A Gallup poll released yesterday found that, for the first time since it began tracking the figure, fewer than half of young people aged 18-29 have a positive view of capitalism, while more than half have a positive view of socialism. The poll also found that, again for the first time, significantly more Democratic-leaning voters have a positive view of socialism than of capitalism.
The percentage of young people viewing capitalism positively is continuing its precipitous fall, from 68 percent in 2010, to 57 percent in 2016, to 45 percent in 2018 (a stunning 23-percentage point drop in just eight years). The percentage of young people viewing socialism favorably has remained relatively flat during this period and stood at 51 percent in 2018—producing a 6-percentage point gap in favor of socialism.
A similar trend is seen among Democrats and “Democratic-leaning independents” of all age groups, with a positive view of capitalism falling from 53 percent in 2010 to 47 percent in 2018, while those with a positive view of socialism increased from 53 percent to 57 percent—a 10-percentage point gap in favor of socialism.
According to Gallup, overall most Americans still have a positive view of capitalism, but this year’s 56 percent positive rating is, by four points, the lowest recorded. Gallup included a list of economic terms, asking respondents to say whether they had a positive or negative image of each. Of these terms, only “socialism” increased its positive image, while “entrepreneurs,” “free enterprise,” “capitalism,” “small business,” “federal government,” and “big business” all fell.
The period covered by Gallup’s figures (2010-2018) is significant. It largely corresponds to the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the tenure of the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, which came to power promising “hope” and “change,” while presiding over the largest transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich in US history. Obama left office proclaiming that the economy had “never been better,” but workers and young people clearly feel otherwise.
The growth in support for socialism, and the decline in support for capitalism, confirms the evaluation made in a resolution adopted at the Socialist Equality Party Congress last month. “There is a growing sense among substantial sections of the working class and youth,” the resolution states, “that capitalism is inherently unjust and that fundamental changes in the economic system are needed. While this broad-based sentiment has not yet developed into a mass political movement directed toward the ending of the capitalist system, interest in and support for socialism is growing rapidly.”
The growing interest in socialism terrifies the ruling class. It coincides with initial expressions of the resurgence of class struggle, from the teachers strikes that spread throughout the country earlier this year and threaten to emerge again as the schools reopen over the next several weeks, to the mass opposition among UPS workers to the concessions contracts supported by the Teamsters union, to growing anger among auto workers, Amazon workers and other sections of the working class.
In response, the ruling class—in the United States and internationally—is moving to impose ever more directly authoritarian forms of rule, whether through the promotion of far-right nationalist movements (including forces cultivated by the Trump administration) or in the moves by the traditional parties of the ruling class to abrogate basic democratic rights. In the United States, it is the Democratic Party that has taken the lead in demanding, under the guise of combating “fake news” and “Russian meddling,” greater censorship of the Internet, which is ever more explicitly directed at left-wing, socialist and anti-war publications.
The ruling class has another means of combating and diverting mass opposition to capitalism: the promotion of various pseudo-socialist political movements and individuals that use the term “socialism” to confuse and disorient. In the United States, this role was played in the 2016 election by Bernie Sanders, who spoke of a “political revolution” against the “billionaire class,” only to channel the significant (and, for Sanders, unexpected and unwelcome) support he received behind Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military and intelligence apparatus.
The same role is now being played by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). From its origins, the DSA has been nothing more than a faction of the Democratic Party. Michael Harrington, who founded the DSA in 1982, defined its politics as the “left wing of the possible,” by which was meant the “left wing” of what was acceptable to capitalist, bourgeois politics. The DSA did not then and does not now represent a break with the Democrats, but rather has functioned as an auxiliary organization of the Democratic Party.
Over the past year, DSA membership has grown rapidly, from 7,000 in 2016, to 47,000. The organization will likely have two members in the next congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated incumbent Congressman Joseph Crowley in a Democratic Party New York congressional primary in June, and Rashida Tlaib, who won last week’s Democratic Party primary in Detroit’s 13th congressional district (home of longtime Democratic Party/DSA member John Conyers, who resigned last year).
The growth of the DSA reflects two contradictory processes. On the one hand, the leftward movement of a layer of young people looking for a socialist opposition, and, on the other hand, the active promotion of the organization by a faction of the Democratic Party and the corporate media. The DSA-affiliated Jacobin magazine has been exempted from Google’s censorship algorithms targeting the left, while the New York Times has opened its pages to its editor, Bhaskar Sunkara.
The DSA is part of a broader group of organizations, including the International Socialist Organization and Socialist Alternative, that speak for privileged sections of the upper middle class, not the working class. Their proposals for limited social reforms are connected to support for the Democratic Party and the defense of the organizational domination of the corporatist trade unions over the working class.
The Gallup poll is only the latest indication that there is a massive reservoir of support in the working class and youth for socialism. As workers enter into conflict with the policies of the corporate and financial elite, this reservoir will grow. There is, however, only a limited understanding of what socialism really means and how it can be obtained. As such, it is susceptible to being misguided and suppressed, as the capitalist ruling elites advance their plans for war and dictatorship.
Genuine socialism must be advanced clearly and with great determination. The Socialist Equality Party insists that genuine socialism is based on the principle of social equality, that the vast sums of wealth monopolized by the rich through the exploitation and immiseration of the working class must be seized and directed toward the satisfaction of social need.
Genuine socialism is international, based on the principle that workers in every country have the same social interests and the same class enemies. A socialist movement must take up the defense of immigrant workers on the basis of the fight for open borders—that workers everywhere should be able to live and work where they choose.
Genuine socialism is inseparable from the fight against imperialist war, the product of the inherent contradictions of the capitalist nation-state system, which threaten to engulf the globe in a nuclear catastrophe.
Genuine socialism is based on the interests of the working class, the vast majority of the world’s population. It is opposed to all forms of nationalism, as well as the politics of racial and gender identity, which seeks to divide workers against each other and subordinate them to the capitalist system.
