In December 2013 President Viktor Yanukovych had announced following months of debate that Ukraine would join the Russian Eurasian Economic Union on the promise of a $15 billion Russian purchase of Ukraine’s state debt and a 33% reduction in the cost of imported Russian gas.
The competing offer had been a paltry “associate membership” in the EU tied to Ukraine’s acceptance of a draconian IMF and World Bank loan package that would force the privatization of Ukraine’s invaluable agricultural land, allow the planting of GMO crops, as well as imposing severe pension cuts and social austerity. In return for a $17 billion IMF loan, Ukraine would also have to raise personal income taxes by as much as 66% and pay 50% more for natural gas. Workers would have to work ten years longer to get pensions. The aim was to open Ukraine to “foreign investment.” The usual IMF rape of the economy on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
The Washington-imposed IMF loan conditions required that Ukraine also reverse its ban on genetically engineered crops, and enable private corporations like Monsanto to plant its GMO seeds and spray the fields with Monsanto’s Roundup.
Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, and other Western GMO purveyors secretly and illegally began spreading their patented GMO seeds in the black earth of Ukraine. Small landowners would lease their land to large Ukrainian oligarchs, who in turn would enter secret agreements with Monsanto and others to plant GMO corn and soybeans.
A great humanitarian uproar in recent weeks demanding the safe shipping of Ukrainian grain to ease a hunger crisis in Africa and elsewhere is deceptive on many levels.
Not the least is who owns the land on which the grain is grown and whether that grain is actually illegal GMO patented corn and other grains. A corrupt Zelenskyy regime has quietly made deals with the major GMO agribusiness companies in the West who have been stealthily taking control of some of the world’s most productive “black earth” farmland.
The 2014 CIA Coup
In February 2014 a US Government-backed coup d’etat forced the elected president of Ukraine to flee for his life to Russia. In December 2013 President Viktor Yanukovych had announced following months of debate that Ukraine would join the Russian Eurasian Economic Union on the promise of a $15 billion Russian purchase of Ukraine’s state debt and a 33% reduction in the cost of imported Russian gas.
The competing offer had been a paltry “associate membership” in the EU tied to Ukraine’s acceptance of a draconian IMF and World Bank loan package that would force the privatization of Ukraine’s invaluable agricultural land, allow the planting of GMO crops, as well as imposing severe pension cuts and social austerity. In return for a $17 billion IMF loan, Ukraine would also have to raise personal income taxes by as much as 66% and pay 50% more for natural gas. Workers would have to work ten years longer to get pensions. The aim was to open Ukraine to “foreign investment.” The usual IMF rape of the economy on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
A key provision of the US and IMF demands on the post-coup government of US-picked Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk , a leader of the CIA-backed Maiden protests against Yanukovych, was to finally open Ukraine’s rich agricultural land to foreign Agribusiness giants, above all GMO giants including Monsanto and DuPont. Three of the Yatsenyuk cabinet , including the key Finance and Economy ministers, were foreign nationals, dictated to Kiev by the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland and then-Vice President Joe Biden. The Washington-imposed IMF loan conditions required that Ukraine also reverse its ban on genetically engineered crops, and enable private corporations like Monsanto to plant its GMO seeds and spray the fields with Monsanto’s Roundup.
Since Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, keeping control of Ukraine’s precious “black earth” land has been one of the most heated issues in national politics. Recent polls show that 79% of Ukrainians want to retain control of their land from a foreign takeover. Ukraine, like southern Russia, is home to valuable black earth or chernozems, a dark, humus-rich soil that is very productive and needs little artificial fertilizer.
A 2001 Ukraine law imposed a moratorium on the private sale of farmland to larger companies or foreign investors. The moratorium was to halt buy-up by corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs and their leasing to foreign agribusiness of the rich farmlands. By then Monsanto and other Western agribusiness had made significant inroads into Ukraine.
When Ukraine left the Soviet Union in 1991, farmers who had worked on the Soviet collective farms were each given small plots of land. To prevent the sale of the plots to hungry foreign agribusiness, the 2001 moratorium was voted. Seven million Ukrainian farmers owned small plots totaling some 79 million acres. The remaining 25 million acres were owned by the state. The cultivation of GMO crops was strictly illegal.
Despite the moratorium, Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, and other Western GMO purveyors secretly and illegally began spreading their patented GMO seeds in the black earth of Ukraine. Small landowners would lease their land to large Ukrainian oligarchs, who in turn would enter secret agreements with Monsanto and others to plant GMO corn and soybeans. By the end of 2016 according to a now-deleted US Department of Agriculture report, about 80% of Ukraine’s soybeans, and 10% of corn, were grown illegally from genetically modified seeds. The Zelenskyy 2021 law has allowed this open door to GMOs to be vastly expanded.
Enter the Comedian
In May 2019 Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a Ukrainian TV comedian, a protégé of notoriously corrupt Ukraine oligarch, Igor Kolomoisky, was elected President in a tragic popular revolt “against government corruption.” One of Zelenskyy’s first acts in 2019 was to try to overturn the 2001 land moratorium. Farmers and citizens staged huge protests throughout 2020 to block the changes proposed by Zelenskyy.
Finally, taking advantage of the covid lockdown restrictions and bans on public protests, in May 2021 Zelenskyy signed Bill No. 2194, deregulating land, calling it the “key” to the “farmland market.” He was right. In a sneaky move to calm farmer opposition, Zelensky claimed the new law allows only Ukrainian citizens to buy or sell valuable farmland in the first few years. He did not mention the huge loophole allowing foreign-owned companies like Monsanto (today part of Bayer AG) or DuPont (now Corteva), or other companies which have been operating in Ukraine for more than three years, to also buy the desired land.
The 2021 law also gave ownership to notoriously corrupt municipal and village governments who can change the land purpose. After January 2024 Ukraine citizens, as well as corporations, can buy up to 10,000 hectares of land. And an April 2021 amendment to the land market law– “On Amendments to the Land Code of Ukraine and other Legislative Acts concerning the improvement of the management system and deregulation in the field of land relations”– opened another huge loophole for foreign agribusiness to take control of the rich Ukraine black earth. The amendment circumvents the ban on the sale of land to foreigners by changing the purpose of the land, say from cropland to commercial land. Then it can be sold to anyone, including foreigners who can in turn repurpose it to farmland. Zelenskyy signed the bill and went back on his campaign pledge to hold a national referendum on any change in land ownership.
Should there be any doubt as to interest of US GMO-linked agribusiness in grabbing Ukraine prime farmland, a look at the current Board of Directors of the US-Ukraine Business Council is instructive. It includes the largest private grain and agribusiness giant in the world, Cargill. It includes Monsanto/Bayer which owns patented GMO seeds and the deadly pesticide, Roundup. It includes Corteva, the huge GMO fusion of DuPont and Dow Chemicals. It includes fellow grain cartel giants Bunge and Louis Dreyfus. It includes the major farm equipment maker John Deere.
These were the powerful agribusiness corporations reportedly behind Zelenskyy’s betrayal of his election promise.
With Bayer/Monsanto, Corteva and Cargill already controlling a reported 16.7 million hectares of prime Ukraine black earth farmland, and with a de facto bribe from the IMF and World Bank, Zelenskyy’s government caved in and sold out. The result will be very bad for the future of what was until recently the “breadbasket of Europe.” With Ukraine now being pried open by the GMO cartel companies, it leaves only Russia which banned GMO crops in 2016 as the only major world grain supplier without GMO. The EU is reportedly working on a new law that would overturn the long-established critical approval process for GMO crops and open the floodgates there to the GMO takeover.
Simply put, man, these privately held companies can just take someone right off of their platform is f*cked up, and in fact, the scary part about it is even speaking up against them — like I am currently doing — could get me censored. So we really don’t have real, true freedom of speech anymore, which is scary. And personally, you just see Mark Zuckerberg admit to it live on Joe Rogan, and the news wasn’t really talked about. So, all of these media platforms have controlled narratives by people who are paying them in their pockets.
YouTuber Jake Paul has slammed Mark Zuckerberg and Big Tech oligarchs for censoring the American people and destroying free speech.
Jake Paul recently came under fire for speaking out against the censorship of fellow social media influencer Andrew Tate, saying, “I don’t roll with Andrew Tate… But, I roll with free speech.”
Thegatewaypundit.com reports: Andrew Tate was recently banned from all social media platforms because of his views. Tate says that he was even banned from banks, Skype, Airbnb, and Uber in a “coordinated effort all at once.” No matter how much you disagree with someone’s speech, censorship is un-American.
The Regime is censoring everybody these days, including The Gateway Pundit. We recently reported that Jim Hoft of The Gateway Pundit is a key plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the State of Missouri. The lawsuit alleges that the public statements, emails, and recently released documents, establish that the President of the United States and other senior officials in the Biden Administration violated the First Amendment by directing social-media companies to censor viewpoints that conflict with the government’s messaging on Covid-19 and election integrity, which is a direct assault on the First Amendment.
The censorship of The Gateway Pundit is intended to harm dissidents of the Biden Regime and silence the truth about these issues.
As The Gateway Pundit reported, Jake Paul has been vocal in the past about the Biden Regime’s failed policies that have led to “highest gas prices, worst inflation, plummeting crypto prices, highest rent prices ever, and creating new and incomprehensible language.”
If you’re reading this and voted for Biden and you still don’t regret it then you are the American problem,” Jake concluded on Twitter.
Jake Paul squared off with Anderson Silva in front of the media on Tuesday in preparation for their upcoming boxing match.
The undefeated YouTube sensation is set to take on the former boxing champion from Brazil on October 29th at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
During the conference, The Gateway Pundit correspondent Jordan Conradson asked Paul, “what do you think of attempts to censor Americans by big tech companies and the current occupant of the White House?”
Everybody was caught off guard by the question, but Jake gave an excellent answer. He also used the opportunity to take a swipe at Zuckerberg and the Fake News Media for censoring information.
The crowd cheered when he agreed with our freedom of speech.
Paul: I think it’s a good question. I think the state of our society is in a really interesting place and a bad place at that. Simply put, man, I don’t think there should be censorship; freedom of speech. And the fact that these privately held companies can just take someone right off of their platform is f*cked up, and in fact, the scary part about it is even speaking up against them — like I am currently doing — could get me censored. So we really don’t have real, true freedom of speech anymore, which is scary. And personally, you just see Mark Zuckerberg admit to it live on Joe Rogan, and the news wasn’t really talked about. So, all of these media platforms have controlled narratives by people who are paying them in their pockets.
The Gateway Pundit reported that Mark Zuckerberg admitted to Joe Rogan that Facebook algorithmically censored the Hunter Biden laptop story for seven days on a request from the FBI to protect the Bidens.
This is not the only critical content that Facebook has censored to control the narrative.
One way of dealing with the psychological discomfort of this situation is to try and distance yourself emotionally from the plight of humanity and say, “Fine, screw it. Let humanity plunge into dystopia and armageddon. The sooner it happens, the better. We deserve it.”
And that’s what we’re dealing with here. A heritage of trauma stretching back into an unfathomably vast expanse of time, incarnating in the current form of some eight billion homo sapiens. If you zoom out and look at the big picture with this understanding, it’s difficult to find real guilt anywhere, in anyone. Even in the most abusive and traumatizing among us.
We’re all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control which stretches backward through time all the way to the Big Bang.
Whenever I talk about the way our species is sliding toward annihilation via nuclear armageddon or environmental disaster I always get a few people saying something along the lines of, “Good, humans are horrible. The planet will be better off without us.”
This attitude generally seems to be born of frustration. People learn about what’s happening to our world and begin to see how easy it would be to change course if not for the greed and megalomania of our rulers, as well as the obedience of the rank-and-file public and its credulous acceptance of the propaganda that keeps them accepting status quo systems, and they get frustrated. Frustrated with a humanity that just won’t come to its senses, even with all the evidence right there to be seen.
That frustration often turns to disgust as people discover that not only do others fail to see what they see, but they actively avoid looking at it even if you point it out to them. You can lay out the evidence for the corruption and unsustainability of status quo politics and the omnicidal, ecocidal depravity of oligarchic imperialism — lay it out right under their noses — and they’ll make up excuses to turn away.
One way of dealing with the psychological discomfort of this situation is to try and distance yourself emotionally from the plight of humanity and say, “Fine, screw it. Let humanity plunge into dystopia and armageddon. The sooner it happens, the better. We deserve it.”
And I understand the sentiment, but to me saying humanity deserves destruction sounds a lot like saying a drug addict deserves to overdose.
A heroin addict isn’t fully in control of their actions; if they were they would simply quit, because they know from both public knowledge and firsthand observation that it’s a destructive habit. Addiction is described — at least by anyone whose mind is worth a damn — not as a personal choice, but as a disease. Just as would be the case with any other disease, addiction is a condition over which they do not have control, because it has taken over their operating system against their will in some way.
Humanity as a whole is on much the same boat. We have a condition which makes us behave in a self-destructive way, and on paper we could technically all just collectively change course, even if a few oligarchs and empire managers tried to stop us. But we don’t, because we’re not in control.
Those with a substance abuse problem use because they don’t know how to feel okay without the substance, and if they ever overcome their addiction they will eventually discover that this was because there were unconscious forces within them which made the experience of sober life intolerable. Forces like psychological tendencies born of trauma, deprivation or dysfunction earlier in life, tendencies which might manifest as experiences like depression, anxiety or self-loathing which can become too difficult to tolerate without their substance of preference.
Human behavior likewise is driven by unconscious forces on the collective level, but instead of early childhood trauma we’re talking about our entire evolutionary history, as well as the history of civilization.
It’s a ridiculous situation, if you think about it. The story of life on this planet has been about organisms trying to avoid being eaten long enough to reproduce, and our species stumbled out of that horrifying predicament with all the same fear responses and stress hormones and now all of a sudden you find yourself sitting in a cubicle with your heart racing as though you’re running from a saber-toothed tiger because you overhear Janice from accounting gossiping about you.
The eat-or-be-eaten dynamic came crashing headlong through the dawn of a new species with a rapidly-evolved cerebral cortex and the sudden capacity for abstract thought, and all that fear and stress kept marching forward from generation to generation entangling itself with this added new element of thought, language and storytelling. This gave rise to societal constructs like religion, government, hierarchy and family power structures, all largely born of the primitive, fear-based desire to control and dominate which we carried with us from our evolutionary ancestors who lived in trees to hide from predators.
Parents who were traumatized by their parents passed their trauma on to their own children because their trauma made them behave in a traumatized way, and those children passed their own trauma on to their children too. On top of this small-scale generational trauma we added things like wars, slavery, tyranny, colonization and genocides which traumatized entire populations, and that trauma would be passed on from generation to generation as well.
And then we showed up. We, the people who are currently alive. That’s what we were born into. That’s the wave we rode in on. And that wave is still going.
And we wonder why everyone’s so dysfunctional and self-destructive.
We never really had a chance to build a healthy world. Our ancestors went from running away from monsters with sharp fangs to burning witches and heretics to fighting world wars to giving birth to us, and that wave of fear and chaos carried forward right into our own psyches and into the psyches of everyone else on this planet without skipping a beat. If you look at where we came from and how we got here, it’s amazing we’re even as functional as we are.
And that’s what we’re dealing with here. A heritage of trauma stretching back into an unfathomably vast expanse of time, incarnating in the current form of some eight billion homo sapiens. If you zoom out and look at the big picture with this understanding, it’s difficult to find real guilt anywhere, in anyone. Even in the most abusive and traumatizing among us.
Certainly, it is in our collective interest to immobilize anyone whose tendencies are dangerously destructive. And certainly establishing culpability and accountability for misdeeds is going to be an important part of expanding human consciousness and creating a healthy world, because we have to understand how and why things are going wrong before we can fix our problems. But even the most destructive among us are simply carrying forward the heritage of trauma which has been reverberating from generation to generation from the deepest recesses of prehistoric life.
Think about a mistake you’ve made in the past. A really bad one, one that makes you cringe whenever you think about it. You wouldn’t make that mistake in the same way again, would you? Of course not, because you now know things you didn’t know back then. You are conscious now of things you previously were not. Depending on how conscious you are now in relation to how conscious you were then you might repeat similar mistakes in similar ways, but you wouldn’t intentionally repeat the exact same error if you had a do-over. In that small way, your consciousness has expanded.
That’s all negative human behavior ultimately is: mistakes that were made due to a lack of consciousness. A lack of empathy, a lack of serenity, a lack of information, a lack of insight, a lack of knowledge that there are better choices, a lack of perception on what’s really going on in the world, a lack of clarity on the ways propaganda manipulates us into serving the interests of the powerful — these are all just different kinds of unconsciousness. Different ways that one can fail to accurately perceive reality.
In this churning, chaotic tidal wave of evolutionary trauma that we were all born into, the only thing we really have any amount of real control over is whether we mindlessly repeat our conditioning patterns or start bringing consciousness to them. But even that is greatly limited by how much consciousness we have access to at the time; many people are just barely treading water psychologically and don’t often have the space to pause and bring clarity to their own inner processes. A lot of people are just stumbling blindly along, and it’s not ultimately their fault any more than the blindness of an actual blind person.
So we’re all innocent, in the end. Again, we must of course push to bring consciousness to the parts of humanity that have taken a wrong turn — to the war criminals and plutocrats and managers of empire, and all other abusers and the abusive systems which elevate them. But underneath that fierce burst of light there can also be a deep compassion and understanding born of a lucid seeing of how we got here in the first place.
We’re all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control which stretches backward through time all the way to the Big Bang. Everyone is playing with a lousy hand which was dealt to them by the churning tumult of evolution and history while grappling with the puzzle of mortality on a tiny blue world of unfathomable beauty that is hurtling through a universe that none of us understand.
Let’s be tender with each other.
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We close ourselves off from a full sense of participation when we depart from the consensus worldview, writes Caitlin Johnstone. But in closing that door we open so many more.
The late psychonaut/philosopher Terence McKenna once said “The cost of sanity, in this society, is a certain level of alienation,” and I think my regular readers will immediately and experientially understand exactly what he was talking about.
It’s not always easy to be on the outside of consensus reality. Our entire society, after all, has been built upon consensus — upon a shared agreement about what specific mouth sounds mean, on what money is and how it works, on how we should all behave toward each other in public spaces, and on what normal human behavior in general looks like.
We all share a learned agreement that we picked up from our culture in early childhood that it’s normal and acceptable to stand around with your hands in your pockets and babble about the weather to anyone who gets too close to you, for example, whereas it would be considered weird and disruptive to stand around slathered in Cheese Whiz shrieking the word “Poop!” But we could just as easily reverse that consensus on behavioral norms tomorrow, and as long as we all agreed, we could do that without missing a beat.
