People Ignore Facts That Contradict Their False Beliefs

By Eric Zuesse, for the Strategic Culture Foundation, 23.09.2017

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The more people there are who ignore facts that contradict their beliefs, the likelier a dictatorship will emerge within a given country. Here is how aristocracies, throughout the Ages, have controlled the masses, by taking advantage of this widespread tendency people have, to ignore contrary facts:

What social scientists call “confirmation bias” and have repeatedly found to be rampant,* is causing the public to be easily manipulated, and has thus destroyed democracy by replacing news-reporting, by propaganda — ‘news’ that’s false — in a culture where lies which pump the agendas of the powerful (including lies pumped by the billionaire owners of top ‘news’media and of the media they own) are almost never punished (and are often not even denied to be true). Thus, lies by those powerful liars almost always succeed at enslaving the minds of the millions, to believe what the top economic-and-power class want those millions of people to believe — no matter how false it might happen actually to be.

Recently, a particularly stark example of this came to my attention. On 15 September 2017, an article that I wrote for the Strategic Culture Foundation, and which was titled by a true statement that I had only recently discovered to be true, was republished at a news-site that I consider one of the best around, “Signs of the Times” or “SOTT” for short, and a reader-comment there, simply rejected that title-statement and the entire article, because it contradicted what the person believes. This commenter entirely ignored the evidence that I had provided in the article, which proved the statement to be true.

No matter how irrefutable the evidence is, most people reject anything which contradicts their deeply entrenched false beliefs, and this reader-comment crystallized for me, this phenomenon of “confirmation bias” — the phenomenon of ignoring evidence that contradicts what one believes.

The article was titled “Liberalism doesn’t respect a nation’s sovereignty.” I never knew that fact until I researched it, but I found, after looking through (and my article quoting key documents from) the history of the matter, that it’s actually the case: that liberalism (as it’s understood and defined by the scholars of the subject, and as it’s based upon the key formative documents of the historical tradition, “liberalism”) rejects a nation’s sovereignty. This fact shocked me to discover; so, I wrote an article documenting it, and SCF accepted it, and it then became republished at a few other sites, including SOTT.

The reader-comment at SOTT which for me personified confirmation-bias, was (in its entirety): “This is a rather new twist blaming liberals for invading countries. I’ve always associated liberalism with the left wing and democratic, progressive politics. I’ve always associated conservatism with the right wing, big business, militarism and invading other countries. Trying to move the goal posts, are we?”

That person never clicked onto my article’s links documenting the case, nor even read the quotations given in the article itself from John Locke and from Adam Smith, who were key founders of “liberalism” as that tradition has come down to us. He instead ignored all of that evidence, and stated — entirely without evidence of any sort — that I (and SOTT, and SCF, for publishing it) were “Trying to move the goal posts.”

I (a Bernie Sanders voter, and a lifelong progressive and opponent of conservatism) am “Trying to move the goal posts” — how? By pointing out the manufactured phoniness of ‘liberalism’? By pointing out a key way in which liberalism was designed by its aristocratic sponsors (in this case by the aristocrats who sponsored Locke and Smith), to be an ideology that would encourage conquest, empire, and discourage democracy (which is based upon the sanctity of national sovereignty — based upon the lack of imposition of government by or on behalf of anyone who isn’t a resident on the land). Liberalism, I show there, was designed for Empire, not for democracy. That reader simply refused to consider the evidence.

People who insist upon deceiving themselves disgust me. Anyone who blocks out the key relevant facts and persists in believing the lies they were raised with, or became fooled into believing, doesn’t harm only themselves by the lies they believe; they vote on the basis of the lies they believe, and thus these people who refuse to be open-minded destroy democracy, and invite control of the nation by the aristocracy (who sponsor the proponents of those lies). People who refuse to question their own beliefs, become increasingly putrid pools of their own false beliefs, which have been created and nurtured and sustained and become larger and larger pools of lies, by constant repetition from the media and lobbyists of the rich and powerful, so as to enable the exploiters to enslave the masses, via those constantly repeated and embellished lies.

Such self-‘justifying’ fools, who refuse to clean-up their conceptual pool that’s been increasingly polluted by lies, are enemies of democracy, no matter how much they may consider themselves to be ‘liberals’. They don’t even know the reality of what liberalism is. One thing that it definitely is not (as my article documented) is progressivism (which is utterly opposed to foreign conquest and to the entire imperial project of imposed rule, regardless whether by outright invasions or else by coups).

