Bulletin N° 980
“Gore Vidal:The United States of Amnesia”
documentary film by Nicholas Wrathall
“The True Story of Che Guevara”
documentary film by Maria Berry, with Jon Lee Anderson
Subject: The Function of Pi.*
*(π is a Constant, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter: 3.14159.)
June 8, 2021
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
An acquaintance of mine from Wisconsin in the 1960s once recounted to me a graffiti he had seen scrawled on a toilet door:
“Eat shit! Ten billion flies can’t be wrong.”
To him this message contained a deep philosophical critique of mass culture, and he wanted to share it with someone.
If despotism reflects a political system based on willful mass obedience to authority, and revolutionary tyranny is the necessary outcome of resistance to despotism, then we are caught in a conundrum : viz, of the ends being used repeatedly to justify the means; while, in fact, the means inevitably alter the alleged ends.
This understanding is likely the reason that Karl Kautsky famously declared at the time of the Russian Revolution that, either Lenin is wrong or Marx is wrong: their two theories of socialist revolution were mutually exclusive. Clearly, the means to achieve an end (in this case, the creation of a vanguard party in the midst of a backward, quasi-slave society) has a significant impact on the outcome.
To acknowledge that we all are products of our environments – both social and natural – is not to endorse the manufacture of “The New Man” out of whole cloth, through manipulation of the environment. Organic, historic relationships are complex, and the artificial creation of a replacement is a bit like attempting to replace vegetation with Astroturf. The concept of “a revolutionary vanguard” plays a role in this deception: the Avatar is not the new man inhabiting the old society.
The alternative is what Marx cautiously pursued at the time of the Paris Commune (1871): drawing specific lessons from the history of class conscious struggle, while carefully differentiating seductive ideals from ideas based on careful observation.
To return to our presentation of Jon Lee Anderson’s biography, Che Guevara, A Revolutionary Life (1997), we look at the third and final part, “Making the New Man.” The narrative begins with the Guevara family (sans Che) celebrating New Year’s eve 1958 in Buenos Aires, when they learn of Batista’s flight from Havana. Shortly after, they receive the false news that their son has been fatally wounded. It took two desperate hours for them to receive verification from Havana that their son was alive and well. Che was placed in charge of La Cabaña Garrison, which became the location of revolutionary court-martials and summary executions in Havana.
Che’s entourage arrived at the huge old Spanish colonial fortress in the predawn darkness of January 3. Its regiment of three thousand troops, which had already surrendered to July 26 militiamen, stood in formation as Che arrived. He addressed them patronizingly as a ‘neocolonial army’ who could teach this rebel troops ‘how to march,’ while the guerrillas could teach them ‘how to fight.’ Then he and Aldieda [Che’s wife] installed themselves in the commandant’s house, built against the stone buttresses overlooking Havana.
The day before, Camilo had shown up at the military headquarters of Camp Columbia across the city and taken over its command from Colonel Ramón Barquín; General Cantillo had been arrested. Fidel had also made his triumphal entry into Santiago. Speaking before cheering crowds, he declared the city Cuba’s provisional ‘capital,’ and proclaimed Manuel Urrutia, who had flown in from Venezuela, as the new president.
Carlos Franqui, who was with Fidel, couldn’t understand why che had been relegated to La Cabaña. ‘I remember pondering at length the reasons for this order of Fidel’s; Camp Columbia was the heart and soul of the tyranny and of military power. . . . Che had taken the armored train and the city of Santa Clara, he was the second most important figure of the Revolution. What reasons did Fidel have for sending him to La Cabaña, a secondary position?’
Fidel had undoubtedly chosen the less visible position for Che because he wanted him out of the limelight. To the defeated regime, its adherents, and Washington, Che was the dreaded ‘international Communist,’ and it was only asking for trouble to give him a preeminent role so early on. By contrast the handsome, Stetson-wearing, baseball-playing, womanizing, humorous Camilo was Cuban, not known to be a Communist, and had already become a popular folk hero. He could take center stage.
Fidel needed Che for the indispensable job of purging the old army, to consolidate victory by exacting revolutionary justice against traitors, chivatos, and Batista’s war criminals. Just as his brother Raúl, the other radical, as to be in Orient, -where Fidel had left him behind as military governor – Che was essential to the success of his task in Havana.
From the green rolling head of land where La Cabaña and its adjacent fortress El Morro sprawled , guarding Havana harbor, Che’s view in January 1959 would have been much like that evoked in Graham Greene’s latest novel, Our Man in Havana, published just months earlier.
. . .
This was the raucous milieu into which Che and his men plunged after two largely abstinent years in the mountains, with fairly predictable results. Che kept his escolta (bodyguards) under strict control, but for Alberto Castellanos, the temptation was too much. ‘I was in wonderment. . . . I had never been in the capital before and I was in shock. . . . Because he kept me working with him until dawn, I didn’t have time to see anything. [So], some nights I escaped to see the city, especially the cabarets. It fascinated me to see so many beautiful women.’
