Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Can Capitalist systems be reformed? Part 3.

Posted on September 26, 2010

In the previous two articles, I discussed the foundations of Capitalism, the variations in capitalist systems, communist/capitalism systems, the ideology of private property ownership, and the reforms needed.

This part will discuss the practical political and legal reforms needed if change is to be effective.  

First, let me summarize the last two articles.

One:  Capitalism is based on four  foundations:

  1. Private property of means of production;
  2. free internal people movement and exchange (products, services…);
  3. open free market for commerce; and
  4. availability of a vast pool of people willing to work for salary. The main driving force is that the owner of the means of production (the bank, the partners, the shareholder, or the family)  should earn as much as the total salary that all workers receive.  Consequently, an employee is hired when the owner can generate profit, at least as equal to the total salary of the hired worker.

Two:  The foundations of capitalism have proven not to function except within strong richer State institutions, which are almost totally controlled by the capitalist classes.

Three:  The one foundation that all economic systems in developed States share is free global trade, which means the liberty to exploiting the developing countries in natural resources and cheap labor. 

How this work and corollaries to capitalist systems:

First, the developed States are allowed to subsidize their agriculture, but the developing nations are Not to do it and they cannot, even if they realize the need to do it .

Second, the developed States are to flood the markets of developing countries with affordable products with No “legal rights” for the developing nations to increase import taxes in order to safeguarding their own means of productions.

Third, the developed States can find financial resources at low-interest rates with a phone call, but Not the developing nations that have to borrow at at least twice the interest rates.

Fourth, in return for blatant exploitation, the developed States agree “voluntarily” to setting aside a small fraction of their GNP to developing the infrastructures in the poorer States.  Mainly, self-serving their interests to improving infrastructure to facilitating exploitation efficiently.

Fifth:  All “international” institutions such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Commerce and Trades are dominated by the US, China, and a few European States. Thus, transparency and access to timely information and intelligence are denied the developing nations.

Sixth:  Financial institutions (banks, insurance companies…) are the real owner of means of production in capitalist systems.  They own 30% of the total wealth of a nation and represent only 1% of the population.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Fact is, financial institutions generate three times more money than the combined tax collected by the government.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Any reforms should first target the level of profit that financial institutions are permitted to generate.  “Effective” interest rates should be lowered accordingly, and tougher regulations imposed of these behemoths.

Community banks with excellent transparency in decision process and lending policies should be the norm.  The current status of financial institutions is generating abnormal profit with No risks whatsoever.  

The aristocratic political family class (representing 10% of the population and hoarding more than 20% of the nation’s wealth or what is called “Old Money”) is the main beneficiary of the current capitalist system dominated by the financial barons.

Seventh:  If capitalism needs salaried people, it must secure the fundamental right to work, a wide range of jobs that satisfy varied opportunity, access to affordable education, safe workplace, universal health coverage, caring for the elderly, and justice for people who worked most of their life for a comfortable retreat.  Has capitalism satisfied the basic needs of its workforce?

Basically seuring Equal starting life to all its kids.

Eight:  States should start taxing according to the number of employees hired and total revenue generated:  These two criteria are the most objective representative of net profit and are easy to investigate.  This gimmick of taxing on “net profit” is an accounting fraud that is not objective or fair.

Companies relocating for cheaper workers must be taxed according to the original “national wages” of the workers.  Companies substituting workers for robots should be taxed according to the number of workers substituted.  States will then be able to subsidize unemployed people, until they find jobs and be imaginative enough to opening up newer job opportunities…

Ninth:  There is a trend for owners with strong ethics and moral standards to including employees as shareholders and participating in management decisions:  These companies are doing very well and not suffering from financial crashes.  Institutions and companies for profit are amoral and do not deal in ethical conducts. 

Ethics and morality are individual characteristics:  The more such individuals gather in groups to reclaiming fairness and justice in actions, the more institutions will be reminded of what is best for society.

Tenth:  Historically, land and private property were the basis for the emergence of the “bourgeois and merchant” classes and which initiated the major leap forward into creating wealth. This system of private ownership lead to the abolition of feudalism and absolute monarchic powers, backed by the clergy.

The structure of private ownership of land and properties materially weakened nobility and clergy and eventually displaced them. Private property of land should be revised…Read part #4.

Eleventh:  Private ownership of land and properties are not currently economically essential for capitalist system to function properly:  Enterprises can lease properties and resume their business as usual.  It is the political ideology behind private properties that is the culprit.

 Private property ownership remains as a reminder that aristocracy image of power must not vanish in order to retaining political power in “democratic” political system.

Twelfth:  Ownership of land and real estates must be legally abolished in order to having a serious chance for political reforms.  Land should be owned by communities and regulated by community councils.

Land and real estates should only be leased for durations, and never owned by individuals and never renewed for any member of the family in order to dissuade political inheritance of images and statuses.  Inheritance of private real estates and money is the main reason for the existence of aristocratic lineage in wealth and politics.

The inheritance mentality encourages sustaining ancient beliefs that the aristocratic class is better fit to rule, guide, and lead simply because this class created the system that perpetuates its interests and egoistic power.

I then offered the required necessary reforms on property ownership.  For example, enterprises may be allowed to renew the lease for specific duration as long as the nature of the business did not change or will not change after the renewal.  For example, transforming from a manufacture to real estates development.

This section of the series will develop on Election processes and laws reforms.

In the current “capitalist democracy”, the judicial system obeys laws decreed by the parliaments (supposed to be representing the common people) that are dominated by the richest and political “aristocracy” classes.. And the executive branch is intrinsically dominated by the highest classes, directly and indirectly.  

This entire political system is called “capitalist democracy” where people have the illusion of electing their representatives for a duration.  After election, people are to behave as spectators:  Any serious disturbances are crushed in the name of Law and Order.

It is imperative that real political power in reformed election laws should  shift the odds for the middle class and lower classes to acceded to legislative and executive positions.

Private enterprises within a free internal movement and exchange of people and merchandise, and supported by a smooth flow of liquid money, as commerce increases and develop, are the basis for creating wealth.  

The State should not be doing business, but regulating laws and order, and securing the well-being of  all its citizen “equal under the law of fairness to work, opportunity, and happiness.”

Thus, the sole reason for the existence for State government is doing politics.  

Mainly, equalizing the odds so that all its citizens live equally in dignity.  So far, the current capitalist system appears to  running smoothly only for the survivors of the holocausts of financial crisis and degradation of normal living conditions.

Election laws and regulations reform targeting all citizens, regardless of gender, ethnic minority, and wealth status must be undertaken relentlessly and closely monitored and supervised by ethical, moral, and just citizens.

First, No fee  charges should be levied for submitting any documents to being candidates to any representative community, council, or State chambers and Houses.  This costly application favors the well-to-do.

Second, contribution to campaigning is strictly done on individual basis and having a fixed limit representing the capacity of lower classes for contribution.  Thus, flow of contribution from rich classes and enterprises are off-limit in election campaign.

Third, stiff penalties should be levied on owners, executives, and managers of enterprises (not the entity) who bribe or press upon employees to get biased toward candidates and extending bonuses at election periods.

Fourth, quota should be imposed on rich and aristocratic classes in number of candidates, commensurate to their representation of the entire population.

Fifth, the campaign should be made easy to comprehend and run, so that many citizens would be encouraged to participate.

Sixth:  All candidates should have equal air time and receive fair contribution from the State to running an equitable campaign and supporting staff.

Seventh:  Prison terms should be attached to officials in any enterprises  or interest lobbying groups who are backing candidates by fraudulent financial means.

These are sample example for fairness in election laws so that many more common people get into the legislative chambers on their own potentials, without feeling indebted to any rich baron or political aristocrat.  

Either power is democratically obtained or anarchy is the end result for the state of injustices in capitalist systems.

Market cannot regulate itself for the interest of the common people.  Rich classes are not just following their interests, but also their overextended egoism to grabbing more power when left at their own volition.

