editor

Dec 192015
 

How a Nation Self-destructs | Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/12/how-a-nation-self-destructs/

Nations are made up of people. Nations are only as strong as the bonds between the people. Strong social bonds, strong nation; weak social bonds, weak nation. Social bonds have many elements; the most important element is how much people care about each other. If people do not care about each other, if they have a “screw you, I got mine” attitude and are not willing to help others in need, then a nation is ready to topple at the first sign of significant stress. If people have a strong social bond, they will work together during difficult times and solve all problems.

If a nation’s leaders create enormous amounts of national debt that cannot be paid because good paying jobs have been sent overseas, a weakly bonded nation is doomed to failure when an inevitable bankruptcy and economic collapse occurs.

If just before the national bankruptcy and economic collapse the leaders frighten the people with a real or phony enemy, some people will purchase weapons to protect themselves. Should the financial and economic crash occur, a weakly bonded people might resort to using weapons against each other in an every man for himself situation.

Mission accomplished; nation destroyed.

How to Save a Nation

Open the minds of the people to the fact that everyone is in this together, everyone is different and valuable, everyone is entitled to the necessities of life, including meaningful work with reasonable pay, and all differences should be celebrated rather than fought over.

Then, follow Lao zi’s advice and do nothing and everything gets done. If the people are solidly united and bonded they do not need leaders or instructions, they will naturally do what needs to be done.

 Posted by on December 19, 2015 at 9:27 pm  Comments Off on How a Nation Self-destructs | Dissident Voice
Dec 102015
 

Donald Trump, contender for Republican candidate for the office of president of the United States has made a call for a moratorium on the entry of Muslims
into the United States. I support and endorse that call, and I’m a committed born Muslim.

Firstly, I salute Trump’s disregard for political correctness, which has become a mere cloak hanger for hypocritical guilt in our times. If we feel guilty
about a societal failing, we merely change its label and feel that justice was done. The social ill or failing then can continue unabatedly. We all know
that Islamophobia is a reality in the world today, the causes of which I will not enter into here. The politically correct response is simply to allow
Islamophobia, without the tag, albeit cloaked in obscure profiling techniques. A Muslim traveller in the West will know what I’m talking about. There is
no “Islamophobia, only excessive searches that always seem to target those with an Arabic sounding name, or with middle-Eastern features. Donald Trump
seems to show the middle finger at all this hypocricy, and I think we can all do with a little less hypocricy in the world today.

Secondly, America needs a real leader for a change, able to speak his mind, and even make mistakes. The world is tired of American presidents wholly owned
by interest groups, be they military-industrial, Zionist or globalist capitalist in nature. Donald Trump’s abandoning of the teleprompter is refreshing for
a change. It makes him human, instead of drone for some clinical process of deciding his words and his opinions for him. I would much rather deal with a
human face, than with a faceless, mysterious backroom committee decision. Dealing with a human face comes at a cost, which is that the person speaking to
you may err from time to time. The good news is that you actually have chance of being listened to.

Now to expand on my opinion. Muslims do not see America as an immediate immigration destination. We share very little of the values which America stands
for today. Muslims are social creatures, while America is indiviualistic. Muslims are religious, and the America of today is becoming less and less
religious. America is nationalistic and highly patriotic, while Muslims have a more global brother and sisterhood ethos. America is colour and race
sensitive, and Muslims are not or at least much less so. America is greedy, choosing often to live and let die while most Muslims are fine with getting by,
and to live and let live. Americans will do well nigh anything that delivers a paycheck. Muslims will rather languish in poverty than accept any paycheck,
especially those in the area of female objectification or male mercenary fields. These factors work contrary to a general desire by Muslims to settle in the
United States.

But Muslims also admire certain elements of Americanism. We admire the American commitment to protecting its own, we love America’s dedication to individual
freedoms, and we value America’s dedication to scientific and technological progress. The last mentioned we are quite able to be enjoy at a distance, and
we need not immigrate to the US to enjoy.

So why should we feel bad when Trump makes his call? Should we feel bad because we lost out on sharing the benefits of Americanism? Certainly not. We are
very able to do that at a distance. Do we feel bad because we feel rejected? We are already rejected by the West, so unless you’ve been living in denial as
a Muslim until now, you should know that your world-view is rejected by America and the West in any case today. Let Trump’s call then be a dose of reality
to shake off your illusions.

But this brings me to the final and critical point. Will Trump match his call for no Muslims into the US with a parallel call for no Americanism in the
Muslim world? As I write, Americans are in alliance and support of every stinking retrogressive dictator that pollutes our beautiful Muslim world. Saudi
Arabia cannot survive a week without being propped up by America. The same goes for all those backward medieval Gulf and north African monarchies (with the
exception of Oman.) Will America, upon banning Muslims from the US, impose a parallel moratorium on the arming and supplying of groups that employ the most
bararous and violent tactics in pursuing its aims in Syria? Will America call a parallel halt to defending Israeli theft of Arab land in the UN? Trump’s
call gives me hope that this could become a reality.

You see, Muslims don’t mind being barred from the US as much as we mind your tinkering, interference and blatant armed invasion of our territories, which,
by the way, precede the event of 11 September 2001. Before 9/11, millions of Iraqi’s, Palestinians, Congolese, Algerians, Indonesians and Iranians
suffered, lost land, lost their livelihood, lost their lives and lost their civil order at the hands of American foreign policy.

Perhaps, it is time to deal with a real President with to strike a real compromise. Donald Trump, by illustrating his disregard for political correctness
and pandering to lobby groups may just be the man we are able to strike a bargain with. I therefore endorse the moratorium on Muslim migration to the US
along with a parallel moratorium on American interference in Muslim lands. If the parallel call cannot be made by Trump, then he represents the worst form
of bigotry and sad

 Posted by on December 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm  Comments Off on I am a Muslim, and I endorse Donald Trump’s call
Oct 282015
 

This article appears in the January 16, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

No to British Regime Change in South Africa!

by David Cherry and Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane

[PDF version of this article]

Jan. 10—South Africa is being rocked by destabilization. The leading edge of the operation is the recent call of the Metalworkers Union (NUMSA)—the largest in the country—for regime change. This comes just as the spirit of the BRICS association of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is taking hold worldwide, and as the commitment of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to the BRICS—and to nuclear power—is becoming entrenched. The ANC has chosen the only path that can provide the country with a future. What hostile force, then, is at work?

The destabilization is no different, in essence, than the one Russia is now experiencing. Both come from the same mother, the British Empire in its neocolonial phase—based on propaganda, and financial and psychological warfare—and both have the same intent: to immobilize or overthrow lawful governments that threaten to break out of the British system and create the beginnings of an alternative worthy of the human spirit—the BRICS association. The project includes surrounding Russia and China with hostile governments as a step toward the overthrow of the governments of those two nations.

Attacks on lawful governments of this type are today called “color revolutions”—rose (Georgia), orange (Ukraine), and pink (Kyrgyzstan). They overthrew and murdered Muammar Qaddafi in Libya more than three years ago, reducing the country to violent chaos that continues today. They overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in February 2014, installing a government laced with the Bandera Nazis and cabinet appointments made in Washington, in preparation for triggering a war with Russia.

The underlying method of the color revolutions is the mass mobilization of mostly well-meaning people, with a false promise—and false concept—of democracy. It is not new. More than 200 years ago, Britain’s Lord Shelburne guided intelligence chief Jeremy Bentham in shaping the French Revolution of 1789 with this method, using Finance Minister Jacques Necker. France had contributed to the American Revolution against the British Empire, and there was a danger (for the Empire) of a revolution in France on the same admirable principles. Shelburne and Bentham preempted it, inducing a phony revolution that mobilized the masses to install a reign of terror, and literally decapitate much of France’s intelligentsia.[1]

The African Background

In Africa, likewise, the color revolution method must be understood in the context of the history of the British Empire. There is an unbroken continuity of thought from Cecil Rhodes’ planning in 1877 for “the extension of British rule throughout the world” (in his first will), to official British policy throughout the 20th Century and today. Indeed, the Rhodes Trust and its Rhodes Scholarships—to bring colonials (and Americans) to Oxford—continues today, based on the same motive. The secretive Round Table organization created by Rhodes is also alive and well.

When the traditional form of British imperial rule—with boots on the ground—was seen to have a doubtful future, the British prepared in advance to move to “indirect rule.” The original version of indirect rule, developed by the Round Table, involved using traditional African chiefs as agents of empire and excluding educated, urban Africans. That policy was worked out in the early 20th Century by Rhodes’ executor Lord Alfred Milner, and Lord Frederick Lugard.

During World War II, however, the Round Table sent Lord Malcolm Hailey to reassess conditions in Africa. Hailey concluded that it was necessary to promote and use educated Africans to guarantee imperial control. He also spoke (but did not write) of the need for nominal “majority rule” for the same purpose. It was still a highly unpopular idea in the British establishment.

