Subject: ON THE REAL ROAD TO SERFDOM, ADORNED WITH IRONIES.
6 September 2011
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Yesterday, September 5, was Labor Day in the United State, or "Indentured Servants' Day" as it is beginning to be called.
Worked-to-death --the Japanese have word for it: karôshi. Our trip across the United States this summer brought to mind this phenomenon, as we encountered people hyperactive, earning a living with two and sometimes three jobs in order to pay the bills (including their debts to banks).
David Harvey points out in his series of lectures on Volume I of Capital that today in the United States more than 80% of the unemployment is due not to the export of jobs abroad but rather to the introduction of advanced technology. (See http://davidharvey.org/) This trend, understood in its proper social context, is ominous. The Malthusian logic of the capitalist ruling class, and their army of ideologues, presents the picture of an over-populated world. The low consumption rate of an increasing percentage of today's population renders them superfluous to the economy.
Some have argued that the ruling class have a plan, that they are intentionally ploughing under the old capitalist system in hopes of a better harvest with cheap, servile labor providing goods and services to the rulers and their armed guards. In almost Biblical terms, the Grand Strategy of neoliberalism has been described as wars, famine, and pestilence, to impoverish society and massively introduce a form of "voluntary" slavery. If achieved this refined system of Despotism is likely to continue for centuries, given the level of advanced technology in the service of protecting privilege and power, supporting the interests of a small minority at the expense of the rest of us, many of whom are desperate to be counted as "useful" within the constraints of the power hierarchies to which we've been born.
In the face of such a bleak prognosis, others of us find ourselves compelled to look for contradictions. Such an open-and-shut view of conspiracy would leave us with little hope beyond becoming a eunuch, a concubine, or a corpse in the courtyard of some local despot. But perhaps there is another future in the making, of which we can be a part....
We might begin by acknowledging the fact that madness does have its reasons: The insane and murderous nationalism of Israel; the unprovoked US military attacks on Third-World populations; the systematic dismantling of public education; the abrupt increase in infant mortality rates, as life expectancy declines for working populations around the world; the massive deterioration of the natural environment, as air, water, and soil increasingly contaminates all forms of life on earth; the cultural reproduction of perverse systems of belief which celebrate exclusiveness to the point of mass murder --to name only a few-- invite analysis and a systemic approach to investigate the root causes of the situation we now find ourselves in both locally and globally.
The picture of a new despotism being created by leading personalities in industries, such as banking/finance, military/police, insurance, and pharmaceuticals, overlooks the fact that these men, too, are mere "cogs in the machine", programmed to operate according to certain well-defined rules.
Where then lie the internal contradictions, the vulnerabilities of this system? Is the cure in the decease, or must we struggle to free ourselves from the web of deceit and delusion that threatens our very existence and teach ourselves to live differently, in a world where "less is more," where quality prefigures quantity, where creative social relationships are privileged and protected?
One contradiction of which we may take note is that the strength of our oppressors often derives from their weaknesses. They are consumed by fear and stand ready to strike out against anything that appears to threaten them, which includes anything they cannot control. They have become the enemies of diversity, of live itself....
The 5 items below provide CEIMSA readers with perspectives on how a world of zombies might come into existence. High technology in the wrong hands, used to generate a nation of sleepwalkers, dependent on the steady beat of propaganda and made unaware of miseries that they have helped to create, including their own, should be a wake-up call for all of us who are seeking emanicapation from reactionary capitalist controls.
Item A., sent to us by Queens College Professor of Political Science, John Gerassi, is a reference to apparent cover-ups in recent American history and a discussion of their possible consequences in redefining new centers of political power in the United States.
Item B. is an article by John Pilger giving a cogent analysis of "the invisible government" in the United States.
Item C., from Edward S. Herman, is on BBC broadcasting and its lies on Libya.
Item D. is also from Professor Herman and features an article by Pepe Escobar on "The Friends of Libya".
Item E. offers CEIMSA readers a political cartoon of "Liberty leading the People".
And finally, we invite our readers to check out this remarkable news letter from the inimitable William Blum, author of the classic US foreign policy book, "Killing Hope" :
from Edward Herman :
Date: 2 September 2011
Subject: BBC lying on Libya.
And when the special interest war-mongering media (in this case the BBC) get caught lying about Libya, read this BBC response that is almost more troubling than their original error of broadcasting a rally in India and describing it on air as live from Tripoli!!!:
from Edward Herman :
Date: 5 September 2011
Subject: It's a TOTAL war, monsieur . . .
THE ROVING EYE
It's a TOTAL war, monsieur . . .
