Bulletin N°482



6 March 2011
Grenoble, France
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
In any social system existing in an environment "far from equilibrium," command control centers contribute to chaos by attempting to develop structures independent of the inherent feed-back loops which emerge in the midst of the turbulance. Like the mechanical thermostat in a room with windows wide open on a cold winter's night, stasis is not achieved and energies are redistributed so that disorganization prevails and no structures exist.

In the institutional setting, the wasted energy which serves no structural function is the entropy caused by meaningless meetings and endless friction that reduces the production of goods and services for which the institution exists. These "by-products" of unproductive labor contribute to the growing chaos, which stop-gap tactics like stigmatizing scapegoats can only delay but never reverse. Command control is at the center of this production of waste, by inhibiting the self-organizing activities that must be active to regenerate structures necessary for the production of goods and services it advances the creation of chaos.

Thus are the revolutionary guidelines for a non-Cartesian world view laid out by the Austrian-American physicist, Fritjof Capra in his book, The Wed of Life, A New Synthesis of Mind and Matter (1996). Capra goes on to discuss the Second Law of Thermodynamics as a powerful but limited understanding of energy in a closed system, intentionally ignoring (for reasons of mathematical eloquence) the obvious reality of self-creation in situations "far from equilibrium." New feedback systems, such as "Maxwell's Demon," are invariably invented to stabilize structures threatened by entropy and the forces of entropy are substantially defeated by the creation of new information and the consequent reorganization of energy which necessarily comes from within (and not from above).

The democratic revolutions now beginning in Muslim countries and in Midwestern parts of the United States will necessarily spread. They are not machincal manipulations, but rather the results of organic "self-organization". These revolutions are the only solutions to the chaos that command controls have done so much to initiate. Entropy can only be overcome by "intentional" forces which are immanent in the old structures, according to this view, and not by correcting the errors of command control centers or by finding new, more brilliant personnel to command the control stations.

The 7 items below provide CEIMSA readers with material to test Capra's "new science" with "the facts of life." Is there a web which must be recognized and respected, or do we need to simply replace a few broken cogs in the machine, which otherwise works as well as can be expected? This is the mother question which raises so many other questions, and at every level --from that of our personal behavior to the interlinking cells within "the web of life" moving faster than the speed of light . . . . Where will our energies be directed, and by whom or by what?

Item A., sent to us by Stephen Karganovi, is an article defending Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, the famous NATO critic's right to travel and to speak in Canada.

Item B., from Diana Johnstone, is an open letter addressed to Canadian authorities regarding the refusal to allow Dr Srdjan Trifkovic to enter Canada.

Item C. is the notice of our May 19 Conference at Nanterre sent by Francis Feeley to several hundred European teachers of English and of American Studies.

Item D. is an article by economist Robert Reich, on the official government statistics: Jobs vs. Wages, and the silent triumph of the Banks.

Item E., is an article sent to us by Richard Greeman, on "Les nouveaux rebellions amricaines s'inspirent du monde arabe".

Item F., is Part 1 of an interview with Michael Moore on GRITtv, discussing why "people still have the power."

Item G., from The Real News Network, is an interview with  Jonathan Schell analyzing how "global protest movements challenge the global elite."

And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to look at the March 1 edition of William Blum's (and to come listen to Bill Blum speak in person at Nanterre on May 19) :

Anti-Empire Report

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

fromStephen Karganovi :
Date: 1 March 2011
Subject: The Trifkovic Ordeal

       Or was it, rather, a painful ordeal for academic freedom and for freedom of expression generally in the Dominion of Canada? Rumours have been circulating for some time that in Canada those hallowed freedoms were becoming increasingly elusive and badly battered by political correctness. The airport detention and ultimately expulsion from Canadian soil of a Serbian-American scholar, Dr. Srdja Trifkovic , several days ago might be taken as strongly suggesting that in the clash of civilizations Canada has in fact surrendered unilaterally, but without even the courtesy of a proper announcement to its citizens who arguably are entitled to know their current status as a defeated nation, arent they?  . . .

by Stephen Karganovi



from Diana Johnstone:
Date: 1 March 2011
Subject: Open Letter to Canadian authorities: regarding the refusal to allow Dr Srdjan Trifkovic to enter Canada.

