Categories
Global issues Racism Religion World

WHAT IS WRONG WITH POLAND? PART 2

This is the conclusion of a two part series on Poland.

What is wrong with Poland? Why is the country so reactionary? Why is it one of the few countries in the developed world which castrates men accused of sexual assault? Why was it the first country in the EU to ban pornography? Why is Poland the most anti-Semitic country in Europe?

Poland is the most pro-American country in Europe, if not the world, on both the governmental level and among the general population. It is embarrassing and sickening how much Poland acts like a submissive woman to the United States. Though there are many admirable things about the United States culturally, Poland celebrates and emulates everything negative about the U.S. Warsaw has a statue of Ronald Reagan in the city centre.

More cities in Poland plan to tear down Soviet monuments celebrating the victory over Nazism and replace them with statues of Reagan. (I wonder how they would react if they were aware that Reagan at one time was a communist supporter back in the 1940s and actually applied to be a member of the Communist Party USA.) The crimes of Reagan are too numerous to mention but he represents everything which Poland embraces. Reagan represented all of the worst traits of America: bigotry, provincialism, turbo neo-liberalism and aggressive militarism. Indeed, the United States confused many Poles when Barack Obama was elected. Many Poles lost respect for the U.S. after his election.

It was not surprising that Reagan and Pope John Paul II were close political allies and worked together to overthrow the dictatorship in Poland. Pope John Paul II was reactionary through and through. He took the Catholic Church backwards out of the 20th century and pursued a crusade to overturn all of the political, social and cultural advances made since The Enlightenment. He was an incorrigible misogynist. He advanced the most primitive ideologies concerning sexuality. His positions on HIV/AIDS were despicable as they were irresponsible (anti-contraception, anti-birth control, etc.) Where was Pope John Paul from? He was from Poland of course!

Few would disagree that the Stalinist dictatorships in Eastern Europe were deplorable and that their overthrow was a positive development. However, unlike the Czech Republic and Hungary, which embraced Democracy and implemented human rights and pursued egalitarianism, Poland has impeded human rights. Equality is officially denounced in Poland. Any advocacy of equality is denounced and dismissed as “communist.” Inequality is the official doctrine of contemporary Polish politics. For Poland, Equality=Communism, Freedom=Inequality.

Moreover, unlike The Czech Republic and Hungary which still have relatively large Jewish populations living in Prague and Budapest, there are very few Jews living in Poland. That country has a vicious history of anti-Semitism which stands out from the gruesome oppression that Jews have suffered under historically in Europe. I once had a girlfriend from Poland. She was Catholic but she often endured anti-Semitic attacks in Poland. I asked a person in Poland why Jews were so hated. The  following exchange was typical:

“Jews have caused us lots of problems.”

“Such as?”

“Many problems! Everything bad that has happened to Poland was the fault of the Jews.”

Another variant of this theme, which is shared by many, is that the Jews were responsible for the invasion of the country by Nazi Germany. If Poland had not had so many Jews in the first place, the argument goes, then the Nazis would have never invaded.

The final difference between Poland from Hungary and the Czech Republic is the power and influence of the Catholic Church. The vast majority of Czechs are atheists. Hungarians are more or less indifferent and secular. In Poland, an absolute majority attend Mass regularly. Ever since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and especially since 1848, the Catholic Church has been largely discredited across Europe. Its crimes against humanity are too great and extensive. No one who studies history would ever argue that the institution of the Catholic Church was a progressive force for peace or liberation. (There is a strain within the Church in the Third World known as Liberation Theology but was ruthlessly suppressed by Pope John Paul II) In Poland, the Church is seen as liberating the country from oppression. It’s beyond the comprehension of most Poles as to why the Czechs do not attend church or why the institution of the Catholic Church is opposed and despised by activists for peace, justice and equality.

Poland is one of the most violent countries in the EU. It ranks near the top for the number of racial assaults and acts of racial violence in the EU. This accounts for the reason why most Black males in Poland rarely seen in public alone and always walk in pairs or groups of up to 5. It’s dangerous for Black males to go out alone in Poland. Poland is also distinguished for sexism and misogyny. Sexism is in every society but in Poland it is so pronounced that even I as a straight male noticed it. I do not know how women cope.

One could write a doctorate dissertation documenting and highlighting the innumerable crimes against decency, justice, human rights, not to mention common sense committed in Poland. If Poland were a small and insignificant country, it could be ignored and laughed at. The opposite is true. Poland is the most enthusiastic member of NATO. Poland was the most fervent backer of the illegal US/UK war against Iraq. Indeed, Poland has the third largest military contingent in Iraq. The greatest danger of Poland is its keenness to provoke  war with Russia. Poland wants to settle old scores with Russia. It goes back beyond the U.S.S.R to the time when Eastern Poland was colonised under Tsarist Russia. These hateful and spiteful resentments of Poland are not only infantile but dangerous to the future of the world.

Poland is attempting to drag, kick and cajole the US and NATO into war with Russia. Poland insists on having the ill-conceived missile defence project on its soil. Poland not only wants anti-ballistic weapons but it also wants American nuclear weapons on its soil aimed at Russia. Poland whined and cried demanding that the US send troops to occupy it. There are very few, if any examples, I know of in recent history when one country has demanded another country to occupy it militarily. The US has acquiesced and 3,000 soldiers will be sent  to Poland by this summer. If a conflict erupts between NATO and Russia which results in nuclear war, Poland will be responsible for it (unless the country of Georgia beats them to the punch). Human existence as we know it could be wiped out by a stupid, backwards and spiteful country. God damn Poland!

 

Categories
Music

BOOK REVIEW: THE NEW SINS ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL OF DAVID BYRNE

9 years have passed since the publication of “The New Sins” by David Byrne . The book which was initially released in May, 2001 has been reissued. It has proven to be the seminal book of the previous decade and is sure to be ranked as one of the 21st century classics.
“The New Sins” was released only 4 months before September 11 and the subsequent events since and the book has prescience. David Byrne has mistakingly been labelled as a “Post-Modern” artist. It would be more correct to call him a Post-Modern critic. That is a critic of Post-Modernism. The New Sins is a scathing critique of Western Post-Modern society.

The book starts off with a hilarious description of its function. It is “a laptop for the soul’ which, ‘like a porno magazine, a home-cooked meal or a strand of DNA’ can be used at any time. David Byrne replaces the money-lenders and whores of Babylon with ‘graphic designers, website managers… women who have married stupid, well-endowed but ridiculous men and Nobel Prize winners’.

The premise of The New Sins starts:
“What was evil, despised and abhorrent yesterday is admirable and cheered today. The wealthy were once looked upon with suspicion, with the assumption that unusual wealth implied some unethical activity, the gains probably ill-gotten. But now this is a mark of virtue. The rich, the ostentatious, the loud, the crass and the indifferent are looked up to as models to be emulated. Only the old fogey would hold fast to childhood and traditional values.”

From there David Byrne begins his thesis:

“One may be tempted to laugh at the suggestion that one’s most treasured virtues are indeed sins… One may, however, upon reflection, come to accept this fact and then find a strange, calm center, a new model, a place of Astonishment and Peace.”

He describes Hell which is basically Western post-modernist society.

“The levels of hell are filled with the virtuous, the nice, the smart and the gregarious. Here they suffer for their sins, especially the hubris of thinking that they have never committed any at all… Here we can see, on the upper levels, graphic designers, website managers and humanitarian relief workers. Their crime? Hubris. Their punishment? Equality. Everyone looks cool, fashionable and absolutely identical… Everything is perfect and unbearable.” The text also includes a revised map of The Inferno, which includes public announcement speakers in the top tiers, with human rights activists and missionaries near the bottom. (Journalists fall somewhere in them idle of the eighth circle of Hell, just below market researchers, while serious pop musicians like Byrne reside in the fifth circle.)

So what are the New Sins according to David Byrne? They are: Charity, Sense of humour, Beauty, Thrift, Ambition, Hope, Intelligence/Knowledge, Contentment, Sweetness, Honesty and Cleanliness.

