Archive | December 30th, 2017

China Slams US Accusation About Selling Oil to North Korea

NOVANEWS

Featured image: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying (Source: People’s Daily Online)

 

On Thursday, Trump abrasively tweeted: “Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea.”

“There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”

The NYT, WaPo, CNN, other US and Western media jumped on the issue, repeating Trump’s accusation, no evidence proving China is violating UN Security Council resolutions on the country.

Editorials in China’s Global Times (GT) and People’s Daily (PD) sharply denied the accusation.

PD quoted China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, saying:

“The Chinese government has been comprehensively, accurately, faithfully and strictly implementing the Security Council’s DPRK-related resolutions,” adding:

Beijing’s enforcement of Security Council resolutions is “earnest and serious (its measures and actions) forceful and effective.”

“If there is solid evidence proving that there is on the Chinese side any violation of the Security Council resolutions, China will surely deal with it in accordance with laws and regulations, and not a single case of violation should get away with it.”

Hua suggested Western media address whether governments they represent strictly implement SC resolution. Washington, NATO, Israel, and its rogue allies breach them with disturbing regularity, pursuing their lawless agendas.

In response to Western media claims about photos taken by US satellites, allegedly showing Chinese ships linking up with North Korean ones, GT said the vessels in question aren’t oil tankers or capable of carrying large tonnage.

Besides, it’s unclear what nation they belong to or where they came from.

GT:

“It’s universally known that the ownership of a vessel cannot be determined from the logos and flags on it.”

“It’s hasty to assert that the ship is connected to China just based on its appearance. Moreover, if it was indeed smuggling, it is highly likely that the vessel would use false logos.”

“What motivation would China possibly have to secretly supply oil to North Korea? How would Beijing benefit from risking its national reputation for such petty actions?”

“Amid increasingly tough sanctions on Pyongyang, there are indeed some people smuggling for huge gains. But these smugglers might be mainlanders, South Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese, groups from Southeast Asian countries or even Westerners.”

The greater issue is why China and Russia permitted multiple rounds of harsh sanctions on North Korea – knowing they’re counterproductive.

They don’t work, encouraging, not curtailing, Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic programs – most importantly, inflicting enormous harm on millions of ordinary North Koreans, victims of US-led rage against their country.

China and Russia shamed themselves for going along with Washington’s punitive agenda, its ruthlessness against all sovereign independent countries including their own.

Resoluteness demands standing up to bullies like America, challenging its ruthlessness responsibly, not acting as a willing co-conspirator against the North Korean people.

Note: Security Council sanctions on North Korea ban around 90% of refined petroleum products, not 100%.

They permit four million barrels of crude oil imports. They ban or severely limit most everything else, a policy of economic strangulation – a flagrant human rights abuse.

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Africa: 2018 Outlook

Africa’s known for its internal divisions and predisposition to conflicts, especially those which are encouraged from abroad, and it’s with this in mind that there are plenty of reasons to worry about its stability in 2018. Proceeding from North Africa to Southern Africa, Egypt is regularly attacked by terrorists in the Sinai and elsewhere, posing a real threat to President Sisi’s government. In addition, Egypt believes that its water security is endangered by Ethiopia’s plans to build the Grand Renaissance Dam, and the continued development of this megaproject is expected to see tensions soar between the two states as it eventually nears its completion. This could possibly even see Egypt extend covert support to Ethiopia’s Oromo people, the country’s largest minority that’s been engaged in large-scale anti-government protests over the past year and recently started clashing with the Somalian minority over land rights, a conflict which might grow to take international dimensions if Somalia’s Al Shabaab terrorist group decides to intervene in support of its ethnic compatriots.

Egypt’s next door neighbor of Libya is still caught up in a multisided civil war, albeit one which has since crystallized mostly into an east-west rivalry and could be partially resolved by next year’s presidential elections, dependent upon Saif Gaddafi and General Haftar entering into an agreement to politically cooperate with one another. As for Algeria, the inevitable passing of aging and reportedly incapacitated President Bouteflika might spark speculation about the country’s possible return to its 1990s civil war, but its “deep state” will probably ensure a smooth leadership transition just like the one that took place in Uzbekistan in 2016. Moving southwards into the Sahara, Mali is still a terrorist-infested nest that France and its fellow G5 Sahel allies are unable to resolve. Moreover, its problems have begun to spill across the border into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, the latter of which is an exceptionally fragile and failing state with the world’s highest birthrates.

Niger abuts Nigeria and is allied with it in a War on Terror against Boko Haram and alongside Chad and Cameroon, but the West African giant on whose territory most of this conflict is being fought is beginning to unravel along regional lines. There have always been divisions between the Muslim north and the Christian south which were only united into a single colony in 1914, spilling over most dramatically in the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War over the southeastern self-declared secessionist region of “Biafra”. Nowadays there are signs that the chronic impoverishment of this oil-rich region is once again giving rise to anti-state violence, whether in the form of “rebels”, bandits, or terrorists. Worse still, “Biafra” borders the Northwest and Southwestern regions of Cameroon that are at the heart of that country’s own separatist conflict over what its supporters call “Ambazonia” and which has recently turned very violent over the past couple of months.

Continuing along, not only is Cameroon afflicted by Boko Haram and “Ambazonian” separatism, but it’s also caring for many refugees from the Central African Republic, which has been in a genocidal state of civil war between Christians and Muslims since 2013, ignobly competing with neighboring South Sudan for being the most dysfunctional state in the world and together with it forming what can be described as a “Failed State Belt” in the continental heartland. While these two conflicts might worsen in the coming year, their humanitarian consequences might pale in comparison to if the Democratic Republic of the Congo descends into civil war, which it’s basically on the brink of doing already. The last Congo War killed an estimated 5 million people, mostly from disease and starvation, and the present low-level one is being “justified” on the basis of President Kabila delaying national elections but is mostly driven by mineral interests.

The killing of 15 UN peacekeepers in northeastern Congo by the anti-Ugandan and Salafist terrorist organization called the “Allied Democratic Forces” shows that this corner of the country isn’t immune from the violence either, and Uganda might be in for a rough ride if President Musaveni passes away without any clearly designated successor, though the scenario could unfold according to the prospective Algerian one where the “deep state” takes matters into its own hands in the interests of national stability. Nearby Burundi was once thought to be a crisis in the making, but President Nkurunziza has succeeded in wiping out the anti-government fighters who were opposed to his controversial third term in office. That being said, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi were all involved to one extent or another in the last Congo War, so the collapse of the Democratic Republic might have unexpected consequences for them as well.

Nearing the southern tip of the continent, the ruling FRELIMO party of gas-rich Mozambique will probably continue peace talks with the Cold War-era armed RENAMO opposition, and Zimbabwe will likely proceed with its leadership transition in peace. As for regional hegemon South Africa, newly elected ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa will continue to reform the party from within by making it more business-friendly and less multipolar ahead of the 2019 national elections, though apart from the ever-present potential for labor and xenophobic violence, no large-scale political destabilization is expected. Altogether, to summarize Africa’s most important 2018 fault lines, the War on Terror in Mali might spread throughout other parts of West Africa, and Nigeria and Cameroon’s separatist conflicts might begin to morph into a single transnational battlespace. Ethiopia will continue to be challenged by some Oromo groups, while the Congo could slide into a civil war that once again draws in many international participants. Finally, North Africa might stabilize, while East and South Africa will remain mostly the same.

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S. Korean President Moon’s Pardon: No “Prisoners of Conscience”

NOVANEWS

S. Korean President Moon’s Pardon: No “Prisoners of Conscience” Were Included in the Special Pardon.

Official Statement About the Special Pardon on December 29, 2017

No prisoners of conscience were included in the Special Pardon.

On December 29, 2017, President Moon Jae-in granted a special pardon in his first year in office. Since he left out the chance on the National Liberation Day and Chuseok, we looked forward to his first amnesty. However, we cannot believe the result even if we get to the contents. He is the president who didn’t release a single prisoner of conscience. So, why did he drag on until the last working day of 2017?

President Moon did not keep the victims of the former government warm.

The Minister of Justice took credit saying this special pardon was designed from the very start to help those convicted of crimes while trying to make a living. But it is not different from the previous disappointing government. This special pardon ignored all prisoners of conscience including Lee Seok-ki and Han Sang-gyun as well as the victims associated with the Sewol Ferry Tragedy and THAAD. 

The conscience of the government stopped in front of prisoners of conscience.

A related official of the Blue House said,

“There was a concern that the special pardon would lead to national division.”

It sounds like a cowardly excuse. The government would rather say that it was afraid that the approval rating or votes in the local election in 2018 would fall. As the poet Song Kyung-dong said,

“Is the government of Moon Jae-in afraid of Park Geun-hye and Lee Jae-yong in prison?”

President Moon Jae-in must know that human rights issues should be decided by a majority decision.

However, the fact that he dealt with all results through electronic approval during his vacation comes to our attention.

December 29, 2017, will be recorded in history as the day when the conscience of the government which was established as a result of the people’s Candlelight Movement [and the impeachment of president Park] betrayed both the prisoners of conscience [including those imprisoned by President Park] as well as the Candlelight Movement. 

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Bassem Tamimi Honors His Courageous Young Daughter

NOVANEWS

Bassem Tamimi Honors His Courageous Young Daughter Ahed, Imprisoned by Israel’s Rubber Stamp Military Court

 

 

Later on Friday, Israel’s rubber-stamp military court will likely extend 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi’s illegal detention.

Under military rule, she can be held indefinitely uncharged and untried, for maximum six-month periods, renewed as often as Israel wishes to keep Palestinians imprisoned.

If Ahed faces charges, what’s most likely, she could be imprisoned longterm – despite guilty of no crimes.

She’s a redoubtable figure, extraordinary for her age, heroically resisting brutal Israeli occupation.

A video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral on social media. Omitted from the footage shown was Ahed being slapped hard first in response to her gently pushing and demanding soldiers twice her size leave her family property.

Seconds later, she responded by slapping one of the soldiers hard. Western and Israeli media lied about restrained soldiers, trained to be violent and abusive against Palestinians.

With her daughter in custody, Bassem Tamimi wrote a moving commentary, titled “My Daughter, These Are Tears of Struggle, saying:

“I’m proud of my daughter. She is a freedom fighter who, in the coming years, will lead the resistance to Israeli rule.”

He commented on Israel’s pre-dawn raid on his home, repeating what they did many other times, dozens of soldiers involved in the latest incident, breaking in violently, arresting Ahed, his wife Nariman, and cousin Nour.

Bassem: “Although it is Ahed’s first arrest, she is no stranger to (Israeli) prisons.”

She “spent her whole life under the heavy shadow of the Israeli prison – from my lengthy incarcerations throughout her childhood, to the repeated arrests of her mother, brother and friends, to the covert-overt threat implied by (Israeli) soldiers’ ongoing presence in our lives.”

“So her own arrest was just a matter of time. An inevitable tragedy waiting to happen.”

The slapping incident initiated by a hostile soldier and her response in kind did no harm – other than embarrassing Israel on videotape.

Yet it was used as a convenient pretext to arrest her, maybe intending to imprison her longterm.

On a visit to South Africa months earlier, Bassem and Ahed presented a video, documenting the struggle of their village home, Nabi Saleh, its residents tormented under brutal occupation conditions.

After the airing, Ahed addressed the audience, saying:

“We may be victims of the Israeli regime, but we are just as proud of our choice to fight for our cause, despite the known cost,” adding:

“We knew where this path would lead us, but our identity, as a people and as individuals, is planted in the struggle, and draws its inspiration from there.”

“Beyond the suffering and daily oppression of the prisoners, the wounded and the killed, we also know the tremendous power that comes from belonging to a resistance movement; the dedication, the love, the small sublime moments that come from the choice to shatter the invisible walls of passivity.”

“I don’t want to be perceived as a victim, and I won’t give their actions the power to define who I am and what I’ll be. I choose to decide for myself how you will see me. We don’t want you to support us because of some photogenic tears, but because we chose the struggle and our struggle is just. This is the only way that we’ll be able to stop crying one day.”

Imagine this eloquence and passion from a young 16-year-old girl, involved in the Palestinian liberation struggle since age-10, extraordinarily mature and committed for justice – why Israel wants her punished and silenced, the way all rogue states operate.

Ahed’s courage in standing up to abusive Israeli soldiers wasn’t because of a single incident affecting the lives of her family members, Bassem explained.

“She stood there before them because this is our way, because freedom isn’t given as charity, and because despite the heavy price, we are ready to pay it,” he stressed, adding:

Ahed represents “a new generation of our people…young freedom fighters” resisting occupation harshness.

“Ahed is one of many young women who in the coming years will lead the resistance to Israeli rule. She is not interested in the spotlight currently being aimed at her due to her arrest, but in genuine change.”

Addressing his daughter personally, Bassem said:

“…Ahed, no one could be prouder than I am of you.You and your generation are courageous enough, at last, to win. Your actions and courage fill me with awe and bring tears to my eyes.”

They’re “tears of struggle, (not) sadness or regret.”

Bassem and his wife Nariman are longtime Palestinian activists for long-denied justice.

Ahed carries the family torch for a new generation – imprisoned or free committed to confront a ruthless occupier.

Give credit where it’s due. Haaretz published Bassem’s moving commentary and tribute to his courageous daughter – remarks almost never permitted by Western media, especially in America, one-sidedly supporting Israel’s worst crimes.

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UN General Assembly Jerusalem Resolution: Vote Exposes 65 Sanctions-Deserving Pro-Apartheid States

Of 193 voting members of the UN,  65 sanctions-deserving, pro-Apartheid states shamefully failed to support the December 2017 UN General Assembly Resolution condemning US-backed Apartheid Israel’s unilateral annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem. While this moral failure is understandable  for serial genocidal and genocide-based nations like Australia and Canada and countries complicit in WW2 Nazi atrocities like Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Romania and the Ukraine, the moral failure of 21 out of 31 Small Island Developing States suggests that they succumbed to blatant US blackmail  and corruption.

The result of the vote for the December 2017 UN General Assembly Resolution condemning US-backed Apartheid Israel over Occupied East Jerusalem is as follows [1]:

Member states that voted Yes (128) :   Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Member states that voted No (9): Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, and the United States.

Member states that Abstained (35): Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu.

Member states that Didn’t Show (21): Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), El Salvador, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Republic of Moldova, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome-Principe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Zambia.

Thus 128 out of 193 UN members states voted Yes in favour of International Law and Palestinian Human Rights and in opposition to US-backed Apartheid Israel’s continuing Occupation, not just of Occupied East Jerusalem but of the Occupied Palestinian Territories in general [1] where Indigenous Palestinians have been excluded from all Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [2].

Because of US backing, genocidally  racist Apartheid Israel has got way with immense, Nazi-style  crimes against humanity over the last 70 years – it has occupied all of Palestine plus neighbouring territories, the ongoing Palestinian Genocide has been associated, so far, with 2 million Indigenous Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or imposed deprivation, 1.9 million, since WW1, 90% of Palestine has been ethnically cleansed,  7 million Palestinians are excluded from Palestine, and 14 million Palestinians are excluded from all or part of Palestine.  5 million Occupied Palestinians (half children and three quarters  women and children) are indefinitely, criminally,  violently and highly abusively incarcerated without human rights in the Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million) or in ever-diminishing West Bank ghettoes (3 million). Of Apartheid Israel’s 6.8 million Indigenous Palestinian subjects, 5 million (74%) are excluded from voting for the government ruling them i.e. they are subject to egregious Apartheid that is worse than that  in US-, UK-, Australia- and Apartheid Israel-backed Apartheid South Africa [2-16].