Enterprises have No moral or ethical standards regulating them.  

Only external pressures, for example State politics of fairness to all and justice to all, can make a difference.  

Practicing democracy is hard work and it requires constant vigilance, reflection, and mass actions.

“Émile” by Jean Jacques Rousseau (Book Review, part 1)

Note 1: Rousseau cherche à développer et préserver l’Individualité des enfants face aux forces des institutions qui veulent se servire de la personne pour leurs intérêts. Développer la force de l’individu dès ses premières années c’est la responsabilité de la mère.

I am reading “Emile” by J. J. Rousseau , published in the 18th century. He was persecuted and forced to exile for many years. This universal and timely book is applicable to all societies as to the proper development of kids and their education in their early age.

Je propose les idées que les gens ne croient pas faisable, dont la vérité ou la fausseté impose a connaître, et qui font le bonheur ou le malheur du genre humain.

Pere et mere, ce qui est faisable est ce que vous voulez faire, repeter le mal qui existe? Dois-je répondre de votre volonté?

Les lois, toujours si occupées des biens et si peu des personnes, parce qu’ elles ont pour objet la paix et non la veritu, ne donnent pas assez d’autorité aux mères, surtout les veuves, pour élever leurs enfants.

Presque tout le premier age des enfants est maladive et danger. La moitie perit avant l’age de 8. Les epreuves faites, l’enfant a gagne les forces necessaire pour poursuivre la vie.

(Je crois que les enfants des “nobles” périssent en plus grand nombre parce que la mère ne les allaitent pas et ne les entretien pas la plupart des journées. Et l’enfant vit plutôt en solitude et ne sentent pas l’amour et la tendress de leur parents)

La nature n’est pas les habitudes: la seve de la plante redirige la direction de la plante quand les forces extérieures cessent de s’appliquer sur elle.

La mere a la responsabilité de former de bonne heure une enceinte autour de l’âme de son enfant (protection, l’amour, jugement et respect de la nature…) et poser les barrieres. La société en peut marquer le circuit (les prejuges, l’autorite, les institutions…) qui vont submerge l’enfant et étouffe en lui la nature qui tu lui as préservé comme une jeune pousse…

La mere prend soin de sa plante par la culture: les homme et les institutions par” l’éducation.”

Les gens ne se souviennent pas pas de leur enfance: ils cherchent toujours l’homme dans l’enfant et leur transmettent les savoir des hommes.

Tel s’est fait enterrer a 100 ans qui mourut dès sa naissance: il n’a jamais vécu et agit de toutes ses senses.

L’homme civil nait, vit et meurt dans l’esclavage des institutions: A sa naissance on the coud dans un maillot, a sa mort on le cloue dans une bière. Tant qu’il garde la figure humaine, il est enchaine par nos institutions.

Le vent de tous ses catégories et la mer de toutes ses forces sont naturelles: Prend garde, jeune pilote du vaisseau, que ton cable ne file et que ton ancre ne laboure pour ne pas dériver. C’est ça l’éducation fondamentale quand on est jeté dans la société a composantes variantes.

L’homme urbain est une unité fractionnaire qui tient au denominateur commun, les lois civiles qui s’appliquent a tous: Ôter son existence absolu pour creer une nature relative dans l’unite commun.

Les Guerres des Républiques sont plus cruelles que celles des monarchies. Pourtant, la vie en paix dans une monarchie (et ses classes d’elites) est terrible comme sujet et pas comme citoyens.

Le combat de l’humanité est entre élever un homme ou un citoyen. Dans les deux cas, la majorité silencieuse a manque aux deux choix et entrave le développement des droits des hommes et la coopération entre les genres, les races et la liberté d’expression.

Note 2: It might take me a long time to finish “Emile”: For each page I read, I feel pressured to fill another page of notes and comments.

Denying the Demonic

by Edward Curtin / April 20th, 2021

As reported by David Talbot in The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, when the staunch Catholic James Jesus Angleton was on his deathbed, he gave an interviews to visiting journalists, including Joseph Trento. 

James Jesus Angleton confessed:

He had not been serving God, after all, when he followed Allen Dulles.  He had been on a satanic quest….’Fundamentally, the founding fathers of U.S. intelligence were liars,’ he told Trento in an emotionless voice.  ‘The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted…. Outside this duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power.  I did things that, looking back on my life, I regret.  But I was part of it and loved being in it.’ 

James invoked the names of the high eminences who had run the CIA in his day – Dulles, Helms, Wisner. 

These men were ‘the grand masters,’ he said.  ‘If you were in a room with them, you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell.’  Angleton took another slow sip from his steaming cup.  ‘I guess I will see them there soon.’

by Edward Curtin / April 20th, 2021

In March of last year as the coronavirus panic was starting, I wrote a somewhat flippant article saying that the obsession with buying and hoarding toilet paper was the people’s vaccine. 

My point was simple: excrement and death have long been associated in cultural history and in the Western imagination with the evil devil, Satan, the Lord of the underworld, the Trickster, the Grand Master who rules the pit of smelly death, the place below where bodies go.

The psychoanalytic literature is full of examples of death anxiety revealed in anal dreams of shit-filled overflowing toilets and people pissing in their pants.  Ernest Becker put it simply in The Denial of Death:

No mistake – the turd is mankind’s real threat because it reminds people of death.

The theological literature is also full of warnings about the devil’s wiles.  So too the Western classics from Aeschylus to Melville. The demonic has an ancient pedigree and has various names. Rational people tend to dismiss all this as superstitious nonsense.  This is hubris. 

The Furies always exact their revenge when their existence is denied.  For they are part of ourselves, not alien beings, as the tragedy of human history has shown us time and again.

Since excremental visions and the fear of death haunt humans – the skull at the banquet as William James put it – the perfect symbol of protection is toilet paper that will keep you safe and clean and free of any reminder of the fear of death running through a panicked world. 

It’s a magic trick, of course, an unconscious way of thinking you are protecting yourself; a form of self-hypnosis.

One year later, magical thinking has taken a different form and my earlier flippancy has turned darker. You can’t hoard today’s toilet paper but you can get them: RNA inoculations, misnamed vaccines.

People are lined up for them now as they are being told incessantly to “get your shot.”  (Mass pressures work on almost all people)

They are worse than toilet paper. At least toilet paper serves a practical function.  Real vaccines, as the word’s etymology – Latin, vaccinus, from cows, the cowpox virus vaccine first used by British physician Edward Jenner in 1800 to prevent smallpox – involve the use of a small amount of a virus. 

The RNA inoculations are not vaccines.  To say they are is bullshit and has nothing to do with cows. To call them vaccines is linguistic mind control.

These experimental inoculations do not prevent the vaccinated from getting infected with the “virus” Nor do they prevent transmission of the alleged virus.

When they were approved recently by the FDA that was made clear.  The FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for these inoculations only under the proviso that they may make an infection less severe. 

Yet millions have obediently taken a shot that doesn’t do what they think it does.  What does that tell us?

Hundreds of millions of people have taken an injection that allows a bio-reactive “gene-therapy” molecule to be injected into their bodies because of fear, ignorance, and a refusal to consider that the people who are promoting this are evil and have ulterior motives. 

Not that they mean well, but that they are evil and have evil intentions.  Does this sound too extreme?  Radically evil?  Come on!

So what drives the refusal to consider that demonic forces are at work with the corona crisis?

Why do the same people who get vaccinated believe that a PCR test that can’t, according to its inventor Kary Mullis, test for this so-called virus, believe in the fake numbers of positive “cases”?  Do these people even know if the virus has ever been isolated?

Such credulity is an act of faith, not science or confirmed fact.

Is it just the fear of death that drives such thinking?

Or is it something deeper than ignorance and propaganda that drives this incredulous belief?

If you want facts, I will not provide them here.

Despite the good intentions of people who still think facts matter, I don’t think most people are persuaded by facts anymore.

