Roundabout as Conflict-avoidance versus Malcolm X’s Psychology of Liberation

In the present essay I introduce the general notion of “roundabout” as a mechanism of conflict avoidance used by privileged social justice activists. I then contrast this pseudo-liberation activism with the needed true liberation activism of Malcolm X, which I argue to be consistent with the model of liberation of Freire.

INTRODUCTION

The now familiar concept of “pacifism as pathology” was introduced by Ward Churchill as the central characteristic of First-World middleclass so-called social justice activism. Churchill argued from history that all liberations were leveraged through violence and proposed that pacifism as cowardice was pathology.1

Gandhi stated that it was better to practice armed resistance than to use pacifism as an excuse for cowardice.2 Both men (Churchill and Ghandi) saw acceptance of and self-justification for one’s (legal or circumstantial) slavery as pathology.

Paulo Freire’s work showed that all hierarchies, no matter how cushioned in comfort, are violent and oppressive and argued that we could only fight our own oppression – that “solidarity” meant standing side by side with those fighting our same oppression. Freire advanced that all liberations had to be rooted in and driven by the struggles of the oppressed themselves no matter how underprivileged and that inter-social-class “solidarity” was insignificant and limited to rare individuals who joined in battle on the front lines.3

Churchill concentrated on the use of pacifism as an excuse to avoid the needed direct confrontation with the oppressive system. He and others have deconstructed and exposed First World pacifism as avoidance; including mainstream life-style environmentalism, ecological or economic isolationism, love ideologies, and so on, when taken to be activisms in themselves. These authors did not explore the main creative active strategies whereby pacifism can be enacted.

I explore the latter strategies of evasive action (roundabout) used by the most activist-minded sector of concerned citizens.

My goal is to provide a radical self-criticism for dedicated anti-hierarchy (social justice) activists to help ensure that we are as effective as possible and are not simply fooling ourselves. I hope that my analysis will help us to more easily recognize when we are fooling ourselves and wasting our energies and will help us to identify optimally effective outlooks and strategies.

EXAMPLES OF ROUNDABOUT

Education and progressive legislation

Here is an example. A visible minority suffers racism. As a way of avoiding effective direct challenges to this racism, members of this visible minority ally themselves (in “solidarity”) with privileged social justice activist whites in order to train the majority societal group away from overt racist behaviour using social engineering managed by the establishment — using sponsored “education” and progressive legislation.

As a result, a privileged class of educated and integrated whites become self-conscious about racist behaviour and self-censor their racist expression, the establishment strengthens its illusion of fairness, and the minority looses its ability and perceived legitimacy for effective direct daily confrontations against now-more-covert racism.

A victim in this particular roundabout is the collaborating visible minority because it puts its efforts in collaborating and its hopes in the social engineering rather than practice its liberation. It denies itself praxis (in the sense of Freire) and instead integrates itself more fully with the oppressive dominant hierarchy, thereby becoming more oppressed and more of an oppressor. Other victims are the lower social class individuals of the visible minority who loose actual solidarity with the now more integrated higher social class individuals of the visible minority and who are saddled with a stronger establishment more able to deflect their legitimate and persistent interests.

The above described roundabout is common as a general model for any oppressed group in a “free and democratic” First World setting: women, queers, blacks, language or cultural minorities, working class, working poor, homeless, disabled, non-status, elderly, disease-infected, professional workers, students, migrant workers, colonized aboriginals, prisoners, consumers, wage earners, tenants, home owners, single fathers, single mothers, and so on.

The above example involves a social class divide of the oppressed group but the class divide is not an essential feature because the roundabout is equally effective when there is no underclass of the oppressed group.

The essential feature of this roundabout is that the collaboration with the establishment, with the hierarchical system of control, is a conscious or unconscious diversion (in terms of personal psychology and personal resource allocation) away from effective direct confrontations, away from the praxis of liberation and away from Freire’s needed revolt and authentic rebellion.

The dominant group partner in this roundabout also avoids its own immediate oppressions, instead of its members practicing their liberation. As a result of this dedicated exercise of avoidance, members of the dominant group partner in the roundabout are perpetually depressed, in search of “hope”, and routinely experience “burn out” despite self-identifying as privileged. This is because the authentically concerned dominant group partners (as opposed to the cynical higher-hierarchical-level dominant group partners such as law and policy makers) are attempting to removed themselves from their own pain and have denied themselves any possibility of directly and effectively addressing their own immediate oppression.

Organizing and politics

Another example of roundabout is when a concerned and sensitized individual, often burdened with survival guilt associated with his/her relative privilege and damaged by an institutionalization (school, work, etc.) against which he/she has no personal experience of effective resistance, identifies an injustice needing to be redressed and launches into “organizing” as a substitute for immediate and direct action, as a substitute for initiating a praxis of liberation focussed on one’s own oppression.

This type of organizing is based of recruiting membership, education regarding the issues, building a growing pool of progressive opinion, and so on, but it guards itself against “radical” actions that would scare off potential allies and clings instead to the mythology of a critical mass of opinion as a motor for societal change.4,5

In contrast, organizing that supports liberation is driven by the need for efficient learning, protection and power amplification in a group of individuals already joined in solidarity via their practices of liberation. It is an organizing that is an organic part of the praxis, not a holding pattern of risk and confrontation avoidance.

Deferring societal agency

In another roundabout, the concerned and sensitized individual makes a conscious decision to temporarily sacrifice himself/herself to fully integrate the system and to seek advancement within the hierarchy with the rationalization that he/she will be more able to make positive change once a sufficient degree of power and influence is achieved.

The nature of a hierarchy is of course such that this is impossible. The rare individuals who break free from the top layers are expelled from the establishment. The other climbers serve the system astonishingly well or blame themselves for failure and drop out if they cannot.

The sacrifice of willing integration is a large price to pay if the individual does not discover rebellion and creative anti-hierarchical sabotage as methods to change the system from within. Workers and students play the system to survive and their suffering is evident in absenteeism (both physical and mental), indifference, detachment, cynicism, escapism, self-destruction, and so on.

This process and these difficulties are described by Schmidt for the case of professional.6 Adapted to our schooling, this is the story of our institutionalization into the hierarchy, into an economy controlled by concentrated power. In this sense, student liberation during the developmental years would be a most fertile ground for societal transformation.7 This is why schools are guarded from outside influence and from ideological divergence as rigorously or more than prisons.8

Anytime the individual substitutes direct self-defence using his/her body, language, personal influence in community and personal power at school or at work for some indirect or circuitous make-work near-zero-risk scheme that involves going along or convincing others to also not act, then the individual is practicing roundabout rather than liberation activism.

MALCOLM X ON LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY

The Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence) was founded in 1966, one year after the murder of Malcolm X. The spectre of such an organized and focussed resistance was the main concrete driving force which led to significant civil rights gains for blacks. The Black Panther Party was eliminated by the white state’s (FBI) political assassination unit known as COINTELPRO which was also involved in the Malcolm X assassination. Today, US blacks disproportionately populate the lowest economic class and US prisons.

In the words of Rev. Albert Cleage:

Malcolm X was tremendously important, beyond our comprehension today … Malcolm laid down certain basic principles that we can never forget. He changed the whole course. The first basic principle that Malcolm laid down that we can’t forget is this: The white man is your enemy. That is a basic principle, we can’t forget it. I don’t care what else they drag in from wherever they drag it – remember one thing, Malcolm taught one truth: The white man is our enemy. We can’t get away from it, and if we accept and understand that one basic truth, his life was not lived in vain. Because upon that one basic truth we can build a total philosophy, a total course of action for struggle. Because that was the basic confusion which distorted the lives of black people, with corrupted the movements of black people.

He didn’t just say it … he went out and he lived it. He asked for moments of confrontation. He said we have got to break our identification, we can’t go through life identifying with the white man or his government. … We must break our identification with the enemy, we must confront him, and we must realize that conflict and violence are necessary parts of a struggle against an enemy – that is what he taught. Conflict, struggle, and violence are not to be avoided. Don’t be afraid of them…9

This foundational principle that in the hierarchical oppression of blacks your enemy is your enemy can be generalized to any particular hierarchical oppression and to all oppressions by hierarchies.

The oppressor by nature is your enemy. You cannot collaborate with your enemy devoted to your oppression and come out ahead. At best, you will be used and transformed into your enemy.

Malcolm X’s psychology of liberation is one where you recognize that the oppressor is an enemy that you cannot integrate, where you know that this enemy can only be deterred by your strength and your willingness to defend yourself.

In this psychology, like in Freire’s, you do not fight the enemy in order to replace him in a hierarchy. You fight for liberation, not for an opportunity to create your own system of oppression. But you fight. You understand that this is an enemy and that all hierarchies can only violently oppress.

If it’s not clear that you are oppressed or that your oppressor is your enemy, then not only are you trapped and confused but you also protect and serve the oppressor. And you act against all those who are oppressed by the oppressor. You collaborate.

One does not like to live during a time of war and one does not like to have enemies. But this is a time of war and you are harmed by the system, denied your full humanity, as surely as the million directly killed in Iraq and as surely as those held in the open air prison known as Gaza and illegally maintained by Israel.

By not fighting your own oppression directly as an individual person you protect the same system that practices these war crimes. By not understanding in your pores that this system and those who sustain, protect and project it are your enemy until they stop, by not understanding this, you are co-opted into collaborating and into denying yourself your own liberation.

You can’t even start a praxis of liberation until you start to recognize the enemy. And you can’t sustain the struggle without knowing who the enemy is and that he is the enemy.

There is an us and them. You are oppressed and you have an oppressor. Indeed, you are oppressed by an entire hierarchical system of oppression. You target where you can best defend yourself, where you will inflict the most punishment. Call it punitive justice.

