Archive | Politics

Capitalism Is Not the Only Choice


By Penn LohYES! Magazine 

(Photo: Blend Images - Hill Street Studios / Getty Images)
An increasing number of worker co-operatives are challenging capitalism and gender oppression by creating new ways of navigating the economy. (Photo: Blend Images – Hill Street Studios / Getty Images).

Since the breakup of the Soviet bloc and China’s turn toward free markets, many economists have pronounced an “end of history,” where capitalism reigns supreme as the ultimate form of economy. Perhaps “there is no alternative” to a globalized neoliberal economy, as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher often said. Indeed, free markets in which individuals compete to get what they can while they can are glorified in popular culture through reality shows such as Shark Tank.

But many of us in the 99 percent are not feeling so happy or secure about this economy’s results. Many are working harder and longer just to maintain housing and keep food on the table. Even the college-educated are mired in student debt, keeping the American Dream beyond their grasp. And then there are those who have never been served well by this economy. African Americans were liberated from enslavement only to be largely shut out of “free” market opportunities. Immigrants continue to work in the shadows. Women still earn only about three-quarters of what men make for the same work.

So, are we trapped in capitalism? While many of us may want a new economy where people and planet are prioritized over profit, we remain skeptical that another world is really possible. We make some progress locally but then feel powerless to affect national and global forces. Too often “the economy” is equated with markets where corporations compete to make profits for the wealthiest 1 percent and the rest work for a wage or salary (or don’t make money at all). Work itself is seen as legitimate only if it legally generates income. Value is measured only in money terms, based on what people are willing to pay in the market. The capitalist mindset also separates economy from society and nature, as if it exists apart from people, communities, government, and our planet. Economy is its own machine, fueled by profit and competition.

When everything that we label “economic” is assumed to be capitalist — transactional and market-driven — then it is no wonder that we run short on imagination.

Redefining Economy Beyond Capitalism

To escape this “capitalocentrism,” we need to broaden the definition of economy beyond capitalism. What if, instead, economy is all the ways that we meet our material needs and care for each other? And what if it’s not a singular thing? Then we would see that beneath the official capitalist economy are all sorts of thriving non-capitalist economies, where there may not be a profit motive or market exchange. They include tasks that we do every day. We care for our children and elderly; we cook and clean for ourselves and each other; we grow food; we provide emotional support to friends. These are all ways of meeting our material needs and caring for each other.

For many, these economies, which foster solidarity and are rooted in values of democracy and justice rather than maximizing profit, are invisible or not recognized as “economic”; they are merely how we go about our lives. Capitalist thinking blinds us to these economic activities, some of which make survival possible and life meaningful. These non-capitalist ways also add up to a significant portion of all economic activity. Economist Nancy Folbre from University of Massachusetts Amherst estimates that unpaid domestic work (historically considered “women’s work”) was equal to 26 percent of the US gross domestic product in 2010.

Recognizing these diverse economies allows us to see that there are choices to be made.

Broadening the definition of economy also puts people back into the system and empowers us. Economy is not just something that happens to us, a sea in which we swim or sink. Rather we are all part of multiple economies, some in which we are the main actors — such as our household economies — and others in which we are the extras — such as venture capital markets.

Recognizing these diverse economies and lifting the veil of capitalocentrism allows us to see that there are choices to be made, ethics and values to be considered. For example, I might pay more for lettuce from a local farmer who grows sustainably rather than from a distant supplier that exploits farm workers and uses pesticides. These choices are not only made as consumers, but also as workers, producers, and neighbors, and through policies that set the rules necessary for any economy to function. Do I work for a for-profit owned by shareholders or for a worker-owned cooperative, nonprofit, or B corporation? Should public land be used for luxury condos or for affordable housing? These questions open space for all of us to participate in shaping our world and the economic futures of the 99 percent.

Solidarity Is Rising

Across the US, from Jackson, Mississippi, to Oakland, California; in rural Kentucky and on Navajo-Hopi lands; and throughout Massachusetts’ biggest cities, it is often poor communities and communities of color that are building solidarity economies around these questions. This is not new. In fact, this is where solidarity economics — collective strategies for survival — have been innovated out of necessity. Think mutual aid, community organizing, self-help, and cooperatives of all kinds. These practices have been embedded in Black liberation movements, the early labor movement, and many other progressive movements in the US.

The desire for deep, transformational change — for the multitude of solidarity economies to add up to something — comes not just from those who are dissatisfied, but even more so from communities that are simply struggling to survive. Dreams of a decent life and a fair shake come from those making Black Lives Matter, from immigrant workers making poverty wages, from ex-prisoners locked out of the mainstream economy, from tenants barely able to make rent, and from communities being displaced to make way for the 1 percent.

Springfield is Massachusetts’ third-largest city, and here the Wellspring initiative is building a network of worker-owned cooperatives to create local jobs and build wealth for low-income and unemployed residents. Inspired by the Cleveland Evergreen Cooperatives, which has built a network of worker-owned businesses to provide goods and services to the region’s anchor institutions, Wellspring was founded in 2011 to try to capture some of the $1.5 billion spent by its own anchor institutions, such as Baystate Health and University of Massachusetts Amherst. One study showed anchors procure less than 10 percent from local businesses.

Solidarity economics is more than just cooperatives. It is a social justice movement.

Its first cooperative, Wellspring Upholstery, was launched in 2013 and now has seven workers. Wellspring Upholstery was the first business to be developed, in part because a successful 25-year-old upholstery training program run by the county prison could provide trained workers. Wellspring’s second cooperative is Old Windows Workshop, a women-owned window restoration business. A main goal of this business, according to production manager Nannette Bowie, is to allow “the flexibility of a working mom to take care of your family responsibilities and keep a full-time job.”

Wellspring raised almost $1 million to start its third business, a commercial greenhouse, which will produce lettuce, greens, and herbs for the local schools and anchor institutions. Construction began during the summer. With several businesses underway, Wellspring is demonstrating viable models they hope will inspire others and grow the job base and wealth-building opportunities for low-income and unemployed residents.

Wellspring is just one example of solidarity economies that are emerging in Massachusetts. In Worcester, the state’s second-largest city, the Solidarity and Green Economy Alliance is cultivating their own ecology of more than a dozen cooperatives. Some are matching resident skills to meet community needs, such as landscaping, soil remediation, honey production, and urban agriculture. Others are providing services to movement organizations, such as translation, video production, and bookkeeping. In Boston’s Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods, a food solidarity economy is emerging, which includes a community land trust, urban farms and a greenhouse, a kitchen incubator, a consumer food co-op, and a worker-owned organics recycling company. And Latinx residents of East Boston have formed the Center for Cooperative Development and Solidarity. Concerned about rapid gentrification, the group began exploring how economic alternatives could help them stay in East Boston. They are supporting startup cooperatives in child care, sewing, and cleaning. The Boston Ujima Project was just officially launched in September to build a community capital fund where a participatory budgeting process is used to make investments in local businesses.