Sex was heavy in the air. The Guerrillas slipped out of La Cabaña’s walls for trysts with girls in the bushes under the huge white statue of Christ that looms over the harbor. Aleida March raised her eyebrows in a suggestive expression of mock-scandal when recalling this period. It was a chaotic situation and had to be taken in hand. With an eye to the rebel army’s public image and its own internal discipline, Che soon organized a mass wedding for all those fighters with lovers whose unions had not been made ‘official,’ inviting a judge to come and take their vows, and a priest for those wanting a religious ceremony. The wayward Castellanos, for instance, who had a fiancée back in Oriente, was one of those whose wings were clipped, in a La Cabaña ceremony presided over by Che himself.
Around the hemisphere, the celebratory mood brought about by Cuba’s revolutionary triumph was less libidinous, but still widely shared. The war had captivated public interest, and hordes of journalists descended on Havana to cover the installment of the new regime. . . .
But even in Cuba, few people understood what it all meant. While still in Santiago, Fidel had taken pains to give the new regime a moderate front, but he had also set the pattern for his future relationship with “President” Urrutia by allowing him to name but one appointee, the justice minister, while he named the rest. Evidently feeling grateful to Fidel for making him president, Urrutia did not put up any fight. Even so, only a few July 26 men, mostly from the llano, were included in the initial cabinet roster.
In Havana, the atmosphere was a mix of festive anarchy and uncertainly. Hundreds of armed rebels were camped out in hotel lobbies, treating them as they would a guerrilla bivouac in the countryside. Most government troops had surrendered after Batista’s flight and had remained in their barracks, but here and there a few snipers still held out, and manhunts were on for fugitive police agents, corrupt politicians, and war criminals. In a few places, mobs had attacked casinos, parking meters, and other symbols of Batista corruption, but quickly had been brought under control as the July 26 militias came out onto the streets. Even Boy Scouts were acting as ad hoc policemen. Meanwhile, the embassies were filling up with those military officers, police, and government officials left in the lurch by Batista’s sudden flight. (pp.375-378)
Che’s analysis of Cuba’s revolution was much influenced by what he had seen in Guatemala in 1954, when democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz had failed to defend his social reforms and was forced to abdicate his policy and flee to Mexico, after US intervention. He had failed to neutralize the counterrevolutionary forces which persisted within the Guatemala military and other institutions, and to to arm the peasantry, a revolutionary tactic which his Generals strongly opposed.
In an article [published in Revolución in January 1959 and entitled “What is a Guerrilla?”] Che debuted his advocacy for rural guerrilla warfare, linking it to the revolution’s essential future mission. To fight, he wrote, the guerrilla had certain tactical needs, places where he could maneuver, hide, escape, and also count on the people’s support. This necessarily meant the countryside, where, coincidentally, the main social problem was land tenure. ‘The guerrilla is fundamentally and before anything else, an agrarian revolutionary. He interprets the desires of the great peasant masses to be owners of land, owners of their own means of production, of their livestock, of all that for which they have fought for years, for that which constitutes their life and will also be their cemetery.’
It was for this reason, Che said, that the battle standard of the new Cuban army born in the Cuban backwoods was agrarian reform. This reform, which ‘began timidly in the Sierra Maestra,’ had then been transferred to the Escambray and, after recently being ‘forgotten in ministerial cabinets,’ would now go forwarded because of the ‘firm decision of Fidel Castro, who, and it is worthwhile repeating, will be the one who gives the ‘July 26’ its historic definition. This Movement didn’t invent Agrarian Reform [but] it will carry it out; It will carry it out comprehensively until there is no peasant without land, nor land left untilled. At that moment, perhaps, the Movement itself may cease to have a reason to exist, but it will have accomplished its historic mission. Our task is to get to that point, and the future will tell if there is more work to do.’
Che’s closing comment was an early warning sign to the July 26 Movement that it might eventually be done away with, in favor of ‘unity’ with other political tendencies: namely, the Community party. ‘Unity’ had become the watchword for the PSP-rebel army merger, which was already being implemented – primarily under the auspices of Che and Raúl in the revolutionary camp and under Carlos Rafel Rodriguez of the PSP. Still, all was not yet running smoothly between the two forces. Within the PSP, opinion about Fidel and his movements was divided; Carlos Rafel was an early and ardent enthusiast, but the party general secretary, Blas Roca, evidently was not. Party official Anibal Escalate ultimately proved vital in the fence-mending process, but among the ‘old communists,’ reservations about Fidel’s leadership persisted for years.
And for all his overt sympathies, the freethinking Che Guevara, a non-party member, also provoked some disquiet from the orthodox Moscow-line party men. His argument for a ‘vanguard role’ for the rebel army – seemingly ignoring the role of the urban workers and the traditional Communist party organization - was theoretical blasphemy, while his forceful advocacy of rural guerrilla warfare and agrarian revolution betrayed deviant Maoist influences. Yet, despite these troubling heretical symptoms, Che was obviously a friend and ally, and the PSP was indebted to him for providing it with a political opening to Fidel it might otherwise not have had. His ideological kinks would, no doubt, be ironed out over time.
