Subject: ON MATERIAL REALITIES AS THE DESIGNATED ENEMY OF PRO-CAPITALIST CULTURES.
3 October 2009
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
In an essay on "Form, Substance, and Difference," based on a paper delivered on 9 January 1970, at The Institute of General Semantics in Fort Worth, Texas, British anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) discussed the work of Carl Jung (1875-1961), observing that Jung had discovered two worlds of explanation, the Pleroma world and that of Creatura --the former is the world in which events are caused by forces and impacts and in which there are no distinctions (no differences), while the latter is the world in which effects are brought about precisely by differences. In fact, this is the same old dichotomy between substance and mind, the elementary laws of nature and multifarious patterns of cultures.(Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972)p.456)
C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) lists the book by Franz Neumann (1900-1954), Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 (1942 & 1966), as one of the best works that has ever been written in the field of social sciences. Neumann begins his classic study of the specificity of German fascist society with a Foreword explaining the title he had chosen for this report on his research.
Neumann goes on to write in his Preface for this book that, "A military defeat of Germany is necessary."
- In the Jewish eschatology --of Babylonian origin-- Behemoth and Leviathan designated two monsters,
- Behemoth ruling the land (the desert), Leviathan the sea, the first male, the second female. The land animals
- venerate Behemoth, the sea animals Leviathan, as their masters. Both are monsters of the Chaos. According
- to the apocalyptic writings, Behemoth and Leviathan will reappear shortly before the end of the world. They
- will establish a rule of terror --but will be destroyed by God. In other versions Behemoth and Leviathan will
- fight each other incessantly, and finally will destroy each other. The day of the righteous and just will then
- come. They will eat the meat of both monsters in a feast which announces the advent of a realm of God.
- Jewish eschatology, the Book of Job, the prophets, the apocryphal writings are full of references to this myth, which
- is often differently interpreted and often adapted to political circumstances. St. Augustine saw in the Behemoth
- the Satan.
- It was Hobbes who made both the Leviathan and the Behemoth popular. His Leviathan is the analysis of a
- state, that is a political system of coercion in which vestiges of the rule of law and of individual rights are
- still preserved. His Behemoth, or the Long Parliament, however, discussing the English civil war of the
- seventeenth century, depicts a non-state, a chaos, a situation of lawlessness, disorder, and anarchy.
- Since we believe National Socialism is --or tending to become-- a non-state, a chaos, a rule of lawlessness
- and anarchy, which has 'swallowed' the rights and dignity of man, and is out to transform the world into a
- chaos by the supremacy of gigantic land masses, we find it apt to call the National Socialist system
- The Behemoth.(p.xii)
In the 8 items below CEIMSA readers are invited to differentiate the material world of homogeneous forces from the cultural inventions that produce strategies and tactics, for either human liberation or human bondage.
- Whether National Socialism can be crushed without a military defeat, I do not know. But of this I am certain:
- a military defeat will wipe it out. The military superiority of the democracies and of Soviet Russia must be
- demonstrated to the German people. The philosophy of National Socialism stands and falls with its alleged
- 'efficiency.'This must be proved untrue. The stab-in-the-back legend of 1918 must not be allowed to arise
- again. More and better planes, tanks, and guns and a complete military defeat will uproot National Socialism
- from the mind of the German people.(p.xiii)
Item A., sent to us by NYU Professor Bertell Ollman, is an announcement of the English translation of Shlomo Sand's recent book, The Invention of the Jewish People.
Item B., sent to us by Truth Out, is a report on U.S.-Israeli relations in Palestine by award-winning journalist Helena Cobban, filed on September 27th.
Item C. is an announcement from University of California Professor Fred Lonidier describing an art exhibit opening Monday, 5 October, in which his work, entitled "N.A.F.T.A. #15 Rio Tijuana Bridge: A Tale of Two Globes or Two Tales of a Globe/Puente del Rio Tijuana: Un Cuento de Dos Mundos o Cuentos de Un Mundo," will be featured.
Item D. is a message from San Diego community organizer, Monty Reed Kroopkin, on the growing use of "civil disobedience" in communities across the United States.
Item E., sent to us by the American Federation of Teachers' Representative, Maria Tillmanns, is a short account of The University of California student/faculty strike, which began on 24 September 2009.
Item F. is an article from independent investigative reporter, Al Giordano, providing valuable background information on continued right-wing U.S. political support of the Honduran coup d'état.
Item G. is an article from DefenceTalk.com, a new source for international defence, military and strategic news and information. (DefenceTalk was launched in March, 2003.)
