Category Archives: Revolution

Age of Anger, by Pepe Escobar

source: Asia Times

Every once in a (long) while a book comes out that rips the zeitgeist, shining on like a crazy diamond. Age of Anger, by Pankaj Mishra, author of the also-seminal From the Ruins of Empire, might as well be the latest avatar.

Think of this book as the ultimate (conceptual) lethal weapon in the hearts and minds of a rootless cosmopolitan Teenage Wasteland striving to find its true call as we slouch through the longest – the Pentagon would say infinite – of world wars; a global civil war (which in my 2007 book Globalistan I called “Liquid War”).

Mishra, a sterling product of East-meets-West, essentially argues it’s impossible to understand the present if we don’t acknowledge the subterranean homesick blues contradicting the ideal of cosmopolitan liberalism — the “universal commercial society of self-interested rational individuals” first conceptualized by the Enlightenment via Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Voltaire and Kant.

History’s winner ended up being a sanitized narrative of benevolent Enlightenment. The tradition of rationalism, humanism, universalism and liberal democracy was supposed to have always been the norm. It was “clearly too disconcerting,” Mishra writes, “to acknowledge that totalitarian politics crystallized the ideological currents (scientific racism, jingoistic rationalism, imperalism, technicism, aestheticized politics, utopianism, social engineering)” already convulsing Europe in the late 19th century.

So, evoking T.S. Eliot, to frame “the backward half-look, over the shoulder, towards the primitive terror” that eventually led to The West versus The Rest, we’ve got to look at the precursors.

Smash the Crystal Palace

Enter Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin – “the first of many ‘superflous man’ in Russian fiction,” with his Bolivar hat, clutching a statue of Napoleon and a portrait of Byron, as Russia, trying to catch up with the West, “mass-produced spiritually unmoored youth with a quasi-Byronic conception of freedom, further inflated by German Romanticism.” The best Enlightenment critics had to be Germans and Russians, latecomers to politico-economic modernity.

Two years before publishing the astonishing Notes from the Underground, Dostoyevsky, in his tour of Western Europe, was already seeing a society dominated by the war of all against all in which most were condemned to be losers.

Dostoevsky: Society dominated by the war of all against all in which most were condemned to be losers.

In London, in 1862, at the International Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, Dostoyevsky had an illumination (“You become aware of a colossal idea … that here there is victory and triumph. You even begin vaguely to fear something.”) Amid the stupor, Dostoyevsky was also cunning enough to observe how materialist civilization was enhanced as much by its glamor as by military and maritime domination.

Continue reading Age of Anger, by Pepe Escobar

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NO PASARAN, COMANDANTE FIDEL!, by Andre Vltchek

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Many years ago, Fidel declared: “Men do not shape destiny. Destiny produces the man for the hour.”

It did; destiny shaped them all, los Barbudos, and threw them right into the center of the whirlpool of world history. As they fought for the freedom of Cuba, of Latin America and the entire oppressed world, they actually managed to defy their own words: in the end they irreversibly shaped the fate of our Planet, of the entire humanity.

Fidel stood firmly at the forefront of the struggle, from the very outset to his last breath. As always, when the giants get reunited with mother Earth, the entire world shook and the ground trembled on all continents.

For several moments, everything stopped, got frozen.

I was driving through Central Vietnam when the message of Fidel’s death arrived on my phone screen. For several minutes there was absolute emptiness and silence inside me.

Then, on a wide and beautiful river I spotted several marvelous ships belonging to an ancient Vietnamese fishing fleet, and a boat proudly flying both the Communist red flags with yellow stars, as well as several desolate black flags – symbols of mourning.

In a remote place in Asia, Fidel’s death managed to disturb the calm, to stir the serene surface of the river.

Later everything fell back to where it was supposed to be, and the sounds returned. The emptiness inside me also evaporated. A great man has left, but the revolution has not stopped. It can never stop, as the very existence; the very survival of humanity now depends on it.

*

What was Fidel’s gift to the world and what did his Cuba achieve?

