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05 December 2008

9/11, 7/7, conspiracy theories, power surges & coups

Three weeks ago:
Three posts of a kind, all about the popularly propagated myth that cannabis consumption is responsible for increased levels of psychosis, all published right here on Reason.... just weeks before the 2005 coup d'etat "power surge" changed everything.....
The phrase coup d'etat, complete with its deliberate conflation with the term "power surge", carried a link to an article by Joseph Raso on his Resources for Political Change web site, Understanding the September 11, 2001 Attacks as a Coup D'Etat. Since then, Raso's article, which has been online since 2006, appears to have been removed along with the rest of his web site. At the time of writing the site is is still offline.

The disappeared article outlines a useful and important framework from within which the events of 11th September 2001 can be seen not just as the made for TV terrorist spectacular that they were, but instead as a made for TV terrorist spectacular with deliberate political aims, intents and purposes, albeit ones completely contrary to those offered in the official narrative. Raso makes the case that history is beset with such politically charged spectaculars for which alternative narratives have been, and still are, dismissed by some as "malicious lies" and "outrageous conspiracy theories". Many of these "conspiracy theories" have since been proven to be, albeit some time after the events to which they refer, "conspiracy fact" but this has never prevented purveyors of official doctrine from the endlessly fast and loose use of the throwaway terms "conspiracy theory" or "conspiracy theorist" as they attempt to call a halt to critical thinking and critical thinkers. The irony of the anti-intellectualism practiced by those who would hold themselves to be intellectuals is lost on no-one, yet the anti-thinking endeavour to defend their staunchly held positions of weakness with a renewed sense of desperation and transparency.

Others are somewhat wiser and more honest with their analysis. The research of Professor David MacGregor includes studies in the Hegelian-Marxist political economy of concrete evil, inaugurated in an article The Deep Politics of 911: Political Economy of Concrete Evil. MacGregor has also written an article for J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign, July 7th as Machiavellian State Terror? in which he posits the notion that the events of July 7th may fall into the category of what he terms "Machiavellian state terror, spectacular violence perpetrated against the state by elements of the state itself". The theory was born in another of MacGregor's articles on the subject of 9/11, September 11 as Machiavellian State Terror, in which he highlights the importance of 'oppositional theorizing: questioning government and looking for connections between events', activities which he suggests 'are critical features of what it means to be vitally active in the political universe'.

At around 9:17 on 7th July 2005 rolling TV news began to break stories of explosions on the London Underground. It wasn't long before the media were reporting that the explosions on underground trains were the result of "power surges".
In most cases the coup is undertaken to displace one set of rulers, typically the civilian leadership, and establish the power of an alternative group, which is often, but not necessarily, the military. What distinguishes a coup from revolutions is that they are typically carried by relatively small groups and do not involve mass political action. The second key difference is that while those who carry out the coup are seeking to change the government or ruling group, they are not usually trying to change the regime or bring about broader social change. [answers.com]
Removing the initially reported cause of the underground explosions on 7/7 from its implied electrical context, the term "power surge" well describes a method by which an attempt could be made to "establish the power of an alternative group". An examination of key socio-political events since 7/7 in the U.K, and since 9/11 in the U.S., easily reveals many crucial changes in political and social life where new and more intrusive, paternalistic, fascistic methods of operation have been adopted. Worse, these policies and practices have been seamlessly integrated into the operation of State machinery with barely a challenge from within the machine. On the odd occasion where challenges have been made from inside the establishment, the State has elected to ride roughshod over them and continue unchecked in the business of establishing all the politics and technologies of political control that anyone with dictatorial designs might need, complete with a Weimar Republic economy and modern day Reichstag Fire.

To date, where opposition to the actions of the State have materialised from outside the establishment, it has largely confined itself to relatively small, single-issue groupings, too limited in time, resources and publicity to embark on wider political and social campaigns. There are some exceptions, for example the Stop The War Coalition, who have time, reach, resources and the potential to affect change through their broad-based membership instead of merely organising the occasional feel-good march. Yet this hasn't happened and there may be other reasons for this lack of progress such as a lack of decent leadership, an absence of the desire to affect real political change, or other less obvious and slightly more nefarious attributes that prevent them from advancing a more all encompassing political agenda.

This paradigm is changing though, particularly with regard to the nebulous but ever growing 9/11 Truth movement whose reach seems to include most of the world. As general levels of political awareness and distrust of the establishment grow in tandem with each other, new "anti-terror" legislation in both the U.S. and the U.K. is specifically designed to ensure the loudly stated objectives of new laws mask the way in which just about any activity at all, particularly any activity that is in any way political or has political objectives, can now be prosecuted as the common offense of "terrorism", in advance of there being any actual terrorism and irrespective of the "terrorists" possessing the means, methods and motives to carry out acts of terror, much less the sustained campaigns of terror only achievable by States. Charity workers are now "terrorist fundraisers", solidarity workers are now "terrorist sympathisers" and so too is anyone campaigning for any sort of meaningful justice for those deemed by word alone to be "terrorists".

In the days of The Troubles it was just the same. By some sheer coincidence of unimaginable proportions, many of the very same old boys who happened to play key roles in running the show in Northern Ireland on behalf of the British government just happen to be in the positions of power to run a similar show on mainland Britain.

With that as an introduction, and because it's a concise article that deserves to be read and espouses something worth thinking about, here's a copy Joseph Raso's Understanding the September 11, 2001 Attacks as a Coup D'Etat.
April 2006
Understanding the September 11, 2001 Attacks as a Coup D'Etat
by Joseph Raso

"The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defence against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers from abroad."

-- James Madison

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the world witnessed a coup d'etat unfold in the United States of America. Although the U.S. government and compliant media have presented 9/11 as a surprise assault perpetrated by Islamic militants acting in a conspiracy under the direction of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist attacks in New York and at the Pentagon should be viewed very differently given the results of the investigations conducted by many researchers which indicate U.S. government complicity. Analyzing 9/11 as a coup is appropriate whether government officials possessed foreknowledge and allowed these atrocities to occur, or if, as the available evidence suggests, 9/11 was a covert operation akin to Operation Northwoods, a false-flag attack orchestrated by elements within and associated with the U.S. state.(1) In terms of loss of life, deception, and global implications, it would be accurate to characterize it as the most audacious coup in history.

Coups: North and South

A coup is best defined as a sudden extraconstitutional seizure of power, often violent in nature, by individuals within the state apparatus. It is commonly identified with the classic military intervention, but coups may assume other forms. They are associated with politics in the 'Third World'/global South, where these events have typically occurred without pretense. One of the most infamous cases in the South was the coup in Chile, supported by the Nixon administration and facilitated by a CIA campaign, on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 1973.(2) It resulted in seventeen years of military rule, the murder of more than 3,000 Chileans and some foreigners by the Pinochet regime, and countless victims of torture in a country previously respected for its history of constitutional democracy.(3)

In the West/global North, dramatic extraconstitutional seizures of power also occur, albeit less frequently. Certainly the most significant coup in the North during the Cold War era was perpetrated by the U.S. 'national security state' on November 22, 1963. It was in the wake of the Dallas coup that 'conspiracy theory' became a term of ridicule, which, although profoundly ahistorical and intellectually bankrupt, managed to achieve the objective of diverting attention from the truth about state responsibility for the murder of President Kennedy.(4) His death, as intended, led to a policy shift favourable to the interests of the 'military-industrial complex' of which President Eisenhower had famously warned the country in his farewell address less than three years earlier. In fact, all coups in the North are policy coups, designed to force a change in foreign and/or domestic policies, which has not always been the case with coups in the South. Evidence in the kidnapping and murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978 follows this pattern and strongly suggests the involvement of a clandestine NATO network linked to terrorism.(5)