Hailey’s new version of indirect rule came into force in the first years after World War II. Andrew Cohen, Africa division chief in the Colonial Office, carried out the revolution in policy. The nominal “independence” of African countries was no longer seen as a problem; it was instead actually necessary—for British rule to continue by other means. Under neocolonialism, Africans would be “educated” to rule Africa for the British. Cohen was rewarded with a knighthood, and became known in the Colonial Office as “the King of Africa.”[2]

Today, the British continue to use this approach into which the color revolution method fits perfectly. In the story that follows, we see the centrality of the British Empire—especially through Oxford University—in the preparation of South Africans to act on behalf of British imperial interests out of their own disoriented consciousness. We see the preparation of a potential for a color revolution in South Africa.

Gene Sharp, Oxford Man

Since before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the pioneer of color revolution warfare worldwide has been Gene Sharp and his so-called Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) in Cambridge, Mass. Sharp had more than 20 years of preparation. He took his doctorate in political theory at Oxford University in 1968; his inspiration came from Oxford. He returned to Oxford for unspecified “advanced studies.” His project had a military and intelligence orientation from the beginning. His initial book, The Politics of Non-Violent Action, based on his doctoral dissertation, has an introduction by Thomas C. Schelling, the Cold War theorist and promoter of escalation in the Vietnam War. Some of Sharp’s early work was in fact funded by the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, via Schelling at Harvard.

Under the false flag of the names of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Albert Einstein, Sharp operates on behalf of those utterly opposed to the social and political ideals of these three leaders. Sharp’s AEI has been funded by the U.S. side of the British Empire—Ford Foundation; George Soros’s Open Society foundations; the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiary, the International Republican Institute (IRI); and the U.S. intelligence agencies’ United States Institute of Peace.

Jennifer Windsor, while executive director of Freedom House, a right-wing NGO in Washington, wrote that Sharp’s book Waging Nonviolent Struggle, “is a must-read book for policymakers and practitioners who, in the aftermath of the peaceful democratic [sic!] revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia are finally asking, ‘How did it happen?’ ” Sharp’s work has been praised in the Wall Street Journal.

Sharp literally “wrote the book” on how masses of unarmed people can be manipulated to overthrow (or initiate the overthrow of) a government. According to his close associate, U.S. Army Colonel Robert Helvey (ret.), the Sharp brand of nonviolent struggle “is all about seizing political power or denying it to others.”[3] That is not to say that there is no violence. When violence is necessary to complete the process, violent political groups may be on hand, or special forces may be quietly sent in, or both. But Sharp avoids mentioning the violent factor in the equation.[4]

At the Third Moscow Conference on International Security, May 23, 2014, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu characterized the color revolutions as a new form of warfare invented by Western governments seeking to remove national governments in favor of those controlled by the West. Shoigu pointed out that the consequences of color revolutions are very different from the protest organizations’ initial stated goals.[5] Shoigu was referring to the work of such figures as Gene Sharp, George Soros,[6] and—as we shall see—Michael Burawoy. A detailed analysis—and a view of how to prevent color revolutions—then appeared in Military Thought, journal of the Russian Defense Ministry.[7]

The South African Case

The leaderships of the Metalworkers and other smaller unions have been targeted for years by the Gene Sharp apparatus in South Africa, moving them increasingly into outraged opposition to the government and the ruling ANC. NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim has called the ANC gangsters and tsotsis (thugs). At a conference organized by NUMSA to form a “United Front for Socialism,” held December 13-14, 2014m in Boksburg, near Johannesburg, NUMSA reportedly declared that the United Front will bring the “democratic regime change” that South Africa needs to free its citizens from neoliberalism.[8] NUMSA had been accused in November of seeking regime change.[9] At least one public figure outside NUMSA had answered the accusation: Barney Pityana, Fellow, Kings College London, and rector of the Anglican College in South Africa, told a Dec. 4 meeting in Johannesburg, “Indeed we do want regime change, because that is what democracy is all about.”

No, Reverend Pityana, you are lying. Regime change is all about trashing constitutions, laws, and elections. The Johannesburg meeting was convened by Democracy Works, an organization linked to the pernicious U.S. NED, one of Sharp’s funders.

In South Africa, as elsewhere, “regime change” is a threat of much more than a change of regime. Consider the background: The British oligarchs—not the British people—had hoped for a race war as the outcome of the liberation struggle. Why? Prince Philip and the old families have no use for Africans in a world that has too many people for their comfort. In 2009, their Optimum Population Trust (populationmatters.org) released a study calling for reducing world population by 3 to 5 billion people by 2050. In 2013, Paul Ehrlich wrote in the Proceedings of the Royal Society that it “would take four or five more Earths” to support the existing world population of 7 billion at the level of U.S. living standards. In other words, according to Ehrlich, one Earth can support no more than 1.4 billion at an “appropriate” standard of living.

Any plan for this level of killing through conflict and disease will target the most vulnerable, including Africans, early on. In the liberation struggle, the British had deeply penetrated all sides, and thought they owned Nelson Mandela. But Mandela defeated the race war plan in his talks with President F.W. De Klerk through his combination of nobility of soul and firmness, in the context of the stalemate of forces on the ground. The oligarchs, however, do not give up; for them, any mobilization based on popular rage is a new opportunity.

The trigger for popular outrage leading to regime change could be an event like the massacre at Marikana. The massacre by police of platinum mineworkers on a wildcat strike against Lonmin, in which 34 were killed, on Aug. 16, 2012, enraged the nation. Such an event—engineered or not—could create enough instability to threaten South Africa with a downward spiral. (Videos of the Marikana massacre suggest manipulation of both miners and police, probably at the level of “special operations.”)

The foregoing picture indicates some of the dimensions of the potential of the British imperialists to end South Africa’s commitment to the BRICS.

The BRICS and Their Enemies

For the British Empire, the BRICS association is the ultimate threat, and the reason for the regime-change push in South Africa, and related operations against the other BRICS governments. Africa will be a major focus for the BRICS, which offers a chance to build up the continent, from farms and factories, to roads and rails, homes, schools, and hospitals. South Africa will be the launching pad for much of the work in Africa. The BRICS can accelerate the development of the South-North transportation corridor of roads, rails, and bridges, championed by President Jacob Zuma, which will run from Cape Town to Cairo. In Zuma’s words, the concept should include “bringing energy infrastructure into the mix, and, most importantly, using the corridor to promote industrialization.”

The BRICS initiatives begin with putting an end to a unipolar world, and provide an alternative to the current global financial system of the British oligarchs, in which interest rates are high, investors are only interested in quick returns, and the World Bank and IMF discourage or effectively forbid the construction of heavy industry so necessary to the uplifting of the people and to national sovereignty. The BRICS perspective opens the possibility of long-term loans at low interest that are necessary for major projects in the public and private sectors. The BRICS nations understand that conventional nuclear power—to be followed by nuclear fusion—is the only possible energy source for a growing world population with a rising level of material and cognitive development. At last—a way out of some, at least, of South Africa’s fundamental problems.

But no: Those who oppose the ANC and claim they are going to fight for “socialism now” oppose the BRICS, whether openly or quietly.[10] It is, they say, just more neoliberalism. They oppose nuclear power plants, and are told that windmills can take their place. And, they say, the BRICS is just a cover for China to dominate the country.

These comrades are not alone—London and Wall Street could not agree more! For example, Foreign Affairs, the quarterly of the Anglophile establishment in the United States, has published articles hostile to the BRICS, from 2012 onwards. Britain has run propaganda warfare against nuclear power worldwide, even while it uses nuclear power and is building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. And London and Wall Street mouthpieces warn that China wants to dominate the world—when their real concern is to ensure the survival of their own unipolar world domination.

Patrick Bond, director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is among those who openly oppose the BRICS, and deny or dismiss its “win-win” spirit. He does not appear directly connected to AEI or SWOP (Society, Work and Development Institute), but his intentions, methods, and funding sources are much the same.

The activists working against the government usually avoid these issues. They talk instead about the very serious problems of unemployment, poverty, and corruption, but as if these could be resolved by regime change, without changing the larger financial system within which South Africa operates. Most activists are not aware that their work is steered by London and Wall Street without any regard for unemployment, poverty, and corruption.

South Africa’s Color Revolution Apparatus

The color revolution network in South Africa is organized around the SWOP at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (“Wits,” pronounced “Vits”) and SWOP’s former director, sociologist and activist Eddie Webster. Originally known as the Sociology of Work Project, SWOP currently describes its field of study as “the making and unmaking of social order.” Webster is now professor emeritus, but is still a central figure in the color revolution network, whose members call themselves Marxists.