And genuine socialism is revolutionary. It proposes not mild reforms, which the ruling class will not tolerate, but revolution—the overthrow of capitalist property relations through the establishment of democratic control over the giant banks and corporations. It fights for the political mobilization of the working class, in opposition to the Democratic and Republican Parties, to take power and establish a workers’ government to reorganize economic life, in the United States and internationally, on the basis of social need, not private profit.
Since its founding 80 years ago by Leon Trotsky, the co-leader with Lenin of the Russian Revolution, the Fourth International has fought for revolutionary socialist internationalism against Stalinism, Social Democracy and all perversions of Marxism. Trotskyism is the socialism of today, embodied in the International Committee of the Fourth International, comprised of Socialist Equality Parties throughout the world.
The Socialist Equality Party is spearheading the fight to arm the developing objective movement of workers and youth with an uncompromising revolutionary program and perspective. In the 2018 elections, it is running Niles Niemuth in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District to bring a socialist program to workers throughout the region and beyond.
The fight for genuine socialism means joining and building the SEP, its sister parties in the International Committee of the Fourth International, and its youth movement, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.
With permission from
August 14, 2018
Referring to cultural Marxism, especially the Frankfurt School, Noam Chomsky once said, “I don’t find that kind of work very illuminating… The ideas that seem useful also seem pretty simple, and I don’t understand what all the verbiage is for.” While I think there’s much of value in the so-called Western Marxist tradition—for instance, I’m partial to Georg Lukács (more so than to Adorno and others in the Frankfurt School)—I have to admit I strongly sympathize with Chomsky. But his criticism generalizes, and is even truer in other areas: since well before the mid-twentieth century, a large amount of work in the humanities has been prone to unnecessary and sometimes incomprehensible verbiage. Later this tendency came to be associated with postmodernism, for it was most pronounced in the writings of such luminaries as Derrida, Lacan, Kristeva, Deleuze, and Foucault, as well as their hordes of epigones. By the end of the twentieth century, a vast field of “Theory” had reached maturity, encompassing much of philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and literary, film, and cultural studies.
As an anthropologist, David Graeber works in this broadly conceived “interpretive” tradition (I call it that because it consists essentially of endless cultural and social “interpretations” or “theories,” often playful and highly verbose conceptual exercises). He has an advantage over many of his peers in that, while not a particularly great writer, he can at least write clearly and informally enough to be widely read. Presumably this lucidity helps account for his fame—as do, more importantly, his heterodox ideas, his ability to capture a cultural mood even in the titles of his books (Debt, The Utopia of Rules, Bullshit Jobs), and his impressive productivity. Perhaps he’s tooproductive: while reading his latest book, I couldn’t help thinking it would have packed a greater punch if he had shortened it by a third. It meanders and meanders, repeats and repeats, and, well, I didn’t understand what all the verbiage was for.
But that’s the intellectual game, after all. Unless they’re unusually disciplined and conscious of avoiding self-indulgence, intellectuals are prone to spewing “bullshit” without end, showing off their verbosity because that’s how the game is played. Graeber is at least more disciplined and serious than most of them, especially (most of) his fellow “theorists” in the humanities.
The full title of his book is Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. I wasn’t able to find the “theory,” unless it be that bullshit jobs do in fact exist. And Graeber marshals abundant evidence to test and confirm that theory. The most entertaining, and probably the most valuable, parts of the book are the many testimonies he presents from poor souls who spend their lives in a bullshit job, which is to say a job they think shouldn’t exist because it contributes nothing to the world. The numbers of people who believe this are incredibly high. One poll in the United Kingdom found that only 50 percent of people with full-time jobs were sure their job made a meaningful contribution to the world, while 37 percent were sure theirs didn’t. A poll in Holland put the latter number at 40 percent. Even jobs that aren’t bullshit, like nurses and professors, are being increasingly bullshitized, as paperwork, meetings, and other administrative duties crowd out more meaningful tasks like taking care of patients and teaching. (Nurses reported to Graeber that as much as 80 percent of their time is now taken up with meetings, filling out forms, and the like.) Considering these facts, as well as the existence of many second-order bullshit jobs (jobs done in support of those directly engaged in bullshit), Graeber estimates that well over half of all work being done in society could be eliminated without making any real difference.
What sorts of jobs are we talking about? Not most lower-tier jobs: not street cleaners, bus drivers, repairmen, restaurant workers, store clerks, gardeners, construction workers, etc. These people make a contribution to the world. Graeber suggests a rough five-fold classification of bullshit jobs. First are flunkies: jobs that exist “only or primarily to make someone else look or feel important.” This includes doormen, many receptionists (those who have hardly anything to do and find the job oppressively dull), some HR assistants, and the like. Second are “goons,” jobs that have an aggressive element but “exist only because other people employ them.” For instance, most lobbyists, PR specialists, telemarketers, corporate lawyers (“I contribute nothing to the world and am utterly miserable all of the time,” one said), and national armed forces, which exist only because other countries have armies. “If no one had an army, armies would not be needed.” As for PR specialists, one of them probably spoke for many when he opined that every person who works in or for the entire advertising industry simply “manufactur[es] demand and then exaggerat[es] the usefulness of the products sold to fix it.” He concluded, “If we’re at the point where in order to sell products, you have to first of all trick people into thinking they need them, then I think you’d be hard-pressed to argue that these jobs aren’t bullshit.”
Third is the category of “duct tapers,” people whose jobs exist only because of a glitch in the organization, “who are there to solve a problem that ought not to exist.” Often this includes underlings who have to fix mistakes made by incompetent superiors. Or do nothing but deal with customers irate because something went wrong. Fourth are “box tickers,” who allow an organization to be able to claim it’s doing something it actually isn’t doing. One testimony is from a guy who was Senior Quality and Performance Officer in a local council in the United Kingdom; most of what he did involved ticking boxes, “pretending things are great to senior managers, and generally ‘feeding the beast’ with meaningless numbers that give the illusion of control. None of which helps the citizens of that council in the slightest.”