Open Letter to Canadian authorities

  From Diana Johnstone

  To Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

  Dear Mr. Kenney,

            I am not alone in being utterly astounded by the fact that Dr. Srdjan Trifkovic has been refused entry into Canada.  This amazing decision is all the more scandalous in that it was taken ad hoc in response to the hate campaign by self-declared representatives of one Bosnian ethnic group carrying out a vendetta against another Bosnian ethnic group.  Is this what you mean by “multiculturalism”?

            The banning of a peaceful speaker is contrary to the democratic principles which the Western NATO powers, including Canada, constantly preach to the rest of the world.  It would be reprehensible regardless of the circumstances.  However, upon examination, the circumstances aggravate the case.

  The hate campaign launched against Dr. Trifkovic by certain groups claiming to represent Bosnian Muslims is based on distortions, lies and glaring sophistries.  I say this as one who by no means shares all of Dr. Trifkovic’s political analyses or religious convictions, but who recognizes that he defends his convictions with an intellectual integrity totally lacking in the attacks against him.

  In particular, I tend to consider Dr. Trifkovic’s assessment of an alleged Muslim threat to the West to be misplaced or exaggerated.  However, the treatment that he has received from Canada in response to the complaints of a Muslim lobby provides unexpected support to his argument.

  One point on which I do agree with Dr. Trifkovic is precisely the point for which he is most fiercely attacked: Srebrenica.  I wish to point out the ambiguities in the expression “genocide denial” used to characterize Dr. Trifkovic’s position on Srebrenica.

  The ambiguity concerns the difference between facts and interpretation of facts.  I must insist that everyone has the right to be wrong about both; Canada has no means to exclude from its territory all the people who are constantly misstating facts and interpreting them erroneously.  But I wish to point to a difference.

  On Srebrenica, the facts are partly established, partly disputed, and partly unknown.  This is because material evidence is by no means as clear and comprehensive as the general public has been led to believe.  Independent studies have been hard to carry out, but certain facts can now be considered established.   There were a large number of Muslim casualties following the July 1995 fall of Srebrenica, some of them victims of executions, in violation of international law.  These were massacres that took place in the context of a bloody three-sided civil war in which massacres were committed by all sides.

  Description of the massacres that took place in Srebrenica as “genocide” is not fact but interpretation. It hinges on the disputed question of intention. To some observers, including myself, the crime of genocide implies intent to exterminate a population, and cannot be done by sparing women and children. The Serb forces who captured Srebrenica helped women, children and the elderly leave the war zone for safety.  The execution of captured military-age men is more plausibly explained by revenge or by desire to weaken the enemy forces.  This would indeed be a war crime, but not “genocide”.

  The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, largely financed and staffed by the NATO countries which took the Muslim side in the Bosnian civil wars, found a way to describe Srebrenica as “genocide” by redefining the term.  The three-judge panel accepted a sociologist’s theory that by killing all the men, the Serbs meant to commit a localized “genocide”, since in that “patriarchal” society, the women would not come back without their men. This is not what most people understand by the term “genocide”.  The ICTY verdict has subtly deceived the general public, while providing a justification of NATO intervention in former Yugoslavia against the Serbs, stigmatized as responsible for “genocide”.

  This stigmatization of Serbs as “genocidal” (which incidentally can be seen as amounting to incitement to racial hatred) is a major obstacle to genuine peace and reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, over fifteen years after the war was ended.  It is deplorable that the Canadian government acts in a way that can only exacerbate dangerous tensions.