Charity is a means of exerting ‘not-so-subtle control over another party’. People like Bill Gates “trample on the poor and weak with money.” “If sins can be bought and sold, where does it end? Can anyone buy his way out of a cosmic jam? Do all rich men and women, or those who at least inherit their daddy’s money, go to heaven? Is God an entrepreneur?” This is the most devastating critique of capitalist mentality since Leon Trotsky .

Sense of humour is a sin because “humour is the snap, the breaking point, the straw that breaks the camel’s back and allows us to turn misery into something else. What is that something else? A cackling, ape-like non-verbal noise.” Obama has confirmed this by going on late night TV comedy programs telling jokes to as Byrne says “keep a keeps a hapless population in stitches.”

Beauty is a sin because it ‘creates the illusion that all is well’. Therein lies the deception.

Thrift s a sin because it denies people goods and pleasures that they want. Saving money for a rainy day is such an example of Anglo-Saxon capitalist society. Serbs don’t save money and are notorious spendthrifts which I believe is a good thing.

Ambition is an obvious sin as exemplified by Wall Street financiers and bankers who have caused the current economic depression.

Hope which holds more weight than all the others put together, is essentially empty wishing for order in a chaotic, unfeeling universe. Hope is the most deadly, for it ‘is for the cowardly… it deceives us into thinking that there IS narrative, linearity, and not chaos, chance and luck’. This is how the masses can remain optimistic that all is well with the world. The reality is that Hope is “a way of keeping people blinded, ignorant and servile, ignorant of the true and mystical beauty of the universe, a universe which is meaningless and amoral.”

Byrne’s most provactive sin is Intelligence/Knowledge. Why? Because the more you know, the more you know what you don’t know. Self-knowledge is dangerous, the more one knows oneself, the smaller one’s opinion of oneself.

“Contentment is a feeling which comes about because of three conditions.

1. One has completed a task successfully.
2. One has been flattered by an associate.
3. One has finished a large meal.”

In other words, Contentment is self congratulatory. Americans suffer most from this. Americans believe they live in the best country in the world but based on being content of putting men on the moon and electing a Black President. But does this make it the best country in the world? Why are Americans so content with their rotten society?

Sweetness is a sin because it conceals the bitter reality of life. Politicians try to be sweet when they run. McDonald’s hamburgers are fake food full of toxins but are tasty because they mostly contain sugar. In the West, politicians offer the population candy in order to pacify them as they proceed to rob and enslave them. Byrne writes: “One would do well to be suspicious of all things sweet and cuddly”

Honesty is a sin because it presumes that there is an essential truth. Love is a lie. “Our loved ones demand honesty, but what they really want is better fiction”

Cleanliness “is not next to godliness.” In fact, vaccines, excessive bathing, clean fingers have done to spread more disease than prevent them. “Impurities create natural immunities. (Post)Modern life in its sterile bubble is truly a sin against nature.”

The book concludes by declaring that “Words are no good,” the text states, “They’re unreliable. Untrustworthy. It should be obvious by now that they won’t stay put.”He then launches a blistering attack on “Spin Doctors, Hype Merchants, TV Pundits and Talk Show Experts” Because of them the world has been “beguiled, bewitched, enchanted, charmed, entertained, enthralled, delighted and captivated”. With unusual perception Byrne lashes against those who say “Shopping is Democracy.” In the weeks after 9/11 former New York Mayor Guiliani urged city residents to “keep on shopping to preserve democracy.” His successor Michael Bloomberg urged residents to go out Christmas shopping in spite of one of the worst blizzards in New York history rather than advising them to stay home.

As this nightmare of the previous decade closed with a less promising one ahead, “The New Sins” is a must read book for those feeling isolated, frustrated and helpless in the current social and political environment.

Readers might be confused upon first reading. The danger is that many will not give it a second chance. The book must be read multiple times before the nuances and full contours are found. At first, the reader isn’t sure whether to take it seriously or not. It’s a dark satire filled with subversive subtlety. Some might find Byrne’s accompanying photography on every other page more captivating than the text. The photographic images are subtle and nuanced with endless deep levels.

Overall, “The new Sins” is a contemporary masterpiece of art. David Byrne has stamped art of the 21st Century. It is a must have book on the library shelf, coffee table or even in the bathroom. Whether the reader likes it or not, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

Categories
Global issues World

COUNTDOWN CONTINUES TO EU SELF DESTRUCTION

Europe’s Greek tragedy is reaching the climax of its ever thickening plot. Tensions, flare-ups, angry undiplomatic outbursts from politicians, overt undercutting and tripping of feet have rumbled across the EU. Germany has told Greece to drop dead. The German government has taken upon itself the role of the sole decision maker of who can stay and go in the EU. Germany’s bossy attitude has bristled Greece, raised eyebrows in the UK and has enraged France. German actions of the past week is a case study on how to make enemies and antagonise people.


Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel effectively killed the Euro as a viable currency by refusing and blocking emergency financial aid to the ailing Greek economy. Merkel told Greece not to expect a Euro cent and to go to the IMF for assistance. Other German government ministers and officials from the central bank have told Greece that it should go bankrupt and ultimately be expelled from the Euro currency zone.
Greece doesn’t want to leave and Prime Minister George Papandreou has publicly stated that Greece isn’t going anywhere. Meanwhile, France is agitating for a coordinated EU bailout for Greece. France fears that any Eurozone member state which begs the IMF for loans will give the United States direct influence over the financial governance within the EU. Worse, should the IMF assist an Euro currency country, the credibility of the Euro as a stable currency will be lost. Such a loss of confidence would be the death knell for the European Union as monetary and economic union. Unfortunately, French President Sarkozy has so many domestic problems which have forced him to fight for his political life. Sarkozy lacks the wherewithal to challenge Germany.
For its part, Germany doesn’t give a damn knowing full well the weakness of the French government. Every official statement from France regarding Greece is quickly and officially repudiated by Germany. Tomorrow (Thursday 25 March) will see the heads of all EU governments attend a summit in Brussels. Greece, France and Italy want the Greek crisis to be on the agenda. Germany says no as it sees no reason for Greece to be on the agenda. After all, as the German establishment has reiterated over the past month, the Greeks are lazy and irresponsible people. They have no one to blame but themselves for their troubles. Why should the EU concern itself? The French and British media are fuming at Germany as it has finally dawned upon wide layers of European society that Germany has not only dominated Europe economically but is using its weight to dominate the continent politically.
The increasingly sharp tenor directed at Germany is responded with bellicose rebuttals. Germany has proclaimed that it has the unilateral power and authority to make or break the EU. This has elicited explosions of outrage in the UK. The British Conservative Party, which is widely expected to win the upcoming parliamentary elections in May, has made anti-German chauvinism its battle cry. Nearly half of its elected politicians and ranking party figures are not openly calling for an unilateral UK withdrawal from the EU but also for trade war and economic blockade against Germany. A Conservative British government aims to shovel more dirt over the EU coffin.
The current tensions between the UK and Germany date back to the Panic of 2008. Angela Merkel singled out the UK and US for blame as the cheif culprits for the financial meltdown. She cited a lack of strong government regulation which allowed the shady speculations and illegal financial schemes to plummet the world into the deepest recession since the 1930s. The German Finance Minister at the time insisted that Germany, through the European Commission, should effectively monitor and regulate the financial industry in the UK. The verbal provocation caused Britain get its back up. The UK doesn’t use the Euro currency and is exempted from many provisions of the EU. Britain regards its currency and financial system as its last scrap of sovereignty. Any foreign control over how it does business, particularly from Germany, is taken short of a declaration of war. Expect to see ego clashes and stormy meetings between European politicians during the course of this year.
Germany has made the worst fears of Europe come true since reunification in 1990. Many countries were leery of entering into a political union with Germany, fearing it would result in their subordination to the largest country in Europe. To reassure them, Germany abandoned its very strong and stable Deutsch Mark in return for the creation of the Euro. However, Germany penned the treaties setting stringent rules such as debt limits per ratio to the GPD. The Greek crisis has exposed the imbalanced leverage Germany holds over the smaller and poorer countries of Europe.
Tomorrow’s summit in Brussels will effectively put the final nail in the coffin for the EU. It will also lead to irreconciable differences between Germany and France which eventually will lead to open conflict. With Greece unable to finance its debt in the coming weeks, a new stage of the economic crisis will follow. On the tails of this will come an escalation of political and social crisis. The Countdown to EU self destruction continues apace.

