Bulletin N° 612
Subject: ON ‘NEUTRALITY’ IN THE FACE OF REPRESSION.
11 May 2014
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The demise of liberal capitalism and the rise of fascist capitalism is worldwide and should be of concern to all of us.
We cannot ignore the fact that financial crises represent opportunities for some people and guarantee misery and insecurity for the rest of us. There is no neutrality; we are challenged to think creatively, to look for contradictions, to examine carefully the classic manipulations that are in evidence everywhere, and to ask ourselves: Which side are we on?
The organized violence of neo-Nazi groups today could easily be brought under control by ruling class policy. The fact is this violence serves a purpose for important factions within corporate interests, and these pathetic fascist groups are funded and encouraged to act out their fantasies with no possible benefits for themselves on the horizon. They are doomed by their masters, once their work is finished.
Like the Nazi Storm Troops led by Ernst Rohm (the S.A. before June 29-30, 1934), these fascist populists will be displaced by rigid disciplinary force from the top, where more sophisticated political technocrats lay in wait to govern (like Heinrich Himmler and the S.S. officers of WW II). It is pathetic that the creators of these populist monsters will also be their executioners, but this is the way of fascist capitalism, one must destroy in order to build –given the fact that the growth of private profits is the only engine of the economy. The internal contradictions and the external contingencies are many, and there is simply no way of knowing in detail how this is going to evolve; there exists one certitude, however, which is that in the long-run this sickness, if left to itself, will self-destruct. Meanwhile, the lives of all of us are lived in the short-run, and it is in our interest to engage seriously and rationally with this irrational system that has been imposed upon us and try to defeat it in rational solidarity and determination to preserve life worth living on this planet.
Franz Neumann, in his classic work, Behemoth, The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 (1944), attempted to describe the ideology of his day in Germany:
National Socialism has no theory of society as we understand it, no consistent picture of its operation, structure, and development. It has certain aims to carry through and adjusts its ideological pronouncements to a series of ever-changing goals. This absence of a basic theory is one difference between National Socialism and Bolshevism. The National Socialist ideology is constantly shifting. It has certain magical beliefs –leadership adoration, the supremacy of the master race—but its ideology is not laid down in a series of categories and dogmatic pronouncements. (p.39)
We may see the murderous and suicidal rage on the part of neo-Nazi populists and their mentors in Europe and America as a terribly naïve and destructive force, temporarily in the service of powerful corporate interests, but it promises no future beyond the possible short-term profits of a few investors, and at what a cost to society . . . !
The 16 items below give CEIMSA readers an idea of the dimensions of the political struggle ahead. Those of us who were never interested in ‘politics’ are finding that politics is indeed interested in us, and like the ‘Good Germans’ of World War II we can no longer afford to ignore coherent political theory. We are either with the increasingly powerful progressive social movements for emancipation and environmental protection, and join those struggling for the vision of a more just and egalitarian society; or we are against them and help suppress this movement by our inaction or actively because we have been recruited to do so. We can see historically how the false consciousness promoted by Fascism has been sponsored by representatives of corporate interests to achieve the objectives of certain powerful capitalists; it is essential that we educate the growing number of victims created by this financial crisis before they are hired to become our executioners and gravediggers. Such is the history lesson that Nazi Germany has left those of us who still listen and care!
Item A., from the New York Times, is “all the news that’s fit to print” on events in Ukraine.
Item B., from ZNet, is an article by Robert Parry on the use of Fascists in Ukraine to murder pro-Russian protesters.
Item C., from NYU Professor Mark Crispin Miller (founder of News From Underground), is a May 5 report from eastern Ukraine that neo-Nazis have placed a $10,000 bounty on the head of UK journalist Graham Phillips.
Item D., from Information Clearing House, is an article by Mike Whitney, describing the “false flag” operations in Ukraine, where convert actions including civilian murders are hidden under the guise of “Russian interference in the new Republic”.
Item E., from Mark Crispin Miller, offers rare footage of Nazi Murders in eastern Ukraine caught on video.
Item F., from Jim O’Brien of Historians Against War, is a series of recommended recent articles.