  The “Bosniak” lobby takes advantage of widespread ignorance and confusion in NATO countries concerning the wars of Yugoslav disintegration to pursue a hidden political agenda under cover of “respect for victims of genocide”.  In reality, their activism can do nothing for the men who died. Rather, it is intended to delegitimatize the Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, recognized by the US-sponsored 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the war.  The purpose is to revise the accords in order to abolish Republika Srpska and create a centralized Bosnia-Herzegovina that would be under full control of the Muslim party, since Muslims are assumed to enjoy a narrow demographic majority.  Since the Orthodox Christian Serbs of Bosnia remember their past as second-class citizens in the officially Muslim Ottoman Empire, they fear, rightly or wrongly, being returned to inferior status in a Muslim-ruled Bosnia.

  Not being a Serb and not having shared that experience, I may find that fear exaggerated.  But it is deeply hypocritical for the West to demand that Serbs must be the only Westerners to welcome Muslim rule over their own historic territory.


  Diana Johnstone

  P.S. For a greater appreciation and understanding of the complex issues involved, I suggest the following short bibliography:

  - Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity, Pluto Press, 2004. 

  - John Laughland, Travesty, Pluto Press, 2007.

  - Diana Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, Pluto Press/Monthly Review Press, 2002.

from Francis Feeley :
Date: 6 March 2011
Subject: [AFEAliste] International Conference: "Ethics and US Foreign Policy," Thursday, 19 May on the campus of Nanterre.

Dear Colleagues,
  Our group of scholars from North America, North Africa, the Former Soviet Union,
  and Western Europe have the pleasure to invite you to the International
  Conference on "Ethics and US Foreign Policy," Thursday May 19, at The
  University of Paris 10-Nanterre, where we will spend the day discussing (a) the
  deontology of nationalism and its effect of US foreign policy, (b) the role
  played by transnational corporations in the formation of US foreign policy,
  and (c) strategies for survival in the face of US militarism.

  At the end of this conference, a short piano recital will be presented in memory of Rozlyn and Howard Zinn.

  We will conclude the day with a collective dinner.

  For a copy of our May 19 Program and for additional information on this bilingual Conference,
  you may visit the CREA site at The University of Paris 10-Nanterre <http://anglais.u-paris10.fr/spip.php?article1729>
  or the CEIMSA site at The University of California <http://www.ceimsa.org/>.

  Francis Feeley
  Professeur des universités
  Directeur de recherches
  Université de Grenoble
  Université de Paris 10

from Truth Out :
Date: 14 March 2011
Subject: Alice through the look-glass meets the Jabberwocky in the job market.

The Real News on Jobs

by Robert Reich

Roman Landa, a former mortgage broker, in Glenview, Ill., suspended his job search in frustration early this winter after applying for nearly 700 positions in three years. (Photo: Sally Ryan / The New York Times)

Are we making progress on the jobs front? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 192,000 new jobs in Februrary (220,000 new jobs in the private sector and a drop in government employment), and a drop in the overall unemployment rate from 9 to 8.9 percent.

Were heading in the right direction but far too slowly to make a real dent in unemployment. To get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent by 2014 wed need over 300,000 new jobs a month, every month, between now and then.

Overall, the number of unemployed Americans 13.7 million is about the same as it was last month. The number working part time whod rather be working full time 8.3 million is also about the same.

But to get to the most important trend you have to dig under the job numbers and look at what kind of new jobs are being created. Thats where the big problem lies.

The National Employment Law Project did just that. Its new data brief shows that most of the new jobs created since February 2010 (about 1.26 million) pay significantly lower wages than the jobs lost (8.4 million) between January 2008 and February 2010.

While the biggest losses were higher-wage jobs paying an average of $19.05 to $31.40 an hour, the biggest gains have been lower-wage jobs paying an average of $9.03 to $12.91 an hour.

In other words, the big news isnt jobs. Its wages.

For several years now, conservative economists have blamed high unemployment on the purported fact that many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech jobs market.

