Media · US

Thoughts on George Floyd Protests and Media Narratives

I have gained a lot of followers on twitter (Okay, ‘a lot’ by the standard of my small account) because of my scepticism regarding the Covid narrative which was very firm and clear from the start. In the case of the covid narrative, I felt very confident in my conclusions which I believe have been vindicated. In the case of the current protests, I feel a lot more uncertain as to what is actually going on (that is, to what extent is this manufactured) and what the agenda is.

So, here are some thoughts.

Police brutality in America is obviously a very real problem. Not denying that at all. And it is equally obviously, related to race to an extent (I say that because poor whites have also been brutalised & murdered by police, but there is a genuine disparity as to what extent it happens with different racial groups). Angry responses on the part of the American population to police brutality are also common and seem to flare up occasionally. I want to say that many of the people in the streets are people who have seen the video of the George Floyd murder and are horrified by it and are rightfully angry.

But I don’t think that the legitimate anger on the part of the population means that we can ignore deeper questions about what precisely is going on and what agenda is being pushed. Think back to a week ago. What were outlets like The Guardian saying (I know I slag the Guardian non stop, but it really is very handy once you stop reading it as a news outlet and start reading it as ‘what the liberal narrative managers want you to believe’)? They were promoting the idea of an ever harsher lockdown, criticising Boris Johnson for even weak measures ‘relaxing lockdown’, everything on the front page was ‘corona, corona, corona’ and you had to scroll for half-an-hour to read anything non-corona related. (It is very important to have a memory when it comes to the MSM. It’s one of the most vital factors when understanding how they function. They rely on you not remembering what they said last week because if you did, it would be a lot easier to expose them.)

So, 5 minutes ago we were all going to die of this virus and now the MSM is supporting mass protests against the killing of George Floyd. Hm. If there really was a killer virus on the loose, then surely all these protests would be spreading it about non stop. Protests for a cause you believe in don’t magically not spread viruses. The whiplash in the narrative is pretty shocking once you stop and think about it. Even a few weeks ago, the ‘End Lockdown’ protesters were called selfish, just wanting a haircut, wanting to cause murder of old people etc. ad nauseam. Heck there are even individuals promoting the protests AND pushing the corona fear porn at the same time without even seeing the obvious contradiction (or pretending not to see it). This is a random twitter account called ‘Tory Fibs’ (whom, shockingly, hasn’t blocked me yet):

(I just highlighted this because I found it amusing.)

So, why the whiplash here? Why, one minute, if you simply want to do ordinary activities you’re the worst monster in the world, and now the next minute you have to protest for black lives and even smashing stuff up is perfectly fine (I have thoughts on rioting but I won’t get into it here?)

Here’s two possible agendas:

  1. This is been put forward now as an alternative agenda to the covid19 pandemic narrative. The public are beginning to tire of the fear porn and want to ‘get back to normal’ in terms of their jobs and socialising. So there needs to be a new form of disorder to justify the martial law, cue agents provocateurs and the like creating/encouraging rioting;
  2. This has been put forward now and will soon operate in tandem with the covid19 pandemic narrative. The mass protests will be blamed for a manufactured ‘second wave’ of coronavirus deaths which will then justify more lockdowns, martial law, forced vaccines, or whatever else they want to justify.

Either could happen. Which I don’t know, but I think it depends on how hard the establishment are determined to push the biological aspects of the new normal at this particular stage, or whether they will wait for Pandemic II to push the immunity passports, forced vaccines, etc. Pandemic I could be used to try and push these things, but it also could be used as a seeding device – making the public get used to these ideas – for eventually pushing those things with Pandemic II. There may still be too much distrust among the public to accept forced vaccines, etc for now, so they are ditching covid and moving on, or maybe not, maybe they really want their immunity passports now. I don’t know, so I am raising the possibility of both options. [there may of course be other agendas].

