Italy: The Weak Under-Belly of Europe–The Malfunctioning of the Bel Paese by Gaither Stewart

Piazza Venezia (Rome, Italy)

Image by Giampaolo Macorig via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
July 22, 2017

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.

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Lily Pad Roll: The Last Chapter–Persian Paradigm by Gaither Stewart

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
June 25, 2017

Lily Pads is a name given to a new and more flexible type of US military base abroad, among the some 1000 US foreign military bases, covering the Earth, but for the most part surrounding Russia and China. Many are near Iran. I gave this title to Lily Pad Roll, the second volume of the Europe Trilogy (The Trojan Spy, Lily Pad Roll, Time of Exile), political novels published by Punto Press, New York. This novel was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon both in print format and Kindle book. The story develops around a young American soldier and communications genius, Elmer Redway, a forerunner of Manning, stationed at an American military base in Bulgaria who finds such astounding secrets of US military crimes that he divulges them to WikiLeaks and elsewhere. When he is discovered he deserts and begins an underground existence in Europe. He is aided by Karl Heinz, a wealthy German journalist (the book’s second major character). The two are together in Berlin when the invasion of Iran gets underway. Though my invasion of Iran is invented, it is quite plausible and could happen this way. Were I to give a title to this chapter, I would most likely call it, Persian Paradigm.

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When The Revolution Comes by Gaither Stewart

LC-DIG-nclc-01342 Girl Warping Machine, Loray Mill, Gastonia, N.C.

Image by Children’s Bureau Centennial via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
Previously published August 8, 2011
June 22, 2017

The Historical Gastonia Textile Mill Strikes Are Not Forgotten

When in the early part of this millennium I was writing a rather surrealistic novel, ASHEVILLE, about the town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I started out my life, I ran into the story of the Asheville-based self-professed Communist writer, Olive Tilford Dargan, of whom I had never heard before. Visiting then her gravesite in the little known Green Hills Cemetery in West Asheville and researching her and her activities I fell into a gossamer review of early 19th century labor struggles in the good old U.S. South.

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Fragments, Chapter 17: Between Scilla and Cariddi by Gaither Stewart

another late night

Image by i k o via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
June 14, 2017

Here is a chapter from my novel in the works, Fragments. This long chapter is set in south Italy, shows preparations for an invented color revolution, Gladio, etc.

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Strutting Fascism And Swaggering Militarism By Gaither Stewart

Fascism

Image by Henrik Ström via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
Originally posted June 12, 2008
May 20, 2017

“We work for the moral and traditional values which Socialists neglect and despise….”

–Benito Mussolini

It’s their strutting. That detestable image of the strutting that links them, the strutting and prancing Fascists and their swaggering and parading military cousins, up front for their conveniently concealed corporatist controllers. A strutting and swaggering couple they are, Fascism and the entrenched class of war. Their distorted visions of gallantry and nation come so naturally to both. The spick and span generals, employers of mercenaries and killers, chin in, chest out, and their majors and their colonels (especially the generals in the offices and the majors in the tents), thick chests covered with ribbons and medals and rows of multicolored decorations—awarded for killing. And the political Fascists! Defiant chins thrust forward, hard fists clinched, swaggering and prancing and strutting across the stages of piazzas nations and continents—in support of the killing.

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Left Liberals and Counter-History by Gaither Stewart

Democrats and Republicans

Image by Matt Katzenberger via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
May 14, 2017

I read a Facebook post by an American Liberal comparing the refusal of the French Far-Leftist Jean-Luc Melanchon to choose between Emmanuel Macron and the rightist Marine Le Pen as President of France to the Left’s rejection of the German Social Democrats on the eve of WWI, resulting, ultimately, in the emergence of Naziism. He cited other similar cases where Communists of the 1920s and 1930s who refused to distinguish between the far right and those “insufficiently to the left”, ie. Social Democrats, thus paving the way for the fascist right and the rise of Hitler and Mussolini. He cites also the case of Fausto Bertinotti in Italy who withdrew his support for the center-left government of Romano Prodi and paved the road for the disastrous return to power in Rome of Silvio Berlusconi. This indeed sad history is compared to the choice (non-choice) between Clinton and Trump. And thus the nightmare of Trump in the White House.

