Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part III

Popaganda

Read Part I here and Part II here

The Left gets Hoped and Changed

One of the more insidious aspects of contemporary American mass culture is how it is celebrated as something so progressive at a time when it is more reactionary than at any point in living memory. Look at the spectacle around Black Panther from last year—a film that features a black hero teaming up with the CIA to kill African radicals. Black representation on film is actually much worse than it was 20 years ago, although we’re told it’s becoming better than ever. In the early 1990s, it was probably more common to see movies and TV shows with mostly African-American talent in front of and behind the camera. More importantly, the messages were mostly better, too. In New Jack City, for one, the villain, a drug lord played by Wesley Snipes, even explains that he’s…

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Chinese democracy in action: The annual two sessions

STALIN'S MOUSTACHE

As the first of the annual ‘two sessions’ of parliamnet opened today (3 March 2019), a rather useful and insightful article appeared in Xinhua News. It explains clearly the development and nature of Chinese democracy, or socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics. The article is copied below:

Every year, just before China’s annual two sessions, there are voices in the West declaring that China’s democracy cannot truly represent the people. But the Chinese people disagree.

Nearly 3,000 lawmakers and more than 2,000 political advisors are gathering in Beijing to forge consensus and pool wisdom for the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, the first of the country’s two centenary goals.

This is the mission of the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC), and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), two important platforms for China’s own style of democracy.

Democracy is…

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Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part II

Popaganda

Read Part I here

America’s Greatest Dissident

All of this is crucial context because Chomsky’s defenders compare him favorably to Fox News cretins and State Department snakes. But this is not a useful analytical comparison because Chomsky was not intended to supplant Bill O’Reilly and Madeleine Albright, which is why he never replaced those people in the propaganda system of which he is a part. Those whom MIT hired him to replace were all those movement leaders, thinkers, and revolutionaries who were more substantively radical than him, which is why he did replace those people.

Chomsky has enjoyed a sinecure at one of America’s wealthiest and most Pentagon-connected universities because he steers people away from all the more radical ideas mentioned above, ideas which once defined the intellectual substance of “the Left.” In 1972, if someone had wandered into a GI café, SNCC meeting, or Panther safehouse and claimed that…

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Noam Chomsky and the Compatible Left, Part I

Popaganda

Noam Chomsky recently took to the pages of The Intercept to give his blessing to the US military’s occupation of Syria, solidifying his support for the Pentagon after years of having done so in slightly more anguished terms. As far as the occupation, the only concession to what might once have been considered “Leftist” values is the MIT professor’s acknowledgement that the US is motivated by “power considerations” rather than “humanitarian objectives.” Today, the brief nod to realpolitik is what’s supposed to pass for a progressive anti-war stance.

The Intercept is really a natural fit for Chomsky to deliver this message. The nonagenarian professor has limited years left on earth, and when he passes, Glenn Greenwald and Pierre Omidyar’s website will probably become the new face of the permissible Left. That Chomsky lends his radical imprimatur to a US military occupation in its pages is a testament to…

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Happy 148th Birthday Rosa Luxemburg

rosaluxemburgblog

1907 or 1908 maybe- rosa luxemburg- rls

Rosa Luxemburg was born on 5 March 1871 in the small Polish city of Zamosc and grew up in Warsaw. She earned a doctorate from Zurich University in 1897 and co-founded the Polish social-democratic party (SDKPiL). Living in Germany from 1898, she joined the German social-democratic party (SPD) and rose to prominence as a left-wing journalist, speaker and theorist. Imprisoned several times in Germany, she was active in the 1905 Revolution in Poland before returning to exile in Berlin. Luxemburg was a leading figure in the Second Socialist International and a campaigner against imperialism, war and dictatorship. She believed in socialism and democracy and called for the overthrow of the capitalist system.

During the First World War, Luxemburg was imprisoned for her anti-war activities and expelled from the SPD. She co-founded the Spartakusbund, which sought to end the war and overthrow the Kaiser and capitalism. During the German Revolution, which…

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The Emasculation of “Resistance”

bernie arrested

Bernie crying like a little bitch.

This image of Bernie Sanders from a late 1960’s Chicago protest has been put out there recently, and it is meant to big up Bernie’s credentials as a heroic resistance fighter. This is what passes for “resistance” in the United States. I’ve seen so many demonstrators resisting arrest by futilely struggling to get free, or by going limp, when the cops snatch them. It seems to be a twisted badge of honor among petty bourgeois liberals or ultra-left radicals to scream and cry and make a big fucking scene when they get arrested. I say have some dignity for Christ sake! I think more stoicism is called for in this situation. It doesn’t do any good for movement-building or for your own personal well-being to resist arrest and antagonize the police.

Is this image really inspiring to the masses? Is it going to encourage people to rise up and join the movement? I think not . . . and I think that’s the entire point.

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Don’t Say His Name

The Propaganda Professor

USA-ELECTION/TRUMP

As you may have noticed, I long ago stopped saying the name of the forty-fifth White House occupant. In fact, I’ve even made a point of avoiding the use of his image wherever possible. And there will be popsicles in hell before I ever call him “President”. You may have assumed that this is personal, that it reflects a mere gut reaction to the man’s loathsomeness. Or that it’s some kind of superstitious hokum like the aversion to saying Voldemort in the Harry Potter books. Quite the opposite — it’s a logical, thought-out strategic decision.

I started thinking about this when I read a post by George Lakoff on his blog.  Lakoff, as you may know, is a former professor of linguistics at Berkeley and an expert on framing. The title of his book Don’t Think of an Elephant is a good indication of the frustrating challenges he tackles…

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An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

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Can Maduro Emulate Castro and Assad to Keep NATO’s Imperialist Hands Off Venezuela?

Castro

Imperial logic I: External crises distract from internal ones

Empires with internal problems tend to create external crises to distract the public opinion and unite their political and economical ruling class in a fictitious nationalistic fervor. The current United States policy of overt regime change in Venezuela, backed entirely by its NATO vassals, follows an evergreen imperial playbook of creating new crises to obscure failures and divisions.

In addition to the administration’s overall incompetence, the legal investigations through the Mueller inquiry, and the failure to deliver to its MAGA sycophants their big wall, it has passed unnoticed, and it will never be admitted by US officials or media that the US imperial wars in Afghanistan and Syria are in fact lost. Assad will remain in power, and the US administration has publicly admitted that it was negotiating with the Taliban. The temptation for the empire’s ideologues is too strong not to follow the precept: when you have lost a war, you declare victory and you leave. And next time around, you try to pick a weaker target.

Continued at News Junkie Post

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Porkins Policy Radio 173 Hugo Turner on Elliot Abrams, Iran Contra, & War Crimes in Central America

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