The fifth category is taskmasters, people who do nothing but assign work to others, create bullshit tasks for others to do, or supervise bullshit. Middle management frequently falls under this category, as when managers oversee workers who could perform just as well, or sometimes better, without oversight. “I just got promoted to this job,” one manager says, “and I spend a lot of my time looking around and wondering what I’m supposed to be doing.” That’s a common complaint: being forced to supervise people who don’t need supervision. (Readers of Harry Braverman’s classic Labor and Monopoly Capital won’t find this complaint surprising at all.) Frequently positions with the word ‘strategic’ in their names—Strategic Dean, Vice President of Strategic Development, Strategic Officer—are bullshit. “All I could do,” one such person said, “was come up with a new strategy that was in effect a re-spin of already agreed-upon strategies.” But these people are given their own staff, which they have to try to find work for.
Graeber’s classification system is somewhat interesting, though, as he acknowledges, it leaves out a lot. One huge area of bullshit it leaves out he doesn’t mention at all: bullshit academic research. Surely the large majority of academic research makes essentially no contribution to the world, except to pad CVs and advance careers. Endless conferences, “calls for papers” sent out for yet another conference, thousands upon thousands of scholarly articles published every year most of which are read by hardly anyone (more often simply glanced over). Much of the writing isn’t only irrelevant and uninteresting, superficial and unchallenging, but even perverse: again, one thinks of postmodernist obscurantism, relativism, and idealism. In the case of postmodernism and, more generally, the idealism (and centrism) of bourgeois scholarship and journalism, the bullshit serves an obvious purpose for the establishment: it distracts from structures of class and power, obscures understanding of how society works, and does nothing to advance left-wing dissent. (I discuss these matters in depth here, and also on my website.)
Graeber devotes a couple of chapters to what it’s like to work in a bullshit job and why people so often report themselves miserable. According to bourgeois psychological theories, after all, it might seem that some of these jobs are great. You hardly have to work, you have barely any real responsibilities, you can spend hours playing computer games or surfing the web. You can (in many cases) be almost as lazy as, supposedly, you want to be just by virtue of being human. But of course humans are not, in fact, lazy by nature, creatures who have to be driven to work, as bourgeois ideologies proclaim. They want to work, but on creative and enjoyable tasks. Their fundamental desire is not to slack off but to have a meaningful life, full of purpose, creativity, exploration, and love, a life of contributions to the world. To work in an utterly pointless job, therefore, day in and day out, month after month, can be maddening, soul-killing torture. It seems that the respect and prestige these people might be accorded can make it even worse, heightening their sense of being frauds or parasites.
Many of the testimonies Graeber has compiled are both sad and hilarious. Most are too long to quote here, but I’ll quote one, from a security guard:
I worked as a museum guard for a major global security company in a museum where one exhibition room was left unused more or less permanently. My job was to guard that empty room, ensuring no museum guests touched the…well, nothing in the room, and ensure nobody set any fires. To keep my mind sharp and attention undivided, I was forbidden any form of mental stimulation, like books, phones, etc.
Since nobody was ever there, in practice I sat still and twiddled my thumbs for seven and a half hours, waiting for the fire alarm to sound. If it did, I was to calmly stand up and walk out. That was it.
One might think of this guard’s job as a literal realization of the metaphorical meaning of thousands of positions filled by tens of millions of people. The colossal waste of human potential is beyond comprehension.
The natural question, aside from how to change this terrible collective situation, is how all these worthless jobs started proliferating in the first place. Why aren’t we all working fifteen-hour weeks? If we got rid of the pointless jobs and the pointless aspects of the real jobs, the resulting work could easily be taken care of by our working fifteen- or twenty-hour weeks. In fact, back in 1930 John Maynard Keynes predicted that in a hundred years the problem of scarcity would have been solved, and the major problem of the age would be to find ways to prevent ourselves from going insane with boredom. So what happened?
This is a complicated historical question that gets to the heart of how capitalism has evolved over the last century, so it isn’t to Graeber’s discredit that he doesn’t fully answer it. He first dispatches two answers conservatives give: that the world has become so complicated we need all these jobs, and they aren’t really as pointless as they seem; and that even if there are bullshit jobs, it’s only because government regulations have led to a growing number of useless bureaucrats. These answers are on the intellectual level of most conservatism, and Graeber refutes them with ease. With one piece of evidence. He points out that between 1985 and 2005 the proportion of administrators and their staff in American universities shot up even though the number of teachers per students remained largely constant. Teaching and writing certainly haven’t become so complicated they suddenly need far more administrators and staffers—so why the bullshitization of universities? It isn’t because of the big bad government either, since the number of administrators at private institutions has increased at more than twice the rateit did at public ones. So there goes the “libertarian” notion of government wastefulness. “In fact,” Graeber comments, “the only reasonable interpretation of these numbers is precisely the opposite: public universities are ultimately answerable to the public, and hence, under constant political pressure to cut costs and not engage in wasteful expenditures.”
Graeber’s own answer is that capitalism has changed its character since the days when it somewhat approximated conditions of perfect competition. When capitalism was mainly about producing things competitively, the argument that free-market enthusiasts give against the notion that corporations would ever hire unnecessary workers to do bullshit jobs made sense: maximizing profits meant paying the least number of workers the least amount possible. To hire a large number of redundant workers would be absurd. But, as Graeber argues, the logic of the economy has changed in the last forty years, with the rise of financial capitalism and the FIRE sector (including insurance and real estate). The main object now is not to produce goods competitively but to distribute large sums of money, to distribute the proceeds from enormous amounts of debt, to create money (by giving loans) and then move it around in very complex ways while extracting fees with every transaction. “The results often leave bank employees feeling that the entire enterprise is…pointless.”
