Subject: HAS ANYONE SEEN THE PARLIAMENTARY ROAD TO SOCIALISM ?
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
There is nothing like a televised US presdiential debate between corporate party candidates to suck the oxygen out of the air.
Those who survived the first bipartisan national debate last week (and I admit, I could stand seeing only segments of it) must have peered beyond the motives of the individual candidates into the blatant class interests that they both necessarily represent in order to have qualified for entry into this corporate event. Thank god charisma is absent in the personalities of both candidates, but also absent, unfortunately, are the primary cognitive functions of the human brain, which according to one of the world’s leading neurologists, Anthony Damasio, are its capacities for Reason, Memory, and the full array of human Feelings. As a result, we are left floundering in a stagnent pool of senseless rhetoric and hypocrisy, treading water until the next vortex of their sheer Will power plunges us into a vacuous discharge of sound and fury, signifying --not 'nothing,' but instead!-- lives wasted, bodies left stranded in a sterile corporate structure, trapped into complete submission between a rock and a hard place. We’ve been screwed !
Voting is a great responsibility when we look carefully at the global context; essentially, we who vote are deciding on who lives and who dies! Both corporate candidates are bound to serve their corporate masters, and into what region of the planet will their masters send them (to lead us) to inflict the violence necessary to produce greater capital accumulation --for violence there must be !
Such a systemic view is not fashionable today, but nevertheless it is actual; as much as the oxygen we must breath, but of which we are barely conscious.
The theoretical discussion in Ian Roxborough’s 1979 book, Theories of Underdevelopment, offers a critique of various maps depicting topographical contours in the underworld of economics. Here we examine the steep climbs of applied ISI (Import Substitution Industrialization), the deserts of ‘autarchic development,’ the deep abyss of the so-called ‘Brazilian model,’ and the swamplands revealed by various ‘dependency theories.’ Roxborough concludes:
There is, then, no simple formula which will generate economic growth. Policy-makers in the Third World are faced with a large number of difficult and technically complex choices. But in the end, these boil down to a limited number of growth models. Each model is compatible with only a limited range of social and political structures. The choice of growth model is not a purely economic choice, made in a vacuum; it is made in a specific political and social context and entails specific social and political consequences.
. . .
If we define development as an increase in the capacity for controlled transformation of the social structure, then almost by definition, a move away from dependency to autarchy is a move in the direction of development. Whether this move is worthwhile depends on the cost of the economic growth (weighed against the cost of similar growth if the economy remained integrated into the world economy.)
. . .
If a Third World country opts to continue to rely principally on one or two primary exports, and on foreign capital for technology, it must consider a series of measures to maximize its advantages and ensure that the economy is not too vulnerable to economic fluctuations. As the domestic bourgeoisie is usually quite weak; this will generally mean moves towards an increased role for the state in the running of the country. Such moves in the direction of statist developmentalism are bound to alter the balance of class forces and a frequent result will be the installation of some form of Bonapartist regime. (pp.39-41)
On the question of class struggle, Roxborough observes that,
In underdeveloped countries two sets of contradictions and two sets of struggles are present: the struggle against dependency and for national liberation and development; and the class struggle against the local ruling class. These two struggles correspond to the historical tasks of two different social classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. But say this is not to suggest that the two tasks may be solved independently of each other in the underdeveloped countries. On the contrary, both sets of contradictions are interwoven in any concrete social formation. Exactly how they are interwoven, and which contradiction is dominant, depends of course on the specific character of that social formation.(p.159)
Elsewhere, the author refers to the histories of Latin American and warns against the false starts of voluntarism, led by a morally pure 'revolutionary vanguard' who are alienated from the working classes :
What seems certain is, as Errico Malatesta said before the rise of fascism in Italy, ‘If we do not go on to the end, we shall have to pay with bloody tears for the fear we are now causing the bourgeoisie.’ When the threat of social revolution became serious, the Chilean bourgeoisie and the Chilean armed forces repeated the actions that the Brazilian bourgeoisie and armed forces had taken when faced with a similar threat in 1964; they closed ranks to defend the bourgeois order and drowned in blood the attempt to change that order.(p.158)
The relationship among the state, the society and the social classes is historically constituted and any analysis must take into account the historic formation of the specific structures and functions that exist on the ground, at the time.
Once the class analysis has reached a certain level, it is necessary to complete it with an institutional analysis of the relationship between politics and social classes. There are indeed determinate relationships between the development of social classes and the functioning of political institutions, but these relationships are not always direct and unproblematic. As yet no satisfactory general theory is available . . . [which] implies the need for empirical generalization to remain closely grounded in concrete historical research.(p.163)
The 11 items below offer CEIMSA readers the opportunity to test these theoretical observations by Roxborough against the social conventions and political interpretations within the capitalist storm, which is worsening as we speak.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
Breaking Through Power : A Civic Mobilization
For more info, including the full detailed agenda and the speakers’ bios, visit: https://www.breakingthroughpower.org
Past BTP Conferences
The US Presidential Debate and the War Plans of the Ruling Class
by Patrick Martin
Monday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump plumbed new depths in the degradation of American politics.
A billionaire and a multi-millionaire, both widely hated, traded false promises, platitudes, attack lines and reactionary bromides
without seriously addressing any of the pressing issues facing the American people.
of the Western Left
by Andre Vltchek
It is tough to fight any real war. And it takes true guts, discipline and determination to win it.