In exactly the same way, there exists a general consensus about what’s going on in our world at the moment. There’s a general consensus that we live in the kind of society we were taught about in school: a free and democratic nation which maybe did some not so great things in the past, but is now a supremely virtuous beacon of light on this earth that kicked Hitler’s ass and then surfed into the present day on a wave of truth and sensible fiscal policy. There’s a general consensus that the news reporters on our screens paint us a more or less accurate picture of world affairs, that there are a lot of Bad Guys in our world with whom the Good Guys in our government are fighting, and that most of our nation’s problems are caused by the people in the other political party.
This consensus is grounded in delusion. It is insanity.
In reality, of course, we live in a world where our understanding of the world is constantly being deceitfully manipulated by oligarchic media propaganda and the utterances of oligarch-owned politicians. Where elections are mostly just a live-action role-playing game that allows the rabble to pretend that they have some degree of influence over the things that their government does. Where our government routinely forms alliances with the worst Bad Guys on the planet while manufacturing consent to topple governments whose downfall would be utterly disastrous. Where our nation’s problems have almost nothing to do with half its population disagreeing with our personal ideology, and practically everything to do with the loose international alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who actually run things behind the facade of the comings and goings of official elected governments.
Friendships Can End
Sanity means seeing this as it is, rather than subscribing to the mass delusion of the consensus worldview. Which, as you probably already know, can make it difficult to relate to others in some ways. Conversations about politics often either get heated very rapidly when you challenge a tightly-held orthodoxy or dead-end in awkwardness. Friendships can end. Family relationships can be ruined. Collective narratives about you can be woven and circulated within your social circle which have nothing to do with how you actually see things.
And that’s just if you talk about your worldview. If you keep your views to yourself, as many do, that’s just another kind of alienation. It’s to stand outside of public political discourse completely, unable to participate out of fear of the backlash you’d receive from your friends, loved ones and acquaintances if you started talking about President Donald Trump as a symptom rather than the disease, or said that the U.K.’s Jeremy Corbyn is being targeted by a transparently bogus smear campaign, or said that Russia’s interventions in world affairs are clearly dwarfed by America’s by orders of magnitude. The specific heresies will vary depending upon the social circle, but the inability to voice them necessarily comes with the same sense of alienation.
But the alternative to that sense of alienation is to live a lie. It’s to climb back inside the distorted funhouse-mirror reality tunnel of the establishment narrative control matrix and plug yourself back into the same delusions that everyone else is living. Most of us couldn’t even do that if we wanted to. Even if we could, the intense mental gymnastics we’d have to perform just to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance would make it not worth the effort.
We close ourselves off from a full sense of participation in our society when we depart from the consensus worldview, but in closing that door we open so many more. Because, as it turns out, all that effort that people pour into staying on the same wavelength as everyone else closes them off to a vast spectrum of potential human experience. The allure of the mass delusion is that you need to devote yourself to being plugged into it in order to achieve what the mass delusion defines as “success”, but in so doing you lose the ability to leap down psychological and experiential rabbit holes of consciousness that those still jacked into the matrix can’t even imagine. And in so doing you open up the possibility for an immensely more fulfilling and enjoyable life that has really deeply explored the more intimate questions about what it means to be a human being on this planet.
Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” And a profoundly sick society is indeed what we have here. The alienation which we experience is an alienation from something that isn’t worth belonging to anyway.
I began this essay with a quote from one of the celebrated thought leaders of the psychedelic movement, and I think the question of what we can do to cope with the alienation McKenna spoke of is best answered by ending with a quote from another such leader, Timothy Leary:
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the ‘normal people’ as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like ‘Have a nice day’ and ‘Weather’s awful today, eh?’, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like ‘Tell me something that makes you cry’ or ‘What do you think deja vu is for?’ Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.”
If Gates represents a net negative force in world politics, why does he receive such good press? For starters, he makes sizeable donations to a host of mainstream corporate media outlets.
Last month Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates surpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to once again become the world’s richest individual, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Buoyed by an enormous 48 percent increase in Microsoft’s share price this year, Gates has retaken the title he last held in 2017.
That outcome is partially owed to the whims of Donald J. Trump. Microsoft recently surprisingly defeated Amazon’s bid for an extremely lucrative $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract that sees the company instantly become one of the world’s most important military and security contractors. This decision, Amazon alleges, was due to interference from the president who holds a personal grudge against Bezos, whose Washington Post has maintained a campaign of “resistance” against him.
Gates was also recently in the news attacking the wealth tax that Democratic presidential nomination candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed. “I’m all for super-progressive tax systems but when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” the Seattle native said. (For the record, he would still have over $6 billion). In response, Warren was apologetic, asking for an opportunity to meet with Gates to explain how much he would pay under the plan. “I promise it’s not $100 billion,” she said. But Sanders has been far more forthright in his opposition to the super-wealthy, categorically stating, “billionaires should not exist.”
If you had a couple billion dollars, you could announce your candidacy for president and be taken seriously, even if you were the dumbest person on Earth.
Billionaires should not be able to buy our elections and we’re going to change that.
Across the media, Gates is presented as one of the “good billionaires”: a warm-hearted philanthropist dedicated to giving away his entire fortune to needy causes. His charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is the largest of its sort in the world, holding over $50 billion in assets. His insight and generosity are constantly emphasized in headlines, as the following examples demonstrate.
“Why Bill Gates Thinks Ending Polio Is Worth It,”NPR, (5/8/13).
“How Bill Gates aims to Clean Up the Planet,”The Guardian, (2/4/18).
“What Einstein and Bill Gates Teach Us About Time Travel,”NBC News, (5/10/17).
“Bill Gates And Other Billionaires Pledge To Take On Climate Change,”NPR, (11/30/15).
“Bill Gates on ending disease, saving lives: ‘Time is on our side,’”Al-Jazeera, (4/27/19).
“Bill Gates gives $4.6bn to charity in biggest donation since 2000,”The Guardian, (8/15/17).
There are a few problems with that narrative. Firstly, if Gates is so committed to giving his money away, why does he keep getting richer? This is not a trivial question: his net worth has increased from $75 billion in March 2016 to a staggering $106 billion today, according toForbes Magazine, an over 40 percent increase in three years alone.
Lee Camp, a political comedian who covers topics like rampant inequality on his show,Redacted Tonight, told MintPress News:
It is a sickness of our system that billionaires even exist. The UN estimates it would take 30 billion dollars to end world hunger per year. Gates or Bezos could end world hunger for multiple years. We can’t even comprehend that level of wealth. It’s sociopathic. So I’m not saying Gates doesn’t do good things sometimes, but he should not be viewed as a hero. All billionaires should be viewed as sick in the head. They need mental health professionals to work on them before it’s too late for humankind.”
Linsey McGoey, Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK, and author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy, is profoundly skeptical of philanthropy as a whole, claiming it can actually sometimes harm democracy in the long run: “Philanthropy can and is being used deliberately to divert attention away from different forms of economic exploitation that underpin global inequality today” she told MintPress News,
The new ‘philanthrocapitalism’ threatens democracy by increasing the power of the corporate sector at the expense of the public sector organizations, which increasingly face budget squeezes, in part by excessively remunerating for-profit organizations to deliver public services that could be delivered more cheaply without private sector involvement.”
Thus, huge donations give Gates enormous power over the education, health and social policies of entire countries.
Where do Bill’s billions go?
AsForeign Affairs noted, “few policy initiatives or normative standards set by the World Health Organization are announced before they have been casually, unofficially vetted by Gates Foundation staff.” In this sense, his wealth is extraordinarily anti-democratic, giving him veto power over the decisions and directions of organizations that should be collectively made by the highest representatives of the world’s population, not by one very rich man. And Gates is far from omnipotent, holding many of the patronizing assumptions about developing countries and how best to organize the world that one would expect a rich American tech geek to hold.
McGoey spells out the problem with this corporate attitude to development:
The Gates Foundation has spent twenty years relentlessly championing ‘business solutions’ to inequality and poverty. Through this corporate approach, Mr. Gates personally and the Gates Foundation more generally have enhanced the power and clout of corporations at every level of decision-making, at the regional, national and international level. The Gates Foundation has helped make philanthropy a handmaiden to corporate power rather than helped to empower the non-profit sector to act as a check on corporate profiteering and abuses of power.”
Bill Gates just surpassed Jeff Bezos as the richest person on Earth, with a net worth of $110 billion.
I struggled to imagine this huge number, so I animated some bar graphs that put it in proportion with other points of reference. The scale is quite stark. pic.twitter.com/uteU9h72fC
One example of the Foundation enhancing corporate power is its close relationship with highly controversial pharmaceutical and chemical giant Monsanto Corporation, whom it helped gain a stronger foothold in Africa. It also oversaw a flawed clinical trial of the HPV vaccine in India in 2009, where 23,000 impoverished girls aged 9-15 were exposed to potentially lethal drugs without even their parents’ consent, leading to seven deaths. He is also preoccupied with controlling Africa’s population through family planning, fearing a population boom. As such, he appears almost more interested in eliminating the people who are suffering than the source of the suffering itself.
Gates is also one of the most important individuals leading the assault on the American public education network in the form of charter schools. Charter schools effectively privatize the public school system, where the public continues to foot the bill for the school, but has no influence or say in how it is run. They have not been found to increase test scores, but are very popular with both the private sector and the religious right, whereas the vast majority of unionized public school teachers oppose them. But, as theAssociated Press stated, there is “no bigger champion [of charter schools] than Bill Gates,” who has plowed enormous amounts of money into the movement, even funding the pro-charter school documentary Waiting For Superman.
Buying power and influence
If Gates represents a net negative force in world politics, why does he receive such good press? One reason may be his sizeable donations to a host of mainstream corporate media outlets. For example, the Gates Foundation underwrites the entire Global Development section of the Guardian, and has given the British newspaper over $9 million. Studying its donation database, it transpires it has also contributed over $3 million to NBC Universal, over $4 million to the influential French newspaper, Le Monde, over $4.5 million to NPR, $1 million to Al-Jazeera, and an astonishing $49 million to the BBC’s Media Action program, to name only a few. He who pays the piper, it is said, calls the tune. McGoey claims that the motive of billionaires giving to media organizations is primarily “to help legitimate the spurious idea that large corporate actors can rectify the economic harms and economic inequality that their practices have often compounded.”
Gates himself is the head of a gigantic media empire. We already rely on Microsoft for social media (LinkedIn), entertainment (Xbox), hardware and software like the Windows Phone and Windows OS. The company also owns stakes in media giants like Comcast and AT&T. And the “MS” in “MSNBC” stands for “Microsoft.”
Bill Gates, second left, poses with Hollywood studio execs in March 1995 ahead of the unveiling of cable TV channel MSNBC. Dave Weaver | AP
It is a similar story for Jeff Bezos, who, in addition to Amazon’s myriad media ventures, owns the Washington Post, which media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reportinghas constantly shown often descends into little more than a propaganda outlet for its boss’s interests. It appears that once billionaires have purchased every worldly material good possible, the only things left to buy are power and influence.
While the media may be full of stories singing Gates’ praises, presenting him as a good billionaire (as opposed to the current president), the reality is that one man with that amount of power, be it political (like Trump) or economic (like Gates and Bezos) has a highly corrosive effect on democracy and society more generally.
While they are portrayed as visionaries, multi-billionaires are often blinkered in other, very important ways. Just as reports about Amazon workers’ poor pay and shocking working conditions were surfacing, Bezos declared that the only way he could see to spend the financial resources he accrued was to explore the solar system and beyond. Sharing the profit with his beleaguered workforce appears to genuinely not have occurred to him.
If we are to move towards a better society, the philanthropy of the super-wealthy must be scrutinized, as all too often, what appears to be a generous gift is actually a calculated action intended to increase their power, image or influence. As former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee said, “Charity is a cold grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.” Bill Gates is not just some rich guy who is unsure about paying more tax: he’s a menace to society.
Feature photo | Former Microsoft CEO and co-founder Bill Gates attends the World Health Summit & Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Berlin, Oct. 16, 2018. Markus Schreiber | AP
In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate from Wisconsin.
My education was a mixture of science and humanities. I combined zoology with Greek (ancient, medieval and modern) history, as well as Roman history and modern European (Russian, Soviet Union, Southeastern European and British) history. To this multidisciplinary bowl I added the history of science from my postdoctoral studies at Harvard.
I did all this book reading, test taking, and writing a dissertation in ten years. The next step was finding work. By the time I graduated from Wisconsin, in 1972, I was married with my first child. This made earning a living imperative.
I worked on Capitol Hill and the US Environmental Protection Agency for twenty-seven years.
Sporadically, I taught at several universities about things I learned at work: how the federal government regulates or fails to regulate pesticides and agriculture.
The hidden truth
If this sounds obscure, technical, and of little value, it is not. There’s complexity in these things, but within this complexity there are gems of truth on how this country works.
Imagine a group of bureaucrats led by a political representative of the president deciding how much pesticide poison goes into each fruit, vegetable, grain, bread, cheese and meat Americans eat. That’s what the Office of Pesticide Programs does. The responsibility is awesome. The science is dubious; the ethics abhorrent. I did not want to do anything with it, save for criticizing the very idea of poisoning our food under the guise of environmental protection, which translated into protecting the farmer and poison maker from legal suits. The moment I came across evidence of massive and chronic malpractice and fraud in the testing of pesticides, I knew my early suspicions were legitimate; I knew how agribusiness rules America.
This experience helped me understand the meaning and practice of “environmental protection” in an industrialized America. In other words, I brought to the classroom information not in environmental policy textbooks
History, and especially the history of science, hovered around me, always tempting my thought to precedents: how did people of earlier times and other societies face the natural world or raise food?
The message to my students
I probably overwhelmed my students with data, facts and explanations about the environment and how America works. But the take-home message to my students was a warning:
”Your elders have abandoned your protection to the unkind and often corrupt industry and politicians. Study the natural world, study the science of the environment and, once out of school, reform or change the politics of this country for your protection and the protection and health of the natural world. A polluted natural world is your enemy. It will make you sick or kill you.
“Do away with pesticides, industrial agriculture, nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, plastics, and toxic chemicals. They were the products of war, ignorance and hubris.
“Build a society with different values, one based on carbon-free and toxic pollution-free technologies, including respect for nature. Don’t approve any industry disrupting ecosystems, poisoning the natural world, and causing the extinction of species. Learn from science and older traditions and wisdom how the world works. Learn from the natural world.”
I don’t know if my students understood me. I treated them like graduate students. I opened their eyes to the beauties of science and truth as well as the secret and corrupt ways of the chemical industry. I let them see and examine original documents showing industry-government corruption. Some of them might have passed my ideas to their parents and, possibly, administrators.
I knew college and universities were rarely on the forefront of justice or truth, much less political change. In many instances, like the land grant universities, they become the inventors of hazardous chemicals and technologies that enable agribusiness to control rural America. At other instances, universities legitimize pollution.
With some exceptions, my college colleagues were indifferent to me and my teaching.
At Humboldt State University in northern California, I taught about society and the environment in a sociology department. There was a possibility for a permanent position for me but the chairman of the department said not to bother to apply because my doctorate was in history, not sociology. I asked him to come to my class, so he could form his own opinion about my teaching. “I care less about your teaching or the admiration students have for you,” he said.
Twice at two different schools (the University of Maryland and Pitzer College) I spoke to the Dean about expanding teaching and research on the fate of black farmers in America who declined by 98 percent in the twentieth century. The Deans were black. They listened to me politely but did nothing.
These anecdotes may be a fly in the ointment, but they suggest a deeper malady.
America after WWII
Since World War II, the culture of America is becoming inimical to democracy and civilization. By civilization I mean justice, the rule of law, the employment of science for making decisions, equal opportunity for humans to make a living, relative equality among citizens and ethical and science-based government rules regulating corporate and business behavior. Moreover, protecting human and environmental health should be at the core of this civilization.
Civilization is in trouble in America. Perpetual wars, the nuclear bomb, and the supremacy of money have made this country an empire. This political transformation is dismantling democracy at home and threatens the planet.
An oligarchy of billionaires are behind this aggression. They have captured the government, milking its fat Pentagon budget while using other government departments like the Environmental Protection Agency to buy legal protection for their chemicals polluting our food, drinking water, air, rivers, lakes and the seas.
The spectacle of Trump
The spectacle of Trump being president says it all. This is a very bad man. Some people, including senior government officials, and especially ambassador Gordon Sondland, are saying Trump urged the government of Ukraine to dig dirt about his political opponent Joe Biden. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) accused Trump of being “a criminal in the White House.” Others charge him with betrayal and infamy for allowing the Turks to slaughter the Kurds who have been faithful American allies.
Trump is threatening democracy. He displays and employs government power for his personal benefit. He does not have a clue about international relations. He is an enemy of public and environmental health.
In desperation, the Democrats in the House are collecting evidence of wrongdoing for “impeaching” him. They know, however, that the Republicans in the Senate will declare Trump innocent of all charges.
This effort of finding Trump guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors is the ethical thing to do. But for me, Trump’s persistent undermining of this country’s environmental laws, including his willful ignorance of climate change, constitute high crimes and misdemeanors. They are translated into policies hurting and killing people all over the country. And pretending there’s no climate change, as the Trump EPA does, exacerbates the onslaught from climate change.
This official apathy and blindness is affecting the country, even the Democratic politicians running for president. The warming of the Earth and the fossil fuels causing it have all but disappeared from public discourse.
With the possible exception of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), I just don’t think these candidates are passionate enough to embrace the climate threat and opportunity for shaping American politics and assuring the survival of civilization and the natural world. Yet they say climate change is the gravest danger America and the world face.
The hegemony of commercial television
Another way of explaining this pathology is the overwhelming power and influence of commercial television. It has remade Americans into obedient corporate subjects. Just like cigarette companies during most of the twentieth century brained-washed Americans to do nothing without a cigarette hanging from their mouth, advertisements and news reporting mix with each other so thoroughly the viewer, in most case, does not understand the difference between the two. The result of this willful malpractice and propaganda is the dumbing down of Americans.
Second, commercial television networks treat the natural world like a zoo: a place for expensive cruises, hunting, industrialized farming, logging, mining and forest fires. Even the PBS and BBC nature documentaries keep corporate crimes against nature strictly separate from the lives of the threatened species they document.
This television onslaught has been taking place for decades while most Americans live increasingly in cities, which separate them further from the natural world.
Despite this undemocratic and plutocratic record, commercial television is in charge of the Democratic presidential debates. They ask the questions and restrict answers to seconds and minutes.
Undoing this industrial-cultural-academic-television-propaganda complex requires a “political revolution” even greater than the revolution Senator Bernie Sanders has in mind.
The Sanders agenda
Sanders is an angry American prophet who insists in bringing justice back to America. He wants an economy for all. He is lashing at bankers, drug and insurance companies, billionaires, Trump and the Republicans. He is accusing them of theft: sucking trillions to an oligarchy and impoverishing the rest.