But such facts are readily available from excellent alternative media publications.  Global Research’s Michel Chossudovsky has released, free of charge, his comprehensive E-BookThe 2020-21 Worldwide Corona Crisis: Destroying Civil Society, Engineered Economic Depression, Global Coup D’Etat, and the “Great Reset.” 

 It’s a good place to start if facts and analysis are what you are after.

Or go to Robert Kennedy, Jr. Childrens Health Defense, Off-GuardianDissident VoiceGlobal Research, among numerous others.

Perhaps you think these sites are right-wing propaganda because many articles they publish can also be read or heard at some conservative media. If so, you need to start thinking rather than reacting.

The entire mainstream political/media spectrum is right-wing, if you wish to use useless terms such as Left/Right. 

I have spent my entire life being accused of being a left-wing nut, but now I am being told I am a right-wing nut, even though my writing appears in many leftist publications.

Perhaps my accusers don’t know which way the screw turns or the nut loosens.  Being uptight and frightened doesn’t help.

I am interested in asking why so many people can’t accept that radical evil is real.  Is that a right-wing question?  Of course not.  It’s a human question that has been asked down through the ages.

I do think we are today in the grip of radical evil, demonic forces. The refusal to see and accept this is not new. 

As the eminent theologian, David Ray Griffin, has argued, the American Empire, with its quest for world domination and its long and ongoing slaughters at home and abroad, is clearly demonic; it is driven by the forces of death symbolized by Satan.

I have spent many years trying to understand why so many good people have refused to see and accept this and have needed to ply a middle course over many decades.

The safe path.

Believing in the benevolence of their rulers.  When I say radical evil, I mean it in the deepest spiritual sense.  A religious sense, if you prefer. 

But by religious I don’t mean institutional religions since so many of the institutional religions are complicit in the evil.

It has long been easy for Americans to accept the demonic nature of foreign leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.  Easy, also, to accept the government’s attribution of such names as the “new Hitler” to any foreign leader it wishes to kill and overthrow.  But to consider their own political leaders as demonic is near impossible.

So let me begin with a few reminders.

The U.S. destruction of Iraq and the mass killings of Iraqis under George W. Bush beginning in 2003.  Many will say it was illegal, unjust, carried out under false pretenses, etc.  But who will say it was pure evil?

Who will say that Barack Obama’s annihilation of Libya was radical evil?

Who will say the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the firebombing of Tokyo and so many Japanese cities that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians was radical evil?

Who will say the U.S. war against Syria is demonic evil?

Who will say the killing of millions of Vietnamese was radical evil?

Who will say the insider attacks of September 11, 2001 were demonic evil?

Who will say slavery, the genocide of native people, the secret medical experiments on the vulnerable, the CIA mind control experiments, the coups engineered throughout the world resulting in the mass murder of millions – who will say these are evil in the deepest sense?

Who will say the U.S. security state’s assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Fred Hampton, et al. were radical evil?

Who will say the $trillions spent on nuclear weapons and the willingness to use them to annihilate the human race is not the ultimate in radical evil?

This list could extend down the page endlessly. 

Only someone devoid of all historical sense could conclude that the U.S. has not been in the grip of demonic forces for a long time.

If you can do addition, you will find the totals staggering.  They are overwhelming in their implications.

But to accept this history as radically evil in intent and Not just in its consequences are two different things. 

I think so many find it so hard to admit that their leaders have intentionally done and do demonic deeds for two reasons. 

First, to do so implicates those who have supported these people or have not opposed them. It means they have accepted such radical evil and bear responsibility. 

It elicits feelings of guilt.

Secondly, to believe that one’s own leaders are evil is next to impossible for many to accept because it suggests that the rational façade of society is a cover for sinister forces and that they live in a society of lies so vast the best option is to make believe it just isn’t so. 

Even when one can accept that evil deeds were committed in the past, even some perhaps intentionally, the tendency is to say “that was then, but things are different now.

Grasping the present when you are in it is Not only difficult but often disturbing for it involves us.

So if I am correct and most Americans cannot accept that their leaders have intentionally done radically evil things, then it follows that to even consider questioning the intentions of the authorities regarding the current corona crisis needs to be self-censored. 

Additionally, as we all know, the authorities have undertaken a vast censorship operation so people cannot hear dissenting voices of those who have now been officially branded as domestic terrorists. The self-censorship and the official work in tandem.

There is so much information available that shows that the authorities at the World Health Organization, the CDC, The World Economic Forum, Big Pharma, governments throughout the world, etc. have gamed this crisis beforehand, have manipulated the numbers, lied, have conducted a massive fear propaganda campaign via their media mouthpieces, have imposed cruel lockdowns that have further enriched the wealthiest and economically and psychologically devastated vast numbers, etc. 

Little research is needed to see this, to understand that Big Pharma is, as Dr. Peter Gøtzsche documented eight years ago in Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare, a world-wide criminal enterprise. 

It takes but a few minutes to see that the pharmaceutical companies who have been given emergency authorization for these untested experimental non-vaccine “vaccines” have paid out billions of dollars to settle criminal and civil allegations.

It is an open secret that the WHO, the Gates Foundation, the WEF led by Klaus Schwab, and an interlocking international group of conspirators have plans for what they call The Great Reset, a strategy to use  the COVID-19 crisis to push their agenda to create a world of cyborgs living in cyberspace where artificial intelligence replaces people and human biology is wedded to technology under the control of the elites. 

They have made it very clear that there are too many people on this planet and billions must die.  Details are readily available of this open conspiracy to create a transhuman world.

Is this not radical evil?  Demonic?

Let me end with an analogy. 

There is another organized crime outfit that can only be called demonic – The Central Intelligence Agency. 

One of its legendary officers was James Jesus Angleton, chief of Counterintelligence from 1954 until 1975.  He was a close associate of Allen Dulles, the longest serving director of the CIA. 

Both men were deeply involved in many evil deeds, including bringing Nazi doctors and scientists into the U.S. to do the CIA’s dirty work, including mind control, bioweapons research, etc.  The stuff they did for Hitler. 

Until we recognize the demonic nature of the hell we are now in, we too will be lost.  We are fighting for our lives and the spiritual salvation of the world. 

Do not succumb to the siren songs of these fathers of lies.

Resist.

In two parts: biographies and speeches 

Posted on June 3, 2009

Hezbollah and Nasrallah

Hassan Nasr Allah (Nasrallah) is currently the Secretary General of Hezbollah.  He was born in August 31, 1960 in the poorest section of East Beirut called Nabaa

Hassan was the eldest among 9 offspring and his father supported this vast family selling vegetable. Hassan refrained from playing soccer with the neighboring kids or joining them for a swim; he was deeply religious and admired greatly Imam Moussa Sadr who gave the Muslim Shia sect sense of their pride and potentials in the Lebanese fabrics. 

The regions of predominantly Shias in south Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valley were neglected in the budgets for infrastructure by the central government since the independence in 1943.  

The Imam of the Mosque where Hassan prayed in Nabaa was Mohammad Fadlallah who is presently the highest Imam of the Shia in Lebanon.

At the age of 14, Hassan moved with his family to their home village Bazourieh in south Lebanon. He aided Sheikh Ali Shams el Deen opening a small library of religious manuscripts and Hassan started teaching religion in the village and then finished his high school in Tyr.  

By the age of 15 Hassan joined the “AMAL” movement of Imam Moussa Sadr and was quickly appointed officer of the Bekaa district and then a member of the politburo. 

Sheikh Muhammad Ghrawi facilitated to Nasrallah higher religious learning in Najaf (Iraq). 

Nasrallah met in Najaf with Abbas Moussawi (later the first Secretary General of Hezbollah).  By 1978, and after two years spent in Najaf, Nasrallah returned to Lebanon. 

A couple of months later Imam Moussa Sadr disappeared after a visit to Libya in August 1978 (Believed assassinated by Gaddafi?).

In 1979, Khomeini came to power in Iran and the Shah went to exile. 