He Who Hesitates Is Lost And Russia Hesitated
by Paul Craig Roberts
US-Turkey Lurch to World War in Syria
by Finian Cunningham
The Politics of Bombing: Wholesale, Retail and Improvised
by James Petras
Bombs, domestic and foreign, are defining the nature of politics in the United States, the European Union and among radical Islamist groups and individuals. The scale and scope of bomb-politics varies with the practioner.
“Operations Room” In Syria Destroyed By Russian Missile Attack
by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Israeli, American, British, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari Intelligence Officials Killed.
'Hands Dripping with the Blood of the Afghan People':
US Agrees to Pardon and Reward Warlord
The peace deal amounts to a bribe for warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to not commit crimes and terrorism, says Sonali Kolhatkar, host of "Rising Up With Sonali" on KPFA.
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
by Mike Whitney
“Syria is the summation of all the errors of a dysfunctional empire collapsing upon itself. History forgotten. Science ignored. Facts denied. Propaganda cannot hide that West is supporting and killing Islamists at the same time in a World War that risks escalating into a nuclear holocaust.” Vietnam Vet, comments-line, Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Empire Files: How Palestine Became Colonized
From the early settlements, the Nakba, and to the conquest of the West Bank, Abby Martin reveals the roots of the so-called "Israel-Palestine conflict"
From: "If Americans Knew Team" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "FRANCIS FEELEY" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 27 September, 2016 3:20:51 PM
Subject: Our new website! Timeline and details of every Palestinian and Israeli death
After months of hard work, we are proud to announce the launch of a new website.
For the last 15 years, If Americans Knew has provided information on Israel-Palestine largely left out of U.S. media reporting.
Our website www.IfAmericansKnew.org was one of the first sites to focus on providing clear, factual information on Israel-Palestine to the general American public – to explain the history, the U.S. connection to the conflict, and the ongoing reality.
In particular, we've provided compelling statistics showing the disparities in the impact of the conflict on Israelis and Palestinians, and our charts and media analyses have been widely used and cited by students, activists and academics to educate their communities.
But we wanted to do more.
While our charts show the big picture, we wanted to provide an ongoing timeline that would (1) provide a constantly updated list of everyone killed among both populations, and (2) provide human details of each tragic death, not only the ones the U.S. media decide to focus on.
When Israelis are killed, American media reports frequently provide personal details of the victims. Palestinian deaths, on the other hand, most often go unreported, and when they are occasionally mentioned, there is usually very little information about the victim. [Read below for the latest information on The New York Times' reporting.]
In addition, the media almost always state or or suggest that Palestinian violence shattered a "period of calm," giving Americans the mistaken impression that it is Palestinians who initiate the violence.
The reality, however, is that Palestinians are being killed continuously, and that it is Israel that consistently initiates the violence. I've periodically written about this reality (e.g. here and here), and other researchers have documented it in a detailed study.
Therefore, we wanted to provide a resource that would provide personal information on all the human beings who have been killed: their names, pictures, ages, the manner in which they were killed, the impact their deaths had on their families, and additional details of the lives that were so abruptly ended.
Now with this timeline, when media focus on an Israeli who has been tragically killed, the general public can be referred to this resource and learn of all the Palestinian men, women, and children who were killed in the days and weeks before.
We feel this is critically important if we are to overcome media-induced misunderstanding of the situation in Palestine.
The New York Times' latest distorted reporting
However, a preliminary survey of New York Times' online articles shows that while the Times covered 140% of Israeli deaths in the headline, first paragraph, or featured photo caption, it only covered 37% of Palestinian deaths in the same way. (Some deaths were reported on more than once, which is why the Israeli number is greater than 100%.)
Additionally, while every single Israeli victim was featured by the Times, and each one was named somewhere in the article, only 18 of the 33 featured Palestinian victims were named. The rest were referred to as "man" or "teenager." Just 8 of the 33 Palestinian children killed during this period were named.
Sadly, this is consistent with our 2004 study that found that the Times reported on 125% of Israeli children’s deaths and only 18% of Palestinian children’s deaths in headlines or first paragraphs.
For the average American, Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israelis is largely kept out of sight and out of mind, while Israeli suffering is highlighted. We feel that providing clear, factual information will help to overcome this distortion. (In addition, of course, our main website provides detailed, essential information on the overall context, the Nakba, and the continued occupation of Palestine.)
Please share this resource
We hope you will check this website frequently, use it as a resource in your educational efforts, and share it with as many people as possible. It takes all of us working together to create an informed voting public that will eventually demand moral and rational U.S. Middle East policies, rather than the destructive and suicidal ones currently enabled by so many politicians from both parties.
We would like to extend our deepest appreciation and respect to the newest member of our team, Saed of IMEMC, whose passion, work and dedication to this project has been invaluable. We could not have done this without him.
We would also like to thank all of you who have supported our work over the years. Please consider making a today to help us continue our efforts! Your contributions are essential to everything we do and, truthfully, our resources are getting a bit thin right now. Thank you in advance for anything you can do.
In solidarity and gratitude,
Alison Weir and the If Americans Knew team
SUPPORT OUR WORK: DONATE!
ABOUT US : If Americans Knew is a nonpartisan educational organization. We are happy to provide information on Israel-Palestine to individuals and groups of all religious, ethnic, racial, and political backgrounds. We support justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings, and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of all forms. Mission Statement
CONTACT US : To invite Alison Weir to give a presentation on Israel-Palestine, or to learn more about putting up a billboard in your city, write here. For general comments or questions, write here. Order educational materials to distribute from our website. Mailing address: If Americans Knew, 5694 Mission Center Rd, Suite 602-710, San Diego, CA 92108. Phone: 202-631-4060