Categories
Global issues USA

LEFT FOR DEAD PART 1: THE DECLINE AND FALL OF AMERICAN LIBERALISM

This is the first of a 3 Part series on the dearth of progressive politics and activism within the Western World.

What a difference a century makes! Within the United States, the 20th century was noted for further gains of equality and moving towards fulfilling the promise of true Democracy. The end of the second decade finally established women as “persons” and thus the right to vote. Workers, who had for decades been subjected to bloody repression at the hands of Industrial magnates as well as State and Federal governments alike, won the right to organise themselves into trade unions and collective bargaining. By the mid 1950s, laws enforcing racial segregation in all spheres of society were beginning to be overthrown reaching their climax ten years later. The decade of the 1960s witnessed mass movements against war and compulsory military conscription. The end of the same decade gave birth to the Sexual Revolution . The 1970s ushered in the Second Wave of Feminism which resulted in the legal right for women to have abortions. 18 year olds obtained the right to vote. The military draft was abolished. Richard Nixon was the first and only American President to openly say he supportws of “Black Power “. Nixon signed into law the most comprehensive environmental protection laws. It was under Nixon that racial minorities and women obtained positions in universities as well as government or government funded institutions under special regulations which set a determined percentage of splaces for them. Apart from the tangible social and political gains, the 20th century produced some of the most advance politically conscious art. It was during the 1930s when films against the lynching of Blacks in the American South were screened. As the country was in the throes of the Great Depression, films and books accurately presented the hardships endured by most citizens. Notable figures such as the writer John Steinbeck and film maker/actor Orson Welles , just to name a couple, participated in the cultural milieu to raise consciousness about injustices of American society. Rock music was the spark which ignited the coming of the Sexual Revolution and helped to facilitate racial integration. By the late 1960s Motown served as the soundtrack to the Civil Rights battles raging across the country. By the mid 1970s, mostly as a result of the excesses of Nixon, Hollywood produced hundreds of anti-authority films and TV shows. The police were commonly depicted as corrupt, lazy and stupid. Starting with“Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) many heroes were the bank robbers and outlaws while the police and figures of authority were depicted as villains. Viewers always cheered for the outlaws and relished in the setbacks and defeats for the police. The film which exemplifies this trend most is “The Blues Brothers” (1980).

The most important point not to miss was the appetite and desire for social justice amongst the population itself. In the big metropolitan cities of the Northern and Western United States, many people identified themselves as “Liberals”. They supported Civil Rights and racial equality. The were opposed to the police state terror methods which were employed against civil rights and anti-war activists. Many supported the passage to the Equal Rights Amendment . In social settings, individuals would converse and argue about politics and the affairs of the day. The arguments were mostly over minor details of divergence but they were in general agreement within the frame of liberal politics.

Indeed, the last point cannot be overstated. American society, for most of the 20th century was social. Neighbours talked to one another from front porches. Families listened to the radio together and would often discuss what they heard. As the country went through convulsions of the upheavals in the latter half of the 1960s, people would discuss the issues and problems of the day with one another. In New York City , for example, thousands of people went to Central Park on the day of Martin Luther King’s assassination just to talk and console one another. TV programming had set aside many hours for community and public affairs broadcasts. TV news broadcasts more or less reported on the issues of the day. Protests and demonstrations were shown on TV screens. The horrors of the Vietnam War came directly into the living rooms of Americans. Talk shows were a different fare from the Trash TV presented today by Jerry Springer or Ricki Lake. Talk shows were serious and sober affairs where political activists, intellectuals and academics participated in panel discussions where debates and exchanges were civil.

Things changed dramatically begining in 1979. A right wing backlash against the political gains of the previous three decades began to manifest. Perhaps, the most dramatic was the anti-Disco movement which peaked during the summer of 1980. Tens of thousands of disco records were burned and blown up in rallies reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. The Iranian Revolution and the take over of the US Embassy revived a jingoistic reactionary nationalism not seen since the 1950s. The Republican Party nominated Ronald Reagan as its Presidential candidate. Reagan began his campaign by visiting a white supremacist festival in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The first organisation to endorse Reagan was the Ku Kux Klan . Reagan capitalised on the resentments felt in many quarters of White Middle America,who felt their privileged to be in danger as a result of the gains of Black Americans. The anti-Disco movement was first and foremost a racist movement. Disco music was just a code word for Black music. Never mind the fact that there were just as many white Disco acts as Black, Disco was the cultural indicator that the country was turning Black. Reagan ran his campaign as if the year was 1948. He was elected by a landslide.

Still, despite the setback of the election of a far-right wing President, Liberalism was still alive. Both houses of the US Congress were controlled by Liberal Democrats. The midterm elections of 1982 resulted in the victories of Liberal politicians. Though, talk radio on the AM frequency presented more reactionary presenters, there were still many liberal personalities on the air,most notably Studs Terkel.Liberals weren’t happy with Reagan. There was still many critical voices against Reagan heard on TV and radio broadcasts as well as in print.

Something went horribly awry in 1984. Reagan was re-elected by an even larger landslide victory than in 1980. He won over many liberals and most shockingly, he received the support of tens of thousands of voters who had marched with Blacks in the South for civil rights. Many activists who had opposed the Vietnam War voted for Reagan. What was perhaps most shocking was the support Reagan received from Eldridge Cleaver, once the Minister of Information for theBlack Panthers. 1984 was the beginning of the irreversible decline of American Liberalism.

There are many possible reasons for the support that self-described Liberals Reagan received. By the mid 1980s, the US seemed to enjoy a Golden Age. Though wages had stagnated since 1977, the purchasing power of Americans seemed to be greater than ever thanks mostly in part to the explosion of the use of credit cards. The 1980s witnessed the beginning of the IT age. Most children, even those from poor backgrounds, had their own video game consoles. Colour TVs, out of reach for most Americans just a decade before, was now found in the living rooms in millions of American households. The US was at peace or seemed to be. The country was not involved in any military adventures, even though the government was financing dirty secret proxy wars in Central America and Afghanistan . Most Americans had thought that the race problem had been sorted once and for all. By the end of the 1980s, nearly half of the cities had elected Black mayors. Black enrollment at universities and colleges was at the highest than any other time in American history. Affirmative Action elevated tens of thousands of Blacks into the white collar professions.  Liberals saw race no longer as a problem. Rather, they considered the masses of Blacks living impoverished ghettos as an economic issue that had to be addressed. Liberals who were still in opposition to Reagan criticized his transfer of wealth from poor to rich would cite the plight of inner-city Blacks.

1988 entrenched the decay of Liberalism with the election of George H. Bush , the father of W. Bush. Bush, Sr was elected by opposing liberalism ideologically and by running ads implying if the Democrats won the presidency, Black men would rape and kill white women. (See Willie Horton Ad ). Michael Dukakis was one of the last liberal politician to run for President for the Democrats which paved the way to the rise of the anti-liberal wing of the Democrats led by Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

By 1992, Liberalism was in retreat. After the New Hampshire Primary, Bill Clinton who was at the time the Governor of Arkansas personally oversaw the execution of a mentally disabled  Black man named Ricky Ray Rector . Bill Clinton ran on a platform against welfare and other social safety net programs and supported capital punishment. That same year, Rudy Giuliani , who was narrowly defeated by then New York Mayor David Dinkins , organised a riot of 10,000 police against the Black mayor . The Liberals of the city were silent.

1993 was when the knife was stabbed into the heart of liberalism. Giuliani, who received not a word of criticism from the Liberal media for his role in the racist police riot the previous year, ran for Mayor on an openly racist platform. His margin of victory was provided by the white supremacist New York City Borough of Staten Island. Liberalism staggered on its dying legs around abortion rights. Despite of Bill Clinton”s right wing campaign promises which were the antithesis of everything Liberalism stood for, Liberals supported Clinton to preserve abortion rights.

