The common signs of all empires collapse from the Romans to now the United States?
The common signs of all empires collapse from the Romans to now the United States?
Graham Hancock reviews the evidence and the arguments, the new archaeology and the intriguing genetic clues, to bring us closer to the truth of what really happened during this astonishing lost period in history. Hancock suggests the survivors of earth’s lost civilization, left us unmistakable clues in the form of advanced technology and ancient ruins.
Graham looks at the clues scattered around the world in ancient myths, maps and monuments and in deliberately buried time-capsules, such as mysterious 12,000-year-old sites like Gunung Padang in Indonesia and Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, these clues appear to have been designed to reawaken humanity at a time when an advanced global civilization had once again emerged. Hancock concludes his lecture with evidence that a planetary awakening is underway, the birth of a new – or perhaps very old and long-lost – form of human consciousness.
The Australian city has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of the most livable cities in the world for the seventh year in a row.
Melbourne has been awarded the title of the world’s most liveable city for the seventh year in a row in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of the most livable cities in the world.
The ranking was calculated by assessing 140 cities around the world, and giving them a score out of 100 based on stability, healthcare, education, infrastructure and culture.
The top 10 cities remained unchanged from last year. Vienna and Vancouver came second and third respectively, followed by Toronto, Adelaide, Calgary, Perth and Auckland. The Finnish capital of Helsinki, and the German city of Hamburg rounded up the top ten.
Melbourne scored 95 for stability, 95.1 for culture and environment, and a perfect 100 for education, healthcare, and infrastructure. The city got an overall rating of 97.5. No city was able to make the top mark of 100, which is labeled as ‘ideal’.
Meanwhile, global business cities including New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo – described by the Economist Intelligence Unit as being ‘victims of their own success’ – are all named outside the top ten list because of ‘high crime, congestion and public transport problems’.
Several U.S. cities registered declines in their scores which, the report says, ‘stems in part from unrest related to a number of deaths of black people at the hands of police officers’, as well as ‘protests held in response to President Trump’s policies and executive orders’.
Meanwhile, Syria’s war-torn city of Damascus occupied the bottom position as the least liveable city in the world. Lagos in Nigeria, Tripoli in Libya, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea made up the rest of the bottom five.
The report pointed out that the world’s security is volatile due to rise in militancy targeting innocent people. More broadly, global stability continued to weaken due to the increase in terror-related incidents world wide.
“Violent acts of terrorism have been reported in many countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US. While not a new phenomenon, the frequency and spread of terrorism have increased noticeably and become even more prominent.”
For all its faults, Chavismo has finally put marginalised Venezuelans at the centre of national culture – and many on the right still resent it.
Lecturer in Latin American Studies, University of East Anglia
Aug 17, 2017
Over the last four months, hardly a day has gone by without news coverage of the political and economic crisis in Venezuela. At least 124 people have been killed, some by security forces, while participating in or accidentally encountering opposition-led street demonstrations.
The mainstream media narrative is of an increasingly authoritarian government repressing a series of popular uprisings in a desperate bid to hold onto power. Political leaders in the UK, the US and other countries warn that President Nicolás Maduro is turning into a dictator.
But little has been said about the reported 49% to 80% of Venezuelans, both pro- and anti-Maduro, who are “in disagreement” with the radical opposition’s use of violence as a political tool. Not all who oppose Maduro support the radical opposition or want them in power.
While acknowledging that Venezuela’s political unrest “remains mostly confined to middle-class enclaves”, the authors of an article published in the Wall Street Journal suggested that many “poor Venezuelans” are just “too hungry” to march. But rejection of the radical opposition goes far deeper than this. It is rooted in profound historical concerns, not just political and economic, but also racial and cultural.
Before Hugo Chávez was elected in 1998, Venezuela attracted little international attention. It was seen as exceptionally stable by Latin American standards, and was best known for its beauty queens and its oil. Those national icons represent the racial and cultural politics that are driving today’s unrest.
Let’s start with the beauty queens. While a majority of Venezuelans identify as black, indigenous or mestizo (mixed-race), the country’s beauty queens invariably conform to white beauty ideals. The organiser of the country’s most important beauty pageant has stated that black women are not pretty because their noses are “too wide” and their lips “too thick”. Afro hair is commonly referred to as pelo malo – “bad hair”.
