MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Talking About Stoicism 141 Introducing Seneca and My Three Favourite Quotes of His

Posted by M. C. on September 26, 2021

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The Self-Congratulation of the Left

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

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Another of my public service presentations

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

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A Global Fiat Currency: “One Ring to Rule Them All” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

It is therefore the incentive resulting from a single world currency that paves the way toward a world government and a world state.

https://mises.org/wire/global-fiat-currency-one-ring-rule-them-all

Thorsten Polleit

1.

Human history can be viewed from many angles. One of them is to see it as a struggle for power and domination, as a struggle for freedom and against oppression, as a struggle of good against evil.

That is how Karl Marx (1818–83) saw it, and Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) judged similarly. Mises wrote:

The history of the West, from the age of the Greek Polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders.1

But unlike Marx, Mises recognized that human history does not follow predetermined laws of societal development but ultimately depends on ideas that drive human action.

From Mises’s point of view, human history can be understood as a battle of good ideas against bad ideas.

Ideas are good if the actions they recommend bring results that are beneficial for everyone and lead the actors to their desired goals;

At the same time, good ideas are ethically justifiable, they apply to everyone, anytime and anywhere, and ensure that people who act upon them can survive.

On the other hand, bad ideas lead to actions that do not benefit everyone, that do not cause all actors to achieve their goals and/or are unethical.

Good ideas are, for example, people accepting “mine and yours”; or entering into exchange relationships with one another voluntarily. Bad ideas are coercion, deception, embezzlement, theft.

Evil ideas are very bad ideas, ideas through which whoever puts them into practice is consciously harming others. Evil ideas are, for example, physical attacks, murder, tyranny.

2.

With Lord of the Rings, J. J. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) wrote a literary monument about the epic battle between good and evil. His fantasy novel, published in 1954, was a worldwide success, not least because of the movie trilogy, released from 2001 to 2003.

What is Lord of the Rings about? In the First Age, the deeply evil Sauron—the demon, the hideous horror, the necromancer—had rings of power made by the elven forges.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

But Sauron secretly forges an additional ring into which he pours all his darkness and cruelty, and this one ring, the master ring, rules all the other rings.

When Sauron puts the master ring on his finger, he can read and control the minds of everyone wearing one of the other rings.

The elves see through the dark plan and hide their three rings. The seven rings of the dwarves also fail to subjugate their bearers. But the nine rings of men proved to be effective: Sauron enslaved nine human kings, who were to serve him.

Then, however, in the Third Age, in the battle before Mount Doom, Isildur, the eldest son of King Elendils, severed Sauron’s ring finger with a sword blow. Sauron is defeated and loses his physical form, but he survives.

Now Isildur has the ring of power, and it takes possession of him. He does not destroy the master ring when he has the opportunity, and it costs him his life. When Isildur is killed, the ring sinks to the bottom of a river and remains there for twenty-five hundred years.

Then the ring is found by Smeagol, who is captivated by its power. The ring remains with its finder for nearly five hundred years, hidden from the world.

Over time, Sauron’s power grows again, and he wants the Ring of Power back. Then the ring is found, and for sixty years, it remains in the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, a friendly, well-meaning being who does not allow himself to be seduced by the power of the One Ring.

Years later, the wizard Gandalf the Gray learns that Sauron’s rise has begun, and that the Ring of Power is held by Bilbo Baggins.

Gandalf knows that there is only one way to defeat the ring and its evil: it must be destroyed where it was created, in Mordor.

Bilbo Baggins’s nephew, Frodo Baggins, agrees to take the task upon himself. He and his companions—a total of four hobbits, two humans, a dwarf, and an elf—embark on the dangerous journey.

They endure hardship, adversity, and battles against the dark forces, and in the end, they succeed at what seemed impossible: the destruction of the ring of power in the fires of Mount Doom. Good triumphs over evil.

3.

The ring in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is not just a piece of forged gold. It embodies Sauron’s evil, corrupting everyone who lays hands or eyes on it, poisons their soul, and makes them willing helpers of evil.

No one can wield the cruel power of the One Ring and use it for good; no human, no dwarf, no elf.

