by Shams Pirani
[the problem of racism and stupidity in white britain]
<< The more you refuse to hear my voice, the louder I will sing. You hide behind walls of Jericho. Your lies will come tumbling. >> (Labi Siffre)
<< Spending too much of my precious time staying one step ahead of the Fat Man >> (The Shamen)
<< Presenter: Julie to play first
Julie: eight point two
Presenter: That's numberwang, round two, Simon to play first.
Simon: twenty seven
Simon: oh, eighteen
Julie: fifty four
Presenter: That's numberwang >>(Mitchell and Webb)
The Mitchell and Webb sketch 'Numberwang', as you can see, is quite surreal. A quiz/game in which there are no discernible rules. The contestants just say a number randomly - off the tops of their heads - and the presenter declares the winner without any reference to anything measurable or real - also randomly, off the top of his head, apparently.
In other words the answer is right when and only when the presenter arbitrarily says it is. Just as today when 'the media' or various private institutions tell us something is 'anti-semitic', some of them actually require us to accept their view without question, without evidence, even when it has quite visibly been asserted in much the same way as the presenter of Numberwang may assert that a particular number is or isn't 'numberwang'.
Equally when that same group of numberwangers tells us that we have 'enemies' abroad, from Russia and China to every Arab or Persian nation in which America, Israel and Saudi Arabia are violently pursuing their own assorted avaricious goals, they - the numberwangers - expect us to simply accept that they know better than us, inexplicably, and we must simply agree with whatever they do.
Owen Jones recently declared 'anti-semitic' some statement by some NEC candidate who was asserting that the whole anti-semitism nonsense was a smear campaign cooked up by all sorts of racists, including jewish racists - in this regard Owen Jones basically said to his brainless fans "that's not numberwang" - the man spoke anti-numberwang, he claimed that if you call someone anti-semitic you may simply be trying to smear them and they may not really be anti-semitic - that was deemed 'anti-semitic' by Jones. So basically that's how bad it is. That's how similar these declarations of 'anti-semitism' are to declarations of whether something isn't 'numberwang'.
Owen Jones, in order to gain popularity and power, to preserve alliances with people who shamelessly support and promote white supremacist fascism (eg Bolsanaro's) labelled a man anti-semitic for asserting that allegations of anti-semitism levelled at the Labour party were in places entirely false accusations made up by far right racist Israeli Trump supporters. This is what Owen Jones calls 'anti-semitic' - if you claim that such a thing as a far right racist Israeli Trump supporter exists and that such a person may call you anti-semitic when you're not.
What then would Owen Jones say, if he ever had the balls to reply to any political point I make criticising him, to this response to the savage murder of Jews in the USA the other day in an event which is all too familiar a part of white American culture.
<< Hours after the massacre in Pittsburgh, a Likud Party email listserv pumped out talking points addressed to "ambassadors of the Likud" that claimed the anti-Jewish shooter "drew inspiration from a left-wing Jewish group that promoted immigration to the U.S. and worked against Trump." >>
Max Blumenthal writes: << As Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett sets out to Pittsburgh, prominent members of the governing Likud Party have blamed the Jewish victims of the neo-Nazi massacre "for causing anti-Semitism." >>
Blumenthal explains: << Robert Bowers, the right-wing terrorist, targeted the progressive congregation on the basis of its partnership with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS, a Jewish non-profit that helps refugees from conflict-torn regions obtain asylum in the US.
"HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people," Bowers stated in a social media manifesto explaining his motives.
As Bennett departs for Pittsburgh, some members of Israel's governing Likud Party have issued talking points and statements blaming the victims of the anti-Jewish mass murderer for inspiring the attack. One especially prominent Likud member has even echoed Bowers' hate manifesto. >>
Blumenthal tells us: << In a Facebook post, Yoav Eliasi, aka The Shadow - a prominent Israeli hate rapper and Likud Party member in good standing - portrayed the massacre as a legitimate response to HIAS's progressive agenda.
According to Eliasi, Bowers "was a man fed up with subversive progressive Jewish leftists injecting their sick agendas" into his country. Explicitly echoing the neo-Nazi's manifesto, Eliasi added that "HIAS brings in infiltrators that destroy every country. The murderer was fed up with people like you. Jews like you brought the holocaust and now you're causing antisemitism." >>
So, unwittingly (he IS a moron, after all) taking sides with racist jews and right wing jew-hating american racists who claim that the holocaust was caused by jews who refuse to hate migrants, Owen Jones was asserting that it is anti-semitic to say that right wing racist Israelis label you 'anti-semitic' if you are not 'anti-immigration' and if you oppose Donald Trump. And yet there is the evidence. That's PRECISELY being called anti-semitic - indeed many racist jews are portraying it as the cause of the holocaust and more besides - I remember arguing on Facebook with a Californian jew who claimed that the holocaust victims had themselves to blame because they, he alleged, didn't stand up and fight. He hated the victims of the holocaust for being victims of racism. A proper right wing johnny.
Again, Owen Jones is playing Numberwang, he has no more of a relationship with reason and truth than some extra on a television advert.
Let us not forget, when considering the genocidal racism of right wing Israelis, that Salon reported in 2014: << The Times of Israel is under fire on Friday after publishing a blog post titled 'When Genocide Is Permissible.' The post, written by Yochanon Gordon, was quickly removed from the Times' website, but cached and screen-captured versions of the piece quickly proliferated on social media. >>
The racist blogger wrote: << Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely? >> (I wonder what the average westerner would feel about that argument's being used in relation to the damage the USA, the UK and much of western Europe has done to the world, for centuries?!!)
Finally this Israeli then declares << If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals? >> (I guess that's what the terrorists who bomb westerners feel they are doing when they commit Israeli-style genocide in Britain, France, the U.S. etc).
Yes, those whom Jones aligns himself with, from time to time, for career-building reasons and to gain backing from powerful establishment forces no doubt, are people who sometimes openly condone genocide, using the word genocide, actually say that genocide is the answer to their problems. Owen Jones, you are a fucking pratt aren't you lad?
So here we have Jeremy Corbyn, some sort of anti-apartheid, antiwar, anti-racism activist and public servant, on the streets campaigning for every refugee and 'migrant', standing up to fascists' marches, marches by blackshirts, marches by loud and proud anti-semites (if we use the term scientifically, to mean 'people who hate jews') (although linguists may argue about the fact that semitic is a language group and moreover races don't even exist and are a fallacy and pseudo-science) - and these office workers, overpaid office workers, like Hodge and Johnson want to pretend it's Corbyn who's somehow racist.
Well let's look at the major major major racism problem in Britain. But first let us take a slightly closer look at the degree to which men like Owen Jones and Boris Johnson and Nick Cohen and women like Margaret Hodge and Theresa May and Emily Thornberry and the idiot who is editor of the Guardian (even Rusbridger has had to suggest the Guardian take penitent steps over its ludicrous false story about Assange) are bluffers, dilettantes, gobshites with very little capacity to think things through properly, to understand things properly, to be 'scientific' in any true sense of the word - so that you, reader, can start forming the habit of ignoring all that fake journalism all over the Guardian and Times and BBC and Telegraph - it is unworthy of the best of you and very bad news for the worst of you (and its impact on your capacity to become anything like the best of you). It's time for this world of office-worker-proclaimed "professionals" to lose a good dose of their terminal arrogance.
We live in times where our media 'presenters' and other far-reaching voices first-and-foremost sound credible, sound plausible, sound orthodox. They are not interested in what they do but whether or not people respect them and listen to them. They are not interested in the content of their own characters but in the facade they have to maintain to 'have' rather than 'have not', in life. We hear people and see people who spend a lot of time being trained to convince, being trained to say not what they mean but what they need to. Gone is Arthur Lowe, gone is Richard Briers, Cleese and the pythons are well on their way out, Rossiter gone, Prunella Scales, Penelope Keith, what's left of any of their integrity and wisdom? Peter Cook, Paul Eddington, Leo McKern and Rumpole. Where is it all? Very little is left. Vic Reeves is around somewhere, still, just. Apart from that we have a media full of talentless cowards, Mitchell and Webb and 1001 other people desperate to be respected and too unintelligent, unwilling to challenge their own minds, to be able to notice any of the genuinely needing-to-be-parodied elements of society.
These are performers whose entire portfolio could be used on a Royal Variety show, so lacking is it in any qualities which might upset established authority. So lacking in the capacity to challenge, to do its job, to hold authority to account and keep authority aware of a need to behave responsibly or face the music of dissent. True greatness in media performers lies in self-respect - which you lose when you change yourself to please others. Our media, including our 'satirists' and 'political commentators' in the main (where is Walden? Where is Adie? All gone) produce only that which you would expect from a bunch of people serving a roman emperor or Hitler or something - these are all just lackeys, with zero self-respect. People like Mitchell and Webb don't make me laugh with their jokes, it is their total lack of self-respect which is most risible in them - the role of art is to express, not to bow down to others - it's about what's inside you, but for these halfwits the work they put out is there basically to support and maintain propaganda, to keep the corporate neoliberal agenda strong. They don't try and plumb the depths of their souls or even minds. They do it by spreadsheet. They are Golgafrinchans who dream of being Vogons. That is who and what they are.
Did the jokes of Mitchell and Webb mock the neoliberal class which left that Grenfell building as a deathtrap even when its residents complained, to extremes, blogging about it, trying to get MPs to sort it out and make it safe? What job are Mitchell and Webb doing? Are their jokes mocking people with power and driving powerful people to behave more responsibly? Is anyone gaining from the comedy of Mitchell and Webb other than they and those who receive anything out of their wealth? Blatantly not. And they are representative of all those in our media seen as 'above average', let alone the ones already perceived as mediocre.
Yes, mediocre goons like Mitchell and Webb are just more members of the 'fake elite' - people with privilege taken through social gang warfare, class bullying (essentially), rather than through earning power, earning responsibility, earning genuine and unmanipulated respect. They are no more worthy of credit for any fans they have than whichever tampon it is which advertisers convince most women to use. Would there have been a rise of Tommy Robinson racism if people like Mitchell and Webb had been successfully parodying the stupidest and most sick members of society instead of bowing to them? Same goes for Nick Cohen, who indeed shared a platform with Tommy Robinson and yet is without a doubt from the same set we perceive to be the Mitchell and Webb mainstream, so to speak.
How much of the media, of big companies, and small ones, of the people you meet everywhere, important and unimportant, onscreen and off it, are not actually mediocre when it comes to their capacity to be intelligent, to be honest, to be diligent, to be thorough, to be on the case like Rumpole, to be facing the truth like the Pythons, to be true to the spirit like Briers and Kendall and Eddington and Keith? How many of them are, instead, in fact, weak minded, weak willed, servants of narcissism and any tyrant who can open a door for them to some comfort? It is a media where the star of the show is the school bully rather than the school upstart.
To answer this question about how much of our establishment is gutless and stupid, I think it will help to examine Richard Feynman's noteable take-down of NASA, in which he revealed that NASA, supposedly at the forefront of western science, western organisation and western establishment, is unreliable, unsound and, for all intents and purposes, unscientific.
These extracts transcribed by me from a CNN interview of Feynman: << PRESENTER: Was this an accident that did not have to happen?
FEYNMAN: Yes it was. It was an accident where we had many many warnings that there was something wrong and that it might sooner or later go off and the warnings were disregarded.
PRESENTER: [..] disregarded for what reason?
FEYNMAN: I had some difficulty with that. I kind of imagined something like a child that runs in the road and the parent is very upset and says it's very dangerous and the child comes back and says 'but nothing happened' and he runs out in the road again, several times, and the parent keeps saying it's dangerous and nothing happens. If the child's view that nothing happened was a "clue" that there was nothing going to happen then that's going to be an accident. You could hear brakes squealing a couple of times: that's leakage and the gases going through the rings and so forth but again and again I saw in looking through this statements "this new flight is within our database" which just means "nothing happened before, it's about the same as we did before so it can't be unsafe because it was okay last time". And that is the kind of childish attitude - the mother corresponding to the engineers, the management corresponding to the children. That's the way I look at it and I don't know what you would say. Sooner or later the child gets run over, is it an accident? No, it's not an accident.
PRESENTER: [..] why is somebody not blamed?
FEYNMAN: I don't know how to assign blame and whether it does any good. The question is how do we educate the child? The question is you blame the child for being a little foolish, but it's very difficult - I tried to figure out why they had this attitude and why they weren't paying attention. I've tried various theories and I really don't know the ultimate cause.
PRESENTER What's your theory?
FEYNMAN: Well one of the - there's two theories - a lot of people say to me that there's some kind of an idea in management that the incompetence reaches its level or whatever, but I had another idea, but I don't know whether it's right. And that is that in the beginning, all kinds of exaggerations were made about what this thing can do, "it can fly 60 flights, it would only cost so much, it'll be recoverable, there'll be no real problems -" the engineers at the bottom are probably (this is my imagination) they're screaming up "no no, it can't be this way. It can't be this way - we can only go ten flights, we haven't got enough equipment to train that many crews a year" and so forth and so on - and the people at the top who were talking to congress don't want to hear this, so they discouraged information from moving up.
You see it was just after they were so successful with Apollo - and in that case they were doing a project which was just a little bit harder than they could do, just a little bit harder - so they could do it. (I'm imagining - ) somebody would say "how are we going to make a space suit?", finally they've got a solution to that, they get excited and tell the others, a fella who's working on some other problem gets a solution to his problem, and there's a lot of intercommunication because there's excitement and motivation -
PRESENTER: Which is not always necessarily a bad thing, right?
FEYNMAN: No, not at all, it's what makes it go, and that's why it worked okay with the Apollo, but then when they had this other project which is so to speak impossible from an engineering point of view, it's unrealistic - they don't want to hear what happens, it just goes up and each level in a bureaucracy kind of understands what it's supposed to do - keep it from the other guys, they don't have to hear it, they don't want to hear it, they don't want to hear it because it would be uncomfortable to be going and saying we're going to do 60 flights a year when just that morning they were told that it's impossible. That's the theory, now I as you know am a professor of physics and not of management and human relations so it's very likely not right, but you asked me for my theory.
PRESENTER: How do you feel about the job your commission did, generally?
FEYNMAN: I think we did a pretty good job, it turned out to be easier in some respects than we could have imagined. It was easy to find out what happened.
PRESENTER: I was curious, why did Chairman Rogers say at the White House today that it turned out to be more difficult than he thought it was going to be? What was he talking about?
FEYNMAN: Well maybe we had different expectations. It's strange because at the very beginning of this commission's meetings I remember Mr Rogers saying "well of course we may never find out what made the accident occur" - that's what I meant was easy.
PRESENTER: I see, you know what happened.
FEYNMAN: We know what happened. Now what was difficult - and I think maybe he's referring to this - was the discovery of these weaknesses inside of NASA and their attitudes, this kind of illogic about safety and so forth which was so extensive from an organisation which had such a reputation in the country that it was hard for us to find it out, in a sort of emotional way, as to have to come around to say that the wizard of oz which everyone respects has nothing behind it. Or almost nothing. >>
As you can see, Feynman, one of the greatest scientists in the west in modern history, an equal of men like Bohr and Einstein, lost all his respect for NASA, one of the west's leading supposedly-scientific institutions. And elsewhere he expressed remorse at having played a role in Hiroshima and in creating the Atom Bomb. When the best are silenced, what chance do the poor little dilettantes like Owen Jones or Katie Hopkins have? What chance does Blair or Clinton or Obama or any of these fools have? When the systems of actual scientific research and development are no longer truly scientific, all these other classes of society have very little which is real and true at their heart.
Another aspect of the intellectual inadequacy of British and American and Western society, its "elite" and "working classes" and other miscellaneous strata alike: notwithstanding what Hammarskjold correctly says below, as Chomsky's shocking revelations are about to make it clear to you, some of the basic notions about our language and our nature which are taken as a prioris for much of administration and commercial infrastructure in society turn out to be dramatically incorrect, discouragingly flawed.
<< Respect for the word - to employ it with scrupulous care and in incorruptible heartfelt love of truth - is essential if there is to be any growth in a society or in the human race.
To misuse the word is to show contempt for man. It undermines the bridges and poisons the wells. It causes Man to regress down the long path of his evolution. >>
So, as I said, here we have Chomsky shocking you with things you were blissfully unaware of, on the key topic of language, thought and communication:
<< A few things have remained pretty constant. One is that at the core of language there must be some generative procedure: recursive, compositional procedure >> Noam Chomsky tells us about the scientific endeavour over the last sixty years aiming to understand the nature of human language.
<< The second is that the field ought to be framed within a biological context. So we're interested in what's come to be called i-Language, internal individual language, viewed intentionally, we care about the actual system of rules, not just some class of objects you might enumerate. .. In the background is a concern to try to show how this biological system could have originated. What's misleadingly called 'evolution of language'. Of course it's misleading because languages don't evolve, but the language capacity, U.G. (universal grammar), does evolve, or must have evolved .. you can derive some surprising conclusions: one of them is that the output of the generative system yields the proper forms for semantic interpretation in quite complex structures .. so that means that what's generated is essentially a language of thought, maybe, I suspect, the only language of thought. The second conclusion is that externalisation .. is just an ancillary process, it's not part of the core of language. .. (these externalisations are) reflexes of the sensory motor system and the nature of the externalisation depends on which sensory motor system you're using .. the sensory motor system is not specifically adapted to language, it was apparently around hundreds of thousands of years before language suddenly emerged and there are many ways to map one to the other and it's a hard process and in fact what we find is that the complexity of language which you have to learn when you learn a language is almost entirely externalisation .. >>
<< A third conclusion is that most of the doctrines about the nature of language and related fields .. most of them are just flat wrong. There's a doctrine which is held virtually at the level of dogma. The way it's put is the function of language is communication. It's a kind of a curious notion because biological systems don't have functions. .. the dogma is that language, uniquely among biological systems, has a function and the function is communication, but if these first two conclusions are correct that has to be false because communication is based on externalisation and if externalisation is an ancillary property of language then communication is even more so. >>
As you now appreciate, the very basis of what our 'establishments' call knowledge, call reason, call logic, is shaky. It's worth mentioning a few other upsetting truths here also. Chomsky mentions Descartes at one point in something or other of his I've watched lately.
I think the following extracts from written material on Chomsky's site will give you yet more awareness of how much our ideas fall short of what the average human imagines our ideas to be.
<< One of the most profound insights into language and mind, I think, was Descartes's recognition of what we may call "the creative aspect of language use": the ordinary use of language is typically innovative without bounds, appropriate to circumstances but not caused by them - a crucial distinction - and can engender thoughts in others that they recognize they could have expressed themselves. Given the intimate relation of language and thought, these are properties of human thought as well. This insight is the primary basis for Descartes's scientific theory of mind and body. There is no sound reason to question its validity, as far as I am aware. Its implications, if valid, are far-reaching, among them what it suggests about the limits of human understanding, as becomes more clear when we consider the place of these reflections in the development of modern science from the earliest days. >>
<< The background is the so-called "mechanical philosophy" - mechanical science in modern terminology. This doctrine, originating with Galileo and his contemporaries, held that the world is a machine, operating by mechanical principles, much like the remarkable devices that were being constructed by skilled artisans of the day and that stimulated the scientific imagination much as computers do today; devices with gears, levers, and other mechanical components, interacting through direct contact with no mysterious forces relating them. The doctrine held that the entire world is similar: it could in principle be constructed by a skilled artisan, and was in fact created by a super-skilled artisan. The doctrine was intended to replace the resort to "occult properties" on the part of the neoscholastics: their appeal to mysterious sympathies and antipathies, to forms flitting through the air as the means of perception, the idea that rocks fall and steam rises because they are moving to their natural place, and similar notions that were mocked by the new science. >>
<< It is commonly believed that Newton showed that the world is a machine, following mechanical principles, and that we can therefore dismiss "the ghost in the machine," the mind, with appropriate ridicule. The facts are the opposite: Newton exorcised the machine, leaving the ghost intact. The mind-body problem in its scientific form did indeed vanish as unformulable, because one of its terms, body, does not exist in any intelligible form. Newton knew this very well, and so did his great contemporaries. >>
<< John Locke wrote that we remain in "incurable ignorance of what we desire to know" about matter and its effects, and no "science of bodies [that provides true explanations is] within our reach." Nevertheless, he continued, he was "convinced by the judicious Mr. Newton's incomparable book, that it is too bold a presumption to limit God's power, in this point, by my narrow conceptions." Though gravitation of matter to matter is "inconceivable to me," nevertheless, as Newton demonstrated, we must recognize that it is within God's power "to put into bodies, powers and ways of operations, above what can be derived from our idea of body, or can be explained by what we know of matter." And thanks to Newton's work, we know that God "has done so." The properties of the material world are "inconceivable to us," but real nevertheless. Newton understood the quandary. For the rest of his life, he sought some way to overcome the absurdity, suggesting various possibilities, but not committing himself to any of them because he could not show how they might work and, as he always insisted, he would not "feign hypotheses" beyond what can be experimentally established. >>
<< As the import of Newton's discoveries was gradually assimilated in the sciences, the 'absurdity' recognized by Newton and his great contemporaries became scientific common sense. The properties of the natural world are inconceivable to us, but that does not matter. The goals of scientific inquiry were implicitly restricted: from the kind of conceivability that was a criterion for true understanding in early modern science from Galileo through Newton and beyond, to something much more limited: intelligibility of theories about the world. This seems to me a step of considerable significance in the history of human thought and inquiry, more so than is generally recognized, though it has been understood by historians of science. >>
<< Honesty should lead us to concede, I think, that we understand little more today about these matters than the Spanish physician-philosopher Juan Huarte did 500 years ago when he distinguished the kind of intelligence humans shared with animals from the higher grade that humans alone possess and is illustrated in the creative use of language, and proceeding beyond that, from the still higher grade illustrated in true artistic and scientific creativity. Nor do we even know whether these are questions that lie within the scope of human understanding, or whether they fall among what Hume took to be Nature's ultimate secrets, consigned to "that obscurity in which they ever did and ever will remain." >>
I appreciate it's complex stuff, and there's a lot of context you need to spend more time reading about to entirely understand what even that much tells us about the state of 'science' in the west today, but once you enter the domain of quantum physics, it all falls apart completely - the universe, Richard Feynman tells us, at its core, essentially, is, in a word, "NUTTY". Yes, the universe is nutty. And he doesn't mean the kind squirrels enjoy. He means it's nuts. It's insane. "I don't understand it either," he informs his dumb but credulous audience, which laughs with joy at this stark stark truth.
And whilst I'm sure you need a rest from the head-fuck, I have to ensure I mention something about what Chomsky has told us about 'empiricism', which is very very important as far as I can see. He has told us: << Hume, for example, really did his best to show that his elementary principles concerning the acquisition of human knowledge were sufficient to cover an interesting class of cases and challenged his opponents to produce a legitimate "idea" that could not be derived from sense impression by his principles. There is a certain kind of ambiguity in his procedure here, since in part he seems to be engaged in a kind of scientific inquiry, trying to show that certain principles he proposed were in fact adequate to cover the crucial cases, while at other times he relies on these principles to demonstrate that some notion is "illegitimate," since it cannot be derived by them - an argument that rests on our accepting his not very plausible principles concerning the nature of the mind. Hume regarded the principle of inductive reasoning as a kind of "animal instinct," which would appear to be an empirical assumption. In modern versions, his assumptions have often been converted into dogma presupposed without serious effort to show them to be valid, or to reply to classical criticisms that were raised against these principles.
There is no reason to believe today that Hume's principles or anything resembling them are adequate to account for our "ideas" or our knowledge and beliefs, nor to think that they have any particular significance. There is no place for any a priori doctrine concerning the complexity of the brain or its uniformity as far as the higher mental functions are concerned. We must proceed to the investigation of the diverse cognitive structures developed normally by human beings in the course of their maturation and their relation to the physical and social environment, seeking to determine, as best we can, the principles which govern these cognitive structures. Once a certain understanding of the nature of these systems has been obtained, then we can reasonably study the basis on which they are acquired. In my opinion, the little that we know about these questions suggests that the mind, like the body, is in effect a system of organs - we could call them "mental organs" by analogy - that is to say, highly specific systems organized according to a genetic program that determines their function, their structure, the process of their development, in quite a detailed manner; the particular realization of these fundamental principles naturally depends on their interaction with the environment, as in the case of the visual system... If that is correct, the mind is a complex system of interacting faculties, which do not develop by means of uniform principles of "general intelligence"; it is constituted of "mental organs" just as specialized and differentiated as those of the body. >>
Thus, when few of even the best scientists have any real appreciation of how little they know and how primitive they still are, you can hardly be surprised when the average member of society who happens also to be doing some job or in some role which takes for granted a degree of scientific truth or rational truth in the course of the job's being done isn't really, when it absolutely comes down to it, fit for purpose. The problems of intelligence and reason in our society stem from far 'higher up' than the level at which you find in operation the armies of consumer drones who make most of the serious mistakes our society makes (from creating and marketing and distributing all the stuff which is making the majority of our adult population obese and exposed to higher cancer risk to the big big teams of people, in offices, buildings, large areas of land, at 'home' and 'away', aiding and abetting genocide and resource theft and the advance of far right neo nazi white supremacist fascism in various parts of the world), albeit controlled by those Corbyn correctly points out are 'the few' (not the many). Of course when it comes to integrity, courage, dignity and indeed longevity, Corbyn is, for all his well-chosen words, one of the few, not by any means one of many. A rarity, who can deny?