I would also like to highlight one more aspect of these protests and that is a phenomenon I find rather strange – the proliferation of protests about the George Floyd killing in countries that have nothing to do with it. In the UK, for example, there have been protests in London and Manchester about his death. Generally Twitter has been saying that this is about ‘solidarity’ but I still find it an odd phenomenon worthy of at least asking questions about.

People in the UK throughout this whole lockdown saga have not really protested much against anything, and the protesters against lockdown have been arrested (most notably Piers Corbyn). No other protests that I have been aware of other than the sporadic anti-lockdown ones, except for the Assange court hearing protest with 12 people that got shut down by the police. Over the past few days before the George Floyd protests in the UK there was some random Extinction Rebellion stuff going on so maybe this time is when they are going to ‘allow us’ to protest things.

Before we get too off topic lets return to the Floyd protests. It is strange and almost absurd the way that people in the UK are sitting here protesting an example of American police brutality that we have no control over. Perhaps that is the point. The elite here in the UK can channel anger – and again, I understand people watching the video and being horrified – into something that is by definition harmless to them. Rather than the anger and energy going into something the UK government has played a role in such as the Julian Assange case or the Harry Dunn injustice.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad people are going outside. Hopefully people will now begin seeing through lockdown. But we have to ask critical questions.

See also: “The George Floyd Protests – 20 unanswered questions” by offguardian.

Media · UK · US

Coronavirus is the Left’s 9/11

Think about this for a moment. Both of these events were used (created?) in order to destroy your civil liberties and take away your rights. But one side of the political spectrum was more influenced that another in both cases. In the 9/11 case it was generally ‘right wing patriots’ that agreed with Bush and in the case of corona its generally ‘left wing socialists’ that agreed with lockdown. [Yes I fully acknowledge this is an overgeneralisation.]

A quick glance at the logic.

If you don’t support taking away our freedoms you are letting the terrorists kill innocent people/letting the virus kill innocent people.

If you don’t support surveillance, it’s because you have something to hide/If you don’t support ‘contact tracing’ (mass surveillance) its because you don’t care about people.

If you don’t trust the government narrative on 9/11 and Iraq, you’re a conspiracy theorist’/if you don’t trust the government line on Covid, you’re a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

+

I’m sure there are more comparisons to be made here but I’m tired right now.

Media

Mass Scale Death Denial

To avoid any misconceptions or deliberate strawmanning of this article, I am going to say that: this article is not saying that there are zero risks from the coronavirus, and I accept that some individuals, particularly in at risk groups, such as the elderly and people with lung conditions, have died or are at risk of death because of this virus. What I am questioning in this article is what is known as ‘fear porn’: the massive over exaggeration of risk and the constant pushing of the ‘we’re all going to die’ narrative. I have already in a previous post criticised what I believe to be the real agenda behind this fear porn, namely, creation of an authoritarian police state. This article is going to focus on a different issue as to why people are acting uncritically when it comes to the fear porn and why they are supporting the government.

One thing that is the most notable about human nature (or whatever other term you would like to use) is that we are terrified of dying. Our own death is one of those events that is always pushed to the sidelines and ignored (at least by the vast majority of people): Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. This fear is often used by atheists to explain why people believe in religion, but the truth is neither most atheists nor most religious people have accepted their own death. Through a series of events which I will not outline for this blog, but that led me to look deep in the abyss, I will say that one of the positive benefits of those experiences was fully accepting that I will die and that is fine, to put it in the post straightforward way possible.

When human beings are reminded of their own death, that is very uncomfortable for them. “Me? I’m going to die? Really? Surely not!” we think. And this of course, is very much known by our elites – who of course, are also in denial of their own death – they hoard their wealth and power almost as if they believe they can take it with them! (One is rather reminded of Ecclesiastes.) But of course the elite know a little bit of this plausible fear goes a long way when dealing with ordinary people.

