Global issues March 2010 World


Why is a man respected when he’s dead?

Shouldn’t that respect be given to the living instead?

-Mystic Revelation of Rastafari

The hypocrisy of the media and world leaders is seldom more venal than when a head of state or prime minister deceases. This was most recently on display after the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski along with nearly the entire Polish political leadership died in a plane crash in Russia last month. Tributes of praise came from the Presidents of the United States and France as well as the German Chancellor. Typically, the media echoed the chorus of praise without analyzing the life and politics of Kaczynski. This follows the same modus operandi followed when other leading politicians have died. In 2008, following the death of Austrian fascist politician Joerg Haider, the entire Austrian political establishment gushed over Haider. The western media glossed over Haider’s fascist politics, his racism and xenophobia, as well as his open admiration for Adolph Hitler. Of course, when former American President Ronald Reagan died during the past decade, the American media not only praised Reagan as the greatest President ever but by doing so intimidated any voices of dissent from openly dissecting his wretched legacy.


Kaczynski and Reagan are particularly illustrative since the former was a disciple of and largely created by the latter. As the second part of my series revealed, “What is wrong with Poland”, the Solidarity movement against the communist regime during the 1980s was orchestrated and financed through an alliance between Reagan and Pope John Paul IV. Indeed, it was Kaczynski who was the liaison between the Pope and Solidarity. Kaczynski transformed a secular labor movement into a Catholic Church crusade. Kaczynski was for the most part responsible for the restoration of the Catholic Church as the leading political and social force of Poland.

Kaczynski was a member of the Polish Communist party as was Lech Walesa . Both men were, in fact, labour bureaucrats within the communist state apparatus. This enabled them to take the leadership of the Solidarity trade union. One should call into question whether their anti-communism was one of principle. Were Kaczynski and Walesa clever subversives who became members of the Communist Party in order to topple the state from within or rather were they simply opportunists who were lusting after power for their own?

An examination of Kaczynski’s political life reveals many sources of contemporary Poland’s social and political climate. Kaczynski was an arch-reactionary. Despite his rhetoric for “freedom” against “communism”, Kaczynski spent nearly 30 years attempting to establish a Catholic theocracy in Poland. His subordination of Solidarity to the Vatican prevented a truly libertarian and secular Poland to emerge from dictatorship. His split with Walesa had more to do with ego clashes and power struggle than anything else. Kaczynski went on to form the Law and Justice Party, a far right wing and nationalist party. For all intent and purposes Law and Justice was the unofficial party of the Catholic Church and represented all the backwards teachings of the church as reflected by Pope John Paul IV and his successor, the German Nazi Raztinger now known as Pope Benedict XVI.

Apart from helping to establish a democracy after dictatorship, there was nothing in Kaczynski’s politics which remotely hinted the slightest interest in the attendant features of democracy: freedom of religion, gender equality, and protection of minorities, tolerance, and the right of due process in justice. Kaczynski was a foe of abortion and typical of the majority of anti-abortionists, he supported Capital Punishment. (The hypocrisy of this contradiction boggles the mind. How is it possible to on one hand talk about the sanctity of life and the moral wrongs of abortion and on the other hand to ruthlessly advocate the death penalty?) The only reason Capital Punishment wasn’t restored in Poland was thanks to the European Union which explicitly prohibits the death penalty in any of its member states. It was Kaczynski which signed into law the procedure for the chemical castration of men convicted for pedophilia.

His foreign policy submitted Poland to the dictates of the Bush White House. He let himself be used as a pawn by former American Defense Secretary and war criminal Donald Rumsfeld to be played against France and Germany in their opposition to the illegal Iraq War. It was Poland Rumsfeld was referring to when he spoke of “New Europe” against “Old Europe.” Kaczynski put his foot in the mouth on numerous occasions making undiplomatic outbursts not only against Russia but also Germany.

Kaczynski’s political career began to decline precipitously in 2007, when his twin brother he appointed as Prime Minister was soundly routed in parliamentary elections. Law and Justice was relegated to an embarrassing 3rd place finish and the party was a living corpse politically. Kaczynski became a national embarrassment. He initiated two public witch hunts. He formulated regulations to hunt and weed out homosexual teachers in the school system. On the most baseless accusations, hundreds of teachers were hounded out of their posts with careers ruined. The second witch hunt was against former communists. Under communism, people were encouraged to denounce others suspected of being anti-communist. Under Kaczynski, people were now encouraged to denounce those who had been members of the communist party in the past. This failed for obvious reasons. The Kaczynski twins themselves along with Lech Walesaa and nearly every politician over the age of 50 had been members of the Communist Party.

Poland under Kaczynski became a country of suspicions and fear. People were afraid to be labeled homosexual and those who were actually homosexual lived in a state of terror. The old totalitarian suspiciousness returned as to whether neighbours, friends, colleagues were communists or not. It was not surprisingly that by the time of his death, his popularity hovered around 20% and was widely expected to lose his bid for re-election scheduled for later this year.

From the preliminary investigative reports to the media, Kaczynski’s plane crashed in heavy fog over Russia. Kaczynski and all the leading political and military officials were on their way to attend the massacre of Polish officers at the hands of the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. The massacre has been used by Kaczynski and other Polish reactionaries, nationalists and fascists to whip up anti-Russian chauvinism. Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin had in recent years acknowledged that war crime and to officially apologise. Of course, Russian repentance was not enough for the reactionary nationalist Kaczynski. Kaczynski was on his way to fly at a separate memorial organized by Poland. He snubbed the official Russian invitation to have a bi-lateral ceremony and insisted that Poland have its own.

Kaczynski was a reckless flier. On a few occasions he ordered the pilots of his presidential aircraft to fly and land in less than optimal conditions. During the 5 day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, Kaczynski ordered his pilot to land in the Georgian capital Tbilisi in the middle of Russian shelling of that city. His role was to advise the beleaguered Georgian President and to try to drag NATO into the conflict. In other words, Kaczynski attempted to start World War Three in 2008.

Russian air traffic control told Kaczynski’s pilot to land in Minsk as the weather made thick fog. The Soviet built aircraft was ill-equipped to fly under those conditions. When the pilot informed the Polish President, the President and his senior Military Generals told the pilot to land despite Russian air traffic control advice. Like Joerg Haider who was drunk the night his Mercedes Benz crashed into a wall in southern Austria, Kaczynski perished from his own recklessness combined with hubris.

Alive during his political career there was little to respect about Kaczynski. As much as the media tried to portray a shocked nation grieving for its beloved President, the truth is that nearly 3,000 protested Kaczynski outside his funeral. Kaczynski was not a world leader. He certainly wasn’t a great leader by any stretch. He was nothing other than a narrow minded, provincial and reactionary politician who let him self be led by the hand in the service of American imperialism and Catholic ideological hegemony. The only respect he deserves is that of a human being who died before his time. May he rest in peace.

Global issues May 2010 World


Greece is the first train on the EU railway to have derailed. The EU has frantically assembled a hasty 700 Billion Euro rescue package for the country partly underwritten by the IMF. The problem is that before the Greek wreckage can be cleared and sorted out, a number of trains are rambling along those same rickety rails without breaks. The Iberian Local carrying the dual carriages of Spain and Portugal is speeding along on the same rail line of the Greek wreck. Spain and Portugal have had their bond ratings reduced to Junk status by Moody’s as well as Standard and Poor’s.


But it gets worst. The EU is like the Lexington Avenue subway line  in New York  during rush hour. Trains run on the same track with high frequency. When the Iberian local slams into the derailed Greek train, the Roman Express is due right behind  it. The Italian train should not be in operation in the first place. Unlike the Iberians whose brakes have failed, the Italians have removed them completely. According to the rail schedule, the London Special with it’s 125 MPH locomotive follows the Roman Express. The EU is about to have the largest rail pile up disaster in history.

Meanwhile, due to do a management quarrel over how to deal with the Greek derailment, the EU’s high speed flagship train which connects Champs D’Elysses  via Brussels  to Unter den Linden  has decoupled. This has led to a head on collision between the German ICE  and French TGV . The EU is having train wrecks galore.

The damage from the Greek derailment and the German-French head on collision cannot be estimated or assessed because of the simultaneous nature of events. Financial speculators on Wall Street are following through with their pledge to crash the Euro currency by the end of the year. The European Central Bank is helpless. The Maastricht  and Lisbon  treaties aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Unlike the rapid fall of the Twin Towers  in New York, the crash of the EU is occurring in slow motion. Each individual crash erupts in a quick bang but the overall destruction of the EU occurs piecemeal.

The passengers on those trains are fit to be tied. The survivors are banged up quite severely yet no help or rescue is forthcoming. The emergency units are coming to the scenes not to check on the health of the passengers but rather to see if they can repair the destroyed rolling stock of the trains and attempt to straighten out the rails . Wounded passengers are told that they should be happy that they’re still alive as well as being informed that lost limbs and open untreated wounds will just have to do. Moreover, those who have uninjured limbs are told by medical teams that they must have all their limbs amputated in order to keep the EU railway working . The results have been insurrections in Greece  and increasingly violent protests in Ireland .

The most significant mash up remains the French-German rupture. For more than 50 years, the Franco-German axis was the linchpin of Western European peace and economic prosperity. After 3 bloody wars within a span of 70 years (Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the two world wars) the key to enduring peace on the continent was the economic integration of France and Germany following the Second World War. French President Sarkozy’s outburst against German Chancellor Merkel marks the most ominous sign that European peace has started moving down the rails of history. In an interview  with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, European Central Bank President, Jean-Claude Trichet was unusually candid in his remarks. He stated that Europe was in its worst crisis since the start of the  Second World War . Trichet was unable to make up his mind whether Europe was re-living 1939 or 1914, the year in which the First World War  erupted. In March,Germany threatened to pull out of the EU . Last week, France threatened to dump the Euro. The threats and counter-threats between France and Germany are the opening bars of the beating of the war drums. Rumours abound about Merkel’s decision for the German Central Bank to start re-printing Deutschmarks.

The European Union and the Euro currency are mortally wounded. They aren’t dead quite yet. The EU lies in an Intensive Care Unit hospital bed. The Euro is on an operating table in the Emergency Room as doctors send charge after charge of electric shocks using a defibrillator. However, once the pile up on the rails mount and those surviving passengers begin to attack the “rescue” teams, the EU project will be pronounced dead.

March 2011 News USA World


Hundreds of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived in Bahrain on Monday, March 14 under the auspices of the Gulf Co-Operation Council to help the kingdom control a wave of anti-government protests that began on February 14. No one knows how the troops will be deployed, but human rights organizations and numerous foreign governments have urged Bahrain to exercise restraint. Protesters are still camping out on the Pearl Roundabout, where there have previously been serious incidents of violence and at least eight deaths. Adding to the trouble is strong sectarian tension between Shiites (majority) and Sunnis (minority) that several power brokers seek to magnify.

he following text is from an email sent to Global Voices by a blogger who has asked to remain anonymous. It is republished with permission.

