Social Articles from 2018
The Visionless Society
by Chris Hedges
Posted January 5, 2018
“Can there be a democracy when you don’t have a competitive electoral system?” he asked. “No.
Can there be a democracy when people who come in second win the election? No.
Can there be a democracy when it’s tougher to get on the ballot than in any other Western country in the world by an order of magnitude? No.
Can there be a democracy when money rules? And not just the money that politicians raise, but the third-party money. No.
Can there be a democracy when people have no influence on the military budget? No. More…
We the Sheeple: the Blind Reading the Blind
by Jason Hirthler
Posted January 4, 2018
The term ‘globalization’ has been used as a portmanteau containing all of the sly nuance of neoliberalism. Globalization is the rush of capital into every conceivable crevice of the planet in search of profitable new ventures. Unfortunately, markets must be pried open with war when rhetorical picklocks don’t suffice. The term ‘humanitarian’ is the masque we now affix to the gruesome face of war whenever we must attack some recalcitrant socialist backwater. What we used to call a ‘civilising mission’ in Africa, we now call a ‘humanitarian intervention’ in the Middle East. Historians call that ‘progress.’
The effect of this noble-minded fustian is to pacify a population and to marginalize anyone who attempts to reveal the true character of imperial action. Who would oppose a globalizing force of open markets that promise to bring ‘developing’ and ‘emerging’ nations online and on par with our post-industrial west? Those who do can hardly explain the extractive nature of neoliberal globalization or its deindustrializing effect on developing economies before they are skewered by the flagbearers of humanitarianism. More…
You Grow Up Wanting to be Luke Skywalker, Then Realize You’ve Become a Stormtrooper for the Empire
by Daniel Crimmins
Posted January 3, 2018
Someone asked: How do you Americans as a people walk around head held high, knowing that every few months your country is committing a 9/11 size atrocity to other people. Imagine if the 9/11 terror attacks were happening in America every few months. Again and again, innocent people dying all around you. Your brothers and sisters. For no reason.
Daniel Crimmins from U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division answered:
Many of us are unable. Many of us watched 9/11, and accepted the government and media’s definition of the attack as a act of war rather than a criminal action. A smaller portion, drifting along passively thought a major war was coming, that people we knew were going to fight and die. Some of us maybe worried about our younger brother being drafted, despite being in college. Now, it seems stupid, but in the 72 hours after 9/11, some Americans, maybe suffering from depression, certainly with a mind shaped by comic books and action movies, ate up the “us vs. them” good vs. evil rhetoric spouted by the cowboy in chief. After all, he was the president, and no matter how bright you might think yourself, you can still be swayed by passion and emotion, led to terrible decisions. More…
How Corporate Giants Are Using Private Security Firms to Spy on Protesters
by Meirion Jones and Rob Evans
Posted January 10, 2017
Corporate giants are hiring private security firms to spy on and infiltrate political groups that they deem a risk to their profit motive. The targets of the monitoring spanned the grieving family of a young protester crushed to death by a bulldozer to a range of environmental campaigns, including even phone mast protesters.
The leaked documents suggest that the use of secretive corporate security firms to gather intelligence about political campaigners has been widespread. The cache of emails we obtained shows how one of the “private spy” firms, C2i International, used two infiltrators to acquire advance warning of demonstrations that were being mounted against big companies. They then fed this information back to the companies.
The infiltrators pretended to be activists sympathetic to the cause of the campaigners. They helped to run the campaigns and attended their demonstrations, including on one occasion, dressing up as a pirate with a cutlass and eyepatch as part of a protest. More…
Consider this: If corporations are already hiring private firms to infiltrate their perceived enemies, how big a step will it be before corporations start hiring private companies such as Blackwater, Xi or Academi to start eliminating their perceived enemies?
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