Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Global capitalism and 21st century fascism

William I. Robinson, a professor of sociology and global studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote an interesting and informative article including  the following topics:

#  Militarised accumulation, financial speculation - and the sacking of public budgets.

#  Responses to the crisis and Obama's Weimar republic in the United States.

#  21st century fascism in the United States.

#  The mortal circuit of accumulation-exploitation-exclusion.

Read the article here >>>

Do you understand now why "the left" must be demonised at all costs?


Blogger Vest said...

Gerry , I loved reading this info but it has taken me away from my chores for today, However, the lost time has not come to grief as mowing the lawn is out of the equation as it is now raining. Good post.

October 08, 2012 10:55 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Glad you found it interesting, Vest.

October 08, 2012 2:16 PM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

Well, I found everything he said very reasonable (and I wholeheartedly endorsed it) until I got to his last paragraph.

Say what? The proletariat is supposed to rise up in their countless millions in order to correct the deficiencies of global capitalism? Yeah, right. That worked real well in the past.

We'll just be gunned down in our countless millions and turned into dog food. There has to be a smarter way than that.

October 09, 2012 9:13 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@AndrewM: Peaceful people power is the most powerful, albeit underestimated, power there is.

Gandhi took down the British Empire. The Rumanians took down Ceausescu. The East Germans took down the Berlin Wall. Lech Walesa took down The communist regime in Poland. Need I go on?

But you say there are smarter ways than that. Care to elaborate?

October 10, 2012 12:32 AM  
Blogger Number One Bag said...

Yes, you do need to go on. Your examples are appalling.

Ghandi was a slum landlord who didn't bring down the British Empire, or even expel them from India. The terrorists under Jinna scared the bejesus out of Britain much more than that fraud Ghandi. This is all documented in contemporary British cabinet documents. Six years of fighting two militaristic regimes left Britain without the stomach (or the cash) for much after that. Hell, four years later even that old crook Nasser was able to kick them out of the Suez.

Rumania is a tragedy, and very little of it was either peaceful or without bloodshed. You will note that nobody is holding up contemporary Romania and it's Mafia oligarchs as an exemplary state.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall we have seen various shades of the Rumanian tragedy repeated across what used to be called Eastern Europe. Walesa was another fraud who owed more to the Catholic Church than to the idea of organised labour. Remind me how many members of Solidarity survived the military occupation of Gdansk? It was a slaughter, and the shipyards that once employed migrated under neoliberalism to north Asia and the Polish economy sits in its hand weaved basket, exporting cheap and unsafe labour across Europe and helping to further impoverish the working class in the West. A real success story that one!

So we've established that violence doesn't work; non violence doesn't work; in fact, mass action of any form most probably doesn't work. So what do we do when faced with power? How do we undermine oligarchy?

I say we need less structure and more organisation. We need smaller and better informed groups. We need to adapt our tactics to the desired outcome. We need to know clearly what we want before we start asking for it. We need to be smarter. And we need to make it fun.

As Lao Tzu said, defeat is strategy minus tactics. And I'm not in the business of change unless I'm going to win from the outcome.

October 12, 2012 12:53 AM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

@Number One Bag: Good. Said half the things I was going to say with more erudition than I could have provided.

@Gerry: The other half of the things I was going to say: Burma. Tienanmen Square. Tibet. El Salvador. Putin. All examples where peaceful dissent is ruthlessly crushed. And, for a recent example where the peaceful dissent is so ineffective that nobody bothered to crush it - the Occupy Movement.

And I didn't say I had a better idea; I said "There has to be a smarter way than that." I'm still trying to work out what that might be. My father taught me that the only way to beat the system is to spin round faster in the same direction, so I'm considering what that might mean in this case.

October 12, 2012 9:16 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@Number One Bag: I beg to differ with you on your take on India.
I argue that Gandhi's non-violent mass protest movement was the biggest single factor in the British decision to grant independence to India. The Amritsar massacre (of peaceful protesters) proved to be pivotal in the march towards independence.

Your dubious reference to Jinnah is also a bit puzzling, given that he was a major player only _after_ Britain had already resigned itself to India's right to independence. As I understand it, he virtually did a deal with the British to facilitate Partition.

I imagine that Britain, still seeing itself as a geopolitical Big Boy, would have preferred to lose control of a divided Raj rather than a united one, and you don't have to be a Rhodes scholar to figure out that there was probably a bit of British skullduggery involved in fuelling as much disharmony between the various factions as possible. Jinnah would have been one of Britain's star performers.

As to your comments about the fall of the regimes in Rumania, East Germany, and Poland, I was merely making the point that mass non-violent people power was the major factor in the demise of those regimes. i.e. examples of the effectiveness of mass non-violent political action in bringing down unpopular regimes. That's all. I fail to understand why you tried to spin it into something else.

And NO, you have _not_ shown that non-violence does not work (remembering that we're talking only about a strategy for taking down unpopular regimes, not about what ensues.)

@AndrewM: El Salvador was a civil war, not a non-violent uprising. Once you offer violence to the regime, it feels justified in responding in kind, and the regime usually has the means to win overwhelmingly on such a basis.

And yes, non-violent protests have been brutally crushed in many places, including Burma, Tibet, and China. But I don't think you understand what I mean by a non-violent mass uprising. I don't mean a few thousand lemmings marching to their deaths shaking their fists at a brutal totalitarian regime. That's courting failure.

For a non-violent uprising to work, it has to involve very large numbers of people (at least hundreds of thousands) and they have to have the support of a clear majority of the overall population. The protesters have to be disciplined and committed to staying put, no matter what. It has to be well organised, and news, videos and images must be able to be disseminated widely and rapidly. If these criteria are met, I argue that the regime will fall

October 13, 2012 12:51 AM  
Blogger Davoh said...

Democracy always favours the rich.

October 20, 2012 12:59 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@Davoh: As a generalisation that's true enough, but let's not forget that this tendency to favour the rich emerges in regimes of every political flavour.

Only a rock-solid bottom-up power structure could possibly counteract this trend, and even then there are huge problems in stopping such a power structure from derailing itself or morphing into something truly horrendous.

e.g. Anarchists can be pretty glib and dogmatic, but I have yet to see them run a country any better than the regime they tore down. Indeed, the very concept of Anarchists running a country is an oxymoron. Perhaps Number One Bag could enlighten us, given that he claims to be an Anarchist.

October 20, 2012 7:18 AM  
Blogger Davoh said...

Ok, have looked at your response to my 'overarching' brief comment.

you, as well as me, know that i have lived my life and enterprises within physical limitations and a small budget.

Obviously - any 'philosophical' discussion will have to be restricted within available resources.

October 21, 2012 6:57 PM  

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