Can an equivalent for Tolkien’s literary portrait of the evil ring be found in the here and now? Yes, I believe so, and in the following, I would like to offer you what I hope is a startling, but in any case entertaining, interpretation.

Tolkien’s Rings of Power embody evil ideas.

The nineteen rings represent the idea that the ring bearers should have power over others and rule over them.

And the One Ring, to which all other rings are subject, embodies an even darker idea, namely that the bearer of this master ring has power over all other ring bearers and those ruled by them; that he is the sole and absolute ruler of all.

The nineteen rings symbolize the idea of establishing and maintaining a state (as we know it today), namely a state understood as a territorial, coercive monopoly with the ultimate power of decision-making over all conflicts.

However, the One Ring of power stands for the particularly evil idea of creating a state of states, a world government, a world state; and the creation of a single world fiat currency controlled by the states would pave the way toward this outcome.

4.

To explain this, let us begin with the state as we know it today. The state is the idea of the rule of one over the other.

This is how the German economist, sociologist, and doctor Franz Oppenheimer (1864–1946) sees it:

The state … is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group over the vanquished and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad…. This dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors.2

Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) defined the state quite similarly:

The state is a machine in the hands of the ruling class to suppress the resistance of its class opponents.3

The modern state in the Western world no longer uses coercion and violence as obviously as many of its predecessors.

But it, too, is, of course, built on coercion and violence, asserts itself through them, and most importantly, it divides society into a class of the rulers and a class of the ruled.

How does the state manage to create and maintain such a two-class society of rulers and ruled?

In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, nine men, all of them kings, wished to wield power, and so they became bearers of the rings, and because of that, they were inescapably bound to Sauron’s One Ring of power.

This is quite similar to the idea of the state. To seize, maintain, and expand power, the state seduces its followers to do what is necessary, to resort to all sorts of techniques: propaganda, carrot and stick, fear, and even terror.

The state lets the people know that it is good, indispensable, inevitable. Without it, the state whispers, a civilized coexistence of people would not be possible.

Most people succumb to this kind of propaganda, and the state gets carte blanche to effectively infiltrate all economic and societal matters—kindergarten, school, university, transport, media, health, pensions, law, security, money and credit, the environment—and thereby gains power.

The state rewards its followers with jobs, rewarding business contracts, and transfer payments. Those who resist will end up in prison or lose their livelihood or even their lives.

The state spreads fear and terror to make people compliant—as people who are afraid are easy to control, especially if they have been led to believe that the state will protect them against any evil.

Lately, the topics of climate change and coronavirus have been used for fear-mongering, primarily by the state, which is skillfully using them to increase its omnipotence: it destroys the economy and jobs, makes many people financially dependent on it, clamps down on civil and entrepreneurial freedoms.

However, it is of the utmost importance for the state to win the battle of ideas and be the authority to say what are good ideas and what are bad ideas.

Because it is ideas that determine people’s actions.

The task of winning over the general public for the state traditionally falls to the so-called intellectuals—the people whose opinions are widely heard, such as teachers, doctors, university professors, researchers, actors, comedians, musicians, writers, journalists, and others.

The state provides a critical number of them with income, influence, prestige, and status in a variety of ways—which most of them would not have been able to achieve without the state. In gratitude for this, the intellectuals spread the message that the state is good, indispensable, inevitable.

Among the intellectuals, there tend to be quite a few who willingly submit to the rings of power, helping—consciously or unconsciouslyto bring their fellow men and women under the spell of the rings or simply to walk over, subjugate, dominate them.

Anyone who thinks that the state (as we know it today) is acceptable, a justifiable solution, as long as it does not exceed certain power limits, is seriously mistaken.

Just as the One Ring of power tries to find its way back to its lord and master, an initially limited state inevitably strives towards its logical endpoint: absolute power.

See the rest here

Author:

Thorsten Polleit

Dr. Thorsten Polleit is Chief Economist of Degussa and Honorary Professor at the University of Bayreuth. He also acts as an investment advisor.

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New Proof Emerges of the Biden Family Emails: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud – by Glenn Greenwald – Glenn Greenwald

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

An axis of the CIA, Big Tech and the DNC-allied wing of the corporate media spread an absolute lie in the weeks before the 2020 election. We now have definitive proof.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/new-proof-emerges-of-the-biden-family

Glenn Greenwald
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer warns that emails and other documents reported on by The New York Post about Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China may be “Russian disinformation,” Oct. 16, 2020.