By Pepe Escobar
The winners of that "kinetic" thing in northern Africa (the Barack Obama administration swears it's not a war) - collectively described as Friends of Libya (FOL) - were all in a jolly mood as they gathered in Paris on Thursday, with no air-conditioning but potent odors of runny Brie and Roquefort, to gloat about their United Nations-sanctioned, North Atlantic Treaty Organization-implemented "operation" for regime change in Libya.
Call it the FOL war; the R2P war (as in "responsibility to protect" Western plunder); the Air France war; the Total war; anyway, the FOL had a blast spinning their win.
The Great Arab Liberator, neo-Napoleonic President Nicolas Sarkozy, gloated, "We have aligned with the Arab people in their aspiration for freedom." Bahrainis, Saudis, Yemenis, not to mention Tunisians and Egyptians, have every right to be puzzled.
Sarko added, "Dozens of thousands of lives were spared thanks to the intervention." Even the "rebels" are spinning there are at least 50,000 dead, with NATO still hooked on a wild bombing spree.
The emir of Qatar at least admitted that on-the-run Muammar Gaddafi could not have been toppled without NATO. But he added that the Arab League could have done more; in fact it did - by providing a bogus vote that opened the way for the Anglo-French-American redacted UN Resolution 1973.
Transitional National Council (TNC) interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril asserted, "The world bet on the Libyans and the Libyans showed their courage and made their dream real." "World" now means NATO and a bunch of regressive Persian Gulf monarchies. As for the rest, shut up.
Yet the most sinister, true to character, must have been NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen; "We have no plans whatsoever to intervene in conflicts in the region." Then came the inevitable "but". Rasmussen added, "But more generally speaking, I think this could set a template. We have demonstrated an ability to act in support of the United Nations and we have demonstrated an ability to include partners outside NATO in such operations".
Africa and the Middle East, not to mention most of the global South, you have been warned; Humanitarian imperialism, under the cloak of R2P, is the new law of the land.
Securing the loot
Hours before the Paris bash, French daily Liberation published on its website a letter written only 17 days after UN Resolution 1973. In the letter, the TNC ratifies an agreement ceding no less than 35% of Libya's total crude oil production to France in exchange of Sarko's "humanitarian" support.
The letter is addressed to the office of the emir of Qatar (the go-between for the TNC and France from the beginning) - with a copy to then-Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa. The letterhead is supplied by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya.
The promise totally matches what an official from an oil company in Cyrenaica said last week - that the "winners" in the oil bonanza would be the nations that supported the TNC from the start.
As expected, denials piled up. The Quai d'Orsay - the French Foreign Ministry - said it had never heard of such a document. Same for Mansur Said al-Nasr, a TNC special envoy to the Paris conference. The TNC's man in Britain, Guma al-Gamaty, added that all future oil contracts would be awarded "on the basis of merit". And even energy giant Total had to muscle in; its chief executive officer, Christophe de Margerie, swore he had never discussed oil deals with the TNC.
As if Sarko and Total were altruistic, Rousseau-style humanitarians who would never spare a thought for 44 billion barrels of oil. Total was in Benghazi discussing business with the TNC already last June. A bitter intra-European "oil war" between Total and Italy's ENI is already in effect.
ENI - active in Libya since 1959 - has already signed an agreement with the TNC to be back in business and immediately supply fuel to Libya - in exchange for future payment in oil. Total's push is to secure a much larger piece of the Libya energy pie than it already had - as in future contracts.
Slouching towards Arabia
It's quasi-official. Libya is not in Africa anymore. It has been relocated (upgraded?) to Arabia. Maybe Saudi King Abdullah ordered it by decree and no one noticed. The FOL do not include Africans. The African Union (AU) has refused to recognize the TNC; it will only do so when a legitimate government is in place.
While NATO went the Air France way - liberation from above, in business class - the AU from the start pleaded for a ceasefire and negotiations. The FOL imperially ignored it.
Perhaps Africans have noticed that NATO's mission "to protect civilians" now includes bombing Sirte - where smart projectiles carefully target only "evil" Gaddafi supporters disguised as civilians, while the good guys escape unharmed.
Perhaps Africans have been the only ones to listen to the Vietnam-era threat by TNC member Ali Tarhouni - very cozy with Qatar - who said, about the few towns and regions still loyal to Gaddafi, "Sometimes to avoid bloodshed you must shed blood - and the faster we do this the less blood will be shed."
Perhaps Africans were the only ones to notice the sustained and increasingly reported (not by corporate media) ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the "rebels"; as if no one knew that people in Cyrenaica have historically been extremely prejudiced against sub-Saharan Africans.
Or perhaps Africans see right through the FOL's agenda; the new Libyan status as a barely disguised Western colony; and the neo-Orwellian fable of humanitarian imperialism.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.
from Edward Herman :
Date: 3 September 2011
Subject: Liberty leading the people.
Some of the British cartoonists can be splendidly caustic