic State offers a vision of a broken society made whole. It offers a place and sense of identity—denied by neoliberalism—to those who embrace this vision. It calls for a turning away from the deadening cult of the self that lies at the core of neoliberal ideology. It holds up the sanctity of self-sacrifice. And it offers an avenue for vengeance.
Until we dismantle the neoliberal order and recover the humanistic tradition that rejects the view that human beings and the Earth are commodities to exploit, our form of industrialized and economic barbarity will collide with the barbarity of those who oppose us. The only choice offered by “bourgeois society,” as Friedrich Engels knew, is “socialism or regression into barbarism.” It is time we make this choice.
We in the United States are not morally superior to Islamic State. We are responsible for over a million dead in Iraq and 4 million Iraqis who have been displaced or forced to become refugees. We kill in greater numbers. We kill more indiscriminately. Our drones, warplanes, heavy artillery, naval bombardments, machine guns, missiles and so-called special forces—state-run death squads—have decapitated far more people, including children, than Islamic State has. When Islamic State burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage it replicated what the United States does daily to families by incinerating them in their homes in bombing strikes. It replicated what Israeli warplanes do in Gaza. Yes, what Islamic State did was cruder. But morally it was the same.
I once asked the co-founder of the militant group Hamas, Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, why Hamas sanctioned suicide bombings, which left Israeli civilians and children dead, when the Palestinians had the moral high ground as an occupied people. “We will stop killing their children and civilians as soon as they stop killing our children and civilians,” he told me. He noted that the number of Israeli children who had been killed at that time was a couple of dozen, as opposed to hundreds of Palestinian children. Since 2000, 133 Israeli and 2,061 Palestinian children have lost their lives. Suicide bombing is an act of desperation. It is, like Israel’s saturation bombing of Gaza, a war crime. But when seen as a response to unchecked state terror it is understandable. Dr. Rantisi was assassinated in April 2004 by Israel when it fired a Hellfire missile at his car in Gaza from an Apache attack helicopter. His son Mohammed, in the vehicle with him, also died in the attack. The downward spiral, more than a decade after these murders, continues.
Those who oppose us offer a vision of a new world. We offer nothing in return. They offer a counterweight to the neoliberal lie. They speak for its victims, trapped in squalid slums in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. They condemn the grotesque hedonism, the society of spectacle, rejection of the sacred, profligate consumption, personal wealth as the primary basis for respect and authority, blind celebration of the technocrat, sexual commodification—including a culture dominated by pornography—and the drug-induced lethargy that are used by all dying regimes to keep the masses distracted and disempowered. Many jihadis, before they became violent fundamentalists, fell victim to these forces. There are hundreds of millions of people like them who have been betrayed by the neoliberal order. They are a powder keg. And we offer them nothing.
The wretched of the earth increasingly do not believe in the efficacy of nonviolence. They saw how nonviolence failed in Tunisia, which contributes the largest number of jihadis to the fighting in Iraq and Syria, and how it failed in Libya, Egypt and Iraq, a country where the U.S. puppet regime gunned down nonviolent protesters in the streets. The wretched of the earth—including in the United States, where we are seeing a mounting number of assassinations at the hands of police, 23 so far this year—intend to counter state violence with insurrectional violence. They have learned to speak in the language we taught them. Keep shooting unarmed black men and women in the streets of American cities while ignoring the nonviolent protests calling for an end to the state lynching and terror, and guess what will happen?
“Once their rage explodes, they recover their lost coherence, they experience self-knowledge through reconstruction of themselves; from afar we see their war as the triumph of barbarity,” Frantz Fanon wrote in “The Wretched of the Earth,” “but it proceeds on its own to gradually emancipate the fighter and progressively eliminates the colonial darkness inside and out. As soon as it begins it is merciless. Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying—which means surrendering to the dissociations of a fabricated life or conquering the unity of one’s native soil. When the peasants lay hands on a gun, the old myths fade, and one by one the taboos are overturned: a fighter’s weapon is his humanity. For in the first phase of the revolt killing is a necessity: killing a European is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed: leaving one man dead and the other man free.”
Do those in power read history? Or maybe this is what they want. Once the wretched of the earth morph into Islamic State, or adopt counterviolence, the neoliberal order can lift the final fetters that are imposed upon it and start to kill with impunity. Neoliberal ideologues, after all, are also utopian fanatics. And they, too, know only how to speak in the language of force. They are our version of Islamic State.