Another area in which we can clearly see the broken and unscientific nature of what (predominantly western) corporations and corporate-sponsored media (and corporate-powered 'public servants' and other institutions) call 'science', is the deadly area of GMOs, clearly a very dark and dangerous road.
Sustainable Pulse writes << In an acclaimed new book being launched Wednesday in London, American public interest attorney Steven Druker reveals how the US government and leading scientific institutions have systematically misrepresented the facts about GMOs and the scientific research that casts doubt on their safety. >>
They quote the following crucial material from the book:
<< - Many well-placed scientists have repeatedly issued misleading statements about GM foods, and so have leading scientific institutions such as the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the UK's Royal Society.
- Consequently, most people are unaware of the risks these foods entail and the manifold problems they have caused.
- Contrary to the claims of biotech advocates, humans have indeed been harmed by consuming the output of genetic engineering. In fact, the technology's first ingestible product (a food supplement of the essential amino acid, L-tryptophan) caused dozens of deaths and seriously sickened thousands of people (permanently disabling many of them). Moreover, the evidence points to the genetic alteration as the most likely cause of the unusual contamination that rendered the supplement toxic.
- Laboratory animals have also suffered from eating products of genetic engineering, and well-conducted tests with GM crops have yielded many troubling results, including intestinal abnormalities, liver disturbances, and impaired immune systems.
- Numerous scientists (including those on the FDA's Biotechnology Task Force) have concluded that the process of creating genetically modified food radically differs from conventional breeding and entails greater risk.
- There has never been a consensus within the scientific community that GM foods are safe, and many eminent experts have issued cautions - as have respected scientific organizations such as the Royal Society of Canada and the Public Health Association of Australia. >>
The degree to which our scientific lack of rigour and integrity threatens the next generation even more than the rest of us so far is illustrated by this alarming news from Huffington Post: << Fears about post-Brexit food safety resurfaced after it emerged US farmers could be using more than twice the antibiotic-per-animal of their UK counterparts.
New research by Sustain, the food and farming alliance, shared exclusively with HuffPost UK, underlines major concerns about food standards should Britain strike a trade deal with America.
US farmers and meat processors routinely use antibiotics, chlorine rinses and irradiation to reduce food-poisoning bugs in meat, Sustain said.
The charity said it was "horrified" to learn sales of antibiotics for animals rose by 27% in America since 2009, when in Britain, farmers reported a 26% drop. >>
Someone I know asked a health professional if they should favour organic food over 'ordinary' stuff. The professional said that there is 'debate', but naturally didn't come down on the side of organic food, if nothing more concrete than that (one is not permitted to have any politics in this world, unless one is an anarchist - and so thus unpermitted, one is also not permitted much truth).
Is there a 'debate' about eating organic meat instead of 'ordinary' meat?
I hardly think so.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, tells us: << Resistance is an ancient phenomenon related to many factors including the excessive use of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine and cross-transmission of resistant strains from humans to humans and from animals to humans. A recent study identified ESBL-producing E. coli strains in up to 80% of retail chicken-meat samples in The Netherlands, a country with very low resistance rates in humans until now. Similar strains have been detected in rectal swabs from humans working with animals, and consumers are probably at risk for contamination during meal preparation or consumption of insufficiently cooked meat. >>
And the Guardian reports that a Cambridge University study revealed: << One in four samples of chicken bought from major supermarket chains contained antibiotic-resistant E coli in a study by the University of Cambridge.
The bacterium was discovered in packs of meat sold at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Aldi, Waitrose, the Co-op and Morrisons. Scientists tested products such as whole roasting chickens, diced breast meat and packets of legs, thighs and drumsticks, detecting ESBL E coli - resistant to many types of antibiotics - on 22 of 92 samples.
The study, commissioned by the campaign group Save Our Antibiotics, also found 51% of E coli from pork and poultry samples were resistant to the antibiotic trimethoprim, which is used to treat more than half of lower urinary tract infections >>
So let's get something clear - if you buy meat which is not labelled organic meat - if it is not something you have checked out and are confident is made by ethical and health-conscious farmers, then you are almost certainly exposed to meat/poultry which in its lifetime has been given a lot of antibiotics.
If there's any 'debate' in your mind about whether eating such meat/poultry is no different to eating meat/poultry which has been more intelligently reared - you may not really have any proper notion of what the word 'debate' means! Try again. Think hard. If someone simply tells you that in their personal opinion there's no reason to eat organic meat - is that really any kind of answer to the crystal clear evidence relating to antibiotics which ought to inform your decisions?
In our society the only other layer in society besides easily-led victims of never-ending advertising is a class of talkers, of lawyers and marketers, of sales people, of gob shites. Gob shites who silence men like Feynman, Chomsky, and anyone like them. Men and women, I should say. Men and women who can talk for a very long time, "long-windedly", for the purpose of disseminating information and enabling others to comprehend what is or approaches being actual "knowledge" - the end result of the work of people like Feynman or indeed El Ghazali.
For many many reasons that which the majority in the west call 'science' is only degrees closer to reality and truth than the tomes of organised religion, when taken literally and without context. That which is deemed 'science' is created, often, by commercial and profit-driven reasoning, often this contradicts truth - for example when people burned to death in Grenfell, it appears that the 'science' behind the assumption that they were safe was wrong. Or when you drink fizzy sugar drinks and get fat and are exposed to things like cancer and heart disease as a direct result of doing that - that's when it's clear that the 'science' behind calling things like that 'food and drink' is pretty seriously flawed. The majority of British adults are overweight or obese. Unless you personally feel that's healthy, how can you pretend that that doesn't mean that what we eat and drink and how we live is wrong. Flawed. Disease-causing. To use non-"abusive" terms rather than just calling it what it is: fucked up. (If the egregious nature of something is extreme, it seems reasonable to me to use language which reflects that graphically - to say 'fucked up' instead of 'messed up' seems to be closer to a meaningful description of what in buggery is going on in our "society" as we laughably call the rabble of material-seeking animals which has assigned to the phrase "the human race" roughly the same sort of meaning Hitler had in mind when he spoke of the "master race"). We live in a fucked up society where people behave far more irrationally, dangerously, ignorantly than in medieval times and yet the near-total majority sincerely believes itself and its society to be dramatically in advance of that level of backwardness. Their opinion of themselves vis a vis medieval man is absurd - they see themselves as different but do the same things. With the knowledge which helps us chart the universe we make, market and mythologise about Christmas trees. Consumer-apes.
Nobody wants to spend their life learning or developing or evolving. All want to spend it being hailed as wonderful, being lazy, being stupid and managing to maintain a high level of entirely imagined self-respect all the while. From another side of the spectrum of alleged genius we find notorious bankster Carl Icahn talks about something he calls 'anti-darwinism' - whereby the CEO of a company is, in Icahn's seemingly correct opinion, the slacker, social animal, idiot type from college, plays a lot of sports and doesn't do much work, drinks and hangs out. And he feels threatened by a second-in-command who isn't stupider than he is. Then that guy succeeds him and is followed by an even stupider product of the 'human-resource' manufacturing plant, and so on and so on. And hence now, hence the world today. Hence no more Walden, only Katie Hopkins, Owen Jones, the BBC's weird puppets, the rest of it - a pathetic media which nobody intelligent is even remotely drawn to. Work-horses for carrying advertising and corporate agendas.
So this posse of amazingly mediocre mostly white "journalists", like Jones and the 1000s of seeming clones of him and men and women like him in the media, is no longer the media of all those amazing things which caused anyone in the world to actually have any respect or desire to watch our media anyway. The tree has been cut down, but the trunk still thinks it is alive. The things which when I was a kid made me in awe of British art and culture are 100% gone from where it was - these fuckwits and what they do is not in possession of anything like it - they are shit - they have not replaced what was great with more great things, they have usurped the places greatness dwelt and taken it over with idiocy and mediocrity.
So racism's impact on employment is PARTICULARLY harsh for non-white people who are not stupid. The way it is in Britain is very dark indeed: if you are not white then the more intelligent and evolved you are, the more society prevents you having anything or developing materially. In essence not a single value of the medieval crusaders has really left Britain and the many lands like it and/or created by it. Indeed mediocrity is the best way for a non-white person to find work - the more submissive and weak you are or can be, the more employable you are. The doorman outside the Ritz is non-white most of the times I look - black, asian, who knows what else? If you are just the right person to be a doorman, the racism in British society doesn't ruffle you, maybe it even "helps" you, in your own weak and submissive mind.
And society's not changing. Your doormen and lackeys are not going to stop being the non-white ones. People are not becoming less stupid, more so. Mitchell and Webb and their kind take the political decisions for you - the decision is - this society is too shit to ever bother being anything which might stop it from dying out (and taking much other life, human and otherwise, with it when it goes), fairly horribly, sooner or later, as a result of basic truths about the relationship between intelligent behaviour and survival.
Let us examine, since these people are crusading against 'racism' - let us see what real racism is under their noses and which is stuff none of them - Nick Cohen, Margaret Hodge, Jonathan Freedland, Jess Phillips, Theresa May and her posse of amazingly grotesque conservatives (the biggest contributor to Corbyn's voters? Tories fleeing the shame? Perhaps not the biggest, but it must count for a lot) - to name but a handful of these insufferable arses - none of these pantomime politicians and 'journalists' are apparently even aware of, let alone concerned about the long list of genuine problems of a racism-related nature in Britain today which I shall now write down for you. After that we can move on to the issue of the Labour party and Israel and finally, when we are through the gallery of horror and disgusting activity by these particularly genocidal racists we're dealing with, I can turn to the more pleasant topic of alternatives and what the future can hold if we are intelligent about it, and indeed what could easily be a possibility under the Prime Ministership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Let us start with jobs. With money. With the stuff you buy your food with. How does racism impact jobs in Britain? I suppose many of you don't know. Well, if you're white. Then you may not know. The rest tend to know in varying degrees. For example, Emily Dugan at the Independent writes:
<< Racial inequality in the workplace has worsened over the last decade, despite the fact that ethnic minorities now outperform white British students in education, research shows.
The Runnymede Trust, the charity behind the study, believes the findings point to institutional racism in the workplace. Ethnic minorities are also more likely to live in poor housing conditions, a comparison of census data from 2001 and 2011 in England and Wales has found.
Omar Khan, director of the trust, said: 'It's time we stopped telling ethnic minorities that all you need to do is get better qualifications and integrate more and it'll be fine. The evidence shows British ethnic minorities don't have a problem in terms of attitude, or education, or good grades, so what else explains their poor outcome in the labour market other than discrimination?'
In more than a third of districts in England and Wales there were increases in ethnic inequalities in employment over the 2000s. Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Swansea and Bristol were amongst the cities which saw the gulf in employment outcomes for ethnic minorities when compared to white British citizens grow in the decade to 2011.
In some cases progress reversed dramatically. Ethnic minorities in Durham, Dover, Fylde and the Ribble Valley had better employment outcomes than white British people in 2001 but by 2011 they were worse.
Mr Khan said: 'I think racism is more hidden now. It's more insidious and hard to capture. It's easier to spot racism when it's Tommy Robinson and the EDL saying awful things. We absolutely need to rebut that, but it can distract attention from insidious racism happening across the country in public and private institutions that not only are preventing black and Asian people from being recruited and promoted but also are leading to higher rates of child poverty and lost opportunities for a third generation of British born ethnic minority young people.' >>
And Jamie Doward of the Guardian writes:
<< Ethnic minority graduates in Britain are much less likely to be employed than their white peers six months after graduation - and many can expect to earn less for years afterwards.
This dramatic divergence in life chances is revealed in a major study - the first comparison of how university choices, parental background and social class can affect students' chances of finding jobs and fulfilling their earnings potential.
The study, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, finds that British ethnic minority graduates are between 5% and 15% less likely to be employed than their white British peers six months after graduation. There are also marked disparities in wages between many ethnic minority women and black Caribbean men who do manage to find jobs after graduation and their white counterparts.
It is a gulf that persists long after graduation, according to the study. It found that, three-and-a-half years after they left university, the difference between earnings for ethnic minorities, especially women, and their white peers increases, suggesting they may be finding it harder to climb the career ladder. >>
And Rajeev Syal at The Observer writes about how in 2009 a sting operation revealed racism in UK employment.
In October 2009 a government sting operation targeting hundreds of employers across Britain has uncovered widespread racial discrimination against workers with African and Asian names.
Abigail Morris, employment policy adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce, said << The researchers only used nine occupations, and I am not sure that the number of replies they received is a representative sample. >>
The National Centre for Social Research, commissioned by the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), sent three different applications for 987 actual vacancies between November 2008 and May 2009. Nine occupations were chosen from across the pay spectrum.
This data on its own shows considerable racism in the way employment is awarded and Abigail Morris' response indicates the reasons why Government has done nothing to start fixing the problem.
So consider, to begin with, how many lives are hugely impacted by this form of racism every day and throughout a person's life - their opportunities, their health, everything is contingent on being able to earn enough - but for non white Britain there are few roads which lead to enough.
We hear so-called feminists talking about the very real 'pay gap' but there is a racial pay gap which they don't appear to be that interested in talking about if they are 'feminist' and white.
Kiran Daurka at Leighday writes:
<< A comprehensive look at the true cost of entrenched race discrimination, the EHRC puts a clear spotlight on a divided nation. If this report does not 'start a conversation' about race, then the impact on Britain's reputation within a global market will be hugely detrimental. >>
She points out:
<< The report also highlights that there is a race pay gap. Government should now introduce mandatory race pay gap reporting alongside the mandatory reporting to be completed in relation to the gender pay gap (which it is understood will come into force as of April 2017, with the first reporting to take place in April 2018).
There is no good reason why pay gap reporting should not also cover BAME employees.>>
According to Kiran, << Alongside this, we remain in denial that we live in a society with racial preference. This is now less of a surprise following the surge in reported race hate crime post-Brexit. But the metropolitan cities must not be complacent, as race discrimination pervades all systems - education, health, justice and employment. >>
So to begin with, what do the numberwangers say about this systemic racial discrimination impacting millions of British people, impacting their employment opportunities and the basis of their material lives? NOTHING. For it is not numberwang. Somehow it is worthy of a great furore if a man claims that the so-called 'anti-semitism' related defamation of Corbyn and many of his allies is being conducted disingenuously, intellectually dishonestly - THAT is a reason to have a hissy fit. But the millions of non white youngsters whose intelligence is way in excess of the opportunities they are permitted due to the tone of their skin and the name on their birth certificate are nothing for Nick Cohen, Margaret Hodge, Jonathan Freedland, Dacre, Murdoch, Jess Phillips, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, or any of the other absolute cretins to concern themselves over. That's not important. What's important is if a Labour NEC member claims that allegations of anti-semitism are being made up by far right ultra nationalist racists.
And what do our numberwanger 'friends' say about surveillance and racial profiling? For example, what about what Stephen Lawrence's mother, Baroness Lawrence, has to say about it? She says, on the topic of 'stop and search' and racial profiling, eg in shops << When you walk into a store you do get a second glance. You walk in a certain way with your bag closed .. That fear is there. I think in the black community there's always a fear of being accused or the police stopping you>>.
And what about the numberwanger's heroic president Obama, what does he say about all of this? Obama has said that "there are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me." So much for racial profiling. Yes. You profiled the future president of the USA, whoever did that - you suspected him of a crime, for being black. And everyone who thinks they gain from that 'methodology' - think again. What exactly does racially profiling Obama or Baroness Lawrence really achieve for you, morally and 'spiritually', dare I say?
In the deaths of young women like Sandra Bland and young men like Trayvon Martin we see the USA's brutality and often imagine Britain is squeaky clean by contrast, but this is so very far from the truth.
Don't forget that Tony Blair, Boris Johnson and all the other idiots I mentioned before and all like them are in a 'special relationship' with today's equivalent of Hitler.
For example, Ajamu Baraka writes << In Waller County, Texas, Sandra Bland, a young black woman from Illinois, an activist with Black Lives Matter, who was, according to friends and family, excited about her new job in Texas is stopped for a minor traffic, beaten, jailed and found dead two days later in her cell. Her death labeled a suicide by the Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith' >>
Baraka tells us
<< This week, under the leadership of black woman activists, much of the resistance movement to the escalating violence of the state will gather in Cleveland to engage in reflection and planning. Sandra Bland will be on the minds of those activists as well as Malissa Williams who found herself at the receiving end of 137 bullets fired by members of the Cleveland police department that ripped apart the bodies of her and her companion Timothy Russell. And the activists will certainly highlight the case of 12 year old Tamir Rice who was shot point blank two seconds after police arrived on the scene where he had been playing with his toy gun in a park near his home. >>
Consider the case of Michael Brown:
Arlene Eisen writes << It was simple arithmetic, I thought. In 2012, police, security guards and vigilantes killed a total of 313 Black people. Divide the number of hours in a year by 313 and you get one every 28 hours. If federal law required all law enforcement agencies to report all their killings; if most reporters didn't depend exclusively on police department press releases; and if I had had more time to investigate, I have no doubt that the number would have been 24 hours or even more often. Yet, after spending more than 18 months in dogged research and data analysis, I am sure that at least one Black person is extrajudicially killed every 28 hours by police, security guards and vigilantes. >>
She points out << Still, 62 or 20% of those 313 killed in 2012 were armed - including three who carried toy or replica guns. Please keep in mind that in 41 states, including Missouri, it is legal to carry a pistol openly, in public. Some states require permits, most do not. Carrying a gun is not a crime, let alone a capital offense. >>
Arlene goes on << Study of the 313 deaths profiled in Operation Ghetto Storm leads to the conclusion that whether a Black mother's child is young or old, wearing a hoodie or a suit, carries a gun or not, makes little difference. That child will still be subject to omnipresent surveillance, racial profiling, mass incarceration, trial without due process and execution without trial. For example, conservative white pundit Ben Stein insisted, "He (Michael Brown) wasn't unarmed. He was armed with his incredibly strong, scary self." >>
Lots of British politicians, including Margaret Hodge, Jess Phillips, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, etc etc etc and most journalists claiming to tell you the truth, at the BBC or Guardian or Times or Telegraph, are in a "SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP" - with the establishment which is butchering all those black people indiscriminately. You may want to remember that next time you agree to stand shoulder to shoulder with Hodge or May or Johnson etc
And that is to say nothing, as yet, on America's military record, such as it is. But we'll get to that, in good time. First, we must stay focused on our own society, on Britain's manifold racism problems.
Whatever weak excuses are made for the election of Trump, whether absurd conspiracy theories involving Russia and independent journalists, or whether it's people trying to suggest that 'savvy' but oppressed people wanted 'economic change' - the truth is much more blatant and shameful. As Reverend William Alberts tells us: << Many white Christian males who voted for Donald Trump were motivated by the fear of losing their cultural supremacy, not their economic well-being. >>
And that's what's going on here too - the attackers trying to bring down Corbyn are people who simply are worried about losing their white privilege when society starts to become truly pluralist. That means if YOU stand up against Corbyn, you are also standing up against Martin Luther King, against Emma Goldman, against Pankhurst, against Aretha, indeed, against all civil rights movements, against those who brought down Apartheid in South Africa, against a society where white privilege no longer exists. Do you really want to let a hyperconsumerism-driven media cause you, in your lifetime, to actually oppose Martin Luther King and his legacy? Right now most of the British media has been doing that loudly and proudly - I hope you, reader, realise that it's shameful and undignified of you not to resist this, not to stand up, when you have the chance, for the MLKs of the world, for Corbyn - if nothing more then by voting for his party at the election but also, if possible, perhaps say a few sound words to silence one or two of the racist Corbyn-critics you meet each day. Their venom spills out of them, their hatred is written on their faces. More than a few times in the street, when I have politically campaigned for Corbyn, an angry white man has called me rude names or scowled at me venemously as though I were the grand vizier of Satan.
Where in this unholy mixture of racism in employment and racist social perceptions about others does our so-called 'media' come into this? Where to begin? Do we start, for example, with sexual demonisation, the media, particularly the 'right wing' media and its frenzied crusading against non-white males - an amazingly open display of sexual insecurity from an industry which is noticeably skewed towards representing the white male and all his fantasies - the industry of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Jimmy Savile and no doubt numerous other men with problems, whether we know their names or not?
Or do we start with the generic 'white saviour' storyline most of western 'entertainment' has been underpinned by for most of its history? What has been done since the Guardian, for example, reported in about 2001 that << Greg Dyke, the director-general of the BBC, has condemned the corporation as 'hideously white' and said its race relations are as bad as those in some police forces >> ? Has anything changed? As we saw with the figures for racism in employment and the performance of asians in schools vis a vis the translation of this into careers and earnings, Britain has been going downhill a great deal since 2001 - it appears to be a far more racist country in just about every way. The racism now spilling over into any direction it can take - against Russia, against Europeans, eastern and western alike, and indeed against 'migrants' generally. As though we are talking about posses of birds roaming around the place and not members of our own species driven around due to scarcity, wars (which we are a party to) and any number of other influences causing people to move from where they are to somewhere else, a hassle pretty much nobody goes through without some sort of reason.
When I was at a networking event at Ealing Studios, a 'guru' speaking to an audience of a few hundred paying wannabe film makers advised his audience that if you put zombies in it, "the Weinsteins will buy it". This no doubt was good advice. Demonisation, violent demonisation, of 'the other' - that sits well with the war corporations, with the racism industrial complex in America and its colonies, and those colonies include Britain, at least in the sphere of consumerism and media consumerism.
At another talk at one of these networking events the head of Ealing Studios boasted to us: << you can say what you like about Rupert Murdoch, but he pays people like us a lot of money >>.
So here we have Ealing studios teaching its new generations of media makers to worship at the altar of violence, schism, Murdoch and his right wing media, zombies, Weinstein, etc etc etc. And the networkers there seemed to be very solidly linked to the BBC - one operation, it seemed to me.
One girl I met, from the antipodes, young, bright, misled, foolish, told me, after kindly agreeing to give me feedback on an antiwar comedy script I was trying to write, about a black female public-school-educated British agent in the field trying to avert and end war, that the British public (she very sincerely feels, and I am pretty sure she's wrong) would not be able to accept or believe in a black woman who speaks English properly and not in some cockney patois or African accent. She told me how she had once seen the comedian Stephen Amos live and had been unable to find any of his jokes funny because she found the sound of a black man speaking English with a posh accent to already be absurd and funny of itself, distracting her from any comedy he may have had to offer.
It probably will not surprise you to know that whilst I had little interest from anyone there in my antiwar script, her little effort, whatever it was, some sort of 'rom com', was backed and funded by people linked to the guy who had been telling us to make zombies for Weinstein, and a few other things he'd probably be grateful to me if I didn't mention.
Nonetheless, the organiser of that event turned out to be an American (white male) paedophile, convicted, on the run. Ealing Studios blamed the government and the press found something else to talk about and nobody faced up to the fact that this sort of thing goes on. I saw him myself, the convicted child molester, wandering around at one of the events I attended. He was the hub at the centre of the first event of the two I attended, since he was the money-man and accountant. And even after telling you that I haven't told you a droplet of the things I could tell you which would truly embarrass the 'guru' - far more than anything I've so far told you about him and his ill-conceived world. As a technician he's talented, I'll tell you that. But the morality of those with the money behind him, and their modus operandi - I think we can all here agree that it is profoundly ignorant, amazingly immoral and just has to end now, we can't have this as our society any more, these warped racist money-crazed buffoons must no longer be feeding bullshit to generation after generation.
Meanwhile, apparently it's Jeremy Corbyn and the Islington 'stop-garotting-foxes' protest movement, or whatever, which is evil incarnate, not the rampant world of Hollywood paedophiles and war propaganda, not the genocides (which we'll get to) of millions of humans, all just ordinary humans, in every way like you, just killed, with Hollywood and Ealing producers backing the genocide of these people as effectively as they can with every tool they can and big money and bonuses for themselves all, and plenty of popcorn and pizza as the guru said. "You're here to sell popcorn and pizza" he told his audience, no doubt patting himself on the back for such "oratory". At least he admitted that what he and his buddies were desperately short of and what all production HINGED ON was good writers. That's why he never really takes up arms against me no matter how many missiles of truth I fling at his rabble of diseased, racist, genocidal 'friends'.
Returning to the antipodean Stephen Amos boycotter, her feedback regarding my script was in most ways shocking. A few of her tips helped, I have to admit, but certainly not the characterisation of the heroine. A British soldier with manners and attitude belonging to Kate Adie, in one scene the heroine is insulting an American general and threatening repercussions if he gets in her way. She is dressed in military fatigues - trousers, in fact, due to being on a combat operation in the middle of Afghanistan.
Our friend the Stephen Amos boycotter insisted that my character should be dressed in a skirt with a long slit - and had my otherwise tasteful and invincible 'antiwar woman' doing high kicks through the slit in her skirt. And she was particularly upset about her defiance of the American General - she rewrote my feminist in her own image, grovelling to the American Machoman and kissing his ass. One gets the feeling that this is Harvey Weinstein's idea of a feminist, not Emmeline Pankhurst's.
