Archive | April 19th, 2018

Busted! Roger Waters(Pink Floyd) Hits “White Helmets”as Terrorists

NOVANEWS

The Syrian Civil Defense, more commonly known as the White Helmets, has emerged as one of the most effective propaganda tools for Islamist militants in Syria, with the group staging numerous provocations to draw in foreign military intervention to aid the militants in their quest to establish Shariah law in the Arab state.

English singer Roger Waters, who was a member of the Pink Floyd rock band, slammed the White Helmets as “a fake organization that exists only to create propaganda for jihadists and terrorists,” during a concert in Barcelona on April 13. His comments were met with cheers from the crowd.

He said the White Helmets encourages governments in the West to attack Syria and he called on people living in Europe and North America to urge their governments not to do so.

“If we were to listen to the propaganda of the White Helmets and others, we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to start dropping bombs on people in Syria. This would be a mistake of monumental proportions for us as human beings,” Mr. Waters insisted.

“What we should do is go and persuade our governments not to go and drop bombs on people. And certainly not until we have done all the research that is necessary so that we would have a clear idea of what is really going on. Because we live in the world where propaganda seems to be more important than the reality of what is really going on.”

The White Helmets have been suspected of having ties to the al-Qaeda* franchise, with members of the organization reportedly assisting affiliates of the terrorist group in executions and other human rights violations.

Many took to social media to praise Mr. Waters for lifting the White Helmet’s façade and exposing the group.

Mr. Waters is one of many who have been very vocal in their opposition to the strikes against Syria by the US, France and the UK, which were supposedly carried out in retaliation to an alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma earlier this month.

READ MORE: New US Strikes in Syria Will Provoke a Tougher Response — Moscow

This particular military intervention – which involved the firing of over 100 missiles at targets in Syria – has proven especially controversial, mainly because the tripartite aggression was launched prior to an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW.)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to take part in the attack without holding a debate in parliament and seeking its approval – a convention established after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq – is another reason why her government has been heavily criticized for its role in the strikes.

READ MORE: Church Leaders Condemn ‘Brutal’ US-Led Attack on Syria, Praise Gov’t Forces

The Syrian government has strongly denied any involvement in the alleged chemical attack on Douma, and insists that it has destroyed its arsenal of chemical weapons and has never used such agents throughout the ongoing conflict.

*Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group, banned in Russia.

Related:
WATCH Douma Doctor Blow Lid Off White Helmets’ ‘Chemical Attack’ Claims
Syrian Army Discovers White Helmets’ Filming Site in Eastern Ghouta
Does Presence of White Helmets Indicate False Flag Chemical Attacks in Syria?
White Helmets ‘Treat’ Alleged Chemical Attack Victims Without Protective Gear
Author Says White Helmets, Avaaz Sing From Same Song Sheet, Reveals Orchestrator
EXCLUSIVE: The Violent Reality of ‘Western Propaganda Construct’ White Helmets
Fake News Alert: Media Stirred Over White Helmets’ ‘New’ Horror Movie

Posted in Syria, UKComments Off on Busted! Roger Waters(Pink Floyd) Hits “White Helmets”as Terrorists

TCK Live Call In Show (April 15) w/ Fr. Voigt and Syrian Girl

NOVANEWS

Fr. Voigt joins me to discuss the apostasy in the Catholic Church and Syrian Girl joins me to discuss the latest about the ongoing fighting in Syria.

TCK LIVE CALL IN SHOW (APRIL 15) W/ FR. VOIGT & SYRIAN GIRL
TIME: APRX. 3 HOURS
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SPECIAL GUEST FR. VOIGT JOINS ME IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE PROGRAM TO DISCUSS: TEMPERANCE, FIGHTING AGAINST DESPAIR, SPIRITUAL WARFARE, RECOGNIZING THE DEMONIC, CURRENT STATE OF AMERICA, WHY RESIST? THE PROBLEMS OF THE SSPX, MESSAGE OF FATIMA AND MORE…

SPECIAL GUEST SYRIAN GIRL JOINS ME IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE PROGRAM TO DISCUS: WHY USA DOESNT ATTACK ISRAEL FOR THEIR CRIMES?, WILL THERE BE MORE MILITARY BUILDUP IN SYRIA?, WHY THE NWO HATES SYRIA, TRUMP THE ZIONIST, CENSORSHIP, NEOCON PSYCHOPATHS, ISRAEL’S OIL AND GAS GRAB, WHO WAS REALLY BEHIND THE CHEMICAL ATTACKS, FALSE FLAGS COMING TO USA AND BRITAIN AND MORE!