As soon as you loose sight that you are dealing with an enemy, then you are part of the oppressor. All the internal and external forces will make every attempt to confuse you on this point and to buy or to force your cooperation. In particular, those who invest in roundabout will vehemently pressure and coerce you to follow them because you represent a threat to their psychological investment.4,5

CONCLUSION

If I keep my individual personal agency, my direct ability to have influence, my direct bodily ability to defend myself against my oppressor understood to be my enemy, at the point of my strongest connection to my oppressor, then I will not partake in roundabout. I will have all my available resources for my praxis of liberation which will naturally include organizing and community.

  • This essay was first posted on the Activist Teacher blog.
    1. Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill, 1986. []
    2. Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict: What we can learn from Gandhi” by Norman G. Finkelstein, 2009. []
    3. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, 1970. []
    4. On the racism and pathology of left progressive First-World activism” by Denis G. Rancourt, 4 August 2010. [] []
    5. The Activist Wars” by Denis G. Rancourt, 19 August 2009. [] []
    6. Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt, 2000. []
    7. Need for and Practice of Student Liberation” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. []
    8. The Student as Nigger” by Jerry Farber, 1969. []
    9. Myths about Malcolm X” by Rev. Albert Cleage, speech delivered in Detroit, February 24, 1967. []

    Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. While he was at the University of Ottawa, he supported student activism and opposed the influence of the Israel lobby on that institution, which fired him for a false pretext in 2009: LINK. Read other articles by Denis, or visit Denis's website.

    90 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. Rehmat said on August 25th, 2010 at 8:12am #

      Malcolm X, a descendant of American slaves – advised the Americans how to get rid of their centuries-old racism: “America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered White – but the White attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their colors….”

      http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/israel-american-racist-culture/

    2. hayate said on August 25th, 2010 at 9:50am #

      Very interesting article.

    3. MichaelKenny said on August 25th, 2010 at 11:27am #

      Ever since I read, as a child, Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, I have been suspicious of people who spout gobbledegook! Particularly academics, who should have no need of it. And, of course, a man with a grudge is a bad counselor.

    4. hayate said on August 25th, 2010 at 11:44am #

      mk

      “a man with a grudge is a bad counselor.”

      You ought to know…? :D

    5. teafoe2 said on August 25th, 2010 at 12:03pm #

      MK, are you claiming that Malcolm X was a spouter of gobbledygook?

    6. teafoe2 said on August 25th, 2010 at 12:05pm #

      Alas, this sentence got away from the author, who winds up saying the exact opposite of what he intended to say: “Anytime the individual substitutes direct self-defence using his/her body, language, personal influence in community and personal power at school or at work for some indirect or circuitous make-work near-zero-risk scheme that involves going along or convincing others to also not act, then the individual is practicing roundabout rather than liberation activism.”

    7. teafoe2 said on August 25th, 2010 at 12:27pm #

      Interesting piece. The approach is a little too academic and syntactically convoluted for me. Of course I don’t have the same problems as a middleclass academic so I may not appreciate how effective it might be in that context. I do appreciate the quotes from Malcolm, also the references to Churchill and Friere.

      If I had been Prof. Rancourt’s editor I’d have suggested including a few quotes from Franz Fanon. But in the context of wyt middleclass activissism, it’s a strong statement.

      I’m reminded of Lani Guinier’s “Parable of the Cheese Grater”, which compares the trajectory of upward-mobile ambitious Black graduates to an attempt to climb an enormous Cheese Grater: every time one finds footing for a shoe, or grips a handhold, he/she loses a slice of what they were when they started. By the time one nears the top, what’s left isn’t worth mentioning, as we see in the case of this Obama.

    8. Deadbeat said on August 25th, 2010 at 1:24pm #

      I always wondered why the ISO embraced Malcolm X. I’m suspecting now it is to control the knowledge surrounding his message.

    9. Deadbeat said on August 25th, 2010 at 1:27pm #

      Hmmm,

      JFK … Malcolm X … MLK … RFK … 911

      Interesting.

    10. teafoe2 said on August 25th, 2010 at 2:52pm #

      Malcolm X was SO smart, so far ahead of his time. Thanks DB for posting this. I’m going to have to see what else he had to say on Topic #1 that’s accessible online.

      Will also chk out the ISO position re Malcolm. I’ve lost track of them since the ISO fraction of the CA GP was into Nader/Camejo, along with K Zeese. As Hegel observed, “Times Change”:)

      PS, thnx for kind words, much ‘prishated:) however IMO you and hayate deserve them more:) Kudos also to Rehmat and Mulga for their uniformly excellent work.

    11. Deadbeat said on August 25th, 2010 at 3:23pm #

      Malcolm X says …

      The modern 20th century weapon of neo-imperialism is “dollarism.” The Zionists have mastered the science of dollarism: the ability to come posing as a friend and benefactor, bearing gifts and all other forms of economic aid and offers of technical assistance. Thus, the power and influence of Zionist Israel in many of the newly “independent” African nations has fast-become even more unshakeable than that of the 18th century European colonialists… and this new kind of Zionist colonialism differs only in form and method, but never in motive or objective.

      This would help to explain why Zionists today are extremely upset with China.

    12. Doug Page said on August 26th, 2010 at 4:16pm #

      I wish Professor Rancourt would consider and deal with the concept of active nonviolence which is what Gandhi and MLKjr really practiced and not mere pacifism. There is a profound difference. It is the difference between non-cooperation with evil and actively seeking truth and justice with means consistent with the ends sought. Also, I wish that Rancourt would consider the argument of theologians Walter Wink and John Howard Yoder about the Myth of Redemptive Violence. Violence always causes retaliatory violence. Violence always involves the use of means that are inconsistent with and destructive of the ends sought. Would the Catholic Priests who vigil and go to jail to raise attention of the need to end torture be considered guilty white members of the hierarchy? Where would we be today if Malcolm X had persuaded every single Black to use violence? Blacks, in my view would be in the same position as Palestinians in Gaza. Wars for Peace never, never bring peace. Wars never make the world safe for democracy, except possibly very temporarily. Not even the good war, WWII. Not even our Civil War. We are still dealing with the hatreds underlying the Civil War 150 years later. There is a small group of human beings who profit hugely from our wars and things as they are. They have vast resources of propaganda, violence, infiltration, spying, and remote killing at their disposal. Would our organized violence against this small group of humans really be “realistic?” The mindset of the Second Amendment types who wish to arm themselves to resist evil as they see it, and to seek freedom as they see it, is not the mindset of the wise persons who will ultimately create a peaceful sustainable society for all humans. The use of the discipline of active nonviolence may be “contrary to human nature,” but it may be that very “human nature” that we must evolve to overcome, if we are truly to liberate ourselves and our fellow humans.
      Doug Page

    13. hayate said on August 26th, 2010 at 10:30pm #

      Doug Page said on August 26th, 2010 at 4:16pm

      A white person telling black people how to attain what black people seek and what to think about Malcolm X. Do you even know any black people? Someone who refers to WW2 as the “good war”. Tell that the surviving families and friends of the 50+ mil killed and millions more injured and had their live destroyed by the “good war”. The only thing good about that war is it ended. I could go on, but what would be the point, here.

    14. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 1:58am #

      Doug Page writes …

      Where would we be today if Malcolm X had persuaded every single Black to use violence?

      We’d be better off. This notion of “non-violence” is ridiculous. It took a Civil War to end slavery.

    15. PatrickSMcNally said on August 27th, 2010 at 6:43am #

      > Where would we be today if Malcolm X had persuaded every single Black to use violence?

      Better to ask where would we be today if Karl Kautsky had persuaded Vladimir Lenin to support the bourgeois reformers such as Alexander Kerensky? Malcolm X was more on-target when he was asked whether he could name any whites who had aided blacks in America and he responded with:

      “Yes, I can think of two. Hitler, and Stalin. The black man in America couldn’t get a decent factory job until Hitler put so much pressure on the white man. And then Stalin kept up the pressure…”

      That’s recounted in his autobiography.

      I can actually agree that what King did probably was the best option available in the circumstances of that time. The white working class in the USA was experiencing a burst of prosperity in the postwar economy. Proletarian revolution was clearly off of the table. But colonial uprisings around the world were posing a challenge to imperialism which was augmented by the great power status achieved by the Soviet Union. There was a definite pressure on the US ruling class to demonstrate that bourgeois reform works best, and the nature of postwar economic growth meant that there was also a lot of elbowroom to allow such reform. King probably did make the right decision for that time when he attempted to take advantage of these circumstances. But it’s problematic when people start talking about King as if he provided a general working model for anything.

    16. Don Hawkins said on August 27th, 2010 at 7:20am #

      There was a definite pressure on the US ruling class to demonstrate that bourgeois reform works best, and the nature of postwar economic growth meant that there was also a lot of elbowroom to allow such reform.

      Just maybe there is no ruling class a myth, illusion the system is now in control. How can a system be in control of human’s well turn off the electricity. Suppose tomorrow we find a new source of energy a small building could supply all the power for a city. Well in the present system oh my God pave every last inch of Earth.

    17. Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 7:34am #

      So, what exactly is the work model you propose, PatrickSMcNally?

    18. Rehmat said on August 27th, 2010 at 8:32am #

      I bet, if Malcolm X (1925-1965) had been alive, he would have been the first person to reject Rancourt’s analogy. After claiming that Malcolm X may have been assassinated by the FBI agents – Rancourt quotes Rev. Albert Cleage’s memorial speech, which Cleage gave at Socialist Forum in Detriot on February 24, 1967, in which he refused to believe that Malcom X after performing Hajj in Mekkah and visiting several Muslim countries have transformed from a White-hating Black into a Muslim believing in Qur’anic injunction that all humans, irrespective of their color, nationality and gender, are equal in the eyes of the Lord (Allah).

