Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 18, 2013

Just A Few Links

(Sorry for light posting. I am bit ill and feel incapable of consistent thinking and writing.)

Just a few links:

The London Sunday Times reports for the fifth or so time that Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran. In other news the prospective Saudi ruler will be a woman well known for here successes in rally racing.

Some U.S. officials seem still hopeful to get some Status of Force Agreement with Afghanistan signed. There are only a few small stumbling blocks like immunity for U.S. forces, the ability of U.S. death squads to enter Afghan homes and the unaccountable CIA operations throughout Afghanistan. The Loya Jirga members who would vote for allowing such operations would thereby also sign their own death sentences. The SOFA ain't gonna happen.

The Pentagon is full of waste, fraud and outright theft. But as it has for years had no, as in zero, functioning administrative financial system no one can be blamed. The Soviets had the same problem with their Red Army. No one knew how much it cost or what it was doing with the money it got it hands on. That didn't end well.

A former Israeli prime minister says:

"I heard that [US Secretary of State John] Kerry dared to disagree with the Israeli prime minister," Olmert said. "Poor guy. I hope he'll come out of this alright."

Posted by b on November 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

next page »

Re: ...Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran.

Today's post at Xymphora addresses this laughable daydream - and he has coined the term Saudi-Israelia to hilight the impotent inanity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 18, 2013 10:53:38 AM | 1

A complete recovery is better than a quick recovery, b.
Get well as slowly as you need to...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 18, 2013 10:56:29 AM | 2

All bets are off in Washington.

Not only are the inmates running the asylum but, in their ranks, the most violent and demented are asserting the crystalline clarity of their lunatic visions. A struggle for power is going on and the fact that there is very little difference between the parties competing does nothing to diminish their fervour.
On the contrary it acts as a safety net, they can tear each other to pieces with impunity because no big questions are at issue.

The situation is that Obama and his corporate democrats have so effectively neutered the progressive wing of the party that its support, which has come to be defined as its silence, its legislative pacifism, is no longer worth having.

For the past five years, as wars have raged around the globe, as thousands have been assassinated by drones and death squads, as conditions in Guantanamo have deteriorated, as excuses for its existence have evaporated, as the actuality of the long suspected Panopticon project has been dramatically confirmed, as the economy has crumbled and living standards plummeted, the "left" in America, and elsewhere, has thrown its vast energies into campaigns to allow homosexuals the rights of marriage, from white weddings to survivor's benefits.

As part of this gay carnival of appearances and symbolism Obama care was introduced to be all things to all men and women and so on. It never had a chance of working because it is too complex and full of contradictions to work.

The computer coder has yet to be born who can square its circles and smooth out its sharp corners. It was designed, essentially, to inaugurate the destruction of medicare and social security, while undermining the last strengths of Trade Unionism and enormously extending the clientele, powers and profitability of the wide swath of industries, from insurance to pharmaceuticals to hospitals feeding off the misery of our mortality.
It was a Chicago gangster's dream, a legalised protection racket, enrolling all the private interests in America's last growth industry (the cannibal twin of the highly profitable private prison and police sector)in a scheme from which there is no escape except death.

It is the unwinding of this legislation which is paralysing the Presidency at a time when Netanyahu is making his bid to take over the job's powers, without its responsibilities.

In other words, to put it more succinctly, Obama is the lamest of ducks.

His supporters are demoralised and led by obscure and unprincipled demagogues. Their views have been treated with elaborate contempt for years, their lack of practical realism is legendary. Across the country they are involved in battles with Obama's "reformers" such as Emanuel who is dismantling the Chicago school system. Nobody listens to them any more and they- the Progressive and the Black Caucuses in Congress- are Obama's only supporters. Nobody else needs him: the insurance companies can bid for even better treatment, the "for profit" medical providers can insist on even greater freedom, the capitalists have no shortage of champions, they don't need him.

And already the knives are being aimed at his back: Hillary and her rivals will want to distance themselves before they get sucked down as his ship sinks. The interests he has spent his lifetime appeasing are already laughing in his face.
The hope that he could, even if he wanted to, assert himself over Iran is forlorn.
But all is not lost. Obama's discrediting will open the way for those with policies designed not for the early nineties but for the reality of an imploding economy, a crumbling empire and an army of poor, unemployed and precariously patronised Americans which has grown to fifty million and is heading quickly towards one hundred million. And they have no interest in the devil's charity work of giving the Pentagon billions to defend tyrants and bankroll Israel's murderous ways; they will demand full employment, medicare, social security and political respect for the interests of society. None of which is consonant with the warfare state.

And that is the threat against which the NSA is constant in its vigilance.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 18, 2013 11:51:12 AM | 3

I suspect if Hillary gets elected it will be because she's a woman. America's first woman president! Wow. Kinda like the way Obama got elected for being black.

Posted by: dh | Nov 18, 2013 12:15:21 PM | 4

when the most trivial reasons are the basis for voting, i would expect nothing different.. they have a lot of significance symbolically speaking but obama and his leadership style has nothing to do with his blackness, and i am sure it would be the same with hilary and whatever stupidity she would exercise as president if it were to happen.

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2013 12:22:43 PM | 5

@5 Aren't women supposed to be more nurturing? One thinks of Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice.

Posted by: dh | Nov 18, 2013 12:28:46 PM | 6

Posted by: bevin | Nov 18, 2013 11:51:12 AM

So, in other words, Obama is the last black president that the USA will ever see.

Posted by: argyle | Nov 18, 2013 12:38:39 PM | 7

At the time of the great explosion of radical feminism in the 1970s, I felt instinctively that all this was counter-revolutionary (at that time, I was a Yippie or something). What I felt then, and still feel, is that the pursuit of individual “equality” is an indirect way of reinforcing the liberal order, and I have seen this several times since then. Obviously, if you are a woman (or Black, or gay, or…) you are likely to find the pursuit of “equal rights” worthwhile, but this happens instead of rebellion against the system as a whole. I think it’s a great mistake to try to ‘expand’ Marxism to encompass such things, as is often done. Marxism is a very precise tool fit for a specific purpose, namely overthrowing the ‘liberal’ (bourgeois capitalist) order. It has to be applied by wage labourers at key points of physical production within capitalist industry. I have retained my focus on that, even though it has now become globalised along with capitalism itself. One has to think in terms of a single, global revolution, which is almost inconceivable, but there it is. The day for it won't come until the old imperial centres (US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany) have been plunged into dire poverty, and the disillusionment of those who had been taught that they were entitled as White Anglo-Saxon Protestants to live in comparative luxury, or at least in lesser poverty than the rest of the world, turns to rage. The essential revolution should have taken place in Germany after WW1. It's after losing an imperial war that the chances for revolution are best, and the global strategic gains if it happens are highest.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 18, 2013 12:47:50 PM | 8

The Soviets had the same problem with their Red Army. No one knew how much it cost or what it was doing with the money it got it hands on. That didn't end well."


Careful now.

Posted by: foff | Nov 18, 2013 1:16:43 PM | 9

that is the theory, but i think the reality is any women into politics is in a special class of her own..

Posted by: james | Nov 18, 2013 1:22:21 PM | 10

"@5 Aren't women supposed to be more nurturing? One thinks of Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice.

Posted by: dh | Nov 18, 2013 12:28:46 PM | 6"

Many "Rad"-feminists would call that an essentially Patriarchial view of women. Part of the "oppression matrix"

Of course most Rad-feminists are completely bonkers.

Posted by: foff | Nov 18, 2013 1:26:25 PM | 11

- Saudi-Israelia brilliant line. Of course they are not going to attack. Always said that the UK Sunday Times is not to be trusted. My father used to always buy it and was clear they were reporting stuff fed to them by Israeli intelligence. Also of course its owned by Rupert Murdoch and its said he interferred more with the Times than any of his tabloids/financial papers. Robert Fisk used to write for them and left claiming that editors started removing all lines critical of Israel.

- I wouldn't be so sure about the Loya Jirga refusing B. I read somewhere that Iran was offering to use its extensive contacts in Afghanistan to help smooth the withdrawal process over as a kind of bargaining chip in the Geneva talks. Iran's ties with the Hazara people (who speak Persian), its sponsorship of the Northern Alliance, and even its back channels with the Taliban, would be alot better than America (who don't know the languages, culture).

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 18, 2013 1:27:21 PM | 12

- I wouldn't be so sure about the Loya Jirga refusing B. I read somewhere that Iran was offering to use its extensive contacts in Afghanistan to help smooth the withdrawal process over as a kind of bargaining chip in the Geneva talks.

Maybe that's what's behind the US pretence at a reapproachment with Iran. String 'em along, get them to help out with an SOFA, then dump em and go back to "bomb bomb bomb Iran"

Posted by: foff | Nov 18, 2013 1:33:38 PM | 13

Jim White at emptywheel is following the SOFA negotiatins:

This is another of those head vs heart things.
The heart tells us that, for the sake of suffering humanity, the sooner the last US soldier, with the last NGO pimp under his arm, leaves Afghanistan the better it will be for the Afghans. And they, God knows, deserve a break after four decades being the sport of a sadistic cat.

But the head argues that if the US really wants to stay in the quagmire and really wants to continue spending more than $1 million per soldier per year (one figure suggests its double that!!)losing the hearts and minds of people everywhere, who are we to argue?

The heart will be gladdened if the Loya Jirga and the "government" turn down the SOFA and the exceptional death squads have to leave for fear of prosecution. And Afghans in villages everywhere will be relieved.