A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.

But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation’s oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden’s son Hunter at a repair shop.

From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post‘s archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter’s own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden’s profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one’s career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.

Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was “Russian disinformation.”

See the rest here

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Kyle Rittenhouse’s Trial Reveals Government’s Plan To Unleash “Thought Crimes” In Our Courts – Revolver

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

That is the argument Wisconsin prosecutors wants to make against Rittenhouse. If Rittenhouse sympathizes with the Proud Boys, if he is politically opposed to wanton looting, then he doesn’t have the right to defend his community or himself. If he wants to defend innocent people and their property from a rampaging mob, he is a “chaos tourist.”

https://www.revolver.news/2021/09/kyle-rittenhouses-show-trial-thoughtcrime/

More than a year has passed, but Kyle Rittenhouse still isn’t home free. The Illinois teenager is still in danger of spending the rest of his life in prison, if convicted on two homicide charges brought by the state of Wisconsin.

In a Friday court hearing, prosecutors revealed their strategy for putting Rittenhouse away forever: Tar him as a thought criminal.

Prosecutors in the Rittenhouse case asked the judge allow them to admit evidence of Rittenhouse’s meetings with members of the Proud Boys — including photos taken at a Mount Pleasant tavern showing him posing with members of the group, a right-wing organization that has been involved in violent protests and counter protests round the United States.

At the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said that the state has since learned that the men Rittenhouse met for lunch at the Pudgy’s tavern just off Highway 20 were leaders of the Proud Boys in Wisconsin. Binger said Rittenhouse also met in Miami with the national leaders of the Proud Boys. [Kenosha News]

The government’s strategy to destroy Kyle Rittenhouse’s life doesn’t just matter for his own case. It matters because these same strategies will be used to systematically strip the right to a fair trial from any American targeted by the ruling regime. 

A few core facts, to jog your memory: On August 23 of the Summer of Floyd, Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake as he resisted arrest and attempted to drive away with children the police believed he was kidnapping. Though Blake survived, Kenosha erupted into “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” that left the downtown scorched. 0:43 / 47:21

WATCH: Check out Darren Beattie’s latest interviews

On the third night of the riots, Rittenhouse, who turned out to protect local businesses and clean up vandalism, shot and killed two people amid the carnage.

Eyewitness accounts and video footage are clear about what happened. One of the rioters, an unstable man named Joseph Rosenbaum, began pursuing Rittenhouse. As Rittenhouse fled, he heard shots fired behind him (by whom remains unclear). Rittenhouse turned around and saw Rosenbaum lunging toward him (and toward his gun). Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum.

Then, as Rittenhouse continued attempting to flee the scene, several more people attacked him. After tripping to the ground, Rittenhouse shot and killed Anthony Huber after Huber hit him with a skateboard and tried to grab his rifle. He wounded Gaige Grosskreutz after Grosskreutz lunged for him holding a handgun.

The video footage in both shootings is crystal clear. The three people Rittenhouse shot were all attacking him. Revolver News was one of the first media outlets to unequivocally argue that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Eventually, other media outlets came around and even the New York Times conceded that Revolver’s analysis was in essence correct.

READ MORE: New York Times’ Reporting Confirms Revolver’s Analysis of the Kyle Rittenhouse Shootings: Open-and-Shut Case of Self-Defense

It is simply indefensible to criminally charge Rittenhouse in light of the actual facts of his case. But charged he was, with two counts of first degree murder (and a bevy of lesser charges).

So what was the government’s plan? Simple — use a relentless character assassination campaign to make the clear fact of Rittenhouse’s self-defense irrelevant.

The government revealed its strategy in detail on Friday, during a preliminary hearing on the evidence that will be allowed during the November trial. Law and Crime reporter Colin Kalmbacher  described the hearing at length on Twitter.

Phase 1 of the prosecution’s plan is to link Rittenhouse to the Proud Boys, and accuse him of racism for making the “okay” sign in a photo.

