A New Hussein

America, listen up, I’m worried. Larry King wants to eats my brain. He aims to have it melt out of my ears like some flashback R. Crumb cartoon. See it’s all about the Twitter these days with Larry King. He’s pushing it like he’s some revamped Superfly, except with reptilian skin. He’s like some centuries old vampire feasting on our stupidity. The more fake news he feeds us the easier we forget about the real stuff and Larry is the King of this kind of mix and match.

But the problem is this time Old Larry got the goods, the real deal, the Baghdad Bunker Buster of addictive substances, the stuff you’ve been waiting for. The stuff your mom said to not even look upon. Absolute poison, if you ingest it you will die. You know I’m talking Twitter. It’s the new crack — one hit, you’re done for, addict for life, and here’s comes old Larry with a straw to suck up the cerebellum slurpy.

Translation: As I type this I am getting the impression Mainstream Media, er, at least CNN, is consciously trying to Twitter-fy my brain, trying to get me and mine hooked on the latest marketed fad, fully well knowing, as I do because I saw it on their channel, that Twitter destroys all it touches.

Or so says the fine folks at the National Academy of Sciences. Straightforwardly, in an advanced publication, in a summary that runs quite a bit longer that 140 characters, concerned scientists are now warning America, and the rest of the world for that matter, that Twitter desensitizes you, demagnetizes your moral compass, destroys your ability to feel empathy, in addition to creating several other zombie-like moral effects that make a person all the more easy to control and to tolerate outrageous violence.

Luckily CNN was on the scene with a modem and a TV camera before the entire nation fell into drooling zombie-dom. In fact, you’d think they were our heroes. Once more, just to clarify, on April 14th , both on that evening’s scroll and in the expanded headlines, and still available on their website, CNN quite clearly reported, with scientists they presented as credible, that Twitter can be more dangerous to our country than a whole host of Osamas.

Then — as can generally be expected in a comedy — they turn right around and market the crap out of the very product they bashed with a whopping 129 different articles about Twitter in their online archive, including some artificially manufactured “funny” business masquerading a supposedly interesting supposed human interest series of clips and digressions involving Larry King as a comically rendered full-blown Twitter-holic trying to tweet up or out tweet all comers.

CNN loves Twitter the way Fox loves its Tea Parties. These days, catching Larry King pitching Twitter on his show has become as common as catching Wilford Brimley hawking adult home health care and just about as phony. After all, what is the message behind posting a news article condemning a product, then providing it with free ad time, as Larry King’s shows have recently become?

Twitter: it’s bad for your brain, why don’t cha try it kiddies?

Sunday April 19th King sank to his new low regarding this naked marketeering of the magic Tweetie- Tweet- Tweet, bringing on as guests a studiously post-Punked Ashton Kutcher, Sean Piddly-Puff Coombs, Queen Oprah herself, a remote of Jimmy J-Dawg Fallon failing to seem sincere and the ever ubiquitous, ever artificial Ryan Seacrest literally phoning it in. What could bring so much stellar “talent” together on a Sunday night? Well, guess what? All of them were shilling for Twitter.

That many celebrities pushing a drug and it becomes a new cocaine. Like gangster rap, like chat rooms, Goth fashion, punk, hippies, like rock in roll itself, like TV, like whatever the next new drug is that we’re always not supposed to like even as we’re being taught to. Mainstream media has always made itself a fat dollar selling us stuff they tell us we should be ashamed of ourselves for enjoying. Even AlterNet is in on the game, following the fad with well over 120 articles of their own on the subject. This is just the latest step in our culture-makers’ ongoing efforts to keep us lazy and stupid, at least dumb enough to be their adherents. They are hoping we will stay stupid long enough so they can get the next war set-up.

Word on the street is they’re resuming casting for the next Hussein.

Right about now, Barack Obama could sure use some Hussein. And no, I’m not talking about his middle name. The purpose of this column is not to make lame jokes about our president’s middle name. (Besides that one I mean.) No, the purpose of this column is to ponder who will get the part of the New Hussein. You remember Hussein, right? Saddam Hussein?

I ask if you remember because we Americans aren’t so good at remembering history; which is why we spend so much of the time having to repeating it. To prepare this article and see what I remembered about Hussein I went looking for my earliest reference to fabled Iraqi Strongman and I found one in a piece from back in January of 1991 called “I Go to War”:

“The real reason we’re at war with Hussein isn’t that he didn’t buy American when we gave him money for guns, that’s for sure. The real reason is that we TV generations are stupid. We can’t remember any of the lessons that sneak out through the networks unless they’re talking about cool new ways to consume or not consume whichever is the current fashion. We don’t even know how to think and don’t have the patience to learn. The war is breaking us into three camps — those who find war wrong, those who find war right and those who find war boring.

“Once the majority of a population finds mass murder and systematic destruction of a culture too boring to consider and just wish they could find another channel to watch, and then we can wage continuous war with one stooge or another for the rest of all time. Of course, even if somebody figures out scam, we can always just stop the current war and start a new one. Long as our economy is so based on military issues, it doesn’t matter what the people might think, the national budget is going to require wars on a regular basis to keep itself afloat. People are so pissed off with current conditions it isn’t hard to make them want to fight somebody.”

And so on, same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Just change out a name or two and that same passage could’ve been written about either Bush or, more and more lately it seems, Obama. If we’re unlucky, it could be written next year. If the dogs on the right and those blue dogs that trail them for scraps actually start to catch a little skin one these days while nipping at his heels the new Hussein could be debuting as early as next month.

Is there a Saddam in your future? For longer than I’d like to remember Saddam Hussein served as America ’s favorite bad-guy love/hate relationship. He was so easy to hate, yet for 25 years it was like we dated the guy. For the first ten years for sure he was a bastard. But doggone it, he was our bastard in the Middle East, so everything was all right. When he did bad things, like passing gas, we forgave him Despite the fact that during our 21st Century Iraq Occupation we would help make sure he was put to death for that very act, back-in-the-day successive US governments forgave Hussein for gassing his own people. Turns out it was our gas in the first place and Saddam only knew how to use it because we taught him how.

Then when Bush the First needed an enemy in the way that any floundering president needs a good enemy, to hide son Neil’s S&L scandal, Saddam became our favorite Boogey Man. They sold more pictures of Saddam than Satan for a while there. It got to the point Trey Parker and Matt Stone could poke fun of Saddam’s absolute demonization in South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut. Four years later Bush Jr. would recycle that hatred to sell us his phony war. Junior managed to get himself another five years of kicking around Saddam before we accidentally let the Iraqis kill him. Good ol’ Saddam, the kind of guy you’d love to hate. His legend really comes to life now that he’s not around to enjoy it.

But with Saddam so dead, Obama is in the market for a new international whipping boy. As luck would have it, the recent news cycle brought two applicants for that coveted support role: “Guy we hate so much we don’t mind spending billions and spilling millions to go to war with him because he so very much sucks.”

Ladies and gentlemen it looks like Obama is celebrating Earth Day by recycling, recycling Bush-era Boogeymen, I mean. Among the top contenders for the role of “guy who gets his ass kicked, but has a lot of close-ups” are: another South Park alumnus Kim Jong-Il, of late returning to his old ways of tossing around war threats and then there’s the ever detestable Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, perhaps the one person in the world who could make Israel look sympathetic.