In the meantime, the party remained politically ambitious and sectarian. At issue was political power and the Communist party’s attempts to resist subjugation by Fidel. . . . (pp.398-399)
In the summer of 1960, he continued to preach his version of the socialist revolution.
Talking to a group of medical students, health workers, and militiamen on the topic of ‘revolutionary medicine” in late August, Che prepared them for the possibility that Cuba would soon be fighting a massive ‘people’s’ guerrilla war. Cuba’s new generation of doctors should join the revolutionary militias – ‘the greatest expression of the people’s solidarity’ – and practice ‘social medicine,’ to give healthy bodies to the Cubans whom the revolution had liberated.
Drawing on his own life as an example, Che told the crowd that when he began to study medicine, he had dreamed of becoming ‘a famous researcher.’ ‘I dreamed of working tirelessly to aid humanity, but this was conceived as personal achievement.’ It was only upon graduating, he said, and traveling through a Latin America riven by ‘misery, hunger, disease’ that his political conscience had begun to stir. In Guatemala, he recalled, he began studying the means through which he could become a revolutionary doctor, but then had come the overthrow of Guatemala’s socialist experiment. ‘I became aware, then, of a fundamental fact: To be a revolutionary doctor or to be a revolutionary at all, there must first be a revolution. The isolated effort of one man, regardless of its purity of ideals, is worthless. To be useful it is essential to make a revolution as we have done in Cuba, where the whole population mobilizes and learns how to use arms and fight together. Cubans have learned how much value there is in a weapon and the unity of the people.’
At the heart of the revolution, then, was the elimination of individualism. ‘Individualism as such, as the isolated action of a person alone in a social environment, must disappear in Cuba. Individualism tomorrow should be the proper utilization of the whole individual at the absolute benefit of the community.’ The revolution was not ‘a standardizer of the collective will’; rather, it was ‘a liberator of man’s individual capacity,’ for it oriented that capacity to the service of the revolution.
In his talk, Che tried out a phrase that crystalized a concept he had been developing for some time, and which would soon become synonymous with him: the ‘New Man.’
‘How does one reconcile individual effort with the needs of society? We again have to recall what each of our lives was like, what each of us did and thought, as a doctor or in any other public health function, prior to the revolution. We have to do so with profound critical enthusiasm. And we will then conclude that almost everything we thought and felt in that past epoch should be filed away, and that a new type of human being should be created. And if each one of us is his own architect of that new human type, then crating that new type of human being – who will be the representative of the new Cuba – will be much easier.’
Within a few days of that talk, Che met with René Dumont, a French Marxist economist who was trying to help Cuba in its difficult conversion to socialism. After extensive travels around the country, Dumont had concluded that one of the biggest problems of the newly established agricultural cooperatives was that their workers did not feel that they were owners of anything and he urged Che to consider a scheme whereby the workers who did additional labor during the off-season to maintain the cooperatives would be paid, giving them a sense of co-ownership.
But Che ‘reacted violently’ to the idea, according to Dumont. It was not a sense of ownership the Cuban workers needed, Che argued, but a sense of responsibility, and he spelled out to the French economists what that meant.
It was, wrote Dumont: ‘a sort of ideal vision of Socialist Man, who would become a stranger to the mercantile side of things, working for society and not for profit. He was very critical of the industrial success of the Soviet Union, where, he said, everybody works and strives and tries to go beyond his quota, but only to earn more money. He did not think the Soviet Man was really a new sort of man, for he did not find him any different really, than a Yankee. He refused to consciously participate in the creation in Cuba ‘of a second American society’.’
As far as Dumont could see, Che seemed to be advocating an attempt to ‘skip stages’ in Cuba’s socialist transformation of society, by going directly from capitalism to Communism, much as Mao had tried to do in China in 1956 with his radical ‘Great Leap Forward’ campaign of forced collectivization. ‘In short, Che was far ahead of his time – in thought, he had already entered a communist stage.’
For the first time, Che openly acknowledged the Communist influences in Cuba’s revolution, while engaging in some heavy revisionism to prove they had come about of their own accord. It was only after he and his comrades had fought against the ‘encirclement and annihilation’ tactics of Batista’s army in the Sierra Maestra, he claimed, that ‘a pamphlet of Mao’s bevel into out hands’ and the revels discovered they had been fighting with much the same tactics Mao had used against the kindred foe. Similarly, it was only seeing the needs of the peasants of the Sierra Maestra that brought the rebel leaders to the threshold of political enlightenment. Was the revolution Communist? he asked rhetorically. ‘In the event that it were Marxist – and hear carefully that I say Marxist – it would be so because [the revolution] discovered the paths signaled by Marx through its own methods.’ As was their fashion, Che was going much further than Fidel; it would still be nine months before el jefe máximo publically acknowledged that his revolution has a ‘socialist nature.’(pp.478-480)
In the summer of 1960, President Kennedy pushed through bills to impose sanctions against countries that bought Cuban sugar with American loans and cut off security assistance to countries providing any sort of aid to Cuba.
