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Tagged ‘Discourse‘

Usefully Dumb and Usefully Dumber: Naomi Klein and Glenn Greenwald

The Rancid Honeytrap

October 23, 2016

By Tarzie

 

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I can’t think of anyone more qualified to hold forth on the Proper Way to Oppose The Ruling Class than wealthy clerks who work for oligarchs. So we who agonize over how to end capitalism while respecting the privacy rights of people who topple governments and spread fascism should be very grateful that ruling class fascism enablers George Soros and Pierre Omidyar kindly put their respective administrative assistants, Naomi Klein and Glenn Greenwald, at liberty to commingle their brands on whether or not disclosure of John Podesta’s emails is a step too far. Spoiler alert: The answer from both is yes.

What is power, wonders Klein. Who gets to decide when it trumps privacy? Am I powerful? Are you? Isn’t the Podesta hack the kind of thing Snowden was protecting us from? I am reminded of the right-wing harassment of climate change activists. Assange seems personally and politically motivated. He doesn’t care how the stakes for this election are so very high. I know a war resister who’s living in a church in Vancouver. He wants a pardon. He’s not aiming to destroy anything. Unlike Assange, he’s principled.

Well, you know, says Glenn, Snowden said that actually trying to change things directly is sociopathic and narcissistic, regardless of how abhorrent those things are. Which is why he handed his documents off to me for curation. So that people could know only the things I think they should know and talk about them. I think Assange is alone now in thinking there is a better way than this for handling leaks. He’s been shut inside that embassy for years and clearly it’s driving him insane.

And so on.

When do these people agonize in the same proportion over Empire’s “collateral damage” as they do over largely hypothetical imperial functionaries who are injured or embarrassed by an attack on power? Where is their handwringing over the nazis Soros and Omidyar helped bring to power in Ukraine?

Fucking Klein shilled for empire’s terrorist proxies in Libya. The “tide of history” she called them. Clearly her awesomely nuanced view of privacy and power does not afford protection from knife rape to an official enemy’s anus; nor, seemingly does a Honduran indigenous activist’s brain enjoy protection from death squad bullets. At least not enough to place the person responsible for these violations outside contention for the presidency in an election with the highest stakes ever. For all her revoltingly stupid blather about privacy, Klein’s concerns are clearly partisan. The leaks are hurting Hillary who, like her, is on the Soros payroll.

I won’t dignify this swamp by further wallowing in it. Trust that Greenwald and Klein continue to make complete asses of people who think that the Celebrity Left’s main purpose is something more lofty than containment and discipline, or that riff raff like Soros and Omidyar are their patrons for any other reason. This is a matter of simple fucking common sense. It’s sickening that it’s still subject to debate.

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Conjuring Clean Energy: Exposing Green Assumptions in Media and Academia

 

“Productivism or growthism is the belief that measurable economic productivity and growth are the purpose of human organization (e.g., work), and that ‘more production is necessarily good'”.

 

February 13, 2015

 

Excerpts from the research paper “Conjuring Clean Energy: Exposing Green Assumptions in Media and Academia” by by Ozzie Zehner

 

Excerpt from “How productivism infiltrates media“:

Some media outlets will directly reprint special interest group “content” under their own masthead. The Detroit Free Press has directly published materials prepared by a branding firm called “Issue Media Group,” which is dedicated to “creating new narratives” that promote growth and investment (Issue Media Group, 2014). Alternet, Salon.com and   Alternet, Salon.com and Truthout have published material written by “Global Possibilities,” a special interest group funded in part by the oil company BP and a group of automotive and energy industrialists represented through The Energy Foundation (Global Possibilities, 2013).Truthout have published material written by “Global Possibilities,” a special interest group funded in part by the oil company BP and a group of automotive and energy industrialists represented through The Energy Foundation (Global Possibilities, 2013). The special interest group “Inside Climate News,” funded in part through The Energy Foundation, the Rockefellers and other productivist interests, claims to publish through numerous media brands including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Business Week, The Weather Channel, The Guardian and the McClatchy Group, a conglomerate of 30 daily newspapers across the USA (Inside Climate News, 2014). Special interest groups commission their articles from within a sphere of private, typically business, interest. Readers and viewers have a difficult time distinguishing between such sponsored content and traditional independent journalism Figure 9.

Rebranding Productivism 2

Excerpt from “Conclusion: crisis of the productivist ethos during contraction“:

Set against the backdrop of a clear blue sky, alternative energy technologies shimmer with hope for a cleaner, better future. Alternative energy technologies appear to be generating a small, yet enticing, impact on our energy system, making it easier for us to envision solar-powered transporters flying around gleaming spires of the future metropolis. Understandably, we like that. These visions are certainly more pleasant than imagining food shortages, land decimation, economic disintegration and conflict, which we might otherwise associate with fossil fuel scarcity. The immediate problem, it seems, is not that we will run out of fossil fuel sources any time soon, but that the places we tap for these resources – tar sands, deep sea beds and wildlife preserves – will constitute a much dirtier, more risky and far more expensive portfolio of fossil fuel choices in the future. Certainly alternative energy technologies seem an alluring solution to this challenge. And while this is a pristine and alluring vision, might it also be a deadly distraction?