Results do not always have to be material. Although yes, of course, we could talk for days about the great education, culture, creativity, medical care and equality.

Socialist Cuba gave more, much more than that.

It gave hope, where hope was fading.

It gave strength, where only resignation reigned.

It gave heart to those places where only vulgar mercantile interests were recognized.

It gave optimism to counter the deadly embrace of nihilism.

Once Fidel shouted: “They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?”

Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel and his comrades, fought wars of independence in the most devastated parts of Africa; it stood by Vietnam during its most testing moments; and it offered its intellectual and ideological leadership and skills to the latest wave of Latin American revolutions, from Venezuela to Bolivia.

Cuban doctors and teachers were sent to some of the most remote parts of our planet, in order to offer unconditional internationalist help. I saw them in action in places such as Kiribati, Timor Leste, and post-apartheid South Africa. They fought for human lives in the poorest countries, and in those places devastated by natural calamities. They fought with courage and dignity, and also with kindness and respect, learning to communicate in local languages and valuing local cultures.

Fidel’s Cuba never broke down, never surrendered under the pressure. It defended itself when attacked by the mightiest nation on earth. It survived a brutal embargo, ideological propaganda and even biological warfare.

It inspired the world with its determination and its valour, just as it inspired millions worldwide with its music, cinema and poetry.

“Patria no se vende!” – “One does not sell the Fatherland!” This is one of the greatest slogans of this marvellous country: a slogan which brought a clear message to all the countries humiliated and plundered by the Western Empire: ‘Not everything is lost. It is worth standing tall. It is better to die than to lose one’s pride and dignity!’

Continue reading NO PASARAN, COMANDANTE FIDEL!, by Andre Vltchek

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100 Years On…Still In The Trenches, by Finian Cunningham

Source: Information Clearing House

This year marks the 100th anniversary of two of the biggest military slaughters in history – the battles of the Somme and Verdun, both fought during the First World War. Shockingly, when we survey the warmongering mentality today of US-led NATO powers one may deduce that not much has changed fundamentally. We see the same murderous squander of human potential by an unaccountable elite.

During the Somme and Verdun campaigns, upwards of two million casualties were suffered on all sides by the British and French armies in trench warfare with their German enemy. The Somme was the deadliest battle of the entire war, pitched between July and November 1916, while Verdun was the longest running, from February until December in the same year.

For the British army the opening day of the Somme remains its worst day in martial history, incurring some 60,000 casualties and losses in a matter of hours.

The First World War, from 1914 to 1918, which was waged mainly on French territory and pitted major European powers, including Russia, against one another, resulted in a total death toll of 17 million, of which the majority – 11 million – were military.

It is astounding to think that only a mere 20 years later, an even more catastrophic world war would take place. The Second World War (1939-1945) resulted in at least 60 million dead. And in that carnage, it was civilians who would comprise the vast majority of the dead.

Both wars became emblematic of industrial-scale killing. Machine-guns, tanks, warplanes and warships were first deployed on a scale never seen before in the history of warfare.

However, it is the First World War perhaps that stands out as the more futile and barbaric. After all, during the Second World War, known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia, men and women courageously gave their lives to defeat a brutal, genocidal ideology of fascist imperialism espoused by the Axis Powers led by Nazi Germany.

Continue reading 100 Years On…Still In The Trenches, by Finian Cunningham

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The Cuban People Will Overcome, by Fidel Castro

Source: counterpunch

It constitutes a superhuman effort to lead any people in times of crisis. Without them, the changes would be impossible. In a meeting such as this, which brings together more than a thousand representatives chosen by the revolutionary people themselves, who delegated their authority to them, for all it represents the greatest honor they have received in their lives, to which is added the privilege of being a revolutionary which is the product of our own consciousness

Why did I become a socialist, or more plainly, why did I become a communist? That word that expresses the most distorted and maligned concept in history by those who have the privilege of exploiting the poor, dispossessed ever since they were deprived of all the material wealth that work, talent and human energy provide. Since when does man live in this dilemma, throughout time without limit. I know you do not need this explanation but perhaps some listeners do.