Fidel reacted to the ‘San José Declaration’ with passionate indignation. On September 2, he made what became known as his ‘Havana Declaration,’ outlining Cuba’s position in the hemisphere as a revolutionary example, and, without using the word socialist, proclaimed Cuba’s determination to defend the rights of the oppressed by fighting against exploitation, capitalism, and imperialism; he added that if the United States dared attack his country, he would ‘welcome’ Khrushchev’s proffered missiles. Finally, he announced, his government would officially recognize Communist China.(pp.481)
Despite being an honorary citizen of Cuba, Che remained culturally very much Argentine.
In a country where the native rum is the time-honored means of relaxing and passing the time with friends, Che didn’t drink? He allowed himself red wine when it was available. Even in this habit, he stood out, for most Cubans do not like wine. In a nation of coffee drinkers, where the average Cuban punctuates his or her day with little cups of hot, sweet espresso coffee, Che vastly preferred his native home-brewed yerba mate, which is a peculiarly Southern Cone predilection. Above all else, Cubans love to eat roast pork, while Che preferred a good grilled beefsteak; Cubans have a sense of humor that is straightforwardly bawdy and scatological; Che’s was ironic, witty, and acid.
. . .
He liked to say, pointedly, that he considered himself a ‘Latin American.’ This fit into his scheme to unite the nations of the hemisphere into a socialist fraternity. But he was an Argentine, really, and even in Cuba, his best friends, the people he talked most freely to, were those of a similar heritage, such as Alberto Granado, one of his dearest friends.
Granado was one of the few people who could criticize Che to his face and get away with it. Granodo challenged him on many things he saw as ‘irreflexivo,’ or overly rigid, in Che’s personality, such as his vociferous contempt for ‘cowards,’ liars, and brownnosers. And, although he had helped him recruit people for the Masetti expedition and evidently also served as his liaison with some of the Venezuelan guerrillas, Granado actually disagreed with Che’s belief in ‘jump-starting’ the revolutionary climate in Latin America through guerrilla welfare. It was an issue they argued over frequently, and which they never resolved.
Granado recalled one conversation with Che where he pointed out what he believed was the fundamental difference between them. Che could look through a sniperscope at a soldier and pull the trigger, knowing that by killing him he was helping reduce repression - ‘saving 30,000 future children from lives of hunger’ – whereas when he looked through the scope, Granado saw a man with a wife and children.(p.571)
Anderson recounts how the Cuban missile crisis was the ‘watershed’ in Che’s relationship with Fidel and the Cuban revolution.
Che may have been the original architect of the Soviet-Cuban relationship, but now he was a figure of concern. In direct contradiction to the policy of ‘peaceful coexistence,’ his ceaseless call to armed struggle, his emphasis on rural guerilla warfare, and his stubborn determination to train, arm, and fund Communist party dissidents – even Trotskyites – over the protests of their national organizations had led to the growing suspicion in Moscow that he was playing Mao’s game.
. . .
Feder Burlatsky, a former Khrushchev advisor, says that in the senior circles of the Soviet Central Committee, opinion was divided between those officials who supported Che and a more predominant group of those who distrusted him. Burlatsky counted himself among the latter group. ‘We disliked Che’s position. He became an example for adventurers, which could have provoked a confrontation between the USSR and the U.S.
Burlatsky said the opinion that Che was a ‘dangerous character’ took on added weight because of his remarks after the missile crisis, when he told the Soviets ‘they should have used their missiles.’ It was a sentiment that Fidel had also expressed privately, but Che had said so publicly – and if Fidel had soon modified his rhetoric, few doubted that Che had meant what he said. Che’s position echoed the sentiments of many Cubans, but his words were infinitely more embarrassing coming from such a high-level revolutionary figure; more pointedly, they echoed Beijing’s accusation that the Soviets had ‘capitulated’ to Washington.
‘That’s why Che was seen as dangerous, as against our own strategy?’ said Burlatsky. But he acknowledged, ‘Even though Che was against our interests, there was still some sympathy for him. . . . There was a romantic aura around him; he reminded people of the Russian Revolution. . . . Opinion was divided. . . . Some compared him to Trotsky, or to some Bolshevik terrorists. Advisors of Khrushchev like [Mikhail] Suslov, who described themselves as revolutionaries, had sympathy for Che.’
The opposition to Che took on real vigor with his ‘interventionist’ guerrilla expeditions in Peru and Argentina, and was spearheaded by Victorio Codovilla’s powerful Argentine Communist party. Kiva Maidanek, an eminent Soviet Communist party analyst of Latin American affairs at the time, was well aware of the Argentine lobby in Moscow against Che, and its repercussions.
‘The [Argentine party’s] accusations against Che were that he was an adventurer, pro-Chinese, and a Tortskyite. This offended Che a great deal. But this view took on weight here too, especially in the Latin America section of the Central Committee. Anything to the left of the Soviet line was considered pro-Chinese and pro-Trotskyite. The USSR began to incline toward the [Latin American] Communist parties. Beginning in 1964, the Latin American area began to be seen less as a battleground between the U.S. and the USSR and more as a war of influence between China and the USSR.