Thus, we have two dominant ideologies against progressivism: One is conservatism, which everyone recognizes to be against progressivism and for Empire and constant conquest, profitable war for the arms-merchants and for the ‘news’media owners who also benefit from stirring up invasion-fever, not only like William Randolph Hearst did but today like they all do. The other is liberalism, which hides that it’s actually conservative — hides this, by being ever-so-sweet toward certain ethnicities or other groups that are being oppressed domestically, and by vociferously condemning conservatives for what is actually nothing more than the blatancy of conservatism’s favoritism toward the aristocracy.

An authentic democracy cannot be based upon a “demos” (a public) that is overwhelmingly composed of suckers — manipulated fools. Only by means of the tiny aristocracy plus the huge mass of their suckers, does a democracy degenerate into a fascism. (For example, something like this can be supported overwhelmingly by the political Party that dominates the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, state capitals, state legislatures, and runs the U.S. White House, in this ‘democratic’ nation — ‘democratic’ according to the propaganda; but if this were really a democracy, then none of those politicians would be able to win public office.)

* A well-established central finding of psychological research, concerning “confirmation bias” or “motivated reasoning” (which are two phrases referring to people’s tendency to believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of any contrary facts), is that individuals evaluate whatever they read or hear according to their pre-existing ideas about the given subject. Specifically, psychologists have found that people tend to pay attention to whatever confirms their existing ideas, and tend to ignore whatever contradicts those pre-established beliefs.

For examples, the following studies are available online:

“Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs,” in the July 2006 American Journal of Political Science, reported: “We find a confirmation bias – the seeking out of confirmatory evidence – when [people] are free to self-select the source of arguments they read. Both the confirmation and disconfirmation biases lead to attitude polarization … especially among those with the strongest priors [prior beliefs] and highest level of political sophistication [the highest degree of exposure to, and involvement in, the given subject-matter that the study was dealing with].” Prejudices were stronger among supposed experts than among non-“experts”: The more indoctrinated a person was, the more prejudiced. “People actively denigrate the information with which they disagree, while accepting compatible information almost at face value.” Moreover, “Those with weak and uninformed attitudes show less bias” (and this is actually one reason why the best jurors at trials are generally people who are not personally or professionally involved in any aspect of the given case – they are “non-experts”).

Sharon Begley’s article in the 25 August 2009 Newsweek titled “Lies of Mass Destruction: The same skewed thinking that supports a Saddam-9/11 link explains the power of health-care myths [such as that Obama’s health plan had ‘death panels’]” summarized the study in the May 2009 Sociological Inquiry, “‘There Must Be a Reason’: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification,” which had surveyed, during October 2004, 49 conservative Republicans who admitted they believed that Saddam Hussein had caused the 9/11 attacks. This study found that 48 of these 49 extreme conservatives were utterly impervious to the overwhelming factual evidence which was provided to them by the presenters that contradicted this false belief they held.

A study concerning not political conservatism but merely resistance to new technologies is James N. Druckman’s “Framing, Motivated Reasoning, and Opinions about Emergent Technologies,” which was presented at a technological conference in 2009. He reported that, “factual information … is perceived in biased ways … (e.g., there is motivated reasoning).” “Facts have limited impact on initial opinions.” Moreover, “Individuals do not privilege the facts. … Individuals process new factual information in a biased manner. … Specifically, they view information consistent with their prior opinions as relatively stronger, and they view neutral facts as consistent with their existing” views.

“Motivated Reasoning With Stereotypes,” in the January 1999 Psychological Inquiry, found that, “When an applicable stereotype supports their desired impression of an individual, motivation can lead people to activate this stereotype, if they have not already activated it. … People pick and choose among the many stereotypes applicable to an individual, activating those that support their desired impression of this individual and inhibiting those that interfere with it.” Similarly, another research report, “The Undeserving Rich: ‘Moral Values’ and the White Working Class,” in the June 2009 Sociological Forum, found that John Kerry had probably lost the 2004 U.S. Presidential election to George W. Bush at least partly because white working class voters overwhelmingly believed that Bush was like themselves because he behaved like themselves, and that Kerry was not like themselves because his manner seemed “snooty.”