The geopolitical condition in the Middle East changed drastically. Iran was now against the USA interests in the region, supported the Palestinian cause, and was the first State to officially allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to open and embassy in Tehran.  

Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982; the operation was baptized “Peace in Galilee”. 

Israel put siege to Beirut for two months and Yasser Arafat and 11,000 Palestinian fighters left to Tunisia. 

The Lebanese President of the Republic Elias Sarkis invited Nabih Berri (leader of AMAL) to join Walid Jumblatt (Druze leader) and Bashir Gemayel (leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces) to form a national rescue team.

Many AMAL cadres quit Nabih Berri such as Abbas Moussawi, Sobhi Toufaily, Hussein Moussawi, Ibraheem Amin Sayyed, Naeem Qassem, and Nasrallah. 

They created Hezbollah and blew up the US Marines and French barracks in Beirut in 1983. Nasrallah had said that Hezbollah was the consequence of Israel entering Beirut in 1982.

Hezbollah postponed declaring its formation until 1985 after Israel assassinated one of Hezbollah’s leaders Sheikh Ragheb Harb. The Iranian leaders Ali Mohtashami was then the spiritual father of the Party and Muhammad Akhtari the military father.

Hassan Nasr Allah learned from Ragheb Harb the famous dictum “The word is taking a stand and shaking hands is acknowledgement of assent” and thus Harb never shook hands with any Israeli army officers who were trying hard to win Ragheb over to supporting the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon.

In 1987, Nasrallah was appointed member of the highest legislative order in Hezbollah and chairman of the executive branch.  I

n 1989, Nasrallah resumed his religious studies in Qom (Iran) and returned in a hurry to Lebanon when military skirmishes with the AMAL movement spread. 

The AMAL party was executing the orders of the Syrian regime to entering the Palestinian camps and disarming the Palestinians of any heavy arsenal. 

Hezbollah followed the policies of Iran to leave the Palestinian out of harm.  After many months of fighting both parties settled out their differences as Syria and Iran reached a compromise.

Israel assassinated Hezbollah leader Abbas Moussawi in 1992.  

Nasrallah was the closest aid to Moussawi and had extensive contacts with the base, and studied in Qom. 

Hassan Nasrallah replaced Moussawi as Secretary General; he was only 32 of age.  Nasr Allah said: “A movement that witnesses its leader falling martyr can never be defeated”. Hezbollah evolved into a qualitative phase in organization and political acumen.

Israel invaded Lebanon in July 1993 for 7 days under the code name “Settling Accounts” and then re-invaded in 1996 under Shimon Peres (Nobel Peace prize winner! Go figure, he and Menachem Begin the terrorist with Egypt Sadat before him)

This operation of total destruction lasted for 17 days under the name “Grapes of Wrath” and shelled a UN compound in Qana where civilians had taken refuge and over 100 died and 300 were gravely injured.  

Hadi, the eldest son of Nasrallah, fell martyr during a resistance operation in September 1997; twas the night before Nasrallah was to deliver a major speech and he insisted on speaking and said: “In Hezbollah we do not save our children for the future; we honor them when they fight in the front lines against our enemy Israel; we stand tall when they fall martyrs”

Israel had to retreat from all of Lebanon, with the exception of Shebaa Farms and the hills of Kfarshouba in May 24, 2000 without pre-conditions or negotiations. 

The “Arabs” recognized Hezbollah as the main resistance movement that vanquished Israel and acclaimed Nasrallah as the Hero of liberation. 

In the large town of Bint Jbeil Nasrallah delivered the Victory Speech and offered the liberation in the name of all the Lebanese.  Nasr Allah said: “Israel has nuclear arsenals and owns the most lethal air force in the region.  Israel is still much weaker than the spider web” (It was a reference of a spider web on a cave that saved the Prophet Muhammad from being caught by the Quraish tribe of Mecca persecutors while fleeing to Yathreb)

Israel bombarded the villages in south Lebanon in 2003 and then raided Beirut in 2005. 

Israel re-invaded Lebanon in July 2006 for 33 days and failed to achieve any of its proclaimed objectives.  

Nasrallah was recognized as the most charismatic and powerful resistance leader in the Arab and Muslim World.  Nasr Allah played the catalyst for the Shia in Lebanon to participate in projecting the living messages in the symbolism of the Koran verses, and thus be capable of assimilating and accepting changing social and environmental conditions.

According to the famous journalist Seymour Hersh, these “leaders” of Cheney, Elliott Abrams, and Bandar Bin Sultan conspired to finance and whisk the members of Fatah El Islam (Qaeda affiliated) into the refugee camp of Nahr Al Bared with the purpose of destabilizing Lebanon and starting civil war between the Muslim Shias and Sunnis, and thus immersing Hezbollah into a potential civil war.

It didn’t work because the Lebanese army was hurt in its pride after many soldiers were executed by severing their heads in the summer of 2007. 

The Lebanese army lost over 160 soldiers and many hundreds were severely injured but the Muslim extremism objectives were defeated after 6 months of engagement in the camp. 

Deputy Bahiya Hariri (sister of late Rafic Hariri) acknowledged that she contributed substantially in financing extremist Palestinian groups in the refugee camps.

 The Israelis take very seriously Nasrallah promises and threats. 

The Lebanese Government of Seniora PM failed to understand that “A word is a commitment”

Nasrallah had said that Hezbollah will never turn its arms internally except when coerced to relinquish its arms; especially its secured communication lines, the most potent arm it had during the war in 2006. 

In May 5, 2008 Seniora PM Government, with No Shia minister representatives in the cabinet, executed a plan to dismantle Hezbollah secure communication network. 

Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech demanding the government to retract its decision. 

By May 7, the AMAL militias confronted the security forces of the Mustaqbal (Hariri clan) movement in Beirut and quickly closed down those arm caches intended to start civil disturbances.

The AMAL forces were controlled by cadres of Hezbollah in order for the confrontation not to degenerate into sectarian infighting. For example, the rioters saved the huge pictures of late Rafic Hariri PM and removed the pictures of Saad Hariri and Seniora PM. 

Israel admitted that its patient work of infiltrating Hezbollah for two years vanished within a couple of hours. Over 20 Lebanese agents spying for Israel have been apprehended.   Nasrallah is demanding that the traitors be hanged. Israel spy bunkers in Beirut were closed

 Hezbollah has joined the Parliament since 1992 and has increased the number of its Deputies; it has cabinet ministers since the year 2000.  

Lebanon is getting ready for Parliamentary election in June 7, 2009 and all the indications point to victory of the opposition headed by Hezbollah, AMAL, and the movement (Tayyar) of Change and Reforms of current President General Michel Aoun. 

Note:  The biographical sections were extracted from the recent Arabic/Lebanese book “Shock and Steadfastness” (Sadmah wa Sumoud”) by Karim Bakradounyi

Why this rich culture still untouchable to investigation?

Mind you that Ignorance(Jahiliya) period mentioned in Islamic rhetorics meant period of the people still Not believing in the monotheistic religions

Posted on April 2, 2010

Islam calendar starts in 622 AC, the date the Prophet Muhammad fled to Medina (Yathreb) from Mecca.

The past or before date zero, or the culture and tradition of pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula, has been practically untouched by researchers and Islamic investigators. though countless wonderful poems of that period are published and even much richer than poems written after that period.

The period prior to 622 or year one of “Hegire” is lumped as the period of ignorance (Jahiliyya) by Muslims.

The Arab World still teaches pre-Islamic poetry and poets; it is mostly through these poems that the “Arabs” emulated the vocabulary and were acquainted with the very rich parts of pre-Islamic culture, traditions, and customs.

Fact is, you cannot understand Islam without the contexts that pressured the prophet Muhammad to compromise with the multitude of tribes allied to Byzantium and Persia empires.

We can claim that a curtain (hijab) has descended on pre-Islamic period simultaneously with the veil that descended on women after the Prophet death.