One thing’s for sure, if things begin to get rough for the current admin, as they once did for Bush, as they did for Clinton, as they did for Bush I, and on and on, you can bet Barack Obama will find his very own Hussein soon enough.

And if we don’t stop Larry King now, by then America will be too Twitter-fied to care. But I promise dear reader that Larry King is not going to slurp up my brains. I’ll fight, I’ll resist, I paint protest signs, “I have no time for Twitter!’

Thank you for your time America. Excuse me now, while I go check my Facebook . . .

Mikel Weisser teaches social studies and poetry on the left coast of Arizona. He can be reached at weisser@frontiernet.net. Read other articles by Mikel.

25 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Peter said on April 23rd, 2009 at 1:23pm #

    I liked Saddam Hussein. I could not stand George Bush and his neo-con friends.

  2. Don Hawkins said on April 23rd, 2009 at 1:55pm #

    Mikel do you have a pair of those special glasses?

  3. beverly said on April 23rd, 2009 at 6:04pm #

    Ahmadinejad only guy who can make Israel look sympathetic?

    Nothing or no one can make Israel look sympathetic. From defying UN agreements to share land with the Palestinians to institigating war and chaos with neighboring countries to bombing the Gaza strip into the Stone Age – and keeping critics at bay with the anti-semitism card – any rational person who goes beyond mainstream media for his info would find it difficult to see Israel as the victim.

    Ahmadinejad needs to axe the Holocaust denial spiel but his comments about Israel being a racist nation is the stone cold truth. As usual, the Western media focuses on the sensationalistic soundbite as opposed to facts, debate, and analysis to inform the public.

  4. Jim said on April 23rd, 2009 at 6:45pm #

    i realized years ago that nothing on TV or mass media on the middle east was true. It sickens me to see our politicians suck up to Israel. This is not the same county my family fought for in previous wars. My kids will not serve.

  5. HR said on April 24th, 2009 at 11:05am #

    More like nothing at all in the mass media is true. Hasn’t been for decades. Never really was a time when the media here actually delivered truth, except in small bites. They’ve always been a mouthpiece for the elite.

  6. Deadbeat said on April 24th, 2009 at 1:23pm #

    Ahmadinejad needs to axe the Holocaust denial spiel

    Can you or someone else provide a link where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad actually made a statement denying the Holocaust. I don’t recall reading any. I’ve heard even Amy Goodman make such a claim this week and she provided NO reference to back up here assertion.

    I could have missed the quotation but I haven’t seen it. What I have heard Ahmadinejad say is that he feels that the Palestinian should not made to suffer for an event that occurred in Europe.

  7. Peter said on April 24th, 2009 at 4:25pm #

    Ahmadinejad held a conference and invited historians to discuss the holocaust. Many of the people he invited do not agree with what is generally accepted regarding exactly what happened during the war. Some historians say there were no gas chambers used to kill people. These people are generally (or perhaps always) called anti-semitic, which effectively shuts them up. These people argue that freedom of speech should not exclude the holocaust, which is the only historical event that democratic governments stipulate what is acceptable to say or not to say.

    Saying gas chambers were not used to kill jews will land you in jail in many countries in Europe, including (or should I say in particular) Germany and Austria. Several historians have served jail time for what they have said regarding the holocaust, the most noteworthy being the British historian David Irving. Irving was a famous historian, considered by many the most knowledgeable about WW II, but when he started discussing the holocaust his reputation suffered greatly and he is now attacked as being anti-semitic and infamous. The attacks against him are extremely strong and you could argue they are orchestrated.

    Whatever Ahmadinejad said about the holocaust, he does not discuss that very often. But when he held that conference he was attacked in all the western countries press. He makes several points that are important. He says the holocaust is used for political purposes to advance Israel’s interests at the expense of the Palestinians and its used against Germany to keep them down. He also says, why should the Palestinians give up their homes for jews that were persecuted in Europe. Others argue similar points.

    The holocaust has been used against all of Europe to extract billions of dollars to advance jewish interests. This has been documented in a book called “The Holocaust Industry” by Norman Finkelstein whose own family suffered greatly during the holocaust.

  8. Peter said on April 24th, 2009 at 5:30pm #

    Here is the transcript of an interview conducted with President Ahmadinejad on April 10:


  9. bozh said on April 24th, 2009 at 6:44pm #

    but, dear folks, who does deny the most? Is it just a few mns people denying the holocaust; or to say it more adequately, a few mns of people denying the number of deaths in the KZs accepted by majority of people?

    people of the judaic fate [to me, a cult, but a perilous one] even deny that they are humans. And because they aren’t of us, rabbis teach jews to be merely with us.

    i hope more and more of us deny judeo-christian claim about number of ‘jews’ that may or may have not perished in the concetration camps, unless they finally admit they are humans. tnx

  10. Max Shields said on April 24th, 2009 at 8:23pm #

    Deadbeat you are right. Ahmadinejad is very straightforward in his statements and they follow a very lucid logic.

    He is clearly NOT anti-semitic in the general sense of Semitic peoples in the Middle East and specifically regarding Jews. I’ve never heard or read a word from him that denigrated Jews.

    He talks, as you say, about why the German/European problem was exported thousands of miles to the Middle East, and specifically to the lands inhabited primarily by Palestinians. The question and the logic behind it is impeccable. There is no animus in his tone or in the specifics of what he says as those who are expert and Farsi have attested to time and again. He NEVER, for instance, claimed that Israel should be “wipped off the map” as Zionist messengers have propaganized and then spread through the MSM and beyond until it become unquestioned. It has been thoroughly debunked.


    These distortions follow every Ahmadinejad speech. Totally baseless, the usually demonization of some needed to play the evil enemy. Israel is built on such sick paranoia.

  11. Deadbeat said on April 24th, 2009 at 10:47pm #

    Max thanks for your response. I thought I was right that I never once heard or read any quotation that could be construed as anti-Jewish. Yet unfortunately this week I heard Amy Goodman state that Ahmadinejad altered his speech removing references denying the Holocaust.

    This was an outrageous comment from Goodman as she provided NO source whatsoever so that her assertion could be confirm. She didn’t even preface her comment with “an official said” or indicate that her claim was sourced and not coming from her. She made the comment as part of her report on the Durban conference and that caught my attention.

    Max, it is a real shame and extremely problematic when the “Left” advances the Zionist propaganda.

  12. Peter said on April 25th, 2009 at 8:26am #

    If Ahmadinejad had said something like the holocaust did not occur, I don’t consider it a such a big deal. First, when it is claimed that someone “denies” the holocaust, 99% of the time that person never said “the holocaust didn’t happen”. That person may not accept a certain part of what is generally accepted regarding the holocaust. That person might say there were no gas chambers, he could say the number of people that died was less than 6 million or he might say there were no mass shootings in the east. Any one of those statements will get someone branded as a “holocaust denier”.

    The term “holocaust denier” is unique in itself. It is an insult and its intent is to shut people up. In wars the estimates of numbers of people that died in a certain battle, the war itself or a certain event are estimates. These figures are often revised over a period of time. No one can know exactly how many people died in a war, a major battle or an atrocity. If good research is done it might be possible to come up with a close figure.