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G A Zyuganov: “Their Cow Can Moo, But Yours Must Be Silent”

Those who ignore history are bound to repeat the same mistakes…

Voices from Russia

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On 7 November 2017, the administration of the US President issued a statement with the lurid title “National Day of Victims of Communism”. However, it was unclear whether the “national day” was American or Russian. Nevertheless, it was very significant that the White House couldn’t ignore the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, which the entire planet observed over the past few days. At the same time, it seems that American politicians still have a weak knowledge of history and geography. In Washington, they live in an artificial world, in which America represents everything good, and Russia is the embodiment of evil.

Outrageous unsubstantiated allegations and outright lies fill this document. Full of the baleful spirit of the Cold War, the White House talked about “the dark decades of oppressive communism, a political philosophy incompatible with freedom, prosperity, and respect for human life”. Meanwhile, even Russia’s enemies recognise that the seven decades…

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After the wet Summer, a hot Winter?

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It has not been a good Summer over here, with many trips we did not wish for, and few moments of inspiration on the writing front. And those news… Seeing clearly through the  mass of lies, fake facts, false flags and other turpitudes of the neocon/neo-liberal media requires constant attention, and more than a critical eye.

As the US presidency under Donald Trump sank further into the sulfur of the neocon swamp, amid force applauds from the worse in US politics, we wondered what could be left of free-will for the man who defied the said swamp, not that long ago. With his clear-eyed advisers gone, who really now would explain to the president the realities of the world? Listening to outrageous statements about Iran and Korea, and the continuation of Obama’s shitty wars via proxies, drones and SOF, who could doubt that the generals are in charge?

Which takes us to Syria, where the battle front brings now the government forces and their allies closer and closer to the truth, which they no doubt have known all along: that “terrorism” was a mask, that there is no such thing as “ISIS” (or whatever) but an army of thugs, gangsters and murderers, set up, funded and armed by the US, under cover of an alleged “opposition” to the “regime”, to perpetuate their permanent attack on the last secular state in the Middle-East. The episode of the attack against the Syrian army and a small unit of Russian military police in Idlib, from positions held by Al-Nusra and the US SOF, the release by the Russian MoD of aerial photographies showing US armour and transport, in an area allegedly held by “ISIS”, and the absence of any evidence of fighting or air attack in the area, are a clear indication of the permanent intentions of the US government (or whoever is really in charge in DC). We knew from the very beginning of the Russian Airforce onslaught on “ISIS”, that the said “ISIS” appeared then remarkably untouched by the so-called anti terrorism coalition: oil quietly flowing from the stolen oil fields of Iraq and eastern Syria, to Turkey, installations in perfect order, after two years of alleged bombing by the said coalition etc. A sham. With the dismantling of “ISIS” and affiliated murderers, there is little doubt that what will be left, is the original sin: US SOF and gangs of thugs, armed and trained by them (“SDF”), from the very start of the conflict in occupied Iraq. No surprise that the Iraqi Kurds, allies of the US during the invasion of Iraq, are now calling their bluff: they want their independence, promised at the time to ensure their loyalty.

This is where the crunch lies: in the arc Turkey – Northern Syria – Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Is there any valuable comparison there with the Balkan situation pre-1914?

So, Germany just had general elections. The German system, its constitution and electoral laws, are without comparison elsewhere in the European Union. This is a federal system, where general elections (for the Bundestag, federal parliament) do not lead to an overall majority, without the formation of some coalition. Hence the debates, started even before official results were known, and behind the door negotiations that will last for weeks. Two notable facts: many voters deserted the parties (CDU/CSU and SPD) of the now dead “great coalition”, and the rise of the nationalist AfD. Nonetheless Mrs Merkel will still be Chancellor (head of government), and changes in Foreign Policies (NATO, Ukraine, Russian sanctions, Afghanistan) are unlikely in the medium term. But there is some hope that, with a real opposition in the Bundestag, assuming a likely CDU/CSU – FDP – Grün coalition, there may be some scope down the line.

On Sunday, the Berlin marathon was run on the wet streets of the capital. Heroic African runners won the race. The skies are grey.

“Legion”

Redemption?

Wie Rabbi Emanuel Rabinovich 1952 vom 3. Weltkrieg spricht

Dämmerung der Westen…

Morbus ignorantia - Krankheit Unwissen

Per Mail  von G.Franz

Rabbi Emanuel Rabinovich:
Anfang 1952 wurde der Notstandsrat Europäischer Rabbiner dringend zu einer Zusammenkunft nach Budapest (Ungarn) einberufen, deren Gegenstand und Grund die Beschleunigung der Ausführung der Pläne für die jüdische Weltherrschaft sein sollte. Bei der am 12. Januar 1952 in dieser Stadt abgehaltenen Sitzung gab der Vorsitzende, Rabbi Emanuel RABINOVICH von London, in seiner Ansprache folgende Richtlinien für die nähere Zukunft:

“Ich begrüße Euch, meine Kinder!