Let’s put it this way, so far it is not very clear what is happening. Yes, last night there was tear gas and rubber bullets all over pearl roundabout (not square!). Today, the town seems extremely quiet. They have blocked a good chunk of the city, and lots of people have not been able to go to work. I went out for a little cruise around town earlier today. In grocery stores, people are stocking up goods. In the booze shop too!

Many students were dismissed from school. Some schools have the week off, while others schools were forced by the ministry of education to stay open and have students attend classes. As for the university, a minor clash involving tear gas etc. occurred within one. I do not know what happened exactly.

The media is not doing a very good job here at alerting us to what’s going on… And now on TV, there are troops coming in on the Saudi Causeway in tanks, waving hello and showing the peace sign! And then there are intervals of the traditional dance with the Saudi King, and Bahrain’s King and ruling family, and that apparently is the traditional war song! It did not happen today, but they keep repeating clips of it.

What will happen next?

It’s all very odd!!! Tomorrow everyone has the day off. The guys at the roundabout asked their wives and kids to go home, and many are wrapped in – I do not know what you call it – it’s like ‘coffin’ cloth or this canvas they use here to wrap dead bodies. Maybe those are the ones who would rather die for a good cause and have nothing else in life, I really do not know. I think it’s insane and that everyone should just go home and stop going to the roundabout. I hope they do not get shot, but chances are bad if they resist and do not clear the area.

Gas stations have gone on strike, and there are warnings that ‘electricity might be switched off’. Other warnings and rumors included ‘Dear sunni’s if you approach a cop or a tank, you might be shot’. Another warning is not ro go out at night in groups, or else there is a risk of being shot.

And of course, the jokes are out too… Saudi troops are not heading to pearl roundabout, they are going to Exhibition Road!! (where the prostitutes and cheap pubs are).

Today at the Pearl Roundabout there are people giving their speeches, but it is quiet and fine. My friends walked around, the people there have always been friendly and inviting, for tea, coffee, food…etc… Only the media shows them in a different way. I also went there earlier on, and it felt like a carnival.

The pro-government people had to do their thing around the clock at the roundabout too, which is very close to the Royal Court, praising the King the family…etc.

People are glued to the TV hoping for something, but there is nothing, except stupid fluff like ‘We love you King Hamad’, and ‘We know that you don’t sleep if we’re awake,’ and tears and drama and thank you for sending those troops to save our lives!! There is nothing, no words, coming out from the Government or King or Prime Minister. We do not know what is coming next. Thank God for BlackBerry Messenger, Twitter and things like that where we can keep track of what people are actually seeing.

Iran March 2010 USA Video World


In this video, President Obama sends an important message to those celebrating the Persian holiday of Nowruz, and in particular to the people and government of Iran. While recognizing our continuing differences with the Iranian government, the President outlines his commitment to a more just and hopeful future for all Iranians. To everyone celebrating Nowruz around the world, may you have a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Central America Global issues Haiti Iran Israel January 2010 Palestine Racism refugee Religion USA World


It is unbearable to watch, let alone experience, the latest tragedy that has struck Haiti. The religious evangelist and the host of The 700 Club Pat Robertson describes how these poor Haitians have made a pack with the devil for wanting independence from the French therefore god has now struck them with this tragedy. I adhere to a different view. That is I believe the devil has designated Pat Robertson as its spokesman.

It is heartwrenching to see the tragedy that has unfolded in this Caribbean country for the past several hundred years. Under the French Colonial rule, Haiti was subjected to the worst form of human exploitation possible. The same kind that the religious leaders practiced in the Untied States at the time. With the blessing of the Christian church leaders, a system of eradication, subjugation, slavery and exploitation of natives and Africans took place. The Haiti of today is the product of the religious establishments of the west that Pat Robertson and others adhere to.

The ideology of racism, intolerance, and lack of respect for all human life by the imperialists has created a country in despair-a country that does not have a single roof over its people and can not provide shelter, food, and safety for its citizens. Shame on the west and civilized world for letting a place like Haiti exist while spending trillions on unjust wars and corrupt financial institutions.

It is in places like Haiti that corruption, extremism and violence can breed. In another corner of the world you can see the impact of another religious extremism. Look at Afghanistan as an example. War and poverty in the past 50 years has produced a land where parents have no choice but to send children to ideological Islamic fundamentalism boarding schools for a loaf of bread. You can never fight the brainwashing when its done by the person that feeds you through a barrel of a gun. Or how Yemen, a country with over 50% of the population living in poverty, is the new breeding ground of terrorists and hate. Look at the conflict in Gaza and the West Bank. 60 years of occupation has produced economic despair and created the largest open-air prison in the world in the hand of Zionist extremists and Pat Robertsons. The tragedy that is taking place for half of the world’s population living on less then 2 dollars a day can not be resolved through military industrial complex, but through creation of sustainable nations with viable economies and governments.

No country or people can exist in a state of hopelessness and despair for long. If dictators can not be overthrown through nationalistic democratic movements then the population gravitates towards the next outlet, in most cases the religious institutions. Religious governments and institutions are more oppressive compared to the dictators that they replace. Look at the current religious government of Iran. Unfortunately, as we see in countries all across the globe, the price of installing friendly dictators may cost the West its national security, or at least its wealth through unjust wars.

It would be much more beneficial if our politicians and religious leaders conducted business through diplomacy and nation building rather than through war, conflict, and exploitation by religious institutions or the military industrial complex.

Global issues March 2010 News Racism Religion USA World


When I was a high school student in New York during the 1980s we used to say the following to others who behaved foolishly: Hey! Act your age, not your IQ! In other words, behave like a mature adult rather than an infant. Nearly 25 years later on I find myself wanting to say that to more and more people. Europe is suffering from a debilitating identity crisis. It doesn’t confront its issues rationally as mature and responsible adults. While North America doesn’t suffer from an identity crisis (apart from Canada’s permanent questioning of itself ), Western civilisation is in the process of  de-evolution to infantile regression .

In 1996, the American poet Robert Bly wrote a book entitled “The Sibling Society “. In that book, he wrote that the United States and Americans were no longer adults. Rather, the society had regressed back to adolescence. He cited the partisan battles between then President Bill Clinton and the Republican leadership of Congress as case examples of an adolescent society. He said that American society had become conformist adolescence competitors and warned of the danger of fascism. Four years later, another middle aged adolescent by the name of George W. Bush was seated in the White House.

How quickly things degenerated over the past decade! The terror attacks on 9/11 caused further regression. The President and media reacted with infantile claims about terrorist hating our freedoms. The contagion spread across the ocean to the UK. Rather than acting like responsible adults, politicians acted like infants and expected the people to do the same.The movement of infantile regression crossed the English channel and infected continental Europe. From the Alps to Scandinavia, xenophobia, islamophobia and right wing violence is on the rise. Within the past decade, European countries have found themselves embroiled in hysteria and controversy regarding the role and place of immigrants, in particular Muslim immigrants within society. From the murder of Dutch filmmaker Van Gough on the streets of Amsterdam

by a Muslim angered by his films perceived to be anti-Muslim, to the debate about the hijab and burka in France , an atmosphere of fear and loathing permeates Europe.

Why this identity crisis now? Europe has not been the centre of the global system since the end of the Second World War. The United States has long eclipsed Europe as the leading economic and military global power. Europe lost most of its colonies during the 1960s. Yet, Europeans never felt an inferiority complex during the real decline of their power for 40 years after the war. Why now the sudden identity crisis about what makes a person French, German, Swiss and British? Why now the sudden nostalgia for a past which disappeared in the previous century? What happened to European rationality and soberness? Bly compared Europeans to Americans stating the former were by and large mature adults compared to the latter. That might have been so 15 years ago, but sadly Bly has been proven wrong.

In France , President Sarkozy owes his election by playing the race card and whipping up anti-Muslim fear. The Swiss Peoples Party won the largest number of seats in the last election with a campaign poster of white sheep kicking out black sheep. (See title image above) In Italy , Silvio Berlusconni swept to power promising to clear the streets ofGypsy people . The story repeats itself more or less the same in every country in the EU.

Opportunistic politicians are encouraged by tabloid newspapers out to sell copies. From Austria to the UK, the daily tabloids scream about the flood of asylum seekers swamping their countries. There are lurid reports how asylum seekers are simply economic migrants who simply make up stories about repression just in order to get a free flat and money from the state. Hardly a week passes without an columnist or editorial calling for more border controls or cracking down on the “high” number of illegal immigrants. There are calls for debates on national identity coupled with demands that immigrants integrate themselves better into the society. There are concerns that national cultures and languages are endangered of being extinct. The atmosphere is that of impending doom and the end of the world.  I think someone needs to have their diapers changed.

On the other hand, religious fundamentalists fare no better. The death threats against artists who defame the Koran or Mohammad are also examples of infantile regression. Why not organise campaigns to boycott offensive works of art? Instead of making angry denunciations, why not educate the public about Islamic culture? Instead of holy wars and calls to arms, why not initiate sober and serious public discussions and forums. Are there any adults left? If so, please rise up!

The most pertinent question is why there aren’t any politicians or intellectuals making mature and rational debates or at least demanding a more sober debate? Why do election campaigns resemble more like adolescent popularity contests rather than serious and dignified debates advancing policies to the advantage of all. Why are so many middle aged media and political figures having temper tantrums in public? Why do people vote for political parties and politicians who treat them like little children offering them nothing substantial other than candy and sugar?

Europe has no reason for an identity crisis. The only region in Europe to have an excuse to have an identity crisis in the former Yugoslavia . Yet, despite the traumatic shock of civil war and a violent break up, most people living in the former Yugoslavia do not suffer from the same identity crisis as their better off neighbours. When Serbs endured 78 days of NATO bombing , they dusted themselves off and carried on with life. They didn’t react hysterically or degenerate into adolescents or infants. The NATO campaign was an attack much worse than what the U.S. endured for a few hours during one day. Neither immigrants nor the Americans are to blame for the woes of Europe. Europeans need to grow up. Americans must stop blaming “socialism” for their problems.  If they are not satisfied with the political order, then they should agitate to create an alternative. If they are no happy with the European Union, then they should organise a movement to withdraw. On the other hand, they must accept the reality. Now only must they act like adults but they should demand to be treated as adults rather than fall for cheap gimmicks proffered by insincere politicians who scapegoat members of the community. There is no doubt that the West is in crisis. The crisis is internal rather than external. The crisis will only be solved by responsible adults. Otherwise the crisis will degenerate hand in hand with social infantile regression.

Africa Global issues July 2010 Regions Religion World


It is estimated that more than one billion people around the world are watching this year’s World Cup football tournament in South Africa. Billed as “the biggest sporting event in the world”, it has produced a bonanza for the multinational corporations which sponsor it.