9/11: Global Coup

9/11 was both a domestic and international coup. When a coup occurs in the world's hegemonic power, it will necessarily have vast implications on a global level. The events of 9/11 can be viewed as a violent takeover by neoconservative fascist elements in the 'national security' apparatus of the state, whose extremist agenda would not have been viable without 9/11. The neocon camp includes individuals who have figured prominently in the Bush regime: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Elliott Abrams, and others. Their worldview is identified with Leo Strauss, the founder of the neoconservative school and a former professor at the University of Chicago who influenced a generation of political leaders. At the core of the neocon ideology is contempt for democracy and an emphasis on the desirability of deception, conflict, and perpetual war. From this perspective, 9/11 was ideal to initiate the 'clash of civilizations' popularized by Samuel Huntington, a Harvard academic whose work has considerable influence in foreign policymaking circles.(6)

The neocon program for global domination was delineated in publications of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neocon think tank founded in 1997 and comprised of the key administration officials noted earlier as well as other government advisors. In respect to 9/11, the document entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century" (September 2000) deserves scrutiny. In this blueprint for U.S. imperialism in the twenty-first century, PNAC members noted that their plan would demand global military force and thus a substantial increase in military spending, but "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event-like a new Pearl Harbor."(7) A year later, 9/11 conveniently provided this requisite 'new Pearl Harbor' pretext for the neocon architects' imperial project.

However, not all of the beneficiaries of the 9/11 coup are located within the borders of the United States. A thoughtful analysis has recently been offered by General Leonid Ivashov, Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces at the time of 9/11: "We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of the big capital at global and transnational levels, in the circles that were not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction." In this sense, 9/11 served the economic interests of a transnational elite. He contends: "This means that terrorism is not something independent of world politics but simply an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite."(8)

Machiavelli and Democratic Appearances

Undoubtedly, 9/11 was also a coup in a domestic context. The post-9/11 Patriot Act (like similar 'anti-terror' legislation in other countries) has severely undermined civil liberties while the authoritarian approach of the Bush administration, in combination with the astonishing weakness/complicity of Democrats, have allowed for the concentration of virtually unrestricted power in the executive branch, the gradual disappearance of 'checks and balances' and the dismantling of the constitution.

The writings of Florentine political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli provide a useful guide for comprehending the neocon ruling strategy. Machiavelli explained the importance of deceiving the public in undertaking major political change. In Discourses on Livy, he argued that one "must at least retain the semblance of the old forms; so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, even though in fact they are entirely different from the old ones."(9) In their Machiavellian rule, the neocons have hollowed out democratic institutions of substance while retaining the structures, thus preserving the appearance of a functioning liberal democracy.


The consequences of this grand coup extend far beyond the loss of nearly 3,000 lives that day, health problems in New York for many thousands more, and much greater loss of life in subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.(10) In fact, it is difficult to exaggerate the impact of 9/11 on the world over the past several years: the persecution and dangerous dehumanization of Muslims, widespread use of torture, advanced erosion of civil liberties, brazen violation of international law, establishment of the doctrine of unilateral preventive war, the potential for nuclear conflict, and the construction of a new world order which poses the threat of global fascism.(11) All of these appalling developments are the product of 9/11. One must also consider the deterioration in the political climate and intellectual discourse.

Meanwhile, the fraudulent 'global war on terror' has deprived vital global issues of critical focus and funding. Environmental degradation, the AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty, and the massive debt burden of the South are overshadowed in the post-9/11 world. U.S. domestic concerns in health care, education, social decay, and a host of other issues are also neglected in favour of astronomical military spending. The atrocious war in Iraq, predicated on lies that were transparent prior to the invasion, only increases the country's deep indebtedness and further jeopardizes the long-term prospects of the U.S. economy.


9/11 was a coup against humanity. Exposing it is essential to prevent another 9/11-type event and more wars for oil and empire, which have the potential to culminate in a world war. There exists no alternative to dismantling this coup in order to steer the world away from its disastrous course. The future of everyone on this planet depends on it and we cannot afford to fail in this historic task. Consider the title of a book on public denial over the unpleasant truth of the Kennedy assassination, written by psychiatrist E. Martin Schotz: History Will Not Absolve Us.

NOTES (updated)

(1) a) David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (eds). 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Volume I). Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2006.

b) Peter Dale Scott. The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

c) David Ray Griffin. Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory. Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2007.

d) David Ray Griffin. The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2005.

e) Paul Zarembka (ed). The Hidden History of 9-11-2001 (Research in Political Economy, Volume 23). Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006.

f) Barrie Zwicker. Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2006.

g) Michel Chossudovsky. America's "War on Terrorism." Pincourt, PQ: Global Research, 2005.

h) Webster G. Tarpley. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA. Joshua Tree, CA: Progressive Press, 2005.

i) Michael C. Ruppert. Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2004.

j) Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism. Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2005.

k) Steven E. Jones. "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?" Journal of 9/11 Studies (September 2006/Volume 3). [PDF]

l) Joseph P. Firmage. "Intersecting Facts and Theories on 9/11." Journal of 9/11 Studies (August 2006/Volume 2). [PDF]

m) Global Outlook: The Magazine of 9/11 Truth

n) Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice

(2) National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 8, "Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973"

(3) Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation

(4) a) Joan Mellen. A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books Inc., 2005.

b) Vincent J. Salandria. False Mystery: Essays on the Assassination of JFK. Louisville, CO: Square Deal Press, 2004.

c) E. Martin Schotz. History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy. Brookline, MA: Kurtz, Ulmer & Delucia, 1996.

d) Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

e) Alan J. Weberman and Michael Canfield. Coup D'Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. San Francisco: Quick Trading Company, 1992.

(5) a) Philip P. Willan. Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy. New York: Authors Choice Press, 2002.

b) Daniele Ganser. NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. London: Frank Cass, 2005.

c) Arthur E. Rowse. "Gladio: The Secret U.S. War to Subvert Italian Democracy." Covert Action Quarterly (No. 49: Summer 1994).

(6) Samuel P. Huntington. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

(7) Project for the New American Century, "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century" (September 2000)

(8) Leonid Ivashov, "International terrorism does not exist"

(9) Niccolo Machiavelli. Discourses on Livy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

(10) Sabrina Tavernise and Donald G. McNeil Jr. "Iraqi dead may total 600,000, study says." International Herald Tribune (11 October 2006).

(11) Richard Falk, "Will the Empire be Fascist?"

N.B. This article does not preclude other perspectives on 9/11 e.g. viewing it as a psychological operation (psyop) against the general population.

04 December 2008

European Court of Human Rights DNA retention ruling

At last! We've found something that the British government has a track record of managing successfully over an extended period of time, breaching human rights.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the British government has breached human rights, over a million times, through the retention of DNA belonging to innocent people.

The unanimous verdict was delivered by a panel of 17 judges from around Europe after a couple of Sheffielders took their case to the European Court. The judgment means that any person hassled by the increasingly voracious police force, whose DNA was taken irrespective of being charged or convicted of a crime, has had their human rights breached, unlike the 2.3 million people "with a conviction, caution, reprimand or final warning", who are not on the database.

The ruling places the British government in violation of international law. Again. From a BBC News report:
The judges said keeping the information "could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was "disappointed" by the European Court of Human Rights' decision.
So, a "unanimous judgement by 17 senior judges from across Europe" ruled that the British State's policy of retaining DNA in a giant database "could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society" and Jacqui Smith is "disappointed".

Another perfect example of the true gangster nature of the State.