Ihr wurdet hierher gerufen, um die hauptsächlichsten Schritte unseres neuen Programmes festzulegen. Wie Ihr wißt, hofften wir, 20 Jahre Zeit vor uns zu haben, um die im II. Weltkrieg von uns erzielten großen Gewinne zu festigen, jedoch hat unsere, auf gewissen lebenswichtigen Gebieten stark zunehmende Stärke, Opposition gegen uns erweckt und wir müssen deshalb jetzt mit allen uns zur Verfügung stehenden Mitteln dahin wirken, den Ausbruch des III. Weltkrieges zu beschleunigen.

Das Ziel, das wir während 3000 Jahren mit…

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The ‘Global Order’: Myth Teary-eyed nostalgia as cover for U.S. hegemony

By ANDREW J. BACEVICH

From: The American Conservative

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Lotus_studio/Shutterstock 

During the Age of Trump, Year One, a single word has emerged to capture the essence of the prevailing cultural mood: resistance. Words matter, and the prominence of this particular term illuminates the moment in which we find ourselves.

All presidents, regardless of party or program, face criticism and opposition.Citizens disinclined to support that program protest. Marching, chanting, waving placards, and generally raising a ruckus in front of any available camera, they express dissent. In normal times, such activism testifies to the health of democracy.

Yet these are not normal times. In the eyes of Trump’s opponents, his elevation to the pinnacle of American politics constitutes a frontal assault on values that until quite recently appeared fixed and unassailable. In such distressing circumstances, mere criticism, opposition, protest, and dissent will not suffice. By their own lights, anti-Trump forces are fending off the apocalypse. As in November 1860 so too in November 2016, the outcome of a presidential election has placed at risk a way of life.

The very word resistance conjures up memories of the brave souls who during World War II opposed the Nazi occupation of their homelands, with the French maquis the best known example. It carries with it an unmistakable whiff of gunpowder. After resistance comes revolution.

Simply put, Trump’s most ardent opponents see him as an existential threat, with the clock ticking. Thus the stakes could hardly be higher. Richard Parker of Harvard has conjured what he calls Resistance School, which in three months has signed up some 30,000 anti-Trump resistors from 49 states and 33 countries. “It is our attempt to begin the long slow process of recovering and rebuilding our democracy,” says Parker. Another group styling itself the DJT Resistance declares that Trump represents “Hatred, Bigotry, Xenophobia, Sexism, Racism, and Greed.”

This is not language suggesting the possibility of dialogue or compromise. Indeed, in such quarters references to incipient fascism have become commonplace. Comparisons between Trump and Hitler abound. “It takes willful blindness,” writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times, “not to see the parallels between the rise of fascism and our current political nightmare.” And time is running short. Journalist Chris Hedges says “a last chance for resistance” is already at hand.

In the meantime, in foreign-policy circles at least, a second, less explosive term vies with resistance for Trump-era signature status. This development deserves more attention than it has attracted, especially among those who believe that alongside the question that riles up the resistance—namely, what values define us?—sits another question of comparable importance: “What principles define America’s role in the world?”

That second term, now creeping into the vocabulary of foreign-policy specialists, is liberal, often used interchangeably with the phrase rules-based and accompanied by additional modifiers such as open, international, and normative. All of these serve as synonyms for enlightened and good.

So Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, describing what he refers to as the “twilight of the liberal world order,” worries about the passing of “the open international economic system the United States created and helped sustain.” Donald Trump’s misguided emphasis on “America First,” Kagan writes, suggests that he has no interest in “attempting to uphold liberal norms in the international system” or in “preserving an open economic order.”

Commenting on Trump’s Inaugural Address, Nicole Gaouette, CNN national-security reporter, expresses her dismay that it contained “no reference to America’s traditional role as a global leader and shaper of international norms.” Similarly, a report in the Financial Times bemoans what it sees as “a clear signal about Mr. Trump’s disregard for many of the international norms that have governed America as the pillar of the liberal economic order.” The historian Jeremi Suri, barely a week into Trump’s presidency, charges Trump with “launching a direct attack on the liberal international order that really made America great after the depths of the Great Depression.” At the Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart Patrick concurs: Trump’s election, he writes, “imperils the liberal international order that America has championed since World War II.” Thomas Wright, another Brookings scholar, piles on: Trump “wants to undo the liberal international order the United States built and replace it with a 19th-century model of nationalism and mercantilism.”