The head, on the other hand, will be tempted to see, in the short term losses of Afghanistan, the long term benefits for the world of seeing the empire crippled by debt and humiliated by defeat at the hands of makeshift militias.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 18, 2013 2:41:25 PM | 14

It is a principle in Islamic Law that all chief executives must be Muslims.

Islam is intended to be a coherent system, where all precepts are derived from ethical or higher purposes.
This is incompatible with any form of US supremacy or "full spectrum dominance", implemented in the SOFA.

An acceptance of the SOFA will at the very most be temporary.

Islamic law is taught in universities, and interpreted by learned assemblies, the Ulemas, from Morocco to Indonesia.

These principles are part of written law, therefore can not be undone by American policy makers.

So the Pentagon is not fighting an obscure Al Quaeda "organization" - with a limited membership, that can be hunted down.

They are fighting a written and established legal system, which still has a guiding role from Morocco to Indonesia.

The Pentagon is following the "Petraeus principle": that if you kill a sufficient number, they will comply.

This method has failed before, every time the West has attacked Islamic countries.

So the war planners have deplorable holes in their knowledge.

Their curricula of war studies ought to include the following points:

1) Europe's defeat in the Crusades.

2)Napoleon's failure to obtain power over Egypt 1797-1800, because the people would not accept a non-Muslim ruler.

3) The British and French defeat at Gallipoli 1915 - 16.

4) The reason why the British promoted the sheiks of Mecca to kings, was in order to get a religious legitimation, through a formal recognition of a Muslim sovereign.

Posted by: observer | Nov 18, 2013 2:54:00 PM | 15

@8 "It has to be applied by wage labourers at key points of physical production within capitalist industry"

This seems rather dogmatic to me. At present the only revolutions worthy of the name are taking place beneath jungle canopies in Latin America and India by exasperated peons having realized their votes are worthless and begun to cast bullets.

Huge demos in sight of that very jungle against the FARC. Dreaming of the so-called Civil Society where the police apologize before they shoot you. That is a lot of inertia to overcome.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 18, 2013 3:09:36 PM | 16

get well soon!

Posted by: brian | Nov 18, 2013 4:06:10 PM | 17

good one, bevin

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 18, 2013 4:25:04 PM | 18

@bevin.thanks for a brilliant analysis!

Posted by: Nobody | Nov 18, 2013 4:38:12 PM | 19

Get well soon, b! We’re missing you lots here at the Moon. Wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to having you back soon.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 18, 2013 6:35:56 PM | 20

Despite the fact of Obama being a lame duck, and maybe because of it, these could prove to be an interesting three years.

There are still events that could change the scene entirely. Even if Obama is a lame duck, he cannot just sit on his hands for three years. What will he decide to put his energy on for that ever elusive presidential "legacy"? The old campaign promises - Gitmo perhaps - could be revisited. A new Congress could change the way things look now if enough incumbents are tossed out. If the progressive left can join up with right libertarians, maybe they will be able to make some noise about the NSA and civil liberties. There could be other surprises - like another economic crash which more and more experts are saying is only a matter of time.

For foreign policy, I think clearly the next three years will be about how the US deals with Israel and Saudi Arabia regarding Iran. The apartheid/terror axis is clearly not happy about what happened in Syria, and while they see Iran as their chance to draw the US back into their battles, the US seems to see Iran as its chance to earn back its reputation as a rational actor among the big powers (meaning the BRICS, Germany, and Japan, not those tired has-beens France and the UK). It will be interesting to see what the Israelis and Saudis do with this long lame duck period. Do they try and bait Obama into action over Iran? Do they do something so wildly foolish like attempting their own Iran strike? And how does the US respond when its rabid little dogs are pulling tight on their leashes? This could easily be the next big crisis, and would make those days surrounding the Syrian gas attack look pale in comparison - if only for the implications it has over a continuing alliance with the Israelis and the Saudis.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 18, 2013 8:20:23 PM | 21

"Colour Revolutions":

Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks show that CANVAS (Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) - an NGO who has "worked with pro-democracy activists from more than 50 countries,[3] including Iran, Zimbabwe, Burma, Venezuela, Ukraine, Georgia, Palestine, Western Sahara, West Papua, Eritrea, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Tonga and, recently, Tunisia and Egypt" - worked directly with Stratfor to, according to one website, spy on opposition groups.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 18, 2013 8:48:09 PM | 22

@22 Oh, and by "spy on the opposition groups" I presume they mean "help organize and work closely with" of course.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 18, 2013 8:57:26 PM | 23


I have been so angry and depressed since the negotiations between Iran and P5+1 started and my anger hit such a peak today after Islamic Republic establishment declared that it does not expect any country to recognize Iran's enrichment rights that I really forgot my manners.

I wish you a very fast and full recovery.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 18, 2013 11:02:46 PM | 24

Yes b, I was sick myself with a strep throat last week. My illness was very disabling in its onset. Happy to have recovered. I trust you will do the same. I hope you recover quickly and completely.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 18, 2013 11:45:51 PM | 25

"I heard that [US Secretary of State John] Kerry dared to disagree with the Israeli prime minister," Olmert said. "Poor guy. I hope he'll come out of this alright."

How lovely. That sparks a question: Will Israel give Kerry the big pack like JFK, RFK, Arafat, Hussein, Gaddafi and Chavez got it, or will Israel settle in the case of Kerry for some minor treatment to correct his path?

Posted by: Bandolero | Nov 18, 2013 11:51:39 PM | 26

Posted by: observer | Nov 18, 2013 2:54:00 PM | 15
All of this is absolute bullshit. The Islamic regimes are clients and defenders of western capitalism.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 3:03:38 AM | 27

@8 "It has to be applied by wage labourers at key points of physical production within capitalist industry." This seems rather dogmatic to me. At present the only revolutions worthy of the name are taking place beneath jungle canopies in Latin America and India by exasperated peons having realized their votes are worthless and begun to cast bullets. Huge demos in sight of that very jungle against the FARC. Dreaming of the so-called Civil Society where the police apologize before they shoot you. That is a lot of inertia to overcome. Posted by: ruralito | Nov 18, 2013 3:09:36 PM | 16
I don't know what the real politics of the FARC are. In general I agree with what you are saying, but actually I didn't intend to exclude capitalist agriculture from my definition. Surplus value is extracted equally at all of the various points of physical production: factories, mines, plantations, etc. The problem with agricultural workers is that it is much harder to convey the essential marxist idea (ie the explanation of the meaning of the extraction of surplus value) to them than to industrial workers, who are aware of the fact that they are being forced to work towards their own obsolescence, every time new and more automated machinery is introduced. Farm labour is much more static, and one farm worker will not see another one being displaced by automated machinery so regularly, because the sites are so widely separated, whereas industrial labour is generally more concentrated in intense localities, so industrial workers see more with their own eyes, and can easily understand when you explain the overall dynamics of capitalism to them, so they immediately comprehend that they have no long-term future whatever, as long as capitalism lasts.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 3:25:36 AM | 28

It's a loooooonnnnng way to goooo my frienddd (you'd better not try to imagine tv shows in other Arab countries...)

Posted by: Mina | Nov 19, 2013 4:36:03 AM | 29

Suicide blasts outside Iranian embassy in Beirut, kills 23 people including Irans cultural ambassador to Lebanon:

This was done just before tomorrows negotiations between Iran and P5+1. I guess this is Bandar "Gatsby" Bush escalation of the Syria conflict in to Lebanon and to rupture those talks. This at a time when Mr Hollande is in occupied Jerusalem, bowing down to the altar of Isreal and Mr Davatogly aka "Mr Zero-problem with neighbors". after visiting Iraq, is in Washington. I hope Pr. Rouhani wakes up and smells the coffee and Mr Zarif, just wakes up from his wetdreams!

Iranian simulation of retaliating against Isreal:

Posted by: Irshad | Nov 19, 2013 7:01:01 AM | 30

You're right, Mina, these people suffer from an epidemic of learned stupidity:

Ismail Mohamed, the atheist, came on the show to explain what he wants from the constitutional committee, which is to respect minority rights and decriminalize talking about atheism outside one's home. Instead, he got an interviewer who said astaghfir allah (i.e I seek forgiveness from Allah) out loud every single time he said something contradictory to Islam because she doesn't have an inner voice, apparently. In addition to the host's scorn, Mohamed received angry phone calls from viewers reminding him that it is illegal for him to talk about atheism and "cause strife" in society. An Al Azhar theologian pointed out that talking about not being a Muslim implies that something is not right in Islam and it amounts to defaming religion -- a crime according to article 98 of the penal code. There was one call from his own mother who blamed the computer for his condition and said his siblings were too upset to look at the TV right now. At one point, el-Sahly asked him why he was being nice to his mother at all since bir al-walidyan (kindness to parents) is a Muslim concept entirely alien to 5.4 billion non-Muslim humans on the planet. She later called a psychiatrist to tell him about this case of a young man who doesn't believe in God and when asked why, says he is free to believe whatever he wants. Then a viewer called to praise the TV host for her intelligence in detecting the implicit link between the atheist and the Muslim Brotherhood, who obviously recruited him to become living evidence of the secularization of the country and prove that the ouster of Morsi and the crackdown on his supporters is, indeed, a war on Islam. That was just one of the many people who accused Mohammed of being a foreign cell, or at least part of one. When he apologized to his friends for being unable to speak and present their point of view, el-Sahly asked if they were inside or outside of Egypt. Where all the Jews are.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 7:13:23 AM | 31

@ 21

None of that is at all surprising though - completely logical when one thinks about it from their point of view - to criticise Islam is wrong because Islam is good, and therefore anyone that criticises it is bad.