Should Sanders be elected, this country may be spared some of the calamity of climate change. He has promised repeatedly to put fossil fuel companies out of business – replacing them with carbon-free alternatives and creating 20,000,000 well-paying jobs.
In addition, Sanders is likely to save America from tyranny. This will demand a Herculean labor: channeling the Potomac River through the Washington stables of billionaires and industry lobbyists.
This would demand the end of exporting American jobs; taxing the billionaires enough to narrow the gigantic gap between them and the rest of Americans: use that money to fund climate change and cleaning up and eliminating pollution; outlawing the fossil fuels industry and funding alternative carbon-free energy technologies; revive the New Deal government programs of President Roosevelt for healthy farming, environment, and rebuilding of rural America; upgrade America’s medical mess to European health standards; make state universities free; give EPA the freedom and independence it needs to embrace its real mission; regulate commercial television: it should not be able to interrupt news with advertisements, nor charge money to politicians running for office; regulate and tax Wall Street; regulate and tax agribusiness: ban pesticides, break up large plantations, and bring back family farms.
Finally, take money out of politics.
Only this broad agenda of economic, social and ecological renewal can put the breaks to a Hothouse Earth and violent political revolution.
Evaggelos Vallianatos is a historian and environmental strategist, who worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 25 years. He is the author of 6 books, including Poison Spring with Mckay Jenkings.
“You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.” — They Live
We’re living in two worlds, you and I.
There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.
Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.
All is not as it seems.
This is the premise of John Carpenter’s film They Live, which was released more than 30 years ago, and remains unnervingly, chillingly appropriate for our modern age.
Best known for his horror film Halloween, which assumes that there is a form of evil so dark that it can’t be killed, Carpenter’s larger body of work is infused with a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment, laconic bent that speaks to the filmmaker’s concerns about the unraveling of our society, particularly our government.
Time and again, Carpenter portrays the government working against its own citizens, a populace out of touch with reality, technology run amok, and a future more horrific than any horror film.
In Escape from New York, Carpenter presents fascism as the future of America.
In The Thing, a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic of the same name, Carpenter presupposes that increasingly we are all becoming dehumanized.
In Christine, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a demon-possessed car, technology exhibits a will and consciousness of its own and goes on a murderous rampage.
In In the Mouth of Madness, Carpenter notes that evil grows when people lose “the ability to know the difference between reality and fantasy.”
And then there is Carpenter’s They Live, in which two migrant workers discover that the world is not as it seems. In fact, the population is actually being controlled and exploited by aliens working in partnership with an oligarchic elite. All the while, the populace—blissfully unaware of the real agenda at work in their lives—has been lulled into complacency, indoctrinated into compliance, bombarded with media distractions, and hypnotized by subliminal messages beamed out of television and various electronic devices, billboards and the like.
It is only when homeless drifter John Nada (played to the hilt by the late Roddy Piper) discovers a pair of doctored sunglasses—Hoffman lenses—that Nada sees what lies beneath the elite’s fabricated reality: control and bondage.
When viewed through the lens of truth, the elite, who appear human until stripped of their disguises, are shown to be monsters who have enslaved the citizenry in order to prey on them.
Likewise, billboards blare out hidden, authoritative messages: a bikini-clad woman in one ad is actually ordering viewers to “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Magazine racks scream “CONSUME” and “OBEY.” A wad of dollar bills in a vendor’s hand proclaims, “THIS IS YOUR GOD.”
When viewed through Nada’s Hoffman lenses, some of the other hidden messages being drummed into the people’s subconscious include: NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT, CONFORM, SUBMIT, STAY ASLEEP, BUY, WATCH TV, NO IMAGINATION, and DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY.
This indoctrination campaign engineered by the elite in They Live is painfully familiar to anyone who has studied the decline of American culture.
A citizenry that does not think for themselves, obeys without question, is submissive, does not challenge authority, does not think outside the box, and is content to sit back and be entertained is a citizenry that can be easily controlled.
In this way, the subtle message of They Live provides an apt analogy of our own distorted vision of life in the American police state, what philosopher Slavoj Žižek refers to as dictatorship in democracy, “the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom.”
We’re being fed a series of carefully contrived fictions that bear no resemblance to reality.
The powers-that-be want us to feel threatened by forces beyond our control (terrorists, shooters, bombers).
They want us afraid and dependent on the government and its militarized armies for our safety and well-being.
They want us distrustful of each other, divided by our prejudices, and at each other’s throats.
Most of all, they want us to continue to march in lockstep with their dictates.
Tune out the government’s attempts to distract, divert and befuddle us and tune into what’s really going on in this country, and you’ll run headlong into an unmistakable, unpalatable truth: the moneyed elite who rule us view us as expendable resources to be used, abused and discarded.
In fact, a study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern University concluded that the U.S. government does not represent the majority of American citizens. Instead, the study found that the government is ruled by the rich and powerful, or the so-called “economic elite.” Moreover, the researchers concluded that policies enacted by this governmental elite nearly always favor special interests and lobbying groups.
In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism—a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere subjects to be controlled.
Not only do you have to be rich—or beholden to the rich—to get elected these days, but getting elected is also a surefire way to get rich. As CBS News reports, “Once in office, members of Congress enjoy access to connections and information they can use to increase their wealth, in ways that are unparalleled in the private sector. And once politicians leave office, their connections allow them to profit even further.”
In denouncing this blatant corruption of America’s political system, former president Jimmy Carter blasted the process of getting elected—to the White House, governor’s mansion, Congress or state legislatures—as “unlimited political bribery… a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.”
Rest assured that when and if fascism finally takes hold in America, the basic forms of government will remain: Fascism will appear to be friendly. The legislators will be in session. There will be elections, and the news media will continue to cover the entertainment and political trivia. Consent of the governed, however, will no longer apply. Actual control will have finally passed to the oligarchic elite controlling the government behind the scenes.
Clearly, we are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests.
Corporatism is where the few moneyed interests—not elected by the citizenry—rule over the many. In this way, it is not a democracy or a republican form of government, which is what the American government was established to be. It is a top-down form of government and one which has a terrifying history typified by the developments that occurred in totalitarian regimes of the past: police states where everyone is watched and spied on, rounded up for minor infractions by government agents, placed under police control, and placed in detention (a.k.a. concentration) camps.
For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it’s not only expedient but necessary.
But why would a people agree to such an oppressive regime?
Fear is the method most often used by politicians to increase the power of government. And, as most social commentators recognize, an atmosphere of fear permeates modern America: fear of terrorism, fear of the police, fear of our neighbors and so on.
The propaganda of fear has been used quite effectively by those who want to gain control, and it is working on the American populace.
Despite the fact that we are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack; 11,000 times more likely to die from an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane; 1,048 times more likely to die from a car accident than a terrorist attack, and 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist , we have handed over control of our lives to government officials who treat us as a means to an end—the source of money and power.
As the Bearded Man in They Live warns, “They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.”
In this regard, we’re not so different from the oppressed citizens in They Live.
From the moment we are born until we die, we are indoctrinated into believing that those who rule us do it for our own good. The truth is far different.
Despite the truth staring us in the face, we have allowed ourselves to become fearful, controlled, pacified zombies.
We live in a perpetual state of denial, insulated from the painful reality of the American police state by wall-to-wall entertainment news and screen devices.
Most everyone keeps their heads down these days while staring zombie-like into an electronic screen, even when they’re crossing the street. Families sit in restaurants with their heads down, separated by their screen devices and unaware of what’s going on around them. Young people especially seem dominated by the devices they hold in their hands, oblivious to the fact that they can simply push a button, turn the thing off and walk away.
The question, of course, is what effect does such screen consumption have on one’s mind?
Psychologically it is similar to drug addiction. Researchers found that “almost immediately after turning on the TV, subjects reported feeling more relaxed, and because this occurs so quickly and the tension returns so rapidly after the TV is turned off, people are conditioned to associate TV viewing with a lack of tension.” Research also shows that regardless of the programming, viewers’ brain waves slow down, thus transforming them into a more passive, nonresistant state.
Given that the majority of what Americans watch on television is provided through channels controlled by six mega-corporations, what we watch is now controlled by a corporate elite and, if that elite needs to foster a particular viewpoint or pacify its viewers, it can do so on a large scale.
If we’re watching, we’re not doing.
The powers-that-be understand this. As television journalist Edward R. Murrow warned in a 1958 speech:
We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.
This brings me back to They Live, in which the real zombies are not the aliens calling the shots but the populace who are content to remain controlled.
When all is said and done, the world of They Live is not so different from our own. As one of the characters points out, “The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices. Their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness. We have been lulled into a trance. They have made us indifferent to ourselves, to others. We are focused only on our own gain.”
We, too, are focused only on our own pleasures, prejudices and gains. Our poor and underclasses are also growing. Racial injustice is growing. Human rights is nearly nonexistent. We too have been lulled into a trance, indifferent to others.
Oblivious to what lies ahead, we’ve been manipulated into believing that if we continue to consume, obey, and have faith, things will work out. But that’s never been true of emerging regimes. And by the time we feel the hammer coming down upon us, it will be too late.
So where does that leave us?
The characters who populate Carpenter’s films provide some insight.
Underneath their machismo, they still believe in the ideals of liberty and equal opportunity. Their beliefs place them in constant opposition with the law and the establishment, but they are nonetheless freedom fighters.
When, for example, John Nada destroys the alien hyno-transmitter in They Live, he restores hope by delivering America a wake-up call for freedom.
That’s the key right there: we need to wake up.
Stop allowing yourselves to be easily distracted by pointless political spectacles and pay attention to what’s really going on in the country.
The real battle for control of this nation is not being waged between Republicans and Democrats in the ballot box.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the real battle for control of this nation is taking place on roadsides, in police cars, on witness stands, over phone lines, in government offices, in corporate offices, in public school hallways and classrooms, in parks and city council meetings, and in towns and cities across this country.
The real battle between freedom and tyranny is taking place right in front of our eyes if we would only open them.
All the trappings of the American police state are now in plain sight.
Wake up, America.
If they live (the tyrants, the oppressors, the invaders, the overlords), it is only because “we the people” sleep.
Caitlin Johnstone discards the high-flown dogma around space colonization and challenges readers to accept themselves and life on planet Earth.
It’s rare to get a billionaire to share their grand plans for the future, which is weird because billionaires pretty much rule the world. Whenever they do, though, it’s always something incredibly sociopathic, like replacing all jobs with billionaire-owned automation/AI and giving people a Universal Basic Income set by the billionaire-owned government. Or loading all the humans onto rocket ships and sending them to live on Amazon Space Dildos.
Billionaire Elon Musk, who hates unions and wants to implant AI into human brains, has been continuing this trend of idiotic plutocratic futurology with a new campaign to detonate nuclear weapons on the planet Mars. This is not because Musk hates Mars, but because he wants to colonize it; the idea is to vaporize the red planet’s polar ice caps and throw carbon dioxide into the air to ultimately make the planet more habitable.
Scientists are voicing skepticism that such a plan could even work, before even opening up the “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should” debate. Sending nuclear weapons into space for any reason whatsoever should receive an outright rejection from all of humanity, since getting nukes into earth’s orbit has been the wet dream of war machine engineers for decades and pretending they went to Mars would serve as an ideal cover story to circumvent international space treaties until it’s too late to prevent it.
Musk claims he wants to colonize Mars because a new dark age ensuing from a third world war appears “likely,” and he wants to ensure that there will be humans living off of the planet to re-populate it after we wipe ourselves out here. Rather than pouring wealth, brainpower and resources into pushing for a change in the status quo which has set the world’s nuclear-armed powers on a collision course for a world military confrontation that will destroy our biosphere, this billionaire has decided it’s better to nuke Mars so that a back bench of reserve humans can live on a desert space rock.
This is the class of people who are calling the shots in our world. These are the minds who are choosing our fate for us. I wouldn’t trust them to run a gas station.
I’m going to take a lot of flak for saying this, but I honestly believe that the impulse to colonize space is one of the more pernicious cultural mind viruses in our society. I mean, think about it: we’ve got a planet right here for which we are perfectly adapted, and we’re burning it to the ground while looking up at a red dot in the sky going “You know I bet if I nuked that bitch I could build a hermetically sealed house on it someday.” How much more insane could you possibly get?
I’m pushing against a cultural dogma that’s been mainstream doctrine for generations, but I really find all this blather about adventure and the indomitable human spirit of exploration quite tedious and idiotic when it comes to space colonization. We’ve got creatures swimming in our own oceans with brains many times larger than our own, and we’re killing them all off before we’ve even developed any kind of real theory about what they’re doing with all that extra gray matter. There are parts of the moon that are better explored than vast expanses of our own seas. We don’t even know what consciousness is, and science is largely uninterested in answering this question. I don’t believe the spirit of exploration and adventure is what’s driving our longing to break for the stars. I think it’s nothing but garden variety escapism.
We’ve all got that one friend or family member who’s completely miserable and is always quitting jobs and relationships and moving house and changing their diet in a desperate attempt to find happiness. They rearrange their lifestyle for the umpteenth time and they’re barely settled in before their gaze lands on some other aspect of their life and they think, “That’s the source of my unhappiness right there. If I can only escape from that, I’ll be happy.”
Such people are exasperating to be around, because you can see what they’re doing and you just want to sit them down and go “The problem is in you, babe. Moving won’t help; your inner demons will follow you every time. You’ve got to stay put and deal with your issues.”
Looking for Escape Routes
Our species reminds me of that type of personality right now. So many of us are looking forward to some escape route coming from outside of us to rescue us from ourselves; some are looking forward to the second coming of Jesus, some are looking forward to the aliens coming in to save the day, some are looking forward to the Democrats or the Republicans finally capturing the whole entire government and setting things right with the world, and some are looking forward to billionaires setting up a space colonization program so we can get off this accursed blue orb before we destroy it. But there is no deus ex machina here. No one’s going to save us from ourselves. Even if we do succeed in running away from home, we’ll inevitably bring the same inner demons with us that got us into this mess in the first place.
We’ve got to turn inward and evolve beyond our self-destructive impulses. The only way out is through. The mind virus of celestial escapism stops us from doing this, because it offers us yet another false promise of deus ex machina. It lets us run away from doing the hard but necessary real inner work, just like doing drugs or binging on Netflix or any other kind of escapism.
Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz
Bezos Reveals His Ugly Vision For The World He’s Trying To Rule
Can you try a little thought experiment for me? Imagine, just for a moment, if we took space colonization off the table. Completely. Forever. We just decided that it’s never going to happen and we all moved to accept that. Really imagine it. Really put yourself there for a minute.
What does that change in you? What does that change about your attitude toward our future? If we’re honest with ourselves, I think it would change quite a bit. For me, when I take space conquest off the table, it takes me in a direction that just so happens to look extremely healthy. It makes me say, “Oh, okay, so we’ll obviously have to get rid of the status quo of endless war and ecocide, since those will ruin this place, and that will mean radically changing our relationship with each other and with our ecosystem. It will mean getting women around the world full reproductive sovereignty and education since that’s proven to reverse population growth. It will mean ceasing to think like a cancer, believing that endless growth is a virtue. It will mean ceasing to believe that the existence of trillions of humans is the best our species can hope for, when we have yet to even scratch the surface of our own potential on a large scale. And I suppose it will mean getting together and figuring out how to detect and neutralize the threat of apocalyptic meteor strikes, too.”
Imagine that. Imagine if instead of trying to figure out how to fill the sky with trillions of mediocre humans we turned inward, healed our inner demons, and realized our full potential. Such a world would be a paradise. I know from my own experience that humans are capable of so very, very much more than what we have attained so far; we really haven’t scratched the surface at all. If we’re going to explore, the direction of that exploration ought to be inward.
I really think the mainstream idea that we can always make a mad dash for the black emptiness in the sky if things go to shit here keeps us from truly confronting our urgent need to preserve the ecosystemic context in which we evolved, and which there’s no evidence that we can live without.
I mean, we don’t even know that space colonization is possible. As of yet we have no evidence at all that humans are sufficiently separate and separable from Earth’s biosphere for survival apart from our ecosystem to be a real thing. Humans aren’t really separate “things;” they’re a symbiotic collaboration of organisms with ecosystems of their own, all of which as far as we know are entirely dependent on the greater ecosystem from which we blossomed. So far all our attempts at creating independent biospheres have failed miserably, and the closest we’ve come to living in space has consisted of nothing but glorified scuba excursions: visits to space stations fully dependent on a lifeline of terrestrial supplies. That’s the difference between flying and jumping. It might be as delusional as our brains thinking they can hop out of our skulls and live independently of our bodies, or some river eddies saying they’re moving to dry land.
And even if it is possible, why would you want it? Do people not know what space is? Are they aware that it’s nothing but boring desert wasteland that’s really, really, hard to get to and survive on? Have you ever been trapped for a long time surrounded by nothing but man-made things, like on an airplane or a cruise ship? Picture that, but way worse and for much longer. It would be a sterile, artificial existence; even if you managed to bring in plants and animals it would be ordered in a man-made way that is no more natural than the saplings grown on traffic islands. At best it would be like being in a mall your entire life. You’d be cut off from the primordial thrum of your home world. There’d be no real life there. No real soul.
Imagine never feeling the starry spatter of a shower of rain on your face. Imagine never ever again hearing the roar of wind on a wintry night or experiencing the thunder of the ocean on a big surf day. Imagine never again being blown away by the brightness of a rainbow or the thrilling crack of lightning or the astonishing beauty of a sunset or the first rays of springtime sunshine fondly warming the back of your neck. Imagine never again coming across a friendly squirrel or a shy possum or a little feast of wild blackberries. Imagine never again lying in the dappled light filtered through a magnificent tree. I don’t know about you but I would just miss the breeze playing in my hair too terribly to ever leave. I love it here and it loves me like a mother loves her child. This is not just my home, I grew from the earth as surely as a mushroom or a seahorse. I am a part of the earth and the earth is a part of me. We belong together.
It’s easy to feel helpless. The wise ones do not have any money and therefore any power. We are being run by a handful of coddled man-children and it seems like they might have the last word. But I have been thinking about Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas on morphic resonance a lot lately and I’m increasingly convinced that even just one of us bringing consciousness to an aspect of our collective darkness is enough to wordlessly and instantly inform the herd. So, do me a favor if you are willing. Go and run one more experiment for me. Go outside now and place your hand on the ground and say to the Earth these words — “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” Say it as many times as you feel like. Say it, and mean it.
Not long ago, Chocolate Oligarchs and their fascist gendarmes seized Ukraine’s fertile wheat and barley fields, whilst bankster-funded Islamist rebels took Mosul & the adjacent Kirkuk oilfield – one of the world’s largest – for Exxon Mobil. BRICS nations saw imperial over-reach and, led by Putin, busied themselves preparing for the slow-motion unraveling of the Anglo-American financial empire.