Webster and Glenn Adler describe SWOP’s relationship with Sharp’s AEI in the book Trade Unions and Democratization in South Africa, 1985-1997. They write that the project for the book “crystallized around labour’s role in [South Africa’s] transition [to black rule,] through our collaboration, since 1993, with the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) of Cambridge, Massachusetts. AEI’s South Africa Program directed by Barbara Harmel, and the Sociology of Work Unit (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand, launched a project on trade unions and popular resistance in South Africa, derived from AEI’s interest in social movements’ use of nonviolent direct action in political change. This collaboration helped us to conceptualize labour as an actor using its power strategically to resist apartheid and to reconstruct a new South Africa.”[11]

Thus, Webster and Adler actually say that SWOP took direction from AEI to pursue “AEI’s interest in social movements’ use of nonviolent direct action in political change.”

AEI commissioned the papers that SWOP put together in two books, Adler and Webster’s Trade Unions and Democratization (2000) (Adler was in SWOP at the time); and From Comrades to Citizens: The South African Civics Movement and the Transition to Democracy, edited by Adler and Jonny Steinberg (2000). Dr. Steinberg is a former Rhodes Scholar who, like Gene Sharp, did his doctorate in political theory at Oxford. He spent a year in New York City with Soros’s Open Society Institute; he is currently a lecturer in African studies at Oxford, and will soon return to Wits. In recent years, he has studied the South African police and the underworld. A significant contributor to this volume was Colin Bundy, vice chancellor and principal of Wits at the time. Then in 2001, Bundy was appointed Director of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, one of the key institutions of British neocolonialism.[12]

AEI has also funded Webster’s successor as director of SWOP, Karl von Holdt, supporting the research for his paper, “Social Movement Unionism: The Case of South Africa.”[13] Von Holdt, one of Webster’s students, has also analyzed workers’ use of ungovernability in the workplace, and the functions of corruption and violence in South African political life.

Since 1993, therefore, Gene Sharp has been developing a fifth column in South Africa that was already nicely in place—a network that has expertise in the dynamics of the social fabric and could be called into action if the ANC began to deviate from its commitment to the British financial empire of neoliberalism. And now it has. But of course, SWOP was meant to be used as a fifth column from its founding in 1983.

Social Movement Unionism and Workerism

SWOP promotes “social movement unionism,” the organizing of workers around broad social issues that go beyond the workplace, but with the intention of using disciplined trade unions as a force against government with respect to those issues. Social movement unionism was successfully used against apartheid. Now it is being used supposedly to right the wrongs of the ANC government. But it is actually being used to stop the ANC from solving some of the very problems that have understandably fueled frustration and anger among South Africans.

SWOP promotes the doctrine of “workerism,” the idea that workers should democratically run the factories in which they work. Workerism has a history. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, Alexander Gavrilovich Shlyapnikov, who became chairman of the All-Russian Metalworkers Union, and Alexandra Mikhailovna Kollontai organized a workerist movement, the Workers’ Opposition within the Communist Party. It was one of a number of British operations against the Soviet state. Lenin opposed and defeated workerism because it would have made central direction of economic policy impossible. Workerism would have forestalled the rapid industrialization of Russia that made victory possible in World War II.

The workerism of SWOP can be traced to Rick Turner in Durban in the 1970s, whose book, The Eye of the Needle: A Guide to Participatory Democracy in South Africa (1972), is the bible of the South African workerist movement. A key premise of the book is that “capitalism is intrinsically growth-oriented,” and that growth is bad. Turner writes, “But there are limits to growth: And those limits are not in the far distant future. They are probably within our lifetimes…. There are limits to the physical resources of our planet.”[14] Nuclear energy is no help, he says, because we will run out of uranium. It does not occur to him that “resources” are not a given, but are defined, and redefined, with successive technological advances. Uranium is a key resource today, but not tomorrow.[15]

These ideas, hostile to human progress—promoted by His Royal Virus Prince Philip and the other oligarchs behind the Worldwide Fund for Nature—have been injected into the black unions beginning no later than 1979, when Webster helped to found the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU). Turner’s book, after being out of print for years, is to be reissued in early 2015.

Webster was a close friend of Turner in the 1970s, until Turner’s assassination by the secret police in 1978. The South African workerists, like their Russian predecessors in the 1920s, have always claimed to be Marxists, but of a different kind. In South Africa, they set themselves apart from the dominant outlook in the ANC and its allies, which looked to a strong, centralized state power as an indispensable instrument to achieve democracy, industrial and agro-industrial progress, and economic advance for all classes. But the workerists played a significant role in the struggle against apartheid and collaborated with the ANC, providing badly needed skills. In this way, the workerist movement—with its radical decentralizers, antinukes, Trotskyists, and what have you—is now positioned to challenge the ruling institutions after the transfer of political power, using methods developed in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Trapped in a Process

Turner, Webster, and Webster’s colleagues are not monsters, but—in their everyday lives—gentle, humane people who have gained the trust of many. They both opposed apartheid and suffered consequences. Their studies of South African labor, workplaces, and unions are useful and valuable. But how is it that Webster and his colleagues have been funded and directed by Sharp’s AEI? Did they not know what Sharp was really up to? Did they not know who Barbara Harmel, and the Aspen Institute from which she came, were? Webster and SWOP have taken Ford Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, and Mellon money—unmistakably neoliberal sources. They have even taken money from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).[16] Webster may claim that he is indifferent as to where the money comes from. But the reverse is not true: USAID and the foundations and institutes usually know whom they can trust, and are not careless in awarding their grants.

How, then, did this come about? Their funders recruit the best, the most capable, whenever they can. Webster and his colleagues have been recruited into a process from which they cannot escape. They are trapped by a monster that is an ideology and an institutional framework. They will take offense at the suggestion that the mass mobilization they dream of will not be free to achieve the objectives that they treasure. But look at desolate Libya. Consider the suffering throughout Ukraine, where a color revolution replaced a bad government with a worse one that cuts the budget under International Monetary Fund direction and can’t provide energy for its people this Winter. Does Webster ever talk about the outcomes of such earlier projects? He may be careful about what he says, but his close associate Michael Burawoy is not.

Burawoy Sheds Light on Webster

Webster’s decades of alliance and friendship with Prof. Michael Burawoy at the University of California at Berkeley may help to make vivid the meaning of Webster’s seemingly abstract, academic connections to AEI. Burawoy appears not to be connected to Sharp and AEI, but he is working in parallel. Because he is important and dangerous, he deserves extended treatment before we turn to his connections to Webster.

Burawoy is a British-born, self-described “Marxist” sociologist who took his B.A. at Cambridge University, promotes color revolutions, and shrugs off the ensuing death and destruction. He makes no reference to the strategic role of these revolutions, that is, their contribution to the warfare of the British financial empire against the governments of Russia, China, and other nations that pose a threat to its system. He has been based at Berkeley since 1976, and is known for his ethnography of industrial workers as a participant-observer in Zambia, the United States, Hungary (Metalworkers), and Russia.

Burawoy was president of the American Sociological Association in 2004, and president of the International Sociological Association for 2010-14.

The sly Burawoy is constantly at work on behalf of what he calls “movements against neoliberalism,” while he receives funding from foundations with impeccable neoliberal credentials. In 1993 and 2001 he received grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2002-03, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, and in 2010, he was Mellon Visiting Professor at Wits.

Burawoy’s Joke: Burawoy lets the cat out of the bag in his lecture on “Social Movements in the Neoliberal Age” (and the related “New Sociology for New Social Movements”), given at universities since 2012, including the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia; the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, Russia; the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Semenyih, Malaysia; and the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He advocates what he calls the “new social movements” that “defend against the market and the state” or that “struggle against dictatorship.”

These movements “see the state and national politics as hijacked by finance capital of the dominant classes” (allowing them to disregard constitutions, laws, and elections). He shows slides of the so-called Arab Spring, which “spread across the Middle East to Libya, Yemen, Syria, not necessarily with wonderful consequences, but it really represented a mobilized, collective upsurge of dominated groups.” In this way, he dismisses the destruction, carnage, and suffering from the Arab Spring with the wave of a hand, to emphasize instead that it “raised consciousness.” Perhaps it raised people’s consciousness that their upsurges—with the help of airstrikes and armed attacks on the ground—had put much of these countries into the hands of jihadist warlords.

In this way, Burawoy exposes himself as a promoter of “new social movements”—in the name of “participatory democracy”—that can help to topple the government and destroy the productive capacity of a country, while having nothing to put in their place. In his Bogotá lecture, Burawoy told his audience that “it only took me eight months to destroy the Soviet Union.” It was a joke. But what a revealing joke, in light of the devastation of Russia by the vulture capitalists that immediately followed![17]

Burawoy is spreading his vile message around the world. In 2012, he managed to visit Chile, Argentina, Canada, England, Portugal, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Zambia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines. In 2011, he visited an even longer and mostly different list of countries. Since 2010, his schedule has included repeated visits to Ukraine, including the Kiev International Institute of Sociology.

