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False Prophets and False News
Time for New Beginnings
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Introduction: There are deep flaws in the blogs, media reports, and official statements, which purport to describe world historic events and changes.

These so-called ‘up-to-date’ reports of major world events undergo repeated revisions in hours, days or weeks as the story is being ‘played out’. What might start out as a ’scoop’ for the upwardly mobile journalist is transformed into a by-word for a ‘critical blogger’ rewriting mainstream reports by simply substituting negatives for pluses (or vice versa).

‘Immediacy’ trumps historical context and structural understanding. Protagonist or antagonists of the moment are demonized , slandered and scandalized, or lauded , praised and iconized.

The practice of deep falsification involves magnifying transient trivia and glossing over world-historic change. The false prophets substitute superficiality for deep understanding.

Soon after proclaiming a ‘major systemic transformation’, which fail to occur, a series of modifications or reversals take over, and the initial ‘great prophesy’ is forgotten – as if the readers of news were afflicted with an epidemic of dementia.

Most political parties, left, right and center, have their own unchanging warped world view to frame everyday minutiae.

For example, on the Left, it is the ‘imminent collapse of capitalism’ or the ‘perpetual stagnation of the capitalist state’, ‘the collapse of democracy’ or ‘the emergence of fascism’. In the absence of any real empirical or historical findings to support their hypotheses, they add escape clauses about ‘tendencies’.

The Center has its own historic narrative, which includes ‘threats from the Left and Right’, and the ‘dangers posed by populists to democratic values’. They cite the overwhelming responsibility to ‘defend Western values’ everywhere, from threats, past, present and future…and especially from independent nations, like Russia, China, Venezuela, Iran and other ‘emerging’ powers, as a pretext to escalate militarism and to bolster support for vassal states.

The Center repeatedly point to the ‘resilience of Western liberal democratic institutions’ even as police state edicts are dictated to counter dissenting voices, while false prophets predict that China’s robust economy is on the verge of collapse; that democratic Russia is an unstable autocracy; and that the Ukraine is an emerging democracy – while its ‘Right Sector’ and ‘Azov Battalions’ runs amok amidst a kleptocratic, neo-fascist regime

The Right frames its world-historic ideology by stressing the need to (1) revive the Cold War to counter the US global decline; (2) confront the world-wide wave of ‘populism’ threatening ‘liberal’ democracies; (3) portray Brexit as a sign of the European Union’s collapse; (4) equate Trump’s victory with the rise of fascism in the US; (5) emphasize the ascent of bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism, based on the result of a single election ; (6) denounce Leftists ‘conspiracy’ writers who ‘falsely’ blame rising class inequalities to free-market monopolies; and (7) explain that cuts in social expenditures, tax cuts to big capital, increased work hours and decreased pensions are ultimately rewarding the masses.

These mega- narratives lead ‘prophetic academics’ to insist on their infallible insight into the future direction of the world economy, global politics and class relations.

False prophets maintain a veneer of authenticity, by presenting the future in unspecified, ambiguous, general and distant terms, to allow for any or all outcomes – like professional fortune tellers.

Academic and media prophets are enveloped in a mystique of expertise, which allows them to rehash yesterday’s news as deep strategic insights.

False Prophets: Trump

Contrary to the wailings of the Right, Center and Left, Donald Trump is not a fascist, or a nationalist or a populist. An objective assessment of his most recent policies and cabinet appointments show that he is a free-market politician with a propensity to appoint militarists to security positions.

Trump’s populist demagogy most closely resembles President Obama – although the appeal is to a different audience. Trump speaks to impoverished, displaced, skilled workers in the rust belt with campaign promises of a renaissance in manufacturing, upscale suburbanites, and downwardly mobile working women, while appointing billionaire bankers and global business executives to run the economy and set policy. Obama appealed to poor minorities, middle class urbanites and the same business elite.

Like Obama, Trump is an imperialist committed to protecting and projecting US global power. He differs from Obama in emphasis. Obama and his predecessors pursued a primarily military-driven imperialism while Trump will shift the emphasis to economic imperialism.

Trump’s ‘double discourse’, of talking to the masses during the campaign while working for the elite once in office, reflects a long-standing American Presidential tradition.

Editorial writers’ descriptions of Donald Trump lack historical and empirical depth.

Powerful systemic constraints define the rate and scope of any long-term, large-scale changes that Trump might propose. Trump can only introduce minor incremental changes in the behavior of the biggest banks and five hundred most powerful global multi-nationals. Trump might re-negotiate around the edges of some bilateral trade agreements, but he cannot convert the US into a closed self-sufficient economy.

Contrary to the ‘end of the world’ hysteria, promoted by the mass media, Trump has never made any pact with white racists and anti-Semites. There are no major Jewish organizations currently engaged in a struggle against Trump’s ‘fascist hordes’. The KKK is not preparing to burn Goldman Sachs. Since Trump’s election the stock market has jump over a thousand points. Like all of his predecessors from both parties, Trump appointed prominent Jews to key economic and policy positions, including Treasury Secretary. Many editorialists, who rely on selected excerpts of campaign rhetoric and gossip, have presented an unrealistic picture of the trajectory of the US state and economy.

False Prophets: China

The US prophets and self-described ‘experts’ describe China in inflated terms of either its impending doom or its relentless drive toward world supremacy. They rely on the minutiae of the moment or distorted extrapolations, uncertainties and contingent systemic changes. Rigorous analytical accounts are in short supply.

China, according to the free-market financial prophets of doom, suffers from a declining growth rate, shrinking work force, massive capital flight, deep-seated corruption and an impending intra-elite war. According to the prophets of doom, this sets the stage for an economic collapse and a military confrontation with the US empire.