    The bombing of Dresden, Germany by the allies is considered an atrocity by many people. For many years the generally accepted figure was that 125,000 people died in that attack. Thats the figure that many people still accept. But, a few months ago a group of historians the German government commissioned to establish how many people died in Dresden said 25,000 people died (not 125,000). Unfortunately, the figure they cite might be politically motivated and might have nothing to do with accuracy in history at all. Every year there is a commemoration of what happened at Dresden and neo-NAZI’s hold an especially big rally (several thousand people) and the German government wants to squash the neo-NAZIS.

    At the end of WW II, the number of Soviets estimated to have died in the war was about half of the figure cited today. The estimate went up several times so that the generally accepted figure is now that 25 million Soviet’s died in the war.

    Regarding the holocaust,that figure also did not start out as 6 million. It started as a lower number. However, the number of people estimated to have been killed at Auschwitz was once much higher than it is today.

    But the holocaust is the only event that you will be labeled a “denier” if you don’t accept every single aspect of what is generally said about it. The word “denier” of course suggests that there is proof beyond any doubt about exactly what happened and you would have to be blind or obstinate not to see this. This is absolutely not true. In fact one of the best known Jewish holocaust researchers, Raul Hilberg says the holocaust absolutely happened, but to prove it did is very difficult to demonstrate.

    No one is called a “Dresden Denier” or a “Soviet suffering denier”. Of course these events are hardly discussed at all and the holocaust is discussed almost daily in the media. The holocaust is used for political purposes too, one reason being to advance Israel’s interests.

    Probably the main reason there are holocaust “deniers” is because there are so many holocaust believers that push the subject so hard and use it as a political weapon.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain said on April 25th, 2009 at 5:11pm #

    Peter, amongst the biggest deniers of all are the ‘Nakbah deniers’. You know, those Zionists and their stooges who deny the ethnic cleansing of 1947-8, Plan Dalet as it was known, that stampeded hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to exile, through murder, terror and massacre. For years we had the lie that the Arabs left of their own free will, on orders from their masters in the Arab countries, transmitted by radio. After the investigation of radio records revealed this to be a Big Lie, although the testimony of the victims themselves ought to have sufficed, but for the unrelenting racism of Zionism and its Western stooges who simply assert that all Arabs are liars, the story was mostly dropped. Not universally, of course, as the more arrogant and belligerent Zionists still trot it out to show how tough they are, and to communicate their total contempt for the untermenschen. The new denialism over the Nakbah became the reflex ‘anti-Semitism’ canard. Speaking of the Nakbah became ‘ a blood libel against ze Jews’, usually delivered in that reptilian drawl so typical of Israeli Rightwingers when roused to fury. Zionist denialism is the most totalitarian yet, in that it denies every single crime that Israel has committed. Even the recent horrors of Gaza, where the Red Cross, the UN, Medicines sans Frontieres, Norwegian doctors working in Gazan hospitals, the news media present and the Gazans themselves, who reported vicious crimes against humanity, and were even joined by Israeli soldiers, were dismissed contemptuously by that standard Israeli stock-in-trade, the arrogant, self-exculpating ‘investigation’, that refuted all the facts and substituted the racist phantasy of Israeli ‘moral purity’, as ever. Naturally, when the horrors were first reported, they drew a ferocious tirade from the uniformly pro-Israel media sewer in this country, where all the witnesses to murder and terror were viciously denounced as ‘anti-Semites’. The corollary to this slanderous doctrine is plain. The Israelis are the first colonial settler state, indeed the first state of any type, in history, that is incapable of crime, whose every action is sanctified and morally beyond question, let alone reproach, and anyone who questions this doctrine is a new Hitler, intent on a New Holocaust.
    Denialism is actually ubiquitous these days. Every crisis that calls into question the global system of vicious exploitation in the service of a tiny, parasitic elite, every ecological calamity, every cruelty inflicted by the Masters on the global ‘niggers’, is simply denied. Entire industries of lying, dissembling, misinformation, are richly endowed by the parasitic plutocrats to spread untruths. There is no anthropogenic climate change-it is all a conspiracy of failed communists (who apparently have taken over all the Academies of Science of the world)to destroy capitalism. Iraqi deaths are in the region of 90,000 since the illegal invasion, a proposition akin to saying 500,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis, but this Holocaust denial is not only acceptable, it has been adopted by the BBC and all other organs of the Rightwing media as gospel, while the vastly greater figures derived from world class demographic investigations, have disappeared down Orwell’s ‘Memory Hole’, although Rightwing bloggers still decry and smear the scientists involved. In fact, looked at honestly,denial of the Nazi Holocaust is one of the least pernicious denialisms there is, as the Nazis are gone, their victims are long dead, and the denialists nearly uniformly ridiculed. The denialisms still active, of Western mass murder and of climate change in particular, are far more malign, as the horrors are ongoing, the victims still suffering, and the prospective numbers of victims, particularly of a climate Holocaust, dwarf all the horrors of all previous human-induced disasters.

  14. Peter said on April 25th, 2009 at 8:03pm #

    Mulga Mumblebrain ,

    I agree with what you say. There is a saying that in war, the first casualty is the truth. I think that is absolutely true.

    Unfortunately, the USA and Europe act like they are in a war against the powerless Palestinians. However, I’m glad more people are speaking their minds. I think the truth is seeping out.

    When it comes to the Israeli – Palestine conflict, I rely on Norman Finkelstein’s website for information. I view it daily. I watch Deutsche Welle , read the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and watch American programs. None of these media outlets come even close to the truth when it comes to the middle east. Almost everything that I view is garbage and extremely biased. The recent massacre the Israelis committed against the Palestinians demonstrated this when there was no criticism of Israel by the western governments. The holocaust is what prevents criticism of Israel, but its losing its effect. There are people speaking out now, at least on college campuses and the internet.

    Finkelstein says the people are leading this change and the governments will eventually follow. I think he is right.

  15. mikel weisser said on April 26th, 2009 at 12:58am #

    A Word on Amy Goodman:

    I find that “Democracy Now!” is an immensely important source of contrasting information from the propaganda-speak of MSM.I would argue that it is the most important widely available TV newscast in America. However, it is undoubtedly a biased reportage and skews to an unrealistic leftist view in the occasional organization of the facts in an issue and routinely in the journal tone of the editorialization. Amy and Juan are certainly no Freepers or even Fox, but they’re in the CNN range in the opposite direction.
    That said, I again stress the importance of, what i perceive, as the corrective effect of the Democracy Now coverage. Without Free Speech TV millions of Americans would hear no truth in the news at all. For example, these days MSM’s particularly dogged deconstruction of Obama is so predictable as to be pathetic. Maybe i was wrong not to make more jokes about the president’s middle name. Perhaps he is indeed the guy we are being trained to hate.
    But more to your point about Goodman’s attributionless material–I perceive, and i acknowledge i haven’t researched, but i perceive–that Democracy Now headline segment is not largely based on original reporting and would contend it clearly functions as a clearinghouse or compendium of info from a variety of sources, like the laudable but less regarded efforts of Lenny at the INN World Report, or those folks from Ashville. The show itself is a secondary source, a summary of others’ reporting, probably a summary of others reporting on the work of others in most cases. The difference between Goodman and Jennings is that NBC has reporters, Pacifica has researchers.
    (And, to be fair, Goodman and Gonzales get great interview segments in addition to the opening headlines segment.)
    Properly done in print, researchers attribute extensively. An online article is like a grad level essay with the bib’ in blue. But in the format of TV news that trick is obviously impossible and the emphasis is on pace, not veracity. I can clearly see the detriment of extensively inserting attribution to her sources. While Goodman and Gonzales do frequently cite their sources, it would hurt the pace of the show to do it consistently. There is only so much time in a show and only so much patience in a TV viewer, even a liberal one. So, no matter what else one wants to say about Democracy Now, it is after all a TV news show and so will conform to certain production values.
    (The potentially overwhelmingly repetitive nature of thorough attribution would be even more deadly to listeners’ attention spans in the radio version.)
    Indeed as a general news source the show is, as labeled an “exception to the rulers,” but it is not a TV production that is an exception to the format of TV news. Though Democracy Now’s target demographic insist on being literate and that their news come to them in this way, those folks are still watching TV news and don’t want to endure as much attribution as some of Goodman’s stories in the televised version or on the radio.
    Now online each headline could have links to primary sources in the titles of each article in the headlines and that would certainly add to a sense of legitimacy for the online reader following the show. I personally already prefer to watch the show with a TV and a laptop. Imagine how much more informative the show could be if the online version include links to sources.

  16. Deadbeat said on April 26th, 2009 at 2:32am #

    mikel weisser writes…

    I can clearly see the detriment of extensively inserting attribution to her sources.

    I’ve been a listener and viewer of Democracy Now for over a decade however Goodman is clearly not beyond reproach. When it comes to Israel and reporting on Zionism she has falling into the Chomsky-esque approach of U.S. Zionism “denial” rather than confronting U.S. Zionism.

    The point I made was that she attributed Holocaust denying to Ahmadinejad as fact without any attribution to a “source”. Therefore from a journalistic standpoint Goodman was claiming that Ahmadinejad was a Holocaust denier based on her own knowledge of the fact. Had she “sourced” it then she could say that her false claim was based on a “source” rather than it be accepted as “fact”. Essentially what Goodman did was to advance Zionist propaganda rather than report the news. For that she needed to be called out.

    Democracy Now is clearly “left” of CNN but that doesn’t means it should not be scrutinized and for the Left not to hold Goodman accountable for advancing the Zionist (RACIST) propaganda.

  17. Max Shields said on April 26th, 2009 at 9:15am #

    It seems the real issue with Chomsky is not simply what he says, but the extent to which his thinking is framed and of a piece. I say it is.

    If Chomsky says, for instance, that AIPAC is not that powerful that it has control over US foreign policy, does he truly believe that, or is it a cover for Zionism to a continued strangle hold? Or is he saying that as much as questioning the facts behind a report he finds flawed?

    The other important issue when reading or listening to Chomsky (or Goodman) is does he add value to the conversation? Is there a perspective that Chomsky adds that is unique and compelling, even if in part, disagreeable?

    He and Goodman are certainly not above reproach. In the case of Goodman, perhaps she should be notified by as many emails as possible about what she appears to be doing regarding continuing the myth of “wiping out Israel”, and demand a more careful discussion with Juan Cole on the topic of what Ahmadinejad actually said would be featured in the near future…and if not why? It’s great to bring it up here (DV), but Goodman needs to hear/read it. I’m not always pleased with some of her features where she puts on Finkelstein and some Zionist to “debate” when they just cancel one another out with “whose story do you believe when one is claiming the other is a lier.” But on the whole she’s an alternative to the right-wing media. We need as much of a mix as possible. I’d like to see more African American progressives with a similar show – anyone for Glenn Ford? I’d like to hear what Ford has to say on a whole range of topics (not just Obama) with other progressive minorities.

    DN needs to feel some pressure from other views on the so-called left.

  18. mikel weisser said on April 26th, 2009 at 9:21am #

    Just to clarify, though i watch CNN among MSM, i see it as a blatant part of the propaganda machine, a rightwing apologist and Amy and the gang functioning in the same way in the other direction. Yeah, i spent a lot of time talking about the techinque of attribution, but ultimatley i was also saying i wish there were more of it, especially in cases like this issue, when of course there is less because less information affords more deception.

  19. bozh said on April 26th, 2009 at 11:58am #

    to me, any person who deems self a “jew” is quite dishonest or delusional.
    how can people of khazar, slav, germanic origin with possibly very little or no hebraic blood, be hebraic?
    but if an ashkenazi would say that his grandfather, who was born in poland, was a judaist and therefore feels some kind of obligation to call self a judaist, that can be understood.

    there is no shred of evidence that people who call selves “jews” are either of judean or israeli ancestry.
    what all these ‘jews’ have in common is the fact that they are of judaic faith or their relatives/ancestors were.

    only cult ties them together. And 99.99% of the ‘jews’ are zionists, i.e., land robbers; thus also criminals, at least to me! tnx

  20. Brian Koontz said on April 27th, 2009 at 5:52am #

    Domination is not about truth – it’s about control. CNN doesn’t even care, much less know, about the various psychological and social effects of Twitter. What they DO care about is that we “learn” about those supposed effects from CNN – scientists are merely a tool CNN uses to attempt to increase their own degree of domination of the viewership and extended viewership (those affected by the direct viewers).

    Western mass media (in conjunction with other elite allies) is about necromancy. Create a dead population and then animate this population in the direction they desire. All they care about is how easy it is to tug the populace one way or another as well as how powerful they can make a given tug. Truth is irrelevant except insofar as truth affects the power of the tug or their general credibility. A dead, irrational population themselves don’t care about truth, so perpetrators of lies no longer are penalized – hence the continuing popularity of Rush Limbaugh and the like.

    We are living in a twilight zone of irrationality where elite factions (mostly various corporations through their products) vie for ownership of your soul. Americans then become mouthpieces and pawns of these elite – used against other Americans, used against foreign slaves in some cases, used mostly against themselves, as well as sucked dry of any humanity they have. Humanity just gets in the way.

    With very little humanity left in America, the humans who are left feel alienated, isolated, as if they are living in hell. They retreat into their own minds, consoling themselves with the belief that they are much better than the zombie society around them. This belief in turn causes them to retreat further, into TV or video games and libertarianism, away from public events, in a rarified dead vacuum (imitating Nietzschean separation) that they deem “pure”. It’s “pure”, alright – purified of everything except their own beautiful and precious mind.

    These humans, although they are the last to admit it, are every bit as much pawns of the elite as the rabid ditto-heads of Limbaugh – every bit as culturally dead as the rednecks they mock.

    Their analysis of American society as hell is rational – but the only good response is to take up sword and shield and fight the demons and devils head-on. We need paladins, not hermits.

    If we have insufficient paladins, then the zombie society will overrun us all.