I speak simply so it is better understood that I am not ignorant, extremist, or blind, nor did I acquire my ideology of my own accord studying economics.

I did not have a tutor when I was a law and political sciences student, subjects in which they have a great influence. Of course then I was around 20 years old and was fond of sports and mountain climbing. Without a tutor to help me in the study of Marxism-Leninism; I was no more than a theorist and, of course, had total confidence in the Soviet Union. Lenin’s work violated after 70 years of Revolution. What a history lesson! It can be affirmed that it should not take another 70 years before another event like the Russian Revolution occurs, in order that humanity have another example of a magnificent social revolution that marked a huge step in the struggle against colonialism and its inseparable companion, imperialism.

Perhaps, however, the greatest danger hanging over the earth today derives from the destructive power of modern weaponry which could undermine the peace of the planet and make human life on earth’s surface impossible.

The species would disappear like the dinosaurs disappeared, perhaps there will be time for new forms of intelligent life or maybe the sun’s heat will grow until it melts all the planets of the solar system and its satellites, as a large number of scientists recognize. If the theories of several of them are true, which we laypeople are not unaware of, the practical man must learn more and adapt to reality. If the species survives a much longer space of time the future generations will know much more than we do, but first they will have to solve a huge problem. How to feed the billions of human beings whose realities are inevitably at odds with the limited drinking water and natural resources they need?

Some or perhaps many of you are wondering where are the politics in this speech. Believe me I am sad to say it, but the politics are here in these moderate words. If only numerous human beings would concern ourselves with these realities and not continue as in the times of Adam and Eve eating forbidden apples. Who will feed the thirsty people of Africa with no technology at their disposal, no rain, no reservoirs, no more underground aquifers than those covered by sands? We will see what the governments, which almost all signed the climate commitments, say.

We must constantly hammer away at these issues and I do not want to elaborate beyond the essentials.

I shall soon turn 90, such an idea would never have occurred to me and it was never the result of an effort, it was sheer chance. I will soon be like everyone else. We all reach our turn, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain as proof that on this planet, working with fervor and dignity, can produce the material and cultural wealth that humans need, and we must fight relentlessly to obtain these. To our brothers in Latin America and the world we must convey that the Cuban people will overcome.

This may be one of the last times that I speak in this room. I voted for all the candidates submitted for election by Congress and I appreciate the invitation and the honor of your listening to me. I congratulate you all, and firstly, compañero Raúl Castro for his magnificent effort.

We will set forth on the march forward and we will perfect what we should perfect, with the utmost loyalty and united force, just as Martí, Maceo and Gómez, in an unstoppable march.

Remarks by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, during the closing of the 7th Party Congress

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Academia: Hands off Revolutionary Philosophy!, by Andre Vltchek

Source: counterpunch

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Philosophers have been muzzled by the Western global regime; most of great modern philosophy concealed from the masses. What has been left of it, allowed to float on the surface is toothless, irrelevant and incomprehensible: a foolish outdated theoretical field for those few remaining intellectual snobs.

Philosophy used to be the most precious crown jewel of human intellectual achievement. It stood at the vanguard of almost all fights for a better world. Gramsci was a philosopher, and so were Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho-Chi-Minh, Guevara, Castro, Frantz Fanon, Senghors, Cabral, Nyerere and Lumumba, to name just a few.

To be a thinker, a philosopher, in ancient China, Japan or even in some parts of the West, was the most respected human ‘occupation’.

In all ‘normally’ developing societies, knowledge has been valued much higher than material possessions or naked power.

In ancient Greece and China, people were able to understand the majority of their philosophers. There was nothing “exclusive” in the desire to know and interpret the world. Philosophers spoke to the people, for the people.

Some still do. But that whoring and servile Western academic gang, which has locked philosophy behind the university walls, viciously sidelines such men and women.