      Here is what Malcolm X really believed during his last three years as a Muslim, as qouted by his autobiographer, Alex Haley:

      You’re asking me “Didn’t you say that now you accept white men as brothers?” Well, my answer is that in the Muslim world, I saw, I felt, and I wrote home how my thinking was broadened! Just as I wrote, I shared true, brotherly love with many white-complexioned Muslims who never gave a single thought to the race, or to the complexion, of another Muslim.

      My pilgrimage broadened my scope. It blessed me with a new insight. In two weeks in the Holy Land, I saw what I never had seen in thirty-nine years here in America. I saw all races, all colors, — blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans — in true brotherhood! In unity! Living as one! Worshipping as one! No segregationists — no liberals; they would not have known how to interpret the meaning of those words.

      In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again — as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks

      http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/malcolm-crucified/

    19. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 10:43am #

      Dear DV Coeditors:

      what happened to the comment I posted which took issue with the comment posted by Doug Page? Did you find it “too rude”?

      Thank you,
      t42

    20. PatrickSMcNally said on August 27th, 2010 at 1:21pm #

      > what exactly is the work model you propose

      I’m not really sure of what a “work model” is supposed to mean here, but if you simply mean what party have I cast votes for in the past, then I can say that I wrote in the candidates for the Socialist Equality Party in 2008

      http://wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/elec-s13.shtml

      and 2004:

      http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jan2004/stat-j27.shtml

      Not that I have any interest in turning this board into a campaign speech for any party candidates anywhere. But it should be noted that ultimately only the building of an actual socialist party of some form can provide an actual program of action.

      The great strength and weakness, in my opinion, of Noam Chomsky has always been that he simultaneously understood better than many Leftists of the 1960s that only bourgeois reformism was possible in the Baby Boomer generation, and yet he managed to minimize the extent of gross pandering to the Democrats which usually overwhelmed many other Leftists. I mean the way that the Communist Party USA pretty much turned itself into a doormat for Democrats after the Henry Wallace campaign, while groups like the Progressive Labor Party rambled on as if they thought they were going to start a Maoist peasant army on the college campuses. Those were the dual dangers which basically tore the Left apart in the second half of the last century. Chomsky gained a special credibility for awhile simply because he was (in relative terms) more careful about slipping too far into either side of the rabbit hole. His open declaration in 2004 that people in swing states should vote for Kerry was proof that he had now fallen into the same pit which had claimed Earl Browder more than 6 decades earlier.

      Whatever the pros and cons of any of the specific parties today, ultimately a new socialist party will have to arise for anything concrete to be done. I only referenced the SEP as maybe one of the better examples of a functioning socialist party today, but I could be easily convinced that some other type of party might be necessary in the end. What people do need to get over is the illusion that simple protest politics in itself will really change much without a functioning party. That is an illusion which has been left over with us from the 1960s when capitalism was in a state which allowed profits and reform to be reconciled. To the extent that Chomsky has added to the credibility of this illusion with his ramblings about Marx and Bakunin, he has done some fundamental damage.

    21. Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 3:35pm #

      “We’d be better off. This notion of “non-violence” is ridiculous. It took a Civil War to end slavery.”

      Oh really? So you really believe that schoolboy nonsense?

      Violence begets violence. It’s a truism that is observable throughout history. The opposite of violence is not pacifism. It’s called peace.

    22. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 4:00pm #

      here we go again. “schooboy nonsense”. hohum.

      passivism when somebody is raping your daughter is not “Peace”.

      There is no Peace without Justice.

    23. Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 4:19pm #

      teafoe/dan e and what does what you just posted have to do with my last comment? Let me answer that for you: absolutely nothing.

    24. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 4:31pm #

      well maybe you’re too simple to get the connection.

      I know you love your peace & quiet but Peace, Peace, there is no peace. Just because no bombs are falling on your particular head does not mean that peace has broken out everywhere.

      “No Justice, No Peace”.

    25. Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 4:41pm #

      My guess is teafoe2/dan e that you’re a lot of talk; and mostly it’s just words words words. Otherwise you wouldn’t be “here” round the clock typing away…you did say you think fast…maybe that’s the problem. Slow down and really think sometime. Write less, think more.

      None of us know what Malcolm X or MLK or Ghandi would say or do if they were here today. With the exception of Ghandi, the others were quite young and still evolving…who knows.

      By the way, teafoe2/dan e it’s interesting that Denis Rancourt refers to Norman Finkelstein on the issue of Ghandi and violence. Something for you rabid anti-zionists to chew on….

    26. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 5:11pm #

      here we go again, Max Shills and his amazing feats of ESP:)

      BTW, thanks for including me in the category of “rabid anti-zionists”. But sorry, thanks but no thanks, I have no interest in what Rancourt or Finklestein said.

      Speaking of thinking, have you ever pondered the fact that the title to the real estate where you raise your organic veggies is based on Right Of Conquest?

      The Status Quo IS violence.

    27. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 5:19pm #

      Max Sheilds writes …

      Oh really? So you really believe that schoolboy nonsense?

      Get some education Max. MLK was the preferred Negro. He was selected not elected by the elites and put in front of the Civil Rights Movement. What you are unaware of was the MILITANT actions by post-war Black prior to King. King was seen as a moderate and that is why he was preferred by the Liberal elites.

      Max, here’s a link to Malcolm X on Zionism The Liberal elites would never prefer anyone who speaks the truth and is willing to confront this issue head on.

      Nixon instituted Affirmative Action because of the militancy direction that the Black community was heading especially after King’s assassination especially with the Black Panther Party the last remain formation heading into the 1970′s.

      There is also a book that came out recently (I can’t remember the name but I listened to the interview) that directly challenge this “schoolbook” myth around “passive resistance”. If I find it I’ll post it.

      The passivity then to be promoted by Liberals and career “leftists” who use it as a means to disempower movements.

    28. PatrickSMcNally said on August 27th, 2010 at 5:50pm #

      > MLK was the preferred Negro.

      Strong evidence of that is given by Thedore Pappas, Plagiarism and The Culture War : The Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Other Prominent Americans. Pappas shows how King’s doctoral dissertation at Boston University was plagiarized from Jack Boozer’s thesis even down to the point where accidental errors made in Boozer’s paper are copied again in King’s thesis. Boston University kept the whole thing quiet when this could have been used to expose King as a plagiarist who was awarded a degree for copying someone else’s thesis.

    29. Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 6:00pm #

      Deadbeat says: “Get some education Max. MLK was the preferred Negro. He was selected not elected by the elites and put in front of the Civil Rights Movement. What you are unaware of was the MILITANT actions by post-war Black prior to King. King was seen as a moderate and that is why he was preferred by the Liberal elites…”

      And this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH MY COMMENTS on this thread.

      You and hayate, and teafoe2/dan e etc. etc. etc. are so strung out on Zionism and knowing it all that you haven’t time to think and reason…let alone read what someone has ACTUALLY posted.

      It’s laughable…and you’ve polluted this site with endless neophyte gobbledygock…

      I and other should refuse to argue with posters who have no desire for honest debate but rather to interject irrelevent responses.

      Deadbeat sometimes it sounds like you at least try. The others are so full of anti-whatever they don’t even know how much they sound like the horrible bigots they claim not to be.

    30. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 6:27pm #

      I hope a certain poster I’ve had trouble with in the past will ignore this comment, because it is not directed to him nor is it about his assertions.

      I’m really bummed out because my earlier response to Doug Page somehow seems to have gotten lost in the software. If it wasn’t Friday Nite I’d email the webmaster & see if it might be stuck in some corner of WordPress. But I do remember a couple points:

      I remember I mentioned the Deacons for Defense, and Robert Williams who led armed resistance to a KKK terrorist assault on the community where he lived. (forgotten the name of the city, it’ll be all over Google & Wikipedia). The community Self-Defense was a complete success; the kleaglery beat a hasty retreat back to their holes.

      I also cited the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, which climaxed when ILWU members led by the late Harry Bridges shot it out with the SFPD on the Embarcadero. Both the cops and the shipping magnates were so impressed by the longshoremens marksmanship that they were moved to grant the union organizers’ demands, which included a union-controlled Hiring Hall which ILWU Local Ten operates to this day.

      From that day until the present, ILWU members have enjoyed wages and conditions much better than members of the eastcoast ILO. Local Ten is still a major force in SF politics to this day, and recently conducted a one-day strike, refusing to load cargo for DOD adventures.

      In Northern Ireland’s Six Counties back in the early seventies, a group of mothers inspired by the example of MLKjr’s concept of nonviolence organized a non-violent Mothers March for Civil Rights. Of course Her Majesty wasn’t having any, and let the royal dogs out. End of non-violence movement.

      Non-violence ala Gandhi/MLKjr is a TACTIC. Armed Struggle and armed self-defense are likewise TACTICS. Either may be appropriate in a particular situation.

      Do I need to add that mindless violence, violence engaged in without careful consideration of the possible consequences, is always stupid and must be avoided?

    31. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 6:40pm #

      Max Shields wrties …

      And this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH MY COMMENTS on this thread.

      Let’s roll back the videotape …

      DB: “We’d be better off. This notion of “non-violence” is ridiculous. It took a Civil War to end slavery.”

      Max : Oh really? So you really believe that schoolboy nonsense?
      Violence begets violence. It’s a truism that is observable throughout history. The opposite of violence is not pacifism. It’s called peace.

      OK now that’s out of way my response is directed to your rebuttal. Peace is not the opposite to violence. Violence is a tactic used to bring about peace. I just finish watching a segment on Grit TV about a new documentary called Way Down In The Hole it is about the VIOLENT resistance of Colorado Coal Miners against the Rockefellers. This is your HISTORY Max and it appears that you are quite ignorant of it.

      What you are doing is promoting the system’s desire for mass PASSIVITY with all this “passive” resistance crap. It only works when there is MILITANCY.