A guy called Ernest Becker came up with something which came to be known as ‘Terror Management Theory.’ He wrote a book called the Denial of Death which came to be the basis of this theory. Basically, we’re afraid of death, so what do we do about it?

This is what Psychology Today says:

According to TMT, death anxiety drives people to adopt worldviews that protect their sense of self-esteem, worthiness, and sustainability and allow them to believe that they play an important role in a meaningful world. Human survival instincts, and the need to reinforce cultural significance in the face of death, often result in displays of prejudice, or the belief that the group with which one identifies is superior to other groups. In this way, people confirm their self-importance and insulate themselves from their deep fear of merely living an insignificant life permanently eradicated by death.

Psychology Today article

In other words this theory suggests that the idea and fear of death can influence human beings in many ways and of course it follows from this that elites can invoke many of the same psychological tricks in order to get people in line.

But what is going on with the coronavirus fear porn is just the straightforward suggestion: you are going to die of this virus. Coronavirus crisis. Death death death. Look at these numbers. We won’t give you any context but look at them. See. Death. You. You’re next. Death. You’re. Going. To. Die.

The human response to all these reminders is: argh, no panic, going to die, going to die? No please please don’t let me die. I can’t think about that. I can’t handle it.

Ah, but then nice benevolent governments can say: Well, there are some things we can do to help, all you need to do is give up x, y, z, civil liberties.

Us: yes please, please please don’t let me die.

Now of course, it is completely irrational to think that the government can protect you from a virus. A virus is a biological organism that has no capacity to obey a government directive and will simply spread because that is its programming as a entity. Whatever the government does it is likely that some vulnerable individuals will die of this virus. That is a shame but that is also reality – people die every day of all sorts of various causes, many preventable (Paul Embery on Twitter recently pointed out the high levels of death from smoking for instance).

What we are seeing then is a phenomenon called Mass Scale Death Denial. People spend their lives in denial that they will die. Introduce a bit of fear, a bit of drawing people’s attention to the fact that they will die and that they might die right now. But say you have the solution if the person will just agree to x y & z & if they just follow orders. Then the person can go right back to their denial because the government is protecting them.

And I want to note that many on the left or progressives or whatever I would be called (I don’t even know or care any more since I only tend to focus on anti-war & free Assange stuff) are just as guilty at cheering this on. There are so many people who have correctly criticised the MSM on everything: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Assange, anti-Semitism smears on Corbyn, to name a few. But a lot of them are falling in line behind the MSM – who they know better than anyone lie – on this issue. Why? Just a little bit of fear shaking them out of their death denial.

So here’s my advice dear reader: do the necessary psychological work on yourself and really face up to your fear of death. If you don’t fear death, it’s harder for them to control you.

Media · UK

Tony Blair thinking his opinion is still relevant. Again.

So being as I’m bored let’s shoot some fish in a barrel and take the piss out of Tony Blair, who has come down from his throne in the heavens to tell Americans not to vote for Bernie Sanders.

Reminder: Tony Blair is a war criminal.

 “When I hear the rhetoric around Bernie Sanders, who by the way is obviously a very capable guy, it’s eerily familiar to anyone who’s just watched the debacle unfold in the British Labour party and our election defeat in the UK which is essentially the worst in our 120-year history.”

Tony Blair

You yourself and your neoliberal lackeys tried to undermine Corbyn at every turn and then act like it’s all his fault that he lost. Your second referendum nonsense which you pushed Corbyn to adopt led to the catastrophic defeat, not the fact that say, renationalising the railways in unpopular (it is actually popular). The media also screeched that he was an anti-Semite 24/7 in a smear job and your neoliberal lackeys supported and fuelled.

Don’t get me wrong Corbyn did himself zero favours by giving into the neoliberals but you get the idea.

I just don’t think there’s an appetite for socialist revolution. There wasn’t in Britain, I’d be surprised if there was in the US. And so I think … if they go down that path it’s an enormous gamble.