The Rothschild/Rockefeller/banking/energy/arms/drugs oligopoly that has enslaved humankind and decimated planet earth for the last few centuries is coming apart at the seams. The arrogance and stupidity of the self-proclaimed “illuminated ones”, who operate their matrix from the city of London, is being writ large for all to see.
Their Mideast gendarmes Israel & Saudi Arabia falter while Iran rises.
Awhile back, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) entered Bahrain to help the al-Khalifa petro-monarchy put down pro-democracy protests. This intervention – condoned by Western powers – represented a last-ditch effort at salvaging the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – the chief neocolonial modus operandi which underwrites the London eurodollar money laundering scheme while propping up both the pound and the dollar.
But heads of monarchs will soon roll. The people of the GCC nations remain restless, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It was no coincidence that the unstable House of Saud financed Syrian rebels, sent them to destabilize Iraq, then launched a ruthless bombing campaign in Yemen.
Things on the Saudi domestic front are a bit dicey for the embattled and divided royals. It is important to know how we got here:
The six GCC nations- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Oman- sit atop 42% of the world’s oil. The single-family monarchies that control them were hand-picked by the British Empire. They work in tandem with Israel to steal crude oil from the Arab people. They, not China or Japan, are the biggest purchasers of US Treasuries. Their interests lie not with their people, but with the City of London and Wall Street.
The bloodline elite of the six GCC nations are heavily invested in Western economies. High volume crude oil production keeps this investment capital flowing to Wall Street and the City of London while allowing the GCC elites to live opulent lifestyles. As Saudi Oil Minister Hisham Nazer put it, “We now have a mutual bond of self-interest and reciprocal security interests.”
As Western dependence on Third World resources has increased, it has become increasingly necessary for the international bankers and their corporations to include local elite cliques in their capital accumulation schemes, making a small group of local people extremely wealthy so that this group will cooperate in selling local resources cheaply to the West.
An example of this utilization of local elites as surrogates can be seen through the case of the richest man in the world. He is Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah- Sultan of Brunei- a tiny oil enclave on the island of Borneo, where Royal Dutch/Shell holds a virtual monopoly over the oil industry and has paid the Sultan well to keep it that way. The Sultan of Brunei is worth over $60 billion and lives in a 1,778-room palace.
These local elite, in turn, hand over their wealth to Western bankers for protection from devaluation and bank failure. This robs their home country of much-needed capital and often precipitates devaluation and debt crises. The US has itself become a debtor nation and owes its debts, in part, to these same Third World elites, who own trillions on deposit at large US banks, while their fellow countrymen live in abject poverty. Egyptian elites, for example, hold $60 billion in deposits in foreign banks, while the average Egyptian earns $650/year. In the case of the GCC, the amount of recycled petrodollars flowing back into Western investments is truly staggering.
The Saudis have over $600 billion invested abroad. Citigroup owns 33% of the Saudi American Bank but is itself now controlled by members of the House of Saud. In 1993 Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, owner of Saudi Commercial Bank, plunged $590 million into Citibank. Bin Talal now owns 17.34% of Citigroup, while Crown Prince Abdullah owns a 5.4% share, making them the bank’s two largest shareholders. Bin Talal is also the 2nd largest shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp, parent of both Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
The Saudi Citigroup share purchases were facilitated by the Washington-based Carlyle Group, which is 20%-owned by the Mellon family that owned Gulf Oil and now owns a large chunk of Chevron Texaco. Carlyle is led by former Reagan and Bush Defense Secretary and Reagan NSC Chairman Frank Carlucci. George Bush Sr., James Baker III and former British Prime Minister John Major are senior advisers and board members at Carlyle. Bush Sr. served as Carlyle investment advisor to the bin Laden family until November 2001.
In 1995 Prince bin Talal teamed up with Canadian developer Paul Reichmann, Loews chairman Larry Tisch and Lebanese financier Edmund J. Safra- a close friend of war-criminal Henry Kissinger- to buy London’s Canary Wharf complex for $1.04 billion.
UAE ruling Sheik Zayed runs the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Much of its money is handled by private investment and equity firms like Carlyle Group and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette- which is 18% owned by the Saudi Olayan Group. Olayan also owns big chunks of JP Morgan Chase and CS First Boston. The director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority serves as Carlyle Group’s Asian adviser.
Bahrain plays a role in this petrodollar recycling, serving as the key unregulated offshore banking center for both the GCC sheiks and their international mega-bank partners. Bahrain is also home to the US Fifth Fleet and a large number of refineries, which process Saudi crude.
Lebanon had been the premier banking center of the Middle East in earlier days, but with Beirut reduced to rubble by Israeli shelling, merchant banking has moved to the duty-free port of Dubai in the UAE, now the biggest gold market on the planet. Investment banking is centered in Kuwait.
But it is Bahrain which is home to the vast multi-billion dollar pool of money market funds derived from GCC/Four Horsemen petrodollar revenues. Most banks in Bahrain are foreign-owned and all US mega-banks have operations there. Many of Bahrain’s banks are owned by GCC elite and serve as a major conduit in the petrodollar recycling process. The Kuwait Burgan Bank, for example, owns a 28% stake in one of Bahrain’s largest banks- the Middle Eastern Bank.
The most powerful firm in Bahrain is Investcorp, which took big stakes in Saks Fifth Avenue, BAT, Tiffany, Gucci, Color Tile, Carvel Ice Cream, Dellwood Foods, New York Department Store of Puerto Rico, Circle K and Chaumet. Investcorp was co-founded in 1983 by Bahrain ruling family scion Sheik Khalifa bin Sulman al-Khalifa- who also owned a big chunk of the infamous BCCI. A recent Investcorp prospectus lists the Bahrain Minister of Finance as an owner.
Investcorp’s chairman is Abdul-Rahman Al-Ateeqi, former Oil and Finance Minister of Kuwait. Its Vice-President is Ahmed Ali Kanoo of the wealthy Saudi Kanoo family, which is worth an estimated $1.5 billion. Former Saudi Oil Minister Sheik Yamani was one of Investcorp’s founding shareholders, along with seven members of the Saudi royal family. Investcorp has its eight-story headquarters in Bahrain, along with a Park Avenue New York office and a Mayfair district office in London.
Sheik al-Khalifa’s partner in launching Investcorp was Nemir Kirdar, the bank’s president who was in charge of Chase Manhattan’s Persian Gulf operations. Numerous Investcorp senior executives are Chase alumni as well.
Many Investcorp purchases turned out to be flops and there is a shady side to the bank. French jeweler Chaumet executive Charles Lefevre said Investcorp fudged Chaumet numbers to entice shareholders while trying to pawn its shares off at a higher price to other Persian Gulf investors. Another complaint alleged that Investcorp attempted to loot the Saudi European Bank in Paris.
Investcorp board member Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a reclusive Saudi billionaire, invested heavily in George W. Bush’s Harken Energy. So did Bahrain’s ruling Sheik al-Khalifa. Bush and co-owner Dick Cheney morphed their Arbusto Energy into Harken when Bush friend James Bath provided them with $50,000 in seed money.
Bath owned Skyway Aircrafts and was under investigation by the DEA for working with GCC sheiks in flying $100 bills to the Cayman Islands. Since Bath often borrowed money from Saudi Sheiks Khalid bin Mahfouz- BCCI’s largest shareholder- and Mohammed bin Laden, these wealthy Saudis likely provided the $50,000 in seed money to launch what became Harken Energy.
Bin Mahfouz and bin Laden helped Harken sign an exclusive offshore oil drilling agreement just prior to the Gulf War. In January 1990 President Bush Sr. had approved preferential trade status for the Iraqi regime. That very same month Harken Energy was awarded the biggest offshore oil concession ever in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Bahrain.
Other notable Harken investors included the Ft. Worth-based Bass brothers, the South African Rupert family, the Harvard Endowment Fund, and Rothschild lieutenant George Soros. In 1989 the government of Bahrain abruptly cut off talks with Amoco concerning the same oil concession after Emir al-Khalifa decided to grant it instead to Harken Energy at the urging of Mobil’s Middle East operation’s chief Michael Ameen. Financing for the project was arranged by Bush Jr. friend Jackson Stephens, the Arkansas owner of Worthen Bank who was instrumental in bringing BCCI to the US and who donated $100,000 to the Bush Sr. 1988 Presidential Campaign.
New York attorney Allen Quasha and his father William Quasha of Manila helped swing the Harken deal with Bahrain. In 1961 Bill Quasha helped George Bush Sr. secure rights to drill the first oil well in Kuwait via Zapata Offshore Oil Company. Later Quasha served as legal counsel to the CIA drug laundry Nugan Hand Bank in the Philippines. His son Allen became the biggest stockholder in Harken. The Quasha’s own 21% of a Swiss company controlled by the South African Rupert family, who were major backer’s of that country’s former apartheid regime.
Just one month before Iraq invaded Kuwait, George W. Bush sold 66% of his stake in Harken Energy at a 200% profit. While stock analysts like Charlie Andrews of 13D Research were putting out “buy” recommendations on Harken, on June 22, 1990 Bush cashed in $840,000 in Harken stock, later saying he “sold into good news”. Bush knew that Harken had violated the terms of a loan package and was now on the ropes financially. Five weeks later Harken reported a $23 million loss and its stock price crashed.
Bush didn’t report his timely Harken Energy stock sale until March 1991. This was illegal, but Bush claimed the SEC had misplaced the forms and was never prosecuted. In 1993 Bush stepped down from Harken’s board. With heavy financial backing from Enron, he became Governor of Texas.
Bush was defended during the Harken scam by Baker Botts lawyer Robert Jordan, who was paid back in 2000 with an appointment as US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The forgiving SEC chief during the Harken debacle was Richard Breeden, one of Bush Sr.’s biggest political supporters. SEC counsel was James Doty, another Bush supporter who helped George W. buy the Texas Rangers baseball team.
When George W. Bush merged Harken with Spectrum 7 Energy, he brought in Investcorp insider Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, who bought 17.6% of Harken through a Netherlands Antilles holding company. Some say Baksch was a front man for Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz. Baksch was a major investor at the Bahrain-based Investcorp, which was launched by former Chase Manhattan executives. In 1988 he looted an Arab bank in London.
Bakhsh was also accused of looting the Al Saudi Banque of Paris when it collapsed in 1988 just ahead of the strikingly similar collapse of BCCI. Bakhsh is a shareholder in First Commercial Financial Group, a Chicago-based commodity futures trading firm which was sanctioned by US regulators for check-kiting and fraud. Just before the Gulf War broke out, Investcorp sold a 25.8% share to an Iraqi company, despite a Bahrain law prohibiting such transactions.
The Saudis and Kuwaitis are the clear leaders in GCC overseas investments. The Kuwaiti Investment Authority has over $250 billion invested abroad and is the biggest foreign investor in Japan and Spain. Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase handle Kuwaiti investments in the US, where the al-Sabah clan owns stock in each of the 70 largest firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Their US holdings include 100% of Occidental Geothermal, 29.8% of Great Western Resources, 100% of the Atlanta Hilton Hotel, 45% of the Phoenician Hotel and 11% of Hogg Robinson.
In Germany they own 14% of Daimler-Chrysler, 25% of Hoechst (the Nazi IG Farben spin-off and the world’s 2nd largest pharmaceutical company), 20% of Metallgesellschaft and part of German retailer Asko. In Italy they own 6.7% of Afil, the Agnelli family holding company which owns Fiat and several other endeavors. In the UK Kuwait owns St. Martin’s Properties and 5.4% of Sime Darby. In Malaysia their K-10 company owns the biggest newspaper- the New Straits Times Press. In neighboring Singapore, the Kuwaitis own 10.6% of Singapore Petroleum, 37% of Dao Heng Holdings and 49% of the securities firm J. M. Sassoon.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), was technically nationalized in the early 1980’s, but remains close to its former parents- Chevron Texaco and BP Amoco- selling these two Horsemen oil at a discount. KOC made wealthy the al-Sabah emirs and the al-Ghanim family, who acted as the company’s agent for decades. By 1966 KOC bought a Danish subsidiary and became the first Middle Eastern oil company to retail gasoline in Europe. KOC has been the most aggressive GCC firm in its overseas downstream investments. In 1982 it bought hundreds of Q8 gas stations across Europe. By 1987 it owned over 5,000 gasoline retailers in Europe and South Asia. Just last week KOC was awarded a contract to build oil refineries in South Korea.
The Kuwaitis even bought into one of the Four Horsemen- BP Amoco. As of 1988 they owned a 22% share. They have since reduced their share to 9.85%, still a controlling interest. They purchased the Naples, Italy refining operations of Mobil, own nearly 4% of ARCO (now part of BP Amoco), and 2.39% of Phillips Petroleum (now merged with Conoco). In Spain the Kuwaitis operate the Torras Hostenchchemical firm. In Japan they operate Arabian Oil.
All told GCC investments in Western banks and corporations total in the trillions. The bulk of this is invested in long-term US and Japanese government bonds. The GCC sheiks are crucial to floating the entire house of cards that is the global economy. Their guaranteed purchases of US debt, which has largely been accrued through defense spending in the Persian Gulf region, keep the US dollar strong and prevent the international financial architecture from crumbling. The emirs and their elite friends also bankroll CIA covert operations, while re-balancing their trade surpluses with the West through the purchase of US weaponry to protect their oil fiefdoms.
Events in Ukraine and the Middle East have exposed the desperate position of the Rockefeller/Rothschild energy oligopoly. Putin has just begun playing his extremely good hand of cards. The GCC puppets remain embattled and circling the wagons. The end of the petroleum standard can only be staved off by permanent war. Strange days indeed.
“The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.”
The effort is well worth it, as the book helps us understand how the power structures of societies change over time in ways that may be largely invisible to those living through the changes.
The Inheritance of Rome focuses on the lasting influence of Rome’s centralized social and political structures even as centralized economic power and trade routes dissolved.
This legacy of centralized power and loyalty to a central authority manifested 324 years after the end of the Western Roman Empire circa 476 A.D. in Charlemagne, who united much of western Europe as the head of the Holy Roman Empire. (Recall that the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire endured another 1,000 years until 1453 A.D.)
But thereafter, the social and political strands tying far-flung villages and fiefdoms to a central authority frayed and were replaced by a decentralized feudalism in which peasants were largely stripped of the right to own land and became the chattel of independent nobles.
In this disintegrative phase, the central authority invested in the monarchy of kings and queens was weak to non-existent.
In the long sweep of history, it took several hundred years beyond 1000 A.D. for a central authority to re-assert itself in the form of monarchy, and several hundred additional years for the rights of commoners to be established.
Indeed, it can be argued that it was not until the 1600s and 1700s–and only in the northern European strongholds of commoners’ rights, The Netherlands and England–that the rights of ownership and political influence enjoyed by commoners in the Roman Empire were matched.
It can even be argued that the rights of Roman citizenship granted to every resident of the late Empire were only matched in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The rights of commoners were slowly chipped away by civil authorities and transferred to the feudal nobility. As the book explains, these rights included limited self-rule within village councils and ownership of land. These rights were extinguished by feudalism.
The connections between these civil society/legal freedoms (of self-rule and ownership of land/capital), the Protestant Reformation and the birth of modern Capitalism are explained by historian Fernand Braudel’s masterful 3-volume history Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, a series I have long recommended:
The self-reinforcing dynamics of religious, civil and economic freedoms are key to understanding the transition from feudalism/monarchy to the world systems of today, in which some form of self-rule or political influence and economic freedom are expected of every civil authority.
Let’s fast-forward to today and ask what relevance these histories have in the present era.
There are two points worth discussing. One is the acceleration of change; what took 300 years now takes 30, or perhaps less.
The second is the slow erosion of commoners’ self-rule and ownership of meaningful, productive capital.
This gradual, almost imperceptible erosion is what I call neofeudalism, a process of transferring political and economic power from commoners to a new Financial Aristocracy/Nobility.
If we examine the “wealth” of the middle class/working class (however you define them, the defining characteristic of both is the reliance on labor for income, as opposed to living off the income earned by capital), we find the primary capital asset is the family home, which as I have explained many times, is unproductive–in essence, a form of consumption rather than a source of income.
Ultimately, all pensions, public and private, are controlled by central authorities, even though “ownership” is nominally held by commoners. (Ask middle class Venezuelans what their pensions are worth once central authorities debauch the nation’s currency.)
In a globalized, financialized economy, the only capital worth owning is mobile capital, capital that can be shifted by a keystroke to avoid devaluation or earn a higher return.
Housing and pensions are “stranded capital,” forms of capital that are not mobile unless they are liquidated before crises or expropriations occur.
I am also struck by the ever-rising barriers to starting or even operating small businesses, a core form of capital, as enterprises generate income and (potentially) capital gains.
The capital and managerial expertise required to launch and grow a legal enterprise is extraordinarily high, which is at least partly why a nation of self-employed farmers, shopkeepers, artisans, and traders is now a nation of employees of government and large corporations.
What sort of capital can be acquired by the average commoner now? Enough to match the wealth and political power of financial Nobility? This is the source of our fascination with tech millionaires and billionaires: a few commoners have leveraged technology to join the Nobility.
Summary: “The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.”
Neofeudalism is not a re-run of feudalism. It’s a new and improved, state-corporate version of indentured servitude. The process of devolving from central political power to feudalism required the erosion of peasants’ rights to own productive assets, which in an agrarian economy meant ownership of land.
Ownership of land was replaced with various obligations to the local feudal lord or monastery– free labor for time periods ranging from a few days to months; a share of one’s grain harvest, and so on.
The other key dynamic of feudalism was the removal of the peasantry from the public sphere. In the pre-feudal era (for example, the reign of Charlemagne), peasants could still attend public councils and make their voices heard, and there was a rough system of justice in which peasants could petition authorities for redress.
From the capitalist perspective, feudalism restricted serfs’ access to cash markets where they could sell their labor or harvests. The key feature of capitalism isn’t just markets– it’s unrestricted ownership of productive assets–land, tools, workshops, and the social capital of skills, networks, trading associations, guilds, etc.
Our system is Neofeudal because the non-elites have no real voice in the public sphere, and ownership of productive capital is indirectly suppressed by the state-corporate duopoly.
Our society has a legal structure of self-rule and ownership of capital, but in reality, it is a Neofeudal Oligarchy.
“A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report found that some 60 percent of Ukrainians were living below the poverty line in 2016, as Ukraine remains one of the poorest nations in Europe. Meanwhile, its oligarchs continue to grow richer; in 2018 local media reported that the combined wealth of the country’s 100 richest people has jumped by 43 percent to $37bn in just one year.”
Ukraine is on the verge of yet another revolt. This time, however, Ukrainians will not take their anger out onto the streets in another revolution; rather, it looks like they are getting ready to quietly rebel against the political elite and their corruption in the polling booths, as they vote for the next president on March 31.
