Subject: ON GODS AND GOD-PRODUCING FORCES.
1 August 2013
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
There are people who have learned to game the system; there are heroes; then, there are the rest of us. Those of the first type have finely honed their desire to win and their methods are relentlessly mathematical, employed without pity. The second type who walk among us today are numerous and yet they are seldom seen or understood by the rest of us.
We have been captured by the Tragi-comédie of bourgeois revolutions from the past to the point of forgetting our relationship to the environment and to one another; we are too occupied defending our private property rights and trying to acquire more. Such was the ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ promised by the defenders of the past bourgeois revolutions which have shaped our environment these many generations. [For a critique of the Great English and French revolutions and their bourgeois limitations, see CEIMSA Bulletins # 241, #507, and #515.]
Joseph Campbell is one scholar who has tried to open our eyes to new understandings. In the Prologue of his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell writes of experiences and metaexperiences, the recognition of hidden patterns behind experiences.
Where the moralist (is) filled with indignation and the tragic poet with pity and terror, mythology breaks the whole of life into a vast, horrendous Divine Comedy. Its Olympian laugh is not escapist in the least, but hard, with the hardness of life itself –which, we may take it, as the hardness of God, the Creator. Mythology, in this respect, makes the tragic attitude seem somewhat hysterical, and the merely moral judgment shortsighted. Yet the hardness is balanced by an assurance that all that we see is but the reflex of a power that endures, untouched by the pain. (p. 37)
Freeing our mind to see these hidden patterns, and learning to understand the symbols which reveal them, is the purpose of his book. Describing major obstacles which impede this mental liberation, Campbell turned to Gilbert Murray’s Preface to Aristotle’s Poetics.
Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the human sufferer. Terror is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the secret cause. (p.19)
Marxists might call such “arrested minds” false consciousness. Campbell gives us as a counter-example to the frozen mind the creativity of Daedalus, the artist-scientist of Crete --architect of King Minor’s labyrinth, which contained the monstrous Minotaur (fruit of his Queen’s indiscretion) and ultimately designer of Princess Ariadne’s liberation from the shame and horror of her half-brother. Thus, literacy in the symbolic world of mythology frees one from the mental freeze (l’idée fixe of the obsédé) which only condemns us to be captured by malevolent gods!
Joseph Campbell’s lengthy essay is nothing less than a voyage through the domain of meta-communications --communications about communications, which seeks to expose the behavior of our species in universal terms, revealing the underlying patters of the mental activities of humankind. The interaction between the stuff we are made of and the environment we inherit seems to produce recognizable patterns of thought reflected in artifacts, which include literature from the earliest times and from every part of the world.
Obviously, the deep structure of religious mythologies also occupies a central part of this study, giving rise to the question: What are the forces which produce these mythologies and account for their similarities across the planet and throughout the ages?
The kindness, the cruelty, the bravery, and the cowardliness of our species are all captured in these myths. From womb to tomb, the heroes are described in terms that symbolically reflect the life of Everyman. One comes away from this book with the inescapable feeling that each of us is acting out a role, and that any meaningful change in our lives must come from the production of a new theater, with a new plots, and new character types, henceforth unknown . . . .
The 8 items below offer readers an opportunity to judge the nature of their understanding of world events in this period of extreme crises, and the roles they have been more or less recruited to perform in this drama. Campbell’s essay on metacommunication offers a perspective that might educate the rest of us to lift the curtain and seek a glimpse behind the scenes of what is to come and to actually attempt to change the scenery of this miserable theater which threatens to conscript us and to strip us of our humanity. We have the added solace of knowing that such an action has never been done before in history; it would be a new communication and material for a strikingly new meta-communication . . . .
Item A., sent to us by University of Pennsylvania Professor Edward S. Herman, is a remarkable 2-minute video speech given in 2006 by former CIA Director James Woolsey, announcing the CIA’s intention “to use Islamists to subvert régimes in Egypt, Libya, and Syria”.
Item B., sent to us by Mark Crispin Miller, founder of Notes from the Underground, is an exposé of a successful corporate war-room manual on how they screw the left : Targeting 'Radicals, Idealists, Realists, and Opportunists’.
Item C. from Reader Supporrted News, is an article by Chris Hedges on the ritual sacrafice of Truth in the US media.