Burawoy in South Africa: With the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, Burawoy began his engagement in South Africa. In that year, he spoke before the South African Sociological Association and participated in colloquia and lectured at Wits, the universities of Natal, Durban Westville, Rhodes, Fort Hare, and three others. He was on the editorial board of the South African Sociological Review, 1992-96. In 2001, he became an Honorary Associate of SWOP, and has been in South Africa almost every year since then. He was at the Chris Hani Institute in 2006 for a talk or colloquium, and addressed NUMSA in 2010.

In 2012, Burawoy wrote,

“My four-year stint with the Ford [Foundation] PhDs, which had brought me to the University of the Witwatersrand for three weeks each year, had come to an end. Karl von Holdt, then acting director of the SWOP, invited me to come to Wits for a semester on a Mellon Visiting Professorship. I would work with students and faculty and also give public lectures.”[18]

There seems to be no shortage of Ford Foundation and Mellon money for these warriors “against neoliberalism.”

Burawoy and Webster are practically joined at the hip. Burawoy wrote in 2010 that he had spent 40 years “listening to, learning from, and living with” Webster. He calls Webster “one of South Africa’s most distinguished sociologists” and praises Webster’s SWOP for providing “a vision that defends the integrity of the university, not as a retreat into the ivory tower but as an advance into the trenches of civil society.”[19]Ah, yes, “civil society,” that congeries of movements, organizations, and individuals—some well-intentioned and some witting—that follow the Gene Sharp, Michael Burawoy, and George Soros pied pipers and other like-minded misleaders. “Civil society” has no other definition.

The case against Webster as a transmission agent of London and Wall Street vulture capitalism, not only rests on the sources of his and his SWOP associates’ funding—including funds from Sharp’s AEI—and on SWOP’s acceptance of direction from AEI. It is also clarified by Webster’s close association with Burawoy, who demonstrates clearly what their objectives really are, despite the high-flown rhetoric.

In a nutshell, political operatives of the British global financial empire are currently fingering governments that are not cooperative or—what is worse for them—are orienting toward the BRICS and nuclear power. These are branded as dictatorships or neoliberal, according to taste. Sharp, Burawoy, and others, funded by foundations loyal to London and Wall Street, then activate their networks to mobilize opposition to these governments, to force a change of policy or to overthrow them.

SWOP Penetration of the Institutions

The degree to which Webster, his students, and SWOP have penetrated into the present South African ruling institutions—especially the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP)—can be illustrated in part by following Webster’s career. Webster obtained a master’s degree—and got his “Marxism”—at Balliol College, Oxford, and taught for the Workers’ Education Association in Britain. When he returned to South Africa, he met Rick Turner and they became collaborators. Webster and his coworkers at the University of Natal soon founded the first workers’ college in South Africa, the Institute of Industrial Education.

He was deeply involved in the formation of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) in 1979, the first non-racial trade union federation in South Africa. FOSATU committed itself to the principle of “workers’ control” in its constitution. When COSATU was formed in 1985, FOSATU was merged into it. According to the biographical sketch of Webster on the Wits website, “He has retained an interest in trade union education, and shop stewards in particular, and undertook, on behalf of COSATU, the first nation-wide shop steward survey. In 1994, he and fellow academics initiated a nation-wide survey of the political attitudes of COSATU members. Professor Webster has been centrally involved in the survey since then, in 1998, 2004 and, most recently, in 2009.”

Books and papers by Webster and von Holdt, in addition to those already named, indicate the deep penetration of Webster and SWOP into the labor unions over decades, and the trust they have developed with shop stewards. Webster published his book on the metalworkers in 1985. Von Holdt also studied the metalworkers, and publishedTransition from Below: Forging Trade Unionism and Workplace Change in South Africa (2003). There are also studies by them and their associates of the mineworkers, the paper and printing workers, and others. This is good and useful work. But where was SWOP leading labor?

NALEDI and the Chris Hani Institute

COSATU’s think tank, the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), was founded in 1993, the same year that SWOP cooperation with AEI began. NALEDI repeatedly used leading SWOP and workerist personnel. Was it the brainchild of AEI? Jeremy Baskin, part of the workerist movement since the 1970s, became the director of NALEDI in the 1990s after serving as National Coordinator for COSATU. Today he is in Australia working for Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. Karl von Holdt, now the director of SWOP, worked for NALEDI, and in that capacity had been coordinator of COSATU’s September Commission on the Future of the Unions. The 1997 report of the commission had favored the workerist agenda and called for “social unionism.” Glenn Adler of SWOP had worked for NALEDI as a senior researcher.

In 2011, NALEDI called for a return to “social movement unionism,” a phrase said to have been coined by Webster. In this 2011 call, NALEDI asked, “Does labour (namely COSATU) continue to rely on the political structures as a member of the ruling tripartite alliance or does it align itself with civil society organizations outside the formal political corridors?” The question was implicitly a call for COSATU to leave—and oppose—the ruling alliance. NUMSA then took the lead in attacking the alliance.

Webster has been the Director of the Chris Hani Institute (CHI) since March 2013. He has been a board member for much longer. CHI was founded by COSATU and the SACP in 2003 as an academy to provide ideological and political training for “selected youth, [shop] stewards, and officials current and future.” It sees itself as “an independent think tank of the left” to “engage in the battle of ideas, to develop alternatives to neoliberalism, deepen the links between progressive intellectuals in our universities and inside the democratic movement.” This is now in the hands of Webster, the warrior for neoliberalism.

The ANC has chosen the only strategic path that can begin to liberate South Africa from the control of the global British financial dictatorship. The threat to the ANC government from Sharp, Burawoy, Soros, and SWOP is a threat to South Africa itself. A coalition of opposition forces could oust the ANC government, but could not rule. Surely, even patriotic South Africans outside the ANC can see this.

A BRICS World

Virtually all of Ibero-America’s governments have now oriented toward the BRICS to escape the clutches of neoliberalism. Argentina, under President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner—that resolute warrior against vulture capitalism—has expressed interest in joining the BRICS. President Evo Morales of Bolivia sees the BRICS’ New Development Bank, as the means to put an end to neoliberalism and neocolonialism. His government is also planning to build nuclear power plants. Now Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Syria, and Bangladesh have expressed interest in joining the BRICS. Like the ANC government in South Africa, they too will have to expose and defeat the synthetic revolutionaries working for Sharp, Burawoy, and Soros.

[1] Jeffrey Steinberg, “The Bestial British Intelligence of Shelburne and Bentham,” EIR, April 15, 1994, pp. 24-27; and Pierre Beaudry, “Jean-Sylvain Bailly: The French Revolution’s Benjamin Franklin,” EIR, Jan. 26, 2001. There is more on this subject in EIR (www.larouchepub.com).

[2] See John Darwin, Britain and Decolonization (1988), Caroll Quigley,The Anglo-American Establishment (1949), and Ronald Robinson, “Sir Andrew Cohen” in L.H. Gann and Peter Duignan (eds.), African Proconsuls: European Governors in Africa (1978). For institutions of psychological manipulation, not discussed here, see David Christie, “INSNA: ‘Handmaidens of British Colonialism’,” EIR, Dec. 7, 2007, pp. 27-37.

[3] Albert Einstein Institution, “Report on Activities, 1993-1999,” p. 7. Helvey may have worked for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. He was U.S. Defense Attaché in Yangon, Myanmar, 1983-85. Later, he worked with Sharp to attempt to overthrow the Myanmar and Cuban governments, as the cited document reports. A clear interface between Sharp and military intelligence is through Maj. Gen. Edward Atkeson, Ph.D., former Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, U.S. Army Europe, who served on AEI’s Advisors Council in the 1990s.

[4] An article by Rachel Douglas, “Destabilizing Russia: The ‘Democracy’ Agenda of McFaul and His Oxford Masters,” EIR, Feb. 3, 2012, provides a rigorous exposition of the Gene Sharp apparatus. She notes that “Sharp himself, in a 2006 interview with The Progressive, boasted that he was in Tiananmen Square in 1989, meeting with democracy activists ‘three or four days before the crackdown.’ ”

[5] Tony Papert, “Moscow Conference Identifies ‘Color Revolutions’ as War,” EIR, June 13, 2014.

[6] EIR and LaRouche PAC have for years published the sordid details of Soros’s career, including a 2008 pamphlet, “Your Enemy, George Soros.” Soros has spent his life destroying the barriers to vulture capitalism worldwide. That is what his “philanthropy” is all about. As a teenager in Hungary, Soros began his career by helping the Nazi occupation round up his fellow Jews. He told his biographer, Michael Kaufman, that it was “the most exciting time of my life” (Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire, 2002).