03 December 2008

"Terrorist" Damian Green & Antagonista Radio Pick of the Week

Nobody listened much to the protestations of those who raised their objections to the manifold proposals of loosely worded "anti-terrorist" legislation of the last seven years. Nobody cared enough to do anything when that loosely worded "anti-terrorist" legislation was passed into their law books. Nobody cared enough to do anything when loosely worded "anti-terrorist" legislation was used to justify Muslims being lifted off the streets for the crime of being Muslim or possession of a CD, the contents of which they had never looked at. Nobody cared enough to do anything when the true scope of the loosely worded "anti-terrorist" legislation was realised again as the assets of an Icelandic bank were frozen under the same anti-terrorist legislation. Or so it seemed.

But when a member of the establishment, Tory front-bencher Damian Green -- in an operation overseen by the most senior "anti-terrorist" officer Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick -- then becomes a target of the State bootboys and their "anti-terrorist" laws, liberal middle-England sits up and takes notice.

BBC Radio 4's Any Answers, presented by Jonathan Dimbleby, received a bit of coverage here before when a member of the unruly and unwashed masses placed Dimbleby on the back foot with regard to the truth about The Troubles. Last Saturday the incensed outrage of telephone-calling Middle England gave Dimbleby another run for his money. Listen again while you can:
Tony Benn, the Labour former cabinet minister, said this on BBC Radio today: "I may sound strangely medieval, but once the police can interfere with parliament, I tell you, you are into a police state. Parliament is a safeguard against the abuse of power and once you start clamping down on it you are saying goodbye to the freedom that parliament gives you."
Gotta love Lord Tony Benn, his words sound emptier and hollower than ever before. Unless of course when he says "you" he means "us" and is referring solely to serving members of parliament. The rest of the general populace is afforded no such comfort by the "safeguard against the abuse of power" that is fondly held by some as the Palace of Westminster, quite the opposite in fact.

For the "lower orders", it is more than a little amusing that the Metropolitan jackboots have ruffled a few feathers in the selectively-bred ruling class nest. Turf wars between ruling class factions and groupuscules.

When all is said and done it is the State that removes our freedoms by word and it is the police that removes our freedoms by deed. The bootboys busting the boot polishers confirms with renewed vigour and finality that the State entity, of which the police are an intrinsic part -- in the midst of the global, manufactured economic crisis that is the last capitalism in its current incarnation will ever see -- offers the greater majority of people nothing other than further subjugation and ever greater wage slavery in the subservient interests of the only thing that matters to the rich; the system; the economy.

This is a round up, who will speak for you?

Further reading:
And, courtesy of J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign:

30 November 2008

An unexpurgated message from Dr. Goldstein

A brief message from the much maligned Emmanuel Goldstein courtesy of (as with On Terrorism and the State) those wonderful folk over at NotBored. Lessons in life, history and political analysis for everyone.

Publisher's note: Chapters 1 and 3 of this book were previously published in George Orwell's 1984 (London: 1949). This edition is complete and unexpurgated.


Chapter 1: Ignorance is Strength

Chapter 2: Freedom is Slavery

Chapter 3: War is Peace

Chapter 4: God is Power

Chapter 5: The Proles

Chapter 1: Ignorance is Strength

Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude toward one another, have varied from to age to age; but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.

The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim -- for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives -- is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves, or their capacity to govern efficiently or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters.

By the late nineteenth century the recurrences of this pattern had become obvious to many observers. There then arose schools of thinkers who interpreted history as a cyclical process and claimed to show that inequality was the unalterable law of human life. This doctrine, of course, had always had its adherents, but in the manner in which it was now put forward there was a significant change. In the past the need for a hierarchical form of society had been the doctrine specifically of the High. It had been preached by kings and aristocrats and by the priests, lawyers, and the like who were parasitical upon them, and it had generally been softened by promises of compensation in an imaginary world beyond the grave. The Middle, so long as it was struggling for power, had always made use of such terms as freedom, justice and fraternity. Now, however, the concept of human brotherhood began to be assailed by people who were not yet in positions of command, but merely hoped to be so before long. In the past the Middle had made revolutions under the banner of equality, and then had established a fresh tyranny as soon as the old ones were overthrown. The new Middle groups in effect proclaimed their tyranny beforehand. The new movements, of course, grew out of the old ones and tended to keep their names and pay lip-service to their ideology. But the purpose of all of them was to arrest progress and freeze history at a chosen moment. The familiar pendulum swing was to happen once more, and then stop. As usual, the High were to be turned out by the Middle, who would then become the High; but this time, by conscious strategy, the High would be able to maintain their position permanently.

The new "spectacular" doctrines arose partly because of the accumulation of historical knowledge, and the growth of the historical sense, which had hardly existed before the nineteenth century. The cyclical movement of history was now intelligible, or appeared to be so; and if it was intelligible, then it was alterable. But the principal, underlying cause was that, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, human equality had become technically possible. It was still true that people were not equal in their native talents and that functions had to be specialized in ways that favored some individuals against others; but there was no longer any real need for class distinctions or for large differences of wealth. In earlier ages, class distinctions had been not only inevitable but desirable. Inequality was the price of civilization. With the development of machine production, however, the case was altered. Even if it were still necessary for human beings to do different kinds of work, it was no longer necessary for them to live at different social or economic levels. Therefore, from the point of view of the new groups that were on the point of seizing power, human equality was no longer an ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be averted. And so the idea of earthly paradise -- which had haunted the human imagination for thousands of years -- came into discredit at exactly the moment when it became realizable. Every new political theory, by whatever name it called itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation.

As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, the new aristocracy was less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act, and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television and the personal computer, and the technical advances which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four-hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of information closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

Nothing the citizen does is indifferent or neutral. His or her friendships, hobbies, behavior towards his or her spouse or lover, facial expressions, gestures, characteristic movements, tones of voice, words muttered while asleep -- all are jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual misdemeanor, but any eccentricity, however small, any change of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of an inner struggle, is certain to be detected. Endless purges, arrests, tortures, imprisonments, and disappearances are inflicted both as punishments for crimes which have been actually committed and as the systematic wiping-out of any persons who might perhaps commit a crime at some time in the future.

And so today the determining factor in perpetuating a totally obsolete hierarchical society is the mental attitude of the ruling class itself. The problem, that is to say, is educational. It is a problem of continuously molding the consciousness both of the directing group and of the larger executive group that lies immediately below it. Skepticism and hesitancy among the ranks of the rulers must be prevented. (As will be seen in Chapter 3, the best method of molding consciousness is continuous warfare.)

The consciousness of the masses (the "proles"), by contrast, needs only be influenced in a negative way. The masses could only become dangerous if the advance of industrial technique made it necessary to educate them more highly: but, since military and commercial rivalries are no longer of primary importance, the level of popular education is actually declining. What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, is looked upon as a matter of indifference. They can be granted intellectual liberty because it is thought that they have no intellect. In a member of the ruling elite, on the other hand, not even the smallest deviation of opinion on the most unimportant subject can be tolerated.

All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the rulers and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived. A member of the elite is required to have not only the right opinions, but the right instincts. Many of the beliefs and attitudes demanded of him or her are never plainly stated, and could not be stated without laying bare the contradiction at the heart of modern-day hierarchical society. To maintain this regime, a continuous alteration of the past is necessary. Both the elites and the masses will tolerate present-day conditions because they have no standards of comparison. Everyone must be cut off from the past, as well as from other countries, because it is necessary for one and all to believe that everyone is better off than his or her ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is rising. But by far the most important reason for the constant readjustment of the past is to safeguard the validity of the system itself. It is not merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind can and must be constantly brought up to date in order to show that the fundamental principles of society are sound. No change in these basic principles -- work, commodity production, private property, the State -- can ever be admitted. For to change one's mind is a confession of weakness, and weakness cannot be tolerated in a "perfect" system.