Item D., from The Real News Network, is a video interview with Jay Costa, program director of MapLight's web and data projects, and previously serving on San Francisco's Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, chairing the group's Education, Outreach and Training Committee, and also on Berkeley's Fair Campaign Practices Commission and Open Government Commission. Here he speaks of the US Military industry’s role in the Information War now underway in the United States.
Item E., sent to us by George Kenney, founder of Electric Politics, is an audio interview with University of Oklahoma Professor Joshua Landis on US intervention in Syria.
Item F., from Historians Against the War activist, Dr. Jim O’Brien, is an invitation to sign the petition against US military intervention in Syria.
Item G. , from Truth Out, is an article by Noam Chomsky, on Latin American support of Edward Snowden.
Item H., from Marc Becker at Historians Against the War , is current bibliography on Bradley Manning, a 21st-Century Hero.
And finally, we offer readers a look at recent developments in the Palestinian/Zionist struggle:
New Mideast Talks Hang on Old Question: Will U.S. Drop Support for Israeli Annexation of West Bank?
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
From Edward Herman :
Date: 30 July 2013
Subject: Former Head of CIA announces in 2006 intention to use Islamists to subvert régimes in Egypt, Libya, and Syria.
For those who have a shred of doubt about the role our government has played in destabilizing Libya, Egypt and Syria.
James Woolsey, former head of CIA -- and eminent member of JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs in Washington -- announces in 2006 intention to use Islamists to subvert régimes in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. See :
“Iraq and the War on Terrorism”
( سنصنــع لهــم إسلامــاً يناسبنــا )
From Mark Crispin Miller :
Date: 30 July 2013
Subject: The Corporate war-room manual on how they screw the left.
From Steve Horn:
Below is part two of an investigative series I'm working on that explains how information warfare vs. activists works, using the example of Stratfor (Strategic Forecasting, Inc.), formerly known as Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin/Pagan International. The 4-step formula Stratfor utilizes is fascinating and actually a brilliant sociological framework and has stood the test of time, as seen via the Wikileaks "Global Intelligence Files."
Please do check it out and pass it along to your networks! Cross-posts are welcome, but please URL link it back to the original on Mint Press News. .
How To Wage War vs. Grassroots Activists:
by Steve Horn
‘Radicals, Idealists, Realists, Opportunists’
While its client work was noteworthy, the formula Duchin created to divide and conquer activist movements — a regurgitation of what he learned while working under the mentorship of Rafael Pagan — has stood the test of time. It is still employed to this day by Stratfor.
Duchin replaced Pagan’s “fanatic activist leaders” with “radicals” and created a three-step formula to divide and conquer activists by breaking them up into four subtypes, as described in a 1991 speech delivered to the National Cattleman’s Association titled, “Take an Activist Apart and What Do You Have? And How Do You Deal with Him/Her?”
The subtypes: “radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists.”
Radical activists “want to change the system; have underlying socio/political motives’ and see multinational corporations as ‘inherently evil,’” explained Duchin. “These organizations do not trust the … federal, state and local governments to protect them and to safeguard the environment. They believe, rather, that individuals and local groups should have direct power over industry … I would categorize their principal aims … as social justice and political empowerment.”
The “idealist” is easier to deal with, according to Duchin’s analysis.
“Idealists…want a perfect world…Because of their intrinsic altruism, however, … [they] have a vulnerable point,” he told the audience. “If they can be shown that their position is in opposition to an industry … and cannot be ethically justified, they [will] change their position.”
The two easiest subtypes to join the corporate side of the fight are the “realists” and the “opportunists.” By definition, an “opportunist” takes the opportunity to side with the powerful for career gain, Duchin explained, and has skin in the game for “visibility, power [and] followers.”
The realist, by contrast, is more complex but the most important piece of the puzzle, says Duchin.
“[Realists are able to] live with trade-offs; willing to work within the system; not interested in radical change; pragmatic. The realists should always receive the highest priority in any strategy dealing with a public policy issue.”
Duchin outlined a corresponding three-step strategy to “deal with” these four activist subtypes. First, isolate the radicals. Second, “cultivate” the idealists and “educate” them into becoming realists. And finally, co-opt the realists into agreeing with industry.
“If your industry can successfully bring about these relationships, the credibility of the radicals will be lost and opportunists can be counted on to share in the final policy solution,” Duchin outlined in closing his speech.