Item H. is an announcement from Grenoble University Professor Franck Gaudichaud, describing the up-coming conference (in French) : "JOURNEES DU CINE-DOC-DEBAT LATINO-AMERICAIN," from the 6 to the 15 October in Grenoble.
And finally, we conclude this CEIMSA Bulletin with the September 29, 2009 issue of William Blum's Anti-Empire Report, out of Washington, D.C. :
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3
from Bertell Ollman :
Date: 3 October 2009
Subject: Shlomo Sand's book, INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
Dear Francis -
For people living in NY, I wanted to alert you to a talk that Israeli historian, Shlomo Sand, will be giving on his new book, THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE (he means this title literally) here at NYU on Oct. 16 (See announcement BELOW and ATTACHED). For those of you far from NY as well as those in NY, I wanted to let you know that this remarkable work, which caused a huge scandal and was a best seller when it came out in Israel two years ago and another scandal when the French edition appeared last year, has just come out in English with Verso Books. For my over-the-top praise (I exagerate not at all) , see the start of the announcement; for a brief summary of the main themes in Sand's book, see the end. Word about this remarkable book needs to get around, so if you like what you read here, please pass it on, pass it on, pass it on.
MARXIST THEORY COLLOQUIUM AT NYU - FOR OCTOBER
TALK BY PROFESSOR SHLOMO SAND,
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF TEL AVIV,
ON HIS NEWLY TRANSLATED BOOK,
THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
(This may be the most important and most surprising book on Zionism, Israel and Judaism written in the last fifty years. Nothing in the Middle East looks the same after reading it. To whet your desire to attend the talk, I’ve appended a brief sketch of some of the major themes in the book at the end of this announcement. I’ve also booked a large hall for Sand’s talk (SEE BELOW), so please pass this announcement on to friends, students and colleagues who are (or should be) interested in these subjects &n""> Bertell Ollman)
DATE / TIME -
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 - 4:15 6:15 PM
(Please note new date and later starting time)
MEYER HALL, N.Y.U., 4 WASHINGTON PLACE (between West 4th Street and Waverly Place, just west of Broadway), Room 121.
(Please note new place)
PROFESSOR SHLOMO SAND
Sand is a much published professor in the Dept. of History at Tel Aviv University specializing in the history of ideas. His most recent book is THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. It is an extremely scholarly, very original, and often shocking work – the title is meant literally with profound implications for Zionism and thhe ongoing conflict between Israel and its neighbors. I can’t recall when last I Bertell learned so much about both nationalism and Zionism from any bookk. It was a best seller and caused a huge scandal when it appeared a couple of years ago in Israel and another scandal when the French edition appeared last year. Sand will be in the U.S. for a week promoting the English edition of the book. For more, see reviews and interviews in English at <http//inventionofthejewishpeople.com/>.
TOPIC &nbbsp; “THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE”
DON’T MISS THIS ONE!
*********MEDIA - Professor Sand has a few time slots available for interviews with the media during his stay in New York (Oct. 15 18). Those of you in the media (or who have contacts in thee media) who are interested in interviewing him, should write to Julie McCarroll, his editor at Verso Books at firstname.lastname@example.org.
******************* NYU REQUIRES A PHOTO I.D. TO GET INTO ALL OF ITS BUILDINGS
BRIEF SKETCH OF SAND’S BOOK
THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE is divided into two parts. The first is a long section on the theory of nationalism, whose main characteristic, according to Sand, is the tendency to invent a past that suits the current needs and goals of the people in question. This is not a new idea (Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner have presented versions of it), but this is the best account of it that I have read. Second, there follows a much longer section on Zionism, Judaism and Israel in light of the earlier discussion of nationalism. Most of this long book is devoted to showing with a great deal of evidence and arguments from several different disciplines that most of Jewish history has been invented.
The turning point is the supposed expulsion of the Jews from Palestine by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. (apparently, there is no evidence for this; the Roman's never engaged in such mass expulsions; and most of the Jews in Palestine at the time were peasants living in the countryside, who would not be directly affected by the destruction of Jerusalem).
This raises two key questions: 1) Where did the large Jewish populations that turn up later throughout the rest of the Middle East and Europe come from, if they were not descended from people who were expelled from Palestine by the Romans? Sand's answer is that most of them came from mass conversions of peoples to Judaism that occurred in at least three different places and times between the destruction of the Second Temple and the early modern period. (He also shows that some mass conversions of people to Judaism took place in Palestine even before the destruction of the Second Temple. So the practice of converting people, even large groups of people, to Judaism is not as unknown to the history of Judaism as is commonly believed.)