So if we want more jobs, they say, well need to take pay and benefit cuts.

And thats exactly what Americans have been doing.

Employers have demanded wage and benefit concessions from their unionized workers and often got them. Detroit is creating auto jobs again but new hires are getting about half the pay that auto workers were getting before. Airline workers are taking home 30 to 50 percent less than they did years ago. And so on.

Conservatives say its not enough. Thats why unions have to be busted and why some governors are seeking to abolish laws requiring workers to become dues-paying union members in order to get certain jobs. Hence, the fights brewing in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, millions of non-union workers have accepted cuts in pay and benefits just to keep their jobs. Health benefits have been slashed, pension contributions from employers dramatically cut, wages dropped or frozen.

Millions of private-sector workers have been fired and then re-hired as contract workers to do almost exactly what they were doing before, but without any benefits or job security.

The current attack on public-sector workers should be seen in this light. The charge is they now take home more generous pay and benefit packages than private-sector workers. Its not true on the wage side if you control for level of education, but it wasnt even true on the benefits side until private-sector benefits fell off a cliff. Meanwhile, across America, public-sector workers have been furloughed, which is a nice word for not collecting any pay for weeks at a time.

At this rate, the unemployment rate will continue to decline. But so will the pay and benefits of most Americans.

Conservative economists have it wrong. The underlying problem isnt that so many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech labor market. Its that theyre getting a smaller and smaller share of the American pie.

from  Richard Greeman :
Date: 6 March 2011
Subject: Les nouveaux rebellions amricaines s'inspirent du monde arabe.

Les nouveaux rebellions américaines s'inspirent du monde arabe
par Richard Greeman

Inspirés par le soulèvement massif du peuple égyptien, plus de 100,000 travailleur/euses se sont rassemblés à Madison, capitale de l’État de Wisconsin (EU) pour contester les ‘reformes’ radicales propsées par le nouveau gouverneur républicain Scott Walker. Véritable attaque en règle contre le ‘Middle Class’ (les travailleurs), ll s’agit de licencier 21,000 employés, d’amputerle budget de l’éducation, de brader les eaux et forêts au premier venu, d’annuler les acquis sociaux portant notamment sur la santé et la retraite, et d’abroger de fait le droit syndical du secteur public. Tout cela bien sur pour combler une ‘dette’ publique plutôt fictive. Attaque surprise, d’ailleurs: Walker s’était fait élire comme Républicain ‘modéré, ayant évincé le candidat du Tea-Party (réseau d’extrème droite) dans les primaires.

Dans le Capitole occupée.

La riposte populaire a été aussi immédiate qu’imprévue. Le Capitole, siège du gouvernement, est investie pendant 14 jours par des centaines et parfois des milliers de contestataires ­ enseignant/es, employé/es des services sociaux syndiqué/es ­ et leurs allié/es: jeunes, étudiant/es, retraité/s ­ avec l’appui officiel et volontaire des
syndicats solidaires des policiers, pompiers, ambulanciers dont le statut n’étant pas remis en question). D’ailleurs le chef de la police de la Capitale a refusé d’exécuter l’ordre du Gouverneur d’évacuer les occupants, arguant qu’une intervention dans une manifestation publique pacifique prêterait à des violences qui pourraient inutilement mettre en danger ses agents (!) Une solidarité inouiïe qui rappelle le passage au peuple des éléments des forces de l’ordre en Tunéisie et en Égypte.

Comme dans la Place Tahir au Caire, cette occupation entièrement pacifique se développe en foyer de démocratie populaire, bouillonnant d’idées et d’initiatives. Pour se ravitailler, elle a fait la fortune des pizzaerias de la capitale mais des sympathisants de partout préparent et envoyient des vivres. Les liens entre militant/es de différents mouvements, entre jeunes et vieux, syndiqués et simples citoyens se nouent spontanément; de nouveaux militants se forment, apprennent à organiser des conférences de presse, à publier des bulletins, etc. Des réseaux de résistance se tissent qui perdureront et qui seront prêts à continuer la lutte, quel que soit l’issue de cette crise. Comme disent les Egyptiens après Tahir: les choses ne pourront jamais être le même.