The same "logic" prevailed in Communist countries - to criticise Socialism/Communism was bad because Socialism/Communism was Good, therefore anyone criticising it was either suffering a mental illness or in league with the NAZIS!!!!!

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 7:21:57 AM | 32

@21 = @31

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 7:22:26 AM | 33

Orwell summed it up quite effectively

"Four Legs good, baaaahhhh

Two Legs Bhahahahahad,"

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 7:25:11 AM | 34

Foff, let me answer the question I think you are posing, about the value of communism and marxism as such. One can certainly ask what exact point 'communism' (or marxism generally) went wrong in respect of explaining itself and gaining intelligent support from the people it was ruling. Unlike for instance the Trotskyites, I tend to blame Lenin himself, most fundamentally because I think that he and his cohorts ought to have followed the logic of classical marxism, which said that the communist revolution can and should only occur in fully industrialised 'advanced' countries. When revolutions occur elsewhere they are not, in the classical sense, marxist ones. Lenin adopted the idea that Russia could 'jump over' the entire stage of development normally occupied by capitalism, that it could and should leap directly from more-or-less feudalism to communism. Outside of Petrograd, there was no 'advanced working class' to work with. So the communist party was not actually following a marxist script at all, it was following a revolutionary nationalist script which, in retrospect, has more in common with fascism than with canonical marxism. And yet they used compulsively 'marxist' jargon to describe and rationalise everything they did, which led the less well-educated observers in the West to assume that what they were doing really was 'marxist', in which case obviously 'marxism' was a tyrannical and nonsensical doctrine, which in their hands, it was. The essential revolution should have occurred in Germany, if not in 1917 then at least within five years or so of that year. And the reason it didn't is to some extent, that communist attention and energy was inappropriately diverted to Russia.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 7:57:26 AM | 35

Foff, let me answer the question I think you are posing, about the value of communism and marxism as such.

Rowan my point is not about Socialism - it's about dogmatic unthinking Sheep - you find them everywhere, in religious organisations, in Right-wing organisations and in Left-wing organisations

Dogmatic unthinking Sheep are part of the problem, not the solution, Rowan.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 8:05:40 AM | 36

another simple example Rowan

"white society = Racism"
"White = Bad"
"Black = Good"
"Obama for Prez!!!!!!"

Hope and change!!!!!

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 8:12:39 AM | 37

"Western society = Patriarchal Wimmin oppressors"


"Woman = Good"
"Man = Bad"

Miley Cyrus = Twerktastic Female Empowerment!!!!!!

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 8:15:53 AM | 38

which said that the communist revolution can and should only occur in fully industrialised 'advanced' countries

I agree with you on that point Rowan - IF communism/socialism were ever to be successful (and imho it's a big IF because I believe it ignores much in the way of human behaviour) it would have to be in a mostly Urbanised "industrialised 'advanced'" society.

I think it may be related to the fact that in a mostly Urbanised "industrialised 'advanced'" society the proles actually own very little, in terms of real assets. Most of them would be mere renters and not owners of their own property, and be reliant on Capitalist employers to provide them with opportunities to acquire the means to survive through waged-employment. Therefore communism might seem attractive to those people.

however in mainly rural agrarian society in which all the land is owned by Landlords, and all the peasants mere tenants, once you collectivise the peasants, initially they might be enthusiastic but eventually they loose interest in farming because farming is hard work, and since everyone owns the land, no one owns it, and someone else will take care of the problem of providing food. In that sort of society all that happens is that one Landlord is removed to be replaced by another landlord - the State.

In a mainly rural agrarian society in which many of the peasants might actually own their own houses and have a piece of land to call their own, they could at least feed themselves without necessarily being reliant on 3rd parties (Capitalists I spose)

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 8:48:51 AM | 39

bevin @ 3 "And that is the threat against which the NSA is constant in its vigilance."

And ALL of it by design. Great post bevin. Time for the pitchforks and torches.

Posted by: ben | Nov 19, 2013 9:45:26 AM | 40

b, all wishes for renewed energy.

Individual Identity politics are the pits and to be avoided at all costs in the present landscape. (See also Rowan at 8.)

This does not mean one cannot evidence solidarity or deplore the treatment of ‘certain’ groups.

First off. Identity politics distract, lead to senseless arguments (e.g. gay rights, gay marriage, to cite just a current newsworthy thing.) Second, they divide the ppl / the electorate, etc., polarize them on issues that are socio-cultural rather than economic or political, and lead to calculated slicing and dicing of electorate projections, as this can be done and gives hopes of ‘wins’. True political choices are *deliberately* obscured by divisive trivia. God, Guns and Gays become vital topics and Health Care, War is shunted aside, to stereotype. Elsewhere, Sharia law, the same quarrels...

Individual rights as legislated or set up in any society are the outcome of supra-hierarchical decisions, these may vary from culture to culture, there is no right answer, no shoe fits all. Yes I know cultural relativism is lame...still.. If Big Finance and Big Corps, most salient Big Commodity Extractors and trading are reducing many to semi-slavery or worse, one might think that of prime importance, and agonize more about top-down factors, and not put one’s heart into down-upwards actions for some ‘group’, which only encourage competition where all the contestants end up with Pyrrhic victories, doled out in measured teaspoons, often granted, after much hair-twisting and fake posturing, to encourage others to follow the same path.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 19, 2013 9:53:26 AM | 41

extremly interesting profile of bandar bush and maybe a reason why we read so much about the Saudis doing this and that

Posted by: Some1 | Nov 19, 2013 10:10:59 AM | 42

once you collectivise the peasants... Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 8:48:51 AM | 39
Foff, it didn't work like that in Russia. The 1917 revolution simply declared that the peasants henceforth owned the land they farmed on, which was the unarguable, essential move if the Bolsheviks didn't want to have to kill millions of rebellious peasants. But the Bolsheviks instituted a regime of requisitioning all surplus grain production on the spot. This hit the larger peasants proportionately harder by seizing the stock they would have otherwise traded, so the land they had owned but which they could no longer afford to hire agricultural labourers to farm, fell into the hands of the landless. After 1921, the Bolsheviks restored the grain market, as part of the NEP. This allowed those who could to expand their land holdings, employ labourers and make money again. Finally, in 1929, Stalin collectivised the lot, even though the supposed economies of scale were not to be actualised, since the necessary tractor stations did not yet exist. So altogether, it was a mess. Perhaps someone with a better memory than me can similarly sum up what the Chinese Communists did with the peasants, in less than 10 lines.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 10:12:24 AM | 43

" Unlike for instance the Trotskyites, I tend to blame Lenin himself, most fundamentally because I think that he and his cohorts ought to have followed the logic of classical marxism, which said that the communist revolution can and should only occur in fully industrialised 'advanced' countries...."

There is much truth in this. But the problem with your, menshevik, view is that it is too mechanistic. You assume that certain levels of industrial development lead to, one might say cause, appropriate levels of political consciousness. Thus a country with 70% factory workers lives permanently on the verge of revolution while a country with 50% peasants on subsistence farms has a lot of development to do.
This is nonsense, positivism and a crude regurgitation of the Scots Enlightenment theories of social evolution, which were bad enough in their original subtlety.

The real and abiding problem with Leninists and "Trotskyites" is their worship of authoritarian alternatives to democratic organisation. They effectively say, to people who have rejected the authoritarian hierarchies of bourgeois society that, in order to be revolutionaries, they must do as they are told by the leadership. All the formal "democracy" in democratic centralism is window dressing. A child can see that in, for example, the SWP there is no chance whatever of prevailing against the coterie in power, and that means that such organisations are profoundly anti-democratic.

What that means, in practical terms, is that members of such parties and groups (and this applies to almost all left formations, reformists being even more committed to Leninist organisation than "revolutionaries") never develop any ability to think and analyse and act politically. Instead of learning from experience and using the experience of past generations, roughly codified into theory, they await instructions from on high or thumb through Capital and Die Grundrisse desperately looking for hints on what to do in circumstances utterly different from those Marx, a real empiricist, knew.

In fact most of these "revolutionaries" stand in the way of mass action by channeling energies into idiotic enterprises such as newspaper sales, seminars on philosophy, infinitely meaningless disquisitions on the proper or permissible range of social and sexual relationships. And, of course, fiercely concentrated close re-reading of the "canon" of Marxism. Literary criticism of the post modern type has replaced practical struggle while learning-praxis.

Revolution is very near and it is not that difficult to understand: wherever there are slaves there are slave revolts; wherever property enjoins men to starve themselves and their families, there will be-and must be- looting. Wherever ideology contradicts reality so obviously that it is impossible not to see the contradiction, people will slough off the sophistries used to quieten them, and after struggling discover that the only alternative to being ruled buy others, in their interests, is ruling ourselves.

Best wishes to "b", recall the wisdom of Dr Pauling and saturate yourself in vitamin C.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 19, 2013 10:13:45 AM | 44

"Foff, it didn't work like that in Russia. The 1917 revolution simply declared that the peasants henceforth owned the land they farmed on, which was the unarguable, essential move if the Bolsheviks didn't want to have to kill millions of rebellious peasants."

But Rowan it DID work like that in Russia, ou said so yourself:

in 1929, Stalin collectivised the lot,

and the Bolshies didn't have much problem murdering the peasantry: they murdered, by deliberate starvation, 6-to-10 million Kulaks in the Ukraine, remember?

