Lately we have been hearing a great deal about “blowback.” But the real menace we face today is global rollback. The goal of conservative rulers around the world, led by those who occupy the seats of power in Washington, is the systematic rollback of democratic gains, public services, and common living standards around the world.
While walking through New York’s Little Italy, I passed a novelty shop that displayed posters and T-shirts of Benito Mussolini giving the fascist salute. When I entered the shop and asked the clerk why such items were being offered, he replied, “Well, some people like them. And, you know, maybe we need someone like Mussolini in this country.” His comment was a reminder that fascism survives as something more than a historical curiosity.
Here is a debate held at Wesleyan University in 2005 between Christopher Hitchens and me. Hitchens went to his grave as a supporter of the Bush/Cheney venture. He supported Bush in 2004. His turn to the right (from weak leftish/center) won him the attention of all the mass media, especially Fox and the like, and lecture invitations at fat fees. Others of us were less enthralled about his anti-Islam warrior politics.
For the better part of a decade the U.S. public has been bombarded with a media campaign to demonize the Serbian people and their elected leaders. During that time, the U.S. government has pursued a goal of breaking up Yugoslavia into a cluster of small, weak, dependent, free-market principalities. Yugoslavia was the only country in Eastern Europe that would not dismantle its welfare state and public sector economy. It was the only one that did not beg for entry into NATO. It was — and what’s left of it, still is — charting an independent course not in keeping with the New World Order.
Dr. Michael Parenti, one of North America’s leading radical writers on U.S. imperialism and interventionism, fascism, democracy and the media, spoke to several hundred people at St. Andrews Wesley Church in Vancouver. Dr. Parenti has taught political science at a number of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries. He has written 250 major magazine articles and 15 books and is frequently heard on public and alternative radio.
One night in June 2016, in Orlando, Florida, an individual named Omar Mateen, acting on his own, seriously wounded 53 people and murdered 50 others in the Pulse, a gay nightclub. An additional two hundred or more terrified patrons managed to flee the packed premises while Mateen walked around knocking off his victims. How could he have done it? How could one terrorist, acting alone, kill or seriously wound a hundred people? Answer: he had a whole three hours, from 2:02 a.m. to 5:15 a.m., to stroll leisurely around the dance floor, hallways, drinking enclaves, and toilet stalls, killing people with casual impunity. Some of the patrons hid themselves for hours, repeatedly calling 911 or sending messages to friends and family, desperately pleading for help.
For many poor women, welfare and family assistance was their primary means of escaping abusive mates. Such programs provided support for them and their children. Cutbacks in welfare have now caused a dramatic drop in the number who dare attempt to flee hurtful relationships. Low paying jobs, chronic unemployment, and poverty in general have left many impoverished women with few survival resources.