      You and hayate, and teafoe2/dan e etc. etc. etc. are so strung out on Zionism and knowing it all that you haven’t time to think and reason…let alone read what someone has ACTUALLY posted.

      No Max it is Noam Chomsky who is “strung out” on Zionism. He proudly admit to being one. Therefore if you are an anti-Zionist and stand against racism then Chomsky should be the object of your ire. It appears to me Max that you’re upset with the people who stand against racism, Zionism and Capitalism.

      I take it then Max that you didn’t read the link I posted of Malcolm X on Zionism.

      I and other should refuse to argue with posters who have no desire for honest debate but rather to interject irrelevent responses.

      This is a new tactic. The article herein is about Malcolm X. I’m sure many readers here probably didn’t know that Malcolm X spoke out against Zionism way back in 1964 and died in the struggle against White oppression yet in 2010 the Left lauds a professed Zionist.

      Deadbeat sometimes it sounds like you at least try. The others are so full of anti-whatever they don’t even know how much they sound like the horrible bigots they claim not to be.

      No Max. It is Chomsky and his left-wing Zionist cohorts who’ve corrupted the Left that define bigotry.

    32. Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 7:41pm #

      Deadbeat, just stop it. I’m telling you your comments were not relevent to what I posted.

      I’m not “promoting” anything Deadbeat, least of all passivity; any more than I “promote” Chomsky or whatever you want to imagine. Pure delusion.

      When you smarty pants start making sense, we can have a serious discussion. This is a parody of pseudo-intellectual gibberish. I’m familiar with Malcolm X, MLK, and the history of the Civil War AND I know bull shit when I read it.

    33. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 8:13pm #

      No Comment!
      A serious discussion is antithetical with your agenda here.

    34. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 8:53pm #

      DB, I applaud your “No Comment”. No matter how bankrupt, offensive or absurd some “comments” truly are, quite often persons whose assertions don’t have a logical or factual leg to stand on have the capacity to spew insults at a rate it’s hard to match.

      It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally realized that among DV readers there are many who for whatever reason fail to perceive what is really at issue in many of these exchanges.

      So I think we have to lean over backwards to avoid saying anything that may seem to some readers, or to the coeditors, excessively personal or mocking. We need to deprive various parties of any grounds to claim “Well, they started it”.

      It is my belief that if deprived of the opportunity to resort to personal insults and profanity, these persons will find it extremely difficult to defend indefensible statements and attitudes.

      Hopefully,
      T42

    35. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 10:54pm #

      Thanks T42,

      The tone of the arguments from our resident trolls has become quite nasty since the Hammond brawl. The hasaBRATS are really pissed off.

    36. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 4:47am #

      I thought you were the troll. No?

    37. Hue Longer said on August 28th, 2010 at 6:14am #

      teafoe2 said,
      “I have no interest in what Rancourt or Finklestein said”.

    38. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 6:14am #

      T42/dan e so you think that when someone disagrees with someone, when someone misrepresents what they’ve said, they are making “absurd” comments?

      So DB calling one a troll is certainly within your bounds of civility, is it?

      The arguments here are never direct. They are generally mis-directed. We can for a moment assume that you have not called me an idiotboy merely because you disagreed with a comment I made. We can assume DB has not repeatedly called me and others Chomskyites (as if this is a derogative name) to shut down discussion and to deal directly with the comments being made rather than compartmentalizing into some phony ad hominem. Ok, we can assume you have not been insiting regular barages of attacks on anyone who does not see eye to eye with your opinions.

      So, let’s call this a new beginning. Let’s talk about why socialism is not the new silver bullet; why you may find Henry George less than adequate for what we need. Let’s talk about violence as a means to some end and how violence like war may never lead to last peace (nor justice). Let’s talk.

    39. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 9:05am #

      Okay. Let us have a new beginning. You can start by addressing me as Teafoe2 or T42.

      Next, please stop distorting the record. It is not true that I have been “insiting” (whatever that means, “inciting” maybe?)regular barrages of attacks on “anyone who does not see eye to eye…etc”.

      If you have been following the comments posted here over the last month, you will have noted that I have found myself in disagreement with a number of other posters. But only in a few cases did I attempt to use the weapon of riducule, because except in a few cases, even though I disagreed with the opinions expressed, neither the poster or the opinion seemed to me ridiculous or motivated by an intent to perpetuate oppression.

      So let’s be clear from the outset what we’re talking about. Yes, I usually find your ideas absurd and when I do, I usually say so. But please don’t try to confuse the issue by vague references to “someone”.

      There is a great deal more that needs to be cleared up, but I don’t want to bore the DV readership by trying to rehash it all at this point.

      For now, please make it clear to the readership that I never called Socialism a “silver bullet”, nor did I ever claim that merely invoking the term offered a comprehensive solution to our — by “our” I mean propertyless persons like myself — problems.

      As it happens, while researching the Bilderbergers the other day I stumbled onto some crackpot sites. One displayed a link to Robert Michels, who despite winding up supporting Mussolini had some interesting ideas. The Michels site turned out to have links to a number of forgotten turn of the 20th “theorists”, including George, Daniel DeLeon, Debs and others.

      So with you in mind I opened the George page, read the bio and a synopsis of his ideas. I’m sorry, but I refuse to waste time discussing George or Georgism. It’s not worth talking about, in my opinion.

      So go ahead and expound it if you must. I won’t have time to deal with your offerings point by point, and I doubt the DV readership would find it of much interest. It is a fact that I myself, like most people, find George’s ideas of interest only to collectors of curiousities. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but that’s the honest truth.

      As I said before, to me the essence of Socialism, or of any viable system of ordering economic and political relations which may be instituted following the dismantling of the current setup, is the Abolition of Private Property in the Means of Production.

      Okay, the ball is in your court. ??

    40. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 10:00am #

      teafoe2 you can start by addressing by Max.

      Personally, I really don’t care why you use ridicule at times, and not others. You find “my” ideas absurd, but these are rarely soley my ideas. What it appears you find absurd are ideas you don’t share for some reason.

      You don’t have to discuss George or Georgism, but than don’t raise it and ridicule it. How’s that? For those not following back on another thread teafoe2 brought into the discussion out of the blue Henry George and with a show of disgust and disdain – irrelevent to the topic but meant to get my goat.

      I come here because I find many of the articles to be interesting, many I agree with in part or whole and some I find repetitive. (I don’t think we need four more reasons to hate Zionists for instance…we can beat that horse until its turned into dust…).

      So, teafoe2 you don’t have to talk about ecosystems or Henry George or any of the topics I might bring up because you find them absurd. If you want to discuss why you find them absurd, I’ll read and see if it’s worth responding.

      Btw, I never said you called “socialism” a silver bullet. I was simply suggesting that that could be a topic of discussion.

    41. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 10:07am #

      “As I said before, to me the essence of Socialism, or of any viable system of ordering economic and political relations which may be instituted following the dismantling of the current setup, is the Abolition of Private Property in the Means of Production.”

      This is surprising, since the abolition of land (nature) as a commoditized property is exactly what Henry George called for; i.e., the socialization of the commons. But the, teafoe2 I recall you don’t agree with the notion of the commons or the need to reclaim them which would be the basis of a socialization program. No? If not why?

      Do you think your work should be taxed?

    42. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 10:15am #

      IMO it is important to have an very accurate clear picture of the narrow top section of the US Power & Wealth pyramid.

      I post this here as an example of why I refuse to be drawn into a discussion of Henry George or Religious Pacifism.

      To me it is obvious that the Jewish Zionist element within said top echelon occupies the very pinnacle of policy-determining Power. What portion of Invested Wealth is legally owned by this group is less clear, but it certainly approaches parity with any other identifiable grouping.

      Add the fact that Zionist Jews occupy nearly all the spots in the top level of the “Financial”, or FIRE sector. Add in control of the MSM. Add the daily demonstrated servility of the Congress. Ditto the White House.

      So it seems to me, that while other capitalist elements may still rival the ZPCers in total recorded wealth, at this time the ZPC has assumed leadership of the class as a whole.

      Until fairly recently, it appears that the rest of the class has gone along with this new configuration quite willingly. Many undoubtedly benefit from some ZPC-launched initiatives; Africa may be a good example.

      Many super-rich persons prefer to spend their time racing cars or yachts, and are perfectly content to let “the Jews” do most of the heavy lifting required to keep the system going. Others may have reservations about this or that pro-Zion policy, but find it wiser to keep their heads below the parapet.

      Some Industrial Capital and similar elements do seem to have major objections to some ZPC projects and policies; the clamor for a First Strike on Iran seems to have aroused more intra-rulingclass dissent that we’ve seen for a long time.

      A problem for grassroots activists opposed to US military adventures, DOD crimes vs humanity etc, is that such an immense apparatus operates 24/7 working to perpetuate the idea that the ZPC is just a minor component of the imperial system, and can’t be considered any more important, when it comes to starting wars/occupations/interventions, than the rest of the big capitalists.

      This results in the “antiwar movement” and “the Left” (sic) giving the Zionists and those who actively support the Zionist 5th Column a free pass.

      BTW, I did a little research on the Bilderbergers. It turns out my impression of it was at best out-of-date.
      I found a list of attendees of their recent conference; my impression is that it has undergone the same kind of takeover as the major Republican and Dumocrat thinktanks. Several PNAC signatories stood out on the list.
      David Rockefeller is still a member, but I saw no other names I could identify as Rockefeller loyalists. I think he’s just being kept around for windowdressing, after all he’ll be in the triple digits in a few months.

      So it looks to me like the Bilderbergers are now PART of the ZPC, rather than representing a divergent element of the big bourgeoisie.

    43. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 10:38am #

      Dear Max: Land is only one kind of private property enjoying police/military protection under capitalist legal systems such as the US Constitution and the English Common Law. In my view and that of most socialists and anarchists, all forms, including all types of material Constant Capital, Wall St equities and bonds, Treasury CDs, and all others, must be de-privatized.