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Loyalty by Gaither Stewart

Loyalty

Image by UCFFool via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
Originally published August 31, 2016
May 2, 2017

The quality of loyalty has played an important but perplexing role in my life, both positive and negative, which for many years has prompted countless nocturnal ruminations about the reasons for my concern for what at first glance might be considered banal. Along the way I have experienced that loyalty is often confused with sense of duty to which, in my opinion, it should not be reduced. Instead, rather than a quality related chiefly to duty, obedience or obligation, I have come to relate loyalty more easily to love. Nonetheless, in my experience too much loyalty has been a curse, a cross to bear. As a result of my family background, religious and typical American South, as well as the ideological environment of the second half of the twentieth century in which I became closely involved, I have been infected with a powerful sense of loyalty. The quality of loyalty as I intend it includes—by some complex extension in my mind almost a perversion—discipline and severity and, above all, love. Thus, although at times a handicap and an impediment, loyalty remains ethically desirable.

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Lukomorye: Poets Pave the Road to the Golden Age by Gaither Stewart

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Image by Luxus M via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
April 13, 2017

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.

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Transformation by Gaither Stewart

Capitalism isn't working

Image by Charles Hutchins via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
September 21, 2016

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw

Change is a word that both intellectuals and the intelligentsia of America are discussing in these times. However, one is justified to wonder what kind of change they mean. As a rule when intellectuals/liberals speak of change, they mean reform (and not enough of it, at that: that is, the leisurely conforming of the lives of the collective with their own. The radical, politically-socially committed intelligentsia means something else and their thought and conclusions take another avenue of meaning: their aim is transformation or, if you prefer, radical change. However, it is an unfortunate paradox that no more than liberals, the intelligentsia does not always know what to do with its convictions.

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Indifference by Gaither Stewart

Indifference

Image by Justin Norman via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
September 14, 2016

Indifference is an American-European story. As French chansonnier Serge Gainsbourg sang of his love for Brigitte Bardot: “What does the weather matter, what matters the wind? Better your absence than your indifference.” Or Gilbert Bécaud: “Indifference kills with small blows.” The indifference of one person to the other in a dwindling love affair is emblematic of the terrible impact of indifference in any field at all.

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Loyalty by Gaither Stewart

Loyalty

Image by UCFFool via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
August 31, 2016

The quality of loyalty has played an important but perplexing role in my life, both positive and negative, which for many years has prompted countless nocturnal ruminations about the reasons for my concern for what at first glance might be considered banal. Along the way I have experienced that loyalty is often confused with sense of duty to which, in my opinion, it should not be reduced. Instead, rather than a quality related chiefly to duty, obedience or obligation, I have come to relate loyalty more easily to love. Nonetheless, in my experience too much loyalty has been a curse, a cross to bear. As a result of my family background, religious and typical American South, as well as the ideological environment of the second half of the twentieth century in which I became closely involved, I have been infected with a powerful sense of loyalty. The quality of loyalty as I intend it includes—by some complex extension in my mind almost a perversion—discipline and severity and, above all, love. Thus, although at times a handicap and an impediment, loyalty remains ethically desirable.

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Amulet, reviewed by Gaither Stewart

Marcha 40 años-27

Image by Marcos G. via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
June 17, 2016

(Rome) I am reading for the first time the work of Chilean born writer, Roberto Bolaño. His novel, Amulet, set in a phantasmagoric Mexico City that, perhaps, also because it is Latin America’s biggest city, represents the entire crushed and tortured and imprisoned and murdered Latin America while also his characters are emblematic of the suffering and decimation of much of the best of the Latin American youth. Perhaps the author chose to highlight Mexico City, not only because of the massacre of Mexican students there in 1968, but also because he moved there as a teenager and lived there many years before moving to Spain and Barcelona where he died at 50.

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Russian Intellectuals and the Intelligentsia by Gaither Stewart

Moscow August 2011

Image by Deck Accessory via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
May 27, 2016

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.

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Lenin on State and Revolution by Gaither Stewart, Part 5

Lenin

Image by 19th via Flickr

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
May 14, 2016

“The state is an organ of class domination, an organ of oppression of one class by another; its aim is the creation of ‘order’, which legalizes and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the collisions between the classes…”

The Marxist Theory of the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution

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