Item G., from Democracy Now !, is a discussion with student environmentalists on American universities role in global pollution, with poem by Sam Lai to Peabody CEO Greg Boyce, Dear Mr. Boyce.
Item H. is a video from MoveOn warning of an imminent corporate takeover of the Internet.
Item I., from Democracy Now !, is a discussion of the very real threat to “net neutrality”.
Item J., from William Blum, is the latest edition of The Anti-Empire Report.
Item K., from The Financial Times of London, is a ‘post-imperialist’ critique of Russian aims in Ukraine.
Item L., from Truth Out, is an article by Mark Weisbrot on Ukraine’s predatory ‘friends’.
Item M., from Information Clearing House, is a brief article on the Ukraine in the ‘long run’ and the future of Europe.
Item O., from Paul, is a reminder of the neighborhood we live in and our cohabitants on planet earth, in a recent article from Earth Island Journal.
And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to gather information on the explosive developments in Ukraine, the neo-liberal’s next play ground, after their grim beginning of NATO’s ‘humanitarian wars’ in Yugoslavia (1992-99), and listen to the Masters of the Universe as they discuss their chief concerns back in the summer of 2007 :
UKRAINE TIME LINE
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
The New York Times
Russian president traveled to Sevastopol to celebrate victory over Nazi Germany.
The Russian president traveled to Sevastopol, where he used the anniversary of victory over the Nazis to assert that Moscow had the right to annex the peninsula.
Fire Temporarily Knocks Out Broadcast Service in Kiev
As much as the coup regime in Ukraine and its supporters want to project an image of Western moderation, there is a “Dr. Strangelove” element that can’t stop the Nazism from popping up from time to time, like when the Peter Sellers character in the classic movie can’t keep his right arm from making a “Heil Hitler” salute.
This brutal Nazism surfaced again on Friday when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.
“Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.
As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS,” a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.
by Robert Parry
Mark Crispin Miller
Ukraine neo-Nazis put $10,000 bounty on the head of UK journalist Graham Phillips.
Ukrainian troops guard a checkpoint near the town of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014 (Reuters / Baz Ratner)
Ukrainian radicals have put a bounty out on RT stringer Graham Phillips, who is currently working in the east of the country. Also a camera-man working for RT in Odessa has been informed about being on the radicals' radar.
“Myself I have received threats putting a bounty on my head to be kidnapped and that has been offered from [the city of] Dnepropetrovsk, as I understand, connected to the Right Sector,” Graham Phillips confirmed while reporting live from the city of Slavyansk.
The Right Sector reportedly offered $10,000 for the capture of “a Russian spy.”
The ultra-nationalists also have a cameraman working for RT in the violence-gripped city of Odessa on their radar, RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan confirmed in a statement.
“Our camera-man-stringer in Odessa received a call from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). [They] said that he is now on the radar of the Right Sector. [His] former colleagues gave him up. SBU said that the Right Sector now has all his phone numbers and addresses. They gave him up for his anti-Maidan views which he never kept secret,” Simonyan posted on her Twitter.
RT's Editor-in-Chief’s statement comes after the channel’s correspondent Irina Galushko said on her Twitter that the camera-man she is working with had received threats.
On May, 4, RT’s correspondent posted:
Foreign journalists working in Ukraine have been subject to an unfolding witch-hunt in Ukraine with assaults and intimidation of reporters intensifying recently.
In one of the latest incidents Lifenews journalists Julia Shustraya and Mikhail Pudovkin, were abducted by armed Ukrainian Security Service members, after they filmed an interview with one of the leaders of the pro-federalization movement in Ukraine. They were detained and later deported to Russia.
On April 21, Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for the New York-based Vice News, was also detained by self-defense forces in Slavyansk. He was held captive for three days and questioned. He was then released.
Several days after, on April, 24, the SBU said a Russian and a Belorussian national, both employees of the Russian NTV channel have been detained in the city of Pershotravensk in the Dnipropetrovsk region.
On April, 26, the heads of Russia's major TV corporations, including RT, called on human rights organizations to “defend the professional rights of journalists working in Ukraine.”
“Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and other regions are witnessing the ruthless suppression of civil liberties on a daily basis. Journalists are being threatened with their lives if they continue to report from Ukraine,” the letter reads, signed by the heads of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), NTV, REN TV, Channel 5, RT and News Media.
“The new Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly taken illegal actions barring our staff journalists covering the Ukraine crisis from performing their professional duties and violating their human dignity,” the letter said.
Information Clearing House
Some of the victims–like a young woman who was eight months pregnant –were strangled with an electrical chord and left slumped backwards over her desk.
Mark Crispin Miller
Nazi Murders Caught on Video in Ukraine.
Several people are reported to have been killed in a shoot-out between Ukrainian troops and separatists in the town of Mariupol.
It came as Russia held a huge parade to mark 69 years since the Soviets defeated the Nazis.
President Vladimir Putin has flown to Crimea, which Russia annexed in March, amid celebrations of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
The BBC's Regional Editor Olexiy Solohubenko reports.
Global Research, May 08, 2014
Image: Ukrainian nationalists shout slogans and raise arms during a rally marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of a Ukrainian Insurgents Army (UPA) in central Kiev, 14 October 2007. AFP Genia Savilov
These two full length videos reveal what the mainstream media does not want you to know. The Right Sector Neo Nazis which are an integral part of the coalition “government” are depicted by the NYT and the Washington Post as True Patriots and Nationalists. The horrendous crimes committed against fellow Ukrainians are not mentioned.
Realities are twisted upside down. The CIA is involved in training and advising Right Sector Brown Shirts.
Neo-Nazis heralded as Nationalists and Ultra-Conservatives are tacitly supported by the self proclaimed “international community”.
In turn, the Western media is complicit in fostering the support of an illegal proxy regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.
The crisis is casually blamed on Moscow. But the lies are being confronted by World public opinion. The credibility of Obama and his European allies is being questioned.
Rebirth of Fascism in its purest form in today’s Ukraine.
U.S. warmongers along with EU/NATO politicians have installed (through violent, artificial revolution) a pro-fascist junta government in Ukraine which unlawfully armed Ukrainian Neo-Nazis and are now trying to start a civil war within the country.
[haw-info] HAW Notes 5/7/14: Links to recent articles of interest
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
By Murray Polner, History News Network, posted May 6
Much less polemical than its title implies - mainly highlights analysts who have pointed out complications in the Ukraine crisis
By Walter G. Moss, History News Network, posted May 4
The author is a professor of history emeritus at Eastern Michigan University.
By Jonathan Schell, TomDispatch.com, posted May 4
A review essay on Nick Turse's book Kill Everything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam+.
By Noam Chomsky, In These Times, posted May 1
Uses historical examples to tease-out the meaning of the term in US discourse
By People & Power, Aljazeera, posted May 1
On Israel as a user, and the leading exporter, of military drones
By Ira Chernus, History News Network, posted April 30
Puts the current controversy into a historical context
By Herbert P. Bix, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, posted April 28
The author is a professor of history emeritus at Binghamton University.
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted April 28
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan.
By Anders Stephanson, New Left Review, March-April issue
The author teaches history at Columbia University. This is a review essay on George Kennan's career.
By Susan Watkins, New Left Review, March-April issue
Compares the Crimean annexation to others in recent years
Thanks to Steve Gosch, Mim Jackson, Rosalyn Baxandall, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.
Democracy Now !
One of the country’s most prestigious universities, with one of the world’s largest endowments, has joined the student-led movement to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Stanford University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to stop investing in coal-mining companies because of climate change concerns. The board said it acted in accordance with guidelines that let them consider whether "corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury" when choosing investments. Stanford’s endowment is valued at $18.7 billion. The move comes as the divestment movement heats up across the country. Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested last week following a 17-day sit-in calling on the school’s board of trustees to cut ties with coal industry giant Peabody Energy. Also last week, students at Harvard blockaded the office of Harvard President Drew Faust. We are joined by Stanford University junior Michael Peñuelas, one of the lead student organizers with Fossil Free Stanford.
A Corporate Takeover of the Internet ?