If human equality is to be forever averted -- if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently -- then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity. And so, in our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is actually happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion: the more intelligent, the less sane. This is the inner meaning of the slogan IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

Chapter 2 : Freedom is Slavery

Given this background, one could infer, if one did not know it already, the general structure of modern capitalist society. At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother -- in whose person the functions of military commander-in-chief, political leader and religious figure are combined and integrated -- is infallible and all-powerful. Compared to him, the average person (the human individual) is absolutely powerless, even nonexistent. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from Big Brother's leadership and inspiration. Despite the fact that Big Brother is always watching everyone, nobody has ever seen him. Strictly speaking, Big Brother does not exist and thus can be "replaced" at any time. The personality and image of Big Brother is a merely a composite of several unusually ambitious and charismatic people. He is a silent pair of eyes, an inscrutable face on billboards, televisions, and computer screens. We may reasonably be sure he will never die, and there is already considerable uncertainty among his many biographers as to when he was born. Big Brother is the spectacular guise in which the ruling class chooses to exhibit itself to the world. His function is to act as a literal focusing point for love, fear, and reverence -- emotions which are more easily felt toward an individual than toward an organization.

It is important to note that Big Brother is not Big Father: The parallel with the Christian myth of Jesus Christ (the Son of God) is striking and intentional. Big Brother is not God the Patriarchal Creator; he was created by God the Father, as were we all. Fraternal and earthy, Big Brother fought the revolution against the oppressive Father with us. If Big Brother rules with an iron fist and a boot upon the back of the neck, this is because he knows what is good for us, for all of us, because he is one of us. The immense global oligarchy at whose apex he stands is a collectivist one. Big Brother was democratically and unanimously elected, and is democratically and unanimously re-elected every time he runs for office. As long as there is a hierarchical society to be ruled, Big Brother will always be in office.

And yet capitalism -- let us not forget that Big Brother presides over an integrated, global capitalist system -- must be democratic, because it cannot be anything else. Capitalism could only grow hand-in-hand with democratic society. To deploy itself fully over the face of the whole planet, capitalism must even now permanently assure everyone of a choice, the outcome of which it has determined in advance. One must be able to choose between two indistinguishable politicians or two indistinguishable political ideologies because one chooses between two indistinguishable commodities. If there is no appearance of political democracy, there can be no sustainable capitalist system. This has been proven to be true by the permanent atrophy of the merchants in oriental despotism, by the ultimate defeat of Hitlerian and Mussolinian fascism, and by how poorly bureaucratic capitalism was managed by Stalinism.

Every commodity -- whether it is a brand of shampoo or a brand of political ideology -- fights for itself, cannot acknowledge the validity of the others, and attempts to impose itself everywhere as if it were the only one. What can be called the spectacle is the epic poem of this machinic struggle, an epic which cannot be concluded by the fall of any Troy. The spectacle does not sing the praises of men and their weapons, but of commodities and their passions. In this blind struggle, every commodity -- pursuing its totalitarian passion -- unconsciously realizes something higher, which is the becoming-world of the commodity, which is also the becoming-commodity of the world. Thus, by means of a ruse of commodity "logic," what's specific in the commodity (the use-value) wears itself out in the fight, while the commodity-form (exchange-value) moves toward its absolute realization.

What hides under the spectacular oppositions between commodities and political ideologies is a unity of misery -- the misery experienced by wage slaves, by people who have always worked and must continue to work for a living, no matter what product they buy or who wins the election. Behind the masks of total choice and total freedom, different forms of the same alienation and oppression confront each other -- all of them built on real contradictions which are repressed. The fraud of satisfaction exposes itself by being replaced, by following changes of products and changes in the general conditions of production. That which asserted its definitive excellence with perfect impudence nevertheless changes; it is the system alone which must continue. Stalin as well as the outmoded commodity are denounced precisely by those who imposed them. Every new lie of advertising is also an avowal of the previous lie. The fall of every figure or object with totalitarian power reveals the illusory community which had approved of it unanimously, and which had been nothing more than an agglomeration of fragments.

And so the satisfaction which no longer comes from the use of abundant commodities is now sought in the recognition of their value as commodities: the on-going use of totally unsatisfactory commodities becomes sufficient unto itself; the consumer is filled with religious fervor for the commodities' sovereign freedom. Waves of enthusiasm for a given product, supported and spread by all the media of communication, are thus propagated with lightning speed. Just when the mass of commodities slides toward puerility, the puerile itself becomes a special commodity; this is epitomized by the gadget.

We can recognize a mystical abandon to the transcendence of the commodity in free gifts, such as "I love Big Brother" watches which are not bought but are included by advertisers with prestigious purchases. The fanatic who collects these watches, which have been manufactured precisely for collectors, produces a glorious sign of his or her presence among the faithful. The reified person advertises the proof of his or her intimacy with the commodity as such, and not merely with certain commodities. This fetishism -- and Big Brother himself is nothing if not one big fetish-object -- reaches moments of fervent exaltation similar to the ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism. The only use which remains here is the fundamental use of submission to a "higher," external power.

The unreal unity proclaimed by the society of the spectacle (the modern war-machine) masks the class divisions -- Low, Middle and High -- on which the real unity of the capitalist mode of production rests. What obliges workers to participate in the construction of the hierarchical world is also what separates them from it. What brings together people freed from the constraints of local and national boundaries is also what pulls them apart. What requires a more profound rationality is also what nourishes the irrationality of hierarchic exploitation and repression. What creates the abstract power of society creates its concrete unfreedom. This is the inner meaning of the slogan FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

Chapter 3: War is Peace

War is no longer the desperate, annihilating struggle that it was in the early decades of the twentieth century. It is a warfare of limited aims between combatants who are unable to destroy one another, have no material cause for fighting, and are not divided any genuine ideological difference. This is not to say that either the conduct of war, or the prevailing attitude toward it, has become less bloodthirsty or more chivalrous. On the contrary, war hysteria is continuous and universal in all countries, and such acts as raping, looting, the slaughter of children, the reduction of whole populations to slavery, and reprisals against prisoners which extend even to boiling and burying alive, are looked upon as normal, and, when they are committed by one's own side and not by the enemy, meritorious. But in a physical sense war involves very small numbers of people, mostly highly trained specialists, and causes comparatively few casualties. The fighting, when there is any, takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average person can only guess at, or around the military bases which guard strategic spots on the sea lanes. In the centers of civilization war means no more than a continuous shortage of consumer goods, and the occasional crash of a rocket bomb which may cause a few scores of deaths. War has in fact changed its character. More exactly, the reasons for which war is waged have changed in their order of importance. Motives which were already present to some small extent in the great wars of the early twentieth century have now become dominant and are consciously recognized and acted upon.

The primary aim of modern warfare is to use up the products of the spectacular machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumer goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work. The world of today is a bare, hungry, dilapidated place compared with the world that existed before 1945, and still more so if compared with the imaginary future to which the people of that period looked forward. In the early twentieth century, the vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly and efficient -- a glittering antiseptic world of glass and steel and snow-white concrete -- was part of the consciousness of nearly every literate person. Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing. This failed to happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented society. As a whole the world is more primitive today than it was fifty years ago. Certain backward areas have advanced, and various devices, always in some way connected with warfare and police espionage, have been developed, but experiment and invention have largely stopped.

