It’s often hard to report on U.S. politics and government with a straight face. It’s even harder to report on the usual reporting on U.S. politics and government with a straight face. So much of it is beyond the reach of parody. Yet it also opens up opportunities to shock people with basic facts.
When you compare socialist countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam, and the DPRK with neoliberal countries like the United States and Britain, a particular factor stands out in how their developments have differed: the socialist countries have vastly more social cohesion than their counterparts do. By this, I mean they have a lack of serious political polarization and a relatively small amount of ethnic or class divides. In these countries, most people think favorably of the governing parties, racial and religious violence aren’t sanctioned by the state, and strong social safety nets and firm checks on private business keep inequality from becoming too pronounced. These places aren’t perfect, but they lack the deep rottenness that pervades neoliberal societies.
The scientific study of reality is one of detached observation. And that is a beautiful thing, it really is. The problem, however, is that the corporate capitalist approach to defining reality is influenced by self-interest and unafraid of narrative manipulation. It’s approach to facts is “How can they be spun?”
Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 15, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to activist and author, Lisa Fithian, about fierce, loving resistance. Lisa has been at the center of some of the most important campaigns of the American resistance movement in the past four decades, including the March for Peace, Justice in Central America and South Africa, Justice for Janitors labor organizing campaign, the Battle of Seattle, Occupy Wall Street, Egypt’s Tahrir Square, Standing Rock, Ferguson, and most recently, the Extinction Rebellion climate justice protests.
“We’re gonna focus on two core philosophical components of Marxism: Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism. We’re going to show how both of these can be used to better understand the world and change it for the good of all poor and colonized people like ourselves. And in doing so we can debunk this widespread narrative in mainstream media that Marxism is somehow an outdated dogmatic religion. We can demonstrate that Marxism is truly a science and a weapon for revolutionary change.” — Ramiro Fúnez
Elections, I think most of us can agree, usually bring out the idiocy, superficiality, and illogic in everyone who can muster any. Imagine supporting, as many did, Sanders and then Trump because they were both “outsiders.” On Tuesday, I heard somebody on CNN announce that Sanders and Klobuchar were both “change candidates” (because you’d have to change every bit of the platform of one of them to match that of the other?). Tokenism no longer embarrasses voters or even the candidates who openly campaign on it. When voters are asked on television how they choose a candidate, they talk about temperament, personality, debating skills, and intelligence.
with Abby Martin
Abby Martin Sues Georgia Over Israel Loyalty Oath Law [Full Press Conference & Interviews]
Empire Files on Feb 10, 2020
On Feb. 10, Abby Martin filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging a Georgia law requiring all independent contractors to sign a pro-Israel pledge, promising to not participate or advocate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli crimes.
While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in.
with Abby Martin
Empire Files on Feb 9, 2020
Abby Martin meets with Nithya Raman, progressive candidate for LA City Council in District 4, about her campaign to end homelessness in the nation’s epicenter and how local politicians refuse to take easy actions to eradicate the phenomenon–but refuse to in the interests of big real estate developers.
Lenin said that “Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor.” Never has this been more apparent than in today’s United States.
RT America on Feb 8, 2020
On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to economist Richard Wolff about his new book Understanding Socialism. Wolff explains how in the socialist dream work is something we should want to engage in, that means something to us, that brings us into relationships with other people that we value, that make us better people as we interact with them, “it’s a transformation of life.”
TheRealNews on Feb 5, 2020
Once we understand how Trump and Trumpism came about, as a reaction to capitalism’s global crisis, we can see how the impeachment battle is really a battle for dominance within the US ruling class, says globalization sociologist William I. Robinson.
After facilitating the atrocities of the Pinochet dictatorship and helping introduce neoliberal policies around the world, Milton Friedman wrote in an essay from 1982 that “Only a crisis–actual or perceived–produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
A recent article on climate emergency (Ripple et. al. 2020), endorsed by more than 11000 scientists from 153 countries, has received widespread publicity in the media. This is the latest among numerous scientifically researched articles on climate change and global warming, which have been published by various organizations on this one of the greatest problems that have developed on this planet, directly as a result of the activities of particular type of humans, the Modern Capitalist-Imperialist Humans (MCIH), which have evolved from the co-evolution of science and technology and capitalist political economy, during the previous few centuries. These complex and multidimensional developments have been progressively accelerating, with the greatest accelerations occurring during the 20th Century and the current 21st Century.