The fact that it took a little over a decade for them to institute that mass collectivisation is beside the point - the end result was that the peasantry were collectivised.

And Millions died in the process.

The time-frame is immaterial. They simply waited until they felt that the revolution was secure enough that they could then tackle the rural peasantry

So altogether, it was a mess.

yep - my point exactly

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 10:31:44 AM | 45

@43 Very similar in China RB. 1950-53 peasants initially given title to land. Million (?) landlords executed. Later the CP went for collectivisation in the form of cooperatives and communes.

Posted by: dh | Nov 19, 2013 10:35:21 AM | 46

This is nonsense, positivism and a crude regurgitation of the Scots Enlightenment theories of social evolution, which were bad enough in their original subtlety.
Bevin, that's overly harsh, I said (in #28): "Industrial workers are aware of the fact that they are being forced to work towards their own obsolescence, every time new and more automated machinery is introduced." I've actually seen this happening, in telecoms. I worked as a factory engineer in telecoms, for about six months. Then I walked out. It was driving me mad.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 11:24:15 AM | 47

"Instead of learning from experience and using the experience of past generations, roughly codified into theory, they await instructions from on high or thumb through Capital and Die Grundrisse desperately looking for hints on what to do in circumstances utterly different from those Marx, a real empiricist, knew."

Nonsense. Cmdr Fidel and Los Compañeros learned plenty. So have the FARC, the Naxalites, the E.P.P

By the time the well-orchestrated raid in August had ended, five people were shot dead, including a police officer. The attack was the deadliest yet by the Paraguayan People’s Army, or E.P.P., a shadowy Marxist rebel group exerting influence across vast stretches of this California-size nation of 6.6 million people.
Hah! Learning by doing.

Do you think Capitalism reached this apotheosis overnight? It's had at least 600 years headstart(from the establishment of the first banks c.1300AD to the Paris Commune) on the only alternative, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. What doesn't improve with practice?

The gods camouflage times long stride. -- some ancient Greek

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 19, 2013 1:21:46 PM | 48

Rowan, I was characterising crude theories of progress, nearly all of which are tainted with racist justifications for imperialism as "nonsense."
I don't think that that is harsh.
As to the ability of peasants-becoming-labourers-becoming-surplus- population to understand their position I think that, history shows that it is quite high. They at least "know" how society ought to operate, whereas the proletarian (none other than the erstwhile peasant or his offspring)is in danger of being fascinated by the deluding ideology which teaches him that, in the city, with education, away from the "idiocy of village life" all things are possible, only a lack of talent, energy, dedication, faith or personal hygiene stands in the way of become an exploiter yourself. (Please read Samuel Smiles or John Wesley for more detail...)

The expropriation of communal lands and the expulsion of the rural population to death, prostitution or crime in the cities is a process which is characteristic of capitalism. It is not something that happened but something that is always going on. It is happening in ways that nobody in C19th England ever dreamed of in China today and across Africa and the "Third World." It is the newly displaced peasantry who form the most combustible element in capitalist society.

The thing is that Marx saw only the beginning of the maturing of capitalism. He was sketching, brilliantly a system in its beginning. If he were alive to day he would be looking at China, cursing himself for the nonsense he wrote about India, learning Korean and wondering how a traditional community in the Congo compares with the 1860s mir in Russia which was such a revelation to him.

Curiously Brother foff, in his essay into Ukrainian history, recalls a time when the Soviet Union, driven by Stalin's positivism and contempt for rural life, sought to compress the "industrial revolution" as experienced in England into a five year plan, using the capital expropriated from the commons and the labour expelled in "collectivisation" (a term those who defended enclosures had never dared to use) to build an industrial giant overnight. No wonder the Webbs thought that they were in heaven, Stalin's Soviet Union was liberalism on steroids.

foff, naturally uses the occasion to warm up anti-communist propaganda of the Stalin killed millions of kulaks variety.
"Bolshies didn't have much problem murdering the peasantry: they murdered, by deliberate starvation, 6-to-10 million Kulaks in the Ukraine, remember?'

Essentially what happened in collectivisation was that the countryside was finally turned from subsistence peasant agriculture, in which the first call on produce is the peasant family's, into capitalist agriculture in which the produce is expropriated by the landowner. In 1840s Ireland this was the absentee landlord who exported food for sale while the peasants who produced it starved. In Ukraine, and elsewhere in Russia, in the collectivisation period the State owned the land and took the produce before the peasant producers could wrap themselves and their families around it. In both countries, liberal ruled Ireland and Communist ruled Russia, the police and army ensured that the landlord got his food to market, far away.
The truth is that the "Bolshies" played precisely the same role and implemented the same policies as the British in Bengal, Ireland and everywhere else that capitalist relations existed in agriculture. And the "Bolshies" were just accumulating capital, too.

In their defence it was argued that, if they had not industrialised very rapidly, to make up for the devastation of the War and the anti-revolutionary crusades that followed it, the Soviet Union would have succumbed rapidly to the sanctions regime imposed by the "west." And without those tractor factories the Panzers would have had a clear run against the Sherman and Churchill tanks. They'd have preferred them to the T-34s.
Anyone who really wants to lament the starvation of peasants by a state taxing produce so heavily that the producer of food had nothing to eat after the soldiers took the state's share, need not go to the trouble of studying Ukrainian history. Nowhere were their more victims and greater brutality than in the East India Company's and then the British Raj where famines raged from 1757 to 1948. And British public opinion lamented the mysterious workings of Providence and plunder.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 19, 2013 2:17:27 PM | 49

Calm down ruralito,@48, the passage of mine that you cite was criticising British sectarian "marxists" not the revolutionaries you mention.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 19, 2013 2:22:57 PM | 50

foff, naturally uses the occasion to warm up anti-communist propaganda of the Stalin killed millions of kulaks variety. 

Oh here we go again, poor bev can't even stand the mere mention of stalinist excesses, no matter how accurate. Always causes the poor dear to reach for the first smear he can conjure up, no matter how petty-minded it sounds.

All he's doing of course, in the guise of attempting to say something profound or original for a change, is bloviatingly extending to several hundred words what I already said in a mere handful @39

"In that sort of society all that happens is that one Landlord is removed to be replaced by another landlord - the State"

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 2:34:41 PM | 51

Beirut bombs kill 23; blasts linked to Syrian civil war

Lebanon's acting prime minister, Najib Mikati, said the blasts were "a cowardly terrorist attack"

I half-expected certain media to further clarify that 'terrorist' is a term often used to refer to the rebels seeking to oust the Syrian President al-Assad. There's no difference between the men setting off car bombs inside Lebanon and the one's in Syria, so why the hesitation?

Posted by: never mind | Nov 19, 2013 2:40:55 PM | 52

 need not go to the trouble of studying Ukrainian history. Nowhere were there more victims and greater brutality than in the East India Company's and then the British Raj where famines raged from 1757 to 1948.

Less dogmatic petty-minded intolerant idealogically-blinkered uber-defensive individuals would of course encourage people to read about both the Soviet crimes in the Ukraine and the British crimes in India.

It's not like the two are mutually exclusive or anything.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 2:44:11 PM | 53

Monthly Review’s John Bellamy Foster (in the context of environmental policy) on why socialism ‘went wrong’ in the Soviet bloc:

“In addressing the question of socialism and the environment it is important to understand the accumulation imperative of a capitalist system that drives it inexorably toward ecological disaster, while socialism lacks such an absolute economic growth imperative as an invariant standard and driving force.

“Nevertheless, this makes it all the more important to explain why socialist revolutions led to ecological results analogous to those of capitalism.

"The reality is that the Soviet socialist experiment emerged in what was largely an underdeveloped and peripheral (or semi-peripheral) area of the capitalist world economy and was immediately subject to the full force of imperialism—geopolitical, military, and economic, of which the Cold War was itself emblematic.

“The pressure to prepare for defense and put all other interests aside was intense. In its early phase, until the 1930s, the USSR boasted an unequalled ecological science. But with external pressures, the internal deformations and brutalities of the 1930s, and then fighting for survival against the Nazis, it evolved into a system geared to ‘production for production’s sake.’

“When emergency conditions began to ease, deep and lasting damage had been done. The USSR did not even remain socialist in the sense of continually promoting egalitarianism; in fact, a proletarianized working class remained. New ruling elements emerged.

"The USSR consciously copied methods and systems from advanced capitalist countries—including factory size and organization, scientific management, and agricultural practices. The kind of forced drafting of resources that is characteristic of war economies became institutionalized in the system.

“In terms of Marxist theory, then, the USSR lost most of the essential characteristics of societies in transition from capitalism to socialism. Accompanying this was a blatant disregard of ecological conditions—and the purging of the scientists who in the 1920s and early ‘30s had made Soviet ecological science foremost in the world.”

'Toward a Global Dialogue on Ecology and Marxism' (February 2013)

Posted by: Watson | Nov 19, 2013 3:35:54 PM | 54

Basically what Foster and others appear to be trying to convince people of is that the non-socialists commit crimes, or cause disasters, because they are by definition, being non-socialist, irredeemably evil, whereas socialists/communists are really really good people that just messed up along the way.

(The road the hell being paved with good intentions, an all.)

Just a long winded version of "Four legs good, baaaaaa, Two legs bhahahahad", in my opinion.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 3:52:34 PM | 55

Amazing the lenghts some people will go to in order to dismiss out of hand the deliberate murder of 6 to 10 milion people though, ain't it?