Consciousness, Power and Economy

Yet solidarity economics is more than just cooperatives. It is a social justice movement. It is shifting our consciousness not only to uncover root causes, but also to expand our vision of what is possible, and to inspire dreams of the world as it could be. It is building power, not just to resist and reform the injustices and unsustainabilities produced by current systems, but ultimately to control democratically and govern political and economic resources to sustain people and the planet. And it is creating economic alternatives and prototypes for producing, exchanging, consuming, and investing in ways that are more just, sustainable, and democratic.

If we want to transform and go beyond capitalism, then we must confront it in all three of these dimensions: consciousness, power, and economy.

We do not have the luxury of creating solidarity economies in a vacuum. That means that we have to put them into practice now at home and in our own communities, no matter how small the scale. At the same time, we can work with others to build larger solidarity alternatives and do the hard work of reforming the political, economic, and ideological systems that are making life so difficult for so many.

Everyone can put solidarity values into practice — to live in solidarity — starting in whatever ways we can. And that is the transformative power of solidarity economics, that it doesn’t have to scale up only by building larger and larger organizations and systems. It can scale up by many people in many places pursuing economics of social justice. It will require taking back government to dismantle the systems that privilege capitalism and to redirect public resources toward solidarity economies. We can all begin by spreading the word, sharing our radical imagination of the world that we want to live in.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Posted in Politics0 Comments

World Cartoon


Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, meme and text

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.


Image may contain: text

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.


Image may contain: stripes

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and text

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: 1 person

Palestinian Holocaust

Image may contain: 1 person, text

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

ZiO-Nazi at work

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and night

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Posted in Politics, World0 Comments

Introduction to new series Setting the Record Straight


Image result for Russian REVOLUTION 1917

The revolutions in Paris in 1871, in Russia in 1917 (to mid-1950s), and in China in 1949 (to 1976)—were all great historic breakthroughs. Hundreds of millions rose up and gained precious experience as to what it would take to get to a world without exploitation, without oppression, without destructive violent clashes among humans, without enforced ignorance and superstition. These first attempts to emancipate humanity were defeated.

History is being written by the victors—the imperialists. The oppressors issue endless lies on what “the wretched of the earth” were trying to do, what brutal forces lined up against these heroic attempts, and why there were limitations and even secondary errors in their theory and practice.

Bob Avakian (BA) has not only defended these pathbreaking experiences, and shown a way to truly understand them, but most importantly, he has developed a new communism based on a much deeper and more scientific view of what is involved in emancipating ALL humanity. The new communism of BA breaks with and is a leap beyond the previous understanding of communist revolution and “represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.” (From Resolution 1 of Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 1, 2016)

Along with bringing out the positive achievements of socialism and communist revolutions, and critiquing these previous revolutions through the prism of the new synthesis—how to do better next time around—there is a real need to boldly challenge the flow of lies, slanders, distortions, and phony representations of this history that has lowered sights and shut down discussions over how the world should/could be radically different. The lies serve to reinforce the rotten status quo and its conformist wisdom that the best we can do is adjust or reduce the misery in today’s capitalist world order. This series aims to answer the most widespread lies about communist revolution.

Posted in Politics0 Comments

Changing the “War No More” Sentiment of Armistice Day to the War-Glorifying Propaganda of Veterans Day




 1  0


99 years ago, on 11-11-1918, at precisely 11 am Paris time, a cease-fire (aka “truce” or “armistice”) was agreed to and signed by military negotiators from France, Britain and Germany. The terms of the truce ultimately resulted in the end of the “War to End All Wars” 7 months later when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919.

Germany’s surrender to the Allies was regarded as the prudent thing to do after Kaiser Wilhelm’s tyrannical monarchy was overthrown by democratic socialist forces earlier in 1918. Erich Ludendorf, a classic example of Prussian militarism, was one of the German generals who first broached the idea of starting the negotiations that eventually led to Germany’s surrender.

Ludendorf saw that

1) Germany’s army was terminally exhausted, demoralized and poorly equipped;

2) the United States had finally entered the war with fresh troops;

3) the fledgling government at home was in disarray;

4) the war had bankrupted the nation (as all wars eventually do – unless there is enough looting and plundering of the occupied territories);

5) that civilians at home were starving; and

6) that victory was an impossibility. The writing was on the wall; Germany had no choice but to surrender.

The armistice was signed at Compiegne, France by four French and British military officers, the German Foreign Minister, two German military officers and one German civilian.

According to the terms of the armistice, Germany agreed to immediately evacuate all occupied territories within two weeks and to surrender 5,000 cannons, 25,000 machine guns, 1,700 planes, and all German submarines. All Allied prisoners of war were to be released by Germany immediately, but German POWs were not to be released until a peace treaty was signed sometime in the future.

Ever since November 11, 1919 – one year after the signing – Armistice Day has been observed as a national day of remembrance in all Allied nations. It is called Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Armistice Day in the United States. Traditionally, 2 minutes of silence are observed at exactly 11 am.

For decades after the end of World War I, November 11 was intended to be a day of mourning and repentance for the satanic carnage that the up to 14 million dead combatants plus the hundreds of millions of wounded combatants and secondarily traumatized civilians had suffered.

The senselessness and stupidity of that war should have resulted in the courts-martial of every gung-ho officer and the demeaning of every war-mongering politician the de-certifying of every war-profiteering corporation that thought the war was worth engaging in. But it did not. The war-mongers and war-profiteers just went into hibernation.

But the war did result in the dissolution of four empires, their emperors and kings, and the assorted aristocrats and sycophants who had been so cruelly ripping off the multitudes of poor people for so many centuries. The four empires that collapsed were the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires. And good riddance it was.

Of course, Germany DOES NOT celebrate Armistice Day, because that November 11 and the date of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (that ended the war) were irrationally regarded as the dates of treasonous acts that had been committed by Germany’s new civilian democratic leaders who signed the documents – holding blameless the German military officers who suggested that the German army surrender in the first place.

11/11/18 was despised by patriotic “Deutchland Uber Alles” Germans, especially the right-wing, pro-monarchist, proto-fascist and “Germany First” nationalists who repeatedly used the “Stab-in-the-Back” and “November Criminals” deception to weaken and then overthrow the Weimar Republic’s experiment in democracy. After 12 years of pro-war propaganda from militarists like Adolf Hitler, Ludendorf and the Nazi Party, democracy never had a chance, especially with all the economic turmoil that began with the unaffordable, poverty-inducing militarism, the war, inflation and the unemployment that came with the US Wall Street crash of 1929 – which affected the whole world.

The “Stab in the Back” and “November Criminals” Myths That Scape-goated Hitler’s Leftist Enemies

According to WikiPedia, the “Stab-in-the-Back” Myth is the notion, widely believed and promulgated in right-wing, pro-militarist circles in pre-Nazi Germany, that the Imperial German Army did not lose World War I, but rather, the German military had been betrayed by the civilians on the home front, especially the pro-democracy groups that overthrew the tyrannical monarchy during the German Revolution of 1918-19.