Tony Blair

As opposed to choosing a guy with severe age related cognitive decline?

I dunno, I think picking someone who can barely talk coherently to go against Trump might be a risk.

(Of course, there’s also Tulsi Gabbard, but she is sadly not going to win the nomination)

“Put it like this: you’re essentially saying, ‘Put aside the middle ground, we’re not really going to try to reach that, instead we’re going to up the turnout and that’s exactly the strategy of Corbyn’s Labour party in the UK and it failed, drastically.”

As opposed to nominating arch-moderate Hillary “Single payer will never come to pass” Clinton, which of course was a resounding success.

“First of all, my view of the populism is you’ve got to be very careful when you’re from the liberal or progressive side of politics, because if you’re not careful you tend to say that, ‘These people who are voting for Donald Trump or Brexit, they’re just irrational people, I don’t understand why they’re doing it and you’ve just got to hope this is a moment that passes.’

This argument is laughable. Why? Because it’s left wingers (okay, reasonable ones) who actually acknowledge that people who voted Trump or Brexit are not actually all hardcore thick racists. That argument is an argument made by THE LIBERAL ELITE LIKE YOURSELF, Tony.

The thing is you people want to say ‘oh the people who voted for populism have real grievances’ and then put forward a platform which is more of the same centrist neoliberal warmongering shite that we have had for 40 years which led to the grievances in the first place!

Blair also said he was “a passionate believer that if the left goes down the path of trying to fight a culture war with the right, it will lose comprehensively and it really should not do that.”

This argument makes zero sense in the context of discussing Sanders’ campaign because Sanders is 90% economic arguments. Some people in his camp might do the culture warrior stuff but that’s not really Sanders’ cup of tea and he really isn’t starting a culture war. It’s generally neoliberals that obsess over the culture warrior stuff to hide the fact that they support the same foreign policy and economic policy as the Republicans.

In other words piss off to the Hague Tony you absolute bellend.

Media · US

Guardian posts Nonsense about Mayor Pete

So for the past week I have been spending pretty much all my time wound up about the Assange Show Trial and being really really pissed off as well as feeling the worst sense of dread, that we are now crossing the Rubicon.

So being as I need to think about something else to prevent myself from going loopy right now, I am going to have a rant about the Guardian being a terrible publication again, in particular, in relation to Pete Buttigieg (again).

I wrote a piece a while back about an article they wrote about Buttigieg. It was called ‘Guardian runs an article on Pete Buttigieg that Pretends Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders don’t exist’. This article was really a masterclass of Guardianism in that it criticised Buttigieg for being a coached and establishment candidate, without actually mentioning the existence of either Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard.

Anyway there’s a new Guardian article on Buttigieg out. He just dropped out of the presidential race. This is the title of the article:

Pete Buttigieg might be the most progressive candidate ever to run for president

How about No.

Okay, now you can say electoral politics is all bull shit and that’s pretty much true, but it is a fact that Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and even Elizabeth Warren (to the extent she actually has a stance on anything, I suppose) are more progressive than Buttigieg. So why is Pete the most progressive according to this author?

…He’s a gay man and no-one really cares because acceptance of gay people has increased.

Okay, but that doesn’t make him progressive.

Of course this article also mentions the Rhodes scholarship (of course) and the languages shit (as someone who somewhat knows a foreign language, trust me, it doesn’t make you progressive. It just means you’re willing to pour hours into learning bloody verbs of motion) because that is like catnip to the Guardian crowd. Soooo accomplished etc.

Those of us who took the time to learn what Buttigieg actually stands for were delighted by how substantive he was. Partly because of his mixed record on racial issues – which included firing a black police chief in his first year as mayor, after the FBI told Buttigieg the chief was illegally wiretapping the phone calls of some white officers – the mayor produced the Douglass Plan, the most detailed project to end racial inequality in America any presidential candidate has ever produced. It includes everything from federal support of $25bn for historically black colleges to the restoration of eligibility for Pell grants for education – and Medicaid – for prison inmates.