Seeming to play into the charges of heresy, Che had continued to test the limits of Soviet tolerance. In September 1963, emboldened by practice and by Fidel’s ‘Second Havana Declaration’ (decreeing the inevitability of revolution in Latin America), which he had begun to cite as the guiding philosophy of the Cuban revolution, Che had outlined his call for continental guerrilla war in an ideologically refined sequel to his Guerra de Guerrillas how-to manual, the sequel called Guerrilla Warfare: A Method.
In a rebuke to the Latin American Communist party’s claims to leadership roles in the struggle of their counties, Che wrote: ‘To be a vanguard of the party means to be at the forefront of the working class through the struggle for achieving power. It means to know how to guide this fight through shortcuts to victory.’
Bolstering his argument with a quote from Fidel, Che wrote: ‘The subjective conditions in each country, the factors of revolutionary consciousness, of organization, of leadership, can accelerate or delay revolution, depending on the state of their development. Sooner or later, in each historic epoch, as objective conditions ripen, consciousness is acquired, organization is achieved, leadership arises, and revolution is produces.’
And, something palpably new had emerged in his call to arms – less reliance on the old Communist euphemism ‘armed struggle,’ in favor of the far more candid ‘violence.’ ‘Violence is not the monopoly of the exploiters and as such the exploited can use it, too, and, what is more, ought to use it when the moment arrives. . . . We should not fear violence, the mid-wife of new societies; but violence should be unleashed at the precise moment in which leaders have found the most favorable circumstances. . . . Guerrilla warfare is not passive self-defense; it is defense with attack. . . . It has as its final goal the conquest of political power. . . . The equilibrium between oligarchic dictatorship and the popular pressure must be changed. The dictatorship tries to function without resorting to force. Thus we must try to oblige the dictatorship resort to violence, thereby unmasking its true nature as the dictatorship of the reactionary social classes.’
And finally: the revolution in Latin America must be of a continental nature, in order to outwit the Yankees, who would do all they could to divide, conquer, and repress the rebelling peoples. ‘The unity of the repressive forces must be met with the unity of the popular forces. In all countries where oppression reaches intolerable proportions, the banner of rebellion must be raised; and this banner of historical necessity will have a continental character. As Fidel stated, the cordilleras of the Andes will be the Sierra Maestra of Latin America; and the immense territories which this continent encompasses will become the scene of a life or death struggle against imperialism. . . . This means that it will be a protracted war; it will have many fronts, and it will cost much blood and countless lives for a long period of time. . . . This is a prediction. We make it with the conviction that history will prove us right.’
The rich nation of Argentina had long been coveted by the Kremlin, its Communist party leaders receiving preferential treatment in Moscow and wielding an unusual degree of influence over Soviet policy in Latin America. With few exceptions, the other regional parties lent their voices to the Argentine position, and by late 1963 their message was the same: Che was intervening in their countries and had to be reined in.(pp.581-583)
Anderson goes on in the next 200 pages to chronicle in graphic detail the painful failures that Che and his followers experienced in The Congo and in Bolivia. The author’s use of first-hand accounts throughout this book serves as a reminder that censorship of public discussion leads inevitably to isolation and counterrevolutionary violence, that the status quo is maintained by fear and false promises. By freely exposing the contradictions he engages in a social act, which de-privatizes feelings and understanding and makes community life viable.
In this sense, the function of “cult of personality” would appear, as a constant, to be counterrevolutionary.
The 14 + items below speak to the turbulence today that is effectively destabilizing people and governments around the world, as we are witnessing the attempt of a private corporate takeover of societies, dispensing with the middlemen, so to speak. These are interesting times, indeed, and a need for rational democratic control of the power structures is overripe. Never has the “means and ends” question been more important to discuss publicly and to resolve democratically, without authoritarian interventions.
Professeur honoraire de l'Université
Ancien Directeur de Researches
Université de Paris-Nanterre
Director of The Center for the Advanced Study
of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
The Etymological Animal Must Slip Out of the Cage of Habit to Grasp Truth
by Edward Curtin
Etymology – from Greek, etymos, true, real, actual (the study of roots)
Rinse and Repeat: Will Biden Make Normalizing Relations With Cuba a Priority?
by Medea Benjamin
Despite talk that his administration’s Cuba policy will be guided by human rights concerns, Biden seems more concerned about catering to right-wing Cuban Americans in southern Florida than changing the decades of entrenched American policy.
BAR Book Forum: Justin Podur and Joe Emersberger’s “Extraordinary Threat”
by Roberto Sirvent
by Jeremy Kuzmarov
From: National Security
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2021
Subject: Guatemala: Arrests Create First Possibility of Justice for Death Squad Dossier Victims
“Capitalism vs. Socialism”
with Richard Wolff
From: Cat McGuire
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2021
Subject: Cat co-hosts False Flag Weekly News -- June 5, 2021
For those interested, a chance to get caught up on the past week’s news stories :
Past Shows :
by Aldo Madariaga
80 Years Ago Today, Disney Animation Workers Went on Strike
by Paul Prescod
The Disney cartoonists and animators’ strike that began at a California studio on May 29, 1941, forever changed the labor standards of an industry — and inspired cultural workers to take greater ownership over their labor.