ORDER IT NOW

Many of these pronouncements are easily dismissed. For the last 30 years, China’s economy has exceeded 6% and it is steadily developing its high technological work force and scientific innovations. China’s emphasis is on diversifying its production and consumption to domestic and overseas markets. The challenge of its aging work force is met by the increasing development of robotics and computerized productive systems.

China has applied capital controls and limits on capital flight. The national campaign against corruption and real estate speculation in real estate has led to the arrest of over 200,000 officials and executives for fraud, bribery and money laundering via overseas banks.

In other words, the false prophets, parading about as ‘China experts’, have consistently made nonsensical predictions of doom and collapse. Faced with factual refutations, they merely repeat and recycle their prophecies by projecting longer time frames, up to infinity, for the coming of the inevitable catastrophe.

On the other hand, some progressive writers peddle prophesies of China’s endless progress predicting its inevitable emergence as a supreme global power. They convert China’s 30-year pattern of economic growth into a formula guaranteeing ‘harmonious development’, which they claim is based on China’s correct handling of emerging challenges and contradictions. Their predictions of stable future growth assume ever-expanding markets while ignoring the threat of military confrontations with rival imperial powers.

China’s prophets of global power ignore contingencies: Skilled and innovative workers, who are necessary for economic growth, have their own vision of the social structure in which they play a leading role in advancing society.

While robots can substitute for human labor power, it is worker knowledge and initiative that design, produce and adjust the robotic manufacturing system.

Harmony, free markets and mutually beneficial trade alliances are relations that are always changing; only interests remain constant. As China moves from investing in commodities to manufacturing and technology, customers can turn into competitors.

As China emerges as a global power, the outflow of capital and arms and technology increases, and the risks of global rivalry and domestic instability, challenging the Chinese ruling class likewise increase.

Prophecies or predictions depend on (1) the stability of incremental changes in the structure of power; (2) the uncertainty of elite outcomes in world markets and (3) the volatility of domestic class relations.

False Prophets: Latin America

Latin America is almost universally regarded as unstable – a region, where revolutions and counter-revolutions alternate, and electoral regimes rise and fall among neo-liberal, populist and nationalist leaders.

The long-term reality is actually quite different. Latin America has been one of global capitalism’s most stable regions. With few exceptions, property-ownership has remained stable for decades, with entrenched oligarchical elite families enjoying wealth, multiple-luxury properties throughout the world and their own perpetuation.

Electoral regimes may frequently change but the underlying state structures endure for decades. Bureaucratic, military and financial institutions set the margins of change. Neo-liberal, post-neo-liberal and anti-neo-liberal policies come and go, but large-scale mining, export agricultural and banking structures ultimately set the conditions for the growth of economies and demise of governments.

There is a tendency for some academic prophets and writers to use metaphors from astronomy and geology to divide the world. They describe a ‘world-system’ composed of ‘a core, a semi-periphery and a periphery’. Adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing quantities of productive resources, the false prophets solemnly predict how the entire world system will function ‘ad infinitum’.

While data, derived from observations in space, provide scientists with insights into the movements of distant galaxies and the fate of planets, extrapolation to socio-economic and political ‘bodies’ is risky.

On the real planet Earth, the so-called ‘periphery’ of the ‘world system’ subsumes countries, economies, social structures, states and inter-state relations with entirely distinct composition, behavior and histories. Cuba, a ‘peripheral state’, differs in every respect from Haiti, Guatemala and scores of other likewise categorized nations. And among the ‘core’ countries, the US invades, occupies and plunders dozens of countries every decade, while China engages in ‘trade’. Iran, among the ’semi-peripherals’, has not invaded any neighbor for two centuries, while Israel, a fellow ’semi-peripheral’, has ravaged a dozen countries in the past 50 years.

False Prophets: Russia

Western prophets on the right and left predicted that the break-up of the USSR would augur a period of harmony, democracy and widespread prosperity. The true believers claimed ‘anything was better than Stalinism’ while ignoring the fact that Stalin was dead for a half-century.

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev oversaw the transformation of the USSR’s allied nations into pillaged satellites of the Western imperial powers. He blindly accepted US Presidents Bush and Ronald Reagan’s promises that the US would not expand NATO and would not transform the newly emerging post-Soviet nations into military bases. What emerged was a crippled and encircled Russia, which had been converted into a Beggar-State of oligarchs and swindlers who seized over a trillion dollars of public property, wealth, land and resources in less than ten years. Gangsters murdered their way into public office through US-manipulated sham elections, celebrated by the Western press. Living standards for millions of post-Soviet citizens collapsed, resulting in the greatest decline of life expectancy, health, culture, science and education in peacetime history.

Contrary to the predictions of Western prophets Russia rebuilt its state and economy. The new political leadership, headed by Vladimir Putin, replaced the dipsomaniac puppet President and mobsters favored by Washington. Living and health standards have vastly improved; production, agriculture, exports, national security, science and culture have recovered.

The angry false prophets, then promoted a new pseudo-scientific assertion that the re-emergence of the Russian state and its recovering economy led inexorably to autocratic rule by a former KGB official, who violated ‘Western values’ by…. jailing swindler billionaires and self-made oil mobsters and re-appropriating vital national assets.

Western editorialists ceaselessly denounce the popularly elected President Putin for his crime…of refuting the bankruptcy of their prophecies.

Despite reams of reports by the ‘experts’, despite their wide circulation in the mass media and their citations by top Western officials, the Russian state and economy, just like the Chinese, are not on the verge of collapse nor are they declining or facing popular revolts.