These aesthetic values have political, cultural and economic counterparts. In the mid-19th century, several Latin American governments implemented “whitening” policies along the ideological lines laid out in books such as Facundo: Civilisation and Barbarism. Large scale European migration was promoted for the “improvement” of “the race”. In Venezuela, these policies continued until the 1940s.
This belief in the natural superiority of Europeans was also evident in the economically crucial, foreign-owned oil sector. Professionals and middle managers were white Venezuelans, but labourers were recruited from black and mixed-race sectors. By the time oil was nationalised in 1976, the Venezuelan middle class it helped to create had come to identify with US-style political, cultural and consumer patterns. For these Venezuelans, dubbed “miameros” because of their frequent shopping trips to Miami, oil symbolised civilisation, while the black and mixed-race masses represented the perceived barbarism of the past.
But Venezuela’s apparent “exceptionalism” was an illusion. In the 1960s and 1970s, the “common sense” ideas of progress and modernity promulgated by the oil industry and backed by the government ran into trouble. Social tensions developed around the unequal access to oil profits, and strong currents of barrio and grassroots activism began to surge. The situation worsened in the 1980s as oil prices dropped and the bolívar currency was devalued.
In February 1989, the Caracazo uprisings broke out in anger at newly-imposed, right wing economic reforms. An ensuing military crackdown claimed the lives of more than 400 people, mainly from the barrios. To this day, poorer Venezuelans remember this state violence as an act carried out to protect the interests of the wealthy middle classes and their foreign allies. As a woman from the 22 de Enero barrio told me in 2008: “You never saw anybody on the right protesting against the shooting of us; [they] … never cried when we were shot.”
In the early years of Hugo Chávez’s rise to power, right wing criticism of the government was frequently couched in racial and cultural terms. The private media portrayed government supporters as hordes of “monkeys” moved by base emotions and swayed by an authoritarian leader.
One anti-Chavista told me in 2005 that a president should be a “señor” who speaks English, and not someone from such a humble background that he only started wearing shoes at the age of eight. Chávez was not fit to be president, she elaborated, “because of his culture, the tiny bit he has … He wants us all to live like he used to live”. For anti-Chavistas, Chávez and his supporters in the barrios represented the perceived barbarism of the past, and this instilled fear in them.
While the Chávez government attracted international attention for its economic and political programmes, it also addressed cultural injustices. Through new cultural policies and social programmes, such as Misión Cultura, Chavismo raised the symbolic status of the historically excluded poor and mixed-race masses. For the first time, previously marginalised people saw their history and cultural values, as they defined them, promoted by the government and included in official representations of the national cultural heritage.
These efforts were extremely powerful, and won the government deep support. As a barrio resident put it to me in 2008:
We have a sense of belonging now … This is the responsibility of all of us, not Chávez alone … he can’t do it without us.
The opposition protests that have flared up since Chávez first came to power need to be understood within this cultural and racial context. Radical sectors of the right wing opposition have repeatedly refused to accept the legitimacy of Chavismo and what it represents. In 2002, they helped organise both a short-lived US-backed coup and oil strikes meant to create chaos and bring the government down. The street demonstrations raging today are aimed at achieving regime change, but the opposition has not indicated what policies they would introduce and how they would deal with the country’s problems if they were in power.
Maduro’s popularity has fallen significantly this year, but many who have withdrawn their support for him feel alienated by the opposition’s anti-poor discourse. They fear that a return to the political right would reverse the gains made under Chavismo, and worse. Their fears are not theoretical; as observed by Gabriel Hetland of the State University of New York at Albany, the opposition has carried out “brutal attacks” directed at “black and brown men … and other people who look Chavista”.
The crisis in Venezuela is not simply a matter of left wing versus right wing political and economic systems. It is also rooted in competing ideas about racial and cultural worth. The ugly truth is that for some, it is still a matter of civilisation versus barbarism.
Sagan was a man of reason and his predictions or the future of America were shockingly accurate.
Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Far from being a mystic or a prophet, Carl Sagan was a man of science, a man of analytical reasoning, with a penchant for wonder and appreciation for the mystery of the cosmos. He’s well-known for his statement that ‘we are made of starstuff,’ just beings composed of atomic matter and held together by physics.