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 3:55:21 PM | 56

"I heard that [US Secretary of State John] Kerry dared to disagree with the Israeli prime minister," Olmert said. "Poor guy. I hope he'll come out of this alright."

Just to point out that in that article Olmert is mocking Netanyahu, not the Americans.

The implication from the JPOST article is that Olmert is implying that Netanyahu is threatening Kerry with a feather, and that publically mocking a US Secretary of State is never, ever a good idea.

They don't like it, and they can do something about it.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 19, 2013 4:30:14 PM | 57

think this one thru:
suicide bombers(sunni islamic of course) attack the iranian embassy i Beirut...i dont recall any such attack ever before:

'A DOUBLE suicide bombing outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut has killed at least 23 people, in an attack claimed by an al-Qa'ida-linked jihadist group'

Now the main entity seeking to attack Iran is ISRAEL...but suicide bombing is not their style not can they attack iran openly, not without setting of WW3

SO what do you do? why you bring out the suicide squadron:

only not a jewish suicide squadron...but an islamic one.

this should be seen as confirmation that jihadis are working a zionist program,

Posted by: brian | Nov 19, 2013 4:31:03 PM | 58

Posted by: Watson | Nov 19, 2013 3:35:54 PM | 54

socialism is only as good as the people who implement it...ditto with 'democracy'

Posted by: brian | Nov 19, 2013 4:32:15 PM | 59

The Ukranians call the genocide of 6 to 10 million Ukranians "The Holodomor"

Here's just one of the many accounts of that genocide one can access by clicking the above link

Ukrainian Famine

The dreadful famine that engulfed Ukraine, the northern Caucasus, and the lower Volga River area in 1932-1933 was the result of Joseph Stalin's policy of forced collectivization.

The heaviest losses occurred in Ukraine, which had been the most productive agricultural area of the Soviet Union. Stalin was determined to crush all vestiges of Ukrainian nationalism. Thus, the famine was accompanied by a devastating purge of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and the Ukrainian Communist party itself.

The famine broke the peasants' will to resist collectivization and left Ukraine politically, socially, and psychologically traumatized.

The policy of all-out collectivization instituted by Stalin in 1929 to finance industrialization had a disastrous effect on agricultural productivity. Nevertheless, in 1932 Stalin raised Ukraine's grain procurement quotas by forty-four percent. This meant that there would not be enough grain to feed the peasants, since Soviet law required that no grain from a collective farm could be given to the members of the farm until the government's quota was met.

Stalin's decision and the methods used to implement it condemned millions of peasants to death by starvation. Party officials, with the aid of regular troops and secret police units, waged a merciless war of attrition against peasants who refused to give up their grain.

Even indispensible seed grain was forcibly confiscated from peasant households. Any man, woman, or child caught taking even a handful of grain from a collective farm could be, and often was, executed or deported.

Those who did not appear to be starving were often suspected of hoarding grain.

Peasants were prevented from leaving their villages by the NKVD and a system of internal passports.The death toll from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine has been estimated between six million and seven million. According to a Soviet author, "Before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings." Yet one of Stalin's lieutenants in Ukraine stated in 1933 that the famine was a great success. It showed the peasants "who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay."

The actions of this Moscow instigated action was a deliberate act of genocide against the Ukrainian peasant.The news of this act of brutality managed to get out to the West inluding Germany (thru observations from their consulate in Kharkiv), Britain (by various journalists including Gareth Jones & Malcom Muggeridge), Canada (the Ukrainian community) & the United States. The Russo-centric Soviet Union managed to control the message in the United States by co-opting the New York Times reporter Walter Duranty who falsified his reporting on the conditions in Ukraine and won a Pulitzer Prize for doing that).

To this day, The New York Times refuses to acknowledge the act of deliberate fraud perpetrated by Walter Duranty, and refuse to this very day to return the Pulitzer Prize on moral and ethical grounds. By refusing to do so suggests they may tacitely approve what Duranty did.

There's a very interesting scene in Yoav Shamir's film "Defamation" where Abe Foxman sits down with members of the Ukranian Gov't to lecture them about how what happened to them was much better than what happened in the Holocaust, and that they better not ever suggest otherwise.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 4:36:11 PM | 60

Bevin, I'm a socialist and I live among the poor. Deliberately. The fact is that socialism today has nothing to do with Marxism. That was an ideology of the 19th century. Today, socialism has to do with helping the poor, and helping them realise their capacities.

The notion of 'capitalism' is dead. Private enterprise is a necessary part of society. Socialism is to ensure that the poor have their rights to a reasonable life. They should have the right to go further, if they have the capacity.

Everyone should have the right to do what they are capable of, but the incapable should not be thrown in the trashcan. Ayn Rand, though a great advocate of independent entreprise, finished her life as a dependent on the state.

The state should be a basket which receives those who fail.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 19, 2013 4:47:42 PM | 61

"The written history of the world is largely a history of warfare, because the states within which we live came into existence largely though conquest, civil strife, or struggles for independence. The great statesmen of written history, moreover, have generally been men of violence, if not warriors themselves, though many were, they understood the use of violence and did not shrink to use it for their ends."
John Keegan, A History of Warfare

Our planet has been drenched in blood, and the 20th Century is one of history’s most violent periods. The body count was staggering.

Consider that Presidents Bush and Obama have embraced torture, show trials, extrajudicial killing, secret war, and total surveillance in responding to the 3000 casualties of 9-11.

Posted by: Watson | Nov 19, 2013 5:16:28 PM | 62

Consider that Presidents Bush and Obama have embraced torture, show trials, extrajudicial killing, secret war, and total surveillance in responding to the 3000 casualties of 9-11. 

Posted by: Watson | Nov 19, 2013 5:16:28 PM | 62

The whole of your 62 is a quite succinct summation of events, and should I hope be considered accurate enough for the discussion taking place here.

However some people would contend that the 3000(ish) casualties of 9-11 were created/allowed to happen/whatever in order to help subsequent US administrations to normalise torture, show trials, extrajudicial killing, secret war, and total surveillance.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 5:38:07 PM | 63

yaddida yaddida dead Ukrainians yaddida yaddida...only proves Communism doesn't kill people, communists do. At least they weren't hunted for sport like the indigenes of America by European entrepreneurs.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 19, 2013 7:53:13 PM | 64

"Bevin, I'm a socialist and I live among the poor. Deliberately. The fact is that socialism today has nothing to do with Marxism. That was an ideology of the 19th century. Today, socialism has to do with helping the poor, and helping them realise their capacities."

Socialism != Charity.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 19, 2013 8:05:13 PM | 65

@alexno (#61)

I was tempted to write a reply to an earlier comment from you -which implied your approval of the German economy- in another thread, but I didn't; partly because I am a bit lazy, partly because I am a bit depressed these days but mainly because my knowledge on the subject is very limited. However, this time around the temptation is too strong, so I will write a few words in reply.

Marxism is mainly about an analysis of the capitalist mode of production and the laws governing it. Capitalism in its core is about an unbounded compound rate of growth. Marx's main argument is that an infinite search for profit and a compound rate of growth (ie. capitalism) is unsustainable and its inevitable consequence is the collection of wealth in fewer and fewer hands in the top and increasing poverty and misery for the vast majority of the society at the bottom and since unbounded compound rate of growth is unsustainable, crises are absolutely inevitable in the capitalist mode of production. So poverty is an absolutely inevitable result of the capitalist mode of production.
The idea that "'capitalism' is dead but the 'private enterprise' is a necessary part of society" is self contradictory. 'Private enterprise' is 'capitalism' . And within the parameters of capitalism 'poor' cannot fulfill their capacity. In order for profit to be gained and capital to be accumulated, the poor has to remain poor. So the idea that somehow higher wages and a 'welfare state' is a solution to the crisis is completely nonsense. The working class consumes by the money it gets from the capitalists. Increasing the wages to help the 'sluggish consumption' and therefore increase the profit is an untenable proposition as it is tantamount to a factory owner whose products are not being sold in the market and as a solution he decides to increase the wages to his employees so that they would buy his products. Those who defend such propositions easily forget the crisis of 1970s when the wages were much higher than today and there was the 'welfare state' all over the industrial western world. The gradual destruction of the 'welfare state' was necessitated by the severe crisis of the 1970s. In order to sustain the rate of profit the labour had to be disciplined and the wages had to be suppressed and unemployment had to increase (to put downward pressure on the wages).
Those who admire the German economy for its "robustness" forget that the German "success" would be impossible without the PIGS failure. The absolute necessity for German success was the failure of the PIGS. In order for Germany to maintain profitability and a trade surplus (which by necessity means a trade deficit for PIGS), Germany had to deteriorate its own working classes purchasing power (which is financed by the wages pain by the German capitalists). This meant that local consumption had to decrease. The decreased local consumption had to be compensated by "export" (to the PIGS). But since the production was in Germany and not in PIGS, they had to *borrow* to be able to buy the German products. So the crisis in PIGS is not just a crisis for the PIGS. It is also a crisis for Germany. After all if your customers go bankrupt and can't buy your products anymore, that means that your products will go unsold and you will face your own crisis. So don't be too hasty to admire German economies "health" and "strength".