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Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on TCK Live Call In Show (April 15) w/ Fr. Voigt and Syrian Girl

Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness – Russian MoD

NOVANEWS

Al Masdar
Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness – Russian MoD

According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Russian-made Pantsir-S1 air defense system deployed by the Syrian forces showed almost 100% effectiveness in repelling the Western missile strike.

“In anti-aircraft combat, the Russian-made Pantsir S-1 system that had been previously supplied to the Syrian armed forces was actively used,” he added.

Konashenkov went on to say that the Syrian air defenses used 112 ground-to-air missiles to repel the attack that targeted not only facilities in Barza and Jaramana, but also military facilities, including airfields.

Konashenkov further commented that the strikes had involved cruise missiles launched from the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf and the eastern Syrian city of al-Tanf. The attack targeted the facilities that were not bunkers protected by the Syrian air defenses, he pointed out, adding that those were facilities were built on the surface. He has reiterated that 71 missiles of those 100+ had been intercepted.

The spokesman also denied the reports that S-200 air defense missile system had underperformed while repelling the attack, saying the system is designed to hit aircraft, in the course of fending off the strike.

“However, not long ago, this system destroyed a fighter jet of one of the neighboring states, which tried to violate the Syrian airspace,” he added.

Konashenkov reiterated that Syrian air defense systems S-125, S-200, Buk, and Kvadrat took part in repelling the joint strike.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness – Russian MoD

Yemen, The Most Horrific Genocide. A Country without Food, Water, Medicine and Fuel

NOVANEWS

With MSM AWOL on Yemen, MintPress News Series to Give Yemenis Back Their Voice

As the U.S.-Saudi-led war against Yemen enters its third year, the people of this coffin-shaped nation on the Arabian peninsula find themselves struggling not only to survive but to be seen and heard by a mainstream media that is preoccupied with war in neighboring Syria, the resumption of Cold War-like tensions with Russia, and President Trump’s Twitter account and sex life.

When the international press corps does shine a light on the conflict in Yemen, it is described as a sectarian affair, a bloodless, “video-game” battle fought by nameless Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia.  But what’s really happening in the poorest country in the Middle East is a test of our humanity — a catastrophic, perfect storm of suffering and death, and the most horrific genocide you’ve likely never heard of.

Consider these stark realities:

The people of Yemen are without food, water, medicine, and fuel. According to the United Nations, more than half of Yemen’s 28 million people are facing food shortages, and international relief workers estimate that a staggering 150,000 Yemenis died from starvation last year alone. The nongovernmental organization, Save the Children, puts the number of children currently dying of starvation at 130 per day, owing largely to the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

In addition, half of the country’s health care infrastructure has been destroyed. Saudi Arabia is striking Yemen’s hospitals, which are running out of medicine and supplies to treat the wounded. All the while, these attacks have continued to receive backing from the United States and the United Kingdom since their onset on March 26, 2015.

The death toll in Yemen is so high that the Red Cross is even donating morgues to hospitals. And if that weren’t enough, the military campaign has not only empowered al-Qaida to step into a vulnerable situation, it’s actually made the group richer, according to Reuters.

Still, the Saudi government continues to block any diplomatic resolution in Yemen. Riyadh even threatened to cut funding to the UN over its inclusion on a list of children’s rights offenders, effectively weaponizing humanitarian aid.

Unimaginably, the situation could get much worse: in his administration’s final days, President Barack Obama sold the unscrupulous Saudis skin-melting white phosphorous.

The UN’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, told Al Jazeera last month:

“The situation in Yemen .  . . looks like the apocalypse.”

In the weeks that follow, MintPress plans to break the lock-box on the war and humanitarian crisis that is stalking the poorest country in the Middle East, with a series of stories from our reporters on the ground. Our goal is merely this: by giving shape and form and voice to the Yemeni people who have been rendered all but invisible and mute, we hope to chronicle this epochal war, account for the despair, and explain, in painstaking detail, David’s strategy for defeating Goliath, once again.

Posted in YemenComments Off on Yemen, The Most Horrific Genocide. A Country without Food, Water, Medicine and Fuel

Major Win for BDS as Heavily Jewish US Women’s College Votes for Divestment

NOVANEWS

An overwhelming 64 percent of the students voted for pulling out of Hyundai, Boeing, and the Israeli national water carrier Mekorot.

In a major win for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, BDS movement, students at the Barnard College, an elite women’s liberal arts college in New York City with a high percentage of Jewish students, have voted to divest from eight companies that do business in Israel. 

An overwhelming 64 percent of the students voted for pulling out of Hyundai, Boeing and the Israeli national water carrier Mekorot, which according to the BDS movement’s website,  practices “water apartheid for Palestinians.”

“Mekorot steals water from Palestinian aquifers, supplies water to illegal settlements and sells Palestinians their own water, often at exorbitant prices,” the campaign says on its website adding that it has been accused of violating international law.

The referendum was brought forth by the Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine and mentioned ways these companies “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.”

So far, no university has ever divested from Israel but the students at Barnard are hoping that Barnard college may make an exception and be a bellwether.

“If Barnard, the most selective women’s college in the nation, divests, it will influence other schools,” SJP organizer Caroline Oliver stated, according to Forward news outlet.

“These things do matter, they influence how people think on campus,” the president of the pro-Israel club Aryeh, Albert Mishaan, told the Forward Tuesday. “These victories, however symbolic, become the next jumping-off point for further anti-Israel campaigns.”

Barnard has approximately 850 Jewish students, out of a total undergraduate population of around 2,500. Some 1,153 participated in the vote.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Major Win for BDS as Heavily Jewish US Women’s College Votes for Divestment

Say No to War. The World Cannot Afford More Victims of War

NOVANEWS

Known and documented,  the US and its allies have been financing, training and arming rebel factions in Syria, including ISIS, with a view to toppling the government of  Bashar Al-Assad. That strategy did not work.

The goal of the “War on Terror” is not to defeat ISIS, but to topple non-compliant regimes.  In his Orwellian speech at the UN, Obama said:

“We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”

Wage war to create peace?

The threat of a wide regional war in the Middle East is accompanied by ever more sensationalist lies by the mainstream media. The tensions are high and the outlook is grim.

As Michel Chossudovsky wrote:

“A sophisticated and all encompassing propaganda program supports war in the name of World peace and global security.

The underlying scenario of Worldwide conflict goes far beyond the diabolical design of Orwell’s 1984.

The Ministry of Truth upholds war as a peace-making undertaking by twisting realities upside down.

In turn, the lies and fabrications of the mainstream media are presented with various innuendos in a complex web of deceit.”

The temptation to view this tense political atmosphere as doomed is high. Indeed, today’s modern weapons systems know no bounds in their potential for carnage and destruction, and we have some very dangerous leaders (many of whom have been “democratically” elected) poised at the triggers. They are, after all, the ones who stand to profit from taking us into the next World War.

This is exactly the reason why we must not unplug, tune out or look away. The world cannot afford more victims of war. There ARE steps to take, and they require mass mobilization.

Awareness of what is happening in the world around us is a crucial first step. Don’t automatically trust the news you read – question it; check the sources; follow the money. And more than anything, keep the dialogue going and spread the message to those around you. The tools are all there – newsletterssocial mediavideos – so let’s get creative and put them to good use.

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Options for Denuclearising the Korean Peninsula

NOVANEWS
 

A critically important part of assembling the Korean peninsula-wide denuclearization jigsaw puzzle is the institutional and legal form of North Korean commitments on the one hand, and the nuclear negative security assurances by the NPT-Nuclear Weapons States (NWSs), especially the United States, on the other. Given the risk of mutual annihilation between the two Koreas as well as to third parties such as the United States, Japan, and China, finding a way to square this circle is urgent.

The Nautilus Institute has published a special report ‘A Korean nuclear weapons-free zone treaty and nuclear extended deterrence: options for denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, A Korean Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty and Nuclear Extended Deterence: Options for Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula

This article summarizes the special report.

***

A critically important part of assembling the Korean peninsula-wide denuclearization jigsaw puzzle is the institutional and legal form of North Korean commitments on the one hand, and the nuclear negative security assurances by the NPT-Nuclear Weapons States (NWSs),1 especially the United States, sought by North Korea on the other.

The institutional framework might take one of three possible forms.

The first, a Korean peninsula-only deal between the ROK and the DPRK is possible. It would essentially revise and expand the 1992 Denuclearization Declaration, and make the commitments specific, with stringent monitoring and verification measures. The United States, Russia, and China would make a general security assurance commitment to the DPRK, and at least the United States, provide a specific nuclear negative security assurance to the DPRK that it would not threaten or attack the DPRK first with nuclear weapons once the DPRK complies fully with its NPT obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state (NNWS).

Such a Korean Peninsula-only deal is likely easier to negotiate, but may not be credible at the outset to the DPRK given its perception of past reversals of US executive branch commitments such as the rapid demise of Clinton’s non-hostility statement to the DPRK in 2000 under the Bush administration, and the failure of the 1994 Budapest security assurances to protect the Ukraine against Russian aggression. The DPRK’s perceptions of the non-binding US negative security assurance commitment implied by a new Denuclearization Declaration, especially if the Trump Administration tears up the Obama-era Iran Deal, may lead it to balk or hedge against uncertainty from a Korea-only deal.

A Korean Peninsula-only deal might be made more legally binding if it were elevated from a mere declaration to an inter-Korean treaty between the two states and if each Korea were to caveat its ratification by issuing a reservation with regard to sovereignty issues (both Koreas refuse to sign treaties with the other because it would imply recognition of the others’ constitutional claims to exercise sovereignty over the entire Korean peninsula). Whether this issue can be finessed at this time in either Korea is doubtful politically, especially in democratic South Korea.

The second, a full-fledged regional nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ) UN treaty may be more enduring because it affects how the NWSs use nuclear threats against all the NNWSs party to a treaty, and thereby against each other. It may be difficult, however, to bring the United States and Japan into such a treaty even if the DPRK, China, and Russia favor it and it may take time for the NWSs to ratify their nuclear negative security assurances to a regional NWFZ (which would be calibrated to DPRK compliance).

It may be possible to square the circle: the ROK and the DPRK could implement a third, hybrid option of a UN NWFZ Treaty that specifies that additional members may join at the outset or later. This approach may be optimal in providing for a politically less demanding Korean Peninsula-only, rather than a full regional NWFZ treaty at the outset, but it may also result in a more legally binding framework than a Korean Peninsula-only, fragile political agreement. Its feasibility depends on whether such a UN treaty framework, as it has in the past with many other UN treaties, gives the two Koreas an acceptable “work around” on their competing sovereignty claims when they sign and ratify the treaty.

At minimum, South Korean and American officials should explore at the senior official level the DPRK’s interest in these options, and study carefully the pros and cons of these options in preparation for the two summits. It is especially important to clarify what type of nuclear negative security assurance is sought by the DPRK and if they are not clear, suggest some desirable options that would serve to improve the security of all parties to a comprehensive settlement of the nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsula.

This issue is important because it is linked to the degree to which the United States’ and other NWSs’ negative security assurances are legally binding, thereby affecting the DPRK’s perception of the desirability and credibility of a proposed deal. In the full- length paper, we therefore review how a NWFZ would affect the existence of nuclear extended deterrence in US security commitments to the ROK and to Japan.2

Whichever framework is employed for the denuclearization process, the US commitment of extended deterrence would remain subject to the normal political prerogatives of the United States and the ROK at any time to vary these understandings on the use of nuclear threat against the DPRK and other parties. We conclude that concerns in Seoul (and Tokyo) that a NWFZ would terminate nuclear extended deterrence are groundless.

In short, there is no incompatibility between nuclear extended deterrence and adherence by the United States and the ROK to a NWFZ treaty.

*

Morton Halperin is senior advisor, Open Society Foundations. 

Peter Hayes is Director of the Nautilus Institute and Honorary Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney. 

Leon Sigal is Director, Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project, Social Science Research Council.

Notes

NWFZ treaties predate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Article VII of which states: “Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories.” In principle, any nuclear-armed state can provide nuclear negative security assurances to NPT-non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS) who are party to a UN NWFZ treaty, and have ratified the NNPT and are fully compliant with their NPT obligations. In practice, in Northeast Asia, only NPT-NWSs would make such commitments to NNWSs such as the ROK, Japan should it join, and the DPRK should it comply. See UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, Nuclear Weapons Free Zones.

Morton Halperin, Peter Hayes, Leon Sigal, “A KOREAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS-FREE ZONE TREATY AND NUCLEAR EXTENDED DETERRENCE: OPTIONS FOR DENUCLEARIZING THE KOREAN PENINSULA“, NAPSNet Special Reports, April 12, 2018.

Posted in USA, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on Options for Denuclearising the Korean Peninsula

The UK Refused to Raid a Company Suspected of Money Laundering, Citing Its Tory Donations

NOVANEWS

“It is of note that they are the biggest corporate donor to the Conservative party led by Prime Minister Theresa May and donated 1.25m Euros to the Prince Charles Trust.”

The British government refused to assist a French investigation into suspected money laundering and tax fraud by the UK telecoms giant Lycamobile – citing the fact that the company is the “biggest corporate donor to the Conservative party” and gives money to a trust founded by Prince Charles.

French prosecutors launched a major probe into the firm and arrested 19 people accused of using its accounts to launder money from organised criminal networks two years ago, after BuzzFeed News revealed its suspicious financial activities in the UK. But the Conservatives continued taking Lycamobile’s money – and it can now be revealed that the British authorities stonewalled a formal request from French prosecutors to carry out raids in London as part of the ongoing investigation.

Confidential correspondence between British government officials and their French counterparts, shown to BuzzFeed News by a source in the UK, reveals that the French wanted British authorities to raid Lycamobile’s London headquarters last year and seize evidence as part of their investigation into money laundering and tax fraud by the company.

In an official response dated 30 March 2017, a government official noted that Lycamobile is “a large multinational company” with “vast assets at their disposal” and would be “extremely unlikely to agree to having their premises searched”.

 

Read full article here.

Posted in UKComments Off on The UK Refused to Raid a Company Suspected of Money Laundering, Citing Its Tory Donations

Video: The Art of War: Fake “Made in America” and Lies “Made in Italy”

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Image result for italy cartoon

 

To motivate the 2003 war, the US accused Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction: Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the UN a series of “evidences” that turned out to be false, as he himself had to admit in 2016.

Similar “evidences” are now presented to motivate the attack on Syria by the United States, Britain and France.

On 14 April, General Kenneth McKenzie, Joint Staff Director of the Pentagon, presented a report, accompanied by satellite photos, on the Barzah Research and Development Center in Damascus, calling it “the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program”.

The Center, which was the main target, was attacked with 76 cruise missiles (57 Tomahawk launched from ships and submarines and 19 JASSM launched from aircraft). The target was destroyed, the general announced, bringing “the Syrian chemical weapons program back for years”.

This time there is no need to wait thirteen years to confirm that the “evidence” IS FAKE.

A month before the attack, on March 13, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had officially announced the result of the second inspection, carried out at the Barzah Center in November 2017, and of the analysis of samples taken completed in February 2018: “The inspection team did not observe any activities inconsistent with obligations under the Convention”.

It is no coincidence that the Barzah Center was destroyed just before the OPCW inspectors arrived there for the third time.

Syria, a member of the OPCW, completed chemical disarmament in 2014, while Israel, which does not adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention, is not subject to any control. But this fact is neglected by the political-media apparatus, which instead accuses Syria of possessing and using chemical weapons.

The Italian premier Gentiloni stated that Italy, while supporting “the limited and targeted action to strike the manufacture of chemical weapons”, has not in any way taken part in it.

The attack was actually agreed upon and planned within NATO. This is proved by the fact that, immediately after the attack, the North Atlantic Council was convened: the United States, Great Britain and France “briefed Allies on their joint military action in Syria overnight” and Allies officially expressed “their full support for this action”.

Premier Gentiloni also stated that “the logistical support that we provide above all to the US could not in any way result in the fact that from the Italian territory started direct actions aimed at hitting Syria”.

In fact, the attack on Syria from the Mediterranean was led by the US Naval Forces Europe, with headquarters in Naples-Capodichino, commanded by Admiral James Foggo, who at the same time commands the Allied Joint Force Command Naples with headquarters at Lago Patria (Naples).

The war operation was supported by the US Naval Air Station Sigonella and the Niscemi station of the US Muos system of naval transmissions. As the radar tracks show, the US RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drones, taking off from Sigonella, played a key role in the attack on Syria, attack supported by air tankers to refuel the jet fighters.

Italy therefore shares the responsibility for a war action that violates the most elementary norms of international law. It is not yet known what its consequences will be, but it is certain that it feeds the flames of war. Although premier Gentiloni assures that “it cannot be the beginning of an escalation”.

VIDEO (subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German)

 

Posted in USA, ItalyComments Off on Video: The Art of War: Fake “Made in America” and Lies “Made in Italy”

Marx’s Theory and Philosophy of Praxis: Between Academia and Ideology

Hungarian writer and historian György Dalos described his relationship to Marx in a short, reflective piece that appeared in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 25 October 2017. In it, he claims that Marx drew upon that age-old human ideal of a society living in wealth and security and without fear of violence or retribution; and that Karl Kautsky canonised Marx’s teachings as “Isms”. This involved a need to understand the principle of social evolution and its socioeconomic formations, starting with primitive-communal, moving to capitalist and then culminating in communist.

Dalos writes that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, having secured the supposed legalities, was able to assert its claim that it would pull level with the advanced capitalist countries by the 1980s and then outpace them ten years later. Dalos states that we are now a generation further on from the collapse of the Soviet system. In light of these experiences, he writes that all political “Isms” are now a thing of the past for him. But Dalos also pensively asks if the world would be a better, more peaceful, more rational place without Isms? He wonders whether, without such doctrines and their reassuring, forward-looking regularities, we would be condemned to a lifelong present?

The question that must be asked, however, is a different one, as it would be disastrous to once again bind the promise of a more open future to legalities. Is it not true that it is precisely Marx who claims that materialist theory is involved in those very efforts of people to collectively – and with knowledge and awareness – shape their own circumstances independently and avoid having to follow laws? One could then additionally ask if the Left’s refusal to use “Marx-Ism” separates them from this contradiction-laden history, from their experiences and their understanding, and from being spurred on by historical struggles to develop materialist theory further? Does the loss of “Marx-Ism” not contribute to individuals and political groups losing their ability to interpret and take a stance toward constant changes and contradictory processes; does it not deny them a terminology that would allow them to collectively understand their world and a common vocabulary to agree on shared practices, even if such progress is steeped in conflict? Is that why, when confronted with the many questions thrown up by everyday life, they uncreatively reach for seemingly obvious ideologemes, for prevailing approaches, ideas and feelings that hold out promises of inspiring action and suggest certain goals?

A less promising alternative seems to be emerging: if Marx’s scientific theory on philosophy of history and ideology is reduced to a general “Ism”, it becomes authoritarian; if it is done away with entirely, the theory no longer performs its intended function precisely within the social-political conflict, namely when social conflicts arise, explaining them, revolutionizing common sense and thereby helping to bring about a more comprehensive, emancipatory scope for action.

Theorists of Conscious Praxis to Redefine Structures

In light of this dilemma, it would be conceivable to consider Marx solely as a scholar. He rejected any canonization and dogmatization of his theories – after all, that would compromise the very scientific character of his work. Before the eyes of those that invoked his writing, he professed that he himself was no Marxist. He expressly rejected the idea that his theories were an a priori construction, or even that they held the historical and philosophical key to every secret and had an answer ready to every question (“It’s the economy, stupid!”). He considered research and the conceptual penetration of the subject to be key points in materialistic attitudes to the world, and as relationships are changing as a result of human practices, materialist theory is not gradually merging with reality, moving toward a conclusive end; it is intrinsically linked with these practices, refining them and thus systematically remaining open.

Marx believed that he was contributing to an academic revolution. The object of his analysis was the capitalist mode of production in its ideal standard. After decades of academic research, he himself only managed to uncover parts of the “anatomy” of this mode of production, not the overall process, i.e. of capital and standard bourgeois society. He suggested this was the aspiration of his research programme. Despite a series of analyses of specific social struggles, he left behind no political, philosophical, legal or moral theories that were comparable with critiques of political economy; at best, they were possible avenues for exploration. Many who cited him and who comprised the Marxist school focused on expanding such analyses and even added several additional research fields.

Marx himself opted to observe economic conditions with all the precision and rigour of a scientist. At the same time, however, he stressed that the principles of the capitalist mode of production were transitory and that their inherent logic of capitalist reproduction would one day drive them to their limits. Such reflections are not the product of a philosophical consideration of history; rather, they are the result of sober, abstract and empirical analysis. Marx’s theory aims to make understandable precisely those internal dynamics by which the struggles within the capitalist mode of production were taking place. The problems created by the capitalist generation of wealth cannot be solved by the bourgeoisie, they can only be deferred. One could argue that Marx already considered that the knowledge he had developed would go some way to help solve these problems and that humanity thus had the means to change its own course. Of course, there is no way that Marx could have known the dimensions social relations would take within the class struggle. But he was able to name the consequences of the bourgeois idea of wealth and those contradictory movements which would lead to wealth being created: the compulsion for growth and the destruction of capital (i.e. factories, plants, workplaces, human skills), the constant alternation between prosperity and crises both large and small, market liberalization and regulation, democracies and dictatorships, unrest and repression, “surplus” and underpopulation, workers being granted a share of the wealth they had generated and their renewed impoverishment.

All of these and other movements were already taking shape during Marx’s lifetime. And he was constantly willing to flesh out his understanding of the ideal standard of the mode of capitalist production, that is to specify, firstly, what would inevitably and logically be its defining features; secondly, set out what the historical impacts of a specific society would be; and, thirdly, define rapidly moving current events. In light of where capitalism was on its historical trajectory, Marx was at the time unable to contribute any musings on the way in which the logic of accumulation, of the global market, of class relations and of the different forms of the capitalist state, as well as the many superstructures, were shifting. This led to premature revisions and to theories being refuted.

When during the era of the Fordist welfare state it was suggested that poor working conditions, unemployment, starvation wages and precarious pay structures were all a thing of the past, not only was this an attempt to whitewash the continuing structures of exploitation, violence and discipline; it was also an inadmissible generalization. This is because the contradictory movements were not suspended but reproduced on a larger and more destructive scale (democracy, human rights, and the expansion of access to education and mass consumption went hand in hand with ecological destruction, military conflict and genocide, authoritarianism and “surplus” population on an international scale) and today they affect the lives of the entire global population. Neoliberal policies have resulted in a resurgence of precarious living conditions, such as low wages, insecure prospects, exhausting working conditions and rising competition among labourers, including for many wage earners in developed capitalist states. Marx was neither an evolutionist nor was he a voluntarist; his academic opinions and his political analyses and activities aimed to contribute to a social organization in which people could live with one another free from all forms of domination.

Academia or Ideology?

Attempts to dogmatically pin social development down to specific legalities in Marx’s name and commanding actions to ensure its final completion marked a terrible regression to the bourgeois materialism of the 18th century. These efforts failed on such a monumental scale that to this day the praxis of parties, trade unions and movements largely ignores the traditions of that other form of Marxism, the one that advocates radical emancipation and freedom. The theory is restricted to critical political economy or the occasional use of Marxist terminology for individual research disciplines. This broadly corresponds to what Marx might have referred to as contemplative materialism, which takes the reality “out there” for granted and then feels it has the right to simply take terms used in different schools of thought, including Marxist theory, and – using a detached comparison – pick and choose from them depending on their purported usefulness. Here the connection between theories and specific social trends and social practices is forgotten; the dominant definitions of existing problems are accepted. The adoption of such knowledge practices indirectly suggests that drawing upon the Marxist school of critical economic theory offers little insight into many social processes – and that perhaps no insight ought to be sought, as this would unduly overstretch the theory’s specific terminology. To then go one step further and use them to construct a “Marx-Ism” would suggest that all that was required to deduce certain guidelines from Marx’s works, which could then be used to solve all those issues and problems confronting modern-day citizens in their political decisions and everyday lives, was the correct interpretation of or further reflection on his texts. Certain actors could use “Marx-Ism” as a pretext to impose their own views and modes of living, despite the fact that such acts would undermine the theory’s scientific credibility.

Radically speaking, it is true that, as a crucial component of critical theory, Marxist theory follows the logic of no particular viewpoint – if, that is, a viewpoint is understood as a place that can be occupied and from where it is possible to speak and judge others. Marx takes a critical stance against those scholars who well-meaningly argue from a staunch bourgeois perspective and betray the scientific truth. But Marx’s theory is also not an unbiased, empirical, analytical academic discipline. It resolutely sides with labour within society and advocates for the creation of a collective world and the emancipation of humanity. For Marx, the antagonistic social principle – a society’s living labour capital – was symbolically embodied by the proletariat. Marx has a critical understanding of class: his aim is to overcome the class-based society and to emancipate the individual from all forms of power imbalance, including forced labour. Viewed from this angle, Marxist theory challenges the totality of existing modes of living and the way society is organized.

Historically speaking, “Marx-Ism” claimed to be representing the interests of the working class. It was inevitable that it would be completely incapable of acknowledging the differential emancipatory needs within the class and in many other social groups, or could generally do so only within the scope of instrumental viewpoints. By taking a critical stance against this problematic generalization, social movements not only forgot about this particular class entirely – many of their intellectual proponents even contested the fact that the “proletariat” could be that empty signifier which contained the general sense of emancipation. As they pursued their own individual emancipatory goals, “Marx-Ism” was subjected to a volley of criticism for all manner of reasons: for the reductionist one sidedness of its partiality toward a single class, for its economism, its claim to classification as well as its academic rationalism and Eurocentrism – but the call for emancipation from domination brought to the fore by Marx was simply abandoned.

Toward a New Wold View

These criticisms are an opportunity to reflect on the status of Marxist theory. If it is simply understood as an academic theory, and perpetuated as such, it loses almost every link to everyday lives, to concepts and convictions as felt by the individual, and to their everyday experiences of contradictions, habits and struggles. This type of positivistic understanding of the theory suggests that what we are dealing with is standard academia, i.e. research conducted in isolation and thus separated from political practices and the individual’s mode of living. Such a conclusion has far-reaching consequences. Firstly, the authority of Marxist theory becomes limited: there are too many aspects of the macro social process to which it does not apply. As a result, an eclectic range of other theories are cited. However, as a theory that emerged from conflict and which sees itself as integral to a process of the struggle gaining its own sense of self, it is partial in every issue and insists upon full emancipation.

Secondly, this has significant consequences for scholars as they may consider themselves experts in the critique of political economy and cultivate Marxist-philological or specific specialist knowledge. It can be observed that this understanding of materialism can lead them to believe that they are facing the harshness of material living conditions, and are thus superior to all those who still hold on to illusions inherent to the exploitative drive behind capital or who are taken in by its fetishistic character in some other way. But in all other aspects they can be ignorant, or even cold, devoid of any reflexivity on their own communication and authoritative behavioural patterns; blind toward sexism; ignorant to ecological concerns about the dominant mode of living and toward prevailing cultural practices. They themselves might foster conventional bourgeois modes of living, or even affirm them: zealous consumption of meat, that liberated feeling of a ride in a sports car, extensive travel and the hedonistic nature of the creative industries. Any criticism is rebuffed as a form of moralising asceticism. Lifestyles and everyday habits appear to have no inherent connection to the theory.

Which brings us, thirdly, to the question of why individuals should be convinced by the logical value of this theory when there remain a multitude of everyday and political practices in which it is not applied. Holding firm to the theory when it is challenged by political actors or scholars requires a unique level of conviction. Fourthly, Marxist theory is ultimately losing its autonomy from current academic research. This means it is not seen as the struggle to achieve human emancipation without recourse to a religious, ethical or purely political rationale as was the criticism levelled by Marx in his disputes with the early socialists.

From the perspective of full emancipation, Marx was clearly working on an unprecedented form of knowledge and sooth-saying that aims to reverse the separation between academia and “ideology”. Despite the fact that Marx and Engels’ work adhered to a materialist, critical understanding of the world, their criticism of Feuerbach suggests that this did not necessarily entail a detached view of the world as an object; rather, to use the words of Gramsci, it involves an active, appropriative and changing conception (concezione del mondo) that brings together spontaneous emotions and thoughts as a single bloc. Individuals should be capable of acknowledging both theory and the truth; the shape their coexistence takes should be determined by collective decisions that everyone is able to come to using their own judgement, i.e. common sense. Freedom means that common sense is not a courthouse; it is shaped by collective cooperation. It is not some final authority; it is the medium of sharing.

Reflective Marxism: A New Form of Knowledge and Soothsaying

Among those theorists who expand upon Marx’s work, there are some critical proposals that allow for Marxism to be discussed in a reflective manner. Those who represent more established schools of critical thought consider the idea of Marxism as a world view with scepticism, as it was reduced to formulaic textbook theory cut off from the experiences and contradictions of the individual. Marxist thinking hardly touched upon the individual’s way of life. Conventional and authoritarian lifestyles, subaltern modes of thought and conformist attitudes were able to persist. The questions that subsequently arose were how everyday patterns of behaviour, thought and feeling could be changed in order to achieve emancipation, and how the individual could acquire a belief in their own autonomy. This encapsulates all areas – and as the gravitational pull of economic and political conditions meant that they were more difficult to change, Adorno proposed starting with subjectivity with the aim of strengthening the individual’s sense of autonomy. This meant empowering a person to resist collective pressure, not to be afraid to appropriate challenging concepts, to tolerate contradictions and to expound the problems of harmonious, positive, smooth, as well as logically and theoretically sound ideas, to question the subordination of thought to praxis, to engage critically with one’s own emotions, to allow space for introspection and self-reflexivity, and to examine one’s everyday habits, i.e. enjoyable behaviours implicit to interactions with others.

In light of the Gramscian argument that everyone is a philosopher, but under the conditions of the authoritative organization of the social division of labour, unable to fully realise their ability to appropriate the world in an active, conceptual way, focusing on the subject and their intellectual activities is by no means a half-baked solution. The subalterns frequently live at different speeds. Through their specific form of labour, they participate in state-of-the-art production methods to process the natural world; at the same time, they are incapable of rationally developing their common sense and continue to be subjected to religious, metaphysical, provincial or bourgeois aspects of the world as disseminated by schools or the creative industries. Their common sense is compiled in a bizarre fashion and makes them passive and incapable of action. In this respect, Gramsci understands the importance of the Philosophy of Practice as initiated by Marx. It helps the subalterns develop an independent world view that empowers them to participate in the highest level of culture and social life and make it their own; in being able to “actively participate in the shaping of world history” and to become their own leaders (Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, Book 11, 1375).

The aim is to make truth the foundation of vital actions and a crucial element of the coordination of intellectual and moral relations between humans, i.e. a uniquely new moral and intellectual bloc. This is characterized by individuals – previously separated from their intellectual functions – who were capable of coherently reflecting on their actual present and of overcoming the heterogeneity of theory and praxis by rationally organizing their coexistence based on a level of cooperation that encompasses every activity. That would be a far-reaching change as the context – shared existence – would no longer be experienced and understood through the valuation of social activities in the form of abstract labour, i.e. in the competition and conflicts between individuals within a sclerotic collective for whom world views, interpretive models and interpretations are still considered aspects of social struggles. The general concept would submit to the emancipated individual and their reconciled “metabolism” with nature.

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