Bulletin N° 755
Subject : The Need To Resist Pro-War Marketing & Capitalist Control of the State.
(from satire to farce!)
June 2, 2017
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Writing about Radio Alice, a free radio station in Bologna, Italy, which was banned in March 1977, Félix Guatarri critiqued the repressive role played by the corporate media :
They talk, oh yes indeed, they talk all the time. They emit signs, words, fragments of signs, fragments of words, all trying to make us accept our roles – son, wife, father, worker, student – to get us to sit up and beg, to be disciplined, obedient, hard-working . . . .
Fear is deep-rooted in our daily lives – fear of the prison and the looney-bin, of the army, of unemployment, of the family, of sexism. Fear to ward off desires, so as to reduce the daily round to the miserable state in which church, family and state have always kept it.
But the class struggle is destroying domination of the workplace, sharing things is destroying the domination of isolation, desire is transforming the daily round. And the writing is moving from one order to another, rearranging them creatively and cutting across barriers.
The guerrilla war of information, the organized disruption of the circulation of news, the break in the relationship between broadcasting and the making known of facts . . . is to be found within the general struggle against the organization and domination of work. . . .
The interruption and subversion of the fluxes of production and the transmission of the signs given by authority represent a field of direct action.(The Molecular Revolution, p.236)
He suggests that the counter-revolutionary forces of repression cynically use the old image of Fascism to obtain class collaboration in liberal society, while a new form of fascism is emerging without being recognized.
We don’t want to stop at questioning the relationship between exploiters and exploited – we want to get at the root, the whole business of capitalist-bureaucratic exploitation, of working for a wage, of passively accepting the discrepancy between work and desire, of putting one’s energies into work as a drug to abolish all desire that opens out onto the world.
. . .
[A] new repressive alliance, with its tentacles spreading out in all directions, is trying by every means it can to keep the economic and political struggles of the workers separate from all the possible faces of autonomy. Its aim is to get the work of controlling and subjugating the masses done by the masses themselves, and to ensure that a majority conservative consensus is established among them against all minorities of every kind – though in fact all those minorities together would add up to far more than any such majority. This seems to be the direction from which the danger of a mass reactionary movement will come. So don’t let anyone use some imaginary anti-fascist crusade as an excuse to get us to ally with these people who really represent the embryonic form of a new sort of fascism.
. . .
Managers, policemen, politicians, bureaucrats, professors, psychoanalysts – all will join forces in vain to stop this revolution, to canalize it, to take it over; in vain will they sophisticate, diversify, miniaturize their weapons to the nth degree: they will never regain control of that massive movement of escape, the multitude of molecular mutations of desire that have now been let loose.(pp.240-241)
Guatarri further develops this thesis in an article first published in Le Monde (9-11 July 1977) :
There are two series of factors that make this crisis different from others. The first is to do with the changes in the relationship between State power and economic structures, the second with the evolution of what we call ‘the mass of the people’, who have never in fact been as much of a mass as has been claimed, but who are at present tending to become even more sharply differentiated and producing a variety of struggles which the political and trade-union bureaucrats are going to find it harder and harder to control.
. . .
In effect, the State will continue to come more and more under the control of modern capitalism, and once again the left will have helped to speed up the change. . . . Socialists never tire of repeating that they intend to promote democratic nationalizations and not bureaucratic State ownership. Yet it is very hard to see how an independent and self-managed national sector can possibly develop under present conditions. Either all enterprises will develop at an equal pace, or nothing will develop at all. The capitalist economy is all of a piece. . . .(pp.243-244)
In a later article, entitled “Capitalistic Systems, Structures and Processes, co-authored with Eric Alliez, the Guatarri turns to descriptions of different historic structures of ‘capitalistic valorization’. Using the work of Fernand Braudel (Vol. 3), the authors schematize six different ‘formula of structures’ that capitalist expansion has produced, arguing that capitalism cannot be indentified with a single formulation (for example, market economy) :
Priorities between three components of capitalist activity are indicated by arrows (pp.280-287)
Order of priorities Examples
(a) State à production à market Asiatic mode of production & Nazi-type war economy.
(b) Market à production àstate Commercial proto-capitalism & World economy centered on network of cities (like
Venice, Genoa, Amsterdam in between the 13th and the 17th centuries).
(c) Market à state àproduction Liberal capitalism.
(d) Production à state à market Colonial monopoly economy.
(e) Production à market à state Integrated world capitalism.