  21. Tennessee-Chavizta said on May 2nd, 2009 at 6:06pm #

    Hi Brian Kootz: Wow you just dissected the intellectual americans, i mean the way that the erudite, book-reading, entlightened people in USA feel in these words:

    With very little humanity left in America, the humans who are left feel alienated, isolated, as if they are living in hell. They retreat into their own minds, consoling themselves with the belief that they are much better than the zombie society around them. This belief in turn causes them to retreat further, into TV or video games and libertarianism, away from public events, in a rarified dead vacuum (imitating Nietzschean separation) that they deem “pure”. It’s “pure”, alright – purified of everything except their own beautiful and precious mind.

    These humans, although they are the last to admit it, are every bit as much pawns of the elite as the rabid ditto-heads of Limbaugh – every bit as culturally dead as the rednecks they mock.

    Their analysis of American society as hell is rational – but the only good response is to take up sword and shield and fight the demons and devils head-on. We need paladins, not hermits.

    If we have insufficient paladins, then the zombie society will overrun us all.

    And indeed, and i don’t think we can blame the intellectuals in the USA for alienating themselves, for choosing a Nietzschean loneliness. The thing is that this country is real boring, there is very little socializing. There is an oligarchy and dictatorship of social-life in this country where the only people who have access to social worlds, and lots of friends are those in the upper-classes. In America people in the working classes live very individualist, isolated lives. So the only activities in this country are working, Wal Mart shopping, Internet, TV and chores.

    Americans behaviour patterns are very different from other races, too egocentric, too skeptic, argumentative, introverted. Even Bush said that he liked hispanics better because they have more family values, than americans, that was when he invited some leaders of the spanish community to celebrate Colombus Day.

    Some people say its in the genes, but i thnk its not in the genes (That’s a Hitlerian fascist thought), but it’s really in the “American capitalist way of life”, because if u think about it, the latinos who are born in the USA behave just like real americans, (very individualists, very introverted, very hateful, very apathetic, wear tattoos, ear-rings and weird clothes).

    Unlike the immigrants who are born outside of USA, who are more extroverted, and have more family values, etc.

    So i think that the real cause of the evil, apathy, capitalist thinking, materialism, egocentrism, shyness, sadness and other negative traits of many US citizens is caused by the US, very egocentric, individualist and very libertarian capitalist system installed in USA in 1776.

    The only solution is a participative, cooperative, christian, moralist, humanist socialist system.


  22. Tennessee-Chavizta said on May 3rd, 2009 at 4:07pm #

    Brian Koots: wow your education and psychological-knowledge and information about classes in capitalist systems is very good and correct. I read a book about class-psychology, the behaviour of the people from the 3 main classes in Latin American Capitalist systems by Juan Bosch his book is called (The Dictatorship backed by Popular Support) and he wrote just what you wrote, about the different behaviour pattens of each of the main 3 classes (The Oligarchic-front, The bourgeoise-class, and the lower-classes). And you are right, of the 3 classes, the upper-two are capitalists. Even though the middle-class (Nationalist-bourgeoise and pettit bourgeoise) are victims of the capitalist-system, they side with the oligarchic-front (Upper-ruling classes)

    And that was the mistake of many Latin American systems, and that’s why they in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s evolved to be ruled by oligarchic-fronts.

    But now even the middle bourgeoise classes of Latin America are siding with the Socialist-Parties. They are finally waking up to the fact, that only socialism can provide wealth and liberty for the middle and lower classes.

    And that’s what the Middle Classes (Bourgeoise and pettit bourgeoise) needs to do in USA. They need to vote for Socialist parties as the only solution for the destruction of America caused by capitalism.


  23. joed said on May 3rd, 2009 at 4:58pm #

    CIA/DARPA Relationship With Facebook,

  24. Tennessee-Chavizta said on May 4th, 2009 at 8:07am #


    By Josef Falkinger Monday, 04 May 2009

    It is fashionable among some layers on the left to blame the workers’ “low consciousness” for the lack of a genuine left alternative emerging within the labour movement internationally. This is utterly false and represents a lack of understanding of how the working class moves historically. The working class is fully aware of the situation it is in. What it requires is a leadership up to task of leading the class in its struggle to change society.

    “Der Feind, den wir am meisten hassen,
    der uns umlagert schwarz und dicht,
    das ist der Unverstand der Massen,
    den nur des Geistes Schwert durchbricht.”

    “The enemy, that we hate most,
    Who besieges us black and densely,
    It is the masses’ stupidity
    broken only by the sword of the ghost.”
    (Ferdinand Freiligrath, German poet and friend of Marx)

    Like the poet Freiligrath in the 19th century, many on the left today are of the opinion that the so-called “low consciousness of the masses” is the reason why we have not seen successful revolutions, or major movements of the working class in recent years. These people constantly complain about how deeply people are indoctrinated and manipulated by so-called “neoliberal” ideology. This actually reflects the “low consciousness” of these “lefts”, and their total lack of understanding of the working class and its organisations.

    Revolutionary Marxism has a completely different approach to this question. It is the leadership of the traditional mass organisations of the working class and the Left, not the masses, that is in an unprecedented crisis. Revolutionary Marxists distinguish themselves from all other tendencies on the left with their approach to the question of political mass consciousness and its inner dynamics.

    Consciousness and its dynamics
    In general, it is true that human consciousness is conservative and lags behind objective reality. This fact leads some theoreticians to look at consciousness as something static and unchangeable. “Austromarxism”, the philosophy of Rudolf Hilferding and Otto Bauer (while similar ideas were supported by such leaders as Karl Kautsky in Germany), a theoretical concept that was dominant within the Second International for many years, states that a human being has to be educated and trained from childhood on, in order to become ripe for socialism. Many so-called neo-gramscian intellectuals today think that the left has to conquer first the universities and the mass media before it is able to create a turn to the left within society. This amounts to reducing the struggle for socialism to one for so-called “hegemony”, in the sense of winning over individuals one by one, and thereby shaping “public opinion”.

    Is the consciousness of the masses too low? Or is the problem one of leadership? Image taken from Christof Koch (2004) The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach.In reality consciousness develops not in a slow gradual manner but in leaps, provoked by sharp turns in the objective situation, serious crises of capitalism, wars and so on. For long periods of time the development of consciousness can be hidden beneath the surface, and may not express itself in mass movements, but it is definitely burrowing away, like the mole that Marx referred to. Through their own daily experience the workers gain a clearer insight into the real situation in society, but they do not immediately find a way of expressing their anger and consciousness within existing society. People lose their illusions in the old ideologies but their desire for change finds no ready-made channel, no party that reflects what they think and feel.

    On the other hand, however, there are periods when consciousness apparently leaps forward in an explosive manner. Consciousness that has been developing below the surface for a long time breaks through like a thunderbolt out of a clear blue sky. This takes our reformist friends by surprise, who after years of moaning about “lack of consciousness” are no longer capable of seeing a movement when it does come.

    The best example of this was the Russian revolution of 1905. It began with a religious procession to plead with the tsar. At that time most of the Russian workers involved in the procession had illusions in the Church and the monarchy. It was only after the tsar had not listened to their prayers, but instead sent in the Cossacks to shoot at the people, that those very same workers within a few hours were turning to the Bolsheviks – who they had previously attacked ‑ asking for weapons to fight the autocracy. What followed was the most militant strike movement in history and the formation of a new form of political self-organisation of the working class, the soviets. One decisive feature in the situation was the existence of the young revolutionary Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, as the Marxists were known then, that could give an expression to the longings of the masses.