From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations. And in fact, without being used for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process -- by producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not to distribute -- the machine did raise the living standards of the average human being greatly over a period of about 50 years at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction -- indeed, in some sense was the destruction -- of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed an automobile or even an airplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged elite. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. The problem was thus how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they need not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.

War, it will be seen, not only accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labor of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of the masses, whose attitude is unimportant as long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the elite itself. Even the humblest bureaucrat is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he or she should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he or she should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist -- and so we have been confronted with the war on poverty, the war on crime, the war against drugs, the war against international terrorism, etc. etc.

Modern war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture and a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of global society intact. The effect would be much the same if the world's ruling classes, instead of (pretending to be) fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This is the inner meaning of the slogan WAR IS PEACE.

Chapter 4: God is Power

The heavenly masters -- the gods -- were cast in the mold of the ruling class (the "High" of Chapter 1) and require similar sacrifices. Because the rulers were themselves the product of alienated thought, the heavenly masters -- even God himself -- could not hope to be anything other than alienated. What were honest, self-respecting people to think of these "gods," who are supposedly robed in omnipotence and yet are beholden to human beings and their stupid prayers as if the "gods" were not fundamentally different from the earthly masters, who are answerable to their human slaves? Are these Gods -- is God -- then merely the sum of absent life? No, not even that. God is merely the gaping void that swallows up the impotence that we call the "power" of the strong and the rich, and all the despair that we call the "hope" of the weak and poor. God is merely the totalitarian projection of the economics of exchange and survival. "He" is nothing more than the false illusion of life.

And yet many people blithely proclaim that God is dead, and therefore powerless. It is quite true that the death of God created the chaos out of which both the person of and the need for Big Brother came. But even the self-avowed atheists continue to genuflect. God is "dead" as a sovereign entity, as master of the world, but he lives on in the very power structures that originally gave birth to him by submitting humanity to economic alienation, to thought separated from life, and to human bodies weakened, mutilated or broken in the name of labor. There is no God whose power is not based on the negation of life and on the inversion of pleasures; there is no power that is not based on God and the oppressive and hierarchical "natural order of things" he both created and was created by.

And so it remains true that the first critique is the critique of religion; the first revolt is against the supreme tyrannies of theology and the phantom of God. Ever since the fantasy of a Divine Being took shape in humanity's imagination, God -- all gods, and among them above all the God of the Christians -- has always taken the side of the strong and the rich against the ignorant and impoverished masses. Through his presence, he has blessed the most revolting privileges, the basest oppressions, and the vilest of exploitations.

As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth, and our reason and ability to create our own lives will be annulled. As long as we believe that we must unconditionally obey -- and, vis-a-vis God, no other obedience is possible -- we must of necessity passively and totally submit, without the least reservation, to the holy authority of all his agents, messiahs, prophets, divinely-inspired lawmakers, emperors, kings, and all their functionaries and ministers, representatives and consecrated servants of the two greatest institutions which impose themselves upon us, and which are established by God himself to rule over men and women -- namely, the Church and the State. All temporal or human authority stems directly from spiritual and/or divine authority.

Authority is the negation of freedom, of human self-determination and self-management. God, or rather the fiction of God, is the consecration and the intellectual and moral source of all slavery on earth, and the freedom of humanity will never be complete until the disastrous and insidious fiction of a heavenly master is annihilated. To annihilate totally hierarchical power and thereby bring about human equality, it is necessary to annihilate God; to "kill" God, it is necessary to annihilate totally hierarchical earthly power. This is the inner secret of the slogan GOD IS POWER.

Chapter 5: The Proles

Very little is known about the proles. As far as Big Brother is concerned, it is not necessary to know much. So long as they continue to work and do not riot in the streets, their other activities are without importance. To keep them under control is not difficult. A few police spies always move among them, spreading false rumors, and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who are judged capable of becoming dangerous; but no attempt is made to indoctrinate them with political ideas. It is not desirable that the proles have strong political feelings of any kind. All that is required of them on occasion -- on the "occasion" of continuous warfare, that is -- is an alienated patriotism which can be appealed to whenever it is necessary to make them accept longer working hours or less pay.

And yet, if there is hope, it lies -- it must lie -- in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses -- eighty-five percent of the population -- can the force to destroy hierarchical society be generated. The society watched over by Big Brother can not be overthrown from within, or by partial revolutions: the revolution against it must come from without and must be total. Unlike those we have called the High and the Middle, the proles -- if only they can somehow become fully conscious of their own strength -- have no need to conspire, no need to become members of secret revolutionary brotherhoods. The proles need only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. For the proles are loyal to each other. They have stayed human; they have not become hardened or dead inside; they have held on to the basic instincts and emotions which the power elites and their bureaucratic priests have to re-learn by conscious effort.

The uprisings in Russia in 1905 and then again in 1917 -- the uprisings in Germany in 1918, in Kronstadt in 1921, in Spain in 1936 -- all these historical events show that the proles are quite capable of revolting against both the Middle and the High, of organizing on their own to fight for their own interests, and of attacking hierarchical society at its root. In all these uprisings, workers refused to work, but their refusal was made outside of the traditional, hierarchical structures of the trade union and the "alternative" political parties. The workers spontaneously organized themselves into autonomous and deliberately anti-hierarchical councils and committees, and began to plan and execute the re-organization of all of society in accordance with the principle of total human equality. It was precisely as a result of these uprisings -- and their ultimate likelihood of success -- that Big Brother fought and won the revolution in the first place. Given the fact that the material bases for a non-hierarchical society have now existed for decades, it is inevitable that Big Brother will continue to be challenged by the proles and their "spontaneous" uprisings for some time to come.

[Publisher's note added 1998: it would seem that history has indeed continued to prove that Dr. Goldstein's analysis is correct. Since the publication of this book in 1949, there have been proletarian uprisings in East Germany in 1953; in Hungary and Poland in 1956; in Belgium in 1961; in the United States in 1965; in France, Czechoslovakia and Mexico in 1968; in Italy in 1969; in Poland in 1970; in Portugal in 1974; in Italy again in 1977; in Romania in 1989; in Russia in 1991; in Mexico again in 1994; in France again in 1995, in Albania in 1997, etc. etc. And yet Big Brother is still watching us.]

27 November 2008

What's left of the 'liberal' 'left'? And is it worth a light?

Amidst the decomposition of the old world, false consciousness -- which still reigns but no longer governs -- has the nerve to take to task a whole generation of young proletarians, who have re-launched the offensive against the society of the spectacle, for not being able to resolve all the questions at the origin of both their revolt and the crisis in which all the appointed powers are floundering. The real situation is very different: what the young proletarians are in fact being taken to task for is posing questions that power cannot resolve, for it is power itself that is being questioned.

Any old lefties or liberals left? Any of them doing much of any use to the greater mass of humanity or are they still stuck in a parapolitically anachronistic timewarp, out of touch with the sentiments of the ordinary man and woman in the street?

Noam Chomsky is definitely doing the timewarp. Speaking about the events of 11th September 2001, Chomksy famously said, 'Who | Cares?' The latest leftist intellectual heavyweight to join the "government's nearly all bad but they're really telling us mostly the whole truth about just this one thing" club is Howard Zinn. Let's do the timewarp again.