So, “when a profit-seeking enterprise is in the business of distributing a very large sum of money, the most profitable thing for it to do is to be as inefficient as possible.” It can then find pretexts to take more cuts, even acting against the interests of its clients, and using its profits to hire more people and grow bigger. There seems, indeed, to be a tendency inherent in large bureaucracies, whether corporate or political, to expand, to suck up more resources as an end in itself. Graeber gives a name to the “new” dynamic that has emerged in capitalism: managerial feudalism. It’s supposed to be analogous to the creation of hierarchies of nobles and officials in medieval Europe through a process of devolution called “sub-infeudation,” in which a king would grant land to a duke, who would use the resources from that land to support a huge retinue of courtiers and vassals, many of whom would be granted their own plots of land that could support their own retinues, and so on down to local knights and lords of the manor.
“The rise of managerial feudalism has produced a similar infatuation with hierarchy for its own sake.” Managers manage other managers, each with their own staff; various levels of managers market things to one another, especially in “creative industries” like publishing, the visual arts, and film and television. It’s particularly bad in the latter industry, where there are untold numbers of producers, sub-producers, executive producers, consultants, etc., “all in constant search for something, anything, to actually do.” But even in more traditional manufacturing industries, white-collar workers are hired seemingly for the sake of having more white-collar workers. Graeber uses the example of the Elephant Tea factory outside Marseilles, France. Years ago it was bought up by Unilever, which pretty much left its old organizational structure intact. Meanwhile the workers, on their own initiative, managed to speed up production by more than 50 percent, markedly increasing profits. So what did Unilever do? Rather than hiring more workers or buying new machinery to expand operations, it hired a bunch of white-collar bureaucrats to wander around trying to think of something to do. “They’d be walking up and down the catwalks every day,” an older worker said, “staring at us, scribbling notes while we worked. Then they’d have meetings and discuss it and write reports. But they still couldn’t figure out any real excuse for their existence.” Finally they just suggested that the company shut down the whole plant and move operations to Poland—whereupon the workers took over the factory and kicked their employers out.
Even when corporate executives are presented with ways to automate tasks that white-collar employees are doing by hand, they often resist. One testimony was from a guy who was hired by a large bank to do risk management, which meant he was able to have a panoramic view of the bank’s internal processes and suggest fixes for incoherencies, vulnerabilities, and redundancies. He concluded that, conservatively, 80 percent of the bank’s 60,000 employees were unnecessary, because their jobs either could be performed by a program or were in support of “some bullshit process” to begin with. But when he presented executives with programs that would solve inefficiencies, he always faced severe hostility. Not a single one of his recommendations was ever adopted. “Because in every case,” he said, “fixing these problems would have resulted in people losing their jobs, as those jobs served no purpose other than giving the executive they reported to a sense of power.” In case after case that Graeber reports, it was clear that the higher-ups prided themselves on their bloated staffs.
The notion of managerial feudalism is evocative, and Graeber is clearly onto something with his suggestion that “there seems to be an intrinsic connection between the financialization of the economy, the blossoming of information industries, and the proliferation of bullshit jobs.” What exactly that connection is, though, is hard to tease out. The precise mechanismsare hard to tease out. His “iron law of liberalism,” formulated in Utopia of Rules, is also apropos: “any market reform, any government initiative intended to reduce red tape and promote market forces will have the ultimate effect of increasing the total number of regulations, the total amount of paperwork, and the total number of bureaucrats the government employs.” Such reforms have been abundant in the neoliberal era, and they have certainly contributed to the explosion of bureaucracy, in both the private and public sectors.
But Graeber neglects to mention the more deep-rooted forces that have made bullshitization a steadily growing phenomenon since at least the time of Frederick Winslow Taylor. Ever since management began to take control of production away from workers, to centralize knowledge in its own ranks and reduce the worker to mere appendage of the machine—but an appendage that has to be closely monitored and supervised—whole layers of unnecessary bureaucracy have existed. Much of the bureaucracy has existed only to control and monitor the direct producers, to strip power from them and keep it in the hands of capitalists or their agents. In other words, its purpose has been largely political, not directly economic or “efficiency”-related.
At the same time, it became ever more necessary to control markets and the public mind, through political and advertising propaganda. Hence the rise of the public relations industry from around the time of World War I. And hence whole new layers of massive bureaucracy, which have continued to expand for a hundred years. Meanwhile, government bureaucracies expanded exponentially in order to improve society’s “legibility” to the state and administer it for the benefit of capital. Corporate capital and the state constantly strengthened their ties, effectively intertwining, collecting practically infinite amounts of data on the population for the usual purposes of surveillance, control, and profit-making; and the processing of such data inevitably was used to justify further growth of bureaucracies, even beyond what was strictly necessary. All this was happening long before the neoliberal era, though it attained new heights of wastefulness under the impact of “deregulation,” privatization, financialization, globalization, and the information economy.
It’s significant, too, that the proliferation of bullshit jobs is itself a form of population control, of keeping people subordinate in hierarchical structures, socialized into submission, atomized and alienated from one another. African-American men are kept under control by being locked up in prisons, while whites are funneled into pointless jobs where they can be supervised and indoctrinated. The system hasn’t been consciously designed for this purpose, but the reason it’s able to expand is that it serves the interests of power-structures.
So is there any way out of our bullshit society? Can it be reformed so that half the work being done is no longer pointless? Graeber doesn’t focus on this question, since his book is supposed to be about diagnosing the problem rather than proposing solutions, but he does suggest that Universal Basic Income would help. Unlike many reforms that social movements are proposing, UBI would likely reduce the size and intrusiveness of government, not increase it. If everyone automatically received, say, $25,000 or more a year, huge and intrusive sections of government could simply be shut down (even if social welfare programs continued or expanded). Millions of bureaucrats would lose their jobs, but they would also receive an annual income allowing them to pursue other projects that interested them.