Firstly, Pete literally said that the left was focusing too much on policy. Literally the opposite of Substantive.

Secondly, Buttigieg literally faked black endorsements for his Douglass plan.

Buttigieg also endorsed the Green New Deal and a bold idea to increase the supreme court to 15 members, with a new method of selection designed to make the court less political.

Endorsing the Green New Deal was also done by Bernie and in fact I don’t think I’ve ever heard Buttigieg talk about it.

The only big surprise of his campaign was also its biggest disappointment. While rightwing homophobes remained largely silent, Buttigieg’s angriest opponents turned out to be radical queers, who decided that the first male candidate to kiss his husband on national television just wasn’t gay enough.

As a lgbt woman who criticises Buttigeig, it is not to do with him being ‘not gay enough’. I literally do not care about his sexuality at all. I believe he is gay to the extent that a sociopath can have a sexual orientation.

While people my age who came out right after the Stonewall Riots of 1969 were sympathetic to many different paths to openness, some coastal thirtysomething gay men and lesbians decided Buttigieg’s failure to come out of the closet until he was 33 was a hopeless sign of cowardice.

I don’t give a fuck about when he came out. I give a fuck about the fact that he wants to keep Chelsea Manning in prison for ever.

The reaction of these critics to what they perceived as Buttigieg’s conservatism was so visceral that some pretended he was nothing more than an advocate of the status quo.

Buttigieg is literally a supporter of the status quo when it comes to healthcare and foreign policy and pretty much everything else of any real substance. Him marrying another man doesn’t change that.

“For us, this campaign was the greatest teaching moment LGBTQ people could ever have.”

Andy Tobias (quoted in the article)

Sorry but you don’t speak for me. Stop pretending to.

Assange and Manning · Media

Twitter Suppressing Craig Murray’s Truth Telling on Assange Case

Protesters Outside Australia house, 22nd February 2020

Craig Murray has been one of the people online who has strongly advocated for Julian Assange and he has been telling the truth about what has been really going on during the Assange extradition hearing, or, more accurately, show trial.

Anyway, it seems Twitter don’t like this very much.

Link to tweet.

Now this is absolutely believable. Yesterday I was on Twitter a lot, mostly in a rage over this show trial, and I was looking for this report to come up on my feed. Nothing. It was nowhere.

They don’t want us seeing the truth. we have to try and override their algorithms to push it out there anyway. People need to read Murray’s reporting on this.

Link to day 4 Report.

EDIT AS OF 2nd MARCH

Murray has just posted this tweet with further evidence:

Media · UK

How I learned to stop worrying and love Tony Blair

So I just found the article with the worst title of all time.

Here it is:

‘Labour will only become electable again when it comes to love Tony Blair’: Andrew Adonis

Yes that’s right. Love a war criminal to get elected.

[Adonis] started with a broader political defence of Tony Blair’s record: “The world now divides into two: those people who think that Blair was a saint and a genius and the most inspired political leader in history of mankind, which probably includes me, and those who actually think it is a good idea for Labour to win elections, which includes about 500,000 members of the Labour Party – so they will start increasingly to study and emulate Blair, because it’s the way back.” 

I’m not sure if the ‘inspired political genius’ bit is meant to be a joke. For my sanity I’m going to assume it’s a joke.

It’s only really good if Labour win elections if they are going to actually do something useful. Electoral politics in the West is ‘good cop bad cop’. Two parties that do basically the same thing when in power but one of them hates minorities a bit less.

He is also ignoring the fact that everyone is already emulating Blair and even under Corbyn 90% of the PLP were Blairites.

He said the record “looks more and more impressive in retrospect,”

War crimes look great in retrospect I guess.

“I know there were quite a few controversies, which as we look back on them appear to be almost narcissistically minor, between different bits of the Labour Party.”