Dear MoveOn member,
Comcast and Verizon executives are hoping you won't watch this video.
That's because it's a funny, engaging exposé of the plan that Comcast, Verizon, and other major Internet service providers have to control what will—and won't—get seen online, while they squeeze even more money out of your pocket. The FCC could decide next week to go along with this corporate takeover of the Internet, and this video breaks down what's at stake.
Oh, and it stars Al Franken, The Daily Show's John Hodgman, and former MoveOn.org Executive Director Eli Pariser. Plus, it just won a Webby Award—the Internet's version of the Oscars—in Online Film & Video for Public Service & Activism.
Next Thursday, May 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will unveil a new plan that would allow Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T to create a second-class Internet for anyone with a website who can't afford to pay new fees.
The more people learn about the issue, the more they know it's wrong.1
Thanks for all you do.
–Maria, Rosy, Nick, Victoria, and the rest of the team
Neutrality For The Win: How Entertainment and the
Science of Influence Can Save Your Internet," Harmony Institute, accessed
May 8, 2014
Democracy Now !
Federal regulators have unveiled new rules that would effectively abandon net neutrality, the concept of a free and open Internet. The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission would allow Internet providers like Verizon or Comcast to charge media companies like Netflix or Amazon extra fees in order to receive preferential treatment, such as faster speeds for their content. If the new rules are voted on next month, the FCC will begin accepting public comments and issue final regulations by the end of summer. “What we’re really seeing here is the transformation of the Internet where the 1 percent get the fast lanes, and the 99 percent get the slow lanes,” says Michael Copps, retired FCC Commissioner. “If we let that happen, we have really undercut the potential of this transformative technology. This has to be stopped.” We are also joined by Astra Taylor, author of the new book, “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age."
Anti-Empire Report, May 9, 2014
When Vladimir Putin sent Russian soldiers into Crimea two months ago, western diplomats and pundits wondered aloud whether the usually calculating president had turned hot-headed, and allowed his pique at the west to push him into a risky geopolitical move over Ukraine.
The west misjudged Mr Putin then and this week the Russian president again seemed to have caught his adversaries off-guard as he played his latest move in a high-stakes contest.
With the world bracing for the Russian leader – swollen with triumph over Crimea – to back a separatist push in eastern Ukraine, Mr Putin instead surprised them with concessions, chief among them a plea to pro-Russian separatists to postpone a referendum on independence in eastern Ukraine in order to defuse tensions.
Whatever the sincerity of that gesture – Nato complained Russian troops were still massed on Ukraine’s border in spite of his promises to pull them back – it added to the Russian leader’s impression of wily inscrutability.
“Putin is certainly a master of the art of tactical unpredictability,” said Alexander Kliment of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. “This is what he does.” Mr Kliment and other western analysts still believe Moscow is determined to undermine the May 25 presidential election that may be pivotal for Kiev to establish an independent and legitimate western-leaning government.
But as that contest approaches, it appears Mr Putin is playing a different game in southeastern Ukraine than in Crimea.
In Crimea, Mr Putin was working with an overwhelmingly pro-Russian population, a majority of them Russian speakers with longstanding ties to Moscow.
In southeastern Ukraine, the demographic landscape is far more divided. A poll released by the Pew Research Centre of the US on Thursday reported that while two-thirds of Ukrainians in the east are unhappy with the Kiev authorities, just 18 per cent were ready to see the region secede.
Polling in Russia reveals a similar split. While more than three-quarters of Russians supported the Crimea joining Russia, only a third thought Moscow should go on to annex southeastern Ukraine, according to a survey by Moscow’s independent Levada Centre in April.
Mr Putin is well aware of the polling numbers and must play a delicate balancing act, says Gleb Pavlovsky, a former Kremlin adviser. Even if his chief interest right now is destabilising Ukraine ahead of May 25, Mr Putin does not appear ready for military action – let alone a civil war on Russia’s border.
If that had been his aim, Mr Putin could have used the deaths of dozens of pro-Russia supporters in a fire in Odessa last week as a pretext for sending Russian peacekeeping troops into Ukraine. Instead, he “took a pause”, Mr Pavlovsky says: “People expected military action but I think Putin is scared of that.”