    This channel of expression is today clogged up by a huge bureaucratic apparatus that has formed at the tops of the mass organisations of the working class. This very same apparatus is dominated by a small clique of bourgeois politicians who alienate the masses with their anti-working class and pro-capitalist policies. They have pushed these organisations to the right to an unprecedented degree in recent years. In a dialectical manner, this turn to the right on the part of the leadership of the mass organisations further repels ordinary rank and file workers; they become less active, thus lifting pressure from the leadership, which is then able to move further to the right.

    This is the reason why today revolutionary processes, including the molecular process of revolution, can have a tendency to be protracted. Nevertheless, the contradiction between the rising consciousness of the working class and the inability to express this is more glaring than at any time in history. This accumulation of contradictions will generate movements, class struggle and revolutionary upheavals that will be more explosive than at any time in history.

    Rising anger
    After a thirty-year period of stagnating salaries, social cuts and counter-reforms, the masses long for social change. The problem is that the policies being put forward by the reformist leaders of the mass organisations, both political and trade union, offer nothing to the working people that would make their political activity appear meaningful, This especially affects young people, who often look at “political activity” as something disgusting designed for corrupt careerists. If official bourgeois politics is the only politics you see then it is logical to come to such a conclusion.

    Otto Bauer argued that a human being has to be educated and trained from childhood on, in order to become ripe for socialism.The complete and unprecedented moral, political and ideological decay of the leadership of the trade unions and the social democrat, socialist and communist parties has created a situation in which the rising anger does not find a point of reference within society. The consequence is a rejection of all kind of politics in general and political alienation on the basis of one’s immediate experience.

    What we see today in the advanced capitalist countries is a phenomenon that also occurred in Latin America in the 1990s, whereby the population tends to lose confidence in all political parties, from the conservative parties to the mass workers’ parties. This phenomenon, which is often misinterpreted as “de-politicisation”, is in reality a necessary stage in the process of politicisation. The collapse in the authority of some of the most rotten right-wing leaders of the traditional mass organisations in Latin America was a necessary precondition for the revolutionary process that started in 1998 in Venezuela.

    Trotsky pointed out that the essence of a revolution is when the masses are no longer prepared to entrust their political and economic affairs to a special layer of professional politicians and businessmen, and instead take these affairs into their own hands. Thus, disillusionment in all existing policies is an important feature in the molecular process of revolution. It is the first step: a rejection of what they see before them.

    The crisis of reformism
    Many conservative and right-wing parties are hated by ordinary working people and are therefore discredited. Many of them are facing historical crises, in Japan, the USA and in almost all the countries of Europe. At the same time, the reformist political parties are also discredited. The “Third Way” of Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder, essentially reformism without reforms, is in tatters. We see this not only in Britain and Germany, where the Labour Party and the SPD are facing serious electoral setbacks in the coming period, but also in Austria and Italy where the so-called centre-left governments only lasted for one and a half years. We also see this expressed in situations where in spite of the crisis of the traditional bourgeois parties, the reformist parties are incapable of immediately taking advantage of this, as they too are not trusted by the masses.

    This is because the leadership of social-democratic and even communist parties, once in government, put into practice the same policies as the conservative parties. The only difference is that conservative parties often proclaim their aims openly, while the so-called left parties are forced to dress up their policies as socially “progressive” when in fact there is no fundamental difference between their policies and those of the right-wing conservative parties. Disillusionment with “left” governments leads in some cases to sizeable working class abstention and in others to shifts to the right in electoral terms. This allows right-wing parties to win the elections. When the left in government has failed, it is inevitable that a layer even of the working class will seek an answer by voting for whoever is in opposition.

    We saw this in France, Italy and Switzerland where, after historic class struggles and strike waves left parties lost the elections and right-wing forces won. In France and Switzerland the well-organized advanced layers of the working class could even defeat the government in the streets or reach partial victories through strikes, but they could not appeal to the whole of the working class on the electoral front because they do not have the necessary political means. This is because the traditional workers’ parties, those parties that are supposed to represent the interests of the working class, have been kidnapped by bourgeois careerists.

    Communist parties like the French PCF, the Italian PRC or the Spanish IU have suffered even more from the crisis of reformism. If communist parties adopt the logic of the market, leave the struggle of the workers behind and even join capitalist governments, workers punish them even more in the elections than they do social democrat parties because their betrayal appears even more glaring in the light of what their name stands for. Even when communist or left parties come up with left reforms within the market system, they often lose in the elections.

    That is because these communist parties are attempting to compete with the social-democratic parties on the basis of reformist ideas. When workers are asked to decide between two purely reformist parties, they tend to vote for the bigger of the two, which is often the social democrat one. On the other hand, a programme of left reforms within a system completely dominated by the world market and by the pursuit of greater and greater profits is a contradiction that workers can see. The crisis is so severe that only a radical change, a thorough transformation of society can solve the problems facing the working class.

    Human reason revolts against such a utopian programme that only middle class intellectuals ‑ who do not form a big electoral force ‑ find interesting. Even the bourgeois press is surprised at how, in the middle of a world economic crisis, when masses of people even in the advanced industrial countries have come to the conclusion that capitalism is responsible for this crisis, so-called left parties are not able to gain support. In Germany, when jobs are in danger and more than 50% of the population is in favour of nationalising companies, support for the SPD and the LINKE in the recent period has declined.

    How can one explain this apparent contradiction? The reformists draw the conclusion that they must shift even further to the right! Left parties, social democratic or “communist”, in the age of world capitalism can only provide an ideological answer to the ruling capitalist elite if they offer a global alternative to the capitalist mode of production and to the profit system. As long as capitalism is accepted as the basis for their policies by all the political parties – both bourgeois and workers’ parties – a section of the workers will tend to abstain, seeing no difference between the major parties, while many voters (especially among the more backward layers of the working class) can be pushed to vote for openly bourgeois conservative parties as they see no fundamental difference between the “left” and the “right”.

    This means that when the workers are seriously affected by the crisis, the political leaders of the working class parties, because of their policies of class collaboration, are unable to transform the strength and ripeness of mass consciousness into electoral and political victory.

    In Italy we see the biggest contradiction between the actual strength of the working class and its willingness to struggle on the one hand and the total lack of political representation of this process. The shift to the right on the part of the former Stalinist leaders of the old Communist Party (PCI) has been so extreme that they have actually dissolved themselves into a bourgeois party, the Democratic Party. To its left we have the PRC, which has kept alive the name of Communist Party, but whose leadership under Bertinotti dragged the party into coalition politics, supporting the Prodi government and thus taking responsibility for its anti-working class policies. This led to electoral collapse of the party last year, where it lost every single Member of Parliament and Senator. Thus there is no workers’ representative in the Italian parliament, despite the mass demonstration of 500,000 communist workers a few months before the elections in Rome. The election results in Italy last year reflected the complete decay of the pro-bourgeois leaders of the Italian communist movement and is a warning to the labour movement of the whole world.