History is the past and there's no need to care much about it, so proclaims historiantician Zinn, parroting the sentiments of his brainiac buddy Chomsky. So it is in a world where the post-modernist fetishism for a committed absence of absolute truth favours instead riding the Valkyries of subjective historical narratives, depicted by the linguistic flourishes of obscurantist metaphor and allegory that stand in testimony to the bleakest of bleak realpolitik from which the fetishists allude to dissent, while simultaneously failing to mount the most rudimentary of political challenges. (Bonus faux revolutionary post-modernist points for anyone who translates that last sentence into the Francophonics of Bataille, Baudrillard and Foucault.)
So, what did Zinn have to say on the subject of the events of 11th September 2001?
9/11 truth confront Howard Zinn in Montreal
20 November 2008

After viewing the disappointing and disrespectful comments made by Howard Zinn on 09/10/08 in Colorado, responding to a request for help in spreading 9/11 awareness, Howard Zinn expresses that he does not care about accountability and justice for the 9/11 attacks, because it is in the past.

Interesting to note the brief, private word in the ear of Zinn from his co-chair and the attendant restraining hand on the arm gesture as the first 9/11 related question is asked, and also the second intervention by an organising minion who hands Zinn a note as the issue is raised for a second time. As Zinn's words ring out there remain now not many 'left' or 'liberal' intellectual heavyweights left who don't find themselves arguing from the same positions as those on the far right, something which never seems to bother the liberals or leftists, much less prompt them into thinking that something might be amiss with their analysis and conclusions.

With regard to 7/7, our 9/11, the 'radical' 'left' 'conspiracy theory' about how those events came to be is that of the much publicised "blow back" theory. It goes a little like this: "If the UK hadn't illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, 7/7 never would have happened." A statement that is as beautifully simple and all encompassing as it is perfectly flawed and lacking in evidence and substance. The tragic irony that the 'liberal' 'left' consistently fail to grasp and take on board is that their 'analysis', from wherever it comes, just happens to render them to the point of arguing from the entrenched 'radical', 'left' position of far-right Neo Nazis like Nick Griffin of the BNP. Yet the 'leftists' and 'liberals' would rather defend to the death their incorrect, indefensible, neo-fascist positions that lend support to official orthodoxy than they would cross the uncrossable line beyond which each and every historical event of consequence begs an in depth understanding not just of its perverse superficial horrorism, but also of its very essence. Such a transgression would earn them the greatest derogation of intellectual rigour, that of being labelled "conspiracy theorist".

As a wise man whose heart was in the right place once put it:
Now the truth's unnumerable enemies in the political center, right and left will have to reveal themselves by combatting it on open ground, because their lies will no longer succeed in hiding it.

Politically there is now no place left to hide. The fear of anyone who might like to think of themselves as a little 'left' or 'liberal' in their political outlook being labelled a 'conspiracy theorist' should pale into insignificance when their 'radical', 'left' or 'liberal' political analysis leads to the adoption of precisely the same argumentation position and style as that of much abhorred xenophobic, reactionary, far-right bigots. When this happens it becomes obvious to all, whether they are willing to acknowledge it and its implications or not, that something is fundamentally amiss with the method of analysis used to arrive at that position.

That 7/7 "blowback theory" is championed by both 'left', 'anti-war', 'liberals' in precisely the same fashion as it is championed by the likes of Nick Griffin and the BNP should sound alarm bells for all. Any 'radical', 'left' or 'liberal' analysis of something which leads to the wholesale adoption of precisely the same political stance as that of xenophobic, reactionary far-right bigots cannot then be legitimately expressed as a 'left' or 'liberal' sentiment. Neither is it in any way 'radical' for it doesn't even come close to challenging the official narratives and orthodoxies that predetermine the bounds of acceptable debate, bounds within which the status quo can be easily maintained.

One can only wonder if Michael Parenti's (see Antagonista TV for more) views on his well and forcefully expressed ideas about Conspiracy AND Class Power (Part 1 | Part 2 - finally widely available as MP3s for all!) hold true in relation to more recent events such as 9/11 and 7/7, among, sadly, many other similar examples:

One of Parenti's most influential archival speeches. This is an in-depth analysis of the modern state and the exercise of power behind the scenes. The speech is also an important historic document. Given in 1993 it issues a warning of the use of deception to justify going to war. The speech also explains the expansion of the deregulated free market that would lead to a financial crisis as we see it today.

The speech on Conspiracy and Class Power was lost for several years and only recently discovered in the collection of a listener in Seattle. Michael Parenti spoke before an overflow audience in Berkeley, CA

Michael Parenti is an internationally known author and lecturer. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 1962 and is one of the nation's leading progressive political thinkers. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. His books include Democracy for the Few, Superpatriotism, The Assassination of Julius Caesar, History as Mystery, and Contrary Notions.

For a broadcast quality mp3 version of Part ONE click HERE
For a broadcast quality mp3 version of Part TWO click HERE
Listen carefully and learn. As for those who like to think of themselves as 'left' or 'liberal', either buck up your analysis and ideas or stop bothering everyone with your inane diatribes that espouse little more than a shared leftist and rightist common ideology of tyranny.

19 November 2008

Propaganda Coups & PsyOps #101 - The BNP Member List

Quick as a flash, or perhaps even quicker, a complete list of British National Party members -- the useful far-right, Neo-Nazi idiots who insist on waging a race war because, unlike racist bigotry, revolutionary class war is outside the bounds of acceptable mainstream political activity -- appeared on the Internet. And then promptly disappeared.
Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at bnpmemberslist.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

Disappeared, momentarily, before reappearing as a Swedish registered and hosted web site, a text file, a spreadsheet and even an SQL database file, rapidly made searchable by postcode - complete with links to Googlemaps of member locations. There's also Cryptome, LOLGRIFFIN - Nazis. I hate those guys, BNP Near Me, a BNP heat-map, the Guardian going one better with an Interactive Far Right Map of Britain, and the Daily Mash doing what it does best. All this and the requisite levels of cross-media publicity in the blog world, the dead trees, and on the telescreen. The published list apparently includes serving policemen (surprise!), armed forces personnel (surprise!), seven journalists (surprise!), prison officers (surprise!), vicars and, in some cases, entire families! It also features an extra seven people not on the original list.

Little talk of goose-sauce also being good for the gander. Redwatch, paid back in own-goal spades.

Rumour has it that the party's former treasurer, John Walker, might be responsible for the leak. These suspicions are given further weight by the comments of BNP leader, Nick Griffin, as reported in The Times:
"We are pretty sure (we know who leaked it). We had a problem with a very senior former employee who left last year. He was one of the hard-liners I inherited from my predecessor, he didn't like the direction the party was going in, thought it was too moderate, so he broke away taking the list with him."
Given that it is almost the end of the year referred to by Gregorian calendars as 2008, a "senior former employee who left last year" would have had to have left at least 11 months ago. Potentially they may have left any time between 11 and 23 months ago. In the case of Walker, who is also known for leading fuel protests, he left the BNP in August 2007 after some fisticuffs at the BNP's annual Red, White and Blue Farcestival. This is where Griffin's claim gets interesting because, according to the Lancaster Unite Against Fascism blog, "additions to the list are as recent as September of this year".

This is not to convict or absolve John Walker of having leaked the list -- "innocent until proven guilty" still applies to whitey -- but instead to suggest that if he was indeed responsible for the leak, it would have had to have been done with some assistance from inside the existing BNP structure to account for the "as recent as September of this year" additions.

Nick Griffin discusses curtains

In light of this timely release of the BNP membership list, Conspiraloons who recall Sinn Féin party administrator Denis Donaldson might further ponder the potential level of State involvement in / infiltration of the BNP, in line with the State's general levels of involvement in and infiltration of practically any organisations with a vaguely political agenda.