From an International Law perspective,  US-backed Apartheid Israel grossly violates (1) the Charter of the United Nations that declares that countries cannot simply acquire territory by force [17]; (2) Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention which states that “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” [18]; and (3) Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that unequivocally state that the Occupier must supply its Subjects with life-sustaining  food and medical services “to the fullest extent of the means available to it” [19] (the GDP per capita is $37,000 for Apartheid Israel (zero avoidable deaths per year)  but $2,900 for Occupied Palestinians (about 4,200 avoidable deaths annually from deprivation as well as about 500 deaths from Israeli violence) [5, 20]. These gross violations of International  Law occur in Occupied East Jerusalem as well as in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian  Territory [21].

The full text of the 21 December 2017 UN General Assembly Resolution on the status of Jerusalem is as follows:

“Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Bearing in mind the specific status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need for the protection and preservation of the unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions of the city, as foreseen in relevant United Nations resolutions, Stressing that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions,

Expressing, in this regard, its deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,

  1. Affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to Security Council resolution 478 (1980);
  2. Demands that all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions; A/ES-10/L.22 2/2 17-22856
  1. Reiterates its call for the reversal of the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution and for the intensification and acceleration of international and regional efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative 1 and the Quartet road map,2 and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967;
  1. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States” [22].

The UN News Centre reported the UNGA vote thus:

“By an overwhelming majority, Member States in the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday “demanded” that all countries comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, following an earlier decision by the United States to recognize the Holy City as the capital of Israel. Through a resolution adopted by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to nine against (Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, United States), with 35 abstentions, the 193-member Assembly expressed “deep regret” over recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem and stressed that the Holy City “is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant UN resolutions.” Action in the Assembly today follows a failed attempt by the Security Council on Monday adopt a similar text reflecting regret among the body’s members about “recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem,” with a veto from the United States, a permanent member of the Council. Ahead of that failed resolution, Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council that the security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory had become more tense in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision on 6 December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Subsequently, Yemen and Turkey, in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and the Chair of the Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, requested the President of the General Assembly to “urgently resume’ the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly in accordance with the so-named ‘Uniting for peace’ procedure. This procedure, under Assembly resolution 377 (1950), is a pathway around a Security Council veto. By it, the Assembly can call an emergency special session to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures,” if the Security Council fails to act or if there is lack of unanimity among the Council’s permanent members, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States” [23].

The UN News Centre reported the failure of a prior UN Security Council  vote on Occupied East Jerusalem due to veto by the US: “The United Nations Security Council on Monday failed to adopt the draft resolution that reflects regret among the body’s members about “recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem,” with a negative vote by the United States.  The text, tabled by Egypt, reiterated the United Nations’ position on Jerusalem and would have affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”  The text would also have called on all States “to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.” A negative vote – or veto – from one of the Council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States – blocks passage of a resolution. Therefore, the draft was rejected despite support from the other four permanent members and from the 10 non-permanent members” [24].  The UN Security Council in 2017 was  composed of 15 Members, the 5 permanent members (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term date): Bolivia (2018), Egypt (2017), Ethiopia (2018), Italy (2017), Japan (2017), Kazakhstan (2018), Senegal (2017), Sweden   (2018), Ukraine (2017) and Uruguay (2017).

UNvoting-Jerusalem

Source: Countercurrents

Now neo-Nazi Ukraine that had supported the UN Security Council  Resolution remarkably Didn’t Show for the UN General Assembly vote  and was rapidly rewarded for this pro-Apartheid position by the US agreeing to supply sophisticated anti-tank weapons to the Ukraine [25].

Those who supported Nazi Germany are legitimately  described as pro-Nazi. Similarly,  those supporting Apartheid Israel can reasonably be described as pro-Apartheid, noting that Apartheid is one of the vilest of crimes abhorred by the UN and International Law [26]. The wonderful Palestinian humanitarian Jesus declared: “He who is not for me is against me” [27] and the 65 out of 193 UN member  nations not supporting the December 2017 UN General Assembly Resolution against US-backed Apartheid Israel unilaterally annexing  Occupied East Jerusalem are shamefully anti-Palestine human rights  anti-international law and pro-Apartheid, and as such deserved to suffer  Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as are presently being applied to Apartheid Israel.

The following analysis of pro-Apartheid states who failed to support the UN General Assembly Resolution on Occupied East Jerusalem is useful for those  planning to ethically buy goods or  services internationally or planning  ethical international holidays.

(1). 28 of 35 OECD countries voted “Yes” but 7 pro-Apartheid  OECD nations did not – Apartheid Israel, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the US.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a US hegemony-, race- and wealth-based collection of mostly US-linked, European and rich countries that notably excludes Russia, most Eastern European countries (excepting Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia) as well as China, Taiwan, and Singapore.

The Organization for OECD countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israël (Apartheid Israel), Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States [28].

28 of 35 OECD countries voted Yes. Of the 7 OECD countries that did not vote Yes,  2 voted No (the US and Apartheid Israel) and 5 Abstained (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland). Of these 7 “advanced” countries that adopted a pro-racism, pro-Apartheid Israel and hence pro-Apartheid position, all have a dirty record of invading other countries with concomitant genocidal atrocities. Indeed invasion and colonization of their present territories commenced in 1788 (Australia), the 16th  century (the US and Canada), 1917 (Apartheid Israel) and the 9th century (Hungary). However ethnic cleansing of their present territories was not enough and these 7 deeply racist countries have invaded further countries with attendant atrocities.

Thus Australia has invaded 85 countries, the US 72, Canada 25, Apartheid Israel 12 and Hungary 7  [20, 29, 30] with these invasions variously associated with genocide, as follows: Australia (30 genocide involvements, notably the  ongoing Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide, 1788-present [20, 31]; the WW2 Bengali Holocaust, 1942-1945 [32-38]; the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide, 1990-present) [20, 29-30, 39-41]; Canada (genocide and ethnocide of Indigenous First Nations [20]; linked to UK and/or US genocidal atrocities, notably the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide, 1990-present [40, 41]), Apartheid Israel (ongoing Palestinian Genocide, 1917-present; variously involved in the Guatemala Mayan India Genocide, the Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide, the Myanmar Rohingya Genocide, and the Iraqi Genocide and Syrian Genocide that are part of the ongoing  US-led Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide) [3, 4, 41];  Hungary (Jewish Holocaust and Jewish Genocide, 1944-1945) [20];  and the US ( American Indian Holocaust and American Indian Genocide, 16th century onwards; African slave trade, 16th century onwards; major role in wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia, most notably in the last century genocide in Central America, Africa, Korea, Indo-China [20], and in the Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide notably in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria,  starving Somalia, Syria and starving Yemen [39-41]). The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were variously involved in genocidal US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [20].

(2). 21 of 29 NATO countries voted Yes but US voted No and 7 abstained, including  Canada, Czech Republic and Poland, and 4 former WW2 allies of Nazi Germany (Croatia, Hungary, Latvia and Romania)  

The 29 NATO members are Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the US [42].

21 of 29 NATO countries voted Yes. Pro-Apartheid and serial war criminal US, that is number 1 in the world for supporting Apartheid Israel, voted No. Pro-Apartheid Canada, that is number 3 in the world after the US (#1) and Australia (#2) for supporting Apartheid Israel, abstained, as did the pro-Apartheid Czech Republic and pro-Apartheid Poland. 4 further abstaining pro-Apartheid NATO members were genocidal former allies of Nazi Germany in WW2 (Croatia, Hungary, Latvia and Romania).

The pro-Apartheid Czech Republic and pro-Apartheid Poland have short memories – they suffered hugely under Nazi German occupation in WW2 but both participated in the war criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq, an Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide that was associated with 1.5 million Iraq violent deaths, 1.2 million Iraqi avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation and 5-6 million refugees [39, 41].

Pro-Apartheid Croatia, pro-Apartheid Hungary, pro-Apartheid Latvia and pro-Apartheid Romania had dirty, war criminal records as allies of Nazi Germany in WW2 [20], and Hungary, Latvia and Romania contributed to the genocidal US invasion and occupation of Iraq as members of the US Coalition of the Willing.  While Croatia lent support for the Iraq War,  it later described the Iraq War as illegal, and Croatia  subsequently supplied arms to the separatist Iraqi Kurds [43].

According to Zionist historian Professor Martin Gilbert, the ratio of Jews killed/1941 Jewish population in these presently racist, pro-Apartheid European countries was 60,000.81,000 (Nazi-subjugated Czechoslovakia) and 2,600,000/3,000,000 (Nazi-subjugated Poland), 58,000/70,000 (Nazi-subjugated Yugoslavia of which pro-Nazi Croatia was a part), 200,000/710,000 (pro-Nazi Hungary; a later estimate is 400,000/800,000), 70,000/100,000 (pro-Nazi Latvia) and 750,000.1,000,000 (Pro-Nazi Romania) [44].

All the  pro-Apartheid NATO nations of the US, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia and Romania have been involved in the ongoing Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide that has involved 3-4million Afghan refugees and 5.6 million Afghan deaths from violence, 1.4 million, or war-imposed deprivation, 4.2 million)  [40, 41].

(3). 22 of 28 EU countries voted Yes but 6 pro-Apartheid EU countries abstained (Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania).  

The 28 EU members include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom [45].

22 of 28 EU countries voted Yes but 6 pro-Apartheid EU countries abstained (Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania). As detailed above in section (2) , the Czech Republic and Poland suffered under Nazi German subjugation and it is hard to understand why they would soil their national image by supporting Apartheid Israel and hence its ongoing Palestinian Genocide. In contrast, the  genocidally racist pro-Nazi states of Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, and Romania were horribly involved in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust as well as variously in the mass murder of Slavs and Gypsies [20, 44] – the present  support of these formerly pro-Nazi and genocidally racist states for genocidally racist Apartheid Israel suggests that they have not come to terms with their evil past and are still harbouring  genocidally  racist attitudes.  However, in contrast to the actual UNGA vote, as reported by the Independent (UK): “[EU foreign policy chief] Federica Mogherini said during a news conference in Brussels that there was “full EU unity” in support of the status quo, whereby the international community conducts diplomatic relations via embassies in Tel Aviv” [46].

Nearly all EU countries have short memories of Nazi-occupied Europe and been participants in the ongoing Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide (7.2 million Afghan deaths from violence, 1.7 million, or from war-imposed deprivation, 5.5 million, and 2-3 million refugees) [] The 4 EU countries that are members of the G7 have been major participants in the ongoing Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide as reflected in military casualties US (2,271), UK (453), Canada (158), France (88), Germany (57), Italy (53) and Japan (0). However Apartheid Israeli ethnic cleansing in  East Jerusalem was evidently too much for the UK, France, Germany and Italy, which voted Yes for the UNGA Resolution . However the pro-Apartheid countries of  Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania were also involved in the Afghan Genocide with the following casualties: Poland (44), Czech Republic (10), Hungary (7), Latvia (4) and Croatia (0; some soldiers wounded but none actually killed) [47].

(4). 5 of 7 G7 countries voted Yes but 2 (pro-Apartheid Canada and the pro-Apartheid US) voted No.

The Group of 7 (G7) comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries represent  the 7 largest advanced economies in the world, and represent more than 62% of the global net wealth. The 43rd G7 summit was held on May 26–27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily, Italy. This grouping began as a G6 in 1975 and became the G7 with inclusion   of Canada in 1975. Inclusion of Russia in 1997 made it the G8  but it reverted to G7 after exclusion of Russia in 2014 following  the US-backed Neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine and Russian annexation of Crimea after an overwhelming victory in a Crimean plebiscite [48, 49].

From the perspective of Occupied Afghanistan, the   G7 nations represent an evil, dysfunctional and serial war criminal  family. Thus as of 2015  there had been 3,408 US coalition deaths in Occupied Afghanistan with the G7 nations leading the participation-reflecting body count as follows: US (2,271), UK (453), Canada (158), France (88), Germany (57), Italy (53) and Japan (0). Japan had an off-shore naval-based, re-fuelling  contribution that concluded in 2010 with the Japanese getting squeamish about their first resumption of participation in off-shore mass murder since WW2 in which Imperial Japan killed about 35 million Chinese in the 1937-1945  Chinese Holocaust [20, 50] and by conquering Burma and threatening British India contributed to the WW2 Bengali Holocaust in which the British with Australian complicity deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death for strategic reasons [32-38].

(5). 17 out of 20 G20 members voted Yes versus  Abstention by pro-Apartheid Australia and Canada and No by pro-Apartheid  Trump America.  

The G20 (Group of Twenty) was founded in 1999 as a  forum for the governments and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union (EU). The G20 meets annually [51]. Of the G20 countries only 3 – pro-Apartheid Australia, pro-Apartheid Canada and pro-Apartheid Trump America – failed to vote Yes.

(6).  9 out of 10 ASEAN nations voted Yes – but genocidally racist, pro-Apartheid  Myanmar under war criminal Aung San Suu Kyi Didn’t Show.

Founded in 1967, the Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei [52]. Of the 10 ASEAN nations all voted Yes except for genocidally racist, pro-Apartheid  Myanmar under genocidally racist war criminal Aung San Suu Kyi,  which failed to turn up to vote. Myanmar denies citizenship and human rights including citizenship to its 2 million Rohingya minority,  and with the complicity of genocidally racsit Apartheid Israel is conducting a merciless and bloody  ethnic cleansing of Rakhine state while a horrified world looks on [3, 41, 53].

(7). 41 out of 55 African Union (AU) countries voted Yes,  but 1 voted No, 8 Abstained and 5 Didn’t Show.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU; Organisation de l’unité africaine (OUA) ) was established in  1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with 32 signatory governments, It was disbanded in  2002 and replaced by the African Union (AU) which now has 55 member states [54-56].

Of the  55 African Union (AU) countries, 44  voted Yes, 1 voted No (Togo), 8 abstained (Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda) and 5 didn’t turn up to vote (Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland). This was a remarkable result of morality overcoming desperate need for these 44 generally impoverished nations in view of the bald  public threats of pay-back from pro-Apartheid Donald Trump and his hard-hearted, evil and pro-Apartheid UN representative Nikki Haley.

Thus bullying buffoon Trump declared: “For all these nations, they take our money and then vote against us. They take hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars and then they vote against us. We’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care” [57]. US Ambassador Nikki Haley in a letter to most of the UN members stated: “The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us,” she wrote in the letter obtained by AP. “We will take note of each and every vote on this issue.” [57]. US Ambassador Nikki Haley followed this blunt threat with an even nastier tweet: “At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs. there’ll be a vote criticising our choice. The US will be taking names” [57].

The 44 African Yes votes is remarkable in view of the resolute African opposition to the iniquitous  evil of South African. Apartheid. One recalls Nobel Laureate and global hero Nelson Mandela in an address at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (4 December 1997): “The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” [16, 58].

The pro-Apartheid positions of 14 African countries are variously explicable in turns of moral cowardice, greed and military  involvement with  the US. Thus from “US Army Africa” we find that “As part of African Deployment Partnership Training known as ADAPT, three U.S. Army Soldiers traveled to Lomé, Togo, to provide Phase II of Ground Training for 29 Togolese Defense Force personnel” and similar US Army collaborations in Algeria, Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso,  Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda [59]. Pro-Apartheid Kenya is involved with the US in the ongoing genocide in starving Somalia.

Wikipedia informs “The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM, U.S. AFRICOM, and AFRICOM), is one of nine unified combatant commands of the United States Armed Forces, headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. It is responsible for U.S. military operations, including fighting regional conflicts, and military relations with 53 African nations. Its area of responsibility covers all of Africa except Egypt, which is within the area of responsibility of the United States Central Command. U.S. AFRICOM headquarters operating budget was $276 million in fiscal year 2012” [60].

The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) consists of about 2,000 servicemen and women from the United States military and allied countries and  the official area of operation comprises Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Seychelles and Kenya, as well as  operations in Mauritius, Comoros, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania [61]. Operation Juniper Shield formerly known as Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara (OEF-TS) is the military operation conducted by the United States and partner nations in the Sahara/Sahel region of Africa, variously involving  counterterrorism and policing of arms and drug trafficking in countries across central Africa, primarily Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, and Morocco [62]. This dirty war by the child-killing Americans (plus Canadians) is the subject of the film “Embedded” which is an Africa-set drama that loosely relates to  the Vietnam-set novels “The Quiet American”  by Graham Greene (1955) [63] and “The Ugly American” by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer (1958) [64]. With some AFRICOM war episode  flashbacks, “Embedded”  is an extended conversation between an Australian war correspondent (Frank) and the beautiful  Madeline he picks up at a fancy hotel cocktail party in some African city.  Madeline’s husband has been killed by a bomb in Jerusalem and Frank pulls out a gun when he suspects she is an Israeli Mossad agent , which she denies – however the anagram for ISRAEL is e-LIARS. They  have lots of sex and lots of variously nihilistic conversations but,  without giving the plot away, after Frank indicates his utter disillusionment with what the Americans are doing in Mali, a disturbed audience realizes that he should have kept control of his gun [65].

While France voted Yes, France and the  US Alliance are variously  conducting  dirty operations across the Sahel in former British or  French colonies from Mali to starving  Somalia, namely Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti,  Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia and Sudan  [66]. In one of numerous blunders by buffoon Trump, in talking to the widow of Sgt David Johnson, he forgot the name of her husband who was killed along with three other US soldiers in Niger when their group was ambushed by more than 50 jihadis  on 4 October 2017 [67].

(8). 20 out of 33 Community of Latin American and Caribbean States voted Yes, versus 13 pro-Apartheid states.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was formed in 2011, in Caracas, Venezuela, under The Declaration of Caracas and  is composed of  33 nations with a combined population of about 600 million [68].

The 33  CELAC member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,  Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Panama, Saint Kitts  and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname,  Trinidad and Tobago,  Uruguay, and Venezuela.

20 out of 33 CELAC states ignored Trump’s crude and insulting threats and voted Yes, namely Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,  Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname,  Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The 13 pro-Apartheid CELAC states include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Saint Kitts  and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago,

2 CELAC states voted No, namely  Guatemala and Honduras. Pro-Apartheid US and Apartheid Israel backed the Guatemalan  Mayan Indian Genocide [3, 20]. Honduras suffered a US-complicit coup under Obama and has been  the long-term staging post for deadly US military interventions and/or subversions in Central America, notably in  Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador [20].

Of the 11 further pro-Apartheid CELAC countries that Abstained or Didn’t Show, 4 have been subject to US military intervention, namely Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and El Salvador . Argentina suffered a decade of horrendous human rights abuse under a US-backed military regime. The remaining 6 pro-Apartheid CELAC states  – Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Jamaica, Saint Kitts  and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago – are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that  cannot afford not to  take Trump’s threat seriously and/or have leaders susceptible to other US inducement ( it would take billions to bribe the UK but perhaps only millions to bribe a small SIDS government). 

(9). Only 10 of 31 Small Island and Developing States (SIDS) voted Yes, with 21 being pro-Apartheid.

Currently, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs  lists 57 small island developing states in the Caribbean, the Pacific and in Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) [69]. Of these SIDS, 31 are members of the UN. Only 10 anti-Apartheid SIDS voted Yes, namely Barbados, Bahrain, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Dominica, Grenada,  Maldives,  Mauritius,  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Seychelles.

However 21 pro-Apartheid SIDS revealed themselves, including  4 SIDS that  voted No ( the tiny Pacific island US lackeys of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau), 11 SIDS that Abstained ( Antigua-Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Haiti, Jamaica, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuvalu, and  Vanuatu) and 6 SIDS that did not even show up (Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Sao Tome-Principe, Timor-Leste, and Tonga).

The SIDS face an acute, present-day,   common threat from man-made global warming. At the present circa  plus 1C temperature rise  SIDS are already being ravaged by global warming-intensified hurricanes (cyclones) [70]. However America under anti-science buffoon Trump has adopted a unique, anti-science and   terracidal climate change denialist  position, indicating  that it will withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement to which all other countries have agreed.

However these small, vulnerable states have all had histories  of deadly European colonization [20]. Indeed in the post-WW2 era the US has invaded the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Haiti , Timor-Leste suffered a genocidal, US-backed invasion by Indonesia, Bahrain suffered invasion by US ally Saudi Arabia, and the US and Apartheid Israel have variously been involved in race-based Coups in Fiji [71].  The remarkable  failure of 21 out of 31 Small Island Developing States to support the UN General Assembly Resolution on Occupied East Jerusalem strongly suggests that they succumbed to blatant US blackmail  and/or US corruption.

(10). Only 2 out of 5 members of the “5-eyes” Anglosphere intelligence -sharing club voted Yes, namely the UK and New Zealand.

The rich, English-speaking, white, US Alliance  Anglosphere nations have a “5-eyes” Anglosphere intelligence -sharing Club comprising the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This is  actually a “6-eyes” Club because pro-Apartheid America shares intelligence from its “5-eyes’ partners with Apartheid Israel [72].  Only the UK and New Zealand voted Yes, with pro-Apartheid America voting No and pro-Apartheid Australia and Pro-Apartheid Canada both Abstaining.

Final comments.

The December 2017 UN General Assembly Resolution on Occupied East Jerusalem has revealed that serial war criminal, pro-Apartheid Trump America and US-backed Apartheid Israel are increasingly isolated from the international community. Thus those voting for the UNGA Resolution included  13/15 UN Security Council members, 128/193 UN members, 28/35 OECD members, 21/29 NATO members, 22/28 EU members, 5/7 G7 members, 17/20 G20 members, 9/10 ASEAN nations, 41/55 African Union  members, and 20/33 Latin America and Caribbean  CELAC members, but only 10/31 Small Island and Developing States and 2/5 members of the “5-eyes” Anglosphere intelligence-sharing club.

It is notable that  128/193 UN members, and 41/55 African Union  members ignored Trump’s blatant bullying and blackmail and voted Yes. However the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were very vulnerable to US blackmail and corruption and only 10/31 Small Island Developing States voted Yes.

Of the 10 pro-Apartheid European countries  that did not vote Yes – Apartheid Israel, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary Poland, Romania,  the Ukraine and the US – all variously have horrendous records of genocidal violence against Indigenous People (Apartheid Israel, Australia, Canada, and the US), collaboration with the German Nazis in the 5-6 million-victim WW2 Jewish Holocaust and the 30 million-victim WW2 European  Holocaust of which it was a part (Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Ukraine), with all being variously  involved in the Zionist -backed Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (32 million Muslims killed through violence, 5 million, or deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity in which Apartheid Israel and Saudi Arabia are likely to have also been involved) [66, 74].

The overwhelming support for the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council Resolutions on Occupied East Jerusalem and for UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on Apartheid Israeli crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories [75-77] indicates that the World has simply had enough of nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist , democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel and its ongoing Palestinian Genocide, including the  ongoing ethnic cleansing of Occupied East Jerusalem.

Decent people around the world will urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) not just against Apartheid Israel and its rotten supporters (most notably pro-Apartheid US, pro-Apartheid Australia and pro-Apartheid Canada) but also against all the 65 Sanctions-Deserving Pro-Apartheid States that for whatever reason (racism, greed, cowardice) failed to vote Yes for the UN General Assembly Resolution on Occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Notes

[1]. “UN Jerusalem, Resolution: how each country voted”, Al Jazeera, 22 December 2017: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jerusalem-resolution-country-voted-171221180116873.html

[2]. Gideon Polya, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Palestinians. Apartheid Israel violates ALL Palestinian Human Rights”, Palestine Genocide Essays, 24 January 2009: https://sites.google.com/site/palestinegenocideessays/universal-declaration-of-human-rights-palestinians .

[3].   Gideon Polya, “Palestinian Genocide–imposing Apartheid Israel Complicit In Rohingya Genocide, Other Genocides & US, UK & Australian State Terrorism”, Countercurrents, 30 November 2017: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/30/palestinian-genocide-imposing-apartheid-israel-complicit-in-rohingya-genocide-other-genocides-us-uk-australian-state-terrorism/  .

[4]. “Palestinian Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .

[5]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/08/21/israeli-palestinian-middle-east-conflict-from-oil-to-climate-genocide/ .

[6]. Gideon Polya, “End 50 Years Of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse By US-Backed Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents,  9 June  2017: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/06/09/end-50-years-of-genocidal-occupation-human-rights-abuse-by-us-backed-apartheid-israel/ .

[7]. William A. Cook (editor), “The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

[8].  Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Plight Of The Palestinians. A Long History Of Destruction””,   Countercurrents, 17 June, 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya170612.htm .

[9]. Francis A. Boyle, “The Palestinian Genocide By Israel”, Countercurrents, 30 August, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/boyle300813.htm .

[10]. Francis A. Boyle, “The genocide of the Palestinian people: an international law and human rights perspective”, Center for Constitutional Rights, 25 August 2016: https://ccrjustice.org/genocide-palestinian-people-international-law-and-human-rights-perspective#_ftn5 .

[11]. Gideon Polya, “WW1 Start Centenary, Ongoing Palestinian Genocide, Latest Israeli Gaza Massacre & Western Lying”, Countercurrents, 5 August, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050814.htm  ).

[12]. “Gaza Concentration Camp”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/gaza-concentration  .

[13]. “Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ .

[14]. “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/ .

[15]. Apartheid Israeli state terrorism: (A) individuals  exposing Apartheid Israeli state terrorism, and (B) countries subject to Apartheid Israeli state terrorism.”, Palestinian Genocide: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/apartheid-israeli-state-terrorism .

[16]. “Boycott Apartheid Israel”: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/ .

[17]. “Charter of the United Nations”: http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-i/index.html .

[18]. “Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention”: http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html .

[19]. “Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War: https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/Geneva%20Convention%20IV.pdf .

[20]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, including an avoidable mortality-related history of every country from Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web : http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/  .

[21]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel & pro-Apartheid US, Australia & Canada face global sanctions over Occupied East Jerusalem”, Countercurrents, 20 December 2017: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/20/apartheid-israel-pro-apartheid-us-australia-canada-face-world-sanctions-over-occupied-east-jerusalem/ .

[22]. “Full text of UN Resolution rejecting Jerusalem recognition”, Times of Israel, 21 December 2107: https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-un-resolution-rejecting-jerusalem-recognition/ .

[23]. “General Assembly demands that all states comply with UN resolutions of Jerusalem”, UN News Centre, 21 December 2017: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58330#.Wj15VLCYO70 .

[24]. “Middle East: Security Council fails to adopt resolution of Jerusalem”, UN News Centre, 18 December 2017: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58307#.Wj19AbCYO70 .

[25]. “Analyst: US anti-tank weapons in Ukraine could causer “serious escalation””, Sputnik, 27 December 2017: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201712271060341272-us-antitank-weapons-ukraine-shipment/ .

[26]. John Dugard, “International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the crime of Apartheid”, Audiovisual Library of International Law: http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html .

[27]. Holy Bible, King James version , Luke 11.23.

[28]. “OECD”: http://www.oecd.org/about/ .

[29]. “Stop state terrorism” : https://sites.google.com/site/stopstateterrorism/  .

[30]. “State crime and non-state terrorism”: https://sites.google.com/site/statecrimeandnonstateterrorism/  .

[31]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/ .

[32]. Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya290911.htm .

[33]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, now available  for free perusal on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/2008/09/jane-austen-and-black-hole-of-british.html  .

[34]. Madhusree Muckerjee, “Churchill’s Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” (Basic Books, New York, 2010).

[35]. Colin Mason, “A Short History of Asia . Stone Age to 2000AD” (Macmillan, 2000).

[36]. “Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Bengal Famine) writings of Gideon Polya”, Gideon Polya:  https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/bengali-holocaust .

[37]. Gideon Polya (2013), “Review: “The Cambridge History Of Australia” Ignores  Australian Involvement In 30 Genocides”,  Countercurrents, 14 October, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya141013.htm .

[38].  Gideon Polya (2015), “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya190215.htm .

[39]. Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ .

[40]. “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ .

[41]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”:   https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .

[42]. “NATO member countries” : https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_52044.htm .

[43]. “Governmental positions on the Iraq War prior t the 2003 invasion of Iraq” , Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governmental_positions_on_the_Iraq_War_prior_to_the_2003_invasion_of_Iraq#Countries_supporting_the_U.S._position.

[44]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1969.

[45]. “European Union”: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en .

[46]. Caroline Mortimer, “EU says it will not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital before final peace agreement””, Independent, 12 December 2017: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jerusalem-latest-eu-recognise-israel-benjamin-netanyahu-federica-mogherini-donald-trump-a8104716.html .

[47]. “Coalition casualties in Afghanistan”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_casualties_in_Afghanistan .

[48]. “Group of Seven”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_Seven .

[49]. “Group of Eight”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_Eight .

[50]. “Backgrounder: China’s WWII contributions in figures”, New China, 3 September 2015: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/03/c_134582291.htm .

[51]. “G20”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G20  .

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on UN General Assembly Jerusalem Resolution: Vote Exposes 65 Sanctions-Deserving Pro-Apartheid States

150 Years After Capital: Reading Marx as Life Grounded

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

“One basis for life and another basis for science is an a-priori lie” – Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, 1845.

Marx’s Base-Superstructure Theory (BST) has long been a major object of controversy. It is deeply embedded in a monumental corpus of system-challenging analysis while secondary interpretations are deeply conflicted and rarely reliable. In general, partial takes and opposed propagandas militate against primary-source understanding. Within the last 35 years, a sea-shift of global culture to anti-foundationalist relativism has uprooted the very idea of a common base or ground. 

The Productive Base as the Ground of Society and History

Marx’s fundamental concept, the productive base of historical societies is more or less forgotten amidst ‘Marxism is dead’ pronouncements. Yet Marx’s principal idea remains intact – that the material conditions of historical societies – opposed to God or human concepts – determine human affairs. This principle is the first onto-axiological step of Marx’s base-superstructure theory (BST). It begins by repudiating the conceptual idealism of philosophy from Plato to Hegel which supposes that disembodied Ideas determine material reality, rather than the other way round.  In his German Ideology(completed in 1846 at 28 years), Marx mercilessly satirizes neo-Hegelians flattering themselves that the “ideas in their heads” determine the real world, quipping that they think drowning occurs because the victim is “possessed by the idea of gravity”.  This unpublished study is also where Marx introduces the foundational first principle of his base -superstructure theory (emphasis added as henceforth): “Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, religion, or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence”.  We see here the primacy for Marx of human reproduction evolving beyond Nature’s available provisions – a continuation of natural evolution into species self-construction increasingly “subjugating Nature to its sway”.  Yet what is not examined is exactly what these forces of production are producing once the industrial revolution of capitalism occurs. Marx originally says “means of life” but these are not defined beyond a primitive list beginning “food, habitation, clothing, and so on”.  Life necessities that productive forces must produce have no criterion. We return to this unexamined first principle of Marx’s base-superstructure theory in depth ahead.

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Marx’s work begins with the purpose “to stand philosophy on its feet again” by grounding critical thought where none had before, in “society’s material mode of production”. His then work takes on the revolutionary political edge for which he is most famous – the iconic Manifesto of the Communist Party written with Frederick Engels in 1848. Here Marx’s philosophy of the material base of society and history moves to a sweeping 10-Point social program, much of it instituted within the next century – extension of existing industrial development to state ownership, graduated income tax, free education for all children by public schools, and a national bank.  Marx’s theory has been in this way largely proven in practice against the standard assumption to the contrary. Yet it is not until his 1859 Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (CPE) that Marx sets out an incisively principled account of his base-superstructure theory as “the guiding thread of my studies”. Since this canonical statement carried through in Das Kapital is widely misunderstood as a mechanistic determinism in which all elements of society are uniquely determined by the ruling economic system, it requires our close inspection. “In the social production which men carry on”, Marx begins his paradigm statement of the BST, “they enter into definite relations that are indispensible and independent of their will”.

This is thought to be a statement of hard determinism against free will. But it is, more modestly, a statement of unacknowledged facts in the ‘free society’ capitalism is assumed to be. Wage or salary work must be done by the great majority to stay alive “independent of their will”. Their “definite relations” are materially determined by the employer who must also follow market demand at the lowest costs with ‘no choice in the matter’. Behind this “wage slavery”, Marx emphasises in Capital lies the “great expropriation of the people from the soil, from the means of subsistence, and from the means of labour- – [by] violent  and painful methods”. They must sell their labour into oppressive servitude, or they do not survive. In the beginning, Marx explains in his Capital account, this servitude was enforced by mass hangings, floggings, pillories, and deprivation of children. Today social humiliation, loss of face and destitution as well as starvation again re-enforces this system in capitalist globalization and new ‘freedoms for investors’.

Marx’s ‘economic determinism’ is not, as often charged, a false metaphysics or reductionist mechanism,.  His revolutionary objective of the “self-government of the direct producers” is the opposite. Yet Marx’s BST militantly rejects any kind of voluntarism lor ‘utopian socialism’. The mode of production that produces a society’s means of life, he argues at the most general level, must be developed to a stage where the direct producers are organised in a collective form to historically replace the ruling capitalist system.  This is why he asserts in his definitive CPE “guiding thread of my studies” that production relations must “correspond to a definite stage of development of men’s material powers”. This is “the productive base” that prior philosophers overlooked or ignored on which slave-owning, feudal or capitalist social systems are raised and which ruling cultures assume as “everlasting” or “eternal”. Applied to our present condition, the argument remains forceful. Workers and employers alike are forced to compete to the lowest denominator of conditions, however life destructively in process and consequencee. This is why Marx generically summarizes in the next sentence of this central statement of the BST that the “the totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society [emphases added] – the real foundation [or base] on which the legal and political superstructure arises”.

Marx is opposed to this economic determinism, but organises the facts as they are against ‘ideological illusions’. His base-superstructure theory is the result. A socially self-directing mode of production is his ultimate objective. Most commentators ignore this complex argument and charge that Marx is denying the autonomy of individual consciousness, free choice, and democratic processes. Yet Marx’s master verb for superstructure determination by the economic base here is entsprechen- to correspond to or comply with. This underlying principle applies tas well to the state and legal institutions of a society. They must comply with the  ruling ownership structure society’s forces of production, or be selected outas materially impossible, unviable, or inefficient. Marx’s BST is in this way a theory in unrecognised parallel with Darwin’s Origin of the Species, a work which Marx considered the scientific correlative in evolutionary biology of his account of the social struggle for survival in historical evolution , as he says in Capital seven years later). In both cases, determining factors of life adaptation do not determine specific outcomes in Marx’s or Darwin’s theory, but set the range of material possibility within which life-organizations must develop or die. One reason for the 150-year-old misunderstandings of Marx’s base-superstructure theory is that he does not clearly define this unifying principle or others in his towering and original investigation.

Marx requested Darwin to write a prefatory note for the publication of Capital, but Darwin declined.  The anecdote is well known, but not that Darwin’s refusal occurs in neat accordance with Marx’s lead principle of economic determinism. In its terms, Darwin’s choice space is not denied, but affirmed by Marx’s invitation.  Darwin chose not to accept in line with the strong social selective pressures against endorsing a work laying bare the capitalist class establishment within which Darwin moved and depended for his research. It is an implicit basic principle of Marx’s BST determinism that people normally retreat into the preconceptions of the ruling order and its “forms of social consciousness” in adaptation to their social environment. Here as well, Marx does not define these suggestive ‘forms of social consciousness’ (gesellschaftlichen Bewußtseiformen).He lets the concepts manage on their own in their contexts without criteria.  Yet to attribute mechanical determinism or hard behaviorism with no inner world to Marx BST does not follow, as he makes clear in his Preface to Capital when he writes: “My standpoint”, he says, “can less than other make the individual responsible for relations for whose creature he socially remains, however much he may subjectively raise himself above them”.  That is, individuals are not responsible for the social system of relations which they must function within (an idea that goes back to graduating year of secondary school). Yet Marx insists, as most philosophy does not, that subjectivism is incapable of understanding the real world or changing it. This is why he ridicules Kant’s moral will independent of consequences, Max Stirner’s ‘Omnipotent Ego’, neo-Hegelianism, and all commentary which revolves within a materially impotent “consciousness in itself”. His Theses on Feuerbach is the iconic expression of Marx’s unprecedentedly activist ontology and epistemology.  He says in these notes, Thesis II : “The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking which is isolated from practice is a merely scholastic question”.

Marx would be hard on most postmodernism, analytic theory, and academia in general today. Yet his base-superstructure theory is most easily de-mystified and undistorted when reading attends to its material model – a building foundation and a superstructure raised upon it. No superstructure can stand without a foundation, and this could be called an “inexorable law”. But this does not mean the superstructure conforms to the base by ruling out all alternatives within its range of permission.  Nor, conversely, does it mean that the base will change in virtue of those alternatives.  Superstructural phenomena must, in Marx’s BSTcomply with the underlying mode of production, or face strong selective pressures against to typical extinction. This is why Marx argues the laws, policies and state in a society must correspond to survive, and why he mocks those who think a legal proclamation will change social realityif there are not the material conditions to enable it to occur. In logical terms, Marx’s straightforward meaning may be summarized without militant mood : all legal, state and ideological phenomena must be consistent with the society’s material reproduction at the established level of society’s productive provision of means of existence, or they will not arise in the first place and normally perish if they do.

Social Being Determines Consciousness

Marx continues his BST ‘guiding thread’ to write that “definite forms of social consciousness correspond to a society’s mode of production”. This has led to many competing interpretations, dogmas and denunciations. Yet to test it, one may ask: Where is there not correspondence in global capitalism between ‘ruling forms of social consciousness’ and ‘the economic structure’?  More specifically, do we find in official society and mainstream media that the dominant meanings of “freedom”, “responsibility”, “productivity”, “and “justice” are do not comply with  the capitalist system? An easy refutation would be any published conception of these anchoring normative concepts which opposes, say, the rightness of private profit. Or rejects the assumption that citizens must sell their services to employers as their duty to society? As Marx’s many examples show, forms of social consciousness regulate like a syntax beneath awareness of them.

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Marx continues his explanation with perhaps the most controversial sentence of his work. “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being determines their consciousness”.  For this, Marx is held to be declaring a materialist reductionism, or the epiphenomenal nature of human thought, or denial of moral choice, or undialectical simplification, or a soulless doctrine. It is true that Marx repudiates  the opposite of any theory which excludes material foundations from its understanding.Thus received philosophers and press commentary, for example, are ridiculed by Marx and more specifically, religio-moral certitudes reflecting capitalist rule. Yet since all words and languages are social constructions , Marx’s  claim is obviously true in a now accepted way. The most studied philosophers of the twentieth century, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein, declare language as the “home of Being” and “the limit of thought” respectively, and contemporary etymology presupposes language’s social and historical nature. Marx’s most controversial claim that “social being determines consciousness” is hardly off-base except that Marx’s BST argues that the social is primarily determined by the economic structure that must and will be overthrown. In BST terms, this line of thought is rejected as socially unacceptable. This is how, as Marx provocatively describes it in many different contexts, a realm of illusory cover stories and concepts which blinker out the capitalist system’s oppressions and exploitations while purporting the highest moral motives of its lead agents and promoters. Consider Marx’s most bitingly witty asides in this light: “The Church of England will more readily pardon an attack on its Thirty-Nine Articles than 1/39th of its income” . This is the same Marx that in The Holy Family talks of religion as the “spirit of spiritless conditions, the heart of a heartless world” ”  –  thus affirming the spirit and the heart that he is said to deny, but castigating the capitalist church investments, rents and hypocrisies grinding the unseen poor. Marx’s insulting but revealing BST analysis also lays bare the institutionalised veils of doctrine masking the cupidity of the Conservative Party and its Lords:  “The high Tory hymns the beauties of the British Constitution, the Crown and the Law until the day of danger snatches from him the confession that he is interested only in – Ground Rent.”

Marx’s base-superstructure method of laying bare private capital gain underneath the moral pomposity and robes of religion, the constitution, and the law still applies to, for example, US politicians’ invocation of “God’s blessing” and “our sacred Constitution”.  Yet establishment ideology is also structured, Marx implies, to vilify and justify elimination of any opposition to capitalist rule – as in anti-communism hated and persecuted as heresy during and since Marx’s work.

Freedom in Marx’s Base Superstructure Theory

Long the primary reason for repudiating Marx’s base-superstructure theory has been its alleged denial of individual freedom. Yet his work from the beginning is devoted to freedom as of ultimate value, preferring Epicurus to Democritus in his doctoral thesis solely because the theory of Epicurus allowed freedom into an arbitrary “swerve” of atoms against the “far more scientific” Democritus who is the first mechanist in history.  The mechanism Marx continues to oppose ever after is the mechanism of capitalism itself: which he argues, in a 40-year through-line of texts, systematically abolishes individuals’ and societies’ self-determination.

While ‘conservative’, ‘liberal democratic’, ‘libertarian’ and ‘neo-liberal’ trends dominant in the contemporary era speak of ‘democratic capitalism’. Marx’s BST contends that visibly competing parties, governments, theories of society, and moralities conform to the ruling economic structure and are disposed to eliminate whatever challenges it. Marx often uses the concept of a “reflex” mechanism here.  In his focus on English capitalism as the central example of base-superstructure understanding, his scope is unprecedentedly global before its time – including not only Britain with its world empire and former colony, the United States, taken into empirical account, but West European countries behind in capitalist development, as well as adversary Russia and vast colony India and East Asia Company, not to mention his anthropological investigations into pre-historical social formations. Threading throughout his BST analysis, he discusses the determination of societies within the limits of their natural resources and mode of production.  After many years of this cross-cultural study, Marx concludes that all societies will be compelled to adapt to the “pitiless laws” of the capitalist system because of its far superior “productive force development”. 150 years of evidence since Marx’s scientific claim generally confirms it despite wide repudiation for its determinism.   Marx’s acceptance of these laws, which are not laws of nature as he supposes(and economic science still does) is the deepest unfreedom of his doctrine.

Technological determinism is the ultimate regulator of Marx’s base-superstructure theory.  Few revolutionaries since seem to understand that this theoretical position  rules out the success of state seizure for socialist revolution without a developed productive base – as history since Marx has significantly borne out as well as refuting his prediction of proletarian revolution in advanced capitalist societies. Yet Marx also predicts social transformation to a “many-sided” working class “ready and able to meet any change of production;” as well as technological replacement of labour to allow “free time “” from the “realm of necessity”. These are unifying themes from Marx’s early EPM to Volume III of Capital (organised and published posthumously).  In spite of his main failed prediction, Marx is rather prescient in anticipating the material possibilities of freedom by technological and worker development, and how they are “fettered” by the capitalist economic structure within which all lower-cost benefits of technological advances (for example, labour-saving machinery) go to capitalists as the working day increases.

Marx’s evolving productive base is also a form of social biology, but in the opposite mode of recent sociobiology’s reduction to gene-set animal repertoires. It is grounded not in genes but in humanity’s distinguishing feature as a natural species and the origin of human freedom: “the capacity to raise a project in the head before it is constructed in reality”. (Capital, “On the Labour Process”). This distinguishing ground of historical materialism is brought into revealing alliance with Darwin’s classical Origin of the Species when Marx connects “nature’s technology” to human society’s “organs of technology” as the ultimate basis of historical development: “Darwin has interested us in the history of Nature’s Technology i.e., in the formation of the organs of plants and animals, which organs serve as instruments as of production for sustaining life. Does not the history of the productive organs of man, of organs that are the material basis of all social organization, deserve equal attention?” (Capital, “The Development of Machinery”). In this still under-theorized evolutionary advance Marx identifies: (1) the forces of selection are increasingly social, not natural; (2) organic instruments are evolved by creative cooperative production, not instinctual repertoires; and (3) Marx’s base-superstructure theory is the framework within which this historical as opposed to natural evolution is understood.  Human freedom is enabled by and set within this distinctively human framework of understanding. This Marxian framework fits well to today’s world of electronically organised production and communication systems. It is in such ways that development of society’s ‘technology organs’ for Marx extends the limits of human free will by selecting for the most powerful productive forces to enable growing control of material necessity and the natural world.  Yet Marx’s Capital is unaware, as lead philosophers and economists remain today, of the cumulatively increasing violation of life needs and necessity by exponentially multiplying technological powers. Ever expanding productive forces serving human wants without limiting criterion of life necessity is not recognised by Marx’s base-superstructure theory as an issue.

What Base-Superstructure Analysis Is and Is Not

Marx’s BST argument is ahead of his time in recognising the lead role of technological sciences in society’s reproduction, and claims individual action and social order must correspond to it or not survive – the essence of base-superstructure theory. Yet Marx often overreaches without criteria or mediating steps of argument – as in his fundamentalist BST aphorism in The Poverty of Philosophy: “The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord, the steam engine gives you society with the capitalist”.  These are striking claims of correspondence between the basic variables of the BST, productive force development and the economic anatomy of society, which, Marx argues, determine the state, legal and ideological superstructures. Yet aphorisms can mislead in their acute simplicity, and so the eminent Marxologist G.A. Cohen deploys this arresting slogan into a functional model of the BST in his much referenced Marx’s Theory of History-A Defence (1978)Yet Marx’s BST is not one-to-one functional here or elsewhere, but as contexts usually indicate, the determining factor sets a delimited range of possibility within which the determined phenomena fall. For example, in capitalism there are many ideological phenomena which conflict with each other, and so can hardly be described as all functional for the economic structure determining them when they are mutually incompatible with each other. Many ideas and ideologies compete for belief and market share in capitalism, but the only feature in common among them is that they all conform to it with no required function. The relationship within the material mode of production between productive forces and relations has a similar logic of explanation. The relations of production comprising the economic structure have different possibilities of consistency with the stage of productive development for which they are the integumentMarx loathed capitalism because of its documented mass oppressions  which are beyond necessity in his searing Capital account of its operations. The “Primitive Accumulation” he reports here shows how inhuman the origins of capitalist wealth have been. They cannot be so described if there is no choice space of their agents to a better alternative. Marx is clear that capitalist relations of production were imposed far necessity, “accomplished with merciless Vandalism and under the stimulus of passions the most infamous, the most sordid, the pettiest, the most meanly odious”.

Consistent with these origins of capitalism, the facts have been concealed then and since without any disconfirmation of them. Far less heinous alternatives in developing modern production forces have since occurred in more rapid and efficient transitions from a hand-mill to a machine-run economy.  In this sense, the functionalist account of capitalism succeeding feudalism is an unwitting white-wash. Certainly the full story of the malignantly violent and mendacious torture, murder and robbery of the poor and defenceless is told in painfully documented historical detail not only by Marx, but by the statesman William Cobbett writing before Marx in his A History of the Protestant Reformation in England, Ireland and Wales (1824-27). Against strip-down to known formula, Marx’s base-superstructure theory is in substance inspired by the passion to stop the shockingly vile impositions of capitalist rule, working indefatigably for life-protective state regulation by the Factory Acts and the Ten-Hour Working Day. Marx also recognised the wide range of material possibility beyond functional necessity in various forms of co-operative production in his day – for example, Proudhon’s co-operative banking system in France and Owenite co-operatives providing life security to workers. He scathingly dismissed them, but only in theory-bound certitude of the industrial proletariat’s revolution alone could work in the long run (although in fact Proudhon’s co-operative bank still flourishes in France and co-operative factories with life security for workers have emerged since across continents).

On the other hand, Marx recognises what dogmatic anti-capitalist advocates of revolution do not.  In his Preface to Capital the peaceful possibility of instituted public regulations within even imperial capitalist relations of production is incisively advocated if there are devoted public servants “as competent, as free from partisanship and respect of persons as are the English factory inspectors, her medical reporters on public health, her commissioners of inquiry into the exploitation of women and children, into housing and food” (emphases again added unless indicated Marx’s). As these long-evolving public life protections since Marx are defunded today in totalizing commodification and privatization for profit, we can better see the critical moral choice-space of material possibility for Marx to make transformative life-and-death differences within capitalist society by documented truth and civil commons institutions.

“Dialectical materialism” is also a famed attribution to Marx, although he never used Engels’ term. More deeply, while Marx sought a rigorously scientific theory,  dialectics is not disconfirmable by evidence. Certainly Marx emphasises what dominant positivist methods expel:  ever-changing phenomena and interrelationships, driven by conflicting tendencies viewed in their totality, and issuing in qualitative transformations.  Further, Marx is early on fascinated with the “strange music” of dialectics, and he acknowledges “coquetting” with dialectical expressions – as in “the negation of negation” at the end of Capital. But the brilliant autodidacts Engels and Lenin mistake an invaluable epistemological theory for a naturalist ontological metaphysics. Most relevantly telling here is that Marx’s base-superstructure theory is explicitly defined by permanent historical primacy of one factor, the productive base, while dialectics in principle excludes any such ultimate material base or primacy.

Marx’s base-superstructure theory is also not grounded in class antagonism as such in which solely anti-capitalist standpoints and political-economic class mechanics  are favorite forms. In these and other cases of de-basing Marx, the stage of productive development is dropped from foundational status, although it is for Marx the ultimate driver of historical materialism and workers’ struggle towards a higher social order. Revealingly, the concept of class does not occur in Marx’s own “guiding thread to my studies”:  because it is political and so superstructural in his BST explanatory framework. Class antagonism as an effective factor of social change is certainly crucial in Marx’s BST, but confined to periods of contradiction between productive force “organs” and economic-rule “anatomy”.  Thus Marx directly says in his Preface to Capital “It is not a question of the higher or lower degree of development of class antagonism that results from the laws of capitalist production.  It is a question of these laws or tendencies themselves working with iron necessity towards inevitable crises [Krisen]”. Always for Marx’s BST the anticipated workers’ revolution is by the agency of direct producers in common moving the counter-productive rich and their “ideological prize-fighters” out of office by the force of higher productive capacity of the “associated producers”.

Today’s most famous version of Capital is also worthy of mention here because it   completes the erasure of Marx’s base-superstructure theory, But in this case it is it is in the form of an equally thick volume as Capital with the same title (and bold update subtitle of the twenty-first century). Little noticed in the immense attention to it in Western culture, Thomas Picketty’s now world-renowned CAPITAL(2012) has no productive development base and no economic determiner. All attention is on growing inequality of income distribution, with rising concern for inequality of income.  Little known, Marx himself explained the equality craze in his first chapter of Capital as a capitalist concept derived from abstract labour and commodity payment which has “acquired the fixity of a popular prejudice . . . in which, consequently, the dominant relation between man and man, is that of owners of commodities.”  Yet Picketty’s research does not fit the mould of “bad conscience and evil intent of apologetic in place of genuine scientific research” which Marx saw in the Political Economy of his day. Picketty demonstrates growing income inequality built into the system which post-Marx ‘Economics’ erases. Yet his Capital strips out every substantive category of the original while naming itself after it. No productive forces and relations or equivalent, no economic anatomy or structure, no class rule and subjugation of direct producers are to be found. ‘CAPITAL in the twenty-first century’ instead reports a multitude of marginal income differentials over time – a rising money-metered inequality which statistically confirms capital’s ever more dominant share of wealth. In this exposure, Picketty’s work is a valuable factual refutation of a long official claim of ‘growing equality of opportunity in capitalist democracies’, and a demonstration of what Marx predicted but was long ridiculed for doing so – the law-like trend of capitalist society to ever more wealth to the few and ever less relative wealth to society’s direct producers.

Max Weber’s canonical The Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism (1926 in English) is still more well-known (at least to scholars), and widely thought to have refuted Marx’s economic determinism. Yet Weber’s paradigm example of Benjamin Franklin rather confirms Marx’s BST and its core General Law of Capital Accumulation, M-C-M1. .  In fact the young Franklin expresses this self-maximizing value-calculus in translucent affirmation of Marx’s formula and exponential money returns for self (emphases added):  “Remember time is money – – Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature.Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more – – He that murders a crown [by using it], destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds” (pp. 48-9, emphases added). From the start of the private money-capital sequence, whatever does not conform to it is ruled out, including  life itself.  Weber sees this fanaticism in passing, and there can be little doubt that the money worship long ruling the world is here expressed in pure form. Yet Weber further equates this early testament of greed-is-good to Protestantism, although Franklin was like Adam Smith a Deist not strictly a Protestant. And to be fair to Franklin, this credo of avarice should be distinguished from his later refusal to patent his iconic Franklin Stove to keep it in the great civil commons of science he himself benefitted from. As for Franklin’s testament to money-capital growth before life, it had already been instituted generations before by  private joint-corporate-stock investor ships like the venerated ‘Mayflower’ seeking maximum profit in ‘America’ where corporate-charter rights were as quickly as possible turned into multiplying money fortunes for the overseas invaders behind eco-genocide of the first peoples. In contrast to Weber, Marx’s BST argues that Protestant religion is a cover story for the opposite of Weber’s hypothesis. It is not worship of a protestant God that is  the origin of capitalism, but rather the capitalist system worships itself as God.

Closer to home, the Marx-descended movement of ‘Critical Theory’ is true to Marx’s giant intellect, but focuses on erudite ideological critique of capitalist culture. Marx’s productive base more or less disappears into a new school of thought. The next generation of Critical theory led by Jürgen Habermas abandons class analysis altogether and – in line with capitalist ideology – defines the market system as a technical given and relocates action to what Marx called the ‘legal superstructure’. Whereas the elder critical theorist Herbert Marcuse argues from a life base of Freudian Eros and capitalist-system suppression of life by the dead singularity of corporate-state positivism, Habermas strips the “life-world” itself (Lebenswelt) down to background assumptions of social belief which have no life coordinate to them. Base-superstructure theory is effectively erased to confirm it.

Continuing clarification and confirmation of Marx’s BST in subsequent schools of thought, the more globalized “postmodern” movement adopts Marx’s contesting posture, subaltern politics, and abuse of metaphysics, but obliterates all traces of Marx’s productive base and universal message (as, for example, “totalitarian” or “terrorist”), garnering enormous publicity for its groundless alternative.  Again we can see that Marx’s BST core of economic determinism is proved to work in many ways so as to erase its explanatory framework itself. When John-Paul Sartre, world famous for his existentialist master works in philosophy, biography and drama, moves from his radically individualist choice space explorations to deepen Marx’s theory by situating individual consciousness and action within a comprehensive social framework of social determinations of the existential predicament  of “the monstrous construction with no author”, as in his Search for a Method, his work effectively disappears from the academy with only his pre-war Being and Nothingness spoken of. In short, Sartre is written out of philosophy once he adopts base-superstructure theory to existentialize it.

Because Marx’s base-superstructure theory continues to apply to post-Marx capitalist ‘globalization’, Stalinist mechanism becomes its inverting ideological caricature and ‘Marxian’ theory itself delinks from the productive baseBST continues to be confirmed in principle as it is dismissed.

Economic Determinism, Darwinian Selection and Social Revolution

Image result for Marx’s ultimate goal is liberation from the ruling capitalist class

Most commentaries on Marx miss the permutations and combinations of base-superstructure theory. Few comprehend the underlying modus tollens logic that ruling systems are sustained by a dominant normality to eliminate whatever opposes them. In BST terms, legal, political and ideological forms conform to society’s material mode of production, or they do not survive – a logic of explanation parallel to the survival/extinction laws of evolutionary biology. Marx’s implicit principle of economic determination by selection out of what does fit the ruling property order can be understood in this sense as evolutionary biology at the historical level, As Marx says in his Preface to Capital, “the economic formation of society is viewed as a process of natural history”.  In fact, history is not a natural process insofar as its laws are made, not found in nature. Indeed Marx’s own theory implicitly seeks and predicts the social supersession of natural process and its ultimate law of dominance by physical force.  Yet both evolutionary and historical materialist theories recognise selection and extinction of life forms that adapt or not, survive, flourish or die, in the struggle for continued life. Marx, however, is the first to argue for the revolutionary necessity of surpassing the brutality of natural evolution by the unity of the industrial working class against the ruling class system of “hitherto existing society” which always “pumps out surplus labour from the direct producers” to enrich the masters, lords or capitalists” (Capital III, “Genesis of Capitalist Ground-Rent”). Marx’s ultimate goal is liberation from the ruling capitalist class as the last with productive development the material base of doing so.

For Marx’s BST, however, species liberation only becomes historically possible with industrial mass production to organise it. Human survival and extinction, class domination and overthrow are based on technological development which eventually outgrows the old form of control and appropriation of society’s means of production to bring about a higher stage of society led by a new ruling class, the direct producers themselves – the core original idea of the base-superstructure theory.  “Capitalism”, he famously writes, “begets its own negation with the inexorability which governs the metamorphoses of nature”. Darwin’s field of study excludes this possibility a-priori, and so fits far better to capitalism.  Neo-Darwinians, among others, think replacing natural scarcity and the social struggle for a higher form of life are unthinkably against human nature. They argue that only individual genetic modifications and greater numbers of offspring can explain any species’ struggle for survival: which BST explains, in turn, as capitalist ideology positing Nature as the justification of the dominance of the few and their non-productive servant classes.

Marx so repeatedly scorns the ‘human nature’ form of justification of capitalism that many wrongly conclude that Marx has no concept of human nature at all: there is only human plasticity and operant conditioning. In fact, Marx oppositely emphasizes humanity’s ultimate nature as creative, the capacity “to raise a project in the head (der Copf) before erecting it in reality” (typically translated as “imagination”). This is the distinctive human nature which lies behind the historically rising progression of materialist powers of production that Marx grounds in as the determining base of any society or epoch. This productive ground rather than Euro-racism, as some think , drives Marx’s  theory.

Marx’s revolutionary theory is the most controversial element of base-superstructure model, but can be deconstructed into an underlying regulating sequence across history: 1. a social revolution in a society’s law, politics and ideology is propelled by 2. ever more open class struggle to 3. fit to a higher stage of development of the productive base of society 4. than the prior ruling-class economic structure can manage  5. without forfeit of society’s stage of material production.  

In the rare periods of successful social revolution, Marx offers an original causal explanation: Only when productive force development goes beyond the fetters of the established ruling-class relations of production can a social revolution occur.  Marx’s guiding framework is concisely stated by his ‘guiding thread’ as follows (with application to contemporary society in square brackets: “At a certain stage of their development, the material forces of production [think of the Internet] come into conflict with the existing relations of production – or – what is but a legal expression for them – with the property relations within which they had been at work before [private -profit copyright, patent and control over published meanings]. From forms of development of productive forces, these relations [of corporate ownership profit] turn into their chains. Then occurs a period of social revolution [the creators of knowledge deciding on commons publication and open access in cumulative transition from the for-profit ‘information economy’ to the ‘knowledge commons’].

The knowledge revolution has already largely occurred with internet commons capacities increasingly surpassing private corporations in expertise and originality.  In BST terms, it has “burst the fetters” of corporate copyright, patent and censorship. The corporate media are ever less able to compete in agile, immediate, video-record reporting of events and depth analysis of them not subjugated to capitalist-media selection against non-conforming facts and understandings. On the other hand, BSTanalysis can also recognise that the media of public record are still profit-run capitalist commodities, surveillance and interference in communications are widespread, the internet is itself permeated by mindless commercials and trivializing social media chatter, and undercover agents harass lead exposers of the appropriating classes and their war criminal states. Both sides of this revolutionary-versus-capitalist struggle can be laid bare by advanced BST method. There is systematic selection against whatever does not conform to the established order, but new technology and knowledge creators outgrow the fetters.  This contemporary application of Marx’s BST is returned to ahead in contrasting ‘knowledge creators and workers’ today to ‘the physical input class’ of the proletariat in The Productive Agency of Social Transformation 150 Years after Capital.

At the macro level of interface with evolutionary biology, Marx’s BST suggests new technologies as evolutionary organs of human society outgrowing the economic anatomy in transformation of the social body into new form.  To the question of whether a revolutionary process is by cumulative transition or by radical disjuncture, Marx’s implicit answer is that both processes are involved. Society is an “organism always changing” while the “birth-pangs of revolution” presuppose a long process in “the natural laws of its movement” which “can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal enactments the obstacles involved – – but can shorten the and lessen the birth-pangs”. The underlying common ground of both disjunctive and cumulative-transition understandings of social transformation is that any uprising organisation of material forces must be more efficient and productive than the established system’s mode of production to enable historical success. This is why Marx asserts in his definitive BST explanation: “No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed, and new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions have matured in the womb of the old society.”

While Marx’s theory of revolution is disconfirmed in the necessity of proletarian revolution in industrialized societies, it is plausibly confirmed by the capitalist revolution against the feudal system, the paradigm case of his base-superstructure theory. The bourgeoisie overthrows the king-lord control of the social order in compliance with the new capitalist system of dispossessed  labour, mass production and private profit in place of feudal landlords fees and ties of loyalty and labour-military service. In all cases feudal or capitalist, one historical ‘law’ of BST holds: Increasing contradiction between productive forces (determiner) and ruling-class control of them (determined) within the productive base itself, restructures the legal, political and ideological establishments into correspondence with the demands of the higher productive stage advancing beneath these superstructural phenomena “in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out”.

Considered in this light, the question arises: does the BST apply to post-Marx attempts at revolutionary socialism in China, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam and much of Latin America? It does not apply, unlesswe focus on the productive force development of these societies after their state revolutions against the tyrannical and productively stunted regimes they overthrow: most clearly in their advancing the educated well-being of the working class and rapid technological development. It is a negative confirmation of Marx’s theory that these revolutions are warred upon continuously by lead capitalist states to undermine their rising productive development, in particular of workers’ collective health, education, welfare and security. These converse confirmations of Marx’s BST principle of social revolution, although nowhere stated, fit with its implicit general law of history that  no society ever forfeits its stage of development of productive forces if it is to survive. The converse is: despoil any society’s rising stage of development and the society will be unable to survive.

This has been inner logic of the last century of history, and applies well to elimination of socialist ideas within the US and allied industrial societies since Marx. Majority-world societies seeking social liberation from inhuman exploitation and oppression invariably suffer multi-levelled assault by dominant capitalist forces of media, finance and sponsored armed attack – frequently more mass-murderous than the Prussia-France immolation of the radically democratic Paris Commune which Marx rivetingly analyses in his Civil War in France 1871. Although Prussia and France were at war, their leaders combined together to bloodily annihilate the Paris Commune as Marx documents, showing how even in wars against each another , modern states are “the executive committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie” (as the Communist Manifesto incisively expresses this BST norm). Class war of the capitalist class against the working class is nowhere better proved. .The dots are rarely connected , but the BST converse law of  counter-revolution can be usefully applied to France- US invasions of ‘communist’ Vietnam , US-led Chile social destruction the same year as the US was defeated in Vietnam, continuous war-criminal occupation  of Palestine destroying even their age-old productive olive groves, to the Iraq eco-genocide from 1991 on followed by Syria and Libya, the US-led death squads and financial wars on social reform governments and movements for the poor through most of Latin America over 50 years to today, and so on in demonstration of Marx’s reasons for reviling this epochal system.  Of deep theoretical note, all these cases confirm the converse law of counter-revolution creatively deducible from base-superstructure principles.

Self-Maximizing Growth and Marx’s Aporia of Productive Object 

Marx’s base-superstructure theory implicitly recognises that the ultimate value base and driver of capitalism is the “fully developed shape [of] the money form” in terms of which all decisions of what commodities to produce and how they are produced are made solely to maximize revenue returns to private capital owners in cycles of increasing accumulation: in general formula Money-Commodity-More Money or M-C-M. As Marx also arguescapitalist investors are “personifications of economic categories, embodiments of particular class relations and class interests”, and so are a-priori indifferent to what life is degraded, exploited and destroyed in multiplying private money profits with no cumulative limit (Marx’s Preface, Chapter I,  and Chapter  XXV of Capital).

This is the meta program of Marx’s BST to which productive forces are subjugated until their capitalist fetters are outgrown by a higher stage of productive-technological development. Until this predicted “period of social revolution”, every moment of production is competitively forced into lock-step sequences of the meta program.   While Marx’s BST is confirmed by capitalist history up to “social revolution”, a deep-structural issue emerges. How can Marx or his followers believe that the results of this totalizing system of life oppression, immiserization and life capital rundown must inevitably result in a completely opposite outcome of “social revolution”, “dictatorship of the proletariat”, and “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”?  How can life-coherent thinking go from an ever more life-despoiling capitalist system with its life-blind program built into its globally multiplying growth to a certain revolt of its system slaves against everything its history has constructed to inevitably triumphant social revolution to final rule of the direct producers to successful ordering of the forces of production to citizens’ life needs and capacities?

There is no clear criterion of any step of this inspiring vision. For a long time, the revolutionary theory was hitched to a Hegelian master-slave dialectic ending in complete reversal, or made a mechanistic science of revolution in which iron political rule decided how all must be determined, or – in a word – to some version or other in which life value itself and its measure are assumed away as an issue (as in all received economic science), and nowhere spelled out to govern decisions over forces of production and their growth (as in Marx’s theory). The BST does not offer a solution to this problem, nor ‘scientific socialism’. Economic science today even less has an answer to the basic question: what is the criterion of a life need that production is for?

Marx focuses rather on the socialist logic he sees built into the competing large scales of capitalist production  – “an ever-expanding scale, the co-operative form of the labour process, the conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation of the soil, the transformation of the instruments of labour in instruments of labour only usable in common, the economising of all means of production by their use as means of production of combined socialised labour, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world-market, and with all this the international nature of the capitalistic regime” (Chapter XXXII Capital). Marx’s  analysis is breathtaking in scope, but what remains absent is the underlying life base and laws of ever more productive-force development. That this development must be consistent with the universal needs and capacities of humanity, its natural biosphere and fellow creatures does not enter Marx’s (or other) theory is as an issue. The ultimate requirement of human species evolution in any form is, as elsewhere, presupposed away in confidence of productive and technological development as an ultimate base of society’s future, a secular Providence.

In Capital, Marx restricts the parameters to be considered to the technology used and the collective wage labour as historical agency that does it. “The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails”, he writes in his first sentence of Capital presents itself as “an immense accumulation of commodities. The commodities of which all wealth consists in capitalist society, Marx observes, are always produced in accordance with the master organising principle of their production and profit, M-C-M. They are the values of the system in whatever form they take, and are defined in the same first page of Capital as material use-values for wants – – – whether they spring from the stomach or fancy makes no difference”. Marx underlines this criterion of commodities by his approving footnote citing Nicholas Barbou’s radically subjectivist principle: “want is the appetite of the mind and as natural as hunger to the body”.  It is these commodities which are the productive force object for Marx, the materializations of all wealth of capitalist society, and constitute all the technology and productive forces making them to be inherited by socialism.  

It does not occur to Marx as a profound problem that these very technologies and productive forces are driven solely by the compulsion to sell anything to moneyed desires for the lowest inputs costs and highest profits over generations – even if their processes and products are in principle indifferent o all depredatory effects on organic and ecological life systems.  That this system is held to be the material ground of productive forces by which revolution against capitalism by is necessitated and socialism/communism inevitably follows is Marx’s core theory of social normality and change. What is not evidently noticed by anyone – because it is also still assumed elsewhere – is that Marx’s Capitaldefinitions have opened the floodgates for life-destructive forces and commodities to presumptively count as “productive forces”, “goods”, and “use-values” in ever more immensity of “commodities”, “growth” and “development” as necessary, productive and good in the long term.

With no life standard or criterion to distinguish life-destructive from life-enabling productive forces and products, how can the cumulative looting and polluting of humanity’s and other species’ life support systems by capitalism which Marx first recognises as systematic, be possibly prevented over generational time? How can ever more life-blind technologies, commodities and consumptions driven by insatiable profit and commodity demand at the same time be regulated, steered and stopped from cumulative life-world destruction masked for centuries as “development” and “growth”?

This is the great aporia of Marx’s base-superstructure theory. He thinks that productive workers’ democracy in control of the vast wealth of capitalist technologies and commodities can solve these capitalist-made problems. His principles of democracy coming from the Paris Commune and enshrined in his Civil War in France as well as his Gotha Program, both after Capital, are impeccably democratic against the standard descriptions of Marx’s determinism. But democracy in itself cannot solve the ultimate problem that is not seen. Marx base -superstructure theory uniquely recognises and seeks to overcome the money-powered construction sapping the world with its vampire grip, and he scientifically proposes a towering Promethean vision of government by the direct producers in its stead. Yet we are still left with the fatal flaw of the epoch – no regulating principles of production to select for human and natural life carrying capacities rather than for their unintended cumulative despoliation by industrial technologies and commodity growthAs this system increasingly threatens human and planetary life organisation, there remains still no life-capital metric to steer ‘economic growth –not even human life necessities – with which productive forces and technology must be consistent for evolved life and society to survive or flourish.

The dominant model of ‘the economy’ from Adam Smith on is life-blind in its categories, but Marx’s revolutionary theory does not solve the problem. Life necessities, organisation and parameters of better and worse have been, and continue to be, excluded at every step of ‘productivity’ and ‘growth’.  Marx’s base-superstructure theory sees deeply into the problem of the dehumanisation of labour, but not of the planetary life host being run down in its collective life capital bases with most extracted masses, energies and commodities made wastes in weeks. Under ‘free trade’ (which Marx supported to hasten revolution), commodities of every kind must be transported with increasing loads and distances of carbon miles on habitat-destroying routes through land and sea through to consumers’ bodies widely addicting and disabling them by non-communicable diseases and toxic throwaways into the soil, water and atmosphere as industrial sinks. Most of these problems of industrial technology and multiplying material powers also existed in earlier form in Marx’s day, but the concepts of ‘increased productivity’, ‘growth’, and ‘development’ were not challenged.

Marx envisions in his Grundrisse notebooks to Capital a future state in which “once the narrow bourgeois form is peeled away”, there can be “the evolution of all human powers as such unmeasured by any previously established yardstick”. But what if the ‘bourgeois form’ cannot be peeled away because it built into the productive forces themselves? The life-base ‘yardsticks’ to prevent loss of universal life necessities on earth in their mutual interdependence, or even to ensure commodities satisfy needs without reducing life capacities of their consumers, do not exist. As in the capitalist system to be overthrown, there is no defining measure of the requirements of the ‘means of subsistence’ that production is for. (Meanwhile evolutionary biology assumes the opposite of an answer – the more a species population multiplies, the more successful it is as a life form.) Marx sees the problem of unlimited growth in the competitive capitalist frenzy to grow private money stocks – “Accumulate! Accumulate! This is Moses and all the prophets” – but the accompanying limitless multiplication of technological forces and commodities is not conceived as the problem, but rather the solution.

Marx’s labour theory of value engages ‘means of subsistence’ in the reproduction of wage-labour, but allows for their unlimited growth in conflation of wants and needs. In Capital Volume II,  Marx is poignantly unaware of the problem (emphases added): “Regardless of whether such a product as tobacco is really a consumer necessity from the physiological point of view, it suffices that it is habitually such”.  We see here how the relativization of life necessity to habitual wants can, in Marx’s conception of the base of society, drive productive forces through the human organism and the biosphere with no BST limit.  It is noteworthy that tobacco products continue to be mass produced with even the Chinese Communist Party government – still teaching Marxism in its schools – investing in mass cigarette production as it cements over the fields and rivers and replaces bicycles with fossil-fuel motors to ‘grow productive forces’, ‘satisfy people’s wants’ and ‘takes its place on the world stage’.  There is no theoretical resource to disqualify such commodities, productive technologies and their continuous growth in Marx or Marxism in general.

As with Marx’s sustained yards-of-cloth example in Capital, what ultimately counts is the living labour and value that goes into the production of the commodity price and capitalist profit, as well as the illusions that conceal the source of surplus labour and value.  But no precautionary measure exists in Marx’s productive force development to prevent or select against the long historical trend to systemic and cumulative life system destruction. Marx’s Grundrisse ,which is masterfully informed on technological and social development, even strikingly observes: “War developed earlier than peace: the way in which certain economic relations such as wage labour, machinery, etc develop earlier – – – – – – The money system completely developed there only in the army [of the Roman Empire]”. In Notebook 4, (italics added) Marx also observes that in the “commune stage” of human evolution, “the difficulties commune encounters can only rise from other communes, which have either previously occupied the land and soil, or which disturb the commune in its own occupation. War is therefore great comprehensive task, the great communal labour  – – ”. How poignant these italicised words are after a century and a half of productive forces and commodities multiplied to ever new organs and heights of human species power.  To sharpen the point of no life ground or criterion in Marx’s BST to select against the ancient interlock of productive and destructive forces, the lead capitalist society’s production system invests $2,000,000,000 of pubic money per day in war preparations, labour and ongoing wars with nothing in base-superstructure theory to prioritize life support systems. Capitalist colonialism in Marx’s era ruled as well by superior kill-and-destroy technological development and slave-labour commodities with no questioning of its ‘productive force development’. The ultimate life-and-death contradiction within capitalist ‘productive forces’ is not recognised.

Re-Setting Base-Superstructure Theory to the Life Ground

Marx’s base-superstructure theory begins with humanity distinguishing itself from other animals by production of the means of life. Yet ‘means of life’ disappears as a category after 1847 in Marx’s corpus, and is replaced on the first page of Capital by commodities serving desires not needs. Marx enters capitalist economic understanding in order to rout it, but shares its first premise of market desires as the driver of production. What happens out of view is that commodities and the productive forces making them are structured only to satisfy subjective desires backed by money demand.  The inner drama of Capital featuring “material use-values” versus “the money form” loses its life footings on page 1 beneath notice. Productive forces mass manufacture commodities which are increasingly disabling and addictive in their consumption.  Marx sees them as values because they embody labour hours. Yet if we take into account the life and life capital effects of industrial commodities from extraction through processing to product through consumer bodies to wastes through the biosphere  – all in motion in Marx’s day – a darker picture than unprecedented ‘productive force development’ and ‘‘immense wealth of commodities’ to ground socialist revolution emerges.

This unseen problem does not disappear if we drop Marx’s labour theory of value – long a controversy in which Marx is predictably dismissed although the theory originated in Smith and Ricardo and is replaced by a purely subjective theory of willingness-to-pay. Nowhere does any measure of life capital or life value enter into theory or measure. True productive value measured by the yardstick of life capacity gained is not yet conceived (although implicit in medical and ecological sciences). Commodities are use-values or goods even if they degrade and disease their life hosts through their consumption and wastes. No generic metric metric of life capacity gains or losses can be found.   A momentous entailment follows. If ‘productive forces’ or ‘technological progress’ are defined as that which produce material use-values in ever higher quantities for acquired wants by lower labour input into their products, then however life and life-carrying capacities are systemically depredated by their processes and products of production, they are still productive forces, development and growth. Tthey may be harmful by replacing life necessities in their production and consumption with junk-foods, weapons, built-in pollutants, eco-degrading machines screened out as disvalues, and life capacity gains and losses nowhere entering into even the Marxian bottom line. This is the ultimate contradiction of the epoch that Marx’s theory does not provide the resources to resolve.

Re-setting base-superstructure theory to the life-ground is required, and Marx began his historic work in promise of this. In the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, he exalts “human needs” as enabling motivators and extenders of human “species being” into and forming the natural environment with the life activity of consciousness in realising capacities in a world humanity which “beholds itself in a world it has created”. Productive work “is the objectification of man’s species being”, he writes in the EPM and “the history of industry – – is the open book of man’s essential powers”.  Humanity is realised, he writes in Theses on Feuerbach, against commodity consumerism, “only when the object becomes for him a human object”.  Production, he continues in The German Ideology one year later in 1846, is “a definite form of expressing their life”, as “what they are – – both with what they produce and how they produce” (Marx’s emphases).  The beginnings of Marx’s base-superstructure theory are in these ways focused on production as driven by universal human life needs and capacities transforming the world in creative action – a “conscious self-transcending of coming to be”.

Image result for wealth of nations smith

Yet once inside the ruling method of modern science where redundant and externally observable sequences alone count as scientific, Marx’s BST is bound by its chains even as he seeks to transcend them. It is worth citing here the earlier philosopher and founder of modern Economics, Adam Smith, to get a sense of the theoretical origins of the ghoulish rationality into which Marx submerges himself to master the dismal science. In his monumental Wealth of Nations, the founding text of the “moral science”, Professor Adam Smith argues for his time and the epoch that “among the inferior ranks of people the scantiness of means of subsistence can set limits to the further multiplication of the human species; and it can so in no other way than by destroying a great part of the children which their fruitful marriages produce” (Book I, Chapter 3, “Wages of labour”).

Social Darwinism before Darwin is the deep structure of this thought system in which sacrifice of the least reverses Christianity in its name. Yet once inside this grim grip of method, Marx the scientist leaves behind Marx the philosopher of human liberation. The unique human capacity of “species being” and “free conscious activity that adopts the species as its object” is dropped from his work after 1846. “Means of life” as what productive forces produce silently disappears after Wage Labour and Capital in 1847. As Marx’s study becomes research-submerged in seeking the theory-suppressed origin of profit and the inner logic of the capitalist system he abhors, the ennobling categories of the early and unpublished manuscripts disappear. In ironic reduction by the economic determinism he is the first to identify, Marx’s early first principle in the EPM  is forgotten: “One basis for life and another basis for science is an a-priori lie”.

By the time of Capital, Marx’s productive forces have no life-value framing left to distinguish them from life-destructive forces.  They are no longer that which produce means of life without which life capacities wane and diebut manufactured commodities, including ever larger-scaled cannon and machine powers devastating the natural world across cultures and destroying pre-industrial peoples at the same time. Marx like the epoch does not shrink from conceiving the life-annihilating powers. For the BST, no life sacrifice is too great for the inevitable future communism it projects. We see here the epochal pattern of technological, mass and economic powers fastened to great visions that even humanist to the core cannot find the life-ground on which every moment depends.

What Marx studies in unprecedented depth is the money-value process of brutally competitive production of commodities to maximize outputs, lower costs and private profits, and he stands throughout for the “living labour” of the industrial productive forces, the humanity of its bearers, their development of life capacities, the surplus labour-value extracted from them with no payment. He documents in words of fire the most extreme system oppressions and torments on record. This is why Marx’s work is so uniquely resonant across peoples over 150 years.  Yet his productive base remains without any life-carrying capacity criteria to steer against the inhuman mass-productivism of Stalinism, Taylorism or China or towards ecological sustainability by full recycling. At the same time, on the level of collective agency, the BST notion of productive class cannot in principle enlist the great and creative life forces of first peoples, subsistence farmers, household labour, student masses, identification with fellow species, and green consciousness to ground a life-based transformation beyond the money-ghoul disorder. Productivism across opposing classes escalates volumes of material outputs as ‘more goods’.

Marx’s Capital is not a “theoretical anti-humanism” (as Louis Althusser argues) because his theory is driven by a Promethean humanism so insurgent that it is certain of a proletarian dictatorship bringing in the final emancipation of humanity.  On the other hand, when human life capacity gain or loss do not figure into the value calculus of productive forces or the commodities they produce, we can see the disastrous outcomes in the long run with no life capital base recognised.  As in natural evolution, unavoidable tragedy is built into the struggle for survival  – the mors immortalis of all species and societies dying into new forms. For Marx’s historical materialism, the redeeming certitude is that the industrial productive powers ‘surpassing all prior societies put together’ will finally enable an overthrow of the capitalist still stamped with the beast: which he finds in unspoken poetic justice, ‘digs its own grave’ by the joint cooperative labour powers and machines it builds to overthrow it. Yet the theoretical problems of Marx’s BST come back to one buried meta issue. If technological development is the ultimate measure of a society’s historical advance, what is the life standard or principle whereby society can know the difference, in either capitalism or socialism, between this assumed material progress and, in historical fact, long-term life-commons ruin?  The “precision of natural science” that Marx attributes to “the material mode of production” lacks any criteria benchmarks to satisfy the ultimate question.

The question of ‘the illusion of progress’ has been posted in many quarters, but nowhere are the dots joined of the lost life-ground of Marx’s base-superstructure theory as well as the epoch.

The Missing Life Capital Base of Marx’s Base-Superstructure Theory

Re-set of Marx’s productive base to principled consistency with human and natural laws of life and life support systems is the missing foundation of historical materialism as well as the capitalist system from the start. Yet in all cases and at all levels, the measure of life necessity that is blocked out is undeniable once defined: any material need or necessity is that without which life capacities of any kind are reduced or die – from oceans to songbirds to human brains. While Marx does not penetrate to this unifying principle or its implications for system transformation, it is implicitly presupposed in both his attacks on the capitalist system and his revolutionary alternative to it. This underpinning value code may be tested by any case of denunciation or affirmation in Marx’s analysis which does not conform to the italicised principle. It is measurable and applicable to all productive plans and practises, with organic medical practises and public health programs implicitly guided by it. This life-value base and metric also defines the universal life necessities which constitute the “realm of necessity” Marx recognises as that which all societies’ modes of production must provide for – and, in value logic entailment,are better or worse in accordance with how well they do so.

Can Marx’s BST be re-set to include this missing collective life capital base? There seems only way do so, and that is comprehension of the following three moments of any life-coherent value system across generations: all enduring life value is that which (i) produces more life value (ii) without loss and (iii) with cumulative gain. The sole concept in any language which comprehends these three moments of lasting values in terrestrial time is life capital whose collective form includes every social asset through time from the sciences and arts to stable hydrological cycles to a public healthcare system to pollution-abating and recycling technologies to regional biodiversity and arable lands, and food seed banks, to local, national global aquifers, rivers, sewers and filter systems. The “collective” modifier is in fidelity to Marx’s methodolological collectivism which understands social systems in terms of social entities rather than as atomic aggregates to which the dominant economic, medical and biological sciences are still bound.

Yet the concept of ‘capital’ itself has been so narrowed down to money demand appropriating profit in limitless accumulation that anti- or pro-Marx ideologues cannot think past the dominant meaning.  This is a quintessential paradigm block.

We can test the unifying principle of collective life capital in Marx’s base-superstructure theory by seeking any value affirmation or negation which conflicts with it. In onto-axiological terms not found in economic or political theory, every value is a life capital value if it reproduces and gains in yield consistently with other life capital: as in any good way of life and as in Marx’s implicit life-value code of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.  This missing life-coherence principle fits to Marx’s base-superstructure theory in all that its states or implies as social objective. For example, all sound public infrastructures and services as well as natural resources can be defined, evaluated, tracked in gains and losses of life-carrying capacities and needs, and made consistent with one another in sustainable flourishing in accordance with this underlying life capital method and measure: the very definition of Marx’s otherwise undefined and misunderstood ‘communist society’, as can also be tested in his texts from the EPM to the Gotha Program. The principal problem of the BST as well as the capitalist epoch is lack of principle to comprehend these common life capital bases and the life-coherent knowledge to sustain consistency among them. Conversely, the ultimate problem of capitalism is that it is life-capital blind in M-C-M1—n principle, and is cumulatively life-destructive by the powers of its technologies disaggregating all that exists for private profit as the overriding end of ‘growth’. Marx’s entire corpus and BST method is an encyclopedically learned testimony to this underlying disorder without naming it, or preventing its productivist-led recurrence in societies self-described as ‘communist’.

While Marx leaves capitalist misrule to the ‘inevitable proletarian revolution’ to resolve, capitalist centuries have so built systemic life destruction into ‘development’ and ‘growth’ that it requires this ultimate re-set to life capital parameters that Marx does not provide. The appearance of capitalism’s incomparably great productive powers masks even to Marx what is, in fact, cumulatively depredating technological forces, methods and commodifications  despoiling the very life carrying systems of human and natural evolution on the planet. A century and a half after Capital, the macro economy remains without a collective capital base or equivalent on which all depends and interdepends. Neo-liberal state policies dictate defunding, privatizing and de-regulation of whatever social life-support systems and life-protective regulatory control have evolved over a century, including those advocated by Marx – work-time limits to a shorter working day (now growing); public banks (now privatized in even currency issue); nationalized industries (privatized for profit almost everywhere); and a graduated income tax (increasingly pushed into reverse).

At the same time, the productive force development of capitalism hardly provides the production forces for primary life necessities themselves. Even assuming a future ‘government of associated producers’, it must re-set production itself to life capital terms, criteria and investment. The basic need of a place to live is now everywhere controlled by private rentiers and banks producing for profit not homes with a housing-production system not structured for peoples’ needs. The ultimate life capital necessity of clean water to drink is so ignored by existing productive force development that two-thirds of the world now runs short of it. Where publicly owned and managed clean water supply exists – the life foundation of any society or production system – it is privatized into throwaway plastic bottles charging more than the price of oil while public water sources are run down by industrial farming and vehicle pollutions across the globe. Nourishing foods, the universal life necessity that launched the capitalist revolution by large-scale farming and international trade now mass produces nutrient-deficient and disease-causing substances leading non-infectious epidemics of disease, suffering and death.

Together these degenerate trends –all called ‘more productivity’ pose the greatest threat to human and fellow life in history and perhaps the species time on earth, most deeply of the planet’s life carrying capacities themselves. Only by the recognition and metric of a collective life capital base, quantifiable by the money investment required to sustain each of its domains in proportion to the life capacities destroyed without it, is the problem built into the productive forces themselves soluble in principle. If the common life asset is already depleted and polluted beyond recovery, it is at least known with a defined category to measure the life-carrying capacities lost, and required henceforth for social transformation to be consistent with the universal life necessities now being deprived and despoiled without recognition of it.

Marx’s BST, including in particular its theory of social revolution, does not have the resources to resolve this ultimate problem nor even recognise it. Without the collective life capital base and measure to ground base-superstructure theory, the cumulative capitalist forces of life-system destruction remain built into the revolutionary productive forces themselves.

The Productive Agency of Social Transformation 150 Years after Capital

Marx believed that industrial workers (the proletariat) would rise up around the world (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

At the heart of Marx’s base-superstructure theory, Capital contends that the industrial working class or proletariat is “disciplined, united, organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself” to revolt against it – a signature contention which has been widely followed. Yet a logical slippage occurs in Marx’s argument which is not recognised. For within “this very mechanism of capitalist production”, no other purpose is allowed but to serve the M-C-M1 “law of motion of modern society” which, by Marx’s own description, operates solely to lower money costs for capitalists to pump out maximum profit. In particular, there is no freedom of time, motion or speech in assembly-line production progressively analysed into constituent phases and programmed to extract maximum life energy from workers to maximize profit. What has gone unnoticed is a fallacy of equivocation between the production process of workers bound to serve total capitalist command within the industrial workplace and workers joining together outside this workplace on the basis of their collective interests which are systematically expelled from it. As Marx himself says elsewhere in Wage Labour and Capital, “life only begins for the labourer where his bought labour ceases”.

Marx also claims in this most revolutionary passage of Capital that the industrial proletariat is “growing in revolt” and “always increasing in numbers”. Here the error is not logical, but factual.  The industrial proletariat since Marx’s Capital – perhaps due in part to it – has been progressively replaced by automated systems which in the last half century have multipled industrial job reduction, separation of work functions into globally scaled assembly-lines, and systematic deprivation of collective worker leverages of strike, union association, local market demand, and job security. Here again Marx’s base-superstructure theory of social transformation needs to be re-set to remain applicable. In fact, the class most superseding and displacing the industrial proletariat has been knowledge creators and workers who emerge everywhere that symbolic capabilities and activities replace physical inputs in production – the greatest revolution in productive development since Marx. While the physical-input class has been effectively terminated in capacities to organise or lead social transformation, knowledge creators and workers are bound by exact learning and the sciences within at and at the top of material production systems across cultures as well as outside them. Yet what they still lack, like Marx’s BST itself, is comprehension and action in accordance with the collective life capital bases (as defined in the prior section) on which all depend in the clean water they can drink, the nourishing food they can eat, the life security they can move or sleep in, and so on through all the life carrying capacities of social reproduction each must have accessible to live and live well as individuals as well as societies.

On the other hand, knowledge creators and workers and their are already organising, unifying and disciplining investigations and mass resistance to capitalist life destructions and degradations of  life systems and links on a case-by-case basis. These include campaigns against and for species extinctions and conservation, rainforests and animal habitats of every kind, human water sources across the planet, atmosphere and ocean carbonization , toxic and diseases-causing foods and working conditions, political corruption and tax evasions, children’s rights and gender liberation, environmental degradations and pesticides or herbicides, trade treaties depriving workers of jobs and life security of citizens, US-led war criminal policies and actions, exposure of secret and mendacious political dealings against the common interest,  public electricity infrastructures, dirty oil extractions and transportations crossing planet in pollution of means of life on every level – – – the domains of battle for life and life support systems against capitalist invasions for private profit are increasing in numbers and revolt. What still lies ahead for this emergent agency of global social transformation is connective knowledge and action across common life capital bases now still isolated from each other in conception and execution towards cross-cultural public policy formation in comprehensively life-coherent definition leading societies on every front out of the degenerative trends deepening within material production itself as well as the ownership structure and political and ideological planes laid bare by base-superstructure theory. This requires ‘disciplined, organised and united’ understanding within and outside workplaces at a level only adumbrated by Marx’s BST. As he knew it is not just a question of ‘ideas seizing the masses as a material force’, but of public authority investigation, action and law consistent with    objective and scientific knowledge across public spheres of life protection and enablement.

Marx’s Preface to Capital is far-seeing in defining the leading lines of the knowledge vocation and its search for truth, objective understanding of the facts, and social defence of universal life necessities for those deprived of them across domains:

where there are plenary powers to get at the truth (Marx’s emphasis): if it was possible to find for this purpose men as competent, as free from partisanship and respect of persons as are [emphases added] the English Factory inspectors, her medical reporters on public health, her commissioners of inquiry into the exploitation of women and children, into housing and food.

Observe how encompassing these life capital bases are and the ‘plenary powers to get at the truth’. Observe how Marx supports the knowledge-creation capacities of the most developed capitalist society to seek the truth across the most basic domains of life production and reproduction.  Consider then this logic of knowledge evolution as the ultimate species, survival and development advantage of humanity through historical and natural time increasingly connecting and leading the rest.  This is the collective life capital knowledge base which advances in the deepest contradiction with the private money-command system of capitalism, and what alone outgrows its vampire grip – 150 years after Capital.

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Latin America in Limbo in 2018: Washington’s “Operation Condor 2.0”

Latin America is in limbo as the US’ “Operation Condor 2.0” has more or less succeeded in reducing multipolarity in the region, though the upcoming Mexican and Brazilian presidential elections might herald a paradigm shift if leftists win the highest office in both Great Powers.

The US has systematically dismantled multipolarity in the Western Hemisphere ever since it began its asymmetrical counteroffensive in 2009 by supporting the military coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Since then, the leftist governments in Argentina and Brazil fell due to electoral and constitutional coups, severely reversing the effects of the “Pink Tide” and opening up the Mercosur trading bloc to the same type of neoliberal influence that it had previously intended to thwart.

Venezuela has been in the throes of a deadly and ever-escalating Hybrid War for almost the past three years, and while the government of President Maduro hasn’t been toppled, its regional influence has been considerably weakened as a result. Moreover, the US is assembling a coalition of regional states to intensify the pressure being put on the Bolivarian Republic, possibly heralding in a new “Lead From Behind” model that could be used elsewhere in the hemisphere.

Speaking of which, it appears likely that Bolivia will be in for a period of unrest next year after the announcement by the country’s court that President Morales will be allowed to run for a fourth term despite last year’s referendum on giving him this right being narrowly defeated at the polls. Bolivia is also the central transit state for China’s Transoceanic Railroad that will connect Peru and Brazil, so the US has yet another reason to seek the destabilization of this multipolar gas-rich socialist state that’s recently expanded its partnerships with both Russia and China.

Nicaragua might also experience difficulties as well as the government of President Ortega is forced to respond to the declining economic situation in the Western Hemisphere’s second-poorest country and avoid the Hybrid War trap being set in sparking a repeat of the Contra-era eastern Mosquito Coast conflict. Neighboring Honduras, which is one of the largest origin states for illegal migrants to the US and also a crucial transit location for drug trafficking operations, might descend into unrest if the people continue agitating against the government after President Juan Orlando Hernandez stole the last election to hand himself an unprecedented second term in office.

For as strategically hopeless of a situation as this may seem, there are actually two potential opportunities for reversing the course of events and pushing back against the unipolar dominance that’s creeped back into the hemisphere, and they both come down to next year’s presidential elections in Mexico and Brazil. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known by his abbreviated initials as AMLO, is a leftist-nationalist opposition leader who’s wildly popular in Mexico and has a serious chance at winning the presidency in July. He’s already contested several elections in the past, barely losing in 2006 because of what he alleged had been voting fraud, and his potential victory next year could spice up the American-Mexican relationship.

AMLO is regarded by many as being a Mexican version of Trump, albeit from the leftist angle, and while far from being a second Chavez, his entrance to office could immediately have far-reaching consequences for the US, most notably in terms of renegotiating NAFTA and dealing with illegal migrants. It’s far too early at this point to gauge his prospects for winning, but nevertheless, there’s a lot of positive energy surrounding him, and it can’t be discounted that he might at the very least pull off a repeat of the 2006 elections where he ended up claiming victory but blamed his eventual razor-thin defeat on fraud. This scenario could unsettle the situation in Mexico and turn the country into a security risk for the US, which is why it must be monitored.

As for Brazil, the ruling authorities are waging “lawfare” in trying to prevent the ultra-popular former president affectionately known as Lula from running for office again, relying on his purported connection to the extensive “Operation Car Wash” corruption scheme to argue that this makes him ineligible to stand. In any case, the Workers’ Party might do fairly well and could capitalize on the widespread resentment against Temer’s rule to pull off a victory, but at the same time, voters are indeed disillusioned by the scandal-plagued party and might opt for Soros-linked Marina Silva and her new Socialist Party offshoot called the Sustainability Network.