Le mouvement se généralise.

En attendant, dans le cas où Walker arriverait à imposer ses lois, on prévoit la possibilité d’une grève générale. Une motion a été votée à l’unanimité (moins un) par le Conseil intersyndical. Un militant raconte: “Le gouvernement dit qu’on n’a pas le droit de faire grève, mais on n’avait pas le droit de faire grève en Égypte et ils ont fait
grève! D’ailleurs, nous avons reçu un coup de fil du syndicat des enseignants d’Égypte indiquant leur soutien.” C’est inouïe.

De plus, à l’instar des soulèvements des pays arabes dont il s’inspire, le mouvement de Madison fait tache d’huile: on manifeste dans 50 autres villes du Wisconsin et la révolte se répercute dans les Éétat voisins d’Ohio (20,000 manifestants avant hier), d’Illinois et juqu’en Iowa. Dans ces états aussi, le nouveau régime instauré par les
Républicains d’extrême droite depuis janvier 2011 se traduit par les mêmes attaques contre le mantien des services sociaux et les droits syndicaux des travailleurs du secteur public: ceux dont nous dépendons pour éduquer nos enfants, soigner nos maladies, faire fonctionner les transports et les autres services publiques qui rendent la vie des autres travailleurs supportables. D’où l’énorme mouvement de solidarité des parents d’élèves et des usiteurs des hôpitaux, services de logement etc, qui donne à ce mouvement un authentique caractère populaire.

Ce populisme (dans le sens positif) rappelle les traditions radicales encore vivantes du Parti Ouvrier-Paysan deu Wisconsin et de son leader populaire Bob “le Batailleur” La Follette, Gouverneur et Sénateur (1906-1925) du Wisconsin, ennemi des trusts et des banques, Républicain puis Progressiste, dont la statue domine le foyer du
Capitole occupé. De plus, la ville de Madison héberge le campus de l’Université du Wisconsin, grand foyer de contestation étudiante pendant la Guerre du Vietnam, et c’est le Syndicat, très radical, des ‘Teaching Assistants’ (étudiant/es du second cycle universitaire chargés de cours) qui le premier a lancé l’occupation.

Attaques coordonnés de la Droite.

Cette mobilisation prometteuse fait face à une véritable offensive de classe capitaliste, organisée et financée au niveau national par des fondations et des milliardaires républicains d’extrême droite, dont les frères Koch quasi-fascistes et le baron des médias de droite Rupert Murdoch (Fox News). Les réseaux super-patriotes du ‘Tea Party’ leur servent de troupes de choc. Comme en Europe, la prétendue crise de la ‘dette’ leur fournit un prétexte pour s’attaquer aux salaires et aux avantages sociaux. Cette dette est souvent factice. Au Wisconsin, les Républicains ont commencé la session législative en donnant aux riches et aux grands groupes un cadeau de $100,000,000 (environ sept cent millions d’Euros) en exemptions d’impôt, avec le résultat évident que les caisses du gouvernement, auparavant équilibrées, se sont
vidées. Ensuite, on crie à la crise financière et à la dette, mensonges relayés par tous les média.

Selon la pensée unique américaine, les énormes soubventions données aux grosses firmes (dont la plupart paient zéro impôts grâce à de multiples ‘exemptions’) servent à “créer de l’emploi.” En fait, les profits des banques et des grands groupes qui s’accumulent de façon mirobolante ne sont pas réinvestis dans l’économie réelle. Au contraire, là on licencie. Hélas, même les syndicalistes du Wisconsin semblent accepter cette fausse logique conventionelle. Pour montrer leur bonne volonté et ‘partager les sacrifices’ imposées à tous (sauf aux riches) par une dette fictive, les Syndicats ont renoncé à toute revendication économique et ont accepté, par avance, les réductions de salaires proposées par le Gouverneur Walker ! Alors pourquoi s’acharnent-t-ils -- lui et les autres gouverneurs qui suivent le même scénario élaboré dans les Think-tanks de la Droite américaine --contre ces syndicats?

