Tag: imperialism

Aug 24

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Anti-Capitalism and Immigration by MrJayTee

There can be no doubt that the behavior of international capital is a major driver of immigration. Looking outward from the US alone, capital has long been at play in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, extracting resources and supporting dictatorial elites with little interest in economic development, forcing many of those deliberately impoverished masses to look north. Capital builds and destroys economies and rends people’s lives to the point of desperation, forcing the poor to pick up and move wherever they can to survive.

Ironically, there is great controversy over immigration in the developed world whose system did so much to create the prospective immigrant’s desperation. In the United States and Europe the right is obsessed with immigration as a threat to cultural identity; but immigration is also controversial in the center and even on the left, or what passes for the left, allegedly because it depresses working class wages and diminishes the prospects of native-born working people.

Yet if we look at the history of the United States, we see that mass immigration can co-exist with broad prosperity or even drive it. The US absorbed millions of immigrants from the 1880’s to the 1920’s and they helped to build the wealthiest, most powerful nation that ever existed. The US continues to to absorb large numbers of immigrants, documented and undocumented, and still the nation’s wealth expands, if mostly for the elite.

As anti-capitalists, we are naturally suspicious of the nativist, chauvinist notion that immigration is a threat to our security or prosperity individually or collectively, yet few of us would say that immigration without conditions or limits would produce a good result for immigrants or the native-born working class.

How do our various leftist perspectives on immigration address objective conditions in developed economies? Does the working class of one nation owe a welcome to all others who want to come? What is in the long term interest of workers at home and around the world?

Jul 27

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Gaza, and Life in the Global Economy

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat. ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” (Alice in Wonderland)  

The past month or two I have been running from one demonstration and issue to another in support of various causes. I have attended several of the various demonstrations in support of Palestinian rights as Israel, with the backing of the United States, once again, exercises it’s barely hidden genocidal agenda. The past week and a half, Israel has been pounding Gaza with a massive bombing campaign and an aggressive ground war. The Palestinian people have already been devastated from a seven year siege. Many people aren’t aware that Israel, which puts forward the myth that Gaza is an independent entity, still controls most of the power, water and goods going in and out of Gaza – Gazans currently get about four hours of electricity a day and three hours of water once every three days. In the week and a half since the “war” began over 1,000 Gazans have been killed (a majority women and children),  millions of dollars of infrastructure have been destroyed. At last tally, 45 Israeli soldiers and three Islaeli civilians have died in the conflict and Israel gained controlled of approximately 1/3 of the remaining land in Gaza which they now call a “buffer zone.”

This is the third such incursion since 2008.  The other two bombing operations resulted in thousands of additional deaths and demolished neighborhoods and the ongoing blockade prevented Palestinians from rebuilding.  People often forget that the destruction of the infrastructure, once the bombing stops, is often more dangerous to the people’s health when they cannot have drinkable water (95% of Gazans don’t), adequate power and shelter.

For the first time, Palestinian voices are being heard, even by the mainstream —  if only because the devastation is so great they cannot be ignored. Demonstrations in Europe reached over 100,000 in England and France. There is clearly a movement that is stronger today than in the past.  Many of the demonstrations I attended were sizable – between one and two thousand people. In New York City, a stronghold of Zionism, that is no small number and shows the changing landscape in regard to the Palestinian issue – even here in the belly of the beast. And yet, today, as I write, there is no cease fire and the people of Palestine are still under attack.

I could go on about Gaza, but there are so many other issues. Like the 57,000 undocumented children coming across the Mexican border, fleeing from dictatorial states like Guatemala, El Salvador  and Honduras that the United States supported. Most recently the USA supported the coup in Honduras which ousted President Zelaya after he made two fatal mistakes – he doubled the minimum wage and he planned to join ALBA, a group of seven Latin American countries which have formed a coalition to fight the United States neoliberal agenda in the South. President Obama was the only leader in the western world who did not condemn the coup and gave immediate recognition to the new government. The United States government plans to send the majority of the fleeing children back to these states for their “safety” which is the reason that they fled and made the dangerous trek to the United States in the first place.