    However, every experience teaches and the effect of this collapse of the left in Italy, has led to a questioning and a radicalisation among the ranks especially of the PRC, who are drawing conclusions that the party must abandon coalition politics and stand openly in defence of the interests of the working class.

    Thus we can see how, as frustration about official policies grows, so does the yearning for an entirely different society. The crisis of the last 30 years, like the crisis of the 20th century as a whole, is a crisis of the leadership of the parties of the working class and not a crisis of mass consciousness. This is what the reformist leaders and their petit bourgeois ideological advisers fail to understand.

    The golden ’60s?
    Many left activists nostalgically talk about the “good old days of the 1960s and 1970s”. At that time many more workers were organised in trade unions and politically active. Parties and trade unions stood for a socialist or communist ideology at least in words. Does this mean that at that time mass consciousness was higher, the workers were more educated and closer to the socialist ideal? This is a somewhat simplistic and superficial approach to the question. Revolutionary Marxism looks deeper below the surface of such empirical prejudice.

    The crisis of capitalism that unfolded in the late 1960s and 1970s led to revolutionary movements of the working class, with waves of strikes, general strikes and factory occupations. In the picture: strike at the Renault factory in Boulogne-Billancourt in May 1968.The greater authority that the leaders of the social democrat and communist parties had amongst workers and youth then was due to post-war economic boom that allowed them to actually implement reforms. Reformism seemed to be working, and thus these leaders had not yet been put to the test. At the same time the crisis of capitalism that unfolded in the 1970s led to revolutionary movements of the working class, with waves of strikes, general strikes and factory occupations, that shook the very foundations of capitalism in one country after another. This was accompanied by a mass student movement and radicalisation of the youth. All this had an impact on the mass organisations, within which mass left reformist – and in some cases centrist – currents emerged. This in turn made these organisations attractive and layer after layer of workers and youth entered these organisations.

    It was in this situation that the reformist and left-reformist leaders played a key role in derailing this movement. During the 1970s the idea that capitalism could be transformed into something human and better step-by-step was presented by these leaders as the only real road open to the working class. Because the movement was so strong, and because in many countries the bosses were forced to make concessions, this created the temporary illusion that such a policy could in fact work. However, the concrete experience of what subsequently happened led to widespread disillusionment. Reformism failed but the Marxists were too weak to fill the vacuum that had been created. This led to a gradual emptying out of the mass organisations, falling strike figures, falling trade union membership and in many cases electoral victories of the bourgeois parties, such as Thatcher’s victory in 1979.

    The approach of millions of workers and youth to these mass organisations today was prepared by those events. The approach of the workers is more sobered and also wide open to revolutionary concepts and ideas. The speed at which the ideas of socialism can penetrate the consciousness of the masses can be seen in Venezuela, where within just a few weeks six million people joined a party (the PSUV) that declared that the overcoming of capitalism and the socialist transformation of society were the most important and immediate tasks of the day.

    What is true of the 1960s is that, once there was a mass movement of the working class, it was reflected relatively quickly and directly within the traditional mass organisations. This was possible because capitalism still had a certain potential to grant reformist concessions. Consequently the political workers’ parties still could offer some real reforms in order to create the illusion of real progress in order to direct them into reformist channels. The authority and organisational potential of left parties in the 1960s also enabled them to hold back the mass workers’ movements for a considerable amount of time. We have seen how in the big general strikes that took place in more than one country in the past few years and all the other major strike waves that have taken place, today’s leaders of the working class parties do not have the same authority, and therefore ability to hold back the working class to the same degree that did in the past.

    In the past the influence of the Soviet Union, the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions, allowed the Stalinist leaders in the West to bask in the authority of these revolutions. This provided them with the necessary authority to hold back the advanced layers in the industrialised countries, but also to put forward disastrous strategies and tactics in the former colonial countries.

    One consequence of this was the illusion among many of the youth that the “armed struggle” was the only road. They did not understand the question of the leadership of the working class, and therefore rejected the classical methods of mass struggle, of strikes and general strikes. They drew the wrong conclusions and developed the idea that the working class was incapable of leading a revolution and that therefore someone had to do it for them. This we saw in countries like Argentina and Uruguay. Tens of thousands of young revolutionaries died to no effect but that of strengthening the existing right-wing dictatorships and of isolating the advanced layers from the struggles of the working class. The forms that the class struggle is taking today in Latin America are those of mass mobilisations, and this will prove to be a hundred times more fruitful than the guerrilla tactics of the 1960s and 1970s.

    In the end, however, the traditional mass organisations could not prevent real revolutionary processes, despite their attempts to derail the movement. A whole layer of advanced workers and youth (tens of thousands) in the advanced capitalist countries moved decisively in the direction of revolution, pushing their organisations to the left. In many countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, among others, the situation was such that it could have ended in a successful revolution if a genuine mass revolutionary organisation had been present.

    What we can say about today’s situation is that due to the lack of authority of the present leadership of the mass organisations and, more importantly, because there is a lot less room for genuine reformist concessions in today’s capitalism, the leadership of the mass organisations in the coming revolutionary upheavals will find it much more difficult to channel the movement as they did in the 1970s. In fact, the only way they can regain their lost authority is by moving to the left. This will mean that in the coming period either the leaders will be forced to the left or they will be replaced by other leaders who better express the shift to the left within the ranks. What has happened recently in Italy in the PRC is an example of this, where the old leadership tainted with coalition politics has been replaced by a leadership that – at least in words – rejects such politics.

    The examples of Germany and Austria
    Measuring “consciousness” is not a simple straightforward task. We would argue that in many ways consciousness in the most industrialised countries of the world today is actually higher than in the 1970s, and this fact is actually confirmed by bourgeois institutions. The renowned German Allensbach Institute for public opinion polls has analysed for decades public opinion regarding the values of equality and liberty and has come to conclusions that have terrified bourgeois journalists. In the 1970s and 1980s less than one third of the population preferred equality. Today most Germans would prefer to live in a country without rich and poor. Many think that Socialism is a good idea that was implemented in a bad way. Another astonishing fact is that the reputation of the market economy has never been so low since the Institute started its research. A huge majority of Germans do not want to live in a “market economy system”. The number of people who expressed this opinion in polls in the early stages of the movement of the seventies was far lower. Austrian opinion polls have come up with similar conclusions, although Austria is presently behind Germany in terms of class struggle.

    An opinion poll of the bourgeois IMAS institute found that 67% of the population thinks that living standards will decline for them in the future. The last time the mood of the population was so bad was in 1974, the year of the oil shock and the first simultaneous post-war worldwide recession. People are not just worried about rising prices. According to one of the institute’s experts, “people no longer feel that they live in a safe world. They are concerned about the poor quality of jobs and about the state of care for elderly people. They are afraid of financial crises that erupt like natural disasters”. According to this institute more than a million Austrians are deeply affected by a feeling of insecurity, and not only poor people, but also people with a monthly income of up to €4000. The expert concludes that social cohesion is in danger and that what we are seeing is an accumulation of social tension.