This wasn’t your average picket line. “It’s up to Walt to call the halt,” read a striking worker’s picket sign beside a picture of Mickey Mouse. Another featured an image of Pinocchio saying, “There are no strings on me.”
Walt Disney snarled at strikers as he walked into his Burbank studio; workers in turn hollered back. Workers that crossed the picket line were called “finks” and “scabs,” while those on strike were dismissed as “Commies.”
While Walt Disney’s dalliances with antisemitism have become common knowledge in recent years, his abusive labor practices are less widely discussed. Eighty years ago today, picket lines destroyed the facade of the magical world of Disney. The strike by Disney cartoonists and animators on May 29, 1941, forever changed the labor standards of an industry — and inspired a segment of cultural workers to take greater ownership over their labor.
The Notorious London Spy School Churning Out Many of the World’s Top Journalists
An unhealthy respect for authority
by Alan Macleod
The fact that the very department that trains high state officials and agents of secretive three letter agencies is also the place that produces many of the journalists we rely on to stand up to those officials and keep them in check is seriously problematic.
Secret Documents Expose British Cloak and Dagger Activities in Lebanon
by Kit Klarenberg
The Finders: CIA Ties to Child Sex Cult Obscured as Coverage Goes from Sensationalism to Silence
(Uncovering a Cover up)
The Finders trail would ultimately lead to allegations of a cult involved in ritual abuse, an international child-trafficking ring, evidence of child abuse confirmed and later denied, and ties with the CIA, which was alleged to have interfered in the case.
From: Children's Health Defense
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2021
Subject: Emails Show Fauci Supported ‘Grotesque’ Experiments at Wuhan Lab + Research Shows How Vaccine Spike Proteins Cause Organ Damage + More
James Corbett Presents to the Corona Investigative Committee
with James Corbett, Reiner Fuellmich, and Viviane Fischer
Who Rules Israel
With Paul Jay and Shir Hever
While the Israeli billionaires control much of the economy, the political and military class mostly control the state. Many of the billionaires just want to find ways to invest outside of the country.
Israel / Palestine - This Needs To Be Heard
with Russell Brand and Dr. Gabor Maté
What's next for Palestine?
with Frank Barat, Noam Chomsky and Imad Alsoos
Noam Chomsky and Imad Alsoos talk to Frank Barat about the future for Palestine following the ceasefire in Gaza, the role of the USA, of the Arab world in light of the Abraham accords, as well as the power of civil society and the changes inside the democratic party in the US.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jim
O'Brien via H-PAD
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2021
Subject: [H-PAD] H-PAD Notes 6/1/21: Links to recent articles of interest
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
By Gareth Porter, MR Online, posted May 31
Based on a Pentagon-sponsored account of the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis, kept secret for more than fifty years and recently released by Daniel Ellsberg. "The report provides a hair-raising portrait of a reckless U.S. military leadership relentlessly pressing President Dwight Eisenhower for the authority to carry out nuclear attacks on communist China." The author is a longtime analyst of US policies in Asia.
By Zachary M. Schrag, History News Network, posted May 31
On the anti-Catholic riots of 1844 in Philadelphia and their background. The author teaches history at George Mason University and is the author of a forthcoming book on the Philadelphia riots, The Fires of Philadelphia (Pegasus Books, publication date June 1).
Interview with Greg Grandin by Sasha Lilly, Jacobin, posted May 31
This interview was conducted in connection with the re-issuing of Greg Grandin's 2006 book Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States and the Making of an Imperial Republic. The author teaches history at New York University and his most recent book is The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America (Metropolitan Books, 2019).
By DeNeen L. Brown, Washington Post, posted May 28
A stunning illustrated history of the Tulsa massacre of 100 years ago, including old photographs and movie clips and photos of the three survivors who testified before a congressional committee this year. The author is an award-winning staff writer for the Washington Post.
By Ussama Makdisi, Los Angeles Review of Books, posted May 28
A capsule history of Palestine since the Ottoman period that was marked by genuine coexistence but ended in World War I." The author teaches history and Arab Studies at Rice University and is the author of Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World (U. of California Press, forthcoming in October).
By Reece Jones, Washington Post, posted May 19
On the Emergency Quota Act, signed into law by President Harding on May 19, 1921. The author teaches geography and environment at the University of Hawai‘i and wrote White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall (Beacon Press, forthcoming in September).
By Kathryn Schumaker, Washington Post, posted May 19
"The Theory, drawing the ire of the right, helps us to understand our past." The author teaches classics and letters at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Troublemakers: Students’ Rights and Racial Justice in the Long 1960s (NYU Press, forthcoming July 2).