1994 saw the death of liberalism. The OJ Simpson case sent American society in social convulsions. The media dropped all pretences of being objective and neutral and peddled in hysteria. Tabloid newspapers and local TV news broadcasts were filled only with sensationalist stories on crime. Despite the FBI crime stats indicating sharp decrease in the crime rate, most Americans perceived the country to be full of murders and rapists. The wall to wall and non-stop coverage of Simpson being charged for murdering his white wife was enough to propel Newt Gingrich and the far-right wing forces of the Republican Party into controlling both houses of the US Congress. Liberalism was eradicated from American national politics once and for all. The 1994 elections saw the defeat of Liberal icon Mario Cuomo in the New York State.gubernatorial race that year. George W. Bush was elected as governor of Texas.

In 1996, all liberal perspectives and opinions were banished from the established newspapers and transmission broadcasters. The 1996 Telecommunications Act , lifted restrictions and regulations concerning media. Now, Rupert Murdoch was allowed to own newspapers and tv channels in the same market which had been prohibited in the Communications Act of 1934. The main three television networks were taken over by conglomerates. Ted Turner and Disney had managed to consolidate their media enterprises. In this climate, only the views of the far-right and the corporations were heard. Liberal voices disappeared and if they did appear, they were subjected to abuse and ridicule.

Culturally, TV programs and films followed the turn to the right. Films like “Forrest Gump”  (1994) and “True Lies” (1994) peddled idiocy and racist imperialist militarism for entertainment. With the exception of “Bad Lieutenant” (1992) and “Natural Born Killers” (1994), Hollywood stopped producing anti-authority films. Indeed, Hollywood began to churn out more and more police state films and TV shows such as “NYPD Blue” which glorified police brutality.

Liberalism was finally buried in 1997 with the re-election of Guiliani. In spite of sacking nearly half of the city’s Black Civil Servants, along with a 60% increase in police brutality underlined with a sharp increase of random executions and torture of Black men at the hands of the police Guiliani was re-elected with the majority support of Liberals. This in spite of inequality approaching Third World levels Guiliani won the approval of liberals. The first act of Guiliani was to abolish the New York City Human Rights Commission. Liberals stopped thinking critically, closed their eyes to reality and embraced fascism.

In 2008, many thought that Liberalism would resurrect from the dead in the shape of Barack Obama. Again, no one paid attention as he spelt out clearly that he would escalate and expand the Afghan War into Pakistan. Obama sounded like a liberal but paying close attention to his words revealed deeply entrenched conservatism. The last remaining Liberals are either disillusioned or self delusional. Barack Obama , more than anything else, represents the fall of American Liberalism.

Categories
Global issues UK World

LEFT FOR DEAD PART 2: THE BANKRUPTCY OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

This is the second of a 3 part series on the dearth of progressive politics within the Western world.

Social Democracy is bankrupt. Their policies have led millions across Europe to lose faith in democracy. The Conservative parties screw the population. They are voted out only to have the Social Democrats screw the population harder and worse. Within the parameters of European parliamentary politics the Left is discredited. They are for all intent and purposes dead.

  Contrary to North America, Liberalism has a completely different meaning in Europe. Liberals are considered to be free market ideologues who want absolutely no State or governmental interference in business or in public life. Though they support individual rights and defend justice against tyranny against State repression, they absolutely reject social equality. They are opposed to the funding and running of public education. Liberals oppose national health care, public housing and the government administering of public transit and other infrastructure. Support for these initiatives came from Social Democracy. In North America, the United States in particular, Socialism is the Bogeyman. Canada , which is closer to Europe in its political and social orientation, has a Social Democratic party. The New Democratic Party (NDP) has governed for decades in more than half of Canadian provinces but have never been elected to federal government. The task of social equality has been the domain of the Liberal Party of Canada. In the US, it was the liberal wing of the Democratic Party which initiated social and political reforms.

European Social Democracy first appeared on the political scene in the 1880s in Germany. At first, they called themselves Socialists. They consisted of a wide layer of political streams ranging from Democratic reformists to revolutionaries. The conflicting trends were unsustainable which ultimately led to the splintering of the Socialists. Those who advocated reforms through elections to various national parliaments  became known as Social Democrats. The revolutionaries attacked and opposed the Social Democrats as reformists. The revolutionary camp splintered due to widening differences. Those who adhered to revolutionary Marxism would call themselves Communists. Those who were opposed to any form of government and the State called themselves Anarchists.

The German Social Democrats were the first socialist group to make significant electoral gains in Europe by the first decade of the 20th century. They demanded the 8 hour work day, the end to child labour, a minimum wage, universal free education, better housing for the working class, the separation of the church from public affairs and a host of other reforms.  Their main opponents were the Liberals who represented the industrial capitalists and the Conservatives and Christian Socialists who represented the monarchist and the Catholic church.

The end of the First World War resulted in the fall of the German and Austro-Hungarian monarchies. In the wreckage of war and political vacuum, the Social Democrats found themselves propelled to power. The Social Democrats were the founders of the first republics of Austria and Germany. Those were the first nations in the world governed by Social Democrats. The Russian Revolution of 1917 staggered the Social Democrats. Their old allies had seized power in a violent overthrow of the Russian Tsar. In Hungary, the Communists under Bela Kun were staging ever more militant and violent street protests. Afraid of the violence of revolution and not wanting to abolish capitalism, the German and Austrian Social Democrats viewed the Communists with fear and loathing. The old allies would become become bitter enemies.

In the decade after the First World War , the Austrian Social Democrats concentrated their power in the capital, Vienna. The party undertook the most impressive and successful reforms of any country in the world. To alleviate the acute housing crisis and homelessness, the Social Democrats had built dozens of public housing complexes known as Wohnparks (Apartment Parks). Complexes such as Karl Max Hof, Friederich Engles Platz and Raben Hof were designed and built as castles for the working class.The Vienna Social Democrats hiked the taxes on the rich to finance the construction. Banks were excluded from financing or sponsoring the Wohnparks. The Wohnparks became world renowned for their luxury. Never before in history had the poor classes been provided with so much splendor and opulence. The Wohnparks, unlike the housing projects later built in the US or the Council Estates of the UK, were urban oasis’. Not only were lawns and trees planted but many of the complexes had their own free kindergartens. Many complexes had their own theatres and theatre workshops where working class writers and actors would work and put on plays for their neighbours. In addition to the Wohnparks, the Social Democrats of Vienna built “Settlements”.These are small one story houses built on the periphery of the city. They are noted for their unique design of gardens and bungalows. In esscene the working class with given large plots of land where they could plant their own vegetables. Until today, there has never been any replication of the housing scheme as in Vienna during the 1920s and early 30s. Up until today they remain considered to be the best examples of urban and social planning.

Of course, the Social Democrats made enemies. They all but banned the influence of the Catholic Church from public life. The pay-what-you-can scheme for the housing complexes bristled the banks. The building of workers palaces in the rich areas alienated the bourgeoisie. To complicate matters more, the Social Democrats were thoroughly urban and had snobbish attitudes towards the rural population outside of Vienna. Many of the leading and most influential members of the Social Democrats were ethnic Jews though most of them were non-religious and atheists. Within 5 years of founding the First Republic, the Social Democrats lost federal power to the Catholic Church. The Social Democrats reinforced their position in Vienna. Red Vienna became the Social Democratic fortress.  The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought the political and social fissures to a head. In February 1934, the reactionary forces of the Catholic Church with their petit-bourgeoisie allies assembled an army consisting of residents from the provinces and led an assault on Vienna. The 4 day civil war was the first war against fascism in Europe. The Catholics won. Red Vienna was defeated and the era of AustroFascism had begun and lasted until the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938.