[7] Col. A.N. Belsky and O.V. Klimenko, “Political Engineering of Color Revolutions: Ways to Keep Them in Check,” Military Thought, Nov. 3, 2014.

[8] “United Front Groupings Discuss the Path Forward” by Emily Corke, Eyewitness News online, Dec. 14, 2014. NUMSA also embraced “regime change” in a Dec. 17, 2014, response to the South African Communist Party on the NUMSA website: “We freely and openly admit that we do want a regime change indeed. We want a change from the current regime of Colonialism of a Special Type to a revolutionary-democratic regime as a transitional stepping stone towards socialism. We have said this all along, and we owe no one an apology!” (Emphasis in original.)

[9] The accusation was circulated in an anonymous document entitled, “Exposed: Secret regime change plot to destabilise South Africa,” allegedly written by “concerned members within NUMSA,” which appeared about Nov. 20. NUMSA has branded it a concoction of South African intelligence.

[10] Despite the advantages for South Africa’s labor force that the BRICS’s extensive projects will bring, NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim did not endorse the BRICS in a conversation with EIR’s Douglas DeGroot in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 8. He explained that NUMSA has not yet decided on a policy toward the BRICS.

[11] Barbara Harmel came to AEI from her position as Associate Director of the South Africa Program at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute is an instrument of the Anglo-American establishment; today, its board of trustees includes, for example, Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright. Harmel was trained at the School for Oriental and African Studies, University of London, a key institution of British neocolonial control. Since 1998, she has been in private practice as a psychologist in Johannesburg.

[12] Having held a responsible position in the running of the neocolonial empire doesn’t prevent Bundy from talking a blue streak of Marxism and class struggle, like the rest of the South African color revolution fraternity. See his talk. Comrade Colin is in fact fighting for neoliberalism. For example, while principal of Wits, he directed a restructuring of the university to make it more market-friendly.

[13] Published in the journal Work, Employment and Society, 16:2, 2002.

[14] The quotation and these ideas are found in Chapter 8, “The Impracticality of Realism.”

[15] It is the absence of the successive advances that will be fatal to human society. It is just such advances that promote increases in the cognitive power of a larger and larger portion of society. Did that matter to Turner?

[16] USAID is thanked for its financial support, without which “this volume would not have been possible,” along with other donors, in Webster and von Holdt (eds.), Beyond the Apartheid Workplace: Studies in Transition (2005).

[17] More of his joking in Bogotá: “It’s very strange. Wherever I go in the world, usually catastrophe follows”: the Bogotá lecture.

[18] From the Preface to Burawoy and von Holdt, Conversations with Bourdieu—The Johannesburg Moment, 2012.

[19] Burawoy, “Southern Windmill: The Life and Work of Edward Webster,” Transformation 72/73, 2010.

 Posted by on October 28, 2015 at 12:54 pm  Comments Off on No To Regime Change in South Africa
Oct 072015
 

It has been difficult for Quran commentators to fully explain this chapter.  If you read various English translations, you will find a fair degree of differing interpretations.  I have consulted prominent Arabic dictionaries (Lisaanul Arab, Al Asri, and the Al-Islam website to arrive at a completely literal and faithful translation of the Arabic.  The images conjured surprised me,..  I reproduce my literal translation without comment…

, بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ, In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1, وَالْعَادِيَاتِ ضَبْحًا, By those who veer off, while making a blowing sound,

2, فَالْمُورِيَاتِ قَدْحًا, And by those who ignite with sparks,

3, فَالْمُغِيرَاتِ صُبْحًا, And by those who conducted the raid the morning,

4, فَأَثَرْنَ بِهِ نَقْعًا, by which they then caused a dust cloud,

5, فَوَسَطْنَ بِهِ جَمْعًا, and through it, penetrated the ranks.

6, إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ, Truly Man is dismissive of his Lord,

7, وَإِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ, and he himself attests to that.

8, وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ, So extreme is he in his desire for wealth!

9, أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ, Does he then not realize that when the contents of the graves are exposed,

10, وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ, and the secret is revealed…

11, إِنَّ رَبَّهُم بِهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّخَبِيرٌ, That their Lord was even on that day well aware of them?

 

 Posted by on October 7, 2015 at 10:48 pm  Comments Off on Translation of Chapter 100 of the Quran
Oct 072015
 

The 11th of September 2001, in my view represents a seminal event that may shape history over the next few centuries.  Why, you may ask?  After all, Word Wars 1 and 2 collectively resulted in far greater losses of life, numbering in the tens of millions.  The atomic attacks by the US on Japan alone account for the deaths of 50 times more innocent civilians than died in 911.

The importance however of 911 for me lies in its potential to undo the until-now tight alliance between Western money-power and Western military power.  Let me explain what I mean by these:  Western money-power, as manifested currently in the integrated global banking system, dates back to around 1800 when the major banking families of Europe laid the foundations of what we experience today as the global financial system.  Western military power, in my view, dates back to the conference at Vienna around 1815, when Europe (and the world) became subordinate to Anglo-Saxon power.  America today is the face of Anglo-Saxon power, having taken the mantle of the world’s greatest military power from Britain after World War 2.  World Wars 1 and 2 were conflicts that shifted power within the Western frame of reference without ever threatening the alliance between banking money power and Anglo-Saxon military power.  911 May just change this.  But how?

Before I get there, let me digress a little. Banking has been around for centuries.  The banking of our times is primarily occupied with money-lending.  Some of you may naively assume that a bank’s primary function is to keep your savings in trust.  You may further assume that they make extra money by lending out your savings to others, who pay interest to the bank, from which they then profit. Wrong.  There is one problem with your assumption, namely what would banks do if they had insufficient cash in trust from people?  This problem is solved as follows.  Banks actually themselves have the right, by law, in most countries, to lend out ten times the amount they hold in trust from people’s savings.  If they hold one million dollars in deposits from the public, for example, they are authorised to lend out ten million dollars in loans.  The shortfall in cash is provided by an institution that prints the currency in your country, called the Central Bank or the Federal Reserve. The banks then pay this institution a fee for borrowing from it. But wait a minute! Who owns the Reserve Bank or the Central Bank in your country?  The likelihood is that the very banks that borrow from this reserve are the share-holders of the Federal Reserve or Reserve Bank.  Only a handful of countries’ central banks are owned by the state.  That means that banks actually print money, and lend it to themselves!  Even the government must pay the bank interest when borrowing from it.  This they do by printing promissory notes called government bonds, which they exchange with the central bank for cash now, in return for a higher repayment in time to come.

The banks as money-lenders is a phenomenon that is age-old. Every few centuries however, the debt burden becomes so heavy on governments and society, that a revolt takes place. The yoke of the bankers is then overthrown, sometimes in a violent and cruel way.  All those classes and groups associated with the money-lenders are also violently expelled in the process.  The Jewish community is known to have been the foremost money-lenders in Europe for many, many centuries. In the year 1290, a violent English uprising took place against Jews, who were the primary money-lenders in England then.  The violent attacks resulted in much loss of life and the expulsion of the Jews from England under the reign of King Edward I.     In fairness to Jews, the catholic church often tacitly encouraged them to practice money-lending as Christians frowned upon the practice as anti-Christian.  Oliver Cromwell eventually re-opened England for Jews and their money-lending practices in 1656.  Fast forward 280 years and we find the same expulsion of Jews as the biggest banking power in Germany.  This time it was Hitler who saw in Jewish money power a threat to the German people’s success and prosperity.  Germany was defeated in 1945 as we all know, and the bankers’ power restored.  You can go back even further in history and find the same story repeated.  Even Jesus Christ in about 30 AD expelled the money-lenders from the holy temple in Jerusalem.  Sadly, that act caused a bad result for the Holy Christ also.

Back in our times now, the bankers have reached the pinnacle of their power.  It is said that banks collectively have indebted the present population on earth to the tune of three hundred trillion dollars!  When I say banks, I mean the money lenders, the central banks, the World Bank and other global money lenders.  Every person on earth pays interest to the banks.  Even a poor, unemployed person in Africa pays interest to the bank. How?  Let’s say the South African government owes money to the World Bank (which it does.) The South African government raises taxes from its population to repay the interest to the World Bank.  These taxes are collected from ordinary poor folks in the form of sales tax, income tax and import duties, which the state levies on all South Africans.  For your information, the United States owes the banks in the region of 18 trillion dollars. This money will have to be repaid to the banks by Americans today and Americans that are yet to be born!