Binger says Rittenhouse’s ideology aligns with the Proud Boys–particularly the intent to use violent means to secure political outcomes. Says he was out in Kenosha that night because of his political beliefs. Repeatedly tying Rittenhouse to the Proud Boys’ violent beliefs.

— Colin Kalmbacher (@colinkalmbacher) September 17, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse meeting with Proud Boys members [Kenosha County DA]“Most everyone there was there because of their beliefs, one way or the other, in regards to the shooting of Jacob Blake,” prosecutor Thomas Binger argued. “Chaos tourists like the defendant were drawn like a moth to the flame to our community. He was drawn to this incident because of his beliefs, which align with the Proud Boys. They take pride in using violence to achieve their means.”

Kenosha Assistant DA Thomas Binger.

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Heckler’s Veto: 66% Of College Students Say Stopping Speech Is Free Speech | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

Another 23 percent believe violence can be used to cancel a speech.

Notably, when George Washington University student and self-professed Antifa member Jason Charter was charged as the alleged “ringleader” of efforts to take down statues in Washington, D.C., Charter declared the “movement is winning.” He is right and this poll shows the success.

Your government school taxes at work.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hecklers-veto-66-college-students-say-stopping-speech-free-speech

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have previously discussed the worrisome signs of a rising generation of censors in the country as leaders and writers embrace censorship and blacklisting. The latest chilling poll was released by 2021 College Free Speech Rankings after questioning a huge body of 37,000 students at 159 top-ranked U.S. colleges and universities. It found that sixty-six percent of college students think shouting down a speaker to stop them from speaking is a legitimate form of free speech.  Another 23 percent believe violence can be used to cancel a speech. That is roughly one out of four supporting violence.

Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Others are supporting actual book burning. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship.Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new society in their own intolerant images.The most chilling aspect of this story is how many on left applaud such censorship.prior poll shows roughly half of the public supporting not just corporate censorship but government censorship of anything deemed “misinformation.” Perhaps the same citizens and academics will embrace the Chinese model on social scoring and praise actions that the reported move by Chase bank.We discussed this issue recently with regard to a lawsuit against SUNY. It is also discussed in my forthcoming law review article, Jonathan Turley, Harm and Hegemony: The Decline of Free Speech in the United States, 45 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (2021).This has been an issue of contention with some academics who believe that free speech includes the right to silence others.  Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over the use of a heckler’s veto on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers, even including a few speakers like an ACLU official.  Both students and some faculty have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with whom they disagree and even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech.  At another University of California campus, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.  In the meantime, academics and deans have said that there is no free speech protection for offensive or “disingenuous” speech.  CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek showed how far this trend has gone. When conservative law professor Josh Blackman was stopped from speaking about “the importance of free speech,”  Bilek insisted that disrupting the speech on free speech was free speech. (Bilek later cancelled herself and resigned after she made a single analogy to acting like a “slaveholder” as a self-criticism for failing to achieve equity and reparations for black faculty and students).We previously discussed the case of Fresno State University Public Health Professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher recruited students to destroy pro-life messages written on the sidewalks and wrongly told the pro-life students that they had no free speech rights in the matter.  A district court has now ordered Thatcher to pay $17,000 and undergo First Amendment training.  However, Thatcher remained defiant and the university appeared complicit in his actions by the lack of disciplinary action.The pro-life students had written messages on the sidewalk like “You CAN be pregnant & successful” and “Unborn lives matter” to “Women need love, NOT abortion.”  Thatcher got students from his 8 a.m. class to help remove the anti-abortion messages and that their chalk was taken away to write pro-choice slogans on the sidewalk. The students seem entirely unconcerned that they are censoring speech and engaging in a grossly intolerant act.  Instead, they refer to their teacher as telling them that they should do so.  Thatcher then walked up.    Thatcher invoked the controversial restriction of free speech to “zones” and says that there is no free speech right for this type of writing outside of that zone.  When the students explain that they have permission, he then proceed to rub out their messages and declared “you have permission to put it down — I have permission to get rid of it.”

Thatcher is arguing that same Orwellian “Stopping free speech is free speech” position.

A few years ago, I debated NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron who is a leading voice for speech codes. Waldron insisted that shutting down speakers through heckling is a form of free speech.