One of the mentors of this writer I connected with was herself a self-proclaimed feminist - of the same school. The latter even mentioned once or twice how she derived particular satisfaction from making sure she had meat and two veg cooked and ready for her husband when he got home from his presumably physical job. The same mentor bitched about how her children were beaten in class by Chinese kids whose parents she alleged forced them to work too hard. There's always someone to blame when you fail if you're a neoliberal. You never have to try and learn anything. That lady, connected to the BBC I would imagine, or 'Aunty', as she and people like her call it, was one of the people at the Ealing networking events who strongly believes and teaches that you, readers, go to the movies and watch tv primarily to switch off your brain, to tune out, to go into stupid mode. Apparently in her world there is no room for any film which is art, which makes you think, which helps you develop.
But the media's spreading of racism doesn't end there - the news media's widespread portrayal of imperial genocidal activities as 'intervention' - that perpetuates the whole problem of fearing 'the other' and underpins all other racism around; extreme racists across the media spectrum, whether Katie Hopkins or UKIP or the EDL or some Telegraph columnist, they are just the tip of the iceberg, the bulk of it is made up of neoliberal Guardian writers dressing up imperialism and 'selling' it through that which Edward Bernays and Reinhold Niebuhr perceived as harmless "persuasion".
This matter will be clearer a little later in this article when I address the weighty issue of American imperialism and British lackeyism, as well as the twin global state terror problem of Saudi Arabia and Israel. But right now I want to focus on Britain and its racism, rather than its participation in international genocidal war crimes.
Britain's tv channels and filmscape are, as Greg Dyke put it, << hideously white >>. The news they put out is white colonialist racism of every sort, even the 'liberals' are 'neo-liberals' (I shall explain precisely what one is, if you patiently read on and reach that bit) and have the same medieval world view as Tebbit and other seriously entrenched medievalists. Employment within the media is largely network-driven - ie human social networks. Racism of a group prevents that group ever really becoming any less racist - and so we are caught in a kind of hole there - nothing has evolved for many years, not a single inch has been gained back from racism since the day Greg Dyke uttered those words which really piss UKIP supporters off. (How can 'white' be hideous, ever? They ask).
Ronan Bennett wrote in 2007, << What do you make of the following statement: "Asians are gaining on us demographically at a huge rate. A quarter of humanity now and by 2025 they'll be a third. Italy's down to 1.1 child per woman. We're just going to be outnumbered." While we're at it, what do you think of this, incidentally from the same speaker: "The Black community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order." Or this, the same speaker again: "I just don't hear from moderate Judaism, do you?" And (yes, same speaker): "Strip-searching Irish people. Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole Irish community and they start getting tough with their children." >>
The speaker Bennett was citing was none other than Martin Amis, son of great writer Kingsley Amis.
More on Amis's diseased ranting: << At the Cheltenham literary festival, Amis treated his audience to a discussion on the relative value of Muslim and western states, the former being, in his estimation, less evolved than the latter. "I am just saying that some societies are more evolved than others," he said. >>
Let us consider the racist way the media defines people as 'terrorists' only if they're non-white, whilst white people carrying out the same crimes are never called terrorists by the media: Richard Jermain writes << Only a few days after a mass murder (erroneously) coined as the 'largest in US history,' Jo Cox, a Labour Party member of British parliament was assassinated. Both of these events have been interrogated in the media along similar lines: ideological motives, connections to international radical groups, and the mental instability of the killers. Not surprisingly, only in the case of Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, was the racially codified term and Trojan horse for post-9/11 paranoia 'terrorism' applied. It seems political assassination is not extreme enough to merit the designation when a white person is the perpetrator. >>
Jermain discusses the psychological issues at work here, behind all of our problems. He points out: << 'Denouncing an attacker as a 'terrorist' has a definite political context. For instance backlash of a lone, mentally ill terrorist shouting 'Britain First' (aligning them with a clearly racist far-right party) does not include state surveillance of white civilians who have no connection to the killer. On the other hand, a lone attacker yelling 'Allah Akbar' consistently invites surveillance of mosques and Muslim communities.' >>
He quotes the writer Zijek thusly << 'The true question is not 'are immigrants a real threat to Europe?', but 'what does this obsession with the immigrant threat tell us about the weakness of Europe?' >>
On UKIP, Jermain tells us << Ukip did not create the current crisis, they merely devised an ideological scapegoat. For the myriad of invading forces of global capital they substituted the fictional cause of invading immigrants. >>
I myself wrote a few years ago (BEFORE YOUR PRECIOUS 'BREXIT'/'REMAIN' FAKE-DEBATE) that the longer we take to solve these problems intelligently, honestly and in a decent way, the more harm will come to all of us in some way, big or small. Now look at the page we're on - do you think this 'brexit' crazy shit would be going on if people had been taking writings like mine seriously enough a few years ago?
The racism problem is so entrenched in the west that even attempts at social justice, eg for women, are completely pervaded by racism, the same way (Chomsky tells us) left wing protest movements were, in their early years, as pervaded by sexism as the rest of American (and western) society.
Hence only recently, this, in the Guardian, normally a place for burying your head in the sand over the way non white people are treated:
Janessa E. Robinson writes << With three leading female characters, the film features no Latina, Asian or Indigenous women and simply opts to fulfil its black quota as a nod to the original storyline. Jones's sassy black character is a transit worker for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, providing her with the skills necessary to track down ghosts across New York. But as the only representation of race and class commentary in the trailer, it ultimately pathologises the working class and blackness by making the two synonymous with a seemingly inept character.
The 2016 reboot has been hailed as a new, feminist Ghostbusters. But praising white women's access to roles that challenge patriarchy yet simultaneously harm black women through perpetuating racist tropes can only be feminist if the word has no meaning.
Where white women stand on the backs of black women, and other women of colour, to gain success and power, feminism is not present. And the claim that the film somehow represents the practice of feminist casting and characters can only hold true if you do the mental gymnastics necessary to deny the fact that black women are women, too.
Although this trailer is the first we have seen of the film, and we have yet to see where the character development or storylines will lead, I won't be heading to the theatres paying to watch a film that shrinks black womanhood for the ease of the white gaze in its marketing. >>
And what about when "metoo" means: I SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE REWARDED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE FOR MY RACISM TOO?
White mainstream racist "feminist" woman: "if racist white men should be honoured, SO SHOULD RACIST WHITE WOMEN". Really - she has really said that:
<< Winston Churchill, who is repeatedly deified by the British public, believed in eugenics and racial hierarchies; he has also been accused of Islamophobia and antisemitism. His export policies exponentially aggravated the Bengal famine, which cost millions of lives. When his £5 polymer banknote entered into circulation in 2016, Mark Carney marked the occasion with a favourite Churchill quote: "A nation that forgets its past has no future".
If men like this deserve to be honoured, then so does Margaret Thatcher. >>
The correct statement is: "if racist white men are honoured, we must do something to change that situation and declare racism to be dishonourable"
And indeed: "we want anti-racist white women and anti-racist white men to be remembered and honoured, not booed and hated the way anti-racists like Corbyn and Galloway are".
"cost millions of lives" --> "lives" were not white
"killed millions of people" --> "lives" were white
Moving on from Ealing studios, a little, but remaining on the topic of white male British rapists and paedophiles, my 'English public school', one of the leading schools in the land and linked to much government and banking power - has recently had five teachers, five white male teachers, convicted of crimes ranging from sexual molesting to actively creating child pornography - grooming boys. Indeed the one convicted by the British justice system for grooming boys for sexual purposes is alleged even by the Daily Mail to have been ex-SAS - my school, St Paul's, suffered this recently - and yet you probably have heard nothing about it. Isn't it odd that one of the eight original public schools has FIVE WHITE MEN CONVICTED OF SEX CRIMES INCLUDING GROOMING CHILDREN TO BE ABUSED AND CREATING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY and yet there is no hooha in the press? If it was about non white men, we would hear this as the centre of discussion on the barbarism of non white people for about 20 years to come - but because five establishment white men working at one of the most important schools in the west are the convicted sex offenders, it is not used to demonstrate anything general about anyone.
If it were a bunch of Pakistani descended men, even Labour MPs would be out there making racist generalisations bout all Pakistanis based on this event, yet these same racists, like Jess Phillips, would admit that saying that there are 'jewish grooming gangs' in Hollywood and that 'jews' have a problem with sexual grooming - is inaccurate and xenophobic. It is no different from saying that about asians, muslims, pakistanis, indeed 'all men' - as some of the 'feminists' really seem to be willing to assert, time and again. Reader, if you are jewish and someone claimed that what Harvey Weinstein did is a problem which is indicative of how the entire jewish community behaves, you know that would be sick. So why should I, and every other asian or muslim or pakistani-descended male be told that what a handful of taxi drivers did is something related to me?!! The fact that you have a media and even MPs who can make such claims shows what a shamefully ignorant, racist and backward society we belong to here in Britain. Comments on grooming gangs from Jess Phillips and other Labour members are on the same lines as the racism we have heard from people like Enoch Powell, Tommy Robinson, Donald Trump, etc etc. You cannot pretend you have nothing to be ashamed of. This is a very backward society and you have a responsibility, as part of it, to change that.
In fact a study of rape statistics in this country will inform you that most victims of rape are raped by a white man whom they know. That's the size of it - the average rapist is a white man whom the victim knows. Is this something our media is doing a good job warning us about or trying to address? Doesn't look like it to me.
And then we have this so-called 'burka' debate - let us just stop for a moment to remember the beaches of France, where this happened - french police surrounded a muslim beach-goer and forced her to remove some of her clothes: << "I was sitting on a beach with my family," said the 34-year-old who gave only her first name, Siam. "I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming."
A witness to the scene, Mathilde Cousin, confirmed the incident. "The saddest thing was that people were shouting 'go home', some were applauding the police," she said. "Her daughter was crying." >>.
So, in that incident who or what is the arm of subjugation, brutality, abuse? And who was the innocent victim? Yes. The muslim woman and child were victims of white racism and white crusading - white violence. Boris Johnson should think all about that during his imminent retirement from politics.
How credible is the white saviour's claim that they are concerned about muslim women? They're not so concerned about whether she has a job, whether she can earn enough, have good health, be rented a decent flat without discrimination's getting in the way. They don't care about that. But they do care that apparently she's chosen to wear the wrong clothes.
They don't care if they traumatise her with bombs, kill her children, kill her, as she goes about her business in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or Syria or Iran next - they don't care if they bomb her - but they're very upset at the men who 'force' her to wear 'muslim clothes'.
Actually most western muslim women in such clothes (who are a fraction of western muslims, no more) seem to do so to please their parents the same way most middle class or working class white girls and black girls of other 'faiths' dress in ways which tend towards pleasing their parents - other than 'rebels' of course. They do so in a unified way, a culturally ubiquitous way - so it's no different at all to why those hijab and burka wearers do what they do. Whether or not you or I think it's a good idea is pretty irrelevant - whether or not all people are free thinking, that matters. The hijab wearers are no less free than the white spotted blue dress wearers at their picket fences.
And material from a researcher in Padua's whose thesis I found online points at further layers still, of wrongdoing, on the part of western media vis a vis the 'non white' world (and we'll get to the science of what 'whiteness' is in the first place shortly, which is pretty significant and crucial to considering this entire issue). For example, Puvia tells us: << The processes through which beauty ideals oppress women are complex and multifaceted; in the literature this process is known as the BIO hypothesis an acronym for 'Beauty Ideals are Oppressive' (Forbes et al., 2007). The BIO hypothesis has important implications because it underlines the social meaning and function of beauty inquiring the social purpose it serves. Among others, one possibility is that western beauty demands, shift social awareness from women's competencies to superficial aspects of their appearance, undermine women's self- confidence, dissipate their time, and their emotional and economic resources. In line with this claim, recently Swami and colleagues (2010) have showed that media exposure predicted women's cosmetic use and men's perceived need for women to use it. >>
Alarmingly, Puvia informs us of this bit of key research: << The project has involved 7, 434 individuals across 26 countries that represent 10 major regions (Southeast Asia, East Asia, South and West Asia, Oceania, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, North America, and South America). Media exposure was operationalized asking to participants to rate their exposure to Western or U.S. media (e.g., television, movies, magazines, and music). In addition, participants outside the United States or Britain rated their exposure to local (national) media. As expected and in line with the APA document and the premise of objectification theory, the exposure to Western media was associated with a preference for a thinner figure, implying that a greater exposure to Western or US media who portray an idealized female beauty image is related to the desire of women all around the world to look thin. Similar results were found in relation to women's body dissatisfaction: the more female participants reported to spend their time viewing Western media, the more they reported to be dissatisfied with their bodies. >>
And on top of that, a video I found via Jonathan Cook's blog, tells us this alarming story: (it opens with a shot of two fashionable women's magazines and then demonstrates the following to you)
<< Last night I found these two on my coffee table and I made a disturbing discovery. This one has 426 pages and weighs 2.5 lbs (1.15 kg). This one has 244 pages and weighs 1lb (0.42 kg). Now I will remove the exact number of pages that are ads and paid content articles. 364 pages out of 426. 85% of that magazine was made of adverts. Now the other one: 158 pages out of 244. 65%. In reality they're not magazines they're product catalogs. [..] Why does it matter? Because for decades advertising for women has been based on the same principle: (pseudo and real quotes from the magazines' pages) "You're not good enough!" "Something is wrong with you" "Actually a lot is wrong with you" "she is prettier" "You suck." "You're not smart enough." 85% of beauty magazines' content is dedicated to making you feel imperfect and inadequate. 70% of women feel guilty, ashamed and depressed after only 3 minutes of reading a fashion magazine. [..] No one can look like Sally Gifford. Not even Sally Gifford. And it gets worse. H&M has recently admitted to using computer generated body pictures in their ads. This means some of those pictures show bodies that don't even exist. That's not all. A third of women who read these are over 40. Guess how many pictures of women over 40 I could find. ZERO. 800 pages of denying human biology and creating a negative body image. [..] Today elementary school girls as young as six start to be concerned with their own weight and shape. 80% of them are unhappy with their bodies as adults. >>
What does that say about this whole sexual demonisation issue? The media primarily engaged in giving voices to extremists like Katie Hopkins, Jess Phillips and Boris Johnson is also responsible for the alleged 80% level of unhappiness among adult women concerning their body image. Not to mention promoting American-Israeli-Saudi 'warfare', aka (to the people at the receiving end) genocide.
Meanwhile the demonisation of non white men persists in the media in so many ways and tokenism simultaneously acts as a basic pretence mechanism for alleging that institutions are 'not racist'.
So let's turn to the matter of accusing people of telling other people to mutilate the genitals of other people, of all women, indeed. That day when you said all that about various people and what the facts are, whether you even know about them or not, whether you even know how amazingly you have defamed others or not - whole groups, like a society of Jews in Germany or Poland - whole groups as large and larger than that. And we will return to the topic of raping boys as well, shortly, which we have to ask ourselves about again, it turns out.
So a good example of the widespread defamation of muslims lies in the 'journalism' of Guardian writers Laurie Penny and Julie Bindel - when compared to the World Health Organisation's public statements about Female Genital Mutilation Bindel and Penny's work comes out as pure defamation - totally racist nonsense with no fact in it.
The World Health Organisation explains << Though no religious scripts prescribe the practice, practitioners often believe the practice has religious support. Religious leaders take varying positions with regard to FGM: some promote it, some consider it irrelevant to religion, and others contribute to its elimination. >>
The United Nations, at un.org, says this about the matter: << "In many communities, the practice may also be upheld by beliefs associated with religion (Budiharsana, 2004; Dellenborg, 2004; Gruenbaum, 2006; Clarence-Smith, 2007; Abdi, 2007; Johnson, 2007). Even though the practice can be found among Christians, Jews and Muslims, none of the holy texts of any of these religions prescribes female genital mutilation and the practice pre-dates both Christianity and Islam (WHO, 1996a; WHO and UNFPA, 2006). The role of religious leaders varies. Those who support the practice tend either to consider it a religious act, or to see efforts aimed at eliminating the practice as a threat to culture and religion. Other religious leaders support and participate in efforts to eliminate the practice. When religious leaders are unclear or avoid the issue, they may be perceived as being in favour of female genital mutilation." >>
Yet Laurie Penny and Julie Bindel not only demonise Islam, claiming that FGM is some part of Islamic culture, they call the Guardian newspaper a supporter of "Islamic radicals". It is not just my own experience, if you take the trouble to ask most muslim men in Britain, and above all most muslim women, how much FGM is linked to anyone in their religious community they will point out to you that the amount is zero. As the WHO and other sources make clear, FGM is not Islamic, it's part of African tribal culture and is practised by people whom missionaries converted to Judaism, Christianity and Islam in conjunction with rituals of those religions also - it is not Abrahamic. A class action by muslims against people like Penny and Bindel is surely possible one day, easily, if we simply gather a bit of will.
When I was working at a conference company in London Bridge, assisting our 'defence' sector, I got to know an American young woman, a few years younger than I, and when I'd left that job we were all still connected on facebook and she (herself a devout Catholic frustrated by the atheism of her boyfriend) started making these wild claims about muslim women. I contradicted her and she basically labelled me a terrorist and cut me off - this is someone whose conference on drones I saved from total failure due to sabotage by the employee whose job I had taken, who had apparently sabotaged that conference as a final defiant gesture after years of working at a company only to be shafted by their greed - apparently a handful of workers all took that view and resigned. So I actually saved her diseased little conference and that's how she treated me - this is a simple example of the ill effect of the defamation by people like Penny and Bindel and millions of little racist gossips everywhere.
Indeed, at the time I was working for that conference company and helping our "defence" sector as a frontline sales and marketing operative, I once found a young asian girl, working for a charity, crying outside London Bridge station. A white woman of 'senior' years had come up to her and gobbed on her face - spat on her. She was obviously extremely upset. Naturally neither the Blair mob nor the Tories want to change society so that that doesn't happen. They're too busy justifying everything they do and every aspect of our racist and barbaric apology for a society. I saw that girl's suffering. Before you try and tell me that the racism doesn't matter or that you can't do anything about it, just remember that. You do nothing about this. You make it worse. Nick Cohen was sharing a platform with Tommy Robinson - not attacking him but side by side with him. Who are Cohen's paymasters to bitch and moan at the rise of Tommy Robinson Brexitism?
As for FGM - that girl presumably was 100% unimpacted by FGM - but white racism clearly gave her no room to escape from it - full of vile gob that it always is. Frankly I'd never even heard of FGM until people like Bindel were trying to pretend that all the women in my childhood, ie relatives and friends in the religious community, were practising it - ie by labelling it a muslim doctrine. In other words Bindel had heard of it before I ever did - and no woman I am related to or knew in childhood even wears 'muslim clothes'.
Here's an example of what you'll find if you actually investigate the reality of FGM by consulting the world's leading authorities such as the World Health Organisation and the relevant women's groups in Africa which are trying to combat FGM: Percentage of women who 'support' genital mutilation, aged 15 to 49:
Guinea: Christian 61, Muslim 69
Mali: Christian 52, Muslim 81
North Sudan: Christian 42, Muslim 79
Eritrea: Christian 32, Muslim 73
Ethiopia: Christian 58, Muslim 76
Burkina Faso: Christian 7, Muslim 21
Ivory Coast: Christian 10, Muslim 50
Central African Republic: Christian 21, Muslim 31
Kenya: Muslim 15, Christian 26
Nigeria: Muslim 7, Christian 16
Benin: Christian 3, Muslim 10
Niger: Christian 7, Muslim 9
Percentage of women who 'support' genital mutilation, aged 15 to 49:
Guinea: Christian 61, Muslim 69
Mali: Christian 52, Muslim 81
North Sudan: Christian 42, Muslim 79
Eritrea: Christian 32, Muslim 73
Ethiopia: Christian 58, Muslim 76
Burkina Faso: Christian 7, Muslim 21
Ivory Coast: Christian 10, Muslim 50
Central African Republic: Christian 21, Muslim 31
Kenya: Muslim 15, Christian 26
Nigeria: Muslim 7, Christian 16
Benin: Christian 3, Muslim 10
Niger: Christian 7, Muslim 9
If you are going to accuse muslims in general of being behind FGM then you must accuse the Queen and Pope also, and also the state, which is a Monarchy headed by the Queen - our whole government, and all Christians. In reality as I have explained it is not Abrahamic, it is an African tribal practise and those unfortunate enough to have been 'converted' to Judaism, Christianity or Islam by 'missionaries' in Africa often continue the tribal practise - but also those without any such religion practise it - the practise is African, not Abrahamic, and to pretend otherwise is to expose yourself as intellectually lazy, hateful and essentially criminal (ie happy to defame people left right and centre to make yourself feel more secure, perhaps due to your own cascading flaws and slavery to consumerism and inability to control or improve yourself).
Our media is filled from the ranks of our 'good schools', moreover (that head of Ealing Studios I mentioned, who said that "you can say what you like about Rupert Murdoch but he pays people like us a lot of money" - he was at my school too. Barnaby Thompson - presumably no relation of Hunter) - a lot of people get a good education so that they can go onto a fairly cushy and well-paid job. Let me tell you about one or two of the people who come out of these "good schools".
What kind of men and women do our "good schools" turn out? Well perhaps he is atypical of the boys at my school but let me tell you about my old friend Mark. I used to send antiwar spam emails to my school friends (imagining that they may support me in standing up to tyranny since some of our teachers had taught them, not just me, to be decent, to treat others well, to not stand side by side with racism, militarism, genocide, rape, murder, etc etc), in the first year or two of the genocidal war by America and others on numerous countries in response to the "911" attack on the USA which was itself a response, without a doubt, to decades of genocide and oil theft and gas theft by the USA and its "allies" in Europe and Britain. Mark didn't like my emails, the tone of them was boorish, without a doubt, and they stood up against war whilst he, a religious jew with a love of Israel and British Imperialism both, presumably had no problem with the illegal wars even our own soldiers have time and again complained to me that they shouldn't be sent to fight.
Mark laughed at me behind my back - told friends of mine that he was keeping me "sweet" to avoid getting on my "death list". Yes, whilst millions of Iraqis and Afghans and others have been getting butchered so that men like Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch can profit from gas sales, so that weapons companies can see profit after profit - Mark is laughing, telling jokes about those who stand up on behalf of the people being butchered. Mark, by the way, is a director for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Being cultured, at least officially cultured, doesn't mean you can't share some of the more twisted ideals of Enoch Powell, apparently.
So my school, St Paul's, turns out men who laugh at people like Sophie Scholl - I wonder if you, reader, even know whom Sophie was. Do look it up if you don't. Perhaps also then look up the definition of "shame" in a good dictionary!Sunny Singh writes in the Guardian: << A vast, all-white production such as Nolan's Dunkirk is not an accident. Such a big budget film is a product of many hundreds of small and large decisions in casting, production, directing and editing. Perhaps Nolan chose to follow the example of the original allies in the second world war who staged a white-only liberation of Paris even though 65% of the Free French Army troops were from West Africa. Perhaps such a circumscribed, fact-free imagination is a product of rewriting British history over the past decades, not in the least by deliberate policies including Operation Legacy? Knowingly or not, Nolan walks in the footsteps of both film directors and politicians who have chosen to whitewash the past.
But why is it so important for Nolan, and for many others, that the film expunge all non-white presence on the beach and the ships? Why is it psychologically necessary that the heroic British troops be rescued only by white sailors? What would change if brave men fighting at Dunkirk wore turbans instead of helmets? What would alter if some of the soldiers offered namaaz on the sands before rising to face the advancing enemy for that one last time?
Why is it so important that the covering fire be provided by white French troops rather than North African and Middle Eastern ones? Those non-white faces I mentioned earlier - they were French troops scrabbling to board British boats to escape. The echoes of modern politics are easy to see in the British-first policy of the initial retreat that left French troops at the mercy of the Nazis. In reality, non-white troops were at the back of the queue for evacuation, and far more likely to be caught and murdered by Nazi soldiers than their white colleagues who were able to blend into the crowd. >>
David Swanson, meanwhile, points out also: << Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. Here is an interesting passage from Nicholson Baker:
'Anthony Eden, Britain's foreign secretary, who'd been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was 'fantastically impossible.' On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that 'Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.' Churchill agreed. 'Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,' he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, 'transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.' Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere.'
In other words, the story of Dunkirk, the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, is a story of how the Allies treated people they had some use for, and a demonstration of how they could have treated other people if they had had any use for them. >>
And yet we have Churchill on our five pound notes. Could it be that if we lived in a Britain where the film Dunkirk had not been racially biased and had not covered over the fact that non white people had played a key role in saving Britain from nazism's white supremacist armies, that if society did not fall over itself to worship the bloated and diseased racist Churchill, that Mark wouldn't have been such a (please pardon my 'French', or 'European' generally) two-faced, racist, ignorant, dickhead?