    The role of the mass organisations
    Having said all the above, one may accept the fact that consciousness today may be very high, and possibly even higher than in the 1960s, but as it cannot be expressed via the mass organisations such a fact has no practical meaning. That, however, would be an undialectical approach to the question. The fact that this is the situation today does not mean that it cannot change, and change very rapidly at that. It is true that the traditional mass organisations have moved to the right to an unprecedented degree. But this does not make them immune from the pressure of the masses. All it means is that it will take more to move them. Initially that bureaucratic encrustation on the surface may take longer to remove. But at a certain point of the class struggle the dam of the traditional apparatus must burst.

    In reality the real cause of the extreme shift to the right on the part of the leaders of the mass organisations is that these “leaders” fear a reflection of the class struggle within their own ranks more than at any time since the end of the Second World War. The bureaucracy does not want to give the slightest hope, knowing that the aspirations of the masses may develop their own inner dynamics and come into conflict with those of capitalism itself. The domination of the world market today is so relentless that any deviation from pro-capitalist policies will meet the sharpest and most hysterical resistance on the part of the bourgeois class, as we are beginning to see in many countries.

    However, at a certain point, when the pressure of the class becomes unbearable, especially when a left wing in the trade unions is formed, the bureaucracy of the labour movement will be forced to move to the left if it does not want to be replaced by more left-sounding leaders, by centrists who will be pushed in the direction of revolutionary politics or even by conscious Marxist revolutionaries. Workers will have to fight on the industrial field in order to defend their basic living standards. This vital necessity will forge militant tendencies within the Trade Unions. And this time, under the conditions of unprecedented instability and world economic crisis, either the leaders put themselves at the head of the movement or they will be removed and replaced by more left sounding leaders.

    As soon as the working class sees even the slightest possibility of social change via a traditional mass organisation its answer and reaction will be far beyond any expectations. In the not too distant future we will see a massive turn of the workers towards communist parties, where these have a base, and in countries like Austria and Britain also towards Labour and social democratic parties. A revival of the left within the mass organisations will take place at a certain point, and the fact that the authority of the right-wing reformist leaders is already very low today will make this process extremely explosive, once it starts.

    The first reflection of the class struggle in the workers’ organisations will take place inside the trade unions. This is because workers will simply have no other alternative but to fight in order to defend their standards of living. This first reflection of the class struggle is already taking place in some of the most industrialised countries, where we have seen leaders with more left-wing credentials replacing the openly right wing leaders. This process within the trade unions will at some stage spill over into the mass workers’ parties. The fact that at present the old right wing still dominates, which itself is a reflection of the low ebb of activity within the ranks, will initially represent a brake on this process. But this does not mean that at present nothing is happening in these parties.

    In many traditional workers’ parties we can already see signs of a first stirring. Ferment is taking place among activists and officials with roots in the working class, despite the emptiness of these organisations. We are not yet faced with a massive wave of newly radicalised activists entering the traditional mass workers’ parties as we saw in the late 1960s and 1970s. However, the disgusting moves to the right on the part of the top leaders, and the widening gap between the policy of these leaders and the real thinking of the working class, is already creating the basis for the first shifts to the left among some layers. In these conditions, at some point, important organised left wings can emerge within the communist parties and parties such as the British Labour Party or the Austrian Social democracy. Once such a left wing emerges it will attract the most militant workers and youth, who will not be seeking reformist ideas, albeit of the left-wing variety, but genuine Marxist ideas.

    In other parts of the world, especially in the former colonial countries, new mass organisations can emerge, such as the MAS in Bolivia or the PSUV in Venezuela. It is not completely excluded that new workers’ parties, in exceptional circumstances, can also emerge in some European countries. The main thing we need to understand is that even in such cases they will be thrown up by the mass movement. An example of such a development was the PASOK in Greece back in 1974. Once created, however, these parties assume the role of the more traditional mass forces.

    The lamentable situation that exists in most of the mass organisations today cannot block the molecular process of revolution forever. It is precisely the present world financial and economic crisis that will propel the class struggle and this in turn will be reflected inside the trade unions and the political parties of the working class. It will herald an entirely new stage in the class struggle in the industrialised countries, just as the South East Asian crisis in 1997 heralded a new stage for Latin America and the ex-colonial world as a whole.

    Not the masses but the leaders are the problem
    The crisis of humanity today, as in the whole of the 20th century, is the crisis of the leadership of the working class, which includes the leadership of the Communist, Labour and Social Democratic parties as well as the trade unions. Even those leaders that put forward a left reformist programme, at every decisive turning point prove to be unable to offer a real alternative policy to the main leadership. They may criticise this or that counter-reform, but in the end they accept the logic of capitalism by not presenting a concrete socialist alternative. The worst example of this kind of behaviour is the leader of the so-called left within the German SPD, Andrea Nahles. She could easily have taken over the party leadership after the disintegration of the Schröder leadership in 2005 but she stepped back from doing so and handed it back to the same right-wing clique again. Because she is incapable of offering a real alternative to the “practical constraints” of Grand-Coalition politics and class collaboration, she fears responsibility like the devil fears holy water.

    Even worse are the petit bourgeois intellectual lefts that seem to dominate in the academic world of the universities. They treat the working class as if it were an unintelligent mass that is incapable of “understanding”. From this flows their approach of attempting to carry out reforms for the workers. Their aim is to win one position after another, step by step, thus achieving “intellectual hegemony” directed against so-called neo-liberalism. This in effect means not mobilising the working class against capitalism. By accepting the logic of capitalism while proposing reforms that go against the logic of capitalism, and by believing that universities, state institutions, NGOs, the media and so on – anything but the organised working class – can be used as instruments of profound social change, these ladies and gentlemen only reveal their own lack of consciousness!

    The working class is conscious enough of its own position in society. It is fully aware of the fact that it is exploited, and that capitalism is an unjust society. They do not need to be told this. Workers can tolerate the injustices of capitalist society so long as jobs are being created and so long as capitalism can grant a modicum of a decent civilised existence. The problem arises when capitalism can no longer guarantee this minimum. Once capitalism enters into deep crisis all the ideas of the reformists are exposed for what they really are. The crisis of capitalism at some stage provokes class struggle on a grand scale and this in turn shakes all the mass workers’ organisations from top to bottom.

    It is in such a situation that the rising frustrations need to be expressed in some form. Its expression will inevitably be through the mass organisations. Once this process starts the workers will learn from bitter experience that reformism has no answers. In such a scenario a vacuum will appear within these organisations which the Marxists must be ready to fill. That will be in the form of a Marxist tendency that on the one hand can offer a real and concrete revolutionary alternative vision to the existing order of capital and to the policy of reformism. On the other hand it must sink roots within the traditional organisations of the working class. Thirdly it is necessary that revolutionary policy starts from the concrete needs and political aims of the masses and takes into account in a flexible manner their illusions, aspirations, traditions, and forms of organisation. To create this Tendency is the central task of the International Marxist Tendency fighting in over 40 countries on the planet.


  25. Tennessee-Chavizta said on May 4th, 2009 at 8:22am #

    Another problem of capitalism is that every thing in capitalist-systems is too expensive because of the *middle man* of capitalist economies. If we had a grand-system of nationalized state-owned economy, goods and services would be cheaper. Even real estate like apartments, houses and condos could be state-owned instead of the evil Remax and Century 21