“A full Basic Income would eliminate the compulsion to work, by offering a reasonable standard of living to all, and then either leaving it up to each individual to decide whether they wished to pursue further wealth, by doing a paying job or selling something, or whether they wished to do something else with their time.” Bosses might start treating their employees better, since it would be a less frightening prospect for them to quit, and conditions in crappy low-paying jobs would have to improve in order to attract workers. Many pointless jobs would cease to exist, since few people would want them. The social changes would be so radical and far-reaching it’s impossible to fully anticipate them.
Graeber doesn’t delve into the technicalities of UBI, but he’s right it’s a proposal worth seriously thinking about. It could be a step on the road to even more radical changes.
All in all, Bullshit Jobs is a good book that’s worth reading, despite its irritating prolixity and meandering structure. It usefully highlights and names a major social malady that afflicts tens of millions of people but that few talk about, except in informal conversations among their fellow sufferers. We should all be talking about the meaningless-jobs crisis and proposing solutions that will end the rampant spiritual misery it has caused. UBI, if designed well, could be a huge step in the right direction. But ultimately, I don’t see any thoroughgoing cure except an end to capitalism itself, which is to say a (necessarily protracted) revolution that finally establishes the old socialist ideal of economic democracy. Democracy is the only real cure for all of humanity’s current ailments.
Over 1.08 million animals were used for scientific “experiments” in total, and now that number is rising for the first time in supposedly three years in this state.
Think that it’s not that inhumane to experiment on mice or rodents? Well, these animals being experimented upon include koalas, pound dogs, rabbits, horses, monkeys and sheep.
This is happening in the Australian state of Victoria.
The official justification is that most of these animals were “simply observed” (does that mean a control group? Probably not), but other animals suffered through horrific, violent “tests” in the name of science, as phrased by an article from the Herald Sun.
This isn’t in the name of science, it’s in the name of scientism and money.
One weird fact about this statistic is that the animals undergoing genetic modifications in particular rose tremendously, with 133,852 animals being used for 259 separate projects.
These are the official records.
Animals used in experiments during 2016 in Victoria
Lab Mice — 398,277
Fish — 294,950
Sheep — 85,677
Guinea pigs — 3962
Pounds dogs — 2945
Lab Rabbits — 1464
Horses — 704
Pound cats — 597
Marmosets — 95
Macaques — 86
Reptiles — 52
Some animals were subject to being implanted with who knows what, for long-term monitoring. Other animals were afflicted with longterm, major physical impediments and deformities as animal experimentation always causes, and some of the animals passed away.
Please beware of the disturbing photos you are about to see. They are not necessarily of animals in Victoria, but animals being experimented on in general.
What is the Australian mainstream media saying about these animals? They’re trying to look on the bright side and support the practice, insisting that the total number of animals being killed “in the name of science” is decreasing.
“Only 6897 animals” have died in tests where death was the “proposed end point,” laments the Australian mainstream media. That’s so much better than zero animals dying in a study that basically intended for them to die.
A lot of these animals were subject to euthanasia after the tests: a whopping 79,858 were discarded and euthanized.
These numbers for just the state of Victoria alone were revealed in what they simply call annual data. The mainstream reported that it was simply the “sad cost of scientific advancement.”
People who aren’t insane can probably recognize that this isn’t “scientific advancement,” and there is no quantifiable evidence that this advanced anything for anybody, except the advanced depth of the pockets of entities funding this research.
While the original article was a little vague on whether or not these figures were for one year or in total, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was for just one year because for some reason the Australian state of Victoria is really bad about this.
According to the Herald Sun:
“The state government records every live specimen used to help tackle numerous human diseases, products and breeding practices.”
It is believed that Australia is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to animal experimentation. For some reason Victoria in particular is a place where a lot of “research” is done, and a lot of animals have to suffer.
Make no mistake, these animals do not suffer for some kind of vague notion of “the advancement of science,” for the betterment of mankind.
No, research grants are provided to academics, researchers, and scientists because the people with money want something to be generated from that money. Money is not given out for free, or for some vague altruistic purpose to these researchers, just as scholarships are not given to people to go to college for no reason: they want money.
Apparently a department of government in Victoria, Agriculture Victoria is supposed to ensure that all tests were approved and overseen by them, to “ensure ethical treatment.”
But if their standard of “ethical treatment” is to euthanize and discard tens of thousands of animals who may not even be that affected by what they did. Their standard of “ethical treatment” is to do things that result in permanent, strange deformations and injuries, so they have a really messed up sense of “ethics.”
To justify all this, a spokesman for the department said:
“The use of animals in research and teaching is, at this moment, an unfortunate necessity for the purposes of promoting the health of humans, animals and the environment.
Victorian legislation ensures that unnecessary animal use is not permitted and mandates the considerate and respectful treatment of research animals.”
So why would this horrific animal experimentation be performed in Australia, and not elsewhere?
Take it from population control advocate and ruthless “kill the poor”-type-person Paul Ehrlich. This is an extensive video about him worth watching on its own, but at one point in that video, he said something interesting.
Paul Ehrlich said that Australia, not America would tolerate a conversation about placing sterilization-inducing chemicals in the public water supply, sterilizing people en-mass to ensure that they don’t have any more children, only giving out antidotes to this sterilizing agent if the government deemed a family worthy of reproducing.
Unfortunately as a person who has lived in both Australia and America, I can confirm this is correct. Australia is more open to having a conversation about everybody being sterilized, forced to only reproduce if the government allows it, than America.
It’s not the people of Australia inherently, it’s a culture that exists there that really came from Britain: a culture where people are made really safe, really docile and willing to accept whatever the government does to sum it up.
Well, this is the state’s sense of ethics. Millions of animals are nothing but test subjects.