Singh asks: << Could we still see our neighbours as less than human if we also saw them fight shoulder-to-shoulder with 'our boys' in the 'good' war? Would we call those fleeing war 'cockroaches' and demand gunboats to stop them from reaching our white cliffs if we knew they had died for the freedoms we hold so dear? More importantly, would anti-immigration sentiment be so easy to weaponise, even by the left - in the past and the present - if the decent, hardworking Britons knew and recognised how much of their lives, safety and prosperity are results of non-British sacrifices? >>
And so, armed with a better idea of how widespread, entrenched and remorseless British white racism is, let us return to the racism and criminality I have experienced in British 'industry': in another conference company I worked at, a big name, in the FTSE 500, it was encouraged for people with non white names to adopt white ones - it was a big conference company where the products we were selling had fairly hefty price tags and were sold to big chiefs. Indeed their example enables me to give you some insight into how racism and criminality are part of the same network of human ignorance and cruelty: they had a method which they used (they were loathed by many people, you'd ring up and say where you were from and you could hear people shriek and run for cover) whereby we were made to say that the purchasing director of a really large company had spoken to us and said that their single biggest problem was - and then we quoted the person we were talking to back to himself (or herself) - ie we gave them the unique selling point of their own service (we were convincing them to meet purchasing directors) as they have described it on their own website (high equity per head consultancies mainly). The idea is that they become convinced that a buyer with a 100 million budget is desperate for a solution only they can provide in the best possible way. Since the purchasing director we'd mention was linked to our company one way or another we could 'get away with it' - but it was false and I suspect illegal. In that company I was trained in acquiring mobile phone numbers of managing directors of big consultancies or bigger still - through psychological tricks and deception. The treatment of women, homosexual men and non white people was visibly poor - it was a company run by contempt for humanity.
And let us not restrict these faux-elites to the segment of public schools and right wing Britain I have mentioned - remember that so-called 'left wing' Britain is also overloaded with white racism, with entrenched colonialist and imperialist beliefs and with a long history of having relied on money and resources stolen from non white people the world over using nothing but brute force - armed robbery in short.
Drawing from my own experience I would have to point out that my Oxford College, St Anne's, was overflowing with classist 'left wing' people, many of them naturally 'Blairites' - middle classes posing as 'left wing' but behaving entirely right wing. Some, who claimed links to Marxist philosophy and yet like Emily Thornberry worshipped at the altar of Saatchi-gallery latte-socialists with their Tony Blair flags. Whilst some things from that college I should mention here clarify how morally bankrupt Blair and his people are, the rest of the picture is bleak too. The white working class 'left wing' masses as represented at my college were violent and racist in their classism. Indeed what struck me most, I think, was the time three alleged marxist Blair-loving middle class northerners who liked to see themselves as working class, who blatantly hated London and the south as much as UKIP hates 'migrants' - and they once claimed to have, after some event where all the political hacks go (these three were fabians, also), thrown some chairs belonging to Magdalen College into the river. As mad and violent and stupid as the 'rich kids' who jump off Magdalen bridge on May day or whatever. Britain has a wide variety of obnoxious white-racist fuckheads, of every class, in every part of the country. It is rich with them. It has had a long history of creating and nurturing them.
And whilst we're looking at how Guardian 'feminists' like Penny and Bindel produce racist imperial propaganda by defaming millions of people crudely and yet with impunity, let us consider the legitimacy of the practises of some of their writers. Take Hadley Freeman - in an article about a case of statutory rape leading to a deeply tragic suicide. A teenage girl was sleeping with her English teacher, she was 14. She 'confessed' to a 'friend' in a christian institution who told her mother who told the cops and the teacher was arrested. Then it seems that the press demonised him and the girl committed suicide - we can only speculate why she did that but it's extremely disturbing. Freeman's article was 'creative' and described a man raping a teenage girl in numerous locations - a car, an office, his home - and how she then commits suicide. A total misrepresentation of what happened - for Freeman made it seem that the horror of the sexual experience drove the girl to suicide when in reality the girl considered herself to be 'in love' - and the trauma of its 'going wrong' clearly somehow led to her tragic end. The role of journalists like Freeman in driving the girl to her death is something we cannot ignore, but Freeman not only ignored it but rubbed it in after death by publishing her deceitful propaganda piece. Such a writer is unfit to contribute to the cause of equality, gender equality or otherwise.
So I mentioned there would be more talk about raping boys. This example will come up again when discussing NATO but I feel that it also is worth mentioning here, when discussing how white male and white female dominated media portrays Islamic culture - you see this extract from Salon makes it clear, particularly when we consider the other examples of paedophilia already mentioned in this article, that raping boys is a cultural problem which it seems many white men are somehow impacted by - for some reason it is a common theme - white men raping boys. In this case the boys are Iraqi and their mothers are present during the raping and the whole thing is recorded with sound (and thus available for posterity).
I'm obviously not asserting that white men all are desperate to rape young boys, girls and women and a few men. Although it is a regular occurrence which is hugely ignored by most of your minds. If you really think I'm saying that, you're very paranoid, very defensive and very hard to make treat me as an equal or to trust me. Anyway, the fact is that the problem of raping children (and adults) seems to be out of control in this 'predominantly-white' country and many like it. Even now more readers who are white males will prefer to feel that what I'm writing here can be ignored than not - in which case aren't you an accessory to the rise of these rapes amongst "your number"? I may not be talking about you, but there is a sense of entitlement and a great deal of privilege involved in being white, particularly in being a 'white male' - and in that environment, which has been around for centuries, deepening, depravity spreads its roots deeply. In the absence of responsibility (when you have the easy life) decadence and then cruelty and then criminality will emerge. It's high time you take a look at this. Particularly how loudly and proudly white racists racialise rape and pretend, as it has been pretended for centuries, that the job of 'the white man' is to civilise the rest of the world, and stop them raping people. Don't imagine, by the way, that such attitudes, the cornerstone of racial segregation and apartheid, deter 'white women' from procreating with non-white men. This has been one of the aims of that mission, but the more stupid white racists make the average white male look, the more they produce the opposite outcome to that which they so virulently desire (at least among ethical and more intelligent 'white women' - even if perhaps it's true that the easily led masses, fed on hyperconsumerism, fall for this cheap trick by racist white men to reduce 'competition' in the field of 'love' - even if the barriers created by wealth and so-called 'class' are stronger than ever). So what sort of things, if one is a white male, should one read about in order to make some progress here, if only by imparting your wisdom to others effectively?
Seymour Hersh writes in Salon: << 'Debating about it, ummm .. Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib .. The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out.'
'It's impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had, I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we're dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will. We will. You know there's enough out there, they can't (Applause). .. So it's going to be an interesting election year.' >>
What's going on? What is it with white men in authority and this seeming 'need' to rape boys, and not just boys. How does this make you feel: << 'So I grabbed her little sister and pulled her in front of me. As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally. Then I hid behind the TV, and I locked and loaded my M-16, and I blew those little fuckers to eternity. And I said Dirka Dirka Mohammed Jihad, Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah, they should have known they were fucking with a Marine'. >> That's from a song written and performed by a US marine. And Soraya Chemaly writes << More than 70 members of the US Military encounter coerced and abusive sexual contact, aggravated sexual assault or are raped every day. That's three every hour.' >>
The media is busy portraying these soldiers as brave and non white men as rapists. This is a media in denial. The culture of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Jimmy Savile (etc etc etc) is a culture which is very busy pointing at everyone else and saying 'rapist' and 'woman beater' - all the while that it accelerates its nasty habit of raping boys and women, day and night. A sick sick sick society. As for how 'black' Bill Cosby is on that list of examples of white racist society's famous sinners - tokenism is a fundamental part of racism! Who here wants to have a debate on whether or not Bill Cosby has not just been a token but a token icon, a token recruiter, one way or another. Is there any doubt that the alleged misdemeanours/crimes and/or convictions of those listed were caused/driven by their power and their entitlement? "We covet what we see every day", the famous western cannibal tells us from the other side of the screen behind which the Weinsteins hide.
Robert Anderson tells us << Boys grow into adolescence completely unprepared for the powerful onslaught of directionless lust that begins to fill them, while the surrounding culture gins up that lust with endless images of gorgeous women who appear available but in fact are, as figures of fantasy, not at all. Girls of the same age are given no clue what their male peers are going through, or how they might sympathize with and help them emotionally as opposed to sexually. Buttressing that ignorance is an equally poisonous form of femininity taught to females starting in early adolescence, usually by the women in their family, especially their mothers. The latter is one of the great unmentionables of modern America.
Too many women simultaneously teach their daughters that nice girls don't "give it up" to a boy without respect while implying - or, in some cases, openly stating - that said respect is made up of dates and gifts and, therefore, their vaginas somehow have a price tag. If a boy or man doesn't take a girl or woman out on a certain number of fancy dates while being polite to a fault, then he has not "earned it." In this way are girls taught to understand, however unconsciously, the enforcement role they play in our socio-economic system. Meanwhile, too many fathers are teaching their sons that if they want to "make it" with a girl, they've got to "earn it" with - guess what? - dates and gifts. These venomous "lessons" have been taught for a very long time in this country and, despite valiant attempts by smart feminists to change them, continue to be taught to this day. >>
This is the world of Telegraph and Guardian writers and readers, and Times and Sun and Mail and Mirror and all of them, the world of BBC, of ITV, of Channel 4, and the rest of the channels to boot, and of all kinds of new media sites and their leaning-towards 'posh-white' senior workforces. This is the world of most so-called 'top people' in so-called 'capitalist' institutions - I say so-called because profit stolen is just fake profit to me but I'll have to deal with all of that in an entirely separate article of the same length as this one.
These are their customs, their habits, their 'mores'. It is the world of more than that, it is the world of the many fools who follow them, the self-identifying 'working classes' who wear their subjugation proudly like a badge even when they attempt to overthrow it, bound by the chains they insist must be protected forever - their sense of difference from those deemed to not be their 'class'. However we'll have to forget about that in this article now as what I am showing is why it is that racism has become the status quo throughout Britain and it is as morally repugnant a nation as Apartheid South Africa, why 'ordinary' people I interview as a journalist say to me things like 'well why do they all come here then?' after openly admitting that Britain is very racist but saying that it should be - 'ordinary' people. From top to bottom a mentally diseased nation.
Racism and hatred of the other at every level spirals - so that absurd things are going on: as absurd as a Polish middle class British citizen's openly asserting that he has voted to leave the EU because he doesn't want 'amateur' (in the context of building) Poles coming here and undercutting him. A man is voting, in that situation, to prevent its being possible for someone else to do the one thing which enabled him to have his say in that debate (or any other) - indeed no doubt the one thing which enabled him to have enough to eat.
That's a real phenomenon. The world has gone mad. Or worse - we have swathes of middle class Western Europeans coming and being entirely mindless and paid a fortune to act as overlords over 'BAME' British labour, born and raised in Britain, subjugated beneath a low-wage ceiling and much social exclusion. This is real. The world has gone entirely mad.
Let me shatter your illusions. The statistics are alarming. Whilst demonising foreigners as 'rapey', our society's majority, its white male majority, is actually a hideously monstrous rape machine which the media isn't really talking about: Musa al-Gharbi writes: << The initial driver of US involvement was the outrage over ISIS' capture of thousands of Yazidi women and the sexual violence subsequently exercised against them - horrors which provided moral credence to the war against ISIS in much the same way that the 2001 US war against the Taliban was justified in part by highlighting the plight of Afghan women living under their rule.
However, over the course of that war, and the subsequent 2003 war in Iraq, US soldiers and contractors repeatedly used rape as a weapon of war, both against prisoners and the local civilian population. But perhaps more disturbing than the crimes committed by US personnel against Iraqis and Afghans were the atrocities committed by servicemen against their fellow soldiers.
As many as one out of three female soldiers are raped over the course of their military careers. Up to 80 percent of these assaults go unreported, in large part because reported cases rarely result in convictions or proportional punishment. In fact, the victims are frequently punished socially and professionally for reporting abuse, and they are barred from suing the government for reparations even when wrongdoing is proven.
The stats are not much better in the broader population. As many as one in five women who attend college in America are sexually assaulted over the course of their academic career, often with no justice even when the crimes are reported. This is commensurate with the broader trend in America - according to White House estimates, roughly a fifth of all American women are raped at some point in their lives.
As in the military, most of these crimes are not reported to the police, and most reported rapes are never prosecuted - let alone result in convictions for the perpetrators.
If the crimes against thousands of women in Iraq and Syria justify a US mobilization that costs nearly $10 million per day, how much more militant should Americans be about resolving the tens of thousands of cases of sexual violence that go unpunished and largely unnoticed in the United States each year? >>
He points out: << US soldiers and contractors have and continue to torture their enemies, often taking obscene photos to brag about and reminisce upon their acts. The contractors who were implicated in these abuses have never been prosecuted. Instead, one whistleblower who initially exposed these crimes, Chelsea Manning, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison'. >>
And returning to Britain, to the entire British population: according to figures at Rapecrisis.org, another 200 to 250 'white' British men committed rape in the last 24 hours - almost NONE of them will be charged with rape.
Meanwhile on an average day almost ALL 'black' and 'asian' men in Britain were branded rapists by some large media institution (if 'only' the entire gutter press and the gutter tv shows) for no acceptable reason (hatred, envy, greed, sheer hostility).
Put it like this: for all intents and purposes, most rapes in the UK are apparently not disgusting in the view of most British people - it appears. Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year' but when it's an 'asian' rapist, THEN it becomes big news - then it is disgusting. Otherwise it is not. It is on the whole ignored and people don't know that number.
Rapecrisis.org.uk tells us << 1 in 5 women aged 16 - 59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16
Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence choose to report to the police
Approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offence. >>
And whilst we're talking about disgusting things done by white racists and sexists, let's be clear about one thing: Charlie Hebdo is not Jonathan Swift. Jonathan Swift shone light on powerful people who misused power - that is satire. Whom does Charlie Hebdo shine a light on? And on top of that how balanced is its shining a light on anything it pretends it shines a light on? The point of satire is that it is in the interests of the public. Sectarian satire isn't satire it's propaganda. Satire takes no sides but the truth's, like Rumpole.
The British and American and European media is swamped by what is without a doubt nothing more than nauseating propaganda, whether we're talking about the crude drawings of Charlie Hebdo which do not belong in the same realm as real modern satirisations, like Spitting Image (Charlie Hebdo is just another arm of racism and fascism, there's a difference between that and, for example, the cartoons of Steve Bell) or whether we are talking about the more tarted up versions of hideous propaganda, such as Nick Cohen or Jonathan Freedland, to pick two out of hundreds and hundreds of soulless lackeys, grunts, whose articulation is all disingenuous, all just a tarted-up grunt.
Nick Cohen is some sort of militant atheist evangelist who goes on stage after a round of Tommy Robinson or something. Yes, Cohen spoke at an anti-Islam festival where the former EDL leader was a guest of honour.
Jonathan Cook sheds some light on who or what Jonathan Freedland is: << "Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian proves himself once again the master of cognitive dissonance. He berates the progressive left for its failure to match the emotional power of the political right's slogans. The left lacks an answer, he says, to the rise of a Donald Trump.
It is hard (for once) not to agree with Freedland when he writes that the left must have
'a response to the globalisation and automisation [sic] that has left so many millions feeling as if they, and the once flush towns they live in, have been consigned to the scrap heap. It means taming globalisation so that both its costs and benefits are shared more evenly. Right now, those at the top get the rewards while those at the bottom pay the price.
There are policy answers, starting with putting people back to work in jobs that pay decent wages. Spending billions to repair the fabric of the country - whether that be the bridges, tunnels and roads that are falling apart in the US or giving a lick of paint to towns that have been neglected for 50 years in Britain - is the obvious place to start. ..
This is the challenge now. To realise that in the battle of hearts and minds, it's never enough to win just one. You need to win both.'
But weren't Freedland and most of his colleagues at the supposedly progressive Guardian the ones who preferred Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders for the Democratic party nomination, and are now preferring Owen Smith to Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership? Are Clinton and Smith really the answer to our hunger for poetry and emotion? Do they speak to our hearts and minds? Or are they just yet more dull political automatons thrown up by a system desperate to put a gentler face on a cruel neoliberal order that benefit a tiny elite indifferent to the fate of the planet and most of those on it?
Somewhere deep in the recesses of his mind, battered long ago into silence by decades of liberal training at good schools, top universities and prestigious Guardian jobs, Freedland knows the answer.
Poets of emotion are to be found on the left. But for decades they have been 'kettled' into the side alleys of the media landscape by enforcers of the corporate status quo like the Guardian. They are slowly making their voices heard through social media. They are creating a quiet political revolution. And Freedland and his ilk are doing everything in their power to try to stop them. >>
And the deep penetration of propagandism into institutions like the Guardian extends ever onwards, so that 'even' on the subject of the writer known as George Monbiot, Jonathan Cook writes: << Abandoning science
Back in 2007, the IAEA, an agency of scientists, did its bit to assist - or at least not obstruct - US efforts to foster a political case, an entirely unjustified one, for military action against Syria and, very possibly by extension, Iran.
If the IAEA could so abandon its remit and the cause of science to help play politics on behalf of the US, what leads Monbiot to assume that the OPCW, an even more politicised body, is doing any better today?
That is not to say Assad, or at least sections of the Syrian government, could not have carried out the attack on Khan Sheikhoun. But it is to argue that in a matter like this one, where so much is at stake, the evidence must be subjected to rigorous scrutiny, and that critics, especially experts who offer counter-evidence, must be given a fair hearing by the left. It is to argue that, when the case against Assad fits so neatly a long-standing and self-serving western narrative, a default position of scepticism is fully justified. It is to argue that facts, strong as they may seem, can be manipulated even by expert bodies, and therefore due weight needs also to be given to context - including an assessment of motives.
This is not 'denialism', as Monbiot claims. It is a rational strategy adopted by those who object to being railroaded once again - as they were in Iraq and Libya - into catastrophic regime change operations.
Meanwhile, the decision by Monbiot and others to bury their heads in the sands of an official narrative, all the while denouncing anyone who seeks to lift theirs out for a better view, should be understood for what it is: an abnegation of intellectual and moral responsibility for those around the globe who continue to be the victims of western military supremacism. >>
So there's no space left in the mainstream propaganda zone for truth to walk around freely and in reach of readers. A few articles appear which go against the corporate agenda, but in the age of the internet what matters is which articles are showcased, which are given much bigger reach.
Let us look as closely as we can and as much as we can at the deceptive ways the corporate-sponsored and establishment media temporarily 'fight off' the exposing of the way things are, of facts like the many you have already read in this document and can continue to read for many more pages yet. There is no end to the examples of propaganda in our media and it doesn't take much effort for an honest and informed person to dig up loads. Let's start with ones I have recorded in the past, though.
Let's look at something particularly sick. The BBC's referring to right-wing nazi rioters in Ukraine, supporting violent anti-government aggression at a 'protest' - so not a 'peaceful protest' - as 'ad hoc security forces' of protestors. Ad hoc security. These 'ad hoc security' appear to have been led or powered by a far right military organisation whose insignia represents the slogan << We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children >>
This excerpt from Counterpunch tells us much about the reality of Ukraine and NATO's white supremacist attack on it (see rest of article in refs below) - and mentions how even the Guardian has been caught accidentally spreading white supremacist insignia on its pages: << One of the women profiled was 'Anaconda', fighting in the Aidar Battalion bankrolled by Igor Kolomoisky:
Anaconda was given her nickname by a unit commander, in a joking reference to her stature and power. The baby-faced 19-year-old says that her mother is very worried about her and phones several times a day, sometimes even during combat. She says it is better to always answer, as her mother will not stop calling until she picks up.
'In the very beginning my mother kept saying that the war is not for girls,' Anaconda says. 'But now she has to put up with my choice. My dad would have come to the front himself, but his health does not allow him to move. He is proud of me now.'
Anaconda was photographed in combat dress resolutely holding an assault rifle in front of a rather decrepit van.
'Anaconda says she is being treated well by the men in her battalion, but is hoping that the war will end soon.'
As reported by the gadfly site OffGuardian, several readers posted critical observations on the van's insignia in the comments section of the piece. One, 'bananasandsocks', wrote: 'We learn from Wikipedia that the image on the door is the 'semi-official' insignia of the 36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS---' and also pointed out the neo-Nazi significance of the number '1488'.
'bananasandsocks' seemingly temperate comment was removed by the Guardian for violating its community standards, as were several others, apparently as examples of 'persistent misrepresentation of the Guardian and our journalists'.
But then the Guardian thought better of it. While not reinstating the critical comments, it quietly deleted the original caption to the photo of Anaconda and replaced it with:
Anaconda alongside a van displaying the neo-Nazi symbol 1488. The volunteer brigade is known for its far-right links.
Problem solved? Maybe not. Maybe it's more like 'Problem dodged'. Specifically, the problem of the pervasive participation of 'ultra-right' paramilitary elements in Kyiv military operations, which even intrudes upon the Guardian's efforts to put a liberal-friendly feminist sheen on the debacle of the recent ATO in eastern Ukraine.
As to '1488', I'll reproduce the Wikipedia entry:
The Fourteen Words is a phrase used predominantly by white nationalists. It most commonly refers to a 14-word slogan: 'We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.' It can also refer to another 14-word slogan: 'Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth.'
Both slogans were coined by David Lane, convicted terrorist and member of the white separatist organization The Order. The first slogan was inspired by a statement, 88 words in length, from Volume 1, Chapter 8 of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf:
Neo-Nazis often combine the number 14 with 88, as in '14/88' or '1488'. The 8s stand for the eighth letter of the alphabet (H), with 'HH' standing for 'Heil Hitler'.
Lane died in prison in 2007 while serving a 190 year sentence for, among other things, the murder of Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg. David Lane has considerable stature within global white nationalist/neo-Nazi/fascist circles as one of the American Aryan movement's premier badasses (in addition involvement in to the Berg murder - in which he denied involvement - and a string of bank robberies to finance the movement - also denied, Lane achieved a certain martyr's stature for enduring almost two decades in Federal detention, frequently in the notorious Communications Management Units).
And David Lane was a big deal for the 'ultra-right' & fascists in Ukraine, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Lane's death touched off paeans from racists around the country and abroad. June 30 was designated a 'Global Day of Remembrance,' with demonstrations held in at least five U.S. cities as well as England, Germany, Russia and the Ukraine.
Judging by this video, the march/memorial on the first anniversary of his death, in 2008, organized by the Ukrainian National Socialist Party in Kyiv, was well enough attended to merit a police presence of several dozen officers. The sountrack to the clip, by the way, is an elegy to David Lane performed by Ukraine's premier white nationalist metal band at the time, Sokyra Peruna. >>
(See video at counterpunch.org via link to item 'fascist formations in Ukraine' in references below).
Next let's look at what Jonathan Cook intelligently points out about the Guardian's "Greenslade" - some typical establishment neo-liberal (people who believe that the rights of an individual person should be the rights an individual profit-making entity also has, people who dishonestly re-apply liberalism to a capitalist world).
Jonathan Cook writes << If anyone has made the mistake of becoming a sponsor of the Guardian, I urge you to read this piece by Roy Greenslade, their media analyst. At the end of his column, he slips in his thoughts about the recent LSE study into the treatment of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by all the UK press, including the supposedly liberal Guardian.
As Greenslade admits: "Researchers concluded that the papers had been guilty of vilifying Corbyn through character assassination, ridicule of his personality, and the delegitimisation of his politics. .. Often portrayed as a clown-like figure, he was derided as the comic political equivalent of the TV character Mr Bean (Mr Corbean)."
He quotes from the report:
'What the UK newspapers have done - and continue to do - to the Labour leader has grown beyond a political question. It now also raises ethical and democratic ones.
'A healthy democracy, to be sure, requires a strong watchdog in its press - but not an attack dog, snarling and barking at a different looking and distinctive talking politician that happens to challenge the status quo and advocate for a different kind of politics.
'In view of the results of our study, the British people also deserve a different kind of political journalism, critical yes, but also respectful of difference and civic.'
His response to these systematic abuses of Corbyn by the media is truly disturbing. He writes:
"But I wonder if that really is what the British people want? Do they hunger for unbiased political coverage? Do they want politicians treated with respect?
"I think we can presume that Labour MPs are not susceptible to press spin. Similarly, the fact that there is - according to that Times/YouGov poll - a healthy majority in favour of Corbyn among Labour members, they are not being influenced by the coverage. So where's the proof of harm?
"As for the readers of the eight titles, can anyone demonstrate that the negative coverage of Corbyn has unduly influenced their readerships?"
So it seems the media have no meaningful influence or role in educating and shaping the views of their readers. It makes no difference whether we have a plurality of views and perspectives, or simply a single party line.
Greenslade implies that were Rupert Murdoch to run the entire UK media it would make little difference to the health of British democracy.
We currently have a tightly limited spectrum of allowable thought. It seems the liberal "guardians" of the media are unprepared to defend even that small window on the world. >>
Frankie Boyle sums up the intellectual dishonesty of the western media and establishment beautifully in this aside on Facebook: << We're told Corbyn is useless, then he manages to put together a more competent cabinet out of his billiards partner, an ex-girlfriend, mirrors, and some masking tape than May did with the entire back catalogue of fee-paying education's finest. It's weird to see the media cast him as a bully, and it might just be a simple case of projection. At the moment he's re-enacting a Spanish bullfight. He's a beige bull staggering around an allotment with a couple of dozen swords sticking out of him, heroically whispering, 'Who wants a courgette, I've got a glut'. >>
And when asking yourself whether or not the western corporate news you watch or read is imperial, racist, genocidal and fucked up, consider this: consider Genie's oil exploration efforts in occupied Syria.