You can almost see how this story might play out in the coming weeks. The list of BNP members went online for ten minutes, which was just long enough for a bunch of 'radicals' and 'extremists' to get hold of it, and soon a few hateful and hate-filled white men will turn up in the 'news' claiming to have been persecuted / beaten up / attacked by the 'radicals' and 'extremists' of the wrong sort, those that might not be quite so supportive of fascism as BNP members. A phone call already allegedly received by one member, as reported by Lancaster UAF, is the first trickle in what has the potential to become a mass media tsunami, complete with fighting in the streets. Maybe even a spectacular on 7/7/2001 7/7/2005 7/7/2009.

British Oppression, the reprise?

Meanwhile, in news worth knowing:
One of Britain's most authoritative judicial figures last night delivered a blistering attack on the invasion of Iraq, describing it as a serious violation of international law, and accusing Britain and the US of acting like a "world vigilante".
Governments were bound by international law as much as by their domestic laws, he said. "The current ministerial code," he added "binding on British ministers, requires them as an overarching duty to 'comply with the law, including international law and treaty obligations'."
Addressing the British Institute of International and Comparative Law last night, Bingham said: "If I am right that the invasion of Iraq by the US, the UK, and some other states was unauthorised by the security council there was, of course, a serious violation of international law and the rule of law.

"For the effect of acting unilaterally was to undermine the foundation on which the post-1945 consensus had been constructed: the prohibition of force (save in self-defence, or perhaps, to avert an impending humanitarian catastrophe) unless formally authorised by the nations of the world empowered to make collective decisions in the security council ..."

15 November 2008

Antagonista TV #707070 George Carlin - You are all diseased

George Carlin, as recorded in 1999, some two years before certain events lent Carlin's Airport Security opener a little prescience.
"Listen. This is just a series of things that are pissing me off, alright? Because I don't have 'pet peeves', I have major, psychotic fucking hatreds, alright? And I'll tell you this, it makes the world a lot easier to sort out."

11 November 2008

I hate to say I told you so, but.....

From this very blog some three and a half years ago:
25 June 2005
Filesharing - The New Economy of Community
All this time later and those lovely people historically responsible for holding vibrations of air hostage are still trying to figure a way to keep their profitable racketeering going by 'monetising" Peer-to-Peer (P2P) filesharing while simultaneously co-opting The Antagonist's very own "new economy" tag:
30th October 2008 18:21 GMT
The Register
A new economics of P2P file sharing
The difference between the two? In the new economy of community sharing, a trait taught to toddlers, isn't a crime.

Better yet, El Reg does the Antagonista-told-you-so-doble, complete with a beautifully ironic twist.

The following quote about your humble blogger -- note the name of the person who penned it -- is taken from the Feelers' right-hand sidebar entry over that-a-way ->:
"I’m glad to be able to announce that the UK now has it’s very own mindless twit. || Either that or he’s a damn good satirist."
- Tim Worstall
Three posts of a kind, all about the popularly propagated myth that cannabis consumption is responsible for increased levels of psychosis, all published right here on Reason.... just weeks before the 2005 coup d'etat "power surge" changed everything:
Three and half years on from the three of a kind and El Reg publishes this little gem by, er, the same author as the Feelers quote:
6th November 2008 13:19 GMT
The Register
Study clears cannabis of schizophrenia rap
No greater risk than general non-tokers
By Tim Worstall

Well, well. Who'd have thunk it? More amusing yet is the fact that Worstall uses a few points about the myth of cannabis psychosis, made by yours truly in the articles posted over three years ago, and then claims that nobody has ever posited such notions before.

Apparently, the truth of any matter is of no consequence until it is coopted, prounounced by, and charged for by scientists.

Ho ho ho! "Mindless twit" it is then, as confirmed by scientists after  three years of intensive research.

05 November 2008

Sachsgate: Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, Andrew Sachs, Georgina Baillie, Satanic Sluts & Max Clifford

Fake outrage, real resignations, real sackings, real suspensions and real suspenders, Sachsgate has got the lot, including a whiff of conspiracy. It is difficult to comprehend the way in which the non-story of a few offhand comments from raucous lothario comedian, Russell Brand, and the veteran if slightly unruly light entertainer, Jonathan Ross, became the media and -- more amusingly and worryingly in equal measure -- political frenzy that it has. Still more difficult to believe that the spectacle involving Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, happens to be running in parallel with the collapse of the carefully engineered but inherently wired-to-implode global banking racket. Yet these things are only difficult to comprehend if you thought the point of the 'news' media was to keep you informed about things of some consequence, and that anything and everything that happens just happens by accident. Luckily, there isn't much of humanity that still labours under those illusions any more.

Once upon a time there was a phone call broadcast on BBC Radio 2 that resulted in a slightly burlesque message being left on Andrew Sachs' answerphone....

Keen listeners will have noted that it was Jonathan Ross who shouted, "He fucked your granddaughter!" into Andrew Sachs' answer machine, and also that Brand's instant reaction was one of shock and horror having already asked Ross not to mention his liaison with Georgina Baillie.

The complaints that followed the live broadcast were, well, negligible, insignificant and inconsequential. "A BBC spokeswoman said the programme had received two complaints". Further, the "two complaints related to Ross's swearing - rather than the content of the phone calls." So, the issue that inspired all of two complaints was that Ross had said the word, "Fuck", not that Brand had carnal knowledge of Sach's granddaughter, nor the manner in which this information was conveyed. It soon emerged via Andrew Sachs’s agent that Sachs had been ‘terribly hurt’ by the incident and Georgina Baillie's mother, Kate, said: ‘It’s awful.’ That's the "two complaints" right there! Except that's not quite the full picture.

There it would have ended, until an anonymously penned editorial incitement of incendiary proportions was published in the Mail on Sunday, Ross, Brand and the BBC's gutter culture. Ignoring the fact that the Mail, aside from its historical support for fascism, is a doyen of the "gutter culture" it professes to despise, the outraged sentiment soon spread almost as if there were nothing much else going on in the world worth talking about.

As is usual when issues of alleged personal moral turpitude become opportunistic point-scoring political playgrounds, it wasn't long before the voices of "conservative" "decency" entered the fray. This time, possibly because he has nothing at all else of substance to say, it was in the form of David "Related to royalty, just like Boris" Cameron. Worth remembering also that Cameron and Ross have previously locked horns after Ross used his Friday night chat show on BBC1 to ask Cameron if he had ever masturbated while imagining Margaret Thatcher in stockings. Coincidentally, it was the Mail on Sunday that led the indignant outraged backlash against Ross that time around too. They say revenge is a dish best served cold and Cameron has kept his offering in the freezer for a couple of years before it was finally dished up.

Not to be outdone by the Tories, the boy's club currently in government joined the whipped-up witch hunt quick-style. First up was the despicable-as-any-Tory, Jack Straw, closely followed by no lesser mortal than the prime minister himself, Gordon BrNWO. So serious is the business of someone saying "Fuck" on the radio that BrNWO even interrupted an economic summit to pass judgement.

That this provocation occurred at the same time as details of yet another report appeared warning of "Teen yobs" and their antics is, perhaps, a "conspiracy theory" too far. (As everyone knows, the cause of all the ills of society are kids, not adult ruling classes whose interests and actions deliberately and wilfully conspire to create poverty, social deprivation and despair.) Pretty soon, in true Pavlovian mass media fashion, the likes of which Goebbels would have been most proud, the public reaction began. It is now claimed that the BBC has received over 40,000 complaints about Ross and Brand in relation to a broadcast that most of the complainants probably hadn't heard for themselves, at least not until they actively sought out transcripts and audio copies of the answerphone messages.

New Puritanism
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance."