Because of the uncertainty over Latin America’s geopolitical direction, it’s reasonable to describe the entire region as being in limbo between multipolarity and unipolarity, with the pro-US forces on the strategic initiative but nevertheless not yet totally back into power. The upcoming elections in Mexico and Brazil will to a large extent determine the future trajectory of the hemisphere, as will the outcome of the Hybrid War on Venezuela and any incipient conflicts that also might be hatched against its Bolivian and Nicaraguan partners.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Dec 29, 2017:

Audio Player

 

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare.

Posted in South AmericaComments Off on Latin America in Limbo in 2018: Washington’s “Operation Condor 2.0”

Washington Trembles: The Charge of the Invisible Army of Kremlin Trolls

Featured image: Alice Donovan’s Twitter profile image

Diana Johnstone explains that President Trump can be excused from being prosecuted as a Russian agent if he will give up his intention of normalizing relations with the necessary enemy of the US military/security complex and join in the orchestrated demonization of Russia.

*

There is no holiday truce in the propaganda war. On this Christmas day, The Washington Post offered its readers a scare story entitled “Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options”.

The article is long – nearly 4000 words. The only part that is sure to be read in these busy times of short attention spans is the headline, whose two themes are rich in subliminal messages.

First, a slash and burn operation by an army of Kremlin trolls is laying waste to the Internet. Second, official Washington in its benevolent innocence is having trouble facing up to this nefarious threat.

Let’s take these two themes one at a time.

Invasion of the Troll Army

The journalistic peg for this story is a phantom freelance journalist named Alice Donovan whose “first email arrived in the inbox of CounterPunch, a left-leaning American news and opinion website, at 3:26 a.m. – the middle of the day in Moscow”.

Aha!

Drawing on its abundant intelligence community sources, the WaPo article continues:

“The FBI was tracking Donovan as part of a months-long counterintelligence operation code-named ‘NorthernNight’. Internal bureau reports described her as a pseudonymous foot soldier in an army of Kremlin-led trolls seeking to undermine America’s democratic institutions.”

Now, it is interesting to note that the only evidence provided in this article for “Russia’s army of trolls” (the expression pops up again) is the existence of this pseudonymous foot soldier named Alice Donovan. And the only evidence of her existence is numerous articles published on about a dozen websites over the past two years. Because when CounterPunch attempted, alarmed by the FBI, to find out who she is, it was unable to do so.

So, in this account, one ephemeral foot soldier is cited as proof of an “army”.

This should immediately raise questions. Why was the FBI investigating someone whose only trace of existence was authorship of website articles? It couldn’t be investigating “a person”, since apparently no one knows who this person is. So it was investigating a website writer. Why? What was its criterion?

“As the 2016 presidential election heated up,” the article continues, Alice Donovan “seemed to be doing the Kremlin’s bidding by stoking discontent toward Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and touting WikiLeaks, which U.S. officials say was a tool of Russia’s broad influence operation to affect the presidential race.”

In short, “stoking discontent” toward Hillary is the distinguishing sign of being “a tool” of a Russian operation. Incidentally, there are a lot of us who did just that. I am one of them, having written a whole book of discontent toward Hillary. Are we all under FBI investigation?

Is it or is it not the mission of the FBI to run a counterintelligence operation investigating website writers who digress from the official Washington line on Hillary Clinton, Russia and Syria? Alice Donovan did so but her pieces were relatively mild. Why should she be singled out for an FBI counterintelligence operation?

Why was CounterPunch warned against her and not against all of us who write such articles?

The not so subliminal message was: any article submitted to a website that contradicts the official line may be the work of sinister Kremlin agents. The evidence: they’ve found one! Its name is Alice Donovan. So be very careful what you publish.

Of course, the “evidence” is just as invisible as all the “proof” of Russian subversion produced so far by U.S. security agencies. Nobody has seen Alice Donovan. Nobody has talked with her. So far, there is no proof of her existence. But that has not prevented leading mainstream media from proclaiming her as exhibit A for Alice in the media prosecution of Vladimir Putin for “undermining our democracy”.

“The FBI, in keeping with its standard practice in counterintelligence investigations, has kept a close hold on information about Donovan and other suspected Russian personas peddling messages inside the United States”, according to the WaPo.

But not such a close hold that it refrained from unnerving CounterPunch editors with suggestions that it was facilitating Kremlin cyberwar, or from passing along confidential intelligence reports to the most influential newspaper in the Nation’s Capital, whose ties to the CIA are longstanding.

If Alice Donovan is such a threat, why not expose her/his/its identity?

Reacting to FBI warnings, CounterPunch did its own investigation and came up with significant facts.

First, since it was impossible to trace “Alice Donovan”, the FBI must have been alerted by the writings, not by the person. When and how did the snoopers discover that she was apparently using a pseudonym? Did they know that first, meaning that the FBI equated pen names with Russian subversion? But what counts in an article is above all the content, not the signature. Throughout history, writers have used pen names as protection from potential persecution. The FBI exchange with CounterPunch indicates an intention to warn “left-leaning” websites not to publish anonymous articles, which could be a first step toward excluding persons who have something to say but fear getting in trouble because their views are unorthodox, especially in a period of intensifying witch hunt.

But the most significant fact emerging from CounterPunch’s own investigation is that articles by “Alice Donovan” failed to introduce some new strain of Russian propaganda into American cyberspace. They were not at all original. The phantom commentator picked up pieces of articles found on other left-leaning websites, and pasted them together as her own. The articles were cut and paste – in a word plagiarism.

That is the smoking gun, and the fingerprints are not Russian.

Indeed, inasmuch as there was nothing new, nothing particular sensational, no great “fake news” revelation in the Donovan prose, what could the “Kremlin” hope to gain? Why attempt to “undermine our democracy” with a few shadows of other existing internet articles?

This simply makes no sense.

There is another hypothesis, however, that does make sense. It is clear from the very creation of Operation NorthernNight that the FBI was charged with the task of producing proof that Internet dissidence has its origins in a Putin plot. But when such evidence turns out to be difficult or impossible to find, it can be manufactured instead – just as a certain number of “terrorist plots” have been manufactured by luring some gullible fool into a sting operation.

It could be well worth the trouble of the FBI to entrap leftist publications into publishing articles that could be “exposed” as “Kremlin propaganda”. It is obvious that the Deep State is desperate for “evidence” to back up their Russia-is-destroying-our-democracy fairy tale, and this would fit right in. The invention of “Alice Donovan” could provide such “evidence”.

If you were an FBI hack, commissioned with writing articles to be signed by “Alice Donovan”, how would you go about it? As an FBI hack, you probably have no idea how to write such an article. The easiest way would be to copy what real “left-leaning” authors had written. The Donovan papers added nothing to what was already in the public domain. They said nothing that other writers had not written, and that might risk further poisoning the minds of gullible Americans. She just cut and pasted. That would be a most convenient way to “invent” a fictional Russian troll – set her loose among the websites and then “discover” the scandal. Just a new twist on the FBI’s perpetual entrapment ploys. A variation on the theme of sting operations. We lure you into doing something we can accuse you of. But it is the “left-leaning” websites that are lured into having published “fake news” by a “Kremlin troll”.

This should teach them to be careful!

There is indeed no proof that “Alice Donovan” is a creation of the FBI undercover operation known as NorthernNight, just as there is no proof that “Alice Donovan” was a creation of a Kremlin disinformation campaign. However, there is proof that the FBI undercover operation existed. From its secret sources, The Washington Post reveals that a “previously unreported order – a sweeping presidential finding to combat global cyber threats – prompted U.S. spy agencies to plan a half-dozen specific operations to counter the Russian threat.” Why couldn’t “Alice Donovan” have been one of those operations?

On the other hand, the Kremlin disinformation campaign is still a matter of speculation – despite all the mainstream reports based, like this one claims to be, on “interviews with dozens of current and former senior U.S. officials at the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and U.S. and European intelligence services, as well as NATO representatives and top European diplomats.”

Since all those interviews are anonymous, what makes them more credible than an anonymous blogger? Where is the evidence – of anything?

This whole article is built on the a priori assumption of the existence of “an army of Kremlin trolls” out to destroy American democracy. The theme is imaginatively elaborated, but never supported by solid facts.

Saving Trump From the Trolls

If the first theme in the article is designed to intimidate “left-leaning” websites, obliging them to tow the official line, and henceforth threatened with accusations of colluding with “the Kremlin’s army of trolls” if they do not do so, the second theme is indirectly addressed to Trump. The subliminal message: jump onto the anti-Russia bandwagon and you may not be impeached after all.

This message is delivered by innuendo. Whereas the whole “Russian fake news” campaign got off the ground as a way to explain the preposterous election of Donald Trump, and also as a way to discredit the despised president and prepare his destitution, the tone has changed. Now, the WaPo reports, Trump is not a beneficiary but a target of Russian disinformation:

“After Trump took office, Russia’s army of trolls began to shift their focus within the United States, according to U.S. intelligence reports. Instead of spreading messages to bolster Trump, they returned to their long-held objective of sowing discord in U.S. society and undermining American global influence. Trump’s presidency and policies became a Russian disinformation target.”

“Donovan and other Kremlin-backed personas” began attacking the Trump administration for, among other things, supporting “terrorists” and authorizing military strikes that killed children in Syria.

“ ‘They are all about disruption,’ said a former official briefed on the intelligence. ‘They want a distracted United States that can’t counter Vladimir Putin’s ambitions’.”

What ambitions are those? According to Washington informants, this was because Putin wanted to “make up for its diminished military” by seizing on “influence campaigns and cyberwarfare as equalizers.”

Now, one might think that if all Russia can muster to “equalize” the United States’ unprecedented military machine is an army of Alice Donovans, all those security experts in Washington should relax and stop worrying.

According to this tale, that is just what they did, convinced that “it was all over and we’d won the propaganda war”. Then came – horrors! – RT, a Russian sponsored American television channel than offers viewers a vision of the news that strikes the Washington Post like an exorcism chant.

Poor, Fragile America

So now U.S. security officials run whimpering to The Washington Post claiming that top policy-makers were misled by “a misguided belief in the resilience of American society and its democratic institutions.” Miscalculations and “bureaucratic inertia” left the United States “vulnerable to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election”… The world’s greatest democracy turns out to be a house of cards.

What a confession! It turns out that if the Russians huff and puff, they can blow the house down.

“I thought our ground was not as fertile,” said Antony J. Blinken, President Barack Obama’s deputy secretary of state. “We believed that the truth shall set you free, that the truth would prevail. That proved a bit naive.”

Gee whiz, the guys in Washington are just too honest to dream of the nasty things those mean Russians can do. But now The Washington Post is there, hand in hand with “the intelligence community”, to warn us, and to warn you, Mr. Trump, that the Russians are the bad guys out to destroy America and you must do everything to stop them.

These complaints have a familiar ring. Whenever the Pentagon is gearing up to bomb some hapless country into regime change, we hear the same chorus from the mainstream media, from intelligence experts and high officials “on conditions of anonymity”, as well as from assorted semi-governmental “non-governmental” human rights organizations, proclaiming that American leaders must be awakened from their idealistic dreams in order to stop the latest Hitler from doing whatever it is such villains do. Of course, America’s naive leaders are just too kind and innocent to take this latest terrible threat seriously – until alerted by diligent spooks and their mainstream media collaborators. We’ve heard this again and again. Remember how human rights advocates had to nag and nag the gentle US war machine to get it to bomb Serbia, to bomb Libya, to arm “good” Syrian rebels. Official America is so good and trusting that it has to be forced to take necessary defensive action.

So come on, Trump, just wake up to the Putin cyber threat, and all will be forgiven.

Posted in USA, RussiaComments Off on Washington Trembles: The Charge of the Invisible Army of Kremlin Trolls

Haley Embarrassed America by Bullying U.N.: Ex-NATO Ambassador

NOVANEWS
“I don’t know if she’s been ordered to do this, but it’s not going to be effective.”

Photo Credit: CNN

Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO R. Nicholas Burns sharply criticized U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump for bullying countries that voted to criticize the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“I’m kind of surprised that Ambassador Haley is doing this,” Burns told CNN. “I don’t know if she’s been ordered to do this, but it’s not going to be effective. We’re a great country, we’re the leading, strongest country in the world. And our best presidents, our most effective presidents, they led with self-confidence and led with supporting our allies.”

“You can’t bully your best friends in the world—Germany, Britain, France—these are countries that have voted against us on the issue of Jerusalem. So I don’t think it’s going to work,” he said. “I’m afraid that some countries will just double down in their vote against the United States because they have domestic politics too; they can’t bow down publicly to threats from the president of the United States.

His conclusion was that Haley’s remarks were an “embarrassing spectacle of American diplomacy going in the wrong direction.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Haley Embarrassed America by Bullying U.N.: Ex-NATO Ambassador

How Much Death, Destruction and “Miscalculation” Awaits Us in 2018?

NOVANEWS

Nowhere in the West is there a sign of leadership toward peace and the well-being of humanity.

The New Year is one full of economic, political, and war threats.

Among the economic threats are stock, bond, and real estate markets artificially pumped up by years of central bank money creation and by false reports of full employment. It is an open question whether participants in these markets are aware that underlying reality does not support the asset values.  Central banks support stock markets not only with abundant liquidity but with direct stock purchases.  The Japanese central bank is now one of the largest owners of Japanese equities.  Central banks, which are supposed to provide economic stability, have created a massive fraud. 

Throughout the Western world politics has degenerated into fraud. No government serves the public’s interest. (See this) Except for some former Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe, European governments have defied the will of the people by admitting vast numbers of refugees from Washington’s wars and others pretending to be refugees.  The European governments further imperil their citizens with their support for Washington’s rising aggression toward Russia.  The universal failure of democratic politics is leading directly to war.

The Saker explains that Americans with intelligence, honor, courage, and integrity have disappeared from the US national security establishment.  In their place are arrogant morons high on hubris who believe:

(1) We can buy anybody,

(2) Those we cannot buy, we bully,

(3) Those we cannot bully, we kill,

(4) Nothing can happen to us, we live in total impunity no matter what we do.   

Scott Bennett reports that US soldiers are being propagandized that Russia is an enemy with whom we are headed to war. 

The Anglo-Zionist empire is trying to overturn the Iranian agreement and to restart the attempt to overthrow the government of Syria.  Lebanon’s Hezbollah is also in the empire’s sights. Washington is arming Ukraine in order to enable an attack on the breakaway provinces of Novorussia.  Threats against North Korea escalate. Even little Venezuela is threatened with military intervention simply because the country wants to control its own destiny and not be controlled by Washington and the New York banks.

In the opinion of some, Russia’s very cautious diplomacy has increased the likelihood that Washington will miscalculate and give the world a third world war.  By not accepting the requests of the breakaway Russian provinces in Ukraine to be reunited with Russia, the Russian government paved the way for Washington to provide the military means for its Ukrainian puppet to attempt to reconquer the provinces.  Success would damage Russian prestige and encourage Washington in its aggressive actions.  Sooner or later Russia will have to stand and fight. 

Russia’s premature declaration of victory in Syria and withdrawal has made it possible for US forces to remain in Syria and attempt to restart the effort to overthrow the Assad government.  Russia would have to defend its victory, or by the failure to do so encourage more aggressive actions by Washington.

Hopes have evaporated that President Trump would restore the normalized relations between the nuclear powers that Reagan and Gorbachev made possible.  The question for the New Year is when does Washington’s aggression against Russia ignite a hot war.

Your website will be examining these issues as they unfold in 2018. From the perspective of today, it is unlikely that the New Year will be a happy one.  Nowhere in the West is there a sign of leadership toward peace and the well-being of humanity.

Posted in USAComments Off on How Much Death, Destruction and “Miscalculation” Awaits Us in 2018?

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