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Much has happened in the world in the past few months. Especially since November 8, when the “left” or the “progressives” in the USA and indeed the world have been crapping their pants about some orange skinned person with homunculus like hands winning the seat of most powerful person in the world. While as concerning as this is to me (it really is), what has been more concerning to me has been how the Democratic Party and it’s supporters have been acting even before the election and their actions since. What I mean by that is, what difference does it make if Trump is in power if the alternative to him is no different or perhaps worse in some ways.
Enter Caitlin Johnstone into my radar a few weeks ago. Not only is she saying everything I have been noticing going on with the progressive side of the USA, but she does it with style and a flair that is beyond my writing skills. Her voice needs to be amplified by people who feel that the left has been co-opted by the neo-liberals in a drive to make the choice between neo-liberal and ultra-neo-liberal.
Here are some excerpts of what I love about her:
“It’s been a trippy last few days, and if you’ve been listening to mainstream media it’s even trippier because everything’s on fire and we’re all about to die. In real life though, the world is still turning, the sun is still shining, and Republicans are just doing a somewhat milder version of the same idiotic dance they’ve always done. We’re essentially getting the same anti-science, anti-environment, pro-billionaire schtick we would’ve gotten had any other Republican won the presidency, minus the wars and predatory trade deals that the neocons love.
This is hardly the goose-stepping, minority-incinerating dystopian apocalypse that the establishment media was promising us in the event of a Trump win. They’re still trying to paint it as though their alarmist prophecies have come true, but they have not. Sure it’s weird and stupid and kind of uncomfortable, but we are unquestionably living in a safer world than we would have been under a President Clinton. This is important for progressives to notice, because by cranking up the alarmism to eleven and freaking out about literally everything Donald Trump says and does, the neoliberal establishment is setting us up for their next move”
This safer world being talk about is because the No-Fly-Zone in Syria is something Candidate Clinton routinely said she would impose. In debates even.
“To this day, the elites of the Democratic party are doing everything they can to avoid addressing the DNC’s brazen assault on American democracy the way everyone knows they should. In any sort of functional democratic political system this outrageous scandal would have been met with unequivocal condemnation from the top to the bottom, with the President personally overseeing a complete overhaul of the Committee and all the party’s leaders apologizing profusely to the American people and doing everything they could to make it better, including a complete re-do of the primary under close, stringent oversight. Instead they’re babbling about Russian hackers and trying desperately to get the average American to care about Kremlin operatives more than they care about having to work three jobs to make ends meet in the Walmart economy.”
“Gabbard somehow refrained from unleashing the torrent of shrieking, profanity-laced vitriol I definitely would have blasted him with had I been in her shoes, maintained her composure without batting an eye, and patiently explained why Tapper is stupid and wrong about everything. She swatted aside the limp pundit’s feeble protestations as she finally spoke of her findings in Syria, the people’s unbelievable suffering at the hands of the terrorist insurgents, their confusion as to why the United States is backing terrorist factions, and the fact that she did not meet a single person who believed that there were moderate rebels in Syria. It’s definitely worth a watch; here’s a hyperlink if you missed it the first time.”
“In terms of what’s left of his legacy, all that Obama gets from me is one less thing to hate him for. When I’m going to bed at night, there will be one less thing on my extremely long list of evil things that he has done for me to rage about. He’s still the guy who got Chelsea Manning tortured and nearly killed. He’s still the guy who chose to let her rot in isolation long after the United Nations special rapporteur on torture Juan E. Mendez stated unequivocally that Manning’s treatment was “cruel, inhuman and degrading” and after 295 legal scholars signed a letter declaring that she was being “detained under degrading and inhumane conditions that are illegal and immoral.” He’s still the guy who left her in that hell hole after not one but two suicide attempts. He’s still the guy who promised to protect whistleblowers and have the most transparent administration in history, then went on to prosecute more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. The man is evil, and his ceasing to inflict more evil in this one particular area does not change that. He’s probably only doing it to bait Assange out of political asylum anyway.”
“The Democrats had taken a severe beating starting with the neoliberal establishment’s evisceration of Jimmy Carter back in the late seventies and early eighties, but Bill Clinton figured out that you can still rake in big bucks from the donor class and give them everything they want in exchange as long as you pay lip service to the things the political left cares about. Under Slick Willy’s leadership, the so-called New Democrats took on the mantra of “fiscally conservative, socially liberal,” which was another way of saying they don’t care what you do in your bedroom or what color your skin is, as long as you help them crush you to death with the Walmart economy and sell your life blood to Wall Street.”
I hope these paragraphs that I have shared has encouraged you to give Caitlin a visit. She’s currently talking about how to retake the Democratic Party and why it’s important to attack the neo-liberals on the left rather than on the right. I hope you find her as awesome as I do!
How many people are well-read enough to see what is happening? The assault on journalism and journalistic values in the name of bloody acquiescence to power grinds onward. A excerpt from Robert Fisk’s article “We Do Not Live in a “Post Truth” World, We Live in a World of Lies and We Always Have.”
“Today, you can not only deny history – the Armenian and Jewish Holocausts, Anne Frank’s diary, the gas chambers of Auschwitz – you can also tell fibs, big or small, about almost anything which annoys you. The Middle East, with our journalistic help, is deep in the same false world. Every dictator is now fighting “terrorism” – along with the US, Nato, the EU, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, the entire Arab Gulf (minus Yemen, for rather embarrassing reasons), China, Japan, Australia and – who knows? – Greenland as well.