Let’s move the discussion on.  We all know who the Anglo-Saxons are.  We all know what their religious ethos is.  As a reminder, the Anglo-Saxon world is founded on a Christian world view, which underwent dramatic reform during the period of the enlightenment (1600’s to 1800’s.)  Western States, during this period neutralized Christianity as a political force, reducing it to the realm of moral conscience. The state itself became secular and even anti-Christian during the Enlightenment.  What is the religion of the bankers?  The declared religion of the most powerful bankers in the world was then, as it is now, Judaism, and especially the Zionist strand of Judaism.  Let me explain:  In 1917, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sent a declarative letter to 2nd Baron Rothchild, a leader of the Jewish community and hailing from the most powerful banking family.  The letter promised Jews that Britain would yield to their demands for a homeland in Palestine.  In return, the powerful Jewish banking money power under Rothchild and others in the West promised all sorts of support to the British war effort against Germany at the time. This moment represents a renewal of the alliance between Anglo-Saxon military power and Jewish banking power.

In 1948, Balfour’s promise was kept when the West recognised Israel officially as a Jewish state, on the land of Palestine. There is therefore, until today, a clear connection between global banking power and the state of Israel.    Israel achieved holy cow status because of global Jewry’s support to the Anglo-Saxon world.  The persecution (and killing) of Jews in Germany became a global object of profound sympathy and regret under the trade mark of the Jewish Holocaust.  The years from 1948 until the nineties represent the golden age of Israel and Jewish banking power.

The yoke of increased taxation, poorer living standards and the threat of Western jobs moving to third world countries disturbed the relative contentment in Western countries by the nineties.  Consumerism had also peaked, and new avenues for banks to create new income streams became necessary.  When the Eastern Communist Block fell, the West was expecting a peace dividend, after years of cold war with the Eastern Block.  A new distraction was needed to occupy the wandering mind of the Westerner.  The bankers identified a fear of Islam as a new theme on which to base new extortion opportunities.  Overnight, Muslims’ image changed from the romantic Arabian Nights to the violent terrorist.  The founding of Israel itself was a provocation of Arabs in 1948, but by the 1980’s most Arab counties were at peace with Israel.  The 1980s and the 1990s saw renewed provocation by Israel of Arabs and Muslims through the massacres of Palestinians and invasions of neighboring Arab countries.  This continues to today.  The Western Anglo-Saxon – Zionist Banking alliance remained firm throughout this time.

Which brings us finally to 911 in 2001.  Israel needed the West to defend it from the Arab threat.  Zionist Bankers needed the West as a continuous source of profits and interest, and also as a continued protector globally.  It was difficult to sustain this position, especially as the memory of Word War 2 and the Holocaust started waning with the passing of that generation.  American loss of life in the Muslim lands though the 1980s and 90s weakened the US’s resolve to fight for Israel.  An event of biblical proportions, implanted in the Western psyche was needed to renew the alliance and additionally create a new source of war profits and interest payments.  An event no less than the destruction of key symbols of the West would be needed.  A good deal of loss of life had to accompany the event. 911 was the ultimate ‘abracadabra’ event for Zionism and global money power.

Why then does 911 truth threaten the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist or put differently, the global military and financial power alliance?  After all, financial power is useless without a military guarantor.  Imagine if people and states simply refuse to pay the three hundred trillion they owe the banks. 911 Is a real threat for the following reason.  By conceiving of and engineering 911, Israel (symbol of Zionism) may have overstretched their chutzpah or hubris.  In attacking these Western symbols on 911 and simply blaming it on Islam, they may have miscalculated the naiveté of ordinary Westerners.  The power of the Truth Movement in the West, questioning the official version of events of 911 is growing by the day.  What if the secret comes out? There is no doubt that 911 Truth carries the potential of severing the Western alliance with Israel and Zionism in general. It may even result in the biggest pogrom that the world has seen in centuries.  A break in the alliance will see the world back to the pre-1656 period.  The West would be crippled financially due to the disappearance of easy credit. The West would be culturally reshaped when the Jewish influence through the mass media evaporates.  The age of individualism and competitiveness would make way for a new age of co-operation between people.  The market for ideas and ideologies will be free again, and, who knows what Westerners would choose?

As Christopher Bollyn states: “911 Truth Ends the War.”  I can add, 911 Truth has the potential to  restore the real freedom of humanity.

 Posted by on October 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm  Comments Off on 911 Truth Has the Potential to Usher in a New and Better World
Jul 082015
 

Propaganda 101

What I‘ve learnt by just watching Al Jazeera and mainstream news channels in the past 10 years.

If our friends drop bombs on people, say:
“They conducted airstrikes against rebel / terrorist targets.”

If our enemy drops bombs on people, say:
“They dropped bombs on unarmed / innocent civilians / people”

If our enemies suffer civilian casualties say:
“Civilians died after getting caught up in the crossfire”

If our friends suffer civilian casualties, say:
“Unarmed civilians were killed by …”

If a small percentage support our idea, say:
“Numerous / Many / a number of / several people support the idea.”

If a small percentage support our enemy‘s idea, say:
“A minority / splinter group / rogue elements / fringe support the idea”

If our enemy is ousted from power, say

Lastly, if a people catch on to our scheme, choose any of the following labels to neutralise the problem:

Its a conspiracy theory
Its Iranian instigated
Its Russian instigated
Its anti semitic

 Posted by on July 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm  Comments Off on To Detect Media Bias and Propaganda, fine Hearing is Needed
May 032015
 

If it’s barbaric to punish without establishing guilt, then to torture and shackle a human being without due process is savagery.

Guantanamo Bay Prison is hi-tech modern savagery and its defenders are modern savages.

In our time we have seen Human Rights reduced to Western Peoples’ Human Rights. That again became reduced to White Western Human Rights. And then finally we have seen that reduced to Rich Western Peoples’ Human Rights.

Welcome to the Dark Ages again.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2349693/Inside-Guantanamo-Bay-Horrifying-pictures-restraint-chairs-feeding-tubes-operating-theatre-used-inmates-terror-prison.html

 Posted by on May 3, 2015 at 11:13 pm  Comments Off on Inside Guantanamo Bay: Horrifying pictures show the restraint chairs, feeding tubes and operating theatre used on inmates in terror prison | Daily Mail Online
Apr 302015
 

The major religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have plenty of constructive elements. (I even think that the rational core of an Atheist as a response to irrational elements of religions is something constructive.) Religions, based around a sacred and transcendent core deity, each has something very special to offer mankind however. I wish to list what I see as the most powerful contribution of each of the religions that I have considered.

What makes me capable of seemingly arrogantly coming here and declaring my views on various religions? Let me offer some credentials firstly then:

I spent almost 9 of my most formative years in Christian schooling. With the exception of my final three years of primary school, which I spent in a Muslim class, the rest were all spent in Christian schools and predominantly 90% Christian classes. During these years I joined in with my Christian class mates in reciting the Lord’s prayer, I heard the Bible being read almost every day and I celebrated every major Christian event. When I was small, I even remember getting Christmas presents at Christmas time. Also, away from school, when visiting my neighbours, friends and colleagues, I was exposed to Christianity in their homes. I can therefore claim to have more than a mere superficial insight into Christianity and its real meaning in everyday life.

My credentials to issue profound opinions about Islam’s impact are also valid, I believe. I grew up in a Muslim home, went to Muslim afternoon classes for nine years, sat in countless Muslim sermons, formed (and still form) part of a Muslim community and also attended classes in certain Islamic subjects at the prestigious Al Azhar university in Egypt from mid 1991 until mid 1993. When it comes to Sunni Islam, I have all these mentioned credentials, but adding to these, in Egypt, I also had the opportunity to gain much deeper insight into Sunni Islam by having plenty of in depth discussions with some of the most senior Sunni experts within the Muslim community today in South Africa.

What qualifies me to issue an opinion about Shi’ite Islam? From the age of 17, I gained good access to literature from Iran, promoting the revolution as well as Twelver Shi’ite ideas. For ten years, I immersed myself in the popular literature of the revolution and Twelver Shi’ism. While in Egypt, I had several learning sessions with an Iraqi Shi’ite cleric, who was in exile in Cairo. While in Egypt, I befriended a recent Sunni convert to Twelver Shi’ism very closely. I in fact embraced the standard rituals of that school in Egypt, and became a Twelver Shi’i, using Taqiyyah to conceal my beliefs from some who may have taken offence. Back in South Africa, in 1993, I saw the devastation of sectarianism in my family. It took me less than six months to reverse my decision to embrace Twelver Shi’ism. I announced my decision to my closest family members. From now on, I told them, I rejected any labels, and merely followed the truth, no matter from which sect it came.   The 13 years from 1980 until 1993 gave me special insight, I believe, to issue an opinion on how Twelver Shi’ism impacts on society and the individual.