(f) State à market à production State capitalism.
Priority (b), the Market, relegated State intervention to the lowest priority, behind production. For instance, no one was really shocked in the 17th century when the merchants of the Dutch United Provinces provided arms for their Portuguese and French enemies, since the market governed production and the State complied fully to the demands of the market.(p.281)
Prority (c), the Market, which placed the State as the second priority, above production, is represented in 19th-century liberalism, when the theory of equilibrium assigned the new importance to state intervention. The equilibrium of free competition is more or less ‘power without authority’: the juridical bringing together of over-exploitation of productive potential, general mobilization of the labor force, the acceleration of the speed of circulation of goods, men and capital constituted a self-regulation of the system, with no interference from the State, other than economic.
Priority (a), the State above production, with the market relegated to third place, is descriptive of a static command economy with forced labor, and a relatively minor role of monetary incentive (such as existed in the all-powerful state of the Egyptian Pharaoh or the German Führer).
Priority (f), the State in direct control of the market, is illustrated in the planned economies of the Soviet Union and China, with its massive enslavement of the collective labor force.
Priority (d), where the Production is organized with the help of the state, and without much thought for the effects on domestic markets, is typical of the classic form of imperialist exploitation, for the almost exclusive benefit of the metropolis.
Priority (e), Production, with markets as the second priority, is seen in the globalization fiasco of today, where the entire society becomes productive at either the world level or at the molecular level, and ‘the rhythm of production is the rhythm of life’.
When information claims first place in the social machine, it would seen, in effect, that it ceases to be linked to the simple organization of the sphere of circulation to become, in its way, a factor of production. Information as a factor of production . . . here is the latest formula for decoding society through the formation of cybernetic capital. This is no longer the age of transcendental schematism à la Keynes (finding a new space and a new rhythm of production based on an investment of statist mediation, as a function of the quest for equilibrium), and circulation will no longer be just a vector of the social validation of the profits of power; it becomes immediately production-re-territorialization-capitalization of mechanical profits, taking the form of manipulation and control of the segmentarized reproduction of society. Henceforth capital seems to operate on ‘a totality without organs, without contradictions, without criticism. Analytic of the totality where the totality is taken for granted’ and is itself indissociable from a totalitarian discourse which find its form of expression in the cynicism of the ‘new economics’. It should also be said that neo-liberal theory has no content outside this cynicism, which is all part of the will to affirm production for production’s sake, finally and in its most classic form (it is in this context that we should place the unbelievable increase of American spending on military research).(p.285)
Throughout this book, Félix Guatarri remains true to his basic premise, namely that no over-arching, universal theory can explain or predict the future of capitalist society. Truth is found in the details of specific moments of capitalist expansion; nevertheless, contradictions can be identified and history helps us understand the probable consequences in this dialectical movement of molar and molecular movements.
The power of the productive process of Integrated World Capitalism seems inexorable, and its social effects incapable of being turned back; but it overturns so many things, comes into conflict with so many ways of life and social valorizations, that it does not seem at all absurd to anticipate that the development of new collective responses – new structures of declaration, evaluation and action – coming from the greatest variety of horizons, might finally succeed in bringing it down. . .. As we see it, it is only through this sort of hypothesis that the redefinition of the objectives of the revolutionary transformation of society can be appreciated.(p.286)
The 14 items below should help readers understand how they have become bogged down in the deceitful operations of monopoly capitalism, in which market interests attempt to control virtually every aspect of our lives (and our deaths).
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
The Power Principle
(3-Part Series, 4h25 min.)
by Metanoia Films
"Simply brilliant." - "This is probably the best film ever made about American foreign policy." - Spartacus - ICH Comment
A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the events of today.
This documentary is about the foreign policy of the United States. It demonstrates the importance of the political economy, the Mafia principle, propaganda, ideology, violence and force.
It documents and explains how the policy is based on the interest of major corporations and a tiny elite to increase profits and the United States governments own interests in maintaining and expanding it’s imperialistic influence.
Inside the United States this has been made possible with a propaganda of fear for the horrible enemies like the Soviet Union, Communists and so on and a love for “free markets”, “democracy”, “freedom” and so on.
Externally (and increasingly internally) this has caused massive poverty and suffering, genocide, war, coups, crushed unions and popular movements and environmental destruction.
The Coming War on China
(full movie, 1h50 min.)
by John Pilger
Bomb Violence With Mercy
“Lets Bomb Hatred With Love.”