The ballot is a whopper, with the names of record-breaking 39 candidates on it. Even better, the leader in the race is the most unlikely candidate of them all: Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian with no political experience or governance expertise.
Days before the vote, Zelensky is leading in the polls between eight and 15 percent ahead of the runner-up, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. The two are likely to meet in a runoff vote, which will take place on April 21.
Zelensky’s most famous role is in a TV series called Servant of the People. He plays a poor, honest teacher who becomes president by chance. The comedian likes to say he “shares the values” of his character.
And just like in his TV series, Zelensky took Ukraine’s politics by storm. He was propelled to the very top by a popular TV channel owned by one of Ukraine’s top oligarchs, Igor Kolomoisky, who currently lives between Switzerland and Israel.
The channel gives ample airtime to both Zelensky, the candidate, and Zelensky, the actor. The actor even gets to shine in a whole raft of TV programmes and documentaries on the eve of the election, when campaigning is banned by law.
Both Kolomoisky and Zelensky deny a political connection, despite the fact that the oligarch’s lawyer is part of the comedian’s election campaign team, and his guard is accompanying him on the campaign trail.
Pollsters say Zelensky’s popularity is the result of the high name recognition he enjoys, and Ukrainians’ deep disappointment and disillusionment with their ruling elite. Voters are ready for a new face, even when they know it belongs to a man who has next to no competence in politics.
A recent Gallup survey showed that Ukraine holds the world record in low trust in the government for the second year straight: Just nine percent have confidence in it, way below the regional median for former Soviet states of 48 percent, and the global average of 56 percent.
This is the price the political elite is paying for failing to live up to the promises of Ukraine’s 2013 Revolution of Dignity for economic growth, rule of law, transparency and higher standards of living.
More than five years on, unemployment and underemployment have pushed an estimated 3.2 million Ukrainians (about one in 10 adults) to seek work abroad on a permanent basis, while many others take up temporary jobs outside the country every year. Poverty rates are high, and so is inequality.
A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report found that some 60 percent of Ukrainians were living below the poverty line in 2016, as Ukraine remains one of the poorest nations in Europe. Meanwhile, its oligarchs continue to grow richer; in 2018 local media reported that the combined wealth of the country’s 100 richest people has jumped by 43 percent to $37bn in just one year.
Competitive Ukrainian business has also taken a hit.
“In my worst nightmares I couldn’t imagine this is where we would be now,” Yevgeniy Utkin, an entrepreneur and pioneer of the IT industry in Ukraine, told me recently.
He is not upset because his IT business has been raided a few times by masked law enforcement agents, searching for proof of financial crimes (and not making any charges afterwards) – a common occurrence in today’s Ukraine which has come to be known as “maski show”. Nor is he upset about the loss of most of his Russian assets after Moscow annexed Crimea and started the war in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Like many others in the business sector, Utkin has simply lost hope over time.
He told me of one incident in particular that made him disillusioned early on. In the summer of 2014, soon after Poroshenko was inaugurated, Utkin approached him with an idea for a hi-tech solution for army radio communications. He was referred to a senior administration official and fellow multimillionaire, who was more interested in inviting Utkin to join him on a yachting trip to Sardinia. Utkin gasped – and declined.
Just a few weeks later, in August, one of the fiercest battles of the war took place in the eastern Ukrainian city of Ilovaisk. At least 366 Ukrainian soldiers died, 429 were injured and hundreds captured in an ambush. There were many factors that led to this tragedy, including a significant presence of Russian troops, the government later found. But Utkin was struck by the major role that poor communication played in this tragedy, and it was exactly the problem he had wanted to fix.
Poroshenko surfed into the presidency on the wave of revolution and war, and on the promise of change. He said he would end the war within days, come after the mighty oligarchs and “personally oversee” the fight against corruption.
Four years later, Poroshenko had to apologise for making a hasty and arrogant declaration about ending the war
He had much more leverage to fulfil his other promises – fighting oligarchy and corruption, but did equally poorly on both of them.
Oligarchs still control massive areas of the economy: energy, agriculture, media and access to state-owned monopolies and natural resources. They are difficult to rein in because the rule of law is hard to come by in Ukraine.
The European Business Association, which conducts a regular survey of CEOs to gauge Ukraine’s investment climate, found that 78 percent of its respondents were critically dissatisfied with the level of corruption in the country, 74 percent distrusted the judiciary, and 65 percent complained about the shadow economy
Less than a month ago, a series of journalistic investigations revealed that Oleh Hladkovsky, deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council and Poroshenko’s friend and former business partner, and his son, were allegedly involved in corruption related to defense procurement deals.
In the aftermath of the scandal, the Ukrainian president vouched to make corrupt officials “bring back every kopeck they had stolen with their teeth”.
That is terribly unlikely given that Ukraine’s judicial reform is failing.
In a recent illustration of this spectacular failure, a special commission in charge of appointing judges to the High Court of Ukraine gave positions to a number of judges with questionable track records, including some who have let dozens of drink-and-drive offenders walk free, are holding two passports (which is illegal in Ukraine), and have covered up for other corrupt judges – among other things. At the same time, Ukrainian judge Pavlo Parkhomenko, who has accumulated much recognition domestically and internationally for his human rights work, was the sole candidate to be rejected.
Pressure for change from outside
To be completely fair, there has been some change in Ukraine since 2013. Its gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.3 percent last year, the highest level since 2011. The Ukrainian banking sector was mostly cleaned up, with over 100 suspect banks closed and the National Bank completely reformed.
The state-owned gas holding Naftogaz underwent a near-miraculous transformation and went from a net loss of 18 billion hryvnia ($2.2bn at the time) in 2013 to a record profit of 39.4 billion hryvnia ($1.5bn) in 2017.
A national electronic procurement system Prozorro was launched to ensure that all public money is spent efficiently and transparently. It has saved an estimated $2.76bn in less than five years and won scores of international awards for innovation and excellence.
Significant reforms have started in the healthcare and education sectors, too.
And most importantly, for the average Ukrainian, the country now has a visa-free regime with its European Union neighbours.
But most of these reforms were made possible by pressure mounted by the Ukrainian civil society (which has very much been supported by the West) and international donors and partners, such as the United States, the European Union, Canada and others.
Each of these reforms also took a kamikaze-style leader, typically hailing from outside the existing system, who temporarily came in from the business sector or other walks of life to push through a specific cause.
After accomplishing the task, many of them left or were pushed out; others are lasting it out until the election, and still, others were sabotaged, and their efforts often reversed by the more politically shrewd players who fill senior government offices.
Thus, over the years, Ukraine’s political elite has proven in a multitude of ways that on its own it is incapable to bring about change of the scale and depth expected by its electorate.
In one episode of Servant of the People, Zelensky’s character tells the parliament that “the society has changed, and it’s no longer going to wait and forgive”. He then goes on to shoot all the parliament members with an automatic weapon.
The Ukrainian society has indeed changed and it clearly doesn’t want to wait and forgive any more. On March 31, it will most likely “shoot down” its failed political elite through the ballot box. Afterwards, what shape or form its growing anger will take is anyone’s guess.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.
How is getting rid of Trump supposed to be a return to “normal democracy” when that “normal democracy” is a myth, a fantasy belied by massive poverty, inequality and oppression?
“The obscenity of American capitalism and its grotesque exploitation of millions of American citizens – creating islands of super wealth among a sea of poverty – is a repudiation of any notion of a functioning democracy.”
The anti-Trump so-called “liberal” American politicians and media suffer from a cozy big delusion. The Democrats and their supportive media, such as CNN and New York Times, as well as the foreign policy establishment, including the CIA, promote the belief that all of America’s ills and problems will be solved if only President Trump could be impeached.
The so-called “liberal-left” in the US – which has nothing to do with left wing or socialist politics as most of the world would define it – is increasingly warning that Trump is taking America into a dark place of authoritarianism.
Take a recent op-ed in the New York Times by columnist Roger Cohen with the headline: ‘Donald Trump Just Cannot Help It’. It’s a scathing piece which lambasts Trump in very personal terms as a “malignant” conman.
The key line perhaps is when Cohen writes: “The Reichstag Fire was at least a fire. Here, there is smoke and mirrors.” He is referring to what many historians contend was a false-flag arson attack on the German parliament in 1933, which allowed newly elected Chancellor Adolf Hitler to install his Nazi dictatorship by claiming the sabotage was a communist plot.
Many critics of Trump, including Cohen, are concerned that the president is “manufacturing a crisis” over his border wall proposal. They accuse him of using the US government shutdown and the political impasse with Democrats on the proposed border wall funding as a pretext to introduce a state of emergency. Cohen’s mention of the infamous Reichstag Fire has therefore a seemingly radical inference. He, and many others in the American liberal-left, are warning that Trump is a crypto-fascist.
There is some merit to that argument. Certainly, Trump seems to be whipping up a crisis about immigration which is not justified in terms of numbers and conditions on the border with Mexico. The influx of migrants and refugees is widely reported to be at an all-time low going back over the past 40 years. Most of the present migrants are families, fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries. Trump’s scary depiction of “drug dealers” and “terrorists” seems to be unabashed fabulation to incite fear.
His threats of invoking a state of emergency in which he will use executive powers to instruct the compulsory building of a security barriers on the southern border are therefore disproportionate and uncalled for. Trump’s would-be arrogation of emergency powers has disturbing implications of overriding US constitutional law, and sidelining other branches of government. There are genuine concerns that the direction is one of authoritarianism, even fascism.
But here is where too many Americans are deluded about Trump. They think he is the singular problem, an aberrant president. Get rid of him, they say, and we can all return to “normal democracy”.
The reality is that the US has been sliding into authoritarianism, plutocracy and oligarchy, or dare we say fascism, for decades. The political figure of Trump – obnoxious as he is – is merely the culmination of this degenerative process in American politics.
The obscenity of American capitalism and its grotesque exploitation of millions of American citizens – creating islands of super wealth among a sea of poverty – is a repudiation of any notion of a functioning democracy. The two-party pimping for big business, Wall Street and the military-industrial racket that has been going on for decades makes a travesty of any claims about “we the people” and elections. This backdrop of actual functioning oligarchy is why many voters – among the half, that is, who bothered to even vote – reached out to “an outsider” like Trump and his conman promises of change.
However, the inherent problem isn’t Trump. It is the system that produces the conditions and precursors for someone like Trump to end up getting elected.
It should be noted that people like Roger Cohen and other American “liberals” who are wringing their hands about Trump never seemed to express concern about the dominance of big business and banks in running America’s corporatocracy. Cohen and his ilk were also big supporters of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – wars that were illegal, resulted in millions of innocent casualties, destroyed societies and spread the scourge of terrorism.
How is getting rid of Trump supposed to be a return to “normal democracy”? When that purported “normal democracy” is a myth, a fantasy belied by massive poverty, inequality and oppression of ordinary American workers and their families, alongside criminal imperialist wars of genocide.
Cohen’s reference to the Reichstag Fire false flag and Trump’s propensity for authoritarianism may sound like radical criticism. But it is only radical schtick. It is worse than Trump’s con artistry because it propagates the delusion that America has an underlying democracy. The reality is American democracy stopped functioning a long time ago. When exactly it stopped is debatable.
The 9/11 “terror attacks” in 2001 were certainly a candidate for comparison to the Reichstag Fire false flag event. They ushered in executive powers in Washington to wage criminal wars “against terrorism” anywhere on the planet, and for far-reaching police state surveillance of US citizens.
Or we could go back to the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 when the US created a pretext for the Vietnam War.
Or the assassination of President John F Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963 by his Deep State enemies, which was a coup d’état against American democracy, violating the nation forever.
Or the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 which gave private banks and plutocrats the ultimate power over the creation of money in the US and thus a veto on economic policy.
Many other instances (extermination of native Americans, African slavery) could be cited which testify to the fraud of “American democracy”. The seeds of authoritarianism, militarism and fascism were sown decades ago. To blame this putrefaction of democracy on Donald Trump is the delusion of American apologists for the system’s long-time corruption.
And how we can restore to America a rational media landscape.. The media recently was all over Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for calling Donald Trump a “m@therf*cker” in the context of wanting to impeach him. It got lots and lots of coverage, over a period of several days, while the really big work the Democrats were doing in the House is largely ignored, along with most other consequential issues of the day.
Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever.
The media recently was all over Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for calling Donald Trump a “m@therf*cker” in the context of wanting to impeach him. It got lots and lots of coverage, over a period of several days, while the really big work the Democrats were doing in the House is largely ignored, along with most other consequential issues of the day.
Ever since the media began, in a big way in the 1980s, to ignore actual news and go for highly dumbed-down or even salacious stories, many of us who work in the media have been astonished by this behavior by the network and cable news organizations and the major newspapers.
They used to report the details of policy proposals in great detail (see this report from the 1970s about Richard Nixon’s proposal for universal health care, comparing his with Ted Kennedy’s, for example). But since the Reagan era, the networks have largely kept their coverage exclusively to personality, scandal, and horse race.
Why would that be? Why, since the late 1980s, has the “news” lost any semblance of actual news and detail, and degenerated into a cleaned-up version of the National Enquirer?
For example, on January 3, the House of Representatives passed one of the most sweeping political reform bills since the Nixon era, including automatic voter registration, 15 days of nationwide early voting, and an end to gerrymandering. Not to mention a totally revolutionary code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
But was there any coverage of these details—or even of the bill itself—in the media? Even though there’s no way it would pass the Senate, it’s worthy of discussion and debate.
This is just one example of dozens of events that happen every day and are completely ignored by the media in favor of “who’s up and who’s down” horse-race reporting, and gotcha or scandal coverage.
Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever.
Watch a few hours of national cable TV media, and—outside of a very few shows—odds are you won’t hear any detail of actual policy whatsoever. Every issue is instead framed in the horse-race format of “who’s going to win this fight”—leaving Americans uninformed about the consequences to themselves of the issues being fought over.
But the networks love scandal and conflict. So, to get issues on TV, maybe it’s time to make them obscene.
Imagine if the Democratic Party were to enlist a dozen or so members of Congress to go on national TV and say things like:
“We’re going to stop that m@therf*cker Brian Kemp from blocking any more black people from registering to vote in Georgia!”
Even if the Democrats did this, the only dimension of it that would get covered would be how much political damage (or benefit) the profanity may be doing to the politicians who are the source or butt of it, as happened with Representative Tlaib. In other words, they’d turn the issues aside and focus on the personalities and the horse race.
Which brings us back to the media refusing to actually discuss or inform the American public about actual issues.
Why would it be this way in 2019, when there’s such a demonstrable thirst for issues-based discussions, as we can see with the ratings of the few top cable network shows that actually do discuss issues and don’t spend half their hour with a “panel”?
Trying to figure out why this is, I’ve come up with four possible reasons (none of which are mutually exclusive; it may be all or a combination of them). Let me know on Twitter or call into my show if you have additions to the list.
1. The End of the Fairness Doctrine
In 1987, Ronald Reagan ordered his FCC to cease enforcing the Fairness Doctrine. This much-misunderstood regulation required radio and TV stations, in order to keep their licenses, to “pay” for their use of the public airwaves (the property of We the People) with actual news. It was called “broadcasting in the public interest.”
Because of the Fairness Doctrine, every one of the networks actually lost money on their news divisions, and those divisions operated entirely separately from the entertainment programming divisions of the networks.
CBS, ABC, and NBC had bureaus all around the world and employed an army of reporters. At the little radio station where I worked in Lansing, Michigan, in the 1970s (WITL), we had, as I recall, five people staffing the newsroom, and it was a firing offense if we were caught hanging out with the sales staff. While stations lost money on news, the payoff was the much larger sums they could earn with entertainment during the rest of the hour or day.
The Fairness Doctrine also encouraged a discussion of the issues of the day with the “balanced commentary” (probably not the official name; it’s what we called it in the ’70s) requirement. This did not say that if a station carried an hour of Limbaugh, they’d have to balance it with an hour of Hartmann. “Entertainment” programming (see Joe Pyne, William F. Buckley, etc., etc.) could have any tilt it wanted.
But when a station ran an editorial on the air that conveyed the opinion of the station’s owners, they then had to allow a member of the community to come on the air and present a balancing and different perspective. If this provision was still in the regulations, every time Sinclair Broadcast Group requires their local stations to air their “must-carry” right-wing editorials, they’d have to follow them with a left-wing perspective rebutting their points.
2. The Rise of “Reality TV”
Reality TV grew out of the twin writers’ strikes of 1988 and 2001. In each case, the networks had to figure out a way to offer compelling programming with shows that didn’t require union writers. In 1988, they mostly did documentaries on policing like “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted”; in 2001 they rolled out the full-blown reality programming we know today, starting with “Survivor.”
The networks learned two big lessons from this. The first was that “reality” programming actually pulled an audience, and thus was profitable. Extremely profitable, in that it didn’t require union writers and generally didn’t even require union actors.
The second was that it was incredibly cheap to produce.
If you tuned into TV prior to the Reaganification of the news, you may still have heard “experts” discussing things, but there were several differences. First, they were usually actual experts on actual issues that were before Congress. Second, they were a very, very small part of the overall program.
In the years since the rise of reality TV, the news networks have discovered that it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to have four or five or six “pundits” join a host for an hour and “discuss” the issues of the day than it is to pay for actual salaried reporters and news bureaus around the nation and the world.
So every hour, at least on the low-budget or weak-talent shows (notice what a contrast the Maddow show is to this truism), plan on hearing a half-dozen very, very familiar talking heads discussing ad nauseam the same four or five stories all day long.
So every hour, at least on the low-budget or weak-talent shows (notice what a contrast the Maddow show is to this truism), plan on hearing a half-dozen very, very familiar talking heads discussing ad nauseam the same four or five stories all day long. (One wonders why the networks don’t encourage their talent to do more of the kind of in-depth reporting and analysis found on Rachel’s show, particularly since it’s profitable and draws killer ratings. Perhaps the answer is found in reasons three and four.)
Guests like you see on the panels that fill daytime news programming start out working for free, and if they become an “analyst,” “contributor” or some other title for the network are paid between $500 and $2,500 an appearance. In a world where on-air personalities often start with seven-figure salaries, this is incredibly cheap programming.
Even cheaper for the networks is to have politicians on as guests—they show up for free!—which may be why they’re almost never held to account in any serious way. After all, if you piss off a politician on your network and they refuse to ever come back on the air, you’ve lost another bit of “free” talent. And if you piss off an entire political party, and your programming model doesn’t work without “balance,” you’re really screwed.
There’s a reason people all over America are screaming at their TVs every Sunday morning: the majority of guests are conservatives or Republicans, and much of what they offer as “fact” or “opinion” is merely lies and propaganda. Which leads us to number three.