And then there are the other “domestic issues.” Thousands of poor, elderly and disabled people in Detroit are being denied water because they can’t pay their water bill, often after the state cut off their pension due to the Detroit bankruptcy. A young man brought my attention to another black man, Eric Garner, killed in Brooklyn  due to excessive police force. .(The young man who told me was unaware of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict).I also just learned, today, that there was yet another incident yesterday in which the NYPD stomped on another black man’s head – also captured in a video.  Oh, and there was newspaper headline about the “open carry (guns) advocates who stood on the grassy knoll (where Kennedy was killed) and criticized Obama. Guess what man – you’re still black.

Finally, there is the civil war in the Ukraine which recently resulted in the deaths of 298 civilians in an air crash (many of them AIDS researchers) when the Russian backed rebels shot the plane down by mistake. Many of the US backed forces, which recently took the Ukraine over in a coup are real old fashioned fascists (which feels a lot worse in Europe than it does here given the fact that Fascists have actually held power in Europe and we experienced the results).These new Ukrainian leaders are pressuring Europe to put more and more sanctions on Russia. I’m old enough to remember the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and this certainly feels like de javu.

But I digress.  There is a big demonstration planned in Washington for August 2nd for Palestinian rights. Kerry is negotiating right now for a short cease fire that does not actually change any of the conditions in the siege on Gaza.  Hamas (and it seems like most of the Gazan people including those who don’t back Hamas) say the cease fire must include the ending of the Siege on Gaza (what have they got to lose? They are already being slowly killed anyway with no drinkable water and half their land destroyed). Israel is unlikely to comply (Why should they ? They have our backing and the Seige meets their long term goals for a greater Israel just fine).

IN THE MEANTIME THE DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IS STILL 7 DAYS AWAY – HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE CAN THEY KILL AND HOW MUCH MORE INFRASTRUCTURE CAN THEY DESTROY IN 7 DAYS? Of course, this is just an infinitely small fraction of the devastation we have visited on the rest of the world in just the 20th and 21st century. (Pick a region)

Have you signed your 150th petition today? Have you written your congress person or Obama? Have you gone on a demonstration? Do you feel good about doing your civic duty? I was watching TV the other night and the ad with the dog with sad eyes and the sentimental music came on soliciting donations so that the dog and other dogs could live without abuse. There is a similar ad with a small clearly starving child in Africa.  As Bill Clinton would say “I feel your pain.” Synthetic, televised pain is not enough.



The definition of insanity someone said is to keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results. With the advent of the internet and globalization, the world is turning faster now, and the contradictions are heightening. “We do what we can” we say. We “keep the faith, “we keep hope alive.” But as Mao would say, just “tolling the bell” (doing the usual level of political work or doing the usual rant as I am doing now) is not enough. We need to give ourselves a wake-up call.

Sep 28

“A Naked Declaration of Imperialism”

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama addressed the world at the 2013 UN General Assembly meeting in New York City. He mostly touted the US policy in the Middle East and the so-called right of the US to interfere with the sovereign nations of the region. Even though the president has directed Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister over Iran’s nuclear program, he again declared that the US can use force to stop what there is no evidence of, an Iranian nuclear weapon. The speech, a neo-con’s dream, was littered with lies, as enumerated by David Swanson.

2. “(P)eople are being lifted out of poverty,” Obama said, crediting actions by himself and others in response to the economic crash of five years ago. But downward global trends in poverty are steady and long pre-date Obama’s entry into politics. And such a trend does not exist in the U.S. [..]

4. “Together, we have also worked to end a decade of war,” Obama said. In reality, Obama pushed Iraq hard to allow that occupation to continue, and was rejected just as Congress rejected his missiles-for-Syria proposal. Obama expanded the war on Afghanistan. Obama expanded, after essentially creating, drone wars. Obama has increased global U.S. troop presence, global U.S. weapons sales, and the size of the world’s largest military. He’s put “special” forces into many countries, waged a war on Libya, and pushed for an attack on Syria. How does all of this “end a decade of war”? And how did his predecessor get a decade in office anyway? [..]