False Prophets: The Left

The shallow, self-serving Left prophets of progressive governments in Latin America, as well as admirers of Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China, fail to recognize the structural, historical and class constraints that determine and limit policies.

First and foremost, they fail to recognize the socio-economic continuities within these states. In all three regions, elites and oligarchs continue to control the commanding heights of the economies, despite occasional expropriations and sporadic reforms.

Secondly, even the most ‘progressive’ regimes rely on Western markets and investors limiting their long-term growth.

Thirdly, the long-term dependence on extractive exports, global demand and fragile mono-culture economies weakens the long-term stability of Russia and Latin America.

The absence of a socialist democratic alternative to the brutal capitalist restoration in China undermines the optimistic perspective of progressive prophets.

Conclusion

ORDER IT NOW

The debate among experts, regarding the rise or decline of the Imperial West or the progressive forces in China, Russia and Latin America, fails to consider their ‘hidden resources and liabilities’. These include the untapped scientific discoveries, the failure to develop alternative resources and innovations, as well as the ongoing repression of skilled workers. The Western prophets underestimate how the reliance on the paper economy has squandered immense social and productive value.

The ongoing cultural deformations, perversions and falsifications of information and analysis at the behest of established power centers, has clouded any real understanding of everyday life and greatly reduced our chances for a future without barbaric wars and social exploitation.

Culture is an everyday phenomenon determining how economies and states, rulers and ruled see the world, exercise power or are forced to submit.

We have witnessed the spread of cultural squalor into language and life, with only an occasional respite, when people overcome their everyday stupor and create a momentary burst of creative political, economic, social and cultural energy, which can lead to transformations.

Humdrum incremental changes, left and right, and the reality of continuities, limit and ultimately reverse social reforms and corrupt language to serve the ruling powers. We must move forward against the flatulence of everyday life by rejecting the false prophets and by writing, speaking and acting against crackpot sages. Our progress toward a new order must be firmly rooted in our everyday struggles writ large.

(Reprinted from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media 
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  1. There’s no left-right anymore; that’s in the past, back in the 20th century.

    It’s pro- and anti-globalism now. National sovereignty vs. boundless global capital. A completely different struggle, different angles, different alliances.

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  2. Kudos to Mr. Petras – one of the few remaining respectable current affairs commentators in the English language – for this very well-written essay. May you remain sane, balanced and truthful, and prosper, sir!

  3. I would have included a section on education. It’s a challenge that every kind of society faces (autocratic, communist, nationalist, SJW, traditional or whatever), and there’s something very a-political about the STEM subjects.

    Also the STEM subjects are the basis of the PISA international academic tests that are about the best predictor of a country’s future economic performance – so no surprise that the Asians have held all the top positions in the 21st Century and that the US is lagging at the bottom of the European average along with Portugal and Greece.

    A point that gets missed is that national academic success isn’t going to happen in a society with dysfunctional families (big input here), low status/low paid teachers, dominant teachers unions, feel-good grade inflation, lack of competitive testing plus continual SJW tinkering. Weird as it seems, teaching needs to be a leading career choice for top graduates with excellent pay and status and hiring and firing on merit.

    Schools reflect the societies in which they are embedded with the worst corrupt failed-states not even able/interested in training or paying teachers or even in providing electricity.

    • Replies: @Alden
    American teachers are very well paid. The salaries are based on the cost of living in the cities and metro areas where they work. NYC teachers make about $90,000 to start.
    Teachers in rural areas of the south east where the cost of living is much much lower than NYC make $30,000.

    The pensions and medical benefits are excellent . Unlike most American workers teachers have a great Union to protect their interests

    The only bad thing about being an Anerican teacher is the students of color and the teachers unions going along with the liberal courts encouraging the students of color to rampage about making many schools absolute hell holes.
    , @skrik
    Miro23:

    I would have included a section on education.
     
    Me: Correct, plus well spotted.

    Alden:

    American teachers are very well paid
     
    Me: Possibly, but /non sequitur/; it's what they *teach*.

    Mao Cheng Ji:

    It’s pro- and anti-globalism now
     
    Me: IMHO no; it's more us, we the people vs. the tyrants, partly <1%, wholly evil.

    Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the "military-industrial complex" in his farewell address.

    In fact, I read that an early draft had 'MIC complex' where C stood for (US) Congress. I have extended this to:

    The US rogue regime = US-M/I/C/4a†-plex, all components rife with corruption.

    a = academic = econ, psy, leg et al.; 4 = MSM+PFBCs, † = churches

    add a few significant stragglers like $ = banksters & ¿ = spies

    I heard an item on my local PFBC [= publicly financed broadcaster] this morning, here is a blog item [me = all care and no responsibility], but the topic is about an attempt to eliminate Wahhabism from the Moroccan education system. IIRC, the US sponsored a corruption of Islam on the way to its creation of Al-Qaeda as a tool to attack Russia in Afghanistan. Just saying, but:

    Going back to "a = academic = econ" above, it seems to me that academia in general has been corrupted, largely by - not globalism, but neoliberalism. A 'new' economics was constructed, partly perhaps by "the Chicago School," possibly with input from von Mises, Friedrich Hayek&Co, but what became known however briefly as 'voodoo economics.' Perhaps 1st deployed after the Chilean coup of 1973, it came into [tyrant] vogue with Thatcher and Reagan, and - my point - has largely conquered economics, both in schools and in 'business.'

    To stress my point, IMHO neoliberalism is an erring ideology, constructed by, taught by and deployed by corrupt (possibly better "corrupted") academics and [MBA?] 'technicians' = workers. Neoliberalism exists as a thought-system which functions to transfer riches in reverse 'trickle-down' towards the <1%.