Michael Dickinson writes << Should not FOX News and Murdoch-owned news outlets disclose this hot story to their millions of viewers and readers? Should they not be made aware that the Murdoch-owned news outlets which generally support U.S. military action against Syria, do not inform their viewers and readers that the bossman has a vested interest in war and the overthrow of the Assad government in Damascus in order to further Genie's oil exploration efforts in occupied Syria?
Yes, Rupert Murdoch and his longtime pal Lord Jacob Rothschild are major shareholders in, (a joint 5.5 percent stake worth $11 million), and members of the Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Energy, - a spin-off company from telecoms group IDT Corp. (US ex- Vice President Dick Cheney is also a board member.)
Israel has granted Genie oil exploration in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, captured and annexed from Syria in the 1967 war. Genie plans to drill 10 exploratory wells over three years there, at a cost of $25-$30 million, even though the drilling of new wells - let alone fracking - by an occupying power is illegal. >>
It'd be great if more than a fraction of British 'intelligent' people, whether the 'elite' or the 'non-elite' which assumes that the one thing which is the case is that it, not 'the elite' is 'the elite', were actually in any way intelligent or informed enough to know, for example, that in a lecture entitled "On Power and Ideology", Noam Chomsky points out:
<< So if the United States ends up being almost universally isolated on Iran, that won't be anything particularly new, and in fact there are quite a few other cases. Well, in the case of Iran, the reasons for U.S. concerns are very clearly and repeatedly articulated: Iran is the gravest threat to world peace. We hear that regularly from high places - government officials, commentators, others - in the United States. There also happens to be a world out there, and it has its own opinions. It's quite easy to find these out from standard sources, like the main U.S. polling agency. Gallup polls takes regular polls of international opinion. And one of the questions it posed - it's posed is: Which country do you think is the gravest threat to world peace? The answer is unequivocal: the United States by a huge margin. Way behind in second place is Pakistan - it's inflated, surely, by the Indian vote - and then a couple of others. Iran is mentioned, but along with Israel and a few others, way down. That's one of the things that it wouldn't do to say, and in fact the results that are found by the leading U.S. polling agency didn't make it through the portals of what we call the free press. But it doesn't go away for that reason.
Well, given the reigning doctrine about the gravity of the Iranian threat, we can understand the virtually unanimous stand that the United States is entitled to react with military force - unilaterally, of course - if it claims to detect some Iranian departure from the terms of the agreement. So, again, picking an example virtually at random from the national press, consider the lead editorial last Sunday in The Washington Post. It calls on Congress - I'll quote - to "make clear that Mr. Obama or his successor will have support for immediate U.S. military action if an Iranian attempt to build a bomb is detected" - meaning by the United States. So the editors, again, make it clear that the United States is exceptional. It's a rogue state, indifferent to international law and conventions, entitled to resort to violence at will. But the editors can't be faulted for that stand, because it's almost universal among the political class in this exceptional nation, though what it means is, again, one of those things that it wouldn't do to say.
Sometimes the doctrine takes quite a remarkable form, and not just on the right, by any means. So take, for example, the Clinton Doctrine - namely, the United States is free to resort to unilateral use of military power, even for such purposes as to ensure uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources - let alone security or alleged humanitarian concerns. And adherence to this doctrine is very well confirmed and practiced, as need hardly be discussed among people willing to look at the facts of current history. >>
And then we have Monbiot. Ever-reliable when it comes to scrutinising the Guardian, Jonathan Cook tells us all about Monbiot's opposition to free speech: Jonathan Cook points out << Monbiot himself who has been using his prominent platforms, at the Guardian and on social media, to discredit critical thinkers on the left - not with reasoned arguments, but by impugning their integrity.
It started with his unsubstantiated claim that scholars like Noam Chomsky and the late Ed Herman, as well as the acclaimed journalist John Pilger, were "genocide deniers and belittlers". It now focuses on childish insinuations that those who question the corporate media's simplistic narrative on Syria are Assad apologists or in Vladimir Putin's pay.
But worse than this, Monbiot is also conspiring - either actively or through his silence - to deny critics of his and the Guardian's position on Syria the chance to set out their evidence in its pages. >>
Cook goes on: << Now the paper is denying a platform to those who question simplistic and self-serving western narratives on Syria. And Monbiot is backing his employer to the hilt, even as he professes his commitment to the publication of views he fiercely disagrees with. That's the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.
'Selfless' White Helmets?
The latest instalment of the Guardian and Monbiot's long-running battle to silence Syria dissidents arrived last month when Olivia Solon, the paper's technology writer living in San Francisco, developed a sudden and unexpected expertise in a controversial Syrian group called the White Helmets.
In the western corporate media narrative, the White Helmets are a group of dedicated and selfless rescue workers. They are supposedly the humanitarians on whose behalf a western intervention in Syria would have been justified - before, that is, Syrian leader Bashar Assad queered their pitch by inviting in Russia.
However, there are problems with the White Helmets. They operate only in rebel - read: mainly al-Qaeda and ISIS-held - areas of Syria, and plenty of evidence shows that they are funded by the UK and US to advance both countries' far-from-humanitarian policy objectives in Syria.
There are also strong indications that members of the White Helmets have been involved in war crimes, and that they have staged rescue operations as a part of a propaganda offensive designed to assist Islamic extremists trying to oust Assad. (Solon discounts this last claim. In doing so, she ignores several examples of such behaviour, concentrating instead on an improbable "mannequin challenge", when the White Helmets supposedly froze their emergency operations, in the midst of rescue efforts, apparently as part of a peculiar publicity campaign.)
Guardian hatchet job
Whatever side one takes in this debate, one would imagine that Monbiot should have a clear agenda in support of hearing evidence from all sides. One might also imagine that he would want to distance himself from Solon's efforts to tie criticism of the White Helmets to a supposed "fake news" crisis and paint those critical of the group as Putin-bots. According to Solon:
The way the Russian propaganda machine has targeted the White Helmets is a neat case study in the prevailing information wars. It exposes just how rumours, conspiracy theories and half-truths bubble to the top of YouTube, Google and Twitter search algorithms.
Those are the same algorithms that have been changed in recent months to make sure that prominent leftist websites are increasingly difficult to find on internet searches and their writers' views effectively disappeared.
Yet Monbiot has been using social media to promote Solon's cheerleading of the White Helmets and her hatchet job against on-the-ground journalists who have taken a far more critical view of the group.
As set out by Prof Tim Hayward, the Guardian's response to criticism of Solon's piece has been typical. The comments section below the article was hastily closed after many criticisms were voiced by readers. The journalists who were singled out for attack by Solon were denied a right of reply. A group of concerned academics led by Hayward who submitted their own article, which detailed publicly available evidence to counter Solon's simplistic account of the White Helmets, were ignored. Meanwhile, the Guardian's editors and the reader's editor have ignored all efforts by these parties to contact them.
Given his claim to be an uncompromising defender of free speech and a fierce advocate of providing platforms to those who can back up their arguments with evidence, however discomforting, one might have assumed that Monbiot would at the very least have lobbied on behalf of Hayward and his fellow scholars. But not a bit of it. Yet again he has joined the dogs of the corporate media baying for blood. Instead he turned to Twitter to claim Hayward and Piers Robinson, an expert on propaganda, had "disgraced" themselves. >>
These examples have been quite hard work for you, I admit, so let me show you some of the most obvious and clear examples of unprofessionalism, of deception, of buffoonery, by our 'respected' well paid journalists:
Does 'red meat cause cancer'? 'Probably'.
WHO tells us: << Red meat was classified as Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans. What does this mean exactly?
In the case of red meat, the classification is based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies showing positive associations between eating red meat and developing colorectal cancer as well as strong mechanistic evidence.
Limited evidence means that a positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer but that other explanations for the observations (technically termed chance, bias, or confounding) could not be ruled out. >>
WHO also explains: << Processed meat was classified as Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. What does this mean?
This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. In other words, there is convincing evidence that the agent causes cancer. The evaluation is usually based on epidemiological studies showing the development of cancer in exposed humans.
In the case of processed meat, this classification is based on sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.
9. Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Tobacco smoking and asbestos are also both classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Does it mean that consumption of processed meat is as carcinogenic as tobacco smoking and asbestos?
No, processed meat has been classified in the same category as causes of cancer such as tobacco smoking and asbestos (IARC Group 1, carcinogenic to humans), but this does NOT mean that they are all equally dangerous. The IARC classifications describe the strength of the scientific evidence about an agent being a cause of cancer, rather than assessing the level of risk.
10. What types of cancers are linked or associated with eating red meat?
The strongest, but still limited, evidence for an association with eating red meat is for colorectal cancer. There is also evidence of links with pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer. >>
One needs to then ask questions about: (a) all processed foods, and (b) all meat products.
Meanwhile you can be sure the gutter press and so on will run stories, whenever they can, asserting that 'healthy eating' is 'unhealthy'!
The number of people who take pride in not evolving is an intriguingly high one, I think you'll find, if you do an extensive survey.
To be fair it's not 'merely' the gutter press. In the Independent, Sarah Young writes: << one nutritionist recommends returning to our lard ingesting ways and even goes as far as to suggest it could be good for us >>.
The headline is: << Lard can be healthier than butter, nutritionist reveals >>.
Ah, the revelation of the nutritionist. So Sarah Young, whose bio reveals her specialisms nowadays are the military and warfare (I guess she's a fan of NATO-backed genocide) tells us insane and moronic things like:
<< Before the trend toward plant-based oils gained traction, us Brits would consume good old-fashioned lard without fear. >>
Note - for Sarah, lard is PATRIOTIC and GOOD OLD. Lard is it. The real thing. I presume you're too dishonest to even begin to answer me intelligently Sarah Young you fake-journalist.
For Sarah, plant-based oils "gain traction" and other unpleasant things. Take her advice and stay away from those damn slimmers. Get fat. Be British.
This is the Independent. Better than the Guardian in some ways - they will report slightly more truth about war and genocide, but not that much more. (Although maybe this Sarah Young piece is in both, who knows?) All such things are controlled by "d-notices" so don't blame them. They only pretend to be what you imagine they are - ie "media" - they are pantos.
Either they are pantos - or we should all switch over to lard right now. who's going to prove me wrong? Which of us will now move to a lard-centric diet?
What other insanely idiotic things does she say? (British readers, do understand that THE GLOBE can look on and see that Britain's "elites" are a bunch of very stupid infant-minded fake-adults!! Yes. Surely that cannot be good.)
<< grease has been shunned in favour of fashionable alternatives like coconut, macadamia nut or even avocado oil. >>
Shunned... alas. whilst other things are merely "fashionable" (not healthier). Don't shun grease!!!! Grease is patriotic. Consider Travolta. Do not FEAR lard - al qa'eda wants you to FEAR lard.
Now, this is where Sarah Young's fake journalism then reaches absolutely sick and bordering on criminal behaviour - this is where she tells you doctors are stupid and lard sellers are geniuses and medically your best bet for any kind of medical advice:
<< Despite the show's findings, the NHS still recommends using 'healthier' alternatives.
"Try to cut down on foods that are high in saturated fat and have smaller amounts of foods that are rich in unsaturated fat instead"
"For a healthy choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee."
So to the media, to Sarah Young, this is what British science really is (why listen to all those non white non British doctors and medics or the World Health Organisation when you can listen to some writer at the sun or a fat man selling you donuts in a donut shop) - warnings from actual doctors put in single quotes to imply they are not in reality 'healthier' - only/merely what the doctor 'claims' is healthier.
Whereas what they take as gospel is what lard sellers, broadcasters and idiots say.
But they're not so 'idiotic' when mentioning the small print - ie where the admit, in code, "but bear in mind we ARE wrong so when you die it's on your own head" - in this case they say: << However, we should be mindful of our portion sizes as they are very energy dense foods >>
So they admit that actually you SHOULD TRY AND AVOID EATING LARD - they admit that, but not in so many words, just making sure that they are covered legally. They ARE telling you to not eat lard, but they headline it by saying, "it's okay to eat lard" and go on to tell you "maybe it'll improve your health" - before admitting "but if you eat more than a small amount it'll harm you".
Hah!!! So Sarah Young, fake journalist, you do not write in order to articulate truth or tell people about things they should know about - no. You are paid to write words, you write words for money. Whatever words will make money for you, you will write. You are not a journalist, you are an advertising slogan writer, complex ads, called press releases. You should quit your job and go back to education and become less of a fucking moron Sarah Young. Also catering to the lowest common denominator - militarists and racists:
Reader, draw your own conclusions about lard, ukip and "whiteness" and what the media here is subconsciously saying about it all:
<< one nutritionist recommends returning to our lard ingesting ways and even goes as far as to suggest it could be good for us >>
Well I'll help you - it is saying "let us return to our past" and appeals to ukippers saying "make britain white again", not knowing, of course, that 9,000 years ago EVERYONE in this area was dark skinned and much closer to today's "asian" and "african" "skin colours" than "white" - so if you really want to go back - oh ukip - you'll have to find a way to stop existing. Because your 'skin tone' wasn't even here 9,000 years ago, although your ancestors were, and so were mine. They were in fact the "same people".
Let's return to the key lie Sarah Young and the Indy are telling in order to discourage you from eating healthier food:
<< And while past research has linked unsaturated fats to heart disease, more recent ones suggest that eating healthy unsaturated fats could actually improve heart health. >>
That line does not say "more recent ones suggest that unsaturated fats are not linked to heart disease" it has merely said "unsaturated fats could actually improve heart health".
The 'improvements' they speak of could be, if existing, very trivial; meanwhile if they had evidence that lard prevented heart disease, they'd put it in the headline.
These are liars. Do not be deceived by their sugar coated bullshit. Inside that's all it really is.
What is sarah young doing? Selling fat? Maybe - what happened when I clicked on her name to try and see more about her and what she writes - it told me all. it asked me to buy kit kats. That's because the ad on the page was for kit kats and the html is so poor or the design is so evil that when you click on her name it takes you to the ad instead (they are paid when you click that ad, I presume).
This is what it boils down to - Sarah Young is NOT an 'independent' 'journalist' - her article says "Eat lard! Eat lard! Eat fats. Eat fats." And the advert on the page pretty much then says "Here - buy some fatty food".
So let's recap, on that Indy article, Sarah Young tells her audience to eat fatty foods, and the advert on the page immediately tries to sell them some fatty food. That is not journalism - it's a press release for the kit kats and all fatty foods.
Anyway. Returning to the World Health Organisation's warning about red meat and processed meat - I don't suppose you'd get much sense out of Sarah Young if you asked for her opinion on that. It would not be profitable for her to answer truthfully! Eg bear in mind that for me TVhobo is a liability not an asset. It costs money, it doesn't make it.
Another shockingly stupid man paid to write and lie to you about unhealthy food is Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz.
This, in the Independent again, is Katz demonstrating the real relationship between the average westerner and mathematics:
This is his "reasoning" for why to disregard the fact that there seems to be a 25% lower chance of getting cancer from what you eat if what you eat is organic, over the course of your life:
<< The absolute risk difference was very small. While those who ate the most organics were 25% less likely to get cancer, this actually equated to an absolute risk reduction of about 0.5% >>
ie he's saying that the actual chance of your getting cancer at all, from anything, including smoking or living in a city, or using a mobile phone, for example, anything at all, including eating - is only changed by 0.5% - which he wants you to focus on and not worry about the fact that the chance of getting it from what you eat changes by 25% if what you eat is organic.
This dishonest, innumerate, illiterate deceptive shit - this is called "elite" in our part of the world.
<< while I don't think it means very much at all, it's still a well done piece of science >>
The reason I don't have to give a shit how stupid what Katz and fucking entitled morons who love themselves, like him, think, is that real science, actual correct science, being honest, humble and hard working - has led me to, for example, develop algorithms which literally "print money" from the currency markets and even other markets, over longer periods of time.
Thus the evidence is there - Katz is a fucking moron and all idiots like him are easy for me to debunk. Science is something they have NO relationship with Katz presents opinion, only opinion and NOTHING BUT OPINION.
A pretty retarded, a pretty 'rum', a pretty opinionated opinion at that - unchangeable - unobjective - he is unwilling to change his views when shown data which proves his views wrong.
What a patronising fuckwit. The scientists he is patronising there must feel quite a lot of hatred towards the slimey, mercantile-feudal, bluffing, smelly, diseased piece of crap that he would surely be if he were taking his own published opinions on diet seriously!!!
No satire can be cruel enough to idiots like that.
A "well done piece of science" is something ARTHUR DALEY might say. What a patronising word-jockey.
Forget the World Health Organisation and what it tells you. Listen to Gideon Katz.
When you are wondering whether or not to buy organic meat or whether to be cool and 'smart' like Gideon, bear in mind what else I have covered on this topic, relating to antibiotics:
Is there a 'debate' about eating organic meat instead of 'ordinary' meat? Let me repeat myself, as one of my best teachers made it clear to me you sometimes have to do. Actually now that I think about it at least three of my best teachers!
Is there a 'debate' about it? I hardly think so.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, tells us: << Resistance is an ancient phenomenon related to many factors  including the excessive use of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine [13,14] and cross-transmission of resistant strains from humans to humans and from animals to humans. A recent study  identified ESBL-producing E. coli strains in up to 80% of retail chicken-meat samples in The Netherlands, a country with very low resistance rates in humans until now. Similar strains have been detected in rectal swabs from humans working with animals , and consumers are probably at risk for contamination during meal preparation or consumption of insufficiently cooked meat . >>
And (as I mentioned earlier) the Guardian reports that a Cambridge University study revealed: << One in four samples of chicken bought from major supermarket chains contained antibiotic-resistant E coli in a study by the University of Cambridge.
The bacterium was discovered in packs of meat sold at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Aldi, Waitrose, the Co-op and Morrisons. Scientists tested products such as whole roasting chickens, diced breast meat and packets of legs, thighs and drumsticks, detecting ESBL E coli - resistant to many types of antibiotics - on 22 of 92 samples.
The study, commissioned by the campaign group Save Our Antibiotics, also found 51% of E coli from pork and poultry samples were resistant to the antibiotic trimethoprim, which is used to treat more than half of lower urinary tract infections >>
So let's get something clear - if you buy meat which is not labelled organic meat - if it is not something you have checked out and are confident is made by ethical and health-conscious farmers, then you are almost certainly exposed to meat/poultry which in its lifetime has been given a lot of antibiotics.
If there's any 'debate' in your mind about whether eating such meat/poultry is no different to eating meat/poultry which has been more intelligently reared - you may not really have any proper notion of what the word 'debate' means! Try again. Think hard. If someone simply tells you that in their personal opinion there's no reason to eat organic meat - is that really any kind of answer to the crystal clear evidence relating to antibiotics which ought to inform your decisions?
Now, Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, Sarah Young, you two (to begin with) - if you have even one grain of honesty and decency and intelligence in you answer me this: why do you write such bullshit and take the money you are paid for it and consider you have 'earned' that money? You are fiends and thieves, stealing from the human race.
As for the rest, if you want some shocking numbers, consider this over the next 60 minutes:
More than 3 deaths every hour, on average, as a result of eating processed meat.
Approximately 3 to 4 deaths per hour worldwide are attributable to diets high in processed meat.
Approximately 700 people die per hour (over 6 million every year) as a result of death caused by smoking tobacco.
The argument the mainstream media used to explain why they were not willing to debate the matter of how much cancer and death is caused by consuming processed meat (which you can buy in the majority of fast food restaurants and the majority or totality of supermarkets) outside the confines of their corporation-dominated agenda is that the 700 people who die per hour of smoking are far more a concern than the 3 to 4 people who die per hour from eating processed meat.
In other words, unless eating processed meat kills significantly more than 4 people per hour (that's this hour, for example, this very hour - during it four people died, possibly in pain, because they ate processed meat a great deal), such mainstream media sources are not willing to consider that its impact on human life (killing humans) is the same as the impact of smoking - somehow the fact that smoking kills 'more' per hour means that it really does kill, whereas we can just pretend processed meat doesn't kill anyone and go about our business and let people sell it whilst claiming that what it is they are selling is nutritious, good for you and will keep you alive - when in reality it kills 4 people per hour.
So what do you think of Katz and Young NOW, reader? Can what they write harm your children? I'll leave you to consider the answer to that. Would you call their claims about reality a tiny bit 'fake'? Would you admit that this is the real meaning of 'fake news' - when someone tells you things about what they claim you can eat when the claims are demonstrably false?
Still want to contradict me? Okay, let's move on to Rowena Mason and her apparent belief that computers are the enemy of anyone who wants a job! [to be continued in this spot asap, later today maybe, otherwise just as soon as i god damn well can, eh?)
In this same world Conservative MP Mark Harper has defended racist behaviour on the part of his department, ie shocking 8 million 'non indiginous British' people of assorted dark and light skin colours and who are voters, and others, who are also voters, and see no difference between themselves and others based on skin colour and 'lineage', with the words "GO HOME".
When I was a kid a national front guy once accosted me randomly in a tube station screaming 'Go home' at me - it was a terrifying experience. That someone who imagines they have the sensitivity and intelligence to be an MP could give the go ahead to vans with the words "GO HOME" on them in such a fashion as was done - indicates that we have been voting for the wrong people far too much of the time. This is more than mere incomptence. It's incompetence and throwback values, it's not modern. It's some kind of regression heading dangerously in the general direction of Victorian England - but you'll have to wait for my article on 'the economy' - or rather, the money - to appreciate how dangerously close we already are to that place and time.
This is the current political and media climate and has been for some time - crazy racists like Mark Harper, Martin Amis, Katie Hopkins, Boris Johnson, these are not 'dinosaurs' - they are the mainstream. There's a lot of it about, hard and soft. Consider the rabid Corbyn-phobe Laura Kuenssberg.
These media racists, these mouthy fascist bitches-to-corporations maintain a status quo of unending racism. I once dated a woman, young, or at least younger than I, just by a couple of years, who worked in a fairly senior position at a fairly big alcohol firm exporting its wares across Europe and the world. This well paid woman, albeit conned by estate agents no different to herself (she pushed alcohol onto unsuspecting punters, they pushed shit homes onto unsuspecting punters) into buying a flat which once she'd bought it she sat down and cried inside it, realising what a con it was she'd wasted her 'hard earned' money on, once told me that in her view 'black people' were given AIDS by 'god' as a punishment for having forced (yes forced) the white man to civilise him. Yes. Apparently AIDS is a punishment from 'god' for wasting the white man's time - he needed to be busy raping his daughters and we insisted he come to our nations and lands and teach us, through violence, rape and destruction, how to be 'civilised'. Before this civilising force arrived in India, by the way, India possessed 23% of the world's wealth. After he, 'the white man', left that was down to 3%. We are dealing with the Paul Daniels of civilisers. That's magic, eh? So H, the woman I dated who believed AIDS was a punishment from 'god' on a specific 'race' - she's shocking in the sense that one so young isn't supposed to have such backward views. Her brother works at a major scientific lab, an agency of physics. I wonder how similar his views are to hers. In the western world, after all, science isn't even science - it's more of a corporate product than anything related to truth (but here again we are entering the domain of an entirely separate article which I'll have to write - which can help explain why Britain is so racist on the basis that it can help explain why British people are so stupid).
Similar to the white woman who spat on that young asian girl in London bridge I mentioned earlier is an aged white woman in Shepherd's Bush in a supermarket queue in front of me. As the non white, east asian checkout girl processed her items the white woman told me, and bear in mind I 'look white' and often find myself being told stuff about my own racial superiority as a white person by a white racist - and she said to me, in front of this hard working girl, she said that her husband fought in World War 2 but that she had seen Germany and "it's lovely" and she said that we shouldn't have been fighting Hitler. Then she pointed at the checkout girl and told me that it was people like the checkout girl we should be fighting, and that they come here and 'cheat the benefits'. I put it to a white middle class friends of mine who I don't think knows any non-token non-white people other than me, and he insisted that the woman was 'a dinosaur' and unrepresentative of but the tiniest minority of white Britain. That was in about 2013. Fast forward to today, to Brexit. Where did all this support come from, ie for white racism? Was white society warned? Hmm. Well. I think we all know the answer.
The plight of Jamaican immigrants from the 'Windrush generation', who experienced considerable unnecessary hardship as a result of the government's policy to deliberately create a 'hostile environment,' attracted a brief burst of media attention recently.
The scandal arguably received greater airtime than one might have expected for an issue of this nature, perhaps because of the global groundswell of revulsion to the stark neoliberalism, and its attendant fascist undertones, epitomized by Donald Trump; a man whose redeeming quality appears to be his ability to galvanise people to finally speak out against his government's inhuman and destructive policies - although many of them, such as those relating to the current controversy around border control, were actually initiated by his illustrious predecessor, Barack Obama. Incidentally, Obama also prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous U.S. Presidents combined, and officially granted the President the right to execute anyone in the world via executive order, without due process or trial. These actions, which do not seem any less draconian than those of Trump, were, however, not generally deemed worthy of criticism by the media.