      I am not very concerned about the fairness or efficiency of tax systems under capitalism. I am not a propertyowner.

    44. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 10:55am #

      teafoe2 here’s where a little clarity may help. “Land” in economic terms is not only terra firma, but all of nature. Without it you have no material world. It is the basis of all production. Equities, deritatives and the like are pure speculation. High-speed/way robbery. Agree that our whole monetary system needs to be removed from private issuance (banks) based on debt/loan.

      Our banking system should be publically owned. The Commons is not simply open space, but everything that can be monopolized, such as pension funds, health care, education, commuication. So things like net-neutrality are part of the commons and should not be privately held. All of which is a Georgist position by the way.

      That said, there are limits to Georgist thinking. HG, like Marx, lived in a world where nature seemed limitless and so much of what they said regarding production and industrialization are connected to that time and place. We now see more clearly the limits. And it is this limitation that should form a more “viable” economic system.

    45. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 11:19am #

      Max: Your emotional state is of no concern to me. What does concern me is that you persist in posting anti-Liberation, pro-Capitalism and ultimately pro-Izreal propaganda.

      I think it might be helpful to some trying to evaluate your posts if they were aware that you continue to offer the ideas of H George as somehow relevant to the current crises. They aren’t; that you cling to them indicates to me that you must have a “screw loose somewhere”.

      Either you have an unusual degree of difficulty following reasoned argument, or you are being deliberately obtuse: “(I don’t think we need four more reasons to hate Zionists for instance…we can beat that horse until its turned into dust…).”

      Max, Max, the goddammed State of “Isreal” is a long long way from turning into dust. The goddam Zionist Fifth Column has not turned into dust. The Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is not crumbling away. The Zionist Consensus continues to dominate the MSM and nearly all the “alternative” media, including most websites maintained by Arab Americans or Muslims, in one form or another.

      When DB, hayate, myself, and others talk about Zionism, our main purpose is not to provide “more reasons to hate” a “deadhorse”. We’re not just talking about a disgusting racist ideology. We are talking about a POWER, about a group of human beings who have siezed enormous power, military, propaganda, financial POWER, and are using it to harm and kill other human beings.

      Every time you try to poohpooh this concern, as you do again right in the middle of our “new beginning” by characterizing expressions of concern about Zionism as a “dead horse”, to me you betray an inability to grasp the reality of the present crisis.

      The Zionist Power Configuration has taken total control of the US government. Some of us see this as an extremely dangerous development. Those who like Chomsky and his ilk try to minimize this development or the danger it poses are, in my view, carrying water for the racist state of “isreal”, its 5th Column in the US, and the entire Zionist Power Configuration including the massive ideological apparatus deployed to defend and perpetuate Zionist ideological hegemony.

      In my view, as long as you persist along the line you have taken, you risk becoming yourself a part of said apparutus. I’d give it some thought if I were you.

    46. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 11:31am #

      “Equities, deritatives and the like are pure speculation. High-speed/way robbery”.

      Which may be true enough, but until the Capitalist State is dismantled, they are forms of POWER.

      Power to command labor, power to appropriate resources, power to monopolize public services, power to perpetuate lies, power to start wars, interventions, occupations, counterinsurgencies, Cointelpro programs.

      Therefore the priority is to find a way to dismantle the Capitalist State.

    47. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 11:45am #

      teafoe2 “Max: Your emotional state is of no concern to me. What does concern me is that you persist in posting anti-Liberation, pro-Capitalism and ultimately pro-Izreal propaganda. ”

      What has anything I’ve posted have to do with “anti-Liberation, pro-Capitalism and ultimately pro-Izreal propaganda”????

      teafoe2, it is not that we disagree, because to disagree we would at least need to understand what the other is postulating. Your remarks are so off base as to make rational conversation impossible. And so it is not what I say, it is your STATE of MIND. I suspect you fear anything that might challenge in the slightest whatever it is you have in mind…that is clearly a mystery which seems to wrap itself behind “liberation” and “socialism” with almost no connection to reality. Perhaps you have found a few comrades here, at last, who understand where you’re coming from.

      Since you have not provided how you would “dismantle” the Capitalist State, I am left to believe that this is hyperbolic rhetoric and not much more.

    48. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 12:57pm #

      Max, these are your words: “(I don’t think we need four more reasons to hate Zionists for instance…we can beat that horse until its turned into dust…).”

      A “newbie” reading this might conclude that the problem of Zionist power in the US & the ME is a dead issue, that everything that needs to be said has to be said, and “time to move on”.

      So your statement, if accepted, serves “isreal” and the ZPC by deflection interest and diverting public attention.

      Since if your advice was to be universally followed, concerned persons would henceforth refuse to examine the place/role of the ZPC in US public affairs. So your words also function to defend Capitalism and Imperialist colonialism, and to defuse resistance to the attack on Iran the ZPC insists upon.

      If I knew how to dismantle the capitalist state I would have done it by now. It is a big problem, one too big for me alone.

      But I believe that by promoting BDS as hard as we can, there’s a good chance we can catalyze a process which will result in more people making a closer examination of the real operative structure of power behind the drive for war and for lowering of living standards, in the US and other places.

      You have said that you don’t see anything evil about capitalism. It’s hard for me to imagine a reader so naive as to believe a statement like that, but you said it so I have to assume there may be others susceptible to such… well, I won’t characterize it. It is wrong, and if believed by anyone will tend to perpetuate the status quo.

    49. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 1:13pm #

      Max, since you own real estate, (you do, don’t you? correct me if you don’t?), and either now or in the past have hired longterm employees to work for you in a for-profit enterprise — correct me if this is not true? — it’s easy for me to understand that you have difficulty grasping ideas that to a manual worker are as simple as ABC.
      It’s a challenge to find a way to break it down so you can understand it, to turn Pablo Friere on his head and create something like a “Pedagogy of the Oppressor”:) The challenge is part of the reason I find myself taking time on it.

      But maybe I’d better wait until you either deny or confirm your relations to the means of production and your status as a capitalist.

      I could be wrong, the relatively privileged conditions you enjoy could be the result of inheriting a pile of stocks/bonds/certificates of deposit or something. Maybe you’ve never been an entrepreneur at all, just a passive “investor”?

      If you will be so kind as to clarify your economic status and role, I think it would help me as I try to break some of these elementary ideas down for you.

      Thank you:)

    50. Don Hawkins said on August 28th, 2010 at 1:17pm #

      Teafoe2 capitalism is just fine all we need at the present moment is 3 more Earth’s I heard they just found one granted a few light years away we will work through it.

    51. mary said on August 28th, 2010 at 1:56pm #

      Palin’s still squawking away – “You have the same spine and moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11114172

      and Mr Beck – a presenter for Fox News – said the US had “wandered in darkness” for too long.

      “America today begins to turn back to God,” he said.

      He told the crowd the timing of the “Restoring Honour” rally was coincidence but also divine providence.

      ‘America today begins to turn back to God’.!!!!!!!!!

      Words fail.

    52. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 2:08pm #

      First, teafoe2, I didn’t realize I was commenting to inform “newbies” of a running dialog. I don’t think we need to comment as if we are running infomercials on DV….over and over because we want to get the “message” to the “newbies” or to those who missed it first time around.

      My comment on such repetition has less to do with Zionism than it does the means by which we approach a problem.

      Anyone (beside this imagined “newbie”) who has followed my posts knows full well my positions on colonialism, slavery, empire/imperialism and genocide as practiced by Europeans and Americans, though it is not ours/theirs exclusively to be sure.

      BDS may be a means to dismantle the state of Israel; but there is no reason to short circuit thinking that approach through to possible consequences. I think Israel should be dismantled, much to the consternation of those who would comment otherwise here.

      I have posed a very non-Zionist version of a single regional state. I don’t pretend to understand exactly what that would look like but I would expect it to be one which is not dominated by tribes, but open and democratic at the grass roots. I think that is a means to achieving a just peace and to creating a sustainable living arrangement.

      Concerning the “evilness” of capitalism, I don’t look at capitalism as evil, as much as pathological. Those pathologies can be imagined in any system taken to extremes as capitalism has been taken. Rather than look at Marx as a great prognosticator, I think it is fair to say that all systems have the seeds of their own destruction within…mostly, in our case with the systems we contrive, because humans tend to exploit conditions. For me, rather than eradicating capitalism, the issue is how to create a living arrangement that realizes our limits, is caring rather than exploitive? Simple words like nurture seem absent as we attempt to discuss alternatives to war, to exploitation, to extraction. Miners exact, farmers cultivate. Maybe that’s the real difference.

      So, to your question regarding workers, manual labor, is too frequently in the service of exploitation for the few. It is all about: extract, produce, waste. That is a deadly combination and those “workers” involved are involved in a poisonous occupation. Farmers, certainly deep organic farmers, understand the connection between caring, nurturing the land and the relationship of cultivating and harvesting and those who consume the harvest. This is a nonlinear relationship; more of a complete circle. It is the relationships which are missing in the world of the miner, or factory worker. To avert violence is to move in the direction of nurturing and deep relationships.

      So, the people you seem to be speaking about (or for) are exploited, but are doing work which is part of the devastation of the planet, of living systems and ultimately of the human species.

      I have farmed, been a carpenter, worked in numerous jobs, been a writer…but mostly work to connnect local food with people in a way creates lasting relationships.

      And you?

    53. Deadbeat said on August 28th, 2010 at 3:02pm #

      t42 writes …

      The Zionist Power Configuration has taken total control of the US government. Some of us see this as an extremely dangerous development. Those who like Chomsky and his ilk try to minimize this development or the danger it poses are, in my view, carrying water for the racist state of “isreal”, its 5th Column in the US, and the entire Zionist Power Configuration including the massive ideological apparatus deployed to defend and perpetuate Zionist ideological hegemony.