3. Media Corporations Are Corporations, Too
It’s easy to postulate that the absolute lack of coverage of the death, at GOP hands, of net neutrality is because two of the big three cable TV networks are (or soon will be) owned by internet service providers (NBC/MSNBC is owned by Comcast, AT&T is trying to buy CNN), and other big corporations see all sorts of financial advantage if they can use their financial and programming muscle to dominate a newly sliced-and-diced corporatized internet.
Consider: When was the last time you heard an intelligent discussion on TV about taxing the rich? Or holding corporations accountable when they break the law? Or how destructive oligopolies and monopolies are to workers? Or how big pharma scams us about their R&D expenses and price fixing, buying up generic companies, etc.? The list could go on for pages.
Back in the day, the big joke in corporate America was, “You know it’s going to be a bad day when you get to work in the morning and there’s a ‘60 Minutes’ news truck outside the building.” The last time this was seriously considered was in the late 1980s, as in this article about “60 Minutes” doing an exposé of the meat industry. Now, not so much.
The simple fact is that TV “news” organizations are now for-profit operations, and, lacking regulation like the Fairness Doctrine, thus have the same natural and inherent biases toward protecting corporate power and privilege, and the wealth and privilege of their management and largest shareholders.
They also derive the bulk of their money from two sources—billionaire-funded political campaigns (have you noticed how there’s no in-depth coverage of the political spending of the Kochs, Adelsons, and Mercers of the world?), and giant transnational corporate advertisers.
They also derive the bulk of their money from two sources—billionaire-funded political campaigns (have you noticed how there’s no in-depth coverage of the political spending of the Kochs, Adelsons, and Mercers of the world?), and giant transnational corporate advertisers.
All those campaign ads represent hundreds of millions of dollars going right into the pockets of the networks and their affiliates, along with other corporate advertising revenue. Lacking a regulation like the Fairness Doctrine to require actual “programming in the true public interest news,” who’d bite those hands that feed them?
4. Corporations Like Republicans
The final possibility that occurs to me (and others in media with whom I’ve discussed this over the years) is that the large TV and radio news operations simply like what the GOP stands for. They also know that if GOP policies were widely understood, the Republican Party would fade into the kind of powerless obscurity it enjoyed for most of the FDR-to-Reagan era, when working people’s salaries were growing faster than management and the middle class was solid and stable.
TV networks don’t like unions or uppity workers or regulation any more than any other billion-dollar corporation. They’d prefer the salaries of their senior corporate management weren’t debated (or even known). They prefer to live in today’s semi-monopolistic system where they’re only minimally held accountable, and want to keep it that way.
This is the core of GOP ideology that media shares: Cut taxes on rich people, kill off the unions, cut welfare so more of that money can go to rich people’s tax cuts, deregulate big corporations so they can act without regard to the public good, and subsidize big corporations with government funds whenever and wherever possible.
But if any of these issues were ever explicitly discussed on TV, all hell would break loose. Can you imagine if Bill Kristol or Rick Santorum or any of the other dozens of right-wing trolls who inhabit cable TV were ever asked about their actual positions on policy?
Should we sell off (privatize) Social Security to the big New York banks as the GOP has wanted to do since the 1930s? Should we end Medicare and Medicaid and turn everybody over to the tender mercies of the insurance industry? Should we stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry? What should we do about the audit that found $21 trillion (yes, with a T) missing from the Pentagon? How do we break the stranglehold monopolistic drug corporations have on the pricing of our pharmaceuticals?
The networks are equally terrified of having actual progressives on to discuss actual progressive issues—because the majority of American voters largely supports these issues and, if well informed, will start to vote out Republicans and vote in progressive Democrats.
Similarly, the networks are equally terrified of having actual progressives on to discuss actual progressive issues—because the majority of American voters largely supports these issues and, if well informed, will start to vote out Republicans and vote in progressive Democrats.
Imagine how things would go down if the networks started having actual discussions and debates about free college education, free national health care, the environmental impact of big oil, how well publicly owned utilities and internet services (like Chattanooga) work?
The simple reality is that the media oligopoly and the GOP work hand-in-glove, and the Democrats (and particularly the progressives) have been locked out since the Reagan era.
The solutions to these problems are not particularly complex, although the GOP will fight them tooth-and-nail.
Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, put back into place ownership rules, and break up the big media monopolies so there’s a diversity of voices across America. Overrule the Supreme Court’s (by legislation or constitutional amendment) Citizens United (and similar) ruling to regulate money in politics, diminishing the power of big corporations and billionaires (and foreign governments).
In other words, restore to America a rational media landscape.
Today, you can drive from coast to coast and never miss a moment of Hannity or Limbaugh on the radio, so complete and widespread is the nation’s network of corporate-owned radio stations that will only carry right-wing talk. You’ll be hard-pressed, outside of a few major cities, to find any progressive or even moderate talk programming.
This has corrupted America’s politics and led to a nation divided.
I supported Trump for president for three reasons:
Trump was the only candidate who recognized the need to normalize relations with Russia and bring a halt to the reckless orchestration of conflict with a major nuclear power.
Trump was the only candidate who recognized the need to restore high productivity, high value added jobs to the American workforce.
Trump was the only candidate who spoke to the American people instead of to the organized interest groups of the ruling elite.
My concern was that Trump did not know Washington and did not know who to appoint to help him achieve these goals.
Trump was unaware of the extent of the threat that his agenda posed to the military/security complex, US global corporations, and the ruling oligarchy. Normalizing relations with Russia would put in question the $1,000 billion annual budget, and the power that goes with it, of the military/security complex. Bringing home the offshored jobs would raise the labor cost of US global corporations and cut the “performance bonuses” of the executive class. Speaking directly to the American people raised the specter of a populist revolt against the ruling oligarchy. These are too many enemies for a president who did not know how to staff his administration, and Trump has paid the price.
The fake charges that comprise “Russiagate,” orchestrated by CIA director John Brennan, implemented by highly partisan Democratic operatives in the FBI and by Trump’s own Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and ridden hard by the Democrats and the presstitutes, prevented Trump from normalizing relations with Russia.
Bad economic advice, whether innocent or intentional, misfocused Trump’s attention from the problem of jobs offshoring to tarrifs, with the consequence that he has a trade war and rising prices for Americans in place of the return of their jobs.
The ruling oligarchs have decided to make an example of Trump so that no future presidential candidate makes the mistake of speaking directly to the American people.
Trump was our last chance, and it appears that he is going down.
Trump’s Middle Eastern policy is in the hands of Trump’s Zionist son-in-law and Netanyahu. The result is escalated tensions with Russia, with Israel causing the destruction of a Russian Air Force crew and plane, with the Trump regime threatening Syrian and Russian forces with attack if any attempt is made to liberate Syria’s last province occupied by Washington’s army of terrorists, with Trump unilaterally pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Treaty, with Trump abandoning his intent to remove US forces from the Middle East, with Trump’s crazed neoconservative National Security Adviser John Bolton issuing audacious threats to Iran and to Russia, with Trump moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and with Trump cutting off all aid to the Palestinians who are in front of our eyes experiencing genocide at the hands of US-supported Israel.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
The Trump regime is either so incompetent or so intent on war that it does not understand that Russia cannot permit the US/Israeli destabilization of Iran any more than Russia can permit the US/Israeli destabilization of Syria. The crazed Bolton’s threats against Iran are direct threats to Russia’s national interests. The president who was going to improve relations with Russia has worsened them beyond the capability of Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Victoria Nuland.
Now I will be my own devil’s advocate. When Trump saw how boxed in he was by the material interests of the ruling oligarchy, he decided to finish off Washington’s already diminishing influence. He appointed Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the UN, where she has done a superb job of alienating every country in the world. Trump has infuriated Europe with tariffs, sanction threats, and orders to Germany not to go forward with the Russian/German natural gas pipeline. Trump followed up by treating the UN Security Council on September 26 as Washington’s footstool. Trump with threats and sanctions is driving Turkey, Iran, India, China, and North Korea into Russia’s arms, and he is driving Europe into independence. In a stroke of genius, Trump, despite his thoroughly neoconservative regime, is destroying Washington’s hegemony.
We might never know whether this result is an unintended consequence of arrogance and hubris or whether it is a clever strategy. But if it turns out the way it seems to be heading, Trump will go down in history as Trump the Great, the man who saved the world by dismantling American hegemony.
Pretending the world isn’t bleak feeds the mania for unreal hope that exists within American culture…
Chris Hedges – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, ordained Presbyterian minister, ferocious anti-corporate activist and prolific author – has long occupied an isolated spot among American public intellectuals, as much a moral crusader as a political critic. But as American, and Western, politics continue to decay and xenophobic nativism continues to rise, Hedges, 61, seems less and less an outlier, his critique of contemporary America more acceptable to his countrymen. And that’s without walking back any of his analysis. If Hedges was worried nine years ago in Empire of Illusion that his nation – like all republics before it – would fail to survive the acquisition of an empire, he’s now convinced it won’t. The title of his newest book, America: The Farewell Tour, says it all. In powerfully reported chapters – including “Decay” (deindustrialization), “Heroin” (the opioid epidemic), “Sadism” (the pornography-industrial complex), and “Hate” (racism) – Hedges talks to the most oppressed and dispossessed citizens of an empire he thinks has not much more than a decade of life left.
Q: A very bleak and wide-ranging report. The Farewell Tour is, in its way, the antithesis of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now.
A: That book is the modern version of Candide. I mean it is completely unplugged from reality. Pinker, who has spent his life in academic gardens like Harvard, just doesn’t understand what societies look like when they break down. I’ve been there. I’m not an academic. I was primarily a war correspondent for 28 years. Pinker doesn’t get the dark side of human nature and how technology has, in degenerated societies, accelerated the power to commit wholesale slaughter. People love his book. It’s what they want to hear. But it’s not real.
Q: Yet he is correct that much of the world, especially in Asia, has been lifted out of poverty in the last generation.
A: But consider income inequality in China. It’s massive—there’s now a Chinese oligarchy just like the ones in the rest of the world. China is buying up half of Vancouver—what’s that town north of Vancouver that’s becoming the largest Chinese-speaking city outside of China? Richmond? To somehow measure wealth by GDP is a mistake. Having worked in places, especially Africa, in vast urban slums, I know the poverty is worse [than it was] for people who at least had subsistence agriculture before. So the whole measurement of wealth is wrong. The rise of global oligarchic classes with obscene amounts of money doesn’t mean the world’s richer. Not unless you read Thomas Friedman.
Q: You argue from a socialist perspective…
A: I’m not an ideologue. I once gave a talk in a Canadian university—I think it was the University of Winnipeg—some place where you can still hire Marxist economists. That doesn’t happen in America. Anyway, I finished my talk and one of the members of the economics department who had been sitting in the back stood up and said to the students, “I just want to make it clear that he’s not really a socialist, he’s a radical Keynesian.” Which actually is true. He wasn’t wrong. I’m not a Marxist. I read Marx and I think Marxist critique and understanding of capitalism is absolutely vital and true and probably the greatest critique we have. If I were running a hedge fund, I would only hire Marxists because they understand that capitalism is about exploitation, the maximization of profit and reducing the cost of labour. I think sometimes, to put it in Canadian vernacular, I’m a Tommy Douglas socialist.
Q: I think “perspective” still works here, given you don’t see any difference between the purported liberal and conservative parties in the U.S. or in the rest of the developed world.
A: Put it this way: nations have lost control of their own economies, in essence. So it doesn’t matter what people want. There is no way to vote against the global interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. You can’t do it. And this, of course, is what has created political crises. The result is anger and authoritarian populist figures like Orbán in Hungary and the leaders of the current Polish government, and similar strong movements in France, Germany, Italy. This is a global phenomenon of which Trump is a part. But there’s an important difference. America is an empire. So we’re much more fragile than nation-states, non-imperial countries.
US Traffic Volume Declines For The First Time In 4 Years
Trump’s fears that rising gasoline prices will impact consumer behavior have come true.
Q: And much more dangerous. You cite historians who note how rising empires tend to be judicious in their use of military force, while declining empires are prone to wild swings of the bat to try to stay on top.
A: Yes, much more dangerous. You see that throughout history: the ancient Greeks invading Sicily, and their entire fleet sunk, thousands of soldiers killed and their empire becoming unsustainable; or in 1956 when Britain tries to invade Egypt after the nationalization of the Suez Canal, retreats in humiliation and thereby triggers a financial crisis and the end of the pound sterling as a reserve currency, marking the death of the British Empire, which had been on a slow descent since the end of World War One. The dollar as the world’s current reserve currency is running on fumes. The moment that’s over, American financial supremacy is instantly finished. It will be very similar to the aftermath of the Suez disaster—something like that is always characteristic of late empire. And the fragility of an empire means that when collapse comes it’s almost instantaneous. You look back at the rapid final fall of the old Soviet Union. A failing empire is like a house of cards that just comes down—it’s not a slow descent. We know from history what happens. It’s not a mystery.
Q: You don’t believe there is anything the system—meaning the opposition party, meaning the Democrats—can do to effect real change in the U.S.
A: Let’s be clear. The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane. The Democratic Party is a creation of the better-educated, more enlightened wing of the billionaire class, those who don’t want to be identified as racist, misogynist, homophobic Islamophobes. But fundamentally, the economic structures and imperial structures remain untouched because the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, depends on corporate money to exist. So figures like [Nancy] Pelosi or [Chuck] Schumer have power within the party because they control the money and which candidates get the money. They’re the bag people, and they are acutely aware that should they institute real electoral reform—purging corporate money from the system—they wouldn’t hold political power. However decayed the ship of state is, they are not going to give up their first-class cabins. The Democrats’ entire electoral strategy is to hope that Trump implodes.
Q: To run on “we’re not Trump”?
A: Yeah—which could fail, by the way. Their elites, which include the media elites, are woefully out of touch with the country.
Q: When you write about Charlottesville, it’s clear you feel that all the people there, whether neo-Nazis or counter-protesters, were reacting to the same economic, social and psychological dislocations.
Q: With no answers at all from their government short of mass incarceration?
A: That’s right, that and militarized police. And again, in Canada too—look at the streets of Toronto during the G20.
Q: So that is the answer to the question puzzled liberals pose in America: why do Trump supporters in particular, or Republican working-class supporters in general, vote against what liberals see as their own interests?
A: That idea is just untrue. The Democratic Party has long abandoned working-class America. And the sense of betrayal on the part of the Democrats was deeper because traditionally the Democrats had been at least open to the interests of labour. That was all abolished under Bill Clinton, who—like Hillary—understood astutely that if they did corporate bidding they would get corporate money. The political spectrum in the United States across the two major parties is now so narrow as to be almost irrelevant. What they argue about are cultural or social issues. But that’s a form of anti-politics. They don’t actually argue about anything of substance in terms of the economy or foreign policy. That’s why you see complete continuity between Republican and Democratic administrations. So the rage is quite legitimate. That was fascinating for me when I was in Anderson, Ind., which is—was—one of GM’s epicentres. After NAFTA, carmakers could move to Mexico and pay workers $3 an hour without benefits. According to the old UAW officials, their members voted for Sanders in the primary but then voted for Trump in the general, because they weren’t going to vote for Clinton. They were fully aware that their city, their lives, their families, their ability to make an income that could sustain them, was taken away from them by the Democratic Party machine. Oh, and when I say complete continuity, one caveat—Barack Obama’s assault on civil liberties and levels of deportations of undocumented workers were actually worse than Bush’s.
Q: Civil liberties have been eroding for quite a while in the U.S., at least since the Patriot Act.
A: This is global. You have it in Canada, too. That security bill Harper passed that Trudeau hasn’t revoked? Your wholesale surveillance is as draconian as ours.
Q: One of your major themes is that contemporary politics has neither language nor platform to talk about economics and social issues from an anti-corporate, anti-capitalist position.
A: Not within the mainstream media, which has co-opted political language quite effectively. There is no genuine debate about the nature of corporate capitalism: how it works, what its economic effects are both nationally and globally, what its political effects are. It’s never discussed at all. In Canada the situation is better because of people like John Ralston Saul, Naomi Klein, Adbusters, so it’s at least possible to raise the issue. But in the U.S. it is quite stunning how it’s completely censored from public discourse. The health-care system is the perfect example. There is no rational discussion of it because people who advocate universal government-funded health care are never allowed to have a platform. We just don’t talk about how much money we spend for the most inefficient health-care system in the industrialized world. Instead, Americans get spectacle: this endless reality television show with porn stars and a maniacal idiot in the Oval Office sitting in front of a television set tweeting, and it’s good entertainment. CNN made more money last year than they’ve ever made. But it is not news. It has nothing to do with news.
Q: What can you tell me about the mix of hope and despair in your book. Is there hope in it?
A: I don’t think like that. One of the great existential crises of our time is to understand how bleak the world is, and resist anyway. But pretending that it’s not bleak feeds the mania for unreal hope that exists within American culture that I don’t share. That’s our exit door—it allows us to find excuses not to react with the militancy that we must embrace if we’re going to ultimately survive. There is a moral dimension to fighting radical evil. Most rebels throughout history do not succeed. But you don’t succeed without them, and the situation truly is hopeless if we do nothing. If we resist we have hope, however marginal and impossible that hope may seem. If we don’t resist, you can’t use the word hope.
The curtain is now being pulled back to fully expose the Khazarian Mafia and its evil plan to infiltrate, tyrannize the whole World and eradicate all Abrahamic Religions and allow only their Babylonian Talmudism also known as Luciferianism, Satanism or ancient Baal worship.
Note: The history of the Khazarians, specifically the Khazarian Mafia (KM), the World’s largest Organized Crime Syndicate that the Khazarian oligarchy morphed into by their deployment of Babylonian Money-Magick, has been nearly completely excised from the history books.
The present day KM knows that it cannot operate or exist without abject secrecy, and therefore has spent a lot of money having its history excised from the history books in order to prevent citizens of the World from learning about its “Evil beyond imagination”, that empowers this World’s largest Organized Crime Cabal. The authors of this article have done their best to resurrect this lost, secret history of the Khazarians and their large International Organized Crime Syndicate, best referred to as the Khazarian Mafia (KM) and make this history available to the World via the Internet, which is the new Gutenberg Press.
It has been exceedingly difficult to reconstruct this hidden secret history of the KM, so please excuse any minor inaccuracies or errors which are unintentional and are due to the difficulty in digging out the true history of Khazaria and its mafia. We have done the best we can to reconstruct it.
It was Mike Harris that connected the dots and made the actual discovery of the presence of the Khazarian Mafia’s secret history and blood oath to take revenge on Russia for helping Americans win the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and their blood oath of revenge against America and Americans for winning these wars and sustaining the Union.