Trump's posturing and bullying, grotesque enough to alarm even his ideological fellow-travellers - due to their (entirely justified) fear that his antics might reveal their own true nature, through their complicity in his basic world-view - have evidently helped to create a climate where people feel freer to speak out against blatant injustice and hypocrisy, and we can be grateful to him for that. Were it not for this, there is no real reason to suppose that the victimization which these legal residents of the UK endured, due to their ethnic origin, would be reported in the media as anything other than isolated incidents, rather than being seen as part of a ubiquitous pattern of abusive behaviour.
Indeed, given the overwhelming bias in the UK media's perspective on immigration issues and ethnicity (in a 2014 survey, 78% of British people of all ethnicities felt that the media's coverage of ethnic minorities promotes racism) it's not difficult to see how the government might have thought that the 'hostile environment' policy was a good idea when it was originally implemented back in 2010, long before Trump's surprise win laid bare the true character of the neoliberal vision for the world - at a time when openly xenophobic opinions were newly on the rise amongst the middle classes.
By hastily apologizing and granting the Windrush migrants immediate citizenship and financial compensation, the government sought to draw a line under the issue. A Labour motion to release official documents relating to the Windrush scandal was narrowly defeated by a government majority, ensuring that the true deliberations behind this calculated act of vindictiveness will remain hidden from public scrutiny.
But the environment which created this policy has not, through this act of atonement, magically gone away; indeed, it is still on the rise. A recent report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern over the normalisation of hateful, stigmatising discourse against minorities in the UK, the alarming spike in racially and religiously motivated hate crimes, and the general political narrative surrounding Brexit Britain's approach to immigration.
Such an environment can present those who, like me, are visibly not of Anglo-Saxon descent, but who were born and raised in the UK, with a quandary. Perhaps it can be illustrated by considering the case of Sajid Javid.
Javid, who replaced Amber Rudd as Home Secretary following the Windrush debacle, describes himself as a 'second-generation immigrant'. In reality, there is no such thing - there are immigrants, and there are the descendants of immigrants. The latter cannot also be considered immigrants, since they have not migrated anywhere. The fact that such people are commonly referred to as such, even by themselves, gives the lie to the myth that this is a society in which all citizens are considered equal.
The new Home Secretary is considered a poster-boy for equal opportunities: the state-educated son of a Pakistani bus driver, he has achieved notable success in the worlds of banking and politics. Perhaps, if we scrutinize his career, the rest of us 'second-generation immigrants' might learn a thing or two about how to be more successful in our adopted country.
Although his parents were unqualified when they arrived in the UK, Javid is on record as saying that migration should be skills-based. He also voted for the 'hostile environment' policy, and has voted sixteen times against a tax on bankers' bonuses.
Javid is a landlord, and has voted against proposed legislation making it illegal for landlords to rent property that is unfit for human habitation. He also voted to reduce the disability benefit.
During his tenure as a Director at Deutsche Bank, the bank was involved in a series of scandals around malfeasance, including tax evasion, LIBOR manipulation and the sale of toxic securities, resulting in fines of over $3 billion. Javid himself devised an offshore tax avoidance scheme for the bank, into which he was able to channel his ample bonuses.
So it seems that, for someone from an ethnic minority to achieve success in the UK, all you have to do is place yourself unhesitatingly at the service of a corporate class which has no regard for human life, regardless of the social or human cost, and betray the communities which nurtured you.
If you do that, a fatally-wounded Prime Minister might just give you a shot at high office, although your tenure will probably not outlast hers. You might even have the distinction of being the first British Home Secretary from your particular ethnic group, even if only for a few months, so you can help her ride out a particularly nasty storm, until your permanent replacement can assume the position - most likely a white male, educated at Eton and Oxford. In the meantime, you can curry favour by attempting to use your ethnic background to help convey a false impression of diversity in the cabinet.
Some people might balk at such a suggestion, but not Javid; he's happy to take whatever crumbs his masters throw in his direction, as long as he gets to live in the big house, and lord it over the other peasants.
It's interesting that, in all the headlines and discussions which have surrounded the Windrush issue, none of them has made any reference or acknowledgement of what the Windrush generation were doing here in the first place - they were invited here by the government of the time, in order to provide a cheaper and more hard-working source of labour than that which was locally available. Is it really any wonder, then, that the indigenous workforce has always been hostile to them?
So you see it is hardly surprising that this is a very racist country, in which it is common to see people, big and small, left and right, demonising non white people, a country full of out of control racist men raping the country's own daughters in a frenzy, and the daughters of many other countries, buying and selling bombs, using bombs, justifying the use of bombs, and so on, and everyone who isn't white has to face this very entrenched colonial/imperial-era style racism.
And this has so many repercussions. At every level. A particularly important one is housing - how do the master race, as they see themselves, require that we under-people live?
So let us return to the levels of racism experienced in so many ways by not only muslim women but numerous other 'non white' British women and indeed their male counterparts. For example, even the BBC was forced to report on the fact that 10 London letting agents told a reporter posing as a landlord they would not let to 'African-Caribbean' people at his request. A black researcher was denied viewings, yet his white counterpart was welcomed. BBC London was initially tipped off certain letting agents were willing to discriminate against African-Caribbean people on behalf of landlords, with the alleged misdoing rife in parts of west London. Which leads us to the matter of Grenfell. Of the two tier housing, both public and private, in this country.
Hannah Al-Othman of Buzzfeed reports << "A Grenfell Tower resident who wrote a blog post warning that it would take a "catastrophic fire" for the building's landlord to take notice of safety concerns has told BuzzFeed News how he almost died when the tower block was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Wednesday.
Edward Daffarn, 55, is one of the campaigners from Grenfell Action Group, which published a series of blog posts warning of fire safety concerns with Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), the private business that has the contract with the local authority to run its social housing.
In one post on 20 November last year, he warned: "It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders." >>
Have a read of some key quotes of a recent Counterpunch article about the Grenfell disaster in Kensington and Chelsea:
<< The revealing truth is portrayed in graphic pictures and shameful words. A tower block going up in flames like a papier-mache construction; close to a hundred killed - and still counting; no assistance whatsoever from the responsible Kensington & Chelsea Council; an insulting absence of concern or commitment to redress failings by the same authorities; a curtain of secrecy on initial plans to scatter the survivors across the length and breadth of England; offers of supposed long-term relocation in basement apartments on heavily trafficked roads or other towers slated for demolition; many families split up and/or shuffled from one temporary accommodation to another; a self-absorbed Prime Minister refusing to meet them; revelations that the flammable cladding material installed in a refit just three years ago comes with warnings not to use in high-rise buildings, that the Council out-sourced management company and the outfit doing the work knowingly went ahead in order to save a few thousand pounds (K. & C. is the wealthiest council in the U.K. - with a cash reserve fund close to half a billion dollars). ..
Survivors were shut out of a special Council meeting scheduled to plot a strategy for handling the crisis - so, too, the press. When a judge ordered the Council to rescind the ban, it summarily cancelled the meeting. Victims' relatives and Grenfell residents who escaped the fire also were denied an opportunity to ask questions in person at a coroner's hearing. Council member and official spokesperson Catherine Faulks told a BBC interviewer that the press demand was just a "stunt," and that the residents clamoring to attend were professional agitators rather than Grenfell victims. ..
There is Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams, who was a government minister at the time (a result of Nicholas Clegg leading his party into the fateful Coalition with the Tories), received a warning that "without automatic sprinkler protection, we cannot .. afford to wait for another tragedy to occur to amend this weakness" (referencing a tragic 2015 fire in another tower block). He replied: "I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent and I am not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters are brought forward." ..
There is the failure to make any acknowledgement of the Tories' 40% cuts to local authorities since 2010. ..
There is David Cameron who pronounced just last week that those accusing the government of misplaced austerity budgets are "selfish" - unlike the rich and the corporate interests who at the same time have received substantial tax reductions and the financial wheeler-dealers who are welcomed to Britain's 'off-shore' accommodating environment. >>
Is any of this acceptable? I mean the behaviour of governments, councils, the private companies involved, all these people who have never at any stage genuinely taken responsiblity, before or after the fire, for making buildings like that safe and genuinely habitable?
Are any of our numberwangers really even slightly upset about Grenfell? I mean what are they saying and doing to change things? Are they, perchance, helping Jeremy Corbyn who has openly set out to change this awful aspect of British society and to eradicate racism, amongst other things? Hmm. Well. It seems to be a 'long story' - ie the answer to that question. Yes they * theoretically * support having morals BUT, and this is the clincher, unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn is innately evil and the alternative - a continuation of racist oppression and violence by white supremacism the world over - is just a 'necessary evil' to protect the world from - well, an old man living in Islington whose job is to go and speak out on behalf of British voters in a stale old building every week during 'term time'.
How much credibility do these numberwangers really think they have amongst the most intelligent of humanity's next generations? How deluded are the numberwangers? That's probably an interesting question - but perhaps not important. The mechanisms which create and maintain the existence of such cretins are far more of interest to us than WHY the cretins are cretins. That's just luck. They are the unlucky ones. Born with too few or little of whatever it is in the brain which helps the mind develop. Stunted. Retarded. Neoliberal. Very soon I will fill you in on precisely what neoliberal is (and that makes it very clear why it is retarded thinking, in a way, to accept the premises of neoliberalism such as they are).
We should touch briefly also on the degree to which the orientalist and colonialist mindset is prevalent in Britain and its counterparts, eg the USA. Take the case of the decapitated African tribesmen:
Garikai Chengu writes << Global outrage was sparked when the Zimbabwean lion, Cecil was killed as a trophy; but to this day, Britain and America continue to display in museums human remains that are human trophies of their massacres and subjugation of indigenous populations.
Britain has recently revealed that it is currently negotiating with Zimbabwe over the repatriation of human remains, belonging to fighters from Zimbabwe's struggle against British colonisers, currently displayed in the Natural History Museum of London.
On Tuesday, Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, said in a speech that the Zimbabwean liberation war fighters, 'whose heads were decapitated by the colonial occupying force, were then dispatched to England, to signify British victory over, and subjugation of, the local population.'
That Thursday night, the British Foreign Office confirmed that 'remains of Zimbabwean origin' were on display in a museum in London.
President Mugabe also remarked that, 'surely, keeping decapitated heads as war trophies, in this day and age, in a national history museum, must rank among the highest forms of racist moral decadence, sadism and human insensitivity.' >>
This is our status quo. We have things like this going on, today in 2018. How sick is that? And the numberwangers are there, calling Jeremy Corbyn racist for standing up for Palestinians against more of this kind of imperialist and colonialist abuse and violence.
There is at least one Conservative MP out there (Bim Afolami, I think, go ahead and check - but you'll find Gordon Brown has also asserted the same thing - I'll find that quote for you and no doubt update this still-in-progress article) who claims the British empire and colonialism was a 'good thing' for Africa. We'll deal with him in a later article on how to fix the tory party, but that's pretty grim, that anyone can be so warped and ignorant. The following quote from Chomsky's Year 501 may be a bit 'long' for the lazy and stupid but some of you, readers, will no doubt find the entirety of it particularly pertinent and useful:
<< The fate of Bengal brings out essential elements of the global conquest. Calcutta and Bangladesh are now the very symbols of misery and despair. In contrast, European warrior-merchants saw Bengal as one of the richest prizes in the world. An early English visitor described it as "a wonderful land, whose richness and abundance neither war, pestilence, nor oppression could destroy." Well before, the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta had described Bengal as "a country of great extent, and one in which rice is extremely abundant. Indeed, I have seen no region of the earth in which provisions are so plentiful." In 1757, the same year as Plassey, Clive described the textile center of Dacca as "extensive, populous, and rich as the city of London"; by 1840 its population had fallen from 150,000 to 30,000, Sir Charles Trevelyan testified before the Select Committee of the House of Lords, "and the jungle and malaria are fast encroaching... Dacca, the Manchester of India, has fallen from a very flourishing town to a very poor and small town." It is now the capital of Bangladesh. Bengal was known for its fine cotton, now extinct, and for the excellence of its textiles, now imported. After the British takeover, British traders, using "every conceivable form of roguery," "acquired the weavers' cloth for a fraction of its value," English merchant William Bolts wrote in 1772: "Various and innumerable are the methods of oppressing the poor weavers...such as by fines, imprisonments, floggings, forcing bonds from them, etc." "The oppression and monopolies" imposed by the English "have been the causes of the decline of trade, the decrease of the revenues, and the present ruinous condition of affairs in Bengal."
Perhaps relying on Bolts, whose book was in his library, Adam Smith wrote four years later that in the underpopulated and "fertile country" of Bengal, "three or four hundred thousand people die of hunger in one year." These are consequences of the "improper regulations" and "injudicious restraints" imposed by the ruling Company upon the rice trade, which turn "dearth into a famine." "It has not been uncommon" for Company officials, "when the chief foresaw that extraordinary profit was likely to be made by opium," to plough up "a rich field of rice or other grain...in order to make room for a plantation of poppies." The miserable state of Bengal "and of some other of the English settlements" is the fault of the policies of "the mercantile company which oppresses and domineers in the East Indies." These should be contrasted, Smith urges, with "the genius of the British constitution which protects and governs North America" - protects, that is, the English colonists, not the "mere savages," he fails to add. The protection of the English colonists was actually a rather devious instrument. As Smith notes elsewhere, Britain "imposes an absolute prohibition upon the erection of slit-mills in any of her American plantations," and closely regulates internal commerce "of the produce of America; a regulation which effectually prevents the establishment of any manufacture of [hats, wools, woollen goods] for distant sale, and confines the industry of her colonists in this way to such coarse and household manufactures, as a private family commonly makes for its own use" or for its close neighbors. This is "a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind," standard in the colonial domains.
Under Britain's Permanent Settlement of 1793 in India, land was privatized, yielding wealth to local clients and taxes for the British rulers, while "The settlement fashioned with great care and deliberation has to our painful knowledge subjected almost the whole of the lower classes to most grievous oppression," a British enquiry commission concluded in 1832, commenting on yet another facet of the experiment. Three years later, the director of the Company reported that "The misery hardly finds a parallel in the history of commerce. The bones of the cotton-weavers are bleaching the plains of India." The experiment was not a total failure, however. "If security was wanting against extensive popular tumult or revolution," the Governor-General of India, Lord Bentinck, observed, "I should say that the `Permanent Settlement,' though a failure in many other respects and in most important essentials, has this great advantage, at least, of having created a vast body of rich landed proprietors deeply interested in the continuance of the British Dominion and having complete command over the mass of the people," whose growing misery is therefore less of a problem than it might have been. As local industry declined, Bengal was converted to export agriculture, first indigo, then jute; Bangladesh produced over half the world's crop by 1900, but not a single mill for processing was ever built there under British rule.
While Bengal was despoiled, Britain's textile industry was protected from Indian competition; a matter of importance, because Indian producers enjoyed a comparative advantage in printed cotton textile fabrics for the expanding market in England. A British Royal Industrial Commission of 1916-1918 recalled that Indian industrial development was "not inferior to that of the more advanced European nations" when "merchant adventurers from the West" arrived; it may even be "that the industries of India were far more advanced than those of the West up to the advent of the industrial revolution," Frederick Clairmonte observes," citing British studies. Parliamentary Acts of 1700 and 1720 forbade the import of printed fabrics from India, Persia, and China; all goods seized in contravention of this edict were to be confiscated, sold by auction, and re-exported. Indian calicoes were barred, including "any garment or apparel whatsoever...in or about any bed, chair cushion, window curtain, or any other sort of household stuff or furniture." Later, British taxes also discriminated against local cloth within India, which was forced to take inferior British textiles.
Such measures were unavoidable, Horace Wilson wrote in his History of British India in 1826: "Had this not been the case, the mills of Paisley and Manchester would have been stopped in their outset, and could scarcely have been again set in motion, even by the power of steam. They were created by the sacrifice of Indian manufacturers." Economic historian J.H. Clapham concluded that "this restrictive act gave an important, and it may be argued a useful, stimulus to textile printing in Britain," a leading sector of the industrial revolution. By the 19th century, India was financing more than two-fifths of Britain's trade deficit, providing a market for British manufactures as well as troops for its colonial conquests and the opium that was the staple of its trade with China. "A significant fact which stands out is that those parts of India which have been longest under British rule are the poorest today," Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: "Indeed some kind of chart might be drawn up to indicate the close connection between length of British rule and progressive growth of poverty." In the mid-18th century, India was developed by comparative standards, not only in textiles. "The ship building industry was flourishing and one of the flagships of an English admiral during the Napoleonic wars had been built by an Indian firm in India." Not only textiles, but other well-established industries such as "ship-building, metal working, glass, paper, and many crafts," declined under British rule, as India's development was arrested and the growth of new industry blocked, and India became "an agricultural colony of industrial England." While Europe urbanized, India "became progressively ruralized," with a rapid increase in the proportion of the population dependent on agriculture, "the real, the fundamental cause of the appalling poverty of the Indian people," Nehru writes. In 1840, a British historian testifying before a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee could still say: "India is as much a manufacturing country as an agriculturalist; and he who would seek to reduce her to the position of an agricultural country, seeks to lower her in the scale of civilization," exactly what happened under Britain's "despotic sway," Nehru observes." >>
What sort of Britain do we live in when actual MPs claim all of that was beneficial to India, Africa, etc - that these large scale armed robbers are 'civilisers' and advanced? The pride so many have in the British empire today is a sign of a society which has regressed rather than evolved and is a threat to itself and to the entire planet.
What has caused this regression? Well there are some events you need to understand, from our recent past, which have shaped all this. In Necessary Illusions, Chomsky informs us about a great deal. So here come some more lengthy quotations - to those who do not believe that effort and literacy are important when trying to understand the politics of our world, I am sorry to disappoint you, there simply is no other way.
Chomsky begins by saying << These lectures suggest certain conclusions about the functioning of the most advanced democratic systems of the modern era, and particularly, about the ways in which thought and understanding are shaped in the interests of domestic privilege. >> He adds: << But, to my knowledge, there is no serious effort to respond to these and other similar critiques. Rather, they are simply dismissed, in conformity to the predictions of the propaganda model. >> Indeed that is true. I've seen Nick Cohen accuse Chomsky of things which if Cohen had read Chomsky's works Cohen would find the opposite is true - eg claiming Chomsky doesn't tell us about the bad things the Soviet Union did. In fact you can look it up for yourself - what will become clear to you is that men like Cohen attack Chomsky without reading Chomsky. Chomsky on the other hand (and hopefully you and I will be like him, not like Cohen) takes the other approach - knowing what you're talking about before you start talking.
According to Chomsky, then: << the tension [caused by decision making power's being in the hands of the few but impacting on a large scale throughout the social order] could be resolved, and sometimes is, by forcefully eliminating public interference with state and private power. In the advanced industrial societies the problem is typically approached by a variety of measures to deprive democratic political structures of substantive content, while leaving them formally intact. A large part of this task is assumed by ideological institutions that channel thought and attitudes within acceptable bounds, deflecting any potential challenge to established privilege and authority before it can take form and gather strength. The enterprise has many facets and agents. >>
Chomsky suggests: << One way to resolve the tension would be to extend the democratic system to investment, the organization of work, and so on. That would constitute a major social revolution, which, in my view at least, would consummate the political revolutions of an earlier era and realize some of the libertarian principles on which they were partly based >> .
So what exactly has caused us to go so far astray, since the 60s, since indeed the time of Chomsky's Massey Lectures in the late 80s. Well it goes back to before those lectures, of course, and in them Chomsky advises us: << I will be primarily concerned with one aspect: thought control, as conducted through the agency of the national media and related elements of the elite intellectual culture >> . No, not B-movies, perfectly rational and sane assessment of how our society works: << In accordance with the prevailing conceptions in the U.S., there is no infringement on democracy if a few corporations control the information system: in fact, that is the essence of democracy. In the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the leading figure of the public relations industry, Edward Bernays, explains that "the very essence of the democratic process" is "the freedom to persuade and suggest," what he calls "the engineering of consent." "A leader," he continues, "frequently cannot wait for the people to arrive at even general understanding ... Democratic leaders must play their part in ... engineering ... consent to socially constructive goals and values," applying "scientific principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to support ideas and programs"; and although it remains unsaid, it is evident enough that those who control resources will be in a position to judge what is "socially constructive," to engineer consent through the media, and to implement policy through the mechanisms of the state. If the freedom to persuade happens to be concentrated in a few hands, we must recognize that such is the nature of a free society. The public relations industry expends vast resources "educating the American people about the economic facts of life" to ensure a favorable climate for business. Its task is to control "the public mind," which is "the only serious danger confronting the company," an AT&T executive observed eighty years ago. >>
No, nobody is pretending Laura Kuenssberg is an evil but intellectual giant of a woman, scheming to rule the world.
Chomsky explains: << Despite the frank acknowledgment of the need to deceive the public, it would be an error to suppose that practitioners of the art are typically engaged in conscious deceit; few reach the level of sophistication of the Grand Inquisitor or maintain such insights for long. On the contrary, as the intellectuals pursue their grim and demanding vocation, they readily adopt beliefs that serve institutional needs; those who do not will have to seek employment elsewhere. The chairman of the board may sincerely believe that his every waking moment is dedicated to serving human needs. Were he to act on these delusions instead of pursuing profit and market share, he would no longer be chairman of the board. It is probable that the most inhuman monsters, even the Himmlers and the Mengeles, convince themselves that they are engaged in noble and courageous acts. The psychology of leaders is a topic of little interest. The institutional factors that constrain their actions and beliefs are what merit attention. >>
It goes back to the time of Nixon and Watergate (British 'leftists' pay attention - too few of them have a clue about these matters): << The standard image of media performance, as expressed by Judge Gurfein in a decision rejecting government efforts to bar publication of the Pentagon Papers, is that we have "a cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press," and that these tribunes of the people "must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know." Commenting on this decision, Anthony Lewis of the New York Times observes that the media were not always as independent, vigilant, and defiant of authority as they are today, but in the Vietnam and Watergate eras they learned to exercise "the power to root about in our national life, exposing what they deem right for exposure," without regard to external pressures or the demands of state or private power. >>
Where is the evidence of this? Neoliberals may want to ask, accusing you of 'conspiracy theory' if you attempt to persuade them of the truth. Tell them: << A 1975 study on "governability of democracies" by the Trilateral Commission concluded that the media have become a "notable new source of national power," one aspect of an "excess of democracy" that contributes to "the reduction of governmental authority" at home and a consequent "decline in the influence of democracy abroad." This general "crisis of democracy," the commission held, resulted from the efforts of previously marginalized sectors of the population to organize and press their demands, thereby creating an overload that prevents the democratic process from functioning properly. >>
Chomsky tells us that << The charge that the Democrats represent the special interests has little merit. Rather, they represent other elements of the "national interest," and participated with few qualms in the right turn of the post-Vietnam era among elite groups, including the dismantling of limited state programs designed to protect the poor and deprived; the transfer of resources to the wealthy; the conversion of the state, even more than before, to a welfare state for the privileged; and the expansion of state power and the protected state sector of the economy through the military system - domestically, a device for compelling the public to subsidize high-technology industry and provide a state-guaranteed market for its waste production >> . This applies to pre-Corbyn (and non-Corbyn) Labour. Evidently.
Chomsky indicates support for Ginsberg's belief that << western governments have used market mechanisms to regulate popular perspectives and sentiments. The "marketplace of ideas," built during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, effectively disseminates the beliefs and ideas of the upper classes while subverting the ideological and cultural independence of the lower classes. Through the construction of this marketplace, western governments forged firm and enduring links between socioeconomic position and ideological power, permitting upper classes to use each to buttress the other ... In the United States, in particular, the ability of the upper and upper-middle classes to dominate the marketplace of ideas has generally allowed these strata to shape the entire society's perception of political reality and the range of realistic political and social possibilities. While westerners usually equate the marketplace with freedom of opinion, the hidden hand of the market can be almost as potent an instrument of control as the iron fist of the state. >>
One piece of evidence Chomsky presents is this: << The influence of advertisers is sometimes far more direct. "Projects unsuitable for corporate sponsorship tend to die on the vine," the London Economist observes, noting that "stations have learned to be sympathetic to the most delicate sympathies of corporations." The journal cites the case of public TV station WNET, which "lost its corporate underwriting from Gulf+Western as a result of a documentary called 'Hunger for Profit', about multinationals buying up huge tracts of land in the third world." These actions "had not been those of a friend," Gulf's chief executive wrote to the station, adding that the documentary was "virulently anti-business, if not anti-American." "Most people believe that WNET would not make the same mistake today," the Economist concludes. Nor would others. The warning need only be implicit. >>
Chomsky's investigation concludes that << Case by case, we find that conformity is the easy way, and the path to privilege and prestige; dissidence carries personal costs that may be severe, even in a society that lacks such means of control as death squads, psychiatric prisons, or extermination camps. The very structure of the media is designed to induce conformity to established doctrine. In a three-minute stretch between commercials, or in seven hundred words, it is impossible to present unfamiliar thoughts or surprising conclusions with the argument and evidence required to afford them some credibility. Regurgitation of welcome pieties faces no such problem. >>
Where the title of Necessary Illusions comes from is significant and is evident from this extract from chapter one: << Harold Lasswell explained in the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences that we should not succumb to "democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests." They are not; the best judges are the elites, who must, therefore, be ensured the means to impose their will, for the common good. When social arrangements deny them the requisite force to compel obedience, it is necessary to turn to "a whole new technique of control, largely through propaganda" because of the "ignorance and superstition [of] ... the masses." In the same years, Reinhold Niebuhr argued that "rationality belongs to the cool observers," while "the proletarian" follows not reason but faith, based upon a crucial element of "necessary illusion." Without such illusion, the ordinary person will descend to "inertia." Then in his Marxist phase, Niebuhr urged that those he addressed - presumably, the cool observers - recognize "the stupidity of the average man" and provide the "emotionally potent oversimplifications" required to keep the proletarian on course to create a new society; the basic conceptions underwent little change as Niebuhr became "the official establishment theologian" (Richard Rovere), offering counsel to those who "face the responsibilities of power." >>
Chomsky explains << in practice, the state media are generally kept in line by the forces that have the power to dominate the state, and by an apparatus of cultural managers who cannot stray far from the bounds these forces set >> .