The binary world the neoliberals created—a world of masters and serfs, a world where the wretched of the earth are demonized and subdued by a loss of freedom, by “austerity” and violence, a world where only the powerful and the wealthy have privileges and rights—will condemn us to a horrifying dystopia. The emerging revolt, inchoate, seemingly disconnected, is rising up from the bowels of the earth. We see its flashes and spurts. We see its ideology of rage and anguish. We see its utopianism and its corpses. The more despair and desperation are manufactured by the neoliberal order, whether in Athens, Baghdad or Ferguson, the more the forces of state repression are used to quell unrest and extract the last drops of blood from collapsing economies, the more violence will become the primary language of resistance.
Those of us who seek to create a world that has hope of viability have little time left. The neoliberal order, despoiling the Earth and enslaving the vulnerable, has to be eradicated. This will happen only when we place ourselves in direct opposition to it, when we are willing to engage in the acts of self-sacrifice and sustained revolt that allow us to obstruct and dismantle every aspect of neoliberal machinery. I believe we can do this through nonviolence. But I am not blind to the inevitable rise of counterviolence, caused by the myopia and greed of the neoliberal mandarins. Peace and harmony may not engulf the Earth if we succeed, but if we do not remove the ruling elites from power, if we do not overthrow the neoliberal order, and if we do not do it soon, we are doomed.
Click for interview:
People in the United States are sick and tired of Washington’s wars for Israel, says an analyst.
Americans are supporting the international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel because they are sick and tired of Washington’s support for Tel Aviv, says a political commentator in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Press TV on Monday, James Morris said the BDS movement “is growing around the world and of course, Israelis and the Zionist-occupied Congress in America doesn’t like it, but that doesn’t matter, the rest of the world is waking up.”
Morris said supporting the BDS by a prominent industrial union in the United States is basically symbolic as more Americans are “waking up to the atrocities that the Israelis have committed in Palestine.”
The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America union voted in favor of a resolution entitled “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel” and called on the US to cut off financial support to Tel Aviv.
The BDS campaign, which began in 2005, encourages organizations and institutions such as universities and churches to divest from Israel until the fundamental rights of the Palestinians have been recognized.
“Unless the Americans wake up to the influence of the Israel lobby to include wealthy Jewish donors like I just mentioned [Sheldon] Adelson and [Haim] Saban and AIPAC and other Israel lobby, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is pushing to kill Iran deal, you know, America still is in a position where it’s dominated by Zionism, but at least some people are waking up more and more are waking up and that’s because of the alternative media,” Morris said.
He noted that supporting the Iran nuclear agreement “is excellent because you have many also in America, who are sick and tired of these wars for Israel in the Middle East, like we saw In Iraq.”
“And the same cast of characters as President [Barack] Obama had pointed out, the neo-conservatives and other Israel lobby are pushing for another war for Israel against Iran and obviously people don’t like that. They are sick and tired of war in America, especially when the war is for Israel,” Morris added.
Aug 18, 2015
As the economic and political systems continue to crumble and collapse in Greece, a district in Athens is growing in strength and independence after large numbers of individuals began to keep the government out and empower their own community.
In 2008, police killed a young boy in Exarchia sparking massive protests and riots, and since that incident, police have avoided the area, knowing that they are not welcome.
There are a wide variety of cooperatives and independent social welfare and mutual aid organizations in Exarchia, including time banks and free health care services that are voluntarily funded without any taxation.
One thing that is most interesting about what we have witnessed so far is that the actual behavior of people in the midst of economic and societal collapse is nothing like the popular “every person for themselves” scenario that is often touted by mainstream thinkers who have a very cynical and distorted view of what is truly inside people’s hearts.
In these desperate situations where people’s compassion and ingenuity has been tested, communities have come together on their own accord, without any authority telling them what to do and they have worked side by side nonviolently, in mutually beneficial exchanges that made all parties involved better off.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter-culture and the drug war.
“So its everything from Ford Motor Company, several departments of the government including the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, all use WordPress. Other media companies including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNN, all of them use WordPress.” ~ Matt Mullenweg – Founder of WordPress (see: here)
I found this rather interesting. I just received an email from WordPress, on which I have my blog, telling me one of the photos I used in this particular post https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/the-purpose-and-current-condition-of-the-us-govt/ was removed for content violations.
This tells me:
One: Someone is reading a post I wrote concerning the treasonous and criminal state of the US government; and
Two: Someone was concerned enough about a photo I used to report it.