In Foreign Policy, Colin Kahl and Hal Brands embellish the point: Trump’s strategic vision “diverges significantly from—and intentionally subverts—the bipartisan consensus underpinning U.S. foreign policy since World War II.” Failing to “subscribe to the long-held belief that ‘American exceptionalism’ and U.S. leadership are intertwined,” Trump is hostile to the “open, rule-based international economy” that his predecessors nurtured and sustained.

Need more? Let Gen. David Petraeus have the last word: “To keep the peace,” the soldier-turned-investment-banker writes in an essay entitled “America Must Stand Tall,” the United States has established “a system of global alliances and security commitments,” thereby nurturing “an open, free and rules-based international economic order.” To discard this legacy, he suggests, would be catastrophic.

You get the drift. Liberalism, along with norms, rules, openness, and internationalism: these ostensibly define the postwar and post-Cold War tradition of American statecraft. Allow Trump to scrap that tradition and you can say farewell to what Stewart Patrick refers to as “the global community under the rule of law” that the United States has upheld for decades.

But what does this heartwarming perspective exclude? We can answer that question with a single word: history.

Or, somewhat more expansively, among the items failing to qualify for mention in the liberal internationalist, rules-based version of past U.S. policy are the following: meddling in foreign elections; coups and assassination plots in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Cuba, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere; indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in North Korea and throughout Southeast Asia; a nuclear arms race bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon; support for corrupt, authoritarian regimes in Iran, Turkey, Greece, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere—many of them abandoned when deemed inconvenient; the shielding of illegal activities through the use of the Security Council veto; unlawful wars launched under false pretenses; “extraordinary rendition,” torture, and the indefinite imprisonment of persons without any semblance of due process.

Granted, for each of these, there was a rationale, rooted in a set of identifiable assumptions, ambitions, and fears. The CIA did not conspire with Britain’s MI6 in 1953 to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected president just for the hell of it. It did so because shelving Mohammad Mosaddegh seemingly offered the prospect of eliminating an annoying problem. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson did not commit U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam because he was keen to fight a major ground war in Asia but because the consequences of simply allowing events to take their course looked to be even worse. After 9/11, when George W. Bush and his associates authorized the “enhanced interrogation” of those held in secret prisons, panic rather than sadism prompted their actions. Even for the most egregious folly, in other words, there is always some explanation, however inadequate.

Yet collectively, the actions and episodes enumerated above do not suggest a nation committed to liberalism, openness, or the rule of law. What they reveal instead is a pattern of behavior common to all great powers in just about any era: following the rules when it serves their interest to do so; disregarding the rules whenever they become an impediment. Some regimes are nastier than others, but all are law-abiding when the law works to their benefit and not one day longer. Even Hitler’s Third Reich and Stalin’s USSR punctiliously observed the terms of their non-aggression pact as long as it suited both parties to do so.

My point is not to charge à la Noam Chomsky that every action undertaken by the United States government is inherently nefarious. Rather, I am suggesting that to depict postwar U.S. policy in terms employed by the pundits quoted above is to whitewash the past. Whether their motive is to deceive or merely to evade discomfiting facts is beside the point. What they are peddling belongs to the universe of alt facts. To characterize American statecraft as “liberal internationalism” is akin to describing the business of Hollywood as “artistic excellence.”

“Invocations of the ‘rules-based international order,’” Politico’s Susan Glasser rightly observes, “had never before caused such teary-eyed nostalgia.” Whence comes this sudden nostalgia for something that never actually existed? The answer is self-evident: it’s a response to Donald Trump.

Prior to Trump’s arrival on the scene, few members of the foreign-policy elite, now apparently smitten with norms, fancied that the United States was engaged in creating any such order. America’s purpose was not to promulgate rules but to police an informal empire that during the Cold War encompassed the “Free World” and became more expansive still once the Cold War ended. The pre-Trump Kagan, writing in 2012, neatly summarizes that view:

The existence of the American hegemon has forced all other powers to exercise unusual restraint, curb normal ambitions, and avoid actions that might lead to the formation of a U.S.-led coalition of the kind that defeated Germany twice, Japan once, and the Soviet Union, more peacefully, in the Cold War.