      Well said. This is a great description of Chomskyism. Chomsky (a professed Zionist) has spent the past 40 years minimizing the power and influence of Zionism within the elites circle of the U.S. and throughout the U.S. political economy. The “Left” is either part of the game, part of the problem, or are simply in denial because it composition of Zionist are Jews.

      This is why there is so much hypocrisy on the Left and why it is so corrupted and so ineffective. Unless the Left directly confronts Zionism has to be viewed with caution.

    54. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 3:04pm #

      Max, you say you “have farmed”. I know a nice guy who identifies himself as a farmer; he owns a quarter section up the river from here. When you were a farmer, did you own the land you worked? Rent it perhaps? Did you employ labor?

      “…mostly work to connnect local food with people in a way creates lasting relationships.” sounds a little vague to me. I’m not sure exactly what the work consists of. ??

      I myself am a Senile Citizen dependent on the Social Security Admin and Medicare. I have been a farm laborer, most recently as a Tecolote jacker-offer… on an artificial insemination team:) Long ago I worked some as a carpenter’s helper laying hardwood floors. For a while I was an Independent Paralegal ala Nolo Press but lost out to better capitalized competition. Off and on I played music for a living, supplemented by connecting local people with grass in a way that created lasting relationships. Was an installer in Ma Bell central office. And numerous jobs. And homeless, another dude surviving on the street until I got accepted into a Program & got into an SRO.

      I’m the first male among my grandfather’s many descendants who never worked in a mine. Don’t suppose you’ve ever been to Butte?

      Your post sounds like you are blaming the shit-level workers for the damage mining and other industrial activities do to the planet. More blaming the victims.

      Do you have children to feed, clothe, send to school? Manual workers for the most part are trapped. They don’t have the access to productive land that you’ve managed to get. In the case of most workers in agriculture, they’ve been driven off the plots their “forebearers” (sic;) had cultivated organically for centuries.

      So most manual workers have very little choice. If they want to feed the kids they have to find a job. If they stay jobless the ol’ lady splits & takes the kids & the dog with her. What choice does SHE have?

      “For me, rather than eradicating capitalism, the issue is how to create a living arrangement that realizes our limits, is caring rather than exploitive?”.

      well, lemme post this much before I lose it..

    55. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 3:22pm #

      Max posts: “Anyone (beside this imagined “newbie”) who has followed my posts knows full well my positions on colonialism, slavery, empire/imperialism and genocide as practiced by Europeans and Americans, though it is not ours/theirs exclusively to be sure.”

      Now Max, please understand that I’m not taking you to task. But I’ve followed you posts for some time, and I’m still somewhat unclear on your stance re colonialism and empire/imperialism. I think I remember some disagreements between DVers about aspects of the Civil War… oh yes, I think you said recently that the Civil War was a mistake, that it was wrong to take up arms against the slaveowner’s regime?

      Perhaps you’d like to clarify your stance on that?

    56. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 3:44pm #

      Max: “For me, rather than eradicating capitalism, the issue is how to create a living arrangement that realizes our limits, is caring rather than exploitive?”.

      And: “I don’t look at capitalism as evil, as much as pathological. Those pathologies can be imagined in any system taken to extremes as capitalism has been taken.”

      Max, Max, a pathology which is either caused by non-human agents such as microbes, viruses or a blockage of the Chi, etc, or it is a “mental/emotional” pathology which arises out of the failure of the host organism/person’s nervous system to properly adjust to traumatic experiences. In neither case is it seen as the result of conscious human agents’ deliberate efforts to aggrandize themselves, no matter what the cost to others.
      So while metaphors and partial analogies can be useful at times, Capitalism is not a medical problem, or even a psychiatric problem. It is a political problem, and must be approached politically.

      The ZioImperialist Headquarters is the group that is causing most of the trouble. Yes other capitalist groups and interests play a role, but it is a secondary role.

      If you’re serious about wanting to “to create a living arrangement that realizes our limits, is caring rather than exploitive”, isn’t it obvious that you need first to disempower the human groups and institutions that are perpetuating the current setup?

      Urban and rural land use in the US of A does not come about by accident. It is not the work of Providence or The Great Spirit. It is implemented by local governments, boards, commissions, agencies, bureacrats and politicians, bankers and real estate brokers, all acting in obedience to the next higher echelon of the capitalist pecking order.

      So if you want to create a more livable, more sustainable arrangement that works for everybody, not just for a lucky few, you need to seek a way to disempower the fellas at the pinnacle of the pecking order.

    57. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 4:28pm #

      teafoe2 I think there are systemic pathologies. In the biological and physical world there are limits. Humans only grow to be just so tall, only so many deer can exist in an area until the food sources are depleted and they must either move on or reduce in numbers, etc. etc. A cancer is a pathology. Cells propagate faster than they die off until the larger body succumbs. There are limits. Local markets can be balanced. When the economic system detaches itself from its consequences, it becomes cancerous, pathological. Today we have major economic pathologies. Cause and effect are difficult to discern because there are temporal issues. But we know that growth and consumerism are the driving forces.

      Looked at another way, if a basic human need is security than we strive for security. That would be food, water, shelter and enough defense so as not to be attacked and killed. When any of those needs are over indulged, than a systemic pathology begins to take over. So security becomes a military industrial complex that proves to be just the opposite of assuring security. All needs have the same issue. They must be satified, but they can become negative in the extreme.

      Now that doesn’t get the “fat cats” off the hook, but it begins to put the problem in perspective. Once you have a perspective than you can tackle the issue of how to eliminate the pathology. You do it by counteracting its control. Reclaiming the commons is one important way. How do we determine what the commons is: Anything that can be turned into a monopoly. Healthcare, food, energy, for the most part basic needs. Lately as I mentioned the internet is one area that needs to stay in the commons (it is part of an important human need). So where should these commons reside? They should reside in the public domain where they cannot be privatized.

      So, how do you go about doing this? Well one way would be to create a movement to reclaim land rights and other natural resources, access to healthy food, etc. AND to do it where you are. In effect you socialize the commons. It becomes a counterweight to corporate power, and the money they perpetuates political power.

    58. Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 5:09pm #

      teafoe2 ” oh yes, I think you said recently that the Civil War was a mistake, that it was wrong to take up arms against the slaveowner’s regime?”

      No, I didn’t say the Civil War was a “mistake”. No Lincoln was perhaps one of the most decisive Presidents this country has ever seen.

      I really didn’t expound at all. My point was/is that the Civil War was not fought to free slaves; and the Emancipation Proclamation has been questioned as having “freed” anybody. Lincoln went to war to preserve the US empire. Once the US government was established it was extremely aggressive in settling more and more of the land, going to war with Mexico and annexing hundreds of thousands of square miles that once was Mexico not to mention the various nations of the indigenous peoples throughout the continent.

      The economic imperative to preserve the “union” was the main reason for the Civil War. Slavery, it seems, was nearing an end as more and more mechanization started to replace human field work.

      More can be said about the value of “keeping” the South…for another time…perhaps.

      The USA is a “modern” day imperialist empire. It committed massive genocide, enslaved millions of Africans, it has killed countless millions in wars of aggression, was launched as a world power between the time of TR’s and Woodrow Wilson’s administrations. Corporations grew in power and were kicked back a bit during the Depression, and have come back with a furor. They are pathological to the core, not because the people are evil, but because they are instruments of malignant growth and power.

    59. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 5:39pm #

      No, Max, this is inaccurate: “Cause and effect are difficult to discern because there are temporal issues. But we know that growth and consumerism are the driving forces.”

      I don’t know what you mean by “temporal issues”, maybe I need to look up Temporal in the dictionary.

      But “growth and consumerism” are NOT the driving forces of this economic system. Those are secondary and tertiary level features of the current mode of production*.

      *To me and those with a background in socialist thought, this term, “mode of production” is much more descriptive than “economic system”. M of P is a technical term which encompasses not only the economic aspects but the political and cultural aspects as well. Often socialists speak of “the economic base” and the “superstructure”, although this spatial metaphor tends to give rise to overly-mechanical thinking, IMO.

      The fundamental driving force in a system like ours is normally the need to maximise profits via the extraction of Surplus Value, and convert the bulk of them into more capital. As the Old Mole said, “Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the Prophets!”

      Cameron, Patrick McN and Deadbeat understand this fundamental mechanism very well, and may be able to explain it better and more understandably than I can off the top of my bald spot.

      Where I differ with Orthodox Marxists is that in trying to account for some of the strange developments in US foreign and military policy, I’ve been forced to pay a lot of attention to the actually observable features of the present system and its workings.

      A lot of the developments of the past few decades don’t fit into any of the models of Imperialism offered by the various scholars and sects which have emerged since Marx’s time.

      Nitzan and Bichler have published a superb account of the different theories and schools of thought, which is available online if not in the DV archives. Of course I don’t buy into most of their conclusions, but IMO their arguments should be examined before rejecting (or possibly accepting?)them.

      ” if a basic human need is security than we strive for security. That would be food, water, shelter and enough defense so as not to be attacked and killed. When any of those needs are over indulged, than a systemic pathology begins to take over. So security becomes a military industrial complex that proves to be just the opposite of assuring security.”

      Max, this statement is just so wildly incorrect, such a mistatement of what really happened and why, that I despair of explaining it to you.

      The “we” that decided to invest in all the “defense” is not a “we” that I, OR you, are really a part of except passively and in the most trivial sense.

      “overindulgence of needs”: oh lord. Surely you don’t mean to claim that PNAC was a response to some overindulgence on the part of average US consumers? That the wardogs have been unleashed because we all eat too much?

      Sorry, this is too muddled, and takes to much time to unravel. Whew.

    60. Deadbeat said on August 28th, 2010 at 11:57pm #

      T42 writes …

      Sorry, this is too muddled, and takes to much time to unravel. Whew.