Thus, women were banished from political power and dealing with political affairs in public, two decades after Muhammad’s death. In these first 3 decades, the beloved youngest wife Aisha of Muhammad was the most learned in Islamic laws and the context in which they were voiced.

Aisha taught many generations of women on their Rights and how to dictate themselves the marriage contracts…and the society followed in these “liberal” new customs of free meetings and gathering, free discussions and poetic jousts…and newer fashions among the women.

And Aisha confronted many faked and false Hadiths (stories of the Prophet behavior and activities) until her death at the age of around 60.

This is no coincidence that Islam after Muhammad’s death had made the connection between pulling a curtain on the Jahiliyya period and the veiling of women in society; removing women from the public political landscape.

During Jahiliyya, each Arabic tribe worshiped idols made of wood or stone; there were many Jewish and “heretic” Christian-Jew sects (as labeled by Christian Orthodox Byzantine Empire) in Arabia and in Mecca.

The 3 most potent and powerful idols were female idols such as Al Uzza, Manat, and Al Lat.  Although the tribes made their yearly pilgrimage to Mecca where the Kaaba contained over 360 idols, this pilgrimage was mainly for doing commerce and enjoying the weeklong festivities and debauchery. 

The main pilgrimage (hajj) for the powerful tribes was to their preferred idols in other locations and towns.

The pragmatic nomads in the Arabian Peninsula and the neighboring deserts have created idols commensurate to their individualistic needs to vent their frustrations with periodic sacrifices, including “handicapped” babies of both genders.

During Muhammad’s time, baby girls were mostly the sacrificial human kind by poor families, especially in periods of great food distress.

Since violence, revenge, and frequent wars “razzias” against other clans were the norm for looting of animals, camels, and slave girls…  powerful female goddesses were purchased and erected for pilgrimage as scapegoats to the tribes’ violent activities.

Thus, female goddesses represented violence, symbol that violence and revenge are the mark of female behavior and dark spirit.

For example, goddess Manat (death) was the oldest idol and was worshiped by the tribes of Aws and Khazraj that inhabited the region of Yathreb, later called Medina (the first Islam City-State).  The original meaning of Manat is taken from a Semitic root meaning “counting of the days of life” that connote death (manya).

The temple of Manat was a natural rock (sakhra) on the coast between Mecca and Yathreb; the two tribes considered that the pilgrimage was not complete until they stopped at the temple of Manat where they shaved their head and offered sacrifices. Manat was a powerful goddess dictator (taghia) and swords were deposited in her temple.

The Prophet gave his nephew Ali bin Abi Taleb the two swords in the temple after it was demolished; one of the sword was called Zulfiqar. 

Representatives of the tribes of Aws and Khazradj had extended permission to Muhammad, after three years of negotiation, to settle in Yathreb with his converts after the tribes of Mecca decided to chase them out.

The other female goddess was Al Lat and was worshiped in Taif, a region on the eastern shores facing Persia.  The main tribe of Taif, the Banu Thaqif, erected square walls around the rock of Al Lat.  Most desert tribes, all the way to Palmyra in northern Syria, worshiped this goddess.

Al Lat had all the attributes of goddess Athena wearing battle helmet, breastplate, armor, and holding a lance.  Banu Thaqif was one of the latest tribes to submit to Allah because Muhammad failed at several expeditions to enter Taif.

Actually, it was Taif that was the preferred destination to Muhammad when he decided to flee Mecca but he was chased out of Taif after his failed negotiation to settle there.

The third most powerful “taghia” goddess was Al Uzza (dignity, physical force and power); the most powerful tribe of Quraich in Mecca consecrated her. 

Al Uzza was the most violent divine warrior and was represented in the form of a tree or three acacias trees and located way up north in Nakhla as Shamiya on the way to Iraq’s caravans.

The temple of Al Uzza was equipped with a slaughtering alter (manhar) called “ghabghab”.  General Khaled bin Al Walid was ordered to destroy the temple of Al Uzza in 630 after Muhammad entered Mecca peacefully as the victor.

General Al Walid was the Quraish leader who defeated Muhammad’s troops in the battle of Uhud; this failed campaign of the Prophet generated 3 years of civil unrest in the City-State of Medina and most of the verses that abridged female equal rights that were previously gained in the first four years.

Note: About ten years after Muhammad’s death, the Arabic Islamic Empire had extended vastly.

The governor Abu Mussa al Ach3ari wrote to the second caliph Omar bin Al Khattab: “You sent me several letters that were not dated.” Omar assembled a council to set up a calendar.

A few opted to using the Byzantium calendar, others the Persian calendar, but the majority recognized that a calendar means power and wanted an Arabic/Islamic calendar.

The discussions led to adopting the date of the Prophet’s immigration to Medina in 622 AC as Date Zero. Omar had said: “this is the year that divided truth from falsehood.”

Islam lunar calendar is of 354 days and started with the month of “Muharram”; the pre-Islamic particular month that prohibited wars and revenge among clans.

In pre-Islam, the tribes used to add one month on the third year for calibration with their commercial dealings. Muhammad forbid to add this month; thus, the Islamic calendar is one year ahead for every 33 Christian years since the year 622.

Can Capitalism be reformed? Part 2

Posted on September 25, 2010

This part will discuss ownership of private land properties in capitalist systems and the practical political and legal reforms needed if change is to be effective.  

In the first part I wrote:

One:  Capitalism is based on four  foundations:

1. Private property of means of production;

2. free exchange (products, services…);

3.  open free market for commerce; and

4. availability of a vast pool of people willing to work for slave salary.

The main driving force is that the owner of the means of production (the bank, the partners, the shareholder, or the family)  should earn as much as the total salary that all workers receive in the business.

Consequently, an employee is hired when the owner can generate profit, at least as equal to the total salary of the hired worker.

Two:  The foundations of capitalism have proven Not to function except within strong State institutions, which are almost totally controlled by the capitalist elite classes, especially the Old Money classes that generated the wealth in previous slave working system.

The judicial system obeys laws decreed by parliaments that are dominated by the richest and political “aristocracy” classes, and the executive branch is intrinsically dominated by these classes, directly and indirectly.  

This whole political system is called “capitalist democracy” where people have the illusion of electing their representatives for a duration.  

After election, people are to behave as spectators:  Any serious disturbances are crushed in the name of Law and Order.

Three:  The previous article described Communist economic systems (Russia and China) and then, capitalism in Western European social-democratic States.

Four:  The one foundation that all economic systems of developed States share is free global trade; which means the liberty to exploiting the developing countries in natural resources and cheap labor.

The developed States are allowed to subsidize their agriculture, but the developing nations are not to do it and they cannot, even if they witness the need to do it .  

The developed States are to flood the markets of developing countries with affordable products with No “legal rights” for the developing nations to increasing import taxes in order to safeguarding their own meager means of productions.

The developed States (colonial powers) can find financial resources at low-interest rates (at 3%, even if they accumulated far higher sovereign debts than the poorer States), but not the developing nations( at least over 7% interest rates on loans

In return for blatant exploitation, the developed States agree “voluntarily” to setting aside a small fraction of their GNP to developing the infrastructures in the poorer States; mainly, self-serving their interests to improving and facilitating exploitation and transport of raw materials efficiently.

Five:  All “international” institutions such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Commerce Trades are dominated by the US, China, and a few European States. Thus, transparency and access to timely information and intelligence are practically denied the developing nations.

Six:  Financial institutions (banks, insurance companies…) are the real owner of means of production in capitalist systems.  They own 30% of the total wealth of a nation and represent only 1% of the population.  This is NOT acceptable.

Fact is, financial institutions generate three times more money than the combined tax collected by the government.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Any reforms should first target the level of profit that financial institutions are permitted to generate.  “Effective” interest rates should be lowered accordingly and tougher regulations imposed of these behemoths.

Small community banks with excellent transparency in decision process and lending policies should be the norm. 

The current status of multinational financial institutions is generating abnormal profit with no risks whatsoever.  