When will we have enough technology? Do we really need more “scientific advancement,” or do we need to just be at peace with the plants, animals, and people of this planet?
This article In This One State, 1.08 Million Animals Were Experimented On, Dogs Included by Markab Algedi originally appeared on The Mind Unleashed.
Agency warns banks of an imminent ‘cashout’ attack by gangs of criminals on cash points around the world
Cyber criminals are planning a highly-coordinated attack on cash machines around the world that could see millions of dollars withdrawn from customer bank accounts, the FBI has warned.
A confidential alert sent to banks stated that the scheme, known as an “ATM cashout”, could take place in the space of just a few hours, most likely on a weekend after banks have closed. The scheme involves cloned cards, together with a hack on a bank or payment processor in order to facilitate the fraudulent withdrawal of funds by gangs of cyber criminals.
“The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days, likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an ‘unlimited operation’,” states an FBI alert to banks that was obtained by cyber security expert Brian Krebs.
“Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities. The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”
Seventeen years of sacrificing young people to a counter-productive effort is far too long.
(FEE) — On September 11 of this year, those who weren’t yet born at the time of the 9/11 attacks will finally be old enough to fight in the war on terror. In 2012, U.S. Marines killed Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks, yet American soldiers are still losing their lives overseas in the name of preventing terrorism against the United States—despite the fact that there hasn’t been another major attack on U.S. soil.
Now a new generation is set to join the conflict, even though the presence of our brave troops has actually increased the power and influence of terrorist groups—the very threat they meant to eradicate. It is time to rethink what has become the longest war in American history. We need to prevent the War on Terror from continuing forever so my generation doesn’t have to pay an even higher price.
Defenders of the War on Terror argue that America cannot afford to leave because it would risk greater instability in the Middle East and terrorist attacks on American soil. Former CIA Director General Petraeus was evidently not bothered by the idea that the United States would be at war for decades because he argued that a sustained commitment is necessary for ending the war in Afghanistan. Rather than ending it, he supported putting 3,000 to 5,000 more troops abroad and continuing the war for a few more decades.
However, adding more troops does not help the U.S. achieve its goals. On the contrary, as Cato Institute policy analysts Erik Goepner and Trevor Thrall reported, terrorist attacks in countries with U.S. military presence rose by 1900 percent between the mid-80s and early aughts. Contrary to common opinion, young Afghans do not become violent because they are poor—they become violent when they are dishonored, which explains why violence continues in Afghanistan. MercyCorps, a human rights organization, found in two separate studies that, even when youths had successful jobs, they were just as likely to become politically violent as their peers who were unemployed. One of the main drivers of political violence is anger at the West and the U.S. government.
Even if sending troops overseas did successfully combat terrorism, even our strongest waves of forces could not keep the Taliban out. The only forces that were able to keep the terrorist group temporarily at bay were nearly 100,000 strong, and even General Petraeus admits those forces did not keep the Taliban away for long. Thousands of the best and brightest of the next generation were sent overseas when they could have been the next Steve Jobs.
Although special forces have moved into more countries to counter new threats, new terrorist groups continue to proliferate, increasing tenfold since the beginning of the War on Terror. Any effective strategy would have yielded better results: after 17 years of American involvement in Afghanistan, we’ve spent $2 billion, 2,403 soldiers are dead, and terrorism has only increased in the places where America intervened.
What General Petraeus proposed—decades of fighting and 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops in Afghanistan—is counterproductive to American interests. Our policy should be aimed at attempting to reduce some of the harm it has already caused the next generation. Millennials and Generation Z already have to figure out how to manage the crippling national debt set to reach $187,362 per taxpayer by 2022, and the challenges of providing care for the 14 to 20 percent of veterans affected by PTSD.
U.S. military intervention does not tend to make the Middle East more stable, nor does it keep Americans safe from the results of that instability. To date, U.S. military presence has done the complete opposite. The Trump administration’s 2017 decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan is directly counter to promoting the “general welfare” of the people of the United States, even though that’s their stated goal. The next generation will already be disproportionately affected by the War on Terror without the added concern of sending new troops to fight our parents’ war.
(ANTIMEDIA) — Last week, a jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million to a groundskeeper who repeatedly used glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide, while working at a school. The man, Dewayne Johnson, developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is linked to glyphosate exposure according to three expert scientists who testified in the case, and the jury found the widely used herbicide contributed to his condition.
The use of glyphosate has exploded in recent decades, with 1.8 million tons sprayed in America since 1974. It is the most widely used herbicide in the world.
In light of the jury’s decision and increasing evidence of the dangers of the chemical, here are seven products that have been documented to contain glyphosate. Though they certainly do not have the same potency as Johnson was exposed to and it is not yet clear how consumption of food grown with glyphosate affects human health, consumers should nevertheless be conscious of what they are being exposed to:
1. Honey – In 2016, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found varying levels of glyphosate in different types of honey. Though many variants of the honey tested had trace amounts, others had significant amounts, and most of those samples were from the United States.
2. Granola – An internal analysis conducted by FDA chemist Richard Thompson found glyphosate in samples of granola he brought to the lab from home. The FDA has not yet released his findings to the public but may do so later this year or early next year. He noted in an internal email that broccoli was the only item that did not contain the chemical.
3. Wheat crackers – Another sample Thompson found to contain glyphosate were wheat crackers. Though the lab work is yet to be released, internal emails show he said there was a “fair amount” of glyphosate in everything he tested. A separate analysis by Anresco laboratories in 2016 suggested glyphosate was present in popular cracker brands like Triscuit and Ritz, though those findings were questioned by the Genetic Literacy Project, which has in turn been criticized as a pro-Monsanto and GMO mouthpiece.
4. Cheerios and other cereals – According to the same Anresco report, as summarized by Huffington Post, “Glyphosate residues were found in General Mills’ Cheerios at 1,125.3 parts per billion (ppb). Glyphosate was also detected in Special K cereal.”