We now know that the Khazarian Mafia (KM) is waging a secret war against America and Americans by the use of False-flag Gladio-style terrorism, and via the illegal and Unconstitutional Federal Reserve System, the IRS, the FBI, FEMA, Homeland Security and the TSA. We know for certain that the KM was responsible for deploying an inside-job, Gladio-style False-flag attack on America on 9-11-01, as well as the Murrah Building Bombing on April 19, 1995.
The Hidden History of the Incredibly Evil Khazarian Mafia
100-800 AD – an incredibly Evil Society Emerges in Khazaria:
Khazarians develop into a nation ruled by an evil king, who had ancient Babylonian black arts, occult oligarchs serving as his court. During this time, Khazarians become known to surrounding countries as thieves, murderers, road bandits, and for assuming the identities of those travelers they murdered as a normal occupational practice and way of life.
800 AD – The Ultimatum is delivered by Russia and other surrounding nations:
The leaders of the surrounding nations, especially Russia, have had so many years of complaints by their citizens that, as a group, they deliver an ultimatum to the Khazarian king. They send a communique to the Khazarian king that he must choose one of the three Abrahamic religions for his people, and make it his official state religion and require all Khazarian citizens to practice it, and socialize all Khazarian children to practice that faith.
The Khazarian king was given a choice between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The Khazarian king chose Judaism, and promised to stay within the requirements laid out by the surrounding confederacy of nations led by the Russian czar. Despite his agreement and promise, the Khazarian king and his inner circle of oligarchs kept practicing ancient Babylonian black-magic, also known as Secret Satanism. This Secret Satanism involved occult ceremonies featuring child sacrifice, after “bleeding them out”, drinking their blood and eating their hearts.
The deep dark secret of the occult ceremonies was that they were all based on ancient Baal Worship, also known as worship of the Owl. In order to fool the confederacy of nations led by Russia that were watching Khazaria, the Khazarian king melded these Luciferian black-magick practices with Judaism and created a secret Satanic-hybrid religion, known as Babylonian Talmudism. This was made the national religion of Khazaria, and nurtured the same evil that Khazaria was known for before.
Sadly, the Khazarians continued their evil ways, robbing and murdering those from surrounding countries who traveled through Khazaria. Khazarian robbers often attempted to assume their identities after they murdered these visitors, and became masters of disguises and false identities — a practice they have continued even to this very day, along with their child-sacrifice occult ceremonies, which are actually ancient Baal Worship.
1,200 AD – Russia and the surrounding nations have had enough and take action:
About 1,200 AD, the Russians led a group of nations surrounding Khazaria and invaded it, in order to stop the Khazarian crimes against their people, which included kidnapping of their young children and infants for their blood sacrifice ceremonies to Baal. The Khazarian king and his inner court of criminals and murderers came to be known as the Khazarian Mafia (KM) by neighboring countries.
The Khazarian leaders had a well-developed spy network through which they obtained prior warning and escaped from Khazaria to European nations to the west, taking their vast fortune with them in gold and silver. They laid low and regrouped, while assuming new identities. In secret, they continued their Satanic child blood and sacrifice rituals, and trusted Baal to give them the whole world and all its riches, as they claimed he had promised them, as long as they kept bleeding out and sacrificing children and infants for him.
The Khazarian king and his court Mafia plotted eternal revenge against the Russians and the surrounding nations that invaded Khazaria and drove them from power.
The Khazarian Mafia invades England after being expelled for hundreds of years:
To accomplish their invasion, they hired Oliver Cromwell to murder King Charles 1, and make England safe for banking again. This began the English Civil Wars which raged for nearly a decade, resulting in regicide of the royal family and hundreds of the genuine English nobility. This is how the City of London was set up as the banking capital of Europe and launched the beginning of the British Empire.
The Khazarian Mafia (KM) decides to infiltrate and hijack all World Banking using Babylonian Black-Magick, also known as Babylonian Money-Magick or the secret art of making money from nothing also using the power of pernicious usury to accumulate interest:
The KM used their vast fortune to enter into a new system of banking, based on secret Babylonian black-magic money-magic that they claimed to have learned from the evil spirits of Baal, in return for their many child sacrifices to him.
This Babylonian money-magick involved the substation of paper credit certificates for gold and silver deposits, which allowed travelers to travel with their money in a form that offered easy replacement should they lose the certificates or have them stolen.
Interesting how the very problem that was started by the Khazarians also had a solution provided by them. Eventually the Khazarian king and his small surrounding court infiltrated Germany with a group that chose the name “the Bauers” of Germany to represent them and carry on their Baal-powered system of evil. The Bauers of the Red Shield, which represented their secret blood-based child sacrifices, changed their name to Rothschild (aka “child of the rock, Satan”).
The Rothschilds as the front Men for the Khazarian Mafia (KM) infiltrate and Hijack British Banking and then hijack the whole nation of England:
Bauer/Rothschild had five sons who infiltrated and took over European banking and the City of London Central Banking System through various crafty covert operations, including a false report of Napoleon winning against the British, when actually he lost. This allowed the Rothschilds to use fraud and deception to steal the wealth of the English nobility and the landed gentry, who had made business investments with the City of London Banking institutions.
The Rothschilds set up a private Fiat banking system that specialized in making counterfeit money from nothing — charging pernicious usury for the British people, using what should have been their own money.
This was the black art of Babylonian money-magick; they claimed to insiders that such technology and secret money power was provided to them by Baal, because of their frequent child bleeding-out and sacrifices rituals to Baal.
Once they had infiltrated and hijacked the British banking system, they interbred with the British Royals and infiltrated and completely hijacked all of England and all its major institutions. Some experts believe that the Rothschilds genocided the Royal Family members by staging secretly-managed illicit and adulterous breedings with their own Khazarian men in order to replace the Royals with their own pretenders to the throne.
The Khazarian Mafia (KM) wages an international effort to eradicate Kings who rule by the Divine Right of God Almighty:
Because the KM claims to have a personal partnership with Baal (aka the Devil, Lucifer, Satan) because of their sacrifices to him. They detest any kings who rule under the authority of God Almighty because most feel a responsibility to make sure their own people are protected from infiltrators and treasonous “Enemies within the Gates.”
In the 1600’s, the KM murder the British Royals and substitute their own fakes. In the 1700’s, they murder the French Royals. Right before WWI they murder, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand to start WW1. In 1917 they assembled their KM army, the Bolsheviks, and infiltrate and hijack Russia, murder the Czar and his family in cold blood, bayonet his favorite daughter through the chest and steal all the Russian gold, silver and art treasures. Right before WW2, they murder the Austrian and German Royals. Then they get rid of the Chinese Royals and disempower the Japanese ruler.
The Khazarian Mafia’s intense hatred of anyone who professed faith in any God but their god Baal has motivated them to murder kings and royalty, and make sure they can never rule. They have done the same with American presidents — running sophisticated covert operations to disempower them.
If that doesn’t work the KM assassinates them, like they did to McKinley, Lincoln and JFK. The KM wants to eliminate any strong rulers or elected officials who dare to resist their Babylonian money-magick power or their covert power gained from their deployment of their human compromise network.
The Rothschilds create international narcotics trafficking on behalf of the KM:
The Rothschilds then covertly ran the British Empire and crafted an evil plan to recover the vast amounts of gold and silver the British had been paying to China for its high-quality silk and spices that were unavailable anywhere else.
The Rothschilds, through their international spy network, had heard of Turkish opium and its habit-forming characteristics. They deployed a covert operation to buy Turkish opium and sell it in China, infecting millions with a bad opium habit that brought back gold and silver into the Rothschild coffers, but not to the British People.
The opium addictions created by Rothschild opium sales to China harmed China so much that China went to war on two occasions to stop it. These wars were known as the Boxer Rebellions or the Opium Wars.
The money the Rothschilds gained from the sale of opium was so vast that they became even more addicted to the easy money than the opiate addicts were to the opium.
The Rothschilds were the funding source behind the establishment of the American Colonies, by incorporating the Hudson Bay Company and other trading companies to exploit the New World of the Americas. It was the Rothschild’s who ordered the mass extermination and genocide of the indigenous people of North America to allow for exploitation of the vast natural resources of the continent.
The Rothschild’s also followed the same business template in the Caribbean and in the Asian sub-continent of India, resulting in the murder of millions of innocent people.
The Rothschilds start the international slave trade, an enterprise that viewed these kidnapped humans as mere animals — a view that the Khazarians would impose on all the people of the world who were not part of their evil circle, which some called the “Old Black Nobility”:
The Rothschild’s next big project was to start the worldwide slave trade, buying slaves from crooked tribal chiefs in Africa who worked with them to kidnap members of competing tribes for sale as slaves.
The Rothschild slave traders then took these kidnapped slaves on their ships in cramped cells to America and the Caribbean where they were sold. Many died at sea due to bad conditions.
The Rothschild bankers learned early on that war was a great way to double their money in a short time by lending money to both warring sides. But in order to be guaranteed collections, they had to get taxation laws passed, which could be used to force payment.
The KM Rothschild private Fiat Counterfeit Banksters plot eternal revenge against the American Colonists and Russia who assisted them for losing the Revolutionary War:
When the Rothschilds lost the American Revolution, they blamed the Russian czar and the Russians for assisting the colonists by blockading British Ships.
They swore eternal revenge on the American colonists, just as they had when the Russians and their allies crushed Khazaria in 1,000 AD.
The Rothschilds and their English oligarchy that surrounded them plotted ways to retake America, and this became their main obsession.
Their favored plan is to set up an American central bank, featuring Babylonian money magic and secret counterfeiting.
The Rothschild KM attempts to retake America in 1812 on behalf of the Khazarian Mafia but fails, once again because of Russian interference:
This failure enraged the Rothschild KM, and they once again plot eternal revenge against both the Russians and the American colonists and plan to infiltrate and hijack both nations and asset strip, tyrannize and then mass-murder both nations and their populace.
The KM’s attempts to set up a private American central bank are blocked by President Andrew Jackson, who called them Satanic and vowed to route them out by the grace and power of Almighty God.
The Rothschild banksters regroup and continue their covert attempts to install their own Babylonian money-magick bank inside America.
Finally in 1913, the Rothschild KM succeeds in establishing a major beachhead inside America — and an evil enemy of all American enter the gates of America:
In 1913, the Rothschild KM was able to establish a beachhead by bribing crooked, treasonous members of Congress to pass the illegal, Unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act on Christmas Eve without a required quorum. The Act was then signed by a crooked, bought off President, who was a traitor to America, like the members of Congress who voted for it.
The Rothschild KM then create an illegal taxation System in America:
The KM put an illegal, Unconstitutional tax system in place, in order to make sure that Americans would have to pay for high-level USG spending, approved by a bought-off, crooked Congress and Presidential puppets, put in place by corrupt KM campaign finance.
It is easy for the KM to garner enough money to elect anyone they want, because when you control a bank that is a secret major counterfeiter, you have all the money made for you that you desire. At about the same time that they created their illegal tax system in America, they also bribed members of Congress to approve the Internal Revenue Service, which is their private collection agency incorporated in Puerto Rico.
Soon afterwards, they set up the Federal Bureau of Investigation to protect their banksters, to serve their cover-up needs and prevent them from ever being prosecuted for their child sacrifice rituals, pedophile networks; and to also serve as a covert Intel operation on their behalf.
Note that the FBI has no official charter, according to the Library of Congress, and has no right to exist or issue paychecks.
The Rothschild KM deployed the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia to extract incredibly savage, bloody revenge on innocent Russians, which they had plotted for many years, ever since Khazaria was destroyed:
The Rothschild KM pre-staged and engineered the Russian Revolution by using its central banks to pay for the Bolshevik infiltration of Russia and their Revolution on behalf of the Khazarian Mafia (KM).
In an well-planned savage and inhuman bloodletting that stunned the world, the Bolsheviks were unleashed in full fury on behalf of the KM to gain revenge on the Russians. This had been planned since the destruction of Khazaria.
The Bolsheviks, at the direction of the Rothschild KM, raped, tortured and mass-murdered approximately 100 million Russians, including women, children and infants. Some of the torture and bloodletting was so extreme, we are not going to mention it here in this article.
The Rothschild Khazarian Mafia (KM) once again decided to sheep-dip themselves and infiltrated and hijacked all Judaism:
The Rothschild KM created a master plan to control all of Judaism and mind-kontrol Judaics. The Rothschild KM has hijacked Judaism, patterned it off of Babylonian Talmudism (Luciferianism or Satanism), and gained control over the banking and Wall Street professions in general, Congress, the major mass media; along with most wealth and economic means of success.
Thus, the Rothschild KM could pass out wealth and success to those Judaics who drank their Kool-aide and use them as cutouts, assets and Sayanims. In this manner, the Rothschilds hijacked Judaism.
Their financing of the Israeli Knesset and construction of it using Freemason occult architecture displayed their commitment to the occult and Babylonian Talmudism and all the evil accompanying it, including child sacrifice to their secret god Baal. They set up a NWO system called World Zionism which taught and inculcated susceptible Judaics with a paranoid group delusion of racial superiority, which assumed that all Gentiles were intent on mass-murdering all Judaics.
They called this racially-paranoid mass Judaic delusion of world conquest, “World Zionism”, which is really a form of covert Babylonian Talmudism or Luciferianism that had been unknown to mainstream Judaics. The system was designed to use Judaics as cover, but also to anoint them with Babylonian money-power, in order to use them as cutouts, and to later be sacrificed to Lucifer in two stages.
The first stage would be a their planned WWII in Nazi work camps, cut off from supplies, resulting in the deaths of about 200,000 Judaics from starvation and disease, along with about 90,000 non-Judaic inmates from the same causes, according to respected Red Cross official figures. This number is 5% of what the Khazarian Mafia (aka the World Zionists) claim.
The second great sacrifice would be a final one, when their New World Order Luciferian King would be placed into power, and when all three Abrahamic religions would be eradicated — especially Judaism, which would be blamed for all the wars and destruction of the world.
By then, the Rothschilds would once again morph themselves into a complete new identity not associated with Judaism in any form, not even World Zionism.
It is important to realize that the Rothschild KM took Germany down to nothing after WWI, created a vacuum for Fascism, and then rebuilt it, creating Naziism and installing Hitler as a counter-force to their Russian Bolshevism.
Hitler became a problem for the KM when he broke free and begin acting in the interests of the German people and the free people of the world, and developed his own banking system free of the Rothschilds.
Hitler introduced a financial system that was free of usury and beneficial to the working class. This mandated the utter destruction of Germany and the German people, because the Rothschilds and the Khazarians could never allow an economic system that did not depend upon usury to exist.
We see the same thing today with the Khazarian war against Islam, because Islam forbids usury. That is why Israel is so vocal and aggressive about destroying the Islamic people of the world.
The KM expected this to be a large WWII and when they supported both sides, this could be used to industrialize the whole world and maximize their bankster money-power.
The Rothschild KM then bribed and induced Members of Congress to send American Soldiers to their pre-stage and engineered WWI:
As a continuance of their well-proven pattern of financing both sides in any war to maximize profits, the acquisition of more federal tax monies and increased international power, the Rothschild Khazarians once again bribed, blackmailed and induced members of Congress to declare war against Germany in 1917.
This was facilitated by a KM false-flag attack with the sinking of the Lusitania.
The Rothschild KM has since developed the usual pattern of covertly staging false-flag attacks as a standard operating procedure for inducing Americans to fighting wars for the Khazarian Mafia.
After WWII was finished, the Rothschild KM deployed the Cold War, and used this as an excuse to bring Nazi scientists and mind-kontrol experts to America under Operation Paperclip.
This allowed them to set up a worldwide spying and espionage system that far exceeded any of their prior efforts.
Under this new system, they continue to infiltrate and hijack all American institutions, including the various American church systems, Freemasonry (especially the Scottish Rite and York Rite), the US military, US Intel, and most private defense contractors, the Judiciary and most agencies of the USG, including most State governments, and both major political parties as well.
The Rothschild KM sets up Nazi Work Camps as a pretext to later manipulate the Allies into granting them their own private colony in Palestine, using land stolen from the Palestinians:
The Rothschild KM was able to use their self mis-labelled, so-called “holocaust” to serve as a mind-kontrol trigger to thwart and resist any criticism of their Zionist ways.
The truth of the matter was that the Rothschild KM set up the Nazi work camps to make huge profits for their corporations that ran their work camps and supplied their Nazi war machine.
Once the Rothschild KM gained their own private homeland in Israel in 1947 through their covert political manipulations, they began to secretly view all of Palestine as their New Khazaria, and began plotting how to genocide all the Palestinians and steal all of Palestine for themselves. Their plans include their fantasy of constructing a “greater Israel” by taking over the whole Middle East and manipulating dumb American Goyim to fight and die on their behalf, taking all the Arab lands for Israel and the Khazarian Mafia (KM), so they can asset strip their wealth and natural resources, especially their crude oil.
Recent peer-reviewed Johns Hopkins genetic research by a respected Judaic MD shows that 97.5% of Judaics living in Israel have absolutely no ancient Hebrew DNA, are therefore not Semites, and have no ancient blood ties to the land of Palestine at all. By contrast, 80% of Palestinians carry ancient Hebrew DNA and thus are real Semites, and have ancient blood ties to Palestinian Land. This means that the real anti-Semites are the Israelis who are stealing Palestinian lands in order to build Israeli settlements, and it is the Israelis who are the ones tyrannizing and mass-murdering innocent Palestinians.
The Rothschild KM decides to morph again and expand their ranks:
In the meantime the Rothschild KM realized that they could not stay hidden much longer from the public unless they morphed again and expanded their secret leadership.
So they worked hard to further infiltrate and hijack Freemasonry and its secret offshoots, and inducted top members into their pedophile network and child sacrifice rituals.
Also, key members of Congress were inducted into their secret satanic network by giving them special power, high USG, military and Intel positions, accompanied by great monetary rewards and high status. Massive KM espionage fronts using Israeli-Americam “Israeli-first” dual citizens as cutouts were set up inside America to funnel the Khazarian banksters’ counterfeit money to politicians for their election campaigns, in order to own and control them when elected.
The Rothschild KM decides to Mind-kontrol the American masses to make it much easier to manipulate them into approving their illegal, Unconstitutional unprovoked, undeclared, unwinnable, perpetual wars needed to make huge profits and gain more world power:
The Rothschild KM decided to gain complete control over all public education by setting up the Department of Education and creating globalist and socialist curriculums based on political correctness, diversity and “perversion is normal” teachings. Fluoride is added to the public water and toothpaste, and dentists are mind-kontrolled to believe that fluoride prevents cavities, and is not harmful to brain function or thyroid function, which it is.
The addition of fluoride to the public water supply and to toothpaste is to dumb-down Americans by on average lowering the operational IQ and making folks much more docile than they would normally be. Programs to develop and deploy vaccinations to dumb-down children and create huge numbers of future chronic health problems were initiated.