By Jon Schwartz, The Intercept, posted May 2
On the significance of Raoul Peck's four-hour HBO miniseries "Exterminate All the Brutes," tracing the violent history of white supremacy over 500 years. The very existence for such a radical film "means that deep tectonic plates are shifting in the world’s consciousness."
By Robert Brent Toplin, History News Network, posted May 16
On the mandatory inoculation against smallpox of all Continental Army soldiers in 1777 who had not previously contracted the disease. The author was a professor of history at Denison University and the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and has taught courses at the University of Virginia in retirement.
By Ann Fabian, The National Book Review, posted May 8
A review essay on Dorothy Wickenden's book The Agitators (Scribner, 2021) about Frances Miller Seward, Martha Coffin Wright, and Harriet Tubman, friends and activists who knew each other in Auburn, New York in the 1850s. Ann Fabian is a professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University and author of The Unvarnished Truth: Personal Narratives in Nineteenth-Century America (U. of California Press, 2002).
Thanks to Jerise Fogel and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2021
Subject: Why I Write
Posted: 30 May 2021 04:57 PM PDT
Posted: 28 May 2021 06:28 PM PDT
Posted: 28 May 2021 02:41 PM PDT
New Injectable Chip For "Mass Injections" To "Monitor Temperature", Israel And Mask Coercion by TLAV
with Ryan Christian
"We are Human Guinea Pigs":
Alarming Casualty Rates for mRNA Vaccines Warrant Urgent Action
by F. William Engdahl
How to Make Obscene Amounts of Money Off a Pandemic
by Nina Burleigh
Depopulation and the mRNA Vaccine
by Peter Koenig
Covid-19 Vaccines Lead to New Infections and Mortality: The Evidence is Overwhelming
by Gérard Delépine
Palestine in Pictures
"Ilan Pappé in conversation
with Yanis Varoufakis”
The True Face Of The Israeli Government And The Nations That Work To Hide It With Robert Inlakesh
with Ryan Christian
At London Israel demo,
calls to "burn" Palestinian villages
by Asa Winstanley
Norman Finkelstein: Truth and Justice Are the Ultimate Test, Not International NGOs
by Ann Garrison
‘Mowing the Grass’ No More:
How Palestinian Resistance
Altered the Equation
by Ramzy Baroud
New Investigation Reveals Role of Israeli Operatives in Colombia’s "Political Genocide"
by Dan Cohen
Chronicling Barbarism with Political Cartoonist Carlos Latuff
with Mnar Muhawesh Adley
Tech giants help Israel muzzle Palestinians
by Jonathan Cook
Google Blurs Out Map Of Gaza Strip
with Jimmy Dore
Roger Waters and Gabor Maté on Israel's apartheid wars
and the price of speaking out
with Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton, and Aaron Maté
COVID-19 Has Forever Destroyed Americans' Trust In Ruling Class 'Experts'
by Josh Hammer
As even many casual observers of America’s fractious politics are aware, the overwhelming majority of lawmaking at the federal level no longer takes place in Congress as the Constitution’s framers intended. Instead, the vast majority of the “rulemaking” governing Americans’ day-to-day lives now takes place behind closed doors, deep in the bowels of the administrative state’s sprawling bureaucracy. The brainchild of progressive President Woodrow Wilson, arguments on behalf of the modern administrative state are ultimately rooted in, among other factors, a disdain for the messy give-and-take of republican politics and an epistemological preference for rule by enlightened clerisy.
Put more simply, the most straightforward version of the argument offered by partisans of the administrative state amounts to, “Trust the experts.” And over the century-plus since Wilson’s presidency, the “trust the experts” leitmotif has moved well beyond the realm of prevailing dogma for mandarins in such agencies as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Rather, for large swaths of the citizenry and the elected official class, “trust the experts” now reigns supreme for everything from the military (“Trust the generals!”) to public health (“Trust the epidemiologists!”).
US Intel Agencies Played Unsettling Role in Classified and “9/11-like” Coronavirus Response Plan https://unlimitedhangout.com/2020/03/reports/us-intel-agencies-played-unsettling-role-in-classified-and-9-11-like-coronavirus-response-plan/
by Whitney Webb
A Vindicated Rand Paul
Decimates Fauci Over Emails
by Steve Watson
Senator Rand Paul, who has constantly challenged the contradictory and unscientific statements of Dr Fauci, as well as pointing out Fauci’s involvement in funding gain of function research with coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, appeared vindicated in an interview Thursday following disturbing revelations from released emails, which Paul urged should be the final nail in Fauci’s coffin.
German Study Finds Lockdown
"Had No Effect"
In Stopping Spread Of COVID
by Paul Joseph Watson
A major new study by German scientists at Munich University has found that lockdowns had no effect on reducing the country’s coronavirus infection rate.