Here’s the email I received, below. And below it is a link to an interview with Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, telling us who uses WordPress, which includes CIA, DHS, FBI, Fox News, The New York Times, et al:
Ryan M. – WordPress.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
4:34 PM (22 minutes ago)
We have received a DMCA Takedown Notice (http://automattic.com/dmca/) for the following material published on your WordPress.com site:
As such, we were legally required to remove the material from our servers.
If you wish to challenge this notice we will be happy to provide you with all of the appropriate details.
WordPress.com | Automattic
“LS: I love that. Can you, just for fun because it is brain-candy, can you do a little name dropping of some of the people, Fortune 500’s or other companies or organizations that have actually adopted WordPress?
MM: Sure! So its everything from Ford Motor Company, several departments of the government including the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, all use WordPress. Other media companies including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNN, all of them use WordPress. It is very exciting, to me, because this is just like “your blog” on WordPress.com, is literally next door to [16:02.1] currently [16:04.2] this election. So you have access to the same tools, same path, and same sort of medium that they do. And we see where everyday there’s bloggers out there who have as good or better coverage than some of the mainstream traditional medium. And I think that we are really converging, because mainstream media, or whatever you want to call it, is really understanding it and embracing it and the transparency is just awesome. It’s the greatest thing for them, and it was pretty cool at the same time.
And at the same time, you know, as bloggers get better and become more professional and have more and more confidence it’s just the 1% rule, you know. It takes something like 152,000-200,000 posts a day! So if you get 1% of that, than that’s several newspaper’s worth of content.”
The “Like” and “Share” buttons are information gatherers via geo-social networking, which Matt Mullenweg of WordPress developed, and are used in order to links articles, blogs, social networks, together more efficiently into the profile the USG has on everyone. The Facebook timeline is also an NSA domain timeline. These are simply improvements upon NSA’s original Stellar Wind program, which the USG began using on us immediately after it blew those towers in NYC and killed all those people in order to scare us and in order to begin knocking down nations unfriendly to the US and Israeli governments. “Killing the chicken to scare the monkey” is a very old population control tactic. As is blaming an enemy for an attack a government perpetrates upon it’s own people, in order to have popular support for going to war.
See: “OPERATION NORTHWOODS” at the George Washington University National Security Archive in Washington, DC – http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/
See: “The Program”: NSA’s Domestic Spying Program – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/opinion/the-national-security-agencys-domestic-spying-program.html?_r=0
Aug 14, 2015
Quick Synopsis of
BY SRDJA POPOVIC
“SRDJA POPOVIC (the author of this book) is a Serbian political activist and executive director of the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS). He was the leader of the student movement Otpor!, which helped topple Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. He has taught at the Harvard Kennedy School, NYU, and the University of Colorado, among others. He lives in Belgrade.”(from the back book cover)
This is a guide for those who seek justice and democracy, but the use of humour and nonviolence is paramount for change. It is about strategy and he uses 7 key elements:He makes oppression backfire by playing your opponents’ strongest card against them.
1)He makes oppression backfire by playing your opponents’ strongest card against them.
2)He helps to identify the “pillars of power” in order to shift control.
3)He advises to dream big but start small. Learn to pick the battles you can win.
4)Master the art of compromise to bring together even the most disparate groups.
5)Listen to what the people actually care about to incorporate their needs into your revolutionary vision.
6)Recognize your allies and view your enemies as potential partners.
7)Use humour to make yourself heard, defuse potentially violent situations, and “laugh your way to victory”
This may sound trite but Mr. Popovic has trained others to deal with the tyranny in other countries. This organization can be reached at www.canvasopedia.org
The ISBN 978-0-8129-9530-5 This is a good read and full of ideas on how to make the changes we need in our countries and live to see it happen.
We are forced into economic crisis after economic crisis and the only people who aren’t brought to their knees are those that cause it. In fact, they often just get richer and more powerful while the rest of us work harder and harder for less reward.
Aug 12, 2015
How many of us have a sneaking suspicion that something pretty fundamental is going wrong in the world? We keep hearing about the potentially devastating consequences of climate change but we are pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every single year. We are forced into economic crisis after economic crisis and the only people who aren’t brought to their knees are those that cause it. In fact, they often just get richer and more powerful while the rest of us work harder and harder for less reward. Politicians all say the same basic thing. No one, it seems, is offering anything that is really different. The whole operating system is somehow wrong, but also somehow inevitable. Nothing can really be changed because this is just how things are.
At least, that’s what we’re told, and how it can feel. But this way of living – our system of modern capitalism – is just a story. And this story is not the only one there is. It’s not inherent within us. It was invented by human beings, and so human beings can change it.
But in order to get there, we first have to face up to some difficult truths.