Instead of leading people to the barricades, instead of addressing the most urgent issues our world is now facing, official philosophers are fighting amongst themselves for tenures, offering their brains and bodies to the Empire. At best, they are endlessly recycling each other, spoiling millions of pages of paper with footnotes, comparing conclusions made by Derrida and Nietzsche, hopelessly stuck at exhausted ideas of Kant and Hegel.

At worst, they are outrightly evil – making still relevant revolutionary philosophical concepts totally incomprehensible, attacking them, and even disappearing them from the face of the Earth.

***

Only the official breed, consisting of almost exclusively white/Western ‘thought recyclers’, is now awarded the right to be called ‘philosophers’.

My friends in all corners of the world, some of the brightest people on earth, are never defined as such. The word ‘philosopher’ still carries at least some great theoretical prestige, and god forbid if those who are now fighting against Western terror, for social justice or true freedom of thought, were to be labeled as such!

But they are, of course, all great philosophers! And they don’t recycle – they go forward, advancing brilliant new concepts that can improve life on our Planet. Some have fallen, some are still alive, and some are still relatively young:

Continue reading Academia: Hands off Revolutionary Philosophy!, by Andre Vltchek

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Disruptive ideas from the ether abound, Max Keiser leads the way!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

 

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Venezuela’s Elections: Courage in the Face of Economic and Psychological War, by Eric Draitser

Source: teleSur Tv

The world's focus will be on Venezuela's election Sunday. | Photo: AFP
The world’s focus will be on Venezuela’s election Sunday. | Photo: AFP

It is important not to overlook the very real economic war being waged by the U.S. and its allies in Venezuela and throughout Latin America.

This morning I saw the sun rise over Venezuela from 30,000 feet, my flight descending to Caracas in the early dawn light. As the darkness retreated, a rugged, majestic coastline came into view: the small waves lapping against the rocky shore, perceptible only by a thin streak of white foam set against the dark brown of rock, and deep green of the lush hillside just above it.

This was my first glimpse of Venezuela, a country I have been following since the early days of my political development, when a man named Hugo Chavez was elected and shook the very foundations of Latin America, challenging the hegemony of the U.S. Empire in its own “backyard.” Soon I was in the airport, sipping strong coffee from a small plastic cup with a few members of my delegation from the U.S. and Canada. We all came to the Bolivarian Republic to bear witness to the all-important elections scheduled to take place Sunday, as well as the violence and destabilization that is likely to follow if the U.S.-backed opposition loses.

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From the back seat of the car taking us from the airport to the center of Caracas, I gazed out the window, drinking in the landscape, the people, the juxtaposition of modern public housing high rises and small, dilapidated homes lining the hillsides.  But as I observed the surroundings, there was one pair of eyes that seemed to be gazing back: El Comandante.

Continue reading Venezuela’s Elections: Courage in the Face of Economic and Psychological War, by Eric Draitser

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The Established Order Will Be Challenged, by Raymond Matison

Source: Zerohedge

Submitted by Raymond Matison via The Market Oracle,

With its recent miniscule 2% devaluation of the Yuan, media pundits noted that China had now also entered into the global currency war.  What this comment implies is that other countries with the ability to issue or print their own currency, including the U.S., have been participating in a currency war by devaluing their own currency as a hoped for means to increase their country exports and thereby stimulate their economies.  As China’s currency has been pegged to the USD, it had recently grown stronger as a byproduct of dollar’s recent dramatic strength.  Accordingly, the peg that China used to tie-in to the dollar’s value had increased the Chinese yuan to a level that was hurting their exports.  The resulting devaluation was China’s attempt to correct partially this unwelcome currency appreciation.

With FED’s past QE series of money printing, we have been at the forefront attempting to devalue our own currency as a means to improve our exports, reach the FED’s stated goal of increasing inflation which would produce higher GDP figures, allowing government officials to claim that economic growth or recovery is resuming.  Not to be outdone, the European Central Bank has been purchasing weak credits from their banks, in order to make member bank financial solidity ratios appear stronger – which also requires substantially increasing its money supply.  The largest and most outrageous example of intentional destruction in the value of its currency is Japan, which for nearly two decades has been on a mission to devalue its currency in order to stimulate inflation.

