“Being black in America should not be a death sentence” – so said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey following the shocking, gruesome killing of George Floyd by a police officer on the streets of Saint Paul.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to John Ralston Saul, author and president emeritus of Pen International, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire.
“One of the reasons why white supremacy is such a huge lesson out of the Covid-19 pandemic is because Black workers have ultimately been the ones who have sacrificed themselves to ensure that what profits can be made here in the United States continue to be made. And they were ultimately the ones who bore the brunt of the deaths in most states across the country where Black Americans reside; two to three times the rate of deaths has been higher for Black Americans than White Americans in many cities and states across this country.” — Danny Haiphong
Another one bites the dust. In less than two years, President Donald Trump has now binned three major arms-control treaties – quite a record for undermining decades of international security architecture. First there was the nuclear accord with Iran (2018), then the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (2019), and now the Open Skies Treaty.
In 2014, the CIA-tied media outlet the Washington Post published an article titled “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer.” Its author Ian Morris reasoned that wars have been necessary to carry out what it called the “civilizing process,” wherein the European empires have grown through conquest and the United States has been created through the seizing of indigenous lands. Its argument was racist and biased in favor of Western capitalist interests, and this was the point. It acknowledged that the wars which brought the U.S. empire to power, and which the U.S. empire continues to wage, are good for “us”—the people in the imperial core who benefit from imperialist wars.
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the reputation of the Democratic Party from the party of the Southern slaveholders to that of “friend of the working people”—a reputation that the Democratic Party, undeservedly, continues to enjoy.
At a certain point in an age of absurdity the normalization of madness becomes so common that it is almost indiscernible to most in the thick of it. Indeed, late capitalism, the stage which is undoubtedly preceding complete barbarism, has produced an endless stream of absurdities which not only insult the senses of those who possess a conscience and a modicum of critical thinking skills, but can also deliver a fatal injury as we are seeing unfold in real time with tepid or reckless responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On 22-24 November 2019, International Seminar on Land, Finance, and De-dollarization was held in Macau, China, which was co-organized by Global University for Sustainability, Lingnan University, Southwest University, and the Federal University of Espirito Santo.
Consumer society has tried to legitimize itself by making people believe that it represents a sustainable way of living. For those in the First World, all the evidence that a meltdown is coming—the deterioration of the climate, the decline of the biosphere, the diminishing of available resources—has usually existed outside of immediate view. Commercialism and the mass media, which have gained an unprecedented presence in our lives through the digital revolution, have distracted us from these realities while the machine of global capital has continued to run.
Insolvent Wall Street banks have been quietly bailed out again. Banks made risk-free by the government should be public utilities.
When the Dodd Frank Act was passed in 2010, President Obama triumphantly declared, “No more bailouts!” But what the Act actually said was that the next time the banks failed, they would be subject to “bail ins” – the funds of their creditors, including their large depositors, would be tapped to cover their bad loans.