The aristocratic political family class (representing less than 10% of the population and hoarding more than 20% of the nation’s wealth or what is called “Old Money”) is the main beneficiary of the current capitalist system dominated by the financial barons.

Seven:  If capitalism needs salaried people, it must secure the fundamental right to work, a wide range of jobs that satisfy varied opportunity, access to affordable education, safe workplace, universal health coverage, caring for the elderly, and justice for people who worked most of their life for a comfortable retreat.  

Has capitalism satisfied the basic needs of its workforce?

Eight:  States should start taxing according to the number of employees hired and net revenue (not based on financial sheet profit):  These two criteria are the most objective representative of net profit and easy to investigate. 

This gimmick of taxing on “net profit” is an accounting fraud that is not objective or fair.

Companies relocating their factories or main business for cheaper workers must be taxed according to the original “national wages” of the workers. 

Companies substituting workers for robots should be taxed according to the number of workers substituted. 

States will be able to subsidize unemployed people until they find jobs and be imaginative enough to opening up newer job opportunities.

Nine:  There is a trend for owners with strong ethics and moral values to including employees as shareholders and participating in management decisions:  These companies are doing very well and not suffering from financial crashes. 

Institutions and companies for profit are amoral and do not deal in ethical conducts.  Ethics and morality are individual characteristics:  the more such individuals gather in groups to reclaim fairness and justice in actions the more institutions will be reminded of what is best for society.

Land and private property are the basis for the emergence of the “bourgeois and merchant” classes and which initiated the major leap forward into creating wealth.  

This system of private ownership lead to the abolition of feudalism and absolute monarchical powers that were backed by the clergy.

The structure of private ownership of land and properties materially weakened nobility and clergy and eventually displaced them.

Private ownership of land and properties are Not currently economically essential for capitalist system to function properly:  Enterprises can lease properties and resume their business as usual.  

It is the political ideology behind private properties that is the culprit.  Private property ownership remains as a reminder that aristocracy image of power must not vanish in order to retain political power in “democratic” political system.

Ownership of land and real estates must be legally abolished in order to have a serious chance for political reforms.  Land should be owned by communities and regulated by community councils.

Land and real estates should only be leased and never owned by individuals or enterprises.  Why?

First, inheritance of private real estates and money is the main reason for the existence of aristocratic lineage in wealth and politics.  The inheritance mentality encourages sustaining ancient beliefs that the aristocratic class is better fit to rule, guide, and lead simply because this class created the system that perpetuates its interests and egoistic power.

Second, land and properties leasing laws prevent inheritance problems and its successions of hate, suffering, and legal procedures.  

Land and real estates should be leased for a period No longer than 30 years and never renewed for any member of the family in order to dissuade political inheritance of images and statuses.  

Leases can be extended for three years under particular circumstances. For example, father, mother, and grandparents have the right to die in their property and not experience humiliation and exacerbation at old age.  I guess children will make sure that their folks remain at home and not be sent to specialized rest homes in order to enjoying a free location.

Third, leases on unused properties or uninhabited could be canceled.  Consequently, homes will be properly maintained and the homeless people will have the availability of shelter in unoccupied properties.  Families with crippled or handicapped children will have priority for occupying uninhabited properties.

Fourth, leased land and real estates offer greater opportunities for the newer generations to different life-style in habitat, sustainable energy, and better community life.

Fifth, enterprises may be allowed to renew the lease for specific duration as long as the nature of the business did not change or will not change after the renewal. For example, transforming from a manufacturer to real estates development is Not acceptable.

The third part of this series of articles will develop on election processes and laws reforms that would shift the odds for the middle class and lower classes to acceded to legislative and executive positions.

Note:  You may read about the Real Estates bubble that won’t burst and is converging to another financial crisis in https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/obama-praying-mantra-next-f-crash-not-on-my-watch/

Anthropologists poking at Capitalism: With the 4-Field Manifesto? Part 2

Posted on March 1, 2012

Note: you may read the first part of this article https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/part-1-anthropologists-poking-at-capitalism-with-the-four-field-manifesto/

A short recapitulation of the first part. What kinds of fairy tales that capitalists dump on us?  

The premises of the market-capitalist religion are:

  1. Humans are naturally greedy-selfish.
  2. Capitalism harnesses greed and selfishness for productive dynamism.
  3. Capitalism successfully delivers the goods.
  4. Capitalism is invincible.

The second part is “on how Capitalism has not delivered the goods…”

Cultural Anthropology: Capitalism has not delivered the goods.

One reason anthropology knows more about capitalism than any other discipline is that anthropologists have not just studied capitalism from the inside: most anthropology was done with people subjected to capitalism, people who were often forced to provide the labor or coerced into furnishing the raw materials for capitalist dynamism.

For much of the world’s population, capitalism has already been a miserable failure.(Covid-19 pandemics has demonstrated this failure? Except for the mass media platforms?)

Of course indigenous response has varied:

1.  there have been those who have profited tremendously from capitalism;

2. people have ingeniously appropriated capitalist products and styles;

3. people have not just been pawns in the system but have actively influenced and altered that system; no one knows these facts better than anthropologists.Thomas Hylland Eriksen writes in a 2010 foreword to Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People Without History:

“Through the dual processes of integration and disintegration, wealth creation and poverty creation, empowerment and humiliation, global capitalism leaves contradictions in its wake. The story of contemporary globalization is not a straightforward saga of development and progress, Nor is it a simple tale of neo-colonialism and oppression.

It needs to be narrated from a local vantage point, and whatever their degrees of interconnectedness, localities are always unique blends of the old and the new, the endemic and the foreign, power and powerlessness”.

On balance, capitalism has at best been a mixed bag, at worst catastrophic.

And this fact applies not just on the edges of capitalism but at its heart. After some periods of relative stability and apparently fine-tuned management of the business cycle, we are back to lurching from crisis to crisis, in ways not seen since 1929 or the times of Marx and Engels. 

Trouillot wrote:

“Anthropologists are well placed to face these changes,

First by documenting them in ways that are consistent with our disciplinary history. The populations we traditionally study are often those most visibly affected by the ongoing polarization brought about by the new “spatiality” of the world economy. They descend directly from those who paid most heavily for the transformations of earlier times. . . .

We cannot abandon the four-fifths of humanity that the [ 1% ] see as increasingly useless to the world economy, not only because we built a discipline on the backs of their ancestors but also because the tradition of that discipline has long claimed that the fate of no human group can be irrelevant to humankind”.

The world needs cultural anthropology more than ever before.

We may disagree on the importance of Writing Culture–but we can agree that when much of the world’s population gets written off as irrelevant, then anthropological fieldwork has become even more necessary.

Back to Eriksen, who tells us Wolf’s “perspective is even more sorely needed than it was when Europe and the People Without History was written in the early 1980s”

Linguistic anthropology: Capitalism is not invincible

Capitalism is not just an economic system. What Trouillot terms the “geography of management” is accompanied by a “management of imagination” and a projection of “North Atlantic universals” through words like development, progress, and modernity:

“North Atlantic universals so defined are not merely descriptive or referential. They do not describe the world; they offer visions of the world. . . . They come to us loaded with aesthetic and stylistic sensibilities, religious and philosophical persuasions, cultural assumptions ranging from what it means to be a human being to the proper relationship between humans and the natural world, ideological choices ranging from the nature of the political to the possibilities of transformation. . . .

As a discipline, we have launched the most sustained critique of the specific proposals rooted in these universals within academe. Yet we have Not explored enough how much these universals set the terms of the debate and restricted the range of possible responses”.

It is here we most need the insights of a linguistic anthropology attuned to language and power, the condensed histories of words, and how words become harnessed to imagination.

Anna Tsing’s Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection contemplates a similar project, examining how the particular universals travel:

This brings to light a deep irony: Universalism is implicated in both imperial schemes to control the world and liberatory mobilizations for justice and empowerment. . . . Universals beckon to elite and excluded alike”

The world needs linguistic anthropology more than ever before. We may disagree on universal grammar or Sapir-Whorf, but we can agree that the imagination of capitalist invincibility is built on shaky and contested terms–terms that can also be used toward emancipatory ends.