This is absolutely disgusting. The biggest controversy of the Blair years was the Iraq war – I know, I was alive at the time. but his attitude is ‘oh there was some minor arguments about stuff, Iraq, no big deal, mass murder what’s the problem’. And yet he’s the kind of person who will call you a racist if you want to leave the EU.

When Adonis arrived, the class was discussing the row in 2002-03 between Gordon Brown, the chancellor, and Alan Milburn, the health secretary, about whether or not foundation hospitals should be allowed to borrow for investment. “If that was the total of the political disputes we’d been having the last four or five years, we would thank our lucky stars,” said Adonis

YOU ARE IGNORING THE IRAQ WAR WHICH BEGAN IN 2003 YOU BELLEND.

Some debate about ‘foundation hospitals’ is not the fucking main issue here!

Adonis said, “and when people say, by the way, that this was a ‘Tory government lite’ and that we have had 30 years of neoliberalism – the idea that you would ever have had a Conservative government that announced in one Sunday morning interview that it was going to spend two percentage points [more of national income] on health is obviously a laughable and farcical proposition”.

This is absolutely wrong. The Blair policy towards healthcare was absolutely neoliberal – in fact, it was arguably much more neoliberal than Thatcher or Major.

What Adonis says here completely ignores the fact that it was the Blair government that started (on a major scale) the PFI schemes and introduction of masses of private consultants into the NHS. This is neoliberalism, because one of the core tenets of neoliberalism is that privatisation is a good thing and the the ‘market knows best’ when it comes to public services.

I have written about this issue elsewhere, see: “Those who want medicare for all in the US need to critically examine the history of the NHS”.

“The sainted Attlee – who’s supposed to be the most progressive and left-wing figure that ever existed on the face of the Earth – because instead that Labour government decided to double spending on defence.” 

Are there people on the left who over-idealise Attlee and ignore the negatives, particularly some of the really bad foreign policy stuff? Sure. Not sure what the point is here though.

“The only reason the left thinks the Attlee government was so good is because it’s forgotten most of it. By its own token of ‘Don’t spend all this money on wars abroad’, they’ve forgotten what actually happened then.” 

“Attlee was bad so that means Blair is cool and a good dude” (implied) not an actual argument. Yeah I agree Attlee’s foreign policy was bad (at least from my limited knowledge) because he tried to maintain empire in some places and thus there were crimes committed by the government.

Asked about the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), he defended it on the pragmatic grounds that it allowed more new schools and hospitals to be built: “There are two arguments in favour, and there’s one against. Argument one in favour is that, because it’s a lifetime contract, you get better quality infrastructure; it’s designed better, because the people who are designing it have got to maintain it afterwards. 

“The second argument in favour is that it leveraged more upfront investment, because you had to cover the cost of the credit and not the long term cost of the asset. This meant you could do more in the short term. 

The Private Finance Initiative has been proven by all measures to be more expensive than government building schools and hospitals. The first reason for this is that governments can always borrow from banks at a lower interest rate than private companies, because a private company can go bankrupt (thus higher risk) unlike a government. The second reason is the only motivation for the private sector to be involved is because they want to make a profit. There’s only three ways to do this: either it costs more or the service is reduced in quality, or the wages of the staff are cut to the bone.

“And the argument against it is the obverse of that, of ‘putting it on the credit card’, which is that ultimately the credit card catches up with you.” 

This is hardly the ‘only’ argument against PFI, as outlined above. There are arguments based around a public sector ethos – this simply being more appropriate and effective for these services. But I doubt Adonis cares about that.

There aren’t many people who look back and say that the big problem with the Blair government was those appalling academies and those outrageously right-wing foundation hospitals. What they now say is, ‘Wow, I wish we could have more of that.’

There are plenty of people that have problems with both of these. Just because they don’t exist among Adonis’ neolib mates, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

But a lot of people on the left also say, ‘If only he hadn’t gone to war in Iraq.’ And therein lies another story.”