Leave aside the dubious assertions and half-truths contained within that sentence and focus on its central claim: the United States as a hegemon that forces other nations to bend to its will. Strip away the blather about rules and norms and here you come to the essence of what troubles Kagan and others who purport to worry about the passing of “liberal internationalism.” Their concern is not that Trump won’t show adequate respect for rules and norms. What has them all in a lather is that he appears disinclined to perpetuate American hegemony.

More fundamentally, Trump’s conception of a usable past differs radically from that favored in establishment quarters. Put simply, the 45th president does not subscribe to the imperative of sustaining American hegemony because he does not subscribe to the establishment’s narrative of 20th-century history. According to that canonical narrative, exertions by the United States in a sequence of conflicts dating from 1914 and ending in 1989 enabled good to triumph over evil. Absent these American efforts, evil would have prevailed. Contained within that parable-like story, members of the establishment believe, are the lessons that should guide U.S. policy in the 21st century.

Trump doesn’t see it that way, as his appropriation of the historically loaded phrase “America First” attests. In his view, what might have occurred had the United States not waged war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and had it not subsequently confronted the Soviet Union matters less than what did occur when the assertion of hegemonic prerogatives found the United States invading Iraq in 2003 with disastrous results.

In effect, Trump dismisses the lessons of the 20th century as irrelevant to the 21st. Crucially, he goes a step further by questioning the moral basis for past U.S. actions. Thus, his extraordinary response to a TV host’s charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer. “There are a lot of killers,” Trump retorted. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?” In offering this one brief remark, Trump thereby committed the ultimate heresy. Of course, no serious person believes that the United States is literally innocent. What members of the foreign-policy establishment—including past commanders-in-chief—have insisted is that the United States act as if it were innocent, with prior sins expunged and America’s slate wiped clean. This describes the ultimate U.S. perquisite and explains why, in the eyes of Robert Kagan et al., Russian actions in Crimea, Ukraine, or Syria count for so much while American actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya count for so little.

The desperate exercise in historical revisionism that now credits the United States with having sought all along to create a global community under the rule of law represents that establishment’s response to the heresies Trump has been spouting (and tweeting) since his famous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower.

Yet in reclassifying yesterday’s hegemon as today’s promulgator and respecter of norms, members of that establishment perpetrate a fraud. Whether Americans, notably gullible when it comes to history, will fall for this charade remains to be seen. Thus far at least, Trump himself, who probably knows a thing or two about snake-oil salesmen, shows little inclination to take the bait.

Say this for the anti-Trump resistance: while the fascism-just-around-the-corner rhetoric may be overheated and a touch overwrought, it qualifies as forthright and heartfelt. While not sharing the view that Trump will rob Americans of their freedoms, I neither question the sincerity nor doubt the passion of those who believe otherwise. Indeed, I am grateful to them for acting so forcefully on their convictions. They are inspiring.

Not so with those who now wring their hands about the passing of the fictive liberal international order credited to enlightened American statecraft. They are engaged in a great scam, working assiduously to sustain the pretense that the world of 2017 remains essentially what it was in 1937 or 1947 or 1957 when it is not.

Today’s Russia is not a reincarnation of the Soviet Union; the People’s Republic of China is not Imperial Japan; and the Islamic State in no way compares to Nazi Germany. Most of all, United States in the era of Donald Trump is not the nation that elected Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower, not least of all in the greatly reduced willingness of Americans to serve as instruments of state power, as the failed post-9/11 assertions of hegemony have demonstrated.

The world has changed in fundamental ways. So too has the United States. Those changes require that the principles guiding U.S. policy also change accordingly.

However ill-suited by intellect, temperament, and character for the office he holds, Trump has seemingly intuited the need for such change. In this regard, if in none other, I’m with the Donald
But note the irony. Trump may come closer to full-fledged historical illiteracy than any president since Warren G. Harding. Small wonder then that his rejection of the mythic past long employed to preempt serious debate regarding U.S. policy gives fits to the perpetrators of those myths.

Andrew J. Bacevich is TAC’s writer-at-large.  

