The Scourge of Modern ‘Liberalism’ in France –By Pierre Lescaudron – (SOTT)

In these depressing times marked by lies, fear and nihilism, I would like to brighten your mood by sharing a heart warming story. A real life event that is better than a fairy tale and should restore your faith in humanity and our burgeoning postmodern society.

A Modern Fairy Tale

What happened? In a nutshell, a heroic individual saved a 4 year old boy from a deadly fall.

Gassama climbing up to save the boy

Gassama climbing up to save the boy

On Saturday, May 26th 2018, at 8:00 p.m. in Paris 18th district, the boy was left alone by his white French father who was busy playing Pokemon Go. The boy went to the balcony and fell from the 6th floor over the handrail.

During the fall, the vigorous young boy managed somehow to grab the 4th floor handrail as he hurtled toward the ground. Hanging there precariously, death seemed just a few moments away.

Fortunately, Mamoudou Gassama, a migrant from Mali was in the right place at the right time. He saw the distressed boy and swiftly climbed 4 floors of the building exterior, pulled up the boy over the handrail and safely dropped him on the balcony while the crowd cheered and clapped.

Here is the video made by an eyewitness:

Less than 24 hours after the heroic rescue, French President Macron received Gassama at the presidential palace. The latter was immediately given French citizenship and a job in a firefighters squad.

Macron receiving Gassama at the presidential palace

Macron receiving Gassama at the presidential palace

Then Gassama was received at Paris town hall and given its highest distinction: the vermeil medal of Paris. Gassama’s triumph went international, and a few days later the hero received a BET award in Los Angeles.

So, here you have it, all the ingredients of a good tale : Gassama, the hero from an oppressed minority, the powerless innocent victim, the dramatic tension, a literal cliffhanger and the happy ending. Frankly it was as good as a scene directly extracted from a Spiderman movie.

But like in every fairy tale or superhero movie, there’s always a villain. In this case, the villian appeared four days after the heroic rescue, and goes by the name of André Bercoff.

The Evil Witch of Reality

French journalist and writer André Bercoff

French journalist and writer André Bercoff

Bercoff is a prominent French journalist and writer. He worked for some of the most prestigious French newspapers from Le Monde to Liberation. His career spans over 6 decades during which he wrote about 30 books about politics and society. He is also the chairman of the press club de France, the largest professional organization for journalists in the country.

From the professional career of Bercoff we can safely assume he is not a deviant or a transgressor of the established order, quite the contrary.

However, on May 30th Bercoff crossed the unofficial red line and dared to question the official narrative that was unanimously agreed upon by the mainstream media right after the event and way before the results of any detailed investigation. Well, questioning, finding the truth, is the essence of journalism, right?

Puzzling Questions

Believing in this seemingly outdated and politically incorrect principle of journalism, Bercoff started examining the official story and found some inconsistencies. First he pointed to changes in the official narrative:

The boy fell from the 6th floor and was found at the 4th floor

The boy fell from the 6th floor and was found at the 4th floor

– the kid was supposedly living on the 4th floor (where he was saved) then on the 5th floor and finally it was the 6th floor since the concierge stated that the apartment on the 5th floor is unoccupied and that the boy parents indeed lived on the 6th (last) floor.

– in the video of the rescue the neighbor is relatively stocky and wears a beard, during his interview a few hours after the event the neighbor is slim and has no beard.

Bercoff also asks: knowing that Gassama managed to pull the boy up with only one hand and that at one point the stocky neighbor had both his hands on the kids, why didn’t the neighbor pull the kid up? For reference at age 4, a boy weights about 15 kg/33lbs.

Bercoff also wondered how the kid fell since the handrail is taller than him and no furniture is visible through the transparent railing of the 6th floor balcony.

Last but not least, Bercoff wonders how can a 4 year old kid grab a handrail after a 2 storey fall? For reference after a 6m free fall (two floors) a body has already reached about 40km/h.

Any rock climber will tell you that it is impossible for a fit adult to stop themselves by grabbing on to something with their arms when falling at 40km/h. A child is even less likely to be able to manage such a feat given that their high center of gravity – due to a large head to body mass ratio – means children tend to fall head first.

Yet somehow, this boy managed to do it and, in the process, only suffered one torn toenail. This point is so puzzling that even mainstream and website dedicated to debunking ‘conspiracy theories’ were forced to dismiss this inconvenient fact by describing it as ‘miraculous’.

Questioning is Now a Crime

“Don’t speak out or question”

Bercoff was unanimously labelled a conspiracy theorist, despite the fact that he never mentioned the word “conspiracy” and even dismissed the idea that a conspiracy was involved in the event.

The truth is that Bercoff did not cross any line, but rather the ideological line enforced by the dominant culture that makes asking uncomfortable questions taboo, crossed Bercoff. The very essence of human progress – questioning and the ensuing learning – are now forbidden.

To justify this totalitarian drift that even Orwell couldn’t imagine, the media and political elite suggest that such questions are “suggestive”. That is the very definition of thought crime, where it’s not tangible facts or words that matter, but the thoughts behind them, the intention, the implicit. The problem is that thoughts are intangible and therefore any censor, any inquisitor, can ascribe to his target any deviant thought that can be used to criminalize and silence him. That is the terror of the arbitrary.

The Political Context

Gassama’s miraculous rescue raises some obvious questions and doubts. What really occurred during this event may never be known, but we can get a good idea of the validity of the official story by considering how it was politically instrumentalized and the political context in which this instrumentalizing took place. Let’s look at French President Macron’s recent political moves.

1- April 10th: Macron receives Saudi king Salman.
2- April 15th: Macron justifies military strikes against Syria (not EI)
3- May 28th: Macron receives and praises Gassama and gives citizenship and job.
4- June 21th: Macron organizes a LGBT black rap band party at the Presidential palace
5- June 23rd: Macron supports financial sanctions against EU countries that refuse to accept migrants.

These five events, occurring over the last two months, might seem benign and unrelated at first sight. However, as you will see below, they are complementary aspects of a single political stance and perfectly summarize the essence of the liberal doctrine in terms of migration. Let’s analyze those events and their political, social and cultural implications.

Smily Ben Salman and Macron during Saudi official visit

Smiling Ben Salman and Macron during Saudi official visit

First event: Macron welcomes Saudi king Ben Salman.

Saudia Arabia is the main funder of ISIS.

Saudi Arabia is also the cradle of Wahabism/Salafism, a form of literal and fundamentalist Islam that preaches Jihad and Sharia law.

For fundamentalists, religious law is the one and only law. Fundamentalist Islam is a theocracy which is, by definition, incompatible with Western nations.

Along with the Muslim brotherhood, which is the other dominant fundamentalist Islam, supported this time by Qatar, wahhabism is the rising form of Islam and shows an increasing presence in France.

Today about 200 wahabist/salafist mosques and places of prayers are listed in France. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of salafist mosques increased by 170%. The Muslim brotherhood controls about 100 mosques.

Country of origin for asylum seekers

Country of origin for asylum seekers

Second event: Macron bombs Syria not ISIS.

Like other European countries, France actively participates to the destruction of the Middle East and Africa (including Mali where Gassama is born).

Punitive and arbitrary wars waged by the West are one of the fundamental causes of migratory flows: people escape war.

In addition, Macron supports ISIS by weakening its main opponents: Syria through attacks on the Syrian government and military and Russia through economic sanctions. ISIS terrorizes local populations, increases migration flows and spreads the most extreme form of Islamism.

Unsurprisingly, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, three countries destroyed by western wars and today the seat of Islamist terror (Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Syria and Iraq) are the three main purveyors of refugees that reach Europe.

Third event: Gassama becomes a national hero.

Macron, like the rest of the political and media sphere, praise Gassama while ignoring that people save others every week. For example, a few days after the Gassama event, a French soldier saved an 18 month kid who was hanging from a balcony. The media barely mentioned it.

The Gassama event encapsulates the liberal doctrine: migrants are heroes, local Europeans are despicable, they are not even able to take care of their own kids and prefer, instead, to play Pokemon Go. As a result of his incompetency the father is being prosecuted for withdrawal of parental custody and risks 2 years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

The Gassama event is not isolated, it is part of the manufacturing of consent in Western nations. Another striking example of a stage-managed event to serve the liberal ideology is the Theo case. It was all over the French media in 2017.

Hollande visting Theo Luhaka

Hollande visting Theo Luhaka

Allegedly, French cops sodomized an innocent young African (Theo) with a baton. You should have seen the indignation, the bashing of the evil French white cops and by the extension the whole French white authority and people. The firing of the racist cops. The gruesome details about Theo’s pants being forced down, the 10 cm anal fissure, burst sphincter, racist insults, humiliations. And the overflowing compassion: mass demonstrations supporting Theo, President Hollande vising Theo in hospital.

After months of investigation including analysis of video footage and the input of medical experts, the truth finally came to light and it was almost the exact opposite to what was claimed: Theo is part of a family involved in massive fraud, he personally was involved in drug dealing, he resisted arrest, he punched one of the cops, they arrested him. No sodomy or racial insults occurred, his pants were never pulled down.

In contrast to the message that these two overmediatized cases attempted to convey, not all migrants are heroes or victims, not all natives are incompetent or violent. The reality is much more nuanced. By focusing on cherry-picked or manufactured events that put migrants in a good light and local natives in a bad light, the globalist elite attempt to manipulate public opinion.

But a backlash is already occurring.

One by one, European countries (Italy, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia) have begun to claim back their sovereignty and enforcing limits on migration through border control. The European governments and EU central powers that still promote mass migration are becoming more and more isolated and out of touch with with the will of the majority of the people they supposedly represent.

Self-styled liberals and radical leftists want to impose their idyllic multicultural open border vision of the world on everyone, but they are totally disconnected from reality. They claim not to see the destructive consequences of non-integrated mass migration: the rise in crime, in unemployment, the financial costs, the dissolution of culture, the fragmentation of societies and the loss of identity where, in a growing number of enclaves, European people feel like they are crossing the Mediterranean Sea just by opening their door.

Fourth event: Macron organizes a black LGBT party at the Elysee.

Macron could have invited artists that represented French identity, its history and its culture. But according to the French president there is no French culture, as he officially stated: ”there’s no French culture, there is a culture in France and it is diverse”.

Not only does Macron deny French culture, he has also denounced the barbarity of a French nation that embraces wars, colonialism, patriarchy, white patriarchy. Macron officially declared on February 15th 2017:

[colonialism] is a crime against humanity. It is a real barbarity and it is part of this past that we must face and also apologize to those against whom we have committed these actions.

A nation that wallows in guilt, regrets,and shame opens the door to victimhood mentality and victimhood competition. Any individual in France today can feel that the minority he identifies with has been wronged at some point by France. Macron’s statement reinforces victimhood and the subsequent drift towards entitlement, reparation and ultimately endless revenge.

The afro LGBT band Kiddy Smile and the Macrons

The afro LGBT band Kiddy Smile and the Macrons

So, faithful to his negation of the French identity and condemnation of French historical barbarity, Macron invited a rap band made up of black LGBT activists. Rap is the ‘artistic’ arm of liberalism, it preaches non-integration, hate of the white nations and white people, disrespect for the law, murder of police officers (among other things)

This celebration of decadence happened in one of the most symbolic places of the French nation, the Presidential palace that hosted De Gaulle, Kennedy, Trump and Putin. Times sure are changing!

The real cherry on the pie here however is that this insult to France was funded by those who were directly insulted: French taxpayers. French government cynicism has no limit, it would seem.

The French government’s liberal doctrine has replaced assimilation with multiculturalism in the name of diversity, respect of differences, tolerance and open-mindedness.

Assimilation aims to make individuals truly French, where migrants adopt and embrace French culture, history, customs and language. In the end, assimilated migrants become more French than the French as illustrated, for example, by the over-representation of descendants of Spanish and Italian migrants in French nationalist parties.

The French assimilation model started in 1860, earlier than any other European country It was the antithesis of the multiculturalism that has prevailed in Northern Europe countries like the UK or the Netherlands.

For over 100 years, France successfully assimilated migrants from Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and Africa. This assimilated migration was a driving force in the development of France during this period. But assimilation ended in the 60s with the rise of the postmodernist doctrine that negates identity, culture, history. Indeed, if there is no national identity, then how can anyone assimilate into it?.

Fifth event: Macron want to sanction countries like Italy which aim to control mass migration.

The Aquarius carries 629 migrants to Europe

The Aquarius carries 629 migrants to Europe

This arrogant and ignorant statement shows that Macron wants mass migration in Europe and in France because he knows very well that the migrants that reach Italy won’t stay in Italy. For reference half of the 630 migrants on the Aquarius want asylum in France.

Macron’s statement is hypocritical on a domestic level because during his presidential campaign he demanded the reinforcement of European borders and deportation of illegal migrants. It is hypocritical on an international level because Macron wants Italy to accept migrants but doesn’t want to open the French ports to migrant boats.

Macron wants mass migration but he doesn’t want it to be visible because he knows that a majority of the French people reject it. In a recent survey, 76% of the French population want a referendum on immigration. So Macron makes decisions that promote mass migration while multiplying official statements about controlling migration.

Imagine You Were a Migrant

Jihadists in Northern Mali

Jihadists in Northern Mali

Imagine you’re a foreigner, say a Muslim from Mali. Your country has been colonized by France, then your country has been plundered by French multinational corporations (uranium), and then your country has been bombed by France (See point 2 -Macron bombs Syria not ISIS). You might understandably feel some resentment towards France.

You leave your country because of the war and the growing presence of ISIS (See point 2 -Macron bombs Syria not ISIS) and you end up in France because of the open border policy (see point 5 – Macron supports mass migration)

The temporal powers, whether NGOs, politicians, media, administration or artists, all say the same thing : ‘do not assimilate to the evil white culture which anyway doesn’t exist. Stay true to your roots and stick to your community and traditions‘ (see point 4 – the presidential party)

The great Mosque of Lyon, funded by Saudi Arabia

The great Mosque of Lyon, funded by Saudi Arabia

If you’re worried about the locals’ reaction to your non-integration, do not worry, illegal migrants are national heroes and locals are loosers (see point 3 – Gassama the superhero)

If you are dissatisfied with this dividing discourse towards the nation that, after all is hosting you, you might turn to the spiritual powers in search for a wiser message. Unfortunately, the mosques controlled by the Salafists, Wahhabis and the Muslim brotherhood carry a similarly dividing message: ‘submit to the divine law before the civil law, your nation is the Muslim nation’. In other words: ‘be a Muslim, not a citizen‘. (see point 1 Macron receives Ben Salman)

The Worst Of The Left Marries The Worst Of The Right

I used the word ‘liberalism’ several times in this article and the word has different definitions in Europe and the US.

In the US, liberalism is a social ideology promoting freedom, i.e. the destruction of any authority: nations, family, religions. In Europe, liberalism is an economic ideology that promotes freedom too: free market and the subsequent destruction of states, laws and regulations.

Economic liberalism and social liberalism are two sides of the same coin. They work synergetically, the latter producing uprooted, valueless, identity-less individuals that can be economically exploited, while the former produces exhausted dumbed-down individuals that swallow the inanities of postmodernism.

Economic Liberalism and Social liberalism have a fundamental element in common: destruction in the name of freedom. Economic liberalism physically destroys workers and the planet. Social Liberalism destroys the very soul of individuals by annihilating all that feeds it: love, truth, meaning and beauty that were conveyed through ‘traditional systems’ like family, nation, religion, art.

Historically, the right was the enforcer of economic liberalism while the left was the enforcer of social liberalism. Today those two movements have merged and politicians like Macron (and many others like Obama, Merkel, H. Clinton,…) bring us the worst of the right: predatory capitalism and the worse of the left: postmodernist’s nihilism.

Conclusion

The Western world has destroyed the old order in the name of freedom. But individuals and societies have a deep need for order, as French poet Alfred Auguste Pilavoine wrote in 1845

“Order and freedom, two words perfectly correlative and which have real meaning only in relation to each other; no freedom without order, no order without freedom. Order without freedom is tyranny; freedom without order is obscenity.”

The french revolution, and its corollary the 1968 revolution, have created a spiritual, social, moral and cultural void. The vacuum of nihilist societies will be filled by a new authority, and for such purposes Islam is a prime candidate:

  • In Europe the millennial religious order (Christianity) has been destroyed while Islam brings a strong and growing religion.
  • The patriarchal authority incarnated by the father, the teacher, the priest, has been destroyed, while Islam brings a fundamentally patriarchal model of society.
  • The sexual revolution has erased any form of sexual restraint, while Islam is very clear and firm about sexual restraint.
  • Traditional communities, family and nation, have been destroyed, while Islam provides a strong and deep sense of community (Oumma).
  • The West has replaced legal duties with legal rights, while Islam provides a comprehensive set of legal duties (Sharia).
  • Any sense of meaningful ideals or purpose has been annihilated in the West while Islam provides a very clear meaning to life (Jihad).

It’s more than a little ironic that as postmodernists destroyed the old order, western patriarchal societies, in the name of freedom, opened the way for a new order – Islam – that is decidedly more authoritative and arbitrary.

As if the tensions in Europe were not strong enough, some third party liberals pour oil on the fire with a spate of ‘Islamic terrorism’: the Bataclan massacre, the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Manchester concert bombing, the Westminster bridge attack (among many others). All of which bear the clear fingerprints not of Islamism but state terrorism.

Obviously some puppet masters want to flood Europe with mass migration and maximize tensions between communities. The desired result is obviously the destruction of Europe.The last remaining question is: will they succeed?

Pierre Lescaudron

Pierre Lescaudron (M.Sc., MBA) pursued a career in executive management, consulting and post-graduate teaching in high tech fields.

He then became an editor and writer for SOTT.net, fulfilling his dream of researching science, technology and history.

Pierre is a certified Eiriu Eolas instructor and the author of “Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection”.

How Globalism works like the Mafia – By Chris Kanthan – Sott.net

Globalism is just like mafia, but with lot more complexity and respectability. If you have watched mob films such as The Godfather, you can understand how the world works. For example, in Godfather II, a bunch of mobsters get together in Havana, Cuba, to celebrate Hyman Roth’s birthday. As the birthday cake is symbolically cut into pieces and distributed, Roth tells the group how Cuba will be split up among the guests. Extrapolate this scene to the world, you can visualize how the world works.

Corporations to Central Banks

The power structure of global elites is like nested Russian dolls made up of corporations. How many people realize that KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are owned by the same corporation? Or that HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network all report to the same boss? Or that whether you drink Budweiser, Corona, Stella, Busch or Michelob (and dozens of others), you end up paying one giant corporation?

Who controls these corporations? It’s not the CEO, as most people believe. The real control lies in the hands of the largest shareholders and/or the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors of all giant corporations are linked to each other by one or two degrees of separation. Some elites even sit on multiple boards at the same time. For example, Rochelle Lazarus sits on the boards of Merck, GE and Blackstone; Jon Huntsman sits on the boards of Hilton, Ford, Caterpillar and Chevron; and Timothy P. Flynn is a director at JP Morgan Chase, Wal-Mart, Alcoa and United Healthcare. Think for a moment how all these corporations would seem totally unrelated to a regular person.

The Board of Directors report to the next level of bosses, the financial overlords. All the public corporations in the West – and much of the world now – are controlled by large shareholders, who are giant financial corporations. Thus a study in 2011 showed that fewer than 150 mega corporations pretty much control all the corporations in the world! Some of these have recognizable names such as Barclays or JP Morgan; other names such as State Street or AXA are hardly known outside the financial circles, yet they have incredible influence and wealth.

There are also a few individuals like Carl Icahn or Paul Singer who can borrow billions of dollars at 0%, buy tons of shares of a corporation, change its policies (like how dividends are distributed), and make a killing a few months later. This is how the financial mafia’s shakedown works.

On the top of the food chain are the central banks who have the amazing ability to create money out of thin air. As Meyer Rothschild reportedly once said, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!” These people are the ultimate Godfathers of globalism. They determine the winners and the losers in capitalism, and thus control all the corporations (including the media), politicians, militaries, and the Deep States around the world.

How to use Corporations

All these corporations are but tools to be used for a higher purpose – controlling people. The financial system is the primary tool used to control nations. Any nation’s debt, wealth, credit rating, stock market etc. can be manipulated by Wall Street, which is the financial weapon of mass destruction.

There are other corporations that wield power in less obvious ways. Monsanto’s GMOs are effective weapons in controlling nations (if a country has to buy seeds and pesticides from foreign corporations every year, that country will stay submissive). Big Pharma and medicines also create dependencies in people and nations.

Above all, globalists strive for the ability to control what people think. This is where media, entertainment and the Internet come into play. Fortunately (for them), all are corporatized, so that Facebook, Google, the mainstream media and Hollywood can all work together to form the Ministry of Truth and control what people all over the world feel, think and believe.

The Internet is also a great tool to spy on people and leaders of nations all over the world. This comes in handy when uncooperative leaders have to be blackmailed or overthrown (example: anti-US Brazilian president, Rousseff, was removed by a leaked phone call. The NSA had spied on her and tapped her phone).

When Corporations Need Some Help…

Corporatocracy needs a lot of help in a “free market,” and that’s where military and politics come into play. Globalism demands that all the natural resources around the world be privatized, people of all nations be ready to work for the globalists and all the economies be opened up for the corporations to sell their products. When nations resist this trend, they will suddenly face extraordinary problems. (Those who are familiar with John Perkins and his work as an “Economic Hit Man” understand this process).

In the mafia movies, people who need to be persuaded may receive a dead fish wrapped in a newspaper or may wake up next to a horse’s head on their beds. In geopolitics, the warnings come in the form of color revolutions (Georgia, Ukraine), attacks by Western-backed Islamic terrorists (Libya, Syria, Philippines), rise of separatist movements (Kurdistan, Balochistan, Rakhine State in Burma), hostile attitudes from neighboring countries (Qatar, Iran) etc. If those don’t work, there may be sanctions (Venezuela) and eventually a ‘shock and awe’ invasion. Unlike the mobster world where a helicopter attack can simply be carried out (Godfather II), globalists put in a lot of effort to justify their overt violence. This task of selling a war is carried out by the mainstream media, pundits and politicians.

In my book, “Syria – War of Deception,” I explain the geopolitics of proxy wars, Islamic terrorism, and the struggle for global hegemony.

An ideal nation will be a vassal nation which will generously share and privatize its natural resources, provide cheap labor, open its markets to multi-national corporations, borrow excessive amounts from the World Bank and IMF, buy a lot of US treasury bonds, host US/NATO military bases, purchase US/EU weapons, and vote in the UN as instructed.

The Beginning of the end?

People who are not distracted by the daily drama of life or otherwise rendered incapable of thinking critically, can see enormous problems with the current system. Globalists have used fake, fiat money to push the U.S. and most nations around the world into colossal debt. The entire global economy is sustained by artificial interest rates, real estate bubbles, stock market bubbles, and fictitious assets such as $500 trillion of derivatives (when the global GDP is only $75 trillion). We live in a real world that’s dependent on a Ponzi system fueled by virtual assets.

Most leaders of countries around the world have bought into this globalist system. However, there are a few who are still resisting it to various degrees – North Korea does it belligerently; Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Russia do it defensively; and some such as China, Myanmar and the Philippines do it in more nuanced ways.

Recently, there has also been grassroots resistance to the social engineering efforts of globalism. Since 1950, globalists have embarked upon a continuous cultural revolution that has tried to change every fundamental aspect of society. In order to achieve their Orwellian/Huxleyan goals, globalists have to completely alter the notions of family, culture, tradition, religion, national identity/pride, history and so on.

The next twenty years may be the most significant in modern human history. In geopolitics, will we enter a multipolar world where Russia and some of its Eurasian allies can retain their sovereignty? Can the USA and China avoid the “Thucydides trap“? Can we prevent a nuclear war? How will Islamic terrorism manifest itself in the coming years? How likely is that Europe will irrevocably change as a society and a civilization? Will there be a counter-revolution against globalist social engineering? When will the US dollar lose its status as the world reserve currency? Will the global financial system be forced into a reboot? How will science and technology, especially Artificial Intelligence and robots, affect social stability? Will climate change continue to wreak havoc? However, the biggest question of all is this: what will we focus on – these pressing challenges or the trivial daily distractions manufactured for us by the globalists?

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Chris Kanthan

Chris Kanthan is an author from San Francisco, and writes about politics, world affairs, food and health. He loves traveling and has been to 35 countries around the world. Follow him on Twitter: @GMOChannel and his blog: https://worldaffairs.blog/

Chris is also the author of “Deconstructing Monsanto,” available on Amazon.

See Also:

NATO’s War Of Resources Is Causing A Humanitarian Crisis In West Africa – By Eric Draitser

As millions suffer from hunger, disease, illiteracy and grinding poverty in the Lake Chad region of West Africa, a sinister game of resource extraction and exploitation is playing out, with geopolitics at the heart of it all.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks with Multinational Joint Task Force Commander Maj. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, right, as she departs their headquarters in N'Djamena, Chad,, April 20, 2016. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

NEW YORK — (Analysis) In late February 2017, Norway hosted an international humanitarian conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in hopes of attracting major donors to fund relief work.  As Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende explained, “The conference has three aims: to raise awareness about the crisis, to gain more support for humanitarian efforts, and to secure greater political commitment to improve the situation.”

Brende’s concern for the region may be laudable. But no serious examination of the crisis in West Africa can ignore the political and strategic calculus that surrounds the region. As with all conflicts in Africa, questions about resource extraction and neocolonial exploitation abound, with corrupt governments in the region (and their backers in wealthy countries) making the discussion all the more uncomfortable for the most privileged members of global society.

A real discussion of the issue would highlight the questionable connections between regional governments and the development of Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror group that is responsible for much of the havoc being wreaked in the region. It would note the vast energy deposits beneath Lake Chad that evoke an almost Pavlovian response from the leaders of surrounding countries, blinded by the dollar signs in their eyes. It would point out the moves that former colonial powers in Europe are making within the region to enrich themselves and expand their military presence, as well as increase their influence and political power.

 

In short, the humanitarian crisis around Lake Chad is a symptom of a much larger sickness afflicting the region. We must diagnose the illness in order to treat it, not simply observe its side effects and call for more drugs.

 

The Shadowy Networks Behind Boko Haram

United States Special Operations Command Africa Commander Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, left, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, center, meets with President Idriss Deby Itno, right, at the presidential palace in N’Djamena, Chad, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Power was traveling to Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Some of the statistics on the humanitarian situation around Lake Chad are truly appalling.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are at least 2.1 million internally displaced people in the region, as well as 7.1 million suffering from hunger. One in every two families need life-saving assistance, according to aid workers. Countless thousands have been killed, injured or otherwise terrorized by Boko Haram and other terror groups. The situation is dire.

So when the UN announced that the conference had raised 672 million dollars to help the people of the region, the news was obviously welcome. With such funds come very serious questions about how the funds will be distributed and who should be responsible for overseeing the distribution process. But determining the real causes of the crisis is perhaps the real million-dollar question.

First and foremost is the question of Boko Haram, its murky origins in Nigerian political conflicts and the ramifications of its actions in the region. While definitive knowledge of the group’s sponsorship remains elusive, there is ample circumstantial evidence to suggest that elements within Nigeria’s government (and potentially other regional governments) have been sponsoring the group from its infancy.  

Renowned hostage negotiator and Boko Haram intermediary Dr. Stephen Davis has gone on record as saying that high-ranking elements within the administration of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan were involved, including Ali Modu Sheriff, the former governor of Nigeria’s Borno State (the heart of the Boko Haram insurgency) and one of the country’s top military commanders.  

The Jonathan Administration and Nigeria’s military in turn have accused Chad’s government, led by President Idriss Déby, of fueling the unrest for geopolitical and strategic reasons. According to these sources, Déby facilitated the rise of Boko Haram in order to destabilize Nigeria and take advantage of growing energy extraction from the Lake Chad Basin.

Nigeria's Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera. Shekau has allegedly made a formal allegiance to ISIS on, March 7, 2015, in an audio message posted on Twitter. (AP Photo)

While the claim was certainly convenient for a Nigerian government that then was fending off accusations of its own collusion with Boko Haram, it does substantiate a 2011 intelligence memo from field officers in Chad, which noted that “members of Boko Haram sect are sometimes kept in the Abeche region in Chad and trained before being dispersed. This happens usually when Mr. Sheriff visits Abeche.”

Though the details remain murky and may never be fully publicized, even a conservative assessment would note that the domestic politics of Nigeria, as well as regional political infighting, facilitated the emergence of Boko Haram. Indeed, as former President Jonathan’s own presidential panel investigating Boko Haram noted:

“The report traced the origin of private militias in Borno State in particular, of which Boko Haram is an offshoot, to politicians who set them up in the run-up to the 2003 general elections. The militias were allegedly armed and used extensively as political thugs. After the elections and having achieved their primary purpose, the politicians left the militias to their fate since they could not continue funding and keeping them employed. With no visible means of sustenance, some of the militias gravitated towards religious extremism, the type offered by Mohammed Yusuf [leader of Boko Haram].”

From its origins as a collection of gangs used to intimidate people and influence elections to its later development as a cohesive terror organization, Boko Haram has been one of the driving forces of the humanitarian crisis in the region.

Of course, Boko Haram’s rise would have been impossible without the criminal U.S.-NATO war on Libya, which not only toppled the Libyan government, but also led to a tsunami of weapons flowing out of Libya and into the hands of regional terror groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the nascent Boko Haram.  

In a very direct way, the U.S.-NATO war birthed the violent conflict we see today in the region.

 

A Humanitarian Crisis and a Resource War

A malnourished child receives heath care at a feeding center run by Doctors Without Borders in Maiduguri Nigeria. The U.N. Security Council on Friday, March. 3, 2017 kicked off a visit to spotlight Africa's worst humanitarian crisis as millions face hunger amid the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, Aug. 29, 2016. (AP/Sunday Alamba)

Sadly, most humanitarian crises in the world stem from politics and greed; the human tragedy unfolding in the Lake Chad region is no different. At the heart of the issue is oil.

In recent years, oil discoveries throughout the Lake Chad Basin have transformed how the states of West Africa view their economic future. At the heart of the basin is Lake Chad, surrounded by the countries of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.  According to a 2010 assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Chad Basin has “estimated mean volumes of 2.32 billion barrels of oil, 14.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 391 million barrels of natural gas liquids.”  The potential size of these resources has likely attracted the attention of political and business leaders, both in the region and internationally.

All of the countries surrounding the basin have expressed strong desire in recent years to begin exploiting the energy reserves there. However, until only very recently, Nigeria had been unable to do so due to the Boko Haram insurgency. E&P (Exploration & Production), a publication issued by Hart Energy, noted in March 2014:

“Hopes of stepping up oil exploration in Nigeria’s Lake Chad Basin have been dashed by the brutal attacks of Islamic Boko Haram and the Ansaru sect terrorists in the country’s northeastern region…Between 2011 and 2013, the Nigerian government provided 240 million dollars to facilitate oil and gas exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin.”

So while Nigeria was forced to put the brakes on its oil exploration and development in the Chad Basin, its neighbors, particularly Chad, continued theirs. Nigeria has jump-started its exploration activities in Lake Chad just in the last few months, presumably thanks to progress that has been made in the fight against Boko Haram.

As Dr. Peregrino Brimah explained in 2014, “The Boko Haram insurgency has conveniently provided Chad, under the government of Idriss Déby, unfettered access to oil under Nigeria’s soils through 3D oil drilling from within its territorial borders, which the country exports.”  

It seems that Déby has engaged in siphoning off Nigeria’s oil wealth and exporting it for massive profits for himself and his cronies. But of course, Chad is not alone in this endeavor, as it has company from Cameroon and Niger, both of whom are doing precisely the same thing.

The regional dynamic is key here, as fighting has spilled over the borders into neighboring Cameroon and Niger on numerous occasions. This is precisely the pretext that the U.S. and its European partners are using to become further involved militarily in the region.

 

Lake Chad and France’s Neocolonial Agenda in West Africa

French soldiers (3rd RPIMa) and Nigerien. Fort Madama in Niger, 12 November 2014.

For the last five hundred years, colonial powers have dominated the political and economic life of Africa. But while formal colonialism may have ended decades ago, the informal dominance and control of Africa continues. This neocolonial control over the continent and its resources is at the root of all conflicts in Africa, including the current crisis in Lake Chad.

Francophone West Africa includes Cameroon, Niger and Chad. This makes France, which continues to be the main trading partner for these countries, into a dominant player in the scramble for Lake Chad. The 2012 coup in Mali and the civil war that subsequently ensued gave the French military the opening it needed to permanently station military forces throughout the region. The ongoing Operation Barkhane has at least 3,000 French troops spread across the Sahel region, including in Niger and Chad.

However, the real question is not whether or not France is right in coming to the defense of its former colonies, but what its real agenda actually is.

Despite its rhetoric of maintaining democracy, stability and the rule of law, France has very self-interested motives. With regard to Boko Haram, Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin, France is the primary beneficiary of the energy extraction taking place there, as its port of Le Havre is the final destination for the unrefined oil. Taken in terms of both actual and potential exports, the area’s vast energy reserves are worth billions. But France’s economic interest in the region does not stop with energy.

France has a keen interest in exploiting lucrative mineral deposits throughout the area, as is evidenced by the fact that the government of French President François Hollande is investing more than half a billion dollars in a new state-owned mining company.

French President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes Chad President Idriss Deby Itno, prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. (AP/Kamil Zihnioglu)

As French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg stated while announcing the creation of the new venture, “Francophone African countries, notably, would like to work with us, rather than do business with foreign multinationals.” Naturally, one should take such a statement with a healthy dose of skepticism as to just how much choice those countries, let alone their citizens, will have in the matter. Not only will France be looking to exploit mineral deposits of lithium and germanium, but also rare earth metals that have become highly lucrative due to significant demand for the metals in the tech manufacturing industry.

Moreover, Montebourg’s use of the phrase “foreign multinationals” is quite revealing. For one thing, it seems that the French political and business elite do not consider themselves to be “foreign” when operating in Francophone countries. The neocolonialism of such a mentality is impossible to ignore.

Secondly, it seems almost self-evident that the “foreign multinationals” to which he is referring are ]Chinese companies (both private and state-owned) that have made tremendous inroads throughout the region in terms of mineral extraction and investment. France is clearly cognizant of a possible turf war between themselves and China over West Africa’s resources.

There are also vast deposits of uranium throughout the region that have piqued France’s interest.  As Think Africa Press reported in 2014:

“France currently sources over 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy and is dependent on Niger for much of its immediate and future uranium supply. This dependence could grow even further when production at the recently-discovered Imouraren uranium deposit is up and running in 2015. The mine is set to produce 5,000 tonnes of uranium per year and would help make Niger the second-largest uranium producer in the world. Areva, which is 87 percent owned by the French state and holds a majority share in three out of the four uranium mining companies operating in Niger, is funding the new mine.”

Add to this the fact that Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou is a former employee of Areva, a company that still maintains a near monopoly over the uranium trade. It should come as no surprise that the main competition for Areva (and France) for this lucrative trade is China, which “already owns a 37-percent stake in Niger’s SOMINA mine and has carried out uranium exploration throughout the country.”

The battle between France and China for control of strategic resources and markets is becoming an increasingly critical part of France’s overall policy in the region. France’s goal is to re-establish economic hegemony in its Francophone sphere of influence, as is evidenced by the French government’s policy paper “A partnership for the future: 15 proposals for a new economic dynamic between Africa and France,” which could be seen as a blueprint for French policy in the area.  

This increased emphasis is likely due to the fact that “over the past decade, France’s share of African trade plummeted from 10 to 4.7 percent, while China’s African market share soared to over 16 percent in 2011.” The contours of this proxy war are unmistakably apparent.

 

The Growing U.S. Military Footprint

Compared to France, the U.S. is waging an even greater geopolitical and strategic proxy war with China over Africa’s resources. While China’s influence on the continent has grown by leaps and bounds, Western countries, especially the U.S., have been left scrambling to shore up their hegemony over the continent. The U.S. has chosen to meet Chinese economic penetration with military occupation, both overtly and covertly.

The U.S. has established a vast network of drone bases in the region, though military officials refuse to describe the facilities as anything more than “temporary staging areas.” But a simple look at the map above, combined with disparate reports in multiple media outlets, paints a much more insidious picture of what the U.S. is doing.

The U.S. Military’s Pivot to Africa as of 2013. (Image: TomDispatch)

Under the auspices of AFRICOM, the U.S. operates in nearly every significant country on the continent.  In Chad, which figures prominently in the Boko Haram narrative, the U.S. has indefinitely stationed military personnel, ostensibly to search for Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram.  

However, the White House’s own press statement reveals a much more far-reaching objective:

“These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over Northern Nigeria and the surrounding area.”  

Translation: The U.S. has drones and other surveillance covering the entire Lake Chad Basin.

While the U.S. only acknowledged sending a small contingent of soldiers, the reality is that far more U.S. forces are engaging in Chad in one form or another. This is perhaps best illustrated by the not-so-coincidental fact that Chad played host to AFRICOM’s Flintlock 2015 military exercises “which [took place on] Feb. 16, 2015 in the capital N’Djamena with outstations in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Tunisia, and will [run] through March 9, 2015.”  

To summarize, U.S. military personnel led exercises all throughout the region, with specific attention to the Lake Chad Basin countries. But it certainly doesn’t stop there.

The U.S. now operates two critical drone bases in the region, with one base in Cameroon’s city of Garoua and another in the Nigerian city of Agadez.  As the Intercept reported:

“’The top MILCON [military construction] project for USAFRICOM is located in Agadez, Niger to construct a C-17 and MQ-9 capable airfield,’ reads a 2015 planning document. ‘RPA presence in NW Africa supports operations against seven [Department of State]-designated foreign terrorist organizations. Moving operations to Agadez aligns persistent ISR to current and emerging threats over Niger and Chad, supports French regionalization and extends range to cover Libya and Nigeria.’

The strategic value of such bases is perfectly clear. As the Washington Post noted:

“The Predator drones in Niger…give the Pentagon a strategic foothold in West Africa… Niger also borders Libya and Nigeria, which are also struggling to contain armed extremist movements… [Nigerien] President Issoufou Mahamadou said his government invited Washington to send surveillance drones because he was worried that the country might not be able to defend its borders from Islamist fighters based in Mali, Libya or Nigeria… “We welcome the drones,” Mahamadou said… “Our countries are like the blind leading the blind,” he said. “We rely on countries like France and the United States. We need cooperation to ensure our security.”

And here the connection between U.S. military engagement and Boko Haram becomes painfully clear.  The U.S. cynically exploits the instability in the region – a direct outgrowth of the U.S.-NATO war against Libya – to further entrench its military.

 

U.S. Military Empire Expands Elsewhere in Africa

A soldier stands guard outside the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in the wake of a weekend attack that killed up to 32 people, Jan. 18 , 2016. (AP/Sunday Alamba)

Recent years have seen other countries in sub-Saharan Africa struggling with terrorism and in desperate need of “assistance” from the U.S. While some might recall the January 2016 attack on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, few know that the U.S. uses the country as a key node in its aerial surveillance and military intelligence network in Africa.

As the Washington Post reported in 2012:

A key hub of the U.S. spying network can be found in Ouagadougou, the…capital of Burkina Faso… Under a classified surveillance program code-named Creek Sand, dozens of U.S. personnel and contractors have come to Ouagadougou in recent years to establish a small air base on the military side of the international airport. The unarmed U.S. spy planes fly hundreds of miles north to Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara.

Of course, these examples only scratch the surface of the vast military and surveillance architecture constructed by the U.S. in Africa over the last decade or so.  

With China becoming an increasingly dominant economic force on the continent, the U.S., France and other powers have moved to consolidate their control over both the resources and politics of Africa through militarization. The crisis in Lake Chad is just one of the sad results of these efforts.

It would be incorrect to say that the crisis in Lake Chad is entirely and solely attributable to imperialist intrigue. It must be said that climate change is also playing a huge role, as Lake Chad, once the largest reservoir in the Sahel region of Africa, has lost roughly 80 percent of its total area. The loss of portions of the lake has had a direct negative effect on people’s livelihoods and access to water. This has had the effect of driving desperate young men into the arms of Boko Haram and other criminal groups.

Though the circumstances may be complex, the Lake Chad crisis cannot be fundamentally resolved without addressing the political and geopolitical questions at the heart of it all.

There is a certain dialectical irony in the fact that climate change helps fuel the loss of Lake Chad which, at the very same moment, is being exploited for its oil wealth. There is an almost tragicomic quality to such a reality.
Sadly, it is an all too painful reality for the millions of Africans who live it every day.   

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Sunset Over George Soros‘ Sparkling New World – By Phil Butler

15.03.2017 Author: Phil Butler

 

875674Billionaire investor George Soros sure had a run on establishing a bold new world. Though he continues to pour millions into protest and crises worldwide, the fading dream of either an “Open Society” or even “Cosmopolitanism” and a globalist doctrine are surely lost for his lifetime. As the famous cliché goes, “the jig is almost up” George. Lone wolf speculator or Illuminati captain, the world’s most famous billionaire villain has impacted our lives in ways most cannot imagine. Here’s a look into Soros and the Utopia that cannot be.

When George Soros was a boy in Hungary during World War II and the German occupation, he collaborated with the Nazis to help confiscate the possessions of Jews who would be detained, and more-often-than-not killed. Soros has never been apologetic about this, and has often stated that 1944 was the best year of his life. Today we see the footprints of Soros from the disaster Yugoslavia and Bosnia became, to the current destabilizing chaos. No matter how one gauges George Soros, it’s clear has played an integral, damaging and often mysterious role in the world. News these days frames the legendary billionaire as a kind of evil genius behind world chaos. But who is George Soros really?

Soros was born in August of 1930 into wealth in Budapest. The son of a Jewish lawyer named Tivadar Soros (changed from Theodor Schwarz), young George escaped the Nazi death camps by becoming part of the final solution. Later in the war the teenage Soros was secreted out of Budapest and on to London, where he somehow moved up the academic and later banking ladders of life. While it is not my purpose here to offer a biographical portrait, it is important to establish the essence of Soros as an amoral manipulator first, which this “Sixty Minutes” interview with Steve Kroft establishes this nicely. Secondly, it is my belief that Soros is one of several globalist billionaires who were “ushered” into power.

Some evidence suggests George Soros did not work his way to the top of the heap, as popular fairytales tell us. In the real world the “self made man” scarcely exists at all, if the truth is known about men like Soros, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, the Google boys, or a cadre of other miracle workers. I had originally though Soros was like these others, the new wave of world mechanics set in place by very old and very big money. But now I am not so sure.

Looking at Soros’ life after he left Bucharest in 1947, he attended the London School of Economics and was a student of the noted philosopher Karl Popper, from whom he metamorphosed his current views on society. It was Popper’s work “The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)” which served as a model for Soros’ Open Society Foundations. In this piece written by Soros for the Atlantic, he outlines in plain sight his goal to transform the world into a kind of amoral utopia where there is no real truth. Reading Soros’ words I am at once mesmerized and stunned at the surgical and antiseptic core of his ideas. Soros also admits openly the “subversive” nature of this operations in Europe after the fall of communism.

The more I read of Soros’ work, the more I recognize his form of madness. Ideas like “communist menace” plaque his ideals like a beast, as does the fascist intonation. What’s most acutely illustrative of a twisted mind though is the way Soros’ dogma turns in onto itself. Not only are communism and fascism the enemy, so is excessive individualism – or in other words, his own “Open Society” utopia. Soros is a man given immense power, whose only message is circular chaos. The only thing he seems to really believe in is what he calls the “magic of the marketplace” – which may be some twisted childhood nightmare from Nazi times? Whatever the symbiosis of Soros’ lunacy, he actually seems to believe that some higher form of economics is our God. As crazy as this assertion sounds, I assure you this is where this brilliant and twisted mind lives.

I find myself understanding Soros a bit better, and not knowing whether to admire him or to feel sorry for him. I try and imagine being an atheist or amoral, and being at the gateway to the ever after like Soros is at 86 years of age. But what is more interesting for me now is the notion of Soros the individual titan of societal change, or that of an immensely powerful henchman of some unseen hand. In the past I considered George Soros part of some ultra-powerful cartel or secret society like the Illuminati. Reading more and more I am not so sure now, for I have known some powerful people like this, and some who were totally independent in thought and deed. Soros the investor is a simple matter, but the supposed idealist underneath is still an enigma. Soros and his Quantum Fund make money like Las Vegas makes money, playing the margins and rigging the game in their whenever possible. In this regard, Soros could be just a bigger architype of the local tyrant who owns the savings and loan.

If Soros was recruited and mentored by any group, this would have had to have taken place about the time he went to work for Julius Singer and Ernst Friedlander in London, or sometime thereafter, perhaps when he left for F.M. Mayer of New York. I’ve done a good bit of research into the names, people, places, and deals surrounding these financial firms. To be clear, there’s really not a lot of detailed information out there about Soros’ early dealings. It is interesting to note that Julius Singer was Hungarian as well. Ernst Freidlander was also the founder of the first merchant bank in South Africa, which is interesting since Soros made efforts to destabilize that country’s economy in the 1970s. Other likely association include Van Gogh owning Berlin bankers who joined Singer & Friedlander in the 1920s, and now obscure London bankers like Max Ullman. Some of the dealings of these bankers during the war years are interesting, this 1943 Ullman & Co. transaction transfer document listing Swiss banking concerns is a curiosity.

Whatever connections were made during these years will probably never be fully known. As the story goes the son of F.M. Mayer, Robert Mayer recommended Soros for a position at the New York firm. Then Soros became a kind of specialist in European stocks about the time the European Common Market came into being. The Coal & Steel Community (later known as the Common Market) was the seedling for what is now the European Union. For all my investigating though, Soros’ movements from one firm to the other, and his gaining experience, they all seem “organic”. This is not what I had expected to be honest, but “lone wolf” Soros makes as much sense as some Orwellian conspiracy now. Subsequent trading jobs put George Soros in the thick of world developments even before 1963, when then President John F. Kennedy’s administration stifled Soros’ specialty with a tax on foreign securities.

Whether we admire or hate George Soros one thing is certain, his life and deeds have marked time. Don’t mistake my candor here for a conciliatory note, I despise people like Soros for their unwieldy and inhuman character – the nonchalant way they rationalize everything. I especially despise how my countrymen are being played by Soros since the 2016 Presidential campaigns started. The bottom line is, people are going to get hurt or die because of Soros funding domestic unrest, and for what? There is no telling how many billions of dollars Soros has leveraged for a philosophy based on the certainty of uncertainty. With nothing sacred at all, one man has been knighted with the power for real change, and has convoluted the power into a weapon of upheaval only. Europe is in tatters, America is split down the middle, wars rage, and in George Soros’ 86 years humanity is absolutely no better off. I am reminded of a passage about reshaping the impressions of humanity from the wonderful Nikos Kazantzakis and Zorba the Greek:

“Let people be boss: don’t open their eyes. And supposing you did, what’d they see? Their misery! Leave their eyes closed boss, and let them go on dreaming. Unless, unless. Unless when they open their eyes you can show them a better world than the darkness in which they are gallivanting at present. Can you?”

Zorba showed the dilemma in which humanity is situated. Kazantzakis was speaking of left and right idealism, and of a Utopian middle ground. This is why George Soros is a tragic figure. My colleague, Dutch analyst Holger Eekof always chides me when I rage about Soros machinations; “Soros is not evil Phil, he’s just doing what he knows best.” I always disagreed until now. Soros’ brand of idealism is Biblical, you see? But Soros is not the anti-Christ, or is he? The lost potential, the utter waist of such a brilliant mind, the world a sane George Soros might have helped create – this is true darkness. Lost opportunity costs are, after all, the great Devil looming over such men. What a shame.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/15/sunset-over-george-soros-sparkling-new-world/

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The Anti-Empire Report: United States vs. ‘Russian devils’ 1917-2017 – By William Blum

The United States and the Russian devil: 1917-2017

Conservatives have had a very hard time getting over President Trump’s much-repeated response to Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a killer”. Replied Trump: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?”

One could almost feel a bit sorry for O’Reilly as he struggled to regain his composure in the face of such blasphemy. Had any American establishment media star ever heard such a thought coming from the mouth of an American president? From someone on the radical left, yes, but from the president?

Senator John McCain on the floor of Congress, referring to Putin, tore into attempts to draw “moral equivalency between that butcher and thug and KGB colonel and the United States of America.”1

Ah yes, the infamous KGB. Can anything good be said about a person associated with such an organization? We wouldn’t like it if a US president had a background with anything like that. Oh, wait, a president of the United States was not merely a CIA “colonel”, but was the Director of the CIA! I of course speak of George Herbert Walker Bush. And as far as butchery and thuggery … How many Americans remember the December 1989 bombing and invasion of the people of Panama carried out by the same Mr. Bush? Many thousands killed or wounded; thousands more left homeless.

Try and match that, Vladimir!

And in case you’re wondering for what good reason all this was perpetrated? Officially, to arrest dictator Manuel Noriega on drug charges. How is that for a rationalization for widespread devastation and slaughter? It should surprise no one that only shortly before the invasion Noriega had been on the CIA payroll. 2

It’s the “moral equivalency” that’s so tough to swallow for proud Americans like O’Reilly and McCain. Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell also chipped in with: “And no, I don’t think there’s any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does.”3 Other Senators echoed the same theme, all inspired by good ol’ “American exceptionalism”, drilled into the mind of every decent American from childhood on … Who would dare to compare the morals of (ugh!) Russia with those of God’s chosen land, even in Moscow’s current non-communist form?

The communist form began of course with the October 1917 Russian Revolution. By the summer of 1918 some 13,000 American troops could be found in the newly-born state, the future Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Two years and thousands of casualties later, the American troops left, having failed in their mission to “strangle at its birth” the Bolshevik state, as Winston Churchill so charmingly put it. 4

US foreign policy has not been much more noble-minded since then. I think, dear students, it’s time for me to once again present my concise historical summary:

Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:

  • Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
  • Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
  • Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
  • Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
  • Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. 5
  • Though not as easy to quantify, has also led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance by American instructors. 6

Where does the United States get the nerve to moralize about Russia? Same place they get the nerve to label Putin a “killer” … a “butcher” … a “thug”. It would be difficult to name a world-renowned killer, butcher, or thug – not to mention dictator, mass murderer, or torturer – of the past 75 years who was not a close ally of Washington.

So why then does the American power elite hate Putin so? It can be dated back to the period of Boris Yeltsin.

During the Western financial looting of the dying Soviet Union the US could be found meddling in favor of Yeltsin in the election held in 1996. Under Yeltsin’s reign, poverty exploded and life expectancy for men actually decreased by five years, all in the name of “shock therapy.” The US/Western-backed destabilization of the Soviet Union allowed global capitalism to spread its misery unfettered by any inconvenient socialism. Russia came under the control of oligarchs concerned only for their own enrichment and that of their billionaire partners in the West. The transition of power to Vladimir Putin in the 21st century led to a number of reforms that curbed the disastrous looting of the nation by the oligarchic bandits. Putin and his allies vowed to build an independent, capitalist Russia that was capable of determining its own affairs free from US and Western domination. Such an orientation placed Putin in direct confrontation with US imperialism’s plans for unipolar global hegemony.

Washington’s disdain for Putin increased when he derided US war propaganda leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then, the Russian leader played a crucial role in getting Iran to curtail its nuclear program and arranging for Syria to surrender its stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Washington’s powerful neo-conservatives had been lusting for direct US military strikes against those two countries, leading to regime change, not diplomatic agreements that left the governments in place.

Lastly, after the United States overthrew the Ukrainian government in 2014, Putin was obliged to intervene on behalf of threatened ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. That, in turn, was transformed by the Western media into a “Russian invasion”. 7

The same Western media has routinely charged Putin with murdering journalists but doesn’t remind its audience of the American record in this regard. The American military, in the course of its wars in recent decades, has been responsible for the deliberate deaths of many journalists. In

© Russian government photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol from the Nazis

Iraq, for example, there’s the Wikileaks 2007 video, exposed by Chelsea Manning, of the cold-blooded murder of two Reuters journalists; the 2003 US air-to-surface missile attack on the offices of Al Jazeera in Baghdad that left three journalists dead and four wounded; and the American firing on Baghdad’s Hotel Palestine, a known journalist residence, the same year that killed two foreign news cameramen.

The Trump honeymoon is over for me. It was never actually love; hardly more than an intriguing curiosity; mainly that he wasn’t Hillary Clinton; that he was unlikely to start a war with Russia or close down the Russia Today (RT) TV station in the US, which I and many others depend on daily; and that he was not politically correct when it came to fighting the Islamic State. Trump’s “moral equivalency” remark above gave me some hope. But this all vanished with his appointment to high office of one war-loving, bemedalled general after another, intermingled with one billionaire Goldman-Sachs official after another; his apparent confirmation of his Mexican Wall; and, worst of all, his increasing the military budget by $54 billion (sic, sick) … this will certainly be at the expense of human life and health and the environment. What manner of man is this who walks amongst us?

The word is “narcissism”. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni (February 28, 2017) captures this well: “Why do I get the sense that fighter jets are Donald Trump’s biceps, warships are his pectorals and what he’s doing with his proposed $54 billion increase for the Pentagon is flexing?”

Will there ever be an end to the never-ending American wars?

How should we react to terrorism?

I hadn’t planned on returning to this subject so soon, if ever, because of the distasteful experience of last summer when at least 50 of my subscribers canceled because I said that terrorism carried out by Islamics was to some extent motivated by their religion, an hypothesis rejected by what I see as the “politically correct” who took it to be an unjust attack upon an ancient and noble religion. The fact that I, a leftist, a comrade, would say such a thing was especially hard for them to take.

Since then I have regularly received emails pointing out that neither I nor the media have the right to categorically condemn brutal terrorist actions because the terrorists are reacting to decades of Western, particularly American, violence against the Muslims of the Middle East and elsewhere; and that if only the West would stop their bombing they would stop creating new terrorists. Liberal columnists often echo these sentiments, but at the same time cannot accept the role played by radical Islamic beliefs in instigating the Islamic terror.

Comment: The primary source of these beliefs has been Saudi Arabia, a major Western ally. So while radical Islamic beliefs may provide the inspiration, they wouldn’t be anything like they are today without massive Western economic and military support.

See: Eric Zuesse: The Saudi Wahhabi origins of jihadism

Not every American soldier in World War II was a knowledgeable and convinced anti-fascist; nor were all of those fighting in Vietnam knowledgeable and convinced anti-communists; but they deeply believed in American exceptionalism. I proceed from the assumption that Islamic terrorists deeply believe in the leading tenets of Islam though many of them may have been drawn to ISIS for a variety of reasons and may have only a passing knowledge of the Koran and may only rarely enter a mosque.

Why is it that terrorists routinely shout “Allah Akhbar” (“God is great”) while carrying out a bloody attack?

Why is it that so much of Islam teaches that non-Muslims are the enemy, that “disbelievers” are to be executed?

Why do they speak of their duty to perform “jihad”, which is usually defined as a struggle against the enemies of Islam or against the “infidels”?

Why do they speak of “martyrs”, which is often used as an honorific for Muslims who have died fulfilling a religious commandment, especially those who die waging jihad, or historically in the military expansion of Islam?

Why do they speak of martyrs going to paradise after dying and receiving heavenly rewards? Even being resurrected on earth, to once again die as a martyr, going again to paradise.

Yes, yes, I know about the terrible crimes of the IRA Catholics and the Israeli Jews, but on the scale of human moral evolution they don’t compare to the routine cutting off of heads; the whippings; demolishing 2000-year-old monuments; sternly banning alcohol, music, gays and sex; covering up women’s faces; forcibly imposing religious law; and on and on, including the worst of all: the never-ending horrific suicide bombings. ISIS has done the impossible: It has made American foreign policy look almost halfway decent.

Occasionally I reply to critics with something to this effect: Even if I completely accepted your premises, I’d still feel that it was too late. We can’t undo the harm that US foreign policy and the West have caused. The barn door is wide open and all the horses have escaped. There is an entire generation, or two generations, in the Muslim world totally committed to gaining bloody revenge against the West. It appears to be that it’s either us or them.

Explaining the cause of terrorism is not the same as excusing it.

It might be different if the terrorists focused on killing only those in the West responsible for the horror carried out against their people, but their acts of violence are largely indiscriminate; they attack Westerners at random, often with Muslim victims included; often with only Muslim victims.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, we should consider this: From the 1950s to the 1980s the United States carried out all kinds of very harmful policies against Latin America, including numerous bombings, without the natives ever resorting to the uncivilized, barbaric kind of retaliation as employed by ISIS. Latin American leftists generally took their revenge out upon concrete representatives of the American empire: diplomatic, military and corporate targets – not markets, theatres, nightclubs, hospitals, schools, restaurants or churches.

France, the site of numerous terrorist attacks, has experimented with deradicalization centers in an attempt to combat homegrown extremism. The centers subjected those they housed to intense courses in French history and philosophy. But after five months the experiment has been abandoned as a complete failure.8 My guess is that one reason for the failure is that French officials, like their American counterparts, were too politically correct when it came to questions of religion. If I were a teacher at one of these centers I would ask the students how they know – I mean really know – that “martyrs” go to paradise. They are, after all, considering sacrificing their lives for this belief. Seriously confronting this question for perhaps the first time ever, the students’ minds may well become somewhat confused, leaving them open for other challenging questions and thoughts.

For the record: I don’t support the US fighting ISIS in Syria. I don’t trust the Pentagon’s motivation, or their choice of bombing targets. They’re probably still into regime change. I’d leave the job to Russia and its allies.

Notes

  1. Washington Post, February 9, 2017
  2. See William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 50 for the details of the Panama intervention.
  3. Associated Press, February 6, 2017
  4. Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. IV(1951), page 428.
  5. William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, chapter 18
  6. Ibid, chapter 5 (ends in 2005; much more is now known)
  7. See Bob Parry, “The Politics Behind ‘Russia-gate”, Consortiumnews.com, March 4, 2017
  8. Washington Post, February 25, 2017
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Rothschild reveals crucial role his ancestors played in the Balfour Declaration and creation of Israel [VIDEO] – By Uprooted Palestinians

February 9, 2017

Rothschild reveals crucial role his ancestors played in the Balfour Declaration and creation of Israel [VIDEO]

 

The Times of Israel reports that Lord Jacob Rothschild recently revealed new details about the crucial role his ancestors played in obtaining the Balfour Declaration, which “helped pave the way for the creation of Israel.”

The 80-year-old Rothschild is the current head of the banking family and a strong supporter of Israel.

The Balfour Declaration (text below) was an official 1917 letter from the British Foreign Minister, Lord Balfour, addressed to Lord Rothschild, a Zionist leader in Britain at the time and the current Lord Rothschild’s uncle.

During a television interview, the Times of Israel reports that Balfour revealed for the first time the  role of his cousin Dorothy de Rothschild.

Rothschild described Dorothy, who was in her teens at the time, as “devoted to Israel,” and said: ‘What she did, which was crucially important.’”

Rothschild said that Dorothy connected Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann to the British establishment. Dorothy “told Weizmann how to integrate, how to insert himself into British establishment life, which he learned very quickly.”

Rothschild said that the way the declaration was procured was extraordinary. “It was the most incredible piece of opportunism.”

“[Weizmann] gets to Balfour,” Rothschild described, “and unbelievably, he persuades Lord Balfour, and Lloyd George, the prime minister, and most of the ministers, that this idea of a national home for Jews should be allowed to take place. I mean it’s so, so unlikely.”

 

The interview was was conducted by former Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub as part of the Balfour 100 project. Taub interviewed Rothschild at Waddeston Manor in Buckinghamshire, a manor bequeathed to the nation by the Rothschild family in 1957, where the Declaration is kept.

According to Ambassador Taub, the declaration “changed the course of history for the Middle East.”

The Times reports that Rothschild said his family at the time was divided on the idea of Israel, noting that some members “didn’t think it was a good thing that this national home be established there”.

Dorothy’s letters are also stored at Waddeston. They describe her later dealings with diverse Zionist leaders and her advice on the organization of the Zionist Conference, according to the Times.

Rothschild said that the Declaration went through five drafts before finally being issued on November 2, 1917.

Alison Weir reports in her book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, that drafts of the declaration went back and forth to Zionists in the United States before the document was finalized. The main writer was secret Zionist Leopold Amery.

Weir’s book documents that one of the main inducements given to British leaders to issue the Balfour Declaration was the Zionist claim that they would bring the U.S. into world war I on Britain’s side if the British would promise to enable the Zionist colonization of Palestine.

Balfour Declaration Text:

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours,

Arthur James Balfour

Below is the Interview:

 

The Fourth Turning and Steve Bannon Pt. 3: Implications for Hysterica-America – By Harrison Koehli

Continued from Part 2: Happiness, Hedonism, Horror – Repeat

Lobaczewski was exiled to America in the late 70s by the Polish Communist authorities after being denounced by a correspondent for Radio Free Europe. Based on his observations of American culture in New York, he thought the U.S. reached a peak of hysteria in the 80s. Maybe he was right about that, but if he were still alive I would be curious to know his thoughts on American society in the past few years. It seems the hysteria has only gotten worse. Here’s what he had to say about the U.S. in 1984:

America is stifling progress in all areas of life, from culture to technology and economics, not excluding political incompetence. When linked to other deficiencies, an egotist’s incapability of understanding other people and nations leads to political error and the scapegoating of outsiders. Slamming the brakes on the evolution of political structures and social institutions increases both administrative inertia and discontent on the part of its victims. (PP, p. 64)

Sounds like he could’ve been writing about today.

He also wrote that the U.S. seems to lag around 80 years behind the European cycle. The last European crisis was a bloody nightmare that saw one world war and the emergence of two major totalitarian pathocracies: the Soviets in 1922, and the Nazis in 1933 – then another world war. If Lobaczewski is right, that suggests that it can take at least two full 80-year cycles before a country risks falling into totalitarian barbarism that consumes its own people, which means Europe might get off relatively easy this time around. But maybe not.

Even in the 80s, Lobaczewski saw the potential of mass communications to “synchronize” distant countries’ cycles. The Internet has exploded since then, helping to tie many nations’ cycles even closer together. Mass communications give humans the chance to break the cycle, if enough truth can be shared widely enough, but they’re a double-edged sword. Propaganda can travel just as far and just as quickly. Just look at the scope of anti-Russian hysteria today in North America and Europe. At the time he wrote, Lobaczewski was optimistic about Western Europe’s future. But Europe’s post-War ties with the U.S. have linked their cycles to a large degree. And according to Howe, Europe and America follow the same generational cycle, which means they’ve both entered the crisis phase. Things don’t look good for the Western world.

In order to test Lobaczewski’s ideas so far, let’s take a look at American/Western society today in light of the symptoms of the cycle of hysteria at its peak. In the past twenty years we’ve seen a veritable obsession with trivialities, from celebrity culture and reality TV to the narcissism of selfies and Instagram, the most recent outbreak being Pokemon Go. Our selfishness and materialism is on display for the entire world’s ridicule every Black Friday. I’ve known people who base their entire lives around eating good food, having good sex, or buying the latest gadgets. We’re slaves to entertainment, video games, and porn, and the rich and debauched among us attend orgiastic sex parties. The more Facebook friends we have, the less we actually form meaningful bonds. We’re constantly on our cell phones. We’d rather text than talk.

We don’t plan for the future. Instead we let our infrastructure decay while members of the “establishment elite” make themselves rich off taxpayer money. They sell themselves to the highest bidder, with no sense of public responsibility. We don’t like acknowledging our faults; we refuse to even admit we have any, or downplay the ones we do. Corruption is all but accepted as standard operating procedure for corporations, banks, and politics. We’ve made a philosophy of self-importance by embracing “American exceptionalism”.

We have little knowledge of other cultures, and aren’t even interested in learning about them. Instead, we destroy other countries because we “need” their resources. We refuse to acknowledge the millions who have died as a result, but cry for the refugees we have created. We export democracy to countries we determine need it – never mind if we have to kill a few hundred thousand in the process. We threaten and blackmail other nations to do what we tell them to. We spy on our allies. We interfere in elections all over the world and scream bloody murder over baseless accusations of “Russian interference” in our own. We ally with criminals and terrorists when it suits our self-interest. We are “great” and “good”, therefore all our foreign interference must be right and proper. It’s not aggression – it’s “humanitarian intervention”.

This video probably wouldn’t make any sense in a healthy society:

Especially on the ‘Left’, some of us get offended to the point of moral outrage whenever someone unintentionally hurts our feelings or disagrees with us. Gender pronouns. Trigger warnings. Safe spaces. We demand respect when we haven’t earned it. Some of us are sure every word out of a stranger’s mouth is a con – “What’s their angle? What are they trying to get from me?” Many are convinced that Trump is lying about pretty much everything, but never seem to realize that their own ‘team’ is just as deceitful.

We have little capacity for introspection or critical thought, yet we’re convinced we’re right. We criticize the “hate and violence” or our ideological enemies, but engage in the same hate and violence. We ignore uncomfortable truths. “I’d rather not think about that. It makes me depressed.” “Not knowing those things makes me sleep better at night.” “Thinking about that makes my brain hurt.” We live in a narcissistic bubble.

I say “we”, but obviously all the above examples don’t apply to everyone. As Lobaczewski points out, this social hysteria is most noticeable in society’s elite class, the affluent, educated “establishment”: media, professionals, academics, politicians, bankers, bureaucrats. The working class is actually the most resistant, because they’re forced to think about everyday realities:

Whether couched in economic, ideological, or political terms, the criticism and demands of these [lower] social groups always contain a component of psychological, moral, and anti-hysterical motivation. For this reason, it is most appropriate to consider these demands with deliberation and take these classes’ feelings into account. On the other hand, tragic results can derive from thoughtless action paving the way for spellbinders to make themselves heard. (PP, p. 121)

That’s why Trump represents such a hope for many, and danger for others. He built his campaign on a largely “anti-hysterical” platform – common sense, law and order, jobs, infrastructure, peace through strength (not war or regime change) – but with a streak of American egocentrism (America first) and not entirely free of hysteria (e.g. the exaggerated emotions surrounding illegal immigrants and Islamic terrorists – real though the problems may be). These are obvious problems that shouldn’t be so overwhelming, but there hasn’t been any political will to do anything about them prior to Trump.

“#FakeNews” is a direct response to the hysterical, self-censoring, lie-infected, echo-chamber, establishment media. “Drain the swamp” acknowledges the fact that Washington is infested with corrupt, self-serving, short-sighted, incompetent egotists who have made careers prostituting themselves to corporations, (group-)think tanks, special interests, and foreign governments. Hillary Clinton represented everything that is wrong with an establishment that has rotted from within and which has nothing but contempt for the people they claim to represent. The “deplorables” see it, they’re fed up with it, and they voted for the only person speaking for them.

So far, Lobaczewski’s description adds up. I was hard-pressed to find a single “symptom” in his book that didn’t apply in a very obvious way. I’d say Western society has a bad case of hysteria.

Cognitive Dissonance and Hallucination

In a hysterical society, cognitive dissonance gets so bad it approaches the level of mental illness – psychosis. At the most basic level, people tend to ignore, deny, or repress facts that contradict what they already believe, especially if those facts are about themselves. For example, just try telling someone you know they’re a bad parent. Chances are it’s not going to go over very well. Especially if they are a bad parent. Admitting it to themselves or to others is too damaging to the image they have of themselves, and the stories they tell themselves. In their minds, they’re doing the best they can, and they’re probably doing a better job than most other parents. It hurts to admit you’re not that great.

It’s the same with political parties. People don’t like being told their heroes aren’t all they’d like to think they are. It’s like telling someone their father is an axe murderer. Even if it’s true, and there’s evidence to back it up, people have a hard time admitting realities that threaten to tear down the stories and beliefs they’ve formed over the years. We usually just call it denial.

But it gets worse when we start unconsciously swapping out facts with lies in order to come to the “right” conclusions. Maybe we “rewrite” our memories in order to censor the past from our present awareness; maybe we even distort what we see with our own eyes so that we see what we expect or want to see. So we conveniently “don’t remember” saying or doing something that could now be used against us in some way – and we actually don’t remember. Or we interpret some ambiguous statement or action in a way that isn’t really appropriate – as evidence that confirms what we already believe. Or we see something that really isn’t there, just because we expect it or desire it in some way. And that’s not too different from hallucinating.

With enough practice, this leads to a chronic inability to comprehend what’s really going on in our lives and in the world – to consistently miss the point. When our illusions butt up against reality, it causes cognitive dissonance. It hurts our brains. And our minds go through all sorts of mental gymnastics in order to avoid or stop the discomfort, to the point of selecting which facts make themselves available to our conscious awareness, and even creating new “facts”.

Lobaczewski breaks down this kind of pseudo-thinking into three types:

  • Blocking out uncomfortable conclusions (denial)
  • Blocking out the uncomfortable data that leads to uncomfortable conclusions, selecting comfortable data and conclusions (confirmation bias)
  • Swapping out the uncomfortable data with comfortable data, leading to comfortable conclusions (hallucination)

Accepting the data, but blocking the conclusion, can lead to a response like, “So what? I don’t see how that matters.” Even if that evidence is your father’s fingerprints on the murder weapon, and his blood at the scene of the crime. Many Trump supporters can be as guilty of this as the Hillary supporters, who are masters at it. We’d rather have our heroes be all good and our villains all bad.

Blocking out the data leads to a nice conclusion. The media did this a lot with the leaked DNC emails. Ignoring what was actually contained in the leaked DNC emails left them and their audience safe in their conviction that Hillary was worth voting for. On top of that, the media brought it all home by swapping out the data and blaming Russia. It wasn’t the Democrats who were the problem; it was those evil Russians the whole time! But to actually believe that narrative required hallucinating that the relevant intelligence reports said something they didn’t actually say: that there was any actual evidence that Russia was responsible for leaking the emails, and that there was unanimous consent among the intelligence agencies that they did so. Neither of which were true.

Denial of uncomfortable conclusions in the media is fairly easy to spot. Denial of uncomfortable facts is only a bit trickier. One of the biggest giveaways is “forgetfulness”. The media consistently “forgets” whatever doesn’t support their positions, whether it’s a history of CIA intervention in other countries’ elections (not to mention coups, assassinations, and blackmail), or inconvenient positions their chosen candidates used to have in the past, which don’t match their current positions. Another giveaway is “confirmation bias“, the tendency to “search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.”

Substituting data is the trickiest, both to spot and to carry out. It’s difficult to spot because without knowledge of the facts, it can sound totally plausible. “Russia is evil. Russia has hackers. The DNC was hacked. The intel agencies say Russia hacked the DNC and leaked the emails. Therefore, Russia did it.” Makes sense – if you don’t care about seeing the actual evidence for yourself. (It also requires a bit of selective “forgetfulness” – that is, forgetting all the times the intel agencies have proven themselves untrustworthy.)

Another sign of data substitution is psychological projection. Self-critical thoughts tend to get projected onto others. And that can lead people to blame someone for what they themselves are guilty. It’s pretty stunning to observe on the national level, especially if you’re even vaguely aware of history. Which is why seeing people like John Kirby, Samantha Power, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, et al. blame Russia for interfering in foreign elections, destabilizing foreign countries, engaging in cyberattacks, refusing to fight ISIS, etc. was so entertaining, yet so disturbing at the same time. Now that those freaks are gone, the media is making sure to continue the effort.

Data substitution is trickier to carry out than blocking conclusions and data, because as Lobaczewski points out, it’s not entirely unconscious. It requires telling yourself a whole lot of really big lies, and on some level most people are aware that that’s what they’re doing – however dimly. What makes it a bit easier is having an echo chamber of people all telling each other the same thing, reinforcing the delusion and making it a group effort. Group conformity to the rescue! From the outside looking in, it really looks like these people are just hypocritical liars – and they are, to some degree – but for the most part what we’re looking at is just a very pathological “thought virus” that turns people into halfwits and has them believing their own propaganda. And they don’t even realize it.

This kind of “thinking” is highly contagious and can spread throughout an entire society. Mass media just makes it worse, and provides a willing outlet for political operators to inject disinformation through the media stream and into the public mind. Actually, one of the best ways to observe it in action is just to watch and read the mainstream media. They consistently miss the point, ignore the big story, lie, or hallucinate things that aren’t there. Government censors aren’t necessary when people have their own tiny censors in their brain that prevent them from acknowledging any uncomfortable truths:

When the habits of subconscious selection and substitution of thought-data spread to the macrosocial level, a society tends to develop contempt for factual criticism and to humiliate anyone sounding an alarm. Contempt is also shown for other nations which have maintained normal thought-patterns and for their opinions. Egotistic thought-terrorization is accomplished by the society itself and its processes of conversive [i.e. ‘hysterical’] thinking. This obviates the need for censorship of the press, theater, or broadcasting, as a pathologically hypersensitive censor lives within the citizens themselves. (PP, p. 121)

Here’s a recent example: at Trump’s latest press conference he said that the leaks from the White House published by the media were real, but the news is fake. His meaning should have been obvious, if you listened to what he actually said: “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake.” And he even gave examples. The leaks were about Trump’s calls with the Mexican and Australian leaders, and about the transcripts of Flynn’s conversations that led to his resignation. The fake news was the hysteria about Russia and the idea that Flynn broke the law or did something wrong, among others.

The mainstream media does lie (intentionally or not). They also publish leaks of real information. The two are not mutually exclusive. I can make up stories about someone being a closet shoe hoarder and also publish illicitly obtained copies of their tax returns (if I were a mainstream journalist). But the reaction of liberal critics has been absurd and demonstrates that they have lost all ability to think. That’s why you get reactions like this (the second and third work for NBC, Vanity Fair, and Newsweek):

The sad thing is, these people actually think they’re clever. They don’t realize they’ve become half-wits. Dunning-Kruger strikes again. Scott Adams put it well when he asked who’s hallucinating, the people who saw the press conference as a “total meltdown”, or the people who just saw Trump just being Trump:

So how can we know who is hallucinating in this case? The best way to tell is by looking for the trigger for cognitive dissonance. In this case, the trigger is clear. Trump’s unexpected win forced the Huffington Post to rewrite their mental movies from one in which they were extra-clever writers to one in which they were the dumbest political observers in the entire solar system.

You might recall that the Huffington Post made a big deal of refusing to cover Trump on their political pages when he first announced his candidacy. They only carried him on their entertainment pages because they were so smart they knew he could not win.

Then he won.

When reality violates your ego that rudely, you either have to rewrite the movie in your head to recast yourself as an idiot, or you rewrite the movie to make yourself the hero who could see what others missed. Apparently the Huffington Post chose to rewrite their movie so Trump is a deranged monster, just like they warned us. That’s what they see. This isn’t an example of so-called “fake” news as we generally understand it. This is literally imaginary news. I believe the Huffington Post’s description of the press conference is literally what they saw. If you gave them lie detector tests, they would swear they saw a meltdown, and the lie detector would say they were telling the truth.

When things get that bad – and they are that bad – it’s hard to disagree with Trump when he calls fake news the enemy of the people. It’s a threat to their sanity.

Lessons to Learn

As the quote at the beginning of this article says, egotism causes nations to scapegoat others. Currently, the scapegoats of choice are Muslims and Russians. Strangely, Russia tops even Islamic terrorism as the American establishment’s scapegoat par excellence. (In my experience, blanket condemnation of Muslims tends to show up more on the grassroots level. I think it’s largely an effect of 15 years of “War on Terror” propaganda.) On the anti-Russian hysteria, I highly recommend these three articles. Print them out and read them, because they say a lot:

This quote from Ken Wilber in the second piece is spot on:

“The culture was constantly telling us one thing, and the realities of society were consistently failing to deliver it—the culture was lying. This was a deep and serious legitimation crisis— a culture that is lying to its members simply cannot move forward for long. And if a culture has “no truth,” it has no idea when it’s lying—and thus it naturally lies as many times as it accidentally tells the truth, and hence faster than you can say ‘deconstruction’, it’s in the midst of a legitimation crisis.”

And as Cunningham points out, anti-Russian propaganda has reached the level of collective psychosis.

Americans, and Westerners in general, have a lot to learn, and we don’t have much time to learn it. Ironically, the people we could learn the most from are the Russians. Remember what I wrote in Part 2:

“A close encounter with evil forces us to gather the physical and mental strength to fight not only for our lives, but also for our sanity. Even though our first response is usually to turn to violence and military might (revolution, counter-revolution, civil war), that hotheadedness falls by the wayside with time and experience. In the cauldron of suffering and chaos, frivolous emotions eventually make way for sober reflection, and we’re forced to regain lost powers of thought and discernment. Society eventually regains a healthier worldview: knowledge of self and others, old virtues and values, understanding the meaning of history. All of which eventually gives us the power to actually conquer evil by creating a new order out of the chaos.”

Our war-footing with Russia is probably the stupidest thing we could be doing. Not only are they our natural allies in the fight against terrorism, they’ve learned a lot during their own “encounter with evil”. (The Muslim world is experiencing its own at the moment, but they too will come out stronger and wiser because of it.)

It’s understandable that the establishment hates Russia. They were our sworn enemies during the Cold War, and old grudges die hard. It was also easy to feel superior to the Soviet Union and the Communist Republics in Eastern Europe, given the obvious evils of communism and the impression that some inherent weakness or inferiority brought them about. But the Commies are gone now, they have been for a while, and that sense of superiority is misplaced and self-defeating. It may be incomprehensible to Westerners, but many Russians, having lived through pathocracy and changed from within, gained important practical knowledge of political evil in the process. We should be listening to what they might have to say.

In 1991, the Soviet pathocracy’s institutions were weakened. But the 90s were a catastrophe: the wholesale looting of the nation by an organized crime network of “liberal” oligarchs. But despite the 90s, despite the corruption held over from 70 years of pathocracy and 10 years of “free-market” plunder, and despite the concerted efforts of Western intelligence, think tanks, and NGOs to destabilize and control them in the years since, Russia has brought itself out of the crisis. Demographic indicators are positive, the economy is relatively strong (considering the sanctions), and there’s strong collective support for the direction Putin is taking the country. If Russia is currently in a “high” turning, she will soon enter an awakening, just as we emerge from a crisis (assuming we don’t tear the world down with us). We should keep that in mind. If you want advice on how to defend yourself on the streets, you don’t ask a yoga teacher – you find a battle-hardened teacher with experience and know-how – like Solzhenitsyn, or (gasp!) Vladimir Putin.

In fact, this moment in history is probably one of the greatest opportunities to learn the things that really matter. In Russia we have a country that has survived the societal disease of pathocracy and “maintained normal thought-patterns”, as Lobaczewski put it. In ‘ISIS’ we have probably the most overt specimen of pathocracy in recent history, and in the USA and the entire ‘Western world’ we have a nation and its network of allies that are on the crossroads of history, navigating a crisis that could go in either direction. As a species, we can learn something from all of them, if only we will stop the hysteria and conversive thinking and start to see and hear. The alternative is not pretty:

“Pathocracy will always find a positive response if some independent country is infected with an advanced state of hysterization, or if a small privileged caste oppresses and exploits other citizens, keeping them backward and in the dark; anyone willing to treat the world can then be hounded, and his moral right to act be questioned. Evil in the world, in fact, constitutes a continuum: one kind opens the door to another, irrespective of its qualitative essence or the ideological slogans cloaking it.” (PP, p. 189)

The biggest threat to the West doesn’t come from Islamic terrorism, and certainly not from Russia; it comes from within. I realize I haven’t adequately defined “pathocracy” in these articles. That would take another series of articles, so for now, let me just say that as bad as things are in the West, pathocracy is worse.

Liberals in the West are right to fear “another Hitler”. They’re just not looking in the right place. The “Trump is Hitler” meme is a product of mass hysteria in the establishment: media, politics, academia. The fact is, the next Hitler could just as easily come from the Right or the Left, but he or she isn’t here yet. When that person and their movement come, there will be some markers to look for. Certain forms of speech will be harshly criminalized, the rule of law will cease to exist as we know it, the executive will rule completely arbitrarily, and anyone who so much as criticizes the government will risk arrest, torture, and/or execution. There are already hints here or there that the groundwork has been laid for moves in this direction. With the right “spark”, they will take on a life of their own.

People will not be protesting in the streets or joking about the president on Twitter; they will be too terrified. They won’t even share their true feelings with family members at first. Those who do may come to regret it. The media will stop their self-censorship. Instead, they will be forcibly censored, and those who do not comply will risk arrest, torture, and/or execution. Society and all its institutions will be radically restructured. No matter where you are, you will be terrified of the person above you in the social hierarchy, or will come to fear them soon enough. Prisons will probably be largely emptied, releasing many of the worst criminals. Their cells will be taken by ordinary citizens who got caught saying the wrong thing, or were suspected of thinking about perhaps saying the wrong thing. And many of those “ex”-criminals will be given places of honor in the new social hierarchy.

All will be justified in the name of some high-sounding ideology that has the answer for everything. Ideas like the fourth turning may even be deformed to such an extent that they end up resembling the Marxists’ use and abuse of history – its implacable logic necessitating the embrace of a reign of terror to destroy the old order and usher in the new one. Will that be what happens? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Harrison Koehli

Harrison Koehli co-hosts SOTT Radio Network’s Truth Perspective, and is an editor for Red Pill Press. He has been interviewed on several North American radio shows about his writings on the study of ponerology. In addition to music and books, Harrison enjoys tobacco and bacon (often at the same time) and dislikes cell phones, vegetables, and fascists.

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Fear porn or a serious depopulation agenda? – By Christina Sarich

: Bill Gates warns that bioterrorism could kill 30 million people

© inhabitat.com

It isn’t clear if Bill Gates was veiling a threat to help depopulate the planet by 30 million people, if he was simply scare-mongering, or warning of a true cataclysmic-level bioterrorism event, but at the recently held Munich Security Conference the man who has been kicked out of India said that, “a genetically engineered virus such as small pox could wipe out up to 30 million people in less than a year.”

Gates is a multi-billionaire, and the founder of Microsoft, but he has also been a vocal supporter of questionable investments that have a profound impact on people’s lives. At one point, Gates owned 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock, and his Foundation, with an endowment larger than all but four of the world’s largest hedge funds, is known to have its tentacles in many programs meant to sterilize, and force toxic vaccinations on unsuspecting and indigent populations.

The Gates Foundation is also heavily invested in companies that contribute to obesity, and a number of other chronic health issues, including McDonald’s, Pepsi-Co, Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Walmart.

The Foundation is additionally invested in Dynacorp, one of the biggest military industrial contractors on earth, whose clients include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI, CIA, and HUD — all government agencies notorious for rampant, unchecked and egregious fraud, along with Geo, a private prison group.

Then there’s the Foundation’s monetary support of the entire oil industry including: Exxon Mobile, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron, just to name a few.

Additionally, and perhaps most interestingly considering Gates’ warning of ‘highly deadly,’ genetically engineered strains of viruses that could wipe out a large swath of people, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also heavily financing Big Pharma and Big Biotech.

Gates helps fund institutions like the GAVI Alliance, the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) – public-private partnerships purportedly devoted to saving Third World lives. These organizations are supposedly independent, but so heavily funded by Gates as to function as virtual arms of the Foundation, these organizations began to conduct large-scale clinical trials in Africa and South Asia in the mid-2000s for a number of vaccines meant to prevent the very type of mass bioterrorism he is now warning about.

These investments are important background information to have considering the implications of Bill Gates’ recent statement in Munich:

“We also face a new threat. The next epidemic has a good chance of origination on a computer screen [no surprise here since Silicon Valley has spent over a decade researching bioweapons created by genetic modification of viruses and bacteria] on a terrorist intent of using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the small pox virus, or a contagious and highly deadly strain of flu.”

Gates goes on to blame lacking international security for the possible epidemic of a new rogue virus, ignoring the fact that his own well-funded institutions are helping to create bio-terrorism weapons, otherwise known as germ warfare.

Just in case we weren’t sufficiently terrorized, Gates reminded the audience of the scale of the 1918 flu pandemic which infected around 500 million people and claimed between 50-100 million lives.

Gates asked our government to step up militaristic action against bio terrorism, yet this seems odd considering that our own Navy sprayed people off the coast of Los Angeles out of a massive hose, with a virus created in a lab as part of an experiment in the 1950s, affecting possibly 800,000 people without their knowledge or consent.

Then there’s the incidence of government researchers studying the effects of syphilis on black Americans without informing the men that they had the disease — they were told they had “bad blood.”

And the Army has droves of challenged medical reports questioning the “harmless stimulants” used in numerous different biological weapons, released on native populations.

In recent history, the military has tested the following pathogens on the public, often without their consent, and many more which likely have not been not revealed due to their highly classified nature:

  • Bacillus anthracis (anthrax)
  • Francisella tularensis (tularemia)
  • Brucella (brucellosis)
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
  • Botulinum toxin (botulism)
  • Coxiella burnetti (Q fever)
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE)

For those who don’t believe sterilization and depopulation may be part of the agenda behind Gates’ statements, consider the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories (USBWL) existed as a suite of research laboratories and pilot plant centers located at Camp Detrick, Maryland from 1943 under the control of the U.S. Army Chemical Corp Research and Development Command, which undertook “pioneering” research and development into biocontainment, decontamination, and gaseous sterilization of germ warfare.

Exactly how has our military failed to address bioweapons terrorism?

Gates continued in his statement,

“Whether it occurs by the quirk of nature or the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists show through their models, a respiratory spread pathogen would kill more than 30 million people in less than a year.”

Silicon Valley has been talking about the bioterrorism battle and its price tag for years now. Tesla’s latest Model X will even have its own counter-bioterrorism system. It makes you wonder. Is Gates feeding us fear porn, as many did with Zika, Bird Flu, and other ‘probable’ epidemics that were pumped and dumped by mainstream media, or is he disclosing his next method of depopulation?

Comment: The deaths of billions of people would probably be a dream come true for the likes of Gates.

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Hidden in plain sight: Do psychopaths run the world? – by NICK PARKINS

© America Out Loud
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.
– John Lennon (1940-1980), English singer and songwriter

Lennon and others externalise the apparent paranoia that wells up inside us. “The world has gone mad!” More often than not we partition this voice off, content to view the world as others prescribe it. But who are these others, and what do they want?

The term psychopath is often criminally misjudged, thanks largely to unhelpful portrayals of sick, twisted and violent psycho-character types in the popular media. This has led, by way of public ignorance, to the common belief that the psychopath has no function, role or place in open society. A swift offload that allows us, the apparent sane majority, to circumvent our worst fears.

Any notion that the psychopath is incapable of functioning in open society is, according to M.E. Thomas1 – a self-confessed sociopath – flawed. The question is not the capacity to function, but rather what capacity or form that function takes. As Thomas says, psychopaths and sociopaths share an intertwined clinical history; both can function, they just do so differently. And though we are left to muse on what mask that function may take, in many social situations they excel.

Competition Wins Out

Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck was a French biologist who advocated a theory of evolution widely rebuked in establishment circles. Lamarck’s major work was published in the same year Charles Darwin was born – who would go on to supplant Lamarck’s theory 50 years later. In Lamarck’s world cooperation prevailed over Darwinian competition as the driving mechanism of evolution.

According to authors G. Greenberg and M.M. Haraway,2 it was Darwin’s view that served to reflect and sustain a Victorian society tied to free market, capitalist and imperial values. His model supported a dog-eat-dog, life is hard, code of practice; the scientific valediction of the natural world as played out on a brutal, cold and insensitive landscape. Arguably the perfect environment for the aspiring modern day psychopath, and a prevailing view that the poet Tennyson described as nature, red in tooth and claw.

Snakes & Ladders

Although diagnosing definitive psychopathy in individuals remains somewhat of a grey area, attempts have been made to categorise psychological traits that set psychopathic personalities apart. Most prominent is the diagnostic check-list devised by renowned Canadian psychologist Robert Hare that is used to determine a categorical diagnosis of clinical psychopathy, or at best a category score.

According to Hare’s list, psychopaths display superficial charm, unbridled ego, and pathological lying and cold, calculated cunning to entrance their prey. They are often impulsive and irresponsible, and exhibit an absence of empathy and remorseless lack of guilt. These and other attributes, such as criminal versatility and a marked capacity to manipulate, deceive and control, mark them out as dangerous. These are traits that enable psychopaths to move into high-ranking positions of power and influence.

“We know much less about corporate psychopathy and its implications,” explains New York psychologist Paul Babiak, “in large part because of the difficulty in obtaining the active cooperation of business organisations for our research.”3 A dilemma that Hare disclosed to Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test. “Prisoners are easy,” states Hare. “They like meeting researchers. It breaks up the monotony of their day. But CEOs, politicians…”4 According to Hare, these sharks are a different kettle of fish.

A rare study on psychopathy in the workplace conducted by Babiak, Neumann and Hare5 suggests that 1 in 25, or 4 per cent, of corporate executives display significant personality traits typical of psychopathy – an incidence four times that estimated in the general population. The study supports the claim that psychopaths can and in fact do achieve high ranking corporate status. We are left to speculate, but Hare concedes Wall Street may harbour 1 in 10 attracted to lucrative watering holes that are poorly regulated.6 Factor this in and it’s not hard to see how the very lifeblood and identity of corporations and financial institutions can often run cold.

Arguably most startling, the study indicates that despite being classed as substandard managers, team players and attracting poor performance appraisals, executives that met the clinical threshold of psychopath were valued by their immediate superiors as creative and innovative, as good communicators and strategic thinkers.

In short, they may not always fly under the radar. Despite the blips, it is clear to American psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley7 that psychopaths possess the communication, persuasion and interpersonal skills to override any negative impacts on their career. A finding supported by the Babiak study: “some companies viewed psychopathic executives as having leadership potential, despite negative performance reviews and low ratings on leadership and management by subordinates.”8 According to the authors, this shows a proficiency to manipulate decision makers, a point made by psychologist Dennis Doren who observed in institutions the psychopath’s unerring ability to seek out and foster relationships with those of highest authority and demonstrate tremendous skill at influencing them.9

In many instances the chameleon-like ability of the psychopath to mimic its surroundings by reading and influencing colleagues through the art of deception, be it through self promotion or subtle persuasion, allows the snake charmer to hide his true skin and pass unchecked through social customs. Studies suggest psychopathy, in body or by proxy, can entrench itself at the top, but is this phenomenon relatively isolated, or has this scenario over the course of human history always prevailed?

As Above, So Below

As vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, Darrell West analyses business and law school curricula, specifically, according to West “because business and law schools train the leaders of tomorrow.”10 In the course of his research West reviews course syllabi and conducts interviews with faculty members. He has also surveyed data on business and law school student perceptions. What he found was troubling.

“The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” states West, taking his lead from the title of a 1970 New York Times magazine article written by the highly-influential American economist and statistician, Milton Friedman. The article was unequivocal: according to Friedman, maximising shareholder value was a company’s sole responsibility.11

“Many schools do not require stand alone courses that provide broad conceptions on the purpose of the corporation in society,” says West. Of those that do, “many focus on the purpose of the corporation, with emphasis on how to maximise shareholder value, especially in law schools.”12 Instruction therefore is key, notes West, and will colour a student’s view of the world. In fact, West concludes, “business school surveys show that after completing school, students are more likely to see shareholder value as the most important goal of the corporation.”13

It was not that Friedman was a prophet. In hindsight, according to West, he helped shape the outlook of numerous business leaders, academics, and thought-leaders that ultimately served to affect America’s modern sense of purpose of the corporation. An inherent identity that helps shape the way business and law school students view their, often times, lack of responsibility to society even today.

In the real world, inevitable coldly-calculated equations play out on the one side to maximise profit and on the other to minimise loss. And like most mathematical equations they make little or no sense to the layman. “Can you buy what you already own?” This was the equation facing all concerned when Canadian-based Nautilus Minerals Inc. purchased the licence in 2011 from the “Independent State of Papua New Guinea” (PNG) to mine deep-sea vent fields in sovereign waters off the country’s coastline. The answer, morally, of course, is no.

According to Sir Julias Chan, current Governor of New Ireland province in PNG, ethics are an intangible commodity, and unlike cold hard currency rarely stack up. “First, the state cedes exploration and production rights to foreign companies for next to nothing,” says Chan. In the case of PNG 10,000 kina, equivalent to US$4,000. “For this pittance, the foreign developer gets full control of all the wealth that can be taken from the ground.”14

“The next step is for the state to seek equity in the project, usually 30 percent in a mining project and 22.5 per cent in an oil or gas project,” explains Chan. “The state has ‘given away’ the entire resource to a foreign company, and now returns to buy what was already legally its own property, for a 30 percent interest in the project.” To PNG this meant 300 million kina, or US$118 million. “And, to do so, the state usually takes out a commercial loan rate that puts the country further into debt at high interest.”15 Today a common event whereby the state acts to castrate itself and its people to high finance.

Joel Bakan is a professor of law at the University of British Columbia, Canada. While those that run corporations are for the most part, good, moral people, says Bakan, the duty of the corporate executive is to the corporation’s business interests first and foremost. “The money they manage is not theirs,” explains Bakan. “They can no sooner use it to heal the sick… or buy a villa in Tuscany.” In the corporate world, good people are encouraged to behave badly. In fact, the sum of corporate parts are “singularly self interested and unable to feel genuine concern for others in any context. The corporation, like the psychopathic personality it resembles, is programmed to exploit others for profit.”16

Under such terms it is not difficult to envisage how a system can soon come to value and mimic its most deviant parts. Equally, how the parts over time can come to be shaped by the whole.

It’s Behind You

According to philosopher and author Aaron James, while the psychopath feigns moral action as a tool to manipulate others, the arsehole could well be a butt of equal contention. Unlike the prototypical psychopath, says James, the arsehole “traffics in and is moved by moral justification,” which leads to an “entrenched sense of special entitlement.”17

The perfect example, according to James, is Apple founder Steve Jobs who saw his sole obligation to society as implicitly tied to producing the products his consumers desired. James notes what Jobs’s best friend, Jony Ive, once told Business Insider: “when he’s frustrated… his way to achieve catharsis is to hurt somebody. And I think he feels he has a liberty and license to do that,” said Ive. “The normal rules of social engagement, he feels, don’t apply to him.”18

Worryingly, James says, “the arsehole’s reasoning is shaped by the moral justification his surrounding culture makes available to him.”19 For instance, according to Hare, many white-collar criminals are psychopaths. “They flourish because the characteristics that define the disorder are actually valued,” asserts Hare. “When they get caught, what happens? A slap on the wrist, a six-month ban from trading, [oh] and don’t give us the $100 million back.”20

Accordingly, not only does corporate culture control net arsehole production, but the quality of butt-heads produced. And, depending on the culture, says James, “an arsehole can be better or worse behaved than a psychopath.”21 A consoling thought.

Arguably it is no more comforting to know that the psychopath you had fingered all along is really an arsehole nurtured by a system that is, by way of inherent nature, socially deviant. If the reasoning of a typical arsehole is moved by moral justification, taken from his surrounding environment, then the ability of a psychopathic culture and/or system to shape its own governing class is implied.

They Gave Us Their Mind

The enduring strength of psychopathy lies in its ability to manipulate how others perceive it. But the innate ability of the psychopath or the system to shape our perceptions is not, in itself, entirely the reserve of the clinical psychopath.

We all play our part in the masquerade. Many of us partake in cosmetic enhancements and props that support our ego’s waltz through this porcelain world. Whatever the score, the Hare check-list has a number picked out for us all. In its pursuit of ultimate control, this is the greatest achievement of psychopathy; after all, what better way to predict by response a person or group, than to give them your mind?

The competitor’s urge to win at all cost is certainly pervasive. So, too, the trend of irresponsibility, most evident in the compensation culture that has crept into the social mindset, thanks to laws that restrict a person’s capacity to develop by way of ethics and moral concepts of right and wrong. How can you take responsibility for thoughts and concepts that are not your own? In the broad, rules and regulations teach us to hand over our power, a transaction that re-enforces itself in society according to Thomas. She says that given the choice between having power and giving it up to a ‘trusted’ entity, people often choose to give it up rather than take the responsibility that comes with it.22

In its apparent, endless quest to reinvent society in its own image, psychopathy perhaps has more than one expression. Recent research into social media habits throws up disturbing correlations between heavy Facebook use and socially aggressive narcissism. In one study users that scored highly on a Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire, reports Damien Pearse, “had more friends on Facebook, tagged themselves more often and updated their news-feeds more regularly.” The research, the report states, “comes amid mounting evidence that young people are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships.”23 In the same breath the media have ‘jokingly’ jumped on those abstaining from Facebook as highly suspicious and suspect – they could have something to hide. Facebook use is, of course, prevalent and ‘normal’.

An infinite number of media streams exist that entice us to see our reflection, drawing us into powerful undercurrents, and buffeting us from one bank to the next. We surface only to take breath, disorientated and confused, disconnected from our natural cues. But perhaps that’s the idea. Certainly it is the innate need to control and the power to wield it, at whatever cost, and without care, that fractures the pathological mind from the rest of us.

The God Complex

Those who rise to power in the corporatocracy, are control freaks, addicted to the buzz of power over other human beings.
Bruce Levine, social critic & psychologist

In a competitive world there will always be those who actively seek out, justify or embrace traits of psychopathy as a route to success. For a surgeon, a cold detachment and cool head has its place. But glorifying the psychopath is a perilous path to tread. According to psychologist Linda Mealey, competition only serves to increase the use of antisocial and Machiavellian strategies and counteracts any increase in pro-social behaviour after success.

Spiralling societal separation, and re-enforcing detachment, sets a dangerous precedent, what James refers to as a sense of “entitlement born of cosmic grandiosity.”24 He cites oil baron John D. Rockefeller who viewed his wealth not in some Wild West American capitalist context that gave him free rein, but unapologetically, by divine right: “God gave me my money,”25 said Rockefeller.

This sense of divine entitlement, being chosen, as apart from society, has deeply disturbing parallels to contemporary wealth. Jeff Greene is a multi-billionaire property investor and entrepreneur, and owns reportedly America’s most expensive home. Greene, who made his fortune betting on sub-prime mortgages, says Americans need to have “less things”: “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted, so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” lectured the 60-year old, who lets out the $195 million palatial estate in Beverly Hills to royal families and international dignitaries for hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.26

At its heart, assuming it had one, departments within the system, be they political, corporate or financial, select by lineage this mind; one willing to create, support and maintain it. “Figures such as J.P. Morgan, Randolph Hearst, and Mayer Rothschild,” argues author Stefan Verstappen, “are professional psychopaths that reach the pinnacle of the financial stage where they cause no less misery and destruction as their political counterparts.”27

As a result, examples of psychopathic conduct in high office are commonplace. Robert Kirkconnell is a decorated US Air Force combat veteran of 27 years, and an outspoken critic of the US government MK-ULTRA program that conducted a battery of callous psychological or ‘mind control’ tests on its own citizens. In American Heart of Darkness, Kirkconnell charges the presidential Rockefeller Commission, set up to investigate the CIA’s activities, which he says funded the program. Kirkconnell no longer sees his home as a constitutional republic, but as a pathocracy run by psychopaths.