Oh, now you mention Iraq do you. Only the MOST IMPORTANT THING in the whole Blair era and it takes several paragraphs for it to even get mentioned and then it move straight on to a different topic.

He identified the causes of the Corbyn surge as the combination of poor leadership – “no good leaders after Blair and Brown, a chronic problem of very poor candidates” – and the decision of most of those candidates to abstain in the vote on Conservative welfare cuts in 2015. “It was not a Blairite thing. 

Yes I agree the candidates after Blair and Brown were poor politicians – but given that Blair remade the party in his own image, you have to ask who is responsible for the paucity of actual good politicians.

Abstaining on welfare cuts = not Blairite. lol

“Every choice of leader after Tony Blair – until hopefully this one – has been significantly worse than the previous one. That wasn’t Tony Blair’s fault. He was the one who was good. It’s been steadily downhill ever since. It’s not his fault that people voted for Ed Miliband rather than David Miliband in 2010. People had a vote and that is how they voted, unfortunately.” 

As if people would have just chosen David Miliband instead it would all be fine. LOL.

“The big mistake that the Labour Party has made on every front, since 2007, is to depart from the policies and the strategy set out by Tony Blair.”

Blair is a hardline remainer who loved the idea of overturning the democratic vote to leave the EU. How far did agreeing with Tony on that one get the Labour party eh? Oh they got mullered didn’t they?

Adonis’ comments in this article are beyond repulsive, he mentions Iraq once and that’s it, he thinks it’s fine to ignore mass murder because Blair got elected. This guy is a piece of shit, shame on him.

Media · US

Establishment Stooge Tries Identity Politicking Over the Iowa Caucus. It doesn’t work.

So as we are are all aware at this point, the Iowa Caucus has been an absolute shambles, probably on purpose – as let’s be honest, who trusts the DNC at this point? Anyway, the claim in the MSM is that Pete Buttigieg ‘won’ the caucus, even though at time of writing only 71% of ‘results’ have been declared (and who knows if these are even trustworthy)? If you look at the polls prior to the caucus Sanders was in the lead. Buttigieg doing fairly well is not unexpected since Iowa is one of the few states where he has a clear advantage because of the whiteness of the state – as anyone who follows American politics knows, Buttigieg had to fake endorsements from Black people because has about 2% support among that community (which makes him non-viable).

What the other 29% of the results are going to say we will have to wait and see. Maybe it’s just to deny Sanders good headlines by reporting the pro-Sanders districts last, or maybe the results have actually been tampered with (which is very plausible given the history of American ‘democracy’ in the Democratic party: see elections being rigged against Tim Canova).

In order to distract from this shambles and in order to try and shut down any ”conspiracy theories’ about rigging, one establishment character is using one of the favourite cards of the establishment. That’s right, Identity Politics.

Never heard of this person before, but here’s his twitter bio:

NOW: President of Petkanas Strategies & Director of http://ImpeachmentHQ.org FORMER: @HillaryClinton Sr Adviser; @HarryReid Comms Dir; DNC Sr Adviser #resist

So yeah, establishment stooge.

Of course the comments are full of gay and trans people saying they hate Buttigieg, or saying that they gay people they know hate him.

Of course, Petkanas assumed that all gay people actually care about electing a neoliberal bloke who happens to have sex with men instead of women – which they don’t. A very feeble establishment attempt to deflect from shambles at Iowa and real questions about the integrity of the result.

Media · NGO Complex · Syria

Amnesty International Promoting Syria Lies, Again

So a while back I wrote a couple of posts discussing Amnesty International and why I think it is a problematic organisation that operates within and to support the Western propaganda matrix. One of these posts discussed Amnesty International’s coverage of Syria – and in particular the alleged chemical attack in Douma – which contained establishment lies that they refused to correct when the leaks showing the doubtful veracity of the chemical attack. Now the organisation is again promoting lies about Syria.