While many people are aware and criticize the commercialization of mass sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics, few understand the role that sport plays as a fundamental keystone to the global capitalist order.

I recently spoke with Ljubodrag Simonovic about the role sport plays under capitalism. Simonovic is not what one expects of a philosopher. He was a star player for the national basketball team of Yugoslavia in the early 1970s. He quit the team after walking out of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich to protest the use of doping by the Puerto Rico team. Since then, Simonovic earned his Doctorate in Philosophy. One rarely equates athletes with philosophers, let alone intellectuals which makes his theories all the more compelling.

Simonovic is the author of two recent books: The Philosophy of Olympisim and A New World Is Possible. Sport is central to his philosophical critique against capitalism.

DK: Many people are aware of the corporatization of sport but you take the argument even further. You say that sport is essential to capitalism. Can you elaborate?

LS: Sport is a capitalist competitionNot every historical form of competition is sport, but the one which is the embodiment of the Social Darwinist principle bellum omnium contra omnes and the absolutized principle of the quantitatively measurable performance shaped in the Olympic maxim citius, altius, fortius – which corresponds to the market economy and the absolutized principle of profit. Just as capitalism is essentially different from the Hellenic slave-owning and feudal order, so is sport essentially different from the ancient agon and knight tournaments. The Olympic Games were an authentic play of the aristocratic Hellas; knight tournaments were an authentic play of feudalism; sport is an authentic play of capitalism. The theory of sport reduces sport to a supra-historical phenomenon the essence of which comes from the „unchangeable human nature“, whereas man is reduced to a “beast“ and human society to a “civilized” menagerie. However, individual competition (achievement), which is based on the principle of “Equal chances!”, is a historical product and corresponds to the original spirit of capitalism (liberalism) which atomizes society according to the principle homo homini lupus. The elimination of the “opponent” through victory achieved by an ever better result (record) becomes a capitalist form of a („civilized“) natural selection. “Primitive peoples” do not know of individual competition and individual achievement, nor do they know of the principle of record. The same applies to the Hellenic society: man is a member of polis and “God’s toy“ (Plato). The purpose of competition is not a record but a victory achieved by the Olympic agonistes as the “gods’ electee” which gives him the possibility of acquiring a place on Olympus among the immortal Olympic oligarchy.

DK: Can you give a quick summary of the history of sport under capitalism compared to earlier periods of history?

LS: The history of sport is the history of capitalism. In its original sense the term “sport“ (since 1828, before that desportdesportare) does not denote a competition dominated by the cult of victory and the cult of record, but a pastime, a voluntary participation in the activities designed to act out the aristocratic way of life through a symbolism and forms of behaviour deriving from the aristocratic world, and which are the embodiment of the aristocratic system of values expressed in the principle „order and measure“ (ordre et mesure). “Sport” was a privilege of the aristocracy through which its exclusive ruling class status was confirmed, which means that it was not a way of integrating the working „masses“ into a spiritual orbit of the ruling class, as it was to become in the bourgeois society. It was not dominated by a fight for victory through the elimination of the opponent nor by the idea of progress, but by such a way of behaviour (“gentleman’s manners”) which distinguishes the members of the aristocracy from the “lower classes”. Likewise, the original concept of „sport“, as an entertainment, is not derived from the relation to work and the “world of concerns”; it rather denotes the lifestyle of aristocracy as the parasitic class. It is only in the developed capitalist society that the term “sport“ came to designate the “independent” spirit of capitalism which is the embodiment of the principles bellum omnium contra omnes and citius, altius, fortius and appears as the sphere of “freedom” opposite to work. As far as the principle of “chivalry“ is concerned, which is used by the ideologues of sport in order to give it a “cultural“ legitimacy, in its original sense it corresponds to a static aristocratic order in which the dominant social status is not acquired by a merciless struggle for survival, as it is the case in capitalism, but by birth.

DK: You write that sport is a representation of Anti-Enlightenment thought. How is that so?

LS: Sport acquired its institutional character in the second half of the 19th century and represents a way of dealing with the leading ideas of the French Revolution, critical rationalism, emancipatory possibilities of the newly formed democratic institutions, as well as with the philanthropic and dancing movements. It is not a product of an advanced bourgeoisie which, inspired by the spirit of the Enlightenment and ideals of the French Revolution, strives to create a new society, but of the imperialist circles which strive to deal with the emancipatory heritage of the 19th century civil society and conquer the world. The “international sport” is an expression of the “mondialist“ spirit of imperialism and as such rejection of the cultural (religious) being of the ancient Olympic Games, as well as of the Olympic ideas and movements of the Modern Age – which are based on the Hellenic spiritual heritage, national cultures and the emancipatory heritage of civil society.

DK: Many people believe that major sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup are avenues to promote world peace. For example, after the conclusion of these tournaments, the host country and host cities fly the Rainbow Peace flag. Can you explain exactly how sport encourages war and is in fact, the antithesis of peace?

LS: In its original form, sport does not rely on bodily activism which is supposed to enhance the development of working or artistic capacities, but on the chivalrous tradition which is of a belligerent character. Sports contests represent a war not waged by weapons, but by the bodies of „opponents“, and thus are a struggle with the pacifist conscious and preparation for an armed conflict. Hence the ruthless “rivalry”, which involves the ability and readiness to kill the opponent, represents the main characteristic of sports “brotherhood”. Sports terminology indicates its essence: sports contests which do not involve elimination are called “friendly”, which means that the competitions in which the victory is an imperative – are hostile. The natural selection being the carrier of „progress“, it is understandable why the bourgeois theorists speak of war with such enthusiasm: they regard it as the highest and the most direct form of the law of natural selection. From Coubertin’s Olympic doctrine it clearly follows that sport belongs to the sphere of war and military training and that it is the main vehicle for dealing with the pacifist conscious. The view of Carl Diem, a loyal interpreter of Coubertin’s doctrine and one of the leading ideologues of German (Nazi) expansionism: “Sport is war!” („Sport ist Krieg!“), most adequately expresses the essence of sport. It should not be forgotten that Coubertin started the Olympic campaign with an overt aim to effect changes in the French education system, in order to transform the French bourgeois youth into colonial phalanges. A colonial campaign „without proper sports preparations“ represents, according to Coubertin, “dangerous unmindfulness”. It is no wonder that England, as the leading colonial power, where there is place only for “strong individuals”, was the main source of Coubertin’s Olympic inspiration. Furthermore, it is no wonder that Coubertin, in the bloody fights on ancient Olympic playgrounds and medieval tournaments of haughty aristocrats found a source of the “chivalry spirit” which a bourgeois should strive for. War on a sports field was meant to preserve the militaristic traditions of the warring aristocracy and „overcome“ them by a belligerent and progressistic spirit of monopolistic capitalism. The ability to “look death in the eyes”, which appears in the form of a man reduced to „opponent“, is one of the most important characteristics of Coubertin’s “new man”, while the ability and readiness to kill a man represents the highest challenge for his “utilitarian pedagogy”.

DK: Besides profit and money, how does capitalism benefit from sport?

LS: In sport, the belligerent spirit of capitalism becomes “independent” and, by way of “sports competition“, strives to resurrect the spirit of the ancient slave-owning aristocracy, as well as the “chivalry spirit” of the bloodthirsty medieval lords. The militarization of the body, spirit, human relations and the relations between nations and races is the highest „cultural“ form in which the ruling belligerent spirit appears. In antiquity, in the form of the struggle of individuals for acquiring a place on Olympus the ruling class struggled to preserve its privileges; in modern society, in the guise of a sports competition, the parasitic classes struggle against the emancipatory heritage of humankind and man as the universal creative being of freedom. A sports competition becomes a combat with a competition which does not involve elimination and domination of one man over another, particularly with a competition which involves the development of man’s universal creative powers and offers the possibility of overcoming the existing and creating a new world. In sport, there is no outplaying; it is rather that the contest comes down to a struggle for survival and domination which is completely in line with the dominant spirit of capitalism: the stronger go on, the weaker are eliminated. The purpose of sport is not the development of play, but the preservation of the ruling order.

DK: I have always considered sport serves to distract people from the social and political system of oppression and repression. What do you think about that?

LS: Interestingly, it does not occur to the bourgeois theorists – according to whom gladiator’s fights, knight tournaments, duels and war are “competition” – to refer to the class struggle, struggle for womens emancipation, struggle for liberation from the colonial yoke and particularly revolution – as competition”. Likewise, in spite of the fact that they emphasize the struggle, it does not occur to them to include in the concept of play the struggle between old and new which involves the expansion of the horizon of freedom – without which there is no true play. Basically, the purpose of competitive play is not the development of the human, but the release of „negative energy“ so as to prevent it from being channeled into a political struggle aiming to eradicate the causes of social hardship. Play becomes the sterilization of a critical and changing conscious. In Russell, also, competition does not involve a struggle against the unjust and destructive ruling order, meaning a struggle for freedom and survival; a struggle between old and new; between good and evil; the development of man’s artistic (erotic) nature – it rather involves a struggle against nature, which means the acquisition of technical skills the purpose of which is to establish control over nature and its exploitation.

DK: Can you elaborate what is the ideology of sport within contemporary capitalist society?

LS: Sport is an authentic ideology of liberalism: the cult of victory and record was a form in which appeared the myth of capitalism as an order in which “Everyone has a chance!” and which is capable of providing a stable progress that inevitably brings good to the citizens in every aspect of their lives, which is expressed in the maxim “Competition generates quality!” In monopolistic capitalism, based on the principles “Destroy the competition!” and “Big fish devours small fish!”, sport has become an anachronism which maintains the appearance of a “competitive society“ and as such is destined to degeneration. Instead of a “personal initiative” and „individual achievement“, the competition of sportsmen becomes a form of struggle between the most powerful capitalist groups for domination – by means of a dehumanized science, medicine, technique … The principle of competition has become the principle of domination, the latter being the principle of destruction. In a “consumer’s society” the original sports spirit has become completely distorted and sport has turned into a banal circus performance governed by the rules of show-business. In his original Olympic writings, Coubertin indicates where professionalism and commercialization of sport lead to. According to him, “money is the biggest enemy of sport”, as it turns sport into a “fairground”, and (professional) sportsmen into “circus gladiators“. Similar views were expressed by his followers from IOC. Contemporary sports theorists, talking of “original” Olympism, never cite these Coubertin’s views, as they reveal the true nature of sport and thus the true nature of their “theoretic” activity.

DK: Then how did money come to dominate sport if Coubertin believed “money is the biggest enemy of sport”?