In Germany, the Social Democrats of the Weimar Republic had been dealt a difficult hand to play. With Germany bearing the full responsibility for the start of the First World War (when in reality it was Austria-Hungary ), the government found itself in a debt trap of forced reparations to the victorious Allied Powers. The German Social Democrats were not in the position as their Austrian counterparts to enact such far reaching reforms as in Vienna. However, the German Social Democrats found success where the Austrians didn’t. The German Social Democrats wrote the most advanced constitution that the world has ever seen. It guaranteed more rights than the American Constitution. It was one of the first constitutions to explicitly guarantee equal rights between men and women. It gave women the right to vote more than a year before the US and more than 20 years before France. Also, the Social Democrats had a broader base throughout the country as opposed to their Austrian counterparts who only had power in Vienna. The social and political tensions were more explosive in Germany than in Austria. The Social Democrats adopted authoritarian laws and repression in an desperate attempt to maintain order. By 1930, they lost Federal power and in 1933, the Nazis came to power.

What is completely ignored in the official history books and forgotten in social memory were the revolutionary uprisings which swept across Europe in the days after the defeat of the Axis Powers in 1945. From Belgium to Greece , the masses of Europe rose up violently in disgust of imperialist and capitalist war. Indeed, The Netherlands , Belgium, Italy and Greece were all on the verge of becoming Peoples Republics. It took Allied soldiers who had just finished fighting Nazi soldiers to put down the rebellions in Belgium and The Netherlands. In Italy, the American military authorities restored the Fascists to power to brutally crush the revolution. In Greece, Joseph Stalin ordered the Greek Communist Party to repress the revolution.

Alarmed by these developments the Social Democrats were brought in to control the population and to stamp out the fires of revolution. Reforms were rushed through and along with American money, Western Europe was rebuilt physically and socially. New social contracts were enacted into law which raised the living standards for the masses dramatically. 5 week paid holidays, free universal education from pre-school to university, massive constructions of social housing complexes, workers rights were all the results of the fear of the capitalists and Social Democrats of revolution. Wrongly worried about the influence of the USSR , which under Stalin had completely abandoned the goal of world socialist revolution, the Social Democrats played the role in preserving capitalism under strict regulation.

Before the Second War War was completed, Winston Churchill was defeated and the Labour Party under Clement Atlee was elected. Atlee established the National Health Service (NHS) which became the model for national health care schemes across Europe. Labour nationalised a quarter of key industries such as steel, coal and the railways. Labour also weakened and reduced the power of the un-elected and monarchist House of Lords .

By the late 1960s, the social upheavals spread to Europe most famously with theMay 1968 General Strike in France. West Germany and France had been governed by conservatives since the end of the war. Fed up with the authoritarian governments of Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer , the masses exploded in anger. In 1968, Willy Brandt led the German SPD to a majority government. That same year, Bruno Kreisky led the Austrian Social Democrats also to a majority government. Once again the Social Democrats came to the rescue and helped to defuse social tensions.

The 1970s are widely regarded as the golden era of European Social Democracy. Scandinavia, The Netherlands, and Belgium all had Social Democratic governments. The overthrow of the fascist Salazar dictatorship in Portugal ushered in democracy under the rule of the Socialists. In Spain , Franco negotiated the transition from fascist dictatorship to democracy  with the Socialist Party. The 14 year reign of the German SPD was characterised most with its war against the Red Army Faction (RAF ). It added a few more social reforms but most of those had already been enacted in the past. The 15 year reign of the SPOe in Austria had more notable success. Kreisky played a key role in diffusing tensions between the US and the USSR during the Cold War . Austria was officially neutral and  was nearly surrounded by communists countries. The Austrians had the best of both worlds. They had all the social rights and protections of socialism but enjoyed all the political freedoms of liberal democracy. When it came to true Social Democracy, Austria was the lead country.

In the UK, both Labour and the Conservatives stumbled and staggered from one crisis to the next. Britain was mortally wounded as an economic power during the Second World War. Britain in the 1970s was a country in turmoil. Neither party was able to propose any solutions. Labour returned to power in 1974 under which there were conditions of mass unemployment and racial warfare on the streets of the country. Labour would eventually lose the 1979 election to Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives and the the course of history was forever altered (More below about New Labour).

France elected a Social Democrat President relatively late. Francois Mitterrand was elected in 1981. His regime got off to a bad start as the government attempted to impose an economic dictatorship. Capital fled out of the country. The French Franc lost nearly half its value within a few months. Controls on how much individuals could withdraw from the bank were imposed. When French citizens left the country, they were subjected to aggressive and instrusive inspections to ensure they had not more than $1000US in possession. The right took control of the National Assembly and Mitterrand was forced to scale back his economic program or else face bankruptcy. Mitterrand was a philosopher king.  However, he did very little to improve the lot for racial minorities in France. Arabs and Africans found themselves increasingly marginalised from society locked in the Banlieu ghettos which ring the major cities of France. Though Mitterrand raged against the conditions and accurately foresaw the danger to the republic, he never once attempted to implement any reforms to combat discrimination and racism. Mitterrand finished his political career utterly discredited. He had crafted a carefully constructed image as an anti-Nazi. He was known to have been part of  the French resistance. In 1994, he was exposed as having many high contacts and personal friends who were part of the Vichy Nazi collaborist regime. Mitterrand hedged his bets. When it seemed that the Nazis were on a roll, he was preparing himself for high politics as a fascist. In 1942 after the battle of Stalingrad and it was clear that the tide had turned against the Nazis did he join the resistance.

The 1980s and 1990s were the wilderness years for Social Democrats in West Germany and the UK. In Germany, the Christian Democrats ruled for 16 years. The British Conservatives ruled for 18 years. During these long years in opposition, the SPD and Labour organised internal witch hunts against left wingers. Socialists were expelled from the parties. Each successive election defeats resulted with the Social Democrats moving further and further to the right. In 1994, a young man by the name of Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour Party. He would change the nature of Social Democracy for ever.

NEW LABOUR: FROM SOCIALISM TO CORPORATISM

Tony Blair was never shy about his enthusiasm for the policies of Margaret Thatcher. Before the 1997 general election, Blair had the Labour Party constitution changed. Article 4, which called for the nationalisation of industry, was removed. Blair went into an alliance with Rupert Murdoch by promising he would govern far to the right of the Conservatives. Tony Blair’s central campaign platform was “Education” but he ran on a right wing campaign modelled after Bill Clinton. Indeed, the Clinton White House overtly advised Blair’s election campaigned. The traditional calls for social justice and equality were dumped in favour of a law and order campaign.

It wasn’t difficult for Labour to win the election. 18 years of Conservative government were too much just as it wasn’t difficult for Barack Obama to win after 8 years of Bush. Blair implemented two pieces of reform. He overturned a law which criminalised open displays of homosexuality and ratified the European Charter of Rights . Blair proceeded to implement some of the most regressive policies in the world. He went on a privatisation rampage which saw state schools privatised and closed down. Labour made more cuts to education than the Conservatives. The Terrorism Act of 2000 criminalised nearly all forms of political protest.CCTV surveillance cameras sprouted like wild weeds on every street, bus and intersections in the country making the UK the country under the most surveillance in the world. Labour enacted anti-social behaviour ordinances where previously minor offensives were punishable by heavy fines, electronic ankle trackers, and community service sentences. Parents were penalised if their children committed anti-social offenses. For example, if they lived in social housing, entire families would be evicted if a member of the household was arrested or charged for an anti-social infraction. The police were given expanded powers. The UK was the first country in the world where the police had the right to take DNA samples from persons arrested. Even when those persons have charges dropped or acquitted in court, the police still keep their DNA for the rest of their lives.

Blair is distinguished as the first Social Democrat to embrace war and militarism. He is an international war criminal and terrorist. He is guilty for 3 illegal wars (Yugoslavia 1999, Afghanistan 2001 and Iraq 2003). He has transformed the United Kingdom into an Orwellian police state . He has abused the powers of his office. Blair became Prime Minister solely for the purpose of becoming a millionaire . Under his watch, inequality in the UK is the greatest since the reign of Queen Victoria . The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the EU only behind Romania and Bulgaria. 25% of children in the UK live below poverty compared with 20% in the UK. The UK imprisons more people than any other EU country. It has the distinguished honour of being 2nd behind the US for the number of people incarcerated or under anti-social behaviour punishment.