From Reader Supported News :
Date: 3 August 2013
Subject: The Death of Truth.
The dragnet has swept up any person or organization that fits the profile of those with the technical skills and inclination to burrow into the archives of power and disseminate it to the public.
The Death of Truth
by Chris Hedges
From The Real News Network :
Date: 2 August 2013
Subject: Military Power : Strategies and Tactics in the Information War.
Vote to protect citizens privacy is struck down not based on party lines but campaign contributions from the defense industry
Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Share Close Financial Ties to Defense Industry
From George Kenney :
Date: 2 August 2013
Subject: Podcast interview re Syria w/ Dr. Joshua Landis.
To continue with the subject of Syria I looked all over the world for someone I thought was going to be reasonable. I was surprised, very surprised, at how difficult it was to find potential guests. Without going into all the gory details it took me literally weeks to identify Dr. Joshua Landis. And Joshua, fortunately, was agreeable. Then, by coincidence, one of my friends who is an old Middle East hand suggested him, thus confirming my judgment. Although Joshua is out at the University of Oklahoma -- upon which I cast no aspersions -- he really deserves an endowed chair at one of our top universities. Publish or perish, I guess. I think this is a great interview and I urge you to listen, but there's a catch: its sound quality is problematic. Joshua was on vacation up in New England and we had tons of static (US phone infrastructure falling apart); plus which -- and this is entirely my fault for not intervening -- he's one of those people who wave the phone around when they talk, which makes level adjustments very tricky. I fixed most of the static at the cost of introducing noticeable distortion. For levels, you should listen in a quiet room to hear everything. All in all, nevertheless, the interview is definitely listenable. Substantively, it's an A+ and easily in the top 5% of interviews I've done.
As always, if you like the podcast please forward the link!
From Jim O’Brien :
Date: 1 August 2013
Subject: [haw-info] Petition against U.S. military intervention in Syria.
petition is being circulated by, among other groups, United for Peace and
Justice, an antiwar coalition of which HAW is a member.
<![endif]>NO U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA
TO: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS We urge you to reject any military intervention in Syria, including arming the rebels or creating a no-fly zone, and instead to focus on increasing humanitarian assistance through the United Nations and building active multi-lateral diplomacy without preconditions with all involved parties for an immediate ceasefire, a full arms embargo, and negotiations to end Syria’s civil war......
This is how our petition starts to President Obama on stopping intervention in Syria, Can you sign it?
And Why is
You can’t put out a raging fire by pouring gasoline on one side of it. There is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and more arms to any side mean more civilians will be killed.
Any U.S. military intervention holds the threat of unplanned escalation, and ultimately a quagmire. It is much easier to send planes, bombs and missiles than it is to get out – especially if a plane is shot down or a pilot captured. There is no exit strategy for Syria and even a “no-fly zone” could easily become a costly quagmire.
The situation in Syria today is full-scale civil war, which denies the people of Syria their right to choose their own government and leaders. Other governments arming and financing the two sides does not restore that right, it only makes things worse. The U.S.-Russian initiative known as Geneva II talks should be pushed forward, involving all the relevant outside actors, especially those providing weapons and military or economic support to any side. The U.S. should stop trying to prevent Iran’s participation in the talks – any serious diplomacy requires everyone to be at the table. On the Syrian side, negotiations must include not only the Syrian government and the armed rebels, but organizations representing Syrian civil society including unarmed opposition forces, Syria's minority communities, women, and youth.
Follow this link to sign the petition.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
Just Foreign Policy (IFP)
Peace Action (P-A)
Peace and Justice Resource Center (PJRC)
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ)
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
Women's Actions for New Directions (WAND)
From Truth Out :
Date: 2 August 2013
Subject: Latin America supports Edward Snowden.
Governments always plead security as an excuse - in the Snowden case, security from terrorist attack. This pretext comes from an administration carrying out a grand international terrorist campaign with drones and special operations forces that is generating potential terrorists at every step.
Is Edward J. Snowden Aboard This Plane?
by Noam Chomsky
From Historians Against War :
Date: 3 August 2013
Subject: Bradley Manning , a 21st-Century Hero.
To members and friends of Historians Against the War,
Below are some sources of updates and other information on the Bradley Manning case, now in its sentencing phase. They are followed by our occasional set of links to recent on-line articles of interest.