5. Oatmeal – Chamkasem, who detected glyphosate in honey, also conducted an analysis that found residues in oatmeal, but the FDA reassigned him shortly after that research and said those findings were not part of the agency’s official glyphosate residue assignment.
6. Corn – Richard Thompson’s analysis found glyphosate in corn meal he tested, which is unsurprising considering the growth in popularity of Roundup Ready corn, though the FDA has said no illegal levels of glyphosate have been found in the crop.
7. Soy – A 2014 study published in Food Chemistry by researchers from the Arctic University of Norway found high levels of glyphosate residue in genetically modified soybeans, which have come to dominate the market. As Smithsonian Magazine noted in 2016, “By the early 2000s, Roundup Ready had come to dominate American soybean production, accounting for four-fifths of the nation’s output.”
Though it remains to be seen how much consumption of food tinged with glyphosate affects human health, it is clear that the chemical is showing up in humans. A 2017 study from the University of California, San Diego found levels of glyphosate in older Americans have skyrocketed. “What we saw was that prior to the introduction of genetically modified foods, very few people had detectable levels of glyphosate,” said Dr. Paul J. Mills, lead author and UC San Diego School of Medicine professor of Family Medicine and Public Health. “As of 2016, 70 percent of the study cohort had detectable levels.”
Glyphosate has been shown to suffocate human cells in laboratory research and is associated with various ailments when humans are directly exposed to it, as Dewayne Johnson was. There is less evidence showing the harmful effects of glyphosate in food, but much of the research on its safety has been funded by industry and companies like Monsanto. Advocacy groups have claimed the U.S. “safe” limits are higher than other countries.
Regardless, as Mills said,“Our exposure to these chemicals has increased significantly over the years but most people are unaware that they are consuming them through their diet.”
BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Tuesday condemned measures targeting it in a new U.S. defense act, saying it exaggerated antagonism and that Beijing would take a close look at aspects that beef up the role of a U.S. panel that reviews foreign investment proposals.
China’s complaints about the act come as the world’s two biggest economies engage in an increasingly bitter fight over trade, levying tariffs on each others’ products.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a $716-billion defense policy act on Monday that authorizes military spending and waters down controls on U.S. government contracts with China’s ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd .
The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews proposals to determine if they threaten national security. That measure was seen as targeting China.
China’s Commerce Ministry said it had noted the inclusion of CFIUS in the act and would “comprehensively assess the contents”, paying close attention to the impact on Chinese firms.
“The U.S. side should objectively and fairly treat Chinese investors, and avoid CFIUS becoming an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and U.S. firms,” the ministry said in a statement.
Chinese and U.S. companies seek greater cooperation on investment, it added, urging the two countries’ governments to heed the voices of their companies, and provide a good environment and stable expectations.
John Greenewald of Black Vault, a website that publishes government documents, appealed to the internet for help after the agency refused to waive the $425 fee it was demanding to release the documents. Greenewald, who has been filing FOIA requests for two decades, had previously published files on MKUltra, a program best known for dosing individuals with drugs like LSD to research mind control. The program was shut down, and the documents were reportedly destroyed in 1973 at the order of then-director Richard Helms, but some were eventually released.
Greenewald filed his first request for the documents in the late ‘90s and says he didn’t hear back for years. In 2004, the CIA released some relevant documents to him via CD-Rom, which he published, but years later, he discovered thousands of pages were missing.
“So, even though I paid for the CDs already, and they gave me an index originally stating that 100% of those records were on the CD-ROMs, they in fact, were not,” he said in his GoFundMe appeal. He filed a new request but the CIA is charging him $425 to print 4,358 pages of previously withheld material. He easily met his goal of $500 (to cover any additional costs and GoFundMe fees) with the help of just 16 donors.
MKUltra has been extensively verified — in one case, the CIA kept seven prisoners at a Kentucky penitentiary high on acid for 77 days — but many of the documents are not available to the public. Though the CIA claims the documents he is requesting are not related to MKUltra, and rather, pertain to “behavioral modification,” Greenewald isn’t convinced. “Whether or not that ties into MKUltra and mind control, which I believe it does, the CIA claims it does not,” he told Vice News.
“To me, even though the government lies, documents do not,” Greenewald said. “And documents tell a very interesting story. That’s why I love them.”
He added, “We shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.”
In the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, the private Federal Reserve bank cartel was front and center as a target for public outrage.
Former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” message suddenly resonated. Americans hated Fed officials bailing out the banksters – richly rewarding them for crooked and irresponsible behavior which helped create the crisis.
But years have passed. Americans have been enjoying the expansion stage of the next great bubble. The central planners at the Fed and their colleagues at the nation’s largest banks have been busy stimulating the real estate, equity, and bond markets.
The movement to audit or end the Fed has faded back into obscurity.
That is why an article published last week in The Wall Street Journal came as a bit of a surprise. The headline is “We’ll Never Know How Bad the Federal Reserve Is,” and it serves as a reminder for those who may have forgotten the Fed is NOT your friend.
The article outlines the central bank’s policy for keeping secrets. As the primary regulator for U.S. banks, the Fed is responsible for examining banks and writing reports on what it finds.
However, those reports are not for public consumption. They are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Instead, they are kept in a file for 30 years, then destroyed.
Examiners might be investigating the errors and sins committed by a bank, but the public never gets to make their own evaluation. We cannot gauge either how thorough the investigation was or whether any penalties are commensurate with the crimes.
The reason for such secrecy is obvious. The Federal Reserve was designed and built to make sure neither its officials nor private bankers are held publicly accountable.
Time and again, America’s latest central bank has provided bailouts for Wall Street, with Main Street footing the bill. Not a single high-level bank executive has been prosecuted for the rampant and pervasive fraud associated with the 2008 crisis.