THE CORRUPTION OF SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTIES

The results of Blair were bad enough but he set the template for all other Social Democrats in Europe. In 1998, the German SPD in coalition with the Greens took power. The results are staggering. 100,000 people in Germany only earn 1 Euro per hour as dictated under the vicious Hartz IV welfare “reform” laws. In the capital of Berlin the unemployment rate ranges between 30 to 40%. It was under the Social Democrats and the supposedly pacifist Greens, when during the NATO bombing against Yugoslavia, that Germany engaged in its first act of war since 1945. The military budget grew under the Social Democrats as billions were slashed in social welfare, wages, pensions, education and health care. It was under the Social Democrats of Gerhard Schroeder that Germany has re-militarized.  Prominent Social Democratic politicians in the Berlin city government have recently made racist and xenophobic rants disguised as speeches.

In Austria, the Socialists peddled in open racism. In one of the most frightening and horrible spectacles in modern history, hundreds of Africans were rounded up and arrested in 1999 and charged with selling drugs during Operation Spring. Their only crime was protesting the police killing of the Nigerian Marcus Omofuma while he was being deported out of Austria. In a cynical ploy to fend off defeat at the hands of the far right in the upcoming elections, the Socialist Democrats resorted to naked racism and threw out the most elementary rules of justice. In the end, they were ejected from office and replaced by a far-right wing government for their efforts.

With the onset of the economic crisis, it is the Social Democratic governments of Spain, Portugal and Greece which are implementing a savage assault on the quality of life of the masses. Unlike their political ancestors, who would have taxed the rich and raised corporate taxes, they absolutely refuse to do that. Instead, the take away the bread, wages and health of the poor and middle classes.

The social and political crisis in Europe and the world have many sources. The roots date back to 1982, when Neoliberalism became the official religion of the world. Social Democrats, who historically opposed exploitation of the masses by the rich few, have embraced the religion. The collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe which called themselves “Real Existing Socialism” has had the effect of discrediting Marxism. However, the Social Democrats have discarded the goals of achieving more equality and improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable. They have joined their one time Conservative and Liberal foes in pursuing the impoverishment of the masses and a return to the most extreme forms of exploitation.

The masses in Europe are as angry as they are disillusioned. The German SPD share of the vote in the last national elections was the lowest in its history. Hundreds of thousands of people stayed at home not bothering to vote. In the UK, the Labour Party is on the verge of defeat. The only thing which may prevent them from a Canadian Progressive-Conservative electorial disaster is that most people are aware that the Conservatives aren’t any better and are probably worst. In Austria, the Socialists may find themselves winning their very last elections scheduled for Vienna this year. It seems inevitable that the fascist Freedom Party will form the next national government.

Social Democracy is bankrupt. Their policies have led millions across Europe to lose faith in democracy. The Conservative parties screw the population. They are voted out only to have the Social Democrats screw the population harder and worse. Within the parameters of European parliamentary politics the Left is discredited. They are for all intent and purposes dead.

Categories
Global issues World

T MINUS 2 MINUTES AND COUNTING: EU SUMMIT FAILS TO DEFUSE IMPENDING COLLAPSE

After two days of the EU summit in Brussels  a compromise seemed to be negated but the devil is in the details. The leaders agreed to a tentative agreement regarding an EU wide financial bailout for Greece, with strings attached of course. However, there are as many strings attached as needed to manipulate an octopus marionette on stage. Ultimately the EU simply played for time but achieved nothing concrete.

 

The EU leaders agreed to a 20 billion aid package for Greece which would be done through 16 bilateral loans between individual Eurozone countries to Greece. It sounds good until one reads the fine print. 1/3 of the 20 billion loan must come from the IMF. Furthermore, Greece can only receive the loans after all “market” attempts to find financing have been exhausted. In other words, Greece must try to raise money by selling it’s sovereign debt bonds which the financial markets will only accept for high interest rates. As of last week, Greek bonds were selling at the minimum of 5.5% interest. Financial speculators won’t touch them even at that high interest rate and will most likely ask for 7% and higher. Even at 5% interest rate, the Greek government will find it nearly impossible to pay off the interest alone and will be forced to default.

Should that option fail and Greece applies to the EU, there is still another snag in the tangled web which the EU has weaved. The agreement reached in Brussels must be subject to approval by all 16 nations of the Eurozone. If one country balks, then Greece is left in a lurch. Once again, Germany has played its Kings and still has 4 Aces up its sleeve.German Chancellor Angela Merkel was irritated to even discuss Greece on the agenda. She set all the terms of the agreement just to placate Greece and to shut the face of French President Sarkozy. When Merkel stipulated that all Eurozone countries must approve the agreement, she really set Germany up to veto the package at a later date.  Germany has made up its mind that Greece must leave the EU. Furthermore, the fine print stipulates that any country which fails to adhere strictly to budgetary rules must face painful sanctions under threat of expulsion.

Meanwhile, the entire German financial establishment through the international media have spelt out the reality is no uncertain terms. They have put Europe on notice. The Greek government must impoverish its citizens if it wants to remain in the EU. The best solution, of course, would be for for Greece to drop the Euro once and for all. The other struggling EU countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy must shape up or ship out. France meanwhile must emulate Germany. The French government must decrease wages by implementing 1 Euro per hour jobs as Germany has done and savagely dismantle the social safety net. What happens if the other countries refuse to play ball according to the rules dictated by Germany? Germany will simply pull out of the monetary union and screw the Continent. The match has reached 88 minutes with 2 minutes left on the clock before it”s game over for the EU

Categories
Global issues

LEFT FOR DEAD PART 3: RADICAL TRENDS OF POLITICAL DISINTEGRATION

This is the conclusion of a 3 part series on the dearth of progressive politics within the Western world.

In the face of limp Liberalism  and the treachery of Social Democracy , more and more youth in the West are turning to more radical Leftist trends such as Anarchism, Feminism and Animal Rights. These are invariably linked to militant and compulsory militant vegetarianism, veganism and so-called Queer Positivism. However, an examination of these movements reveals forced conformity, suppression of free speech and most troubling, the end of free sexuality.

Starting around 1989, a new movement swept across university campuses of North America. It was called Political Correctness. It was initiated by student activists around the issues of anti-sexism and anti-racism and many other forms of discrimination and oppression. Though the 1960s banished the term Negro and replaced it with Black, that was no longer deemed politically correct and the term African-American was adopted. By 1992, it became fashionable to changed the spelling of the word “Women” to “Womyn” as the former was sexist as it contained the word “man” in it. Other common words were deemed as not politically correct. People were no longer “short” in height but rather “vertically challenged”. 20 years after the Stonewall  uprising which gave birth to the modern Gay and Lesbian movement, an old pejorative “Queer” had been “reclaimed” by homosexual activists.

What became a most startling development was a new term which has sent a chilling wave over an entire generation. This is known as ”Date Rape”. As opposed to the more traditional definition of rape, which is an act of sexual violence to inflict pain and humiliation, “date rape” is defined as non-consensual sex between a male and a female. Unlike the the traditional definition of rape, “date rape” can occur without the use of drugs, violence or the threat or intimidation of violence. The definition of consent means that a woman had to be asked and give a clear “yes” or approval to sexual activity. An unsolicited kiss and nothing more could be construed as “date rape.” More on that below.

As the 1990’s came to a close, more and more people in the West decided to forgo meat and meat products all together and become vegetarians. Those who refuse to eat dairy products such as cream and cheese were called vegans. Vegetarianism is as old as humanity itself. Veganism is a new social phenomena which is still based in the West. Since the end of the 19th century, vegetarianism became a political movement in Europe associated with right wing groupings. The most famous vegetarian movement was Nazism upon which the values of vegetarianism were held in importance after anti-Semetism and white supremacy. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Within the past decade, vegetarianism and veganism have morphed into a political movement and a trend among all types of self-described “anti-capitalists”. Indeed, it has become practically an unwritten rule that for one to be a “Leftist”, that one must adhere to vegetarianism and/or veganism. More about that below.