Doctors have been mind-kontrolled and misled by biased research that was cherry-picked, ignoring any studies that were negative — and that included most of them. All vaccine cell lines are contaminated with SV-40, a known carcinogenic slow-acting virus.
The KM used its monetary power to gain control over all of the allopathic medical schools, and set up and controlled the American Medical Association and other medical societies, in order to make sure their agenda based on lies and deceit was continued.
Part of this massive plan to dumb-down and mind-kontrol the American masses was the KM’s buying up and consolidating all the American mass media into six controlled major mass media (CMMM), owned and controlled by their cutouts on their behalf. The CMMM functions as an illegal news cartel, and it should be broken up under antitrust laws and for inflicting espionage and illegal propaganda as a weapon of war against the American people.
The Rothschild KM Chieftains decide that it is time to use America to complete their final take-down and occupation of the Whole World by instituting a major False-Flag attack inside America to blame on the Islamics whom they want America to wrongly attack on their behalf:
So the KM Chieftains use their top Israeli-American “Israeli-first” dual citizens living in America (aka, the PNACers and top NeoCon Cutouts) to plan a major nuclear attack on America on 9-11-01.
They informed their top Rabbis and “Friends of World Zionism” not to fly on that day and to stay out of NYC, as did “Larry Silverfish”, one of the primary men involved in the operation.
They used their main cutout in the DOD to lure the Able Danger investigators to the Pentagon Naval Intel meeting room, where they would be assassinated by a Tomahawk cruise missile that was fired from an Israeli Dolphin class Diesel submarine bought from Germany.
Thirty-five of the Able Danger investigators who were investigating and tracking the Israeli theft of 350 decommissioned W-54 Davy Crockett nuclear pits out of the backdoor at Pantex in Texas were murdered by this Tomahawk hit, which was timed with the detonation of bombs pre-planted in the Naval Intel wing, which was newly hardened to no avail.
The Israeli Mossad front company, Urban Moving Systems, was used to transport the mini-nukes made from the stolen W-54 nuclear pits from Pantex (and originally made at the Hanford processing plant), where they were stored in the Israeli Embassy in NYC and transported to the Twin Towers for detonation on 9-11-01.
The Rothschild KM planted 25 nukes in major American cities and other major cities in Europe in order to blackmail them. This is referred to as their Samson Option, and was first discovered and disclosed by Seymour Hersh:
The Rothschild KM also gained some S-19 and S-20 Warheads from a corrupt Member of Congress assigned the task to buy up Ukrainian Mirvs on behalf of the USG in order to decommission them. Instead, he sold them to the Israelis and split the money with other key Congressmen involved.
This is high treason and a capital offense punishable by execution. Right after their attack on America, the Rothschild KM told the US Administration that they would detonate city-buster sized nukes in some American cities, including DC, if the Administration refused to allow Israel to create their own large police state occupation force inside America, based on the consolidation of all American Law Enforcement and alphabets under one central Israeli control.
This new Israeli occupation force called Homeland Security (DHS) was initially run by dual citizens and perverts. Former DHS Director Janet Napolitano is being sued for sexual harassment of men working at DHS whom she ordered to move their offices into the men’s lavatory.
Dual Citizen traitor Michael Chertoff, (a name translated from Russian as “son of the devil”), was the criminal mastermind that set up DHS, along with former head of the East German Stasi, Marcus Wolfe, who was hired as a special consultant and died mysteriously as soon as his mission was completed.
The Rothschild KM never thought they would get exposed for their nuclear attack on America on 9-11-11, but they made one of the biggest tactical mistakes in history and overplayed their hand from excess hubris, based on too much easy success due to their extreme money power in the past.
Soon mainstream America will know that Bibi Netanyahu and his Likudist Party deployed the attack on America on 9-11-01 on behalf of the Rothschild KM:
They thought that they had complete control over the CMMM and could prevent any of the secret IAEA and Sandia Labs investigation from ever being released to the American public.
This incredible tactical error by the KM is so great that it will actually doom them to the complete exposure and eventual complete destruction they deserve. Bibi Netanyahu’s order to proceed and deliver the nuclear attack on America on 9-11-01 will go down in history as one of the KM’s biggest mistakes, and the one that will be blamed for their exposure and destruction by the world that is now ganging up against them.
The Russians have now leaked the IAEA and Sandia Labs and Able Danger files given to them by Edward Snowden. Soon all of these files will be provided to all Americans and the world via the Internet, and this cannot be stopped.
A number of Russians in the High Military Command in Russia, and in the highest positions of leadership in the Russian government realize that it was the same Organized Crime Cabal that organized the Khazarians into Bolsheviks to mass-murder 100 million innocent Russians — and these men want payback.
That is why they are making sure that the Rothschild banksters will be put out of business, which will decapitate the Khazarian Mafia from its endless, elastic counterfeit money supply. This is why the BRICS Development Bank was created — to replace the US Petro Dollar as the world’s reserve currency, but this one, unlike the US Petro Dollar is backed by gold, silver and real commodities, with NO counterfeiting allowed.
The CMMM is failing, and most Americans no longer believe any of their prime-time national stories, especially the under-thirty crowd, who cherry pick facts from the Internet and construct their own beliefs.
So many Internet users now reject the CMMM that the truth about the Israelis attacking America on 9-11-01 is becoming easier each day to believe. Soon all of mainstream America will know that Bibi Netanyahu and his Mossad and dual citizens did the 9-11-01 attack on America.
The American Military High Command knows that Bibi Netanyahu ordered his Mossad and stateside Dual Citizens to attack America using nukes on 9-11-01 on behalf of the Rothschild Khazarian Mafia (KM):
Various deep cover covert operations are now being deployed globally to expose and decapitate the Rothschild KM from their endless, elastic money supply.
Their days of anti-human power are now limited. The secret, incredibly well-trained US team called the “Nuclear Snake-Eaters” is now hard at work searching all incoming Israeli diplomatic pouches and shipments; driving by and flying over synagogues and Israeli embassies and Mossad safe-houses with high tech gamma ray and helium-3 neutron detectors; and using ultra high-tech custom-tuned and -focused satellites to search for any stored nuclear pits, as well as working hard to recover all stolen nuclear pits by the Israelis anywhere in the world outside of Israel.
This super-elite team was alerted by Michael Shrimpton’s phone call to MI-6 notifying them that an Israeli “City Buster” was planted near the Olympic stadium. This call wrongly has landed him in jail. The City Buster was recovered by the “Nuclear Snake-eaters”, who entered England and recovered and disarmed a large city buster. Sadly MI-6, wanted this nuke detonated in order to gain more power for the Khazarian Mafia in England — their home base inside the City of London Financial District — since it has been losing power fast.
A secret name for these KM Chieftains which run much of the world out of the City of London is Gog and Magog, despite what so many historians believe is the secret name of Russia which it is not. It is the secret name of the top KM, and apparently represents where they originally came from.
The secret team of super-elite “Nuclear Snake-eaters” is ready to be deployed to Israel anytime, should the nation collapse after most European corporations divest from Israel, and the US cuts off all aid, in order to comply with American law. It is illegal to give aid to a nation that has nukes, and which has not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Agreement. Israel has nukes detectable from satellite-based Helium-3 sensors and has never admitted it, nor has it signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Agreement. We must all demand that our Congress and Administration obey the law and immediately cut off all aid monetary and military aid to Israel, and arrest all Israeli espionage front directors of AIPAC, JINSA, the Defense Policy Board, the “Joint” in NYC, and the ADL, etc.
It is unknown but suspected that a significant number of these stolen nukes have been already recovered. It has been reported by insiders that a very solemn message was communicated to Bibi Netanyahu and his Likudists, as well as all top members of Israeli espionage fronts in America, like AIPAC, JINSA, the Defense Policy Board, the ADL and the like.
What was this serious warning? If insider reports are accurate, these folks were told that if there is one more Israeli based false-flag attack, those who ordered it or were involved will be hunted down under American National Security and eliminated, and the Israeli defense structures associated with such will be turned to dust.
The rest of Rothschild KM history will likely be determined by YOU:
The future of the Rothschild KM will likely be determined by Veterans Today readers and We The People who learn the secret, forbidden history of the Khazarian Mafia that was excised from the history books and libraries by the KM to protect their evil history that no one would accept if it was known.
So share this story with your family, friends and associates and take it viral. Be clear about this — unless the KM is able to operate in abject secrecy, it will be attacked from all sides and destroyed forever. So take away their secrecy by exposing their hidden history for all Americans to know and understand.
That is why they have worked so hard to buy up and control the CMMM and public mass education including colleges and universities, to make sure the people of the world would never find out about their secret evil, which is so inhuman, so homicidal that the whole world would gang up on them and attack them from all sides at every level they exist at.
The big question remains: Was the true cause of leaders of the Khazarian Mafia’s incredible evil and savagery toward the human race a byproduct or nature or nurture? Some believe that this gross parasitism and inclination to mass-murder, engage in pedophilia and child bloodletting and child sacrifice is due to a toxic culture, best described as malignant Tribalism, characterized by a paranoid group racial superiority delusion. Others think the leaders of the KM are the bloodline of Cain, that is, “children of Cain”, that are the Devil’s own and have absolutely no soul or human conscience, but are pure predators like a wild beast — while at the same time being incredibly two-faced, that is able to put on a good con and a nice face on the outside. Perhaps it could be both factors. In any case, it is time to expose this evil, the greatest evil the world has ever experienced. It is time for the world to work together to eradicate this problem now and forever, by whatever means necessary.
Mike Harris is the Financial Editor of Veterans Today, a radio host, a former GOP Finance Chairman, Gubernatorial Candidate for Arizona, and a Senior Vice President of Adamus Defense Group, Switzerland. Mike is an expert in full-contact mixed martial arts. His long term expertise in such has gained him a lot of respect and the nickname “Iron Mike”. Mike was a part of the Veterans Today group that attended the Damascus Conference to Combat Terrorism and Religious Extremism. Mike gave about twenty five televised interviews that were broadcast to millions of viewers in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Iran. In these interviews Mike emphasized and supported the historical declaration by Keynote Speaker, Veterans Today Senior Editor and Chairman Gordon Duff that the real problem behind World Terrorism is a large Organized Crime Syndicate.
Bonus Video for those who have time and interest on the Head of the Khazarian Mafia (KM) Snake.
Our society should’ve collapsed by now. You know that, right?
No society should function with this level of inequality (with the possible exception of one of those prison planets in a “Star Wars” movie). Sixty-three percent of Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency. Yet Amazon head Jeff Bezos is now worth a record $141 billion. He could literally end world hunger for multiple years and still have more money left over than he could ever spend on himself.
Worldwide, one in 10 people only make $2 a day. Do you know how long it would take one of those people to make the same amount as Jeff Bezos has? 193 million years. (If they only buy single-ply toilet paper.) Put simply, you cannot comprehend the level of inequality in our current world or even just our nation.
So … shouldn’t there be riots in the streets every day? Shouldn’t it all be collapsing? Look outside. The streets aren’t on fire. No one is running naked and screaming (usually). Does it look like everyone’s going to work at gunpoint? No. We’re all choosing to continue on like this.
Well, it comes down to the myths we’ve been sold. Myths that are ingrained in our social programming from birth, deeply entrenched, like an impacted wisdom tooth. These myths are accepted and basically never questioned.
I’m going to cover eight of them. There are more than eight. There are probably hundreds. But I’m going to cover eight because (A) no one reads a column titled “Hundreds of Myths of American Society,” (B) these are the most important ones and (C) we all have other shit to do.
Myth No. 8—We have a democracy.
If you think we still have a democracy or a democratic republic, ask yourself this: When was the last time Congress did something that the people of America supported that did not align with corporate interests? … You probably can’t do it. It’s like trying to think of something that rhymes with “orange.” You feel like an answer exists but then slowly realize it doesn’t. Even the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter believe that America has been transformed into an oligarchy: A small, corrupt elite control the country with almost no input from the people. The rulers need the myth that we’re a democracy to give us the illusion of control.
Myth No. 7—We have an accountable and legitimate voting system.
Gerrymandering, voter purging, data mining, broken exit polling, push polling, superdelegates, electoral votes, black-box machines, voter ID suppression, provisional ballots, super PACs, dark money, third parties banished from the debates and two corporate parties that stand for the same goddamn pile of fetid crap!
What part of this sounds like a legitimate election system?
No, we have what a large Harvard study called the worst election system in the Western world. Have you ever seen where a parent has a toddler in a car seat, and the toddler has a tiny, brightly colored toy steering wheel so he can feel like he’s driving the car? That’s what our election system is—a toy steering wheel. Not connected to anything. We all sit here like infants, excitedly shouting, “I’m steeeeering!”
And I know it’s counterintuitive, but that’s why you have to vote. We have to vote in such numbers that we beat out what’s stolen through our ridiculous rigged system.
Myth No. 6—We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable.
Our media outlets are funded by weapons contractors, big pharma, big banks, big oil and big, fat hard-on pills. (Sorry to go hard on hard-on pills, but we can’t get anything resembling hard news because it’s funded by dicks.) The corporate media’s jobs are to rally for war, cheer for Wall Street and froth at the mouth for consumerism. It’s their mission to actually fortify belief in the myths I’m telling you about right now. Anybody who steps outside that paradigm is treated like they’re standing on a playground wearing nothing but a trench coat.
Myth No. 5—We have an independent judiciary.
The criminal justice system has become a weapon wielded by the corporate state. This is how bankers can foreclose on millions of homes illegally and see no jail time, but activists often serve jail time for nonviolent civil disobedience. Chris Hedges recently noted, “The most basic constitutional rights … have been erased for many. … Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”
If you’re not part of the monied class, you’re pressured into releasing what few rights you have left. According to The New York Times, “97 percent of federal cases and 94 percent of state cases end in plea bargains, with defendants pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence.”
That’s the name of the game. Pressure people of color and poor people to just take the plea deal because they don’t have a million dollars to spend on a lawyer. (At least not one who doesn’t advertise on beer coasters.)
Myth No. 4—The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends.
That’s funny. I don’t recall my friend pressuring me into sex to get out of a speeding ticket. (Which is essentially still legal in 32 states.)
The police in our country are primarily designed to do two things: protect the property of the rich and perpetrate the completely immoral war on drugs—which by definition is a war on our own people.
We lock up more people than any other country on earth. Meaning the land of the free is the largest prison state in the world. So all these droopy-faced politicians and rabid-talking heads telling you how awful China is on human rights or Iran or North Korea—none of them match the numbers of people locked up right here under Lady Liberty’s skirt.
Myth No. 3—Buying will make you happy.
This myth is put forward mainly by the floods of advertising we take in but also by our social engineering. Most of us feel a tenacious emptiness, an alienation deep down behind our surface emotions (for a while I thought it was gas). That uneasiness is because most of us are flushing away our lives at jobs we hate before going home to seclusion boxes called houses or apartments. We then flip on the TV to watch reality shows about people who have it worse than we do (which we all find hilarious).
If we’re lucky, we’ll make enough money during the week to afford enough beer on the weekend to help it all make sense. (I find it takes at least four beers for everything to add up.) But that doesn’t truly bring us fulfillment. So what now? Well, the ads say buying will do it. Try to smother the depression and desperation under a blanket of flat-screen TVs, purses and Jet Skis. Nowdoes your life have meaning? No? Well, maybe you have to drive that Jet Ski a little faster! Crank it up until your bathing suit flies off and you’ll feel alive!
The dark truth is that we have to believe the myth that consuming is the answer or else we won’t keep running around the wheel. And if we aren’t running around the wheel, then we start thinking, start asking questions. Those questions are not good for the ruling elite, who enjoy a society based on the daily exploitation of 99 percent of us.
Myth No. 2—If you work hard, things will get better.
According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey: “80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs” and “[t]he average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.” That’s about one-seventh of your life—and most of it is during your most productive years.
Ask yourself what we’re working for. To make money? For what? Almost none of us are doing jobs for survival anymore. Once upon a time, jobs boiled down to:
I plant the food—>I eat the food—>If I don’t plant food = I die.
But nowadays, if you work at a café—will someone die if they don’t get their super-caf-mocha-frap-almond-piss-latte? I kinda doubt they’ll keel over from a blueberry scone deficiency.
If you work at Macy’s, will customers perish if they don’t get those boxer briefs with the sweat-absorbent-ass fabric? I doubt it. And if they do die from that, then their problems were far greater than you could’ve known. So that means we’re all working to make other people rich because we have a society in which we have to work. Technological advancements can do most everything that truly must get done.
So if we wanted to, we could get rid of most work and have tens of thousands of more hours to enjoy our lives. But we’re not doing that at all. And no one’s allowed to ask these questions—not on your mainstream airwaves at least. Even a half-step like universal basic income is barely discussed because it doesn’t compute with our cultural programming.
Scientists say it’s quite possible artificial intelligence will take away all human jobs in 120 years. I think they know that will happen because bots will take the jobs and then realize that 80 percent of them don’t need to be done! The bots will take over and then say, “Stop it. … Stop spending a seventh of your life folding shirts at Banana Republic.”
One day, we will build monuments to the bot that told us to enjoy our lives and … leave the shirts wrinkly.
And this leads me to the largest myth of our American society.
Myth No. 1—You are free.
And I’m not talking about the millions locked up in our prisons. I’m talking about you and me. If you think you’re free, try running around with your nipples out, ladies. Guys, take a dump on the street and see how free you are.
I understand there are certain restrictions on freedom we actually desire to have in our society—maybe you’re not crazy about everyone leaving a Stanley Steamer in the middle of your walk to work. But a lot of our lack of freedom is not something you would vote for if given the chance.
Try building a fire in a parking lot to keep warm in the winter.
Try sleeping in your car for more than a few hours without being harassed by police.
Try maintaining your privacy for a week without a single email, web search or location data set collected by the NSA and the telecoms.
Try signing up for the military because you need college money and then one day just walking off the base, going, “Yeah, I was bored. Thought I would just not do this anymore.”
Try explaining to Kentucky Fried Chicken that while you don’t have the green pieces of paper they want in exchange for the mashed potatoes, you do have some pictures you’ve drawn on a napkin to give them instead.
Try using the restroom at Starbucks without buying something … while black.
We are less free than a dog on a leash. We live in one of the hardest-working, most unequal societies on the planet with more billionaires than ever.
Meanwhile, Americans supply 94 percent of the paid blood used worldwide. And it’s almost exclusively coming from very poor people. This abusive vampire system is literally sucking the blood from the poor. Does that sound like a free decision they made? Or does that sound like something people do after immense economic force crushes down around them? (One could argue that sperm donation takes a little less convincing.)
Point is, in order to enforce this illogical, immoral system, the corrupt rulers—most of the time—don’t need guns and tear gas to keep the exploitation mechanisms humming along. All they need are some good, solid bullshit myths for us all to buy into, hook, line and sinker. Some fairy tales for adults.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone