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The Bloody Legacy of American Exceptionalism

American Herald Tribune

February 9, 2016

by Vanessa Beeley

 

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Exceptionalism: the condition of being different from the norm; also:  a theory expounding the exceptionalism especially of a nation or region.

There are many theories surrounding the origin of American exceptionalism. The most popular in US folklore, being that it describes America’s unique character as a “free” nation founded on democratic ideals and civil liberties. The Declaration of Independence from British colonial rule is the foundation of this theory and has persevered throughout the often violent history of the US since its birth as a free nation.

Over time, exceptionalism has come to represent superiority in the minds and hearts of Americans. Belief in their economic, military and ideological supremacy is what has motivated successive US governments to invest in shaping the world in their superior image with little or no regard for the destruction left in the wake of their exceptional hegemony.

In considering itself, exceptional, the US has extricated itself from any legal obligation to adhere to either International law or even the common moral laws that should govern Humanity.  The US has become exceptionally lawless and authoritarian particularly in its intolerant neo-colonialist foreign policy.  The colonized have become the colonialists, concealing their brutal savagery behind a veneer of missionary zeal that they are converting the world to their form of exceptionalist Utopia.

Such is the media & marketing apparatus that supports this superiority complex, the majority of US congress exist within its echo chamber and are willing victims of its indoctrination. The power of the propaganda vortex pulls them in and then radiates outwards, infecting all in its path.  Self-extraction from this oligarchical perspective is perceived as a revolutionary act that challenges the core of US security so exceptionalism becomes the modus vivendi.

Superbowl Military

Above: US military propaganda and Superbowl 50 [Source]

Just as Israel considers itself the chosen people from a religious perspective, the US considers itself the chosen nation to impose its version of Democratic reform and capitalist hegemony the world over. One can see why Israel and the US make such symbiotic bedfellows.

“The fatal war for humanity is the war with Russia and China toward which Washington is driving the US and Washington’s NATO and Asian puppet states.  The bigotry of the US power elite is rooted in its self-righteous doctrine that stipulates America as the “indispensable country” ~ Paul Craig Roberts: Washington Drives the World Towards War.

So why do the American people accept US criminal hegemony, domestic and foreign brutal tyranny & neo-colonialist blood-letting with scant protest? Why do the European vassal states not rise up against this authoritarian regime that flaunts international law and drags its NATO allies down the path to complete lawlessness and diplomatic ignominy?

The psychological term “Gaslighting” comes from a 1944 Hollywood classic movie called Gaslight.  Gaslighting describes the abuse employed by a narcissist to instil in their victim’s mind, an extreme anxiety and confusion to the extent where they no longer have faith in their own powers of logic, reason and judgement. These gaslighting techniques were adopted by central intelligence agencies in the US and Europe as part of their psychological warfare methods, used primarily during torture or interrogation.

Gaslighting as an abuser’s modus operandi, involves, specifically, the withholding of factual information and its replacement with false or fictional information designed to confuse and disorientate. This subtle and Machiavellian process eventually undermines the mental stability of its victims reducing them to such a depth of insecurity and identity crisis that they become entirely dependent upon their abuser for their sense of reality and even identity.

Gaslighting involves a step by step psychological process to manipulate and destabilize its victim.  It is built up over time and consists of repetitive information feeds that enter the victim’s subconscious over a period of time, until it is fully registered on the subconscious “hard disk” and cannot be overridden by the conscious floppy disk.  Put more simply, it is brainwashing.

“Overall, the main reason for gaslighting is to create a dynamic where the abuser has complete control over their victim so that they are so weak that they are very easy to manipulate.” ~ Alex Myles

Victims of Gaslighting go through 3 stages, disbelief, defence and depression.

The first stage depends upon trust in the integrity and unimpeachable intentions of the abuser, a state of reliance that has been engendered by the abuser’s artful self-promotion and ingratiating propaganda.  Once this trust is gained, the abuser will begin to subtly undermine it, creating situations and environments where the victim will begin to doubt their own judgement.  Eventually the victim will rely entirely upon the abuser to alleviate their uncertainty and to restore their sense of reality which is in fact that of the abuser.

The second stage, defence, is a process by which the abuser isolates the victim, not only from their own sense of identity but from the validation of their peers.  They are made to feel that their opinion is worthless, discredited, down-right weird.  In political circles they would be labelled a conspiracy theorist, a dissident, a terror apologist.  As a consequence, the victim will withdraw from society and cease to express themselves for fear of ridicule, judgement or punishment.

This stage can also be compared to Stockholm Syndrome where a hostage or captive is reduced,by psychological mind games, back to infantile dependency upon their captor.  Narcissistic abuse bonds the victim to the aggressor via trauma.  Stockholm Syndrome bonds the victim to the aggressor via regression to an infantile state where the abuser/aggressor becomes the “parent” who will rescue the victim from imminent annihilation.  Both methods tap into the victim’s survival mechanisms to gain and maintain control.

The final stage is depression.  A life under the tyrannical rule of a narcissist drives the victim into a state of extreme confusion.  They are stripped of dignity & self-reliance.  They, ultimately exist in an information vacuum which is only filled by that which the abuser deems suitable or relevant.  This can eventually invoke symptoms of PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]. Flashbacks, constant apprehension, hyper vigilance, mind paralysis, rage and even violence.  The process is complete and the victim has been reduced to a willing accomplice in the abusers creation of a very distorted reality.

We are currently seeing the transformation of US exceptionalism into an abusive Narcissism.  The gargantuan apparatus of mind bending and controlling is being put into hyper drive by the ruling elite.  We are inundated with propaganda that challenges our sense of reality but only after being “tenderized” by the fear factor.  Fear of “terror”, fear of war, fear of financial insecurity, fear of gun violence, fear of our own shadow.  Once we are suitably quaking in our boots, in comes the rendition of reality that relieves our anxiety.  If we challenge this version of events we are labelled a conspiracy theorist, a threat to security. We are hounded, discredited, slandered and ridiculed.  We are isolated and threatened.

Wars are started in the same way.  Despite the hindsight that should enable us to see it coming, the process swings into motion with resounding success. The ubiquitous dictator, the oligarch who threatens to destroy all that the US and her allies represent which of course is, freedom, equality & civil liberty all wrapped up in the Democracy shiny paper and tied with the exceptionalist ribbon.

Next the false flag to engender fear, terror and to foment sectarian strife. The support of a “legitimate” organic, indigenous “revolution” conveniently emerging in tandem with US ambitions for imposing their model of governance upon a target nation. The arming of “freedom fighters”, the securing of mercenary additions to these manufactured proxy forces.  All this is sold in the name of freedom and democracy to a public that is already in a state of anxiety and insecurity, lacking in judgement or insight into any other reality but that of their “abuser”.

They don’t realise that NGOs are an integral part of their abuser’s apparatus, operating on the leash of neo-colonialist financing and influence.Then in addition, the Humanitarians are deployed.  The forces for “good”, the vanguard of integrity and ethical intervention.  The power that offers all lost souls a stake-holding in the salvation of sovereign nations that have lost their way and need rescuing.  A balm for a damaged soul, to know they can leave their doubts and fears in such trustworthy hands as HRW, Amnesty International, they can assuage their deep sense of guilt at the suffering being endured by the people of far flung nations because they can depend upon the NGOs to provide absolution with minimal effort on their part.  They don’t realise that NGOs are an integral part of their abuser’s apparatus, operating on the leash of neo-colonialist financing and influence.  NGOs provide the optic through which the abuser will allow the victim to perceive their world and once absorbed into this flawed prism the victim’s own cognitive dissonance will ensure they do not attempt a jail break.

In this state of oppressed consciousness the victim accepts what they are told.  They accept that the US can sell cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia that obliterate human beings and lay waste to essential civilian infrastructure in Yemen.  They accept that the US financially, ideologically & militarily supports the illegal state of Israel and provides the arsenal of experimental weapons that maim and mutilate children and civilians on a scale that is unimaginable.  They accept that a crippling blockade of the already impoverished and starving nation of Yemen is “necessary” to resolve the issues of sectarian divisions that only exist in the minds of their Congressional abusers.

The majority of Americans accept mass murder under the pretext of the right to protect, because their ability to form rational and reasoned opinions has been engineered out of them.  This is now the definition of US exceptionalism.  It is their ability to manipulate the world into accepting their lawlessness and global hegemony agenda.  In seeking to impose its own image upon our world the US has drifted so far from its founding principles, one wonders how they will ever return to them.  They have employed a recognised form of torture to ensure capitulation to their mission of world domination which entails the mental, physical and spiritual torture of target civilian populations.

In conclusion, the US has indeed achieved exceptionalism.  The US has become an exceptional global executioner and persecutor of Humanity.  Imperialism is a euphemism for the depths of abuse the US is inflicting upon the people of this world.

Our only hope is to break the cycle of abuse with empathy for the victim and with appreciation for the years of brainwashing that precedes their agonizing passive-aggressive apathy towards crimes being committed in “their name”.

This was an email I received recently from one courageous young American girl whose epiphany is testament to the resilience and survival instinct of the human spirit.

“My name is Caroline and I am a 22 year old US citizen. I only fairly recently discovered the truth about Empire/NATO’s activities in Syria and Libya and so many other countries (thanks to writers like Andre Vltchek, Cory Morningstar, Forrest Palmer). I am sickened when I remember that I signed some of those Avaaz petitions and I feel horrified at knowing that I have Syrian and Libyan blood on my hands. I want to believe that I’m not “really” guilty because I really thought (as I had been told) that I was not doing something bad at the time, but still, what I did contributed to the suffering of those people and I want to do something to atone in at least some small way, even though I probably can’t “make up” for what I did or erase my crime.

If it’s not too much trouble, could you please tell me what you think I should do, if there is anything?”

She deserves an answer…

 

 

[Vanessa Beeley is a photographer, writer, peace activist and volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. She was recently invited to be on the steering committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement.]

Rainbow Sparkle Ponies

Culture of Imbeciles

February 9, 2016

by Jay Taber

sparkle pony 4

 

When it comes to political con artists like Bill Gates, Bill McKibben and Ricken Patel, two of the obstacles to Ponzi scheme pattern recognition by The Climateers are illiteracy and immaturity. Illiteracy obscures the fact that over-the-rainbow puffery (like the exaggerations exhorted by the financial elite at COP21) is doomed to come crashing to earth–like all pyramid schemes do; immaturity allows the gullible to be hoodwinked into believing that somehow this time it will turn out differently. Inevitably, though, there comes a day of reckoning, and while the illiterate and immature desperately want to believe that rainbow sparkle ponies will be in their Christmas stockings this year — even though they’ve always received a lump of coal in the past — many are prepared to enthusiastically offer themselves as prey to the next fraud that comes along.

 

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[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

Mammon’s Mania

A Culture of Imbeciles

February 9, 2016

by Jay Taber

change paris2

 

In a culture of imbeciles — assaulted by advertising, and fed on fantasies – the pursuit of authentic life, liberty and happiness faces the formidable obstacles of complacency and wishful thinking. As this toxic commercial onslaught on our collective psyches becomes pandemic — and pandemonium ensues — the plague of profit prophets threaten to plunge the planet into a state of total chaos. At that point – and events indicate it isn’t far off — no amount of reason can save us, leaving panic and hysteria to reign.

 

Download: Imbeciles Guide to the Spectacle1
[First published as ‘Part 1: The Concept of the Spectacle’ in Anselm Jappe’s Guy Debord, University of California Press, 1999. This edition published by Treason Press, February 2004]

 

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

Fortuna

Public Good Project

February 9, 2016

by Jay Taber

Profit Prophet Dec 2015 Gates

 

In 1996, Public Good Project uncovered legal papers linking Fortuna Alliance (previously Whole Earth Alliance) to the Constitutionalist movement. The resultant action by the Federal Trade Commission was the largest ever taken involving fraud on the Internet. The white supremacist Christian Patriot pyramid scheme, at the time it was closed down by the feds, was raking it in from gullible New Agers, who thought they were building a “new world economy”.

fortuna logo

By the time Fortuna founder Augustine Delgado finished fleecing his American, Australian and Canadian members for “a good cause” “dedicated to empowering people”, the “visionary” con man was making half a million a day. When the feds lost Delgado’s trail in Antigua, it was estimated he’d made off with between five and ten million dollars.

In 2016, the new “new world economy” (aka “New Economy”) pyramid scheme to pick the pockets of national treasuries worldwide is a bit more sophisticated than the one peddled by Augie Delgado twenty years earlier, which is not surprising given this newer New Age con is being promoted by Bill Gates. Given the scope of the magical Divest-Invest Shell Game that Gates and friends have in mind, ten million isn’t even walking around money.

 

Next System New Economy

 

As with Delgado’s Fortuna scam, Gates’ New Economy scheme has attracted lots of credulous followers, who, when confronted with their fantasies by more sober observers, become infuriated. Now, as then, it isn’t considered polite to “be negative” about what makes other people happy. One difference between Delgado’s plan and that of Gates, however, is that while Delgado was pursued for fraud by the feds, Gates is aided and abetted by the White House.

 

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

 

Pathways to Spectacle | Consumerism as “Activism”

Wrong Kind of Green

February 7, 2016

by Jay Taber

 

“We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.” — Jeremy Heimans, Purpose, 2011

 

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“Tesla’s Model S is powering our US-based Save Our Swirled Tour, aimed at bringing climate action – and free ice cream! – to people’s doors all across the country in partnership with Avaaz.” — Ben & Jerry’s Website, May 27, 2015

 

Consumption As Religion 5

Bottom Illustration: “To Change Everything, We Need Everyone” illustration. Source: Ben & Jerry’s website.

Ben & Jerry’s (Unilever) is in partnership with United Nations, 350.org, Avaaz and BICEP (a coalition of more than 20 leading consumer brand corporations created by divestment campaign partner Ceres). Campaigns include Save Our Swirled campaign and the recent Pathway to Paris campaign. Ben & Jerry’s is also a client of the Avaaz sister organization, Purpose Inc. – the for-profit marketing firm.

 

Pathways to Spectacle

“Purpose also has roots in Avaaz.org a global movement boasting 25 million subscribers worldwide, which Jeremy co-founded. We work with partners with a social mission, ranging from the ACLU to Ben & Jerry’s, to inspire mass participation and build movements for social change.” — Forging Ahead with the Food Revolution, September 26, 2013

Pathway to paris ben & jerrys
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The cult of consumerism, through which 350, Avaaz and Purpose adherents identify with their brand, is similar to religion, in that becoming a follower is an act of faith. By unquestioningly accepting the propaganda as truth, they form beliefs that comprise the doctrine supporting this ideology of false hope.

It is not unlike hierarchical religion, in that it is patronizing of the believers, who desire to remain infantile in their psychological and financial dependencies. Political illiteracy reinforces this relationship.

It is, to say the least, unhealthy.

 

“As the lead developer, you will be joining a startup team of hyper-committed food-interested people evangelizing a better food system through an exceptionally beautiful user experience.” — Purpose job posting for a Lead Developer for “The Food Movement” – a Purpose Start-up/ Incubation

 

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YouTopia

Social engineering in the digital age is amazingly simple for those who have the money and media at their disposal. Wall Street’s Mad Men can easily herd millions of progressives via social media to support catastrophic environmental policy, war, and crimes against humanity. Sold as conservation, “humanitarian intervention”, or development, globalization can then be marketed as a progressive choice, albeit leading to totalitarian corporate control of all life.

The driving force behind privatization through social engineering is the non-profit industrial complex, funded by Wall Street derivatives, and disbursed through tax-exempt foundation grants. Hundreds of millions have been invested by these foundations in the last decade to convince progressives that war is peace, conformity is unity, and capitulation is resistance.

 

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Slogans like “350”, “New Economy”, and “Sustainable Capitalism” are promoted by Mad Men via foundation-funded front groups, and echoed by media, thus generating enough noise to overwhelm critical judgement. Symbols that appeal to progressives’ emotional vulnerabilities, like rising sun logos used to symbolize hope and change, are recycled to mean “This Changes Everything”, thus creating the impression that neoliberal reform is socialist revolution.

 

Coming soon: YouTopia: A Documentary About Social Engineering in the Digital Age

 

Further Reading:

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

 

Values & Virtues

Endurance

February 6, 2016

by Jay Taber

endurance 11b37580-8b6e-469d-b9a5-a828903f47ac

Totem poles in Thunderbird Park of Victoria, Canada on August 05, 2011

 

Native American clans — symbolized by totems (i.e. Eagle, Bear, Wolf, Beaver and Swan) — are representative of universal values (i.e. courage, strength, cunning, industry and beauty), that are distinct from wide-spread virtues (i.e. ethics, honor, integrity, decency and nobility), all of which are institutionalized in American Indian special societies (i.e. gourd, medicine, protector, shaman and warrior).

 

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

 

FARC-EP : The Politically Illiterate

FARC-EP Colombia, Peace Delegation

Libya 360

January 25, 2016

“Spectacle is the sun that never sets over the empire of modern passivity.” — Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle

 

Global hegemony has developed mechanisms to introject and naturalize political illiteracy

 

By Julián Subverso, member of the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP
@Subverso_FARC

 

Despite of multiple civil wars, rebellions and struggles waged from various Colombian social sectors in specific moments of history, a large portion of the population,  primarily in urban sectors, consciously or unconsciously,  practice political illiteracy, which is  reinforced and disseminated by both the national dominant class and global imperialism.

The aversion towards reading, the rejection of curiosity, the desire to know what is happening in the world and ambivalence towards the press, the radio or news reporting on the most important political, social and economic events concerning not only one´s country but also concerning neighboring or distant countries, is a habit rooted in contemporary societies, and it is not by accident.

FARK-EP

“Formed on May 27, 1964, the FARC-EP succeeded the rural self-defense groups originally formed by the Colombian Communist Party (PCC) to protect peasant communities from attacks by liberal and conservative government forces. Since then, the USA has backed military operations against the communist forces and continues to do so today (Brittain, 8). The mainstream media attacks on the FARC-EP are well known.” [Source]

Undoubtedly, Etienne La Boétie was right in his discourse on voluntary servitude, but surely global hegemony has developed various modern mechanisms to introject and naturalize this odious and slavish political illiteracy, that makes the poor favor the rich, the oppressed admire the oppressor, and to believe that banal events in the of life of a celebrity from the cultural industrial complex, is more important than the decisions and political events that directly affect their present lives, their future and thus define their historical path.

In Colombia, after the so-called times of “La Violencia” (the violence, TN), the proportion of people living in the countryside and the cities reversed. Today, cities are home to 70% of the population, while countryside houses the other 30%, which like every step taken by the oppressors has a specific purpose that will not be addressed here. Despite that a large majority of that 70% has experienced terrible suffering from poverty, instability, anxiety, hunger and precariousness, they maintain their practice of political indifference towards the very same society whose torment they continue to endure.

Phrases like: “I’m not really interested in politics”, “it is boring”, “ … just don’t get it”, “I care only about my family”, “to each his own”, “every one thinks differently”, “same old, same old”, “I am not a politic person”, “there is no end to this”, “the world will change when it changes… no one changes the world”, etc. are common sentences, deeply entrenched in Colombian society and lead to a religious conformism that frustrates and infects us.

This system of entrenched political illiteracy is not gratuitous;  it was elaborately  executed for many years under an alienating disinformation policy of providing amusement and spectacle to distract and numb critical thought.  The mass media and entertainment industry that were mere propaganda outlets at the service of particular interests, built alternate realities, enemies, idols, villains, all backed by an army of intellectual mercenaries sold to the highest bidder, and by an educational system that presents content that is increasingly distant from criticism, humanism, and social justice, all to render people passive amidst the ruthless land of predatory capitalism, private profit and the uncritical, unquestioning acceptance of the social order, creating the political illiterate.

It is necessary, in order to emancipate our society and achieve well-being and social justice for all Colombians, that we build an education alternative to that created under imperialist operations such as “operación Cacique”, an education that forms human beings, that builds a culture based on permanent criticism not only of society, its decisions and paths, but also critical of our own actions, reconciling and evaluating what is thought and what is done apart from mere formalisms that builds power from its base, a society where the fool is not who reads and actively participates in politics or who wants to enter into discussions regarding social issues, because it is objectively true that fool is the one who doesn’t.

I’m not sure if appealing to an education in the style of the Platonic Paideia, or maybe installing an educational ” dictatorship ” as Marcuse wrote it, or perhaps a pedagogy of the oppressed as Freire taught, or even better, nurturing our selves of all the positive contributions of the great thinkers and successful experiences, thus building our own road, a road in a Colombian way.

What if it is true and necessary in the first instance is to wake up from the slumber  of indifference that global and local power holders made us fall into, awakening to empower ourselves,  our transformative power enhanced and taken to its revolutionary realization.

2016 must be the year of large mobilizations for people, the year of vindications, the beginning of the construction of a truly stable and lasting peace, the year of the constitutional assembly, of political participation of all the sectors of society that have been historically excluded from the public limelight of national events, it must be the year for all those who never thought that peace, sovereignty and social justice for all was possible, to take in their hands, not only their destiny, but together, the destiny of Colombia.

This coming year should be the beginning of the New Colombia, bringing to reality the longing and dreams of millions of forever oppressed and forgotten Colombians, the year of awareness, leaving behind the political illiterate, the guilty incapacity, and building the new Colombia for the power of the people, of individuals with identity who are politically active, because as we have always held, there is no transformation without people.

 


 

La analfabetopolítica

por Julián Subverso, integrante de la delegación de paz de las FARC-EP

A pesar de los múltiples hechos de guerras civiles, rebeliones y lucha de ciertos sectores colombianos en determinados momentos de la historia del país, grandes cantidades de la población, sobre todo en el sector urbano, han practicado consciente o inconscientemente un analfabetismo político alentado y difundido por la clase dominante del país y el imperialismo mundial.

La aversión al leer, el rechazo a enterarse de lo que acontece en el mundo, a la prensa, escuchar la radio o ver noticias que informen sobre los acontecimientos políticos, sociales y económicos más importantes no solo del país que se habita, sino aún más de otros países por más cercanos o lejanos que estén, es un habito que se ha arraigado no de manera casual en las sociedades contemporáneas.

Sin duda Etienne La boétie tenía razón en su discurso sobre la servidumbre voluntaria, pero de seguro la hegemonía mundial ha desarrollado diversos mecanismos modernos para introyectar y naturalizar ese odioso y esclavizante analfabetismo político, que hace que pobres elijan ricos, que oprimidos admiren a los que siempre los han oprimido y que piensen que los banales acontecimientos de la vida de cualquier “estrella” de música, de cine o de cualquier índole de la industria cultural, sea más importante que las decisiones y acontecimientos políticos que afectan directamente su presente, su futuro y el devenir de su historia.

En Colombia después de la llamada época de la violencia, la proporción de personas en el campo y las ciudades fue a la inversa, hoy, las ciudades albergan el 70% de la población, mientras que el campo un 30%, y como todo paso dado por los opresores, tiene una finalidad que aquí no abordaremos; y de ese 70% habitante en las ciudades, una gran mayoría, a pesar de sufrir en carne propia la miseria, la inestabilidad, la zozobra, la incertidumbre, el hambre y la precariedad, viven y practican la indiferencia política en la sociedad que padecen.

Frases como: “no me interesa la política”, “eso es muy aburridor”, “yo no entiendo nada de eso”, “solo me preocupo por mi familia”, “cada loco con su tema”, “todo el mundo piensa diferente”, “eso es lo mismo de siempre”, “yo no soy político”, “el mundo no lo cambia nadie”, “el mundo cambia solo cuanto tenga que cambiar”, etc. son frases que se han arraigado dentro de la sociedad colombiana y que han llevado a un conformismo religioso que frustra y contagia.

Este sistema de analfabetopolítica arraigada no es gratuito, fue elaborado y puesto en ejecución desde hace muchos años bajo la desinformación alienante de diversiones y espectáculos construidos con el fin de distraer y adormecer, de igual manera a través de periódicos, radio, televisión, programas, hoy aglomerados masiva y sistemáticamente bajo los mass media que, funcionando como empresas de publicidad al servicio de intereses particulares, crean realidades, enemigos, ídolos y villanos, sustentado todo esto en un ejercito de intelectuales mercenarios que trabajan al mejor postor y una educación directa e indirecta con modelos y contenidos que se alejan cada vez más de lo crítico, del humanismo y lo social, para instalarse en los despiadados terrenos de la razón instrumental del capitalismo, del lucro privado y la aceptación acrítica del orden social, creando el analfabeto político.

Es necesario, con el fin de emancipar nuestra sociedad y alcanzar el bienestar y la justicia social para todos los colombianos, que construyamos una educación diferente a la creada bajo operaciones imperialistas como la Cacique, una educación que forme seres humanos, no que los adiestre, que construya una cultura basada en la critica permanente no solo de nuestra sociedad, sus decisiones y devenires, sino además crítica con nuestras propias actuaciones, que reconcilie y evalué lo que se piensa con lo que se hace, que salga de los formalismos, que construya poder desde sus bases, una sociedad donde el tonto no sea quien lea o se interese por participar activamente de la política o que quiera entablar conversaciones respecto del acontecer social, pues es objetivamente cierto que el tonto es quien no lo hace.

No sé si apelando a una formación al estilo de la Paideía platónica, no sé si instaurando una “dictadura” educacional como lo escribía Marcuse, o quizás una pedagogía del oprimido como enseña Freire, o mejor, nutriéndonos de todos los aportes positivos de los grandes pensadores y experiencias exitosas, construyendo así nuestro propio camino, un camino a la colombiana.

Lo que si es cierto y necesario hacer en primera instancia, es despertarnos del letargo de indiferencia en el que nos han hecho caer los detentores del poder mundial y local, de espabilarnos, de empoderarnos de nuestra fuerza transformadora hoy potenciada y llevarla a su concreción revolucionaria.

Este año 2016, debe ser el de grandes movilizaciones para pueblo, el de las reivindicaciones, el del inicio de la construcción de una verdadera paz estable y duradera, el año de la constituyente, el año de la participación política de todos los sectores de la sociedad históricamente excluidos del protagonismo del acontecer nacional, debe ser el año en que todos aquellos que nunca pensaron en que la paz, la soberanía y la justicia social para todos era posible, tomen en sus manos, no solo su destino, sino todos juntos, el destino de Colombia.

Este año que comienza debe ser el del inicio de la nueva Colombia, el que traiga a la realidad el anhelo y los sueños de millones de colombianos siempre oprimidos y olvidados, el año de la toma de conciencia, de dejar atrás al analfabeto político, la incapacidad culpable y construir la Colombia nueva de poder popular, de individuos con identidad y políticamente activos, pues como siempre lo hemos sostenido, sin pueblo, no hay transformación.

 

FARC-EP : Mobilization, not Demobilization

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Wrong Kind of Green

February 4, 2016

By Jay Taber

 

Mayan Religion

Maya culture: mural, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

 

While (at age 63) I am now a deist, I was raised Lutheran, until (in my adolescence) I began my quest for freedom from institutionalized religion–seeking a more personally meaningful spiritual identity. As a child living next door to a Yakama Indian family, I was vaguely aware of other points of view regarding the Holy Spirit, but in the dominant Euro-American culture — prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up — cross-cultural sacred interaction was unusual.

In the 1970s, thanks in part to the hippie movement – which rejected consumerism, racism, sexism, institutionalized religion, and militarism – my perspective on holiness slowly began to change. While I did not attempt to emulate any Native American religions, I became increasingly aware of their authenticity, and began to incorporate some of their philosophical values into my life.

Salish

An armada of paddlers from Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations journey between their territories in opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, on September 2, 2012. Photo by Zack Embree.

After departing Yakima Valley Community College and arriving at Western Washington University, I encountered Coast Salish Nation–an extended kinship society of tribes surrounding the Salish Sea. After university, I worked in the coastal fisheries of Alaska and Washington as a cannery vessel captain, where I got to know Lummi, Nooksack, Samish, Swinomish, Tlingit and Tsimshian fishermen.

In the 1990s, through my human rights work, I became acquainted with American Indian scholars at the Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) in Olympia, Washington. One of the elders at CWIS, Russell Jim, is the director of environmental cleanup for Yakama Nation, focused on remediation of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where one of the bombs that annihilated Japan in World War II was made. I had grown up across the Columbia River from Hanford – which, until Chernobyl, was the most contaminated site on earth – and knew this was a job that few would be willing to commit their lives to.

Mkayla Tahkeal, a member of the Yakama Tribe, pilots her family's boat while fishing for salmon on the Columbia River on a blustery morning in early September, 2015. Her cousins BJ Whitefoot and Alec Yallup were aboard as well.

Mkayla Tahkeal, a member of the Yakama Tribe, pilots her family’s boat while fishing for salmon on the Columbia River on a blustery morning in early September, 2015. Her cousins BJ Whitefoot and Alec Yallup were aboard as well.

In a 2001 videotaped talk – Nuclear Attack on the Yakama Culture – that Russell delivered at the University of Washington, he recounted his childhood, during which his aunt rescued him from a Lutheran-run Indian boarding school, in order to raise him in the Yakama Longhouse tradition–even if she had to take him to live on Mt. Adams, which borders the vast Yakama Indian Reservation. In the video, he sings a short excerpt from a Lutheran service, that begins with the words, “Holy, Holy, Holy”.

When I joined a human rights speakers bureau in 1996, I encountered a Lummi Nation elder, who said that emotional bonding between people of different faiths and Native Americans is fine, but that people with good hearts need to prioritize intelligence over emotion. Otherwise, the pitfalls of reconciliation and atonement can lead to unintended consequences, some of them harmful.

Boarding_School_visual

“The first American Indian Boarding School was established in 1860 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. By 1879 using a model curriculum implemented by retired Army Colonel Richard Henry Pratt, the schools became “militarized”.  By 1879 these school had enrollments of 12,000 students, by 1973 enrollment of 60,000 students… Children were forbidden to speak their native languages, forced to shed familiar clothing for uniforms, cut their hair and subjected to harsh discipline for the least infraction of the rules. The daily activities for the children were strictly regimented to keep the children continuously occupied with vocational level education and training, work activities, Christian teachings, maintaining the school and its farms, and removing any vestiges of their former lives to the point that these children no longer spoke their native language.” [Source]

Reconciliation — currently in vogue with progressive churches and synagogues – is a risky, sometimes dangerous process. Little understood by kind-hearted people of faith, it can be a form of torture for those who experienced (and live with) the intergenerational trauma of institutionalized genocide. As Susie Linfield remarked in her essay Living with the Enemy, “What becomes clear is that forgiveness and reconciliation are of far less interest to the victims than they are to perpetrators”.

totem_journey- lummie -keeler

September 2015: Children pose on the 3,000-pound totem pole as it makes its way from Washington State to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation on a journey protesting coal mines and rail terminals. Photo:  Jacqueline Keeler

In response to the Totem Pole Journey – a sacred act of diplomacy by Lummi Nation in 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Association held a national conference of support in Portland, Oregon. This holy Public Witness, however, has not been accompanied by any ‘right action’ from the Earth Ministry interfaith alliance in Seattle, of which they are a participating religious body.

To date, none of the progressive churches in the Pacific Northwest has confronted the “portentous movements intent on promoting interracial discord and a growing politics of fear” targeting the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. None of these institutionalized religions have opposed the ongoing, anti-Indian, hate radio programs, or any other forms of mainstream media racism.

2013_RH_ Lummi _totem

A ceremony held at Cherry Point, a part of the Lummi anti-coal totem pole journey. 09/30/2013 Photo: Ryan Hasert

If people of faith want to help defeat White Power on the Salish Sea, they need to call out the promoters of this interracial discord. Otherwise, they become yet another instance of white people assuaging their guilt over the institutionalized mistreatment of Native Americans by indulging in the consumption of Indian acts of spiritual generosity, without committing themselves to acts of reciprocity.

As Lummi elder Jewell Praying Wolf James remarked at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Portland, “Talk’s good, but action’s better”.

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

 

Oscar Spoiler: The Return of ‘Syria Danny’, as Actor Danny Dayem turns up in latest Rami Jarah fictional short ?

The Wind will Fall

February 4, 2016

by Vanessa Beeley

 

Danny now2

Has Danny Abdul Dayem been resurrected? 

In Rami Jarrah’s recent Ana Press academy award winner, “ISIS wherefore art thou ISIS” [Edited title] we saw a surprise guest appearance, either from Danny Abdul Dayem’s doppelganger or Danny himself has been brought out of retirement by Soros backed ANA Press.

In this artful and seductive portrayal of Aleppo, threatened exclusively by ISIS, the demonic Russians and uber demonic SAA, we see Danny II speaking in his inimitable lisping, mumbling style “No we are against DAESH” [my edit] but we love the good villains like Al Nusra, even when they shoot a few civilians in the head, its not a problem the White Helmets will pick up the body parts.

Part II – Syria’s White Helmets: War By Way of Deception ~ ‘Moderate Executioners’

Rami Jarrah, the ultimate smooth operator has honed his propaganda skills since the early days when he and Danny romped their way through their pre-prepared scripts with far less aplomb.  Avaaz or associated government agencies must have invested extensively in Jarrah’s stage skills, or perhaps packed him off to the Purpose Institute of Dramatic Arts for some advanced “integrity” coaching.

In this particular fiction short, he thrusts the microphone under the noses of the alleged “residents” of Aleppo, one could be excused for thinking its the usual array of Al Nusra occupiers spruced up for camera and reciting the lines given to them, as they all verbatim assure us that they do not support ISIS.  One does notice, however that they do not state who it is they support, clever omission from Director, Rami Jarrah.

There are many dastardly sleights of hand in this film.

Danny now2

 

One minor one is that Danny II ears are well hidden by his new “look”, a primary biometric identifying process prevented.

 

Rami camera

Hollywood at work.  Rami Jarrah “intrepid reporter”

 

Director, Rami Jarrah displays a mastery of the dark art of propaganda.  He carefully insinuates that Russia is bombing Aleppo, but then qualifies by stating “Russia sending war planes, overhead to this AREA“, which is not tantamount to bombing. He gives no specifics, shows no planes, offers no proof which is normal practice for these Manhattan trained and produced manipulators of opinion. He asks loaded questions that demand a simple and one- way- street reply.  He fails, yet again, to even mention the maiming and mutilation of civilians by the Al Nusra “moderate rebel” Hell Cannon.

This is not journalism, this is not objective research, this is not investigative analysis, this is propaganda at its most insidious.

This is pure cinema to sell tickets to the brainwashed and increase box office ratings for the US, NATO, Gulf States and of course Hollywood moguls, Israel.

Jarrah and Danny go way back.  They were both part of the 2011 agitprop shop established by Avaaz with public money to the tune of over $ 1.2 million, its purpose to produce waves of anti Syrian Government propaganda and facilitate “regime change”.  Jarrah, Dayem and Wisam Tarif were the rainbow boys of the Syrian colour revolution.

While Danny was being caught out fabricating the bombing and shelling stories for CNN, Jarrah was a little more cunning.  However, his 2011/12 reports are still full of holes and inaccuracies.  Under his then pseudonym of Alexander Page, Jarrah announces on the BBC that the Syrian Navy is shelling Latakia, a story later deconstructed and utterly discredited by inhabitants and analysts inside Latakia.  See Sharmine Narwani’s report, suitably entitled “Hollywood in Homs & Idlib

“It reminds me of August 2011 news reports of warships shelling the coastal city of Latakia. Three separate sources – two opposition figures from the city and an independent western journalist – later insisted there were no signs of shelling. It was also the first time I learned from Syrians that you can burn rubber tires on rooftops to simulate the after-effects of exploded shells.” ~ Sharmine Narwani

When we look at Danny and Jarrah’s  timelines from 2011, the inception of the long incubated war on Syria, we see that they run parallel.  Both grew up and were educated in the UK.  Once in Syria, Danny was based in Homs and his rambling, excitable reports were the mainstay of the Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN anti Assad incitement. Rami Jarrah was based in and around Damascus, where he also churned out breathlessly emotive & well scripted renditions of the “burgeoning revolution” theme tune.

They both fled Syria to Cairo around September 2011.  Danny states in a few interviews that he worked in “an activists operations room” in Cairo.  Jarrah gave birth to another Soros test tube baby,  ANA Press, in Cairo.  Coincidence or synergy?

So, as Danny’s media star-is-born rise to fame, meteorically crashed, Jarrah’s notoriety rose to prominence in the propaganda celebrity A list.

In January 2016, Jarrah even attained the dizzying heights of selfie taking with Erdogan at a conference in Istanbul to discuss the issues faced by Journalists aka Empire agents, actors and movie directors in Syria & how Erdogan should resolve them. Very convenient for Erdogan who has been deflecting bad press for months now, resorting to prosecution and imprisonment for those in Turkish media,  who are highlighting his instrumental involvement in the war on Syria.

 

Erdogan, oligarch, chief facilitator of terrorism in Syria, oil baron, arms & chemical weapons supplier, Aleppo factory bandit [1441 dismantled and stolen from Aleppo by Turkey],  is working with Rami Jarrah on overcoming obstacles to the propaganda stream.  Ana Press is now based in Southern Turkey and operates with the approval and protection of the Turkish government, a monumental indictment of Rami Jarrah’s claims of neutrality and impartiality, or even Journalism.

Please also note, that in the “selfie”, Erdogan is seeing sporting the 3 star “revolution” badge.  One wonders when NATO members and country leaders became such cartoon statesmen, displaying unbelievable moral deficit and blatant partisanship.  Perhaps Sergey Lavrov should be seen in Geneva, with Assad hats and lapel pins?

Perhaps not, because Lavrov takes his position as world representative of his nation and his nations interests very seriously.  Lavrov would not stoop to such infantile displays of Russia’s allegiances if his life depended upon it because Russia and the world depends upon his diplomatic integrity and moral fortitude, not to mention gravitas. An element of statesmanship that seems to be missing from Erdogan’s repertoire.

Dag Hammarskjold,  a statesman of honour who challenged the US and UK imperialist agenda at every turn and who was very probably assassinated for his principles, once said:

“You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a plot for weeds”

Never has there been a time when this proclamation can be so universally applied.  Syria, it appears has drawn every dreg of humanity out into the open. Erdogan has done more than reserve a plot for “weeds”, he has sown them, watered them, nurtured them and harvested them multiple times.

Jarrah, it appears, has been cultivated in the Empire agents of “change” greenhouse and like all genetically modified “plants” is bearing copious, shiny, juicy fruit with very little substance or nutritional value, beautifully packaged, utterly tasteless and rotten to the core.

If this is Danny in Jarrah’s Al Nusra promo video, a once discontinued strain of weed has returned to our screens courtesy of Soros and Ana Press. A failed state actor, a discredited fifth columnist perhaps being given a swansong walk- on- part,  in recognition of services once rendered to Empire studios?

The Empire film industry is a fickle one, today’s stars are tomorrow’s has-beens.  The red-carpet divas like, Jarrah, now in ascendancy, will outlive their purpose and be discarded like hundreds if not thousands before them.  Its a lonely life as a down and out ex state- actor, there is no refuge from the consequences of your cynical deception and no protection will be forthcoming from the movie moguls and their henchman once the stage door has been locked and bolted behind you.

“Somebody placed the shuttle in your hand: somebody who had already arranged the threads.” ~ Dag Hammarskjold

Syria is unravelling the threads…

END.

As a little comic relief, we have created our own Truth Academy movie of the “Return of Syrian Danny?”

 

Malcolm X

The DeKlein of Logic. The Art of Conflation

The Art of Annihilation

The following is an excerpt from Part thirteen of the Divestment Investigative Report Series [Further Reading]: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart XPart XIPart XIIPart XIII

Khrizantemy-Chrysanthemums-Yevgeni-Bauer-Vera-Karalli-(10)-Vera-flower-drop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chrysanthemums (translit. Khrizantemy; 1914): a “conflation of art, performance, and death”  [Source]  

 

With the 350.org divestment movement and Klein at the helm, in addition to its in partnership The Guardian (who has also partnered with Klein personally outside of 350.org) and endorsement from the UN, 350.org et al have a position in the media to create mobilizations on cue, simply by calling out on its army of divestment students, now global in scope. On the This Changes Everything website it should be noted that within Klein’s bio, 350.org continues to be referred to as a global grassroots movement. Disregarding the fact that 1Sky (which merged with 350 in 2011) was an incubator project of the Rockefeller Foundation; it is still an NGO whose annual incomes exceeds millions; and rewards staff with six-figure salaries. Due to its now global size (not to mention its oligarchic origins), 350.org is very far removed from the true concept of grass roots. The word disingenuous, in regard to this claim, is an immense understatement.

+++

conflation
verb from ‘conflate’
occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places,
sharing some characteristics of one another, seem to be a single identity
— the differences appear to become lost.

bono clinton 2007

2007: “Former President Bill Clinton and musician Bono appear on stage during ‘Giving – Live At The Apollo’ presented by the MTV and Clinton Global Initiative at the Apollo Theater on September 29, 2007 in New York City.”

bono clinton 2

2008: “U2 singer Bono speaks with Al Gore during the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) on Sep. 24, 2008, in New York City. Gore attended the fourth annual meeting of the CGI, a gathering of politicians celebrities, philanthropists and business leaders to discuss pressing global issues.” (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

In the October 12, 2007, CNN article The Bono-ization of Activism, Klein (rightly) criticizes the “Bono-ization” of the protest movement:

“…the new style of anti-poverty campaigning, where celebrities talk directly with government and business leaders on behalf of a continent (such as Africa) is another form of “noblesse oblige” where the rich and powerful club together to ‘give something back.’ “They are saying we don’t even need government anymore, it’s the replacement of nation states with corporate rule — this Billionaires Club, including Bill Clinton that gets together to give a little something back.”

And yet, eight years later, Klein has fully immersed herself in this same (yet even more powerful) “Billionaires Club”, having replaced nation states with corporate rule. If anyone could be characterized as embracing “another form of ‘noblesse oblige’” it is Klein, the 350.org NGO she serves, and the climate cartel they run with—inclusive of Wall Street.

In 2007, Bill McKibben launched the national ‘Step It Up’ campaign (Clinton Global Initiative Commitment 2007) targeting members of the U.S. congress to be ‘real leaders’ on climate change. Presidential candidates including Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton attended Step It Up events and issued statements of support for 1Sky’s goals. Step it Up then morphed into 1Sky. 1Sky was an incubator project of the Foundation at its inception. [Further reading: Rockefellers’ 1Sky Unveils the New 350.org | More $ – More Delusion] At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, then President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign. [Video, September 29, 2007: 1Sky at Clinton Global Initiative published by Step It Up][Clinton Foundation Press Release, Sept 27, 2007: “Working with partners 1Sky will raise $50 million to advocate for a simple set of goals and policy proposals to improve the federal government’s policies on climate change.”]

Four years (2011) after voicing very strong criticisms of the anti-poverty campaign’s engagement with Bill Clinton, a campaign that coincided with the 2007 Step It Up and 1Sky alliances with the Clinton Foundation, Klein would choose to serve on the 350.org board of directors as it officially merged with 1Sky.”

Klein: “What’s complicated about the space that Bono and Geldof (Bob Geldof, founder of Live Aid) are occupying is that it’s inside and outside at the same time — there’s no difference. What’s significant about the Seattle movement (the WTO protests in 1999 and 2000) is that it’s less the tactics but the fact that it identifies that there are real power differences, winners and losers in this economic model.”

In similar fashion, the space that 350.org and the NPIC “are occupying is that it’s inside and outside at the same time – they are part and parcel of the same elite power structures Klein criticizes. There’s no difference.” Like Bono’s Live Aid that Klein condemned, the divestment campaign, that Klein actively promotes, deliberately avoids the fact that “there are real power differences, winners and losers in this economic model.” (i.e. the divestment model)

“Klein believes when celebrities such as Bono engage in talks with world leaders at forums such as Davos they are legitimizing the structures in place, and the inequalities that arise from these structures, rather than promoting any radical change; “The story of globalization is the story of inequality. What’s been lost in the Bono-ization is ability to change these power structures. There are still the winners and losers, people who are locked in to the power structures and those locked out.” [The Bono-ization of Activism]

The official Road to Paris website cites Klein is one of the top twenty influential women in respect to this year’s “Road to Paris, United Nations, Conference of the Parties” (with McKibben being cited as one of the top influential men). Like Bono lending legitimacy to Davos, Klein’s and McKibben’s luminary (and manufactured) status is being fully utilized in the same fashion: legitimizing the structures in place, and the inequalities that arise from these structures. While Klein spoke to Bono’s legitimizing of globalization and inequality, 350’s partnership with the United Nations is stealth marketing that serves to whitewash the United Nations pivotal role as part of the finance/credit cartel subverting state sovereignty and undermining Indigenous autonomy. [Absence of the Sacred]

Failure to publicly expose and condemn the third pillar of the new economy, that of the commodification of nature via implementation of ecosystem services accounting, not only legitimizes the current power structures in place, but expands and insulates them beyond reproach. The inequalities that arise from this one single, and most critical, false solution (of many) not only legitimizes inequalities, it guarantees the finish line for the ongoing genocide of the world’s Indigenous peoples—nothing less than total annihilation. The NPIC, as the third pillar of contemporary imperialism, [3] which Klein has submerged herself in, ensures current power structures are not only kept intact, but strengthened and insulated.

Of course, this is not the first time 350.org has taken to subverting state sovereignty and undermined Indigenous autonomy.

“Bono’s Red initiative is emblematic of this new Pro-Logo age. He announced a new branded product range at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland last year called Product Red. American Express, Converse, Armani and Gap were initial partners, joined later by Apple and Motorola. The corporations sell Red branded products, with a percentage of profits going to Bono approved causes. In this Pro-Logo world there is an irony of consuming to end poverty. Perhaps an even bigger irony: through initiatives like the Red card, consumer culture and branding is buying a stake in anti-globalization and alleviating poverty movement.”

The global divestment campaign (as was the Stop the KeystoneXL! campaign) is emblematic of the increasingly sophisticated, 21st century Pro-Logo age. Today, Bono’s 2008 branded product range promoting his ‘Product Red’, has been replaced in the public realm, with the divestment campaign’s ‘Fossil Fuel Free’ Funds and portfolios (while in the background, hedge funds and private investments comprise the portfolios of the ultra wealthy). Responsible Endowments Coalition, Energy Action Coalition, Sierra Student Coalition, As You Sow, Better Future Project, Better Future Project (financed by Wallace Global Fund) and Ceres were initial partners, joined later by the Guardian and the United Nations. In this “capitalism vs the climate” world, there is a strengthening/expanding of capital markets to counteract capitalism. Perhaps an even bigger irony: through initiatives like the global divestment campaign, investment (which furthers consumption/consumer culture) and branding is buying a stake in the anti-capitalist and environmental movements.

“What they’ve tapped into is a market niche. There’s nothing that’s inherently wrong with these initiatives except when they make radical claims that it’s going to end poverty. There’s a long history of radical consumption — what’s pretty unbelievable about this (the Red Label) is that they say it’s revolutionary and it’s going to replace other forms of politics.” [The Bono-ization of Activism]

What the divestment campaign has tapped into is a market niche. While the future will bear witness that there is /was everything inherently wrong with the divestment (dis)course, the framing that the campaign is in service to the fight against climate change, is more than insulting. Remix: There’s a long history of “radical” consumption — what’s pretty unbelievable about this current version (the divestment campaign) is that they say it’s revolutionary and it’s going to replace other forms of politics.

In the 2007 article, Klein argued that Bono’s supporters believed he was being constructive because his camp was engaging with power, which she disagreed with. Yet eight years later Klein has aligned herself with some of the most powerful oligarchs and institutions in the world.

Toward the end of the 2007 article, the author quotes an unidentified activist who stated charity concerts were a way to recorporate the issue. The parallels are striking, for who could disagree that the divestment campaign does perform the exact same function— “a way to recorporate the issue”?

In a single quote that serves to be most prophetic, the unidentified activist added: “It changes nothing.”

manray3

Kiki de Montparnasse, Man Ray (Radnitzky, Emmanuel)

Klein’s partnership with the Guardian newspaper, her placating of 350.org’s foundation funding, her chosen decision to remain silent on warmonger NGOs such as 350.org’s strategic partner Avaaz (in large part responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands in Libya [4], which they seek to be repeated in Syria), her silence on the NPIC undermining of vulnerable states at COP15 (with Greenpeace, 350 and Avaaz being the first signatories of TckTckTck), her acceptance of 350’s undermining of a sovereign state and the world’s Indigenous peoples, her scant, almost non-existent references to the military-industrial complex in relation to its massive (and exempted) contribution to both climate change and ecological devastation (case in point, consider The US Air Force (USAF) is the single largest consumer of jet fuel in the world. The avoidance of this subject is even more unconscionable considering US President Barack Obama is one of the most (if not the most) militarily aggressive US presidents in history, authorizing various airstrikes and military operations in at least seven Muslim countries ); her silence on industrialized factory framing (livestock stats), and her failure to disclose the relation between 350’s KXL campaign and Buffett’s 21st century oil by rail dynasty, etc. — all demonstrate Klein’s own “noblesse oblige”.

Klein’s most glaring “noblesse oblige” is the exclusion of ecosystem services accounting in her international best seller, This Changes Everything. The promotional description reads: “The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism.” The solution is delivered in the next line: “The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed system and build something radically better.” The elites are indeed seizing this existential crisis to transform our failed system—it’s the financialization of the Earth’s commons referred to as “valuing ecosystem services”.

Consider that in a 505 page book written on climate and capitalism not a single chapter, or even a single page explores the most pathological intent of the 21st century. One is tempted to conclude that investigative journalist Klein has simply over-looked another critical issue pertaining to the climate. Or perhaps Klein simply has no knowledge of this scheme. However, the word financialization does garner one vital mention—buried in the acknowledgements: “Two years ago, Rajiv and I were joined by Alexandra Tempus, another exceptional and diligent journalist and researcher. Alexandra quickly mastered her own roster of topics, from post–Superstorm Sandy disaster capitalism to financialization of nature to the opaque world of green group and foundation funding to climate impacts on fertility. She developed important new contacts, uncovered new and shocking facts, and always shared her thoughtful analysis.” (The single reference to ecosystems services within the book is found within one sentence on p 34: “Nor have the various attempts to soft-pedal climate action as compatible with market logic (carbon trading, carbon offsets, monetizing nature’s “services”) fooled these true believers one bit.”)

Further consider that in an Earth Island Institute “Conversation” with Naomi Klein (Fall, 2013) Klein is asked a direct question on monetizing ecosystem services. Interviewer to Klein: “It’s interesting because even as some of the Big Green groups have gotten enamored of the ideas of ecosystem services and natural capital, there’s this counter-narrative coming from the Global South and Indigenous communities. It’s almost like a dialectic.” Klein’s response is not only incoherent, she evades the question altogether:

Klein:

“That’s the counternarrative, and those are the alternative worldviews that are emerging at this moment. The other thing that is happening … I don’t know what to call it. It’s maybe a reformation movement, a grassroots rebellion. There’s something going on in the [environmental] movement in the US and Canada, and I think certainly in the UK. What I call the “astronaut’s eye worldview” – which has governed the Big Green environmental movement for so long – and by that I mean just looking down at Earth from above. I think it’s sort of time to let go of the icon of the globe, because it places us above it and I think it has allowed us to see nature in this really abstracted way and sort of move pieces, like pieces on a chessboard, and really loose touch with the Earth. You know, it’s like the planet instead of the Earth.

 

And I think where that really came to a head was over fracking. The head offices of the Sierra Club and the NRDC and the EDF all decided this was a “bridge fuel.” We’ve done the math and we’re going to come out in favor of this thing. And then they faced big pushbacks from their membership, most of all at the Sierra Club. And they all had to modify their position somewhat. It was the grassroots going, “Wait a minute, what kind of environmentalism is it that isn’t concerned about water, that isn’t concerned about industrialization of rural landscapes – what has environmentalism become?” And so we see this grassroots, place-based resistance in the movements against the Keystone XL pipeline and the Northern Gateway pipeline, the huge anti-fracking movement. And they are the ones winning victories, right?

 

I think the Big Green groups are becoming deeply irrelevant. Some get a lot of money from corporations and rich donors and foundations, but their whole model is in crisis.”

Noblesse oblige indeed.

Klein’s contributions have not threatened capitalism; rather her efforts are utilized to not only protect it, but strengthen it.

Perhaps the icing on the cake that is the Rockefeller and Clinton 350.org/1Sky project, is as follows: Participation in the Clinton Global Initiative is by invitation only. The membership fee is $20,000 ($19,000 tax deductible) per year. 2014 annual meeting sponsors include HSBC, Barclays, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Ford Foundation, Monsanto, Proctor and Gamble, The Rockefeller Foundation, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Dow, Exxon Mobil, and others. Clinton Global Initiative University includes McKibben’s Middlebury College within its network (“These 70 schools have pledged more than $800,000 to support CGI U 2015 student commitment-makers.”) Thus, it is of little surprise to find that in December of 2014, Global CEO cites both McKibben and Klein as those within the top ten list of  “inspirational CSR leaders”  as voted by their readers.

Identified in the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative membership along with princes, baronesses, heads of states, and CEOs are none other than:

  • Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, (In 2013, Morgan Stanley created the Institute for Sustainable Investing Lubber serves on the Institute’s Advisory Board, which is chaired by Morgan Stanley’s Chairman and CEO James Gorman) (Stern Citi Leadership & Ethics Distinguished Fellow)
  • Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation (Chair/president of Greenpeace and TckTckTck a.k.a. GCCA, International Advisory Council for 350.org and SumofUs)
  • Billy Parish Coordinator, Co-Founder, Energy Action Coalition, (1Sky Board of Directors)
  • Betsy Taylor, Chair 1Sky Campaign (Ceres Board of Directors, Greenpeace Board of Directors President of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions,SumofUs Advisory Board)
  • Lynne Twist, Trustee The John E. Fetzer Institute (Pachamama Alliance founder)
  • Timothy Wirth President United Nations Foundation (Next System Initial Signatory)

 

 

“Who will be the Bill Gates of ecosystem services?” Read the full article: The Increasing Vogue for Capitalist-Friendly Climate Discourse

 

[3] “Accordingly, a nonprofit-corporate complex (based in international non-governmental organizations, NGOs) dominating an array of social services, many of which were performed by the state in the past, emerged as the third pillar of the triangular structure of contemporary imperialism during the 1980s. It represents a kind of “Third Way” on the part of capital that privatizes state functions and occupies key strategic points within civil society (co-opting social movements) while seemingly outside the realm of private capital—thereby enabling an acceleration of privatization and reinforcing the hegemony of monopoly-finance capital globally.” [Source]

[4] 500,000 dead, 30,000 in terrorist-run prisons, 2.5 million exiled, tens of thousands of refugees.

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Counterpunch, Political Context, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can follow her on twitter @elleprovocateur]