    Similarly, lawyers have cooperated with 'legalising' torture and R2P, say, not to mention 'legalising' "Shock'n whore" on Iraq, Libya, Syria etc.. Then, psychologists cooperate with the construction and deployment of scientifically designed propaganda, sole purpose of which is to corrupt the thinking-processes of 'the masses' = 1984-style proles.

    [A = academic = econ, psy, leg et al. includes others in the et al.].

    James Petras

    Humdrum incremental changes, left and right, and the reality of continuities, limit and ultimately reverse social reforms and corrupt language to serve the ruling powers.
     
    Me: Correct, and I have tried to identify some of the perpetrators; there are others, most important of whom are those aggressing against 'people not theirs' - victims like most of the ME natives, say, and putting the corrupted mercenaries of IS&Co, a creation too close to Al-Qaeda to be coincidence, on the aggressor-side.

    Q: The rescue-job will be huge; where are the adults?
    , @Sam J.
    I've read that when you just take White students in the US and score them against the rest of the world the US comes out very well. The reason we have fallen is directly related to our immigration policies. Sorry I can't provide links. It's just something I remembered reading.
    , @Skeptikal
    Regarding PISA, I thought Finland was at the top.
  4. It seems that “refuting” was inadvertently used in place of one of its antonyms, such as “proving,” ” demonstrating,” or “confirming,” etc., in the following assertion by the author:
    “Western editorialists ceaselessly denounce the popularly elected President Putin for his crime…of refuting the bankruptcy of their prophecies.”

  5. One of my favorite bumper-stickers reads: “Don’t believe everything you think.”
    World War Two was a huge global reset, and there are few left in power, who remember it’s lessons.
    Bolshevik economist Nikolai Kondratiev graphed out a generational cycle of building, peaking, collapse and rebuilding. (Comrade Stalin didn’t like it and comrade Kondratiev was executed.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave
    Strauss and Howe have fleshed this out for modern audiences in “The Fourth Turning”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory
    Late in a four-generational-cycle, and preceding collapse, there is a lack of cooperation, a harsh insularity and hardening of political and economic stances. (I notice a lot of aggressive and thoughtless drivers, too.)
    This proceeds into a collapse of the established (and gamed-to-death) order.
    Humans are forced to rebuild an order with what they have available, and at the human level of families and small groups first. A new/reborn political-economic regime results.
    Historically, one of the most important individual actions is growing vegetables, enough to make a real dietary contribution.

  6. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Not sure this is false news but it sure is twisted.

    Get a load of this:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/31/millennials-are-the-gayest-generation.html

    We were told that homosexuality is purely biological. One is born homo. One doesn’t choose to be homo or not-homo.

    If that is the case, how come there are more ‘gay’ among millennials?
    How did it come to be that more millennials were BORN homo?

    Now, it is true that real homos are born homo. I mean why would a non-homo decide one day to have his ass buggered by another man?

    BUT, there is a cultural aspect to ‘gayness’. When society promotes something as holy, cool, and hip 24/7 in arts, culture, entertainment, news, and schools, even non-homos associate homo-ness with positive and good stuff. So, even if they are not really homo, they wanna be associated with homo-ness or some ambiguous gender-identity.

    And so, those identifying as ‘gay’ went from 2.5% of the population to whopping 7% among millennials. There is no way that 7% of millennials are really homo.
    But this generation has been so bombarded with homo-mania that even non-homos declare themselves to be gender-ambiguous. They think it’s hip, cool, even holy.

    Ridiculous.

    It’s like so many capitalists identifying as ‘socialist’ cuz the label is associated with being sophisticated, intelligent, and ‘European’.

  7. @Miro23
    I would have included a section on education. It's a challenge that every kind of society faces (autocratic, communist, nationalist, SJW, traditional or whatever), and there's something very a-political about the STEM subjects.

    Also the STEM subjects are the basis of the PISA international academic tests that are about the best predictor of a country's future economic performance - so no surprise that the Asians have held all the top positions in the 21st Century and that the US is lagging at the bottom of the European average along with Portugal and Greece.

    A point that gets missed is that national academic success isn't going to happen in a society with dysfunctional families (big input here), low status/low paid teachers, dominant teachers unions, feel-good grade inflation, lack of competitive testing plus continual SJW tinkering. Weird as it seems, teaching needs to be a leading career choice for top graduates with excellent pay and status and hiring and firing on merit.

    Schools reflect the societies in which they are embedded with the worst corrupt failed-states not even able/interested in training or paying teachers or even in providing electricity.

    American teachers are very well paid. The salaries are based on the cost of living in the cities and metro areas where they work. NYC teachers make about $90,000 to start.
    Teachers in rural areas of the south east where the cost of living is much much lower than NYC make $30,000.

    The pensions and medical benefits are excellent . Unlike most American workers teachers have a great Union to protect their interests

    The only bad thing about being an Anerican teacher is the students of color and the teachers unions going along with the liberal courts encouraging the students of color to rampage about making many schools absolute hell holes.

  8. @Miro23
    I would have included a section on education. It's a challenge that every kind of society faces (autocratic, communist, nationalist, SJW, traditional or whatever), and there's something very a-political about the STEM subjects.

    Also the STEM subjects are the basis of the PISA international academic tests that are about the best predictor of a country's future economic performance - so no surprise that the Asians have held all the top positions in the 21st Century and that the US is lagging at the bottom of the European average along with Portugal and Greece.

    A point that gets missed is that national academic success isn't going to happen in a society with dysfunctional families (big input here), low status/low paid teachers, dominant teachers unions, feel-good grade inflation, lack of competitive testing plus continual SJW tinkering. Weird as it seems, teaching needs to be a leading career choice for top graduates with excellent pay and status and hiring and firing on merit.