The big banks have prospered, growing larger and even more “systemically important,” a term which means “too big to fail.” As a regulator, the Fed is remarkable for its staggering ineptitude or for its total corruption. You decide which.
Meanwhile, politicians in Washington DC have been able to accelerate the growth of government spending, facilitated by the central bank in myriad ways.
Of course the central bankers will tell us that secrecy is important for “maintaining independence” and “security” of the markets. These claims that there is a legitimate need for secrecy would be slightly more credible if it were for a limited time.
That is not the case, however. The Fed is, in many regards, a virtual black box which shall remain closed for all time, at least if officials continue to have their way.
The most “interesting” works of the Wall Street elites in power there will never be published or examined. It is considered vital the public never knows about certain activities.
There is only one reason for that level of secrecy: We might object.
The fervor with which Fed officials oppose any attempt to bring more transparency and accountability is something Americans might now find familiar.
The central bank is another arm of the Deep State, much like the FBI and intelligence agencies.
We have learned a lot recently about what happens when entire bureaucracies operate in the dark and stop concerning themselves with the rule of law.
Senator Rand Paul is continuing his father’s effort to audit the Fed. Let us hope the developing outrage with the Deep State expands to include the central bankers.
Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Siegner puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals’ brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.
Paul Craig Roberts
Aug 12, 2018
The Russian and Chinese governments are puzzling. They hold all the cards in the sanction wars and sit there with no wits whatsoever as to how to play them.
The Russians won’t get any help from the Western media which obscures the issue by stressing that the Russian government doesn’t want to deprive its citizens of consumer goods from the West, which is precisely what Washington’s sanctions intend to do.
The Russian and Chinese governments are in Washington’s hands because Russia and China, thinking that capitalism had won, quickly adopted American neoliberal economics, which is a propaganda device that serves only American interests.
For years NASA has been unable to function without Russian rocket engines. Despite all the sanctions, insults, military provocations, the Russian government still sends NASA the engines. Why? Because the Russian economists tell the government that foreign exchange is essential to Russia’s development.
Europe is dependent on Russian energy to run its factories and to keep warm in winter. But Russia does not turn off the energy in response to Europe’s participation in Washington’s sanctions, because the Russian economists tell the government that foreign exchange is essential to Russia’s development.
As Michael Hudson and I explained on a number of occasions, this is nonsense. Russia’s development is dependent in no way on the acquisition of foreign currencies.
The Russians are also convinced that they need foreign investment, which serves only to drain profits out of their economy.
The Russians are also convinced that they should freely trade their currency, thereby subjecting the ruble to manipulation on foreign exchange markets. If Washington wants to bring a currency crisis to Russia, all the Federal Reserve, its vassal Japanese, EU, and UK central banks have to do is to short the ruble. Hedge funds and speculators join in for the profits.
Neoliberal economics is a hoax, and the Russians have fallen for it.
So have the Chinese
Suppose that when all these accusations against Russia began—take the alleged attack on the Skirpals for example—Putin had stood up and said: “The British government is lying through its teeth and so is every government including that of Washington that echoes this lie. Russia regards this lie as highly provocative and as a part of a propaganda campaign to prepare Western peoples for military attack on Russia. The constant stream of gratuitous lies and military exercises on our border have convinced Russia that the West intends war. The consequence will be the total destruction of the United States and its puppets.”
That would have been the end of the gratuitous provocations, military exercises, and sanctions.
Instead, we heard about “misunderstandings” with out “American partners,” which encouraged more lies and more provocations.
Or, for a more mild response, Putin could have announced: “As Washington and its servile European puppets have sanctioned us, we are turning off the rocket engines, all energy to Europe, titanium to US aircraft companies, banning overflights of US cargo and passenger aircraft, and putting in place punitive measures against all US firms operating in Russia.” Instead of acting intelligently, the witless Russians are still using the US dollar for their oil trade!
One reason, perhaps, that Russia does not do this in addition to Russia’s mistaken belief that it needs Western money and good will is that Russia mistakenly thinks that Washington will steal their European energy market and ship natural gas to Europe. No such infrastructure exists. It would take several years to develop the infrastructure. By then Europe would have mass unemployment and would have frozen in several winters.
What about China? China hosts a large number of major US corporations, including Apple, the largest capitalized corporation in the world. China can simply nationalize without compensation, as South Africa is doing to white South African farmers without any Western protest, all global corporations operating in China. Washington would be overwhelmed with global corporations demanding removal of every sanction on China and complete subservience of Washington to the Chinese government.
Or, or in addition, China could dump all $1.2 trillion of its US Treasuries. The Federal Reserve would quickly print the money to buy the bonds so that the price did not collapse. China could then dump the dollars that the Fed printed in order to redeem the bonds. The Fed cannot print the foreign currencies with which to purchase the dollars. The dollar would plummet and not be worth a Venezuelan bolivar unless Washington could order its pupper foreign central banks in Japan, UK, and EU to print their currencies in order to purchase the dollars. This, even if complied with, would cause a great deal of stress in what is called “the Western alliance,” but what is really Washington’s Empire.
Why don’t the Russians and Chinese play their winning hands? The reason is that neither government has any advisers who are not brainwashed by neoliberalism. The brainwashing that Americans gave Russia during the Yeltsin years has been institutionalized in Russian institutions. Trapped in this box, Russia is a sitting duck for Washington.
Turkey is a perfect opportunity for Russia and China to step forward and remove Turkey from NATO. The two countries could offer Turkey membership in BRICS, trade deals, and mutual security treaties. China could easily buy up the Turkish currency off foreign exchange markets. The same could be done for Iran. Yet neither Russia nor China appear capable of decisive action. The two countries, both under attack as Turkey is from Washington, sit there sucking their thumbs. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-11/us-risks-completely-losing-turkey-erdogan-vows-defy-us-threats-over-pastor-brunson