Vers la Libération – 1

Sascha Schneider Der Mammon und sein Sklave

 

Les 8 et 9 Mai les alliés de 1945 célèbrent la victoire contre l’hydre hitlérienne, mais avec des arrières pensées bien différentes. Si la Fédération de Russie continue, sans discontinuité depuis 1945, de glorifier, à juste titre, les héros de la Grande Guerre Patriotique, peut-être son thème le plus unificateur, aujourd’hui comme hier, le “monde occidental” prétend regarder de l’autre côté: après tout, l’Union Européenne ne soutient-elle pas toujours (financièrement et par les armes) les seuls vrais fascistes au pouvoir en Europe aujourd’hui: le gang répugnant et criminel, issu du coup de force du 2014 Maidan en Ukraine.

Dans l’entre temps la France a succombé au syndrome Écossais, et a élu à la présidence, un représentant direct des oligarchies mondialistes. Bien qu’il soit trop tôt pour analyser le contenu sociologique et démographique de ce vote, les premières observations montrent la fragilité de cette “majorité”: le nouveau président n’a recueilli que 43% des électeurs inscrits, en dépit du support de la totalité des medias et des politiciens d’ancien régime.

Plusieurs questions se posent maintenant, dans le contexte d’un nouveau mouvement politique d’opposition (national et progressiste) au régime néo-libéral. En particulier:

  1. D’un point de vue qualitatif que peut-on dire du support politique pour Emmanuel Macron?
  2.  Comment comprendre/réconcilier la fragmentation géographique des votes opposés aux néo-libéraux?
  3. Une refonte du Front National est-elle possible?
  4. Est-il possible de développer un plan pratique et positif de retrait de l’Euro-zone? (Et sinon, quelle est l’alternative?)
  5. Compte tenu des différences économiques et politiques entre les deux pays, comment gérer une réforme des institutions européennes avec l’Allemagne?

Dans les mois qui viennent, je me propose d’explorer ces questions, à la lumière des événements qui vont suivre.

Image: Sascha Schneider [Public domain], Mammon et son esclave, via Wikimedia Commons (Der Mammon und sein Sklave. Holzstich. Aus der Reihe “Meisterwerke der Holzschneidekunst”, Verlag J. J. Weber, Leipzig. c. 1896)

Après le 7 Mai #AuNomDuPeuple

Gravure du XIXe siècle en couleurs représentant des chevaliers, dont l'un est couronné, fonçant sur des fantassins.

Au moment d’écrire, vendredi 5 Main, tout est possible, et rien n’est perdu. Un sursaut populaire, un élan de fierté nationale et d’opposition à la gangrène néo-libérale qui ruîne la France depuis trente ans, peut rendre possible l’élection de Marine Le Pen. Le débat du 3 Mai a mise en évidence la vacuité du projet Macron, qui n’est que la continuation, en pire et à l’appui de décrets présidentiels, des politiques des sieurs Hollande et Sarcosy: on prend les mêmes et on recommence! Il faudrait pour cela, non seulement que la totalité des électeurs Gaullistes (les vrais), mais aussi qu’une bonne partie des électeurs de Monsieur Mélenchon, au premier tour, reportent leurs voix pour Marine. Tout est possible, encore, et il y a de bonnes raisons pour cette vraie gauche du coeur de choisir la France et le combat, et d’interdire l’accès au pouvoir suprême d’un représentant directe des oligarchies.

Contre la Nation, nous voyons massés les rangs des politiciens véreux, des media vendues, de la toute puissante maison de Rothchild et de ses alliés: la mafia internationale des néo-conservateurs et soit-disant libéraux, des socialistes pourris, et des champions du monde finissant et guerroyant, Obama-Clinton et Merkel. Ces gens là ont investi des moyens énormes, pour contrôler pratiquement toute la presse et télévision française et d’ailleurs, pour lever les troupes de choc qui attaquent l’opposition nationale, ses leaders et ses permanences, ainsi que la police, pour manipuler l’opinion, pour construire cet énormité: un personnage creux, sans âme et sans conviction, si ce n’est l’obéissance à ses maîtres:  le Golem des oligarchies.

Verrons nous ici, en France, la vérité et la foi dans la Patrie triompher de ces crapules? Les sondages, quelle surprise! disent non. Les sondages aussi, ont une opinion! Mais la France de 2017 est-elle comparable aux USA de l’élection de Donald Trump? Est-elle même comparable au Royaume Uni de Brexit? Bien sûr tous les pays sont différents. Mais il y a le cas de malheur: celui où la France se laisserait pièger, comme l’Ècosse du référendum de l’indépendence de 2015. Là comme peut-être ici, la combinaison honteuse de politiciens vendus aux intérêts du capital et d’une presse corrompue, ont réussi à faire capoter le projet national.