6. “We have limited the use of drones.” Bush drone strikes in Pakistan: 51. Obama drone strikes in Pakistan: 323. (That they have admitted to. TMC [..]

8. “… and there is a near certainty of no civilian casualties.” There are hundreds of confirmed civilian dead from U.S. drones, something the Obama administration seems inclined to keep as quiet as possible. [..]

13. “How do we address the choice of standing callously by while children are subjected to nerve gas, or embroiling ourselves in someone else’s civil war?” That isn’t a complete list of choices, as Obama discovered when Russia called Kerry’s bluff and diplomacy became a choice, just as disarmament and de-escalation and pressure for a ceasefire are choices. Telling Saudi Arabia “Stop arming the war in Syria or no more cluster bombs for you,” is a choice. [..]

14. “What is the role of force in resolving disputes that threaten the stability of the region and undermine all basic standards of civilized conduct?” Force doesn’t have a role in civilized conduct, the most basic standard of which is relations without the use of force. [..]

17. “It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.” Really? In the absence of evidence, skepticism isn’t reasonable for this Colin-Powelled institution, the same U.N. that was told Libya would be a rescue and watched it become a war aimed at illegally overthrowing a government? Trust us? [..]

There are 45 cringe worthy lies in David’s dissection of the president’s speech.

Author and national security correspondent for The Nation, appearing with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaihk on Democracy Now! called the president’s speech “a really naked declaration of imperialism.



Transcript can be read here

During this section of the speech my jaw sort of hit the floor. He basically came out and said the United States is an imperialist nation and we are going to do whatever we need to conquer areas to take resources from around the world. I mean, it was a really naked sort of declaration of imperialism, and I don’t use that word lightly, but it really is. I mean, he pushed back against the Russians when he came out and said I believe America is an exceptional nation. He then defended the Gulf War and basically said that the motivation behind it was about oil and said we are going to continue to take such actions in pursuit of securing natural resources for ourselves and our allies. I mean, this was a pretty incredible and bold declaration he was making, especially given the way that he has tried to portray himself around the world. On the other hand, you know, remember what happened right before Obama took the stage is that the president of Brazil got up, and she herself is a former political prisoner who was abused and targeted in a different lifetime, and she gets up and just blasts the United States over the NSA spy program around the world.

Obama’s UN Speech: Packaging Neoconservative Values in the Language of Peace & Liberation

by Kevin Gosztola, FDL The Dissenter

The speech President Barack Obama delivered at the United Nations General Assembly was a neoconservative foreign policy speech, the kind of speech one might have heard President George W. Bush deliver in the midst of the Iraq War to defend decisions made by those ruling America.

Both Robert Kagan and William Kristol, leading American neoconservatives, argued in 1996, “Without a broad, sustaining foreign policy vision, the American people will be inclined to withdraw from the world and will lose sight of their abiding interest in vigorous world leadership. Without a sense of mission, they will seek deeper and deeper cuts in the defense and foreign affairs budgets and gradually decimate the tools of US hegemony.”

The hegemon or paramount power that neoconservative policy thinkers like Kagan and Kristol consider America to be passed on an opportunity to show “leadership” by striking Syria. Obama was acutely aware that the United States was not in control of the developing response to the crisis in Syria. His speech was an opportunity to reassert American power, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. [..]

Now, America has drone bases to make war permanent. It has a massive surveillance apparatus that Obama is more than willing to defend and utilize against any country in the world that threatens its power. Though all countries may seek to spy on one another to decide what to do diplomatically, no country can match the technological capabilities of the United States as it bugs and spies on diplomatic missions of countries to remain supreme.

Mar 17

Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Did Chavez and Maduro Evict the U.S. From Its Own Backyard? by Justina

Following the ideals of his hero, Simon Bolivar, President Hugo Chávez Friás long had a grand vision of a Bolivarian unity among the countries of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  His  long serving foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, now acting president of Venezuela, was the person who brought that vision to material reality.  In so doing, they may have walked off with some prime real estate — the U.S.’s own backyard.