Many people see the Guardian as the left wing and people like Counterpunch as some sort of radical extreme segment of the political spectrum.
Chomsky points out << One consequence of the distribution of resources and decision- making power in the society at large is that the political class and the cultural managers typically associate themselves with the sectors that dominate the private economy; they are either drawn directly from those sectors or expect to join them. >>
Chomsky then quotes radical democrats of the seventeenth-century English revolution who held that << it will never be a good world while knights and gentlemen make us laws, that are chosen for fear and do but oppress us, and do not know the people's sores. It will never be well with us till we have Parliaments of countrymen like ourselves, that know our wants. >>
Chomsky enlightens us about the demise of the left wing and workers' rights in the 'UK' in the 1960s:
<< As for the media, in England a lively labor-oriented press reaching a broad public existed into the 1960s, when it was finally eliminated through the workings of the market. At the time of its demise in 1964, the Daily Herald had over five times as many readers as The Times and "almost double the readership of The Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian combined," James Curran observes, citing survey research showing that its readers "were also exceptionally devoted to their paper." But this journal, partially owned by the unions and reaching a largely working-class audience, "appealed to the wrong people," Curran continues. The same was true of other elements of the social democratic press that died at the same time, in large part because they were "deprived of the same level of subsidy" through advertising and private capital as sustained "the quality press," which "not only reflects the values and interests of its middle-class readers" but also "gives them force, dainty and coherence" and "plays an important ideological role in amplifying and renewing the dominant political consensus." >>
In Necessary Illusions Chomsky also speaks of << the disintegration of "the cultural base that has sustained active participation within the Labour movement," which "has ceased to exist as a mass movement in most parts of the country." The effects are readily apparent. With the elimination of the "selection and treatment of news" and "relatively detailed political commentary and analysis [that] helped daily to sustain a social democratic sub-culture within the working class," there is no longer an articulate alternative to the picture of "a world where the subordination of working people [is] accepted as natural and inevitable," and no continuing expression of the view that working people are "morally entitled to a greater share of the wealth they created and a greater say in its allocation." The same tendencies are evident elsewhere in the industrial capitalist societies. >>
And what underpins all of this deception? Well, foreign policy. More about all this later when we get round to NATO, but a primer, from Chomsky, first, on what exactly NATO really is.
Chomsky says: << the global planning undertaken by U.S. elites during and after World War II assumed that principles of liberal internationalism would generally serve to satisfy what had been described as the "requirement of the United States in a world in which it proposes to hold unquestioned power."6 The global policy goes under the name "containment." The manufacture of consent at home is its domestic counterpart. The two policies are, in fact, closely intertwined, since the domestic population must be mobilized to pay the costs of "containment," which may be severe - both material and moral costs.
The rhetoric of containment is designed to give a defensive cast to the project of global management, and it thus serves as part of the domestic system of thought control. It is remarkable that the terminology is so easily adopted, given the questions that it begs. Looking more closely, we find that the concept conceals a good deal. The underlying assumption is that there is a stable international order that the United States must defend. The general contours of this international order were developed by U.S. planners during and after World War II. Recognizing the extraordinary scale of U.S. power, they proposed to construct a global system that the United States would dominate and within which U.S. business interests would thrive. As much of the world as possible would constitute a Grand Area, as it was called, which would be subordinated to the needs of the U.S. economy. Within the Grand Area, other capitalist societies would be encouraged to develop, but without protective devices that would interfere with U.S. prerogatives. In particular, only the United States would be permitted to dominate regional systems. The United States moved to take effective control of world energy production and to organize a world system in which its various components would fulfill their functions as industrial centers, as markets and sources of raw materials, or as dependent states pursuing their "regional interests" within the "overall framework of order" managed by the United States (as Henry Kissinger was later to explain). >>
The term "Grand area" is clearly just a translation into 'American' ideology of the notion "lebensraum".
The 'US' is often seen as a mighty and brilliant military superpower which has evolved beyond other cultures in terms of skill and even courage. There is no shortage of people who will cheer this view of the 'US' - everywhere from crappy gungho-films enjoyed by idiots to the 'cultured' broadsheets of the 'privileged'.
As Chomsky explains, << another task was to overcome the dread "Vietnam syndrome," which impeded the resort to forceful means to control the dependencies; as explained by Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz, the task was to overcome "the sickly inhibitions against the use of military force" that developed in revulsion against the Indochina wars, a problem that was resolved, he hoped, in the glorious conquest of Grenada, when 6,000 elite troops succeeded in overcoming the resistance of several dozen Cubans and some Grenadan militiamen, winning 8,000 medals of honor for their prowess. >>
To add to all of this, we are dealing with a society which every day becomes louder in its proclamations amongst its "individuals" that it is "heroic", "brave", "advanced", and even (yes, this will make you laugh) "honourable".
Chomsky wrote << It is beyond imagining in responsible circles that we might have some culpability for mass slaughter and destruction, or owe some debt to the millions of maimed and orphaned, or to the peasants who still die from exploding ordnance left from the U.S. assault, while the Pentagon, when asked whether there is any way to remove the hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel bomblets that kill children today in such areas as the Plain of Jars in Laos, comments helpfully that "people should not live in those areas. They know the problem." The United States has refused even to give its mine maps of Indochina to civilian mine-deactivation teams. Ex-marines who visited Vietnam in 1989 to help remove mines they had laid report that many remain in areas were people try to farm and plant trees, and were informed that many people are still being injured and killed as of January 1989. None of this merits comment or concern.
The situation is of course quite different when we turn to Afghanistan - where, incidentally, the Soviet-installed regime has released its mine maps. In this case, headlines read: "Soviets Leave Deadly Legacy for Afghans," "Mines Put Afghans in Peril on Return," "U.S. Rebukes Soviets on Afghan Mine Clearing," "U.S. to Help Train Refugees To Destroy Afghan Mines," "Mines Left by Departing Soviets Are Maiming Afghans," and so on. The difference is that these are Soviet mines, so it is only natural for the United States to call for "an international effort to provide the refugees with training and equipment to destroy or dismantle" them and to denounce the Russians for their lack of cooperation in this worthy endeavor. "The Soviets will not acknowledge the problem they have created or help solve it," Assistant Secretary of State Richard Williamson observed sadly; "We are disappointed." The press responds with the usual selective humanitarian zeal. >>
Attackers of Chomsky often imagine that in doing so they are standing up for 'decent' regimes who don't kill journalists.
Outlining the U.S. position on Central America, Chomsky tells us that << There had been an independent press in El Salvador: two small newspapers, La Crónica del Pueblo and El Independiente. Both were destroyed in 1989-81 by the security forces. After a series of bombings, an editor of La Crónica and a photographer were taken from a San Salvador coffee shop and hacked to pieces with machetes; the offices were raided, bombed, and burned down by death squads, and the publisher fled to the United States. The publisher of El Independiente, Jorge Pinto, fled to Mexico when his paper's premises were attacked and equipment smashed by troops. Concern over these matters was so high in the United States that there was not one word in the New York Times news columns and not one editorial comment on the destruction of the journals, and no word in the years since, though Pinto was permitted a statement on the opinion page, in which he condemned the "Duarte junta" for having "succeeded in extinguishing the expression of any dissident opinion" and expressed his belief that the so-called death squads are "nothing more nor less than the military itself" - a conclusion endorsed by the Church and international human rights monitors.
In the year before the final destruction of El Independiente, the offices were bombed twice, an office boy was killed when the plant was machine-gunned, Pinto's car was sprayed with machine-gun fire, there were two other attempts on his life, and army troops in tanks and armored trucks arrived at his offices to search for him two days before the paper was finally destroyed. These events received no mention. Shortly before it was finally destroyed, there had been four bombings of La Crónica in six months; one of these, the last, received forty words in the New York Times.
It is not that the U.S. media are unconcerned with freedom of the press in Central America. Contrasting sharply with the silence over the two Salvadoran newspapers is the case of the opposition journal La Prensa in Nicaragua. Media critic Francisco Goldman counted 263 references to its tribulations in the New York Times in four years. The distinguishing criterion is not obscure: the Salvadoran newspapers were independent voices stilled by the murderous violence of U.S. clients; La Prensa is an agency of the U.S. campaign to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, therefore a "worthy victim," whose harassment calls forth anguish and outrage. We return to further evidence that this is indeed the operative criterion. >>
Returning to Britain's own direct genocidal crimes and such, Julian Vigo writes << For more than 200 years Britain was the heart of a most lucrative transatlantic human trade which enslaved millions of Africans. In the 245 years between John Hawkins first voyage and the abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, merchants in Britain despatched about 10,000 voyages to Africa for slaves, with merchants in other parts of the British Empire perhaps fitting out a further 1,150 voyages. Even with the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act by Parliament in 1807, slavery was not abolished in the British colonies until the Slavery Abolition Act (1833). At this point in time, according to the Slave Compensation Commission, the government body established to evaluate the claims of the slave owners, there were 46,000 slave owners in Britain. Between 1562 and 1807, British ships carried up to three million people into slavery in the Americas. Most bizarrely when slavery was abolished, it was not the slaves who were compensated but the approximately 3,000 British slave owners who received £20m (£1.6bn today) in compensation. >>
Yes, that's right, the people who 'owned' the slaves were the ones to receive the 'compensation'. Yes. There is almost no shame at all in the western world. No shame at all.
Vigo points out << Indeed, the relatively recent history of Great Britain is marred by a slavery past that is either not acknowledged or is overlooked in favour of framing a national heritage in terms of the enormous wealth that was leveraged off the backs of slaves. So what was a cruel trade in human life and the promotion of slavery, thus buttressing a nation's wealth, has historically been cast within the language of 'trade.'>>
And if you think THAT is sick, get this: in 2018, Joshua Barrie pointed out in the Mirror: << Just three years ago, taxpayers were still paying off government debt borrowed to pay millions in 'compensation' to wealthy slave owners.
While some were well aware of the payments, which finally stopped in 2015, a lot of people had no idea modern Brits were paying off money the British Treasury gave to people made rich through human suffering. [..] Not only were the freed slaves given no compensation themselves, the debt meant their descendants paid off the money that went to their ancestors' owners. >>
Yes. That's right. I have been paying, through MY taxes, 'compensation' to slave owners. Does HM Treasury feel that there will never be any attempt to take this money back and put it to proper use, eg fighting the racism which pervades white-Britain and helping this society take steps towards becoming 'civilised'? That tax money has been used to bomb the shit out of many non white people and steal their resources, it has been used to fund an NHS which keeps people like Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson healthy, usually thanks to the hard work of an often-asian doctor. That money, really, should first and foremost start going towards the victims of racism. The amount needs to be 'taken back' by anti-slavery Britain and used to make Britain a decent country.
M.G. Piety writes << This sense of white entitlement is increasing. Even as our achievements are diminishing, our sense of entitlement is growing. It's not just an unattractive character trait (nobody, after all, likes a whiner); it's morally offensive. It's also dangerous. It's making us stupid. It's making us lazy-dare I say shiftless? It's part of the reason, I would argue, for the precipitous descent of the U.S. from its former position of world economic dominance. >>
It's woven into the fabric of society. And it is a serious flaw. To change it will take a lot of work and time - and it may be that society doesn't have time, that impending disasters driven by all this are catching up with us at too fast a rate.
An infrastructure without intellectual integrity is self-destructive and weak - and any infrastructure where white racism is so rampant - ie across the spectrum of British and American commercial and political society - is lacking intellectual integrity. It is amazingly weak.
If this is a quality of all human societies then we are totally doomed - but it may well not be. The characteristics at play here seem to be the outcome of an imperialist society and so it is reasonable to suppose that most of the world's humans can easily, much more easily than those in the nations under scrutiny here, adapt to a more genuinely meritocratic way of living.
Corporate society gives the majority of 'white' people a kind of 'safe space' wherein white supremacism still reigns dominantly in all geographical places it touches, above all 'at home'. Thus many many 'white' people can default to providing for themselves without any meritocracy involved in their gain - all the while that non white people in those locations find that within the corporate realm they are far from treated even fairly and that their prospects are the reverse, ie it is unfair for them there and they are better off outside it (where corporations want them).
So overthrowing corporations is much harder for people who consciously or unconsciously depend on 'white entitlement' to have 'enough'. This is the crux of our problem today and why corporate power is right alongside Hitler, the Roman Empire and every other mass-murdering mass-enslaving regime.
Chomsky described the west today as being << in the midst of a huge flood of self-congratulation on the part of Western intellectuals which probably has no counterpart in history >> whilst havng taken their state terrorism to its peak in Nicaragua and having even been found guilty by the world court, among others, of this aforementioned terrorism. Yes, in the height of its ignorance, the Western Imperium has been at the peak of self-praise and self-adulation.
As Adam Smith pointed out, << The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life. Of the great and extensive interests of his country he is altogether incapable of judging, and unless very particular pains have been taken to render him otherwise, he is equally incapable of defending his country in war. The uniformity of his stationary life naturally corrupts the courage of his mind, and makes him regard with abhorrence the irregular, uncertain, and adventurous life of a soldier. It corrupts even the activity of his body, and renders him incapable of exerting his strength with vigour and perseverance in any other employment than that to which he has been bred. His dexterity at his own particular trade seems, in this manner, to be acquired at the expense of his intellectual, social, and martial virtues." >>
Whilst totalitarian corporate culture has driven chosen 'underdogs' into increasing stupidity with time, Facebook and Twitter have without warning done exactly the same thing to the vast majority of middle class and upper middle class elitists and sycophants to elitists.
These tools involve repeated actions, most of them passive, mostly pressing a 'like' button. Any deviation, like long prose, tends to be mocked 'knowingly' by people who accept that it is 'cooler' to live a life which involves almost 'no effort', as they would see it. Scrolling and liking. They are now very stupid because of this and there is no difference in intellect between the elite, all the way up to 'royalty' and 'down to' the ghetto children with bad taste and consumer (usually electronic) lust.
The majority of "professionals" in our society can really do very little outside of these few things: buy goods, operate a spread sheet, operate a web browser, (advanced technical skill for the average person means knowing how to use powerpoint as well), choose a channel or file in order to passively consume audio-visual corporate-sponsored output, commute, use twitter, use facebook (these latter two involve mostly: scrolling, pressing like, occasionally making very short statements, usually entirely phatic).
Taking the subject of mediocrity to its zenith, M.G. Piety writes << There is a relentlessly leveling dynamic in contemporary Western culture, a desire to tear down, to discredit anyone who dares to rise above the fray. Danes call this Janteloven, or the law of Jante, which can be summed up as: No one should have the temerity to think he is any better than anyone else.
This leveling tendency masquerades as a progressive force, yet it is anything but. The spectacle of greatness is sublime. It elevates us above our petty egoisms, confronts us with the fact that there is something larger and more important than our paltry, individual selves. And this, my friends, is a dangerous, dangerous truth that what I will unfashionably call 'the forces of darkness' would rather keep hidden from us.
To glimpse this truth is life changing. Those whose lives are illuminated by it are not compulsive consumers. They are not petty, envious of neighbors, neurotically fearful of perceived enemies. They support the development of human potential, not retributive systems of justice and endless war. >>
And in the context of a society which is swamped in mediocrity, which measures by skin tone and wallet size, the qualities which make any human 'better' than others are all but lost - which is why most of so-called 'western' and/or 'white' society seems like nothing but a giant farm of 'sheeple' - giggling together in their consumption of cancer, heart disease, environmental disaster and nuclear holocaust.
And on the topic of what it looks like when someone finds themselves 'allowed' to just be their best, to let nothing interfere with that, not perceptions, not money, Daniel Warner writes: << Federer is the exact opposite of the young Becker. Federer is a veteran who has won so much that he has nothing to lose. He has all the important victories; he has all the trophies; he has all the money. He is now free to play for the pure joy of playing. He can hit whatever shot he wants. If it goes in, so much the better. If he wins, so much the better. But, if he loses, it is no big deal.
What is fascinating to watch is not only his joy at playing. That's only on one level. What is fascinating to watch is to see a liberated person winning. It is the secret to his recent success. Perhaps he has never played so well. Perhaps not needing to chip and charge he is able to strike the ball as he wishes. And the ball is going in. Witness the half-volley backhand he stroked Sunday down-the-line that left Nadal motionless and the spectators in awe. >>
And possibly most importantly the one thing none of these insane racists will be able to slow down with their crusading for long enough to even think about let alone grasp is that RACE DOES NOT EXIST - not as far as real modern-day scientific thought is concerned. It is pseudo science.
Let me explain. Firstly bear in mind that 'whiteness' is an arbitrary mutation in humans. 'White' skin has only been on 'European' bodies for a few thousand years, before which they were the same as many people they call 'black', eg 'Hispanic', 'Asian', 'African' etc.
The mutation which led to whiter skin survived in cultures where agricultural practises lowered vitamin D intake and white skin produced vitamin D from the sun much faster. This is not a strength or weakness, it's a factor with context and which in the modern day is meaningless.
There is nothing 'better' or for that matter 'worse' about 'white' skin and the histories taught about it are more hilarious than old testament accounts of the conception of space time.
What you have to do is to look at this skin mutation in the context of humanity's acquisition of intelligence, based on the picture Chomsky paints of that. You see the human mind, such as it is, came into being a hell of a long time ago. This extraneous arbitrary skin mutation called 'whiteness' by pseudo-scientists whose day is somewhat over has no connection at all to that event or to the development of mental organs.
Moreover the use of language to communicate is a very limited and external and peripheral and insignificant part of the use of language vis a vis internal language and thought. So the 'white man' and his 'burden' turn out to be just ego mania. Just because other people weren't printing bibles like you were in your printing shops around the times of plagues and crusades and great fires of london, doesn't mean they didn't know how to think - far from it. The 'west' and its obsession with communicated word, particularly printed or recorded (today, Hollywood) caused them to become very ignorant about the true nature of the evolution of human intelligence - deluded and eventually forced into an artificial routine of learning by rote the mechanisms of external communication and then trying to base intelligence on that, a learned, stimulus-response thing with little connection to real intelligence but perceived as intelligent by the materialistic now-corporate-minded drones of the soulless 'western world'.
So you see the very idea that just because someone in India or Africa (centuries ago, when you started first printing your 'clever' advertisements for soap) doesn't have extensive communicative resources of your kind, written down, or wear tweed trousers, doesn't mean that their capacity for thought, their intelligence, isn't the same as yours or even far in advance of yours.
That's your racism, your jingoism, colonialism, white man's burdenism, shot down, once and for all, leave it there, pity its rotting corpse and let it die now.
Just remember that the belief in the existence of "race" is incredibly laughable and shallow.
Alan Goodman writes << As an explanation for human variation, race is a tautology. It would be a shame to use the 18th century hammer of race when we have more useful tools: computers, multivariate statistics, and mounds of genetic data. This advance is significant because a more fine- grained analysis of human variation helps medicine and other efforts to understand human variation and can get at the actual cause of the variation. >>
Indeed, asking the question "where did white people come from", Gary Leupp finds that << until a few years ago most supposed that the appearance of white skin had occurred much earlier. The European gene pool with its light complexion was supposed to have decisively "split off" from the (also light-skinned) East Asian gene pool by around 50,000 years ago, after which homo sapiens first appeared in Europe, then in China.
But this timeline may need to be adjusted. It now looks like European whiteness may have appeared much more recently. Maybe there were no "white people" in Europe as recently as 7000 years ago, during the lifetime of the blue-eyed hunter-gatherer, whom the Guardian article calls "swarthy." >>
And as we know, human intelligence and thought is a lot older than that.
On this subject we find in an archive BBC interview of Chomsky about his ideas: <<
If one problem more than another has dominated much of twentieth century philosophy it's that of the relationship between language and the world.
Wittgenstein, to give no more than a single instance, was in thrall to this problem throughout his life. Well now along comes the linguist Chomsky and argues that the way we actually acquire the use of language, and therefore its relationship to experience, and therefore its relationship to the world are radically different from what the anglo-saxon tradition in philosophy has always maintained.
He first put his ideas forward in the late 1950s as part of a critique of behavioural psychology. It's not too unfair to say that the behavioural psychologists had tended to talk as if the human individual came into the world as an undifferentiated lump of malleable stuff which was then moulded and shaped by its environment through processes of stimulus and response, they said, penalty and reward, the reinforcement of rewarding responses and the association of ideas, the individual developed and learned, including the learning of language.
Now Chomsky argued that this could not possibly explain how virtually all human beings regardless of their intelligence do something as fantastically difficult as master the use of a language even when they're not deliberately taught it, as most people probably aren't, and they do this at such an extraordinarily young age and in such an extraordinarily short space of time.
He argued that for this to happen at all we must be genetically pre-programmed to do it. And therefore that all human languages must have in common a basic structure that corresponds to this pre-programming.
How did you come to start at that starting point?
CHOMSKY: Well the reason was that this picture of the nature of language and the way in which language is acquired was of such enormous prevalence over quite a wide spectrum of thought including not simply psychology but philosophy and linguistics as well, the view that was dominant say at the time when I was a student say 25, 30 years ago, the dominant picture of language was that it is essentially a system of habits or skills or dispositions to act and that it is acquired through extensive training, overtraining, through repetition, perhaps through procedures of induction or generalisation or association, and that the system of habits that one develops simply grows through accretion, incrementally, as experience is subjected to these processes of generalisation and analogy.
And in fact, this picture, which plainly is a factual assumption, was presented as if it were virtually an a priori truth, which it certainly is not. I mean, it's obviously not necessary that language is a system of that sort or that it's acquired in anything like that way.
INTERVIEWER: One thing that you pointed out, which is in fact very obvious once it's pointed out, is that most people probably aren't actually taught language at all. That is to say that most parents don't give any systematic instruction of any kind to their children, yet the children nevertheless learn.
CHOMSKY: Well, I would want to even go beyond that. I think it's certainly the case that language is, in only the most marginal sense, taught and the teaching is in no sense essential to the acquisition of language. But in a certain sense, I think we might even go on to say that language isn't even learned, at least if by learning we mean any process that has those characteristics that are generally associated with learning, for example, the characteristics that I mentioned. It seems to me that if want a reasonable metaphor, we should talk about growth.
Language seems to me to grow in the mind, rather in the way that familiar physical systems of the body grow. We begin our interchange with the world with our mind in a certain genetically determined state. And through an interaction with experience, with an environment, this state changes until it reaches a mature state which we call a state of knowledge of language.
This sequence of changes, from the genetically determined initial state to the final state in which we really have a quite complex system of mental computations, the series of changes seems to me very much analogous to growth of organs. And in fact, I think it's not inappropriate to regard the mind as a system of mental organs--the language faculty being one--each of a structure determined by our biological endowment, with interactions also generally determined by the nature of our biological endowment, growing through the triggering of active experience which shapes and articulates the organs as they develop in the individual through the relevant period of his life. So, as I say, it seems to me that not only is it wrong to think of language as being taught, but it's at least very misleading to think of it as being learned if we carry with the notion of learning the associations that generally go along with it.
INTERVIEWER: In other words, we are pre-programmed to learn a language in the same way as we're pre-programmed to grow arms and legs and reach puberty in our early teens, and all sorts of other sometimes delayed processes of growth.
CHOMSKY: Yes and reaching puberty is a good example since that's a case of biological development, of ontogenetic development that's plainly pre-programmed in its essence, but takes place after birth.
And in fact, we might say that something, that even death, for that matter, is genetically determined. That is, we are biologically constructed so that at a certain time our life processes stop.
And in fact, the fact that some development takes place after the organism has begun an independent existence in the world, tells us nothing about whether it's a genetically determined development or not.
INTERVIEWER: Now, one thing that follows from your view is that if we set out, as you have done in the course of your professional life, to investigate the language faculty of human beings, then what you are investigating is as much a bio-physical system--I mean, something that actually exists in matter, in stuff, in human tissue--as would be the case. if you were investigating human vision or human digestion or the circulation of the blood.
CHOMSKY: Well, I think that's certainly true, at least we believe it be true in principle.
We are not at a stage now in the study of the neural basis for higher cognitive processes where it's possible to identify the physical structures that are involved in these operations.
Correspondingly, the actual study of this organ remains at an abstract level. That is, we can try to investigate the principles by which it functions, but there's very little to say right now about the ways in which these principles are physically realised in the structures of the brain.