      Unfortunately his muddled views are representative of the vacuum caused by Chomskyism. Chomsky never made Marxism and Marxist theory a centerpiece of his analysis. And we all know where he stands on Zionism. Yet Chomsky IS representative of Left-wing intellectualism for the past 40 years. It’s no wonder that many people who consider themselves “on the Left” haven’t a clue as to what’s really going on.

    61. bobo said on August 29th, 2010 at 4:02am #

      Deadbeat wrote

      It’s no wonder that many people who consider themselves “on the Left” haven’t a clue as to what’s really going on.
      —————————————-

      That’s so true. In a recent interview, Robin Hahnel, one of intellectual “founding fathers” of Parecon described Marxian economics as a sort of junk. He said ” crisis is not inherent in capitalism” then he favorably cited some capitalist apologists to discredit Marx. Judge from the interview, i seriously doubt if he understands something about marxism.

      http://www.zcommunications.org/the-economic-crisis-and-the-left-by-robin-hahnel

      Other “founding father” of Parecon, Michael Albert (a great fan of Chomsky) wrote an article titled “Chasing Chavez in which he proposed to establish a Solidarity Prize and accompany a large sum of money, media coverage for revolutionary. It’s too obvious that Albert subscribes to bourgeois ‘great man theory’. Just wonder whether he thinks Chomsky as a revolutionary?

      http://www.zcommunications.org/chasing-chavez-by-michael-albert

      Albert and Hahnel can image whatever for their participatory society. But they can’t give us the answer “how to get there”. It is reminded me philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty once said “Marxism is not a philosophy of history, it is the philosophy of history and to renounce it is to dig the grave of Reason in history. After that there can be only dreams or adventures.”

    62. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 6:08am #

      Teafoe2 since you are not either ready or willing to consider what I’ve written. You are rejecting out right a view that doesn’t fit into one you have neatly packaged for yourself. As long as you see PNAC as the prime mover of the American and Western way of life, there is not much you have room for regarding 99.999999999% of what makes the world go round.

      Tried…

    63. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 11:34am #

      As long as you see PNAC as the prime mover of the American and Western way of life, there is not much you have room for regarding 99.999999999% of what makes the world go round.

      The problem with the “Left” is that it refuses to see Zionism at all and goes to great lengths to minimize it or deflect attention from it. It’s a fools errant.

    64. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 11:41am #

      Deadbeat: “The problem with the “Left” is that it refuses to see Zionism at all and goes to great lengths to minimize it or deflect attention from it. It’s a fools errant.”

      You’re right Deadbeat. As usual you are always right. What more is there to say?

    65. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 11:42am #

      Thank you Max. I’m glad you agree with me.

    66. 3bancan said on August 29th, 2010 at 4:31pm #

      Max Shields said on August 27th, 2010 at 3:35pm:

      “Violence begets violence. It’s a truism that is observable throughout history. The opposite of violence is not pacifism. It’s called peace.”

      Very true, Mr Shields: the Jews have been bringing peace to Palestine and its indigenous population for more than a century. And they have been doing this in a peaceful (ie non-violent, “not pacifistic”) way. Their generosity in bringing peace has even extended into the neighboring and not neighboring countries.
      PS: They don’t use the word ‘peace’, they use the word ‘shalom’, which in this context is to be translated as ‘kill-all-Arabs’ or more correctly as ‘genocide’…

    67. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 4:54pm #

      3bancan said on August 29th, 2010 at 4:31pm #

      And now that you have said your piece, you think violence is the way to peace? That’s called the American foreign policy – we go to war to bring peace to the world. And it is the way in which your Zionist buds would like to see peace achieved…or so it seems.

    68. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 5:04pm #

      You don’t get it Max do you. You are totally naive about how power works.

    69. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 5:11pm #

      Deadbeat let’s be honest, what have you done with your life? I mean what change have you made. What will they say when they (assuming there is a they) will write in your obit?

      If you know so much about how power works, tell us when you last had power? How did you achieve it? If not then how do you “think” power is attained? Is all power the same? But mostly explain your progress in real day to day terms about how you have changed the power structure in your community…please…or are you just going to throw back some rhetorical red herring non-sense? Look I’m giving you a chance to prove just how you’ve dealt with power.

    70. Don Hawkins said on August 29th, 2010 at 5:37pm #

      It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
      David Brin

    71. 3bancan said on August 29th, 2010 at 5:56pm #

      Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 4:54pm #
      As far as I can tell it’s ONLY you zionists and your “friends” , ie the most violent barbarians on this planet, who are blathering about “peace” – and this WHILE perpetrating genocide. What chutzpah!!! Of course the word and notion “justice” is totally absent from your vocabulary.
      IMHO there will be no violence if justice is done, ie if
      1. the Jews return all the land they’ve stolen (93% of historic Palestine) back to its owners, the Palestinians,
      2. the Jews go back to the countries they’ve come from or to Birobijan, their real “kingdom”,
      3. those Jews who have committed crimes against humanity are prosecuted in an international court,
      4. the Jews and their “friends” pay reparations to their victims for all the crimes that they’ve been committing against them.
      NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!
      PS1: I knew that you would figure out I’m a zionist by the color of your farmer boots you used when you were in the farming business in Gaza.
      PS2: Before you told us you were a farmer I – mistakenly of course – thought you were a butcher…

    72. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 6:17pm #

      3bancan said on August 29th, 2010 at 5:56pm #

      You are the real Joshua Friend! Take ye to the kibbutz-sky…you little zionist schnook…who you fooling there 3 BAN CAN(not).

      Now if you’ll run along I’m waiting for Deadbeat to tell me all about his brush with Power.

    73. Don Hawkins said on August 29th, 2010 at 6:22pm #

      Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler and;

      The position in which we are now is a very strange one which in general political life never happened. Namely, the thing that I refer to is this: To have security against atomic bombs and against the other biological weapons, we have to prevent war, for if we cannot prevent war every nation will use every means that is at their disposal; and in spite of all promises they make, they will do it. At the same time, so long as war is not prevented, all the governments of the nations have to prepare for war, and if you have to prepare for war, then you are in a state where you cannot abolish war.
      This is really the cornerstone of our situation. Now, I believe what we should try to bring about is the general conviction that the first thing you have to abolish is war at all costs, and every other point of view must be of secondary importance.

      “a letter to a distraught father who had lost his young son and had asked Einstein for some comforting words”:
      A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of piece of mind.

    74. teafoe2 said on August 29th, 2010 at 6:53pm #

      Max writes: “My point was/is that the Civil War was not fought to free slaves; and the Emancipation Proclamation has been questioned as having “freed” anybody.”

      If that was your point, Max, why didn’t you say that, instead of describing what DB said about what Doug Page had posted as “schoolboy nonsense”?

      Lincoln and the US “Union” government may have been primarily motivated by factors you describe, or may have been partly motivated by them. But the hundreds of thousands of ex-slaves who flocked to the Union banner didn’t do it in order that Industrial Capital could expand and reign supreme.

    75. teafoe2 said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:01pm #

      Max posts: “Deadbeat let’s be honest, what have you done with your life? I mean what change have you made. What will they say when they (assuming there is a they) will write in your obit?”

      Max, what the f**k does this have to do with the issues under discussion? To me it looks like an attempt to avoid a challenge to your knowledge/ideas, by changing the subject to DB’s personal life.

      In all honesty, it arouses a degree of suspicion about what your aims are. I thought you agreed that we needed to get away from exchanging “flames”, and to try to rationally discuss our differences. ??

    76. lichen said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:01pm #

      Static ideologies of the dead hags of history are certainly irrelevant (and they can be used by misleading people to gain POWER over others and stifle new ideas and ways of seeing the world.) But no, making vague abstract excuses for violence–as if you beat your son or get in a drunken fight with someone at a bar, refuse to learn how to communicate with other people and threaten physical harm in response to words is because of isreal. Non-violent methods are the best for dealing with real life, which for most of us is not an occupied war zone.

    77. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:07pm #

      Max Shields writes …

      Deadbeat let’s be honest, what have you done with your life? I mean what change have you made. What will they say when they (assuming there is a they) will write in your obit?

      The biggest change I made was getting involved in the 2003 anti-war movement and the 2004 Nader Campaign and to see, experience and witness the betrayal of the Left and live long enough to speak out about it.

    78. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:11pm #

      lichen injects the following ….

      Static ideologies of the dead hags of history are certainly irrelevant (and they can be used by misleading people to gain POWER over others and stifle new ideas and ways of seeing the world.) But no, making vague abstract excuses for violence–as if you beat your son or get in a drunken fight with someone at a bar, refuse to learn how to communicate with other people and threaten physical harm in response to words is because of isreal. Non-violent methods are the best for dealing with real life, which for most of us is not an occupied war zone.

      Lichen is off on a tangent where he confused personal ABUSE with violent resistance.

      I used to get annoyed with this kind of rhetoric but not any more. I welcome these kinds of comments because they are reflective of the 40 years of more of Liberal/Left/Chomskyite indoctrination and corruption of the Left. The more this comes out in the open the better it can be dealt with.

    79. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:16pm #

      teafoe2 The reason why I referred to DB’s comment as “schoolboy nonsense” was because his statement, as I recall, made the Civil War seem as if it was about freeing slaves. That war and the hundreds of thousands of Union and Confederate lives that perished was hardly about freeing slaves.

      One of the main precursors, and it’s in middle school social studies texts, were the high tarriffs the North imposed on the South forcing those who lived in the South to buy much more expensive goods from the North.
      The North was not a particularly friendly place for freed slaves, or “runaway” slaves who were frequently escorted back (though certainly not always). Now high tariffs can be seen, like embargos, a declaration of war. Sure there were abolitionists, and those who saw the immorality of slavery, just like there are those who see the immorality of what Israel is all about. But that doesn’t change the power structure and the dynamics of war.