    Schools reflect the societies in which they are embedded with the worst corrupt failed-states not even able/interested in training or paying teachers or even in providing electricity.

    Miro23:

    I would have included a section on education.

    Me: Correct, plus well spotted.

    Alden:

    American teachers are very well paid

    Me: Possibly, but /non sequitur/; it’s what they *teach*.

    Mao Cheng Ji:

    It’s pro- and anti-globalism now

    Me: IMHO no; it’s more us, we the people vs. the tyrants, partly <1%, wholly evil.

    Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the "military-industrial complex" in his farewell address.

    In fact, I read that an early draft had 'MIC complex' where C stood for (US) Congress. I have extended this to:

    The US rogue regime = US-M/I/C/4a†-plex, all components rife with corruption.

    a = academic = econ, psy, leg et al.; 4 = MSM+PFBCs, † = churches

    add a few significant stragglers like $ = banksters & ¿ = spies

    I heard an item on my local PFBC [= publicly financed broadcaster] this morning, here is a blog item [me = all care and no responsibility], but the topic is about an attempt to eliminate Wahhabism from the Moroccan education system. IIRC, the US sponsored a corruption of Islam on the way to its creation of Al-Qaeda as a tool to attack Russia in Afghanistan. Just saying, but:

    Going back to “a = academic = econ” above, it seems to me that academia in general has been corrupted, largely by – not globalism, but neoliberalism. A ‘new’ economics was constructed, partly perhaps by “the Chicago School,” possibly with input from von Mises, Friedrich Hayek&Co, but what became known however briefly as ‘voodoo economics.’ Perhaps 1st deployed after the Chilean coup of 1973, it came into [tyrant] vogue with Thatcher and Reagan, and – my point – has largely conquered economics, both in schools and in ‘business.’

    To stress my point, IMHO neoliberalism is an erring ideology, constructed by, taught by and deployed by corrupt (possibly better “corrupted”) academics and [MBA?] ‘technicians’ = workers. Neoliberalism exists as a thought-system which functions to transfer riches in reverse ‘trickle-down’ towards the <1%.

    Similarly, lawyers have cooperated with 'legalising' torture and R2P, say, not to mention 'legalising' “Shock’n whore” on Iraq, Libya, Syria etc.. Then, psychologists cooperate with the construction and deployment of scientifically designed propaganda, sole purpose of which is to corrupt the thinking-processes of ‘the masses’ = 1984-style proles.

    [A = academic = econ, psy, leg et al. includes others in the et al.].

    James Petras

    Humdrum incremental changes, left and right, and the reality of continuities, limit and ultimately reverse social reforms and corrupt language to serve the ruling powers.

    Me: Correct, and I have tried to identify some of the perpetrators; there are others, most important of whom are those aggressing against ‘people not theirs’ – victims like most of the ME natives, say, and putting the corrupted mercenaries of IS&Co, a creation too close to Al-Qaeda to be coincidence, on the aggressor-side.

    Q: The rescue-job will be huge; where are the adults?

  9. Sweet.

    Obama and his predecessors pursued a primarily military-driven imperialism while Trump will shift the emphasis to economic imperialism.

    I hope the distinctions as well as the relations between the two concepts somehow take traction in the minds of modern ‘Merkins.

  10. We must move forward against the flatulence of everyday life by rejecting the false prophets and by writing, speaking and acting against crackpot sages. Our progress toward a new order must be firmly rooted in our everyday struggles writ large.

    Excellent conclusion. Writing, speaking and acting against crackpot sages, false prophets, and moronic “authorities” are way more fun than having bilge pumped through the tube.

  11. Remember when Mossad op Rita Katz released footage from “Fallout 3″ to show the goys that ‘al CIA Duh’ was going to nuke DC?

    S(h)ITE red-faced as ‘Islamist’ Washington ruin image turns out to be from Fallout 3 game

    published by Tom Sullivan on Fri, 2008-05-30 22:52 Source: Daily Telegraph

    note the page has been pulled, as has Google’s cache copy, presumably because Kopy Katz and her cohorts don’t like the bad publicity.

    The image from the game, which should appear below, doesn’t appear to be purged from The Telegraph’s site (yet). The SITE Intelligence Group said that the image, showing a ruined Capitol Building in Washington, was created by extremists as part of discussions about the feasibility of nuclear strikes against the US and Britain.
    The images appeared in a video, called Nuclear Jihad: The Ultimate Terror, posted on two password-protected websites, al-Ekhlass and al-Hesbah, believed to be affiliated with al-Qa’eda.

    http://truthfrequencyradio.com/rita-katz-who-found-the-sotloff-video-caught-on-camera-admitting-to-her-con-job/

    Now ZNN is caught using “Fallout 4?” Makes one wonder if these scripts are being produced in Mossad’s recording studios in Herzliya, Israel.

  12. January 4, 2015 How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.”—Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2015/01/04/513867a-review-of-paul-craig-roberts-how-america-was-lost-from-911-to-the-policewarfare-state/

    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country.
     
    What PCR still refuses to believe is that it was never their country to begin with. While I like the guy and agree with a lot of what he writes, for the life of me, I cannot understand why he's so obtuse about that basic fact.