But justice is not on the menu. This is a word which few politicians, statesmen, even journalists, any longer use. Neither Trump nor Clinton, nor the Brexiteers, have talked about justice. I’m not talking about justice for victims of “terror”, or Brits who think they’ve been cheated by the EU, but real justice for entire nations, for peoples, for the Middle East, even – dare I mention them? – for Palestinians. They do not live in a “post-truth” world. They’ve been living among other people’s lies for decades.
The only effect of last year’s political earthquakes is that we shall feel less guilty in repeating all these lies. They have now – like war – become normal, a “diversity of perspectives”, part of a familiar, fraudulent world in which untruthfulness has acquired a “weird authenticity”.
Trump is Hitler. Trump is Jesus. National suicide is reincarnation. We may not yet have understood this. But there are many in the Middle East who will understand us. Maybe they’ll have the last laugh.”
Check your sources, use some of your time to evaluate the merit of an argument being made in the media, as a citizen it is your duty to inform yourself to the best of your ability as to how the world works and how to change it toward the better.
Where do elite priorities lie? Follow the coverage.
“Q: Moving on, has the media changed landscape since you wrote ‘Manufacturing Consent’ in 1989? Is the media manufacturing consent now?
A: Well, we didn’t actually say that media is manufacturing consent; we said that -that is what they are trying to do. We discussed the nature of the media. There’s a separate question – to what extent is it effective? And that’s an interesting question, but we didn’t discuss it. They’re still doing it in the same way. In fact, dramatically. Take November 8, two things of critical significance happened on November 8. One of them was massively reported, the other, which was much more important, received no report – that was the Marrakesh Conference of two hundred countries that tried to implement the Paris programmes to try to save the human species from destruction. That’s a lot more important than what happened in the US election. And, in fact, it was undermined by the US election. What happened in Morocco is astounding if you look at it; one country was leading the way to try to save civilization from self-destruction. One country was way behind, trying to lead the way towards self-destruction, the first was China the second was the United States. That is a remarkable spectacle. Did you see a comment on it?
John Pilger does what a journalist is supposed to do. He questions decisions made by those who are in charge and hold them to account for their decisions. As witnessed during the lead up to the Iraq war in 2003 most of the easily accessible media in the West is, for the most part uncritical and (appallingly) accepting of what those in power want us to believe.
This isn’t new information – let’s go back to 1946.
“In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: “Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”
Stirring up fear and blind patriotism is the first ingredient in the propagandist’s recipe book. For people who are afraid, are all to willing to forget their common humanity when they perceive a “threat” to their future.
The real reasons we fight ‘terrorism’ and ‘defend our freedoms’.
“The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.
The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an “agreement” that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.
As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.
From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics – the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.”
Actual freedom and actual independence are the official enemies. There is no international glorious commitment to human rights and freedoms, but rather, the economic and political machinations of state that are the true driver of the various ‘humanitarian interventions’ across the globe.
Did you need to see this in action on a smaller scale. Well, there just happens to be a captioned poster for that.
This is why words like ‘power’ and ‘justice’ must be so carefully defined and put into the proper context – because people experience these concepts in vastly different ways depending on their place in the social hierarchy. It is particularly fair? Not even close, but it is how power, and by extension, how our society works.
State terrorism and religious terrorism are directly correlated.
“According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. Look at the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. The Unicef report on the children killed says, “most [of them] under the age of ten”.
As a direct consequence, Sirte became the capital of ISIS.”
Within most of major media, the results of our violence is almost never mentioned. The silence is deafening with regards to our culpability in committing these atrocities.
“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”
The complicity of most of our media means that state power, and the ‘national interest’ remains potently in the background, unchallenged, unexamined, and uncritically accepted.
“The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, “What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?”
He replied that if journalists had done their job, “there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq”.
It was a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question — Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.
In other words, had journalists done their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo or Mosul.”
Demand better of your media outlets. Spend time perusing alternate sources of media, be cognizant of the ‘official’ narrative. Ask questions.
Patriarchy is alive and well in 2016. Let’s head over to the Olympics – Exhibit 1:
Ooookay. Maybe this is just a fluke this isn’t a implicit patriarchal norm – we just need to find all the stories that mention a man’s status as “husband” first then his achievement… (good luck with that).
Surely in swimming it must not be the case:
“Oh Arb!” says my skeptical male readership, “These are just rare incidences and are in the realm of sports – sports are known for their male bias you shouldn’t be making hasty generalizations about society based of a few sports clips.”
Maybe popular magazine covers?
Nope…popular magazine are still all-a-board the patriarchy bus.
Okay dudes, lets change the channel, how about leadership of the Western Free World? Certainly the framing of female success through the patriarchal lens won’t happen here! (oh wait…)
Yeah, sooooooo… When you hear people (mostly dudes) prattle on about society becoming a matriarchy or that we’ve achieved equality, kindly refer them to this post and maybe help explain to them that their cluelessness is really quite embarrassing.
Why is it hard for women to achieve in our society? Partially because of the systemic shit like this that denies women their role models and examples of success – you can’t be it, if you don’t see it. So let’s not discount effective feminism and the work that still needs to be done by radical organized groups of females working together to dismantle the patriarchal superstructure that harms women and men.