Subject: ON EVERYDAY ELUSIONS, ILLUSION, DELUSIONS AND COLLUSIONS.
7 March 2007
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Many years ago, Paul Tillich, political refugee from Nazi Germany, moral philosopher, theologian, and author of The Courage to Be (1952), wrote of mankind's non-being. Members of our species, he observed, are constantly faced with the possibility of elimination from three directions: existential meaninglessness, total condemnation, and ultimate annihilation. These vulnerabilities stem from the fact that human beings are essentially spiritual beings, moral beings, and biological beings; and thus they must live with the possibility of their own non-being.
A fourth prospect of non-being is described by the radical psychoanalyst R.D. Laing in his book, The Divided Self. Ontological insecurity he defines as the experience of "partial loss of synthetic unity of self, concurrently with partial loss of relatedness with the other, and in an ultimate form, in the hypothetical end-state of chaotic nonentity, total loss of relatedness with self and other."
"Man is always between being and non-being," continued Dr. Laing, echoing the early philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. Some of us engage in desperate "security operations"; others engage in "sincerity operations". But, Laing points out, at different levels of experience and action "the need of some to preserve their sincerity can undermine the security of others."(Self and Others)
Martin Buber, author of I and Thou, described mankind's existential project this way :
- In human society, at all its levels, persons confirm one another in a practical way, to some extent or other,
- in their personal qualities and capacities, and a society may be termed human in the measure to which its
- members confirm one another.
- The basis of man's life with man is twofold, and it is one --the wish of every man to be confirmed as what
- he is, even as what he can become, by men; and the innate capacity in man to confirm his fellow-men in
- this way. That this capacity lies so immeasurably fallow constitutes the real weakness and questionableness
- of the human race: actual humanity exists only where this capacity unfolds. On the other hand, of course, an
- empty claim for confirmation, without devotion for being and becoming, again and again mars the truth of the
- life between man and man.
- Men need, and it is granted to them, to confirm one another in their individual being by means of genuine
- meetings: but beyond this they need, and it is granted to them, to see the truth, which the soul gains by
- its struggle, light up to the others, the brothers, in a different way, and even so be confirmed.
From these traditional views of humanity, which were expressed and widely held cultural values in the post-fascist West only a few decades ago, we can get a feel for what has been lost amidst more recent capitalist crises, when corporations began appropriating the full force of the state in an attempt to better control societies for their own private interests. Benito Mussolini called the political control of the state by corporate interests in Italy Fascism
, but a rose is a rose by any other name. . . .
Corporate control of state power is necessary when market forces fail to accomplish their expected function, which for the owners of capital
is to provide profitable investment opportunities
; while for the rest of us
the expectation remains the production and distribution of necessary goods and services. Under the current state of affairs, the market economy (in both private and state capitalism) is failing to fulfill these expectations (e.g. joblessness, underemployment, inferior health care, homelessness, mental illness, destruction of the environment, etc., etc... The list is endless.). One possible outcome of this dilemma is the development of a command economy
, governed by authoritarian managerial techniques. This would constitute a desperate attempt by state and private capitalists (see Susan George's book, Lugano Reporrt: on preserving capitalism in the 21st Century
) to solve this problem in favor of the owners of capital, at a high social cost, including growing unemployment, lower wages, poor health care, inferior education, environmental destruction, and of course more wars --both imaginary and real.
We at CEIMSA received the 6 items
below which provide valuable information from democratic voices against corporate control of society.
is a report on class struggle in Mexico sent to us by our research associate, Professor Fred Lonidier
, at UCSD.
is an essay published at CEIMSA by Michael Parenti
on the relationship between wealth and poverty.
is a critical alert against the political biases coming out of the non-government organization Human Rights Watch
, co-authored by our research associate Professor Edward S. Herman
, by Semour Hersh
, is the remarkable discovery of the current U.S. "divide and rule" strategy of providing funding for the "enemy of our enemy" :
the U.S.-al Qaeda connection against Iran and the Shiite majority in Iraq.
is an interview on the American news broadcast, Democracy Now!,
with Chalmers Johnson
, author of Nemesis
, the third book of a trilogy by this author on the American Empire.
, from Information Clearing House, is an essay by Barry Lando
, the author of Web of Deceit
, seeking to answer the questions, "Who is responsible for the assault on liberties in the USA ?" and "Who is responsible for the war in the Middle East?"
And finally, we invite readers to return with us on a visit to the grounds of the Abu Ghraib prison, and see the stunning HBO documentary
by film maker Rory Kennedy
advocating accountability for America's crimes against humanity in Iraq.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3
from Fred Lonidier :
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007
Subject: Delete the Border resources
And an event in support of militants in Oaxaca* this Friday:
*The struggle in Oaxaca began with a teacher union strike last spring.
from Michael Parenti :
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007
Subject: How Wealth Creates Poverty
Here is an article I wrote wch you might find worth posting. If so, feel free to do so.
from Edward S. Herman :
Subject: Herman, Peterson and Szamuely: "Human Rights Watch in Service to the War Party"
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007
This piece on Human Rights Watch I sent out is quite long, so you might want to think twice before printing it.
Human Rights Watch in Service to the War Party
by Edward S. Herman, David Peterson, and George Szamuely
(Including A Review of “Weighing the Evidence: Lessons from the Slobodan Milosevic Trial”
(Human Rights Watch, December, 2006)
from Truth Out :
26 February 2007
Seymour Hersh reports that the Bush administration is funding anti-Shiite Sunnis linked to al Qaeda without Congressional approval and without appropriate appropriation. Hersh speculates that the money is coming from the pallet-loads of cash floating around Iraq and has already reached "three Sunni jihadist groups." He says, flatly, that the president is "supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11."
from Democracy Now! :
Subject: Chalmers Johnson on "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic"
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007
In his new book, CIA analyst, distinguished scholar, and best-selling author
Chalmers Johnson argues that US military and economic overreach may actually
lead to the nation's collapse as a constitutional republic. It's the last
volume in his Blowback trilogy, following the best-selling "Blowback" and
"The Sorrows of Empire." In those two, Johnson argued American clandestine
and military activity has led to un-intended, but direct disaster here in
the United States.
from Information Clearing House :
3 March 2007
Bush’s Draconian measures range from the suspension of habeas corpus to warrantless eavesdropping to the right of the president to decide what constitutes torture, to prisons where hundreds face indefinite detention without any charges being brought against them, to other even more secret CIA facilities filled with “ghost prisoners” for whom the CIA has never accounted.