Social Articles from 2018
Amazon’s Fusion With the State Shows Neoliberalism’s Drift to Neo-Fascism
by Elliott Gabriel
Posted August 15, 2018
This year may go down in history as a turning-point when the world finally woke up to the dark side of the ubiquitous presence of popular Silicon Valley companies in our daily lives. One can only hope so, at least.
From Amazon to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and PayPal – among others – revelations poured out confirming the ongoing abuse of user data by monopolistic corporations, as well as their growing role as vendors of surveillance technology to the U.S. police state, military, and migrant detention agencies.
In March, the lid was blown off of the violation of user data on Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica mining user information for the purpose of providing millions of detailed “psychological profiles” to the Trump campaign, among others. Scarcely two weeks later, the Google campus was in an uproar over the development of its “Project Maven,” which was building an AI-fueled platform to vastly upgrade the automatic targeting abilities of the U.S. military’s global drone fleet. Faced with public outrage and internal dissent, the company pulled out of bidding to renew its Pentagon contract, which ends next year. More…
A Mexican Town Overthrew Their Local Government And Things Are Going Great
by Mac Slavo
Posted August 13, 2018
The town of Cherán was once plagued by people claiming the right to rule over them and now they live peaceful lives free of violence. After the town of 20,000 people in Mexico decided to take matters into their own hands by kicking out politicians, cops, and criminals, the now completely voluntary society is running great and the people finally have freedom and peace.
It sure sounds scary to those unable to imagine a life of true freedom, but the town has been liberated since 2011 and no politician is allowed to come in and begin to control the people. According to Vice, armed men and women — not police, but members of an autonomous militia — guard every entrance to the town, looking for strangers with contraband. “Contraband” would be considered political propaganda posters of those who claim the right to rule other human beings. Since the town has been free since 2011, there’s no use for politicians or those who want power over others. More…
To Avoid Humans, More Wildlife Now Work The Night Shift
By Kaitlyn Gaynor
Posted August 11, 2018
While we expected to find a trend toward increased wildlife nocturnality around people, we were surprised by the consistency of the results around the world. Eighty-three percent of the case studies we examined showed some increase in nocturnal activity in response to disturbance. Our finding was consistent across species, continents and habitat types. Antelope on the savanna of Zimbabwe, tapir in the Ecuadorian rainforests, bobcats in the American southwest deserts – all seemed to be doing what they could to shift their activity to the cover of darkness.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the pattern also held across different types of human disturbance, including activities such as hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and infrastructure such as roads, residential settlement and agriculture. Animals responded strongly to all activities, regardless of whether people actually posed a direct threat. It seems human presence alone is enough to disrupt their natural patterns of behavior. People may think our outdoor recreation leaves no trace, but our mere presence can have lasting consequences. More…
How the US, Under Obama, Created Europe’s Refugee Crisis
by Eric Zuesse
Posted August 8, 2018
The current US President, Donald Trump, claimed on June 18th, that Germany’s leadership, and the leadership in other EU nations, caused the refugee-crisis that Europe is facing:
“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
The US Government is clearly lying about this. The US Government itself caused this crisis that Europeans are struggling to deal with. Would the crisis even exist, at all, if the US had not invaded and tried to overthrow (and in some instances actually overthrown) the governments in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere — the places from which these refugees are escaping? The US Government, and a few of its allies in Europe (the ones who actually therefore really do share in some of the authentic blame for this crisis) caused this war and government-overthrow, etc., but Germany’s Government wasn’t among them, nor were many of the others in Europe. More…
Our New, Happy Life? The Ideology of Development
By Charles Eisenstein
Posted August 7, 2018
In George Orwell’s 1984, there is a moment when the Party announces an “increase” in the chocolate ration – from thirty grams to twenty. No one except for the protagonist, Winston, seems to notice that the ration has gone down not up.
‘Comrades!’ cried an eager youthful voice. ‘Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! Returns now completed of the output of all classes of consumption goods show that the standard of living has risen by no less than 20 percent over the past year. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of factories and offices and paraded through the streets with banners voicing their gratitude to Big Brother for the new, happy life which his wise leadership has bestowed upon us.
The newscaster goes on to announce one statistic after another proving that everything is getting better. The phrase in vogue is “our new, happy life.” Of course, as with the chocolate ration, it is obvious that the statistics are phony. More…
The Entire Western World Lives In Cognitive Dissonance
by Paul Craig Roberts
Posted August 5, 2018
The question is: How is it that Americans can see and reject the inhumane border control policy and not see the inhumanity of family destruction that has been the over-riding result of Washington’s destruction in whole or part of seven or eight countries in the 21st century?
Millions of people have been separated from families by death inflicted by Washington, and for almost two decades protests have been almost nonexistent. No public outcry stopped George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump from clear and indisputable illegal acts defined in international law established by the US itself as war crimes against the inhabitants of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. We can add to this an eighth example: The military attacks by the US armed and supported neo-Nazi puppet state of Ukraine against the breakaway Russian provinces. More…
Separating Children From Their Families Is Nothing New, US Has Been Doing It For Decades
by Darius Shahtahmasebi
Posted August 4, 2018
Wow. Do you mean the United States government is actually committing human-rights abuses? Imagine my surprise, that the country which I believe to be a beacon of human rights, democracy and freedom has suddenly begun committing a human-rights abuse for what I am supposed to believe is the very first time.
The United States has had a longstanding foreign policy of separating thousands of children from their parents on a daily basis. Arguably, this decades-long policy that has continued through both Democrat and Republican administrations is even worse than the current “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, given that the US has been separating thousands of children from their families using explosive devices, not detention centers.
On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump vowed that he would “take out” the families of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) fighters and no one seemed to bat an eyelid at the time. While no one was looking, he began doing just that – and more. Soon after ascending to office, he relaxed the so-called Obama-era restrictions on airstrikes in multiple warzones, meaning that commanders on the field could call in airstrikes with almost all but zero oversight. The result was mass murder and chaos, as the commander-in-chief dropped 20,650 bombs in a mere six-month window. More…
Et Tu, Bernie?
by Chris Hedges
Posted August 2, 2018
There are two versions of Bernie Sanders. There is the old Bernie Sanders, who mounted a quixotic campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination as a democratic socialist who refused corporate cash and excoriated corporate Democrats. And there is the new Bernie Sanders, who dutifully plays by the party’s rules, courts billionaires, refused to speak out in support of the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for rigging the primaries against him and endorses Democratic candidates who espouse the economic and political positions he once denounced.
The Democratic Party is neither democratic nor in any real sense a political party. It is a corporate mirage. The members of its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props in a choreographed party convention. Voters have zero influence on party politics. More…
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