Anthropology: Observe, describe, and propose

This account of contributions from each of anthropology’s major subfields is not meant to fragment and divide.

The world needs anthropology more than ever, for anthropologists to stand with anthropology as a whole. As Tim Ingold opens Being Alive: “I am an anthropologist: not a social or cultural anthropologist; not a biological or archaeological anthropologist; just an anthropologist” (So what is an anthropologist?)

Ingold’s comparison of anthropology with art and architecture is pertinent:

“The truth is that the propositions of art and architecture, to the extent that they carry force, must be grounded in a profound understanding of the lived world, and conversely that anthropological accounts of the manifold ways in which life is lived would be of no avail if they were not brought to bear on speculative inquiries into what the possibilities for human life might be.

Thus art, architecture and anthropology have in common that they observe, describe and propose.

There is a discipline waiting to be defined and named where those three fields meet, and if some readers would prefer to regard this book as a kind of manifesto for that discipline, then I shall not object”.

“After all, how could there have been a more perfect alignment of the stars than happened in 2008?

That year saw a wave election that left Democrats in control of both houses of congress, a Democratic president elected on a platform of “Change” coming to power at a moment of economic crisis so profound that radical measures of some sort were unavoidable, and at a time when popular rage against the nation’s financial elites was so intense that most Americans would have supported almost anything.

If it was not possible to enact any real progressive policies or legislation at such a moment, clearly, it would never be. Yet none were enacted. Instead Wall Street gained even greater control over the political process, and, since Republicans proved the only party willing to propose radical positions of any kind, the political center swung even further to the Right.

Clearly, if progressive change was Not possible through electoral means in 2008, it simply isn’t going to be possible at all. And that is exactly what very large numbers of Americans appear to have concluded”.

The article summerizes with the 10-recommandations:

1. That poverty and inequality–globally and regionally–be placed at the forefront of policy agendas.(Let kids have equal start in life, regardless of gender, race, financial comfort…)

2. Progressive income taxes and taxes on conspicuous consumption, with revenue devoted to a true national healthcare system: Medicare-for-All. (And free preventive health institutions)

3. Increasing inheritance taxes and other measures addressing wealth inequalities, with revenue devoted to prenatal care, infant nutrition and early childhood education. Particular attention to the ongoing racism manifest in infant-mortality disparities.

4. Abolition of off-shore tax havens, declaration of all income from investments, and full enforcement of capital-gains taxes, with revenue devoted to reparations.

5. Regulations on credit and banking so the financial industry becomes a boring sector dedicated to allocating investment, not a glamorous parade of outsized returns. Make banking boring again.

6. Investment in mass-transit and regional infrastructure to provide alternatives to individual automobiles.

7. An agricultural plan to phase out subsidies for mono-cropping, to encourage environmentally-sustainable farm management, and eliminate the tariffs harming the world’s poorest farmers.

8. A true jobs program to increase employment, with work targeted toward infrastructure improvement and environmentally-sensitive retrofitting. Consideration of measures such as reducing the work week in order to address contradictions of a high unemployment rate coupled to overwork by the employed.

9. Comprehensive immigration reform to bring rationality and humanity to a broken system.

10. Investment in education to create truly informed citizens. An educational system based on human holism, not just mono-dimensional economic efficiencies

Franz Boas in “An Anthropologist’s Credo, 1938)” wrote:

“In fact, my whole outlook upon social life is determined by the question: how can we recognize the shackles that tradition has laid upon us? For when we recognize them, we are also able to break them”.

Wallerstein wrote in The End of the World As We Know It: Social Science for the Twenty-First Century: “There is nothing to lose but our irrelevance. We can make the world less unjust; we can make it more beautiful; we can increase our cognition of it”

The life expectancy of irrelevance tends to be short.

More courageous and healthier is the acknowledgment of the many dead ends within the human disciplines brought about or brought to light by current global transformations, including the death of utopia.

Trouillot wrote:

“We might as well admit that all the human sciences may need more than a facelift; most will be deeply modified and others, in their current institutional shape, might disappear. As the world changes, so do disciplines

Note 1: Most excerpts were borrowed from the Findlay edition

“Le livre des saviors” edited by Constantin von Barloewen, (December 22, 2007)

Posted  on October 24, 2008 and written in December 22, 2007

This manuscript is a series of interviews of thinkers that Barloewen considers as representative of this century such as, the Syrian poet “Adonis”, the Egyptian diplomat Boutros Boutros Ghali, the biochemist Erwin Chargaff, the French politician Regis Debray, the Latin American writer Carlos Fuentes, Nadine Gordimer, Stephen Jay Gould, Samuel Huntington, Philip Johnson, Leszek Kołakowski, Julia Kristeva, Federico Mayor, Yehudi Menuhin, Czesław Miłosz, Oscar Niemeyer, The Israeli writer Amos Oz, Raimon Panikkar, Cardinal Paul Poupard, Ilya Prigogine, Arthur Schlesinger, Michel Serres, Wole Soyinka, Edward Teller, Tu Wei-Ming, Paul Virilio,, and Elie Wiesel.

Adonis said: “I was born in the Koran”.  Adonis is the pseudonym of the Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said Esber; he published his first poems at the age of 17.  

Adonis collection “The chants of Mihyar of Damascus” started his career in 1961.  He founded the magazine “Poems” (Chi3r) with Yousef Al Khal and then “Mawaqif”(positions) and translated many French poetry manuscripts.  He published “The time of cities”, “Memory of the wind”, “Prayer and sword”, and “Grave for New York”.

Adonis says that there are two texts for the Koran:

The first text is the compilation of the revelations proper of the Prophet Muhammad, and

The second text is a compilation of what the prophet said or alluded to and the interpretations of the ulamas called ”Al Hadith”.  

The jurists, the philosophers, the politicians and Caliphates favored the second text “Hadith”, which has eclipsed the main text in matter of daily rules and obligations.  

The reliance on Hadith mainly transformed Islam into an ideology. The present problem is related to this dualism of the two texts.

(Actually, the original compilation of the Prophets verses were also edited and transformed to suit the expansion of the Islamic empire during the third caliph Uthman bin Affan and this currently adopted Koran sound a transliteration to the Judaic Bible)

Religious fundamentalism is a form of anti-modernity but we need to define and differentiate the meaning of modernity among regions. 

Fundamentalism is anti-liberty, anti-change and anti-openness to other cultures but Muslim fundamentalism was encouraged by the Western Nations to counter communism. (As the British supported the Wahhabi sect in the Arabian Peninsula in order to confront the Ottoman Caliphate)

The Muslim mystics interpret the notions of hell and paradise symbolically. 

Islam had been a culture opened to other religions and adopted the mixing among various cultures and Israel has to realize that its existence is linked to her intermingling with the culture of the neighbors.

Many believe that identity is pre-set and that the citizens have to find their identity at the source, but identity is related to the future and is formed by perpetual openness to other cultures. My tradition is not just “Arabic” but go all the way to over five thousand years before the Islamic conquests.

The late Erwin Chargaff said: “No scientist knows what is life”.  

Chargaff  is a renowned biochemist who contributed in the understanding of the DNA and taught at Columbia University for 40 years.  He considers the USA as a big waste disposal State with no culture: the melting pot or the lowest common denominator among the various ethnic groups revolves around money.  

It would take a miracle for the USA to acquire a homogeneous culture.

There is a mechanism in place that paralyses spiritual thoughts and sensibility: any form of pure poetry is viewed as grotesque in the US culture.

The lyrical thinking of the 18th century was replaced by natural sciences. Thus, instead of explaining what is life, the scientist analyze the components of life and try to colonize nature. 

Chargaff states that what we comprehend is far remote from what we can do with science: the irreversible genetically altered genes in human and vegetables are very dangerous, scary and criminal.