In any event, many rules and conditions were set if one wanted to be allowed within certain “anti-capitalist” social scenes. To be a “real” Leftist one has to embrace anti-capitalism, animal rights, feminism, “queerness” and of course vegetarianism/veganism. Failure to adhere to one of the above made one suspect. Failure to adhere to more made one invariably a “sexist”, a “homophobe” and of course a “fascist”. This article will survey the movements of the far-left starting from 1999 until the present.
Anti-Globalisation Movement 1999-2001:

With justification, there was global opposition mounted to the effects of Globalisation and Free Trade policies. The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)  led to a reduction of wages, the destruction of thousands of manufacturing jobs and the proliferation of sweat shops and slave working conditions. The multi-national corporations made enormous profits while many mid size and small businesses were forced out of business. Globalisation had led to a homogenisation of the world where local culture and customs have been displaced with American consumer culture. Major retail chains and corporations were revealed to use child labour and sweat shop labour where workers were paid pennies a day under brutal conditions. In the Western countries themselves, jobs at Starbucks, The Gap and Wal-Mart were low paid with no benefits. Entire neighbourhoods were transformed from modest communities into high priced gentrified districts where people of colour and those with low incomes were pushed out in favour of those with higher incomes. Hence, Harlem  which was once the largest and oldest Black neighbourhood in the Western world, will not have any Black residents within 5 years. When economic ethnic cleansing was the result, came the lost of local bakeriesand hardware stores. Small grocery stores were closed as huge cookie-cutter box stores such as Wal-Mart  and Home Depot blighted neighbourhoods.

There had been lots of research and studies on the effects of Globalisation in the Third World. Haiti , for example, is one of the largest rice producing countries in the world, yet it must export all its rice for practically nothing and then import all it’s food at high rates. Haitians are starving even though they produce enough food to feed themselves.  This process is replicated all across the Third World.

At the World Trade Organization  summit held in Seattle at the end of November 1999, trade unionists, environmentalists and global justice activists took the world by surprise and disrupted the summit. This led to street clashes with the police. For the first time, there was a vocal opposition to the destructive policies of Globalisation which had been parroted in the media as beneficial to humanity.

This led to a series of protests at summits where global leaders would meet. World Bank and IMF summits were greeted with protesters. G8 summits became flash points which led to the shooting death of Carlo Guiliani in Genoa , Italy in 2001. New “professional” activists engaged in Summit hopping who travelled from continent to continent to protest the meetings of heads of states along with corporate and banking executives.

There was heady talk about bringing capitalism to an end and that the revolution was coming. The old tactics of organising were abandoned. Anti-hierarchy became the catch-term. There were no leaders of the movement. There were only “Affinity Groups” and general meetings were conducted by “consensus”. There was no clear strategy of what exactly the protests would entail. Indeed, the protesters themselves were split. Marxists and anarchists opposed to capitalism protested along side with animal rights activists along with feminists. Bystanders were often confused as to what people were demonstrating exactly. There were two contradictory camps within the anti-globalisation movement. On one side were the anti-capitalists and on the other side were the pro-capitalists. These divisions were excaberated by those who believed in “diversity of tactics” including the use of violence to those who were strictly against violence and forms of property damage. With all these contradictions and tensions, it wasn’t very long or hard for this movement to fall apart. First without any leadership, clear agenda or purpose, the protests were disorganised. Second, many believed that the Nation State was weak or being destroyed. The central thrust of the anti-globalisation arguement was that national governments had been taken over by multi-national corporations and that the sovereignty of  nations were being eliminated by non-elected organisations such as the WTO,IMF and World Bank. This led to tensions with the Anarchists who advocated for the destruction of the Nation State. The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 derailed the anti-globalisation movement, as the National Security State  roared back to life.

Anti-War Movement 2002-2008

The terror attacks provided the justification for the erosion of civil and political rights around the world as well for unrestrained militarism. The US government under George W. Bush cynically used it to launch a war without end on terror. When by mid 2002, Bush and Blair made it clear that Iraq would be the next nation to be attacked, the largest demonstration protest in the history of humanity on February 15, 2003 . In the face of overwhelming opposition, the US and UK governments proceeded to launch the illegal war against Iraq. That was effectively the end of protesting as a means of effecting political change. It succeeded in demoralising the citizens of the world. No matter how much they expressed their opposition, no matter how unpopular government policies were, there was nothing that could be done. In the US, the anti-war movement turned into a campaign to support the Democrats. Once in power (2006 in the Congress and 2008 with the election of Barack Obama), the wars continued nonetheless. The anti-war movement has proven to be a spectacular failure.

Anarchism

Anarchism, as described in the second part of this series , sprang from the anti-capitalist mass movements of the late 19th century. With the fall of the official Marxist countries, Anarchism has filled the political vacuum on the left. Anarchists want to smash the state and end all forms of authority and hierarchy. However, it has a spotty record and has led to disaster in Spain  and Ukraine . There are many self-described Anarchists who were former Nazis and many Nazis who were former Anarchists. Anarchism and Nazism are two sides of the same coin. Anarchists are overwhelmingly white and middle class. Just as I reported about in Cologne, Germany , they consider themselves to be anti-racists because they fight Nazis. It doesn’t take very long for people of colour to become disillusioned by Anarchists. Anarchists are generally latent racists and take their alleged anti-racism on a superficial intellectual level.

Anarchism by its very nature is backwards, provincial and reactionary. It is anti-social because it’s anti-society. They want to take humanity back to the ages before civilizations developed. Indeed, it was the rise of civilisations which gave birth to states along with rulers such as kings, emperors and clergy. Their solution is to have localised small communities where decisions are made by the community consensus. Anarchism rejects equality because it is individualistic in the extreme. As one Anarchist in Vienna said: “I don”t believe in equality because no one is equal to me.” Problems and conflicts which arise are settled in public and punishment and sanctions are not done with the rudimentary sense of justice or fairness. There are still rules within Anarchist communities. When the rules are broken, the perpetrator is expelled from the community and even subject to violence and public shaming.

There can be no justice under Anarchism because Justice is simply a tool and creation of the State. For the Anarchist, Justice connotes the police and the courts. The philosophical meaning of “justice” which Plato explored and elaborated on are thrown out the window. Anti-oppression is simply a rallying cry to overthrow the State but there’s no consideration as to how justice would be achieved in Anarchist society. Conformity is in enforced among Anarchists as  in normal society. One must dress and behave a certain way. One must think and hold views that the majority hold. Anti-social behaviour and deviance is considered the norm.

Anarchism is profoundly anti-intellectual and disdains scholarship. Unlike Marxists for whom the study of history and society is the primary tool to understand class society, its contradictions and to elaborate plans for its overthrow, Anarchism has no interest in history. It never attempts to analyse why there is war, why poverty exists, why injustice abounds. All complicated social and political issues boil down to one problem: The State. Once the State is abolished, then all inequalities will magically disappear.

There is certainly leadership within the Anarchist scene despite protestations to the contrary. In Montreal, Canada for example, Jaggi Singh  is the de-facto leader of Anti-Capitalist Anarchists. Indeed, a cult of personality has developed around him. In Toronto, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty or OCAP  is also a cult of personality revolving around two people. Anarchism is a dead end. Though it’s expanding in the West, it remains marginal. It’s main problem is not only that it alienates people who are sincerely interested in social Justice but makes it a point to do so. Finally, Anarchism is an adolescent mentality. It’s nothing less than teenagers who want to overthrow the teachers and principals of high school.

Feminism

Feminism, as pointed out in the first part of this series , came about from the movement for the right of women to vote. It’s Second Wave, came out of the frustrations of the male dominated movements of the late 1960s. However, since the 1980s, very particular traits of feminism become undeniably clear.