What qualifies me to speak about Judaism? I can claim a sufficient knowledge of Judaism. I have attentively listened to over 20 sermons on Youtube from prominent Jewish Rabbi’s of today. These include Rabbi Boteach, Rabbi Sachs and other prominent Youtube published Jewish scholars. Furthermore I spent four years of my work life in close daily contact with a well-read secular Jew, who spent time in Israel.  Some pertinent finer nuances of Jewish culture became known to me through that valuable interaction. I also had plenty of business and social interaction with local Ashkenazi Jewish persons, during which it was possible for me to gain some insight into their beliefs. I have attempted to read as much as possible about Jewish beliefs and culture.

So now, I believe I utter the following words on the basis of more than a mere whim or a superficial knowledge of the religions and sects I mentioned…

  1. The Good in Christianity

Christianity kindles the most personal and loving relationship with God, albeit through a complicated understanding of God. A Christian does not do good, as a Jew or Muslim does, simply because they want to earn “rewards” from God, but rather because I feel they truly love God. (As such, I can compare Christianity with some esoteric Muslim sufi sects.) Christians also have a certain measure of built-in humility because of the “original sin” concept, which defines people as tainted and imperfect. This makes the Christians of today different from the Christians of the middle and dark ages. I see in today’s Christians much more of a capacity to accommodate other belief systems, than I see in Wahhabi Islam and Judaism and even Atheism. Lastly, I believe that Christians’ lack of arrogance today is perhaps tied to the often ridiculed core beliefs that the theology offers. It has been easy for today’s rational society to pick many holes in the difficult and illogical core beliefs of Christianity, with the result that churches have gone empty over recent decades. Lastly, the humility of Christianity is aided, I think by the fact that it’s central personality, Jesus Christ, never lived as a conqueror or a ruler, such as Muhammad or Moses, but rather died violently and humbly at the hands of his enemies. The arrogance of the middle ages, and the Crusades were, I believe a result of the eminent position achieved by the Church under the Roman empire and subsequent great conquering Christian Europeans such as Charlemagne.

2.  The Good in Judaism

My understanding of current Judaism is that it’s strictly not a religion, but rather a tradition carried by a nation. Reverend Sachs (the chief Rabbi of Britain), speaking on Youtube claims that Judaism is not primarily about a shared past, but rather by about a shared destiny of the Jewish people. Modern Judaism is different from past Judaism. A few hundred years ago, it seems the word Jew was not even used, and the terms Israelite or Hebrew were preferred. The modern concept of a Jew allows for a wildly differing levels of religiosity, ranging from secular, non-religious, atheist, to ultra-orthodox; all claiming to be Jewish.

Deeply embedded within the Jewish psyche lies a trait that represents the best, but also the worst of modern Jewry. The trait I refer to is the absolute contempt Jews feel very deep within for any man-made law. Jews, as the nation, referred to in scriptures as God’s chosen one, really appears to only attach real currency to God’s laws.   There is good in this attitude as long as Jews know and observe God’s laws, but when Jews became secular, then only the contempt for the laws of the Gentiles remained. I therefore see much good in the Orthodox Jewish approach that acts as a counter balance in a world where morality has become a shifting phenomenon, and where barbarous immorality threatens to encroach everything. Orthodox Judaism represents timeless moral standards, which Christianity can unfortunately not guarantee in our times. The other good in Judaism is the fact that its scholars have been able to mount a more powerful scholarly defence against the attacks of modern pagans. Jewish theism, or monotheism, is simple and well articulated by the scholars within the Jewish community.

3.  The Good in Islam

Most Islam today is still heavily Sufi influenced. Sufi Islam is less focused on the holy law, more inward spiritually-focused, and highly respectful of the spiritual leader, while emphasising a direct relationship with God. On top of this Islam, we have in the past century seen the spread of Wahhabi Islam, not completely detached from Sufism, but placing the emphasis much more on the law, and a rejection of esoteric elements that feed traditional sufi practices. Wahhabi literalism and Sufi esoterism are essentially the two contending forces at work within popular Islam today.

The best thing about Muslim society is that it is profoundly enriched by both Eastern and Western traditions and wisdoms. The finer courtesy of Muslims (derived from the orient) is genuine and cannot be surpassed by any other culture that I have been in contact with. Muslims have a very real subliminal sense of accountability: to God, to their fellow believers and to their leaders. This makes Muslim society generally stable, peaceful and well-established within its cultural and religious observances. The violence that is often seen about Muslims is almost exclusively the result of Wahhabi literalist influencing. The Islam of today is also heavily influenced by the West, from two centuries of Muslim society benefitting from the immense technological leaps made by the West. There is therefore a measure of modernity and enlightenment within Muslim societies that makes it comfortable to engage and interact with Muslims. So the best past of Islam is that it has found a good balance between spiritualism and pragmatism.

4.  The Good in Shi’ite Islam

The powerful scholarly legacy of Shi’ite Islam is its biggest asset. The strong tradition of scholarship also upholds a tradition of continuous change and has resisted the route of scholarly fossilisation undergone by Sunni Islam. Shi’ite scholars are real reflective scholars whereas Sunni so-called scholars are in fact human Xerox machines. In the past few centuries alone, a fundamental position has been radically altered by the Shi’ite scholars, namely the near complete defeat of the Akhbarism (uncritical acceptance of Prophetic traditions) towards Usuli’ism (qualified acceptance of traditions). The powerful scholarship tradition in Shi’ite Islam has been cultivated by centuries of mounting arguments against the ever-present Sunni majority.   Shi’ite Islam almost reflects and mirrors the powerful rabbinical tradition within Judaism. (Unfortunately, both traditions have confused scholarship with priesthood at times.)

 

 

 

 

 Posted by on April 30, 2015 at 10:56 am  Comments Off on Every Religion I Know has Good to Offer
Apr 232015
 

All religions promise a good life on earth. Many of them also promise a good life after we die.   All religions preach very different ideas though. Who do you believe? I can imagine the answer coming from most of you: “I am happy with what my parents brought me up in.”   If you believe that, then I have one more question to ask you, after which you can happily stop reading. My question is, if each person’s parents taught them the best religion possible, and calls other parents’ religions false, then how do we know which one is telling the truth? Like for example, if my parents are Muslims and your parents are Christian, and both regard each others’ beliefs as being wrong, whose parents does a neutral person seeking an answer believe? If this question troubles you, keep reading. If not, thank you for your time.

If I flip a coin and ask two people to each predict either “heads” or “tails”, three things are possible: 1. Both could predict heads, 2. One could predict heads and one tails 3. Both could predict tails. Are you agreed that that’s the only three possibilities? Okay, so after I have flipped the coin, and show the outcome, there are now three possibilities again:

  1. If both chose differently before the toss, then one will be right and one wrong – Both cannot be right
  2. If both chose heads and the outcome was tails, then both of them was wrong in the first place.
  3. If both chose heads and the outome is heads, then both were right in the first place.

The lesson for our discussion is as follows:

  1. When people agree on an issue, its possible that they could be agreed on the wrong thing
  2. If people agree on something, its possible that they could all be right.
  3. When people differ over an issue, it is impossible for all of them to be right

Why have I brought up this coin-tossing analogy? I want to prove that having everyone agree with you is not a guarantee of following the right thing. Also, I want to prove that its impossible for everyone to be right when they all differ amongst each other.

The religious world looks like this today: Those who follow their religion, feel that millions of others are also following the same thing, and therefore comfort themselves that they MUST be following the true path.   The fact however is that millions may be following one religion, but millions of people also follow an opposing set of beliefs, which really means that some of those millions MUST be wrong.

This booklet is an attempt to provide clarity and to offer a way forward.

Before I can continue the discussion, I wish to ask for two basic points of agreement, without which, we will only be wasting our time. Those two points I need agreement on are:

  1. We have to agree that a solution to our problem can be found
  2. We have to exert our healthy minds to the best of our ability to seek that solution

If you believe that using our minds is not a viable way forward, or if you believe that no solution exists to the question of “which religion is right?”, then I also bid you farewell.

Religions claim to be about God. They claim that God gave humanity religion as a means to save themselves. Now let’s look at the gifts of God.   What tangible, natural gift is the most precious gift you have, from God, that sets you apart from all other life forms? Our healthy intelligent minds are most certainly the most prized gift we have as human beings. If you were to be told by some crafty person to pay over half the money you possess, in return for a double your money tomorrow, your healthy mind will protect you from such stupidity. Stupidity causes loss. Healthy thinking causes success. The biggest gift God gave you is the gift that will protect you and guide you throughout your life. Why then do so many of us choose to suspend the use of our minds when it comes to religion?

More importantly, my key question: Why do religions claim that they are God’s gift to us, while those same religions deny God’s other great gift to you, namely your sound mind?? I can hear some of you say: “My religion doesn’t do that!” The fact is that ALL the major religions I’ve come across ask you to believe in things that you would normally NEVER believe, using your sound mind. I can list a few examples, but I ask you not to be offended, as my aim is not to degrade any religion here, but rather to pursue a path to the truth, God willing.