To show you the relevance of Marx in today's crisis and how elegantly Marx explains the dynamics of the crisis we are facing today, I will make a direct quotation from the second volume of the Capital:

"Contradiction in the capitalist mode of production: the labourers as buyers of commodities are important for the market. But as sellers of their own commodity — labour-power — capitalist society tends to keep them down to the minimum price.
Further contradiction: the periods in which capitalist production exerts all its forces regularly turn out to be periods of over-production, because production potentials can never be utilized to such an extent that more value may not only be produced but also realized; but the sale of commodities, the realization of commodity-capital and thus of surplus-value, is limited, not by the consumer requirements of society in general, but by the consumer requirements of a society in which the vast majority are always poor and must always remain poor. However, this pertains to the next part."

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 19, 2013 8:09:06 PM | 66

yaddida yaddida dead Ukrainians yaddida yaddida...only proves Communism doesn't kill people, communists do


Just . . . . . WOW!


"Seriously Deranged" is about the politest thing one could say about that

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 8:21:18 PM | 67

bevin @44 @49

I never followed marxist analysis ... until the collapse of mainstream economics. In fact I never have followed the dismal 'science' very closely at all.

Now I find that the only analysis that starts from the facts at all is 'marxist'. I still haven't actually read any Marx.

To me, 'left' means bottom-up organization of the social-economic - whatever - realm and 'right' means top-down.

It does seem that 'leftist' - democratic - organization will bring about something that might, because it will be the product of all of society, be termed 'socialist' ... but the only governments that ever existed with 'Socialist' in their names were authoritarian, or much worse.

I did come upon a reminiscence by someone named Howard Sherman on his acquaintance with Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, the Two Pauls of Monopoly Capital ...

I can only remember one private exchange we had by letter. I was calling the Soviet Union at that time a “socialist dictatorship.” I had been using a very narrow and unproductive definition of socialism as a purely economic system. Paul [Sweezy] pointed out that democracy is the essence of socialism. There cannot be true democracy without socialism, nor can there be true socialism without democracy. I agreed and that has been my view ever since, strongly stated as often as I can do it.

I can certainly agree : 'socialism' iff democracy. I cannot really imagine democracy iff 'socialism', because I view democracy as they only tangible real, and terms like 'socialism' as rear-view mirror abstractions of democratic results.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 19, 2013 8:45:07 PM | 68

Get off your high horse, fluff. What I said is true, Mr Not-a-sheep. Who has Stalin murdered lately?

A spectre is haunting Europe... Quick, who said that?

Nothing afrights the Captains of Industry like Communism. Nothing. Not homophobia, not racism, nor drug-trafficking, sexism, or anti-Semitism, not even terror. And they will commit any outrage and pretty it up with platitudes to prevent its spread. I feel bad for the Ukrainians; I've been hungry, and it sucks. But the abiding notion of "from each according to his means to each according to his needs" is sound.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 19, 2013 8:52:22 PM | 69

"I feel bad for the Ukrainians -
I've been hungry, and it sucks. "


Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 9:13:07 PM | 70

I toss pearls into your trough and you respond with webisms.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 19, 2013 9:21:32 PM | 71

I understand that people will see a challenge of the historical conventional wisdom about the Soviet Union as a defense of Communism, but it is really a defense of history. No doubt that Stalin regime was hugely repressive - faithfully recorded by the Soviets themselves - but to turn them into something they are not - "worse than Hitler", "20 million killed", "Hundred million in the Gulag" - is not attacking so much Stalin as it is attacking the basic historical record. No one should doubt that these are the lies that are the ideological underpinnings of the current US hegemony. To accept the former at face-value is to accept the latter as the sensible state of affairs.

Despite the mountains of anti-communist propaganda, which emerged in the thirties under the auspices of (yes, foff) the Nazis there is no evidence that the Ukrainian famine was intentional - and in any case it did not kill "6-10 million people" no matter how it occurred. But how else to turn the tables on your former ally - the one that had had substantial support among your population - than to make them out to be worse than your former common enemy?

One doesn't have to tax ones brain to figure out why these propaganda propaganda points would giddily be carried on with by the western powers during the cold war. They are the same reasons, in fact, that we heard how Saddam Hussein's troops ripped Kuwaiti babies from their incubators or that "Assad gassed his own people". Why waste a good lie, especially one laid down by the masters. That foff will believe the past lies but come to commiserate with us over the current lies in Syria is, well, interesting... but I guess that is a victory for the truth in some weird way.

People who can claim with no evidence that Stalin "killed 20 million" and was "worse than Hitler" are the same who, no doubt, would claim that the killing of 3-4 million Vietnamese and 500,000-1 million Indonesian peasants, and the slicing off of the breasts of Nicaraguan peasant women was for "democracy". It is this kind of "better dead than red" thinking that has twisted the mind of huge numbers of people and is the basic foundation of American claims for moral supremacy in todays world...even though one has to wonder if the gulag ever held as many people as the US prison system holds today.

Though Foff, no doubt, has a library of David Irving books (between his "Rock Against Communism" mp3s) to draw "facts" from, I'll present just one alternative view with this Canadian book about the Ukrainian Famine:

"This book documents how and why fraudulent stories about the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s made the presses worldwide and have become accepted as fact by almost everyone, despite the fact that they are provably false. The stories of millions of deaths caused by famine in Ukraine in 1933 and 1934, supposedly caused by the effects of the Soviet system, were fabricated by Nazi propagandists in their propaganda campaigns against Bolshevism. The spread of these stories to America took route through the presses of William Randolph Hearst, who has also since been proven, as I have documented on this website, to have been working in collaboration with the Nazis and publishing Nazi propaganda in mainstream American publications throughout the later half of the 1930s and into the 1940s.

These fabrications, which are well documented in this book, have become almost completely accepted as facts by Americans, and these fabrications have been repeatedly used, and are still used, by politicians despite the fact that they are provably false and were provably produced by a Nazi conspirator. The fact that William Randolph Hearst was conspiring with the Nazis during the 1930s is proven outside of this book, and is a part of official American government record, yet his fabricated publications about the Ukrainian famine are still referenced as fact today."

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 19, 2013 9:30:30 PM | 72

"Oh here we go again, poor bev can't even stand the mere mention of stalinist excesses, no matter how accurate."

That's because they are completely inaccurate.

I'm sure bevin would love to have a conversation about the excesses of Stalin, just that he'd like to have it with someone who doesn't take the "Crimes of Bolshevism" sticky post on as "accuracy".

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 19, 2013 9:41:30 PM | 73

Well worth the hour and a half:

Michael Parenti: Reflections on the Overthrow of Communism

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 19, 2013 9:43:18 PM | 74

Ever hear of Lumumba, puff? Of course you have. He was a patriotic African with the peculiar notion that Africans should get first dibs on well, Africa. So, naturally, the British did away with him. Now, admittedly, one dead African makes a pretty short stack, and it would disappear in the shadow of your bazillion Ukrainians, and the subsequent slow death of the many Africans, attended by the priests, the concerned Brits followed up with might not even get in view of the summit of your immense pile, but really, who cares, plenty more where they come from, eh?

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 19, 2013 9:51:10 PM | 75

It is this kind of stuff that is pushed out as propaganda by the far right that is so ridiculous.

Middle schoolers are searching Google for "how many people did Stalin kill?" and find the answer "20 million". Its not just that the numbers are pulled from the highest number one could find in print someplace, when you look at it and you see "Stalin killed" the invading Axis armies? "Stalin killed" all of the soldiers who died defending their homeland from invasion? "Stalin killed" the Japanese soldiers? I mean... please.

Sadly this is what passes for "history", but it is propaganda as cynical and silly as one is likely to find anywhere at any time.

During WWII he encouraged tactics which led to the deaths of about 8,000,000 of his own soldiers. Additionally about 2,800,000 German, Hungarian, Romanian, and Finnish troops were killed by his armies. Stalin's policies meant no mercy to prisoners, and huge numbers died after being taken captive during the war. Perhaps 30,000,000 persons of various nations died. Following WWII, Stalin instigated a policy of terror on the German people. This led to about 2,000,000 German civilians being murdered outright and thousands more committing suicide. Stalin enforced brutal police states on all the peoples of eastern Europe which he overran with his armies. Tens of thousands died in these takeovers. German POWs were kept in horrible conditions for as long as ten years after the war, leading to the deaths of at least 1,000,000. In 1945 he launched an unprovoked war with Japan, killing many tens of thousands of Japanese troops and capturing many others.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 19, 2013 10:07:43 PM | 76

The High Priest of the Godwin-ites is back with a vengence, it seems. All the result of his feverish Nazis-under-the-bed nightmares, i guess.

Despite the mountains of anti-communist propaganda, which emerged in the thirties under the auspices of (yes, foff) the Nazis there is no evidence that the Ukrainian famine was intentional - and in any case it did not kill "6-10 million people" no matter how it occurred"

This is absolute nonsense.

Claiming that others are "attacking the basic historical record" while doing exactly that yourself is pure chutzpah.

Amazing the things the dogmatics will claim in defence of their dogma.

He now wants to argue against his own strawmen such as "worse than Hitler", "20 million killed", "Hundred million in the Gulag" - despite no one here making any such statement.

Throw in a ton of other strawmen regarding Saddam, indonesia, david irving etc.. . . "cheap" doesn't even begin to describe this crap.

He shares far more in common with David Irving than anyone else here.

Almost as if he's never heard of terms such as "cognative dissonance"or "psychological projection".

All in an attempt to cast a smokescreen around what has been discussed so far, to try and obscure with a blizzard of decoys what has actually been stated.

The attempts at sleight-of-hand and misdirection are completely transparent.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 10:08:30 PM | 77

@77 lol.

I don't have to convince you about it. It is entirely clear to everyone else.

