Belgium and ISIS's Creation
By Dennis Loo (3/23/16)
Last June, 2015, Dennis Trainor, Jr. interviewed me on the rise of ISIS and the US invasion of Iraq. It makes helpful viewing now in the wake of the Brussels' terrorist attacks and the call by our government for more of the very same policies - state terror - that spawned these terrorist attacks and the birth of ISIS themselves. In other words, the US government wants to drown the raging fire by pouring more gasoline on the fire they created in the first place! See “ISIS and Empire Follies Part 2.”
From my "ISIS and Empire Follies (Part 1)" (September 11, 2014):
The reason I call Obama's plan "empire follies" is because even by the US government's own standards - i.e., the imperialist logic of defending and expanding their far-flung empire of plunder and domination - Obama's relentless air attacks plus on the ground support from allies will not and cannot work. They will kill many people, both those they are explicitly targeting in ISIS and innocents who they are inevitably going to be mostly killing, and destroy infrastructure that supports people's lives on the ground, and this will produce some losses to ISIS. But any gains in the US's air campaign against ISIS, even leaving aside the far bigger issue of tremendous increased suffering of the masses in Syria and Iraq (and who knows where else), will be far outweighed by the intense hatred against the US that the "war on terror" (including the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the ongoing use of drones to kill thousands, torture, etc.) has generated, directly fueling the rise of even more virulent versions (if that is possible) of religious fundamentalism than ISIS.
Donald Trump and the Historic American Social Compact
By Dennis Loo (3/15/16)
Donald Trump’s surprising rise and popularity and the equally surprising durability of Bernie Sanders, an openly “socialist” candidate for a major party nomination, are both opposite responses to the collapsing historic American social compact.
It is also an indication that the forces that the GOP has so happily been courting for so long – those who tend to live in trailer parks with no more than a high school education and who love their Jesus – have found their voice, unadorned by any subtleties or coded language, just straight-up belligerence and open bigotry in Donald Trump whose rise to prominence has been wholly due to his venting the politics of resentment without apology. The chickens are coming home to roost. And if they drop a lot of chicken poop when they appear, then you shouldn't be surprised,
For a time, those who were so enthused by Obama’s election publicly asked: Is racism over? But even with a half-black POTUS, and with more black faces in charge of major institutions such as the Attorney General’s Office, racism is getting worse, with more blacks dying at cops’ hands than they were being lynched during the height of the KKK’s reign of terror. It is very popular now to be openly racist and sexist in many quarters.
The Paradox of Individualism Part 2
By Dennis Loo (2/23/16)
Back on May 28, 2014 I published an article here entitled "The Paradox of Individualism." I am going to spell this particular paradox out more explicitly than I do in the article so that the discussion and thinking about this can go on on a higher level:
If a person says, on the one hand, that we are free as individuals to do as we please and that the character of systems are a product exclusively or mainly of individual decisions rather than mainly due to system logic, and then says, on the other hand, that there is this immutable thing called "human nature" and that nature is to be selfish, then the logical results of this line of reasoning are two-fold:
1) things will supposedly never change and systems that changed over the course of human history (hunting and gathering societies, domestication of animals and planting of crops, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism) weren't really a change and are all essentially the same (e.g., women are still men's property as men can do with them whatever they want with no repercussions and blacks are still enslaved and lots of people have no rights) because "human nature" is unchanging and the notion of any progress is an illusion; BUT
2) individuals all have free will so they are "free" to express themselves any way they want - as long as what they want to be is selfish.
This last point reminds me of Henry Ford's famous statement about the Model T: "They can have any color they want as long as it's black."
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)