Dmitry Trenin, director of Moscow’s Carnegie Centre, agreed, saying Mr Putin had no interest in provoking a civil war that might spiral into “an eastern European version of Afghanistan – a conflict with no end”.
Short of that, it seems that Mr Putin is pursuing the same goal both he and the Russian foreign ministry have outlined repeatedly since February: the federalisation of Ukraine, a strategy designed to weaken the central government in Kiev as large swaths of the country fall under Moscow’s influence.
Encouraging pro-Russia separatists in southeastern Ukraine has been the means of choice. The leaders of the separatists in Donetsk, Slavyansk and Lugansk said they would disregard Mr Putin’s advice and plan to push forward with their referendums on independence this Sunday.
But even their seeming defiance may work in Mr Putin’s favour, according to analysts. It shows the west that “southeastern Ukraine is not under the control of Russia”, allowing Mr Putin to present himself as a peacemaker “in conversations with the US and Europe”, said Alexander Prokhanov, editor of Russia’s ultra-rightwing newspaper Zavtra. It may also give the president an out, allowing him the latitude to avoid annexing southeastern Ukraine if the referendums go in Russia’s favour, or distance himself from the poll should it flop.
Yet even with so many cards in his favour – and his adversaries guessing at his intentions – Mr Putin’s options are not unlimited. Having played up the plight of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, the Russian leader is now facing criticism in domestic circles for being too soft on Ukraine.
Similarly, following the steady drumbeat for Russian military intervention, it may be too late for Mr Putin to turn back, Mr Pavlovsky says. The president’s approval rating has shot above 80 per cent since February – based largely on the surge of patriotism generated by the Ukraine crisis. Mr Putin risks losing some of that support should he be seen as stepping back.
The Kremlin can change its media narrative. But with so much momentum generated, “it’s hard to turn around public opinion”, Mr Pavlovsky warned. “It could turn against Putin.”
Euromaidan protesters took to Kyiv's streets last year in the hopes of Ukraine's becoming part of the European Union. The Europe they admired was one of material comforts and living standards far beyond the reach of most Ukrainians, whose average income is about the level of El Salvadorans'. The demonstrators wanted for themselves something approaching Europe's prosperity — a market economy, advanced technology, quality public transportation, universal health care, adequate pensions and paid vacations that average five weeks.
by Mark Weisbrot, Al Jazeera America
From Information Clearing House :
Dates: 8 May 2014
Subject : ‘Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’ –(Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I)
The social-economic upheaval that is sure to come will in due time swamp away the coup government.
Growing numbers of Americans no longer hold a regular “job” with a long-term connection to a particular business. Instead, they work “gigs” where they are employed on a particular task or for a defined time, with little more connection to their employer than a consumer has with a particular brand of chips. Borrowed from the music industry, the word “gig” has been applied to all sorts of flexible employment (otherwise referred to as “contingent labor,” “temp labor,” or the “precariat”). Some have praised the rise of the gig economy for freeing workers from the grip of employers’ “internal labor markets,” where career advancement is tied to a particular business instead of competitive bidding between employers. Rather than being driven by worker preferences, however, the rise of the gig economy comes from employers’ drive to lower costs, especially during business downturns. Gig workers experience greater insecurity than workers in traditional jobs and suffer from lack of access to established systems of social insurance.
The Rise of the Gig Economy
From Paul :
Date : 10 May 2014
Subject: We need to recognize we share the planet with millions of other life forms.
The Anthropocene: It’s Not All About Us
[We need to recognize we share the planet with millions of other life forms. ]
Time to celebrate! Woo-hoo! It’s official: we humans have started a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. Who’d have thought that just one species among millions might be capable of such an amazing accomplishment?
But let’s wait to stock up on party favors, though. After all, the Anthropocene could be rather bleak. The reason our epoch has acquired a new name is that future geologists will be able to spot a fundamental discontinuity in the rock strata that document our little slice of time in Earth’s multi-billion year pageant. This discontinuity will be traceable to the results of human presence. Think climate change, ocean acidification, and mass extinction.