Well, who the hell is this Chris D. York and why is it a problem?

It turns out this guy, a writer for Huffington Post UK, is playing a similar role to Oliver Kamm at the Times in keeping the Syria lies flowing. As Caitlin Johnstone has written:

Senior Huffington Post UK editor Chris York has published what is by my count his twelfth smear piece against a small group of academics and independent journalists who’ve expressed skepticism of establishment Syria narratives.

York’s obsessive deluge of hit pieces revolve around British academics Tim Hayward and Piers Robinson, as well as independent journalist Vanessa Beeley.

Caitlin Johnstone

As a piece of advice to anyone out there, Amnesty International is not a trustworthy organization and should not be supported.

Media

What the Heck is Fascism? (Part 1)

If you read or watch any alternative, progressive media you will hear the term fascism used very often regarding Donald Trump and Boris Johnson (and sometimes other leaders such as Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil). Here’s a recent example from the editor of the Canary Kerry Anne Mendoza:

I’ve been considering this question of fascism and the use of the term fascism for a while and I have some thoughts on it. Is there is a coherent and also distinctive definition of fascism (i.e. as separate from simply a right wing capitalist government)? And when should we use the term fascist, and when should we not use the term fascist? Because I do feel that the term gets bandied about a lot without any sort of clear definition.

All Governments are Authoritarian

The fundamental basic truth of the state and government, is that ‘the state’ is a fundamentally authoritarian institution. The definition of the state is generally considered to be ‘an institution that has the monopoly of legitimate use of violence’ i.e. that state is the only force on a given territory that can use violence, anyone else who uses violence on that same territory will be arrested. I want to make clear that ‘all states are authoritarian’ applies despite the kind of state we are talking about whether it be a socialist state such as the USSR, a western ‘liberal democracy’ such as Britain, or a tinpot dictatorship is a developing country.

In practice, the differences between each kind of state come down to a) what other forms of population management are applied by that state in order to prevent rebellion and following on from this b) how extreme the violence is that is applied, and to what extent is it applied?

Liberal democracies in the West as a state form are a kind of state that employs less direct violence against their population (abstracting for a moment imperialism, because overall at least some of these states actually do more violence because of the role of imperialism). Instead, they tend to rely mainly on other tactics to control their population and prevent them rebelling. One is social democracy, that is, giving the working class healthcare and education etc., or the rich giving up a bit of their wealth to avoid having a rebellion against them. The second tactic is propaganda, that is, the creation and manipulation of particular narratives that allow these states to justify things that have no moral justification.

However, liberal democratic states are happy to use coercive means against people who are considered a threat to their power and influence. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are two of the best examples of this. The threat that they pose to this establishment is revealing the true motives behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the reality of how those wars were conducted. For this these individuals have been hounded my the state and tortured. There are many more low level examples of this, of protesters getting arrested. There are also moves against certain types of free speech, such as BDS.

The kind of propaganda and management in a liberal democracy is of a different kind to an outright dictatorship. Dictatorships often have one official party line. Liberal democracies have two party lines that are broadly the same, but agree on the main issues (such as continuing war). This system is most developed in the American case, but can be seen in other liberal democracies. Then those two party lines argue about petty (or at least comparatively petty) issues to distract from their fundamental agreement on 90% of things. But the function of the system and of the system in the dictatorship is the same, thus making it fundamentally comparable.

Following on from this, I am sceptical of any definitions of fascism that rely on defining fascism by referring to authoritarianism or making that a key plank of the argument, because in reality, a dictatorship and a liberal democracy, when faced with a comparable level of threat, will act in comparable ways to neutralise that threat. In a sense thus all states are fascist – if fascism simply means authoritarianism / suppression of free speech.

Continuing from this plank of discussing fascism as authoritarianism, the next post will discuss right wing populism and fascism and whether there is a meaningful distinction between those two terms.