Ce désastre est possible, et en votant dimanche, nous n’allons pas oublier d’être prêts, prêts à la Résistance. Dans tous les cas, un grand nombre de Français auront exprimé leur opposition au parti du passé et des politiques éculées, à l’immigration massive, à la destruction de l’économie nationale, à l’asservissement aux oligarchies apatrides sous couvert d’une Union Européenne détournée de sa mission; il faudra alors faire face à cette nécessité: reconstruire un grand parti nationaliste et progressif, retournant aux sources de la grandeur de la France, un parti de combat!

Le 7 Mai, au Nom du Peuple: aux urnes!

 

Image: La bataille de Taillebourg, gravure colorisée tirée d’une Histoire de l’armée française de Paul Lehugeur, 1880. Par Paul Lehugeur — http://www.alex-bernardini.fr/histoire/Louis-IX-dit-Saint-Louis.php, Domaine public, Lien

Choisir La France #ChoisirLaFrance

Prenons-nous tels que nous sommes. Prenons le siècle comme il est. Nous avons à mener à bien, malgré d’immenses difficultés, une rénovation profonde qui conduise chaque homme et chaque femme de chez nous à plus d’aisance, de sécurité, de joie, et qui nous fasse plus nombreux, plus puissants, plus fraternels. Nous avons à conserver la liberté sauvée avec tant et tant de peine. Nous avons à assurer le destin de la France au milieu de tous les obstacles qui se dressent sur sa route et sur celle de la paix. Nous avons à déployer, parmi nos frères les hommes, ce dont nous sommes capables, pour aider notre pauvre et vieille mère, la Terre. Soyons assez lucides et assez forts pour nous donner et pour observer des règles de vie nationale qui tendent à nous rassembler quand, sans relâche nous sommes portés à nous diviser contre nous-mêmes ! Toute notre Histoire, c’est l’alternance des immenses douleurs d’un peuple dispersé et des fécondes grandeurs d’une nation libre groupée sous l’égide d’un Etat fort.

Charles de Gaulle, Discours de Bayeux, 16 Juin 1946

Ce dimanche 30 Avril le ciel de Berlin est bleu, parsemé de petits nuages blancs. Le long des avenues bordées d’arbres aux feuilles de printemps, les résidents se promènent, à pied, ou en vélo, décontractés et souriant.

Nous sommes bien loin de la furie qui se déchaîne depuis la semaine dernière en France. Demain, 1er Mai, les Berlinois célèbreront la fête du travail, un jour férié ici, sans interruption depuis plus de cent ans. Dans une semaine je reprendrai le chemin de l’ Institut Français, sur le Kurfürstendamm, pour voter dans le second tour des élections présidentielles.

Il y a quinze jours j’ai voté pour Monsieur Mélenchon et la France Insoumise. La semaine prochaine je vais voter pour Marine Le Pen, et le Front National, sans hésitation. Mes raisons sont très simples: je suis un patriote, et je suis de gauche. Comme patriote je veux empêcher un représentant des banques corruptrices et apatrides d’accèder au poste suprême de la République, et je veux que mon pays retrouve son indépendance. Comme homme de gauche je crois à la défence des droits des travailleurs, je suis contre la délocalisation qui tue les emplois, et je veux une société plus juste. Je comprend les différences entre le programme de Monsieur Mélenchon et celui de Madame Le Pen, et je les accepte: la priorité maintenant c’est d’élire un président qui croit en la France, et la défendra, un président qui ne soit pas au service des oligarchies, et est prête à se battre contre elles. Je sais aussi qu’il y a des différences de principe entre ce point de vue, et celui de certains électeurs du Front National. Mais je ne suis pas quelqu’un qui traite les gens qui sont d’un autre avis de fasciste. Le vrai fascisme est celui du terrorisme international, des crapules neo-libérales qui font de l’immigration un moyen de trahir les travailleurs, et sont donc complices de ce terrorisme.

Si vous êtes Française, ici à Berlin comme moi, ou partout ailleurs, je vous invite à bien réfléchir, et à Choisir La France.

Charles de Gaulle Looking Over Map

For The Sleepwalkers

In the depth of night, beyond our dreams…

Peedeel's Blog

Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible

arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.

I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,

palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.

And always they wake up as themselves again.
That’s why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.

Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music

of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our…

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