Debord (1970, p. 14) wrote that “the society which rests on modern industry is not accidentally or superficially spectacular, it is fundamentally spectaclist.” Perhaps he could have spoken similarly about modern energy or modern environmentalism. Debord’s spectacle is a divine deity around which duty-bound citizens gravitate to chant objectives without reflecting upon fundamental goals.   Debord’s spectacle is a divine deity around which duty-bound citizens gravitate to chant objectives without reflecting upon fundamental goals. It’s all too easy for us to miss the limitations of alternative energy, Debord might say, as we drop to our knees at the foot of the clean energy spectacle, gasping in rapture.It’s all too easy for us to miss the limitations of alternative energy, Debord might say, as we drop to our knees at the foot of the clean energy spectacle, gasping in rapture. This oracle delivers a ready-made creed of ideals and objectives that are convenient to recite and that bear the authority of science. These handy notions of clean energy reflexively work into environmental discourse. And as we have seen here, productivist environmentalists enroll media to tattoo wind, solar and biofuels into the subcutaneous flesh of the environmental movement. In fact, these novelties come to define what it means to be an environmentalist. And environmentalist’s aren’t the only ones lining up for ink.

Every news article, congressional committee hearing, textbook entry and bumper sticker creates an occasion for the visibility of solar cells, wind power and other productivist technologies. Numerous actors draw upon these moments of visibility to articulate paths these technologies ought to follow. First, diverse groups draw upon flexible clean-energy definitions to attract support. Then they roughly sculpt energy options into more appealing promises – not through experimentation, but by planning, rehearsing and staging media demonstrations. Next, lobbyists, foundations and PR teams transfer the promises into compelling stories, legislative frameworks and eventually necessities for engineers to pursue. What happens to our analyses of “innovation” if we frame “innovators” as skilled, or perhaps unwitting, “conjurers” of an illusion of abundance?

A consequence of alternative energy visibility-making appears to be the necessary invisibility of other options. There’s only so much room on the stage. Energy reduction strategies, degrowth, economic contraction and other decline pathways remind people of their reliance on finite resources, or their own vulnerability to the imminent contraction. In ominous times, might individuals invest their enthusiasm into alternative energy narratives, thereby allowing themselves to cognitively avoid existential threats and circumvent otherwise undesirable reckonings?

Perhaps we have forged magnificent energy spectacles only to cast ourselves as climatic superheroes within the late stages of an illusion of abundance. If so, then these spectacles have come to protect us from questions about our own culpability in ecosystem decline. Green technologies bypass worries of raw material scarcity, as they exist in our minds apart from fossil fuel and extractive industry. They ease our anxieties about increasing levels of CO2 so long as we faithfully believe that they are carbon-free undertakings. But most centrally, alternative energy spectacles protect us from considering our own growth, in consumption and population, which could not otherwise come to a peaceful end within the logic of the current expansionist milieu.

 

Download the paper: https://www.academia.edu/9599130/Conjuring_Clean_Energy_Exposing_Green_Assumptions_in_Media_and_Academia

 

[Ozzie Zehner is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley STSC and author of Green Illusions (GreenIllusions.org).  He has written for academic and mainstream publications including Christian Science Monitor, The American Scholar, The Hill, UTNE, Truthout, ARTE, IEEE Spectrum, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and other publications. He regularly guest lectures at universities and serves as a reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Ozzie is also a founding collaborator for a research and media nonprofit that will launch in San Francisco in 2015. ]

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse | Part I

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse | Part I

Counterpunch

April 12, 2013

Part one of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

Keystone XL Investigative Report Series [Further Reading]: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV

Gloat Like Rockefeller When Watching Trains

buffet

March 5, 2013: Buffett Says Gloat Like Rockefeller When Watching Trains

On Nov 3, 2009, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of Warren Buffett, announced its plan to purchase the 77.4 percent of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) that it did not already own for $26 billion in cash and stock – the largest deal in Berkshire history. The deal, which included Berkshire’s prior investment and the assumption of $10 billion in Burlington Northern debt, brought the total value to $44 billion. Buffett remarked it was a big bet on the United States.

It was TO be a bet that both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, would ensure he DID not lose.

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
– Warren Buffett

Reaction to the World Social Forum in Tunis

Reaction to the World Social Forum in Tunis

Above photo: Indians at the World Social Forum in Belem Brazil, January 28, 2009, discus the rights of indigenous peoples. Photo by Andre Penner / AP.

wsf2

April 5, 2013

By Tomaso Ferando

“Like a post-modern Tro­jan horse, cor­por­ate power has entered the core of the anti-globalization fort­ress and has placed its sol­diers, includ­ing a couple of mem­bers of indi­gen­ous com­munit­ies of the Amazon, to dis­sem­in­ate its word and sup­port its com­mit­ment toward a respons­ible exploit­a­tion of nature and the people. How­ever, and more dra­mat­ic­ally than in the story coun­ted by Homer, it all happened with the full aware­ness of the organ­iz­a­tion, and, even more sadly, with the silent acquit­tance of the rest of the anti-global col­lectiv­ity, which has not raised a fin­ger against the cor­por­at­iz­a­tion of the WSF and refused to organ­ize sym­bolic actions of protest.”