LS: Strivings for records condition a specific (concrete historical) nature of sports competitions. A victory over the opponents is worthless without setting a record. It becomes a universal measure, alienated from man, for determining the performance (value), which means a peculiar „superior power“ to which man is submitted. A record is the market value of a sports result, and the prevailing logic in sport corresponds to the process of the reproduction of capital: the apsolutized principle of record corresponds to the apsolutized principle of profit. The increasing domination of the apsolutized principle of performance in sport has led to a gradual elimination of combative individualism, the corner-stone of the ideology of liberalism. It has nothing to do with the struggle between people for victory, but with a contest without contestants, where man fights “phantom” records incarnated in the measuring instruments which are the symbols of a dehumanized and denaturalized “pace” of the capitalist time. The history of the ancient Olympic Games is a succession of winners; the history of sport comes down to a linear increment of numbers to which the names of depersonalized “recorders” are assigned. The absolutized performance (record) acquires a mythical dimension: sports „achievements“ become the measure of “progress“ and “perfectioning” of humankind and thus historical milestones. Simultaneously, the quantitative comparison becomes an “objective” criterion for the distribution of positions on the social ladder of power, which appears in the form of Arnold’s elitist “theory of pyramid” that Coubertin was to adopt: a hundred people should devote themselves to physical culture if fifty of them are to engage in sport; fifty people are to engage in sport if twenty of them are to specialize; twenty people are to specialize if five of them are to become capable of “astonishing bravery” (prouesse étonnante). The pyramid of success indicates a hierarchy of “natural selection” in sport and a mechanistic logic of “contest” which corresponds to the market “competition” and “industrial society”. The qualitative measurement becomes a form of domination of “progress” over man confirming its superiority and eternity. It is not a historical product, but a “fact” which cannot be brought into question and thus is an instrument for training the oppressed how to accept inequality in society as something inevitable. At the same time, a record is not important as a human achievement, but as a means of proving the „progressive“ nature of the ruling order. As there are no medical or moral barriers to the progressistic principle citius, altius, fortius, it is clear that man’s “perfectioning” leads to his (self) destruction. Sport crushes the modern (humanistic) idea of progress which involves qualitative leaps in the development of society, the affirmation of man as a being of freedom and the creation of a novum. It enables only (endless) quantitative shifts, advancing in the given spatial and time dimensions, which involves progressing without a progress.

DK: Many intellectuals aren’t interested in sport. Indeed, sport appears to be the epitome of anti-intellectualism. How do you see sports vis-à-vis the degradation of the human intellect?

LS: In sport, there is an evident distinction between intellectual and physical labour, as well as specialization (at an increasingly early age). Each sport has a specific training technique, which means that each sport in a specific way cripples people both mentally and physically and turns them into specialized sportsmen-recorders. The one-sided sports activity leads to the hypertrophy of some and atrophy of other extremities, organs, bodily and mental functions. A sportsmen becomes a specific working force (a self-destructive character), a tool for labour (highly specialized machine) and material for processing (body as a raw material) – for producing a particular record. The bigger the gap between man’s biological powers and the record that must be reached, the more the sports training contributes to man’s self-alienation as a human being and the destruction of his individual dispositions and abilities. Based on the absolutized principle of performance, sport turned a healthy physical strain into an exertion that destroys man as a living being. A sportsman becomes a robot and as such a commodity on the market of sports show-business, while „sports technique“ becomes a technical form of the destruction of man’s natural and cultural being. The methods and means applied in sport are those used in the industrial production and modern science: sport is an engine for the production of recorders (records). The maxim „Recorders are born in vials!“ suggests the real nature of „top sport“ which is, as its name suggests, the highest challenge for sport generally. Behind technical terms and scientific formulations an industry of death is hiding: “top sport“ has become a supreme form of man’s destruction. Sport is a means by which man, as a biological and human being, turns into a mechanical device. At the same time, it brings about an ecocide conscious and ecocide relation of man to his (her) own body. The “competitive mind” becomes a form of irrational processes of the capitalist reproduction which, by way of a “sports spirit“, are infused into man. The “aggressive animal nature” is replaced by a self-destructive fanaticism.

DK: You write that sport is the religion of capitalism. Specifically, you describe it as the cult of the body. Can you elaborate?

LS: The dominant cult in sport is the cult of the body and muscular strength which is expressed in Coubertin’s maxim “combative spirit in a muscular body” (mens fervida in corpore lacertoso). While in the ancient bodily agon there is a spontaneous relation of man to the body, which arises from the body being experienced as a constituent part of the universe and the source of man’s vital energy, sport is dominated by an instrumental relation of man to the body. Everything is submitted to a modeling based on the capitalistically (ab) used technique and science: just as in antiquity the physical appearance was meant to be united with the (geometrically constituted) universe, so is in the modern world the physical appearance meant to be united with the Social Darwinist and progressistic spirit of capitalism. Also, in sport, the cult of the body has nothing to do with a broader religious context, as it was the case in antiquity, but is a means of creating a positive character and positive conscious, as well as a means of demonstrating the expansionist power of capitalism. In sport, unlike the gods in antiquity, there are no anthropomorphic symbols representing the dominant power. That role is assumed by sportsmen, and their body and appearance are completely subjected to the nature of the ruling order. Instead of the ancient holistic approach to the body, the emphasis is placed on the expansive muscular strength and mechanization of the body. In sport, man fits in with the capitalist universe by way of the body and bodily posture which is in accordance with the dynamic and progressistic nature of capitalism. The “sports spirit“ is a manifest form of the expansionist spirit of the ruling order, while the “sport body” represents the most authentic capitalist form of physical degeneration and thus is a “supraclass” and “supraracial” model of the body. It is an ideological body which expresses the totalitarian and ecocide nature of the ruling order. A dehumanized and denaturalized world, based on the capitalist destruction, corresponds to a dehumanized and denaturalized body and a destructive body movement.

DK: A recurrent theme in your writings on sport is about turning humanity into robots. It’s obvious that over the past 35 years, capitalism has propagated the ideology of “The Man Machine” within popular culture. In the 1970s, it was bionic men and women, in the 1980s, it was the cyborg. Over the past 15 years, the breathtaking growth and expansion of cyberspace has accelerated this process. What is the relation between sport and the mechanization of human beings into robotic machines?

LS: Sport is an area in which the technicization of the environment, man and interpersonal relations attained the climax. It is one of the most important instruments of capitalism for destroying a humanistic and creating a” Technical civilization”. “Sportivization” of the world is the most radical form of man’s denaturalization and decultivization and a means of his being involved in the life and spiritual orbit of “technical civilization”. Science strives to create a being (machine) which will be deprived of all those human qualities that hinder the breaking of records and the production of increasingly bloody sports spectacles. Sport draws on a mechanistic philosophy of the body and finds mimetic impulses in the industrial and militaristic movements. Instead of a natural movement and natural body, the prevailing movement is mechanistic, the body becomes the cage of technical rationality, while the “competitive character“ becomes the embodiment of the ruling destructive spirit. Coaches become body technicians and slave drivers who are to enable the achievement of a desired result (record) at the cost of man’s destruction. At the same time, man’s spirit is also being crippled and the cult of a technicized body is being created and thus the cult of a “technical civilization”. This way of thinking absolutizes the quantitatively measurable result achieved at the cost of the destruction of man’s natural being. Sport creates a capitalist ideological sphere and the appropriate “public opinion” by destroying the emancipatory heritage of the civil society which offers an opportunity for man to get rid of the ecocide capitalist tyranny.

DK: Can you give some examples of how sport is used to achieve the frightening goals you have just highlighted?

LS: “Disciplining” the body in the bourgeois physical culture and sport reflects an endeavour to bring nature under control of the ruling order: “Taming” of the body corresponds to the “taming” of nature. Sport does not cultivate man’s natural being, but “disciplines” it through a technocratically based drill dominated by the mechanics of the physical, turning the body into a machine. In contrast to the Middle Ages, where dealing with the body becomes dealing with the “false” earthly world, the bourgeois pedagogy suppresses and destroys in man all those things that do not fulfil the needs of the capitalist order and can jeopardize it, and develops all those things that contribute to the preservation of that order. Hence, Coubertin insists on a “utilitarian pedagogy”: the “good” is that which is useful to the ruling order. An aggressive belligerent (‘healthy”) egoism, an insatiable “need” for acquisition and ruling (oppression) – those are the “true” characteristics of a “model” bourgeoisie. Coubertin’s principle of “greater effort”, which conditions a relentless relation of man to his body and to which, in the psychological sphere corresponds the principle of “greediness”, is analogous to a colonial-plundering relation to nature. The “development of sport” is based on an ecocide logic: the physical drill destroys the body, which is for man his immediate nature, and thus breaks man’s connection with nature and makes life in nature impossible. The technicized living conditions, which means capitalistically degenerated nature, become man’s living environment he “spontaneously” strives for and in which he can survive. Sport clearly illustrates the fact that the capitalist way of production does not turn nature into useful objects but degenerates and destroys it: the relation to the body reflects the relation of capitalism to nature. In sport, the capitalist exploitation of nature is fully realized, according to the principle of an ever better result (profit) in an ever shorter time. On this the principle of early selection is based, the principle which cripples the body, destroys man’s erotic nature, his mind and spirituality, and creates a sado-masochistic character. In the contemporary world (“consumer society”), the sports body has become an instrument for producing a sports spectacle, meaning a spiritual drug, and a moving advertising billboard.

DK: In your book, The Philosophy of Olympism, you refer repeatedly of sport being connected to the militarization of society. How does sport develop a militarized society?

LS: Sporting physical drill involves a modeling of the body according to progressistic (quantitative) criteria which lead to man’s (self) destruction. The highest challenge is to reach the given “model” of the body which is the projection of the result (record) striven for. Instead by art and naturalness, sport is dominated by technique which involves an instrumentalized body reduced to a technical device and technicized skill conditioned by the nature of sport and the achieved “level” of results. Man is reduced to a tool for the production of records, and his body to a raw material which, through physical drill and scientific methods, is to be “transformed” into a “sport body”. In sport, the ruling model of the body is not appropriate to a particular cultural pattern; it is a direct incarnation of the ruling relations and values: a sportsman is an anthropological form in which the ruling order appears. Like in antiquity, the citizen of modern society is to completely fit into the established (capitalist) universe; he is to be spiritually, physically and actively united with it. Sports esthetics does not derive from culture; it is based on the nature of sport as a war waged with bodies, on the strivings to set a record and on the nature of spectacle – which is a commercial package of sports merchandize. The holistic approach to the body has been discarded (proportionality, harmony), as well as the softness of movements and bodily expression, the pulsation of the erotic, emotional and spiritual, the movement of man to man and the ancient kalokagathia which insists on the unity of the beautiful and the good. Mimetic impulses are not found in nature nor in the cultural sphere, but in technical processes: technical “perfection” represents the highest challenge for sports esthetics. It is corresponded by a body reduced to a highly specialized machine, mechanics of movement, technicized (ecocide) mind, a suppressed and mutilated Eros, as well as man’s crippled emotional and spiritual being. The mutilated bodies of contemporary gladiators become the highest attainment of the “beautiful”.

DK: There’s a contradiction in the philosophy of sport. On one hand, it espouses the “cult of the body”, while on the other hand sport destroys the body.

LS: The body is not a form of man’s existence as an independent being, his possession; it is an instrument for achieving political and economic goals. Within this context, man’s relation to his own body is mediated by the ruling ideology. The alienation of the body from man becomes man’s alienation from his own self. “Disciplining” of the body, the maxims mens sana in corpore sanomens fervida in corpore lacertoso and citius-altius-fortius – represent the forms of establishing an institutionalized oppression over man which means not only a destructive instrumentalization of the body, but the destruction of personality. Instead of a respect for man’s specific individuality and his human complexity, the priority is given to a dehumanized (destructive) principle of performance and the appropriate model of man. The one-sided oppressive physical activity creates a physically one-sided and spiritually mutilated man. In contrast to the sophists, who by human nature mean the “unity of the body and the soul but, above all, man’s internal disposition, his spiritual nature”, in sport, just as in Christianity, the dualism of the body and the spirit is established. Instead of a “divine spirit”, sport is dominated by the spirit of capitalism incarnated in sportsman’s muscular body in combatant effort, but, instead of the soul, the character (sado-masochistic, murderous-destructive) becomes the meeting point and support of man’s governing spirit. In sport, man is reduced to a depersonalized model of “sportsman”, which means that he is deprived of elementary humanity, thus becoming part of the “team” of capitalist gladiators, stunt men and circus players. He does not regard his fellow sportsman as a man, but as an “opponent” who should be removed from the way. Physical injuries and killing become a legal and legitimate form of “relation“ to the “opponent”. The same applies to man’s relation to his own body. Torturing of the body and its destruction is the basic way of achieving “victory over the body (pain)”, which gives rise to a (sado) masochistic character and “victorious will”. Man is reduced to the body, while strength, speed, stamina, killing and destructive power (skill) become the basic way of his self-evaluation. Sportsmen turn from living beings into robotized beings guided by a (self) destructive fanaticism. At the same time, in sport man is subject to an authoritarian order and is accustomed to “responding to a whistle“ – without reasoning. The “golden rule” of every coach is that “players do not think, but do what they are asked to do”. A sports training does not serve to cultivate man, it mutilates humanity. It is reduced to a technical drill which resembles a military drill, the difference being that in sport the ruling principle is not that of the optimal but of a “greater (destructive) effort”.

DK: There’s something I’ve observed in all sports and that is the manipulation of sexuality. There’s quite a bit of eroticism within sport. Granted, most of it is homoerotic. For example, one often sees male players patting each other’s behinds. In basketball, many women spectators attend just to see the exposed bodies of the male players. In tennis, the most popular women champions are the ones with the shortest and most revealing skirts. What’s the relation between sexuality and sport?

LS: Sport deprives man of his erotic nature. A man and a woman are not sexual (natural, affective, human) beings; they are raw materials and tools for setting records. “Specificity”of the woman’s body is that it is “weaker’ than man’s, which means that it achieves “poorer’results. If life-creation is the basic existential principle, then precisely by virtue of her body the woman is superior to man since she possesses a life-creating (fertile) body. By accepting the governing evaluative model as the basis of her own evaluation, the woman renounces that which makes her a specific human being and reduces herself to an “inferior being”, a surrogate, or a bad copy of man reduced to a robotized gladiator. Sports pedagogy deals with Eros which induces man to develop his affective nature and closeness with other people, and turns his energy into the driving force of “progress”: a muscular male body in combatant effort, as a symbolic form of the governing spirit, is the highest sporting challenge. Love destroys the fanatic concentration of a sportsman on achieving victory (record) and thus changes his relation to the body of the beloved person, as well as to his own body. It ceases to be a machine and becomes an erotic challenge – a source of pleasure, and thus questions training that mercilessly destroys the organism, doping-treatments which decrease sexual potency, as well as the (self) destructive “competitive motivation”.

DK: Can you speak of the debilitating effects sport has on the health of athletes?

LS: On the example of bodily exertion we can also see how untenable is Plessner’s, Habermas’ and Rigauer’s theses that sport is the “duplication of the world of labour”. Labour is dominated by the principle of optimal effort, while sport is dominated by the principle of “greater effort” which basically means a merciless destruction of organism – based on the apsolutized principle of performance. The rhythm and intensity of sports exertion destroy the biological rhythm of organism. Sport abolishes the distinction between tiredness and over fatigue – which is a pathological state of organism. “To increase physical fitness” involves suffering and blocking of pain which is organism’s natural defence reaction to excessive exertion. Cells are destroyed as well as muscles, spine, heart, joints, liver, and this results in a functional and constitutional disharmony of the body and organs, some extremities, organs and functions of organism are hypertrophied and some are atrophied…

DK: There have been hundreds of sport related deaths over the decades, which have received very little attention. Athletes have not only died on the field but also off the field. There is a popular belief that an “athletic” body is the healthiest. You obviously show the opposite. An athletic body is actually the unhealthiest.

LS: Sport is a capitalist way of producing physically and mentally ill people. In the beginning of the XX century, the French physician Phillip Tissié, who analyzed the functioning of organism of long-distance runners, came to the conclusion that excessive physical exertion led to the degeneration of cells, and that the sportsman is a chronically ill person. Sports physicians do not struggle for a healthy man, but for the creation of a “sport body” and its “servicing”. What is a pathological state for “ordinary people”, for sportsmen is a “normal state”. Special terms have been coined, such as a “sport heart”, turning chronically ill sportsmen into “supermen”. Off course, this applies only while the medals are being won. Physicians take active part in this physical and mental destruction of people. A typical example is the medical report on the West-German heptathlon contestant Birgit Dressel. In spite of being “a hundred percent healthy”, Dressel died of “toxemia” in agony. She was 27 years old. No one was held responsible. That is how life of sportsmen ends throughout the world… Coaches ruin the lives of a large number of children in their preadolescent and adolescent period. The most obvious example is gymnastics, where little girls are monstrously degenerated. As far as sports injuries are concerned, only rugby in the USA records 650 000 seriously injured people annually. It is estimated that most orthopedists in the West earn their livings on “correcting” the consequences of injuries incurred in sport activities.

DK: One of the reasons why you walked out of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich was related to the use of doping by the Puerto Rican basketball team. 38 years later, doping incidents seem to be the norm rather than the exception despite rigorous testing and official condemnation of doping by the International Olympic Committee and various other sporting authorities. Why is doping so prevalent in sport?

LS: Body doping is but one of the means used to make the organism of a sportsmen achieve results which exceed his biological capacities. Anabolic steroids, “bathing” in oxygen, blood doping, doping-pregnancy, virilisation, “therapy” with the hormone of growth, erythropoietin, computer “processing” of muscles and shock treatments (as in the “training” of horses), genetic engineering – without all these means the “progress” in sport cannot be imagined. What the sports industry is doing to sportsmen resembles the experiments on human beings performed in Nazi laboratories of death. Body doping is carried out by sportsmen being fanaticized, which (only conditionally) can be called mental doping and which blocks the power of reasoning and generates a will for self-destruction. A need to escape from poor slums and anonymity, dreams of making “big money”, the dominant evaluative model, the achieved level of results, the imposed pattern of sports conduct which involves the production of increasingly bloody and destructive spectacles – all this creates the background for a fatalistic acceptance of one’s sports “destiny” and for the development of a self-destructive conscious. The maxim mens sana in corpore sano, and particularly Coubertin’s maxim mens fervida in corpore lacertoso, clearly indicates that sport does not count on the development of mind, but on the development of a belligerent (murderous-destructive) character and an instrumentalized body.

DK: You take Marx’s concept of alienation further. Marx spoke of alienation of the worker related to his job. You say that sport alienates the individual from his body. How?

LS: In modern society, the relation to the body is mediated by the capitalist universe (industrial mimesis, the principle of rationality and efficiency, destructive instrumentalism…) which appears in the form of a technical sphere, alienated from and dominant over man, which is an immediate living environment and imposes the logic of living. It is by way of this sphere that the capital rules man and nature. Just as in antiquity man was the slave of the ruling order by way of the sphere of Olympic gods, so in capitalism he became the slave of the ruling order by way of science and technique. The instrumentalization of the body is based on the capitalistically-based division of labour, that is, on specialization and thus on man’s mutilation. Marx speaks of man being transformed into a freak in the industrial process of production, which is brilliantly demonstrated by Charlie Chaplin in his movie the Modern Times. The capitalistic form of alienated labour processes the body by turning it into a technical (working) tool, and reduces the mind to an operationalized intellect. A capitalistically degenerated body has degenerated senses and motoring. The dominant characteristics are the bodily mechanic, precision of movements, esthetics of the machine, deerotization, hypertrophy of some and atrophy of other functions, spiritless body and movements; instead of the ancient principle metron ariston, prevails an aggressive muscular body; the principle of optimum effort is replaced by the principle of “greater effort”; the prevailing character is (self) destructive and the prevailing movement is adjusted to the capitalist rhythm of reproduction, etc. Thus, it is not about a humanization, but about a technicization of the body (nature). The capitalist way of industrial production transformed man into a robotized freak. It is best seen in sport, in the principle “Recorders are born in vials!”, in which a robotized body is the highest esthetic challenge. If the body is neither natural nor human, then not only can man not “be-in-the world”, he can no longer be at all – since he is no longer a man.

DK: There are countless examples of how an entire industry has been created out of playing on people’s dislike, hatred and even shame of their bodies. In the US, in particular, a wretched “dieting” industry has been created. We know that girls as young as 12 years old starve themselves just so that they can have the same type of body as the celebrity star. Within the past decade, men have been sucked into the image industry known as Metrosexuality. Why do you think this self destruction of the body has become so prevalent?

LS: As man is, by way of his body, “immediately in the world”, the most fatal and inevitable form of the impact of capitalism, as the order of destruction, on man is through the body: the crisis of the world is, at the same time, the crisis of the body. Hence the basic form of man’s self-alienation is the alienation from one’s own body. Man experiences himself as an otherness as against the existing world through the suffering which is the consequence not only of his unsatisfied primary needs, but also of their mutilation. He flees the world by fleeing from his body, or by fleeing to his body (narcissism). Most people in the West experience everyday frustration because they discard their own body as worthless, unfitted to the ruling (consumer-advertising) model of the body which becomes the basis of social evaluation. Man experiences his body as a punishment, as something alien, and tries to mask it (“fashion”), or change it with exhausting physical exercises, “treatments”, operations… A capitalistically degenerated man has an instrumental relation to his own body based on the principle of profit. Physical appearance and health are not the purpose, but a vehicle for achieving social prestige and existence. The desirable model of the body is that which is in line with the dominant value-related model dictated by the dominant fashion concerns. The frequently changing fashion forces people to ever more frequent changes, which means an increasingly merciless treatment of the body. An industry was born for the production of images. The image becomes a commodity similarly to garments. The entertainment industry offers increasingly diversified forms of physical degeneration. Plastic surgery, body-buildingfitness-centres and diets – all these serve to make man conform to the dominant model of the “beautiful” according to the standards of advertising industry. “Barbie” doll becomes the “most beautiful” form of man’s devaluation. As far as “Rocky”, “Rambo”, “Terminator” and other Hollywood freaks are concerned, they are the picture of the contemporary capitalist “superman”, whose cultural conscience has been “erased” and who is guided in his behaviour by a destructive idiocy.

DK: Yes! This is all promoted through “consumer society”. Sporting events such as World Cup and Olympics are basically marketing campaigns to sell consumer products.

LS: In contrast to the former ruling classes, the bourgeoisie strives to include the working layers into its spiritual, as well as into its living sphere. The capitalist way of life (“consumer society”) becomes a totalizing principle of life which spares no one and from which there is no escape. The commercialization of life is the worst form of totalitarianism ever created in history, since it completely submits nature, society and man to the destructive mechanism of the capitalist reproduction. Its essence is expressed in the monstrous maxim “Money does not stink!” – which illustrates the very gist of the ecocide capitalist terrorism. According to the dictate of the absolutized principle of profit, the totalizing of the world by “technical civilization” is in place – and it destroys the possibility of creating a humanist civilization – as well as of nature, body and bodily movement, which directly conditions the “development” of senses and man’s mental capacities. The dominant form of bodily activism becomes a consumer activism. The commercialization of the body is the “highest” form of capitalist degeneration of the body (man). Man’s body is not only part of a capitalistically degenerated world; it becomes a means of destroying the natural and the human and as such the enemy of man. A direct product of the “consumer society” is a man-consumer corresponded by a consumer-body in which the surrogates of “consumer civilization” are to vanish. Capitalism destroys the body by turning it into a destructive mechanism – causing hypertrophy of those physical functions which offer a possibility for the development of consumer society, and the atrophy of those functions which are not of a profitable character. The dominant rhythm is that of the capitalist reproduction which destroys the biological rhythm of life – without which there is no healthy man. Man is not only guided by a consumer activism as a value-related challenge, but his body cannot survive without an ever bigger number of devices and aids, as well as artificial living conditions. The capitalist totalizing of the world involves the capitalist totalizing of the body, which means its distortion and the creation of a chronically ill man who can survive only with an ever bigger amount of medicaments and medical interventions. Man’s survival is increasingly mediated by artificial means which turn him into an invalid. The body has lost its natural needs: it can no longer process natural food; it lives on medicaments and through medicaments. Man’s whole life is under “treatments” which, ultimately, are to enable him to survive in a functional harmony with the ruling order. Material wealth does not provide him with a healthy life; it rather causes a specific mental and physical degeneration of plutocracy. The relation to the body shows that the development of the “consumer standard” involves the destruction of the living standard. Work, way of life, movements, rhythm of living, diet, sleeping, space which is a modern ghetto (towns), air, water, food, tobacco, drugs, beverages, the way of life which destroys man’s natural being, night life – all these forms of life become a way of man’s degeneration. Cholesterol, cellulite, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurasthenia, depression, AIDS, etc. – are not the “diseases of contemporary world”, but are capitalistic form of man’s physical and mental degeneration. It is about a capitalist mutation of man performed by depriving man of natural and human life-creating force and degenerating him into a plastic and technical “being”. At the same time, an increasing number of threatening diseases are not naturally conditioned and of a natural character; they are the products of laboratories and are of a genocidal and profitable character. We are dealing here with a capitalist production of diseases which are being “treated” by turning man into a profitable patient, which means a chronically ill person. “Physical needs” of today’s man are determined by propaganda machinery and his social position. Man, who constantly devours increasing amounts of increasingly low quality food, is the most important strategic goal of the food industry. It creates an increasingly ill man who is, naturally, “attended to” by medical and pharmaceutical industry. The consumption of an increasing amount of food is not the need of our bodies, but is a compensation for a frustrated humanity. Capitalism is turning the consequences of the destruction of nature and man into the sources of profits and is developing ever more horrible mechanisms of destruction. The human body becomes a universal destructive machine and a universal garbage collector which should devour the ever more poisonous surrogates of the capitalist civilization. At the same time, existential anxiety, everyday humiliations, loneliness, hopelessness generated by the destructive capitalist nothingness, mentally distort man, and this is a direct cause of the degeneration of the body.

DK: You say that sport is the highest form of Social Darwinism. You write that this was invented by the founder of the modern Olympic Games Pierre de Coubertin. How did Coubertin devise his philosophy?

LS: Sport is the cult of capitalism. In his Olympic writings Coubertin writes of Olympism as the “cult of the existing world” which appears under the ideological veil of the “cult of humanism”. The starting point for establishing sport as the cult of the existing world, however, is not humanism, but Social Darwinism and positivism. Sport is the reaction of the bourgeoisie to the guiding ideas of the French Revolution, the emancipatory legacy of the civil society and the ideal of future which becomes the landmark of a political movement striving to overcome capitalism. It is a form in which the bourgeoisie, which came to power on the wave of bourgeois revolutions, performed a spiritual counterrevolution. Instead of of “Freedom”, “Equality” and “Brotherhood”, the principle of “progress”, reduced to the “development” and “perfectioning” of capitalism, becomes the supreme political principle; instead of a struggle to realize basic human and civil rights, there exists a conflict between nations and races and colonial expansion ; instead of a respect for cultural tradition, sport is used for destruction of nations’ spiritual heritage and thus their libertarian dignity… Sport becomes the most important “mondialist” ideology and stadium the most important “cultural” venue of the capitalist world.

DK: Basically, you’re saying that Sport is the religion of capitalism. What are the symbols and rituals related to sports religion?

LS: Unlike the religious cults based on transcendental values, sport is a positivist cult reduced to the divination of the existing world. The prevailing symbolism in the stadiums expresses the prevailing spirit of the existing world and represents a means for integrating people into the ruling order. Not war, but life based on Social Darwinism and progressism is the source of sport. Instead of traditional religions, Olympism becomes the highest (positive) religion appropriate to the spirit of the modern world: the spirit of Olympism is the spirit of capitalism. Unlike traditional religions, sport is not an attempt to make life meaningful; it is a shock-therapy meant to alleviate the ever bigger sufferings caused by the everyday meaningless and ever bloodier life. It crushes the critical visionary mind, the idea of future and man as a living (biological) being. The “creation of future” in sport is based on the positivistic maxim “to know in order to predict, to predict in order to act” (savoir pour prevoir, prevoir pour agir). A fight between people is possible, according to the rules which are the embodiment of the ruling spirit, but not for the purpose of changing the established order. In it, there is no fight between the good and the evil, which means that the basic humanistic principle is excluded from sport, the principle without which there is no civilization. Sport is the most authentic anticipation of a capitalist “future”.

DK: Right. What is the function of sport within capitalist class society?

LS: Sport has become the most important political weapon of the class domination by which the bourgeoisie destroys the class consciousness of the working people, critical mind, libertarian dignity, depolitizes the oppressed, achieves “national integration”… In contrast to the earlier games, which expressed the spirit of the ruling order and had a class exclusivity, sport is a “supraclass” game which expresses the progressistic capitalist universalism by means of which the bourgeoisie draws into its spiritual orbit not only workers, but women and members of “lower races” as well. It serves to “overcome” class antagonism (“sport has nothing to do with politics”), achieves “class reconciliation” and thus “social peace”. For the ruling class, sport is an “ideological political cudgel” which destroys the critical mind and workers’ drive for changes. It is a vent releasing the discontent of the oppressed and preventing the creation of an organized political movement that can jeopardize the ruling order. The conflict between classes is transferred from the political (social) sphere to stadiums, the war waged in sport being the embodiment of the capitalist way of life. When a man gives vent to his discontent on a stadium, he does that in a way which does not question the existing order, but reproduces it. Sport is a capitalist ideology which “levels off” class differences based on the ruling principles of capitalism. To win! – that is the existential imperative both for those who are at the bottom and for those who sit in “blue loges”. Capitalism does not leave anybody alone. The existential uncertainty is Damocles’ sword hovering over everybody’s head. Trying to escape from the bottom and struggling not to come to the bottom – this is what makes the rich and the poor “get closer”. “Enjoying” wealth means letting off the fear of poverty. Sport repeatedly produces the awareness of an unavoidable world based on the Social Darwinist principle “The stronger win, the weaker are eliminated!” (Coubertin). It provokes a conflict between people (nations, races and genders) thus producing the existing world of injustice. Sport serves to provide the oppressed with “opponents” in the form of an “opponent team” and “opponent supporters” so that they can vent their anger at them because of their humiliating position. It absorbs the increasing discontent of the oppressed working people and their children – whose future is being destroyed. Capitalism produces an unhappy and mutilated man, and at the same time creates ever bloodier compensatory mechanisms and a need for them – which is attributed to the “evil” human nature. Sport clearly shows the truth that politics is an art of directing the discontent of the oppressed towards the realization of inhuman ends. That is why in sport everything is allowed: murder, serious physical injuries, verbal abuses… “Victory” on a sports field is the defeat of humanity.

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DK: There, however, does appear to be continuity between the Roman Empire and today’s society. Ancient Rome used the coliseum to offer the masses bread and circuses. In Ancient Rome, this was used to keep the population from turning against their elites. Sport today serves the same purpose but also something much more sinister. The Romans were interested in distracting their citizens rather than destroying them. Today, sport serves to both distract and kill the citizens.

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Sports spectacles have become the chief and cheapest spiritual food for those deprived of their rights. To drive the oppressed into stadiums and sports centres has become the most important political task of the ruling regimes. Hence everything is being done to enable their regular occurrence. Those who adopt laws prescribing long-term imprisonment for children who run into the field during a game, are the main promoters of sport, which is an institutionalized violence with a spectacular dimension; those who struggle to “abolish” capital punishment as a “non-civilized” measure are the chief organizers of the ever bloodier sports spectacles in which premeditated and accidental murders as well as the infliction of serious physical injuries are legalized; the European legislation in no way tries to stop a monstrous abuse of increasingly younger children and their turning into sports slaves; the duration and intensity of trainings are not limited; the selling of players by clubs is legalized; segregation according to the gender has been institutionalized; the use of dope is elevated to the level of the state policy – hiding the interests of multinational concerns and ruling political clans; “physical culture” has been expelled from schools and “sports education” has been introduced in which, instead of cultural conscious and tolerance, prevail physical strength and the spirit of ruthless rivalry; young people deprived of their rights acquire the status of “hooligans” and thus of social outcasts; instead of pedagogical measures for preventing the violent behaviour of young people and creating the conditions for changing their ever harder social position, we are facing an increasingly brutal police oppression… All those things that express the existential spirit of capitalism – murder, physical injuries, destruction of humanity – acquire in sports fields a spectacular dimension. The principle “Victory at all costs!”, which corresponds to the principle “Profit at all costs!” – becomes a supreme and unquestionable sports principle.

DK: I’m originally from New York, which is not only the centre of the capitalist world but also where baseball is the most popular sport. The two most popular “newspapers”, which are really nothing but gossip tabloids devoid of any serious news, devote half their pages to sports. In fact, most New Yorkers buy these papers to read the sport results. The most popular writers are sports columnists. The stories are all about the personalities of the managers and players. When one or both of the baseball teams make the playoffs, the entire city is swept up into the drama of whether or not the Yankees or Mets will win the Pennant or the World Series. During the month of October, New York gets swept up in the drama of baseball. Indeed, the collective or mass psychology of most inhabitants is determined by how well or bad our teams do.

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The nature of sport as drama is conditioned by the role of sport in society. It is not an activist integration of the ruling class, like the ancient Olympic Games and medieval chivalrous tournaments, but is a “supraclass” phenomenon and as such means the integration of the oppressed into the spiritual orbit of the ruling class and their depolitization according to the principle panem et circences. Its purpose is to inseminate man with the ruling spirit, to pin him down to the existing world, destroy his mind, imagination, hope of a better world… A sports spectacle is a modern pagan festivity which gives a fatal dimension to the ruling relations and values. It does not enable man to treat the existing world in a reasonable way, but completely integrates him into it. Man becomes the toy of destiny, which means of the basic processes of capitalist reproduction. Sport abolishes the dualism of reality and ideals. In it, there is no opposition between play and life: it represents life in its existential and essential sense. Sport is the authentic form of the playing of life and thus is its glorification which is supposed to create a religious relation to the ruling values. Sport does not reflect the human; it is rather that man becomes a means for deification of the ruling relations and values. Sport is not an innocent children’s play; it is a ritual manifestation of the submission to the ruling spirit and thus is the highest religious ceremony with a liturgical character. It is pervaded with a sacred serenity. Hence the importance of the “Olympic oath” (serment olympique): sport is the cult of the existing world, while man appears in the sports ritual as the symbolic incarnation of the spirit that rules the world. A sports spectacle is not an enactment of life; it is its reproduction: in it, the essence of the capitalist world appears in a condensed form. Rugby, boxing and other bloody sports are immediate expression of the “American way of life”, which is based on a ruthless Social Darwinism and a destructive progressism – and which becomes a planetary way of life (“globalism”). The sports drama is the authentic way of the playing of life – in which life itself is the stake. Sport is a drama without masks, without petty bourgeois lies, without invented plots which are to glorify criminals and obtain meaning for the capitalist nothingness. Life itself continues without a “humanistic” and “artistic” veil. It is legal in sport to inflict serious physical injuries and kill, to mutilate children, apply medical “treatments” which reduce sportsmen to laboratory rats, to turn the young into fascist hordes… The theatre represents the scenery of the world of lies and crime; sport represents its foundation. At the stadium, there is no human distance, there is no comical: gladiators are not entitled to laughter. The increasingly bloody life requires increasingly bloody sports spectacles, which are the compensation to the oppressed for the increasing everyday misery. “The spectators love the smell of blood!” – this is the “golden rule” of sports show-business in the USA and other countries of the “free world”. Sports stadiums were not built for well-to-do (petty) bourgeois, as is the case with the theatre which has an elitist status, but for the working “masses” deprived of their rights and for their children reduced to “hooligans”. The modern stadium appeared along with the modern industrial proletariat, at the time when workers managed to obtain the eight-hour working day – when the bourgeoisie endeavoured to “colonize the leisure time” of workers and thus prevent their political organization and integrate them into the ruling order. Stadiums are not designed for “cultural education” of the oppressed, but for their “pacification” (depolitization) and idiocy. “Sport is the cheapest spiritual food for the (working) masses that keeps them under control.” – this is the most accurate sociological (political) definition of sport reached, after the First World War and the then revolutionary movements in Europe, by the “father” of modern Olympism Pierre de Coubertin. Sport is becoming a way of destroying the class consciousness and shifting the fight from the political to the sports arena. Stadiums are not the temples of culture but bonfires for burning out the discontent of the oppressed. This is what determines their appearance: stadiums are modern concentration camps for people deprived of their civil and human rights. Everywhere in the capitalist world, where people are becoming increasingly poor, and fewer and fewer people are becoming rich, we have the same picture: wire fences, special police forces, trained dogs… A match is an occasion for giving vent for a man increasingly deprived of his rights, and it does not reflect human “evil” but suffering and despair. Sports spectacles are a way of turning the critical and change-oriented potentials of the people deprived of their rights into aggression directed towards the so called “opponents”, who belong to the same class of the oppressed, and a way of provoking a war between them. This is the basis on which supporting groups are formed: instead of turning their discontent towards the ruling order, young people turn it towards other supporting groups, who are also the victims of an inhuman order. “Supporting masses” are a form of degeneration of the working youth, while fanaticism of supporters is a form of degenerating its critical and change-oriented conscious. Symbols and slogans under which the youth gather do not speak of freedom, brotherhood, peace, cooperation, love: they are of a fascist character. “Patriotism” without culture is barbarism. As far as sports “idols” are concerned, they are not fighting for freedom; they are the tool of capitalism for combating the libertarian mind and integrating the youth, reduced to the supporting “mass”, into the existing world. The increasingly bloody conflicts between different supporters are an inevitable consequence of the increasingly difficult position of young people in a world based on the principle “Money does not stink!”, and on the increasingly ruthless manipulation of the young, which springs from the fear that their discontent might turn against the ruling order and be used for building a new (just) world. On sports stadiums, fresh mountain water, which can overflow the increasingly rotten capitalist dam, turns into a swamp. Firecrackers and other supporting equipment do not express joy of life: they are symbols of destruction. Torches are not the source of light: they are a symbolic form of burning the world without a future.

DK: You’re right! For residents of New York our two most sacred buildings are Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden. Shifting gears, you write of “Sportivization”, which you say is the key component of capitalism totalitarianism. Can you elaborate what you mean?

LS: Officially, “sport has nothing to do with politics” but, in fact, it is a universal political instrument of the world rulers in their attempt to preserve capitalism. Sportivization has become the most important ideological form of the capitalist totalizing of the world, while stadium has become the most important cult venue of the contemporary world – where to the ruling spirit a critical and change-oriented mind is sacrificed. Sport, as the chief “mondialist” religion, becomes a means for destroying traditional religions, cultural heritage of peoples and political ideas and movements which oppose the “new world order”, which means a destructive (ecocide) capitalist totalitarism. Coubertin does not hide that the chief task of IOC is to create, through sport, a global positive one-mindedness. The establishment of a total and unquestionable unique (capitalist) worldview has become the leading political principle. In the world, there are thousands and thousands of sports manifestations every day; the sports commentaries from the sports fields are given the prime time in the news and cover most of the space in public media; “sports” TV channels broadcast sports programme non-stop; sport is becoming the chief advertising billboard in an increasingly ruthless economic war and the most important political platform; sports paganism becomes a means of Christian churches (and other leading religious communities) for courting the “masses”; the ruling “esthetic model” becomes the sports body; everyday language takes over sports terminology, especially the political language and that of business; politicians and capitalists place primary importance to their sports biographies, the photos of them are taken while engaged in a sports activity, they strive to attain a “sporting image” which is meant to demonstrate their “victorious spirit”; sport becomes the chief means for “money laundering”, meaning a mafia business of utmost importance; coaches acquire the status of supreme managers of capitalism; sportsmen become moving billboards, while stadiums, sports and betting places become the temples of capitalism.

DK: It’s interesting how our conversation has led to two central themes: stadiums and arenas as the temple of capitalism and how in New York, the sports columnist is read by more people than political columnists. It isn’t an accident that the New York Post, owned by the far right wing propagandist Rupert Murdoch boasts that is has the “Best Sports Section in New York”. How do you see the correlation between the lack of serious journalism, i.e.; serious reporting and investigation of the most pressing issues that the masses face, with the saturation of sports and gossip presented as “news”?

LS: The role of a journalist is to give a “spectacular” dimension to the increasingly cruel sports reality. There is not a critical detachment from the aspect of morality, social interest or any other norms apart from sport. Sports commentators glorify violence and destruction and in a perfidious way encourage conflicts between the oppressed, which appear in the form of supporters, between nations, genders and races. They seek to establish a direct contact between sports spectacles and subconscious: a sports spectacle is meant to “draw” discontent from the oppressed and direct it towards the “opponent”. Sports articles are of an increasingly primitive character: they correspond to the sport which destroys the power of reasoning and creates a massive idiocy. The ever more aggressive sensationalism is a commercial form of ever more meaningless texts which give a “fatal” dimension to marginal phenomena and a marginal dimension to the crucial issues for humanity. Writing on the nature of modern capitalism Marcuse concludes: “The non-functioning of television and the allied media might thus begin to achieve what the inherent contradictions of capitalism did not achieve – the disintegration of the system. The creation of repressive needs has long since become part of socially necessary labour – necessary in the sense that without it, the established mode of production could not be sustained. Neither problems of psychology nor of aesthetics are at stake, but the material base of domination.”

DK: Combined, sport and propaganda which are only meant to entertain rather than to enlighten, serve to degenerate society. What are the more serious effects by which capitalism creates total destruction?

LS: Capitalism creates not only repressive, but also (self) destructive needs. Suicidal “feats” become the biggest “test of courage” and are thus a form of dragging people away from the field of (political) fight for the realization of their human rights and the survival of the world. The same applies to boxing and other bloody spectacles. Instead of directing their dissatisfaction to the abolishment of the world of misery, people direct it to bloody clashes with other people. Sport is the most important instrument of capitalism for degenerating man. It destroys not only the body, but also the critical change-oriented (visionary) conscious and produces (self-destructive) fanaticism. By way of sport man is held outside historical space where the governing values are conserved – which is the essence of the view that sport is a phenomenon sui generis and “has nothing to do with politics”. Instead of changing the ruling order which increasingly generates evil, the order changes man by destroying in him everything that makes him human and can become the basis for the development of a critical mind and changing practice. The emancipatory legacy of civil society has been discarded and “new” fascism is being established which is the incarnation of the ecocide spirit of contemporary capitalism. By becoming the order of destruction in a pure sense (“consumer society”), capitalism cast away its “humanistic” and “progressive” mask. Sport is no longer used for preserving the faith in the “eternal values of capitalism”, the critical change-oriented mind is being destroyed which, above all, means the confidence that a free and righteous world is possible. Manipulation shifts from the ideological sphere to the psychological one: stadium becomes a psychotherapeutic institution. Instead of the cult of victory and records, the dominant cult is that of a spectacle which is the main spiritual drug by means of which the ruling oligarchy holds “masses” under control; instead of becoming “contestants” and “recorders”, sportsmen become circus players, gladiators and stuntmen.