-- Leonard Schapiro
If the pen is mightier than the sword, then it logically follows that words are mightier than deeds. Ergo, it is acceptable to do certain things but not to use words and language to talk about them in any meaningful way. It is acceptable for Russell Brand to have slept with Georgina Baillie, but it is not acceptable to talk about it, especially not if the word "Fuck" is used in the process. This is the nonsense logic underlying the 'scandal' and so the bone of contention becomes Ross's use of the word "Fuck", even though the statement in which it was used happened to be the truth. So, truth becomes a crime of verbal immorality, pre-judged by those with the most dubious morals of all. Lenny Bruce turns in his grave and a witch hunt similar to the witch hunts and persecution endured by Bruce after a decade of McCarthyism, becomes its own self-justification after a decade of New Labour.

Some are calling the backlash against the BBC and its Radio 2 presenters the new puritanism, but in a world where the current paradigm requires the commodification, objectification and fetishisation of everything, sex is always good for business. Even within such confines it is certainly an odd form of puritanism where the supposed moral high ground is alleged to be held by an ex-pre-marital-bedmate of Brand that also happens to be known for her role as a burlesque dancer, the Satanic Slut, Voluptua. Imagining that such an alter-ego might secretly conceal a lady filled with particularly virginal and conservative tastes, decency and overt prudishness is quite some challenge indeed, but let's not let that get in the way of a hysterical witch hunt.

As is usual with mass media frenzies whose main thrust is something of no consequence, somewhere among hyperbole and hysteria is at least one other story that the facade conceals. In the case of the Brand and Ross radio show and prank call, aside from its stochastic coinciding with the yob report, it's highly unlikely that many will be aware of any subtexts, unless they happen to have listened to the original radio show in its entirety, or unless they are already aware of Brand's politics.

A little more of the truth behind the persecution and witch hunt of Brand can be found through a better understanding of the nature of Russell Brand and his place in geopolitical space and time. Aside from being a popular stand-up comedian with a large and loyal following among the yobs youth of today who, lest we forget, are the future whether anyone likes it or not, Brand's politics are what the ruling and media classes would term "radical" and "extreme", terms now almost exclusively reserved for use in stories about "terrorism", particularly "Islamic" terrorism. In the early stages of the same Russell Brand radio show in which messages were left on Andrew Sach's answerphone, Brand described himself as a "post structuralist". In short, that means radical left wing politics of the sort a Socialist or Marxist might espouse. Brand briefly expanded his position during the show, saying:
"I was trying to open up a bit of debate about socialism, during the credit crunch, mate. I was thinking perhaps there could be a socialist alternative to capitalism, but if you can't take a bit of talk about economics and revolution, Jonathan, because you're up in your ivory tower on your high horse...."
Before adding:
"The universe is using me as a conduit for revolution."
It is these few words, and many other examples of Brand conveying similarly revolutionary intent and ideals, that provide a more coherent and legitimate explanation of the hugely disproportionate response to a few gags of dubious comedic artistry and integrity. After all, the initial "two complaints" were hardly sufficient to warrant the media and political maelstrom and witch hunt of Russell Brand that has followed. Whatever way other aspects of the story are spun, it is free publicity for all involved and there is, apparently, no such thing as bad publicity. As with all such things, one will find the media darling of the media darlings, Max Clifford, operating on behalf of both the 'victim' and the torch and pitchfork mob of outraged complainants that seek to silence those whose words to which they object, whether they heard the original broadcast or not.

When the entire capitalist racketeering operation that is enduring the deepest and most international crisis in the whole of its brief and nearly ended history, you can't very well have the BBC facilitating the promotion by popular, young, working class upstarts of revolutionary Socialist ideals as an alternative to Capitalist barbarism. Such things cannot be on the agenda of the broadcasting company of a state that is inexorably wedded to the Capitalist paradigm, especially when the show is pre-recorded and its contents have been approved by those higher-ups in the editorial process whose job it is to censor what is and isn't acceptable for broadcast.

What matters to the controlling political interests is that other messages of political opposition and significance that Brand has to offer -- particularly relating to the opening up of discussions about socialist revolution as the only sensible and final reaction to the unfolding Capitalist Armageddon, and particularly opening up this debate among his large audience of young people who have little or no faith in the existing system of Capitalist 'democracy' run at the behest of inbred Oxbridge graduates and their international counterparts -- remains buried and without a public forum.

After a time Russell Brand filmed a video apology, in addition to issuing verbal apologies, specifically addressed to Andrew Sachs rather than the outraged minorities, for an explosive issue that never should have been. In the video, Brand -- the creative, ingenious demagogue that he is -- made another far more subtle political statement. His apology was issued as he stood in front of a black and white background, by all accounts a pretty bland background. Until, that is, you notice the black part of the backdrop is a telescreen and the white background is mostly created from a large picture frame, in the centre of which is a small photo of the Russian totalitarian dictator, moral arbiter and censor in chief, Joseph Stalin. In a bitter-sweet twist and the cruellest of ironies, and almost as if to prove that Brand's symbolic socio-political commentary about the totalitarian nature of life on prison ship Britain was correct, the video apology featuring Stalin was itself censored when broadcast by the BBC and Stalin was nowhere to be seen.

A whiff of conspiracy - a final word on Woss

Given Ross's long held position as the staple of all light entertainment fare, and that it was his saying "Fuck" that prompted the uproar, one might well be tempted to wonder whether his part in initiating the persecution of Russell Brand was an accidental oversight as he got caught up in the mood of the moment, trying to outdo his younger, funnier and more entertaining host, or whether it was by a somewhat more sinister design. Factor in the following:
  • the involvement of the sensationalist publicist, Max Clifford as Baillie's publicist, whose life and infamy is based on the sort of devious cunning that can manufacture stories out of thin air, make a gay man straight and turn liars into paragons of virtue;
  • that the incitement to national hatred was provided by an anonymous editorial in the Nazi supporting Mail on Sunday;
  • that Andrew Sachs, being the consummate gentleman and professional that he is, although a little disappointed and nonplussed at the first interview effort in which the answerphone messages were left, had in fact graciously offered to participate in the Brand's show the following week so the intended interview could be properly recorded (see Andrew Sachs interview video);
  • Russell Brand's post structuralist, revolutionary, socialist, radical rhetoric and politics and his rising popularity among large, youthful audiences to which he brings that message in a time of global financial crisis in which the State can only offer greater servitude and subjugation;
  • the on-message cross-party political class unity in its universal condemnation of the non-event;
  • that Satanic Slut Georgina Baillie was so incensed by the invasion of her privacy that she felt moved to flog the remainder of her privacy to the Dirty Digger's Sun tabloid, among others to exploit this "awesome opportunity";
  • that Ross had been specifically asked by Brand to err on the side of discretion during the call;
  • that the show was pre-recorded and approved by BBC editorial controls before being aired;
  • that the original live broadcast on Radio 2 prompted only two complaints;
  • that Russell Brand has been forced to resign from his BBC position;
  • that the Radio 2 station controller, Lesley Douglas, has been forced to resign from her position;
  • that the BBC itself is once again in the sights of a State apparatus that cannot tolerate anyone or anything straying too far off message, just as it was around the time of the mysterious death of Dr David Kelly / Andrew Gilligan affair,
  • and that Ross, the sole public instigator of the uproar, has merely been suspended for three months and remains in the overpaid employ of the BBC at a time when his cryptically titled book is published: Why do I say these things?
As is often the case when a few clearly established facts provide a more comprehensive context and understanding for a series of inter-connected events, it is the facts themselves that offer up a plausible conspiracy theory which practically writes itself.

Two thousand years ago, legend has it that Jesus was crucified for the sins of others. In modern times it is Russell Brand and his messianic and revolutionary aspirations that are being crucified. As with the tale of Jesus, Brand too is being crucified for the sins of others.