      The Civil War was a successful attempt at assuring that Washington DC remained in control of the regions within its expansionist purview and mission.

      To understand this is to understand unadultered Power. And that power is not simply abolished because we pound our fist in the air, and yell power to the people. It [power] has the brute force of the media, the law and military (these were planted deeply within the terms of the Constitution to assure total governance). Many a rebellion that included both black and white side by side was squashed by that very government.

      What seems rather naive about Deadbeat is that he thinks all of this is a Zionist plot. That America is just some docile empire taken over by AIPAC. Of course AIPAC has its role. Of course Zionism has infiltrated the Congress…but this is more than a sleepy headed giant that is being yanked by the tail. To think otherwise, for me, is naive.

    80. teafoe2 said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:17pm #

      Max posts: “BDS may be a means to dismantle the state of Israel; but there is no reason to short circuit thinking that approach through to possible consequences.”

      Okay, Max, if you’ve thought farther through that approach, all the way to “possible consequences” than the Palestinian Civil Society coalition that first issued to call for BDS; if you’ve thought about it more deeply than ISM, FreeGaza, IfAmericansKnew, Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Medea Benjamine and all the others who have endorsed the BDS campaign and the Olympia Coop Boycott Petition,
      I’d love to see if I can follow the train of your reasoning about it:)

    81. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:22pm #

      By the way before someone starts shouting “Chomskyite” because I dare claim the US an empire, I have never read a book by Chomsky, though I’ve caught him on a few DN segments. (And I read him years ago in college as a student of linguistics – absolutely nothing to do with politics).

      That is what makes all this crap about “Chomskyite” so….much crap. It’s baseless fabrication. People can read history and come to conclusions without ever having read either Chomsky or Zinn.

    82. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:35pm #

      teafoe2 to your question about BDS, I am for the dissolution of the state of Israel, the right of return of Palestinians and the recreation of a state that is sustainable within that region – just peace.

      BDS could be a means to that end. The dynamics are different than South Africa. Such boycotts have failed more than have succeeded. If the Palestinian people see it as a way, than I would support it. I will not personally, knowingly purchase Israeli goods now.

    83. 3bancan said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:37pm #

      Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:22pm #

      Mr Shields the farmer sticks to his maxim “The less you know the more competent your opinions are”…

    84. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:38pm #

      T42 writes …

      In all honesty, it arouses a degree of suspicion about what your aims are. I thought you agreed that we needed to get away from exchanging “flames”, and to try to rationally discuss our differences. ??

      Indoctrination (if that is what it is with Max) is irrational and irrational reactions and responses are to be expected. It’s called denial.

      The personal attacks don’t bother me because it means that I’ve touched a raw nerve. Max’s attack is emblematic of the deep seated indoctrination on the Left, especially among the comfortable middle-class Left, due to mainstream Chomskyism.

      It doesn’t come as a surprise. The only difference is that you’d couldn’t confront people about American Zionism like this 5, 10, 20 years ago. I recall being a participant in PNEWS in the 1990′s and whenever anyone brought the issue up they were summarily removed from the list. I was naive back then and made arguments similar to Max back then. However my participation in the 2003 anti-war movement and 2004 Green Party/Nader campaign woke me the f*** up.

      IMO the Left is where the fight is today. Just take a look at the recent Paul Jay interview of Doug Henwood on Real News. if you think I’m incorrect. And I have have a lot of respect of Henwood going all the way back to his exposure of Clinton’s Labor Security and Liberal economist Robert Reich sign-off on the bogus Social Security projections to make it appear that the program was heading for bankruptcy.

      But look at this excerpt from the interview…

      JAY: But you have to blame the left as not able to inspire people. It’s the—.

      HENWOOD: No, the left has been very absent, and I think there are any number of reasons for that, you know, going back to the collapse of the Soviet Union leaving the left worldwide feeling very demoralized, and we don’t really know what to think or do, we don’t really have a good agenda. But also I think there’s a special situation that the more respectable left, the part with some access to power, was so entranced by the fact that a Democrat won the White House, there’s just this vast sense of relief that, you know, at least our guy is in there. And so the unions were perfectly willing to cut him a lot of slack during the health-care debate.

      The Soviet Union?!

      C’mon! This kind of denial of why the Left is in such sorry state that misinforms and demonstrates why the Left can’t lead anything much less themselves. It’s as if to Henwood 2003-2004 never happen which created the vacuum on the Left for Obama to fill.

      If the Left cannot identify the problem because the denial is so deep then they cannot solve it. The indoctrination so powerful that they’ll fight those tooth and nail who are trying to get them to see the truth.

    85. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:40pm #

      Max Shield writes …

      teafoe2 The reason why I referred to DB’s comment as “schoolboy nonsense” was because his statement, as I recall, made the Civil War seem as if it was about freeing slaves. That war and the hundreds of thousands of Union and Confederate lives that perished was hardly about freeing slaves.

      That incorrect Max and if you were confused all you had to do was ask for clarification rather than inject ridicule.

    86. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:43pm #

      Deadbeat, I wasn’t confused. But to the point, what’s incorrect?

    87. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 7:59pm #

      teafoe2 I never changed my position…civil discourse just allows one to clear the air.

    88. teafoe2 said on August 29th, 2010 at 8:18pm #

      No, Max, I am not starting to play games. I asked what I did because I’m surprised to see someone with relatively progressive ideas about many things nonetheless start repeating pro-Confederacy propaganda.

      Most of those I’ve encountered who defended notions of the Slaveholder as Victim have been from the South, and all have been White males. So I wondered if you too had been influenced by such factors.

      Southern slaveholders and their political representatives complained a lot about the Tariff, but the tariff wasn’t so confiscatory that they weren’t making fortunes in the cotton business. Their real concern arose from the fact that cotton cultivation sapped the soil of its fertility, making it necessary to keep finding more previously uncultivated real estate.

      They had hoped to be able to extend the Slavery regime into Kansas, Indian Territory, New Mexico, Arizona and California but northern public opinion made it political suicide for Congressmen to enable that. cf. “Wilmot Proviso”.

      Actually soil and climate conditions in most of these areas precluded large scale cotton production, but this was not widely grasped at the time.

      Even though differences between sections of the ruling classes were deep and intense, armed violence could have been avoided if the South Carolina secessionists had refrained from firing on Ft Sumter, which was not taking any action inimical to local interests. But a combination of ideology, psychology, and political competition to appear as the most heroic & macho defender of the slaveholder “way of life” led the SC secessionists to fire on Old Glory, which of course Lincoln could not sit and allow to happen without responding. If he had, he’d have been impeached for violating his oath of office.

    89. Deadbeat said on August 29th, 2010 at 8:38pm #

      Deadbeat, I wasn’t confused. But to the point, what’s incorrect?

      What’s incorrect Max is your idea of pitting passive resistance against violent resistance when both are complementary. That is the CONTEXT of the discussion and the context of my rebuttal to your supposition.

      The Civil War ENDED Slavery and T42 is right about your incorrect chronology. The Mexican War predated the Civil War and Lincoln BTW was against the Mexican War.

      Max, you are so indoctrinated by Chomskyism that everything to use is “U.S. Imperialism(tm)”. As T42 remarked there were several motivations for the Civil War however slavery was clearly central. However Max you incorrectly split “economics” from slavery when in fact slavery was all about “economics”. Max, you need to read Lerone Bennett Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America to understand that modern slavery developed Capitalism. Thus you cannot isolate slavery from economics as you did above.

      It was the South that fired the first salvo and the South that wanted to maintain the institution of slavery because some of the richest Americans at the time made their money from it — especially money men like Lehman Brothers. It’s ridiculous to think that the South was going to give up slavery via passive resistance.

      To believe that Lincoln was fighting the South purely for “empire” or “imperial” reasons is rather myopic. Lincoln sought to keep the Union whole. Lincoln may not have had the moral grounding on race that people expect today but here is what he said about slavery in 1855 …

      Lincoln wrote to Joshua Speed in 1855:

      How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].[6]

      Max, I don’t know if you’re pulling our leg or you are just naive, indoctrinated, or just want attention and acceptance. But if you only learned history from Chomsky or Zinn then you have a serious deficiency and need to expand your reading list. T42 has listed some authors that can help put you on a path towards truth.

    90. teafoe2 said on August 29th, 2010 at 8:46pm #

      Max: “Who mentioned Grant, teafoe2? I didn’t.”

      Max Shields said on August 28th, 2010 at 5:09pm #

      “…” “…Lincoln went to war to preserve the US empire. Once the US government was established it was extremely aggressive in settling more and more of the land, going to war with Mexico and annexing hundreds of thousands of square miles that once was Mexico…”

      Now it is YOU, Max, who is starting to play games. I said above that you seemed to have your chronology a little mixed up, since you seemed to be saying that it was after the Union victory over the slaveholder’s “Confederation” that the triumphant Union commenced to “go to war with Mexico” etc. I mentioned Grant’s service as a junior officer in the Mexican War to illustrate the fact that you had the sequence of events reversed.

      “Now high tariffs can be seen, like embargos, a declaration of war.”.

      Well, if you are a supermacho slaveholder fantasizing about being a swashbuckling Cavalier, and you’re looking for a chance to display your manly virtues, if you’re itching to get on your horse and ride people down, then finish them off with your heirloom saber, I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to see damn near anything as a “declaration of war”:)

      Izzy & the IOF can see an unarmed flotilla of boats carrying humanitarian assistance as a Terrorist Attack, but that doesn’t mean their perception or their propaganda reflects the actual facts.

      A tariff on goods produced in another country is not a “declaration” or an act of war. It may be bad policy, it may be unfair, but it is not war.

      The fact is, the Rebs, like Netanyahu today, were looking for an excuse.