US "Super Imperialism"
with Michael Hudson, Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal
US Actively Prepares for War
by Valery Kulikov
Why We Need to Democratize Wealth: the U.S. Capitalist Model Breeds Selfishness and Resentment
by Richard D. Wolff
“Dying for an iPhone”
by Chris Hedges
How to End the US Prison State
Quick and Easy
by Lee Camp
From UNESCO Study 11 to UNESCO 2050: Project BEST and the Forty-Year Plan to Reimagine Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
by John Klyczek
On Memorial Day, We Should Remember Most U.S. Wars Were Started for Resource Theft, Imperial Hubris and Racist Animus
by Matt McKenna
The Future of Marxism & Anarchism
with Richard Wolff and Noam Chomsky
The Consolations of History
with Anthony Wilks
Posted: 03 Jun 2021
In today’s edition of The Redpill Series, James talks to James Delingpole, an ex-MSM journalist who has taken the red pill in the past year and a half and is now engaged in a series of conversations he never expected to be having on his Delingpod podcast. This is one of them.
Posted: 07 Jun 2021
Reiner Fuellmich and the Corona Investigative Committee interview James Corbett about his investigation into the corona crisis and the future of humanity.
Posted: 01 Jun 2021 08:26 PM PDT
James takes up a listener's challenge to track down a rare, expensive book.
He does it in 10 seconds without paying a cent. Do you know how to access the
Library of Alexandria? Find out in today's edition of #SolutionsWatch.
Posted: 01 Jun 2021 03:41 AM PDT
James takes up a listener's challenge to track down a rare, expensive book.
He does it in 10 seconds without paying a cent. Do you know how to access the
Library of Alexandria? Find out in today's edition of #SolutionsWatch.
Posted: 31 May 2021 03:49 AM PDT
Corbett joins Ernest Hancock and guest co-host "PJ" on this week's
appearance on Declare Your Independence. This week they discuss how The
Corbett Report and other independent news and media is helping to unlock the
minds of others; Ernie's sign activism and how antiganda
can be one of our most effective tools for communicating important info in an
uncensorable way; and how The Greater Reset
activation is taking place.
The FBI's Strange Anthrax Investigation Sheds Light on
COVID Lab-Leak Theory and Fauci's Emails
Question Everything !
by Glenn Greenwald
Mainstream institutions doubted the FBI had solved the 2001 anthrax case. Either way, revelations that emerged about U.S. Government bio-labs have newfound relevance.
One of the most significant events of the last two decades has been largely memory-holed: the October, 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S. Beginning just one week after 9/11 and extending for another three weeks, a highly weaponized and sophisticated strain of anthrax had been sent around the country through the U.S. Postal Service addressed to some of the country's most prominent political and media figures. As Americans were still reeling from the devastation of 9/11, the anthrax killed five Americans and sickened another seventeen.
As part of the extensive reporting I did on the subsequent FBI investigation to find the perpetrator(s), I documented how significant these attacks were in the public consciousness. ABC News, led by investigative reporter Brian Ross, spent a full week claiming that unnamed government sources told them that government tests demonstrated a high likelihood that the anthrax came from Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program. The Washington Post, in November, 2001, also raised “the possibility that [this weaponized strain of anthrax] may have slipped through an informal network of scientists to Iraq.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on The David Letterman Show on October 18, 2001, and said: “There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may -- and I emphasize may -- have come from Iraq.” Three days later, McCain appeared on Meet the Press with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and said of the anthrax perpetrators: “perhaps this is an international organization and not one within the United States of America,” while Lieberman said the anthrax was so finely weaponized that “there's either a significant amount of money behind this, or this is state-sponsored, or this is stuff that was stolen from the former Soviet program” (Lieberman added: “Dr. Fauci can tell you more detail on that”).
In many ways, the prospect of a lethal, engineered biological agent randomly showing up in one's mailbox or contaminating local communities was more terrifying than the extraordinary 9/11 attack itself. All sorts of oddities shrouded the anthrax mailings, including this bizarre admission in 2008 by long-time Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen: “I had been told soon after Sept. 11 to secure Cipro, the antidote to anthrax. The tip had come in a roundabout way from a high government official. I was carrying Cipro way before most people had ever heard of it.” At the very least, those anthrax attacks played a vital role in heightening fear levels and a foundational sense of uncertainty that shaped U.S. discourse and politics for years to come. It meant that not just Americans living near key power centers such as Manhattan and Washington were endangered, but all Americans everywhere were: even from their own mailboxes.
Letter sent to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, along with weaponized anthrax, in September, 2001
The FBI first falsely cast suspicion on a former government
scientist, Dr. Steven Hatfill, who had conducted
research on mailing deadly anthrax strains. Following the FBI’s accusations,
media outlets began dutifully implying that Hatfill
was the culprit. A January, 2002, New York Times column
by Nicholas Kristof began by declaring: “I think I
know who sent out the anthrax last fall,” then, without naming him, proceeded
to perfectly describe Hatfill in a way that made him
easily identifiable to everyone in that research community. Hatfill
sued the U.S. Government, which eventually ended up paying him close to $6
million in damages before officially and explicitly exonerating him and
apologizing. His lawsuit against the NYT and Kristof
since he was never named by the paper, but the columnist also
apologized to him six years later.