    The anti-federalists saw it, wrote about it, and they were right.
    , @Authenticjazzman
    " Washington is the enemy of all humanity".
    Nope this is utter BS : Fact is the insane democrats and their rino comrades are enemies of humanity.
    Only when public awareness of the insanity within the ranks of democrat politicos, and their rino buddies become a general awareness, will there be avenues visible to handle this phenomena.
    The average American simply does not realize that there a genuine lunatics, actual madmen, running the country, eighty percent of them with the ranks of democrats.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years.
  13. Time for New Beginnings

    STOP Everything, and the final end of civilization will be postponed a tad. Postponed, that is, not avoided, that will not be possible. Decisions taken in our deep past and continued to this very day mandate our coming failure. Species collapse is now written into our DNA, we authored it and continue it. STOP doing just about everything you now take for granted as absolutely necessary and prepare to learn to simply survive. Survival is a useful condition to enjoy but is in jeopardy, so just plain STOP, NOW.https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/stoppit-dammit/

  14. I enjoyed this essay, and many of your contributions, but I am mystified by your attachment to the “left”.

    There was a time when the Soviet Union, clearly “left”, stood as a rival hegemon to American power, but no longer. The Chinese, so far, don’t seem to interested in American politics (I think they realize it doesn’t matter who wins as long as you bribe the right people), and the Russians, more so, but are hardly “left” and hardly have a social system that overlaps much with contemporary America.

    The US Left, such as it exists, is mostly devoted to identifying new “victims” and passing new regulations to protect them, when they are not policing speech and religion. Just expansions of red tape and managerial control over a narcotized flock of consumers. Totally useless from a radical, much less authentically socialist, perspective.

    The future, whether we like it or not, probably lies with ethnonationalist and fundamentalist resistance to the forces of global capitalism. Neither party is particularly “leftist”, and if any one is, it is the globalists.

  15. The Center repeatedly point to the ‘resilience of Western liberal democratic institutions’ even as police state edicts are dictated to counter dissenting voices, while false prophets predict that China’s robust economy is on the verge of collapse; that democratic Russia is an unstable autocracy; and that the Ukraine is an emerging democracy – while its ‘Right Sector’ and ‘Azov Battalions’ runs amok amidst a kleptocratic, neo-fascist regime.

    There are certain things in the laundry list that are true. Russia is an autocratic kleptocracy run by the mafia, so it is an unstable autocracy. I might add, it also has significant Nazi characteristics as well, which is why Putin so assiduously calls Ukraine a Nazi regime. China has a bubble economy and is creating debt faster than the growth in GDP. How long that will go on is anyone’s guess. Ukraine is not an “emerging Democracy,” it is a democracy and is far, far more democratic than Russia is. You can criticize the government in Ukraine. Try that in Russia and it will get you killed or, at the least, jailed.

    The Right frames its world-historic ideology by stressing the need to (1) revive the Cold War to counter the US global decline; (2) confront the world-wide wave of ‘populism’ threatening ‘liberal’ democracies; (3) portray Brexit as a sign of the European Union’s collapse; (4) equate Trump’s victory with the rise of fascism in the US; (5) emphasize the ascent of bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism, based on the result of a single election ; (6) denounce Leftists ‘conspiracy’ writers who ‘falsely’ blame rising class inequalities to free-market monopolies; and (7) explain that cuts in social expenditures, tax cuts to big capital, increased work hours and decreased pensions are ultimately rewarding the masses.

    I’m a conservative, and most of this paragraph is sewage. There is a large number of people that call themselves conservative but, in actuality, are nothing but electoral conservatives. They run as conservatives, then become the leftists they actually are after the election is over and they are safely in office.

    I will say, however, the EU is not stable over the long run. People are not going to put up with the trash coming out of Brussells forever. The UK has said enough, and other will as well. Were it just an trade union it would be one thing, but Brussells is trying to take over the lives of everyone within its reach and it isn’t going over well at all. The Brussells bureaucrats are morons with little attachment to reality.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    "Try that in Russia and it will get you killed or at least jailed".

    Look VP is not willing to allow leftist agitators to undermine his position and subvert his anti-communistic power base.

    Russians do not want again the graveyard peace of communist rule, as they KNOW what it is to be subdued and oppressed by commie tyrants.

    Russia had had it's fill of leftist, stalinist terror, and they are not going, apparently to your chagrin, they are not willing to let it start all over again in the bogus name of "Human rights" advocated by crazy activists such as the "Pussy rioters".

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.
  16. @Agent76
    January 4, 2015 How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.”—Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2015/01/04/513867a-review-of-paul-craig-roberts-how-america-was-lost-from-911-to-the-policewarfare-state/

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country.

    What PCR still refuses to believe is that it was never their country to begin with. While I like the guy and agree with a lot of what he writes, for the life of me, I cannot understand why he’s so obtuse about that basic fact.

    The anti-federalists saw it, wrote about it, and they were right.

    • Replies: @Agent76
    Use this as starting point first and foremost. May 6, 2016 How Much Liberty Do Americans Have Left?

    This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-much-liberty-do-americans-have-left/5524450
  17. We are witnessing a transition from the 3 geo-political ‘worlds’ to 2 socio-economic ‘realms’. This process entails a reduction of the quality of life in the 1st world (for commoners — c.f. Europe and North America) and raising the quality of life in 3rd world (c.f. China, India). This baseline prol realm will be subject to perpetual surveillance and control.

    Most of the geo-political posturing by world leaders is imo just jockeying for pecking order in the emering Permanent Establishment.

    p.s. The movie Elyisum, minus the techno-baroque aesthetics, is a fairly accurate depiction of what’s coming up. The ‘orbital station’ should be read metaphorically.

  18. @Agent76
    January 4, 2015 How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.”—Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2015/01/04/513867a-review-of-paul-craig-roberts-how-america-was-lost-from-911-to-the-policewarfare-state/

    ” Washington is the enemy of all humanity”.
    Nope this is utter BS : Fact is the insane democrats and their rino comrades are enemies of humanity.
    Only when public awareness of the insanity within the ranks of democrat politicos, and their rino buddies become a general awareness, will there be avenues visible to handle this phenomena.
    The average American simply does not realize that there a genuine lunatics, actual madmen, running the country, eighty percent of them with the ranks of democrats.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years.