Currency expansion may seem like an ideal, benign solution to a country trying to stimulate its exports, but it does create a financial assault or loss to their trading partners.  For example, China’s recent holding in excess of $1.3 trillion assets (until some recent sales of under $200 billion) from accumulated annual trade surpluses, would lose great value in its assets by the amount of such U.S. devaluation.  If the U.S. were to expand its currency by 10%, China’s Treasury holdings could be reduced by $100 billion – not an insignificant amount.  That is of course why the well known phrase “race to the bottom” stipulates that once one country starts to print currency, other countries, in order to protect themselves against the action of the initiator, have to follow and also devalue their own currency.  We are currently witnesses to a race to the bottom in a continuing global currency war.

Definition of Currency War.

Wikipedia defines a currency war as “competitive devaluation where countries compete against each other to achieve a relatively low exchange rate for their own currency. As the price to buy a country’s currency falls so too does the price of exports. Imports to the country become more expensive. So domestic industry, and thus employment, receives a boost in demand from both domestic and foreign markets. The policy can also trigger retaliatory action by other countries which in turn can lead to a general decline in international trade, harming all countries.”

It is arguable that currency wars are not only fairly current affairs, but that they last for relatively brief periods of time not extending beyond a few short years – as highlighted by our FED’s recent QE series.  How might our understanding of currency war change if we were to expand slightly the definition of currency war, and by also taking a far longer view – that of going back to the founding of the FED?  How would we appraise the big picture of government and FED policy over the years, and its now fully observable results on the populace?

Continue reading The Established Order Will Be Challenged, by Raymond Matison

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Conversation: Help keep an important voice on the air

For many years Don Debar has kept a unique independent voice of reason alive on the air waves from New York. He tells the truth as it is, no sugar coating and apologies for the Empire.

We would like to urge our readers to please donate to Don’s CPR news Radio and keep it on the air. If we all do not stand together then we all have already lost. Donate $1.00, $5.00, $10.00  or more, and help do your part of what is truly a community public radio.

Tell your friends and family and be part of the change that you so wish to see in the world. Have hope, have dreams, have strength and above all have faith in our fellow brothers and sisters who are fighting the good fight.

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An Open Letter to the Spirit of a Rebellious Leader, by ADAM CHIMIENTI

Source: Counterpunch

Sankara

[Note: Thomas Sankara, president of Burkina Faso from 1983-87, was assassinated on October 15, 1987. This letter was written on the 25th anniversary of his death and modified slightly after.]

Dear President Sankara,

It was 25 years ago this autumn that you were removed from office and killed. So much has happened since then. Your beloved Burkina Faso, the country you renamed to reflect the upright nature of the people there, is imperiled. The vast majority is impoverished and frustrated by the current state of affairs. Your former comrade, Blaise Compaoré, who was instrumental in bringing you to power and supporting you, had eventually engineered your removal and assassination. He has most certainly congratulated himself on this twenty-fifth anniversary in power. Recently, Blaise won his last election but quickly set to work on how he could maneuver around a constitutional amendment that limits a president to two terms. Strange! He is currently serving his fourth term and has indicated he will run yet again in 2015.i

I imagine you are not surprised by this turn of events. You were making predictions about how your removal was inevitable in the years, months, and weeks leading up to the dark, fateful day when Africa lost a powerful and fiercely independent voice. It also probably would not surprise you that most people around the world have never heard of you and they most certainly won’t pay heed to the reminders of this tragic anniversary by international media or official government ceremonies. There will surely be commemorations in your honor but the silence will ultimately be deafening.

[Please click below to continue reading]
Continue reading An Open Letter to the Spirit of a Rebellious Leader, by ADAM CHIMIENTI

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