The Israel Lobby
Video Documentary - VPRO
For many years now the American foreign policy has been characterized by the strong tie between the United States and Israel. Does the United States in fact keep Israel on its feet? And how long will it continue to do so?
In March 2006 the American political scientists John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Steve Walt (Harvard) published the controversial article 'The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy'. In it they state that it is not, or no longer, expedient for the US to support and protect present-day Israel. The documentary sheds light on both parties involved in the discussion: those who wish to maintain the strong tie between the US and Israel, and those who were critical of it and not infrequently became 'victims' of the lobby.
The question arises to what extend the pro-Israel lobby ultimately determines the military and political importance of Israel itself. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (Colin Powell's former chief-of-staff) explains how the lobby's influence affects the decision-making structure in the White House.
With political scientist John Mearsheimer, neocon Richard Perle, lobby organization AIPAC, televangelist John Hagee, historian Tony Judt, Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth, colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Democrat Earl Hilliard, Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy and investigative journalist Michael Massing.
Research: William de Bruijn
Director: Marije Meerman
Despotism & Democracy
Encyclopaedia Britannica Films - 1946
Measures how a society ranks on a spectrum stretching from democracy to despotism. Explains how societies and nations can be measured by the degree that power is concentrated and respect for the individual is restricted. Where does your community, state and nation stand on these scales?
President Emmanuel Macron:
Reversing Five Decades of Working-Class Power
by James Petras
Whatever has been written about President Emmanuel Macron by the yellow or the respectable press has been mere trivia or total falsehood. Media lies have a purpose that goes beyond Macron’s election. Throughout Europe and North America, bankers and manufacturers, NATO, militarists and EU oligarchs, media moguls and verbal assassins, academics and journalists, all characterized the election victory of Macron as a ‘defeat of fascism’ and the ‘triumph of the French people’.
JFK at 100
by Paul Craig Roberts
This Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, is the 100th birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as he approached the end of his third year in office. Researchers who spent years studying the evidence have concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. (See, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass)
On Tyranny: Yale Historian Timothy Snyder on How the U.S. Can Avoid Sliding into Authoritarianism
From: Jim O'Brien
Sent: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017
Subject: HAW Notes 5/30/17: New HAW co-chairs; links to recent articles of interest
A note: The newly constituted HAW Steering Committee has enthusiastically chosen Margaret Power and Van Gosse as the new co-chairs of Historians Against the War. (Marc Becker and I, who have been co-chairs for the past nine years, nominated them.) Van (who teaches at Franklin & Marshall College) was a principal founder of HAW in 2003, and he and Margaret (Illinois Institute of Technology) have both played leading roles in HAW for many years. Jim O'Brien
Links to Recent Articles of Interest :
Sjursen, The Nation, posted May
The author is a U.S. Army strategist and formerly taught history at West Point.
“We Need Memorial Day to Obscure the Unbearable Truth about War”
By Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, posted May 29
Naftali, Slate, posted May 27
J. Bacevich, The American
Conservative, May 26
The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University.
By Peter Van Buren, History News Network,
posted May 21
By Bruce Cumings, London
Review of Books, May 18 issue
The author teaches East Asian history at the University of Chicago.
By Danny Sjursen, TomDispatch.com, posted May 11, 2017
The author is a U.S. Army strategist and formerly taught history at West Point.
By Andrew J. Bacevich, Commonweal, posted May 10
Review essay on the book America’s Dream Palace: Middle East Expertise and the Rise of the National Security State by Osama F. Khalil
By John W. Dower, TomDispatch.com, posted May 4
The author is a professor emeritus of history at MIT.
By Kelly Lytle Hernandez, The Conversation, posted April 30
The author teaches history and African American studies at UCLA.
Thanks to Rusti Eisenberg and an anonymous reader (always the same one - a retired doctor, as it happens) for suggesting articles that are included in the above list.
Terror In Britain: What Did The Prime Minister Know?
by John Pilger
The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.
Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review”.
The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi , was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years.
From: "The National Security Archive" <email@example.com>
Subject: How Do You Solve a Problem like (South) Korea?
How Do You Solve a Problem like (South) Korea?
U.S.-ROK Relations during the Carter Years Faltered over Troop Withdrawals, Human Rights, an Assassination, and a Coup
Carter Faced Pushback from South Korean Leaders and His Own Top Advisers
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 595
How Was A Climate Crisis Denier Elected President of The United States?