Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your book Conjuring Hitler received a laudatory criticism of our friend Peter Dale Scott. Moreover, I share the view of this great intellectual on the fact that this book is essential in the work of historical research. How did you arrive at conclusions against the flow of the historians of the establishment, namely that Hitler was made by the United States and Great Britain and that World War II was inevitable?
“Love your neighbor” is not enough — it is subverted by hierarchy and property, which seem “normal” but are the causes of all our problems — war, poverty, alienation, the destruction of the ecosystem, etc. Hierarchy and the market both concentrate power, which corrupts. The solution begins with getting more people talking about it.
After World War II the USA and NATO labeled Italy the “soft under-belly of Europe”, chiefly because of the presence of The Italian Communist Party (PCI), Europe’s biggest political formation of the left. Because of capitalist Italy’s unpredictable and individualistic character existing like a Trojan Horse inside the European Union (EU), that label stuck even after the PCI died following the dissolution of the USSR. The party’s later iterations were reduced to rivulets as dry as the river Po in August and about which hardly a murmur is heard today. That label however has conditioned US-NATO relations with Italy since then. The Bel Paese became not only a US vassal state but an occupied country, an aircraft carrier jutting out toward North Africa and hosting dozens of US military bases. Today’s La Repubblica, Italy’s major newspaper, reported that 70 American atomic bombs are concealed on the US Airbase of Aviano in NE Italy, the greatest number in one country of the 180 atomic bombs scattered across Europe.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Russell Banks, author of Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter and Lost Memory of Skin. In his books, screenplays and short stories, Banks uncovers the humanity of the marginalized. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil explores deindustrialization in the US.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the role of the artist with Enrique Martinez Celaya. The sculptor, painter, physicist and philosopher’s work focuses on the struggle of individuals to navigate the inner and outer realms of darkness that negate our individuality. RT correspondent Anya Parampil looks at Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, one of the most controversial paintings of the 20th century.
It was the school holidays and there were lots of teenagers in my local park. I sometimes spot them meandering home, but I rarely see them en masse as it were. Blind to the bluebells, peacocks and glories of nature all around us, they were glued to their palm-sized screens. What were they so engrossed in – some kind of game or trivial video, a map of the park perhaps, unnecessary given the proliferation of signs? Are they texting, e-mailing, or trawling through the Internet, or all of the above? If one did not know what these shiny seductive objects were, one might think that they controlled the person, rather than the other way round. And to a large degree they do.
The recent death of the Russian poet with whom I was acquainted, Yevgheny Yevtushenko, prompted these considerations of the role of poets in social-cultural-political progress in general and in a particularly spectacular fashion in Russia. In few other countries have poets played a more significant than in Russia. Nonetheless, for centuries Russian poets have been harassed, persecuted, and punished for their songs. Dostoevsky imprisoned, Pushkin exiled, Yesenin, Mayakovsky and Tsvetaeva suicides, Mandelshtam and others perished in the cultural events of 1937. Poets seldom lead easy lives anywhere. The poet sees the ideals but he must flee from the world in order to rejoice in them and he cannot remain unaffected by the caricatures of these ideals around him.
People of the Sikh faith, commonly mistaken for both Muslims and Hindus, are frequent targets of bigoted hate crimes—in fact, the first victim of post-9/11 hate crimes was a Sikh man. In 2016, attacks against Muslims—and people perceived to be Muslims, in particular Sikhs—has reached an all-time high.
THERE IS A growing suspicion among many people involved in movements against war, for social justice, and for an ecologically sustainable society that capitalism can only create a world of war, injustice and environmental destruction. There is widespread and growing understanding that the current social order cannot continue without catastrophe occurring —yet we lack a vision of what might replace it.
Civilization In Transition, Uncertainty and Opportunity
British filmmaker Adam Curtis recently released his new documentary ‘HyperNormalisation’. [See video below.] Brilliant in parts, this ambitious film reveals an image of a civilisation in turmoil. It shows how duplicitous, inadequate politicians have repeatedly deceived the public over the last forty years, and how their actions have caused increasing levels of chaos in the world, which they are unable to resolve. “We live in a strange time, extraordinary events keep happening that undermine the stability of our world,” the director declares, and yet, “those in control seem unable to deal with them. Nobody has any vision of a different or better kind of future.”
In this depth psychology oriented discussion powered by Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Chris Hedges speaks with Depth Psychologist, Bonnie Bright, Ph.D, about how, as both individuals and civilizations, we encounter cycles of growth, maturation, decadence, and decay, and death.
The culture and politics of race and class struggle in the 1940s
No one knows better than socialist activists of the twenty-first century that each generation must face its own “crisis” of Marxism. But we don’t face this challenge to our theory and social movements just as we please. The way we remember our past governs our own dreams for the future. Above all, at a moment like today, when thousands of newly radicalizing young people know pretty much what they are fighting against, but are unclear about what they are fighting for, there is no point in simply pummeling the gates of history with one’s fists. Sooner or later, we look to the past for shared, or at least recognizable, political experiences that might be retrofitted and rebooted; tactics and strategies that have succeeded or failed; causes and explanations for economic and social trends that have persisted or morphed; and even role models, candidly reported, for how to live our chosen lives as Marxists. Marxism doesn’t embalm history; it seeks to join a living past to present changes.
The Determinant Class of Contemporary Russian History
Russia! What a marvelous phenomenon on the world scene! Russia!—a distance of ten thousand versts (about two-thirds of a mile) in length on a straight line from the virtually central European river, across all of Asia and the Eastern Ocean, down to the remote American lands! A distance of five thousand versts in width from Persia, one of the southern Asiatic states, to the end of the inhabited world—to the North Pole. What state can equal it? Its half? How many states can equal its twentieth, its fiftieth part? … Russia—a state which contains all types of soil, from the warmest to the coldest, from the burning environs of Erivan to icy Lapland, which abounds in all the products required for the needs, comforts, and pleasures of life, in accordance with its present state of development—a whole world, self-sufficient, independent, absolute. — Mikhail P. Pogodin- 1800-1875, Russian historian, journalist, intellectual of the Slavophile movement who held to the Norman theory that the Rus people from whom Russians descended, were Scandinavians.
In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges interviews documentary filmmaker Josh Fox, who directed the new film “How to Let Go of the World”. The two discuss the catastrophe of climate change, and the role of art and culture in helping us embrace what climate can’t change.