Your history is as shoddy as your goofy armchair psychiatry.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 19, 2013 10:17:49 PM | 78

So apparently "The Holodomer never happened! It's all a hoax!" -ya heard it here first folks.

David Irving eat yer heart out!

Move over Mr Irving, there's a new kid on the block and he's out to take your spot

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 10:19:03 PM | 79

Between the 2 of them I lost count of the amount of strawmen.

I counted at least 13, after that there were too many too quickly for me to follow all the bs and obfuscation.

"Stalin did do nuttin!" - that seemed to be the main thrust of his several rants, as far as I could tell.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 10:34:23 PM | 80

Actually, persons of Irvingite persuasion are more likely to say that the USAians killed 2m Germans after the war. That is to say, all German POWs were rounded up and shoved in camps to starve to death under the muzzles of US machine guns. They ate grass; they ate soil; and in general, they died.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 19, 2013 11:13:58 PM | 81

Has this link been posted?
Or this one?

Both are worth reading. If anyone else has posted them I apologise.

Many interesting points made on this thread. And there are others which, whether calculated to do so or not, simply interrupt grown-ups thinking aloud. The world has grown used to loud English voices interrupting sincere attempts to get to grips with carnage and chaos much of it caused by English pirates and slavers.

john francis lee @68 Thanks for that quote from Baran and Sweezy.

I think the point being made, which is surely difficult to refute, is that democracy without equality is impossible. Where one voter has the power of a billionaire and the other must keep his nose clean merely to hang on to his job the fact that each may vote is unimportant.

The Levellers, in the C17th, regarded anyone who depended on another man ( a servant or dependent) as being unable to maintain the independence necessary to exercise the franchise.

Similar considerations were advanced, by southern populists such as Tom Watson, to justify Jim Crow laws depriving freedmen of the vote.

Neither position is defensible but both suggest that social and economic equality are necessary concomitants of democracy.

The problem with capitalist private property is that it shrugs of controls the way an otter shakes of water: only a generation ago government regulation of drugs, food quality and the environment, all imposed by public demand and after shocking abuses by greedy capitalists, was tight and rigorous.

Now in every area (by bribery, regulatory capture, propaganda campaigns, wholesale purchase of elections to the Judiciary as well as legislatures and a constant ideological chorus of half truths and misinformation) such controls have been loosened to the point of being ineffectual. Business does what it wants. And it makes the public do as it is told, with the state enforcing its diktats.

Capitalism is proving that it cannot co-exist with democracy.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 19, 2013 11:33:30 PM | 82

You seem obsessed with the English. It comes across as quite silly and fairly bigoted to dismiss someone like Rowan for example, just cos he's english.

Rowans opinions are not any more or less valid due to his englishness, nor yours any more valid due to your canadian-ness.

Given that canada is quite happily engaged in natos wars it's not like you have some moral high-ground from which to grandstand.

Luckily for me i'm neither brit nor canuck.

Posted by: foff | Nov 19, 2013 11:51:43 PM | 83

guest77 @ 74: You're right, the Parenti lecture was worth the time to listen. Thanks for the link. It could also be titled "The coming Global Plantation".

Posted by: ben | Nov 19, 2013 11:54:20 PM | 84

the NS of A


Posted by: brian | Nov 20, 2013 1:37:55 AM | 85

bevin @82

I should elaborate a bit on my conception of democracy. Certainly representative bodies have their role to play ... appropriations, oversight, and so forth ... but - behold - they cannot accomplish even these roles without an engaged and empowered constituency actively overseeing them. It seems obvious to me that all of us are just going to have to step up to a much more active role in future, or else to 'enjoy' the totalitarian future that is evolving as we ... type.

What is 'capitalism' ? if pressed I guess I'd define it as the abuse of power by malefactors of great wealth, but 'money' is a useful invention and can't ... at least I don't imagine it disappearing.

But as far as 'ideology' goes ... the 'capitalists' make it up as they go along. 'More' is the underlying principle.

So we too, engaged democrats, must make it up as we go along ... certainly countering the shameful excesses of the capitalist class initially ... but then restructuring our government and economy as suits us.

They key is engagement and in the United States, surely, and some basic restucturing of our government. To get from here to there it seems to me we need to replace our present, unrepresentative 'representative' political class - to the man and the woman - with people like ourselves. No one special, just people of integrity. In a nation of 300,000,000 we have just 546, at the federal level where all the power, hence all the trouble, is centered.

And then exert ourselves, directly, to simplify, simplify, simplify ... politics is not rocket science. The rocket science comes in with the inequality, to camouflage and support it.

The beauty of a democratic system is that it must be simple enough to be absolutely predictable, simple enough for us all to readily understand and amend.

Simplicity is a consequence of following basic principles which we all recognize, appreciate, and agree upon. Such as those you cite above.

The strength of democracy is that, forced to take everyone's point of view into account, the likelihood of building unpolitcal-uneconomic-unecological systems that require infinite and accelerating expansion to keep from collapse (during 'my' lifetime) will become vanishingly small. Those of us with children, or who are just fond of children ... or of cats, or dogs, or whales or songbirds ... will simply not stand for it.

Those of us who 'own' the least realize we do live on a planet with finite resources and that such systems require the impoverishment of the vast majority of living creatures on their way to their own systemic death and destruction.

So a few ... Rob Ford-like creatures, to take a topical example ... hopelessly addicted to the pursuit of some phantastic 'full-spectrum dominance' may suicidally pursue such ends for themselves ... but for all the rest of us who, in our numbers, define our population and our species ... we'll no longer stand for such nonsense.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 20, 2013 2:27:06 AM | 86

Some inconvenient facts for the Holodomor Deniers:

Above, @72, the Holodomor Denier known as guest linked to a now discredited book titled "Fraud, Famine and Fascism - The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard" by one Douglas Tottle, which was published by a pro-communist publishing house in 1987 in Canada.

In his now discredited work, Mr Tottle was at least gracious enough to admitt that there might have been some food shortages but tried to explain it all away by blaming most of it on either bad Soviet planning or on Ukrainian saboteurs, daring to resist collectivization. (Blaming the victims, classy)

Mr Tottle even went so far as to claim that photographic evidence of the victims of the famine were fraudulent, claiming instead that such photographic evidence was all the result of a conspiracy.

Unfortunately for Mr Tottle, and his fellow Holodomor Deniers, ,Mr Tottle's magnum opus was almost immediately withdrawn from circulation in the very year of it's publication, 1987, after the Ukrainian Communist Party very inconveniently spoiled his little propaganda/conspiracy-fest by finally admitting, 54 years after the events, that yes indeed there had actually been a famine in Ukraine at the time that everyone else said there was.

Prior to this the official position of the Communists in Ukraine was that there was no real famine at all, merely some inconsequential occasional food shortages.

Prior to that, the Soviets themselves had come out in 1983 and finally admitted that yes indeed there was a famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, and that yes indeed Soviet agricultural policies (imposing a massive 44% rise in quotas of food to be shipped out of Ukraine) played a direct role in causing the famine, something which clearly would have already discredited Mr Tottle's main theme of his magnum opus, before it was even published, which was that talk of famine in Ukraine was merely NAZI propaganda.

Both Mr Tottle and the other Holodomor Deniers were/are also clearly ignorant of, or completely uninterested in, the fact that in 1932 the Communists in Ukraine were reporting to their fellow Communists in Moscow that the new higher-quotas (44% higher in this instance) being imposed by Moscow could not possibly be met without causing dangerous shortages of food in Ukraine.

simply screaming "NAZI" when inconvenient facts, such as those above, are mentioned regarding the Soviet Genocide of Ukrainians in 1932-33 merely demonstrates the lack of integrity of those doing the screaming.

Posted by: foff | Nov 20, 2013 3:06:37 AM | 87

Describing people as 'deniers' of anything is a Jewish tactic. It started with 'holocaust denial', which in my opinion was part of a much larger scheme to mirror the insults of the Inquisition, cherished in Jewish memory like all other insults to be avenged: "Do you deny Christ your saviour?"

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 20, 2013 3:19:42 AM | 88

well when someone writes (while screaming "NAZI!")

there is no evidence that the Ukrainian famine was intentional

When in fact there is evidence that it was intentional-

and then writes:

and in any case it did not kill "6-10 million people" no matter how it occurred.

it's hard to know what else to call them

what would you call them, Rowan?

"Holodomor Prevaricators"?

Given the amount of lies and strawmen (David Irving, Saddam, Indonesia, Stormfront, NAZIS, and a mountain of various other deliberate inaccuracies, hysterical misrepresentations etc) that the Godwin-ite has posted here today, in an clear effort to create a smokescreen to distract from the reality of the Holodomor, it's curious that you should decide to take offence at that one phrase, Rowan, since you already know that the man appears has little respect for such quaint notions such as "accuracy" or "integrity".

Posted by: foff | Nov 20, 2013 4:10:02 AM | 89

Jewish Light Bulb Jokes

Q: How many Orthodox Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What is a light bulb?

Q: How many secular assimilated Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: My grandmother, who lived in a Shtetl changed lightbulbs. Today, we get a Goy to do it.

Q: How many Israelis does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 26: 18 to surround the building, 6 to storm the room and kill the terrorists, one to forcibly expel the old bulb, and another one to screw the new one in and forever.

Q: How many progressive Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Vhy, we don’t need any! we’ll form Jewish Voices for Light Bulbs (JVLB) and use it to keep the rest of humanity forever in the dark.

Q: How many Reform Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Change it? Who wants to change it? We just want to improve it!