Probably the biggest mass conversion took place in Khazaria, a Turkamen empire between the Caspian and the Black Sea between the 8th and 11th century A.D., which was destroyed in the 11th century by attacks from Russians, with most of its Jewish population migrating west into eastern Europe. Together with a somewhat later, smaller, more prosperous and more cultured Jewish migration from Western Europe through Germany, they became the future Jews of Poland, Russia, Hungary, etc.
A second mass conversion in the period after the destruction of the Second Temple took place among several Berber tribes in North Africa in the 6th century A.D., though many conversions to Judaism occurred in and around what had been Carthage and other coastal towns in North Africa before that. When the Arabs brought Islam to these lands a century later, they showed their typical respect for the “people of the book” by not forcing them to adopt their religion. Then, when North African Muslims (not Arabs from Arabia) invaded Spain in 711 A.D., Jewish Berbers made up a good part of their army, and included at least one general. Many of them settled in Spain, and became the core of what we call the Spanish Jews. The third big conversion(s) occurred in Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, which had a large number of Jews from very early on, including at least one Jewish king in the 6th century A.D., who tried to convert his subjects to Judaism.
Granted that some Jews already lived throughout the Middle East and Southern Europe before the destruction of the Second Temple - but if we add up all the mass conversions to Judaism that occurred after this event, it appears that the bulk of world Jewry from the early middle ages on were descended from people who never set foot in Palestine. Which raises, of course, the next key question - what happened to the Jews who were still in Palestine after the destruction of the Second Temple? Where did they go? Sand's answer is that they didn't go anywhere. They are today's Palestinians, most of whom converted to Islam in the early years of Islam's expansion into the rest of the Middle-East. These are not unsupported conjectures, for the great strength of Sand's book lies in the enormous wealth of evidence and careful, scholarly argumentation he offers for each of his claims.
Where does all this leave the central idea that underlies the whole Zionist project - that Jews everywhere have not only a duty but a right to return to "their original homeland", Palestine? I can't think of a more fundamental critique of Zionism and therefore of Israel too than the one found in Sand's book. No serious reader who is interested in Zionism or Israel whatever their personal views> can avoid being shaken up “big-time by Sand’s impressive redrawing of the major religious and “racial” boundaries that are usually taken for granted in most discussion of these subjects.
from Truth Out :
Date: 27 September 2009
Subject: Focus on U.S.-Middle East Relations.
According to Helena Cobban, Inter Press Service: "Eight months after Barack Obama launched his presidency by promising a speedy push for Palestinian-Israeli peace, that effort has stalled badly. And there are now growing fears that the top levels of Obama's peace team are torn by internal disagreements that may undermine the whole peace effort. Some of these problems were on view during two high-level appearances Obama made in New York this week."
from Fred Lonidier :
29 September 2009
Subject: On October 5, 2009, the gallery@calit2 will open "Tijuana/San Diego: Cooperation and Confrontation at the Interface".
For Your Information.
I have a work, "N.A.F.T.A. #15 Rio Tijuana Bridge: A Tale of Two Globes or Two Tales of a Globe/Puente del Rio Tijuana: Un Cuento de Dos Mundos o Cuentos de Un Mundo," opening in a group show at the gallery@calit2, "Tijuana/San Diego: Cooperation and Confrontation at the Interface"
Information about the exhibition and reception is here:
I have attached a campus map but the site above has parking & directions in
For parking fees:
There will be a catalog.
from Monty Reed Kroopkin :
Date: 29 September 2009
Subject: Time for Civil Disobedience.
Cause Announcement from Support National, Single-Payer Healthcare (HR 676).
We need your support for a new campaign of non-violent, civil disobedience targeting the private health insurance industry.
Go here for information: http://www.mobilizeforhealthcare.org/
This past spring, 13 brave individuals were arrested for disrupting Senate Finance hearings on health reform, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus. They were disgusted with witness panels, filled with private insurance execs and their cronies, that did NOT include even one single-payer expert.
Since Baucus only listened to the interests of millionaire CEOs and their lobbyists, it should be no surprise that a former CIGNA exec. called the Senate Finance Committeeâ€™s recently released bill, â€œa gift to the private health insurance industry that should be renamed the â€˜Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act.â€™â€
We canâ€™t stand for this disaster. The Mobilization for Health Care for All is launching a campaign of nonviolent sit-ins at insurance company offices so we can stand up to end a system that profits by denying people care and puts insurance company bureaucrats between doctors and patients. Time for Medicare for all, a single-payer, national healthcare system.
Healthcare-NOW! has decided to support this effort, and to encourage local coalitions in our network that are ready and willing to participate.
The PHIMG (Private Health Insurance Must Go) coalition in NYC will begin this campaign on September 29th. Other local groups are planning subsequent actions.