Published in 1995 shortly before Sagan’s death in 1996, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark was Sagan’s attempt to explain the scientific method to laypeople. He took it as his mission in life to alert the world that the intellectual foundation of our society and culture was in jeopardy of being overthrown in a new era of returning superstition, pseudoscience and anti-intellectualism.
It was the dumbing down of America that worried Sagan at the end of his life, and in The Demon-Haunted World he offered a rationally prophetic examination of where America was heading. Now, some 20 years later, his words are resonating with those who are paying attention to the changing cultural climate today.
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” ~Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
He’s right, of course, for this country is now in serious economic dire straits. Manufacturing has been off shored, and millions are indeed dependent on the service economy. Our understanding of the scientific and engineering principles which create the devices and conveniences we depend on are widely misunderstood. At the same time, we are becoming a technocracy, a nation governed by technology which has become so advanced and complex that even our regulatory agencies do not understand what they’re up against.
Politically, we are ruled not by elected officials whom we can trust, but by an unelected deep state and super-international organizations which govern by treaty and economic brute force. The result is a sort of abandonment of hope in the system of democracy and a willful ignorance of the issues that genuinely impact our lives. We really don’t know how to redress our grievances, who to blame, or how to intelligently frame the issues facing us today. And so we ignore them.
In recent decades, peaking with the hype of the 2012 fantasy, we’ve seen a rise in new age belief systems which serves to turn people away from, reality, rationality and common sense, and encourages them to pursue meaningless wild-goose chases in the fields of light working, ascension, and the hype of quantum leaping. This distraction has made it impossible for many to recognize and acknowledge the real threats to our livelihood and survival, causing many to choose hope and faith over education and action.
“The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. As I write, the number one video cassette rental in America is the movie Dumb and Dumber. Beavis and Butthead remains popular (and influential) with young TV viewers. The plain lesson is that study and learning – not just of science, but of anything – are avoidable, even undesirable.” ~Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Here, Sagan chides mainstream media for their role in social engineering. The media has the greatest influence on our society, and it is in the ivory towers of media executives where the direction is set for our national intellect. They are the captains of our collective rational and emotional destiny, and Sagan’s comment condemns their fruitful efforts to turn young minds away from reason and towards stupidity. This was 20 years ago, and the effect has since been exacerbated by an order of magnitude. Now we have reality TV and a reality show president.
The problems we face today are concrete, albeit subtle and complex. Technology is increasingly enslaving us because we simply do not understand how it works or how to reign in those who control it. We’ve come to depend on its conveniences while simultaneously ignoring its intrusions into our private lives. In the absence of understanding we’ve become complacent and happy with such ignorance, and in this climate, Sagan’s darkly prophetic vision of our future is coming to fruition.
Buck Rogers is the earth-bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com.
Source: Our Fight Against Fascism
With permission from
August 16, 2017
When editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg asserted that “the struggle in Charlottesville is a struggle within our own civilization, within Trump’s own civilization,” and that in the wake of such events “an American president should speak up directly on behalf of the American creed, on behalf of Americans who reject tribalism and seek pluralism, on behalf of the idea that blood-and-soil nationalism is antithetical to the American idea itself,” who, exactly, can place his logic?
It reads nicely, and it seems a conscionable thought to have after a woman dies fighting Nazis on American soil. But, really, what history books has Mr. Goldberg been reading?
“Our civilization’s” ongoing genocide against indigenous groups and the violently enforced systematic oppression of Black Americans notwithstanding, the US government – of which Trump is now Commander-in-Chief – has a storied and bloody history of assassinating foreign heads of state precisely because, democratically, a body of citizens or voters “seeking pluralism” elsewhere in the world had commenced down an antifascist political path that did not suit Washington’s interests.
Ariel Dorfman, for instance, reminisces of the 1970s presidential inauguration of Salvador Allende in Chile: “[A]lmost three years later, a few days after the Hawker Hunter planes under the control of General Pinochet attacked the palace on September 11, 1973. Their bombs left a black yawning gap where the balcony stood. Where the president once waved his handkerchief, there is nothing. Allende is dead. And we can sense that outside the frame, below where the balcony jutted out, there is only emptiness…”
Oh, were it so easy to condemn Trump for failing to say the “right thing” at the “right time” and to have that be the end of it. Is this what the Liberal pluribus desires from America’s much-detested Caesar? It may be enough to keep Rachel Maddow employed, but, unfortunately, the reason for the president’s neutrality on fascism is much more serious than this—and let there be no doubt that he, especially, is unaware of the profound impetus for his proven Nazi-sympathizing.