Q: How many Lubabavitchers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, it never died.

Q: How many Marxist Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, after the revolution the proletariat will do it for us.

Q: What does it take for a Jewish mother to change a light bulb?
A: Never mind, I’ll sit in the dark.

Q: What does it take for a Talmudic Jew to change a light bulb
A: First you’ll have to tell me why changing a light bulb is good for the Jews.

Q How many solidarity Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, they will plea George Soros’ Open Society Institute to pay an Electronic Palestinian to denounce the old one and endorse the new one.

Q: How many Hasbara Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Wrong question, the real question is why the Arabs want to throw us into the sea?

Q: How many Gazans does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Who needs a light bulb?

Q: How many self hating Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Forget about the light bulb, Every Self Hater, is himself/herself a light bulb


dcstreettechnology added on VT

Q: How many Zionist does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Zero, they just screw the world around the light bulb!

Posted by: brian | Nov 20, 2013 6:05:28 AM | 90

Pepe at AToL:

Posted by: bevin | Nov 20, 2013 9:20:30 AM | 91

Quick shoddy paraphrase, French expressions left in for flavor, of Hollande speech in Israel.


France knows what it owes to Israel, the Jews of France know, .. culturally, scientifically, economically, intellectually.. France knows what it owes Israel, that (wonderful) reference, the combat from generation to generation to create this State, that you will celebrate the ...(stumbles err-hem) some years anniversary. I will go to Yad Vashem with a very important delegation, we will recall the human bonds that unite us. (...)

Not just the past valiant xyz .. one needs to look to the future ... I have come to promote a new impulse, economic and cultural, Israel is admired world-wide, technological (etc.) advances, great dynamism, that even attracts US capital investment, my wish is that Israel and France pursue economic and scientific cooperation at the highest level. (...)

I confirm the engagement of *my* country, France, to Peace and Security in Israel. I have great hopes for your negotiations with Palestine, your courage, which you enduringly possess, which will lead to definitive, durable, peace and will not be questioned.

We - we! - will need constancy and obstinacy, nothing is ever set in stone. You will need support from outside, that of France will be ../ infallible, enduring?/

On Iran, France considers that nuke proliferation is a menace, a danger, particularly to Israel, but also to the Whole World. The planet’s future is in jeopardy. When France defends its position it is that we take into account your position but also for the whole planet so France will not **capitulate**... until Iran has given up. We will maintain all our demands and sanctions.

On chemical WMD, France has the same attitude. We found ourselves alone, yet responsible, .. but it is better to be alone on a ‘right, correct’ position than numerous on a bad one. On Syria we insisted on destruction of chem arms and prevailed.

You (Isr) are a great democracy of which you can be proud, thru your trials and tribulations you have never ceded on that point, pluralism rights, the right of law. You do us an honor when you quote the principles of the French revolution...we share them, they are universal, as are the principles and values of Judaism. ((??))

(....) I salute the ppl of Israel so tightly tied to France! Your elegance permitted me to speak French ... now I will speak in hebrew...

/end paraphrase quote.

original, youtube, 9 mins. In French.

Totally over the top. Incredible. The Israelis loved Sark the first even before he was elected as he was an Atlanticist and had Jewish roots. This is a surprise for them and many others are reeling.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 20, 2013 11:58:00 AM | 92

@Noirette Yep. Totally over the topping top. Its unbelievable. I dont know who is pulling the string on this one! A pudding-human! Noone expected him to go all in for Zionist favours in public, but now its official. I think this guy is just totally clueless. Theyre many evil guys who are in the game, but he clearly doesnt understand anything. I just wanted to mention, this video has been relayed on, the website of a freethinktank led by author Alain Soral. Great guy! Mais je pense que tu le sais déjà!

Posted by: Kal | Nov 20, 2013 12:55:05 PM | 93

Oops, I meant this video. After a lousy Karaoke show in what appears to be nutnyahoos waiting room, Hollande appears to be crouch althoug he is standing small, saying "If i had been asked to sing today [...] I'd have sung, for Benjamin, and for all the leaders of Israel..."

Posted by: Kal | Nov 20, 2013 1:01:16 PM | 94

When I read things like Hollande bending over and planting on on Isreal's ass, or the French tossing up the game-board at the P5+1 Negotiations, I start thinking about the fact that the NSA has been turning over bulk/raw intelligence to Isreal for years. Think about it, if there's ANY dirt on Hollande, or any of our leaders for that matter, Isreal's got it.

Posted by: skuppers | Nov 20, 2013 1:38:03 PM | 95

I suffer from an instinctive dislike for Alain Soral. On a merely pragmatic level, I can accept that he's a Good Thing, though intellectually he can't be taken seriously. Soral has never run for the National Assembly, whether during his Communist period, his National Front period, or his new E et R period, nor AFAIK he has ever been forced to debate his ideas seriously. All Soral has ever done is write books and make movies, none of which have been at all popular. He feels like a gimmick, although he evidently doesn't belong to any hidden elite group. By the way, he's half Swiss, which may be a clue to his strange psychology. Here is the blurb to his latest book, as translated by Google Translate. It captures his non-seriousness, which is essentially what I dislike about him. Someone who refuses to be serious can get away with an awful lot of complete garbage.

Is it still present Alain Soral? Sociologist, pamphleteer, writer, he impresses with his verve viewers Ardisson or Taddeï until in 2004, a " slip" - O word to describe how consensual anything that might provide a pretext to drive the any critical media showcase, humorist, politician sincere and courageous enough to go beyond the role that democratic farce has assigned him, and through which he can eat well and shine - a skid, therefore, the hunting of all media confined to the mainstream on the Internet where much to the fury of those who wanted to silence him, he stands with the site of his Equality and Reconciliation Association in the first place among political blogs ... It is largely on the Internet that the interviews collected in this anthology were published: Novopress, InfoSyrie, Mécanopolis, Body or Scriptoblog, but also in some journals and magazines: Paris Graffiti, VOD, Elements, Technikart, the Italian newspaper Le Monde Rinascita and even the truncated copy compared to the original which allow us to measure the honesty ... The variety of issues reflects the variety of media, and are thus a variety of topics that are discussed throughout these interviews, the question of the Islamic headscarf in the road radar, Marine Le Pen to contemporary art, the "Arab spring" with different "pride" legitimate ... or not. And of course the central themes around which revolves the thought of Soral: feminism, multiculturalism, Zionism, globalism and the disintegration of our society. Supplemented by various texts, speeches or prefaces, this anthology brings together everything - except his books - a decade makes Alain Soral the leader of a resistance which today puts his name in the mouth of a Minister of the Interior or the notices of the Court of thought ...

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 20, 2013 1:49:35 PM | 96

Why has everyone to come up with his strange psycholgy? I read "comprendre l'empire" and "Dialogues désaccordés", and in my oppinion he is very coherent. He said a few times, he did not want to enter politics because people get tempted by money might and "ass". If u look at all those he props, u'd come to the conclusion he just wants to offer a platform for other ideas, which are quite popular but described as garbage by the ever increasing flow of bullshit of the MainStreamMedia. And him being a savoyard (The savoyan "entity" being French and Swiss) makes him a strange person? He indeed went from PCF to FN, so what? Since you get google translate to get to know him, I am sure you do not really understand anything he says. He was right on Lybia, Syria and the "globalist agenda" right from the start. He might be vain and consider himself as a "great thinker", does that make his statements wrong?

Posted by: Kal | Nov 20, 2013 2:09:23 PM | 97

I have looked on Amazon to see whether any of Soral's books have been translated into english. None has, but he has written a short foreword to Alexander Dugin's "Fourth Political Theory". Dugin, who we may have discussed before, is a Eurasianist mystic with three decades or so of service on the Russian Far Right. Soral says, and I still see this as evidence of his non-seriousness: "A genuine manual for cultural guerrilla warfare, "Fourth Political Theory" is a book that can be seen as a companion to my own "Comprendre l'Empire", which has been translated into russian by friends of Dugin's. Dugin and I agree on all the important points, from the need to unite the value-centred Right with the labour-centred Left, to the imperative need for resistance against the Empire, from the appeal to Tradition as well as many other concepts..." It is nonsensical to talk about uniting Left and Right in this way, because the Tradition (with a capital 'T') to which he refers is a doctrine of mystical, sacred hierarchical rule, derived from Rene Guenon, and in Dugin's case from Julius Evola. This is mystical fascism, and it has nothing to do with the Left whatever. Soral is just playing games with his own self-assurance and the ignorance of his audiences.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 20, 2013 2:09:46 PM | 98

@rowan: So u looked up amazon and concludeed his writings are not translated into English? Well, why do you think? He is not a mundane "opposist".Alain Soral is banned from any media since 2004. By the way, u cannot bring any substantial argument as to "WHY" Soral is wrong. So duguin is a "mystical fascist"? Sorry...but even if I do not know Duguin very well, and even if u managed to get some "data" out of amazon, i cannot really discuss Sorals issue with you. Youll come up with some other arguments, which are based only on what you heard about him. I wonder why you do not address any specific opinion Soral has on the banking system, the presstitutes or political agendas (and yes Zionism is a big part of it)! He doesnt sound like a "mythological fascist" at all! He uses bare numbers and common sense. Wanna talk about the FED? But anyway, where is the point of quarreling about an author you never read? Please, be more precise when critizing him, and keep all the "Soral is a madman"-rhetoric out!

Posted by: Kal | Nov 20, 2013 3:58:34 PM | 99

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