Bulletin N° 775
Subject : In Praise of Folly under the Fearful Eye of FASCIST MADNESS.
30 November 2017
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
You’ve probably heard the old adage about political life in capitalist society: “Scratch a liberal, and under the façade of a progressive humanist you’ll probably find a corporate Fascist.” But when you scratch a neo-conservative, what you are likely to find is an authoritarian paranoiac. Gilles Deluze and Felix Guattari in their classic study, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980), describe the historic structure of civilized society as being divided into three functional groups: the civilized, the barbarians, and the nomads. These interacting groups represent distinct behaviors, which influence one another and reinforce their differences in a dialectical manner.
While the civilized accept the unequal class divisions of society and have submitted to a network of reciprocal obligations, which serves to protect them from extinction and at the same time provides immediate advantages at the cost of personal freedom and social equality, the barbarians enter the settled society only from time to time to plunder it and take away for themselves selected items of value; they show no interest, at first, in fully integrating into the ethos of the civilized network. The nomads, on the other hand, represent a third life style; they live on the margins of civilized society, interacting regularly with the civilized population who despise them for their “freedoms” and their lack of ambition. They are of little interest to the barbarians, who see them as impoverished, worthless and devoid of any opportunity to profit from plunder. Over time, waves of barbarians integrate into civilization and groups of nomads move into the center for permanent residence, living next door to the civilized and the former barbarians.
According to Deleuze and Guattari, the political economy of capitalism produces human relationships which often result in the wide-spread creation of schizophrenics, whose character structure is reduced to the level of desires - mostly pre-fabricated desires – since this totally alienated man has been deprived of a core ego with which to verify a reality or formulate a coherent principle. Instead, he floats like a balloon across any field, until he receives the next injunction sufficiently forceful to change his direction, as he continues to float unencumbered, without boundaries which could differentiate the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic. Each group has participated in the creation of this “Post-Modern Man.”
Illustrations of conventional non-thought (which is no more than the disconnect between the Signifier and the Signified) abound among the civilized . . .
· “It’s admirable how many people in China speak Chinese fluently.”
· “You load 16 tons and what d’ya get; another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don’t you call me, ‘cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company stor’.”
-from the 1947 song by Merle Travis, Sixteen Tons.
He kept his eye on the prize!
and within the constraints of Crisis Capitalism . . .
where “losers” have to die to make the “winners” rich, with the help of their “executioners” :
T H E L O S E R S
T H E W I N N E R S
T H E E X E C U T I O N E R S
Militarism entangles barbarians and nomads alike in the profitable enterprise . . .
Wilfred Burchett’s book, The Whores of War: Mercenaries Today (1977), remains a stunning analysis of the banality of the forces behind militarism, “It’s just another investment opportunity.”
· “Shadow World” reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade, the only business that counts its profits in billions and its losses in human lives.
· “Shadow World” explores how governments, their militaries and intelligence agencies, defense contractors, arms dealers and agents are inextricably intertwined with the international
trade in weapons, and how that trade fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracies and creates human suffering.
· "Politicians are very much like prostitutes, only more expensive"
of Fascist Madness with all sorts of attempts to silence our thoughts for a better life !
The 19 items below will remind CEIMSA readers the of the ubiquitous capitalist environment which engulfs most of us with pervasive feelings of dread and disgust. The character traits of our “leaders” were produced by this environment, and their “followers” have chosen to submit to this creation. What forces can penetrate this hermetically sealed system of complicity in self-delusion?
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
Psywar - The Real Battlefield is in the Mind
This film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the elitist theory of democracy
and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.
He Was No Hippie: Remembering Manson, Prison, Scientology, and Mind Control
by Paul Krassner
As I was diving into my research, I received a letter from Charlie himself.
Where the New York Times article on an American Nazi went wrong
Why is it a surprise that Nazis love muffins?
by Ewra Klein
The New York Times is taking some deserved criticism for publishing a gentle profile of an Ohio Nazi. The point of the piece, quite literally, is that Nazis are people too. The article goes to great lengths to show that the subject, Tony Hovater, is just like you and me. He owns cats, shops at the supermarket, cooks dinner, plays music, enjoys Seinfeld. He was married this fall, and the Times notes that he and his then-fiancée registered at Target and asked for “a muffin pan, a four-drawer dresser and a pineapple slicer.”
The problem with the Times story isn’t that it’s about a modern-day Nazi. It’s that it doesn’t offer any insight into modern-day Nazis. Readers are, presumably, supposed to respond with shock upon learning that Nazis also bake muffins, own pets, watch sitcoms. But this is an old point, and it can be made with starker examples. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian, a painter, a lover of musicals, a talented mimic. It is childish, this late in human history, to be surprised that evil people are also people.
The Myth Of The "Clean War"
by Paul Rogers
Trump's worldview promises low-cost military success. The blasting apart of civilian lives in Iraq says otherwise.