As a reported two million people lined the streets to accompany the body of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez Friás, to the Military Academy in Caracas where likely millions more stood in line for hours, if not days, to view his face one last time. Fifty-four international delegations, political leaders and heads of state arrived in Venezuela to attend the official state ceremony for the deceased president, 15 of whose countries had declared official days of mourning for him at home.  They were greeted by then vice president and now Acting President Nicolas Maduro.

The South, Central American and Caribbean countries in attendance gave witness to the impact the Chavez Administration has had on forging unity among them.

Representatives of the more than 33 countries belonging to MERCOSUR, UNOSUR, ALBA and CELAC appeared and credited Chavez’s vision and energy with establishing the equivalent of a new regional union, modeled after the European Union, south of the U.S. border, in what the U.S. formerly regarded as virtually its own territory.

 photo chavezfuneral_zps594f098c.jpg

Jul 19

Manifest Destiny In Reverse

America has never been this fucked up.

That bitter awareness is echoing from one end of reality to the other, it’s rumbling just under the surface of this Wonderland of the One-Percent, it can be heard in the whistling of Wall Street bankers past the graveyard of the economy, in the silence of a million foreclosed homes, in the blowing of the wind through the ragged lines of the unemployed, in the pounding of the waves of karma on the shores of capitalism, where the sandcastles of the American Dream are being swept away, where the piers of the political system are collapsing into the sea, where a long night is falling and the lights along the boardwalk of forgotten freedom are all going out.

North Shore Sunset

May 04

WWL Radio #151 Michael Parenti Interview



Listen to Diane Gee with Michael Parenti live on WWL Radio Friday, May 4th at 6pm EDT!



Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

PhotobucketTonight I have the honor of speaking to another of our generations brightest and best, the genius of Michael Parenti.

A true visionary, Parenti has been working tirelessly for decades to break the paradigm of political orthodoxy and bring us to a clearer vision of the realities we face under Capitalism and Empire.  

Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, in the United States and abroad.  He now serves on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, Education Without Borders, and the Jasenovic Foundation; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought. He also served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored.

Author of 24 books, we will be speaking about his latest, “The Face of Imperialism” and how it applies to our conditions at present.

His website is http://www.michaelparenti.org/

Michael is an amazing man, my problem will be mining his wonderful mind for everything I need to know in an hour-long format!!

Please Join us!

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

Tip: In order to comment in the show’s companion chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds. Chat is monitored during the show, so make yourself heard.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm ET, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  



WWL Radio: Bringing you controversial, cutting edge, revolutionary, “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective since January of 2009!

Aug 28

Libya: I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock & Roll

This was written by Ellen Brown back on April 14. We shall see a few years from now whether Libyans will still be cheering and throwing flowers like Iraqis and Afghanis and Bahraini’s are now…

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:

I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.

Alex Newman wrote in the New American:

In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”

Jul 10

Huck Finn and the Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Are you a teacher upset by your school’s resistance to allowing the original version of Huck Finn?  I may have the solution–The Hunger Games.

I admit, I read the first page and thought I would hate it.  The book is written in first-person present tense, has simplistic prose and starts with a huge load of back story. After the first chapter, though, I was hooked.  The novel is bullet paced and winds through twists and turns that, for once, I did not anticipate.

So what does that have to do with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?  Well, Mark Twain’s 127 year old classic has racism as its theme: A young white runaway realizes he has more in common with a runaway black slave, than with affluent whites.  The problem is that Twain was a product of his time and uses the “N-word” liberally throughout the text.  Although class struggle and racism don’t bother school boards at all, the N-word apparently does, and the book is frequently banned from school libraries, English classes and social studies.

Enter the Hunger Games–a modern book with the theme of class warfare and imperialism that has an almost spooky resemblance to the Jasmine Revolution. (No small feat given the book’s copyright in 2008.)  Because it is a futuristic novel, the N-word is no where to be found.  In fact, there are no black people at all. That takes care of that.  Instead, the former US is split into 12 Districts that are pitted against each other in a reality show that is must see TV.  I mean the government makes you watch. Two children ages 12-18 are chosen by lottery from each district and forced to compete in a kill or be killed game for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Capitol district.  Throw in media control, massive government spying, police state, and the exploitation of the periphery districts by the Capitol district and the themes of this modern novel should provide more than enough material for a discussion of the problems of modern society and how they are portrayed in literature.