As we are thoroughly living in an oligarchy, we should turn to Deleuze to elucidate a root cause of the Oval Office’s reigning fascist bent: “The administrations in charge never cease announcing supposedly necessary reforms: to reform schools, to reform industries, hospitals, the armed forces, prisons. But everyone knows that these institutions are finished, whatever the length of their expiration periods. It’s only a matter of administering their last rites and of keeping people employed until the installation of the new forces knocking at the door. These are the societies of control…”
Clearly, the rightward-leaning have shown a distinct susceptibility to every brand of hate-driven politics—and we should recall that the colonial residence of bigoted pilgrims did not predate the arrival of slave ships on American shores but followed one year later (1620 and 1619, respectively). Nevertheless, Liberals have their work cut out for them if they expect to right the ship of American democracy simply writing lukewarm editorials about “the American idea” and babyishly debating whether it is “ok” to punch Nazis in the face. In fact, our democracy is a ship that has always been listing! It has hardly been a democracy! And those who cry wolf because they think our political vessel is only now foundering really must have little-or-no experience with political organizing beyond the soothing environs of the yoga studio. Luckily for them, there is a very toothsome radical history they can get on board with.
Nearly a century ago, Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti offered very valuable advice during an interview he gave with the Toronto Star: “No government in the world fights Fascism to the death. When the bourgeoisie sees power slipping from its grasp, it has recourse to Fascism to maintain itself. The Liberal Government of Spain could have rendered the Fascist elements powerless long ago. Instead it compromised and dallied. Even now at this moment, there are men in this Government who want to go easy on the rebels… We want revolution here in Spain, right now, not maybe after the next European war. We are giving Hitler and Mussolini far more worry with our revolution than the whole Red Army of Russia. We are setting an example to the German and Italian working class on how to deal with Fascism.”
Our fight against fascism requires that we also set an example for the world. Huffing and puffing about what Trump says or fails to say is superficial. Of course, it is much easier than mounting a revolution to fight fascism to the death. And just how many bourgeois liberals are willing to pony-up?
by: Russel Davis
July 20, 2017
(Natural News) Contrary to popular belief, ancient inhabitants of Easter Island or Rapa Nui in Chile did not recklessly trash their ecosystem that lead to their eventual collapse, a recent study revealed. “The traditional story is that over time the people of Rapa Nui used up their resources and started to run out of food. One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures…painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative,” study co-author Professor Carl Lipo told NewAtlas.com.
In order to debunk this misconception, Lipo and his team examined human, faunal, and botanical specimen taken from the archaeological sites Anakena and Ahu Tepeu on Rapa Nui. The remains date back from c. 1400 AD to the historic period. The research team then conducted bulk carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses as well as amino acid compound specific isotope analyses to examine the collagen isolated from prehistoric human and faunal bone.
The analyses were meant to evaluate how the ancient civilization used marine and terrestrial resources. The same processes were carried out on archaeological and modern botanical and marine samples in order to determine the area’s local environment.
The series of carbon and nitrogen analyses revealed that marine resources were accounted for about 50 percent of the protein in human diets. The rate was significantly higher than previous estimates. This also meant that ancient Rapa Nui people have been fishing for longer periods than previously thought. In addition, the research team found that the food they used to cultivate on land came from modified, enriched soil and were more productive than previous estimates. According to the research team, this demonstrates that the people understood how to fertilize the land.
The findings demonstrate that ancient Easter Island people had wide knowledge of improving poor soil fertility, promoting environmental conditions, and creating a sustainable food supply, the research team noted. They also stressed that the activities suggest a certain degree of adaptability and resilience among the ancient inhabitants, debunking a long held notion of ecocide. While the eventual collapse of Rapa Nui civilization serves as a precautionary tale on the effects of environmental destruction, these people should not be dismissed as reckless and careless, the researchers added.
“The Rapa Nui people were, not surprisingly, smart about how they used their resources. And all the misunderstanding comes from our preconceptions about what subsistence should look like…And it didn’t look like what they thought, so they assumed something bad had happened…It continues to support the new narrative that we’ve been finding for the past ten years,” Professor Lipo said in a separate article on the Science Daily website.