Les syndicats du public ciblés.

Les syndicats des services publics sont particulièrement ciblés parce qu’ils représentent le dernier rempart de la classe ouvrière organisée, le syndicalisme dans le secteur privé étant depuis longtemps impuissant, victime des délocalisations et des ‘années de consessions inutiles de la part de la bureaucratie syndicale. Les
syndicats des instituteurs et profs sont les premiers en ligne de mire partout, car on veut démanteler l’école publique et déprofessionaliser les enseignant/es et ils font obstacle.

Les syndicats du public sont aussi le dernier rempart du Parti démocrate, qui dépend de leur soutien dans les élections. Alors qu’au niveau national, les Démocrates, Obama en tête, ont déçu les attentes de leurs électeurs syndiqués pour suivre la ligne de Wall Street, au Wisconsin les 14 Senateurs démocrates soutiennent le mouvement à fond. Ainsi, pour empêcher que les réformes soient imposées par le Sénat, où les Républicains ont la forte majorité, les 14 ont quitté le Wisconsin
afin de bloquer le vote en par défaut de quorum. Le Gouverneur parle d’envoyer la police les arrêter pour les ramener de force -- ou de farce. (Moins drôle, un haut responsaible de l’Ohio a proposer d’envoyer la police avec l’ordre de tirer à balles mortelles.)

Un début de réveil.

Ce mouvement prometteur annonce un début de réveil des mouvements sociaux américains, endormis depuis l’élection d’Obama en 2008. L’électorat qui l’a plébéiscité est composé en une large mesure d’employé/es,  de syndiqués, de jeunes, de femmes, de retraités démunis, de travailleurs pauvres, de Noirs, de minorités éthiques, d’anti-guerres et d’éléments ‘libéraux’ et ‘progressistes.’ On a dansé dans la rue au moment de sa victoire (à Chicago! En hiver!) On ’attendait à des ‘Changements’ (le slogan d’Obama) positifs en sa aveur et s’est trouvé complètement desemparé quand leur idole s’est soumis à Wall Street tout en continant les sales guerres et répressions liberticides de Bush. Mais alors que Wall Street s’est relevé de la crise de 2008 et que les grandes fortunes augmentent vertigineusement, la dépression s’approfondit de plus en plus dans le pays profond avec 20% de chômage effectif, une misère croissante, les expulsions du domicile, les fermetures d’écoles, les licenciements en

Il fallait bien qu’on se mobilise, et les soulèvements du monde arabe ont donné du courage à ce peuple puissant mais désarçonné. Belle ironie que les foules arabes “donnent des leçons de démocratie” aux travailleurs américains dont les dirigeants prêchent d’en haut la démocratie au monde arabe (tout en lui imposant d’odieuses
dictatures). Mais c’est normal. Face aux attaques d’un seul et même ennemi, seules la solidarité internationale et l’extension des luttes peut donner une réponse adéquate aux attaques coordonnées lancées contre les travailleur/euse dans tous les pays.

5 mars 2011

from Michael Moore :
Date: 2 March 2011
Subject: People Still Have the Power

This is a movement that is not going to stop,"says filmmaker Michael Moore of the uprising in Madison, Wisconsin (and across the country--all 50 states held solidarity rallies this weekend). I knew sooner or later people would say they've had enough.

Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujou 
Michael Moore, GRITtv


from The Real News Network :
Date: 3 October 2010
Subject: The power of gobal protest.

Global protest movements challenge global elite
by Jonathan Schell