I disagree. It is the antithesis of free speech and the failure of schools to protect the exercise of free speech is the antithesis of higher education.

The added increase in embracing violence is particularly chilling. A quarter of those polled supported violence to prevent others from speaking. This is the core of the philosophy of the Antifa movement. It is at its base a movement at war with free speech, defining the right itself as a tool of oppression. That purpose is evident in what is called the “bible” of the Antifa movement: Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. Bray emphasizes the struggle of the movement against free speech:

“At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase that says, ‘I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’” Indeed, Bray admits that “most Americans in Antifa have been anarchists or antiauthoritarian communists…  From that standpoint, ‘free speech’ as such is merely a bourgeois fantasy unworthy of consideration.”

It is an illusion designed to promote what Antifa is resisting “white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and genocide.” Thus, all of these opposing figures are deemed fascistic and thus unworthy of being heard.

Antifa has a long and well-documented history of such violence. Bray quotes one Antifa member as summing up their approach to free speech as a “nonargument . . . you have the right to speak but you also have the right to be shut up.”

Notably, when George Washington University student and self-professed Antifa member Jason Charter was charged as the alleged “ringleader” of efforts to take down statues in Washington, D.C., Charter declared the “movement is winning.” He is right and this poll shows the success.

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Bill Gates: Covid Fearmongering to “Climate Change” Hysteria?Will Covid tyranny usher in Climate tyranny? Will Covid lockdowns morph into Climate lockdowns? Will Covid lies be replaced by Climate lies? Not if enough think that enough is enough! Don’t miss today’s Liberty Report!

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

https://youtu.be/guoGXHOKNrU

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Freedom from Fear: Stop Playing the Government’s Mind Games

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

This plague on our nation—one that has been spreading like wildfire—is a potent mix of fear coupled with unhealthy doses of paranoia and intolerance, tragic hallmarks of the post-9/11 America in which we live and the constantly shifting crises that keep the populace in a state of high alert.

Fear has been a critical tool in past fascistic regimes, and it now operates in our contemporary world—all of which raises fundamental questions about us as human beings and what we will give up in order to perpetuate the illusions of safety and security.

By: John Whitehead

America is in the midst of an epidemic of historic proportions.

The contagion being spread like wildfire is turning communities into battlegrounds and setting Americans one against the other.

Normally mild-mannered individuals caught up in the throes of this disease have been transformed into belligerent zealots, while others inclined to pacifism have taken to stockpiling weapons and practicing defensive drills.

This plague on our nation—one that has been spreading like wildfire—is a potent mix of fear coupled with unhealthy doses of paranoia and intolerance, tragic hallmarks of the post-9/11 America in which we live and the constantly shifting crises that keep the populace in a state of high alert.

Everywhere you turn, those on both the left- and right-wing are fomenting distrust and division. You can’t escape it.

We’re being fed a constant diet of fear: fear of a virus, fear of the unmasked, fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, fear of people who are too religious, fear of people who are not religious enough, fear of extremists, fear of the government, fear of those who fear the government. The list goes on and on.

The strategy is simple yet effective: the best way to control a populace is through fear and discord.

Fear makes people stupid.

Confound them, distract them with mindless news chatter and entertainment, pit them against one another by turning minor disagreements into major skirmishes, and tie them up in knots over matters lacking in national significance.

Most importantly, divide the people into factions, persuade them to see each other as the enemy and keep them screaming at each other so that they drown out all other sounds. In this way, they will never reach consensus about anything and will be too distracted to notice the police state closing in on them until the final crushing curtain falls.

This is how free people enslave themselves and allow tyrants to prevail.

This Machiavellian scheme has so ensnared the nation that few Americans even realize they are being manipulated into adopting an “us” against “them” mindset. Instead, fueled with fear and loathing for phantom opponents, they agree to pour millions of dollars and resources into political elections, militarized police, spy technology, endless wars, COVID-19 mandates, etc., hoping for a guarantee of safety that never comes.

All the while, those in power—bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations—move their costly agendas forward, and “we the suckers” get saddled with the tax bills and subjected to pat downs, police raids and round-the-clock surveillance.