Quite correspondingly, one might study the visual system, let's say, as was done for a very long period, knowing, say, nothing about how the principles that we are led to attribute to this system, let's say, analysing mechanisms, that we are led to attribute to the system, knowing nothing about how these may be physically realised in our neural structures.
And I think it's quite appropriate to think of the contemporary study of language as being analogous to a study of a vision at a period when it's remained impossible--technically or through the limitations of understanding, technique, and so on--it was impossible to determine the actual physical elements that entered into these systems which could be studied only in an abstract fashion.
INTERVIEWER: There seems to be a special difficulty here. I mean, we accept the fact that I can't, by introspection, however hard I try, say, observe the workings of my own liver. I can't observe it in the act of secreting bile or whatever it does.
And similarly, presumably, I can't observe these language formation faculties of mine at work. But nevertheless, there is an important difference because if we want to investigate the workings of the liver, we can observe other people's. I mean, you can--bits of live people's or the whole of dead people's or animals's livers you can experiment with different inputs and see what difference they make to the output and so on and so forth.
But we can't do that with animals as far as their language-using faculty is concerned because they haven't got language-using faculties. Now doesn't that shut off from us what is in fact the chief mode of investigation with all the other biological faculties that we have?
CHOMSKY: It does, very definitely, stop a very natural mode of investigation. That is, for ethical reasons, we do not conduct intrusive experiments with human beings.
So, for example, there are very natural modes of investigation that suggest themselves at once. Suppose, for example, I propose that language has some general property and that every human language must have this property as matter of biological necessity. If we were dealing with a defenseless organism that we were allowed to study, say, the way we study monkeys or cats, what we would do is employ the method of common variation. That is, that we would design an artificial environment, let's say, in which this principle was violated and ask whether the system develops in a normal way under those conditions, for instance, to take one case.
Well, that we can't do. In the case of humans, we can't design artificial, contrived environments and see what happens to an infant in them, just as we don't conduct ablation experiments with humans.
And it's important to recognize that this limitation raises no philosophical issue. What it means is that we have to be cleverer in the kind of work we do because a number of modes of inquiry are simply excluded. There being, as far as we know, nothing analogous to the language faculty in the case of other organisms. But that doesn't mean that we can't study the problem. We have to study more indirectly. We often can't directly move to the experiments that would give us clear and precise answers to questions that we raise. But if you think about the model that I put forth. That is, the model of an organ beginning in a genetically determined initial state and growing to a mature state of knowledge, then it's obvious that that mature state of knowledge will be determined by really two factors: One, the initial genetic endowment and secondly, the impinging experience.
So as far as the final state of knowledge is concerned--what's called the grammar of the language, the system of rules and principles that determines what is a sentence and what it means and how it sounds, and so on. As far as that system is concerned, we really can get tremendous amounts of evidence. In fact, every utterance that's produced is an experiment, if you like. Every reaction of a person to an utterance is an experiment. So there's no shortage of information concerning the mature state of knowledge achieved. If we can then discern, in the mature state of knowledge, principles and properties which are in no way presented in the experience that is available, it's very plausible to propose those as properties attributable to the initial state.
INTERVIEWER: The main thing I want to do in this discussion, Professor Chomsky, is go into the implications of your work for philosophy. I don't want to pursue you into the nature of the work itself because that's highly technical, obviously. And it's not really feasible to discuss it in a television programme of this kind. Let us now, at it were, assume the truth of your theories and start looking at the wider implications of them because this, I'm sure, is what will interest our audience most. One consequence of your theories is that we are, as human beings, very very rigidly pre-programmed. There are certain things we can understand, certain things we can communicate, and anything that falls outside that we simply can't. Is that so?
CHOMSKY: That's certainly correct.
INTERVIEWER: I mean, in a way, this is a rather alarming doctrine. I mean, it certainly contravenes the way we want to feel about ourselves.
CHOMSKY: Well, that may be an immediate reaction, but I think it's not the correct reaction. In fact, while it's true that our genetic program rigidly constrains us, I think the more important point is that the existence of that rigid constraint is what provides the basis for our freedom and creativity.
And the reason--
INTERVIEWER: What you mean is it's only because we are pre-programmed that we can do all the things we can do?
CHOMSKY: Exactly. The point is that if we really were plastic organisms without an extensive pre-programming, then the state that our mind achieves would in fact, be a reflection of the environment, which means it would be extraordinarily impoverished.
Fortunately for us, we're rigidly pre-programmed with extremely rich systems that are part of our biological endowment. Correspondingly, a small amount of rather degenerate experience allows a kind of a great leap into a rich cognitive system, essentially uniform in a community, and in fact, roughly uniform for the species.
INTERVIEWER: Which would've developed over countless evolutionary ages through the biological evolutionary process.
CHOMSKY: The basic system itself developed over long periods of evolutionary development.
We don't know how, really, but for the individual, it's present. As a result, the individual is capable of--with a very small amount of evidence--of constructing an extremely rich system which allows him to act in the free and creative fashion which, in fact, is normal for humans. We can say anything that we want over an infinite range. Other people will understand us, though they've heard nothing like that before. We're able to do that precisely because of that rigid programming. Short of that, we would not be able to at all.
INTERVIEWER: What account are you able to give of creativity? If we are pre-programmed in the way you say, then how is creativity a possibility for us?
CHOMSKY: Well here I think one has to be fairly careful. I think we can say a good deal about the nature of the system that is acquired, the state of knowledge that is obtained. We can say a fair amount about the biological basis, the basis in the initial state of the mind for the acquisition of this system. But when we turn to a third question: namely, how is the system used? How are we able to act creatively? How can we decide to say things that are new, but not random, that are appropriate to occasions but not under the control of stimuli? When we ask these questions, we really enter into a realm of mystery where human science, at least so far, and maybe in principle, does not reach. We can say a fair amount about the principles that make it possible for us to behave in our normal creative fashion, but as soon as questions of will, or decision, or reason, or choice of action--when those questions arise, human science is at a loss. It has nothing to say about them as far as I can see. These questions remain in the obscurity in which they were in classical antiquity.
INTERVIEWER: Would you also accept this or not: that having arrived at our present situation across millions of years of evolution, we must've been going through a continual process of innovation and new adaption, and development of new abilities, dispositions, organs, etc--might we not still be, as it were, plastic at the edges? Might we not still be developing and changing, and genuinely evolving if only on the margin?
CHOMSKY: Well I think one has to be, again, very cautious here because while it's true, in a very vague sense, to say, it's correct to say, that the systems that we now have have developed through evolution through natural selection, it's important to recognize how little we are saying when we say that.
For example, it's certainly not necessarily the case that every particular trait that we have is the result of specific selection.
That is, that we were selected for having that trait. In fact, there are striking examples to the contrary or at least apparent examples to the contrary. Take for example, our capacity to deal with abstract properties of the number system. And that's a distinctive human capacity, as distinctive as the capacity for language. Any normal human, in fact down to pathological levels, can comprehend the properties of number system and can move very far in understanding their deep properties. But it's extremely difficult to believe that this capacity was the result of specific selection. That is, it's hard to believe that people who are a little better at proving theorems of number theory had more children, let's say. That didn't happen. In fact, through most of human evolution--in fact, essentially all of human evolution--it would've been impossible to know that this capacity even existed.
The contingencies that allowed it to be exercised never arose. Nevertheless, the trait is there, the capacity is there. The mental organ, if you like, has developed.
Presumably, it has developed as a concomitant of some other properties of the brain which may have been selected. For example, we can speculate, say, that increase in brain size was a factor in differential reproduction, hence in evolution. And it may be that for physical law--physical laws that we presently don't know--that an increase in brain size under the specific conditions of human evolution simply leads, necessarily, to a system which has the capacity to deal with properties of the number system. Well then, that's a matter of physics, ultimately. And then, the mind that evolves, the brain that evolves, will have this capacity, but not because it was achieved through selection. Now, I think it's at least likely that something of this sort is true of human language. I mean, surely, if it were dysfunctional, it wouldn't have been maintained. It's obviously functional. But it's a long leap to claim that the specific structures of language are themselves the result of specific selection, and it's a leap that I don't think is particularly plausible.
INTERVIEWER: What you say though about the limitations that this imposes on us prompts, in me, the following thought.
We're all very used, I think, to the idea that in social life, each one of us as individuals tends to construct a picture of the world around his own experience. And indeed, it's difficult to see how we could do anything else. We're bound to do that, we've got no alternative. But it does mean that each one of us forms a systematically distorted view of the world because it's all built up on what accidentally happens to be the particular, and really rather narrow, experience of the individual who does it.
Now, do you think that something of that kind applies to man as a whole because of the reasons implicit in your theory? That is to say, that the whole picture that mankind has formed of the cosmos, of the universe, of the world, must be systematically distorted, and what's more, drastically limited by the nature of the particular apparatus for understanding that he happens to have?
CHOMSKY: Well, I think that is undoubtedly the case. But again, I would question the use of the word 'limited' which carries unfortunate suggestions. That is, I assume that one of our faculties, one of our mental organs, if you like, is, let's call it a science-forming capacity, a capacity to create intelligible, explanatory theories in some domain. And if we look at the history of science, we discover that time after time, when particular questions were posed at a particular level of understanding, it was possible to make very innovative leaps of the imagination to rich explanatory theories that presented an intelligible picture of that sub-domain of the universe--often wrong theories, as we later discovered, but there's a course that's followed. And this could have been the case only because we do have and we, in fact, share across the species, a kind of a science-forming capacity that limits us, as you say, but by the same token, provides the possibility of creating explanatory theories that extend so vastly far beyond any evidence that's available.
It's very important to realize that--it should be obvious, say, but it's worth saying that when a new theory is created--and I don't necessarily mean Newton, I mean even a small theory--what the scientist is typically doing-- first of all, he has very limited evidence.
The theory goes far far beyond the evidence. Secondly, much of the evidence that's available is typically disregarded. That is, it's put to the side in the hopes that somebody else will take care of it some day and we can forget about it. So at every stage in the history of science there's--even in normal science, not Kuhnian revolutions--there's a high degree of idealisation that goes on. So there's selection of evidence, distortion of evidence, creation of new theory, confirmation, or refutation, or modification of that theory, further idealisation.
These are all very curious steps. And we're capable of--nevertheless, we can often make them and make them in a way which is intelligible to others. It doesn't look like some random act of the imagination. And where that's possible we can develop intelligible theories, we can gain some comprehension of the nature of this aspect of the world. Now, this is possible only because we are rigidly pre-programmed, again. Because we have, somehow, developed through evolution or however, the specific faculty of forming very particular theories.
Of course, it follows a once or at least it's reasonable to assume, that this very faculty which enables us to construct extremely rich and successful theories in some domain may lead has very far astray in some other domain. For example, there may be a martian scientist looking at us and observing our successes and errors from a higher intelligence, let's say, might be amused to discover that, whereas in some domains we seem to be able to make scientific progress, in other domains we always seem to be running up against a blank wall because our minds are so constructed that we just can't make the intellectual leap that's required; we can't formulate the concepts, we don't have the categories that are required to gain insight into that domain.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think that if our study of our language-forming capacity and hence our cognitive capacities, as you call them--our abilities to know, and understand, and learn--if these studies that you're pioneering result in an enormous amount of increased knowledge of all these human faculties, do you think it's at all likely that that increased knowledge will enable us to change, and indeed expand, the faculties?
CHOMSKY: That, I think is extremely unlikely because I think the faculties are a biological given. We may study the structure of the heart, but we don't do so because we think it's possible to replace the heart by another kind of pump, let's say, which might be more efficient. Similarly here, I think, if we ever did gain a real comprehension of the mental organs, that might help us in cases of pathology, marginal cases in other words, but I wouldn't see how that could give any way, at least with out present science, or plausible science, of modifying these capacities. What we might do, however, is gain--I mean, at least it's in theory imaginable that we might discover something about the limits of our science-forming abilities.
We might discover, for example, that some kinds of questions simply fall beyond the area where we are capable of constructing explanatory theories. And I think we even maybe now have some glimmerings of insight into where this delineation might be between intelligible theories that fall within our comprehension and areas where no such theory is possible. Well, the case that we discussed before may be one. Take the question of...
Well if you go back to the early history of science, early origins of science, speculation, and people were raising questions about, say, the heavenly bodies and about the sources of human action. Well, we're asking exactly the same questions now about the sources of human action.
There's been no progress. We have no idea how to approach this question within the framework of science. We can write novels about it, but we can't construct even false scientific theories about it. We simply have nothing to say when we ask the question: How does a person make a decision in a certain manner and not some other manner, when it's a free decision.
We just have no way of dealing with that issue. On the other hand, the history of physics, let's say, has had substantial advances. And it's very likely, I think, that that massive difference in progress in one domain and an absolute blank wall in another, reflects the specific properties of our science-forming capacities. We might even be able to show that someday, if it's true.
INTERVIEWER: So far, we've been rather talking in this discussion as if all organised thinking is done in language. But, of course, that in fact isn't so, is it?
I mean, one can take all kinds of examples. Music is one that appeals to me very much. If you get a composer like Stravinsky, composing a fantastically complicated and original, and indeed revolutionary score, like that of the Rite of Spring for an enormous orchestra, then he's cerebrating at an original and complicated, and very sophisticated level.
And he's probably cerebrating in as elaborate a way as anybody else is who's doing anything. And what's more, he's creating a structure which is publicly articulated and so on. And yet words don't come into this process at any point, as far as one can gather. Does that fact and other facts like it, pose any threat to your theories?
CHOMSKY: Well, not really. In fact, quite the contrary. My assumption is that the mind is not a uniform system, that it's a highly differentiated system. In fact, like the body, it's essentially a system of faculties or organs, and language is simply one of them. We don't have to go to the level of Stravinsky to find examples of thinking without language. I'm sure that everyone who introspects, who thinks about what he himself is doing will know, at once, that much of his thinking doesn't involve language. Or, say, the thinking of a cat, let's say, plainly doesn't involve language. There are other modes of thought. There are other faculties, and I think that the musical faculty is one. One which is particularly interesting, I think, because it's extremely likely--in fact, here's an area, in a sense like physics, that is, where very rapid and rich development took place in a way which was over a long period of, say, Western history in a way which was very intelligible to others.
I mean, not immediately, but after a short period. And strikingly--well there is a striking feature of the 20th century in this respect. That is, that the musical creation of the 20th century, I think, is qualitatively different from that of, say, the 18th century in that it lacks that immediate access, or short-term access, that was true of the past. One would have to do an experiment to prove it, but I have no doubt that if we took two children of today, two groups, and taught one of them, say, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, and taught the other one Schoenberg and post-Schoenbergian music, that there would be a very substantial difference in their capacity to comprehend it and deal with it. And that may reflect, in fact--if that's correct--it would reflect something about our innate musical capacities. Points of this nature have been discussed for some time. I remember Paul Hindemith, about 25 years ago, I think, in lectures argued that to violate the tonal principle in music would be something like an effort to violate the principle of gravitation. I take it, he meant by that that it was an innate--we might say, an innate property.
INTERVIEWER: I don't want to pursue the musical analogy too far because I was using that only as an illustration. What it illustrates is the fact that you think we are pre-programmed, in fact, to a whole lot of things, don't you? I mean, no doubt to use gesture or recognize faces or develop a commonsense view of the world, and so on.
CHOMSKY: Well, every area of human existence that's even worth studying is worth studying because rich and complex structures are developed in a uniform way. Otherwise it's not worth studying. And those are precisely the cases where we expect to discover pre-programming that makes possible these great achievements.
INTERVIEWER: So in other words, you think that everything that we do makes manifest our pre-programming: games, institutions, the way we dress, the way we eat, everything.
CHOMSKY: Well here, again, I think some caution is necessary. For example, take games. I'm speculating, obviously, but it seems to be reasonable to suppose that games are designed so as to be, in a sense, at the outer limits of our cognitive capacities. We don't make up games in which we are as skilled as we are at using words, let's say. That wouldn't be an interesting game. Everybody can do too much. What we do, we make up games like, say, chess, which is an extraordinarily simple game. That is, its rule system is utterly trivial. But nevertheless, we're just not, we're not very good at it. In the case of using language, we're all extraordinarily good and we're essentially undifferentiable, one from another. But when we get to something like chess which, I assume, is at the borders of our cognitive capacity, then individuals of very similar intellectual makeup will nevertheless diverge very significantly in their ability to deal with these exotic problems.
That's what makes it an interesting game. And in fact, I think there are also tasks that can be constructed that are really outside our cognitive capacities. And in fact, I think there's even a field that's devoted to the developing such tasks. It's called psychology. Much of modern psychology has been concerned to discover tasks which would yield species-uniform laws. That is, laws that essentially hold across a number of species; or to construct good experiments. That is, experiments that have slow learning curves with regular increments and so on and so forth. And there are such tasks, say maze-running, in which rats are about as good as humans and both are quite terrible. And these, I think, are in fact precisely tasks that do lie outside of our cognitive capacity. So we do proceed by trial and error, by induction and so on.
INTERVIEWER: But centrally, your whole approach represents a rejection of the empirical tradition in philosophy, doesn't it? Because the very fact that you think that the empiricists are wrong about how we learn, must mean that they're wrong about knowledge and the nature of knowledge. And the nature of knowledge has being the central problem in whole empirical tradition of philosophy.
CHOMSKY: Well, the classical empiricist tradition, which I think was the tradition that's represented, let's say, perhaps in its highest form by Hume, seems to me to be a tradition of extreme importance. In that a particular theory of the origins of knowledge, in fact, of the science of human nature, in Hume's phrase, was put forth. An empirical theory, and I think Hume, for example, would've regarded it as an empirical theory--he did regard it so. When we investigate it, I think we discover that it's just completely false. That is, that the mechanisms that he discussed are not the mechanisms by which the mind reaches states of knowledge. That the states of knowledge attained are radically different than the kinds that he discussed. For example, for Hume, the mind was, in his image, a kind of a theater in which ideas paraded across the stage.
And it therefore followed, necessarily, that we could introspect completely into the contents of our mind. If an idea is not on the stage, it's not in my mind. And the ideas may be connected and associated. And in fact, he went on to say there isn't even any theater, there's just the ideas. In that respect, the image of is misleading. Well, that's a theory.
And in fact, it's a theory that has had an enormous grip on the imagination throughout most of, to my knowledge, most of the history of Western thought. For example, that same image dominates the rationalist tradition as well, where it was assumed that one could exhaust the contents of the mind by careful attention. You know, you could really develop those clear and distinct ideas, and their consequences and so on. And in fact, even if you move to someone, let's say, like Freud, with his evocation of the unconscious, still I think that a careful reading suggests that he regarded the unconscious as in principle accessible. That is, we could really perceive that theater and stage, and the things on it carefully if only the barriers of repression and so on could be overcome. Well, if what I've been suggesting is correct that's just radically wrong, I mean, even wrong as a point of departure. There's no reason at all that I can see for believing that the principles of metal computation that enter so intimately into our action or our interaction or our speech--to believe that those principles are at all accessible to introspection anymore than the analysing mechanisms of our visual system or, for that matter, the nature of liver is accessible to introspection.
INTERVIEWER: It seems to me that over and over again you come back to the same point. That is to say that many of the particular problems discussed and theories put forward by philosophers, in the main, but also psychologists and you've just mentioned Freud--and in your writings you mention many others--are in fact theories about physical processes.
They are therefore open to checking by investigation. And when you check by investigation, you find out that the theories are wrong. And therefore you are, as it were, radically subversive of lot of a very well-established theories in our tradition. It seems to me that what you put forward in their place over and over again in fact does parallel the rationalist tradition. I said in my introduction to this program that what I'm always reminded of by your work is the theories of Kant. You seem to me to be almost re-doing, in terms of modern linguistics, what Kant was doing.
Do you accept any truth in that?
CHOMSKY: Well, I not only accept truth in it, but I've tried to bring it out in a certain way. However, I haven't myself specifically referred to Kant, but rather to the, primarily, to the 17th century tradition of the Continental Cartesians and the British neo-Platonists, who developed many of the ideas that are now much more familiar in the writings of Kant. For example, the idea of experience conforming to our mode of cognition or the--well particularly in the British Platonists, Cudworth, for example, there, I believe is a rich mine of insight into the organising principles of the mind by which experience is structured. In fact, I think that's some of the richest sources of psychological insights that I know. And it's this tradition that, I think, can be fleshed out and made more explicit by the kinds of empirical inquiry that are now possible. Of course, I think we also have to diverge from that tradition in a number of respects. I've mentioned one, namely the belief that the contents of the mind are open to introspection. Similarly, there's certainly no reason to accept the metaphysics of that tradition. To believe that there's a dualism of mind and body. I mean, you can see why the Cartesians were led to that. It was a rational move on their part. But it's not a move that we have follow. We have other ways of approaching that question.
INTERVIEWER: Another thing that I mentioned in my introduction was the fact that you made two international reputations. The other one, besides linguistics, being as a political activist. And it does seem to me that there's a connection between these two careers of yours. And I want to put this to you really in the form of a question.
Liberalism grew up, in the history of European thought, in very close relationship to empirical philosophy and scientific method. The battle cry, really, in all three was: don't accept anything on the say-so of established authority. Look at the facts and judge for yourself. And this was revolutionary in politics, science, and philosophy. And because of this, liberalism has always been regarded, in the Western tradition, as the main anti-authoritarian political creed.
But just as you've rejected empiricism, you've also rejected liberalism. And you now say in your writings that, whatever may have been true in the past, liberalism has now become the ally of authority. Would you accept that there is this underlying connection between your work in linguistics, and, well, to put it dramatically, your opposition to the Vietnam War?
CHOMSKY: Well this raises quite a welter of questions. Let me begin by saying something about liberalism, which is a very complicated concept, I think. It's correct, surely, that liberalism grew up in the intellectual environment of empiricism and the rejection of authority, and trust in the evidence of the senses, and so on. However, liberalism has undergone a very complex evolution as a social philosophy over the years. If we go back to the classics, or at least, what I regard as the classics, say, for example, Humboldt's limits of state action which inspired Mill and is a true libertarian, liberal classic, if you like. The world that Humboldt was considering--which was partially an imaginary world--but the world for which he was developing this political philosophy, was a post-feudal but pre-capitalist world.
That it was a world in which there was no great divergence among individuals in the kind of power that they had, and what they command, let's say. But there was a tremendous disparity between individuals, on one hand, and the state on the other. Consequently, it was the task of a liberalism that was concerned with human rights, and the quality of individuals, and so on. It was the task of that liberalism to dissolve the enormous power of state, which was such an authoritarian threat to individual liberties. And from that, you develop a classical liberal theory in, say, Humboldt's or Mill's sense. Well, of course, that is pre-capitalist. He couldn't conceive of an era in which a corporation would be regarded as an individual,
Or in which enormous disparities in control over resources and production would distinguish between individuals in a massive fashion. Now, in that kind of society, to take the Humboldtian view is a very superficial liberalism. Because while opposition to state power in an era of such divergence conforms to Humboldt's conclusions, it doesn't do so for his reasons. That is, his reasons lead to very different conclusions in that case.
Namely, I think, his reasons lead to the conclusion that we must dissolve the authoritarian control over production of resources, which leads to such divergence as among individuals. In fact, I think, one might draw a direct line between classical liberalism and a kind of libertarian socialism, which I think, can be regarded as a kind of adapting of the basic reasoning of classical liberalism to a very different social era. Now if we come to the modern period, here liberalism has taken on a very strange sense, if you think of its history. Now liberalism is essentially the theory of state capitalism. Of state intervention in a capitalist economy.
Well, that has very little relation to classical liberalism. In fact, classical liberalism is what's now called conservatism, I suppose. But this new view, I think, really is, in my view at least, a highly authoritarian position. That is, it's one which accepts a number of centers of authority and control--the state on one hand, agglomerations of private power on the other hand, all interacting with individuals as malleable cogs in this highly constrained machine, which may be called democratic, but given the actual distribution of powers, very far from being meaningfully democratic and cannot be so. So my own feeling has always been that to achieve the classical liberal ideals--for the reasons that led to them being put forth--in a society so different, we must be led in a very different direction. It's superficial and erroneous to accept the conclusions which were reached for different society and not to consider the reasoning that led to those conclusions. The reasoning, I think, is very substantial. I'm a classical liberal in this sense. But I think it leads me to be a kind of anarchist, an anarchist socialist.
INTERVIEWER: Well I'd love to pursue you down that road, Professor Chomsky, but that would be a new discussion, and a new program. So I think we must, alas, end there. Thank you very much.
So where does this leave racists? Well, race doesn't exist. Human intelligence goes back way further than a lot of today's common 'skin tones' and on top of that what we call language is just an external and lesser aspect of our intelligence and so jingoistic culture's measuring others by how many Barbara Cartland novels and bibles they had printed turns out to be a fairly stupid way to assess the intelligence of those others. As for the little extract about neoliberalism, I left that in because it's worth your appreciating it before we move on to the next course in this meal of white supremacist horror - the problem of global genocide, the NATO project for white supremacist control of the planet's resources, partly also driven, it often seems, by sheer bloodlust.[Continued overleaf...]