The year after the war ended, most of the national leaders that considered themselves victors proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, and they ordered all businesses to briefly stop doing business for two minutes and stand in silence at exactly 11 AM, expecting all citizens to ponder the meaning of war’s horrors and to pray that there will never be another war.

In 1926 the US Congress passed a resolution declaring that Armistice Day should be a day of “thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations.”

In 1938 the US Congress made Armistice Day an official holiday that was explicitly dedicated to perpetuating world peace.

Dwight Eisenhower, the CIA and Omar Bradley: Their Contributions to the Evolution of US Militarism

And then, in June of 1954, US President Dwight David Eisenhower signed a bill changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans’ Day. The stated purpose of the new holiday was “to thank all veterans who had served the United States of America.” Simultaneously, in the post-WWII years when the rest of the planet had had much of its infrastructure destroyed by the war, the US was sensing that it could easily establish a powerful global empire. The CIA was feeling its oats and the Department of War was name-changed to the Department of Defense. Planetary, full-spectrum military and economic dominance by the US was a possibility. But the military and economic powers that be in the US knew that the two powers needed to work in tandem.

And just like that, as has been the case of so many other pro-war propaganda tools, anti-war and pro-peace sentiments had to be suppressed. Peace-loving holidays like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Armistice Day and Labor Day needed to be de-emphasized or co-opted.

And so they were. The process was so subtle that the public never flinched. America’s under-appreciated or wounded military veterans applauded for they seemed to appreciate being thanked for their service, even if most of them resented the empty sentiments.

One of the (perhaps intended) consequences of the gradual change away from the emphasis on peace was the amnesia over the horrors of war and the blindered glorification of war. Both adults and children were easily brain-washed into mindlessly glorifying the diabolical. Keeping America militarily strong was emphasized.

In his Armistice Day speech in 1948, General Omar Bradley famously accused those entities that placed their trust in military dominance. He said:

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.”

The military and economic entities that are in control of the world didn’t take Bradley’s admonition seriously.. Most Christian churches failed to see the truth in the statements. In the halls of Congress and in the White House ever since WWII, there is no consideration of the cruelty, stupidity and futility of war. On Veterans Day in America today no one is sincerely praying or working for a real sustainable peace, even during the obligatory 2 minutes of silence.

In our corrupt capitalist society there is just too much money to be made by war-profiteering corporations and wealthy investors when there are potential military conflicts brewing. The stocks of war industries surge when Donald Trump tweets about bombing foreign nations. And then there are legions of major media outlets that are always ready and willing to cheer-lead for wars and rumors of war.

Just like America’s habit of glorifying select aspects of the criminal Vietnam war, Australia has been infamously and irrationally going overboard honoring a shameful military episode in their past history.

Every April 25, Australia celebrates what they call ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps), for on that date in 1915, rookie Australian and New Zealand soldiers engaged in a British war for the first time in their histories. On that day, tens of thousands of obedient “down under” troops, all of whom had pledged allegiance to the King of England, started an amphibian assault against Turkey, a World War I ally of Germany.

On that day, thousands of doomed ANZAC troops suffered a humiliating massacre when, led by an inept and arrogant officer corps, they all obeyed their orders to invade Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula. The intent was to establish an Eastern European Front in the war against Germany.

With no logistical intelligence of the terrain of the Gallipoli landing zones, the green troops were butchered by the thousands by Turkish rifle and artillery fire. The ANZAC troops were totally unaware that Turkish soldiers had been waiting for them on the well-protected ridges above the beachhead.

For the rest of the botched invasion, the ANZAC troops were forced to hunker down on the beach – sitting ducks for snipers (except for the frequent, suicidal, “over-the-top” assaults into “no-man’s land” where Turkish machine gun fire methodically mowed them down. The hard lessons of trench warfare on the Western Front in France had not been learned.

The Gallipoli fiasco was ignominiously terminated eight months later, with troops fleeing the landing zones in the middle of the night, with most of the “fallen” left behind. Australia’s sorrowful and antiwar November 11 Remembrance Day has, just like in most other militarized nations, devolved into just another pro-war, pro-militarism, celebratory ANZAC Day that has forgotten the lessons of war. As one Australian truth-telling blogger wrote recently:

“There are now two days (a year) to glorify the warriors and their wars, and none to remember the stupidity and the futility of war. It is not surprising that today we are at war continuously, somewhere, even though time and time again they are based on lies and solve nothing.”

Eric Brogle, the singer/song-writer who wrote the powerful antiwar song “The Band Played Walzing Matilda”, understood well what used to be the real meaning of Remembrance Day – or even ANZAC Day. The lyrics are further below, but these few excerpts need to be taken to heart:

“Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head. And when I awoke in me hospital bed and saw what it had done, I wished I was dead. I never knew there was worse things than dying…I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn those weary old heroes of a forgotten war. And the young people ask: “What are they marching for?” And I ask myself the same question.”

At the end of this column are the lyrics to John McCutcheon’s “Christmas in the Trenches” . which is about the Christmas Truce of 1914. I strongly suggest watching and listening to both YouTube videos (links are noted) to fully appreciate the emotional strength of the two songs. The images that accompany the song are as powerful as the lyrics.

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

By Eric Brogle

When I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over

Then in 1915 my country said:” Son,
It’s time to stop rambling, there’s work to be done”
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
When the ship pulled away from the quay
And amid all the tears, flag waving and cheers
We sailed off for Gallipoli

It well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter

Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well
He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shell
And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell
He nearly blew us back home to Australia

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
When we stopped to bury our slain
Well we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then it started all over again

Oh those that were living just tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
While around me the corpses piled higher

Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
I never knew there was worse things than dying

Oh no more I’ll go Waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla

And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
When they carried us down the gangway
Oh nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
Then they turned all their faces away

Now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Renewing their dreams of past glories

I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn
Those weary old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask: “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But year after year, their numbers get fewer
Someday, no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong
So who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?


Singer-songwriter John McCutcheon’s powerful anti-war song, Christmas in the Trenches, is about the spontaneous, unauthorized (?) Christmas Truce of 1914. The episode was widely censored-out of humanity’s consciousness for nearly a hundred years, but it happened all up and down the 600-mile line of trenches.

Lowly, indoctrinated, suffering troops on both sides of No Man’s Land were sick and tired of the constant killing, wounding, dying and suffering. So on Christmas Eve of 1914, just a few months into the war, thousands of these suffering Christian soldiers on both sides of No Man’s Land overcame their fear of authority and the artificially-implanted kill-or-be-killed warrior mentalities and raised up their deadened Christ-like, humanitarian spirit of love and peace and fraternized with the enemy. And for a day or so, they rejected the unnatural, satanic spirit of war and death.. Many of them refused to shoot their rifles ever again. Some were re-assigned, court-martialed or shipped to other sectors, but their lives were forever changed.

The movie Joyeux Noel, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film, does a great job in capturing the power of the story.