Example 1: Can someone have both the power to do something AND lack the power to do that thing at the same time? In philosophy , this is called the Law of the Excluded Middle. A person either IS or on IS NOT carrying an ability, and any option besides the two is impossible.   Note, we’re not talking about subjective opinions here, but rather about facts. For example, take the statements “The sun is out” and “The sun is NOT out.” There can be no option where the sun is out and not out at the same time. Another example: “I have a cat”, and “I don’t have a cat.” Both cannot be true. Yet, the Christian church confuses this healthy reasoning when it comes to the most important core aspect of their religion, namely God! Claiming that Jesus is fully God and fully Man. I.e. Jesus has all the powers of God, and at the same time, none of the powers of God. Now, I know hundreds of books have been written to justify the official position of the Christian church. I have a question however for those who defend this belief: If someone came with a similar argument to you today, claiming that he is both a billionaire and a homeless vagrant dying of cold, would you believe him?

Example 2: Any act can be seen as virtuous or NOT virtuous. Is it possible to conceive of an act that is both intended as an evil and a good act at the same time? Killing someone could either be done justly, such as in self-defence or UNJUSTLY, such as in a murder. An act cannot be both Good and Bad at the same time. Yet, in Islam, in the war that raged between the elected leader and fourth Caliph Ali on the one side and Muawiyah the rebel leader from Syria on the other side, both men are regarded as virtuous! The rebellion of Muawiyah, with the subsequent thousands of deaths, is therefore painstakingly justified by hundreds of scholars.

Example 3:  Can a person both be present and absent at the same time? Let me introduce this example as follows: Say your uncle has a huge fortune that is to be distributed to his heirs upon his death. You are the sole heir. A man appears and claims that he has a child of your uncle, who he cannot present at the present moment, but whose claim he would like to stake. Will you hand over all the wealth entitled to this guy, without at least asking to see the child? Twelver Shi’ism makes this exact demand from its followers: Accept that the 11th Imam, Hassan Al Askari has a son, which none but one witness has seen , who is both absent and present at the same time in the world. Meanwhile the only witness to such a child is also the beneficiary as a custodian of the immense wealth due to the child.

Example 4: Can God perform a Devilish act? According to the Jewish Old Testament, the answer is “yes”. The Jewish books are replete with events that would ascribe the actions of Satan to God Almighty. If God is capable of mimicking Satan, then is the faith that places such a Satanic being at its core not itself satanic?   Look at this verse, clearly enunciating a satanic act:

Samuel 15:2,3 :This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [a] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ”

The ridiculous claim that God can mimick Satan by committing grave injustices is carried forward into Salafism. They too believe that unspeakable atrocities can be committed such as burdering babies and innocent people in the name of God.

I have now provided you with four examples of how every one of the major religions calls on you to suspend your good mind, and to accept the fantastic opinions and reasonings of its scholars and priests.

Do you need to be a professor in mathematics to know that you have ten fingers? If some mathematics professor arrives and writes a million books about you having nine fingers, would you believe the million books or your own eyes?   The scholars and priests of religion are the same. They come to you, asking you to suspend your logical mind and to believe their poppycock just because they are more learned than you. Why are they more learned? Just because they read more books? Did they travel to the life beyond death? Do they have a secret stash of heavenly revealed books? My dear reader, you were born, you grew up, you found a way to sustain yourself financially, all without the help of a cleric or a priest. So why do you desperately need them when it comes to religion? Its like saying that you cannot make any decision in your life without calling your lawyer. Or that you cannot eat anything without calling your doctor. Or that you cannot spend any money without calling your accountant. Completely absurd.   Religion should be about God, and not about the priests. But the priests have carefully twisted religion to be about them (speaking on God’s behalf.)

Here is my first appeal to you, dear reader: Reclaim your right to ponder, evaluate, scrutinise, consider, reflect and critique what you are told by men who claim to speak for God. Your sound mind is God’s best gift to you, to use in your journey to Him. If anyone tells you that your sound mind will lead you away from God, then that person is saying that good religion cannot be achieved by a healthy process of contemplation. You are also insulting God, by saying that God created you with a mind that leads you away from Him!

Liberating yourself from priesthood, and embracing your own sound intellect or mind is the first major step towards a pure and sincere religion.

PART 2

Are all religions all wrong?

A river starts high up in the mountains or highlands, and finds its way down towards the lower valleys.   All rivers start out clear and pure, but can undergo contamination during its downward path. At a certain point, the river might lose its purity and become hazardous to your health.   Its up to you to take personal care to purify the water from the river before you drink it. I believe that the major religions are the same today. They can be good for you, provided you filter out the filth. And guess what: When you filter water from the Amazon, the Nile or any other river, all you get is the same nourishing H2O.

Applying this to our study of religion, we have to put any idea that anyone asks us to accept to a purifying process. What is this purifying process? Its simply the rational, reflection, pondering, weighing up and critical reflection that we exercise with our sound mind. If someone is handing out water to people, and you see those people falling ill and dropping dead after drinking the water, you need to be especially sceptical. With religion today, if a religion is causing death, pain and suffering, you need to be especially cautious of that religion.

My thesis in this booklet, my dear reader, is that, once you clear the filth out of Islam, Christianity or Judaism, you will be left with the same unadulterated Godly religion. What do I mean by unadulterated Godly religion? I mean by that the core-concepts that all religions preach, namely:

  1. The recognition that there is a greater reality within which the perceivable world exists and the recognition of God as Supreme Creator and Sustainer of the universe and what exists beyond.
  2. God is virtuous and has established guidance for human beings to be virtuous
  3. The recognition of the Earth as temporal abode preceding an eternal after life abode where the most excellent of souls will enjoy eternal flourishing.

None of the main religions will dispute or subtract from these core principles. What they do do is to add confusion to these simple core points. Islam confuses these core ideas by introducing a huge cumbersome set of unnecessary laws and shifting the focus away from love and dedication to God, towards love and dedication to laws. One example: Islamic scholars write endless books on how to posture oneself during the act of worshipping God, while omitting the importance of making a sincere connection with God during worship sessions. Orthodox Judaism commits the same mistake, turning religion into a strict maze of legalisms.

Christians and Hindus shift the attention from God towards His creation and his mediators. Christians places worship, love and dedication to Jesus on a par with love and dedication to God almighty, whilst Jesus himself announced that he worships a greater power. Hindus adore the creation of God, as a manifestation of God. This amounts to confusing God with His creation. The artist is not the painting; the engineer is not the engine, the watch maker is not the watch, so why should God’s creation be regarded as God?

Religious imposters serve to confuse the pristine message of religion as stated above. God’s detractors have given up hope over the millennia from convincing us that He doesn’t exist, so they’ve changed their strategy to confuse and muddy his essence.

The tools of the imposter and corruptor are:

  • Claiming to speak for God and claiming the right to punish you on God’s behalf
  • Using intimidation and mob tactics to defend the orthodoxy which they established.
  • Claiming mysterious knowledge of the afterlife and promising damnation to those differing with them
  • Claiming mysterious powers to influence your fortunes in the world

All of these are absolutely fake and invented to lead you away from pure unadulterated worship of God.   Accepting any of these as valid places you on a sad path that leads away from God.

Can I be regarded as a good Christian/ Muslim / Jew if I adore God, worship him everyday, do virtuous deeds every day of my life and show nothing but kindness all my life? They all say “No!” The Christian Priest says “No!” because you failed to accept Jesus Christ. The Muslim and Jewish Priests say: “No!” because you failed to follow the myriad of laws meticulously. This shows the ridiculousness of the religions of the priests.

On the other hand, can I be regarded as good Christian / Muslim / Jew even after living a life oblivious to God and committing countless acts harming others? They all answer “Yes, its possible”. The Christian claims that you have achieved salvation and your sins forgiven, as long as you professed that Jesus died for your sins. The Muslim and the Jew claim that as long as you followed the laws, and kept up your rituals, you will be regarded as a good Muslim or Jew. When I visited Mecca in 1985, I learnt that thousands of tons of meat, ritually slaughtered would rot and be disposed of, never to reach an empty stomach. This to me is an indication of how legal ritual kills and overrides virtue. I saw a Shi’ite priest once advising a devout follower to escape fasting ordained in the Holy Quran by taking a pointless journey and returning home again. Meaningless compliance with rituals and stupid nonsensical actions can never be regarded as part of the magnificent grand plan of God Almighty. If you witness such actions, be assured that you should be worried.

Now to conclude: All religions have a good core, and you have to cut away the corruption to get to that core. If we all do the same, we will notice an amazingly uniform system emerging where priests, titles and sects will lose relevance and where only God and Virtue will become our main pre-occupation.

 Posted by on April 23, 2015 at 1:10 pm  Comments Off on Which Religion??