Contagious Psychopathic Worldviews?

I had to win at all costs, sometimes allowing the costs to flow unchecked, just to see the volume of my power.
– M.E. Thomas

“Power is all I have ever really cared about in my life,” states Thomas. “Physical power, the power of being desired or admired, destructive power, knowledge, invisible influence. I like people enough that I want to touch them, mould them, ruin them,” says Thomas. “I want to exercise my power.”28 It’s nothing personal. It’s dietary. The idea of ruining people, she says, is simply delicious.

Thomas is not unique. The psychopath invariably plays with its food. In the process actively seeking to visit misfortune or suffering on others. Thomas regards herself as a white tiger – a beautiful and exotic pet but inherently dangerous. And whilst in her own words she considers herself tamed, inside she continues to grapple with a primal urge to destroy.

This mindset is not lost on society. In fact, it is a worldview captured succinctly in Michael Ellner’s personal state of the world address:

“Just look at us,” he asks. “Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.”

You can see his point. But to what extent does this world talked of by Ellner stem solely from blind pursuit of power and profit?

Is there a hidden systemic malevolence that creates fear and uncertainty; the chaos to warrant this chase? Is the malevolent mist, that evil intent we ascribe to heinous acts and misdeeds, illusory, an epiphenomena, a by-product of the psychopath brain? Or is it real, autonomous, and guiding the program? And does this distinction matter? Does it help us interpret, say, the rise in chronic illness, its origins and how the healing profession has become, as critics claim, a public relations buzz-term; managing symptoms for profit?

The world of Kirkconnell swings into focus. Are we all victims of systemic programming; of disorientation; an imbalance the predator incites in us to maintain and enforce its position and status?

Like a god, so much of what psychopathy is and does hides in plain sight. The psychopath appeals to its prey’s sense of empathy and faith in humanity. He is the blank slate onto which people project their hopes and ideals. This realisation must dawn if we are to expose systemic psychopathy and confront wildly sinister possibilities, not least the darker identities and underlying motives upon which it is based.

Darwin Dorr is the director of research into psychopathology at Wichita State University, Kansas. “The majority of paedophiles are psychopathic,” says Dorr, “or at least manifest to a significant degree the psychological characteristics of psychopathy.”29

Such ties that bind power to its perversions are historic, endemic and persist to this day. Investigations surrounding an elite Sydney paedophile ring are only the tip of a cold and callous iceberg that threatens to sink a titanic raft of untruths. In the UK, the reputation of once respected DJ, television presenter, and establishment confidante, Jimmy Savile, sank when his penchant for children, dead bodies, and satanic rituals and foreplay was disclosed to a shocked population.

Questions are now being asked outside UK Home Office circles and its curious taste for celebrity trash cans. All of a sudden the term psychopath seems no longer sufficient. Are such people, the system they represent, and the entities they mimic and worship, beyond a check-list? Certainly UK and wider establishment attempts to stymie the truth only serve to disclose further the covert means and amoral control by which psychopathy operates as an integral part of the system.

Nick Parkins has a master’s degree in philosophy of the mind and likes to live outside the box.

Footnotes

  1. M.E. Thomas, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding In Plain Sight, Crown Publishing Group, 2013
  2. G. Greenberg, M.M. Haraway, Comparative Psychology: A Handbook, Garland Reference Library of Social Science, Routledge, 1998
  3. P. Babiak, C.S. Neumann, R.D. Hare, “Corporate psychopathy: Talking the walk,” Behavioural Sciences and the Law, at et al 2010.pdf
  4. J. Ronson, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, Picador, 2011
  5. P. Babiak, C.S. Neumann, R.D. Hare, op. cit.
  6. R. Hare, Comment
  7. H.M. Cleckley, The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So Called Psychopathic Personality, Mosby, 1976
  8. P. Babiak, C.S. Neumann, R.D. Hare, op. cit.
  9. B.J. Board, K. Fritzon, “Disordered personalities at work,” Psychology, Crime and Law, Vol. 11(1), 17-32, with reference to D. Doren, Understanding and Treating the Psychopath, Wile, 1987
  10. D. West, “The purpose of the corporation in business and law school curricula,” Governance Studies at Brookings,
  11. M. Friedman, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits,” New York Times Magazine, 13 September 1970
  12. D. West, op. cit.
  13. D. West, op. cit.
  14. PNG Leadership has been poor steward of resources,” The National, 20 April 2011, (pdf)
  15. Ibid.
  16. J. Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, Free Press, 2004
  17. A. James, “Ass-holes: a theory,” Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2013
  18. D. Love, “16 Examples of Steve Jobs being a jerk,” Business Insider, 25 October 2011,
  19. A. James, op. cit.
  20. R. Hercz, “Psychopaths among us,”
  21. A. James, op. cit.
  22. M.E. Thomas, op. cit.
  23. D. Pearse, “Facebook’s dark side: study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism,” The Guardian, 17 March 2012,
  24. A. James, op. cit.
  25. John Davidson Rockefeller, Bartleby Quotations
  26. J. Christie, “Multi-billionaire who gave a lecture about American’s ‘needing to have less things and live a smaller existence’ owns a staggering FIVE mansions…”, Daily Mail, 24 January 2015
  27. S. Verstappen, Defense Against the Psychopath: A Brief Introduction to Human Predators, Woodbridge Press, 2011
  28. M.E. Thomas, op. cit.
  29. D. Dorr, “The pedophile as psychopath,” 1998, in T. Millon, E. Simonsen, & M. Birket-Smith (Eds.), Psychopathy: Antisocial, Violent, and Criminal Behavior, 304-320, Guilford Press
  30. P. Gilbert, “An introduction to the theory and practice of compassion-focused therapy and compassionate mind training for shame based difficulties,” The Compassionate Mind Foundation, (PDF)
  31. P. Gilbert, op. cit.
Comment: It is most interesting that Mr. Parkins skirts around the work of master researcher Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski. His book, Political Ponerology, is the most comprehensive analysis of the destructive effects of psychopathy on the fabric of society.

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Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism – By Naomi Klein

trump-pence-disaster-capitalism

 

We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.

All this is dangerous enough. What’s even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically.

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/feLMFPnc-biiQQJhC.html

Naomi Klein explains how the Trump administration might take advantage of coming crises to Jeremy Scahill at the Women’s March, Jan. 21, 2017.

Speculation is unnecessary. All that’s required is a little knowledge of recent history. Ten years ago, I published “The Shock Doctrine,” a history of the ways in which crises have been systematically exploited over the last half century to further a radical pro-corporate agenda. The book begins and ends with the response to Hurricane Katrina, because it stands as such a harrowing blueprint for disaster capitalism.

That’s relevant because of the central, if little-recalled, role played by the man who is now the U.S. vice president, Mike Pence. At the time Katrina hit New Orleans, Pence was chairman of the powerful and highly ideological Republican Study Committee (RSC). On September 13, 2005 — just 14 days after the levees were breached and with parts of New Orleans still under water — the RSC convened a fateful meeting at the offices of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Under Pence’s leadership, the group came up with a list of “Pro-Free-Market Ideas for Responding to Hurricane Katrina and High Gas Prices” — 32 policies in all, each one straight out of the disaster capitalism playbook.

Vehicles form a line at an Exxon gas station off of Interstate 55 in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. The station was one of the few in the city with both power and gas one day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. (AP Photo/The Calrion Ledger, Rick Guy)

Vehicles form a line at an Exxon gas station off of Interstate 55 in Jackson, Miss., Aug. 30, 2005. The station was one of the few in the city with both power and gas one day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

Photo: Rick Guy/The Calrion Ledger/AP

To get a sense of how the Trump administration will respond to their first crises, it’s worth reading the list in full (and noting Pence’s name right at the bottom).

What stands out in the package of pseudo “relief” policies is the commitment to wage all-out war on labor standards and on the public sphere — which is ironic because the failure of public infrastructure is what turned Katrina into a human catastrophe. Also notable is the determination to use any opportunity to strengthen the hand of the oil and gas industry.

The first three items on the RSC list are “automatically suspend Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws in disaster areas,” a reference to the law that required federal contractors to pay a living wage; “make the entire affected area a flat-tax free-enterprise zone”; and “make the entire region an economic competitiveness zone (comprehensive tax incentives and waiving of regulations).”

Another demand called for giving parents vouchers to use at charter schools, a move perfectly in line with the vision held by Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos.

All these measures were announced by President George W. Bush within the week. Under pressure, Bush was eventually forced to reinstate the labor standards, though they were largely ignored by contractors. There is every reason to believe this will be the model for the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investments Trump is using to court the labor movement. Repealing Davis-Bacon for those projects was reportedly already floated at Monday’s meeting with leaders of construction and building trade unions.

Back in 2005, the Republican Study Committee meeting produced more ideas that gained presidential support. Climate scientists have directly linked the increased intensity of hurricanes to warming ocean temperatures. This connection, however, didn’t stop Pence and the RSC from calling on Congress to repeal environmental regulations on the Gulf Coast, give permission for new oil refineries in the United States, and to green-light “drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

All these measures are a surefire way to drive up greenhouse gas emissions, the major human contributor to climate change, yet they were immediately championed by the president under the guise of responding to a devastating storm.

The oil industry wasn’t the only one to profit from Hurricane Katrina, of course. So did a slew of well-connected contractors, who turned the Gulf Coast into a laboratory for privatized disaster response.

The companies that snatched up the biggest contracts were the familiar gang from the invasion of Iraq: Halliburton’s KBR unit won a $60 million gig to reconstruct military bases along the coast. Blackwater was hired to protect FEMA employees from looters. Parsons, infamous for its sloppy Iraq work, was brought in for a major bridge construction project in Mississippi. Fluor, Shaw, Bechtel, CH2M Hill — all top contractors in Iraq — were hired by the government to provide mobile homes to evacuees just ten days after the levees broke. Their contracts ended up totaling $3.4 billion, no open bidding required.

And no opportunity for profit was left untapped. Kenyon, a division of the mega funeral conglomerate Service Corporation International (a major Bush campaign donor), was hired to retrieve the dead from homes and streets. The work was extraordinarily slow, and bodies were left in the broiling sun for days. Emergency workers and local volunteer morticians were forbidden to step in to help because handling the bodies impinged on Kenyon’s commercial territory.

And as with so many of Trump’s decisions so far, relevant experience often appeared to have nothing to do with how contracts were allocated. AshBritt, a company paid half a billion dollars to remove debris, reportedly didn’t own a single dump truck and farmed out the entire job to contractors.

 

NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 31:  People wait for assistance after being rescued from their homes a day earlier in the Ninth Ward as a small fire burns after Hurricane Katrina August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Devastation is widespread throughout the city with water approximately 12 feet high in some areas. Hundreds are feared dead and thousands were left homeless in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida by the storm.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

People wait for assistance after being rescued from their homes a day earlier in the Ninth Ward as a small fire burns after Hurricane Katrina Aug. 31, 2005 in New Orleans.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Even more striking was the company that FEMA paid $5.2 million to perform the crucial role of building a base camp for emergency workers in St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans. The camp construction fell behind schedule and was never completed. When the contractor was investigated, it emerged that the company, Lighthouse Disaster Relief, was actually a religious group. “About the closest thing I have done to this is just organize a youth camp with my church,” confessed Lighthouse’s director, Pastor Gary Heldreth.

After all the layers of subcontractors had taken their cut, there was next to nothing left for the people doing the work. For instance, the author Mike Davis tracked the way FEMA paid Shaw $175 a square foot to install blue tarps on damaged roofs, even though the tarps themselves were provided by the government. Once all the subcontractors took their share, the workers who actually hammered in the tarps were paid as little as $2 a square foot. “Every level of the contracting food chain, in other words, is grotesquely overfed except the bottom rung,” Davis wrote, “where the actual work is carried out.”

In Mississippi, a class-action lawsuit forced several companies to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages to immigrant workers. Some were not paid at all. On one Halliburton/KBR job site, undocumented immigrant workers reported being wakened in the middle of the night by their employer (a sub-subcontractor), who allegedly told them that immigration agents were on their way. Most workers fled to avoid arrest.

This corruption and abuse is particularly relevant because of Trump’s stated plan to contract out much of his infrastructure spending to private players in so-called public-private partnerships.

In the Katrina aftermath, the attacks on vulnerable people, carried out in the name of reconstruction and relief, did not stop there. In order to offset the tens of billions going to private companies in contracts and tax breaks, in November 2005 the Republican-controlled Congress announced that it needed to cut $40 billion from the federal budget. Among the programs that were slashed were student loans, Medicaid and food stamps. In other words, the poorest people in the United States subsidized the contractor bonanza twice: First, when Katrina relief morphed into unregulated corporate handouts, providing neither decent jobs nor functional public services; and, second, when the few programs that directly assist the unemployed and working poor nationwide were gutted to pay those bloated bills.

Jenny Bullard carries a pair of boots from her home that was damaged by a tornado, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Ga. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in several counties, including Cook, that have suffered deaths, injuries and severe damage from weekend storms. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Jenny Bullard carries a pair of boots from her home that was damaged by a tornado, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Adel, Ga.

Photo: Branden Camp/AP

This is the disaster capitalism blueprint, and it aligns with Trump’s own track record as a businessman all too well.

Trump and Pence come to power at a time when these kinds of disasters, like the lethal tornadoes that just struck the Southeastern United States, are coming fast and furious. Trump has already declared the U.S. a rolling disaster zone. And the shocks will keep getting bigger, thanks to the reckless policies that have already been promised.

What Katrina tells us is that this administration will attempt to exploit each disaster for maximum gain. We’d better get ready.

 

Portions of this article were adapted from The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

Top photo: In this 2005 photograph, a man watches a house burn on Napoleon St. as helicopters try to extinguish the fire in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans.

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Naomi Klein@NaomiAKlein

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