Of course, the Christmas truce was angrily opposed by the superior officers on both, officers who were nowhere near the front lines on that Christmas Eve.

McCutcheon’s song about the episode ends with the eternal truth that indicts the war-makers of every war by pointing out that “the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame, and on each end of the rifle we’re the same.”

Here are the lyrics of McCutcheon’s famous antiwar song:

Christmas in the Trenches

By John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Tolliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago, the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

’Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung,
the frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung,
our families back in England were toasting us that day,
their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
when across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I «Now listen up, me boys!», each soldier strained to hear
as one young German voice sang out so clear.

“He’s singing bloody well, you know!” my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more
as Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
‟God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”, struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was ‟Stille Nacht”, “Tis ‟Silent Night”, says I
and, in two tongues, one song filled up that sky.

“There’s someone coming towards us!” the frontline sentry cried,
all sights were fixed on one lone figure coming from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright
as he bravely strode unarmed into the night.

Then, one by one on either side walked into no man’s land,
with neither gun nor bayonet, we met there hand to hand,
we shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
and in a flare-lit soccer game we gave ’em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home,
these sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeeze box and they had a violin,
this curious and unlikely band of men.

Oh, soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more;
with sad farewells, we each began to settle back to war,
but the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night
“Whose family have I fixed within my sights?”

’Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung,
the frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they’d kept between us to exact the work of war
had been crumbled and were gone for evermore.

Oh, my name is Francis Tolliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
each Christmas come since World War I I’ve learned its lessons well,
that the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame,
and on each end of the rifle we’re the same.

Posted in Europe, Politics0 Comments

Why Marx Is More Relevant Than Ever: An Interview With David Harvey


By Michael Palmieri and Paul SlikerLeft Out 

David Harvey is arguably the most influential living geographer, as well as one of the world’s leading Marxist scholars. He is among the most cited intellectuals of all time across the humanities and social sciences.

Harvey currently works as distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at CUNY, where he has been teaching Marx’s “Capital: Critique of Political Economy” for more than four decades. His course on Marx’s Capital has been downloaded by over 2 million people internationally since appearing online in 2008.

Harvey is also a famous author of several bestselling books, including The Enigma of CapitalA Brief History of Neoliberalism17 Contradictions and the End of Capitalism and many more.

His latest book, Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason, makes the core of Karl Marx’s thinking in the three volumes of Capital clear and accessible for the lay reader, without compromising their depth and complexity.

Marx’s trilogy concerns the circulation of capital: volume I, how labour increases the value of capital, which he called valorisation; volume II, on the realisation of this value, by selling it and turning it into money or credit; and volume III, on what happens to the value next in processes of distribution.

As Harvey argues in our interview, most people who read Capital often stop after the 1,152 pages of Volume I, which is very problematic if you want to understand the workings of capital as a totality.

We ask Harvey why understanding all three volumes of Capital is so crucial, and why technological, economic and industrial change over the last 150 years makes Marx’s analysis more relevant now than ever.

In the last half of the discussion, we probe into whether it’s necessary for social movements today to develop a stronger institutional basis for understanding how capital and capitalism works, and ask Harvey what should the Left most focus on to effectively organize for a better economy and society.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.


Marxism 101: How Capitalism Is Killing Itself

By Abby Martin, teleSUR | Video Interview

Capitalist Economies Create Waste, Not Social Value

By Fred Magdoff, Chris Williams, Monthly Review Press | Book Excerpt

Capitalism Exacerbates the Vulnerability of “Extreme Cities” to Climate Change

By Ashley Dawson, Verso Books | Book Excerpt


Posted in Education, Politics0 Comments

Big Picture of Global Politics, Change We Must to Live Again


The Freedom Series by Steve Robertson

The Freedom Series of articles are intended to bring light to the manipulative control of the secret Cabal (Khazarian Mafia, New World Order or Deep State) who mean to enslave humanity for the purposes of greed, profit and egotistical/evil power.

In the first article “PUPPET MASTERS OF MEDIA PROPAGANDA” I exposed one of the greatest known masterminds of media propaganda and tactical deceptions, Dr. Edward L. Bernays. He was considered the founding Father of Public Relations and was also the nephew of famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. I spend an afternoon with him one day picking his brain about how to create campaigns for world peace…that was before I was aware of who he had worked for.

Edward Bernays clearly worked for what we now call “The Deep State”, the Cabal, Khazarian Mafia, and/or the “New World Order (NWO)”. His philosophy for propaganda, the agenda for which he herded society in specific directions on behalf of those for whom he worked, is revealed in his quote:

“We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of… If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it…

…The conscious and intellectual manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

Similarly, towards bringing another spotlight to the elite few who sought to orchestrate the monstrous intent of mind-controlling society, we examined the speech John F. Kennedygave before the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961. This was some two years before his assassination:

“We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence —-on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of election, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system that has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations…

…Its’ preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, nor rumor printed, no secret revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match…”

In the next article “BANKING AND WAR PROFITEERING” I examined the historical tyranny that enslaves us all, a monetary system that is controlled by an elite few and brings wealth to those who profit from war. These groups of shadowy people, known by many names by the learned and wise, have the intention of shackling all common people (the ‘unchosen ones’) and/or those who consciously or unconsciously remain uninformed, to a life of indentured debt and servitude. Our children, our soldiers, are merely cannon fodder in a chest board game towards a new world order.

Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “The refusal of King George III to allow colonies to operate an honest money system which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the revolution” served to bring light to the financial enslavement that the Rothschild’s Central Bank brought to the US government and its people. We suffer still today under the Central Banks new name called the Federal Reserve.”

When the uncompromised politicians of this time awoke to this fatal financial trap and sought to dissolve the Central Bank, Nathan Mayer Rothschild threated the US government and anyone refusing to renew the Central Banking charter with: “Either the application for renewal of the charter is granted or the United States will find itself involved in the most disastrous war…Teach those impudent Americans a lesson! Bring them back to colonial status!”

Towards a further clarifying of the dangers the US Government and its people faced under the Central Bank model President James Garfield, 1881, stated “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce. And when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.” President Garfield was assassinated just weeks after making this statement.

In 1922, John Hylan, the Mayor of New York City, was quoted in the New York Times: “The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make cat’s- paws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business. These international bankers and Rockefeller- Standard Oil interests control the majority of newspapers and magazines in this country.”

Then in Senator William Jenner’s 1954 speech he proclaimed: “Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means… We have a well-organized political- action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state… It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government… This ruthless power- seeking elite is a disease of our century… This group…is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable.”

Finally, Daniel K. Inouye a US Senator from Hawaii and in his testimony during the 1986 Iran Contra Hearings he revealed: “There exists a shadowy government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.”

In Part III of the articles entitled “TACTICAL DIVERSIONS AND FALSE FLAG DECEPTIONS” I exposed that these methodologies of social manipulation represent the magician’s sleight of hand. In other words, the Deep State or NWO uses these strategies to focus the attention of the public towards a certain engineered occurrence whilst with the other perceptional hand, the mass media manipulates the facts in order to generate a particular bias in societal perception.

A False Flag Distraction works like and harnesses the elements of a tactical diversion however its primary purpose is to divert attention away from what a true perpetrator has done (or is about to do) so as to blame a negative occurrence onto another group of people or entity. The real intent of the False Flag Distraction (or operation) is to psychologically and/or politically disempower the reality of perception so as to establish a negative belief or narrative about a person, occurrence, organization, government or country as having done something wrong, bad or evil. Ultimately, the intent of this scheme is to justify, within the group-mind of a targeted loyal and patriotic group, a rationalized thought process that leads to specific retaliatory action toward this newly defined enemy.

“In order to bring a nation to support the burdens of maintaining great military establishments, it is necessary to create an emotional state akin to war psychology. There must be the portrayal of external menace.” – John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State during the Eisenhower administration. (Super Patriotism, Michael Parenti, p93) (1888 – 1959)

In 2008 Captain Eric H. May, a former Army military intelligence and public affairs officer was quoted: “The easiest way to carry out a false flag attack is by setting up a military exercise that simulates the very attack you want to carry out … this is exactly how government perpetrators in the US and UK handled the 9/11 and 7/7 “terror” attacks, which were in reality government attacks blamed on ‘terrorists’… The “next 9/11′′ — constantly promised by officials and the media — is likely to be carried out under the guise of future military exercises.”

“Throughout the 1990s both the U.S. oil industry and the Pentagon had contributed to the consensus that America would need full-spectrum dominance to guarantee access to oil and other resources in the rest of the world. This program would require massive expenditures, perhaps as much as a trillion dollars, and this could not be expected from Congress – except in response to an attack as massive and frightening as Pearl Harbor. With respect to the events of 9/11 it is clear that the Bush Administration’s settled goal of invading Iraq depended on the attack. What we have been witnessing, to quote the Oslo researcher Ola Tunander is “the use of terrorism to construct world order.” – Peter Dale Scott, considered the Father of ‘Deep Politics’, Berkley Professor, Poet and former Diplomat.

In 2015, David Steele, the second-highest ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence and a former CIA clandestine services officer disclosed; “Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.”

In part IV of the series entitled “BOOGIE MAN TERRORISTS” I examined the many names by which Boogie Man Terrorists have been labeled; “The Others”, “Savages,” ”Enemies”(Latin meaning “not friend”), “Evil” (identifying people as believing in and/or worshiping a “False God”), “Terrorists,” or any bigoted or derogatory name used to paint another person or entity in a negative light in order to enroll the public in justifiably murdering these people in war. This psychological tactic of negatively labeling another person or group of people as dangerously different has long been the weapon of choice by the wealthy, religious leaders and oligarch’s who control government, mass media and/or major industries.

The authoritative power of naming and controlling the story narrative is the lever of influence that manipulates “Group Thought” so as to herd the masses (the pawns of given society who naively support and/or bend to the rule of the elite who define themselves as ordained and righteous leaders), to take up violent or military actions against any named “Boogie Man.”

The Elite’s ability to label “Others or entities” as being defined by evil and then their ability to orchestrate the mass media to continually drumbeat this narrative into the collectively consciousness hides, in plain sight, the primary strategy of deception that is used to enroll and subjugate society into sacrificing their lives, and those of their children, into going to war on behalf of the ruling class and for their personal gain. Ultimately, the end goal of the elite, New World Order (NWO), Khazarian Mafia, Cabal and/or Deep State is to usurp from any sovereign entity (person, government or country) a desired and valued geopolitical chessboard piece as defined by; strategic land territories, water, agriculture territories or produce, precious minerals and/or human labor (slaves). Such actions always result in oppression, military occupation/colonialism, apartheid and genocide.

The reality of these horrors can ultimately be traced back to the “Doctrine of Discovery”issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1493. This doctrine, in essence, described the protocols by which Christian explorers were to conduct themselves when landing on foreign land/soil. The rules were as follows: 1) if occupied by fellow Christians they were to leave the land in their procession or equitably divide the land. 2) If not occupied by anyone. Dibs it’s yours to claim. 3) If occupied by non- Christians two choices: murder or enslave the people. The Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, Colonialism, We’re THE CHOSEN ONES, We found THE WAY… is the implied foundation from which all manner of horrors are justifiably inflicted on “the Others”.

Today we see how some people, who act like annihilating Alien Invaders and who have the audacity to believe and call themselves ‘The Chosen Ones,’ and refer to “Others” and/or “Gentiles” as “Goyim,” (a term meaning “Cattle”), continue to rationalize the colonization (settlement building) within Palestinian territorial land. With an indifferent distain they treat Palestinian men, women and children with a monstrous cruelty that is likened to how the US once treated the Native Americans and African American Slaves.

In truth, the 9/11 events ultimately served as a massive PSYOPs and False Flag Operation to camouflage the beginning of the US’s and NWO’s plans to rebrand non-cooperating Middle East countries like Libya, Iraq, Syria and Iran as being defining the new “Axis of Evil.” Coincidently, the leaders of these same countries proclaimed that they were finished and done with being financial slaves to the US Petro dollar system. They also proclaimed to be finished and done with being forced to use and comply with the Rothschild’s Central Banking System. In turn these countries declared that they would create their own sovereign currency and that it would be backed by their country’s own gold supplies. This old “Axis of Evil” branding narrative routine was ultimately used to enroll the US public to support a US lead military operation that would instigate and force regime changes.

In Part V of the series called “US POLICE BRUTALITY AGAINST ITS OWN CITIZENS, YOU CAN THANK ISRAEL” I noted that during the peace revolution of the 60’s there was a hidden and very turbulent battle playing out for human rights and a world free of war. I remained unaware, like most Baby-Boomers of my age, of the African American Civil Rights movement, the Assassinations of the great US leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and the Kent State University students who died protesting the Vietnam War.

At my age (born in 1957) and for those of my generation, the naïve unawareness each of these historical events and their larger corollary implications, left most of us blind to how our US Police force was transformed into a Jekyll and Hyde personality, and the consequences thereafter. Good men who once embodied the heart of ‘Serving and Protecting’ now complied to the marching orders that accompanied their paychecks, orders which now required them to battle peaceful protestors who lived within their own community. The Government propaganda agenda and its complicit accomplice, the US Media machine, had successfully demonized peaceful protestors. In the mind of the police force, these people were positioned to represent a threat to law and order and our national security. The broken integrity of this newly brainwashed Police force now branded them, in the public’s eye, from a once trusted Friend to someone who was now a Foe and an individual called a “Pig.”

This transformational process of Police officers during this time, and especially those within large metropolitan areas and or near major university campuses, now found officer uniforms adorned with riot gear. Police now wore helmets, face shields, carried side arms pistols, shotguns and wielded batons. They used fire-hydrant hoses to spray high-pressured water at people to control crowds. They unleashed attack dogs to subdue the public. Some police rode horseback and used these animals as battering rams against concentrated group gatherings.

There is no question that the US public faces an entirely new and very aggressive police force. Where did this new Paramilitary Police consciousness of normalized brutality and tactically combative crowd control originate? According to an August 25, 2016 in Amnesty International article entitled “With Whom are Many U.S. Police Departments Training? Written by Edith Garwood it reads:

When the U.S. Department of Justice published a report Aug. 10 that documented “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), there was rightly a general reaction of outrage…

…But what hasn’t received as much attention is where Baltimore police received training on crowd control, use of force and surveillance: Israel’s national police, military and intelligence services.

…Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington state as well as the DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the U.S.

…Many of these trips are taxpayer funded while others are privately funded. Since 2002, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have paid for police chiefs, assistant chiefs and captains to train in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

…These trainings put Baltimore police and other U.S. law enforcement employees in the hands of military, security and police systems that have racked up documented human rights violations for years. Amnesty International, other human rights organizations and even the U.S. Department of State have cited Israeli police for carrying out extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, using ill treatment and torture (even against children), suppression of freedom of expression/association including through government surveillance, and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.

…The Department of Justice report cited Baltimore police for using aggressive tactics that “escalate encounters and stifle public cooperation.” This leads, the report said, to use of unreasonable force during interactions for minor infractions, such as quality of life matters. Furthermore, the report details how an overall lack of training leads to excessive force being used against those with mental health issues, juveniles and people who present “little or no threat against others,” such as those already restrained.”

In my summary article: “The Big Picture of Global Politics, Change We Must to Live Again” I will reference Richard Nixon’s book The Real War who reveled that world leaders see the earth like a chessboard. On this global game-board, leaders and the powers behind them, vie for control and ownership over certain strategic resources such as oil, natural gas, water and important metals like titanium, platinum, chromium, etc. and people who make up a given workforce.

Countries who posses these strategic natural resources with the territories of their continental soil have assets, power and leverage from which to bargain and exert power within the chessboard game. Countries who do not have these assets or direct access to them may be able to trade or bargain certain technological knowhow and/or manufacturing capabilities to gain these resources. Access to these strategic resources is especially vital to countries whose economies are driven from the manufacturing and production of military weaponry. Most people keep forgetting that not every country on the planet has the ability to produce guns, bullets, bombs, tanks, planes, war ships…etc.

On America’s game board of strategic resources, on its own ad sovereign soil, the US military complex finds little to zero strategic metals. As such and without them, US military manufacturers can not manufacture jet aircraft engines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and so on.

Respectively, and from the US Defense perspective, it is critical to keep these same strategic resources out of the hands of “Other” political powers or groups who are perceived to have anti-western sentiments. In order to fortify this stance the US utilizes diplomatic channels and economic-hit-man make sure that the leadership of other countries, who have such resources, are placed in financially vulnerable and compromised positions so as to leverage or extort access. This may make clear why the US has and maintains some 1000 military bases around the world. On the other hand, Russia who self-sufficient with these strategic resources maintains only five military bases worldwide, four of which reside within the former USSR.

Within the geo-spiritual context of why leaders and people act in certain ways I’ve concluded that every horrific thing on the planet to date has occurred because we’re literally doing what Jesus said in the quote “Love thy neighbor, as thy self” and this is because we are literally loving our neighbors exactly how we love ourselves…and that is ‘we love ourselves horribly’.

The reality is that when we choose to live in a state of self-hatred and/or self- loathing the mind can only project a disconnected craziness onto other people, other creatures and the very nature that defines and supports all life, our earth and its environment. In such a state of self-disconnectedness the fearful mind only sees and defines everything outside of its illusionary self as the “Others”…an entity that is defined a potential threat to the survival of this wounded self perception. In this fear based and survival mentality level of consciousness everything is seen in a state of limited supply and all others are to be distrusted, defended against and/or defeated in regards to safeguarding the potential depletion of these life-sustaining supplies. As a result, this thinking rationalizes and at all costs, the exploitation, defeat and domination of others. Hence, we have chosen to create Hell on Earth.

The opposite of an unaware and fearful Hell on Earth is one of a world at Peace and people who are consciously self-aware, loving and responsible. People of this more awakened state of Being tend to be present, compassionate, kind and generously sharing of various resources. This state of conscious awareness is one that reflects the discovery and realization of the true kingdom of heaven that is within. This conscious state is defined by being and living from a deeper knowing that all people, creatures and the earth are inner connected. In this true sense of Self we are able to transition consciousness from a perception based perspective into a truer Vision of knowing that all are one. From this true reality we only know everyone to be our brothers and sisters, and all creatures and aspects of mother earth to be a reverently honored whole of the kingdom of the Divine.

In this ultimate state of self-realized awakening we can truly know the wisdom of the Buddhist poet Thich Nhat Hanh who states, “The healing of ourselves is the healing of the whole nation.” In this awareness each of us can be empowered to bring our greatest gift of love and talents to our planet as expressed in the Course in Miracles teachings, “The Salvation of the world depends on you.”

I’ve concluded that there is only one God, called by many names, who is defined only by love. In the Bible, as one religious reference, it states one can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven “until we become as a child.” I pray that humanity will strive to realize this metaphorical state of innocence so that each person can discover, live and create from the kingdom of heaven that is within. In this inner kingdom of loving innocence, we will find the expressed freedom, power and salvation of the soul as expressed by the Jesus figure who stated, “Greater things I have done and even the least among you can do greater than I.” In- other-words, I did it (enlightenment) and you can do it and go even further than I.

Love and peace on earth is a truly possible when each of us achieve clarity, remember to authentically honor and love our true selves and then love our neighbors, all living creatures and mother earth in the same way that we authentically love the self. When this occurs we will have the awareness to know that the salvation of the world depends on each of us. When we choose to act from this awareness we will have the vision to know that ALL ARE ONE. Then and only then, we will be able to create a true and lasting Peace on Earth. Only then, as we are reminded by John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” will we LIVE AS ONE. Amen. We pray it Be so.

The Vision of Project Peace On Earth
Sacred Music Concerts Inspire Love and Peace

Posted in Politics0 Comments

Joyful Tax Havens, Offshore Banking and the “Paradise Papers”


This was another case of the big and the powerful undercutting the tax systems of the world. But could anyone be genuinely surprised at the revelations to come out of the Paradise Papers on the workings of the tax haven industry?

Of the 13.4 million files revealed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and some 90 global media partners, 6.8 million stem from the offshore law firm Appleby. A further half million derive from the Asiaciti Trust based in Singapore, with six million obtained from corporate registries spanning 19 tax havens.[1]

This is a field where denial is followed by qualification, and then, ultimately, a dismissive shrug. Nothing exemplifies this more than the dispute over what a “tax haven” constitutes. The Bermuda minister for finance, Bob Richards, for instance, rejects the suggestion that his country is a joyful tax haven for the stinking rich and robustly powerful.

Language and perception is everything here. A tax haven, according to the Bermuda side of things, suggests terrorism and money laundering. A no-tax or low-tax threshold is an entirely decent incentive. “We didn’t pass a law to say,” disclaimed Richards, “that the Googles of this world don’t get taxed.”[2]

Besides, claimed the evidently irritated finance minister, the UK was itself a tax haven. “You have more billionaires resident in London than any place on earth. They are not here for the weather, they are here for the tax climate. We have a double standard going on here.”[3]

Richards does have a point. In the world of tax havens, countries with a supposedly more keen disposition to netting tax are found wanting. The Netherlands, for instance, is a the place of choice for General Electric, Heinz, Caterpillar, Time Warner, Foot Locker and Nike. In the sharp observation of Jesse Frederik, “The land of tulips and windmills, the home of the International Criminal Court, and the number one tax have for American multinationals.”[4]

Combing through the papers has already revealed the activities of a few big fish, though again, there are few surprises. US President Donald Trump, for instance, is the least surprising of all. Despite railing against the unelected global elites who do boardroom deals, his circle is filled with that very same ilk. The corporate boardroom, in fact, stalks the land and haunts the cabinet.

Take US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross. His private equity firm W.L. Ross & Co., LLC was a company that became, in time, one of Appleby’s biggest clients. Despite divesting most of his empire, he retained a stake in the shipping company Navigator Holdings, with W.L. Ross being its largest shareholder.[5] Navigating Holdings, in turn, does extensive business with the Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company SIBUR. A resounding tut-tut has duly followed.

Do these revelations actually matter? The very fact that the Paradise Papers duly followed in the tracks of the enormous documentation in the Panama Papers is evidence that the enterprising accountant is always ahead of the plodding taxman.

Nonetheless, Will Fitzgibbon and Emilia Díaz-Struck would suggest in November 2016 for the ICIJ that the Panama Papers investigation had “produced an almost daily drumbeat of regulatory moves, follow-up stories and calls by politicians and activists for more action to combat offshore financial secrecy.”[6]

The problem with such companies is that they, in a sense, have every right, or, to be more precise, liberty, to exist in an environment teaming with advisors on how best to trick the tax departments. Companies are not in the habit of feeding social consciences or the public good, and have an incentive to obtain the biggest dividends for their shareholders.

The problem is so endemic that even the ICIJ supplies a disclaimer noting how offshore companies and trusts have “legitimate uses”. “We do not intend to suggest or imply that people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.” Precisely.

What is easy to ignore is the degree of collusion states afford companies. Some are in the habit of encouraging companies to operate on their territory, the incentive here being a zero tax rate. Capital duly migrates; outsourcing takes place. Tax that would otherwise find its way into coffers is simply not collected. Infrastructure and services duly suffers.

Matt Gardner, senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy based in Washington sees an inexorable trend, one that threatens to reduce democratic practice to a shell. The tax bases of the globe are shrinking, as is trust in state institutions.

“When its documented as well as it has that companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft – these incredibly profitable companies – are just able to use the tax system like a piñata, that just reinforces the belief that no-one cares about the plight of middle-income families.”[7]

Till a good reason exists to abolish such entities as Mossack Fonseca or Appleby, the world of the tax haven will continue to thrive, however vigorous a prune it might receive from periodic bursts of moral outrage.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge and lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email:



Posted in Politics0 Comments

Brazile snitches on “CANCER” Hillary, admitting Bernie Sanders was cheated out of primary win


Donna Brazile turns on Hillary Clinton.

Russiagate, Trump-Russia collusion, Mueller investigation…it all started with Hillary Clinton working with the DNC to steal the Democrat primary from a surging Bernie Sanders.

The former DNC chair who helped Hillary cheat her way to the presidential election, Donna Brazile, has now turned on Hillary Clinton.

Why is Brazile snitching on Hillary? Maybe it is all about selling her new book, out in about a week.

Via The Gateway Pundit….

Former DNC temporary Chairwoman Donna Brazile turned on Hillary Clinton.

The former chair claims Hillary has been controlling the DNC Victory Funds since before she got the nomination. Brazile also said the funding arrangement with HFA and the Victory Fund agreement was unethical and it compromised the party’s integrity.

This is big news considering it was Donna Brazile who leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton during the Democrat primary.

Donna Brazile is a big rat to jumped ship and snitch on the Clinton mafia.

Via Politico…

Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.

I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.

Debbie was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party—she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was. How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks.

By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.

The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

Posted in USA, Politics0 Comments

Anti-war movement resolves: “No cooperation with war crimes”


Stop the War            Coalition

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) submitted the resolution below to the Annual General Meeting of the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) on 25 April, and it was passed near unanimously.  In addition it had the full support of the StWC officers.  Lalkar is pleased to reproduce this resolution, which has now become a part of the mobilisation programme of the anti-war movement in this country and marks a landmark in the political development of the anti-war and anti-imperialist movement.



No cooperation with war crimes

This conference condemns Britain’s continued involvement in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and calls for the immediate recall of all British troops from both these countries.

While the City of London’s financial elite sought to benefit by joining arms with the US to seize Iraq’s oil wealth and manipulate her domestic and foreign policy to their advantage, this conference affirms that the entire bloody debacle has always been contrary to the interests of the vast majority of British workers, who have consistently demonstrated their opposition to this modern-day Anglo-American colonial crusade.

Since 2004, more than 1.5 million wholly innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been slaughtered as a result of the illegal invasion and occupation of their country. This can only be termed genocide. In addition, more than 4 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes as internal and external refugees, and the resultant dislocation of Iraq’s cultural, political and economic life is near total.

In Afghanistan, tens of thousands of people have been murdered, and the country’s infrastructure smashed to pieces as a result of the Anglo-American oil monopolies’ quest to control the routes of projected pipelines.

This conference notes with shame the fact that ‘our own’ British imperialist Labour government has been a key player in planning and perpetrating these heinous war crimes against the Iraqi and Afghan peoples.

Conference notes that many British workers were browbeaten, by a compliant political and media establishment, into accepting these wars on entirely false premises (Afghan responsibility for the 11 September attacks, Blair’s ‘45 minute’ claim about Iraqi WMD, etc) that sought to paint Afghanistan and Iraq, rather than Anglo-American imperialism, as the aggressors. Thus the necessary ground was laid to send British and US soldiers (workers in uniform) to do the bankers’, oil magnates’ and armament manufacturers’ dirty work.

This conference believes that war fought to enforce subjection and servitude upon another nation is morally abhorrent; to fight and die in such a cause is demoralising, corrupting and meaningless.

This conference realises that, although individually powerless, collectively, British workers do have the power to stop the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, since the government and corporations cannot fight them without us.

This conference therefore resolves that the coalition will do all in its power to promote a movement of industrial, political and military non-cooperation with all of imperialism’s aggressive war preparations and activities among British working people.

Union mobilisation remains key to the success of such a policy, and this conference instructs the incoming Stop the War steering committee to campaign vigorously among trade unions to encourage them to adopt a practical policy encouraging their members to do everything not to support illegal wars or occupations, directly or indirectly; and to render every support to members victimised for taking this principled stand.

This conference welcomes the magnificent examples set by such signal actions as:

·       2002/3: FBU strike action immediately preceding the invasion of Iraq, which threatened the entire enterprise.

·       Jan 2003: Fifteen Aslef train drivers refused to move arms from Glasgow factories to Glen Douglas base on Scotland’s west coast (which remains NATO’s largest European arsenal, and from where they were bound for the Gulf).

·       9 Aug 2006: Protesters occupied the Derry offices of Raytheon when Israel invaded Lebanon, to “prevent the commissioning of war crimes by the Israeli armed forces using weapons supplied by Raytheon”.

·       May Day 2008: tens of thousands of US west coast dockers defied court injunctions to strike in protest against US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite the decision of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) leadership to withhold official sponsorship for the strike.

·       Dec 2008: Smash EDO demonstrators occupied and disabled production at Brighton-based missile-delivery system manufacturer EDO (recently acquired by Armament Giant ITT) during Israel’s massacre of Gazans.

·       Feb 2009: Norwegian Train drivers staged a national stoppage to protest the Israeli massacre in Gaza.

·       Resolutions asking Bectu media workers to resist the transmission of imperialist war propaganda will be considered at the union’s forthcoming congress.

Posted in Middle East, Politics, UK0 Comments

Seeking happiness beyond neoliberal consumerism

True happiness

By Graham Peebles

Irrespective of nationality, religion, race or gender; whether stinking rich, desperately poor or somewhere in between, happiness is the one thing everyone is seeking – consciously or not.

The architects of the socio-economic system in which we live have devised a system that promises to satisfy this yearning. But instead of building a society at ease with itself, full of peaceful, happy people, collective discontent is fed, resulting in a range of mental health issues and in some cases suicide.

Happiness, according to the duplicitous devotees of neoliberalism, is to be found in the homogenous shopping centers of the world, the sterile holiday resorts and brash casinos. It is to be found, they claim, In things, in products and services that stimulate and excite. Happiness in this perverse paradigm has been replaced by pleasure, love exchanged for desire, choice substituted for freedom.

Echoes of happiness

Happiness that lasts is what we yearn for, not a transient state in which one feels the tingle of happiness for a moment or so, only to see it evaporate as the source of our happiness loses its appeal, or is exhausted – the holiday comes to an end, a relationship breaks up, the gamble doesn’t pay off, a new iPhone or handbag hits the high street making the old one redundant, etc. We sense that a state of lasting happiness is possible but know not where it is or how to find it. The mistake commonly made, and one we are constantly encouraged to make, is to search for happiness within the sensory world where all experiences, pleasant or unpleasant, are facile and transient. The inevitable consequence of such shallow encounters with happiness is discontent and frustration.

Despite being repeatedly confronted with disappointment, and instead of refraining from this never-ending quest, the searcher becomes increasingly desperate: a new relationship may be sought, a change of job or new home, more shopping outings, dinners planned, alcohol and drugs taken, and so on into the darker reaches of sensory satisfaction and hedonistic indulgence.

Pleasure is not happiness, nor does it bring lasting happiness. At best, it creates a false sense of relief from unhappiness and inner conflict, a momentary escape before dissatisfaction and desire bubble up again.

Of course, it is important to enjoy life, and yes, something resembling happiness is experienced on these excursions, but it is a happiness dependent on something, on other people, and on certain elements being in place: take these away and the “happiness” very quickly evaporates. Such happiness is a mere echo of “true happiness”, and one that carries with it conflict, fear and anxiety; this taste of happiness, functioning via the desire principle and the medium of the senses is relentlessly stoked by the exponents of neoliberal idealism.

The success of their divisive project, i.e. profitability, growth, development, progress – call it what you will – is totally contingent on consumerism, and the act of consuming relies on and is the result of perpetual desire. To their utter shame, despite having a responsibility to create the conditions in which “true happiness” can be experienced, most, if not all governments collude with corporate man/woman to promote the unhealthy, materialistic values that are the source of unhappiness.

Desire is constantly agitated through advertising, television, film and print media; fantastical, sentimental, idealised images of not just where happiness lies, but what love looks like are pumped around the world every minute of every day. The aim of this extravagant pantomime is to manipulate people into believing they need the stuff that the corporate state is selling in order to be happy. But happiness cannot be found within the world of sensations – pleasure yes, but not happiness, and pleasure will never fill the internal void that exists and is perpetuated through this movement into materiality. Pleasure is not happiness, nor does it bring lasting happiness. At best, it creates a false sense of relief from unhappiness and inner conflict, a momentary escape before dissatisfaction and desire bubble up again.

Cycles of discontent

Nothing but discontent is to be found within this endless cycle of desire, temporary satisfaction and continued longing. It is an insatiable, inherently painful pattern that moves the “seeker of happiness” further and further away from the treasure he or she is searching for, creating disharmony and conflict, for the individual and society. Add to this polluted landscape competition and inequality, and a cocktail of division and chaos emerges: competition between individuals and nations separates and divides, working against humanity’s natural inclination towards cooperation, sharing and tolerance; qualities that were crucial in the survival of early man.

Competition fosters ideas of superiority and inferiority and, together with conformity, an image of “success” and “failure”, of beauty, and what it means to be a man or a woman – particularly a young man or young woman – is projected and thrust into the minds of everyone from birth. One of the effects of this is the tendency towards comparison, leading to personal dissatisfaction (with myriad symptoms from self-harming to addiction and depression), and the desire, or pressure, to conform to the presented ideal.

At the root of these interconnected patterns of discontent and misery, lies desire. Desire not just for pleasure, but desire for things to be other than they are; it is this constant movement of desire that creates unhappiness and deep dissatisfaction. If desire is the obstacle to happiness, then all desire needs to be negated, including the desire for happiness. Perhaps the question to be addressed then is not what will bring lasting happiness, but how to be free of unhappiness and discontent.

In ancient Greece, where life was hard and happiness was widely believed to be reserved for those rare individuals whom the gods favoured, Socrates (470 BC – 399 BC) proposed that happiness could be attained by everyone by controlling their hedonistic desires, turning their attention towards the soul and by living a moral life. His view finds its root in the teachings of the Buddha who, almost 100 years earlier, had made clear in the Second Noble Truth, that far from bringing happiness, desire is in fact the cause of all suffering and, further, that freedom from suffering and unhappiness is brought about when desire is overcome.

“True happiness” is an aspect of our natural self; it will not be found within the world of pleasure and material satisfaction, comfort and indulgence. Such happiness is experienced when the causes of unhappiness are negated; when we cease searching, when we stop desiring. It is an inherent part of who and what we are and, in principle at least – and herein lies the beauty and wonder of life – the possibility of unshakable happiness exists for everyone, everywhere, irrespective of circumstances.

Posted in Politics0 Comments

Shoah’s pages


November 2017
« Oct