    • Replies: @Agent76
    Maybe you have never viewed or heard this before until now. Enjoy!

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years

    "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"

    https://youtu.be/9RC1Mepk_Sw
  19. @Quartermaster

    The Center repeatedly point to the ‘resilience of Western liberal democratic institutions’ even as police state edicts are dictated to counter dissenting voices, while false prophets predict that China’s robust economy is on the verge of collapse; that democratic Russia is an unstable autocracy; and that the Ukraine is an emerging democracy – while its ‘Right Sector’ and ‘Azov Battalions’ runs amok amidst a kleptocratic, neo-fascist regime.
     
    There are certain things in the laundry list that are true. Russia is an autocratic kleptocracy run by the mafia, so it is an unstable autocracy. I might add, it also has significant Nazi characteristics as well, which is why Putin so assiduously calls Ukraine a Nazi regime. China has a bubble economy and is creating debt faster than the growth in GDP. How long that will go on is anyone's guess. Ukraine is not an "emerging Democracy," it is a democracy and is far, far more democratic than Russia is. You can criticize the government in Ukraine. Try that in Russia and it will get you killed or, at the least, jailed.

    The Right frames its world-historic ideology by stressing the need to (1) revive the Cold War to counter the US global decline; (2) confront the world-wide wave of ‘populism’ threatening ‘liberal’ democracies; (3) portray Brexit as a sign of the European Union’s collapse; (4) equate Trump’s victory with the rise of fascism in the US; (5) emphasize the ascent of bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism, based on the result of a single election ; (6) denounce Leftists ‘conspiracy’ writers who ‘falsely’ blame rising class inequalities to free-market monopolies; and (7) explain that cuts in social expenditures, tax cuts to big capital, increased work hours and decreased pensions are ultimately rewarding the masses.
     
    I'm a conservative, and most of this paragraph is sewage. There is a large number of people that call themselves conservative but, in actuality, are nothing but electoral conservatives. They run as conservatives, then become the leftists they actually are after the election is over and they are safely in office.

    I will say, however, the EU is not stable over the long run. People are not going to put up with the trash coming out of Brussells forever. The UK has said enough, and other will as well. Were it just an trade union it would be one thing, but Brussells is trying to take over the lives of everyone within its reach and it isn't going over well at all. The Brussells bureaucrats are morons with little attachment to reality.

    “Try that in Russia and it will get you killed or at least jailed”.

    Look VP is not willing to allow leftist agitators to undermine his position and subvert his anti-communistic power base.

    Russians do not want again the graveyard peace of communist rule, as they KNOW what it is to be subdued and oppressed by commie tyrants.

    Russia had had it’s fill of leftist, stalinist terror, and they are not going, apparently to your chagrin, they are not willing to let it start all over again in the bogus name of “Human rights” advocated by crazy activists such as the “Pussy rioters”.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

  20. Petras, all of your policy comments regarding Trump are nothing more than guesses and blowing smoke. You have no idea what his appointments and staff have agreed to or how he will govern once in office. No one knows because it is a clean slate and he has yet to write it. Trump has yet to take office and Congress has not yet approved a single one of his appointments. We have 16 more days before the game even begins. You could be one of those crackpot sages in your commentary. Maybe you should take a vacation until then, or even for the first quarter of 2017 because no one will be able to say anything about Trump and how he governs with much accuracy until then.

    …(Trump) is a free-market politician with a propensity to appoint militarists to security positions. …appointing billionaire bankers and global business executives to run the economy and set policy.

    Did you expect Trump to appoint people with no experience or knowledge in those positions? We didn’t. We simply expect them to hold to Trump’s doctrine of putting us and America first. Of deporting illegals or depriving them of the undeserved entitlements they have been given (including anchor baby citizenship) as an incentive to leave. Eisenhower did it. Trump knows that. And it can be done again.

    Give it a rest.

    • Replies: @Sam J.
    I agree that we don't know what Trump will do. I've gone from believing he will save us to he will damn us all and betray us worse than anyone could. Many times.

    He is a contradictory person. He hung out with a lot of really vicious Jews in New York but he also doesn't drink or do drugs even though he was present in areas where a lot of this was going on. He seems to be a bit of a philander but at the same time seems to have a strong family and strong family support. He's cut throat and vicious in the things he says about people but a lot of people that have dealt with him say he very calm and fair. He's very confusing and I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
  21. A nice overview. There are some intriguing statements, however.

    For example, you assign some characteristics to the Right (anti-bigotry, anti-racism, anti-fascism zealotry) which are perhaps more intense on the Left.

    Aside from that, I am suspicious of your description of China as the opposite of America in the matter of invading other countries. There’s been Tibet (I don’t know about any others, but I don’t know much about China). So, it’s not only “trade” for them.

  22. @jacques sheete

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country.
     
    What PCR still refuses to believe is that it was never their country to begin with. While I like the guy and agree with a lot of what he writes, for the life of me, I cannot understand why he's so obtuse about that basic fact.

    The anti-federalists saw it, wrote about it, and they were right.

    Use this as starting point first and foremost. May 6, 2016 How Much Liberty Do Americans Have Left?

    This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-much-liberty-do-americans-have-left/5524450

  23. @Authenticjazzman
    " Washington is the enemy of all humanity".
    Nope this is utter BS : Fact is the insane democrats and their rino comrades are enemies of humanity.
    Only when public awareness of the insanity within the ranks of democrat politicos, and their rino buddies become a general awareness, will there be avenues visible to handle this phenomena.
    The average American simply does not realize that there a genuine lunatics, actual madmen, running the country, eighty percent of them with the ranks of democrats.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years.