First, it is an upper middle class, even bourgeois movement. It demands that women take the same leading positions as men. It’s essentially a resentment of men having the sole monopoly on power. Feminists have made demands that the board of directors of multi-national corporations have more women. There is nothing wrong with this except that Feminism simply wants women to have equal roles to dominate and oppress. It wants women to lead wars and the exploitation of Third World peoples. Moreover, Feminism critiques patriarchy but not other forms of oppression such as racism or class oppression.

Radical Feminism takes matters to the extreme. It promotes homosexuality as it sees heterosexuality as the main proponent of patriarchy. It promotes the abolition of genders.
Radical

 

 

Radical Feminism created the term date rape. The result of this has been the death of normal sexuality between people. Males are now even afraid to express their attraction to women as it could be interpreted as sexual assault or harassment. Radical Feminism has also invented a new term called “Lookism”. If a male looks at a female because he finds her interesting (not even sexually attractive), this is considered a form of oppression and sexism. In Anarchist bars in Vienna which adhere to radical feminism, scores of men have been ejected simply because they have looked at women. These women feel that they have been sexually violated even though they haven’t been touched. The offending man is sometimes ejected bodily because he has sexually harassed a woman. In this way, Lookism reminds one of the Deep American South up until the 1950s. Hundreds of Black men were lynched  just because they looked at white women. It is even doubtful that most of them did even that. If a Black man looked at a white woman, it was called “Eye Rape.” It’s downright frightening that this has come back from the dead and promoted by radical feminists.

This anti-sexuality propaganda is embraced wholeheartedly by radical Anarchists and Feminists. It is seen as the vanguard to creating a new revolutionary society based on genderless, hence sexless society. Of course, there is only one form of sexuality which is still OK and promoted with the radical left.

TOWARDS A QUEER SOCIETY

Among  the radical left, homosexuality is one of the few things which is not forbidden. Indeed, it is even encouraged and promoted. It falls perfectly in line with killing gender and saying no to heterosexuality. A Canadian-Polish lesbian poet has created a movement in Montreal demanding that everyone accept the Queer Identity. “Identify as Queer even if you’re not!” In other words, sexism and homophobia will magically go away if everyone identifies as homosexual. I didn’t realise it was that easy. I have just come up with a brilliant way to eradicate racism once and for all. Everyone must identify as Black and hence there will be no more racism. Or better yet, why not have everyone identify as Christian Protestants? That will end religious and sectarian conflicts once and for all.

RADICAL ANIMAL RIGHTS VEGETARIANISM AND VEGANISM
RADICAL ANIMAL

Finally, within the Western radical left is compulsory vegetarianism/veganism. If one is a leftist then one must believe in animal rights. Animal rights are equal to human rights. Therefore, if one is for human rights then one must only eat vegetables and non-meat products. In North America, it’s common to go to a social gathering of Leftists and the second or third question asked after your name and where you”re from is: “Are you vegetarian or vegan?” One has to be one or the other. It’s no different from Christian fundamentalists who ask: “Are you saved?” With the former group, one is expected to answer yes to the question. This is usually the ice breaker to a conversation. People will proceed to spend the next couple of hours talking about vegetarianism.

It’s considered a given that all Leftists  must be vegetarian. I answer the question rudely. “NO, I’m NOT a FUCKING vegetarian!” I proceed to remind them that vegetarianism as a political movement has deep roots in fascist ideology. The counter-argument is that all vegetarians are humanitarians and do so for humanistic reasons. When I reply that Hitler was a vegetarian the typical embarrassed reply is: “Well Hitler wasn’t a real vegetarian.”

The Politics of Political Disintegration

With the state of the far left as described above, it’s hardly any wonder why there isn’t a serious political movement in these days of social and economic crisis. In a world where thousands of people a day die from war, hunger and disease, the so-called “Radical Revolutionaries” are worried about bits of animal flesh in their meal. The arrogance and contempt these people have is breathtaking. Just imagine these “activists” going to Bangladesh  and telling starving people that they should reject meat and instead eat vegetables. Of course many of them would never go as they live in their artificial bubbles of comfort in the West. They don’t care about the starving billion because they are not even thinking about them.

What are, at the end of the day, personal lifestyle choices of individuals from privileged backgrounds becomes into calls for revolutionary change of society. In essence, they are totalitarian. The calls for Vegan revolution will take away people’s choice to eat what they want. If people chose to be vegetarian or vegan, that’s their personal choice. I do however, resent being told what I should eat.

People have a inherent right to have sex with whomever they want to

as long as it’s consensual.  By consensual, I mean that within normal parameters. Sexuality is a natural part of human life. People look at those they are sexually attracted to. It’s normal. By banning and prohibiting looking, it is the beginning of sexual tyranny. The consent issue has been pressed to inhuman extremes. A male must ask permission to kiss. However, just because a woman kisses him doesn’t mean she agrees to sex. If he wants to touch her breasts after kissing, he must ask for consent. He step and level of escalation requires consent. If not, then it is date rape. A Mad Magazine comic from 1994 had a lawyer appear in the bed between a couple drawing up a contract of sexual consent for both parties to sign. How did the Left transform form leading the Sexual Revolution to leading the Sexual Repression within 40 years?

Beating up people because they are homosexual is reactionary. However, forcing people to accept a homosexual identity is revolting. Abolishing the naturally created genders is a symptom of psychological degeneration. In nature, there are two genders among animals. There are rare instances of hermaphrodites but that is the exception to the rule. Girls and boys are born to be women and men. Fighting for the liberation and equality of women does not entail embracing feminism.

I have been fighting for women’s political and sexual rights for 20 years. However, I refuse to call myself a feminist and will not hold back from expressing my disagreements and critiques with feminism. I don’t believe that homosexuals should be discriminated against but I’m not homosexual and I refuse to be identified as one. I am secure in my sexual and gender identity. I am a male. I identify as one. My gender is no mystery to me as soon as I look between my legs. I am opposed to the cruelty of animals but human rights trump animal rights. Once we achieve a world of peace, where millions of people no longer die of starvation and from malnutrition each year, where workers in the Third World are paid the same wages for work in the First World, where people are free to practice their religion or be free not to believe, when women in the West are paid the same wages as men, where every human being as health care and adequate housing, then and only then can we honestly bring about reforms in farming and the mass production of meat.

Like their predecessors of the ‘68 generation, I suspect that many self-identified radicals are simply following fashion trends. I have observed within my family how former “revolutionaries” have turned into far-right wing Republican voters. A big reason for the failure of 1968 was that most people had jumped on a fun bandwagon. For the majority, it was simply a fashion to wear Dashiki, don an Afro and talk about “Revolution.” Sadly today, the far left are more superficial than 40 years ago. At least the ‘68ers promoted liberation. Today, the young generation promote tyranny and seeks to take away freedoms of expression, sexuality and personal lifestyle choices.  Paradoxically, they are more serious about their agenda than the ‘68ers were even if they have neither the wherewithal to effect the changes they wish to.

Conclusion

In this series, I have attempted to show how social and political progress over the past century developed with examples how Liberalism in North America and Social Democracy in Europe created the best conditions of social justice and equality to date since the beginning of human civilisation. I have highlighted their decline and degeneration over the past two decades. In this part, I have given a summary of the Leftist alternatives and how they present no real or viable alternative.

Full disclosure, I come from a Leftist political family going back 3 generations. I was born at the peak of the Black Power movement. Since I was in university, I have been politically active in all the areas that I mentioned above. I have been around Socialists, Feminists, Gay and Lesbian activists, Anarchists as well as the anti-globalisation and anti-war movements. As a teenager I was definitely a Left Liberal. One of the reasons why I moved away the US was due to the past successes of European Social Democracy in the hope to escape the negative effects of deceased American Liberalism.

Since 1997, I could see the coming social and economic crisis coming to the West. I did everything possible to effect political change. Today, as we face the greatest challenges since the 1930s, I scan the horizon in the West and see nothing living except for Banker zombies and Neo-liberal vampires. All of the progressive political trends of the past century have disintegrated. I’ve come to the conclusion that they have all been left for dead.

 

Follow by Email
LinkedIn
Share
Instagram