Turn on the TV or flip open the newspaper on any given day, and you will find yourself accosted by reports of government corruption, corporate malfeasance, militarized police, marauding SWAT teams, and egregious assaults on the rights of the citizenry.

America has already entered a new phase, one in which communities are locked down, employees are forced to choose between keeping their jobs or exercising their freedoms, children are arrested in schools, military veterans are forcibly detained by government agents, and law-abiding Americans are finding their movements tracked, their financial transactions documented and their communications monitored.

These threats are not to be underestimated.

Yet even more dangerous than these violations of our basic rights is the language in which they are couched: the language of fear. It is a language spoken effectively by politicians on both sides of the aisle, shouted by media pundits from their cable TV pulpits, marketed by corporations, and codified into bureaucratic laws that do little to make our lives safer or more secure.

Fear, as history shows, is the method most often used by politicians to increase the power of government.

So far, these tactics are working.

An atmosphere of fear permeates modern America.

Each successive crisis in recent years (a COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, etc.)—manufactured or legitimate—has succeeded in reducing the American people to what commentator Dan Sanchez refers to as “herd-minded hundreds of millions [who] will stampede to the State for security, bleating to please, please be shorn of their remaining liberties.”

Sanchez continues:

“I am not terrified of the terrorists; i.e., I am not, myself, terrorized. Rather, I am terrified of the terrorized; terrified of the bovine masses who are so easily manipulated by terrorists, governments, and the terror-amplifying media into allowing our country to slip toward totalitarianism and total war…

“I do not irrationally and disproportionately fear Muslim bomb-wielding jihadists or white, gun-toting nutcases. But I rationally and proportionately fear those who do, and the regimes such terror empowers. History demonstrates that governments are capable of mass murder and enslavement far beyond what rogue militants can muster. Industrial-scale terrorists are the ones who wear ties, chevrons, and badges. But such terrorists are a powerless few without the supine acquiescence of the terrorized many. There is nothing to fear but the fearful themselves…

“Stop swallowing the overblown scaremongering of the government and its corporate media cronies. Stop letting them use hysteria over small menaces to drive you into the arms of tyranny, which is the greatest menace of all.”

As history makes clear, fear leads to fascistic, totalitarian regimes.

It’s a simple enough formula. National crises, global pandemics, reported terrorist attacks, and sporadic shootings leave us in a constant state of fear. Fear prevents us from thinking. The emotional panic that accompanies fear actually shuts down the prefrontal cortex or the rational thinking part of our brains. In other words, when we are consumed by fear, we stop thinking.

A populace that stops thinking for themselves is a populace that is easily led, easily manipulated and easily controlled.

The following are a few of the necessary ingredients for a fascist state:

·       The government is managed by a powerful leader (even if he or she assumes office by way of the electoral process). This is the fascistic leadership principle (or father figure).

·       The government assumes it is not restrained in its power. This is authoritarianism, which eventually evolves into totalitarianism.

·       The government ostensibly operates under a capitalist system while being undergirded by an immense bureaucracy.

·       The government through its politicians emits powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

·       The government has an obsession with national security while constantly invoking terrifying internal and external enemies.

·       The government establishes a domestic and invasive surveillance system and develops a paramilitary force that is not answerable to the citizenry.

·       The government and its various agencies (federal, state, and local) develop an obsession with crime and punishment. This is overcriminalization.

·       The government becomes increasingly centralized while aligning closely with corporate powers to control all aspects of the country’s social, economic, military, and governmental structures.

·       The government uses militarism as a center point of its economic and taxing structure.

·       The government is increasingly imperialistic in order to maintain the military-industrial corporate forces.

The parallels to modern America are impossible to ignore.

“Every industry is regulated. Every profession is classified and organized,” writes Jeffrey Tucker. “Every good or service is taxed. Endless debt accumulation is preserved. Immense doesn’t begin to describe the bureaucracy. Military preparedness never stops, and war with some evil foreign foe, remains a daily prospect.”

For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it’s not only expedient but necessary. In times of “crisis,” expediency is upheld as the central principle—that is, in order to keep us safe and secure, the government must militarize the police, strip us of basic constitutional rights and criminalize virtually every form of behavior.