Many previous columns in this series focus on the transition in the western way of war since 9/11 from tens of thousands of “boots on the ground” to "remote warfare". This has mainly involved a much more intensive use of air-power, including armed-drones; the utilisation of long-range artillery and ground-launched ballistic-missiles; and the much wider use of special forces and privatised military corporations. The change has been consistently analysed by a few non-government organisations, most notably the Remote Control project and Drone Wars UK, whose specific concern is armed drones. The states pursuing this kind of offensive war see three advantages, two military and one political:
Ø Their own forces take minimal casualties, meaning fewer bodybags and funeral corteges
Ø They believe that the tactic works in practice
Ø There is very little media coverage of this type of war, and in the case of some countries, most notably Britain, there has been a long-term political convention that the role of special Forces should not be subject to public debate or even scrutiny.
The U.S. Air Force is on track to triple the number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year compared with last year.
Growing Up Black in American Apartheid
Glen Ford on Reality Asserts Itself, Part 1
How Colonial Violence Came Home:
The Ugly Truth of the First World War
Great War is often depicted as an unexpected catastrophe. But for millions who
had been living under imperialist rule, terror and degradation were nothing
by Pankaj Mishra
Today on the Western Front,” the German sociologist Max Weber wrote in September 1917, there “stands a dross of African and Asiatic savages and all the world’s rabble of thieves and lumpens.” Weber was referring to the millions of Indian, African, Arab, Chinese and Vietnamese soldiers and labourers, who were then fighting with British and French forces in Europe, as well as in several ancillary theatres of the first world war. Faced with manpower shortages, British imperialists had recruited up to 1.4 million Indian soldiers. France enlisted nearly 500,000 troops from its colonies in Africa and Indochina. Nearly 400,000 African Americans were also inducted into US forces. The first world war’s truly unknown soldiers are these non-white combatants.
Rebecca Solnit: Ending Sexual Harassment Means Changing Masculinity
& Undermining Misogynist Culture
#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, Alicia Garza
of Black Lives Matter
on Wave of Sexual Harassment Reports
The world turned upside down: is the concept of women's autonomy actually changing for the better?
Fascism Came To America Wrapped In A Rainbow Flag And Wearing A Pussyhat
by Caitlin Johnstone
There’s a popular quote of unknown origin that usually goes something like “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” It’s a good quote, whoever said it. It warns that if manipulative oppressors are going to seize control of a nation’s government, they will obviously need to do so by appealing to the spirit of the times, the current values system of the masses. They’re not going to make their entrance screaming “Freedom is slavery!” while a band plays the Darth Vader theme. This is obvious to anyone who possesses any insight into how people think and behave.
Abuses of Power: Heather McGhee on Matt Lauer, Trump, Sexual Assault, Patriarchy and the Tax Code
Bridging the Gap Between Movements and Elections:
How the Working Families Party Organized in 2017
by Sarah Jaffe
Fight the Disease, Not the Symptoms
by Chris Hedges
The disease of globalized corporate capitalism has the same effects across the planet. It weakens or destroys democratic institutions, making them subservient to corporate and oligarchic power. It forces domestic governments to give up control over their economies, which operate under policies dictated by global corporations, banks, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. It casts aside hundreds of millions of workers now classified as “redundant” or “surplus” labor. It disempowers underpaid and unprotected workers, many toiling in global sweatshops, keeping them cowed, anxious and compliant. It financializes the economy, creating predatory global institutions that extract money from individuals, institutions and states through punishing forms of debt peonage. It shuts down genuine debate on corporate-owned media platforms, especially in regard to vast income disparities and social inequality. And the destruction empowers proto-fascist movements and governments.
Trump’s Secret War?
by John Haltiwanger
Military’s Presence In Middle East Has Grown 33 Percent
In Past Four Months
President Donald Trump has increased the number of U.S. troops and civilians working for the Department of Defense in the Middle East to 54,180 from 40,517 in the past four months, representing a 33-percent rise. This number doesn't even account for the big rise in troops stationed in Afghanistan since Trump announced his new strategy for the fight against the Taliban in late August. These figures, first pointed out on Twitter by Dr. Micah Zenko, a foreign policy expert, come from the Pentagon's quarterly reports on personnel. In other words, these numbers are no secret, which raises concerns about the apparent lack of discourse over the expansion of the U.S. military in a region in which it already has a long, complicated history.
Forget Russia - Here's How Much Israel
Is Spending to Influence American Politics
" ... somehow and in some way, that's
different than the allegations of Russian "influence" during the 2016
by Political Junkie
While the American media and Washington are expending substantial energy on the alleged Russian interference in the United States
political theatre during the 2016 election cycle, another nation and its American promoters that invest substantially in Washington
generally fly under the radar when it comes to political influence-peddling.
Where is Zionism Taking Us?
by Lawrence Davidson
The Inevitable Apartheid Nation
November 26, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - We know where Zionism has taken Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 led the way. In that imperial and colonial document, the British promised the World Zionist Organization a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. They did so, as Edward Said put it, in “flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority residents in that territory.”
America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List?
Prospects and Perspectives
by Prof. James Petras
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow.
This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations: the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation. The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay.
We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial options.
Exposing the Shocking and Continuing Alliance
Between Zionism and Anti-Semitism
by Max Blumenthal
An in-depth discussion with renowned Palestinian scholar Prof. Joseph Massad.
Roger Waters on Palestine