DK: What hasn’t been reported in the mainstream media is the police state which has been created in South Africa for the World Cup. Tens of thousands of residents of the slums have been relocated hundreds of miles out of the towns where the matches are being played. South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Rather than addressing the needs of its poor, the government has made them literary disappear so that visitors and the international media don’t see the social reality of South Africa. Moreover, South Africa is not receiving a single penny from FIFA from TV broadcasting rights, ticket sales and the sales from official FIFA merchandise. Stadium stewards went on strike to demand their pay and higher wages. They were met with police repression and sacked en-masse. None of this has been covered by the international media. One can only conclude that the World Cup in South Africa has been to the benefit of foreign multinational corporations while increasing the misery for the majority of impoverished South Africans.

LS: Just as the true picture of war are not military parades, but killed and mutilated people, desperate mothers, burned houses and fields, starving children dying in mud – so the true picture of sport are not smiling faces of sportsmen at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, but their degenerated bodies, ruined health, destroyed youth, life without a future… A man deprived of rights, abused, defeated and destroyed – that is the true picture of war and sport alike.

Censorship July 2010 Non-Violence Video World


AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to a young journalist who was beaten and arrested. Among the hundreds of people arrested at the G20 protests in Toronto was Jesse Rosenfeld. He is a freelance reporter who was on assignment for The Guardian newspaper of London. He’s also a journalist with the Alternative Media Center. He was arrested and detained by Canadian police on Saturday evening covering a protest in front of the Novotel Hotel. We reached him just before this broadcast this morning. He was over at the CBC. And he described what happened to him.


    • They started sending in snatch squads and declared a mass arrest. At that point, I went up to them, and I was with some other media and said, “What about the media?” Their first reaction was, “Well, media is also under arrest.” And then the officer came up actually [inaudible], said, “If you had an official lanyard from the G8/G20 summit, then you’re actually going to be OK and you can go through.”


Now, it’s interesting, because I filed for my G8/G20 media accreditation on June 11th, back at the deadline, submitted both—you know, all my documentation, including a letter from The Guardian. And then, what happened was, while the summit kept saying, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m approved, they’re just waiting for the final approval of the RCMP background check before they can send me my lanyard or my official media photo ID, that it basically said it had to declare a background check. And that was basically used to prevent me from getting the media pass. So I only had an Alternative Media Center pass on me, which was the passes that the AMC, the Alternative Media Center, not the government, set up. Alternative Media Center had issued to all the independent journalists that were working with it.

The police told me, “Oh, we don’t recognize these credentials.” I explained to them that I was a journalist also with The Guardian, that I was writing for “Comment Is Free.” I told them about my editors. I told them about my stories. And they said, “Well, we’ll check your credentials, and then, if it’s fine, we’ll let you go.”

At that point, I was sort of taken to the side, after a bunch of media had gotten through the police line, and an officer walked up to me, looked at my ID and said—my Alternative Media Center press pass, that is—and said, “This isn’t legitimate. You’re under arrest,” at which point I was immediately jumped by two police officers. I had my notepads in my hands. Grabbed my arms, they yanked back. My notepad went flying. I was hit in the stomach by one officer as I was held by two others. As I was going over, I was then hit in the back and went down. After I went down and as I went down, I smacked my leg. I had officers jump on top of me. I was being hit in the back. My face was being pushed to the concrete. All the time I’m saying, “I’m not resisting arrest. I’m a journalist. Why are you beating me?” My leg was lifted up, and my ankle was twisted, from while I was on the ground not resisting. And at that point, after I started saying these things, the police then started saying, “Stop resisting arrest,” as if to try and provide cover for themselves.

Something interesting about when I was jumped, as well, is, just a minute or so after, two other officers had passed by, and they identified me as someone who is, quote-unquote, “a mouthy kid.” Basically, I had run into them at demonstrations previously in the week and basically been asking tough questions on the front of the riot line as they were either clashing with media, which they did quite violently through the week, or beating protesters. And so, they had identified me as someone who was challenging them publicly and on the record. And it was at that point that I was jumped by the other officers, you know, and beaten and arrested.

We were then hauled off to jail. I spent—I guess I was arrested at around 10:00, 11:30 in the evening, and I didn’t get out of jail ’til 5:00 or 6:00 the next afternoon. And that was basically on—we weren’t charged. We were held on the—we were detained on the grounds of, quote-unquote, “breach of peace,” which is not a criminal offense. And the conditions in jail—I mean, I’ve been working from the Middle East as a journalist for the past three years or so, since 2007, and the jails actually remind me a lot more of the ones I’ve seen that Israelis hold for Palestinians or the Palestinian Authority holds. We were in handcuffs, or at least I was in handcuffs ’til nearly 5:00 in the morning, while being processed in different cells and waiting to be processed and in cells of over—overcrowded cells with over twenty people, with a porta-potty, very limited access to water. Then, after I was processed, I was moved to a five-foot-by-eight-foot cell, where there were five other people with me. And there was benches, no washroom, only a concrete floor. And the room was absolutely freezing, not even enough space for us to lie down and sleep all at the same time. It was incredibly difficult to sleep because it was so cold. A lot of the people I was in jail with had been beaten, and beaten quite badly—black eyes, bloody noses, and been hit all over. And also, a lot of the people from—there were several people from the Alternative Media Center who had been taken in for just doing their job, which was reporting from the front lines.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Jesse Rosenfeld, freelance reporter on assignment with The Guardian newspaper in London. He was also a journalist with the Alternative Media Center, arrested and detained by the Canadian police on Saturday evening.

Censorship February 2011 World


Twenty years since Ukraine’s independence, a generation has grown up for whom the USSR, with its oppression of any dissent and a system of total fear, is nothing but a history textbook term. However, a recent wave of political repressions that began in Ukraine in 2010 has sparked widespread comparisons with the country’s totalitarian past.

Arrests of government officials who served under former Prime Minister and current opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko began less than a year into the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. Among those accused of corruption [ENG] are ten of her senior aides, a former Interior Minister and an opposition party leader Yuriy Lutsenko. Tymoshenko herself has been recently denied a trip to Brussels [ENG], due to an ongoing criminal investigation.

In addition to ex-government officials and opposition leaders, the list of professions that have recently become dangerous in Ukraine includes civic activists, entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers, and even writers. This trend has prompted some analysts to speak of a systematic crackdown on dissent [ENG] rather than a widespread campaign against corruption launched [ENG] by the current President.

While the mainstream media have been providing consistent coverage of the cases against former senior state officials and the opposition, reports of numerous arrests and pressure on the not-so-prominent figures have been sporadic. In fact, most chronologies of political repressions against “ordinary people” have been attempted by bloggers, independent journalists, and cyber-activists.

Among the first ones to make such an attempt is Diana Makarova (LJ user diana-ledi), a journalist-turned-blogger. On Jan. 21, 2011, she put together the available information and came up with more than 40 names of those who have been detained or pressured since December 2010. Among them are participants of the 2010 entrepreneurs’ Tax Protests [ENG], accused of damaging state property, 15 activists of the nationalist organization “Tryzub” (charged with blowing up an illegally-installed monument to Joseph Stalin), activists of political party “Svoboda” (same charges), Ukrainian writer Maria Matios, poet and magazine editor Marina Bratsylo and her husband Yuriy Noga (charges unclear), blogger Olena Bilozerska (see this GV post), head of a regional branch of political party “People’s Self-Defense” (charges unclear), and a Zaporizhzhya history student not connected to any political organization, Eduard Andryushchenko (LJ user did-panas23), who had been gathering information about Ukrainian nationalist movements for his thesis.

Below are a few translated excerpts from the chronology posted on Makarova’s blog [RUS]:

On Dec. 10, 2010, ARRESTS OF ENTREPRENEURS involved in the organization of the [Tax Protests] HAVE BEGUN. Charges include damaging marble tiles where the tent city had been set up. In Kyiv, a participant of the entrepreneurs’ [protests] Sergei Kostakov has been detained. Sentenced to two months. The court hearing took place with no lawyer present.


Jan. 10, 2011. Some 15 leaders of “Tryzub” have been detained. […] There’s no way to communicate with those arrested, it is not known where they’re being kept, their relatives and lawyers are being prevented from visiting, nothing can be passed to the detainees.


Around the same time […] Eduard Andryushchenko, who is not officially connected to either “Svoboda” or “Tryzub”, was arrested. After three days of interrogations, the [young man] was released. But the police were waiting for him at the exit. After this second arrest Eduard Andryushchenko disappeared. The police kept his location secret for about a week.


Jan. 13, 2011. Four members of organization “Tryzub” (Philip Taran, Roman Khmara, Sergei Borisenko, Rostislav Vinar) are being transferred from [Ivano-Frankivsk] to [Zaporizhzhya] (supposedly for an investigation-related experiment). Vasily Labaichuk is already there. After that their destiny remained unknown despite searches at the [State Security Service], detention areas, etc. Relatives and a lawyer were prevented from visiting the arrested.


Jan. 17, 2011. Roman Khmara has been found. He is being kept in Leninskiy District Police Department. He’s been beaten up by representatives of Rohatynskyi District Police Department, since the day of the arrest the lawyer hasn’t been allowed to visit him, he is in need of medical treatment.


Jan. 20, 2011. [Chernovtsy]. Brutal detention of an entrepreneur Lidiya Gaina, one of the participants of the [Tax Protests]. She was called to appear before police as a witness, and was then taken to court, without any explanation. As a result of such detainment, the woman had an asthma attack and heart problems. […]

Other bloggers who tried to spread information included Kyiv-based LJ user ax-attilla, who listed [UKR] the arrested activists of nationalist organizations, Yevgeniy Novitskyi from Simferopol (LJ user novitsky), Kyiv-based LJ user klodius, Dnipropetrovsk blogger Andriy Denysenko (LJ user andr-denysenko), LJ userooany-wonderoo, Kyiv activist Andriy Khartanovych (LJ user endryx), Kyiv-based blogger and journalist Olena Bilozerska (LJ user bilozerska), and others.

Members of, a popular Internet hub of citizen activism, have created a wiki-based collection [UKR] of materials on recent political repressions in Ukraine.

One of the website’s activists, Natlaka Zubar (LJ user pani-maidan), wrote this [UKR]:

15 people arrested for political activity and dozens under investigation, and that’s only in one month – is that enough to speak of the beginning of political repressions? I’m sure if [we] don’t scream about it from every corner, the number would grow too fast for the society to be able to realize the scope of the repressions. […]

Global issues Racism Religion World


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!


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