Not only does fear grease the wheels of the transition to fascism by cultivating fearful, controlled, pacified, cowed citizens, but it also embeds itself in our very DNA so that we pass on our fear and compliance to our offspring.

It’s called epigenetic inheritance, the transmission through DNA of traumatic experiences.

For example, neuroscientists have observed how quickly fear can travel through generations of mice DNA. As The Washington Post reports:

In the experiment, researchers taught male mice to fear the smell of cherry blossoms by associating the scent with mild foot shocks. Two weeks later, they bred with females. The resulting pups were raised to adulthood having never been exposed to the smell. Yet when the critters caught a whiff of it for the first time, they suddenly became anxious and fearful. They were even born with more cherry-blossom-detecting neurons in their noses and more brain space devoted to cherry-blossom-smelling.

The conclusion? “A newborn mouse pup, seemingly innocent to the workings of the world, may actually harbor generations’ worth of information passed down by its ancestors.”

Now consider the ramifications of inherited generations of fears and experiences on human beings. As the Post reports, “Studies on humans suggest that children and grandchildren may have felt the epigenetic impact of such traumatic events such as famine, the Holocaust and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, fear, trauma and compliance can be passed down through the generations.

Fear has been a critical tool in past fascistic regimes, and it now operates in our contemporary world—all of which raises fundamental questions about us as human beings and what we will give up in order to perpetuate the illusions of safety and security.

In the words of psychologist Erich Fromm:

[C]an human nature be changed in such a way that man will forget his longing for freedom, for dignity, for integrity, for love—that is to say, can man forget he is human? Or does human nature have a dynamism which will react to the violation of these basic human needs by attempting to change an inhuman society into a human one?

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Eurasia takes shape: How the SCO just flipped the world order

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

The whole Global South, stunned by the accelerated collapse of the western Empire and its unilateral rules-based order, now seems to be ready to embrace the new groove, fully displayed in Dushanbe: a multipolar Greater Eurasia of sovereign equals.

The US better rethink it’s Iranian and Chinese war plans.

https://thecradle.co/Article/analysis/2104

By Pepe Escobar

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/22154938/Unknown-11.jpeg

The two defining moments of the historic 20th anniversary Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan had to come from the keynote speeches of – who else – the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping: “Today we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a full member of the SCO.”

Vladimir Putin: “I would like to highlight the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed today between the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is clearly designed to further Russia’s idea of establishing a Greater Eurasia Partnership covering the SCO, the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI).”

In short, over the weekend, Iran was enshrined in its rightful, prime Eurasian role, and all Eurasian integration paths converged toward a new global geopolitical – and geoeconomic – paradigm, with a sonic boom bound to echo for the rest of the century.

That was the killer one-two punch immediately following the Atlantic alliance’s ignominious imperial retreat from Afghanistan. Right as the Taliban took control of Kabul on 15 August, the redoubtable Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told his Iranian colleague Admiral Ali Shamkhani that “the Islamic Republic will become a full member of the SCO.”

Dushanbe revealed itself as the ultimate diplomatic crossover. President Xi firmly rejected any “condescending lecturing” and emphasized development paths and governance models compatible with national conditions. Just like Putin, he stressed the complementary focus of BRI and the EAEU, and in fact summarized a true multilateralist Manifesto for the Global South.

Right on point, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan noted that the SCO should advance “the development of a regional macro-economy.” This is reflected in the SCO’s drive to start using local currencies for trade, bypassing the US dollar.

Watch that quadrilateral

Dushanbe was not just a bed of roses. Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon, a staunch, secular Muslim and former member of the Communist Party of the USSR – in power for no less than 29 years, re-elected for the 5th time in 2020 with 90 percent of the vote – right off the bat denounced the “medieval sharia” of Taliban 2.0 and said they had already “abandoned their previous promise to form an inclusive  government.”

Rahmon, who has never been caught smiling on camera, was already in power when the Taliban conquered Kabul in 1996. He was bound to publicly support his Tajik cousins against the “expansion of extremist ideology” in Afghanistan – which in fact worries all SCO member-states when it comes to smashing dodgy jihadi outfits of the ISIS-K mold.

See the rest here

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