Actions may vary, but the central idea is to target major private insurance companies because they must not, and can not, be part of any solution to our healthcare crisis.
We need your help. Let us know if youâ€™d like to participate in, or organize, a civil disobedience action near you. Sign up to sit in and join the nonviolent resistance today! Go here: http://www.mobilizeforhealthcare.org/
View Announcement on Facebook | Leave a Comment | Go to Cause | Invite Friends
from Maria Tillmanns <email@example.com> :
25 September 2009
Subject : Events during the student/faculty strike at UCSD.
California Federation of Teachers
Here's a short account of UCSD events:
We saw a fantastic turn out at the UCSD campus today. Especially the students came out in unprecedented numbers! We had UPTE strikers and picket lines at the two Gilman entrances; we had a Teach-In organized by Brian Goldfarb and other Senate faculty at Sixth College; we had the students banging on the windows of the Center Hall classrooms, chanting "Walk-Out, Center Hall!" They managed to get about a third of the classes to come out. The Student organization also had their own teach-in and chanted: There is no power like student, and student power doesn't stop; Say what? There is no power like student power... etc.
So a lot got stirred up today. And this is only the beginning. As I was handing our leaflets, I was interviewed by the Guardian and explained that what was going on was a coming together of all unions and student organizations - that UPTE was striking, students were protesting tuition hikes, Non Senate Faculty were being laid off; Senate faculty were refused shared governance; Librarians were given furloughs, and staff was receiving pay cuts. UC President Yudof and the Regents were orchestrating this and they were violating the Master Plan put in place in 1960 to make UC an affordable University for all Californians, not just the wealthy - not just for foreign students who can pay. We're all protesting because we demand they give us OUR University back. We are protesting the privatization of UC. We want Yudof and the Regents to honor the Master Plan and respect that this is a Public University.
Later also our UC-AFT President, Fred Lonidier spoke at the Student rally and got thundering applause. He also was interviewed by the Guardian afterwards. Fred also took loads of pictures .
So if this wasn't an eventful day at UCSD - I don't know what this is. And this is only the beginning
Maria daVenza Tillmanns, Ph.D.
UC-AFT Local 2034
Mobile: (858) 449-8429
A brief story on the CFT website, with a couple photos from Berkeley
(check out the one of Sproul Plaza). Send me photos with captions
and credits from the other campuses, and/or brief reports on the
day's events, and I'll post them. Congratulations to all for
creating a beginning.
Fred Glass, Communications Director
California Federation of Teachers, AFT/AFL-CIO
1201 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 115
Alameda, CA 94501
(o) 510-523-5238 (c) 510-579-3343 (fax) 510-523-5262
Fred is also looking for video of today's events. If you shot some, please get in touch with him and work out a way to transfer it if you agree.
from Al Giordano :
Subject: US Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) in support of the Honduran Coup.
1 October 2009
Al Giordano Reports on the United States
"Jim DeMint: The Crybaby of the US Senate"
from Franck Gaudichaud :
Date: 3 October 2009
Subject: Du 6 au 15 octobre JOURNEES DU CINE-DOC-DEBAT LATINO-AMERICAIN.
France Amérique Latine Isère
Merci de diffuser largement, notamment la séance du 15 à midi à Stendhal autour du mouvement paysan et indigène bolivien...
JOURNEES DU CINE-DOC-DEBAT LATINO-AMERICAIN :
Mardi 6 octobre
«MOUVEMENTS SOCIAUX ET CHANGEMENTS POLITIQUES EN AMERIQUE LATINE »
Conférence autour du livre collectif « Le Volcan latino-américain » présentée par Franck Gaudichaud / Débat avec des militants de FAL 38
Médiathèque Stravinsky de Voreppe à 20h30
A la Médiathèque Stravinsky à 20h30
17 rue Igor Stravinski - Voreppe
Vendredi 9 octobre
de Juan José Lozano
Soirée thématique en partenariat avec le cinéma Art et Plaisirs de Voreppe.
Projection en présence du réalisateur.
Au cinéma Art et Plaisirs à 20h30
Place Armand Pugnot - Voreppe
Jeudi 15 octobre
CAMPESINOS - Histoire(s) d'une résistance
de Sarah Pick et Fabien Lacoudre.
Projection-débat en présence des réalisateurs.
- Université Stendhal, Amphi 7 à 12h-14h (Entrée libre)
- Mon Ciné à 20h30, 10 av. Ambroise-Croizat , Saint-Martin-d'Heres
Organisé par France Amérique Latine (FAL 38)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 06 06 75 11 09