And if you still miss the racism aspect of Mark Twain, well how about talking about the foundation of racism–artificial adversarial relationships that keep those without power from forming solidarity for the benefit of the powerful.

View all my reviews

Mar 24

Humanitarian Intervention My Ass

It wasn’t me. I had no part of it. I was nowhere near the place. I was on the other side of town at the time. I tried to tell them it was not a good idea and that they shouldn’t try it, but they just wouldn’t listen.




(Reuters) – Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday.

“I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.

Chavez, who also holds capitalism responsible for many of the world’s problems, warned that water supplies on Earth were drying up.

“Careful! Here on planet Earth where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts,” Chavez said, sipping from a glass of water.

He added that the West’s attacks on Libya were about water and oil reserves.

Mar 24

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lines up behind Obama’s attack on Libya

http://wsws.org/articles/2011/…

The ‘progressive’ darling lines up behind another imperialist adventure.

Dec 27

World Has Had Enough Of U.S. Imperialism

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is the author of “Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire” (1968 & 2003), “Trade, Development and Foreign Debt” (1992 & 2009) and of “The Myth of Aid” (1971).

ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East. Michael acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including Iceland, Latvia and China on finance and tax law.

Here Hudson talks with The Real News Networks’ Paul Jay about the 800+ empire of military bases the U.S. has established around the globe, about how all of the money that the military spends abroad is spent on foreign economies and is then “siphon[ed] up into the central banks. And the central banks would have nothing to do with these dollars but to keep their currency stable by recycling the dollars into US Treasury bills.” and about how “If it weren’t for the military deficit, America would have had to finance its own domestic budget deficit. It’s been foreigners that are financing the budget deficit.”

Hudson concludes here with the observation that “Now that foreigners are essentially saying, we don’t want any more dollars, we’re not going to fund your deficit, all of a sudden they think: who’s going to fund the deficit if not foreign central banks? The answer is: American labor, the American middle class and working families are going to fund it, not the military.”

The rest of the world has had enough of financing it’s own encirclement and subjugation by the U.S. military.

From here on in it is you who is going to be paying the bill…



Real News Network – December 26, 2010

World Tired of Paying Bill for US Military

Michael Hudson: Major countries looking for alternatives to US dollar

transcript follows

Aug 05

We’ll always have Cairo

While the Nutroots Nation polled support for Obama at some ridiculous margin of around 85%, more realistic minds in the Arab world have reassessed His Potential Hopey Changey-ness.

The 2010 Arab Public Opinion poll will be released Thursday at the Brookings Institution by Shibley Telhami, of the University of Maryland and Brookings’ Saban Center for Middle East Policy. The annual survey, conducted in conjunction with Zogby International, polled 3,976 people in six countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates – in June and July.

The most striking finding is that while early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, some 51 percent of those polled expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East; in the 2010 poll, only 16 percent were hopeful, while a majority, 64 percent, were discouraged.

snip

“Basically, Arabs have concluded that he can’t deliver on his promises at best, or that he’s just like Bush at worst,”  George Washington University Middle East specialist and ForeignPolicy.com writer Marc Lynch said. “But there’s still considerable residual hope at this point that they’re wrong and that he’ll come through in the end.”

Pretty standard “looks-like-a-duck-walks-like-a-duck” assessment, which is generally and amazingly unavailable to progressive/liberals, except for those of us specializing in infantile tantrums, moral purity, and “poutrage,” those of us for whom Obama can do no good and deep down want the true psychopaths, not the pseudo-psychopaths, back in charge.  Whatevs.  The dude is a colossal disappointment.  A chronic fuck-up, really, completely lost, and wandering his own special Limbo as if in  a moral twilight zone.

This is also interesting:

Other key findings are that views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and its prospects for resolution have remained stable, and that a slight majority of the Arab public now sees a nuclear-armed Iran as being better for the Middle East.

Arabs prefer that Americans and Israelis walk on eggshells in the Muslim world, and seriously, who can blame them?  

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