The scientist of previous centuries used to dabble in the spiritual, but the little scientists of this century have No idea of the general context and are very indifferent.

Chargaff claims that science is interesting but should not be given too much importance: there should be no time limit imposed on any scientific discovery and thus, the less scientific institutions receive in grants the better for science and societies.

In the essential of progress we might still be as developed as the Neanderthal.

We do not need to have more superior musicians or philosophers in order to claim progress. The history of the world is a catalogue of violent acts and accidents, and beauty has no place in that history.

Nobody can teach us in the domain of literature and human sciences and we are on our own to conquer these fields.

Chargaff has religious sensibilities but he has no religion; he said that everyone should build his own chapel in order to defend his internal forces against the ambient impiety. It is dangerous that the sacred is vanishing from our culture and traditions.

Regis Debray said: “The Futurists are always wrong”.  

Debray is a French writer, philosopher, and political activist.  He was President Francois Mitterrand’s third world foreign affairs. He was a war correspondent in Venezuela and Bolivia and served three years prison term in Bolivia in the 60’s.

He published articles in “Les temps modernes” of Sartre and is the founder of the “mediology” and is more oriented toward the effects of religions in the secular domain.

He says that religion is linked to the idea of institutions and personified divinities, but the religious has no need of a God or of confession:

Communism, fascism and Nazism were religious secular atheist ideologies. 

Debray has coined this maxim “The less the secular authorities are spiritual the more the spiritual power is secular” and he gives as an example of the extensive secular meddling of the Russian Orthodox Church. (Actually, the more the public institutions support any religious movement, the less is the secularity of the State)

The source of cohesiveness in any community is founded on the sacred or faith in a final objective that guarantee its continuation. The sacred cannot be manipulated because it is not controlled by man.  

A community has to open up to transcendental values such as lost paradise, myths, or even a Constitution in order to keep its internal unity and has also to set boundaries. 

Thus, what attaches a group together is a certain faith, unlike individuals who may know, but not necessarily have faith.  The group or community may be specialized organizations that set up rules and regulations and programs as sacred rituals.

The marketing tendencies of setting political programs in the Western States, which are supposed to satisfy peoples wants and wishes, do not enhance the political will or rationality, but purely the cult of emotion.

And thus, the social and humanitarian aspects are replacing diplomacy at the expense of the ideal. 

Communication used by the media propagate information in the dimension of space, while transmission of knowledge and traditions propagate information along the time dimension. And thus, the transmission vehicles, which characterize human development, such as family, school, university, and organization for educating and preserving the heritage of our ancestors are losing ground.

Carlos Fuentes talked about “the Creole or mixed offspring or the Latin American drama and the future myths”.

Fuentes was born in Panama and is a Mexican writer, academic, politician and diplomat; he served a term at the UN in the section of international work and founded several literary magazines with Octavio Paz.

His publications are “Days of Carnival”, “The most limpid region”, “The death of Artemio Cruz”, “The songs of the blinds”, “New skin”, “Terra nostra”, “The old gringo”, and “The century of the eagle”.

Fuentes thinks that the 21st century will be marked by mass immigration from the South and East to Europe and the USA.

The poors in the Latin America will have no choice but to invade the USA, unless mass investment are allocated to that impoverished continent. 

He is saddened that the Greek tragic dramas have been replaced by Hollywood melodramas, where one party is right and the other is the bad:  tragical dramas are not necessarily unhappy and pathetic stories because the two protagonists are both right in their positions depending on your philosophy and focus in values.

He described Don Quixote as the book of uncertainty; the name, locations and even the author are not clearly defined.  The locus of novels should be the media of the doubt, of re-questioning the dogmas and the uncertainties in the world.

During the revolutions for independence from Spain in 1820, the (elite classes?) in Latin American States decided that they had enough of Spanish culture but they had to seek education and culture from Europe and France because the indigent Indian and black minorities could not be of any substitute. 

At that year, the USA issued the “Monroe doctrine” which stated that the USA reserve the right to intervene in Latin America and consequently, the population get their distance from acquiring knowledge and culture from this Calvinist and utilitarian State.

The Cuban Alejo Carpentier explained the Negro traditions, the Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias explained the Indian traditions, and the Argentinean Borges explained the Islamic and Jewish traditions; thus, the identity of Latin American took form in the 20th century.

Twilight of “Knowledge lovers”, Part 2

Posted on January 28, 2010

  • In: Book Review | engineering/research/experiments | Essays | philosophy | religion/history
  • In part 1, I exposed the theme that philosophy was the super-structure of the dominant class in any period of what is now called “Class Ideology”, and that the economical aspect was not included in the philosophical system of reasoning. (Just Not to open the eyes of the educated on the basic aspect of their conditions?)

Man has been asking questions; he has been cultivating doubts.

Every question generated many non-answered questions.  Every man is a philosopher once he starts jotting down coherent questions and then realizes that his “universe” is based on doubts.

Most of his questions have no satisfactory resolutions to constitute a perceived “structured comprehensive world” in his brain.

A philosopher sets out to devise a set of structural questions that he thinks are “logically deductive” in nature (it means that it would not be feasible to answer a previous question before resolving several basic questions). 

Thus, philosophers have been driven to accept a few fundamental “given” solutions, or “elemental facts,” or principles just to get going in their projects of building structured understanding of man and the universe.

Since Antiquity, philosophy (love of knowledge) was a catch-all term to represent all aspects of knowledge, including metaphysical concepts.  

Since sciences were barely founded on facts or empirical experiments (not appreciated within the dominant classes), except during the Islamic Golden Age (9th to 12th century), and after the “what is not measured should be measured” by Galileo in the 17th century, philosophers fundamentally based their structure on abstract premises and deductive logic.

This makes sense: Once knowledge is firmly grounded on empirical facts (assuming the design of the experiment is valid) then philosophy should take secondary place in rational societies.

Sure, the name and meaning of philosophy was lost in the absurd long gestation toward the advance of knowledge. 

The mathematician Descartes was the first European who tried to delimit boundaries between sciences and philosophy: Descartes differentiated between invariant primal impressions and secondary perceived variables. It was the period when sciences got ascendance over abstract philosophical structures.

Before the 16th century, Europe’s philosophical systems were towing sciences (principally natural sciences).

Descartes influence stems from differentiating between forms of realities/ “substances”.  The first kind of  substance is the mind which cannot be subdivided. Examples of such substances are the notions of time, space, and mass with which quantitative properties of an object can be measured. 

The second kind of substance or “extensions to the matter” represents the qualitative properties of an object such as color, smell, taste, and the like. 

Descartes division in forms and reality is being validated in equations: the right hand side and left hand side in any equation must be compatible with the same dimensions of time, space, and mass (what is known as compatibility in units of measurement). By the way, Descartes was a lousy philosopher but first-rate mathematician.

There are attempts at “refreshing” interest in philosophy by giving new names and labels to ancient philosophical schools and beginning with the prefix “neo-something”.  For example, we hear about neo-empiricism, neo-Marxism, neo-Darwinism, neo-materialism, neo-existentialism, analytical philosophy and so forth.

All these new lines of current philosophical structures have historical roots that reach to antiquity and pre-Socratic philosophers.

The new “refreshed” lines of thinking apply current scientific fields (such as anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, or sociology) to ancient philosophical systems to validate their contentions.

For example, current nuclear physicists are fundamentally pre-Socratic in their quest for the elemental matters; they want to be able to offer a satisfactory explanation of “what is matter?” This problem is thus a vital part of their “life’s philosophy”, the “essence” or an answer to the question “what is my nature”?

I conjecture that most universities have branches called “philosophy” or something related to logical processes: students need topics to write thesis and dissertations.

Sciences have taken over: they can extend answers to “what can be answered”.  

Sciences are far more efficient than philosophy: faulty answers go unnoticed very effectively.

There are very few practiced scientists, but every man think he is a philosopher: man can feel what’s wrong with a philosophical system, but he refrains to claim knowledge in sciences.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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