    Maybe you have never viewed or heard this before until now. Enjoy!

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

  24. @Miro23
    I would have included a section on education. It's a challenge that every kind of society faces (autocratic, communist, nationalist, SJW, traditional or whatever), and there's something very a-political about the STEM subjects.

    Also the STEM subjects are the basis of the PISA international academic tests that are about the best predictor of a country's future economic performance - so no surprise that the Asians have held all the top positions in the 21st Century and that the US is lagging at the bottom of the European average along with Portugal and Greece.

    A point that gets missed is that national academic success isn't going to happen in a society with dysfunctional families (big input here), low status/low paid teachers, dominant teachers unions, feel-good grade inflation, lack of competitive testing plus continual SJW tinkering. Weird as it seems, teaching needs to be a leading career choice for top graduates with excellent pay and status and hiring and firing on merit.

    Schools reflect the societies in which they are embedded with the worst corrupt failed-states not even able/interested in training or paying teachers or even in providing electricity.

    I’ve read that when you just take White students in the US and score them against the rest of the world the US comes out very well. The reason we have fallen is directly related to our immigration policies. Sorry I can’t provide links. It’s just something I remembered reading.

    • Replies: @Miro23
    Apparently these OECD PISA tests were taken by 15 year olds in 2015 and the results published in 2016.

    From what I can find Massachusetts and Connecticut came out top in the US at the same level as Canada and the top in Europe (Finland, Switzerland) and the Asians. Florida came out bottom with a third world type result.

    Overall the US was 40th in math (level of Croatia and Kazakhstan), 24th in science (towards the bottom of Europe) and 24th in reading (also towards the bottom in Europe).
  25. @woodNfish
    Petras, all of your policy comments regarding Trump are nothing more than guesses and blowing smoke. You have no idea what his appointments and staff have agreed to or how he will govern once in office. No one knows because it is a clean slate and he has yet to write it. Trump has yet to take office and Congress has not yet approved a single one of his appointments. We have 16 more days before the game even begins. You could be one of those crackpot sages in your commentary. Maybe you should take a vacation until then, or even for the first quarter of 2017 because no one will be able to say anything about Trump and how he governs with much accuracy until then.

    ...(Trump) is a free-market politician with a propensity to appoint militarists to security positions. ...appointing billionaire bankers and global business executives to run the economy and set policy.
     
    Did you expect Trump to appoint people with no experience or knowledge in those positions? We didn't. We simply expect them to hold to Trump's doctrine of putting us and America first. Of deporting illegals or depriving them of the undeserved entitlements they have been given (including anchor baby citizenship) as an incentive to leave. Eisenhower did it. Trump knows that. And it can be done again.

    Give it a rest.

    I agree that we don’t know what Trump will do. I’ve gone from believing he will save us to he will damn us all and betray us worse than anyone could. Many times.

    He is a contradictory person. He hung out with a lot of really vicious Jews in New York but he also doesn’t drink or do drugs even though he was present in areas where a lot of this was going on. He seems to be a bit of a philander but at the same time seems to have a strong family and strong family support. He’s cut throat and vicious in the things he says about people but a lot of people that have dealt with him say he very calm and fair. He’s very confusing and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  26. The Chinese system of economics appears to me to be really very much like the Nazis.

  27. @Sam J.
    I've read that when you just take White students in the US and score them against the rest of the world the US comes out very well. The reason we have fallen is directly related to our immigration policies. Sorry I can't provide links. It's just something I remembered reading.

    Apparently these OECD PISA tests were taken by 15 year olds in 2015 and the results published in 2016.

    From what I can find Massachusetts and Connecticut came out top in the US at the same level as Canada and the top in Europe (Finland, Switzerland) and the Asians. Florida came out bottom with a third world type result.

    Overall the US was 40th in math (level of Croatia and Kazakhstan), 24th in science (towards the bottom of Europe) and 24th in reading (also towards the bottom in Europe).

  28. @Miro23
    I would have included a section on education. It's a challenge that every kind of society faces (autocratic, communist, nationalist, SJW, traditional or whatever), and there's something very a-political about the STEM subjects.

    Also the STEM subjects are the basis of the PISA international academic tests that are about the best predictor of a country's future economic performance - so no surprise that the Asians have held all the top positions in the 21st Century and that the US is lagging at the bottom of the European average along with Portugal and Greece.

    A point that gets missed is that national academic success isn't going to happen in a society with dysfunctional families (big input here), low status/low paid teachers, dominant teachers unions, feel-good grade inflation, lack of competitive testing plus continual SJW tinkering. Weird as it seems, teaching needs to be a leading career choice for top graduates with excellent pay and status and hiring and firing on merit.

    Schools reflect the societies in which they are embedded with the worst corrupt failed-states not even able/interested in training or paying teachers or even in providing electricity.

    Regarding PISA, I thought Finland was at the top.

  29. Steve Sailer published the 2016 PISA listing http://www.unz.com/isteve/new-pisa-test-results/
    and its true that Finland was top of the European group (apart from Estonia, but that’s a very small place) and near the top overall.

    It was only beaten by Singapore, Japan and Taiwan in science, but by most of the Asians in math. They study and test really hard out there.

  30. An advice from a reader to any writer: never ever use the outdated Left-Right political axis. Today these definitions have become absolutely meaningless and they are confusing at the very least. I have had a hard time to grasp the idea of who the author’s Left, Center and Right are and who the personifications of those three sides are. Frankly, I still have no idea, only some vague guesses.

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The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The unprecedented racial transformation of California and its political consequences.